Narrative Abstracts of General Letters to and from Court of Directors, Revenue Dept, Vol. 5



[Page 1]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1780
Hon'ble Sirs,

25th Nov 4. In the 19th paragraph of the 10th January Last we mentioned the conclusion of General statement of the province of Bengal of the Bengal [Page 2] year 1186, or from the 11th April, 1779 to the 10th April 1780, and we now beg leave to refer to the Report from the Superintendent of the Khalsa Records entered on our Proceedings for a general abstract account of the Collections made, and balances become due from that period.

5. As the Superintendents report refers to the several explanations of the Collections and balances received from the respective divisions, we have only to request your collection, to them, as noted on the margin for the cause which in several of the districts prevented the stipulated Revenues from being completely realized with the measures taken to recover the arrears, and the orders issued by us in consequence, all which will show that the deductions allowed have been few, as well as inconsiderable in their amounts and were from their native rendered necessary and that the remaining arrears are in a course of payment with the Current revenue.

6. The principal deficiency you will perceive has arisen n the Dacca division the greatest part of which we were constrained on the representations made by the provincial council of the actual state of the total inability of the Renters to discharge without proceeding to the extremity of a sale of their lands to remit.

7. The 20th paragraph of our letter of the 20th of last January will have already brought under your observation the inability of this [Page 3] district to pay the full amount of the Revenue then assessed upon it, with our endeavours to prevent, if possible its farther diminution. In this view we called on the Provincial Council for their sentiments at large on the real state and ability of the Province, and on the means of securing the Revenue from all future failure and disappointment on which subject they transmitted to us at the close of the last years collections their separate opinions, where you will, by referring to our Proceedings [...] in the margin, find that after a particular delineation of the decayed state of the district, which they concur in ascribing to the various increases added to the Rental within the last [...] years, they are unanimous in recommending it reduction to a standard nearly equivalent to the Jumma of the Bengal year 1177 which they __ on as the last period before any of those increases had taken place.

8. Our answer which you will find recorded in the same day's proceedings without approving of their proposed reduction leaves them a discretionary power to form the Settlement of the current year upon the most reasonable Terms they could procure in consequence of which they have as a measures of necessity ultimately concluded it upon the same they had first recommended; the total of the Jumma as it now stands being, 27,11,837 Rupees, which as they have given us the most positive assurance of the Renters [Page 4] abilities to reduce will we hope relieve us from the painful task of bringing before you any further representation unfavourable to the state of your revenues in that district.


[Page 49]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1781
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 57]

20 July, 17. We formerly had occasion to mention the rebellious conduct of Futty Saw, and the depredations committed by that zemindar in district of Husserpoor with the means which has been taken for his extirpation we are now obliged to add that he has lately again entered that country with a considerable armed force and put a stop to the Collections, and though he has been since driven out of the district, we have not yet been able to effect the apprehensions of his person, notwithstanding a considerable [...] has been offered and every other measure taken for that purpose.


[Page 217]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1783
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 228]

4 march 5. Previous to the Commencement of the present Bengal year 1190 the Chief of Chittagong recommended to the Committee a proposal for making a Khas Settlement with the zamindars and talookdars of that district, in preference to farming it on an arbitrary Jumma to be levied on near two thousand zamindars, which left so much room for intrigue and an opportunity of very unjust and partial conduct in the Farmer, and the Committee deeming the reasons urged by the Collector on the subject to be just and in conditions to them remarking that this mode of Settlement would enable him to render the assessment upon the zemindars consistent with the general case and welfare of the Ryots

that it would diminish the opportunities of oppressions in the first instance, and afford the surest grounds of detecting them in case they should be committed and at the same time without any apprehension of a decrease in the Revenues; we approved of the mode of Settlement thus proposed and in addition to it directed the Committee to give the collector proper instructions for taking an account of all the Bazee Zamin or rent free land held within the district, and to bring to the Credit of Government such a proportion of that part thereof which was held without legal authority as in the Committee Judgment might be proper to demand from proprietors, meaning that the Collectors should exercise so much of the office assigned to Mr Dynely as appertained to the Chittagong district, for which from the distance and the intended investigation of the Collector who thought him better qualified.

[Page 229]

23 Sept. 29. We beg to refer you to a letter which we have received from the Committee for a summary Statement of the situation of the Behar Province.

30. We are very sorry to observe that the balance which remains to complete the Revenue of Behar for the last year is stated at Rupees 12,24,067.8.5 and that the Committee give us but little hopes that any great proportion of it will be discharged.

31. In consequence however of a proposal from the Committee we have empowered and directed them to depute their Acting president to Patna for the purpose of making the new Settlement of the Province of Behar, and for directing such measures as he shall deem proper and necessary for realizing the heavy [Page 230] and unusual balances which has fallen in the Collections.

32. We have received from the Committee their Monthly Report of the State of the Collections of these provinces for the Current Bengal year 1190 to the end of Sawan answering to the 13th of August last but as we have not time to take these into consideration previous to our present dispatches, we shall observe that the Total balance stated by the Committee at the above period is Rupees 28,92,323,, 13,,4.2 tho by the acting Residents Report on the balances of such districts it appears that payments have been made both in money and Bills since the closer of the last Account , which reduce the actual balance very considerably and leave it nearly at what it was at the same period of the preceding year.


[Page 277]
To the Memorable the Court of Directors for Affairs of the Honorable the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies. 1783
Hon'ble Sirs,
[Page 280]

14th April 10. We are sorry to inform you that [Page 281] a very alarming insurrection broke out in the Rungpore Province said to have been owing to the Crude and oppressive conduct of Rajah Davy Sing who was the Farmer and his officers. This insurrection happened a considerable time ago, as you would observe in our Records, as it was an extraordinary event we wished to trace it to its real cause, and our endeavours to that object have been very laborious and o regular process The proceedings or Mr Paterson, the gentlemen deputed by the Committee to enquire into the causes from whence it originated having come before us in incomplete state we did not in justice to the parties accused as the author of the disturbance, venture to pass any final judgment thereon, but appointed a Commission consisting of three covenanted servants of the Company to investigate effectually those accusations against Rajah Davy Sing and his Deputy officers, which were reported by Mr Paterson and which might admit of more official and legal process.

The progress the Commission have hitherto made does not admit of our being explicit on the subject at present tho for your particulars information of our proceedings hitherto and the measures that have been adopted in consequence we beg leave to refer you to the several consultations noted in the margin assuming you at the same time that compleat information shall be furnished you so soon as the enquiry shall be brought to a conclusion and we shall [Page 282] by the first ship send you the Proceedings that have passed on this important subject in a separate volume with an abstract of it for your easier reference to any particular part of it.

[Page 287]

9 Sept. 22. Inconsequence of the distressed situations of the Provinces of Tipperah, Sylhet and Dacca, occasioned by a sudden inundation the duties upon Grain intended for the parts have been taken off tho at the same time a prospect of plenty rendered a general reduction of this kind unnecessary.

13 Sept. 23. Tho evident and unavoidable calamity which has been experienced by the inhabitants of Sylhet as will appear from the Collectors Letter has induced us not to [...] the inhabitants [Page 288] for the payment of more Revenue to what they can easily afford, but on the contrary directed the Collectors to contribute all he could to the relief of their distress relying particularly on this occasion on his humanity and integrity, and promising to take into our favourable consideration any abatement of Revenue which he might represent as essentially necessary.

This is a selection from the original text


collector, province, revenue, settlement, zamindar

Source text

Title: Narrative Abstracts of General Letters to and from Court of Directors, Revenue Dept, Vol. 5

Original date(s) covered: 1779-1783

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from manuscripts at the West Bengal State Archives. Original date(s) covered: 1779-1783

Digital edition

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 1 to 4
  • 2 ) page 49
  • 3 ) page 57
  • 4 ) page 217
  • 5 ) pages 228 to 230
  • 6 ) page 277
  • 7 ) pages 280 to 282
  • 8 ) pages 287 to 288


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.