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When we thus undertook the government of the country, conscious that we had undertaken a task, which by any personal exertion of our own we were unable to perform in any proper or rational way, the company appointed a native of the country, Mahomed Reza Khân, who stands upon the records of the company, I venture to say, with such a character, as no man perhaps ever did stand, to execute the duties of both offices. Upon the expulsion of Cossim Ali Khân, the nabob of Bengal, all his children were left in a young, feeble, and unprotected state; and in that state of things, Lord Clive, Mr. Sumner, who sits near Mr. Hastings, and the rest of the council, wisely appointed Mahomed Reza Khân, to fulfil the two offices of deputy viceroy and deputy dewan, for which he had immense allowances, and great jaghires and revenues, I allow. He was a man of that dignity, rank, and consideration, added to his knowledge of law and experience in business, that Lord Clive and Mr. Sumner, who examined strictly his conduct at that time, did not think that £112,000 a year, the amount of the emoluments which had been allowed him, was a great deal too much: but at his own desire, and in order that these emoluments might be brought to stated and fixed sums, they reduced it to £90,000; an allowance which they thought was not more than sufficient to preserve the state of so great a magistrate, and a man of such rank, exercising such great employments. The whole revenue of the company depended upon his talents and fidelity; and you will find, that on the day in which he surrendered the revenues into our hands, the dewanny, under his management, was a million more than it produced on the day Mr. Hastings left it. For the truth of this, I refer your lordships to a letter of the company sent to the board of control. This letter is not in evidence before your lordships, and what I am stating is merely historical. But I state the fact, and with the power of referring, for their proof, to documents as authentic as if they were absolutely in evidence before you. Assuming, therefore, that all these facts may be verified by

the records of the company, I have now to state that this man, by some rumors true or false, was supposed to have misconducted himself in a time of great calamity in that country. A great famine had about this time grievously afflicted the whole province of Bengal. I must remark, by the way, that these countries are liable to this calamity; but it is greatly blessed by nature with resources which afford the means of speedy recovery, if their government does not counteract them. Nature, that inflicts the calamity, soon heals the wound; it is in ordinary seasons the most fertile country, inhabited by the most industrious people, and the most disposed to marriage and settlement, probably that exists in the whole world; so that population and fertility are soon restored, and the inhabitants quickly resume their former industrious occupation.

During the agitation excited in the country by the calamity I have just mentioned, Mahomed Reza Khân, through the intrigues of rajah Nundcomar, one of his political rivals, and of some English faction that supported him, was accused of being one of the causes of the famine. In answer to this charge, he alleged, what was certainly a sufficient justification—that he had acted under the direction of the English board, to which his conduct throughout this business was fully known. The company, however, sent an order from England to have him tried; but though he frequently supplicated the government at Calcutta, that his trial should be proceeded in, in order that he might be either acquitted and discharged, or condemned, Mr. Hastings kept him in prison two years, under pretence, (as he wrote word to the directors,) that Mahomed Reza Khân himself was not very desirous to hasten the matter. In the mean time the court of directors having removed him from his great offices, authorized and commanded Mr. Hastings (and here we come within the sphere of your minutes) to appoint a successor to Mahomed Reza Khân, fit to fulfil the duties of his station. Now I shall first show your lordships what sort of person the court of directors

described to him as most fit to fill the office of Mahomed Reza Khân; what sort of person he did appoint; and then we will trace out to you the consequences of that appoint


Letter from the court of directors to the president and council at Fort William, dated 28th August, 1771:-"Though we have not a doubt but that, by the exertion of your abilities and the care and assiduity of our servants in the superintendency of the revenues, the collections will be conducted with more advantage to the company and ease to the natives, than by means of a naib dewan; we are fully sensible of the expediency of supporting some ostensible minister in the company's interest at the nabob's court, to transact the political affairs of the sircar, and interpose between the company and the subjects of any European power, in all cases wherein they may thwart our interest, or encroach on our authority; and as Mahomed Reza Khân can no longer be considered by us as one, to whom such a power can be safely committed, we trust to your local knowledge the selection. of some person well qualified for the affairs of government, and of whose attachment to the company you shall be well assured; such person you will recommend to the nabob to succeed Mahomed Reza as minister of the government, and guardian of the nabob's minority; and we persuade ourselves that the nabob will pay such regard to your recommendation, as to invest him with the necessary power and authority.

"As the advantages, which the company may receive from the appointment of such minister, will depend on his readiness to promote our views and advance our interest, we are willing to allow him so liberal a gratification, as may excite his zeal and secure his attachment to the company; we therefore empower you to grant to the person, whom you shall think worthy of this trust, an annual allowance not exceeding three lacks of rupees, (£30,000,) which we con

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sider not only as a munificient reward for any services he shall render the company, but sufficient to enable him to support his station with suitable rank and dignity. And here we must add, that in the choice you shall make of a person to be the active minister of the nabob's government, we hope and trust that you will show yourselves worthy of the confidence we have placed in you, by being actuated therein by no other motives than those of the public good, and the safety and interest of the company.”

Here, my lords, a person was to be named fit to fill the office and supply the place of Mahomed Reza Khân, who was deputy viceroy of Bengal, at the head of the criminal justice of the country, and in short at the head of the whole ostensible Mahomedan government. He was also to supply the place of Mahomed Reza Khân as naib dewan, from which Reza Khân was to be removed: for you will observe the directors always speak of a man fit to perform all the duties of Mahomed Reza Khân; and amongst these he was to be as the guardian of the nabob's person, and the representative of his authority and government.

Mr. Hastings having received these orders from the court of directors did-what? He alleges in his defence, that no positive commands were given him; but a very sufficient description was given of the person who ought to succeed Mahomed Reza Khân, in whom the company had before recognised all the necessary qualities; and they therefore desire him to name a similar person. But, what does Mr. Hastings do in consequence of this authority? He names no man at all. He searches into the seraglio of the nabob, and names a woman to be the viceroy of the province, to be the head of the ostensible government, to be the guardian of the nabob's person, the conservator of his authority, and a proper representative of the remaining majesty of that government. Well, my lords, he searched the seraglio. When you have to take into consideration the guardianship of a

person of great dignity, there are two circumstances to be attended to; one a faithful and affectionate guardianship of his person; and the other a strong interest in his authority, and the means of exercising that authority in a proper and competent manner.

Mr. Hastings, when he was looking for a woman in the seraglio, (for he could find women only there,) must have found actually in authority there the nabob's own mother; certainly a person who by nature was most fit to be his guardian; and there is no manner of doubt of her being sufficiently competent to that duty. Here then was a legitimate wife of the nabob Jaffier Ali Khân, a woman of rank and distinction, fittest to take care of the person and interests, as far as a woman could take care of them, of her own son. In this situation, she had been placed before, during the administration of Mahomed Reza Khân, by the direct orders of the governor, Sir John Cartier. She had, I say, been put in possession of that trust, which it was natural and proper to give to such a woman. But what does Mr. Hastings do? He deposes this woman. He strips her of her authority, with which he found her invested under the sanction of the English government. He finds out a woman in the seraglio called Munny Begum, who was bound to the nabob by no tie whatever of natural affection. He makes this woman the guardian of the young nabob's person. She had a son who had been placed upon the musnud after the death of his father Sujah Dowlah, and had been appointed his guardian. This young nabob died soon afterwards, and was succeeded by Nuzimut Dowlah, another natural son of Sujah Dowlah. This prince being left without a mother, this woman was suffered to retain the guardianship of the nabob till his death. When Mobarick ul Dowlah, a legitimate son of Sujah Dowlah, succeeded him, Sir John Cartier did what his duty was, he put the nabob's own mother into the place which she was naturally entitled to hold, the guardianship of her own son, and displaced Munny Begum. The

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