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whole progress of the dispute the English had represented themselves as con- Chap. VI. tending only for him; had proclaimed that his rights were indisputable; and that their zeal for justice was the great motive which had engaged them so deeply in the war. The Nabob, therefore, hesitated not to consider himself the master; though a master owing great obligations to a servant who had meritoriously exerted himself in his cause.
The seeds of dissatisfaction between the rulers of Carnatic, abundantly sown in a fruitful soil, were multiplied by the penury of the country. The avidity, which made the English so long believe that every part of India abounded with riches, had filled them with hopes of a great stream of wealth, from the resources of Carnatic. And although they had already experienced how little was to be drawn, and with how great difficulty, from the districts which had come into their power; though they were also aware how the country had been desolated by the ravages of war, they still expected it to yield a large supply to their treasury, and accused and complained of the Nabob when their expectations were not fulfilled.
The Nabob, who was the weakest party, and as such had the greatest occasion for the protection of well-defined regulations, had, before the surrender of the French in Pondicherry, presented a draught of the conditions to which it appeared to him expedient that the two parties should bind themselves. He offered to pay to the Company, in liquidation of the sums for which in the course of the war he had become responsible, twenty-eight lacs of rupees annually till the debts should be discharged; and three lacs of rupees annually to defray the expense of the garrison at Trichinopoly: Should Pondicherry be reduced, and the Company afford him an adequate force to extract from the renters and other tributaries of the country, the contributions which they owed, he would discharge his debt to the Company in one year: Should any of the districts between Nelore and Tinivelly, be taken or plundered by an enemy, a proportional deduction must take place, from the twenty-eight lacs which were assigned to the Company: On the other side, the Nabob desired, that the Company would not countenance the disobedience of the local governors and administrators; that the English officers in the forts or garrisons should not interfere in the affairs of the country, or the disputes of the inhabitants; that the Nabob's flag, instead of the Company's, should be hoisted in the different forts; and that the Company should, when required, assist his officers in the collection of the revenue.
The President; whether he decided without reflection, or thought a promise VOL. II. 2 G
Book IV. which would keep the Nabob in good humour, and might be broken at any time, ^—~v—was an obligation of no importance, expressed by letter his assent to these conditions.* In a short time however the President and Council presented to the Nabob a demand for fifty lacs of rupees. The Nabob, as this was a sum which he did not possess, endeavoured by all the means in his power to evade the contribution. Unable to resist the importunities of his allies, he was driven to his credit, which was very low; and under disadvantageous terms, which heaped upon him a load of debt, he raised by loan the money they exacted.
The expense of the war, the exhaustion of their own treasury, and their exaggerated conception of the riches of the country of which they had made him sovereign, rendered the President and Council by no means sparing in their requisitions upon the Nabob. It was stipulated that he should repay the whole expenses of the siege of Pondicherry. Even to this he agreed, upon condition of receiving all the stores which should be taken in the place. The servants of the Company, however, appropriated the stores to themselves; and they met the complaints of the Nabob, by promising to allow for them a certain sum in his account; in other words, they took for their own benefit what by their own contract belonged to the Nabob, and promised to make their masters pay him something, more or less, by way of compensation. Their masters, however, were on this occasion not less alive to their own interests than their servants had been to theirs; and no sooner heard of the sum which had been allowed to the Nabob in their books, than they ordered it to be re-charged to his account; while their servants were left in undisturbed possession of the stores. f
From the mode in which the country was governed; by sub-division into local commands, with a military force and places of strength in the hands of every local commander, who withheld the revenue of his district, as often as he beheld a prospect of escaping punishment for his fault; it has frequently been seen what difficulties attended the realizing of revenue, whenever the government became disordered or weak. For a series of years, Carnatic had been subject to no regular government; the different antagonists had collected the revenues, and raised contributions, in those districts which had at any time fallen into their hands; and the commanders of districts and forts had eluded payment as often as it was in their power. From this wasted, and disordered country, with an insignificant army, and no resources for its augmenta
* Mr. Pigot's Letter to the Nabob, June 23, 1760. Nabob's Papers, iii. 24. t Sir John Lindsay's Narrative, Oct. 13, 1770, Secretary of State's Office. Quoted by the author of The History and Management of the East India Company, p. 116.
tion, was Mahomed Ali required to find means for the support of his own go- Chap. VI. vernment, for the gratification of his own taste and passions, and to satisfy the unbounded expectations of the English. The hopes of the Nabob, who knew the poverty of the country, and with Views ofthe what severity every thing had been stripped from those among the district Go- Governor of * vernors who enjoyed not extraordinary means of defence, were chiefly fixed K^glfTan- upon the supposed treasures of Mortiz Ali, Governor of Velore, the riches of j°re, and tho Tanjore, and the two Marawars. The fort and district of Velore was an acknowledged portion of the Carnatic territory. Tanjore and the Marawars were separate principalities, which, as often as they were pressed by the strength of their neighbours, had, according to Indian practice, occasionally paid them tribute, as Bengal and Carnatic themselves had paid to the Mahrattas, but which had never been incorporated with the Mogul empire, nor regarded their dependence as more than casual, temporary, and unjust. The strength, however, of the Nabob was altogether inadequate to the coercion of such powerful chiefs; and for the accomplishment of so important an object, he importuned the Presidency to join their forces to his. The state of the treasury at Madras, exhausted by the efforts of so tedious and expensive a war, rendered the English by no means desirous of engaging immediately in fresh adventures. And it was not without difficulty that in the summer of 1761 they were induced to lend their aid for the reduction of Velore. It resisted the exertions of the army for three months, and but ill repaid the conquerors by the treasure which it contained. The conquest of Tanjore was an object of still greater promise. As it had not yet been ravaged by foreign armies, the ideas of Indian wealth which so long had sparkled in the imaginations of men were not altogether extinct. The country, though small, was undoubtedly fertile; the incompatibility between the existence of a rude government and people, and the production and accumulation of wealth, was not understood; and the expectations which had misled both the French and the English still maintained their sway in the mind of Mahomed Ali. Besides, as ruler of Carnatic, it was his interest to add a principality of some importance to his dominions, and to remove a neighbour who might on every emergency become a dangerous foe. The English, however, either because they had descended in their estimate of the riches of the country, or because they had ascended in their estimate of the difficulty of its subjugation, discovered an aversion, which the Nabob was unable to overcome, to embark in the conquest of Tanjore. The Governor
Book IV. recommended negotiation; and offered himself as mediator. To settle with the subordinate agents of his own government belonged, he said, to the Nabob himself; but the King of Tanjore was a sovereign Prince; and a tribunal distinct from that of either party, namely, that of an independent mediator, was necessary to adjust the differences between them.* By interfer- The Nabob resisted this mode of adjustment, with great eagerness; and, Preaideucy, rather than adopt it, would have postponed the enforcement of his claims, clucbdv ith" ti,us^nff to tne chapter of accidents, and a time to come, at which the Rajah might the Rajah of yield at discretion. The Presidency, however, knew their power; they sent, Tanjore. therefore, an agent to Tanjore, to hear the allegations of both parties, and suggest the conditions of an agreement. The following were the terms which they resolved to confirm: That twenty-two lacs of rupees, at five instalments, should be paid by the Rajah to the Nabob, as arrears; four lacs as a present; and four annually as a tribute: That the districts, on the other hand, of Coiladdy and Elangad should be ceded to the Rajah; and that Arni should be restored to its former Governor or Killedar. The pecuniary exactions were greatly inferior to the claims of the Nabob; and so great reluctance did he show to the ratification of the treaty, that Mr. Pigot is said to have seized his chop, or seal, and applied it to the paper with his own hand, f Aware that the inflated conceptions diffused among their countrymen of the riches of India, and of Tanjore as a distinguished part of India, might lead the Court of Directors to regard the sum extracted from the Rajah as criminally small, the Presidency wrote, in their own defence; That, without their assistance, the Nabob was unable to extract a single rupee; that the reduction of Tanjore would have been a difficult enterprise; that they had not an army sufficient for the purpose; that the expedition would have occasioned an expense which they were unable to bear; and that a rupture with the Rajah would have tended to raise up other enemies. The inability of the country to sustain, without oppression, a heavier exaction, they were either not yet aware of, or did not care to allege. When the
* This is evidently the meaning of Mr. Pigot's letter to the Nabob, of May 31, 1762; from which, by a misinterpretation, the author of the Hist, and Management of the E. I. C. draws an accusation, p. 124.
f This is stated on the authority of the Nabob's Letter to Mr. Palk, October 8, 1776. The author of the Hist. and Management, &c. says, "General Laurence, Mr. Bourchier, and particularly Colonel Call and Mr. Palk, were either present at this transaction, or were convinced of the truth of it, from the incontestable information, given by others as well as by the Nabob; who made heavy complaints to them of the President's conduct:" p. 127. • •
Directors afterwards transmitted their reflections, they said; "If four lacks were Chap. VI. given as a present, it seems as if the Company ought to have it, for their inter-' position and guarantee of the treaty. We shall be glad to have this affair explained to us, that we may know the real state of the case, with respect to that donation." * The twenty-two lacs were directed to be paid to the Company, and credit was given for them in the Nabob's account.
The war between the English and French, which had ceased in India with Treaty of the fall of Pondicherry, was terminated in Europe by the treaty of Paris, defi- Paris* nitively signed on the 10th of February, 1763. Of this treaty the eleventh article, intended to define the rights of the two nations in India, or those advantages, in the enjoyment of which the relative strength of the two parties made them willing to engage not to molest one another, was in the following words: "That Great Britain shall restore to France, in the condition they now are, the different factories f which that crown possessed as well on the coast of Coromandel and Orissa, as on that of Malabar, as also in Bengal, at the beginning of the year 1749. And France renounces all pretensions to the acquisitions which she has made on the coast of Coromandel and Orissa. f And his most Christian Majesty shall restore on his part all that he may have conquered from Great Britain in the East Indies during the present war, and will expressly cause Natal and Tapanouly, § in the island of Sumatra, to be restored. And he further engages not to erect fortifications, or to keep troops, in any part of the dominions of the Subahdar of Bengal; and in order to preserve future peace on the coast of Coromandel and Orissa, the English and French shall acknowledge Mahomed Ally Khan, for lawful Nabob of the Carnatic, and Salabut Jung for lawful Subahdar of the Deccan, and both parties shall renounce all demands and pretensions of satisfaction, with which they might charge each other, or their Indian allies, for the depredation or pillage committed on either side during the war."
In the distribution of the advantages of the Carnatic sovereignty; for such Company obit now might truly be deemed, as scarcely even a nominal subjection was ac- fromVhe8 Naknowledged either to the Subahdar of Deccan, or the Emperor himself; the bob' English imagined they had as yet not appropriated to themselves the requisite share. They began accordingly to represent to the Nabob the necessity of bestowing upon the Company a jaghire; or a grant of lands, the rents and re
* Letter from the Court of Directors to the President and Council of Fort St. George, 30th December, 1763.
f Comptoirs. J Fort St. David and its dependencies. § Bencoolen.