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,1' 


ADVERT IS EM EN'V*’ ^ 




V . 


It 


ax- 

nd-: 


"F/VENTS in Egypt have succeeded each other so rapidty, that specu_ 

tion has been bewildered and exhausted in the variety of opinionr 
t, ^ >u- 

wKich those events have given birth. It would, however, appear, 

.notwithstanding the renewal of hostilities in Egypt by Kleber, the T 

are not to be depended on, and that Great Britain has, as yet, po ap 

ance of certainty, that the Divan of Constantinople will be able i 

Egypt as a dependency, or be inclined to resist the private negotiatJ^^^^,^ 

theFrench. T : - 

' The dangers which threaten this country have induced' me to 

exposition of facts important in themselves, and involving dee ^ 

commercial interests. The reasMiing and observations container „ 

. ise iia- 

following sheets are intended to counteract as much, as possible th 

° .ces in 

cable resentment of the French government towards Great Br 

.ections 

hope it is not too late to form such alliances, , and to frame such 


as may save this country from that ruin which ^ enemies conteir 
are preparing for execution. 


.s and show 
of Charles 


I have judged it expedient to - give a^tnap of the countries 

^ ^ - his courtier^ 

tween Great Britain and the East Indies, in order to show 





VI 


advertisement. 


tuatlon. of the different countries whose pretensions may probably Interfere 
with our own. I have also given a view of Bombay, in consideration of 
its importance, and the necessity there is of its being retained under the 
crown of Great Britain. A chart of,the trade with Russia is likewise 
necessary, as wA^s one of the exports and imports between this coun- 
ry and Britis'k^ndi# Both of these are, therefore, given with great pre- 
'ision, and according to a method that has been approved of, on account 
the facility and accuracy with which it delineates the progress of reve- 
e and commerce during any given period. 

In these charts * the horizontal lines represent the sums of money 
rked at the end of each, and tlie perpendicular lines the years marked 
■le bottom of each of them. The waving and cross lines rise or fall 
the notes in music, according to the increase or decrease of the trade 
are meant to represent, 

each chart the red line denotes exports from England, and the yel- 
imports. The intermediate space consequently represents the ba- 
for or against this country: but, as in both these branches of com- 
the balance has been uniformly against England during this century, 
^rmediate space is in both stained with the same blue colour, 
imports to this country from Russia are chiefly iron, hemp, skins, 
jy, or some other raw materials. Our exports, though but to-a 
nount, consist ©f some of the choicest of our hard-wares, cloths, 

inventor of tills mode (Mr. "W. Playfair) published, sixteen years ago, cliarts of all the 
nches of commerce carried on by England. In the preface to that work he says, " As 
tlie best judge of proportion, and as the proportion between llie amount of trade at one 
vhat .it is.at another, flfche great object to impress on the mind, by giving form and 
lat woitld olherwi.se be a series of different recollection.';, a permanent idea is at once 
aciJy in the same manner that'a map in geography gives a better idea of the width and 
i river than the most accurate written description could possibly do.” 


advertisement. 


vil 

prints, pictures, and formerly ale and beer, of which the Russians are par¬ 
ticularly fond j but as it is known that a balance against a manufacturing 
country that consists in raw materials is no injury to it, so our trade to 
Russia is still an advantageous one to both countries, and, would be still 
more so, were it not for the prodigious list of articles forbidden to be im¬ 
ported into the Russian dominions. 

The whole exports of Russia do not annually exceed three millions ster¬ 
ling ;—their imports a little mDte than two millions : so that there is a ba¬ 
lance of about seven or eight hundred thousand pounds in favour of that 
country. 

The chief trade of Russia is with Persia, China, and Tartary ^ for this 
reason, that the great mass of the people in Russia are still in a rude situ¬ 
ation, and make no use of foreign articles j while the grandees, and those . 
who follow the court, are so much in the other extreme, that Asiatic lux¬ 
uries are only coveted. Our cheap slight stuffs and manufactures, intend-' 
ed for general use, will not do in a country where richness and magnifi¬ 
cence are chiefly sought after Though since tlie time of Peter the Great 
the Russians have assumed European manners and European dresses, yet 
the taste for Asiatic magnificence and amusements still continues to prevail. 
The proximity of the southern and eastern parts of the Russian empire to 
thife countries of Asia which produce the finest articles of merchandise na- 
rally occasions a very considerable commerce; and. as Russia advances in 
riches and civilisation, there is no doubt that theiiiieommercial. connections 
will also increase.- 

* Even Ijefore tlie time of Peter the Greatj the Russian court at Moscow was for dress and show 
the most magnificent in Europe. The earl of Carlisle, who was embassador in the time of Charles 
tlie Second, declared he never saw its equal. His expression was, that the Czar and his courtiers, 
" habited-in the Turkish manner, were completely covered wdlh gold and .jewels.” 


The trade between this country and India, from a diversity of causes, is 
rapidly augmenting. Since the commutation act revoked a great part of 
the duties on tea in England, and since Europe was convulsed by the 
French revolution, that trade has been greatly improved. The East-India 
Companies both of Holland and France have been annihilated, and the 
free port of Ostend has been shut up. The Danes, Swedes, and Ame¬ 
ricans, alone, enjoy with England any share of the trade to India. From 
these circumstances it is, that Great Britain has increased her commerce 
to India to a pitch hitherto unexampled. 

The use of tea rapidly increasing on the continent of Europe will oc¬ 
casion a general augmentation of commerce, of which there is no doubt 
England, from her immense capital and great maritime resources, will 
always possess, much more than a proportional share. 







PREFACE. 


An early acquaintance with India has strongly impressed a prepossession 
in its favour. Circumstances have since occurred, which have given me 
the greatest concern i and I have to regret the necessity which compelled 
me to quit that country, and those scenes, where I may truly be said to 
have passed my best and happiest days. Nevertheless, during a long in¬ 
voluntary residence in Great Britain, I have never lost sight of those in¬ 
terests on which the security of our Indian establishments principally 
depend. 

On a variety of subjects I have availed myself of such opportunities as 
the complexion of public affairs has, from time to time, presented. Con¬ 
siderable leisure, devoted to those pursuits, has contributed to extend , my 

.>v 

knowledge of the affairs of India. At the present juncture, previously to 
a general pacification, I have arranged some particulars, which appear to 
me of the first importance. 

In following these.and similar pursuits, I enjoy the satisfaction of bear¬ 
ing with patience, though not without anxiety, the load of protracted li¬ 
tigation. If, on the one hand, I have to regret the many disappointments 

b 





P R E -F A C E. 


s 

and hardships which I have experienced, on the otlier, I have the conso¬ 
lation to reflect that my ideas have been directed to certain objects, which, 
in a different situation, might never have attracted my attention. 

The political consequence of India to Great Britain, its relative situation 
in regard to commerce, and to the other nations of Europe, as well as to 
the rising states of America, have not escaped my observation. I have 
long speculated on certain causes and events, which have taken place in 
the political horizon of this quarter of the world, as well as others yet in 
embryo; and I am now confirmed in the opinion, that those causes and 
events have for more than thirty years past had a direct tendency to open 
: a more general participation in the lucrative trade with India. The parti- 
^tion of Poland, the anniliilation of the Turkish empire by the joint or se- 
•parate efforts of the Russians and Austrians, the jealousies of the French 
and Dutch, the blended politics and intrigues of the nations on the shores 
of the Baltic, seem to have had some reference, near or remote, to that 
object. It need only be observed that our successes in India, and the mag™ 
nificent establishments of the East-lndia Company, have more than suffi¬ 
ciently proved the very great importance of our eastei'n possessions and 
commerce. In proportion as these objects have been improved and ex¬ 
tended, so, in the same proportion, has a spirit of rivality and envy been 
produced in the minds of less fortunate nations. 

The means of national prosperity, or at least to secure to Great Britain 
the benefits to be expected from her vast possessions in the East in the best 
manner possible, I have more than once endeavoured to explain. I have 
attempted to show by what measures of moderation and justice our exten¬ 
sive empire in that quarter was most likely to be consolidated, and in what 


P U E F A p E. 


XI 


manner the great interests of foreign nations were probably to be compro¬ 
mised. Physical force is not on all occasions to be resorted to with effect. 
Measures dictated by prudence, founded on the basis of distributive jus¬ 
tice, are more consonant to the law of nations, in their present form, as 
well as to the laws of nature, than an inordinate desire of unequal and un¬ 
precedented aggrandisement. The mind of man, at the appearance of in¬ 
justice, whether in internal regulation, or the more extended acts of ex¬ 
ternal policy, naturally revolts. It is to be expected that the legislative 
power of this country will be prepared at that awful crisis, a general pa¬ 
cification, io render substantial justice^ which alone can preserve our tran¬ 
quillity and opulence, or maintain our independence as a natiom 

The Letters on India were begun at a period, when it was no longer 
doubted that it was the intention of the Trench republic to retain posses¬ 
sion of Egy't, if possible, as a colony; but, at all events, if that was 
not practicable, till the final issue of the present war. It had also ap¬ 
peared, that a design to invade British India from that quarter immediately 
formed no part of their plan, and existed only in the minds of those who 
did not foresee the more subtle and certain evils arising from a different 
combination, more mature and dangerous, Egypt, in the hands of the 
government of France, would undoubtedly have produced, in a very few 
years, a change in our commercial and financial system, of the most de¬ 
structive and irresistible sort. 

Some of the observations which are brought forward in the present 
series of letters were submitted to men in power, on the present as well 
as other occasions. The declared purpose of this communication was to 
alleviate certain circumstances, and avoid subjects, which it was reason- 

b S . 


PREFACE. 


xii 

ably to be supposed would be brought forward on a convention being as¬ 
sembled for a general peace. The rights of nations, and the great and 
unalterable prerogatives of nature, whenever that event shall take place, 
will, i;o doubt, be seriously discussed. 

Whether my remarks are tp. the purpose or no, Lleave to others to deter¬ 
mine. Allowance will be made by candid and enlightened politicians, to 
-whom these letters are principally addressed, for the situation of public 
affairs at the period v/hen they were written. However some particular 
passages may be judged not, at this juncture, strictly apposite, still the 
general reasoning is not injured, nor the political aspect of public af¬ 
fairs changed. The French, with arms in their hands, retain important 
posts in Egypt, and Alexandria is the last to be yielded. What security 
is there, that the imbecillity of the Porte, stimulated by its natural, and, 
indeed, well-grounded jealousy of the Russian and Austrian governments, 
may not yet listen to overtures from France ? The speedy dissolution of 
the coalition against that country; by a separate peace, is highly probable, 
and even to be expected. But, should no such changes in the political 
balance of Europe take place, the invasion of Egypt may again be effect¬ 
ed, with better hopes of success, at a different period. Perhaps that coun¬ 
try may be given up to the general interests of Europe. At all events, 
we shall soon have to oppose the jealousy of the whole world, and to' pro¬ 
tect our commercial rights and territorial acquisitions at a proportionate 
disadvantage. The general interests of mankind are at this crisis more 
deeply involved than at any former sera of modern history. Whatever may 
be the fate of the Turkish empire, the possession of Egypt by some Eu¬ 
ropean power will very shortly be the infallible consequence of its declin¬ 
ing power. By this means the ancient channel of communication be- 


? R E ¥ A C E, 




tween the East and the West^ so much desired by all the states of Europe, 
will be again revived. 

On all these points I have presumed to offer some reflections, which, I 
trust, will neither be found illusive and premature, or anticipated and un- ^ 
important. 

The free navigation of the Black Sea, the Bosphorus, and Mediterra¬ 
nean, are but steps preparatory to the renewal of commerce from India, 
by a route the most ancient, natural, and direct,—the Red Sea, and the 
Isthmus of Suez. That this measure has long been a favourite maxim 
with some of the preponderating powers of Europe, need not to be explain¬ 
ed. Neither is it necessary to expatiate on the question. Why the order of 
political and commercial systems has been for a length of time gradually 
varying its former direction ? The progress of commerce and colonisa- 
tion has, for three centuries, laid the scene of contest among rival 
powers in the wide ocean. But, from the never-ceasing vicissitudes of 
human affairs, the attention of states and sovereign princes is about to be 
drawn from the Atlantic, to the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, to the 
Mediterranean and the Nile, to the Gulfs of Arabia and Persia. These 
movements in the political orbit plainly show that the Eastern hemisphere, 
and Eastern commerce, is soon to become the grand theatre of contention, 
as well as a subject of jealousy and rivality among European nations. 
That these speculations are not only pleasing to the imagination, but likely 
to become realised, I have ventured on a former occasion to assert. Com¬ 
binations of a commercial nature, so hostile to the established interests of 
Great Britain, are more formidable and dangerous than the consolidation 
of the French republic. It is to be regretted that sentiments of such ten¬ 
dency are beginiiing to be developed on the continent of Europe. The 


PREFACE. 


siv 

views of France, in regard to the possession of Kgypt, either by them¬ 
selves, or by some other European power, on a general peace, are greatly 
strengthened by the return of Bonaparte. At the head of public affairs in 
France, and possessing a greater degree of the confidence of the people 
than has fallen to the share of any former rulers since the destruction of 
the monarchy, he places his chief glory, his hopes, and his importance, 
on his Egyptian expedition. 

It is evident that Egypt was not seised on by the French for the mere 
purpose of conquest or territorial aggrandisement, but also for that of 
commerce, and the extension of political influence ; by the colonisation 
of that country, re-opening the ancient .canals, and stretching to the 
North and East, intercourses of various kinds between the inhabi¬ 
tants of those countries and the French nation. As commerce extends 
the boundaries of knowledge, so knowledge extends the boundaries of 
commerce. The .investigations of the French in Egypt were directed 
not only to the advancement of science, but, by means of science, to 
the improvement of manufactures and arts. The attentions of Bona¬ 
parte, when in that country, were not more occupied in precautions for 
self-defence, and securing its possession, than in investigating its natu¬ 
ral history and productions, the moral and political situations of the in¬ 
habitants, and the means by which the whole of these might be improved 
for the advantage of France, and what, it may be presumed, he had no 
less at heart,—his own individual glory. 

It does not yet appear that these views of the French, and their illus¬ 
trious leader, are by any means frustrated. They are encouraged still, by 
the predominancy of French influence and arms ^ the jealousy entertained 
by other nations of the naval power of England j the interest of all na- 


P R E F A C E. 


XV 


tions situated on, or having a commubication with, the Mediterranean; 
and, final]/, by the tottering state of the Turks, verging fast to the 
very last stage of declination, and to whom the French may be ei¬ 
ther a formidable foe, or useful ally. That this dilemma was, in fact, 
held out, and niay be probably still held out, is evident from the de¬ 
claration that was made by the French Charge d’Affaires to the Sub¬ 
lime Porte, on the occasion of Bonaparte’s taking possession of Egypt 
The threat contained in the note below will in truth, in all probability, 
be soon realised, with this addition, that the two Imperial courts will be 
joined in the menaced attack by the French republic. Such is the par¬ 
titioning policy, by which the great powers of the present day either pre¬ 
vent or settle disputes. The map of Europe will show the portions which 
will naturally be coveted by tlie courts of Petersburg and Vienna, Actual 
possession, with the long-meditated projects of France, clearly indicate 
what is to be the share of the new republic. 

But if die French should be permitted to retain Egypt, availing them¬ 
selves of all the resources of that exuberant soil,, physical and moral, tli^y ' 
will extend their inquiries and experiments beyond the precincts of Egypt 
and Syria, to the productions, prejudices, wants, and political situations 
external and internal, of other nations, A competition with such a peo¬ 
ple, so enterprising, and so ingenious, is not to be successfully main¬ 
tained, Without the exercise of genius and adventure. 

The discoveries made in Egypt, amongst others the level of that canal 
which united, by means of water-carriage, the Red Sea witli the Me- 

^ Qu^on se proposoient d’em'oyer un ambassacieur pour venir ici arranger cette affaire^ et 

representer k la Sublime Porte les diflerens rapports avatitagcux que cette expedition ofBoU pour # 
" ses interets ; et que si la Porte osoit^ pour cette affaire, declarer la querelle 4 la republique Fran- 
^oise, elle se verroit aussitot attaquee par les deux cours Imperiales.^^ 


xvl ■ 'PREFACE. 

diterfanean are subjects of his greatest triumph. Whether the re¬ 
mains of the French army in Egypt are permitted, under a capitulation 
unknown in military annals, to remain quietly at Alexandria till the re¬ 
turn of peace, or whether they are suffered to return to France unmo¬ 
lested, is of little importance. The capitulation, however, proves an ex¬ 
isting sympathy between the Ottoman Porte and the republic of France, 
no doubt founded on that friendship and connection which formerly sub¬ 
sisted between these nations, and whose interests, from geographical and 
political causes, whatever may be the revolutions of internal government, 
must ever continue to be the same. 


The intriguing spirit of the French nation is well suited to the disse¬ 
mination of such principles as are injurious and subversive of our prospe¬ 
rity, and particularly of that trade which constitutes our pride and our 
support. Bonaparte has already declared his sentiments and intentions. 
That commander has influenced the opinions of the most popular writers. 
Those of the highest character for talents, reputation, and impartiality, at 
the same time whose works, translated into all languages, command a ge¬ 
neral sale on the continent of Europe—men of that description, as well 


* The cxMence of this famous canoj occupied greatly the researches of Bonaparte. Towards-the 
end of November, 1793^ a detachment of loOO nien, under the command of general Bonaparte^ took 
possession-£)f Suez. ]!>onaparte arrived in person on the 26th of December following at that place. 
Kis attenUon^ in the first ins tanGe^ was directed to. the town, and to the couutry adjacent^ in cob- 
stracting works, and in niaking dispositions favourable to cominerce. In proceeding to the north- 
’^vard, he discovered the entrance of tlie ancient canal of Suez, tlie course of which he traced for four 
le^igues- Passing the fort of Adgeroud, he crossed the Desert^ and^ returning by Balbeis, fotnid, in 
(he Oadsot Honoreb, the remains of the same canal, where it entered the cultivatetf lands of Lower 
Egypt- Having iluis ascertained the direction of the former canal, which united the Red Sea to the 
Mediterranean, he gave orders to Pejrc, the superintending engineer of highways and bridges,'to 
CQinioence his operations at Suez, and to describe its level, , . . • 


P R- E F A C E. 


XVI! 


as politicians and philosophers, are employed in disseminating general prin¬ 
ciples of commercia] politics over all the world. Such as are most likely 
to,, be favourably received, by seeming to unite great private gain with 
public advantage, are more particularly attended to. On the one hand, 
they describe the rights and prerogatives of nature, in regard to free and 
general trade, a subject interesting to the philosopher, extremely important 
and,necessary to the welfare of society, and involving all the feelings of hu¬ 
manity and Justice :-^on the other, they point to India as the only source 
of those riches which, in the present age of luxury and refinement, are 
almost universally deemed necessary to life, as well as the security and in¬ 
dependence of nations. 

Amongst other plausible productions, Dumas, at one period war-mi¬ 
nister in France, has, in the Frecis des Evenemens IVlilitaires, expressed 
himself in the following terms—“ Outre les divers avantages qu on 
peut se promettre de la possession d*un pays renommee pour sa fer— 
tilite, quelles esperances n’ofifiraient pas au commerce des etablisse- 
“ ments sur le Golfe Arabique, des communications avec la Perse, la 
" Chine,, et rindqstan: quelques lent et difficiles que soient les trans¬ 
ports par les caravanes on peut voir dans les recherches recentes de Ro- 
" bertson quel degre d’importance a cohservd jusqu’a ce moment I’ancien 
" commerce par la voie de terre : dailleurs, on ne peut se le dissimuler, la 
" route du Cap de Bonne Esperance est perdue pour toutes les nations du 
** continent Europeen. 

" L'Angleterre, commc nous favonS deja remarque, a non seule- 
** ment aifermi, mais etendu sa puissance dans la presqu’isle de Plndej 
ses cscadres a 1 abri dcs Moussqjis, dans la rade de Trinquemale, et 


c 


P R E F A, C E, 


Kviji 

“ profitant des vents alternatifs et reguliers qiu regnent dans ces parages: 

‘‘ difficiles, n'y laisseront plus dotter desqrmais que le paYillon Britan- 
^MiiquCi L'Europe est condamnee au joiig du monopolej et toutes ces 
denrees .pr&ieuses, deYenues de. premiere necessite, et ces tissus ia- 
“ briques, a iin prix: si modique, par iia people patient et frugal, seront 
rev end us par les dominateurs des mers au prix qu’il leur conviendra'dc 
« fixer.. 

Ce seroit done un. veritable service a rendre a toutes les nations Md-*- 
diterra.nees, que de consoUder retablissemeiit de la colonie Franqoise en. 
Egyptc, et, de denner au commerce de ce pay^, qui, de tout temps, a fixe,. 

“ les regards des politiques eclaires toute Textension dont il peut dtre sus- 
** ceptible. Les Egyptiens degrades par la misere, et avilis par le despo- 
** tisme; les Grecs asset vis,, et les Arabes errants, deviendront citoyens, le 
jour qu’ils connaitront ulie patrie; I’existence d’une ville qui renferme. 

** pres de 400 mille ames suffit seule pour prouver que VIndustrie n’a pu 
** etre entierement detruite sur les bords du Nil, et le Gairc puit encore, par 
les soins vigilants du gouvernement et par cette activite si particuliere. 

** aux Franqois, rappeller les beaux temps de Tyr et d’Alexandrie 

The reasons which induced me to enter so minutely into the affairs of 
Egypt are now developed, and will be seen in t|ie perusal of the following 
sheets.. 

.1 

I ofiered in proper time such observations *1* as might have prevented, 

* Were it necessary to explain farther the vlews of the French m regard to commerce with India* 
the sentiments and opinions of their besf 'poHtical writers might be adduced : Sotminii Arnoiild, An.- ' 
quetil, Puperron, and others. ^ ' _ • . ' ’ • 

t See Travels from England Jo India, &e. by Major. Taylor. ,i , , 


-PREFACE. 


xut- 


the evil consequences which we are now likely to encounter. A force 
sent from India, at an early period of the war in Egypt, would, no doubt, 
have speedily dispossessed the French, and deprived them of the opportu^ 
nity of acc^vtiring cucK a. Icnnwledge of the importance of Egypt to the 
nations of Europe as they now possess—a knowledge which they will yet 
cohtrive to convert to the most destructive purposes. If the' time which 
has elapsed, since the first communication of my Ideas on tliis,subject, has 
altered the political situation of public affairs, I am sorry to add that the 
danger has not been diminished : the facts on which my apprehensions 
and arguments were founded remain as before. The Letters on India will 
not be accounted either less interesting or useful, from the circumstance of 
the friendly capitulation on the part of the Ottoman Empire and the 
French. The same views and interests are still predominant j the same 
precautions against ambitious machinations necessary y the same system of 
conduct politically expedient. The assistance of our veteran native troops, 
from the coast of Malabar, may be yet necessary in Egypt, and serve to 
illustrate the truth and the necessity of my suggestions beyond a doubt. 
At that period, whenever it may happen, the Letters on India may proba¬ 
bly be resorted to not unusefiilly. The importance of Suez, and the po¬ 
sitions of Cossire and Ghinna, will be then better understood j and the good 
policy of supporting the Arabs against the tyrannical and effeminate Turks, 
then perhaps the allies of France, be admitted. 

If it were necessary to dilate farther on the unproinising aspect of affairs, 
many observations might,ie made. It is, howeVer, proper we should be 
prepared to meet such changes arfd vicissitudes as the ingenuity and de¬ 
signing minds of our opponents are preparing for our most vulnerable part. 
In order to destroy the great cohimercial interests of Great Britain. 

c S 


P E. E F A C E . 


The French, it must be allowed, even by those the least disposed to 
over-rate their powers, have conducted matters, during the whole of 
the present disastrous war, on principles more certain i4 their effect than 
any upon which we have yet acted. While we Kave only oppoced mea¬ 
sures of force, and warlike preparations and exertions, the French have 
uniformly counteracted our best efforts by the same physical force, im¬ 
pelled by strong and unconquerable opinion, that which influences all the 
passions of human nature, and by which only, in the present day, miracles 
are performed. They have substituted one system, or order of systems, 
to combat others which have been opposed to them; and, in some in¬ 
stances, they have artfully contrived to make their own interests and that 
of their enemies the same. The exclusion of British ships and commerce, 
not only from their own ports, but from those of Spain, Holland, and the 
Netherlands, has been severely felt. Their designs on Hamburg and 
ports in the Baltic, as well as Portugal, convince us that their views will 
only terminate with an extension of this measure as far as it may be pos¬ 
sibly accomplished. The possession of the Mediterranean, and a free and 
open trade to India by the way of Egypt, a colony in their hands, would 
probably satisfy their ambition, fatal at the same time to British commerce 
to India. * , 

These are the systems and combinations which they now oppose to 
Qtir numerous and powerful fleets, since they see no probability of be- 
ing again able to compete with us at sea. The French observe, ** Lais- 
“ sez les Anglais combattre sur mer, dqnnez nous la terre, et nous som- 
** mes surs de vaincre.” They are, at the present crisis, endeavouring 
to satisfy and convince the house of Austria of their interests in these 
future measures of commercial arrangement > and they no doubt already 


PREFACE. 


XXI 

reckon on the acquiescence of the Turks, and the good will of the kings 
of Prussia and Sweden, 

The political and practical result of all these observations on the present 
state of commerce and prospective views of nations is, that the empires of 
Great Britain and Russia should ward off the threatened evils as long as 
possible, not only by a treaty of amity and commerce, but by the strictest 
alliance, defensive and offensive. The remote situations, and the different 
circumstances of these empires, constitute a solid basis for the greatest 
mutual advantages and the most permanent friendship. ^ 

The political designs of the French, and the line of conduct which it 
may be proper for Great Britain to pursue in consequence, particularly with 
reference to the India trade, may perhaps derive some additional light froim 
the following observations.. 

The grand lever by which that people endeavours to subvert the ancient 
order of affairs in Europe and the world, is the principle of individual 
liberty, or the rights of man. They call the nations to the standard of 
France by the sound of liberty.. In like manner, it is reasonable to infer, 
that in due time, that is, when they shall have established peace on the 
Continent, they will summon all maritime nations to arrange themselves 
around the French flag for the purpose of vindicating, in opposition to the 
tyranny of England, the freedom of the ocean- They will insist, that the 
^navigation of the open seas shall be uncontrouled and free,—yet they them¬ 
selves will endeavour to bind in chains the coasts of the Mediterranean,: 
to convert this, as it were,'into a great canal appertaining to the French 
empire, and to draw thereto the most valuable, and thaf which is the graiid 


KXll 


PREFACE. •- 

Stimulus of all the commerce of the world. They will no doubt permit, 
and may not improbably invite, the otHer maritime powers to participate 
in that commerce, v^ell knowing that they themselves will retain or com¬ 
mand the largest share, and be able to give the law in what they will con¬ 
sider as their,ownTheir first object will be, by operating on 
that love of power and property which is inherent in human nature, to 
establish an order of rharitime afiairs that shall humble the power of Eng¬ 
land- Their aim will be to open the trade with the Mediterranean, under 
llir. auspices of ike French republic^ in the same manner as they talked of 
giving peace and tranquillity to the world, mider the same auspices : thus 
pretending still to be the first of nations. 

The French republic, while It conducts its military operations on en¬ 
larged, and on what may be called sublime principles, and calls to its aid 
everv ignorev'ement of art and science, carries on at the same time, and 
with equal success, a kind of moral war on the minds of men. The 
French, having established their power on the Continent, can well afihrd, 
and will probably affect to exhibit to the world, a grand example of mo¬ 
deration. But new power, and high renown, may certainly be expected 
to give to the industry and enterprise of the French a new spring, which 
will carry them rapidly on, in the career of arts, commerce, and every kind 
of exertion. 

Prussia, Denmark, and Sweden, deaf to the calls of public law and the 
balance of Europe, may probably listen to the more immediate advantages 
held out by an extension of commerce. 

The politics of the Prince who at present sways the sceptre of Russia, 


PREFACE. xxlii 

Has an evident tendency to the amelioration and aggrandisement of His em¬ 
pire. His viewsj in regard to the arrangements to be made at a general 
pacihcation, are riot yet developed. But I reason on the aMirs of Russia a^ 
on those of France and Turkey, on general principles, which, sooner or 
laterj and commonly at no great distance of time, controul the accidents of 
caprice and fortune. Will the court of St. Petersburg, will the Russian 
nation, long endure the im'moderate aggrandisement of the friends of the 
Turks and Swedes/and the patrons of the revolution in Poland I 

y . -i-, 

The grand question at the present moment seems to be this—Whether 
the resources of industry, or those of rapine,, both on a scale of grandeur 
unparalleled in history, will be found the most durable ?—Let us view 
our real situation, and particularly as it stands in relation to France, with 
a candid, though steady and undiverted eye- Trade is artificial, precarious, 
and fluctuating. Physical force, every ^y encouraged by successful ex¬ 
ertion, is of a more permanent nature. The lion and the tiger, that sub- 
,>sist on preys are not only more powerful, but longer lived than those that 
are nourished by vegetables and' live in peace with their neighbours. The: 
fruitful soil of France, npurishing men by nourishing vegetables, will re¬ 
main. The heavy weights added yearly to the heavy load of British taxes, 
and the hostile combination of maritime nations ..against us, will, in the 
long run, discourage and overpower our industry, if we do not oppose to 
these discouragements fartlier and farther improvements, and keep a vi¬ 
gilant and constant eye on every important change in the political balance. 

Though trade in every country be precarious and transient in such i 
country as Great Britain, with Ireland now happily united, of large extent,, 
nourishing a hardy race of peasantry, and fitted to repel external attacks 


xxiv • ' PREFACE. ^ , 

by its geographical situation, it is less so than such states as Holland, tlfb 
trading states in Italy, Portugal, and the Hanseatic towns, which are little 
more than mere magazines of commerce. The wealth acquired by com¬ 
merce, and a general spirit of industry and improvement, contributes to the 
improvement of our lands and seas, while the cultivation of these again 
furnishes new materials for the extension of comnrierce and general exertion. 
These natural advantages on our side may counterbalance the physical re¬ 
sources of France; provided that we also oppose to the restlessness and 
subtility of French intrigue the wisdom of sound political negotiation. 
Divided from the great Russian empire by distance of space, we may, in 
some sort, be considered as approximated to it , by the ocean, and united by 
a reciprocity of interests. It is on this ground chiedy that I would endea¬ 
vour to build my hopes of weathering the storm with which we have at 
present to maintain a conflict, and which, though thfe gale may blow from 
another quarter, will not be abated by a general pacification, unless die in¬ 
terests of Great Britain be consolidated by those, not of all (though this 
would be desirable, were society in so advanced a state as to render it prac¬ 
ticable), but of at least some other powerful nations or nation. 


CONTENTS. 


LETTER i. 

INTRODUCTOnr LETTER, 

General Re^ectmis 07 i Indmi —Liable to be changed by the Boay'd of Con- 

troul and the Court of Directoi'S—The Stockholders, an intermediate Tower — 
Their great Privilege not to be infringed-^Marquis of Wellesley, his Abilities 
and Success in India^Alarm excited by a supposed Transfer of the Coast of 
Malabar to the Presidency of Fort St, George—Reasons why it should not take 
Place—Injurious to the Company’s Servants on the Bombay Establishment — Me^ 
ri/orious Services of the Bombay Army—Public Thanks given them by the Go¬ 
vernor-General and Cmnmander in Chief—What the Rexvai'd of Service should 
be " • » — Ptigs 1 

LETTER H. 

Cmsideratiom m the Expediency of annexing the Territorial Possessions, on the 
Coasts of Canara and Malabar, obtained by Treaty and Coyiquest from the late 
Sultaun of Mysore, to the Presidency of Fort St. George—Consequences and 
Injustice of that Measure to the Servants on the Bombay Establishmejit —Page 7 

LETTER III. 

Importance of Egypt to the French—Their great Desire to retain that Country 
until the Period of general Pacification—Interest of the Arabs in excluding 
Commerce by the Way of Suez—Contrary Vieivs of the Turks—Their Imbecil- 
lity the Reason zohy they promote the Views of the East-India Company — In¬ 
terest of the Nations of Europe bordering on the Mediterranean Sea in regard 
to Egypt—Necessity for expelling the French from thence - ^ Page 15 

d' 






CONTENTS. 


1.ETTER IV, 

The French not to be driven from Egi/pf hij Means pf ike Tiir1iS-^ImbeclUi(i/,o/ 
their Empire—Subject to frequent Jievolts—Janizaries of Constantinople—Ma- 
malukes — Arabs—Reasons whp the French met xoilh so little Resistance in Egypt^ 
particularly from the Arabs—Flan for expelling the French from that Counbp— 
Detail of the Means by which it is to be done—Troops should be sent from Indian 
2 ip the Red Sea^ to co-operate xoith an Army of British Troops and Russians 
from the Side of the Mediterranean—Troops from India should land at Cossh'e, 
and cut of the Communication between Upper and Lower Egypt—The Sw'render 
of the Fj'ench Army indubitable - - - - Page 29 

LETTER V 

Ref ections on the Danger of permitting the French to occupy Egypt, especially at 
the present Juncture—Lower of the French in India—Its Decline since 1756 — 
Their East-India Company ruined—Prosperity of the English in India—Fo- 
iicy of the French to undermine it—By what Means they loitl pmobably atiepipt 
it—Their Arguments subtle, plausible, and dangerous—Endeavour to engage 
the other Poivers of Europe in their Scheme to draw Part of the Trade to India 
into the Mediterranean by Egypt and the Red Sea—This to be apprehended from 
the conciliatory Conduct of Bonaparte, and Jiis Endeavours to disunite tiie Co¬ 
alition—Demands made by the Free Trade of this Country favourable to his 
Views—Should be considered and settled—Plans of Ambition of Foreign Na¬ 
tions to draw Capital from Great Britain by affording great Encouragement to 
Traders—Should be counteracted—General Remarks — The great Albu¬ 
querque's Ideas on the Importance of the Easteim Commei'ce to the Ci'own of 
Portugal - - - ~ ' * Page 34 

LETTER VI, 

General Refections on the bad Tendency of French Principles—The Impression 
already made, or likely to be made, by their Means, on the Courts of Europe — 
System of Compensations—Views of the House of Austria in regard to Venice, 
likely to disturb the Repose of Mankind—Overland Trade to India—DangeYs 
and Jealousies to be apprehended in Consequence—Occasion new Wars—Perhaps 
the Partition of the Turkish Empire, and the Restojmtioji of the Greeks — Cer- 
iain Nations designed to favour and mutually assist each othei'—Russia a natu¬ 
ral Ally to Great BrUmn~^4t the same fime Riassm may bp dangerpgsffo ihp 


CONTENTS. 


XXV rt 


Intemls of Great Britain—H(Kofa}] S. 0 ^ h; leaguing with the 'Northern Bowers 
of Hindoos tan against us—Particular Facilities of Communication between the 
Empire of Mtissia 'and the Nofth-lVest Frontiers of India- Die Ambition of 
- kussia likelp to be stimulated bp Success-Great Resources—Plan to attach 
'"Riti'ssid f rmlp to Great Britain—Hoxv to concentrate the Prosperity of both, but 
' xtith greater Adoantage to this Country—Particular Advantages which Russia 
•' umlk dtrive on the one Hand—On the other Great Britain greatly benefited— 
Attack to be made on Zemaun Sham by the Route of Bucharia ajid the Defiles 
' of the Hindoo Kkoo—Would serve to preserve Tranquillity in British India — 
Commercial Treaty with Russia—The Means of disposing of many Articles of 
India Produce—Balance of Trdde loUh Russia rendered more favourable to 
Great Britain ~ - - - ■ ' Page 43 

^ LETTER VIL 

Account of Zemaun Shaxo, and Ms Connection with the late Sidtaun of Mysoj'e — 
Invasion of his Country from the Side of Tartary the best Security to Brutish 
India—Embassy to Persia in Consequence—Decline of Persia—Better to m- 
ploy Russian Troops—Their probable March from the Caspian by the Amoo to 
Heraut and Cabul, by the Def ies of Hindoo Khoo—Reflections on the Invasions 
of India by Alexander, Tamerlane, and Nadir Shaw, by that Route—Origin of 
the Kingdom of Candahar, of Ahmiid Shaw Abdallee, Timiir Shaw, %c.~—De¬ 
scription of the Country—Short Account of the Government of the Seicks, their 
Power, Fc. - - - - , - - ■ Page 65 


Page 82 


LETTER VIIL 

Refections on India—French Politics and Uherty . *■ 

LETTER IX. 

Hhort Account of the Indian Trade from the earliest Pernod of History 88 

LETTER X. 

General Reflection on the Expediency of preserving a direct Communication by 
Land with our India Possessions for the Purpose of conveying Intelligerice— 
Outlines of a Plan for that Purpose—Distances by dif'erent Routes—Red Sea 
— Monsoon—Expenses of the Plan - * - Page 1Q2 

LETTER XL 

. ,'1 

Thoughts on Corfinicrce—Disquisition dn Free Trdde to litdia—Participation''re- 

d 2 


xKviii 


CONTENTS. 


quired bp Bnthh Merchants resident in India, and their Agents in this Caxin^ 
tr^—Share which they ought to e}\jop—And xohat should be reserved to the East- 
India Company, ^c. Sic. - - * Page lS3 

LETTER Xn. 

Necessity of entering at large upon the Question of Foreign and Free Trade, as 
connected zvith that of the East-India Company, in order to secure to Great 
Britain that valuable Branch of Commerce - - Page 163 

LETTER XIII, 

Of the Nature of Landed Property in India, as connected zvith Husbandry and 
Manufaeiures Page i&O 

LETTER XIV, 

Examination of the Native Powers of India in 7'egard to Military Tactics — Ac¬ 
count of the preponderating Governments in that Country—The Progress they 
have made, mid hozv far they may be dangerous—General Refections on the 
whole, as applicable to British India . „ - Page isa 

LETTER XV. 

Litlte Attention paid in India to support the Credit of the Company^Their Paper 
subject to great Depreciatioii’^Money difficult to be borrowed by the Company 
for the Want of financial Regidatiom—Necessity of adopting some System to 
that Effect—Outline of a Plan to ameliorate their Situation in regard to it — 
Great Advantages to he derived from it by Individuals, as ivell as being extremely 
beneficial to the Company—May excite the Attention of Free Traders and others, 

-— Probably, if carried into Execution by the Proprietors, be the Means of en^ 
suring a Renewal of the Charter—A Banking-House in London to be employed 
in the Airangement - - •* . - -• Pa-ge 205 

LETTER XVI. 

Recapitulation and Conclusion - - - - »218 

* ' ^41 


APPENDIX 





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•-'I - 


INTRODUCTORY LKTTER^ 




LETHER I. 


Ge?i€ral Reflections on Indian y^dirs-^Lial/le to be changed by the Board of 
Qontj'ouL and the Court of Directors—The StockholderSi an intermediate 
Doiceif—-Their great Piipilege not to be infringed—Marquis ofWellesleyr 
'* Ins Abilities and Success in Itidia—Alarm excited by a supposed Tra7isfer 
oT llie Coast, ef Malabar to the Presidency of For t St. George—Reasons 
why U shvufd 7iot take place—Jiyitrious to the Company’s Sei'm^iis on the 
Bombay Establishmeyit—Meritorious Services of the Bombay Army- 
Public Thanks given them by the Governor-General and Commander in 
Chief—What the Reiddxd of Service should be* 


DEAR SIR, London, March 1, 1800. 

affairs of the East-Indfa Company have of late years taken a very 
exfraordinary turn, and the Proprietors of the Stock of that Company 
mast soon prepare themselves for a grand and total change in the system of 
their imperial establishment. The phases which late revolutions in your 
7>§Qvernments have displayed ought to convince us, that it is the mtention 
Court of Directory, in conjunction with his Majesty’s Ministers, to 
^ •^ri^i^bout some changes, in the name of reforms, in all your v'arious de- 
' paitmentSi Tfhe Proprietors, placed between the two Executive Po’vvers, 

B 




1 






2 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


are, in fact, the axis of the balance. In this situation they are occasionally 
resorted to on such questions as may require their concurrence and assent. 
I consider, therefore, the Proprietors as Arery materiaiiy interested in the 
prosperity of the Company, not only in their own persons individuallyv 
but also as the representatives in this country, of their numerous connex¬ 
ions in the East Indies, and all their servants abroad, among whom there 
may be some who have few or no friends in Great Britain, 

It is to be observed, thdt'thefe exists a very material diderence between 
■the powers necessary to ;conduct an establishment on a mercantile scale, 
and the government of exclusive, territorial possessions, with an immense 
productive revenue. It is, besides, a matter of great doubt, how fe.r, in 
sound policy, they ought to be at all connected, as the extent of so con¬ 
siderable a country as British India, and a population of nearly thirty mil- 
•iions of inhabitants, may, without the trouble of commercial calculation, 
be justly considered of sufficient magnitude and importance to occupy the 
mind of any man, however enlightened. It was said, on a former occa¬ 
sion, by one of the Directors, That take away the sword, the purse 
would soon follow.” This may be true in some respects, as the sword is, 
beyond doubt, the guardian of territory; but on this, as' well as every other 
subject of consideration, in which the Proprietors may, from the political 
order of things, find themselves involved, there is one axiom which never 
should be forgotten s viz. That the existing East-India Company should 
still continue to act agreeably: to express compact, as the circulating me¬ 
dium of the public money between Great Britain and her possessions in 
India. 

These, my dear Sir, are your imdoubted privileges, and they cannot, 
cither in good faith, or on the solid basis of public justice, be alienated 
from you, unless, indeed, extreme bad management or inattention oh the 


tETTEH-S ON INDIA, 


3^ 


part of the Directors, who at present preside wer your interest, with so 
■much oeconomy and propriety, should render a. change absolutely indis¬ 
pensable. Your commercial charter depends more on a due observance of 
mercantile osconomy and regulation, than on the parchment itself^ with all 
its formalities. In the present age of calculation, when we hear of the 
wealth of the country, it does not imply any great addition, either to the 
riches or the comfort of the subject. The advantage of national wealth is, 
that it renders the state more powerful, by the political absorption of 
money intathe public treasury, and, in proportion to that aecessiofi, ena-. 
hies it to grant better security to the property and lives of the people. By 
a proper application of the finances, externally as well as intcmally, weliold' 
a higher rank in the scale of syrrounding nationSj and obtain benefits 
denied to others. The Proprietors of East-India Stock, as well as every , 
other public body, and individuals of the empire, are therefore called upon 
to exert all justifiable means to increase the resources and preserve the . 
independence of their country. 

In regard to the policy of retaining under the present system the terrir 
torial and commercial interests of India^ it appears of very little conse¬ 
quence to your concerns in what manner they are conducted, so that 
you are not deprived of those privileges wliioh certainly belong to you. 
One thing is certain, that the transfer of your army to government would 
very shortly be followed up with the deprivation of the territory. But, 
what tlien would be the consequence ? You would be exonerated from a 
great share of responsibility, and no longer be troubled witli voluminous 
applications from your numerous servants. 

Again it must be considered, tliat, from the changes ^d fluctuations in¬ 
troduced into the physical and political order of things by the lapse of time, 
a system in itself perfect half a century ago is not by any means applicable 


4 


lETTERS OK INDIA. 


at the present conjuncture.—A vast accession of territory has totally altered 
the face of your affairs j and such regulations must, therefore, be adopted 
as are suited to the appearances which these assume. The Proprietors 
have themselves authorised innovations in regard to the shipping interest, 

. as w'ell as to that class of men denominating themselves the free-traders to 
India 5 and you must expect that they will be succeeded by others, per¬ 
haps, no less justifiable and necessary. 

The efforts of the present governor-general in your service are far above 
my praise, and perhaps beyond what you yourselves can appreciate. 
With the most undisputed abilities, as well as strictest veracity and soundest 
judgment, the Marquis of Wellesley has made very important changes in the 
internal government of your possessions ia India: he has, by the conquest 
of Mysore, and the destruction of the government of an implacable tyrant, 
introduced into that country a system of political security never before 
established. By his wisdom and energy, British India is become more 
valuable, and, I trust, a more permanent appendage to the crown of these 
realms. A nobleman, bred up in the general polity of courts, could 
scarcely be supposed to descend to fhe mlnuti^ of commerce. Still his 
penetrating mind was early directed to this important object: he opened 
with a liberal hand a freedom of commerce, which reflects on his admini¬ 
stration the highest credit; inasmuch as it tends to combine the interest 
of his country with the prosperity of individuals. A relaxation in the re¬ 
strictions from exclusive trade will promote the manufactures of India, 
and prove a considerable accession of income to the East-India Company. 

When so much regard. Sir, has been paid to the security of India and 
to public justice, we should regret that any portion of the Indian com¬ 
munity, from whatsoever cause, short of the greatest political necessity, 
should be likely to become a sacrifice to internal regulation. 


LETTERS ON . INDIA, 


5 


Contracts, it has been frequently observed, are either in themselves 
positive or implied. Implied contracts are perhaps more binding, when 
they regard the state of civil society and social happiness, than those of a 
more positive and defined description. The first most commonly affect a 
few, whilst the others may disturb the domestic enjoyment of a great 
number. Besides, in foreign countries, where we are far removed from 
the endearing community of those we esteem, the very semblance of 
injustice should be more than carefully avoided. I allude here. Sir, to 
the report of an intended transfer of the two provinces, of Canara and 
Malabar, to the Presidency of Fort St. George. The very sufmise of 
such a measure has already created vdry serious alarm in the minds of the 
Bombay servants of every denomination, as it has also warmly interested 
the feelings of their numerous friends in this country in their behalf. 
Those with whom the decision of this proposition is ultimately left, if any 
such is in agitation, and of which I entertain considerable doubt, will cer¬ 
tainly, when they judge of the expediency of the transfer, balance in 
their public judicial capacities the probable advantages with the evident 
injury. The essence of distributive justice consists not in any specific 
advantage conferred on any one party or individual, but in the quantum 
of good which it extends indiscriminately, and with impartiality, to a whole 
society. By these criteria are to be appreciated the degree of despondency 
and despair, not to say of indignation, which, in case of the transfer sup¬ 
posed, would naturally take possession of the minds of your Bombay 
servants, civil, military, marine, and medical: men, who, many of them, 
have spent their be.st days in your service under a tropical sun, relying 
with unbounded confidence on your patronage and justice. The intended 
transfer would not convey to any part of British India,—no ! not even to 
that Presidency w'hich would most benefit by it, either the greatest possible 



6^ LETTERS ON INDIA. 

cnGouragemerit to be derived from emulation In your employm&nt,^ or the 
most, strict adherence on the part of the Company to the civil rights of 
their servants^ The spirit and enei'gy of rising settlements would be for 
ever crushed. After the uniform good conduct of your army on. the coast 
of Malabar, and the services rendered by them in the reduction of Mysore, 
so warmly and highly applauded both by the commander in chief and the- 
governor-general, in public orders what must their feelings be, when they 
redect that, as a body, they are in a manner annihilated ? To what end,, 
must they suppose, do acknowledged services and great exertions lead ? If 
not to reward, certainly not to degradation* Argument, Sir, on a subject 
self-evident, is unnecessaiy; and it would be a waste of words to prove 
what is already acknowledged, “ That the best national policy is tliat which 
'‘'‘is founded on sound justice.’* We have little apprehension but on this 
maxim the matter will be settled, in such a manner as will effectually 
remove the lively emotions to which the idea of a transfer has given rise. 

The press has lately teemed with publications on East-Indian affairs; 
which plainly show the great consequence of our Indian establishments to 
the country at, large. As this has increased, and ^till continues to increase,, 
the desire of information has been proportionally augmented. Some 
writers have instructed, whilst others have misled; but my object is to 
exhibit a compendious view of India, as it is connected with Great Britain, 
in their general as well as most important reciprocities; and particularly to 
rest on the political and relative situation of Hindoostan, at such a junc¬ 
ture as the present. 

This subject, on account of the urgency of its nature, I shall resume in' 
my next. In the mean time, 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, 6cc. 


^ See. Appendix, 


LfettERS Oiir INDIA, 





LETTER II. 


’Consikeraiions on the Expediency of aniiexmg the Taritorial Possession on the 


Cdmts'of CoTXOxa 'mdMalabtirt obtained by Treaty mid Vonquestfrom the 
late SuUuun of Mysore, to the Presidency of Fort St, Gcorge-^C&nmiue7icts 
and IhjuUice-of tkai Measure taHhe Sermnts -on the Bondiay Eslahlish-^ 


merit* 

. . ' vJ .. - : 


DRAR SIR, “ . London, Match 5, 1800. 

To avoid all injustice, or appearance of injustice, in the public as well as 
private acts of governtileht, iS not more upright tliail wise policy: good 
feith and a steady adherence to ancient establishments, customs, and pri¬ 
vileges, should be the main Spring of all its actions. Gn this ground I 
fed the strongest confidence, from the known moderation and wisdom of 
those who preside over East-Indian affairs, that the alarm which certain 
circumstances have very generally excited, is as groundless as it would be 
inexpedient and unjust. ' 

The transfer of the coast of Malabar to the Presidency of Fort St? 
George would, no doubt, be a measure extremely likely to create great 
discontent abroad: but the anxiety which has on every occasion been 
shown to prevent injurious distinctions, in the more remote' corners of our 
empire, is an additional argument why, on the present occasion, we have 
nothing to apprehend. 

Certain circumstances, I must allow, have carried with them' a consider¬ 
able degree of suspicion. Amongst others, may be mentioned the ap¬ 
pointment of collectors from another establishment, to the revenue de¬ 
partment of the Canara districts. 



g LETTERS ON INDIA. 

A salutary regulation lately issued by the governor-general, may in some 
degree, pro tempore, have influenced these appointments. To extend 
and diffuse the native languages of the country among all tlie servants of 
the Company, appeared the best means for encouraging their cultivation. 
The office of collector is now open to all their servants without distinction, 
in all departments, civil, military, and medical. The best qualified for 
this important office are to be selected, not from the different presidencies 
generally—The Company’s servants, on their respective establishments, 
are to enjoy the territorial collectorships under their distinct presidencies. 

Since the acquisition of the Malabar province, in the year 1792, the 
study of the Canara language has, by the Bombay servants, been particu¬ 
larly attended to. There are now many who can both write and speak it 
with the greatest facility. It is nevertheless harsh, rapid, and monoto¬ 
nous, and not very easily attainable. From this circumstance, it is very 
probable that there are not a sufficient number of Bombay servants as yet 
qualified to fill situations which the recent accession of the Canara dis¬ 
tricts may demand. The servants on the Madras establishment have, for 
a great length of time, been accustomed to the Canara dialect. It is in 
fact the common dialect of the coast of Coromandel, and it, consequently, 
has been persevered in by them in the same manner as the Hindoostany, 
or Moors, the common language of Bombay and its dependencies, has 
been, by the servants on that establishment. 

it is therefore probable, that the appointment of gentlemen from Madras 
has been made merely with a view to arrange the affairs of the Canara pro¬ 
vince, previously to its being finally given over to the presidency to which it 
naturally appertains. The financial accounts of that province must necessarily, 
from recent events, be in great confusion, and in want of that attention 
which is necessary, in order to ascertain its real value, and the extent of 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


3 


its resources. To e^ect this important measure in the first instance, may 
require men habituated not only to tlie language of the people, but also 
■well acquainted with the nature of such, complicated accounts, especially 
when it is for tlie interest of the inhabitants, as it is also their disposition, 
to conceal all the transactions of their former government. These cir- 
ciUTLStances have occurred more on the eastern than on the western side of 
India, and account, in some measure, for the innovation. All this may 
be inferred, without imputing either blame, or want of genius or appli¬ 
cation, to the Bombay servants: but it by no means argues that they are 
less capable or less deserving than their brethren at Fort St. George. Such 
reflections are illiberal, and, consequently, not congenial to the expanded 
sentiments of the rulers of India. The generous feelings of men liigh in 
office, whether in this country or abroad, will, no doubt, consider all the 
servants of the Company as deserving of equal attention, and as entitled 
to equal privileges, protection, and emoluments. They will not depress, 
or rather degi'ade, some, in order to exalt others. This would be an ou¬ 
trage to justice, and an insult on common sense and integrity. Thank 
heaven [ we live not under a government of despots : nor does that go¬ 
vernment treat us as such, but as men equally qualified with themselves 
to judge of the expediency of any particular measure, both in respect of 
political propriety or advantage, and the peace and comfort of private life : 
objects utterly incompatible with an undue preference to come before 
others with equal rank, and equal pretensions to favour. Acts of injustice 
will never be permitted by any of the exalted characters who hold a share 
in the administration of India, 

On the occasion to which I have now alluded, the appointment of Ma¬ 
dras servants to die collectorships o£> the province of Canara, the Bombay 
civil servants, quickened by apprehension, and altve to the nice feelings 


c 


' letters on INDIA. 

of sensibility and honour, have addressed the Governor-General. It is to 
be hoped, nay, it is past a doubt, that the distinguished character, who 
enjoys the greatest dignity under the crown of Great Britain, will pay 
every just attention to the merits of their memorial, and to the claims of all 
those who appeal to his undoubted justice and integrity. We should, 
therefore, be inclined to believe that the next packets from India over¬ 
land will bring the gratifying intelligence that evciy alarm has subsided, 
and that matters are going on with the utmost harmony and concord. It 
would, indeed, be very much to be regretted, if any jealousies should be 
extrinsically excited between the presidencies of Fort St. George and that 
of Bombay. The gentlemen on these establishments are all of them well 
known to each other; they have shared more than once the same glory, 
the same toils and perils ;-they have divided in the gloomy dungeons of 
Seringapatam equal hardships; and they have tasted from the same cup the 
bitter draughts of cruel and unexampled captivity. Can these men be 
therefore disunited ? or can selfish and sordid views take place of genuine 
friendship and esteem ? No I that is yet beyond the depravity of human 
nature of the basest kind, and totally unknown to the generous and noble 
feelings of our countrymen in India. The British inhabitants of that 
country are connected by indissoluble bonds,—ties wliich are commensurate 
with the situation, and with the space which divides them from their 
friends and connections in the western hemisphere. Let us therefore not 
reckon on rivality between the two presidencies, or suppose that the Go¬ 
vernment of Madras, were they so inclined, will find either instigators or- 
abettors amongst their servants, who will in any way advise, I may say, 
so unconstitutional a measure as the transfer of the coast of Malabar to‘ the 
Presidency of Fort St. George. 

It is also to be hoped, that government will by no means lose sight of 


LETTER^ ON INDIA, 


11 


those incalculable mischiefs to be apprehended from ajiy measure that 
might discompose, shake, and perhaps ultimately overturn, that interior 
political balance which has hitherto happily regulated and harmonised 
our affairs in India. Under the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bom- 
bay^ a sort of equipoise has been established They have existed in per¬ 
fect security for a considerable length of time j and as innovations are at 
all times dangerous,- there can be no necessity for a change of that system 
which has already been approved, and found so excellent. 

The impracticability of such a transfer as that now alluded to, if it re¬ 
quired any illustration to convince us of its impropriety, is perfectly de¬ 
monstrable, On what principle of justice it could possibly take place, I 
am at a loss to discover. The accession of such a body of servants to the 
Madras Presidency would create the greatest confusion and disorders it 
would inevitably produce a continual scene of murmuring and complaint. 
After all, some servants of every description must remain at Bombay, Now, 
would not those men have a right to exclaim, as being left without com 
sequence, and without hope, at a degraded and impoverished settlement ? 
The civil servants would be mere agents or factors, and the military sta¬ 
tioned at Bombay and Surat, become, as it were, the invalids of tlie garri¬ 
sons of Plymouth and Dover, or Stirling and Blackness Castles. 

in regard to whatever part of the military might be transferred, on 
whom it would certainly fall lighter than on the civil servants, to whom 
it would prove total destruction, what must be the feelings of a military 
officer of Bombay incorporated on the Madras army with his old rank, 
after so many promotions, perhaps, of younger officers, have been 

* It cannot be literally said to be an equipoise, if extent of dominion is to be the criterion from 
which tins IS to be estimated j but on commercial and other considerations it may very fairly be pul 
into the scale. 


C 2 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


made at iVlidras ?—Such a measure would not be more unjust than 
impolitic. 

Since the changes that have lately taken place, there may indeed be a 
necessity of removing the seat of government from Bombay to the coast 
of Canara or Malabar. The situation of Mangalore appears to be parti¬ 
cularly eligible for this purpose; it is nearly in a line with Fort St. 
George, Seringapatam, and the Straits of Babelmandel. Here the whole 
intelligence of Europe and India might be concentred with the greatest 
advantage f. There is not the smallest doubt but that the harbour or port 
of Mangalore ;|; is capable of very great improvement, and that it may, 
with attention, become a very useful rendezvous for shipping, as well as 
serviceable in repairing, and also in building vessels of considerable di¬ 
mensions. 

M 

Should political expediency require that the seat of government be re¬ 
moved to a more convenient spot, it would not affect the servants on the 
establishment. Bombay would be still retained as an ancient and respect¬ 
able settlement of the Company's, essential to their interest from its ex¬ 
cellent dock-yard and extensive commerce. It could be garrisoned by 
European troops, and regiments of marines, formed of the same castes as 
now compose the marine corps on that establishment. 

I am apprehensive that I have by this time tired your patience on a bu¬ 
siness which most probably will never take place. It is not possible that 

■* We anderstand lliat the Madras military estahUshment has been increased since the captiire of 
Seringapatam by four regiments of native infantry, one of cavalry, and a battalion of artillery. 

f Gn this subject I mean to be iiiore particular on a foture occasion* 

} This port under Tippoo Sultaun enjoyed considerable trade, and was provided with an excel¬ 
lent dock-yard, where he built ships of war, Hiounting 60 guns. It was a favourite object with tlial 
prince j and the reduction of it in 17 S3, by the Bombay troops, was sufficient to induce Tippoo Suk 
iaun to withdraw his whole armj from the iuvasion of the Carnatic, and to march to its reUe£ 


I.ETTERS ON INDIA. 


13 

government will ever think of offending the Bombay Presidency by so 
flagrant an act of injustice, and, indeed, X may almost say, contempt. 
Besides, the Court of Directors, and also the General Court of Pro¬ 
prietors, both of whom would, no doubt, take cognisance of such a mea¬ 
sure, would be justly alarmed at the great extent to which the Presidency 
of Fort St. George, by so considerable an accession as-the provinces of 
Canara and Malabar, would consequently be swelled. We have seen, that 
in proportion as any of our eastern settlements have increased by con¬ 
quest, in the same degree has their pretensions been extended. Bengal 
would become jealous of the power of Madras, and Madras would soon 
insist on privileges and advantages equal, at least, if not superior, to 
those enjoyed by the servants at Bengal. Xo what extent this system 
of rivality might be carried, and with what injury to the interests of the 
Company, need not to be mentioned. On the whole of this important 
subject, it appears to be most wdse and expedient to increase the Bombay 
establishment, from the recent conquest of Mysore, at least to a size, in 
regard to territorial posession, equal to its expenses. Tliis may safely be 
done without disturbing the harmony of our settlements in India, or de¬ 
stroying the structure on which our political existence in tliat country may 
be said to be founded. One act of injustice leads to many others, which in 
tlie end enervates and corrupts a state, and renders it an easy prey to its 
enemies. In India, especially, our enemies are at all times extremely ready 
to improve the opportunity of anarchy and disorder. Nothing could be 
more gratifying to the native powers of India, and especially to the nu¬ 
merous disaffected princes of Malabar, polygars, and others, than to see 
jealousies excited amongst the servants of the Company. Let this then by 
iill means be avoided ! and our empire Is safe. 

From the plain and simple means which I have pointed out to support 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


rt 

the ec|iulibriLiiD of our Indian possessions, it may be added, that Seiinga- 
patain, from its central situation, would form a grand link in the chain of 
connection between the coast of Coromandel and that of Malabar. Be¬ 
tween the two settlements a constant intercourse could be upheld at all 
seasons of the year, mutually assisting and supporting each other. 

If, however, contrarily to my expectation, there should really appear any 
well-grounded necessity for making a material alteration m the system of 
our government in India, I trust, in that case, that a complete transfer of 
the whole Bombay establishment, without distinction, will be the conse¬ 
quence ; for in no other way can it be done, consistently with justice and 
lair dealing. The civil servants to be incorporated with their standing in 
the service; and the military, as in his majesty’s service, to be placed on 
the list from the date of their captain’s commission,—the subalterns from 
the date of their respective appointments. If the seat of government of 
the southern provinces of India should therefore be"transferred to Seringa- 
patam, or these provinces united in any other situation, it is to be hoped 
Bombay may at once be made an invalid garrison, to which a regiment of 
Europeans, sent from this country, and another of marine sepoys, to be 
occasionally relieved, might be added, as perfectly adequate to its defence, 
Bombay, even in this situation, from the facilities which her excellent 
harbour gives to trade, must always be the resort of merchandise from all 
quarters of the world ; and her commercial advantages still continue to af¬ 
ford her pre-eminence and distinction. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, See. 

% 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


is 


LETTER III. 

Importance of Egypt to the French—Their great desire to retain that Country 
until the Period of general Pacificittmi—Interest of the Ambs in ex chiding 
Commerce by the xoay of Sue^—Contrary Vietas of the Turks—Their imbe^ 
cillity the Reason why they promote the Views of the East~India Compam/'~~> 
Interest of the Katioiis of Europe bordering on the Mediterranean Sea in 
regard to Egypt—Necessity for expellmg the French from thence^ 

DEAR SLRa London, March 10, ISOO, 

The importance of Egypt, as a colony In the hands of the French, could 
any doubt remain of that circumstance being, next to their own political 
independence, the chief object of their pursuit, would be clearly exhibited 
by the correspondence recently intercepted between the French army in 
E'gypU and the late directory of France, The consolidation of the magni- 
iicent establilhment of Egypt is an object of ambition, after which tiie 
French republic, no doubt, ardently aspire. To effect this, they would 
sacrifice honour, principle, good faith, and public as well as private justice. 
It must appear evident .to the most indifferent observer, that the French 
will never lose sight of the re-establishment of their trade in the Levant^ 
on which the southern provinces of France solely depend. The pos¬ 
session of Egypt would grant to that country more than a command of the 
Levant trader as a direct communication with India, by the Red Sea, would 
he the natural and inevitable consequence of such possession. 

The French have discovered that no good purpose can be obtained by 
iaontinuingthewar. But then, say the Machivellian casuists of that countr)^ 


letters on INDIA. 

Peace would only be the pretext to postpone our claims to a happier pe- 
» riod. In the mean time let us retain Egypt as long as it is practicable, 
and employ every measure to effect this desirable object until the perbd 
» of a general pacification. Propose terms to the Porte ; talk of restoring 
« Egypt, or rather of keeping it in trust for the Grand Seignior. But then, 
remember to take time, and avoid the evacuation of the country ; pro- 
« crastinate, by every means that hypocrisy and chicane can devise, as much 
as possible : proceed in the negotiation by slow degrees) and alter every 
scheme of sophistry has failed, a convention between the grand-vizir, 
« and the commander in chief of the French army in Egypt, is no treaty; 
- it must be ratified in Palis, and, if suitable to existing circumstances, 
« disavowed and annulled. The very opening a negotiation would lead to 
« a suspension of hostilities, and, besides, the advantage of gaining time, 
** and retaining possession of Egypt till a general peace. 

The very idea of a negotiation between France and the Porte would cre¬ 
ate alarming jealousies to Russia, which would soon terminate in direct of¬ 
fence. A rupture between Russia and the Porte is the axis on which the 
hopes of France continually preponderate. France would, m the mean time, 
give up every thing to Great Britain for its neutrality in any contest, wherein 
they could become associates with the Turks in a war with Russia. Here 
again, the navigation of the. Black Sea, the Levant trade, and a colony in 
Egypt, IS the avowed impulse and the mark to which their exertions are 
directed. There is very little doubt but that the old court of France pro¬ 
duced the ablest politicians in Europe ; and it would appear that a consi¬ 
derable germ of a cdTactci'C diplomatique still remains in that country, under 
the influence of the present active and intriguing government. To excite 
and encourage rival!ty between the courts of Petersburg and St. James’s is 
a favourite axiom with the rulers of France, who are persuaded, says Pous.- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


’IT 

sielqvie, ** that the Englifli cannot see, wltliout some uneasiness, and with- 
** out a secret kind of jealousy, the progress of the Russians—a progress 
much more dangerous for them than our continental pKjwerj now that 
** our navy is destroyed, and that we have lost our maritime concjuests. 
Subjects of so much political importance I (liall hereafter take an oppor¬ 
tunity of examining j and, in the mean time, trouble you with such ob¬ 
servations as may be necessary to establish certain general principles, from 

which may be derived certain particular results. 

The obseriTations to which 1 allude, refer, first, to the necessity of sup¬ 
porting the Arab government on the coast of the Red Sea, and in Egypt; 
secondly, to the political necessity of driving the French from Egypt with¬ 
out delay; and, finally, establishing a Mahommedan government in that 

country. 

As far back as the month of December, 1798, I esteemed it my duty to 
deliver such sentiments as occurred to me on the most effectual way in 
which the invasion of Egypt was to be repelled j and I have every reason 
to suppose, had the plan been acted upon immediately after the fall of Tip- 
poo, that the war in Egypt would long since have terminate^ with success. 
But even now, it is not too late to attempt the expulsion of the French from 
Egypt by succours from India, At that period, I took the liberty to repre¬ 
sent, that the Nile, which is known to fertilise the country through which 
it runs, flows, by a long and straight course, through the kingdoms of Abys¬ 
sinia and Nubia, before it descends into the lower country, where it forms, 
by many branches, the Delta of Egypt. The mutual intercourse of these 
countries, by means of the navigation of the Nile, is very great; and, not¬ 
withstanding the prolific and abundant soil of Lower Egypt, it is very much 
in want of many supplies from those countries, through which the Nile runs, 
and waters in i ts course. The situation of the coast of Malabar, and its vici- 


o 


TS ■ LETTERS 01^ INDIA. 

nity,to the Straits of Babelmandel^ the great plenty of shipping, together with 
our naval force in those seas, would enable the East-India Company to de- 
tachpfrom their settlements on that coast an army of native troops, to occupy 
the banks of the Nile, and entirely to cut off the corrfmunication between 
Upper and Lower Egypt. These troops might, by the way of the Red Sea, 
be landed at Cosseir, from whence they could be marched to Ghennah on 
the Nile. The Arabs would fully attract the attention of the French on 
the side of Syria, and towards the Delta and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Another circumstance, of no inconsiderable import, ought to be attended to. 
The Arabs, who inhabit the shores of the Red Sea, cannot fail to regard the 
invasion by the French with a jealous eye, and would, no doubt, cheerfully 
exert themselves to drive out the invaders. The native troops of India be¬ 
ing of the same religion with the Arabs, at least many of them being so, it 
must be supposed that, irom a similarity of manners and customs, they would 
readily assimilate and act together on the same principles of opposition to¬ 
wards the French. The French, at all events, having a powerful body of 
Arabs in their front, and a considerable force ready to fall down the Nile on 
their rear, would be reduced to the greatest extremities, and ultimately 
forced to surrender at discretion. It may, however, be reasonably expected 
that this event has already taken place t but, lliould any apprehension of 
the success and power of the French create serious alarm in the minds of 
Government, and the East-India Companyy so as to justify a. measure dic¬ 
tated by political expediency,, and' which necessity only can approve, there 
is no doubt that the plan of the great Albuquerq^ue could be carried into= 
execution, and the current of the Nile diverted into the Red Sea—Egypt 
would become an uninhabited desert, and the present people would be 
obliged to retire into Syria, there to cultivate, what are highly capable of 
improvement, its extensive uninhabited plains; and it might be a consolation^ 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


I? 

that the degenerated Egyptians, under the influence of a diflerent climate, 
might possibly become more useful, and, as members of society, better de¬ 
serving encouragement and protection. 

Such were my ideas on this important subject: and I was anxious, at the 
same time, fairly to describe the genuine interests of the Turks and Arabs, 
as they relate to our commercial security. 

It is to be observed, that the existence of the Turkish power in Egypt 
can neither be accessary nor necessary to Great Britain, as a commercial 
nation: on the contrary, the Arabs are the natural guardians of those coun¬ 
tries, provinces, and seas, which divide Europe from an immediate com¬ 
munication with India. It is the interest of the Arabs to maintain the so¬ 
vereignty and independence of the deserts of Arabia, of Suez, and of The- 
bai's j and the chiefs of that country, and not the Turks, impose on the 
trade with India those restrictions by which the commerce of the Company 
is so much strengthened and concentrated. Fortunately for this body, ex¬ 
isting circumstances, opinions, and superstitions, operate powerfully in their 
favour, and prove the best and surest bulwark to prevent European nations 
from opening a commerce with the Red Sea. The late Tippoo Sultaun, 
although a Mahommedan, and a powerful as well as ambitious prince, was 
never able to promote a direct communication between his own country and 
the city of Constantinople and European Turkey. His object was to 
establish factories at Mocha, and in other parts of the Red Sea, where the 
commodities of India might be sold, and where he could procure, in ex¬ 
change, whatever articles he stood in need of from the European market. 
The Arabs are extremely tenacious and jealous of their trade in the Red 
Sea j and private intrigue has prevented a general extension of commerce 
in those parts. The influence of the Sherreef of Mecca has been particu¬ 
larly exerted, with the view of drawing to his O'wn port of Gedda the 


20 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


whole of the customs, and prevent any participation in the high parts of 
that sea. 

The interest which the Turks have, or rather wish to possess, in this 
trade, is obvious. The policy which induces the Turks to be aiding and 
assisting in precluding Europeans from any communication with India by 
Cairo and the Red Sea, to the total deprivation of European trade in that 
quarter, is evidently calculated to lay open that commerce to themselves* 
and to engross all the advantages thereof^ which the East-India Company 
have uniformly endeavoured to prevent. The object of the TurkLsh em¬ 
pire is, to close the ports in the Red Sea against all European powers what¬ 
ever j at the same time, to have them open for the importation of the ma¬ 
nufactures of India, in vessels belonging to Mussulmen of that country.. 
This trade, with the coffee, gums, and the rich produce of Arabia, would 
exclusively be carried into European Turkey. Constantinople would be¬ 
come the. grand emporium of eastern commerce by the Red Sea. It is the 
imbecillity of the Porte that prevents the completion of a plan so beneficial 
to the Turkish government, and which would render all farther attempts 
on the part of the East-India Company against it nugatory and abortive. It 
is, evidently, not from political relation, or from any coincidence of mutual 
and reciprocal interest, that the Turks are induced, and so readily incline 
to listen to the remonstrances of our ambassador i it is their imbecillity, and 
not their inclination, we have to thank. The Arab Sheicks, and not the 
Pachas sent by the Porte, have now the controul bn the borders of the Red 
Sea: it is the interest of the Sherreef of Mecca, of the King of Yemen, and 
of all the principal leading men in Arabia, to deal with Europeans: by 
whose medium they receive India goods, which are vended in Arabia and 
Turkey, and on which the Arabs impose heavy duties. These duties by no 
means flow into the treasures of the Grand Seignior, but, on the contrary,. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 21 

are retained by themselves. The Porte, notwithstanding its inability of dic¬ 
tating to the Arabs, finds its advantage in assisting to keep shut the overland 
communication j and, while it does not possess the power of engrossing the 
trade to itself, is still endeavouring to prevent the Europeans from partici¬ 
pating of it: for this reason, that the Arabs, as a component part of the em¬ 
pire, should continue to enjoy the benefit of this trade, rather than that any 
other nation should deprive them of it. The question, therefore, is. Which 
is for the interest of Great Britain—to aggrandise an empire, w^hose com¬ 
mercial views interfere so much with our own j or that the Arabs should be 
protected and encouraged, as the natural guardians of the barrier between 
Europe and the East Indies by means of tlie deserts; and whose ad¬ 
vantage it is, while they permit a free trade in the Red Sea, at the same 
time to prevent the port of Suez from being the resort either of European 
or Turkish traders, for the purpose of conducting commerce with any part 
of Europe ? 

The present crisis, from what I have already observed, as well as from a 
multiplicity of other circumstances, is very interesting; and, at the same 
time, involves the affairs of the East-India Company with the security of 
their territorial possessions. It becomes the duty of those who preside over 
the British interests in the East, not to rest altogether satisfied with mere 
appearances, but carefully to examine the views and designs of our ene¬ 
mies, more particularly as they relate to our settlements in India. On this 
subject, the plans of the French, in regard to Egypt, are deserving of tlieir 
particular attention. 

The inertion of the Turkish government, enfeebled and relaxed as it 
is become now, added to that diversity of interests, necessarily engaged in 
the management of a country so very extensive as the Turkish empire, is. 
one of many reasons why the remains of the French army have not long 


22 


letters on INDIA. 


since been totally driven out of Egypt, It is a serious consideration, and 
every day becoming more so, that the French, in full possession of Lower 
Egypt, togetlier with some part of the Upper province, have extended their 
conquests and influence even to certain ports on the Red Sea. 

It is unnecessary to observe, that the situation of Egypt renders it by far 
the readiest medium of communication between the East and the West. 
Its amazing fertility, and rich productions, point it out as a country de-. 
sirable for colonisation, especially for any kingdom bordering on the Me¬ 
diterranean Sea, not in the possession of territory in India. 

France, unable openly, and by force of arms, to wrest from us any part 
of our Eastern dependencies, sought, by indirect means, to accomplish 
what they imagined the most effectual method to injure the trade, and 
thereby affect the opulence of this country. The invasion of Egypt, and 
the reduction of that country, was the blow meditated against the British 
power in the East: the plan was accordingly put in execution, and. In the 
course of a few months, the whole of the Delta of Lower Egypt, inclusive 
of the capital, came under the dominion of the French, The only severe 
check, which they received in the outset, was the important victory ob¬ 
tained by Lord Nelson j but, unfortunately, the whole of their stores and 
ammunition had been previously landed j by which means the French army 
was in a condition to act with promptitude and effect. No person, at this 
period, but supposed that the expedition to Egypt was in itself chimerical 
and absurd j but the want of energy in the Turks, and the degraded state 
of the inhabitants of Egypt, rendered that country an easy prey. 

Since the month of July, 1798, the French have, against all opposition, 
kept possession of Egypt j and there cannot be a doubt, that the longer they 
remain, the mor6 danger is to be apprehended—they will endeavour to 
make their position, in that co>^ntry, more secure and formidable. It con- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


23 


sequently follows, that, iii proportion to the increase of danger, the more 
should our suspicion be awake, and the greater promptitude used by the 
executive power to compel the French to abandon that country. Egypt 
is a situation from whence the possessors of it can menace or threaten that 
security which it is so much for tlie interest of this country that our Indian 
possessions should enjoy. 

It is not fit that a great commercial people should be deceived by 
false appearances, or view their situation through a wrong medium. 
Let it not be supposed, that the command of the navigation of the Red 
Sea, and possession of the Straits of Babelmandel, insures to us com¬ 
plete safety, or that our Indian settlements are not to be approached, and 
our trade diverted from the present channel, by the way of Egypt, at 
some period or other. At all events, this is not impossible. The want of 
the co-operation of Tippoo, since the destruction of his empire, has very 
greatly damped the expectations of the French ; and it may be questioned, 
notwithstanding the report that the recall of Bonaparte originated with 
Sieyes, how ^r the fall of that prince accelerated the departure of that ge¬ 
neral from Egypt, since he could have known it before he left that coun¬ 
try? The French government cannot at present indulge a thought of being 
able to penetrate to India by the Red Sea, or, in the smallest degree, to 
disturb our tranquillity at the present moment in that quarter. But the 
rulers of France look to establish a permanent colony in Egypt ; and it is 
for the legislature of this country'to appreciate the consequence of such an 
establishment. The consequences, in the first place, regard our trade ; 
and, in the second, the very existence of our territorial possessions. It 
'must be evident to every person who understands the relative situation of 
its natural connection with India, and the favourable avenues of 
communication which, at particular seasons, are open to and from that 


24 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


country, by every description of sea conveyance, that Egypt, as a colony in 
the hands of the French, or in the hands of any power hostile to the com¬ 
mercial interests of this country, would, in the course of a very few years, be 
the means of exciting great commotions in India. The possessors of it are 
so ready, in point of situation, and so well disposed to promote the-views 
and disaffection of the native princes, w'ho are restless and ambitious, that 
the worst consequences might be reasonably expected, and the security of 
the British empire in India be greatly endangered. The trade, in tlie mean 
time, would be drawn by degrees to the Levant, by its ancient channel; and 
the facilities which the French, from their ingenuity, would give to this very 
valuable branch of commerce, must very considerably interfere with the 
interest of tlie Company, and lay the foundation, for a new order of things 
in regard to India, which, in the end, would prove highly prejudicial, if not 
destructive, to British commerce in that quarter. But, without entering 
minutely into arguments on a question so extremely important to national 
prosperity, and involving the best interests of our country, it may be most 
prudent merely to observe, that, with the experience of three centuries, 
during the whole of which period Egypt has been subject to the Mahom- 
medan power, no attempt has been made, by the rulers of that coun¬ 
try, to foment disputes or create jealousies in India, or in any shape to 
interfere with the progress made by European powers in that country. On, 
the contrary, the Mahommedans, more particularly the Arabs, have, in al¬ 
most every instance, seconded the views of those nations * who have pos¬ 
sessed the greatest share of eastern commerce by the Cape of Good Hope, 
in keeping shut the easiest road by which the commodities of India could 

* The Portugueze, the Dutch, and the English, have alternately struggled for pre-eminence in 
India; and the French, though" last, have not been the least desirous of acquiring power in that 
country. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


25 


be transported into the western world With this knowledge, which, 
the best criterion of truth, the test of time, has approved ^ and, with the 
perfect knowledge too of the contrary intention of the French, it cannot 
be supposed that any innovation can place Great Britain in a better situation; 
or that Egypt, having changed masters, can possibly add to the security 
of our eastern establislimentst The very contrary may be supposed to be 
the case j and it requires but little penetration to calculate on the result: 
should the French continue to consolidate their power in Egypt, to attach 
the inhabitants to their interests, to open a trade in the Red Sea, which 
they have already begun to do at the port of Cossire, and finally to intro¬ 
duce salutary laws, and the arts and sciences ^ and, by furnishing hereafter 
a proportion of industrious inhabitants, to colonise and improve the country 
to the fullest extent. This reasoning, it is true, is speculative, and the 
probability of affecting the whole, or indeed of any part, may, with excr- 

* It would be difficult to give an instance of any ioLerference of this sort. We can, howe\'er, call to 
our remembrance the jealousy which the intrigues of tlie Venetians, witli Lire Sultauns or Soldans of 
Egypt, raised in the minds of the Portugueze, The t^'enetians, who enjoyed the greatest share of the 
over-land trade by EgyjJfi and tlie Red Sea, previous to the discovery of the passage by the Cape of 
Good Hope, lost it by that discovery. The Portugueze, under the celebrated Albuquerque, encouraged 
by the Arabs, who were anxious to confine the EasL-India trade to their own country, acqubed complete 
dominion In the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea ; and the Venetians, witli little or no support from tlie 
people of the country, superadded to the great difficulty of transporting from Alexandria to Suez the 
frame-work of vessels of sufficient force to attack the. Portugueze on the Red Sea, were obliged to re¬ 
linquish their design. The western world were at this time in darkness, unacquainted with the ad¬ 
vantages of commerce.. The Portugeze, by promoting discovery and .udventure, were the most en¬ 
lightened; and the-capacious mind of foe great Albuquerque knew how to appreciate foe value of a 
trade with India. He proposed, in case of serious oppo.>itlon, that the banks of tlie Nile should be cut 
in Higher Egypt; and, by diverting the course of tliat river into the Red Sea, not only draw foe trade 
of a great part of Africa into a new channel, blit at the same time render Lower Egypt a barren desert, 
and by foat means prevent the possibility of colonisation in Egypt, and oppose a strong barrier be¬ 
tween the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The inliumanity of this moasure gave wgy fo the political 
necessity by which it was dictated. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


•2S 

tion on our part, be rendered impracticable: but then an effort must be 
mad? j and the sooner it is made, with effect, so much the better it will be 
for the safety of India. 

I hope I shall be forgiven if I enter into the political situation of public 
affairs, at least so far as they appear to be connected with the prosperity 
and safety of British India, and that it is to our purpose to do so. It must be 
allowed, that the interests of the coalesced powers, independently of the 
strong inclination of the French to participate in eastern commerce, and to 
accomplish our destruction, are not such as are likely to encourage the 
continuance of British influence in the east. It is for the interest of all the 
Italian states, and generally'for the interest of all tlie civilised'kingdoms 
which surround the shores of the Mediterranean, that the trade to and from 
India should be conveyed by the Red Se^ But what appears to be a more 
serious danger, should the court of Vienna, on the eve of a peace, find 
themselves deprived of Austrian Flanders and the port of Ostend, and be 
left in possession of Venice, and the command of the Adriatic, they will, 
it is to be feared, tacitly acquiesce in the opportunity of opening the old 
communication between the East and West by Egypt and the Mediter¬ 
ranean ; more especially if, in the event of a general pacification, the French 
should retain possession of Egypt. The question would not be. Are the 
French to evacuate Egypt in order to gratify Great Britain, and to promote 
and encourage the trade of the English to India ? The point agitated would 
be this—Is it for the general interest of Europe that Egypt should be the 
Inedium by which the. riches of India are to be brought to the Mediter- 
ranean, and from thence diffused over all that great part of the western 
world W'hich lies contiguous to it, and by which every nation shall enjoy 
a share of this lucrative commerce.^’ The French, it will be said, are 
already in possession of Egypt, and tiiat they make a mie qua non of retain- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


2T 

ing it;—let it be so ! but allow the commtmication to be open to all na¬ 
tions ; it will> at all events, make a grand revolution in commerce, and 
divert that trade which formerly enriched Amalfi, Venice, Genoa, and 
Florence into new sources, and into hands which cannot profit from it 
by other means. 

Should we turn to Russia, for the' sentiments of the monarch of that, 
country ?—But on this subject it is prudent to be silent, and to pass it over 
by observing, in general, that Russia possesses, on the borders of the Black 
Sea, the finest country in the known world ; that the government of that 
empire is emulous to acquire establishments in the Mediterranean s and 
that the growing population, industry, refinementi and commerce of the 
people, render them every day more formidable to their neighbours. The 
active part which Russia has taken in the present contest is not likely to 
make her neglect the benefits to which, on a general arrangement at the 
close of the war, she may consider herself from that part, as well as her 
great power, to be entitled. 

This arrangement is what Great Britain has to contemplate ; and, by 
prudent management and a due attention to her own interest, and by taking 
advantage of her present powerful situation amongst the nations, to prevent 
the bad effects of insidious policy which the occupancy of Egypt, by any 
European power, would unquestionably create. 

If I have diverged from the subject, it was to introduce the relative situ¬ 
ations of other countries in regard to India, and which I have endeavoured 
to do without hazarding the dangers to be apprehended fi-ora those new 
combinations and projects which might be suggested by new views of this 

* II should not be forgotten, that the general influetiGe of tliis trade by the route of Bruges* then tlie 
most elegant city and considerable mart of the north, by means of eastern commerce, extended to all 
Germany, and even to the shores of the Baltic, and‘the north-west coast of Europe. 


23 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


subject, and that too at a time when great general commercial aflfalrs arc 
about to be settled and adjusted. I allude here to that momentous crisis— 
a general peace—in which the interest not only of Europe, but of the great¬ 
est part of the civilised world, will be deeply involved. 

The expulsion of the French from Egypt becomes therefore an object 
of the first importance to this country; and delay is, in the present con¬ 
juncture of public affairs, by all means to be avoided. To permit the 
French to remain in their present situation in that country, would be to 
allow a deadly and inevitable blow to be struck against us, as a nation, in 
the great and preponderating scale of eastern commerce. This is no idle 
effusion, but a fact of the most alarming nature, and to which the most 
early attention should be paid ; it imperiously demands the immediate ex¬ 
ertions of the British Government and the East-India Company, 

I am, &c. See. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


29 


LETTER IV. 

The French not to he dnve^i front Fpjpt. hy Means of the Turks — Imbecil- 
lity of their Empire—Subject to frequent Revolts—Janizaries of Constati- 
tmople — Mamaliikes^Arabs—‘Reasons zvhy the In'ench met with so Utile 
Resistance in Egypt, particularly from the Arabs—‘Plan for expelling the 
French from that Country — I}eiail of the Memts by which it is to be done 
’^'—Troops should be sent from India, up the Red Sea, to co-operate with an 
Army of Rritish Troops and Russians from the Side of the Mediterranean 
•‘^•Troops from India skotdd land at Cossire, and cut off the Communica¬ 
tion between Upper and Lower Egypt—The Surrenda^ of thd French 
Amiy indubitable^ 


DEAR SIR. 


London. March 15, ISOO. 


XN contemplating the means by which the French in Egypt are to be at¬ 
tacked, we are to consider the resources of the Turkish empire, and the 
many reasons that occur why that people do not, by a grand effort, restore 
to themselves an ancient dependency of the empire, so advantageously si¬ 
tuated, and possessing so many commercial and other .advantages. 

The solution of this question is simple in the extreme. The division 
of the Turkish empire into Pashalics, or subordinate provinces, has con¬ 
siderably weakened the Ottoman power; every Pasha has his own parti¬ 
cular interest, by which he regulates his conduct; and by this means’the 
energy of the empire is diminished, and the foederation of a great military 
acistocracy virtually lost. It is besides to be observed, that it is not for the 
interest of the governors of distant dependencies, where allegiance is 
merely nominal, that tne power of the* Grand Seignior should be too great; 
for, in the proportion that he acquires power* so much must their inde- 


30 letters on INDIA, 

pendence be endangered. The revolt of the Pasha of Widdin is now of long 
standing, and the total inability of the Turks to restore subordination and or¬ 
der in that Pashalic, has long been obvious. The recent conduct of the Pa¬ 
sha of Damascus, and of Dghezzar, Pasha of Acre, to the imperial army of 
Turkey, conunanded by the Vizier in person, are strong proofs of the im- 
becillity of the Porte. The troops of such governors, whose Interest it may 
be to support the Ottoman tlirone, are an undisciplined rabble, badly paid, 
desirous of plunder, and, in fact, totally unfit for military purposes 
The standing army of the empire is principally composed from the Jani¬ 
zaries of Constantinople, or troops drawn from the garrisons of European 
Turkeyan effeminate set of men, haughty, dissipated, and mutinous. 
The Mamalukes, or chosen bands of the Egyptian Beys, were not nu¬ 
merous enough to withstand the repeated attacks of a regular army, pro- 

¥ 

vided with excellent artillery, composed of men who had been used to 
conquer, and commanded by experienced officers. The inhabitants of 
Egypt were pusillanimous in the extreme; they had but little interest in 
the fate of their country j and were ready to become the slaves of any new 
master, as they had formerly been under the government of the Beys. 
The Arabs were never roused to action j and the conciliatory policy of 
Bonaparte towards them, together with the protection which he uni¬ 
formly afforded to their caravans, and the respect he. professed for the Ma- 
homedan religion, produced a certain degree of forbearance on their part. 
The recollection of the tyranny of the Beys, added to the general dislike 
of the Arabs to the government of the Turks, or of that description of 
Mahomedans, whom they equally detest and despise, either gradually ap¬ 
peased the vindictive sentiments of the Desert Arabs towards European in- 


'* I could confirm this by some instances which fell under my own observation In tbe course of my 
journey from England to India by the route of Syria, particularly on tjie revolt of the Pasha of Fayas- 


LETTEUS ON INDIA. 


31 


vaders, or rendered them less anxious to give their assistance to restore the 
authority of the Mamalukes. The French army, however, suffered very 
considerably at first from the Arabs, and that people gave great cause of 
uneasiness and alarm to the veteran troops of France. 

From these circumstances, we cannot place much reliance on the assist¬ 
ance of the Turks ^—we should depend on our Own exertions, and on those 
resources it is in our power to apply against the French, to effect their ex¬ 
pulsion from Egypt. The Russian troops in British pay, now at the 
islands of Guernsey and Jersey, aided by a few thousand seasoned troops 
from this country, could be employed with advantage in a descent on 
Egypt. The command of Alexandria, Rosetta, and the principal branch 
of the Nile, would be speedily obtained. On that river the co-opera- 
tbn of an armed flotilla would greatly facilitate the movements of the 
army. The great number of boats used by the inhabitants for the navi¬ 
gation of the Nile would in a little time be found particularly useful 
in transporting every thing that could be wanted for the use of the 
troops; while the British fleet would furnish ample supplies. It is 
so far in the power of the executive government of this country to shield 
the East-India Company from the danger which threatens them: and as 
the Directors of that Company have on all occasions evinced the most 
ready disposition to co-operate with his Majesty's Ministers in promot¬ 
ing the general interests of Great Britain, so at the present moment, 
when the welfare of the Company is at stake, they will no less cheerfully 
oome forward to lend their assistance. 

The Red Sea is entirely open to us, and perfectly free at tlie proper seasons 
to the navigation of British ships. The Arab chiefs on the eastern coast 
of that sea are fi'iendly and well-disposed towards this country, as they are, 
on the contrasts inimical to the French. The Sherreeff of Mecca could 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


•J.2 

be indueed to support and assist us in various ways, in the expulsion of the 
French j and his influence and authority over the Arabs is unquestionable. 
The proximity of our possessions in India, and the ready manner in which 
vessels can be procured in that country, would furnish the means^ to con¬ 
vey a body of troops, both European and native, with a sufficient quan¬ 
tity of provisions, stores, and ammunition, to the coast of Upper Egypt. 
These troops could be more easily spared at this time, when the power of 
Tippoo is extinct, and the peninsula of India lilvcly to enjoy uninterrupted 
peace, provided the French should not be suffered to remain in their pre¬ 
sent position in Egypt, now dangerous to our interest in India, but which 
in time might become much more so* Many objections, no doubt, will 
be started to an expedition of this nature, by men who, from prejudice, 
are inclined to think badly of e;very scheme which is in itself novel, or 
has originality to recommend it: but I do not hesitate to assert, that it is 
perfectly practicable to land a body of men at the port of Cossire, in Up¬ 
per Egypt, and for those men, with a proportionate quantity of ammuni¬ 
tion, and other necessaries, to reach in a few days the banks of the Nile. 
This army, by establishing themselves on that river, would effectually cut 
off all communication between Upper and Lower Egypt, deprive ffie 
French of supplies from-the Upper country, or through any ports in the 
Red Sea, and considerably lessen the possibility of their retreat and the 
means of protracting the war. Were matters to be conducted in this man¬ 
ner by a prudent and able commanding officer, there remains no doubt of 
success i and the probability would be, that the French, finding them¬ 
selves surrounded on all sides by. British troops, by Arabs, and inhospi¬ 
table deserts, would gladly surrender at discretion, on condition solely of 
being sent to France as prisoners of war. It is to be apprehended,—in¬ 
deed we have sufficient experience of the truth, that the French can 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


33 


never behave well for a length of time in any country, especially in 
that where they consider themselves conquerors. There is little doubt 
but, at this time, intolerable insolence, extortion, and levity, has en¬ 
tirely satiated and disgusted every person with whom they are con¬ 
nected ; and, in consequence, that their expulsion would be highly gra¬ 
tifying to all descriptions and casts of people in both Higher and Lower 
Egypt. We learn also, by the latest advices, that the French ai*my in 
Upper Egypt are continually engaged in a desultory warfare. If this is 
the case, there is an evident necessity for reinforcmg and supporting those 
men who shall hold out against the French, and, if possible, to rouze the 
dormant spirit of the inhabitants. There are men in plenty, and they 
only want to be stimulated by example to punish the invaders. A force 
sent from the western side of India, by an active and well-directed co-ope¬ 
ration with the Mediterranean army, would contribute essentially to the 
object of the expedition. Gun-boats could also be employed in this situ¬ 
ation to advantage, the frame-work of which could be constructed at 
Bombay, and conveyed on camels from the Red Sea to the Nile. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. 


p 


Sl< 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


LETTER 


Meflecmns on the Danger of pcnniiiiHg the French to occupi/ Egypt, espe-> 
dally at the present Jmiciure—^Fower of the French in India—Its Decline 
since 1756—Their East~lndia Company rtdned—Prosperity of the Eng¬ 
lish in India—Policy of the French to undermine it—By what Meajis 
they will probably attempt it—Their Argument subtile, plausible, and 
daiigerous—Endeavour to engage the other Powers of Europe in their 
Scheme to draw Part of the Trade to India into the Mediterranean by 
Egypt at id the Red Sea—This to be apprehended from the conciliatory 
Conduct of Bonaparte, and his Endeavours to disunite the Coalition — De¬ 
mands made by the Free Trade of this Country favourable to his Views^ 
Shoitld be considered and settled—Plans of Ambition of Foreign Nations 
Xo draw Capital from Great Britain by affording great Encouragement to 
TradersShould be counteracted—General Remarks—The great Albu- 
(juerque^s Ideas on the Importance of the Eastern Commerce to the Crown 
of PortugaL 


DEAR SIR, ‘ 


London, March 20, ISOO. 


I DO not pretend in my last letter to have by any means done justice to 
the plan proposed, or to have entered into the particular details of it. The 
general outline in the mean time is sufficient: but what appears to be of 
the first necessity, is, fully to comprehend the material points of the sub¬ 
ject ; to consider the danger which may arise out of the present situation 
of affairs, if suffered to continue as they are; and, finally, to determine 
on the best means to avert the blow which is aimed against our trade by 
the French from the side of Egypt. It is not politically wise to give full 
credit to the French accounts from Egypt, various and contradictory as 


LETTEKS ON INDIA. 


35 


they are, ia regard to their situation in that country. The commanders 
there, no doubt, require immediate succour from France ; and it may be 
necessary for them to impress the necessity of it, on the rulers of that 
country, in the way most likely to obtain what they want^ It may also 
be observed, that Bonaparte, the Chief Consul of France, will not neglect 
this important object j and it must be allowed, that French fleets, squa¬ 
drons, and single ships, have, on some occasions, eluded all our vigilance 
and care 

It must be remembered that the power of the French in India has, ever 
since the war which commenced in l7o6, been on the decline. Their 
East-India Company has been reduced to ruin j their settlements and fac¬ 
tories have several times been wrested from them ; and at this moment 
they do not possess a single foot of territory in any part of India. Their 
influence in that quarter is entirely lost by the subsidiary treaty with the 
Nizam, and the late conquest of the country of Tippoo Sultaun. All 
this has not been the work of a day; it has had its beginning, its crisis,, 
and its termination. The ministers, under the old monarchy of France,, 
saw with regret the rapid successes of the English in India, and the cer¬ 
tain decay of their own power. Their ingenuity and political cunning 
was stimulated; and as they had nothing to expect from naval exertions, 
owing to the inferiority of their fleets, they endeavoured to find out, as 
has been already observed, other means by wliich they might enjoy a con¬ 
siderable share of the trade of India. Egypt presented itself as the means 
by which the commerce of France was again to flourish, and we accord- 

* The French army in Egypt expect supplies and relnForcemenfs from France in the winter, or 
early in Uie spring; and it is to be apprehended that the distribution of our fleet in the Mediterranean 
has not been such as to preventj nor was it possible- to prevent,, at least some part of a numerous- 
convoy fi'oai effecting tlieir purpose. 

F a 


se LETTERS ON INDIA. 

ingly find a survey of that country ordered by die ministers of the unfor¬ 
tunate Lewis the Sixteenth. From this ^ra, therefore, are we to date the 
designs of that nation on Egypt; and it will not be disputed that they have, 
at least, liiade some progress towards the attainment of their object. 

If it be allowed that the position of the French in Egypt either is at this 
time, or hereafter may become a matter of jealousy or mistrust on the part 
of the government of this country, or of the East-India Company, it is 
then to be considered, whether it would be prudent to wait the issue of a 
general pacification, or-whether it would not be expedient to take the ad¬ 
vantage of the hour of hostility, with abundant means in our hands, at 
once to dislodge a dangerous and artful enemy. 

The necessity for the thing being done, is a strong argument for its be¬ 
ing done speedily ; and the way to have it speedily done, is, not to wait the 
tedious issue of negotiation, which can commence only on the termination 
of the war. Besides, it is to be considered in this case, that matters must 
be taken up as they actually stand, when the negotiation takes place. 
When that period shall arrive, should Egypt then remain in possession of 
tile French, the question, no doubt, would be agitated. Whether that 
country should be restored to the Grand Seignior, or remain a province 
subject to France? Would not this discussion open the door to numberless 
demands, all tending to the prejudice of Great Britain ? The cunning and 
crooked policy of French negotiators, by private intrigue, and also by in¬ 
sidious representation, would industriously point out the advantages which 
not only France, but Germany, Spain, and Italy, would enjoy, by the 
trade of India renewing its ancient channel. Would not even Russia be 
included in this combination ? The' opening of a new route for the India 
trade, by the way of Egypt, being unquestionably favourable to the views 
of the French, can we depend on foreign cabinets to interpose their in- 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


37 


fluence in our favour, at the expense of their own interest ? Might it-not be 
said, ‘ that Great Britain, possessing the territory of India, its external as 
well as internal commerce, its revenue and resources, together with the 
Island of Ceylon, the Dutch settlements of Malacca, the valuable Spice 
Islands to the eastward, and the Cape of Good Hope—might it not be 
said, ' that the possession of all these advantages is by far too great a propor¬ 
tion of the most lucrative trade in the whole world for any one nation to 
enjoy?' It would be observed, ‘thatthe English should make restitution of 
what they have acquired on their part, during the .war, before they ask 
that Egypt should be given up to their conveniency.’ It would also be 
said, ‘ let Europe have its share of eastern commerce j for it is not distri¬ 
butive justice that England should arrogate to itself the whole trade to 
India. The northern and Western coasts of Europe should have liberty to 
pursue the trade by the Cape of Good Hope, and the shores of the Medi¬ 
terranean ; and its contiguous countries should have access to India by the 
old channel, which formerly enriched those countries. Commerce,’ they 
would say, ‘ is free to all, and should not be cramped by partial restric¬ 
tions—restrictions that have ruined the trade of the Levant,’—These are 
some of the arguments which would be used by the emissaries of the 
French j and as the present is an age of calculation and commercial policy, 
it is to be feared that this sort of reasoning would carry too much weight. 
The trade to India is the axis on which commercial men of all countries 
ground their future speculations. This idea is equally prevalent on the 
continent as it is in this country j it is regarded as the only source by 
which the great losses sustained by individuals in the course of a long and 
expensive war can be compensated j and to have them compensated, the 
trade must be laid open. France, in particular, ruined by the duration of 
the war, deprived of commerce by the loss of all her. foreign settlements, . 


38 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


and degraded in character as a nation, can, only by encouraging habits of 
industry and trade, and discovering and promoting sources of adventure 
and enterprise, expect to regain the good opinion of mankind, and render 
her subjects prosperous and happy. ‘Let us,’ say the people of France, 
‘ examine in what manner the nations of Europe are to enjoy their natural 
share of the commerce of the world, and particularly of India, so great 
and lucrative as it is now become. Permit us,’ they will say, ‘ to cast our 
eyes over the map of the globe, and trace on its surface those lines and 
boundaries which Nature seems to have prescribed to all countries, in re¬ 
gard to the distributive justice of commercial arrangement. The coasts of 
Europe, from Cape St. Vincent to the extremity of the Gulfs of Both¬ 
nia and Finland,’ say the subtle politicians of France, * appear one great 
division for mercantile enterprise and adventure,—a range perfectly suffi¬ 
cient for competition and rivality among those nations whose dominions 
extend towards the Western Ocean. There is abundance of scope for ac¬ 
tivity and speculation in the limits of that trade, which is naturally con¬ 
nected with the western and northern shores of Europe and the West-In- 
dian Islands, the coast of America, the whale and other fisheries, and in 
the carriage too of bulky and weighty articles to and from India. Let all 
this be fially enjoyed by the inhabitants of the western coasts of Spain and 
France, by Portugal, by the Low Countries, Hamburgh, Denmark, Swe¬ 
den, and Russia, and by Great Britain.’—But let us inquire into the situa¬ 
tion, and, what will be termed by those to whom it relates, the natural 
prerogatives of another great division of the civilised world. In this the 3 r 
will comprehend the whole shoms of the Mediterranean, Spain, the states, 
of Italy, Austria, Turkey, and Russia,—an extent of coast, and a popu¬ 
lation far exceeding the northern division aheady mentioned. It will be 
argued, that the Levant trade, or that between the East and West, by the 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


39 


medium of Egypt and Syria, is the natural right of those countries; that 
the wants of so large a portion of mankind are ‘to be attended to equally 
with others j and that seventy millions of inhabitants should not depend 
solely on the exertions of other people, when they possess, to such a de¬ 
gree, the facilities of eastern commerce. Here it will also be contended, 
that the road to opulence is open, by that means, to an intelligent and in¬ 
dustrious people. These arrangements are, I am sorry to say, extremely 
plausible and alluring, especially when circulated by an impoverished set 
of men, full of schemes of aggrandisement, and obstinately tenacious of 
their civil rights. The publicity of those, and similar insinuations, would, 
it may be supposed, have very considerable influence on othei nations; and 
the French left in possession of Egypt, on the termination of the war, 
would, no doubt, industriously propagate such dangerous opinions, and il¬ 
lustrate them in all the glowing colours of which their language is so 
capable. 

The pride of the Ottomans, hurt by the separation of Egypt from their 
empire, would be very little attended to, and the pretensions of the Turks 
totally overlooked ^—firfl:, in the general interest of Europe; and se¬ 
condly, in the contemplation of the particular benefit which an open and 
free trade would probably occasion to each nation individually. 

Another danger to be apprehended is, the conciliatory, conduct which 
Bonaparte is observing in France. With sufficient experience to avoid 
those-detestable systems which have deluged France in misery and blood, 
destroyed confidence, and occasioned so many revolutions, he may pro¬ 
bably seek to establish and consolidate his power by milder and more effi¬ 
cacious means tlian those of his wretched predecessors. Measures of mo¬ 
deration and prudent policy, unremittingly pursued, will probably, in time, 
detach from the general cause some part of the coalition :^every- part so 


40 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


detached will render the task of peace ii^ore arduous, and the accomplifli- 
ment of it on terms favourable to our India commerce more difBcult and 
precarious. 

Independently of these matters, so alarming to the national interests of 
this country, let Great Britain hot lose the favourable moment, but strike 
while tire impression may be made, and by that means afford the best pos¬ 
sible chance for the continuation of our prosperity as a commercial nation, 
by securing to ourselves the trade to India. On this subject it may be 
further observed, that the world is beginning to learn that the truest policy 
is the most perfect justice, and that the freedom, ex tendon, and security of 
commerce, is the reciprocal basis of union, not only between man and man, 
but between nation and nation. It is the cement of society, and the only 
medium by which foreign or domestic intercourse can be establifhed and 
upheld. These sentiments, which influence mankind in general, have 
made very considerable progress in our own country. A number of men, 
denominating themselves the Free Trade, have combined to demand what 
they terna a fair participation of eastern commerce. 'Foreigners,' they ob¬ 
serve, ‘will have it, and indeed actually possess it j and are then,' they say, 
‘ the subjects of this country to be debarred from enjoying it, at least equally 
with them ?'■—Should their claim not be considered, there is no saying what 
rnfluence, in the scale of nations, a set of mercantile men, with a capital of 
five millions sterling, may carry with them. They would be invaluable to 
foreign countries ; not more from their wealth than their experience: and, 
it is a question, Whether their representations might not procure the nego¬ 
tiation of the cabinet of Vienna, and the courts of Denmark and Sweden, 
not to mention Russia, in regard to the freedom of commerce with India. 
A measure of this sort would open the eyes of those and other nations, 
more than ever, to the grand and overflowing sources of opulence to be de- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 

rived from eastern commerce. ‘ And, as the expejises and ravages of the 
present war will leave most nations poor and destitute of capital, tliey will 
naturally look to such means as will most probably procure it. 

The legislators of commercial countries, will, by wise and salutary regu¬ 
lations in favour of mercantile adventurers, especially foreigners, bold out 
such favourable terms as may induce them to withdraw their capital from 
home, where they are restricted, and embark in commerce supported and 
encouraged by the government of another country. 

These plans of ambition fliould be counteracted and palliated as far as 
they relate to Great Britain ; and that too before they have begun to ope¬ 
rate, for then it may be too late. It is not now the time to slumber over 
danger; the world is awake, and we should be vigilant. 

I mention these things only to point out the bad policy of allowing, if it 
is possible to be prevented, any discussions relative to Egypt in the event 
of a convention being again assembled to negotiate a general peace: it is 
to be hoped, that all differences relating to our possessions in India, espe¬ 
cially those recently acquired, together with the possession of the Cape of ' 
Good Hope, may be settled on the fair terms of reciprocal justice, allowing 
to this country its full indemnity for the expenses of the war. But this 
ground, so extremely tender, should be lightly trod, to prevent as much as 
possible the jealousy and rivality of foreign nations, more especially of Rus¬ 
sia, whose situatbn, resources, population, and growing industry of the in- 
liabitants, added to the active character of the present Emperor, might, in a 
Iktie time, become terrible to the Britifh interests in India. 

In taking leave of this subject, I beg to repeat, that the object of expel- ’ 
ling the French from Egypt, and the coasts of the Red Sea, and establifliing 
the former government of the Beys, or perhaps an Arab one, is too important 
to admit of delav : and, without a wiflt to detract from the merit of Sir Sidney 

G 


$2 LET,TERS ON INDIA. 

Smith, whose exertions entitle him to the highest degree of distinction and 
praise, I submit to your consideration, whether the negotiations that officer 
is now carrying on with the Porte will tend much to facilitate the expul¬ 
sion of the French from the only situation where they can become formi¬ 
dable to us, or from whence they can tlireaten tlie stability of our possessions 
in'India. The nature of mankind is not in a moment to be changed } nor 
will Sir Sidney Smith, with all that energy which he possesses, be able to 
inspire feelings similar to his own, in a people lost to martial virtue, and 
divided amongst themselves by a flagitious and enervated government, torn 
in pieces by ambition, tyranny, and avarice, and whose sole dependence 
seems to rest on the uncertain support which it may receive, either from its 
nominal subjects, or from its allies. We should not, therefore, place any 
reliance on the Turks, or deceive ourselves with hopes of success, by per¬ 
mitting them to carry on the war, without decided support from this coun¬ 
try. The French must be driven from Egypt, and the Mahomedan go¬ 
vernment restored in that province ; let the French be attacked from the 
side of India : let the operations in the Red Sea of one of the first cha¬ 
racters the world has produced, the immortal Albuquerque, be remembered ^ 
and, let it also be remembered, that this great man estimated the complete 
destruction of Egypt as a nation, a sacrifice not too great, in order to secure 
the trade of India to the crown of Portugal. 

Whatever measures may be adopted in forwarding assistance from India, 
it must be observed, that such is the current of the winds in the Red Sea, 
that no expedition could leave the coast of Malabar sooner than the middle 
of August. 

I remain, dear Sir^ yours, &c. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


43 


LETTER VI. 

Gemral Reflections on the bad T€7tdency of French Principles — 2^he Impres¬ 
sion ab'cadp 7 nade, or likelp to be madCi by their Means^ on the Courts of 
Europe—System of Compensations—'Vieivs of the House of Austria m J'e- 
gard to Venicef likely to disturb'the Repose of Mankind—‘Overland Trade 
to India—Dangers and Jciilousies to be apprehended in Coiisequeiicc — Oc¬ 
casion neev Wais—Perhaps the Partition of the Turkifli Empire^ and the 
Rcstoratwi of the Greeks—Certain Nations designed to favour atid mu¬ 
tually to assist each other—Russia a siaiural Ally to Great Britain—At 
the same Thue Russia may he dangerous to the interefls of Great Briiain— 
Ilota far so, by leaguing loith the Noriherji Poxvers of Ilihdoostan agamst 
iis—‘Particular Facilities of Communication betiveen‘ the Empire of Russia 
and the North-West Frontiers of India—The Ambition of Rimia likely to 
be stimulated by Success —Gjeat Resources—Plan to attach Russia firmly 
to Great Brititin—Hoxv to concentrate the Prosperity of both, but with 
greater Advantage to this Country—Particular Advantages which Russia 
xvould derive on the one Ha:nd—On the other Great Briiain greatly bene¬ 
fited^ Attack to be 7mde on %mumn Shaw by the Route of Bticharia 
and the Defiles of the Hindoo Khoo—Would serve to preserve Ti'anquil- 
Uty in British India—Commercial Treaty xvith Russia—The Means of dis¬ 
posing of many Articles of India Produce—Balance of Trade wUJt Rus* 
silt j'enderrd more favourable to Great Britam. 

, DEAR SIR, London, 25 th March, 1800. 

It is a melancholy fact, that the French revolution, by altering the mo¬ 
ral system of affairs, lays a deep foundation for changes and unfair transac¬ 
tions. I mean to say, that so extensive and powerful a nation, both by Its 
example and its means of corruption, will have, and has perhaps already 
had, a great influence on the political conduct of states and kingdoms. 
Nor will I yield the point, tliough I am told, that other countries are too 


44 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


honourable to follow the example^ or listen to their proposals. The at* 
tack made on Venice hj the French was not more unprincipled than the 
conduct of, the Emperor in accepting that independent and ancient city 
from the robbers who had plundered it. This extraordinary transaction 
leads to an inquiiy into the motives of the Emperor, and to account why 
the possession of Venice is so precious to that sovereign. Is it not because 
a trade to India can be carried on by that means } and may it not therefore 
be supposed, tliat the Emperor wishes success to the expedition of Egypt ? 
Some weighty consideration must have been balanced against the honour 
of the House of Austria; for Venice, unless its ancient splendor could be 
revived by its ancient commerce, was not a sufficient object to occasion, 
far less to justify, such an aberration. As other nations will join in wish¬ 
ing England to be rivaled in the trade to India, ic/hik we are in arms^ 
u our only remedy. It well deserves to be remembered, that our un¬ 
fortunate contest with America occasioned the greatest joy to all the courts 
of Europe. The intelligence of every action, no matter on whose side the 
advantage fell, was equally matter of triumph. This triumph did not pro¬ 
ceed from a regard to the particular success, or to tlae justice of the cause 
of either party, but from a jealousy and rivality of the prosperity and opu¬ 
lence of Great Britain: it is much to be lamented that the ambitious views 
of certain European courts, contaminated, perhaps, by the baneful influ¬ 
ence of French morality, afford, at this juncture, so much well-founded 
cause for alarm. As reciprocal relations have varied, and the situation of 
Europe has beep in consequence politically changed, it became necessary 
to introduce new maxims, and to establish an order of things commensu¬ 
rate with their necessity. The political structure of Europe is now founded' 
on a system of compensations and equivalent reciprocities. The ruptures 
of the present day, as indeed have always been the case, originate generally 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


45 


in avarice, flowing from commercial jealousy and rivality. The present 
instance is indeed an exception, it being a war of monarchy j but there is 
no saying what may arise out of the convulsion into which every thing has 
been thrown War is now reduced to mathematical accuracy in regard 
to its ultimate object and advantages. Compensation is become the basis 
of the law of nations ; and it is equal to all political operations : it has di¬ 
vided Poland, and will probably destroy the empire of the Turks. It has 
been well observed, that modern statesmen and politicians have deviated 
irom the principles of religion and morality, on which the law of nations 
was originally founded, and liave introduced a superseding principle, called 
the law of political necessity; and more recently, that of existing ehxum- 
stances, the fatal effects of which have been, and indeed are now, severely 
felt on the continent of Europe. Under the sanction of these new tenets, 
some of the Christian powers of Europe have gone to war with each other, 
without any previous declaration j have parcelled out, and divided amongst 
them, neighbouring kingdomshave broken through the strongest engage¬ 
ments, and closest treaties of alliance; have deserted the most laudable con¬ 
federacies ; and have entered into clandestine separate treaties of peace with 
the common enemy. 

In the midst of tlie present war, the secularisation of the ecclesiastical’ 
states of Germany has been deemed expedient. Prussia looks to compen¬ 
sation ; and the Emperors of Russia and Germany no doubt do the same. 
It may be reasonably inferred, that the application, of this term, the most 
dreadful in the political dictionary, may be converted to purposes ex¬ 
tremely injurious, if not destructive to the repose of mankind. We have 

* Wars may be defined under tliree heads: 1st, Those proceeding from religion and entlmsiasm l 
2dly, Wars arising from commercial jdalousy and rivality; and 3dly ,Wars for the establishment of 
oveteigns, or of the liberties of states and kingdoms. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


every reason to believe that Russia is already disposed to entertain consider¬ 
able jealousy, and has indeed betrayed great uneasiness, because the Empe¬ 
ror of Germany has declined to restore to its ancient privileges the state of 
Venice. This dispute cannot be reconciled, but by compensation; and 
that must be adjufted at the expense of some right, or by the alienation of 
some property. The relative situation of Austria may be useful to the 
Turks, and promote the sydem of aggrandisement pursued by that ambi¬ 
tious power. The Emperor may, for instance, preserve peace and subor¬ 
dination in European Turkey. At any time a column of Austrian troops 
might cross the Danube, penetrate to Widdin, and enable Austria to pre¬ 
sent the head of Paswan Oglou, or any other rebellious subject, to the 
Grand Seignior. Might not Egypt, on the score of compensation, as a 
distant and troublesome province, be the equivalent for these services ? 
Austria, in possession of the Adriatic and Egypt, would, without doubt, 
attempt a trade to India;—an attempt which would stimulate the jealousy 
of Russia, and alarm all Europe It is then probable the world would be 
a^ain in arms to decide this difference, grounded on the ambition of two 
powerful nations, of wliich the probable' result would be, the partition of 
the dominions of the Ottomans, and the renovation of the empire of the 
Greeks. That this will one day take place, needs not the foresight of a 
prophetic eye. These circumstances are rendered more terrible from the 

* The greatest evU that arises out of tlie present fashionable system is, that it compels all nations 
to resort to the same means, and to act on similar principles. Without this they could not treat on 
terras of equality. In the present war, the political object is still a secret. The Emperor of KulSa is 
the only power who has publicly declared, iu a generous and manly strain, his avowed sentiments 
and ultimate determination. But it is to be apprehended, that the virtuous resolutions of that mon¬ 
arch may be thwarted, and that prince, contrarily to his inclination, be obliged, on the just principle 
of retail ation, to abandon the line of conduct in which the unfair proceedings of other kingdoms will 
not suffer him to persevere. It is to be regretted that oppressions cannot be repelled by acts of bene¬ 
volence, but by reprisals. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


47. 


unpromising aspect of public af?airs, and the vicissitudes which still con¬ 
tinue to obscure the horizon of politics. 

The apparent danger which threatens the civilised world, particularly 
excite the emotions of mankind j and, like the polar magnet, irresistibly 
attract their attenSon to the affairs of the North. Xt is natural, in cases of 
difficulty, like the present, to contemplate such means as are sufficiently 
powerful to remove; or, if not sufficiently powerful to remove, to avert the 
evils of which we are apprehensive. For attaining the object of the war. 
Great Britain must depend on the wisdom of her councils, her vaff re¬ 
sources, and the arms and gallantry of herself and her allies. ' 

But with regard to the mutual affinities of nations, it has been with equal 
truth and justice observed, that kingdoms, as well as families, are connected 
by reciprocal ties.. The same incidents in point of locality, and habits of 
industry and commerce, equally operate on both.. Let the situation of 
either be near or distant, they tend, from physical and political causes, to 
the same measures of mutual prosperity. Russia may be considered, on 
the extended scale of political oeconomy, as the natural, and perhaps the 
only ally necessary to Great Britain. Were the interefls of those power¬ 
ful countries more immediately united, and their facilities for mutual in¬ 
terest and advantage more maturely considered, and better adapted towards 
each other, a doubt cannot exist, but a basis would be established, produc¬ 
tive of the greatest relative advantages. 

The present posture of public affairs bids fair to accelerate this point of 
union, unless indeed jealousies be excited, by the insidious means of French 
politics, circulated through the court of Berlin, to the continental powers. 
^Dimde et imperct may be a motto favourable to the French, become an or¬ 
ganised band of military robbers, and also consolatory to the keen eye of 
the Prussian eagle, eager for a participation of the prey. But firmness and 




LETTERS ON INDIA. 


unanimity established between Russia and Great Britain may bid defiance 
to the efforts of the world. 

Russia, from many causes, is daily becoming of greater consequence in 
the scale of nations, 4^11 extensive empire, increasing population, natural 
■productions, and creative induflry, are amongst the nu*mber. A race of 
illustrious sovereigns have enlarged the resources of the empire, by open¬ 
ing an unbounded freedom of commerce, and encouraging agriculture and 
maiiLi&ctures; and, by obtaining an accession of inhabitants from all coun¬ 
tries, by wise colonial establishments, have received into the bosom of the 
state foreign capitalists and artists of eveiy description. 

We cannot sufficiently admire the wisdom of the late Empress, in the 
numerous acts of her long and prosperous reign. Amongst many otlier 
measures dictated by sound policy, was the abolition of several monopolies 
of the crown. On this subject the Empress was particularly tenacious, 
and seldom or ever granted exclusive rights, either corporately or indivi¬ 
dually. Regal monopolies, of certain articles produced in the countr)’^ it¬ 
self, may, in some instances,, be .admissible; but an exclusive privilege, in 
the hands of.a few, is utterly inconsistent with that competition and emu¬ 
lation—that general mass of industry and exertion on which the prosperity 
and wealth of nations depend. Uncertain in its nature, it is inadequate to 
its purpose; nor can public scarcity be a pretext to demand or enforce 
what it is either unwilling or unable to supply. In its ultimate termina¬ 
tion, it is exhaled, with little benefit to the state, or any adequate advan¬ 
tage to the great mass of the people, whose interest, as the source of na¬ 
tional prosperity, should chiefly be consuted. 

§ 

It is on the solid basis, therefore, of free and unlimited comrrierce, so 
instrumental to industry, and so liberal in its principle, to all ranks and 
degrees of the subject, that the government of Russia has commenced a 


LETTERS .ON INDIA. 


49 


Structure whicJi wiil oue day astonish the world—a structure which other 
countries may imitate without being able to rival oi*' excel. It will 
however prove, that trade, free and unconstrained, under the genial in¬ 
fluence of an equitable government, is a fruitful source of national great¬ 
ness. Monopolization is a current, equally turbulent, capricious, unpro¬ 
ductive—nay, destructive. Free trade is a grand national reservoir, from 
whence are to flow, as it were from the purest source, numberless refresh¬ 
ing rills, whose equal steady course diffuse their salutary streams to the 
utmost extremities of the empire. 

Russia has to extend and promote her commerce, whereas Great Britain 
has only to preserve and maintain what she now enjoys. Let botli be 
satisfied on terms of reciprocity and mutual interest. Great Britain, from 
her population and extent, has neither the wants nor the means of Russia j 
but that widely-extended country has to look forward to future improve¬ 
ment, and by that means to allure commerce. Her-advantages are great; 
and, amid tiie oppressions and shocks xvhich are felt in a great part of Europe-y 
Russia will be a welcome country to thousands of mankind^ denied protection 
or bread in their own. 

The object, therefore, is to take advantage of circumstances hivourable 
to the physical situation of Russia and Great Britain ; and, by a due atten¬ 
tion to the interests of Russia, to secure her powerful friendship at a ge¬ 
neral pacification. - 

In the first place, I shall endeavour to point out in what manner, and 
in what ratio, Russia may be formidable to us; and, in the second, by 
what means any inducements to counteract our interest are to be removed ; 
and a closer or more immediate connection, formed on a system of mutual 
prosperity, between Russia and Great Britain. 

It is to be observed, in speaking of the danger which may be appre- 


II 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


iO 

hended from the government of Russia, and in what manner that country 
can be formidable to Great Britain, that it cannot be expected that other 
nations will sit down contented, and see England engross the whole com¬ 
merce of the world. Some nations will attempt openly, and others se¬ 
cretly, to wrest from us those possessions which give us so decided an ad¬ 
vantage over them, and they will naturally try different methods from those 
they have attempted without success, 

Russia, about a century ago, could scarcely defend herself against Swe¬ 
den, and its own rebellious Boyards. Since that time, by a succession of 
able sovereigns, Russia has become a first-rate power j and, should it con¬ 
tinue to be managed by the same wise system which, since the days of 
Peter the First, has so much contributed to its prosperity, will soon, from 
its interior amelioration,, excite fear in every nation. Civilisation is giv¬ 
ing to the inhabitants of that country the same wants as to those of others^ 
and nature points out the means of supplying them. 

At the greatest distance from lAdia by sea* Russia is the nearest by land 
to India of any nation. Situated for the most part in a cold and ungrateful 
climate, she has the most occasion to trade with India, which produces all 
the aromatics which the inhabitants of cold climates want; and a settle¬ 
ment on the south-east corner of the Caspian Sea would aiisWet every pur¬ 
pose. Tliere, without possibility of opposition from any European power, 
a settlement might be made on the borders of one of the finest coun tries in 
the known World. 

In this situation, it is to be apprehended, that the great powers in In¬ 
dia, for up the country towards Persia, and to the west of Delhi, aided by 
European engineers and ofiicers^ with ordnance and artillei'y-men, would 
march against our settlements down the Ganges, and we should not have 
time even to take leave of India. It would not then be Tippoo Saib, Witlr 


LETTERS ON INOiA. ' 

Ills comparative^/ small dominions, but Zemaun Shaw, king of Candahar, 
Cabul, and Chorasan, with numberless Mahomqdaa auxiliaries, wliona we 
, should have to resist. Their innumerable cavalry and infantry would be re¬ 
cruited as they proceed; they would come down upon us like a torrent; and, 
hnally, the A%hans, Rohillas, and Pataus, ai-<^ent in ,their nature, and lung 
and impatiently waiting the optiortunity, would lend their assistan.ee to re- 
establish the Mahomed^tn power in India. The interior broils of .the 
country would be laid aside for the moment, private animodties would 
cease, and the business of our expuldcui hc; complete. 

When we cast an eye on the map of HijU-^pstan, we are xar from being 
astonished at the successful Eruptions of the Mahomedan .cpugueroi:;s intp 
India. The provinces of -fije .Panjab we^e at aU fiines a granary, -whilst 
Moultan supplied clpathing.apd other necessaries in 

danpe. The city of Tahor® became the winter-quarters* of The hardy 
hordes colleGted from the .po^'t-h of Persia, the mpuntams of Hindoo 
Kdaop, or GaucaSus, the banks, of the. Indus, and the platform of Tartary. 
The return vof .the fair .seaspm the period .of active operations in the held, 
opened the great^t facilities for -invasion. The fertility of the Upper Pro¬ 
vinces, the benignity of the .clim.ate, and-die inviting access to the luxu-- 
rious district of Oude, ,as .wpH ias T^hilcund and the Dopab, yvere .moce 
than sufficient :to favoiu*. the approach of .a barbarous army.. But nature, 
as if conducive to the .raany revolutions y\’-hich have afflicted Hindoostan, 
has contrived, by means of large navigable rivers, the readiest mode qf 
■conducting an,invading enemy to the bosom of its fairest provinces. The 
Ganges and. the Jumna diiect their course towards the capital, to Oude, 
and other .rich nnd flourishing cities of the empire. These rivers enter 


The rainy season in India is sjnonymous witli llic ^viriicr of our own country. 


.‘>2 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


the plains of Hindoosmn by an extensive and fruitful valley, intersected by 

* * 

innumerable streams, extending, from the Jumna to. the mountaitis of 
Hurdowar, two hundred and eighty British miles. The extent of this 
valley, with plenty of forage and water, renders it particularly acces¬ 
sible to the large bodies of horse with which the northern parts of hlin- 
doostan particularly abound. The Vizier’s dominions form the frontier of 
our possessions in Hindoostan, and which are those immediately opposed 
to the inroads and ravages of the northern hordes. These dominions, having 
the Company’s provinces to the east, and the Tibet mountains to the 
north (which form an impenetrable barrier), are exposed to invasion from 
the south and west only. This boundary extends from Illahabad to Hur¬ 
dowar, a space of about five hundred miles. From Illahabad to Etyah, two 
hundred and forty miles, the Jumna forms a feeble barrier; for being in 
many places fordable during the dry season, *and in all parts narrow, ca¬ 
valry would find little difficulty in crossing it, plundering the country, de¬ 
stroying the harvest, and re-crossing, without infantry having it in their 
power to molest them : but the Jumna, from Etyah upward, being every¬ 
where fordable for the greatest part of the year, if cavalry that had crossed 
lower down found tliemselves pressed by infantry, they could always make 
their way upward, cross the Jumna, and be in perfect security. From 
the Jumna, near Etyah, to the Ganges, at Ramgaut, one hundred and forty 
miles, the boundary takes an oblique direction across the Dooab : this 
space is entirely open and defenceless. From Ramgaut to Hurdowar, one 
hundred and forty miles, the Ganges forms the boundaiy (except the dr- 
strict of Anoopsheher, which lies to the west of the river); but being in 
all parts fordable for cavalry, from November to July, it must be consi¬ 
dered more an ideal than a real barrier * :—circumstances which readily 


^ Letters on Oade^ 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


53 


account for the rapidity with which revolutions have been accomplished 
in that country, ujider various leaders from Tartary and Persia; all of 
them external, and with little or no encouragement from the inhabitants 
tiiemselves. 

When, with the aid of Russia leaguing with the northern powers of 
Hindoostan, we should be driven out of Asia, some part of the trade to 
India might be carried on advantageously by land. Although the main 
commerce to India never could be carried on this way, still many things 
wanted in Russia would come over from Persia by it cheaper than by any 
other conveyance. This conveyance would be aided by a canal between 
the Don and the Wolga, and which Peter the Great began. This navi-- 
gation will one day or other be completed, for it Is the best and easiest 
method oPgiving value to the most central part of what may be called the 
Continent of the World. Trade has for more than a century been ex¬ 
tremely ivariable 5 but the grand sera in commerce, the most important 
since the dlscovei-y of the passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope, is 
reserved for the JRussum ?nonarclit who shall unite the Wolga with the 
Don, Time, by its unremitting depredations, has considerably changed 
the physical appearance of the world. The art of man, on the other hand, 
has, in every age, by a contrary operation, tended to its cultivation and 
improvement, with a view to ameliorate the condition of mankind. Na¬ 
vigable canals, and cuts, by which lakes, rivers, and seas, are induced tO' 
intermix their respective streams, together with other works of industry, 
such as the making of public ways, serve to cement and approximate so¬ 
ciety, By these modes of facilitating conjuncticm, distant or more remote 
provinces and countries are made as it were to approach each other.. It 
naturally follows, that a canal which will intersect the great continent of 
the world, almost wholly insulate Europe, and form the junction of the 
Baltkj the Casimm, the Euxine, and the Mediterranean Scas^ with the At- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


lantk Ocean, 'vvill be a project equally magnificent and nseM.^—When it 
i?hall be possible fior a ship to sail from the Gidf of Flnkmd to the Caspim, 
from thence by the Bosph'onis to the Black Sea, and by the J]>arda7ieUes •mA 
\ht Straits of Gibraltar to return to the the world will assume a 

new appearance. 

It is somewhat remarkable, -that this communication, of so much real 
‘importance to mankind, has been thrice begun, although ne.ver yet ac¬ 
complished. It has been attempted -at periods very distant from each 
Other, By Seleucm Fficilnor, by Selim the Second, and by Pete?' the Gi'cat^ 
This brilliant event will no doubt excite the industry of the present day— 
an epoch when commerciEtl -enterprise appears to engross the attention of 
all nations, and when mankind is making great progress in every branch of 
useful improvement, entjyij-e of liussia, in particular, by the due 

exercise of wise and'salutary laws, directed by a race of benevolent sove¬ 
reigns, is likely to heCerme, by certain gradual means, a great, rich, and 
happy natioru 

The length of this canal would Uot e^xceed thirty miles; the distance be¬ 
ing small, and the country not on&vourable, neither the labour or the ex¬ 
pense would be great; both, indeed, would be trifling, when compared 
^vith other stupendous works of art and industry. But the evil which we 
have to apprehend is the loss of that commerce by sea which is now car¬ 
ried on by the Cape of Good 'Hope. This communication would be 
opened to all nations, in a complete manner, after we should have been 
driven fi'om India. 

The ambition of the Russian monarchs, ever since the time of Peter the 
Great, has been conspicuous; and, by directing it well, they have grown 
into great power. Divided Poland, and the reduction of the Crimea, are 
proofs that the same ambition which has hitherto been chiefly turned to 
interior' improvement has occasionally been directed to external aggran- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


55 


discment; and, if a spirit of uiilitary giory, which the recent atchieve-» 
ments of Suwarrow are well calculated to create, should once serve as a 
stimulus, there is no saying how far they may go. 

It is also much to be dreaded, that jealousies which have already show^n 
themselves, and which it is to be feared may be strengthened and promoted 
by certain causes arising out of the complex nature of coalition, may tend 
considerably to excite dereliction from the general interest. National views 
may interfere; and it is natural for mankind to seek to repel that which 
they consider either as an insult or an act of injustice, by such means as are 
physically possible, and such as, perhaps, may be suited to the genius, in¬ 
terest, and wishes of-the people. 

Russia possesses all the vigour of a new state. As for its size and popu¬ 
lation, they are so immoderately great, that its efforts, if well directed, will 
produce effects that are almost incalculable. Another great empire con¬ 
tiguous to it is just in the opposite extreme, and which, though possessing 
some of the finest territories in . the world, seems to be falling to pieces 
from age and enervation. WTiat with die vigour of the one, and lassitude 
of the other (the other changes in Europe being taken in account), no 
balance of power nor permanent order of things, nor certainty of retaining 
the India commerce, will for many years be obtained. 

It is by no means my intention to enter into any discussion of the va¬ 
riety of interests, connected with the different courts of Europe, or, in any 
shape, to agitate questions which it may he either the inclination or the in¬ 
terest of the French to bring on the tapis previously to, or at the time of a 
general pacification. On the contrary. It is our wish to avert the bad effects 
of insidious policy. It is stifiicient, on this subject, to obseive, that tlic 
French suppose the present to be “ an epoch from which tlie most extra- 

ordinary events are to be dated,’* and that thtnr politics, in whatever way 


56 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


tliey are to be viewed, are in themselves immediately in contradicdon to the. 
inieresti; of Russia^ and indirectly so to those of Great Britain, 

My object, as has been again and again observed, is to promote the 
prosperity and future aggrandisement of Russia at the expense of our ene¬ 
mies, and to secure to Great Britain, against future intrigue or contingen¬ 
cies, the commercial advantages she now enjoys. To combine the reci¬ 
procal views of both nations on such a basis, would, if possible, be a 
pleasing and a grateful task ; or, if tlrat should be not altogether practica¬ 
ble, to accomplish the system as nearly as it can be done. The conveni- 
ency of Rtissla must, in this case, be consulted in some new arrangement, 
in which the security of the British empire in the East may be considered ; 
and it may not be very difficult, by a fair and candid examination of phy¬ 
sical relations and situations, to advance the resources of Russia without 
encroaching on the prosperity of Great Britain,—and, by promoting the 
natural advantages of both countries, to concentrate their prosperity. 

Russia and Great Britain are natural allies; and what may promote the 
interest of the one, may also add to the security and increase the resources 
of the other. It is on this principle, therefore, that I feel myself interested 
in. offering such remarks as appear to me important to them both j espe¬ 
cially when the interference of the European powers will shortly, it is 
hoped, be called in to determine the great civil and commercial rights of 
mankind. 

The circumstances which arise out of the physical as well as the politi¬ 
cal order of affairs, in regard to the commercial interests of Great Britain 
and Russia, naturally arrange themselves into three divisions. 

1st, The political state of France, with its relative situation in regard 
to otlier countries of Europe. 

sdly. The political and natural situation of Russia j—and 


LETTERS'ON INDIA. 


^dTy, The means by which Russia and Great Britain may render to each 
other reciprocal benefits, wdth the advantages arising from a closer connex^ 
ion between the two countries. . 

From a due consideration of these topics, may be derived a competent 
knowledge of what is proper to be conce?ted between the courts of St. Pe¬ 
tersburg and St. James. By securing to Russia certain advantages, in 
regard to trade, highly important to her interest—to obtain, in others not 
less so to Great Britain,, secitriiy to our possessions in India, permanency to 
its commerce, and a ready market for the produce and munufachires of that 
country. 

The advantages which we propose to Russia will tend,.by means of 
Great Britain, progressively and gradually, .to extend her foreign com¬ 
merce,.and increase her shipping, as well as the number of hei seamen. 
The plan proposed will assist her with capital; and, by opening, on fa¬ 
vourable terms,, the ports of British India to Russia, enable her to impoit-* 
into the southern provinces of the empire the productions of that coun¬ 
try—productions particularly necessary to Russia, not only to supply the " 
wants of the inhabitants, but to encourage industry, and promote-manufac¬ 
tures. The important benefits to be derived from a- firm alliance between 
Great Britain and Russia is a subject on which much might be. said. It is 
at present necessary only to remark, that the increasing population and.- 
improvement of tho province of Taurida, the Ukraine, and, generally, of - 
those extensive and valuable regions on the borders of the Euxine and. 
Caspian Seas, demand,, as a natural prerogative, the free navigation of the 
Mediterranean and Black Seas: and, as the prosperity and civilisation of 
the people depend on the introduction of commerce and manu&ctures, 
and on the importation of such articles as tend to promote civiUsation,- and 
to feed the manufactures so introduced, it follows, that a direct communi- 


3S 


L'ETTERS ON INDIA. 


^ration wirli ludi-ij by sea.,.is also indispensable. By the Dardanelles, and the 

’V 

.Canal of Constantinople,'to the shores ef tlie Blade Sea, the productions 
of India and China cbnld be conveyed to the numerous inhabitants of 
the soutliern provinces of Russia: from whence they,., would he diffused 
throughout the whole empire, by the means given to commerce in the 
abundance of both land and water carriage inithat country. With the aid. 
of the Wolga, tlie Don, Duna and the Duina, the Caspian and the Euxlne, 
are connected with the Gulf of Finland, the Frozen Ocean, and die 
Baltic. 

The facilities of inland navigation in the empire of Russia are superior 
to any in ^the world. Mercliandise can be conveyed by water-carriage 
diree thousand w^ersts, or-two thousand English miles, in all directions. 

The principal navigable communications are : 

-1st, The junction of the Caspian with the Gulf of Finland —a distance of 
nine hundred and fifty wersts, ar six hundred,and forty-seven English miles. 
This communication, from Astrakhan to St, Petersburg, is effected chiefly 
by means of the Wolga : from that river, by the sluices' of Vishney-Volol^ 
shok, into the Vo.lkhof, • The Volkhof flows into the Ladoga which 

is connected with the NetOj a noble river -which discharges its waters into 
the Gulf of Finland, 

■ Sdly, Fr om Siberia and the confines -of China to St. Petersburg. Mer¬ 
chandise is embarked at Kiachta, and, by the Selin g a, conveyed to the 
Luke Baikal-y . from that lake into the Angara ', from the Angara into the 
F€ 7 iissep ; and from the town of Tenissoesk, by a short land-carriage of forty 
wersts, into the Ket ; from die Kei into the Ob]/, and by die Obi/ to the 
Tobol. From Tobolsk, -commerce is carried on with the internal provinces 
by the means of great markets and fairs; but the navigable intercourse is 
intercepted by a.land-carriage of four hundred wersts, or three hundred 


LETTERS ON INDIA. ■*9 

Eirglish miTes. Should goods be intended for the BalilCy they must be 
conveyed from Tobolsk to the Tshussoi^oioi from thence to the KmnTiiOy 
which hows into the IVolgdy and so to -Sl Pefo'stw'gi 
5dly, The navigation of the Ditnay which rises near the sources of the 
Wolgciy and falls into the Baltic near Rigk It is navigable almost the length 
of its course, and facilitates greatly thelntercoui-se with different provinces 
of Russiay Polandy and the Duchy of Coui'land.- 
4 thly, The navigation of the DiimUy which' flows from the centre of 
Russia^ and is dischai-ged, together with a great accession of waters, into 
the While Sea- at Archangel. To these may be added the BoquCy the 
Dniepery and the Uoh, with numberless others^ diverging, in various direct* . 
tkms, through the'extensive territories oi Russia^ into Balticy the Cas'^ 

plan, the Black SeUy the Eastern as well as the jPro^eK Oce^wv 

Tea, the use of which has not only increased in a very great degree, but 
also has had a direct as well as happy tendency to diminish that use of spi^ 
rituous liquors, would be both more abundantly-and more cheaply suppliedl 
Sugar could, in like manner, be imported from India,- as well as raw cotton 
and cotton cloths, indigo, spices, drugs, and coflee from Arabk/ besides a 
variety of other articles of commerce calculated to feed and nourish manu^- 
factures. The exports would be collected from the various productions 
of the empire, of which there are many well suited to the India market; 
or returns might be made directly to Great Britain,’ 

A land'carriage trade to an extensive empire, encircled" on many sides 
by vast seas, as well as possessing, internallyj great inknd seas, lakes, and 
large navigable rivers, all of them having communications, either immediate 
or indirect, with the Ocean, cannot be an object to be put in competitioii 
with the commercial advantages of a great nation. It is besides to be ob¬ 
served, that a considkable proportion of the. inhabitants of Russia.are. daily 

I. % 


CO -ISETTERS ON INDIA. 

-acquiring more and mor^ kabits of maritime affairs. The precarious and 
uncertain trade which Pvussia carries on with China, Persia, and India, by- 
land, or by tlie way of the Caspian, the Wolga, and the Don, is not to be 
compared to .a- regular intercourse upheld with those nations by the means 
-of shipping. An increase of shipping, of which Russia is in want, would 
proportionally augment her number of sea-faring people, and encourage 
naval enterprize and exertion. 

The Indian Ocean, the China Seas, the Gulfs of Arabia and Persia, and 
the Red Sea, would be opened by degrees to the ships of Russia. 

In order to accomplish a system which embraces, in a very extensive 
degree, the ultimate aim .of every wise and prudent government that di¬ 
rects its attention to the moral, civil, and political institutions of tlie peo¬ 
ple, the empire of Russia will, no doubt, previously to a general paclfica.- 
.^tion, possess herself of establishments in the Mediterranean, as well as in 
other ^situations A great national establishment, on the principle laid 
-down, might he formed to promote industi^ and .commerce in all its 
branches, under the immediate inspection of the legislature. By encou^ 
raging the India trade, which hitherto has enriched every nation enjoying 
it, the northern and southern extreniities of Russia, although divided by 
an immense distance, would, as it were, approach and be united to each 
other. Mutual exchange of commodities, pi'oduced by the difference of ' 
soil and climate, would irresistibly create a re-action of domestic com¬ 
merce, extremely beneficial, and at the same time essentially necessary to 
the existence of a trade with India from the dominions of Russia. , By 
these means national industry would he stimulated, commerce augmented, 
the arts multiplied, and agriculture and manufactures flourish, 

* Malta, and perhaps the island of Candia, may appertain to Russia on the close of the warj— 
the first by fconquest, the second by concession. 

155^1 


■LETTERS ON INDIA. 


6,1 


Blit in the formation of a ^rand national estabJishment> especially in a 
country neither wholly destitute of capital nor abounding with it, every 

means should be devised, by which the money of other nations might be 

♦ 

brought in aid of such establishment, .on terms advantageous to the lender; 
and by which, ultimately, through the combinations of powers differing, 
'distant and distinct from each other, be able to produce an effect by which 
the whole capital, borrowed from foreign countries, would, 4 n the course 
of a few years, prove a clear and certain gain. That a system of this na¬ 
ture is practicable, is, I believe, fully demonstrable. With considerable 

J 

increase of property, without the establishment feeling any diminution of 
its profits, and at the same time preserving its capital unimpaired, the 
lenders would be repaid in a few years by the infallible operation of their 
own money. By the.means of borrowed funds, judiciously employed, 
under the sanction and controul of a government sustained by good faith 
and great public credit, an establishment might be reared which Would 
prove a mine of wealth to the country adopting it, and also to those con¬ 
cerned in its prpgress and success. 

The manner in which Russia may be essentially benefited by a closer 
connection with this country, I trust, has been more than generally ex¬ 
plained, on the basis of allowing to Russia a participation of the trade to 
India, on terms favourable to Great Britain. 

The reciprocities which are due to.Great Britain come nKst binder our 
consideration. 

In order to preserve the trade of India to Great Britain, or at least as. 
much of it as she may be able to manage, regard must be paid to national 
justice. On this subject regulations must be formed to prevent rivality in, 
commerce, and conciliate, as much as possible, the interests of other coun¬ 
tries with our own. This can only be efiected by supplying foreigners 
both liberally and cheaply. 


65 


tETTERS ON INDIA. 


It is of Httic importance to the consumer, how the article he want? 
comes into the country; the price and quality'are all he looks toj and 
as for the merchant, his aim is to employ his capital to the greatest ad¬ 
vantage for himself. It is therefore only, when the wild ambition of the 

ruler of a nation- leads him to fight for a branch of commerce, that it is 

/ 

not the wish nor interest of his subjects to possess, that such a branch of 
commerce, wisely conducted, is wrested from, the hands of- those who 
have the conducting of it. ' 

So much is undoubtedly due to foreign nations, as well as to the inter-^ 
ests of this country. But Russia should unite with Great Britain, to keep 
shut the communication with India by the way of Egypt and the Red 
Sea, and in preventing the Gape of Good Hope from again changing 
hands, or becoming a dependency subject to any other European power 
than that which now possesses it. The Cape-is now occupied 'by British 
troops at a great expense:' it is a serious affair ^ and the pessession' ef that 
place will probably become an object of- high contention at the period of 
a general pacification. These are great and momentous concerns, which 
never should be lost sight of, as the grand hinge on which the prosperity 
of both countries are incessantly to turn. Next to these considerations 
may be reckoned-the assistance Russia can afford Great Britain to repel the 
attacks of the northern hordes on the south-west frontier of our Indian 
possessions. Hindoostan has, for successive- ages, been the prey of the 
Tartars; and in the present one a very formidable power has recently 
started up. Zemaun Shaw, who has been already mentioned, with a 
powerful army, has threatened the security of that-country. Independent 
of an extensive- kingdomi his infiuenee as a great Mahomedan powers 
since the subversion of Delhi'by Nadir Shaw, is scarcely to be calculated. 
His dominions extend to Balk, Samarkand, to the Persian Affghans, the 
Fa tans, and Rohillas. He is the only chief that is now formidable tathe 



Fmrhia'n 















































































LETTERS ON INDIA. 


.(55 


British sovereignty in rndia. Such means are, therefore, to be atten^pted as 
will prevent hostilities from that quarter.; and Russia, on this occasion, 
must necessarily be re-sorted to. 

The Russian empire extends its extremities to the S'ea'of Aral, along 

' . - i' 

the banks of the Amoo, the ancient Oxus. An army of Russians and 
Cossacs might be led, by the city of Balk, to the frontiers lof Hindoostan. 

The fertility of the country through which the Amoo flows, the Lesser 
Bacliaria, frequently attracted the avarice or ambition of invaders. The 
sources of the Amoo and the Behat are but a few miles asunder. On the 
latter stands: Cabul, the seat of .empire of Zemaun Shaw. Both rivers 
arise near Bamian, a considerable town in ZabuHstan, not far from the 
mountains of Hindoo. Klioo. The Amoo, by a north-westerly course, to¬ 
gether with other rivers, forms the Sea of Aral, The Behat flows to the 
south-east, and discharges its watefs into the Indus. By the defiles of the 
Hindoo Khoo,. the jdelightful province, of :Zabulistan is readily approached, 
in the .cenire of wliich Cabul is situated. 

An army, well appointed, would be more than a match for the irregu- 
.lar tribes of Zemaun Shaw. An attack on his principal territories would 
preserve tranquillity in India. The Russians on the back part of his domi¬ 
nions, with the co-operation of the Seicks- from the country / of Panjab, 

. assisted on the north-west frontier' by-the troops of Bengal^ would insure 
success j-40ude would be protected, and:-the possibility ^f invasion be 
, rendered impracticable. “ ~ ^ 

What remains to be done, is, to form a commercial treaty with Russia, 

■ by which the shipping of Great Britain might be advantageoL^ly employed. 
By its meajis, ’ the commodities of Ihdiaand China might be [exchanged for 
the more c brable, and perhaps more necessary, productions of the north. 
The plan which I have already hinted at might be made useful to this 




LETTERS ON INDIA. 


countryj and have a gradual operation in promotmg credit, and in assist¬ 
ing the public funds of Great Britain. 

I have delivered my sentiments on the utility of Russia to Great Bri-- 
tain, and also in regard to that kind of equivalent to the fornier which is 
in the power of this country. If it should be imagined, that too much is 
proposed for the benefit of Russia, it ought to be remembered, that it is 
better to give encouragement to a certain friend than a probable enemy; and. 
it is greatly the interest of Great Britain, that the surplus produce of India 
should be carried away^ and consumed by the inhabitants of that country> 
than that it should serve to enrich, a nation,^ perhaps our-commercial rivafr.. 
The balance of trade with‘Russia, by pursuing the measures I have pro¬ 
posed, would both directly and indirectly take another turn, more favour¬ 
able to our cottimerce, 'but, at; the same time, with evident benefit to the 
interest of both countries. 

' Lremairij dear yours, &c. 


65 


LETTERS ON iNrilA. 


LETTER VII. 

r 

Account of %emaun Shaw^ and his Connection with the late SuUami of My• 
sorC'—Invasion of his Country from the Side of Tartary the best Security 
\ to British hidia—Kmbassy to Persia bi Consef/uence^DecUne 6f Persia — 
Better to employ Russum Troops-^Their probable Mtirch from the Caspian 
by the Amoo to Heratit and Cabal, by the B^lcs of Hindoo Khoo^ 
Reflexions on the Invasions of India by dlexunder^ Tamerlane^ and Na¬ 
dir Shaio by that Route—Origin of the Kingdom of Cajidahar, of Ah- 
mud Shaw^ Ahdallee Timur Shawy Sic,—Description of the Country--^ 
Short Account of - the Government of the Scicksy their Poxvery Kc. 

-DEAR SIR, London, March 30th, 1800. 

Long before the commencement, of the late successful war against the 
tyrant of Mysore, I explained the connection which subsisted between 
that prince and Zemaun Shaw the king of Candahar, I represented that 
an intercourse subsisted bet ween. Tippoo Sultaun and the nortliern powers 
of Hindoostan, in which the Affghans and others of the Mahomedan 
persuasion were concerned. That these insinuations were well grounded, 
subsequent facts have sufficiently verified. Of the maturity and extent of 
the Sultaun’s schemes, I had myself no doubt; and that they went far 
beyond an alliance with the French republic, appeared to me as certain. 
I perfectly knew, that Hyder Ally, the founder of the sovereignty of My¬ 
sore, and the father of the late Tippoo Sultaun, took for his model the 
famous Mahmood, emperor of Ghizna; and became to the Hindoos of 
the Peninsula of India what that prince had been to the inhabitants of 
Hindoostan. The son, no less cruel, trod in the footsteps of his father, 
and looked forward to establish a new dynasty of Mahomedan emperors 


K 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


over all the southern provinces of India. To effect these objects, he re- 
garded the assistance of Zemaun Shaw, the successor to the throne of the 
empire of Ghizna, as essential to his success. 

The &11 of Tippoo has destroyed this powerful combination; but the 
apprehenfions which I took the liberty to explain in my last, relative to 
the king of Candahar, still continue to exist. To prevent his long me¬ 
ditated invasion of the northern provinces of Hindoostan, with the view to 
place on the throne ot Delhi a new race of emperors, or to regenerate the 
present race, is to us an object of the greatest importancci It is a measure 
evidently necessary to be executed before he has time to accomplish the ob¬ 
ject of his ambition : for it is much easier to use prevention in political exi¬ 
gencies, tlian it is to repel an attack after it has been made. 

The principle on which I now proceed, has struck the great and enlight¬ 
ened mind of the Marquis Wellesley, The invaiion of the province of 
Chorasan, of Heraut, and those countries which lie on the side of Persia, 
and have been wrested from it, is part of the plan formed by the Governor- 
General for the safety of British India. An ambassador has, I understand, 
been dispatched from our Asiatic government to the court of Persia, offering 
the assistance of the Company’s troops to restore the dismembered parts of 
that extensive empire to their former allegiance. Happy would it be if 
the political fituation of Persia could give stability to such a measure i hap¬ 
py would it be for the subjects of that devoted country, if the duties of 
government were administered in such a manner as to give the smallest 
hope, not of external exertion, but even of internal tranquillity. 

The extent of Persia compreliends three different climates, and, generally, 
each region is governed by an usurper; sometimes of little consequence or 
rank, each of whom is afraid to venture beyond his respective bounds. 
What then can be expected from such a government, under which the 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


67 


people are not only enervated, but distracted by the most horrible acts of 
cruelty and oppression, and where the vices and example of the sovereigns 
have vitiated the morals of the subject ? They cannot in any shape be trust¬ 
ed, and are totally incapable of the relations necessary in either mercantile 
transactions or political arrangements. Efforts from the fide of Perlia can¬ 
not be relied on, and we must at last have recourse to Russia, to effect our 
purpose. Let us not detach our native troops to such a distance*, but keep 
them nearer our own provinces, where they can act with better effect, 

I may, perhaps, find some opponents to the measure which I have here 
proposed. Some may object to the practicability of it on the ground of di¬ 
stance between the confines of the Russian empire and the dominions of 
Zemaun Shaw: but let those'gentlemen remember the recent marches of 
the hardy Russians from their own country: of troops from the Don 
and the Wolga to the plains of Lombardy and the mountains of Swit¬ 
zerland. On a fair comparison they may probably find occasion to alter 
their opinion. As another example of our own day, we have only to ad¬ 
vert to the march of the Moldavians and WaUachians from the banks of the 
Danube, and the Croats from the Save and the Drave, to Belgium and 
Holland, during tlie present contest,—a distance of fifteen hundred miles. 

An army of Russians might be embarked at Astrakhan, or Kisliar on the 
Terek-f*, and landed on the opposite shores of the Caspian; perhaps on 
one of the deep bays which extend inland towards the Amoo. From the 
extremity of the Gulf of Balkanskoi ^ to Shabat on that river, the distance 

* Tiie march of the Bengal troops from Anopsheer, on the western banks of tlie Ganges, to the pro¬ 
vince of Zabulistan, would be sls hundred miles j and from the upper parts of tlie Rohilcund to 
Cashmere, nearly tlie same distance. 

-f The mouths of the Terek are much choaked up with sand : the best harbour for shipping is a 
little bay sixty miles from Kisliar. 

X The bays of Balkanskoi, and that of Mangushlak, have very secure road-steads. 

K 2 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


scarcely exceeds two hmidred miles; from thence to the city of Ballc 
the distance is about four hundred miles; and to Cabul two hundred and 
fifty more. Should it be preferred that they should land on the south-east 
corner of the Caspian, at Ester-Abad, or at Orcan, the distance to Heraut, 
the capital of Chorasan, is .about three hundred miles. This city, wrest¬ 
ed from the empire, of Persia, by Ahmed Shaw Abdallee, is now in the 
possession of Zemaun Shaw: from which destination to the frontiers of 
Hindoostan, which are bounded by the mountains of Hindoo Khoo, 
the distance may be computed nearly three hundred and thirty miles*. 
These mountains, the India Caucasus, although extremely elevated and 
unequal in almost every direction, afford an easy and practicable opening 
to the province of Cabul. It has been noticed by an ingenious and well- 
informed writer, thajt “ Alexander had the merit of having frrst discovered 
« the way through the defiles of the stoney girdle which constitutes tlie 
northern barrier of India. The most practicable avenue to every coun- 
try (he observes) isobyioufiy formed by circumstances in its natural situ- 
“ atipn, such as the defiles which lead through mountains,, the course of 
rivers, and the places where they may be passed, with the greatest ease 
“ and fafety. In no place of the earth is this line of approach marked, and: 
“ defined more conspicuously than on the nortliern frontier of India. 
Alexander,'Tamerlane, and Nadir Shaw, in three distant ages, and with. 

* Another route might be pointed out, by the river Sirr to tlie Amoo, and by Eucharia to India. 
TJie SIrr How-s from the Aral through the country of the Khergies, who are a sort of tributary or trad¬ 
ing allies to Russia. This route is perfectly practicable, and would afford ample supplies to assist tlie 
march of any army, far-more that of a Russian one. The soldiers of that country are-capable of 
undergoing hardships, and enduring fatigue, far beyond the limited powers of other European troops: 
their energy is such as naturaUy fills the mind with Uae greatest wonder at tlielr indefatigable constancy 
and. perseverance. It.lias been justly said of barbarous nations, that chiefs of . armies fight for gloiy, 

and the soldiers for tbetr ciiiefs. Never was Uiis better illustrated than in thelnstance to which we 
allude. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


69 


views and talents extremely diiferentj advanced by the same route with 

hardly any deviation.” What therefore is to prevent the Russians, in 
these days of civilisation, from performing enterprises of a similar kind, when 
the rigours of war, from experience and attention, become more easily to 
be endured, and the operations of arms more certain in their effect. 

Having shown the practicability of conducting the troops of Russia 
to the cities of Cabul and Candahar, the gates of India, from the side 
of Tartary and Persia, it may be both amusing and instructive to give 
some account of the origin of the king of Candahar, as well as an ac¬ 
count of his dominions. 

It would be a laborious task to trace the different irruptions into the 
plains of Hindoosfan: it is sufficient on this occasion to observe, that 
on the division of the empire of Alexander, there arose in the coun¬ 
tries situated between Parthia and the Indus, and lying to the south of 
the river lehon or Oxus, a very considerable kingdom, known by tlie 
name of Bactria. This kingdom, after many vicissitudes, came under 
the extensive and powerful dominion of the Saracen Caliphs of Bag¬ 
dad. Towards the close of the ninth century, the period when their 
empire fell into decline, this country, as well as Bucharia, was seized 
on by one of the governors under that calipliat. As the history- of the 
countries between the Caspian Sea and Eastern Tartaiy has been a 
continued series of rebellion and revolt^ so in the year 96'G, Abistagi, 
the governor of Chorasan, withdrew his allegiance from, his sovereign 
the king of Bucharia^ and founded the empire of Ghizna. Tliis usurper 
established InS; capital at the city of Ghizna, situated on the river Cow 
Mull, at no great distance, westward, from the Indus, Sabuctagi suc¬ 
ceeded Abistagi, who made some predatory incursions into the Panjab t 
but the glory, if there is any, of being the first Mahomedan. conq_uerjQr. of 


^0 LETTERS ON INDIA.' 

India, devolved on hi§ son Malimood Sultaun, a prince of great enterprise- 
and military spirit. At this period the emphe of Hindoostan had not heen 
contaminated by foreign invasion. The inhabitants spoke the language of 
their ancestors; w'hich Is now disused, and known to few others beside 
the Pundits, or learned Bramins. These happy people enjoyed at this 
period the free exercise of the Hindoo religion, undisturbed by savage and 
ferocious conquerors.. 

Mahmood Sultaun, having added Bucharia to his kingdom, resolved to 
cross the Indus, and to turn his arms towards Hindooftan. Accordingly, in 
the year 1000, he set out on this expedition. The Rajapoots, who then 
inhabited the districts of Moultan and Lahore, opposed him for eight 
yeai's, with great bravery, and with various success. Notwithstanding the 
combination of tlie Hindoo princes against him, this successful and deter¬ 
mined invader, after repeated expeditions, in the year 1011, made himself 
master of Delhi. It does not appear that this conquest gave him unlimited 
empire in the East j for the Rajapoots of Agemire he found .it impossible to 
subdue. From the effect of a religion newly acquired, the rage of Mah¬ 
mood was particularly directed against the temples of the Hindoos, and 
other places of sacred institution. But he found means to establish his 
authority over the Panjab ^; and he subdued and nominally retained all 
the country from the Ganges to Guzarat, inclusive, leaving the Deccan and 
the Peninsula of India to future conquerors. 

Since the time of Mahmood, this , empire has undergone many viciffitudes. 
The line of the Ghiznian emperors continued in the possession of this vast 
kingdom till the year 1158, when the irruptions of the Gaurides, a people 
inhabiting a territory beyond the mountains of Ghurgistan, seized on the 

* The Panjab is that tract of country -watered by the five great rivers to the eastward of the Indus, 
and which fall into that river. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


71 


western part of that empire. Mahomed the Second, called Mahomed 
Gori, from the name of his former country, was the successful leader of 
these hordes. This prince attacked Cusroe, then emperor of Ghizni, and 
drove him from the greatest part of his dominions. Nevertheless Cusroe 
was able to retain that part which was contiguous to the Indus, and La¬ 
hore became his capital: but this was only for a while; for the successors 
of Cusroe were dispossessed of the portion which remained to them by the 
same Mahomed, who carried his arms to Benares, the seat of Hindoo ele¬ 
gance and literature. 

The Mahomedans of the Patan or Afghan dynasty pursued their con¬ 
quests with success till the reign of the great Aurengzebe or Allumgire, 
when the empire of the Moguls arrived at the zenith of its glory. During 
all the time of their reign the western part of this vast extent of territory 
was under the management of governors, appointed by the court of Delhi i 
and, amongst other countries, those comprehending the original Ghiznian 
empire. 

Jhe invasion of Nadir Shaw separated all the countries lying to the 
westward of the river Indus from the empire of the Moguls. All those 
countries were, for a time, ceded to the crown of Persia. On the death of 
Nadir Shaw, his Immense empire, like that of Alexander, was torn in 
pieces by the chiefs he had advanced. Ahmed Shaw Abdallee, one of his 
generals, was the son of a chief or independent prince, of the tribe of Ab- 
dal Afghans, in the vicinity of the city of Heraut, in the province of 
Chorasan, While in his infancy, he was taken prisoner by Nadir Shaw', 
and educated by that prince. The Persian monarch, having despoiled the 
young Abdallee of his dominions, gave him the post of Yesskwul^, or 
mace-bearer, and by degrees promoted him to a considerable command in his 

* Vide Scott’s Hist, of Deccan. 


BETTERS ON INDIA. 


army. Upon ilie assassination o£ that monarch, he had the good fortune 
to possess Jihiiselfof a considerable treasure, with which he retired to his 
native cosintry^ and assumed his liereditary honours over the Aighans of 
liis tribe. He then marched against the fortress of Candahar, which sub- ^ 
mitted to his arms, and prevailed upon Nasir Khan, the Soubalidar of Ca- 

J 

bul, to acknowledge his authority, permitting him to continue in office, 
on promising to pay down five lacks of rupees. Nasir Khan would have 
performed his agreement j but the chief inhabitants of the province refus¬ 
ing to contribute the sum, and persuading him to resist, he withdrew his 
allegiance : upon which Ahmed Shaw marched against him. On his ap¬ 
proach^ the people of Cabul deserted their governor, and Nasir Khan retired 
to the village of Peshawir, where he held out for some time : but fearful 
of falling into the hands of Ahmed Shaw, as his provisions were exhausted, 
and he had no hopes of a supply, he made his escape towards DeiJii, leav¬ 
ing his family and effects behind him, which, with the fortress, fell into 
the hands of the besiegers two days after his departure. During this siege, 
Shawnowauz Khan, Soubahdar of Lahore, offered to join the fortunes of 
Ahmed Shaw Abdallee, on condition of being appointed his vizier, and 
his proposal was accepted; but, at the remonstrance of his uncle, Kummir 
ad Dien Khan, vizier to the Mogul emperor, Mahummud Shaw, he re¬ 
pented of his treachery j and when Ahmed Shaw, on the fall of Peshawir, 
claimed performance of his engagement, he declined it. The Shaw, being 
enraged, marched against Lahore, which fell into his hands after a short 
resistance, Shawnowauz Khan made his escape, with a few attendants, to 
Delhi. Emboldened by this success, and the weakness of the empire, 
Ahmed Shaw resolved to attempt the conquest of the capital of Hindoostan, 
and accordingly began his march from Lahore. Mahummud Shaw, being 
at this time too much indisposed to take the field, .dispatched his only son, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


73 


Prince Ahmed, again;t the enemy, with several other chiefs, and a great 
artny. They advanced to the banks of the Suttuhudge^vithout meeting the 
enemy, who had artfully passed them, and plundered the rich city of Sirhlnd, 
where the heavy baggage of the prince was deposited. Upon intelligence 
of this misfortune, the prince returned j and, on his arrival near the ene¬ 
my, threw up entrenchments round his camp. The Afghan, Ahmed ' 
Shaw, did the same; and for some days several skirmishes took place be¬ 
tween the two armies. At length, Kummir ad Dien Khan, the Mogul’s 

■ 

vizier, being killed, as he was at his devotions in his tent, by a cannon ball, 
a panic prevailed in the army; and Eusuree Sing, rajah of Jeypore,, with 
his rajapoots, fled from the field, Meer Munnoo, the vizier’s son, and 
Suffderjung, the soubahdar of Oude, however, by their address,, restored 
•order in the camp. The next day, a magazine of rockets taking fire in the 
enemy’s camp, a ^number of the troops were wounded by the explosion, 
.and Ahmed Shaw Abdallee, either disheartened by this loss, or satisfied by ^ 
'the plunder gained at Sithind, thought proper to retreat towards Cabul, 
which he did unmolested. Mahummud Sha.w, being near his end, upon 
;intelUgence of the enemy^s defeat, commanded the prince to return to 
•©dlhi, having first conferred the government of Lahore on Meer Mun¬ 
noo, as a reward for his services. Before the royal army reached Delhi,^. 
the Emperor expired. 

Ahmed Shaw, the founder of the Patan dynasty in .the kingdom of 
Candahar, laid the foundation of a new empire. This territory, nearly the 
■same with the ancient Ghizna, comprehends Candahar, Cabul, Cashmere, 
and Chorasan. He was a brave and powerful prince,. The conquest and 
•plunder of Hindoostan was his favourite object. Inclusive of the time he 
accompanied Nadir Shaw to Delhi, in the year 1737, he visited India seven 
times, but without being able to make any lasting impression on that country. 


L 


74 LETTERS ON INDIA. 

On the death of this prince, which happened in 1 17% he was succeed¬ 
ed by Timur Shaw, a prince of little enterprise or military ikill. His mi¬ 
litary establishment has, however, been stated at £00,000 men. He had 
some seapoys. clothed in British manufactures, after our fashion. The trade 
in tlie necessary articles of clothing was carried on by, the way of Scindy, 
up the Indnsy and by its. branches to CaOul, 

Zemaun Shaw, the present monarch, succeeded to Timur by lineal de¬ 
scent a few years ago. The views of this prince, in regard to India, 
have already been taken notice of. He is powerful and ambitious j and, 
for the repose as well as the safety of British India, his motions should 
be narrowly watched. , 

The extensive dominions of Zemaun Shaw extend 800 miles in length ; 
but their breadth is much less The province of Cabul appears to be the 
most fertile he is possessed of. It is, by every account, a country highly 
diversified,—being made up of mountains covered with eternal snows.; 
hills of moderate height, and easy of ascent; rich plains, and stately for 
rests, and these enlivened by innumerable streams of water. It produces 
every article necessary to human life, together with the most delicate 
fruits and flowers: it is sometimes named Zabulistan, from Zabul, one of 
the names of Ghizna, which was the ancient capital of this country, and 
of which Candahar was then reckoned a part. 

The chief city of the province is called Gabul, and situated on a river of 
the same name j but at Jalahabad, sixty or seventy miles below the city, k 
takes the name of Kameh, or Kamah, and falls into the Indus, opposite to 
the city of Attock, The river Kameh at Jalaliabad becomes navigable 
for jalebs, or rafts of a particular construction. From the circumstance .of 

* Vide Major Rcnnell’s Memoi;. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


75 


no boats being made use of, but only rafts, it is supposed that the stream 
of the river is interrupted by rapids j and we also find that the Mogul 
Emperor made voyages on that river in the same way- 

The city of Cabal, the capital of Zemaun Shaw, is situated near the 
foot of the Indian Caucasus, or Hindoo Kho 5 and the proximity of this 
ridge occasions the most rapid changes in the temperature of the atmo¬ 
sphere. Its situation is spoken of in terms of rapture by the Indian his- 
torianSi,* it being no less romantic than pleasant,—enjoying a wholesome 
air, and having within its reach the fruits, and other products, both of 
the temperate and the torrid zone. The subjects of Zemaun Shaw are 
chiefly Afghans, the rest Persians and Tartars, of almost every denomina¬ 
tion 5 and he can bring into the field a very numerous army, both horse 
and foot. It appears, that he has of late turned his arms to the westward, 
on the side of Persia. From every account, Zemaun Shaw is a very en¬ 
terprising prince, whose views are no doubt hostile to our interests in 
India. 

The tribe of the Abdallees are better known by the epithet of Dourani, 
irom the custom of wearing a pearl in one ear. Their government, ac¬ 
cording to Mr. Sullivan, is perfectly feudal. The country, says that 
gentleman, is divided into districts, which are severally ruled by a distinct 
chief, absolute in authority, and independent of the lord-paramount,—ex¬ 
cepting in some cases, in which, by certain tenures, military aids are 
established. The revenues are considerable. The last prince, Timur 
Shaw, never reduced his army to less than thirty thousand men ; and then 
he was careful always to have them either of Persian or Tartar birth. Be¬ 
sides the standing force, all composed of cavalry, and which he clothed and 
paid regularly, he could, whenever he resolved on any foreign expedition, 
call upon his chiefs for their assistance; and such assistance, it is averred. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


re 

amounted to upwards of two hundred thousand men. Every man provided 
his own horse and arms. The country is populous, the climate good, and 
the natives remarkably hardy and robust. 

Notwithstanding the formidable power and great resources of Timur 
Shaw, matters were, during his reign, kept tolerably quiet in. that quarter 
of the East, from the intervention of various causes. His situation with re¬ 
spect to Persia, which for some years flourished under the active admi¬ 
nistration of Currem Cawn, and the alarming growth of the Seicks, had 
probably the greatest weight with him. 

The alarm has, however, more than once been spread, that Timur 
Shaw had advanced to the banks of the river Attock, with a view of pene¬ 
trating into Hindoostan, Nor was the report always without foundation: 
he indisputably meditated it at different times; and on the plausible 
ground of securing to the wretched descendant of Tamerlane (to whose 
family he was allied by marriage *) more respect and support from his 
aspiring Omrahs, or at once to re-establish him. in the full possession pf all 
his rightful authority. These have been the reasons publicly assigned: 
but however well inclined Timur Shaw might have been to have embarked 
in such an enterprise, his own circumstances may have been too unfavour¬ 
able to admit of it j—chieftains in alarming divisions amongst themselves ; 

a considerable part of his subjects disatisfied; arid a brother in open re¬ 
bellion. 

Thus situated, it is evident that Timur could not, either with prudence 
or with safety, have ventured on an undertaking, the issue of which 
would have been at best but problematical: moreover, he was certain of 
a determined opposition from the Seicks of Panjab and Lahore, through 

* Ahmed Sliaw^ while at Delliij shortly after the invasion of Hindoostan by Nadir Shaw, married 
one o'ftlie'princeiises of'the house of Timur. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


n 


whose dominioJis he was necessarily to pass; an opposition which his fa¬ 
ther, as he well knew, though possessed of more power than himself, had 
with difficulty surmounted ; nay, to which he was, in more than one in¬ 
stance, obliged to give way. 

But, though neither the means nor the political situation of affairs was 
favourable to Timur Shaw, it yet cannot be denied that an invasion of 
Hindoostan was more practicable with him in the year 1779 , when Mr. 
Sullivan wrote, than it had been at any other time since his accession to 
the government. The internal disorders of his own kingdom had at that 
time entirely subsided: his ambitious brother, Secundar Shaw, had be¬ 
come a vagrant fugitive ; and the faction which supported him been en¬ 
tirely annihilated. The change in the affairs of Delhi occasioned by the 
death of Nudjif Cawn, the captain-general of the Mogul armies, and the 
ass^sination of his kinsman and successor, Mahommed Suffei Beig, was 
also particularly favourable to foreign interposition. Besides all this, such 
divisions had crept in among the Seicks as must have greatly facilitated a 
progress through their territories. Notwithstanding such favourable ap¬ 
pearances, the meditated blow was never struck. But, sliould the nation 
of the Abdallees ever engage in such an enterprise, they may acquire an in¬ 
fluence in the political scale of Hindoostan, which may be deemed some¬ 
what visionary to suggest, and which we hope will long be averted. 

Hindoostan was visited seven different times by the Dourani Ahmed Shaw, 
as has already been observed: first, with Nadir Shaw, in the year of Christ 
1737; secondly, in 1746, when he took Lahore, and sacked Sirliind j thirdly, 
in 1749, when he settled, in Imitation of Nadir Shaw, certain tributes to be 
paid him by the Mogul government, for the provinces of Guzurat, Sealkoat, 
Aurungabad, and Peshawir; fourthly, in the year 1751 , when he defeated 
the imperial general, and afterwards appointed liim his deputy in Lahore; 


78 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


fifthly, in 1756 ^ when, in revenge for the expulsion of his governor of 
Lahore, he entered and plundered Delhi, and advanced to the eastward, 
even as far as . Agra j sixthly, in 1759 , when his son Timur Shaw opposed 
the Seicks, Mahrattahs, and A_dina Beig Cawn,. a revolted governor of La¬ 
hore ; and when he himself, ^ the year after, gained the decisive vic¬ 
tory of Pannipiit: seventhly, in 17d 1, when the Seicks, by this time 
grown into considerable strength, taking advantage of his absence, attack¬ 
ed and killed his viceroy in Lahore, and by that means possessed them-i 
selves of that city and its dependencies. 

Such are the nation or tribe of the Abdallees, from whose internal re¬ 
sources, and great influence and power over the northern hordes of Hin- 

doostan, the greatest danger is to be apprehended It is, however, a 

very fortunate circumstance, that the dominions of Zemaun Shaw are so 
vulnerable themselves, from the side of Tartary j from whence myriads 
of warlike tribes, under the auspices of Russia, might be poured in on his 
Persian provinces, as well as on his fertile countries bounded by the In¬ 
dian Caucasus. The Seicks, on the other hand, present a strong barrier on 
the side of Oude j whose friendship, together with the Rajapoots of Agi- 
mere, ought particularly to be conciliated by the East-India Company. 

By attention to the map of India, and the position of the Seicks, we 
shall find, with proper attention to the interests of that nation, very great 
resources to oppose the march of Zemaun Shaw, or of any Asiatic power, 
to the frontiers of Oude and the province of Bengal. The whole of 
the country of the Seicks is intersected by five large rivers, to the east¬ 
ward of the Indus, and inhabited by a warlike and powerful race. These 
people were first noticed in the reign of Shah Jehan, who began his reign 
in the year 1628, about which time they became settlers along the moun¬ 
tains which form the boundary of Hindoostan to the north. They differ. 


LETTERS OX IMDI'A. 


7& 


considerably from the Hindoos, being tolerant, and admitting proselytes 
amongst them, although they hold Mahomedism in great detestation. The 
Seicks became formidable in the reign of Bahadar Shaw, about the year 1707 , 
and obliged that monarch to oppose them in person with a considerable 
army j but in the year 17 16 they were so powerful, that the grand anny 
of the Mogul empire was under the necessity of marching against them. 

The Seicks may be reckoned the most western nation of Hindoostan. 
Since the complete downfal of the Mogul empire, they have acquired 
very extensive domains y but their power ought not to be estimated in the 
exact proportion to the extent of their possessions, as they do not form 
one entire state, but a number of small ones, independent of each other 
in their internal government, and only connected by a federal union. They 
have of late years extended their territories very rapidly on the south-east; 
that is, into the province of Delhi: and perhaps the Zemindars of that 
country may have found it not inconvenient to place themselves under the 
protection of the Seicks, in order to avoid the more oppressive government 
of their former masters. Certain it is, that the eastern boundary of the 
Seicks’ dominion has been advanced to the banks of the Jumnah river, above 
Delhi, and to the neighbourhood of that city i for the adjoining territory 
of Sehaurumpour is subject to their depredations, if not actually tributary 
to them i and they make excursions to the very banks of the Ganges, On 
the south, they are bounded by the northern extreme of the sandy desert 
of Registan } and on the- south-west their boundary meets that of Sindy, 
or Tatta, at the city of Behker, or Bhaker, on the Indus; on the west, 
the Indus is their general boundary, as high up as the city of Attock, near 
to which beein the territories of Zemaun Shawj and their northern bound- 
ary is the chain of mountains that lies towards Thibet and Cashmere- This 
being the case, they will be found to possess the whole soubah or province 


RO 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


of Lahore, the principal part of Moultan, and the western- part of Delhi; 
the dimension of which tracts are above four hundred British miles from 
N, W, to S. E. and from one hundred and fifty to four hundred broad in 
general: although in the part between Attack and Behkar (that is, along 
the Indus) the extent cannot be jess than three hundred and twenty, 
Xheir capital city is Lahore. W^e know but little concerning the state of 
their government and politics, but the former is represented as be- 
ing mild. In their mone of making war, they are, unquestionably, 
savage and cruel. Their army consisted almost entirely of horse, of 
which they are said to be able to bring at least one hundred thousand 
into the held. Ahmed Shaw Abdallee was accustomed to pass through 
the country of the Seicks during his visits to Delhi, as has already been 
observed, and meditated the conquest of it; but it is not probable that, in 
the present state of dominion and power of the Seicks, any king of 
Candahar will attempt either the one or the other. It was reported that 
the Seicks were in amity with the late Timur Shaw, king of Candahar,. 
and meant to allow his army a passage through their territories. This,, 
however, appears highly improbable,—the progress of an Indian army 
effecting nearly an equal degree of desolation, whether it enters a coun.- 
try on terms of hostility or amity 

On the whole, it must be allowed that the Seicks are a brave and power¬ 
ful people, and will at all times offer considerable resistance to any inva¬ 
sion from the nations on the west of the Indus. However, too much 
dependence should not be placed on their support: on the contraij, the 
troops of the East-India Company should be always prepared to aid their 
efforts, as the government should , also be desirous of establishing amity and 
good understanding with the Seicks. By upholding their independence. 


* Major RenncII. 


> 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


SI 


and by preventing intrigues influenced by gold, the king of Candahar, 
with the support of some European power, might possibly be prevented, 
for a considerable length of time, fl-om eflecting a passage through the 
difficult country of the Panjab, and thereby effecting a jimdtion with the 
disaffected Mahomedan tribes of Hihdoostan. It. is, howevei:, now gene¬ 
rally allo^ved, that there - is more danger to be apprehended to the repose 
of British India, frona the invasions of the_ Abdallees, supported by their 
Tartar and Persian hordes, than from the combined efforts of all the native 
powers of Hlndoostan. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours,j&c. 


89 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


LETTER Vlir. 

Refiections o?i I?idm^Fre?ich Polilics and Libaiy. 

\ 

DEAR SIR^ . London, April 1800 . 

When we reflect on the recent capture of Seringapatam, and the suc¬ 
cessful termination of the war in the Mysore, we are compelled, irresist¬ 
ibly, to turn our thoughts to the scene of those brilliant actions which 
must long continue to be remembered in the annals of British India. 

The victory of the Nile was the fore-runner of these events, and we 
contemplate with pleasure, that energy and courage was never employed 
in a more interesting cause, or more fully acknowledged, than at the pre¬ 
sent moment. 

The French, during the time of their monarchical government, watched 
with jealousy and envy the rising power of Great Britain. The war of 
1744 laid the foundation of that rivalship in the East-Indies which has 
ever since continued unextinguishable between them. Previously to the 
revolution which has desolated France, the aim of that court was to at¬ 
tack Britain on the side of India, The blow intended against our Eastern 
dependencies was projected in conjunction with Tippoo Sultaun, who had 

ambassadors in Paris to effect a treaty against the English, in which the 

« 

Dutch were to have become a party i but, previously to which, the re¬ 
moval of the Stadtholder, from his situation in Holland, was Judged in- 
dispensible. 

It is unnecessary to relate the causes which, about this time, brought on 
the revolution in France, Suffice it to say, that France, from being a gnat 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


85 


nation^ is, her crimes, sunk below the level of other countries. The 
allied powers, or rather, perhsps, the good, sense of the French themselves, 
directed by moderate and wise rulers, will, it is to be hoped, transmute the 
gigantic republic to a happier form, at least one more congenial to humanity 
and the spirit of the times in which we exist. But France, exalted as it was 
once amongst nations, has debased herself. And it would be a subject no less 
instructive than curious to trace, from the annals of history, the means by 
which nations have risen to celebrity j and, on the other hand, after having 
attained the summit of their prosperity, by what causes they have fallen into 
3ecay. It would appear, from an attentive consideration of these facts, that 
in all states improvement is natural and progressive till it arrives at a certain 
level; from which point of elevation, whatever it may be, as all matter 
tends to dissolution, the greatest care is requhed to prevent its receding. 

The relative situation of Great Britain, in regard to the other kingdoms 
of Europe, and more particularly in regard to France, requires some elu¬ 
cidation. 

Nations, in general, have been obliged for their pre-eminence to cir¬ 
cumstances and events adventitious and fortuitous. Amongst other causes, 
the discovery of the polar magnet, the subsequent knowledge of a new 
world, and of a passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope, have not a lit¬ 
tle contributed. The world has not a great deal to expect from similar ef¬ 
forts; and, as very little can be added to our geographic information, tlie most 
must be made of that knowledge of which we are already in the possession. 
Matters of this kind being now nearly reduced to a certainty, the nations 
of Europe start with equal pretensions, and the restoration of peace will 
exhibit to the rising generation the most interesting epoch known in history. 

The predominant passion of the present times is commercial enterprise 
and political ceconomy i and the science of calculation and commercial 

M S 


LETTERS ON INDIA.. 


Si 

arrangement becomes closely conneeted with the polity of states and king¬ 
doms. Tliis being the case, it will be held diflicuU to temper and restrain 
whatever may be the spirit of the times within the just limits of prudent 
moderation. But all ideas of ambition and aggrandisement are for a while 
dbsorbed in the prosecution of the depending war. 

This object occupies the resources of sovereign powers. Unjust and 
inordinate arrihition in any state or country carries with it a menacing air 
to all its neighbours j and hence ctmfederacies which sooner or latjer effect, 
if not the ruin, yet the fall of their power j witness the league of Cambray 
against ‘Venice ; that of Holland, France, and England, towards the close 
of the sixteenth century, against Spain and Portugal, at that time under 
one head; the much agitated dispute of jna?'e likrtmi sniX mare claimim.; 
and the present alliance against France. That this confederacy is-incum¬ 
bent on the powers of Europe, under the existing circumstances of French 
despotism, cannot be doubted j nor yet that it is eq^uaUy necessary for the 
repose and tranquillity of mankind, as it is for the liberty and safety of the 
French people themselves. The bad example set by the .French, and the 
evil consequences of their destructive system, make the war a common 
cause of civilised society and established oi'der. France is no longer a 
country where the subject-may-repose with safety and comfort under the 
riiade of his own vine. It -may Fc asked. Is it a country where property 
is secure, or where licentiousness does not .assume the name nf liberty ? 
Let these points be candidly investigated, and we shall discover a total 
relaxation'from every principle, moral, politicah .or divine. The subject 
Is .torn 'from the bosom -of liis family by arbitrary conscriptions the 
antient hereditary property of-the kingdom has been changed, and is con¬ 
tinually changing, according to the will and pleasure, or the caprice and 
whim, of a fluctuating government. With evils so deeply rooted m the 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


85 


■Core, what could have been expected but a continued scrie^s of inconside¬ 
rate, rash, and presumptuous conduct towards all the world, involving 
themselves in ruin, misery, and disgrace ? But it must be allowed that all 
injustice has in its nature something rotten at bottom, which tends to un¬ 
dermine the fabric of which it is made the foundation. 

It has never been doubted, by the best and most approved political 
writers, that real not hctitioiis liberty, and the protection of the subject, 
form the grand contour of all well regulated governments. Liberty has 
been defined iin action of the mind determining the wdl to assent to 
“ what is good and reasonablefrom hence is derived virtue, good laws, 
and order in society, subordination, and the approximation and connexion 
of ranks and degrees in life, which form the basis of social order. From 
the security of property proceeds emulation, industry, and the culdvation 
of the arts, liberal and niechanicah It is on these grounds that a consti¬ 
tution must be reared, and on these only that it can be maintained. But 
in the formation of this great machine, attention must be paid to the 
springs which are to animate'the whole, and which, by its own action and 
the increased re-action of the inferior movements, accelerate and best sup¬ 
port the noblest system of human invention —an equitable government. 
A pure monarchy, and a Well regulated republic, are by no means in 
themselves essentially different: they are both derived from one source, and 
must both be supported on principles best calculated to give security to 
property and protection to the people, '^‘he same stimulus, the same or¬ 
gans and impulse, are necessaiy in both. There must be in tlie one as 
well as in the other a power to hold the sword, to reward virtue, to 
punish vice, to soften the necessary rigour of the law, to excite emulation 
in the mind, promote the inclination to noble deeds, and to direct its pur¬ 
suits to honourable attaimnents. If the deliberative constitution of a coun- 


86 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


try be vested in the people, still it is the prince or chief ruler, by whatever 
title he is denominated, who is to apply^, to modify, and to put in execu¬ 
tion, the laws recommended and approved by the country itself. 

In no republic, whether ancient or modern, has this equilibrium been 
neglected : but in that deluded country, France, the contest has hitherto 
been—in whose hands shall the usurped power be placed? and they have 
been the most successful candidates for the iron sceptre of despotism, whose 
atrocities best qualified them for the offices they assume, and who, by an 
ap)proved system of terror and coercion, carefully circulated in clubs and 
private meetings, give him the dreadful and detestable pre-eminence over 
a degenerated people. The free action of the mind is shackled by arbi¬ 
trary decrees, and, in place of being allowed to adopt what is good and 
reasonable, it is compelled to acts of injustice, cruelty, and horror. 

When these scenes shall be closed, and order is again restored to society, 
the public mind will revert to new habits of industry and enterprise; the 
extension and participation of commerce through all the world will become 
the favourite object with European nations; jealousy will be excited; and 
it will be a difficult task to adjust, equalise, and satisfy, the different pre¬ 
tensions of each contending power. 

In this struggle, Great Britain has perhaps the most to. lose, and the least 
to gain i and, in regard to the existence and safety of our Eastern posses¬ 
sions, it is an object of the first political importance to the legislative power 
of this country, as well as it is deserving of the mature consideration of the 
grand accessary spring of the British constitution, the East-India Company. 

To those who have paid any attention to the history of Europe, it will 
readily occur, that East-India commerce, and a participation of the wealth 
it affords to the nation enjoying it, has been productive of more jealousy 
and wars than perhaps any other cause which has ever attracted the ainbi- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


67 


tion or the avarice of mankind. Whether the exertions which have been 
employed to acquire possession of this commerce has been productive of 
good or evil is a subject at least worthy of investigation. In tracing it to 
the source, we shall discover to what extent human-nature has been in¬ 
debted to the softer climate of the East for its refinement and civilisation ; 
how much the luxury of Europe is indebted to tbe productions of India; 

m 

and how little that country owes to its connection with the western world. 
The interest which Great Britain must have in the contemplation of this 
subject is considerably increased by the^remembrance that, on return of 
peace, English commerce with India will be the target at which all Eu¬ 
rope will shoot. 


I remain* dear Sir, yours, &c. 


S8 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


^ LETTER IX. 

i . . i' 

Short Accoimt of the Indian Trade from the eaiTiesf Period of HiHory;r 

DEAR SIR, London, April s, 1800 . 

A HE trade to India, it is well known, has, from the earliest periods, ex¬ 
cited the desire of all countries to participate in it. Those nations who 
have been so fortunate as to obtain this pfe*eminence have been raised to a 
degree of wealth and power unattainable by any other means j and it is 
only when the current of Eastern commerce has been diverted fortuitously 
into other channels that the people who enjoyed it have ceased to be opu-^ 
lent. To this commerce Egypt owed its celebrity,- it accounts for the 
riches of Tyre and Sidon, and for the prosperity of Jerusalem in the reigns 
of David and Solomon. The mouldering shafts of Palmyra and Balbec 
owed, in former times, their proud and enviable situation to the same, 
cause. 

It would be useful and instructive to trace minutely the whole of that 
connection which subsisted between the antients, in regard to India; but 
that discussion would exceed the bounds of the present work,—It is, 
however, necessary to observe, that Asia was the portion of the globe the 
first inhabited, and consequently the first civilised. Intercourse with Asia, 
from a desire to possess some of her valuable productions, led to the re*' 
fincnient of the human race. The Arabs, who were very early naviga¬ 
tors, became soon acquainted with the opposite peninsula; tliey skirted 
the coast of Arabia and India by the shores of the gulf which separates 
these countries, and they returned home by the same course. The situa- 


LETTERS ON 1NDL4. 


89 


tion of Arabia may, with great propriety, be compared to that of an island ; 
for it is washed on three sides by the sea, and the one by which it is closed 
towards the north is a desert, solitary and unfrequented. The Arabians, 
a cunning and crafty people, imposed the commodities of India on their 
neighbours as the productions of their own country*; they suffered no 
strangers to enter their peninsula; and they asserted, the perfumes which 
they brought were gathered from places almost inaccessible, and at the 
imminent risk of their lives. The trade was carried on by the means of 
caravans, and they, for a length of time, with great advantage to them^ 
selves, supplied Egypt and Syria witlt the commodities of the East. 

Time, which discloses all secrets, and produces both causes and effects, 
opened the eyes of Sesostris, who reigned over Egypt one thousand six 
hundred and fifty-nine, years before the Christian aera, to the advantages of 
Indian commerce. Egypt, immediately adjoining to Arabia, was nearly 
equally well situated with Arabia itself, to benefit from a connection with 
India; but the prejudices of the people had hitherto prevented the Egyp« 
tians from trusting themselves on an uncertain element "f*. The ambitions 
views of Sesostris surmounted all difficulties, and he established a commu¬ 
nication by the Red Sea between his own kingdom and India. The trade 
being brought nearer to the Phoenicians, it became to that Industrious and 
enterprising people more apparent, and less‘hazardous. Early initiated 

* Kotwitlistaiiding what vve have hoard of the perfumes of Arabia, that country produces neither 
aromatic nor spice, excepting frankincense: some myrrh, of an inferior quality, and balm of Gilead, 
arc to be found; but they are not periumes ; neither does it produce articles of merchandise, nor afford 
either gold or silver;—they must, therefore, have been in fact only the carriers of the produce of 
India in the early ages of commercethey are at this moment so by numberless caravans, but with 
much less advantage, and at more risk. 

'|- Before the reign ot Sesostris, the Egyptians, v/ho, from the natural fertility of their soil, had 
few or no wants to satisly, shut therr ports against all foreigners, and regarded sea-faring people as uti- 
wortiiy and profane. 


90 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


into tlie navigation of tlie Mediterranean^ as the Arabs had previously been 
■in that of the Indian Ocean, the Phcenicians boldly attempted to establish 
themselves on the borders of the Arabian Gulf. They seized from the 
Idumeans, a mercantile colony of Arabs, several ports in tlie eastern ex¬ 
tremity of tlie Red Sea, The grand depot of Eastern wealth, at this time^ 
was Tyre, the capital of Phcenicia, whence it was circulated to the sur¬ 
rounding shores; and the Phoenicians now obtained by their own efforts 
what they had before received only through the medium of the Arabs. 

The Persians too, before the. days of Alexander, owed their greatness to 
Eastern commerce, particularly under the first Darius, when the empire of 
Persia had not a rival 

The Phoenicians civilised Greece; and civilised Greece panted to possess 
the riches of the East. Alexander was stimulated, by the accounts he had 
heard, to visit that delightful country. He penetrated to India, and was 
gratified with the sight of those happy climes which had administered so 
amply to the refinement and luxuries of mankind. From this period a 
new route was established, and an overland trade, both by Egypt and Syria, 
was laid open to the Western world. To this circumstance Palmyra and 
Balbec owed their origin antC wealth, and Alexandria its greatness and 
power. 

Egypt and Syria flourished, and Greece continued to increase for nearly 
Thiree centuries in every elegant attainment. These coimtries, from their 
connection with India, surpassed all odier nations in riches and grandeur, 

^ This Darius overthrew Philip of Macedoii^ and obliged him to pay an annual tribute of 40^000 
pieces of gold, and which the Persians as^^ert had been for years before paid by his predecessors. His 
son and suecessor, Darius the Second, was in his turn defeated by Alexander the Great, reputed son 
to Pliilip. Darius the First conquered some part of India; and we are told that he fitted out a 
fleet from the river Indus, wMph, in the prodigious space of two years and six months, .navigated 
the Ajabian Gulf, ^nd discovered to Darius the riches of India, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


till the Roman empire in the West wrested from them their liberties, and, 
with that, all the sources of their opulence The lustre of the Roman 
name for many ages astonished and comiiianded the whole world. The 
commerce with India, principally by the way of Egypt, produced the 
many jewels, fine clothes, pearls, perfumes, and rich silks, with which 
the Roman empire formerly abounded. 

To such a height was Roman extravagance carried by means of its 
Eastern commerce, that Lollia Paulina, the niece of a Roman governor of 
a province, wore in her ordinary dress jewels amounting to upwards of 
SOOjOOO/. A Roman fortune frequently exceeded S00,000h sterling. 
Many odier instances might be adduced, in order to show their great and 
unexampled wealth. Neither can the oriental pearls of the Egyptian 

* About the time that Egypt became a Roman province, it surpassed all other countries in opulence 
and luxury. Ptolemy, and his wife Cleopatra, botli traded'to India, by which means immense riches 
were acquired, not only by the sovereign, but also by the people. Egypt was tlie centre of the com¬ 
merce of tlie world from the days of Alexander to tlie termmation of tlve race of Uie Ptolemy^s,—a pe¬ 
riod of nearly three centuries. The amazing ivealth of that country astonished Caesar and Antony, 
altliough accustomed to the pomp and riches of Asia. Octavius, the conqueror of Egypt, amongst the 
most magnificent of the Roman emperors, recruited from the spoils of that country his exhausted treasury, 
rewarded his soldiers, and presented to the people large sums, accompanied by shows and entertain¬ 
ments of the most sumptuous kind. The city of Alexandria, inferior oiily to Rome, the capital of 
the world, contained 600,000 inhabitants. As a Roman province, Egypt no longer, it is. true, sup¬ 
ported its exalted character in liistory, but it nevertheless epntmued to improve in commerce, industry, 
and manufactures. The revolutions whicli this devoted country has since undergone, tiie mvasions of 
the Persians, the irruption of Aitirou the Saracen commander of the Caliph Omar, tlie madness of tlie 
crusades, and the usurpation of the Sultauns of Damascus, the disaffection of the Mamalukes, and 
tijeir subjugation by tlie Turks, together witli tlie recent reduction of Egypt by the French, has not 
been able to accomplish its destruction. Egypt, with a capital, containing 400,000 souls, is suf¬ 
ficient to convince us, that at least some part of its former magnificence still remains, Neitlier 
can we calculate on the consequence, or the result, to the nations of Europe, or to what state it may 
not again revert, if commerce, the arts, sciences, and manufactures, could be again establislred in 
the hands of an industrious and virtuous people. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


S2 

queen Cleopatra be forgotten. Two of those which served to decorate her 
ears cost upwards of 16^0,000/. sterling^. . 

Egypt had not been very long under the subjection of the Romans, be¬ 
fore Hippalus, a celebrated navigator, steered a straight course from the Ba- 
belmandel to the coast of Malabar, By means of this intercourse the Ro¬ 
mans became perfectly acquainted with the monsoons and periodical winds 
in that quarter, which are so favourable to communication and to com¬ 
merce. Previously to this great discovery of Hippalus, the trade between 
Egypt, Arabia, and India, had been carried on, coastways, by the circuitous 
route of the bottom of the Arabian Sea, into which flows the river Indus. 

The Goths, and other barbarous nations in the fourth and fifth centuries, 
obliterated the greatness of imperial Rome. The rich fled to Constanti¬ 
nople, where, by this time. Eastern commerce had assumed her seat. 
Constantinople, from situation the most favoured of cities, was speedily 
raised, by the means of that commerce, to the highest pitch of pre-emi¬ 
nence and power. 

The trade with India was now carried on from the Gulf of Persia by 
the Deserts of Syria and Arabia, assisted by the rivers Euphrates and Ti¬ 
gris, There was besides another route by .which the commodities of the 
East were conveyed to the West, Merchandise was conducted by inland 
navigation, as well by land carriage, from the banks of the Ganges and In¬ 
dus to the south-east quarter of the Caspian, and from thence to Trebisond 
on the Black Sea. The upper parts of Hindoostan, and even China, fur- 

^ Pearls were m those days esteemed heyond tlie lustre of the diamond* The taste was just| for 
' pearls modestly adorn, while the lustre of diamonds attract an attention not always favourable to the 
pretensions or the merits of the wearer: both were, however, to be had in abundance# as well as rich 
perfumes for the "^ise of public worship, and the burial of the dead. Silk was in such high repute^ 
that pound weight of that precious article was sometimes exchanged tor a pound of gold^ 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


nished their supplies, by numerous rivers and caravans, to the banks of tl^e 
Oxus, the Jaxartis, and the Don ; fi'om the Don to the Wolga, and fiom 
thence to the Sea of A soph, and the northern parts of Europe. 

For more than two centuries, this exalted city, from its connection with 
the East, flourished in the extreme. But the introduction of the Maho- 
medan religion, and the establishment of the Saracenic empire, began to 
undermine its greatness. Notwithstanding repeated losses on the side of 
Syria, and along the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, it still retained a 
considerable trade, and it besides required a length of time to impoverish 
so rich a place as Constantinople had already become. 

During the ninth and part of the tenth centuries, the inhabitants of 
Amalfi, a small principality, of Roman origin, in the Bay of Salerno, 
were the principal traders with the Archipelago and the Levant. This 
little colony originally consisted of a few Roman families, driven by arbi¬ 
trary power from the capital of that empire. In their way to Constantinople 
they were shipwrecked in the Bay of Salerno, The rocky promontory of 
Minerva in that neighbourhood, emblematical of liberty, security, and com¬ 
merce, offered at once an inviting and convenient asylum. In this city there 
was established a court of high admiralty, to which all the nations sur¬ 
rounding the Mediterranean Sea, and et^en Constantinople itself, resorted for 
equitable decisions in all maritime disputes. The natives of Amalfi acquired 
in a short time considerable wealth, and obtained great respect from> the 
city of Constantinople, by their attention, skill, and knowledge, in mer¬ 
cantile affairs. The intriguing spirits of other Italian states, all of them 
eager to engross the lucrative trade with India, managed successfully to 
draw the trade of India from Amalfi, into their own hands. 

The Venetians, in particular, industrious and enterprising, were at the 
commencement of the crusades the first maritime people in Europe. In 


94 


LETTERS INDIA. 


■ conjunction with the Genoese and Pisans, who were also considerable at 
sea, they furnished transports for all the expeditions which had been fitted 
out by the other powers of Europe for the reduction of Palestine. The 
Venetians were instructed, from the intercourse which this occasioned, 
that Eastern commerce had elevated the city of Constantinople above all 
others 5 and avarice stimulated them, after the failure of the fourth cru¬ 
sade (Anno 1S04), to turn their arms against that imperial city. They 

succeeded in their enterprise, and secured to themselves Eastern com- 

* 

merce. It is to be regretted, that this is not the only instance of derelic¬ 
tion from moral rectitude which attended the quarrels of religion—dif¬ 
ferences, grounded only in opinion, of which the object was to reconcile 
^the philosophy of the human mind, and to enable mankind to digest the 
best possible system for their guidance and conduct; but which object un¬ 
fortunately has been stimulated by resentment, and perverted by haughty 
and ambitious men to the worst and most fatal purposes. 

About the middle of the thirteenth century the spirit of commerce 
awoke in the North. To defend themselves against the pirates which in¬ 
fested their seas in those times, the cities of Lubeck and Hamburg entered 
into a league of mutual defence 3 in a short time eighty . of *the most con¬ 
siderable cities, scattered through those vast countries which stretch from 
the coast of the Baltic to Cologne on the Rhine, acceded to the confede¬ 
racy. This was called the Hanseatic League, and the towns which com¬ 
posed it the Hanse Towns. 

This confederacy became so formidable, that its alliance was courted, and 
its enmity dreaded, by the greatest monarchs. The members of this pow¬ 
erful association formed the first systematic plan of commerce known in 
the middle ages, . and conducted it by common laws, enacted in their ge¬ 
neral assemblies. They supplied the rest of Europe With naval stores, and 
pitched on different towns, the most eminent of which was Bruges in Flan- 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


85 


ders, where they established certain staples, in which their commerce was 
regularly carried on. Thither the Lombards brought the productions of 
India, together with the manufactures of Italy, and exchanged them for 
the more bulky, but not less useful, commodities of the North. The 
Hanseatic merchants disposed of the cargoes which they received from the 
Lombards in the ports of the Baltic, or carried them up the great rivers 
into the interior parts of Germany. 

As Bruges became the centre of communication between the Lombard 
and Hanseatic merchants, the Flemings traded with both in that city to 
such extent, as well as advantage, as spread among them a general habit 
of industry, which long rendered Flanders and the adjacent provinces ths 
most opulent, the most populous, and best cultivated countries in Europe. 

Genoa, rival to Venice, became jealous of the influence and superiority 
of the Venetians, and, taking the advantage of the regenerated spirits of 
the Greeks, assisted them to restore the dynasty of their former emperors; 
for which service, they had the Pera, or suburbs of Constantinople, allotted 
them. They speedily established themselves in the Crimea and by that 
means acc^uired the trade with India by land carriage through the northern 
parts of Asia, and the deserts of Arabia, as well as the commerce of the 
Gulf of Persia, tire Euphrates and Tigris, the Black Sea and the Medi¬ 
terranean, in the same manner as the Greek empire had formerly en¬ 
joyed it, 

* Dn the borders of the Eiisine Sea, Cafla wa^ their principal sea-pbrt, where many remains of 
Genoese magnificence are still visible. They retained possession of it for upwards of two centuries; 
and to so great a pitch had their arrogance arisen, that the Genoese actu^iy prohibited the Greeks 
and Venetians from frequenting any port beyond the embouchures of the Danube, and they even- 
formed the idea of levying a toll at the Bosphorus.—After the expulsion of the Genoese from tlie 
Crimea by the Turks, tlie trade of Cafla still continued. During the stay of Sir John Cliarden at 
that place for forty days, no less than four hundfed sail of vessels entered or departed from tliat port. 
The number of its iciliabitants was stated at 80,000.. 


9t3 


' LETTERS ON INDIA. 


The Venetians, in a manner driven from Constantinople, with the loss of 
the India trade, by the Genoese, had only the mode left by which the an¬ 
cients conveyed the manufactures of India to Europe; the route by Alex¬ 
andria was again resorted to, and a treaty negotiated by the republic with 
the Sultauns of Egypt. By this time the Mamalukes had declared their 
independency, and separated themselves from the empire of the Caliphs, 
whose powers had been for many years gradually falling to decay. 

The Venetians, by the medium of the Red Sea, which is the most im¬ 
mediate and direct communication between Europe and Asia, as having by 
much the shortest land conveyance, outstripped the Genoese, whose car¬ 
riage by land through the northern parts of Asia was much more uncer¬ 
tain, tedious, and expensive. The Venetians became by far the greatest 
commercial people in the known world. It was the policy of the Vene¬ 
tians to exclude, by means of their interest with the Sultauns of Egypt, 
all the other commercial states of Italy j but this measure involved them 
in long and bloody wars. The League of Cambray originated in the inor¬ 
dinate ambition of retaining this exclusive trade, and brought along with it 
consequences which terminated nearly in the ruin of the republic. 

In the thirteenth century, as has already been observed, the northern 
part^ of Europe were yet barbarous,—tilt commercial intercourse, and the 
introduction of articles of indulgence and elegance, began to operate on ci¬ 
vilisation. The Florentines became at this period great importers of East- 
India goods, and they contrived, by the medium of the Flemings, to 
establish also their depots at Bruges and Antwerp. Thither they carried 
all the elegancies and riches of India, and sold them either to the mer¬ 
chants of the Hanse Towns, or to itinerant dealers, who frequented the 
fairs and markets of northern Europe. Auxburg, at this period, was 
the medium by which the middle districts of our own quarter of the world 


LETTERS ON INDIA; 9?' 

were supplied. At tJiis period travellers and merchants were of very con ¬ 
siderable use in the refinement of those unhappy and gloomy times i the 
introduction of certain articles of commerce into the barbarous countries of 
Europe paved the way for imitation, and insensibly convinced human-nature 
of its wants, its dignity, and resources. So great was the desire of all orders 
and classes of men to possess the commodities of the East, that their horses 
and cattle were disposed of, and their very children were sold, to obtain 
them; eveiy thing was sacrificed to be arrayed in the manufactures' of the 
East, or to enjoy the luxury of its various productions. But regret too 
often, succeeded this unlimited indulgence. The merchants found it ne¬ 
cessary to keep the minds of their unruly purchasers in a continual state of 
fermentation, in order to prevent acts of cruelty and murder, the result of 
their despair. Shows by this means were introduced all over Europe, and 
the caravans of merchants were amply supplied with mountebanks and 
jugglers—and even prostitutes were not forgotten dn their train. 

The Florentines, who had hitherto been the bankers of Europe, and 
great importers of East-India goods, by the conquest of Pisii obtained a 
sea-port on the shores of the Mediterranean ; and we find them animated,- 
by the brilliant example of the Venetians and Genoese, to possess them¬ 
selves of maritime commerce. On application being made to the Sul- 
tauns of Egypt, the Florentines had the same privileges granted as those 
enjoyed by the Venetians > and they acquired a share of the lucrasive trade 
carried on with India by the Red Sea. 

As commerce increases the means and wants of .the inhabitants of any 
country, so it induces luxury,—and luxury is the forerunner of enervation 
and decay. The energy of the Turks, a new people ready for war and 
devastation, and willing to take advantage of the efieminacy of the Greeks, 
eagerly sought, not for the trade to India, 'for they were inexperienced in 
maritime aifairs, but for the plunder and possession of a city so magnificent 


LITTERS ON INDIA. 


and opulent as Constantinople presented to their view. The literature, 
the riches, the pride of the world, was centered in this splendid city; but 
the want of virtue and courage, the infallible consequence of great wealth, 
and the relaxation from militaiy pursuits, rendered the enfeebled Greeks 
an easy prey to the inordinate ambition and unconquerable rapacity of the 
Turks. 

Mahomed the Second established his throne at Constantinople on the 
ruins of the Greek empire [A.D. 1454]. Shortly after this usurpation 
[A, D. 1474 ] that prince dispossessed the Genoese of all their territories 
in the Crimea j by which means the trade to India was lost to Europe by 
the way of Syria and northern parts of Asia. Communication with India 
was, however, still open by the means of Egypt, where the Venetians were 
unrivaled, and where the Genoese in vain attempted to establish them¬ 
selves. 

When Constantinople, the mart of Europe, had fallen into the hands of 
the Turks, the trade and improvement of the Greeks again resorted to the 
shores of Italy. In that happy country the arts found a refuge from ty¬ 
ranny and superstition, and the man of letters an asylum; commerce re¬ 
vived; and companies of Lombards and Italian Jews settled in different 
countries, and carried on, as they had formerly done, almost the whole 
commerce of that period. To the ports of Egypt the rich productions in 
India were brought; and from hence they were conveyed to Europe by 
the Venetians, and from them the merchandise was purchased and distri¬ 
buted over Europe by the Lombards and other merchants. 

A period was, however, at this time nearly approaching, which totally- 
changed the commercial system of the civilised world—an aera which pro¬ 
duced a new portion of the globe, and led to tlte discovery of the passage 
by sea to the most ancient, and at the same time the most opulent countries 
in the universe. 


LETTERS ON INDJA. 


The elements of navigation are no doubt very remote. In all countries, 
even the most savage, the use of the canoe, or boat of some kind, was perfectly 
understood. Human-nature, in all stages within the sphere of our.know- 
ledge, when most scantily supplied with articles necessary for existence, 
and debarred all the comforts of life, found great resources in numerous 
lakes, rivers, and seas, from the plenty of fish and other productions of die 
waters. In warm climates, it may even be said to have been a luxury in the 
inhabitants to seek that element, and to solace themselves with agreeable 
coolness during the continuance of a scorching sun : half immerged in water, 
and with the head protected by a.coveting made of broad leaves, and per¬ 
haps without any covering at all, it was no uncommon circumstance for the 
rude islander to encounter singly tlte dangers of the ocean, in order to support 
the cravings of nature from the want of food. In later periods, the nations 
that lie round the Baltic, and along the coast of the northern seas, di¬ 
stinguished themselves early as an enterprising maritime people. The de¬ 
predations of these, under the names of Danes and Normans, or Norwe¬ 
gians, have been severely felt in these islands. It is even said that they 
were well acquainted with the coasts of North America long before that 
continent was discovered by the southern nations of Europe, Their con¬ 
tiguous situation, together with the business of fishing, so necessary for 
their support, and the possession of the island of Iceland, lying between 
their country and America, reducing one perilous voyage to two voyages 
less hazardous and tedious, seems to give the account an appearance of pro¬ 
bability. Be this as it may, their discoveries were kept a secret to them¬ 
selves. But the discovery of America by Columbus, and the passage to 
India, by the Cape of Good Hope, by Vasco de Gama, opened, by means 
of shipping, a very extensive, although a fluctuating and uncertain com¬ 
merce, which many nations have partially enjoyed, but which none has yet 
been able entirely or durably to appropriate to herself. 


o 2 


100 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


It was in the latter part of the fifteenth century [A. D. 1498.] that the 
Portuguese discovered a passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope. 
Prior to this important discovery, the Spaniards attempted to sail thither 
by the west, under the command of a native of Genoa, the adventurous 
and steady Columbus. This great man fell in with the American islands, 
which is called the New World, or the West Indies, to distinguish the newly- 
discovered countries from India In the East. 'From this period, the western 
nations of Europe appear to have increased in political consequence, to have 
improved in arts and sciences, and to have flourished in commerce; they 
acquired possessions in the opposite quarters of the earth, and became ac¬ 
quainted with every climate in the world. It was the interest of the peo¬ 
ple, whose possessions were thus enlarged, to improve with diligence the 
art of navigation j but the perfect knowledge of this extensive science in¬ 
cludes that of almost every other. Whatever observations are made in 
contemplating the starry heavens, in measuring of lines, superficies, and 
bodies on the surface of our earth,—whatever discoveries in the physical 
world, and whatever improvements in the science of mechanics,—even the 
study of languages, and a knowledge of mankind, their complexions, man¬ 
ners, and dispositions, their countries, laws, commerce, &c. all seem pe¬ 
culiarly interesting to the mariner. 

This discovery of the passage to India deranged the plans of the Vene¬ 
tians, and their monopoly was transferred to the Portuguese. These peo¬ 
ple, hitherto insignificant as a nation, were enabled, by a ^ea conveyance, 
to supply, more abundantly, and at a cheaper rate, the markets of Europe 
with the production of India, and they in consequence became extremely 
opulent. As the taste of the inhabitants of the Western, World improved, 
so was civilisation pi'omoted ; and the desire of all nations to participate 
in a trade with India, with these objects kept equal pace.' If, on the one 
hand, the loss of the trade to that country made the Venetians poor, on 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


!01 


the other it enriched the Portuguese, and opened to them new avenues of 
commerce; it has, at different periods, and under difierent circumstances, 
added considerably to the prosperity of the Dutch and other nations. . But 
the trade of India appears fugacious, not easily to he secured to any coun¬ 
try : it has been compared to a wandering but brilliant meteor, which has 
first illuminated and then consumed all those nations through which it has 
hitherto passed. 

This short history of East-India commerce, without novelty to recom¬ 
mend it, has, I trust, from the brevity of it, and the concise manner in 
which I have endeavoured to arrange the variety of revolutions the trade 
has undergone, proved deserving.of your attention. I sh 9 uld be happy 
could we discover, from the experience of so many centuries, that future 
revolutions in India, whether, commercial or political, were not to be ex¬ 
pected,—and that it were possible, by the adoption of any system, to pre¬ 
vent or avert them ^—we should then have some hope that the crown of 
Great Britain might, by wise and prudent measures, continue to enjoy the 
commerce and substantial resources of British India. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. 


102 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


LETTER X. 

i - V . , _ 

General Rejlection on the Kxpediency! of pi'esewhig a direct Communication 
bp Land with our India Lq$&ex^mis for thQ.PiQpQse of conveplng InidlL 
gencc—Outlines of a Plan for that Purpose—Distances Inj different RouXes 
--—Red Sea — Monsoon—Expenses of the Plan. 

DEAR SlRj \ ' LondoHj April 13 , 1800 , 

Amongst the numberless advantages which the East-India Company- 
may possibly reap from the- recent acquisitions in India, we may reckon 
the facilities which-the possession of the kingdom of Mysore will afford to 
■the overland conveyance of public dispatches as well as private Jetters. 
The direct communication from Mangalore to Fort St. George, rendered 
safe by the overthrow of Tippoo Sultaun, is of very considerable im¬ 
portance. The distance from that part of the Malabar coast to Fort St. 
George is only between three and four*, hundred British miles, and may be 
travelled, with the greatest ^se, by tappals, in the space of four days. 

This subject had long occupied my attention. Its various benefits ap¬ 
peared of sufficient consequence to engage the interference of the govern¬ 
ments of India in promoting its success. As the political and commercial 
interests of India are more intimately interwoven with the general pro¬ 
sperity of the empire, and those interests better understood, and more be¬ 
neficially and ably conducted, than at any former period of the connection 
between those remote countries, it is more incumbent firmly to establish 
such a communication. 

Soon after my return to India, and while the impression of the difficul¬ 
ties of the journey by Bussorah was recent, I drew up some considera- 


LETTERS ON'INDIA. 


103 


tiohs bn the propriety and practicability of sending dispatches from In- 
‘‘ dia by the way of Suez, and from India to England by the same route,” 
which were presented to Major-general Abercroinby, then Governor of' 
Bombay, accompanied by an offer to make the attempt in one of the 
Company’s cruisers, and to trust to the liberality of the Court of Direc¬ 
tors for reimbursement, should the event justify the expectation 1 had 
formed. It is evident General Abercromby thought the scheme both 
practicable and expedient, for he accepted the proposal; and an armed 
vessel, belonging to the Company, was detained on the coast of Malabar, 
from November, 1790, till February, 1791, for the express purpose of 
conveying me to Suez with public dispatches. It happened unfortunately, 
however, that no event occurred in that interval of sufficient importance 
to require a particular dispatchthe idea was at that time given up, and I 
was under the necessity of returning to England. I was happy, however, 
to learn that the government of Bombay had afterwards established an over¬ 
land post by the way of Bussorah j and, 1 trust, it is not assuming too 
much, to presume that the memorial I had the honour to lay before that 
government, in the year 1790, has contributed to it. 

I am sorry to understand, that this communication has hitherto not en¬ 
tirely met the approbation of the Court of Directors, from the great ex¬ 
pense the Company is put to in conducting it j—which has been stated at no 
less a sum than 10,000l. per annum. I am confident that proper regulations 
would very much reduce, if not totally annihilate, all outgoings on this 
score. It is to be hoped, when the world shall be restored to the blessings 
of peace, and the mad spirit of disorganisation, which has spread abroad,, 
subsided,—when the introduction of order and tranquillity shall again re¬ 
establish the relative ties of amity amongst the nations of Europe,—that, 
along with other improvements arising out of the confusion into which 


lOi 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


every thing rational and moral has been thrown. Government and the East- 
India Company will establish a regular post between this countiy and Bri¬ 
tish India; and, as the first step towards so desirable an object, promote 
and facilitate the navigation of the Mediterranean by packet-boats, built 
on a proper construction for that sea. 

To an object of such acknoudedged importance as the conveyance of in¬ 
telligence in a safe and expeditious manner, too much attention, cannot be 
paid. Many considerations are, however, to be attended to. 

I St ; the choice of the route. 

Sd^ i the expense. 

Sdly ; the navigation of the Mediterranean and Red Sea. 

It is a difficult task to do justice to so complicated a subject, especially 
when so much is left to the uncertainty of the elements; and considering 
that the track lies through countries yet barbarous, and not much disposed 
to social intercourse. Notwithstanding these difficulties, which appear to 
me not insurmountable, I shall take the liberty of submitting my opinion 
in regard to public intelligence, or, moTe properly, in regard to the means 
which should in the present instance be used to convey it; and close the 
whole by a few' general remarks. 

The object which we have in view being to combine as much as pos¬ 
sible the distribution of general intelligence; and, as expedition is mate- 
'.rial, and ought to be chiefly considered, the route by Suez appears, at cer¬ 
tain seasons, the most eligible for the purpose. 

justly described by the Abbe Raynal as situated between two 
seas, one of which opens the road to the East, and the other to the West: 
placed in contact with Africa and Asia, it seems intended to connect them 
with Europe. Jt is likewise furnished with a majestic navigable river, 
which, by .its inundation,;renders it the most fruitful soil in the universe. 


LETTERS OX INDIA. 


IOj 


whilst its course appears anxious to join the Mediterranean with the 
Indian Ocean, and to yield its assistance in forwarding the commu¬ 
nication. 

The route by Suez, situated on the extremity of tire Red Sea, within 
seventy miles of the Nile, as i have already observed, is certainly to be 
preferred to any other. Delays are inseparable from any plan of convey¬ 
ing intelligence by the way of Bussorali, and three months and a half is 
the least period that can be allowed, on tire best arranged plan, for send- 
ing dispatches by that channel. The records of the Company will esta¬ 
blish this ^ct, and will show how few dispatches have been received ei¬ 
ther at the India-house, or at any of their Presidencies abroad, by the 
Great Desert, within that time. 

By the way of Suez the journey by land is greatly shortened, while the 
voyage by sea is not much prolonged j and it is particularly observable, 
that the course of. winds and currents is extremely favourable for the navi¬ 
gation by this route, many months in the year j whilst that by the Persian 
Gulf is protracted by many adverse circumstances. Besides, we know 
that vessels sailing from the coast of Malabar for Arabia and Persia, during 
the south-west monsoon -j-, are under the necessity of running from three 
to seven degrees to the southward of the line, where the south-east 
winds J carrj" them obliquely to the westward, till they meet the south¬ 
west winds near the African shore §, to convey them to the northward j(. 
During this season, by preferring the Red Sea to the Gulf of Persia, the 

*■ In the journey there is a difference of 800 miles, in favour ef the route 1>y Suez, 
t See the India Directory, sect. xxvi. p, 39, 

I See ditto, sect, xx. p. 37. 

§ See ditto, sect. ccv. p. 176, 

^ See Captain Hardy^s Journal of a Voyage in the A’iper cutter.—He ^ajlcd from Bombay the 
of July, 1793.—He met the S. E. trade wind, lat, '1° 11' South. 


P 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


■lOO 

whole distance from Cape Guardafoi to Cape Roselgate, which Includea 
ten degrees of latitude, is evidently saved*. 

During December, January, February, and part of March, the passage 
from the coast of Malabar to Suez can be performed in less time than is 
required for a passage to Bussorali in the most favourable months. 

In the months'of June, July, and August, the Persian Gulf has an ad¬ 
vantage over the Red Sea, in navigating to the northward; but when it is 
considered that the passage to Bussorah, even during this interval, requires 
from fifty days to two months, the delay , defeats the advantage. At all 
other seasons of the year, the passage from the coast of Malabar is nearly 
equal in point of time both to Suez and to Bussorah 'f'. 

It being admitted that both voyages may be accomplished' in the same 
space of time, the advantages of that by Suez becomes evident; for dis* 
patches received at this port are nearly nine hundred miles nearer home 
than those received at Bussorali 

Witli regard to the conveyance of the dispatches subsequent to their ar¬ 
rival at Suez or Bussorah, much depends on the season of the year, and 
the prevailing winds in the Mediterranean |j. 

* Vide Chart of the Indian Ocean, 

-j- Sec the East-India Directory, p, 176, for the best methods and times for navigating ships frosm 
port to port in India. 




Brit- lU* 

Geo. in» 

CRiro • 


* /u 


Rosetta to Alexandria ♦ * • - * • ^ 



i UU 

Alexandria to •«««•«« 


t J 

825 

925 

■m 


103 

fn T afalrpif; «• • •« « 


• onq 


Latalcea to •« *»■ ■ < 


' yuj 


Making a difierence of • • - ^ , 


- soo 

1 UqUE 

55 


Total distance 855 nailes nearer London by the route of Suez.—Aleppo is I860 miles S. E. from It 
and Cairo 1920. 

« The northerly winds during the summer season in tlie Mediterranean, and in Egypt, arc highly 









• LETTERS ON INDIA. 


Ifl? 

Of fonvarding Dispatches from Great Britain to Indian. 

First, by Suez, during the most favourable season of the year (a). 





DiSTs-ANCE, 


Daj’3. 

Hours. - 

By Land. 

By Soa. 

1 



Br. Miles. 

Mar. Milei. 

From London to Messina, by Hamburg, 





- Nuremberg, Trent, Florence, Rome, > 

16 

0 

1381 

300 

ahd Naples j 





Messina to Aliaxandria (V) ***.*-.*.*•* 

10 

0 


82a 

Alexandria to RosettcL « • 


R 

*5 Q 


Rosetta to Cairo (dj fej ...... -.. 

LI 

2 

o 

0 


100 

Cairo to Suez ff) *. *.., 

1 

12 

70 

— 

Suez to Uie coast of Malabar fgj ...... 

20 

0 


292O(/0 

Total number of days to Bombay. 

49 

. 20 

1484 

4145 


Total • ■ 6629 


favourable to the communleatlon from this country to India by the way of Suez.—We are informed 
by Pliny, in his Hist. Nat. XIX. I. that the Roman vessels from the port of Ostia, bound to Alexan¬ 
dria, with a favourable wind, performed the voyage generally in nine and ten days; and to tlie Pillars 
of Hercules in sea'en.—The port of Ostia is in the dominions of the Pope, on the mouUi of theTiber, 
twelve miles west from Rome, where small vessels are still procurable, notwithstanding tlie harbour 
is much choked up.—The Pillars of Hercules was the name given by tiie ancients to the Straits of 
Gibraltar. 

taj Ill this calculation, delays are not Included; and It will become the grand object to guard against 
them, as far as tliey depend on indii'idual exertion. 

fhj Colonel Capper says, that a passage from‘Marseilles, or Leghorn, to Latalcea, in a tolerable 
good sailing vessel, seldom exceeds eighteen, and is often performed in ten or twelve days; and Vol- 
iiey, vol. i. p. 58. observes, that a vessel may expect to anchor in Cyprus, or at Alexandria, the 
fourteenth, and sometimes the eleventh, day from Marseilles. Mr. Stanley, his Majesty's Consul at 
Trieste, on the 25th of December, 1780, wrote to the Court of Directors, " That two gentlemen, in 
" their way to India, embarked the latter end of July, and arrived at Alexandria in fifteen days.” 
Colonel Wood states in his Journal, that on the 7 th of May, 1779, the island of Corfu bore E. by N. 
distant five leagues; on the 9th he put in at Zante, and on the I6tirday of the same month, at six ii/ 
the evening, he landed at Alexandria. In the year 1798, the fleet under Sir Horatio (now I.ord) 
Nelson was, in the month of June of that year, only six days from Sicily to Alexandria. 

ecj Mr. Savary states the distance at fourteen French leaguesi voh i.' p.‘-i7Trand CblDlael CapjJer 
at thirty-three English miles; the Colonel performed the journey in eight hours. 

P 3 

















LETTERS ON INDIA. 


By Bussorah, during the most favourable season» 


London to Veniee 

Venice to Constaiitinople hy Brindisi, on 
the coast of Naples, and Butdnto (hh) 

Constantinopie to Aleppo * .* < 

Aleppo to Eussorah .. * 

Bussorah to Bombay p * 

Total number of days to Bombay 

Shorter by Suez 

By Messina to Bussorah. 

London to Messina ^ t., 

Messina to Latakea fi} 

Scandaroon, or Latakea, to A/eppo fkj 

Aleppo'to Bussorah .- • *. * 

Bussorah to Bombay .»«• * 

Total number of days to Bombay * -- - 

Shorter by Suez 

(dj I should Imagine that the small boats of a light constniebon, described by Savary, rol, u p, i/h 
might be usefully employed between Rosetta and Cairo in conveying dispatches backwards and for* 
wards^ should the boghaz, or bar of the Bolbetme branch of the Nile, be deemed impracticable^ The 

scherms are light undecked boats, with latten sails, and are extremely dangerous, being 
frequently lost on tire bar. ^ 

(e) Colonel Mark Wood, M. P. in the year 1779, was, with an unfavourable whid, fifty-three 
hours on the passage, viz. from one P. M. of the 18th May, to sun-set of the 20tlK 

r/J Colonel Capper states tire distance at seventy miles, and says, the journey is to be performed in 
eighteen or twenty hours. Volney was twenty-nine hours, with a large caravan, and Dr. Pocock 
thirty-three hours and a half, in performing il. 

(sJ Colonel Capper observes, that from Suez to Anjenga, on the Malabar coast, is a voyage of 
twenty-five days, and to Bombay twenty-eight days, being about the rate of five knots an how. 

(fi) It is H7&HiiIes from Suez to the Straits of Babelmaadel, and 1750 to the opposite coast of 
Malabais i 


16 ^ 

0 

1381 

. -- 

16 

0 

. - 

1080 

2 

6 

90 

— 

16 

0 

797 

" —- 

13 

0 

— 

1600 

66 

0 

226S 

26$0 

I 16 1 

4 

Total 49 

43 




DlSTANC^r* 


Hours. 

By LuTid. 
Br. Miles. 

By Sea. 
Mar. Miles, 

' 11 

0 

936 

— 

20 

0 

900 

-— 

14 

0 

600 

-,. 

16 

0 

797 

— 

IS 

0 

— 

-i^oo 

79 ! 

0 

3283 1 1600 

^ 1 ^ j-il t irt 1 O O ^ 

29 

4 

A MUItl 




































letters on INDIA. 


109 


By Vienna and Constantinople to Eussorah. 


London to Vienna, by Hamburg • * - • - • 
Vienna to Comtantinopk flj 
Constantinople to Bussorah, by Kalolial 
and the Great Desert fpt) • *. ^• f 
Bussorah to Bombay , •. • - ^.. • - ♦ * - • • • 

Total number of days to Bussorah**** 

Shorter by Suez - 


Days. 

10 

16 

30 

38 


24 


Hours. 

0 

0 

0 

0 


Disr.^KCE. 


By Lund. 
Br. Mile?. 

806 

300 

1397 


2203 


By Sea, 
Mar. Milcf, 

300 


1600 


- 1900 


Total 4103 


The dispatches having reached Suez, the passage from thence to the 
coast of Malabar, in the summer months, would be extremely speedy; 
during these months strong northerly winds prevail in the Red Sea, and 
early In May the south*west monsoon begins in the Indian Ocean At 

(Jth) A sea-port of Albania, separated by a strait from the Island of Corfu, at the entrance of the 
Adriatic. 

fi) Vide Chart for the difference in point of situation between the ports of Alexandi'etta and Lata- 
tea, in the north-east corner of the Levant, and the opett port of Alexandria, which cannot be so 
much influenced by partial winds. Scandarooii is sixty miles farther than Latakea. 

(kj This distance has been variously stated, Mr. Irwin makes 106 miles, and by my Itinerary 100 
miles four furlongs, from Scandaroon, 

(0 In a letter from Vienna, dated 20tb of March, 1795, It is mentioned that the couriers of Con¬ 
stantinople, retarded by the melting of the snow, arrive so slowly, that tlie letters of the 10th of Fe¬ 
bruary did not reach Vienna before the 12th of March. This is not to be wondered at, when the state 
of the country, and the roads they have to pass, is taken into consideration. 

{tiij The distance from Constantinople to Bussorah, by Armenia, Mesopotamia, DiabeUr, and 
Mosul, is computed to be about 1800 English miles, A journey performed entirely on horseback, at least 
as far as Bagdad, by the Tartars, or couriers of Turkey, who form a regular establishment under that 
governiiiefit for the conveyance of intelligence, and ha^'e particnlar privileges accordingly, and have 
their horses marrrtaiiied at the expense of government. At Bagdad a small boat Is generally taken ; 
and such is the velocity of tlie Tigris, (hat they reach Bussorah in four days, a distance of near 300 
miles j but such are the obstacles in returning, that the same thing is not done in less than sixteen 
days, haring to trw;t against the Stream up the Euplirates, which b less rapid than the Tigris, as high 
as HiUa, from whence across to Bagdad the distance by land is fifty miles. 

* These monsoons, as well as the trade winds, are now perfectly understood, being very clearly ex¬ 
plained by the India Directory. 
















110 


LETTERS ON- INDIA, 


this period, the voyage from Suez to the Makbar coast might be performed 
in nearly the same time as a passage from Bussorah to the Malabar coast 
during the most favourable months. 

The practicability of the navigation of the Red Sea having been much 
disputed and called in question, it becomes very necessary to elucidate tiris 
subject by examples and unquestionable authorities, in order, if possible, 
to do away the unfavourable impressions which have so long prevailed in 
regard to it. And as, in matters of this'kind, nothing ought to be admitted 
on supposition, I shall, in addition to the dates by land, and the authori¬ 
ties dor winds by sea, add some examples of passages by different ways; 
from all which the inference wild be simple and positive. - 

Captain Robinson, of the Company’s marine at Bombay, in the Terri¬ 
ble cruizer, a bad sailer, and altogether a very improper vessel for naviga¬ 
ting the Red Sea, sailed from Suez the 21st of July, 1777, and arrived at 
Mocha the 8th of August. From Suez to Ras Mahomed, the wind was 
from north to west. From Ras Mahomed to the latitude of 23 N. the 
wind was principally from the south to the east, and afterwards to Mocha 
from north to north-west. The Swallow sloop of war had much about 
the ^ame time sailed down the Red Sea in eleven days, and was only se¬ 
venteen days'from Mocha to Fort St. George. 

Captain Robinson, in the Morning Star, another of the Company’s 
cruizers, left Suez at 5 P. M. of the 27th of May, 1779, and on the 
8th of June, a little before mid-day, she cast anchor in Mocha Roads. 
Colonel Mark Wood, late of Bengal, was on board this vessel, charged 
with dispatches for that government. They passed the narrow part 
of the Red Sea, which is the northern extremity, in twenty-four hours, 
having a regular and constant wind from the nortliward as far as the 
21st degree ©f north latitude. From thence the winds were van- 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 111 

able, but chiefly from die south to east,—a proof that the winds allow 
of some deviation, and that they , do not always blow from one fixed 
point at a particular season. Captain Robinson left Mocha on the 11 tn of 
June, and was only six days in crossing the Indian Ocean to the coast of 
Malabar. On the 2d of July that gentleman arrived at Fort St. George, 
where Colonel Wood was detained till the 6th, on which day he took his 
departure, and on the I4th day of July arrived at Calcutta, after a journey 
of 113 days. It will be observed, that Colonel Wood had many delays to 
encounter, particularly in the Adriatic j but including all these, he reached 
the coast of Malabar in eighty-six days. 

It has also been represented, that there is great danger in remaining in 
the Red Sea late in August. Mr, Nieubhur mentions, that he left Mocha 
in that month, and passed the Straits, with the wind at north, and that 
he landed at Bombay on the 11th of September following. 

In regard to the passage from Bussorah to Bombay, it must be aUowed, 
that the passage is expeditious at certain seasons, from the prevailing winds 
in the Gulf of Persia. Amongst other instances on this subject, the fol¬ 
lowing may be noticed. 

The Lapwing cutter left Bussorah on the 10th of March, 17S2, and ar¬ 
rived at Muscat on the 32d. Left Muscat the 8th of April, and ariived at 
Bombay the 15th. During this season the wind was mostly from the 
southward. 

The Viper cutter. Captain Hardy, left Bussorah on the 28th of Septem¬ 
ber, 1783, and the 31st anchored at Bushire : die Viper sailed from thence 
the sd of January following, and arrived at Muscat on the 9th: the next 
day she sailed, and arrived at Bombay on the 20th of the same mondi, 
having experienced fine northerly winds all the way. 

In the month of January, 1790, in my passage from Bussorah to Bom- 


m- 


U ‘2 ' LETTERS ON INDIA. 

bay, the winds were chiefly from the northward, and we arrived at Bom¬ 
bay after a passage of twenty-one days. 

Of forxvarding Dispatches from India to Great Britain 
By Suez, in the :fevourable season. 


> 

Days. Houxi. 

Bombay to Suez ♦ # • - - * . •.. - ^.., * - -. - - - 34 . 0 

Suez to Cairo • • *»* 1 12 

Down the Nile to Rosetta j iq 

Rosetta te Alexandria, by land.*. 0 S . 

Alexandria to Messina * - .. - • * * *. 14 0 = 

Messina to London .. 1 $ 0 

Total number of days to London 67 8 


By Bussorah, in the favourable season. 


Dayj. Hottfs. 

Borjrffeay to Bussorah • * • * ... - 40 0 

Bussorah to Aleppo .. ig 0 

Aleppo to Constantinople 14 0 

Constantinople to Venice ^* go 0 

Venice to London .. j 1 0 

Total number of days to London *. 101 0 

Shorter by Suez .. 33 16 


Route by Messina. 


Days. Hours. 

Bombay to Bussorali 40 0 

Bussorah to Aleppo ... 0 

Aleppo to Scandaroon, or Latakea 0 0 

Scandaroon, or Latakea, to Messina 20 0 

Messina to London .. 16 0 

Total number of days to London ^ 94 0 

Shorter by Suez. 24 16 


























letters ONlNmA. 
The Route by Vienna. 


Da 5^. 

Eoiiibay lo Bussorah * *..*»•« r* - 40 0 

Bussorah to Constantinople - * - *.* * * • ‘.50 0 

Cons tan tinoplo to Vktina ^ ..*. 16 0 

Vienna to L.ondon *. • • • * • * - * * * ... - ^« 10 O ' 


Total*-^-95 0 

Making a difference of days 16 hours in favour oi llie route by 

On ^ general review of this subjecti the only comparative advantage iil 
fiivour of the voyage^ either to or from Bnssorah^ in prefeiencc to that to 
or from Suez, is on the passage from Bussorah to the coast of Malabar, 
during the months of December, January, February, and March, tlae sea¬ 
son when our East-India ships leave England, and make the quickest voy¬ 
ages. It may be alleged that the winds in the Persian Gulf are fre'quently 
variable, with fresh breezes fi'om the land, by which vessels are able, with 
perseverance, to make their passages at all seasons ; whereas, in the Red 
Sea, the wind, at certain seasons, is stationary, and blows so strong as to 
defy all attempts to get to windward. But we know for certain, that 
there are land and variable winds in the Red Sea as Well as in the Persian 
Gwlf Small vessels, acquainted with tlie coast, keeping in shore, and 

taking the advantage of these wdnds, and also of the calnis, when pro¬ 
vided with able rowers might, undoubtedly, effect a great deal, and ex¬ 
actly ascertain what progress might at all seasons be reasonably expected. 

* Mr. Irwin makes repeated menlion of land, variable and southerly winds in the Red Sea, even 
in the raonllis of June and July, which arc the wwst months in^tlie year for navigating to the north- 
ward. See Irwin’s Voyage, vol. i. Also the East-India Directory, sect. xsv. page 39 ; and sect. 

XXXvii, page 4-k 

t Mr. Irwin mentions, that in the month of June, taking the advantage of light land wind, fay sai^ 
ing and rowing, they gained a knot, and a knot and a halfi in an hour. Irwins \oyage, 
page_ 111. 







LETTEtlS ON INDIA. 


11 i 

When we lind that the means are in our power to open a communica¬ 
tion with India by this channel, and when we consider the posts and 
packets established through England, and all over the continent of Eu¬ 
rope, together with the regular and expeditious conveyance of letters 
throughout the East-Indies, under the protection of our governments 
abroad it appears to be matter of surprise that no regular permanent 
plan has been yet adopted for securing and facilitating our intelligence with 
India-f'. -Instead of preserving to ourselves the navigation of the Red Sea, 
it has been for many years, with the exception of a few instances, pre¬ 
vious to the invasion of Egypt by the French, entirely abandoned, and a 
much slower mode of conveying dispatches substituted in its stead. 

To complete this communication between Great Britain and her Eastern 
possessions, requires the aid of the Executive Government of this coun¬ 
try, and the co-operation of, the Honourable Court of Directors, By 

* See Major Rennell’s Memoir of a Map of India, page 317 ; Major Grace’s Code of Military 
Regulations for Bengal; and also, The Regulations for the Dawk, or Post, established by the go- 
vernmeiit of Calcutta, Madias, and Bombay. The expedition of tlie tappals, or postmen, in our 
owm districts, wdierc the relays are placed at the distance of seven or eight miles, is very great. The 
Nabob of ArcoL has procured intelligence from his southern countries, by their means, at the rate of 
one hundred.miles in twenty-four hours. 

f Colonel Capper, in his Observations on the Passage to India, already qnoted, has strongly re- 
eommended, that a regular post should be established between Great Britain and India bj (lie route 
of Egypt. And tins opinion is not founded on speculation, but on personal experience and observa- 
lion. To show the progress of Improvement in this line, it is sufficient to state the increase of the re¬ 
venue of the British Post-Office. In I64‘4', Mr. Edmund Prideaux, who was inland post-master, w^as 
■supposed to collect-about 3000b per annum. In 1654, the parliament farmed it to Mr. Mainw-aring, 
at 10,000/. per annum. In 1664, D. O’Neale, Esq. farmed it at 21,500/. In 1674, it was Jet at 
43,000/. In 1685, it was estimated at 65,000/. In 1688, tlie amount was 76,318/. In 16^7, it was 
00,505/. In 1710, it w'as allowed to be 111,461/. In 1715, the gross amount was 145,227/. In 
1744,v the inlant! office amounted to 193,226/.; but the total amount of both inland and foreign of¬ 
fices, wdiich can alone demonstrate the extent of our correspondence, w'as, iji that year, 295,432/. 
In 176-t, the gross amount was 432,048/, and since that period it has frequently amounted to upwarcU 
of 700,000/. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


H5 


their united exertions, a Firmauii might be obtained from the Ottoman 
State, through our ambassador at tlie Porte, establishing our right, and fa¬ 
cilitating the means of our navigation of the Red Sea, by regular packet- 
boats, to sail at fixed periods ^ j and permission be given for Arab messen¬ 
gers, with proper passes, after the French shall have quitted Egypt, to 
convey our dispatches through that country, under the protection of its 
government. This being effected, it would rest with the Consul-General 
of Egypt to conciliate the friendship of the Sheick el Balad, or Governor 
of Cairo, whose good offices might easily be secured j a circumstance in¬ 
dispensably necessary to the security of the messengers, and the safety of 
the dispatches. 

With-a view to promote some arrangement of this kind, I submitted to 
the Court of Directors a plan for the conveyance of dispatches' and letters 
to and from India, by the way of Suez •f*, already taken notice of ; and 
which, it is hoped, the foregoing facts and observations will have shown 
to be both practicable and necessary. 

This communication should have for its object, in the first place, the 

^ A vessel of force at all liines maintained in the Red Sea would be of little expense^ and verycotif 
siderable advantage* See Irwiii^s Voyage^ vo!. li, p* 12S* 

f It may hereafter become matter of consideration^ whetlier the port of Cossire may iiolj with 
great advantage, be made use of^ during Qcrtaiii seasons, in conveying dispatclics from India to Great 
Britain*—The distance from Cosaire to Ghrnna, on the baahs of the Nile, little exceeds one hundred 
miles; from whence to Cairo the ‘river runs in a straight direction—the distance by land, from Ghlnna 
to Cairo, may be about three hundred and twenty miles—by a commiiiucaUan between these places, 
one hundred leagues of the worst and most tediaus navigation, the upper and narrow part of the Red 
SeUj would be cut off' At present the route is impracticable, from no pains having been taken to 
adjust the difference which took place between the crew of the Coventry frigate and the inhabitants 
of Cossire, in the year 17SO, in wliicli some lives were lost* Savary's Letters, voL ii* page 17 ; and 
Capper’s Observations,—Mr, Irwin particularly says, in thTs place, and he again repeaii it in another, 
that a vessel may at all times reach Cossire, from whence to Ghinna by ianct, where boats may be bad 
in great plenty to Cairo* He recommends tliis route to a packet-boat from India, at a late season oi 
the year, especially afLor the month of Mardi. VoL i* page 189* 


116 


LEtTERS ON 1N0IA. 


conveyance of official dispatches from Government and the East-India 
Company; in the next, that of general communication» both commercial 
and private. Those at the head of public affairs are best able to judge 
how far a restriction of private letters may, on some occasions, be ne- 
cessaiy. 

Public dispatches from England, as far as the port of Messina, might 
either be intrusted to the care of a special messenger, or transmitted by the 
post, according to their importance. All private letters should be sent by 
the post. 

An agent should be appointed to reside at Messina, to receive dispatches 
and letters, \vho should have charge of two or more packet-boats, to sail 
to and from, Messina and Alexandria The postage on letters should be 
paid in England, as far as Messina, and the additional postage in India. 

* The idea of* packet-boats in the Mediterranean is by no means new, Mr. Robert Riclile, late 
his Majesty’s consul at \’'enice, and agent for tl\e East-Iudia Company, has repeatedly, in his corre¬ 
spondence with the Court of Directors, recommended to tliem to keep two small cutters, as packet- 
boats, in the Mediterranean. Mr. Richmond Smyth, late of the civil service at Bombay, and wdio 
made two over-land journeys to and fVom.En^kuid to India, by the Levant, in his memorial to the 
Court, dated 12tli of June, I7S0, has strongly enforced the utility of the plan. He says, “ That, under 
tlie present circumstance.% a passage is not to be had at all seasons in the Levant, and that delay is 
" always to be expected: in regard to expense, one packet to, and another from India, would stand 
'* the Company near the whole ambtmt of keeping two vessels, whteli would bring four packets from, 
" and convey four to India, quickly and securely.”—This w'as Mr. Smyth’s opinion,'previous to his 
return to India by land, w'hich he did in company with Mr. Irw'in, of the Madras establishment. 
During their voyage in the Medlte-rranean, boUi these gentlemen were but too well convinced of the 
justice qJ the above remark; and I shall subjoin Mr. Irwints words on the subject. " With this con- 
" viction on our minds,” says this gentleman, it will be no matter of surprise, that. In our repre- 
" sentations to the chairman of Uie East-Iiidia Company, Mr. Smyth and I attributed the delays w-e- 
“ had experienced chiefly to the perverse disposition and iinskilfulness of the Sclavonkns; and ear- 
*' nestly recommended an establishment of English packets in the Mediterranean. How punctnally 
their dispatches might be conveyed at ail seasons, from any of the ports of Italy, to the coast of 
" Syria, or of Egypt, should the latter expeditious route to India be opened again, by a favourable 
" revolution in the government of that distracted country, I leave to the Directors of that important 
" body to determine.” Irwin’s Voyage, vol. ii. p. SO't. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


117 


These packets should be cutter-built, copper-bottomed, armed, and well 
manned, tiiough not of a large size. They should always be in readiness, 
provided with water and provisions, so as to be prepared for sailing on the 
receipt of dispatches, should wind and weather permit, and no delay on 
any account be allowed. 

On the arrival of the packet at Alexandria, the Consul-General for 
Egypt should cause the dispatches and letters to be instantly forwarded to 
Suez, by Arab messengers 

At Suez, country boats should be constantly stationed, ready to take 
charge of the dispatches from thence to Mocha -f-- 

These boats should be coppered, and constructed on the best principle 
for rowing and sailing under six feet draught of water, both to enable 
them to anchor near Suez, and to take the adv^antage of light winds and 
calms, and to sail unobstructed by the shoals and rocks of the Red Sea §, 

* I ain authorised to state this, under the opinion of Mr. Dalrymple," whose knowledge-and expe¬ 
rience give it full credit: bethinks, " No European messenger ought ever to carry the dispatches, 
n except when such person is entrusted with verbal dispatches, in case of letters miscarrying, or otlicr 

Girciimstances, as such messenger not only occasions delay and expense,' but very much increases 

the risk of misearriage.” 

t Captain Thomas Forrest, late of the Bengal marine, who has published several useful tracts, has 
informed us of the utility of using country boats, of a particular construction, in narrow seas. This 
gentleman, with great perseverance and success, sailed on a voyage of discoveries, in a small vessel 
of this kind, to the Eastern Ocean, when he visited many of the numerous islands in this dangerous 
quarter. See Captain ForresFs Voyage to New Guinea and the Molucca Islands, in the Tartar 
g^alley- 

J On tins subject, I must again recur to the testimony of Mr. Ir>vin and Captain Forrest: both 

tliese gentlemen agree in the utility of oars, 

§ I met with a short tract of the Red Sea, translated by order of the Royal Society of London, by 
Sir Peter Wyche, from the MSS, of a Portuguese Jesuit, upwards of a hundred years ago. This 
Jesuit was well acquainted with the Red Sea, and his account agrees with all modern navigators. 
He observes, “ Authors divide this sea into three parts i the middle is clear and navigable, not without 
" some small islands and rocks, which, appearing above water, are of little danger. The other two 


ns 


LETTERS ON'INDIA. 


The boats should be manned by trusty black people of the Mahoraedan 
cast, of which description Bombay affords a sufficient number, and who 
should be 'strictly prohibited from trading 

At Mocha, two Company’s cruisers should be in waiting, one to sail for 
Bombay, and the other to the coast of Malabar. 

The cruisers and country boats should be under the orders of the Bom¬ 
bay government, and might be conducted without additional expense, un¬ 
der the marine establishment of that Presidency, Regulations should be 
framed, particularly adapted to this line of service. 

The dispatches of Bombay, and its northern dependencies, being sepa¬ 
rated at Mocha from those for Madras and Calcutta, one cruiser should 
depart from the first-mentioned settlement with its dispatches, whilst the 
other should sail for the Malabar coast, and land the dispatches for Madras 
and Bengal at Mangalore.' A post-master should forward them from thence 
to Madras, and so to Bengal. 

partV^ near the two shores of Arabia and Ethiopia, are of very bad passage, full of shoals, rocks, 
** and white coral, which, in the night especially, endanger passengers/^ \^ide the Translation, 
page 5S. 

o Komba\ are excellent sailors; wliile the unskilful management of the vessels 
employed by the Turks and Arabs on tbe Red Sea is fully ascertained by the testimony of Niebuhr, 
Do Tot, Irwin, Bruce, &c. &c. The people who navigate these vessels are almost totally-unac¬ 
quainted with the common principles of the profession, and frequently, on the appearance of a gale of 
wind, take to (heir boats, leaving the ship and cargo, and perhaps the passengers, to tlieir fate. In 
moderate weather they seldom lose sight of the coast, and uniformly come to anchor at night, let tlie 
wind be ever so favourable. This may appear wonderful, when we consider that Egypt was perhaps 
the first maritime iialion, and that commerce and navigation have ailvays been preserved in the Red 
Sea:—even at this day, Mr. Baldwin, the cojisii 1-general of Egypt, in a memorial presented to a com¬ 
mittee of the privy-council on the slave-trade, says, « That the trade from Cairo to Gedda, by sea. 
- employs upwards of fifty ships of two hnndred tons each, and some of one thousand tonsand 
th.is independently of a groat many smaller vessels. This fact was not generally known, even to men 
in office, at the time of Buonapartehs expedition to Egypt, although the autiior had published the cir- 
tn his Travels over laml to 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


119 


. By this route, Jetters could He delivered at Madr'as in four days, and at 
Calcutta in twenty, from the period of their arrival at Mangalore, which, 
if added to forty-nine days twenty hours, the time required by the hrst 
statement makes, in all, to Madras, fifty-three days twenty hours, to 
Calcutta sixty-nine days twenty hours. 

Mangalore being the centrical point from which the correspondence 
from Great Britain should be forwarded to our possessions on the coast of 
Coromandel, Bengal, and its dependencies, so it should also be the place 
wliere the intelligence of India should be collected, before it is transmitted 
home. The public dispatches from Bengal, Madras, the Carnatic, and 
coast of Malabar, might at this place be added, with evident advantage, to 
those of Bombay, and our possessions to the northward. 

The dispatches being closed, a cruiser should sail direct from this port 
to Mocha, w^here the country boats are proposed to be stationed, to carry 
them to Suez, and from thence to London, by the means already men¬ 
tioned. 

The postage should be paid on India letters as far as Mangalore, and 
the remainder received on their arrival in England. The post-masters in 

^ This statement is made on the supposition of the packets being landed at Bombay^ calculating 
the passage from Suez to that place at twenty-five days. The packets to Madras and Calcutta are 
proposed to be landed at Mangalorej mstead of Bombay, by which three or four days^ time will be 
gained, and may fairly be deducted from tlie above calculation»—difference in distance by the 
chart. Besides tliis advantage in regard to the voyage, that from the journey is greatly superior. 
It will baobserved, that, by tlie present route from Bombay to Madras and Calcutta, by the way of 
Poona and Hydrabad, through the dominions of the Malirattas and the Nizam, it requires twenty-sis 
days to Madras, and to Calcutta thirty-sis, for the delivery of letters 5 whereas by the route proposed^ 
^vhlch is entirely through our own country, or that of our immediate dependants, eKceptmg IBO miles 
of the Cuttac, betwixt Ganjam and British Orixa, letters would be delivered at Madras nineteen, and 
at Calcutta fourteen days earlier 5 '—a circumstance of very material importance, and alone sufficient 
to justify a decided preference. 


118 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


The boats should be manned by trusty black people of the Mahomedan 
cast, of which description Bombay affords a sufficient number, and who 
should be “strictly prohibited from trading 

At Mocha, two Company’s cruisers should be in waiting, one to sail for 
Bombay, and the other to the coast of Malabar. 

The cruisers and country boats should be under the orders of the Bom¬ 
bay government, and might be conducted without additional expense, un¬ 
der the marine establishment of that Presidency. Regulations should be 
framed, particularly adapted to this line of service. 

The dispatches of Bombay, and its northern dependencies, being sepa¬ 
rated at Mocha from those for Madras and Calcutta, one cruiser should 
depart from the first-mentioned settlement with its dispatches, whilst the 
other should sail for the Malabar coast, and land the dispatches for Madras 
and Bengal at Mangalore,' A post-master should forward them from thence 
to Madras, and so to Bengal, 

** parts near the two shores of Arabia and Ethiopia, are of very bad passage, full of shoals, rocks, 
and white coral, which, in the night especialiy, endanger passengers." Vide tlie Translation^ 
page 5S. 

* The Lascars of Bombay are excellent sailors; \vliile the unskilful management of the vessels 
employed by the Turks and Arabs on the Red Sea Is fully ascertained by the testimony of Niebuhr, 
Dc Tot, Irwin, Bruce, &c. &c. The people who navigate these vessels are almost totally-iinac* 
quainted with the common principles of the profession, and frequently, on the appearance of a gale of 
wind, take to (heir boats, leaving the ship ami cargo, and perhaps the passengers, to their fate. In 
moderate weather they seldom lose sight of the coast, and uniformly come to anchor at night, let the 
wind be ever so favourable. This may appear wonderful, when we consider that Egypt was perhaps 
the first maritime nation, and that commerce and navigation have always been preserved in the Red 
^nay, Mr. Baldwin, the consul-general of Egypt, in a memorial presented to a com¬ 
mittee of the privy-council on the slave-trade, says, “ That the trade from Cairo to Gedda, by sea. 
'• employs upwards of fifty ships of two hundred tons each, and some of one thousand tons and 
this independently of a great many smaller vessels. Tins fact was not generally known, even to men 
in oflice, at the time of Buonaparte’.s expedition to Egypt, although the author Iiad published the cir¬ 
cumstance in his Travels over laiitl to India. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


119 


. By this route, letters could be delivered at Madras in four days, and at 
Calcutta in twenty, from the period of their arrival at Mangalore, which, 
if added to forty-nine days twenty hours, the time required by the first 
statement makes, in all, to Madras, fifty-three days twenty hours, to 
Calcutta sixty-nine days twenty hours- 

Mangalore being the centrical point from which the correspondence 
from Great Britain should be forwarded to our possessions on the coast of 
Coromandel, Bengal, and its dependencies, so it should also be tbe place 
where the intelligence of India should be collected, before it is transmitted 
home. The public dispatches from Bengal, Madras, the Carnatic, and 
coast of Malabar, might at this place be added, with evident advantage, to- 
those of Bombay, and our possessions to the northward. 

The dispatches being closed, a cruiser should sail direct from this port 
to Mocha, where the country boats are proposed to be stationed, to carry 
them to Suez;^ and from thence to London, by the means already men¬ 
tioned. 

The postage should be paid on India letters as far as Mangalore, and 
the remainder received on their arrival in England. The post-masters in 

* This statement is made on llie supposition of the packets being landed at Bombay, calculating 
tlie passage from Suez to tliat place at twenty-five days. The packets to Madras and Calcutta^ arc 
proposed to be landed at Mangalore, instead of Bombay, by which three or four days time uill be 
gained, and may fairly be deducted flora tlie above calculation.—^Vide difference in distance by the 
cliart. Besides this advantage in regard to the voyage, that from the journey is greatly superior. 
It will be.observed, that, by tlie present route from Bombay to Madras and Calcutta, by the way of 
Poona and Hydrabad, througli the dominions of the Mahrattas and the Nizam, it requires twenty-six 
days to Madras, and to Calcutta thirty-six, for the delivery of letters; whereas by tire route proposed, 
which is entirely through our own country, or that of our immediate dependants, excepting 180 miles 
of the Cuttac, betwixt Ganjam and British Orixa, letters wmuld be delivered at Madras nineteen, and 
at Calcutta fourteen days earlier;—a circumstance of very material importance, and alone sufBcient 
to justify a decided preference. 


LISTTERS ON INDIA. 


12& 

India, who are cwil servants, of the Company, and appointed by the go-" 
vernments there, would conduct the business in that quarter as a.part of 
the present establishment. 

To demonstrate the favourable situation of Mangalore for the purpose, 
it is sufEcLcnt to cast an eye over the map of IndiaThe Malabar letters 
would be conveyed there expeditiously, and those from Calcutta, sent to 
Madras in sixteen days, would be transmitted with the Madras advices, 
across the Peninsula, in four days., to Mangalore. Dispatches would then 
■be received in London from Madras in seventy-one days eight hours, and 
•from Calcutta in eighty-seven days eight hours T* 

It may be necessary to observe, that a small dispatch boat, during cer¬ 
tain seasons, would be very useful on the coast of Coromandel. Advices 
to and from'Calcutta could be transmitted to and from Madi-as in less than 
eight days. The utmost punctuality should be observed in ■ forwarding 
advices, whether by sea or land, from the different Presidencies, in order 
that they might arrive at the central spot within a day or two of each 
other j a thing perfectly practicable in India, where the regularity of the 
seasons would authorise calculations of this nature to a great degree of 
niceness and certainty. 

Should a plan be adopted of the nature proposed, a little experience of 
the periodical winds and currents in the Red Sea (for it is certain that our 
knowledge of this navigation has till of late been very circumscribed) 
would enable us exactly to fix the periods at which the packets from Eng¬ 
land and those from India ought to be made up at the respective stations, 
and finally dispatched, 'viz. from London towards India, and from Manga¬ 
lore to England., Occasional ofiicial dispatches could be conveyed by boats 

Vide tlie Map of India, published by Major ReiineU. 
t Or rather iu three or' four days less, for die reason mentioned in the preceding page. 


LETTERS OK INDIA. 


121 


ready for cases of exigency, and these to be considered as exclusive of the 
regular establishment. 

Colonel Wood very properly remarks that, until of late years, the 
** navigation of the Red Sea has been very little known j and, as northerly 
** winds generally prevail in the upper part of the Gulf, betwixt Juddah and 
Suez, in which part are situated the only dangerou^ shoals, vessels have 
on that account made very tedious passages, having, on account of the 
** shoals, lost, during the night, the distance which they gained during the 
** day. As the shoals and channels begin at present to be very well 
known, this will no doubt greatly expedite the passage up the Red 
“ Sea.” 

The only chart that can be at all depended on of the Red Sea, and par¬ 
ticularly of die upper part of the Gulf^ from Cape Mahomed^ to Suez, has 
been published by Mr. Faden; but, nevertheless, much is yet required 
to form a correct chart. A survey of this sea would not be unwordiy 
the public spirit and patronage of the East-India Company. 

Pliny -f* informs us, that the Romans were well acquainted with the pe¬ 
riodical winds in the Red Sea, and the monsoons in the Indian Ocean. In 
sailing for India, they left the port of Berenice, on the Red Sea, in the 
summer months, when the wind blows from the north, and made the coast 
of Malabar in the south-west monsoon, which they met without the Straits 
of Babelmandel. They returned across the Indian Ocean with the north¬ 
east monsoon, when they met with a southerly or south-west wind on their 
entering the Red Sea. Mr. Bruce, the celebrated traveller, who has made 
many judicious observations on the Red Sea, from.Cape Mahomed to the 
Island of Perim, remarks, that it is known to all those who are ever so 

* That gentleman’s journal of the voyage, in his own possession, and not yet published, 
d Nat. Hist, lib, vi. cap. xxiii. 




V22 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


little versant in the history of Egypt, that the wind from the north pre- 
vails in that valley all the summer months, and is called the Etesian 
“winds: it sweeps the valley from north to south, that being the dlrec- 
“ tion of Egypt and of the Nile, which runs through the midst of it. The 
two chains of mountains which confine Egypt on the east and west 
“ constrain the wind to take this precise direction. 

“ We may naturally suppose the same would be the case in the Arabian 
“ Gulf, had that narrow sea been in a direction parallel to the land of 
Egypt, or due north and south. The Arabian Gulf, however, or what 
“ we call the Red Sea, lies from nearly north-west to south-east from Suez 
** to Mocha, It then turns nearly east and west till it joins the Indian 
“ Ocean, at the Straits of Babelmandel. The Etesian winds, which are 
“ due north’in Egypt, here take the direction of the Gulf, and blow in 
“ that direction steadily all the season, while it continues north in the Val- 
« ley of Egypt j that is, from April to October the wind blows north- 
“ west, up the Arabian Gulf towards the Straits j and from November till 
** March directly contrary, down the Arabian Gulf, from the Straits of 
“ Babelmaiidei to Suez and the Isthmus. These winds, which some cor- 
“ ruptly call the {nide-windsy is a very erroneous name given to them, and 
apt to confound narratives, and make them unintelligible. A trade-wind 
« is a wind which, all the year through, blows, and has ever blown, from 
“ the same point ,of the horizon : such is the south-west south of the line 
“ in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. On the contrary, these winds, of 
“ which we have now spoken, are called 7}W!isoo}is •, each year they blow 
** six months from the northward, and the other six months from the 
“ southward, in the Arabian Gulf; while, in the Indian Ocean, without 
'* the Straits of Babelmandel, they blow just the contrary, at the same 
seasons; that is, in summer from the soutliward, and in winter from the 
“ northward, subject to a small inflection to the east and to the west. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


1:13 


It may be necessary here to observe, that a vessel sailing -from Suez, 
“ or the Elanitic Gulf, fn any of the summer months, will find a steady 
wind at north-west, which will cany it in .the direction of the Gulf of 
Mocha. At Mocha, the coast is east and west to the Straits of Babel- 
mandel, so that the vessel from Mocha will have variable winds for a 
short space, but mostly westerly, and these will carry her on to the 
Straits. She has then done with the monsoon in the Gulf, which was 
« from the north, and, being in the Indian Ocean, is taken up by the 

4) 

“ monsoon which blows in the summer months there, and is directly con- 
trary to what obtains in the Gulf. This is a south-wester, which car- 
ries the vessel with a flowing sail to any part in India, without delay or 
impediment. The same happens upon her return home. She sails in 
the winter months by the monsoon proper to that sea, thal; is, with a 
“ north-east, which carries her through the Straits of Babelmandel. She 
" finds, within the Gulf, a wind at south-east, directly contrary to what 
was in the ocean; but then her course is contrary likewise, so that a 
« south-easter, answering to the direction of the Gulf, carries her directly 
“ to Suez, or the Elanitic Gulf, to which ever way she proposes going. 

** Hitherto, all is plain, simple, and easy to be understood ; and this was 
the reason why, in tlie earliest ages, the Indian trade was carried on . 
“ without difficulty.” 

It is rather singular that Mr. Bruce, like many others, applies the. term 
Arabian Gulf to the Red Sea. Modern navigators, and most books writ- ‘ 
ten on the subject, hold the Arabian Gulf to be the sea which separates 
the coast of Arabia from that of India; and this distinction appears to be 
just. What Mr. Bruce mentions as the south-west trade-wind to the south¬ 
ward of the line, is certainly meant for the south-east, which blows con¬ 
stantly between twelve degrees and thirty degrees 'south, and which from 

R 2 


I2i 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


the end of May to the middle of September extends nearly to the equa¬ 
tor i the remainder of the year the north-west winds prevail. The south- 
v/est monsoon, which blows, to the northward, never reaches the line, and 
consequently does not prevail to the southward of it. 

The Etesian winds, says Mr. Bruce, blow in summer fi om the noith, 
through the Valley of Egypt; ‘ and ancient Egypt, in the times of the 
Persian monarchy, we understand from Strabo, did not extend to the shores 
of the Pvcd Sea, but was considered merely as that valley which the Nile 
covers with its waters, and sheltered on either side by a chain of moun¬ 
tains, approximating in some places within eight miles, and at others still 
considerably nearer. The position of these mountains in a parallel direc¬ 
tion, almost north and south, acts as a kind of funnel, and accounts for 
the long course of northerly winds met with in the higher part of the 
Red Sea, where the wind, either set at liberty by the openings of the 
mountains, or thrown off by the eastern range, takes the direction of the 
Red Sea, and carries its influence as far as the line of direction will allow, 
that is, to the twenty-fifst degree of north latitude. Here it meets the 
south-east monsoon, which blows strong from the entrance of the gulf 
eight months iA the year, taking in the same manner the direction of the 
Red Sea, as high as Juddah; these opposite winds create a confused short 
sea, wdiich renders the in-shore channels more proper than the middle one, 
both for the navigation and the rowing of a small vessel. 

There is only one channel in the Red Sea proper for vessels of burthen, 
and even that is not without considerable danger, from being so little 
known to European navigators. The Arabian coast, from the Straits of 
Babelmandel to Mocha, is bold and free from rocks: above that, on the 
same side, it abounds with numberless shoals, low islands, rocks, and in¬ 
tricate channels. The western, or African shore, is much more free from 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


I2J 


these ohstrnctions, and consequently safer. Its harbours have the pectiliar 
advantage of being clear of bars and banks of sand, which choke up aU 
most ail these on the western Side, and which may reasonably be supposed 
to proceed from the set of the current, and the numberless low sandy 
islands, which, from being continually agitated, collect in great quantities, 
and occasion the evil complained of. 

The harbours in the dominions of the Imamutn of Saana, or province 
of Yemen, bounded on the north by Ras Heli, situated about the eighteenth 
degree of north latitude, has been mentioned as the most eligible for the 
resort of Europeans. The intercourse, particularly with the English and 
other trading nations, has given his subjects a more liberal turn of mind 
than the Arabians of the Hejaz; and this good effect is considerably 
assisted by the mild and lenient government of their prince, who cherishes 
the principles of commerce and universal benevolence. The harbours of 
note in his dominions are Mocha, Lohiea, and Hoddeda, where water and 
refreshments of all kinds may be had. In the districts of the Hejaz are 
situated the ports of Juddab,. Yambo, Konfodah, and El-Har: in all of 
which, particularly the last, .refreshments are procurable, though the attempit 
to procure them is attended with difficulty and danger. After entering the 
Gulf of Suez, the harbour of Tor affords good anchorage and ■excellent 
water. On the western shore, there are several small islands that afford 
anchorage, some water, and a little wood : the principal are the islands of 
Masuah and Dahalac, and the harbours of Suakem and Cossire. The river 
Frat is not clearly ascertained, . but supposed to be. a navigable river, op¬ 
posite to Juddah, from which, if exactly explored, many advantages might 
be derived. At most of these places water is to be had; sheep, fdwis, 
and some vegetables, goats, and other refreshments. The northerly 
winds that prevail so long in the higher part of the Red Sea, and die dif- 


123 


letters on inbia. 


liculty of entering the Hieropolitic Gulf* at certain seasons, would render 
a good understanding with the people of Cossire particularly useful. Cossire 
is the first town in Upper Egypt, and is much frequented by trading vessels 
from Juddali and other parts of the Gulf, particularly for transporting 
grain from the fertile countries which are watered by the Nile to the coast 
of Arabia, where it is in great demand. Cossire is situated in north lati¬ 
tude twenty-six degrees seven minutes twenty-one seconds. Almost due 
west, not distant more than one hundred miles, stands Ghinna, on the 
banks of the Nile, to which place a frequent intercourse is maintained by 
means of caravans tliat collect in its neighbourhood, from Syene Esne, and 
the parts adjacent, in the kingdom of Upper Egypt. The passage from 
thence down to Cairo would be speedily accomplished with the stream of 
the river, in place of crossing the Desert of Thebais, an extent of three 
hundred and twenty miles over barren sands, infested with robbers and 
banditti. Packets navigating above Juddah in the months of September, 
October, and November, could land their dispatches at Cossire, to be for-« 
warded to Cairo ; and by this means saVe a considerable time and after¬ 
wards proceed on with duplicates to Suez, to be in readiness to 'return to 
India with intelligence from Europe. 

It may not in this place be either unnecessary or unacceptable to explain 
something of the nature of the monsoons in the Indian Ocean, and on the 
peninsula of India, especially as it is so evidently connected with the sub¬ 
ject in question. 

The word monsoon is taken from the Malay language, and signifies a 
season- In India, amongst sea-faring people, it means the periodical 

/ 

* The navigation of the liigher region of the Red Sea is the most difficult and precarious, espe¬ 
cially tlie Straits of Suez, which commence at Ras Mahomed, and where the wdnd generally blows iu 
tlie direction of that narrow gul£ 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


J27 


winds, which are denominated according to the quarter irom which the 
wind blows, such as the south-west or north-east monsoons. 

At landy the word monsoon is applied as a general distinction between 
the seasons: viz. the periodical rains and the dry season^ by prefixing, as 
is the case with sea-faring people, the quarter from which the wind comes 
when the change takes place. 

The periodical rains in India commence at different periods In different 
parts of it, and even in the same parallels of latitude i in general their set- 
ing~in is attended with heavy storms of wind, accompanied by thunder 
and lightning. The first fortnight is by much the most severe, and the 
rain is almost incessant. After this period, the violence of the monsoon is 
over, and between the showers the air is agreeably cool, and the country 
pleasant. On the western side of India the Ghaut mountains run in a^ di¬ 
rection parallel with the coast, from Cape Comorin to the latitude of Su¬ 
rat, and from thirty to fifty miles inland, which forms the coast of Mala- 
bar, ^the Concan, &c. On the eastern side, there is a similar range, but 
more distant from the Bay of Bengal; the territory situated between the 
bay and these mountains is generally termed the Carnaticthe interme¬ 
diate space between these two ranges forms the kingdoUi of Mysore, the 
districts of Tippoo, the Mahrattas, and Nizam. The monsoon approaches 
from the south and west, and I should apprehend that the Island of Cey¬ 
lon is the first visited by the periodical rains, in tlie beginning of May. 

The cause of these rains is the violent exhalations in the vicinity of the 
equator, propelled by the strong west winds from the coast of Africa: 
these clouds, pregnant with rain, are broke in their easterly course by the 
lofty mountains of the Ghauts, w'here they are attracted, and hover /or a 
certain period till the lotver country is completely overflowed. The rains 
commence in the latitude of Cochin, Calicut, and Tellicherry, from the 


128 


LETTERS ON ‘INDIA. 


1 jth to the doth of May, and as the clouds have to travel to the north¬ 
ward, they are something later in higher latitudes: for instance, at Bom¬ 
bay and Surat the rains do not set in till the 10th or 15th of June, ^which 
is generally the commencement of the rainy season all over the- Giizarat. 
It would appear that the clouds having performed their functions on the 
western side, pass over to the eastern side, also through the attraction of the 
mountains : for the Carnatic has not the henefit of the rains'till the 24 th 
of October, -at the time they have entirely ceased on the western side of 
India. The reason.of this is., the clouds being stopped in their easterly 
rlirection. by the Ghaut mountains, and for a time attached to them, find a 
difficulty in passing over the elevated countries of Tippoo : and when this 
is-effected, the rains are not so violent as on the Malabar side, from the 
quantity of rain expended on the first approach of the monsoon from the 
south-west- The middle country, or table land, partakes of both mon¬ 
soons; but the rains are not so heavy as in the low country. The im¬ 
mense torrents that rush from the mountains, and the clouds dashing 
against them, make the fall of water and the quantity much greater than 
in the elevated plain.: the .rains all over the peninsula last with more or 
dess violence for about four successive months, during which time the 
grounds are tilled for grain; and .in September or October the crop is ga¬ 
thered in. Fxom diis cu'cumstance the kingdoms situated between the 
Ghauts are not so productive ol rice as the low countries-of Malabar and 
the Carnatic: other grains that do not require so much moisture are the 
abundant produce-of these climates. -On the coast of Malabar, and to the 
northern extremity .of the Lidlan Ocean, or rather tlie Arabian Gulf, the 
•south-west wind prevails during the rainy season, and is therefore termed 
the south-west monsoon. During the fair weather the north-east is the 
-prevailing wind, although durijig the season, which is termed the north- 


LETTERS ON INDIA: 


12? 

east monsoon, strong southerly and north-westerly winds have theii- pro¬ 
portion ; the former from the end of April to the beginning or middie of 
June, and the latter in the months of February, March, and part of April. 
At Calcutta the rainy season commences about much the same time as at 
Surat and Bombay, viz. the 10th or 15th of June. The reason.of this is 
evident: about the latitude of Surat, the country getting quit of the lofty 
mountains of the Ghauts, opens on all sides, and gives a free passage to 
the clouds; which continue their northerly course till they are checked by 
the mountains of Rungpore. It is also pretty certain, that the clouds, in¬ 
terrupted in their course by the high island of Ce}don, are broken; at 
which time a division of them find their way up the Bay of Bengal to¬ 
wards the Ganges. The continuance of the rains in Bengal is also about 
four months, during which time the south-west winds prevail in the Bay 
of Bengal, as does the north-east during the fair-weather monsoon. 

To resume the subject before us, it will, it is to be presumed, be no in¬ 
considerable inducement to give the plan which I have proposed a fair trial, 
should it appear that it may be done with a very moderate expense to the 
Company.- 

The Directors now avail themselves of the regular posts on the conti¬ 
nent for the. conveyance of their dispatches by Yienna to Constantinople. > 

The same mode might be adopted, with no increase of expense, for 
conveying their dispatches to Messina. 

It is necessary tliat an agent should be appointed at Messina, to have 
under his charge two or three packet-boats for the conveyance of the 

^ The packet-boats in the Mediterranean should be from 70 to SO tons 5 those between Suez and 
Mediaa smailer construction, I am inclined to Uiink that a vessel sometlirng oii the model of the 
Tartar galley, or nearly on the same principle, and drawing about three feel and adialf or four feet 
water, would answer the purpose*—-Sec Captain FoitesCs description of the Tartar galley, in his 
Voyage to the Molucca Islands* 


letters on INDIA. 


ISO 

dispatches from thence to Alexandria, and for bringing back those for¬ 
warded to that port from India. 

The expense of forwarding the dispatches through Egypt to Suesj must 
be inconsiderable. 

The packet-boats proposed to be employed in the Red Sea, and the 
cruisers between Mocha and the Malabar coast, may be included under 
the existing Marine Establishment at Bombay, without any additional 

expense. 

Post-masters are already stationed through India; and any small addition 
to their establishment would be reimbursed by the inland India postage 
It-will appear from this statement, that the only material expense m the 
plan would be, what might be thought ht, to allow for the establishment 
of packet-boats in the Mediterranean, and an agent at Messina. 

“ It will naturally be supposed, that nothing, excepting the fear of in- 
“ curring a very heavy expenscj” says Colonel Capper, in his Observa¬ 
tions on the Passage to India, can prevent or retard the execution'of .a 
plan founded on both policy and humanity ; but it may cisily be proved, 
that if an act of parliament should pass to establish a post for india let— 
** ters, Government, or tlie East-India Company, might gain considerably 
** by it. It is unnecessary to enter into a long series of calculation to 
prove the truth of this assertion ; but if Government will only give its 
“ sanction and support to the plan, many individuals will be found who 
will make the necessary advance of money, and, in snort, defray the 
“ whole expense, upon being allowed to leceive only a leasonable postage 

“ on the letters. 

*( j^y the several ways of the Cape of Goc5d fdope, Suez, and Bussorah, 

* Tlie postage on inland ieUers, as well as on those to anti Aoni Europe, if properly attended tor 
and welL regulated, uiiglA beeonie a source of considerable revenue to tbe Company. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


1-31 


we shall be able to send dispatches to and from India at all seasons ; but 
being excluded from any one of them, there will be an anxious interval 
of some months in every year, when we shall be mutually ignorant of 
what is passing In the different countries. To have a constant succes- 
sion of intelligence established, almost as regular as our posts, at home 
« would be, but at a very trifling, if any, expense, would afford general 
" satisfaction to every person concerned in India affairs, and, at the same 
time, be productive of innumerable advantages both to Government and 
the East-India Company.” 

As there is no evil, so extremely prejudicial, but what is accompanied 
by some concomitant good, so, in the present instance, the recent inva¬ 
sion of Egypt by the French may carry along with it some advantages. 

That invasion has contributed to give us considerable experience of the 
navigatipii of the Red Sea. Our intercourse in that quarter must, no 
doubt, greatly contribute to our maritime knowledge of the channels, 
winds, tides, and currents, of those parts, hitherto so little explored by 
men of observation and science in their profession. The numerous har¬ 
bours situated ou the Asiatic and African shores of the Red Sea have been 
visited and exainined, and the places ascertained where there is the best an¬ 
chorage, and where wood, w^ater, and provisions, may be procured. 

From accidental causes, great benefits have frequently arisen, as well as 
great discoveries. Let us therefore hope, that, independently of what I 
have already mentioned, more attention will be paid to the relative situ¬ 
ation of Egypt than has been hitherto shown by the British Government. 
Some sanguine and warm imaginations have already fancied the English 
paramount at Alexandria, amf in complete possession of the communica¬ 
tion with Suez, However this may be, our naval superiority in the Red 
Sea, with an establishment in the Island of Perim, which in some d^-gree 
commandos the Straits of Babelmandel, and the entrance of that sea, is un- 


1S5 


LEITERS ON INDIA. 


questionable. The advantages to be derived from these circumstances are 
therefore to be considered. Let them be arranged by those in wliose hands 
the government of our possessions in India are confided. The Turks, as 
a degraded people, will listen to any oveituresj and establishments in the 
Mediterranean are essential: nay, in the present crisis of public affairs, 
absolutely indispensable to the prosperity of this country. The only dan¬ 
ger to be apprehended is the influence of the French in the Divan of Con¬ 
stantinople. Old attachments^ and, indeed, political interests, are not 
easily overturned i neither can they be well altered from the natural course 
in which they are to flow. I have before remarked, that the coalition of 
Russia, Austria, and f/ic Turk, was incongruous and such as could not 
long exist. 'The jealousy and the fears of the Grand Seignior must ever 
be awake to the encroachments of Austria and Russia. In political afihirs, 
near-neighbours but seldom are friends. Political relations assume Ae form 
of a chess-board, where the piece that pccupies each intermediate square 
assumes a hostile position. Scotland, while unfortunately divided by go¬ 
vernment, though connected by nature with England, was the friend and 
ally of France. France, contiguous to Germany, was the ally of Sweden ; 
and, from the same circumstance, the friend and ally also of the Turks. 
For a like reason, Britain, divided from Austria by France, and from 
Russia by Sweden, the-ally of France, was attached, by reciprocal in¬ 
terests and good offices, to. both these empires. The Italian states were, 
and arc, better affected to the English than to the French % so also were 
the Spaniards, before they were first cajoled by the family compact, and 
afterwards humbled by the French republic.—In short, friendship and as¬ 
sistance must, in all instances, be expected' from the back ground; for 
proximity, in general, is a source of contention. 

1 remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. ■ 

Vide Travels from England to India. pivbUshtd in 1795* by MaiorTavlor.. 



Jfk> uprhjht //Vir,!- /iori 





thimsitml ^HmriiL' mi'h. 


t^Ah'hnrH 



















































































































































































LETTERS ON INDIA, 


333 


LETTER XI, 

i - 

Thoughts-OTi Commerce—Disquisition on Free Trade to India — Pcij'ticipa^ 
tio 7 i required bp British Merchants resident in India^ and their Agents ifi 
this Count/y—^Skai-e which they ought to enjoy-—And what should be re- 
served to the FastAndia Companyt Kc^ 

' T . ■ ■ ■ 

DEAR SIR^. \ London, April 18th, 1800; 

It has been somewhere remarke.d, that Divine Providence permits die 
mutual wants of mankind, that all nations may communicate with each 
other, and form themselves into an universal republic. Individual families, 
isolated and solitary nations and tribes, are found in a savage, or at best a 
barbarous, state. Mutual wants and superfluities draw mankind together 
from different parts of the world. By intercourses of commerce, inter¬ 
courses of another kind are advanced : and a comparison of ideas, and a 
collision of minds, give birth and growth to ai'ts and sciences, and all that 
bestows comfort and grace on life. In the present age of extended inter¬ 
course and knowledge, it is on commerce that sovereign powers chiefly 
depend for those resources which are indispensably necessary to the com¬ 
plicated apparatus, and machinery of war, waged now on a greater scale 
than formerly, as well as on a more varied and extensive theatre. 

We cannot, however, help observing with regret the evils which have 
been occasioned to mankind by rivality and jealousy, in the prosecution of 
that very commerce which has advanced modern Europe to the highest 
improvement in arts and sciences, rewarded the artisan for his ingenious 
production, the sailor for his toils, and the man of science for his most 
painful researches. When human nature^ impelled by avarice, and forget- 



LETTERS ON INDIA. 

ful of the expanded virtues to whicJi commerce has given birth, seeks after 
it in the turbid streams of discord, we have to lament those frailties and 
weaknesses which are inseparable from our existence. 

Thus it is that mankind in general are in a continued state of warfare 
with eacli other, and that individuals are eternally involved in strife and 
litigation. Conciliation in either case is difficult, arid the greatest evils 
can be averted only by powerful mediation, judiciously and moderately 

applied. 

The quarrels of nations, on the subject of commercial arrangements, it 
is to be observed, are not so dangerous as domestic jealousies. The ener¬ 
gies of an entire counti'y are firmly united to maintain the general interest; 
while, on the other hand, faction and party, exceeding the bounds of 
prudence, and excited by violent detestation and enmity, plunge alter¬ 
nately into the most destructive measures, in opposition to each other. 
The welfare of the state is by tliis means neglected ; every thing gives 
place to private resentment; domestic ties are forgotten; and a connection 
with foreign povyers, distinct from that interest which it is our duty to 
respect, is ultimately formed ; capital is removed to other countries; pub¬ 
lic cenfidehee is destroyed; and commeree; fickle and fugacious in its 
nature, quits the shores of one kingdom in order to enrich those of an¬ 
other. The dereliction of trade is speedily followed by the loss of every 
thing that commands respect, or produces superiority. 

Were it to the present purpose, we might contemplate with the greatest 
satisfaction the early connection between commerce and civilisation, and 
the effects of both in promoting the civil liberties as well as the political 
institutions -of marikind. We should then discover the inestimable pro¬ 
perties of commercial intercourse, and kno%v how to appreciate the bless- 
ingswhich we now enjoy. An equal distribution of wealth, and a free 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 

circulation of the precious metals, promotes the comfort and happiness of 
mankind, as they also tend to establish and preserve social order, good 
faith, and moral character. With the tide of commerce, all that is enviable 
in our nature is carried along. At the full, it elevates the mind, and pro¬ 
motes the operation of the noblest passions; while, on the other hand, in 
proportion as it recedes, it is accompanied in its reflux by the same virtues 
it had gradually introduced. In the transit of commerce, the unhappy 
country is left at last poor and dispirited, ready to receive the. shackles of 
slavery and arbitrary power. That which distinguishes a barbarous from 
a savage nation is the introduction of the agricultural arts. The savage, 
as a fisherman or huntsman, is sanguinary and cruelthe barbarian, an 
agricultural being, far less ferocious j and, between both, the line is not 
very distant. But, in the ascent to civilisation and refinement, habits of 
industry and commerce incline the barbarian, by progressive though slow 
degrees, to the nice and delicate feelings of sensibility and intellectual en¬ 
joyment. Were it possible, with the loss of commerce, to retrace our 
steps to the situation of the barbarian, where martial virtue and honour, 
in place of political restrictions, serve to guide his way, it would be some 
satisfaction, to the human mind : but where is there a country in the an¬ 
nals of the world, where a great commercial people having lost their inde¬ 
pendency, without the introduction of a new race of men, were even able 
to assert a character so honourable, so fair, and manly, as the unlettered 
.barbarian? Vice, enervation, debasement of sentiment, obliterate all the 
manly virtues in the mind of those who have once tasted the overturned 
cup of affluence and liberty. In their descendants the corruption is com¬ 
pleted ; from which state they are consigned, as it were by the hand of 
Providence, never more to return. 

If these are the advantages to be derived from commerce; if these are 


LTITTERS ON INDIA. 


the criteria by which commerce was originally attracted; and if its loss 
must render life terrible and no longer to be endured | how invaluable must 
it he to Great Britain.! A country like our own, Tvhose physical produc¬ 
tions are scarcely adequate to the consumption of it,s inhabitants, whose 
existence and happiness depend on the success and magnitude of her 
commercial pursuits, holds a stake of the first importance. With the 
prosperity of this empire there is involved that of her eastern and western 
dependencies in both the Indies j and, by a re-aetion and assimilation in 
their preservation, there is doubtless concentered all that is dear to Eng¬ 
lishmen —libertij and mdcpcndence. 

Our commerce with India has, for a period of nearly two hundred yerrs, 
been conducted on the footing of exclusive trade. The East-India Com¬ 
pany, from the year 1600 to the year 179-1, had enjoyed, with little inter- ^ 
ruption,-- all the privileges of an exclusive monopoly of trade to the East 
Indies, with the exception of a very small share conceded by themselves 
to the captains and officers in their commercial employment. This they 
termed, in contradistinction to the comprehensive scale of their own com¬ 
merce, private trade. This trade was, however-, much limited and bur- 
thened with heavy restrictions, besides the payment of duties to the Com¬ 
pany of seven per cent, on some, and seventeen per cent, on other articles. 
On the gross sales at the India-House, the government duties and excise 
were also to be paid. 

Monopolies, in general, have met with great opposition, and much dis¬ 
gust has been occasioned by them. Individual adventurers, who are will¬ 
ing to risk their capitals in fair speculations, have* declared that competi- 
tion-is necessary to nourish and preserve commerce to any country; as, on 
the other hand, its suppression is calculated to withdraw both capital and 
industry to other nations. Liberal as the East-India Company may be. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


137 


they have not been able to prevent clamour; and the renewal or extinc¬ 
tion of their charter, when the period shall happen,.will prove the opinion 
of Government in regard to the utility of that Company to the state, as 
connected with the interest of individuals. Rights, it. must be allowed, 
are sacred things, especially when solemnly guaranteed by the faith of par¬ 
liament ; and there is, at the same time, much to be urged in favour of 
an establishment sanctioned for so considerable a length of time by the 
wisdom and experience of the legislature. From these circumstances we 
should be glad to see differences adjusted, and all animosities for ever 
obliterated between the East-India Company and the individual traders 
and manufacturers of Great Britain. This great object is only to be at¬ 
tained by a conciliatory mode of conduct, and by adopting, on the part of 
the Company, the wise maxims of moderation. 

In the course of the several investigations which took place prior to the 
renewal of the Company’s charter in 1794, great candour was evidently 
shown by his Majesty’s ministers. A system was recommended at that 
period, which, if pursued, would have doubtless set at rest all feuds and 
contention. It was evidently the wish at that lime to continue to the pre¬ 
sent East-India Company a regulated monopoly, and to ensure to our mer¬ 
chants and manufacturers certain and ample means of exporting to India, 
to the full extent of the demand of that country, the manufactures of 
Great Britain. It was further intended, that, in so &r as the produce of 
India affords raw materials for the manufactures of Great Britain or Ire¬ 
land, those articles should be brought home at a rate as reasonable as the 
circumstances of the two countries would admit. 

This basis seemed to afford a well-grounded hope that every body would 
be satisfied, as a liberal participation of India commerce to individuals of this 
country was clearly intended. Unfortunately, at the India House, opinions 

T 


138 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


prevailed in direct contradiction to the salutary measures hinted at by the 
India minister. Nothing less than the entire advantages of a strict exclu¬ 
sive trade in the hands of the Company, and the complete enjoyment of the 
carrying trade to and from India in those of the old shipping interest under 
their protection, was deemed sufficient to extricate the Company from the 
deplorable situation which recent innovations had occasioned. When 
men’s imaginations are once heated, it is difficult to bring them back to 
calmness and reason. A spirit of indignation, which had before become 
pretty general, was now violently roused against all traders to the ^ast 
not in the employment of tlie Company, and more particularly those who 
were natives of this country. By some unaccountable perversion, claii- 
desthie traders were denominated illicit trada's, and the evident distinction 
between these terms totally destroyed. The moderate views of Mr. Dundas^ 
were not approved j and that gentleman, in conjunction with Mr. Pitt, in 
recommending them, said, that he trusted the Court of Directors would 
soon be satisfied, by experience, that the adoption of them would be no ways 
prejudicial to their interests ; but if Mr. Pitt and himself had not been 
fortunate enough to convince them in that respect, and they' still con¬ 
sidered these concessions as sacrificing some part of their commercial in¬ 
terests, then that these gentlemen were at least sanguine in their expecta¬ 
tions that, in compliance with their opinions, the Directors would not 
conceive the sacrifices they were called upon to make of such moment as 
to justify them in refusing to try the experiment. 

The proposals alluded to were inclosed by Mr. Dundas for the informa¬ 
tion of the Court of Directors, and were principally intended, as indeed 
it was repeatedly declared in all stages of the business, to draw the clan¬ 
destine trade from perhaps an irregular course into a more orderly and 
justifiable channel. It was proposed, that all persons residing in India, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


3i9 


under the protection of the East-India Company, should be allowed to act 
on agency ibr any persons who might be pleased to appoint them; the 
persons so acting to be appointed under covenants with the East-India 
Companjf, and liable to the controul of the government in India. 

That all persons resident in India should be allowed to send home, in the 
Company’s ships, such goods as they pleased, paying a freight for the same 
not exceeding 15/. per ton, or such further sum as with the freight paid on 
the goods exported to India in the time of peace, the sum of 20/. per ton. 

That the charges made by the Company on the sales of goods shipped 
from India, by individuals, should not exceed 3/. per cent. 

That his Majesty's subjects in Great Britain and Ireland should be per¬ 
mitted to export all kinds of goods to India, with the exception of military 
stores, and of certain bulky articles of marine stores, viz. masts and spars, 
cordage, anchors, pitch and tar, and copper. The freight for such ex¬ 
ports to be at the rate of 5l. per ton in time of peace. 

That it should be lawful for the servants of the Company to recover 
their property in any foreign country, in the same manner as the rest of his 
Majesty’s subjects are or may be entitled to do. 

The declared opinions of such Comprehensive minds as those of the Chan¬ 
cellor of the Exchequer, and the President of the Board of Controul, could 
not fail to encourage and strengthen the free traders in the expectations they 
had formed. A committee, chosen by certain mercantile houses in India, 
from the agents, of that body in London, represented to the Court of Di¬ 
rectors that they had long foreseen the ill tendency of certain regulations 
which diverted the trade of India into the hands of foreigners, while British 
ships and British capitals remained unemployed. They declared their In¬ 
tention was to assist, as much as in their own power, to make London the 
grand emporium of Europe for Indian commodities, to make the Company 

T 2 


140 


LETTERS ON INHIA. 


the channel for their introduction, and to give them a beneficial share in 
the profits of this trade ; though not to constitute the Company, as it might 
once have been, the sole trader. 

Not only tlie free traders of India, but also the great body of the ma¬ 
nufacturers of Great Britain, and the Proprietors of the valuable mines 
and minerals of the kingdom, were permitted in the fullest manner to state 
their pretensions. They were attended to with great candour and com¬ 
placency, and at the same time with the utmost impartiality. 

It must however be allowed, that, on the part of the East-India Com¬ 
pany, great tenacity was shown, very justifiable to be sure in the Court of 
Dii'ectors, as the guardians of the rights of the Proprietors- They were ex¬ 
tremely loth to relinquish any part of what they conceived to be exclusive 
privileges in regard to Eastern commerce, and they would much rather, 
that favour shown to* individual traders should have flowed from tlieir 
bounty as a concession, than that they should be coerced by any legislative 
acts to grant a participation of the trade to India. So long accustomed 
to be without any rival in the British commerce to that eou-ntry, they could 
not be expected to regard the relinquishment of any part of it, even that 
part of it which the Company themselves had abandoned, otherwise than 
as an object of anxiety and alarm. Roused by the danger of innovations 
likely to be introduced into the commercial system of the Company, the 
Directors found themselves particularly called upon to counteract, as much 
as possible, the views and interests of the free traders j and in doing this, 
perhaps, there might be more attention given to the preservation of char¬ 
tered rights and splendor of the Company, than to the welfare of the state, 
as it is connected with the prosperity of the Company, and as thpy rela¬ 
tively are connected and depend on each other. 

From the whole mass of information thus furnished from all quarters of 


LETTERS ON INDIA. . I4I 

the nation, a system, grounded also on experience, and with a reference 
too to the pretensions of the East-India Company, was formed, which, 
perhaps, may rather be considered of a probationary nature than as perma¬ 
nent and decisive. 

It was intended by this system to unite as much as possible the general 
interest of all, with that regard to justice which was certainly due to the 
East-India Company. It was enacted amongst other wise and necessary 
measures, calculated to encourage the manufactures and promote the ex¬ 
port trade of this country, that the Company be laid under an obligation 
to provide, at reasonable rates of freight, between the thirty-first day of 
October in each year, and the first day of February in the following year, 
not less than three thousand tons of shipping for the purpose of carrying 
out to India the private trade of individuals, and for bringing back the 
returns of the same, and the private trade of other persons who should be 
lawfully entitled to import the same into this kingdom; and tliat further 
regulations should be made for augmenting the said quantity of tonnage, as 
circumstances might require. 

That in time of peace the rate of freights, which the Company should 
be entitled t© charge for the carriage of goods from Great Britain to India 
should not exceed 51. per ton; and that the rate of freight which they 
should be entitled to charge for the carriage of goods from India to Great 
Britain should not exceed 15/. per ton, or such further sum as, together 
with the freight paid on the exports to India, should not on the whole 
freight, to and from India, exceed 20/. per ton and that in times of 
war, or preparations for war, between Great Britain and any European 
power, or under any circumstances incidental to war, or preparations for 
war, whereby an increase in the rates of freight payable by the Company 
should become unavoidable, then, and in any of those cases,^ the rates of 


142 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


freight to be charged and received by the Company for the carriage of 
private trade, should and may be increased in a due proportion to the ad- ’ 
ditional rates of tonnage paid by the Company for the hhe of ships for their 
own trade, and after no higher rate or proportion. 

These stipulations in favour of free trade did not, by any means, come 
up to what the merchants in India conceived to be their fair pretensions to 
a participation of that trade. Accordingly, on the 10th of April, 1795, 
we find the free merchants of Calcutta represented to Sir John Shore, then 
Governor General, that, in order to increase the commercial advantages 
which Great Britain derives from the Honourable Company's possessions in 
India, a legal channel of conveyance had been opened by the late act of 
Parliament, which renewed the Company’s charter for transporting the 
goods and merchandise of individuals from India to England. By the 
correspondence which passed between his Majesty's ministers and the 
Court of Directors, previously to the renewal of the charter, it appeared 
to have been the intention of ministers to furnish individuals with a suf¬ 
ficient quantity of tonnage, through the Company's means, at fair and 
moderate rates, for certain goods enumerated in the act. When the act 
reached India, the merchants were sorry to observe, that the provisions it 
contained for this purpose were not likely to produce the effect intended, 
under a strict adherence to the letter of it. Ignorant, however, as they 
then were, how the intention of the legislature might operate in this re¬ 
spect, they had waited the result of experience before they presumed to 
offer an opinion. Two shipping seasons were now nearly elapsed since 
the operation of the act took place in India, and they are sorry to be under 
the necessity of representing that they had hitherto derived little benefit 
from the participation which it held out, of an equitable conveyance of 
their goods from that country to England. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


143 


They represented that the 3000 tons of freight, which the act directs to 
be appropriated to individuals, was very inadequate to the demand; nor 
were the rates of 15/. per ton, in time of peace, and^j^g/. 10^. in time of 
war, sufficiently moderate for the exportation of gruff goods, or those of 
great bulk or weight, in proportion to their value. These rates, they as¬ 
serted, were ffom 3 to 5/, per ton, or 30 to 50 per cent, in the former 
period, and 7 /. 10^. or 50 per cent, in the latter, beyond the rate of ton¬ 
nage furnished by foreign ships. The consequence of this disproportion 
in the rate of freight between the Company's tonnage and that of 
foreigners, they stated, was sufficiently obvious. These would always be 
able to undersell British subjects in the European market to that amount, 
or to overbid them in the same proportion in their purchases in India ; a 
preference which precluded competition in all low-priced goods to Eng* 
lishmen, and must continue to force all the surplus produce of India, be¬ 
yond the Company’s investment, or the greatest part of it, to foreign 
ports. 

The price, or insufficiency of conveyance, were not the only evils of 
which they had to complain. There were other causes, that nearly ex¬ 
cluded them altogether from any benefit which the act holds out, or that 
the Company intended, by the appropriation of freight to private traders. 
They never could know, they said, what proportion of 3000 tons might 
have been previously taken up in England, or rather what quantity appro¬ 
priated for individuals in India. The regulations also for receiving tenders 
of freight in India limited the time for offering proposals to the 1st of 
September. At this early period of the season very little of the internal 
produce of the country reaches Calcutta; nor are the prices at which 
goods of the season can be shipped ascertained. Notwithstanding that, 
they must previously determine to apply for tonnage, which accident may 


LETTERS ON INE>IA. 


prevent tlierii from filling* or the state of the market afterward* or other 
circumstances, render it ruinous to export; or should goods positively be 
provided at an early period for exportation on the Company’s tonnage, 
they must be bought at the hazard of being disappointed of a conveyance, 
by a previous appropriation. It is true that the Company’s tonnage had 
been opened again for private goods after the 1st of September* but the 
rate of freight was left to be settled in England; and although it could 
not be less than 2S/. IOj. might* as they supposed, amount to much more, 
since in war-time it was, in some measure, left for the Company to deter¬ 
mine by what they themselves were to pay. Under such an uncertainty 
in the price of conveyances, nothing but the most urgent necessity could 
induce a prudent merchant to avail himself of the oifer. To trade on 
these terms is rather a species of gambling than a sober regulated Com¬ 
merce, which is best maintained on moderate profits, whilst those can be 
secured by the avoidance of any great risk. 

In pointing out the obstacles which oppose an increased export trade 
from hence to England by individuals, the merchants professed to be ac¬ 
tuated by no other motive than a wish to see these impediments removed, 
as far as circumstances would admit, that they might experience the full 
effect of the benefit which the legislature intended, by drawing the pro¬ 
duce of Bengal to England. They were well aware, that unless applica¬ 
tions were made in India, and transmitted home previously to the period 
of taking up outward-bound ships, the Company could not know what 
tonnage would be wanted, and therefore could not, under any idea of ac¬ 
commodation to individuals resident in India, take up extra tonnage for 
that purpose, which might not be called for, and the ships return empty. 
They were all sensible that the Company must be apprised in India, at an 
early period of the year, of the quantity of tonnage required by private 


LETTERS ON INDIA. us 

traders, that time might be allowed for filing up any part that might be 
unoccupied. 

To remove obstacles which prevented individuals from exporting goods 
J;q. Europe, without inconvenience or loss to the Company, and without 
interfering with their established European tonnage, the merchants suggest¬ 
ed the propriety of employing the British shipping of India. There were, 
they said, upwards of 30,000 tons of shipping belonging to British sub¬ 
jects resident in that country j of which forty-one sail, carrying upwards 
of ld,O0O tons, had been built at Bengal. These ships, they were legally 
advised, were entitled to the rights and privileges of British bottoms, on 
complying with the regulations of the act of parHament of the 26th of 
George the Third. The terms on which they conceived these ships, or 
any others built in the British settlements in India, might be employed 
with advantage to the nation, the Company, and individuals, were, to ac¬ 
cept of tenders of ships legally eligible, provided the owner engaged to load 
the ship himself, or procure a cargo from others, consisting of such goods 
as the Company permit private traders to export to England. The person 
tendenng the ship to enter into an engagement not to exact a liigher rate 
of freight for that part of the freight which he did not occupy himself, 
than 12/. per ton m time of peace, and Hi/, per ton in time of war. That 
the goods exported on these ships should be landed at the port of London, 
and deposited for sale in the Company's warehouses, from whence they 
were to be sold in the manner prescribed for private goods laden on the 
Company's tonnage, and subject, to the Company's duty of 3 per cent. 
That full and adequate security should be given, that all ships tendered 
for this purpose should be amenable to the Company’s orders and regula¬ 
tions, in the same manner as the regular chartered ships ^ or the owners 
might be made to sign a charter-party agreement, similar to that executed 

liv 


u 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


146 

in England, for the freight of the whole ship; the Company re-Eeighting 
the tonnag*e to them on the same terms. That these ships should be per¬ 
mitted to return to India, after discharging their cargoes, in ballast, or to 
bring such goods as private traders are permitted by the Company to-ex¬ 
port to India, at the option of the owners. That, in case the Company 
should have occasion to occupy any of the returning tonnage with military 
or naval stores, they should have a right to fill up one-half of each ship s 
tonnage, at the rate of 4/. per ton, and also to send out troops, on the same 
allowance as is made to regular ships. 

On these outlines, or something similar, the merchants of India con¬ 
ceived a considerable increase would speedily take place in the exports of 
Bengal, all. of which would centre in England, to the improvement of 
cultivation in India, and the extension of commerce and revenue in both 
countries. 

To these observations these gentlemen added, that should their sugges¬ 
tions meet a favourable reception, there were many of them ready to step 
forward with tenders of ships and cargoes conformably thereto ; but, if 
what they had ventured to propose was inconsistent with the regulations of 
the Company in India, they requested that they might be transmitted 
home for the consideration of the Court of Directors. 

The complaints of the free trade were not confined merely to the arti¬ 
cles already enumerated. Amongst others, besides these, it was matter of 
complaint, that the time of lading and sailing of the Company’s ships was 
always uncertain; that the merchants did pot know on what ships their 
goods would be shipped, until they had taken in the Company’s cargo j a 
circumstance which prevented their making insurances in time. They 
also comp*lained, not without apparent reason, that the times of sales at 
the India-House were too far distant after the arrival of the goods in Eng- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


147 


land ; and that, after this great delay, another very serious one occurred, in 
the length of time taken to make up the accounts of sale, and paying the 
proceeds. Insinuations were also thrown out, that the duties and expenses 
were too much for the trade to bear, and that a particular clause in die act 
of parliament, by which the Company were not liable for embezzlement 
or bad conduct on the part of those in their service who had the care of 
conducting the free trade to and from India, left them in a situation ex¬ 
tremely precarious, awkward, and unsatisfa^ctory *. Another grievance of 
which they-complained, was their being connected in any obligatory man- 
ner with the contingent commercial expenses of the Company. A great 
■trading corporation, possessed of a yearly territorial revenue, yielding up- 

r*' 

w'^ards of eight millions sterling per annum, had not the same rigid mo-' 
tives of ceconomy in freights as was inseparable from the character of a 
private merchant. The munificence of the one was praise-worthy, while 
in the other any thing beyond liberality would be deserving of censure. 
We allude here to the rate of freight, and perhaps other charges in time of 
war, being left ad libitum to the Company. 

These murmurings coming from so respectable and affluent a body as 
the free merchants of India, supported by their numerous connections in 
Great Britain, and indeed over all the mercantile world, were sufficient to 
awaken the attention of the Marquis of Wellesley to the true interests of 
the Company, in the redress of the grievances of which they complained. 

The extended mind of the Marquis, directed by liberal and proper mo¬ 
tives, knew, by his own reflection, as well as by the opinion and senti- 
menl^ of his coadjutors in this country, tlaat the East-India Company 

* This artickj as well as Uie %vhoie of that part of the act which relates to tlie exportatiou of Bri* 
lish produce or manufactures, as well as to the free trade, appears so extremely to the purpose, that 
I have, ill the Appendix, abstracted the whole. 


U 2 


143 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


greatly over-rated the benefits of an exclusive trade to India. He saw the 
produce and manufactures of British India daily embarked on foreign ships, 
because British merchants were debarred the privilege of employing for 
that purpose their own ships built in India. British capital was, perhaps, 
employed in this traffic as an act of necessity, although not of choice. 
Marquis Wellesley, on weighing these circumstances, determined in fu¬ 
ture, that British capital and British ships should not be separated, in or¬ 
der to enrich foreign countries, but that both the one and the other should 
be usefully employed under proper and iiecessaiy restrictions. 

The Marquis, under the 5th of October, 1798, a very short time after 
he had assumed the high office of Governor-General of British India, or¬ 
dered experimentally the following regulations to be promulgated. 

1st j That the Board of Trade, in pursuance of authority from the Go- 
venor-General in council, purposed to hire, on account of the Company, 
ships duly qualified according to law, to proceed with cargoes from Ben¬ 
gal to England in that season; and that the owners should also be per¬ 
mitted, under the restrictions stated in the 11th and 12th articles, to oc¬ 
cupy the tonnage of their respective ships with their own and other goods, 
to be delivered at the port of London. 

sdly } That tenders of ships should be received at the office of the se¬ 
cretary to the Board of Trade, on or before the 31st of Januaryj 1799; 
and they must contain the following particulars. 

Name of the ship. 

Ditto of the owners, and their place of residence. 

Ditto of the commander. 

By whom the ship was built. 

Ship’s burthen by carpenter’s measurement. 

When the ship should be ready to commence loading. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


149 


Ditto to leave the river for the voyage. 

3dly j Sliips nofat present in port, but expected, might be tendered. 

4thJy j The ships to be taken up on their measured tonnage, 

5thly^ Should any ship not be ready to commence loading at the speci¬ 
fied time, or not be ready to leave the river for the voyage at the time spe¬ 
cified, the owners to be liable, for failure in the former, to have their 
ships rejected, notwithstanding the previous acceptance of her ; and for 
failure-ill the latter, to a penalty (payable in Bengal) of twenty-five Sicca 
rupees per ton of the ship’s chartered tonnage, unless such cause for delay 
be assigned as the Governor-General in council, or the Board of Trade, 
may deem satisfactory. 

6thly i The Board of Trade to be at liberty, previous to the acceptance 
of any ship, to cause her to be surveyed. 

7thly; The Board of Trade reserve to themselves the right of rejecting 
any tender, without assigning any reason to the pal'ty. 

Sthly; Every ship, after the delivery of her cargo in England, to be 
permitted to return to India, and to bring all such goods and merchandise 
as may legally be brought, ordnance and military stores excepted, 

pthly i Each ship, if not already registered either in India or in Eng¬ 
land, to be registered in Bengal, according to the mode practised with re¬ 
spect to the ships who were taken up in Bengal in the season of 1795-6. 
And no ship to be permitted to take in cargo until she be registered ac¬ 
cordingly, or until the certificate of her former registry be produced to the 
Board of Trade, as the case may be. 

I Othly } The goods to be manifested at the export warehouse, for pass¬ 
ing on board the ships, in the same manner as is done with private goods, 
■which go on ships taken up by the Company in England. 

II thly ; The undermentioned commodities are prohibited by the Court 
of Directors from being carried to Great Britain from India, 


150 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


China raw silk. 

TTca, ‘ 

Nankeen clotlis. 

12thly ; The Company, if they think ht (and not otherwise) to occupy 
as far as one per cent, of the chartered tonnage of each ship with stores 
for St. Helena, allowing freight for the same at the rate of ISh sterling 
per ton. The amount of the freight to be paid at St, Helena, on the de¬ 
livery of the stores, and payment will be made either in cash, or by bills 
upon the Court of Directors, payable sixty days after- sight, at the option 
of the Governor and Couricil of St. Helena. 

1 Stilly j The Board of Trade do not mean to load any goods upon any 
of the ships, besides the stores mentioned in the preceding articles:* 

14thly; Each ship to carry, free of charge, such packets as may be 
sent on board by the Governor-General in council for St. Helena, or for 
England, or by the Governor and'Council of St. Helena for England, 

15thly ; The ships not to carry any passengers from India to Europe, or 
from Europe to India, or from any place whatever, without permission, 
under a penalty of 500L sterling for every passenger so carried without 
permission. 

iCthly; Two securities (not being owners of the ships, the partners 
of a mercantile or agency house to be considered but as one security) 
must be named for the performance of engagements; and the assent of the 
security- must accompany the tenders. 

lythly ; For information of further conditions intended to be stipulated, 
the public are referred to the draft of a charter-party, submitted for gene¬ 
ral inspection. 

The regulations or concessions required by the free merchants trading to 
and from India are as follow: 

isti The permission granted by the Marquis of Wellesley to indivi- 


151 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 

duals to send home their own ships with cargoes, to be made permanent. 
This plan to be extended as much as possible to the dependencies undg: 
the different Presidencies ^ and that such ships, after theii arrival in Eng¬ 
land, shall have liberty to return at any after period with cargoes from 
hence, either on account of the owners, or on freight, and to be allowed 
on their passage out to call at ports for specie, wines, &c. 

Qdly i Permission to persons resident in England to carry on tiade within 

the Company’s limits. 

Sdly; Permission to act as principles or agents to and from the posses¬ 
sions within the Company’s limits, whether belonging to European or na¬ 
tive powers, either direct, or through the Company s settlements, and 

that by British or foreign built ships. 

4thly j A limited number of free merchants to be licensed by the Com¬ 
pany to reside in China, and merchants in Great Britain allowed to import 
certain China articles, which the Company does not trade in, from thence, 
either direct, or through the Company s settlements, by British built 

ships. 

If the. governments of distant settlements, such as Penang, Bencoolen, 
Ceylon, &c. have not authority to allow ships belonging to individuals to 
sail direct from thence, much time will be lost, and heavy charges in¬ 
curred, by their proceeding to either of the Presidencies before they can 
clear out for London. 

The East-India Company has demurred to allow ships which had made 
an intermediate voyage for Government, and even for themselves, to carry 
out cargo on their return to India, pretending that, if the ships did.not go 
back immediately after their first arrival, their right to take cargo was for¬ 
feited. The Eliza Ann, which had been taken up by the Secret Com¬ 
mittee, and the Britannia, which had carried out provisions and stores to 


152 LETTEPvS ON INDIA. 

New South-Wales on account of Government, and brought home teas for 
the East-India Company, were both lately refused that permission. It 
must be acknowledged, that leave was at last granted, on condition that 
each of them should carry out twenty gentlemen for the army, and this 
without examining whether the ships had accommodations for them or not. 
The consequence was, that a considerable part of the cargoes was left out, 
to make room for their accommodation, although attended with much de¬ 
lay and injury to the owners. . 

Ships returning to India are often under strong inducements to call at 
Cadiz, Lisbon, or the Brazils, for specie, and at Madeira and Teneriife for 
wines. This latter branch of commerce is entirely in the hands of the 
Americans and Danes, from the want of the necessary encouragement to 
British merchants. As the law now stands, no merchant or manufacturer 
here can export goods from London to the Company s settlements, and 
afterwards transport them to a second, which, it is obvious, must often be 
requisite, on account of the fluctuating state of the markets. It is even 
matter of doubt, whether a partner of a house at Calcutta, or any other 
settlement in India, who resides in Great Britain, does not trade ille¬ 
gally in every transaction of the house while trading from port to port in 
India. • . 

It may appear to be asking a great deal to have the permission request¬ 
ed in article 3d conceded to the free trader ; but it must always be remem¬ 
bered, that the Company does not engage in that sort of commerce called 
country trade, and therefore cannot be injured by the enterprises of private 
merchants. Americans, and other friendly powers, can clear out, and 
sail direct from London, to those places, and from thence return imme¬ 
diately to a free port on the continent of Europe. It is thus evident, that 
nothing short of the liberty asked will enable British subjects to enter into 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


153 


competition with foreigners in this branch, so essential to the export trade 
of Great Britain, 

Permission is required by the free trade, either to proceed directly or 
circuitously through neutral settlements to the foreign possessions in India j 
because, in some seasons of the year, it would be very inconvenient to 
stop at any British port. 

When British subjects are bound to a foreign European possession, 
where they do not admit ships direct from England, it is necessary to call 
at the Company’s settlements, and take a fresh clearance from thence; 
but, in such case, no import or export duty should be levied at such 
Company’s settlement. 

Ships returning direct from any settlement in India belonging to an 
European power, have their clearances for a port in India, not being suf¬ 
fered to clear for Europe. It is therefore necessary that they should be 
protected by the British government from cruisers, on account of the ir¬ 
regularity of their papers. 

In this branch of commerce, where so extensive a field still remains for 
cultivation, every facility should be given. It would be therefore ex¬ 
tremely proper to make it lawful for British merchants to use foreign-built 
ships, because it might often happen, that a British subject, when trading 
at a European settlement m India, would see a favourable opportunity of 
making a voyage to Europe, but which he must forego if he did not meet 
a British-built ship in such port. The intended voyage would, by this 
means, be left for the American or other foreigner, who is not restricted. 
There is no danger of this indulgence interfering with British ships, as 
no English merchant could possibly wish, but from necessity, to prefer a 
foreign to a British-built ship, or to own a ship 'which he could not employ 
in every branch of his own commerce. 

No person, by the existing regulations, is suiFered to .remain' in China 


X 


154 


letters on INDIA. 


all the season, except he be in the Company’s service. All others, whe¬ 
ther merchants or agents, must be fluctuating; except such British subjects 
as enjoy foreign European protections, and that they cannot be legally em¬ 
ployed in any traiisaction on account of a merchant residing in Great 

Britain. 

The sales of large quantities of cotton opium, pepper, tin, &c. See, 
from India, Malacca, and China, and the consequent purchases as return¬ 
ing cargoes, require that their agents should be always on the spot, and 
protected from the caprice of the Company’s supercargoes. 

This is so much dreaded by mercantile gentlemen, that the principal 
part of the agency In China from British India is now in the hands of Per- 
secs, and other natives of the latter country. 

The Company having declared that their imports from China are con¬ 
fined to tea, nankeens, and China raw silk, it is evident, that the other 
articles, amongst which are tutonague, porcelain, turmeric, sago, motlacr 
of pearl shells, cassia lignia and buds, rhubarb, camphor, musk, gam¬ 
boge, aniseed, a variety of drugs, with many other articles of commerce, 
must fall exclusively into the hands of foreigners ; the privilege tonnage 
of the commanders and officers of the Company’s ships being totally in¬ 
adequate to' the. conveyance of such bulky articles. 

Should the East-India Company hesitate to permit such articles, not 
the produce of British India, as they do not themselves trade in, to be ex¬ 
ported direct to Great Britain, in country ships, then there surely cannot be 
an obje£tion to the importation of them into this country through one of their 
own settlements, Americans and other foreigners can come direct from 
China to Penang, a Company’s settlement, wffiere no duties of any kind 
are paid, and from thence to a free port on the continent of Europe. 
There seems no reason why the Company should prohibit British subjects 

* In the article of cotton alone, the private trade froca India to China amounts to one miliion ster- 
licc per annum. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


IS5 

from engaging in a trade of certain articles, which they (the Company) 
have abandoned, and left to foreign nations to enjoy. 

The above points are all necessary to be determined j for it is not enough 
to suppose that the East-India Company, however liberal they may be, 
will not prosecute when they have it in their power. Besides, experience 
has often too fatally shown those concerned in Indian commerce, that 
when the transaction is not indisputably legal, the insurances cannot be 
recovered, and that even the premiums have been lost. 

An indemnity in the present situation of affairs would be only an act of 
justice to the merchants in India, who, it may be fairly stated, have all 
traded with the enemy's ports since the war ; the laws prohibiting siich 
intercourse never having been promulgated there, and custom having long 
sanctioned what must be acknowledged an offence against the laws of the 
country j a stop should also be put to law-suits in Great Britain, as it i$ 
clear that every person engaged in the Indian trade, has, in many instances, 
without his knowledge, been doing illegal acts. 

There is candour in the acknowledgment of faults, whether they are 
intentional or otherwise. The free merchants of India have repeatedly de¬ 
clared their total ignorance of any existing regulations which deprived 
them of the liberty of general commerce on the other side of the Cape of 
Good Hope ; far less did they suppose, that they, as British subjects, were 
incurring heavy pain^ and penalties by acting in direct Opposition tq the 
laws of their country. They complain of those prohibitory laws never 
having been promulgated in India, and of their being left in consequence 
to do illegal acts, without the knowledge of committing them. Let all 
transactions, which have hitherto taken place, be obliterated; let matters be 
properly explained and understood, and hereafter no misunderstanding can 
arise. From every circumstance, regulations in India commerce appear 
to have been much wanted,-and that they are now indispensably necessary, 


156 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


to give an equal participation to British subjects, in those facilities in In¬ 
dia trade which every foreigner belonging to states in amity with us actually 

enjoys. 

On this subject it has even been asserted by some men well informed in 
commercial ahairs, that the laws and regulations necessary to be observed i^ 
regard to commerce to and from Great Britain, are, in every respect, incom¬ 
patible with that trade which supports her distant dependencies. The old 
sys tem being, in too many respects defective, a new one should be adopted, 
to give full effect to the great variety and magnitude of Eastern commerce. 
The exports of British India are immensely great, and should not be re¬ 
stricted by narrow policy, merely because it is sometimes the practice of 
European nations to do so. What iswanted for the interest of our British 
settlements in’India is, a free vend for the produce and manufactures of those 
countries. To effect this, the governors of British India should possess an 
authority to grant licenses, under every necessary restriction, to both natives 
and Europeans, to carry on trade with the foreign possessions in India un- 
der neutral colours. Permissions similar to these are very frequently given 
in our West-India islands, and particularly in the trade from the island of 
Jamaica to the Spanish settlements. Trade to a certain extent has, with 
great propriety, been opened in the course of the present war between Great 
Britain and Holland, and even France. A free uninterrupted trade between 
India and the Dutch and Spanish possessions in the' Eastern hemisphere 
would be productive of the greatest mutual advantages. 

Having glanced at the concessions required by the free trade of India, 
and their agents in Great Britain, it is necessary to point out in what man¬ 
ner the export trade of the East-India Company is to be carried on, and 

i * 

by what means the surplus territorial revenues of India, which flows into 
their treasury abroad, ought to be applied. 

In regard to the export trade of any country, it is sufficiently evident, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 157 

that it caa neither be carried too nor too much encouraged, by acts of 
the legislature. Freedom in the exportation of the manufactured articles 
of a commercial nation is the surest means to promote the wealth of the 
inhabitants :—it is, besides, a strong excitement to productive industry, as 
i{ prevents idleness and vice, and has a direct tendency to improve and 
preserve the moral character of the people, while the state is enriched by 
the profitable returns of the rich or necessary productions of other coun¬ 
tries. In this view, it is extremely proper that the exclusive articles re¬ 
served for the East-India Company should be few, and such only as in a 
great measure are necessary to their military and other establishments in 
India; under this head may be included small arms, guns, shot and shells, 
cordage and marine stores of all kinds, salted provisions for the use of the 
navy and army, light woollens for clothing the troops, hats, iScc. &c. 

All other articles ought to be permitted to be exported without restric¬ 
tion, and every obligation imposed on the Company to export any quantity 
of a particular produce or manufacture of this country be annulled. This 
would, without doubt, reduce the price of copper, and of other articles 
which compulsory clauses tend only to augment, and to render dear not 
only to the inhabitants of this country, but to the government itself. It 
is better when any particular produce or manufacture of a state hangs 
heavy on the hands of the subject, to promote their sale by liberal boun¬ 
ties, than to compel the exportation of any quantity as the price of 
exclusive privileges. It is also to be observed, that regulations of com¬ 
pulsory exportation prevent the price of a commodity from falling, after 
being perhaps raised by increased demand. 

The material parts, therefore, of the Company’s exclusive commerce 
ought to be in certain comxnodities, the produce or manufacture of Asia, 
to be paid for out of the surplus territorial revenues of India, and by money 
raised, if necessary, on Company’s bills, granted to individuals at a short 


158 


LETTERS OK INDIA. 


sight, and at a fair and liberal exchange, particularly to the servants of the 
Company. 

The territorial revenues of. British India ■*, as far as they can be applied, 
should be employed in doing the greatest possible good to this country; 
in exporting, on the one hand, such articles as the private trader dare not 
attempt to do, from the low price such articles bear in India; and, on the 
other, to import such articles of Indian produce as bears the smallest profit 
in the European market. By these spontaneous means, flowing from the 
rich sources of India, would the East-India Company produce the greatest 
possible incitement to reciprocal industry in both countries, the free trade 
would be satisfied, and harmony subsist between all parties: for I mean 
here to be understood, that, as the- Company enjoy Considerable advantages, 
they are bound to employ a^art of their revenue in such a way as to re¬ 
munerate the public for the sacrifices which they make ; sacrifices which 
not only promote the prosperity, but secure the very existence of the East- 
India Company. ' ‘ 

It is not, however, my intention to say, that the whole burthen of a 
losing trade should fall on the Company, for that would be a hardship : 
on the contrary, the Company should possess the exclusive privilege in 
several very profitable branches of comrrverce, the which would prove 
much more than sufficient indemnity for the loss they might sustain. 

The Company should enjoy the exclusive right to the trade with China 

* Tlie situation of the East-India Company, in regard to territorial revenue, ought to be considered 
ill two ways, 

rirst. As a great accessory division of the power of Great Bcttain, not in the ijnmediate hands of 
the executive government, but subject to controul ; and, as being at a)l times Jkble, in cases of ne¬ 
cessity, to be caDecI in aid of the empire at large ; from this arrangement, the best consequences might 
be expected to follow; for the patronage of India, in the possession of an ill-disposed minisler, would 
afford means of corruption so extensive, as to endanger the pure spirit of the British constitution. 

Secondly, As the circulating medium for applying Uie surplus revenue of India the most’ ad- 
vant^geously to the nation at large, combining, at Uie same time, the prosperity of our valuable Eastern 
dependencies, and encouraging the trade of those possessions. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


'U^ 

in teas, raw siik, and nankeens j which is clearly demonstrable from the 
Company’s books to be the only trade beyond the Cape that has been for 
many years a source of actual profit to them, and that particularly in the 
article of tea, or the difference between the price of tea in China, and 
that paid for the same article at the Company’s sales in London. 

The Company to have a contract for all the opium produced in Bengal, 
and our other provinces in India, after leaving what may be demanded 
by the internal consumption of the country, at a fair price. 

The Company, in like manner, to have the exclusive right of supplying 
Great Britain with coffee from Mocha, 

' The Company to possess, as far as is in the power of Government to 
grant them, an exclusive monopoly of pepper, cardamoms, and sandaL 
wood, on the coast of Malabar, and elsewhere in India. And I should be 
happy if the permanency of the possessions taken from the Dutch, in the 
course of the present war, would allow of a monopoly of the spices pro¬ 
duced in those acquisitions in the hands of the Company. 

/ After this manner is the whole amount of every saving and surplus of 
revenue, after payment of the necessary expenses, to be remitted to the 
actual possession of the country. Nor is the safe and neat remittance of 
the surplus revenue of India the only advantage to be derived. The Com¬ 
pany and their commercial conduct would, by becoming simplified, be 
brought immediately under the eye of the Board ofControul, and afterwards 
of parliament. Thus, too, there is a greater check on the management of 
our governments in India than could be had in the mode of remittance by 
private bills, where no such interference, either on the part of the Board 
of Controul, or of Parliament, can be applied with elFect. 

I shall now proceed to state the reasons that justify a monopoly, in the 
hands of a great corporate body, of the several articles above mentioned. 


160 


letters on INDIA, 


Opium. A trade in this article is tq be carried on with national advan¬ 
tages as a monopoly only, and that in the hands of a great commercial 
body; because; if the trade in that valuable article should be frittered away 
among private merchants, the benefit thereof would be lost, through the 
privilege they possess, and would naturally occasion the underselling each 
other at all the Eastern markets. It may be asserted, that opium in China 
is contraband; but the testimony of every commander of a ship in the 
China trade will evince, that opium is now publicly landed in the Chinese 
ports at noon day, without interruption. A commercial treaty, however, 
could it be effected, would at once -bring this matter to a certain issue. 

With regard to pepper, sandal-wood, and cardamoms, on the coast of 
?vdalabar, the trade in those articles was, before the late war, for the most 
part, in the hands of the French at Mahe, and some other places, and 
smugglers and renegadoes of all descriptions. On the return of peace, it is 
probable that foreign factories may be again established, when the same.- 
thing will happen anew. On this ground we establish the propriety of 
granting to the East-India Company a monopoly of the trade on the coast of 
Malabar in pepper, cardamoms, and sandal-wood. ' 

There were formerly, on the Malabar coast, several foreign factories, re* 
sorted to by the lowest order of people, who assumed the character of mer¬ 
chants. Neglected by their own country, they were obliged, in order to 
obtain a livelihood, to have recourse to artifices of every kind ; and on the 
commencement of the war against Tippoo Sultaun in ITS0, they openlv 
employed boats and vessels of every description, under the sanction of 
foreign flags, to enter the harbours, rivers, and roads of Tippoo, and there 
purchase, at a low rate, every article of trade, but particularly the Sircar 
rice, and that at a time when it was daily expected that our western army 
was on the point of moving, in order to secure the very granaries which 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


161 


they had emptied. The suspicion of tliis movement made the inhabitants 
double their diligence; and so elfectually did they, with the assistance of 
foreign ships, glean the harvest, that not an ounce of rice, pepper, or any 
•other commodity, was left on the coast, from Teliicherry to* Goa^ 

By consolidating tliis trade in the hands of the Company, a stop will be 
put to the intrigues of illicit traders, whose object is to undermine and 
destroy the Company, and a source opened to that body of great com¬ 
mercial advantage. On the other hand, there would be plenty left for 
the enterprise and industry of the free trader, whose interest it would 
be to assist and support the East-India Company. Regarding the advan¬ 
tages to be derived from the Malabar trade, we shall here make a few ob¬ 
servations. The homeward investments from China cost the present Com¬ 
pany a very considerable sum, which sum is principally made up in cash 
from Bengal, bullion from Europe, and bills drawn at a high exchange on 
the Court of Directors, and a small proportion of the produce of India, 
and manufactures of Great Britain. This drain of cash has considera¬ 
bly reduced the current specie of India, and in a few years must affect it 
still more sensibly. It would, therefore, be gaining a considerable advan¬ 
tage, if, by means of a commercial treaty, this evil could be averted 5 and 
it should be the aim. in forming a commercial treaty with China, to have 
regular duties established on the different articles of trade, in place of the 
present mode of assessing ships in the bulk, which opens a door for various 
artifices and malversation; or in the ordinary course of trade, an annual 
exportation of cash could be saved to the nation, by an agreement on the 
part of the Chinese, in exchange for their teas and other commodities and 
manufactures, to receive in return, at least to a certain extent, the staples 
of India. Now, pepper, sandal-wood, and cardamoms, are articles in 
great request in Chinas and with these the East-India Company, by 


Y 


/ 


I 


,g 2 Lf.TTERS ON INDTA. 

means of the Malabar monopoly, could furnish that country to a very- 
large amount. 

The India Company would be justified in being rigorously severe in 
preventing Others in trading in such articles as are reserved for themselves ^ 
but every possible encouragement should be given to those who trade in 
other branches of this extensive commerce. In general terms, but in those 
I speak with conviction, British subjects should be put on the same footing 
with the subjects of neutral powers; and all those who trade to India 
should be freed from every restraint that is not itself essentially necessary 
to the preservation of the state, or to the existence of the East-India Com¬ 
pany, as a great accessory branch of the government of Great Britain. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


i<53 


* 


LETTER XII, 


NecessUi/ of entering at large upon the ^luestion of Foreig^i a^id Free Frade, 
as connected with that of the East^lndia Company^ in order to secure to 
Great Britain thaLvaluable''Branch of Commerce. 


DEAR SIR, London, April 28 , 1800 . 

Having suggested some ideas for arranging tlie trade between India 
and the traders of Great-Britain, I shall pass on to the intercourse That it 
may be CiXpedient, under existing circurnstances, to open between British 
India and foreign European nations. The predominating passion of the 
present times, is, commercial jealousy and political oeconomy. The 
phrensy of religion, and the Gothic pride of feudal manners, have given 
way to the modern system of finance; and the science of calculation and 
commercial arrangement becomes closely connected with the prosperity of 
states and kingdoms. But it is difficult to temper and restrain whatever 
happens to be the spirit of the times, within the just limits of prudent 
moderation. On strict investigation it will appear, that the desire of en¬ 
grossing to ourselves any thing beyond a certain proportion of trade to In¬ 
dia, is not less impolitic than unjust. For England, single-handed, to do 
justice, and to improve to the utmost her settlements in the East, is a work 
far beyond her limited power. To diffuse all the manufactures of the mul¬ 
titudes who own her sway in India, and to court her protection—to en¬ 
courage and extend their arts; to animate them to new exertions in com¬ 
merce and agriculture, will require the co-operation of other hands. The 
internal and foreign trade of India, even as it now stands, including its col- 


Y 2 


LrrXERS ON INDIA. 


I6i 

lateral and accessory connections, is the most considerable upon earth. It 
is impossible to say to what a height it may not be carried, if the ad¬ 
vantages of nature are seconded and improved by a reasonable freedom of 
commerce, and an equitable and just government. It would surely be the ' 
height of impolicy, it would be political insanity, instead of encouraging, 
promoting, and extending so happy an order and constitution of things, to 
fall upon it with a hostile overbearance,—to depress and destroy the grow¬ 
ing wealth of India, for no better reason than that it requires larger capi¬ 
tals and more hands than we have to employ; and that our minds and 
views are too contracted for the admissiojn of foreign labourers, even when 
our vineyard has become too extensive for our own exclusive cultivation. 
It might be asserted, perhaps, that this would in reality be the case, were 
the East Indies the only commercial field that we had to cultivate. The 
argument against the total exclusion of foreign hands becomes stronger, 
when we consider that we have to attend to our West-India colonies, to 
our trade to the Mediterranean, our trade to the Baltic, our trade to Africa, 
and to various other quarters of the world.—It is our interest, it is indeed our 
duty, to encourage, by all means in our power, industry in all its branches 
and sources, whether internal and domestic, or dependent and external. 

It has often struck me, as a matter of the utmost surprise, that the 
commercial and political connection between this country and the East 
Indies has not been made a subject of more serious consideration to 
the British legislature. From the restrictions laid on the trade with In¬ 
dia, it would seem that our Eastern colonies have been regarded not as cer¬ 
tain and permanent, but as uncertain and fugacious possessions : not as 
possessions worthy of cultivation, but as a fortuitous harvest, to be reaped 
at once, and the grain to be carried off as fest and as completely as pos¬ 
sible, without even leaving seed for future crops, Certam it is, that we 


165 


-LETTERS ON INDIA. 

have not paid sufficient attention to that manifest and important distinction 
which subsists between a colony planted, nursed, and raised up from its very 
cradle (if I may be allowed this expression) from the very rudiments of po¬ 
litical existence, under the fostering care of the mother country, and a vast 
domain acquired in full maturity, and presenting the most ready as well 
as rare resources to the genius of commerce, of finance, and political 
oeconomy. 

Every body knows, for it has been a common-place observation, that 
the tribute due, and proper to be paid by a colony to its parent state, is a 
monopoly of its trade. This monopoly, with the want of representation 
in the legislature, is what chiefly discriminates, in modern times, the co¬ 
lonists from the inhabitant of the mother-country. The same way of 
thinking, the same system, has been adopted with regard to our possessions 
in India—a country that yields to Great Britain an annual revenue of up¬ 
wards of eight millions sterling. 

The end and advantages originally looked for by Great Britain from- her 
West-India colonies, was no other than the production of raw materials, 
for the purpose of furnishing her manufacturers with the means of carrying 
on their different works, and to provide for the subsktence of their nu¬ 
merous dependants. The increase of navigation, and that of the public 
revenue arising from that source, were advantages perceived and expe¬ 
rienced afterwards. Goods, after being manu&ctured, will purchase a 
larger portion of the unwrought material from the same market,: but that 
market must be for ever poor, where, arts and manuJ^-Ctures being dis¬ 
couraged, the inhabitants have to trust entirely to the mother-country for 
the manufactured produce of their own industry. This prohibition abso¬ 
lutely withholds from our colonies the benefit of their wealth,, in order to 
afford a greater share of subsistence to the inhabitants of Great Britain, 


166 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


Govern India on these principles^—reduce your East-India and your 
West-India colonies to the same level, and you will discourage the manu¬ 
factures, and diminish the wealth of the former, as effectually as you have 
discouraged the manufactures, and diminished the wealth of the latter. 
The riches of a populous and productive country will evaporate in the im¬ 
politic, and indeed impracticable, desire of engrossing the whole of its va¬ 
rious and extensive commerce. The fair prospect of a surplus, which,, 
it is perhaps not too much to say, with good management, may be brought 
■ to three millions sterling, will be lost j and a country yielding a very con¬ 
siderable territorial revenue, as well as great commercial advantages, will 
dwindle to a discouraged and unproductive dependency not worth our pre¬ 
serving. The bad policy of sundry British administrations has, too fre¬ 
quently, upheld their colonies on principles the most ruinous that can be 
imagined; for what can be more ruinous than to maintain an unproductive 
settlement, by involving the motlier-country in wars carried on at an ex¬ 
pense, of which the object contended for, if attained, is scarcely sufficient 
to defray the interest ? For the truth of this position, it is sufficient to 
mention the unfortunate war relating to America, without alluding to cer¬ 
tain colonial expenses of aTaterdate, equally ill-judged and impolitic. 

We should never forget, that, in order to support Great Britain, India 
must also be supported ; and that the mutual prosperity of botli will be 
best consulted by uniting, in all our Eastern dependencies, commercial in¬ 
terest with the improvement of the territorial revenue. And this again 
is an object which can never be pursued with any great success, if we ab¬ 
solutely shut up the ports of India to foreign traders, as well as to the free 

traders of Great Britain. Yet I would not open oup India commerce to 

\ 

foreigners without certain limitations, that should, on the whole, cast the 
balance in favour of the English . trader; still, however, taking, special 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


167 


care that no. restriction or limitation whatever should be imposed that 
might tend to deprive the natives of India of those advantages they possess, 
whether in domestic situation and industry, or the state of arts and ma¬ 
nufactures. In order to encourage the agricultures and the manufactures of 
India, the exportation of the produce of Indian labour should be encou¬ 
raged in its greatest extent. These particulars being premised, I would 
propose, that all goods, wares, or merchandise, being the growth, pro¬ 
duce, or manufacture of Great Britain, excepting such as are prohibited 
by law, may be exported to India, subject to certain duties or restrictions, 
in British or foreign ships, without any distinction or difference being made 
in the same duties. That the exportation of the following articles should 
be particularly encouraged. 

Woollens of every description. 

Cotton cloths. 

Linen ditto ** 

Tin. 

Copper. 

Iron, 

Steel. 

Anchors and grapnails. 

Wrought iron for ship-building. 

Cast iron for ditto. 

Blocks, 

* It is to be observed^ that the exportation of cotton or linen cloths to India will answer the 
market only to a very limited extentj their own manufactures being botli cheaper and better adapted 
to the climate. Even in tlie^cold climate of Persia, ' some of the most handsome English patterns of 
cotton, ofa thick texture, being sent with a view of sale to Mr. Watkins, chief of Btishire, did not 
by any means find so ready a market as the cotton manufactures of India; altboiigfa, at the same time, 
they were highly praised by the perakiiis for their beaitty- ' The author was at tliis period in Persia, 
on his way to India, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 

Cordage. 

Salted provisions. 

British ships importing into India the manufactures of their country, to 

pay a duty of S per cent, ad valorem. 

Foreign ships carrying the manufactures of Great Britain, to be subject 

to a duty of 4 per cent. 

Foreign ships importing into India any merchandise, the produce or 
manufacture of their own or any other country, but not of Great Britain, 
to pay a duty of 8 per cent. 

British ships importing foreign merchandise, in like manner to be liable 
to the like duty of 8 per cent. 

No ships, whether British or foreign, to be permitted to trade in, or 
carry away from the English settlements in India, any of those articles of 
merchandise which are particularly reserved for the exclusive trade of our 
East-India Company. 

The importation of East-India goods into Great Britain to be regulated 
by the act of navigation ^ consequently, none to be imported but on British 
bottoms, and not even on these, unless imported directly from India. 

In the importation into Great Britain of such India materials as are cal¬ 
culated to feed our manufactures, it would be well if the exigences of the 
state could admit of their being imported duty free : but as this cannot be 
expected, a duty should be imposed equivalent to what is charged on 
West-India materials of the same kind. Such articles as are subservient to 
the luxuries of life will allow of a higher assessment, and will have the 
farther advantage of falling on the rich, and not on the poor. It should be 
lawful then for British ships, under certain regulations, to import into Great 
Britain all goods or merchandise, the growth, produce, or manufacture of 
the East”Indies, excepting such as are reserved for the East-India Com- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


16» 


pany, on the payment, by those ships, of such duties as may hereafter be 
fixed; as also such as might counteract the advantages which the British ma¬ 
nufacturers, in certain instances, derive from home monopolies. Notwith¬ 
standing all that has been urged by Dr, Smith on the impolicy of granting 
to the manufacturer home monopolies of his commodity against the con¬ 
sumer, it never has been disproved that the spirit and industiy of British ma¬ 
nufacturers are to be encouraged and supported only by certain restrictions 
and prohibitions on every article of foreign manufacture that comes into any 
kind of competition, or can be applied to the same purposes, with similar 
commodities of this country. Such substitutes lessen the consumption and 
demand of the like articles, the produce of British labour. The numerous 
and heavy taxes imposed on the lower class of the subjects of Great Britain 
tend greatly to enhance the price of labour; unless, therefore, there be some 
counterpoise to the bad effects of those discouraging imposts, that may 
enable the* master nianufacturer to pay his servants at the rate on which 
alone they can subsist, beggary must inevitably pervade the most indus¬ 
trious part of the society, and involve even the rich in various difficulties. 
The population of England, in the present imperfect state of agriculture, 
which leaves a fourth paft of our land without any kind of cultivation, af¬ 
fords many hands that are employed with advantage in arts and manufac¬ 
tures, and gain an ample livelihood by working up the staples of Eng¬ 
land, or, if those staples fail, can have recourse, for a further supply, to 
the produce of our distant dependencies. The interest of this nation is for¬ 
tunately blended, and expands with the expansion of domestic industry; 
but domestic industry depends, in some cases, on home monopolies : there¬ 
fore, wherever the beneficial effects of those home monopolies would be 
counteracted by the importation of certain manufactures from India, the 
importation of such materials ought to be restrained and prohibited. With 


z 


170 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


regard to the instances in which the ingenuity, taste, and inventiori of out 
countrymen cannot gratify our whims and caprice, it is fit that we should 
pay for the refinement of our fancy. 

The only British manufactures that are liable to be materially injured by 
our conimerce with India, are those of cotton and silk*. 

The cotton manufacture claims the protection of the Legislature ift a 
particular manner. Its magnitude is immense, and it is still capable of 
bdng carried to higher degrees of improvement: it is the most noble and li¬ 
beral manufacture that any country can boast of: it is not to be rivalled either 

T . . * 

in execution or effect, or equalled in capital or extent by any establishment 
in any state or kingdom of modern Europe 

This manufacture, great as it is, will yet rise to a higher degree of 
prosperity, when the British Parliament shall have given it that attention, 
countenance, and encouragement, which its unrivalled importance un¬ 
doubtedly deserves. 

The importation of muslins, and of cotton cloths of all kinds, for home 
CONSUMPTION, from India or China, should be subjected to a duty of 
3 00 per cent, on the invoice price. In like manner the importation of 
silks, of satins, of silk and cotton stuffs from India or China, for home 
,CONSUMPTION, should be subject to the like duty. Should these articles 
be warehoused for re-exportation, the drawback should be the same with 
the duty, in order to encourage the carrying trade of Great Britain. 

It is computed tliat there are, of cotton nsanufacturers, in England and Scotland, 

Men-....-180,000 

Women .110,000 

Children. 120,000 

410,000 

Of cotton imported and manufactured thirty-two mlUions one hundred and forty-eight thousand nine 
hundred and six English pounds; which, at 18d. per lb. amounts to 42, i 1,167 i. 195 . What must be 
the value of this article when manufactured ? 






' -LETTERS ON INDIA. ui 

It shall be lawful for British ships to export to all foreign markets the 
produee of In^ia* excepting what is particularly reserved, on payment of 
the duties established for British subjects. 

Foreign ships, on exporting the following articles of India, to be liable 
to the undermentioned duties. 

Raw sugar, J 2 per cent. 

Muslins, ' 2 per cent. 

Indigo, 12 per cen t, '' , '' 

Hemp, 12 per cent. 

Bengal silks and stuffs of silk and cotton, 6 per cent. 

The duty on every other article to be ascertained in like manner. 

British ships exporting to foreign parts cloths either of cotton or silk, 
or of silk and cotton, to pay a duty of 2 per cent. 

Foreigners for pilotage, anchorage, fees at the custom-house, docking 
their ships, water, prorvisions, or other necessaries, to be charged no more 
than British subjects. 

British and foreign ships, in every article of merchandise in which it 
may be allowed a British subject to deal, to enjoy the country trade of In¬ 
dia on equal terms. 

On this subject, the duties to be imposed on foreign and those on do¬ 
mestic commerce with India, I have further to observe, that it requires 
the nicest discernment to proportion the duty to the value of the article; 
and that both relatively to the country where it is produced, and the coun¬ 
try to which it is. to be exported. 

It is, perhaps, unnecessary to observe, that before any alteration be made 
in the present system, it will be proper to revise the duties and customs on 
all goods and merchandise, the produce^ or manufacture of our East-India 
settlements, as also those on our exports From Great Britain j that in all 


172 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


taxation due regard is to be had to season, climate, and various contingen¬ 
cies; as the 'wants of the inhabitants, the scarcity of the aj'ticle from the 
failure of natural production, or from other causes, and other accidental cir¬ 
cumstances., Caremust- betaken tliat all duties be imposed according to a fair 
and equal ratio that no article of commerce be overburthened ; and, above 
all, to avoid heavy imposts on the raw material, an evil which would liin- 
der the British merchant from underselling his neighbours at foreign mar¬ 
kets, and impede the consumption of our manufacturers, bath at home 
and abroad. 

I pretend not, by any means, to have done full justice to so compli¬ 
cated a subject. It is not more desirable than it is difficult to admit fo¬ 
reigners, as well as individual traders of Great Britain, to a participation 
of our trade with India, and at the same time to accord such privileges aa 
may prolong the existence of the East-India Company ; to grant such ad¬ 
vantages as tlie subjects of Great Britain ought to enjoy in trade, over those 
of foreign nations; and to establish such duties as the British Governmenfi 
have a right to expect from so various and extensive a commerce, which 
has been formed under their auspices, and which it is incumbent on them 
to protect. Yet the union of all these objects is to be attempted; the 
East-India Company is to bo preserved; the just expectations of individual 
traders are to be fulfilled ; the claims of the British Government respected; 
and the strong inclination of foreign nations to participitate in the India 
trade to be gratified. 

In order to recopcile, and harmonise so many different, not to make use 
of the term discordant, interests, I have proceeded in the regulations I have 
proposed on the grand, conciliatory, and cGnsolidating prinoiples of mo¬ 
deration and equity. It has been the policy of former rulers in India to 
exclude foreigners from all intercourae with our possessions in India, as 


LETTERS OK INDIA. 


173 


much as possible. Hence a proportionable eagerness, on their part, to ac¬ 
quire settlements in India, independent on the English. To open, to A 
certain extent, a free trade with India, would abate that eagerness, and add 
to the security of our dominion in that part of the world. It is equally 
liberal and wise policy to hold forth to foreigners,, as well as to individual 
traders in Britain, such advantages as may encourage them to trade with 
British Hindostan; and by so trading, to stimulate the industry and circulate 
the manufactures both of Britain and British India, and exalt the English 
power and name to higher and higher degrees of glory. All injustice has 
in its nature something rotten at bottom, that tends to undermine the fabric 
of which it is made the foundation. Unjust and inordinate ambition in any 
statd or kingdom carries a menacing air to all its neighbours j and hence 
confederacies which sooner or later effect, if not their ruin, yet the fall of 
their power. Witness the league of Cambray against Venice; that of 
Holland, France, arid. England, towards the end of the 16th century, 
against Spain and Portugal, at that time under one head j and the much- 
agitated dispute of Lihennn and Mare Clausum, which the French 

Republic, in opposition to this country, endeavour so ardently to revive 
at the present period. The greatest security, on the other hand, of any 
dominion, is moderation. On this general principle, the truth of which 
is proved by the history of all times and nations, the British Government 
should raise the fabric of that power, which, at the present moment, many 
favourable circumstances give them an opportunity of establishing. The 
world is at last beginning, and but beginning, to learn that, in the ceconomy 
of states, as well as in private transactions, the strictest justice is the soundest 
policy. It is not present plunder that we ought to regard so much as per¬ 
manent advantage. The excellency of 'political institutions, to speak in 
the language of mathematical philosophy, consists in their intensity, mul- 


n^. LETTERS ON INDIA. 

tipUed into their duration. Let justice, as far as possible, be done to the Bri¬ 
tish Government, which ought not to be deprived of that mass of industry, 
with all that population and wealth, which uniformly attends in her train,^ 
and which a free trade would excite, without some valuable consideration j 
justice to the individuals of Great Britain, who ought to be maintained in 
their rights, where these can be maintained consistently with the greatest 
possible good; and justice to all mankind, who, by the law of nature and 
nations, have a right to exercise their industry, and pursue their own good 
in every field of exertion not fully occupied, and on every pursuit on which 
they may enter without prejudice to their neighbours : and this much more 
when it can be demonstrated that the industry of foreign nations might 
happily co-operate with our own for mutual consociation and advan¬ 
tage ; but especially for the advantage of that party which preponderates and 
takes the lead, and holds the dominion on the great theatre on which 
such dominion IS to be exerted. Farther still, on the subject of free trade 
to India; by a liberal freedom of commerce, a grievance against which 
the British Legislature, as w'ell as the East-India Company, have so stoutly, 
but with so little efiect, set tlieir&ce, would be cut up by the roots. The 
Company^’s servants, instead of giving in their private fortunes at very low 
exchange to the Company’s treasure in India, are in the practice of send¬ 
ing home those fortunes in goods on board of foreign bottoms, and thereby 
encouraging a foreign trade with India, at the expense of the English East- 
India Company and nation. A free trade in the way proposed would re¬ 
medy this evil, cither by opening a channel of remittance through, the 
Company’s cash at a fair exchange, or through the medium of individual 
traders to G reat Britain, to whom Englishmen would, no doubt, be inclined 
to give a preference before those of other nations. But, as matters now 
stand, they have not this option, and are obliged either to submit to the 


LETTERS ON" INDIA. i75 

terms of the Company, or to throw themselves on the faith of foreigners. 
On this point, which will scarcely seem credible, it may be proper to 
bestow some illustration. 

Foreign ships of every nation, although not directly allowed to fit out 
from any port of Great Britain, are permitted, under certain restrictions, 
to repair to all our ports in India without exception. Yet no Englishman, 
by the laws of his country, can either directly or indirectly be concerned in 
any trade to the East Indies, on either a British or foreign bottom, with¬ 
out incurring the heaviest penalties. Not only may foreigners fit out ships 
from any part of the continent of Europe, but even to clear a cargo from 
tlie port of London or any other in Britain ; nor have they any thing more 
to do than to return with a British cargo, to the place of their original de¬ 
parture, in order to be provided with passes from their own government to 
entitle them to proceed to our settlements in India with a mixed cargo 
half English and half foreign. After administering to the luxury of our 
countrymen abroad, and draining them of their ready cash, unless they can 
procure such articles as. will yield them a certain profit in the markets of 
Europe, such as pepper, cardamums, coarse cloths, and blue goods, they 
proceed to China with the specie of our countrymen, and, by this means, 
repeated annually, reduce the circulation of cash, which, in the course of 
time, joined to the treasure remitted for the purchase of teas, must leave our 
India settlements without money necessary for its internal circulation. 

Finally, a general trade to India will, in proportion to its freedom, en¬ 
courage the seamen of Great Britain to visit that part of the world, and 
thereby afford ready means of manning our ships of war, the want of 
which, in the last war, was, as well as the present, an evil, and still con¬ 
tinues to be sensibly felt by our fleets and squadrons. 

it is unnecessary here to repeat what has already been observed in the 


17 ( 5 .. ' LETTERS ON INDIA. 

course of this work, relative to the desire that other nations vsrill have, when • 
peace is established, of participating in. our trade to India. 

I have endeavoured to point out a mode by vvhich the East-India Com¬ 
pany, aided by the British Government, may diminish very much the 
temptation held out to other nations, and the subjects of other sovereigns, 
to share with us in this valuable commerce : but after having discussed 
that subject, it is necessary to point out certain dangers, that may very pro¬ 
bably attend a contrary line of conduct. 

Though we have not to expect any discoveries in the art of navigation, 
that could shift this trade from its present channel as it did from its ancient 
course, yet there are several great operations going on that will materially' 
alter the security of our possessions in India, as well as our commerce with 
thosecountries. 

The three great, though gradual, operations, going on are ; 

First, The great and increasing demand for teas, which are all produced 
on territory that does not, nor ever can, belong to us. 

Secondly, The gradual civilisation and introduction of European military 
discipline amongst the native powers in India. 

Thirdly, The increasing power and civilisation of the Russian empire. 

The consumption of tea, an article of commerce scarcely known a cen¬ 
tury ago, has beconie.so great as to exceed in value that of all the other 
productions of India; and, as the use of this article, which, till within 
these ten or twelve years, was chiefly confined to the British islands and 
America, within that latter period has been introduced with great success 
on the continent of Europe, a few years more will make the consump¬ 
tion greater than any thing that would seem reasonable to calculate. 

Tea was scarcely known in Paris before the treaty of commerce in 1787;- 
but before the year 1792 the use of it was become general. It became 


•LETTERS ON INDIA. 


,17? 

the fashion to entertain by giving tea, and the middling ranks began to 
know the use of it. Though the French have disgraced themselves as a 
nation, and that it will be long before they regain the good opinion of man¬ 
kind, yet the nature of that people is such, that fashions will continue to* 
come from Paris as they so long have done ; at least this may fairly be pre- 
surned, when we consider that the disgusting manners and habits of the 
present spurious race at Paris are at this moment copied in other nations, 
and even by people of the more elevated classes of society. 

It might be a very reasonable calculation to estimate the consumption of 
tea in Europe and America for the year 1810 at four times what it was in 
the year 1789 j:a circumstance which will, no doubt, endanger our trade. 
It may induce other nations to cultivate earnestly a connection with China; 
and it is not impossible, that all other nations being opposed in interest to 
Great Britain, they may in this project aid each other; and should they 
succeed, the other branches of our Asiatic trade would be much less be¬ 
neficial than they are at present. 

Our national firmness and bravery would not serve us much in this 
event; and therefore if prevention be at all times, better than remedy, it is 
particularly to be preferred in this case, where there does not indeed seem 
to be any remedy, if the evil once takes place. This danger should not he 
looked upon as chimerical; for as other nations have certainly given up 
all idea of contending with us at sea, they will naturally take some more 
subtle method of undermining and wresting from us this principal branch 
of our commerce. 

A general coalition, for the purpofe of an attempt to obtain possession of 
the China trade, is then the greatest of the dangers that arises froni the ex¬ 
tended consumption of teas in Europe, and also in America, daily'increasing 
in population. We do not know enough about the-Chinese government to 

3 A 


^ETTERS ON INDIA. 


ifS 

be-able to say how far we can count upon its friendship, or fear its enmity. 
It would be foolish to indulge the fond hope of any exclusive privileges to 
the English merchants in China. There is a jealousy in the government of 
that country of all foreign nations, and no preference is given to one before 
another. The late emperor of China, with equal dignity and wisdom, told 
embassadors sent by the Dutch, after the dismission of our negotiator 
that.it was a maxim with the Chinese to pay equal respect to all nations. 

The second danger (which arises from the civilifation of the native 
powers) is one that must have been foreseen, and there is no possibility of 
entirely preventing it j but, what is not so probably foreseen, is, the way 
in which this will ultimately operate. This subject I shall reserve for the 
contents of another letter. In regard to the increasing state of the Russian 
empire, that subject has already been fully discussed. 

I have endeavoured to acquit myself, in the best manner of which I 
am capable, of a task equally important to the nations of Europe, as it is in¬ 
teresting to mercantile men of this and every other country. The result 
of all that I have advanced on the subject seems to divide itfelf into two 
branches, ditfering materially from each other: still both are to be united 
on terms of reciprocal advantage to all the parties iinpHcated in the most 
ancient as well as the most lucrative commerce in the world. 

In the first place, the rivality of other nations is to be avoided, and 
the plausible and ruinous schemes of the French Republic, to counteract 
and destroy our valuable Commerce with India, are to be rendered as abor¬ 
tive, as they would prove ruinous, if carried into effect. 

In the second, The interests of the East-India Company, and the free 
trade of Great Britain and India, are to be considered and combined. 

On the first I have to observe, that could foreigners find a market in the 
English settlements of India, where they could dispose of their cargoes. 


* Lord Macartney. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


173 


and at a moderate and £iir price purchase the liianufactures of Hindoostan, 
the consequence would be, that all the European nations would relinquish ' 
the idea of expensive establishments in the East Indies, as being totally un¬ 
necessary, and carry on the trade with British India on terms at once li¬ 
beral and secure. 

It also might be suggested, that the central situation of the Cape of Good 
Hope admirably qualifies that settlement as a neutral port, to become the 
grand dep6t of manufactured goods from Europe, and of merchandise from 
India. Here the private trade of India would be concentred, and the 
ships of all nations, with a short voyage, and at an easy expense, would meet 
to exchange the different commodities of their respective countries. This 
would be forming a commercial establishment, on a scale the most magni¬ 
ficent, and at the same time on principles of sound policy,—as it would 
unequivocally prove, that the mercantile system of the British empire was 
moderation and distributive justice towards all mankind. 

Respecting the second, after what has been already said, it is enough to 
mention, that the India trade presents new and almost infinite fields of ad¬ 
venture to private merchants. Under certain regulations, this commerce 
may be carried on to any extent, not with loss, but even advantage to the 
East-India Company, as it must pass through their warehouses, and they 
would thus have a percentage, or sure revenue, without the details of trade. 
This, it must be allowed, is the only kind of revenue, whether territorial 
or commercial, that can be long possessed by a state, or such a society as 
the Company, which for its magnitude and the extent of its concerns is the 
same as a sovereign republic. But if this nation does not in some way draw 
more of the Indian trade into its own channels than it now enjoys, it will be 
absorbed into those of other nations, particularly of America, which already 
runs aw^ay with half the private trade of India. 

I am, dear Sir, yours, &c. 


2 A 3 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


ISO 


LETTER XIII. 

Of the Nature of Landed Properti/ in India, as connected with Husbandry 

and Manufactures^ 

DEAR-SIR, * London, May 8, ISOO. 

Having already hinted at such arrangements as are necessary to dif¬ 
fuse the produce and manufactures of India, and to extend the exportation 
trade of these kingdoms, we are naturally led to consider of the situation of 
those who are employed in the fabrics of the East, as also the tenure of 
landed property, from which the raw material is produced ; from a care¬ 
ful attention to which subjects, we may derive some hints that may tend 
to promote and encourage the natives of Hindoostan in the cultivation of 
articles proper for the particular manufactures of the country, as well as 
those fit for the manufactures of Great Britain. There is a natural con¬ 
nection between landed property and manufactures, which cannot be se¬ 
parated. They act in reciprocity ; for, as the cultivation of^the land pro- 
motes manufactures, so have manufactures a tendency still further to pro¬ 
mote the fertility of the land. In Bengal the greatest encouragement 
should be given to the culture of the sugar-cane, indigo plant, poppy, raw 
silk, cocoa, and coffee. Public granaries should be established, and, when 

they are full, the ports for exportation should be opened, duty free.__ 

Grain in Bengal, in plentiful years, is too cheap. Granaries provide 
against scarcity, as also against excessive depreciation in the value of grain. 
The lowness that is complained of in the price of grain would indeed be 
partly^emedied by throwing a great part of the land out of the culture 
of grain into that of indigo, poppy, and other produce. The manufac- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


JSl 

ture of muslins employs many hundreds of thousands of the industrious 
inhabitants of India ; the growth of this therefore should be encouraged, 
as affording the means to the natural industry of the inhabitants, of pro¬ 
curing subsistence to so considerable a number of natives, who would 
otherwise be left with their families destitute and naked. 

The labour of men applied to the cultivation of the earth tends more 
to increase the public wealth, as being more productive of things neces¬ 
sary for the accommodation of life, or, in other words, labour and varied 
industry, wherein all real wealth consists, than if it were applied to any other 
purpose. Rural occupations not only furnish the necessaries and materials , 
for the comforts and elegancies of life, but promote the virtue, the health, 
the happiness, the population, and strength of a country. Property in land 
should be diffused among as great a number of people as may desire it; and 
these last, it will readily be allowed, are the primary objects of attention ta 
political society. Increase of opulence, and extent of dominion, are subordi¬ 
nate objects, to be pursued only as they tend to tlie increase of happiness 
or of numbers j to both of which they are in certain cases and respects un¬ 
friendly. That manner of life, therefore, which is the most favourable: 
to the virtue of the citizens, ought, for the sake of their happiness and 
the well-being of the state, to be encouraged and promoted by the legisla¬ 
ture : but men employed in the cultivation of the soil, if suffered to enjoy 
a reasonable independence and a just, share of the produce of their soil, are 
of greater bodily strength, simpler manners, and more virtuous and honest 
dispositions, than any other class of men. Their industry is not, like that 
of the labouring manufacturer, insipidly uniform, but varied : it excludes- 
idleness, without imposing excessive drudgery, and is rewarded by an, 
abundance of necessary accommodations, without luxury and confine¬ 
ment. Manufactures and commerce promote both population and wealth :: 


jg2 LETTERS ON INDIA. 

but agriculture, including pasturage, is the great basis of commerce, 
Agriculture, besides its subserviency to national wealth, has a better and 
more essential value ^ it breeds a race of men, that adorn the state in time 
of peace, and form its best defence in war.^ Let a nation grow ever so rich 
by means of commerce, still, if it loses the agricultural and martial spirit 
which are so nearly allied, its political dependence on some other nation is 
not far distant. When it becomes necessary to. call upon foreign troops for 
the protection of a state, that state has little reason to boast of its wealth. 
No kingdom ever depended on foreign troops, and long preserved its liberty. 
Witness the Roman empire—the Britons—the caliphs of Bagdat over¬ 
thrown by the Turks, their body-guards,—and the Dutch retaining the 
Prussians, the British, &c. 

Agricultural occupation nourishes a race of men fit for tlie army. In 
proportion as we encourage manufactures and commerce, we should also 
encourage agriculture and pasturage, and, when it is practicable, fisheries, 
as all of these tend not only to provide materials for manufactures and 
subjects of commerce, but also as counteracting and tempering that ener¬ 
vation and effeminacy to which domestic occupation, continued in the 
same families and districts for ages, infallibly leads sooner or later. Let 
the farmer be encouraged by the hope of attaining, if not to the property 
of the soil he cultivates, yet of arising to the happy condition of an inde¬ 
pendent cultivator, who knows the terms on which he, and his family after 
him, may hold possession, and who is not exposed to the caprice or the ava¬ 
rice of any tyrant, Let it be made as easy to the farmer to acquire security 
in his situation, on certain fixed terms, as for the manufacturer to acquire 
the full property of the raw materials he is to work up into any fabric, I 
have made use of the terms security in his situation on certain fixed terms; 
but I might have said, that it should be mads as easy for the farmer to ac- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


183 


quire the contingent value of the subject on which he is to exercise agri¬ 
cultural industry and skill, as it is for the manufacturer to acquire the con¬ 
tingent value of that on which he is to exercise mechanical labour and in¬ 
vention. For let it be observed, that all right of property is founded either 
in occxipancy or labour. The earth having been given to mankind in com¬ 
mon occupancy, each individual has aright by nature to pt)ssess and cultivate 
an equal share. Though by entering into society, and partaking of its 
advantages, he may be supposed to have submitted this natural right to 
such regulations, as may* be established for the general good, vet he can 
never be understood to have tacitly renounced it altogether. Every state 
or community ought in justice to reserve for its citizens all opportunities,, 
consistent with the best order and prosperity of society, of entering upon, 
and returning to, and resuming this their birth-right and natural employ¬ 
ment, whenever they are inclined to do so. Jt is also a maxim of natural 
law, that every one, by whose labour any portion of the soil has been ren¬ 
dered more fertile, has a right to the value of the additional fertility, and 
may transmit this right to other men : but besides the original value of the 
soil, antecedently to all cultivation, and the accessory or improved value, 
there is a contingent or improved value of the soil, a further value which 
it may still receive from future cultivation and improvements, over and 
above defraying the expense of these improvements ; er as it may be other¬ 
wise expressed, the value of an exclusive right to make these improve¬ 
ments. The estate of every landholder, while he possesses it, is capable 
of being analysed into three component parts j he must be allowed to have 
a full and absolute right to the original, the improved, and the improve- 
able value of such portion of his estate, as would fall to his share on an 
equal partition of the territory of the state among the citizens. Overall 
the surplus extent of his estate, he has a full right to the whole accessory 


184 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


value, whether he has been the original improver himself, or succeeded 
to or purchased it. from the heirs or assignees of such improver. But to the 
orip'lnal and contingent value of this surplus extent he has no full rights 
that is a property which must still reside in the community at large, and, 
though seemingly neglected or relinquished, may be claimed at pleasure 
by-the legislature. It is clearly the right of the legislature, therefore, to 
make such regulations -concerning the original and the improveable value 
of land, as may be deemed the most advantageous for the public good. It 
will be necessary, in the first place, in all arrangements respecting land, 
to separate this contingent value from the accessory and improved value, 
acquired by labour, by birth-right, or purchase j for the detriment which 
the public suffers by this separatiGn, 'arid permitting an exclusive right of 
improving the soil to accumulate in the hands of a Small part of the' com¬ 
munity, is very great in respect both of the progress of agriculture, and the 
comfortable independence of the lower ranks. 

It may not be unnecessary, in the present times, here to enter my daiml 
against any construction that may be put on these sentiments,- unfavour- 

s 

able either to the established laws and legislative authorities of this country, 
or to the right of property. It is not proposed to fly in the face of the 
established order of affairs by any bold innovation, but, by a gradual and 
prudent accommodation of the laws, refpecting the tenure of landed pro¬ 
perty to the spirit of industry and enterprise, to promote, at once, the in¬ 
terests of the landholder, and the actual cultivator of the soil, and the po¬ 
pulation and wealth of the country. With all these interests, both entails, 
and the excessive monopolisation of farms, are plainly inconsistent. , 

If in England, says Mr. Ogilvie, 100 acres of arable land are sold for 
3 500k money being at 5 per cent, the contingent value may be reckoned 
500/.; of the remaining lOOOk two or three hundred may be computed to 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


lej' 

be the original value of the soil, a judgment being formed from the na¬ 
ture of the adjoining common; and the 700 L or SOO/, remaining is to be 
accounted the amount of the accessory or improved value*. 

If the example be taken from 100 acres in Bengal, or the Lower Egypt, the 
proportion of the parts may be supposed to be 10, 4, and 1. If from 100 acres 
of uncultivated moor land in Ireland, or the northern counties of England, the 
proportion of the parts may be as I, 0, and 14. The estate of every land¬ 
holder may, while he possesses it, be considered as capable of analysation 
into these three parts; and, could the value of each be separately ascertained 
by any equitable method, as by the verdict of an assize, it would not be dif¬ 
ficult to distinguish the nature and the extent of his private right, and of that 
right also which still belongs to the community, in those fields which he is 
permitted, under the protection of municipal law, to possess. The succes¬ 
sion t-o farms should be regulated, and the means of acquiring them facili¬ 
tated. It is of more importance to the community that regulations should 
be imposed on tlie proprietors of land, than on the proprietors of money j 
for land is the principal stock of every nation, the principal object of in¬ 
dustry, and that whose use is most necessary for the happiness and due em¬ 
ployment of every individual. Proprietors of land, by exacting exorbitant 
rents, exercise a most pernicious usury, and deprive industry, actually 
exerted, of its due reward. By granting only short leases, they stifle and 
prevent the exertion of that industry which is’ ready to spring up, were 
the cultivation of the soil laid open upon equal terms. 

If it be indeed possible to accomplish any great improvement in the 

* It isdifficuU to separate the accessory from tiie original value of land, nor is it very necessary, 
the original value of the soil being virtually treated as a fund belonging to the public, anti merely 
deposited in the hands of great proprietors, to be, by the imposition of land taxes to be drawn fi oiu 

diem, and gradually applied to the public use, as the public occasions mav require. 

N 

2 E 


A '■ r 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


1S5 

State of human affairs, and to unite ' the essential equality of a rude state 
with the order, refinements, and accomplishments of cultivated ages, such 
improvement is not so likely to be brought about by any means as by a 
just and enlightened policy respecting property in land. It is a subject 
intimately connected with the proper occupation and the comfortable, 
subsistence of men. It is of a real substantial nature, on which the 
regulations of law may be made to operate with efficacy, and even 
with precision^'.—So powerful and salutary might the good .effects of 
such an enlightened policy prove, so beneficial such a restoration of the 
claims of nature and the general birth-rights of mankind, that it might 
alone suffice to renovate the strength of nations, exhausted by civil war, 
or by great and unsuccessful enterprises j and, even in the most flourishing 
states, it might give rise to a new sera of prosperity, surpassing all example, 
and all expectation that may reasonably be founded on any other means 
of improvement. 

There are various occas-ions, conjunctures, and situations, in which 
steps might be made towards an independent cultivation of the land 
by as many of the people as may desire it. This may be called a 
partial and gradual i-eformation; but there are other occasions and con¬ 
junctures, in which a new and perfect system of property in land might 
be established all at once. Amongst these we include those revolutions 
that transfer whole countries to new masters, who have it in their power 
to re-establish, in the subjected states, the inherent rights of mankind and 
the system of natural justice with regard to the soil. Such a situation of affairs 
is now presented to the English nation in the East Indies; who, whatever' 
may be said of the voluntary transference of pi-ovinces by the Mogul, 


* GgUvIe^ p* 53* 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


1S7 


may justify theii* right to the possesion of those provinces, by doing jus¬ 
tice to the people, by patronising and befriending them, by restoring them 
to their natural rights of a share in the soil, and promoting their health, 
virtue, and comfort,—and thus, on the whole, co-operating with the be¬ 
nevolent plan of the Almighty Ruler of all nations. Thus would the 
title and the security of the British government in India be founded injus¬ 
tice. To dispute about abstracted titles to territory is vain and nugatory. 
That prince or power has tire best, as well as the most solid right, who 
best combines actual possession with the good of the people. But it some¬ 
times happens, that people are averse to innovations, particularly where 
these are the effects of foreign dominion, and even though they are for 
their good: it is therefore politically expedient not to lay down a re¬ 
fined system, having for its object the greatest good that can be reconciled 
with the greatest supposed equity, or the general conveniency of all, but 
to hold forth some striking advantages to great bodies of men, who may 
feel that they have a common interest in promoting it. I would therefore 
propose, as the sound fundamental article of a new territorial code, that 
all disputes concerning the tenure of lands in JBritifl^ India should cease, 
and all subdivisions of the land in that country should be held by their 
present possessors, and descend to then heirs for ever. 

This plan would bid fair to interest tlie great body of the people in the 

stability of our governmentThis being thrown out of the vessel of 

« 

* Professor Ogilvic, ^^■llose way of thinking on tliis subject coincides perfectly with wliat has 
often occurred to roe in India, but to whom I am indebted for his profound arguments in favour 
of the system I wish to establish, in his admirable Essay on the Right of Property in Land, 
says, '* Tile whole landed property of Bengal, and the other provinces which our Easi-India Com- 
pany has acquired, is now absolutely at the disposal of that Company, and of the Untisli gen 
** vernment. No nobler opportunity, no equal fund for exhibiting to mankind an illustrious pattern 
" of a just and equal establishment of landed property, was ever, by any conjuucluro, thrown into the 

2 B 2 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


l5B 

State, as a sheet'anchor to hold her fast amidst the civil tempests and storms 
which might otherwise be expected to arise amidst innovations, other 
laws would be established, explaining, limiting, and restraining that ge¬ 
neral arrangement, m such a manner as to support the authority of go¬ 
vernment, maintain all orders of men in their ancient and just rights^ 
and, above all, to guard and protect the independence of the people, in 
opposition to the opulent, the luxurious, and the idle, whether natives or 
Britons. And for this end, which, though last-mentioned, is the chief in 
importance, as it involves in a great measure the other two, it is proposed. 
That the rent of every farm be converted into a free¬ 
hold FOR EVER; TRANSFERRING, AT THE SAME TIME, ALL LAND 
TAXES AND ALL PUBLIC BURTHENS, WITH ALL CONTINGENT AUG¬ 
MENTATIONS OF THOSE BURTHENS, FROM THE LANDLORD TO THE 
NEW FREEHOLDERS, FORMERLY HIS TENANTS. By THIS LAW THE 
TENANT WOULD RECEIVE SECURITY IN HIS PRESENT POSSESSION, AND 
THE LANDLORD A LUCRATIVE EXEMPTION, IN PLACE OF THE UN¬ 
CERTAIN INCREASE OF A RACKED RENT. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. 

** hands of a set of men capable of perceiving wherein the best use of such an occasion w^ould 
consjstj by making a proper use of it, and by the firm estabJishincnt of a beneficial law% 

“ Landed property*—Same reparation niightyet be made to that unhappy country for so many wrongs; 
** and some testimony might be bomcj amid so many ambiguous appearances, to the ancient honour,, 
and equitable clisposition of the British Ration ; and, what may be more directly regarded, an addi- 
tional security might thereby be provided for the permanency of our acquisitions in that part of the 
world- To establish a just sy^stem of landed property^ and to secure it by iiitrcdvicing the trial by 
jury, are, perhaps, the only innovations which Britons ought to make in the ancient instiliition of 
“ Tliiidooslan/^ 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


189 


LETTER XIV. 

Examination of the Native Potva's of India in regard to Military Pactics — 
Account of the preponderating Governments in that Country—The Pro- 
gress they have madcy and hoxv far they may be dangerous—General Pe~ 
flections on the wholey as applicable to Brillsk India, 

DEAR SIR. London. April 9. 1800. 

It has been already observed, that the East-India Company have been only 
a very few years in the full enjoyment of their present extensive territory 
The ability of the Company to retain possession of these distant depen- 

t 

dencies rests on the nature of the Company’s military government, but 
more particularly on the disposition and knowledge of the native powers 
themselves. It is a certain fact, and is a subject of great regret to this 
country, that the native powers of India have, for several years pa_st, been 
making rapid improvements in tactics, and have in no branch of military 
science been more assiduous than in that of gunnery, and the management 
of their field artillery. In this branch which is, next to fortification, the 
most abstruse, they have been considerably assisted by Frenchmen and 
other foreigners; and there is little doubt but in a very few years, with 
the same exertion they now employ, that they will approach very near us 
in this usefiil and essentiafpart of the military art. 

According as tile native powers of India advance in knowledge and ex¬ 
perience of military affairs, our situation, as the possessors of extensive ter¬ 
ritorial dominion in that country, becomes more and more dangerous and 
uncertain. There is, however, one circumstance which cannot fail to af¬ 
ford great consolation to every one who is interested in the welfare of the 

* The Dewanhee of Bengal, Bahar, and Orixa, granted' to the Company in the year 1765. 


letters on INDIA. 


190 

British empli'e in the Eo-st-^—the natives possess in tbctus^lves but very lit¬ 
tle energy of character } they are, from climate,. indolent j and no inipres— 

~ sion, but such as they are daily accustomed to receive, can, for any great 
length of time, possibly remain. It must be allowed, that they have na¬ 
turally a disposition to military service j but it requires the skill and exer¬ 
tions of European ofBcers to form a regular and well-disciplined aimy of 
natives. In the formation of this army, there must be no relaxation from 
discipline, for then all would be destroyed—even an interval of six weeks 
from military avocations is, of itself, sufilcient to obliterate from the minds 
of these men every recollection of what they had learnt, and they must re¬ 
turn to the drill for fresh instructions. Hence it follows, that the national 
character of the inhabitants of India is not much to be di'eaded from any 
system of their own j they are machines to be usefully employed under the 
direction of others ; and, as all the Indian governments are absolute, it de¬ 
pends more on the character of the prince, than on any other cause, whe¬ 
ther he can assemble a regular well-appointed army, or collect an ill-dis¬ 
ciplined, and mutinous jabble. . . 

Princes of a martial and enterprising turn give encduragement to Europeans 
to enter into their service. These Europeans, are generally of low extraction, 
and therefore more easily reconciled to those Humiliations which are insepe- 
rable from their situation. Men of this description are, however, entrusted 
with very high commands, and, in some instances, they have acquitted’ 
themselves with reputation and fidelity. But, as it is not to be supposed that 
all men possess the same energy of mind, it will happen that the zeal, in¬ 
dustry, and military talents of the preceding monarch may be rendered 
useless and-abortive, from the enervation of his successor. Another cir¬ 
cumstance is the mutability of all Indian possessions, the tendency of the 
people to revolt, and the propensity of tlieir leaders to usurpation,—these 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


191 


things destroy the energies of a country, and reduce it below the level of 
other nations; it becomes in fact a new country and another race. Cir¬ 
cumstances such as these, it may be urged, argue strongly in favour of the 
permanency, at least for a considerable period, of our Asiatic establish¬ 
ments. But more comprehensively and justly to understand the situation 
of India in a military point of view, it is necessary to take a review of the 
great military nations which compose so considerable and so productive a 
portion of the world, a subject which is now become of the first import¬ 
ance to the prosperity of Great Britain. ■ . 

The great military powers now existing in Hindoos tan, and who have 
risen on the ruins of the .Mogul empire, are the Mahrattas and the Nizam, 
or Soubahdaur of the Decan, for the empire of Tippoo Sultaun is now no 
more. The Seicks are also deserving of our' attention ; and the recent ap¬ 
prehension of the invasions of2emaun Shaw from the countries situated be¬ 
yond the western banks of the river Indus, are at this crisis particularly in-- 
teresting; and, although he is not immediately an Indian power, he is, 
nevertheless, inevitably connected with our present discussion, which is to 
show the accumulated force of Hindoosfan, and the influence they all have 
on the permanency or fall of our East-Indian possessions. • 

The empire of the Mahrattas is of the first political consequence. As a 
warlike enterprising nation, they are the only barrier against the Mahomc- 
dan conquests in Hindoostan, and therefore the natural ally of this country. 
This empire, it may be said, forms the greatest military aristocratic republic 
in the world, and is entirely upheld on that principle. Their origin has 
been doubted and controverted' by different writers ; but all agree, that the 
founder of the dynasty of the Mahratta Rajahs was descended from - the Ra- 
japootes, the best soldiers in India. The Decan, at this per-iod, was under 
the dominion of the. Moguls, then divided into many small principalities. 


192 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


all of whom paid their quota to the royal treasury. The inhabitants were 
a pastoral people, and, independently of a few principal chiefs, there were 
few distinctions in society. The hoonby, or farmer, was the first in con¬ 
sideration ; next the dungur or shepherd ; and, last of all, the gowla or cow¬ 
herd. These people were again divided into many castes or classes, of 
which the Dera, Parwarry, and Pariar, were the lowest orders, and termed 
unclean. The Mahratta is only one degree higher, and consequently no 
very nice observer of the scrupulous tenets of the* Hindoo religion. 
The highest order of their classes are the Bramins of the Pundit order, 
who eat nothing that has possessed animal life. From this, the highest 
and most particular rank, the different emanations of their religion are 
derived, till it descends to the sole restriction of eating the flesh of the 
cow, an animal held in the highestteverence by all ranks and degrees of 
this extensive empire. 

The Mahrattas were but little noticed as a military people till the day of 
Shavajei, of the race of the Oodipoor Rrjahs. In the year 1664 this leader 
sacked the famous city of Surat, and established himself at Poonah, as the ca¬ 
pital of his empire. He repeatedly attacked and routed the imperial army of 
Aurungzebe. The inauguration of this great man, who was to become the 
father of a race of kings, and the founder of a great empire, took place in 
the year 1674 at Rajagur"^, where he formerly assumed the title of Rajah. 

It is not to our present purpose to enter into a minute detail of the 
usurpations and revolutions which have taken place since that period. It 
is merely my intention to show the extent and population of the Mahratta 
country, its resources, and military strength. 

“ The whole of the dominion, thus newly established, is of vast extent, 

stretching near 1200 miles along the frontiers of the late Tippoo, and the 


* This place, before this event, was called Royhindgen. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


193 


Nizam, in a north-east direction, from Goa, on the Malabar coast, to 
** Balasore in Orissa, adjoining to Bengal; and from thence north-westerly 
1000 miles more, touching the confines of the British and allied states, 
on the borders of the Ganges and Jumnah, to the territory of the Sieks 
“ at Panniput, rendered famous in 17d 1 for the last memorable defeat sus- 

m ^ 

“ tained by the Mahrattas in their ambitious contest for empire with the 
** united declining power of the Mahomedans. From this place, in a 
** southerly course, with a great encroachment on the old eastern boun- 
“ dary of the Rajepoot country of the Ajmere, it runs about 260 miles to 
** the little Hindoo principality of Kotta, and thence south-westerly 540 
miles to the extreme point of the Sou bah of Guzarat, at Duarka, in- 
“ eluding the whole of that fertile province ; from whence, along the sea- 
« coasts of Cambay and Malabar, to Goa, the distance niay be reckoned 
“ SOO miles. Thus the overgrown empire of the Mahrattas may be said 
to extend east 19 degrees of longitude, near the parallel of SS degrees 
“ north latitude, from the mouths of the Indus to those of the Ganges, 
“ and about 13 degrees of latitude north, from the Kistnah to Panniput; 

comprehending at least an area of 400,000 square geographic miles, 
« being considerably more than a third part of Hindoostan, including the 
“ Decan, and equal, perhaps, in dimensions, to all the British and 
“ allied states in India, with those of Golconda and Mysore taken to- 
** gether,’* 

The revenue arising from this great extent of territory is not so great as 
might reasonably be expected; it is computed, on the best calculations, to 
amount to sixteen crores of rupees, or sixteen millions sterling. The- 

estimated force is 210,000 horse, and 64^000 foot. The computation 
is as follows: 


2 c 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


194 



CavaL 

Inf, 

ToiaU 

Palsbwa ■ • - .. 

4 — 

40,000 

20,000 

60,000 

: V : Bovvlnt Row Seindia 

S — 

60,000 

30,000 

.90,000 

EounceJa f - a ^ • ' * • * 

P* M ^ * * •' *' 

3 50 

50,000 

10,000 

,60,000' 

1 50 

30,000 

4,000 

-34,000 


j _ 

.30,000 


30,000 



Total 

16 Crbres. 

210,000 

64,000 

274,000 


frlie cavalry.consits of.four classes: 

1 St j The .Kassey Pagah, or household troops, 
sdly j The cavalry of the Sella-daurs. - 

■ sdly ; The volunteers ; and, 

^thly. The Pindare^s> or Looties. 

The infantry are divided into regular and irregular. 

The artillery is in a wretched state, and, in general, under the direction 
of a principal officer, who employs as many renegado Europeans as can bo 
induced into the service. 

The Kassey Pagah, or household troops, are termed Baurgeers, and re- 
ceive a monthly pay of eight rupees. Their horses are purchased and 
maintained at the expense of government. 

The Sella-daurs are an establishment extremely curious, and unknown In 
any country whatsoever. They breed the horses^ for the use of theMahratta 
cavalry, and receive thhty-five rupees per month for each horse they are 
aWe to furnish. It £s no. uncommon thing for a Sella-daur to commence 
his career with a single mare, and in a few years to furnish thirty or forty 
horses for the service of the state. He is under no tie or obligation to any 
particular chief, but seeks employment wherever he can find it. The 
Sella-daur selects for his purpose a place best suited to his plan } the more 
sequestered the better he is satisfied. In the midst of a secluded jungle, he 
rears^ his horses under the management of his family, while he repairs to 
camp with whatever number he can spare. His stock is yearly increasing;. 









LETTERS ON INDIA. 


195 


for the brood-mares are carefully kept at home for the intended purpose. 
By this extraordinary attention to the propagation of this noble and useful 
animal, are the Mahrattas enabled to bring into the field those almost in¬ 
numerable bodies of cavalry which sweep the country, and, like a torrent, 
carry every thing before them. 

The volunteers are those individuals, each of whom brings Kk horse, and 
receives from the Circar from forty to fifty rupees per month, according to 
the value of the animal. 

The Looties, or Pindarees, are the plunderers, who serve without pay, and 
who trust to their depredations for subsistence. Thfe horrid set of unfeel¬ 
ing wretches carry fire and sword wherever tJieir malignant stars direct, 
and leave no room for future spoil; neither age nor sex are spared, and 
friend and foe arc equally obnoxious to their fury. 

The Kassey Pagah are armed with matchlocks and cimeters, the Sella- 
daurs and volunteers with long spears and crooked sabres. The Looties 
are not choice in their arms. Each provides himself with a weapon 
best suited to his views or fiincy. It will here be observed that the horsffi^ 
men are chiefly Hindoos, because it is esteemed the most honourable service. 

The infantry are divided into the regular battalions, the Nezibs, or 
matchlock men, and the Arab Beyracs. 

The regulars are exercised in the manner of the Company’s troops, and 
commanded by European officers ^ but they cannot be said to be altoge- 
tlier uniformly clothed, neither are they very exact in their discipline. 

The Nezibs, or matchlock men, are quite irregular in their discipline, 
and under very little controul in the time of action: and the Arabs, al¬ 
though extremely brave, defy all subordination, and only yield to the or¬ 
ders of their own chief; their mode of warfare is desultory, but very trou- 

9 C 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


blesome to a regular enemy j for they act as riflemen, and are as daring as 
they are expert. 

The best infantry of the Mahrattas are neither inhabitants of the De- 
ean, nor of any part of the Peninsula of India j they come from Hindoostan, 
and are chiefly of the Rajapoot or Purvia castes. They are commonly 
termed Purdassees, which signifies strangers, or people not belonging to 
the Mahrattas. The pay of a foot-soldier, or Sepoy, is from six to nine 
rupees per month. 

The Mahrattas divide their army into three divisions. The light troops 
and rocket-men are put in advance, under the command of the holder of 
the Jerryput, or grand federal flag, a post tantamount to that of com¬ 
mander in chief. This division is termed the Cherryfoudge. The centre 
division, called the Beechlashkai", is a body of reserve, unincumbered. The 
rear division, which the Aishwa commands in person, contains the park 
of artillery, and protects the stores and baggage of the army, denominated 
the Boonga. 

The principal object of the military achievements of the Mahrattas is 
predatory collection; every act is influenced by avaricious motives, and 
their whole system depends on depredation and conquest. Commerce by 
this means is neglected, but agriculture is encouraged; for it is not till 
after the Desserah, or grand festival of the Mahrattas, by which time the 
lands are tilled, and the seed is in the ground, that the hostile tribes as¬ 
semble together, when they determine on the plan of devastation. They 
arc never at a loss to find pretexts for supplying the exigencies of the state, 

and enriching the Bramins of the empire. We shall now pass on to take 
a short review of the ‘ 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


197 


D E C A N, 

and consider it from that period when it fell under the Mahomedan yoke, 
under whose subjugation it has continued to the present day. 

I have already noticed the irruptions of the first Mahomedan conquerors 
into Hindoostan, under the famous IVjEahmoud Sultaun By degrees, the 
descendents of these enterprising and indefatigable despots pushed their 
conquests towards the South, and the banks of the Kistnah. The Bami~ 
neah Mahomedan kingdom of Beder forn^pd a very considerable power, 
till it was rent in pieces by the insubordination of the delegates appointed 
by the princes to rule over the distinct divisions of that empire. Five of 
these rulers formed as many separate and independent kingdoms 5 these 
princes crossed the Kistnah, and, after various, struggles, asserted their su¬ 
periority over a considerable part of the peninsula, at that time inhabited 
by the two great Hindoo nations oi Mnlabar and CuTiflra. Ramrag, the 
king o£Bejanagiir f, reigned over the Hindoos at that time, a warlike and 
powerful people. But the good fortune of the Mahomedans prevailed. 
Great part of the peninsula was subjected to their dominion; and those 
parts where their arms did not penetrate, branched out, on the destruction 
of the Bejanagur dynasty, into numberless petty states, under the Hindoo 
grandees, who assumed the title of Rajah, or others similar. 

The empire of the Moguls, during a length of time, had contented 
themselves with the unqualified controul of the provinces situated in the 
centre of Hiiidoostan. Those of Delhi, Agra, Benares, Guzarat, Bengal, 
Oude, with many others, appertairted to th^ft extensive empire. The 

* Vide p. 70 of this work. 

♦ 

t The mins of the immense city of Bejanagur are still visible, and have been often described. 


19« 


'LETTERS ON INDIA. 


thirst of power strongly inclined the emperor Aurengzebe. to bring-under 

a 

his subjection not only that part of India which still remained to the 
Hindoos, but also those princes who had revolted from the Mahbmedah 
kingdom of Beder. In this attempt, although not altogether successful, 
he .raised the donainion of the Mogul diadem to the highest pitch of its 
glory and power. Before the death of that great man in 1707, the lustre 
of tlie Mahomedan arms shone in almost every part of Hindoostan, and 
over a vast portion of the peninsula. The revenues of the empire 
amounted to twenty-five millions per annum, and it was supposed that the 
like sum, which ought to have flowed into the royal treasury, was absorbed 
by the avarice and peculations of the rapacious governors of the more di¬ 
stant provinces. 

On the death of Aurengzebe, the Mogul empire, which had accumu¬ 
lated to so enormous a height, began to decline. The governors of pro¬ 
vinces, and the great officers of state, began to shake off, which they did 
by degrees, all dependence on the Mogul, From the court of Delhi was 
derived the nomination of all the Soubahs or governors of provinces, wlib-, 
in their turn, appointed Nabobs or deputies, to regulate under them in¬ 
ferior districts. The Soubahdary of the Decan was an extensive and lu¬ 
crative command, and bestowed on Nizam-ul-Mooek by the reigning em¬ 
peror Mahomed Shaw. This man had enjoyed at Delhi the high office of 
Vizier, and was descended from an ancient family of the Tartar race; for 
it required the blood of the hardy Tartars to regenerate the enfeebled sons 
of Hindoostan, rendered eflfeminate by climate, luxury, and enervation. 
Less penetration than the Nizam possessed would have led him to discover 
the declining state of the once powerful empire of Delhi. Resolving to 
benefit by its fall, he secretly induced the Mahrattas, now become of 
consequence in the political horizon of Asia, to wage war against the 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


199 


Mogul, and he excited the invasion of Nadir Shaw. While the empire 
was torn in pieces by external as well as internal enemies, the Nizam-ul- 
Mooek: threw off his allegiance, and became the absolute monarch of the 
Decan. The district of Arcot, dependent on it, was governed by Subd- 
ter Ally Cawn, when Nizam-ul-Mooek took possession of his new 
dimity; On the death o£',Subdter Ally, the Nizam appointed Anawer 
Qdien Cawn, then Nabob of Hydrabad, to the province of Arcot, and 
charged him with the care of the infant son of the late Nabob. On the 
deatli of this youth, who was murdered by Morliz Ally Cawn, a relation 
of his own, Anawer Odien Cawn became the lawful Nabob of Arcot. 
Anawer Odien was father to Mahomed Ally, and to whose interests the 
East-India Clompany allied themselves, in opposition to the French, who 
espoused the cause of Ghunda Saheb, a- soldier of fortune^ and a mere 
usurper. 

It is not to the present purpose to enter into the details of aU the con¬ 
flicts which took place about this period between the comparatively small 
armies of the French and English. The succession was severely and ar¬ 
duously disputed j during which time the Nizam, or Soubahdaur of the 
Decan, became the tool of the French. It is to Lawrence, to Clive, and 
to Coote, that we owe the singular preservation of the British territory on 
the coast of Coromandel. This country has been indebted to fortuitous 
circumstances in India for its present exaltation. The feuds of contend¬ 
ing princes, the dissolution of the Mogul empire, the rising, power of the 
Mahrattas, with the subdivisions of that'power, and the usurpation of 
Hyder Allyj have all contributed, in a greater or lesser degree, to establish 
the dominion of the English. The perfidy of the French, their neglect 
of tra.de, and the innovation of the descendents of Nizam-ul-Mooek, the 
Soubahdaurs of the Decan, has rendered the political consequence of that 


200 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


country, as it relates to the interests of Great Britain, of little ' im¬ 
portance. 

The French, indeed, still continue to*regard the Soubah of the De¬ 
can as their natural ally; and an attempt was very recently made to in¬ 
troduce into his service a very considerable body of troops, disciplined 
and commanded by French ofEcers. These troops were, no doubt, in¬ 
tended to act in conjunction with the late Tippoo Sultaun; but the fore¬ 
sight and prudence of the Marquis of Wellesley rendered the scheme 
abortive. The Marquis represented to the Nizam the folly of such a mea¬ 
sure, as well as the danger to himself, of allowing French influence to be 
predominant in his countiy. This prince was too sensible of the power 
of the English to neglect the advice. It fortunately happened that the 
troops thus raised and disciplined'by the French officers were in arrears of 
pay, and had become extremely mutinous and discontented. They had 
even proceeded so far as to confine their officers. In this situation they 
were surrounded by a detachment of Madras troops, and compelled to lay 
do\yn their arms. The officers were conducted to Madras prisoners of war, 
and the corps were disbanded. 

By a recent treaty entered into between the Nizam and the British Go¬ 
vernment in India, that prince is debarred from entertaining any French 
in his service in future. The Marquis of Wellesley has also contrived, by 
his political and commercial, arrangements with the Nizam, to render his 
interest so much connected with that Of the East-India Company, that he 
is in fact become more a dependent than an ally. By policy equally wise 
and prudent, from the cession of Circars to the Company, he is shut out 
from the sea, with which he can have no communication. As an in¬ 
land power, he must depend on the English for supplies from foreign 
tountries, they being in possession of the surrounding coast which forms 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


20^ 


a part of the Bay of Bengal. The internal resources of the Nizam would 
do little to support a war, should he ever be desperate enough to attempt 
it. The French have now no chance of renewing their ancient connection 
with the Decan, a circumstance which, at one period, under the admini¬ 
stration of the indefatigable Dupleix, gave them the probability of becom- 
ing predominant in India. The troops of the Company will continue to 
over-awe the unruly rabble by which the Nizam is surrounded, and, at the 
same time, the protection of the English Government will make him re¬ 
spectable in the eyes of the Mahrattas, whose extensive territories approach 
him to the west and north. To the eastward, Moodajee Bhoonsla, a pow¬ 
er) ul Mahratta prince, is the immediate neighbour between him and tlie 
provinces of Bengal. 

The Nizam is able to bring into the field a considerable force j his standing 
army may be computed at seventy thousand men, of whom forty thousand 
are cavalry. The revenues of the districts of Hyderabad, in the brilliant days 
of Aurengzebe, were rated in the books of the empire at 3,479,250;^, at this 
time they scarcely amount to half that sum. It is a remark of importance tiaat 
the territorial revenues of Hindoostan, in general, have been greatly on the 
decline since the reign of Aurengzebe, and that usurpation, tyranny, and 
peculation, have dried up the sources of industry, and destroyed the ener¬ 
gies of the people. British India is an instance to the contrary, whose 
revenues are daily increasing, and will continue, to increase, so long as mea¬ 
sures like the present are pursued, that private property is secured, and 
that the love of justice shall be tempered with the happiness of the subject. 

Some agrarian regulations are. yet necessary to complete the system 
of our government in the East, and particularly due attention to the code 

* Tiiis was not nuich above one-half of the actual revenue ; the reniaintlerj as was the case under 
the Moguls, was dissipated by the collectors and great oliicers of state, 

2 D 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


i02 

of penal laws by which only the distinctions of the numerous castes of peo¬ 
ple ill Hindoostan can be preserved. These distinctions ought never to be 
violated by the laws of European conquerors, as this would tend to the degra¬ 
dation of nations of men, liberal-minded, and whose character and honour is 
indelibly connected witli the simple, though not less interesting, institutions 
of their forefadiers. The Hindoos of India are the most ancient people of 
the universe now existing. They have preserved, to our knowledge, since 
the days of Alexander, their ancient manners, customs, and solemnitiesi 
uncorrupted. Let not, therefore, the tranquil and peaceable Hindoos be 
insulted with any undue exercise .of laws formed for the more abandoned 
and licentious manners of European nations. 

The Seicks have already been noticed in tJae course of these- letters, as 
also the nation or tribes of the Abdallees.*. A few general observations on 
these people, in addition to what has already been observed, will suffice to 
give a competent idea of the extent and power of their respective do- 
ininionsv 

It has already Been observed that, in political afialrs, near neighbours are 
seldom fifends -j“. Nature seems to have ordered these matters wisely ; 
lor it is to be observed that rivality between neighbours is the impulse 
which generates liberty and martial virtue. 

T he empire of the Seicks, although inferior to that of Zemaun Shaw 
Abdalla, is extensive and powerful. The first, it is said, can bring ]00>000; 
cavalry into the field, while the other can command doubfe that number. 
Be this as it may, they are both considerable,, and, happily for British India,, 
their interests, their prejudices, their manners and customs,, insuperably 
different. The subjects of Zemaun Shaw ate imperious, bigotted mussul- 
men, proud, vindictive, and sanguinary. The Seicks, on the other hand* 

t Page 132. 


. * Vnde page 65; 


LETTEIIS on INDIA, 


205 


perhaps no less ferocious, mingle with their ferocity a spirit of toleration and 
philanthropy unknown to the other. Although originally Flindoos of the 
race of lates, the austerity of that people is softened by milder principles 
of pure theology. They believe in one God, in a day of resurrection, and 
the doctrine of rewards and punishnnentSi. . W^ith these sentiments, some 
good may be expected from this hardy race. They should not be neg¬ 
lected by the British Government in India, but rather be cultivated, en¬ 
couraged, and protected in their independence. Opposed to the Abdallees, 
in conjunction with the English, they wUl form a certain balance against 
the irruptions of the combined powers of the Adghans, and the numerous 
tribes situated in the northern parts of Hindoostan. 

Of these tribes I shall say but little, referring you, on this subject, to 
the excellent analysis of Ladia, written by Mr. Sullivan. In that compen¬ 
dium you will find an account of the Rohillas and Patans, the Rajahpootes^ 
lates, and the inferior Hindoo princes of Hindoostan, The subdivision of 
power Is not to be seriously dreaded, and it is only continuity and unity 
that can become formidable to the East-India Company. Possessed of one - 
half of Hindoostan, it would be hard indeed if the resources of so extensive 
a country, rendered more productive by an equitable government, and great 
military knowledge and power, should not be competent to preserve the 
tranquillity of India. Internal commotions, and not external broils, is to 
he apprehended and guarded against. 

Oppose -the Seicks to the Abdallees and the Mahomedans of the nortli of 
Hindoostan j retain the Nizam, the Soubahdar of Oude, the .Nabob of 
the Carnatic, the,Rajah of the Mysore, with tliose of Tanjore, Travancore, 
Cochin, Goorg, and the many princes of Malabar, as dependent friends or 
tributary allies. Support the constitution of the Mahratta empire, parti¬ 
cularly in all the subdivisions of their immense powers prevent the growth 


S D 2 


letters on INDIA, 


SOi 

and aggrandisement of individual states, provinces, or nations j support the 
weaker against the oppressions of the more powerful, and inculcate justice ; 
but, above all, be mindful that it is military power and not love that sways, 
and has always swayed, the sceptre of Hindoostan j be assiduous to retain, 
and by every means to improve, the confidence of your army; let them be 
paid well and regularly; avoid severe punishments; but when death is 
necessary, let it be inflicted. From the subordination and discipline of your 
army you have every thing to expect; with its loss, on the other hand, 
every thing to dread : for, as has been well expressed by Mr. Hastings, the 
empire which we have reared in India is “ suspended by a thread so fine, 
** that the touch of chance might break, or the breath of opinion dis- 
" solve it.*" 

I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


205 


LETTER XV. 

Little Attentioji paid in India to support the Credit of the Co7npanp-~-Their 
Paper subject to great Pepreciatmi—Money difficult to be borrowed by the 
Company for the Want of Fmancial Regulations-^Neccssity of adopting 
some System to that Effect—Outline of a Plan to ameliorate their Silua^ 
tion in regard to it-^Grcat Advantages to be derived from it by Individuals, 
as well as being extremely beneficial to the Company—May excite the At- 
tention of Free Traders and others^Probably, if carried mto Execution 
by the Proprietors, be the Means of cjisiiring a Reneival of the Charter—^ 
A Banking-House in London to be employed in the Airangement, 

t 

DEAR SIR, London, April ISLh, 1800. 

During my residence in India, it often occurred to me as an extraor¬ 
dinary thing, that so little attention was paid to any mode of assisting the 
Company’s credit, or for preventing the depreciation of their paper mo¬ 
ney in their settlements there j—circumstances which have ever been con¬ 
sidered of the first political importance j and there is no country where in¬ 
attention to them has been more severely felt than in India. The press¬ 
ing exigencies of the Company’s service frequently demanded the imme¬ 
diate Ipans of large sums of money, the advance of which, from the want 

of any regular system of finance, opened a wide field for speculations_ 

favourable to individuals, although, at the same time, extremely disastrous 
to the interests of the Company. 

It is well known that those who had the command of money were en¬ 
riched. But the disadvantages to the 'Company were peculiarly severe j 
the loss not only fell heavy on themselves, but particularly so on the pri- 


205' 


Letters on india. 

vate men of the army, and geiierally on all the classes of their numerous 
servants and dependents. The bad effects arising from such an evil might 
have endangered the safety of our possessions in India; and were similar 
events again to happen, which is very flir from improbable, there is no 
calculating on the result. 

These reflections have been renewed of late, and have miade on my mind 
. a strong impression of the necessity of adopting some modq to ameliorate, 
tlie situation of the Company. 

In a publication which I had the honour of being permitted to dedicate 
to the Court of Directors, it will be seen that I was aware of the dangers 
which lately tlrreatened our Eastern dependencies. I was induced parti¬ 
cularly at that time, from my experience of the expenses attending a war 
in India, to arrange my ideas on the utility of employing efficacious means 
to strengthen the Company*s finances, and by their operation not only to 
facilitate the procuring of money for the public service in cases of future 
emergency, but at all periods, whether of peace or war, to establish pub¬ 
lic credit, and prevent individuals from benefting by the distress, and at 
the expense of the best interests, of the Company. It must be admitted, 
that the revenue of a country, however productive and well administered, 
must at times be aided by well-conducted creative efforts, or otherwise be 
liable to the combinations of monied men. 

The plan which Iliave now the honour to inclose for assisting public 
credit in India, although not a perfect one, is a full outline, subject to 
such degree of extension and improvement as may be deemed necessary or 
expedient. 

On every occasion where it has fallen in my way, I have endeavoured to 
promote the interest of the Company; and in the present instance I gra¬ 
tified my inclination to be of service, by transmitting a copy of the in- 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


207 


closed for the consideration of the Executive Power of that body. The 
silence which has been observed on the subject of it seems to indicate 
little desire to promote its operation^ and consequently that it has not met 
with that approbation which I should have been pleased it had done. 
Without further observation, I shall proceed to explain whaf appears to 

, f . 

me an object of the highest importance 'to the well-being of any corporate 
body placed in a situation similar to that of the East-India Company, 


OUTLINES OF A PLAN for liquidating the DEBTS of the 
COMPANY, and increasing its Cx^PITAL. 

A Company that is above fifteen millions in debt, with an active capital 
not equal to one quarter of that sum, and avowedly straitened for means 
to carry on its trade, ought to change the system that has brought it to so 
dangerous a state, and by which it is open to the depredation of other 
merchants, foreigners as well as British. 

The capital of the Company cannot be increased by any nevr loan to an 
amount sufficient to remove its embarrassments, far less to extend its com¬ 
merce. No relief equivalent to these disorders can be applied by an in¬ 
stantaneous effort. It is even very doubtful whether parliament will 
countenance any augmentation of the capital of the Company, beyond- 
what is provided for by the terms of the last charter; for there is- an evi¬ 
dent absurdity in a trading Company going on perpetually borrowing,., year 
after year, perhaps beyond the amount of its dividends. 

The real case is, that gradual and well-directed effiorts are the only 
means by which so disproportioned a debt can be reduced, or by which 
the affairs of the Company may be brought to a regular state. 



203 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


The great success of Mr. Pitt’s sinking fund, in which he has perse¬ 
vered in a manner as honourable to himself as advantageous.to the affairs 
of the nation, added to the plain and simple calculations of compound in¬ 
terest, indicate the manner in which this business niay be done with ease 
and certainty 

But there are two questions wliich arise out of this;-—First, Where is the 
fund to come from ? And, secondly. Who is to have the administration 
of it? With respect to the hrst question, we must consider, that the exi¬ 
gencies which have created these embarrassments, and the irregidur mode 
of transacting money matters in India, prevent us from calculating on any 
resource either from the territorial revenues of that country, or from, the 
commercial interest to which the territory is stated to be in debt -f*. 

From these circumstances a sinking fund, which, in cases of didiculty, 
could not he alienatedy is not to be expected from the Company itself ; and 
one that could be alienated would be of lio value. 

Again—it would be useless to calculate on aid from the British Govern¬ 
ment, for that perhaps cannot be obtained; and, if it could be obtained, it 
would be but a change of creditor for the Company, as the debt would only 
change hands, and still would remain to be paid. The question is then nar- 

^ The accumulation of by Gom pound interest has die appearance of a owing to the 

calculation of men who have no other merit than that of being able to add and multiply. , “ One 
penny/' say they, since the birth of Christ, would have accumulated to an immense sum j a sum 
" equal to 150 millions of worlds of solid gold/' It is perfectly true; but, as such accnmuktions 
never took place, and never in fact can take place, people are led to consider It as useless or ill-founded 
theory. This is only because it is a sort of exaggerated caricature ; and because, when a sum accu¬ 
mulates to be very great, tJtereis na mode q^emplc^ifig itwiiks/^ety. —In paying off a debt, however, 
to its utmost extent, such calculations are perfectly and minutely exact as well as practicable; this 
operatiw will be found to coincide exactly with tlie tlieory, but it never will in accumulation to a 
high amduht. 

^ On this subject 1 entertain considejable doubts but tlie discussion in this place, of little im¬ 
portance. 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


209 


rowed—the stockholders must establish the fund themselves out of their 
■own money. 

But how is this to be done ? The Company is in England, not in India, 
and its servants there cannot, for the reason already given, viz. the exi¬ 
gence of the public service, and liuctuatlng state of affairs in that quarter, 
-answer for the permanent application of such monies to the liquidation of 
■debts. The fund must therefore arise from individual members of the 
Company, but must not be administered either by the executive power, or 
by those who conduct their usual affairs under it. 

The stockholders are in fict the Company, and consequently they are 
the persons most interested in its welfare and prosperity: but, as the stock¬ 
holders have no executive power, they cannot pay off the debts of the 
Company by the usual mode in which they transact ordinary business. 

The stockholder or proprietor must therefore think of another mode to 
aid himself, and for this purpose it is suggested, that the individual stocks 
holders should, for a series of years, employ under their own direction a 
small portion of their dividends in establishing a fund to pay off debts al¬ 
ready contracted, and to prevent the usurious transactions that, in time of 
war, take place in India. By this naeans they would, from the beginning 
of the operation of the plan, increase the stability of their own funds, and 
promote very considerably, in various shapes, the flourishing state of their 
affairs—This is the answer to the first question. 

In regard to the second question— 

The Proprietors should have agents of their own, empowered to buy up 
bonds or other s^curUies of the ComptmieSf hid 7 wi empotucred to do any thing 
els&^ And such is the progress of accumulating interest that it would pot 
be many years before the revenues of the Company could, on its present 
stock, divide above 30 per cent.—in which case, stock now at 200 would 

2 E 


g!0 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


be worth above 500. While this great end should be obtained, the indivi¬ 
dual stockholders would only be irustwg themselves; they would not be 
giving credit to strmgers, and they would soon be equal to carrying on a 
much more extensive trade to India, the participation of which is so ea- 

V 

gerly sought after. By these simple, but direct and infallible means, their 
dividends would be increased in a few years as much as the sacrifice annu¬ 
ally made j so that it would only be a few years at the first tliat any mo¬ 
ney would be laid out, and that money arising from the trade itself. 

The advantages proposed by this are, tliat a fund adequate to the pur¬ 
pose would be obtained from a source that is certain, and be applied in a 
manner that would render it unalienable j which are the things required to 
be done. 

To make the advantages of the plan more clearly understood, it needs 
only to be mentioned, that had the Company begun by appropriating a sum of 
50,000/. a year in this manner^ (which is not more tlian the allowance made 
to some of its pen'sionaTies in India), which sum there could be no difficulty 
-in saving; and, if it had been employed in lending when money was at 
per cent, or in buying up bonds, wffien tlaey were transferred at a great 
loss, ever since the year 1767, nearly 15,000,000/. of debt would have 
been paid off or avoided ; and a clear revenue of 1,500,000/. a year would 
be applicable to the payment of the debt, for dividends or for government, 
which, before the expiration of the present charter, would pay off about 
60 millions, leaving the individual stockholders with claims on the gtock to 
that amount, were the affairs of the Company on a scale large enough to 
admit of it. But, as the time is now gone by, a larger sum must be ap- 
pj;opriat€d, in order that the Company may be effectually relieved. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


,211 


The following Pla7i is proposed for that Purpose. 

That each stockholder should apply a portion of the half-yearly divi¬ 
dend for the purpose of extinguishing the debts of the Company irTlndia, 
by the purchase of their bonds and other securities which, at the rate of 10 
per cent, would accumulate thus. 


YEAR. 


End of Year the 



Sums paid j 
.Annually* j 

Interesl 

Annually, 

Tolal Capital, 
accumulated. 

- 1st 

200^000 

20,000 

220,000 

2d 

200,000 

42,000 

462,000 

3d 

200,000 

66,200 

728,200 

4 th 

200,000 

92,820 

1,021,020 

5th 

200,000 

.122,102 

1,343,122. 

dth 

200,000 

154,312 

1>697,434 

7th 

200,000 

189,743 

2 , 077,177 

8th 

200,000 

227,717 

2,504,894 

9 th 

200,000 

0 

CO 

2,975,383 

10th 

200,000 

317,338 

. 3 , 492,921 

11th 

200,000 

369.292 

4,062,213 

12th 

, 200,000 

426,221 

4,688,434 

13 th 

200,000 

488,843 

5 , 377,277 

14th 

200,000 

557 >727 

6,135,004 

15th 

200,000 

633,500 

6,968,504 

l6th 

200,000 

716,850 

7,885,354 

17 th 

200,000 

808,335 

8,893,889 

18th 

200,000 

909,388 

. 10,003,277 

19 th 

200,000 

1,020,327 

11,223,604 

20 th 

200,000 

. 1 , 142,360 

12,563,964 




2 E 2 











letters 

It is evident that this plan may be executed either on. a smallec or 
larger scalC) in which case the advantages would be in proportion to 

eiFort xnade. ' 

It is, however, necessary to observe, that the rate of interest in Indians 
subject to great fluctuation—from 6. to 12 per cent, per annum. But all 
.things considered, if the Company’s credit is to be supported in .such a 
, manner as to prevent in future the great depreciation of their paper money, 
h is .hut.fliir to fi>: the interest at JO per cent; and the Company them- 
,selves/would And their account in it. 

This measure .would induce the Proprietors to come forward, in fact to 
support themselves, an place of ajllo\ying strangeraand foreigners to hold 
such,a stock in tjie funds: of , the East-India Company as must very soon 
increase to,more.than, double . the amount of their capital, and, in the end, 
sap. its ,exis,tepee toj , .thp^.,found^iprV^,^ , For what good reason should the 
Company's, bonds, , certi^cal^s, and thc: otl^et species of paper money, 
.which the exigencies of the service require,, be retailed to all descriptions 
of men in India, who lie in wait, in times of necessity, to take the ad- 
vantage of the scarcity of , public money, - The Company’s paper has been 
sold from 20 to 70 per cent, loss. The operation of this plan would pre¬ 
clude the same fatal depreciation of the Company’s funds, which have so 
much disgraced not only the private acts of individuals, but the public 
government of the Company. . 

Such would, be the state of things at the expiration of twenty years, and, 
at the expiration of the Company’s charter in 1814, upwards of six mil¬ 
lions would have accumulated: now this must be paid off, or the charter 
renewed, and the debts remain to the individuals; so that, whichever way 
it were, the speculation as individuals would be immensely advantageous. 
On a calculation for twenty years, stockholders would get back in one 


LETTERS ON ' INDliA:. ' i>I 3 

year nearly as mucK a5 tli^y had paid in the first sir years : irbin whence 
it follows, that, on the expiration of twenty years, the interest in one year 
would be equal to the whole advance made by the Proprietors in six years, 
'and U'clear gain be obtained of inore than ten millions. 

All this would be the fruits of a little ceebnomy for a time, which 
^Would be amply repaid afterwards in augmented dividends on stock: • But 
this IS not all the object to stockholders ; for the debts' of ' the ' Comply 
are so beyond its power to pay, and have been so rapidly increasing (ex¬ 
ception being made of some years), that it will lie entirely in the breast 
of Government to take awayj oec reiiew th£ chdrty; etefy charter, 

whilst it conveys rights, demands an 'equifaleht; ; and withbut meaning to 
■makeany harsh remark, but eiily toTpeak tb the fact, a 
hualJy increasing its capital and its debts, and that i^' unable^ at the same 
time to supply the country with those articles warit^' to 
Its means, imust run a risque of having either a ruinous trade to supjibrt, 

, or of having its form new modelled, so as to an^er the purpbses for which 
it was intended. - - . . , , 

It may be thought that the small means pointed but fof the accohiplish- 
ment of so great an end are quite inadequate ; but if the basis is solid, of 
which there can be no doubt, the figures of the calculation must be right. 
Let-us also consider, as has’ been already observed, that the Company - 
often pay 12 per cent, in India for money, and that its bonds are frequently 
at 30, 40, and have been 50, and even 70 per cent, discount; so that 
individuals accumulate immense sums by the Company’s distresses, all which 
would be saved by the plan which I have already submitted One more 
observation is alone necessary, and which is, that calculations of compound 

= * This plan,has alreaci;; been giVen to the chaiman,. Mr. IngUs, whose knowledge of the afTairs 
India, and attenlioa to the interests of the Company, is universally acknowledged! !•' 


LETTERS ON INDIA: 


21 + 

interest answer more fully in paying oif debts than in' acGUiliulatirig large 
sums; because in paying off debts, the interest saved is the certain gain. 
In accumulating a sum, employment is to be found for the money accu¬ 
mulated ; and some part of it may be badly employed, which d^tartges the 
calculation, and renders abortive the best regulated system. ^ 

Had the fortune which lord Clive is said to have brought from India 
with him been employed ever since in the operation now proposed, with¬ 
out any other aid, it would have accumulated to more than the whole pro¬ 
perty of the East-India Company. ‘ ' ' 

The debt of India, in case of the adoption of this plan, ought to be all 
transferred to Bengal, where the sinking fund should have its operation. 

The Proprietors of East-India Stock may naturally be anxioui; to know 
to what extent their dividends may be called upon to establish the fund 
now recommended. It will be a satisfaction to learn, that one pet cent; and 
]0-l6ths on the original stock, or three per cent. 5-Sths on the accumu¬ 
lated stock, will . produce the effect required; or, in other words, the 
stockholder who purchases his India stock at 200/. for every lOO/. origi¬ 
nally subscribed, by giving up annually 3/. J2^. 6d. out of lOh lOS. which 
is the present dividend on that sum, or teil afid a half per cent, will still 
reserve to himself 6/i I7s. 6r/: which will afford him 3/i 8$. 9d. per cent, 
interest for his money, besides being a creditof on the Company’s finances, 
at the expiration of the charter, to a considerable amount. 

It is to .be observed, that Propnetors may either allow a greater or 
smaller part of their dividends to be laid oUt, and for Which they would 
be entitled to a benefit on the like proportion. But to put this plan in a 
still more familiar point of view, the subscriber of 100/. a yeir would in 
seven years, hold the securities of the Company for 103S/.—in ten years 
for 1746/.—and in twenty years for upwards of 5000/. Or the capital 



215 


LETTERS , ON INDIA. 

Gtifn of 1000/. paid ill now, would produce in twenty years more than 
OOOO/. 

But the grand operation in favour of the Company, by having it done by 
the Proprietors, themselves, would be, that for the advance of 200,000/. 
yearly, the Company, at the expiration of the charter, would have dis¬ 
charged upwards of six millions of debt i and if allowed to accumulate 
for twenty years, produce no less a sum than 1 Q,566Mil. to be applied to 
the same or otlier. purposes During this gradua.I operation, the money 
which would have gone to the payment of debt already incurred could be 
applied to extend the commerce of the Company. On the renewal of the 
charter, a circunisiance which such gpod conducl nmdd Widoubtedly wari'anii 
the capital thus created might be made an additional fund, on which, at 
any time, from the prosperous state of the Company’s affairs, dividends 
could be made. 

In general, this plan would give a new complexion to the affairs of the 
Company, by bringing so. much ready money yearly into the market, uU 
timately reduce the rate of interest, and eaahle the Governments in India 
to procure, more money readily, and on better terms than hitherto. 

iThere is-one observation, wbicla appears extremely necessary. The fa¬ 
cilities of the proposed plan, and the inquiry it must necessarily excite in 
tliose who are.at all habituated to calculation, may probably stimulate that 
description of men who wish to become free-traders to India, as well as 
Britisii .subjects, arid- many foreign houses, to carry the scheme into exe¬ 
cution j the result of -which would: be, ’that while it carries the appearance 

* Calculations of’this kind are deserving of attention, especially Wiierethe matter In question can 
be; accomplished. One hundred pounds- at compound inteiest, at-die expiration of seven years, 
amounts to 19^/. 12.». lOd, .^d at;'the.ex^iEation of seventy years to np Jdss a sum tliaa 102,400/. The 
wisdom and justice of the Briti.sh legislature has very properly , put a stop to unjust and partial accumu¬ 
lation, whenitb notfor the bdcefit. of theeJiisting geneiationf, . ^ 


21S 


LETTEE,;i OK INDIA.- 

of supporting tlie Company’s credit both at home and abroad, they would, 
in fact, with a certain great profit, accumulating such a mass of debt 
against the East-India Company as may put that great body completely in 
their power, and if not in a few years lay the trade open, prevent the ^ 
renewal of the charter. But, on the other hand, as the plan is meant for 
the amelioration of the Company’s finances, their carrying it into effect 
themselves, by a judicious appropriation of part of their dividends, will 
disappoint the hopes of all those who liave a desire to profit by, if not to 
ruin, the East-India Company. 

Should, however, the Proprietors of East--India Stock, contrary to all 
reasoning and calculation, resist their own interest so much as not to give 
the plan proposed a fair trial, there are persons in Great Britain, without 
doubt, not inimical to the Company, who, for many reasons, would en¬ 
courage such an establishment; principally from the unquestionable nature 
of the security, and the great variety oT purposes, the accumulation of 
money by compound interest may, to private and domestic purposes, be 
beneficially and happily applied. 

Tlie only difficulty that appears in the proposed plan is the mode of 
making the remittances to India. Great objections may be made to re¬ 
mitting gold or silver, and greater still to sending goods, which might be 
unprofitably sold. The business, therefore, is, to reduce the whole to the 
greatest possible certainty, else calculations are useless. 

It would he best for the Stockholders here to pay the money into the 
hands of a banking-house in London, and the house to have a commission 
for transacting the business, and to defray the expenses of sending out to 
India a proper agent, for whose conduct the house should be responsible. 

The agent to be allowed an establishment, and entrusted with necessary 
powers to draw on the banking-house in London for the sums applicable 


LETTERS ON INDM. 


£1? 


to the plan. A committee of the Proprietors to he empowered to examine 
the books, and demand an account from time to tirrie. The part of the 
^lan which relates to drawing bills in London might 'be managed by a 
letter of credit, similar to those granted by the House of Hammersley and 
Co. Every bill drawn on London should be written ofFon the back of the 
letter of credit, so that the sum intended to be annually employed would 
be strictly limited. 

I remain. Dear Sir, yours, 





f D ,S ► I 




, I • ' ■ . 'd;-. 


2 F 


tETTEUS ON Il^DIA. 




LETTER XVI. 

Recapitulation and Conclusioyi. 

DEAR SIR, LonJon, July 30.-IROO, 

The blow is now struck, and the long-meditated plan hostile to English 
commerce is about'to be attempted. Peace on the Continent will inevi¬ 
tably be the result of the present armistice between the Emperor of Ger¬ 
many and the French republic. It is doubtful whether Great Britain,, 
consistently with national character, can possibly stoop to the terms which 
France will dictate. In this case, our navy will have to oppose the deets 
of all the world j unless indeed the Emperor of Russia, by wise and pru¬ 
dent conduct on our part, be detached from the coalition of the northern 
powers, which has for its object a participation of the trade to India. It 
has long been known to all the world, that Great Britain was grasping too 
much, and that the repeated seizure of vessels belonging to the Danes and 
Swedes would irritate their courts, and bring upon us what has actually 
happened. 

As this is the last letter with whidi I shall trouble you, I will conclude 
my correspondence, which was undertaken from sentiments of regard to 
the welfare of this country, and with a view to avert misfortunes, by 
touching on the three principal heads which have composed the chief sub- 
jedt of my letters. 

First; the political importance of Bombay. 

Secondly ; The free trade to India. 

Thirdly; In what manner the friendship of the Emperor of Russia is 
to be acquired. 


LETTERS OK" INDIA. ‘ 21© 

It is no secret, that the French have it in contemplation to establish fac¬ 
tories on the coast of Malabar; and they fondly imagine that the Mahrattas 
will be friendly to them, and forward their views. The coast of Coromandel 
is considered by that extraordinary people, the French, as not immediately 
in their parages j for, say they, the division of the Indian Sea points out to 
the powers of Europe what establishments are necessary. Those nations 
who trade with China, the Moluccas, and the Eastern Seas of those coun¬ 
tries, have a right to the coast of Coromandel, there to establish their rest¬ 
ing places. But, on the other hand, those states and kingdoms who sur¬ 
round the Mediterranean, and have a near communication with Suez and 
Eussorah, derive, from the prerogatives of nature, a kind of right to the coast 
of Malabar. In this manner do the French argue, unless they are suffered to 
remain in the possession of the Venetian Islands, in which case, indeed, 
they intend to beciome the founders of a revolution of another sort. By ob¬ 
taining a footing in the Mediterranean and in Egypt, they will open a com¬ 
munication by Aleppo, Alexandria, Cairo, Bussorah, and Mocha, with India. 
In this plan, they observe, that the possessions of the English in India, and 
even the Cape of Good Hope in their hands, would offer no obstacle to 
the attainment of their wishes. This overland connection with the East 
is what they ardently desire. Possessed of a respectable situation on the 
coast of Malabar, together with the Isle of France, that of Bourbon, and an 
establishment at Madagascar, the French nation would form a triangle of 
important places, which would secure to them the exclusive trade of the 
Arabian Sea, the Gulfs of Persia and Suez. 

Bombay, Goa, or Mangalore, are the places to which they aspire. Bom¬ 
bay they consider of the first importance. It is the only harbour in India 
where ships of the line can be equipped or refitted. The capture of this 
place they consider as not very difficult; the great expense to whiph tlic 


2 F 2 


220 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


East-In(lia Company ate annually put in its defence, together with its 
vicinity to the Mahrattas, are reasons which make that possession more 
precarious in the hands of the present possessors. 

The government of this country, in possession of these important facts, 
can never neglect the Island of Bombay ; it must be retained at all ris{^uesj 
and at every expense It cannot be relintjuished, or the force necessary 

* The Island of Bombay is situated in lat. 13. 53. N. and long. 72. 38. E. This ancient domain 
belongs to the East-India Company, being held in fee simple from the crown. It is from thb cir> 
ciimstance, as well as prescriptive right, unalienable. Whatever may be the .fate of the territorial 
acquisitions of the Company in India, this possession, while they are able to protect it from invasion, 
must continue to the Proprietors of India-stock an hereditary property, and a valuable establishment. 
The harbour is the best in India, and capable of containing any number of ships, to which it affords 
Jthe most perfect shelter. Its docks admit ships of war of eighty guns : the yards are proportionably 
large, and well provided with marine stores of every description. 

Bombay was, verv soon after the discovery of the passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope, 
anno 1493, settled by the Portugueze. From the excellence of its harbour, formed by a long chain 
of islands, and'the continent, it was named by that 2 Jeop]e the Buoii-baMa. On the marriage of King 
Charles the Second with the Infanta of Portugal, anno 1662, the Island of Bombay, and Tangiers in 
Africa, with 500,000/. were the dower of that princess. Lord Marlborough, in 1663, sailed from 
England with five ships, to receive possession of the island from the Portugueze viceroy ; but Uie ob¬ 
stinacy and bigotry of the clergy would not permit of its being delivered, although by the king of Por¬ 
tugal’s order, to heretics. It was not till next year, after the departure of Lord Marlborough, that Sir 
Abraham Shipman, Uie governor appointed by King Charles, was able, by means of a treaty with the 
inhabitants, securing their property and the free exercise of their religion, to obtain possession. The 
island and castle were shortly transferred by King Cliarles to the East-India Company for ever. Thi* 
settlement became the seat of the English power in India, to which all the other settlements were 
subordinate. 

Bombay commands the entire trade of the north of India, together with that of the Gulfs of Persia 
and Arabia. It is the great mart of Oriental as well a? of European commerce, and in the article of 
cotton alone exports yearly to China upwards of one million sterling. Besides being the centre of 
trade, it is a place of great importance, naval as well as military. Without a fleet to protect the 
commerce on that coast, the pirates which infest it would, in a very short time, put a total stop to 
trade; and ithout a military force, tliere would be no check on the Mahrattas, or other native powers 
on the north-western side of India. The arsenal and magazines are abundantly supplied, and are 
carefully attended to. Bombay, from its Insular situation, guarded very generally by a rocky shore, 
bids fair to be the most durable of all our eastern possessions, and therefore should be held for the 
proprietors so long as it is for the honour and interest of this country to preserv-e the independency of 
an East-India Company. 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


iii 

for its defence be diminished. The rulers of British India know its ifti- 
portance too well to permit, so long as they can possibly prevent it, any 
European power from becoming settlers in a spot which enjoys the whole 
of the trade of the north of India, and which opens a direct communication 
with Persia and Turkey. 

Let it be remembered that it is by the sword that India is to be governed. 

The army is the palladium which can alone secure that country to the 
British crown. 

On this subject I trust I shall be excused in saying a few words. The 
late military regulations ha 9 e restored to the army of India that energy for 
which they had always been so remarkable. Recent events have proved 
their courage, discipline, and zeal. But, notwithstanding all that has been 
done, circumstances have occurred which point out defects even in that 
system, by which the army have rendered to their country such signal 
services. I allude here to the following points. 

First 3 The distribution of the off-reckoning fund 3 and. 

Secondly, The inequality of rank and pay. 

It is the uniform practice of his majesty's service for officers in com¬ 
mand of regiments to retain the off-reckonings of their respective corps for 
life. j^This being denied to colonels in the service of the Company, much 
disgust has been occasioned. On tlie other hand, those officers who arc 
actually in India, in the execution of their duty, no doubt complain, that 
the small number of regiments, formed by the ar.-angement from the im¬ 
mense body which compose the armies of India, proves a severe check ter 
promotion, and will be found to impede the progress of rank, beyond that 
of lieutenant-colonel, more than sufficiently, without the additional and 
very serious impediment which will be superadded by the continuance of 
the off-reckonings to colonels commanding regiments after their return to 


£22 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 

Europe, and for the rest of their lives. For, however liberally, and how¬ 
ever rapid, promotion may be up to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, there, 
by the causes I have just suggested, it meets such an interruption as must 
confine the attainment, in future, of an higher situation, to a very limited 
number. 

While the commandants of regiments are reaping a partial advantage, 
at the expense of the general interests of the army, and are enjoy¬ 
ing at home the fruits of an income which they have relinquished the 
intention to earn, others, many of whom perhaps have served an equal 
number of years with at least equal merit, ar# doing their duty in India, 
answerable for the discipline, good conduct, and appearance of the corps, 
without any extra allowance or prospect of further promotion, till after a 
period when their services can be no longer useful to their employers, and 
too late to be beneficial to themselves. In this situation, their only alter¬ 
native is that of retiring on the pay of a lieutenant-colonel, without any 
prospect of a better provision, and with the mortification perhaps at an 
advanced age, and with a broken constitution, to behold an officer whose 
term of residence abroad may probably be ten years less than his own, 
possessing emoluments as the reward of long services, which, in justice and 
propriety, ought to^be conferred on the man who has held the subordinate 
command, and who has remained the greater number of years in India. 
Can it^be asserted that he is not fairly entitled to an equal participation ? 
I am fiir from thinking but that officers who have arrived at the command 
of regiments should be allowed to retire on a liberal principle; at the same 
time I cannot help being of opinion that the surplus of the offreckonings 
should be extended to a greater number than at present can benefit from it. 

By holding out an inducement to officers whose infirmities might oblige 
them to retire, the best and most active would be called into action, and raise 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


the reputation and zeal of the service to a pitch it has never yet attained— 
a reputation which it is impossible ever to attain, while an encouragement 
is held out for infirm and worn-out officers to slumber in the service, 
merely to arrive at the rank of colonel, and to enjoy the emoluments it 
bestows. In^this way, officers who, from bad health or other causes, might 
wish to retire, would be liberally provided for, without trenching too 
much on the oeconomic system which the honourable Company deem it 
expedient to adopt towards their military servants, and without hurting 
their feelings as military men. 

On these general grounds it is that I presume to mention a plan, re¬ 
commended by lieutenant-colonel Richard Scott, which, in my opinion, 
will meet the wishes, if not to say the hope and expectation, of the army. 
Should this happily, and fortunately for the service in India, be generally 
agreed on by the Company's officers, the liberal mind of the President of 
the Board of Controul will readily accede to any reasonable request, since, 
he has already declared, on a former occasion, that he was willing to alter 
or model the proposition regarding the appropriation of the off-reckoning 
fund ih any way that they advised, so as the principle was preserved, be-, 
ing convinced that it was just and reasonable. 

The interest which the honourable Company must have to improve 
a service which retains to the empire of Great Britain a country far ex¬ 
ceeding in extent the parent state, containing above thirty millions of 
inhabitants, and producing a revenue to the Company of eight millions, 
sterling, will no doubt excite sentiments favourable to the system which 
I have now the honour to recommend—a system which I am confident will , 
operate much to the comfort of the service, and be attended with a recipro¬ 
city of advantages to the East-India Company, and to the officers themselves, , 

The alteration required is, that the surplus share of off-reckonings be is- 


LETTERS ON IN’BIA. 


t22+ 

sued out from the honourable Company’s treasury in Engl^n4> and be set* 
tied at 1300^. per annum, for each corps in the service, allowing the hk? 
sum for the corps of engineers. The honourable Compj^ny to clothe their 
troops in any way they may judge the most ceconomical and proper j and> 
in the event cf the army being augmented or reduced, the fund to be 
increased or diminished in the same proportion. 

That it be distributed, as far as it will go, in shares of 500/. exclusive 
of the pay of their respective ranks, to the senior officers of cavalry, artih 
lery, engineers, and infantry, whether on the retired or effective lists: 'ro 
that officers who have served twenty-five years, including the three years 
of furlough, and who, from infirmity or other causes, are obliged or who 
wish to retire, may have the prospect of arriving at this honourable pro¬ 
vision for the remainder of their lives, as a reward for long and me¬ 
ritorious services. 

That colonels of regiments shall be under the same regulations with re^ 
spect to leave of absence and retiring from the service, as officers of other 
descriptions. 

Were such a regulation established, the provision for old officers would 
not depend upon the mere nomination to the command of regiments, and 
the governments abroad may now and hereafter appoint such officers to 
high situations as they shall think best calculated to fill them, which can¬ 
not happen under the present limited restrictions. 

In regard to the e( 5 uaHsation of pay and rank, it may be accomplished 
without involving the pecuniary arrangements of the Company. The first 
might be settled by a committee of officers selected from the^three presi¬ 
dencies, but without incurring any additional expense. 

The second is simple in the extreme : a line rank established in the KingV 
and Company s army throughout India, would remove every ground of com- 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


pUint, Jtndj without any charge, preserve a just equilibrium pf rank in every 
department of the service. A little attention to those minutias on which sol¬ 
diers so much pride themselves, would certainly obviate misunderstandings, 
which never fail to give trouble and to create uneasiness to all governments. 

A free trade to India has already occupied much of my attention. On 
tins important point I have endeavoured to consult the true interests of the 
nation and the East-India Company. I shall close this subject, as far as it 
relates to the individual traders of Great Britain, with some remarks 
written one hundred and thirty years ago by Sir Josiah Child, the most, 
able writer on commercial affairs of that, or perhaps of any other period. 

This enlightened character wrote at the time when the Dutch enjoyed 
by far the greatest portion of the trade of the, world. He was jealous of 
their success, and wished to imitate their industry and commercial know- 
ledge. At the head of the English East-India Company, and zealous for 
its interest, what he says on the subject of that trade cannot fail to he re¬ 
ceived by those who are the most sanguine in its support, with equal 
tention and respect. 

“ Companies of merchants,he observes, “ are of two sorts, viz. 
Companies in joint stock, such as the East-India Company, the Mctea 
Company, which is a branch of the Turkey Company, andt he Greenland 
Company, which is a branch of the Muscovia Company j—the other sorts 
are Companies who trade not by a joint stock, but only are under a go¬ 
vernment and regulation j^such are the Hamburg Company, the Turkey 
Company, the Eastland Company, the Muscovia Company. 

** It has for many years been a moot case, whether any incorporating 
of merchants be for public good or not, 

“ For my own part I am of opinion, that, for countries with which his 
Majesty has no alliance, nor can have any by reason of their distance or 


226 


LETTERS ON rNDIA. 


barbarity, a non-communication with the princes of Christendom, 6cc^ 
where there is a necessity of maintaining forces and forts (such as East 
India and Guinea), companies of merchants are absolutely necessary. 

“ It seems evident to me, that the greatest part of those two trades 
ought, for public good, to be managed by joint stock. 

I 

“ It is questionable to me, whether any other company of merchants 
are for public good or hurt. 

I conclude, however, that all restrictions of trade are sought, and con¬ 
sequently that- no company whatsoever, whether they trade in a joint 
stock or under regulation, can be for public good, except it may be easy 
for all, or any of Hs Majesty's subjects, to be admitted into all or any of 
the said companies, at any time, for a very inconsiderable fine r and that if 
the fine exceed SOh * including all charges of admission,, it is too much. 

The Dutch, who thrive best by trade, and have the surest rules to 
thrive by, admit not only their own people, but even Jews, and all kinds of 
aliens, to be free of any of their societies of merchants, or any of their 
cities or towns corporate. 

« I am yet to learn that any company of merchants, not trading with a 
joint stock, such-as the Turkey, Hamburg, Muscovia, and Eastland Com¬ 
panies, ever purchased their privileges, or built and maintained forts, 
castles, or factories, or made any wars at their own charge ^ but I know 
the Turkey Company do maintain an embassador and two consuls, and are 
sometimes necessitated to make presents to the Grand Seignior or his great 
officers; and the Hamburg Company are at some charge to maintain their 
deputy and minister at Hamburg ; and I think it would be great injustice 
that any should trade to the place within their charters, without paying tlie 

^ This was written 130 years ago.. The value of money has certainly undergone great depre¬ 
ciation Since that period j consequently, therefore, the fine should now be much higher. ** 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


227 


same dirties or levations towards tiie Company's charge as the present ad¬ 
venturers do pay : but I know not why any should be barred from trading 

4 

to those places, or forced to pay a great fine for admission, that are willing 
to pay the Company’s duties, and submit to the Company’s regulations and 
orders in other respects. 

If all may be admitted as aforesaid, then such numbers of shopkeepers 
and others would come into the society of merchants, as would, by the 
majority of votes, so much alter the governors, deputy, and assistants, of 
'the respective companies, that ignorant persons would come into those 
.ruling places, to the general prejudice of their trade. 

** I answer those .that make this observation, that if they be merchants, 

they know -there is very little in it j for tliat it is not to be expected that 

$ 

■twenty shopkeepers will come into any one company in a year, and there¬ 
fore can .'have no .considerable influence upon the elections j but if many 
.more should come in, it would be the better for the nation, and not the 
worse for the company, for that all men are led by their interest: and it 
being the common interest of all that engage in any trade, that the trade 
should b.e regulated and governed by wise, honest, an'd able men, there 
is no doubt but most men will vote for such as they esteem so to he, 
which is manifest in the East-India Company, where neither gentlemen 
. nor shopkeepers were at first excluded ; neither are they yet kept out, any 
Englishman whatsoever being permitted to come into that Company that 
will buy an action, paying only 6L to the Company for his admission ; and 
yet undeniable experience has convinced all gainsayers in this matter,—that 
Company, since its having had so large and national a foundation, having 
likewise had a succession of much better governors, deputies, .and assis¬ 
tants, than ever it had upon that narrow bottom it stood formerly, when 
none could be admitted to.the freedom of that Company for less than 


jZ G 


228 LETTERS on INDIA. 

a fine of 50/. And the success has been answerable, for the first Com¬ 
pany settled upon that narrow limited interest, although their stock was 
larger than this, decayed, and finally came to ruin and destruction ; where¬ 
as, on the contrary, this being settled on more rational, and consequently 
more just, as well as more profitable principles, has, through God’s good¬ 
ness, thriven and increased to the trebling of their first stock.” 

These remarks are extremely apposite to the present purpose; neither 
are his observations on the means which ouglit to be used to make it the 
interest of other nations to trade with Great Britain, less applicable at the 
present crisis. 

Being in a good condition of strength at home, in reference to the navy^ 
and all other kind of military preparations for defence (and offence upon 
just occasion given), will render us wise and honourable in the esteem of 
other nations, consequently oblige them not only to admit us to the free¬ 
dom of trade with them, but the better terms for, and countenance in 
the course of our trade. 

** To make it the interest of others to trade with us, we must be sure to 
furnish them at as cheap, or cheaper rates, than any other nation can or 
does i and this, I affirm, can never be done, without subduing usury 
especially, and doing those other things before-mentioned, that will con¬ 
duce to the increase of our lands and stock j for our bejng in a condition 
to sell our neighbours cheaper than others, must be when it is principally 
an effect of many lands, and much stock. 

** But it may be said. How shall we profit by this rule of selling cheap 
to foreigners, whereas the contrary is said to be the way to riches, viz. 
to sell dear, and buy cheap ? 

** I answer, in a strict sense, it may be so^for the private merchant: but 
in this discourse I am designing how bur public national trade may be so 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


229 


managed, that other nations, who are in competition with us for the same, 
may not wrest it from us, but that ours may continue and increase, to the 
diminution of theirs. If there be no others to wage with us, w^e might, 
as the proverb says, make our own markets; but as the case now stands, 
that all the world are striving lo engross aU the trade they can, that other 
proverb is very true and applicable,—All covet, all lose. 

« the Well contrivement and management of foreign treaties may very 
much contribute to the making it the interest of other nations to trade 
with us, at least to the convincing, of foreign princes v/herein, and how it 
is their interest to trade with us. Public justice and honesty will make it 
the interest of other nations to trade with us; that is, that when any com¬ 
modities pass under a public common seal, which is in .some sort the pub¬ 
lic faith of the nation, they may be exact in length, breadth, and. nature, 
according, to what they ought to. be by. their seals. 

If we would engage other nations, to trade with us, we must receive 
from, them the fruits and commodities of their countries, as well as send 
them oursj hut it is our interest by.example, and otJier means (not dis- 
tasteihl) above allkinds of commodities, to prevent, as much as may.be, 
the importation of foreign, manufactures,? 

The danger of commercial jealousy, among the nations of Europe,.,a 
subject which in the present posture of affairs may materially affect us, and, 
in particular, that which.may be. apprehended, from the attention which 
the great continental powers have uniformly paid to commerce with India, 
Tj^ili derive, considerable illustration from the. following example.: 

The emperor Charles VI. established, at - Ostendan East^India Company. 
The circumstance which led to it is sufficient .to. convince us, how fre. 
quently great designs originate from the most trifling or accidental causes. 

A merchmt vessel .of St. Malo,, commanded by the chevalier de.Ia Mer- 


LETTERS 03Sr INDIA, 

veillc, a Breton, arrived on the coast of France from India. He attempted 
to enter a port; but the French having granted an exclusive privilege to 
the India Company, the captain of the vessel vt^as informed that he might 
proceed to the first port of the Austrian Netherlands, and sell his cargo. 
He accordingly entered the port of Ostend, where he sold his merchan¬ 
dise. The minister-of the Netherlands, being informed of the immense 
profit on this commerce, proposed to the same captain to return to India 
with some vessels they would equip for that service. He accordingly 
made several voyages for different individuals; and in the year 1723, the 
emperor Charles VI. granted his letters patent for a new commercial com¬ 
pany.' Six directors were appointed, and the fund settled at six millions 
sterling. This new company had such great success, that on the 11th and 
13th of August, 1733, having opened books of subscription at Antwerp, 
they were immediately filled, not only by the merchants of the country, 
but also by the Dutch and English. 

The three first vessels belonging to this company sailed for China on the 
10th of Fcbfuaiy, 1734-, and the year following three more : in the year 
1736 , five sailed fot Bengal and China ; and in the year 1 / .37, four to the 
same destination. On the return of each of those vessels there were pub- 
Jic sales at Ostend and Bruges of their cargo, which attracted quantities of 
people, and caused great circulation of money throughout the country. 

This rising company gave so much jealousy to the Dutch and English, 
and even to the French, that they threatened the emperor to declare war, 
if he did not revoke the patent he had granted his subjects. In eifcGt, 
the company was suspended for the term of seven years, by preliminaries 
settled at Paris the 31st of May, 1737, and suppressed for ever by the 
treaty of Vienna of the Ifith of March, 1731. 

On this occasion, in tlae course of one yeaiv more titan two thousand 


LETTEKS ON INDIA. 


23J 


inhabitants quitted Ostend, to establish themselves elsewhere, while other 
princes and sovereigns, without opposition, fixed in their states new com¬ 
panies of merchants to trade to India. 

It must be remarked, that the situation of affairs are materially changed 
since the combination that was formed against the trade of Austria to the 
East Indies. The Dutch are irretrievably ruined as a commercial people j 
the French, for the moment, cease to be our rivals in trade; Spain and 
Portugal are sunk in indolence and superstition; and the states of Italy are 
no longer formidable. All these coincidences, however apparently fa¬ 
vourable, by no means secure the trade of India to Great Britain, The 
northern powers of Europe are exerting all their energy to attract com¬ 
merce ; and that to India, either by the Cape of Good Hope, or by the 
Istlimus of Suez, will increase the cupidity of all. The Russians, Au¬ 
strians, the king of Prussia, the kings of Denmark and Sweden, and the 
States of America, are acquiring daily maritime knowledge, and advanc¬ 
ing in public spirit and adventure. 

The nations of Europe and America possessing commercial^ knowledge, 
zeal, and enterprise, but, perhaps, in want of capital to carry on such ex¬ 
tensive and lucrative trade as that to India presents, will suffer no oppor¬ 
tunity to escape by which they can retire capital from other countries, in 
order to enrich their own. They will, no doubt, offer every facility to 
opulent merchants to settle in their sea-ports, where they may carry on a 
free trade to the East Indies. Flushing, Ostend, L’Orient, Gottenburg, 
Copenhagen, and Petersburg, or Riga, will hold out the olive-branch to 
all mercantile adventurers, who may consider themselves injured, or rather 
hampered, by too severe restrictions. In this invidious pursuit, what Eu¬ 
ropean nation is the most likely to suffer, or from whence capital may be 
most readily drawn ? The capitalists that will the most naturally, and. 


252 


LETTERS ON INDIA- 


above all othei’s, attract the attention, and invite the encouragement of 
those powers, are those of Great Britain, the richest as well as the most 
commercial nation; and there is no calculating on the temper and disposi- 
tron of mercantile men. -In proportion as capital is withdjawn to form 
commercial establishments in other countries, so will the nation, losing 
the benefit of that capital, be deprived die means of asserting its inde¬ 
pendency:, and of opposing warlike preparation to the encroachments of 
ambitious rivals. G-ommerce with us is the soul of war, and the only 
means of securing our pre-eminence, and asserting our rights, against 
others more numerous and powerful. The connection between prosperous 
war, and the means of acquiring pecuniary resources, was well known to 
Frederic the Great, king of Prussia, who was wont to say in his. select 
parties of intimate friends, Give me an arm^^ and give me a lieasu.yy 
“ and 1 shall not fear any conibinalloiu* 

Were it necessary, the Tamous League of Cambray against the Vene¬ 
tians might be adduced as another instance of the avarice and jealousy of 
nations. This combination convulsed the commerce of that once fiourish- 
ing republic, and laid the foundation of its ruin. 

I shall only trouble you with a few words more pn that part of the sub¬ 
ject which relates to Russia, and endeavour to point out— 


LETTERS ON INDIA, 


23 s 

T'he Admntages to be derived from a Cotnmerclal Treaty between Great Bn- 
Unn and Russia, in regard to Briiish India^ 

THE commodities on which commerce principally depend are either ar-^ 
tides of the first necessity, or such as tend to encourage manufactures.. 
Experience has proved that a mutual exchange of the redundant produc¬ 
tions of the different q^uarters of the world is equally necessary, politic, 
and expedient. Articles of fancy, or luxury, form but an inconsiderable 
part of the commerce of any country, and may therefore be considered as 
a secondary object, and not to. be estimated in the great scale of commer¬ 
cial affairs. 

Russia possesses within herself the greatest variety of every thing that 
may be deemed in the present age indispensable to human existence^ 
What that country stands most in need of, are articles from India, ail of 
them either the productions or manureturc of our Eastern possessions,. 
These may be comprised under the following heads; 

Raw cotton, and cotton Stuffs. 

Raw silk, and manufactured ditto. 

Raw sugar.- 
Indigo. 

Raw drugs. 

Sandal wood. 

Pepper. 

Spices. 

'Gum. 

Rice. 


S n 


LETTERS ON INDIA.' 

Of these goods there was imported in the year 179^-7 3,t St. Petersburg r 


R^W cotton 



1796 

Roubles* 

12,565 


• 1797 
Roirbles. 

13,5 22- 

Cotton goods of different kinds 

1,458,249 

- 

833,'84S' '■ 

Raw sugar 


- 

383,558 


123,653' 

Ditto ditto, worked 


251,376 

- 

65,086 

Ditto rahnade 

- 

- 

4,107,644 

- 

2,791,845 

Indigo 

- 

- 

1,599,990 


1,030,029 

Drugs 

- 

- 

313,656 

- 

215,513 

Sandal wood 

- 

- 

111,807 


35,556 

pepper ' - 

- 

- 

131,346 

“ 

69,604 

Spices 

- 

- 

124,017 

- 

J 99,927 

Gum 

- 

- 

74,652 

- 

25,659 

Rice ' 

- 

- 

78,060 

- 

100,190 

Raw silk * 

- 

- 

493,783 

- 

482,695^ 


Total Roubles 

- 9,141,203 


5,992,127 


Or Sterling - 

1,328,240. 12^. 

1, 

194,425. 8^, 


Besides arrack, rum, and tobacco, with some smaller articles of merchan¬ 
dise to a considerable value, and coffee alone to the amount of more 
than half a million of roubles yearly. 

The importance of this trade to Great Britain, and our possessions in 
India “h, it is needless to enumerate. The practicability of a direct corri-* 

Without reckoning dolhs of silk, handkerchiefs, &c. 

+ It may just be observed, that by far the greatest part of the trade between, British India and the 
empire of Russia would be of a permanent, and not of a fugacious nature. Notwithstanding thp 
varieties of the climate and soil of that country, there is no part of it which would ever produce 
those aromatics so necessary to the inhabitants of northern climates. Sugar Is also much in the same 
predicament-♦, and although the southern provinces of Russia and Persia produce both raw sdk and 
cotton, the cultivation is not sufficiently attended to, and the quality is much worse than those articles 






LETTERS ON INDIA. - 235 


munication betv/een the southern provinces of Russia and British Indiaj by 
British ships, is obvious. By consulting the facilities of Great Britain and 
Russia, uniting their energies, and connecting with those the prosperity of 
our distant dependencies, a commercial treaty could be caL^blkhed on cuch 
a basis as would ensure the greatest mutual and relative advantages. 

The balance of trade with Russia is at present very much against us, 
and must long continue so, from the physical productions of that country. 
But by conceding certain privileges in regard to East-India commerce, 
Russia would be induced not only to carry away a considerable part of the 
surplus productions of India, but also to deal more largely with Great Bri¬ 
tain than is at present the case, in the articles of woollens, malt liquor, 
wrought iron, glass ware &c..&c. By efforts well directed, the carry- 


produced in India and China. Indigo is indispensable, as there is no domestio dye in Russiji tolan.- 
swer, the purpose, and the climate will not produce it. But as we can never expect to determine.pie- 
laws, or to fix hounds to the prerogatives of Nature, w*e must content ourselves with doing, intlie- 
jneari time, what may appear Lobe the best, in commercial as well as political relations. 

* The amount of the productions of India yearly imported into the port of SC Petersburg, inde¬ 
pendently of the other ports, and the commerce of the Euxine and Caspian, may be stated at the 
sum of 7 , 000,000 roubles annually. The commodities which Russia jnight be induced to receive 
from England wmuld, on a very, moderate calculation, probably be as follow : 

® ■ Reuses. 

Ale, beer, and porter .. ... ..*.... * “ 400,000- 

Cheese ...... 100,000- 

Cloths, broad, &c. .......,,. . . . 900,000- 

Pisli .. 3o0,000 

• Glass of sorts ....... 100,000 

Instruments for mechanics, musical, mathematical, surgical, &c. &c. .- ■ - 200,000 

Lead ........... l5O,0pQ-. 

Paper .. 80,000 

Engravings . 70,000 

Stone-ware ... . . . . - ] ;76;00O 

WoolIeHs, camblef, baizfe, &c. &c. to the probable amount of .v.*. k- ^SOAOOO'' ' 

BIop goods and Cutlery to a great amount (a) ; say • •. • .... ,fi0Q,00O; .j 

Total Roublh'i .! 

jT, Sterlbig - 780,000 

(a) In two articles alone, those of scy flies and razors, to the amount of 150,000 foutiies; are yeafljr^'^ 
imported into Russia. ' " ' " " ' " '' ^ - --ft' 

^ H & 















235 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 


ing trade to India, now''in the hands of foreigners, would receive a consi¬ 
derable check, and the manufactures and produce of'India proceed more 
directly through our cwn hands into the circulation of an immense, em-* 
pire, Ic would, at the same time, atford a considerable opening to recon-> 
cile the present disagreement between the free trade and the East-India 
Company, by rendering unnecessary the protection of neutral flags. This 
trade would be daily increasing with the population and industry of the 
Russian empire; for increasing population, growing industry, and refine¬ 
ment- of manners, not only create new wants, but make the consumption 
of the articles wanted more liberal and extensive. The returns of Russia 
to this country, as well as to India, will naturally occur to the mind of the 
discerning observers They are numerous, and indispensable to the 
commerce of this country and India, in the same proportion as their ex- 
pdrratioh is'necessary to the prosperity of the Russian government, 

The means which appear best adapted to connect the interests of Great 
Britain and Russia are. 

In the first place, to render it equally the interest of both nations 
to prevent the province pf Egypt, after the French shall be expelled, 
from becoming the possession of any European power, or that the trade 
from India should at any period be conveyed by that medium to the shores 
of the Mediterranean. 

In the second place, to make it necessary to Russia, that the set¬ 
tlement of the Cape of Good Hope should continue in the hands of the 
English, or otherwise to become, in future, a neutral free port. 

In order to engage Russia in those, pursuits which at present are, 

The relums from Russia are principally hempj iron, flax, tallow, corn, sail-elotli, leather, timber. 
Ill these articles alone tliirty 'millions of roubles are annually exported. The minor articles of ex¬ 
portation are numerous, and may be much increased, and made extremely applicable to a trade with 
Lidia, 


LETTERS ON INDIA. 237 

perhaps, totally out of either her commercial or political orbit, and to 
induce her to enter into a close connection with this country, it will 
be necessary for Great Britain, in other respects, to promote the views of 
that empire—— 

First; By uniting with Russia to have the free navigation of the Black 
Sea, the Bosphorus, the Archipelago, and Mediterranean, guaranteed in 
the most ample manner to Russia, and to those states in amity with her, 
on a general pacification. 

Secondly; To secure to Russia the possession of Malta, or some port in 
the Mediterranean. 

Thirdly ; By assisting Russia with capital, not from the public funds of 
Great Britain, but to be raised by individuals in this country. 

Fourthly; To grant to Russia 2 ^ c&mpioir in India, and, if necessary, at 
the Cape of Good Hope, together with certain facilities in commerce, to 
enable the former country to uphold an intercourse with British India, by 
means of Great Britain. 

A commercial treaty, to which I have already alluded might, on the 
principle laid down, be carried into effect between Great Britain and 
Russia. It should be stipulated, that Russia should check as much as 
possible the irruptions of the nortlrern hordes of Persia and India, and by 
that means prevent those powerful depredators from disturbing the tran* 
quillity of Hindoostan. 

The mutual reciprocities on which every commercial treaty must neces¬ 
sarily hinge, require attention; and a great deal has aheady been said on 
that subject f. But to reduce the whole to a very few words, Russia 


* VWe General Observations ou this subject, 
t Vide General Observations. 



233 


trn'EKS ON INDLA.. 

could take from India product to nearly the value of a milUon and a half 
annually, and from Great Britain to the amount of 800,000/. sterling. 

In return, Russia would acquire a more extensive market for her nu- 
merous commodities, as well as greater means of transporting them j and 
by opening a new trade to the southern provinces, extend, as it were, the 
present circumscribed sea-coasts of the empire, by example excite in¬ 
dustry, multiply the number of seamen and shipping, and, on the whole, 
by the increased exertions that would attend or* follow a revolution in com- 
merce, lead to higher and higher degrees of national prosperity.. 

To perfect the system which I have ventured to recommend, there re¬ 
main two things to be done. 

First; To draw up such a plan ^ as will induce British subjects, under a 
proper guarantee, to subscribe a capital for the purpose of purchasing and 
transporting a part of the surplus productions of India to the soutljern pro¬ 
vinces of Russia, and from thence to be distributed to the great continent 
of the world by the means of the Black Sea, the Caspian, and particu¬ 
larly by many canals and navigable rivers, which extend to the extremities 
of the empire. 

Secondly; To frame competent regulations-f* for conducting the trade 
between Great Britain, Russia, and India, on fixed principles ; and by due 
observance of justice, to unite liarmony and good-will with general ad¬ 
vantage and security. 

Finally; Russia, from extent and situation, must for many centuries 
greatly depend on her natural productions j as Great Britain, on the other 
hand, derives-immense resources from her factitious articles. The pro¬ 
gress of the inhabitants of Russia towards refinement and opulence will be 

* vide Plan. 

t Vide Regulationi to this efFectt 


LEttey ON India. 239 “ 

promoted rather by a system of agriculture and mineralogy, thafi by the 
means of manufactures. The want of population fully establishes this 
hypothesis; for small kingdoms only, fully peopled, can become ma¬ 
nufacturing nations. The Russians must be supplied not only with such 
natural productions as their own climate will not yield, but also with 
many necessaries, manufactured perhaps from their own materials, as well 
as from those of other countries. Should Great Britain and India be re¬ 
sorted to, Russia could, in return, pour in the rich treasures of external 
nature, together with those taken from the bowels of the earth, in the 
midst of her almost inaccessible mountains. ■ I have now done, and beg 
leave to subscribe myself. 

Dear Sir, yours, &c* 



m y y-rr.^.. ■,■■ ■■; ■ ■ 

.c '■ A'- . .v *^' 




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APPENDIX. 


EXTRACTS 

mo M Till 

LETTERS OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL 

TO 

THE COURT OF DIRECTORS* 

* AND OF 

GENERAL ORDERS PUBLISHED IN INDIA, 

RELATIVE TO THE BOMBAY ARMY. 

fUfiFERRED TO IN THE 6'^ FACE OF THIS WORK..) 

The army of Bombay, under the command of Lieutenant-general Stuart, 
marched from Cananore on the 21st of February, arrived at the head of 
the Poodicherrum Ghaut on the 25th of the same month, and took post at 
Seedapoor and Seedaseer on the 2d of March, for the protection of the 
large supplies which had been collected at Verajunder Pett, in the district 
of Coorga. From these positions, on Lieutenant-general Harris’s approach. 
Lieutenant-general Stuart intended to form a junction with the army of 
Madras, 

At the period when the army of Madras entered Mysore, Tippoo Sul- 
taun was supposed to be encamped in the vicinity of Maddoa, and to be 
preparing to move in tJie direction of Bangalore, for the purpose of op-1 
posing the progress of the army of Madras, in the event of Lieutenant-ge¬ 
neral Harris actually passing the frontier ^ but it soon appeared that, al¬ 
though the Sultaun had so recently affected a disposition to admit an em¬ 
bassy from the British Government, he had probably no other view than 

2 I 






APPENDIX. 


2n 

to conceal the design which he had formed of striking a sudden and early 
blow against the army of Bombay j for, without allowing me the same 
time to answer his last letter which he had taken for replying to those ad¬ 
dressed by me to him, and without waiting to hear of the actual com¬ 
mencement of hostilities on the part of the British Government, he came 
to the resolution of attacking the army of Bombay, then assembled beyond 
the line of his frontier, in the district of Coorga, under the command of 
LieL)tenant-general Stuart. 

For this purpose, Tippoo, taking with him the flower of his army, ap¬ 
pears to have marched from his camp, near Senapatam, on tlie 2Sth of Fe¬ 
bruary (when Lieutenant-general Harris was still within the Company’s 
territories), and, moving rapidly in the direction of Periapatam, to have 
arrived there on the morning of the 5th of March, being the same day on- 
which Lieutenant-general Harris entered Mysore on the eastern frontier. 

Od: the 6th of March Tippoo Sultaun passed his own frontier, and at¬ 
tacked a detachment of the army ofBombay, under the command of Lieu¬ 
tenant-general Stuart, the total strength of whose entire army did not 
amount to more tliaii six thousand fighting men. The attack of the Sul¬ 
tan n’s force was sustained by a body not exceeding two thousand men, and. 
"the Sultaun's army was finally defeated and completely dispersed before 
General Stuart could collect the whole of his divided force. It is with in¬ 
finite satisfaction that I inclose, for the information of* your Honourable 
Court, the paper marked (N^ l.) containing General Stuart’s account of 
this brjlliant and important action, which took place at Seedaseer on the 
brh of March. . 

Aftei this rignal defeat, Tippoo retreated precipitately to his camp ' at 
Periapatara, and remained there until the I Ith of March, 'without making 
any farther attempt to molest the army of Bombay | the loss sustained by 


APPENDIX. 2‘3 

Tippoo’s army on the 6th of March appears to have amounted to near two 
thousand killed, wounded, and prisoners (which included several ofhcers 
of rank, and some of considerable distinction); that sustained on the 7th, 
by the army of Bombay, will appear in Lieutenant-general Stuart^s letter. 

Adverting to the great disproportion of nunibers, and to other circuJii- 
stances of disadvantage, I am confident that your Honourable Court Will 
be of opinion, that the conduct and success of the army of Bombay, on 
that day, has seldom been equalled, and never'surpassed In India. 

Under this impression, I take the liberty of recommending to your jSk 
vourable notice the several officers and corps named by Lieutenant-general 
Stuart in his letter of the 8th of March, and I am anxious to request your 
particulai* attention to the distinguished conduct of Lieutenant-general Stu¬ 
art, and Major-general Hartley, as well as of Lieutenant-coloner Du nlbp* 
and of Lieutenant-colonel Montresor. Major-general Hartley had already 
received a public testimony of my particular approbation of his extraordi¬ 
nary merit, in collecting stores and provisions in the district of Coorga, 
previously to the arrival of General Stuart on the coast of Malabar. 


Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-general Stuart to the Goverjior-general hi 

Council, dated %th of March, 175P. 

To ihe Right Honourable tlic Earl of Moniiiigton, K, B. 

(jovemor-geiieral, &c. &c. Tort St. George. 

MY LORD, 

I HAD the honour to address your lordship on the 20th ultimo; and, 
having marched from Cananore on the following day, agreeably to my 
intimation of that date, I arrived at the top of Poodicherrum Ghaut on the 
25th of the same month, 

O \ O 



APPENDIX. 


241 

I informed your Lordship it was my intention to assume a defensive po¬ 
sition close to the frontierj and there wait, in conformity to General Harrises 
instructions, under date the 24th December, his farther orders. 

Jn pursuance of this plan, I moved the corps successively forward, and 
placed them in such situations as might enable me the most promptly to 
form the proposed junction with the principal army. On the 2d instant, 
the right brigade, consisting of three native battalions, under the command 
of Lieu tenant-colonel Montresor, took up their ground at Seedaseer, the 
boundary of the Coorga country, and about seven miles distant from Pe- 
riapatam. The main body of the army, with the park and provisions, re¬ 
mained at Seedapoor and Ahmootenaar; the first eight miles, and the latter 
twelve, from the advanced position. 

It may be necessary to inform your Lordship, that I was in some mea¬ 
sure compelled, from the nature of the country, which is every-where co¬ 
vered with thick jungles, to place the army in several divisions ; but I had 
a farther view in occupying the post at Seedaseer, in order to preserve a 
a more ready communication with General Harris, as this was the only 
spot from whence the signals established between the two armies could be 
observed. Although I had no reason to apprehend any immediate attack, 
I thought it adviseable to adopt the precaution of encamping the corps at 
such distances as would either enable me to move without much loss of 
time into the enemy’s territory, or to support, if occasion should require it, 
any quarter that might stand in need of assistance. 

In the course of the morning of the 5th, an extensive encampment was 
unexpectedly observed to be forming on this side of the fort of Periapatam. 
This circumstance was discovered at ten o’clock in the forenoon, as the 
enerriy were taking up their ground, by a party of observation, on the sum¬ 
mit of the high hill of Seedaseer/ which commands a view of the Mysore, 


APPENDIX. 


245 


almost to the environs of Seringapata n. Before the evening this encamp¬ 
ment assujned a very formidable appearance, and covered a great extent of 
groundi we were able to count from three to four hundred tents; among:t 
the number some of large dimensions were distinguished, and particularly 
one of a green colour, that seemed to denote the presence of the Sultaun. 
However much the probability of this circumstance might be strengthened, 
by the respectable appearance of the encampment, it was contradicted by 
the evidence of two hircarrahs, who had recently arrived f'om Seringapa- 
tam. These men generally reported, that Tippoo had marched with all his 
forces, on the 510th ultimo, to oppose the progress of the Madras army; 
and that the Benky Nabob commanded the only force in the field that re¬ 
mained in the neighbourhood of Seringapatam. This force was represented, 
to be encamped at Canniambaddy, and to consist of five thousand Piadas, 
or irregular infantry, who vrere said to be intended as a covering party to 
seven thousand Benjarees, and directed to bring as much provisions as they 
could collect about Periapatam to the capital. 

In this state of uncertainty, I thought it prudent to reinforce Liutenant- 
colonel Montresor’s brigade with an additional battalion of Sepoys, and 
waited for more correct intelligence, which I expected hourly, to act with, 
the whole of my forces, as affairs might render it necessary. On the morn¬ 
ing of the fith. Major-general Hartley went forward to reconnoitre; and 
at break of day, from the hill of observation, the whole of the enemy's 
army was discovered to be in motion ; but their movements were so well 
concealed by the woodiness of the country, and the haziness of the at¬ 
mosphere, tliat jt was impossible to ascertain their object; nor, in fact, was 
this discovered until they had penetrated a considerable way into the jun¬ 
gle, and commenced an attack upon our line, wlfich happened between 
the hours of nine and ten. 


- A r P E N D I X, 

The eiieiiiy pierced through the jungles with such secrcsy and expedi- 
tioHj that they attacked the rear and the front of our line almost at the same 
instant. This dispatch prevented more than three of our corps being eri- 
gaged, as the fourth, which was posted two miles and a half in thy rear, 
was unable to form a junction, from the enemy having cut in between 
them and Seedaseer. The communication was effectually obstructed by a 
column which, according to the reports of our prisoners, consisted of up¬ 
wards of five thousand men, uirder the command of Baber Jung. 

Fortunately, before the enemy had accomplished their purpose, Major- 
general Hartley had time to apprise me of their attack, and remained him¬ 
self to give any assistance that might be necessary. The best position was 
assumed for repulsing the enemy; and in this alarming situation the corps 
defended themselves with so much resolution, that the Sultauifs troops 
were unable to make any impression. The brigade was on every sid.e 
completely surrounded, and had to contend against a vast disparity of num¬ 
bers, besides other discouraging circumstances. 

As soon as I received intelligence of the perilous situation of the right 
brigade, I marched to their assistance with .the two flank companies of his 
Majesty^’s 7ofh regiment, and the whole of the 77fii. I arrived about half 
past two in sight of the division of the enemy, who had penetrated into 
the rear, and possessed themselves of the great road leading to Seedaseer. 
The engagement lasted nearly half an hour, when, after a smart fire of 
musquetry ojn , both sides, the enemy were completely routed, and fled with 
precipitation through the jungles to regain tlieir column, which still con¬ 
tinued the attack in front. 

On arriving at Lieutenant-colonel Montresor’s post, I found his ^nen 
exhausted "with fatigue, and their ammunition almost expended. At twenty 
minutes past three the enemy retreated in all directions. 


APPENDIX, 

For this decisive and, I hope your lordship will allow, brilliant success, 
considering the small number of troops who engaged, under very great 
disadvantages, probably the flower of Tippoo Sultaun’s army, I feel myself 
peculiarly indebted to the judicious dispositions for defence made by Ge¬ 
neral Hartley. He embraced the opportunity of observing the motiori's of 
the enemy from the hill I have mentioned, and was thus enabled to advise 
Lieutenant-colonel Montresor of the best method for defeating them. ' I - 
beg leave also to inform your Lordship, that my best thanks are diie to 
Lieutenant-colonel Montresor for his very active exertions, and to'the' offi¬ 
cers and men, including the artillery of his brigade, for their gallant-and 
steady behaviour throughout the whole of this arduous affair,' Lieutenant- 
colonel DunI'op, and the European division'under his command, are like¬ 
wise entitled to my particular approbation, for theif spirited conduct; which 
finally routed the enemy. ■ ■ ■. ■ / 

Our loss on this occasion is far less than could reasonably have been'ex¬ 
pected; and I have the honour to inclose, for your Lordship’s information, 
a return of this circumstance. 

It was impossible to ascertain the exact loss sustained by the enemy, 
but it must have been heavy, as, in the course of so long an action, they 
were often exposed in crowds to the fire of grape shot and volleys of mus- 
quetry. 

Several men of distinction were killed, and some wounded officers have 
been made prisoners. I have the honour to inclose the information of 
Mozan Khan Bhuskshy, and tlie commander of a Kutchary, the prisoner of 
the greatest rank who has fallen into our hands; but concurring-reports 
■ state, that Meer Ghofar is amongst the slain. 

As the arrival of General Harris at Seringapatam will not happen at so 


APP^ENDIX. 


sis' 

early a period'as lie first intended, the immediate possession of the post of 
Seedaseer was no longer an object of such consequence j and to retain it, 
while Tippoo continued in force at Periapatam, becanie an affair of serious 
difhculty. The secresy and expedition with which he had planned his late ^ 
enterprise, and the correct intelligence that the leaders of his columns ap¬ 
peared to have obtained of the private routes through the Goorga jungles, 
led to an opinion that he would not remain satisfied with this abortive at¬ 
tempt, but might endeavour to penetrate by another direction to the south¬ 
ward, still more open than the passage of Seedaseer, where he would only 
be opposed by Coorgs. This consideration derived a greater weight, as> 
if he succeeded in forcing this entrance, it would throw him into our rear, 
and put him, in all probability, in possession of the great depot of rice col¬ 
lected by the Coorga Rajah. These motives have induced me to relin¬ 
quish the post of Seedaseer, and to collect the whole of my force at this 
place, I have accordingly made a disposition, either to defend my posi¬ 
tion against the Sultaun, if he should again venture to attack it, or to move 
in defence of any part of the Coorga Rajah s territories that the enemy 
may threaten, provided it shall endanger our magazine of provisions, 
otherwise I shall remain on the defensive until I receive advice from Ge¬ 
neral Harris. 

Since the action of the 6th, the enemy have continued in their camp 
at Periapatam, nor have I any intelligence either of the Sultaun s de- 
sigfns or of the motives that induced him to undertake his present 

O 

enterprise. It is not likely that he will remain longer in this neigh¬ 
bourhood than after he receives intelligence of General Harris having 
entered the Mysore. As my communication with General Harris is 
become insecure, I must take tlie liberty of requesting your Lordship 


A P P E N D I -X, 


^49 

to inform him of such part of these particulars aS may appear to you 
necessary. 

I have the honour to subscribe myself, most respectfully^ 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship^s most obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) ' J. STUART. 

Head ^luarterSi Seedapoory ^th March, 1799. 

'■ P. S. By some prisoners who have been just now brought in by the 
Coorga Rajah’s people, I am informed that the loss of the enemy was very 
great, and that many men of the first distinction fell. They mention Seyed 
or Meer Ghofar, and the Benky Nabob, who led the centre attack, among 
the killed. It is added, however, that the Sultaun is collecting more 
forces, and is determined to make a second attack. 

(Signed) , J. STUART; 

The important part taken by the Bombay army, since the commence¬ 
ment of the siege, in all the operations which led to its honourable con¬ 
clusion, has been such as well sustains its long-established reputation. The 
gallant manner in which the post at tlie village of Agrar was seised by the 
force under Colonel Hart, the ability displayed in directing the fire of the 
batteries established there, the vigour with which every attack of the ene¬ 
my, on the outposts of that army, was repulsed, and the spirit shown in 
the assault of the breach, by the' corps led by Lieutenant-colonel Dunlop, 
are points of particular notice, for which the Commander in Ciiief requests 
Lieutenant-general Stuart .will offer his best tlianks to the officers and men 
employed. 

Lieutenant-general Harris trusts that Lieutenant-general Stuart will ex¬ 
cuse his-thus publicly expressing his sense of the cordial co-operation and 

2 K 


assistance received from him during the present service, in the course of 
which he has ever found it difficult to separate the sentiments of his public 
■duty from the warmest feelings of his private friendship. 


Copy of a General Order by Govemwienl, dated ^Sth May^ 1799* 

, Fort. St. G^eorge, ISth Msy, 179EH 

The right honourable the Governor-general in council having this day 
received, from the commander in chief of the allied army in the field, the 
official details of the glorious and decisive victory obtained at Seringapatam 
on the 6th of May, offers his cordial thanks and sincere , congratulations to 
the commander in chief, and to all the officers and men composing the 
gallant army which achieved the capture of the capital of Mysore on that 
memorable day. 

His lordship views with admiration the consummate judgment with 
which the assault was planned, the unequal rapidity, animation, and skill, 

f 

with which it was executed, and the humanity which distinguished its 
final success. 

Under the favour of Providence, and the justness of our cause, the esta¬ 
blished char^<3:er of the army had inspired an early confidence, that the war 
in which we were engaged would be brought to a speedy, prosperous, and 
honourable issue. 

But the events of the 4th of May, while they have surpassed even the 
sanguine expectations of the Governor-general in council, have raised the 
reputation of the British arms in India to a degree of splendour and gloryp 
unrivalled in the military history of this quarter of the globe, and seldom 
approached in any part of the world. 

The lustre of this victory can be equalled only by the substantial ad- 



APPENDIX. S5l 

V^tages which it promises to establish, by restoring the peace and safety 
of the British possessions in India on a durable foundation of genuine se-. 
curity. 

The Governnr-general in rnnnrit r#-flprts with pride, satisl&ction, and 
gratitude, that, in this arduous crisis, the spirit and exertion of our Indian 
army have kept pace with our countrymen at home, and that hi India, as 
in Eufope, Great Britain has found, in the malevolent designs, of her ene- 
niies, an increasing source of her own prosperity, fame, and powpr.' 

j ,[y-. 

By order of the Right Honourable the Governor-general in counpiL. 

(Signed) J. Webbe, Sec. to Gov. . _ . ^ , 

(A true Copy) J, Webbe, Sec. to Ggv» 


IV 






I 


S'K 2 



253 


APPENDIX, 


E.r trad from the Act passedJune ^lth, 1793, h/ which the Possessim of (he 
jivifirh 'TcrrUviiti In Indiai .together with the Exclusive Commei'ce, wider 
certain Limitations in Favour of the Free T7Y/f?e, are^for d Term of Twenty 
Years, from the of March, 179^# continued to the Easi^India Company* 

THAT at any time, upon Aree years’ notice to be given by Parliament, 
after the 1st of March, -1811, and upon’ payment of any sums of money 
due by the public, then the whole, sole, and exclusive trade to the East 
Indies to cease. 

' That nothing in the said proviso, or in any other act or charter, shall ex¬ 
tend to determine the Corporation of the United East-India Company, or 
to preclude the Company from carrying on at all times, after such deter¬ 
mination of the right to the exclusive trade, a free trade to and from the 
East Indies, with all or any part of their joint stock in trade, in common 
with other the subjects of his Majesty, vtrading to or from the said parts. 

If any cession of territory shall be obtained from the Chinese Go¬ 
vernment, and a new settlement shall be made by the Company upon such 
territory, distinct and separate from the continent of China, and wholly free 
from any jurisdiction or authority from the Chinese Government, in that 
case, so long as the same shall so remain to the Company, it shall be law¬ 
ful for any of his Majesty’s subjects, under such regulations and restrictions 
as shall be approved by the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of In¬ 
dia, to export British and Irish manuf^tures in the ships c>f the said'Co’ru- 
pany, at a moderate rate of freight, the same being consigned to the said 
Company’s supercargoes, or such other persons as the Company, with the' 
approbation of the Board of Commissioners, sliall licfetise to reside at such 


APPENDIX. 


.255 


settlement for that purpose only; and provided that such persons so 
licensed shall be prohibited from having any connection or intercourse 
with the continent of China, and from carrying on any other trade or con¬ 
cern whatever,, except the sale of British and Irish manufacture as before 
mentioned, and from all interference with the affairs of the Company; and 
all such persons shall enter into the like covenants with the Company as 
other licensed free merchants, ©r such other covenants as shall be rea¬ 
sonably required by the Court of Directors in that behalf, and also into 
a special engagement, if the same shall be required, for . paying the net pro¬ 
ceeds of the sales of such manufactures into the treasury of the Company 
at such new settlement, for bills of exchange payable by the Comply in 

Great Britain, to be drawn at the actual rate of exchange at the time; mid 

♦ 

that no person whatever shall be pcrmliied to reside in any place or places so 
ceded, or to trade or communicate with any port or place in China, who is ?iot 
& seivant of the Company, or zvho is not licensed by them to act as aforesaid. 

During the continuance of the Company's exclusive trade, it shall be law¬ 
ful for any ship or vessel whicivshall be employed in carrying on . the 
Southern Whale Fishery, under and by virtue of an act made in the 26th 
year of his present Majesty, intituled. An Act for the Encouragement of 
the Southern Whale Fishery, and a certain other act, made in tlie astir 
year of the reign of his present Majesty, for amending the said act made in 
the 26th year of his Majesty's reign, to sail or pass into the Pacific Ocean: 
by Cape Horn, to the southward of the equator, provided that such ships 
shall not proceed farther west than one hundred and eighty degrees, of lon¬ 
gitude from London, and provided that said ships shall not proceed with¬ 
out such license, and shall be under and subject to all sudi regulations a.s 
are mentioned in the said respective acts. . ; • 

‘ For the further encouragement of trade to .the South .v/est coast of Ame- 


rica,-aBd th'e tsknds under the lirhitations contained in the con¬ 

vention made by his jM^jesty -with the King of Spain, of the 3 8 th of Oc¬ 
tober, 1790,.it maybe expedient that ships fitted out for those parts should 
in certain cases be permitted, by license from the Company, to proceed 
from ihe'Baid* coast and islarfds direct to the isles of Japan and coasts of 
Kbrea land ^Canton, there'to dispose of their cargoes obtained on the 
Ntorth-i-west cokst of America^ arid to return from thence direct to the same 
North-west coast or islands adjacent, and there dispose of their returns in 
trade,-the owners , arid commanders of such ships entering into such cove¬ 
nants with, and giving such seeurity to, the Company, and submitting to 
be- hound by such rules arid regulations as shall appear to be best adapted 
forrpresetviing to the Company the exercise of their commercial privileges, 
andACt^duoe to'the preservation of good order and regularity of the ships* 
companies, and their observance of the laws prescribed by the native states, 
dilririg the' feofitiriuaricO Of meh ships on the said coasts of Japan, Korea, and 
in'(the river of Ca^riton: that the Court of Directors of the Company shall, 
forthwith after the passing of the Act, frame and lay before the Board of 
Corriniis^iohers for the Affairs of India, such rules and regulations as they 
shall tliink best adapted for the purposes aforesaid, and also the forms of 
such deeds of covenant or other securities- as the Court of Directors shall 
judge to be proper or necessary to be entered into for the due observance 
thereof by the o wners and commanders of ships^ to be licensed, and that 
the Board shall thereupon proceed to revise the same, and to give such or¬ 
ders and instructions to the Directors in relation thereto as they shall think 
fit and expedient j and that the owners and commanders conforming them¬ 
selves to the terms and conditions which shall be so prescribed, shall Be 
entitled to such license or licenses j and the Court of Directors are required 
to grant the same accordingly, unless on any representation made by the 


APPENDIX. 


255 


Directors to the Board of Commissioners, containing any specific objections 
against .the granting of any such license, the Board shall order the same to 
her withheld, in which case it shall be lawful for the Directors to withhold 
or, refuse the same, 

,,Tlwt the regulations to be made for the purposes aforesaid, or any deeds 
of .GO\renant or other securities to be required for the observance thereof, 
shall not extend to vest in any council of supercargoes, or other officers of 
the Company, a greater power over any ships, or the commanders, officers, 
or companies of the same, in the Eastern Seas, or on the coasts of Japan, 
Korea, and China, which they shall be permitted to visit according to the 
tenor of such licenses, than such as may lawfully be exercised by the coun¬ 
cil of supercargoes or other officers of thfe Company over the ships em¬ 
ployed by, or in the service of the Company, and the commanders, officers* 
and men belonging thereto. 

The selling or disposing of any goods or merchandise at any other place 
or places than shall be mentioned and specified fii any such license, or any 
wilful breach or non-observance of py of the rules or regulations, shall be 
held as a misdemeanour at law, and may Ije punished as such, and that the 
parties offending therein shall be deemed to have traded unlawfully within 
the limits of the Company’s exclusive trade, and shall incur and suffer the 
penalties and forfeitures imposed by the act for illicitly trading within the 
limits, and shall besides pay to the said Company such pecuniary penalties 
as such offenders shall have incurred or forfeited by any wilful breach or 
non-observance of the stipulations contained in the deeds of covenants or 
securities entered into or given to the said Company by virtue of the; act. 

That during the continuance of the exclusive trade in the Company, it 
may be lawful for any of his Majesty’s subjects resident in Great Britain, 
or/in any other part of his Majesty's European dominions, to^export,. oh 


A P P E N D I X,. 




tlieir own proper risque ahd account, in the ships of the Company, or in 
ships freighted by them from the port of London, to any of the ports usu- 
idly visited by the ships of the Company on the coasts of Malabar and Co¬ 
romandel, or in the Bay of Bengal in the East Indies, or the island of 
Sumatra, any goods,' wares, or merchandises of the growth, produce, or 
manufacture of the said dominions, except such as is otherwise specially 
.provided i and that in like manner it may be lawful for any of his Majesty's 
spl^ectsdn the civil service of the Company in India, or being by leave or 
iicensc of the Company, or under their protection, as merchants resident 
in India, respectively to consign and put on board the ships of the Com¬ 
pany, or in ships freighted by them, bound to Great Britain, any goods, 
wares, or merchandise,, except such as is by this act otherwise specially 
provided, in order to the same being imported, on the risque and account of 


the owners thereof, at the port of London, under the regulations contained, 
in the act. . 

During the Company’s term in the exclusive trade, it shall not be lawful, 
for any person, save only the Company, or such as shall obtain their spe¬ 
cial license in writing for that purpose, to export, ship, or carry out from 
Great Britain to the East Indies, or other parts within the limits of their 
exclusive trade, any military stores, ammunition, masts, spars, cordage, 
anchors, pitch, tat, or copper; nor to ship, carry, or put on board any of 
the Company’s ships in the East Indies, or other parts of the said limits, 
bound to London, or otherwise to bring or iniport into Great Britain,, any 
India callicoes, dimities, muslins, or other piece goods, made or manufac-^ 
tured with silk or cotton, or with silk and cotton mixed, or with other 
mixed materials. 

The sole and exclusive right in the export trade from Great Britain to 
the East Indies, and other parts, within the limits of the Company’s char- 


' APPENDIX, 25 t 

ter, in the articles of masts, spars, cordage, anchors, pitch, and tar, is by the 
act reserved to and continued in the Company, with the intent that the Com¬ 
pany may not only furnish a sufficient quantity of those articles for con¬ 
sumption at their forts, garrisons, ports, and dock-yards there, but also to 
send to India those articles, and keep the markets supplied therewith, as 
far as may appear to be consistent with public security, at moderate prices: 
and as it is proper that the British and Irish manufacturers of those articles 
should have every reasonable satisfaction given to them, that the exclusive 
privilege shall not operate to their injury or prejudice, through the feilurc 
or default of the Company in carrying on their export trade in such ar¬ 
ticles to as large an extent as prudence and policy will admit; it is or¬ 
dered, That the Court of Directors shall, in the month of February in 
every year, lay before the Board of Commissioners for the affairs of 
India, an exact invoice of the quantities and sorts of cordage, pitch, and 
tar, and the number and sizes of masts and spars, and the number and 
weight of anchors exported by the Company in the preceding year; and 
shall also, when required by the Board, lay before it a similar invoice 
or account of the quantities, numbers, sizes, and weights, as far as 
the case will admit, of all the articles before enumerated, which shall be 
intended to be exported by the Company in the ensuing season j upon any 
representation made to the Board by any British or Irish manufacturers of 
any faildre or default in the Company, of tlieir exporting any of the said 
articles to a sufficient or reasonable extent in quantity and value, as well 
for the proper consumption of the forces of the Company in India, and at 
their ports, garrisons, and settlements there, as for meeting the demands of 
the India markets for the said articles respectively, the Board may examine 
into the grounds of such representations, and the allegations contained 
therein; and may, according to the circumst^ces of the case, at their dis- 

S L 


irs'g V p T)’ f 

'make such ofdei‘5 aud regulations for admitting ^individLials to ex¬ 
port to India, in: the ships of the Gompany, or those employed in their 
service,'at the like rate of freight as shall be then payable for other goods 
exported thither in private trade, all or any sorts of the articles before enti- 
mefated, as the Board shall from time to time judge fitting and proper, 
subject to such restrictions and limitations as shall be expressed in their 
orders and regulations concerning the same ; and, if the Board shall see 
it^ requiske, it shall be lawful for them to enlarge the quantity of ton- 
ha^ by the act directed to be provided for other private trade, to an ex¬ 
tent iick'exceeding the quantity which shall appear to the Board to be ne¬ 
cessary for the carriage of the articles so permitted to be exported by 
frfdividtrals, and which additional tonnage shall be specifically set 
apart and reserved for that purpose only * and that Company are re¬ 
quired to' provide such additiofial quantify of shipping or tonnage ac- 
cordingly. . 

If the Company shall not, on or 'before'the 31st of August in every 
year, during the continuance of their exclusive trade, contract for and 
purchase, on their own account, 1,500 tons of British-copper, for the 
purpose of exportation to some port or place within the limits of their ex¬ 
clusive trade, it may be lawful for the proprietors or holders of British 
copper residing in Great Britain, in every such year respectively, to export 
that quantity, in ships to be provided by the Company, to any ports of 
places they think proper in the East Indies, at the same rates of freight, 
and subject to th e sam e reg ti 1 a tions as to the ^ou!nt 'of ’SU eh freigh t per 
ton as are expressed in the act with respect to the'fVcight^ of dther'species 
of British manufactures and produce on private ' a^ and that if the ' 
Company shall not purchase or contract for so ' miich as'"i;5^’'t6ns of Bri¬ 
tish copper in any one year, it may be lMvfu’l fCrflie pio^ie'fors-or holdefff 


p p E N n I 




of British copper to export in ships to be provided by tlic Company, such 
quantity or quantities as, together with the quantities purchased by th« 
Company, shall amount to full J,500 .tons, to he exported annually to the 
ports or places, and subject to the same regulations as to the amount of 
freight per ton in ships to be provided by the Company as is expressed, 
on the exportation of any other British produce on private account j and 
that the proprietors, or holders of British copper exporting the same shall 
be at liberty to obtain their returns in the like, commodities of India, in 
the same manner and in the same proportions as provided Ibr the other, 
proprietors of British manufactures or produce exported to India, on their 
own account, by virtue of the act: In case the Company shall not, on or 
before the 3 i.st of August in any one year, have bought or contracted for 
the full quantity of 1,500 tons of British copper for the purposes aforesaid, 
that then all persons intending to export either the whole or part of the - 
said 1,500 tons remaining unsold to the Company, shall signify the same.^ 
by a notice in writing to the chief secretary of the Con^ipany, between the 
31st of August and the 14th of October in every year, provided that the. 
tonnage for the copper to be sent out to India in any of the cases aforesaid 
shall not be considered as part of the tonnage allowed by the act for the 
private trade. 

If a sufficient quantity of such callicoes, dimities, muslins, or other piece 
goods of the description already mentioned, shall not be imported by the 
Company, and the persons by them licensed to import the same, for keep^ 
ing the market supplied therewith, at reasonable prices, to answer the. con*; 
sumption in Great Britain, as far as any of the said sorts.of goqds may law-^ 
fully be worn or used, and likewise for exportation, it may be lawful for . 
the Board of Comrnissioners for the Affairs of India to make such regul^- 
tfons for admitting jndividuals to import in- the Conapany s ships, pr^sliips^ , 

3 L 3 


250 


APPENDIX, 

employed by them, into Great Britain, all or any of the sorts of goods' 
before specified, under such conditions, restrictions, and limitatioiis, as the 
Board shall from time to time direct, ' . \ 

Nothing in the act sliall extend to permit any person to export or'im-J 
port 'in private trade any goods or merchandise contrary to the provisions 
of any act or acts of parliament now in force, and not by the act expressly 
repealed, nor to vary, alter, ox affect, any act or acts now in force for pro¬ 
hibiting the consumption, wearing, or use of any foreign manufacture 
within this kingdom 5 but that all the said acts, and the provisions and re¬ 
gulations therein, shall remain of the same force and effect, to all intents 
and purposes, as if the act had not been made. 

As the ensuring to private merchants and manu^cturers the certain and 
ample means of exporting their merchandise to the East Indies, and im¬ 
porting the returns for the saine, may conduce to the advancement of the 
trade of these kingdoms, it is enacted. That the Company shall, in the 
proper season of every year, provide and appropriate 3,000 tons of ship¬ 
ping at the least, for the specifxG purposes of carrying to the East Indies 
such goods, wares, and merchandise as may be lawfully exported thither 
by individuals, and for bringing back from thence as well the returns of 
the same as likewise die goods of other persons entitled to import the same 
into this kingdom'; and if the quantity of tonnage shall be found insuf¬ 
ficient, or shall be found to be more thati shall be sufficient for the barrage 
of the private trade, export or import, the Company shall from time to^ 
time provide such an additional quantity of tonnage,, or lessen the quantity 
of tonnage to be provided for the carriage of the private trade,, as the Board 
of Commissioners for the Afiairs of India shall, upon any representation 
made to them, order and direct. • 

T^at in case the Court of Directors shall be of opinion that the addi- 


261 


APPENDIX. 

tional quantity of tonnage for the carriage of the private trade* which shall 
at any time tliereafter be ordered by the Board of Commissioners for the 
Afiairs of India, is greater than ought to have been ordered, it shall be 
lawful for the Court of Directors to apply by petition to his Majesty in 
council, and his Majesty in council shall finally determine tlie same. 

The said Company shall be entitled to charge and recover, from the 
owners of goods exported or imported in private trade, such rates of freight 
for the carriage thereof as are specified, and not any higher rate or rates ; 
(that is to say), for the carriage of any goods from Great Britain to any 
port or place in the East Indies in tune of peace, after the rate of 57. per 
ton, and for the carriage of any goods from any part of the. East Indies to 
Great Britain, after the rate of 157. per ton, computing such tonnage in 
the same manner as the tonnage of goods shipped by the Company on 
their own account i and that in times of war, or preparations for war, be¬ 
tween Great Britain and any other European power or state, or when the 
circumstances incidental to war, or preparations for war, shall happen, 
whereby an increase in the rates of freight payable by the Company 
shall become unavoidable, then, or as long as such war, or preparations, 
or other circumstances shall continue, the Company shall be entitled to 
charge and recover, for the carriage of the private trade, additional rates 
of freight, after a due proportion to the additional rates of tonnage which 
shall be paid by the Company for the hire of ships for their own trade, and 
at no higher rate or proportion. 

That when any circumstance shall arise which entitles the Company to 
.make any advance in the rates of freight on private trade, the Court of 
Directors, shall, before, they shall increase the same, communicate in 
writing to the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India their 
intentions so to do, with their reasons, for the same, and the extent of 


A:P T £ N B J X. 


^^3 

t&' increase by them proposed, with such other information or observa-, 
lihiis* ffebd inthereto as shall to them appear material to he known by the. 
Boards'and that no increase shall.be made in the said rates but such as' shall, 
be-approved by the Bdaid ; and that any increase so made shall be subject 
and liable to be reduced or discontinued, as circunrstances. may admit pr 

require, and as said Board shall in that behalf direct. 

In the month of August, 1791, and so afterwards in the month of Au-- 
gust in every third year, during, the continuance of the further term grant 
fed to the Company in their trade, the Court of Directors shall take into 
their consideration bow far, and to what extent the then general state, of 
tlie adairs of shipping may call for, or will reasonably admit, of any abate¬ 
ment in the rates of freight on private trade, and to.certify unto the Board 
of Commissioners whether the rates will fairly admit of any reduction or 
abatement, and to what extent, and whether for the whole or for any, and 
what part of the term of three years then next following, with their lea-r 
sons for the same j and that Board shall take the report of the Directors 
into their consideration, and either approve the alterations proposed by the 
Directors, or make such other order . therein as to the Board shall appear 
just and expedient; and that the order of the Board in respect thereto shall 

be valid and conclusive on the Company. ^ 

. All persons intending to export any goods from Great Britain to. the 
East Indies shall signify the same by a notice in writing to the chief secre¬ 
tary of the Company before the last day of August in eacn year, for the 
ships of the ensuing season, and that every such notice shall specify the 
name of the port or place of destination of such goods, and the quantity 
of tonnage required for the same, 'and the period when the goods will be 
ready to be laden or put oil board; and that every person giving any such 
notice, shall, on or before the 15th of September next ensuing the delivery 


APPENDIX. 


253 


thereof, deposit in the treasury of the Company the money chargeable for 
the freight upon the quantity of tonnage thereby required or therein spe¬ 
cified, unless the Court of Directors of the Company shall think fit to ac¬ 
cept any security for the payment thereof; and that every such person, 
shall also, before the 13th of October following, deliver to the secretary 
of the Company a list of the sorts of goods intended to be exported, and 
the quantities of each of such sorts respectively; and that in default there¬ 
of, or failure in providing the goods to be shipped vrithin the time speci¬ 
fied in the notice for that purpose, the deposit made, or security taken for 
the freight, shall be forfeited to the Company. 

That all persons intending to export any goods from any port or place in 
the East Indies to Great Sritain shall signify the same by notice in writing 
to the chief secretary of the Presidency in India wherein tfie same are .to 
be -shipped, in which notice shall be specified the sorts and quantities of 
goods intended to be shipped, the quantity of tonnage required, and tlie 
period when the goods will be ready to be put on board ; and shall make 
a deposit at the treasury of such presidency or settlement, of the whole 
amount of the freight upon tlie quantity of tonnage specified, or otherwise 
give reasonable security for the payment tliereof in Great Britain; and if 
®iy of the persons giving such notice shall, not provide their goods to be 
shipped within the time or times therein specified for that purpose, their de¬ 
posits made, or securities given for the freight, shall be forfeited to the 
Company. 

If any vacant tonnage shall remain, not engaged by individuals, either 
in Great Britain or the East Indies, after the times limited for giving such- 
notices respec-tively, the said tonnage, together with any other vacant ton-’ 
nage occasioned by the failure or default-of aUy person-in the delivery of, 
their goods withi'n the period specified l>y their notices for diat purpose,: 


APPEND rX. 


2<3t. 

S;kali and may be occupied by the goods of the Company, without any al¬ 
lowance to the persons making such default j arid that if the whole quan¬ 
tity of tonnage required for private trade in any year, either in Great Bri¬ 
tain or the East Indies, shall exceed the whole quantity to be provided for 
private trade, according to the true intent of the act, in that case the 
whole of the tonnage provided shall be impartially distributed amongst the 
parties requiring the same, in proportion to the quantities specified in their 
respective notices; and that on every such occasion the distribution shall 
be made with all convenient dispatch,' and the quantity of tonnage apper¬ 
taining to each of the persons entitled thereto shall be notified to them 
respectively, by the secretary or other proper officer in writing, seven days 
antecedent to the day appointed for making the deposit, or giving security 
for the freight, in the manner before directed. 

• It shall be lawful for any persons residing in India, in the civil ser¬ 
vice of the Company, or by their license, not being restricted by theif'co- 
venants, or otherwise specially prohibited by them or their governments in 
India from so doing, and not being in any judicial or military capacity, to 
act as commercial agents, managers, or consignees, on the behalf of such 
persons as shall think fit to employ them, as well in the disposal of any ex¬ 
port goods, not thereby prohibited from being exported by individuals, as 
in providing such other kinds of goods as may by law be imported by in¬ 
dividuals into Great Britain on their private account. 

Upon any representation made to the Court of Directors of the Com- 
.pany, by or on the behalf of any private traders, of the want of a suffi¬ 
cient number of persons in the East Indies duly authorised and properly 
qualified to act for them in the disposal of their cargoes and the purchase 
and investments of goods in return for the same, the Court shall fail to li- 
cense a further number of persons to reside in India in the character of free 


APPENDIX. 


2(35 


ssierchants, to the satisfaction of the private traders, it may be lawful for 
the traders to represent the same to the Board of Commissioners for the 
Affairs of India, and that the Court of Directors shall thereupon license a 
proper and sufficient nurriber of persons to reside at theh settlements in the 
East Indies, in the character of -free merchants, wkh the approbation of 
the Board. 

Officers and servants of the Company, and all other British sub¬ 
jects, during their residence in India, notwithstanding their being em¬ 
ployed to act as agents, factors, or managers for private traders, shall con¬ 
tinue amenable and subject to the powers and authorities of the Company 
and their Governments in India, in the like manner as if they had not feo 
acted, or had not been so employed. 

During all such time as the Company shall be entitled to the exclusive 
trade, it-shall not be lawful for^ny British subject, either, in their service, 
-or licensed by them, to go, or to live, or continue in India, to reside in 
any other place than in one of the principal settlements of the Com- 
piany, or within ten miles of such principal settlement, without theh 
-Special license of the Governor-general, or Governors of such princi¬ 
pal settlement, in writing, for that purpose; nor shall any such Bri¬ 
tish subject or subjects go to, or continue beyond tlie limits for any 
longer space of time, or at any other time or times, than shall be specified 
in his or their license or order of leave in that behalf, on pain of being 
dismissed the service, and forfeiting to the Company such wages, salaries, 
and allowances, as shall be due to the person so offending, and of his li- 
acense to reside in India, 

By virtue of an act made in .tbe ninth year of King William tlie Third, 
the Company is entitled to receive a duty of 5/. for every hundred pounds 

2 M 


3(56 


APPENDIX. 


of the value of all goods, wares, and merchandises of the growth, product, 
or manufacture of the East Indies, or other parts within the limits of their 
exclusive trade, imported or brought into this kingdom in private trade, 
towards defraying certain charges mentioned in that act. Xhe Company 
have, over and besides the duty of 5L per centum, been accustomed to 
charge and retain, for their own use, after the rate of 9,1. per centum on 
the gross sale amount of all goods, wares, and merchandises imported into 
this kingdom from the East Indies in private trade, in recompence and sa¬ 
tisfaction for the charges and expenses of unshipping and selling the same, 
and otherwise in the care and management tlaereof. For the encourage¬ 
ment of the private trade, the duty of 5l. per centum is repealed, and the 
charge of 9l. per centum discontinuedthe Company are entitled to re¬ 
ceive, in lieu thereof, to recompense them from the said charges on private 
trade, after the rate of sL for every hundred pounds on the value or gross 
sale amount of all goods imported from the East Indies in private trade,, 
including the duties and charges payable in respect thereoE This sum to 
he in full satisfaction and discharge of the expenses to be incurred by the 
Company in the unshipping, voyage, cartage, warehouse-room, sorting, 
lotting, and selling goods, or in any other manner concerning the same 
over and above the freight. 

The said appeal shall not extend to release the payment of the said duty 
of sL per centum on the said charge of 9L per centiun on any goods, wares,, 
or merchandise, which shall be brought home and imported in any of the 
•ships of the Company, or in their service from China, aor to affect any 
covenants or engagements now subsisting, or hereafter to be made, by or 
between the Company, or on their behalf, with the masters and com¬ 
manders of their ships, or with any otlier of the ojSicers or servants of the 


^ ■ appendix. es? 

■# 

In whatever employment or capacity they .may happen to be, 
but that all and every such covenants and engagements shall be, andj be 
held, deemed, and taken to be of the same force and effect, to every in¬ 
tent/and purpose, as if the act had not bccii made, the said repeal, or anv 
other matter or thing therein contained, to the contrary notwithstanding. 

To encourage individuals to engage in the import trade of several sorts 
of ra w materials, and also for securing to manufacturers the means of fur¬ 
nishing themselves therewith at the said sales, it is expedient that proper 
rules and regulations should be made for providing for speedy and frequent 
sales of such materials, and in moderate lots j and for preventing, as far 
may be, any undue preference being given in respect either of the mode 
or times of the making sale of any of the said commodities, as between 
the Company and individuals, or as between one individual and another; 
it is enacted, that it may be lawful for the Court of Directors, of the Com¬ 
pany to frame such rules and regulations for the future sales of all raw- 
silk, sugar, yarn, cotton wool, and other wool skins, dyeing woods and 
drugs, and other articles of raw material, imported either in private trade 
or the Company’s own account, as in their judgment shall appear best 
adapted for the several purposes, and to lay the same before the Board of 
Commissioners for the Affairs of India, for their revisal and approbation ; 
and that the rules and regulations which shall be framed and approved shall 
be considered of the same force as a bye-law of the Company, subject to 
such future revision and alteration by said Court of Directors, with the ap - 
probation of said Board, as circumstances require. 

All manner of goods imported in private trade, as well raw materials as 
others, shall be secured in the Company’s warehouses, and sold openly and 
publicly by inch of candle, or by way of public auction, and in no other 

S M S 


J 


APPENDIX. 269 

dises of the same kinds or sorts, belonging to the Company, are or sliall be 
sub Viable unto, and to no other rates, customs, or duties whatever, 

the duty "of 3/. per c€?Liimif granted to the Company for the purposes afore¬ 
said; always excepted. 

The Company shall be wholly exempted from the claims of indivi¬ 
duals in respec t to any compensation or satisfaction which the Company 
might otherwi se be liable to answer or pay as carriers of goods, for any 
embezzlemej'at, waste, losses, or damages of any goods, wares, or mer¬ 
chandise, diuring the time of their being on board the ships of, or employed 
by sai-i "ompany, or in any of their warehouses in Great Britain or India, 
or in tbei transit to or from such ships. 

That tl deeds of covenant, and other engagements and securities, en¬ 
tered mt* jy any of the officers and servants of the Company, entrusted 
ith the custody, care, or management of goods, wares, and 
•s, whether at sea or on-shore, for the due execution of the trust 
hem, shall be deemed in law to extend to and include as well 
wares, and merchandise,, as are the immediate property of the 
/, as such as are the property of individuals ; and that all or any 
/officers and servants of the Company, so by them entrusted, and all 
persons having at any time the custody or care of any such, goods, 
wares, or merchandises, by or through whose means, default, procure- 
ment|Q neglect,, or want of ^are, .^^y embezzlement- waste, loss, or da¬ 
mage, shall or may arise or be sustained, shall be liable at law to answer 
for the same in damages and costs to the proper owners; and that if such 
owners be desirous of being availed of the benefit of any such deeds of co¬ 
venant or engagement, and s|iall give such security or indemnity to the 
Court of Directors as they shall require for securing tlie Company, and