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Book IV. Tanjore till it joined Tinivelly; but this connexion gave umbrage to the Polygar ~^^~J Tondeman, and the Rajah of Tanjore, in satisfaction to whom it was renounced. With Maphuz Khan, the brother of the Nabob, who attended the expedition, as future Governor of the country, the officer formed an agreement, at a rent, which was afterwards condemned, as not one half of the requisite amount: And the English detachment, upon its return, was imprudently exposed in a narrow pass, where it suffered severely by the people of the country. From all these causes, the existing displeasure found an object and a victim, in the unlucky officer, who was tried, and dismissed from the Company's service.*
About the same time with these transactions in Madura, Salabut Jung, accompanied by Bussy and the French troops, marched against the kingdom of Mysore, to extort arrears of tribute said to be due from it as a dependency of the Subah of Deccan. Upon this emergency, the Mysorean army before Trichinopoly, (the Mysoreans had refused to abandon their pretensions upon Trichinopoly, when the treaty was concluded between the English and French) was recalled. As the Mysoreans were threatened at the same time by an army of Mahrattas under Balagee Row, they were happy to acquire the protection of Salabut Jung, by acknowledging his authority, and paying as large a sum as it was possible for them to raise. Measures pur- By the departure of the Mysoreans from Trichinopoly, Mahomed Ali was
sued for reduc- _ ...
ing Camatic left without an ostensible opponent in Carnatic: and he was vested, as pomMderthe"06 pously as circumstances would permit, with the ensigns of his office and dignity, Nabob. fi£ Arcok n stiii remained to compel the Zemindars or Polygars, and other Governors of forts and districts, to yield him a revenue. The English, after stipulating to receive one half of all the moneys collected, sent with him a large detachment to enforce a tribute from the northern chiefs, who recognized the authority of the Nabob, and produced a portion of the demanded sums. The reputed riches of Mortiz Ali, the Governor of Velore, rendered his subjugation the main object of desire. The English detachment was strongly reinforced; and encamped with the Nabob within cannon-shot of the fort. Mortiz Al i applied to the French. M. Deleyrit, who was Governor of Pondicherry, informed the English presidency, that he regarded their proceedings at Velore as a violation of the treaty; and that he should commence hostilities, if their troops were not immediately withdrawn. The English rulers, soon aware that Velore could not be easily taken; and unwilling to put to proof the threat of Deleyrit, who had made 700 Europeans, and 2,000 Sepoys take the field, recalled
* Orrae, i. 380—387; Cambridge's War in India, p. 109—113.
the army to Madras. An attempt was made to obtain a contribution for the Chap. II. Company from Mortiz Ali; but the negotiation terminated without any effect.* Meanwhile the Polygars of Madura and Tinivelly, who had made an ostensible submission during the presence of the English troops, were affording dangerous employment to the Governor, Maphuz Khan. A confederacy was formed, which it soon appeared that the Governor was altogether unable to withstand. The English sent a large body of Sepoys. But in spite of this support, the refractory chiefs continued unsubdued; the country was thrown into confusion by a petty warfare which extended itself into every corner of the provinces; and no tribute could be raised. Highly dissatisfied with the unproductive state of a country which they had fondly believed to be the richest dependency of the Carnatic Nabob, the English determined to manage it themselves; and Maphuz Khan was ordered to return to Trichinopoly. But that chief entered immediately into confederacy with the Polygars; set himself in opposition to the English; obtained possession of the town and fort of Madura by a stratagem: And, with much uneasiness to the English, the disturbances in Madura and Tinivelly were prolonged for several years, f
During these transactions of the English, not very consistent with their agree- The French ment not to interfere in the disputes of the native princes or add to their ofstLbut"'17 territory in India, the French were restrained from that active opposition, which ^ifficdties* otherwise, it is probable, they would have raised, by the dangerous situation of their affairs under the government of the Subahdar. The enemies of Bussy, in the service and in the confidence of Salabut Jung, were both numerous and powerful; and exerted themselves in concert, and with eagerness, to change the confidence and attachment of their feeble-minded master • into distrust and hatred. It was now about two years and a half since the grant of the northern Circars; when certain favourable circumstances enabled them to make so deep an impression on the mind of this prince, that the French troops were ordered to quit his territories without delay. Bussy, in expectation, probably, that the necessities of the Subahdar would speedily make him eager to retract his command, showed no hesitation in commencing his march. It was continued for eight days without interruption; but his enemies had a very different intention from that of allowing him to depart in safety. When he approached the city of Hyderabad, he found his progress impeded by large bodies • Orme, i. 388, 398, 4-19; Cambridge, p. Ill, 117, 119. t Orme, i. 399, 420; Cambridge, p. 138. Book IV. of troops; and the road obstructed by all the chiefs of the neighbouring countries; who had orders to intercept his march. Upon this he resolved to occupy a post of considerable strength adjoining the city of Hyderabad; to defend himself; and try the effect of his arms, and of his intrigues among the chiefs, whom he well knew, till the reinforcements which he expected from Pondicherry should arrive. Though surrounded by the whole of the army of the Subahdar, and so feeble in pecuniary means, that his Sepoys deserted for want of pay, and he durst not venture them in sallies, for fear of their joining the enemy, he found the means of supplying himself fully with provisions, and of resisting every attack, till his succours arrived; when the Subahdar sent to demand a reconcilement, and he was restored to a still higher degree of influence and authority than he had previously enjoyed.
Among the means which had been employed to reconcile the mind of Salabut Jung to the dismissal of the French, was the prospect held up to him of replacing them by the English. No sooner therefore were the measures against Bussy devised, than an appplication was made for a body of troops to the Presidency at Madras. To the Presidency of Madras few things could have presented a more dazzling prospect of good; and in any ordinary situation of their affairs, the requisition of the Subahdar would have met with an eager acceptance. But events had ere this time arrived in Bengal which demanded the utmost exertions of the English from every quarter; made them unable to comply with the proposal of the Subahdar; and thenceforward rendered Bengal the principal scene of the English adventures in India.*
* Orme i. 429—436, and ii. 89—104; Wilks, p. 380—388. It is amusing to compare the account of Bussy's transactions on this trying occasion, in the pages of Owen Cambridge (War in India, p. 132—135), written under half information, and fulness of national prejudice, with the well-informed and liberal narratives of Orme and of Wilks.
Suraja Dowla, Subahdar of Bengal—takes Calcutta—attacked by an army from Madras—dethroned—Meer Jaffier set up in his stead.
During the latter part of the reign of Aurungzebe, the Subahs of Bengal and state of Be»Orissa, together with those of Allahabad and Bahar, were governed by his grand- gal" son Azeem Ooshaun, the second son of Shah Aulum, who succeeded to the throne. Azeem Ooshaun appointed as his deputy, in the provinces of Bengal and Orissa, Jaffier Khan, who had been for some time the duan, or superintendant of the finances, in Bengal; a man of Tartar descent, but a native of Boorhanpore in Deccan, who had raised himself to eminence in the wars of Aurungzebe. Upon the death of Shah Aulum, and the confusions which ensued, Jaffier Khan remained in possession of his important government, till he was too powerful to be removed. While yet a resident in his native city, he had married his daughter and only child to a man of eminence in the same place, and of similar origin with himself, by name Sujah Khan. This relative had repaired with him to Bengal; and when Jaffier Khan was elevated to the Subahdarry of Bengal and Orissa, Orissa was placed under the government of Sujah Khan, as deputy or nawab of the Subahdar.*
Among the adventurers who had been in the service of Azeem Shah, the second son of Aurungzebe, was a Tartar, named Mirza Mahommed. Upon the death of that prince, and the ruin of his party, Mirza Mahommed remained without employment; and was overtaken after some years with great poverty. His wife not only belonged to the same place from which the family of Sujah Khan was derived; but she was actually of kin to that new ruler. By this wife he had two sons: the eldest named Hodgee Ahmed; the youngest, Mirza Mahommed Ali. Upon the news of the elevation of their kinsman, it was determined, in this destitute family, that Mirza Mahommed, with his wife, should repair to his capital in hopes of receiving his protection and bounty. The disposition of Sujah Khan was benevolent and generous. He received them with favour. The success of his father and mother induced Mirza Mahommed
* Seer Mutakhareen, i. 17, 43, 296.
IV. Ali, the youngest of the two sons, to hope for similar advantages. With great 3~~^ difficulty his poverty allowed him to find the means of performing the journey. He obtained employment and distinction. His prospect being now favourable, he sent for his brother Hodgee Ahmed; and removed the whole of his family to Orissa. The talents of the two brothers were eminent. Hodgee Ahmed was insinuating, pliant, discerning; and in business equally skilful and assiduous. Mirza Mahommed Ali to all the address and intelligence of his brother added the highest talents for war. They soon acquired a complete ascendancy in the counsels of Sujah Khan; and by their abilities added greatly to the strength and splendour of his administration.
Jaffier Khan died in 1725; but destined Sereffraz Khan, his grandson, instead of Sujah Khan, the father of that prince, with whom he lived not on friendly terms, to the succession. By the address and activity of the two brothers, the schemes of Jaffier were entirely defeated: patents were procured from Delhi; and Sujah Khan, with an army, was in possession of the capital and the government, before any time was given to think of opposition. The province of Bahar was added to the government of Sujah Khan in 1729; and the younger of the two brothers, on whom was bestowed the title of Aliverdi Khan, was entrusted with its administration. He exerted himself, with assiduity and skill, to give prosperity to the province, and to acquire strength in expectation of future events.* In 1739, the same year in which Nadir Shah ravaged Delhi, Sujah Khan died, and was succeeded by Sereffraz Khan, his son. Sereffraz Khan had been educated a prince; and had the incapacity, and the servile subjection to pleasure, which that education usually implies. He hated the brothers; and began with disgusting and affronting, when he should have either exterminated or reconciled. The resolution of Aliverdi was soon taken. He employed his influence, which was great, at Delhi, to obtain his nomination to the government of Bengal and the united provinces; and marched with an army to dethrone Sereffraz, who lost his life in the battle. With the exception of the Governor of Orissa, whom he soon reduced, the whole country submitted without opposition. He governed it with unusual humanity and justice; and defended it with splendid ability and unwearied perseverance.
The Mahrattas, who had spread themselves at this time over a great portion of the continent of India, seemed resolved upon the conquest of Bengal, the
* Holwell (Interesting Historical Events, i. 70) represents his conduct as highly cruel and unjust, and gives an account of five baskets of human heads, which he saw conveying to him in a boat.