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Book V. and corruption, of which, though made known to the President and Council by the proceedings of a court of justice, they afforded to the Court of Directors no
Another fact was; that to the same Mr. Redhead, as appeared by a codicil to his will, Ameer ul Omra, son of the Nabob, had an order from his father to pay a lac of rupees.
Another fact was; that two lacs and one thousand rupees had been transmitted to Sitteram Raz, while at Madras; of which money, though he was greatly in arrear, no part was paid to the Company.
It further appeared; that, according to one of the checks devised by the Company upon the corruption of their servants, Sir Thomas Rumbold, if he possessed in India any money on loan or merchandize on hand at the time of entering upon his office was by his covenant bound, before he proceeded to recover the money, or dispose of the goods, to deliver to the Board a particular account of such property upon oath: that upon an accurate examination of the records of the Council during the whole of Sir Thomas Rumbold's administration, no proceedings to that effect could be found: that Sir Thomas Rumbold, nevertheless, had remitted to Europe, between the 8th of February the day of his arrival at Madras, and the beginning of August in the same year, the sum of 45,000/., and, during the two subsequent years, a further sum of 119,000/., the whole amounting to 164,000/., although the annual amount of his salary and emoluments did not exceed 20,000/.
Sir Thomas opposed the evidence of corruption which these transactions imported, by asserting, that he had property in India at the time of his return, sufficient to account for the remittances which he afterwards made. The evidence which he produced consisted in certain papers and books of account, which exhibited upon the face of them sums to a great amount. And one of the witnesses, examined before the Secret Committee of the House of Commons, stated his having heard in conversation from Sir Thomas Rumbold, that he had in Bengal, at the time of his last arrival in India, about 90,000/.; part in Company's cash; part in bonds, and mortgages at interest, on some of which three or four years interest was due.f
The lands or taxes in the circars were let, some for ten years, some for five.
* Third Report, Committee of Secrecy, 1781, p. 13, 14. Twelfth Resolution of Mr. Dundas,
The jaghire about Madras was re-let to the Nabob, not for one, but for three Chap. IV. years. And in no case was any satisfactory inquiry performed. 'v'
The Directors, complaining that their orders, and the interests of the Company, had been equally disregarded; and that, while the dignity and feelings of the Zemindars were violated, the rights of the immediate cultivators were left without protection; pronounced upon the whole of these proceedings their strongest condemnation.
In the agreements formed with the Subahdar, or Nizam, respecting the five Transactions northern circars, in 1766 and 1768, it was arranged, that Guntoor, which was Nizam "reone of them, should be granted in jaghire to Bazalut Jung, his brother; to be ^"ing Gun" enjoyed by that Prince during his life, or so long as the Subahdar should be satisfied with his conduct; and upon expiration of the interest of Bazalut Jung, to revert to the Company. About the latter end of the year 1774, the Governor and Council were informed by letters from the chief of Masulipatam, that a body of French troops, under the command of M. Lally, were retained in the service of Bazalut Jung, and received reinforcements and stores by the port of Mootapilly. The mention of a French force in the service of a native prince was sure to kindle the jealousy of the English. The Presidency of Madras held the affair of sufficient importance to communicate with the Supreme Council of Bengal on the propriety of using measures to procure the removal of the French from the territories of Bazalut Jung; and received the authority of that Board, not only to insist with Bazalut Jung upon their immediate dismissal; but to prepare a body of troops for marching to his frontiers, and to threaten him, that " they would take possession of his country, and negotiate with the Nizam, even by an entire renunciation of the revenues, for the cession of it to the Company." It was deemed adviseable to treat with the Nizam, as principal in the treaty of 1768, and a party to every agreement between the Company and Bazalut Jung; and they desired his co-operation for compelling his brother, either, 1st, to dismiss the Europeans from his service, and trust to the English the defence of Guntoor, which was their own; or, 2dly, to let that Circar to them at a rent determined by amicable valuation. The Nizam replied in friendly terms; declaring that he had sent a person of distinction to procure the removal of the French from the service of his brother; and that "every article of the treaty should remain fixed to a hair's breadth." From the date of these transactions, which extended to the beginning of the year 1776, though several representations had been received of the continuance of the French in the territory of Bazalut Jung, no ulterior measures were adopted by the Board until the
Book V. 10th of July, 1778, when the President and Select Committee entered a minute, 'expressing a conviction of danger from the presence, in such a situation, of such a body of men. A negotiation, through the medium of the Nabob without the intervention of the Nizam, was commenced with Bazalut Jung. That prince was now alarmed with the prospect presented by the probable designs of Hyder Ali, and well disposed to quiet his apprehensions by the benefit of English protection. On the 30th of November, the President presented to the Board a proposal, tendered by Bazalut Jung, in which that Prince agreed to cede the Guntoor district for a certain annual payment, to dismiss the French from his service, and to accept the engagement of the English to afford him troops for the defence of his country. On the 27th of January, 1779, when the treaty was concluded with Bazalut Jung, it was thought expedient to send to the court of the Nizam a resident; who should ascertain as far as possible the views of that Prince, and his connexions with the Indian powers or the French; obviate any unfavourable impressions which he might have received; and transact any business to which the relations of the two states might give birth. And on the 19th of April a force, under General Harpur, was ordered to proceed to the protection of the territory of Bazalut Jung. The Nizam In the contest with the Mahrattas, in which, at the Presidencies of Bengal and ^q^^ tne Engiish wCre engaged, the Nizam had expressed a desire to remain neutral; though he had frankly declared his hatred of Ragoba, and his connexion by treaty with Pundit Purdaun, the infant Peshwa, that is, with the prevailing party of the Poona council; and though an alliance with the Berar government had been attempted by the Supreme Council, on the condition of recovering for that government some countries which had been wrested from it by the Subahdar of Deccan. When Mr. Holland, who was sent as resident by the Presidency of Madras, arrived at Hyderabad, the capital of the Nizam, on the 6th of April, he was received with every mark of respect, and with the strongest assurances of a desire to cultivate the friendship of the English. But when, at his audience, the resident proceeded to explain the transactions which, without the participation of the Nizam, had taken place between the Company and his brother, the painful emotions of his Highness were visible; he read over the articles of the treaty of 1768; affirmed that it was violated by the conduct of the Presidency; disavowed the right of the English to interfere in the concerns. .of his family; declared that, if the treaty was to be regarded, the troops which without his leave were about to march into the country possessed by Bazalut Jung, a dependant of the Subah, ought to be stopped; if the treaty was not to be regarded, he should be constrained to oppose them. To the apology, urged Chap. IV. by Mr. Holland, that the probability of an immediate attack by Hyder Ali left not sufficient time for consulting him, the Nizam replied that Hyder had no immediate intention to molest his brother, but was meditating a speedy attack upon Carnatic, to be conducted, like the former invasion of that province, by plundering and burning, while he avoided a battle. The Nizam was jealous of the presence of a British force with Bazalut Jung, who, with such assistance, he doubted not, would soon aspire at independence. The French troops he had taken into his own service immediately after they were dismissed by his brother; but he assured the British resident that he had adopted this expedient solely to prevent them from passing into the service of Hyder or the Mahrattas; and described them as of little value, the wreck of the army of Bussy, augmented by persons of all nations. This was a contingency which, in their eagerness to see the French discharged by Bazalut Jung, the Presidency had somewhat overlooked. It was no doubt true, as they alleged, that had the Nizam consulted the friendship of the English, he would have ordered the French troops to the coast, whence with other prisoners they might have been sent on their passage to Europe.
In the Select Committee, on the 5th of June, it was proposed by the Governor, and agreed, that the peshcush or tribute, of five lacs of rupees, which the Company were bound by their treaty to pay, in compromise, for possession of the Northern Circars, the Nizam should be solicited to remit. The payment of it had already been suspended for two years, partly on the pretence that the French troops were not dismissed, partly on account of the exhausted state of their finances. When this proposal was announced by Mr. Holland to the Nizam, he became highly agitated; and declared his conviction that the English no longer meant to observe the treaty; for which reason he also must prepare for war.
Mr. Holland, who had received instructions to communicate with the Supreme Transactions Council, conveyed intelligence of these transactions to Bengal, by sending, on the Presidency 3d of September, copies of the letters which had passed between him and the ^J1 Presidency of Madras. On the 25th of October, the subject was taken into ^dTMed b7 consideration at Calcutta; when the proceedings of the Madras Presidency, in General and forming a treaty with Bazalut Jung without the interposition of his immediate sovereign, the Company's ally; and in withholding the payment, and proposing the abolition of the peshcush; underwent the most severe condemnation; as tending to impeach the character of the English for justice and faith, and to
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Book V. raise them up a formidable enemy, when they were already exposed to unusual ^—-v—difficulties and dangers. It was agreed, that the case demanded the interference of the Superior Board; and a letter was written on the 1st of November, 1779, to assure the Nizam that the intentions of the English government were truly pacific, notwithstanding the interpretation which he put upon the proceedings of the Council at Madras. Mr. Holland was directed to suspend his negotiations till he should receive further instructions from his own Presidency. Letters were also written to that Presidency, acquainting them, in terms studiously inoffensive and mild, with the aberrations which it appeared to the Supreme Council that they had made from the line of propriety and prudence. The Nizam declared the highest satisfaction with the friendly assurances which the Supreme Council had expressed. But their interference excited the highest indignation and resentment in the Council of Madras. On the 30th of December a minute was entered by Sir Thomas Rumbold, the President, in which he treats the censure which had been passed on their conduct as undeserved, and its language unbecoming; denies the right of the Supreme Council thus to interfere in the transactions of another Presidency, and argues that their controling power extended to the conclusion alone of a treaty, not to the intermediate negotiation; he turns the attack upon the Bengal Presidency; enters into a severe investigation of the policy and conduct of the Mahratta war, which in every particular he condemns; this it was which had alienated the mind of the Subahdar, not the regulation with his brother, or the proposed remission of the peshcush; the retention of a peshcush offended not the conscience of the Bengal Presidency, when themselves were the gainers, the unfortunate Emperor of India the sufferer, and when it was a peshcush stipulated and secured by treaty for the most important grants. In terms of nearly the same import the letter was couched in which the Presidency of Madras returned an answer to that of Bengal, and along with which they transmitted the minute of their President.
The Presidency of Madras had not only taken Guntoor on lease from Bazalut Jung, they had also transferred it, on a lease of ten years, to the Nabob of Arcot; though well aware how little the Directors were pleased with his mode of exaction, either in their jaghire, or in his own dominions. The Directors The measure of their offences, in the eyes of the Directors, was now suffiprincipal6 ciently full. In their letter of the 10th of January, 1781, after passing the theMadras severest censure upon the abolition of the Committee of Circuit, and the pro
government. ceeding& with the Zemindars of the four Northern Circars, on the treaty