Famine and Dearth

Narrative Abstracts of General Letters to and from Court of Directors, Revenue Dept, Vol. 4

1.

1.1.

[Page 61]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1778
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 65]

16th December 16. Having received repeated complaints of the rebellious conduct of Futty Shah and the ravages and murders committed by him in Hussey poor, a frontier zemindarry in the District, of Sircur Sawrun, We requested the Governor General to write a Letter to the Vizier and we likewise enforced it with similar orders to Mr Middleton stating the Rebellious conduct of that zemindar to which he had been encouraged by the protection which he derives from the Vizier’s Government and the delicacy which has continually prevented us from sending a force to apprehend him beyond the Boundaries of our own Province, and that it equally became the viziers justice and Reciprocal Rights of our alliance to join with us effectually in extirpating the Robber For this purpose we have defined he will [...] Futty Saw and his family of the zemindarry of Bounk Joogney which he hold in the district of Goorickpore in the province of Owd and grant it to some other Person and that he will appoint a force which jointly [...] ours may act for the effectual extirpation of Futty Saw.

1.2.

[Page 85]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1778
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 89]

25th Nov. 18- You will also receive the Diary of the proceedings of the Commissioner of Law Suits, which we have added as an appendix to our above mentioned proceedings on law suits.

  • 19. From these you will observe the Determination of cause in the Supreme Court against Mr Mackenzie he Custom Master for the seizure of a quantity of grain belonging to one Dattaram Tarafdar, a Native merchant on his refusing to comply with the regulations of Government of levying the duty denominated Kyallee.
  • 20. In October last the Custom Master represents to us that a Suit had been instituted against him in the Supreme Court by the above named person. We inconsequence directed him to defend the suit, and if it should appear that he had acted in strict conformity to our orders, and the established practice of his office, that we would indemnify him for any costs or charges he might sustain in the defence of it.
  • 21. Soon after the cause came on to be tried; and it was determined by the court that the justification was insufficient and on perusal of the orders of the late president and council of the 19th February, 1773 under which it was supported they declared that it could not be done; for that al tho there was a power to collect given there was no power invested [Page 90] of seizure to enforce the payment of the Custom or claimed to be due by that order It was likewise said that for many reasons the claim upon immemorial usage was equally ill founded and could not be supported Judgment was therefore given for the Plaintiff Dattaram Tarafdar. [...] for the value of grain seized as proved viz. at 30 seers per rupee amount in the whole to sum of [...] Rupees 76,575 the quantity being 57531 Maunds.
  • [Page 91]25. The Custom master has been instructed to take possession of the Grain, and to dispose of it by public Sale.
  • 26. We have lately received a representation from the Custom-Master stating the impediments thrown in his way in the execution of the Duties of his office by the Native Merchants trading in grain, who have entered into a combination not to comply with the orders of Government respecting the Kyallee.
  • 27. We have inconsequence thought proper to abolish the allowance hitherto made to the Custom Master of the Collections arising from the Duty of the Kyallee & to direct that these collections be carried to the credit of the Company.
  • 28. We have further agreed to allow the Custom Master the aid of a military force, to protect his officers against any illegal violence in the execution of their Duty.

1.3.

[Page 97]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1778 Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 103]
  • 26. In a letter we lately received from the Provincial Council of Moorshedabad they have informed us that they have hitherto been unable to collect any Rents from the Zemindarry of Futty Sing, owing to a warrant of Sequestration which has been issued against the Zemindars, to satisfy a private debt by the Supreme Court, who have sent up a Serjeant to execute it and that he had sealed up the Cutcherry and other Dufters or offices of the Revenue of the Zemindarry and put a total stop to the Collections.
  • 27. To prevent any further interruption to the collection of the Public Revenue, and for other purposes which are contained in our Proceedings, We resolved immediately on the receipt of the above information to depute a Civil Servant to take charge of the Management and Collections of the Revenues of the Zemindarry of Futty Sing, and for this purposes We appointed Mr William Wroughton & directed him to proceed without delay.
  • 28. We have further thought it necessary to institute a suit in the Supreme Court of Judicature against the Sheriff or his officer for the loss which the Company has sustained on the Collection of Revenue by his affixture of the Sheriff’s seals to the Cutcherry and other places of the Revenue of the Zemindarry [Page 104] of Futty Sing and for other acts committed by the Sheriffs officer in obstruction of the Public revenue of that zemindarry estimating the loss of the monthly kists from the Time of the arrival of the Sheriffs officer in the District.

1.4.

[Page 106]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1778
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 113]
  • 25. The Superintendent of the Khalsa, reported that publication had been made by order of the Supreme Court of Indication for the Sale of the Zemindarry of Futty Sing, on the 11th of November last if the zemindars debt to one Jagomohane for which they had granted in the name of Ramnaut Mullick, was not by that time discharged.
  • 26. We were unanimously of opinion that it was our special duty to use every means which we lawfully [Page 114] might , to prevent so dangerous a precedent, for which purpose We resolved that the following Advertisement should be published.
  • Whereas an advertisement has been published by order of the Sheriff for the Sale of the Zemindarry of Futty Sing on Tomorrow being Wednesday, the 4th November, Notice is hereby given that no sale or alienation of a zemindarry in the jurisdiction of the Dewanny of Bengal Bahar and Orissa is or can be valid without the consent and concurrence of the Governor General & Council being first had and obtained, nor any person allowed to take possession under such a sale, or to levy Rents from the Ryots, or to exercise any other Rights as zemindars without a Sunnud Granted for those purposes and that this warning is given to prevent the consequences to which persons disposed to bid at the public auction for the zemindarry above mentioned might be liable through ignorance of them.
This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

grain, ravage, zamindar

Source text

Title: Narrative Abstracts of General Letters to and from Court of Directors, Revenue Dept, Vol. 4

Original date(s) covered: 1778

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from manuscripts at the West Bengal State Archives. Original date(s) covered: 1778

Digital edition

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) page 61
  • 2 ) page 65
  • 3 ) page 85
  • 4 ) pages 89 to 91
  • 5 ) page 97
  • 6 ) pages 103 to 104
  • 7 ) page 106
  • 8 ) pages 113 to 114

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