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Coleroon, the channel of which, within the bar, was capable of receiving ships Chap. II. of the largest burden, while there was not a port from Masulipatam to Cape ^ Comorin, which could receive one of 300 tons: It was true the mouth of the river was obstructed by sand; but if that could be removed, the possession would be invaluable. This time, the expedition, again commanded by Major Laurence, proceeded wholly by sea; and from the mouth of the river the troops and stores were conveyed up to Devi-Cotah in boats. The army was landed on the side of the river opposite to the fort, where it was proposed to erect the batteries; because the ground on the same side of the river with the fort was marshy, covered with wood, and surrounded by the Tanjore army. After three days' firing a breach was made; but no advantage could be taken of it till the river was crossed. This was dangerous, as well from the breadth and rapidity of the stream, as from the number of soldiers in the thickets which covered the opposite shore. To the ingenuity of a common ship's carpenter, the army was indebted for the invention by which the danger was overcome. A raft was constructed sufficient to contain 400 men; but the difficulty was to move it across. John Moore, the man who suggested and constructed the raft, was again ready with his aid. He swam the river in the night; fastened to a tree on the opposite side a rope which he carefully concealed in the bushes and water; and returned without being perceived. Before the raft began to move, some pieces of artillery were made to fire briskly upon the spot where the rope was attached; and moved the Tanjorines to a distance too great to perceive it. The raft was moved across; it returned and recrossed several times, till the whole of the troops were landed on the opposite bank. Major Laurence resolved to storm the breach without delay. Lieutenant Clive, who had given proofs of his ardent courage at the siege of Pondicherry, offered to lead the attack. He proceeded with a platoon of Europeans and 700 Sepoys; but rashly allowing himself, at the head of the platoon, to be separated from the Sepoys, he narrowly escaped with his life; and the platoon was almost wholly destroyed. Major Laurence advanced with the whole of his force, when the soldiers mounted the breach and after a feeble resistance took possession of the place. An accommodation between the contending parties was effected soon after. The reigning king agreed to concede to the English the fort for which they contended, with a territory of the annual value of 9000 pagodas; and they, on their part, not only renounced the support of him for whom they had pretended to fight as the true and lawful king, but agreed to secure his person, in order that he might give
Book IV. no further molestation to Pretaupa Sing, and demanded only 4000 rupees, about 400/., for his annual expenses.* It may well be supposed, that to conquer Tanjore for him would have been a frantic attempt. But no such reflection was made when a zeal for the justice of his cause was held up as the impelling motive to the war. Nor can it be denied that his interests were very coolly resigned. It is even asserted that, but for the humanity of Boscawen, he would have been delivered into the hands of Pretaupa Sing, f He found means to make his escape from the English; who imprisoned his uncle, and kept him in confinement for nine years, till he was released by the French, when they took Fort St. David in 17584
While the English were occupied with the unimportant conquest of DeviCotah, the French had engaged in transactions of the highest moment; and a great revolution was accomplished in Carnatic. This revolution, on which a great part of the history of the English East India Company depends, it is now necessary to explain. Carnatic is the name given to a large district of country along the coast of Coromandel, extending from near the river Kistna, to the northern branch of the Cavery. In extending westward from the sea, it was distinguished into two parts, the first, including the level country between the sea and the first range of mountains, and entitled Carnatic below the Ghauts; the second, including the table land between the first and second range of mountains, and called Carnatic above the Ghauts. A corresponding track, extending from the northern branch of the Cavery to Cape Comorin, sometimes also receives the name of Carnatic; but in that case it is distinguished by the title of the Southern Carnatic. § The district of Carnatic had fallen into dependence upon
* Orme, i. 109—119. History and Management of the East India Company, p. 68—70. f History and Management, p. 69.
X This is stated by Orme, (ii. 318) who tells us not who this uncle was (he must have been maternal), but only that he was the guide of his nephew, and the head of his party.
§ According to Colonel Wilks, (p. 5) the ancient name was Canara, and the Canara language is only found within a district bounded by a line, beginning near the town of Beder, about sixty miles N. W. from Hyderabad, waving S. E. by the town of Adoni, then to the west of Gooti, next by the town of Anantpoor, next Nundidroog, next to the eastern Ghauts, thence along the range of the eastern Ghauts southwards to the pass of Gujjelhutty, thence by the chasm of the western hills, between the towns of Coimbetoor, Palatchi, and Palgaut, thence northwards along the skirts of the western Ghauts, nearly as far as the sources of the Kistna, thence in an eastern, and afterwards north eastern direction to Beder. He adds, p. 6, that the Tamul language was spoken in the tract extending from Pullicat, (the boundary of the Talinga language on the south) to Cape Comorin, and from the sea to the eastern Ghauts. This tract bore, anciently, the name the great rajaships of Beejanuggur and Warankul; and after the reduction of Chap. II. these Hindu powers, had been united to the Mahomedan kings of Beejapore and ^' Golconda. Upon the annexation of these kingdoms to the Mogul empire, in the reign of Aurungzebe, Carnatic was included in the general subjugation, and formed Political stata part of the great Subah of Deccan. In the smaller provinces or viceroyalties, the districts or sub-divisions were proportionally small; and the sub-governors of these divisions were known by the titles of Zemindar, and Phouzdar or Fogedar. In the great Subahs, however, particularly that of Deccan, the primary divisions were very large, and the first rank of sub-governors proportionally high. They were known by the name of nabob or deputy; that is, deputy of the Subahdar, or Viceroy, Governor of the Subah; and under these deputies or nabobs were the Zemindars and Fogedars of the districts. Carnatic was one of the nabobships, or grand divisions of the great Subah of Deccan. During the vigour of the Mogul government, the grand deputies or nabobs, though immediately subject to the Subahdar, or Viceroy, were not always nominated by him. They were very often nominated immediately by the emperor; and not unfrequently as a check upon the dangerous power of the Subahdar. When the Subahdar however was powerful, and the emperor weak, the nabobs were nominated by the Subahdar.
When Nizam al Mulk was established Subahdar of Deccan, a chief named Sadatullah, was nabob of Carnatic, and held that command under the Nizam till the year 1732, when he died. Sadatullah, who had no issue male, adopted the two sons of his brother; Doost Ali, and Bakir Ali. Bakir Ali he made governor of Velore: and he had influence to leave Doost Ali in possession of the nabobship at his death. Nizam al Mulk claimed a right to nominate his deputy in the government of Carnatic; and took displeasure that Doost Al i had been intruded into the office with so little deference to his authority; but he happened to be engaged at the time in disputes with the emperor, which rendered it inconvenient to resent the affront. Doost Al i had two sons and four daughters. Of these daughters one was married to Mortiz Ali, the son of his brother Bakir Ali, governor of Velore; another to Chunda Saheb, a more distant relative, who became duan, or minister of the finances, to Doost Al i his father-in-law.
Trichinopoly was a little sovereignty bordering on the west upon Tanjore.
of Drauveda, "although," says the Colonel, "the greater part of it is known to Europeans
Book IV. Though subdued by the Mogul, it had been allowed, after the manner of Tanjore, to retain, as Zemindar, its own sovereign, accountable for the revenues and other services, required from it as a district of the Mogul empire. The rajahs of Tanjore and Trichinopoly were immediately accountable to the nabobs of Carnatic; and, like other Zemindars, frequently required the terror of an army to make them pay their arrears. In the year 1736 the Rajah of Trichinopoly died, and the sovereignty passed into the hands of his wife. The supposed weakness of female government pointed out the occasion as favourable for enforcing the payment of the arrears; or for seizing the immediate government of the country. By intrigue and perfidy, Chunda Saheb was admitted into the city; when, imprisoning the queen who soon died with grief, he was appointed by his father-in-law governor of the kingdom.
The Hindu Rajahs were alarmed by the ambitious proceedings of the Nabob of Carnatic and his son-in-law, and incited the Mahrattas, as people of the same origin and religion, to march to their assistance. The attention of Nizam al Mulk was too deeply engaged in watching the motions of Nadir Shaw, who at that very time was prosecuting his destructive war in Hindustan, to oppose a prompt resistance to the Mahrattas; it has indeed been asserted,* though without proof, and not with much probability, that, as he was but little pleased with the appointment or proceedings of Doost Ali, he instigated the Mahrattas to this incursion, for the sake of chastising the presumption of his deputy.
An army, commanded by Ragogee Bonslah, appeared on the confines of Carnatic, in the month of May, 1740. The passes of the mountains might have been successfully defended by a small number of men; but an officer of Doost Ali, a Hindu, to whom that important post was committed, betrayed his trust, and left a free passage to the Mahrattas. Doost Ali encountered the invaders; but lost his life in the battle. Subder Ali, the eldest son of the deceased, retired to the strong fort of Velore, and began to negotiate with the Mahrattas. A large sum of money was partly promised, and partly paid; and Trichinopoly, which rendered Chunda Saheb an object of jealousy to the new Nabob, was secretly offered to them, if they chose the trouble of making the conquest. They returned in a few months and laid siege to Trichinopoly. Chunda Saheb defended himself gallantly for several months, but was obliged to yield on the 26th of March, 1741; and was carried a prisoner to Satarah; while Morari Row,
* By Mr. Orme, i. 41. Col. Wilks states on verbal authority, that the Mahrattas were invited by the eldest son of the Nabob, jealous of Chunda Saheb, ubi supra, p. 251.
a Mahratta chief, was left Governor of Trichinopoly. Subder Ali, afraid to trust Chap. II. himself in the open city of Arcot, the capital of Carnatic, took up his residence TJJg^ in Velore. Bakir Al i was dead, the late governor of Velore, and uncle of the Nabob; and Mortiz Ali, his son, was now governor in his place. By instigation of this man, whose disposition was perfidious and cruel, Subder Ali was assassinated; and an attempt was made by the murderer to establish himself in the government of the province; but, finding his efforts hopeless, he shut himself up in his fort of Velore; and the infant son of Subder Ali was proclaimed Nabob.* Nizam al Mulk, however, had now left the court of Delhi, and returned to his government of Deccan. To arrange the troubled affairs of Carnatic, he arrived at Arcot in the month of March 1743. He treated the son of Subder Al i with respect; but appointed his General Cojah Abdoolla, to the government of Carnatic; and compelled Morari Row, and the Mahrattas, to evacuate Trichinopoly. Cojah Abdoolla died suddenly, apparently through poison, before he had taken possession of his government; and the Nizam appointed An'war ad dien Khan, to supply his place. An'war ad dien Khan, the son of a man noted for his learning and piety, had been promoted to a place of some distinction, by the father of Nizam al Mulk, and after his death attached himself to the fortunes of his son. When Nizam al Mulk became Subahdar of Deccan, he made An'war ad dien Nabob of Ellore and Rajamundry, where he governed from the year 1725 to 1741; and from that period till the death of Cojah Abdoolla, he had served as Governor of Golconda. In ostent Nizam al Mulk conferred the government of Carnatic upon An'war ad dien, only for a time; till Seid Mahomed, the young son of Subder Ali, should arrive at the years of manhood; but in the mean while he consigned him to the guardianship of An'war ad dien, and in a short time the young Nabob was murdered by a party of Patan soldiers, who clamoured for arrears of pay due to them, or pretended to be due, by his father. An'war ad dien escaped not the imputation of being author of the crime, but he was supported by Nizam al Mulk, and appointed Nabob in form. It was An'war ad dien who was the Governor of Carnatic
* For this part of the History of Deccan in detail, see Orme, i. 86—62; Cambridge's War in India, p. 1—6; History and Management of the East India Company, p. 50—72; Memoire pour Dupleix, p. 35—43; Memoire contre Dupleix, p. 19—59; Revolution des Indes, i. 67—289. This last work was published anonymously in two volumes 12mo. in 1757. It is written with partiality to Dupleix; but the author is well informed, and a man of talents. The leading facts are shortly noticed by Wilks, ch. vii.