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ceive there are but seven names attached to it, and nine are necessary for requiring a Special General Court.”
Mr. R. Jackson and Mr. S. Dixon completed the requisition by immediately signing their names.
MONUMENT TO THE LATE Charles GRANT, ESQ. The Chairman.—“I have to acquaint the Court, that it is made special for the purpose of considering a proposition for erecting, in the parish of St. George, Bloomsbury, at the Company's expense, a monument to the memory of the late Charles Grant, Esq.” l The requisition was then read, as folows :“To the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East-India Company; “ Gentlemen : We, the undersigned, being Proprietors of East-India Stock, duly qualified, request that the Quarterly General Court appointed to be held on the 17th instant may be made special, for the purpose of considering a proposition which will then be submitted, for erecting, in the parish church of St. George, Bloomsbury, at the Company's expense, a monument to the memory of the late Charles Grant, Esq., with an inscription expressive of the p sense entertained of the loss which the East-India Company has sustained by his death, and of the high estimation in which his character and services are held. “We have the honour to remain, “Gentlemen, “Your very obedient servants, “George Grote, “John Smith,
“H. Shank, “ John Plummer, “Henry Trail, “ H. Howorth, “James Shaw, “ Rich. Kennaway,
“Charles Forbes, “ “Joseph Cotton, “ “William Fairlie, “ “H. S. Thornton, “ “Henry Bonham, “
John Kennaway, Edward Fletcher, A. W. Robarts, Charles Mills, William Heygate,
“Robert Williams, “ Henry Raikes, “D. Carruthers, “ Thomas Lowndes, “John Cockerell, “ P. Heatly,
“John Innes, ... “J. H. Tritton, -“Grant Allan, “George Hartwell, " Claude G. Thornton, “AEneas Barkley, “Charles Elliott, “ W. Paxton, “John Fairlie, “ C. Cockerel.” “London, Dec. 10, 1823.” Mr. John Smith said he rose for the purpose of making a motion, in pursuance of the notice which had just been read to the Court; and, in doing so, he was perfectly ready to avow, that he knew there were a great many gentlemen present to whom this task better belonged than to himself. But having been, for a great Asiatic Journ.-No. 97.
Geo. Cumming, John Rae Reid, “John Irving, “John Twining, “ Richard Twining, jun.
many years, a Proprietor of East-India Stock, he had not, during that period, been altogether inattentive to the proceedings of the Company; and he had, in consequence, acquired some considerable acquaintance with the character and conduct of their late much-respected Director, Mr. Charles Grant. It was not his intention to enter into any elaborate detail of the services of that gentleman; he should, in pursuing such a course, consume the time, and, he feared, the patience of the Court. He meant, therefore, to ground his proposition on certain great and prominent features in the character of Mr. Grant— features known, as he believed they were, to all who heard him, and which shewed that Mr. Grant had been, in a very extraordinary degree, an active, zealous, and faithful servant of the East-India Company—(Hear /) In pursuance of this object, he trusted that he would be allowed by the Court to give a very short narrative of some of the principal events of Mr. Grant's meritorious life. He promised the Court that it should not be long. Indeed, the career of Mr. Grant spoke for itself, and did not call for any protracted observation. That lamented individual went out to India in 1773. He (Mr. Smith) meant not to enter into a detail of his different services in India, but would confine himself to one observation, which appeared to him, in estimating the character of Mr. Grant, as of very high importance: namely, that when Lord Cornwallis first proceeded to India, he selected Mr. Grant from a great number of gentlemen, and honoured him with his friendship and his confidence. That sriendship and that confidence he enjoyed, without interruption, until the decease of that Noble Lord. It was said that Mr. Grant was not possessed of brilliant abilities—which was, he believed, the case; but, by the aid alone of sound judgment and inflexible integrity, few men had performed more important services for the Company. Now, he must contend, that it was no slight proof of his abilities—that it was no slight proof of his intellectual power—that he was selected, at that period, by the Marquess Cornwallis, as a man in whom the utmost confidence might be placed ; and more especially so, if they considered the situation of their lndian empire at that time.—(Hear /) He might here add a circumstance which, though perhaps it might be viewed as very trifling by some persons, he could not be brought so to consider it, since it proved in what high esteem the character of Mr. Grant was held ; the circumstance was, that the Marquess Cornwallis, in speaking of Mr. Grant, was constantly in the habit of using the extraordinary, but simple and gratifying phrase of “Honest Charles Grant!” —(Hear, Hear /) When he reflected on Wol. XVII. I
his high integrity—when he looked back to the history of his life, and coupled this simple epithet with the known situation of India, at the moment it was used—he could not but consider it as a very high and a very just eulogium.—(Hear /) He should not farther touch upon Mr. Grant's services in India, except to state that he was a member of the Board of Trade, in which capacity he so conducted himself as to excite the observation and approbation of the Marquess Cornwallis, and the admiration of the Local Governments. In 1790, he returned to this country— bearing with him, he believed, as high and honourable recommendations to the Court of Directors, as any gentleman ever possessed. In 1794, he became a candidate for the direction, and succeeded in that object with unparalleled celerity; for, he believed, but two months intervened between the publication of his advertisement and his election. One of the first acts performed by Mr. Grant, after he joined the executive body, was of very essential importance. Here he begged it to be understood, that nothing was farther from his intention than to introduce any topic which could tend to divide the Court—to revive animosities which had been long since extinguished, or to interrupt that unanimity, which, he hoped, would prevail on this occasion; but certainly he felt it right to state, that Mr. Grant had signalized himself very much indeed on a question of vital importance to the interests Company, shortly after he became a Director. He alluded to what was called “the shipping question.” As a Proprietor of East-India Stock, he had a right to hold his own opinion on that subject, and publicly to state it. His opinion then was, that the system of open competition, which was then established by the efforts of Mr. Grant, had been of incalculable benefit to the East-India Company. (Hear () He detracted nothing from the merits of those Directors who took an active part in the discussions on that question: he knew perfectly well that the proposed alteration was supported by many able and intelligent men, some of whom he now saw before him. But he could state, with perfect truth, that it was a subject which lay very near Mr. Grant's heart; and he knew, from private conversations he had had with him, that he used the most extraordinary efforts to lay the basis of that system which at present happily prevailed and flourished. (Hear !) In 1797, on the appointment of the Marquess Wellesley to the high situation which he afterwards filled with such consummate talent, a nobleman, Lord Melville, then at the head of the Board of Control, offered Mr. Grant an exalted and important post, that of Member of the Supreme Council, if he would
return to India. But the love of money,
he could say from personal knowledge,
never actuated Mr. Grant. It was true,
he did not amass that great wealth, which
many gentlemen, having similar opportunities, would have acquired in India.
But still he declined the offer, because he thought that he would have more power to serve the Company at home, than he was likely to acquire by accepting any situation abroad. He might here remark of Lord Melville, whatever might have been his political faults or virtues, that there never was a man more sincerely a friend to India than he was ; and he therefore had a right to assume, that the selection of Mr. Grant to fill so high and important an office, by that noble Lord, was the greatest honour that could be bestowed on him, and the greatest compliment that could be paid to his talents and integrity. Another transaction occurred, about two years afterwards, in which Mr. Grant had a very considerable share, and which placed his character in the strongest and most honourable point of view ; he alluded to an inquiry instituted into certain abuses of the patronage of the Company. Mr. Grant was him. self, on that occasion, most prominent in his exertions, most ardent in his zeal, and most anxious in his solicitude to promote inquiry; inquiry, which, when properly conducted, never did harm, but always produced good. (Hear !) In 1803, he was first elected Chairman, or DeputyChairman. The situation of Chairman, by the bye, he filled three several times. Now he thought it was impossible to suppose, that any person would be selected by the Court of Directors to hold that high and responsible situation, if he did not possess their perfect confidence. His being placed in the Chair, on three several occasions, was a convincing proof that he possessed their confidence in an eminent degree. (Hear !) There was another point on which he thought it neccessary to offer a few observations: it related to a matter which was a particular object of Mr. Grant's consideration. The subject was one on which he knew various opinions were held in that Court—at least he had been led to believe so. He meant the institution of a seminary for the education of the Company's civil servants.(Hear?) He entertained, on the topic of education in general, very strong opinions— opinions which he never could be induced to abandon; he thought that education
was every thing to mankind—it was the
only hope of man; and he trusted the day would soon arrive when every man
would partake of the blessings of a moral
and religious education, by which, in his
progress through life, he would so guide
and regulate his conduct here, as to en
sure his everlasting happiness hereafter.
of happiness—it was to that they were indebted for all the good they had received, and to it they must look for an increase of those blessings which they now enjoyed. (Hear // He, therefore, for one, feeling thus strongly on the subject, always had considered the sound education of young men, who were to possess power hereafter—and that power of no ordinary description—as deeply important. Mr. Grant, he believed, was the author of the existing institution : he laboured earnestly in forming it, and laid the basis on which it was now fixed. Sure he was, that their Indian territories could never be well managed, unless those who went out there for the purposes of government were well grounded, not merely in the necessary scholastic knowledge, but in solid moral principle—(Hear /)— and, holding that opinion, he felt that that species of education could be much better imparted here, than it could be communicated in Asia. If he were called on to state what was the particular service of Mr. Grant which stood most promiment—what was the act which gave to him and to the Court of Directors the strongest claim to the gratitude of the Company— he should at once say, that it was the establishment of a system of education, in this country, for their civil servants. He, however, gave no opinion on the present system, as pursued at the College, with which he was not acquainted; it might be perfect—it might be otherwise, But this he would say, that if the College were free from fault, it was the only seminary in the kingdom that was so. He could not be contradicted when he said, that the activity of Mr. Grant, in forming this institution, was unceasing. He never, for a moment, lost sight of that object; and it was, in a very great degree, created by his industry and perseverance. On another occasion Mr. Grant conducted himself in a manner which was exceedingly beneficial to the Company. No man had a more distinct recollection of the transaction to which he now alluded than he himself had ; because, he well remembered his own conduct in Parliament, in 1807 or 1808, when the Company were under the necessity of applying to the Legislature for relief. Long debates ensued on that occasion—and certainly he could say, with the most perfect truth, that the real champion of the Company, the man who fought their battles with energy and success, was Mr. Grant. (Hear, hear!) Accounts of very great importance, it would be remembered, were then laid before the House : those accounts were drawn up, he believed, by Mr. Grant's own hand—but most certainly under his immediate superintendance and direction.
The success of the application depended on him. He well recollected, that Mr. Grant stated, with great confidence, that the difficulties of the Company were merely temporary: a statement which subsequent events had proved completely true. In 1798 and 1799, another inquiry took place into the abuse of patronage. On that occasion, a motion was made in Parliament, by an Hon. Gentleman, a relation of his own. Mr. Grant seconded that motion in a long and able speech, in which he expressed himself most anxious for the fullest investigation and inquiry. The fullest investigation and inquiry did take place; and, looking to the whole of that transaction, he thought they were very much indebted to Mr. Grant, and also to the Court of Directors, for the anxiety which they evidently felt to protect the interests of the Company. There was another instance,
also, in which Mr. Grant laboured with
unwearied zeal and assiduity, and in
which his labours were more conducive to
the interests of the Company, than, per
haps, they had been on any other occasion.
It would be easily anticipated, that he adverted to the long and important nego
ciations, which were carried on between
the Government and the Company, relative to that complex and difficult question,
the renewal of the Company's Charter.
On that occasion, Mr. Grant laboured
with the utmost energy and earnestness.
The most entire, the most animated praise
might be bestowed on his exertions at that
period, without disparagement to any per
son. His extensive knowledge of India
affairs, his perfect acquaintance with the
true interests of the Company, enabled
him to bring, in aid of his arguments, a
force and power of illustration, which
no other man possessed. He (Mr. Smith)
distinctly recollected the debates on the subject; and he was confident there was no proprietor who then heard him, who was not of opinion that Mr. Grant did, on that occasion, most ably, most honourably, and most faithfully discharge his duty. (Hear ! hear !) There were two or three other points on which he wished to say a few words; but he was most desirous that he should not be misunderstood; because, though no man living could exceed him in sincere respect for the character of that excellent individual, Mr. Grant, still he did not stand there to contend that he was always right in the views he took of India affairs. In clearness and purity of character, and in sincere honesty of intention, Mr. Grant, he believed, had no superior; and seldom, if ever, a superior in ability of execution; but he did not mean to say, that he had taken a correct and accurate view of certain disputed points. He (Mr. Smith) delivered his opinion with candour; perhaps without
much knowledge, but certainly not without an inquiry into facts. On all occasions in which the interest of the Company was concerned, Mr. Grant displayed great zeal; but there was one occasion on which he exerted himself with particular zeal and energy. He did not agree with Mr. Grant as to the accuracy of the course he then pursued. He had a right, however, to take the warm exertions of Mr. Grant on that occasion into the service of his motion, because his conduct evinced, in a very great degree, that watchful jealousy of the Company's rights which he always cherished, and that bold determination to support them, under all circumstances, which he constantly displayed— qualities, of which no man who knew him could doubt his possession. That jealousy of the Company's rights, and that unbending determination to defend them, marked out Mr. Grant as one who was especially entitled to the honour which it was proposed to confer on his memory. The question to which he now alluded was that of “opening the trade.” He (Mr. Smith) was one of those who considered it a great and important question. He was of opinion, that the nation at large had been benefited by the change which had been effected; and he did not believe that the Company had suffered by it.—(Hear /) But, whether that opinion was correct or erroneous, he could not easily forget the exertions of his deceased friend in opposition to the measure. That opposition arose from an apprehension, that the projected alteration would be injurious to the Company. The jealousy with which he viewed whatever affected their rights and interests, perhaps that high zeal which he always exerted in their service, and those warm feelings for their welfare which he had ever cherished, might have carried him beyond a just and prudent bound: but still, he must ever respect the purity of his intentions, and the zeal and talent which always distinguished his efforts, although he might be obliged to differ from him occasionally. There were other points connected with the public life of Mr. Grant on which he might touch, but he was unwiling to allude to any one circumstance on which much difference of opinion was likely to arise. In examining his public conduct, there was but one other point, with respect to the policy of which he (Mr. Smith) entertained even a doubt. With those two exceptions, he, for his own part, believed that Mr. Grant's views were all perfectly correct. With respect to the alteration in the shipping system of the Company, a matter of momentous importance, it should ever be borne in mind, that it was not effected until after Mr. Grant became a 19, rector, in 1794. He also possessed other merits, to which he was obliged to allude very briefly. They all knew, he
at least well knew, that no man had a more ready pen, or a more fertile mind, than Mr. Grant; and he was not saying too much when he asserted, that many of the papers, so ably drawn up, which issued from the Court of Directors, emanated, if not entirely, certainly in a great degree, from his pen. He lived, as it were, with the idea of the Company in his heart; to use a common, but an expressive phrase, it appeared to be engraven on his heart. Their interests, their advantages, were the constant object of his exertions through life. He believed, that an honester man never sat in the Court of Directors. The purity of his heart, and the integrity of his life were, he believed, never exceeded —so help him God! (Hear /) He now begged leave to say a few words on the principle of the measure he had stood forward to advocate. He was anxious to be heard on that point, because he understood some objections would be made to it; none, he was sure, could be advanced against its application. The idea of this laudatory tribute to the memory of a deceased Director originated with one or two very respectable gentlemen, individuals for whom he felt the highest esteem ; and, as he felt very strongly indeed on the subject, he hoped for the indulgence of the Court for a few minutes, whilst he expressed his sentiments in support of the principle of the measure. In explaining what he meant, he would be permitted to remark, that there existed in this country a power, neither legislative, nor judicial, nor monarchical ; and yet, paradoxical as it might appear, of paramount weight and influence with them all. That power was called public opinion / When he considered that great, that magnificent feature in the British character, he was filled with emotions of delight; for he felt, that so long as public opinion possessed the power which it now possessed, so long would Great Britain stand preeminent, the envy and admiration of mankind. But he wished to point out to the Court the effect of that public opinion, when directed to the purposes of public censure, and levelled against those individuals whose crimes and misdeeds had deserved the punishment. The man who plunged himself into infamy, who betrayed his trust, who preferred his own. interest to the interest of his country, was crushed to atoms by its colossal weight. Where could he hide his head 2 Solitude could not shelter him—for the sense of public scorn would pursue him there, and convert existence into protracted misery. Could he mix with the world 2 No. The consciousness of his degradation would prevent him from enduring the presence of his fellow creatures. He did not exaggerate: this was no more than truth. Every day proved that the picture was not ideal. Now, if such were the rigorous nature of this punishment, if such were the unsparing severity of the public voice, where crime was detected and exposed to view, was it fair, just, or right, to withhold from virtue, fidelity, and talent, its fitting and appropriate reward? No: on the contrary, it was equally unjust, ungenerous, and impolitic. (Hear, hear /) It was the most certain way to destroy the greatest incentive to good conduct and disinterested action; (Hear!) and sorry should he be, if that Court, in imitation of some of the ancient republics, should say of such a man as Mr. Grant, “He has done his duty—he has had his share of patronage and importance—let his friends console themselves with that reflection—we can do nothing more " Such a principle was most unsafe, it was also most impolitic. (Hear!) It was disrespectful towards the dead, and disheartening towards the living, since it tended to paralyze the efforts of energetic and honourable minds, to whom present interest appeared as nothing when compared with future fame. The maxim of the East-India Company had always been, to grant the reward of merit whereever it was due, and on that ground he defended the principle of the motion which he was about to propose to the Court. He might, and perhaps would be told, that it would constitute a precedent from which bad effects might be apprehended. He would only say, that when any Director was called away in the course of nature, he would be the first man in that Court to bear testimony to his merits, in any manner that might be proposed, if that Director had displayed but a portion of the zeal and ability, which Mr. Grant had confessedly applied for so many years, to the affairs of the Company; and, more especially if, like Mr. Grant, he had carried his services to the very verge of the grave: for it was a fact, that, within a few hours of his decease, he believed, within three hours of that melancholy event, he was preparing himself for certain important discussions—he was employed in considering a question of great interest to the Company. (Hear!) He (Mr. Smith) was not afraid of any precedent of this kind—he apprehended no evil from it; on the contrary, he should be glad if the present motion created one. The question was, what was the best mode of showing their gratitude for the long and zealous services of Mr. Grant? He had heard it said, that perhaps the best mode would be by an expression of thanks. He, however, was strongly of opinion, that an expression of thanks was not now the proper way of recording the lively sense they entertained of his various merits. It was proposed, by the motion, to erect a monument to his memory, in the church where his remains now repose in tranquillity. That he con
ceived to be the most simple, the most natural, and the most respectful mode of testifying the esteem in which they had long held him; it would be at once analogous to the purity of his life and to the piety of his character. (Hear, hear f) Appealing to the imagination of the Court, he would say, that, if Mr. Grant were now to rise from the grave, and to give an opinion on this subject, he would say, that the erection of a monument in a Christian church was the most natural and appropriate mode of showing their respect for his memory. (Hear /) He begged pardon for obtruding so long on the Court. He had now said all he meant to say, all that he felt it necessary to say on this affecting occasion. This being the first time he ever had the honour of addressing that Court, he was unwilling to exhatist their patience; he should, therefore, with their permission, move, “That this Court, taking into consideration the great ability, inflexible integrity, and unremitting attention, displayed by the late Charles Grant, Esq., during a period of nearly thirty years that he was a Member of the Executive Body, after seventeen years of distinguished service in India; and the many important benefits the Company have derived from his counsels and experience; from his constant and strenuous endeavours, in Parliament, and elsewhere, to preserve unimpaired their rights and privileges, and to improve the condition of the vast population under their rule; desire to record their deep sense of the loss which the Company has sustained by the death of this valuable Director, who, to the last day of his life, was actively employed in the discharge of his duty, and to testify the high estimation in which they hold his talents, character, and services: “That, to that end, a marble monument, with an inscription, expressive of the sentiments contained in this resolution, be erected to the memory of Charles Grant, Esq., in the parish church of St. George, Bloomsbury, at the Company's expense; and that the Court of Directors be requested to take measures to carry the same into effect.” (Hear / hear /) Sir Charles Forbes said that, in availing himself of the honour which had been conceded to him, that of seconding the motion, he approached the task with mingled feelings of sorrow and satisfaction. No man more sincerely deplored the loss which the Company had sustained by the death of Mr. Grant, and there was, therefore, no man who would more warmly support any measure, having for its object the payment of that tribute which was due to his transcendent merits. After the very able and most interesting manner in which the subject was brought before the Court, by the Hon. Proprietor near him, he should but waste their time,