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THE

ASIATIC JOURNAL

FOR

FEBRUARY, 1824.

Original Communications,

8c. &c. &c.

SKETCH OF THE HISTORY AND ADMINISTRATION OF

MARQUESS HASTINGS.

(Concluded from p. 16.) HITHERTO it has not been deemed confined to a belt of sea coast, extendnecessary to transgress the strict li- ing round the island, from the interior mits prescribed to a history of Lord of which we were excluded. The Hastings' administration, or to dwell reigning prince of Candy, whose restupon occurrences of minor impor- less disposition had caused repeated tance, which are absorbed by events of incursions upon the British frontier, such magnitude as those already des- became at length so obnoxious to his cribed. The chastisement of the own subjects, through his oppression Pirates seated in the Gulphs of Persia and cruelty, that in the year 1815, the and Arabia, and of the insurgents in nobles and people of his kingdom in. Kattywar, by expeditions fitted out vited the British Governor, Lieut. Col. under the Presidency of Bombay; Brownrigg, to assist them in throwing and the curbing, at different periods, of off the yoke of his insupportable certain restless chiefs (for it became a tyranny. An expedition, accordingly, prime object of his Lordship to repress penetrated into the interior, and was at once the smallest indication of a joined by the Adigars, or chief persons, marauding or refractory spirit), are A detachment of our troops entered of the latter subordinate character. the capital of Candy, and a revolution There is, nevertheless, one transaction was effected, which terminated that deserving of notice, which happened long continued singular division of during the epoch of his government, territory, and opened an interepurse although the Marquess is concerned between the interior and the coast. in it so far only as it afforded an oc The revolution, however, was not so casion for the display of his prompti- complete as to extinguish the germs of tude of arrangement, whereby suc disaffection to British dominion; for cour was supplied to a distant de- about two years after (October 1817), tached quarter, in spite of the demand a rebellion broke out in different parts for troops created by bis extensive of the island. The insurgents were plans.

headed by a pretender to the Candian The British possessions in Ceylon crown, and the plan seemed to have had, since our acquisition of it, been been long prepared, and regularly or. Asiatic Journ.-No. 98.

VOL. XVII, R

ganized. The spirit of revolt, though the British and Netherlands' Governmet by British detachments wherever ments, by which the former retained it appeared, spread from province to the Cape of Good Hope, and restored province in the interior, and nearly all the other conquests made from the the military posts were surrounded by Dutch in the East, including the isthe rebels. By treachery, by ambus- land of Java. The settlement of cades, by marches amid swamps and Cochin was exchanged by the latter forests, and by the havock caused by for the island of Banca, acquired by us sickness, the army sensibly diminished, in 1812 by a deed of cession from the and application was made by Gen. Sultan of Palembang. Brownrigg to the Governor General Although the military and political of India for assistance.* Marqness measures of Marquess Hastings were Hastings, though the great Mahratta thus confined to the continent of war had scarcely closed, promptly des India, his attention to the commercial patched the military reinforcements interests of his native country was which the Governor of Ceylon de restricted by no limits whatsoever. Not manded; and by the end of Novem only does his own mind appear to have ber 1818, the rebellion was subdued. originated suggestions for the imThe process of amelioration, which provement and extension of trade, had commenced in the Govern. but it was ever open to entertain from ments of Continental India, was com others whatever schemes appeared municated to this island; a new con- likely to promote that object. Abunstitution was promulgated for the dant proof might have been adduced of Candian provinces, adapted to their that magnanimity, so conspicuous a altered circumstances, and calculated part of his Lordship’s character, which to improve the condition of the people, disposes him readily, without the and secure to them the benefits of smallest tincture of jealousy, to emimpartial justice, and equal protec- brace and cordially patronize whatever tion.t

projects seem adapted for the adBesides this transaction, there are

vantage of any particular service. indeed few occurrences in our Indian Nor is the secret satisfaction that he insular empire since 1813, which invite has “done the state some service," our attention,

The termination of the only reward enjoyed by him, in that protracted contest, which, how- whose breast the happy idea has been ever severely felt in Europe, enlarged conceived; the same principle which our Eastern possessions, by the makes his Lordship the patron of such expulsion of every rival nation, was

a measure, impels him likewise to succeeded by the transfer of some of confer the just tribute of acknowledg. the conquered colonies to their former ment and approbation upon the real masters. By the treaty with France in author. The terms in which the 1814, the colonies and factories taken Marquess has publicly spoken of the from her during the war were mostly conduct of Sir Thomas Hislop, Sir restored, except the island of Mau- David Ochterlony, Sir John Malcolm, ritius, which was ceded to the crown the Hon. Mr. Elphinstone, and a of Great Britain. In the same year multitude of other persons, may justly an arrangement was concluded between be said to reflect equal credit upon • About this period, the promptitude and hul

the giver and the receiver of the manity of Lord Hastings were displayed in the praise*. “Never,” says Sir J. Doyle, relief he afforded to the inhabitants of the Mauririns, when visited hy a dreadful calamity, and which was gratefully acknowledged by that

* The numerous general orders issued by the Colony.

Marquess, which from the skill displayed in their † See the proclamation, dated 281h of Nov.

composition may fairly be ascribed to his pery 1818, in As. Journal, Vol.VIII, p. 504,--and also an

bear testimony to what has been said in the text. article “On Ceylon and its Systems of Govern

See that respecting Sir John Malcolm, in Al. ment," ibid. Vol. XIV, p. 317.

Journal, Vol. XIII, p. 611.

1

his fellow soldier," was there a man Another evidence of his Lordship's of whom it could be more truly said, vigilant attention to the interests of self was the only being seemed forgot.commerce, may be perceived in the

It was through this liberality of dis- recent mission to Siam and Cochin position, as well as from an anxiety to China. Mr. Crawfurd, formerly Bribefriend the interests of British com tish resident at the court of Java, who merce, that the project suggested by had devoted much attention to the Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles for the history of the Indian archipelago, and establishment of a free port as an

to the commercial capacities of the emporium for trade, in the island of islands and continental kingdoms of Singapore, was carried into effect by farther India, suggested to Lord Hastthe Marquess in the year 1818. The ings, in 1821, the project of an emrestraints which it was judged ex bassy to the courts of Siam and Cochin pedient by the Legislature to continue China, for political and commercial upon the intercourse between Bri- purposes. His Lordship accordingly tain and India; the painful and em patronized this scheme, and appointed barrassing circumstances under which Mr. Crawfurd his envoy or agent, in our commerce exerted itself to pene the beginning of 1822, with proper trate to the eastward, and among the credentials and authority to negociate innumerable clusters of islands, which with these respective courts.* This seem to have been in former ages but mission received the utmost attention a prolongation of the Asiatic conti- in Siam, and some civilities were, it is nent; the return of the Dutch to understood, intended as a mark of these parts, and the renewal of their distinguished and particular respect to selfish, exclusive, and grasping policy, the Governor General. It is now suggested to the Governor of Ben- ascertained † that by the treaty encoolen the project before us, as a tered into with the Siamese, the free remedy or palliative for all these evils; admission of British commerce is stiand, fortunately, the person at the pulated for, an engagement is entered head of the Indian government had into that the present duties shall never a congenial mode of thinking, and be increased, and a pledge is given of discernment sufficient to appreciate cordial aid from the officers of governthe benefits attending its success. ment: to obtain more, to effect in its The result has, in a manner beyond the full extent the object contemplated by most sanguine calculation, confirmed the Governor General, namely, a free the judgment and sagacity of the trade with Siam, as enjoyed by the measure; the consequences of which Chinese, could not be accomplished, in after ages may be felt, when the without entering into such political glory attending Lord Hastings' mili- relations as were at variance with the tary plans, splendid as they are, shall principles of moderation adopted by be forgotten.

his government.

The essential objects of the mission * “ Our peculiar gratitude is due to your Lord. ship, as inhabitants of a settlement which is the were completely gained in Cochin first recorded example of a truly free commerce. China. Our trade is admitted into The rapid and unparalleled prosperity of this establishinent, planned under your Lordship's that kingdom on the same terms as aaspices, and maintained against jealous sivalry that of the Chinese, of the Portuby the signur and firmness of your counsels, attest

guese, and of the French since the the wisdom of your views. You found it, less than four years ago, a village of a couple of

year 1818. As a further proof of the hundred idle Malayan fishermen; and it is now confidence inspired by us into the a colony of ten thousand industrious inhabitants, collected from every quarter, and livng together * See the Historical Sketch of Singapore in in peace and harmony, under the magic auspices As. Journal, Vol. XVI., p. 94. of that freedom and those principles which your † Supp. to l'alcutta Gov. Gazette, Jan. , 1893. Lordship has established and confirmed." Address See our account of this in ission, As. Journal, from Singapore on Lord Hastings' resignation. Vols. XV., p. 567, XVI., pp. 30, 109, &c.

Cochin Chinese government, the Go- the natives of India. Let us close our vernor General's agent was indulged examination of Marquess Hastings' with the unusual privilege of returning administration, by viewing it in confrom Hue, the capital, to the sea-coast nexion with these several objects. by land.

It will be convenient to dispose It cannot be doubted that the cha- what remains to be said under the racter of the Chief of our Indian following heads: 1. The army. 2. The empire, and the imposing aspect of administration of justice. 3. Literahis government, have greatly contri- ture and education. 4. The present buted to this fortunate result.

condition of the natives of India. These, among many instances of his 5. Local embellishments and improveLordship’s studious endeavours to en ments ;-and, lastly, the revenue and courage and extend the commerce of financial arrangements down to the the British empire, concurred with the year 1822, the term of his Lordship's objects of the Ministry and Parliament government. ** of England, by whom the commerce It is proper to premise, that the with India was conditionally opened Marquess relinquished his high office to British subjects in general. This in consequence of the state of his great and important measure, which health, and on account of domestic forms an epoch in the history of concerns, contrary to the earnest India, by a singular coincidence, took wishes of his employers. The Chairplace at the same period when his man of the Court of Directors declarLordship assumed the reins of govern ed at a Court of Proprietors, by whom ment. The act* by which the Indian the news of his Lordship's resignation trade was thus enlarged, comprehend- was received with general sorrow, that ed also provisions highly interesting the intimation of the noble Marqness's to the welfare of the European and wish to retire had been answered by native inhabitants of Hindostan, name a communication to him very much ly, a church establishment, to consist regretting his determination. He of a bishop and three archdeacons ; added, “I feel a very sincere regret on and arrangements for the better ad- account of the resignation of the ministration of justice in British noble Lord, because, I believe no man India. A farther object of this act ever felt a livelier interest in the was the application of the Company's affairs of this Company, or laboured territorial revenues, which are thereby harder for their success and prosperity restricted to the following purposes: than he did.”+ 1. The military establishment. 2. The The first point for consideration is interests of the Company's debts in the military department. The high England. 3. The expenses of the state of discipline maintained in the civil establishments under the three Indian army, and the courage and Presidencies. 4. The liquidation of energy evinced by it throughout the the Company's territorial debt, the different campaigns, would sufficiently bond debt at home, or other purposes attest the diligence with which his appointed by the Court of Direc- Lordship discharged his duty as Comtors, with the approbation of the mander-in-chief. His active mind Board of Commissioners for the Affairs descended from the highest to the of India. A sum not less than one lowest details of the service in purlac of rupees out of the surplus, is suit of improvement, and in the endirected to be applied to the establish- deavour to infuse those principles ment of schools, public lectures, or which his military education and literary institutions for the benefit of

* Marquess Hastings resigned the Government

the beginning of January, 1823. * 53 Geo. III., c. 153.

† Debate at the East India House, Mar. 80, 1822.

extensive experience taught him to of his Lordship's attention towards regard as the foundation of a soldier's this class is the application made by character. The introduction into all him to the Court of Directors, when native regiments of interpreters; the reporting on the state of regimental establishment of a topographical staff; schools, to obtain libraries for the the scrupulous administration of jus- soldiers. The opinion that such estice; the extinction of pillaging habits tablishments would be attended with in the native soldiers, are some of the considerable influence on the conmeans he employed towards improve- dition, conduct, and morals of the Eument. Whilst his Lordship was alive ropean soldiery, induced them to comto every subject which concerned dis- ply with the Governor-General's recipline and subordination, he never re- quest, and accordingly large colleclased in his efforts to promote the tions of useful books were sent to comfort of the troops, or the interests Bengal, to form soldiers' libraries at of their officers. Some of the General the principal stations of the army. Orders issued by his Lordship, are Moreover, the poor orphan of the standing memorials of his comprehen- British soldier in India finds a refuge sive talents; and his admirable com from the dangers of idleness and igmentaries upon the procedure and norance, the snares of vice, and the findings of courts-martial, supply a horrors of want, in the Calcutta Fecopious fund of military instruction. maleOrphan Asylum,established under It would be endless to particularize the auspices of Marchioness Hastings, the beneficial regulations introduced and supported by her patronage. We into the Indian army, during his ad- cannot more appropriately terminate ministration. It early became an ob our remarks on this part of hls ject of bis Lordship to raise into Lordship's administration, than by inhigher consideration the Company's serting the following tribute to his military officers. It was his constant military temper from a manly speech study “ to give to the Indian service of General Sir John Doyle. that rate in the estimation of society “ No man possessed in a higher at home, which the incalculable degree the happy but rare faculty of value of India to England, and the attaching to him all who came within gallant elevation of-spirit in the Hon. the sphere of his command. When Company's armies, so truly claim.”* they saw their general take upon himHis regard towards the native troops self the blame of any failure in the was displayed in his rigid impartiality execution of his plans (provided it in the punishment of every instance did not arise from want of zeal or of oppression towards them, and in courage), and where they succeeded, the rewards bestowed upon those giving the whole credit to those he individuals who afforded examples of employed, every man found himself courage and attachment. The welfare of safe: an unlimited confidence diffused the European soldiery was most zea- itself into all ranks, and his army belously attended to by his Lordship. came irresistible.”* By his General Order, dated 13th In regard to the second point, the March 1822, a committee was ap- administration of justice, one of the pointed, composed of military and first acts of Lord Hastings' governmedical officers, to visit every vessel ment was to appoint a person of emiproceeding with troops to Europe, nent talent and qualifications, who " for the purpose of minutelyi nspect- was in communication with the highest ing the provisions, medical comforts, court in India, the Sudder Dewany and accommodations provided for the Adawlut, to remodel the judicial sysmen.” But the most striking proof tem; and an early fruit of the un* Lord Hastings' own expressions.

Debate at East-India House, 29th May 1892.

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