India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:39 am

India Tracts
by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends.
The Second Edition, Revised and Corrected, with Additions.


John Zephaniah Holwell FRS (17 September 1711 – 5 November 1798)

-- The Black Hole -- The Question of Holwell's Veracity, by J. H. Little, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society, Vol. XI, Part 1, July-Sept., 1915

-- Full Proceedings of the Black Hole Debate, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society, Vol. XII. Jan – June, 1916

-- Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Facts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine. Part II. By J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

-- Forging Indian Religion: East India Company Servants and the Construction of ‘Gentoo’/‘Hindoo’ Scripture in the 1760s, by Jessica Patterson

-- French Jesuits in India and the Lettres Edifiantes, by Jyoti Mohan

-- Claiming India: French Scholars and the Preoccupation with India During the Nineteenth Century, by Jyoti Mohan

-- Natural Theology and Natural Religion, by Andrew Chignell & Derk Pereboom

-- The Enlightenment and Orientalist Discourse on the Aryan, Excerpt from Aryans, Jews, Brahmins: Theorizing Authority through Myths of Identity, by Dorothy M. Figueira

-- Ezourvedam: A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century, Edited with an Introduction by Ludo Rocher

-- Holwell's Religion of Paradise, Excerpt from The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


I. An Address to the Proprietors of East-India stock; setting forth, the unavoidable Necessity, and real Motives, for the Revolution in Bengal, 1760.
II. A Refutation of a Letter from certain Gentlemen of the Council at Bengal, to the Honorable the Secret Committee.
III. Important Facts regarding the East India Company's Affairs in Bengal, from the Years 1752 to 1760, with Copies of several very interesting Letters.
IV. A Narrative of the deplorable Deaths of the English Gentlemen who were suffocated in the Black Hole in Fort William, at Calcutta, June 1756.
V. A Defense of Mr. Vansittart's Conduct. [Pg. 277]

ILLUSTRATED WITH: A FRONTISPIECE, representing the Monument erected at Calcutta, in Memory of the Sufferers in the Black Hole Prison.

A View of the Monument. This Horrid Act of Violence was as Amply as deservedly revenged on Surajud Dowwla, by his Majesty's Arms, under the Conduct of Vice Admiral Watson and Col! Clive. Anno, 1757.

The Holwell Monument as Re-erected by Lord Curzon, January 1, 1906
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:40 am



THE following small Tracts, in consequence of unprovoked injuries, were hastily thrown together, during the late clamorous disputes between Directors, Proprietors, and Candidates for the management of East-India affairs at home and abroad.-- How they came to be so hastily produced, and as hastily published, it seems requisite I should explain a little more at large.

At the beginning of these intestine broils, I was determined to avoid engaging on either side; and, to shun solicitation, I disposed of all the stock I stood possessed of', without retaining as much as might entitle me to a single vote; so truly desirous I was to enjoy in quiet that peaceful retirement, I had dearly purchased at the expense of so many difficulties, miseries, and heavy misfortunes as fell to my lot, while in the service of the Company.

Such, I say, were my resolutions, to which I should most strictly have adhered, if I had not found my character first indirectly, afterwards openly attacked, by the basest calumnies which were levelled against me in a manner, sudden, unmerited and unexpected.

UNDER these circumstances, there was a necessity of speaking for myself, and, which was still more unpleasing, I found myself likewise constrained to enter upon my vindication without delay. -- The pungency of these accusations -- the precipitancy of the times, and a disposition to take every thing for granted that was not immediately refuted; obliged me not only to dispatch them as quickly as was possible, but also to produce them in like hurry to the public eye.

IT was from these accidents, which I could not either foresee or avoid, that they came into the world not so well digested, and with much less accuracy, than the candid part of mankind have a right to expect in every production that claims their consideration, and is submitted to their judgment.

To the same causes I may very justly refer those errors of the press, which were in some of them so numerous as scarce to to leave the sense intelligible; to say nothing of other mistakes in orthography and diction, all arising from the utter impossibility of allowing me time requisite to revise and correct the proof sheets.

IT is from a just sense of these involuntary imperfections, that I have been led to review, to reform, and to cast into somewhat a different shape, these little pieces, that were thus exposed; and to render them still clearer and more satisfactory, I have added some other Tracts, which, however reasonable, I had not the leisure to prepare, and which, from my observing the obscurity arising from their Omission, I conceived it my duty to add as soon as opportunity would permit.

My narrative of the fatal catastrophe at Calcutta, and that unexampled scene of horror to which so many subjects of Great Britain were exposed in the prison of the Black-Hole, has so close a connection with one of the pieces that precede it, has scarce to require an apology for reprinting it in this edition; prefixing, as a frontispiece to the Volume, a Print of the Monument which I erected, at my own expense, to the memory of those unhappy sufferers.

MANY, if not most of the matters contained in these sheets, are to you, Gentlemen, very well known, as having been often the subject of your deliberations; and, therefore, to whom could I so properly address them as to yourselves? -- Two of you first incited my endeavors, and directed my labors for the Company's interest. -- Mr. Payne, with the same distinguished zeal, encouraged and supported them; a zeal truly disinterested, for I was a stranger to you all; so that you could have no motive to the favor you bestowed, and the protection you so generously afforded me, except the warm and pure regard which you ever showed, rather than professed, for that respectable body, whose concerns were then committed to your care.

You have, Gentlemen, frequently done me the honor to say, I did not disgrace your patronage, or disappoint your favorable expectations: to me this was the most ample reward -- but I could not help thinking there yet remained something due on my part; and that I ought to attempt the justifying your choice to the knowing, the ingenuous, and the judicious world.

This became more especially incumbent on me, when I found Envy and Malice arraign the character of him, whom you had espoused, and whom you had so long honored with your friendship. -- This, I thought, I could not better effect than by publishing the following Pieces.

WITH all possible submission, I lay them in their new dress before you, as thereby I am favoured with what I have long and ardently wished, an opportunity of giving this public testimony of a grateful heart, for the many and repeated proofs I have received of your respectable patronage.

I am, GENTLEMEN, Your most obliged, and most obedient humble servant,


Mount Felix, Walton upon Thames, July 3, 1764.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:41 am

Explanation of Certain Persian and Moorish Terms in the Following Sheets.

Amdanny and Russtanny: Imports and Exports.
Arzgee: A Peitition.
Arzdasht: Idem.
Assammees: Dealers in different Branches of Trade.

Banka Bazar: Formerly the Ostend Factory.
Begum: Princess, meaning without Care.
Buxey: A Paymaster of Troops.
Buckserrias: Foot-Soldiers whose common Arms are Sword and Target only.

Chowkeys: Guards at the Stars, or Landing-places.
Chinam: Lime.
Cossid: A Foot-messenger, or Post.
Chubdaar: An Usher.
Cooley: A Porter.
Chout: A Fourth Part.
A Coss, or Corse: A Measure from two Miles to two Miles and Half.
A Corore of Rupees: An hundred Lack, or one Million Sterling.

Dewan: King's Treasurer.
Dewanny: Superintendancy over the Royal Revenues.
Dussutary: An Impost of ten per Cent.
Durbar: Court or Council, and sometimes a Levee only.
Decoyt: A Robber.
Dummadah: A River.

Fowzdar: A Military Officer.

Gomastah: Factor or Agent.
Gwallers: Carriers of Palanquins.
Gunge: Grain Market.

Hackeries: Carts or Coaches drawn by Oxen.
Harkarahs: Spies.

John Nagore: A Village so called.
Jaggemaut: The Gentoo Pagoda.
Jemmautdaar: An Officer of the same Rank with the Roman Centurion.

Mackulka: An Obligation with a Penalty annexed.
Moonskee: A Persian Secretary.
Musnud: Throne.
Moories: Writers.
Maund: A gross Weight between 70 and 80 Pounds.

Negrai: A new Settlement at one of the Pegu Islands.
Nobut: A Drum, a mark of Royalty assumed by the Subahas of Bengal.

Perwannah: An Order or Command, sometimes a Grant.
Purranea: In the Province of Bengal; a Nabobship subordinate to the Suba.
Phirmaund: A Royal Mandate, or Grant.
Pykes: Officers relative to the Service of the Lands.
Ponsways: Guard-Boats.
Podor or Shreff: A Money-changer.
Peons: Infantry.
Pottahs: Grants.
Pondary, Foorea: Farmers distinct Allowances on Grain at the Gunge.

Rumnah: District for the Royal Game.

Seer, Chetac, Maund: Forty Seer is one Maund, and sixteen Chetac one Seer.

Telinga: The Carnatic Country on the Coast of Coromandel.
Tanksal: A Mint for Coinage.
Tanners and Buzbudgea: Forts on the River Ganges.
Tunkabs: Assignments upon Lands.
Tuzsaconna, Ginanah: Wardrobe and Seraglio.

Vaqueel: English Agent or Resident at the Nabob's Court.
Vizerut: The Grant for the Visiership.

Wazeed: A considerable Mahometan Merchant who resided at Houghley upon the Ganges.

Zemin: Ground; Zemindary; Relative to Lands.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:41 am

Part 1 of 4

An Address to the Proprietors of East-India stock; Setting Forth the Unavoidable Necessity and Real Motives for the Revolution in Bengal, 1760
by John Zephaniah Holwell, Esq;

An Address to the Proprietors of East India Stock

Gentlemen and Ladies,

I know not any body of people in the kingdom so much to be pitied, or so deservedly the object of attention, at this period, as yourselves: strangers to the secret springs and workings of the great machine you are embarked in, you must be also strangers to the nature of its defects, and incapable of applying proper remedies to its irregular, and consequently destructive motions.

Those entrusted with the conduct of your concerns at home, distracted and divided in their councils; your Agents abroad, in the same unhappy divisions and animosities; a general Court at hand, where it is to be feared, not one in a hundred of you will be able to form any clear idea of the matters to be discussed: What salutary effects then can be expected from its resolutions, in your present uninformed state?

I will not begin so endless a work as the investigating, from their original source, the various combined causes, which gave rise to these dissensions, as it would answer no one useful purpose at present: an honest indignation, and true regard for the welfare of the Company provokes my pen, to rescue you from impressions, the best and most sensible are sometimes liable to, from misrepresentation, artful invective, plausible, specious, though fallacious argument, and cruel insinuation; enough of these are, at this particular juncture, thrown out to amuse and blind you, by some no better acquainted with the subjects they write and speak on, than most of yourselves.

The productions of paltry scribblers are below mine, and every gentleman's notice, (such as appeared in a late evening paper) but when men of sense, virtue and character, and others who have possessed high and distinguished stations and emoluments in your service, join the cry, and help to keep up and increase this anarchy in your affairs, it is time to guard you, not only against the venom of their pens, but their tongues also; for, from them there may be danger.

That your affairs have been brought to the brink of ruin, is most certain, and possibly by this time (though God forbid) you may not have a foot of land, nor a rupee of property, in the three Provinces of Bengal; a dismal and alarming prospect. -- The question is, What is the real and more immediate cause of this melancholy situation? If you hearken to the present torrent of abuse, you will be told, the revolution which deposed Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan, and set up his son-in-law, Kossim Aly Khan, in the year 1760, is stained with unparalleled infamy, and is the cause of every subsequent mischief to you: you are further told, this change will be explained to you from the most undoubted authority, and unanswerable arguments: but nothing of this kind yet appears to enlighten you.

From another quarter you are informed, your Court of Directors are culpable. -- Those who shoot in the dark, may fire boldly indeed, not being immediately liable to discovery; but then they may be sometimes liable to mistake their aim -- the charge against them is couched in the following terms: "Your Court of Directors at home, pleased with the present advantages, never examined the means by which they were obtained, or whence the necessities arose that were pleaded in excuse of the revolution."-- I should be grieved you could imagine I am set down to form an apology for the whole conduct of your Court of Directors -- Far be it from me -- but as I know their judgment on, and sanction given to this revolution, were the result of mature examination, both as to the means, and necessities that produced it, it would be dishonest in me not to say so; and I will venture to pronounce, that before I close this Address to you, yourselves will acquit them of this charge, and be convinced their conduct, as to this particular transaction, was strictly consistent, not only with your interest, but honor -- nor will I doubt, but this revolution will, in the sequel, reflect honor and credit on every one of your servants who had a part in it.

To vindicate the revolution of 1760, is the task I now impose upon myself, not only for your information, (though I confess that to be a moving, and at this time a very essential consideration) but also in justification of myself, who, it is very well known, had so large a share in it, and in defense of one of the best and most capable servants you ever had abroad. Justice to his merits exacts this testimony from me, though he succeeded me in the government of your presidency of Bengal -- I conceive Mr. Vansittart's character, on this occasion, injuriously traduced; he is not here to vindicate himself; it is therefore incumbent on me (who only can) to do it; the more especially, because if any just censure lies against him, on account of this revolution, it is owing to the representations laid before him by me, touching the state of the Company's affairs at the period he came to the government.

Previous to laying proofs and vouchers before you, it will not be amiss, to say what I tend to prove. I therefore set out with these positions: First, That the distressed situation of your affairs, as well as impending ruin of the provinces, made it unavoidably necessary to divest Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan of power to do greater mischiefs, as by a series of maladministration and cruelties he had well nigh brought himself, his family, the provinces, and the Company, to destruction; so that it became a reproach to the English name and arms to support his tyrannic government any longer. Secondly, That Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan was guilty of a breach of every article of the offensive and defensive treaty made with him in the year 1757, when he was by us promoted to the Subaship of Bengal -- Thirdly, That your honor, and the honor of the nation, remain inviolate, and stand unimpeached by this revolution, though the contrary has been so industriously insinuated.

This contest is reducible to a very narrow compass. -- lf the deposing Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan was a just and necessary measure, every subsequent opposition to it must be wrong, and highly detrimental to your interest, trade, and possessions; on the contrary, if you deem the deposing Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan, an unjust and unnecessary measure, the restoring him must be right, in the eye of strict justice, provided such restoration is so circumstanced, as to be brought about without the manifest hazard of ruin to your affairs. On this we join issue, and proceed to our proofs. In order to which, a short introduction to facts will be needful.

In August 1760, Henry Vansittart, Esq; arrived at Fort William, Bengal, and received the government. Your affairs, as well as the state of the Provinces, being in a most ruinous, intricate, and disjointed situation, Mr. Holwell thought it an indispensable duty on him, to draw up such a clear representation of these matters as should afford that gentleman an immediate general idea of our political state at that period -- which he accordingly did, in the following terms, introduced by a short address to your secret Committee.

To the Honorable HENRY VANSITTART, Esq; &c. Members of the Select Committee.

Honorable Sir and Sirs,

As my health, and the consideration of other circumstances, will soon oblige me to request permission of the Board to resign the service, I beg leave, previous to that step, to accompany this short address with such remarks and memorials, as may convey to the Honorable the President, (so lately arrived among you) a knowledge of the present state and situation of the Company's affairs, as they stand connected with, or are dependent on, the country government of Bengal.

I have the Honor to be, &c.



To form a judgment of the present state of things at Bengal, it will be needful to have a retrospect to the late revolution of the year 1757, when necessity, and a just resentment for the most cruel injuries, obliged us to enter on a plan to deprive Surajud Dowla of his government, which was accordingly done, and Mhir Mahomet Jaffier Aly Khan, fixed by us at the head of the provinces, on certain conditions, and under a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive.

A short space fully proved how unworthy the family thus raised to the Subaship were: the conditions of the treaty could not be obtained from the Suba, without, in a manner, being extorted from him; and by a thousand shifts and evasions, it was plain, no single article would ever have been complied with had the Suba been invested with sufficient power to prevent it, or could he have divested himself of his own fears and apprehensions from our resentment.

Tunka's on the lands were, however, granted for payment of the stipulated sums, at stated times, by which the Roy Royen, (or Collector of the Revenues) and the Dewans, Mutsoodies, &c. (dependents of that office) with every harpy employed in the Zemindary or lands, became our implacable enemies; and consequently,

A party was soon raised at the Durbar, headed by the Suba's son Mhiran, and Raja Raage Bullob, who were daily planning schemes to shake off their dependence on the English, and continually urging to the Suba, that until this was effected, his government was nominal only. The Suba, something irritated, by the protection given to Raja Doolub, and weak and irresolute in himself, fell too soon into these sentiments.

The first step taken to accomplish this scheme of independence, was, to assassinate and cut off, under one pretence or another, every minister and officer at the Durbar, whom they knew were attached to the English: to this purpose, Coju Haady, and Cossim Aly Khan, first and second Buxey, were assassinated in November and December 1758. After many attempts made on the persons of Rheim Khan and Golam Shaw, his uncle and brother, they were at last obliged to seek an asylum with the Shaw Zadda, 1759. Roy Doolub's son and four brothers were proscribed, on no other cause, but his known inviolable attachment to us; this family would have fallen a sacrifice had they not been rescued out of the Suba's hands by force of arms. Omhir Beg Khan would, from the same cause, have suffered the same fate, had he not given his solemn engagement to quit the kingdom, which he accordingly did, in a miserable state of health, and lived only to arrive at Bussorah.

The next project of the Durbar, appeared (by every subsequent concurring circumstance) to be a secret negotiation with the Dutch, for transporting troops from Batavia into these provinces, that with their united force a stop might be put to the power of the English. This scheme was conducted by Raja Raage Bullob, on the part of the Suba, and by Fookru Toojaar Khan (better known by the name of Coja Wazeed) on the part of the Dutch, about October or November 1758, the period when the Decan expedition took place under Colonel Forde, and your garrisons were much reduced.

Soon after the provinces were invaded by the Shaw Zadda, (undoubted heir to the Mogul empire) on the side of Patna, and Colonel Clive, with the English troops and Seapoys, joined the Suba and his army, and by forced marches preserved Rajah Ramnaran (Nabob of Patna) steady in his duty, and arrived just in time to save that city and province, and drive the Prince beyond the river Kurrumnassa, and brought the Budgepoore, &c. countries under subjection.

The Prince, more than once, wrote to the Colonel, offering any terms for the Company and himself, on condition the English would quit the Suba, and join his arms; but the Colonel, thinking it incompatible with our treaty of alliance, gave the Prince no encouragement.

At the end of the campaign, in June 1759, the Colonel returned to us; and about the same time, the Suba and young Nabob Mhiran arrived at Muxadabad: both, now, with full conviction of our firm attachment to his government and family, and of our religious regard to treaties. What sense they retained of these obligations, and how long, will appear by and by.

The Suba and his son, thinking themselves now better established in the government, and screened by such a powerful support as our arms, set no bounds to their cruelties, oppressions, and exactions from those who had any thing to be plundered of; and these barely received a check, from the frequent and severe remonstrances of Colonel Clive to the Suba, on a conduct, which he foretold him, must, from the general detestation of his people, end in the destruction of himself, family, and country. -- His troops clamorous for their pay, whilst the Suba, in place of appropriating the sums he had acquired, by repeated assassinations, to the just demands of his Jummautdars and troops, lavished the same in boundless extravagancies.

About the latter end of July 1759, the young Nabob arrived in Calcutta, on a pretended visit to the Colonel; but the real design was, to negotiate, if possible, the surrender of Roy Doollub, and two or three other articles, given him in charge by his father; such as, giving up the Tunka lands on security, -- borrowing a large sum of money: -- but in these the son proving unsuccessful, a member of the Board and Select Committee, was, at his desire, sent to accompany him to the city, to reconcile the Suba to the negatives his son had met with at Calcutta, and at the same time to intimate to him the advice we had received, that a large armament was sitting out at Batavia, destined for Bengal, and to know his resolution, in case that force arrived in the river.

He was not to be reconciled to the refusals his son had met with, but determined to try his own power, and declared his intention to visit the Colonel himself in September, (which he did, but with no more success) he seemed to make light of the intelligence touching the Dutch armament, and not to give much credit to it, though he discovered great perplexity; however, he wrote a letter to the Colonel, demanding our assistance, by virtue of the treaty of alliance, in case the Dutch troops came into the river.

The armament from Batavia arrived during his visit at Calcutta; his stay after that was short, his mind seemed much embarrassed, and his whole subsequent conduct gave most undoubted proofs, that the Dutch force was arrived at his invitation; that such were the sentiments of Colonel Clive and his Council, appears from the narrative of our contest with the Dutch, November 1759, transmitted to the Court of Directors, and to our several Admirals: a perusal of this narrative will convince the impartial, that the Suba's behavior on this occasion, was a most flagitious breach of the treaty of alliance; and that no terms whatever should have been preserved with him after such treachery and ingratitude; to which we may add, by way of illustration, the subsequent farces carried on between the Nabobs and the Dutch, even until the month of July 1760, as set forth in the several letters between Mr. Holwell and the Resident at Morad-Baag, on this subject, to which I refer; where it will appear most manifest, that the Suba's real intentions never were to oppose these people, though he was from time to time calling upon us, and demanding assistance, by virtue of the treaty of alliance subsisting between him and the English: -- witness the private orders and instructions given to his son-in-law, Mhir Mahomet Cossim Aly Khan, so opposite to the public orders given to amuse and deceive us, when he was sent down to demolish the new works at Chinsura, the apparent delay in which drew much censure upon that General, until the truth was known.

In the beginning of the year 1760, the Shaw Zadda invaded the provinces again, with a force more respectable than in the preceding one, both in troops and commanders, by the revolt of Comgar Khan, Golam Shaw, Rheim Khan, and others; the Suba, by this time, having made himself and family so universally hated, that we may justly say, there was hardly a man in the province that did not wish success to the Prince.

Colonel Clive resigned the government early in February 1760, about which time the Morattors entered the province from the southward, and penetrated Burdomaan country, making a considerable diversion in favor of the Prince; the Suba demanded a body of our troops, Seapoys and field artillery, for defense of his country, to join his army under the command of Mhir Cossim Aly Khan; which were granted: -- but here the service expected, and intended by this united force, was entirely frustrated, by the pusillanimous and contradictory orders from the Suba to that General, which ended at last in Commanding him to advance towards Cutwah, for the defense of the city, in place of ordering him to march to the southward, against the Morattors, to drive them out of the country; and this in opposition to the strongest remonstrances made against it, by Mr. Holwell and Mhir Cossim Aly Khan: thus the country fell a prey to the Morattors, and a total stop was put to the collection of our Tunkas, on which was our dependence and expectation, for the service of the year. (Vid. Military Correspondence, Feb. and Mar. 1760.)

Our troops, under command of Major Caillaud, in conjunction with the Suba's army, commanded by his son Mhiran, had taken the field some time before Colonel Clive's departure for Europe, and shaped their rout towards Patna, whilst the Suba remained in the neighborhood of Rajamaal, a check upon Cuddeim Hossein Khan, Nabob of Purnea.

A regular and particular detail of the transactions of this laborious campaign, will not be expected here, as the progress of it will present itself in the course of the military correspondence, laid before the Select Committee; therefore general remarks on the success, effects, and probable consequences, will suffice.

This campaign, like the former ones, produced no definitive action, or stroke, to lay the least foundation of peace to the provinces: in the course of it, three morally sure, and important opportunities, were lost by the cowardice of both Nabobs. -- The first, when Mhiran refused to join Major Caillaud with his horse, in the immediate pursuit of the Prince, when defeated near Patna. -- The second, when the Suba refused to comply with the Major's request and demand, to cross his horse over Burdomaan river, to attack the Prince, when united with Subabut, the Morattor general. -- And the third, when in the last pursuit of Cuddeim Hossein Khan, the young Nabob refused to lead or detach his horse to the Major's assistance, by which a general action might have been brought on; but on the contrary, kept himself encamped above a mile in the Major's rear, as if his intentions were to leave our troops, without horse, a sacrifice to the enemy.

On the near approach of the Major to Patna, he received a Phirmaund from the Prince, of which he advised the Board, and promised to forward a copy; but no wonder that, in the course of so extraordinary and fatiguing a campaign, it should escape his memory. -- On the Shaw Zadda's arrival in the Bierboheen country, (after the unexpected march he formed upon his defeat near Patna) the President received intelligence that the Suba had actually a Vackeel in his camp; and that he was negotiating a separate treaty for himself. This appeared to have so dangerous a tendency, that any means were eligible to obtain the truth.

The late President, by a third hand, caused Assud Jumma Khan, Raja of Bierboheen, and his uncle Comgar Khan, to be wrote to, on this subject of the Suba's Vackeel and treaty. -- This soon produced a Phirmaund from the Prince, enclosing copy of the Suba's Arzdasht. The President made no reply to the Phirmaund, but returned a short one to Comgar Khan's letter, (which accompanied the Phirmaund) intimating, that copies were of little validity, where originals were in being.

A few days before the Prince began his retreat from the hills, the President received a second Phirmaund from him, enclosing original Arzdasht from the Suba. -- All that can be said for or against belief being given either to the authenticity of the copy or the original, will appear on the face of the correspondence, in two letters from the President to the Major, under dates the 22d and 24th of last April, and to Mr. Hastings the Resident at Morad-baag, the 20th of the same month: to these, we may further remark, that if they were forgeries, they have yet corroborating signatures of truth; and the whole tenor of the Suba's conduct most exactly tallies with the terms of the Arzdasht (or petition). But to resume the course of the campaign to the present time.

Patna is relieved and secured for the present -- Cuddeim Hossein Khan is deposed from his government of Purnea, and drove out of the country, but with all his treasure and valuable effects, to the reproach and infamy of the young Nabob's memory; so that after the rains he will easily join the Prince, with the essential sinews of war, money, the only thing he stands in need of to enable him to harass the provinces five years longer.

The young Nabob is taken off by lightening, -- and our troops are gone into quarters, after having done as much or more than could have been expected from men so wretchedly supported, by those for whose preservation they endured every distress and fatigue, and braved variety of deaths. --

The Prince has found means to preserve himself and forces, a footing on this side the Sone, and in the neighborhood of Patna: it is said, Comgar Khan has forsaken the cause of the Prince, which appears most improbable; not only on account that he has no other chance for reimbursing himself, but perseverance; but also, because we have undoubted intelligence that 3000 of his troops have joined his nephew, Assud Jumma Khan, who has thrown off his allegiance to the Suba. -- These troops are certainly lodged, to make an early and important diversion, at the opening of the next campaign, by entering the Burdomaan country as soon as the Prince begins to be in motion to the northward; and thus our supplies from thence will be again cut off, and the Company's affairs reduced to the last extremity of distress, unless the approaching ships of the season relieve us, or the whole Tunka's on those lands be collected during the rains. -- The latter is hardly possible, and the former carries very little probability with it -- The last proposal from the Suba, to pay our balances, and resume his lands, is devoutly to be wished, but it is to be feared he has no meaning in it.

The various reasons urged against supporting the present government longer, on the plan we have been sometime pursuing, to the heavy injury of the Company, with various expedients to rescue them from their manifest approaching ruin, are set forth at large, in the military correspondence -- in letters from the President to Major Caillaud, under dates the 24th and 25th of May, and 14th of June, and 3d of July; -- to Mr. Amyat, under dates the 25th and 30th of May, and 1st July; -- to Mr. Hastings, under dates the 24th of May, and 30th of June, and 5th and 8th July.

The sudden death of the young Nabob, if made a proper use of, seems to point out a middle way, if things are not gone too far already, to admit any other alternative than divesting this family from the government altogether. -- Vide the President's letter to Mr. Hastings, of the 16th July, and to Major Caillaud, of the 26th, on the subject of a successor to the young Nabob's posts. --

J. Z. H.

The foregoing Memorial, we believe, would carry sufficient conviction with it, to establish our three positions, were we to go no farther: -- the facts there stated are faithfully recited, and without exaggeration: if they are not, we are open to detection, from one side or other of the present division in the Court of Directors; there are leading members, in both parties, who can have recourse to the face of their records of consultations and committee proceedings.

As the several charges laid against Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan, in this Memorial, may, by being too much divided, not appear so clear and intelligible as we could wish, though sufficiently so for whom it was then drawn; we shall, for your more ready comprehension, throw the whole into a regular connection as follows: -- That, very soon after his advancement, he resolved to reduce that power which raised him to wealth and princely grandeur. -- That, in order to effect it, he began (by base assassinations, or other methods) to cut off, and drive out of the Provinces, every officer and person of importance whom he had the least cause to surmise favored our interest, or were attached to us. -- That he had been scarce seated in his government, when he entered into a secret negotiation with the Dutch, to introduce an armament in the Provinces, to counteract and destroy our power and influence; -- a measure as wicked as foolish. -- That he was guilty of the deepest deceit and treachery towards us, his benefactors and allies, in repeated instances. -- That, whilst our officers and troops were suffering every distress, and hazard of their lives, in defense of him, his son, and country, our commander in chief was basely and treacherously deserted, at three different periods, by father and son. -- That he meditated a separate, secret, treaty with the Shaw Zadda, and offered to sacrifice us to the Prince, but was not (happily for us) believed, or heard. -- That the whole term of his government was an uniform chain of cruelty, tyranny and oppression. -- That (over and above what is charged against him in the Memorial) he meditated, and was near carrying into execution, an infamous secret treaty with the Morattors, which would have proved the total destruction of the country, if it had not been timely prevented. -- That he threw every possible lett and hindrance in our way, in the collection of our Tunka's. -- That he encouraged, and winked at, the obstructions given to the free currency of our Calcutta Sicca's; by which, at times, the Company suffered heavy losses. --

Each of these charges is a violation of that treaty, which put Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan in possession of a government of more value than many kingdoms of Europe, supported by us at the expense of our blood, until it became a scandal and reproach to our name and nation. -- But it is time we proceed to other proofs than bare assertions: These we shall take from the correspondence so often referred to; and if, in the several vouchers we exhibit to you, some parts of your affairs should be laid more open than you, or rather your Court of Directors, with -- the necessity must plead our apology; faithfully assuring you, that we will only touch on such matters as may be absolutely requisite to support our charge.

Governor Clive departing for Europe the 8th of February, 1760, Mr. Holwell succeeded by his rank to the government; the established committee entrusted with the conduct of all political occurrences, with the country government, consisted of the President, Peter Amyatt, Esq; Major Caillaud, W. B. Sumner, Esq; and W. Macguire, Esq. The Major and Mr. Amyatt absent, the one in the field, the other chief at Patna.-- We shall open our proofs with a letter from the President to the Major, and that gentleman's answer, as the correspondence between Mr. Holwell and Major Caillaud was only on public affairs, which having long ceased to be of a secret nature, we think we cannot be justly accused of any breach of propriety in publishing any part of that correspondence which the public information calls for; especially, as whatever we shall produce from this quarter, will redound to that gentleman's honor.

To John Caillaud, Esq'

Fort William, the 15th of February, 1760.


I congratulate your success in the reduction of Cuddiem Hossein Khan, the particulars of which I received from the Nabob, and dispatched them immediately to the Colonel, though fear too late for his receiving that satisfaction: he was a good deal anxious on this head, as he feared it might have been the cause of delaying your advance towards Rajah Ramnarain.

Subut at the head of about 3000 horse and a few foot, has advanced as far as Midnapore, and given a general alarm to the country; they demanded their chout; if they come with further views, their designs are not yet manifested. -- Rumor, without any foundation, says, that Roy Doolub has encouraged their march; be it so or not, I have thought it necessary to have a more than usual watchful eye over him at this juncture. -- I have wrote the Nabob on the subject of the Subut's advance; and gave it him as my opinion, that as he has now nothing to apprehend from Purnea, he should return to his capital. -- If you judge the service to the northward will admit of such a step, you will enforce it. Your correspondence will ever afford a real pleasure to him, who is with much esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To the Honorable J. Z. Holwell, Esq; President and Governor of Fort William

Camp Sbabsadapore, Feb. 27, 1760. H


I been honored with your obliging favor of the 15th instant; you may be assured of finding in me a punctual correspondent, both from inclination and duty. T

The part of your letter, Sir, with regard to Roy Doolub, I have answered fully in the general letter which accompanies this. -- I should have first wrote on the subject, had you not prevented me; and am almost convinced, that, on further examination, we shall find that both your suspicions and mine are true and just: indeed the Letter to the Shaw Zadda, of which I send the copy, would be quite sufficient to condemn him, were it not that there is a possibility of its being formed by the Nabob on purpose; who is, from principle, very capable of doing that, or any other infamous action to gain his ends. -- I shall, however, suspend my judgment, until your examination is over. -- The precautions you have taken were highly judicious; for though the proofs against him may not, on trial, appear so clear as we could with for our satisfaction; yet he is still a person to be suspected, and of consequence cannot be too narrowly or strictly watched.

Your opinion, with regard to the Nabob's return to the Capital, agreed perfectly with mine; I had advised him to that step before the receipt of your letter, and have since enforced it on your judgment: -- he may easily, if he pleases, put an end to this beginning of trouble, if he will pursue the proper methods, and pay them their chout; but indeed, so dilatory is his conduct in every respect, and particularly where payments of money are to be made, that I suppose he will put it off, until they come with such a force as will oblige him to it, but that not until they have done as much damage to the country as will amount to double their tribute regularly paid.

The more I see of the Nabob, the more I am convinced, that he must be ruined in spite of all our endeavors, if he doth not alter his present measures. -- He is neither loved nor feared by his troops or his people; he neglects securing the one by the badness of his payments, and he wants spirit and steadiness to command the other. -- As no one knows him better than you, Sir, no one is more proper to give him the necessary advice on the occasion; nor can you too forcibly or frequently represent to him, the fatal consequences, if he persists in his folly. Believe me, Sir, with truth and respect,

Your obedient and obliged humble Servant,


Our reason for introducing the first of these letters is for sake of the reply, and to do honor to the good sense and penetration of that gentleman; who could so early, and on so short an intercourse with him, form a consummate judgment of that weak and infatuated man; in which he had cause to be confirmed, day by day. -- We have only further to remark, on the subject of this letter, that on the strictest examination into the supposed letter of Roy Doolub to the Shaw Zadda, said to be intercepted by the Suba's Harkarahs, (or spys) it was proved a palpable forgery of the Suba, to get him delivered into his hands; hoping thereby to get the plunder of a Corore of Rnpees. -- An attempt similar to this, he made in Colonel Clive's time, against the same person, but was shamefully detected; and sure, none but him could ever have thought of it again.

To Mr. Warren Hastings, Resident at Morad Baag.

Fort William, 22d Feb. 1760.


I wrote the Nabob's Harkarahs last night, and this morning received your favor of the 18th, and observed, by the Nabob's repeated anxieties concerning Subut, that his intelligence on that head is very imperfect; it is true he has possessed himself of Midnapore, but as yet there appears not the least foundation for his supposed advance to the city: -- He himself remains at Midnapore, some of his people are advanced to Chundercona, and a very few to Bowannypore, but not a man of his one foot to the northward of that place: if he ever had any design of marching to the city, the advance of our troops to join Cossim Aly Khan, and my putting Roy Doolub under an arrest, may probably have put a stop to it, though it never appeared to me he had forces with him equal to such an attempt. -- Things thus circumstanced, I must differ from you in opinion touching Cossim Aly Khan's march to the city with our troops; as it appears to me more eligible, that he throws himself between them and the city at as great a distance from the latter as possible, by which step he will have it in his power, either to march down and force Subut to quit Midnapore, or retreat towards the city at last; but it is very clear to me, Subut will withdraw as soon as Cossim Aly Khan begins his march. -- I am, Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

J. Z. H.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

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Part 2 of 4

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, 24th Feb. 1760.


Lest the general Confusion, and apprehensions of the approach of Subut and his Morattors, which now reign in the city of Muxadabad, should spread to the northward, and affect your operations, I judge it necessary you should be acquainted with the real state of this circumstance.

On the Nabob's departure from the city, Subut began his march from Ballasore, and after a short conflict with Koosall Sing, possessed himself of Midnapore, and sent small detached parties to seize on the country round him; one of which advanced as far as Chundercona, and another as far as Bowannypore, where they still remain without a man advancing a foot further to the northward; his whole force consists of about 1000 vagabond horse, and half as many foot: This force, by the timidity of some, and roguery of others at the city, has been magnified to ten times the number; and fear has taken such total possession of the people there, that they imagine him and his troops within an hour's march of them; our Gentlemen at Cossimbuzar, and Morad-baag, seem, by their letters, to be also under the greatest apprehensions. -- Cossim Aly Khan, who has just now taken his leave of me, takes the field to-morrow with about 1500 of the Nabob's troops; we have judged it necessary, at the Nabob's request, to reinforce him with the detachment intended for you, and 100 Europeans more, 200 Seapoys, and two field pieces: the whole have been encamped some days at the French gardens, and I doubt not but their first motion will restore the tranquility of the city and country. I am most truly, Sir,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

We propose by these two letters to point out the pusillanimity and folly of the Suba, in ordering the troops under Cossim Aly Khan to march towards Cutwah and the city, by which unfortunate measure, the Burdomaan country was abandoned, and left a prey to Subut and his handful of raggamuffin Morattors, to the irreparable stain and disgrace of the Suba's government, and heavy distress of your servants; whose whole dependence for supply was from the Tunkas (or assignments) upon that district -- as before remarked in the Memorial. --

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Fort William, 8th March, 1760.


I had yesterday your favor of the 28th, still on the subject of Roy Doolub and Rajaram, in which I find the Nabob's intelligence is as bad as it has been hitherto, with respect to Subut and his Morattors, who have gained some footing in the country, and eclat from no cause, but the Nabob's supineness and contradictory orders to his son-in-law Cossim Aly Khan. -- You mention the Nabob's having sent a Harkarah with your letter, who had seen Rasbeharry, &c. in Subut's camp, but no such Harkarah is come, and there was very good reason for it; he had imposed on the Nabob; and the fellow who brought your letter, tells me, the other was ordered to accompany him, but left him after they were dispatched; he believed he went to Subut's army -- the same intelligence I had sent me in an anonymous letter from Ballasore, respecting Rasbeharry, &c. and of Roy Doolub's having sent Subut money, for which I could not, on the strictest enquiry, find the least foundation. -- On my first intelligence, I ordered Rasbeharry to be brought before me; he has been long dangerously ill, and I could venture to swear he has never been out of Calcutta since November. On the receipt of your letter, I had him brought to me yesterday again at the manifest hazard of his life. -- From the palpable falsity of this intelligence, let the Nabob judge of the rest, and let him be satisfied, that let who will be with Subut, neither Roy Doolub nor Rajaram shall have it in their power to injure him. -- I have turned all his armed people out of the settlement (excepting a few for the service of his Tuzsaconna and Ginanah) they are both under the strictest guard, and at his own request, to quiet the Nabob's suspicions, he moves this day into a house next to the Armenian Church -- he writes me to put Roy Doolub in fetters, a disgrace I cannot think of inflicting, without being guilty of a breach of the sacred laws of protection granted him, unless a proved violation on his side justifies it; in that case, I will not only put him in irons, but send him directly to the Nabob. -- It has been hinted to me, whether by the Nabob's authority or knowledge I will not say, that a present of four Lack was ready for me, provided I would deliver him up, or that I might make my own terms. Should any intimation of this kind be insinuated to you, I request you would return the same reply I did, that I would not be guilty of such an action for four Corore. -- I am, Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, 11th March, 1760. A


I am favored with yours of the 27th ult. With respect to my sentiments of Roy Doolub, you have them in part in our public letter of this date; to which I will here add, that I am very sensible there are probable appearances that he has given some underhand encouragement, both to the Shaw Zadda and the Morattors; yet whilst proofs are not plain against him, I think we cannot proceed further than we have, consistent with the first plan of politics we set out with when this man had our protection given him. One ruling motive to the Nabob's having him in his hands, is most certainly his wealth; but he is still swayed by a much greater, to wit, that we should not have so strong a check over him as our detention of Roy Doolub ever will be. The protection given him is (next to our troops) the best security we have for the Nabob's good behavior. The letter referred to in the general letter, was one sent down to the Colonel; it was said to be wrote by Roy Doolub to Coja Huddy; the purport to cut the Nabob off, -- but the Colonel assured me the forgery of the letter was so palpable and scandalous, that it ought to destroy the credit of any future attempts from that quarter; and such are the reasons assigned this year, in the select Committee's letter to the Company, for the protection granted and continued to Roy Doolub, that we cannot consistently or prudently give him up, without the most glaring proofs against him. The judgment you have formed of the Nabob is too just; weakness, irresolution, suspicion, and (consequently) cruelty, form his disposition. What but the issue you predict, can result from these, when joined to a most ungracious and insolent demeanor, which has made him universally hated and despised? We must however support him and his government as long as we possibly can, without involving ourselves and employers in his ruin: when this appears, it will be time to think a little further, as I judge there is no treaty subsisting between us can exact that sacrifice.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Peter Amyatt, Esq;

Calcutta, 11th March, 1760.


Forgive my late reply to your favor of the 24th ult. You know the plague and hurry attending the dispatch of our last ship, and will therefore attribute my neglect to the real and only cause, and not as proceeding from any disregard of your obliging letters, for which I request you will accept my very sincere thanks; and permit me to assure you I shall receive your correspondence and commands with much pleasure, and be glad, on my part, in every shape, to promote every view you have or may have, either to the public or your own private advantage. Your situation, I believe, has been disagreeable enough; by express intelligence this morning, I learn, the Prince has escaped the Major's vigilance, and is advancing this way, and that the Major is marching back to secure the passes. In this I fear the Prince will have too much the start of him; should this prove the case, matters will begin to grow serious, and the face of things in this province require your early sentiments on this subject. I entreat you esteem me with great truth. Sir,

Your most obedient Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Calcutta, 15th March, 1760.


I yesterday received your letter of the 11th from Cossimbuzar, advising me of the intended march of the Nabob to Sukragully. I wrote you I think the 12th at night, and enclosed you a letter to the Nabob, and copy of it for your perusal, as also copy of Subut's letter to me, which I enclosed to the Nabob. I have kept in readiness 200 Europeans more to join Capt. Spears, being hourly in expectation of the Nabob's instructions to be joined by his command; but as yet I have not had a line from him on the subject of the Shaw Zadda's unexpected motion towards the passes. Cossim Aly Khan with Capt. Spear's command, was at Burdwan yesterday; if he continues thus dilatory and inactive, and I receive no demand for troops from the Nabob, I will certainly send Capt. Yorke with a separate command of 3 or 400 Europeans, field artillery, and seapoys, directly into the Kirpy country, where our Gomastah and Aurungs are daily plundered. I long for further advices from you. We have no intelligence from the Major, later than the 6th from Deuniapore.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Calcutta, 21st March, 1760.


From the accounts I have had from the Commissary and Capt. Spears, the monthly expenses of this expedition cannot be less than 56,000 rupees. You estimate wrong in supposing the force less than one-fourth of the Major's. It exceeds his in Europeans, and is on the whole one thousand; therefore request you will press the Nabob, as the state of our treasury is very low, by our continual current expenses, and total stop to our Tunkas. These you are to observe, are the incident charges of the expedition, exclusive of the pay of the troops. And I once more request you insist on the Nabob's making an immediate remittance, to enable me to support the expedition, or he will lay me under an unavoidable necessity of recalling the troops into garrison. He writes me to order the troops to join him. I have already advised him those orders are sent to Capt. Spears, the moment he receives his summons; in contradiction to this, I last night received a letter from Mr. Watts, of the 18th at night, informing me that Cossim Aly Khan had just then received orders from the Nabob, to march against Subut, and prevent, if possible, his advance to Breeboon. His irresolution and supineness, I much fear, will prove his destruction at last, in spite of our utmost endeavors to save him. I see it will behove us to think of guarding against our being involved in the same ruin.

I am from good authority informed, that the Nabob has dispatched a trusty person with an abject petition to the Prince, who was, the 23d of the Moon, at Deingeer; that the person and petition is there with him. The purport of the petition runs thus: "That on advices reaching him that the Morattors intended to enter the country by the way of Patna, he had sent his son and the Major to oppose them; that it never was his intention to oppose his Majesty's arms, to whom he was an old professed slave; but by the evil counsels of Rajahram, Narain, his son Mhiran, and the Major, had acted contrary to his intentions and orders; and that if the Prince desired it, he was ready to surrender himself to his pleasure."

If these are his tricks, you will, I doubt not, think with me, it is time we should look to the Company and ourselves. What makes me the less hesitate in my belief of the above, is my knowledge of his scheme of sending Jaffier Cooley Khan on the like errand, before the Colonel went, which he then dropped on a threatening letter from the Colonel, which by his order I dictated to the Moonshee. I am Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Captain Spears.

Calcutta, 22d March, 1760.


Various difficulties intervening, have retarded the march of your reinforcement under Capt. Fischer until now; though I think this evening or to-morrow morning will be the latest of their stay. The artillery and seapoys have been crossed these two days. Capt. Fischer will have orders to take the nearest rout to join you at Burdoman; but as I have reason to think you may by this time be joined by the old Nabob, and are advancing to the southward or south-west, you will be careful from time to time to dispatch advices to Capt. Fischer of your intended rout. It would not be amiss if you report this reinforcement much stronger than it is. You have given me no advice of your having received the commission I sent you, empowering you to hold general court-martials. Agreeably to your request, I have given Mr. Watts permission to pay the recruits the remainder of the bounty-money, if you and he think it absolutely necessary. Dr. Steward is appointed an additional surgeon for your command. Notwithstanding the orders you have already received, should you, upon any unforeseen emergency, receive orders from Major Caillaud to join him, you are to pay immediate obedience to such orders, or any others you may receive from him, touching the conduct of, or conducting the troops under your command. And here I think it necessary to explain to you, that although, as auxiliaries to the Nabob, you are to pay regard touching the destination of your troops for the defense of his government; yet should you see a probability of your coming to action with any of his enemies, you are, with respect to a proper disposition of your troops, to pay no regard to any orders you may receive from him on that head; but in conjunction with your Captains and Officers, in a council of war, determine on such dispositions as are most likely to give success and honor to the arms of your country. If the Nabob and his army join you, you are to take the most particular care to have no communication whatever between his troops and yours; to which end you must always encamp at proper distance from him, and by no means, in the usual course of your march, permit his troops to take the lead, unless you judge it necessary at any time, that advanced parties of his cavalry should precede your van. You are not only ever to be on your guard against a surprise from the enemy, but also against treachery from the Nabob himself; for which precaution I have my particular reasons: but you are likewise to have the strictest guard upon yourself, that no suspicions of this kind escape you unto any one, unless you should have cause sufficient to lay them before a select council of war, consisting of your Captains only.

I heartily wish you a successful campaign, and expect to have as frequent intelligence from you as possible. Sir,

Your most humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Hugh Watts.

Fort William, 29th March, 1760.


I have before me your favors of the 20th, 21st, and 24th instant. The Nabob's inconsistencies and irresolution continue very uniform, and will in the end prove his ruin, unless he has better luck than he deserves. By a letter I have just received from him, he now seems to think the Prince will enter by the way of Bierboon and Lecra Koonda, and tells me he intends joining your party soon, and will advance that way to oppose him. I enclose you copy of the letter I dispatched some days ago to the Rajah of Bierboon, and have by Capt. Fisher sent you a supply of 15,000 sunwad rupees.

I have wrote this morning to the Nabob, enjoining him to secure some advantageous post near Burdwan, where he may have it in his option to fight or not, and with equal facility stop the advance of the Prince from Bierboon, or of Subut from the southward; but by no means to be provoked to fight before the Major joins him. If the Nabob advances beyond the Dummadah, the party of Morattors which fell on your rear, will most probably push for the city, where their 600 will, in the fears of the people, swell to as many thousands. As to the Subut, I think I can depend on the intelligence I have of his having taken the road from Bissnapore towards Bydenaut, to join the Prince. I have wrote however to the Nabob, and advised him, should he hold his resolution of marching with our troops to Bierboon, to take care that he leaves a trusty and capable officer, with as strong a body of cavalry as he can spare, at Cutwah, to defend that key to the city; and to the same purport I shall directly dispatch a letter to the Roy Royen. I am, Sir,

Your most humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Captain Macklean.

Fort William, March 30, 1760.


In consequence of your address to the Board from Gangam, under date the 7th instant, which reached us the 24th, I judged you within a few days march of Calcutta, and dispatched to you a letter the 26th at night, advising you that Major Caillaud, with our forces, were in the field, somewhere about the Bierboon country; and that you should follow all such orders as you might receive from him, whether with respect to joining him with your command, or otherwise respecting the conduct of your march. By a letter received late last night from our resident at Cuttack, I have the pleasure of knowing you were arrived within half an hour of that city, which makes it needful I should give you a short state of things, as they are now circumstanced, for the guidance of your future conduct. -- The Shaw Zadda, with a considerable army, chiefly horse and without artillery, is advanced at the back of the hills, with intention to enter this province by the way of the Bierboon or Patcheet, to subvert this government. Subut (whose force is lately much increased by meeting no opposition to the southward) at the head of 5 or 6000 Moratta horse, is in possession of Midnapore, Kirpy, and all that part of the country; and I hear is advancing with the greatest part of his force from Bisnapore towards Bydenaut, or Bierboon, to join the Shaw Zadda. Major Caillaud, with the main body of our troops, in conjunction with the young Nabob and his forces, is in pursuit of, and close in the rear of the Shaw Zadda's army. The old Nabob, with the rest of the forces of the province, are at Boodeegaam, in the road to Bierboon, to oppose the Shaw Zadda in front, whilst the Major presses his rear. A body of 530 Europeans, as many Seapoys, and 6 field-pieces, are under the command of Capt. Spear, near the city of Burdwan, the capital of Burdoman, and are to march and join the old Nabob; and have, I conclude, by this time joined him. A detachment from Subut, of about 800 horse, are in the neighborhood of Burdoman, with intention to harass the rear of Capt. Spear, and retard as much as possible the junction of his troops with the old Nabob's. From this disposition of the enemy, it will behove you to advance with the utmost care and circumspection; and as you have only horse, without artillery to encounter, you need not be apprehensive of any thing, but a surprise or treachery from the part of Subut; against which, you must be ever on your guard. Our Resident at Cuttack advises me Subut's Dewan has supplied your party with provision, &c. This amicable appearance carries suspicion with it; as any assistance given you from a friendly motive, is, at this juncture, against the real designs and views of his master: therefore be assured they are meditating the gaining some advantage over you, or at least will attempt to bring about a desertion of your people.

We have already given orders for our resident, Mr. Rogers, to withdraw himself and the Company's effects on your arrival; both him and those you will take with you, and direct your march without loss of time towards Ballasore, and from thence to Midnapore; from this last-mentioned place you will have a fair and open road to Burdaman. Should you on good intelligence, find it practicable to make a successful attack on Midnapore, and dispossess the Morattas, without the loss of time or risk of a reduction of your people, you will do an acceptable service to the Nabob; but you are by no means to take this, or any other step that can long retard your march to Burdoman, where you are to halt until you receive further orders, either from myself, Major Caillaud, or Capt. Spear. If you find you have it not in your power (from causes unknown to me) to follow implicitly the foregoing instructions, you will then proceed according to your own discretion, and as the exigencies of your situation may require, taking care to give me frequent advice of your intended rout and determinations. I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Fort William, 1st April, 1760.


I enclose you copy of mine of yesterday, and wait an express answer from the Nabob, as I judge Macklean's party marched from Cuttack the 23d: I will suppose him advanced this day about Midnapore. The Major's and Spear's command having exhausted our military camp stores, occasioned many unforeseen difficulties in the dispatch of the reinforcement under Captain Fischer, who will encamp at Niah Serai, I judge, this afternoon. As I received an alarm from Captain Spear, that the Shaw Zadda was within two or three days march of the Nabob, I sent positive orders yesterday to Captain Fischer, to make forced marches, with his cannon and ammunition only, to join him, and to leave his spare stores, tents, &c. to follow him; for the security of which, I have this day dispatched twenty Europeans and twenty Seapoys more to join the escort; with orders to follow Fischer's rout, with the utmost expedition. The advance for this expedition must be sent directly here, as I have supplied the Commissary and Paymaster largely, and we much want cash for our current expenses. I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, April 5th, 1760.


I have the pleasure of receiving yours of the 27th ult. from Oparabaund, and by advices from Mr. Hastings, of the 2d instant, may venture now to congratulate your having some rest from your labors, which I am sure have been severe enough. Your junction with the old Nabob and Captain Spear's command, will, I imagine, determine the Prince's retreat to the southward, as it must extinguish the hopes he may have cherished of acting offensively in this province; and as I judge by the time this reaches you, you will have settled the future operations of this campaign, I request you will favor me with the result of your Council, as soon as you conveniently can, and point out in what manner we can promote them from hence. I am, with perfect regard, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

The eight preceding letters are recited in confirmation of some parts of our Memorial, and introductory and explanatory of others, and withal to give you a general idea of the campaign of 1760.

To the Honorable John Z. Holwell, Esq; President and Governor of Fort William.

Camp at Burpore, 6th April, 1760.


My last was dated the 24th Inst. Yesterday we marched about five corse, and this day three; which brought us so near the enemy as to expect they would come and give us battle; but finding about noon they did not advance, I desired the Nabob to march on towards them, but he said the day was too far spent, and his people too much fatigued. The Prince is encamped near the Damoudah river, about three corse from us and I hope tomorrow we shall bring him to an engagement. The Maharattas are encamped very near him. I have the honor to subscribe myself, with the most perfect respect and esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. C.

To the Honorable John Z. Holwell, Esq; President, &c. Gentlemen of the Select Committee at Fort William.

Camp at Belgass, April 8th, 1760.

Hon. Sir and Sirs,

My last to the President was dated the 6th Inst. in which I informed him of my hopes of coming next day to an engagement with the enemy, who were encamped on the other side of the river Damoudah; and we should have succeeded according to my wish, could I have persuaded the Nabob to cross the river, or send over a large body of horse to keep them in play, until we should get up with them. But to neither of these would he consent, and all we could do was to get near enough to their rear to cannonade them. This they did not stand long, but soon got out of our reach, and pursued their march towards Bisnapoore, and, by the intelligence we received last night, are encamped seven corse from us. Thus all hopes of bringing them to another engagement, this campaign, are now over. We have lost the only opportunity we had, nor indeed can we expect much to improve opportunities, while we have to do with men, who are as ignorant as obstinate, and whose troops are under no order or command. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and esteem, Gentlemen,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. C.

To the Honorable J. Z. Holwell, Esq;

April 10th, 1760.


The Shaw Zadda was within three corse of us this morning, but having early intelligence of our approach, has repassed the river Damoudah, and I suppose by this time is far enough from our reach.

I must frankly own, the motives of the Prince's present actions are quite a mystery to me; and as I cannot form the least probable judgment of them myself, I will not even pretend to conjecture what may be the event of them. Both the Nabob and him seem equally to avoid fighting, and there is no knowing in what manner to proceed, or what plan previously to determine on, while the Nabob continues to act so irresolutely, and while his pusillanimity prevents his exerting himself as he should do, on the fairest occasions which can offer. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. C.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, 7th April, 1760.


I am now forced to touch upon a subject, which appears to me to require our greatest attention. Some days ago I wrote to Mr. Hastings, concerning an information which was given me, that the old Nabob had sent a trusty person with a submissive Arzgee to the Shaw Zadda, in which he exculpated himself, by throwing the whole blame of the opposition made to his arms, on the machinations of the English. Mr. Hastings, in his letter in answer to mine, seemed to think it impossible such a step could have been taken by the Nabob, or indeed that he could have sent any Arzgee at all: however, in a subsequent letter from him, of the 27th, he finds out that an Arzgee was sent, though different in purport to that I informed him of. As I thought it most essential to us, to trace, if possible, the truth, I employed an emissary to Comgaar Khan, the consequence of which has been a Phirmaund from the Shaw Zadda, enclosing copy of the old Nabob's Arzgee to him, with an apology for not sending the original. A copy of the copy I send you enclosed, and request your sentiments, how and in what light this appears to you. If the copy is authentic, the case is plain, that this man for whom we have drawn the sword, would not scruple, if driven to any extremity, to make his peace by the sacrifice of his protectors. The Phirmaund, I suppose, differs little in matter from that he sent you; he reminds me of the obligations the English lay under to his ancestors, and offers a carte blanche for the Company, provided we will draw our forces off from doer of evil, and join them to his standard; which, he advises me, he has at present fixed at Seegur, and in a few days after purposes to erect it in Morshadabad, &c.

I enclose you a copy of a letter, sent the old Nabob by the Colonel, which I dictated to the Moonshee, by his order, a few days before his departure for Europe, on being informed the Nabob intended sending a messenger and petition to the Prince.

Whether this is a real copy or not, I will not say; though I firmly believe it true; that an Arzgee has been sent is allowed; and if it contained not matter detracting and injurious to us, why was it sent without being communicated to you by Mhiran, or to Hastings by the Nabob?

I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, April 9th, 1760.


Last night I received your favor of the 4th, from Mungol Koot. I think, from your mutual advance to each other, you must have, before this, obliged the Prince to make some decisive motion. I must confess I have no idea that he will stand a battle with you, and yet believe he harbors some hopes of a general defection of the Nabob's troops, though at the same time he deceives himself, if he imagines even this could be of any real service to him; if he fights, it is from the melancholy reflection of this being his ne plus ultra; and that if he does not now make a push, he will be deserted by Comgaar Khan and the rest of his followers, and be without any reasonable hopes of having any powers whatever to join and follow his future fortunes.

In mine of the 3d and 5th, I enclosed you copies of my instructions to Captain McLean; as he is advised of the situation of the enemy, I conceive he will naturally bend his march towards Injilee, and advance towards us as far East as he can, and keep the course of the river.

I confess myself something impatient to have your sentiments on mine of the 7th. I have returned no answer to the Prince's Phirmaund, but have replied to Comgaar Khan's letter, and intimated to him, that I can put no faith in copies; but that if he will send to me the Subah's original Arzgee, I shall then be able to form a judgment. I am, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, April 15, 1760.


I most heartily pity the embarrassed situation you must necessarily be in, with people who manifest themselves unworthy that government they have usurped. I must confess, the Nabob's whole conduct appears to me much more mysterious than that of the Prince; circumstanced as he is, he must plan various schemes, and from the nature of things, his councils must be attended with much confusion and irresolution. The Nabob's backwardness to engage him appears to me absolutely unaccountable, unless it arises from some secret negotiations, which it is possible he may be carrying on with the Prince, to make his own peace at the expense of his friends. I should not think myself justified in this conjecture, nor have given credit so readily to the petition sent by him to the Prince, (copy of which l sent you on the 7th) did I not know him capable of any thing ever so unworthy and treacherous. By letters from Mr. Amyatt, I learn Abdallah has gained another victory over the Vizier and his friends the Morattors, and that the Vizier and the young king Shaw Jehawan have sheltered themselves with the Jauts: this intelligence has, I doubt not, reached the Nabob, whose weak and cowardly imagination probably suggests some turn from that victory in favor of the Prince, and therefore thinks it necessary to temporize. These are surmises of my own, and possibly may have no foundation; they call, however, for some attention. The parts acted by both the old and young Nabob, in the recent contest with the Dutch, ought ever to awaken our apprehensions, and urge our being on our guard against the politics of an Indostan Durbar; the more especially, as we see the party round the Nabob, who we know would cut our throats if they could, obtain every day more power and influence over his Councils; men, who being raised as he himself was, from the dirt, can never vary the complexion of their groveling genius. Dispositions, such as you, Sir, have now (unhappily) to deal with, can only be worked on by the most peremptory dictates. The Nabob must be urged (I intended to say forced) to something decisive, or in a short time his country will be worth nothing to himself or any body else. I hitherto avoided writing to him on his late unaccountable and provoking conduct. My wish and intention is, that you should have every weight your present post and situation requires; your sway and influence over the Nabob is, at this juncture, of the utmost importance to the Company's affairs; and it is your own fault if you are not invested with such authority as yourself can wish. I therefore request you will, without reserve, point out to me, if any additional power or instructions to you, to act independently of the Nabob, (which we, as a Committee or Board, can invest you with) will conduce to the good of the service, and be a means of enforcing your salutary councils to the Nabob, and it shall be forthwith transmitted to you.

I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To the Honorable J. Z. Holwell, Esq; President and Governor of Fort William.

Camp at Dignagur, April 15, 1760.


In order to come at the truth, with regard to the Nabob's Arzgee to the Prince, Mr. Hastings had recourse to the Nabob's Persian writer; a man who hath, on many occasions, given him proofs of attachment and fidelity. The moment he set his eyes on the paper, he declared it to be a forgery. May I beg leave to refer you to Mr. Hastings for the reasons he gave for it; as that Gentleman's knowledge in the language will enable him to give you a clearer idea of these distinctions in address and style of their letters, than I can pretend to. For my part, I own, after Mr. Hastings had repeated them to me, they were so satisfactory as to convince me the probability of its being a forgery was greatly in the Nabob's favor.

Two days before I received your letter, Sir, the Nabob and his son were with me, and I found the old man big with something that he did not know well how to begin breaking to me. I helped him forward all I could by those kind of assurances which often open the hearts of men; and he then told me he had wrote to the Prince, and had received an answer, such a one as gave him hopes, with other circumstances, that the Prince might be inclinable to treat and put himself perhaps in his power; but that he knew he (the Prince) would not do this, without I would be security for his safety. The Nabob was desirous to know, in such a case, how I would act; but the main drift of the discourse was, to find out how far I would be consenting to give him an opportunity of displaying the true eastern system of politics, by cutting him off. You may easily, Sir, guess my answer, that I was ready to do every thing for his service consistent with the honor of my country, and the sacred regard we gave to our word; and besides, if the Prince made any address to me on this subject of security, I must first have your orders and instructions in this affair. And thus the conversation ended.

I made it my business afterwards to enquire among some of the Nabob's people, on what grounds he founded these hopes of getting the Prince in his power? but they all assured me, as I suspected, that they were no more than the idle reports of some of his minions, who knew such stories would be well received and credited, and so found advantage in flattering his foolish hopes.

It is a very unfortunate circumstance that we have to do with a weak man, who neither from principle nor merit deserves the dignity of the station in which we have put him, and in which he would not remain twenty-four hours, if we were to withdraw our protection from him, and on which he so much depends, that I am obliged to give him a guard of Seapoys for the safety of his person. It doth not appear to me, however, in justice or in reason, that we ought to support him in the pursuit of unjustifiable measures; such as he follows in regard to not discharging the vast arrears due to his troops, who to a man have publicly declared, they will not draw their swords in his cause, and that only their fears of us prevent their using them against him. The consequence will be, as to his part, that while he is not afraid of his head he never will satisfy them; and to us, that though we may protect him from immediate danger to his person, we must relinquish the hopes of seeing the country free from troubles, while he keeps a body of troops that he will not pay regularly, and over whom he consequently hath no command. This rotten system still we might in some measure support, were we always assured none but the country powers would disturb us: but it is more than probable that the French or Dutch, if not both, may some time or other renew their attempts to be concerned, and with how much the more probability of success from the distracted state of the country while the Nabob continues to govern it so ill.

The first opportunity I propose representing all this to him in the strongest light I possibly can; and should our opinions agree, I should take it as a favor if you would enclose a letter from yourself to him, on the subject; I will deliver it, and take that opportunity as the best to try what can be done by working on his fears, the only way indeed I am convinced of managing him to our own advantage and his good. In particular, Sir, you will be pleased to enforce the payment of his troops, by hinting, that if he delays it, I have your orders not to prevent them taking their own measures.

To-morrow Captain Knox's detachment marches. The Prince is certainly gone back, and we talk of nothing but the pleasures of the great Rumnah first, and then of an expedition against the Purnea Nabob to conclude the campaign. As this last step is absolutely necessary, I shall do all in my power to prevent the former obstructing it; with what success, we shall soon know. I am, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. C.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Calcutta, 22d April, 1760.


I have the pleasure of your two favors of the 15th and 17th, and must take a farther day to reply to them more circumstantially. For the present, I enclose you a Letter to the old Nabob to the purport of your request, and with it a copy for your perusal, and I hope approval. It contains, I think, nothing but what should at all events be urged to him at this juncture. Something must be done, and soon, to recover the currency of the trade of the provinces, or the Company must be lost; the sale of their woollen goods, copper, &c. exports is totally obstructed; their investments in consequence of this, and the unavoidable stoppage of the Tunkas wholly at a stand, and not more than a Lack and half in the treasury: Particulars you should be necessarily acquainted with, as they arise from the perpetual troubles of the country, perpetuated, I may say, by the wickedness as well as weakness of those who govern it.

To give you what are still my sentiments on the Nabob's Arzdasht to the Prince, and my reasons for those sentiments, I now enclose you a copy of my reply to Mr. Hastings on that head; and think my judgment of this affair more confirmed from the circumstance recited in your favor of the 15th, to wit, the Nabob's having acknowledged to you his writing to the Prince, and that his replies gave him hopes he was inclined to treat. The carrying on this concealed correspondence with the Prince I cannot look on in any other light than as the highest infringement of that respect and deference due to your station, and the treaty subsisting between us. And here it becomes needful, Sir, to remark, it is full time the Nabob should be convinced he should not look on you as an officer sent implicitly to submit to his orders or sentiments, but as his coadjutor and protector in the war. And should, at any time, his wretched politics dictate measures, which appear in your opinion destructive of the general end proposed, I hope, and doubt not, but you will think yourself fully authorized peremptorily to over-rule them, without losing time in application here, as I am very well satisfied we may depend on the propriety of your conduct in the command you are invested with.

I have the honor to be, with very real esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

This letter affords you a genuine picture of the distressed state of your affairs at this period.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Fort William, 20th April, 1760.


I have your favors of the 13th and 14th, accompanied by your translation of the Suba's Arzdasht to the Prince, and your sentiments thereon. Though I confess your reasoning and conclusions in favor of the Suba's innocence, carry probability with it, they appear not to me convincing, nor square with my mode of thinking on this subject, for the following reasons: That the Nabob's Moonshee should, on the instant, pronounce it a forgery, amounts to no proof of its being so; that the Nabob had sent such an Arzdasht to the Prince, and that it was enclosed by the latter to me, was the discourse of the Buzar two or three days before it reached me. If you remember, I hinted in a former the intimation I had received of it; so that I may justly suppose the Moonshee was well prepared against a surprise, and consequently ready to disavow it and pronounce it a forgery, which he seems by your letter to have done, even before he gave it a perusal. The variation of its diction, and deviation from the usual form of the Nabob's addresses, appear to me equally inconclusive, as it is not at all improbable these might be done with design to plead and invalidate, in case of its coming to our knowledge. Whether this Arzdasht was sent by the Nabob or not, it is impossible to say with any precision; but this I am clear in, that it contains the very dictates of the hearts of the minions about him, and of course his own; and the very pleas he would have made use of in his justification, if success and victory had attended the Prince. These striking considerations, joined to the whole tenor of his conduct respecting the Dutch, &c. joined to his holding any correspondence at all with the Prince without our knowledge and approval, leaves my judgment of this in the same state it was; though, at the same time, I see it must rest here for want of more sufficient proof. I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Fort William, 24th April, 1760.


I long much to have your sentiments on the subject of mine of the 22d I and yesterday. I have just now had the pleasure of yours of the 20th from Goperra, and think it necessary to advise you I last night received a letter from the old Nabob, chiefly to request that I would order Captain Macklean and half his troops to be entered in his service and pay: A request which can with no propriety whatever be complied with (in which opinion I dare say I shall meet your concurrence.) To this effect I now write him, and enclose you copy of my letter, that you be upon your guard when he touches you on that subject, which I suppose he will.

I think I have already intimated to you, I made no reply to the Phirmaund sent me from the Prince, but that I answered Comgaar Khan's; the contents of my letter to him were literally this, "That l had received the Phirmaund, and pitied the Prince's unhappy situation and misfortunes of his royal house; that he (Comgaar Khan) was no stranger to the ties and obligations which bound us to support Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan and his government; that copies amounted to no proof, but that if his original Arzdasht was sent me by the Prince, I should then know what judgment to form of it." With this answer I dispatched the Prince's messenger, and the same time sent two of my own Harkara's to return with an answer, in case the Prince thought proper to give me one. On the 16th they were returned to me with a second Phirmaund from him, and a reply from Comgaar Khan, as also two letters from him, one for Rajaram Harkara, and the other from Nund-comar, in the district of Seergur. The Harkaras were seized, stripped, kept prisoners 24 hours, plundered of the Phirmaund and letters, and then dismissed. I have taken every means possible for the recovery of the papers, but fear I shall fail in it, which gives me no small vexation, as I am almost convinced they contained the original Arzdasht, with possibly some other pieces of the Nabob's concealed correspondence with him. The Harkaras left the Shaw-Zadda at Gorrea Hottea, his troops much distressed for provisions, &c. He was then halting for Subut, whom he left at Jamgam with 3000 Moratta horse, and had the day my people came away received an express from the north-west from some Rajahs who were advancing with troops to join him, and who pressed the Shaw Zadda's speedy advance towards Patna, on which the Prince sent a messenger express to hasten Subut. On the other hand, it is conjectured, that the Prince's march to Bahaar is a feint only; that his intention is to lie perdue amongst the hills, and as soon as the combined troops are advanced to the northward, return suddenly into this province and surprise the city; and that in this case, the Dutch will declare for him, and join him. This system I would certainly adopt, was I the Shaw-Zadda -- however, on the whole, you will be better able to judge of these matters than I can at present. I am, with perfect esteem, Sir,

Your humble servant,

J. Z. H.

You have now before you all that has been said on the subject of the Suba's concealed Arzdasht, to the Prince, upon which you will form your own judgment. -- True, we have been robbed (literally so) of absolute proofs in this charge but if the strongest presumptive ones, supported by a thousand corroborating evidences in the Suba's conduct, have any weight, our proof is sufficient to claim belief: -- the intermediate letters from our last remark but one, speak for themselves, and fully prove the cowardice, or treachery, or rather both, at the river Dummodur.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Calcutta, April 25, 1760.


I have your favor of the 20th, on the subject of the Nabob's having a considerable part of our troops in his pay, service and constant attendance on his person: three days past, I received a letter from him on the subject, to which I yesterday enclosed my answer, in a letter to Major Caillaud, with a copy of mine to the Nabob, for his perusal. To our complying with this request of the Nabob, I think there are strong and manifest objections; the most important of which is, that such a step will, I am convinced, lay the foundation of his independence. The 22d, I wrote a long letter to the Nabob, touching the payment of his troops, and necessity for his disbanding his rabble of Burcundasses, and the greatest part of his useless cavalry: the letter I enclosed to the Major, with a copy of it; confer with him as soon as you can, and request he will communicate to you the purport of those letters. -- Two reasons can only be urged in favor of the request now made by the Nabob; the reducing his immense expenses, and at the same time those of the Company, by such a reduction of troops now in their pay: to accomplish the first, complying with his request is needless, because, though the troops continue in our pay and dependence on us, yet they will be always at his call and service; -- and when this campaign is ended, we can, with much propriety, ease the Company by a reduction of the Seapoys to 2000 picked men, which Colonel Clive had determined, if he had stayed. I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Calcutta, May 2d, 1760.


Your favor from Maraud-Baag, of the 28th ult. I had the pleasure of receiving late last night, and find the situation of things between the two Nabobs just as I surmised. -- Having occasion to reply to a letter of the young Nabob's, I take the opportunity to urge the necessity of his remaining in the city, but touch the subject in such a way, as to carry the appearance of the highest compliment to his prowess. That one of them should keep the city is absolutely necessary, and a security to them both, as well as the province. I know but of one way to keep them steady, with respect to the operations of this campaign, and that a very short one: when the measures determined on are in your judgment absolutely needful and proper, just signify to them, that if they are not immediately carried into execution, you will march to Calcutta, and leave them to fight their own battles, and pursue their own councils: I will engage you have no further trouble with them; -- and I dare say, Sir, you are by this time convinced, that had they been treated in this way, on the defeat of the Shaw Zadda, above, and in the fortunate conjunction of attacking and destroying him so lately lost (in both which your judicious resolutions and advice were over-ruled) there had been a happy end to the troubles of the country.

That part of my letter to the Nabob you object to, has been wrong translated and explained to you; the utmost I intimated on that head was, "That as the season was so far advanced, one moment of it was not to be spent unprofitably."-- By which I intended to prevent the Nabob's idling his time away in the Pleasures of the Rumna and the city, of which you yourself seemed apprehensive.

I am, with sincere esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Calcutta, May 5, 1760.


I take this juncture of complying with a recommendation left me by Colonel Clive, in favor of Cossim Aly Khan, and have wrote the Nabob on the subject; copy I enclose for your perusal. -- I have, I think, with good reason, many doubts touching the integrity, as well as capacity, in these times, of Rajah Ramnarain, and every principal person under him, and am sure the Nabob should change hands there. If your sentiments do not run counter to mine in this particular, I shall receive as a favor, your interesting yourself in behalf of Cossim Aly Khan.

I am ever, with sincere esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Calcutta, May 6, 1760.


I have already intimated to you the very low ebb of the Company's treasury; their whole investments at the Arungs are at a stand; and without considerable supplies, we shall not in one month more have sufficient for even the current expenses of the Factory. -- We were yesterday under the necessity of recommending to the Gentlemen of Cossimbuzar, their endeavoring to take up the money there on the Company's account, for the use of the silk investments; as also to the gentlemen at Ducca, to the same purpose, for the carrying on their investment. These considerations will, I doubt not, be sufficient to awaken your attention, respecting the expenses of the parties under Spears and Fischer, on account not a Rupee has yet been remitted to us. Therefore I am obliged to press your obtaining at least one lack of Rupees on this account, and that you will send it down with the utmost expedition: should it exceed the sums disbursed, which I am sure it will not, the Nabob shall be duly credited for it. Suffering him thus to run in arrears, in this article of field expenses, is the very worst system of politics we can adopt; and an effectual stop must in future be put to it, by insisting on an advance before our troops leave the garrison. Without this precaution, the Company must suffer great distress and difficulties in the conducting their mercantile affairs, as we find so little dependence on the punctuality of the Nabob's reimbursing us. I wrote you very pressingly on this subject the 23d ult. of which you have hitherto taken no notice. The repayment of the 200,000 Rupees lent the Nabob by Mr. Manningham, on the Company's account, must be demanded in the most urgent terms; and if you think it is not in his power to advance that sum, a fresh Tunka on the Kistnagur Country must absolutely be insisted on -- I mention this country in preference, because the remaining balances to be collected from it are now but small.

We have the greatest reason to complain of the Nabob's injurious behavior, respecting his obstructing the collection of our Tunkas, both in the Burdowan and Kistnagur Countries: from whence I am informed, by Mess. Watts and Howit, that his people are, by every oppressive measure, extorting that money which should pay our Kistebundees. I have wrote the Nabob and the Roy Royer warmly on the subject, and I request you remonstrate against it in the strongest manner. -- And that you signify to the former, without the least reserve, that I absolutely will not suffer a single Rupee to be carried out of those countries, whilst we have any the least claim upon them. And demand likewise, that he immediately order his people to withdraw from thence, or I will, without any ceremony, drive them out.

The necessity of the Company's affairs is such, that I have been obliged to apply to the Seats for a loan of 10 or 15 Lack, which they, under various pretences, have refused: I judged their own security, as well as an opportunity of obliging the Company, would have influenced their ready compliance; but herein I judged ill. However, I doubt not but an occasion may offer, for manifesting a proper resentment to that house for this refusal.

I request your speedy reply to this, and am, as ever, most truly, Sir,

Your most humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Calcutta, May 8, 1760.


My last were under date the 2d and 5th instant. In the former I enclosed, for your perusal, translation of a private letter from Mr. Bisdom, with copy of my answer. I now forward to you, translate of his replication. After you have considered them, I request you will favor me in returning them.

What weight or dependance can be laid on the sentiments or assertions contained in those letters from the direction of Chinsura, you will be as capable of judging as I am; and I should be extremely glad of your thoughts on this subject: -- for my own part, it appears to me, that the Nabob, with respect to the Dutch, is in a pursuit very wide of the road we have pointed out to him; and in which we ought not, nor can, from any justifiable cause, countenance him. That they should be so far disarmed of any means or power of raising disturbances in the country becomes absolutely necessary, both for his security and our own: -- but beyond this, that we should suffer his extorting sums of money from them (which can answer no useful purpose to us, but on the contrary, reflect dishonor on the power and influence we are supposed to have over him) is a measure which I really think will not give credit to our name or arms; and which we cannot too soon disclaim and object to. In these sentiments, I dare say, I have your private concurrence; and I must confess, I see no public motive which can fully vindicate our even winking at any oppressive or iniquitous designs, leveled against these or any other individuals under his government; because, whatever odium may fall on him, the world will bestow, and that justly, a large proportion on us, as knowing he dare not meditate practices of this kind, but under the sanction of the alliance between us: let us, therefore, for our own sakes, and to preserve as much as we can the peace of the country, insist on the execution of the plan laid down to him; but oppose that measure which the Nabobs, in place thereof, seem to have only in view, the plundering their possessions; and by this laudable opposition evince them and the world, it is not our wish or aim to injure them in their trade, rights, or properties; but to divest them only of that power which they so lately though impotently, employed to the subversion of ours.

I am, as ever, with much esteem, Sir,

Your obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

P. S. To what I have before urged, I may add the driving the Dutch to a desperate extremity, by laying such heavy and exorbitant demands on them, which they cannot in nature comply with, will answer no end, at least no good one; for they will have no resource left, but joining, at all events, the Nabob's enemies with the whole force they can collect together we have wrote the Nabob on this subject; copy of the letter I enclose you, and forward another to Mr. Hastings, by these Cossids.

J. Z. H.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:42 am

Part 3 of 4

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Calcutta, June 13, 1760.


By express yesterday from Dacca we have advice that the Suba has taken off Allyverdee and Shaw Amet Khan's Begums. -- He sent a Jammautdaar and 100 horse, with orders to Jesseraut Khan to carry this bloody scheme into execution, with separate orders to the Jemmautdaar, in case Jesseraut Khan refused obedience: he refused acting any part in the tragedy, and left it to the other; who carried them out by night about two miles above the city in a boat, tied weights to their legs, and threw them over-board: they struggled for some time, and held by the gunwall of the boat, but by strokes on their heads with Latties, and cutting of their hands, they sunk. These are the acts of the Tyger we are supporting and fighting for. I am,

Your obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To the Hon. John Zeph. Holwell, Esquire.

Maraud-baag, June 21, 1760.


THE relation transmitted to me in your letter of the 13th, of the murder of the two Begums, filled me with horror and astonishment; but how were those sensations increased, when upon inquiry I was told, that not only the two wretched sufferers above-mentioned, but the whole family, to the number of nine persons, had undergone the same fate. I will not mention their names, till I have undoubted proofs of the truth of my intelligence, which I wish (though I cannot expect it) I may find not so bad at last as it has been represented to me. -- How this circumstance escaped my knowledge, I know not. It was not indeed an event to be learned from inquiry, and possibly the infamy of the fact might have made my friends, who were in the secret, neglect to speak to me upon a subject which, from our particular connections with the Nabob, and his entire dependence on our power, could not but reflect dishonor upon the English name. I have hitherto been generally an advocate for the Nabob, whose extortions and oppressions I imputed to the necessity of the times, and want of economy in his revenues; -- but, if this charge against him be true, no argument can excuse or palliate so atrocious and complicated a villainy, nor (forgive me, Sir, if I add) our supporting such a tyrant.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your most obedient, most faithful servant,


The advices sent from Dacca touching these murders, were dispatched immediately after the first rumor of the deed; and from thence, as usual, imperfect: subsequent advices brought the true state of that execution, as follows:

Gosseta Begum, widow of Shaw Amet Jung;

Emna Begum, mother to the Nabob Surajud Dowla, and widow to Geynde Amet Khan;

Morad Dowla, the son of Patsha Kooly Khan, adopted by the Shaw Amet Jung;

Lutsen Nessa Begum, widow of Surajud Dowla;

Her infant daughters by Nabob Surajud Dowla.

These unhappy sufferers perished all in one night at Dacca, in the manner before-recited, with about twenty of their women of inferior note. -- It was said Alleverdy Khan's Begum by some means escaped this massacre of her whole family.

A conceived though groundless jealousy of Morad Dowla's making his escape from his confinement in Dacca, was the cause of this infernal carnage.

In the list of the Subah's assassination given in the Memorial, these were omitted:

Abdel Ohab Khan, waylaid and murdered by the Subah's order, on the Ramna, on pretence of a conspiracy, in March 1760.

Yar Mahomet, a favorite of Surajah Dowla, assassinated in presence of Mhiran, April 1760.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Fort William, May 8, 1760.


YOUR favor of the 3d I received only yesterday; and, out of the fulness of my heart, I wrote to you the 6th, on the obvious near approach of the unsurmountable difficulties I shall have to encounter, in conducting the Company's business for the current year. -- The apology you make for the Seats, and they for themselves, we must submit to; but though they may hold good respecting the large loan I requested of them, yet had they been inclined to have shown a readiness to oblige the Company, they would at least have made a tender to me of such a sum as they could have spared with convenience to themselves. One reason they allege to me for their refusal is, their having refused the Nabob, which I now find had not a word of truth in it. Had they complied with my request, it would have armed them with the best reason they could have urged for not complying with his demand; and it would have been incumbent on us to screen and protect them from any violence intended against them. -- A time may come, when they may stand in need of the Company's protection, in which case they may be assured they shall be left to Satan to be buffeted.

I observe what you say, respecting your having advanced the 25,000 Siccas to Capt. Fischer, for the payment of his separate detachment. -- The troops must be paid beyond doubt, but if we are immediately laid under the necessity of again disbursing the sums we receive from the Nabob on his account, where will be the end of our expenses? and how are the Company to be reimbursed at last, if he is suffered thus to be in arrears to us? A stop must be absolutely put to this system, and soon: I therefore request you will communicate this, and my last letter to you on this subject, to the Major; and that some effectual means may be directly adopted, to free us from this tax, so greatly detrimental at present to our affairs. If time is given to the Nabob until the campaign is closed, I know the insuperable trouble we shall have in recovering a rupee from him. If something is not done satisfactory to us, I shall be under the necessity of laying a representation before the Board, who are, I know, very well inclined to come to resolutions which will be most ungracious to the Nabob in his present situation.

Request the Major will communicate to you mine of this date, on the Nabob's contest with the Dutch. I am, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To Peter Amyatt, Esquire.

Fort William, 11th May, 1760.


I have the pleasure of your letters of the 23d and 25th ult. -- Matters now, I think, grow critical on your side; the Prince in your neighborhood, and, I fear, between Knox and the city, into which he will, I imagine, find no small difficulty to throw himself, without fighting under many disadvantages, though I hope you are strong enough for an occasional sally to favor any attempt he may make for your relief. -- Notwithstanding the Prince's junction with Mr. Law's inconsiderable force, I must confess my apprehensions for the city, are greater from treachery within, than from any attempts they can make from without, whilst Knox and his party are so near them. I have no better opinion of Ramnarain's integrity in the cause, than I have of his spirit and capacity; and the most gracious manner his brother and Molydore were dismissed by the Prince and Comgaar Khan gives strong cause of suspicion: therefore you cannot be too much on your guard against Ramnarain, as well as those who have the chief posts under him; and if Molydore, Donceram, and one or two more of them, were surprised, seized and secured, I doubt not but it would secure the safety of the city. Whether a step of this kind would be practicable, you are a better judge than l can possibly be. If Knox makes his way into the city, you will be strong enough to take the absolute command of it yourself, which I would by all means recommend to you, and the same time secure those you have reason to think disaffected. Ramnarain's backwardness to oppose the advance of Mr. Law's party, which I learn from yours to the Major of the 25th ult. evinces that he intends ill, or has no command over those under him; and consequently he is, in either case, most unworthy the trust he possesses, and the sooner he is divested the better.

Let me hear from you by every possible opportunity, and believe me truly, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To John Caillaud, Esquire.

Fort Willialm, 24th May, 1760.


LAST night a letter from the Committee was dispatched to you, in which you had the Gentlemen's general sentiments only on the state of things, without descending to the particular causes of these sentiments which require elucidations.

The success of Capt. Knox justifies and does honor to your recommendation and our appointment, and gives quite a new aspect to the late desperate state of affairs in the province of Bahar; where I think the force under Captain Knox, if continued at Patna, will, with the assistance of Ramnarain, be amply sufficient to preserve the tranquility of the country and safety of Patna during that period, as also to take the field when the season permits, to quell, or rather prevent, any commotions which may be attempted the next year by the Prince against the Suba's government. -- We are averse, for two important reasons, to you (or your troops) being farther distant from us than the Purnea country, each of which I will speak distinctly to.

If we have any thing to apprehend from without, either from French or Dutch, we are to expect it from this time to the remainder of the S.W. monsoon; therefore it becomes an essential consideration, that our forces are kept as much within call as the nature of the present service will admit of, still giving a preference to ourselves, and the second place only to the defense of the Suba and his government; he must himself concur and submit to the utility of this precaution for his own sake, his safety depending absolutely on ours, and on the force we have to impede the entrance of any European power whatever in his country from any other quarter: I think he need be under no apprehension for these five or six mouths at least. -- And I hope there is yet time to accomplish the Suba's just pursuits against Purnea, and for your return to us with the troops, when the rains set in; a circumstance which leads me to my second reason.

Though the Prince, by this year's invasion, has benefited himself and followers no more than by the last, yet the consequence has been equally fatal to the country, or rather more so -- The large share of injury the Company suffers in their affairs, by the annual continuance of these troubles, calls for our most serious consideration, as I see no end to them whilst we support the present system, so obviously tending (and that not by slow degrees neither) to our employers ruin. To obviate this, some measures must be adopted; in concerting of which your presence with us and counsels are absolutely necessary, as soon as the present exigencies of things can admit of your absence from the troops. -- This moment I am interrupted by letters from Mr. Amyatt of the 14th, one to the Committee, the other to myself; in both which he lays such stress on the necessity of being reinforced by Europeans and Seapoys, that I fear it must over-rule all I have urged in this and my last paragraph, and after all oblige your march to Patna, with what force you think can be spared from the Purnea expedition; or whether you may not think it eligible to take the whole with you, and defer that expedition for the present. The seeming resolution the Prince has taken, not to quit the province of Bahar, and the increase of his army, are strokes we could not reasonably have expected after the repulses he received at Patna. By letters of the 12th from thence they advise us, the Prince and his army were retreated nine corse towards Tikara; by those of the 14th, only three; just to get clear of sallies from the city. Mr. Amyatt seems to write under the greatest apprehension as well for the country as the Company's investment of Salt-Petre, &c. Measures for the security of that must at least be entered on, though, for my own part, I fear if the Prince has really resolved to keep on this side the Soan, and is proceeding, as Mr Amyatt represents, succors will arrive too late to prevent mischief. I will directly summon a meeting of the Select Committee to reply to Mr. Amyatt's letter, and transmit you their sentiments for your conduct.

Since writing the above, I have received another Phirmaund from the Prince, enclosing the original Arzdasht of the Nabob, the truth of which appears to us to carry much probability, which is all I shall at present say to it. What follows are the sentiments of the other gentlemen of the Committee, as well as my own.

Hitherto our conduct in supporting the Suba's government can hardly be vindicated to our employers, the more especially since his flagrant and known breach of the treaty last year, not only by his invitation of the Dutch forces from Batavia, but by his shameful and insincere conduct and dealing with us after their arrival, and to this hour respecting that people, the weakness and inconsistency of his whole politics during the course of this campaign, joined to the repeated cruelties, murders, and oppressions, daily committed by him or his son on individuals, -- the universal detestation of his government throughout the provinces, -- the obvious certainty of these troubles in the country continuing without interruption, whilst this family exists at the head of it; all these, with many other considerations which I could enumerate, demonstrates, we cannot longer, consistent with what we owe to the Company, to natural justice, and propriety, and to the English name, support a system of usurpation and tyranny, which reflects dishonor on it, and must, if persisted in, involve our honorable employers and our colony in a speedy ruin. -- The more we see of this government, the more is verified your own just observation at your first knowledge of it, That it is rotten to the core: What then can be expected from a system rotten to the very heart of it, in every sense -- Ruin must attend the family, in spite of our efforts to save them; and we must as assuredly be partakers in a greater or less degree thereof -- to say nothing of our drawing our sword in support of such a system, against the legal, though unfortunate Prince of the country, from whom every advantage and emolument we can wish for the Company, is tendered to us, without limitation. -- This being the case, we are most anxious for two or three days conference with you, if possible. We think, if there appears an absolute necessity for it, that you may dispatch 150 or 200 Europeans, and 4 or 500 Seapoys, to reinforce Patna, and wish you could, under the pretence of soliciting a further supply of troops, or sickness, or any other cover which may occur to you, leave Capt. Yorke with your detachment, and return to us, if for twenty-four hours only. If you find this impracticable, without raising suspicions, which may have consequences we cannot foresee, then favor me with your sentiments as soon as possible without reserve. I am, with the most perfect confidence and esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

To the Honorable J. Z. Holwell, Esq; President and Governor of Fort William.

Camp at Balkissens Gardens, 29th May, 1760.


I am honored this day with your favor of the 24th instant. My last letters of the 24th, and those of yesterday, of the 28th, contain all I can urge in favor of our return to Patna with the young Nabob -- you seem also convinced of the necessity of it, since the receipt of Mr. Amyatt's letters: I shall be glad to find it further confirmed by the sentiments of the Select Committee.

I am not master enough of the subject, to know how the Company's investment of Salt-petre will be so much hurt this year; and that you fear succors will arrive too late, to prevent much mischief; but this I am very confident of, that if we do not send succors, the whole province may be lost, and many years investments to come.

I will endeavor now, Sir, to reply as fully as I can to the subject on which you desire so earnestly to know my sentiments; and hope what I have to say will so fully satisfy you, that I need not at least leave the army, until the campaign is quite concluded, as I think it cannot be done without prejudice to our affairs.

Bad as the man may be, whose cause we now support, I cannot be of opinion that we can get rid of him for a better, without running the risk of much greater inconveniencies attending on such a change, than those we now labor under. -- I presume, the establishing tranquility in these provinces would restore to us all the advantages of trade we could wish, for the profit and honor of our employers; and I think we bid fairer to bring that tranquility about, by our present influence over the Suba, and by supporting him, than by any change which can be made. -- No new revolution can take place without a certainty of troubles; and a revolution will certainly be the consequence, whenever we withdraw our protection from the Suba: -- we cannot in prudence neither, I believe, leave this revolution to chance -- we must in some degree be instrumental to bringing it about. -- In such a case, it is very possible we may raise a man to the dignity, just as unfit to govern, as little to be depended upon, and in short, as great a rogue as our Nabob, but perhaps not so great a coward, nor so great a fool, and of consequence much more difficult to manage. -- As to the injustice of supporting this man, on account of his cruelties, oppressions, and his being detested in his government, I see so little chance, in this blessed country, of finding a man endued with the opposite virtues, that I think we may put up with these vices, with which we have no concern, if in other matters we find him fittest for our purpose.

As to his breach of his treaty, by introducing the Dutch last year, that was never so clearly proved, I believe, but as to admit of some doubt; -- Colonel Clive, before he left the country, seemed satisfied that what was suspicious in his conduct in that affair, proceeded not from actual guilt, but from the timidity of his nature. -- But if we still suspect him from further circumstances, we always have it in our power to put it to the test at once, by making him act as he ought, whether he will or no.

With regard to drawing our swords against the lawful Prince of the country; no man can more pity his misfortunes than I have done, nor would any one be more willing and happy to be instrumental in assisting him to recover his just right; -- but such a plan is not the thought of a day, nor the execution of it the work of a few months; -- there is a powerful party still remains; -- the Vizier, with the Maharattas and Jutes, who, notwithstanding the constant success of Abdallah against them, still make head against him; and such are their resources and their numbers, that I believe they will at last oblige the Patans to leave the country; for though they cannot beat them fairly out of the field, they bid fair to starve them out of the country.

You have, no doubt, received advice from Mr. Hastings, that Abdallah hath sent orders to the several powers, to acknowledge the Prince King of Indostan, by the name of Shaw Allum; -- rupees are struck by his order at Bannarras and Lucknow, in that name; -- orders are also given to Sujah Dowlatt, to accept the post of Vizier; and our Nabob hath got, it is said, instructions to acknowledge him, and pay him the obeisance due to the King of Kings, as he is styled.

If we were perfectly sure Abdallah would remain, as he says, until he saw the Prince well fixed on the throne, and the peace and tranquility of the country restored, we might, I think, all joined together, be a match for the Maharattas; -- but we must be well assured that Abdallah will heartily enter, and when entered, will firmly support the cause: -- for should this appointment of his be no more (as it is possible) than a finishing stroke, to end his expedition with the eclat of having given us a Mogul, and when a certain number of the country powers had entered into the alliance, he should think of a return to his own country, and leave us to fight it out with the other contending party, I fear the Vizier and the Maharattas would be too strong for those who remained of the alliance, supposing them to be the Ruellahs, and Sujah Dowlatt, and the Nabob of Bengal. -- However, supposing all this should take place, why may it not be done with our Nabob in our hand, still his friends and his protectors?

I am this instant favored with yours of the 25th; and I find by your postscript, that your opinion and mine, with regard to the Prince, do not differ much. I have no objections to follow the plan you propose: -- let Mr. Hastings sound the old Nabob, and I will go to work with the young one, who joins me this day.

We may continue our march on to Patna. -- The rains will give us time to negotiate, to see we go on sure grounds, and make such a plan of the alliance, as will do us honor, and be an advantage to our country and our employers; -- but let us not abandon the Nabob. -- Besides the reasons I have urged above, one more still remains, which I believe will have some weight, and make us cautious how we attempt, without very strong and urgent reasons, any change in the present system.

You are well acquainted, Sir, with the cause which first gave rise to the present share of influence which we enjoy in this part of the Mogul's empire: -- a just resentment for injuries received, was the first motive which induced us to make a trial of our strength; -- the case with which we succeeded enlarged our views, and made us cheerfully embrace all opportunities of increasing that interest and influence, both on account of the advantages which accrued from it to the Honorable Company, as likewise the hopes that it might in time prove a source of benefit and riches to our country. -- Such were, 1 believe, the motives of Colonel Clive's actions during his administration; such, I believe, were the views of the Honorable Company, when they solicited and obtained Colonel Coote's regiment from the Government; and such, I am certain, is the plan which the Colonel proposes, on his return, to pursue and to support, in hopes to convince the Ministry and the Company, as he is convinced himself, that if they please to support his project, it will prove of the greatest advantage to the public.

If I have stated our situation right, it follows, I believe, of course, that we are bound with vigor to work on the same plan, to act on the same principles, and to keep up the system as perfect and entire as it was left in our hands; that whatever resolutions the Nation or the Company may come to, on Col. Clive's representations, they may not be disappointed, by finding here (at least through our faults) any very material change in our situation, power, or credit.

One word more. All we can wish to do is, not to suffer the Nabob to impose on us, and to check every beginning of an independence he may endeavor to assume: -- let us consult and improve on every occasion that offers, the honor and advantage of our employers, and the increase of their trade and credit; and not let them suffer any additional expense, on account of pursuing any plan, or supporting any system whatever. -- By acting thus, I think we cannot err; we run at least no risk; and I believe the Company's affairs may be conducted by us under this Suba, as much to their advantage and credit, as any other whom a revolution may place in the government.

Enclosed, I have the honor to send Mr. Amyatt's last letter, received this morning. We have had, as you will see, another brush with the Prince's troops, and with great success: however, if the other plan goes on, we must put an end to this fighting system, and talk coolly on affairs. -- I shall expect the favor of your opinion with great impatience; and have the honor to assure you that I am, with perfect respect and esteem,

Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,


It is worth remarking, that in this letter we see many specious arguments in favor of still preserving this system; apologies are made for: the Suba's cruelties and oppressions; and even an attempt made to extenuate his conduct in the Dutch affair, by attributing it to his timidity. -- Howsoever Colonel Clive was actuated to declare afterwards, the sentiments set forth in this letter, yet the Memorial sent to the Company (sometime after it happened) carried the testimony of conviction, (to his having called in the Dutch) signed by Colonel Clive and his whole council. Possibly we may be wrong; but still we will not hesitate to say, that neither the pen nor tongue of a Cicero should influence us to think, the most atrocious crimes and cruelties can admit of palliation, let the complexion or principles of that government be what they will, -- much less vindicate the supporting such wickedness, let the advantages be ever so great to ourselves. -- But waving here these, and several other parts of this letter, we beg leave to refer you to our answer immediately following, where we think we have rendered the whole invalid. -- It is more worthy remark, that all the arguments so forcibly urged there, vanished on Governor Vansittart's arrival at Fort William -- without, as we remember, any material alteration in the face of affairs; -- for, after the flight of Cuddeim Hossein Khan, the rains set in, and a stop was put to all operations of the field. -- It is true, things were growing worse and worse; -- but that was no more than was foreseen long before, as appears from Mr. Holwell's repeated and urgent representations, on his part, as well as on that of the Committee, though then without obtaining any due influence: nor will this be much wondered at, when we unmask the cause. The Major having undoubted reasons to expect a change in the government of Calcutta, and that Mr. Vansittart would probably arrive with us in July, or sooner; it is but rational to think, that the Major rather chose to be joined with Mr. Vansittart, with whom he had been long connected in friendship, (than with Mr. Holwell, who was in a manner a stranger to him) in the subversion of a government which he saw must inevitably be brought on, but at the same time thought would admit of delay. This must have been the plan of thinking adopted by him then, or his subsequent conduct in falling immediately into, and having so principal a part in deposing Mhir Jaffier Khan, must appear wholly unaccountable. -- Messrs. Holwell, Sumner, and Mac-Gwire, the majority of your Select Committee, very clearly saw through this disguise; for they too had received intimation of Mr. Vansittart's appointment; and convinced that nothing could be effectually pushed by their majority in the Committee, without having a concurrence from the heart with the Commander in chief of your forces in the field, contented themselves with remonstrances on the unhappy situation of your affairs; -- having no other alternative in their power. To the truth of this, we venture to refer to Mr. Sumner, now in England.

Here we will beg leave to say publicly, what we have often said in private to some of your Court of Directors; If you would have your affairs conducted properly in Bengal, give your Commander in chief, rank, title, emoluments, anything to make him respectable in the eyes of that government, and your own forces; -- but give him not a vote in your Committees or Councils: -- recent and melancholy proofs evince the impropriety of doing it. -- There will ever be one set of political views in the cabinet, and another in the camp; and this inevitably must be the case: -- if it had not been so, you would, in the month of May or June 1760, have been yourselves Subas of Bengal, and now in possession of between two and three millions sterling per annum.

To John Caillaud, Esq;

Calcutta, June 14, 1760.


MANY of the various reasons you assign for our supporting this government, at all events, I should most readily submit to, were we at the same time in any situation of supporting and conducting the Company's affairs with success and honor, or indeed of conducting them at all. They are burdened with a military force at the expense of near 50,000 Rupees each month, their bare pay, besides the immense charge of military stores, &c. The charges of their works, one month with another, amount to from 70 to 90,000 Rupees. The Company's great support, at this time, will be expected from their Bengal investments; and if we return them this season one ship's complete cargo, it will be the utmost the present prospect promises: for some time the business at their different Arungs has been at a stand; they have in a manner lost their silk investment for this season. -- The balance of their treasury, one lack and half only, without any hopes of a material supply, we having used every means in our power to borrow on their account without success: In hourly expectation of their credit suffering further disgrace, from our inability to answer the several bills drawn on us from different quarters; in less than the space of one month a disgraceful stop must be put to the progress of our new works; and I declare to you, I see not where we shall get money for the pay of our troops in garrison, and much less for the service of the marine, and other current expenses of the Presidency. -- I have no doubt but you will give due weight and attention to the forgoing real state of the Company's affairs; and from thence be convinced, that the support of the present system, until the Company's pleasure is known, will reduce us to no system at all; the more surely so, as we have so little foundation to expect any supplies at all from them, by the ships of this season.

Had it ever been my with or intention to have taken our support from the present Nabob, and transfer it to any other, your arguments, in that case, would have all the weight with me they so greatly merit; but, I think, on a representation of mine to you, and the copy of mine to Mr. Amyatt, you will see that was not my aim; for I concur minutely with your objections to such a step, and am very clear we should not mend our situation by a revolution in favor of any other, who would, as you truly observe, prove as bad as the present, and probably worse: -- But my views for the Company went much higher. That the country will never be in a settled, peaceful state whilst this family is at the head of it, is a position I lay down as incontestable; and that until the country enjoys that state, the Company's affairs must, in consequence, be daily approaching to certain ruin: I therefore judge we could never be possessed of a more just or favorable opportunity to carry into execution, what must be done, I plainly see, one time or other, if the Company have ever a secure footing in the provinces, to wit, Take this country into their own hands, limiting ourselves to the province of Bengal only, or extending our views to those of Bahar and Orixa, as on future debate might be thought most eligible. The situation of the Prince at present is such, that I am sure he would readily and thankfully hearken to an overture from us, and without hesitation, grant a Phirmaund appointing the Company perpetual Subas of the province. His two Phirmaunds to me, as I before advised you, offered a Carte Blanche for the company; and I dare say, that to you was of the same tenor. With respect to the validity of receiving a Phirmaund from him, I cannot think it possibly liable to impeachment; That he is the legal heir to the empire is beyond contradiction; that Abdallah has proclaimed him Emperor, by the name of Shaw Allum, ordered Siccas to be struck in his name, and called him to the throne, are truths which now I believe will admit of no doubt. But, on supposition things should come to the worst, and the issue of them at last prove in favor of Shaw Jehawn, I conceive it would very little affect us, when once in possession of the Provinces; for let the lot of empire fall to whom it will, the regular remittance of the stipulated revenues of the country, from which that court had hardly benefited since the time of Sujah Khan, would secure a confirmation, from whatever Prince fills the throne, if his eyes are open to his own interest.

The foregoing favorable circumstances considered, together with the present state of the Company's affairs, and the many just causes and provocations we certainly have against supporting this government any longer, can we, consistently with our duty to the Company, disregard an overture, which in fact came first from the Prince, so immensely advantageous to their affairs -- and redounding so greatly to their honor? -- and by which we should be sufficiently enabled to prevent the French ever regaining a footing in Bengal, or even an entrance to the country? -- Circumstances we have most to apprehend from, of anything that can possibly happen to the molestation and destruction of the Company's influence and concerns in India; for in such an event, we can, from experience, judge the assistance we should receive from the present government.

I have this moment received your favor of the 10th from Hybut Gunge, and think five or six days will bring you near the city. As nothing material has happened, your obliging apology for not writing more frequently, was needless, for I can very soon account for every moment of your time, in such troublesome and forced marches. I observe the first discouragement which check the Prince's hopes; and yet I think if he gives us the Subadary, promotes Mhir Jaffier and his son to some considerable posts, and takes them and their troops with him, and is joined by 4 or 500 of Europeans, with 2 or 3000 Seapoys, and a good field artillery, the result would be in his favor; and that, with these helps, he would gain the throne of his ancestors: -- for though after the late success of the Morattors against Abdallah's Visier, it might be imprudent in Sujah Dowlet to advance to the southward, yet when he was joined by the Prince, with a formidable force, there would be no objection to Sujah Dowlet's joining him with his whole power, in his march to Delly. -- Think, Sir, how glorious a circumstance for our Company and nation, to be aiding in so just and honorable a service! and what might they not both expect, if the Prince was established on the throne of Indostan; an event which appears to me a moral certainty, by such a coalition as is just hinted at above.

If matters should chance to come into treaty, a ratification of Colonel Clive's Jagier must not be forgot.

I am with real esteem, Sir,

Your obedient humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

How far his Lordship's prior and subsequent treatment of Mr. Holwell, merited this tender consideration, we leave to his Lordship's breast; -- and only remark, that this thought never occurred to his bosom friends, when they had it in their power to have screened him from much trouble and more anxiety.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:43 am

Part 4 of 4

To Peter Amyatt, Esq;

Calcutta, 30th May, 1760.

Since mine of the 25th, I have received a letter from Mr. Hastings, enclosing abstracts of one from Jugul Kissore, the Nabob's agent at Delly, to the Nabob, advising him of the Shaw Zadda being actually proclaimed King, and called to the throne by Abdallah; and that the Vizerut was sent to Suza Dowla, who has already struck Siccas in the Prince's name. If this incident is really fact, which appears probable enough from the many particulars recited in Jugul Kissore's letter, our proceedings will require the nicest conduct at this conjuncture; and as we have hitherto opposed his arms, we must attone in future for such opposition, by making our force as serviceable to him as possible, -- even by joining him with such part of them as we can possibly spare, to assist him in securing the peaceable possession of the throne; provided we can thereby gain some essential point, which we must now most assiduously pursue, for the Company's benefit; the success and accomplishment of which will greatly depend on yours and the Major' s address, to whom I shall enclose copy of this, that you may act in concert on this occasion for the public good. --

On supposition that the Prince is recognized Emperor by Abdallah, I do not see how we can, consistent with our duty to the Company, to natural justice, or sound politics, support this family any longer against the Prince, without the most flagrant breach and violation of the laws of nations: Whilst his right remained doubtful, a pretext barely plausible remained for our conduct; but this recognition of the Prince by Abdallah, and the principal Omrahs of this empire, divests us even of that pretext; and our persisting will lay us, I fear, not only liable to censure from the Company, but from the whole world.

That the Suba will labor to exculpate himself, by throwing the odium of the resistance made to the Prince in these dominions on us, I have not the least doubt; of which there needs no stronger proof, than his secreting this extraordinary event, which on the instant he should have had communicated to me, by virtue of the treaty subsisting between him and the English; for all the intelligence of this affair I have from Mr. Hastings only, who obtained the copy of Jugul Kissore's letter from the Moonshee, contrary, he believes, to the Suba's intentions; -- so that, on the whole, we may reasonably conclude, he is well advanced by this time in making his peace with the Prince at our expense, and possibly at the price of the Company's ruin; -- in which he must be countermined without loss of time, and every piece of treachery carefully guarded against, which either he or his son, we know, are capable of projecting against our troops, or us. I yesterday received a letter from the old Nabob, desiring me to order part of Captain Fischer's command to Midnapore, for the security of that place, and collection of the revenues; which in my answer I absolutely refused, alleging for reason that his own people were fully equal to that service, and that I could not think of making any further dispersion of our troops, at a time when we might daily expect an enemy in the river. -- We cannot be too much upon our guard against this government, at this very critical period, for I perfectly know it capable of the most superlative baseness and treachery.

All these particulars premised and duly considered, the plan for our immediate conduct obviously presents itself. The Prince's resentment to this family is such, that I am convinced the first overture from us would be most readily embraced by him and his Ministers, that now we shall have it in our power to make our own terms for the Company; and that if we lose this opportunity, it is evident to me we shall never get another; and that the Company must ever remain on the most precarious and dangerous footing in this country.

The terms to be labored for, which now occur to me, are, 1st, The Subadary of Bengal, comprising Siccli-gully, or Telliagurry, for the Company. -- 2d, Their Governor, for the time being, to bear the title of Suba, or Nizam of the provinces. -- 3d, Mr. Law and his troops to be delivered up to us. -- 4th, No other European power whatever to be allowed to hold or maintain a fortification or troops in the province. -- 5th, An absolute grant, or phirmaund, for the security of our Salt-petre farm, free from all caveats and difficulties. -- 6th, A ratification of our treaties with Surajad Dowla, and the present Suba; and full indemnification and acquittal to the Company, for all our ancient phirmaunds, grants: and privileges, and full confirmation of the same to the Company. -- 8th, A letter to be obtained from the Emperor to the King of Great Britain, setting forth the particulars of all these grants to his subjects.

On our side we engage, 1st, To make due and regular remittance to court, of the stipulated revenues of the province, -- 2d, To quit the protection of the present family in the government. -- 3d, To pay obedience to all orders issuing from the throne; and 4th, To join the Prince with all the troops we can possibly spare from the defense of the Company's possessions: but this last article to be avoided, if practicable.

If you, jointly with Major Caillaud, think the foregoing plan can be carried into execution, consistent with the Company's safety and advantage, the same shall be laid before the Board, and proper powers transmitted to you if it meets with their approval. If you judge it impracticable, favor me with your sentiments, and point out what other probable scheme we can adopt, to extricate the Company's affairs from the difficulties and obstructions they labor under.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To the Honorable John Zeph. Holwell.

Camp at Punch-ruckee, 26th June, 1760.


Since I had the pleasure to apprise you of Captain Knox's success against Caudim Hossein Khan, I have crossed the river with the Nabob, and have been in full pursuit of the same enemy for several days past. Encumbered by his treasure, and a great quantity of baggage, he was very much impeded in his retreat, and retired so slow from us, that yesterday morning, after a march of six hours, we found ourselves in sight of his rear-guard. Advised of our approach, he had then just struck his camp, wherein he left twelve very small pieces of cannon; and without seeming to observe us, continued on his way about three coss further, with our army following him. At the extremity of a large plain, bordered by a thick grove, and three or four villages, which covered part of his troops, he made a halt, and drew up his cannon. We did the same upon the plain, and a mutual cannonading ensued. Previous to this, I had sent repeated messages to the Nabob (who remained a considerable distance in our rear) immediately to dispatch a body of cavalry, to stop them and keep them in play, and not suffer so fair an occasion to be irretrievably lost; urging, at the same time, how impossible it was for men on foot, fatigued with a long march, to attempt to pursue horse: but he continued deaf to my remonstrances, and instead of sending me the least assistance, formed his troops above a mile in our rear, and there waited looking on until the enemy quitted the field. From the commencement of the cannonading until the firing ceased, it was about four hours. Little execution was done on either side. Two or three times they appeared in a large body, coming down upon us; but on our advancing, immediately retreated. We drove them from the villages, and they abandoned to us seven more pieces of cannon, and as many camels loaded with rockets. During the action, which very probably was a feint, for that very purpose, they found means to unload all their hackeries of their treasure, Genanah, and other valuable effects, to place them upon camels and elephants, with which they went off, and are now far enough out of our reach. All their empty hackeries they also left behind them. Nothing could induce the Nabob, even after all was over, to send a body of horse to intercept them in their retreat, which might have been effected with very little hazard. I marched seven coss after them this morning, but found they had left their camp, and departed in the night. I have the honor to be, with equal respect and esteem, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble Servant,


To Peter Amyatt, Esq;

July 1, 1760.


In expectation of hearing more particularly from you, on the Major's arrival with you, I deferred hitherto replying to your favor of the 12th; but now tender you my best thanks for that, and another of the 19th, with its duplicate.

We may say, very truly, that we have not gained much by this wild-goose campaign. The Prince and his friends have gained less, except we toss them a drubbing or two into their scale. Knox is a brave fellow, and I dare say the Major will finish Cudheim Hossein Khan, as you phrase it, if he does but stay, and give him as fair an opportunity. But pray, after all, what is to be the end of all these marches, counter-marchings, drubbings, &c.? Methinks we seem so keen after this royal game, as never once to recollect, that the Company must starve, if we find them no other amusement; we will suppose Cudheim Hossein Khan finished, and the Prince driven out of the country, with all his adherents, until the rains break up; when, in all human probability, the same royal hunt begins again, and so on, ad infinitum, whilst the Company have nothing but ruin in prospect. No money, no goods, no credit even with that government we are supporting; which on the contrary, in place of advancing, in this distressed state of our affairs, obstructs and embarrasses us on every occasion, in the collection of the Tunckas which are our due, and is capable of refusing us a perwannah for a year or two's chinam to finish our new works. And to form to you a complete idea of Mahomet Jaffier Aly Khan, he is now, at this very juncture, whilst we are risking our own throats to save his, in secret negotiation with the Morattors, to introduce a body of 25 or 30,000 of them into the provinces. He has agreed to pay them 12 lack in three months; a considerable sum was near being advanced to them, when he was informed I had intelligence of it, and then he dropped it. Mussaloode Mahomet Khan was dispatched to Cuttack, with two other Morattors, to finish this business.

I am sorry the Major's sentiments and yours seem to differ from my own, respecting the necessity we are under of supporting this government, at all events and in all circumstances. I must confess, my reason is not at all convinced of this obligation. If this must hold until the Company's pleasure be known, it can hold on no other terms, than the Nabob's making over some other parts of the country, that will fully reimburse the expense of the troops; for by Heaven! we shall not be able to pay them two months longer. I am truly, Sir,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

J. Z. H.

To Mr. Warren Hastings.

Fort William, 16th July, 1760.


Your obliging letter of the 12th reached me only this morning, as also yours to the Select Committee. The sudden death of the young Nabob is very striking, and must, I think, occasion commotions in the Provinces. Had Providence thought proper to have appointed, by the same flash, Rajah Raagebullub to attend him to the other world, the country would have had a double benefit. Mhiran's troops, returning under his command, I think will prove bad politics. He has been at the bottom, the great cause of the long dissentions between Mhiran and his father; and the young Nabob's troops, we pretty well know, have neither affection for the old Nabob, nor can put faith or confidence in him. My reign is short; (I conceive Mr. Vansittart will arrive with us in ten days the farthest) however, short as it is, I would willingly employ the last hour of it for the advantage of the public: shall therefore transmit with this that advice to the old Nabob, which appears to me most essential for his service at this juncture, and what will, I think, prove most conducive to the settling the peace and tranquility of his country. Copy of my letter to the old Nabob I enclose you; my plan, you will observe, is short, and easily to be effected, now his son is gone -- to wit, to throw himself into the arms of Mhir Cossim Aly Khan and Roy Doolub; and dismiss from his Councils those two vipers, Aga Salah of Cuttack, and Rajah Bullob, as well as that infamous instrument of his cruelties, Chuccon.

You will signify to the Nabob, that, on the receipt of your letter, I paid every customary compliment to his son's memory, such as minute guns, colors of the fort and ships hoisted half mast, &c. and have wrote him also a separate letter of condolence on this melancholy occasion. I am, Sir, Y

our most obedient humble servant,

J. Z. H.

P. S. You will observe, that in my letter to the Nabob, I have as yet only mentioned Cossim Aly Khan to him.

Thus far advanced, we think it essentially proper to lay the whole progress of this revolution before you, even to the minutest circumstance.

To give governor Vansittart a full knowledge of the present situation of the provinces, and state of the Company's affairs, the correspondence and memorial were preferred to his perusal and consideration, together with all letters received, as well from the country powers as others. The result was a declaration from him, that one or other of Mr. Holwell's plans must be pursued, without loss of time, to save the Country and Company from impending ruin. -- Colonel Caillaud was immediately ordered from Patna to join our councils -- he arrived. Three or four days produced from the governor, a long statement of the present face of affairs, and the necessity of adopting measures therein proposed, which were in a manner literally taken from the correspondence and memorial, and obtained the sanction and concurrence of Colonel Caillaud, and the majority not only of the committee, but of the council also.

At this period Mr. Holwell received frequent letters from Mhir Mahomet Cossim Aly Khan, containing the strongest professions and assurances in favor of the Company, if, by our support, he was promoted to the succession of the Dewannee, and other posts enjoyed by the late Chuta Nabob, his brother-in-law. These letters were duly communicated to Mr. Vansittart, to whom he likewise wrote, but with more reserve, imagining Colonel Caillaud had swayed him in favor of Rajah Raagebullob, though without any real ground for such suspicion. These matters being debated in Committee, it was judged eligible to obtain permission for Cossim Aly Khan's paying a visit to Calcutta; a vircumstance he himself had intimated, in a letter to the governor and Mr. Holwell; the times gave good pretence for it, to wit, adjusting the operations of the next campaign, and finally settling the accounts of the Tunka's. To gain this point, the Governor and Mr. Holwell wrote to the Suba, with good success; Cossim Aly Khan had permission to come to Calcutta, and left the city some days after, and arrived with us about the 20th of September.

The usual ceremonies over, he had a private conference or two with the Governor; but still forming doubts of his being influenced by Colonel Caillaud, kept himself much on the reserve: the Governor expostulated with him on so improper a conduct. To this he replied, that he had the strongest reasons to conclude the new Colonel was his enemy; and therefore desired Mr. Holwell might be deputed to have a conference with him, to whom he could open his whole heart with confidence and freedom; to which the Governor gave a ready assent.

Mr. Holwell being well apprised that Coja Petruse (to whom the Company owed much in the last revolution, but much more in this) had the greatest weight with, and influence over Cossim Aly Khan, had secured him on the side of the Company; and at a private interview with him, at Mr. Holwell's garden, on the same day of the conference between the Governor and Cossim Aly Khan, Mr. Holwell formed a rough plan of the terms which must be insisted on for the Company, in lieu of the protection and support given to Cossim Aly Khan; which Petrude engaged he would promote, to the utmost of his power and influence.

The next morning, the 24th of September, Mr. Holwell communicated his conference with Petruse, and laid the rough plan before the Governor and Select Committee, who approved of it, with little variation; and the 25th was appointed for the conference between him and Cossim Aly Khan -- They met at seven, and about nine Mr. Holwell received a message from the Governor, intimating, that the Select Committee was going to sit, and would continue sitting until he joined them with the result of the conference.

After the usual compliments, and many grateful acknowledgments on the part of Cossim Aly Khan, for the many instances of friendship he had received from Mr. Holwell, during his government, the scene in point opened; when, with very little hesitation, he discovered his views were more extensive than had been imagined. He urged the repeated treacherous conduct of the Suba and the late young Nabob to the English, who had been not only their Creators, but their support and preservers; expatiated on their cruelties and murders, and the universal abhorrence of the people against the Suba and his house; dwelt much on his personal ingratitude to himself, in two attempts which he had made on his life, at the instigation of the late young Nabob; -- exclaimed against the secret negotiation he had carried on with the Shaw Zadda and the Dutch; -- communicated the private orders he had received from the Suba, when he was sent down against the Dutch, to favor them, in contradiction to the public ones, transmitted by the Suba at that time to Mr. Holwell; closing this introduction with saying, that the Suba was incapable of government; that no faith or trust could be put in him; and that, if he was not taken off, it would never be in his power to render the Company those services which he had so much at heart.

Mr. Holwell, who little expected a preliminary of this kind, expressed much astonishment and abhorrence at the overture
-- and replied, "That howsoever little the Suba deserved consideration, yet that the honor of the Company, and the English name, forbid our hearkening to any attempts against his life or dignity; that care would be taken, neither he nor his evil ministers should in future have power either to injure him, the Company, or his Country, in the manner he had already done; but that unless he (Cossim Aly Khan) dropped all mention, as well as every intention and attempt of the measure he had intimated, the conference must end there." To this he acquiesced, but with evident dissatisfaction of countenance; and only added, that as he had no support but the English, he must submit to their measures; but feared Mr. Holwell was not so much his friend as he hoped and expected.

This obstruction being removed, business and much altercation took place; none present but Cossim Aly Khan, Mr. Holwell, Coja Petruse, and Cossim Aly Khan's head Moonshe (or Persian secretary); and after debate on each article, the following were agreed to.

1st, That Cossim Aly Khan shall be invested with the Dewannee, be declared Chuta Nabob, and successor in the Subaship to Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan, and enjoy all the posts possessed by the late young Nabob.

2d, That all acts of the government shall run under the seal of, and in the name of, Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan; but the executive power should rest in Cossim Aly Klian; the dignity of the Suba to remain inviolable in the person of the former, with an allowance of one Lack of Rupees per mensem, for the support of his household, &c. expenses.

3d, That Cossim Aly Khan shall pay and make good the balance of the Tunka's, as lately adjusted with Omid Roy, on the part of Jaffier Aly Khan.

4th, That the Company shall keep up a standing force, for the defense of the government and provinces, consisting of 8000 Seapoys, 2000 European Foot, 2000 Country Cavalry, and 500 European Horse.

5th, That to enable the Company to keep up the above standing force, the countries of Burdomaan, Midnapore, Chittygang, and half the annual produce of the Chinam at Sillet, shall be ceded to the Company in perpetuity.

The above five articles contain the full tenor and essentials of the treaty, though not a literal copy of it. -- A sixth article, pressed by Mr. Holwell, That Cossim Aly Khan should concur with the English in acknowledging the rights of the Shaw Zadda to the throne of Indostan, was left dormant, and to be adjusted as future events should point out.

By one o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Holwell attended the Committee, with the articles agreed to by Cossim Aly Khan, which met the unanimous approval of the members. At this committee it was moved and requested by the Governor, and backed by the Committee, That Mr. Holwell would accompany the Colonel (who was ordered to return to Patna) as far as the city, with joint powers from the Committee, to carry the foregoing articles into execution amicably, if possible, otherwise to force the Suba to a compliance. To this purpose they were to be accompanied by a detachment of 200 Europeans, 4 pieces of field artillery, and 5 or 600 Seapoys, under the command of Major Yorke, on pretence of reinforcing the troops at Patna.

This service was peremptorily refused by Mr. Holwell, for the following reasons: -- First, He saw no sufficient necessity for it. Secondly, He was pre-determined to resign the service as soon as the treaty was signed. Thirdly, He must have been second only in the commission with the Colonel; a character he could by no means submit to, under a gentleman he had so lately commanded; a circumstance which would have rendered Mr. Holwell of little weight or consequence at the city. -- On his refusal, the Governor declared he would go up himself with the Colonel, on pretence of paying the first visit to the Suba.

The 26th and 27th of September passed in conferences between the Governor and Cossim Aly Khan, in drawing the treaty out fair, and adjusting measures touching the carrying it into execution. The 27th, at night, a Committee was held at the Governor's house, and the treaty interchangeably signed by the Committee on the one part, and by Mhir Mahomet Cossim Aly Khan Bahadr on the other. The 28th, he made an entertainment for the Governor and Council; and the 29th, in the morning, took his leave, and departed for the city. -- The same morning Mr. Holwell took his leave of the Board, and resigned the service.

Major Yorke, with his detachment, marched a few days after, with instructions to arrive at the city a day or two after Cossim Aly Khan, that he might be near enough to protect him, if there should be occasion. The Governor and the Colonel followed soon after, and arrived at the city with the detachment, and took up their quarters at Moradbaag, on the opposite side of the river to Moorshadabad -- But here we will take up the thread of this detail from Mr. Vansittart's own words, in his remonstrance to the Board of Calcutta, of which we luckily have a copy, beginning where he leaves off, with the murder of Aly Verrdee Khan's family, already spoken to.--

"Executions of this kind had made the Nabob the dread or the detestation of all good men; and he necessarily became a prey to people of mean extraction and abject dispositions, who knowing that a government so managed could not stand long, fought only to make themselves rich by oppressions of all forts upon the country and inhabitants. To the heavy taxes laid by them on markets, is ascribed the present unusual scarcity and dearness of provisions at the city, the capital of a country once esteemed the most plentiful in the world. The Persons who have had the chief share in this bad management are, Keenooram, Moniloll, and Checon, all of low birth, and the two first the menial servants of Jaffier Aly Khan, before he came to the Subahship. These managed so, as to engage him continually in idle or vicious amusements, keeping him by that means in utter ignorance of his affairs, and in a state of indifference as to their success. No money came to his treasury, at the same time nothing was paid to his army, insomuch that his troops mutinied, and surrounded his palace in a tumultuous manner, threatening to take away his life; which they certainly would have done, had not his son-in-law, the present Cossim Aly Khan, become answerable, and paid them a very large sum out of his own treasury. This happened last June: and if the imminent danger with which his person was threatened on this occasion, awakened him for a moment, no sooner was it removed again to a distance, than he fell back into the lethargy which had so long possessed him; the same unworthy ministers remained still his only counselors, and continued in the management of his affairs to the last day of his administration; which he left in so confused and impoverished a state, that in all human appearance another month could hardly have run through, before he would have been cut off by his own Seapoys, and the city became a scene of plunder and disorder, the Nabob having made no further provision for the payment of the long arrears due to his people, after Cossim Aly Khan had freed him from his former extremity. This danger he could not but foresee, and more than once declared his apprehensions, yet had not the power to exert the necessary means for preventing it, but sunk the deeper into dejection.

"Besides this intestine danger to which the government was exposed, two armies were in the field, and waiting only the fair weather to advance, the Shaw Zadda towards Patna, and the Beerboon Rajahs of Bissenpoor, Ramgur, and the other countries bordering upon the mountains, were ready to shake off their dependence, and had already offered considerable supplies to the Beerboon Rajah. The Rajah of Carruckipoor had committed open hostilities, and taken possession of all the country about Bogglepoor, which entirely stopped the communication between the two provinces on that side of the river; in a word, the whole country seemed ripe for an universal revolt, those parts only excepted, whose natural weakness or neighborhood with the city intimidated them from taking up arms. To encounter all these difficulties, there was nothing but troops without pay, from whom therefore no great efforts could be expected: of this a very recent instance occurs in the detachment which was ordered against the Beerboon Rajah, three months before the Nabob's abdication, but never advanced more than three coss from the city; in which situation it continued upon my arrival there.

"All who are now in Bengal, and acquainted with the transactions of the government, will bear witness that this is a true description of facts: and all who are convinced of the facts, will certainly agree, that affairs were at an extremity no longer to be neglected without manifest danger of having the provinces over-run, and the trade entirely ruined. I was resolved therefore to use my utmost endeavors to get these bad ministers removed; and judging it might be difficult to prevail on the Nabob to part with his favorites without some degree of violence, I brought with me a detachment of Europeans and Seapoys, under pretence of sending them with Colonel Caillaud, to reinforce the army at Patna.

"I arrived, with the Colonel, at Cossimbuzar, the 14th of October, and the next day the Nabob paid us a visit. The 16th we went to the city and returned the visit; on the 18th, the Nabob came to Moradbaag, by appointment, to talk upon business. In the conversation which I had with him, in the two former meetings, I had taken occasion to represent to him, in general terms, the bad management of his ministers, the miseries and universal disaffection of the country, and the desperate state of his, as well as the Company's affairs. In order to give him a more full and clear view of the evils brought on through the weakness of his administration, and to point out the means for their removal, I had prepared three letters, which, after a short and friendly introduction, I delivered to him; of which translations are hereunto annexed.

"The Nabob seemed much affected by the perusal of the letters, but endeavored more to put an end to the conference, than to propose a remedy to the evils. I, however, prevailed on him to send for his dinner to Muradbaag, and in a manner insisted on his coming to some determination for the immediate reform of the government. At length, he confessed himself, through age and grief for the late loss of his son, incapable of struggling alone against so many difficulties. He desired he might have time to consult with his friends. I told him, the men with whom he had lately advised were not his friends, but his greatest enemies; that his returning again into the midst of them, would only be the means of augmenting his difficulties; that he had much better take the assistance of one from among his relations, on whose true attachment and fidelity he might more safely rely. He named five or six, and amongst them Cossim Ally Cawn. I asked him, which of that number was most fit to assist him in his present exigencies? He replied, without any hesitation, that Cossim Ally Cawn was the most proper; nevertheless, it was with the utmost difficulty I could prevail on him to send for him, and so very late that, before Cossim Ally Cawn could arrive, the old Nabob was so extremely fatigued, and in such a state of anxiety, that I could not refuse his return home to take his rest. I was convinced indeed, it was to no purpose to detain him, for such was the jealousy he discovered with respect to Cossim Ally Cawn, that I saw he never would consent, without some sort of force, to give the other the means of restoring order to his affairs. An hour or two after the Nabob's departure, Cossim Ally Cawn arrived, and seemed to be extremely apprehensive, that the Nabob, instead of trusting him with the management of his affairs, would endeavor by some means or other to get rid of him. I agreed therefore in opinion with him, that he should not go to the Nabob's house, until measures were taken for his security. We resolved, however, to give the Nabob the next day, the 19th, to reflect upon the letters before-mentioned, in hopes that he would propose some means of regulation. I heard nothing from him all day, but found by my intelligence, that he had been in council with his old advisers, Keenooram, Monilot and Checon, whose advice I was sure would be contrary to the welfare of the country in general, and that of the Company in particular. I determined therefore to act immediately on the Nabob's fears. There could not be a better opportunity than that the night of the 19th afforded, it being the conclusion of the Gentoo feast, when all the principal people of that Cast would be pretty well fatigued with their ceremonies. Accordingly I agreed with Caillaud, that he should cross the river with the detachment, between three and four in the morning, and having joined Cossim Ally Cawn and his people, march to the Nabob's palace, and surround it just at daybreak, being extremely desirous to prevent any disturbance or bloodshed. I wrote a letter to the Nabob, a translation of which is annexed, and delivered it to the Colonel, to send in to him at such a time as he should think most expedient. Measures were taken, at the same time, for seizing the persons of Keenooram, Monilot and Checon, my intention being only to remove these three unworthy ministers, and place Cossim Ally Cawn in the full management of all the affairs, in quality of deputy and successor to the Nabob. The necessary preparations being accordingly made with all the care and secrecy possible, the Colonel embarked with the troops, joined Cossim Ally Cawn, without the least alarm, and marched into the courtyard of the palace just at the proper instant. The gates of the inner court being shut, the Colonel formed his men without, and sent my letter to the Nabob, who was at first in a great rage, and long threatened he would make what resistance he could, and take his fate. The Colonel forbore all hostilities, and several messages passed between him and the Nabob. The affair remained in this doubtful state about two hours, when the Nabob, finding his persisting was to no purpose, sent a message to Cossim Ally Cawn, informing him he was ready to send him the seals and all the ensigns of dignity, and to order the Nobut to be struck up in his name; provided he would agree to take the whole charge of government upon him, to discharge all the arrears due to the troops, to pay the usual revenues to the King, to save his life and honor, and give him an allowance sufficient for his maintenance. All these conditions being agreed to, Cossim Ally Cawn was proclaimed, and the old Nabob came out to the Colonel declaring that he depended on him for his life. The troops then took possession of all the gates, and notice being sent to me, I immediately repaired to the palace, and was met by the old Nabob in the gateway. He asked, if his person was safe, which seemed now to be all his concern. I told him, that not only his person was safe, but his government too, if he pleased, of which it was never intended to deprive him. The Nabob answered, that he had no more business at the city; that he should be in continual danger from Cossim Ally Cawn; and that if he was permitted to go and live in Calcutta, he should be extremely happy and contented. Though I could not help lamenting his sudden fall, I was not sorry for this proposal, as I knew affairs would be much better managed without him; and his retaining a share of the authority (however small) could not fail to cause such perplexities, as might prove, in so critical and dangerous a juncture, of the worst consequences to the administration. Cossim Ally Cawn was accordingly seated on the Musnud, and I paid him my congratulations in the usual form. All the Jemmadars and persons of distinction at the city came immediately, and made their acknowledgments to the new Suba; and in the evening every thing was as perfectly quiet, as if there had been no change. The people in general seemed much pleased with this resolution, which had this peculiar felicity attending it, that it was brought about without the least disturbance in town, or a drop of blood spilt.

"The Nabob did not think himself safe even for one night in the city: Cossim Ally Cawn supplied him with boats, and permitted him to take away as many of his women as he desired (which he did to the number of about sixty) with a reasonable quantity of jewels. I furnished him with a strong escort of Europeans and Seapoys, and intended to lodge him at Herajeel, but he would not trust himself there, and begged he might sleep in his boats close to Muradbaug, which he accordingly did. He continued at Muradbaug the next day, and in the evening I visited him with Colonel Caillaud. He appeared then pretty easy, and reconciled to the loss of a power which he owned to be rather a burden than pleasure, and too much for his abilities to manage since the death of his son; and the enjoyment of the rest of his days in security, under the English protection, seemed to be the chief object of his wishes.

"On the morning of the 22d, he set out for Calcutta, and arrived there on the 29th. He was met by a deputation from the Council, and treated with every mark of respect due to his former dignity."

And now having completed our task, we think it necessary to request your indulgence for any inaccuracies and imperfections that may appear in this hasty performance, begun only the last Saturday, and printed the Wednesday after, under many difficulties, by the attacks against this revolution appearing so late; which has laid us under the necessity of omitting, for want of time, many other material vouchers: however, we think we have fully evinced the indispensable necessity which moved your servants to this measure; and hope we have cleared it from the imputation of unparalleled infamy, and the many other indecent and unbecoming reflections thrown out by hot-brained resentment against it. -- If we have done that, and enabled you to judge, at the ensuing crisis, with candor and propriety -- our labor is not in vain. -- lf we have not, we are sorry we have given ourselves and you this useless trouble. -- A few short reflections, and we come to a close. -- Had the heads of father and son been taken off at the period of the Dutch contest, in November 1760, as justice and honor called for; (and why it was not done, let the world judge) and that opportunity taken of acknowledging the Shaw Zadda, and receiving the Subaship of Bengal from him for the Company; (or the next opportunity, when urged by Mr. Holwell) -- happy would have been the issue to the Company and the nation! happy would it have been for those individuals, who, unfortunately misled, since died, butchered in your service! happy would it have been for those, who, in miserable times, succeeded to Colonel Clive and his Council, doomed to support a government that proved a disgrace to our name and arms; and that too with inadequate resources. On the whole, we hope we shall not be thought too presuming, if we venture to draw one general conclusion for you and ourselves, to wit -- That Mhir Jaffier Aly Khan, and his Son Mhiran, were more deserving a halter than a Subaship of Bengal. Not that we would be thought, in this, to detract from the Treaty of 1757, to which we give the high merit due to it, at that fatal, melancholy period.

J. Z. Holwell
Mount Felix,
Walton upon Thames, Surry,
Feb. 22, 1764.


SINCE closing the foregoing address, a Pamphlet is come to our hands, bearing the title of "A Letter to the Honorable the Secret Committee for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies," signed by six Gentlemen of your Council of Fort William.

After we had taken the trouble of perusing this piece, we made some inquiries how the Public came by it? and learnt that it was privately compiled abroad, and transmitted to England to a relation of one of the Gentlemen who signed it, to be delivered to the Court of Directors here; who, as we are informed, refused taking any notice of it, as it did not reach them by the usual and proper Channel. If our information in these particulars is just, we cannot help thinking the method taken by these Gentlemen was deficient in equity and generosity; for, to lodge an accusation when the accused have no opportunity of vindicating themselves, is unprecedented. Such we conceive to be the case respecting Mr. Vansittart; and we cannot help applauding the justice of your Court of Directors, for their candid behavior in giving no countenance to a proceeding so irregular. With regard to the Pamphlet itself, we cannot think the Publisher of it a friend to the parties concerned; or if he is, he has certainly judged-ill in throwing it out at this juncture. We flatter ourselves, this performance will not have weight enough to influence you, when you compare it with the facts and evidences laid before you in the foregoing Address: but this also we submit to your impartial judgment -- borrowing a paragraph from the Advertisement prefixed to that Letter, as apt to our purpose, with a little variation.

"But though the wisest and best may sometimes differ in points of so interesting a nature, yet it is from Facts and Arguments (drawn from these Facts) alone, that the Impartial ought to decide."
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

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Part 1 of 2

Mr. Holwell's Refutation of a Letter from certain Gentlemen of the Council at Bengal, to the Honorable the Secret Committee. Serving As a Supplement to His Address to the Proprietors of East-India Stock.

To The Honorable The Secret Committee For Affairs of the Honorable United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East-Indies.
by Eyre Coote; P. Amyatt; John Carnac; W. Ellis; S. Batson; H. Verelst
Fort William
March 11, 1762
With Answers by J.Z. Holwell

Honorable Sirs,

1. It gives us the greatest concern to be obliged to address you, in the manner we are now under the necessity of doing; but as we have publicly declared our dissent from the late revolution in the kingdom of Bengal, and expressed our entire disapprobation of the measures pursued consequent thereto; it is our duty to acquaint you with our reasons for having differed in opinion from the gentlemen who were accessory to that revolution, lest ill-minded people should represent our opposition as a faction, instead of owing its rise, as it really does, to our strict regard to what we think conducive to the honor of our country, and the interests of our employers. Had the whole Board been consulted, we dare assert, this measure would have been rejected by the majority; and we humbly refer to you, whether the opinion of every member thereof ought not to have been taken by the president, before he ventured upon so bold a step as the subversion of a government.


1. It is very manifest, these gentlemen could be under no concern at all, upon this occasion; because they knew they were under no necessity of addressing the Secret Committee in this clandestine manner, the Board of Calcutta being always open for every remonstrance of their servants; through which channel they are conveyed to their honorable employers at home: but these gentlemen were sensible, that if this regular and usual method had been taken, it could not come home without a vindication annexed, which would have rendered this performance invalid, and have frustrated all the expectations they had from it; imagining some stain, from the dirt they throw at the revolution of 1760, must stick when there were none at hand to wipe it off. The ill-judged zeal of their friends in giving it to the Public, is a step was never intended by the Compilers; they flattered themselves it might possibly operate in the dark, but if it ever saw the light, they knew it was open to detection and confutation in all its parts. Here let it be remarked, that Messrs. Vansittart, Caillaud, Holwell, Sumner, and McGuire, were not only a majority of the Committee but of the Council also. Pray was the Council consulted in the revolution of 1757? We say -- No. -- Nor had they any right to expect it; for they could not be capable judges. -- Nor were there any public objections made to this revolution at the board, before Messrs. Amyatt and Ellis took their seats, and Major Carnac was returned to the settlement.

2. You were informed, last year, of the surprising revolution in favor of Mir Mahommed Cossim Aly Chan, which would necessarily be represented in the most favorable light, by the gentlemen who promoted it. But whatever judgment you may have been led to entertain of the measure, from their account of it, we cannot but think you will judge as ill of it as we do, when you are truly informed of the circumstances with which it was attended, the manner in which it was executed, and the steps that have been since taken to support it: Of these we will give you as succinct an account as possible.


2. The gentlemen who promoted that revolution stood in no need of false coloring to recommend it. The whole chain of events, which made the measure (of divesting Mhir Jaffier of power to do greater ills) indispensably necessary, were minutely transmitted to the Court of Directors: they examined, they saw the necessity, they approved, and showed a needful and just resentment to those who rose in opposition to it.

3. At a time, when there was not the least appearance of a rupture or disgust between us and the Nabob Jaffier Aly Chan; on the contrary, a friendship and harmony subsisted; Mir Cossim Chan, his son-in-law, came down to Calcutta, on some pretense or other, to visit Mr. Vansittart; and having stayed a short time, he returned to Morshedabad. A few days after Mir Cossim's departure, Mr. Vansittart went up to Morshedabad, on the pretence of a visit to the Nabob. Colonel Caillaud, with a party of two hundred Europeans and some Seapoys, attended him; who, to remove the suspicion which such a force would have necessarily occasioned, it was pretended were going up to Patna, to reinforce the army there. When Mr. Vansittart arrived at Moradbaug, the Nabob paid him two visits, at the last of which Mr. Vansittart, without any previous notice of his intentions, gave him the three letters, mentioned in consultation of the 10th of November, 1760; of which copies have been transmitted you. The abruptness with which these letters were presented him, one close upon the other, and the unexpected proposals contained in them, terrified the Nabob, and he was entirely at a loss how to act, but desired time to consider on what was to be done. Mr. Vansittart, seeing his perplexity, strongly insisted on his immediately naming some person, from among his relations, to take charge of the Subaship; and very particularly recommended Cossim Aly Chan, who was sent for, and the Nabob was desired to stay till he came; but Cossim Aly Chan delayed so long, and the Nabob was in such anxiety of mind, and so desirous to be released from the visit, being greatly fatigued, that Mr. Vansittart was obliged, in order to save appearances, to suffer his departure to the palace, after having detained him much longer than his inclination. That night and the day following passed in concerting measures with Cossim Aly Chan, how to put in execution the plan before agreed on in Calcutta; a treaty having been signed for this purpose, in September, 1760, while Cossim Ay Chan was down here. In consequence of these deliberations, our troops clandestinely crossed the river, the next night, under Colonel Caillaud, and being joined by Cossim Aly Chan and his party, surrounded the Nabob's palace. A letter from Mr. Vansittart was sent in to the Nabob, demanding his immediate compliance with what had been proposed to him; to which the Nabob returned for answer, "That such usage was what he never expected from the English; that whilst a force was at his gates, he would enter into no terms; and that it was his desire our troops might be returned to Moradbaug." A message was then sent, informing the Nabob, that if he did not directly comply, they should be obliged to storm the palace. Astonished and terrified by this menace, he opened the gates, exclaiming, "That he was betrayed; that the English were guilty of perjury and breach of faith; that he perceived their designs against his government; that he had friends enough to hazard at least one battle in his defence; but although no oaths were sacred enough to bind the English, yet as he had sworn to be their faithful friend, he would never swerve from his engagement, and rather suffer death than draw his sword against them." So suspicious was he of being sold, that, "He desired to know what sum of money Cossim Aly Chan was to give for the Subaship, and he would give half as much more to be continued: he hoped, however, if they intended to dethrone him, they would not leave him to the mercy of his-son-in-law, from whom he feared the worst, but rather wished, they would carry him from the city, and give him a place of safety in Calcutta." This last request of the Nabob's, the effect of his fear and despair, was immediately laid hold of, and construed in the light of a voluntary resignation. Accordingly, our troops took possession of the palace, Mir Cossim Chan was raised to the Musnud; and the old Nabob was hurried into a boat, with a few of his women and necessaries, and sent away to Calcutta, in a manner wholly unworthy of the high rank he had so lately held; as is also the scanty subsistence allowed him here by his successor.


3. With regard to this detail of the revolution; we refer to Mr. Vansittart's Memorial, published in a late Address to the Proprietors; by a candid comparing one with the other, you will be capable of judging which has the greatest appearance of truth and probability.

4. Thus was Jaffier Aly Chan deposed, in breach of a treaty sounded upon the most solemn oaths, and in violation of the national faith. A Prince of whose friendship and attachment you have had many signal proofs; in whose cause our arms have, with much honor, been employed; and by a firm adherence to whom, the English had acquired, throughout the whole country, so universal a character of fidelity and constancy, that the most perfect confidence was placed by the natives in them.


4. The misrepresentations of this paragraph, see fully confuted in the said Address.

5. The advantages to be reaped by the Company, from the revolution, were, the grant of the Zamindarries of Burduan, Midnapoor, and Chittagong; the payment of the balance due from Nabob Jaffier Aly Chan; with a present of five lack of rupees from Cossim Aly Chan, towards defraying the expenses of the war against the French, on the coast of Coromandel. Of these, Mr. Vansittart, on his return to Calcutta, acquainted the Board; and, at the same time, in justification of his proceedings, laid before them a memorial; copies of which were transmitted to you, by the ships of the last season.


See the articles of the treaty in the Address.

6. This memorial is introduced with a list of crimes laid to Jaffier Aly Chan's charge; which, to those unacquainted with the Eastern governments, will appear deserving of the highest resentment from a civilized nation. Yet such is the state of politics in every Asiatic court, that, through the apprehensions of the Sovereign, and the intrigues and artifices of the great men about him, instances of cruelty and oppression are but too frequent; and even the most beloved among them are too much to be taxed with committing, or at least conniving at, acts of violence; but it should be considered, that many of these are done by persons in power, without their knowledge; and that, as there are no regular punishments for criminals of station, and who may be so powerful that it would be dangerous proceeding openly against them, recourse is often had to the dagger or poison to punish the guilty. This was the case in most of the instances alleged against Jaffier Aly Chan; none of which show greater proofs of cruelty, than that which Cossim Aly Chan discovered when, being in possession of the palace, he was desirous of making the first act of his power the assassination of Jaffier Aly Chan therein, and was very much displeased, when he found we intended to give him protection at Calcutta. Since his accession to the Subadary, we could produce to you numberless instances of his extortions and cruelties, but that it would run us into an exorbitant length; and he seems to have made the more immediate objects of his ill usage, those who have been the most avowed friends of the English. We shall only particularise Ramnarain, whom dispossessed of the Nabobship of Patna, in which it was always thought sound policy in us to support him, on account of his approved faith: and he now keeps him in irons, till he has been fleeced to the utmost, when there is no doubt he will be dispatched. Most, if not all those who espoused the English interest, have been laid under the heaviest contributions, and many have died under the force of torture to exact money from them; others have been either basely murdered, or (which is a common practice among Gentoos) unable to survive the loss of honor, have made away with themselves.


6. Suppose this to be the case in most Asiatic states, which we believe may be true; is it not equally true that most of Mhir Jaffier's cruelties were carried into execution from the confidence he had in our protection? And shall we not blush for this protection being granted to him so long? Surely if we do not, we ought; for in the truest sense, his cruelties were our own. As to Cossim Aly Khan's being desirous of assassinating Mhir Jaffier, it is a charge we much doubt the truth of, as we never before heard the fact mentioned. But that Mhir Jaffier made two attempts to murder Mhir Cossim, was a truth well known, and never even doubted; therefore supposing this charge to be really true, we will not say revenge and resentment will justify the desire he is said to express; but surely it will bear some extenuation, when the provocation is considered. Touching Rajah Ram Narain, the address before referred to will show, that Mhir Jaffier had resolved to remove that officer from the government of Patna, (as a person not trustworthy, nor equal to so great a charge) long before Mhir Cossim had any power or influence at the Durbar, it is very well known that Ram Narain was in treaty to deliver the city of Patna to the Shaw Zadda, when Col. Clive's extraordinary forced marches prevented him, and saved the city and the province. With respect to Cossim Aly Khan's putting him in irons, it is very well known that for some years he had rendered no account of the revenues of the provinces of Bahar, on which head Mhir Jaffier often complained to Mr. Holwell, who believes Col. Clive received complaints of the same kind from him, before he left India. These gentlemen know nothing is more common than to put an officer of the revenues in irons, until he delivers in his accounts; nothing further being meant by it than that he should not escape with his embezzlements. That he was not trustworthy, nor equal to that post, will appear from this very striking circumstance: That when Col. Clive was on his departure, he strongly recommended Mhir Cossim to Mr. Holwell's protection, and at the same time mentioning his distrust of Ram Narain, told Mr. Holwell that Mhir Cosstm was the man whom he ought to put into the government of Patna. The rest of the accusations against Mhir Cossim in this paragraph are vague and general, and without one single instance of proof; consequently unworthy notice.

7. It is insinuated in the memorial, that the Nabob's avarice and cruelty had made him the detestation of all good men, and that he was in the hands of bad ministers, under whose mal-administration the country was greatly oppressed: as an instance whereof, the scarcity of grain in the city is produced. To these ministers are ascribed the great difficulties the Nabob labored under, for want of money to answer the expenses of the government, and to pay the army, rendered mutinous for want of their arrears; besides which intestine danger, the provinces were threatened with an invasion by the Shahzadah with a powerful army, and several of the Rajahs and Zamindars, were on the point of revolting, to encounter all which there was nothing but a disaffected army. Mr. Vansittart appeals to every bystander for the truth of these facts, and of the imminent peril to which the country was exposed; he declares his intentions were only to remove the bad ministers, for which purpose he carried up with him the party of Europeans and Seapoys. He proceeds to set forth the manner in which the old Nabob was removed from the government, and Cossim Aly Chan raised. He says, People in general were pleased with the revolution and makes a merit of its being effected without the least disturbance in the city, or a drop of blood spilt. He concludes with representing the anxiety the Nabob expressed to get from the city, through fear of Cossim Aly Chan; and observes, that he appeared pretty easy and reconciled to the loss of his power, which he owned to be rather a burden than a pleasure, and too much for his abilities to manage since the death of his son: and that the enjoyment of the rest of his days in security, under the English protection, seemed to be the chief object of his wishes.


7. See Mr. Vansittart's Memorial, and the proofs in various parts of the address in support of it.

8. It is very natural for any person who takes an uncommon step, to endeavor to vindicate himself by the most specious arguments, and the most plausible reasoning he can devise; and nothing less could be expected from Mr. Vansittart, after having brought about so unprecedented a revolution. He has told his story with all the aggravations the nature of it would admit: notwithstanding which, we do not imagine the reasons he has given in support of so violent a measure will prove satisfactory to the world. He takes great pains to blacken Mhir Jaffier's character, in order to prejudice men's minds against him; and lays great stress upon the scarcity of grain in the city; but we apprehend Mr. Vansittart does not judge so harshly from that circumstance, after what he himself experienced last year; for notwithstanding all the care, we are not to doubt, he has taken, grain was never known so scarce in Calcutta before, insomuch that numbers daily perished.


8. Not worthy any particular notice.

9. Want of money was the great difficulty the Nabob labored under, but this did not proceed from any fault of his, but from the distracted state in which the country had been ever since Colonel Clive's departure; so that a very small part of the revenues came into his treasury. The Burdwan and Nuddea countries were assigned over to the Company for the payment of the Nabob's debt. [1] Midnapoor, the grontier to the southwest, was over-run by the Marattas; [2] Beerboon, and other Zamindaries, with the province of Purea, under Kuddum Hossein Chan, were affected towards the Shahzadah, who had under contribution the whole province of Bahar, except the city of Patna and a small district round it. Chittagong, the eastern barrier, did little more than defend itself against the incursions of the Muggs, inhabitants of Aracan, who used every year to come into Bengal for plunder. There remained only the Dacca province, the districts round Morshedabad, the Radshy and Dinagepoor countries, to supply the immense expense of the war. And here lay the Nabob's distress, that with one fourth part, if so much, of the accustomed revenues, he was obliged to maintain an army greater than any Nabob did before him; and the English army was not the least considerable part of the burthen; for trusting most to them, he paid them first; [3] which preference was the cause of discontent to the country troops. And though the force we had in the field, against an enemy whom Colonel Clive had, but a very short time before, drove out of the country, far exceeded those the Colonel had with him, yet no material advantage was gained over them, but the country was over-run and ravaged by them, and by frequent marches and counter-marches, our own armies became as destructive as those of the invaders. [4] No wonder then at the perilous condition to which Mhir Jaffier was reduced; to extricate him from which, it behoved us to exert our utmost abilities; instead whereof, he was treated with the greatest indignity by us, and basely turned out of his government.


9. 1. And were-obstructed in the receipts of them by every artifice and finesse in Mhir Jaffier's power.

2. To what was this owing, but Jaffier Khan's irresolution and pusillanimity? -- See the Address.

3. How he paid them, see the Address. --

4. The sole cause very well known to these Gentlemen, to wit, defection, cowardice and treachery in Mhir Jaffier and his son, set forth in the Address in three remarkable instances, in any of which, a period might have been put to the troubles, as well as distresses of himself, his allies and his country.

10. To remove bad Counsellors from a Prince is certainly meritorious; but it does not seem to us that any thing was ever designed against the Nabob's ministers; on the contrary, that the sole intent was to displace the Nabob himself, is pretty evident, by the treaty before-mentioned, made in Calcutta. [1] Had there been the least attempt to convince him in a friendly manner of any errors in his administration, or of the necessity of dismissing from his presence those who ill-advised him, it is not to be doubted that he would have hearkened to reason. That he was not obstinate against good advice, may be concluded from the extraordinary influence which Colonel Clive had over him; in proof whereof we need only call to mind how violently he was incensed against Rajah Ram Narrain, and Roy Dulub; yet the Colonel, by gentle methods, without having recourse to any other force than that of persuasion, perfectly reconciled him to the former, and obtained his permission for the latter to reside at Calcutta, and bring thither with him his family and effects.


10. 1. See the treaty in the Address, by which it will be pretty evident it never was intended to displace him, but to divest him only of power to bring on the entire ruin of the country -- and us his allies. --

11. The people in general, very far from being pleased with the revolution, (as alleged in the Memorial) were extremely dissatisfied thereat. Had Cossim Aly Chan been before in esteem among them, or possessed any share of influence or power, they might perhaps have overlooked the circumstance of his rise, and a series of popular actions might in time have reconciled them to the usurpation. But he was despised and disliked before he came to the Musnud, and his behavior since has been so oppressive and tyrannical, that it could not fail confirming the public hatred of him.


11. This man who is said to be in no esteem, but despised and hated, had a Nabobship in the province, was deemed worthy of the Subah's daughter, and by Colonel Clive of the government of Patna; and surely we may, without any offence to these Gentlemen, say that Colonel Clive was a superior judge in this matter. On the whole, we may justly say, the insinuations thrown out in this paragraph are without foundation, and reflect more dishonor on the authors themselves, than on Mhir Cossim.

12. The little disturbance at Morshedabad upon the occasion, proceeded from the apprehensions all degrees of people were under, from so large a force being brought into the city in the dead of night; and Mhir Jaffier, no ways suspicious of the faith of the English, had taken no precautions for his own security. Such is the superiority of our arms, and so great the dread of our forces in this country, that had we gone openly to work, we should have met with little or no difficulty; which renders our having proceeded by stealth and treachery the more inexcusable: and we are truly sorry to have occasion to observe, that the means by which this measure was brought about, have thrown an indelible stain upon our national character, and injured us as much in the opinion of the natives, as it has of all the European colonies in this part of the world.


12. Let Mr. Vansittart's Memorial reply to this.
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13. It is asserted in the Memorial, that Mhir Jaffier was easy under the loss of his power, which he is said to have owned to have been rather a burden to him: but it is evident, on the contrary, from his declarations since, and his letters to the Company and Colonel Clive, that he was very unwilling to part with his government; and that he greatly regrets the deprivation of it. He was necessitated, indeed, to submit; and in hopes of being redressed some time or other by the Company, judging that such a step could never be approved at home, he very wisely chose, rather than trust himself with his son-in-law, to wait patiently for that redress in safety at Calcutta. So far he might appear resigned to his fate; yet this can never be construed as an abdication of his government, though it has been industriously endeavored to make the world look upon it in that light.


13. What letters Mhir Jaffier might subsequently be influenced to write, we know not -- Mr. Holwell, the day after Mhir Jaffier arrived at Calcutta, paid him a visit, and had a private conference of two hours with him, -- in the course of which "he often lamented pathetically the loss of his son; that since he received that stroke, he found himself incapable of government, or the things of this world; that the exemplary manner in which God had deprived him of a son and successor, had convinced him their sins were great, and required expiation; that he was resolved to expiate them at the Tomb of the Prophet, and begged Mr. Holwell would intercede with Mr. Vansittart for a passage to Judda. -- At times, he said his enemies had injured him in the opinion of the English, from whom he thought he had met with hard treatment." In short, the man who was so lately and justly the object of detestation, was now as real an object of commiseration. -- Mr. Holwell applied to Mr. Vansittart for his passage to Judda, and in the strongest terms enforced the propriety of complying with his request; foreseeing that if he remained in Bengal, he would ever be an object for a disaffected party to work with. Mr. Vansittart gave his assent; -- but some time after, on a representation from the Judda Supra-cargoes, that complaints from him to the Bashaw might involve their ship in troubles, the assent was unhappily withdrawn.

14. We have now, Honorable Sirs, laid before you a true account of the revolution. The projectors perhaps thought the advantages it was to bring the Company, would be a sufficient atonement for the measure, and ensure them the approbation of their masters. It is true the Company have a considerable addition of territory, and do now receive a large yearly revenue; but as great, if not greater advantages might have been procured by more honorable means: and the present tranquil state of the country, which secures to the Company, as well as the Nabob, the full enjoyment of their revenues, is not the effect of Mhir Cossim Chan's Nabobship, but of an event which would equally have happened, had Jaffier Aly Chan been continued on the Musnud, as can be easily made to appear.


14. There appears a mystery at the close of this paragraph totally unintelligible: possibly we may have it explained by and by .-- We will not attempt it here.

15. Soon after Cossim Aly Chan was fixed in the Nabobship, the Company were nominally invested with the Zamyndaries of Burdwan, Midnapoor and Chittagong: and only nominally; for our first demands upon the two former of these, for the payment of the revenues, were refused.


15. This paragraph seems to be a flat contradiction of part of the 14th -- for if the Company "now receive a large yearly revenue," it cannot be properly called a nominal investiture; besides, we know the Company, at the last dispatch of their ships from Bengal, had received for two years revenues from Burdomaan only, 70 lack, or eight hundred seventy-five thousand pounds.

16. So bad an impression of us did the revolution create in the minds of the country people, that the Burdwan Rajah, who, in Jaffier Aly Chan's time, had often expressed his earnest desire that the Company might continue to collect the revenues of his district, as they had all along done, on account of the Tunckaws, and that they would procure the Zamyndarie for themselves from the Nabob; yet after the breach of our faith to the old Nabob, concluding no reliance was to be placed in our engagements, he immediately flew off from his former declarations, and instead of acquiescing under our government, he began to act in open rebellion; he stopped our trade, raised a large force, invited the Marattas into his country, withheld the payment of his revenues, and acting in conjunction with the Beerboon Rajah, he espoused the cause of the Shah Zaddah, with whom he entered into correspondence.


16. The Burdwan Rajah was yearly fleeced by Mhir Jaffier, therefore no wonder he wished to be rather under the jurisdiction of the English. -- His rebellion was of short continuance, being presently reduced, as well as the Beerboon Rajah, by our troops under the command of Major Yorke; -- but these two Rajahs defection proceeded from a cause very remote from what it is here ascribed to; and which these Gentlemen seem wholly strangers to, as we shall make appear presently.

17. Several other Zamyndars who had remained quiet whilst Jaffier Aly Chan was Nabob, now finding the government overset, thought themselves at liberty to withdraw their allegiance, and would not acknowledge Mhir Cossim, but joined the Shah Zaddah; whose party, by these frequent defections, was strengthened with supplies both of troops and money, and whose followers were greatly encouraged by his having been able to maintain his ground, and continue in our dominions the whole preceding campaign, in defiance of the English army.


17. Here it is but just to apologize for these Gentlemen's' ignorance in affairs, for Messrs. Coote, Ellis and Carnack were not in Bengal, during the progress of those events which occasioned the unavoidable necessity of divesting Mhir Jaffier of further power; -- and coming to the board with an unhappy disposition to oppose every thing that had been done, because they had no hand in the doing them, they had no methods to pick up materials but from the Bazars and public reporters of detraction. As for Messrs. Batson and Verelst, they were not of the Committee, and consequently could know nothing of the political system, so that amongst the six Gentlemen who sign this letter, one only of them could possibly know any thing of the matter; and he but imperfectly, by being so far absent from the center of our councils. --

18. The Nabob's troops were rendered quite mutinous by the news of the revolution. They declared they knew nothing of Cossim Aly Chan, and that now they had lost their old master, they were without hopes of being paid any part of the immense arrears due to them; and nothing less than the extraordinary assiduity and influence of Mr. Amyatt, who was then chief at Patna, could have prevented them from proceeding to extremities.


18. No wonder the troops grew mutinous on the news, -- though not out of affection for their old master, as is here unjustly insinuated; for it is very well known his troops would have taken his head long before this, if he had not been protected by ours. The truth is, Mhir Jaffier was in large arrears to them, which they imagined they should lose by the revolution; but as they were soon satisfied in this point, all disturbance subsided. --

19. In this situation were things when Colonel Caillaud left Patna, and Major Carnac received the command of the army from him. The Major saw it was impossible for the country to support itself against such a combination of difficulties, and that if a decisive blow was not soon struck, the Shah could not fail to have immediate possession of all. He therefore determined to bring the Prince to an action as speedily as possible; and after securing Patna by a garrison, to prevent its being plundered by that rabble of troops whose duty it was to defend it, he pushed on with the English army as fast as he could towards the Prince. He came up with him three days march from the city, the consequence of which brought on an action wherein he gained a complete victory, [This battle was the most remarkable of any which has lately been fought in India, Plassy not excepted; and may even be compared to that of Alexander against Porus.] and reduced the Shah in a few days after to the necessity of putting himself under the protection of the English. The Major's success, as it put an end to the hopes of all the rebellious Rajahs and Zamyndars, so it at once quelled all commotions, and established the so long wished for tranquility in the country; and the different provinces were now brought into order, and rendered in a condition to pay their respective revenues; the Nabob's treasury was enriched, and he was enabled to discharge the arrears of his army, and to advance the money he had engaged to pay the Company.


This paragraph seems big with importance: -- We have seen, in many parts of this letter, unjust insinuations thrown out to the prejudice of the then commander in chief of your troops, as if all had not been done which ought, and might have been done with the force he had under his command. We have already, in the Address so often referred to, pointed out the miscarriages of the campaign he commanded, as in truth owing to the cowardice and treachery of the two Nabobs, when, at three critical junctures, a decisive stroke might have been given; but you see it was necessary to depreciate and lessen one character, as introductory to the exaltation of another. Let us see how it will answer the purpose: Major Carnack received the command of the troops from Colonel Caillaud, and with great penetration, "saw it was impossible for the country to support itself, unless a decisive stroke was soon struck. He pushed on the English army towards the Prince, came up with him, brought him to an action, and -- obtained a complete victory." -- We have marched ourselves out of breath, and will pause a little to let you enjoy the victory." -- Though your enjoyment will be short; for know, that when the Shah retreated from Burdomaan by the way of Beerboon and the hills, he passed some days with the Rajah of the former, and there concerted the operations of the next campaign, as follows: The Prince was to march to Bahar, and settle himself if possible there, to draw the greatest part of the English forces that way; early in the next season the Morattors were to enter the province of Bengal, and the Rajah of Burdwan and Beerboon were to rise at the same time, and join the Morattors; the Prince was to take the field something earlier, to amuse the English, to avoid coming to any pitched action with them, and watch his opportunity of slipping by them, as he did the year before, and by forced marches (having only horse) join his friends in the Burdomaan; the rendezvous being fixed at Burdwan the capital: -- but unfortunately for the unhappy Prince, the two Rajahs premature motions frustrated this well laid plan; for intelligence arriving at the city of this defection, the Subah Mhir Cossim, in conjunction with Major Yorke and the troops under his command, immediately took the field, marched to Boodgaam the frontier of Beerboon, drove a body of the Rajah's troops from thence, and took the place. Here the Subah stayed, and detached Major Yorke to reduce Beerboon, which was soon accomplished, and Nagur the capital taken; -- the Burdomaan country reduced also to obedience, and the Morattors drove to the southward. -- Whilst these strokes were given, almost as soon as thought of, the Prince was amusing our army in Bahar; and just as he was meditating his sudden march to the southward, a spy who had made incredible speed (from Major Yorke's camp at Nagur,) reached the Prince, and gave him a particular detail of the disasters attending his friends in that quarter; he immediately retreated from the neighborhood of our troops, and advanced towards the Sone. Before his retreat he stood a few minutes cannonading, and this was the only semblance of an action, that is to "vie with the most brilliant of antiquity, and compared with that of Alexander against Porus." -- So far was this from a battle, that it was not even a skirmish; the armies were not within musket shot of each other, nor a musket fired on either side, nor a single man killed or wounded, but about eight or nine poor lascars killed by the blowing up of a tumbril. The Prince, the night after his retreat, called a council of war of his ministers and chief officers; and debating on the deplorable state of his affairs, came to a resolution to treat with the English, which he accordingly did; induced to it chiefly, by the information he had received of Mhir Jaffier's being deposed, to whom he had so fixed a hatred, that he swore by his Prophet, he would never quit the pursuit of him whilst he had strength to draw a sword; and in a Phirmaund he wrote upon the young Nabob's death by lightning -- he had this remarkable expression, -- " that the wickedness of the father and son was so great, God would not trust their punishment to any hand but his own." Thus you have seen, that the defection of the two Rajahs, &c. and the Prince throwing himself under our protection, were due to other causes than of this boasted victory without a battle; causes which these Gentlemen did not or would not know, as they did not make for their purpose. It is also pompously set forth -- "That the Major determined to bring the Prince to an action as soon as possible." Is there is any merit in this determination, it was due to the board of Calcutta, who had sent peremptory orders to fight him at all events.

20. Whatever merit there is then in the present tranquility, is to be ascribed to our success against the Prince, which, by putting an end to the war in the country, reduced it to a state of perfect obedience. And as all the old Nabob's difficulties proceeded from his dominions being the seat of war, and the default of his revenues on that account, there is not the least doubt, had our arms met with the same success during his government, but that he would have extricated himself with equal ease.


20. That there is no truth in the whole of this paragraph, is proved in the last remark.

21. After what has been set forth, we believe few will imagine that Mhir Jaffier was deposed by reason either of a want of ability to rule, or of his bad principles. We would willingly indeed suppose, that it proceeded rather from the want of a true knowledge of the country policy, and from an error of judgment, than from lucrative views, had not Mr. Vansittart, and others of the projectors, made no secret that there was a present promised them by Cossim Aly Chan of twenty lack: 'tis true, they make a merit that this was not to be delivered till the Company's debt was paid, and his army satisfied. We have to observe on this occasion, that several of us have had offers from the Nabob of very considerable sums to join in his measures, which we have constantly made public, as well as refused; and if we, who have always opposed those measures, have been thus tried with pecuniary temptations, what may be concluded of those Gentlemen who have supported the Nabob on every occasion?


21. The malicious insinuations of this paragraph, are unworthy Gentleman. -- We allow this offer (not promise) was made, and unanimously rejected by Mr. Vansittart, and the Committee. -- Mr. Holwell was charged with the delivery of this refusal, in these terms -- "That we were laboring for the peace and safety of the country only; and could not, in honor, receive the offer; but that when the-country was settled, the Company's debt paid off, and the arrears paid to his troops, if he then thought there was aught due from him, he was at liberty to gratify his friends in what manner he pleased." -- This is a fact, which we were not ashamed should have a place on the Committee proceedings. -- As to the offers made, and refusal of these Gentlemen, we have their ipse dixit only; and we may choose whether we will believe it.

22. If the Nabob has purchased the power he is invested with, it is to be expected he will of course make the most of it, by extorting money from his subjects, and oppressing every province as much as he can; and as the fate of Jaffier Aly Chan must have convinced him how little we regard the most sacred engagements, he will of necessity endeavor to establish himself on a foundation less precarious than the friendship of the English. That he already begins to do so, is evident from his still increasing the number of his troops (notwithstanding the present tranquility) and to render them the more formidable, he is arming and disciplining as many Seapoys as he can procure, in the European manner: and to secure himself as much as possible from us, esteeming his capital Morshedabad (the scene of his predecessor's fall) too near our settlements, he is about erecting a large fort at Rajahmaul, which he proposes to make his place of residence, where he hopes to be out of our reach.


22. This paragraph first begs the question, and proceeds to draw conclusions not warranted by it. -- Is it to be wondered at, that he should think of securing himself, when he saw a formed opposition in our Committee and Council, from the beginning of his government, which hourly showed a disposition to affront and insult him, contrary to the repeated remonstrances of Mr. Vansittart, for observing more temperate and pacific measures? -- Is it not a known truth, that at the tables of the leaders in this opposition, the very boys in your service were taught to huzza, "Jaffier Aly Khan forever;" and did not Amyatt publicly declare, "that the moment the breath was out of Mr. Vansittart's body (who then lay dangerously ill) he would proclaim Mhir Jaffier?" -- Could these things be notorious, -- and Mhir Cossim not be alarmed for his safety?

23. When any Member of the Board suggests, that the Nabob's behavior argues a suspicion of us, for that if he really confided in, and sincerely regarded us, he would not put himself to the unnecessary expense of keeping so large an army in pay, nor treat so ill those who are avowedly our friends; it is replied, "That the Nabob is master of his country; and being independent of us, is at liberty to rule and act as he pleases." But surely Cossim Aly Chan cannot be more so than his predecessor was: and if it be true that the Nabob of Bengal is independent of the English, and master of his own actions, how can the Gentlemen justify their proceedings against Mhir Jaffier, whom they called to so severe an account for the administration of his own government, as to depose him, though he had not been guilty of any offence to our nation, nor ever deviated from his treaty?


23. Not worthy notice. See it confuted in a hundred places of the said Address.

24. Instead of checking the overgrowing power of the present Nabob, it is daily promoted; and he has even the absolute command of our army at Patna, the Chief there having directions to let him have what number of out troops he pleases to demand, without being allowed to judge of the nature of the service for which they are demanded. This you will observe, Honorable Sirs, in the instructions given to Mr. Ellis, dated the 22nd September last, and in the consultation of the same day, where some of our opinions on that procedure are entered. We cannot help expressing how much we fear that an ill use will be made by him of this power over our forces, and that they will sooner or later be employed for such purposes as will render us more odious to the whole country, bring greater discredit upon our arms, and reflect farther dishonor upon our nation.


24. If the assertions are true that are set forth in this paragraph, we will not attempt to justify what the Gentlemen here complain of; but if Mr. Vansittart had seen this accusation, we must suppose he had it in his power to give sufficient reasons for the measure.

25. Notwithstanding this zealous attachment to Cossim Aly Chan, there can be no reason to hope he will act the part of a faithful ally towards us. What dependence can be had on a person who so readily entered into the scheme of deposing not only his lawful master, but his patron, under whose immediate care he was brought up? who showed so much disloyalty to his natural Sovereign, [Formerly the Shaw Zadda who was defeated by Major Carnac [[The Shaw Zadda never was defeated by Major Carnac, nor was there any famous battle between them, or any battle at all, as related above.]], in that famous battle near Patna, as related above, and who, on the death of his father, became King of Indostan, and consequently Sovereign of Bengal, which is one of the Provinces of his empire.] the King of Indostan, as to evade even acknowledging him, till he was in a manner obliged to it by our repeated desires? and who betrays a continual distrust of those who have appeared any way attached to us?


25. The insinuation, inference and charge against Mhir Cossiin, in this paragraph, are equally extraordinary. Surely they here forget the man whose cause they have all along been defending, or they would never have laid themselves open in so palpable a blot. Pray, gentlemen, did not Mhir Jaffier betray his master in the treaty of 1757, and at the battle of Plassey; not only his lawful master, but the grandson of his patron, who had raised him from obscurity to the first posts in the Subaship? Did he not also draw his sword against his sovereign, and infamously project the assassinating him?

26. The Nabob's undutiful behavior to the King, proceeded in great measure from his jealousy of the regard we professed for him, and his fears that we should reduce his authority, by subjecting the Subaship to its primitive dependency on the Mogul, and obliging him to pay the royal revenues. He therefore set every engine to work to create a rupture between us; he endeavored to make the King uneasy, and to instill notions into him of his being in danger from us, in order to get him out of the country. He excited a mutiny in the King's camp, which, had it not been for the timely assistance sent by Major Carnac, might have proved fatal to his Majesty. He repeatedly urged Mr. Vansittart to dismiss him; and forged letters to himself and the President, as from the King, complaining of being forcibly detained by the Major, and expressing his anxiety by not being allowed to leave the country. That these letters were forged, his Majesty hath solemnly declared, by an attestation under his own hand; and testified his abhorrence of so infamous a proceeding. The Nabob, however, at last, so far prevailed, by corruption and intriguing with some of the courtiers, as to bring about what he had so much at heart, the King's being sent away without receiving any assistance from us, or being paid any part of the revenues of this Subaship. This rebellious behavior of the Nabob justly incensed the King, who declared that he would not suffer him to continue in his Subaship, whenever he had power sufficient to prevent it.


26. That the Nabob should be anxious to get the King out of the provinces as soon as possible, we can account for, and justly vindicate, from causes very obvious. But how this labored paragraph will agree with the violent behavior of Major Carnac, upon his imagining there was too great and suspicious an intimacy between the King and the Nabob, you shall judge from the following recital. When the King was on his visit of leave at the Suba's tent, where a grand entertainment was made for him, some little time before his departure, he withdrew with the Suba into the inner tent, where they held a private conference, and, as afterwards appeared, wrote interchangeably in each other's Koran; which, by the bye, is the strongest and most solemn engagement of amity and friendship in the world amongst Musselmen. The Major, on their coming out, expressed in most loud and vehement terms his dissatisfaction at this private conference, and ordered the interpreter to tell the King his high displeasure; insomuch that the Suba thought necessary to check his passion, and desired him to recollect he was speaking to the King: To which he replied, that when he was offended, Kings and Nabobs Were to Him the Same.

27. His Majesty, before his departure, gave the most unquestionable proof of his hatred to Cossim Aly Chan, and of his esteem for the English, by the voluntary offer he made them of the Dewanny of Bengal. This post is the collection of the revenues of all the provinces subject to the Nabob, which are to be accounted for with the court of Delhy. It differs from the Subadaree; the latter being the command of the troops, and the charge of the jurisdiction in the provinces, the expenses whereof are paid out of the revenues by the Dewan. It was formerly a separate office, but the Nabobs of Bengal, taking advantage of the late Commotions in the empire, have assumed it to themselves. From the nature of the office, it is evident that the King, distrusting the Nabob, intended that we should be a check upon him, and be answerable for the revenues, no account of which he could get from Cossim Aly Chan, who detained them for his own use. This appointment would have brought the Company about fifteen lacks yearly, exclusive of the lands of Burdwan, Midnapoor, and Chittagong, which his Majesty also offered to confirm to them; and to establish their interest and influence, not only in these provinces, but as far as the city of Delhy itself, to which place our Commerce might then, with the utmost safety, have been extended.


27. Touching the first part of this paragraph, we refer to our last remark. With regard to the offer of the Dewanee, the objections against receiving it were strong and unanswerable, unless we could have been invested with the Subadaary likewise.

28. It is hard to conceive why so honorable and advantageous an offer should be rejected: it is alleged it would be the source of continual disputes between us and the Nabob, and occasion too great a diminution of his power; but surely this consideration, admitting it to be true, ought not to stand in competition with the honor and interests of the Company, which would be greatly promoted by such an appointment; what renders this refusal the more extraordinary is, that it is well known application was made to the King, soon after Mr. Vansittart's arrival, in Jaffier Aly Chan's time, for the sunads or grants of the province of Bengal, which were actually drawn out to be sent to us; but the revolution, in favor of Cossim Aly Chan, taking place in the interim, an entire stop was put to the negotiation.


28. The first part of this paragraph is spoken to above. Concerning the last part, we can only say, no grant of that kind was solicited for, whilst Mr. Holwell had a seat at the Board of Calcutta, though it certainly would have been pushed for, and doubtless obtained, if his remonstrances on that head had been hearkened to.

29. The Nabob was so inveterate against all those natives who were known to be in our interest, that he used his utmost endeavors to prevail on Colonel Coote and Major Carnac, to consent to his proceeding to the most unjustifiable severities against them, particularly against Rajah Ramnarain, having offered the Colonel five lack of rupees, provided he would concur in the destruction of that unhappy man, who has since been given up to him by the Board. The Colonel's refusal of this money, we are well convinced, was the motive of his (the Nabob's) unjust suspicion and resentment against him, which appears not only by the Colonel's letters on the face of the proceedings of the Board, but also by Cossim Aly Chan's own declaration to him, that he could not be his friend unless he received his present.


29. Not one single or particular instance of these inveteracies against the natives in our interest, but that of Ram Narain, already exploded.

30. The same spirit of resentment, which actuated the Nabob against Colonel Coote, was equally strong against Major Carnac, whom he also endeavored to buy over to serve his ends, but in vain. The Nabob saw, with a jealous eye, the many distinguishing marks of favor the King conferred on him, and would fain have made a breach between them, which not being able to effect, he wrote several letters of complaint against him to the President, who from prejudice was too much inclined to believe them, and sought all opportunities of blaming his conduct at the Board, and of putting the worst construction upon all his endeavors for the public service, of which many instances could be produced.


30. These large offers and conscientious refusals speak an exalted integrity: they are possibly true too, at least for ought we know: but we think it would have been better if so much had not been said about it; for though we may have implicit faith in these assertions, the wicked world may not.

31. A flagrant injustice was done Major Carnac in calling him away from Patna, when the detachment still left there, was large enough to render the command adequate to his rank, and where he might have been of service: whereas his presence was unnecessary at Calcutta, as the Colonel was going down.

32. A very signal insult offered by Cossim Aly Chan to the English nation, was the intercepting, by his order, a letter which Major Carnac, when commanding the army, had wrote to the King, which the Nabob opened and sent to the President. This letter, with others from the Nabob, was minuted in consultation of the 5th of August, and it was insinuated to contain proof of a plot, concerted between the Colonel, Major, Ramnarain and Shitabray, to create a fresh revolution. Much pains were taken to find out mysterious meanings in the letter, and hints were thrown out to prepossess the Board, that such a combination was actually on foot; however, after the closest scrutiny into the letter, and the strictest examination of Shitabray, who was called down from Patna for that purpose, the Board gave it unanimously as their opinion, that there were not the least grounds to suppose any such combination, the ridicule whereof was so conspicuous, that we do not imagine even those who so seriously promoted the enquiry could ever have believed it.

33. The material part of this letter related to an application, which the Major (by Col. Coote's directions) made to the King, to be put in possession of some fort in Shuja Dowlah's country upon the Ganges; which, had our troops attended his Majesty, as we must have marched through Shuja Dowla's territories, would have been absolutely necessary for a place of arms, and to keep up our communication. The stopping such a letter, or indeed any one from a person in so public a character as the Major then was, might be of the most fatal consequence, was also a public affront, and one that never was before offered by any Nabob; yet no satisfaction has ever been obtained from him, although wrote to publicly on that head.


31, 32, and 33. To these paragraphs Mr. Vansittart must answer, when he has it in his power. Until then, we hope the world will suspend their judgment: but if they cannot stay so long, they may form a verdict on the veracity of these, and various other parts of this performance, we believe pretty justly, from [be manner in which it has been transmitted hither.

34. You will now, Honorable Sirs, be able to compare the present with the preceding government. So momentous a step as subverting the former one, we conceive, ought not to have been undertaken till after the most mature deliberation, and from a thorough knowledge of the country, its connections and interests. But this was far from being the case. Mr. Vansittart had only been three months in Bengal, and in so short a space of time can hardly be supposed to have acquired so perfect a knowledge of matters as to be able to determine, that it was absolutely necessary to annul a treaty which had been ratified, in the most solemn manner, by Admiral Watson, and Colonel Clive, together with a regularly-authorized select Committee, guaranteed by the credit of the Company, and the honor of the nation.


34. The credit of the Company, and honor of the nation, would have been sunk, the one to ruin, and the other to prostitution, if protection had been longer granted to that monster of iniquity, Mhir Jaffier. See the Address.

35. The gentlemen, who were the promoters of this revolution, have coincided remarkably in each others opinion during the last year's consultations: in return, the President has not failed to show them partiality, of which we will give you a remarkable instance: notwithstanding, in your letter to this presidency, dated 21 Jan. 1761, you were pleased, in the most positive terms, to order the dismissal of Messieurs Sumner, Playdell and Mac Guire; yet, on the 10th of August, when, in consequence of Mr. Mac Guire's dismissal, Mr. Ellis was appointed chief at Patna, Mr. Vansittart proposed in Council, that Mr. Mac Guire should remain in the chief-ship till Mr. Ellis's arrival, which could not be effected in less than two months. The question was absolutely put to the Board, but carried in the negative; the other gentlemen not choosing to be guilty of so glaring a deviation from their masters orders: and at Mr. Vansittart's desire, this proposal of his own was not entered on the face of that consultation. Here it will be necessary also to observe, that Mr. Holwell, after the Honorable Company had shown him so plain a mark of their displeasure, as to remove him from the Chair to seventh in council, at first wavered whether to continue in the service or not, till (as he declared) he had a private conference with Mr. Vansittart; after which he remained in both council and select Committee till the very day on which Mr. Vansittart took leave of the Board, to proceed to Morshedabad, in order to execute the plan which had been formed; and then Mr. Holwell resigned.


35. Why it was necessary to bring Mr. Holwell in upon this occasion may not be quite clear: We will therefore elucidate this passage -- It was not enough that Mr. Holwell was included in the many dirty insinuations thrown out in different parts of this elaborate work, against the projectors of this revolution, &c. but it was thought necessary that be should be particularly pointed at, with some invidious mark of their malice; though they had not art enough among them to make it at all poignant. -- Mr. Holwell thanks them for affording him this first favorable occasion of acknowledging all they say (of him) in this paragraph is most strictly true.

Mr. Holwell confesses, that, stimulated by resentment at the ingratitude of his employers, he resolved to quit the service immediately, on Mr. Vansittart's arrival -- but pressed by him and the Committee to alter his resolves for some time at least -- he wavered -- and soon after seeing an appearance of some salutary turn to the Company's affairs, he determined to remain, and give his helping hand to it. --This was accomplished -- and then Mr. Holwell resigned.

36. The Armenian ministers of the revolution, Cojah Petruce and Kojah Gregory, are in the highest degree of favor with the Nabob and his adherents; the former resides in Calcutta, retained by Cossim Aly Chan, a known spy upon every transaction of the English, of which he never fails to give his master the most regular intelligence, as was too apparent to both Colonel Coote and Major Carnac, when they were at Patna. The latter of these Armenians has posts of the greatest trust near the Nabob's person; and through the means of these men, the Armenians in general are setting up an independent footing in the country, are carrying on a trade greatly detrimental to our investments in all parts, and commit daily acts of violence, which reflect no small odium on the English, who are supposed to encourage their proceedings.


36. This paragraph requires no answer from us.

37. It is this system of administration which we have constantly opposed, as thinking your affairs could not possibly prosper under it. And you will now be able to account for many differences at the Board, which will appear through the course of our consultations, and which will doubtless surprise you till the real cause is known. As we have hitherto denied our assents to measures, because we deemed them contrary to your interests, though the adopting them would have turned out greatly to our private emoluments; so you may rest assured it shall ever continue an invariable maxim with us, to make your honor and advantage the sole object of our attention.


37. Nor this.

38. You have been acquainted, Honorable Sirs, that the King has applied for your assistance, to settle him on the throne, and to recover such parts of his territories as are still in the hands of rebels. It is our opinion, that we have troops enough to form an army for the enterprise; and as we have no European enemy to fear, the forces requisite for this service can without danger be spared. The Nabob's large army, which is now a burden upon the provinces, and only kept up to screen him from the King's power, and through his jealousy of us, would afford a considerable addition, and at the same time ease the country of an immense expense. Shujah Dowlat, one of the most powerful men of the empire, would join with his forces; besides many other considerable powers, friends to the King, from different parts, would flock to the royal standard, should we ever take the field; and our army most probably (as the King himself has frequently declared) would march to the gates of Delhy without opposition. We most humbly submit to you, whether so glorious an opportunity of aggrandizing the Company in Indostan should not be embraced; and leave it to yourselves to judge of the reputation and advantages which would result to them, if through the means of the British arms, his Majesty should be established on his throne. For want of our aid, he is now actually at a stand, and unable to prosecute his journey to his capital.

But should you be unwilling to extend your connections further up the country, and instead of accepting the Dewanny of Bengal, choose to confine your views to your new acquisitions, and to the trade of Bengal alone, we beg leave to offer it as our opinion, that we ought to maintain an interest in the country, independent of the Nabob, by supporting in power such men as have proved themselves our friends: This will serve as a balance against him, should he entertain evil designs against us.


38. This has been already spoken to, in a detached Piece, by another hand, entitled, A supplement, &c.

39. We have now given you a fair relation of things, and, conscious of the goodness of our intentions, we cannot but flatter ourselves, we shall meet with your approbation in the part we have taken. We shall therefore conclude with the assurance, that our endeavors shall never be wanting to promote the honor and interests of our Employers, their succe being the object of our most fervent wishes.

We are, with the greatest respect,
Honored Sirs,
Your most faithful
And dutiful Servants,

(Signed) Eyre Coote.
P. Amyatt.
John Carnac.
W. Ellis.
S. Batson.
H. Verelst.

Fort William, 11th march, 1762.


39. We will close our remarks with one Reflection only. -- If the matters and things here set forth were facts, and essential for the knowledge of their employers, why were they so long concealed from them? And why has the whole of it so much the appearance of pretenses framed a priori, to extenuate a conduct and opposition, they have (at least five of them) subsequently carried into action? and for which their friends, at this critical juncture, thought an apology absolutely necessary?

J.Z. Holwell.
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Re: India Tracts, by Mr. J. Z. Holwell, and Friends

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:46 am

Part 1 of 10

Important Facts regarding the East India Company's Affairs in Bengal, from the Year 1752 to 1760. This Treatise Contains an Exact State of the Company's Revenues in that Settlement; With Copies of several very interesting Letters Showing Particularly, The Real Causes Which Drew on the Presidency of Bengal the Dreadful Catastrophe of the Year 1767; and Vindicating the Character of Mr. Holwell From Many Scandalous Aspersions Unjustly Thrown Out Against Him, in an Anonymous Pamphlet, Published March 6th, 1764, Entitled, "Reflections on the Present State of Our East-India Affairs."

To the Proprietors of East-India Stock, and The Public.

The anonymous Pamphlet, published Tuesday the 6th of March 1764, under the title of "Reflection on the present State of our East-India Affairs," being plainly calculated to answer the purpose of a day only; it should seem hardly worthy your notice: nor indeed should we have thought it worth ours, did it not afford us a favorable opportunity of laying open some material facts, which we think claim your attention, and will deserve your thanks.

The title-page of this Pamphlet says it is wrote "By a Gentleman long resident in India;" but surely no Gentleman could fall so much below that character, as this anonymous author does, in low personal abuse and scurrility; though the obvious venom of the heart that dictates through the whole, will defend against its influence and intended impressions. -- We rather think, from the mixed style, that this production is the joint efforts of two small geniuses; the one, pert, coxcomical, affecting wit and metaphor; the other, of meager, dusky aspect, stalking forth with pompous diction! sounding epithets! long-winded, metaphorical bombast! and tedious declamations! -- From the bilious complexion of this Shakespeare's Cassius, what can flow, but envy, rancor, and bitterest reflection? Whether these things clubbed their geniuses, or transfused each to other his spirit for this paltry talk, is not very material; -- none but they, or such-like, could surely be capable of such a performance.

Whatever may have been the Author's intention by the exordium, labored progress, and conclusion of this anonymous Pamphlet, the whole of this unconnected piece seems huddled together, more particularly to introduce the personal attack in the center; against this attack we shall chiefly raise our batteries, -- previously demolishing some of their scattered out-works, (unsupported by each other) as they fall in our way, and intercept our march.

The false and scandalous lights which Anonymous throws on the motives that induced Col. Clive's successor to form some change in the political state at Bengal, are so fully confuted in that Gentleman's Address to you, that nothing more is wanted here, to enforce conviction to honest impartiality. The partial and malicious are not to be convinced by facts or argument; indeed it makes not for their present purpose to own it, though they are: To these we do not write. These are hardy enough to charge this Gentleman (page 37) with forming a scheme to depose Mhir Jaffier, in favor of Mhir Cossim, "almost as soon as he came to power;" though he has proved, beyond contradiction, that he supported Mhir Jaffier with spirit and perseverance, as long as there was a remaining possibility of doing it, almost to the ruin of your affairs; so tenacious was he of the treaty subsisting between the English and Mhir Jaffier, even though he had violated every article of it, in effect, by the single step of bringing the Dutch troops into his dominions. This Gentleman has also undeniably proved, that his views for the Company's benefit extended much higher than the system of "Nabob changing," which, he saw, could produce no solid and lasting advantage, either to the Company or the Provinces. And he has likewise demonstrated, that he had neither any hand in, nor intention, or wish, to depose Mhir Jaffier in favor of Mhir Cossim; but on the contrary, took every precaution, which his then scanty power gave him, for the security of the dignity, person, and property of the former, however little he deserved it.

The partisans of Mhir Jaffier have very studiously evaded owning the charge against him, of bringing in the Dutch forces, foreseeing that would silence every attempt urged in justification of him; but here truth and conscience for once steps in between them and their machinations, and makes them unwarily give up the point, in the following words, page 30, "He was not unacquainted with the designs of the Dutch, and would not have been sorry to have seen an European force introduced into his dominions, to prove a check on the power of those, likely to become his masters instead of his allies. However, his deep respect and awe of Colonel Clive, prevented his acting openly upon this occasion." Here, let it be also remarked, that these partisans, in page 19, set forth, that "This Nabob was supported with honor by his maker, so long as he continued in India." The battle of Plassey gave this man the Subaship in June, 1757. In October, 1758, or thereabouts, he must have planned his iniquitous scheme with the Dutch; as about this time a small vessel was dispatched express to Batavia, and our armament for the Southward was on its departure. That the Dutch would have meditated a scheme of this kind, without the encouragement and participation of the Suba, no one in his senses can believe. Here we see this man hardly established in his government, planning to destroy and countermine that power which raised him; and this without any shadow of complaint against us, for he had been supported with honor. His being only acquainted with the designs of the Dutch, without communicating those designs to us, his allies, was virtually a breach and violation of that whole treaty he had so solemnly entered into. That he did not act openly on this occasion, was owing only to his fears, and the deepest treachery both to the Dutch and us. If the Dutch had proved successful in the river, and on the plains of Bederra, we should soon have felt the effects of his open conduct, and not an individual of the colony had escaped slaughter. Let it be remembered too, that by Col. Clive's orders, Coja Wazzeed (a man of family, character, and rank) was taken prisoner, on his passage from Moorshadabad to Chinsura, brought under a strong guard to Fort William, imprisoned there, and died under his confinement. So extraordinary a step would want justification, had not the Colonel received the fullest proof and conviction, that this man (though a pretended friend to the English) was the negotiator with the Suba, on the part of the Dutch, in the treaty for bringing in their forces. In short, let the whole of this transaction be viewed in any light whatever, it would, if these partisans had a grain of modesty and candor among them, utterly silence every plea they have urged in his defense, and pretended commiseration for his misfortunes, thrown out at this period only to answer a poor unworthy purpose.

Page 31 of this Pamphlet exhibits the following: "The superiority of this extraordinary genius, (Col. Clive) predominated so far over that of the Nabob, that when he quitted India, he left this Prince in such a state of dependence, and the affairs of the English in such an exalted and powerful situation, that even the Kites and Owls that followed, had it in their power to gorge themselves with that prey (M. J.) which being beat down, was at the mercy of, though spared by, this generous Eagle." -- Oh! metaphor! how art thou tortured! how art thou prostituted! Let us examine a little what mercy this poor prey found, and how spared, by this generous Eagle? It is confessed, page 19, "that Mhir Jaffier distributed among his new allies all the treasures of his predecessor, and mortgaged two of his richest provinces to them, for the payment of a farther sum," besides "large tracts of land to the Company;" the rents of which were first paid by the Company to him, and subsequently given to this generous Eagle. Such was the mercy he found, and thus was he spared.

It may be said this Eagle raised the game, and had a right to beat it down as low as he pleased. Suppose it so; let us see the consequences.

Mhir Jaffier, thus stripped, had better never been born, or at least never raised to this dignity; for having no treasures of his own, and but small present resources from the revenues of his country, the foundation was here laid of all his future misfortunes. His supplies not being equal to the support of his extravagancies, the pay of his troops, and other absolutely-necessary calls of his government, and he finding himself incapable of relinquishing or retrenching his licentious expenses, his affairs fell into that state of ruin and confusion so justly painted by Mr. Holwell in his Address. So that (to pursue this notable metaphor) you see, after all, if the poor Kites and Owls that followed this generous Eagle had been an hungered, there was nothing left for them to gorge, but the bare bones of the prey.

With regard to the exalted and powerful situation of the Company's affairs, as pompously recited in the foregoing quotation, the real fact stands thus: When Col. Clive left Bengal, your Treasury was at a very low ebb, and further supplies cut off, before he was well out of the river; but of this you have been sufficiently informed in the Address above referred to. And as to "Col. Clive's extraordinary genius predominating so far above that of the Nabob's," we think Mhir Jaffier's introduction of the Dutch forces affords no proof of it.

Leaving the other parts of this Pamphlet to the plain and natural conclusions and sentiments of the Public, we proceed, pursuant to our Titlepage, in our promised justification, from materials left with us by this Gentleman on his last departure for India, and others transmitted by him after his arrival there; in the course of which many important circumstances and facts will occur, worthy your consideration, which will throw a new light on some interesting periods in your affairs, and at the same time manifest and illustrate the great and eminent services this Gentleman has rendered you; services so striking, that, though they never obtained common justice or gratitude, from your Court of Directors at home, yet gained him the public thanks of your Bengal Presidency on your behalf, even after he was superseded in the government of your affairs. This Pamphlet is not the only instance of party rage, whereby this Gentleman has been basely traduced, and by some even of those in your Direction, who had set their hands to higher encomiums on Mr. Holwell's integrity and abilities, than had ever before been bestowed on any one in your service, and without any the least shadow of cause to impeach his conduct, or alter these favorable sentiments of him. Mr. Holwell himself disdains a reply to the several low attacks, made by malice and envy on his reputation: but on us his friends, it is incumbent, and we hope hereby to atone for our neglect of not doing it long ago, and own our obligation to this anonymous Writer, for giving us so favorable an opportunity.

To clear up, and explain many passages, touching men and things, we think it necessary to introduce our defense, with an account of the disputes in Leadenhall-street, at the latter end of the year 1757, and beginning of 1758; when this Gentleman unhappily (for himself) became the object of contention between two parties in your Court of Directors, and fell a sacrifice to the perseverance of his (and we may truly say your) friends. This just detail was then drawn up by one, minutely acquainted with the concealed, as well as open springs of action at that period, in manner following:


NARRATIVE of the Domestic Wars in Leadenhall-Street, from October 1757, to the 20th of April, 1758

Like Homer, and other recorders of battles, we will begin with a list of the combatants; it will save some trouble in the course of the engagement.

Messrs. PAYNE, Chairman.
2 Burrow
3 Jones
4 John Raymond
5 Sir James Creed
6 Saunders
7 Western
8 Jones
9 Browne
10 Dorrien
11 Stevens
12 Manship
13 Hadley
14 Chambers
15 Impey
16 Sullivan, Deputy
17 Godrrey
18 Plant
19 Dudley
20 Savage
21 Tullie
22 Gough
23 Phipps
24. Rous

It was not without much previous debate, heat, and animosity, that the above Gentlemen came unanimously into a scheme for the government of Bengal, by a rotation of four, to wit, Messrs. Watts, Manningham, Becher, and Holwell. The plan was designed as a temporary expedient only, until further advices from Calcutta; the Hardwick carried out these determinations, signed by the whole court, under date the 11th of November, 1757, and harmony seemed again to be established. A general reform of the settlement of Fort William was next taken into consideration, planned and adjusted at various meetings, consisting only of the two chairs, Mr. Holwell and the Secretary. During these operations, Discord again began to exert her influence; and entering the breasts of the Bombay faction, who she knew were ripe for her purpose, urged them to move and insist that another Gentleman should be appointed to succeed to the rotation of four, in case of death or absence. The Bombay faction, consisting of the Deputy Chair, and the eight immediately following him on the above list, (acting under their General L--w) carried their point in the Committee of Correspondence, by a majority of 6 to 3, Sir James Creed and Governor Saunders being absent. The next Court-day Mr. Payne brought the affair before a full court, where the resolution of the Correspondence was over-ruled by a majority of 15 to 9, as being not only contrary to the determinations unanimously signed to by the Hardwick, but also to the very principle and motives, which urged those determinations. From this hour Peace took her flight from Leadenhall-street, Civil War took place, and Discord reigned with uninterrupted sway.

This defeat of the minority was far from discouraging them. They now, under the auspices of their General, (who was most active behind the curtain) planned a stroke at the rotation itself, which they intended to execute at the next Quarterly General Court; but advices of the revolution in favor of Jaffier Aly Cawn arriving about this time, gave them a plausible opportunity to attempt abolishing the rotation in the Court of Directors, without waiting for the Quarterly General Court. Accordingly, when the Court of Directors met to confer on the advices they had received of the revolution, and unanimously determined to make a compliment of the government of Bengal to Col. Clive during his residence in India, the Bombay faction moved, "that the important change in their affairs at Bengal, made the expedient of the rotation no longer needful, but that Mr. Watts should be appointed to succeed the Colonel."

The majority of 15 (as they stand prior on the list) urged on the contrary, "that as the change regarded the situation of their affairs only, without any sufficient proofs transmitted to them, that gave any more favorable impression of individuals in their service, they judged it premature to make as yet any further alterations in the government of Bengal, the same causes still subsisting which first urged the expedient of the rotation."

This difference of views and sentiments occasioned debates to run to the most violent heights, in the course of which the majority lost all regard to decency and manners; to put a stop to which the Chairman put the question, "Whether Col. Clive should be appointed to the government of Bengal, and the rotation of 4 take place on his absence, as before appointed?" On this, fresh feuds arose; the Bombay faction insisting that the question should be divided. This was opposed by the Chairman, and brought on the previous question, which being put, it was carried against a division of the question 15 to 9. On this the minority no longer observed any measures; Messrs. Sullivan, Godfrey, Phipps, and Plant, quitted the Court, and the rest of the faction refused to ballot.

The majority however proceeded to business, and unanimously appointed the Colonel to the government, and the rotation to take place on his absence. The general letter containing this resolution, and the other general reform of the settlement, was signed the eighth of March, by the 15 only, the minority refusing to sign.

The faction, not a whit dismayed at these repeated defeats, "but, like Anteus, gathering strength from blows," had now recourse to their expedient of the Quarterly General Court, and began to beat up for volunteers amongst the Proprietors. Their General took up his residence, in a manner, for many days in the city, and went about begging single votes, in which he was most industriously followed by his Mirmidons; whilst the majority of 15, conscious of the propriety and integrity of their own conduct, made it a point not to speak to a Proprietor on the subject: A maxim (in politics) founded on a false principle; for when a body of men in power are conscious of the rectitude of their intentions, in any measure adopted for the good of the community, it is incumbent on them to secure that measure by every means possible. This error in judgment of the majority, gave the greatest advantage to the minority. The majority likewise rested in a false security, that a Quarterly General Court, which was not summoned on special affairs, could not go into any matters, but what were regularly brought before them and specified in their summons, the same having no precedent, and being contrary to all propriety, as well as the established laws of the Court; in which, however, they found themselves mistaken. Thus the minority came to the Quarterly Court fully prepared, and with their united force; whilst the majority came totally unprepared, and without any force at all.

Here it is necessary to recite a circumstance, which greatly favored this attempt of the minority. The rotation was as little relished by the bulk of the Proprietors, without knowing why, or wherefore, as by themselves: It was (as before hinted) with much difficulty that the Bombay faction were brought to assent to it at first, and they were now determined to abolish it, though, with it, they abolished the power, and every effectual authority of a Court of Directors.

The indefatigable activity of the minority, and inactivity of the majority, produced each their adequate effects at the Quarterly Court. The usual business and forms over, Mr. Law began the attack by an invective against the rotation, as being a strange, motley, many-headed monster, in which he was seconded by Mr. Phipps, supported by Mr. P. Godfrey, in a written speech, which he desired permission to read.

The Chairman, in a short, but strong speech, urged "The irregularity of the Quarterly Court's entering into special affairs, for which they were not summoned; and that a procedure of this kind must have fatal consequences, and end in the utter subversion of the government of the Company's affairs; that the Court of Directors, not suspecting such unprecedented attempts, were not prepared to lay before the Court the reasons which moved them to adopt the expedient now objected to. That the Proprietors had a right to demand a General Court, which he was ready to summon on the shortest warning, and that such their reasons should then be submitted to their consideration."

When the Chairman had ended his speech, Mr. Alexander Hume took up the same side of the question, and moved to adjourn; in which he was seconded by Sir Alexander Grant and a few others, and the question for adjournment being put, it was carried in the negative almost unanimously, but with unheard of clamor and indecency. They then proceeded, in the same temper, to demand the questions should be put, "Whether the rotation of four should be abolished, and the government of Bengal be conducted by a single Governor and Council as heretofore?" And both questions were in like manner carried in the affirmative, Mr. Law and the Court declaring, it was not their intention to interfere in the appointment of such Governor and Council, which they left entirely to the choice of the Court of Directors; and with this gracious indulgence the Quarterly Court broke up: and the minority, as they thought, gained a complete triumph.

Thus a measure adopted and assented to at the beginning by the whole Court of Directors, and subsequently supported and confirmed by a majority of fifteen, became condemned and abolished, from the minds of the Proprietors being poisoned by every artful insinuation against it, without once hearing a single reason or plea in its defense.

The Minority, notwithstanding their triumph at the Quarterly Court, apprehensive they should gain little by it, whilst the majority of the Court of Directors were against them, began to work with other tools; and agreed to make any concession to Mr. Payne and his friends, provided they would relinquish the single point of Mr. Holwell's having a share in the government of Bengal: It was proposed that he should have rank next to Mr. Becher, with the Chiefship of Cossimbuzar; be one of the Select Committee, and have any emoluments appointed for him, that himself or friends would desire; or if these were not acceptable, that he should be sent to Bombay to succeed Mr. Bourchier, or be appointed Deputy-governor of Fort St. David, and to succeed next to Mr. Orme, who was appointed to succeed Mr. Pigot.

These alternatives were at different times intimated to Mr. Payne and the Majority, (the first before the rotation was fixed, the others after it was abolished) who were steadfast in this reply, "That however Mr. Holwell's services and sufferings merited the notice of the Company, the real interest of their affairs was their first object, and not Mr. Holwell's emoluments: That his abilities would be of more use to the Company at Bengal than elsewhere; and that the exigencies of their affairs required his having a share in the government of them."

The Majority of fifteen, thinking themselves most injuriously treated by the Minority, and proceedings of the quarterly general Court, were loud in their resentments; and having resolved on a plan for their future conduct, the Chairman summoned a full Court for the appointment of a successor to Colonel Clive, to meet on the 23d of March. The Minority, in the meantime, were assiduous to take off a sufficient number of the Majority, and thought they had succeeded.

It is not difficult to conceive in what temper the Court met. As soon as the Chairman had opened the cause of their meeting, the merits of their servants at Bengal became the subject of debate, and much altercation ensued, not worth reciting. Mr. Peter Godfrey moved, that their servants should be balloted for according to their ranks in the service, beginning with Mr. Watts; in which he was seconded by Mr. Sullivan, and some others of the Minority. This motion was opposed by Mr. Robert Jones, or Mr. Jones Raymond, (which we cannot recollect) who moved that Mr. Holwell should be first balloted for. Both motions being seconded, brought on the previous question, which was carried in favor of the last motion. Accordingly they proceeded to the ballot, and Mr. Holwell was elected to succeed Colonel Clive in the government of Bengal, fifteen to nine.

This proved a thunderbolt to the Minority, who now found that their violences had promoted, in a higher degree, the very man they had so much labored to debase. The Deputy Chairman, with the rest of the Minority, made a motion as if they intended to quit the Court; but the former being requested by the Chairman to suspend his resolution and judgment, produced the following letters, which Mr. Holwell had sent into Court to him.
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