Famine and Dearth

Proceedings of the Committee of Revenue, 8th-22nd November,1784

About this text

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 1781 the Court of Directors decided to centralise the Committee of Revenue based in Calcutta. The office of the Provincial Councils were abolished on February 9, 1781. The Committee of Revenue was placed in full control aided by a Diwan. Collectors were appointed under the Diwan at various districts. The new Collectors were mere figure-heads, and zamindars were encouraged to pay their revenue direct into the Khalsa or Exchequer at Calcutta. The Committee of Revenue continued to operate till it was replaced by the Board of Revenue in 1786.

1.

1.1.

[Page 122]
Gentlemen,

I have been favored with your Letter of the 4th Ultimo, enclosing a Copy of a [Page 123] Petition from Meer Golum Ally the zamindar of Dowdpore, which from the best Information I have been able to get, contains nothing but Truth. This Purgunnah has certainly sustained very great damage by the late Inundation and will not, I apprehend, recover its Cultivation for this some time to come; Most of the Ryotts having deserted it, in consequence of the loss of their Cattle, and I do not think a compliance with the Prayer of his petition can be considered too great in Indulgence , being convinced that the state of his lands entitles him to it.

I am & ca
M. Day
[Page 123]

1.2. Read the Proceedings of the 4th October last, Answered as follows-

Sir,

We have received you Letter of the 4th Instant we cannot determine the amount [...] to be granted to Golam Ally until furnished [Page 124] with your upon the damage done by the Inundation and desire you will enter upon the Investigation immediately and forward your report as soon as you shall be able in the meantime you will use your discretion in making the demands for Revenue upon the Petitioner.

We are & ca

This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

cultivation, inundation, ryot

Source text

Title: Proceedings of the Committee of Revenue, 8th-22nd November,1784

Original date(s) covered: 1784

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from manuscripts at the West Bengal State Archives. Original date(s) covered: 1784

Digital edition

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 122 to 123
  • 2 ) pages 123 to 124

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