Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Retrospective view of affairs in India. Benares. Transactions which

led to the dependance of that country on the East India company. The Rajah Bulwant Sing, having taken a decided part in their favour, in the war against his paramount lord, Sujah Ul Dowlah, his territories are fecured to him by the treaty of Illahabad. Investiture of Cheit Sing, upon the death of his father Bulwant, and a new treaty cone' cluded in favour of the family by Major Harper. A third treaty, in confirmation of the towo former, concluded by Mr. Hastings, who is himself a party to it, and renders the company guarantees of the Rajah's polejions. Upon the death of Suja! Ui Dowlah, the Nabob vizier, the fovereignty of Benares is transferred by his fucceffor to the company. Extraordinary subfidies demanded and levied from the Rajah, Cheit Sing, on occasion of the war with France, lay the foundation of those differences which took place between him and the government of Calcutta..

Å fupply of 2,000 cavalry demanded from the Rajab. Charges of difaffection and contumacy laid againft him. Governor general's progress from Calcutta, to settle the affairs of Benares, and other countries. Proceeds up the Ganges to Buxar, where he is met by the Rajah, with a great attendance and number of boats. Different accounts of the conference on the water. Rajat's visit at Benares 'forbidden. Rajah taken into custody : rescued, and the jepoy's, with their oficers, masacred. He flies first to Ramnagur, and from thence retires in the right to the fortress of Lutterf poor. Ouffaun Sing appointed by the governor general to administer the affairs of the country in the place of the Rajah. VOL. XXVI.

Ram.

Ramjiewaun, garrisons Ramnagur for the Rajah. Scheme for the reduktion of that

place frustrated by the rashness of Capt. Mayaffre; who is killed in an ill-judged attack, and the party repulsed with great loss, Country immediately in arms. Design of attacking the governor general in his quarters obliges him to retire by night to Chunar. Repeated proposals made by the Rajah for an accommodation, produce no effet. Em. barrassment occafioned by the Nabob vizier's vifit. The commotion in Benares spreads the flame in the adjoining countries. Cheit Sing's marifefto. Attack on the Rajab's camp at Pateetah. Great reinforcements arrive at Chunar. Bundoo Cawn, a native, proposes the means, by which the Rajah's forces might, without much dificulty, be dispodeljed of their trong-holds. The schemie adopted by Major Popham; who privately dispatches Major Crabbe, with a strong detachment, to penetra!e the mountains, under the guidance of Bundoo Cawn, and attack the enemy in the rear, while he engages them in front. The design fucceeds ; Major Crabbe carries the strong pass of Suckroot; the enemy abandon the fortress of Lutteefpoor ; the Rojah flies to Bidjeygur, and all his forces disperse. Country immedately resumes its usual tranquillity. Governor general returns to Benares; settles the government ; appoints a new Rajah; and increases the revenue. Disturbances in the neighbouring countries quelled.' Treaty of peace and alliance happily concluded with Madajee Scindia by Colonel Muir. The Rajah, Cheit Sing, totally abandons his country. Strong fortress of Bidjeygur taken, upon conditions, by Major Popham. Great treasure found, and spoil made by the army.

HILE other parts of In- with the most gentle and inoffendia were desolated by the five manners, possessed such a

present and by former fpirit of industry, as had given wars, the fequestered and happy to a whole country, the face of country of Benares, generally had a garden in the highest state of the fortune to escape the common culture and beauty; and whose calamity. Besides the security de- labours were a common benefit to rived from the great distance of all, who either lived near or had the sea, the sacred character af- occasion to approach them. cribed to that city, which had The anges, before it yet bethrough many ages been confi.

comes too vast for health and fa. dered as the repository of the re- tisfaction, winding through the ligion and learning of the Bra- variegated face of luch a country, mins, could not but endear it in could not but greatly heighten the the highest degree to the Hin- picturesque beauty of the scene; doos; and the foreign ravagers of and lying, as it does, under the India, if they paid no refpect, happieft influence of the heavens, found it necessary, at least, to it is not to be wondered at, that shew some attention to the pre. under such favourable circumjudices of the conquered. Hof. Atances, Benares had long been tility. indeed was not much pro- considered as the paradise of Invoked by a people, who, along dia. The capital was not less

W

distinguished for its beauty, than north-west of Calcutta. The eminent for its rank and confidera- river, without taking in its contion. But neither the salubrity of tinual windings, points generally the air, nor the delights of its fitua. from the welt to the east in its tion, were more alluring to itrang- course through it. Its extent ers, than the happy fecurity to per- from north to fouth, including fon and property which it afforded. the districts of Chunar and GaIt accordingly became the coveted zypour, which are united with retreat of people of all the Asia. it, is about 150 miles; nor is it tic countries and religions, who' much less from east to weft; but weary of a busy life, vexed hy it is a good deal indented on the its disappointments, or appre- former side by the province of henfive of its dangers, wished to Bahar. It was a part of those enjoy during some portion of their extensive possessions, which the lives, the tranquillity of a secure misfortunes of the court of Del. and happy retirement.

li, enabled Sujah Ul Dowlah, the The expences of the present grand vizier of the empire, and war with Hyder Ally and the nabob of Oude, to secure the acMarattas, in which all the Eng- gual sovereignty and possession of lith presidencies were so deeply, in his own family. The Rajah, and one at leaft so dangerously in Bulwant Sing, was tributary to volved, rose to such an height, Sujah Ul Dowlah, for the coun. that the wealth and revenue of try of Benares, and its dependenBengal, great as these were, prov. cies, at a certain stated tribute or ed unequal to their supply. New rent; for it is disputed, though sources were accordingly to be indeed of little consequence, to sought; and the weak and the which class it properly belongs. wealthy were doomed, as usual, In the war which broke out in to administer to the wants of the the year 1764, wherein Sujah UI Atrong and the warlike. The pro. Dowlah supported Collim Ally fecution of these means of sup Cawn, who had been the murply, led to the subsequent cala. derer of so great a number of mities of Benares ; and suddenly English gentlemen at Patna, the plunged Mr. Hastings, the go- Rajah Bulwant Sing, notwithvernor general, into a new war, standing the relation in which he at near 600 miles diftance from stood with Sujah, took a decided the seat of his government. part in favour of the English,

For the better comprehension and rendered them effential and or illuftration of this subject, it acknowledged services. As Su. will be necessary to take some no- jah Dowlah was so entirely ruined tice of the late state and govern. by the war, that he scarcely hoped ment of that country, as well as to have been left in poffeflion of of its relation to, and the means any part of his territories, it was by which it became dependent on in the power of the English to the Eaft India company.

dictate the terms of peace. These The country of Benares lies were, however, so much in his far up the Ganges, not a great favour, as to excite no small sure deal short of 600 miles, to the prize at the time, both at home

(-A) 2

and

and in India ; but it was, not. terms of the article, seemed to be withstanding, held as a matter in- bound only to Bulwant Sing's dispensably neceffary, not only person, without any express prowith respect to honour, gratitude, vilion being made for the contiand good faith, but to the real nuance of the zemindaries in the interests of the nation and com- Rajah's family. It appears, howpany, to provide for the Rajah's ever, from Lord Clive's corres. interests and possessions in such a pondence, that this was fully manner by the treaty, as should understood by all the parties io effectually secure him from the be the clear intention of the aranimosity and revenge of Sujah ticle; and the value and imporUl Dowlah, which were well tance which was attributed to it known to be boundless and im. by himself, and confirmed by the placable.

acknowledgment of the company When General Carnac was em at home, as well as by the presipowered by the presidency of dency of Calcutta, suficiently Bengal, in the year 1765, to ne thews that they all received and gociate the preliminary articles of considered it in the same fense. a peace with Sujah Ul Dowlah, Lord Clive paid little attention this matter was accordingly par to the nicety of words in a comticularly committed to his charge; pact with a man, whom he reand it was laid down as a specific garded at this time merely as an article of his instructions,To instrument of his own making, fecure Bulwant Sing in the polles- and the explanation of which fion of his country." By the fifth would rest either with himself or article of the treaty of Illaha- the company. bad, which was soon after con. In fact, the English by being cluded by Lord Clive, although the mediators of this condition, the moft extraordinary favours became virtually its guarantees; and advantages were in other re- and the ties between them and spects granted to Sujah U1 Dow- the Rajah, being founded on their lah, yet he was,, most folemnly mutual interests and security, bound to continue Bulwant Sing were from thence indissoluble. in possession of all the territories He looked only to them for prohe held before the war, subject tection against the malice and ra. only to the payment of the fame pacity of a cruel and perfidious revenue as heretofore.

tyrant; while, on the other hand, Considering the immense ob his country afforded them, with. jects which Lord Clive had at out any expence, a strong and exthat time in act and in contem cellent barrier on the fide of plation, it is no wonder that he Qude, and would, as well as his did not

pay all the attention to forces, answer all purposes of war the wording of this article, which and defence, as effectually as if it the presidency, if it had been in were their own. their hands, would probably have When circumstances served, and done, and which the character of the proper season was arrived, Suthe vizier more especially de. jah Ul Dowlah well knew how to manded. The latter, by the turn to account this past error, or

negligence in stating the terms of required no colouring, and which the 5th article of the treaty of he disdained to illustrate, informs Illahabad; and indeed it is not his employers by letter upon the impelible that he had himself been occasion, that he leaves it to the originally its contriver, and found young Rajah, and to all others means for its passing without ex. who were concerned in or witamination. The death of Bul- nesses of the transaction, to state want Sing, in the year 1770, af- what his conduct had been in this forded this opportunity; the letter business; only observing, that he of the treaty was in full preserva. had taken the Atrictest care, not to tion, but its spirit could not then diminish our national honour, difin. so clearly appear. The presidency terestedness, and justice; which he of Bengal was therefore obliged confiders, as having a greater efto interfere with vigour and spirit fect, in fecuring the vait poffef. in supporting the interests of the fa- fions of the company, than even mily, by procuring the investiture the force of their arms, however of Cheit Sing, in the government formidable. – Sentiments, not more of his father, Bulwant's territo- valuable for the humanity and ho. ries.

nour which they breathe, than The negociation upon this af- for the wisdom of the policy which fair was committed to Colonel they convey. Harper, who acted in it with great This conclusive settlement of honour, and left no room for fu- the zemindary in the family of ture doubt or evalian. The young Bulwant Sing, was then deemed rajah, upon this occafion, was ob- of such consequence to the comliged to make a present of twenty pany's affairs, that the president lacks of rupees to the Nabob vi and council of Bengal congratuzier, and to increase the annual lated the court of directors upon tribute, from twenty-one and a it, as an event highly important half, to twenty-four lacks. In to their interests, and of great the treaty, for the instrument then moment in its future consequenperfeeted between Sujah UI Dowiah and the Rajah Cheit Sing was It would seem now that nothing so denominated, the former bound farther remained to be done in himself specifically, that nothing this business; and that fo far as more than what was therein de compacts and treaties can be bindclared, should ever be demanded ing, the zemindary was secured of the laiter ; and he concluded, to the family and descendants of in the Mahommcdan ftile, by a Bulwant Sing. Yet, whether it folemn appeal to God, the pro- proceeded from any subsequent inphet, and the Koran, as parties fractions of the agreement by the and witnesses to the agreement, Nabob vizier, or from apprehenand, that between them, and their fions founded on the capriciousjoint posterity, there should never ness and faithlefineis of his dir. be a variation therein.

position, which it was thought Colonel Harper, in the con could not be too carefully guarded sciousness of an integrity which against, we find that this business

[4] 3

ces.

was

« PreviousContinue »