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Full text of "The illustrated history of the British Empire in India and the East, from the earliest times to the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny in 1859. [With a continuation to the end of 1878], vol. 3"

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IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


17 


Chajp. CXXXVI.] 

“ Long before be left India the relation in 
which his character had stood to the memor¬ 
able events of 1857 came to be universally 
recognised by a grateful country. How 
often, in the lives of remarkable men, are we 
tempted to wish that such recognitions had 
been yielded sooner ! But if the rarer virtues 
received always, and at once, the homage of 
the multitude, those virtues would themselves 
be less. The power of resisting passion is 
the power of resisting that which carries be¬ 
fore it other men. They cannot see it as it 
is till their own vision has been cleared, and 
the balance of their mind restored. Enough 
if they see it then, and are eager to thank the 
man whose character is greater than their 
own. When Lord Canning landed in Eng¬ 
land there was no honour which he might 
not have had at the public hands. The 
modesty of his disposition would probably 
have led him to avoid such honours at any 
time. But, besides this, his health was 
broken by work, by climate, and by severe 
affliction. Within a few weeks of his arrival 
the grave of an illustrious father was opened 
to receive the body of an illustrious son. His 
funeral was attended by a large number of the 
men most distinguished in public life, both of 
this generation and of that which is nearly 
gone. There were there colleagues of the 
elder Canning, who had seen with pleasure, 
and with curious surprise, the very different 
but not less valuable qualities which replaced 
in his son the brilliancy and genius of their 
own early friend. There were there some who 
had known Lord Canning chiefly as the close 
political follower of Lord Aberdeen, and who 
recognised in the temper of his mind the same 
spirit of generous resistance against all forms 
of popular injustice. There were there many 
of Lord Canning’s companions in school and 
college life, to whom his great reputation was 
no surprise, because they had long known his 
safe sagacity and his manly judgment. There 
were there others who, with no mixture of 
personal feeling, represented only the univer¬ 
sal sorrow of the sovereign and the people. 
That sorrow came from the public heart, and 
was the deeper because it touched also the 
public conscience. All men felt that West¬ 
minster Abbey was receiving that day, under 
its venerable pavement, the remains of one 
who had done much to restore and — better 
still—to justify our dominion in the East ; 
who, at a time when it was sadly needed, had 
exhibited to India and the world some of the 
finest virtues of the English character, an'd in 
doing so had shed new lustre on the English 
name.”* Lord Canning, who was raised to 
an earldom in consequence of his services in 

* Dalhousie and Canning. By the Duke of Argyll, 
von. ITT. 


India, left no family. His titles, therefore, 
died with him, and the line of George Can¬ 
ning survives only in Lady Clanricarde and 
her children. 

“ The late Viceroy was destined to pass 
through a more fiery ordeal than any Indian 
ruler has ever been subjected to since the 
Black Hole of Calcutta, and compared with 
which even that horrible catastrophe sinks 
into insignificance. Barely a year had passed 
after his assumption of the government, and 
before he could possibly have acquired suffi¬ 
cient local knowledge and experience to act 
on his own judgment, symptoms of disaffec¬ 
tion began to exhibit themselves in the ranks 
of the native army. Pampered and petted 
and humoured in every caprice, the sepoys 
had come to regard themselves much in the 
light of the Praetorian Guards of the Roman 
Empire, and to fancy themselves as the only 
true source of power and dominion. It must 
be conceded that at first Lord Canning failed 
to read aright the warnings that rapidly suc¬ 
ceeded each other. Neither he nor the ex¬ 
perienced counsellors to whose advice he 
naturally deferred were capable of justly 
appreciating the importance of the movement 
then gradually acquiring force. They were 
aware, indeed, of a slight shock, but they 
little anticipated an earthquake that was 
about to overthrow temple and tower, and 
well-nigh demolish the entire fabric of the 
British Empire in the East. The measures 
adopted by the Government to repress the 
growing evil were wholly inadequate to the 
emergency, and their apparent timidity and 
vacillation emboldened the native soldiery 
to resort to the arbitrement of arms. From 
that moment, however, Lord Canning rose 
equal to the occasion. Throwing aside his 
constitutional indolence and habit of procras¬ 
tination, he at once faced the treacherous foe 
with the calm self-possession of an English 
gentleman, and by his unostentatious but 
resolute bearing inspired courage and con¬ 
fidence where abject terror and distrust had 
already become too painfully manifest. No 
sooner was the extent of the danger recog¬ 
nised than he steadily applied himself to the 
restoration of order, and the preservation of 
the vast territory committed to his care. 
Never for a moment did he despair of victory. 
Though every day brought fresh tidings of 
disasters in the north-west—though station 
after station was lost, and even Calcutta 
itself filled with wild alarms—his heart never 
quailed, his hand never faltered, his cheek 
never paled. His only fault, perhaps, was 
an untimely want of confidence in his own 
countrymen who were unconnected with the 
Government. And yet even in that respect 

n 





18 . HISTORY OF THE 

gome allowance must be made for traditional 
prejudices. Nor can it be denied that tbe 
European community conducted themselves 
in a manner little calculated to win tbe respect 
and esteem of tbe sorely embarrassed Govern¬ 
ment. Not only were all sorts of alarming 
rumours greedily swallowed and circulated, 
but coarse abuse was heaped. upon the 
Governor-Genera], and frenzied cries for ven¬ 
geance on the natives were incessantly uttered 
by men who should rather have set an 
example of patient courage and true manly 
deportment. Ill-seconded, or to speak more 
correctly, misrepresented and thwarted by 
his own countrymen, it is not much to be 
wondered at that he should turn his back 
upon them for the moment and ignore their 
very existence. Nothing, perhaps, more 
tended to increase his unpopularity than his 
extreme measure of “gagging” the press, 
and much declamatory nonsense was talked 
about a son of Canning suppressing freedom 
of speech. In similar circumstances it is 
probable that Canning himself would have 
been compelled to act in a similar manner, 
and reduce to impotency those upon whose 
co-operation he could no longer rely. It is 
not to be supposed that Lord Canning ever 
questioned the loyalty of the English jour¬ 
nalists in India, but he certainly had much 
reason to question the soundness of their 
judgment. The fierce invectives against their 
unfortunate ruler, in which they habitually 
indulged-, might have been passed over with 
contempt, had it not been for the mischief 
they were likely to work among even the 
well-affected natives. In such cases moral 
support is oftentimes little inferior to physical 
force, and the knowledge of the fact that the 
Governor-General was opposed by his own 
countrymen would lend additional confidence 
to the enemies of the State, and excite grave 
doubts in the minds of those who were 
still well disposed. Looking back from this 
distance of time, we cannot place to Lord 
Canning’s account as a serious charge this 
bold, hazardous, and most unpopular act, but 
would rather accept it as a further proof 
of the self-reliant, resolute character of the 
man. And, ere long, he availed himself of 
an opportunity to display the highest attribute 
of a truly brave man. While India was 
ringing with clamorous demands for signal 
retribution, and fire and sword were denounced 
against the innocent as well as the guilty, 
Lord Canning alone remembered that he was 
a Christian, and dared to be merciful. Future 
generations will regard as an honourable 
epithet that which was intended as a reproach, 
and “ Clemency Canning” will be spoken of 
as one who tempered justice with mercy, and 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYI. 

held the balance even in the midst of angry 
passions and furious denunciations. Regard¬ 
less of false reports and wilful misrepresenta¬ 
tions, he stedfastly adhered to the straight 
and narrow path, and finally triumphed over 
his calumniators as signally as he had done 
over the mutinous sepoys. And when the 
rebellion Was .crushed he applied himself with 
the same quiet earnestness to soothe men s 
minds and conciliate all classes subject to his 
sway. His famous Oude Proclamation, so 
cruelly misunderstood in England, and so 
harshly rebuked by Lord Ellenborough, was 
in fact one of the wisest measures that cha¬ 
racterize his viceroyalty, for it prepared the 
way for the restoration of the Talukdar 
system, and inseparably bound up the in¬ 
terests of the great native landowners with 
the stability of the British power. . After 
punishing the ringleaders and condoning the 
minor and misguided offenders, Lord Canning 
did not forget to shower noble gifts with 
princely profusion on those who had remained 
faithful to their allegiance, and proved them¬ 
selves trustworthy allies in the hour of need. 
Nothing could be better or more eminently 
serviceable than his various progresses through 
the country, his stately durbars, his right 
royal speeches. The favour he has systemati¬ 
cally shown to the native gentry and inde¬ 
pendent princes will bear good fruit for many 
a generation yet to come ; and by reviving 
the right of adoption he has removed all 
apprehension of future encroachments and 
absorption of territory. More recently we 
have seen the Yiceroy engaged in prosecuting 
public works and encouraging the arts of 
peace. Roads, railways, and canals are 
being constructed or improved in all directions. 
Waste lands are being offered for sale at a 
moderate price to all, whether native or 
European, who will undertake to reclaim 
them" and the fee simple of every estate in 
the country may be obtained by its occupant 
on equitable terms. Still, with all his faults 
and shortcomings, the result of natural indo¬ 
lence, he has governed India for six years 
with eminent sagacity, uncompromising im¬ 
partiality, dauntless resolution, and Christian 
magnanimity. If he has not added a king¬ 
dom to the British dominions, he has at least 
saved an empire. If he has not annexed 
principalities and chiefships, he has won the 
hearts of the princes themselves and made 
their interests coincide with those of the 
paramount Power. If he has not added 
many millions to the revenue, he has reduced 
the expenditure to a level with the income, 
and prepared the way for a financial surplus. 
If he has not left a quarter of a million of 
sepoys in arms, he has removed the principal 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


19 


Chap. CXXXVL] 

source of internal danger and provided an 
adequate European force to repel every 
foreign foe.” * 

The more important changes in various 
branches of the Indian administration since 
the mutiny may here be noted. In 1859 the 
Trans-Sutlej and Cis-Sutlej states together 
"with the Delhi territory were formed into 
a lieutenant-governorship under Sir Robert 
Montgomery, who thus succeeded Sir John 
Lawrence, who went home to take his seat 
in the India Council. The ministry of Lord 
Derby having fallen, Lord Stanley was suc¬ 
ceeded as Secretary of State for India by Sir 
Charles Wood, who modified the India Council 
by dividing it into five committees for the dis¬ 
patch of business. In 1860 Lord Elphinstone, 
Governor of Bombay, went home only to die. 
He was succeeded by Sir George Clerk, who 
was followed in 1862 by Sir Bartle Frere. 
Sir Charles Trevelyan, who had succeeded 
Lord Harris as Governor of Madras, ensured 
his recall by the unjustifiable publication of 
an intemperate private minute on the proposed 
income-tax. He was replaced by Sir Henry 
Ward, who, falling a victim to cholera almost 
immediately on his arrival, was succeeded by 
Sir William Denison. In the same year the 
departure of Sir James Outram, the Bayard 
of India, called forth expressions of goodwill 
from all classes. In Calcutta alone £1,000 
were subscribed in one day for the purpose of 
presenting the veteran with a testimonial of 
the universal esteem in which he was held. 
On December 19th, 1860, the Marquis of Dal- 
housie died at Dalhousie Castle in his forty- 
eighth year, leaving behind him a name that 
ranks among the highest in the roll of Indian 
Viceroys for statesmanship, administrative 
vigour, and the faculty of inspiring confidence 
among the millions subjected to his sway. 
On his arrival in England in 1856 he was 
unable to take his seat in the House of Lords, 
and the remainder of his days was spent in 
much physical suffering and prostration of 
strength. 

In 1862 the outlying provinces of Pegu, 
Aracan, Mulmein, Martaban, Amherst, and 
Tenasserim were consolidated into the Chief 
Commissionership of British Burmah, and 
placed under the administration of Colonel 
Phayre. The territories of the Nerbuddah, 
Saugor, and Nagpur were constituted into 
the Chief Commissionership of the central 
provinces. North Canara was also transferred 
from Madras to Bombay. 

After the great mutiny a fund was opened 
for the relief of those who had suffered, and 
subscriptions rapidly poured in from every 
part of Great Britain and its colonies all over 
* 4 Urn's Indian Mail, 


the world, as well as from foreign countries. 
A statement of the administration and posi¬ 
tion of the fund, as supplied by Allen's Indian 
Mail, may not inappropriately close this chap¬ 
ter. “The total receipts of the Indian Mutiny 
Relief Fund amounted to £475,901 4s. 10d., 
of which £435,405 9s. 9 cl. were the direct 
fruits of subscriptions, while the balance was 
made up of £36,850 11s. 3d., interest on 
securities, and £3,645 3s. 10J. repayment of 
temporary loans. On the other hand, the 
outgoings up to the present time have been 
no more than £254,845 Is. 3d., thus leaving 
a balance on hand of £221,056 3s. 7 d. The 
expenditure was in this wise :—Remittances 
to India, £140,286 18s. 7 d. ; donations 
in this country, £92,667 4s. Id.; loans, 
£11,335 10s. 6d. ; and expenses of manage¬ 
ment, £10,545 8s. Id., the last item including 
£4,418 9s. 9 d. paid for advertisements. The 
actual sum, however, at the disposal of the com¬ 
mittee is £246,069 12s. 9 d., as several local 
committees hold among them £25,013 9s. 2d., 
and it is fondly hoped that a further addition 
will be made by the gradual repayment of 
outstanding loans. On the last day of 1861 
there were 412 widows of soldiers, seamen, 
&c. ; 760 orphans of soldiers, seamen, &c. ; 
63 widows or relatives of officers ; 69 orphans 
of officers, and 142 disabled soldiers, making 
a total of 1,446 persons in receipt of relief 
from the fund. The question then naturally 
suggested itself—how long each of these in¬ 
dividuals could continue to benefit by the 
fund without exhausting it ? The answer 
is most satisfactory. The capitalised value 
of the present alloAvances is estimated at 
£245,477 11s. 4 d., from which may be de¬ 
ducted the sum of £19,129 0s. 5 d. on account 
of re-marriages of widows and deaths. The 
capital, therefore, actually required to provide 
for existing liabilities may be stated at 
£226,348 10s. lid., plus expenses of manage¬ 
ment, at five per cent., £11,317 8s. 6d. : in all 
£237,665 19s. 5 d. Now, as the balance in 
hand on the 31st December, 1861, was 
£246,069 12s. 3d., there still remains over and 
above all demands the sum of £8,403 13s. Id., 
of which £6,000 are to be applied to pro¬ 
viding a competent education to as many 
orphans as possible, while the balance is 
held available for such cases of distress among 
the sufferers by the mutiny as may be proved 
satisfactorily to the committee.” Thus closes 
not the least glorious chapter relating to that 
terrible convulsion which for so many months 
filled the nation with sorrow, indignation, 
and affright, while it called forth deeds 
of unrivalled heroism and Christian charity. 
Already the retrospect is not altogether 
dark. 



20 


HISTORY OF THE 


CHAPTER 

THE WARS WITH CHINA, 1856 TO 1860.- 
COMMERCIAL TEE. 

After tlie ratification of the Treaty of Nan¬ 
kin, 1842 (vol. ii. 639), although the Chinese 
evaded the treaty whenever they found it 
practicable, no very serious event occurred to 
interrupt English commercial intercourse until 
the affair of the Arrow towards the close of 
1856. On the 8th of October that year the 
Arrow lorcha, a small vessel registered at 
Hong Kong and entitled to British protection, 
was hoarded by the authorities at Canton, 
who tore down the British flag, and seized 
and carried off the crew, insisting, in spite of 
the remonstrances of the master and the 
consul, that the vessel was Chinese and not 
English. Negotiations were then opened 
with Yeh, the Chinese Imperial Commissioner 
at Canton, who, after having been threatened 
by Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong 
Kong, with an application to the naval autho¬ 
rities, delivered up the crew to the consul, 
hut refused to tender any apology. After a 
fresh demand for an apology in writing, it 
was decided by Sir John Bowring and Ad¬ 
miral Seymour, the senior naval officer on the 
station, that on its refusal the defences of 
Canton should he seized. Accordingly, on 
the 23rd of October and two following days, 
the whole of the Canton forts were taken 
and occupied without opposition. This mea¬ 
sure, however, failed to produce the confi¬ 
dently expected submission on the part of the 
Commissioner Yeh ; and the Admiral and Sir 
John Bowring conceiving this was now “ a 
fitting opportunity for requiring the fulfilment 
of long-evaded treaty obligations,” added to 
their demands by insisting upon the right for 
all foreign representatives of free access to 
the authorities and city of Canton. “ Hither¬ 
to,” says Mr. Oliphant,* “the point at issue 
had been one simply of principle, and turned 
upon the right of the Chinese Government to 
seize a lorcha under certain conditions. It 
is just possible that even this stubborn func¬ 
tionary (Yeh) may have had his doubts on 
the subject, and been disposed to purchase 
peace and quietness at the price of so im¬ 
material a concession. But now any momen¬ 
tary weakness, if it ever existed, was passed 
for ever. A grave question of policy had 
been raised—an old and much-vexed one—in 
the successful battling of which his prede¬ 
cessors had covered themselves with glory. 

* Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China 
and Japan , in the years 1857, ’58, ’59. By Lawrence 
Oliphant, private secretary to Lord Elgin. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYII. 
CXXXYII. 

-TREATIES OF TIENTSIN AND PEKIN.— 
1TY WITH JAPAN. 

Moreover, this sudden change of issue rouses 
the whole suspicious nature of the Chinaman, 
and he draws an inference somewhat dis¬ 
creditable to us, but not to be wondered at, 
which he thus expresses in a proclamation 
issued to the Cantonese :— 

“ ‘ Whereas the English barbarians have 
commenced disturbances on a false pretence, 
their real object being admission into the city, 
the Governor-General, referring to the unani¬ 
mous expression of objection to this measure 
on the part of the entire population of Canton 
in 1849, has flatly refused to concede this, 
and is determined not to grant their request, 
let them carry their feats and machinations 
to what length they will.’ ” 

The obstinate Yeh, having delayed to answer 
the letter sent to him, was reminded of this 
omission by the bombardment of his resi¬ 
dence, and he retaliated by offering a reward 
of thirty dollars for the head of every English¬ 
man. A slow bombardment of the town was 
kept up, the Chinese meanwhile harassing 
the ships on the river by night attacks. Pas¬ 
senger vessels were fired upon, and, on De¬ 
cember 30th, the postal steamer Thistle was 
seized by the Chinese on board, and eleven 
persons had their heads cut off. These now 
fetched one hundred dollars apiece. Previous 
to this affair the Chinese had destroyed the 
whole of the foreign factories. The Admiral 
intrenched a portion of them site, but find¬ 
ing this position threatened, after setting fire 
to the suburbs on each side, he left it, and 
found it necessary to abandon, one by one, 
all the positions he held on the river, until, 
by the beginning of February, 1857, he re¬ 
tained only Macao Fort. The Admiral then 
applied to the Governor-General of India for 
the assistance of 5,000 troops. In the fol¬ 
lowing month troops arrived from Madras 
and from England, and Lord Elgin was sent 
out as English envoy. In June the Chinese 
fleet was completely destroyed by the English, 
after which Canton was strictly blockaded. 
Lord Elgin’s diversion of the Chinese expedi¬ 
tion to Calcutta to strengthen the English in 
India against the mutinous sepoys caused a 
stagnation in the war for several months ; but, 
on his return, and the arrival of Baron Gros, 
the French ambassador, with troops, ener¬ 
getic measures were taken to bring Commis¬ 
sioner Yeh to terms. 

On the 10th of December, Mr. Wade, 
Chinese Secretary to the Mission, proceeded 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


21 


Chap. CXXXVII.] 

to Canton and delivered to one of Yeh’s 
officers the ultimate demands of the English 
and French plenipotentiaries, which included 
the execution of treaty engagements and com¬ 
pensation for the losses sustained by British 
subjects. In the event of non-compliance, at 
the expiry of four days, Canton was to be 
taken. Meanwhile, the island of Honan, three 
miles beyond Macao Fort, was occupied by the 
British and French marines. Further com¬ 
munications were made, but Yeh still refusing 
to come to terms, the attack on the city was 
begun on the 28th, when Lin’s Fort, a 
small circular building, capable of holding 
two hundred men, was taken, and, after a 
terrific bombardment of twenty-seven hours, 
the allies were masters of the city. The 
capture was accomplished with a loss to 
the British out of a force of 5,000 of no more 
than eight killed and seventy-one wounded. 
The French, out of a body of 900, had two 
men killed and thirty wounded. It was not, 
however, till the 5th of January, 1858, that 
the allies entered Canton, when Pihkwei, the 
governor, the Tartar general, and the im¬ 
perial commissioner were seized. The latter 
had sought refuge in the house of the Tartar 
lieutenant-general, the doors of which were 
broken open by Captain Key’s blue-jackets, 
when an old man, in the costume of a man¬ 
darin, threw himself before them, declaring 
that he was Yeh. But he was the lieutenant- 
general himself. Captain Key then hurried 
round to the back of the house, where he 
encountered a fat old man, whose appearance 
reminded him of a portrait he had seen of the 
commissioner, and he was accordingly secured. 
This proved to be the veritable Yeh, who was 
sent a prisoner on hoard the Inflexible, and 
was soon afterwards dispatched to Calcutta, 
where he died on April 9th, 1859. Yeh is 
said to have beheaded, on the lowest compu¬ 
tation, one hundred thousand Chinese rebels, 
and to have regretted his inability to destroy 
the whole of the rebels and their kindred. 
After a short confinement the Governor 
Pihkwei was released, and was entrusted with 
the administration of the affairs of Canton 
under the supreme authority and surveillance 
of the general of the troops. The naval 
force was then withdrawn, and, in order to 
prevent further loss to commerce, the blockade 
of the port, which had been established dur¬ 
ing Lord Elgin’s absence in India, was raised 
in February. Canton, however, continued in 
military occupation and under martial law. 

The conclusion was now come to by the 
British and French plenipotentiaries, that, in 
order the more effectually to deal with the 
Chinese Government, it was necessary “ to 
bring pressure to bear at some point near the 


capital,” and the representatives of the United 
States and Prussia agreed to unite with Britain 
and France in an expedition northwards, in 
order “ to press their common demands jointly 
on the Cabinet of Pekin.” Communications 
were therefore dispatched to that city by the 
Powers respectively, demanding that a pleni¬ 
potentiary should be sent to meet them at 
bhanghai with full powers to treat regarding 
the matters at issue between them. In the 
event of a commissioner not being sent there 
by the end of March, they were to proceed to 
a point nearer the capital. Lord Elgin an¬ 
nounced to the Chinese Government the in¬ 
tention of Britain and France to continue the 
occupation of Canton until their demands 
were conceded, and further required that a 
British Minister should he permitted to reside 
in or near the Court of Pekin, and that freedom 
of trade and travel throughout the country 
should be extended. The communications 
were addressed to the highest official authority 
in China, the Prime Minister Yu; but, dis¬ 
regarding a clause of the treaty of Nankin, 
which empowered her Britannic Majesty’s 
chief officer in China to correspond with the 
Chinese high officers both in the capital and 
in the provinces, this dignitary did not con¬ 
descend to reply, but instructed a subordinate 
authority to notify to their Excellencies that 
they were to return to Canton. On receipt 
of this unsatisfactory reply, the allied pleni¬ 
potentiaries immediately decided to move 
northwards to the mouth of the Peiho Biver, 
and they arrived in the Gulf of Pecliili 
about the middle of April. It had been Lord 
Elgin’s intention “ to approach the capital at 
once, and to conclude a peace at such a 
period of the year as would have admitted 
of his visiting Pekin before the hot season,” 
but the non-arrival of a reinforcement of gun¬ 
boats which had been ordered left the expe¬ 
dition inactive at the mouth of the Peiho for 
five weeks. During this time another letter 
was dispatched to the Chinese Prime Minister, 
notifying the arrival of the allies, and express¬ 
ing a readiness to meet at Taku a duly autho¬ 
rised minister. Commissioners on the part of 
the Chinese were consequently appointed, but 
their powers not proving sufficient no nego¬ 
tiation ensued. The delay gave the Chinese 
opportunities of strengthening their forts and 
other defences at the entrance of the river. 
Earthworks, sand-bag batteries, and parapets 
for the heavy gingals had been erected on 
both sides of the river for a distance of nearly 
a mile in length, upon which eighty-seven guns 
rested, and the whole shore had been piled in 
order to obstruct a landing. “ Politically,” 
says Mr. Oliphant, “the consequences were 
even more disastrous, because, bv obliging 



22 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYII. 


Lord Elgin to protract, at the month of the 
Peiho, negotiations which he clearly saw 
could lead to no good result, they gave to his 
proceedings a vacillating character, which was 
calculated to strengthen the self-confidence of 
the Chinese diplomatists.” At length, rather 
than give the Chinese occasion to increase 
their arrogance hy the abolition of the entei- 
prise, it was resolved to take the Taku forts 
and advance up the river. This intention 
was announced to Tan, the Governor-General 
of the Chili province, and on the morning of 
May 20th, the ultimatum of the allies was 
delivered under a flag of truce, and two hours 
were allowed for the surrender of the forts. 
No communication having been received from 
the Chinese at the expiry of that time, the 
signal was given for the attack. The forts 
were taken the same day, and the plenipoten¬ 
tiaries with the admirals and their gunboats 
advanced up the tortuous river to Tientsin, 
the port of Pekin, from which it is distant 
eighty miles south-east. Its distance from 
the mouth of the Peiho is sixty-eight miles by 
the windings of the stream, but only thirty- 
four by land. The capture of the Taku forts, 
and the presence of so large a naval and 
military force within so short a distance of 
the capital, had the desired and expected 
effect of bringing the Court of Pekin to its 
senses, for on the 2nd of June two Imperial 
Commissioners, Kweiliang, “ a Senior Chief- 
Secretary of State, styled of the East Cabinet, 
Captain-General of the Plain White Banner 
of the Manchu Banner Force, Superintendent- 
General of the Administration of Criminal 
Law,” and Hwashana,. “ one of His Imperial 
Majesty’s Expositors of the Classics, Manchu 
President of the Office for the Regulation of 
the Civil Establishment, Captain-General of 
the Bordered Blue Banner of the Chinese 
Banner Force, and Yisitor of the Office of 
Interpretation,” arrived from Pekin with full 
powers to treat. The result of the negotia¬ 
tions that followed was the treaty of Tientsin, 
which was signed on June 26th, 1858. The 
principal provisions of this treaty were the 
following:— 

The treaty signed at Nankin on August 29th, 
1842, was renewed and confirmed. 

Any British Diplomatic Agent might with 
his family and establishment reside perma¬ 
nently at the capital, or might visit it occa¬ 
sionally at the option of his Government. 
Persons teaching or professing the Christian 
religion were to be entitled to the protec¬ 
tion of the Chinese authorities. 

British subjects were authorised to travel, for 
their pleasure or for purposes of trade, to 
all parts of the interior, under passports to 


he issued by their consuls and counter¬ 
signed by the local authorities. 

British merchant ships received permission 
to trade upon the Great River (Yang-tsz). 
The upper and lower valley of the rivei 
being, however, disturbed by outlaws, no 
port was for the present to be opened to 
trade, with the exception of Chin-Kiang, 
which was to be opened in a year from the 
date of the signing of the treaty. 

In addition to the cities and towns of Canton, 
Amoy, Foo-Chow, Ningpo, and Shanghai, 
opened by the treaty of Nankin, it was 
agreed that British subjects might frequent 
the cities and ports of New-Chwang, Tang- 
Chow, Tai-Wau (Formosa), Chau-Chow 
(Swatoa), and Kiung-Chow (Hainan), with 
right of trading, residence, building, &c. 

The character “I” (barbarian) was no longer 
to he applied to the Government or sub¬ 
jects of her Britannic Majesty in any 
Chinese official document issued by the 
Chinese authorities, either in the capital or 
in the provinces. 

By this treaty was settled the vexed question 
of transit-dues, which had been left in so 
unsatisfactory a state hy the treaty of 
Nankin that it had ever since proved a 
permanent source of complaint to the 
British merchant. He was now enabled 
to purchase at the rate of 2^- per cent, ad 
valorem in the case of imports at the port 
of entry and in the case of exports at the 
first inland harrier through which his com¬ 
modities would pass, a certificate enabling 
him to carry his goods duty free, in the 
latter case to the port of shipment, and in 
the former to any place in the interior of 
China to which they might he destined. 

In a separate article annexed to the treaty it 
was agreed that a sum of two millions 
of taels (about £650,000), on account of 
the losses sustained hy British subjects 
through the misconduct of the Chinese 
authorities at Canton, and a further sum 
of two millions of taels on account of the 
military expenses of the expedition which 
her Majesty the Queen had been compelled 
to send out for the purpose of obtaining 
redress and of enforcing the due observance 
of treaty provisions, should be paid to 
her Majesty’s representatives in China; 
the British forces to be withdrawn from 
Canton when the above amount had been 
discharged in full. 

On July 4th the assent of the Emperor of 
China to the terms of the treaty was obtained. 
It had been Lord Elgin’s intention to visit 
Pekin in order to present to the Emperor the 
letter with which he had been accredited by 


■ 











Chap. CXXXVII.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


23 


the Queen; but various circumstances induced 
him to abandon that design, chief of which 
was the requirement of the forces in the south 
through disturbances at Canton. The mis¬ 
sion, therefore, returned to Shanghai, where 
they received intelligence from Pekin that 
commissioners had been appointed to proceed 
to that place “ for the settlement of the tariff, 
and the framing of those general trade regu¬ 
lations which must necessarily be drawn up 
as a supplemental part of the treaty.” The 
commissioners arrived on October 3rd, and 
these addenda were signed on November 8th. 
Before leaving China Lord Elgin made a six 
weeks’ exploration up the Yang-tse-Kiang 
from Nankin to Hankow, “ in order that, by 
personal inspection, he might be the better 
enabled to judge what ports along its shores 
it would be most advisable to open in con¬ 
formity with the treaty of Tientsin.” 

During the interval that elapsed between 
his return to Shanghai after the signing of the 
treaty of Tientsin and the arrival of the im¬ 
perial commissioners at Shanghai to adjust the 
trade regulations, Lord Elgin paid a visit to 
Japan, and at Yedo, the capital, succeeded in 
negotiating with the Government of the Tycoon 
a treaty of peace and commerce, which was 
signed on August 26th, 1858. The following 
are the principal articles of this treaty :— 

“Her Majesty may appoint a Diplomatic 
Agent to reside at the city of Yedo, and 
Consuls or Consular Agents to reside at 
any or all the ports of Japan which are 
opened for British commerce by this treaty. 
The Diplomatic Agent and Consul-General 
of Great Britain shall have the right to 
travel freely to* any part of the Empire of 
Japan. 

“ The ports and towns of Hakodadi, Kana- 
gawa, and Nagasaki shall be opened to 
British subjects on July 1st, 1859 ; Nee-e- 
gata or another convenient port on the 
west coast of Nipon, on January 1st, 1860; 
Hiogo, on January 1st, 1863; and in all 
these ports and towns British subjects may 
permanently reside, the general boundary 
of their liberty being ten ri in any direction, 
the ri being equal to 4,275 yards English 
measure. From January 1st, 1862, British 
subjects shall be allowed to reside in the 
city of Yedo, and from January 1st, 1863, 
in the city of Osaca, for the purposes of 
trade only. 

“British subjects in Japan shall be allowed 
the free exercise of their religion, and for 
this purpose shall have the right to erect 
suitable places of worship. 

“ It is agreed that either of the High Con¬ 
tracting Parties to this Treaty, on giving 


one year’s previous notice to the other, may 
demand a revision thereof, on or after 
July 1st, 1872, with a view to the insertion 
therein of such amendments as experience 
shall prove to be desirable. 

“It is expressly stipulated that the British 
Government and its subjects will be allowed 
free and equal participation in all privileges, 
immunities, and advantages that may have 
been, or may be hereafter, granted by his 
Majesty the Tycoon of Japan to the 
Government or subjects of any other 
nation. 

“The ratifications of the treaty shall be ex¬ 
changed at Yedo within a year from the 
day of signature.” 

On Lord Elgin’s return to England, the 
Hon. Mr. Bruce was appointed Minister to 
Pekin and Superintendent of British trade in 
China, and was instructed to proceed to the 
Chinese capital for the ratification of the 
treaties. 

On his arrival at Shanghai in March, 1859, 
Mr. Bruce found that every obstacle would be 
thrown in the way of his admission to Pekin. 
The Chinese commissioners at Shanghai did 
their utmost to detain there the British and 
French plenipotentiaries, pretending that they 
alone were entrusted with the exchange of the 
ratified treaties, and that they wanted to be 
at the capital for about two months. They 
further derived confidence from the with¬ 
drawal of the French forces then employed in 
an unsuccessful enterprise on the coast of 
Anam. After much fruitless negotiation, 
the envoys determined to proceed to Pekin, 
and to force, if necessary, admission to the 
capital, and the proper exchange of the rati¬ 
fied treaties. The Hon. Mr. Bruce, M. de 
Bourboulon, the French plenipotentiary, and 
Mr. Ward, the United States Minister, left 
on June 15th for the Gulf of Pechili. Mr. 
Bruce was accompanied by from five hun¬ 
dred to six hundred royal marines, a hundred 
royal engineers, and a number of seamen. A 
British force of seven steamships, ten gun¬ 
boats, and two troop and store ships, under 
Admiral Hope, who had succeeded Admiral 
Seymour, arrived off the island of Sha- 
luitien, fifty miles from the mouth of the 
Peiho, on the 17th, and next day the Admiral 
proceeded to the mouth of the river to inti¬ 
mate to the local authorities the intended 
arrival of the plenipotentiaries, and to recon¬ 
noitre the existing state of the defences of the 
river. He found that the works previously 
destroyed had been reconstructed and 
strengthened by additional ditches and abattis, 
and a number of formidable booms had been 
placed across the entrance of the river. Few 



24 


HISTORY OF THE 

guns were visible, but many of the embrasures 
were screened with matting. An officer sent 
on shore to communicate with the authorities 
was prevented from landing, and on his 
requesting that the obstructions at the mouth 
of the river should be removed in order to 
enable the ministers to proceed to Tientsin, 
a promise was given that this should be done. 
Next day the squadron was moved up to the 
anchorage off the mouth of the river, and the 
gunboats placed inside the bar. The ob¬ 
structions not being removed as promised, 
the Admiral was directed by Mr. Bruce 
to take the necessary steps to clear them 
away. But the barriers resisted all attempts 
to remove them, and it was therefore deter¬ 
mined to open fire on the forts, and take 
them by storm. By half-past two on the 
afternoon of the 25th the Opossum had opened 
a passage through the first barrier, and moved 
up to the second, supported by the Plover, and 
closely followed by the Lee and Haughty. The 
moment the Opossum arrived at the second bar¬ 
rier, suddenly and as if by magic, the mats that 
screened the guns in the curtain batteries were 
triced up, and the whole of the guns, between 
thirty and forty, of calibres from 32-pounders 
to 8-inch, opened fire simultaneously. The fire 
was immediately returned, and the action be¬ 
came general. In a few minutes the Opossum 
had several of her crew killed or wounded. In 
the Plover the Admiral was severely wounded, 
and was compelled to entrust the more imme¬ 
diate command of the squadron to Captain 
Shadwell; her commander, Lieutenant Rason, 
and Captain McKenna, of the 1st Royals, doing 
duty on the Admiral’s staff, were killed ; and 
almost every man of the crew disabled. The 
Haughty, Lee, Kestrel, and Cormorant were so 
severely crippled that they were in a sinking 
condition. Nevertheless the bombardment 
was kept up with unabated vigour, and by 
seven o’clock the fire of the forts was alto¬ 
gether silenced, with the exception of that pro¬ 
ceeding from some five or six guns. Shortly 
afterwards a landing was effected, but the 
moment the first boat touched the shore a 
heavy fire was opened from the batteries, 
accompanied by showers of shells, rockets, 
and gingal balls, which mowed down the 
men as they struggled through the deep mud 
to the ditches in front. One hundred and 
fifty officers and men reached the second 
ditch, and about fifty succeeded in getting to 
the further bank of the third ditch, close 
under the walls. It was found, however, 
impossible to storm without reinforcements, 
and the order was given to retire. “At least 
three-fourths of the officers who landed were 
more or less severely hit. In effecting the 
retreat even more lives were lost, perhaps, 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXVIL 

than in advancing, as the Chinese, by lighting 
blue lights, were enabled to discover the exact 
position of our then reeling and thoroughly 
exhausted men, and so to shoot them down 
like birds. Even on arriving at the water’s 
edge matters were not improved, as so many 
of the boats had been smashed to pieces by 
round shot that there were not enough remain¬ 
ing to take off the surviving men. Several 
were drowned in attempting to get off, while 
many had to remain for more than an hour 
up to their necks in water before they could 
get a place in a boat ; and even then their 
dangers were not past, as the fire from the 
forts continued so heavy that several boats 
full of wounded were struck and swamped 
while putting off to the ships. The Coro¬ 
mandel was made the temporary hospital ship, 
and the scene on her upper deck was truly 
horrible. It was nearly one o’clock before 
the last boat-load of wounded was brought 
off to her, and long ere that hour she was 
crowded with the mutilated and the dying. 
Every exertion, however, was made by the 
medical staff, and long ere daybreak every 
sufferer had his wounds tended.”* The total 
loss in this unfortunate affair amounted to 
eighty-nine officers and men killed, and three 
hundred and forty-five wounded. The French 
out of a landing party of sixty had fifteen 
killed or wounded. The Plover, Lee, Kestrel, 
Haughty, and Cormorant all sank, but the 
Kestrel and Haughty were recovered. 

In consequence of this reverse the British 
Government determined to send out a fresh 
expedition to demand redress, and to secure 
the provisions of the treaty of 1858. The 
French also resolved to dispatch a force to 
act in conjunction with the British. The 
British troops amounted to about eleven thou¬ 
sand men, and those of the French to about 
six thousand seven hundred. The former 
were under the command of Lieutenant- 
General Sir Hope Grant, and the latter under 
General de Montauban, afterwards Count 
Palikao. The British fleet was commanded 
by Admiral Hope, and that of the French by 
Admiral Page, afterwards superseded by Ad¬ 
miral Charnier. The English general’s first 
proceeding on his arrival at Hong-Kong was 
the acquisition of the promontory of Kowloon, 
which he considered necessary for the defence 
of Hong-Kong Llarbour. A lease of this was, 
through the exertions of Mr. Parkes, the 
British Consul at Canton, obtained from the 
mandarin governor for a yearly rent of LI60. 
The Chinese having refused the demands of 
the two Powers, war was declared in April, 
1860, and the island of Chusan, with the 
town of Ting-hai, occupied. On the arrival 
* Correspondent of the Ceylon Observer. 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


25 


Chap. CXXXVIL] 

of Lord Elgin and Baron Gros, who had 
negotiated the treaties of 1858, and whose 
experience would prove valuable in connec¬ 
tion with this expedition, the fleet got under 
way on the 26th July, 1860, from Ta-lien-wan, 
a magnificent bay to the west of a promon¬ 
tory in Manchooria, in the Gulf of Pechili. 

The British and French forces arrived off 
the mouth of the Peiho on the 27th and 28th 
of July, and on August 1st they disembarked 
on a spit of land below the Peh-tang southern 
fort. It was arranged that the gunboats 
should shell the forts at daylight next morn¬ 
ing ; but during the evening it was discovered 
that the forts had been undermined and aban¬ 
doned, three men and a few wooden guns 
being all that were left to receive the European 
barbarians. The troops were then quartered 
in Peh-tang, a small town at the mouth of 
the San-ho. On the morning of the 3rd a 
reconnaissance was made on the road to the 
Taku forts to ascertain the position of the 
enemy, when a skirmish took place between 
2,500 British and French and a body of Tar¬ 
tar cavalry about four miles from the town. 
Fourteen of the allies were wounded, when 
the force was ordered to return. On the 
12th, after a desperate resistance on the part 
of the Tartars, their entrenched camp in front 
of Sin-ho, a town about midway between 
Peh-tang and Taku, was taken and the town 
occupied. On the 14th Tang-ku, a fortified 
town about three miles from the Taku forts, 
was carried after a heavy bombardment, and 
forty-five guns were captured. On the 21st 
an attack was made on the northern Taku 
forts by a force of 3,000 men with a heavy 
siege train. At five in the morning a tremen¬ 
dous bombardment was opened on the fort 
farthest inland, while the gunboats in the 
river poured shells and rockets into the outer 
fort, which kept firing briskly on the British 
and French lines. At seven o’clock the maga¬ 
zine of the fort exploded with a terrific report, 
and a few minutes later the magazine in the 
outer fort was also blown up by a shell from 
the gunboats. The defence, nevertheless, 
was gallantly maintained by the garrison till 
the storming parties effected their entrance, 
when the defenders, disputing the ground inch 
by inch, were driven back step by step at the 
point of the bayonet, and hurled pell-mell 
through the embrasures on the opposite side. 
A destructive fire was opened upon them in 
their retreat, which was impeded by swampy 
ground, ditches, and two belts of pointed 
bamboo stakes, and the ground outside be¬ 
came strewed with their dead and wounded. 
An hour after this the whole of the forts on 
both sides of the river hauled down their war 
banners and hoisted flags of truce; but the 

VOL. III. 


officers that were sent to ask their meaning 
and to summon them to surrender received 
an evasive and insolent reply, and were defied 
to come on to the attack. The outer north 
fort was then taken without a shot being 
fired by the Chinese, and its garrison of 2,000 
taken prisoners. Towards evening the south 
forts were evacuated by the enemy and occu¬ 
pied by the English and French. Thus the 
whole of the forts and entrenched camps, 
with four hundred guns, many of them of 
large calibre, were in the hands of the allies. 
“It is difficult,” says Sir Hope Grant, “to 
account for the confusion and uncertainty 
which seemed to pervade the enemy when 
the first fort fell; but it now appears that 
the general in command was killed, and the 
second in command either killed or missing; 
and the confusion caused by this, together 
with the severe lesson received in the first 
fort, rendered them incapable or unwilling of 
further resistance.” The British loss was 
twenty-one officers wounded, and twenty-two 
men killed and one hundred and fifty-eight 
wounded, while the French lost about one 
hundred and thirty. The same evening the 
booms across the river were removed, but, 
owing to the firmness with which two double 
rows of iron stakes were fixed, a passage 
through was not opened until noon of the 
following day, when the gunboats passed up 
and anchored off Tang-ku. On the 23rd a 
force of English and French gunboats left for 
Tientsin, and, on arriving the next morning, 
the Admiral, finding the town destitute of 
troops, placed guards in the forts and on the 
gates, and hoisted the allied flags in token of 
its military occupation. A few days after 
Lord Elgin’s arrival at Tientsin, Kweiliang 
and two other commissioners came from 
Pekin, and negotiations were immediately 
entered into. Everything appeared to be 
proceeding most satisfactorily until the ques¬ 
tion of the indemnity came to be discussed, 
when the commissioners intimated that they 
had no power to sign the treaty. The allied 
forces, which had advanced by four marches 
to Tientsin, were now once more obliged to 
take the field. On September 8th Sir Hope 
Grant, leaving behind a garrison of 2,000 
men, departed from Tientsin, and on the 
13th arrived at Ho-si-wu, forty miles distant 
towards Pekin. Here a halt was made while 
Messrs. Parkes and Wade went on to Tang- 
chow, twenty-five miles farther, to meet fresh 
imperial commissioners, whose approach had 
been notified. It was arranged with these new 
negotiators that the allied forces should halt at 
Chan-chia-wan, five miles short of Tang-chow, 
to which place the ambassadors were requested 
to advance with an escort to sign the treaty. 

E 





26 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


The army then advanced, and on the 17th 
encamped at Matow, five miles short of Chan- 
chia-wan. From this point Mr. Parkes rode 
on to Tang-chow to make arrangements for 
Lord Elgin’s reception. He was accompanied 
by an escort of Fane’s Horse, under Lieutenant 
Anderson; Mr. Loch, private secretary to Lord 
Elgin; Mr. De Norman, attache to her Ma¬ 
jesty’s legation ; and Mr. Bowlby, the Times' 
correspondent. Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, 
Acting Quartermaster-General, and Deputy- 
Assistant-Commissary-General Thompson also 
went at the same time to Tang-chow, the for¬ 
mer to settle with the Chinese authorities the 
site of the camp, and the latter to receive the 
supplies promised for the force. They found 
everything quiet -on the road, and the com¬ 
missioners agreed to Mr. Parkes’s arrange¬ 
ments. Leaving Lieutenant Anderson and 
his men at Tang-chow, Messrs. Parkes, Loch, 
Thompson, and Colonel Walker, with five 
men of the King’s Dragoon Guards, went out 
to meet the army and point out the camping- 
ground, which was a mile and a half south of 
Chan-chia-wan. On arriving there they found 
the place occupied by a large Chinese force 
and batteries thrown up so as to flank the 
proposed site of the camp. Mr. Parkes, ob¬ 
taining no satisfaction from the commanding 
officer, returned to Tang-chow with an orderly 
of the King’s Dragoon Guards to ask the 
High Commissioner for an explanation. Mr. 
Loch went on to report the matter to General 
Grant, while Colonel Walker and Deputy- 
Assistant - Commissary - General Thompson, 
with four men of the King’s Dragoon Guards 
and one sowar, remained on the ground to 
await Mr. Parkes’s return. After communi¬ 
cating with the General, Mr. Loch, accom¬ 
panied by Captain Brabazon, Deputy-Assist¬ 
ant-Quartermaster-General, R.A., proceeded 
to Tang-chow under a flag of truce with 
orders for Mr. Parkes and his party to return 
to head-quarters. After a short delay in get¬ 
ting the party together they set out to return, 
and on nearing the spot where they had left 
Colonel Walker they were stopped by a large 
body of Chinese troops, whose commander 
refused them permission to pass without 
orders from San-ko-lin-sin, the commander-in¬ 
chief. Messrs. Parkes and Loch, accompanied 
by one Sikh orderly with a white flag, left the 
rest of the party, and went to speak with 
San-ko-lin-sin. While there they were 
surrounded and made prisoners by his order 
and sent to Pekin. The rest of the party 
were afterwards seized and sent back to 
Tang - chow. Meanwhile Colonel Walker, 
while waiting for Mr. Parkes, was joined by 
a French officer, who was suddenly set upon 
and cut down by a Chinese soldier, and on 


[Chap. CXXXYII. 

his riding up to prevent him being murdered, 
his own sword was snatched from its scabbard 
and an attempt made to throw him from his 
horse. He then set spurs to his horse and 
galloped out with his party under the fire of 
the Chinese lines. One of his men was 
wounded and one horse, and Mr. Thompson, 
of the Commissariat, had a spear-thrust in his 
back, but all reached the British lines in 
safety. By this time the allied forces had 
advanced to within a mile of Chan-chia-wan, 
and were almost entirely surrounded by the 
Chinese cavalry. General Grant .had been 
extremely anxious not to engage the enemy, 
whose infantry poured down on his right 
front, for fear of compromising his officers 
who were in their lines, but on the arrival of 
Colonel Walker and his party “ it was use¬ 
less,” he says, “ to wait longer, and the 
attack was immediately formed. 

“ The action commenced simultaneously on 
all points, and it was now apparent that the 
Chinese had carefully prepared a very trea¬ 
cherous reception for our forces. An intrench- 
ment, skilfully concealed by natural obstacles, 
extended on our right and left for several 
miles, and was armed with numerous guns.” 
By a brilliant charge, the 1st Sikh Cavalry 
discomfited the Tartar horse on the left flank 
and drove them back for miles. The 15th 
Punjab Infantry turned the right of the enemy’s 
intrenchment, on which they took to flight, 
and were pursued with much spirit by the 
infantry, who advanced through Chan-chia- 
wan, captaring several camps on the outside. 
The French, meanwhile, turned the enemy’s 
left, consisting chiefly of infantry, who, on 
being driven back, were gallantly charged by 
a squadron of Fane’s Horse. The enemy, who 
were estimated at upwards of 20,000, sus¬ 
tained a loss of 600 killed and 75 guns. This 
action took place on September 18th, and after 
two days’ rest at Chan-chia-wan the allies re¬ 
sumed the march towards Pekin. Soon after 
passing Tang-chow, the French, who were on 
the right, got under fire of the Chinese works 
thrown up to protect the fine bridge of Pa-le- 
chiao (whence General de Montauban after¬ 
wards derived his title of Count Palikao), 
crossing the canal which runs from the - Peiho 
to Pekin, and on the imperial high road to 
that city. Here the enemy’s infantry ap¬ 
peared in considerable force, and the Tartar 
cavalry showed in large masses on the left. 
The latter advanced to within two hundred 
yards of the English guns, when they were 
driven off with a fire of canister. A heavy loss 
was inflicted on the cavalry, which hung in 
large numbers on the left front, and the 
Chinese right was effectually turned by the 
1st Sikh Cavalry supporting Fane’s Horse. 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


27 


Chap. CXXXVIL] 

“ The enemy, though defeated on the spot, 
yet still remained in front, in clouds of horse¬ 
men, -who, though constantly retiring from 
the advance of any part of our cavalry, how¬ 
ever small, never allowed more than a thou¬ 
sand yards to intervene between us, and 
showed a steady and threatening front.” 
Occasional shots were fired on their thickest 
masses with three Armstrong guns. “ These 
shots, fired singly, at slow intervals, served 
admirably to illustrate the good qualities of 
the Armstrong gun; not one failed to strike 
the thick masses of the enemy, at once dis¬ 
persing them from the spot. Thus advancing, 
the cavalry was brought to a check by the 
fire of a camp, which was taken by the 99th 
Regiment, under Major Dowbiggin, and which 
proved to be the head-quarters of some of the 
imperial princes. This, with several others in 
the neighbourhood, was burnt by our troops, 
and the Chinese army retired upon Pekin.” 
The French, meanwhile, had carried the bridge, 
and inflicted much loss on the enemy. During 
this action forty-three guns were taken, and 
the loss of the Chinese was very severe. The 
loss of the allies was two killed and twenty- 
nine wounded. The British troops finally 
encamped on some high ground on the right 
bank of the canal, and the French on the 
other side, near the Pa-le-chiao bridge. The 
next morning, September 22nd, a flag of truce 
arrived, with letters from Prince Kung, brother 
of the Emperor, stating that he had been ap¬ 
pointed chief commissioner, and was anxious 
to come to terms. Lord Elgin and Baron 
Gros, however, declined to open negotiations 
until the captives were returned. Next day 
another letter was received from the Prince 
declaring that the prisoners were safe ; that 
the only conditions on which they would be 
sent back were the restitution of the Taku 
forts and the evacuation by the fleet of the 
Peiho River ; and that the Emperor had agreed 
to sign the treaty, but would not consent to 
Lord Elgin delivering to him in person a letter 
from the Queen of England. Lord Elgin re¬ 
plied that not a ship or any part of the army 
should leave the country until the provisions 
of the treaty had been carried out; and that, 
if the Chinese Government chose to break the 
law of nations with regard to flags of truce, 
they must abide by the consequences, and that 
the vengeance of the British and French would 
be visited upon their country for their perfidy. 
On the 5th October the march of the troops 
towards Pekin was resumed, and next day it 
was arranged with the French General that 
they should make for the Yuan-min-yuan, or 
Summer Palace, in the hope of finding ^there 
the Emperor or principal Government officials. 
The French, during the march, missed the 


English track, and were the first to.arrive 
at the palace. On October 7th, Lord Elgin 
and Sir Hope Grant rode over from their 
quarters, in a handsome old temple dedi¬ 
cated to Confucius, to see General de Mon- 
tauban. “In the distance,’’says Sir Hope 
Grant, “ we at last perceived the palace beau¬ 
tifully situated amidst gardens and woods, 
and a range of large suburbs in front. Wo 
passed the park walls by a fine old stately 
gateway, and, proceeding up an avenue, came 
to a range of handsome dwellings roofed over 
with yellow tiles, turned up at the ends, 
Chinese fashion. In different parts of the 
grounds were forty separate small palaces, in 
beautiful situations. The park was carefully 
kept—the footpaths and roads clean and in 
excellent order, and there were various pretty 
pieces of ornamental water. We found that 
the French had encamped near the entrance 
of the Great Audience Hall, and it was pitiful 
to see the way in which everything was being 
robbed. The principal palace was filled with 
beautiful jade-stone of great value and carved 
in a most elaborate manner; splendid old 
china jars, enamels, bronzes, and numerous 
handsome clocks and watches, many of which 
were presents given by Lord Macartney and 
ambassadors from other countries. In a 
building close to the main palace were two 
mountain howitzers, which had been made at 
Woolwich, and likewise presented by Lord 
Macartney to the Emperor. They had ap¬ 
parently been kept as curiosities and never 
used. They were afterwards sent back to 
Woolwich. One room only in the palace was 
untouched. General de Montauban informed 
me he had reserved any valuables it might 
contain for equal division between the English 
and French. The walls of it were covered 
with jade-stones and with ornaments of various 
descriptions. General de Montauban and I 
agreed that all that remained of prize pro¬ 
perty should be divided between both armies. 
A quantity of articles were set aside for us, 
and I determined to sell them for the benefit 
of our officers and men. The French General 
told me that he had found two ‘joes’ or 
staves of office, made of gold and green jade- 
stone, one of which he would give me as a 
present to Queen Victoria, the other he in¬ 
tended for the Emperor Napoleon. In a 
stable we found eleven of Fane’s horses, two 
of Probyn’s and one belonging to the King s 
Dragoon Guards, all of which had been taken 
from the escort sent with Parkes. The next 
day, the 8th October, a quantity of gold and 
silver was discovered in one of the temples of 
the Summer Palace, and a room full of the 
richest silks and furs. This treasure was 
divided into two equal portions between the 






28 HISTORY OF THE 

French and ourselves.”* It appears that the 
Emperor and all his grandees had taken 
flight only a short time previous to the 
entrance of the French, and had taken little 
or nothing with them. 

On the day following the occupation of the 
Summer Palace, the loss of which seems to 
have had a great effect on the Chinese autho¬ 
rities, a note was sent to the Chinese Com¬ 
missioner by the allied commanders, threat¬ 
ening to storm the city of Pekin unless the 
Chinese Government immediately sent into 
their respective camps the officers and sub¬ 
jects of Britain and France still in their 
hands. The allied ambassadors would then 
name a day for the signature of the conven¬ 
tions and the exchange of ratifications, but 
seeing that it would not be proper, late events 
being considered, that faith should be placed 
at random in the Chinese Government or its 
people, their Excellencies would not enter the 
city until one of its gates was occupied by an 
escort detached from both armies. As a 
result of this on the 8th Messrs. Parkes and 
Loch, with one Sikh sowar and five French¬ 
men (one officer and four soldiers) were 
brought into the English camp, the Chinese 
declaring that these were all the prisoners 
who were in Pekin, the rest having been con¬ 
veyed into the interior. These, however, 
would be sent for, and would be given up in 
the course of a few days. By the morning of 
the 13th everything was ready for an assault 
on the city in the event of the gate not being 
given up by noon. This, however, was done, 
the easternmost gate on the north side of the 
city being occupied by the allied forces ; and 
a letter was received from Prince Kung an¬ 
nouncing the readiness of the Chinese Govern¬ 
ment to agree to all their terms. On the 
evening of the 12th a French soldier and 
eight sowars of Fane’s Horse were surren¬ 
dered, and on the 14th two more Sikhs were 
brought back, the Chinese declaring that they 
were the last survivors of those that had been 
taken prisoners. They also produced the 
bodies of Lieutenant Anderson, Private John 
Phipps, King’s Dragoon Guards, Mr. De Nor¬ 
man, Mr. Bowlby, and eight Sikhs. Messrs. 
Parkes and Loch, with their Sikh orderly 
were for several days laid in irons in the 
common prison of Pekin, and experienced the 
dread anxiety of being several times ordered 
out for execution, but they were latterly well 
treated under the orders of Prince Kung. A 
different fate befell the rest of the party. When 
Messrs. Parkes and Loch left them to speak to 
San-ko-lin-sin, the Chinese crowded round them 
in great numbers. They were then disarmed 
and taken to the rear. The next morning 
* Knollys’s Incidents in the China War of 1860. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXVII. 

Captain Brabazon and the Abbe de Luc, a 
French missionary, who spoke Chinese, were 
taken from them, and are believed to have 
been beheaded in the Tartar camp during the 
battle of Pa-le-chiao on the 21st of September. 
The remainder of the party were taken to the 
palace of Yuan-min-yuan, where one by one 
they were thrown on their faces and their 
hands and feet tied together behind. their 
backs. In this state they were left, without 
food or drink, for three days. On the day 
after the battle of the 21st the Chinese, fearing 
their recapture, took them out, and dividing 
them into four parties, drove them off in carts, 
with their hands still bound, to four small hill 
fortresses, distant from twenty to forty miles 
from Pekin. Of those who died from the mor¬ 
tification that ensued from their hands being 
so tightly bound with cords, Mr. Bowlby 
succumbed on the seventh day of his cap¬ 
tivity, and Lieutenant Anderson on the ninth, 
while Phipps and De Norman lingered, the 
former to the fourteenth and the latter to the 
seventeenth day. By permission of the Russian 
Minister, the bodies of the Englishmen were 
buried on the 17th October in the Russian 
cemetery, with military honours, in presence 
of General de Montauban and many officers of 
the French army, of the officers of the Russian 
Mission, and of the majority of the officers of 
the English army and embassy. Next day, 
as retribution for the barbarous treatment of 
the prisoners, the Emperor’s Summer Palace 
was utterly destroyed by fire by Sir John 
Michel’s division, with the greater part of the 
cavalry brigade. “ It was a magnificent 
sight,” says Sir Hope Grant. “ I could not 
but grieve at the destruction of so much 
ancient grandeur, and felt that it was an 
uncivilised proceeding ; but I believed it to be 
necessary as a future warning to the Chinese 
against the murder of European envoys, and 
the violation of the law T s of nations.” A sum 
-of 300,000 taels or about £100,000 was then 
demanded by Sir Hope Grant for the families 
of his murdered countrymen, and as an in¬ 
demnity to the survivors for the sufferings 
they had undergone, while the French General 
demanded 200,000 taels for a similar purpose. 
The money was paid on the 20th, and on the 
24th the convention was signed by Lord 
Elgin and Prince Kung, and the ratified 
treaty of Tientsin exchanged. The following 
are the principal terms of the convention :— 

“ His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of China 
expresses his deep regret at the misunder¬ 
standing and breach of friendly relations 
occasioned by the act of the garrison of 
Taku. 

“ Her Britannic Majesty’s Representative will 













IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


29 


Chap. CXXXVIIL] 

henceforward reside permanently or occar 
Bionally at Pekin, as her Britannic Majesty 
shall be pleased to decide. 

“ In lieu of the amount of indemnity specified 
in the separate article of the treaty of 1858, 
the Emperor of China shall pay the sum 
of 8,000,000 taels, two millions to be 
appropriated to the indemnification of the 
British mercantile community at Canton, 
for losses sustained by them, and the 
remaining six millions to the liquidation of 
war expenses. 

“ The port of Tientsin shall be open to trade, 
and it shall be competent to British sub¬ 
jects to reside and trade there under the 
same conditions as at any other port of 
China by treaty open to trade. 

“ Chinese choosing to take service in the British 
colonies or other parts beyond sea are at 
perfect liberty to enter into engagements 
with British subjects for that purpose, and 
to ship themselves and their families on 
board any British vessel at any of the open 
ports of China, and such regulations shall 
be framed for the protection of Chinese 
emigrating as the circumstances of the dif¬ 
ferent open ports may demand. 

“ With a view to the maintenance of law and 
order in and about the harbour of Hong- 
Kong, the Emperor of China cedes to her 
Majesty the township of Kowloon as a de¬ 
pendency of her Britannic Majesty’s colony 
of Hong-Kong. 

“As soon as this convention shall have been 
signed, the ratifications of the treaty of 
1858 exchanged, and an imperial decree 
respecting the convention and treaty pro¬ 
mulgated, Chusan shall be evacuated by her 


Britannic Majesty’s troops there stationed, 
and her Majesty’s force now before Pekin 
shall commence its march towards the city 
of Tientsin, the forts of Taku, the north 
coast of Shang-tung, and the city of Canton, 
at each or all of which places it shall be at 
the option of her Majesty to retain a force 
until the indemnity of eight millions of taels 
shall have been paid. 

“ The convention to take effect from the date 
of its signature.” 

After the settlement of these matters, cere¬ 
monial visits were exchanged at the Imperial 
Palace between Prince Kung and the English 
and French ambassadors, and on November 
8th Mr. Bruce, the future Minister at Pekin, 
was introduced to the Prince. Next day the 
allied army began its retrograde march from 
Pekin, and by the 17th the greater part of it 
had arrived at Tientsin. Garrisons were left 
at Tientsin, the Taku forts, Shanghai, Hong- 
Kong, and Canton, and the remainder of the 
troops were embarked either to India or to 
England. During February, 1861, Admiral 
Hope, accompanied by Mr. Parkes and repre¬ 
sentatives of the commercial community of 
Shanghai, made an expedition up the Yang- 
tse-kiang, which was declared navigable for 
vessels drawing twenty feet of water as far 
as Hankow. Chin-kiang, Hew-kiang, and 
Hankow were the ports selected for trade, 
and at these consular agencies were esta¬ 
blished. The British and French embassies 
took up their residence in Pekin on March 
26th. Canton was restored to the Chinese in 
October, and during the same month Tientsin 
was evacuated by the allied troops. 


CHAPTER 

LORD ELGIN’S 

On the expiration of Lord Canning’s term of 
service the Governor-Generalship of India 
was offered to and accepted by Lord Elgin, 
who had not long returned from dictating 
terms to the Chinese under the walls of 
Pekin. His lordship assumed the govern¬ 
ment on March 13th, 1862. James Bruce, 
Earl of Elgin, was born in London in 1811. 
He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, 
where he was first in classics, 1832; and be¬ 
came Fellow of Merton, and graduated Master 
of Arts, 1835. At the general election of 
1841, he was returned as Lord Bruce for 
Southampton in the Conservative interest, but 
the election was declared void on petition. 


CXXXYIII. 

VIOEROYALTY 

and before a new writ could be issued he had 
succeeded his father as Earl of Elgin. By 
this succession to a Scotch peerage he was, 
as he himself said, “ expelled from the House 
of Commons without being admitted into the 
House of Peers.” He was appointed Governor 
of Jamaica in 1842, and Governor-General of 
Canada in 1847. Under his successful adminis¬ 
tration, 1847-55, the revenue of that posses¬ 
sion became quadrupled. He had been sum¬ 
moned to the House of Lords as a peer of 
the United Kingdom in 1849. In 1857 he 
left England for China as Plenipotentiary 
Extraordinary, but he had not many weeks 
left these shores when the Indian Mutiny 




30 


HISTORY OF THE 

broke out. Without hesitation Lord Elgin, 
on the request of Lord Canning, dispatched 
to his assistance the Chinese expedition, 
and enabled the English in India to hold out 
until the arrival of reinforcements. His sub¬ 
sequent proceedings in China and Japan have 
already been related. 

Lord Elgin’s Indian administration was 
brief and uneventful. Early in 1863 he set 
out for Simla, holding durbars at Benares, 
Agra, Delhi, and Ambala, and in the autumn 
he proceeded on a tour of exploration through 
the mountainous region of the Punjab. Having 
overtasked his strength at the Rotaung Pass 
of the Himalayas, about thirteen thousand 
feet in height, which he had crossed almost 
the whole way on foot, he was prostrated from 
exhaustion and seized with the illness which 
brought him to his grave at Dharmsala, a 
secluded hamlet in the valley of Cashmere, 
on November 20th. Conscious that his life s 
end was near, he beheld its approach with 
Christian resignation and a calm heroism. 
He appointed Sir William Denison acting 
Govern or-General until the arrival of his per¬ 
manent successor, sent his last farewell and 
expression of his duty to his sovereign, gave 
directions respecting his burial, approved of 
the design of a simple monument to be erected 
over his remains, took leave of his afflicted 
wife, and quietly awaited his Maker’s sum¬ 
mons. During his short career Lord Elgin’s 
exertions were unceasingly directed towards 
the development of India’s resources, and by 
his judicious arrangements the financial and 
commercial prosperity of the country was 
greatly increased. He provoked no contests 
and attempted no acquisition of territory. 
His uniform courtesy and kindness of manner 
made him generally acceptable to the people 
of India, and if he had had a longer reign he 
would doubtless have been one of the most 
popular of Indian rulers. We have now to re¬ 
late the principal occurrences during his term 
of office. 

The close of 1861 and commencement of 
1862 were marked by attacks by the savage 
mountaineers of the Cossyah and Jynteah 
Hills on the north-eastern frontier of Bengal, 
especially in and about Cherra Punji and its 
neighbourhood. They were checked at first 
by Colonel Richardson, who with a small 
force marched to Jowai, fifty miles from 
Cherra, and released a party of sixty sepoys, 
who were stockaded there, and whom he found 
straitened for food and worn out with con¬ 
stant watchfulness to frustrate the attempts 
of the rebels to fire the place. In January, 
1862, in conjunction with Major Rowlatt, 
Deputy Commissioner, he proceeded to the 
stockaded village of Jallong, where the insur¬ 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYIII. 

gents had made their stand. The village was 
situated at a height of 1,000 feet, and was 
two hours’ march from Jowai. They found 
the rebels entrenched in two positions, one at 
the summit of the hill and the other midway 
up the ascent. The attack on the first stockade 
was stoutly contested; and though the assail¬ 
ing party were but sixty-five strong, they 
succeeded in cutting down the gate and enter¬ 
ing the village, from which the rebels, aban¬ 
doning the upper stockade, fled into the 
jungle. Yarious other stockades were after¬ 
wards taken in different parts, but the rebels 
refused to yield. In March Colonel Richard¬ 
son, being reinforced by a party of one hundred 
and fifty men under Captain Robinson, drove 
the rebels from their strongly entrenched 
position at Ouksae, and at Ralleang, a village 
about twenty miles north-east of Jowai, 
strongly stockaded on every side and doubly 
so at the narrow footpaths leading to it, some 
four hundred rebels were put to flight, and as 
usual escaped with a trifling loss, the deep 
ravines and heavy jungle preventing the place 
from being surrounded. It was hoped that 
the destruction of their stockades might in¬ 
duce the rebels to submit, but as soon as the 
troops were out of sight fresh stockades were 
built, from which, knowing they were safe in 
them for a time at any rate, they issued to 
plunder and destroy in every direction. To¬ 
wards the end of March it was found necessary 
to proclaim martial law in the disaffected dis¬ 
tricts, and Brigadier-General Showers was 
j appointed Commissioner of the Cossyah and 
Jynteah Hills. In April he took up his head¬ 
quarters at Jowai, and issued a proclamation, 
offering a reward of a thousand rupees for the 
apprehension of the original instigator of the 
rebellion, and an amnesty to all who should 
at once return to their ordinary occupations, 
excepting only the head-men of three villages. 
A cordon of troops was then gradually moved 
forward, which swept every height and ravine, 
and drove the insurgents before them like 
wild beasts at a, battue. During the cam¬ 
paign a few sepoys were lost, and but few of 
the enemy were killed. With their poisoned 
arrows, muskets, and showers of stones, and 
boulders, the savages proved by no means 
contemptible foes in a country covered with 
such dense jungle. The flattering hopes raised 
by General Showers’ account of his progress 
through the hills and his report of the com¬ 
plete pacification of the country were speedily 
dispelled by the refusal of the chiefs of the 
hill tribes to accept of the amnesty and to 
attend the Lieutenant-Governor’s durbar in 
September. In fact, General Showers had 
scarcely left' Assam when the Jynteahs were 
again in revolt, and the whole hill-country 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


31 


Chap. CXXXVIIL] 

became infested with bands of these savages, 
who harried the villages and carried off their 
peaceable inhabitants into the jungle. All 
hope of bringing the rebel tribes to reason 
and submission by peaceful means being now 
given up, severe measures were at once re¬ 
solved upon, and three strong regiments of 
Sikh infantry and one of Gurkhas, with 
mountain artillery, were marched into the 
hills, where the Commissioner of Assam was 
ordered to remain till the rebellion should be 
completely put down, and the authority of the 
Government effectually restored. As before, 
the war consisted in the destruction of the 
enemy’s stockades, of which the attack upon 
that at Oomkoi will serve as a specimen. 
This stockade was constructed on the summit 
of a hill most difficult of ascent. In the 
absence of a sufficiency of muskets, bows and 
arrows, and other mechanical projectiles, the 
savages had recourse to stones and everything 
that could be seized and hurled down upon 
the troops. The mountain-train battery first 
made an attempt upon the stockade, but their 
shot and shell were wasted upon it, for it 
could not be reached. It was then determined 
to take it by assault, but in this the troops 
encountered a much stouter resistance than 
they had calculated upon. A number of 
sepoys fell badly wounded. Colonel Richard¬ 
son, who led them, had a narrow escape from 
the bloodthirsty fury of a Jynteah, who charged 
upon him with a bamboo spike. At the 
critical moment a sepoy threw himself be¬ 
tween his commanding officer and the Jynteah, 
and receiving the spike into his own body 
died instantaneously. After a good deal of 
most resolute climbing the troops carried the 
stockade; but when they reached it, it was 
found empty. The vigour with which the 
military operations were carried on soon told 
upon the rebels. Stockade after stockade was 
destroyed, and before the rains set in the 
Jynteahs, finding their elaborate defences 
untenable in the face of the mountain-train 
battery, threw themselves on the clemency of 
the Government. The government of the 
Jynteah territory was transferred to the Bri¬ 
tish in 1885, the Rajah receiving an allowance 
of five hundred rupees a month. For a time 
the people, who objected to the transfer, 
in which they had taken no part, were left to 
their own method of government, a sort of 
village republic under head-men, who con¬ 
stantly quarrelled among themselves. The 
imposition, in 1858, of a house-tax as a recog¬ 
nition of British supremacy produced a rebel¬ 
lion in 1860, which was speedily reduced. 
The imposition of an income-tax in 1861 aguin 
led to revolt, but the real cause lay in the 
character of the people themselves. “ Being 


savages, they acted as savages; being turbulent 
and quarrelsome, they were only too glad to 
seek an excuse for quarrel, and so the income- 
tax and police grievances came opportunely 
to their hand.” 

On June 2nd, 1862, the spoil taken by 
General Whitlock’s column at Kirwee, in 
December, 1858, was sold by auction at Cal¬ 
cutta. To the disappointment of many who 
had been looking for a million sterling the 
proceeds of the sale did not amount to more 
than £350,000. The following remarks which 
appeared in the Friend of India in anticipa¬ 
tion of the sale will be read with interest:— 
“ On Monday next, June 2nd (1862), a sight 
will be witnessed in Calcutta, without a 
parallel in the history of India, and most 
suggestive to him who would understand the 
career of the British in the East. The Kirwee 
spoil will be sold by auction. Of its former 
owners, the two foolish youths Narain Rao 
and Madho Rao who fled from Kirwee when 
Sir George Whitlock was as yet within two 
marches of their palace, one has since died 
as a state prisoner in Hazaribagh, and the 
other, a cousin of Nana Sahib, is now being 
educated in Bareilly. Too young to be respon¬ 
sible for the disloyalty of 1857, he is receiv¬ 
ing from the British Government the best in¬ 
heritance—a good education—and on arriving 
at years of discretion will doubtless be honour¬ 
ably treated as a pensioned feudatory. Mean¬ 
while the wealth heaped up in the palace at 
Kirwee, such that one officer describes him¬ 
self as literally wading among jewels and 
bricks of gold, will be brought to the auc¬ 
tioneer’s hammer. The gold and silver coins, 
with the exception of such as are of value to 
the numismatist, and the bricks of solid metal, 
have been melted down into ingots. The 
whole booty is expected to realise for the 
army, who lighted upon it, a sum of not less 
than half a million sterling. But besides this, 
cash to the amount of fifty-two lakhs of rupees 
was captured in the palace and in the district, 
and at once made over to the Government, 
which, in those days of financial deficits, 
found it a seasonable aid. The prize agent 
holds a receipt for this sum with interest at 
five per cent., so that, if it is considered a 
prize, the whole of the spoil of Kirwee and 
Banda will be considerably above a million 
sterling. Not only so, but the State has con¬ 
fiscated the sum of £325,000, which the 
brothers had in the funds, as well as their 
estates, which yielded a rental of £80,000 a 
year. 

“ As we read the catalogue of the spoil to 
be sold on Monday and succeeding days, and 
gaze upon the wealth of gold and jewels dis¬ 
played by Messrs. Hamilton and Co., we can 






32 HISTORY OF THE 

realise the not too extravagant words of the 
poet when he wrote of 

‘ The wealth of Ormus and of Ind, 

Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand 
Showers on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold.’ 

To use the language of the catalogue writer, 
not too inflated in this case, ‘ the superb 
display of precious stones, gold and silver 
ingots, gold coins, gold and silver idols, 
&c. &c., rivals in extent and surpasses in 
value the most celebrated collections that have 
ever been brought to public sale in India.’ 
The gem ‘of the collection is certainly ‘ the 
superb diamond and emerald necklace,’ con¬ 
sisting of ninety-two rose-cut brilliants set in 
emeralds of the richest green without a flaw, 
each stone of itself a study. Then there is 
the ‘ magnificent necklace and diamond dhook- 
dhookie ’ of the highest and costliest order of 
jewels, comprising twenty-four large clear 
emeralds, eighteen beautiful pearls of un¬ 
common size, four rubies of the deepest 
colour, twenty-five white table diamonds in 
the pendent, and three tassels of small 
emeralds and pearls. If the reader thinks 
the cataloguist has exhausted himself in this 
flight of fancy, what will he say of ‘ the beau¬ 
tiful jeejah serpeche’ of thirty-six immense 
diamonds ? This enormously precious orna¬ 
ment is remarkable for the lavish manner in 
which the most superb diamonds have been 
collected in such numbers and at such im¬ 
mense cost for the production of a single article 
of personal ardornment. In Europe this bijou 
would have afforded material for a dozen 
ornaments, and each would have been a gem 
of rare value. Yet we read on till we be¬ 
come bewildered by ‘ serpeches ’ or frontlets, 

‘ dustbunds ’ or bracelets, ‘ kornapholes ’ or 
earrings, ‘ sirphools ’ or hair ornaments, « ba- 
joobunds’ or armlets, ‘ champakullies ’ or 
necklaces, ‘ dabunees ’ or hair ornaments, 

‘ satnaries ’ or breast ornaments, and other 
jewels with names still more rich and bar¬ 
baric in their sound, which have decked the 
dusky forms of Mahratta girls and matrons, 
and have adorned the proud trappings of 
Mahratta chiefs and their followers. In solid 
gold or silver we see the most ordinary 
utensils of the household and the family 
temple, for no meaner metal would the 
Raos of Kirwee use. Rice plates, lotahs, 
candle-sticks, mirrors, spice-boxes, rose-water 
sprinklers, spittoons, truncheons, punkah- 
handles, caskets, pSwn boxes, lamps, incense 
and sacrificial vessels, idols, models of temples, 
the trappings of elephants and horses, the 
livery of menials-—all seem poured out to¬ 
gether as they appear in Rubens’ paintings of 
conquerors on the battle-field receiving the 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYIII. 

spoils of the vanquished. But the most in¬ 
teresting, if the least valuable part of the col¬ 
lection, is the long list of coins, with names 
familiar to Clive and his predecessors, but 
never met with now in our every-day prosaic 
life in the East. There are 4 pagodas ’ and 
‘ boodkies ’ and ‘ hoons ’ with gold mohurs 
coined by Ackbar, Jehangheer, Shah Jehan, 
and Aurengzebe; of Lucknow, Assam, Madras, 
Nepaul, beside which are a few despised 
English sovereigns. The coins, however, 
which most frequently occur are Venetian, 
pointing to days when Southern Europe 
fattened on the wealth of India, ere yet the 
Portuguese doubled the Cape. To this day 
the profusion and variety of European coins 
in the bazaars of Upper India astonish the 
traveller. Seldom is the English or Australian 
sovereign met, while there are no coins so 
common as Russian five-rouble pieces, point¬ 
ing to trade with Central Asia. Nor are 
Belgian coins and French napoleons uncom¬ 
mon. As we look at these jewels and read 
the long catalogue of gold and silver ingots, 
and household furniture, all belonging to a 
comparatively modern and petty family, we 
cease to wonder that India drains Europe of 
her precious metals, and that a people who 
thus hoard up their capital unfruitfully, while 
their rulers squeeze from them their wealth 
only to be thus barbarously employed, make 
no progress. 

“ The spoil taken in 1857-58 by British 
armies, exclusive of the Kirwee prize, is esti¬ 
mated at fifty-seven lakhs of rupees. The 
widest estimate of the value of booty taken 
during the mutiny campaigns would not ex¬ 
ceed -two millions sterling. We are not 
extravagant when we say that much more 
than this has been restored to India by the 
British Government in the shape of kingly 
rewards for loyalty. What a contrast this 
offers to the conduct of our predecessors in 
the sovereignty of Hindustan!—a contrast, 
too, all the greater when we remember that 
our career has been indeed one of peace com¬ 
pared with their invasions, and that our task 
was that of putting down the rebellion of our 
subjects, not of meeting the justifiable opposi¬ 
tion of lawful enemies. Taking the three 
most terrible invaders of India—Sultan Mah¬ 
mud, Timur, and Nadir Shah—what do we 
find ? After the twelve expeditions of Sultan 
Mahmud into India, in each of which he 
carried off enormous booty, when he spoiled 
Somnath the historian tells us that even 
Asiatic annalists are tired of enumerating the 
mass of gold and jewels. He stripped the 
cities of India to make a paradise of Ghuzni, 
and there, when dying, he ordered his most 
costly treasures to be brought before him, and 









Chap. CXXXVIIL] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


33 


wept as he thought he was so soon to lose 
them all. Sadi tells the story of the Sultan’s 
reappearance after death to a certain dreamer, 
with his body reduced to a skeleton, but his 
eyes—those organs of covetousness—still 
glaring from their sockets. It was he who, 
when he heard of the wealth of a former dy¬ 
nasty, which had accumulated jewels enough 
to fill seven measures, said, “ Praise be to 
God, who has given me a hundred measures.” 
Well may Elphinstone term him the richest 
king that ever lived, and his riches were 
chiefly from India. What Mahmud did for 
Ghuzni, Timur, four centuries after, made 
Samarcand. His booty is described as “ spoils 
above measure.” Long files of elephants 
and camels carried off the wealth of Delhi 
through the Hindu Kush, and not a worker 
in stone, wood, brass, or marble was left, all 
being taken to erect the great mosque, whose 
gigantic ruins even yet tell us what it must 
have been when in its glory. But still greater 
than Timur’s was the spoil taken by Nadir 
Shah, not much more than a century ago, 
from the same doomed city. His boast was 
that he had exhausted every source of wealth 
in Hindustan. The lowest estimate of the 
mere money he took is nine millions sterling, 
and some English writers reckon it as high as 
thirty. The peacock throne alone is valued 
at two millions sterling. 

“ Against all this England has nothing of 
barbaric wealth to show but the solitary 
Kohinoor. Her wealth she finds in the 
developed resources of richest provinces and 
an annually increasing commerce—her spoil, 
in the civilisation of millions, and in the 
creation of Christian nations.” 

On November 1st, 1862, her Majesty’s 
effigy superseded the symbols of the old Com¬ 
pany’s sovereignty on the silver and copper 
coinage of British India, and on the same day 
the Money Order system in connection with 
the Civil Paymaster’s Office was introduced as 
an experimental measure. On November 10th 
of the same year a commercial treaty was 
signed at Mandalay between the King of 
Burmah and Colonel Phayre, Chief Commis¬ 
sioner of British Burmah, which formed a 
step towards opening up intercourse and 
trade between British Burmah and Burmah 
proper, and the states on the south-western 
frontier of China. Colonel Phayre was deco¬ 
rated on the occasion with the high Burmese 
order of the Golden Chain. A British consul 
was for the future to reside at Mandalay. 

Among the eminent men removed by death 
in 1862 was Sir John Inglis, who so gallantly 
sustained the defence of Lucknow after the 
death of Sir Henry Lawrence. For his ser¬ 
vices on that occasion he was made a Knight 

VOL. III. 


Commander of the Bath, and was subsequently 
appointed to the important command of her 
Majesty’s troops in the Ionian Islands, a post 
which he held at the time of his death, Sep¬ 
tember 27th, 1862. 

During 1863 the old Indian navy, that 
had done good service in its day, was finally 
abolished, the officers receiving liberal pen¬ 
sions. Another event of some significance 
was the elevation of Sunboo Nath Pandip to a 
seat on the Bench in the Court of Bengal, 
which showed to the natives of India that 
their British rulers were determined to ac¬ 
knowledge their claims to a fair share of 
official distinctions and employments. It is 
interesting to observe that this year the native 
chiefs of Rajputana subscribed T5,000 for the 
relief of the sufferers in the manufacturing 
districts of the north of England. Ten thou¬ 
sand rupees were presented by his Highness 
the Thakore of Bhownuggur, and the sum 
raised in Calcutta was T27,000. The most 
celebrated names in the obituary of the year 
are those of the gallant Sir James Outram 
and the brave old field-marshal Lord Clyde. 

Outram was born in 1803 at Butterley 
Hall, Derbyshire, the residence of his father, 
who was an eminent civil engineer. After 
being educated at Aberdeen, he commenced 
his career as an Indian cadet in 1819, and 
became lieutenant and adjutant of the 23rd 
Bombay Native Infantry. He took command 
of and disciplined the wild Bheels of Candeish, 
and led them successfully against the Daung 
tribes. From 1835 to 1838 he was occupied 
in re-establishing order in the Mahi Ivanta. 
He went into Afghanistan as aide-de-camp to 
Lord Keane, and his ride from Khelat through 
the dangers of the Bolan Pass has ever since 
been famed. He was afterwards in succession 
political agent at Gujarat and commissioner 
in Sind, resident at Sattara and Baroda, and 
resident and commissioner in Oude on its 
annexation by Lord Dalhousie. His subse¬ 
quent services in Persia and during the great 
mutiny do not require to be repeated. He 
returned to England in 1860, and honours 
were everywhere showered upon him. The 
winter of 1861-62 he spent in Egypt, for his 
health was gone, and after a short residence 
in the south of France he expired at Pau, 
March 11th, 1863. His remains were brought 
home, and were buried where so many of the 
mighty rest, in Westminster Abbey. “ Out- 
ram was truly and emphatically what Sir 
Richard Steele would have called ‘ a Christian 
hero.’ .... He was not only the bravest 
of the brave on the field of battle when risking 
his life for his Queen and country, but the 
meekest and kindest of human beings in the 
hour of peace, or by the domestic hearth. 





84 


HISTORY OF THE 

With the courage of the lion he had the 
gentleness of the larub. Though considerate 
and kind to others, he was severe upon 
himself, and was ever ready to sacrifice 
life and fortune to his high sense of honour. 
His word was indeed his bond—as good secu¬ 
rity for the fulfilment of a promise as human 
ingenuity could invent. When he was really 
in need of pecuniary assistance he returned 
his prize-money of £10,000 to Government 
after the conquest of Sind because he disap¬ 
proved of the policy pursued there.”* Not¬ 
withstanding his previous services, Sir James 
“ would have been comparatively little known 
in England except for his connection with the 
first relief and final reduction of Lucknow. 
So unjust is fortune. For if he had never 
become known by these great services, he 
would still have been well entitled to the 
regard and esteem of his country. Had the 
revolt never occurred, he was still the man 
whose courage, truth, generosity, and kindly 
nature justified the felicity of phrase in which, 
years before, Sir Charles Napier so well ex¬ 
pressed the thoughts of many men when he 
called Outram ‘ the Bayard of India.’ And 
so he was indeed—a knight without fear and 
without reproach, and with that higher chivalry 
which Bayard never knew—a deep feeling 
for classes not only'below the military and 
social orders to which he belonged, but those 
alien from his race and natural enemies to his 
faith. And chivalry higher still he had; for 
most covetous of honour as he was, and 
sickening with the last infirmity of noble 
minds as he was apt to be, he could resign 
the post of honour and ambition which was 
his right, leave Havelock to complete his 
task, and ride quietly in the advance of his 
column as the simple leader of a body of 
mounted volunteers. Sir James Outram re¬ 
presented the old Company’s officer, whose 
past, present, and future were represented by 
India. There are many survivors of the 
peculiar race to whom their friends ascribe so 
many virtues, and their foes so many faults. 
But to the last he stood forward in earnest 
advocacy of the service with which his whole 
life had been associated ; and it is his singular 
praise to have it said that he has left none 
envious of his fame amid those of longer 
service who survive him, for they all feel he 
was true to their cause, and never sought a 
ray of Imperial favour by the slightest con¬ 
cession of their rights.” t 

A few months later the remains of Outram’s 
late chief and companion in arms were borne 
to the same resting-place. Colin Campbell, 
the son of a cabinet-maker named Macliver, 
was born in Glasgow in 1792. He afterwards 
* Allen's Indian Mail. f Times. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYIII. 

assumed the name of Campbell to please an 
uncle on his mother’s side. He entered the 
army as an ensign in 1808, and fought with 
distinction through the war in the Spanish 
Peninsula. He served as captain in the 60th 
Rifles during the expedition to America in 
1814. He became colonel in 1842, and in 
that year served in China. In 1851-52, when 
brigadier-general commanding the Peshawar 
districts, he was constantly engaged in opera¬ 
tions against the hill tribes surrounding the 
valley, including the forcing of the Kohat Pass 
under Sir Charles Napier, and numerous other 
actions. He next commanded the 3rd divi¬ 
sion of the Punjab army, and for his conduct 
in the battle of Chillianwallah he received the 
highest praise from Lord Gough. Returning 
home, he commanded the Highland Brigade 
throughout the Crimean campaign of 1854-55, 
and took a prominent part in the battles of 
the Alma and Balaldava, for which he was 
created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of 
the Bath, and received the Cross of the French 
Legion of Honour. His services in reducing 
the Indian mutiny, for which Sir Colin was 
raised to the peerage as Lord Clyde, have 
already been related. Lord Clyde returned 
to England in 1860, and was made a field- 
marshal in 1862. He was colonel of the 
Coldstream Guards at the time of his death, 
which took place at Chatham, August 14th, 
1868. One of the chief characteristics of 
Lord Clyde’s generalship was the care he 
took of the lives of his men, all his victories 
being won with the minimum expenditure of 
the blood of his soldiers. 

During this year a decision was given in 
the case of Lord Clive’s Fund, which is thus 
referred to by the Times :—“ One of the least 
known, perhaps, of Sir Walter Scott’s novels 
is the ‘ Surgeon’s Daughter,’ though the 
story is told with characteristic power, and 
the scene laid in a country of peculiar interest. 
Many readers, however, will doubtless have a 
lively recollection of the tale, and to these we 
need offer very little explanation of the extra¬ 
ordinary case just brought by appeal to the 
House of Lords, and there decided. The 
novel turns on the devices employed for 
drawing ‘ Europeans ’ into the service of the 
East India Company, and the trial turned 
entirely on a provision made by the great 
Lord Clive for recruiting this service in a 
more eligible way. Whatever may be thought 
of India in the present day, and whatever 
might have been the visions opened by its 
name a hundred years ago, it is certain that 
in the days of Clive the service of the Com¬ 
pany was regarded with anything but predi¬ 
lection. The higher and more lucrative places 
were eagerly shared by a few privileged 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


35 


Chap. CXXXVHI.] 

families, and here and there a more humble 
adventurer would shake the ‘ pagoda-tree ’ to 
good purpose, and return home with fabulous 
wealth and exorbitant pretensions. But in 
the eyes of the public the service was a 
desperate one. India was then thought so 
far off, and was a country so little understood, 
and invested in popular imagination with 
such strange and fearful attributes, that few 
cared to go there except on some distinct and 
powerful attraction. Mere enlistment in the 
Company’s service was considered a far more 
desperate step than enlistment in the royal 
army, and recruiting was carried on upon a 
system which in Sir "Walter Scott’s pages 
appears little better than kidnapping. Even 
the officers felt themselves in a subordinate 
and but half-recognised profession, with only 
equivocal rank and disputed position to re¬ 
compense them for lifelong exile in a distant 
region and fatal climate. With these facts 
before his eyes, Lord Clive, who understood 
India and its affairs better than any other 
man, established in the year 1770 a certain 
fund for the support of officers and soldiers 
disabled in the Company’s service, and the 
widows of such as should lose their lives in 
it. His motive in thus acting he put dis¬ 
tinctly on record in the deed itself. He 
wished ‘ to induce fit persons to enter the 
service, and encourage the bravery of the 
soldiery employed therein ;’ and these results 
he thought to promote by the prospect of 
pensions. The method of proceeding takes 
us back to days and names which now seem 
almost mythological. Every student of Indian 
history will recollect a certain Meer Jaffier, 
«Subahdar,’ Governor, or ‘ Nabob,’ as he is 
styled in this deed, of the province of Bengal 
under the Great Mogul. This Meer Jaffier, 
after playing a prominent part in the scenes 
of those times, died at the beginning of the 
year 1765, having bequeathed to Lord Clive 
a very handsome legacy. The bequest re¬ 
presented the various contents of an Oriental 
treasury. It consisted of three lakhs of 
‘ rupees,’ one lakh in * gold mohurs,’ half a lakh 
in ‘jewels,’ and another half-lakh in ‘ money.’ 
These five lakhs, computed to be worth up¬ 
wards of £60,000 in British currency, Lord 
Clive paid into the Company’s Exchequer at 
Calcutta, and stipulated by indenture, between 
the Company and himself, that the Directors 
should appropriate the interest of the money 
to the purposes described above. But he did 
something more than this. Gazing into 
futurity, he foresaw the day when a Com¬ 
pany might no longer exist to be served either 
by soldiers of sailors, and the deed, therefore, 
included a condition that if ever the Company 
should cease to employ a military force and 


ships for carrying on their commerce, then 
the five lakhs of rupees, subject to the satis¬ 
faction of existing interests, should be re¬ 
turned to him or his representatives. It 
seems almost incredible that this contingency 
should now actually have come to pass, and 
•the fulfilment of the condition have been 
exacted, yet so it is. Sir John Walsh, the 
legal representative of Lord Clive, has sued 
her Majesty’s Secretary of State for India as 
representing the old East India Company, 
and did on Thursday last obtain a judgment 
for the recovery of the five lakhs of sicca rupees 
taken from the hoards of Meer Jaffier ninety- 
eight years ago. 

“ Two pleas were urged against the suit. 
The first was that the ‘ service ’ of the Com¬ 
pany, strictly speaking, expired in 1833, and 
that Sir John’s claim, therefore, which should 
have been prosecuted at that time, was now 
void by the Statute of Limitations. This 
argument, however, was overruled, and it 
was held that the contingency specified by 
Lord Clive did not occur in 1833, but in 
1858, at the transfer of India from the Com¬ 
pany to the Crown. The second plea was at 
first sight plausible, but not to be sustained 
upon close inquiry. It was urged that though 
the East India Company had expired, the 
Crown occupied its place, and that the officers 
and soldiers of her Majesty’s Indian forces 
were genuine representatives of that very class 
for whose benefit the provision was originally 
made. The trust, in short, had been trans¬ 
ferred with the transfer of everything else, 
and its execution had simply devolved on a 
new set of authorities. But is it true that at 
the present time any European troops in 
India do really occupy the exceptional posi¬ 
tion of those for whom Lord Clive designed 
to provide ? It is as clear as possible that 
his intention was to do something for the 
advantage and encouragement of a service to 
which the advantages of a royal service did 
not attach. He desired to provide some com¬ 
pensation for the disabilities under which the 
Company’s troops laboured, and to make up 
for the drawbacks which their peculiar posi¬ 
tion involved. He would no more have 
provided these funds for a royal army than 
he would have shared them with a royal 
regiment. When once the military forces 
employed in India formed part of the regular 
service of the kingdom, and stood on the same 
footing as other forces, the necessity for Lord 
Clive’s subvention ceased, and the time which 
he anticipated must be held to have arrived. 
The ‘ Company ’ has ceased to employ either 
soldiers or seamen, and though soldiers and 
seamen are still employed on Indian service, 
the employment is no longer that which Lord 



88 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXYIH. 


Clive contemplated, nor the service that for 
which he provided this private recompense 
and encouragement. Her Majesty’s Indian 
army requires no such compensation for pro¬ 
fessional disadvantages as was due to the 
‘ Europeans ’ in the pay of the Company a 
hundred years since. 

“The Lord Chancellor paid Lord Clive the 
compliment of supposing that the contingency 
which he had in view was exactly that which 
actually occurred—namely, the intervention 
of the Imperial Government, and its assump¬ 
tion of a dominion too great to be left to a 
company of merchants. Perhaps that was 
really the case; but, if so, Clive probably 
looked for an earlier return of his money. It 
is not unlikely that he thought the Company 
could not long occupy the position, to which 
he had raised it, whereas in reality it became 
infinitely more powerful than he. had ever 
known it before the time came for its extinc¬ 
tion. We may say, indeed, that the Com¬ 
pany’s troops had long ceased to be in much 
need of Lord Clive’s benefaction before the 
old ‘ service ’ was exchanged for that of the 
Crown. The curious part of the case is that 
the condition of revocation, after being so long 
unfulfilled, should have come into operation 
at last at a time when the annals of a most 
eventful century separate us from the days 
described. The year 1770 is no very remote 
period ; and yet, if the interval is measured 
by the events which it brought to pass, the 
date seems of extraordinary antiquity. In 
reality the termination of this trust is no 
more than the termination of a ninety-nine 
years’ lease, but it was a trust established 
by the founder of our Indian Empire for 
purposes incidental to the weakness of its 
infancy, and it is now brought to an end 
by the establishment of that empire on the 
foundation of assured and undisputed do¬ 
minion.” 

Amongst the events of 1863 we cannot well 
omit to notice the famous court-martial upon 
Colonel Crawley, which occupied a consider¬ 
able amount of attention both in India and at 
home. We must not, however, load our 
pages with the details of this affair, which 
were in no way creditable to any of the par¬ 
ties concerned. The following extract from 
Allen's Indian Mail retrospect may be taken 
as a sufficient record of the matter:—“ One 
of the noisiest events connected with the his¬ 
tory of India at the commencement of the 
year 1864 was the court-martial at Aldershot 
upon Lieutenant-colonel Crawley, of the 6th 
(Iuniskilling) Dragoons. He was fully and 
honourably acquitted of the charges brought 
against him. The court-martial at Aldershot 
was forced upon the authorities at home in 


consequence of the general feeling throughout 
India that Colonel Crawley had been guilty of 
extreme inhumanity towards Sergeant-major 
Lilley, who died under close arrest, and of 
outraging the feelings of the officers under his. 
command by unbearable rudeness and un¬ 
necessary severity. This famous court-martial 
excited extraordinary interest, not only on ac¬ 
count of Colonel Crawley and his officers per¬ 
sonally, and the important question of whether 
a non-commissioned officer or private could 
be placed entirely at the mercy of his com¬ 
manding officer without any chance of redress 
for the most vindictive injuries, but because 
the reputation for judgment and good.conduct 
of the very highest military authorities both 
in India and at home was more or less in¬ 
volved in the manner in which the Crawley 
case had been managed at Mhow. It was 
thought by some that Sir Hugh Rose and Sir 
William Mansfield, and even his Royal High¬ 
ness the Duke of Cambridge, had all. acted 
inconsistently and indiscreetly in relation to 
the various circumstances connected with 
the case. The decision, however, of the 
court - martial at Aldershot brought the 
whole question to an end, and relieved the 
authorities from a rather awkward posi¬ 
tion.” 

Towards the close of 1863 war broke out 
with the Eusufzaies, or hill-tribes on the Upper 
Indus. Of these mountaineers the Friend of 
India gives the following description “ The 
Eusufzaies, using that term generally, number 
about thirty thousand fighting men. They 
are, perhaps, the most daring of all the fron¬ 
tier tribes, and when nominally the subjects 
of Runjeet Singh they used to boast that they 
never paid tribute to the Sikhs. Their home 
is the upper portion of the Peshawar valley, 
where it borders on the Swat Hills. The 
people called Swatees have become so mixed 
up with them as to lose their specific designa¬ 
tion, and it is to be feared that we are fairly 
at war with the whole of these thirty thousand 
mountain warriors. To mad courage they add 
the sternest Moslem fanaticism, the ruler of the 
Swatees being a priest' called Akhoond, who 
has now declared against us. They are fight¬ 
ing not only for the inviolability of their coun¬ 
try and the lawfulness of rapine within our 
border, but for the faith of which they have 
been the depositors since the Bareilly Syud, 
a descendant of Ali, the cousin or nephew 
of Mohammed, led them against the infidel 
Sikhs fdrty years ago. On the right bank of 
the Indus rises the hill called Mahabun, and 
near its base, at the village of Sitana, the 
Syud’s followers found a welcome. There, in 
1857, they were joined by the miserable 
senoys who escaped the vigilance of the Pun- 








IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


37 


Chap. CXXXVI1L] 

jab authorities, and ever since they have so 
annoyed us that the frontier has generally 
been blockaded. As soon as the land had 
rest, in April, 1858, Sir Sidney Cotton, ac¬ 
companied by Colonel Edwardes, led against 
them a force not much less than that which 
is now in their country. With great ease 
this little army burned down the villages of 
Punjtar, whose chief had roused the fanatics 
against us, ascended Mount Mahabun, where 
English foot had never before rested, de¬ 
stroyed its fort, and completed their work hy 
razing to the ground the Sitana villages, 
slaying several of the fanatics, and making 
their country over to two friendly tribes. 
The Hindustanis, balked in their attempt to 
establish a Mohammedan empire, of which the 
Peshawar valley should be the centre, sought 
an asylum at Mulka, but the Judoon and 
Oothmanzaie clans forgot their engagements, 
and invited the fanatics to return to Sitana 
next year, when they began their old work of 
kidnapping Hindu traders and killing Sikh 
peasants. These were days when the flash 
of an English bayonet was thought to be 
synonymous with annexation, and so we have 
gone on since 1860 content with an ineffectual 
blockade, and fanning by our policy of weak¬ 
ness the little spark of a few hundred fanatics 
into a war with thirty thousand desperate 
highlanders. We are at war, not merely as was 
at first supposed, with the descendants of the 
Bareilly Syud, their sepoy proteges, and Ju¬ 
doon and Oothmanzie defenders, but with the 
Bonair clan, the Akhoond of Sw T at, who real¬ 
ises the novelist’ sidea of the Old Man of the 
Mountain in crusading days, and, in fact, with 
the whole Eusufzaie people.” An expedition 
under Sir Neville Chamberlain was dispatched 
against these tribes, who were found to have 
strengthened the Umbeyla Pass. Notwith¬ 
standing the difficulties presented by the pass, 
which is eight miles long, and so narrow that 
in some places only one man or beast could 
make way, it was taken possession of on 
October 21st without much opposition ; but 
two days after Probyn’s Horse and the 20th 
Regiment, patrolling about sixteen miles out 
from the Chumba Valley, were attacked by 
the Bonairs, a tribe hitherto supposed to be 
friendly. The latter were charged, cut up, 
and dispersed, but they mustered again at 
night, and fired at random into the camp. For 
several weeks repeated encounters took place 
with the enemy until November 20th, when 
the mountaineers attacked our troops with 
such gallantry and resolution and partial suc¬ 
cess that two officers and twenty-five men 
were lost. Up to this date the loss to the 
British amounted to no less than six hundred 
and fifty-nine killed and ■wounded. The loss 


of the enemy was, however, very much more 
serious. From this date until the middle of 
December there was no more fighting. About 
December 10th the Bonair chiefs intimated to 
Major James, the commissioner, their desire 
to come to terms, and professed that they 
would not molest the British troops on their 
march to Mulka, the stronghold of the Hin¬ 
dustani fanatics on Mahabun. But on their 
return to their own camp they came again 
under the influence of the Akhoond of Swat, 
and were persuaded to renounce their engage¬ 
ments, and soon afterwards collected in large 
numbers in front of our force, and made 
threatening manifestations. 

On the 15th Lallu, about five miles from 
the camp at Umbeyla, was attacked by our 
troops, and the enemy were gallantly driven 
from all their positions with a loss of three 
hundred. Next day the village of Umbeyla 
was taken possession of, and in a hand-to-hand 
fight with the enemy, two hundred more of 
them, chiefly Hindustanis, were slain. After 
this defeat the Bonairs surrendered uncon¬ 
ditionally, and gave up their chiefs as hos¬ 
tages, under an engagement to assist the 
British with two thousand men in the ex¬ 
pulsion of the Hindustanis. A force under 
Colonel Taylor then marched to Mulka, the 
stronghold of the fanatics, and completely 
destroyed it. The destruction of this place 
put an end to the war, and the fanatics of 
the hills remained quiet for a time. As a 
specimen of the cool pluck exhibited by some 
of these hill frontier fanatics, it is related that 
on one occasion, when our men were in line 
with fixed bayonets and loaded barrels, one 
of the priestly leaders presented himself within 
thirty yards, and actually went through cer¬ 
tain religious ceremonies in cool defiance of 
the well-prepared foe before him. A number 
of his followers did full justice to the example 
he set them, and, after this performance, 
turned towards our men, and slowly retired 
with waved swords and signs of mockery and 
defiance. 

By far the most important, most inter¬ 
esting, and most memorable event in India of 
1863 was the opening of the works on the 
Bhore Ghaut Incline. “ This gigantic and 
noble undertaking by the Great Indian Penin¬ 
sula Railway Company was commenced in 
January, 1852, and completed in March, 
1863, at the cost of £1,100,000 sterling, or 
one crore and ten lakhs of rupees. It was 
formally opened, with appropriate ceremonies, 
by his Excellency Sir Bartle Frere, Governor 
of Bombay. This grand scientific conquest, 
far nobler and more impressive than the 
bloodiest military victory, furnishes one more 
substantial and complete reply to the com- 



38 


HISTORY OF THE 

plaint of Burke, uttered some fourscore years 
ago, and so often echoed by others almost to 
the present day, to the effect that the English 
in India had erected ‘ no stately monuments, 
no hospitals, no palaces, no schools, built no 
bridges, made no reservoirs, and that, were 
we suddenly driven out of India, nothing 
would remain to tell that it had been pos¬ 
sessed, during the inglorious period of our 
dominion, by anything better than the orang¬ 
outang or the tiger.’ Our sportsmen in India 
have left but few hyaenas, or leopards, or 
lions, or tigers to tell a tale against us ; while 
the Anglo-Indian Government and many en¬ 
terprising private companies and independent 
British settlers of all sorts have cleared vast 
jungles, and have cultivated and variegated, 
adorned and enriched, the country from Cape 
Comorin to the Himalaya Mountains with 
profitable and beautiful plantations, and roads, 
and railways, and electric telegraphs, and 
bridges, and aqueducts, and canals, and. har¬ 
bours, and tanks, and palaces, and hospitals, 
and colleges, aud schools, and Christian 
temples. The Ganges Canal, 525 miles in 
length (nearly equal to the aggregate length of 
the four greatest navigable canals in France), 
and this Bhore Ghaut Incline, would alone be 
sufficient to disprove the sneering remark of 
men rather less eloquent than Burke, that, 
if we were compelled to resign our Eastern 
possessions, we should leave nothing behind 
us but empty beer bottles. The Bhore Ghaut 
Incline is a work of which any country might 
be proud. The length of the Incline, from 
the base to the summit, is upwards of 15 
miles. The level of its base is 196 feet above 
the sea, and of its summit 2,027 feet, so that 
the total elevation surmounted by this Incline 
is 1,831 feet, the average gradient, being 1 in 
48, and the steepest gradient 1 in 37 for 1 
mile and 38J chains. Sir Bartle Frere, in his 
reply to the address from the Great Indian 
Peninsula Railway Company, said very strik¬ 
ingly, ‘Were I to tell you that the bulk of 
so many pyramids was contained in the earth¬ 
work and masonry of the embankments, that 
it would take so many times all the bridges of 
London to equal the viaducts—or were I.to 
compare the bulk of the stone quarried with 
the breakwaters of Plymouth or Portland—I 
could give you but an imperfect idea compared 
with that which we have all derived from 
traversing the Incline this day. Nor could 
any description give to the uninitiated a notion 
of the difficulties you have had to overcome. 
Military men, who know what it is to organize 
and feed an army of 10,000 men, may have 
some knowledge of the difficulties of organiz¬ 
ing, feeding, and working a multitude of 
labourers, averaging for years together 25,000, 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXVIII. 

and rising to the enormous number of 42,000; 
but most of us must be content with the im¬ 
pression we have this day received, and it is, 
I am sure, an impression which can never be 
effaced, of that which may, I believe, without 
exaggeration, be described as the greatest 
work of the kind in the whole world.’ 
Such magnificent and truly useful works as 
these, connecting so conveniently the-capital 
of India, cannot but add materially to the 
strength and security -of the Government, 
enlarge our commerce, develop the vast re¬ 
sources of India, preserve public peace and 
order, advance the prosperity of the people, 
and increase to an almost indefinite extent 
the value of our Oriental possessions.”'" 

By the close of Lord Elgin’s too brief 
administration, India was in a condition of 
prosperity such as it had never before enjoyed. 
The revenue was flourishing, and deficits were 
no longer known, and the commerce of India, 
which twenty years before did not exceed 
fifteen millions sterling, amounted to one 
hundred millions. 

The Hon. Sir C. E. Trevelyan, K.C.B., 
who succeeded Mr. Laing as Indian Finance 
Minister, made his financial statement on the 
last day of April, 1863. Mr. Laing estimated 
that there would be a surplus in the year 
1861-62 of £239,896. The Secretary of 
State was of opinion that two sums had been 
improperly omitted from the charge side of the 
account, by the insertion of which the surplus 
was converted into a deficit of £595,513. 
The actual result was that there was a deficit 
of £150,628 only, which it was hoped would 
be the last of the long series of Indian 
deficits. 

The financial year 1862-63 opened a new 
era. Mr. Laing estimated that there would 
be a surplus at the end of the year of 
£179,814. The Secretary of State again 
objected that certain omissions and deduc¬ 
tions had been made, by the correction of 
which this estimated surplus was converted 
into a deficit of £284,086. The result, how¬ 
ever, was that, after providing for the whole 
of the expenditure, there was a clear sur¬ 
plus on the year 1862-63, terminating on 
April 30th, of £697,168, according to the 
regular estimate, which was afterwards in¬ 
creased by reductions in the home charges 
and guaranteed interest to £936,925. The 
gross revenue of India for 1862-63 amounted 
to £45,105,700, and the gross expenditure 
added to the net expenditure in England, 
including railways, to £44,168,775, leaving 
the surplus just mentioned. That there was 
reason to expect a sustained progress in the 
receipts will . be seen from the following 
> * Allen's Indian Mail. 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


89 


Chap. CXXXVIIL] 


statement of the annual revenue since the 
mutiny:— 


1858- 59 .... 

1859- 60 .... 

1860- 61 .... 

1861-62 .... 
Regular estimate for 1862-63 


. £36,060,788 
. 39,705,822 

. 42,303,234 

. 43,829,472 

. 45,105,700 


These figures show— 

1st. That the increase in 1862-63 over 
1858-59 is £9,044,912. 

2nd. That the average revenue of the last 
three years exceeds that of the first three 
years by £4,389,520, 

3rd. That the aggregate increase in four 
years upon the income of 1858-59 is 
£27,301,076; and 

4th. That there has been an average 
annual increase in each succeeding year of 
£2,730,107. 

The total expenditure which had to be pro¬ 
vided for 1863-64 was £44,490,425, and, as 
the total estimated revenue was £45,306,200, 
the estimated surplus was £815,775. 

“ The Secretary of State,” said Sir Charles, 
“ being strongly impressed with the public 
importance, in the present state of India, of 
expediting the construction of reproductive 
public works, and especially of roads sub¬ 
sidiary to the new railways, or opening direct 
communication with the coast, authorised, 
by a dispatch dated August 30th last, the 
appropriation- for this purpose of any sum 
that might be required out of the cash 
balances not exceeding £3,000,000 sterling. 
The resources of Indian finance have proved 
greater than they were at that time expected 
to be, and we have been able to make, out of 
the revenue of the year, ample provision for 
all the public works of every kind that can be 
carried on within the year, leaving a clear 
surplus, after doing this, of upwards of 
£800,000. It is a matter of congratulation 
that the Secretary of State’s object has been 
accomplished without the necessity of depart¬ 
ing from the good old rule of English finance, 
that the whole of the expenditure of the year 
should be provided for out of ways and means 
raised within the year, leaving a surplus of 
income besides to meet contingencies. To 
use Lord Elgin’s words, the exhibition of a 


surplus, ‘ tangible, palpable, and incontro¬ 
vertible,’ at the present turning-point of 
Indian finance, is a matter of much public 
moment, and, if we had drawn upon our cash 
balances for any portion of our current expen¬ 
diture, some doubt might still have remained 
on this point. The Secretary of State has 
since directed six millions sterling to be re¬ 
mitted to England from the cash balances for 
the payment of debt. The matter has thus 
been replaced on its right footing. Our avail¬ 
able capital is to be employed in extinguishing 
permanent charges upon revenue, and every 
demand of the year is to be met, as hereto¬ 
fore, from the surplus of income over expen¬ 
diture.” The surplus was reduced to £480,775, 
by the reduction of the income-tax from four 
to three per cent., of the import duty on iron 
from ten to one per cent., the duty on beer, 
“the most, wholesome of stimulants and the 
best suited to the climate,” from two annas, 
or threepence per gallon, to one anna, and 
by the substitution for the duties on different 
kinds of wine a uniform duty on every kind 
of one rupee per gallon, equivalent to an ad 
valorem duty of about thirteen per cent. 

At the same time a great boon was given 
to many millions of poor Hindus by the 
abolition of the grievous salt monopoly, which 
was established by Lord Clive, in 1765, for 
the purpose of substituting sufficient salaries 
for the presents and other irregular gains 
which had up to that time been received by 
the servants of the Company. A select com¬ 
mittee of the House of Commons in 1836 
recommended that the import trade of salt 
should be thrown open, and that the Govern¬ 
ment should confine itself to a monopoly of 
the local manufacture, and should sell its 
salt at the cost price, with the addition of a 
modified fixed duty, which was to be equally 
charged upon Government and upon private 
salt. This plan was adopted, and the Govern¬ 
ment soon after permitted salt to be made, 
subject to an equivalent excise duty. Since 
then there had been a constant struggle be¬ 
tween the Government manufacture and the 
private trade, and the Government now en¬ 
tirely and finally abandoned the salt manu¬ 
facture. 





40 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 


CHAPTER CXXXIX. 

SIR JOHN LAWRENCE’S VICEROYALTY. 


During the brief interval that elapsed between 
the death of Lord Elgin and the arrival of his 
successor the duties of Governor-General were 
performed by Sir William Denison, Governor 
of Madras, who reached Calcutta in time to 
arrest the proceedings of the Council, who 
were on the point of ordering the retreat of 
the force from the Umbeyla Pass, and to order 
Sir Hugh Rose to reinforce Chamberlain’s 
successor, with the happy results already nar¬ 
rated. 

Sir John Lawrence, who assumed the 
government of India in January, 1864, was 
the first Bengal civilian who had been ap¬ 
pointed to the office of Governor-General of 
India since the time of Sir John Shore, who 
held the position from 1793 to 1798. Sir 
John Lawrence, a younger son of Lieutenant- 
colonel Alexander Lawrence, who served in 
the Mysore campaign and at the capture of 
Seringapatam, was born at Richmond, in York¬ 
shire, in 1811, and in 1827 obtained a pre¬ 
sentation to Haileybury, where he carried off 
the chief prizes. Llis first years in the Indian 
Civil Service were spent in Delhi and its 
neighbourhood, and on the annexation of the 
Punjab he was appointed Commissioner, and 
afterwards Lieutenant-Governor. During the 
great mutiny he rendered such services as 
gained for him the title of “the saviour of 
India,” and on his return to England he re¬ 
ceived the thanks of Parliament, the order of 
G.C.B., and a pension of £1,000 a year. In 
1858 he was made a baronet, and appointed a 
member of the Council of India. In 1859 he 
became a privy-councillor, and in 1861 a 
Knight of the Star of India. 

After spending the summer months at 
Simla, Sir John, on his way to Calcutta, held a 
grand durbar at Lahor, which had a most 
potent political influence, and greatly strength¬ 
ened the prestige of the British Government 
in India. About six hundred chiefs and 
rajahs were in attendance, amongst whom 
were the Maharajahs of Cashmere, Patiala, 
and Kapurthala, the last of whom was in¬ 
vested with the insignia of the Star of India. 
The Maharajah of Cashmere presented a 
nuzzer of five gold mohurs, and received a 
princely present in return from the hands of 
his Excellency. Many other princes and 
chieftains presented nuzzers of five gold 
mohurs, and received khilluts of considerable 
value. The Maharajah of Patiala received 
a khillut valued at Rs.17,000. Nineteen 
khilluts in all were conferred upon distin¬ 


guished rajahs and chieftains. The Viceroy 
addressed the assembled princes and chiefs in 
Hindustani as follows :— 

“ Maharajahs, Rajahs, and Chiefs, Listen 
to my words. I have come among you after 
an absence of nearly six years, and thank 
you for the kindly welcome you have given 
me. It is with pleasure that I meet so many 
of my old friends, while I mourn the -loss of 
those who have passed away. 

“ Princes and Chiefs,—It is with great 
satisfaction that I find nearly six hundred of 
you assembled around me in this durbar. I 
see before me the faces of many friends. I 
recognise the sons of my old allies, the Ma¬ 
harajahs of Cashmere and Patiala; the Sikh 
Chiefs of Malwah and the Manjha; the Raj¬ 
put Chief of the Hills ; the Mahomedan Mul- 
licks of Peshawar and Kohat ; the Sirdars of 
the Deraj at, of Hazara, and Delhi. All have 
gathered together to do honour to their old 
ruler. 

“ My Friends,—Let me tell you of the great 
interest which the illustrious Queen of Eng¬ 
land takes in all matters connected with the 
welfare and comfort and contentment of the 
people of India. Let me inform you, when I 
returned to my native country, and had the 
honour of standing in the presence of her 
Majesty, how kindly she asked after the wel¬ 
fare of her subjects in the East. Let me tell 
you, when that great Queen appointed me her 
Viceroy in India, how warmly she enjoined on 
me the duty of caring for your interests. 
Prince Albert, the consort of her Majesty, the 
fame of whose greatness and goodness has 
spread through the whole world, was well 
acquainted with all connected with this coun¬ 
try, and always evinced an earnest desire to 
see its people happy and flourishing. 

“My Friends,—It is now more than eighteen 
years since I first saw Lahor. For thirteen 
years I lived in the Punjab. For many years 
my brother, Sir Henry Lawrence, and I 
governed this vast country. You all knew 
him well, and his memory will ever dwell in 
your hearts as a ruler who was a real friend 
of its people. I may truly say that from the 
day we exercised authority in the land we 
spared neither our time, nor our labour, nor 
our health in endeavouring to accomplish the 
work which we had undertaken. We studied 
to make ourselves acquainted with the usages, 
the feelings, and the wants of every class and 
race, and we endeavoured to improve the con¬ 
dition of all. There are few parts of this 






IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


41 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

province Avhich I have not visited, and which 
I hope that I did not leave in some degree 
the better for my visit. Since British rule 
was introduced taxation of all kinds has been 
lightened, canals and roads have been con¬ 
structed, and schools of learning have been 
established. From the highest to the lowest 
the people have become contented, and have 
proved loyal. When the great military revolt 
of 1857 occurred they aided their rulers most 
effectually in putting it down. The chiefs 
mustered their contingents, which served 
faithfully, and thousands of Punjabi soldiers 
flocked to our standards, and shared with the 
British troops the glories as well as the hard¬ 
ships of that great struggle. 

“ Princes and Gentlemen,-—If it be wise 
for the rulers of a country to understand the 
language and appreciate the feelings of its 
people, it is as important that they should 
have a similar knowledge of their rulers. It 
is only by such means that the two classes 
can live happily together. To this end I 
urge you to instruct your sons, and even your 
daughters. 

“ Among the solid advantages which you 
have gained from English rule I will now only 
advert to one more. It has given the country 
many excellent administrators. Some of the 
ablest and kindest of my countrymen have 
been employed in the Punjab. Every man, 
from the highest to the lowest, can appreciate 
a good ruler. You have such men as Sir 
Robert Montgomery, Mr. Donald M'Leod, Mr. 
Roberts, Sir Herbert Edwardes, Colonel Lake, 
and Colonel John Becher—officers who have 
devoted themselves to your service. 

“ I will now only add that I pray the Great 
God, who is the God of all the races and all 
the peoples of this world, that He may guard 
and protect you, and teach you all to love 
justice and hate oppression, and enable you, 
each in his several way, to do all the good in 
his power. May He give you all that is for 
your real benefit! So long as I live I shall 
never forget the years that I passed in the 
Punjab, and the friends that I have acquired 
throughout this province.” 

In November, 1864, the Viceroy was re¬ 
luctantly compelled to declare war against the 
rulers of Bhotau, in consequence of the utter 
failure of a pacific mission sent to that court 
towards the close of 1863, and the insults 
heaped upon the envoy, the Hon. Ashley 
Eden, whose objects were to negotiate for the 
liberation of British subjects who had been 
kidnapped by the Bhotias, and the restora¬ 
tion of stolen property, and to arrange mea¬ 
sures for the future security of the frontier. 
The independent [territory of Bhotan is 
situate on the north-eastern frontier of Bengal, 

VOL. HI. 


among the mountains which form the southern 
slope of the Himalayas. Between the hills 
which traverse the state from east to west 
and the British frontier the country is divided 
by mountain torrents into a number of strips 
called clooars, from the passes through which 
these torrents rush down, and which in the 
dry season become the roads to Upper Bhotan. 
Eleven of these dooars are on the frontier of 
Bengal, and seven on that of Assam. The 
capitals of the country are Tassisudan and 
Punakka. The state is divided into three 
provinces, each under a pillo, or lieutenant- 
governor, and these again are subdivided into 
districts under soubahs, or commissioners. 
The nominal head of the country is called 
the Dherma, or Dhurm Rajah, who is looked 
upon rather as a god than a sovereign, while 
the actual head is the Deb Rajah, whose pro¬ 
ceedings are controlled by a council of eight. 
The religion is a form of Buddhism. “ What 
with soubahs,” says the Friend of India, 
“ who care little for the pillos—pillos who 
quarrel with each other and scorn the Deb 
Rajah, a Dhurm Rajah, who is a more boy kept 
as a state prisoner, and Lhassa priests, who 
constitute half the population and help the 
civil rulers to grind the rest to the dust, 
Bhotan may be pronounced the most ill- 
governed country in the East, not excepting 
the independent Malay states of the Archi¬ 
pelago. To increase the scantiness of the 
population, thinned by misrule, polyandry 
prevails; while chastity is as unknown as 
cleanliness of life, the Bhotia, and all the 
more if he is a priest, considering clean water 
his greatest enemy. Cowardice, treachery, 
falsehood, ignorance, and petty insolence are 
declared by all who have visited the country 
to be the prevailing characteristics of its 
people, and the priests are the worst of all. 
The only beings who work are the women. 
Over them the labourers tyrannize, over them 
those whom we should in Japan term the 
retainers of the Daimios, or governing class, 
and over the whole the priests and rulers. 
The lower a man is, the more cheerful and 
honest he seems to be, for the best safeguard 
in Bhotan is poverty. Living in a country 
which for a breadth of a hundred and twenty 
miles is one succession of snowy hills and 
malarious valleys rising from a thousand to 
twenty-five thousand feet high, the religion of 
the people consists of a belief in hosts of 
spirits, to which they offer flowers and rags, 
with incantations loudly uttered as they pass 
the haunted spots, and in counting Buddhist 
beads while they utter the everlasting mystery, 

1 Oom mainee paimee oom.’ They live on the 
lowest kinds of grain, and a favoured few 
use the flavourless brick tea of Western 

Gr 



42 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


China. Their drink is ‘ chong,’ a sort of bad 
gin made from rice, which they gulp down in 
enormous quantities from large horns.” Of 
the difficulties Mr. Eden had to encounter on 
his way to the capital of Bhotan an idea may 
be gained from the following extract from 
a letter written by a member of the mission :— 
“ We have not yet arrived at Punakka, and 
have had great trouble and many difficulties 
to overcome, and I, for one, wish I was hack 
in the civilised world again. Two or three of 
our marches were unusually full of hardships ; 
the first one was going over a pass 13,000 
feet high, and the snow on the ground two 
feet deep. We had to encamp one night on 
this ; luckily the weather remained fine. The 
very day : after we crossed snow began to fall, 
and continued incessantly for four days. Cap¬ 
tain Austen remained behind us in the pass 
one day, in hopes of having a clear view to 
enable him to put in some details in his map. 
On coming down the following day, he had to 
force his way through snow three feet deep, 
and two of his coolies died from exhaustion 
and cold. They sat down on the snow, and 
no exertion could induce them to move. They 
remained, and died. We were detained nearly 
a week in a place called Ha, the thermometer 
at night 11°, and snow two feet and a half 
deep around our wretched tents. At last 
it was determined to push on, and cross the 
pass which divides Ha from Paro. Two of 
us, with twenty coolies, formed the advance 
guard, clearing the way for the coolies laden 
with our baggage, who followed. We started 
at eight a.m., and reached the top of the pass, 
about 13,500 feet high, about four p.m., after 
terrible fatigue, the snow being never less 
than knee-deep, and we frequently sank to 
the waist. When we began to descend, how¬ 
ever, much to our disappointment, our real 
trouble began. We crawled along at the rate 
of half a mile an hour; our coolies had had 
no food all day, ourselves only a scanty break¬ 
fast before we started. As the sun began to 
sink, so did the temperature; the snow on 
the drifts increased, and was never less than 
three feet. We were warned that to stop 
there was certain death, so we forced our¬ 
selves on, twenty in advance—forced our 
bodies through the snow, though we were so 
exhausted with fatigue and want of food. We 
took the work by turns, and so laboured all 
night. I never knew such a night of fatigue 
and anxiety in my life ; in fact, I never even 
imagined it. The lives of two hundred men 
being in the balance, the whole four of us 
had to work like coolies. I had myself to 
carry a coolie for some distance on my back 
to save his life, and again a load to relieve 
another. We were hoarse and speechless at 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 

last with shouting and encouraging the poor 
coolies. We—I mean the four European 
gentlemen—stood it out wonderfully. We 
did not reach the village at the foot of the 
pass till one a.m., and, thanks to Providence, 
all the coolies safe, though some were badly 
frost-bitten. It was, after all, extremely for¬ 
tunate we crossed when w 7 e did, as the 
Bhotias had sent men to stop us. This 
they were always trying, and the soubahs, 
as a rule, have always refused assistance. 
Nevertheless, in the face of all obstacles, we 
have now reached Paro, and we start to¬ 
morrow on our march to the capital, three 
marches more. We have had a most difficult 
journey, and the absence of all assistance from 
the people of the country added to our hard¬ 
ships. We all wish it over, but our chief is 
sanguine that all will be satisfactorily arranged. 
The people of this country are profoundly 
suspicious, but the soubahs we have met have 
admitted their belief in the good intentions of 
our Government. We think that when Mr. 
Eden appears in the durbar, and explains mat¬ 
ters personally, all difficulties will be smoothed 
over.” 

After having been delayed sixteen days at 
Paro, waiting for an answer from the capital, 
although it is only one day’s journey between 
the two places, and no answer arriving, Mr. 
Eden resolved on marching without further 
reference to the authorities, and at length 
arrived at Punakka. The following is a state¬ 
ment by Dr. Simpson, the medical officer of the 
mission, of what took place at the durbar :— 

“ The durbar at first agreed to the principal 
clauses of the treaty originally submitted by 
Mr. Eden, and sent a message to him through 
Cheboo Lama to that effect, and requesting 
him, at the same time, to use dispatch in 
having it copied out, as the season was ad¬ 
vancing. 

“ On our visit to the durbar for the purpose 
of having this treaty signed, indignities of 
various kinds were heaped upon us, and the 
Tongso Penlo insisted that a clause should be 
inserted restoring the Assam dooars to him, 
although it had been previously agreed upon 
that this question was not to be discussed, as 
Mr. Eden had no authority to do so. Upon 
the positive refusal of the latter to treat upon 
this subject, we were summarily dismissed. 

“ Shortly after this a draft treaty (nearly the 
same as that subsequently signed by the 
envoy) was sent by the Tongso Penlo, accom¬ 
panied by a threat that if it were not signed 
in its integrity, both Cheboo Lama and Mr. 
Eden would be imprisoned and otherwise ill- 
treated. 

“ Threats were also made of seizing num¬ 
bers of our coolies and several of our Sikh 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


43 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

guard, on the pretence of their being runaway 
subjects of Bhotan. All thes% threats, we 
had good reason to know, they were prepared 
to put into execution. 

“ For a time Mr. Eden positively refused 
to sign, distinctly telling them that he had 
not power to do so, and that he felt quite sure 
the Government of India would never ratify 
such a document, even if it bore his signature. 

“ Had the envoy still refused to sign, the 
life of Cheboo Lama, the dewan of Sikhim, 
an independent state, would certainly have 
been sacrificed, as the Bhotias firmly be¬ 
lieved he had incited us to enter their territory, 
whereas in reality he accompanied us at the 
solicitation of the Indian Government. 

“ Arguments were, however, of no avail; 
and at last Mr. Eden, with the fullest con¬ 
currence of every member of the mission, 
consented to the course subsequently followed. 
Captains Austen and Lance and myself of our 
own accord drew up and signed a document 
expressing our views on the subject, and fully 
agreeing with Mr. Eden that, considering all 
the circumstances of the case, the people 
with whom he had to deal, and that the 
liberty, if not the lives, of the mission and its 
followers hung in the balance, the only sen¬ 
sible course to pursue would be to yield to 
their ridiculous demands, and so avoid placing 
the Government in a situation of extreme 
embarrassment. 

“ On the occasion of signing the treaty, Mr. 
Eden again, in presence of the whole Council, 
and in the presence of every member of the 
mission, declared that he signed the treaty 
under compulsion; that he had no power to 
grant them what they insisted on ; and that 
he felt perfectly sure the Government of India 
would not ratify such a treaty. Tongso Penlo 
at the same time warned Cheboo Lama to 
interpret exactly Mr. Eden’s words, as he had 
people amongst his followers who understood 
Hindustani, and that if he did not render 
exactly the meaning of what was said, he 
would be immediately detected and made to 
suffer for it. 

“ The sole reason for adding the words 
‘ under compulsion ’ was a fear on our part 
that they would at once dispatch messengers 
to collect the Assam revenue, producing the 
treaty as their authority, and that it might be 
paid before intelligence of the treatment we 
had received could reach the Government. 
We had no other means of communication at 
our disposal, as the several soubahs had been 
forbidden to forward any letters, either to or 
from us, on pain of death in case of disobe¬ 
dience.” 

The history of our previous intercourse 
with Bhotan is succinctly given in the Vice¬ 


roy’s proclamation. The treaty of 1774 re¬ 
ferred to in its text has already been men¬ 
tioned, vol. ii. pp. 344, 345. 

“Fort William, November 12th, 1864. 

“ For many years past outrages have been 
committed by subjects of the Bhotan Go¬ 
vernment within British territory, and in the 
territories of the Rajahs of Sikhim and Kuch 
Bihar. In these outrages property has been 
plundered and destroyed, lives have been 
taken, and many innocent persons have been 
carried into and are still held in captivity. 

“ The British Government, ever sincerely 
desirous of maintaining friendly relations with 
neighbouring states, and especially mindful of 
the obligations imposed on it by the treaty of 
1774, has endeavoured from time to time by 
conciliatory remonstrance to induce the Go¬ 
vernment of Bhotan to punish the perpe¬ 
trators of these crimes, to restore the plun¬ 
dered property, and to liberate the captives. 
But such remonstrances have never been suc¬ 
cessful, and, even when followed by serious 
warning, have failed to produce any satisfac¬ 
tory result. The British Government has 
been frequently deceived by vague assurances 
and promises for the future, but no property 
has ever been restored, no captive liberated, 
no offender punished, and the outrages have 
continued. 

“ In 1863 the Government of India, being 
averse to the adoption of extreme measures 
for the protection of its subjects and inde¬ 
pendent allies, dispatched a special mission 
to the Bhotan Court, charged with proposals 
of a conciliatory character, but instructed to 
demand the surrender of all captives, the 
restoration of plundered property, and security 
for the future peace of the frontier. 

“ This pacific overture was insolently re¬ 
jected by the Government of Bhotan. Not 
only were restitution for the past and security 
for the future refused, but the British envoy 
was insulted in open durbar, and compelled, 
as the only means of insuring the safe return 
of the mission, to sign a document which the 
Government of India could only instantly 
repudiate. 

“ For this insult the Governor-General in 
Council determined to withhold for ever the 
annual payments previously made to the 
Bhotan Government on account of the re¬ 
venues of the Assam Dooars and Ambari 
Falakotta, which had long been in the occu¬ 
pation of the British Government, and an¬ 
nexed those districts permanently to British 
territory. At the same time, still anxious to 
avoid an open rupture, the Governor-General 
in Council addressed a letter to the Deb and 
Dhurma Rajahs, formally demanding that all 






44 


HISTORY OF THE BBITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


captives detained in Bhotan against their will 
should be released, and that all property carried 
off during the last five years should be restored. 

“ To this demand the Government of Bho- 
tan has returned an evasive reply, from which 
can be gathered no hope that the just requi¬ 
sitions of the Government of India will ever 
be complied with, or that the security of the 
frontier can be provided for otherwise than 
by depriving the Government of Bhotan and 
its subjects of the means and opportunity of 
future aggression. 

“ The Governor-General in Council has, 
therefore, reluctantly resolved to occupy per¬ 
manently and annex to British territory the 
Bengal Dooars of Bhotan, and so much of 
the Hill territory, including the forts of Dal- 
lingkot, Pasakha, and Devangiri, as may be 
necessary to command the passes, and to 
prevent hostile or predatory incursions of 
Bhotanese into the Darjiling district, or into 
the plains below. A military force, amply suffi¬ 
cient to occupy this tract and to overcome all 
resistance, has been assembled on the frontier, 
and will now proceed to carry out this resolve. 

“ All chiefs, zemindars, munduls, ryots, 
and other inhabitants of the tract in question 
are hereby required to submit to the authority 
of the British Government, to remain quietly 
in their homes, and to render assistance to 
the British troops and to the Commissioner 
who is charged with the administration of the 
tract. Protection of life and property, and a 
guarantee of all private rights, is offered to 
those who do not resist, and strict justice 
will be done to all. The lands will be more 
moderately assessed, and all oppression and 
extortion will be absolutely prohibited. 

“ The future boundary between the terri¬ 
tories of the Queen of England and those of 
Bhotan will be surveyed and marked off, and 
the authority of the Government of Bhotan 
within this boundary will cease for ever.” 

A field force was now prepared for opera¬ 
tions against Bhotan. It was divided into 
four columns—the right, right centre, left 
centre, and left. The right, commanded by 
Brigadier-General Mulcaster, was stationed at 
Gowhatty, on the south bank of the Brahma¬ 
putra River, in Assam, in a plain to the north 
of the Cossyah Hills. The right centre, under 
Colonel Richardson, was posted at Goalpara, 
an important commercial town about eighty 
miles west of Gowhatty. The left centre, 
under Colonel Watson, had its position at 
Kuch Bihar, on the other side of the Brahma¬ 
putra, eighty miles west of Goalpara. The 
left, under Brigadier-General Dunsford, was 
at Jalpaiguri, about sixty miles to the west of 
Kuch Bihar. Each of the columns was pro¬ 


vided with mountain-train guns and Sappers. 
On December 1st, 1864, the four columns 
advanced simultaneously. On the 7th the 
strong fortification of Dalimkote, on the hill 
slopes about forty miles due north of Jal¬ 
paiguri, was taken by the left column after 
stout opposition by the Bhotias, who poured 
upon them show r ers of stones and arrows. 
Having succeeded in arriving at the fort, 
which stood on a hill about two hundred feet 
high, and was surrounded by a thick wall of 
the height of twenty feet, the mortars were 
rapidly brought into position, and shells and 
carcasses were being thrown into the fort at 
two hundred yards’ range, when an accident 
checked the fire of the artillery and damped 
the ultimate triumph of the day. A fuse 
having been cut too short, the shell burst in 
the muzzle of the mortar, and exploded a 
quantity of powder which was being weighed 
out for the charges, and in an instant three 
officers and seven artillerymen were blown to 
pieces, the General himself having a narrow 
escape. With great difficulty an Armstrong 
gun was then brought up, and the buildings 
within the fort were set fire to. This being 
considered an opportune moment for an assault, 
the signal was given, and the place was car¬ 
ried without further resistance, the Bhotias 
escaping on the opposite side. This affair, 
which lasted from ten in the morning till six 
in the evening, involved the loss of about 
twelve killed and upwards of fifty wounded. 
Meanwhile the right column marched, with¬ 
out striking a blow, into the stronghold of 
Devangiri; while the left centre penetrated 
into the Buxar Dooar without seeing any 
traces of the enemy except an abandoned 
stockade. On the last day of December 
Dunsford’s column stormed a strongly stock¬ 
aded position at Chamurchi, with the loss 
of two sepoys killed and fifteen wounded. 
The bodies of thirteen Bhotias were found, 
and one elephant was captured. It was now 
fully expected that the Bhotias would offer 
no further resistance; but, on the contrary, 
they commenced a series of attacks on the 
positions held by our troops. On January 
26th they attacked the entrenchment com¬ 
manding the Baxa Pass, and were repulsed. 
A vain attempt to surprise the garrison at 
Chamurchi was made about the same time. 
On the 29 th a large force attacked the detach¬ 
ment at Devangiri, and one of our officers 
and five men fell; while one officer and thirty- 
eight men were wounded by arrows. As the 
Bhotias had cut off the supply of water and 
stopped the surrounding passes by stockades, 
Devangiri was no longer tenable, and the 
garrison had no other alternative but to steal 
out under cover of the night, and take their 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


45 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

chance of getting down into the plains. This 
was done by means of an almost impassable 
road, each one scrambling down as best he 
could. The wounded and the guns were car¬ 
ried by the artillery, until they were deserted 
by their escort of the 43rd native iufantry, 
when the guns were spiked and thrown down 
a ravine. 

On the 27th a formidable attack was made 
on the stockade at Bala, taken by Colonel 
Watson in December, and since occupied by 
a small and inadequate garrison. Situate a 
thousand feet above the Tursa River, this 
position was difficult of access from the plains, 
but was commanded by the higher ground in 
its rear. Just before dawn on January 27th 
the sentries round the stockade were sud¬ 
denly driven in by the Bhotias,who attempted 
to enter the position, but the garrison, spring¬ 
ing to their feet, succeeded in shutting the 
gate in their faces. The Bhotias then at¬ 
tempted to cut it down with their knives, but 
a heavy fire compelled them to retire to a short 
distance, from which for a time they kept up a 
continuous shower of arrows on the stockade. 
On the approach of day, finding the garrison 
firm, they retired to the jungle after a per¬ 
sistent attack of an hour and a half. The 
British loss consisted of one killed and five 
wounded; and the side of the stockade on 
which the attack was made is described as 
presenting the appearance of a hedgehog’s 
back, so closely was it stuck over with arrows. 
Two days later, information was received that 
the Bhotias were stockading themselves on 
the neighbouring heights, and a party of sixty 
men was sent to reconnoitre. They had not 
marched far when their progress was opposed 
by a barricade, which was carried by assault; 
but a little farther on they were brought up 
by a second and a stronger one, from which 
they were repulsed, with the loss of two offi¬ 
cers, and six men wounded and one man 
killed. To avenge this disaster, Colonel Wat¬ 
son, with a stronger force, on February 4th, 
attempted to drive the enemy from the stockade 
they had held so well; but this also proved 
a failure. The Bhotias, armed only with 
bows and arrows and crooked knives, fought 
gallantly from behind their stone-works, and 
our men were forced to retire with the loss of 
one officer killed, and one officer and upwards 
of a dozen men wounded. The Bhotias now 
began a course of plunder in the Durrung dis¬ 
trict, and ran up stockades in all directions. 
It became evident that more prompt and 
vigorous measures were necessary in order 
to put an end to so inglorious and trouble¬ 
some a campaign. General Mulcaster was 
superseded by General Tombs; and the field 
force, instead of being broken up into small 


detachments, was divided into two brigades 
—the right and the left. The former was 
commanded by General Tombs, with Major 
Sankey, R.A., as his brigade-major; and the 
latter by General Tytler, with Captain Mac- 
gregor as his major of brigade. A proportion 
of European troops were now for the first 
time employed. On March 15th the Bala Pass 
was recaptured by the force under General 
Tytler, the Bhotias losing a chief and thirty- 
four men; while the loss on the British side 
was five killed and a dozen wounded. On 
April 2nd DevangirDwas retaken by General 
Tombs after an obstinate fight. Every man 
in the stockade was either killed or taken 
prisoner. About one hundred and thirty were 
slain, and forty taken prisoners ; among them 
Jugar Penlo, the next in authority to the 
Tongso. The British loss was thirty killed 
and wounded. The places thus gallantly re¬ 
taken were soon after evacuated, as it was 
not considered expedient to hold them per¬ 
manently, and the troops were withdrawn to 
nearer positions for the rainy season, where 
they remained to defend the possession of the 
dooars. Brigadier - General Tombs then re¬ 
signed his command, and the field brigades 
were united in one under General Tytler. 
The Bhotias were understood to be desirous 
of peace; but the wet season was spent in 
contentions between the Tongso Penlo, a 
subordinate governor who was at the head of 
the war-party in the Bhotan durbar, and the 
Deb Rajah. Meanwhile our troops were deci¬ 
mated by cholera and fever, and the remnant 
were left with scarcely any officers to com¬ 
mand them. It soon became evident that 
another expedition must be dispatched to 
Bhotan, or the country abandoned alto¬ 
gether. Accordingly a force, complete in 
every respect, was got in readiness, while 
reports of peace were rife, and negotiations 
were from time to time attempted by the 
Deb Rajah; but the Tongso still held out. 
At length, on the approach of the cold season, 
a portion of the troops were sent forward, 
and had reoccupied Devangiri, when it was 
announced that peace had been concluded. 
The peace was signed at a place some miles 
in advance of Buxar, on November 11th, by 
Colonel Bruce on the one side, and two envoys 
of the Deb Rajah on the other. The follow¬ 
ing are the articles of the treaty :— 

Perpetual peace between the two nations. 

The eighteen dooars ceded to the British for 
ever. 

All Bengali and Assamese prisoners to be 
delivered up. 

The British Government to make an annual 
allowance to the Bhotan Government of 




46 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


Rg, 25,000, to be increased gradually to 
Rs. 50,000 ; the British to retain the right 
to stop payment of the whole or a portion 
of the allowance. 

Rendition of criminals. Free trade. Disputes 
with Sikhim and Kuch Bihar to be settled 
by the British Government. 

The Bhotias have made a full apology for 
the insults offered to the Hon. Mr. Eden. 
Government will not pay up the first instal¬ 
ment of Rs. 25,000 until the Deb Rajah 
makes Tongso give up the two guns lost at 
Devangiri; and,if the Deb Rajah wishes it, 
the Government will render aid in com¬ 
pelling him to do so. 

The treaty was received with almost uni¬ 
versal condemnation in India and by several of 
the London press, some of whom, however, 
assumed a different tone. The following is 
an extract from the Times article on the 
subject:— 

“ Such are the conditions of the treaty now 
condemned. It is said that the Bhotias, 
instead of losing anything, are actually gainers 
of £2,500 a year in the shape of increased 
‘ tribute ; ’ that the chief who had been fore¬ 
most in insulting us, and who retains our 
guns, is no party to the treaty ; and that, if 
we are compelled to move against him our¬ 
selves, it will be when the two months of the 
year most favourable to military operations 
have gone by. In short, the Bhotias, after 
offering us the most scandalous offence, are 
left better off than before, while all India and 
Central Asia will naturally imagine that we 
have been discomfited in our attempt to coerce 
and chastise them. That the expedition would 
have been attended with the greatest difficul¬ 
ties, and could have resulted in no profit, is 
not disguised; but it is urged that much of 
the expense had been already incurred in the 
organization of the invading force, and that 
the great, and to us invaluable, fruit of the 
war would have been the establishment of our 
prestige and the maintenance of our honour. 
This honour, it is said in India, we have now 
jeopardised to save ourselves the cost and 
trouble of a mountain campaign. 

“ It is' not difficult to discover from the 
terms of the treaty what its promoters really 
designed. We can state on good authority 
that the terms now accepted by the Bhotias 
are precisely those which would have been 
proposed had the first expedition penetrated 
to the capital of Bhotan, and there dictated 
peace. They were the terms which had been 
framed and decided upon from the very be¬ 
ginning of the affair, nor have they been, 
except in the clause concerning the captured 
guns, either reduced or enhanced. The policy 


of the Indian Government was directed to 
security for the future, rather than revenge 
or punishment. These Bhotias are utterly 
uncivilised ; they had little knowledge of the 
consideration due to an envoy, and were 
scarcely, in a political sense, responsible people. 
The object was to get the peace kept on our 
borders for the longest-time and at the smallest 
cost, and the only effectual instrument in our 
hands was the rent which we. paid them. 
This money was nothing to us ; it was every¬ 
thing to them, and it has been made the 
machinery for working on their minds. The 
promise that the payment should not be 
stopped induced them, beyond doubt, to come 
to this agreement now ; and the prospect of an 
increase, conditional on their good behaviour, 
is more likely than anything else to insure 
the conduct we desire. We are applying this 
machinery at the very outset, for the first 
instalment of the money is not to be paid 
until the Armstrong guns are given up. It 
is, we think, extremely probable that this 
policy is well calculated to secure its object, 
and that our territory on the Bhotan border 
will, at an expense not exceeding £5,000 a 
year, be protected in future from the attacks 
which have hitherto disturbed us. 

“ The only question is, whether in these 
obvious considerations of prudence we may 
not have lost sight of what our position 
demands. We may have taken excellent 
measures for the preservation of peace on the 
Bhotan frontier; but if we have allowed the 
Bhotias to think themselves victorious, and 
other people to draw their inferences from 
the example, our loss may be greater than 
our gain. That is a point on which it would 
not be easy to pronounce an opinion, but it 
is also a point on which the Indian Govern¬ 
ment would be most competent to decide, 
and on which we need not suppose that Sir 
John Lawrence would,be improperly biased.” 

The war with Bhotan was not, however, 
at an end until the spring of 1866. The 
restoration of the guns, which was a sine qua 
non of the treaty , not having been made at the 
expiry of the time appointed, a portion of the 
Bhotan force advanced from Devangiri with 
the intention of proceeding to Tongso, should 
the guns not be given up. The first detach¬ 
ment marched on February 4th along the bed 
of the Deea Nuddee towards the north ; a 
second, starting next day, pushed on for 
Sulika; and a third on the 7th began a 
march into the valley of the Monas River. 
At Sulika the advanced guard was fired upon, 
and two men wounded. The fire was re¬ 
turned, and a rush made upon the enemy, 
who, after firing the Rajah’s dwelling, fled 
precipitately. They were so hotly pursued 






Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


47 


that they had to drop their loads, and most of 
them were cut off from the river. The square- 
linked chain suspension bridge which spans 
the Monas was then secured. Here the force 
encamped for several days, receiving repeated 
assurances that the guns were coming. After 
some days’ endurance of this trifling, it was 
determined once more to advance. Accord¬ 
ingly, on February 23rd, a forward movement 
was made, but the troops had scarcely crossed 
the bridge when news was brought of the 
arrival of the guns close to camp. The politi¬ 
cal officers, with a suitable escort, then pushed 
forward about a mile, and met them on the 
road to Kinkur. Considering the difficult 
nature of the road, exceedingly narrow and 
winding round the breasts and sides of lofty 
and precipitous mountains, often enveloped in 
dense fogs, through which our column, with 
its impedimenta of porters, mules, bullocks, 
elephants, all heavily laden, and fighting their 
way against heavy blinding rain and wind, 
was expected to push its way, the news of 
the restoration of the guns, which rendered 
unnecessary any farther advance, must have 
been exceedingly welcome. Previously to this 
the treaty had been ratified by the Deb and 
Dhurm Rajahs, the compulsory treaty signed 
by Mr. Eden had been returned, and the 
Assamese, Bengalese, and others who had 
been detained captives in Bhotan released. 
This troublesome war was, therefore, at an 
end. During the campaign 677 officers and 
men died from disease, and only 54 from 
wounds, the proportion of officers being 6 
in each case. Of men 2,175 were put hors 
de combat, and of officers 67. 

On October 5th, 1864, Calcutta was visited 
by a hurricane or cyclone of terrific violence, 
which caused a most extensive destruction of 
shipping and property, as well as consider¬ 
able loss of life in the city and harbour. The 
hurricane appears to have originated in the 
neighbourhood of the Andaman Islands, and 
to have travelled in a north-westerly direc¬ 
tion, striking the mainland somewhere near the 
Balasor Roads and Hidgeli. From this point, 
where it raged furiously during the night of 
the 4th, it rushed up the right bank of the 
Hugli (Hooghly) at a rate varying from eight 
to twenty-six miles an hour. From ten a.m. 
to four p.m. on the 5th the storm raged in full 
force at Calcutta, and seven hours later it 
reached Kishnaga'r. Between Rampur, Boliya, 
and Pubna it crossed the Ganges and swept 
over the district of Bograh, and about 25° 
north latitude it turned back toward the east, 
and finally spent itself on the Garrow Hills. 
At Calcutta the gale came on with a noise like 
distant thunder, in two or three minutes tearing 
up trees by their roots* carrying off the roofs of 


the houses, overturning walls and buildings, 
and heaping up masses of ruin in the streets 
and roads, where neither foot nor carriage pas¬ 
sengers could make their way. In the course 
of two or three hours the suburbs of the city 
were more or less a wreck. Hardly a tree 
was left standing, and scarcely a house in 
Calcutta escaped without injury, while the 
native huts, especially in the suburbs, were 
almost all blown down. One hundred houses 
built of masonry, and upwards of 40,000 tiled 
and straw houses, were totally destroyed, while 
serious damage was done to nearly 600 sub¬ 
stantial tenements and 4,600 slighter erec¬ 
tions. The loss of life in the city and suburbs 
was 49 natives and 2 Europeans, besides 16 
persons seriously wounded by the fall of their 
houses. But it was on the river that the 
storm was attended by the most disastrous 
consequences. The storm-wave overthrew 
the embankments, inundated the country, 
damaged the crops, and overwhelmed men 
and cattle in a- common and sudden death. 
Had not the embankments given way, it is 
believed that the capital of British India would 
have been completely destroyed. On the 
morning of the 5th 195 vessels were lying off 
Calcutta; at sundown not more than 23 had 
passed unharmed through the double ordeal 
of Avind and water. As the terrible bore came 
roaring up the river tier after tier of vessels 
broke adrift, taking moorings, buoys, and 
tackle with them, and drove about in clusters 
of from four to eight that had become en¬ 
tangled together, carrying with them every¬ 
thing that came in their Avay. Of the drifted 
ships many Avent down, many on the retire¬ 
ment of the flood were left aground at a 
considerable distance from the river, and 
many more received greater or less damage. 
Thirty-six vessels were entirely lost, of 
Avhich 10 went down bodily, 97 were severely 
damaged, and 39 sustained more or less 
injury. The Gobindpore, a newly built 
vessel of 1,200 tons, capsized and sank off 
the Custom House, her crew being saved 
only by a seaman swimming off to the wreck 
with a line. The Hindostan, an old hulk of 
the Peninsular and Oriental Company, went 
down at her moorings, and the hospital 
ship Beniinck, lying off Diamond Harbour, 
was lifted up and carried bodily on to the 
top of the embankment. The Ally, bound 
for the Mauritius with 835 coolie emigrants, 
foundered, and of those on board only 29 
Avere saved. The Burmah mail-steamer 
Persia Avas literally SAvalloAved up, with all 
her passengers and creAv, except tAA’o of the 
latter, by an enormous wave that struck 
her from the stern. These are a few in¬ 
stances of the more serious disasters on the 





48 HISTORY OF THE 

river. At Howrah, on the opposite side of 
the Hugli, the hurricane raged more furiously 
than in Calcutta, the populous villages of 
Shampur and Utubariah being completely 
overwhelmed by the storm-wave. Almost 
2,000 individuals lost their lives, while 300 
masonry and upwards of 150,000 mud houses 
were utterly destroyed, and nearly 13,000 
head of cattle were drowned. “ In what may 
be called the county of Calcutta, or, as it is 
generally termed, in the Twenty-four Pergun- 
nahs, the mischief wrought by the great wave 
amounted almost to annihilation, so far as 
Saugor Island was concerned. Of a popula¬ 
tion of 6,000 souls only 1,488 are known to 
survive, while 7,000 head of cattle and 3,565 
houses were swept off the surface of the land. 
The wave rose fifteen feet above the level of 
the island, and cleared away everything that 
opposed its advance, cutting the very island 
into two halves. Indeed, from Saugor to 
Atchipur, the storm passed like a knife over a 
ribbon of land, varying from one to eight 
miles in breadth. Everything disappeared 
before it. Within a mile of the river 80 per 
cent, of the entire population perished, and 
between that distance and the outer edge of 
the storm-stricken area from 30 to 40 per 
cent. The total loss of life in this district pro¬ 
bably exceeded 12,000. It was still greater, 
however, in that of Midnapur, where upwards 
of 20,000 human beings are still missing, and 
not less than 40,000 head of cattle.” As the 
storm-wave passed over this district it varied 
in height from five to thirty feet. To relieve 
the distress caused by this terrible calamity, 
the Government and the European and Parsee 
residents came promptly forward, and in a 
very short time pecuniary assistance was 
afforded to the amount of £10,000, and im¬ 
mense quantities of provisions and clothing 
were distributed among the sufferers.* 

A month later the hurricane swept over the 
Madras coast, and at Masulipatam 5,000 per¬ 
sons are said to have perished. 

In the beginning of 1865 the Waghirs of 
Kattiawar again became troublesome, and a 
small force having been sent against them, 
they retired to their mountain fastnesses. 
During the year repeated brushes took place 
between them and our troops. Towards the 
close of the year another small force was sent 
against the marauding wild tribes in the neigh¬ 
bourhood of Peshawar, where life had become 
unsafe, and robberies were of common occur¬ 
rence. The three offending villages of the 
Upper Loudkhar Yalley were destroyed, and 
their head men secured. The Khans of three 
independent villages beyond the frontier apolo- 
* Bengal Government Official Report; Allen'& 
Indian Mail. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

gized, and returned the money they had taken 
from British subjects, and a British subject 
who had been imprisoned was released. No 
sympathy was expressed by the independent 
chiefs with those who had been punished. 

During the year 1865 the deepest indigna¬ 
tion was excited in India by the fatal march of 
a detachment of artillery from Mhow, in which, 
out of a body of one hundred and twenty, 
twenty-one men, one woman, and four children 
lost their lives. About the 17th of February, 
when Sir William Mansfield was leaving to take 
up the chief command, an order from home 
was received in Bombay for the reduction of the 
B Battery, 21st Brigade. Before his departure 
Sir William made the necessary communication 
on the subject, and Lieutenant-Colonel Phayre, 
the Quartermaster-General, who accompanied 
him, also left directions with his deputy that 
all such details should be attended to in his 
absence. On Colonel Phayre’s return, he 
found that nothing had been done in his de¬ 
partment, and was surprised at receiving, on 
April 7th, a communication from Major-Gene¬ 
ral Green, asking if the detachment should 
be sent to Kirki. He directed that orders 
should be given for the march of the detach¬ 
ment to Nargaum. Major-General Green re¬ 
plied deprecating the march ol the men at 
that time of year, as great heat had set in, 
and there was cholera on the road. Colonel 
Phayre then directed that the Deputy In¬ 
spector-General of Hospitals should be con¬ 
sulted on the subject; but this intimation 
arrived too late, for the march of the detach¬ 
ment had already taken place.* The detach¬ 
ment arrived at Bulwara, three marches from 
Mhow, on April 15th, and the men were then 
apparently in excellent health and spirits. On 
that day two cases occurred, one of which 
proved fatal after a few hours. The next 
morning the detachment marched to Barwai; 
one man died, and another was attacked on 
the road. The heat in the tents having been 
found excessive on the previous day, the men 
were placed in the large buildings of the 
Barwai iron-works, a detached building being 
set apart for the hospital. Several cases were 
admitted into the hospital, two or three of 
which proved fatal, and some five-and-twenty 
more were treated for diarrhoea. During the 
night admissions and deaths were numerous. 
Next morning the men were moved into tents 
under a tope of trees two miles off, only the 
' sick being kept in the buildings. On this day 
three men, one child, and two camp-followers 
died. The same evening the women and 
children were started off to Sinawud, a village 
about four miles south of the Nerbudda, and 
, the detachment followed during the night, 
* Official Documents. 








IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


49 


Chap. CXXXIX. 


arriving at daybreak on the 18th. Here it 
was joined by a second medical officer and an 
apothecary sent from Mhow. The attacks at 
this place were more numerous than ever; seven 
men and three children died ; and with few ex¬ 
ceptions the whole detachment suffered from 
diarrhoea. Discretionary powers having been 
given by the general commanding at Mhow, 
it was determined to return to the top of the 
Ghauts, and from the time of the promulga¬ 
tion of this order the spirits of all ranks rose. 
Arrangements were at once made for pro¬ 
curing carts for all the men, but owing to the 
apathy and indifference of Hqlkar’s officials at 
Sinawud, the men were obliged to go on foot 
back to Barwai (in British territory), at which 
place a sufficient number of covered carts were 
immediately forthcoming. In these the men 
were carried back to the foot of the Ghauts, 
where they rested during the heat of the day 

I i on the 19th, very few being admitted into 
hospital. The return march was resumed the 
same evening, and the next morning the de¬ 
tachment arrived at Hursora, a village about 
three miles from Mhow, at which place the 
Mhow authorities had made every arrange¬ 
ment for their reception, fresh tents having 
been pitched, and everything necessary sup¬ 
plied. During this last march four died. 
The stores of medicine that had been sent 
with the detachment proved insufficient, and 
the medical officer originally sent in charge 
was himself an invalid.^ Lieutenant-Colonel 
Phayre, who drew up a minute respecting this 
misfortune, threw all the blame upon Major- 
General Green, who, he declared, did not 
give explicit warning of cholera until too late 
to save the detachment. The same view of 
the case was taken by Sir Charles Yan Strau- 
benzee, the Commander-in-Chief of the Bom¬ 
bay army, and was indorsed by the Governor, 
Sir Bartle Frere, the result being a severe 
censure upon Major-General Green, who was 
told that it was his duty to have exercised 
discretion in the matter, and that he appeared 
to have overlooked the general order pro¬ 
hibiting the removal of troops in the hot 
season. It was the general opinion, however, 
of the public and the press that Major-General 
Green had been unjustly censured and made 
the scapegoat. The Major-General having 
protested against the decision, some time 
afterwards another official document was 
issued on this subject, which plainly exone¬ 
rated Major-General Green. “ Upon a care¬ 
ful review of all the evidence bearing on this 
point, the impression produced on his Excel¬ 
lency the Governor in Council is this That 
the season was an exceptional one; that the 
heat and the danger of cholera were greater 
* Letter to the Times of India. 
von. in. 


than usual, but that there was nothing so strik¬ 
ing in what could have been known at Mhow at 
the time the detachment marched as to render 
the marching clearly unjustifiable. Every 
precaution appears to have been taken to 
enable the detachment to march in safety in 
an ordinary season; and, though the season 
proved an extraordinary one, there appears to 
have been little known at the time of march¬ 
ing, which it was incumbent on General Green 
to notice as a clear warning that the detach¬ 
ment ought not to march. It is just possible 
that an officer possessed of unusual foresight, 
or unusual knowledge of the state of the 
country last season, might have foreseen un¬ 
usual risk, and either stopped the detachment, 
wholly or in part, on his own responsibility, 
or represented the case to head-quarters, and 
asked for instructions. But, under all the 
circumstances, the Governor in Council does 
not think that Major-General Green can be 
fairly blamed for letting the detachment 
march.” His Excellency, however, proceeded 
to complicate matters by considering whether 
the General was to blame for the subsequent 
loss of life. He would be entirely acquitted 
of any such responsibility, said the Governor, 
but for his letter, in which ‘‘he cuts from 
under his own feet all ground of justification 
by claiming to have foreseen the danger, and 
seeking to throw the blame, as of a risk which 
should have been foreseen and provided against, 
upon the head-quarters of the army.” For 
persistence in this position in opposition to 
the opinions of superior authority, and not 
accepting their ideas of the responsibilities of 
a divisional command, his Excellency in¬ 
timated that the Major-General was open to 
censure; and, under these circumstances, 
the Governor in Council did not feel justified 
in retaining Major-General Green in a com¬ 
mand so important, and requiring so much 
judgment and such sound views of military 
discipline, as that of Mhow. The Major- 
General was then told that, if he resigned, his 
resignation would be immediately accepted; 
but that, should he decline, his supersession 
would as certainly follow. 

Towards the middle of 1865 commercial 
affairs began to cause much anxiety. The 
alarm took its rise in Bombay, where an ap¬ 
parent state of unexampled prosperity received 
a sudden check, principally on account of the 
news of the approaching issue of the struggle 
in America, and the consequent uncertainty 
of cotton prospects. The great demand for 
Indian cotton which had sprung out of the 
American war had opened up new sources of 
wealth to many classes in Western and Cen¬ 
tral India. Whereas in 1860 the cotton ex¬ 
ported brought to India only £2,500,000, in 

H 







HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


50 

1864 it brought £34,000,000, and about as 
much in 1865. “ Cotton and railways brought 
untold plenty to millions who had hitherto 
earned their three or four rupees a month. 
The poorest Rayat became suddenly rich. 
His old mud hut was replaced by a roomier 
dwelling of brick or stone. His wife and 
daughters decked themselves in jewels of 
price. Earthenware pots gave way to vessels 
of brass, copper, and even silver. Every 
coolie—said one who lived among them— 

4 took to dressing like a Brahman.’ In many 
cases old caste-distinctions were broken down 
by the growing self-esteem that comes of 
growing wealth. Bombay itself went mad 
over new schemes for making money; and 
the great commercial crash of 1865, the 
natural result of reckless gambling in trade 
matters, dealt sudden ruin among many house¬ 
holds.” * Though the other Presidencies suf¬ 
fered from the general crash, and Calcutta 
more than Madras, the worst results of the 
panic were confined to Bombay, which fell from 
the height of prosperity to the lowest depth 
of adversity with a swiftness unparalleled 
in the history of any commercial nation. The 
loss caused by depreciation in the value of 
shares during the months of February, March, 
and April, and which speculators would have 
to make good, amounted to not less than 
£30,000,000 sterling. In June all business 
was completely paralyzed, companies col¬ 
lapsed, and failures of private individuals 
on a gigantic scale became common. Ex¬ 
posures followed of more serious delinquen¬ 
cies, and several native gentlemen of high 
commercial standing were convicted of fraudu¬ 
lent transactions. Non-speculators and per¬ 
sons with fixed incomes found the high prices 
so oppressive that living became a difficult 
matter. Those with but moderate salaries 
were said to be obliged to reduce the number 
and quality of their meals ; and it was a com¬ 
mon jest that the Governor could scarcely 
hold his own in Bombay Castle, and that the 
members of Council could not pay their weekly 
bills If Notwithstanding all this, 44 Bombay 
itself, when the storm blew over, could still 
export more than a million bales of cotton in 
one season, and point to a foreign trade worth 
about forty millions a year.” 

The failure of the Agra Bank, and notably 
that of the Bombay Bank, demands a special 
paragraph. 

The commercial crisis in England of 1866 
produced its natural effect in India, resulting 
in the temporary failure of the Agra and Mas- 
terman’s Bank, the fall of the Bank of Bom- 

* History of India. By J. B. Trotter. Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge. 

f Allen's Indian Mail. 


bay, and the collapse of house after house and 
company after company, all caused by the 
reckless trading and over-speculation which 
characterized the times. Tim stoppage of the 
Agra Bank occasioned great distress to those 
who had invested or deposited their savings in 
it,-and these consisted chiefly of old officers, 
widows, and private families. Still the disas¬ 
trous effects were not so bad as was at first 
anticipated, and a scheme for the resuscitation 
of the bank having been approved of, it was 
soon again in working order. In the Bank of 
Bombay the Government were large share¬ 
holders, and the direction of its affairs was to 
a great extent in their hands. It consequently 
possessed a greater share of public confidence 
than would have been given to any private 
concern, people imagining that the Govern¬ 
ment were responsible for their deposits and 
investments. The fall of the bank was due, 
to begin with, to the fatal clauses of the Act 
of 1863, which empowered the bank to accept 
securities in any public company in India, 
even if the calls on shares were not all paid 
up, to advance money on a promissory note, 
signed by one person only, and to lend out 
more than three lacs on such security to any 
one firm for a longer period than three months.- 
But to this cause are to be added the igno¬ 
rance, negligence, recklessness, and dishonesty 
of the management, the disclosures of which 
astonished and shocked both Indian and Eng¬ 
lish society. During 1867 various schemes 
were proposed and rejected for the resuscita¬ 
tion of the bank, which at length was put in 
liquidation. Yielding to the clamorous demands 
of the shareholders for an investigation into 
the affairs of the bank, the Home Government 
in 1868 appointed a Commission of Inquiry, 
consisting of Sir Charles Jackson, Major 
M'Leod Innes, and Mr. Maxwell Melville. 
Their report was issued in 1869, and from it 
we glean the following particulars regarding 
the decline and collapse of the bank. With 
regard to the fatal clauses in the Act of 1863, 
to which we have referred as the principal 
cause of the bank’s failure, the Commissioners 
ascribed the chief share of the blame to the 
Bombay Legislature, and the rest to the bank 
directors who framed the measure, and the 
Bombay Government who disregarded the 
directions of Sir Charles Wood, who had spe¬ 
cially warned them to regulate the bank s 
operations by the principles followed in the 
Bank of Bengal, there being no such provi¬ 
sions in its charter; The Bombay Govern¬ 
ment, with the Government of India and the 
Secretary of State, are further censured in 
that they “ either failed to detect, or failed to 
expose, the dangers with which the Act was 
pregnant.” There were no bye-laws for the 







51 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

regulation of the bank’s practice. Mr. Blair, 
the secretary, without consulting any of the 
directors, made cash advances on promissory 
notes alone signed by one or more boi'rowers. 
He also discounted promissory notes signed 
by a single borrower, and backed by no other 
security. During the bubble-share period of 
1864-65, when everybody went financially 
mad, lacs upon lacs of rupees, with the sanc¬ 
tion of the directors, were advanced on the 
mere promissory note of the borrower for 
much longer periods than three months. Mr. 
Birch, a Government director and president 
of the bank, had shares allotted to him in the 
best companies, on which he made handsome 
profits, but he ignored the irregularities and 
reckless proceedings perpetrated by the secre¬ 
tary in the name of the directors, the rest of 
whom knew nothing whatever of the business 
that was going on, or how to do it. The 
secretary, Mr. Blair, himself, says Allen's 
Indian Mail, “ became a supple tool in the 
hands of Premchund Roychund, the luckiest 
speculator of the day, and the most widely 
courted of bank directors. This moneyed 
Mephistophiles ‘ was not slow to fathom the 
imbecility and weak moral character ’ of his 
obliging Faust, whom he or his father, Roy¬ 
chund Deepchund, supplied with large and fre¬ 
quent loans, as well as allotments of shares in 
the many companies he helped to call into brief 
existence. The two went partners in several 
large speculations.” “ The result was,” says 
the report, “ that the bank became Prem- 
chund’s. If Premchund had a friend to oblige 
who wanted money, he recommended him for 
a loan. If Premchund had shares to sell, he 
would suggest to an acquaintance that he 
should buy, offering at the same time to 
finance the purchase-money by procuring him 
a loan from the Bank of Bombay. If Prem¬ 
chund wanted money for a speculation, he 
would suggest to some friend to join him in 
it, and then procure a loan in his friend’s 
name for the money required.” Premchund 
on his own account owed the bank £420,000. 
In the name of friends wanting to buy shares 
from himself he borrowed £669,000, of which 
£434,547 was never recovered. For partners 
in speculation he borrowed £295,893, of which 
£130,240 was lost. During Mr. Blair’s ab¬ 
sence of about three months, his deputy, Mr. 
Robertson, followed in his steps, and when 
the former retired at the close of April, 1865, 
the bank was involved in a maze of unsettled 
accounts, of which a balance, including the 
advances made by the branch banks, of up¬ 
wards of £1,500,000 was never recovered. 
The manager of the Kalbadevi branch by 
his advances involved it in an ultimate 
loss of more than nineteen lacs. Mr. 


Birch resigned the presidentship at the close 
of February, 1865, and for “ his long and 
valuable services ” was asked to sit for his 
portrait at the expense of the hank. Mr. 
Blair was succeeded as secretary by Mr. 
Robertson, who “ was not much more scru¬ 
pulous than his predecessors.” A sudden 
panic in June was allayed by the timely inter¬ 
ference of the Bombay Government. In April, 
1866, the bank’s evil genius, Mr. Premchund, 
required more money, and a last sum of 
£250,000 was advanced to prop up his totter¬ 
ing credit. Under the management of Mr. 
Robertson the sum of £515,558 was added to 
the bank’s previous losses. The end was 
now at hand. With the close of the American 
war and the fall in cotton the Bombay bubble 
burst, and the ruin of the bank was complete. 
The Commissioners found that the causes of 
the bank’s failure were—1st. The Act X. of 
1863, which allowed the bank to transact 
business of an unsafe character. 2nd. The 
way in which “ weak and unprincipled secre¬ 
taries,” spurred on by “a designing native 
director, Premchund Roychund,” abused the 
powers conferred by that Act. 3rd. That 
the presidents and directors from 1863 to 
1865 were nearly all “ negligent, and failed 
to do their duty” in respect of by-laws and 
other things. 4th. That the times, being so 
exceptional, “ required more than ordinary 
vigilance and care” on the part of all con¬ 
cerned. 5th. That the presidents and direc¬ 
tors were neither “ conversant with banking 
business ” nor equal to the particular occasion. 
6th. The absence of sound legal advice and 
assistance. It is interesting to note the opi¬ 
nions of some of the Indian authorities. Thus 
Sir John Lawrence: “I submit that the 
circumstances which have led to the ruin of 
the Bank of Bombay resulted from the neglect 
of obvious and reasonable precautions at a 
time of unprecedented temptation, and that 
if care had been taken in the selection of the 
Government directors, as well as in their 
supervision, that bank would have surmounted 
all its difficulties, just as those of Bengal and 
Madras have done.” “ To Sir Bartle Frere,” 
says the Friend of India, “ or to his sanc¬ 
tion, we owe that charter of 1864 which, by 
doubling the capital of the bank, added fuel to 
the flame which allowed advances on bubble 
shares, and, by permitting more than three 
lacs of rupees to be lent to individuals on per¬ 
sonal security, created the scandals with which 
Bombay is still ringing.” Again: “If Sir 
Cecil Beadon is responsible for the Orissa 
disaster, the late Governor of Bombay, is 
more directly so for the moral and pecuniary 
ruin of Bombay.” Sir William Mansfield 
confesses : “ Having myself been a member of 





52 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


the Bombay Government during the years 
immediately preceding 1865, I am able to 
bear personal testimony to the manner in 
which a local government can hardly tail to 
be carried along by such a movement as was 
witnessed in this year. It is too much to 
expect from human judgment that when placed 
in the midst of such circumstances it should 
not be influenced by the swelling tide around, 
which is felt alike by every man and in every¬ 
thing, and to take advantage of which in the 
public interest cannot fail to be the object of 
every Government.” Mr. Massey says : “ It 
would be understating the case to say that 
the position of the Bank of Bombay.was and 
is that of an insolvent whose liabilites are 
covered by a responsible guarantor. A guaran¬ 
tee would extend only to the debts of the 
partnership. But the Government, by the' 
course it pursued, went much further than 
this. In the summer of 1865 the bank was 
hard pressed ; its shares fell below par. But 
no sooner was it announced that the bank 
was supported by the unlimited credit of 
Government than the depositors brought back 
the balances they had withdrawn,_ and the 
shares rose to sixty per cent, premium. At 
that time the bank had absolutely lost half 
its capital, and had two millions sterling of 
outstanding debts, which have since proved 
to be worthless. Thus, in consequence of the 
action of the Government, the public were 
induced to repose confidence in an establish¬ 
ment which was unworthy of confidence, and 
to give £160 for property which was not 
worth more than £25. But could the Govern¬ 
ment have refrained from interference ? Could 
they have taken any other course than they 
did take ? I think not. They were partners 
in the bank ; they were directors in the 
bank. The difficulties (since ascertained to 
have been the ruin) of the bank had been 
mainly caused by the culpable remissness of 
those Government directors. Sir William 
Mansfield admits this to be the fact. But 
when his Excellency blames the Government 
directors, he blames the Government itself, 
which must be responsible for the acts of 
officers and nominees.” Numerous attempts 
were made on the part of the unfortunate 
shareholders to obtain from the Indian Go¬ 
vernment or from the Home Government 
compensation for their losses, but these proved 
useless. A new bank was opened in 1868, into 
which had been paid by the middle of March a 
capital of more than thirty-five lacs. The Go¬ 
vernment deposits amounted to sixty-eightlacs, 
kept in the Mint under public guards, and the 
cash deposits to one hundred and twenty-two 
lacs. By August, 1869, the profits of the bank 
were said to equal nearly thirteen per cent. 


In 1866 the Order of the Star of India was 
reconstituted in accordance with the sub¬ 
joined notification:— 


“India Office, May 24th, 1866. 
“The Queen taking into her royal con¬ 
sideration the expediency of making certain 
changes in the constitution of the Most Ex¬ 
alted Order of the Star of India, as well by 
altering the designation of the present Knights 
of that Order as by adding thereto two addi¬ 
tional classes, so as to enable her Majesty, 
her heirs and successors, to reward a greater 
number of persons of conspicuous merit who 
have rendered, or may render, important 
services to the Crown in India, has been 
graciously pleased, by letters patent under the 
Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 28th day 
of March last, to revoke and abrogate so much 
of the letters patent, bearing date the 23rd day 
of February, 1861, by which the said order 
was instituted, as limits the same tcf the Sove¬ 
reign, a Grand Master, and twenty-five Knights, 
and as is inconsistent with or contrary to the 
provisions of the now recited letters patent. 

“And to ordain, direct, and appoint that 
the said order shall be henceforth, as hereto¬ 
fore, styled and designated in all acts, pro¬ 
ceedings, and pleadings, as ‘ The Most Exalted 
Order of the Star of India.’ 

“And to ordain, direct, and appoint that 
the said order shall consist of the Sovereign, 
a Grand Master, and one hundred and seventy- 
five ordinary Companions or Members, which 
last shall be divided into three classes, to¬ 
gether with such extra and honorary members 
as her Majesty, her heirs and successors, shall 
from time to tiihe appoint. 

“ And to ordain, direct, and appoint that her 
Majesty, her heirs and successors, Kings or 
Queens Regnant of the said United Kingdom, 
shall be successively the Sovereign of the said 
Order, and that the Yiceroy and Governor- 
General of India for the time being shall be 
the Grand Master of the aforesaid Order, and 
shall in virtue thereof be the first and prin¬ 
cipal Knight Grand Commander of the Order. 

“ And to ordain, direct, and appoint that 
the said one hundred and seventy-five ordinary 
Companions or Members shall be divided into 
three classes, and that the first or highest of 
the said three classes shall consist of twenty- 
five members, to be styled and designated 
Knights Grand Commanders of the said 
Order; and that the second class shall con • 
sist of fifty members, to be styled and desig¬ 
nated Knights Commanders of the said Order; 
and that the third or lowest class shall con¬ 
sist of one hundred members, to be styled 
and designated Companions of the said Order. 








IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


53 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

“And to ordain, direct, and appoint that 
the said Order shall continue to be governed 
by statutes and ordinances to be from time to 
time made and ordained by her Majesty, her 
heirs and successors, Sovereigns of the same. 

“ In pursuance of the power so vested in the 
Queen, as Sovereign of the said most exalted 
Order of the Star of India, her Majesty has 
also been pleased to issue new statutes for the 
government of the said Order, and therein to 
ordain, direct, and appoint that it shall be 
competent for the Sovereign of the Order to 
confer the dignity of a Knight Grand Com¬ 
mander of the same upon such native Princes 
and Chiefs of India as shall have entitled them¬ 
selves to the royal favour, and upon such 
British subjects as have by important and 
loyal services rendered by them to the Indian 
Empire merited such royal favour; and that, 
as regards the second and third classes of 
the said Order, no person shall be nominated 
thereto who shall not, by their conduct or 
services in the Indian Empire, have merited 
such royal favour.” 

An important Act passed in the beginning 
of 1866 was the Christian Converts’ Marriage 
Act, which legalised, under certain circum¬ 
stances, the re-marriage of native converts to 
Christianity. It provided for the dissolution 
of the former marriage in all cases where the 
petitioner obtained a decree permitting re¬ 
marriage. As the difficulties attending com¬ 
pulsory private interviews where the convert 
was a female were found to be insuperable, 
the male respondent was simply to be inter¬ 
rogated by the magistrate, and upon his re¬ 
iterated refusal to live with his wife, a decree 
was to be made dissolving the marriage. 
Infant marriages were not to be touched by 
this Act, the parties being left to select their 
own course when they came of age, when the 
action of the magistrate would he regulated 
by the answer of the unconverted partner. 
Roman Catholics and Mahomedans were de¬ 
clared exempt fromt he operation of the Act. 
As regards the custody of children, the general 
law of India was left to decide all questions 
of guardianship, and of the right to custody 
of the persons of the children. The follow¬ 
ing comments by the Friend of India on the 
remarks of the Hon. Mr. Maine in the dis¬ 
cussion of this subject are deserving of repro¬ 
duction :— 

“ There were uttered in the Imperial Legis¬ 
lature of India, from the chair of her Majesty’s 
Viceroy, by an English jurist, who expressly 
put from him all considerations of theology 
or ecclesiastical prejudice, on Saturday last, 
words which, for the first time since England 
possessed a foot of ground in Asia, declare 


the true doctrine of toleration, and the only 
just and dignified basis of our policy as a 
governing race. The words have an historical 
importance which it is impossible to over¬ 
estimate. They are an authoritative corollary 
to the opening passage of the Queen’s Pro¬ 
clamation to her Indian subjects, and the 
commentary is as important as the text. So 
fair are they, so cautiously tolerant of the re¬ 
ligions of our subjects is the weighty address 
which they sum up, that the most prejudiced 
Hindoo, the most fanatical Mussulman, cannot 
misrepresent them without falsehood :—‘ We 
will not force any man to be a Christian; we 
will not even tempt any man to be a Christian ; 
but, if he chooses to become a Christian, it 
would be shameful if we did not protect him 
and his in those rights of conscience which 
we have been the first to introduce into the 
country, and if we did not apply to him and 
his those principles of equal dealing between 
man and man, of which we are in India the 
sole depositaries.’ 

“ The principle contained in these pregnant 
words is that for which this journal has never 
ceased to contend in season and out of season. 
Rarely has it fallen to the lot of a public 
writer to feel such pleasure as we do in this 
triumphant recognition, on the spot, and not 
merely, as hitherto, in a distant Parliament, of 
the truth which lies at the basis of all civil as 
well as religious liberty, of the corner-stone 
of the rights of conscience. After all, to the 
mere Englishman who cannot comprehend 
the bigotry of priestcraft in all countries and 
ages, its perpetual intolerance and frequent 
cruelty, it may seem a little thing which Mr. 
Maine said. For what do his words amount 
to but this, that Christianity shall be tolerated 
in India, just as much as the licentiousness of 
Hindoo idolatry, the fanaticism of Mussulman 
sensuality, the materialism of Buddhist apathy, 
and the savage rites of Fetichism ? No man 
shall suffer loss at the hands of the law for 
changing his religion—whether it be of his 
property, his personal security, his civil status, 
or, as this Converts’ Marriage Dissolution Act 
now declares after years of agitation, his wife 
and children. To those who know not the 
history of the East India Company our in¬ 
tense satisfaction at this Act, which breaks the 
last fetter of the Native Christian, may seem 
unintelligible. It is so just because the in¬ 
tolerance of that company, dictated by the 
most cowardly, mercenary, and, in many 
cases, sensual of motives, lasted for centuries. 
That intolerance added to the miseries of him 
who in India forsakes father and mother and 
wife and child for Christ’s sake and the 
Gospel’s, the ban of civil death, the wrong of 
the loss of property, the cruel injustice of the 






54 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


denial of the rights of marriage and paternity. 
From the day when, in 1707, the first Pro¬ 
testant convert was baptized, to the present 
time, when the Government of India has con¬ 
fessed its error and has striven to make atone¬ 
ment, Christians have been as really, and in 
many cases as cruelly, persecuted by England 
as in the half-century from Gallienus to Con¬ 
stantine. Hear Mr. Maine’s confession, the 
justice of which no honest idolater or Mussul¬ 
man will deny :—‘ Contingencies on which 
not a thought could have been bestowed if 
another native race had been in question have 
to be carefully weighed and taken into ac¬ 
count ; the very molehills of Hindoo prejudice 
are exaggerated into mountains, and diffi¬ 
culties which in every day of Indian life 
crumble away at a touch are assumed to be 
of stupendous importance. I know, of course, 
that we do this because the converts are of 
our own faith, and because we are tender of 
our character for impartiality. But I do not 
know that we are entitled to be unjust even 
for the sake of seeming to be impartial.’ 
Henceforth the principle for which we have 
so long contended is a recognised part of our 
political system in India. Some years ago we 
thus expressed it:—‘ It is Hindooism which 
is to he tolerated, and not Christianity, which, 
as the creed of the British Empire, requires 
in her Majesty’s dominions no toleration. 
This theory, in short, reverses the existing 
position. Christianity, instead of occupying 
the status of Catholicism in England,—not 
persecuted, but not liked ; tolerated, but only 
from a sense of justice,—is to be raised to the 
status of Protestantism in the same country, 
not persecuting, but owing only forbearance 
towards all other forms of religious action.’ ” 
In the beginning of October, 1866, India 
mourned the loss of Dr. George Edward 
Lynch Cotton, Bishop of Calcutta, who was 
drowned in the Ganges, while proceeding to 
go on board a vessel. About nine weeks be¬ 
fore the Bishop had proceeded in Sir Cecil 
Beadon’s yacht to visit Assam, in order to 
ascertain the actual condition and require¬ 
ments of the people, and he had gathered a 
vast amount of information concerning a pro¬ 
vince which, notwithstanding its real impor¬ 
tance, was but little known. On his return 
to Calcutta, he stopped at Kushtea to conse¬ 
crate a new cemetery there. The yacht was 
moored alongside the flat Gunduk, and com¬ 
munication effected with the shore by means of 
two long springy planks. After the performance 
of the consecration ceremony, the Bishop re¬ 
turned to go on board the flat. He had just 
stepped on the plank pathway, and w r as feel¬ 
ing his way with his stick, when he suddenly 
reeled and fell into the water. It is supposed 


that he must have trodden heavily on one 
plank, and that the other, springing suddenly 
up, tilted him over into the stream. Dr. 
Powell, who was a little way off, hearing the 
splash, immediately flew to the spot, and, 
thinking he saw the body, rushed into the 
water, but found himself mistaken. The 
water was deep, and the stream full of eddies 
and very swift, and the Bishop was never 
seen again. During eight years of unwearied 
labour Bishop Cotton had organized new and 
most important agencies for the benefit of 
the Christian and non-Christian inhabitants 
of India. His greatest scheme was the esta¬ 
blishment of schools, both on the hills and 
plains, for the education of those whose 
parents had not sufficient means to send them 
to England, and who were fast growing up 
in ignorance, irreligion, and vice. A memo¬ 
rial fund has since been got up for the per¬ 
manent establishment of those schools, the 
foundation of which the good Bishop had so 
much at heart. Dr. Cotton was a man of a 
large heart and universal sympathy. He 
was ready to enter upon any good work that 
presented itself. He cheerfully helped Chris¬ 
tians of other communities as brethren, and 
readily lent himself to any effort of any kind 
that promised to benefit the natives of the 
country. He was the founder of the Cathe¬ 
dral Mission College, and the Calcutta Uni¬ 
versity owes much to the wisdom of his 
counsels. When the news of the Bishop’s 
death became known at Simla, the Governor- 
General issued a notification, afterwards re¬ 
published by the Governor of Bombay, in 
which he said, “There is scarcely a member 
of the entire Christian community throughout 
India who will not feel the premature loss of 
this prelate as a personal affliction. It has 
rarely been given to any body of Christians 
in any country to witness such depth of learn¬ 
ing and variety of accomplishments, combined 
with piety so earnest, and energy so untiring. 
His Excellency in Council does not hesitate 
to add the expression of his belief that large 
numbers, even among those members of her 
Majesty’s subjects in India who did not share 
in the faith of the Bishop of Calcutta, had 
learned to appreciate his great knowledge, 
his sincerity, and his charity, and will join 
in lamenting his death.” Dr. Cotton was 
educated at Westminster School, and after¬ 
wards at Trinity College, Cambridge, where 
he took his B.A. degree in 1836, being eighth 
in the first class of the classical tripos, and 
forty-first senior optime in mathematics. After 
being for some years an assistant-master in 
Rugby School, under the late Dr. Arnold, he 
was, in 1852, appointed to the head-master¬ 
ship of Marlborough College, which position 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


55 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

he held until 1858, when he was consecrated 
to his Indian see. Dr. Cotton was the sixth 
Bishop of Calcutta. The previous five were 
Dr. Middleton, the first bishop, appointed in 
1814; Dr. Reginald Heber, 1822; Dr. J. T. 
James, 1827; Dr. J. M. Turner, 1829; 
and Dr. Daniel Wilson, formerly Vicar of 
Islington, 1832. Dr. Cotton was succeeded 
by the Rev. R. Milman, Vicar of Great Mar¬ 
low, a son of the late Very Rev. Dr. A. H. 
Milman, Dean of St. Paul’s. He was edu¬ 
cated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he 
took his B.A. degree in 1838. In the follow¬ 
ing year he was admitted into holy orders by 
the Bishop of Peterborough. He has held in 
succession the following livings : the vicarage 
of Chaddleworth, Berkshire, 1840—51; the 
vicarage of Lamborne, Berkshire, 1851—62; 
and the vicarage of Great Marlow, Buckingham¬ 
shire, 1862—66. The diocese of Calcutta 
embraces an area of 306,000 square miles, 
and comprises the Presidency of Bengal, with 
the North-west Provinces, Oude, the Punjab, 
Assam, Aracan, Tennasserim, Pegu, and the 
Straits Settlements. The number of the 
clergy in the diocese is about 200, and the 
income of the Bishop is a Government allow¬ 
ance of £4,600 a year. 

During 1866 the attention of the Anglo- 
Indian public was taken up with what was 
called the “ Simla scandal.’ Captain Jervis, 
aide-de-camp to Sir William Mansfield, the 
Commander-in-Chief, was accused of appro¬ 
priating his master’s stores, and of conduct¬ 
ing himself insubordinately while under the 
accusation. The captain was tried by a 
court-martial, which found him guilty of in¬ 
subordination, but acquitted him of the charges 
that led to it, and recommended him to 
mercy. The Commander-in-Chief, however, 
who was the judge as well as the prosecutor 
in the case, would not listen to the recom¬ 
mendation, but ordered the formal sentence 
of cashiering to be carried out. The captain 
was afterwards allowed the value of his com¬ 
mission, and Sir William Mansfield received a 
severe reprimand from the Duke of Cam¬ 
bridge. 

The year 1866 witnessed a famine in Bengal, 
which caused a loss of life amounting to 
double that occasioned by the famine that 
wasted Upper India in 1861. A variety of 
causes working for years combined to bring 
this about. First of all, the population of 
several districts was decimated by an epi¬ 
demic fever which reduced them to a deplo¬ 
rable condition. Then came the cyclone of 
1864, the effects of which remained visible in 
all the places where it appeared with any 
degree of violence. To mitigate its conse¬ 
quences, Bengal was drained of almost all the 


extra quantity of grain which in some dis¬ 
tricts remained in store. Then the rivers 
overflowed their banks, and destroyed the 
crops in many places; and, last of all, there 
was a failure of the rainfall in 1865, followed 
by the consequent scarcity and high price of 
food. Before the next rainy season no fewer 
than a million persons are said to have died 
of hunger or disease. Much of this loss 
might have been prevented if, as was the 
case in the Madras Presidency, which also 
suffered, prompt and energetic measures had 
been taken by the Government; but, at the 
outset, the local government refused to listen 
to the warnings of impending danger, and led 
the Governor-General to believe that the 
pressure was of an unimportant and merely 
passing character, and such measures of relief 
as were adopted were intrusted to the Board 
of Revenue, which showed its utter inca¬ 
pacity to meet the emergency. By the month 
of May the districts of Orissa, Kishnagurh, 
and Tirhut were in the grasp of a severe fa¬ 
mine, which afterwards spread to Behar. The 
people were dying by hundreds, and local 
subscriptions proved inadequate for the relief 
of the famishing population. The very worst 
rice sold for eight seers the rupee, which put 
a full meal quite out of the reach of the lower 
classes, who endeavoured to sustain life by 
feeding on roots, leaves, and berries. Acts 
of violence were being perpetrated under the 
influence of hunger. People were waylaid by 
the starving wretches, in the hope of obtain¬ 
ing by plunder the means of sustaining life ; 
while the police were powerless to prevent 
incendiarism and robberies of granaries, which 
daily increased in frequency. It was only 
after repeated remonstrances that the Govern¬ 
ment was induced to place two lacs of rupees 
from the unexpended balance of the Relief 
Fund of 1860 at the disposal of the Board of 
Revenue for the relief of the famine-stricken 
districts. In June the famine invaded Cal¬ 
cutta itself. Crowds of sufferers from Cattack, 
Monghir, Kishnagurh, and other parts found 
their way to the capital, and wandered about 
the streets in a helpless manner. To such a 
height, indeed, had the distress arrived, that 
fathers and mothers, in a dreadful state of 
debility, sold their emaciated children to 
passers-by for three or four shillings a child. 
Some were seen searching about among the 
refuse cast out at the doors for a few grains 
of food. The rind and stones of mangoes 
were eagerly caught up and sucked, and offal, 
such as a dog would reject, was devoured 
with avidity. Great exertions were made in 
the capital on behalf of these famishing crea¬ 
tures ; even the natives bestirred themselves 
to relieve the misery that met them at their 










56 


HISTORY OF THE 

doors, and several native firms distributed 
cooked food and grain among the hungry 
crowds that every morning besieged their 
residences. At one time the number of desti¬ 
tute that were being fed in Calcutta by native 
charity exceeded 20,000. In July the Lieu¬ 
tenant-Governor, Sir Cecil Beadon, who had 
returned from Darjiling, presided at a meet¬ 
ing of the Board of Revenue, and arrange¬ 
ments were made for pouring rice into Orissa 
at every possible landing-place; but while 
the people were dying by hundreds, the rice 
lay long at the ports, or rotted on the beach 
from the want of means for landing and carry¬ 
ing it. The Lieutenant-Governor soon after¬ 
wards returned to the hills. By the end of 
August the total sum collected in Calcutta 
for the relief of the famine amounted to up¬ 
wards of 99,000 rupees, and the native com¬ 
munity had agreed to feed 8,000 of the 
distressed for two months. Upwards of 
£24,000 and 1,102,287 maunds of rice had 
been assigned to the famine districts by the 
Board of Revenue, and the Public Works De¬ 
partment had been commissioned to expend 
£82,500 in carrying out works of improve¬ 
ment in the distressed districts, £52,500 
being allotted to Bengal generally, and the 
remainder to special districts whose need was 
greatest. In addition to this, a sum set 
apart for the Cattack Trunk-road had been 
supplemented by £10,000, and £61,500 had 
been provided for ordinary expenditure in 
Midnapur, Cattack, Balasor, and Puri. Not¬ 
withstanding all these efforts the famine and 
distress remained widespread. “ Reports 
of the most harrowing nature,” writes the 
Friend of India in September, “ continue to 
reach us from the famine-stricken districts 
around Cattack. Death appears to be the 
solitary escape of thousands and tens of thou¬ 
sands. Whilst it seemed that the lowest 
depths of human endurance and suffering had 
been reached, another and lower deep pre¬ 
sents itself. Floods, and the partial failure 
of the biah crops, have destroyed to a great 
extent the only ray of light which has been 
permitted to touch the picture in Orissa. 
Whilst rice a few weeks back was selling at 
Khunditta for two seers the rupee, this poor 
and little nutritious food is now said to sell at 
Damnuggur, some few miles from Jajipur, at 
one shilling per pound. In the wealthiest 
, countries of the world this simple fact would 
tell its own story, but applied to the poverty- 
stricken and inert peasantry of India, its 
J meaning can only be guessed at by the mis¬ 
sionary and district officer. Jackals and 
vultures grow sleek, and an ominous silence 
rests upon villages half depopulated, fields 
untilled, roads marked by human bones. All 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

the truth will never be realised; how many 
fell who might have been saved by timely 
succour, or how much of the aid furnished 
was never permitted to reach its destination.” 
In the beginning of October Sir Cecil Beadon 
addressed a letter to the chairman of the Cal¬ 
cutta Relief Committee, explaining his reasons 
for having refused to appeal at any earlier 
stage to the public for contributions in aid of 
the sufferers. So long as a balance of the 
North-western Provinces Relief Fund re¬ 
mained available, he did not think it would 
have been proper to ask the public for more, 
whilst the monetary depression which gene¬ 
rally prevailed in Calcutta only strengthened 
this reluctance. He was, moreover, misled 
by official reports from the afflicted districts 
as to the real character of the crisis. “ The 
answer to all this,” says the Hurkaru, “is 
that Sir Cecil Beadon was himself in Cattack 
in February 1866, at the very time that 
famine was tightening its hold all over the 
province. He has just been severely rebuk¬ 
ing an official who ventured to dilate on the 
terrible scenes of distress which he witnessed. 
To an urgent request that further medical aid 
might be afforded to the overtasked medical 
officer at Cattack a harsh rejoinder was 
vouchsafed.” The Calcutta Relief Fund Com¬ 
mittee now found it necessary to appeal a 
second time to the public, as the unexpended 
balance at their disposal would barely suffice 
for the wants of Calcutta alone. Soon after 
this a report on the famine was sent to the 
Bengal Government by the Commissioner of 
Orissa, in which the loss of life among the 
four and a half millions of Orissa alone 
was estimated at from 500,000 to 600,000, 
and in some places at three-fourths of the 
whole population, and the deaths were still 
going on at the rate of 150 a day. The mor¬ 
tality was not less severe proportionally 
in the adjoining district of Midnapur. In 
Ganjam and Chota Nagpur thousands were 
swept away. If to these be added the deaths 
of paupers from the famine-stricken districts 
in Calcutta, and the mortality in the other 
districts of Bengal from Saugor Island to 
Patna and the borders of Nepaul, we have a 
record of loss of life which exceeds in horror 
and extent that of any one of the six great 
droughts of India during the last century. 
From a resolution of the Commissioner on 
the state of the Cattack district, we find that 
during the last five weeks of 1866 the East 
India Irrigation Company employed daily 
25,000 labourers in the whole of Orissa, and 
the number of paupers fed daily amounted to 
20,000. In Cattack district alone no less than 
forty people died every day within the Relief 
Committee’s own observation. The resolu- 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


57 


Chap. CXXXlX.] 

tion contains the following remarkable pas¬ 
sage:—“The Commissioner is aware that 
numbers of the natives pinch themselves 
through many clays of slow starvation, strug¬ 
gling to avoid the horror of losing caste, and 
of thereby entailing on themselves and their 
forefathers and their descendants the imagined 
terror of a chadala s fate in this and the other 
world. Thus on religious grounds they defer 
resorting as casuals to the relief houses until 
all the feelings are swallowed up in the 
animal craving for food, and most of them 
who surrender even to this, the last of all the 
instincts, are too much emaciated to receive 
much benefit from the food distributed to 
them. The Commissioner knows and records 
with much pain that, however the committee 
might deal with hunger, they are compara¬ 
tively powerless to contend with these super¬ 
stitions.” It was not till the middle of 1867 
that Orissa could be said to be once more free 
from sharp suffering. Thousands had been 
kept alive for months by the relief committees, 
and the sickness that follows famine had 
been met and alleviated by a prompt supply 
of medicines and medical skill. By the 
middle of November the famine and scarcity 
were officially pronounced at an end, and the 
relief establishments were withdrawn. The 
land revenue, due in October, was remitted 
in the case of all zemindars the loss on whose 
estates exceeded eight annas of the crop, on 
condition of their remitting rent in the same 
proportion as they received a remission of 
revenue. The people were everywhere in 
good condition, well clad, and cheerful. The 
lands were fully cultivated, the houses neatly 
repaired and newly thatched, and the gardens 
re-enclosed and well stocked. A commission 
appointed by the Government of India to 
inquire into the causes of the famine, and the 
measures taken for the relief of the sufferers, 
reported that timely measures had not been 
taken to meet the evil either when threatened 
or when it became a reality, and expressed 
their opinion that valid reasons could not be 
adduced for this neglect. The conduct of the 
Bengal Government was thus characterized 
by Colonel Durand: “It is clear that the 
appalling nature of the famine was as little 
realised as was the principle that the first 
duty of a government is the preservation of 
the lives of its people. A visitation of this 
awful character is not to be met by recourse 
to the local charity of the Mofussil stations, 
nor by that of the capital of the presidency, 
but by the free and timely application of the 
revenues of the Empire. The measures of 
relief can only thus be proportionate to the 
magnitude of the catastrophe, which in this 
case demanded imperial, not petty exertions. 

VOL. III. 


To this fact the Bengal Government and its 
subordinate officers awoke too late, although 
practically, to quote the words used by the 
Governor-General in the Council at Simla in 
April, his Excellency had given the Govern¬ 
ment of Bengal carte blanche in the matter of 
expenditure, and was prepared to sanction 
calls on the imperial revenue to any amount.” 
Sir Cecil Beadon, several of the subordinate 
officials, and the Board of Revenue were 
sharply censured by the Viceroy, which cen¬ 
sure was confirmed by the Home Govern¬ 
ment. Respecting the Board his Excellency 
said, “It appears to the Viceroy impossible 
to acquit the Board of Revenue of serious 
errors in their management of affairs in Orissa 
from the very commencement of the crisis 
even to the end. The members of the Board 
at the outset set their faces against the wish 
of the officers of districts to go about, and 
ascertain the real state of things and the 
actual out-turn of the harvest, under the de¬ 
lusion that inquiry was useless, and even per¬ 
nicious, unless followed by remission of re¬ 
venue, which they had determined not to 
grant or recommend. And the Board, having 
once taken up the opinion that importation of 
grain by State agency was inexpedient, ad¬ 
hered to that conclusion, it may be said, to 
the last. Even when the Lieutenant-Governor, 
on the 10th and 17th of May, suggested to 
them the expediency of reporting, the Board 
declined to do so, and nothing, therefore, was 
done until the 29th of that month, when his 
Honour directed that grain should be im¬ 
ported. Thus, at a very critical time, nearly 
a fortnight of time, that it is difficult to 
value, was lost. On the 9th of June, in like 
spirit, the Board thought it unnecessary to 
send down more grain. Hence it was that 
the importation of food in all June was quite 
inadequate to the urgent demand.” 

In the Madras Presidency the greatest 
amount of suffering was in the northern dis¬ 
trict of Ganjam; but, in striking contrast to 
the supineness of the Bengal authorities, 
everything possible was done by the execu¬ 
tive for the relief of the sufferers. The 
Governor, Lord Napier, himself visited Gan¬ 
jam, and witnessed the distress, and the mea¬ 
sures taken to relieve it. Though the area 
over which the famine extended included a 
population of 250,000, the portion in which 
the scarcity rose to the pitch of starvation did 
not embrace more than 120,000. The ryots 
were the most deeply afflicted class, as they 
could not accept charity at the relief houses ; 
but they showed, nevertheless, great resigna¬ 
tion and self-respect. His lordship visited 
some of their cottages, “ where destitution 
and starvation might be seen in every pathetic 

i 



58 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


and terrible form.” The roads, he says, were 
full of wretched creatures prostrate on the 
earth, and in many places he was pursued by 
clamorous crowds, which he likened to flocks 
of skeletons or ghosts. The other districts 
that suffered were chiefly North and South 
Arcot, Salem, Trichinopoly, Belary, and 
Karnul. In consequence of the extreme 
scarcity of wholesome food, the people had 
recourse for sustenance to various vegetable 
products of an injurious kind, which neces¬ 
sarily'caused much disease, and led to great 
mortality among the lower classes. In addi¬ 
tion to the sad loss of human life, immense 
numbers of cattle perished. In two of the 
Salem taluks alone 100,000 beasts died, and 
similar losses were sustained in other parts 
of the presidency—misfortunes which most 
seriously affected the unfortunate ryots ; for, 
however abundant the water supply may be, 
the extent of tillage must depend on the num¬ 
ber of cattle available for the plough. The 
Hon. Mr. Ellis, who was sent to report on 
the afflicted districts, emphatically pointed 
out in his report that this terrible calamity 
could have been greatly mitigated, if not alto¬ 
gether avoided. “ There are,” says he, “ in 
the records of the Board of Revenue and of 
the Public Works Department, plans of irri¬ 
gation-works, which, if they had been exe¬ 
cuted, would not only have been highly remu¬ 
nerative, but would have this year made the 
serious failure of rain result in only a partial 
instead of an entire loss of crops. It is 
beyond my province to do more than allude 
to this question ; but it was impossible that 
it should not be constantly a subject of thought 
and regret, for there was scarcely a village 
through which I passed, in company with the 
district officers, where there was not the same 
complaint of breached tanks and channels out 
of repair ; while in many places great natural 
reservoirs were pointed out to me, which only 
required a comparatively moderate outlay of 
money to bring into cultivation large tracts 
of country now lying waste. Considerable 
rivers and streams are allowed to flow into 
the sea, carrying away the drainage of thou¬ 
sands of square miles of country; which, 
if retained by a carefully improved system of 
dams in the river valleys, with connected 
channels, might store water sufficient to carry 
the crops through even as severe a season as 
that which we have recently experienced.” 
Famines and scarcities are, for the most 
part, not the consequence of Heaven’s denying 
its bounties, but of man’s neglect to make a 
proper use of them when granted. Soon after 
this the Secretary of State gave his sanction 
to further measures for the improvement of 
the hydraulic system of the presidency, and 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 

a scheme was promptly adopted by the Go¬ 
vernor for the enlargement of certain great 
tanks lying westward of Madras, which would 
largely increase the means of water storage. 
A contract was also executed between the 
Secretary of State and the Madras Irrigation 
and Canal Company, by which funds were to 
be lent to the latter, as they might require 
them, up to a total of £600,000, to enable 
them to prosecute the works with vigour, and 
complete a section of the undertaking. In 
September, 1866, the scarcity and high price 
of grain occasioned serious riots in Madras, 
which obliged the civil authority to call in 
military assistance, as the police force was no 
longer able to restrain the growing violence 
of the mobs which gathered simultaneously 
in different parts of the town and suburbs. 
About 130 shops and houses were looted, 
the value of the property plundered amount¬ 
ing to nearly Rs. 25,000. It consisted 
chiefly of grain, but included also money, 
jewels, and other articles. Upwards of 300 
persons were arrested, many of whom were 
convicted and punished. Similar disturb¬ 
ances happened at Vellor, Palikat, and in 
other districts around Madras. Serious food 
riots also took place in October at Colombo, 
Ceylon. 

Before the famine had altogether disap¬ 
peared, and just as the last mouthfuls of pub¬ 
lic food were being doled out to the more 
helpless sufferers, another cyclone burst over 
the luckless region, killing upwards of 3,000 
persons and many thousands of cattle, de¬ 
stroying millions of property, rendering 30,000 
families houseless, and blighting the new¬ 
born promise of an abundant harvest. The 
storm broke out at Calcutta on the night of 
November 1st, 1867, after a few days of pre¬ 
liminary squalls, and was at its height from 
about ten p.m. to two a.m. next morning. For¬ 
tunately the hurricane swept down the river, 
and had to contend with the tide coming up, 
instead of bringing with it the dreaded storm- 
wave which did so much damage in the 
cyclone of 1864. The shipping, consequently, 
suffered much less injury, although about 500 
native boats of various sizes, many of them 
laden with grain and jute, were sunk or de¬ 
stroyed, and upwards of 600 lives were lost. 
But in the city and its suburbs, and in the 
whole district between Calcutta and the 
mouths of the Ganges, there was a fearful 
destruction of life and property. 

In November, 1866, Sir John Lawrence 
visited Agra, where a series of pageants was 
held, which exceeded in brilliancy anything 
of the kind ever known in India, even when 
under the sway of the imperial Ellenborough 
or of the royal Dalhousio On the 16th the 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


59 


Chap. CXXXIX.J 

Viceroy held an investiture of the Star of 
India, when the Maharajahs of Jodhpur and 
Kerowli were installed Knights Grand Com¬ 
manders, and many other persons were in¬ 
vested with the dignity of Knights Com¬ 
manders and Companions. On the previous 
day a grand review of the troops took place, 
followed by races. After the ceremony of 
investiture on the 16th, a ball was given by 
the Viceroy in the large durbar tent, and 
next evening the wonderful Taj was bril¬ 
liantly illuminated by Sindia. From the 
outer gateway, by which the courtyard is 
entered, all the way up the garden, where 
the glare of tens of thousands of lamps was 
reflected in the still clear water of the reser¬ 
voir, up to the Taj itself, which glistened amid 
an ocean of light, and to the edge of the old 
carved stone trellis-work overlooking the 
Jumna, was all one blaze. On the 20th the 
Viceroy held a grand durbar, when he ad¬ 
dressed the assembled chiefs in Hindustani 
as follows:— 

“ Oh ! Maharajahs, Rajahs, and Sirdars ! 

“It is with great satisfaction that I see you 
all assembled before me this day. I bid you 
all a hearty welcome to this famous city, 
renowned for its splendid Taj ; and, above 
all, as having been in former days the seat of 
government of the great Emperor, from whom 
it derives its name of Akbar-a-bad. 

“It is good for us thus to meet together: 
it is advantageous for me, as the Viceroy of 
the illustrious Queen of England and India, 
to see and become acquainted with so many 
chiefs of rank and reputation ; and, for you 
all, it is right that you should be able to 
speak face to face with me, and hear my 
views and wishes regarding the management 
of your respective territories. 

“ The art of governing wisely and well is 
a difficult one, which is only to be attained 
by much thought, and care, and labour. Few 
kings and chiefs in Hindustan have possessed 
the necessary qualifications, because they have 
not taken the precaution in their youth to 
learn to study and to act for themselves ; nor 
did they care to have their sons—those who 
were to succeed them—well instructed and 
carefully trained. Hence it has so often hap¬ 
pened that, after the chief has passed away, 
he has not been remembered as a good and 
wise ruler. Great men, when living, often 
receive praise from their friends and adherents 
for virtues which they do not possess ; but it is 
only after this life is ended that the real truth 
is told. Of all fame that such men can acqune, 
that alone is worth having which is accorded 
to a just and beneficent ruler. The names ot 
conquerors and heroes are forgotten, but those 
of virtuous and wise chiefs live for ever. 


“ The days of war and rapine, it is to he 
hoped, have passed away from Hindustan, 
never to return. But perhaps some of the 
chiefs now present can recollect the time in 
India, and all must have heard of the times, 
when neither the palace of the ruler, nor the 
cottage of the peasant, nor the most sacred 
edifices of Hindu or Mahomedan, were safe 
from the hands of the plunderer and destroyer. 
In those days whole provinces were one 
scene of devastation and misery, and in vast 
tracts of country scarcely the light of a lamp 
was to be seen in a single village. English 
rule in India has put all this down. No 
longer is the country a waste and a wilder¬ 
ness, the abode of savage animals. Now it 
is to a great extent covered with populous 
villages, and rich with cultivation ; and all 
the inhabitants are living in comparative 
safety under the shade of English power. 

“ But while such, no doubt, to a great 
extent is a true picture of the state of India, 
still, when we inquire closely into the condi¬ 
tion of different parts of the country, we can¬ 
not but perceive that much tyranny and op¬ 
pression are still practised ; that much indi¬ 
vidual suffering still exists ; and that much 
crime escapes unpunished. That peace and 
that security from outward violence which 
the British Government confers on your terri¬ 
tories you must extend to your people. None 
but the rulers of their own lands can accom¬ 
plish this ; and they only can do it by con¬ 
stant care and supervision. They have plenty 
of time to do all that is necessary, it they 
have only the will. Chiefs have abundant 
time for their own pleasures and amusements ; 
indeed, many of them have more leisure than 
they can employ, and are often weary from 
want of something to interest them. Others, 
again, waste their time in disputes with their 
neighbours, in quarrels with their feudatories, 
and even in still less satisfactory ways. 

“ If a chief will neglect his proper duty— 
the care of his state—how can he expect that 
a deputy will perform it properly for him ? 
Good laws, and well-selected officials carefully 
supervised, are necessary to insure good go¬ 
vernment. An efficient police and a well- 
managed revenue are equally desirable, so 
that people may live in safety, and enjoy the 
fruits of their industry. Schools for the edu¬ 
cation of the young, and hospitals for the 
cure of the sick, should also be established. 
Some chiefs are perhaps in debt, and would 
find it difficult to do much in the way I have 
sketched. But other chiefs have abundant 
revenues \ and all I ask is that every ruler 
should act according to his means. Some 
among you vie with each other for precedence, 
and feel aggrieved at the position which they 












60 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


occupy. How much more to the purpose 
would it be if all would try which can govern 
his country in the wisest manner! In this 
way there is abundance of scope for all. 
The British Government will honour that 
chief most who excels in the good manage¬ 
ment of his people ; who does most to put 
down crime and improve the condition of his 
country. There are chiefs in this durbar 
who have acquired a reputation in this way. 
I may mention Maharajah Sindia and the 
Begum of Bhopal. The death of the late 
Hawaii Ghous, Khan of Jowra, was a cause 
of gi-ief to me, for I have heard that he was 
a wise and beneficent ruler. The Rajah of 
Satamow, in Malwah, is now ninety years 
old; and yet it is said that he manages his 
country very well. The Rajah of Ketra, in 
Jeypoor, has been publicly honoured for the 
wise arrangements he has made in his lands. 
It is to me a very great pleasure when I hear 
of the meritorious conduct of any chief; and 
I try and make this known, so as to encourage 
other rulers to follow his example. 

“ Kings and chiefs in former times had no 
idea of opening out their countries. They 
often lived in difficult and almost inacces¬ 
sible positions, surrounding their palaces 
with all kinds of fortifications, out of which 
they seldom ventured to any distance, and 
then only when attended by as many soldiers 
and armed followers as they could muster. 
As to travelling to see the wonders of other 
countries, such an idea never entered their 
minds ; or if it did, it was dismissed as utterly 
impracticable. Now the princes of Hindustan 
have little hesitation in moving from one place 
to another at a distance from their own terri¬ 
tories ; and some chiefs have become so en¬ 
lightened and far-seeing as to be willing to 
have roads made through the length and 
breadth of their lands, and some have con¬ 
tributed annually considerable sums for this 
purpose. I hope that others will follow their 
example, and do all they can to construct 
roads, canals, and wells in their country, thus 
enriching themselves and their people. 

“ I will now conclude by wishing you all 
again a welcome to Agra, and trust that what 
you will have seen and heard, and the general 
reception you have received, may make you 
long remember this durbar. 

“ I have but one object, namely, that you 
should try and govern your people well, and 
thus conduce to your own good name and 
their happiness.” 

In April, 1867, was held at Hurdwar the 
most famous of those great religious gather¬ 
ings called fairs, which periodically attract 
millions of people to some central spot, gene¬ 
rally the banks of a river, for devotional pur¬ 


poses. In the present year the collection 
was unusually large, owing to the return of 
a sacred cycle which recurs every twelfth 
year, and is called the Coombha fair, so named 
from the planet Jupiter being then in the sign 
of Aquarius, at which season the pilgrimage to 
the sacred river and bathing in it are supposed 
to be accompanied by especial and peculiar 
blessings. Every one hundred and forty-fourth 
year the sanctity of the ceremony is increased 
in proportion to the rarity of its recurrence, 
and the cycle fell in 1867. In addition to 
this, a belief had gained ground in all parts of 
the peninsula that the sacred character of the 
Ganges was being interfered with, and that 
ere the time of another gathering could arrive 
it would be entirely destroyed. This idea, it 
is suggested, arose on the completion of the 
Ganges Canal, which it was supposed would 
eventually dry up the river by exhausting its 
waters. The notion may also have a deeper 
signification, indicating that the advance of 
intelligence, the result of British rule and 
education, is destined to undermine the in¬ 
fluence of the Brahminical priesthood and 
the sanctity of the holy stream. 

Some particulars of the great Coombh, as 
related by an eye-witness, may not be un¬ 
interesting. It is necessary to premise that, 
owing to the immense concourse of people 
which was expected, and the certainty that it 
would be attended or followed by the out¬ 
break of some epidemic, the Government had 
taken every precaution possible to secure 
attention to sanitary arrangements, as well 
as to preserve the peace, for bands of devo¬ 
tees assemble in thousands under rival spi¬ 
ritual guides, and not uncommonly enact the 
same sort of scene that might be witnessed 
in former years at the church of the so-called 
Holy Sepulchre, where pilgrims who came to 
pray remained to fight. 

“ The gathering of the people from differ¬ 
ent parts of India commenced about the 10th 
of March, and increased steadily up to the 
7th of April. From that day till the 11th 
the rush of pilgrims pouring in upon the 
sacred spot was immense. It is supposed 
that there were not less than from two and a 
half to three millions collected in the place. 
On the 12th, the sacred day, this mighty con¬ 
course of human beings arose as one man for 
the ceremony of purification. 

“ One of the first objects of the authorities 
had been to erect ten bridges across the river 
at certain intervals, which were placed under 
the charge of police, and marked off with 
different-coloured flags, in order to prevent 
collision between streams of people crossing 
over bridges in different directions. One of 
the most striking features of the fair is the 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


61 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

assembling of the different sects or followers 
of various * faquirs ’ or ‘ mahunts,’ who are 
noted for some peculiarity in their religious 
teaching. In 1843 a very serious collision 
took place between the followers of two 
opposing sects regarding precedence in bath¬ 
ing, which was attended by loss of life. On 
the present occasion measures were taken to 
bring them in under an escort, which both 
acted as a guide and prevented any breach of 
the peace. It was a curious sight to watch 
these processions of devotees, under the 
leadership of their several faquirs, marching 
with a cavalry escort headed by the magis¬ 
trate, a road being made for them through 
the surrounding mass of human beings by the 
foot police. After performing the seven pre¬ 
scribed immersions in the sacred water, the 
processions returned as they came across the 
bridges to their respective encampments.” 

The writer, whose account was published 
in the Delhi Gazette of the 18th April, proceeds 
as follows:— 

“ I must here make prominent mention of 
the admirable arrangements made by Major 
Watson, Superintendent of Police, for check¬ 
ing the progress of the overwhelming crowd 
approaching the ‘sacred ghaut’ (bathing- 
place) at the time when the sects of faquirs 
were in the water. These were executed by 
means of red flags placed in the hands of 
policemen stationed on prominent localities 
at intervals of three and four hundred yards 
all along the main road appointed for the 
people, and where strong bodies of police 
were posted, and barricades erected. When 
each set of faquirs approached the bridge 
of boats to cross over to the sacred ghaut, 
the red flag at the ghaut would be ex¬ 
hibited, a signal for all other flags to be 
waved, indicating that the ghaut was occu¬ 
pied by the faquirs. The police at the barri¬ 
cades immediately drew up in line, and 
stopped the onward progress of the multi¬ 
tude. The communication was so rapid and 
effective, that the mass was simultaneously 
broken into divisions, and stopped without the 
dread of the people falling over one another 
and being crushed. When these flags were 
withdrawn it was a signal for the crowd to 
be allowed to proceed again. Had this 
method not been adopted, great loss of life 
would inevitably have occurred during this 
momentous day. But one death happened on 
the Dehra Dhoon side, owing to the giving 
way of one of the barricades through the im¬ 
mense weight on it, and by which a few per¬ 
sons were injured. 

“ The greater portion of the crowd took up 
their position on tire vast tract of land opposite 
the river, familiarly called the Island of 


Roree. This part of Hurdwar was marked 
off into bazaars, ‘ mohullas,’ and marts for 
cattle of all kinds, and placed by Major Wat¬ 
son under the superintendence of Captain 
Bramly, who worked it as a district with six 
police-stations, composed of ,140 constables, 
irrespective of officers. The sanitary arrange¬ 
ments of this island, together with those for 
the whole fair, were conducted by Dr. Cutliffe, 
F.R.C.S., the civil surgeon of Saharunpore. 
To these the officer’s unremitting exertions the 
total absence of sickness was attributable; 
his close supervision and directions to the 
police respecting the keeping clean all latrines, 
and the burning and reducing to ashes all 
filth in furnaces erected for the purpose, 
effectually checked the birth of any disease. 
No epidemic or infectious diseases showed 
themselves. Hospitals were erected in dif¬ 
ferent parts of the grounds to accommodate 
the sick, but happily they were but little used. 
It would only take up too much space were I 
to detail the sanitary arrangements; suffice 
it to say that, had irregular squatting been 
permitted, as was too well experienced at the 
late Agra durbar, cholera would to a certain 
extent have made its appearance in so dense 
a crowd. 

“I cannot mention in language too high 
the commendable exertions of the police of 
the North-west Provinces and Punjab. They 
have as a body worked hard and with a will; 
their exertions at the sacred ghaut were the 
theme of praise. Young and old, infirm and 
blind, alike received their needful help in pull¬ 
ing and assisting them up the wooden steps 
at the water’s edge. Women in hundreds 
rushed frantically into the water with babes 
in their arms, which in the immense crowd 
were torn from them, but none lost their 
children; people who had accidentally lost 
their wives and children found them after a 
short time at an adjoining police-station, 
where all were conveyed and kept till owned. 
It is wonderful that no loss of life occurred. 

“It would have been impossible to have 
made anything like a correct estimate of the 
crowd which assembled at this fair, but calcu¬ 
lating by the Oriental system of one lac of 
souls to every square ‘ coss,’ it was judged 
that there were no less than three millions ot 
people at this Coomb fair. For miles round 
Hurdwar, and on the Dehra Dhoon side, a 
vast encampment as far as the eye could reach 
was seen. Most conspicuous of all was that 
of his Highness the Maharajah of Cashmere. 
His Highness the Rajah of Bhurtpore offered 
up his orisons to the shrine of Mahadeo, 
but in quite a different way from the pomp and 
show displayed by the Maharajah of Cash- 
mere. Various people of note and respecta- 








62 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


bility were here, among them Sir Deo Narain 
Singh, K.S.I., with bare bead and the cus¬ 
tomary small winding-sheet; but now all, 
poor and rich, are wending their way home¬ 
wards. 

“ This fair vail long be held in remem¬ 
brance, chiefly and solely for the complete¬ 
ness of the arrangements that were adopted 
for the convenience and well-being of the 
crowd, both as regards the sacred ghaut and 
in a sanitary point of view. Certainly some 
little confusion and discontent made themselves 
apparent at the onset, but a little trouble soon 
made the people acquainted with the different 
routes appointed to take them to and from the 
ghaut, as well as the object of the latrines 
which had been prepared for them on dif¬ 
ferent parts of the ground. The names of 
Major Watson and Mr. Robertson, the magis¬ 
trate of Saharunpore, with those of other 
officers, will long be remembered, and will 
spread far and wide, as the ‘ pundits ’ have 
made a note in their books of all officers’ 
names. This vast crowd is fast dispersing, 
praising the British raj, and crying out, ‘Wat¬ 
son, sahib ke jye,’ for the ease and convenience 
they little expected to find, as it is notorious 
that no Coomb fair has yet taken place that 
has not been attended with loss of life and 
sickness.” 

Though disease was prevented as long as 
the vast concourse remained subject to the 
arrangements made by the authorities, the mo¬ 
ment the fair came to an end and the pilgrims 
commenced their homeward routes cholera 
broke out, and the whole of Upper India was 
threatened with the scourge. Up to the 11th 
of April the health of the immense crowd was 
remarkably good. There were no cases of 
unusual sickness, and not one of cholera. The 
temperature had been kept pleasantly cool by 
slight squalls of wind and rain, but on the 
night of the 11th a severe thunder-storm 
set in, with heavy rain, which lasted to the 
following noon, causing a fall in the tempera¬ 
ture of 14° in one day. About noon on 
the 12th the great bathing-rite took place, 
and after that the cholera broke out. “ The 
bathing-place was a space 650 feet long by 
about 30 wide, shut off from the rest of the 
river by rails. Into this long, narrow en¬ 
closure the pilgrims from all parts of the en¬ 
campment crowded as closely as possible from 
morning till sunset. The water within the 
space was during the whole time thick and 
dirty, partly from the ashes of the dead 
brought by surviving relatives to be deposited 
in the sacred waters, and partly from the 
washing of the clothes and bodies of the 
bathers. The custom is for the pilgrims to 
dip themselves three times into the liquid 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 

filth (water it can no longer be called), and 
then, oh, horror ! to drink it! This part of 
the ceremony is never omitted ; and when 
two or more members of a family bathe to¬ 
gether, each from his own hand gives to the 
other water to drink. And the reciprocal 
offerings of water take place between friends 
as well as relatives, the drinking being ac¬ 
companied by vows of love and fidelity and 
friendship. The quantity of water thus im¬ 
bibed varies, but it is never less than about as 
much as can be taken up by the palms of two 
hands held together so as to form a cup, and 
usually several cupfuls are drunk.'’ 

Next morning there were eight cases of 
cholera in the hospital. The assemblage now 
began to disperse, and by the evening of the 
15th the ground, so lately covered with 
human dwellings, shops, and stores, was 
once more a bare silent plain. Four main 
lines of road lead from Hurdwar, and at each 
of the first halting-places on these cases of 
cholera were recorded on the 13th. As the 
pilgrim streams proceeded the roads became 
lined with victims, “ whose funeral pyres 
studded the surrounding fields, or whose 
bodies were thrown into the canal or col¬ 
lected by the police and buried. The disease 
was communicated to the neighbouring towns 
and villages, and the pilgrims carried it with 
them to their homes over the whole of Hindo- 
stan.” The improved modes of travelling, too, 
helped to convey the disease to places for¬ 
merly free from its attack. At Multan, for 
example, where cholera had been unknown 
for nearly a quarter of a century, the epidemic 
was spread by pilgrims returning by rail from 
Lahor as early as the last days of April. 
Notwithstanding all the efforts of the Govern¬ 
ment officers to arrest or abate the evil, it 
continued until the end of the rains, during 
which period reports were received of more 
than 42,557 deaths, a number considered far 
short of the reality.* 

In November, 1867, a magnificent dur¬ 
bar was held by the Viceroy at Lucknow. 
On this occasion his Excellency entered the 
city in state, accompanied by a procession 
four miles in length, in which five hundred 
tall elephants carried three thousand natives 
of rank and distinction, all blazing alike in 
gold and silver and precious stones and bright 
colours. In the durbar the Maharajah Maun 
Singh praised the Viceroy for completing the 
generous policy of Lord Canning, and pro¬ 
mised all just and kind behaviour on the part 
of the talukdars towards their tenants; and 
his Excellency in reply reminded his hearers 
of their responsibilities, exhorted them to 

* Prichard’s Administration of India; Allen's 
Indian Mail. 






IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


63 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

justice and tender care for the people, and 
assured them that much more depended on 
their good sense and fairness than on the laws. 

The measure by which the completion of 
Lord Canning’s policy, referred to by Maun 
Singh, was effected, was the settlement by a 
compromise in 1866 of a difficulty regarding 
so-called tenant and sub-proprietary rights in 
Oude, which had been the subject of dis¬ 
cussion for upwards of two years. By an 
inquiry conducted by Mr. Davies, the Finan¬ 
cial Commissioner, it was proved, by those 
who had an eager desire to discover the 
opposite, that the tenants had no right of 
occupancy which could be successfully main¬ 
tained against the will of the landlord. The 
conclusion was accepted by Sir John Law¬ 
rence, who declared that no rights of occu¬ 
pancy would he created by the Government. 
An arrangement was then come to of such 
a nature as to satisfy all parties. As re¬ 
gards sub-settlements, the basis upon which 
the opposing claims and conflicting interests 
of the two classes were adjusted was that 
the State should make some sacrifice of its 
ordinary and legitimate dues in favour of 
the talukdars wherever, under the rules of 
assessment hitherto in force in such cases, 
an inadequate profit would have been left to 
the sub-proprietors ; and that the talukdars 
on their part should, under the same circum¬ 
stances, resign a proportion of their rental 
equal to that given up by the State, or that 
they should allow a moderate maintenance to 
the excluded sub-proprietors in the shape of 
land to be held rent free, or on light rent rates, 
in lieu of all further claims of a proprietary 
nature in the soil. It was further agreed that 
the sub-proprietor and the talukdar should 
be encouraged to buy out each other’s rights, 
on the principle of the enfranchisement of 
copyhold in England, thus enabling each to 
retain a complete right of property over part 
of an estate instead of unequally sharing an 
incomplete and conflicting right over the 
whole, and giving a legitimate effect to capital 
in connection with the soil. With regard to 
tenant right, the talukdars, in consideration of 
the above settlement and the advantages ac¬ 
cruing to them from it, voluntarily agreed to 
recognise the right of occupancy on beneficial 
terms in a large body of the ex-proprietary 
class—tillers of the land once owned by 
themselves or by their ancestors. The con¬ 
cession, likewise, embraced the interests of 
such cultivators as had settled hamlets, had 
reclaimed wastes, or had added by improve¬ 
ments to the selling value of their fields. The 
terms thus settled embraced in their aggregate 
a large body of the cultivators of the pro¬ 
vince, and of those classes especially which 


claimed most strongly the sympathy and 
interest of the British Government. His 
Excellency in Council felt assured that the 
liberal policy thus inaugurated by the taluk¬ 
dars themselves would, in the long run, re¬ 
dound to their own interests by the important 
impetus to the improvement of their estates 
which would, follow on the acquisition by the 
ryots of a better title, while it would tend to 
the contentment and the comfort of the cul¬ 
tivators themselves. The concession granted 
was that the tenants in question should pay 
12^- per cent., or two annas in the rupee less 
than the market rate of rent. Rent was not 
to be enhanced more frequently than once in 
five years, and the right of enfranchisement 
was provided for, so that tenants at will who 
were ousted would be able to claim either a 
cash compensation for unexhausted improve¬ 
ments, or a lease on terms sufficiently favour¬ 
able to indemnify them for their expenditure. 

In Burmah the year 1866 was one of 
trouble and commotion. A fire that de¬ 
stroyed some ten thousand houses in Man- 
delay, the capital, was succeeded by an in¬ 
surrection headed by two sons of the King, 
who murdered their uncle, supposed to be the 
intended heir to the throne, while he was 
sitting in the council-hall in the enclosure of 
the King’s palace. At the same time a party 
of their followers rushed into the palace, and 
killed many of the principal ministers and 
officers of state. Captain Sladen, the British 
Political Agent, who was in the palace at the 
time, would, it is said, have been cut down, 
but for the timely interference of one of the 
conspirators. The King had to fly from his 
palace and stand a siege in the city. Some 
time afterwards, however, the rebel princes, 
finding resistance vain, gave themselves up to 
the British authorities, and Colonel Phayre, 
Chief Commissioner of British Burmah, pro¬ 
ceeded to Mandelay with a view of restoring 
peace, and obtaining some better guarantee 
for the maintenance of British interests. 
Colonel Phayre’s mission, however, proved un¬ 
successful, and he resigned his Commissioner- 
ship, which he had held for twelve years, and 
was succeeded by Colonel Fytche. The 
latter in October, 1867, arrived at Mandelay, 
and obtained a treaty from the King of Bur¬ 
mah, in which he granted all the concessions 
which the year before he had refused to 
Colonel Phayre. The embassy was received 
with a magnificence never before known. 
The following account of its reception is 
abridged from the Indian Daily News :— 

A long array of elephants, on which tho 
envoy and suite and a crowd of Wondouks 
and other high Burmese officials were mounted, 
escorted by 3,000 Burmese foot-soldiers and 








64 


HISTORY OF THE 

500 cavalry, proceeded along a road three 
miles and a half in length from the river-side 
to the residency. G-olden umbrellas, scarlet 
and white uniforms, glistening spears and 
swords, and the strange uncouth grandeur of 
Burmese notions of ornament and magnifi¬ 
cence mingled with the white faces and vary¬ 
ing forms of the envoy and suite, and the rare 
flutter of a silken dress as the European 
ladies who happened to be of the party were 
carried in handsomely gilded tonjons along 
the swarthy crowd, rendered the spectacle 
as striking, if not as imposing, as any that 
had been lately witnessed in India. The 
party—consisting of Colonel Fytche, the 
Chief Commissioner; Captain Duncan, In¬ 
spector-General of Police; Mr. Edwards, 
Collector of Customs ; the Rev. Mr. Crofton, 
Chaplain of Rangoon; the officers of the 
escort, which consisted of eighty-four men; 
and two ladies,Mrs. Fytche and Mrs. Lloyd— 
left Rangoon on the 20th of September. After 
a slow progress up the river, they ultimately 
met four war-boats, with some of the deputa¬ 
tion who had been sent to meet the party; 
and these, consisting of the Papopa Won- 
douk, the head of the mission from Mande- 
lay, a venerable and well-affected gentleman, 
who bore his part with much self-composure 
and dignity; the Padein Won, also from the 
capital, a young intelligent Burman, who 
spoke English well, having been educated in 
Calcutta; lastly, the ex-Won of Isingo, an 
elderly and pleasant-mannered officer of the 
court, who had frequently been employed on 
like duties, and who had similarly received 
the first mission to the court of Ava in 1855, 
and had accompanied the Burmese ambassa¬ 
dors to Calcutta when they visited Lord Dal- 
housie, were ceremonially received on board 
the 'Nemesis. Provision had been made at 
all the towns along the river for the reception 
of the Commissioner, so that delays were 
frequent, and progress slow. At most of 
these stations—Menlah, a town of 700 houses; 
Marne, of 800 houses; Yaynankhyoung, a 
somewhat larger town ; Tsilleinyo, a prettily 
situated town on a hill surmounted with 
pagodas; Pagan, a place famous for its 
pagodas ; Myneegyan, the locality from which 
the eldest prince of the blood derives his 
title, and which is one of the few towns that 
supply a good deal of freight to steamers 
plying between Mandelay and Rangoon— 
reception sheds were prepared; the envoy 
or party was welcomed ashore, where guards 
of honour, consisting of from fifty to one 
hundred and fifty men armed with old flint 
muskets, received them ; and the Pooay or 
Burmese plays were carried on all day. At last, 
on the evening of the 6th of October, or about 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

sixteen days after departure, the fleet, con¬ 
sisting of steamers and flats, and a large 
number of war-boats, slowly sailed up the 
Irawady as it narrows towards Mandelay, 
and anchored at their destination at three 
p.m. On the evening of the 9th the party 
were safely located in the residency, which 
had been enclosed by a strong post and mat 
fence and within which enclosure all the 
buildings for the mission had been erected. 
Presents of all kinds flowed in abundantly 
from the King and his ministers ; and all day 
long Burmese plays were being performed. 
Two days after—a very brief interval for 
Burmese ceremonials, and consequently a 
mark of condescension on the part of the 
King—Colonel Fytche went in state to visit 
his Majesty. The procession was somewhat 
similar to that in which he entered Mandelay ; 
the number of troops, however, having been 
increased by about 5,000 men specially re¬ 
cruited and somewhat absurdly dressed, and 
armed with swords, spears, and old muskets, 
who formed a street of honour into the 
palace. At the eastern gate the party dis¬ 
mounted, and swords and umbrellas were 
dispensed with. The palace is enclosed first 
by a strong wooden stockade ; then, at an 
interval of one hundred feet, by a brick wall; 
and at a further interval of one hundred feet 
by another brick wall. At the side of the 
gate of the inner wall there was a wicket 
through which the embassy passed. About 
twenty yards intervened between this wicket 
and the steps of the palace, where the party 
took off their shoes, and were then led through 
the Mayaynan, or principal hall of audience, 
in which is the throne. Leaving the 
throne to the left, and passing out of the 
Mayaynan, a smaller chamber just behind 
the throne was reached ; here it was that the 
audience was given. It was an open hall or 
portico, supported by white chunamed pil¬ 
lars, and was about thirty feet square ; at the 
western side, before a golden folding door, 
was placed a low couch for his Majesty ; im¬ 
mediately in front of this, at a distance of 
four or five yards, the envoy and party sat 
down. They were flanked by numerous Bur¬ 
mese officials, who on either side reached 
up close to his Majesty’s couch. Some fifteen 
or twenty minutes elapsed, and then the doors 
were thrown open. The King was seen ap¬ 
proaching from a considerable distance up a 
vista of gilded doors of various succeeding 
chambers. He was preceded by two officers 
carrying dhas (Burmese swords), and accom¬ 
panied by a child of five or six years of age, 
one of his little daughters. He took off his 
shoes at the further side of the couch, and sat 
down reclining on one side. Silence prevailed 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


65 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

for some time, and then the King opened the 

conversation.After the reception, up 

to the 23rd, visits were exchanged with the 
principal ministers, each visit being a pretext 
for general festivity throughout the city, and 
an unusual display of golden umbrellas, ele¬ 
phants, presents of fruit, sweetmeats, nuts, 
and Burmese delicacies, conveyed in proces¬ 
sion on rich golden salvers, and a constant 
succession of plays. One of the most in¬ 
teresting of these was by an amateur ballet 
corps, composed of the young ladies attached 
to the household of the Queen, whose per¬ 
formance the mission, by special invitation, 
witnessed on the 23rd of October. It com¬ 
menced by the entrance of about thirty 
young girls in single file, who arranged them¬ 
selves in a semicircle, and, kneeling down, 
bowed to his Majesty. They wore the ordi¬ 
nary tamine, or Burmese petticoat, but the 
jacket was more of the fashion of that worn 
by princes in the plays. The tamines were 
all red and green, the jackets white satin, 
with circular pieces of silver stitched on, so 
as somewhat to resemble armour. On the 
head the girls wore peaked helmets, also 
usually worn by male performers in the ordi¬ 
nary plays. The girls rising, first performed 
a slow graceful dance round the theatre to 
the accompaniment of the band, varying the 
step and pace from time to time, and again 
knelt down ; one of the number, taking up her 
position in the centre, then sang or chanted 
a slow hymn in honour of his Majesty, de¬ 
scribing his greatness and goodness. The 
dead silence of the whole assembly, the clear 
and exceedingly sweet tone of the girl’s voice, 
and the peculiar measure of the air, half 
recitative, half hymnal, made the whole scene 
most striking and beautiful. The hymn con¬ 
sisted of three verses; and, at the end of 
each, the girls, still kneeling, bowed low to 
his Majesty. They then resumed the dance, 
which they accompanied with a low chant, 
and varied it by beating time with two orna¬ 
mental sticks which they now carried. This, 
too, being ended, the King rose and left. The 
famous white elephant was on this occasion 
visited, and found to be a brownish animal, 
with hair not so coarse as the ordinary ele¬ 
phant, and with a few light points, but only 
to be called white by courtesy. His stable 
companion was a very, black female, which 
tended to a certain degree to suggest his 
lighter colour. A small mint, working out 
about Rs. 15,000 per diem, was also visited, 
as well as a large yard, where the King was 
having the whole of the Burmese scriptures 
engraved on marble slabs, which were to be 
fixed around his temple in the neighbourhood 
of Mandelay. The only visit after this was 

VOL. III. 


that on which the treaty was signed, when, 
with the distribution of a few presents, and 
the expression of a desire that Colonel Fytche 
would again visit him, the King left. On the 
28th of October the mission returned. 

Under the administration of Colonel 
Phayre British Burmah made remarkable 
progress, which is sufficiently shown by the 
following results :—During the ten years from 
1854-55 to 1864-65 the population increased 
from a million and a quarter to upwards of 
two millions ; the area of cultivated land 
spread from 1,075,374 acres to 1,641,403, 
showing an increase of 566,029 acres ; the 
revenue was almost doubled, having increased 
from 5,317,922 rupees to 10,300,620 ; the 
value of exports increased from 23,241,866 
rupees to 44,224,832, and that of the im¬ 
ports from 26,222,219 rupees to 48,125,559, 
the total increase in trade thus amounting to 
43,886,306 rupees. In his dealings with his 
troublesome Burmese neighbour Sir Arthur 
Phayre proved equal to every need. More 
than once he visited Mandelay, and strenu¬ 
ously endeavoured to establish the mutual 
relations of the two countries on an equitable 
basis, in which the advantages of both sec¬ 
tions of the people should be equally con¬ 
sulted, and even so late as the rebellion of 
1866-67 his action turned the scale in favour 
of the King. 

One result of the treaty with Burmah was 
the permission granted by the King to Cap¬ 
tain Sladen to lead an exploring party from 
Bhamo to the Chinese frontier, in quest of a 
railway route to connect Yunnan with British 
India. All Sanbwas, officers, and Sitkas 
within the realm were enjoined to aid the 
English party to the uttermost, helping them 
forward as far as in them lay. The expedi¬ 
tion started from Mandelay on January 13th, 
1868, in the King’s steamer, and arrived at 
Bhamo on the 21st. After more than a month’s 
detention, caused by hindrances thrown in 
their way by some minor officials fearful for 
the fancied interests of themselves or of their 
countrymen at large, and the necessity for 
awaiting the arrival of a new governor, the 
exploring party left Bhamo on February 26th, 
and arrived on March 6th at Ponsi, a point 
on the Kakhyen Mountains fifty miles from 
Bhamo, and ten from the Shan town of Man- 
wyne. Tbe day after their arrival, the mule- 
men, who had agreed to go on to the latter 
place, deserted in a body, having received 
instructions from several chiefs in the Shan 
states not to render any further assistance 
under pain of death. A large party of Shans 
and Kakhyens barred the progress of the 
mission eastward, and a Chinese robber-chief 
lay in wait for the travellers if they attempted 

K 








66 


HISTORY OF THE 

to pass his stronghold at Manphu, on the 
high-road from Ponsi to the frontier city of 
Momien. The residents were under strict 
orders neither to assist nor hold intercourse 
of any kind with the members of the explor¬ 
ing party; nevertheless, Captain Sladen suc¬ 
ceeded in getting letters conveyed to Momien, 
asking for the co-operation and assistance of 
the chiefs. Satisfactory replies were returned, 
and the Shans and Kakhyens were ordered to 
render assistance when required. They then 
altered their tone, and no longer offered any 
active opposition. The Panthay chiefs further 
dispatched a force against Manphu, which 
was taken, but the robber-chief escaped. 
They also sent an escort to meet the expedi¬ 
tion, which afterwards arrived in safety at 
Momien. On the return journey Captain 
Sladen crossed over from Manwyne to Botha, 
and thence over the Kakhyen Hills by the 
principal route, which has always been the 
one taken by royal embassies between Bur- 
mah and China. Another route was also sur¬ 
veyed, so that the three routes leading across 
these hills were so far explored and surveyed 
as to enable Government to form an opinion 
as to which should constitute the through 
route to China. 

In 1867 another assurance was given to 
the natives of India of the desire of their 
rulers to act, as far as they honestly could, up 
to the spirit of Lord Canning’s famous pro¬ 
clamation, by their policy with regard to the 
semi-dependent principality of Mysore. After 
the death of Tippu, and the fall of his capital, 
Seringapatam, in 1799, part of his conquered 
kingdom was divided between the English 
and the Nizam, and the rest was reserved 
under English commissioners for the present 
Maharajah, then the child-heir of the former 
Rajah, who had been dispossessed by Hyder 
Ali, Tippu’s father (see vol. ii. 480). It was 
now declared by Lord Cranborne that on the 
death of the Maharajah his territory would 
not be annexed by the British Government. 
.This announcement, says the Times of India, 
produced a feeling of relief, as if India had 
escaped an interminable period, of political 
unrest and danger; and the news spread 
through India as a happy omen, having a far 
wider moral and political significance than 
anything pertaining to the small territory of 
Mysore. Lord Cranborne’s declaration was 
followed by the recognition of the child whom 
the Maharajah had adopted as his son in 
1865 as the rightful heir to his dominions. 
The ceremony observed on the occasion of 
the adoption was not without interest. On 
Sunday morning, the 18th of June, 1865, the 
Maharajah held a levee in the principal hall of 
his palace, which was thickly thronged with 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

courtiers, ministers, and other functionaries, 
distinguished pundits, and people of all races 
and descriptions. After a quarter of an hour’s 
silence the Maharajah rose from his seat, 
and thus addressed the assembly :— 

“ Friends and relations, ministers and cour¬ 
tiers, countrymen, and all present: 

“ My object in having you all here this day 
is expressly to make you distinctly under¬ 
stand my deliberate resolution. You all well 
know that my expectations and your prayers, 
that I should be blessed with a son, have un¬ 
fortunately not been realised. It deeply con¬ 
cerns me to reflect that the ancient families 
of Mysore, which uninterruptedly continued 
for three-and-twejaty generations, may cease 
to exist with me; that the time-honoured 
throne of my house may become vacant; and 
that all my subjects may be deprived of the 
protection they have from time immemorial 
enjoyed at the hands of this dynasty. My 
fear is, that if no remedy be speedily con¬ 
trived to prevent this calamity, an everlasting 
infamy may attach to my person in this world, 
and eternal torments in that to come.* The 
expedient that strikes me to prevent these 
calamities is, that I should immediately adopt 
a son. I wish, therefore, you all would freely 
express your respective thoughts and senti¬ 
ments on the subject. Should you all approve 
of my resolution, I also particularly desire 
you to furnish me with your suggestions as 
to the family from which my heir should be 
chosen.” The assembly, with one voice, left 
the selection entirely to his Highness’s choice, 
and unanimously expressed their agreement 
with him. They said that his Highness en¬ 
joyed their unbounded gratitude, they had 
been longing for him to adopt for some time 
past, and that their fervent prayers were to 
see rites of adoption performed at once, pro¬ 
vided his Highness had no objection. Then 
the Maharajah, taking the child by the arm, 
declared as follows—‘ ( As the family to which 
this child belongs and my family have been 
closely allied to each other from time imme¬ 
morial, and as the immaculate virtue of this 
child’s noble house has all along been dis¬ 
tinctly known to myself and you all, it is my 
wish to adopt this child, with its mother’s 
assent and yours.” The selection was greatly 
applauded by every one present as being the 
fittest that could be made. The Maharajah 
then obtained the sanction of the priest called 
Perkal Guru, and the ceremony was con¬ 
cluded. A royal salute of twenty-one guns was 
fired in honour of the occasion. After this 
the courtiers were introduced to the little 

* The Hindu Shasters declare that unless a man 
begets or adopts a son he cannot go to heaven, but 
suffers eternal punishment in a hell called “put,” 





Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


07 


prince, presented nuzzers, and paid their hum¬ 
ble respects. Every one in attendance received 
garlands of flowers and betel-nut; and pago¬ 
das and sovereigns were given away for 
charity in thousands. A few hours afterwards 
the adopted prince was led through the prin¬ 
cipal streets of the fort in a splendid gold 
palanquin, the courtiers marching along with 
it, together with a large escort of cavaliers 
and footmen, spikemen and musketeers, 
musicians and trumpeters. The delighted 
population displayed their rejoicings in many 
ways. Regular feastings were kept up in 
every house for three days. Congratulations 
were circulated in every direction. Numerous 
carts laden with sugar for distribution were 
driven through all the streets of the city. 
From every quarter the people were heard to 
say that at last Divine Providence had been 
graciously pleased to send down upon them 
the most precious boon ; that the existence of 
their native sovereignty was prolonged ; that 
the clouds, which the threats of annexation 
had gathered around their heads, had by this 
remarkable deed been scattered and dissi¬ 
pated ; and that British justice would bless 
them with the pride and honour of being 
governed continually by sovereigns of their 
own race.* Having lived to see his adopted 
heir recognised as his successor, the old 
Maharajah died March 27th, 1868, and the 
new Bajah was installed in the September 
following. 

Another instance of the same regard for 
native interests which directed the policy of 
the Government towards Mysore was the 
official proclamation by Sir John Lawrence of 
the urgent political necessity that the progress 
of education had created for opening up to 
natives of ability and character a more impor¬ 
tant, dignified, and lucrative sphere of em¬ 
ployment in the administration of British 
India. This was occasioned by a remark 
occurring in Mr. Davies’s report on the 
revenue administration of Oude during the 
year 1865-66, to the effect that there was 
no greater administrative evil in our system 
than the manner in which many native officers 
of ability were, at an early period of life, 
shorn of all incentive to exertion by the bar 
set to their promotion. The Viceroy recog¬ 
nised the eligibility of natives of approved 
character for promotion to the rank and 
emoluments of Assistant Commissioners and 
Small Cause Court Judges in the Punjab, 
Oude, the Central Provinces, British Burmah, 
Assam, Curg, Mysore, and Berar, and the 
local administrations were requested to report 
the proportion which natives should bear in 
these appointments relatively to civilians, 
* Madras Athenceum. 


military men, and uncovenanted Englishmen. 
In Mysore the recent orders for the preser¬ 
vation of a native dynasty had rendered the 
more general employment of natives an im¬ 
mediate necessity. In another resolution 
respecting the constitution of the Police Esta¬ 
blishment in India, his Excellency directed 
the attention of local governments to the 
expediency of increasing the native element 
in the higher ranks of the police, believing 
that in no department could the ability and 
local knowledge of native servants of the 
State of approved fidelity and character be 
turned to greater advantage. At home the 
interests of the natives were now being up¬ 
held by a body of gentlemen forming the 
East India Association, whose objects are to 
bring before Parliament and the public all 
subjects affecting Indian interests, whether of 
Europeans or natives. 

In a debate on the Mysore question dur¬ 
ing the session of Parliament of 1867, Lord 
Cranborne demurred to the wholesale con¬ 
demnation of the native system of govern¬ 
ment, which, he asserted, “ had a fitness and 
geniality which we could not realise, and 
which compensated in some degree for the 
material evils its rudeness often induced.” 
Similar sentiments were expressed by Sir 
Stafford Northcote. 

On perusing these opinions, the Viceroy of 
India expressed it as his own opinion that the 
natives were incontestably more prosperous, 
and, sua si bona norint, far more happy in 
British territory than under native rulers; and 
he called on selected officers, holding high 
posts in India, for opinions bearing on the 
subject. 

The following is a brief summary, by 
R. Montgomery, late Lieutenant-Governor of 
the Punjab, of the opinions for and against 
the systems of the British and native Govern¬ 
ments :— 

“In favour of the British Government.—- 
The people are more prosperous ; there is 
greater security of life and property; there 
is religious liberty; there is better protection 
from open and daring crime; our revenue 
system confers a better title; the Govern¬ 
ment demand is limited; merchants and 
bankers are more prosperous; the agricul¬ 
tural classes are better off; trade is free, and 
there is greater facility for traffic ; and our 
power, our success, and our moderation have 
raised the reputation of the British Govern¬ 
ment. 

“ On the side of the native Government it is 
asserted that the following classes are opposed 
to the rule of the British Government:—The 
nobility and courtiers, native chiefs, native 
gentlemen, the sacerdotal classes, the military 







C3 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


classes, the political and ambitious, and the 
producers of Indian manufactures—such as 
goldsmiths, brocaders, &c. 

“ As militating also against the British 
rule, there is the fact that we are aliens in 
everything—strangers in the land—and that 
there is a great gulf between us and the 
governed. 

“ Our judicial system is most unpopular, 
with its long delays, its niceties, and compli¬ 
cated system and legal technicalities, and is 
very costly. It has been prematurely raised 
to a standard suited to European require¬ 
ments, and uncongenial to the people, whose 
simple idea of justice is that it should be 
prompt, cheap, and vigorous. 

“ The natives are bewildered with the 
number of departments—our constant chang¬ 
ing, and altering, and modifying of law and 
procedure. The mass do not understand our 
rapid and restless legislation, nor the neces¬ 
sity for it. They are perplexed, and suspi¬ 
cious of designs to subvert their customs and 
religion. 

“ They dislike our sale of land for arrears 
of revenue, imprisonment for debt, our sys¬ 
tem of taxation, our exemption of women 
from punishment for adultery. Our continued 
interference in the every-day concerns of life, 
especially in statistics and sanitary arrange¬ 
ments, entailing constant visits from over¬ 
bearing and extortionate native officials, is 
very distasteful to them. 

“Another cause of popular dissatisfaction 
is our constant call for witnesses from their 
remote homes, their delay and their scant 
compensation, or often no compensation at 
all. 

“ Our resumption laws have given great 
offence, especially in the way of endowments. 
The most minute grants are inquired into with 
rigour, and the holders of nearly all grants, 
small or large, are presented with the certainty 
of an immediate fall or a slow extinction. - 

“The populace like the pageantry and 
prizes of life and the liberal display of native 
chiefs. There is nothing of this in our 
Government. We, indeed, discourage it, and 
hold all the prizes. Our rewards are few, 
and given grudgingly. 

“ When we annex a country all men of 
rank are thrown out of employment. The 
nobles have no lucrative or honourable posts. 
The old aristocracy are impoverished. Cadets 
of old and good families have no career to 
look forward to. Except in rare cases, there 
is a want of sympathy and consideration 
shown them by our officers. They feel it 
keenly. 

“As a rule, we are unsympathizing and 
uncompromising. Onr Government does not 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 

accommodate itself to the tastes and genius 
of a simple and more imaginative race. 

“ If the balance be fairly struck, it will un¬ 
doubtedly be found in favour of our rule, as 
regards the material prosperity of the coun¬ 
try and the progress of civilisation. But the 
point still remains-—Do the natives feel them¬ 
selves happier under our rule than under that 
of a native Government? Would those now 
living under a native Government prefer it to 
being annexed to the British territory ? 

“ I unhesitatingly affirm that they would 
not elect to change their condition, and to 
forfeit their nationality. 

“It is well, I think, that this reflection of 
popular sentiments should be held up against 
the temptation of annexation, for the sup¬ 
posed good of the people, although it is but 
fair and due to ourselves that we should jus¬ 
tify the continuance of our dominion by the 
many material advantages it has conveyed. 

“The discussion will have been very valu¬ 
able if it should disclose the real views of our 
Asiatic subjects, and lead us to consider in 
what manner and by what means our defects 
can be remedied, and our rule be made more 
popular. 

“ Our officers are young, and few and scat¬ 
tered, and have much to learn. To administer 
the mass of law imposed on them, they are 
chained to their courts and offices from morn¬ 
ing till night. They have no leisure for per¬ 
sonal intercourse, to mix with the people, to 
gain their trust, to disabuse them of unjust 
prejudices, to make known our motives of 
real benevolence, and to ascertain their 
views. 

“ An acute observer of one of our most 
recently annexed provinces informs me that 
the gulf is increasing, the people are dis¬ 
heartened. 

“ This result may in a great measure be 
attributed to the passion for change and cen¬ 
tralisation, which has increased of late years, 
and, under what is termed the non-regulation 
system, has disappeared. 

“The common error lies in our insular 
proneness to contract and generalise — to 
embody in one class all the many separate 
nationalities and distinct races which have 
been successively added to the rule of Eng¬ 
land. In an empire made up of such differing 
languages and distinct customs, it must be 
popular, as it is politic, to encourage to a 
great extent a local administration and a local 
adaptation of laws. 

“There can be no doubt, as is stated by 
Sir Donald M‘Leod, that where an English¬ 
man has shown a warm and rational sym¬ 
pathy with the people, they stretch towards 
the sunshine, and invariably respond in a 





IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


69 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

manner which is unmistakable, regarding him 
with feelings akin to affection; and, in the 
case of Government, the same result would 
follow from the same cause. 

“ The people should be more largely em¬ 
ployed in all social and municipal affairs, 
which they are most competent to manage. 
Till quite recently this was neglected, and 
even now it is very partially done. The ap¬ 
pointment of honorary magistrates, municipal 
committees, zaildars, &c., only three or four 
years ago met with opposition from many 
officers. They made no allowance for the 
crudeness of decisions. They seemed to ex¬ 
pect the precision and correctness of trained 
officers. 

“I believe that, to do full justice to the 
people, it is indispensable that we legislate 
with the aid of a native council assembled by 
each local governor, so as to admit of the 
existence of an authorised machinery for 
administering to the wants and requirements 
of the natives in matters, both judicial and 
administrative, connected with the soil and 
their every-day transactions. 

“ It is not suggested that this council should 
be permanent, or consist always of the same 
members, for to that constitution there would 
be obvious objections, and there are obvious 
advantages in its elasticity; but the intention 
is to unite the landed gentry and men of 
wealth and ability in the administration of 
their country; to bring to bear, through the 
local governments, the utmost light and the 
fullest information on important measures; 
and to secure, as far as possible, a check 
against precipitate or unsuitable innovation. 

“ At present we know little or nothing of 
the current of native feeling. There are the 
greatest difficulties in testing it. We need an 
enlightened native opinion, and for our rulers 
to know what it is. The few native gentle¬ 
men in the Legislative Council of the Viceroy 
—collected from different parts of the great 
Empire in an assembly the proceedings of 
which are conducted in the English language, 
with which they are rarely acquainted—have 
no real weight or power of assertion. The 
councils should be local, one for each pro¬ 
vince ; the Viceroy and his Council should 
exercise merely a general control and super¬ 
vision, and reserve their action for questions 
of imperial importance. Further, whatever 
education we may give them in a school will 
have little material effect unless the people 
at the same time be encouraged to hope, and 
trained to vigorous thought and self-reliance 
by taking some part in the administration. 

“Every effort should be made to try and 
soften the hard, straight lines of our unbend¬ 
ing and uncongenial rule, and to adapt it 


more to the feelings and sympathies of the 
people; to attach the people to their local 
officers ; to remove the dull sense of restraint 
and repression which now overpowers them ; 
and to afford scope for their legitimate aspira¬ 
tions and love of distinction in our service, 
both civil and military. 

“ This will not be effected by limiting and 
checking the powers of English superiors, 
and so lowering their personal influence and 
respect, as would seem to have been done in 
some of our oldest provinces, but by raising 
some among the natives distinguished by 
ability and integrity to participate and aid in 
upholding that needful authority. The recent 
order of the Viceroy of India, admitting 
natives to be assistants in the Civil Service, 
is a step in the right direction.” 

In the beginning of 1868 the Nawab of 
Tonk was deposed by the Viceroy for his 
complicity in the murder of Dheru Singh, 
uncle of Rewat Singh, Thakur of Lawa, 
with fourteen of his followers. At the inves¬ 
tigation held by the authorities, the Nawab, 
in his defence, declared that the Thakur, 
with a party of sixteen men, broke into the 
house of Huqueem Shah, and that in the 
conflict which ensued, nine of the Lawa men, 
including the Thakur, were slain, whilst 
only two men fell on the side of Huqueem. 
A letter was also produced, in which the 
Nawab, through Huqueem Shah, wrote to 
the Thakur to visit Tonk to settle the dis¬ 
putes between himself and the Thakurs. 
Further, the Political Agent deposed that in 
the previous January Huqueem Shah accom¬ 
panied him to Lawa, when the Thakurs 
offered to supply him with russud, an offer 
which he declined, and which was a proof of 
the enmity with which the Huqueem regarded 
the Thakurs. The political authorities came 
to the conclusion that the charge of complicity 
in the murder of Dheru Singh and his party 
was partially proved against the Nawab, and 
fully proved against Huqueem Shah. They 
therefore recommended that the Nawab should 
be banished, and be succeeded by his son, the 
government, during the young prince’s mi¬ 
nority, being intrusted to his uncle. The 
Nawab was allowed a maintenance, and kept 
under surveillance. The Huqueem was im¬ 
prisoned for life; compensation was given 
from the revenues of Tonk to the relatives of 
those of the Lawa party who were slain ; and 
Lawa itself was transferred to Jaipur. 

On December 29th, 1867, a desperate 
struggle took place between a small body of 
British Indian troops and a band of the Wag- 
hirs of Kattiawar, who for years past had 
been a great trouble. Information having been 
received in the camp at Butawudda that a 










70 


HISTORY OF THE 

patrol were on the traces of a party of these 
marauders, it was determined to follow it up. 
A body of cavalry and infantry then set off 
in the direction pointed out; and, after twelve 
miles’ ride, the cavalry learned that the Wag- 
hirs had broken out of a sugar-cane field two 
miles further on, and had made for the Tobur 
Hill, fifty miles west of Rajkot. The hill is 
an isolated eminence of about 300 feet in 
height, with a plateau on the top 30 feet 
long by 15 broad, the sides being steep 
and rocky, with here and there a boulder 
7 or 8 feet high. At the corners of 
the plateau the Waghirs had thrown up 
breast-works of rock; and behind these they 
stood, calling to the troops with shouts of 
defiance to come on. As it was impossible 
to attack the position with cavalry, the hill 
was surrounded until the infantry came up, 
on whose arrival it was resolved to make the 
attack from all four sides simultaneously. 
The native infantry were therefore divided, 
one half under Major Reynolds being told 
off for the south-west side, and the other half 
under Captain Hebbert for the north-west, 
while Captain La Touche, with a party of 
thirty Federal Sebundi, and fourteen of the 
Junagur Sebundi, was to attack from the 
south - east, the remaining side being left 
to the Junagur Sebundi. On the signal to 
advance being given, the latter refused to 
move, and though Colonel Anderson, the 
Political Agent, placed himself at their head, 
they would not be persuaded either by 
threats or entreaties to advance even to the 
foot of the hill so as to cut off the enemy, 
should they attempt to escape in that direc¬ 
tion. Meanwhile, the other three parties 
rushed up the steep sides of the hill, and 
reached the summit without loss, though ex¬ 
posed to a heavy fire from the Waghirs, 
many of whom were armed with double-bar¬ 
relled guns and rifles. A party of the cavalry, 
also, under Captain Harris, with Colonel 
Anderson, scrambled up the hill as they best 
could. As Captain Hebbert, whose party 
were slightly in advance of the others, reached 
the plateau, he fired at, and killed, one of the 
chiefs, and immediately afterwards received 
his own death-wound. At the same time, a 
private who followed closely behind him was 
shot through the head. When all had reached 
the plateau the Waghirs were driven to the 
north-east corner, and retreated down that 
side of the hill by which the Junagur Se¬ 
bundi should have advanced, keeping up a 
heavy fire from behind the boulders. Had 
it not been for the cowardly Sebundi, their 
retreat would have been cut off, and every 
man of them would have perished. The fire 
of the Waghirs told severely upon those on 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

the plateau. Four of the cavalry and some 
of the Federal Sebundi fell; and_ Major 
Reynolds, while directing the fire of his men, 
received a severe wound in the head. The 
Waghirs that were left now attempted to 
escape, and Captain La Touche, maddened by 
the sight of Captain Hebbert lying mortally 
wounded, rushed down the hill, and called on 
the Junagur Sebundi to follow him in 
pursuit of the escaping Waghirs. On their 
refusal, he knocked one man off his horse, 
and mounting, galloped after the enemy. 
Coming up with them, he shot one man dead 
with his pistol, wounded another, and had 
dismounted, and was in the act of thrusting 
at him with his sword, when the man brought 
the gun to his hip and fired, at the same time 
receiving the sword-thrust in his breast. 
Both fell mortally wounded, and La Touche 
died shortly afterwards.' Captains La Touche 
and Hebbert were buried next morning, both 
being laid in the same coffin. For many 
years an honourable rivalry had existed be¬ 
tween these two officers, both of whom had 
risen in the same regiment, the 17th Native 
Infantry. In 1859 both were recommended 
for the Victoria Cross for their gallantry in 
carrying off wounded men under a heavy fire 
in an action with the Waghirs, and both 
afterwards became Assistants in the Kattia- 
war Political Agency. The British loss in 
this attack was eleven killed and two wounded. 
Of the Waghirs seventeen were killed, includ¬ 
ing three chiefs, and two wounded and taken 
prisoners. Fifteen guns and rifles were taken, 
besides matchlocks, and swords, and a quan¬ 
tity of ammunition. This action was followed, 
in May, 1868, by the death of Mulu Manik, 
the old chief of the Waghirs, and several 
other outlaws. On the 7th of May, two men 
who were out in the jungles, about twelve 
miles from Porbandar, suddenly came upon 
five armed men, four of whom were asleep 
under a tree, and the fifth too drowsy to 
notice their approach. Rightly judging them 
to be outlaws, one of the men went to call 
the Federal Sebundi, who were close at 
hand, while the other kept his eye on the 
outlaws. The Sebundi soon arrived in large 
numbers, and the outlaws tried to escape, 
opening fire on their pursuers, which was 
returned, and one on each side fell. The other 
four gained the shelter of a hut, from which 
they kept up a fire on the Sebundi; but the 
hut being set on fire, they made a rush for a 
nullah close by. They were soon overtaken, 
and a hand-to-hand fight ensued, in which 
the outlaws all fell, but not before they had 
killed two and wounded eight of the Sebundi. 
The heads of the outlaws were sent in to Por¬ 
bandar, where one of them was recognised as 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


71 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

that of Mulu Manik, for which a reward of 
Es. 10,000 had been offered, and which 
was divided amongst the Sebundi. This may 
fairly be said to have put an end to the Wag- 
hir rebellion, which had extended over the 
previous ten years. 

The expedition to Abyssinia in 1867-68 
must not be • entirely overlooked in these 
pages, seeing that the force of about 12,000 
was mainly composed of Indian troops, sup¬ 
plied by an Indian commissariat, and attended 
by an Indian medical staff, while its com¬ 
mander was Sir Eobert Napier, a distinguished 
officer of Bengal Engineers, who had won 
his laurels on many an Indian field. The 
object of the expedition was the release of 
the British consul and several other English¬ 
men, whom Theodore, King of Abyssinia, had 
kept in confinement in consequence of a slight 
which he considered he had received at the 
hands of the British Government. The troops 
landed at Zulla, on the Eed Sea, in November, 

1867, and, notwithstanding the enormous 
difficulties that had to be overcome in trans¬ 
porting an army upwards of three hundred 
miles inland over a country of perpendicular 
mountains and precipitous ravines, they suc¬ 
ceeded in reaching, by the beginning of April, 

1868, the neighbourhood of the almost im¬ 
pregnable mountain fortress of Magdala, where 
the prisoners were detained. On April 10th 
Theodore gave battle near Magdala to a por¬ 
tion of the British troops, and was so com¬ 
pletely defeated that he acknowledged himself 
overcome, and set free all the European cap¬ 
tives in his power. On the 18th, Magdala, to 
which Theodore had retired, was taken by 
storm, and the King himself was found among 
the slain, having fallen, it was supposed, by 
his own hand. Neither in the battle nor 
in the assault was there any loss of life 
on the British side, only a few being 
wounded, while the Abyssinians sustained a 
loss of 2,000 killed and wounded. The 
object of the expedition having thus been 
successfully accomplished, the troops were 
withdrawn from the country. Theodore’s 
widow and his only son, a boy eight years 
old, accompanied the force on its return. 
The mother died on the way, and the boy is 
being educated at the expense of the British 
Government. On the termination of the cam¬ 
paign, the Governor-General of India issued 
the following Government general order :— 

“ H.E. the Yiceroy and Governor-General 
of India in Council has the highest satisfac¬ 
tion in directing the republication of a general 
order issued by H.E. Lieutenant-General Sir 
E. Napier, G.C.B., G.C.S.I., to the soldiers 
and sailors of the army of Abyssinia, in which 
H.E. congratulates them upon their suc¬ 


cesses, and thanks them for their great exer¬ 
tions and endurance. 

“ The Viceroy in Council can add nothing 
to what is so justly said by Sir E. Napier in 
praise of his force, but H.E. desires to ex¬ 
press his admiration at the whole conduct of 
the expedition, and to record his opinion that 
no army could have been led with more ability, 
energy, and forethought, under circumstances 
of peculiar difficulty, than have been displayed 
by Sir E. Napier in this campaign. 

“ The troops were worthy of their com¬ 
mander, and the Viceroy in Council has espe¬ 
cial pride in knowing that the British and 
native soldiers composing the expeditionary 
force were detached from the armies of her 
Majesty belonging to the three Presidencies 
in India, whose reputation they have main¬ 
tained and increased. 

“ The success has been most complete, and 
will not fail to be highly appreciated, not only 
in Great Britain, but throughout the civilised 
world. 

“H.E. in Council has much pleasure in 
acknowledging the very great exertions made 
by the Government of Bombay and the 
various departments of that presidency in 
fitting out and supplying the greater part of 
the expeditionary force, in accordance with 
the orders of her Majesty’s Government in 
England; and H.E. has to thank the Punjab 
Government for the very satisfactory and suc¬ 
cessful efforts made under the orders of his 
Honour to provide mules, drivers, and camel- 
men for service in Abyssinia. 

“ The Viceroy in Council also owes acknow¬ 
ledgment to the Government of Madras for 
the ready share taken by that presidency in 
the arrangements connected with the expe¬ 
dition. 

“The thanks of the Governor-General in 
Council are further greatly due to H.E. the 
Commander-in-Chief in India, and to the 
various departments and officers in Bengal, 
by whose efforts the force that proceeded 
from this presidency was dispatched in a 
most perfect state of equipment. 

“ A royal salute has already been fired 
from the ramparts of Fort William in honour 
of the capture of Magdala and release of the 
captives.” 

On March 11th, 1868, a disastrous engage¬ 
ment took place between our troops and the 
Bazutis on the Peshawar frontier, who, for 
some time previously, had been making war¬ 
like demonstrations against Kohat. The troops 
advanced into “ a regular bay surrounded by 
precipitous hills.” Cavalry and guns were 
found to be useless, but the infafitry went 
bravely forward, crowning one hill and dash¬ 
ing up another, driving the enemy before 











72 


HISTORY OF THE 

tlicm. An attempt was then made to drive 
the wild borderers from another lofty position, 
surmounted by a breast-work which could 
only be approached by the ascent of a steep 
narrow footway in single file. During the 
ascent our men were attacked, shot down, 
had stones rolled upon them, and were finally 
driven back. In this affray Major Ruxton 
was wounded in the thigh, and a Bazuti, 
rushing out upon him, cut off his head, 
which was afterwards sent round the neigh¬ 
bourhood on the rejection of their demand 
for a ransom of Rs. 3,000. In addition to 
Major Ruxton, ten of the line were killed, 
and two officers and twenty-seven men 
wounded. The quarrel seems to have been 
caused by the intrigues of a certain Futteh 
Khan, who, having failed to obtain from the 
Deputy Commissioner a rehearing of a suit 
that had been decreed against him twelve 
years before, stirred up the Bazutis and one 
or two other tribes to act on his behalf. The 
country inhabited by the Bazutis commands 
the northern end of the Obolan Pass, a gap in 
the hills a few miles north-west of Kohat. 
The village itself is situated in a nearly in¬ 
accessible position at the head of the Tera 
Toni, where that stream breaks through the 
range of the Mulla Gfurh, and turns northward 
to join the Barra River, and is built on one 
of the northern spurs of a mountain rising to 
a height of upwards of 7,000 feet. Instead 
of sending an expedition into their country to 
punish the Bazutis, the frontier authorities 
endeavoured to coerce them by bringing the 
influence of all the surrounding tribes to bear 
upon the offenders. 

On the last day of July a raid of hill-men 
into Upper Hazara led to a war on another 
part of the north-west frontier. On that day 
a body of 500 marauders came down upon 
the police-station at the village of Oghi, 
in the Agror valley, north-east of Peshawar, 
and thirty miles north of Abbottabad. After a 
sharp fight with the police, who behaved with 
the utmost gallantry, and several of whom 
were badly wounded, they made off with what 
booty they could pick up, leaving six of their 
number dead on the ground. The Khan of 
Agror and another neighbouring Khan, being 
suspected of complicity in the affair, were 
arrested by Major Pollock, the Commissioner 
of the district, who arrived on the spot two 
days after, and sent off to Rawul Pindi. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Rothney, commanding at 
Abbottabad, immediately moved out the 
Peshawar mountain battery, 5th Gurkha regi¬ 
ment, to the assistance of the police, and 
other troops were also hurried forward from 
Murdun, Rawul Pindi, and Lahor. On 
August 12th Colonel Rothney had a brush 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

with the enemy, and drove them out of the 
plain, with a loss of about thirty killed and 
wounded. Another portion of the enemy, 
who were found burning some villages on 
British ground, were attacked by our feuda¬ 
tory, the Nawab of Urnb, and driven off with 
considerable loss. By the end of September 
a field force of 11,000 men, under Major- 
General Wilde, was assembled in the Agror 
valley, and this was joined by two Dograh 
regiments of the Maharajah of Cashmere, 
which, during the progress of the expedition, 
held the Jalgulli, Kuttaie, and Susul Passes, 
and the camp at Oghi. On October 3rd a 
force of about 7,000 marched from Oghi at 
daybreak, and occupied the Jalgulli Pass, 
leading from the valley of Agror into those of 
Tikari and Nundehar, belonging to the inde¬ 
pendent Swatis, so as to secure through the 
Kungulli village a secure line of communi¬ 
cation with Oghi. On the occupation of 
Kungulli, situated a short distance up a spur 
of that name, the enemy on the heights above 
retired before the advance of the troops, who 
in the evening gained a commanding position 
called Munna-ka-Dunna. As soon as the troops 
had ceased from their pursuit and prepared to 
occupy the ground for the night, the enemy, 
consisting of men of the Chuggurzais and 
Akazias, led on by the Syuds of Purari, 
took advantage of the surrounding cover, and 
their numbers hourly increased as the dark¬ 
ness approached. During the night repeated 
and harassing attacks were made on our 
picket, to which, under cover of the brush¬ 
wood that surrounded the position, they fre¬ 
quently came close up, placing their match¬ 
locks on the rough breast-work that had been 
hastily thrown up, and firing upon the men 
inside. These attacks were, however, repulsed 
as often as made, and as the day dawned 
the enemy were obliged to draw off. Up to 
this time the casualties oh our side amounted 
to two sepoys killed and six wounded. On 
the 4th the troops attacked the enemy’s posi¬ 
tion, a high grassy knoll on which an abattis 
had been erected, with a small stone breast¬ 
work below. The enemy for a time remained 
defiant, showing their flags and waving their 
swords, but when the mountain batteries 
came into action, unable to stand the fire, they 
evacuated their defences and retired into the 
dense forest, whither they were pursued by 
Brigadier-General Bright, who forced his 
way through, and occupied the Chittabut Peak 
on the crest of the Black Mountain. Next 
day they captured the Muchi Peak, the 
highest on the Black Mountain, 10,200 feet 
above the level of the sea. The approaches 
were densely wooded, and the grassy slips 
broken up by huge rocks and boulders, and 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


73 


Chap. CXXXIX.J 

flanked on one side by a deep fir forest, 
the troops advanced the enemy retreated, till, I 
as the summit of the peak was crowned, they 
were seen flying down the spurs into the 
valley bordering the Indus. The casualties 
in this affair amounted to eight wounded. 
The resistance having been much less than 
might have been expected, General Wilde was 
of opinion that this was attributable to the 
facts that the tribes never believed that 
British soldiers would attempt an ascent such 
as that of the Black Mountain, where no roads 
existed; that they had never met artillery, and 
were ignorant of its power; and that they 
believed that the operations of our troops 
would have been directed against the men 
in the valleys. After the destruction of 
several villages of the Purari Syuds, the fol¬ 
lowing tribes made overtures for peace, which 
was concluded on the 10th : the Hussunzais, 
Chuggurzais, and Akarzais, who in all could 
collect from 9,000 to 10,000 fighting men. 
Terms were also given to the Purari Syuds, 
whose property had considerably suffered. 
After this the head-quarters and the rest of 
the force were moved on the 14th to Cher- 
mung, in Tikri. Next day the force marched to 
the village of Tikri, and on the 16th they were 
employed in making a road across the Shurn- 
borra range into Nundehar, where they 
arrived on the 17th. The Tikri River rises in 
the ridge of Kiar Kote, which forms the 
northern boundary of the Agror valley, and, 
after a course of eight miles under the eastern 
slopes of the Black Mountain, joins the Nun¬ 
dehar, which enters the Indus at Takkote, 
about twelve miles in a direct line from its 
junction with the Tikri, the first four miles of 
its course being through the small valley of 
Daishi, and the remainder between the spurs 
of the Chailas and Black Mountain. These 
three valleys—Tikri, Nundehar, and Daishi 
— are inhabited by the Swati tribes, who 
were actively engaged in the disturbances in 
Agror. On the advance of our troops, they 
craved forgiveness, and submitted to the pay¬ 
ment of a fine of Rs. 12,000. There was 
still, however, a body of Swatis to be dealt 
with who held a few villages at Takkote, and 
an advance was made in their direction, when 
the inhabitants of several hamlets made their 
submission, and further movement on Takkote 
was abandoned. The force then marched up 
the Nundehar valley on the 19th, and next 
day, crossing the range at its head, re-entered 
British territory. On the 22nd the Hazaia 
force was again in camp at Oghi,. aftei 
having been twenty days in the field without 
tents, having traversed eighty miles of hill 
country, where every road had to be made, 
carrying with it its own supplies, having 
VOL. in. 


As | ascended with elephants and cannon the 
highest peak of the Black Mountain, 10,200 
feet above the level of the sea, and having 
been exposed to every variety of climate. 
Major-General Wilde thus points out the 
political results of the campaign:—“Three 
Patan and three Swati tribes have been 
brought into submission. The Purari Syuds 
have been signally punished, and Guffur 
Khan, of Tikri, one of the foremost, has been 
forced to sue for peace. The independent 
Swatis have been.made to pay Rs. 12,000 to 
the British Government for their misconduct; 
and Hubib Gul, the Sahibzada of Paimal, a 
man held in great veneration, has paid his 
respects to the Commissioner—a very signifi¬ 
cant fact, showing that the people felt that 
they could no longer resist our arms. By 
the occupation of the strongholds of the Patan 
tribes of the Black Mountain, and the passage 
of our troops through the valleys of the in¬ 
dependent Swati tribes, the British Govern¬ 
ment has shown its ability and power to 
vindicate its honour; and I believe that late 
events will leave a lasting impression, not 
only on the Patans Cis-Indus, but also on 
their clansmen residing on the Eusufzai bor¬ 
der.” General Wilde had been desirous of 
inflicting a blow upon the colony of Hindu¬ 
stanis of the Wahabi persuasion, who for years 
had been settled among the independent 
Patan tribes, but the enterprise was found to 
be “ not feasible.” With respect to this the 
Viceroy remarks, in a minute on the campaign, 
“It seems probable that a month later the 
force under General Wilde would have found 
a powerful coalition and some organized plan 
of defence ; but our rapid approach discon¬ 
certing them, the fanatics hastily recrossed 
the river, deserting their Cliuggurzai hosts, 
and thereby departing from their profession 
as soldiers of the faith, and destroying the last 
remnant of their former ‘prestige,’ already 
injured by the treatment they had met 
with at the hand of the Akhoond and his dis¬ 
ciples. The main body of them is now at 
Pulosa, a village of the Trans-Indus Hus¬ 
sunzais, who have, according to latest ad¬ 
vices, refused to allow them a permanent 
settlement. For the sake of religion they 
may be fed for a time, but the country is too 
poor to support them long, and they must 
soon, I believe, either make terms with the 
British Government, or break up and scatter 
themselves through the Mohammadan coun¬ 
tries to the north of Swat and the Black 
Mountain, in which case their power for evil 
will be almost entirely removed, for the leaders 
will have lost the source of their importance, 
and the followers the guiding spirit that kept 
them together and made them formidable.” 

















74 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


The losses on the British side during this 
campaign amounted to twenty-two natives 
killed, and eighty-two natives and three 
Europeans wounded. 

In the middle of 1868 unusually heavy 
rains laid many parts of Lower Bengal and 
Gujarat under water. In Cattack the whole 
delta of the Brahmini and Byturni and the 
lower portion of the Mahanadi were inun¬ 
dated. The low country about Kendraparah, 
and thence to False Point and Acel, was one 
sheet of water. In and about Jajipur, and 
higher up the Brahmini and Byturni, the 
flood rose to eighteen inches above its highest 
known level. Villages, grain, and cattle were 
carried away, and many lives were lost. In 
Bhadrak the Grand Trunk road was carried 
away in many places, and much mischief done. 
In Balasor the early crops and the newly 
sown cold-weather rice were completely de¬ 
stroyed, with many villages and thousands of 
cattle. The Government officials, however, 
acted with the utmost promptitude and 
energy, and large quantities of rice were im¬ 
ported, and the ruined fields sown afresh. In 
Western India immense damage was done 
over a wide tract of country. In Ahmadabad 
alone, where twenty-seven inches of rain fell 
in four days, nearly 10,000 houses, valued 
at £100,000, were destroyed, and several 
thousands more in other parts of Gujarat, 
Kaira, Baroda, Broach, and Surat suffered 
only less than Ahmadabad. The loss of life 
was, however, comparatively small, many per¬ 
sons being saved by the elephants sent out 
by the Gaikwar to the rescue of the sufferers ; 
but the destruction of houses, crops, live 
stock, and movable property was everywhere 
very great. Measures of relief were at once 
instituted by Government, and the grants of 
public money were quickly supplemented by 
private subscriptions, in which the natives 
cheerfully bore their full share. 

While Lower Bengal and Western India 
were being deluged with unexampled rains 
and inundations, Central and Northern India 
suffered from intense drought. From Cattack 
to Agra, from the Central Provinces through 
Rajputana up to the heart of the Punjab, 
famine prevailed. The suffering was greatest 
in Rajputana and Central India. So severe 
and widespread was the drought that not only 
was it found impossible to cultivate the land, 
but, from want of sustenance, the pack-bul¬ 
locks, on whose loads of foreign grain the 
country so much depended for an adequate 
supply of food even in ordinary times, died 
in large numbers, and thus importation was 
brought nearly to a stand-still. From Mar- 
war, in September, thousands of persons 
began to emigrate. Strings of carts with 


men, women, and children were to be met 
with on all sides fleeing from their ill-fated 
country, not knowing whither they went, but 
pushing onwards and onwards, trusting to 
reach some land of plenty, and bearing their 
misfortunes meanwhile with remarkable for¬ 
titude and self-restraint. Other emigrants 
poured into Bhopal, where rain had fallen in 
time for the autumn sowings. It is estimated 
that from Marwar alone 1,000,000 persons, 
or two-thirds of the entire population, emi¬ 
grated, taking with them more than 2,000,000 
head of cattle. * Everywhere measures were 
promptly and wisely taken to mitigate the 
distress. Government officials and native 
chiefs vied with each other in legislating .and 
carrying out plans of relief. Relief works 
were provided, remissions of revenue made, 
transit dues suspended, and voluntary sub¬ 
scriptions poured in to supplement the 
grants from the public purse. About the 
middle of July, 1869, rain fell. The people 
returned to their homes, and for a time 
all seemed bright and prosperous, but in 
September locusts came, and eat up every 
herb of the field. Green trees were left 
bare in five minutes, and large branches 
broke down under their weight. For miles 
and miles the country was carpeted with 
locusts as thick as sand. One flight of 
these insects in the Mahikanta district is 
said to have been 7 miles long, 5 broad, 
and more than 800 feet deep. “Hundreds 
and hundreds of the poor people,” says the 
official return, “ came in dreadfully emaci¬ 
ated ; and hundreds, through exhaustion, fell, 
and where they fell they died, there to be de¬ 
voured by the birds, jackals, and wild dogs.” 
Owing to the ravages of the locusts at Ah¬ 
madabad the price of grain rose fast; but the 
telegraph was set to work, and in a few 
days the Bombay and Baroda Railway poured 
in train after train full of supplies to the 
hungering districts. It was computed that 
in Rajputana alone 1,250,000 of human 
beings died from starvation or disease. 
The sum total by the British Govern¬ 
ment for the relief of the population of 
its own territory, numbering 426,000 souls, 
amounted to Rs. 1,520,074, a sum equiva¬ 
lent to nearly three years’ gross revenue. 
The Maharajah of Jaipur (Jeypore) disbursed 
in relief between four and'five lakhs of rupees, 
and the Maharana of Udaipur (Oodeypore) 
about five lakhs, while other chiefs were simi¬ 
larly liberal, and the Thakurs of Marwar and 
the merchants of Bombay contributed largely 
for the support of the starving. In the 
North-Western Provinces, although there was 
great distress, the worst horrors arising from 
the drought were averted by the great 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


75 


Chap. CXXXIX.] 

Ganges Canal, with its 650 miles of main 
stream and 3,000 of branch channels, by 
which nearly 1,000,000 acres were saved 
from drying up. Similar service, though 
to a much smaller extent, was rendered by 
the Eastern Jamna (Jumna) Canal and the 
channels that water Rohilkhand and Dera 
Dhun. 

In connection with the famine, the steps 
taken by the Maharajah Sindia were worthy 
of all praise, and deserve to be recorded. In 
December, the tide of famine set in to Gwa¬ 
lior, and the palace gates of Sindia were be¬ 
sieged. The Maharajah had been absent from 
his capital for two months in search of health, 
and now he hurried back to the post of duty. 
He sent his Dewan, whom he trusted, and 
who proved worthy of his trust, to report on 
the condition of the afflicted districts. So 
harrowing was the report the Maharajah 
received, that he mounted his horse, and, 
with a handful of followers, rode through the 
country “ to see the face of things.” The 
following is an account of what he saw, as 
described by his own hand, and is interesting 
as the only report or minute of a feudatory 
chief on the condition of a country under 
famine :— 

“All that was seen during the tour will 
now be described minutely, neither more nor 
less. A review of the district has filled me 
with grief and pain, but the state of things is 
beyond human control. If, by any possi¬ 
bility, I could have averted the calamity which 
has fallen, no sacrifice would have been want¬ 
ing on my part, but the hand of God thus 
caused it. It remains for me to relate what 
I saw, and to provide for the future to the 
best of my ability. Whole districts are with¬ 
out culture; the earth is even, and the clods 
broken as in ‘ Jait Baisakh ’ (just preceding 
the rains) ; to have so prepared it would be 
difficult: from this a notion of its condition 
may be formed. There is cultivation just 
round the villages, owing to the wells, and 
from the late showers there is hope that the 
crops which do exist will be doubled. In 
some places the rainfall has been sixteen 
annas ; then in others close by everything is 
barren. The seed which was sown did not 
quicken ; the cultivators then tried sugar-cane, 
but, from the want of moisture and fever-heat 
of the soil, the ‘ goo ’ which should have 
come came not. The hope of rice altogether 
disappeared. Where there was suffering for 
water to drink, what chance for rice and 
jowaree ? The jowar and bajra which sprang 
up were so weak that the ryots cut them as 
fodder for the cattle. It seemed to be God s 
will at this time to trouble and damage all 
nature. While I was encamped at Iiotwal 


there fell a severe frost. Riding the following 
morning to the next stage, I observed that 
the ‘ urhur ’ had been blighted by it. It 
looked like a beautiful reed bungalow, which 
had been scorched up by fire. What power 
has man to contend with such inflictions ? 
Gram and wheat, such as exist, are weak and 
poor, and the smaller grain has entirely failed. 

I would describe this state, too, but the pen 
will move no more. I will now speak of the 
people. So long as they had means in money, 
or substance of any kind convertible, they 
fed upon them; these gone, they were 
hungry and helpless. They then began to 
gather the jungle berries, and ground them ; 
with these they mixed some sort of cereal, 
and so existence has been sustained. I heard 
of a strange device at Seopur and Powri. 
God so keeps alive the instinct of self-pre¬ 
servation that what men resort to in such 
straits should be recounted. It is difficult for 
the rich and well-fed to realise these things ; 
but with the poor misery, drudgery, and 
happiness are simple, when life is sustained 
by feeding upon the fruit of the mowa and 
gooler trees. And now a new device has 
been heard of; men climb the surdhi-tree, 
incise the young shoots at the top, and so 
extract the juice, on which they live, but 
wretched and weak they are. Four months 
still remain ; how these are to be tided over 
God only knows. With the water such is 
the state that in villages where there are 
twenty wells the people fetch it from other 
villages, and tanks which for years have been 
full to the brim are now dry, and day by day 
the water recedes from the wells which remain. 
Food men have devised, but for water what 
can they substitute ? In January the month 
of March has appeared, and such a March has 
never yet been. God does what He wishes ; 
the pen can go no further. The cattle soon 
consumed the grass which was stored up ; 
the zemindars then used the short grass in 
the swamps as the water dried up : when 
this failed, resort was had to the leaves a,nd 
berries of the jungle. But for the, coming 
six months what is to be done ? ” Such 
were Sindia’s own words, read in open durbar 
to his vassals and servants. Before he had 
with his own eyes seen the state of the 
country he had insisted on charging aneais 
of rent, with sowcde, or interest, at 25. per 
cent. Fie was now urged by the Political 
Avent to consider the case of every tenant 
separately; to spread the payment of such 
arrears as were fair over a series of years, 
and without interest; to invite subscriptions, 
heading the list himself; and to distiibute 
food through village punchayets. His reply 
to this was characteristic of a purely Asiatic 












76 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


ruler:—“Your suggestions would suit your 
own people, and even those in British 
territory, but not those of native states. The 
ryots here require to be kept in hand. It is 
true, for instance, that it was notified that 
sowaie would be charged upon all arrears ; 
but this was merely a threat. I know what 
they can pay, and it is no part of my interest 
to destroy them. Remissions will force their 
own way, for many of the cultivators have 
nothing left to pay with; but it will be time 
enough to speak of that by-and-by. I have 
never promised remissions, but ‘ mooltvee ’ 
(postponement) only. In the same way public 
subscriptions would meet with a ready re¬ 
sponse amongst you, because understood; 
here it would be otherwise; the general 
belief would be that the durbar sought under 
this pretext to raise money for itself. Even 
your idea of vesting the supervision of the 
funds with districts and village punches would 
not be credited. Nobody here will give 
voluntarily; pressure will be necessary.” 
What the Maharajah did was this. He as¬ 
signed half a lakh of rupees for food and 
relief works, he called on the chief men of 
his capital to feed the thousands who 
thronged the streets, and he imposed a famine 
assessment on his thakurs, or vassals.* Road¬ 
making was instituted in the suffering dis¬ 
tricts, and revenue was remitted in many 
places where the crops had failed, but thriv¬ 
ing zemindars were not let off as well as 
starving ones. “I have been angered,” said 
his Highness, ‘ ‘ by the attempts made by many 
landholders, whose crops have not suffered, 
to impose upon me by claiming immunity 
under the proclamation. In this respect I 
found the proclamation had done harm ; all 
put their heads up, expecting to be covered 
by it. Many thakurs and cultivators whom 
I knew to be prosperous came in shouting 
for consideration.” A khureeta was after¬ 
wards addressed to his Highness by the 
Viceroy, expressing the gratification felt by 
the Government of India on learning the 
interest he had shown in the condition of his 
famine-stricken people. 

The obituary of 1868 includes the names 
of Lieutenant-General Sir George Whitlock, 
Rajah Brooke, the Begum of Bhopal, and Sir 
Herbert Edwardes. 

Lieutenant-General Sir George Whitlock 
died at Exmouth, February, 1868, in his 
sixty-ninth year. This distinguished officer, 
a Madras cadet of 1818, joined the Rifle 
Corps of that presidency in time to see service 
during the Mahratta campaign of the follow¬ 
ing year. His chief distinctions were, how¬ 
ever, earned many years afterwards during 
* Friend of India. 


the mutinies, when he led the Madras column 
through Nagpur into Bandalkand, while Sir 
Hugh Rose was working his way eastward 
through Central India. His defeat of the 
Nawab at the battle of Banda, followed by 
the capture of the fort of Banda and the occu¬ 
pation of Kirwi, was rewarded by the thanks 
of Lord Clyde, the Governor-General, and the 
Houses of Parliament. In 1859 he w T as made 
a K.C.B. He became colonel of the 108th 
Foot in 1862, and a lieutenant-general in 
1864. Not long after his appointment, in 
1860, to the command of the northern divi¬ 
sion of the Madras army, he was driven to 
England by ill-health. 

The following appreciative notice of Sir 
James Brooke is from Allen's Indian Mail :— 
“ Last Thursday, June 11th, there died, in a 
quiet Devonshire village, one of those English 
heroes whose lives furnish fit themes for the 
most stirring romances. Sir James Brooke 
might have lived in the days of those great 
adventurers who made the poetry of Queen 
Elizabeth’s reign, in the eyes at least of men 
like Mr. Kingsley. Of late years his name 
has been hardly heard among us, save hi some 
casual reference to the ill-health which came 
upon him soon after his retirement from the 
scene of exploits as memorable in their way as 
those of Drake or Clive. But not a few of our 
readers must have seen with a tender regret 
the brief announcement of the death of one 
who some fourteen years ago was the centre 
of a violent controversy touching the character 
of his claims to a nation’s gratitude. ‘Rajah’ 
Brooke of Sarawak was then in the zenith of 
his fame as a successful adventurer who, by 
force of sheer personal daring, had carved out 
for himself a little kingdom in the Malayan 
Archipelago. But the very wondrousness of 
his feats had raised up enemies who misin¬ 
terpreted them. The necessary sternness of 
his rule over a race of savages was denounced 
as wanton cruelty; his best deeds were 
ascribed to the selfishness of a mere trader ; 
and his successful attempts to put down piracy 
in the Malayan seas were distorted into un¬ 
provoked massacres of unoffending Dyaks. 

“ They, however, who knew him best, or 
had most right to judge between him and his 
innocent victims, declared with truth that 
never had one so noble met with treatment 
so unworthy, and the public on the whole 
were of the same way of thinking. One of 
the handsomest tributes to his worth appeared 
in those days in the Westminster Review. Some 
years before, in 1848, the Government had 
already acknowledged his great services by 
making him a K.C.B.* in addition to the 
governorship of Labuan, conferred on him in 
1847. Less reward than this could not with 







Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


77 


justice have been given to the man who, 
single-handed in a world of savage or half¬ 
savage Asiatics, had by mere force of a noble 
character won for himself a realm full of loyal 
subjects, and for the English name a reve¬ 
rence never yet displayed towards our Dutch 
rivals. 

“ For Anglo-Indians the career of such a 
man has a special interest, not only because 
the steamers of the Indian navy helped the 
Governor of Labuan in hunting down the 
pirates of those seas, but even more because 
Brooke himself was once a servant, as well as 
the son of a servant, of the East India Com¬ 
pany. As a Bengal officer he fought and was 
wounded in the first Burmese war. His 
wounds sent him home, and his subsequent 
voyage to China in a yacht of his own hiring 
determined the direction of his future career. 
How, like a Norman adventurer in the days 
of the Crusades, he lent the timely aid of his 
arm and brain to the Sultan of Borneo, who 
in return made him independent ruler of 
Sarawak; how the bold English Rajah taught 
his wild subjects to give up piracy and the 
cutting off of each other’s heads, and to work 
for a peaceful living under his just, enlight¬ 
ened despotism, are matters on which we 
need not dwell. Could Rajah Brooke have 
had his own way, Borneo might by this time 
have been turned into an English Java. As 
Governor of Labuan Sir James Brooke main¬ 
tained the character, under modified condi¬ 
tions, of his old rule at Sarawak. In 1856 he 
left the island and went home, to rest, as he 
hoped, from further toil. But twice after 
that was he called out to Sarawak—once to 
suppress a formidable Chinese rising, and 
again to strengthen the hands of a kinsman 
somewhat less able than himself to carry on 
the work he had begun. 

“ A fe w years ago his first stroke of paralysis 
warned Sir James of the end that might any 
day come. The remainder of his days were 
passed, we believe, in a home provided for 
him by a number of his admirers, who made 
up a purse sufficient to buy him the modest 
estate where he died; for, like some other 
men of unselfish mould, he belied the slanders 
of his opponents by returning to England 
comparatively poor. His means had nearly 
all been spent in furtherance of the enterprise 
he lived, to see successful; and but for the 
aid of private bounty his last years might 
have been embittered by the struggle for 
daily bread. The Government did little for 
the man who had done so much for the English 
name.” On his return to England Sir James 
lectured in several of the chief towns on the 
advantages expected to result to this country 
from a possession of Sarawak, and urged the 


desirableness of the British Government tak¬ 
ing it under its protection, as otherwise it was 
likely to fall into the hands of the Dutch. 
In 1858 an influential deputation of merchants 
waited upon the Government, and recom¬ 
mended its purchase, but to no purpose. 
With regard to Brooke’s motives and policy 
in connection with Sarawak opinion was 
greatly divided, but it cannot be disputed 
that the town considerably increased under his 
rule. He found it a place of 1,000 inhabit¬ 
ants, and left it a town of 25,000; and the 
exports to Singapore, which, when he became 
ruler, amounted to <£25,000, were in 1858 
about £300,100, or twelve times the amount. 

The Secunder Begum of Bhopal was ap¬ 
pointed Regent of that principality in 1847, 
and ever since she had conducted its adminis¬ 
tration with ability and success. She abo¬ 
lished monopolies, regulated the mint, re¬ 
organized the police, and increased the revenue, 
while she diminished the public debt. By 
her support of education, her superintendence 
of works for the supply of water to her capital, 
the construction of roads, and by other im¬ 
provements, she gave convincing indications 
of her interest in the progress of her people 
and the prosperity of her country. With the 
rulers of neighbouring states she remained on 
terms of friendship, and her relations with 
the representative of the British Government 
at her capital were of the most satisfactory 
nature. But it was by her firm conduct 
during the great mutiny that she established 
a direct title to the acknowledgments of the 
Indian Government. When, on July 1st, 
1857, the Bengal troops stationed at Mhow 
openly revolted, and a detachment of the 
Bhopal contingent employed at Indor mutinied 
in concert, compelling Colonel Durand to aban¬ 
don the residency at Holkar’s court, he found 
it expedient to retreat with the ladies and gen¬ 
tlemen of his party to Sehur, to which many 
other English fugitives afterwards fled, know¬ 
ing that the Begum would continue a staunch 
ally of the British Government. The King 
of Delhi had already conveyed to her High¬ 
ness an “ istaper,” calling upon her, as a 
true Moslem, to hoist the standard of rebellion ; 
but she evinced no sympathy with the rebel 
cause, and gave timely warning to the officers 
of the Bhopal contingent to escape to Ho- 
shangabad, a Madras cantonment on the 
opposite side of the Nerbudda. Every assist¬ 
ance was given by the Begum to European 
parties arriving in her territory to reach 
Hoshangabad in safety. These services were 
acknowledged by Lord Canning in open dur¬ 
bar, and the Begum was rewarded with 
admission to the exalted Order of the Star of 
India, a grant of territory which its owner 















78 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 


had forfeited for open rebellion, and a recog¬ 
nition of the right of succession according to 
the custom of the principality aud the Mo- 
hammadan law. The Begum died on August 
30th, 1868, and was succeeded by her eldest 
daughter, the Begum Shah Jehan. 

Just before Christmas, 1868, Sir Herbert 
Edwardes died of the disease which had pre¬ 
vented him from becoming Lieutenant-Gover¬ 
nor of the Punjab. “ Nearly thirty years 
have passed by since Herbert Edwardes was 
posted to the 1st European Light Infantry, as 
the present 101st Fusiliers were then termed. 
He speedily mastered his drill and all the 
details of regimental duty, and having mas¬ 
tered these, he began to sigh for fresh occu¬ 
pation. This was for a time afforded by the 
study of the language; but, the language 
conquered, he had then to explore fresh fields 
of action : reading did not altogether satisfy 
the cravings of his vigorous and active intel¬ 
lect. There was for his regiment no pros¬ 
pect of war, and staff employment was far 
more difficult to obtain than in the present 
day. At last the idea seized upon him that 
he would write. In those days there was 
only a monthly overland communication with 
England, and that communication had hut 
just superseded the weary times of ship letters. 
The happy thought struck Edwardes that he 
might do a public service by describing, in a 
series of letters to England, published in one 
of the newspapers, the events of the preceding 
month. This happy thought was executed in 
the happiest manner. In letters addressed 
by Brahminee Bull to his loving cousin, John 
Bull, Edwardes poured forth a masterly ac¬ 
count of all the events of the period, giving 
prominence to the action of Government, and 
not sparing what he believed to be its errors. 
The letters speedily attracted notice and com¬ 
mendation from all sides. Their talent, their 
absolute freedom from scurrility, the solidity 
and strength of the argument on all matters 
touched upon, were universally admitted, and 
their value acknowledged by none more freely 
than men in high positions. There are some 
now in India who may recollect the masterly 
criticism of the Maharajpur campaign given 
by Brahminee Bull. In the letters containing 
that criticism the tactics of the Commander - 
in-Chief were not spared; but so little did it 
rankle in the heart of Sir Hugh Gough, that 
when, some twenty months later, he found 
Herbert Edwardes’s regiment under his com¬ 
mand in front of the Sikh position on the 
Sutlej, he offered him a post on his per¬ 
sonal staff. From that moment the rise of 
Herbert Edwardes was rapid. His talents 
had been noted by others than Sir Hugh 
Gough, and when, after the occupation of 


Labor in 1846, it was determined to leave 
an English resident, aided by a few politicals, 
in that city, the keen-sighted Henry Lawrence 
selected for one of those politicals the clever 
writer who had already made his own way to 
the position of aide-de-camp. From the period 
that Herbert Edwardes was appointed to the 
staff the letters of Brahminee Bull ceased, 
and we believe from that time he did not 
write anything to which he did not attach his 
name. He threw himself with all the ardour 
of his nature into his new duties, and speedily 
convinced his employers that it was quite 
possible for a man of letters to be also a man 
of action. He had entered into political em¬ 
ploy in 1846. Less than two years after¬ 
wards the opportunity which is generally 
offered to all men once in their lifetime came 
to Herbert Edwardes. He clutched eagerly 
at it, and it made him. We allude naturally 
to the uprising of the Sikh nation in 1848.” * 

The rebellion, in 1848, of Mulraj, the Go¬ 
vernor of Multan, brought out all the finest 
qualities of Edwardes as a bold, active, and 
self-reliant leader of men. While Lord Gough 
hesitated to move a large force in the hottest 
season of the year, Edwardes three times 
defeated Mulraj, and finally shut him up in 
Multan. For this promptitude, and for his 
subsequent services during the siege, the 
young lieutenant was made C.B. and brevet- 
major, receiving the thanks of both Houses 
of Parliament, and a gold medal from the 
East India Company. During his furlough 
in England he kept himself before the world 
by his “ Year on the Punjab Frontier.” After 
the murder of Colonel Mackeson in 1853, 
Major Edwardes succeeded him as Commis¬ 
sioner of Peshawar. It was at his instigation 
that Lord Dalhousie entered into the treaty 
of alliance with Dost Mohammad of Kabul, 
the wholesome consequences of which came 
out in the dark days of 1857. Through the 
worst of the mutiny the Afghan ruler and the 
tribes on the Peshawar frontier remained 
faithful, notwithstanding all counter-induce¬ 
ments. 

Edwardes’s death called forth from the 
Secretary of State for India in Council the 
following resolution, dated January 7th, 
1869 :—Resolved by the Secretary of State 
in Council (nemine contradicente) , that the 
de'ath of Major-General Sir Herbert Edwardes, 
K.C.B., K.C.S.I., has closed a career of great 
usefulness and distinction. His earliest 
achievements, twenty years ago, secured the 
special recognition of the Court of Directors 
of the East India Company and of her Ma¬ 
jesty’s Government. His last services deserve 
no less signal an acknowledgment. The 
* Calcutta Englishman. 





Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


79 













Secretary of State for India in Council, in 
deploring the loss of so devoted and so valued 
a public servant, feels it a duty to signify his 
sense of the ability, daring, and resource 
which Sir Herbert Edwardes displayed in 
times of great difficulty and of great peril. 
He desires further, by the erection, of a monu¬ 
ment to the memory of this most distinguished 
officer, to attest his high appreciation of the 
example which Sir Herbert Edwardes has left 
to all the servants of the Crown in India.” 
In memory of Sir Herbert the Governor- 
General in Council, on the recommendation of 
the Punjab Government, ordered that the 
head-quarters and cantonment of the Bunnu 
district should henceforth be designated 
“ Edwardesabad.” 

For several years events in Afghanistan 
called for constant watchfulness on the part 
of the Indian Government. On the death, in 
1863, of Dost Mohammad—in whom the 
greatest confidence had been reposed by the 
British, for since the treaty with him in 1855 
he had been found far more faithful and 
straightforward than any other Indian ruler— 
he was, at his own request, succeeded by Sher 
Ali, one of his younger sons, who, notwith¬ 
standing that his proclivities were well known 
to be Persian rather than English, was recog¬ 
nised by the Indian Government. Sher Ali 
then applied to the latter for assistance against 
his two elder and abler brothers, Afzul Khan 
and Azim Khan, whose claims had been passed 
over, and who had rebelled against him ; but 
Sir John Lawrence declined to interfere. A 
period of anarchy ensued, during which for¬ 
tune smiled sometimes on one of the brothers, 
sometimes on the other. At length Sher Ali 
was driven from Kabul, and Afzul Khan was 
acknowledged its ruler, while Sher Ali took 
possession of Herat. On the death of Afzul 
Khan in 1867, Azim Khan succeeded him; 
but his reign was short, for a few months 
after Sher Ali fought his way back to Kabul, 
and was installed in the realm which his father 
had bequeathed to him five years before. 
Soon afterwards the A mir made overtures to 
the Indian Government for the restoration of 
full diplomatic intercourse, which were fa¬ 
vourably received by Sir John Lawrence, 
whose successor reaped the fruits of his 
“ masterly inactivity.” 

It now becomes necessary to notice the 
condition of affairs in the Persian Gulf and 
the revolution in Muscat. The following 
account of the political complications that 
preceded the revolution is from the pen of 
Mr. I. T. Prichard “ The ‘blue waters’ 
of Oman, immortalised by the muse of the 
Irish bard, are subject to the sway of the 
Imam of Muscat. Early in the present cen¬ 


tury we were engaged, in conjunction with 
Syad Said, the then Imam, in waging war 
against the Wahabi pirates, who interfered 
with the commerce of the Persian Gulf and 
the Indian Ocean ; and ever since that time 
we have preserved friendly relations with the 
successor of the Syad. The venerable old 
chief, after a reign which extended over half 
a century, was gathered to his fathers in 
1856, leaving several sons, one of whom 
became ruler of Zanzibar, and another suc¬ 
ceeded his father on the throne of Muscat. 
His name was Thowaynee. After these ar¬ 
rangements had been completed, the two 
brothers of Muscat and Zanzibar fell out, the 
Sultan of Muscat claiming a tribute from his 
brother of Zanzibar. This tribute had no 
doubt formerly been paid by the ruler of the 
latter country to the Imam of Muscat; and 
the brothers, not being able to settle their 
differences, agreed to refer them for arbitra¬ 
tion to Lord Canning. This nobleman being 
the referee—as if he had not enough to 
claim his attention in India—gave a decision 
calculated, as he supposed, to content both 
parties. He ruled that Zanzibar should be 
independent of Muscat, but that the tribute 
should be paid. 

“ So matters went on till 1865, when the 
Sultan of Muscat was murdered, it was sup¬ 
posed, by his own son Selim, who, after a nomi¬ 
nal acquittal of the guilt of parricide by the 
chiefs and people, was raised to the throne, and 
the British Government, being but little con¬ 
cerned in the matter of the guilt or innocence 
of the new Sultan, acknowledged his authority. 
His uncle of Zanzibar, however, deemed it a 
good opportunity for crying off the tribute, 
and receiving some countenance from the 
Shah of Persia, declined to pay it any longer. 
The Shah had for many years allowed the 
Imams of Muscat to occupy for trading pur¬ 
poses the port known as Bunder Abbas, on 
payment of a certain tribute. In short, the 
Imam rented the port on a sort of Tease, but 
he had been a tenant for so long that he 
claimed at last rights of occupancy; and the 
Shah, although he would have been glad to 
dislodge him so as to resume the harbour, 
did not know very well how to set about it, 
for he had no marine that could cope with 
that of Muscat. Pretending, however, a 
righteous horror at the alleged parricide of 
the reigning Sultan, he declared his lease of 
Bunder Abbas forfeited, and prepared to seize 
the place, while the Imam, on the other hand, 
threatened a blockade. At tkis,juncture the 
British Government were obliged to interfere 
to protect their own interests, which palpably 
would be better served by keeping the ruler 
of Muscat in possession of so important a 








80 


HISTORY OF THE 

marine port as Bunder Abbas, and tbey lefused 
to allow the Sbab to obtain possession of the 
coveted harbour. The question of the tribute 
was under discussion when news was received 
of another revolution m Muscat, Sultan Selim 
having been driven from his throne by his 
brother-in-law, Azan bin Ghas, who took the 
capital by assault with little trouble.. 

“ This was the condition of affairs at the 
close of 1868 and the commencement of 1869. 
It may be remarked that Muscat is a place of 
some importance, as it commands the entrance 
to the Persian Gulf, and our policy will pro¬ 
bably be directed to maintaining, as it has 
always done, the authority of the de facto 
sovereign.” 

With the last days of 1868 Sir John Law¬ 
rence’s tenure of office expired, and India had 
been for ten years under the direct rule of the 
British Grown. At this stage of her history 
it seems fitting to note a few of the more 
striking features in the progress of India 
during this period, and to glance at her con¬ 
dition at its close. 

The gross revenue of India had increased 
from £44,760,000 in 1863-64 to forty-nine 
and a quarter millions in 1868-69, and in the 
latter year the expenditure exceeded fifty-two 
millions. Sir Charles Trevelyan’s estimates 
for the year 1863-64 were, of revenue 
£ 45 , 306 , 200 , and of expenditure £44,490,225, 
showing an estimated surplus of £815,775. 
The actual revenue was £44,753,000, and the 
actual expenditure £44,722,000, leaving a 
surplus of only £31,000. There was a deficit 
on the budget estimate of revenue on opium 
of £1,150,000. The deficit on the entire 
budget estimate was £217,700. For 1864-65 
the revenue was estimated at £46,160,000, 
and the expenditure at £45,340,000, with a 
promised surplus of £820,000. The duty on 
tobacco was reduced from 20 to 10 per cent., 
and the import duty on cotton piece goods 
was raised from 5 to 7£ per cent. Economy 
was also recommended in view of the abolition 
of the income-tax in 1865. This and Sir 
Charles Trevelyan’s subsequent budget were 
thus explained by his successor, the Right 
Hon. Mr. Massey, member for Salford, and 
formerly Under-Secretary of State for the 
Home Department, and Chairman of Com¬ 
mittees of the House of Commons, in his 
financial statement on March 24th, 1866 
“ Had the estimates of 1864-65 been realised, 
we should have had a revenue in excess of 
expenditure of £800,000 ; instead of this, the 
actual result is a deficit of £193,520, a total 
difference of nearly £1,000,000. This is due 
to the over-estimate of opium by more than 
£800,000, and the under-estimate of the 
military expenditure, which was £500,000 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

more, owing to the Bhotan war, the substitu¬ 
tion of full for half batta, and the rise of 
prices. 

“ For the year 1865-66 it was the mis¬ 
fortune of Sir Charles Trevelyan to face an 
expenditure of £47,200,000, with a revenue 
of £46,480,000. The result was his start¬ 
ing with a deficit of £700,000, which was 
too large for any financier to face ; and so it 
was necessary for him to adopt means some¬ 
what extraordinary. The export duties and 
loan which he proposed were disallowed, 
while in the course of the year £170,000 
was added to expenditure, and the revenues 
exhibited a decrease of £318,000. This, 
added to the expected deficit of £700,000, 
falsified Sir Charles Trevelyan’s expectations 
by a million and a quarter sterling. But the 
rise of opium £915,000 above his estimate 
reduced the deficit of the current year to 
£335,947.” 

Mr. Massey’s budget for 1866-67 showed 
an estimated deficit of £72,800. He contem¬ 
plated no fresh taxation, but looked to. the 
various subordinate governments and adminis¬ 
trations to relieve Government of its burden 
by local taxation. Lord Cranborne, however, 
in his financial statement expected that the 
deficit, owing to the difficulty of estimating 
the revenue from opium, “a fickle., variable, 
and uncertain drug,” would be largely in¬ 
creased. His lordship took the occasion to 
speak of the condition of India and the policy 
of the Government towards it. There was 
one circumstance, he said, which might fairly 
be considered as a subject of congratulation 
that was, the great success of Indian railways. 
It was in railways that the great expenditure 
had taken place. Last year the Government 
had spent in guaranteed interest £1,000,000, 
but this year only £530,000 would be so ex¬ 
pended. They might look at the present 
condition of India as one of fair and steady 
progress. Education was spreading ; not only 
was the expenditure of the Government under 
that head increasing, but that expenditure was 
met by private endeavour in a manner that 
showed how highly education was appre¬ 
ciated. Public works were increasing, com¬ 
munication was extending, and the Indian 
Government were making arrangements for 
spending as much money as they could upon 
works of irrigation. It might be expedient 
that he should state the policy of the Govern¬ 
ment ; and although his short tenure of office 
might have been a reason for evading this 
part of the question, he could say that India 
was now at peace, and that the policy of the 
Government would be to keep that peace, and 
to push on public works. If India could in¬ 
crease her enormous produce; if she could 





Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


81 


draw forth her immense wealth to support the 
teeming millions of her population ; if she 
could impress on neighbouring nations that 
her rulers had renounced for ever that policy 
of annexation, that policy of territorial ag¬ 
grandisement, which formerly spread distrust 
and fear ; if she could spread over her popula¬ 
tion the blessings of English civilisation and 
English government, and give them the know¬ 
ledge that would enable them to strengthen 
these blessings ; if these things could be done, 
then those periods of practical stagnation 
which had been apt to obstruct her advance¬ 
ment would be heard of no more. They knew 
that, morally as well as physically, the tropical 
atmosphere was a state of storm. They never 
knew when the existing condition of things 
might be disturbed. Though they did not 
see a cloud in the horizon, they did not know 
when a storm might burst. Still, if they made 
use of the opportunities they had to act to 
the best of their power for the promotion of 
the moral and material improvement of the 
immense territory under their rule, they would 
have laid the foundations of a solid prosperity 
which could not be shaken. 

Mr. Massey estimated that the year 1865-6G 
would end with a deficit of £336,000. In¬ 
stead of this, its close showed a surplus of 
£2,800,189. Upwards of £1,000,000 of this 
was a mere matter of account, but £1,772,000 
was due to a reduction in the home expendi¬ 
ture of £350,000, a saving in the expenditure 
on stores of £560,000, and a payment of 
£937,000 by the Bombay railway companies, 
which ought to have been sooner brought 
into the accounts. For the year 1866-67 
Mr. Massey expected a deficit of only £72,800, 
but it reached the serious proportions of 
£2,400,000. This was attributed to a deficit 
of revenue from opium, a diminution of re¬ 
ceipts from the Mint, the failure of the land 
sales in Bombay, and increased payments for 
railways and transports. “ On the whole,” 
says the Friend of India, “deducting some¬ 
thing for the difficulties of account caused by 
the fact that this financial year contains only 
eleven months, and allowing for the frightful 
monetary disasters of the year, we may set 
the surplus of his first against the deficit of 
his second year, and declare that Mr. Massey 
has hit the truth as nearly as any one who 
has to deal with the bad Indian accounts and 
the precarious Indian revenue could have 
done.” For 1867-68 it was determined to 
borrow £700,000 to carry on irrigation works, 
and to advance £1,000,000 to Bombay, to be 
repaid by the sales of land, and £520,000 
to Calcutta, for the purpose of executing 
the water-works for that city, and which 
would also be repaid. For these purposes 

VOL. III. 


it was proposed to borrow a little more 
than £2,000,000. Excluding these items, 
the expenditure for 1867-68 was calculated at 
£47,340,000, and the revenue at £46,283,000, 
showing a deficiency of £1,057,000. To meet 
this Mr. Massey proposed to levy a license- 
tax, which he calculated would produce 
£500,000, leaving a deficiency still to be pro¬ 
vided of £557,000, which he suggested should 
be transferred to the loan raised for the re¬ 
modelling of barracks. 

The general result of the figures quoted by 
Sir Stafford Northcote in"reviewing, in 1868, 
Mr. Massey’s budgets for the past and the cur¬ 
rent year was that while, including expendi¬ 
ture of all sorts, there was in 1867-68 a 
deficit of £1,106,000, the deficiency would, 
it was estimated, be reduced in 1868-69 to 
£1,026,000. In both these instances, how¬ 
ever, the apparent deficiency was occasioned 
by charging against the income of the year the 
“ extraordinary ” expenditure upon public 
works, which might more properly be charged 
to capital. The deduction of this expenditure 
would in each case turn the apparent deficit 
into a surplus. Sir Stafford warmly acknow¬ 
ledged the services which had been rendered 
to India by Mr. Massey, and expressed his 
regret that he had been compelled to return 
to England. He saw no reason to take a 
gloomy view of the state of affairs in India, 
nor to entertain any apprehensions as to the 
future. 

In the House of Lords, in July, 1869, the 
Duke of Argyll, Chief Secretary of State for 
India, reviewed the finances of India during 
the ten years since the mutiny. He showed 
that in those ten years the revenue had 
increased by over £15,000,000 sterling, i.e. 
at a rate of 45 per cent., the revenue of 
the year preceding the mutiny having 
been £33,378,000, and that of 1867-68 
£48,534,000. Of the gross amount of 
increase £7,315,000 was due to increased 
or new taxation, but the remainder to the 
increase of returns from old sources, such 
as opium, the land revenue, and the cus¬ 
toms. Indeed, under several heads the 
increase of profit to the State had been 
accompanied by a reduction of the burden on 
the taxpayer, there having been, for instance, 
a very large reduction of the customs duties, 
while, again, the proportion which the State 
derived under the item of land revenue, on 
which there had been an increase in every 
province of India, did not now exceed 25 per 
cent, of the produce, as against 50 per cent, 
formerly. He showed, moreover, that tne 
two years which he had compared were 
ordinary years, and that the comparison 
gave no impression of the actual elasticity of 





82 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


•which Indian revenue admitted in exceptional 
years. Turning then to the common belief 
that the Indian Empire had been for years in 
a state of chronic debt, he denied that this as 
a rule was true, and he explained that in par¬ 
ticular it had not been the fact in three of the 
years since 1860. Contemporaneously, how¬ 
ever, with the increase of revenue, there had 
been, in the ten years since the mutiny, a 
slightly greater increase of expenditure, leav¬ 
ing a deficit of about £1,000,000. The in¬ 
crease had been greatest in military expendi¬ 
ture, which he saw but little hope of reducing, 
except as to the expense, now enormous, of 
recruiting ; but other heads of increased ex¬ 
penditure were law and justice, the machinery 
of which had been thereby considerably im¬ 
proved; and £2,305,000 more than before 
the mutiny was payable in respect of the 
Indian debt. As to that, however, he re¬ 
minded the House that we were then borrow¬ 
ing on easier terms than formerly, viz. at 
4 per cent., and that the credit of the 
Indian Empire as it was stood higher than 
that of any European power. Public works 
were a serious additional source of expendi¬ 
ture. The total result showed that on the 
ordinary expenditure there was an annual 
deficit of one million, and on the expenditure 
on public works of from two to three millions. 
Such a deficit gave, he thought, no ground 
for alarm, our whole Indian debt not exceed¬ 
ing even now two years’ Indian revenue ; but 
he held there was ground for caution, and for 
introducing greater economy where economy 
was possible. 

The foreign trade of India had increased in 
1868-69 to upwards of one hundred and seven 
and a half millions, a gain of more than twelve 
millions on the previous year, and equal to four 
times the total for 1848. In 1834 the foreign 
trade amounted to only fourteen and a third 
millions. Of the whole Indian trade about 
three-fifths was with Great Britain. The trade 
with China amounted to nearly thirteen and 
a half millions. France came next with a 
little over three millions, or only two-thirds 
of a million more than the Arabian and Persian 
Gulf, and a million more than Ceylon. North 
and South America represented little more than 
a 'million between them, and Australia dealt 
only for £361,000, while Mauritius stood at 
nearly a million, and the Eastern Settlements 
at nearly two. Cotton had increased in 
value fivefold since 1850, the exports from 
Bombay amounting to 1,294,291 bales, or 
70,000 bales more than in 1867. The export 
of indigo had fallen off. That of grain had 
risen from three-quarters of a million to 
about four millions. The coffee exports were 
eight times as valuable as they were in 1850. 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 

In all the tea districts, including Chittagong, 
there was increased production without any 
increase of cultivation ; and Calcutta exported 
nearly 8,800,000 lbs. of tea, or upwards of 
one and a half millions more than in the pre¬ 
vious year. The want of labour was, how¬ 
ever, a great drawback; but it was thought 
that if the Coolie Labour Act, that was being 
passed through the Bengal Legislature, should 
remedy the want, the Indian tea trade would 
some day rival the production of Indian 
cotton. The demand for jute had risen from 
£197,000 to £1,311,000. A like advance 
had been made in the export of seeds, silk, 
and wool; but sugar had gone down to a very 
small figure. The opium exports, on the 
other hand, had more than doubled them¬ 
selves. Of cotton twist and yarn the imports 
had multiplied nearly threefold; those of 
cotton piece goods nearly fivefold; of manu¬ 
factured metals about sixfold ; of raw silk, 
silk goods, and woollen goods, about two, 
four, and three fold respectively. On all 
kinds of foreign strong drinks the consump¬ 
tion had increased from about half a million 
in 1850 to a million and a half in 1867, 
indicating a large increase in the number of 
European consumers. 

Of the 6,000 miles of railway proposed 
by Lord Dalhousie,* 634 were open for 
traffic by the 1st of January, 1860, 2,690 
in 1863-64, and in 1868 4,096 were com¬ 
pleted, more than 1,500 of which had been 
laid down during Sir John Lawrence’s tenure 
of office. In almost every province works of 
irrigation were carried forward, and embank¬ 
ments raised against sudden floods. New 
barracks were built for the comfort of Euro¬ 
pean soldiers, and fortified posts constructed 
for the protection of the arsenals, and for the 
purpose of overawing the surrounding country, 
while in time of peril they would afford shelter 
to our countrymen. On public works Lower 
Bengal spent in 1867-68 more than a million 
sterling, nearly a half of which was laid out 
on high-roads, and the rest on military and 
civil buildings, and a loan of £120,000 to the 
East Indian Irrigation Company. Military 
works in the Punjab cost upwards of £360,000, 
and nearly £286,000 was expended on roads. 
In the Central Provinces the progress of the 
Godavari navigation works was materially 
checked by the want of labour, resulting from 
the lower price of food in the coast districts. 
Bombay spent on public works nearly one 
and a half millions, or half a million more than 
Madras. In Oude the outlay on military 
works amounted to £116,500. In the North- 
West Provinces irrigation works formed the 
chief source of outlay. 

To Sir John Lawrence is largely due the 




Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


83 


first successful attempt to establish a system 
of forest conservancy and management under 
the care of the State. When the British 
Association met at Edinburgh in 1850, a com¬ 
mittee was appointed to consider “ the pro¬ 
bable effects, in an economical and physical 
point of view, of the destruction of tropical 
forests.” Their report was presented in 1851, 
at Ipswich, and attention was thus directed 
in India to the importance of preserving every 
influence which tends to maintain an equili¬ 
brium of temperature and humidity, of pre¬ 
venting the waste of valuable material, and 
the special application to their various uses 
of the indigenous timbers of the country. A 
few years later forest establishments were 
sanctioned in British Burmah (1855), and in 
the Madras Presidency (1856); and in 1864 
Government laid the foundation of an im¬ 
proved general system of forest administration 
for the whole Indian Empire, having for its 
object the conservation of State forests, and 
the development of this source of national 
wealth. The executive arrangements were 
left to the local administrations, general prin¬ 
ciples being laid down, the most important of 
which was that all superior Government forests 
were to be reserved and made inalienable, and 
their boundaries marked out to distinguish 
them from waste lands available for the pub¬ 
lic. Valuation surveys were likewise made to 
obtain reliable data as to the geographic dis 
tribution of the more valuable trees, the rate 
of growth, and the normal yield of the forests.* 
In 1867-68 the great sal forests of Bengal 
contained plenty of young trees, which, how¬ 
ever, would hardly bear cutting for at least 
thirty years to come, except in one place, 
where timber enough for forty or fifty thou¬ 
sand railway sleepers could be had. The 
forests in the North-West Provinces yielded a 
net profit of about £20,000. In the Punjab 
nearly £60,000 was realised by the sale of 
1,570 deodars. • Several forests of good teak 
had been discovered and reserved in the 
Central Provinces. In Madras the system of 
forest conservancy had been greatly improved, 
and a new lease for ninety-nine years secured 
of the valuable teak forests in South Malabar. 
The success of the Forest Department in 
Mysore was shown by a net outcome of 
£27,352. The profit from the Bombay forests 
amounted to about £17,000. 

Since the suppression of the mutiny great 
progress had been made in the work of popu¬ 
lar education, much of which during the last 
five years was due to the efforts and influence 
of Sir John Lawrence. The outlay by the 

* Dr. Cleghorn On the Distribution of the Principal 
Timber Trees of India, and the Progress of Forest 
Conservancy. 


State on colleges and schools had risen in ten 
years from £100,000 to £800,000 ; the num¬ 
ber of colleges and schools wholly or partly 
supported by public funds, from a few hun¬ 
dred to upwards of 18,000; and the number of 
pupils from 40,000 to 700,000. In 1867-68 
the number of colleges and schools aided by 
the State in Lower Bengal increased from 
2,908 to 3,411, and that of pupils from 
121,480 to 145,142. There were besides 
2,196 schools unaided by the State, attended 
by 65,212 pupils, or more than 20,000 in 
excess of the previous year. About three- 
fifths of the outlay were contributed by the 
State, at an average cost of £1 2s. lOd. per 
pupil. Out of 1,507 candidates for the uni¬ 
versity, the entrance examination was passed 
by 814, of whom 302 came from Government 
schools. The village patshalas were also 
attended by 2,000 girls. In this year 
grants were made by the Government for the 
establishment of the normal schools suggested 
by Miss Carpenter, an account of whose visit 
to India is given below. A challenge offered 
by a native gentleman of Rampur Boliya, who 
promised to contribute £150 a year if Govern¬ 
ment would provide twice that sum for a 
smaller normal school in that place, was also 
accepted. Among other benefactions to the 
cause of education, the late Mr. Williamson, 
of Assam, bequeathed to the Government 
£10,000 for the diffusion of school learning 
and industrial knowledge in that province, 
and Baboo Doorga Churn Laha, of Calcutta, 
presented £5,000 towards founding university 
scholarships and exhibitions in the Govern¬ 
ment colleges and schools of Calcutta and 
Hugh. In the North-West Provinces the 
Government district schools were attended 
by 112,267 pupils, or 1 in every 100 boys 
of an age to be at school. The aggregate 
expenditure amounted to £57,787. In the 
province of Oudh the number of pupils in¬ 
creased within the year from 16,265 to 24,305, 
the expenditure amounting to £18,678 from 
imperial funds, and £14,068 from local 
funds. Only 17 candidates went up to the 
university for matriculation, but of these 
15 passed in. In the Punjab there were 
1,912 Government and 801 grant-in-aid insti¬ 
tutions, independently of 4,888 indigenous 
schools, in which 129,869 pupils attended, 
being equivalent to one-thirty-fifth of the 
population. The expenditure was £94,306, 
of which 10 per cent, was derived from 
private contributions. In the university 
examinations 44 out of 73 passed matricu¬ 
lation, 4 out of 7 took the degree of 
B.A., and 5 out of 11 got through the first 
Arts examination. In the Central Provinces 
the number of schools amounted to 1,645, 





84 HISTORY OF THE 

with an average daily attendance of 67,490. 
The outlay was £44,112, of which £26,764 
was obtained from local funds. In the iso¬ 
lated district of Sambalpur there were 249 
schools, with 13,276 scholars, as compared 
with the 4 schools and 95 scholars of six 
years before. In the Presidency of Madras 
the number of colleges and schools had in¬ 
creased between 1867 and 1868 from 1,386 
to 1,687, and the number of pupils from 
51,118 to 62,973, the expenditure being 
£78,370. But Bombay, which first set the 
example of the system of vernacular educa¬ 
tion, the institution of normal colleges, and 
the translation of European literature into the 
native languages, kept ahead of all the other 
provinces in respect of educational progress. 
The number of schools had extended to 2,089, 
with 137,587 pupils, the expenditure by Go¬ 
vernment amounting to £167,073. In Bri¬ 
tish Burmah, with a population of 2,400,000, 
the number of schools, in many of which 
boys and girls are taught together, had 
increased to 181. There were 7 normal 
and 5 purely female schools, the latter 
containing 400 pupils. Of Rs. 182,057 
spent on education, not more than 74,321 
were defrayed from the imperial funds. There 
was reason to hope that all India would soon, 
be blessed with a cheap system of popular 
education, maintained more or less largely by 
local cesses, as in 1868 Sir John Lawrence 
had ordered that Bengal and Madras, which 
had remained content to depend on State 
provision supplemented by voluntary aid, 
and in which not more than 5 per cent, 
could read or write their own language, 
should be brought up to a level with the 
other provinces, where the system of verna¬ 
cular education originated by Mr. Thomason 
and sanctioned by Lord Dalhousie had long 
been successfully at work. 

As regards female education, a school for 
females was founded by certain natives at 
Agra in 1855, which was subsequently sup¬ 
ported by Government, after which a mania 
for female education burst forth, and in two 
years the number of schools in the North-West 
Provinces amounted to. 288, with a daily 
attendance of 4,127 pupils ; and in 1866-67 
there were 595 schools, with 12,902 pupils. 
At the close of the latter year 130 schools, 
with 3,621 pupils, had been established in 
the Punjab. In Oude there were only 18 
female schools, 6 of which were supported 
by Government, and the number of pupils 
was 408. But the greatest impetus that 
female education received was duo to the 
visit of Miss Mary Carpenter. Miss Car¬ 
penter, daughter of an eminent divine, Dr. 
Lant Carpenter, of Bristol, and well known 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXXXIX. 

for the reformatory and home for friendless 
girls which she established at Redhill, Bristol, 
paid a visit to India towards the close of 
1866, to give the people of that country “ a 
token of true sympathy with them and interest 
in their welfare; ” to assure them that not 
one, but many, of England’s daughters had 
“a deep and true feeling for their race,” 
which they were ready to testify, if they had 
a chance ; and, above all, to learn “ the actual 
position of female education in India, and to 
discover the real obstacles to its progress,” 
and the reason why English zeal and money 
had hitherto met with so poor a return. 
Hospitals, schools, prisons, and all sorts of 
public institutions were thrown open to her 
inspection, and she availed herself of these 
courtesies as largely as her time and special 
aims allowed her ; but the most of her time 
was concentrated on the questions of educa¬ 
tion and prison discipline. Wherever she 
went she found the men more or less educated, 
and the women strikingly the reverse. Old 
customs hardened into a religion formed a 
tremendous barrier to the education alike of 
girls and wives. A girl of twelve, who had 
learned nothing, entered on a life of wedded 
seclusion fatal to her chance of ever learning 
anything at all. In many cases masculine 
prejudice or jealousy would prevent her from 
learning anything if she could. Only a few 
brave men here and there defied the banns of 
creed and custom by helping their wives and 
daughters to become fit companions for them¬ 
selves or their English acquaintances. 

In Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta public 
meetings were held to further the advance¬ 
ment of Miss Carpenter’s views, and social 
meetings took place, at which native ladies 
were present. At a meeting in Calcutta, 
presided over by the Lieutenant-Governor, 
and at which the Yiceroy and Lady Lawrence 
and many others were present, a committee 
was appointed to carry out the formation of 
“ a branch society to be affiliated to the Social 
Science Association at home, for the purpose 
of pursuing social science investigations, so 
far as they have any relation to the people 
and circumstances of this country.” Miss 
Carpenter then pointed out education, espe¬ 
cially of girls, gaols, the massing of prisoners 
together, the want of juvenile reformatories, 
and the filthy state of native towns, as sub¬ 
jects with which the proposed society should 
deal at once. At other meetings Miss Car¬ 
penter unfolded her scheme for the education 
of female natives. The first want was teachers, 
and to supply this she proposed the establish¬ 
ment of normal schools, at which Hindu 
females could be trained as teachers, the 
schools to be under the superintendence of 




Chap. CXXXIX.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


85 


good English mistresses, and no interference 
with the religion of the students to be per¬ 
mitted. Before leaving India, after six 
months’ stay, Miss Carpenter had the satis¬ 
faction of knowing that the Government of 
Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay had been 
petitioned by the natives and others interested 
in the cause of female education for the esta¬ 
blishment of such schools. As a result of 
these representations, the Viceroy in 1868 
placed at the disposal of each of the presi¬ 
dencies a sum of Rs. 12,000 a year for five 
years for the foundation of normal schools for 
women teachers. A special report of the 
circumstances connected with each school 
was to be sent in each year, and native sub¬ 
scriptions were to be derived from private 
sources, and not from grants out of local or 
municipal funds. The Secretary of State for 
India, in approving of the steps taken by the 
Viceroy, desired that the most careful atten¬ 
tion should be paid to the experiment while 
in progress, and that he should from time to 
time be kept informed as to the results that 
might be achieved. Miss Carpenter the same 
year returned to Bombay to take charge of 
the normal school there, the Governor placing 
at her disposal a suitable residence for her¬ 
self and the training mistress whom she 
had brought from England, with class-rooms 
added for the English ladies who meant to 
qualify themselves for teaching their native 
sisters. A similar institution was started at 
Ahmadabad under one of Miss Carpenter’s 
colleagues. To the Bombay school fifteen 
scholarships, and to that at Ahmadabad ten, 
were to be attached, most of which would be 
held by native candidates. At Bombay 
English was to be taught as well as the native 
tongues. In the following year a normal 
school for Hindu women was engrafted on 
the Bethune School, Calcutta. 

The administration of Sir John Lawrence 
was further marked by the growth of the 
native element in the Civil Service. Out of 
486 appointments in 1868, 363 were held by 
natives, and 40 by East Indians. In the 
upper ranks of the police service natives had 
also made their way, 1 having been ap¬ 
pointed a district superintendent, 5 assistant 
superintendents, and 4 special assistants 
in the detective branch. In the Education 
Department 102 out of 129 appointments 
were held by natives, the highest posts being 
of necessity reserved for Europeans. 

We close this account of Sir John Law¬ 
rence’s administration with a notice from the 
Indian Daily News The Government of 
the Queen is only about ten years old, and 
during that time, if we take the result of the 
administration, it will be found that immense 


progress has been made in the development 
of India. And when we further consider that 
one-half of that time has been under the 
administration of Sir John Lawrence, it would 
be a gross and wanton injustice to deny him 
the credit of many of the measures which 
have contributed to that result. In almost 
every branch of the administration great im¬ 
provements have been effected, while the 
credit of the country has been maintained. 
Taking the power by which we primarily hold 
India, surely no one will deny that much has 
been done for the army. Efforts have not 
been spared to do all that is desirable or pos¬ 
sible in India for our European troops. Money 
has been freely, and it may be said wisely, 
spent in providing barracks and other means 
of health and comfort to our soldiers and 
their families. . . . Something, too, has been 
done for the various parts of the civil adminis¬ 
tration. The covenanted and the uncovenanted 
have both received a fair amount of attention 
and consideration at the hands of the Viceroy. 
The revision of the leave and pension rules 
has been conducted in a spirit of liberality, 
with a view to render the services more 
satisfactory, and to make people contented in 
them. . . . Nor can it be said that the efforts 
of Sir John Lawrence have been confined to 
improving the condition of his own race, or of 
the higher classes of the people of this country. 
Many of his measures have been essentially 
such as are calculated to promote the good 
of the great masses of the people, thus ful¬ 
filling one of the first conditions of good 
government. Amongst these measures we 
may mention the encouragement given to 
popular education and irrigation works, and 
the improvements in the land tenures for the 
benefit of the peasantry at large. There are 
other agencies, too, which owe something of 
their efficiency to Sir John Lawrence. We 
have recently seen valuable concessions in 
the telegraph and postal departments, which 
will do much to increase and improve our 
communications ; and they are of the kind 
that will lead to other improvements not 
perhaps generally contemplated. It is one of 
the qualities of statesmen to look beyond the 
present hour. If Sir John Lawrence has 
erred in these matters, it has been on the 
side of caution. He has not taken his mea¬ 
sures ‘ before the hour was ripe.’ . . . Sir 
John doubtless saw what was required in the 
land, and took time and his own course to do 
it. The last year of his office has shown the 
completion of his work, and he has no need 
to be ashamed of it. He hands over to his 
successor a magnificent empire, at peace in¬ 
ternally and abroad, and in a position of such 
great prosperity and credit as could not well 







86 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CXXXIX. 


be expected, considering the difficulties, natural 
and otherwise, that he has had to contend with 
during the past five years.” 

The principal changes that took place in the 
Indian administration during Sir John Law¬ 
rence’s tenure of office are the following:—In 
1865 Sir Hugh Rose retired from the post of 
Commander-in-Chief in India, and was suc¬ 
ceeded by Sir William Mansfield. In the 
following year Sir Hugh was raised to the 
peerage, with the title of Baron Strathnairn of 
Strathnairn, in the county of Nairn, and of 
Jhansi, in the East Indies. In 1865, too, 
the Finance Minister, Sir Charles Trevelyan, 
returned home, and was succeeded by the 
Hon. Mr. Massey, who was followed by Sir 
Richard Temple in 1868. In 1866 Sir Robert 
Napier took the place of Sir C. Straubenzee as 
Commander-in-Chief at Bombay ; Lord Napier 
succeeded Sir William Denison as Governor 
of Madras ; Lord De Grey and Ripon became 
Secretary of State for India on the retirement 
of Sir Charles Wood, who was raised to the 
peerage, with the title of Yiscount Halifax; 
but in July, on the formation of Lord Derby’s 
ministry, Lord De Grey was succeeded by 
Lord Cranborne, who, on his resignation in 
1867, owing to differences with his colleagues 
on the subject of reform, gave place to Sir 
Stafford Northcote. A change of government 
in 1868 made the Duke of Argyll Secretary 
of State. In 1867 Sir Bartle Frere gave up 
the government of Bombay to Sir Seymour 
Fitzgerald, and Sir Arthur Phayre retired 
from the Chief Commissionership of British 
Burmah, which he had worthily held for a 
period of twelve years. He was succeeded 
by Colonel Fytche. Sir Cecil Beadon also 
handed over the Lieutenant-Governorship of 
Bengal to Mr. Grey. During 1867 the ad¬ 
ministration of the Straits Settlements was 
transferred from the Government of India to 
the Colonial Office. In 1868 Sir W. Muir 
became Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. 

In January, 1869, Sir John Lawrence took 
his leave of India. Before his departure he 
was presented, on January 18th, with a fare¬ 
well address from the general community of 
Calcutta, signed by 1,360 inhabitants, in 
reply to which Sir John said :— 

“ Gentlemen,—I heartily thank you for the 
friendly address which, on the eve of my 
departure from India, you have presented to 
me. Nearly thirty-nine years have passed 
since I came to labour and to dwell in this 
land. The best years of my life have been 
devoted to its service ; and lasting friendships 
and associations are connected with those 
bygone days. 

“It is not strange, then, that I should feel 
sad at the thought of leaving it for ever. You 


have contributed to heighten that sadness by 
the kind address you have given me. For 
you have not only thus bestowed on me an 
honour which every man must highly value— 
the honest approval of his countrymen—but 
you have supplied a consolation second only to 
that which approval of a man’s own conscience 
can afford. 

“You have referred in terms only too lauda¬ 
tory to the services which it has been my 
privilege to render. I can only say, gentle¬ 
men, be the true estimate of those services 
what it may, that I have ever tried before God 
and towards man conscientiously to discharge 
my duty. Man at the best can do no more, 
and if I have merited but a part of the appro¬ 
bation you have expressed, I feel that I am 
amply rewarded. 

“ It has always been my object, whilst 
steadfastly maintaining her Majesty’s supre¬ 
macy in India, to do all in my power to 
render that supremacy acceptable to the 
people of this land ; and though not unmind¬ 
ful of the just rights and interests of my 
countrymen, I have tried never to forget that 
it is the people of India who, from their sub¬ 
ject position, should have the first claim to 
consideration. 

“You have alluded to the future, and to 
the possibility of my resuming official duties. 
Long residence in an Indian climate, and 
continuous mental labour, tell me that it will 
be necessary, for a time at least, to seek quiet 
and repose. 

“ But whether or not I may be called upon 
to work again, believe me, I shall never 
cease to retain the deepest interest in India. 
My concern for its welfare, my affection for 
its people, my hearty desire for the prosperity 
of my countrymen here, must ever remain 
undiminished. 

“ I feel deeply your kind good wishes for 
myself. It is with very sincere regret, and 
with an earnest prayer for your welfare and 
success, that I bid you a hearty farewell.” 

The Indian life of Sir John Lawrence, says 
the Times, has become matter of history, and 
history can hardly match thirty-eight years 
of a single life so continuously laborious, so 
eventful, and so successful. It would be 
folly to say that England owes her Asiatic 
sovereignty to him as to Clive ; but he has 
been so identified with English policy and 
energy in the East for more than a third of a 
century, that it is impossible to think of our 
Indian Empire as existing and prospering 
without thinking at the same time of Sir John 
Lawrence. His more conspicuous triumphs 
were won in his government of the Punjab, 
and culminated in the feats of policy which 
alone made the capture of Delhi possible. 




Chap. CXL.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


87 


The viceroyalty was the natural and almost 
necessary consequence of what he had done 
already. It was conferred upon him,—not as 
it has been upon his successor, for the pur¬ 
pose of discovering experimentally whether 
he be possessed of governing capacity,—the 
dignity devolved upon Sir John Lawrence of 
right as the crown of his past exploits, and 
because a name like his barred the way to 
the elevation of any other man to it till he 
had first held and passed it by. In this 
position his own fame has been one main 
difficulty which he has had to surmount in 
obtaining a just appreciation of his merits. 
People have not always sufficiently under¬ 
stood the difference between a man who, as 
Commissioner of the Punjab, was, by his 
own personal energy, moulding a conquered 
population into British subjects, and the Vice¬ 
roy, who in many respects much more nearly 
resembles a constitutional sovereign, acting 
by responsible ministers, than a minister him¬ 
self. Qualities, again, which, in his former 
character, attracted either favourable observa¬ 
tion or none at all, so long as he was simply 
an administrator, had no proper scope, or 


were even marks for hostile criticism in a 
Governor-General. A somewhat rugged sim¬ 
plicity and a habit of direct personal inter¬ 
vention in affairs were never thought out of 
place at Labor. Calcutta society, however, 
construed the former into a grave offence 
against itself, and Calcutta politicians found 
the latter quality no set-off against the Vice¬ 
roy’s distaste for the old ambitious policy of 
territorial aggrandisement. A certain degree 
of state and magnificence may be proper in 
the centre of a semi-Oriental court, but pos¬ 
terity will not count it to Sir John Lawrence’s 
discredit that, in his own words, he did not 
care to “ continue wars after their end had 
been accomplished.” His apparent achieve¬ 
ments as Governor-General may not have been 
as conspicuous as his acts in his subordinate 
command ; but he has done nothing to detract 
from the glory of them. Above all, whether 
as Commissioner of the Punjab or as Viceroy, 
he leaves behind him the example of an 
administration the unique aim and end of 
which has been to create out of our Indian 
Empire itself the means and resources for 
securing it to the British Crown. 


CHAPTER CXL. 

COMMUNICATION WITH INDIA.—THE SUEZ CANAL.—TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION. 


The importance to India and the East of the 
more rapid means of communication with 
England by means of the Suez Canal renders 
it necessary that some account should be 
given of that gigantic undertaking, now so 
successfully completed. 

It was in 1831, when detained in quaran¬ 
tine at Alexandria, that Ferdinand de Lesseps, 
a member of the French consular service, had 
his attention attracted to the canal question 
by the perusal of Denon’s work on the French 
expedition to Egypt under the first Napoleon. 
There he found and studied the engineer’s 
report on the project of a canal. Having 
read of all the attempts that had been made 
to solve the problem down to the days of 
Napoleon, De Lesseps’ mind became greatly 
engrossed with the subject, and during the 
years that followed he was deeply impressed 
by the courage and perseverance exhibited by 
Lieutenant Waghorn in his attempts to open 
up an overland route to India. “ During my 
first stay in Egypt,” he says, “ in the space 
between 1831 and 1838, I was greatly struck 
by the perseverance with which a lieutenant 
of the Indian navy, Waghorn, attempted to 
carry out his project of taking the English 


mails to India through Suez. At this time 
the regular route was by the Cape, and it 
took from four to six months. This lieutenant 
was bent on proving to the English, by prac¬ 
tical example, that a direct road to India by 
the Red Sea was possible. After unheard-of 
efforts, all he could obtain was the privilege 
of carrying duplicates of dispatches to Cal¬ 
cutta at his own cost. Seven years of his life 
he devoted to this labour. He wasted all his 
means. He used to scour France and Italy— 
now sailing from France, now from Italy, 
starting from Marseilles or Trieste, and thus 
getting to Alexandria. There, without losing 
an instant, he set out for Suez, either on 
dromedary back or in a canal boat, and at 
Suez trusted to chance for meeting a steamer. 
I used to see him arrive in this way during 
many years. In his own country he passed 
for a man with a craze. Yet he had under¬ 
taken a project which he had worked out with 
courage and devotion, had ruined his health 
and his fortunes, and had left his family to 
beggary, but for the generosity of the Penin¬ 
sular and Oriental Company, who awarded 
them a pension. He had, however, succeeded 
in proving that a single person carrying the 




88 


HISTORY OF THE 

dispatches could arrive by this route at his 
destination. An inquiry was conducted by 
the Bombay Government as to the possibility 
of steamers navigating the Red Sea. The 
English Parliament examined various men of 
professional experience and politicians. Ad¬ 
mirals, and particularly the politicians, pro¬ 
nounced solemnly that though sailing vessels 
might make their way, it was impossible for 
steamers to do so. It was Lieutenant Wag- 
horn, nevertheless, that opened up the route 
to India overland. He showed that it could 
he done, and it was the courage he exhibited 
that left a deep impression on my mind, and 
served as an example.” “ Since the year 
1849,” again writes M. de Lesseps in 1852, 
“I have never for a moment ceased studying 
this question, which so engrossed my thoughts 
when we were in Egypt together twenty years 
ago. I must own that my scheme is still in 
the clouds, and I can’t conceal from myself 
the fact that so long as I have only myself to 
believe in its possibility it amounts to its 
being impossible to get the public to accept it. 
We must have a basis to go upon; to establish 
that basis I want your assistance. The idea 
is to cut a passage through the Isthmus of 
Suez, which has again and again been pro¬ 
posed since the old historical times, and 
perhaps for that reason has been thought 
impossible.” 

The grand project of M. de Lesseps of a 
canal across the Isthmus of Suez (referred to 
in vol. i. pp. 358, 359; see also i. 144), 
which for many years had been looked upon 
as “ the futile attempt of a clever enthusiast,” 
was, in November, 1869, so far an accom¬ 
plished fact that forty-eight vessels passed 
through the canal from the Mediterranean to 
Lake Timsah, and continued their voyage to 
Suez on the following day. 

In 1856 M. de Lesseps obtained from Said 
Pasha, the then Viceroy of Egypt, a “ conces¬ 
sion ” or the exclusive privilege of forming 
a ship canal from a point on the Mediter¬ 
ranean seventeen and a half miles west of 
Pelusium direct, or nearly so, to Suez, passing 
through Lakes Menzaleh, Ballah, Timsah, and 
the Bitter Lakes. Previously to this an inter¬ 
national European commission had reported 
that the scheme was practicable, and that a 
canal might profitably be constructed. Not¬ 
withstanding the opposition for political 
reasons of the British Government, and the 
success of their influence in preventing the 
ratification of the concession by the Sultan 
of Turkey, M. de Lesseps, encouraged by 
the favourable reception his project had met 
with in Europe, resolved in 1858 to have 
his company formally constituted and brought 
out, and to open the subscription that was 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXL. 

to provide funds for his enterprise. The 
association was constituted under the title of 
the “ Universal Company of the Maritime 
Canal of Suez,” with Prince Jerome Napoleon 
as “Protector,” and the projector himself as 
President. The capital was F8,000,000 ster¬ 
ling, in 400,000 shares of F20 each. Rather 
more than half this amount was subscribed 
for, and in 1860 the remaining unallotted 
shares were taken up by the Viceroy. On the 
9th of March, 1859, the great work was 
begun at the entrance to the proposed canal 
from the sea. The first steps adopted by the 
engineers are thus described by Mr. Fitz¬ 
gerald: “The strip of sand on which the 
engineers stood was little more than five hun¬ 
dred feet wide, over which, in stormy weather, 
the sea washed. Their plan was of the 
simplest. At first a light framing of piles 
was run out, on which a crane and trucks 
laden with loose stones travelled ; and in a 
short time a fairly substantial pier, that served 
as a landing-stage for the various supplies of 
materials, machinery, &c., was constructed. 
Encouraged by this success, a holder work 
was ventured on, and with the same happy 
result. Far out in the bay, at about a kilo¬ 
metre and a half distant from shore, huge 
piles were screwed into the sands, and an 
oblong island was there formed with stones, 
the space between the island and the wooden 
shore pier being gradually filled in. Every 
day the piles settled firmly in their places, in 
spite of the storms of the bay. This tempo¬ 
rary structure was carried out to a distance of 
about three hundred feet, and it was not until 
1866 that the work was seriously resumed, 
and the breakwater joined to the pier.” * The 
lot of the workers on the desolate strip of sand 
must have been hard indeed. No water for 
drinking was to be found nearer than Damietta, 
thirty miles distant, from which it had to be 
conveyed on camels and donkeys to Lake 
Menzaleh, and carried across in barges. Its 
arrival was often delayed by calms or storms, 
or through its being stopped on the way by 
the natives, and at times the supply altogether 
failed. Afterwards, however, sets of distilling 
apparatus were provided, and the workmen 
rendered independent of native supplies. The 
stone for the construction of the great break¬ 
waters or moles which now form the outer port 
had at first to be brought from a great dis¬ 
tance ; but this difficulty was got over by the 
manufacture on the spot of blocks of concrete, 
composed of two-thirds sand dredged from the 
harbour, and one-third hydraulic lime brought 
from Theil, in France, mixed with salt water, 
and run into great wooden boxes or moulds. 
When the mixture became solidified the 
* The Great Canal at Suez. By Percy Fitzgerald. 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


89 


Chap. CXL.] 

mould-boards were removed, and the solid 
blocks of artificial stone, each weighing 
22 tons, and having a dimension of 10 
cubic metres, were left for months in the 
open air to dry and harden. The western 
pier runs straight out to sea a distance of 
2,700 yards. The eastern, 1,500 yards east¬ 
ward of the other, at the shore gradually ap¬ 
proaches it in a converging line for 1,962 yards. 
The entrance to the outer port is about a quar¬ 
ter of a mile wide and 30 feet deep, and the 
channel through it to the inner harbour 300 
feet wide and 26 deep. Altogether it is con¬ 
sidered the most easily approached and safest 
harbour along the coast. Port Said, as the 
spot was called in honour of the then 
Viceroy, is now a town of nearly 10,000 
inhabitants. In 1859, the first year of its 
existence, it was visited by 28 vessels, with 
a tonnage of 6,000 tons. In 1872 the 
number of vessels that entered the harbour 
was nearly 1,400, with a tonnage of 857,000 
tons. 

From Port Said the canal was carried a 
distance of about twenty miles across Lake 
Menzaleh to Kantara, the first point on the 
mainland. This was a salt-water shallow, 
like the lagoons of Venice, from 1 to 10 
feet deep. Through this the channel was 
excavated by dredges. Two more miles of 
channel brought the canal to an irregular 
swamp, almost dry, called Lake Ballak, through 
which 8 miles of cutting were made, when 
the engineers were met by the formidable 
sandy plateau of El Guisr, about 6 miles 
long, and from 60 to 65 feet above the level of 
the sea. The cutting had to be made to a depth 
of nearly 70 feet. Three lines of tramway 
were laid down, and 6 large engines and 250 
waggons accomplished the work, which was 
completed by January, 1868. The plateau 
was rendered passable, however, to Lake 
Timsah as early as 1862. 

A subordinate portion of the great scheme, 
but one none the less interesting and impor¬ 
tant, was the construction of a fresh-water 
canal from the Nile to Lake Timsah, for the 
purpose of supplying water to the population 
accumulating at various points on the line of 
the maritime canal. It was also used tempo¬ 
rarily for navigation. The fresh-water canal 
consists of three sections : (1) from the Nile to 
Ismailia, on Lake Timsah ; (2) from Ismailia 
to Suez, on the western side of the maritime 
canal; and (3) from Ismailia north to Port Said, 
on the same side. The latter consists simply 
of a large iron pipe conveying water to the 
several stations, plugs being inserted where 
needed, to allow the water to be drawn oft. 
The other two sections are large enough for 
barge and small steamer traffic. When a 
VOL.in. 


branch canal had been constructed between the 
fresh-water canal and the maritime channel 
already dug from Port Said to Lake Timsah, 
water transit between the two seas was begun 
in 1865, and during the Abyssinian war ex¬ 
tensive use was made of this route for the 
conveyance of stores. 

By the end of 1862 a narrow water-way 
had thus been cut from the Mediterranean to 
Lake Timsah, and the fresh-water canal had 
been carried to the same point. A portion of 
the western jetty at Port Said had been con¬ 
structed, and houses and workshops had been 
built at Port Said, Timsah, and El Guisr. In 
1863 the fresh-water canal was continued to 
Suez, when difficulties arose which threatened 
to stop the works altogether. 

In pursuance of a formal arrangement made 
with Said Pasha in 1856, native workmen 
were furnished by the Egyptian Government 
by conscription from different parts of Egypt. 
The company agreed to pay them at a rate 
higher than what was usually paid in that 
country, though this was about two-thirds less 
than what was given for similar work in Europe. 
The task imposed upon the workmen was not 
to exceed that fixed in the building of bridges 
and roads in Egypt, which had been adopted in 
the large works of canal-making in the last few 
years. The company were to defray the cost 
of transmitting the labourers from their homes 
to the workyard, to provide them with suitable 
tents, sheds, or houses, to maintain hospitals, 
ambulances, and proper medical treatment, 
and to allow them half-pay in case of sickness. 
Notwithstanding the fact that the men were 
thus as well treated and better paid than at 
home, objections were raised by the English 
Government to this system of forced labour. 
The present Khedive, who succeeded his father 
in 1863, had never been heartily disposed 
towards the canal project, and did not relish 
the heavy pecuniary engagements to which 
his father had bound him. Neither did he 
view with complacency the numbers employed 
on the canal, ranging at different times from 
20,000 to 80,000, whose services were un¬ 
available for the carrying out of his own 
schemes for the development of the resources 
of the country. He therefore readily listened 
to the objections made by the Sultan and 
prompted by England, and in the early part 
of 1864 the forced labour was withdrawn. 
The works in consequence came almost to a 
stand-still. Other matters of dispute now 
arose. These regarded the proprietorship of 
the fresh-water canal and the lands along the 
great canal which had been granted to the 
company by the original concession, and some 
of which the Khedive now demanded back. 
These questions were at length submitted to 

N 






90 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


the arbitration of the Emperor of the French, 
who appointed a commission to decide on the 
matters in dispute. By the Emperor’s award 
it was determined that the concessions of 
1854 and 1856 were of the nature of a con¬ 
tract, and were binding on both parties ; that 
the Egyptian Government should pay an in¬ 
demnity of £1,520,000 for the withdrawal of 
the fellah labour ; that all the fresh-water 
canals should be ceded to the Government, 
the company reserving the right of passage 
through them ; that the Government should 
pay £400,000 as the cost of their construc¬ 
tion, £240,000 as compensation for the tolls 
relinquished by the company, and £1,200,000 
for the resumption of the lands originally 
granted to the company, the latter retaining 
only as much of them along the line of the 
maritime canal as might be necessary for its 
care and maintenance. The total indemnity 
amounted to £3,360,000, which was to be 
paid in sixteen instalments from 1864 to 1879. 
It was not, however, till 1866 that the terms 
of the arbitration were embodied in a formal 
convention between the Viceroy and the com¬ 
pany, and shortly afterwards came the long- 
sought firman from the Sultan sanctioning the 
execution of the canal, and characterizing “ the 
realisation of the great work destined to give 
new facilities to commerce and for navigation, 
by the cutting of a canal between the Medi¬ 
terranean and the Red Sea,” as “ one of the 
most desirable events in this age of science 
and of progress.” 

The works now proceeded with vigour, and 
the manual labour which the company had 
lost was replaced by machinery, without which 
the canal would never have been completed 
when it was. Having brought the canal to 
Timsah, where was begun the building of a 
central port called Ismailia in honour of the 
Khedive, now a pretty town of from 3,000 to 
6,000 inhabitants, we proceed to describe the 
lower section of the works. This portion of the 
canal involved a cutting through the plateaux of 
Toussoum and Serapeum, a passage of twenty- 
four miles through the Bitter Lakes, and a cut¬ 
ting through the height of Chalouf, after which 
came a level plain of twelve miles to Suez. 
Extraordinary difficulties were presented by 
the cuttings in the Serapeum plateau, which 
manual labour failed to overcome. “ The 
contractor,” says Mr. Fitzgerald, “ almost 
gave up the project in despair, and returned 
to Cairo to think it over. After a few days’ 
meditation he called his assistants and said, * I 
have thought of the means of disposing of 
the Serapeum; we can do it with our dredges.’ 
He banked up the canal at the point to which 
the Mediterranean water had been brought, 
scooped out the remainder to a certain depth 


[Chap. CXL. 

by manual labour, banked this up at the end 
next the Bitter Lakes, and turned the fresh¬ 
water canal into the excavation. ‘ Then,’ says 
Captain Clerk, ‘ the dredges were brought 
into play—dredges which were originally for¬ 
warded by means of the maritime canal from 
Port Said to Ismailia. There they were passed 
through the locks into the fresh-water canal, 
which raised them seventeen feet above the 
sea-level. A cross-cutting was then made 
from the fresh-water canal to the line of the 
works on the maritime canal, by which the 
machines were floated into their respective 
positions at this superior elevation. The 
dredgings were conveyed by lighters into 
large artificial lakes, which have been formed 
for this special purpose in close proximity to 
the maritime canal. These lakes were made 
in November, 1866, the level of the Nile 
being at its highest point at that season. 
They contain upwards of 5,000,000 cubic 
yards of water, and are capable of receiving 
2,800,000 cubic yards of dredgings. The 
lighters here employed have a very shallow 
draught of water, and wide overhanging sides, 
out of which the dredgings are discharged. 
When these dredges have dredged to the requi¬ 
site depth, the communication with the fresh¬ 
water canal will be closed, and the dam in the 
line of the maritime canal removed. By this 
means the level of the fresh water will fall 
to that of the sea-level, and the dredges, 
descending at the same time, will continue at 
work in completing the channel to its pre¬ 
scribed depth. The water having got thus 
far, having first come to Lake Timsah, then 
on to Toussoum, was not allowed to proceed 
farther, and until the time of opening the 
dam was retained in its place. The rest of 
the work was excavated a sec.” The Bitter 
Lakes were the only portion of the canal 
where the work of excavation was compara¬ 
tively slight. These consist of two large but 
unequal expanses of water, separated by a 
narrow isthmus about a mile in length. The 
northern or larger lake is 15 \ miles long, and 
about 6 wide, with an average depth in the 
centre of from 25 to 30 feet below the old 
water-line of the Red Sea, from which these 
lakes had been gradually cut off, and the 
southern or smaller, about 7 miles long and 
2 wide, with an average depth in the centre 
of 15 feet below the old water-line. Only 
the isthmus between these two had to be cut 
through, and an entrance to the channel made 
at each end. Next came the cutting through 
the plateau of Chalouf from 20 to 25 feet 
above the sea-level, and about 6 miles in 
length. After the enormous excavations had 
been made here an immense mass of rock 
* Fitzgerald’s Great Canal at Suez. 



Chap. CXL.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


91 


was encountered several feet deep, and 
stretching 400 yards along the cutting: 
52,000 cubic yards of this were blasted and 
carried away. “ The sight while the work 
was going on here was a most remarkable 
one, presenting the appearance of a huge 
excavated valley, of vast depth and width, 
the bottom covered with a network of tram¬ 
ways, the sides lined with inclined planes, 
and the whole swarming with thousands of 
workmen.” * From the heights of Chalouf 
the canal passes over the plain of Suez, a kind 
of marshy lagoon, slightly above the level of 
the sea. “ Both through this plain and the 
higher ground near the old Quarantine Station 
a first shallow channel was dug by hand in 
1866, a dam being left nearly opposite the 
station to keep out the flow of the sea at high 
tide. The channel thus cut was filled, partly 
by infiltration from the surrounding marshes, 
and partly by fresh water brought through a 
narrow cutting from the fresh-water canal. 
Dredges were then floated in to complete the 
excavation to the required depth. The dredg¬ 
ing here was difficult, the soil being composed 
of very stiff clay and half-formed stone. Indeed, 
the strain upon the machines was so great, 
and the progress made so slow, that it was 
found necessary, at the end of 1868, to change 
the mode of attack along a portion of the 
plain, and proceed to excavate a sec and by 
hand labour. Accordingly, leaving a dam at 
Kilometre 148, and confining the working 
of the dredges to the portion south of this 
point, the water was pumped out of the re¬ 
maining six or seven miles up to the heights 
of Chalouf already dug through, and closed 
by another dam, and in a short time 15,000 
men were hard at work with barrow, spade, 
pickaxe, and blasting tools. The whole scene 
along these six or seven miles was truly 
wonderful; such a number and variety of 
men and animals were probably never before 
collected together in the prosecution of one 
work. There were to be seen European 
gangs — Greeks, Albanians, Montenegrins, 
Germans, Italians, &c., generally working at 
the lower levels, and where the tramways and 
inclined planes carried away the deblais. 
Their only animal helpers were mules to draw 
the waggons. Then would come groups of 
native gangs, the produce of their pickaxes 
and spades borne away in wheelbarrows, or 
on the backs of camels, horses, donkeys, and 
even children.” * 

“Not more than four or five years ago,” 
says Captain Clerk, writing in 1869, “ Suez 
was an insignificant Egyptian village, con¬ 
taining 4,000 inhabitants, but exhibiting no 
signs of life, except when the steamers of the 

* Murray’s Handbook for Egypt. 


Peninsular and Oriental Company, and subse¬ 
quently those of the Messageries Imperiales, 
were embarking or disembarking their pas¬ 
sengers and merchandise. The absence of 
water and the dearness of provisions, both of 
which had to be brought from Cairo and the 
surrounding districts, rendered it as uninviting 
a spot as can well he imagined. The advent 
of the fresh-water canal has brought about a 
marvellous change. The population has now 
increased to 25, 000,f and there is a degree of 
life and activity about the place clearly indi¬ 
cating the energy that is being displayed on all 
sides. The principal operations of the com¬ 
pany consist, firstly, in constructing a mole, 
850 yards in length, at the mouth of the 
canal, to serve as a protection against southerly 
gales, and against the action of the tide at 
high water; secondly, in dredging to the 
requisite depth the channel leading from the 
canal to the anchorage in the roads of Suez; 
and thirdly, the reclamation of land. The 
mole, which projects from the Asiatic shore, 
is now nearly completed. It has been con¬ 
structed with a kind of calcareous rock, which 
is quarried on the western shore of the bay. 
After entering the sea, the embouchure of the 
canal gradually widens to about 300 yards, 
and the depth in this portion is to be 27 feet. 
No rock has been found to interfere with the 
dredging, and but little work remains to com¬ 
plete this important part of the canal. Re¬ 
garding the third and last point, the dredgings 
from the channel in the roads of Suez are 
employed for this purpose. Embankments, 
faced with the same kind of .stone that has 
been used for constructing the mole, are first 
built. Alongside are moored dredges a long 
couloir, and by means of these ducts the dredg¬ 
ings are lodged behind the retaining embank¬ 
ments. This process is continued till a consider¬ 
able elevation above the sea-level is attained. 
Much land has already been reclaimed and 
built over, and the area is daily being extended. 
At a future date this property, of about 50 
acres, will become of great value to the com¬ 
pany, for the requirements of shipping on its 
way through the canal. On the south-western 
side much has been also accomplished. One 
important work is the dry dock, which has 
been in use some years. This work was not 
carried out by the Maritime Canal Company. 
An arrangement was entered into between the 
Egyptian Government and the Messageries 
Imperiales Company, by which the latter 
undertook to complete it for £240,000, with 
the following dimensions : — Length 415 feet, 
width 85 feet, and depth 29 feet, thus afford¬ 
ing docking accommodation to the largest 
class of steamers. On the harbour side a 
f The population in 1872 was 13,500. 





92 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


double basin bas been made, where there is a | 
sufficient depth of water for vessels to lie 
alongside. Of the two piers already con¬ 
structed, one is reserved by the Egyptian 
Government for their exclusive use; the other, 
on the northern side, is free to all, and they 
are directly connected by a railway, running 
along a jetty three-quarters of a mile in length, 
with the present terminal station in Suez. 
Passengers and merchandise will thus pass 
from the train into the steamer moored along¬ 
side the quay.” On the completion of the 
canal the activity of the town of Suez some¬ 
what decreased, but, situated as it is on the 
direct sea route from Europe to India, it must 
always he a place of importance. 

In March, 1869, though the canal was still 
far from complete, M. de Lesseps took advan¬ 
tage of the presence of the Prince and Prin¬ 
cess of Wales at Cairo to celebrate the letting 
of the waters into the Bitter Lakes, the 
following account of which is condensed from 
the Illustrated London News :—On the 25th 
the royal travellers, after inspecting the canal 
works at Suez, accompanied by M. de Lesseps 
and the contractor and chief engineer, pro¬ 
ceeded by rail to the station at Chalouf, 
where they crossed the fresh-water canal on 
a pontoon. They then drove through the 
pretty little streets of Chalouf, lined with 
chalets of wood and gardens, to the works of 
the canal, which here presented a series of 
deep cuttings. The party went southwards 
for about a mile towards a barrage, stopping 
on their way to examine the working of the 
inclined planes, on which trucks of earth and 
stone excavated by the Arabs and Europeans 
below were run up to the top of the mounds 
above the roadway, and tilted over, while the 
empty trucks were let down to the excavation 
by the same action of the steam-engines. At 
the next halting-place, thirty-three miles from 
Chalouf, the party embarked on board a small 
steamer, which conveyed them for a mile or 
two along the fresh-water canal to Sera- 
peum, a small town of wmoden houses, neatly 
built and painted, with gardens full of fruit 
trees and flowers here and there, placed on a 
very high ridge above the desert plateau. 
Here two of the larger and two of the smaller 
steamers of the company were waiting to 
convey the travellers to the barrage, or dam, 
which alone prevented the waters of the 
Mediterranean from flowing into the Bitter 
Lakes in an impetuous and destructive tor¬ 
rent. The process of letting in the water to 
fill the vast empty basin was, however, to be 
gradually performed. A few days before the 
visit of the Prince of Wales, on March 1st, 
the dam at Toussoum, which kept out the 
waters of the Mediterranean, had been cut in 


[Chap. CXL : 

presence of the Viceroy, and the supply of 
water from the fresh-water canal stopped. 
Four millions of cubic metres of water entered 
in twelve hours. The current was stronger 
than had been anticipated, and the stream, 
rushing through to the lower level, swept 
away some of the dredging machines, over¬ 
turned one, and drowned one, if not two, 
persons. The trench of the fresh-water canal 
was thus rapidly emptied into the lower level 
of the newly formed maritime canal. At this 
end of the canal there was now erected a 
reservoir with a wooden barrier, apparently 
200 yards long, parallel to the course of the 
canal—the fresh-water canal being at right 
angles to it-—provided with a great number 
of small floodgates. A sloping ledge of 
planking led from the level of the canal-bed 
at the bottom of the sluices to the natural 
depression of the bed of the Bitter Lakes, 
and, on the opening of a sluice, a stream of 
water rushed over this ledge across an arti¬ 
ficial mound of rocks into the lake. When 
the Prince and Princess reached this barrier, 
a number of men were ready at the sluices 
with levers and sledges, and M. de Lesseps 
conducted the royal party to a narrow bridge 
or trestle-work below it, extending across the 
narrow end of the lake, from which they 
could see at their ease the rush of water. 
The Viceroy had seen the first of the sluices 
drawn, and ever since water had been passing 
through; but it only formed a large pool in 
the neck of the lake. Nevertheless the fish 
of the Mediterranean had already found their 
way to this pool, and were disporting in the 
rush of water over the stones. When the 
Prince and Princess had seen the nature of 
the work, at a given signal some dozen or so 
of the sluices were raised, and the salt water 
spurted forth in a milk-white gush from as 
many freshly opened sources, and then flowed 
quietly away to its appointed bed. It was 
calculated that the filling of the lakes would 
take several months to accomplish, as, accord¬ 
ing to M. de Lesseps, they would contain 
440,000,000,000 gallons. 

On November 17th, 1869, the great canal 
was opened for traffic. It was not completely 
finished, but sufficiently so to admit forty- 
eight vessels, drawing thirteen feet of water, to 
pass through. The opening ceremonies were 
witnessed by the Khedive and the heir appa¬ 
rent of Egypt, the ex-Empress of the French, 
the Emperor of Austria, the Crown Prince of 
Prussia, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, 
the Prince and Princess of Holland, and 
representatives of almost all nations. 

The number of vessels that have passed 
through the canal from 1870 to 1874 is as 
follows:— 




Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


93 


In 1870, 491 vessels of 436.618 tons. 


„ 1871, 761 

„ 1872, 1,082 
„ 1873, 1,171 
„ 1874, 1,264 


761,875 „ 
1,439,169 
2,085,270 „ 
2,423,6 / 2 ,, 


The total length of the canal is 99 mile^, 
Over the greater part of this length the 
width does not permit of two vessels passing 
or crossing each other, but this is effected 
by means of numerous sidings. Vessels 
measuring 430 feet in length, and drawing 
25 feet 9 inches of water, have passed 
safely through the canal. The actual cost of 
the canal, according to the report for 1875, 
was £17,518,729, exclusively of £1,360,000 
bonds issued to pay for coupons on shares in 
arrear during part of the period of construc¬ 
tion. Of the 400,000 shares in the canal, 
176,602 belonging to the Khedive of Egypt 
were purchased from him by the British 
Government in November, 1875. The fol¬ 
lowing table from Murray’s “ Handbook for 
Egypt ” gives the relative distances by the 


Cape and by the canal from England, Ame¬ 
rica, Russia, and France to India :— 

Via Cape of Via Suez 

Good Hope. Canal. Saving. 

Naut. mis. Naut. mis. N. mis. 
England to Bombay . 10,860 6,020 4,840 

New York to Bombay . 11,520 7,920 3,600 

St. Petersburg to Bombay 11,610 6,770 4,840 

Marseilles to Bombay . 10,560 4,620 5,940 

The Peninsular and Oriental Company’s 
steamers from Southampton to the East, and 
the Messageries from Marseilles, run regu¬ 
larly through the canal. 

In 1870 Brindisi was adopted as the point 
of departure for the English mails overland, 
and two years later a saving of twenty-four 
hours was effected by the opening of the 
railway through the Mont Cenis tunnel con¬ 
necting Piedmont and Savoy. Telegraphic 
communication between England and Bombay 
was established in 1865 by the Indo-European 
telegraph through the Persian Gulf, and in 1870 
a submarine cable was successfully laid from 
Falmouth to Bombay through the Suez Canal. 


CHAPTER CXLI. 

LORD MAYO’S VICEROYALTY. 


Sib John Lawrence was succeeded in the 
Governor-Generalship of India by the Earl of 
Mayo, who at the time of his appointment 
occupied the position of Chief Secretary for 
Ireland. Richard Southwell Bourke was born 
in Dublin on February 21st, 1822. He was 
educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where 
he took his degrees as Bachelor and Master 
of Arts in the regular course, and was created a 
Doctor of Laws in 1852. He was for a short 
time a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Lord 
Heytesbury while Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 
and in 1847 he entered Parliament in the 
Conservative interest as one of the members 
for the county of Kildare, in which a large 
portion of the estates of the Bourkes is 
situated. He was member for Coleraine 
from 1852 to 1857, when he transferred his 
services to Cockermouth, which constituency 
he continued to represent until his removal to 
India. He was Chief Secretary for Ireland 
under Lord Derby’s first administration from 
March to December, 1852, again under his 
second administration in 1858, and for a third 
time in 1866. He succeeded to the family 
honours in August, 1867 

After visits to Bombay, Puna, and Madras, 
Lord Mayo landed at Calcutta on January 
12th, 1869. His courtly manners and splen¬ 
did surroundings at once gained for the new 


Viceroy an amount of popularity in Calcutta 
which he never entirely lost. His orders for 
direct weekly returns of the market rates in the 
several districts, and reports of the extent of 
the grain traffic on the main roads and over 
the principal rivers, showed that he was no 
friend to circumlocution, and his replies to 
addresses from various bodies gave good 
promise of governing energy, which was 
afterwards amply fulfilled. To the Chamber 
of Commerce he expressed a hope of pressing 
forward the construction of railways, irriga¬ 
tion works, and improved lines of telegraph ; 
to the landholders he promised full considera¬ 
tion of the difficult questions connected with 
land; and the Trades Association were 
assured of his earnest desire to promote the 
most friendly feelings between the non-official 
class and those employed in the service of 
the State. 

The first important event in Lord Mayo’s 
reign was the visit to India of Sher Ali, 
Amir of Kabul, the reinstated heir to the 
throne of Dost Mohammad, to whom a most 
brilliant reception was accorded by the Vice > 
roy at the grand durbar at Ambala (Umballa) 
on March 28th. On the 4th of that month 
the Amir entered Peshawar under a royal 
salute, and with an escort of two British 
regiments. He was much gratified by the 









94 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


cordial welcome given to him, and was greatly 
surprised and pleased at the evidences of 
prosperity he witnessed on all sides. “ The 
English,” observed his Highness, “wherever 
they go, spread wealth and prosperity in 
their track. It cannot, in fact, be otherwise 
under their system of rule, where justice is 
tempered with mercy, and the welfare of the 
multitude is the prime object of Government.” 
He showed much interest in the Armstrong 
gun, which he examined with the greatest 
minuteness. A portion of the submarine 
cable being shown to him, he expressed the 
utmost astonishment when its mechanism and 
uses were explained, and would scarcely credit 
the possibility of a message being conveyed 
from Peshawar to London within twenty-four 
hours. But an inspection of the troops and 
barracks filled him with wonder. Nothing 
could exceed, he said, the order, cleanliness, 
and comfort in which he found the troops, 
and the barracks he declared to be more 
magnificent and luxurious than any building 
in his kingdom, not excepting his own palace. 
On March 15tli the Amir was escorted by the 
Lieutenant-Governor through a long line of 
troops over the bridge of boats, into the 
citadel of Labor. Next day guest and host 
exchanged visits ; on the 17th a day of sight¬ 
seeing was closed by a grand fete in the 
terraced gardens of Shalimar ; and the 18th 
witnessed the grandest durbar ever seen by 
English eyes in Labor. After a magnifi¬ 
cent progress through Jallandar, the Amir 
arrived on the 24th at Ambala, where he 
was entertained by Sir William Mansfield, 
the Commander-in-Chief, pending the arrival 
of the Viceroy. Next day a grand review 
gave him an opportunity of studying the 
appearance and discipline of the troops. He 
repeatedly dwelt on their splendid appear¬ 
ance, their thorough discipline, and perfect 
equipment; but the guns, and the men who 
handled them, excited his greatest admira¬ 
tion. The Afghan blood of the war-worn 
Amir seems to have been stirred by what he 
saw. “There’s nothing like fighting!” he 
exclaimed. “ Look at the scene spread out 
like a beautiful garden, with those splendid 
guns for the flowers ! ” Lord Mayo arrived 
on the 27th, and his procession passed 
through a parade of troops, forming a street 
upwards of a mile in length from the railway 
station to his camp, our own soldiers being 
strengthened by a motley gathering of the 
retainers of Patiala, Jind, Nabha, and Kapur- 
thala. In the afternoon the durbar was held. 
On the Amir’s entrance Lord Mayo shook 
him by the hand, and led him to a seat on 
the dais on his right, while his son, a youth 
of nine years, w r as placed on another on the 


[Chap. CXI II. 

left. The Viceroy then welcomed his guest 
in the following words :—“ Amir Sher Ali 
Khan,—In the name of her Most Gracious 
Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ire¬ 
land and Sovereign of India, I bid you a 
hearty welcome, and express to you the sin¬ 
cere gratification that it gives me to receive 
you as the guest of the Queen. I trust that 
this visit may be the commencement of many 
years of amity between her Majesty and your 
Highness, and of mutual confidence and good¬ 
will between the nations which her Majesty 
rules in India and all the subjects of your High¬ 
ness.” The Amir replied that he was over¬ 
powered by his reception, and that he would 
love the British Government all his life. After 
a conversation regarding railways, the army, 
guns, and horses, the trays with presents, 
valued at upwards of half a lakh of rupees, 
were brought in, and Lord Mayo, taking a 
sword with jewelled scabbard, girded it round 
the Amir’s waist, remarking, “ May you be 
victorious over your enemies, and with this 
defend your just rights ! ” The Amir replied 
that he would use it also against the enemies 
of the Queen of England. The Lieutenant- 
Governor then placed a string of gold and 
pearls round the neck of the Amir’s son, and 
the durbar broke up. On the 29th the 
Viceroy returned his Highness’s visit, when 
the Amir declared that he should never forget 
the kindness evinced towards him, and the 
tidings of the gorgeous honourable hospitality 
he had received from the British would ring 
throughout Afghanistan from one end to the 
other. He would consider his meeting with 
the Viceroy as the commencement of eternal 
amity between himself, his children, and his 
children’s children, and the British. The 
British should always be his friends as far as 
lay with him. At the close of the conversa¬ 
tion he presented his own sword to the Vice¬ 
roy. A field-day of the troops and races 
followed, and the pageantry at Ambala came 
to an end on April 5th, when the Amir, laden 
with presents, set out on his homeward jour¬ 
ney. For T120,000 a year and a few thousand 
muskets he had agreed to be the friend of 
our friends, and the enemy of our enemies. 
He had been formally recognised as Amir of 
Afghanistan, and his position there had been 
strengthened by the splendid reception he 
had received. The lessons he had learned 
were not forgotten by him after his return 
home. 

A discussion in the House of Commons on 
the advances recently made by Russia in 
Central Asia gave Mr. Grant Duff an oppor¬ 
tunity of declaring the policy of the Govern¬ 
ment with regard to Afghanistan. As to Sher 
Ali, a friend had said to him, “ I am sorry 



Chap, CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST, 


95 


you have given that money to the Amir; you 
are only buying the air.” If the transaction 
were to be looked upon as one of sale and 
purchase, his friend, he said, was quite right; 
but that was just what it was not. The 
Government did not dream of erecting Sher 
Ali into a bulwark against Russia, or against 
anybody else. Nature had planted bulwarks 
enough there, in all conscience. What was 
wanted was a quiet Afghanistan, just as they 
wanted a quiet Burmah. The Government 
wished to stimulate commerce round the 
whole of the land and sea frontier, and it 
did not at all suit to have one of their trade 
gates locked up by a burning house, the 
cellars of which were known to be full of 
highly explosive compounds. They wanted 
Sher Ali to be strong for the suppression of 
lawlessness, and rich, if possible, into the 
bargain. They wanted no assistance, except 
that which a civilised government must always 
derive from being known to exercise a pacify¬ 
ing and semi-civilising influence around its 
own borders. The policy of the Government 
with reference to Central Asia might be thus 
summed up :—First, they desired to live on 
the best possible terms with all their neigh¬ 
bours. Secondly, they intend to strengthen 
in every possible way the north-western 
frontier; they intended to make, and were 
making, Karachi as good a port as modern 
engineering science could make it; they 
looked forward to the completion, at no very 
distant period, of the missing link of railway 
in the Indus valley; they were already push¬ 
ing the railway on towards Peshawar. Thirdly, 
they meant to give every reasonable encou¬ 
ragement to the extension of trade with 
Central Asia, and the exploration of the 
countries to the north-west as well as to the 
north-east and'east of our dominions. Lastly, 
they were firmly persuaded that if we could 
believe in the possibility of any danger from 
the side of Central Asia threatening us in 
India, our best protection lay in the good 
government of India. 

“ The Amir, on his return to Kabul, ini¬ 
tiated English improvements with an amusing 
promptitude. He forbade his troops and the 
inhabitants to wear arms between ten p.m. 
and four a.m. He appointed night watchmen, 
and a judicial officer to hear petitions from 
the citizens; he established post-offices ; he 
substituted cash payments for the old prac¬ 
tice of paying the Government servants by 
assignments of land or revenue. He ordered 
the shoemakers of Kabul to sell off all their 
old stock, and to make boots according to the 
English pattern. He dressed himself in the 
English costume of coat and pantaloons, and 
directed his officers to do the same. He 


organized a Council of State, composed of 
thirteen members, as a constitutional body 
for advising him in all departments of the ad¬ 
ministration. He remitted the more teri’ible 
forms of punishment, and pardoned several 
ancient enemies. In short, he did what in 
him lay to establish good government and 
win the confidence of his people. Rapid re¬ 
forms, however, are often short-lived. The 
most promising of them—namely, the substi¬ 
tution of cash payments for assignments on 
the revenue—was so violently opposed by all 
the officials of Afghanistan, from the great 
Sardars downwards, that, so far as I can 
learn, it was never even introduced.”* 

The Amir soon began to show a partiality 
for his younger son, Abdulla Jan, whom he 
designated his successor. This was resented 
by his elder son, Yakub Khan, who had 
bravely fought his father’s battles and helped 
him to the throne. Towards the close of 
1870 he rebelled against his father, and fled 
from Kabul, determined to maintain his rights 
by the sword. After various intrigues and 
adventures he succeeded, in the first week of 
May, 1871, in defeating the Herat force 
which had come out to attack him, and tak¬ 
ing the city. Yakub then marched upon 
Kandahar, but soon afterwards, through the 
good offices of Lord Mayo, Yakub was recon¬ 
ciled to his father, and was subsequently 
appointed to the government of the frontier 
province of Herat, bordering on Persia. Thus 
a flame was quenched which might have 
spread throughout a large part of Central 
Asia, and have caused us much loss both of 
material and moral pow r er. It was observed 
by the Times that the lesson of the crisis in 
Afghanistan, the immediate danger of which 
seemed to have been averted, ought not to be 
missed. If Sher Ali had refused to consent 
to a compromise with Yakub Khan, we might 
have found ourselves in a somewhat difficult 
position. If the pledges given at the Ambala 
durbar meant anything, the Amir was justified 
in expecting aid from us against either foreign 
or domestic enemies. Had we refused, he 
would have naturally turned towards Persia 
and Russia. Had we agreed to help him, he 
would have been likely to involve us, so far 
as he could, in a contest for influence with 
these powers. These difficulties were for¬ 
tunately evaded with the aid of Lord Mayo’s 
peace-making diplomacy ; but it would be 
rash to calculate again, as was done after 
Ambala, on the continued tranquillity of Af¬ 
ghanistan. It was, in fact, the possession of 
Herat by a chief whose intentions towards 
us were doubtful that gave interest to the 
intelligence of the Viceroy’s mediation in 
* Hunter’s Life of the Earl of Mayo. 



96 HISTORY OF THE 

Afghan affairs. Herat, “ the key of India,” 
has always been jealously watched by Anglo- 
Indian statesmen, and when Persia seized it 
in 1856 we engaged in war to restore it to 
independence. Its possession opens the path 
for a hostile army across the Afghan plateau 
to the Bolan Pass, the least defensible point 
of our north-western frontier. It is, there¬ 
fore, imperative for us, if we would avoid 
even the possibility of disaster, to guard 
against every chance of surprise. 

The latter days of 1869 saw the commence¬ 
ment of a visit to India by H.R.H. Prince 
Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, who arrived in 
his frigate Galatea at Calcutta on December 
22nd, 1869. He was welcomed on shore by 
the Viceroy, attended by a splendid company. 
The progress from the river to Government 
House presented a pageant of unusual bril¬ 
liancy even for Calcutta. Preceded by troops 
of cavalry and artillery rode the Viceroy and 
his royal guest, the Governors and Lieutenant- 
Governors, the Commander-in-Chief, the mem¬ 
bers of Council, a select body of native chiefs, 
and a number of officers, civil and military. 
These were followed by the carriages of Lady 
Mayo, Lady Napier, and others, and behind 
all more cavalry and guns. The whole 
way was lined by a dense crowd of natives, 
and in the grounds of Government House, to 
heighten the show, stood a group of sixty 
elephants. Next day a loyal address was 
presented by the city, and a levee held, which 
was the largest ever seen in Government 
House. In the evening the city was bril¬ 
liantly illuminated, and there was a grand 
display of fireworks, to witness which the 
Viceroy and the Duke rode through the 
principal streets of the English and native 
quarters. “ When the fireworks had been 
let off, a mighty crescent of twinkling lights 
began to spread all round the edge of the 
vast Maidan from the public buildings near 
the river, along the palaces of Chowringhi, 
down to the cathedral. From the southern 
end of the Maidan the viceregal procession 
swept in carriages and on horseback along 
some four miles of lighted lamps, the lines 
of light that marked the ramparts and gate¬ 
ways of the fort flashing out on the left of 
the plain, while far away in front the Ochter- 
lony column rose up like a pillar of fire. 
Through the native town the train was es¬ 
corted by one hundred men bearing twelve- 
light candelabra.” But this exhibition proved 
feeble compared with the display at the native 
fete at the Seven Tanks on the 28th. The 
ceremonies began by a Sanscrit address read 
by learned pundits. Then came nautches, 
wrestling-matches,dances with flaming torches, 

and the feats of jugglers, acrobats, and ex- 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

perts in sword-play. After supper followed 
the fireworks, at which both the Viceroy and 
the Prince repeatedly expressed their gratifi¬ 
cation. “ There were elephants and giraffes, 
arches, temples, and towers in blue fire, 
silver fire, and fire of the colours of the rain¬ 
bow. On the right a factory-like building 
flashed out through a drifting cloud of smoke, 
and was speedily matched by a similar struc¬ 
ture on the left. There were glaring palm- 
trees, gorgeous revolving globes of light, roads 
lined with fountains of golden sparks, the 
great car of Juggernath. On the right a 
pyramid-like structure broke into a deafening 
cannonade, followed by a desperate musketry 
fire, but only to be outdone by a similar 
construction on the right, and between them 
it seemed as if a fiercely contested battle had 
suddenly been waged in honour of the guests 
of the evening. The delusion was kept up 
by the springing of various mines in all direc¬ 
tions, each of which threw aloft a grand 
trioquet of many-coloured stars.” Another 
striking feature of the Duke’s reception was 
the Grand Chapter of the Star of India on 
the 30th, when the Prince was invested Grand 
Commander by the two senior Knights, Sin- 
dia and Jaipur. A fancy ball on January 1st 
proved a great success. On April 4th a ball 
given by the Duke on board the Galatea 
formed a fitting crown to the fortnight’s 
festivities. The flush-deck of the ship was 
filled from stern to forecastle, a distance of 
nearly three hundred feet, by some nine 
hundred guests, native and European. With 
the aid of the official barges and a bridge of 
boats gaily illuminated with Chinese lanterns, 
the arrangements were perfect. The decorated 
canvas roof rose to a height of fifty feet, suf¬ 
ficient to allow of rows and candelabra of gas 
jets. Cool fountains played oh the deck over 
coral and shells lighted up by coloured lamps, 
while mirrors at each end reflected the scene, 
which received an appropriate setting from 
the lines of sailors ranged along the forecastle 
and bulwarks. On the 7th the Duke went 
by train to Bardwan, whose Maharajah car¬ 
ried him off to Dewan Serai to engage in the 
sport of pig-sticking. After two falls the 
Duke succeeded in winning his first spear. 
Pig-sticking was exchanged for tiger-shooting 
at Benares between the 17th and 20th, after 
which the Prince proceeded to Agra, where 
the usual round of sight-seeing, pageants, and 
social gatherings was gone through. Leaving' 
Agra on the 25th, he visited at Fathipur 
Sikri the ruins of the gorgeous pile of palaces 
which formed the favourite residence of the 
great Akbar. At Bhartpur he was received 
in state by its Maharajah, who took him off 
next morning on a shooting trip to Dig. After 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


97 


Chap. CXLI.J 

more pig-sticldng and tiger-hunting at Dig 
and Alwar, the Prince arrived at Delhi on 
February 25th, whence he proceeded to Labor, 
where amongst others he was received by the 
Maharajah of Patiala, the Nawab of Bhawal- 
pur, the Rajah of Jind, and the Rajah of 
Nabha, and was presented by the Maharajah 
of Cashmere with a magnificent shawl for the 
Queen. The next few days were taken up 
with ceremonial visits, balls, a parade at 
Meean Meer, an evening at the Shalimar 
G-ardens, and a trip to Amritsar. On the 
17th he reached Lucknow, where he was 
presented with a loyal address and a sword 
and shield by the talukdars of Oudh, “ in 
token of heartfelt homage and devotion.” 
After several days’ sport in the jungles with 
Sir Jung Bahadur, the Prime Minister of 
Nepal, the Prince went on to Jabalpur to 
witness the opening of the through line of 
railway from Calcutta to Bombay, completed 
on March 7th, 1870. 

Of the opening at Jabalpur the Times re¬ 
marks, “ It was not without reason that a 
British Prince and a British Viceroy repaired 
to Jabalpur for the occasion. The junction 
thus at last effected does as much for our 
Indian communications as the opening of the 
Suez Canal ; indeed, the two enterprises 
combine directly with each other towards the 
same end. At least a quarter of a century 
has passed since the survey was made, almost 
without hope, for the Great Indian Peninsula 
line. It was then thought that the mountain 
range known as the Western Ghauts could 
never be traversed, and the unhealthy and 
almost impenetrable districts along the valley 
of the Nerbuddah presented obstacles scarcely 
less formidable. In fact, it was full ten years 
before the passage of the Ghauts' was at¬ 
tempted, and seven more before it could be 
accomplished. Out of twenty-two millions of 
money expended on the line, two were con¬ 
sumed in getting over the hills ; and yet even 
the hills, according to the account given by 
the chief engineer, were not so impracticable 
as the valley beyond. Except for a short 
period of the year, no Government officer ever 
ventured into the jungles where engineers, 
contractors, and operatives lived and laboured 
till this work was done. It is now, however, 
completed. On the 7th of March Lord Mayo 
drove the last ‘ key ’ into the line, and the 
great achievement to which the promoters of 
railway enterprise in India looked forward as 
the culminating point of their exertions has 
been at length accomplished. It was observed 
in one of the speeches delivered on the occa¬ 
sion, that now, for the first time in Indian 
history, a Viceroy had been enabled to see 
something of those Central Provinces of cur 

VOL. III. 


Indian Empire ; but this result, it should in 
justice be added, was not wholly due to the 
opening of the railway. A less active Governor- 
General might have spared himself so early a 
visit; but Lord Mayo’s rule has been signal¬ 
ised throughout by these displays of personal 
energy. A few days before this he had been 
in the cotton districts, investigating all the 
conditions of that important industry, and 
conferring directly with the Commissioners in 
charge, and the merchants and planters on the 
spot. He opened a short branch railway 
between the trunk line and a noted cotton 
mart, which had unfortunately been left out 
of the track. He visited the coal-fields of 
Chanda, and to his personal inquiries and the 
impulse he gave to the exploration we shall 
owe the resources of mines as productive as 
those of Bardwan. It is something—perhaps 
it is more than we can imagine—to have the 
ruler of a country like India thus brought 
into personal contact with local officers whose 
labours might otherwise meet with very im¬ 
perfect appreciation. The advantage was 
freely acknowledged by all the officials at 
Jabalpur ; but of course a Governor-General 
of India can do with comparative ease in the 
present day what would have been hardly 
possible thirty years ago. ... A single sea 
voyage from Southampton to Bombay, and a 
single railway journey from Bombay to Cal¬ 
cutta, will now carry a traveller to the metro¬ 
polis of India without trouble or fatigue. 
What the Peninsula line may do for Bombay 
itself it would be difficult to conjecture. The 
Governor of the presidency, who was among 
the guests at Jabalpur, confessed himselt 
‘ elated at the magnificent prospects ’ thus 
opened to his view; and, indeed, the magni¬ 
tude of its future commerce can hardly be mea¬ 
sured. All ‘ the untold wealth of districts and 
provinces long separated by great distances ’ 
will now be poured into the chief port of the 
West, and if there is any difficulty attending 
exports from India, it will no longer be from 
want of communications.” 

On the 11th the Prince arrived at Bombay, 
and was received by a brilliant crowd of 
notables, English and native, chief among 
the latter being the Gaikwar of Baroda, the 
Rajah of Kolhapur, the Rao of Katch (Cutch), 
Meer Ali Morad of Khairpur, the Sultan, of 
Lahej, and the Nawab of Junaghur. During 
his visit a fete was held among the famous 
Caves of Elephanta. “ The great stone figures 
of Shiva and his fellow-gods, beaming in the 
light of hundreds of candles, looked down 
upon long tables loaded with sumptuous fare, 
and lined by two hundred and forty feasting 
Britons, for whose further enjoyment bonfires 
presently blazed on all the heights, and every 

o 





98 


HISTORY CF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


vessel in the bay traced itself against the sky 
in lines of light. Sailors with lights in their 
hands stood up from a street of boats some 
three miles long. Arches of fire spanned the 
entrance of the Apollo Bunder. On the 
Prince’s way home in the Governor’s yacht, 

‘ the air was alive with rockets, and the sea 
a sheet of flame.’ ” The Prince also visited 
Ivhandalla, and inspected the great engineering 
works at the Bhore Ghaut. On the 17th he 
laid the first stone of a new Sailors’ Home as 
a memorial of his visit, to which the Gaikwar 
of Baroda contributed the munificent sum of 
£20,000. As another memorial of the visit, 
£10,000 was offered by the Hon. A. D. 
Sassoon as a contribution towards the build¬ 
ing of a High School. 

Madras was reached by the Prince on 
March 22nd. On his route from the railway 
station to Government House, the most strik¬ 
ing sight was an array of nine thousand 
school children drawn up round the statue 
of Sir Thomas Munro, in the centre of the 
island—a spectacle that could not fail to be 
suggestive of the great educational revolution 
in progress among the native population of 
the presidency. During the Prince’s five 
days’ sojourn in the city the usual visits, 
balls, &c., were gone through, and a great 
native entertainment proved eminently suc¬ 
cessful. The Prince sailed for Ceylon on the 
27th. In the following letter from Colombo 
Roads Prince Alfred gracefully and gratefully 
acknowledged the pleasure he received and 
the kindness and loyalty shown towards him 
during his visit to India :— 

“ H.M.S. Galatea , Colombo Roads, April 1th. 

“ My dear Lord Mayo,— Now that my 
visit to India is a thing of the past, I should 
be sadly wanting in gratitude if I did not ask 
you to let me take this last opportunity, 
before my ship has left these waters, to thank 
your Excellency and every one whose guest 
I have been, as well as all the people of the 
districts through which I have passed, for 
the unvarying hospitality and welcome I 
received in India. In answering the nume¬ 
rous addresses presented to me from time to 
time, I have expressed this feeling in all truth 
and sincerity ; but I think that they who 
have done so much for me have almost a 
right to expect some less formal expression 
of thanks than that which I have used in 
replying to official addresses. If you should, 
then, think proper to make this letter public, 
you are at perfect liberty to do so. When I 
returned to England two years ago, the 
Queen was pleased to grant a request that I 
had made long before, and to confer upon me 


[Chap. CXLI. 

an honour that I have coveted for years—that 
of being the first member of the royal family 
to visit India. During the fourteen months 
that elapsed between my departure from 
Plymouth and my arrival in the Hugli I 
looked forward with eagerness to India as 
the great object of my cruise. The anticipa¬ 
tions of Oriental magnificence which were 
connected in my mind with the idea of India 
were more than realised. The imposing 
reception which greeted my arrival in Cal¬ 
cutta, and that still more splendid ceremony 
when I received from the Queen, through 
your hands, the insignia of the Star of India, 
far surpassed what I had expected, and 
formed together a grand and fitting com¬ 
mencement to that long series of displays 
that welcomed me to the great cities of 
Benares, Agra, Delhi, Lahor, and Lucknow, 
which I had the pleasure of visiting. It was 
a disappointment to me when I heard from 
you that the durbar which was to have been 
held at Agra could not take place ; but I have 
since learned to appreciate your wise decision 
in that matter, and I am glad now that I 
have had better opportunities of making the 
acquaintance of the great Indian princes and 
chiefs, either in their own territories or in the 
immediate neighbourhood of them, than I 
could have had during the formalities of a 
state durbar. 

“ I heard it said that my visit to India 
occurred at an unfortunate time, owing to the 
financial difficulties under which the country 
was suffering, but which are now, I trust, in 
a fair way of being successfully surmounted. 
I do not take this view myself. Owing to 
your wise orders and advice, the expense to 
the public was reduced as much as possible, 
and I hope that my visit has been but little 
burdensome to the country. Still this has 
not affected the large sums of money that 
were so munificently spent by individuals in 
welcoming me. The example set by your 
Excellency at Calcutta was only too generally 
followed. Of that example I fear you will not 
let me speak; but this I must say, that the 
personal kindness which you showed me, and 
the splendid hospitality which you dispensed 
in my honour, were features in my visit which 
I can never forget. 

“ To each and all of those who, after I left 
your roof, received me as their guest I wish 
to return my warmest thanks. To the Indian 
princes who entertained me with characteristic 
magnificence I am no less grateful. I cannot 
forget the pleasant days I passed at Chukia, 
at Dig, and at Alwar, nor the princes who 
vied with each other in doing all they could 
to render my visit interesting and agreeable ; 
nor can I forget the munificent hospitality 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


99 


Chap. CXLL] 

shown me in the Nepal territories. To the 
British and native gentlemen who gave so 
many entertainments in my honour I return 
my grateful acknowledgments. I am con¬ 
vinced that they were all animated with the 
same wish—to do honour to their sovereign’s 
son, and to testify in some substantial form 
the loyal affection with which they regard the 
Queen’s family. Nor could I help being 
touched by the eagerness which the great 
mass of the people displayed to see me and 
to welcome me. Every class and sect alike 
manifested their loyalty for her Majesty by 
the reception they gave her son ; and that 
reception, and the sentiments which prompted 
it, will more and more tend to strengthen the 
interest and affection with which the Queen 
regards her Indian subjects. 

“ The hurried character of my tour through 
the interior prevented me from obtaining more 
than a bird’s-eye view of the principal parts 
of the country, hut I have seen enough to 
awaken in myself a strong interest both in its 
past history and its present condition. I have 
seen many evidences of the anxiety which 
exists, not only among the British com¬ 
munity, hut among the more wealthy and 
influential of the native-born inhabitants, to 
raise and improve the moral and social condi¬ 
tion of the poorer classes. The importance 
of the spread of education is gradually being 
understood, and in several instances I was 
highly gratified by the manner in which the 
communities of some cities desired to com¬ 
memorate my visit—by the foundation of 
scholarships hearing my name, by the com¬ 
mencement of recreation-grounds for the use 
of the people, by endowing high schools, and 
at some of the seaports by contributing funds 
for the erection or improvement of sailors’ 
homes. These laudable objects have been 
very materially, in some cases mainly, assisted 
by the munificence as well of private indi¬ 
viduals as of some of the Indian princes, 
whose generosity is so well known to every 
one that it would be superfluous for me to 
mention their names here. That my visit has 
been instrumental in bringing about results 
such as these is one of the happiest reflections 
with which I shall look back to my brief stay 
in India. 

“ Some impression of the vast extent of our 
possessions in India I formed from the great 
distances that I traversed by railway. I am 
only doing justice to the excellent arrange¬ 
ments which were made by the railway 
authoi’ities when I say that I have never 
travelled in greater comfort; and I owe it to 
the gentlemen who were intrusted with the 
arrangements of my transit from place to 
place, that I was enabled to fulfil with strict 


punctuality, as well as with ease and conveni¬ 
ence, the appointments I had made. Perhaps 
I was a little disappointed with the scenery 
of the great plains of Bengal and the North- 
Western Provinces, but any disappointment I 
felt on this point was more than compensated 
by the pleasure with which I viewed the grand 
scenery of the hills and snowy ranges from 
Dehra and Mussuri. Some part of my short 
stay I was enabled to devote to field sports, 
and I hope I may he excused for saying that 
I enjoyed with all my heart the few days I 
could spare for this relaxation. Considering 
that I was quite a month too early, I think I 
was very fortunate to have obtained the good 
sport I did. I am very much beholden to the 
gentlemen who made the arrangements for 
my sporting excursions, and who enabled me 
to live in camp with all the comfort, and even 
luxury, I could possibly have desired. It has 
been my good fortune to make the acquaint¬ 
ance of many officers whose gallant deeds 
and chivalrous sense of duty entitle them to 
a place in the roll of Indian heroes, and of 
whose friendship I am proud. The story of 
their lives is not the least instructive among 
the lessons that have been brought to my 
notice in India. In these remarks I allude to 
members of the civil as well as the military 
branch of the service. Of both these I 
would say, in the words that your Excellency 
lately used on a public occasion—that nowhere 
is a sovereign served better or with more zeal 
than is the Queen by her servants in India. 

“I was very much gratified with my visit 
to Bombay—a city which, from its great 
maritime importance, pre-eminently claims 
my attention as a sailor. My arrival there was 
happily timed at a period in her history which 
is unprecedented; for it happened almost 
contemporaneously with three great events, 
each of which has a direct bearing upon her 
future greatness. I allude to the completion 
of the railway communication between Eastern 
and Western India, the opening of the Suez 
Canal, and the laying of the submarine 
telegraph between Suez and Bombay. I trust 
that the bright hopes for the future which this 
happy concurrence of events is calculated to 
inspire will be amply realised, and I also hope 
that my kind friends in Bombay will some¬ 
times remember that simultaneously with the 
dawn of their good fortune the son of their 
sovereign came among them, to assure them 
of the lively sympathy with which her 
Majesty regards them, and of the pleasure 
with which she will learn of their hopeful 
prospects. Madras, although heavily weighted 
in the race with her sister capitals by local 
disadvantages, welcomed me so warmty, 
entertained me with so much consideration, 




100 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


and sped me on my way with such kind 
wishes, that I am glad it was chosen as the 
port for my re-embarkation. My reception 
there was a most gratifying and flattering cul¬ 
mination to a very interesting tour. The 
three months of my stay in India have passed 
only too rapidly and pleasantly away. I am 
laden with a debt of gratitude—a debt which 
I am proud to owe, but which I can never 
hope to repay. In all that concerns the wel¬ 
fare of India I shall ever take a deep interest, 
for I have learned to regard her people with 
affection. I am the glad bearer of a message 
from them to my mother which will give her 
unbounded satisfaction, for I have to tell her 
how enthusiastic has been my reception, how 
universal the affectionate loyalty which greeted 
me, and how it is for her sake alone that I 
have been thus welcomed to India—that my 
advent has been thus eagerly seized as an 
opportunity for expressing their sentiments of 
personal devotion to her Majesty, and of their 
heartfelt appreciation of the mildness and 
beneficence of her rule. 

“ I must now bid to the people of India an 
affectionate farewell. May God pour down 
his choicest blessings on the land! Believe 
me, my dear Lord Mayo, yours very truly, 
Alfred.” 

Of the effects of Prince Alfred’s visit to 
India the Madras Mail thus wrote :— 

“ We regard his tour through India as a 
stroke of policy that cannot but yield good 
fruit. It has served to assure the incredulous 
natives that the Queen is not a mere abstrac¬ 
tion, as was John Company. It has brought 
them face to face with an English Prince 
who has a thoroughly English look. It has 
afforded them the opportunity of entertaining 
him after their own fashion, and being enter¬ 
tained after ours. It has been the means of 
congregating in the presidency towns chiefs 
who can gain nothing but advantage from 
association with men and manners in the 
principal city of their part of India. It has 
thereby assisted to modify prejudice, to increase 
knowledge, and to bring native rulers, who 
have the destinies of thousands under their 
control, into more friendly intercourse with 
the higher European officers in the land. 
Such princely gatherings in honour of an 
English Prince cannot be soon obliterated 
from the memories of the masses of people 
who have taken a more or less deep interest 
in the festivities in the latter’s honour. India 
has been moved in the last three months by a 
royal progress as she never was moved before, 
and she has proved herself equal to the grand 
occasion beyond the highest expectations that 
may have been formed of her. The natives 
have shown in every town visited by him a 


[Chap. CXLI. 

demonstrativeness rather foreign to their 
ordinary habits. They have spared neither 
expense nor time nor labour in endeavouring 
to do him, and the throne that he represents, 
honour, and their efforts fitly culminated in 
an exclusively native entertainment in Madras 
that speaks volumes for the enterprise of the 
local native community. And on his side the 
Prince has been amusable, courteous, and 
dignified, meriting by all the means in his 
power the innumerable tributes of loyalty 
which he has received. His is the first visit 
of a Prince of England to this ancient land. 
Should it prove the last for some years, the 
recollection of the event will the less soon fade 
from the memories of us all.” 

On February 13th, 1869, a party of Bazutis 
surprised a police watch-tower near Kohat, 
killing one of its occupants, and carrying off 
three others in the hope of their being ran¬ 
somed. To avenge this outrage, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Keyes and Captain Cavagnari, offi¬ 
ciating Deputy Commissioner, with 400 men 
of the Kohat garrison, made a rapid raid into 
the hills, destroyed the nearest village, killing a 
good many of the people, burning their grain, 
and carrying off their cattle. The troops re¬ 
turned to Kohat next day, having sustained 
a loss of 2 killed and 35 wounded. In 
order to create a diversion in favour of the 
column from Kohat, a force of 1,500 marched 
on the 26th from Peshawar to Fort Mackeson, 
and struck into the hills in the direction of 
Kohat. After a few miles’ march into the 
interior, which had the effect of keeping back 
several hundreds from collecting on the skirts 
of Colonel Keyes’ detachment, this force re¬ 
turned to Peshawar without molestation. In 
the following month Colonel Keyes and Cap¬ 
tain Cavagnari were compelled to make 
another little foray among the hills near 
Kohat, to punish the Wuziris for an attack 
on the village of Thull. The attack was re¬ 
pulsed by the villagers, but the raiders suc¬ 
ceeded in carrying off a thousand head of 
cattle and sheep. The object of the expedi¬ 
tion was, however, accomplished without 
fighting, for the Wuziris preferred to submit 
rather than see the destruction of their valu¬ 
able crops, which were now nearly ripe. 
They agreed to pay an immediate fine of 
Rs. 2,000, to surrender as many head of 
cattle as they could get together, and to 
send in two hostages for the payment within 
a month of Rs. 6,000 as compensation for the 
unreturned cattle. 

His Highness Afzul-ood-Dowlah, the Nizam 
of Haidarabad, died on February 26th, 1869. 
Notwithstanding the fact that, at the very 
moment of his installation as sovereign, Delhi 
had fallen again to the ancient Mogul line, of 



101 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Chap. CXLL] 

which the Nizams were originally but deputies, 
his Highness remained firm in his fidelity to 
the . British Government throughout the 
mutiny, being upheld in this wise policy by 
his sagacious counsellor, Sir Salar Jung. 
His services were promptly acknowledged. 
In February, 1859, the Governor-General 
thanked him for the zeal and constancy with 
which he had adhered to the long-established 
friendship betw T een the two Governments. He 
afterwards received handsome presents and 
grants of land, and in 1861 was admitted to 
the highest rank of the Order of the Star of 
India. Since the mutiny the Nizam had 
given himself up to a life of indolent seclu¬ 
sion. On his death his heir, a child three 
years of age, was at once proclaimed by the 
Resident. 

On March 2nd, 1869, died Field-Marshal 
Viscount Gough, formerly Commander-in- 
Chief of the forces in India. Born in 1779, 
he entered the army in 1794, and after serv¬ 
ing at the Cape of Good Hope and in the 
West Indies, he joined the troops under 
Wellington in the Spanish Peninsula in 1809. 
He greatly distinguished himself during the 
war, and was the first officer who ever re¬ 
ceived brevet rank for services performed in the 
field at the head of a regiment. After his re¬ 
turn to England at the end of the war, he 
was appointed to the command of the 22nd 
Foot, then stationed in the south of Ireland, 
where he also discharged the duties of a magis¬ 
trate during a period of great excitement and 
disturbance. In 1880 he took the com¬ 
mand of the Mysore division of the army in 
India, and in 1841 his services were trans¬ 
ferred to China. (See vol. ii. chap, cxvii.) On 
the withdrawal of the troops at the conclu¬ 
sion of the Treaty of Nankin, in 1842, Gough 
was created a baronet, was invested with 
the Grand Cross of the Bath, and received 
the thanks of both Houses of Parliament 
and of the East India Company. In August, 
1843, Sir Hugh Gough was appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the forces in India, where 
he well sustained the reputation he had 
earned in the West Indies, the Peninsula, 
and China. (See vol. ii. chaps, cxviii.—cxxi.) 
On Gough’s return to England, after the 
annexation of the Punjab, he was made a vis¬ 
count, and again received the thanks of Par¬ 
liament, with a pension of T2,000 a year for 
himself and his next two successors in the 
peerage. A corresponding pension was con¬ 
ferred on him by the East India Company, 
and the City of London gave him its freedom. 
After this Viscount Gough was not again en¬ 
gaged in active service, but he was not for¬ 
gotten by his country. He was appointed 
colonel of the 60th Rifles in 1854, and in the 


following year he succeeded Lord Raglan as 
colonel of the Royal Horse Guards. In 1856 
he was sent to the Crimea to represent her 
Majesty on the occasion of the investiture of 
Marshal Pelissier and a number of French 
and English officers with the insignia of the 
Bath. In 1857 he was installed a Knight of 
the Order of St. Patrick, being the first knight 
who did not hold an Irish peerage. In 1859 
he was sworn a privy-councillor, in 1861 
he was nominated Knight Grand Commander 
of the Star of India, and in 1862 he received 
the latest reward of a long life spent in the 
service of his country in the shape of a field- 
marshal’s baton. 

Towards the middle of 1869 Lower Bengal 
was visited by two cyclones within twenty- 
four days—the first on May 16th, and the 
second on June 8th. The former passed to 
the east of Calcutta, and burst with full vio¬ 
lence upon Dacca. This cyclone blew from 
east-south-east, veering round to east-north¬ 
east, and finally, as its force began to 
diminish, to south-east and south-south-east. 
Immense damage was done to the town and 
to the boats on the river, and at Kulnah and 
among the Sunderbunds the storm was very 
severe. It was remarked that the waters of 
the storm-wave, which in the preceding 
cyclone were quite fresh and sweet, were on 
this occasion very brackish, and also that no 
thunder was heard. Several thousands are 
said to have lost their lives. The second 
cyclone raged for twenty-four hours over 
Calcutta and the neighbouring country, but, 
fortunately for the city, the centre of the 
storm passed outside it on the east, and the 
damage done was comparatively small, though 
hundreds of huts and small trees were levelled 
with the ground, and at least a hundred cargo 
boats went down on the river. 

During 1869 the progress of Russia towards 
the Punjab frontier was viewed with appre¬ 
hension both in India and in England, and 
negotiations were opened with Russia by both 
the Indian and Home Governments. In No¬ 
vember Lord Mayo dispatched to St. Peters¬ 
burg Mr. Douglas Forsyth, Commissioner of 
Jallandar in the Punjab, and an understand¬ 
ing was come to with Russia that the northern 
boundaries of Afghanistan should include all 
the territories then in possession of the Amir 
up to the river Oxus, which the Amir was not 
to cross, nor was he to interfere in the affairs 
of Bokhara. The British Government were 
to see that this arrangement was adhered to 
by the Amir, and Russia was not to interfere 
with Afghanistan. A few years later Russia 
acknowledged Wakhan and Bandakshan as 
subject to the Amir (1873). While at St. 
Petersburg Mr. Forsyth induced the Russian 




102 HISTORY OF THE 

Finance Minister to agree to a uniform tariff 
of 2J- per cent, ad valorem on Indian goods 
imported into Russian Turkistan, and to a 
tax of fourpence halfpenny per pound on 
Indian tea. This concession proved a real 
boon to the tea-planters of Kangra and 
Kemaon. 

In the same year, also, Persian encroach¬ 
ments on Afghanistan demanded Lord Mayo’s 
attention. Respecting these he thus wrote 
to the Home Government: “ It is for the best 
interests of all the states concerned that steps 
should be taken to define the eastern bound¬ 
aries of the Persian Empire. The condition 
of things that has existed for some years past 
can only serve to engender irritation and 
alarm, and to afford Persia, and possibly to 
other powers, a pretext for encroachments 
and interference with the affairs of countries 
over which they have no right to exercise 
control. Nor can such pretensions he regarded 
with indifference by the British Government 
in the East, whose aim it is to see independ¬ 
ent and friendly powers established between 
its own frontiers and the regions of Central 
Asia.” Again: “We believe that the esta¬ 
blishment by Persia of a frontier conterminous 
with that of the British Empire in India would 
be an event most deeply to be deplored. If, 
without objection or effort on our part, a 
great power like Persia should ever absorb 
the regions lying between Sind and the Mek- 
ran, desert and inhospitable though they may 
be, the safe and prudent policy which we 
deem essential to British interests would be 
rudely terminated.” Lord Mayo maintained 
that it was the interest of Persia, no less than 
of India, “ that she should enter'into negotia¬ 
tions with her Majesty’s Government for the 
purpose of effecting such a settlement of her 
eastern boundary as will prevent for the future 
aggressions on the part of her local governors, 
like those which have lately occurred.” Again 
he wrote, “ We feel assured that no measures 
will avail until her Majesty’s Government 
deal firmly and decidedly with the Shah, and 
once for all put an end to the continued dis¬ 
putes as to territory, which form a subject of 
constant anxiety, and which every day’s delay 
renders more grave and complicated.” In 
April, 1870, the Shah agreed to submit the 
matter to arbitration. The Mekran, or Wes¬ 
tern Ililat (Kkelat) boundary was settled by 
General Goldsmid in 1871, and the Sistan 
boundary in 1872. 

Towards the close of March, 1870, an 
envoy from the Kushbegi or Ataligh Ghazi 
(Defender of the Faith) of Eastern Turkistan 
was received by Lord Mayo in Calcutta. 
Among other matters the envoy was instructed 
to request that a British officer might accom¬ 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

pany him, on his return, on a friendly visit to 
his master. 

The previous year Yarkand and Kashgar 
had been visited independently by Messrs. 
Shaw and Hayward, the first Europeans who 
had penetrated to Yarkand, and been allowed 
to return from that country, since the days of 
Marco Polo. Mr. Shaw gave an interesting 
account of his visit in a paper read before the 
Royal Geographical Society. The country is 
well cultivated, and contains flourishing cities 
of more than 100,000 inhabitants, where 
many of the arts of civilisation are carried 
on. Security of life and property exists, 
commerce is protected, the roads are full of 
life and movement, and markets are held on 
a fixed day of the week, even in the smallest 
villages. In the towns extensive bazaars, 
covered in against the rays of the sun, con¬ 
tain rows of shops, where goods of.every 
kind and from every country are exhibited. 
In Yarkand alone there are sixty colleges, 
with endowments in land, for the education 
of students of Mussulman law and divinity, 
while every street contains a primary school 
attached to a mosque. There are special 
streets for the various trades. In one street 
will be found the silks of China, in another 
the cotton goods and prints of Russia, while 
a third will contain robes made of both mate¬ 
rials, three or four of which make up the 
ordinary dress of the Turki inhabitants. In 
some streets all kinds of groceries are sold; 
others are set apart for the butchers, who 
offer a choice of horse-flesh, camel, beef, or 
mutton. The first is rather a luxury, but the 
last two are most abundant, selling at about 
one penny a pound. The bakers make most 
excellent light loaves by a process of steam¬ 
ing the bread. The greengrocers present 
abundant supplies of vegetables in great 
variety, besides cream nearly as thick as 
that of Devonshire, and delicious cream 
cheeses. Everywhere sherbet made of fruit 
is sold, which can be cooled at any street 
corner, where there are stalls for the sale of 
ice. There are tea-shops where the great 
urns are ever steaming, and eating-houses in 
abundance. Such is the manifold life of this 
little-known nation, living a life of its own, 
making history very fast, and looking upon 
European politics with the same indifference 
with which its own have been regarded by us. 
The population of the region is variously 
estimated at from twenty to sixty millions. 
The Andijanis occupy the chief places in the 
administration, and form the strength of the 
army; but they are looked upon by the 
native Yarkandis not as conquerors, but as 
brothers in faith and blood, who have deli¬ 
vered them from the yoke of unbelievers and 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


103 


Chap. CXLI.] 

idolaters. The Yarkandis are naturally ad¬ 
dicted to commerce and the arts of peace, 
while the Usbeks of Andijan find their most 
congenial occupation in administration and 
arms. Both peoples speak the same language, 
which is essentially that of the Turks of 
Constantinople. The whole region forms a 
vast elevated basin in Central Asia, about 
4,000 feet above the level of the sea, sur¬ 
rounded on three sides by a wall of snow- 
covered mountains, reaching in many places 
an altitude of more than 20,000 feet. On 
the east it passes into the sandy desert of 
Gobi, which separates it from China. All 
the rivers which descend from the snows of 
the mountains, flowing eastward, are lost in 
the sands, and as there is little or no rain, 
the soil has to be fertilised by canals and 
irrigation. The beautiful cultivation and 
luxuriance of the thickly peopled parts are 
entirely due to these irrigating canals, which 
are very numerous and carefully kept. Mr. 
Shaw stated that the King himself superin¬ 
tended the works at a new canal while he 
was there, and even laboured at them himself. 
The country is separated from the plains of 
India by the mountain system of the Hima¬ 
layas, an elevated bed 500 miles broad, with 
eleven more or less elevated parallel ridges of 
mountains lying along it. The most northerly 
of these ridges is styled Kuen-luen by the 
Chinese, but it is not a distinct chain from 
the rest of the mountains. Mr. Shaw made 
his journey with the view of opening trade, 
especially in tea, between India and Eastern 
Turkistan. The Ataligh Ghazi, Yakub Beg, 
the ruler of the country, impressed him as a 
man of remarkable intelligence ana energy. 
Merchants from India were beginning to fre¬ 
quent Yarkand, and it only required the 
removal of a few obstacles in the hill coun¬ 
tries subject to our own influence to open 
out a field for trade, of which it would be 
difficult to over-estimate the importance. The 
Ataligh was induced to sanction Mr. Shaw’s 
scheme for establishing a trade in tea between 
Yarkand and Kangra, and a large caravan 
was about to leave for Cashmere in good time 
for the approaching fair at Peshawar. A cor¬ 
respondent of the Pioneer gives the following 
sketch of the Yarkandis who visited the Pa- 
lampur fair of 1869 :—“ They are a very 
peculiar lot of fellows—pure Mussulmans. 
They look with the utmost contempt on the 
Mohammadans of India, and taunt them with 
being more than half Hindus. They hate the 
Hindus as they do poison; but they like the 
English, drink tea from our cups, and give 
us tea in theirs. I was staying with a friend 
at his tea plantation towards the end of last 
week. A lot of Yarkandis arrived, bringing 


down tatoos for the fair. They came straight 
to the house, deposited their goods in the 
verandah, turned their ponies loose to graze, 
and then remarked, ‘ Our people say you 
treat us well, and buy all our goods, and in 
future we will trade with you.’ They took a 
quantity of my friend’s tea in part payment 
for the goods he purchased from them, abided 
by his decision as to price, and went away 
perfectly content with a cheque on his Bom¬ 
bay agent for the balance of the account—a 
bill they could not read, drawn by a man of 
whom they knew no more than that he was 
an Englishman.” It will be seen from this 
extract that the Yarkandi merchants brought 
over merchandise, and not money, and ex¬ 
pected to deal by barter. At Palampur fair 
the tea-planters were scarcely prepared to 
receive bales of silk, carpets, and general 
merchandise. This would probably right 
itself, however, as intercourse became more 
free. Next to tea, English calicoes are chiefly 
sought for by the Yarkandis, who also pur¬ 
chase spices, indigo, and other tropical pro¬ 
ductions. But their wants are not confined 
to these few things. Being fond of comforts 
and luxuries, and given to display, their wants 
are very numerous. In exchange for the 
articles supplied by the Indian merchant they 
can give such valuable productions as gold, 
silk, and shawl wool in unlimited quantities. 

In compliance with the request of the Ata¬ 
ligh Ghazi, Lord Mayo selected Mr. Douglas 
Forsyth, Commissioner of Jallandar, in the 
Punjab, who had already done good service 
at St. Petersburg, to accompany the Ataligh’s 
envoy on his return to Yarkand, and very 
minutely defined his powers and the objects 
of his journey. His instructions were “to go 
to AMrkand, the southern capital of Eastern 
Turkistan, on a merely friendly visit, with a 
view to obtaining information regarding the 
country, and removing the obstacles in the 
way of our already-existing trade with it. 
In no sense was the visit to be a mission, nor 
was it to have a diplomatic object. He was 
to abstain from taking part in any political 
questions, or in any internal disputes, further 
than repeating the general advice already 
given to the Ataligh’s envoy by Lord Mayo, 
namely, that the Ataligh Ghazi would best 
consult the interests of his kingdom by a 
watchful, just, and vigorous government; by 
strengthening the defences oi his frontier; 
and, above all, by not interfering in the poli¬ 
tical affairs of other states, or in the quarrels 
! of chiefs or tribes that did not directly con- 
! cern his own interests. Mr. Forsyth was to 
limit his stay in the country, so as to run no 
risk of finding the Himalayan passes closed 
by the winter’s snow, and of thus being de- 






104 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CKLI. 


tained in Yarkand till the following year. He 
was to collect full and trustworthy informa¬ 
tion concerning the nature and resources of 
Eastern Turkistan and the neighbouring 
countries, their past history, their present 
political condition, the Indian staples most in 
demand, their price in the Yarkand market, 
and the articles which could be most profit¬ 
ably brought to India in exchange.” * 

The following account of Mr. Forsyth’s 
journey is compiled chiefly from a condensa¬ 
tion of Mr. Forsyth’s report in Allen's Indian 
Mail: —Mr. Forsyth left Jallandar on April 
26th, 1870. His party took the road through 
Ladak and the Karakorum. Without waiting 
longer for “ the loitering envoy,” Mr. Forsyth 
and Hr. Henderson left Srinagar for Le on 
June 14th. Their journey was enlivened b} r 
the company of Kazi Sayad Mohammad Yakub, 
a brother-in-law of the Ataligh Ghazi, who 
had done the pilgrimage to Mecca, and spent 
four years at Constantinople. His influence 
with the Mohammadans everywhere was very 
f reat, and his subsequent presence with the 
party doubtless smoothed the way for their 
final departure homewards from Yarkand. 

Arriving at Le on July 2nd—Mirza Shadi, 
the envoy, had joined him on the road—Mr. 
Forsyth did all he could to make sure of find¬ 
ing the Ataligh Ghazi at home before start¬ 
ing on the next stage of his journey. Rumours 
of disturbances in Kashgar had reached his 
ears, and a recent messenger from Yarkand 
was closely questioned. He denied that there 
were any disturbances, and his denial was 
strengthened by the Mirza’s assurances that 
perfect peace prevailed throughout his mas¬ 
ter’s dominions. Several of Mr. Forsyth’s 
companions avowed their belief in the truth 
of these assurances, and Mr. Forsyth was 
thus encouraged to proceed. The party, in¬ 
creased by the arrival of Mr. Shaw, who had 
already visited Yarkand, set out for Le on 
July 7th, along a road which for twenty- 
seven marches passed through “ completely 
uninhabited country.” For seven of these 
marches “not a stick of fuel nor a blade of 
grass ” was to he found. Unluckily “ the 
loitering envoy ” had burdened himself with 
a good deal of troublesome baggage, and the 
ponies supplied by the Cashmere Rajah’s 
chief officer at Ladak proved wretchedly 
unequal to the work before them. 

In crossing the Karakorum range Mr. For¬ 
syth found no difficulty in breathing below a 
level of 16,000 feet above the sea. At any 
height above that level a good breath “ was a 
luxury seldom enjoyed.” During the ten or 
twelve days spent in the higher levels the 
feeling of nausea and exhaustion never left 
* Hunter’s Life of the Earl of Mayo. 


him. Not a trace of snow relieved the brown 
barrenness of the mountain-side, and the 
patches of coarse yellow grass were few and 
far between. Descending the northern side 
by gradual slopes, the party issued out of a 
stony ravine into the wide Chang Chenmu 
valley, itself 16,000 feet above the sea. This 
valley, “ bare and gravelly, with plateaux 
ranging tier above tier,” is hemmed in with 
rocky mountains 19,000 feetliigh, and threaded 
by the Karabash, which flows turbidly through 
many deep and rapid channels. A few tama¬ 
risk bushes by the river-side were all the 
signs of vegetable life to be seen. Beyond 
Gogra, at the head of the valley, the Maha¬ 
rajah’s authority came to an end, and the last 
tokens of Buddhist worship disappeared. 

Still deluded by false reports about the 
peaceful state of Eastern Turkistan, Mr. For¬ 
syth marched forward, with frequent loss of 
baggage cattle, and much suffering from the 
hot sun by day and the piercing cold at 
night. On the wild Tlialdat plain were quan¬ 
tities of topaz’, which glittered like diamonds 
in the sun. Another plain was “ one vast 
bed of Glauber’s salt,” which formed every¬ 
where a crust from six to twelve inches thick. 
The glare from this sheet of soda was as bad 
as that from snow, and the fine dust from it 
filled the eyes, mouth, and nostrils. When 
the wind rises, the dust storms on this plain 
are fatal to animal life. Another march 
brought the party, on July 28th, to the main 
stream of the Karabash, which flows along 
the foot of the snow-clad Kuen-luen range. 
At Shadula they heard that the Ataligh Ghazi 
had been seven months absent from Yarkand 
on a warlike expedition, but was hastening 
back victorious to welcome his English guests. 
It was not till some days later that, on reach¬ 
ing Kichi Yilak, they learned the wdiole truth 
from some Indian traders homeward hound 
from Yarkand. Not only was the Ataligh 
still absent, but the time of his return was 
quite uncertain. To go forward, however, 
as Mirza Shadi pointed out to Mr. Forsyth, 
was now the only way of obtaining a safe 
return. A halt, therefore, took place, pend¬ 
ing the receipt of letters from the head official 
at Yarkand. The party here struck up a 
friendly intercourse with a Kirghiz tribe, who 
greeted their old friend, Mr. Shaw, with every 
token of delight, and readily did everything 
they could to promote the comfort of their 
master’s guests. Indeed, there was no lack 
of hospitality throughout the rest of the jour¬ 
ney, on which they were escorted by an 
officer of rank. As they advanced the country 
became more populous and cultivated. A 
succession of hamlets, groves, and gardens, 
varied by fields of wheat, oats, hemp, and 



Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


105 


Indian corn, brought them to Sanju, where 
the envoy, who had gone on before, regaled 
them with a dinner which, according to Mr. 
Forsyth, would have satisfied the most fasti¬ 
dious palate. After passing the great Desert 
of Gobi, which contains many fertile oases, 
they came within the jurisdiction of the Ata- 
ligh’s vicegerent. At Khargalik they sat 
down to a splendid repast on chairs, which 
were the first ever made in Kashgar. From 
thence to Yarkand they passed through a 
fertile, prosperous, and well-governed land, 
with good roads and bridges, streams and 
canals, neat-looking houses, and well-kept 
mosques and serais. The lanes were shady 
with poplars, and willows lined the canals. 
In his subsequent rides round Yarkand Mr. 
Forsyth discovered everywhere the signs of 
peaceful active industry. 

Yarkand was entered on August 23rd, and 
Mr. Forsyth took up his residence in the 
citadel, about seven hundred yards from the 
city. The latter covers an area of rather more 
than a square mile, with a population of' 
about 40,000. The houses are built of sun- 
dried bricks, and the city walls are of mud, 
with crenellated battlements. In each of its 
one hundred and twenty wards there is “ a 
school where the Koran is taught, and little 
else.” Mr. Forsyth disbelieves in the sixty 
colleges, and was assured that in only three 
or four was anything like a good educa¬ 
tion given. Every means was tried to pre¬ 
vent the departure of Mr. Forsyth without 
special leave from the Ataligh, but he re¬ 
mained firm in his adherence to his instruc¬ 
tions, and with the help of Kazi Mohammad 
Yakub the difficulty was overcome, Mr. For¬ 
syth giving the vicegerent a certificate that 
his departure was his own act, and that the 
vicegerent had done nothing to facilitate it. 
A Punjabi trader having supplied the ponies 
which the vicegerent refused to procure, the 
party were enabled to turn their faces home¬ 
ward on September 5th, after a most friendly 
parting with the Yarkandi officials. 

Though Mr. Forsyth had failed to see the 
Ataligh, his expedition was not altogether 
without success. “In the first place,” says 
Dr. Hunter, “he brought back all the neces¬ 
sary information regarding the most practical 
routes, the commercial capabilities, and the 
political resources of the country, its recent 
history, and the actual position of its ruler. 
.... In the second place, his visit formed 
a public evidence of the friendly sentiments 
of the British power. But, in the third place, 
his departure conveyed a warning (without 
affording any just ground to the Ataligh for 
taking offence) that candid dealing is the only 
foundation for transacting business with her 
VOL. III. 


Majesty’s Indian Government; that assur¬ 
ances must accurately correspond with the 
facts; and that, when any English officer 
finds himself in a false position from their 
not doing so, he knows how, by a firm ad¬ 
herence to his orders, to break through the 
meshes which encircle him.”* 

While Mr. Forsyth was on his journey to 
Yarkand, Lord Mayo did away with the ob¬ 
stacles to transit across the Himalayas by a 
treaty concluded at Sialkot in June, 1870, 
with the Maharajah of Cashmere, who agreed 
to surrender all transit duties on the trade 
passing through his country, while the Indian 
Government remitted all the duty on goods 
passing in bond through India to Central 
Asia or Cashmere, besides surrendering the 
export duty on shawls and other textile 
fabrics from Cashmere. British surveyors 
were to examine the different routes from 
Lahoul to Yarkand, and whichever' route 
leading to the Chang Chenmu should appear 
to be best suited for trading purposes was to 
be declared a free highway for all traders. 
Dr. Cayley and Bukshi Ram were to be 
armed as Joint Commissioners with full power 
to protect the growing trade, to settle all dis¬ 
putes, to establish depots for food, forage, 
and carriage, and to fix the tariff of prices for 
all provisions sold. The trade is a lucrative 
one to certain classes in the Punjab, and since 
the removal of the political impediments from 
the trans-Himalayan route it has rapidly de¬ 
veloped. In 1873 it amounted to £60,000. 
“Our merchants,” says Dr. Hunter, “have 
found themselves respected and well treated 
throughout the distant dominions of the 
Ataligh Ghazi, and Eastern Turkistan has be¬ 
come a recognised and most profitable market 
for British goods. From Mr. Forsyth’s ex¬ 
pedition in 1870 dates the first appearance of 
the turning back of Russian commerce in 
Central Asia before the advancing tide of 
English enterprise. The Russians have the 
prescriptive hold of the trade, but the markets 
of Central Asia are large enough for us both; 
and every season has seen the Indian mer¬ 
chant more firmly established in Eastern 
Turkistan.”! 

Early in 1870 the arbitrary and tyrannical 
administration of Sidi Ibrahim t Khan Yakub 
Khan,Nawabof Jinjira,asmall state near Bom¬ 
bay, who is commonly called the Hubshi, gave 
rise to popular dissatisfaction, and a number 
of the Sidi sirdars, who claimed to have some 
power of interference in the government, set 
the authority of the Hubshi at defiance, and 
elected his son as Nawab. The deposed 
Hubshi at once preferred a request to the 
Government of Bombay for assistance, in 
* Life of the Earl of Mayo. + Ibid. 

E 






103 


HISTORY OF THE BBITISH EMPIRE 


order to enable him to reinstate himself, and 
the British Government informed him that 
though they were quite willing to restore 
him, yet the restoration must be made sub¬ 
ject to certain conditions, and after an inquiry 
regarding the relations that ought to subsist 
between the Nawab and the Sidi chiefs, and 
the causes which led to the dissatisfaction of 
the people. The inquiry was conducted by 
Mr. Havelock, a member of the Bombay Civil 
Service, and on his report the Government 
resolved to reinstate the Hubshi on certain 
conditions, which are stated in detail in a 
series of articles of agreement between the 
Government »and the Nawab. A political 
officer was stationed at Jinjira, the advice of 
whom, as the representative of the British 
Government, the Hubshi agreed to follow, 
and the expenses of the Political Agency were 
to be defrayed by the Nawab. The criminal 
jurisdiction was taken out of the Nawab’s 
hands, and vested in the Political Agent. Ac¬ 
cording to the old favourite style of collecting 
the revenue in native states, Mr. Havelock 
in his report says that “there had been little 
scruple in employing arbitrary measures in 
case of delay or recusancy by cultivators, 
many of which it would probably be the duty 
of the Political Agent to whom the jurisdiction 
has been referred to check or even prohibit; 
and to protect the people from such arbitrary 
measures the Nawab agreed to draw up a 
code of rules for the guidance of his revenue 
officers, prescribing the mode of assessing and 
realising the revenue and of dealing with de¬ 
faulters, and such rules when approved by 
Government were to be recognised as the 
only legal procedure. In order to provide 
against the son of the Hubshi rising into man¬ 
hood in the semi-barbarous condition of his 
fathers, Government required that a tutor 
approved by it should be provided for the 
education of the young Nawab. These were 
the principal conditions imposed upon the 
chief.” * 

During the same year the condition of 
affairs in Alwar, a state in the north-east of 
Rajputana, called for Lord Mayo’s interfer¬ 
ence. Indignant at the Maharajah’s preference 
for Mussulman officers, and tired of his mis¬ 
rule, the thakurs and people rose against the 
prince, and demanded “either that each 
thakur may be made independent on his own 
estate and responsible to the Political Agent 
only, or that the Maharajah may be banished 
from Alwar, and the state placed under 
British management during his lifetime.” If 
left to themselves, they would depose the 
Maharajah, and place his infant son in his 
stead. The leading features of his policy 
* Allen's Indian Mail, from official papers. 


[Chap. CXLI. 

towards feudatory states were thus enunciated 
by Lord Mayo:—“I believe that if in any 
feudatory state in India oppression, tyranny, 
corruption, wastefulness, and vice are found 
to be the leading characteristics of its ad¬ 
ministration, it is the imperative duty of the 
paramount power to interfere, and that we 
evade the responsibility which our position 
in India imposes upon us, and avoid the dis¬ 
charge of a manifest duty, if we allow the 
people of any race or class to be plundered 
and oppressed. 

“On the other hand, I am equally of 
opinion that, should a well-disposed chief, 
while using his utmost endeavours to esta¬ 
blish good government within his state be 
opposed by insubordinate petty barons, mu¬ 
tinous troops, or seditious classes of his 
subjects, it is then our duty to support his 
authority and power. 

“Further, I believe that under no circum¬ 
stances can we permit in any state in India 
the existence of civil war, and that on such 
an occasion as this it is plainly our duty to 
interfere, at first by every peaceful means 
which we have at our disposal; but that, in 
the event of arbitration and mediation failing, 
it will be our duty to stop by force of arms 
anything approaching to open hostilities be¬ 
tween large classes of the people and their 
chiefs.” Arbitration, however, was found to 
be too mild a remedy. “All attempts,” wrote 
the Political Agent, “to effect a reconciliation 
between the chief and the thakurs having 
failed, the state having become bankrupt and 
the treasury empty, anarchy existing in every 
department, the most powerful portion of the 
subjects being in revolt, with more than half 
the state in their possession,” Lord Mayo 
found it necessary to adopt a firmer course. 
He called upon the prince to name a board of 
management which would command the con¬ 
fidence of his people, but this the chief did 
not do, on which Lord Mayo himself ordered 
the creation of a native council, consisting of 
the principal nobility, with the British Politi¬ 
cal Agent as president, the Maharajah having 
a seat next to the president. Under the 
management of this council peace was soon 
re-established; schools were founded; the 
courts were reopened; and crime was re¬ 
pressed. Lord Mayo’s final decision regard¬ 
ing the Alwar chief was thus expressed 
The chief “is to be told that his duties as a 
ruler are not, as he seems to suppose, fulfilled 
by his abstaining from breach of his engage¬ 
ments with the British Government. That 
he has duties to his subjects, by the faithful 
fulfilment of which alone can his rule be 
secured. That Government are prepared to 
support and strengthen, by all lawful means. 



Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


107 


the authority of every chief who labours to 
promote the welfare of his subjects, and to 
establish in his state public justice and public 
safety. But that the British Government 
will not tolerate, in any state of India, the 
continuance of a system of administration 
which, by its oppression, wastefulness, and 
disregard of the feelings and rights of the 
people, leads to open hostility between the 
people and their chief, and is dangerous to 
the general peace. He might be reminded 
that our interference was only decided on 
after patience and forbearance had been 
pushed to their limits. And he might be 
advised that he will best consult his own 
interests by ceasing vainly to hope that 
Government will be moved to recall the 
orders which have been issued, and by lend¬ 
ing himself zealously to co-operation with his 
council.” 

“But this amendment,” writes Dr. Hunter, 
“was not to be. The native council of manage¬ 
ment went on with its work of improvement 
and reform. The chief held himself sullenly 
aloof, and sank deeper into the slough until 
he died, a worn out old man of twenty-nine, 
in 1874.”* 

During October, 1870, Lord Mayo paid a 
visit to Rajputana. On the 11th he made 
his entry into Jaipur. The three miles from 
the city to the residency were lined with the 
Maharajah’s troops, regular and irregular, 
dressed in a picturesque variety of uniforms, 
and armed with all kinds of weapons. The 
broad streets were ablaze with colour, from 
the painted house-fronts to the gay cloths that 
hung from the windows and screened the 
doorways. Housetops and windows were 
filled with spectators of both sexes, the women 
being always veiled. After the gold and 
silver sticks came a long line of camels, 
followed by the Rajah’s mounted troops. Be¬ 
hind these rode the thakurs and nobles of 
Jaipur in all the splendour of jewelled turbans 
and gold-embroidered muslin robes; their 
large fat horses decked out in gorgeous trap¬ 
pings, wuth feathers on their heads, and gold 
necklaces of many folds. Last of all on a 
huge elephant sat the Viceroy and his host. 
After rather more than a week spent in 
durbars, visits to institutions, and to the 
Sambhar Lake, pig-sticking, and tiger-shoot¬ 
ing, the Viceroy on the 20th arrived at Ajmir, 
the seat of British rule in Rajputana, his 
entry into which was even more magnificent 
than his reception at Jaipur. A long column 
of elephants, on which were seated his lord- 
ship and his staff, and a number of rajahs 

* Hunter’s Life of the Earl of Mayo, from.-which. 
the materials for the above notice of filwar have 
been taken. 


gathered together in his honour, formed the 
chief feature of the procession. Each chief 
had his thousand of armed retainers, and a 
pretty large force of British soldiers and 
sepoys was mustered for the occasion. 

In the durbar held at Ajmir on the 22nd 
Lord Mayo addressed the chiefs of Rajputana 
in the following characteristic speech :—- 

“ Chiefs, Princes, and Nobles of Rajputana 
—I am much gratified by your presence here 
to-day. It is good to see assembled around 
the Viceroy of India the heads of so many of 
the most ancient houses of Rajputana. It 
is long since a Governor-General has met you 
in durbar within the walls of this old city; 
and since the Government of India has been 
placed directly under our Sovereign, no Vice¬ 
roy has been able to come to Ajmir. But 
your welfare, and that of your people, have 
nevertheless ever been objects of the deepest 
interest to the British Government. Pier 
Majesty the Queen regards with the utmost 
solicitude the well-being of all the inhabitants 
of Hindustan, whether they be chiefs or 
people, whether they are her Majesty’s im¬ 
mediate subjects, or are ruled over by native 
princes. 

“I, as the representative of the Queen, have 
come here to tell you, as you have often been 
told before, that the desire of her Majesty’s 
Government is to secure to you,'and to your 
successors, the full enjoyment of your ancient 
rights, and the exercise of all lawful customs, 
and to assist you in upholding the dignity 
and maintaining the authority which you and 
your fathers have for centuries exercised in 
this land. 

“ But, in order to enable us fully to carry 
into effect this our fixed resolve, we must re¬ 
ceive from you hearty and cordial assistance. 
If we respect your rights and privileges, you 
should also respect the rights and regard the 
privileges of those who are placed beneath 
your care. If we support you in your power, 
we expect in return good government. We 
demand that everywhere throughout the 
length and breadth of Rajputana justice and 
order should prevail; that every man’s pro¬ 
perty should be secure; that the traveller 
should come and go in safety; that the cul¬ 
tivator should enjoy the fruits of his labour, 
and the trader the produce of his commerce ; 
that you should make roads, and undertake 
the construction of those works of irrigation 
which will improve the condition of the 
people, and swell the revenue of your states ; 
that you should encourage education and pro¬ 
vide for the relief of the sick. 

“ And now let me mention a project which 
I have much at heart. I desire much to in¬ 
vite your assistance to enable me to establish 





108 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


at Ajmir a school or college, which should be 
devoted exclusively to the education of the 
sons of the chiefs, princes, and leading tha- 
kurs of Rajputana. It should be an institu¬ 
tion suited to the position and rank of the 
boys for whose instruction it is intended, and 
such a system of teaching would be founded 
as would he best calculated to fit them for 
the important duties which in after life they 
would be called upon to discharge. It would 
not be possible on this occasion to describe 
minutely the different features of such an in¬ 
stitution, but I hope to communicate with 
you shortly on the subject, and I trust you 
will favour and support an attempt toigive to 
these classes of the youth of Rajputana instruc¬ 
tion suitable to their high birth and position. 

“ Be assured that we ask you to do all this 
for no other object but your own benefit. If 
we wished you to remain weak, we would 
say, * Be poor, and ignorant, and disorderly.’ 
It is because we wish you to be strong that 
we desire to see you rich, instructed, and 
well governed. It is for such objects that 
the servants of the Queen rule in India; and 
Providence will ever sustain the rulers who 
govern for the people’s good. 

“ I am here but for a time ; the able and 
ardent officers who surround me will, at no 
distant period, return to their English homes; 
but the power which we represent will endure 
for ages. Hourly is this great empire brought 
nearer and nearer to the throne of our Queen. 
The steam-vessel and the railroad enable 
England year by year to enfold India in a 
closer embrace. But the coils she seeks to 
entwine around her are no iron fetters, but 
the golden chains of affection and peace. The 
hours of conquest are past'; the age of im¬ 
provement has begun. 

“ Chiefs and Princes, advance in the right 
way, and secure to your children’s children 
and to future generations of your subjects the 
favouring protection of a power who only 
seeks your good.” 

The college was afterwards established, as 
was also another of similar character and 
object at Rajkot in Kattiawar, called the 
Rajkumar College, and both are now flourish¬ 
ing institutions, conducted on the principles 
of the great public schools in England, each 
pupil being a resident of the institution. 

The durbar at Ajmir was marked by the 
refusal of the Maharajah of Jodhpur to be 
present, because he had not been allowed 
precedence over the Maharana of Udaipur 
(Oodeypore), the descendant of the oldest 
family in Rajputana, although he accepted 
his position on the left of the Governor- 
General’s agent in the procession on enter¬ 
ing Ajmir, and the Maharana took rank be¬ 


[Chap. CXLI. 

fore him at the private visits, to which the 
Maharajah made no objection. For this “act 
of the gravest disrespect to the representatives 
of the Queen,” and “ an offence derogatory to 
his honour as a chief who had received dis¬ 
tinguished marks of the royal favour,” his 
Excellency was compelled to give .public ex¬ 
pression to his displeasure by refusing to visit 
the Maharajah, or to receive from him a salute 
as he passed the Jodhpur camp on his visit 
to the other princes, and by directing him at 
once to quit British territory without the 
honours usually shown to his exalted rank. 
He was further punished by having his salute 
reduced from seventeen to fifteen guns. The 
Maharajah appears to have absented himself 
from the durbar in order to show his resent¬ 
ment of the severe rebukes he had received 
for his maladministration. When he ascended 
the throne, according to Colonel Brooke, the 
Maharajah Tukht Singh was energetic and 
attentive to business, but he was also sus¬ 
picious and vacillating, gave way to in¬ 
dulgence in spirituous liquors, and passed 
much of his time in the zenana. In 1867-68 
“ the country was drifting into a helpless 
state of weakness and misrule.” No public 
business was transacted, and there were dis¬ 
sensions in the Maharajah’s family. “ The 
Maharajah shut himself up in his zenana, and 
was accessible only to slave-girls and eunuchs, 
who monopolized all influence, and through 
whom only could messages reach the royal 
ears. The revenues were either squandered 
by unworthy favourites or else hoarded in 
the palace. Outside, a system of plunder and 
oppression prevailed, and there was not even 
the semblance of justice. No crime was 
punished, and no check was placed on bribery, 
peculation, or extortion, whilst the humane 
character of the Maharajah much increased the 
evil.” The disorder in the state rose to the 
pitch of insurrection, and the British were 
compelled to step in to restore peace and 
order. Colonel Brooke reports that this was 
accomplished after long negotiations, and an 
agreement was concluded, “ to remain in force 
four years, unless in the meantime a con¬ 
tinuance of misrule, or the weakness of the 
Marwar administration should force the 
Government of India to active interference.” 
Writing in June, 1868, Colonel Brooke says 
that the Maharajah had failed to carry out 
some of its provisions. He had undertaken 
to provide the “ministry” with fifteen lakhs, 
but he had only paid over eight and a half. 
But some improvement had been effected. 
“ The Maharajah is now strong and robust in 
health/and, instead of shutting himself up in 
his private apartments, devotes several hours 
daily to public business. I do not despair of 



Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


109 


his recovering some of the promptitude and 
energy he at first exhibited. Sincerely loyal 
in his feelings to the British Government, 
courteous in address, and hospitable and kind 
in all his relations, for a time the Maharajah 
was led by bad advisers to disregard the 
advice of the political officers deputed to his 
courh The shock which his government has 
sustained has shown him that his chief de¬ 
pendence must be on the support of the 
British Government, and he has now thrown 
aside all idea of acting in opposition to its 
wishes.” 

A notable event of the year 1870 was the 
visit paid to England by Baboo Keshub 
Chunder Sen, the disciple and successor of 
Kammohun Roy, as head of the Brahmo 
Somaj, or pure Theists or Unitarians of 
India. The Brahmo Somaj was founded in 
1830 by Rammohun Roy. After his death 
in 1833 the new sect made little progress till 
1842, when Debendranath Tagore drew up a 
creed for it, which embraced belief in one 
perfect and personal God, in the immortality 
of the soul, and in the power of prayer and 
repentance. Though the Yedantic philosophy 
was now completely disowned as a rule of 
faith by the Brahmoists, they still clung to 
an outward show of Hinduism. In 1859 
the Somaj was joined by the Iveshub Chunder 
Sen, who, full of zeal, learning, and eloquence, 
attacked the old Brahmin usages, and under 
his leadership a new form of Brahmoism was 
thrown off from the Calcutta Somaj. The 
“Brahmo Somaj of India,” as it is called, 
broke away from the last and strongest of old 
Brahmin traditions. The Gospel henceforth 
was to be preached to the Gentiles. There is 
no difference between Brahmin and Sudra in 
matters of common worship. All are made 
equal by saving faith in God, and all that is good 
is attainable by prayer, repentance, and earnest 
striving after moral perfection. The Brahmo 
Somaj accepts the general teaching of the 
New Testament, that is to say, the Christian 
ethics without the Christian theology. It 
knows of no revelation but that which comes 
from within. Its only idea of atonement is 
based on repentance and amendment: ‘ the 
true salvation is deliverance from sin.’ As 
to the character of its worship, Miss Collet 
says in the Contemporary Review of February, 
1870, “Services four hours long, and religious 
exercises lasting almost through a whole day, 
are not infrequent, and the chanting of hymns 
seems to raise the worshippers into a sort of 
ecstasy.” Their leader, indeed, has had to 
warn them against the danger of sinking into 
“mere spiritual voluptuaries,” through over- 
indulgence in pious emotions. 

Keshub Chunder Sen was well received in 


England by clergymen and laymen of almost 
all religious denominations, and notably so at 
a great meeting in London, at which the 
Dean of Westminster moved the following 
resolution:—That this meeting, composed of 
members of nearly all Protestant Churches, 
offers a hearty welcome to Keshub Chunder 
Sen, the distinguished religious reformer of 
India, and assures him and his fellow-la¬ 
bourers of its sympathy with them in their 
great and praiseworthy work of abolishing 
idolatry, breaking down caste, and diffusing a 
higher moral and intellectual life among the 
people of that vast empire.” On his return 
to Bombay, Keshub Chunder Sen delivered 
an address relative to his impressions of 
England and its people. He stated that his 
object in undertaking his journey was to give 
to ‘ the British public a true and impartial 
account of the wants of the natives of India. 
He fearlessly and boldly laid, before them 
facts as to the way in which they are treated 
by Europeans. From even the little experi¬ 
ence he gained there he was satisfied that his 
mission was attended with success. He be¬ 
lieved that all that he said made a deep 
impression on their minds, and now it was 
the duty of the natives of India to reciprocate 
the sympathy which they expressed in the 
welfare of India and its people. Everywhere 
he received treatment the most enthusiastic, 
kind, and truly fraternal, and whenever he 
laid bare the faults of British administration 
he always received encouragement, and he 
was always cheered loudly. This showed 
that the British public were alive to their 
duty towards India, and that a real interest 
was being created in the hearts of all generous 
and true Britons in the regeneration of India, 
its countrymen and countrywomen. The 
gracious sovereign who sits on the throne of 
Great Britain, and who had been since 1858 
Empress of India, assured him, in an inter¬ 
view he had with her Majesty, that she felt 
a deep interest in the people of India, 
especially in her daughters, and that she 
would always strive to ameliorate their con¬ 
dition. After recounting the various traits 
in the English character, he said that a heavy 
burden lay on the head of every educated 
native of India, who must be now equal to 
the crisis, who must not lie down like a slug¬ 
gard, but seeing intelligence diffused on every 
side, should take advantage of the time, cast off 
idolatry and bigotry in all their horrid shapes, 
cast off the prejudices of caste, and keep pace 
with the current of progress-progress men¬ 
tal, moral, and spiritual. And let his motto 
be “ Onward, forward, and heavenward. 

In June, 1870, a tribe of Wuziris called 
the Mohammad Kheyl, wffio for some years 









110 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CXLI. 


had squatted peacefully close to the canton¬ 
ments within the British boundaries without 
exhibiting any signs of hostility, waylaid a 
small relief party of the Punj ab frontier force 
proceeding from Edwardesabad to an outpost 
called Kurum, and cut them up almost to a 
man, six being killed on the spot, and nearly 
all the rest wounded. The Wuziris made 
good their escape after despoiling the slain of 
their weapons. Soon after, Captain Maclean 
with the 1st Punjab Cavalry arrived on the 
spot and crossed the frontier in pursuit, and 
a strong party went up the pass for about five 
miles without seeing an enemy. It seems 
that the tribe had a few imaginary grievances 
against the Government, and all of a sudden 
they sold off their cattle and retired to the 
hills. On this the frontier posts were put on 
the alert, but no one was prepared for so 
sudden and so bold a stroke. On July 4th 
about a hundred and fifty of them were 
chased by a body of our troopers near the 
Kurum, and a party of infantry coming up 
dislodged them from their place of shelter ; 
but they only fell back to another post, 
whence on the approach of a larger force 
they finally retired to the hills. Again in 
August these Wuziris, as if bent on provok¬ 
ing the Government to extremities against 
them, carried off several head of cattle, and 
destroyed a dam which diverted water from 
the Kurum for the supply of a British out¬ 
post. . On the appearance of some cavalry 
and infantry they, as usual, retreated among 
the hills after making a slight show of resist¬ 
ance. 

The year 1870 was remarkable for the 
deaths of natives of rank and note. In Rajah 
Deo Narain Singh of Benares the British lost 
a loyal and powerful friend in need. Two 
native Hindu princes, the Rajah of Kapurthala 
and the Rajah of Kolhapur were carried off by 
a strange fatality—the former dying on his 
way to England, the latter at Florence on his 
way home to Bombay. They were the first 
two Hindus of high rank who had dared to 
cross the “ dark water,” in defiance of old 
traditional rules. The one died in the fulness 
of honours received for loyal service to India 
—the other in the first years of a promising 
manhood. The death of the Gaikwar of 
Baroda removed a prince whose loyalty was 
tempered with a good deal of self-will and 
more of vicious self-indulgence. 

The obituary of 1870 also includes the 
name of Mr. J. W. Wyllie, the young and 
gifted Foreign Secretary of Sir John Law¬ 
rence, who died at Paris on March 15th. 
“ Mr. Wyllie,” says the Daily Telegraph, 
“was a worthy representative—in character, 
abilities, and high fidelity to duty—of that 


Civil Service of India of which this country 
has reason to be so proud. He was an Ox¬ 
ford man, and one of the first to enter that 
honourable and responsible service by the 
gateway of intellectual competition. The 
system of selecting these young governors 
of India by trial of their mental capacity could 
have had no more conspicuous vindication 
than Mr. Wyllie’s career afforded. Trans¬ 
ferred from the Bombay Presidency-to that 
of Bengal—on account of his well-proved 
powers of administration—he became, at the 
age when many at home have scarcely laid 
aside the frivolous pursuits of youth, Under 
Secretary, and afterwards Chief Secretary in 
the Foreign Department of the Viceregal 
Government. In that eminently difficult and 
hard-worked position he conducted most im¬ 
portant and delicate correspondence ; and we 
may mention the Oudh question, the com¬ 
parison of native and British administrations, 
and the Central Asian problem, as examples 
of the imperial work which was largely com¬ 
mitted to his young hands. He was nomi¬ 
nated Companion of the Star of India, and 
returned to this country a short time before 
the last election, desiring to exchange the 
political field of the East for that of the West. 
Having stood for Hereford, he was elected 
against a high-placed legal officer of the Con¬ 
servative Government, but, upon petition, he 
was unseated. Even his opponents—enemies 
he had none—knew and acknowledged that 
Mr. Wyllie was perfectly innocent of any 
corrupt practices in the borough; while those 
who were his friends, including some of the 
highest names in our Indian annals, would 
have answered for young John Wyllie’s 
honour as for their own. There can be no 
doubt, in spite of this disappointment, that he 
would have attained at home to a very high 
rank in politics and literature, as all, indeed, 
may judge who have perused his most 
masterly papers in the Fortnightly JRevieiv 
upon our Central Asian policy. His work 
was done however, and his wages were due ! 
The ink of that able and far-seeing article 
was hardly dry—we were ourselves about to 
discuss the problem in friendly controversy 
with him—when a passing attack became 
grave and then fatal, and the youthful states¬ 
man breathed his last. The loss of such a 
man is a common sorrow ; and to the ad¬ 
miration and respect which his great qualities 
aroused in those who knew him publicly is 
added, on the part of a wide circle of friends, 
a most tender and faithful recollection, which 
will keep his name embalmed in their minds 
as that of a ‘ stainless knight and spotless 
gentleman.’ ” 

The year 1871 opened with the untimely 



Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Ill 


death of Sir Henry Durand, whose long and 
valuable services had only seven months 
before been rewarded by his promotion to the 
Lieutenant-Governorship of the Punjab in the 
room of Sir Donald Macleod. On the last 
day of 1870 Sir Henry, who for some weeks 
had been travelling through his province in¬ 
specting the frontier posts, proceeded to visit 
the outpost, garden, and town of Tank. Hav¬ 
ing inspected the outpost on foot, he went on 
an elephant, in a howdah, with the Nawab of 
Tank, to the entrance of the •-•town. 'As he 
passed under the archway the howdah, which 
was too high, was crushed, and Sir Henry, 
thrown out, fell violently to the ground upon 
his face. The Nawab escaped with a broken 
rib and some other injuries, but Sir Henry’s 
neck was broken, and he died next evening. 
He was buried at Dera Ismail Khan with all 
the honours due to his position, many of the 
native chiefs being fitly represented in the 
procession that followed. Sir Henry passed 
through Addiscombe into the Bengal Engineers 
in 1828. He became lieutenant in 1835, and 
accompanied the army under General Sir 
John Keane during the Afghan campaign of 
1839, and was one of the party who blew in 
the gate of Ghuzni. In 1842 he became 
private secretary to Lord Ellenborough. He 
served in the Gwalior campaign of 1843-44, ] 
and was present at the battle of Maharajpur. 
He also served in the Punjab campaign of 
1845-46, including the battles of Chillian- 
wallah and Gujarat. Soon after, he was 
transferred to the Civil Service, and on the 
outbreak of the mutiny was Political Agent at 
Indor. At this crisis he drove back Tantia 
Topi, and saved Southern India. After his 
return to England on the suppression of the 
mutiny he sat for three years at the Council 
of the Secretary of State for India, generously 
resigning his seat in 1861 that it might be 
filled by Sir James Outram. Returning to 
India he became Foreign Secretary to Lord 
Canning, and afterwards Military Member of 
the Governor-General’s Council, which post he 
retained until his promotion to the Government 
of the Punjab. He became Major-General in 
1867, and in the same year a Knight of the 
Order of the Star of India. With his prema¬ 
ture death the old Indian services lost one 
more of their finest ornaments, and India one 
of her ablest and most deserving statesmen. 
The Duke of Argyll, in expressing to the 
Governor-General the Government’s regret at 
his loss, added, “ The life of such a man is 
an example to the service.” Sir Henry’s 
death evoked throughout India a feeling of 
unmixed sorrow. In Calcutta, says the Times' 
correspondent, “people speak as if they had 
lost a personal friend. He was so generous, 


they say, so kind, as well as so brave and 
true. There are some who tell of him as a 
trenchant writer; others who knew him as a 
soldier, the bravest of the brave ; others who 
remember him as a wise and skilful officer, 
as a commander prompt, daring, unhesitating, 
with a brain as cool as ice and a will as sharp 
as fire ; others, again, who point to him as a 
commissioner, hunting out all manner of 
oppression and wrongdoing with a scathing 
power; others who recollect him in the 
Supreme Council, where he again and again 
made self-seeking and jobbery cower into the 
shade ; but in all cases—in all the recollec¬ 
tions that I have heard—there is a deep vein 
of sorrow, and in many cases an absolute 
outburst of grief.” The Friend of India 
wrote of him, referring to an article which 
had appeared in its columns on his appoint¬ 
ment to the Punjab : “ In that article we follow 
from stage to stage all but the latter part of 
the unselfish career of Sir Henry Durand. 
We see him landing at Calcutta in 1830, the 
fellow-voyageur of Dr. Duff, another hero as 
dauntless and as pure. We see him again in 
1870 as he declares, in all the simplicity of 
true genius—of that genius which fears God 
and has no other fear—that his work had been 
as nothing compared with that of his feUow- 
i passenger. We see him again, four years 
after his first landing, at the head of a party 
of engineers, prosecuting valuable scientific in¬ 
vestigations, opening the way to new studies; 
then contributing to the scientific reviews 
careful and thoughtful papers, in strong and 
nervous language, adding to human thought 
line on line, and fact on fact, till the time for 
action came; then blowing up the gate of 
Ghuzni; then telling as only such a man 
could tell the story of the Kabul war; then 
striving with wise against unwise counsel in 
Persia; then acting as Lord Ellenborough’s 
private secretary, and ‘ never once seeking 
his own private ends, but sacrificing himself 
for others,’ when ‘ he had such influence with 
the Governor-General that he had only to ask 
and he would have received ; ’ then making 
all bad men his enemies and all good men his 
friends at Mulmein, striking with all his might 
—and what a might it was!—against all wrong, 
scorning to pander to it, or treat with it, or 
hold any terms with it, in high quarters or in 
low. * That was Sir Henry Durand, and very 
appositely and forcibly indeed do the lines 
apply to him :— 

‘ To reverence the king as if he were 
Their conscience, and their conscience as their 
king, 

To teach the heathen and uphold the Christ, 

To ride abroad redeeming human wrongs, 

To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it, 

To lead sweet lives in purest chastity.’ ” 




112 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CXLI. 


During the same month died two other emi¬ 
nent men, whose names will not be forgotten 
in Indian history—Sir Willian Denison and 
Sir Proby Cautley. Sir William Denison will 
be remembered for the service he rendered to 
India during the few weeks between the death 
of Lord Elgin and the arrival of Sir John 
Lawrence, when at a critical moment in the 
Sitana campaign, he, as acting Governor- 
General, saved India from an unpleasant crisis 
by converting the order of retreat into one of 
immediate advance. (See page 40.) A little 
less decision at the moment would have 
raised the whole of the Punjab in arms 
against the British power. Sir William 
entered the army in 1826, and became a 
Colonel in the Royal Engineers in 1860. In 
addition to his military scientific learning he 
possessed great administrative ability. He 
had occupied many high appointments in the 
colonies. He became Lieutenant-Governor 
of Van Diemen’s Land in 1846, and was sub¬ 
sequently Governor-General of New South 
Wales, and Governor of Madras from 1860 to 
1866. The name of Sir Proby Cautley will 
always be linked with some of the great 
works accomplished under Lord Dalhousie. 
He was employed in the field in 1820 and 
1821 in reducing numerous forts in Oudh. 
In 1825-26 he served at the seige of Bhart- 
pur, and from 1831 to 1854 he was chiefly 
enployed on engineering and scientific duties, 
such as the great Trigonometrical Survey and 
the construction of canals in Upper India. 
His greatest work was the Ganges Canal, 
which was opened in 1854. On his return to 
England he was made a K.C.B., and in 1858 
he was selected to fill one of the new seats in 
the Indian Council. In 1860 he became 
Chairman of the Public Works Committee in 
that- Council, and with true Anglo-Indian 
appetite for work he discharged his duties 
with unflagging steadiness until failing health 
compelled him to retire into private life in 
1860. To geological and paleeontological 
science Colonel Cautley rendered valuable 
services during a long residence by the 
Sewalik Hills, for which he received the 
Woollaston gold medal from the Geological 
Society in 1837. 

In the beginning of 1871 peace on the 
north-eastern frontier was broken by bands 
of Kukis or Lushais, who spread havoc and 
dismay among the tea-planters of Cachar, 
slaying more than one Englishman and many 
natives, and carrying off among other pri¬ 
soners an English child. The last notice we 
gave of a Lushai raid was that of the Kukis 
on the Chittagong frontier in February, 1860 
(see p. 9). The chastisement afterwards 
inflicted on Rut-tun Puea was followed by the 


unconditional submission of that chief, who 
continued friendly, and the establishment of 
a chain of police posts, which kept the hill 
tracts north of the Kurnafuli free from raids. 
Turning now to the Cachar'frontier, we find 
that the Lushai tribes north of the waterpent 
are divided apparently into two sets—the one 
living on the upper waters of the Dullessur, 
the other approached by the valley of the 
Sonai. “In 1862 (to pass over all previous 
outrages) Sukpilal, a chief of the western 
section on the Dullessur, made a savage raid 
upon Hill Tipperah, and on villages lying on 
the south-east corner of Silhet. For four 
years desultory efforts were made by the 
local officers in Cachar to ascertain Sukpilal s 
precise position, and to open communications 
with him. It was thought possible that he 
had not intended to attack British territory, 
and that he would on demand surrender the 
captives, and give pledges of his future good 
behaviour. Negotiation failing, police were, 
in 1866, got together for a punitive expedi¬ 
tion ; but the difficulty of penetrating to an 
uncertain goal through an unknown country 
led to its abandonment. The Lushais had 
clearly, so far, no cause to repent of their 
evil deeds. The policy of 1866 was not in 
this instance one of vigour, but years had 
been lost in tracing the offenders. In De¬ 
cember, 1868, Sukpilal again raided in Tip¬ 
perah and Silhet, and on January 15th, 1869, 
Lushais burnt the tea-houses at Loharbund, 
in Cachar, and attacked Monierkkal. The 
Cachar raiders were supposed to be of the 
Sonai tribes, but were probably acting in 
concert with Sukpilal. To punish these out¬ 
rages a great military expedition was or¬ 
ganized. Three columns were to enter the 
Lushai country—one by the Sonai valley, 
one by the Dullessur, and the third from 
Silhet through the Tipperah Hills. The Silhet 
attack eventually dwindled to police recon¬ 
naissance. This party marched through the 
hills till it got close to Sukpilal’s villages, 
and there, finding itself in hot quarters, fired 
upon, and unsupported, it very wisely came 
away again, rapidly. The Dullessur column 
was the main attack, and to uphold its dignity 
and insure success, it waited for guns and 
elephants and grenadiers, until the rains were 
just about to begin; it then marched a.few 
miles into the hills, got very wet, and came 
back again re infecta. The Sonai party was 
more persevering and somewhat more suc¬ 
cessful ; it got up to some Lushai villages, 
but not being certain who were the guilty 
parties, it frightened the neighbourhood gene¬ 
rally by firing a few rounds in the air, ac¬ 
cepted conciliatory chickens from the chiefs 
around, and returned, covered with glory 







Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


118 


and mud, to Cachar. Up to this point, 
again, the results seem to be that the Lushais 
may have been a little scared, but had not 
yet been hurt or punished for their repeated 
misdeeds. We must remember that they 
know but very little of us or of our power; 
that, like all ignorant savages, they have 
great ideas of their own prowess, and the 
majority of them have good reason to believe 
in the inaccessibility of their present sites. 
In view of this state of things, the local 
officers and the local government urged 
strongly upon the Government of India the 
propriety of sending into the country a care¬ 
fully organized expedition at the very com¬ 
mencement of the next cold weather—not 
necessarily to burn and slay, but to convince 
the tribes of our power to punish, and to 
open up communications with Chittagong. It 
was suggested that permanent security could 
not be looked for until we had treated the 
Lushai tract as the Ghara (Garrow) Hills 
and the Iihasia (Cossyah) Hills had been 
treated, by placing an English officer with a 
strong guard in the midst of it, and doing 
away entirely with the anomaly of allowing 
a hostile and savage strip of highlands to 
intervene between two British districts. The 
Supreme Government would not, however, 
hear of an expedition. It declared itself, ac¬ 
cording to the Administration Report, “averse 
on principle to move bodies of troops and 
armed police, even in limited numbers, in 
order to effect reprisal for outrages on any 
part of our extended frontier.” Another 
policy was now to be tried. The Lushais 
were to be taken in hand by a special officer, 
but his influence was to be based on concilia¬ 
tion and not on respect. He was to lead by 
love, not govern by salutary fear. Now in 
savage countries, conciliation is too often the 
Latin equivalent for rum and rupees. In the 
case of the Lushais, we believe, it eventually 
involved gifts of green pyjamas. It means, 
in short, cozening where we cannot compel. 
Towards the close of January 1871 the 
Lushais burst into Cachar and across the 
frontier of Chittagong and Tipperah. Cachar 
suffered worst, where several factories were 
attacked, villages burnt, and lives lost. 
The Lushais fought viciously, but were 
bravely resisted by the planters and the 
police. At Monierkhal twelve sepoys and 
policemen were killed in a fight which 
lasted three days against about four hun¬ 
dred raiders, of whom thirty were killed 
or wounded. Twelve sepoys were killed 
in a fight round another village, which was 
plundered of all its stores and movables. 
At another, the Lushais “ cut up twenty- 
two people, and carried away other forty 

VOL. III. 


out of a total of 114.”* At Alexandra- 
pur an Englishman, Mr. Winchester, was 
shot down at breakfast, and his little girl 
carried off. Twelve of his coolies were either 
killed or wounded, and the manager saved 
himself by escaping wounded into the jungle. 
Detachments of troops were poured into the 
invaded districts, but only in time to find 
that the Lushais had retired to their fast¬ 
nesses, laden with plunder and prisoners. 
The following condensation of a letter from 
the manager affords some interesting details 
in connection with the attack on Alexandra- 
pur :—“ One of his coolie women who had 
been taken by the Lushais, from whom she 
succeeded in escaping, was in the coolie 
lines on the day of attack, when she was 
caught hold of by two Lushais, bound with 
cord, and dragged along with the other pri¬ 
soners a short way into the jungle. There 
were about sixty Lushais, all armed with 
spears and daos, and about ten or twelve of 
them had guns. After burning the Alexandra- 
pur bungalow and factory, the Lushais 
carried the loot into the jungle during the 
afternoon. On their retreat, the Lushais 
marched day and night at the foot of a high 
range. Before the woman escaped, seven 
coolies were murdered, and their bodies 
shockingly mutilated. On the night of the 
eighth day of the march, the woman managed 
with her teeth to undo the cords that bound 
her, escaped, and hid herself in the jungle 
before daylight. At dawn she could see at a 
short distance four of the Lushais in search 
of her, and so terrified was she lest her child 
should make a noise, that she stuffed a cloth 
into its mouth until the men disappeared. In 
four days’ time she reached the guard on the 
Cachar and Silhet boundary, where she was 
so exhausted, and became so terrified at seeing 
armed men again, that she fell away in a 
faint; but the cries of her child attracted 
the attention of the sentinel, who immediately 
went to her relief. The Lushais took great 
care of Mr. Winchester’s captive orphan. 
They carried her in their arms, fed her 
twice a day on roasted rice, and gave her 
eggs once a day. The manager reports 
that, besides the seven coolies murdered 
during the retreat, and nine bodies found and 
buried at Alexandrapur, other seven coolies 
were missing. One man came out on the 
Barrykandy teelahs after having been eleven 
days in the jungle without food, except a 
handful of parched rice, which he happened 
to have tied up in his cloth while out pruning 
at the time of the attack. You would scarcely 
believe it possible, he says, that men could 
survive the fearful hacking and spear-thrusts 
* Calcutta Observer. 

Q 




114 


HISTORY OF THE 

that some of the coolies got. One of mine 
had three dao-cuts on the back of his neck, 
two of which were three inches long and one 
and a quarter inch deep. Further raids were 
made by the Lnshais towards the end of 
February, but the marauders were success¬ 
fully driven off by the police.”* Representa¬ 
tions were now made to the Government by 
the Landowners’ and Commercial Association 
of British India regarding the state of the 
frontiers, which drew forth an official reply, 
the following extracts from which announce 
the Government’s plan of action with regard to 
the defence of the north-eastern frontier— 
“For the last two years the difficult ques¬ 
tion of the defence of the eastern frontier 
from Cachar to Aracan has been a subject 
of special and anxious consideration, on the 
part of the Government of India, in com¬ 
munication with his Excellency, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, the Government of Bengal, 
and the Chief Commissioner of British Bur- 
mah. The tribes occupying the country 
between our settled districts and Burmah are 
split into many minute sections owning no 
common authority. The country they inhabit 
is in some places absolutely unexplored, 
and for the most part very imperfectly known. 
Those parts of it that have been visited by 
Europeans have been found to consist of 
hills of varying altitude, covered with almost 
impervious jungle traversed only by paths 
used principally by wild elephants and as 
the war-tracks of the tribes. The expeditions 
which have on several occasions been sent to 
punish the tribes for marauding our terri¬ 
tories have not added much to the available 
information either regarding the country or 
its people. It has been the object of his 
Excellency in Council, in communication 
with the Government of Bengal, by the depu¬ 
tation from time to time of intelligent officers, 
both from the side of Cachar and of Chitta¬ 
gong, to acquire full information regarding 
the country and its inhabitants, the wants of 
the tribes, and the causes and objects of their 
raids. As yet his efforts have only been 
attended with partial success; and for all 
practical purposes the country can only be 
described as a dense and unexplored jungle, 
deadly to European life for a great part of 
the year. 

“ The defence of districts bordering for 
several hundreds of miles on a country of 
this kind is an undertaking of no ordinary 
difficulty. Neither can a state of insecurity 
which has existed for ages be remedied in a 
day. Those who settle there must not be 
unprepared to face to some extent the dangers 
usually incident to pioneers in all parts of the 
* Calcutta Observer. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

world. His Excellency in Council is con¬ 
vinced that it is mainly by the co-operation 
of those gentlemen who hold lands and have 
commercial interests in the disturbed districts 
that any measure taken by Government can 
succeed. His Excellency in Council is dis¬ 
posed. to believe that in some cases tea- 
gardens have been pushed farther into the 
jungles than was prudent, and have been 
established in exposed situations beyond what 
would have formed the most eligible line of 
defence. But be that as it may, his Excel¬ 
lency in Council is of opinion that the defence 
of an extensive and scarcely defined frontier 
extending into unexplored territories is a 
responsibility which the Government cannot 
accept, and that the first step towards the 
permanent defence of the border, and the 
protection of our partially settled districts 
from attacks such as those which have re¬ 
cently occurred in Cachar, is to define clearly 
the limit within which the Government is 
prepared to establish, maintain, and enforce 
its authority, and beyond which it will not at 
present undertake the responsibilities of ad¬ 
ministration and protection. 

“ Such a line has been suggested in Ara¬ 
can, and measures for its definition will be 
speedily undertaken. It will be continued 
through Chittagong in front of the present 
outposts. In Cachar a line has been gene¬ 
rally indicated from the borders of Munnipur 
to Hill Tipperah, including all the present 
tea-gardens. It was one of the chief objects 
of Mr. Edgar’s present visit to the Lushai 
country to determine the boundary-line de¬ 
finitely. As soon as this is finally settled, it 
is the intention of his Excellency in Council 
to open up such cleared tracks as may be 
necessary for defence. At suitable intervals 
posts will be established and held by a suf¬ 
ficient force. The boundary between the 
posts will be constantly patrolled. An addi¬ 
tional expenditure of Rs. 37,000 a year has 
been sanctioned for the frontier guard of 
Chittagong, and his Excellency in Council is 
only waiting the views of her Majesty’s 
Commander-in-Chief after his visit to Assam, 
before finally deciding on similar measures 
for Cachar. By this means his Excellency 
in Council is not without hope that the recur¬ 
rence of raids will be prevented, or, if they 
take place, that the force in charge of the 
outposts will be enabled to inflict on the 
offenders summary and severe'; chastisement. 

“ His Excellency in Council looks to per¬ 
manent results more from a policy of watchful 
and vigorous defence than from retaliatory 
expeditions. His . Excellency considers it 
essential that the district officers on the frontier 
should endeavour, by all legitimate means, 






Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


115 


to -win the confidence of the tribes living 
beyond our line of defence, and establish a 
salutary personal influence over them. For 
this purpose his Excellency in Council has 
directed that all district officers on the frontier 
shall encourage frequent and friendly inter¬ 
course with the chiefs and tribes, visit them 
occasionally, induce them to enter our service 
and resort to our markets, and endeavour in 
a friendly way to settle any differences or 
disputes with our subjects, and adopt all 
means calculated to establish a' permanent 
personal influence amongst them. So far as 
this policy has as yet been tried, Government 
has no reason to doubt its ultimate success. 

“ The measures, then, which his Excellency 
in Council has commenced to carry out for 
the defence of the frontier are briefly these : 
to determine clearly the line up to which the 
Government will enforce its direct authority; 
to establish friendly relations and influence 
among the tribes beyond ; so to strengthen 
the defences by the establishment of military 
or police posts, and by patrolling the bound¬ 
ary, that the tribes shall be deterred from 
attempting outrages within the restricted 
limits; but if violence is attempted, that 
severe and summary punishment shall be 
secured. It would be unreasonable, how¬ 
ever, to expect on such a frontier the same 
security and protection as in places where 
law and order have been long established. 
It behoves those, therefore, who settle in 
exposed parts to be ever ready to defend 
themselves, and to co-operate with the autho¬ 
rities in warding off sudden and unforeseen 
attacks, which, as in the recent instance, 
neither the local officers nor the residents 
may anticipate, nor the guards be able en¬ 
tirely to prevent. His Excellency hr Council 
acknowledges with pride and satisfaction the 
gallant behaviour of the tea-planters and 
managers of the gardens which were at¬ 
tacked, and deeply regrets that, notwith¬ 
standing the determined resistance made by 
them and by the police in defence of the 
stockades, the marauders should have suc¬ 
ceeded in doing any damage. There are 
nearly two thousand men of the police and 
regular troops assembled in the districts of 
Cachar. The Governor-General in Council 
has no doubt that the measures adopted will 
have the effect of restoring confidence to all 
British subjects, both European and native. 
His Excellency in Council is deeply interested 
in the success of British enterprise in the 
districts of Silhet and Cachar, and the memo¬ 
rialists may be assured that the Government 
will do all that is possible or reasonable to 
encourage its development and insure its 
safety.” 


Notwithstanding the sanguine hopes of 
the Government, their conciliatory measures 
proved a failure; and the infliction of chas¬ 
tisement upon the Lushais being rendered 
necessary, a field force was prepared to ope¬ 
rate against them in the cold season, consist¬ 
ing in all of about five thousand men, in two 
columns—a Cachar column, under Major- 
General Bourchier ; and a Chittagong column, 
under Colonel Brownlow. “The officers 
commanding were specially instructed that 
the object of the expedition was not one of 
pure retaliation; that while punishment 
should follow the proof of guilt, the sur¬ 
render of all British subjects held in cap¬ 
tivity should be insisted on, and every effort 
made for their deliverance; the main end in 
view was to show these savages that they are 
completely in our power ; to establish friendly 
relations of a permanent character with them; 
to make them promise to receive in their 
villages from time to time our native agents; 
to make travelling in their districts safe to 
all; to convince them of the advantages of 
trade and commerce; and to demonstrate to 
them effectually that they have nothing to 
gain, and everything to lose, by placing them¬ 
selves in a hostile position towards the 
British Government.” 

We shall now follow the route of the 
Cachar column, as detailed by General 
Bourchier in his dispatches. The Cachar 
column consisted of half a battery of artil¬ 
lery, a company of sappers and miners, and 
500 men each of the 22nd Punjab Native 
Infantry, the 42nd Assam Light Infantry, 
and the 44th Native Infantry, with 1,200 
commissariat coolies and 178 elephants, and a 
coolie corps of 800 men under Major Moore. 
These were the numbers sent for the expedi¬ 
tion ; but at starting the coolie corps was re¬ 
duced by cholera to 387 men, and of the 
elephants fourteen, either from galls, sick¬ 
ness, or general unfitness, never carried a 
load. On November 21st, 1871, the. column 
broke ground from Cachar, when the 44th 
Native Infantry marched for Lukipur, four¬ 
teen miles, from which point the road on¬ 
wards had to be made. The road selected 
was by Mynadhur, on the Barak, where pro¬ 
visions for two months and a half had been 
stored for the force, and thence to Tipai 
Mukh, the junction of the Tipai and Barak 
rivers, which was the advanced base of opera¬ 
tions. Having found a track of mountains over 
which to carry a road, parties of troops were 
laid along it, those in the rear completing the 
work of those in front. The first detachment 
reached Tipai Mukh on December 12th, and 
three days after there were collected there 
the head-quarters and wing of the 22nd Pun- 




116 HISTORY OF THE 

jab Native Infantry, a wing of the 44th I 
Native Infantry, and the company of sappers 
and miners. The position was found to be 
an admirable one, a wide shingly beach with 
extensive plateaux rising above, on which 
barracks, hospitals, storehouses, and officers 
quarters appeared as if by magic. As the 
Lushais did not believe in the intention of 
marching the troops into the heart of their 
country, it was considered advisable to make 
a rapid advance on New Kholel, the loca¬ 
tion of the descendants of Vonpilall. Leav¬ 
ing the 22nd Punjab Native Infantry to gar¬ 
rison Tipai Mukh, a fresh start was made 
on the 16th with the sappers and the wing 
of the 44th Native Infantry. As other 
troops arrived, this wing was pushed on, 
and a continuous chain of road-making detach¬ 
ments was- formed extending along the 
whole line. On the 18th they came upon a 
small picket of Lushais, who fled at their 
approach, but two of them returned to say 
that they were assembled in large numbers 
at the Towiblium. Arrived at that river on 
the 22nd, they came suddenly upon a party of 
about fifty Lushais, who yelled at them, and 
warned them not to cross the stream, which 
they did by a large weir, and secured the 
picket-house on the opposite side, the Lushais 
in fright disappearing in the forest without a 
shot being fired, Following up their track the 
next day, the troops mounted to the farm-lands 
of the Yonpilall tribes, and on emerging from 
the forest were met by a heavy fire, which 
was continued throughout the day, though the 
Lushais fell back before them. They destroyed 
an immense quantity of corn in granaries, 
burned three villages, and occupied a fourth ; 
and the work of destruction was continued 
on the next two days. The General then re¬ 
turned to his position on the Towibhum, 
where tidings were brought of attacks on the 
working parties at Kholel. The column there¬ 
fore started again on the 29th, and when three 
miles oh the way they were met by Dharpong, 
an emissary from Poiboy, who sued for 
mercy and begged them not to proceed. The 
General, however, would not listen to him 
until he had escorted the survey to the point 
he intended, when he heard what Dharpong 
had to say. He begged him to stop the de¬ 
vastation of the valleys, and desired that all 
firing should cease, and that their communi¬ 
cations should be kept open for them. This 
was agreed to, and Dharpong, mounted on a 
dead tree, sounded the cry of peace far and 
near, after which not a shot was fired. A 
return was then made to the camp, into 
which elephants’ tusks, goats, &c., were 
brought by people said to be emissaries from 
Poiboy. After some days’ halt for the com- 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

pletion of the roads, &c., the head-quarters 
left Towibhum on January 6th, 1872, and 
arrived on the 9th at the commanding posi¬ 
tion of Pachui, where, as at the former station, 
garrisons were placed. Another halt was 
necessitated here until the 17th, when a start 
was made for Chipui, on the other side of the 
Tipai. A force of about five hundred Lushais 
attempted by threats and entreaties to delay 
the march; but the village was gained by the 
evening without opposition, and the Lushais 
flocked among the troops with poultry, eggs, 
and other articles for sale. The march east¬ 
ward was resumed on the 22nd, and on the 
25th they were informed by Dharpong, who 
came into camp, that they would be attacked 
on the march by the troops of Poiboy and 
Lalburah, who had joined to stop their pro¬ 
gress. “ The route lay above and parallel to 
the bed of a nullah about a mile and a half 
from camp. The advance guard was fired 
into, and presently from front and flanks a 
formidable fire was opened. The advance 
guard was at the time climbing an almost 
perpendicular wall of rock. As they reached 
the top they extended right and left, clearing 
their front and flanks; while the rest of the 
corps, as they arrived, dived into the bed of 
the rocky stream, where they met the enemy 
in force trying to get to the rear, to attack 
the long line of coolies. The 44th Native In¬ 
fantry drove them back splendidly; at one 
spot alone thirteen corpses being found. Some 
few of the enemy slipped past the column 
and attacked the rear, but were repulsed by 
the 22nd Punjab Native Infantry. The 
enemy acknowledged to about fifty killed, and 
a larger number wounded.” The Lushais 
were then pursued up a precipitous mountain 
for two and a half miles, through two stock¬ 
ades, the latter of which was defended, but 
turned by the 44th Native Infantry. During 
this distance an ascent was made of 2,500 
feet, and by the evening all the baggage, &c., 
was brought within the stockade surrounding 
Kungnung, which was occupied by the troops. 
The English ammunition found on the slain 
provedthat they hadbeen theraiders of the pre¬ 
vious year on Monierkhal and other villages. 

On the 26th a detached column destroyed 
Poiboy’s village of Jaikum, about seven miles 
distant. On February 1st the force marched 
for Sellam, Poiboy’s stronghold, which was 
reached on the following day. It consists of 
a group of five villages, situated on the Long- 
ton range of mountains, at an average eleva¬ 
tion of 5,800 feet. Preparations were now 
made for an advance on Lalburah, and inti¬ 
mation was sent to Poiboy that if he did not 
come in, his villages would be burnt on the 
General’s return. The baggage was reduced 






117 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Chap. CXLL] 

to a minimum ; one suit off, one suit on, with 
bedding, was the allowance. An ample supply 
of bedding was a necessity, as the nights 
were freezing. On February 12th the General, 
with two mountain guns carried on coolies, 
and 400 infantry, with two days’ food in 
haversacks and ten on coolies, started from 
Sellam for Lalburah’s locality, the distance or 
whereabouts of which no one knew. The 
mountain on each flank of the valley, known 
as the “ Gates of Lalburah,” loomed stupend¬ 
ously in the distance. About four miles on 
the road they passed the deserted village of 
Romong, forty or fifty Lushais retiring before 
them. . On threatening to fire upon them if 
they did not come in, several came, but the 
rest disappeared in the forest. By evening 
they arrived at Julcheng, a distance of at 
least nine miles. They passed through one 
very strongly stockaded but deserted position, 
built in the re-entering gorge of a precipitous 
mountain. Not only was the stockade strong, 
and provided with flanking defences, but the 
trees felled within fifty yards of it formed an 
almost impassable barrier—a natural abatis. 
On the 16th they crossed a range of moun¬ 
tains near the village of Murth-lang, at an 
elevation of 6,650 feet, and jessed through 
magnificent forests of oaks, firs, rhododen¬ 
drons, and ash. “The headman of the 
village,” says the General, “ the oldest man 
I have seen in these mountains, crawled out 
to meet me, knelt at my feet, and taking off 
his blanket, said we were gods, and that 
* their all ’ was at our disposal; women and 
children flocked round us; they told us Lal¬ 
burah, who owned their village, wanted them 
again to fight us; but that, as they saw we did 
not come to take their wives and children, they 
refused, and feared they would suffer for their 
refusal.” Next day they marched to Chumfai, 
Lalburah’s chief village, which they found 
deserted. “ In the centre of the village was 
the tomb of Vonolel, an elevated platform 
surrounded by a palisading, on every point of 
which were hung skulls of metnas, elephants, 
deer, tigers, &c., while in the centre, on a 
pole, was the head of a fresh-slain Sukti, 
with his arm and foot.” The work of the 
expedition was now done. They had sub¬ 
dued the tribes of Vonpilall, Poiboy, and 
Vonolel; they had marched unmolested to 
the capital of the latter, and it now only re¬ 
mained to dictate such terms as would save 
the remainder of the villages from destruc¬ 
tion. “ I drew up the column,” says the 
General, “ round Vonolel’s tomb, addressed a 
few words to the troops, thanking them in 
the name of the Viceroy, the Government, 
and the Commander-in-Chief, for their devo¬ 
tion to the cause we had at heart, and the 


fine spirit of discipline evinced by all. Three 
cheers for her Majesty were given as the 
British colours were hoisted over a spot no 
British eye had ever before seen. The troops 
were withdrawn, and the village, consisting 
of 500 houses, was burnt. On the 18th I 
marched to Chumsin. The inhabitants, armed 
and unarmed, seemed well inclined to resist 
us, but dispersed before our steady advances. 
The troops were drawn up around the village, 
which I occupied by a detachment for the 
protection of the survey department. Here 
I dictated the terms on which alone this and 
the other villages of Lalburah would be 
spared, and warned the inhabitants that if not 
acceded to within twenty-four hours I would 
return and destroy Chumsin, to begin with. 
The terms were—first, that agents from the 
Government should have free access to Lal¬ 
burah’s villages, and transit through his 
country; secondly, that three hostages, re¬ 
sponsible for our unmolested return, should 
accompany the column to Tipai Mukh; 
thirdly, that the army taken at Monierkhal or 
Nundigram, or an equal number of their own, 
should be surrendered; and fourthly, that a fine 
of two elephants’ tusks, one set of wargons, 
one necklace, four metnas, ten goats, ten pigs, 
fifty fowls, and twenty maunds of husked 
rice, should be delivered within twenty-four 
hours. The arms were the difficulty—they 
came in by ones ; but before morning every¬ 
thing, except a small portion of rice, was de¬ 
livered.” The column was withdrawn on 
the 21st, and arrived at Tipai Mukh on March 
6th, and on the 10th at Cachar. “ The story 
of our return,” continues the General, “is soon 
told. Not a shot was fired. The villagers, 
as we retired, flocked around us; and although 
Poiboy had not come in at Sellam, his not 
doing so was the result of abject fear. Three 
of his head muntris accompanied me as 
hostages to Tipai Mukh. To have burned 
his villages, whence some thousands of in¬ 
habitants had been driven for weeks to find 
scanty shelter in the forest, would have been 
cruelty, especially as my lines of communica¬ 
tion while en route to Lalburah had never 
been harassed. This was the only case in 
which I threatened and did not keep my word. 
Scores of the inhabitants came within the 
enclosed compound of my hut, and there im¬ 
plored forgiveness and tendered submission. 
On our return to Tipai Mukh the hostages 
were released, and other Lushais, who had 
hung about us pretty nearly from first to last, 
left us with apparent regret. The Lushais 
(particularly those living in the heart of the 
country) are far from being the savages we 
supposed. They are to me a highly interest¬ 
ing, intelligent race, given at present in war 





118 HISTORY OF THE 

to savage habits, but I am convinced that 
they are capable of being brought gradually 
into a state of high civilisation.” In his field- 
force order on the breaking up of the column, 
General Bourchier remarked, “From the begin¬ 
ning of November, Avhen the troops were first 
put in motion, to the present time, every man 
lias been employed in hard work, cheerfully 
performed, often under the most trying circum¬ 
stances of heat and frost, always bivouacking 
on the mountain-side, in rude huts of grass or 
leaves, officers and men sharing the same accom¬ 
modation, marching day by day over precipi¬ 
tous mountains, rising at one time to 6,600 
feet, having made a road fit for elephants from 
Lukipur to Chipui, a distance of 103 miles. 
The spirits of the troops never flagged, and 
when they met the enemy they drove them 
from their stockades and strongholds until 
they were glad to sue for mercy. The ex¬ 
pedition from first to last has been sheer hard 
work.” 

We now turn to the proceedings of the 
Chittagong column under General Brownlow. 
Before the General’s arrival at Chittagong on 
October 26th, 1867, a great deal of prepara¬ 
tory work had been done under the orders of 
Captain Lewin, the Deputy Commissioner of 
the hill tracts, in clearing jungle for encamp¬ 
ments, running up sheds for commissariat 
stores, and temporary shelter for troops at 
different points on the banks of the Kurnafuli 
River. The Kurnafuli is navigable by river 
steamer as far as Rangamattea, a distance of 
sixty-one miles ; thence to Kassalong, seven¬ 
teen miles. Boats not drawing more than 
eighteen inches can proceed. Above this place 
to Lower Burkal it is navigable only by 
country boats drawing but a few inches of 
water. Leaving his brigade-major at Chitta¬ 
gong to receive troops and coolies on arrival, 
and forward them up the river, the General 
set out, on November 7th, with the 2nd Gur¬ 
khas and the 3rd company of sappers and 
miners, and the following day arrived at 
Rangamattea, from which the day after they 
moved to Kassalong, where the first depot was 
established. From Kassalong to Lower Bur¬ 
kal is eight miles, and Upper Burkal is two and 
a half miles farther. The General arrived at 
the latter place on the 12th, with head¬ 
quarters and two companies of the 2nd Gur¬ 
khas. The rest of the regiment followed by 
detachments, part marching, and part by boat 
from Kassalong, leaving a British officer and 
a subdivision at Kassalong, and the same 
number at Lower Burkal, for the protection of 
these posts. Upper Burkal is situate just- 
above the rapids, at a point where the river 
widens out to some three hundred yards 
across. The day after the General’s arrival 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap, CXLI. 

he was visited by the chief, Ruttun Puea, 
who expressed his desire to be friendly and 
promised assistance, though he seemed to be 
greatly alarmed at the consequences to him¬ 
self of an alliance with the British against 
the other tribes. He was assured of «future 
protection if he should behave well, and after 
spending three days in camp, during which 
he was chiefly engaged in drinking rum, he 
set out to conduct a detachment under Major 
Macintyre to Demajiri. The same day the 
General with the head-quarters proceeded by 
the river to Demajiri, which was reached on 
the 18th,—the distance from Burkal by this 
route being thirty-eight miles. “The fleet 
consisted of ten Chittagong boats (which had 
with considerable difficulty been dragged up 
the Burkal falls and rapids) and about eighty 
canoes. The river—-which runs in a clear and 
deep but sluggish stream, except at the rapids, 
which are of frequent occurrence, is on an 
average about seventy yards wide, the hills 
on either side being beautifully wooded to the 
water’s edge.” “ From the Demajiri and 
Ohipum ranges, on either side of the gorge 
we occupy,” writes the General, “ a fine view 
is obtained of the country of the Sylhus, and 
also of the Howlongs, the farthest of the 
tribes to be dealt with. The natural obstacles 
the force has to overcome are most formid¬ 
able. The mountains, rising to 4,000 and 
5,000 feet, are very difficult, and covered with 
forests to the summit, a mere track connecting 
the different villages. There are five such ranges 
to be crossed. The intervening valleys are in¬ 
tersected by rivers and streams often unford- 
able. To the troops these obstacles are of no 
account, but they must of course cause much 
delay to the movements of coolies and com¬ 
missariat. The water supply, except in the 
valleys, also is limited.” On December 1st 
the march was commenced to Yanunah’s 
village, where the first show of resistance 
was expected from the Sylhus. “ For some 
distance above Demajiri the Kurnafuli River 
runs through a narrow defile in a succession 
of rapids, which laden canoes cannot ascend. 
To get over this break in the water communi¬ 
cation a road had to be made along the right 
bank of the river, from the falls, where it is 
crossed by a bamboo bridge, to a spot above 
the highest of the rapids, where the stream 
again becomes navigable, and where a depot 
was established as a fresh starting-point for 
the canoes, and called Hyslop’s Ghat. For 
the river transport above Demajiri fifty canoes 
were lifted over the falls on skids, and dragged 
up the rapids to Hyslop’s Ghat. The hill 
coolies were called on for volunteers to man 
the canoes, but they begged to be decapitated 
rather than asked to go a step farther in the 






119 


Chap. CXLL] IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


direction of the much-dreaded Lushais. The 
service consequently had to be undertaken by 
the police. . From Hyslop’s Ghat to Yanunah’s 
Ghat the distance is about twelve miles.” On 
December 9th the General marched with his 
head-quarters to Lingurah’s old village (eleven 
miles), and on the 10th to Yanunah’s Ghat 
(six and a half miles), where he found Colonel 
Macpherson with six companies of his own 
regiment, and a half-company of sappers-, and 
two guns of the Peshawar mountain battery. 
On the 11th the head-quarters and four com¬ 
panies of the 2nd Gurkhas were moved for¬ 
ward to the Belkai jooms or farm-lands (four 
and a half miles), being little more than half¬ 
way up to Yanunah’s village. On the 12th 
the General followed with his staff, and next 
day was joined by the artillery and two more 
companies of Gurkhas. On the evening of 
that day a messenger who had been sent by 
Captain Lewin to the chief of the Sylhus re- 
turnedfrom Yanunah, where he hadfound four 
or five chiefs assembled, who would not per¬ 
mit him to proceed on his mission, but ordered 
him to return and inform the General that he 
was not to come any farther. The messenger, 
whose name was Lingurah, was a sub-chief 
of Euttun Puea’s tribe, and was married to a 
daughter of Savunga, the chief of the Sylhus. 
Euttun Puea having expressed doubts of 
his loyalty, his wife and child were made 
oyer to th&t chief to be kept as hostages for 
his good behaviour. The village of Yanu¬ 
nah occupies a very strong natural position 
on the Belkai portion of the Ehai Ian Klang 
range. It is situated in a slight dip or hollow 
between two peaks, 1,700 feet above the 
jooms on the western face, where the force 
was encamped ; and the ascent to it, for the 
last four hundred yards, is almost precipitous 
on every side except the north. The path 
from the jooms to the village is not, quite 
three miles, and close to the village it runs along 
a scarped rock, above which was found an 
arrangement of loose stones and boulders, sup¬ 
ported by logs of wood tied up with creepers, 
which was to do duty as an avalanche 
on the advancing troops. On the 14th two 
parties were sent out to reconnoitre the ap¬ 
proaches from the north and south. Major 
Macintyre went to the north, and on his 
approach the enemy’s pickets fired and re¬ 
treated. Having obtained the information he 
desired, he returned without loss. Colonel 
Macpherson made for the south of the village, 
where the jungle was dense and unbroken by 
jooms as on the north. Misled by his guide, 
after three hours’ hard climbing, he found 
himself on the ridge some way beyond the 
point he wished to arrive at. Late in the day 
he reached the peak overlooking the village, 


of which his leading files declared they saw 
Major Macintyre’s party in possession. Sud¬ 
denly becoming aware of their mistake, they 
dashed down among the astonished Sylhus, 
and gave them a volley as they dived into 
the jungle below. A few guns and spears 
were taken, and seven or eight of the enemy 
fell. Next morning the village was reoccu¬ 
pied by two companies, and on the 18th the 
head-quarters and other troops were moved 
up. As the latter were starting, sharp 
firing was heard in the rear, and two parties 
of G urkhas, dashing down the hill, came, within 
half a mile of the camp, upon three of their 
own men bringing letters from Yanunah’s 
Ghat, who had been attacked from behind an 
ambush. One of them was mortally wounded, 
and the two others were standing over him, 
keeping at bay twenty or thirty of the enemy, 
of whom they had each accounted for a man 
when assistance arrived. The Kukis fled and 
were pursued for some distance, and another 
of them killed. During a five days’ raid from 
Yanunah’s village to the east, Colonel Mac¬ 
pherson destroyed three villages and an im¬ 
mense amount of grain ; and in a similar raid 
of three days in a north-easterly direction up 
the valley of the Kahu Dung, Major Macintyre 
destroyed two villages, with rice granaries 
supposed to contain 8,000 maunds. He also 
captured fifty gyals or tame bisons, which 
constitute the chief wealth of the Lushais, 
and were valued at Es. 100 each. Of these 
twenty-five broke away, but the rest were 
brought into camp. “All the grain,” writes 
the General, “that falls into our hands, 
viz. unhusked rice, which we have not the 
time or the means to render fit for consump¬ 
tion, is found stored in houses on the jooms 
or patches of cultivation where it has been 
harvested, and, I believe, • constitutes the 
whole stock in hand of the Sylhus. It is of 
this year’s growth, and requires to be dried 
before it undergoes the tedious process of 
husking, which in these countries is performed 
by the women, according to the daily con¬ 
sumption of the household.” On the 27th, 
after a severe march of twelve or thirteen 
miles along the ridge, the troops arrived at 
Yanunah’s old village, three miles north of 
the Kothier Klang. Another village farther 
up was occupied, and the jooms in the neigh¬ 
bourhood destroyed. On January 2nd, 1872, 
the advanced force was at the village of 
Upper Hulien. “From this place, which is 
4,000 feet high, or rather from a peak beyond 
it 700 feet higher, where the survey had 
cleared the station the day before—for even 
at this elevation, though the undergrowth is 
not so great, the hills are clothed with forests 
to their summits — a fine view could be ob- 






120 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 


tained of the surrounding country. Sylhu' 
Savung, the capital of the chief, lay ten miles 
to the east, or a little to the north of east, 
but separated from us by a deep and difficult 
valley intersected by the head-waters of three 
rivers (running, like the ranges, north and 
south), two towards Cachar, and one into the 
Kumafuli, — a confusion of minor ranges 
and spurs involving, as we afterwards found, 
ascents and descents, aggregating in this 
comparatively short distance 4,200 feet of 
the latter and 3,300 feet of the former. 
Farther to the east, and on the third and 
fourth ranges from the one on which we 
stood, were to be seen the most important of 
the Howlong villages, and our direct road to 
their country was clearly through Savung s. 
About ten miles due north stood the deserted 
village of Lai Gnura, and eight miles beyond 
that again a large and newly built one belong¬ 
ing to the same chief, one of the sons of 
Savunga.” The deserted village was at once 
occupied, and on the 4th, Colonel Macpherson 
took the strongly stockaded village of Lai 
Gnura, losing one man and an officer and nine 
men wounded. The village was burnt and a 
large quantity of grain destroyed. On the 6th 
the main column moved forward to Lai Ngur, 
a village on the road to Savunga’s. “ This 
march of seven miles took the troops as 
many hours, and the coolies were not up 
until three hours later. Where the path did 
not ascend or descend at an angle of 35°, 
it followed the tortuous bed of a mountain 
torrent, overhung by trees and precipices, 
and blocked up with rocks and boulders, 
through which we waded and stumbled for 
three miles, chilled by the cold clammy at¬ 
mosphere, and feeling that fifty determined 
men might do as they liked with us, for there 
was no possibility of protecting our flanks. 
The Lushais engineer their tracks with con¬ 
siderable skill, and at tolerable gradients along 
the top or face of a range, and keep to the 
high ground as much as possible ; but when 
they have to cross a valley they do so by the 
shortest lines, and a day’s journey, such as I 
describe, is a fair specimen of its kind.” The 
village was taken, and on the 11th the General 
started for Sylhu Savung with 200 Gurkhas, 
a half-battery of artillery, and a half-company 
of sappers. The march was difficult and 
tedious, and finding by four in the afternoon 
that there was still before him an ascent of 
2,000 feet, and expecting more than usual 
opposition at the head-quarters of the tribe, 
he resolved to halt for the night. For the 
sake of water the spot selected, was just 
above a stream. It was covered with jungle, 
but the force had now had considerable ex¬ 
perience in bivouacking, and enough space 


was soon cleared to enable them to get 
through a very unpleasant night; “ for the 
thick mist which gathers in these valleys im¬ 
mediately after sunset penetrates everything, 
and the drip from the trees as it condenses 
can only be compared to rain. The wood 
in such places is too damp to burn, and 
altogether the situation, not unfrequent in 
this campaign, is trying to the strongest.. 
Next morning a dose of quinine was admi¬ 
nistered to every soldier and follower, and 
after a steep ascent of two hours Sylhu 
Savung was occupied without a shot being 
fired. “The village,which consisted of between 
three hundred and four hundred houses, had 
been burnt on the 7th. It occupied a fine 
position, at an elevation of 3,200 feet, with 
the river Klung-Dung, or Dullessur, flowing 
under it to the east, and two tributaries, one 
of the Gutur and another of the Kurnafuli, 
rising at its western base.” On the 21st Lai 
Jika, the village of one of Savunga’s sons, was 
attacked and taken, after which the General 
returned to Sylhu Savung. . Meanwhile the 
chief Ruttun Puea, accompanied by a.subadar 
of the police, was dispatched on a mission to 
the Howlongs. On their way they met two 
messengers, who had been sent previously 
and some Howlongs returning with the child 
Mary Winchester, who was made over to the 
subadar, and brought by him to Ruttun 
Puea’s village near Demajiri, while the chief 
continued his journey. Mary Winchester 
was forwarded to Chittagong, to remain in 
charge of the Commissioner until the wishes 
of the Government should be known with 
regard to her. Taking the unconditional 
surrender of the child as an earnest of the 
desire of the chiefs to come to terms, the 
General acceded to Ruttun Puea’s request not 
to invade Howlong territory before the 28th. 
Mary Winchester is described as a very pretty 
girl of six or seven years of age, with hazel 
eyes and good features. She talked nothing 
but Kuki, smoked a pipe, and ordered about 
the Lushais with an air of authority that 
showed she had been well treated. 

At this point in his dispatches the General 
gives the following as his impression of the 
Lushais “ The Lushais, or Kukis—for the 
former term, properly speaking, applies only 
to the family from which the chiefs of all the 
so-called tribes are descended—appear to me, 
in spite of their misdeeds, very far removed 
from the savages they are supposed to be. 
They live in comfortable houses, on high and 
healthy ranges. Their mode of cultivation 
yields the most abundant and certain crops. 
They are surrounded by pigs and poultry, 
goats and gyals. They fish and shoot, and 
brew both beer and whiskey. Their domestic 






IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


121 


Ciiap. CXLI/J 

and tribal arrangements appear most happy, 
and altogether their condition contrasts very 
favourably with that of many of our own 
subject races; so much so, that I am not 
surprised to hear that the majority of their 
captives, whom they treat as their own people, 
would look upon a return to civilisation as a 
doubtful boon. The men are of middle 
height, well-limbed and fair, with the Indo- 
Chinese type of face. Most of those who 
have hitherto fought against us are armed 
with flint muskets, but I imagine a spear or 
javelin, and the universal dao, are the more 
common weapons. We have seen no others.” 

The mission of Ruttun Puea and the 
subadar, who rejoined him after bringing 
back Mary Winchester, proved unsatisfactory. 
The Southern Howlongs expressed their readi¬ 
ness to do everything that was desired at 
Demajiri, but would not come into camp, 
while the Northern Howlongs returned no 
message whatever. The General thereupon 
determined to attack the latter. On February 
11th, Colonel Macpherson moved forward with 
a portion of the troops, and after a severe 
march of thirteen miles in a north-easterly 
direction, bivouacked within a short distance 
of Lienrikum and Chungmama, which were 
close to each other, and which the Howlongs 
burned the moment they saw the troops. 
Next day the General followed with the rest 
of the column. “ From Sylhu Savung to 
the Dullessur is a steep descent of 2,300 
feet; the path then ascends 1,500 feet, runs 
along a ridge for a short way, and again de¬ 
scends 1,100 feet into the bed of a stream, 
which it follows for a couple of miles; another 
spur of 1,200 feet is crossed, and then there 
is a final ascent of 1,600 feet on to a rolling 
upland, the drainage of which flows into the 
Dullessur on the west, and Kolodyne to 
the east, and on which the two villages were 
situated. This finishes a day’s journey that 
it took the greater part of the coolies twelve 
hours to accomplish.” Next day Captain 
Lewin, who was out with a reconnoitring 
party, induced some Howlongs to come into 
camp, who stated that they had no wish 
to make any opposition, and that their 
chiefs were ready to come and make their 
submission. On being informed that until 
the latter presented themselves the advance 
would be continued, some of the headmen 
replied that they would convey the message 
to Lalburah and Benkoea, and started off 
at once. On the 14th the force was moved 
to Chungmama. “To the east of it, and 
beyond the deep valley of the Kolodyne, 
at a distance of one and two days’ march, 
were the villages of Benkoea, Sangbunga, 
and their mother (the widow of Lalpi- 
vol. in. 


tang), consisting of three or four hundred 
houses each. On the Mowi Klang, and 
about as far to the north, were four 
others belonging to the brothers Lalburah 
and Jatoma, containing altogether about a 
thousand houses. The ranges on which these 
two great groups of villages stand are 
between 4,000 and 5,000 feet high, and 
have been so well cleared for cultivation 
that they could be ascended through a suc¬ 
cession of jooms and open ground likely to 
afford full scope for both artillery and rifle 
fire, and inviting attack under the most 
favourable circumstances.” Next day a re¬ 
connoitring party came upon a small body of 
the enemy, who said that their chiefs were 
then on their way to make their submission, 
and that if they were met by a large armed 
party they would probably get alarmed and 
go back. On the 16th the chiefs Sangbunga 
and Benkoea arrived, preceded by their head¬ 
men, who said that, under the assurances 
given by Ruttun Puea, the chiefs were anxious 
to make their submission and to comply with 
the British demands. The question as to 
what the demands should be then came to 
be considered. Captain Lewin was of opinion 
that the restoration of the captives and an 
oath of friendship towards the British Govern¬ 
ment, with the pledge to commit no more 
raids and to allow free access to their 
country now and always, were the only 
terms that should be insisted on. “ He 
thought,” writes the General, “that to demand 
hostages for future good behaviour, or to 
propose any conditions that might not be 
complied with, or be evaded hereafter, would 
be impolitic. Though both these chiefs were 
concerned in the Cachar raids of last year, 
he deprecated the imposition of any special 
penalty on that account, as likely to alarm 
them and put them to flight. They were 
represented to be in the most abject fear of 
treachery on our part. The old story of Lall 
Chokla—the chief who is said to have given 
himself up at Silhet or Cachar many years 
ago, on a promise or expectation of pardon, 
and to have been afterwards transported for 
life—was revived, and it was quite clear that 
no considerations whatever would have any 
weight against those of personal safety, of 
which they said they could not be sure until 
Captain Lewin had sworn friendship. Before 
taking the oaths our ultimatum had to be 
given, and on this it depended whether they 
remained or absconded. If they absconded, 
there would of course be no further hope of 
seeing them or any other of the Howlong 
chiefs again, and, together with the captives, we 
should lose the opportunity of showing that 
our object was not retaliation, but security 

K 




122 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


against future raids, and to instil into tliem 
some ideas of our policy in addition to our 
power, which had been amply demonstrated. 
In a congratulatory telegram, dated only a 
few days before his death, the late lamented 
Viceroy, while doing me the honour to express 
his pleasure at the recovery of Mary Win¬ 
chester, had referred to the liberation of the 
captives as one of the main objects of the expedi¬ 
tion. This object would certainly be sacrificed 
by a persistence in punitive measures. The 
Howlongs had removed all their grain and 
property out of our reach, and with the 
example of the Sylhus before them, as well 
as the most exaggerated ideas of our guns 
and rifles, it could not reasonably be supposed 
that they would stand and take any punish¬ 
ment by fighting. We might burn their 
empty villages, or they would probably do so 
themselves immediately before we advanced ; 
but there our present ability to hurt them would 
end. After a careful consideration of all the 
circumstances of the case, I determined to 
accept their submission on the terms pro¬ 
posed by Captain Lewin; and the next day 
that officer, to whom I left all personal com¬ 
munications with the chiefs, went through 
the required ceremonies with Sangbunga, 
Benkoea, and Ckungmama, each of whom, 
in addition to the usual peace-offerings of 
elephants’ tusks, gongs, and gyals, presented 
him with either his gun, dao, or plume of 
bhimraj feathers (worn only by chiefs), as 
tokens of allegiance and friendship. They 
expressed a wish that Captain Lewin should 
settle on the Sirthay or Demajiri range, where 
they might come and see him, which they 
could not do while he lived at such a distance 
as Kassalong or Rangamattea. On the 18th, 
Lalburah, Jatoma, and Lienrikum—who, to¬ 
gether with those already named, represent 
the whole of the Northern Howlong villages— 
came in and made their submission on similar 
conditions. The same day the first instal¬ 
ment of captives was sent in. From the 
evidence of the latter, Captain Lewin was 
satisfied we should get all that survived of 
those that were taken from Alexandrapur 
and the adjacent garden—the only places on 
the Cachar side that the Howlongs are known 
to have raided. They (the captives), in de¬ 
scribing their adventures subsequent to being 
carried off, said that, some days before reach¬ 
ing the limits of the latter tribe, the Kukis 
broke into three or four parties, and that of 
these one only, to which Mary Winchester 
and some twenty of their number belonged, 
came as far south as Sangbunga’s. It may, 
therefore, very fairly be assumed that the 
others went to more northern villages, and 
that Sukpilal or his sons, through whose 


[Chap. CXLI. 

country the raiders must have passed, which 
they could not have done without invitation 
or consent, shared in the expedition as well 
as its results. Each tribe, I believe, has its 
own raiding ground, which is very jealously 
preserved. As a rule, the Shendus prey on 
Aracan and the southern portion of the 
Chittagong hill-tracts, the Howlongs on the 
country to the south and east of the Kurna- 
fuli, while the Sylhus attack Hill Tipperah. 
The more northern tribes resort to the Silhet 
and Cachar districts, and having the credit of 
doing so, would naturally object to incur sus¬ 
picion and the chances of a visitation for raids 
in which they did not participate, and which 
they would certainly prevent. Immediately 
after the submission of the chiefs, and during 
the remainder of the time that the force was 
at Chungmama, the camp was crowded with 
Howlongs—men, women, and children—and 
a brisk trade in every kind of local produce 
was carried on. The impression left on our 
minds was, I think, that the Lushais could 
bear comparison with most Eastern races in 
physique, natural intelligence, and character. 
Their thews and sinews and well-turned 
limbs indicated health and freedom from want 
or toil; their faces showed a happy genial 
disposition, without any expression of cruelty, 
and very little of courage. They were all 
clad in homespun cotton—the sheets or 
plaids worn by the men being often a dark 
tartan, and the highland sporran a frequent 
article of apparel among them.” On the 
23rd the General returned to Sylhu Savung, 
and on the 27th Lai Gnura and Lai Jika (the 
sons of Savunga), Yanunah, Yandula, and 
three other chiefs, representing the whole of 
the Sylhu tribe, made their submission under 
the same forms and conditions as the How¬ 
longs. Savunga’s absence was excused on 
the grounds of old age and illness. When 
the chiefs were asked why they had persisted 
in their opposition and shut their ears to the 
repeated messages of peace conveyed to them, 
they replied that their young men would 
fight in spite of their elders, and they had 
been told the most alarming stories of the 
intentions of the British, and they (the chiefs) 
were afraid to put themselves in their power. 
The General now returned to Demajiri, where 
he learned that the Southern Howlongs had 
sent a certain number of captives, but that 
the chiefs hesitated about coming in to make 
their submission personally. Captain Lewin 
recommended a show of force in the direction 
of Sypuea and Yandula, whose villages lay 
to the east of Ruttun Puea, which he con¬ 
sidered would be sufficient to make the 
chiefs present themselves. On March 7th 
the General marched his troops forty miles 



Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


123 


over as bad a country as any they had 
yet encountered, and on the third day, 
after a final ascent of more than 4,000 feet, 
reached Sypuea’s village, when the chief 
came out to meet Captain Lewin, and did all 
that was required of him. Another forward 
movement was made on the 12th, when the 
troops were met at the Dullessur River 
hy Vantonga, whose captives were brought 
into camp at midnight, “ weeping bitterly at 
parting with their captors.” The next morn¬ 
ing Sangliena, the eldest son of Vandula, 
came in and made his submission on behalf 
of his father. The General then returned to 
Sypuea’s. It was hoped that the relationship 
of Ruttun Puea to Sypuea and Yandula—he 
being married to their sister—would prove 
the means of bringing the last two within 
the same pale of civilisation as the first. 
Sypuea is described as “ a very distinguished- 
looking and intelligent Lushai, who so far 
succumbed to the animal magnetism of Cap¬ 
tain Lewin as to express a desire to accom¬ 
pany him and Ruttun Puea to Calcutta, which 
the latter chief is quite prepared for.” The 
task of the expedition being now completed, 
the return march was made to Demajiri, 
whence the troops were dispatched to their 
respective stations. The results of the four 
months’ campaign are thus summed up by 
the General:—-“The complete subjection of 
two powerful tribes, inhabiting upwards of 
sixty villages, of which twenty that resisted 
were attacked and destroyed; the personal 
submission of fifteen chiefs, and their solemn 
engagement on behalf of themselves and tri¬ 
butaries for future good behaviour; the 
recovery of Mary Winchester, and the libera¬ 
tion of upwards of one hundred British sub¬ 
jects who had from time to time been made 
captives. In addition, the operations of the 
column, which, by frequent departures from 
the main line of advance, covered a large 
area, have enabled the officers of the sur¬ 
vey to triangulate 8,000 square miles of 
country, more than half of which was sur¬ 
veyed in detail, and also to complete the 
connection between the Cachar and Chitta¬ 
gong districts.” The General records his 
belief that if Captain Lewin “ were located 
with two or three hundred men for the next 
year, or even a few months, on the Demajiri 
range, while the impressions of our power 
and the friendliness of our intentions are 
still fresh, he would bring the Sylhus and 
Howlongs into the same relations with us as 
Ruttun Puea and his men, to the permanent 
pacification of at least a portion of his frontier. 
Such a measure would be quite feasible with¬ 
out any increase to the local police force, as 
the nature of the position in question, apart 


from political considerations, would render 
unnecessary so many of the present small 
posts, which seem only to invite attack. It 
would also, in addition to its other recom¬ 
mendations, insure the health and efficiency 
of a certain number of men who are now 
every year prostrated by fever at a time 
when their services are most wanted.” The 
casualties in this expedition against the 
Lushais were, in General Bourchier’s column, 
8 fighting-men killed and 14 wounded, and 85 
who died from various causes. Of camp- 
followers, 2 were killed and 5 wounded, 
Avhile 886 died from various causes. In 
General Brownlow’s column, of fighting-men 
there were 4 killed and 13 wounded, while 
of the non-combatants there died in all 118. 

Much useful work was done by the sur¬ 
veying parties which accompanied the two 
columns under Generals Bourchier and Brown- 
low. The northern party, under Captain 
Badgeley, started for Cachar, and accomplished 
about 600 square miles of triangulation in 
connection with the great Trigonometrical 
Survey, besides nearly 200 miles of linear 
route survey and 4,800 square miles of topo¬ 
graphy, extending to 93° 30 J east longi¬ 
tude, and nearly to 23? of north latitude. 
The country surveyed includes the whole 
course of the Tui-vi and its tributaries, whose 
waters flow into the Barak River at Tipai 
Mukh. A part of the watershed between the 
affluents of the Barak and those of the Kola- 
dan was also carefully mapped out. The 
southern party, under Major Macdonald, 
started from Chittagong, and completed a 
triangulation of 2,300 square miles and a 
topographical survey of 1,700, in connection 
with the east frontier series of the Trigono¬ 
metrical Survey, over a tract of country 
lying between 23° 30' and 23° 45' north lati¬ 
tude, and 92° 30' and 93° east longitude. A 
large portion of the water-parting between 
the Cachar and Chittagong and Akyab water 
system was thus determined. The Lushais 
raise abundant crops of rice, cotton, melons, 
gourds, maize, vetches, and chillies. The 
cotton-bolls, which are of vast size, bear very 
fine thread with short staple, and the made- 
up cotton is unrivalled for strength and 
durability. The people are well sheltered, 
well clothed, sleeping softly on thick cotton 
counterpanes, and well fed. Like the Chinese, 
to which race they belong, they eat dog’s 
flesh, and everything, in short, that flies, 
runs, crawls, or creeps, “ as well as the grub 
in its antenatal tomb.” Their houses are 
built on raised piles, the family living above, 
and the pigs, which do their scavenging, below 
Their rivers teem with fish, and the forests 
furnish them with ample sport. The Lushais 




124 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


[Chap. CXLI. 


are represented as far more civilised than 
any of the aboriginal races of India. Their 
social polity is described as a kind of com¬ 
munism under the despotic rule of an hereditary 
chief. They are said to be an eminently 
pious race. Before eating his fowl or pig, 
the Lushai invariably kills it in front of his 
god—“ a kind of stool four inches square, 
surrounded by a small fence hung with cotton 
wool dyed in bright colours.” They are also 
great hunters, flying at all kinds of game, from 
an elephant to a field-rat, from a hornbill to 
a wagtail, and very clever they are in shooting, 
snaring, or otherwise catching their prey. 
War with them consists of surprises and 
bush-fighting, and in their first brush with 
the sepoys, the latter were called upon not to 
stick like cowards in the open, but to come 
into the jungle like men. Before setting out 
on the war-path they dress themselves in 
their best—“ a large square cloth or two put 
on together, according to the temperature,” 
and passed under the right arm, “ with two 
corners thrown in opposite directions over 
the left shoulder.” The Lushais are fairer 
than the Bengalis, and average five feet six 
in height, with full muscular figures. They 
have well-shaped heads and good foreheads, 
with straight black or brown hair, and fea¬ 
tures unmistakably of the Chinese type, and 
an open, bold, and generally pleasing expres¬ 
sion. They are great smokers, and drink a 
peculiar fermented liquor called seepa, out of 
cows’ horns, or sucked through bamboo 
tubes. 

The hills measured by the northern party 
increased gradually from 3,650 to 7,000 feet. 
From the highest point reached, the loftiest 
ranges lie north-east and south-south-east, 
and between these and Burmah, which is 
shut out by another elevated ridge, the country 
is crossed by lower lines of hills stretching 
from north to south, and rising in height as 
they approach the watershed line of the 
Barak and the Koladan. The hill ranges 
traversed by the southern party varied in 
height from 2,700 feet in the Sailu country 
to 6,000 feet in that of the Shindus, while 
one distant peak measured 8,000 feet. ‘‘ Look¬ 
ing down,” writes Major Macdonald, “from 
any commanding point, the whole looks like 
a series of great mountain waves in a sea of 
forest, dotted here and there with broad 
patches of yellow light which mark the culti¬ 
vation.” These hill ranges are all sandstone, 
apparently of recent formation, and are 
believed to be totally devoid of mineral 
wealth. Splendid lemons, however, grow 
there, and the tea-plant has been found on 
the Towrong Hill. The general aspect of 
the country traversed by the northern party 


may be gathered from the following passage 
in Captain Tanner’s report:—“ I have de¬ 
scribed the panorama from this point as 
embracing an extensive view of mountain 
and of valley, of serrated ridge-like mountain 
chains piled one behind the other, and rising 
higher and higher towards the east until the 
view in the far-off distance is backed up by a 
faint blue mountain range of great altitude, 
of mountains separated from each other by 
deep land-locked valleys, and by streams 
walled in between high abrupt ridges, and over 
mountain and valley, from the highest peaks 
down to the very bottom of the dark ravines, 
there is a clothing of the most profuse vege¬ 
tation of every hue and colour. The shades 
which towards evening overspread the val¬ 
leys, and which gradually creep up the sides 
of those hills which are not far distant, and 
the shadows which fall across the ranges 
beyond, are of the deepest purple blue; the 
evening sun at the same time lighting up the 
more prominent peaks and spurs with a most 
exquisite, rich golden rose. The lovely tints 
which pervade the landscape on a bracing 
December evening, when the air is pure and 
clear, far surpass in vividness anything I have 
before seen in any part of the world. In no 
other country has it been my fortune to see 
such wonderful effects of aerial perspective. 
Then, too, the foreground is as striking as 
the rest of the picture ; there are long cul¬ 
tivated, half-cleared slopes, dotted here and 
there with gigantic forest trees, which, from 
their size, have resisted the axe and the fire 
of the cultivator when preparing his lands 
for crops. Artistic groups of graceful trees, 
intermixed with bamboo, adorn these slopes, 
and at your feet lie deep gorges, whose sides 
are clothed with tropical vegetation of the 
most luxuriant description. Pleasantly situated 
in the open cultivated spots may be seen the 
cheerful, neatly built bamboo houses of the 
cultivators, thus giving a finish, as it were, 
to one of the most striking pictures that can 
be imagined.”* 

In the quarrels on the Persian Gulf, Lord 
Mayo interfered only when the interests of 
British subjects were endangered. After his 
expulsion from Muscat in 1868 Syad Selim 
betook himself to Bunder Abbas, leaving his 
brother-in-law, Syad bin Ghas, master of the 
position. Turned out of Bunder Abbas in 
March, 1869, through the cunning of his 
minister, Haji Ahmed, with the loss of his 
last remaining vessels and their contents, 
he found an asylum at Debay on the Arabian 
coast with a Wahabi chief, named Sadairi, 
who holds that part of the country for the 
Amir of Riad, where he plotted the over- 
* Condensed from Allen's Indian Mail. 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


125 


Chap. CXLI.] 

throw of the usurper. The government of \ 
the latter was far from popular, and quarrels 
among the tribes along the coast were un¬ 
ceasing. In one of these a gunboat of the 
Bombay marine was fired upon from a fort 
close to Muscat. The insult, however, was 
speedily apologized for. On an explanation 
being demanded by Colonel Pelly, the Political 
Agent in the Persian Gulf, the ruler of Muscat 
tried to get out of his awkward position by 
saying that the Muscatine authorities had 
expected an invasion from Zanzibar, and they 
had fired on the gunboat thinking her to be a 
Zanzibar vessel. Disturbances having been 
created in the Persian Gulf by the pirates of 
Bahrein, a naval expedition under Captain 
Douglas and Colonel Pelly was dispatched to 
that island. Proceeding to Maharag Fort, 
the boats were run in, and Mohammed bin 
Khalifa, the principal pirate chief, who was 
supposed to be confined in the fort, was 
demanded, and was surrendered by the garri¬ 
son, who found themselves completely sur¬ 
prised. Another of the pirate chiefs, Nazir 
bin Ahmed, was caught at sea, endeavouring 
to escape, by a pearl merchant, and delivered 
up to the commander of the expedition. 
Manameh Fort was next attacked, and, a 
breach being made, a landing was effected, 
when the fort was found to have been aban¬ 
doned. It was then rendered untenable. 
The fort of Maharag was given up without 
a shot being fired. Soon afterwards three 
principal chiefs surrendered. The hereditary 
chief, Esau bin Ali, was then placed in power, 
and the tort delivered over to him, amid 
the rejoicings of the people of the town. 
The five chiefs were taken prisoners to Bom¬ 
bay. Meanwhile Syad Selim had left Debay 
and was wandering about the coast with a 
few followers, always saying that he was 
going to recover his kingdom, but never 
attempting to do it. About the middle of 
1870, Syad Turki, Selim’s brother, who had 
for some time been an exile in Bombay, ex¬ 
changed that city for Debay, where he struck 
up a friendship with the chief of that place and 
with some neighbouring chiefs, and endea¬ 
voured to raise an army to oust Azan bin 
Ghas. Proceeding to Bunder Abbas, he un¬ 
furled his flag, and soon had around him four 
hundred men, whom he dispatched to Muscat. 
Turki himself followed in a sailing vessel, but 
was pursued by Colonel Pelly, whose mission 
it was to preserve the maritime peace of the 
Gulf. Turki, however, escaped and returned 
to Bunder Abbas to await a more favourable 
opportunity. Having received encourage¬ 
ment and money from his kinsman, the Sultan 
of Zanzibar, Syad Turki landed in August 
at Soor, to the south-east of Muscat, with a 


body of Persians and Beluchis. He rapidly 
gained ground, chief after chief offering him 
assistance, until after a number of small in¬ 
decisive engagements he succeeded in catch¬ 
ing Azan bin Ghas at a disadvantage. The 
latter had been deserted by a large number of 
his followers, whom he had disappointed of 
some promised rewards. Notwithstanding 
this he proceeded with about two thousand 
men and two guns to besiege the fort of Zauk, 
held by a few of the Naim and Denah tribes. 
On his march thither he was suddenly attacked 
in the Pass of Wadi Haham, near Zauk, by 
Syad Turki’s forces. He lost several hun¬ 
dred men and both his guns, and among the 
prisoners and the slain were many chiefs of 
note. Turki then passed on to Jaalan, where 
he succeeded in winning to his side the Beni 
bu Hassan and Beni bu Ali tribes, and while 
he was thus engaged his lieutenants reduced 
to subjection the country about Mozabi. To¬ 
wards the close of January, 1871, the portion 
of Turki’s forces under Syf bin Sulliman occu¬ 
pied the country around Kuce. They were 
attacked near Fulluj by Syad Azan, who was 
repulsed with loss. They then attacked and 
took the town of Mattoah, when Syad Azan 
and Syf hin Sulliman were killed. Next day 
Ibrahim bin Ghas fled from Muscat, which 
was taken on the following day, February 1st, 
by Turki’s troops. Turki afterwards led his 
successful troops against Syad Ibrahim, 
whom he besieged in Sohar. When a breach 
had been made and the assault was imminent 
Ibrahim came to terms. It was arranged 
that he should retain Sohar and the coast¬ 
line from Sullan to El Ivhaborels, the remain¬ 
ing ports and districts being given up to Syad 
Turki. On August 8th the intimation of his 
recognition as ruler of Muscat by the British 
Government was intimated to Syad Turki, 
when a royal salute of twenty-one guns was 
fired from one of her Majesty’s ships. Many 
circumstances combined to render the event 
of special interest and importance for the 
people of Oman, and it was generally hoped 
and expected that it would mark the inaugura¬ 
tion of a more peaceful era. 

The re-establishment of order in the Gulf 
tended greatly to develop the growing trade 
of that region. In May no fewer than two 
hundred chests of opium were shipped from 
the Gulf to Aden on their way to China. 
Colonel Pelly’s Report of 1870 gives an ac¬ 
count of the nature and extent of the trade of 
India with the Persian Gulf and Oman. In 
1844 the trade with Bombay amounted to 
£792,460. In 1866 it amounted to nearly 
£3,500,000. In the trade with Calcutta there 
had been an increase of nearly Rs. 3,000,000 
in the previous five years. Karachi in 



126 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


twenty years showed an increase of up¬ 
wards of Rs. 800,000. No estimate is given 
of the Madras trade, much of it passing 
through Bombay. The highest total of the 
three ports above named for any one year 
was £4,055,579. Besides these the Malabar 
coast, Hatch, and Kattiawar contributed be¬ 
tween them £200,000 ; Jedda and the Red 
Sea £120,000; the opium trade with China 
£300,000, and the pearl fisheries £750,000. 
With the Tigris and Euphrates valleys there 
was a trade worth £30,000 a year, and 
the same amount w r as contributed by Zanzi¬ 
bar and the African coast. The trade with 
Java was reckoned at £200,000, with England 
and America at about the same figure, and 
with Mauritius at £40,000. The gross total 
for one year was not far short of £6,000,000 
sterling, besides the trade carried on in small 
coasting craft. Eight years before, no steamer 
traded in the Gulf, but in 1870 steamers plied 
at an average of one a week. A line of 
steamers from England and another from 
Constantinople were about to be started. 

In connection with this subject the follow¬ 
ing description of places in the Persian Gull 
by a correspondent of the Times of India will 
be found interesting :— 

“At 6 a.m. of- the 2nd January, 1872, we 
anchored in the sheltered roadstead of Mus¬ 
cat, the capital and chief port of Oman, now 
in possession of Iman Syad Turki. The 
water is deep enough for large ships to anchor 
very near the shore, and at a few miles east¬ 
ward on our track we had, according to the 
charts, passed over soundings of 2,020 fathoms 
with mud bottom, or depths of over two and 
a quarter miles. The hills, several of which 
are fortified, rise from 500 to 600 feet high, 
far higher than the bay is deep, while the 
mountains a few miles to the south-west rise 
to the height of 6,000 or even 8,000 feet. 
In Muscat there was very little shipping 
•—H.M. S. Bullfinch and a few country 
traders being all. The city contains about 
20,000 inhabitants, chiefly Arabs, though 
there are many Sidhis or Africans from 
Zanzibar, and a sprinkling of Hindu Borahs. 
It is poorly built, though the houses along 
the beach, some of which were erected by the 
Portuguese, present a strong and pleasing 
appearance. In the forts are a number of 
rusty old iron guns of various calibre. Some 
appear to have been spiked, and then again 
bored out, as some of the touch-holes are an 
inch or more in diameter. The forts, though 
presenting outwardly a new appearance, are 
tumbling to ruin, having been greatly injured 
in the disturbances and fights connected with 
the late succession to the government, about 
two or three years ago. There is a bazaar 


[Chap. CXLI, 

well stocked with dates and halwa, fruit and 
vegetables, piece goods, &c.; but it is narrow, 
tortuous, and dirty, and covered with mats to 
defend the goods from' sun or rain. The 
Portuguese, it will he remembered, held this 
place in the time of their maritime prosperity 
from 1507 to 1648, when probably it had a 
greater trade than at present,—though it has 
even now a trade with India and China ; while 
a few small native vessels are built here. 
There are one or two English merchants or 
agents, and a surgeon, besides Major Ross, 
the English Consul. 

‘ ‘ A little more than a day under steam brought 
us, early on the morning of January 4th, to 
Bunder Abbas, or Gombroon, where our vessel 
moored beside the hulk of the SS. Coromandel, 
long known in Bombay, but now used here 
as a store-ship. Bunder Abbas is in a barren¬ 
looking region, on the southern slope of lofty 
hills, on the top of which snow rested, it having 
fallen a day or two previously; thermometer 
69° F. The town, which may contain 5,000 
inhabitants, is mud-walled, and is badly built, 
—the houses being of mud and plaster, and in 
some instances stone or brick. The residence 
of the native Persian Governor, who has just 
been in prison for debt, is the best built. It 
is said to have been the old Dutch factory. 
Trade was transferred from Ormuz to here in 
1622 by Shah Abbas, who, with the aid of 
the English, drove the Portuguese from the 
island and port of Ormuz, about twelve or 
fifteen miles to the south-east. The bazaar 
is well stocked with fruit and vegetables, 
oranges being in great plenty. Piece goods 
and other European as well as Chinese articles 
are also sold. But like Muscat the streets, if 
such they can be called, are narrow and tor¬ 
tuous, and roofed over with matting wherever 
there are shops. The island of Ormuz, which 
was passedjust before we anchored here, was 
formerly held by the Portuguese from 1507, 
when it was captured by D’Albuquerque, the 
founder of Portuguese power in the East, till 
1622, and was a port of great trade, with a 
town of 4,000 houses and 40,000 inhabitants. 
The ruins of this may yet be seen on the north 
side of the island, where there are an old fort 
and tower. There are not probably now more 
than a few hundred inhabitants—fishermen 
and salt-workers ; for the sea abounds with 
fish, and the island with salt and other minerals. 
The peaks of several of the hills resemble cones 
or hay-ricks. This island must have been a 
place of much wealth in the days of Milton, 
who, in his ‘ Paradise Lost,’ alludes to the 
‘ wealth of Ormuz and of Ind.’ The strait 
is also referred to by Nearchus, who passed 
through it nearly 2,200 years ago, with the 
fleet and army of Alexander, on his voyage 




Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


127 


from tire Indus to the Tigris. After a pleasant 
sail amid picturesque islands, we arrived early 
next morning off Linga, having passed Larak 
and Bassadore on our way. The town of 
Linga contains probably from G,000 to 
7,00(J inhabitants; and it is by far the 
prettiest and most imposing town I have yet 
seen in the Gulf. The bouses of stone and 
plaster are well built, and stretch for nearly 
two miles along the shore. In one place they 
form a pretty crescent around a small bay. 
At another place a wall or breakwater protects 
a large dock or shipbuilding yard, for the 
construction of native vessels ; while at the 
back of all the houses, and peeping out from 
among them, is a green border of tall feathery 
date-palm trees. The bazaar was busy in the 
morning, and was well stocked with fruits, 
vegetables, and European goods. But the 
streets, like those elsewhere noted, were in 
many places scarcely wide enough for two 
persons to pass, and hardly admit of carrying 
an umbrella, though this is not much needed, 
as in many parts the streets where the shops 
are are covered with mats, like the bazaars in 
Canton and other places in China. There is 
everywhere a great want of sanitary arrange¬ 
ments, both for the sake of health and decency; 
though Linga is perhaps better in this respect 
than most places on the Persian coast. Indeed, 
its well-built houses and pleasing and even 
imposing appearance I am disposed to think 
entitle it to be called the Brighton of these 
parts, if not of Persia.” 

On August 31st, 1871, Lord Mayo held a 
durbar at Simla for the reception of the chiefs 
of the Hill States between the Jamna and 
Sutlej. The introductions having been com¬ 
pleted and the khilluts or robes of honour con¬ 
ferred, his Excellency addressed the chiefs as 
follows: — 

“Rajahs, Chiefs, and Thakurs,—I rejoice 
to see you here to-day, coming, as you do, to 
pay homage to the Queen in the person of her 
representative, and to show your friendly feel¬ 
ings towards the British Government. 

“ For a long time, under its protecting rule, 
the chiefs and people of these Sub-IIimalayan 
hills have not heard the voice of war ; safety 
everywhere prevails; crime is happily scarce; 
serious disputes are rare ; the industrious cul¬ 
tivator takes undisturbed from the steep hill¬ 
side such produce as it can yield ; and for fifty- 
six .years profound peace has prevailed in all 
your villages—from the snowy peaks to the 
plain—from the Sutlej to the Jamna. 

“ Since the days of the Gurkha war, you 
have ever evinced towards our Sovereign the 
most unwavering loyalty; on some occasions, 
when opportunity offered, you have given 
practical proof of the sentiments you entertain. 


“lam happy to think that in no part of 
Hindustan are chiefs and people better affected 
towards British rule than in the Cis-Sutlei 
Hills. 

“ I know that you will always continue in 
this course, and in return let me assure you 
that you will ever receive the constant protec¬ 
tion of this Government; that your rights, 
your property, and your dignity will ever bo 
maintained. All we ask is, that you will dis¬ 
countenance and absolutely forbid oppression 
in every form within your states, and do what 
lies in your power to assist, improve, educate, 
and enrich your dependants and your ryots—- 
that you will discourage the evil-disposed and 
promote and reward the good. Thus will your 
states flourish, your revenues increase, you and 
your families maintain your ancient rank and 
position, and command the respect of all. 

“ In the present Lieutenant-Governor of the 
Punjab and his officers, to whose peculiar care 
your interests are committed, you will find 
disinterested councillors and true friends. 
Apply, then, freely to them when you are in 
want of assistance and advice. 

“ I now bid you farewell, assuring you that 
it will always give me the greatest gratifica¬ 
tion to hear of your health, prosperity, and 
happiness.” 

On September 20th, 1871, Calcutta society 
was thrown into consternation by the murder 
of Chief Justice Norman, who was proceeding 
to assume his usual judicial functions when 
the deed was committed. Mr. Norman had 
just ascended the steps in front of the Town 
Hall, and had scarcely put his foot within the 
vestibule, when a man, who had been concealed 
in a doorway, sprang- out and stabbed him in 
the back. The Judge turning round was 
stabbed a second time in the abdomen. He 
then ran backwards, and endeavoured to keep 
off his assailant with stones and bricks which 
he picked up on the way, until help came from 
a native, who knocked down the assassin, 
while others wrested the knife from his hands 
and secured him. Mr. Norman died early 
the following morning, and was followed to 
the grave by members of all sections of the 
community, among whom regret was universal. 
The murderer proved to be a Punjabi, named 
Abdullah. Being a Mohammadan, his act 
was popularly ascribed to the Wahabis, but it 
is probable that private vengeance was mixed 
with the motive, since Amir Khan, the chief 
person interested in it, had been detained in 
custody under Mr. Norman’s warrant, upon a 
charge of treason and conspiracy at Patna, and 
a motion by counsel for his release had been 
negatived by the decision of this judge. The 
murderer, however, expiated his crime on the 
gallows without breathing a word of confession 




128 


[Chap. CXLI. 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


which could implicate any comrade in any pre¬ 
concerted plot. His own story was that he 
went to the Judge to present a petition, and 
on his refusing to take it he was seized with a 
frenzy which led him to take a sudden and, as 
it proved, a murderous revenge. Whatever 
was the real motive of the crime, the leading 
Mohammadans of Calcutta lost no time in 
declaring their abhorrence of the act, and 
expressing their heartfelt grief at the murder 
of “ one of the most upright and conscien¬ 
tious judges that ever sat on the bench of 
the Calcutta High Court.” Mr. Justice 
Phear described his colleague’s death as a 
public calamity, “because a more Upright, 
honest judge than Mr. Justice Norman never 
sat in any court; a more generous noble- 
minded gentleman never lived to elevate, 
by the active exercise of his wide sympathy 
and lofty principles, the society in which he 
moved. He felt sure that the deed would be 
universally execrated, by men of all classes, 
colours, and creeds, wherever the name of 
Norman was known; in other words, through¬ 
out the length and breadth of Bengal.” Mr. 
Norman was the senior puisne barrister judge 
of the Bengal High Court, and had been offi¬ 
ciating as Chief Justice in the absence of Sir 
R. Couch. 

In the last month of the year died Lord 
Ellenborough, who was Governor-General of 
India from 1842 to 1844, and under whom 
Sind was absorbed into British India. From 
January to July, 1846, he filled the post of 
First Lord of the Admiralty in Sir Robert 
Peel’s Administration, and in 1858 he under¬ 
took for two months his former office of Pre¬ 
sident of the Board of Control. His spiteful 
dispatch in censure of Lord Canning has 
already been noticed. After his resignation 
he did not again take office, but he continued 
to be a most powerful and eloquent speaker 
in the House of Lords. “ His own India Bill 
came to nought; but his scornful eloquence 
helped to modify more than one clause in the 
Bill which, under Lord Stanley’s guidance, 
swept away the rule of the East India Com¬ 
pany, and secured the virtual triumph of the 
competitive principle throughout every branch 
of the old Indian services.” 

The financial history of Lord Mayo’s vice¬ 
royalty is of interest on account of the reso¬ 
lute stand which at the outset of his career 
he made against deficits, the reforms he made 
in the financial system, and the success which 
attended his efforts to produce a permanent 
equilibrium between revenue and expendi¬ 
ture. 

Sir Richard Temple’s financial statement 
was delivered on March 6th, 1869. The de¬ 
ficit in 1867-68 amounted to £1,610,157, 


which rose in 1868-69 to £2,801,244, in¬ 
cluding £1,880,773 spent on extraordinary 
works. For 1869-70 the revenue was esti¬ 
mated at £49,840,840, which was expected to 
leave a surplus of £52,650, after all ordinary 

expenses had been paid. The extraordinary pub¬ 
lic works were to cost rather over £3,500,000, 
which was to be covered by a loan . of 
£5,000,000. Instead of the license-tax, which 
yielded £500,000, an income-tax of one per 
cent, was to be levied on all incomes, alike, 
which exceeded Rs. 500 a year. This was 
expected to produce £900,000. No returns 
of individual incomes were to be called for, 
but time was to be allowed to every one to 
appeal against his assessment. £12,850,000 
was the estimated military outlay, and 
£3,202,061 was the sum required for the pay 
of troops and establishments at home. The 
cost of ordinary public works, such as bar¬ 
racks, hospitals, roads, &c., was reckoned at 
a little over £6,000,000. Salt and customs 
were expected to yield some thousands more 
than in the previous year, and opium was 
rated at £500,000 less than the receipts 
of that year. Notwithstanding the “ safe, 
just, and sound ” financial policy of Sir R. 
Temple, as he himself characterized it, Lord 
Mayo found it necessary in August to publish 
the following resolution :— 

“ The Right Hon. the Governor-General in 
Council is determined that, as far as lies in 
his power, the ordinary expenses of the Empire 
shall not for the future exceed by a single 
rupee the revenue of the year. If, from 
adverse circumstances, the income declines, 
the charges of every department must be pro¬ 
portionately reduced. Political and financial 
considerations of the highest importance are 
involved in this determination, and his 
Excellency the Viceroy in Council has fully 
resolved to adhere to it. 

“ The distribution of the Budget grants is 
based on a careful investigation and com¬ 
parison of national requirements, and the 
Viceroy in Council is determined that the 
grants made shall, no matter at what incon¬ 
venience, be regarded as final, and shall 
neither be exceeded nor re-appropriated ex¬ 
cept under circumstances of peculiar exigency. 

“ His Excellency the Viceroy in Council 
expects the cordial support of every officer of 
the Government in carrying out a resolution 
which is so evidently a matter of political 
necessity, and which must commend itself to 
the judgment of every man who has given any 
thought to the financial position of this great 
Empire. 

“ The subordinate Governments are of 
course bound, as a primary duty, to use the 
most honest and rigid economy in the pre- 






Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


129 


paration of the estimates of their require¬ 
ments ; hut it would be wholly impossible for 
the Government of India to promise that, 
even after that shall have been done, the 
entire estimates will be granted without 
scrutiny or retrenchment. 

“ When, as is usually the case, the accept¬ 
ance of the demands of the several subordinate 
administrations would create a large deficit, 
the Government of India has before it only 
two alternatives—to impose additional taxa¬ 
tion, or to curtail the estimated expenditure. 

“ It is one of the most important duties of 
the Supreme Government to decide which 
alternative shall be adopted ; and if the latter, 
where, upon a comparison of the entire de¬ 
mands of the Empire, it is right and expedient 
to enforce the needful economy. 

“ The circumstances appear to the Viceroy 
in Council to exclude the propriety of re¬ 
monstrance against retrenchment by a sub¬ 
ordinate administration, except upon the most 
undeniable grounds. 

“ The completed accounts of the year 
1867-68 show an actual excess of ordinary 
expenditure over ordinary income of no less 
than £1,007,695. The revenues of 1869-70 
are expected to exceed the revenues of 1867-68 
by £1,060,397, leaving a small margin of 
£52,702, which might be allowed for increase 
of expenditure in 1869-70 over 1867-68 with 
due regard to the maintenance of an equi¬ 
librium. The military estimates, however, 
after the exercise of all possible economy, 
show an increase, as compared with 1867-68, 
of £246,533, and the ordinary charges of the 
Public Works Department show an increase 
of £50,781, so that the Government of India 
had to meet a net deficiency of £244,612, 
either by reducing the estimated civil ex¬ 
penditure by that amount below the actual 
expenditure of 1867-68, or by imposing 
additional taxation. 

“Having, in the exercise of its high func¬ 
tions, rejected this latter alternative, the 
Government of India distributed the deficit 
in the manner it deemed most fair and most 
expedient among the several subordinate 
Governments and administrations.” 

This resolution was followed by a General 
Order in which Lord Mayo expressed a doubt 
as to the amount of energy shown by the 
Local Governments in assessing and collect¬ 
ing the income-tax. He was further dis¬ 
satisfied with the mode of administering the 
license and certificate taxes, and counselled 
greater efforts to realise the income-tax, and 
so secure to the State its just dues. In 
September a long dispatch was sent by the 
Indian Government to the Secretary of State, 
containing revised estimates for the year, and 
von. m. 


“ earnestly ” entreating all the assistance and 
support that could be given them in their 
attempts to reduce “the present enormous 
charges for the army,” and in their efforts to 
make arrangements whereby the income should 
always be in excess of the expenditure. The 
following are disconnected extracts from the 
dispatch :—■ 

“ The entire deficit now estimated in the 
current year is £1,727,402. The modifica¬ 
tions on which our Budget estimate upon this 
result is based are not, we are confident, due 
to any overstrained or gloomy view of the 
situation. There are items, such as customs, 
salt, and opium, which may possibly turn out 
better than we now expect; but there are 
others, such as land revenue and stamps, of 
which we can scarcely hope that even our 
present estimate will he realised. Upon the 
whole, we shall be gratified if our present re¬ 
vision do not prove to be still too sanguine. 
And we cannot, in respect to 1869-70, find 
any relief from the thought that our embarrass¬ 
ment is due, to any considerable extent, to the 
Public Works expenditure, or to other than 
ordinary circumstances. It is true that some 
of the sources of our revenue are much de¬ 
pressed ; but it is also true that if the large 
nominal receipts of 1868-69 be deducted, the 
gross estimated revenues are very little worse 
than the gross actual revenues of that year. 
Nor are they very largely worse than those of 
any recent year. On the other hand, we have 
provided for no very unusual expenditure ; 
and the charges show no temporary or ab¬ 
normal excess. 

“We have shown that the past year, 
1868-1869, instead of closing, as was antici¬ 
pated in the Budget estimate, with a surplus 
of £243,550, or, as was anticipated in the 
regular estimate, with a deficit of £970,471, 
has closed actually with a deficit of £2,273,362. 
We have shown that the present year, 1869- 
1870, which, according to the Budget estimate 
laid before the Legislative Council in March 
last, was to close with a surplus of £52,650, 
will probably close with an actual deficit of 
more than £1,700,000. 

“ The necessary conclusion to which we are 
led is, that nothing short of a permanent im¬ 
provement in the balance now subsisting be¬ 
tween our annual income and expenditure of 
at least three millions sterling will suffice to 
place our finances in a really satisfactory 
condition. 

“ We are satisfied that there is only one 
course which we can properly follow. We 
must no longer continue to make good the 
deficit of each succeeding year by adding to 
the public debt. And Ave must determine, 
whatever be the difficulty of the task, that 

s 



130 


HISTORY OF THE 

there shall, henceforth, be no room for doubt 
that, in time of peace, our income will always 
he in excess of our ordinary expenditure. 

“We have described to your G-race the 
dangers and difficulties which, in our opinion, 
surround our present position. We must, 
however, in conclusion, assure your Grace 
that, notwithstanding the somewhat gloomy 
picture which we have been obliged to draw, 
the general aspect of affairs inspires us with 
the fullest confidence in the future prosperity 
of India. 

“ We entertain no apprehension of foreign 
invasion or domestic disturbance. . For all 
purposes of defence, and for the preservation 
of peace, our military and police organizations 
are strong and efficient. 

“ The splendid revenue of the Empire is 
contributed by a population which, compared 
with that of other countries, is lightly taxed. 
As was proved by the success of our late loan, 
the credit of India never stood higher. 

“ The enriching and civilising effects of the 
great railway and irrigation works which have, 
within the last twenty years, been constructed, 
are beginning to be felt throughout the length 
and breadth of the land. 

“ By the blessing of Providence, with the 
seasonable and plentiful rainfall of the last 
few weeks, all danger of famine and of the 
continuance of the late severe distress has 
passed away. 

“ The steady rise which has taken place in 
the value of labour must, ere long, materially 
increase the wealth and contentment of the 
people. 

“With us, then, it rests, by careful admi¬ 
nistration, and by a strict adherence to those 
simple rules of prudence and economy which, 
in the conduct of the affairs alike of nations 
and individuals, are indispensable to the 
attainment of safety and success, to use to 
the utmost extent, for the benefit of the people, 
the mighty resources of this great Empire. 

“It is because we believe that a healthy 
and permanent system of finance lies at the 
very foundation of real national progress, and 
even safety, that we commend to the most 
favourable consideration of your Grace the 
measures which we shall deem it our duty 
immediately to propose for the speedy attain¬ 
ment of the objects we have described.” 

This dispatch was followed in October by a 
resolution on a reduction of the grants for 
Public Works Expenditure. The gist of the 
reductions proposed by the Government is 
thus briefly put by the Saturday Hevieiv : 

“ What the Indian Government ask is to be 
allowed to spend a million and a quarter less. 

“ The first head under which the expenditure, 
they (the Indian G-overnment) think, is capable 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

of being reduced is that on military works and 
buildings, with which is classed the outlay on 
Government dockyards. The estimate for 
1869-70 was £1,800,000. It is proposed for 
the future to fix the grant for all military pur¬ 
poses at a million and a quarter. The expe¬ 
rience of the last few years shows that the 
necessary outlay on repairs for. this class of 
work is about one-fourth of a million, so that 
there will remain about one million for carrying 
out new works. The Government think that 
the barracks, to which the bulk of the outlay is 
devoted, may be built more cheaply. Some 
costly superfluities, it is said, may be rejected 
in the future without any loss of comfort to 
the soldier; and that there may be no doubt 
as to what is meant as the great secret of 
reduction, it is expressly stated that by more 
closely limiting the accommodation to what is 
really necessary, much economy could be 
effected, and real convenience in no way 
sacrificed. This statement will of course pro¬ 
voke much discussion, and in many quarters 
it will be said that 4 the vessel is going to be 
spoilt to save a ha’porth of tar,’ and that.the 
British soldier is to suffer in order that a little 
less may be spent in properly housing him. 
Still, if the Governor-General is so convinced, 
and is supported by competent military autho¬ 
rities in his opinion that everything necessary 
will be provided by the expenditure of a 
smaller sum than that originally contemplated, 
he is quite right to disregard any possible 
outcry from other and more enthusiastic 
friends of the soldier. The next item of ex¬ 
penditure in which a reduction is to be made 
is that of communications and roads. About 
a quarter of a million less is to be spent under 
this head : and it is explained that this reduc¬ 
tion marks, and is intended to mark, the be¬ 
ginning of a new policy. The Government has 
for some years been satisfied that to attempt, 
from ordinary revenues, to provide and main¬ 
tain all the roads required for the intercom¬ 
munications of so vast a territory would be to 
enter on an altogether impracticable task. 
What is wanted is that the districts requiring 
the roads should make them for themselves, 
and that the cost of the construction of the 
means of communication auxiliary to railroads 
should be defrayed by local assessments. The 
Government would like to contribute more 
than a million in aid of local assessments, if it 
had more, than a million to spare for the pur¬ 
pose. But it cannot honestly and properly 
contribute more than a million, and so the 
districts requiring roads must do the best they 
can with the help afforded them. In the same 
way the Government proposes to spend a 
quarter of a million less on civil buildings, 
and the reduction of operations in public works 







IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


131 


Chap. CXLI.] 

will permit a considerable reduction under the 
head of Establishments and in miscellaneous 
outlays, which reduction, again, will amount 
to about a quarter of a million. Thus the 
total reduction of a million and a quarter is 
made up. But the Government point out that 
oven after this reduction has been made, a vast 
sum will be annually laid out on the public 
works of India. Borrowing for railways and 
irrigation works will still go on, and some- 
thing more than four millions a year will be 
expended from this source. The Indian 
Government will furnish from revenue, even 
after all reductions have been made, little 
short of four millions more ; and when to these 
sums there is added what will be paid out 
of revenue for guaranteed interest on railways, 
the total amount of annual outlay on Indian 
public works will reach the respectable figure 
of ten millions. No one can doubt that it is 
far better for India that ten millions should be 
laid out on public works with the finances in 
a thoroughly healthy state, than that eleven 
millions and a quarter should be spent under a 
system of perpetual deficits. The Indian 
Government, therefore, will do all it can to 
put things straight, but there is much that 
does not lie in its power, and as to which it 
can only implore the Home Government to do 
its share in reducing the expenditure. There 
are,, first, the home charges, in which the 
Indian authorities evidently believe, rightly 
or wrongly, that reductions could be made, 
but which they refrain from examining in 
detail because it is not for them to criticize the 
conduct of their masters. Far more important, 
however, is the military expenditure, in which 
the Indian Government are confident that 
very large reductions are feasible. Measures 
might, they think, be adopted, which, while 
they would lead to an immense saving of 
money, would not in the least diminish the 
real military strength of the Government. 
Such measures are, to a great extent, beyond 
the control of any one in India. The Home 
Government must come to the rescue.” 

Before the Legislative Council on November 
19th, Sir Richard Temple reviewed the finan¬ 
cial position. Fie thought at the time of his 
Budget estimate that all was fairly stated, 
and that he had not taken a more sanguine 
view of things than circumstances warranted. 
He then noticed the disturbing elements of the 
revenue. Opium had caused a deficiency of 
half a million, and the income-tax was likely 
to be less productive than was anticipated by 
about the same sum. It was apprehended in 
September that there might be a deficiency of 
£140,000, but again it was hoped that the 
timely rains would remove even this. But the 
famine in Northern India had been very severe, 


and they would not realise as much as they 
had anticipated from the land revenue, though 
that great source of the State had not been 
impaired. Then there were three items of 
expenditure that had not been foreseen— 
interest in India, extra expenditure on the 
cultivation of opium, and interest in England. 
The deficit on the year might be taken at a 
million and three-quarters. This was proposed 
to be met by a reduction in Public Works of 
£792,500, cut oft from ordinary expenditure. 
Whether that would be really saved he could 
not say. Reductions had been proposed in 
the Police. Army reduction had also been 
proposed, but whether the latter would be 
approved by the Secretary of State he could 
not say. Under any circumstances the change 
would give no relief this year. Sir Richard 
then referred to the proposed increase of the 
salt duty. This had been estimated to yield 
£200,000, but not wishing to be over-sanguine 
he would take it at about £190,000. .° The 
reductions in the Public Works Department 
would not reach a million, and there would 
then be a deficiency of about three-quarters 
of a million, which must be met by the income- 
tax. This tax it was proposed to double for 
the half-year, making it 1^ per cent, on the 
year. The income-tax was not so productive as 
anticipated. The revised estimate gave it at 
£680,000, and taking half of that—£340,000 
—there would still be a deficiency of about 
£400,000 to make up. Sir Richard, after ac¬ 
counting for the discrepancies between the old 
estimates and the revised ones, appealed to the 
candour of the Council to consider whether the 
existing difficulty did not mainly arise from 
fiscal misfortunes hardly to have been antici¬ 
pated, from fluctuations in trade generally, and 
in the China market particularly. “ The Go¬ 
vernment of India,” he said, “ should be 
judged, not by the extent of fiscal misfortunes 
which cannot be prevented nor reasonably be 
foreseen, but rather by the degree of energy, 
efficiency, and resolution with which a deficit is 
met as soon as it is proved to be approaching.” 
At the same meeting Colonel Strachey entered 
into a defence of the Public Works Department. 
He concluded as follows:—“ The Public Works 
Department is very commonly regarded as the 
great enemy of public economy, and the first 
cause of. financial disorder. We are told of 
the tyranny of the Public Works Department, 
from which no Government can escape. But, 
in fact, what is this department ? It is the 
agency, and nothing more than the agency, 
through which the Government, in all its 
various departments, supplies itself with extra¬ 
vagancies. The Public Works Department 
does not desire to build palatial barracks, nor 
splendid hospitals, nor vast court-houses. It 





132 


HISTORY OF THE-BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 


has no wish to stud the country with police 
offices and stations. AH these works are under¬ 
taken to satisfy the various civil departments 
of the administration, and the difficulty of the 
Public Works Department is to bring their 
demands within reasonable and practicable 
limits. So it is in truth with all other works. 
The Public Works Department receives from 
the Government that sum which the Govern¬ 
ment thinks fit to spend from year to year on 
this class of objects, and does its best to apply 
the money suitably. And the remedy against 
any final inconvenience that can arise from the 
operation of this department is in the most 
complete manner in the hands of the Govern¬ 
ment ; indeed, in a far more complete manner 
than in any other branch of the administration. 
How truly this is shown by the occurrences 
of the last few months ! The Government 
having become really alive to the necessity for 
economy, at once reduced the public works 
expenditure by £800,000, and next year will 
reduce it by a million and a quarter. To speak 
of a mere disbursing agency as in any sense 
responsible for the extent of the outlay it 
manages is a complete misuse of terms , and 
in future, I hope, that when it is thought 
proper to find fault with any excessive expen¬ 
diture on public works, the responsibility will 
be attributed where it is due, to the admi¬ 
nistrative departments, and to the Executive 
Government.” 

The Yiceroy in the course of his speech on 
the financial question observed— 

“After the very great amount of informa¬ 
tion which has been placed before the public, 
both in the financial dispatch which we 
addressed some time ago to the Secretary of 
State, and also in the clear statements which 
have been made here to-day, as to the reasons 
and causes which rendered it incumbent on 
the Government of India to take the unusual 
course which has been adopted with regard 
to Imperial Finance, I have but few additional 
remarks to make. Nothing has been kept 
back. Everything has been fully described. 
The means which we propose to take to 
remedy the evils which exist have been also, 
as far as is possible, laid with the utmost care 
before the Council. And it is gratifying to 
me, as it must be to my colleagues in the 
Executive Government, to know that, how¬ 
ever much the public, in common with us, 
may regret the necessity of the course we 
have taken—however much some of the details 
of the proposals we have made may be criti¬ 
cized—yet we have received, both from the 
public, as far as we can judge, and certainly 
from the Press, a generous, and I may almost 
say a cordial approval. I have little doubt 
that those sentiments which have been so 


generally expressed in India will be shared in 
by her Majesty’s Government and by public 
opinion at home, and that every candid man 
will, on careful consideration of the facts ot 
the case, come to the conclusion that the 
course we have followed was the wisest and 
safest that could have been taken under the 
peculiar circumstances of our position.. 

“ I am quite aware that that course is most 
unusual, but it is not altogether unprecedented. 
If history be examined, and inquiry made into 
occurrences that have taken place in countries 
where a representative system of government 
is in full force, it will be found that, on special 
occasions, a similar proceeding has been 
adopted. 

“ I have said that its necessity must appear 
to every one to be absolute. There were, in 
truth, only two courses open to the Govern¬ 
ment of India. Every one can form an 
opinion on the matter, for our financial posi¬ 
tion has been before the public during many 
weeks. The facts, as we have described them 
in our financial dispatch, being fully known 
and verified, we had either to adopt a policy 
of concealment or of candour. Had we 
adopted the first course, we must have placed 
ourselves in this position :—We must have re¬ 
mained in a state of silence till next March, 
with the full knowledge that the public were 
under a grossly erroneous impression as to 
the true financial state of the country. This 
was a position in which I think no body of 
honourable men could for a moment have 
thought of placing themselves. 

“ For though the statements which were 
made have been now for a considerable time 
before the public, we have found that the 
financial credit of the country has not been 
seriously damaged, but that the public, know¬ 
ing the worst, and feeling and appreciating 
the efforts of the Government to deal with the 
difficulty, have seen that these difficulties can 
be surmounted, that there is no real danger 
to the permanent financial position of the 
Empire, and that administrative reforms and. 
strict adherence to the ordinary rules ot 
economy and prudence are all that is neces¬ 
sary to place our financial affairs on a sound 
and healthy basis. 

“ Some foreboding was certainly expressed 
in one or two quarters. It was said that, by 
the premature disclosure of the real financial 
state of the Empire, we should run the risk 
of damaging national credit and throwing a 
general air of discomfiture upon the whole 
proceedings of the Government. 

“ J in common with my colleagues, took a 
different view, which I think the result has 
shown to be the right one. I must say, in 
justice to my colleagues, that the resolution 







IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Chap. CXLE] 

to take, at the earliest possible moment, the 
public into the confidence of the Government 
was unanimously agreed to ; and that, as soon 
as our financial position was ascertained be¬ 
yond a doubt, we felt that it was our duty to 
lay those facts before the public, and ask for 
its generous support in the measures which 
we deemed it indispensable to propose. 

“ I rejoice, therefore, that, casting aside the 
adherence to general routine, we adopted this 
course. I am not at all insensible to its dis¬ 
advantage and its manifold inconvenience ; it 
is certainly not a line of action I should ever 
desire to repeat, and I am strongly of opinion 
that, except under the most extraordinary 
circumstances, it would be most unjustifiable. 

“ But when we look to the situation of 
affairs—when we look at the great deficit 
into which we were for a fourth year about 
to be plunged—when we knew that means 
were in our power to avoid the evil,—I think 
the public will agree with me in saying that 
routine and ordinary rules of administration 
were not considerations which ought to have 
guided or controlled the Government. 

“ There is no doubt that a great deal of the 
evil that has existed for years has been owing, 
not so much to the fault of the administra¬ 
tion as to the circumstance that the Govern¬ 
ment have never been in possession of the 
great financial facts of the year at a suffi¬ 
ciently early period to make real use of them 
for the purposes of administration. I am 
quite aware that there are great difficulties in 
this matter. When people compare our system 
with that of a small, rich, and compact 
country like England, they entirely forget 
the enormous size of this Empire—the great 
distances which exist—the variety and com¬ 
plicated nature of our accounts'—the amount 
of adjustment which is necessarily carried on 
between various treasuries and various ac¬ 
counting bodies. They also forget that the 
system which has been in existence in 
England for a very long period has only been 
recently introduced into India,—within, I may 
say, half the time of what may be called the 
present generation. I therefore, when men 
blame us for. inaccuracy of forecast, insist 
that they should at the same time remember 
the peculiar circumstances of such an Empire 
as India. 

“ There is no doubt, however, that the 
cause of our present position is owing in part 
to the inaccuracy of forecast which has for 
some years existed ; but I believe that, by 
care and firmness in administration, a great 
portion of the inconveniences which are occa¬ 
sioned from a want of early knowledge of the 
actual current and financial position of the 
Empire can be obviated. The evil is one of 


great magnitude, and is strongly proved by 
the discrepancy which has taken place within 
the last four years between the Budget 
estimate and the actual revenue and expendi¬ 
ture. 

“ Now the figures I am about to lay before 
you are very suggestive, and show how neces¬ 
sary it is that the Government should use 
every effort in its power to improve and to 
prevent the recurrence of the state of things 
which they disclose. I am far from saying 
that a recurrence can be altogether prevented 
during the present year or the next, or that, 
at any time, precise positive accuracy can be 
arrived at. But I am certainly convinced 
that, as the true merits, the publicity, safety, 
and many advantages of the Budget system 
are more closely brought home to the 
minds of the vast army of officials who serve 
the Government of India with so much ability 
and devotion, these evils will gradually dis¬ 
appear. 

“Now, I find that in 1866-67 we budgeted 
for a deficit of £72,800, the real deficit turn¬ 
ing out to be two millions and a half. 

“I find that in 1867-68 a surplus of 
£1,764,478 was budgeted for, the result being 
a deficit of one million. 

“ In 1868-69 I find that a surplus of up¬ 
wards of two millions was budgeted for, but a 
deficit of two millions occurred. In 1869-70 
a surplus of £52,650 was budgeted for, but a 
deficit of nearly two millions is expected. I 
attach no blame to any one for this. I am fully 
aware that explanations, more or less satis¬ 
factory, may be offered ; and that, during the 
periods I have mentioned, the financial policy 
of the country was more than once changed 
in the course of the year. But, nevertheless, 
the facts I have mentioned are incontestable, 
and betoken, to my mind, a position of danger 
which ought to terminate. It is a state of 
things, at all events, which is sufficient to 
justify us in using every effort to obtain at 
the earliest possible moment the actual cur¬ 
rent facts with regard to our revenue and ex¬ 
penditure. Revenue must always fluctuate 
to a certain extent. Expenditure may occa¬ 
sionally exceed the amount budgeted for, 
though it is more under control. But it is 
clear that no administration can be conducted 
with safety and with success, unless events 
connected either with revenue or expenditure 
are known to the controlling power almost at 
the time of their occurrence. 

“I believe, therefore, that by invoking the 
assistance of every department of the Govern¬ 
ment in preventing delay in forwarding useful 
information—in trying as far as possible to 
avoid the leaving of any unequal or unusual 
disbursement to the end of the year—in 



134 


[Chap. CXLI. 


HISTORY OF THE 

endeavouring as far as possible to spread the 
expenditure over those months of the year in 
which it generally occurs,—I think that by 
these means, and also by a great effort on'the 
part of the Government of India in con¬ 
densing, analyzing, and bringing into use the 
information at their disposal, much of what 
has already occurred may for the future be 
avoided. 

“ I hope it will not now be supposed, from 
the remarks I have made, that it is my belief 
that inaccurate information has been supplied 
to the Government. On the contrary, I be¬ 
lieve the information which has been placed at 
the disposal of the Government is thoroughly 
accurate and completely trustworthy. But 
what I object to is, that that information is 
often given too late, and the details are not 
available in sufficient time to make them 
thoroughly useful for administrative purposes. 

I believe that, considering the great power of 
this Government, and looking also to the rare 
advantages which it possesses in having in 
its service so many able and experienced 
officers, there can be really no substantial 
difficulty in obtaining at an earlier moment 
the vast amount of information which is every 
year so carefully collected, and which has 
generally been found to be so thoroughly 
trustworthy. 

“ I wish to say that we have embodied 
these opinions in a dispatch to the Secretary 
of State, and I have little doubt that in the 
efforts which we intend to make in this direc¬ 
tion, we shall receive the hearty approval 
and support of her Majesty’s Government. 

“ I have merely now to add, on the part of 
the Government of India, how deeply we feel 
the general support which has been given, 
both by Local Governments and also by the 
public generally, to our proposals as a whole. 

“When the financial position was at first 
disclosed, I received from many quarters the 
most hearty assurance of active assistance. 
From Madras, whose Government was the 
first to come forward without invitation or 
suggestion on our part, we received by tele¬ 
graph an offer saying that, if necessary, it 
was ready to add a considerable amount to 
the salt-tax in that presidency. 

“ The proposal was immediately acquiesced 
in by Bombay, and I may say that, though 
there may be some differences of opinion as 
to the details of the reductions we propose, 
we havd never received any expression of 
doubt as to the necessity of the case, or as to 
the duty of the Local Governments to assist 
to the utmost of their ability the Govern¬ 
ment of India in the difficult and arduous task 
which we have undertaken. 

“ We all know there must always be a con- 


BRITISH EMPIRE 

siderable difference of opinion among men 
who are engaged in the conduct of great 
affairs, especially if they happen to be English¬ 
men. Yet I believe there has never been 
known an instance in Indian history of any 
great crisis in which the Local Governments 
failed in their duty, and refused their support 
to the Supreme Government I can only say, 
as has happened before, so it has now, that 
the Government of India is most anxious to 
defer in all matters under discussion to those 
opinions; but at the same time we. must 
express our firm determination to arrive, at 
all hazards, and in the shortest time, at the 
great financial result at which we aim. 

“We are engaged in great interests and 
dealing with enormous sums—we are engaged 
in an attempt which may be summed up in 
two or three words. We have to change the 
financial condition of this country in such a 
way as to give, at the earliest possible moment, 
a probable advantage of upwards of three mil¬ 
lions of money. 

“ I am now speaking not only the opinion 
of the Government of India, but also that of 
the Secretary of State, when I say that it is 
decided that—looking to the many fluctuating 
items in the resources of the country, to the 
risks to which we are liable, and the magni¬ 
tude of the interests involved—unless such a 
result is obtained, it cannot be said that 
Indian finance stands upon a sound and sub¬ 
stantial basis. 

“ Although the effect of this great reduction 
of expenditure may be, in a few cases, some¬ 
what to injure individual interests, or, what 
is far more important, to postpone for a short 
period works of usefulness in which we are all 
deeply interested; yet, by making these sacri¬ 
fices now, we shall lay up for ourselves a great 
store of safety and welfare for hereafter. For 
unless such a course is taken, we cannot hope 
to carry on with success, and finish within 
reasonable time, those great works of improve¬ 
ment which are so necessary to the life, the 
comfort, the health and safety of the people, 
and to the speedy completion of which the 
honour and the credit of this Government 
are pledged.” 

Towards the close of November, a Bill was 
brought forward for improving and cheapen¬ 
ing the production of salt in Upper and Cen¬ 
tral India. The working of the existing fiscal 
rules had caused an artificial salt famine, so 
that within the salt customs’ line only six and 
three-quarter pounds of salt were consumed 
per head, whereas in the salt-bearing districts 
outside the line the consumption was all but 
doubled. The new Bill aimed at remedying 
this state of things, by multiplying the main 
sources of supply and providing cheap means 





Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


135 


of access to those sources by rail. One of the 
lines would connect Agra with the great Salt 
Lake of Sambhur, leased from the Rajah of 
Jaipur ; another would join Delhi to the salt- 
fields of Sultanpur in Oudh ; a third would 
tap the salt ranges of the Punjab ; and a 
fourth would fill up the gap between Multan 
and Rori, on the left bank of the Indus. 
Improved methods of making and storing the 
salt were also indicated in the Bill. By these 
means it was expected to diminish smuggling, 
and add a million to the revenue from the 
consequent increase in the consumption of 
salt. 

The financial statement of 1870 was made 
by Sir Richard Temple on April 2nd. The 
following are its principal details:-—-The 
ordinary outlay for 1868-69 amounted to 
£54,431,688, or £2,750,000 above the re¬ 
ceipts. For 1869-70 the revised estimate 
showed an income close upon £53,000,000, 
against an outlay of more than £53,500,000. 
The former exceeded Sir Richard’s Budget 
estimate by nearly £750,000, and the latter 
by a million and a third. This excess of out¬ 
lay occurred in spite of reductions made dur¬ 
ing the autumn to the extent of more than a 
million. A number of causes contributed to 
this, such as the taking up of a loan in India 
instead of England, the payment of a subsidy 
to Sher Ali, the non-payment of interest 
claimed from the English Government for the 
Abyssinian loan, increased charges for forests, 
marine, superannuation allowances, army, 
and miscellaneous items. The deficit for the 
year amounted to £625,594. The home ex¬ 
penses were £872,119 above the estimate. 
The 'extraordinary outlay on irrigation, State 
railways, and a Bombay Special Fund, 
amounted to more than £2,500,000, but this 
was covered by a loan. For 1870-71 the 
receipts were estimated at £52,327,755, or 
about 52-g- millions. No increase was al¬ 
lowed for in the customs, while the half-million 
gained the previous year on land revenue 
was wiped out on account of bad harvests 
and doubtful prospects. No reduction was 
made in the rice duty, but the export duty on 
shawls was taken off, and the duty on gal¬ 
vanised iron was to be levied ad valorem.. 
The salt revenue was taken at £6,177,370,. 
or about a third of a million over the receipts 
for the previous year. The returns from 
opium were reckoned at £6,922,281, or 
a million less than the sum received the 
year before. The whole outlay for the year 
was estimated at £52,164,315, or nearly 
£1,500,000 below that of 1869-70. This 
allowed for an increase on interest, on forests, 
law and justice, and superannuation allowances 
—caused by reductions in the police, on rail¬ 


way charges, on telegraphs, and on education. 
A decrease was made in the army charges oi 
£750,000, in the marine of £481,000, in the 
police of nearly £121,000, and in public 
works ordinary of more than £1,000,000. 
Not quite £4,000,000 were allowed for public 
works for the year, of which two-thirds of a 
million were set apart for barracks. The 
amount of assessed taxes was set down at 
£2,180,000. The yield of a 1 per cent, 
income-tax being £700,000, Sir Richard, 
by raising the tax to 3|- per cent., counted 
on getting more than thrice that sum. 
This increased rate he regarded as the 
only possible way of preventing a deficit 
at a short notice. The tax was to be 
levied according to the English method of 
taxing, so many pence in the pound. It 
would therefore be at the rate of half an anna 
in the rupee, and would be made on indi¬ 
vidual incomes, and not, as before, on the 
average income of each class. The surplus 
anticipated was £163,440. As was to be ex¬ 
pected, the increased income-tax aroused a 
storm of indignation throughout the whole 
European and official community. In the 
Legislative Council the measure was de¬ 
nounced by the three independent members, 
was practically condemned by Sir Henry 
Durand and Colonel Strachey, and accepted 
by the rest only as a last desperate resource. 
Public meetings in Bombay and Calcutta, 
and in fact all over the country, with one 
voice demanded the removal of the financier 
who could find no better way of escape from 
a deficit, partly due to his own misreckon- 
ings, than by adding to a burden which 
already pressed hard enough on its chief 
victims. The Englishman, after denouncing 
the increased tax as a glaring breach of faith, 
besought all Calcutta to “oppose this man 
and his disgraceful measures with heart and 
voice.” The Daily News entreated Lord 
Mayo not to make himself a party to a mea¬ 
sure “ condemned by its inherent injustice.” 
The Friend of India remarked, “ The prin¬ 
cipal argument against a sensational Budget 
is to be found in the widespread discontent 
of the services all over India. It is not too 
much to say that ever since 1861 the ad¬ 
ministrative establishments of the country 
have been the sport of successive Govern¬ 
ments. All over the land there has gone up 

a cry for finality, for fixity.There was 

a reason in Lord Canning’s time why the 
revolution should be thorough and sweeping ; 
but it has never stopped,—it is ever assuming 
new and more odious phases. All trust is 
destroyed, all loyalty is dissipated, confidence 
is impossible. Incompetent financier suc¬ 
ceeds incompetent financier, and Governor- 







136 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


General follows Governor-General, each with 
plans of his own, each adding to the confu¬ 
sion to which he has fallen heir. They will 
not let well alone. They will pull up the 
young plants placed in the ground by their 
predecessors, to see how they are growing; 
and when vitality has thus been destroyed, 
they make that an excuse for putting their 
own crop in the same place, only to have that 
similarly treated by their successors. This 
is as true of great reforms as of leave-rules 
and allowances, and both tell on the most 
highly educated officials in the country.” 
The Bombay Gazette observed, “ Anything 
more humiliating than Sir Richard Temple s 
apology for the Budgets of 1868-69 and 
1869-70, it never was our lot to read. 
From end to end it is a confession of mis¬ 
calculations which we do not hesitate to call 
reckless. 

“ He committed the fault common it seems to 
the schoolboy and the budget-maker—he over¬ 
estimated his probable revenue and under-, 
estimated his probable expenditure. . He 
showed on many points not an iota of foresight; 
he made no allowance for that unforeseen ex¬ 
penditure so characteristic of India ; he knew 
that there had been a succession of deficits, 
yet he only provided the most paltry arrange¬ 
ments to stop the perennial leakage in the 
treasury. And he has to confess that, setting 
aside the barrack expenditure, the two millions 
and three-quarters of excess in 1868-69 ‘ re¬ 
present deficit pure and simple without any 
special justification.’ In 1869-70 the same 
want of insight and foresight is manifest, the 
same superficial cleverness was visible, the 
same results followed—modified by the mea¬ 
sures adopted at Simla, but for which the 
excess, “without special justification,” in 1869- 
79 would have been as monstrous as that 
of 1868-69. He over-estimated his opium 
revenue ; he over-estimated his customs reve¬ 
nue ; he did not choose to provide for the proba¬ 
bility that a loan would have to be raised and 
paid for. This careful financier forgot alto¬ 
gether to provide for ‘ the payments and pre¬ 
sents to the Amir of Kabul.’ He went upon 
the principle that every item should be omitted, 
for the omission of which an excuse might 
‘turn up.’ What wonder, then, that his 
house of cards blew down at Simla, and that 
he has had to sit on the cutty-stool at Calcutta ? 
We say ‘he,’ but of course the whole Govern¬ 
ment must share the responsibility. Nor can 
we put any confidence in the Budget of 1870- 
71, for such are the principles of the Supreme 
Government that their action can command 
none. All we can be sure of is that Sir Richard 
Temple, Government assenting, thinks he will 
obtain a revenue of £52,327,775, and that he 


[Chap. CXLI. 

thinks, Government assenting, that he will 
only spend £52,164,315; but we have no 
ground for believing that a great deal of these 
estimates are not works of imagination.” Lord 
Mayo shared the unpopularity of his finance 
minister. Petition after petition against the 
tax was presented by the Chambers of Com¬ 
merce, and other bodies representingEuropean 
or native interests in the three presidencies, 
and loud complaints were made of the hard¬ 
ship or the extortion involved in the collecting 
of it. But the Indian Government declined 
to remove the obnoxious impost even after it 
was ascertained that the expected deficit had 
become an actual surplus. The abolition of 
the income-tax was reserved for Lord Mayo s 
successor. The tax was, however, reduced 
to one-third in the year 1871-72, as will be 
seen from the following summary by Sir 
Richard Temple of the contents of his Budget 
for that year:— 

“ The main points have been :— 

“ That for 1869-70, instead of an antici¬ 
pated deficit of £625,594, there has been an 
actual surplus of £118,668 ; 

“That for 1870-71 the surplus estimated 
in the Budget at £163,440 is now estimated 
at £997,100, or one million ; 

“ That this surplus is really due to an un¬ 
looked-for accession of opium revenue ; 

“ That without this accession of opium re¬ 
venue there would have been little more than 
an equilibrium between income and ordinary 
expenditure ; 

“That for 1871-72 there is estimated a 
small surplus of income over ordinary expen¬ 
diture of £93,400 ; that this estimate. is 
arrived at after a large abatement of the in¬ 
come-tax ; the lowest incomes assessable, 
namely, those between Rs. 750 and Rs. 500, 
being exempted altogether, and the rates for all 
classes being lowered from 3f to a fraction 
above 1 per cent.; 

“ That this change in the income-tax causes 
a reduction of If million of direct taxation; 

“ That the exemption of incomes between 
Rs. 750 and Rs. 500 reduces the total num¬ 
ber of persons assessed, 480,000, by fully 
one-half, and releases 240,000 taxpayers ; 

“ That the ordinary expenditure for the 
coming year shows a decrease of one million 
of expenditure as compared with the current 
year; 

“ That subject to certain conditions, an in¬ 
creased financial control has been intrusted 
to the several Local Governments in respect to 
gaols, registration, police, education, medical 
services, printing, roads other than military, 
and civil buildings; 

‘ ‘ That the grants by the General Treasury 
for these services have been reduced by 






IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


137 


Chap. CXLI.] 

£331,038, and that a fixed limit is imposed 
on the imperial expenditure on these depart¬ 
ments ; 

“ That for these provincial services through¬ 
out India allotments have been made of four 
and three-quarter millions, distributed among 
the various Local Governments ; 

“That apart from the allotments made to 
the Local Governments under these pro¬ 
vincial services for roads and buildings, the 
ordinary public works grant in India has 
been brought down to two and one-third 
millions ; 

“ That three and a half millions have been 
raised by loan in England since my last state¬ 
ment was made, while only a little above one 
million has been expended on public works 
extraordinary; 

“ That three and a half millions are pro¬ 
posed to be spent on public works extraordi¬ 
nary during the coming year, 1871-72, two 
and one-third millions being provided for by 
loan; 

“That owing to the improvements in the 
account of the income and ordinary expen¬ 
diture of Government, and the temporary 
diminution of expenditure on public works 
extraordinary and on construction of the 
guaranteed railways, the cash balances in 
India are very high, and no loan is proposed 
in this country; 

“ That during the current year various 
measures relating to finance have been carried 
out, such as the coinage of ten-rupee and 
five-rupee gold pieces ; the legalisation of a 
five-rupee note in the paper currency ; and the 
introduction of district Savings Banks in the 
interior of the country. 

“I must now conclude my exposition. If 
it be found (as I fear it will) meagre and 
imperfect in many respects, still I hope the 
Council will remember that my subject is 
really too varied and extensive to be fully 
treated in all its particulars within the limits 
of the patience of my hearers. At all events, 
within the necessary limits, I have striven to 
compress as many facts and considerations as 
possible. 

“In 1869 I spoke of flourishing revenue 
and growing commerce. In 1870 the burden 
of my story was diminished income and de¬ 
pressed trade. In 1871, however, I have 
now once more to tell of national prosperity, 
of abundant harvests, of rising income, of fall¬ 
ing expenditure, and of improved public credit. 
In two successive expositions (1869 and 1870) 
I have had to lament the existence of deficit. 
But on this occasion, in my third exposition, 
the picture is at last relieved by the prospect 
of a surplus. The Council knows what strenu¬ 
ous exertions have been made to obtain equi¬ 


librium and even surplus. Those efforts seem 
at this moment likely to be attended with 
even more success than we at first ventured 
to hope for. 

“ In 1869 I affirmed that the Government 
of India had aimed at a financial policy to be 
at once safe, sound, and just. Since then 
two years of trial and labour have passed, 
and I affirm once more that the same prin¬ 
ciples have been strictly observed, notwith¬ 
standing that the observance caused much 
trouble and difficulty. 

“We have maintained a strict distinction 
as to what expenditure shall, and what shall 
not, be considered extraordinary to be pro¬ 
vided for by loan. All expenditure, however 
beneficial, not yielding a direct pecuniary re¬ 
turn, has been classed as ordinary expendi : 
ture. We have resolved that, so far as may 
be possible, the whole of the ordinary expen¬ 
diture of each year shall be defrayed from the 
revenues of that year. We have jealously 
guarded against everything that might tend 
to shift the burden of'these just charges from 
the present to the future. We have steadily 
refrained from providing by loan for any 
branch of ordinary expenditure, or for any 
public work not yielding direct pecuniary re¬ 
turn. We have even refused to entertain 
proposals for temporary or terminable loans 
for such purposes. In preference to any such 
course, the alternative of enhancing the exist¬ 
ing taxation has been adopted. But that 
taxation has been so adjusted as to fall rather 
on the richer than the poorer classes of the 
country. Though the revenue has been aug¬ 
mented, yet no fresh burden whatever has 
been imposed on any branch of trade or of 
industry; no new imperial tax has been in¬ 
troduced ; no fiscal innovations have been 
applied to British India generally. In so far 
as any fresh tax may be needed in any part 
of India, the disposition has been to rely on 
local rather than imperial arrangements. 

“ Retrenchments in both the civil and mili¬ 
tary branches of expenditure in India have 
been made. To afford further relief, the ex¬ 
penditure on ordinary public works has been 
cut down by more than one-third. Strict 
economy in details has been enforced by the 
Government of India and by the Local Govern¬ 
ments. The better enforcement of economy 
was one of the reasons for investing the Local 
! Governments with increased financial control 
in several departments. That measure also 
has been commenced- by a further reduction 
of one-third of a million of expenditure. 

“ On the other hand, liberality has been 
shown in the provision by loan for public 
works of an extraordinary and reproductive 
character. But this operation has been so 


VOL. III. 


X 






138 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


far guarded financially, in that the interest on 
the borrowed capital is charged against ordi¬ 
nary revenues.” 

During the debate on the Budget on March 
31st, Lord Mayo made the following defence 
of his Government:— 

“I admit the comparative poverty of this 
country, as compared with many other coun¬ 
tries of the same magnitude and importance, 
and I am convinced of the impolicy and in¬ 
justice of imposing burdens upon this people 
which may be called either crushing or op¬ 
pressive. Mr. Grant Duff, in an able speech 
which he delivered the other day in the House 
of Commons, the report of which arrived by 
last mail, stated with truth that the position 
of our finance was wholly different from that 
of England. ‘ In England,’ he stated, ‘ you 
have a comparatively wealthy population. The 
income of the United Kingdom has, I believe, 
been guessed at 800 millions per annum. The 
income of British India has been guessed at 
300 millions per annum. That gives well on 
to U30 per annum as the income of every 
person in the United Kingdom, and only £2 
per annum as the income of every person in 
British India.’ 

“I believe that. Mr. Grant Duff had good 
grounds for the statement he made, and I wish 
to say, with reference to it, that we are per¬ 
fectly cognisant of the relative poverty of this 
country as compared with European states. 

“ But as a matter of fact, are the people of 
India heavily taxed ? Figures are not always 
satisfactory, and calculations of this kind must 
be, to some extent, open to cavil; but still as 
statisticians accept the facts that I shall state, 
we may consider that they represent pretty 
fairly approximate accuracy. 

“ I have made from reliable documents a 
comparative statement of the incidence of im¬ 
perial taxation in India, and in soffie European 
states, England excluded. I have deducted 
from the resources of the Indian Empire all 
those sources of revenue which cannot strictly 
be called taxation. I have deducted land 
revenue for the reason that it is not taxation, 
but is that share of the profits of the land 
which the Government, in its character of chief 
proprietor, has from time immemorial deemed 
it its right to demand. The opium revenue is 
excluded, because no one in India pays it. I 
have also deducted contributions from native 
states, the receipts received in the army, 
postal, telegraph, and all the spending depart¬ 
ments. The result is, that the revenue received 
from taxation proper in India amounts to 141- 
millions from a population of 150 millions, 
which gives a result of Is. lOd. per head per 
year. I have followed the same investigation 
with regard to five European states, some of 


[Chap. CXLI. 

which are not the richest, and I find that 
while Indian taxation is but Is. 10 d. per head 
per year, the subjects of the Sultan are paying 
7s. 9 d.; those of the Emperor of Russia 12s. 
2d .; the inhabitants of Spain 18s. 5 d. ; Austria 
19s. 7 d .; and Italy 17s. It must be remem¬ 
bered, however, that a shilling bears a larger 
proportion to the income of a labourer in 
India than to that of a labourer m any of the 
countries mentioned; but still there is no 
such difference between the value of labour 
here and in Europe as is represented by the 
difference of taxation that I have described. 
Notwithstanding this, the fact is that the financial 
credit of our Empire is far better than that of 
any of those states to which I have referred. 
I have mentioned these facts to show that the 
term ‘crushing taxation’ is wholly inapplicable 
to the countries subject to the authority of the 
Gover nm ent of India. At the same time I 
am far from saying that this happy state is 
not right. I believe it is. The greatest 
security to Government is given by the feel¬ 
ing entertained by the people that they are 
lightly taxed. And by avoiding, as much as 
possible, additions to the burdens of those 
who contribute to the interest of the State, 

we add much to the safety of our rule. 

When gentlemen accuse the Government ol 
extraordinary inaccuracy in estimating, they 
forget this, that an estimate is a matter of 
opinion, and is, to a great extent, a prophecy. 
My hon. friend, Sir Richard Temple, de¬ 
scribed with great force in his financial state¬ 
ment the difficulties that are to be met in this 
respect. The Indian estimates are an aggre¬ 
gate of facts, collected over an immense area 
by a large body of officers. These facts are care¬ 
fully adjusted, compared with the estimates 
of former years, analyzed and summed up, 
and from this mass of evidence deductions 
are drawn. Owing to the peculiarity of some 
of these chief items of revenue—items which 
hardly exist or are totally unknown in many 
countries—the difficulty is vastly increased. 
It is not possible to avoid error. The most 
sagacious man cannot foretell the price of 
opium for a month, far less for a year, and 
opium produces nearly one-sixth of our re¬ 
venue. The land revenue (which gives two- 
fifths of the revenue) is also subject to risks 
which no man can foresee. The traffic re¬ 
ceipts of the railways fluctuate considerably, 
and depend to a great extent on the general 
prosperity of the country. The customs 
revenue fluctuates also to a great extent accord¬ 
ing to the condition of the people. 

“We have been advised to meet the diffi¬ 
culty by what is called ‘ sanguine estimating.’ 
I think it is quite right in estimating to leave 
such a margin as will, in our opinion, secure 





Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


139 


our calculations from some of the disturbing I 
causes which I have mentioned ; but sanguine ' 
estimating, which informs the country beyond 
or within the facts that are in our posses¬ 
sion, for the object of diminishing or in¬ 
creasing taxation, is, in my opinion, nothing 
less than dishonesty. I am sure my hon. 
friend, Mr. Robinson, would be the last man 
to recommend anything like dishonesty ; but 
what he appears to suggest is that we should 
disregard the facts which were laid before 
the Government, and come to a different con¬ 
clusion from that which we thought these 
facts would warrant. I cannot help think¬ 
ing that if we had taken that course we 
should not have been acting in accordance 
with the principles which ought to guide us 
in all our transactions. We think we know a 
good deal about finance, but certainly we do 
not know anything about ‘ financing,’ and it 
is our duty to present the public with the 
most accurate results we can obtain, and the 
soundest opinion we can form. We never 
can, and never will, take any other course. 

“But with regard to this accuracy of esti¬ 
mate, the Secretary of the Financial Depart¬ 
ment has supplied me with a curious state¬ 
ment, showing the comparison of English and 
also Indian estimates with actual facts. The 
English accounts are on the average better 
than the estimates, whereas, hitherto, the 
Indian accounts have been on the average 
worse than the estimates. It is intended to 
take precautions against a recurrence of this; 
but it, of course, involves some additional 
severity in providing ways and means. The 
Indian estimates, liowever, appear to approxi¬ 
mate more closely to facts than do the estimates 
in England. It is curious that if we compare 
the English estimates for the last ten years 
with the actuals, we find that the annual 
average difference of actual from estimate was 
£2,132,700, on a revenue varying from 70 to 
74 millions. In India the annual average 
difference from estimate was £1,874,600, on 
a revenue varying from 41 millions to 50 
millions; so that we find that, notwithstand¬ 
ing all the difficulties which lie in the way of 
the financial member in laying his statement 
before the public, his estimate does not com¬ 
pare unfavourably as to accuracy with that 
made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

“ It has frequently been stated that a great 
deal of our misfortune has arisen in that we 
have given undue liberty to the Public Works 
Department in the way of expenditure. Let 
me remind the Council as to what has been 
done in this respect. It is probable that 
some useless works have been stopped, but 
at the same time a great many useful under¬ 
takings have been unavoidably postponed. 


The fact remains that whilst in 1868-69 the 
expenditure was £6,272,000, and in 1870-71 
£4,797,000, for the present year it' is 
£3,802,000; so that the expenditure in the 
Public Works Department has been reduced 
nearly one-half in the period named. 

“ But the most serious charge made is, 
that the public was unnecessarily taxed in 
1870-71, that is, in the present year; that 
there was no necessity to raise the income- 
tax to the extent it was done, and that the 
surplus of nearly a million which had been 
obtained shows that grievous error was com¬ 
mitted. If after what has occurred we had 
been over-careful, and taken our estimates of 
revenue somewhat low, in order to make se¬ 
curity doubly sure, even as ‘ skilful surgeons 
cut beyond the wound to make the cure com¬ 
plete,’ we should not have been much to 
blame. But we did nothing of the kind. 
The estimates on both sides were as near the 
known facts as we could put them. As my 
hon. friend has reminded the Council, the 
surplus which has been attained this year has 
arisen from one special cause—namely, opium. 
We had no right to take it otherwise. We 
took it at Rs. 975 a chest. There had been 
a steady fall in price for months; we con¬ 
sulted all the authorities which were available, 
and I know that my hon. friend opposite 
(Mr. Bullen Smith) entertained the same 
gloomy anticipations as we did with regard 
to price for the remainder of the year. But 
on this particular occasion, while the estimate 
was being prepared, we had the advice of her 
Majesty’s Minister in China, Sir Rutherford 
Alcock, a man who had spent his whole life 
in that country. He gave us, in this very 
room, at great length, his views as to the 
course that he thought the opium trade was 
likely to take. Nothing will tend more to 
show how unreliable are any forecasts with 
regard to opium when I state that on this 
particular occasion we were in possession of 
better intelligence, and what might have been 
supposed more accurate information, than we 
ever had before. 

“ However, all the great authorities were 
wrong. The market, soon after our estimate 
was made, took an unexpected turn ; prices 
rose, and the result was, that in the article 
of opium alone we have received about 
£900,000 more than we expected. I will not 
condescend to notice certain unworthy charges 
which have been made against the depart¬ 
ment, such as ‘cooking accounts,’ ‘adjust¬ 
ments made to suit convenience,’ and ‘ credits 
taken which did not exist.’ They are utterly 
baseless, and reflect no credit on those who 
made them. Had some of them been uttered 
against the directors of a respectable com- 





140 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


pany, the probability is that they might have 
subjected those who made them to those 
liabilities which the law provides as a pro¬ 
tection against libel and defamation. 

“ But I have said enough to show that in 
reality there was no unnecessary alarm in 
September, 1869 ; that the accounts of this 
great Empire are as correct as accounts of so 
complicated a nature can be; that in accuracy 
our estimates compare advantageously with 
those of other countries; and that unless we 
had been prepared to endure another year’s 
deficit, and I may say financial disgrace, the 
measures of March last were absolutely in¬ 
dispensable.” 

The following table shows the revenue and 
ordinary expenditure of each year from 1867- 
68 to 1871-72, as returned in the official 
Annual Financial Statements at the nominal 
exchange of two shillings to the rupee :— 


Year. 

Revenue. 

Orflinary 

Expendi¬ 

ture. 

Deficit. 

Surplus. 

1867-68 

£ 

48,429,644 

£ 

49,437,339 

£ 

1,007,695 

£ 

1S68-69 

61,657,658 

54,431,688 

50,782,413 

2,774,030 


1869-70 

50,901,081 

118,668 

1870-71 

51,413,685 

49,930,695 


1,482,990 

1871-72 

50,109,093 

46,984,915 


3,124,178 


Many useful and important legislative 
measures were passed during Lord Mayo’s 
viceroyalty. In 1809 the marriages of natives, 
who, like the Brahmoists, belong to no sect 
recognised by Hindu or Mohammadan law, 
were legalised. Before a person can obtain 
the benefits of this Act, he must declare that 
he is neither a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, a 
Mohammadan, nor a Parsi, as each of these 
religious sects has its own special form of 
marriage. The rights and privileges of 
the Oudh talukdars were defined. An Act 
was passed for checking the nuisance of 
European loafers, making provision for ar¬ 
resting in India and removing from India 
all Europeans who are reduced to a state of 
vagrancy and pauperism,—about as helpless 
and wretched a class of persons as is to be 
found in any country. Another was passed 
for obtaining the evidence of prisoners. In 
the Bengal Legislature a Bill was carried for 
the regulation of Coolie labour in the tea 
gardens of Assam, and in that of Bombay a 
Bill for the repression of fraud among the 
dealers in cotton, which, however, was resisted 
by the Indian Government. In England an 
Act was passed which limited the service of 
members of the Indian Council to ten years, 
with a pension on retirement, and took away 
from the Council itself the right of appointing 
half its own number. In 1870 the Punjab 
Tenancy Act defined the rights of occupiers, 


[Chap. CXLI. 

which were now guarded as under former 
settlements that had been called in question. 
The Hindu Wills Act for the suppression of 
perpetuities became law. By an amendment 
of the Penal Code the law of India touching 
sedition was assimilated to that of England. 
An Act was passed for the prevention of 
female infanticide, a custom widely prevalent 
in certain tribes and families, which were pro¬ 
hibited by their caste rules from marrying 
their daughters, except into certain families 
and at a ruinous expense. By Colonel 
Strachey’s Bill the management of canal and 
drainage works in India was regulated. At 
home a Bill was carried empowering the 
Viceroy to legislate at need without his 
Council, and to defy at pleasure a majority in 
his Council. The Civil Service of India was 
opened without examination to any native 
selected by the Indian Government. For the 
first time the Government of Bengal was em¬ 
powered to levy cesses on all classes con¬ 
nected with the land for the maintenance of 
roads and schools. But a more important 
extension of the application of the principle 
of local taxation for local deeds was the 
sanction given to the Local Governments 
to spend, at their own discretion, a certain 
proportion of their respective revenues on 
roads, schools, gaols, police, civil buildings, 
the medical services, registration, and other 
items, hitherto supervised wholly or in part 
by officers of the Central Government. To 
each Government was assigned its share of a 
total sum of more than four and a half mil¬ 
lions. Any outlay beyond this share must be 
met by local rates. By this arrangement 
the Local Governments, whose powers and 
responsibilities were enlarged, were provided 
with an incentive to a careful economy, and 
the Imperial Treasury was relieved of a 
serious burden. The following are extracts 
from Lord Mayo’s “ Decentralizing Resolu¬ 
tion,” bearing date December 14th, 1870 :— 

“ The Governor-General in Council is satis¬ 
fied that it is desirable to enlarge the powers 
and responsibilities of the Governments of 
presidencies and provinces in respect to the 
public expenditure in some of the civil depart¬ 
ments. 

“ Under the present system these Govern¬ 
ments have little liberty, and but few motives 
for economy in their expenditure: it lies 
with the Government of India to control the 
growth, of charges to meet which it has to 
raise the revenue. The Local Governments 
are deeply interested in the welfare of the 
people confided to their care, and, not know¬ 
ing the requirements of other parts of the 
country or of the Empire as a whole, they 
are liable, in their anxiety for administrative 












Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


141 


progress, to allow too little weight to fiscal 
considerations. On the other hand, the 
Supreme Government, as responsible for the 
general financial safety, is obliged to reject 
many demands in themselves deserving of all 
encouragement, and is not always able to dis¬ 
tribute satisfactorily the resources actually 
available. 

“ Thus it happens that the Supreme and 
Local Governments regard from different 
points of view measures involving expendi¬ 
ture ; and, the division of responsibility being 
ill defined, there occur conflicts of opinion 
injurious to the public service. In order to 
avoid these conflicts, it is expedient that, as 
far as possible, the obligation to find the 
funds necessary for administrative improve¬ 
ments should rest upon the authority whose 
immediate duty it is to devise such measures. 

“ This is the more important, because exist¬ 
ing imperial resources will not suffice for the 
growing wants of the country. Writing of 
roads and communications in October, 1869, 
the Government of India in the Public Works 
Department stated that it had for some years 
‘ been satisfied that to attempt to provide and 
maintain all the roads required for the inter¬ 
communications of so vast a territory from 
the ordinary revenues would be to enter on 
an altogether impracticable task. The matter,’ 
it was added, ‘ has been before this Govern¬ 
ment on several occasions since 1862, and 
the view now taken of it has already received, 
in general terms, the approval of the Secretary 
of State. It is only by a judicious system of 
local assessment and control that what is 
needed can be accomplished.’ This is not 
less true of some other departments of the 
administration. 

“ The Supreme Government is not in a 
position to understand fully local require¬ 
ments, nor has it the knowledge necessary 
for the successful development of local re¬ 
sources. Each province has special wants of 
its own, and may have means for supplying 
them which could not be appropriated for 
imperial purposes. A tax adapted to the cir¬ 
cumstances of one part of the country may 
be distasteful or inapplicable' elsewhere ; and 
everywhere rates may be proper for pro¬ 
vincial or local purposes which could not be 
takemffor the imperial revenue. 

“ These principles are now generally recog¬ 
nised, and important steps have been already 
taken to develop provincial resources. The 
Government of Bombay has for some years 
raised a considerable revenue for local pur¬ 
poses. Important measures to the same in¬ 
tent are under the consideration of the Legis¬ 
lative Council of Madras. The Government 
of Bengal is maturing a scheme, in accordance 


with the decision of the Secretary of State, 
for the levy of a rate for local objects in the 
Lower Provinces of Bengal. In all the other 
provinces of India provincial revenues have 
long been raised, and measures for increasing 
them are now being devised. 

“ These measures have been promoted 
chiefly to provide for urgent administrative 
wants, the means for which are not otherwise 
forthcoming. It is inexpedient that the funds 
so raised should be intercepted, to any con¬ 
siderable extent, for objects the cost of which 
has been hitherto defrayed from the general 
revenues, even though such objects be of an 
admittedly local character. Moreover, the 
Governor-General in Council is not desirous 
that the demands on the people for provincial 
purposes should be indefinitely or too rapidly 
increased. 

“ It would have been satisfactory had the 
Governor-General in Council been able to pro¬ 
pose the enlargement of the power and re¬ 
sponsibility of the Local Governments without 
charging upon local resources any part of the 
existing imperial expenditure. This cannot be 
done; but it has been determined to make as 
small a demand upon these resources as pos¬ 
sible. At the same time it should be remem¬ 
bered that the relief of the imperial finances 
has been a principal object in the discussion 
of such measures on former occasions. 

“ The income-tax of six pies in the rupee 
imposed for the current year was never in¬ 
tended to be permanent, and the Governor- 
General in Council has already announced a 
resolution not to renew the tax for next year 
at this high rate, unless some unforeseen con¬ 
tingency compels him to do so. 

“ It was thought at first that the income- 
tax could not be reduced to the desired extent 
without imposing upon local resources almost 
as large a sum as might be given up. Antici¬ 
pations made so long before the beginning of 
the financial year must be uncertain ; but, as 
far as the Governor-General in Council can 
now judge, it will be possible next year to 
give substantial relief from existing taxation, 
without the substitution of any considerable 
new burdens. 

“ The Government of India is accordingly 
pleased to make over to the Local Govern¬ 
ments, under certain conditions to be presently 
set forth, the following departments of the ad¬ 
ministration in which they may be supposed 
to take special interest; and to grant per¬ 
manently, from the imperial revenue, for 
these services, the sum of £4,688,711, being 
less by £330,801 only than the assignments 
made for the same services in 1870-71:— 

“Gaols, Registration, Police, Education, 
Medical Services (except ‘ Medical Establish- 




142 


HISTORY OR THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


ments ’), Printing, Roads, Miscellaneous Public 
Improvements, Civil Buildings. 

“ The Governor-General in Council is fully 
aware that this resolution will effect a wide 
change in Indian administration. It has been 
adopted after long and careful consideration, 
in the hope that it will be received by the 
Governments in the spirit in which it is pro¬ 
mulgated. The Governor-General in Council 
believes that it will produce greater care and 
economy, that it will impart an element of 
certainty into the fiscal system which has 
hitherto been absent, and that it will lead to 
more harmony in action and feeling between 
the Supreme and the Provincial G-overnments 
than has heretofore prevailed. 

“ But beyond all this, there is a greater 
and wider object in view. Local interest, 
supervision, and care are necessary to success 
in the management of funds devoted to educa¬ 
tion, sanitation, medical charity, and local 
public works. The operation ot this resolu¬ 
tion in its full meaning and integrity will 
afford opportunities for the development of 
self-government, for strengthening municipal 
institutions, and for the association of natives 
and Europeans to a greater extent than here¬ 
tofore, in the administration of affairs. 

“ The Governor-General in Council is aware 
of the difficulties attending the practical adop¬ 
tion of these principles. But they are not in¬ 
surmountable. Disappointments and partial 
failures may occur ; but, the object in view 
being the instruction of many peoples and 
races in a good system of administration, his 
Excellency in Council is fully convinced that 
the Local Governments and all their subordi¬ 
nates will enlist the active assistance, or, 
at all events, the sympathy of many classes 
who have hitherto taken little or no part 
in the work of social and material advance¬ 
ment. 

14 The additional powers of financial con¬ 
trol which will now be assumed by the Govern¬ 
ments must be accompanied by a correspond¬ 
ing increase of administrative responsibility. 
It is the desire of the Governor-General in 
Council to confine the interference of the 
Supreme Government in India, in the admi¬ 
nistration of the ‘ Provincial Services,’ to 
what is necessary for the discharge of that 
responsibility which the Viceroy in Council 
owes to the Queen and her responsible ad¬ 
visers, and for the purpose of securing ad¬ 
herence to the financial conditions now 
prescribed, and to the general policy or the 
Government of India. 

“ The procedure of the departments of 4 Re¬ 
gistration,’ ‘Gaols,’ and ‘Police’ is,to a large 
extent governed by law. No law exists upon 
the subject of 4 Education,’ but the policy of 


[Chap. CXLI. 

the Government has been declared and pre¬ 
scribed in dispatches from the Secretary of 
State, and in the rules sanctioned by the 
Government of India regarding 4 grants in 
aid ’ and other matters of general principle 
not affected by this resolution. 

44 Subject to these general restrictions, the 
Governments will henceforth enjoy full liberty 
in the expenditure of the funds appropriated 
to 4 Provincial Services.’ It must, however, 
be understood that in thus divesting himself 
of control, the Governor-General in Council 
divests himself also to a large extent of his 
former responsibility. If responsibility for 
expenditure is retained, control cannot be re¬ 
nounced. 

44 The Governor-General in Council dele¬ 
gates to the Local Governments this large 
additional share of administrative power with¬ 
out hesitation or distrust, believing that it 
will be exercised with wisdom, liberality, 
and prudence.” 

In 1870 a reformed system of weights 
and measures after the French or metric sys¬ 
tem was introduced. The primary standard 
of weight is a seer, equal to a weight of 
2-20462125 British pounds avoirdupois, which 
is equal to the kilogramme known in France as 
the kilogramme cles Archives. The primary 
standard of length is a metre, equal to a 
length of 89-37079 British inches, which is 
equal to the metre known in France as the 
metre cles Archives. The units for weights 
and measurement are:—For weights, the 
said seer ; for measures of capacity, a measure 
containing one such seer of water at its maxi¬ 
mum density, and being equal to 0-2202443 of 
a British gallon; for measures of length, the 
said metre ; for measures of area, the square 
metre ; for measures of solidity, the cubic 
metre. The Executive Government was em¬ 
powered to frame scales of weights and mea¬ 
sures based on these new standards and 
units, which are to be regarded as the autho¬ 
rised weights and measures of India. The 
use of the new authorised weights and mea¬ 
sures was to he made obligatory by specific 
orders of the Executive Government, and 
then only under certain limitations. It might 
be made obligatory on Government depart¬ 
ments, municipal offices, and railway com¬ 
panies, when the Government was satisfied 
that proper standards had. been made avail¬ 
able for the purpose. For the community 
generally, no power was taken to make obli¬ 
gatory the use of the new measures, but only 
of the new weights. Further, the general 
obligatory use of new weights in any locality 
could only be required when the Government 
had been satisfied, after a public local inquiry, 
that the introduction of them was expedient. 






Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


M3 


In the same year Government District Savings 
Banks were also established. 

During 1871 the paper currency was ex¬ 
tended by the introduction of five-rupee notes, 
and the notes issued in each province were 
permitted to be circulated in any of the others. 
An important measure was passed for dealing 
w r ith the criminal tribes throughout India. 
A Bill regarding advances by Government for 
the improvement of estates, and a measure 
for regulating the rates- charged on irrigated 
lands, also became law. A novelty in the 
administrative work of the year was the forma¬ 
tion of a new department of Trade and 
Agriculture, and an event of special promise 
for the future well-being of the Public Works 
Department in India was the opening, on 
August 5th, 1871, of the new Civil Engineer¬ 
ing College at Cooper’s Hill. 

The new department of Trade and Agricul¬ 
ture was inaugurated in accordance with the 
following resolution of Lord Mayo :—- 

“The Governor-General in Council is 
pleased to direct that the new department 
shall be constituted from the present date, 
June 6th, 1871, and that it shall be designated 
the Department of Be venue, Agriculture, and 
Commerce. It shall he placed under charge 
of an officer who shall be styled Secretary to 
the Government of India in that department. 

“ All matters relating to the following sub¬ 
jects, so far as they affect the provinces of 
British India, will, with certain exceptions 
hereafter to be specified, come under the cog¬ 
nisance of the new department,- namely— 
Land Revenue and Settlements, Government 
Advances for Works of Agricultural Improve¬ 
ment, Agriculture and Horticulture, Fibres 
and Silk, Studs and Cattle Breeding, Cattle 
Disease, Forests, Meteorology, Commerce and 
Trade, Customs (Sea and Inland), Opium, 
Salt, Excise, Stamps, Minerals and Geologi¬ 
cal Survey, Fisheries, Industrial Arts, Mu¬ 
seums, Exhibitions, Statistics, Gazetteers, 
Weights and Measures, Census, Surveys: 
Revenues, Topographical, and Trigonometri¬ 
cal. Besides the above, which fall properly 
within the scope of the new department, 
H.E. the Governor-General in Council has, 
for reasons of administrative convenience, 
decided to transfer to it temporarily the fol¬ 
lowing subjects — Municipalities, Sanitary 
(Lock Hospitals), Emigration, Settlements 
of Port Blair and Nicobars (excepting so far 
as relates to the management of convicts)-—- 
from Home Department. The actual transfer 
of the business connected with Sea Customs, 
Opium, Excise, and Stamps, will, however, 
not be made to the Financial Department until 
further notice. 

“These arrangements will admit of the 


transfer to the Home Department of certain 
portions, of work at present performed by 
other departments, but which properly belong 
to it. A considerable part of the business 
connected with the internal administration of 
the Punjab and Oudh, and of the Central and 
other Non-Regulation Provinces, is still con¬ 
ducted in the Foreign Department. This 
arrangement was originally one of evident pro¬ 
priety and necessity ; but the circumstances 
of the more important of the so-called Non- 
Regulation Provinces are now entirely differ¬ 
ent from what they were some years ago. 
Both the substantive law and the laws of 
procedure which were then in force are now, 
for the most part, identical with those of the 
older provinces, and it is inconvenient and 
anomalous that the Foreign Department 
should have to deal differently with matters 
of a precisely similar character to those 
which come before the Florae Department for 
other parts of India. The relief given to the 
Home Office by the formation of the new de¬ 
partment now enables the transfer to be 
made.” 

Lord Mayo showed himself ever anxious 
for the extension of commerce, and to pro¬ 
vide the roads, railways, and harbours which 
its development requires. Under him road¬ 
making was pushed forward with vigour, and 
railways and irrigation works were greatly 
extended. “ In the consideration of all these 
matters,” he said, at the opening of the 
Khangaum Railway, “ we must first take into 
account the inhabitants of this country. The 
welfare of the people of India is our primary 
object. If we are not here for their good, 
we ought not to be here at all.” Early in 
1869 the first sod was turned of a State line 
of railway from Lahor to Peshawar, and it 
soon became known that the Government had 
resolved to take into its own hands the con¬ 
struction of several thousand miles of railway, 
as an improvement on the slower and costlier 
process of intrusting the work to guaranteed 
companies. “ Under the old system, to use 
the words of the Duke of Argyll, ‘the money 
was raised on the credit and authority of the 
State, under an absolute guarantee of 5 
per cent., involving no risk to the share¬ 
holders, and sacrificing on the part of Govern¬ 
ment every chance of profit, Avhile taking 
every chance of loss.’ Under the new sys¬ 
tem, the Government now borrows its rail¬ 
way capital at 4 per cent., and thus makes 
an initial saving of £100,000 a year on every 
ten millions. Under the former system there 
was a double management, and the cost of 
construction averaged about £17,000 per mile. 
Under the new system there is a single firm 
control, the Government gets its work dono 



144 HISTORY OF THE 

by contract at tbe lowest market rates, and 
the cost of construction on the narrow-gauge 
State lines is less than £6,000 per mile.”* 
New lines were begun to tap the salt-bearing 
districts in the Punjab, Oudh, and Rajputana. 
The first State line, the Khangaum Railway, 
linking the cotton-fields of Berar with the 
new T port of Karwar, was opened by the Vice¬ 
roy early in 1870. The opening of the Ja¬ 
balpur line closed up the last gap in the chain 
of railway from Bombay to Allahabad and 
Calcutta, and by the opening of the Chord 
line on the East Indian Railway the journey 
from Calcutta to Bombay was shortened by 
several hours. By the opening of the great 
Sutlej Railway Bridge in October, a mile and 
a quarter in length, the last link was com¬ 
pleted in the line of rail from Bombay through 
Allahabad to Lahor. On the last day of 1870 
the Eastern Bengal Railway was completed to 
Goalando, in Assam. In 1871 a complete line 
was opened between Bombay and Madras, 
only one link, the bridge over the Kistnah, 
being still to finish. By the close of March, 
1871, the railway mileage amounted to 5,051 
miles. The system of lines projected by 
Lord Dalhousie was thus complete, all the 
presidency towns being brought into a.certain 
connection with each other, and with the 
capitals of the Punjab, Oudh, the Central 
Provinces, and the North-West Provinces. 
These lines represent the continuous labour 
of twenty years, and an average yearly profit 
of about per cent, upon a total outlay of 
£70,000,000. By the close of March, 1872, 
the mileage amounted to 5,204^ miles. Only 
68£ miles of open railway belonged to 
the Government, and only 13 had actually 
been laid down by the State. There were, 
however, 2,440 miles in course of construction, 
of which 1,503 were being laid by the Govern¬ 
ment at a probable cost of eleven millions, 
including two already expended. The net 
earnings of the guaranteed lines came to 
£2,839,338, leaving rather more than a mil¬ 
lion and a half to be defrayed as interest out 
of Indian revenues. “ All things considered,” 
says Allen's'Indian Mail, “ this is not a very 
serious charge on the Indian taxpayer in re¬ 
turn for the benefits already flowing, and sure 
in time to flow yet more abundantly, from the 
spread of Indian railways. The guarantee 
system may have fairly been condemned, for 
future purposes, but with all its shortcomings 
no better, we think, could have been devised 
for India, on its first introduction by Lord 
Dalhousie.” The discovery of coal at Chauda 
in 1869 opened up the prospect of a time 
when the western railways would no longer 
be dependent on coal from England. 

* Renter’s I fe of the Earl of Mayo. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

To irrigation, which was the subject of 
much solicitude to his predecessor, Lord Mayo 
devoted great attention, and there was no 
time in which more was performed in this 
direction than during his administration. 
“ The Ganges Canal was extended, and, after 
seventeen years of deficit, took its place as a 
work no longer burdensome to the State. A 
new irrigation system, starting from the 
Ganges opposite Aligarh, and which will 
water the whole lower part of the Doab from 
Fathigarh to Allahabad was commenced. 
The eastern half of Rohilkhand and the 
western districts of Oudh were at the same 
time being placed beyond peril of drought 
and famine by the Sardah Canal. Similar 
works for Western Rohilkhand were being 
carried out by a canal from the. Ganges. 
Plans were prepared, and the sanction of the 
Secretary of State partially obtained, for a 
project which would bring the waters of the 
Jamna to the arid tracts on the west of Delhi. 
While the Western Jamna Canal was thus to 
receive a vast extension, the Lower Jamna 
Canal was being pushed forward in the dis¬ 
tricts to the south-east of Delhi. Proceeding 
farther down the Gangetic Valley, we find 
works of equal promise being carried on from 
the Son (Soane) River through the province of 
Behar—the province destined in 1874 to be 
the next Indian territory which was to suffer 
dearth. On the seaboard, Orissa (the pro¬ 
vince of Lower Bengal which had last passed 
through the ordeal) saw its districts placed be¬ 
yond the peril that had from time immemorial 
hung over them, by a vast system of canals and 
the development of means of communication 
with the outside world. Still farther south, 
the Godavari works were going forward. In 
the far west, projects for the drought-stricken 
districts of Sind were drawn up and investi¬ 
gated ; while in Bombay, Madras, and other 
provinces, many works of great local utility, 
although of less conspicuous extent, were 
initiated, pushed forward, or matured.”* 
The cost of these undertakings was great, 
and the financial difficulties involved in their 
construction were carefully considered by 
Lord Mayo, whose principles with regard to 
them were thus expressed by himself:— 

“We must establish a system of irrigation and 
finance which will throw the main burden ot 
the cost of these works upon the land that 
benefits by them. We must follow the same 
principles which have been adopted by all 
other countries in the world in which similar 
works have been constructed. Everybody 
seems to wish for irrigation, but many appear 
to desire that somebody else should pay for 
it. We must take such measures, as will 
* Hunter’s Life of the Earl of Mayo. 





Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


145 


oblige the people whose lives are preserved 
and whose wealth is augmented by these 
works, to contribute in a fair proportion to 
the cost of their construction. If a work is 
not sustained by local resources, it can only 
be sustained by the enforced contributions of 
the general taxpayers. I ask, is it fair or 
right that works constructed for the exclusive 
benefit of the Punjab or the North-West 
should be paid for out of the pockets of the 
people of Madras and Bombay ? It was the 
early adoption of the principles which I now 
advocate that has led to the successful admi¬ 
nistration of the enormous sums borrowed 
from the State, or on municipal security, for 
agricultural, civic, maritime, and other under¬ 
takings in England. I believe that had 
England adopted the principle which has 
hitherto been accepted in India, that is, that 
the general revenues of the country were to 
be made liable for improvements of a limited 
and local character, not only would the ex¬ 
penditure on these works have been most 
extravagant, but that the charge thrown 
upon the general revenues would have be¬ 
come so enormous that the construction of 
all such works would long ago have been 
arrested.” 

In accordance with these principles a Canal 
Act for the Punjab passed the Indian Legis¬ 
lature, by which the cost of any local irriga¬ 
tion work was to be defrayed by a compulsory 
cess on the owners and occupiers of the lands 
to which the water was brought. 

So heavily did the vast accumulation of 
debt requisite for the protection of the people 
from famine weigh upon Lord Mayo’s mind, 
that he resolved that such undertakings as 
were connected with irrigation should be 
classed under an entirely distinct branch of 
Indian finance. He once said, “ I believe 
that unless the whole of our loans for repro¬ 
ductive public works (that is to say, the whole 
debt incurred for improvements of a remu¬ 
nerative character, such as canals or railways) 
is removed from the ordinary finance, you 
will find it impossible to continue these most 
necessary works on a scale commensurate 
with the requirements of the country.” He 
therefore desired that the whole charge of 
such works should be kept separate, and that 
the entire profits derived from them should 
be applied to the discharge of the debt which 
had been incurred in constructing them. He 
laid it down as a fundamental principle of the 
policy which he wished to inaugurate, “ that 
until the entire debt upon such works had 
been cleared off, the income received should 
not be considered as part of the revenues of 
the year, or applied to reducing taxation.” 
A letter, which still remained in draft at 
vol. m. 


the time of his death, advocated the making 
of a definite public statement “that we shall 
borrow money for a special class of works on 
the security of the revenues, but on the 
understanding that the loan shall be repaid 
from the first earnings of those works.” He 
believed that the only possible security against 
indefinite and disastrous accumulations of 
loans for such works is the absolute “hypothe¬ 
cation ” of the income to discharge the capital 
debt.* To carry out this determination, Lord 
Mayo desired to constitute a special body of 
Commissioners, at least one of whom should 
be an officer of the Government, the duty of 
which Commissioners it would be to certify, 
as an independent Board of Audit, with the 
public as witnesses, that the sum raised for 
the construction of public works had really 
been applied and repaid in strict accordance 
with the conditions under which the loans 
were made. 

It was thought by some that such a policy 
would fetter the future action of the Govern¬ 
ment in regard to the income derived from 
such undertakings. But “ for my own part,” 
wrote the Viceroy shortly before his death, 
“ I say frankly that I do desire to fetter the 
discretion of Government in dealing hereafter 
with receipts from reproductive works. I 
believe that the whole of the returns from 
these works should be kept apart from the 
ordinary resources of the country, and, after 
deducting the interest on loans, should be 
spent in providing for new works, and so 
avoid borrowing as far as possible. The whole 
of the returns would appear in the annual 
receipts of the State as they do now, but the 
sums obtained in return for these works 
should go solely in aid of the loan expendi¬ 
ture of the year, and the Budget should be 
constructed accordingly. I have no hope of 
this ever being done unless a separate body is 
constituted such as I have always advocated, 
armed with powers intrusted to them either 
by the Government or the Legislature ; and, 
until such a course is taken, I cannot think 
that we shall be safe from the recurrence of 
those evils which, in respect to the cost of 
construction of these great works, have con¬ 
stantly arisen.” f 

But Lord Mayo’s sudden and lamented 
death left many of his plans in regard to 
irrigation and railways and other matters un¬ 
fulfilled. He lived to carry out a certain 
number of individual measures, but not long 
enough to consolidate the carefully devised 
systems, of which they formed parts, into 
permanent administrative facts. It may be 

* Hunter’s Life of the Earl of Mayo. 

f Private letter, afterwards published in Cal¬ 
cutta Ob server. 

U 




146 HISTORY OF THE 

briefly said of bis irrigation schemes that the 
local undertakings to -which he had given so 
much earnest attention have been vigorously 
carried out; that the compulsory canal cess, 
although passed into law by the Indian Legis¬ 
lature, was disallowed by the Secretary of 
State ; and that the difficult problem of an 
entirely separate system of finance for repro¬ 
ductive works, while daily making progress 
in points of detail, has not yet obtained prac¬ 
tical solution as a whole. 

The Governor-General felt, however, that 
the question before him in India was not 
merely one of material development. The 
barriers of caste have done much to shut off 
one class from the sympathies of another, 
and to dwarf the growth of that local public 
opinion which, more than any written law, 
regulates an Englishman’s conduct towards 
his neighbours. In India the strong have 
always oppressed the weak. The village capi¬ 
talist is invariably regarded as the village 
usurer, and from time immemorial his life and 
property have been liable to be swept away in 
ebullitions of popular resentment. The Bri¬ 
tish District Officer does not permit such 
ebullitions. He brings to trial the slayers of 
a Bombay soukdr, a North-Western baniyd, or 
a Bengali mahajan as ordinary murderers, and 
he hangs them. Neither will the British Dis¬ 
trict Officer allow the native landholder to 
recover his rent by the summary process of 
imprisonment, or by tying up defaulters by 
their thumbs to a wall against which they are 
obliged to stand on tiptoe. Instead of the 
old processes of agrestis justitia, whether car¬ 
ried out by the rich or by the poor, we have 
substituted uniform Codes of Procedure for 
both. If the strong do still oppress, as they 
may do in all countries, it must now in India, 
as elsewhere, be by due course of law. But, 
on the other hand, the husbandmen of Lower 
Bengal have repeatedly shown that two can 
play at going to law, and that in a country of 
petite eulture no landholder can stand against a 
sustained conspiracy on the part of his tenants 
to withhold their rent. At the same time, 
although such combinations are occasionally 
threatened, their actual occurrence is exceed¬ 
ingly rare. In the ordinary course of rural life 
our system of regular justice has immensely 
strengthened the hands of the educated and 
wealthy classes in the struggle which goes on 
in a densely populated country between the 
rich and the poor. Our system of public 
instruction, however, had in some parts of 
India supplied an excellent education to . the 
opulent and upper middle classes at the cost 
of the State, and made scarcely any provision 
for the education of the masses. 

Soon after his arrival Lord Mayo was struck 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

by the differences in this respect between the 
various provinces of India. For example, he 
found schools scattered over the whole ; of 
Bombay in large numbers, public instruction 
being furnished on a wide and popular basis. 
In the North-Western Provinces, in like 
manner, he saw the indigenous hamlet- 
schools ( halkdbandi ) carefully conserved, and 
proving their vitality, under the intelligent 
supervision of Sir William Muir. But in 
Lower Bengal he found quite a different 
system recognised. High-class education 
flourished there. > The Calcutta University, 
with its knot of able and distinguished pro¬ 
fessors, set the example to the whole schools 
of Bengal, and practically prescribed the 
teaching in most of them. The wealthier 
section of the community had educational 
facilities lavished upon them such as no other 
province of India enjoyed. The State tried 
zealously to do its duty in instructing the 
people, and it interpreted this duty to mean a 
high-class education for a small section of 
them. It devoted a very large portion of its 
Education Grant to this object', and it ob¬ 
tained a brilliant success. The “ Bengali 
Babu” has become the recognised type of the 
educated native of Northern India. But the 
Bengal system gained its triumph at the cost 
of the primary education of the masses. Its 
district and upper schools rose on the ruins of 
the old indigenous hamlet-schools ( pdtsdlas ). 
If the parents of a youth were well off, and 
could afford to pay for his education, the State 
stepped forward to save them the trouble. 
But the indigenous agency of primary in¬ 
struction received no encouragement. The 
village teacher (gurumdhctsay) who, from gene¬ 
ration to generation, had gathered the chil¬ 
dren of the hamlet into his mat . hut and 
taught them to trace their letters on the mud 
floor, found himself deserted by all his pupils 
who had been accustomed to pay him—only 
those whom he instructed gratis remained. 
He and his fathers had all their lives been in 
the habit of communicating their little stock 
of knowledge to all comers of decent caste, 
and to support themselves by the offerings of 
a few of their wealthier disciples. They had 
looked upon the instruction of youth as a 
religious duty, and regarded their office as a 
priestly one. But their faith was sorely tried 
under a system which swept off the well-to-do 
youth of the village to the Government school, 
and left only those who could afford to pay 
nothing on their hands. At the date of about 
a dozen years ago (1878) the indigenous rural 
schools in Bengal were being crushed out, and 
although a stand was even then made on their 
behalf, the system of public instruction in the 
province still sacrificed the teaching of the 





Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


147 


masses to high-class education, when Lord 
Mayo arrived in India. 

The Bengal authorities, however, had not 
without consideration adopted their system, 
and they were prepared to defend it. Then’ 
basis was what has been called the “filtra¬ 
tion” theory of education. With 67,000,000 
of people to educate, and an Education Grant 
of £186,000, or £2 15s. Gel. per thousand of 
the population, any attempt at the primary 
instruction of the masses would swallow up 
the entire allowance, and leave results utterly 
insignificant. They therefore preferred to 
concentrate their efforts on middle, and espe¬ 
cially on upper-class schools, and thus secure 
a sound education to a small but important 
section of the community. They contended 
that the effect of this system would not be 
confined to those who were immediately bene¬ 
fited ; it would “ filtrate ” downwards, and 
even meanwhile they had a tangible result to 
show for the money which they spent. Still 
it was much to be regretted that the peasantry 
of Bengal should sink into deeper ignorance, 
and that the ancient mechanism of rural edu¬ 
cation should come to ruin while the other 
process was going on. Besides, the practical 
result of the system was to arm the rich and 
powerful with the new weapon of knowledge, 
and to burden the poor with an additional 
dead weight of ignorance in the struggle for 
life. 

Writing to a friend, Lord Mayo says, “ I 
dislike this filtration theory. In Bengal we 
are educating in English a few hundred Babus 
at great expense to the State. Many of them 
are well able to pay for themselves, and have 
no other object in learning than the qualifying 
of themselves for Government employment. In 
the meanwhile we have done nothing towards 
extending knowledge to the million. The 
Babus will never do it. The more education 
you give them the more they will try to keep 
it to themselves, and make their greater know¬ 
ledge a means of tyranny. If you wait till 
the bad English, which the 400 Babus learn 
in Calcutta, filters down in the 40,000,000 
[now, 1878, 67,000,000] of Bengal, you will 
be a Silurian rock and not a retired judge. 
Let the Babus learn English by all means ; 
but let us also try to do something towards 
teaching the three R’s to rural Bengal.” 

Sir George Campbell, the Lieutenant-Gover¬ 
nor of Bengal during the principal part of 
Lord Mayo’s viceroyalty, has the credit of 
turning these aspirations into administrative 
facts. No one who is capable of forming a 
judgment in regard to Sir George’s mental 
power and idiosyncrasies, or who has seen 
his official utterances on the question, will 
doubt that he was perfectly strong enough to 


have initiated and carried out the reform 
without help from the Government of India. 
All that the Viceroy had to do was to give 
him the political and financial support which 
the Supreme Government of India wields. 
Lord Mayo did this, and cordially and skil¬ 
fully opened the way for Sir George Camp¬ 
bell’s educational efforts at the very outset of 
his administration. It was Lord Mayo’s prac¬ 
tice to bring to bear upon every important 
question the special knowledge possessed by 
any member of his Government, or acquired 
during the course of his previous career. In 
the present instance, one of the under-secre¬ 
taries in the Home Department of the Govern¬ 
ment of India, who had formerly been an 
inspector of schools in Bengal, rendered valu¬ 
able assistance. The whole system was ana¬ 
lyzed, and its defects indicated. Sir George 
Campbell had been but recently appointed to 
the Lieutenant-Governorship, and a courteous 
and mild letter was addressed to him asking 
to receive his views on the question. In 
India no Viceroy or Provincial Governor ever 
changes the policy of his predecessor. He 
only “ develops ” it. But the reforms in the 
present case mark a new era in the history of 
the province. In 1870-71 the Department of 
Public Instruction was educating 163,854 
children in Lower Bengal at a cost of £186,598 
to the State.* In 1874, when Sir George 
Campbell retired from the Governor-General¬ 
ship, he left 400,721 children under instruc¬ 
tion, they being educated at a cost to the 
Government of £228,151.f He had in the 
interval covered Bengal with elementary 
schools ; pieced together and resuscitated the 
old indigenous mechanism of rural instruc¬ 
tion ; and, without curtailing in any of its 
essential features high-class education, created 
a bond fide system of public instruction for 
the people of the country. 

The missionaries had up to that time stood 
foremost as popular educators in Bengal. 
The late Bev. Dr. Duff was conspicuous 
among these friends of the people in this 
department. But missionaries of whatever 
denomination or nationality, European or 
American, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, 
Wesleyan, Roman Catholic, or by whatever 
name known in Christendom, all shared in 
this laudable enterprise. Lord Mayo early 
realised this fact, and gave his cordial sym¬ 
pathy to those engaged in the work. Before 
his brief rule closed he had an opportunity, 
in connection with a missionary memorial, of 
stating that the educational policy of the 

* Report by the Director of Public Instruction, L.P., 
for 1870-7], pp. 2, 3. 

f Administrative Report of Bengal for 1873-74; 
Statistical Returns, cxi.-cxiii. 








148 


HISTORY OF THE 

Government had become in accord with that 
of these friends of India, and he added, “ The 
desire which I expressed when I first came 
to India, namely,, that no very long time 
would elapse before a serious and decided 
commencement would be made in the great 
work of educating the masses of Bengal, will 
now be realised.” 

Lord Mayo found that the Mohammadans 
of Bengal stood aloof from the Government 
system of education, and were rapidly drop¬ 
ping out from among the instructed classes. 
As a natural consequence, they lost in the 
race of life, and were being gradually ex¬ 
cluded from Government and other lucrative 
employments by the Hindus. He also found 
that the Mohammadans were much dis¬ 
satisfied with this state of things, and that 
their discontent assumed in Bengal a form 
which was anything but pleasant to the 
Government. A fanatical camp on the north¬ 
western border of India was fed by recruits 
and remittances from the lower part of the 
province of Bengal. This camp stood as a 
permanent menace to the British frontier, 
and repeatedly involved costly expeditions 
against it. Lord Mayo was not in anywise 
a man likely to trifle with rebellion, and he 
invariably went sternly to the root of dis¬ 
affection wherever he found it. In the pre¬ 
sent instance, by substituting a competent 
knowledge of the facts of the case for the old 
mixed system of laissez-faire and surprises, he 
was able to accomplish much. He withdrew 
the Wahabi movement from the operations of 
war into the calm, persistent action of the 
courts. A series of continual trials sent the 
leaders of that movement across the sea for 
life, and cowed and dispersed their followers. 
The Government did not permit to any 
traitor the honours of a political offender in 
connection with his execution, neither did 
they allow to any fanatic the glory of 
martyrdom,—and thus was stamped out, 
never again to appear, the Wahabi disaffec- 
tion. 

The stern suppression of active disloyalty, 
however, formed only a part of Lord Mayo’s 
policy. He found the Government system of 
education to be one which the Mohammadans 
could not, with proper regard to their religious 
sentiments, avail themselves of. He there¬ 
fore set himself earnestly to study their re¬ 
quirements, and, if possible, was resolved to 
meet them. In one of his viceregal notes he 
says, “ As regards the Mohammadan popula¬ 
tion, our present system of education is, to a 
great extent, a failure. We have not only 
failed to attract the sympathies and confidence 
of a large and an important section of the 
community, but we have reason to fear that 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

we have caused positive disaffection. . His 
lordship then carefully reviewed the statistics 
of Hindu and Mohammadan pupils in the 
public elementary schools throughout the 
various provinces of India. He found that 
in Bengal, the chief seat of Mussulman dis¬ 
affection, there were only 14,000 Moham¬ 
madan pupils against 100,000 Hindus; that 
is to say, while the Mussulmans form about 
one-third of the population of the Lieutenant- 
Governorship of Bengal, the Mohammadan 
pupils formed less than one-seventh of the 
attendance at the Government schools. After 
commenting on the lamentable deficiency in 
the education of a large mass of what was, 
not very long ago, the most powerful race in 
India, the Viceroy says, “Assuming that, 
after the experience-of years, we have failed 
to attract the mass of the Mohammadan people 
to our system of education, and have, more¬ 
over, created a cause of disaffection, inasmuch 
as they find themselves unable to participate 
in the material advantages which Government 
education has conferred on the Hindus, it 
remains to be seen what remedy can be 
applied. ... It is found that, first, among his 
own people, the Mohammadan is not a gentle¬ 
man until he has acquired a certain amount 
of Arabic and Urdu learning. Second, that 
he will not come to a Hindu school to be 
taught by a Hindu teacher. Third, that we 
must, therefore, give way somewhat to their 
national prejudices, and allow to Arabic, Per¬ 
sian, and Urdu a more prominent place in 
many of our schools and examination tests. 
That we should aid Urdu schools as we do 
Bengali schools, open out classes and scholar¬ 
ships in our colleges for Mohammadans, and 
in every way give them a more equal chance 
of filling those lucrative positions which are 
now almost monopolized by Hindus. A very 
small change in educational tests will, I be¬ 
lieve, effect much of the desired object. I 
think a Resolution, brief and carefully worded, 
might with safety be issued. It would be 
scarcely prudent to enter into details, or to 
found the Resolution” on reasons plainly 
stated. “ I would rather, in more general terms, 
say something like this,— ! The condition of 
the Mohammadan population as regards educa¬ 
tion has of late been frequently pressed upon 
the attention of the Government of India. 
From statistics recently submitted, it is evi¬ 
dent that in no province, except perhaps in 
the Nprth-Western Provinces and the Punjab, 
do the Mohammadans adequately, or in pro¬ 
portion to the rest of the community, avail 
themselves of the educational advantages which 
are offered by the Government. It is much 
to be regretted that so large and important a 
* Madras Mail. 






Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


149 


class, possessing a classical literature replete 
with works of profound learning and great 
value, and counting among its members a 
section specially devoted to the acquisition 
and diffusion of knowledge, should stand aloof 
from active co-operation with our educational 
system, and should lose the advantages, both 
material and solid, which others enjoy. His 
Excellency in Council believes that secondary 
and higher education conveyed in the verna¬ 
culars, and rendered more accessible than 
heretofore, coupled with a more systematic 
recognition of Arabic and Persian literature, 
would be not only acceptable to the Mo- 
hammadan community, but would enlist 
the sympathies of the more earnest and en¬ 
lightened of its members on the side of edu¬ 
cation.’ ” 

But perhaps the most distinctive feature of 
Lord Mayo’s policy consisted not so much in 
his efforts to instruct the people of India as 
to educate their rulers. At the time of his 
accession the Government did not know the 
population of a single district of its most ad¬ 
vanced province, and the first census of Bengal 
—taken under Lord Mayo’s orders—unex¬ 
pectedly disclosed a population of 66,750,000, 
instead of 40,000,000 of people in that lieu¬ 
tenant-governorship. No data existed for 
estimating the practical effects which any 
national calamity would have upon a district. 
When famine burst upon the Bengal seaboard 
in 1866, the Government remained unaware 
that the calamity was imminent until it had 
become irremediable, and scarcity had passed 
into starvation. The proportion which the 
crops of a province bore to its food require¬ 
ments, the fluctuations of its internal or ex¬ 
ternal trade, and everything connected with 
the operations by means of which wealth is 
distributed or accumulated, and by which the 
needs of one part of the country are met by 
the superfluities of another, remained unknown 
factors in administrative calculations of the 
most important practical description. The 
East India Company had repeatedly endea¬ 
voured to obtain an accurate knowledge of the 
territories which its servants had won. Indi¬ 
vidual administrators had laboured, in some 
instances with much success, to collect such 
information. But no organization existed in 
the Government of India for working up the 
results thus obtained, or for extending such 
local efforts on a uniform system over the 
whole country. This absence of systematic 
investigation and knowledge of the resources 
of India had, from time to time, been urged 
alike by eminent thinkers and by practical 
men in England, and it had not unseldom 
landed the Government of India in disastrous 
surprises. But the twenty years which pre¬ 


ceded the viceroyalty of the Earl of Mayo had 
done much to meet this just reproach. 

When the country passed to the Crown, the 
Calcutta Home Office, which was a vast and 
overgrown department, still supervised the 
whole administration of India. It is true 
certain changes had partially relieved the de¬ 
partment under the rule of the first three 
Viceroys; and whatever aid it could derive 
from a methodical distribution of work, it had 
obtained during Lord Lawrence’s administra¬ 
tion. When the Earl of Mayo succeeded, he 
found it officered by a strong and experienced 
staff, presided over and directed by two under¬ 
secretaries, chief secretary, and two members 
of Council. Practically it was divided into 
two branches, each with an under-secretary 
and member of Council; while the chief 
secretary, so to speak, stood between the 
cross-fire of work which daily poured up from 
the two under-secretaries through him to the 
two members of Council and the Viceroy. 
The task was burdensome. One man cannot 
permanently do the work of two. The Earl 
of Mayo accordingly resolved to give formal 
recognition to what had for some time been 
an actual fact, and to erect the two branches 
of the Home Office into two separate depart¬ 
ments, each with a proportionate part of the 
old staff, and an under-secretary, secretary, 
and member of council of its own. In this 
arrangement he gave effect to a process which 
had been going on ever since India had come 
under the direct rule of the Crown. 

During even the short space of a generation 
of Indian officials several great departments 
had almost grown out of the Home Office. 
The Public Works Department, the Legis¬ 
lative and the Financial, had attained to entirely 
new proportions from this cause. Thus the 
management of the customs, the salt duty, 
and opium was transferred from the Home to 
the Financial Department in 1863, and in 1867 
the control of the post-offices throughout 
India followed the same course. Still, not¬ 
withstanding these transfers, the Indian Home 
Office remained in 1869 the overgrown double 
bureau which has just been described. In 
redistributing the work, Lord Mayo retained 
for the Home Department the functions of 
government in the ordinary sense of the term. 
To the War Department he assigned the duties 
which arise from the special relation which 
the ruling power holds, as the principal Indian 
proprietor, to the land and the people. Under 
the War Department he placed settlements, or 
the arrangements which the ruling power 
makes with the people for the land; the 
rental derived therefrom, and a variety of 
subjects connected with the improvement 
of agriculture; the survey of its estates, 



15 o HISTORY OF THE 

and the commercial development of their re¬ 
sources. 

The Viceroy, in all these arrangements, 
keenly realised, as more than one of his pre¬ 
decessors had felt before him, that the foreign 
rulers of India had fallen short of their duty 
in the study of the country and itsj people. 
He saw that the chief source of their errors 
in the past, and of their peril in the future, 
was the want of knowledge. Since their first 
short period of unrighteous rule in the last 
century, the one desire of every great Indian 
administrator, and the permanent policy of 
the controlling body in England, had been to 
govern justly. This he saw: where they had 
failed,, they had failed from ignorance. Of 
this also he was convinced: the same fault 
would be predicable of any other foreign 
administrators who tried to rule in the inter¬ 
ests of the people; but, unhappily for the 
world, the English in India are the first his¬ 
torical example of an alien conquering race 
striving to govern in such a manner. The 
Earl of Mayo resolved to accomplish. what 
the most eminent of his predecessors had 
looked forward to and longed for—the prac¬ 
tical organization of a great department of 
knowledge. In redistributing the work of 
internal administration, he concentrated un¬ 
der the new department every branch of 
inquiry respecting the country and the peo¬ 
ple. The trigonometrical measurement of 
India, the topographical mapping of its pro¬ 
vinces, the revenue survey of its districts, the 
explorations of its coasts and seas, the geolo¬ 
gical scrutiny into its mineral wealth, the 
observation and record of its meteorological 
phenomena, the obtaining of reliable statistics 
in regard to its agricultural products and 
capabilities, and the making of minute re¬ 
searches by settlement officers into the details 
of rural life—all these and other isolated 
branches of inquiry he gathered up into a 
firmly concentrated whole. Where he found 
the search for knowledge already going on, 
he systematized it, and endeavoured to com¬ 
plete the missing limbs by organizing a statis¬ 
tical survey of every district in India. To 
instance one only of the portions of work 
executed under the new department before 
its founder’s death,' it may be remarked that 
here, for the first time, was made a proper 
census of the people of India. . This time 
the census was not for one province, but for 
the entire country. Papers of the utmost 
importance, intimately connected with that 
census, have, from time to time, been pre¬ 
pared by the department and given to the 
public on that large class of Indian products 
which possess capabilities not yet developed 
—such as the rhea fibre, which is destined to 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

change the textile fabrics and industries of 
the world ; silk, tobacco, lac, &c. In agri¬ 
culture he believed that the rulers had some¬ 
thing to teach, and still more to learn. In 
developing the trade and products and capa¬ 
bilities of the country, he held that the duty 
of the Government ceased when it had, by 
practical experiments, pointed out the way 
and removed the obstacles. For the fruits of 
his efforts, whether in agriculture _ or com¬ 
merce, he looked to private enterprise. But 
he held that it was a proper function of 
Government, situated as the Indian Govern¬ 
ment is, to supply the initial knowledge, 
without which private enterprise in India 
cannot come into play. Such views, on the 
part of Lord Mayo, were the growth of seve¬ 
ral years. They began to form themselves in 
his mind during the first months of his vice¬ 
royalty, and the process of development was 
visibly going on till the time of his lamented 
decease. A lasting administrative refoim 
seldom leaps forth in full panoply from any 
single brain. The Earl of Mayo’s reforms 
certainly did not. They grew with the 
growth of his knowledge. Even after he 
had laid his plans officially before the Secre¬ 
tary of State at home, in the second year of 
his viceroyalty, his views received important 
modifications. In regard, for example, to 
the new department, instead of placing it 
under the charge of a Director-Generalship, 
as he had at first proposed, it was ultimately 
formed into an independent Secretariat of the 
Government of India. 

His conception of the duties of such a de¬ 
partment sprang primarily from the necessity 
which the Indian Government felt for a more 
accurate knowledge regarding the agriculture 
and commerce of the country. Manchester 
and Glasgow were demanding a larger sup¬ 
ply of cotton, with a longer staple, and some 
sort of security that the bales did not consist 
too largely of broken bricks and stones. The 
tea-planters on the north-eastern frontier 
had become objects of great interest, with 
many wants to be satisfied, and a most diffi¬ 
cult labour problem to get adjusted. Jute 
and oiT seeds were yearly engrossing more of 
the soil of Bengal, and the population requir¬ 
ing food-grains was at the same time rapidly 
multiplying. Proposals were constantly being 
made to Government for improving the native 
breeds of cattle, for introducing better de¬ 
scriptions of seed, better processes of agri¬ 
culture, better implements of tillage, and 
more remunerative crops. In short, the 
increase of the population, the vast outlets 
for Indian products to Europe, and the accu¬ 
mulation of wealth had raised the problem 
of how far, and in what forms, would the 







Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


151 


application of capital to land in Bengal be 
profitable. The time seemed to have come 
when there ought to be started something 
like an Agricultural Department in the Go¬ 
vernment of India, with branches in the 
presidencies and the lieutenant-governor¬ 
ships. Agriculture had hitherto been much 
neglected by the Government. Every day 
the want of an Agricultural Department, which 
might also connect itself with trade, was 
more keenly felt. But no small amount of 
discretion and shrewdness was necessary in 
the introduction of a new order of things. 
In his viceregal notes Lord Mayo says, on 
this subject, “In connection with agricul¬ 
ture we must be careful of two things. First, 
we must not ostentatiously tell native hus¬ 
bandmen to do things which they have been 
doing for centuries. Second, we must not 
tell them to do things which they can’t do, 
and have no means of doing. In either case 
they will laugh at us, and they will learn to 
disregard really useful advice when it is 
given.” 

He did not infer, however, that nothing 
could be done. He understood that, for 
generations to come, the progress of India in 
wealth and civilisation must be directly de¬ 
pendent upon her progress in agriculture. 
Agriculture must long continue to furnish the 
most important part of her products and ex¬ 
ports, and the future development of Indian 
commerce will mainly depend upon the im¬ 
provement in the quantity and quality of 
existing agricultural staples, or on the intro¬ 
duction of new pi’oducts, which shall serve as 
materials for manufacture and for use in the 
industrial arts. The efforts of the Govern¬ 
ment of India and of English enterprise have 
doubtless been largely beneficial. Thus im¬ 
portant progress has been made in regard to 
cotton. Large sums of money were spent in 
former years in attempts to improve its culti¬ 
vation, but with small result, on account of 
the mistaken system under which they were 
made. It has now become manifest that its 
improvement, by the introduction of exotic 
seed, can only be secured by careful and pro¬ 
longed experimental cultivation. Benewed 
attention has more recently been given to this 
subject, and with much better effect. The 
success of our tea, coffee, and cinchona planta¬ 
tions shows what has been and may be done 
in introducing into India new and valuable 
products. lute, which not long ago was 
hardly used, has now become an article of 
important commercial interest. The world 
derives from India nearly the whole of its 
supply of indigO'—a staple which was pro¬ 
moted by the Company’s example in the last 
century. 


There is, perhaps, no country in the world 
in which the State has so immediate and 
direct an interest in such questions. The 
Government of India is not only a govern¬ 
ment, but the chief landlord. The land reve¬ 
nue, which yields twenty millions sterling of 
the annual income, is derived from that pro¬ 
portion of the rent which belongs to the State, 
and not to individual proprietors. Through¬ 
out the greater part of India, every measure 
for the improvement of the land enhances the 
value of the property of the State. The 
duties which, in England, are performed by 
the landlord—if he be a good one—fall, in 
India, in a great measure, upon the Govern¬ 
ment. Speaking generally, the only Indian 
landlord who can command the requisite 
knowledge and capital is the State. The Go¬ 
vernment, at least by its legislation, has always 
recognised this duty. The system of giving 
advances of public money, called takdvi, has 
prevailed more or less since 1793 up to the 
present time. The security is complete, the 
land being responsible for the repayment. This 
system is identical with that which has been 
carried out in England and Ireland by means 
of the Land Improvement Acts, and the prin¬ 
ciple which is thus acted upon undoubtedly 
admits of a wider development. At the same 
time, advances of money ought usually to be 
made only for those descriptions of work 
which can be designed and efficiently carried 
out under the direction of the local proprie¬ 
tors. It would be unwise that they should be 
made for great works requiring, in their de¬ 
sign or construction, engineering skill of a 
high order, or the employment of large bodies 
of labourers. Such works must, of necessity, 
be undertaken by the Government through 
the Department of Public Works. The works 
for which advances might properly be made 
would ordinarily be : 1, wells, and other engi¬ 
neering means for the storage, supply, and 
distribution of water for agricultural purposes, 
and the preparation of land for irrigation; 2, 
drainage ; 3, the reclaiming of land from 
rivers ; 4, the protection of land from floods ; 
5, the reclaiming, cleaning, and enclosing of 
waste lands for agricultural purposes; and, 6, 
the clearing of lands from stones or other 
obstacles to cultivation. 

The Yiceroy was under the impression that 
much might be effected through the new de¬ 
partment towards improving the breeds of 
horses and cattle. Measures, he also be¬ 
lieved, were urgently required tor preventing 
and alleviating the destructive murrains which 
so frequently occur, and which are lamentable 
and ruinous causes of injury to Indian agri¬ 
cultural life. Attention was now also directed 
to the fisheries of India—a subject which had 





162 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


hitherto been but little eared for, but which 
appears likely, in the future, to prove of con¬ 
siderable economic importance. 

As far back as 1854 the Court of Directors 
had declared that there was no single ad¬ 
vantage that could be afforded to the vast 
population of India which would equal the 
introduction of an improved system of agri¬ 
culture. But there were many practical and 
economic difficulties which barred the way to 
the introduction of the changes which were 
required. Lord Mayo was well aware of 
these. Still he believed that something might 
be done by the Government, as setting the 
example in small model farms, and thus 
proving, though silently yet visibly, to the 
cultivators of the soil the value of improve¬ 
ments by the result of actual experiments. 

“ In Europe,” he was accustomed to say, 
“progress in this direction has been mainly 
based on private effort, and by the application 
of the intelligence of the agricultural classes 
themselves to the ends in view. In almost 
all civilised countries, even in those in which, 
unlike England, the form of government is 
centralized, the efforts of the people are power¬ 
fully aided by the co-operation of a State 
Department of Agriculture, and which works 
in part directly through its own agency, and 
in part through agricultural and other socie¬ 
ties. Even in India such societies have been 
extremely useful, and they might properly 
receive more encouragement from the Govern¬ 
ment than has hitherto been given them. But 
great res'ults cannot be expected in this way. 
The work that is performed by the great agri¬ 
cultural societies of Europe must be performed 
in India by the Government, or not at all. 

With the practical exhibition of the results 
of such experiments Lord Mayo held that the 
direct efforts of the State towards the im¬ 
provement of Indian husbandry should cease. 
Excepting in these cases, he declared that 
the Government could not with advantage 
attempt to carry on any of the operations of 
agriculture. In regard to this as to other 
branches of industry, the State may do much 
to foster and encourage the efforts of private 
individuals, but it can do comparatively little 
through the direct agency of its own servants. 
Nevertheless, the exceptions to this rule will 
in India be important; and it may often be 
the duty of the Government to act as the 
pioneer to private enterprise. So it has done 
to some extent already. For example, the 
introduction of tea and cinchona cultivation 
in India has been mainly due to the Govern¬ 
ment. But the Government of India had not 
chiefly to teach the natives how to improve 
their husbandry. It was important that that 
Government should learn how to cultivate its 


[Chap. CXLI. 

own lands. The ruling power in India is a 
great forest proprietor, and in the earlier part 
of its existence, as belonging to the Crown, it 
had not been a very successful one. The 
forests had been handed over to the Public 
Works Department, in the absence of any 
special branch of the administration to super¬ 
vise them. Lord Mayo resolved that their 
efficient management should be one of the 
distinct duties of his new department. 

The forest lands are in many parts of India 
inhabited by wild tribes, who still cling to the 
nomadic stage of husbandry—burning down 
a spot here and there in the jungle, and, after 
exhausting it with a rapid succession of crops, 
deserting it at the end of three years for fresh 
clearings. This manner of cultivation is most 
wasteful, and has often wounded the econo¬ 
mical susceptibilities of the British District 
Officer. But it is a natural stage in the pro¬ 
gress of agriculture ; and where virgin soil is 
abundant and the population sparse, it rests 
not only on deeply rooted tribal traditions, but 
on economic grounds. Any rough interference 
with it would cause discontent and misery. 
Similar effects had several times _ resulted 
from other improvements. Even irrigation 
itself occasionally displaced a population, and 
in various parts of India created a safeguard 
against death only at the cost of desolating 
the villages by malaria. Lord Mayo held that 
the new department should be responsible for 
seeing not only that work was well done, but 
that it was done without sacrificing the pre¬ 
existing interests of the people. 

The Indian Government, besides being the 
chief landholder, is also a great mineral pro¬ 
prietor. Lord Mayo gave much attention to 
the labours of the Geological Survey, and 
supplemented them by special researches, con¬ 
ducted with a view to ascertaining the market¬ 
able value and the commercial capabilities of 
the ores and coal-fields. 

India is at this moment on the verge of a 
new future. * The dense population, which 
has hitherto been crushed down upon the soil 
and forced to live upon the one industry of 
tillage, will within the next generation have 
vast new outlets opened to it by the de¬ 
velopment of the mineral resources. In India 
there are inexhaustible stores of coal, iron, 
and lime ; but India, in regard to these sources 
of wealth, is different from England. For in¬ 
stance, while we have in.India coal, iron, 
and lime in plenty, they do not occur as here 
in England near to each other in quantities 
sufficient to justify the establishment of smelt¬ 
ing furnaces on a great scale. With few ex¬ 
ceptions, the iron manufacture of India is still 
in the hands of the semi-aboriginal jungle 
tribes, who scratch about for their ore* get 





Chap. CXLI.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


153 


their flux in handfuls of nodules from the 
river-beds, and make their fuel by burning 
patches of the forest into charcoal. It was 
an important question, in addition to all this, 
how to bring the limestone of the Son valley 
to the coal and iron ores of Raniganj. There 
was still another difficulty: English coals 
yield, on an average, under 4 per cent, of 
ash; the Indian coals give over 15 per cent. 
This not only increases the cost of carriage, 
hut it augments the amount of care required 
in the maintenance of the uniform and con¬ 
tinuous high temperature required in smelt¬ 
ing. English capital in India wisely shrinks 
from the perils incident to wholly unexplored 
industries; and the element of the unknown 
has always acted as a deterrent in mineral 
enterprise in India. Still, the coal of the 
Central Provinces is now used throughout the 
railway system of the Bombay Presidency; 
and from the same sources experimental works 
are being conducted by the Government for 
the pioneering of the way for private mining 
enterprise in Central India. The petroleum 
of Burmah also holds forth prospects of a new 
source of wealth in an opposite part of the 
empire. 

The more striking ores of India—its gold, 
silver, nickel, copper, tin, and lead—were 
less regarded by Lord Mayo. He was of 
opinion that a Government might safely leave 
those attractive metals to private enterprise. 
What he more particularly strove after was 
the solving of the special problems connected 
with the coal and the iron ores of India. 
Western India is at this moment being 
covered w T ith steam-power mills, destined 
yet to derive their whole fuel from the Indian 
coal measures ; and efforts are being made 
by private capitalists in Bengal to commer¬ 
cially solve the problem of iron manufacture 
on a large scale. 

During Lord Mayo’s viceroyalty muni¬ 
cipal institutions received a marked develop¬ 
ment throughout India. It was established, 
under his rule, that the rural towns were not 
towns at all, but merely clusters of hamlets; 
that the people neither desire sanitary mea¬ 
sures nor wish to pay for them; conse¬ 
quently, if municipal work is to be done 
at all, the people cannot be trusted with the 
actual local power which municipal institu¬ 
tions involve. The great difficulty was found 
to be the giving of a certain amount of self- 
government to the municipality, while yet 
there should be left sufficient power in the 
hands of the District Officers, by means of 
which they might compel the municipality to 
do its work. 

Prison discipline had the special considera¬ 
tion of Lord Mayo ; and his Indian diaries 
vol. m. 


are full of observations noted down after 
inspecting the local gaols. He was, more¬ 
over, successful in introducing many changes 
for their better management. Among other 
points, he made up his mind that European 
convicts should cease to be the formidable 
difficulty they had hitherto proved to be, 
and that a sentence by an Indian court 
should not be a device for obtaining a com¬ 
fortable journey home. On the other hand, 
it was not allowed that a European ought to 
be released from gaol because he was merely 
in a delicate state of health, which he would 
probably have been in if he had been free. 

The Earl of Mayo perceived that the 
“ Poor White ” had become a grave adminis¬ 
trative problem in India. For the fallen 
European he provided by a Vagrancy Act, 
and he laboured to keep down the numbers 
of this unhappy class by fostering schools 
and asylums for the poorer English and 
Eurasian children. Such institutions had, up 
to that time, received scant aid from the 
State, and, unhappily, Lord Mayo did not 
live to carry out the improvement which he 
intended. The truth is, our whole system of 
State instruction in India has been designed, 
and rightly designed, for the natives. The 
poorer classes of the European community 
are still inadequately provided for by the 
Government. Lord Mayo thought that the 
first thing to be done was to place the exist¬ 
ing schools for European children on a sound 
and efficient basis before building new ones. 
In the presidency towns he exerted his influ¬ 
ence to increase the means of instruction for 
the Christian poor, and especially of the class 
immediately above the poorest. 

During the viceroyalty of Lord Mayo there 
were various administrative improvements 
effected. The great question of emigration, 
for example, was reconsidered, the emi¬ 
grants being protected by legislative enact¬ 
ment against private cupidity or mismanage¬ 
ment during their voyage over seas. In like 
manner a series of stringent provisions put 
an end to overcrowding in pilgrim ships and 
native passenger vessels, a practice which 
had yearly cost many lives. The innumerable 
and perplexing varieties of weights and mea¬ 
sures throughout India demanded and ob¬ 
tained investigation, and, as we have already 
stated, an Act was passed, after long and 
careful discussion, fixing the metre and 
kilogramme as the uniform units of mea¬ 
sure and weight. Each province received 
in turn the attention of the Viceroy and 
his counsellors. In the North-Western Pro¬ 
vinces of Bengal protection to person and 
property was secured by the Village Police 
Act—a measure which, although brought to 

x 




154 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


its last stage after Lord Mayo’s accession, 
belongs more properly to the preceding vice¬ 
royalty. The ancient nobility of Oudh had 
not yet emerged from the ruin and confusion 
in which native misrule and the mutiny of 
1857 had left them. By a comprehensive 
measure, of the nature of a very mild En¬ 
cumbered Estates Act, Lord Mayo provided 
for the settlement of their debts, and the 
efficient management of their property during 
the process of liquidation. Throughout all 
India, in Oudh, in the North-Western Pro¬ 
vinces, and in the Punjab, he organized, on a 
legislative basis, a system of local rates for 
the construction of roads, the maintenance of 
the rural police and district post, the build¬ 
ing and repair of school-houses, hospitals, 
dispensaries, lunatic asylums, markets, wells, 
and tanks. The series of measures by which 
he effected this are fraught with importance 
to millions of men. The Earl of Mayo’s 
policy in its great lines was essentially his 
own; but it derived several distinctive fea¬ 
tures from a peculiar combination of secre¬ 
tariat ability with practical administrative 
experience which he found in the responsible 
heads of the Home Department, and placed 
in charge of the new one which he developed 
out of it. Of his two Home Ministers, Sir 
John Strachey and Sir Barrow Herbert Ellis, 
the former had his reputation as the ablest 
District Officer in Bengal, and who then 
sprang almost at a bound to high com¬ 
mand in the Central Government. Sir John 
Strachey exercised his great influence on the 
side of progress in India, as indeed each 
generation of his family had done since his 
grandfather went out as private secretary to 
Lord Clive, for the work of regenerating the 
Company’s services. Sir Barrow Ellis’s ex¬ 
perience lay in the high functions of govern¬ 
ment. He had for many years held the 
most important place in the direction of the 
Bombay Presidency, and he knew how to 
manage the Local Governments, and to gauge 
the effect which an order of the Viceroy in 
Council would have upon their very various 
systems. In like manner, the Chief Secre¬ 
tary in the Home Department, Mr. Edward 
Clive Bayley, C.S.I., represented the highest 
result of long experience in the central direc¬ 
tion of affairs, and has since attained to ono 
of the highest posts ; while Mr. Allan Oc- 
tavian Hume, C.B., brought, as Chief Secre¬ 
tary in the Department of Revenue, Agri¬ 
culture, and Commerce, an exact knowledge 
of local facts and district requirements to the 
new duties which the Government of India 
had taken up. This combination of district 
experience with the talent for large affairs, 
alike in his two Home Ministers and their 


[Chap. CXLI. 

chief secretaries, greatly strengthened the 
Viceroy’s hands, and did much to produce 
that practical knowledge of detail, tempered 
with the calm breadth of view T , which formed 
so marked a feature of Lord Mayo’s internal 
administration. 

Lord Mayo was a thorough believer in 
private enterprise. In his first youthful book 
he had denounced “ Protection,” and the same 
conviction remained with him when he was 
governing an empire. He grudged neither 
personal toil nor public money in helping to 
develop the resources of India ; but he rigidly 
marked out the limits of such aid. He be¬ 
lieved that the safe increase of the Indian 
population, and the possibility of raising the 
Indian revenues to the level required for 
efficient government, depended on the exten¬ 
sion of private enterprise, especially of under¬ 
takings conducted by English capital. But 
his belief in the need of such enterprise made 
him the more hostile to spurious imitations of 
it, and would have rendered him the more 
resolute to do justice in any conflict between 
Indian and strictly English interests. He 
thought that the system of guaranteed rail¬ 
ways, among other bad features, falsely bore 
the name of private enterprise, and was not 
so in reality. He thought that the cheap 
labour of India, instead of being a danger to 
the British manufacturer, would prove a new 
field for his energy. He looked forward to the 
day when the true interest of Manchester would 
be understood, and when the jealous manipula¬ 
tion of a comparatively powerless dependency’s 
tariff would seem an incredible episode in the 
history of a city which taught the language of 
free trade to the world. English cotton- 
spinners are at this moment only learning the 
lesson which English landed gentlemen have 
long practised. Manufacturers, almost alone 
among Englishmen, have hitherto been able, 
when they pleased, to keep then- children 
around them, and to settle them, one after 
another, in their own line and near their own 
homes. In going about Scotland nothing 
strikes one more than the sight, not uncom¬ 
mon in even small manufacturing towns, of as 
many as three handsome separate mansions, 
each almost a country seat, built for the sons 
of a single family in one generation, and con¬ 
structed and maintained out of the profits of 
the neighbouring mills. At no distant date 
British manufacturers will accept the necessity 
of sending out their sons to the children 
states of England, where a small capital, 
guided by previous training, goes furthest in 
connection with their own industry—pre¬ 
cisely as the English squire and the English 
farmer, in their different lines, have accepted 
this necessity, and in various colonies have 






IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


155 


Chap. CXLL] 

acted upon it. As well might the Cheviot 
laird look askance at the sheep-runs of Aus¬ 
tralia, or the Lothian agriculturist feel jealous 
of the Tasmanian wheat-fields, as the Lanca¬ 
shire magnate dread the rivalry of the Bombay 
cotton-mills. What Canada and New Zealand 
have been to the landed classes, India will 
probably prove to the manufacturing ; and 
thus the whole circle of the nation’s deep 
requirements, alike in numbers and in wealth, 
will be fully provided for. Lord Mayo did 
not live to see it, but the day will come when 
the two great currents of English capital and 
Indian labour will freely meet, and as they meet 
they will flash out a new force for the world. 

In India hospitality forms one of the public 
duties of the governing race, and this is a 
duty which they faithfully discharge. The 
splendid hospitalities of Lord Mayo to all 
ranks and all races amounted to an additional 
source of strength to the British rule. He 
regarded it as a proud privilege that it fell to 
his lot to present, for the first time, a son of 
the English Sovereign to the people and 
princes of India. His Royal Highness the 
Duke of Edinburgh’s progress touched chords 
in the Oriental imagination which had lain 
mute since the overthrow of the Delhi throne, 
and called forth an outburst of loyalty such 
as had never before been awakened in the 
history of our rule. It was really the seal of 
peace-—an act of oblivion for the struggle 
which placed India under the Crown, and for 
the painful memories which that struggle left 
behind. It proved, however, to be the har¬ 
binger of a visit more stately and more august, 
and destined to produce a still deeper effect 
on the Indian heart. 

But now comes the sad end. On the 24th 
of January, 1872, he left Calcutta on his cold- 
weather tour. His purpose was to visit 
Burmah, next to call at the Andamans on 
the return passage across the Bay of Bengal, 
and then to inspect the province of Orissa. 
In each of those three places weighty ques¬ 
tions of internal policy demanded his pre¬ 
sence. He took leave of the Lieutenant- 
Governor and other Bengal authorities at the 
river-side with a somewhat anxious face. He 
was uneasy about Khelat affairs on the north¬ 
western frontier, and also in regard to the 
safety of the British representative, who was 
at the time on his way to Sistan. This was 
the first time since he had come into office 
that he was about to cut himself off for many 
days from telegrams and dispatch-boxes ; and 
he was anxious about the fact, and said that 
if any bad news of importance reached him 
in Burmah, he would give up the Andamans 
and Orissa, and return direct to Calcutta. 

But we must hasten. Many months had 


elapsed since, in far-off Simla, the authorities 
received hints that the Viceroy’s life was in 
danger. But he himself seemed to be un¬ 
apprehensive of evil. On the 11th of Fe¬ 
bruary, 1872, the Glasgow cast anchor oft” 
Hopetown, on the Andamans. A careful 
arrangement had been made to protect the 
life of the Viceroy. He was ever unconscious 
of danger. On landing at Hopetown, shortly 
after five in the afternoon, the Viceroy found 
gay groups awaiting him, and he had a smile 
and a kind word for each of them. He 
ascended the height, pleasantly said, “ There 
is plenty of room here to settle two millions 
of men,” and then sat down to admire the 
brilliant sunset. He rose and said, “It’s 
the loveliest thing I ever saw.” But ah ! 
what was to follow ? About three-quarters 
of the way down, torch-bearers from Hope- 
town met the Viceroy and his attendant 
group of officials and guards. Two of his 
party had hurried forward to the pier, saw 
the intermittent gleam of the torches thread¬ 
ing their way through the jungle, and then 
the whole body of lights issued by the bridle¬ 
path from the woods, a minute’s walk from 
the jetty. The Glasgow frigate lay out on 
the left, with her long line of lights low on the 
water; the Scotia and Dacca were also lit up 
beyond her; and another steamer, the Nemesis, 
was coaling near to Hopetown on the right. 
The ships’ bells had just rung seven. The 
launch, with steam up, was whizzing at the 
jetty stairs, and a group of her seamen were 
chatting on the pier end. It was quite dark 
by this time, and the black line of the jungle 
seemed to touch the edge of the water. The 
Viceroy’s party passed some loose stones to 
the left at the head of the pier, and advanced 
along the jetty—two torch-bearers in front. 
There was the light shining strongly on the 
tall form of Lord Mayo, in a grey tussa silk 
coat, and on either side of him were his 
private secretary and the Superintendent. 
There were likewise near at hand the flag- 
lieutenant of the Glasgow and a colonel of 
engineers, with a number of armed police. 
The Superintendent turned aside, with Lord 
Mayo’s leave,- to give an order, and the 
Viceroy stepped quickly forward before the 
rest to descend the stairs to the launch. The 
next moment the people in the rear heard a 
noise as of “ the rush of some animal ” from 
behind the loose stones. One or two persons 
saw a hand and a knife suddenly descend in 
the 'torchlight. The private secretary heard 
a thud, and, instantly turning round, he 
found a man fastened like a tiger on the back 
of the Viceroy. 

Twelve men, in a second of time, were on 
the assassin. An English officer was pulling 




156 


HISTORY OP THE 

them off, and, with his sword-hilt, keeping 
hack the native guards, who would have 
killed the assailant on the spot. The torches 
had gone out; but the Viceroy, who _ had 
staggered over the pier side, was seen rising 
up knee-deep in water, and clearing his hair 
off his brow as if recovering himself. But 
the end was at hand. His private secretary 
was instantly at his side, helping him up the 
hank. “Burne,” he said quietly, “they’ve 
hit me.” Then, in a louder voice, which was 
heard on the pier, he said, “It’s all right. I 
don’t think I’m much hurt.” In another 
minute he was sitting under the smoky glare 
of the re lit torches, on a rude native cart 
at the side of the jetty, with his legs hanging 
loosely down. Then they lifted him bodily 
on to the cart, and saw a dark patch on the 
back of his light-coloured coat. The blood 
came streaming out, and it was in vain to try 
to stanch it. For a moment or two he sat 
up on the cart, and then he fell heavily back¬ 
wards. “ Lift up my head,” he said faintly; 
and said no more. This was the earthly end 
of the Earl of Mayo. When he was ap¬ 
pointed to his high office, men believed him 
to be a mere partisan of the Government 
which happened to be in power; but he 
proved himself to be one of the ablest ad¬ 
ministrators which India has ever known ; 
and in regard to financial and other measures 
India will not soon forget him. 

They carried him down into the steam- 
launch—some silently believing him dead, 
others angry with themselves for the bare 
surmise; and they cut open his coat and 
vest, and stopped the wound with hastily 
torn strips of cloth and the palms of their 
hands. Others kept rubbing his feet and 
legs. Three supported his head. The as¬ 
sassin lay stunned and tied a few yards from 
him. As the launch shot out in the dark¬ 
ness, eight bells rang across the water from 
the ships. When it came near the frigate, 
where the guests were waiting, the lights 
were suddenly put out. When Lord Mayo 
was lifted into his cot, every one saw that 
he was dead. To all on board that night 
stands out from among all other nights 
in their lives. There was a silence which 
seemed as if it never would be broken. 
The doctors held their interview with the 
dead. Two stabs from the same knife on the 
shoulder had penetrated the cavity of the 
chest, either of them sufficient to cause death. 
Men moved about solitarily through the night, 
each saying bitterly to his own heart, “ Would 
that it had been one of us! ” But the anguish 
of her who received back dead her loving 
husband was not, and is not, for words. 

At dawn, the sight of the frigate in mourn- 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLI. 

ing, the flag at half-mast, the broad white 
stripe a leaden grey, all the ropes slack, and 
the yards hanging topped in dismal disorder, 
announced the calamity to those who had 
during the night persisted in their disbelief. 
On board the frigate there was going on a 
hushed and solemn industry. The chief offi¬ 
cers of the Government of India were engaged, 
as duty required them, in adopting steps for 
the devolution of the viceroyalty. The trial 
of the murderer then took place. And in a 
few hours, while the doctors were still engaged 
on their sad secret task, a steamer had hurried 
north with the member of Council for Bengal, 
and another was ploughing its way, with the 
Foreign Secretary, to madras, to bring up 
Lord Napier of Ettrick, as Acting Governor- 
General. Uno avulso, non deficit alter. The 
frigate lay silent and alone. At half-past 
nine that night the partially embalmed body 
was placed in its temporary coffin on the 
quarter-deck, and covered with the Union 
Jack. 

The trial of the assassin was in accordance 
with the usual forms. Shortly after he had 
been apprehended and brought on board in 
the launch which carried his victim, the 
Foreign Secretary asked him why he had 
done this thing. His reply was, “By the 
order of God.” To the question whether he 
had any associates in this act, he answered, 
“ Among men I have no accomplice. God 
is my partner.” At the usual preliminary 
inquiry before the local magistrate, next 
morning, when called to plead, he said, 
“Yes; I did it.” The evidence of the eye¬ 
witnesses was then recorded, and the prisoner 
was committed for murder to the Sessions 
Court. The Superintendent, sitting as chief 
judge in the settlement, conducted the trial in 
the afternoon. The accused simply pleaded 
“ Not guilty.” But each fact was established 
by those who had seen the deed done. The 
prisoner had even been dragged off the back of 
the bleeding Viceroy with the reddened knife 
in his hand. His sentence was that he should 
suffer death by hanging; and this sentence 
was duly carried out at the usual place of exe¬ 
cution on Viper Island, on the 11th of March. 
This man was a highlander from the British 
north-western frontier. He had taken ser¬ 
vice in the Punjab mounted police, and had 
been condemned to death at Peshawar for 
slaying a man on British soil; but the evi¬ 
dence having, been chiefly circumstantial, his 
sentence was commuted to transportation for 
life to the Andamans. A pity ! In his dying 
confession, years afterwards, he stated that 
although, in that former case, he had not 
struck the blow, yet he had conspired to do 
I the murder. At the same time, he held that 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


157 


Chap. CXLL] 

the slaying of an hereditary foe in cold blood 
was no crime ; and, ever since his conviction 
in 1869, he said he had made up his mind to 
revenge himself by killing “ some European 
of high rank.” He therefore established his 
character as a silent, doggedly well-behaved 
man ; and in due time was set at large as a 
barber among the ticket-of-leave convicts at 
Hopetown. During three years he waited 
sullenly for some worthy prey. There was 
therefore no personal enmity on this man’s 
part against Lord Mayo. On the morning of 
the 8th of February, when he heard the royal 
salute, he felt that his time had come, and 
forthwith sharpened a knife. His resolution 
was to kill both the Superintendent and the 
Viceroy. But throughout the whole of the 
day the close surveillance gave him no chance 
of getting to the island which Lord Mayo was 
visiting. Evening came, and his victim landed 
at his very door. He crept into the woods— 
slipped up Mount Harriet through the jungle 
side by side with the Viceroy. He then 
dogged the party down again into the dark. 
Still he got no chance. At the foot he almost 
gave up hope, and resolved to wait for the 
morrow. But as the Viceroy stepped quietly 
forward on the jetty, he rushed round the 
guards, giving up all idea of his own life, and 
in a moment was on his victim’s back. He 
was a man of immense personal strength ; and 
when heavily fettered in the condemned cell, 
he overturned the lamp with his chained 
ankle, bore down the British sentry by brute 
strength of body, and wrenched away the 
man’s bayonet even with his manacled hands. 
He never professed to be penitent, but was 
rather childishly fond of being photographed 
as the murderer of a Viceroy. 

The passionate outburst of grief and wrath 
which then shook India, the slow military 
pomp of the slain Viceroy’s re-entry into his 
capital, the uncontrollable fits of weeping in 
the chamber where he lay in state, the long 
voyage of the mourning ship, and the solemn 
ceremonial with which Ireland received home 
her dead son—all these were fitting at the 
time ; but they are past. Earth shuts him in 
with his glories and his triumphs. No ! he 
will live in India, although they laid him at 
last in the secluded graveyard which he had 
chosen in his own land. 

When the sad intelligence reached London 
by telegraph, the Prime Minister and the Duke 
of Argyll announced it to horror-stricken 
audiences in either House. The murdered 
Viceroy had already made his mark among 
Anglo-Indian statesmen, and won the hearts 
of all who came in contact with him by his 
genial manners, strong good sense, and un¬ 
wearied zeal for the public good. During 


the three years of his Indian rule he travelled 
unweariedly to and fro over the dominions 
which had been placed under his care. Secret 
plotters against England, who hated in him 
her most prominent representative, and fana- 
’ tics who would have deemed it no wrong to 
shed his blood, must often have lurked about 
his path, or braved it out, not far off, with 
impudent airs of safe defiance. His Govern¬ 
ment had used much power and forethought 
in ferreting out and punishing the leaders of 
the Wahabi and Kuki movements. It ought 
not, therefore, to have surprised, however 
much it might have shocked us, if we had 
found at any time that he had perished by 
the knife of the assassin. True, not many 
Englishmen have thus fallen in any part of 
India—thanks to the watchful care of Divine 
Providence and the traditional charm which 
has usually surrounded them. But the mur¬ 
der of a Conolly, a Mackeson, or a Norman 
has served to remind us that even English¬ 
men are not exempt from the lot of other 
mortals in a country where life is held cheap 
in comparison with what are regarded as the 
claims of social or religious duties. And yet 
in this case, as in so many others, it was the 
unforeseen that actually came to pass. Who 
would have apprehended, a few days before 
this melancholy event had transpired, that 
this most popular Governor-General was in 
any danger on a remote island in the Bay of 
Bengal ? 

To fix Lord Mayo’s place among Indian 
Viceroys would be an invidious, even if it were 
a practicable task. His rule, to begin with, 
was an eminently peaceful one. He had no 
great wars to carry through, no new pro¬ 
vinces to annex or conquer, no great mutiny 
to put down, no new policy, even of peace 
and retrenchment, to introduce. Little was 
left him save to walk in the footsteps of Lord 
Lawrence, and to emulate the peaceful reforms 
of Lord William Bentinck. Still there re¬ 
mained to him, when he landed in the great 
country to which he had been commissioned, 
a wide field for the display of sound states¬ 
manship and enlightened energy, and in this 
field he worked to good purpose. His first 
public appearance in India in his high official 
capacity was in connection with the great 
Ambala durbar, in March, 1869, and he im¬ 
pressed all around him with the same kind of 
personal charm which had already gained for 
him so many friends at home. His genial 
courtesy and ready tact confirmed the good 
impression previously produced on the mind 
of the Afghan monarch by Lord Lawrence’s 
timely offer of arms and money. At a later 
period his prudent counsels went far to bring 
about the desired reconciliation between Sher 






158 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


Ali and his contumacious son. Devoting 
himself as he did from the first, with un¬ 
wearied zeal, to the governing of the vast 
Indian Empire, his active habits, sound prin¬ 
ciples, and spirit of inquiry in regard to 
everything, made the duties of his office any¬ 
thing but a sinecure. His presence at the 
Council board, where he was sure to he 
found when any peculiarly important busi¬ 
ness was on hand, betokened at once a desire 
to know what was even mooted, and a firm 
determination to dispatch quickly whatever 
had promptly to be done. To all who served 
under him his countenance was cordially 
given, so long as they did their duty. 
Throughout the controversy regarding the 
income-tax, respecting which there have 
been various opinions, he stood so per¬ 
sistently by the Minister of Finance, Sir 
Richard Temple, that his oivn popularity 
suffered a passing eclipse. But on proved 
delinquents his hand fell very heavily, as was 
shown by the censure on all concerned in the 
Public Works failures at Allahabad—-a cen¬ 
sure which was uttered in the plainest pos¬ 
sible language. 

Like many of his predecessors, Lord Mayo 
had an appetite for hard work and a search¬ 
ing eye for points of detail. At one time he 
had in his own hands the business of three 
great departments. His very relaxation was 
harder than some other men’s work. In his 
frequent journeys his amazing energy would 
not unseldom carry him over as much ground 
as ordinary men would have deemed sufficient 
for three or four. Now hurrying from one 
frontier post to another, anon inspecting the 
site for a new hill station, one while open¬ 
ing a new line of railway in a cotton district, 
at another exchanging courtesies with the 
high-born princes of Rajputana, or engaged 
in political talk with the Maharajah of Cash- 
mere, he went everywhere, saw and heard 
everything for himself, and turned his new 
knowledge to account in the conduct of his 
Government. If he followed the lead of 
Lord Lawrence in imposing new cesses for 
the public good on the reluctant landholders 
of Bengal, and also in carrying out the con¬ 
cession of fresh financial powers to the Local 
Governments, perhaps the chief credit belongs 
to him of establishing the new system of 
State Railways, and of organizing the new 
department of Trade and Agriculture, to which 
reference has already been made. No Yice- 
roy, unless it were Lord Dalhousie, ever took 
a keener or more intelligent interest in all 
schemes for developing the material and in¬ 
dustrial wealth of India. Nor would even 
Lord William Bentinck himself have clung 
more steadily than he did to the duty of 


[Chap. CXLI. 

keeping down, at the least possible sacrifice 
to the public, of the expenditure of the 
Government. He lived long enough to see 
the yearly deficit bloom into a surplus, and if 
the income-tax, which was opposed by so 
many, does not now appear in the Indian 
Budget as offensively as it did, we know 
whom India will have chiefly to thank for the 
boon. 

Of Lord Mayo’s policy in respect to terri¬ 
tory and regions lying beyond the British- 
Indian frontier little need be said, except 
that the manly good sense which guided his 
dealings with Sher Ali bore good fruit in 
almost all instances, and showed itself even 
along the shores of the Persian Gulf. Over 
the native chiefs and nobles who attended his 
frequent durbars and receptions he was able 
to well exercise the influence involved in his 
viceregal rank. In the disposal of his patron¬ 
age Lord Mayo was preserved by his natural 
insight into character and his strict sense of 
duty from committing many serious mistakes. 
In such a position as his it is, however, inevi¬ 
table that a man should sometimes be im¬ 
posed upon. In his honest desire to govern 
justty, he had, during the later months of his 
rule, been lending a ready ear to the com¬ 
plaints of the Mohammadan subjects of the 
British sway; and nearly the last political 
act of his life was his avowal of his resolution 
to support the Bill by which Mr. (now Sir) 
Fitzjames Stephen sought to secure for native 
Indians who have abandoned their former 
faith without becoming Christians the right 
of marrying under easy conditions after them 
own way. 

Lord Mayo was born in the city of Dublin 
on the 21st of February, 1822, so that he 
was within a few days of completing the 
fiftieth year of his age. His education at 
Trinity College, Dublin, was thorough, and 
he passed through his curriculum with credit 
and honours. He entered Parliament, in the 
Conservative interest, in 1847, as one of the 
members for the county of Ivildare. During the 
next Parliament he represented the borough 
of Coleraine ; and in that which followed he 
transferred his services to the electors of 
Cockermouth, which he represented down to 
1868, when he accepted the Governor-General¬ 
ship of India. He was Chief Secretary for 
Ireland, under Lord Derby’s first administra¬ 
tion, from March to December, 1852, again 
under his second administration in. 1858, and 
for a third time in 1866. He succeeded to 
the family honours in August, 1867; but 
that fact did not remove him from the House 
of Commons, inasmuch as he was not thus, 
without election, a representative peer of Ire¬ 
land, or a peer of England or the United 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


159 


Chap. CXLI.] 

Kingdom. His lordship succeeded his father, 
his previous name having been the Hon. 
Richard Southwell. He was the sixth earl, i 
In 1848 he married the fourth daughter of Lord j 
Leconsfield, who survives him, the family 
consisting of two daughters and four sons. 

Her Majesty the Queen, immediately on 
receipt of the telegram, conveyed to the 
widowed lady, who bore herself nobly in the 
midst of her great trial, the sympathy which 
she can so well feel and express ; and the 
Duke of Argyll, addressing the Government 
of India, in his capacity of Secretary of State, 
and in name of his Council, expressed “the 
deepest grief that his Excellency the Earl of 
Mayo, Viceroy and Governor-General of 
India,” had been assassinated by a convict at 
Port Blair, on the Andaman Islands, “ whilst 
his lordship was on an official visit of inspec¬ 
tion to the convict settlement there ; ” going 
on to say that “ in this calamitous event her 
Majesty’s Government has to deplore the loss, 
in the prime of life, and in the midst of his 
career, of a statesman whose faithful and 
laborious discharge of the duties of his great 
office was animated by the warmest loyalty 
to his Sovereign, by constant devotion to the 
interests of her Indian subjects, and by a 
sincere desire to conduct with justice and 
consideration the relations of the Queen’s 
Government with the native princes and states 
of India. Lord Mayo’s .exertions for these 
ends have been marked with great success, and 
have not been surpassed by the most zealous 
labours of his most distinguished predecessors 
at the head of the Government of India.” 

His Grace, in the House of Lords, speak¬ 
ing also on behalf of the Government, further 
said, “ My lords, Lord Mayo’s governorship 
did not fall upon times of great trial or diffi¬ 
culty, arising from foreign war or domestic 
insurrection ; but he had to bear the difficul¬ 
ties and the great anxieties which are in¬ 
separable from the government of that mighty 
Empire. I believe I may say with perfect 
truth that no Governor-General has ever been 
more energetic in the discharge of his duty, 
has been more assiduous in the performance 
of the functions of his office, and, above all, 
has had more earnestly at heart the good of 
the people whom he was called on to govern. 
I believe that Lord Mayo has, in fact, fallen 
a victim to an almost excessive anxiety for 
the efficient discharge of public duty. If he 
had a fault, it was that he would leave nothing 
to others, but would see everything for him¬ 
self. On his way to Burmah he thought it 
his duty to visit the convict establishment 
which had been set up at the Andaman Islands, 
in order to see what was its condition, and 
how far the rules of prison discipline were 


carried out there. It was in the discharge of 
that duty that he met his death. I look on 
that death as a calamity to the people of 
India, which will be sincerely mourned not 
only by his friends in this country and in his 
native country, Ireland, but by all well- 
intentioned and well-affected subjects of her 
Majesty in her great Eastern Empire.” The 
Duke of Richmond (now of Richmond and 
Gordon) added, “ My lords, if her Majesty’s 
Government feel deep sympathy for the rela¬ 
tions and friends of Lord Mayo, how much 
more must I share that feeling who lived for 
so many years on terms of the most intimate 
friendship and affection with him ! My lords, 
it will he gratifying to the noble Earl’s family 
to learn from the lips of my noble friend, 
the Secretary of State for India, that the 
Government of her Majesty appreciated his 
merits during the time he was Governor of 
India, and believed that his conduct amply 
justified the choice of him and the hopes 
which were formed of his administration when 
he was selected by her Majesty’s late Govern¬ 
ment for the office. My lords, I feel that ho 
has left behind him a name second to none of 
those illustrious men who went before him, 
and, small as that consolation may be, it will 
be some consolation to his family to know 
how well he fulfilled the expectations of his 
friends. My lords, I feel too deeply to say 
more, but I could not altogether remain silent 
on this occasion.” 

In the Commons, the Prime Minister, Mr. 
Gladstone, said that, “ though leaving to the 
Duke of Argyll the duty of doing full justice 
to Lord Mayo’s eminent services, he was 
compelled to express his own appreciation of 
the loss which the public service had sus¬ 
tained, and his conviction that Lord Mayo’s 
career in India had been worthy of his most 
distinguished predecessors. He had dis¬ 
played the utmost zeal, intelligence, and 
devotion, and his whole policy had won for 
him the uniform confidence of the public.” 
Mr. Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield), speaking 
with much emotion, described the event as 
“ one of those calamities which saddened 
nations.” 

The public press in England, with perfect 
unanimity, expressed its opinion and its regret 
in regard to this momentous occurrence. The 
Times says, “ It would be useless to dissemble 
the painful impression the murder of Lord 
Mayo is likely to produce in India and at 
home. Coming close upon the murder of 
Mr. Justice Norman, it may arouse a sus¬ 
picion that, though no actual conspiracy 
exists among the Mussulmans of India, there 
is a freemasonry of hatred which may at any 
time have dangerous consequences.” The 




160 

Daily News remarks that “ many a Viceroy 
has fallen a victim to the stress of labour and 
exhaustion, physical as well as mental, in the 
discharge of his duties as a ruler, but that 
this is the first time that the Houses of Par¬ 
liament have received the news that a Go¬ 
vernor-General of India has fallen by the 
hand of an assassin. The grief is deep.” 
The Standard observes that “seldom in our 
time has the death of one individual caused 
so profound and general an emotion. Eng¬ 
land is poorer by one brave heart and kindly 
spirit when she sorely needs the services of 
her greatest and best.” The Telegraph holds 
that “in the presence of two recent assassina¬ 
tions by natives of the same class and creed 
.... we cannot believe that the wave of 
fanaticism is yet exhausted, and that, there¬ 
fore, we ought to be more than ever on our 
guard.” The Saturday Eevieiv believes that the 


[Chap. CXLII. 

assassination was “ the result of dram-drinking 
and idleness, which are much allowed in the 
prison settlement at the Andaman Islands.” 

For a few months the tidings of Lord 
Mayo’s death thrilled all India with horror 
and genuine grief. All classes mourned the 
loss of the murdered ruler. Hindus and 
Mohammadans alike came forward to express 
their loyal sympathy with the widow of a 
Viceroy whose rule had bidden so fairly to 
undo much evil and promote so much good. 
On the princes and nobles of India his death 
came like a personal bereavement. Sindia’s 
exclamation was, “I have made and lost a 
friend ! ” And such was the feeling of many 
of this class of high-standing and ruling 
native Indians. But this part of the record 
must be closed. The Kuki rising and the 
Lushai expedition had not yet terminated ; but 
they were in a fair way of reaching their end. 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


CHAPTER CXLII. 

LORD NORTHBROOK’S VICEROYALTY. 


Of course various names were mentioned to 
her Majesty in reference to the successorship 
to the viceregal throne of the Empire. The 
Duke of Argyll was wrongly suspected of 
coveting it, although, if a strong sense of 
public duty had compelled him, he was reluc¬ 
tantly willing to undertake the great respon¬ 
sibility. Lord Dufferin was named, but his 
health had suffered in Syria, and therefore, 
notwithstanding all his accomplishments and 
ability, it was found impossible to send him 
out to India. On account of the work which 
he had already done, his proved administra¬ 
tive talent, and his general ability, Lord North¬ 
brook was cordially fixed upon as the next 
Governor-General of India. 

The Earl of Northbrook, Thomas George 
Baring, was the first earl, having beenabaronet. 
He was born on the 22nd of January, 1826, 
and succeeded his father, who]was Baron, not 
Earl, in 1866. He was educated at Oxford. 
At an early age he entered upon political life, 
and was private secretary to Sir George Grey 
at the Home Office ; to Mr. Labouchere (Lord 
Taunton) at the India Office and the Admi¬ 
ralty. He was a Lord of the Admiralty in 
1857-58; Under-Secretary for the Home 
Department, 1864—66 ; Secretary to the Ad¬ 
miralty, 1866; Under-Secretary for War, 
1868—72; and was appointed Governor-Gene¬ 
ral of India in the last-named year, 1872, and 
has living one son and one daughter (1878). 

For a few months the place of Viceroy was 
worthily filled by Lord Napier and Ettrick 


(not of Magdala), which latter has also at¬ 
tained to many honourable positions in India 
and elsewhere. It was early in May, 1872, 
that Lord Northbrook took into his hands the 
reins of government at Calcutta—prepared as 
he was by his long previous training in the 
India Office, the Admiralty, the War Office, 
as has just been mentioned, and one or two 
other departments of the State. 

His career as Governor-General may be 
said to have begun at Simla, where, in com¬ 
pliance with the usage of recent years, he and 
his Council passed the hot and rainy season 
of 1872. Lord Northbrook had landed at 
Bombay, under the usual salutes of the men- 
of-war in harbour, on the 26th of April, 1872. 
A picturesque crowd of Europeans and natives, 
dressed in many varieties of costume, including 
the simple waistcloth, greeted his arrival. 
After an introduction to two or three native 
chiefs, his lordship drove through long lines 
of soldiers and wondering natives to the 
Government House. There was in the even¬ 
ing a State dinner. This was on a Saturday. 
On Monday, the 28th, his lordship was to have 
unveiled the statue of the Queen, which the 
late, or rather the former, Gaikwar of Baroda 
had presented to the city of Bombay. In a 
kind of way the thing was done; but the 
ceremony was much shorn of its splendour 
by the unavoidable absence of the Gaikwar, 
and the consequent diminution of the number 
of troops. 

One of the first acts of the new Viceroy 










IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


1G1 


Chap. CXLII.] 

indicated a becoming desire to walk in the 
footsteps of bis predecessors. The Russian 
conquerors of Bokhara were about to punish 
the Khan of Khiva, the ancient Kharizm, for 
many outrages inflicted year by year on Rus¬ 
sian subjects—so it was said. The other 
side, if it could be heard, might have some¬ 
thing also to say in regard to Russian encroach¬ 
ment and aggrandisement. Lord Northbrook, 
having been appealed to by the Khan, coun¬ 
selled him to offer timely amends for the mis¬ 
deeds laid to his account. If his advice had 
been followed, some say that the Russian 
advance to Khiva, in 1873, might never have 
occurred. This is more than doubted by very 
many. 

Lord Northbrook’s arrival at Government 
House, Calcutta, on the 3rd of May, was 
of course followed by Lord Napier’s departure 
on the 7th for Madras and England. The 
latter - mentioned nobleman, who was not 
known, had been received with coldness in 
Calcutta; but he left it with unusual liking and 
respect. His dignified bearing and gracious 
manners stood the comparison of the people’s 
memories of Lord Mayo. He had not trifled 
with any call upon his official energies; and 
those who saw most of him and watched him 
with the closest scrutiny liked his character 
and respected his powers the most. The 
Pioneer says of him, “No one would have 
believed how qualified he was for empire, if 
he had not actually ruled.” A very difficult 
place that is to fill; but Lord Napier well 
filled it. If the office had been offered him, 
and he had cared to accept of it, many pri¬ 
vate persons, and many opinions expressed in 
the public press, indicated that Lord Napier 
would have been a very fit successor to Lord 
Mayo. But Lord Mayo and India found an 
accomplished and unusually well - qualified 
successor and Governor in the Earl of North¬ 
brook. 

After some months spent in useful if unob¬ 
trusive work, the new Viceroy started on a 
tour of inquiry, which in the end embraced 
nearly all the chief towns of Northern, West¬ 
ern, and Central India, from Lahor to Bom¬ 
bay and Jabalpur. Durbars were held at 
several places on his road, and these brought 
him into friendly contact with quite a host of 
princes and great nobles north of the Tapti, 
from Patiala to Indor. The two great Ma- 
ratha feudatories, Holkar and Sindia, vied 
with each other in the splendour of the wel¬ 
come given by the one at Bombay, and by 
the other at Barwar to their illustrious guest. 
Those two months of constant travel laid in 
for Lord Northbrook stores of practical know¬ 
ledge of which he was able to avail himself in 
many important questions of the day. 
vol. in. 


Foremost among these was the matter of 
taxation. In a populous country ruled by a 
handful of strangers, it is always of impor¬ 
tance that the rulers should abstain from lay¬ 
ing heavy and unwonted burdens on the 
people. The murmurs provoked throughout 
India in recent years—especially those which 
had been occasioned by the income-tax of 
1870—had not by the time of Lord North¬ 
brook’s entrance upon office been silenced, 
even although there had been a lowering of 
that obnoxious impost. Even Lord Mayo’s 
concession of larger powers to the Local 
Governments became, in popular opinion, a 
mere blind for further inroads and exactions. 
But from the first Lord Northbrook, naturally 
and from his training an able financier, set 
himself to grapple with the salient causes of 
popular discontent. A careful inquiry into 
all the taxes and cesses levied throughout 
India resulted in the collection of a large 
body of facts and opinions, which served to 
guide and strengthen the Viceroy’s efforts 
in regard to financial reform. Such lessons 
emboldened him, in March, 1873, to abolish 
the income-tax altogether, to proclaim the 
early enforcement of a road-cess in Bengal, 
and to warn the Local Governments against 
any further increase of the local burdens. In 
the early part of the same year the excite¬ 
ment which had lately been caused, both in 
India and at home, by the progress of Rus¬ 
sian arms and influence in Central Asia, 
was in some measure allayed by the professed 
readiness of the Russian Government to ac¬ 
knowledge and respect the new line of fron¬ 
tier laid down by the India Office for Afghan¬ 
istan, as the limit of English influence in 
the regions bordering upon the Punjab. Later 
interviews between Lord Northbrook and a 
special envoy from Kabul led ultimately to a 
renewal of the friendly assurances which 
had been exchanged between Lord Mayo 
and Sher Ali at the Ambala durbar. In the 
interests of Indian trade with Turkistan, mea¬ 
sures were immediately taken, by the agency 
of Mr. Forsyth, for the establishment of an 
uninterrupted intercourse with the ruler of 
Kashgar, Kusbbegi, with Khotan, and with 
other provinces which had erewhile been 
under the Chinese rule. There was another 
mission, which was headed by Sir Bartle 
Frere, which left England towards the close 
of 1872, for the purpose of checking the 
rampant slave-trade along the eastern coast 
of Africa, by means of fresh treaties with the 
Sultan of Zanzibar and the adjacent chiefs. 
It was not till after the leader of the mission 
had returned home that the reluctant Sultan 
was coaxed or frightened into joining in the 
new crusade against a traffic which his own 

x 



162 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLIL 


connivance and the cunning and cupidity of 
not a few Indian traders had done so much to 
foster and extend. 

While these momentous occurrences were 
transpiring, the Kuki outbreak was being 
thoroughly suppressed. After helping them¬ 
selves to arms in Malod, the insurgents on 
the morning of the 15th January had rushed 
into the walled town of Mullair-Kotlah, the 
capital of a small Mohammadan state in Sir- 
hind. They made at once for the late 
Nawab’s palace, round which the chief public 
buildings, including the treasury, are ranged. 
The authorities, however, were already pre¬ 
pared for them, and after some hard fighting 
the rebels were driven out with a loss of 
seven killed and five captured. Pressed hard 
by the Kotlah troops, they fell hack on the 
village of Rurr, in the Patiala state. _ Here 
they seem to have been cleverly surprised by 
the tahsildar of a neighbouring village, who 
succeeded in taking seventy of them pri¬ 
soners. Even of that number nearly half 
were wounded men, while a few were women 
and children. Many were found unarmed, 
the remainder having only axes and sticks. 
Of the Kotlah troops eight were killed and 
about twice as many wounded. It was out 
of this body of captured Kukis that there were 
selected forty-nine who were blown away 
from the guns of the Nawab of Mullair-Kotlah. 
For that revolting barbarity.England is only 
semi-responsible. The act in itself was that 
of the Nawab, but the Superintendent of 
Police and the Deputy Commissioner were 
present to witness the sad spectacle. The 
Commissioner himself executed sixteen more ; 
eight others he made over to the Patiala 
authorities, and forwarded seven to the gaol 
at Ludiana for further examination. 

There were at this time an unusual hurri¬ 
cane and flood in India. A person writes,* 
“At eleven, on the 1st of May, I retired to 
rest. I have an indistinct recollection of a 
gradually increasing commotion till about 3.30 
this morning, when my front door was blown 
suddenly in, and split in two, with all the 
bolts broken. Everything breakable in my 
bedroom was at once sent to pieces, and the 
whole house filled with sandstones, mixed 
with sea-spray, which rushed in through the 
opening. Up till seven o’clock in the morning 
it was all that about ten of us could do to 
keep the doors which looked seawards from 
being blown in. About eight o’clock again a 
door was blown clean in, and all the furni¬ 
ture in the room upon which it opened was 
scattered about, and nearly Rs. 100 worth ot 
damage done. After partaking ot a hasty 
breakfast, whick was half sand, I started off 
* Madras Times, May 4, 1872. 


to see the town. Everywhere there was the 
greatest consternation among the natives. 
Some of them to whom I spoke said that this 
was the .greatest pusa— hurricane—'which 
had ever visited Madras. As I drove through 
one street my horse was flung down by the 
violence of the wind, and my carriage sent 
up against a wall. Shortly after this I visited 
the houses of several gentlemen at St. Thome. 
The pandal of the house of one was blown 
down. The owner told me that he had tried, 
with a brougham and a couple of strong Aus¬ 
tralian horses, to get to the town, but had 
been kept back by sheer force of wind. At 
the house of another friend I saw a palm 
fallen clean across the door in front of the 
house. My friend here had, in company with 
two others, striven to walk into town, but 
was utterly unable to accomplish his purpose. 
This fearful hurricane raged even round Zan¬ 
zibar, and did immense damage to the city 
and to no fewer than 150 vessels of the coast. 
It travelled, after the fashion of cyclones, up 
the Bay of Bengal, bursting over Madras, as 
has just been said, breaching the pier and 
doing great damage to the city and its suburbs. 
Many ships there were also completely wrecked, 
and several of the seamen were drowned. The 
cylcone raged at Madras the whole of the next 
day, and its force slowly abated only on 
the 3rd. 

Lord Northbrook arrived at Government 
House, Calcutta, as has been said, in the 
afternoon on the 3rd of May. An immense 
gathering of natives and Europeans welcomed 
the new Viceroy on his way from the station. 
His lordship was at once sworn in, and im¬ 
mediately entered upon his official duties, 
and started for Simla on the 15th of the 
month. 

Lord Napier and Ettrick, Governor ot 
Madras, had held the viceroyalty from the 
end of February till May, when Lord North¬ 
brook arrived. The rehoisting of the flag, 
however, at Government House was scarcely 
regarded as a token that Government had re¬ 
turned to its official life and its accustomed 
channels. There was a marked change.^ The 
multitude had no knowledge of Lord North- 1 
brook, and, so far as a temporary man 
could go, Lord Napier and Ettrick had 
done his best for the country; but the 
guards, in consideration of the catastrophe 
that had happened, were now all European, 
and precautions hitherto undreamt of were 
taken to prevent the possibility of a surprise. 

It must be acknowledged that Lord North¬ 
brook did not at first produce the most favour¬ 
able impression upon native India. It was 
thought that he would be excessively reserved. 
But before he left Calcutta he had convinced 






163 


Chap. CXLIL] IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


the people of the sincerity of his aims, and 
they forgot the imagined reserve. In a speech 
soon after his arrival he declared his deter¬ 
mination to curtail expenditure, so that it 
might come within the bounds of probable 
income; and, furthermore, intimated that in 
all changes of policy he would proceed with 
caution, and should always have a careful 
regard for the feelings of the people concerned. 
He abolished the income-tax. With Sir George 
Campbell he was not a particular favourite. 
Sir George was an able administrator, and 
understood India. His lordship, however, 
opposed a veto to one of Sir George’s favourite 
measures, and this was no doubt intended 
as more than, the veto of one measure, 
and to warn the Lieutenant-Governor of 
what a veto might imply. When the famine 
was imminent, the Viceroy and the Lieutenant- 
Governor were utterly opposed to each other 
in respect to the policy which ought to be 
pursued. Sir George knew the country better, 
but the Viceroy was superior in authority. A 
number of persons who ought to have under¬ 
stood their own particular business, which 
was in grain, suggested the closing of the 
ports so far as grain was concerned. Sir 
George Campbell partly took this view, hut 
with a widely different scope. He suggested, 
not that the ports should be closed, but that 
means should simply he taken to prevent the 
grain from being needlessly carried away, 
when it was so urgently required at home ; 
that is to say, that the grain might be pur¬ 
chased inKergunge, the great rice-growing 
country, or elsewhere, and the carriage saved; 
while, moreover, the purchase, if made early, 
would probably be made at a lower cost. 
But the Viceroy believed that if the Govern¬ 
ment made its appearance in the market as a 
buyer they would favour the projects of the 
rice merchants, some of whom there was 
reason to suppose had laid up large stocks of 
grain. He sent, therefore, to Burmah and 
elsewhere, and bought at a higher rate, but 
left the trade free. But this was mistaken 
policy. If a merchant, foreseeing a famine j 
and venturing to act upon his perception, 
buys up grain which he intends to sell at a 
future market rate, is he to be blamed if he ' 
act honourably ? This would be quite within 
his own line of business. Then, if the Govern¬ 
ment had appeared in the grain market up 
country, the merchants who had been storing 
grain in Calcutta would probably have been 
compelled to sell at a loss. Lord North¬ 
brook’s purchases in Burmah were, moreover, 
disadvantageous^ made, although they were 
ostensibly private. As the fact turned out, 
there were strange scenes in tire famine dis¬ 
trict; Hosts of vessels were going up and 


down the Ganges at the same t im e, some 
exporting and others importing—grain arriv¬ 
ing to where grain was already stored. Several 
methods were suggested by impartial men as 
means by which the ports might be closed, or 
rather that, without doing so, the good rice of 
Bengal might have been kept for India in its 
need, instead of being sent to other countries. 
But all was in vain. 

Lord Northbrook’s refusal to leave Calcutta 
during the hot season, and his anxious and 
unremitting care to meet the demands of the 
famine, are, however, worthy of the most 
honourable record. He was a thoroughly 
conscientious Viceroy, and laboured hard to 
meet the great demands of the pressing ne¬ 
cessity, and at the same time save the trea¬ 
sury. One would have expected as much 
from his early training, and from the influ¬ 
ences of his father’s house. Lord North¬ 
brook matured a scheme, or rather schemes, 
of irrigation, which deserve higher praise 
than they have obtained. It is to Lord Dal- 
housie that the credit is due of initiating our 
English system of utilising native methods, 
supplementing it by newer and more scientific 
means of irrigation. If Lord Dalhousie had 
had absolute power over all India, and in 
perpetuity, we should probably never have 
had the painful experience of the Madras 
famine in 1877-78 especially. The idea, 
however, is Lord Salisbury’s, assisted as he 
was by Lord Lawrence. During the vice¬ 
royalty of Lord Lawrence not a part of India, 
or any peculiarity of India, escaped notice 
when the Governor-General was forming his 
great and beneficent plans for irrigation. 
Lord Mayo continued the work. Lord 
Northbrook made it the subject of his earnest 
study, and fit in with his own sound 
principles of policy, and with a tact and 
consideration for native views, habits, and 
even prejudices, which, if his rule had con¬ 
tinued, would have borne all before it, and 
made irrigation to represent one of the great¬ 
est victories of England in India. He recog¬ 
nised the fact that compulsory irrigation may 
be a great hardship in districts which, from 
local peculiarities, never lack water; and he 
knew, as some men do not know, that public 
spirit, and the sacrifice of private to public 
interests, must, in almost all instances, depend 
upon education. Here, before him, was a 
vast empire, in which the portions differed at 
clearly marked stages, from the thin end of 
the wedge at Comorin to the thick end 1 at 
the Himalayas, and from Burmah to Bombay. 
Some of the people said to him, in effect, 

“ Irrigation is good, but as you do not carry 
coals to Newcastle, pray also forbear to bring 
water where we have enough.” To such 






164 


HISTOKY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. 


CXLII. 


objectors be replied, “ What you say is rea¬ 
sonable. Then show us tbe exact fact. He 
saw that in India tbe Ganges, tbe Jamna, and 
tbe Brahmapootra were capable not only ol 
turning dry courses, in tbe rainy season, into 
many rivulets, but they frequently submerged 
whole districts, and that over many miles of 
cultivated land , tbe people paddled tbeir ca¬ 
noes. To store this water, then, was bis 
problem. He saw that in tbe south natives 
bad stored a vast tank of irrigation; a little 
higher, and, indeed, in all parts of tbe Madras 
system, .that there were many intercepting 
“ dykes,” which kept back tbe waters of .the 
Kistnah and tbe Godavari on tbeir way to the 
ocean, and which might favour a system 
which could be made to spread over tbe 
country in many small channels, in the form 
of a life-giving fan. He saw also in tbe Pun¬ 
jab a system of “ well” irrigation, the wells 
and tbeir enclosures studding tbe country like 
forest trees. In Bombay there were many 
inundation canals which received and stored 
tbe waters in. times of flood. An irrigation 
map has been carefully prepared, embracing 
all tbe particulars, and if that and the ad¬ 
ministrative reports were well studied and 
acted upon, we should bear tbe last of famines 

in India. f 

This question is not, however, so easy ol 
solution as some might suppose. An irnga- 
tion map is quite sufficient to show bow little 
has been done. Tbe bright spots m it are 
numerous, but tbe dark ones are very many. 
You cannot confidently say where irrigation 
begins, or where it ends. A public-spirited 
landlord sometimes does much good, which no 
one but bis own tenants knows of. But will 
irrigation prove remunerative ? In many 
instances it does so ; for, on tbe lines which 
have just been indicated, there are miles and 
miles of diverging lines which show what an 
immense security Nature has given India 
against famine and drought. In some cases 
the irrigation will prove remunerative to tbe 
landholders, in others it will not; but for the 
safety of tbe people’s lives it will always be 
necessary, and ought so to be viewed by 
statesmen. In the sense of utilising all that 
was good in native irrigation, gradually but 
unremittingly, no ruler in India, no ruler in 
any country, would have achieved more than 
Lord Northbrook, if he had remained long 
enough ; but, even as it was, he accomplished 

much. . , 

One of the first acts of the Viceroy was to 
issue an order respecting the Kuki executions; 
and in India it seemed to be a very severe 
one. The rebels of Kuki had just been con¬ 
quered. Indeed they were scarcely rebels, 
but they had been treated as such. There 


had been preliminary steps taken by Lord 
Ettrick, it is but just to say, and Lord North¬ 
brook confirmed them. . . 

To understand this action of his lordship, 
and of his temporary predecessor, it is neces¬ 
sary to state that there is a standing feud 
arising out of the nature of the Hindu and 
Mohammadan religions. Not only are _the 
festivals of the one an offence to the other, 
but a case which runs into the necessary 
actions of every-day life, and which might be 
provided against, occasions not infrequently 
occurring bitterness of feeling and actual con¬ 
flicts. To the Hindu the cow is a sacred 
animal—the “mother and milk-giver of the 
family”—while the Mohammadans not only 
kill cows, but, in the spirit of their image- 
breaking forefathers, insist upon doing so 
publicly, and sometimes in the very street. 
This is beyond measure distressing to the 
Hindus; while Englishmen, partial to beet, 
and scornful of the idea that the cow is sacred, 
too often take the side of the. offenders. 
Well, in connection with this feeling on the 
part of the Hindus, several Mohammadan 
butchers were murdered in the Punjab m 

. - . • • _ L ___ 4-1-./-v rtrimofl 


UulUuciD vv ^ --— _ 

certainly suspicious circumstances, the crimes 
being committed almost simultaneously m 
different parts of the country. Moreover, 
those crimes were proved to have been in¬ 
duced by the influence of a new Sikh sect 
known as the Kukis, pre-eminently defenders 
of the cow. Several of the Kukis were sum¬ 
marily executed, but it was believed that the 
roots of the uprisings went deeper than merely 
the defence of the sacred cow. On the 30th 
of August, 1870, a native judge of the Small 
Cause Court at Labor gave judgment against- 
a Kuki, a goldsmith. The man waited till 
the court closed. Then he met the judge, 
who was on his way home, and killed him. 
The man was tried and executed, and the 
sentence was made more terrible by the fact 
that the executioner was chosen from among 
the Mehter, or the lowest sweeper caste, 
whose touch is pollution. While the dis¬ 
quietude from these causes was still prevalent, 
an Englishman, Mr. Bull, secretary to the 
municipality of Lahor, was murdered by a 
Mohammadan fakir. Putting such facts to¬ 
gether, it now began to appear that the Kukis 
had a concerted plan against good order and 
the English Government, and that the Mo¬ 
hammadans, notwithstanding. their natural 
and religious antipathy, had joined in it. The 
fakir who killed Mr. Bull was a fanatic 
Mohammadan, not a Kuki. 

Still the traditional ill-feeling of the two 
would sometimes : assert itself. In July, 
1871, a Mohammadan butcher at Amritsar 
wantonly threw a bone into a Hindu well. 








Chap. CXLIL] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


165 


There were an instantaneous rising and severe 
loss of life ; and the spirit of Hindu revenge 
spread rapidly to nearly all the chief stations 
in the Punjab. And matters continued to be¬ 
come even more serious. About the middle 
of November judgment was given in' the case 
of the murder of six butchers by the Kukis, 
the offence having occurred nearly six months 
before. These men had been brought to 
justice by the fact that one of their accom¬ 
plices had turned Queen’s evidence. The 
Government most reluctantly accepted his 
testimony, but four of those men were exe¬ 
cuted and the others were transported. 

But in the middle of January, 1872, oc¬ 
curred the outbreak which we have already 
described on page 162. As soon as Mr. 
Cowan, the Deputy Commissioner at Ludiana, 
heard of it he went with the District 
Superintendent of Police to the scene of the 
disturbances. On the 16th he telegraphed 
to the Punjab Government for permission to 
summarily execute four prisoners, he himself 
having no power to take life. Mr. Forsyth, 
the Commissioner at Ambala, who did pos¬ 
sess such power, wrote in reply directing 
the prisoners to be sent to Shirpore “for 
trial.” So he alleged ; but the letter having 
been lost, Mr. Cowan affirmed that it con¬ 
tained no such words as “ for trial.” On the 
17th, before the answer of the Punjab Go¬ 
vernment arrived, Mr. Cowan had already 
carried out his purpose, and, without any 
semblance of trial, had begun at Mullair-Kotlah 
by blowing a number of his prisoners from the 
cannon’s mouth. In the midst of this carnage, 
the details of which were heartrending, a letter 
from Mr. Forsyth arrived directing procedure 
according to law; but on the 18th he wrote 
again, giving his full and unqualified approval 
of what Mr. Cowan had done. 

But the Indian Government took a widely 
different view of the entire proceedings. After 
a lengthened investigation into the whole cir¬ 
cumstances, Mr. Cowan was dismissed from 
the service, and Mr. Forsyth was removed 
from the Commissionership of Ambala, and 
incapacitated for again exercising jurisdiction 
where human life might be in question. This 
order was made public on the 9th of May. 
Mr. Cowan’s previous good services, and 
especially his humane care for the people in 
a time of great distress, were, however, 
frankly acknowledged. His case remains 
(1878) as it was. Mr. Forsyth was soon 
afterwards sent by Lord Northbrook on an 
important embassy; and, knighted as he has 
been, has been employed on several Govern¬ 
mental missions in regard to trade and com¬ 
merce in connection with India. 

In the early part of the same year a disturb¬ 


ance which threatened to have disastrous re¬ 
sults broke out among the Santals. The 
causes of discontent had been simmering for 
many years, and for about six there had 
existed a Santal Ryots’ Association, a most re¬ 
markable fact in the history of such people. 
The mountaineers held a meeting to dis¬ 
cuss their wrongs, and resolved to com¬ 
plain to those who ruled them, and to 
demand the redressment of their grievances. 
Two years later they held a second meeting, 
and later still they assembled again. The 
whole proceedings indicated great patience 
on the part of these poor people. But at the 
end of 1871 a final meeting was held, and 
the language of some of the loaders was so 
indignant and outrageous that the Govern¬ 
ment deemed it necessary to imprison some 
of them. The complaints made were not in 
any sense political, but purely social. It was 
asserted that fair and just measures, taken to 
protect both landlords and tenants after the 
outbreak of 1858, had been systematically 
evaded by the former; that the Bengali land¬ 
lords, assisted by an iniquitous race of mn- 
hcijuns —money-lenders — who charged an 
appalling rate of interest for money which 
the owners of the land virtually compelled 
the tenants to borrow, had made the lot of 
the people worse than slavery. They alleged 
also, among other things, that the landlords, 
in addition to just rent, levied unjust fines, 
and that a tenant who appealed to the law 
courts was inevitably defeated by cross- 
examinations in a language which he did not 
understand, and that often before the trial he 
was entrapped into the signing of some deed 
which invalidated his case. To meet this state 
of disaffection, a “ Regulation ” was published 
in the Gazette of India in May, 1872, which 
defined the rights and duties of the Santals. 
It was decreed— 

First, that no money-lender should be per¬ 
mitted to take interest at a higher rate thau 
2 per cent, per month, in spite of any agree¬ 
ment to the contrary, or to take compound 
interest arising from any intermediate ac¬ 
count. The total interest on any loan or 
debt was never to exceed a fourth of the ori¬ 
ginal sum, if the period were not for more 
than one year, and the interest was not, 
under any circumstances, to exceed the prin¬ 
cipal, as it often had in very considerable 
amounts. Large powers were placed in the 
hands of the Lieutenant-Governor for the 
settlement of land, for inquiry into landed 
rights, for the record of rights, for the demar¬ 
cation of land, &c. Moreover, any ryot who, 
either himself or through persons from whom 
he inherited, could show that he had held 
fields for a period of twelve years, was 




HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLII. 


deemed to have occupancy right in such 
fields. An y ryot also who held fields by an 
equitable claim at the end of December, 1858, 
and afterwards lost them, might claim to be 
reinstated; and any ryot who had exchanged 
fields in the same village had his occupancy 
right legalised. This remarkable decision of 
the Government, indeed, gave power to the 
settlement officers to make a complete revo¬ 
lution in the affairs of the poor Santals. Lord 
Napier’s Government gets the credit of this 
important measure; but it is not difficult to 
recognise in it the bolder hand of the Lieu¬ 
tenant-Governor of Bengal; and if Sir George 
Campbell had done nothing more for India, 
this • alone would have entitled him to the 
gratitude of at least the poor. The tenants 
were probably not altogether right, and one 
would be sorry to have to confess that the 
whole of the landlords were tyrants in league 
with unjust mahajuns ; but that there were 
great wrongs there can be no doubt, and to 
meet these wrongs this trenchant order was 
issued. 

A year or so after the final outburst of 
wrath among the Santals, there was an agra¬ 
rian rising in the district of Patna. The 
magistrate of Serajgunge, Mr. Nolan, in re¬ 
porting on the riots, said that. “ while un¬ 
doubtedly the immediate occasion of them 
was to be found in the enhancement of rents, 
the law itself was not faultless,” much power 
being given to landlords. These riots were 
very little heard of in England, but they were 
characterized by no small amount of pillage 
and loss of life, and in the end assumed so 
serious an aspect that Lord Northbrook 
called upon Sir George Campbell for explana¬ 
tions. Sir George replied, “ As regards the 
specific questions asked by the Government 
of India, the ryots have not generally shown 
a disposition to refuse all rents, but, on the 
contrary, generally offer rents which the 
zemindars consider inadequate, and have in 
many cases deposited the proffered rents in 
court. Our officers seem to think that, as 
might have , been expected, while the zemin¬ 
dars ask too much, the ryots offer too little. 
The combinations to resist the payment of all 
rents are merely attempts to bring the zemin¬ 
dars to terms by keeping them out of all rents 
till they settle the question in dispute.” 

In September, 1871, there was a revolt in 
the gaol at Bareilly, which shows how difficult 
it is to rule, by the same hand, the diversities 
of race and creed co-existing in India. The 
reader must bear the fact in mind that the 
Brahmin wears suspended, in a loop falling 
over one shoulder, a thin common-looking 
thread, which is the badge of his high caste— 
of a nobility before which even princes bow. 


The Superintendent of Bareilly gaol had been 
led to believe that, by virtue of this thread, 
high-caste prisoners secured peculiar privi¬ 
leges, including immunity from punishment, 
no warder caring to inform against a 
Brahmin. This last was probably the fact. 
Finding some of these bigh-caste men were, in¬ 
corrigible, and relying on a prison rule which, 
in the absence of other punishment, and in 
certain cases, authorised the taking away of 
the prisoners’ clothing, Dr. Eades removed 
the threads, the deepest insult and the direst 
injury short of death that could be inflicted 
on a Brahmin. The rage of the Brahmins 
was unbounded, and a number of Moham- 
madan prisoners hounded them on. 

Revolt was therefore determined upon. 
Means were found to cut off rivets and re¬ 
move a door, and about eleven o’clock on.the 
night of the 6th of September, which night 
happened to be very dark, forty-seven prison¬ 
ers rushed into the yard, knocking down and 
otherwise maltreating sentries, and making 
their way, to where some looms had been 
stored. Armed with portions of these, they 
attacked the watchmen and guard—how des¬ 
perately may be judged from the fact that 
thirty-seven of the prisoners were wounded— 
twenty-one with clubs, and only sixteen by 
gunshot wounds. Among the watchmen and 
guards the number of men injured was kept 
concealed, but it was very serious. A stern 
inquiry followed, and resulted in an equally 
stern decision on the part of the Lieutenant- 
Governor of the North-Western Provinces, 
Sir William Muir. Dr. Eades was removed 
from his post, and was told that he had done 
a double wrong—first, to the particular indivi¬ 
duals from whom he had removed the threads ; 
and, secondly, to the Empire, in forgetting that 
the principle upon which British rule in India 
rests is religious toleration. 

There was another, but somewhat different 
outbreak, which illustrates the causes which 
sometimes disturb the quietude within the 
line of the British frontiers. Early in 1874 
it was known in both official and ordinary 
life that the Mohammadans of Bombay and 
the regions generally where Gujetatee is 
spoken, had become greatly excited by the 
publication in that language of Washington 
Irving’s “Life of Mahomet,” the book 
being regarded as an attack on the prophet. 
Of course, the mass of the people were almost 
entirely ignorant of the facts of Mahomet’s 
personal history ; but that certainly did not 
make them less susceptible of being made the 
dupes of designing and better-informed men. 
The publisher was a Parsee, and no more 
than that fact seemed to be necessary to 
direct upon the whole Parsee community the 





Chap. CXLIL] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


167 


vengeance of tlie Mussulman fanatics. On 
the 13th of February the explosion came. 
The houses of the Parsees were sacked, their 
property destroyed, and they themselves 
cruelly abused. For fully two hours, al¬ 
though in the middle of the day, the rioters 
worked their will without any interference by 
the police. Elegant mansions were wrecked 
to desolation, much life being destroyed ; 
while some Englishmen, it was said, re¬ 
proached the Parsees with having caused the 
disturbance. The riot continued for several 
days, the Parsees now at times leading, the 
Government being apparently at its wits’ end. 
A number of Arabs who landed from the sea, 
Mohammadans of course, were supposed for 
the moment to have come by invitation. The 
Mussulman festival, Romahudan, moreover, 
was just beginning, and that greatly aug¬ 
mented the danger. Altogether there was 
reason to fear the worst. But ultimately 
troops arrived, and the rioters rapidly disap¬ 
peared. Thus, then, another powder maga¬ 
zine had been ignited by a spark. If the 
area had been extended, and sparks carried to 
other magazines, the loss of life must have 
been very great, even if no question of race- 
mutiny had been involved. 

In these cases the reader will observe that 
there was no political motive as against the 
Indian Government. Perhaps in none of 
them was there any political danger, but 
there was serious risk to individuals, and in 
all of them there were issues which required 
to be met with firm, but calm and forbearing 
statesmanship. Such statesmanship Lord 
Northbrook and his Council showed in regard 
to the important interests committed to their 
care. 

The action of the Government in regard to 
Mr. Forsyth and Mr. Cowan had, no doubt, 
been determined upon before Lord North¬ 
brook’s arrival in Calcutta. But one of his 
earliest official deeds was the confirmation of 
Sir W. Muir’s decision in regard to those 
gentlemen, and their connection with the 
Kuki executions. That decision was very 
unpopular, and the new Viceroy had to share 
in the odium. Some of the most intelligent 
Englishmen in India were of opinion that 
this conduct was likely to produce very 
injurious results in regard to both the 
officers of the Government and the people 
of the Punjab. In respect to the former it 
was considered that a severe blow had been 
given to all chances of vigorous and inde¬ 
pendent action in future, when emergencies 
might arise. The whole service, it was be¬ 
lieved, would be astonished and appalled by 
the mode in which those two gentlemen had 
been dealt with. When mysterious dangers 


occur, it was contended that a panic invari¬ 
ably follows—a panic which is quite unrea¬ 
sonable in its extent, and sometimes in its 
character ; and the local executors must, in 
such case, be intrusted with sufficient powers 
to put such panics down. It was admitted 
that, in the present instance, the means of 
suppression had not been the wisest or the 
kindest; but it was further argued that the 
position of British rule in India is in many 
instances very critical. 

When the mutinies of 1857 occurred and 
took most of the English by surprise, the 
warnings of sagacious men like Sir Henry 
Lawrence, General Jacobs, and others, re¬ 
maining unheeded, there was presented an 
example of the inflammable material with 
which British Governors have to deal in the 
provinces of that grand and marvellous 
country. That there is a vast amount of 
discontent spreading from year to year, it 
were impolitic to deny. None can possibly 
doubt it if he knows anything of the 
people, or is in the habit of going among 
them. The evil results which were con¬ 
sidered likely to arise out of the summaries 
of the proceedings in the present case were 
held to be aggravated by reference to the 
character and circumstances of the two offi¬ 
cers who had Suffered. Mr. Cowan, though 
not a brilliant man, had been a most pains¬ 
taking and conscientious one, as he had also 
been a man of benevolent disposition. He 
was a married man with a family, and, being 
a member of the “uncovenanted service,” 
had nothing to fall back upon, and must of 
necessity be utterly ruined, unless assisted in 
some way. Mr. Forsyth was one of the most 
distinguished servants of the Government. 
He is not a man of impulse, but cool, col¬ 
lected, and courageous, and when deputed to 
the court of St. Petersburg on a very deli¬ 
cate mission, he earned the highest com¬ 
mendation from Lord Clarendon for the tact 
and judgment he evinced. He had, more¬ 
over, been encouraged by Lord Mayo in every 
way to look for advancement. 

So much for the effect upon the officers of 
the Government. As regards native subjects 
and feudatories, the effect, it was anticipated, 
would be anything but good. It may seem 
strange to persons at home in England, but 
there has generally been a strong feeling .in 
the native mind in favour of the action taken 
by the officials of the Government on occa¬ 
sions of outbreak. They feel their own secu¬ 
rity more substantially guaranteed thereby. 
There seems to have been exceeding surprise 
among the natives when they were informed 
of the decisions of Government respecting 
Messrs. Forsyth and Cowan, So was it 



16B 


HISTORY OF THE 

with the loyal and well-affected, while fana¬ 
tics and disloyally inclined persons must, 
without doubt, have been emboldened and 

encouraged. . 

But there is still another consideration: 
the native chiefs who have gallantly come 
forward in order to support English rule in 
India, more especially the Maharajah of 
Patiala, could not hut feel discouraged and 
even offended by such action as this.. A 
member of the household of the Maharajah, 
no doubt writing with the approbation of his 
master, says, “I do not pretend to judge 
whether the execution of the Kukis was or 
was not, under the circumstances, the most 
judicious course to adopt; but when it was 
deliberately adopted by conscientious, pains¬ 
taking men, with the hearty approval of all on 
the spot, the policy of visiting it with con¬ 
dign punishment is a very different question. 
And if the Government by their decision have 
acted, as I believe they have acted, in entire 
opposition to the opinions of the Punjab com¬ 
munity, European and native, they have, in 
nay opinion, incurred a very serious responsi¬ 
bility— a grave view of the subject which 
cannot, I think, be materially affected by any 
subsequent action which that Government 
may take.” The English is this gentleman’s 

own. . . 

Thus there may be a variety of opinions re¬ 
specting the same action. It was believed 
by very many that if it had not been for the 
spirited action of Mr. Cowan we should have 
had a very serious allair indeed to deal with. 
It was with reason supposed that, instead of 
having only a comparatively small number 
of Kukis to subdue, those fanatics were in 
reality at least 100,000 strong, all banded 
together and prepared to act under the com¬ 
mand of appointed leaders. A gentleman 
well qualified to judge says, “ They mean to 
act on the Fenian plan, and many European 
lives will be sacrificed. ‘ The English fancy 
that those Kukis are a contemptible lot.’ So 
said to me a Sikh chief. ‘ But you must not 
allow them to lift up their heads, or they will 
cause you an immense amount of trouble.’ 
I myself believe he is right. It were wrong 
to suppose that the Kuki outbreak is the 
contemptible thing which it has hitherto 
shown itself to be. It is only a beginning.” * 
Happily the danger which many apprehended 
was averted by the prompt action of the offi¬ 
cers of the Government, and that those offi¬ 
cers were harshly treated for doing their duty 
was the almost universal opinion of English¬ 
men in India. There seems to have been 
severity on both sides. Europeans, untrained 
by Indian experience, are unable to discover 
* Allen’s Indian Mail. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLII. 

the need of so revolting a punishment of 
these misled Kukis, and done as the deed 
was with a good design on the part of- the 
officials concerned, the punishment by the 
Governor of the officials themselves was, m 
the opinion of English residents on the spot 
—the best judges— unnecessarily severe. 

In his short tenure of office Lord Napier 
had no opportunity for the display of states¬ 
manship. But, during the time in which he 
held the office of Yiceroy as locum tenant, he 
exhibited not only statesmanlike qualities,.but 
a delicacy of feeling, a courtesy and discrimi¬ 
nation-having regard to the exigencies of his 
position—which begat for him the regard and 
respect of intelligent men. There were, no 
faults .of taste, no lack of kindliness and libe¬ 
rality, upon which even unfriendly criticism 
could fasten. Lady Napier’s kind offices to 
the sick in the hospitals were unremitting, 
and during her stay she made herself ac¬ 
quainted with every philanthropic work in 
Calcutta.* . 

A report was about this same date received 
from the Munnipur contingent in connection 
with the Lushai expedition. It says that, 
“ having marched to the southern frontiers 
of Munnipur, a distance of nearly eighty miles 
from the capital, the force was there encamped 
for a period of forty days in a close valley, 
where the nights were bitterly cold, and fogs 
arose as regularly as sunset, and remained 
until noon the following day. The men con¬ 
sequently suffered considerably in health, but 
there was among them no repining, and not 
a man returned before being permitted to do 
so.” But the same causes, combined with 
insufficiency of clothing, prostrated most of 
the coolies upon whom the force depended 
for the conveyance of its supplies, and pro¬ 
duced among them privations which compelled 
the retirement of the whole body of the con¬ 
tingent. A panic spread through the hill popu¬ 
lation, which rendered it impossible to supply 
the places of the coolies from that source; 
and there was great trouble to meet the exi¬ 
gency. Still it ultimately was met. 

The services of the contingent were very 
considerable. Strange to say, there were here 
auxiliaries from among the same people who 
had occasioned trouble to the Government 
elsewhere. Those tribes are opposed to each 
other, and if some combine against the Govern¬ 
ment, others join its forces and fight against 
them. Here the Kukis were the helpers of 
the British soldiers. They were the first to 
come into actual conflict with the enemy. 
They lost a subadar who was in very high 
esteem; but five of the enemy were killed, 
and that his countrymen and co-religionists 
* Indian'Daily News. 







Chap. CXLIL] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


1G9 


held to be a compensation. In January, 1872, 
the force sent out escort and food to captive 
fugitives from Lenkamo villages, and brought 
into camp 227 men, women, and children. 
In February it afforded similar assistance to 
392 captives from Poiboy’s northern villages. 
Other captives also reached the camp, num¬ 
bering altogether, over and above these, as 
many as 649 men, women, and children. 
Besides : all this, the force afforded protec¬ 
tion to 2,002 refugees from Lushai villages, 
and 110 refugees from Kamhou’s villages. 
The escape of these poor creatures was pri¬ 
marily due to the operations of the Cachar 
column. All of them found an asylum in the 
territory of the Maharajah of Munnipur, a 
prince in friendly relation with the British 
Government in India. Lands were allotted to 
them, and arrangements made by the British 
Government for providing them with food 
until they could raise crops for themselves. 
The Maharajah evinced much interest in these 
settlers upon his territory. 

The excellent position of Seeboo, taken up 
by the troops of the Maharajah who were 
co-operating with the English force engaged 
in the expedition, had many advantages. 
It compelled the Lushais, while it also held 
Kamhou’s tribe in check, so to divide their 
forces, in order to watch these movements, 
that, on the 25th of January, when General 
Bourchier’s column was attacked by Poiboy’s 
clan, at least half that chief’s force, with his 
principal leader Wamboon, was thus occupied, 
and the British force, by means of the diver¬ 
sion, was saved from important loss. The 
day after the final retirement of the contin¬ 
gent from Seeboo it intercepted a body of 
Kamhou’s army carrying off to their hills 962 
of the inhabitants of Lushai villages, which 
they had completely-devastated, appropriat¬ 
ing the spoil. This force had crossed the 
frontier in the interval of the.first retirement, 
and was not aware of the return of the con¬ 
tingent. Hence its surprise. A brief struggle 
ensued, in which three chiefs and fifty-three 
of their followers were made prisoners, while 
fifty-four muskets were taken. Four of the 
British soldiers were wounded. The Lushai 
captives were all released, and their property 
restored to them. By this adventure and its 
success, Kamhou’s power received a check, 
or rather a shock, from which it will not be 
easy for him to recover. But this was not 
before it was required. For years he had 
been merely simulating friendship while play¬ 
ing a fast-and-loose game—one of alternate 
submission, and another of raids upon distant 
villages, while he repudiated participation or 
responsibility. Not long before this date the 
Burman authorities had complained of the 
vol. in. 


ravages committed by this man’s dependants 
upon the village of Beetop, in the Kuban 
valley. At about the same time his tribe 
carried a raid into the village of Lengsole, in 
the territory of the Maharajah of Munnipur, 
one mail having been killed, and seven carried 
into captivity; while, even more recently, 
three other villages had been assailed by him, 
four women and seven men having been 
killed, and sixty-seven taken into captivity. 
At this very date there were seventy-four of 
the subjects of the friendly Maharajah still 
held in captivity by Kamhou. All doubts as 
to the criminality of this tribe were set at rest 
by the concurrent testimony of persons.whom 
he had held as prisoners. The amount of 
good which was accomplished by this expe¬ 
dition, so far as regarded the future peace of 
the country, was seen to be very great, and 
time has only confirmed the verdict. It 
checked a career of devastation upon the 
neighbouring tribes, which in all probability 
would have terminated in the complete ab¬ 
sorption of the Lushais and the occupation of 
their country by a powerful and ruthless 
tribe, who would have preyed upon the out¬ 
lying British possessions for many years. 
It was necessary to use a large amount of 
tact to bring some of the Lushai chiefs to 
terms. They were equally frightened at the 
English rifles and at our terms of peace. But 
Captain Lewin, the Political Agent, gave 
them very careful handling and a consider¬ 
able amount of free play, and he accomplished 
his purpose. 

In connection with the cyclone, which hap¬ 
pened almost immediately after -the arrival of 
Lord Northbrook in India, there was a fear¬ 
fully disastrous flood at Yellor. India is a 
land of droughts and floods. At the beginning 
of May, 1872, the 3rd and 4th, Monday and 
Tuesday, the sky was cloudy; Wednesday 
morning was dark and heavy, and towards 
the afternoon the rain set in and continued 
to pour during the whole of the night, and 
the state of things was not changed next 
morning. At about eleven o’clock in the 
forenoon on Thursday a very heavy fall of 
rain came on. It rained so hard that one 
was hardly able to see any object at the 
shortest distance. It was blowing from the 
north-east, and by two o’clock there was a 
fierce hurricane. The wind howled and 
raged most furiously, and the rain fell in 
alarming torrents. Suddenly, at a little 
before four o’clock, there was a lull, and the 
wind veered towards the south. After this 
there was a cry of alarm from thousands who 
felt themselves in danger by the coming, 
down suddenly upon them of a great body ot 
water, which swept everything before it. All 

z 





170 


HISTORY OF THE 

Vellor was soon under water. Hundreds of 
lives were lost, and thousands of persons 
were ruined. This rush of water was caused 
by the breaking of some tanks which were 
situated about two miles and a half from 
Yellor. These tanks form a collection of 
waters from several streams. 

The portions of the town which suffered 
most by this mighty rush of waters were those 
which are occupied by the native regi¬ 
ments and the Cusbah, which contained 
about eight or nine hundred houses, in each 
of which there were five souls on an average. 
The officers’ lines and the houses of the Euro¬ 
pean residents suffered only in so far that the 
walls of the compound were breached, and, 
the water having got in, much valuable pro¬ 
perty was injured. The native population 
were observed to be in great danger when 
the floods set in, and as soon as assistance 
could be rendered it was promptly afforded, 
all the officials and military officers turning 
out and doing their utmost to save life and 
property. In the lines of the native regi¬ 
ments, the 28th suffered only slightly; but 
the houses of the drummers of the corps were 
completely carried away. The families of 
native corps stationed at the place suffered 
very much indeed, particularly those belong¬ 
ing to the 14th Regiment. The havildar of 
that corps reported that most of the women 
had perished. A noteworthy circumstance is 
that the majority of those women belonged to 
tribes whose women are always kept in se¬ 
clusion. The floods extended from the Central 
Gaol, about two and a half miles from Yellor, 
up to the houses of the European residents. 
During the floods the water in some parts of 
the Cusbah amounted to as much as eight 
feet, and even in some of the houses of the 
European residents there were more than 
four feet of water. The town of Yellor 
contained at the time upwards of 50,000 
people, and the devastation and suffering were 
painfully great. 

The village of Cusbah thus suffered most. 
If village it had been before the flood, it 
certainly was not one afterwards. When 
subsequently seen it was a plain here, a plain 
there, a few ruins of houses in another direc¬ 
tion, and a mosque standing a little way off. 
It had contained before the occurrence of this 
calamity as many as 700 or 800 houses. The 
spectacle which was now presented was sad 
to behold; but the tale of the manner in 
which hundreds of lives had there been lost 
was still more sad to hear. The inhabitants 
of the village were struck with. consternation 
when the waters came down upon them with 
mighty force. Some of the people ran to the 
houses of the European residents and were 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLII. 

saved; but of those who remained in their 
own houses none escaped. It is said that in 
one of these houses there were assembled 
150 persons, all of whom but one perished. 
The house was that of a pensioned havildar. 
Of the large number assembled in the house 
many were women of the 14th Regiment. The 
only survivor was the old havildar himself. 

Next to the Cusbah were the lines of the 
native, regiments, so far as regards the 
damages which were sustained. The houses 
of the families of the native corps were mostly 
swept away, and those that remained were 
wrecked and deserted. The town of Yellor, 
after the flood, presented the appearance of a 
heap of ruins. The fort was intact, and the 
houses of the European residents were still 
habitable ; but in the native parts of the 
town it was hard to believe that houses had 
ever stood upon them. The sweep of the 
waters had been so clean as to leave no trace 
of houses behind. There were between 500 
and 600 persons originally supposed to have 
lost their lives by this terrible disaster, and 
the • loss of property was proportionally 
great. Those who were rescued from a 
fearful death, or who were fortunate enough 
to escape, were sent to the mahal in the 
fort, where their wants were attended to. 
Upwards of 3,000 people were rendered 
houseless. The waters subsided on Friday; 
and, as soon as they were able, the police, 
with the assistance of the military, began to 
search for the bodies of the dead. Besides 
these, 250 convicts from the Central Gaol, 
under guard of a company of sepoys, were 
employed in the same melancholy work. On 
Friday 169 bodies were found, on Saturday 38, 
and next day 20. The results of the flood 
may thus be summed up:—About 12,000 
people were ultimately found to be houseless, 
or who had lost their habitations, from 
3,000 to 4,000 of these being absolutely 
destitute, and dependent on public support. 
About 1,000 people, it was finally esti¬ 
mated, perished, and the destruction of pro¬ 
perty was very great; indeed, so far as 
the latter is concerned, the loss has never 
been accurately estimated. 

Much excitement was at this time caused 
in Bombay by the sudden deaths at Baroda 
of Bhow Sindia, Yizier of the late Gaikwar, 
and of Moonshee Habib-oola, his confidential 
servant. The former died mysteriously in 
prison, he having been confined there on 
account of peculation. The latter died two 
days afterwards. The story, as circulated in 
Bombay, was to the effect that, on the night 
of the 2nd of May, Bhow Sindia was ordered 
by his gaolers to swallow a poison-ball which 
had been prepared for him. On his refusing, 




Chap. CXLII.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


171 


with loud cries for help, he was squeezed to 
death by a kind of pressing-machine kept for 
that purpose. His body was burnt imme¬ 
diately afterwards with a haste unbefitting his 
princely rank. It was said by interested par¬ 
ties that the Gaikwar had died of malignant 
fever; but that assertion there is no reason 
to believe. One of his attendants was like¬ 
wise missing. The Moonshee, who had been 
his chief secretary, was supposed to have 
perished in prison two or three days after¬ 
wards, either from poison or torture. The 
Moonshee was, indeed, stated to be still 
living; but he was never seen. It was 
also asserted that several of the Gaikwar’s 
officers of the staff were made away with in 
like manner, and that the head steward to the 
Gaikwar’s mother was scorched to death in 
the sun for admitting into the house a mes¬ 
senger from the widow of her son. There are 
many political tangles in India, and this is 
one of them. 

Lord Northbrook left for Simla on the even¬ 
ing of the 21st by special train. Before leaving 
he took repeated occasion to express his views 
on Indian questions. On the day of his depar¬ 
ture, after distributing prizes to the students at 
the Medical College, he avowed his pleasure at 
finding no change in the educational policy 
of the Government, as laid down in Sir C. 
Wood’s dispatch of 1854, which he himself 
“had had the privilege” of helping to draw 
up, and which “ seemed still to be regarded 
as the charter of Indian education.” His 
lordship in effect declared himself equally 
attached to the three different principles 
therein commended — the maintenance of a 
high standard of English learning as the 
proper vehicle for imparting Western know¬ 
ledge to India; the encouragement of the 
“ old historical languages of India ; ” and the 
wide diffusion of primary education among 
the people in their own daily speech. To the 
third of these objects his lordship had devoted 
special attention, but at the same time he had 
no desire to reduce unduly the already exist¬ 
ing high standard of English education in 
India, or to discourage the study of Sanscrit 
and Arabic. His great object in this address 
was to promote primary education among the 
mass of the population. 

There was at this date a search for coal 
on the Godavari by Mr. Blanford, under the 
auspices and direction of the Government—a 
most important investigation in regard to the 
industries of the country. Mr. Blanford’s 
boring on the British side of the river near 
Dumagudium led to no very promising result. 
The area of the rocks in that neighbourhood 
is very small, and the coal-beds found there 
are thin and irregular. But elsewhere the 


explorer was more successful. By setting the 
wild jungle tribes to work in quest of coal, 
he became aware of the existence of thick 
beds not far from Pakhall, in the neighbour¬ 
hood of Warangul. Mr. Blanford, in his 
venturous zeal, suffered a serious injury to 
one of his feet, and was compelled to apply 
for sick leave; but he had previously been 
able to test the coal-bearing rocks on the 
Nizam’s side of the Godavari, the result of 
which was to prove the existence there of 
more than 50 feet depth of coal. It was also 
proved that coal was to be found over a long 
line of country in East Berar. 

Towards the end of June, 1872, the heat 
in the greater part of India was tremendous. 
At Allahabad it was as high as 115° in the 
shade. At Haidarabad, in the Deccan, it was 
even hotter than this, and several persons 
were struck down by it. About Puna the 
wells were dried up, cattle were dying for 
thirst, and human beings were glad to go 
several miles for ajar of water. 

Every one who could get away from the 
plains had left for the hill stations, at which 
parboiled and baked-up Britons lay in fresh 
stores of vital strength. Lord Northbrook 
and his departments were all safe at Simla. 
Stories of the activity of the new Viceroy— 
activity both mental and bodily—had begun 
to crop up. In the Treasury Account De¬ 
partment in particular there were fear and 
quaking, inasmuch as his lordship was known 
to have fixed his eye, like that of the “ An¬ 
cient Mariner,” upon the drones. 

The Financial Statement made in April by 
Sir Richard Temple excited much attention in 
India, as indeed it also did in England. It 
is only by careful study, however, that one 
extracts from it the actual state of the Indian 
finances at that particular period. There is 
not a subject of which it treats, scarcely a 
figure which it contains, that does not invite 
comment even after years have passed away. 
The cash balances were extraordinary; the 
continued military expenditure was enor¬ 
mous ; the waste of money on education was 
lavish—lavish because the results were un¬ 
satisfactory ; there was a large augmentation 
of the municipal and other local taxes ; the 
income-tax, contrary to all expectation, was 
still continued ; the Home charges were very 
heavy ; and then, over and above all, there was 
the uncontrolled power of the Secretary of 
State to borrow money. All these items in 
the Budget, to say nothing of any others, 
might well occupy the attention of the friends 
of India. Looking at the expenditure of the 
Government of India, its magnitude and rapid 
increase were remarkably great. Since 1857, 
up to this time, the income had increased by 



172 


HISTORY OF THE 

£16,000,000 sterling, but bad been insuffi¬ 
cient to meet the expenditure. Trade might 
prosper; old taxes might be increased in their 
amount, and new ones imposed; rich harvests 
might pour their wealth into the Treasury ; 
but what matter if expenditure outstripped 
the income in a manner which no one out¬ 
side could understand ? Estimates for work 
are generally exceeded by the actual outlay, 
stores usually cost more than they ought, 
recruiting charges are apt to increase, and 
that was, at this time, the experience of 
India. The only thing to be depended upon 
was that the expenditure was sure to exceed 
the income. At the present moment—1878 
—it requires the greatest care to prevent this 
tendency from becoming a serious embarrass¬ 
ment. This point is of vital importance. The 
India of to-day is not the India of a past 
generation, and the events and circumstances 
of to-day are the seed which will yield fruit 
in the future for good or evil. 

The friends of India have had need for 
several years to carefully watch the phases 
through which she is passing. Let it be 
observed that the taxation is increasing year 
by year. Between 1856 and 1865 the in¬ 
come increased by between £15,000,000 and 
£16,000,000, and of this sum £7,301,620 
were due to sources on which there had been 
increased or new taxation. This large sum 
of £7,000,000 odd came under the heading of 
imperial taxes, and was quite exclusive. of 
those which were local, the latter having 
now reached a figure so high that it is a 
marvel they can be collected with so much 
facility. At this rate, within the period 
mentioned, the imperial taxes increased 
£700,000 sterling per annum, and the local 
taxes grew with even greater speed. In 
1862-63 the municipal funds could only 
contribute towards the maintenance of the 
police by allowing £48,664 ; but in 1868-69 
those funds were so raised from local taxa¬ 
tion that they were enabled to contribute 
£241,252, or more than £400 per cent, within 
the period of six years.' 

In the Budget of which we are speaking— 
that for 1872—Sir Richard Temple says that, 
“in addition to previously existing local 
funds, fresh provincial taxation would be 
imposed in the various provinces of India, 
probably amounting in the aggregate to 
£750,000. Then, if imperial taxes were 
augmented by £700,000 and local taxes by 
£750,000 per annum, the two together must 
have been a heavy increase to the burden 
which is required to be borne by India.” The 
Duke of Argyll, about this time, told the 
House of Lords frankly that, although he 
was Secretary for India, he was utterly un- 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLII. 

able to account for a million sterling which 
had been charged to the military expenditure. 
On one occasion Lord Halifax stated, also to 
the Lords, that Lord Dalhousie had raised a 
loan of two millions, professedly for public 
works, but, somehow or other, the money 
had all been spent in the ordinary expendi¬ 
ture of India. Things are now better— 
thanks to the efforts of Lords Mayo and 
Northbrook in particular; but the Empire 
still suffers from the effects of' former in¬ 
equality between income and expenditure. 
And what could be expected from such a 
state of things ? If a million every now. and 
then disappeared, without any one’s knowing 
how or where; if moneys borrowed for one 
purpose might be squandered on another; if 
expenditure was always permitted to exceed 
income ; if without loans expenditure could 
not be met; if taxation had to be increased 
year by year ; and if no limit was put to the 
power of those who might involve the country 
beyond redemption, it required no prophetic 
vision to fortell the result. 

Five years ago—1873—Mr. E. Denison, 
while commenting on the Indian Financial 
Statement, remarked to the House of Commons 
that “ the expenditure through the Home 
Government had increased from £3,000,000 
to £16,000,000, or, including the railway 
contributions, to £20,000,000. The office 
also insisted on keeping at the end of each 
year a balance of £3,000,000 in hand. At 
the very time, therefore, that Sir Richard 
Temple was presenting his Budget for 1872 
at Calcutta, and was urging special reasons 
for the imposition of the income-tax, there 
was this balance in England to the credit of 
the Indian Government.” Not one of these 
statements has ever been contradicted. But 
Mr. Denison said more. He declared that 
“the India Office systematically refused to 
give reasons ” for the expenditure of the im¬ 
mense sums which it annually dealt with. 

Efforts, as has been said, had been made 
to make things better, but these had been 
only partially successful. A committee on 
Indian finance was appointed by the House 
of Commons. It was composed principally 
of well-known and eminent Anglo-Indians who 
had seen good service in their day. This 
committee held many meetings and made 
important recommendations, which are being 
gradually carried out. Lord Northbrook, at 
the seat of his government in India, lent him¬ 
self willingly to the advocacy of the principle 
of retrenchment which had been so earnestly 
contended for by his predecessor. During 
his sojourn at Simla he held several “ coun¬ 
cils.” On his way thither he was not per¬ 
sonally known, of course, and an amusing 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


173 


Chap. CXLIL] 

incident occurred at Ambala. It is scarcely 
worth while to relate it, but it may prove just 
a tiny scintillation of light in the narration of 
graver affairs. It happened that when the 
train stopped for him to come out he was 
asleep, and those who waited drawn up on 
the platform to receive him thought it etiquette 
to wait till he was aroused. Accordingly a 
circle of. considerate Englishmen was formed 
at a respectful distance from the carriage, 
waiting till the great man should make his 
appearance like a giant refreshed. After a 
short time the door opened, and the expectants 
beheld a neatly dressed, affable gentleman step 
on to the platform. The multitude drew itself 
up and looked pleasant. The General put on 
his most winning smile of welcome, and ad¬ 
vanced to give him the right hand of fellow¬ 
ship. But the affable gentleman, with a shade 
of distance in his manner, politely informed 
him that my lord would be ready presently. 
It was the valet; and the General winced. 

At Simla the principal business done was 
the passing of a Bill exempting the Straits 
Settlements from the provisions of the Indian 
Emigration Act of 1871. There were also 
Bills carried through for legalising the repay¬ 
ment of money placed in District Savings 
Banks in the names of minors, and for levy¬ 
ing duty on certain descriptions of spirits 
made in British Burmah. 

Lord Dalhousie’s minutes on the Wahabi 
movement were at this time published as a 
“parliamentary.” The publication of such do¬ 
cuments is usually very slow. Those minutes 
were found to be just what might have been 
expected from a shrewd and self-reliant states¬ 
man of high character and ability. In one of 
them—the only one of importance sufficient 
to be mentioned here—he informs the Com¬ 
mission of Patna that, in his judgment, there 
was no ground for further proceedings against 
the Wahabi leaders of that, city. At the 
same time he has no doubt that some of them 
have been corresponding with fanatics beyond 
the border, and admits the need of vigilance 
in the matter. The magistrate of Patna was 
therefore directed to “ keep his eye ” on cer¬ 
tain persons. Suspected persons in the 
Punjab were also to be closely watched, and 
if evidence sufficient for their conviction could 
be shown, “ no leniency should be exercised.” 

There was at this period a perpetual fever 
of political excitement in India. The war of 
the mutiny had not yet been forgotten. But 
if matters could only have been taken in a 
quiet sort of way it would have been better. 
What was wanted was not the multitudi¬ 
nous and , ever-accumulating new measures 
which were daily introduced, but a gradual 
ripening and maturing of those which had 


already been inaugurated. The Anglo-Indian 
mind had lately evinced a tendency to some¬ 
thing which approached recklessness in the 
matter of spasmodical Education Acts, sanita¬ 
tion, and engineering. The well-worn motto, 
“ The more haste the less speed,” was much 
required to be suggested to most officials. 
It cannot be said that many of the measures 
were utterly obnoxious or useless ; but they 
were most of them hurried measures—mea¬ 
sures upon which the minds of men were not 
prepared, or for which the country was not 
yet ripe. 

The report of Colonel Brooke on the affairs 
of Bajputana for 1$70-71 presents a pleas¬ 
ing picture in contrast with many other parts 
of India. There were still the traces of the 
famine to be seen, but eastwards the crops 
were luxuriant; and especially the rubbee, or 
spring harvest, was everywhere good. It 
was in October of this year that Lord Mayo 
held his great durbar at Ajmir, from which 
the Jodhpur Rajah was excluded for refusing 
to sit below the chief of Udaipur. Those 
gentlemen sometimes do stand disagreeably on 
their dignity. At this durbar it was that the 
Earl of Mayo broached his scheme of a col¬ 
lege for the sons of the chiefs, princes, and 
thakurs, or landed gentry of Bajputana. 
His appeal to the assembled chiefs was in 
due time answered by a subscription of 
Bs. 631,000, which was a noble endowment. 
The Rana of Udaipur headed the list with 
Bs. 100,000, and the Bajah of Jaipur with 
Bs. 125,000. 

There was a striking contrast between the 
state of things now and that which had ob¬ 
tained only forty years before, a. contrast 
showing in many points the progress of India. 
When Lord W. Bentinck in 1831-32, as 
Governor-General, passed through this same 
territory, it was by slow and toilsome marches 
of ten or twelve miles a day, with no carriages, 
but many elephants and palanquins, and quite 
an army of troops and camp followers. The 
baggage was .piled on native hackeries, tbe 
bullocks frequently breaking down, or with 
galled necks labouring at a snail-like pace 
over the deep Jaipur sands. 

The Maharana of Mewar, breaking through 
the pride and prejudice of his people, had 
gone to Ajmir to welcome the Governor- 
General. Maun Singh, of Marwar, kept away 
from feelings of pride. The Maharao of 
Bundi was perhaps the only one who lived to 
see the next gathering, of Rajputs under the 
presidency of a Governor-General. In those 
days a public durbar was difficult, inasmuch 
as the chiefs would neither meet with each 
other, nor with the Governor-General, with¬ 
out the greatest ceremony. 










174 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


On the 22nd of July, 1872, the House of 
Commons unanimously consented that an 
annuity of T1,000 should be settled upon 
Lady Mayo out of the Imperial Exchequer, 
and a further annuity of T1,000 out of the 
Indian Treasury, in addition to a capital sum 
of T20,000 to be settled upon Lord Mayo’s 
children. This was well-merited money. 

Special attention was, at this time, given 
to the position and the claims of Sindia and 
ITolkar, the chiefs or princes of Gwalior and 
Indor. Both held their possessions under 
the settlement made by Sir John Malcolm in 
1818, after the victory of Mehidpoor. So 
great had been the distress consequent on 
years of misrule, anarchy, and warfare, that 
chiefs, thakurs, and people alike yearned for 
peace and the close of the reign of terror. 
There was, therefore, no attempt to resist the 
new conqueror. Sir John Malcolm’s settle¬ 
ment secured to every owner the lands which 
he held, on the simple condition of good 
behaviour. From that time the Maratha 
chiefs, confirmed by British sanctions in their 
former conquests, have been accepted as 
rulers by the Rajput thakurs. The people 
were happy; but they have since been less 
so. Later rulers have disregarded the old 
treaties. In this respect the Maharajah of 
Indor, Holkar, has sinned for many years. 
Means have been employed to lessen the dis¬ 
affection which this has occasioned. The 
English Government must do its best; but 
the matter is politically delicate. Holkar has 
a really great army; and, in any event, it is 
not always easy to negotiate with a proud 
prince. At one time it was hoped, in regard 
to Holkar, that he would stay his hand from 
oppression ; but remonstrance by the English 
Government seems now to have little impres¬ 
sion upon him. “ His appetite has been too 
frequently whetted to be appeased by mere 
discussion.” There is not a Rajput house 
in Rajputana or Central India which is not 
alive to the sufferings of their clansmen under 
Holkar; and the subject is freely discussed 
in every bazaar. The people look to the 
British Government as their ultimate rulers, 
and pray for intercession and relief as they 
appeal to that Government. Sooner or later 
something more decided must be done. But 
England has too much respect for Holkar’s 
independence to interfere. Interference on 
behalf of tne oppressed subjects would tend 
seriously to curtail the rights and powers 
which the British have guaranteed to their 
ruler ; and if, on the other hand, England 
decline to interfere, and scrupulously respect 
the right of the chiefs to do wrong, suppress¬ 
ing all attempts of their subjects to right 
themselves by force, it may perhaps be found 


[Chap. CXLII. 

that it may carry the British Government 
somewhat further than it intends to go— 
possibly to annexation. Matters are even 
now—1878—far from being satisfactory in 
Indor, and yet it would be unwise if Eng¬ 
land were too ostensibly to interfere. Lord 
Northbrook found this one of his difficulties ; 
but he was at the same time both cautious 
and firm, remonstrating with Holkar on the 
ground of agreements with the British Go¬ 
vernment, and counselling the people to 
quiet and non-armed measures as more likely 
than any other to realise their purpose. 

Very different is the history of Punnah, in 
Bandalkand, whose Rajah, Nirpat Singh, died 
in 1871, exciting the regrets of his people 
and of the Government of India. Before his 
accession, in 1849, Punnah was in utter des¬ 
titution and misrule. He left it a model state. 
During his reign of twenty-one years he 
abolished suttee, reformed every part of his 
administration, carried heavy cart-loads over 
places where banjaras, with their pack-bul¬ 
locks, had much difficulty a few years before, 
encouraged agriculture in every way, and 
paid special attention to cattle-breeding. His 
diamond mines were worked with English 
machinery. Punnah itself was adorned with 
broad streets, good houses, schools, and public 
offices. In all this he was aided by a com¬ 
petent and able minister. 

The Rajah of Tehree, the chief state in 
Bandalkand, rules an area of 2,100 square 
miles, containing 200,000 souls. Among his 
thakurs are the descendants of the men of 
war for whom Bandalkand was famous—- 
strong, brawny barons, than whom, it is said, 
“ there is not a finer body in physique.” 

Malwah and its opium are the chief sources 
of Sindia’s revenue. In Sir J. Malcolm’s 
time the yearly out-turn of opium amounted 
to only 5,000 or 6,000 chests, consumed by 
Rajput nobles, Sikh and Maratha soldiers, 
and the horsemen of Mysore and the Deccan. 
Now as many as 37,608 chests are exported 
to China, while probably 20,000 are consumed 
at home. In Rajputana and Central India 
almost every one eats or drinks opium, from 
the very infants to the grown-up men, who 
take it as regularly as their meals. Its use 
seems to do no good, but much harm. But it 
is the stirrup-cup of the Rajput, and no 
visitor comes or goes without a draught of 
the kossumbah, which is spiced opium in a 
liquid form. The free use of it is considered 
by many competent judges to have long been 
undermining the mental and bodily powers of 
the people of Rajputana. 

For a very considerable length of time it 
had been felt that the growing centralization 
of India ought to be checked, and this is the 



Chap. CXLII.] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


175 


feeling still. The Government of India takes 
everything under its charge, and itself attends 
to everything. The old leading spirit is not 
yet worn out, and the officials, even the Gover¬ 
nors of provinces, are, in the opinion of the 
Supreme Government, required to be super¬ 
vised, just the same as the lowest clerks in an 
office. Everything has to be referred to the 
head-quarters of the Government, and the 
time necessary for this is a serious loss to 
administration and to the executive. Indeed, 
it is wonderful how the Government of India 
is carried on at all in such circumstances. 
All descriptions of questions are sent on for 
reference, from the reorganization of a depart¬ 
ment to the increase of a peon’s pay. It is 
absurd that such questions should not be 
settled on the spot. If the Governor of a 
presidency is fit to govern at all, and if he 
has officials fit for anything, they ought to be 
able to answer the questions which are sent 
on for reference. 

It would be immeasurably better if a fede¬ 
ration were formed; and the present divisions 
of the country might be taken for the purpose, 
for they probably would do as well as any 
other that could be chosen. In the early 
part of Lord Northbrook’s administration this 
project was prominently brought forward and 
much insisted upon by the English press in 
India. He and his Council, however, frowned 
upon it. Perhaps it was not to be wondered 
at that they should. But the matter is not 
by any means shelved. It constantly comes 
again into view. 

The presidencies ought to form a federa¬ 
tion, with the Supreme Government overlook¬ 
ing the whole country. Several years ago the 
different Governments were told that they 
might manage their own financial affairs to a 
certain degree, but it was soon found that this 
was a mockery. Managing their own finan¬ 
cial affairs was found simply to mean gather¬ 
ing and paying the imperial taxes without 
leaving anything out of them for local pur¬ 
poses. Money for such objects might be 
raised by the different Governments in any 
way they thought proper, but they were not 
always to be allowed to spend it as they 
wished. What many of the best friends of 
India contend for is widely different from that 
arrangement. They argue that it would be 
wise to let the Local Governments of such an 
immense territory almost, if not entirely, 
manage their own financial affairs. Each 
presidency should be told what it had to 
give to the Imperial Exchequer, and then the 
mode of raising it ought to be left entirely to 
the Local Governments. For provincial pur¬ 
poses they should also be allowed to expend 
the money which might be deemed necessary, I 


the Supreme Government having a control 
over what was spent. This control ought, 
however, to be exercised with much discretion, 
supposing everything to be going well, but 
sharply when a blot should be discovered in 
the administration of a minor Government. 
In this way there would be a regular federa¬ 
tion of the different parts of India, and the 
Supreme Government would not be considered 
to be taking upon itself more power than it 
ought to have. Each power or Government 
would try to do its best for the people under 
its rule, and there would be a healthy rivalry 
between the different Governments, and each 
would make the best use that it could of the 
power intrusted to it. The people would 
know those who ruled them, and would be 
helpful to good order in many ways. They 
would feel that the Government was their 
own, and that they as well as the rulers 
would, in time, take a pride in seeing that 
things were well done. 

The Secretary of State for India wrote to 
congratulate the Indian Government on the 
prosperous issue of the Lushai expedition, 
on “results which are not less creditable to 
the wisdom and moderation of the Govern¬ 
ment which sanctioned the expedition than to 
the military authorities which conducted it.” 

There were two small rebellions—one in 
Jodhpur and the other in Bandalkand. 
The second son of the Jodhpur Rajah, dur¬ 
ing his father’s absence at Mount Abu, seized 
the fort of Nagore and hoisted his flag on the 
ramparts. His father hurried home, and the 
rebel son was soon brought to terms. The 
other rebel was the chief of Pulhaira, in 
Bandalkand, who, with his thakurs, rose 
against his liege lord and alleged oppressor, 
the Rajah of Tehree. 

Cholera was raging in many parts of India. 
Indeed, that direful disease is never out of 
India; but there are seasons during which it 
becomes much more generally fatal. At this 
date, at Ambala, there were thirty-two cases, 
mostly fatal, in three days. At Sabathu and 
Kussowlie the epidemic was also very fatal. 
At Agra, out of sixty-two seizures, chiefly 
among the boys of St. Peter’s College, thirty- 
five died,. And there were likewise many 
fatal cases reported from Darjiling. The dis¬ 
ease had also shown itself among the 17th 
Foot and the 21st Hussars at Jabalpur, and 
in the 13th Bengal Cavalry at Lucknow. 

Native princes and gentlemen gave fresh 
illustrations of public spirit. The Maharajah 
Sindia proposed to construct an irrigational 
canal from the Sind River, near Narwar, 
through the capital to the Chumbul River, a 
distance of 110 miles ; and the Maharajah of 
Cashmere gave a large sum of money for the 







176 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


founding of a medical college at Srinagar. It 
was soon put into efficiency, and lectures and 
demonstrations were given by native gentle¬ 
men who had been educated in England. 

From Jacobad, in Sind, there were reports 
of destructive floods, and those reports were 
but too true. They buried half the canton¬ 
ments, and caused a breach in the Makanwai 
Canal. The destruction of railway bridges in 
the Punjab was very extensive, and raised the 
question whether it would not be better to be 
content with pontoon bridges over such 
rivers as, in any heavy monsoon, rush down 
with a force which nothing solid can with¬ 
stand. 

Prince Gholam Mohammed died on the 
12th of August. This prince was the last 
surviving son of Tippu, the fierce Sultan of 
Mysore, who, after years of fighting and plot¬ 
ting against the Feringhi, or English, fell at 
the storming of Seringapatam in the last year 
of the eighteenth century. On Tippu’s 
death the kingdom which his father had 
founded was broken up, but the province of 
Mysore was given back to the old line of 
Hindu rajahs whom Hyder Ali had dispos¬ 
sessed. Tippu’s children were removed to 
the fort of Yellor until the mutiny and 
massacre of English soldiers and others in 
1806 had passed away—a disaster which was 
mainly due to the intrigues of the young 
princes and their partisans—intrigues which 
occasioned their removal to Calcutta, where 
they could be under a more strict surveillance. 
There the princes lived and grew old on the 
handsome pensions allowed them by the East 
India Company, and there in succession they 
died. Grholam Mohammed’s years, when he 
too passed away, were more than eighty. 
He had seen the power which his father de¬ 
fied, and which his grandfather had put in 
imminent peril, carry its arms over all India, 
and weather a mutiny far more widespread 
than any that had previously occurred—even 
far more formidable than that of Yellor. 

The Government of Lord Northbrook, in 
the summer of 1872, had its attention called 
to the large and increasing number of beggars 
in India. The sincere zealots, devotees, 
fanatics, and ascetics, put all together, are but 
a drop in the bucket as compared with the 
fellows who adopt religious mendicancy as a 
profession in order to shirk work, indulge in 
vagabondage, escape justice, facilitate swin¬ 
dling, find opportunity for theft, enjoy de¬ 
bauchery at other people’s expense, excite 
discontent, and foment sedition. Nine- 
tenths of the beggars, able-bodied and 
sturdy, are really actuated by some other 
motives than religious ones, although they 
always make that sacred pretence. It is 


[Chap. CXLII. 

about the smallest of their crimes that 
they sponge upon and impoverish the peo¬ 
ple. In addition to that, they seduce them 
into ganja and opium eating and smoking, 
and thereby make them the readier dupes 
to aid them in their iniquitous ends. Most 
of the political mischief which is done or 
attempted in India is by the agency of these 
men, who wander at will wherever they 
please—fakirs from Laho turning up at Tre- 
vandrum, and emissaries from the Mahabun 
teaching treason at the DecCan. The result is 
that treason is made to appear ubiquitous, 
while there is really nothing of the kind. It 
is one of the surest proofs of the loyalty of 
the great bulk of the people that such persons 
should have been so long and so persever- 
ingly at work, and yet should have produced 
so little result of any sort. The average 
native may listen without expressed objec¬ 
tion, or even with languid approval, to the 
diatribes of incendiaries ; but he does not see 
the expediency of incurring the risk of getting 
himself knocked on the head; and so.it'is 
that in ordinary times, and in usual circum¬ 
stances, it is wise to allow sedition-mongers 
to have the “length of their tether.” This 
was Lord Northbrook’s policy, and the results 
amply justified its wisdom. At the same 
time, such characters keep up a sense of un¬ 
easiness, and enable the dangerous classes to 
be troublesome, and to afford them facilities 
for keeping up communication with one an¬ 
other all over the country, and to develop 
many plots, most of them sure to be abortive, 
but one or other of which might chance to 
prove practicable under certain contingencies 
by no means inconceivable. There ought to 
be some restriction put upon the movements 
of those men. It is inexpedient that they 
should be allowed to fatten in idleness on the 
hard-earned means of the toiling millions. 
From a moral point of view these wanderers 
are utterly vile, while politically they are a 
great and perpetual danger. Why should 
there not be a passport system for the bona 
fide religious pilgrims, and a vagrancy law for 
the sturdy impostors ? Why should not ex¬ 
tortion by intimidation, even by these men, 
be made as criminal as it is in England ? 
And why, when they wander beyond their 
own districts, should they not be bound to 
give a satisfactory reason for their presence 
in any particular locality ? 

In August Lord Northbrook made a pre¬ 
sent of £1,000 towards the founding of a 
new Anglo-Oriental college for Mohamma- 
dans. He likewise put a check upon hurried 
legislation when a Bill came up in regard 
to British Burmah. The Bill, which was 
in pursuance of Sir R. Temple’s Budget 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


Chap. CXLIL] 

policy, was nearly passing, when his lordship 
asked whether it had been translated into the 
vernacular, and published, according to rule, 
in the British Burmah Gazette, The Council, 
strange to say, were taken aback by this 
simple question; and it turned out that not 
only had no translation been made, but that 
the Gazette, recognised by law, was not even 
taken in by the Simla Secretariat. All fur¬ 
ther dealing with the Bill was adjourned for 
a fortnight. But the province was two thou¬ 
sand miles off; and it required even a further 
delay in order to ascertain the opinions of the 
persons concerned. Thus early did the Vice¬ 
roy declare his determination to abide by the 
law and the people, and to pay only the 
respect which was due to officialism ; and to 
that a certain amount of respect is always 
due, for faithful servants are ever worthy of 
respect. His lordship plainly stated that, so 
long as he was responsible, he should cause a 
record to be made of the progress of every 
Bill, so that none of the rules affecting Bills 
in their successive stages should be broken 
through. 

Six Topographical Surveys were at work 
in 1870-71. They completed the mapping 
of 14,592 square miles. Up to 1871 the total 
area surveyed had been 665,909 square miles, 
or three times the area of France. But to 
this ought to be added the topographical 
work of the Trigonometrical Survey, and the 
work done in Madras and Bombay. One 
party, under Lieutenants Strahan and Holdich, 
surveyed 2,653 square miles of difficult coun¬ 
try, chiefly to the west of the Betwah River. 
Around Deogurh the country is full of inter¬ 
esting archaeological remains, including many 
ruined temples celebrated for rich sculpture. 
At Iran, on the banks of the Bina, which 
flows into the Betwah, there is a remarkable 
pillar which is inscribed with one of King 
Asoka’s numerous edicts, and which is sup¬ 
posed to occupy the exact centre of Hindu¬ 
stan. The hill country in Alwar is broken 
up into parallel ridges, with precipices 500 
or 600 feet high, beneath which flow streams 
through rich jungle intermixed with palms. 
Many of these streams rise on one side of a 
ridge, and, passing round the end of it, flow 
back along the other side within a mile of 
their former course. In 1870-71 fifteen 
parties, for purposes of survey, were at work 
in Bengal. Much work was done; but, on 
the whole, the Madras Survey was the most 
accurate, and its results best adapted to 
general use. Next to that comes the Bombay 
Survey, which is perhaps best suited for 
fiscal purposes. 

In September, 1872, a very doleful and 
quaintly worded petition from “ B. Marshalla 
von. III. 


177 

and others ” was sent to Lord Northbrook. 
He paid no attention to it. But as indicating 
the feeling of the people, it may be well here 
to notice it. It set forth, in Babu’s English, 
that the petitioners respectfully and gratefully 
remember the time when Lord Clive ruled 
“ In those days the people were contented. 
Under the rule of her Majesty’s Government 
we supposed that we should be better off; 
but it has been far otherwise. We are suffer¬ 
ing and hungering.” Lord Northbrook could 
make nothing of this appeal. Mr. (now Sir 
George) Campbell, from whom he requested 
counsel, admitted that the municipal taxation 
of Calcutta was “ high for an Indian city,” 
and was proportionally heavier than the 
average local taxation of England and Wales. 
It was more than four times as high as the 
taxes in the suburbs of Calcutta, and six 
or eight times as high as the municipal 
taxation of most Bengal towns, such as 
Dacca, Patna, and Moorshedabad. A taxa¬ 
tion reckoned at Rs. 5f per head is also 
materially higher than the Rs. 4| per head 
levied in Bombay. But it ought to be borne 
in mind that Calcutta was just at that time 
paying heavily—about 8J lakhs a year—for a 
very complete system of drainage and water 
supply, the profits of which it had even 
already begun to reap. More than this, Cal¬ 
cutta had certainly a great deal to show for 
its expenditure, for the deaths at this date 
were barely half as many as they had been 
six years before ; and the taxation was not 
so heavy on the poor as on the rich, several 
of the taxes being paid by the latter only. 

On the night of the 10th of August, and 
until break of day, there was quite a deluge 
at Ambala. The whole of the bazaars were 
flooded, and the cries of the people were dis¬ 
tressing—husbands looking for their wives, 
and mothers bewailing the loss of their little 
ones. On that eventful night many were de¬ 
prived of a home. At one point three little 
children were seen struggling with the waves, 
and were swept away no one knew whither. 
Again, near the large nullah which seems to 
divide the cantonments from the Sudder 
Bazaar, beast might be seen struggling against 
beast, endeavouring to stem the tide, but all 
alike doomed to the same fate. 

Cholera raged fearfully in various parts, 
particularly at Allahabad, Lucknow, and Kus- 
sowlie. Still Government and its courtesies 
must go on. The Government presented the 
Rajah of Munnipur with five hundred muskets 
of the Enfield make, in recognition of his 
cordial co-operation in the Lushai expedition, 
and Lord Northbrook sent him a hearty letter 
acknowledging his services, and himself or¬ 
dered thirteen sporting rifles from England, 

A A 




178 HISTORY OF THE 

on the latest and most improved principle, as 
presents for his Highness, his princes, and 
his minister. This was a graceful act on the 
part of both the Government and his Excel¬ 
lency, whatever may be thought of the form 
which it took. Very likely this form would 
he appreciated by the receivers more highly 
than almost any other; and the acknowledg¬ 
ment of services most willingly rendered was 
certainly due. 

At this time there was a new census taken 
of Bengal, and the results surprised every one. 
The responsibilities of the Indian Government 
are very rapidly increasing. The population 
had been immensely underrated, and the 
number of people under the direct rule of the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal was now found 
to be not less than 65,000,000. Moham- 
madans were found to greatly preponderate. 
In the districts to the east of Calcutta there 
are certainly not fewer than 20,000,000 of 
Mohammadans. This is indeed a very im¬ 
portant matter when one comes to consider 
the state of Mohammadan education. The 
average population of fully cultivated districts 
on the plains of the Ganges is not less than 
640 per square mile, or a human being to 
every acre. The most thickly populated dis¬ 
tricts in the North-Western Provinces can¬ 
not be taken at more than 2^- acres to the 
human being, and allowing for the large 
proportion of the land now under cotton, 
jute, &c., and the quantity of rice which«is 
ann ually' exported, certainly not less than 
2J acres must t be required there for each 
person. Allowing, then, for the comparative 
—the extraordinarily comparative—frugality 
of the people of India, it does seem that, after 
all, the agricultural productiveness of the 
country is not at so low an ebb as some 
persons would lead us to imagine. The people 
work primitively, and it is the desire of the 
Government to encourage them, many of the 
officers willingly assisting in the production 
of a better system of agriculture ; but, at the 
same time, every man who labours on the 
land works in his own way, with tools in 
some instances as antiquated as the deluge, 
and ideas scarcely less ancient, though mar¬ 
vellously adapted to the peculiarities of the 
country, and productive of results which are 
not by any means to be despised. The de¬ 
claration of the particulars of the census 
undoubtedly brought the Government and the 
people more nearly together on both moral 
and material grounds.* 

Towards the end of September Madras in 
particular suffered in more respects than one. 
The virulence of dengue, a malignant fever, 
was simply astounding. In most of the 
* Statistics from Friend of India. 


BRITISH EMPIRE [Chai*. CXLIL 

Madras churches prayers were offered up for 
the abatement of the scourge. Black Town 
was the scene of the severest visitation. It 
was computed that 80 per cent, of the 
East Indian and native inhabitants had been 
ill with it. There were whole streets where 
scarcely a soul—man, woman, or child— 
escaped. Though the disease proved most fatal 
to children, yet many grown-up persons suc¬ 
cumbed to it. Generally speaking, the strong 
and previously healthy escaped death, but 
even the most muscular and vigorous con¬ 
tinued long to feel bone-aches and other 
after-effects of the ailment. Whole months 
after the fever had left them the pains in the 
joints remained, and men felt as if they had 
been severely beaten and bruised. 

While it was thus in the houses of so many 
of the people of Madras, there were certain 
melancholy sights in other parts of the town. 
It was now three months and a half, or nearly 
so, since the cyclone. But even after so long 
a space what an aspect was presented by the 
beach! To the north of the pier masoolah 
boats appeared to occupy the place—masoolah 
boats rotten, masoolah boats sound, masoolah 
boats in pieces. Canvas or leaf-roofed boats 
here and there only told of the scene where 
the goods recovered from the late disasters 
were temporarily housed and stored. Huge 
logs of wood in heaps, pieces of iron, bales of 
cotton, and clusters or detached specimens of 
—ugh ! the dead, unburied bodies of poor 
wretches who had perished in the storm, were 
all crushed together. At one’s feet lay half-a- 
dozen cannon, dismantled, rusty, and woe¬ 
begone. Here and there in the sand were 
the corroded flukes of anchors. Masts of 
wrecked ships were likewise embedded hard 
by. The sight was about as sad as human 
eye could rest upon. 

The Panthays form a link, and a very im¬ 
portant link, in a chain of international traffic 
which affects millions of Chinese and the 
manufactories of Europe, as these appertain to 
ports of India and the eastern and southern 
coasts of China. Before the insurrection of the 
Panthays in 1855 a considerable trade, valued 
at half a million sterling a year, was carried 
on between Burmah and China, and the Pan¬ 
thays were themselves among the most eager 
participators in this traffic. Bhamo, a town 
situated upon the Irawady, was the entrepot 
of this trade. But when the Panthays re¬ 
volted from the Chinese rule the stream of 
commerce between China and Burmah was 
stopped at once, and from the internecine 
character of the struggle between the two 
parties, it began to be feared that this com¬ 
merce was utterly at an end. But a trade has 
I since that period developed itself between the 




IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


179 


Chap. CXLII.] 

Panthays and the province of Yunnan, which 
grows year by year, and which promises to 
be of great advantage to British Burmah. 
Lord Northbrook was much interested in this 
trade when it was only in its incipience, and 
the result has shown the wisdom and sagacity 
of his foresight. The natural roadways be¬ 
tween Burmah and Yunnan are remarkably 
favourable; and Yunnan being now com¬ 
pletely separated from the Chinese Empire, 
there are both exports from it and imports 
into it, which not only must profit India, but 
England as well. The commercial possibili¬ 
ties of overland traffic between India, and 
China are almost boundlessly magnificent, and 
some day or other the utter disruption of the 
Chinese Empire, or the separation from it of 
at least the south-western provinces, may 
realise what is even yet accounted by states¬ 
men a vision of Utopia. 

Lord Northbrook’s sojourn at Simla came 
to an end about the middle of October. He 
went down the hill to Ambala, where he held 
a durbar, and met with many important 
native personages with whom it is desirable 
that the British Government should sustain 
amicable relations. Sir John Strachey and 
the Begum of Bhopal were there invested by 
his lordship with the Order of the Star of 
India. No specially important point of 
political interest came before the Viceroy 
and the chiefs; but the exchange of cour¬ 
tesies between persons of such positions as 
his and theirs is not only pleasant at the 
moment, but is sure to be productive of future 
good. From Ambala his lordship went by 
Ferozepur to Amritsar, Lahor, and Multan. 
There he took steamer for Kasmor, from which 
he turned aside to visit Jacobad and Shaikar- 
pur. Returning to Sakkar, he went down the 
Indus to Kotri, and then took the rail from 
Kotri to Karachi. About the middle of 
November the Viceroy again arrived at Bom¬ 
bay, and there met his Legislative Council. 
He afterwards paid a visit to Puna and Kirki, 
and proceeded subsequently to Nagpur, and 
then took the road to Jabalpur. Before he 
left Simla the Supreme Legislative Council 
had sat there, and had passed Mr. Hobhouse’s 
Bill for defining the jurisdiction of the Bombay 
High Court in Sind, and General Norman’s 
Bill for admitting sepoy lunatics into asylums, 
Sir J. Strachey’s Bill concerning Irrigation 
and Drainage in Northern India being referred 
to a select committee, as were also several 
other minor Bills. 

The Indian Government, at the suggestion 
of the Viceroy, did at this time a most sen¬ 
sible thing in a small but important matter. 
In India the days at certain seasons are 
extremely hot, and the nights just as bitterly 


cold. Among the soldiers at Peshawar ex¬ 
posure to cold brought on fresh attacks of 
fever in the case of those who had already 
suffered from that complaint. It was now 
ruled, therefore, that during unseasonably 
cold weather extra blankets should be issued 
by the commissariat, to be returned into the 
store when no longer needed, “ providing 
that the commanding officer and the chief 
medical officer at the station should agree in 
recommending such extra issue.” 

Lord Northbrook, by means of his length¬ 
ened journey and careful inspection after he 
had left Simla, became much better acquainted 
with the state of the country than he had been 
before, and now offered a gold medal to the 
Bengal Medical College for “ the best essay 
on the causes of the fever which had so long 
prevailed in the Bardwan districts, and almost 
devastated portions of it.” This was a vastly 
important question, and many parts of India 
were under deep obligation to his lordship for 
beginning the ventilation of it. The houses 
of an Indian town are generally situated in 
enclosures, which present towards the street 
or alley a dead wall of sun-dried bricks, stone, 
or mud, a small doorway being the only open¬ 
ing which is visible. On entering this door¬ 
way the visitor finds a yard from 10 to 
12 feet square, on the sides of which are 
dark rooms or cells, with an open veranda 
before them, in which the people live. The 
rooms are for the most part very badly venti¬ 
lated, and each is lighted by an aperture 
about a foot square. The yard often com¬ 
municates with others of the same kind, 
forming a labyrinthine succession of such 
courts. Some houses are visited by mehters 
—sweepers—at stated intervals, but the 
poorer classes profess to perform the office 
for themselves. They do not, however, do 
it, or they do it very badly. Of drainage 
there is absolutely none at all. There are 
vile and offensive receptacles in nearly every 
enclosure, and these diffuse hateful and poi¬ 
sonous effluvium all around. In some dwell¬ 
ings the occupants do not even take the 
trouble to provide any vessel to receive filth, 
but throw it carelessly behind a thin partition 
wall upon the bare ground, which thus be¬ 
comes completely saturated with putrescent 
organic matter. The foul waste water of 
houses abutting on the street is discharged 
into a side gutter, and is there allowed to 
evaporate. Where no such gutter exists, an 
unglazed earthen jar is sunk at the side of 
the lane or street, and a pipe through the 
wall discharges the baleful liquid into it. 
When full, the jar is supposed to be carried 
away and emptied on the nearest ghura, or 
dunghill, such a receptacle being found oppo- 









180 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


site nearly every gentleman’s house. This 
forms a convenient “treasury” for the offal 
and refuse of the neighbourhood; and as the 
manure which is collected is considered valu¬ 
able property, the owner of the site peremp¬ 
torily places a veto on its removal. Instead of 
the porous jar, cesspools of masonry are con¬ 
structed inside some of the better houses. When 
these become full the contents are baled and 
thrown out indiscriminately over the neigh¬ 
bouring thoroughfares, there to be absorbed 
or to evaporate. Many families merely dig a 
hole at the side of the street for the reception 
of the liquid refuse. This is a most perni¬ 
cious hind of cesspit, for the absorbent cha¬ 
racter of the soil causes longer time till the 
effects of the deposits have completely gone. 
From the fact that it gives so little trouble, 
this method is unfortunately frequently adopted 
in poor neighbourhoods. When its removal 
at last becomes imperatively necessary, the 
fetid abomination which has been accumu¬ 
lated is scattered broadcast over the neigh¬ 
bourhood. Were it not for the carrion crows, 
the swine, and other creatures which perform 
the office of scavengers, and for the extreme 
dryness of the air, human life could not be 
preserved under such conditions. As it is we 
need not wonder at the prevalence of violent 
fevers in India. 

Moreover, the fields and maidans are 
covered with all sorts of offensive object's, 
and dead cattle are everywhere exposed 
under the burning sky. Not unfrequently, 
too, when a horse or an elephant dies, it is 
buried within the town. The graves of the 
Mussulmans are never dug sufficiently deep, 
and the bodies are consequently exhumed at 
night by wild animals. The poor among the 
Hindus are, on the other hand, compelled by 
want of means to perform in a partial and in¬ 
efficient manner the ceremony of cremation, 
after, which they throw the half-consumed 
corpse into any convenient place which they 
can find. 

These abuses are the very mainsprings and 
sources of fever and cholera, diseases from 
which India is never free. The nature and 
management of the water supply are, more¬ 
over, a lamentably active cause of disease 
throughout India. Tanks and wells are dug 
by private individuals ; no care is taken to 
ascertain that the source is pure, or that the 
water does not percolate through soil im¬ 
pregnated with sewage, and still fewer pre¬ 
cautions are used to prevent the filthy dried 
excreta which everywhere cover the surface 
of the ground from being blown into them. 
It is no uncommon thing to find lazy people 
washing themselves or their dirty jars in the 
very water which they are drawing for drink¬ 


[Chap. CXLII. 

ing purposes. As water necessarily enters 
largely into the consumption of every family, it 
is impossible to calculate the amount of disease 
which is produced or disseminated by this 
wilful and culpable pollution of the sources 
from which it is drawn. 

Undoubtedly the immediate cause of fever 
in the Bardwan districts is to be sought for 
in the dirt, poverty, and overcrowded con¬ 
dition of the villages and towns, the filthy 
and ill-ventilated state of the dwellings, the 
close confined air of the dense jungles, and in 
the rainy season the presence of large quan¬ 
tities of water and decaying vegetable matter. 
But these are causes which the skill of the 
engineer and the proper application of labour 
and funds can ameliorate in many instances, 
and in others entirely remove. Lord North¬ 
brook wanted the best information about all 
this, and out of his own pocket was willing 
to buy the knowledge. 

But there are other causes of disease which 
have powerfully operated in India. The great 
and sudden changes of temperature to which 
the inhabitants are exposed, the days being 
inordinately hot and the nights excessively 
cold, as has been said, and the heavy dews 
which have to be encountered with insufficient 
clothing—these have all been exciting causes 
of fever with which it has been difficult to 
deal. Easterly winds also have been known 
to produce both fever and cholera in a large 
degree, and there has been observed a remark¬ 
able tendency in such diseases to follow the 
courses of the rivers. 

The greater number of epidemics which 
have raged in India can, however, be traced 
to the Hindu festivals and fairs which are 
annually held upon the banks of the sacred 
rivers. The native Hindu population of the 
country, from the summit of the Himalaya 
Mountains to Cape Comorin, is congregated, 
by means of these, at least once every year at 
various places, and in masses of from half a 
million to a million of people. These enor¬ 
mous numbers of human beings have no 
dwelling-place but the open maidan or the 
river banks. A seething mass of corruption 
and disease must necessarily thus be gene¬ 
rated and carried over India, not only by the 
returning pilgrims, but by the streams them¬ 
selves. 

The vicinity of a river is, at the best, a 
dangerous spot in a hot climate. The low 
sedgy banks, and the miasmatic influence of the 
sun upon the beds of slime and festering 
vegetables, are bad enough, but when to these 
fertile causes of disease is added the accumu¬ 
lated refuse left by vast multitudes of human 
beings, and purposely introduced into the 
running water, it would be strange indeed if 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


181 


Chap. CXLIL] 


fevers and zymotic diseases were not gene¬ 
rated. The causes of fever and similar epi¬ 
demics throughout India are, therefore, not 
difficult to ascertain. In considering the "best 
means of protection against attacks of fever 
and cholera, it is essential to bear in mind 
the class of persons who suffer. It has gene¬ 
rally been found that the most likely victims 
are the poor and ill-clothed children of misery, 
and that from them disease is propagated 
amongst Europeans and the better class of 
natives. Persons of sober and regular habits, 
avoiding sudden changes of temperature and 
unnecessary exposure to unhealthy fogs 
and vapours, have almost always enjoyed im¬ 
munity from fever. Fatigue, exhaustion, 
whether arising from debauchery or insuf¬ 
ficient nourishment, alternate exposure to 
the heat of the sun and the chills of the 
night, must necessarily render persons pecu¬ 
liarly susceptible to such disease. If the in¬ 
habitants of tropical climates would exercise 
a careful supervision over their domestic 
arrangements, and keep a strict watch upon 
the habits of their servants, they would do 
much to lessen the violence of such epi¬ 
demics. Free ventilation, scrupulous cleanli¬ 
ness, wholesome food, proper clothing, and 
abundant fuel are matters which cannot be 
too strictly attended to. The daily use of 
warm baths and the wearing of flannel are 
main safeguards against fever, and the em¬ 
ployment of these preventives in such a 
country as India ought on no account to be 
neglected. Medical theory as well as expe¬ 
rience proves that the too free use of alcoholic, 
stimulants, with an insane view of supporting 
the system in hot climates against the shock 
or attack of an epidemic, is not only useless, 
but is absolutely an exciting cause of the 
dreaded malady. It stands to reason that as 
stimulants tend to increase the heat of the 
system, and to seriously derange the biliary 
secretions, they must of necessity predispose 
to febrile attacks. 

Another most important rule of diet is the 
avoidance of all raw, crude, stale, and indi¬ 
gestible food; and the greatest care ought 
always to be taken to procure pure, sweet 
water, which, in such a country, ought never 
to he used without having been passed 
through a filter. The lower and poorer 
classes of natives who eat bad rice, dalii, or 
coagulated milk, melons, or unripe and rotten 
mangoes, and who drink indiscriminately from 
every muddy puddle, fall victims by thou¬ 
sands to prevailing epidemics on account of 
their imprudent conduct. There is, moreover, 
another source of disease in India—pilgrims 
carry infection with them. Meshed Hussein 
and Meshed Ali are probably the most im- ! 


portant foster-places of cholera in Asia Minor. 
They are the burial-places of Ali, the founder 
of the Shiite sect, and of Hussein, his sacred 
son, the two most venerated saints among the 
Shiite Mohammadans. To the shrines of Ali 
and Hussein flock annually, in the month of 
Moharrem, not fewer than 60,000 pilgrims 
from Persia and India, the former bringing 
with them many hundred corpses in all 
stages of decomposition for interment in the 
sacred soil of the holy cities. Again and 
again the congregating of pilgrims in the 
cities during the pilgrimage has been the 
occasion of grave outbreaks of cholera, the 
disease having been introduced by the pil¬ 
grims. Cholera has been known to have 
frequently accompanied the Persian pilgrims 
to Meshed Hussein and Meshed Ali, and to 
have been carried by them into the Ottoman 
dominions. Frequently, also, the disease 
lostered by the unwholesome conditions 
which prevail in the two sacred cities during 
the pilgrimage has attached itself to the pil¬ 
grims returning homewards or passing else¬ 
where, and been by them widely disseminated 
in the districts they have traversed. In 1871 
cholera was rife in Meshed Hussein and 
Meshed Ali, and the contingent of pilgrims 
who proceeded on the further pilgrimage to 
Mecca by the northern route across Arabia 
carried the disease with them, and introduced 
it successively into Hayell, in the Jebel 
Shammar, and Khaiber. From Khaiber the 
disease was communicated to Medina, and 
thence it passed to Mecca. The danger 
to the Ottoman Empire, and to Europe gene¬ 
rally, is thus very great. This serious danger 
was fully recognised by the International 
Sanitary Conference in 1866, and measures 
of quarantine and hygiene were suggested to 
ward it off, or to limit it. Several of these 
suggestions have been adopted and acted upon 
with good results. 

The Euphrates Yalley Railway, by opening 
a swift and direct communication with the 
dangerous localities, would be found in a short 
time, it is believed, to expose Europe perhaps 
to even greater peril from cholera than any 
other line which could be devised. Every 
precaution ought, therefore, to be taken into 
serious consideration by the O.ttoman and 
English Governments in connection with the 
various parts and arrangements of this pro¬ 
ject ; for undoubtedly, if all that is intended 
is carried out, a prolific source of calamity 
will be opened up to India and to Europe. 
This is not said in a spirit of hostility to the 
Euphrates Yalley Railway, but in the in¬ 
terests of sanitary arrangements which are 
necessary for the protection of millions of 
people. 










182 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE [Chap. CXLIL 


In this particular— i.e. that of sanitation 
— the Viceroy took an especial interest, 
wherever he went on his journeys, and when 
at the seat of his Government, carefully and 
peremptorily interdicting all measures, both 
general and local, by which the health of the 
community might possibly be endangered; 
and, on the other hand, encouraging by every 
means systems of drainage which were likely 
to have the opposite effect. Many towns 
were benefited by the former, and many dis¬ 
tricts by the latter. The irrigation schemes, 
some of which had been in effect before, were 
found not to be profitable in a pecuniary 
point of view to the Government; but, never¬ 
theless, his lordship and his Council en¬ 
couraged the extension of them as a proper 
precaution against famine, and as likely to 
promote the welfare of the ryots and otheis 
in ordinary times. Such work takes time to 
produce its results. The Orissa canals, when 
their construction was sanctioned, were esti¬ 
mated to yield annually £400,000 from rates 
on the irrigation works alone, or as much 
as 5s. per acre on 1,600,000 acres; but at 
the date which is at present before the 
reader the rate had to be reduced to 2s. 
per acre. Reckoning future earnings accord¬ 
ing to experience actually obtained, it was 
necessary that the Government estimates 
should count upon only £40,000 instead of 
£400,000. But it was wisely deemed proper 
that revenue should be sought by other means 
rather than that there should be any inter¬ 
ference with a measure so vital as this to the 
life and existence of the population. The 
Godavari works furnish another illustration. 
As to revenue, it began to appear doubtful 
whether any return for the capital would at 
any time be obtained from them; but they 
have proved of immense advantage to the 
people, and this must be said notwithstanding 
the famine of 1876-77-78. 

The reports which came to England from 
the Indian peninsula at the close of September 
in this year were most of them melancholy. 
Cholera continued to reap its daily harvest in 
various parts of the Punjab. More than 1,300 
people out of 60,000 had died at Meerut m a 
few weeks. AH the English soldiers were m 
tents, the natives were panic-stricken, and 
business was at a standstill. Owing to the 
prevalence of dengue in Upper Bengal, the 
Supreme Government found it necessary to 
place further funds at the disposal of the local 
authorities for the supply of medicines to the 
civil dispensaries. In Cashmere there were 
2,900 deaths out of 5,600 seizures. 

’ One evil is not unfrequently accompanied 
by another. There were heavy floods at 
various points both in Madras and Bombay. 


On the Madras Railway all communication 
was stopped for nearly a week by the washing 
away of the line between Dhudni and Gul- 
barga. In Gujarat and Khandesh the ravages 
of the floods were very serious. The through 
traffic on the Bombay and Baroda line was 
almost entirely suspended. An iron bridge of 
twelve spans over the Par was carried away, 
eight spans of the Damaun Ganga bridge were 
destroyed, and several other bridges were 
rendered unsafe. In several of the Gujarat 
towns the people were glad to find shelter m 
the tree-tops from the floods which swept 
away their houses, and many sufferers were 
rescued from the thatched roofs on which 
they were found floating down the swollen 
torrent. The loss of life and property was 
indeed very great. Even Surat was widely 
flooded by the Tapti, a large number of 
native boats were driven out to sea, and not a 
few lives were lost. Khandesh seems to have 
suffered more than Gujarat, however; for 
whole villages were swept away, hundreds of 
lives lost, large damage done to all kinds of 
property, and thousands of poor creatures 
were left homeless and destitute. In the 
town of Nassik, crowded as it was with pil¬ 
grims, the floods reached up to the Peshwa’s 
palace, and the temples on both sides of the 
river had their floors covered with several feet 
of water. 

There was, as a bright side to this dark 
picture, a Fine Arts Exhibition at Simla, 
which was opened by Lord Northbrook on 
the 21st of September, in the midst of heavy 
rain. People, of course, could not, even on 
such an occasion, venture out of doors. But 
the Viceroy, though with difficulty, kept his 
engagement. There were only fifty or sixty 
people present. Sir R. Temple, with mani¬ 
fest honesty, complimented his lordship on 
his skill as a painter. The Viceroy, however, 
disclaimed all merit on such a score, and took 
occasion to indicate the weak point in such 
exhibitions by expressing a wish to see more 
sketches in a country where the aspects of 
nature were so grand and varied. 

Lord Northbrook was resolved at an early 
period of his viceroyalty to probe, the wounds 
which fiscal experiments had inflicted on the 
temper of the Indian people. A circular 
letter from the Secretary of the Indian Go¬ 
vernment, issued under his lordship’s direc¬ 
tions at this time, contains the following 
paragraphs:—“I am next.to ask that report 
may be called for, from some of the best 
local officers who come into direct contact 
with the people, upon the question whether 
any, and what taxes, • imperial, provincial, 
local, municipal, now existing, or about, to be 
imposed, create a feeling of discontent in the 







Chap. CXLII.] 


m INDIA AND THE EAST. 


183 


country or among any particular section of the 
people. Care should be taken to ascertain 
the feeling of the people towards any parti¬ 
cular tax; the income-tax, for instance, as it 
now is, and not in regard to any more severe 
form of it that does not now exist. The 
reports thus obtained should be carefully re¬ 
viewed, and the opinion of the Lieutenant- 
Governor upon this important matter sub¬ 
mitted to the Government of India.” * 

It was now that the embassy from the 
Khan of Khiva to Lord Northbrook drew the 
attention of many observant and thoughtful 
persons to the old subject of Russia’s progress 
in Central Asia. The Viceroy, as has already 
been said, simply gave advice. Some com¬ 
plained, when the fact became public, that he 
had not done more. Such persons would 
have had him back up the Khan against his 
powerful foe, and that he could very easily 
have done. It was the Viceroy and his 
Council, not so easily the English Govern¬ 
ment at home, who could have checked the 
Russian encroachment. But the Khan would 
have been no remarkably reputable ally ; and 
in spite of the natural dislike of Englishmen 
to mere advice in view of such policy as that 
of Russia, in this instance it is hard to see 
what else the Viceroy could have done. 
England could hardly dispute the -right of 
another power to exact compensation for 
alleged wrong done to its subjects by a people 
with whom we have no sort of alliance. If 
Russia is determined to swallow up one of 
the khanates after another, the conquerors of 
one Indian province after another would seem 
to have no special call to prevent her, even if 
they felt quite certain that all such move¬ 
ments were only paving the way for an ulti¬ 
mate line of strength between Russia and 
England in the Punjab. Lord Northbrook 
therefore comforted himself by the reflection 
that the course which he took was the right 
one. There are some who consider that the 
action of Russia against Khiva was an act of 
inexcusable aggression in pursuance of a policy 
which had been recognised for several genera¬ 
tions. Very probably it was. But there are 
others who hold that Russian progress in 
Turkistan means the progress of modern 
civilisation and the decline of Islam. Mr. 
Vambery, however, for one—and he is not an 
incompetent judge—estimates Russia’s place 
among civilised nations as only a little better 
than that of the Kirghiz, and decidedly lower 
than that of the Mohammadans of Khiva. But it 
is not pleasant, in any case, to find so powerful 
a rival both in trade and arms drawing so 
near to the B ritish Indian frontier, and adding 
one more to the anxieties which weigh upon 
* Indian Gazette. 


England as an Asiatic power. Lord North¬ 
brook felt himself shut up to the course 
which he took in the matter of Khiva, and 
had the approbation of his Government at 
home. 

There is a subject which Lord Northbrook, 
almost beyond any other Governor-General, 
might have been expected to make his especial 
care, but he did not: that is, the develop¬ 
ment of Indian handicraft and commerce. 
During his tenure of office the impression 
existed in India, correctly or incorrectly, that 
as Viceroy he cared little comparatively about 
restoring the old trade routes to Western 
China and Kashgaria; that, in fact, Lord 
Mayo’s policy with respect to these was 
abandoned. To Indian trade by river and 
railway, as well as by sea, Lord Northbrook 
undoubtedly gave much attention. But from 
that attention there is apparently but small 
result; and it is for the want of result that 
some blame him, as if, when a man lays his 
plans, he were to be censured when some of 
them fail. The internal trade of India is 
capable of vast development. Look, for 
example, at the Ganges. 

In 1871 the Indian Government requested 
Sir George Campbell to select some point on 
that river at which to register the trade. He 
selected Sahibgunge, probably as good a place 
as he could have had for noting the long¬ 
distance boats and cargoes both of the up and 
down traffic, though no point was of the least 
use for shorter distances, either up or down, 
which stopped short of the place of registry. 
In the first six months more than 18,000 boats 
passed Sahibgunge—boats in size from the 
Dacca pulwar of from 60 to 75 feet long, and 
drawing 6 feet of water, to the flat-bottomed 
boat from the upper provinces. The cargoes 
downwards were such commodities as wheat, 
grain of other sorts, sugar, oil, seeds, hides 
and horns, tobacco, timber, and saltpetre. 
The wheat was generally shipped as far down 
on the river as Monghyr, the sugar in the 
Benares part of the North-Western Provinces, 
and tobacco in Tirhoot. The markets were 
found all the way down the river to Calcutta, 
which itself, however, had fully the half of the 
total traffic. Going up stream, there were 
carried rice, metal goods, and other articles 
of foreign production. All night the boats 
may be seen passing in such numbers and 
in such proximity to one another that it is 
impossible to count them. They are most 
of them going to and from Calcutta, 
and the dismal songs of the boatmen, espe¬ 
cially in the rains, sound like echoes from 
eternity. 

It is difficult to say what it is that governs 
the internal trade of India. One year there 










184 


HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 


is not an Arab dhow on the Hugli. Next 
year there are thirty. Why is it so ? A 
gentleman of great experience, on being asked 
the question, replied, “ I know no more the 
mainsprings of that trade than I know of the 
man in the moon.” * Each officer knows his 
own district, and some one is supposed to 
have the skill requisite for the putting of all 
the reports properly into one ; but the broad 
principal fact is little known. 

In regard to European trade with India one 
finds, likewise, a great amount of uncertainty. 
From about ten miles below to about thirty 
above Calcutta there are fifteen great factories 
(1878), and these have been established 
within ten years. They work in cotton or 
jute. Opposite Calcutta there are American 
and Scotch firms working, which have entirely 
transformed Seebpoor. At Rishra, close by 
Serampore, and near the old house of Warren 
Hastings, there is a jute-mill. Where Carey, 
Marshman, and Ward made their Serampore 
printing works famous in regard to the ad¬ 
vancement of liberty and the spread of the 
Gospel, there is another jute-mill, and on 
a better site the Bible and other printing, 
on a larger scale, is still continued. Where 
of old yarn was made at Goripore, especially 
for the Australian gold fields, jute is now 
manufactured. At Titighur, where Lord 
Comhermere rested from his toils, there is 
now a cotton-mill; and where Sir Lawrence 
Peel had his house at Budge Budge there is 
a factory for jute. Garden Reach, half 
“ spoiled ” (1878) by the steamboat com¬ 
panies and the King of Oudh, is to be wholly 
spoiled by mills and factories. English, 
American, Armenian, and Jew run the race 
of this new competition. Many more in¬ 
stances might be given. 

These mills must be of great advantage to 
India. Lord Shaftesbury has said that in the 
Bombay Presidency there are now 405,000 
spindles, 4,500 power-looms, and 10,000 
hands, turning out daily 100,000 lbs. of yarn. 
Lord Salisbury, on later data, has declared 
that the number of spindles is 600,000, with 
“ at least half a million more approaching 
completion.” Lord Shaftesbury would en¬ 
force in these mills the observance of Sunday, 
Lord Salisbury would not; and Lord Salis¬ 
bury is right, considering the creed of the 
natives, though the English mill-owner who 
keeps his mill working on Sunday has little 
claim on the sympathies of Englishmen in 
regard to his enterprise, while, on the other 
hand, those who do not ought to take the 
cessation of labour on the Christian day of 
rest so into their business calculations as to 
prevent loss and suffering to those who are of 
* Routledge, English, Rule in India. 


[Chap. CXLII. 

a faith different from their own. The workers 
are willing and docile, and their work is good. 
It is sincerely to be hoped that no interest in 
England will interpose to fetter these new 
impulses of trade. While it is a matter of 
surprise and regret that Lord Northbrook, 
did not do more to encourage this means of 
employing the native Indians than he did, 
yet he gave indication, at various periods, of 
his sympathy with this and other means of 
affording remunerative employment to the in¬ 
habitants of the country which was under 
his care. Great questions in another line 
were before him, and no one man can attend 
to everything. 

But the men of Manchester and Glasgow 
were resolved that at least their goods should 
be admitted free before India should advance 
in the manufacture of the finer products. 
Neither was there any unfairness in this. All 
that was meant was “ a free field and no 
favour.” If goods in resemblance of ours, 
and in imitation of them, are to be made in 
India itself, do not burden us by customs dues, 
but allow us to come into the market in equal 
competition. In the House of Commons the 
Manchester men had at least one speaker, in 
this very year, who said as much in these 
exact words. 

Some little time before this there had been 
plaintive lamentations over the decay of Indian 
trades—the muslins, the shawls, the carved 
work, and the cunning workmanship of many 
hands. But matters are being adjusted, and 
that not unrapidly. English enterprise is 
doing much. The mines of Raneegunge— 
native in the first instance—are being vastly 
extended; and there is much business zeal 
pushing itself out in other directions. Still 
the mass of the people of India are poor— 
deplorably poor. They are generally meek 
and submissive, notwithstanding the foolish 
claims of some Englishmen, who speak as if it 
were excusable on our part to discourage them 
and keep them down “ by right of conquest.” 
But we have no rights of conquest which are 
not also rights of justice. We won India 
partly by the strong arm, partly by strong 
sense, and partly by inducing the people to 
believe us. English government in India is a 
great improvement on native government, but 
it is-still foreign government, and if it claim 
to stand on rights of conquest it will go down 
as certainly as ever it arose, and the fall will 
be terrible ; but let us, with reason, hope 
that that will never be. 

In concurrence with the recommendation 
of, Lord Northbrook and others in India, an 
important mission was sent by the English 
Government to Zanzibar, in respect to the 
slave trade. That offensive traffic had not 






Chap. CXLIL] 


IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 


185 


only become worse and worse in itself, but 
had led to such complication and disagree¬ 
ableness in the frequent and nationally im¬ 
portant intercourse constantly being main¬ 
tained between Zanzibar and Bombay. The 
Yiceroy, therefore, aided those who desired 
the suppression of the slave trade by re¬ 
questing and strongly recommending that a 
Commission should be sent from England to 
the Sultan of Zanzibar to make representa¬ 
tions and remonstrances in regard to it. To 
this the Home Government consented, and 
Sir Bartle Frere was placed at the head of the 
Commission. So important were the results 
that they are here worthy of record—im¬ 
portant not only in respect to Africa, but also 
to India, and especially to the Bombay Pre¬ 
sidency. In this expedition of peace and 
humanity the Yiceroy took a deep interest, 
and since his return to England has repeat¬ 
edly expressed his satisfaction in connection 
with it. 

Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, K.C.B., 
the Head Commissioner, had been one of the 
most eminent of the civil servants of the old 
EaSt India Company. He is the fifth son of 
Edward and Mary Frere, and was born at 
Llanelly, in the county of Brecon, in March, 
1815. He was educated at King Edward’s 
Grammar School at Bath, and subsequently at 
Haileybury College. At both he exhibited 
much promise of future distinction. His 
career is one which shows, by example, how 
many good servants England must have in 
India, and also illustrates the fact that the 
Civil Service of the great peninsula is an 
admirably good school for the training of 
public servants who may be called ultimately 
to do duty elsewhere. Young Frere went to 
India in 1834, and carried with him medals 
in law and mathematics, as well as prizes for 
his essays in classics and political economy. 
He was probably the first civil servant of the 
Company who went to India without round¬ 
ing the Cape of Good Hope ; but, as it was, 
he encountered many dangers and difficulties 
in crossing the desert and coasting the Red 
Sea; and when he and his companions 
reached Bombay, in September, they were 
not far short of destitution. Three months 
after landing at Bombay he passed in Hin¬ 
dustani, and having subsequently passed in 
the Maratha and other languages, he was 
appointed by Lord Clare to an assistant col- 
lectorship * at Puna. Such was the begin¬ 
ning of the official life of a man who has left 
his mark upon India. Having subsequently 
travelled over nearly the whole of the Bombay 
Presidency, he was appointed Private Secre¬ 
tary to the Governor. We next find him 
President at Sattara. He was Commissioner 
von. m. 


to Sind when the state of Sattara came 
into the hands of the British Government. 
Having been in England for the benefit of his 
health, he returned to India just in time to 
hear of the great and disastrous mutiny, and, 
although not a soldier, did so mu