Famine and Dearth

Revenue Board Consisting of the Whole Council 30th October-17th November,1772

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Introductory notes

The early records preserved in the West Bengal State Archive pertains to the administration of the land revenue system by the East India Company. The Company attained the revenue rights of the Province through the Grant of Diwani in 1765. The records in the repositories of the Archive date back to the Select Committee Records in 1768. Between 1769 and 1786 the revenue administration was managed by various intermediate agencies like the Resident at the Durbar, Provincial Council of Revenue, the Calcutta Committee of Revenue. In the early the revenue administration was managed by various intermediary agencies, these committees reflect the early experiments and confusion of the East India Company over revenue collection.

On May 1772, the Court of Directors decided to hand the revenue administration to a board, consisting of the President and four other members, while the title of the supervisor was changed to that of the Collector. The whole council that was constituted, to sit two days in the week, or if necessary more; the members of the council were appointed to act as auditors of accounts, each a week in rotation, The Revenue Board in the Whole Council continued to operate till 1774.

Selection details

On May 1772, the Court of Directors decided to hand the revenue administration to a board, consisting of the President and four other members, while the title of the supervisor was changed to that of the Collector. The whole council that was constituted, to sit two days in the week, or if necessary more; the members of the council were appointed to act as auditors of accounts, each a week in rotation, The Revenue Board in the Whole Council continued to operate till 1774.

1.

[Page 346]

1.1. Agreed upon the Following Answer to the Collector of Dinagepore

To Mr William Marriott Collector of Dinagepore
Sir,

We have received your Letters of the 10,13,17,19 & 23rd Septr. and 14,19,26 Ultimo; with their seven Enclosures.

We shall make the necessary Enquiries into the particulars of the difference between the Credits at the Moorshedabad Treasury and your Account of remittances for last year, & shall then acquaint you with our Sentiments regarding it.

In consequence of your representations of the extraordinary plenty & cheapness of Grain in your Districts and the hardship which the Farmers & Ryotts Suffer from it. We have resolved on permitting you to receive Grain at the present [Page 347] current prices in lieu of the Farmers Rents where they offer it to you in preference to Money. You will please therefore to build a number of Golahs for depositing the Grain at the most convenient places We desire you will transmit us a Sample of the Paddy or Rice which you may purchase & an estimate of the Cost of erecting Golahs together with charges that will attend the additional Servants which will be necessary for the new service. We adopt the Expedient with Reluctance foreseeing a very heavy Loss to the Company in the preservation of ye Grain & ye Cost of the (Golahs) unless you can prevent it by great care and attention to both.

We cannot consent to allow the Farmers any further indulgence than the method We have above determined on and the resolution We have this day form’d of taking off all Duties on Grains thro’out the province till the 1st of Bhadun or 14 of August next which We flatter ourselves will be attended with the desired Effect in encouraging the Exportation of this Article & promoting a readier Sale as well securing a freer Circulation [Page 348] of it throughout the Country. We direct therefore you make this regulation as public as possible in your Districts.

We are Sir

This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

farmer, grain, ryot

Source text

Title: Revenue Board Consisting of the Whole Council 30th October-17th November,1772, Revenue Board Consisting of the Whole Council

Original date(s) covered: 1772

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from manuscripts at the West Bengal State Archives. Original date(s) covered: 1772 West Bengal State Archive

Digital edition

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 346 to 348

Responsibility:

Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > official correspondence > state archives > West Bengal

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

Acknowledgements