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Book IV. when the French and English contended for Madras, and Dupleix alternately
v ~^ 'treated him as a friend and a foe. 1749.
Nizam al Mulk, whose abilities and power were calculated to confirm the arrangements which he had made in Deccan, died in 1748, after a whole life spent in the toils and agitations of oriental ambition, at the extraordinary age of 104. The government of Sadatullah and his family had been highly popular in Carnatic; that of An'war ad dien Khan was very much hated: A strong desire prevailed that the government of An'war ad dien should be subverted, and that The French of the family of Sadatullah restored: The death of Nizam al Mulk opened a pretensions channel through which the hope of change made its way: Chunda Saheb was SahebTo the tne on^ memDer of the family of Sadatullah, who possessed talents likely to supSuiibsc6111 °f port h*m m tne ascent to the proposed elevation: The keen eye of Dupleix had early fixed itself upon the prospect of the ascendancy of Chunda Saheb; and if that chief should, by the assistance of the French, acquire the government of Carnatic, the most important concessions might be expected from his gratitude and friendship. At the first irruption of the Mahrattas, the whole family of Doost Ali had been sent to Pondicherry, as the place of greatest safety in the province; so strongly had the Indians already learned to confide in the superiority of European power. They received protection and respect; and the wife and family of Chunda Saheb, during the whole time of his captivity, had never been removed. Dupleix treated them with the attention calculated to make a favourable impression on the man whom he wished to gain. He even corresponded with Chunda Saheb in his captivity; and agreed to advance money to assist in raising the sum which the Mahrattas demanded for his ransom. He was liberated in the beginning of the year 1748, and even furnished, it is said, with 3,000 Mahratta troops. He entered immediately into the quarrels of some contending Rajahs, whose dominions lay inland between the coast of Malabar and Carnatic, with a view to increase his followers, and collect treasure; and he was already at the head of 6000 men, when the death of Nizam al Mulk occurred.
To maintain his authority, in his absence, both at court and in his province, Nizam al Mulk had procured the high office of Ameer al Omrah, for his eldest son, Ghazee ad dien Khan, who always attended the person of the Emperor. His second son, Nazir Jung, had resided for the most part in Deccan, and had officiated as his father's deputy, as often as the wars of the empire, or the intrigues of the court, had called him away. Though the obedience of Nazir Jung had been so little perfect as to have been lately chastised even by imprisonment, Chap. II. he was present when his father died; the army was accustomed to obey him; "y^§~" he got possession of his father's treasures; the Emperor was far too weak to assert his right of nomination; and Nazir Jung assumed the power and titles of Subahdar of Deccan.
There was, however, a favourite grandson of Nizam al Mulk, the son of a descendant of Sadoollah Khan, Vizir to Shaw Jehan, by a daughter of Nizam al Mulk. His name was Hedayet Mohy ad dien; to which he added the title of Mirzapha Jung. He had been Nabob of Beejapore, for several years, during the life of his grandfather; who, it was now given out and believed, had nominated him successor by his will.* Such a competitor for the government of Deccan appeared to Chunda Saheb the very man on whom his hopes might repose. He offered his services, and they were greedily received. To attain the assistance of Dupleix was regarded by them both as an object of the highest importance; and in a Subahdar of Deccan, and a Nabob of Carnatic, whom he himself should be the chief instrument in raising to power, Dupleix contemplated the highest advantages both for himself and his country. Chunda Saheb persuaded Mirzapha Jung that they should commence their operations in Carnatic; where the interest of the family of Chunda Saheb would afford advantages. Their troops had increased to the number of 40,000 men, when they approached the confines of Carnatic. They were joined here by the French, who consisted of 400 Europeans, 100 Caffres, and 1800 Sepoys, commanded by M. d'Auteuil. f They immediately advanced towards An'war ad dien, whom on the 3d of August, 1749, they found encamped under the fort of Amboor, fifty miles west from Arcot. The French offered to storm the entrenchment; and though twice beaten back, they advanced three times to the charge, and at last prevailed. An'war ad dien was slain in the engagement, at the uncommon age of 107 years; his eldest son was taken prisoner; and his second son Mahomed Ali, with the wreck of the army, escaped to Trichinopoly, of which he was Governor. %
Dupleix affirms, that had the victorious leaders, according to his advice, advanced without delay against Trichinopoly, while the consternation of defeat remained, they would have obtained immediate possession of the place; and the success of their enterprise would have been assured. They chose however to go
* Seer Mutakhareen, iii. 115. Wilks says he was Governor of the strong fort of Adoni, ch. vik
-f- Memoire pour la Compagnie des Indes contre le Sieur Dupleix, p. 39.
% Orme, i. 127; Memoire, ut supra, p. 40; Memoire pour le Sieur Dupleix, p. 45.
IV- first to Arcot, that they might play for a while the Subahdar and Nabob; they ) afterwards paid a visit at Pondicherry to M. Dupleix, who gratified himself by receiving them with oriental display; and was gifted with the sovereignty of eighty-one villages in the neighbourhood of the settlement.*
They marched not from Pondicherry till the very end of October; and instead of proceeding directly against Trichinopoly, as they had settled with Dupleix, they directed their march to the city of Tanjore. The urgency of their pecuniary wants, and the prospect of an ample supply from the hoards of Tanjore, made them undervalue the delay. The King was summoned to pay his arrears of tribute, and a large sum as a compensation for the expense of the war. By negotiation, by promises, and stratagems, he endeavoured; and the softness of his enemies enabled him, to waste their time till the very end of December, when news arrived that Nazir Jung, the Subahdar, was on his march to attack them, f
Nazir Jung had been summoned, upon his accession, to the imperial presence; and had advanced with a considerable army as far as the Nerbudda, when a counter-order arrived. Informed of the ambitious designs of his nephew, he accelerated his return; and was arrived at Aurengabad, when he heard of the overthrow and death of the Nabob of Carnatic. $ The impolitic delays of his enemies afforded time for his preparations; and they were struck with consternation when they now heard of his approach. They broke up their camp with precipitation; and, harassed by a body of Mahrattas, in the service of Nazir Jung, returned to Pondicherry. §
Dupleix was admirably calculated for the tricks of Indian policy. Though he exerted himself with the utmost vigour to animate the spirits, and augment the force of his allies; lending them 50,000/., declaring that he would lend them still more, and increasing the French forces to the number of 2000 Eu
* Memoire pour Dupleix, p. 47. The French Company assert, in their Memoir against Dupleix (p. 44), that it was to gratify his vanity by this display, that the chiefs delayed the march to Trichinopoly: which seems the invention of malignity. Orme says, with better reason, that to keep the army in obedience, it was necessary to obtain money, which they levied by contribution in the province.
f Orme, i. 133—136; Mem. pour Dupleix, p. 51. The French Company accuse Dupleix again falsely of being the author of the ill-timed invasion of Tanjore: Mem. contre Dupleix, p. 45.
X Seer Mutakhareen, iii. 115. Mr. Orme (i. 136) is mistaken when he says that Nazir Jung had marched toward Delhi, to oppose his elder brother: it was at a subsequent date that Ghazee ad dien marched for Deccan.
$ Orme, i. 136,137.
ropeans; yet contemplating now with some terror the chance of a defeat, he Chap. II. sought to be prepared for all events, and endeavoured secretly to open a nego- ^J^TM"^ tiation with Nazir Jung. He addressed to him a memorial, in which he set forth the enmity which was borne by An'war ad dien to to the French nation; and the necessity under which they were placed to avail themselves of any allies to secure themselves from its effects; that the death of that Nabob, however, had now freed them from such obligation, and they were ready to detach themselves from the enemies of Nazir Jung; that they had already manifested their friendly dispositions towards him, in sparing Tanjore, and suspending the siege of Trichinopoly, which the victorious army of them and their allies, there was no doubt, might have easily taken.* It was only, says Dupleix, the arrival of an English force in the camp of Nazir Jung, that prevented the Subahdar from embracing the proposal, f
From the beginning of 1747, the English had been intriguing, both with views of the Nizam al Mulk and with Nazir Jung, against the French. Besides a letter E^1"11, from the English Governor to the same effect, Commodore Griffin, in a letter to Nizam al Mulk, dated March 6, 1747, said, "I shall not enter into a particular detail of all the robberies, cruelties, and depredations, committed on shore upon the King my Master's subjects, by that insolent, perfidious nation the French; connived at, and abetted by those under your Excellency (the Nabob of Arcot), whose duty it was to have preserved the peace of your country, instead of selling the interest of a nation, with whom you have had the strictest friendship time out of mind; a nation that has been the means not only of enriching this part of the country, but the whole dominions of the grand Mogul; and that to a people who are as remarkable all over the world for encroaching upon, and giving disturbances and disquiet to all near them; a people who are strangers in your country, in comparison of those who have been robbed by them of that most important fortress and factory, Madras; and now they are
possessed of it, have neither money nor credit, to carry on the trade And
now, Excellent Sir, we have laid this before you, for your information and consideration; and must entreat you, in the name of the King of Great Britain, my Royal Master, to call the Nabob to an account for his past transactions, and interpose your power to restore, as near as possible in its original state, what has been so unjustly taken from us." Application was at the same time made to Nazir Jung for his interest with his father, which that prince assures the
IV. English by letter he had effectually employed. A favourable answer was reJ ceived from Nizam al Mulk, and a mandate was sent to An'war ad dien Khan, called at that time by the English Anaverdy Khan, in which were the following words: "The English nation, from ancient times, are very obedient and serviceable to us; besides which they always proved to be a set of true people, and it is very hard that they met with these troubles, misfortunes, and destruction. I do therefore write you, to protect, aid, and assist them in all respects, and use your best endeavours in such a manner, that the French may be severely chastised and rooted off, that his Majesty's sea-port town may be recovered, and that the English nation may be restored to their right, establish themselves in their former place, as before, and carry on their trade and commerce for the nourishment of the place." An agent of the English, a native, named Hodgee Hodee, who dates his letter from Arcot, the 10th of March, 1747, presents them with the real state of the fact in regard to An'war ad dien, the Nabob: "I take the liberty to acquaint your worship, that as the Nabob is but a Renter, he does not much regard the distress of the people of this province, but in all shapes has respect to his own interest and benefit; therefore there is no trusting to his promises. The French are very generous in making presents of other people's goods, both to the old and young." He advises the English to be equally liberal with their gifts, and says, "Don't regard the money, as Governor Morse did, but part with it for the safety of your settlement." Another of their agents, Boundla Mootal, informed them that if they expected any cordial assistance from An'war ad dien, they must send him money for it. The second son of An'war ad dien, Mahomed Ali Khan, showed himself during this period of French ascendancy, rather favourable to the English; probably, from that spirit of discord which prevails in the ruling families of the East, because his eldest brother displayed a partiality to the French.*
When, after the deaths of Nizam al Mulk and An'war ad dien Khan, and the captivity of the eldest son of An'war ad dien Khan, Nazir Jung marched into Carnatic against Chunda Saheb and Mirzapha Jung, he summoned Mahomed Ali to join him from Trichinopoly, and sent to Fort St. David to solicit assistance from the English. The arrival of Mirzapha Jung, the defeat of An'war ad dien, which happened when they were engaged in the attack of Tanjore, and the apprehended schemes of Dupleix, had struck the English with alarm. "They saw," says Mr. Orme, "the dangers to which they were exposed, but