Famine and Dearth

Proceedings of the Board of Revenue-Grain, 30th December-4th January, 1798

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. 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.

The Court of Directors decided to reconsider the revenue administration in 1785. On this line the Court wrote in their General Letter, dated 21st September, 1785, that, there would be a Board of Revenue comprising of one of Junior Member of Council, and four other senior servants of the Company. The department would manage the whole administration of settlement, collection and receipt of every branch of the Revenue department together. The Board of Revenue at the Fort William operated from 1786 to 1822. The proceedings relating to Grain was kept distinct from the main series. Oct 1794 to Oct 1803.

Selection details

The Court of Directors decided to reconsider the revenue administration in 1785. On this line the Court wrote in their General Letter, dated 21st September, 1785, that, there would be a Board of Revenue comprising of one of Junior Member of Council, and four other senior servants of the Company. The department would manage the whole administration of settlement, collection and receipt of every branch of the Revenue department together. The Board of Revenue at the Fort William operated from 1786 to 1822. The proceedings relating to Grain was kept distinct from the main series. Oct 1794 to Oct 1803.

1.

1.1.

[Page 111]
To J. Routledge Esq Collector of Benaras
Sir,

In consequence of the Instructions conveyed to me to Air such quantity of the grain as should appear to require it, I am sorry to inform you from the General appearance, it is necessary to recommend that the greater Part should be immediately disposed of, and to this recommendation I am the more [Page 112] more strongly urged by the representations which have been much to me, by the people in charge of different granaries of the injury which the grain has already received during the late heavy falls of Rain in December and February.

I must also observe that as the original insufficiency of the granaries and the careless manner in which the roofs(having been constructed entirely of green wood) have been put on ; have led to this necessity, it will be necessary that the Buildings undergo a complete repair, and that the authority of the Board for that purpose be immediately obtained.

I am & ca
D.Munro

1.2.

[Page 125]
To G Dowdeswell Esq Secretary to the Board of Revenue
Sir,

Accompanying I have the honor to submit a General Statement of the Granaries of the month of February for the information of the Board.

The deficiency in the Public Stores, as observable from it is still very considerable, but would if provided exceed the Quantity at present actually required to complete the state of grain ordered to be kept up [Page 126] in Maunds Paddy 119900 owing to a provision having been made in some of the other Districts for nearly the deficiency of the Bhagulpore, Stores, Exclusive of this latter/the Purchase of which has been postponed/ the Deficiency is [...] Maunds Paddy 1157659,, or of Rice 57889,,20 Sr which will be further reduced by the purchases that may have been made in Rajeshahy /not yet been reported on/ and the Residue will I have every hope be completely provided in the course of the current year.

I am & ca
W. Berrie
[Page 224]

1.3. Read the following Letter and Enclosure from the Inspector of Granaries

To George Dowdeswell Esq Secretary to the Board of Revenue
Sir,
[Page 225]

I have to request you will lay before the Board the enclosed Extract of a Letter from the Collector of Jessore, under Date the 31st Ultimo reporting injury sustained by one of the New Golahs by lightning and the loss of some Grain by the boat in which it was laden having been swampt in a storm, To the extract I have subjoined copy of a Letter I deem it advisable to address to the Collector in reply and it will meet the approval of the Board.

I am & ca
William Berrie Clerk & Inspector.
This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

grain, paddy, rain, storm

Source text

Title: Proceedings of the Board of Revenue-Grain, 30th December-4th January, 1798

Original date(s) covered: 1798

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from manuscripts at the West Bengal State Archives. Original date(s) covered: 1798

Digital edition

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 111 to 112
  • 2 ) pages 125 to 126
  • 3 ) pages 224 to 225

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