Calendar of Persian Correspondence, Vol.III: 1770-1772

About this text

Introductory notes

Calendar of Persian Correspondences was published under the supervision of the Imperial Records Department. The Imperial Records Department was founded in 1891 at Calcutta, to examine and catalogue records of various governmental departments. C.R. Wilson who became the officer in charge of the Department conceived the scheme of publishing the entire series of Persian records. These Persian correspondences formed some of the oldest documents pertaining to the East India Company. The Calendar was to present a summary version of the correspondences between the East India Company and 'Indian rulers and Notables'. The first volume of the Calendar of Persian Correspondences during the tenure of E. Denison Ross as officer in charge of the Imperial Records Department in 1911. In 2013 Mushirul Hasan, the Director-General of National Archives of India took initiative to republish the Calendar. With introduction from two contemporary historians, Sanjay Subramaniam and Muzaffar Alam the series of Calendar of Persian Correspondence was published by Primus Books, New Delhi.

The second volume of Calendar of Persian Correspondence covers the years between 1770 to 1772. The Great War halted the publication of the Calender, publication again commenced with the release of the third volume in 1919. The selections from the volume highlight on remedial measures like import of grains being taken owing to the Famine.

Selection details

The second volume of Calendar of Persian Correspondence covers the years between 1770 to 1772. The Great War halted the publication of the Calender, publication again commenced with the release of the third volume in 1919. The selections from the volume highlight on remedial measures like import of grains being taken owing to the Famine.

[Page 7]

1. Jan 23. 1770, 38.

To Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan, Faujdar of Hooghly. Has received the Khan's letter saymg that workmen cannot be had for less than a monthly rate of Rs 6 per man is surprised to hear this, for the workmen from Murshidabad are satisfied mth Rs 4 per man in spite of the greater distance they have come from and of the great scarcity that prevails at Calcutta. Desires the Khan to try to procure workmen at a monthly rate of Rs 4 per man and send them to Calcutta.

[Page 7]

2. Feb. 6. 1770, 66.

From Raja Shitab Ray, Naib Nazim of Behar. Has already informed the Governor of the measures which [Mr Alexander] ancl the writer have taken in the parganah of Phulwari. They have since taken up their residence in the parganah Arrah in order to regulate the sarkar of Shababad. The loose accounts of the year as delivered in and signed by the chaudhris and qanungos are enclosed for the Governor's perusal. At the close of the season the writer proposes sending am ins to examine the receipts. The amount of the whole collections which have been settled at the rate of 25 seers to the Sarkar and 15 seers to the ryots on grain and according to the pattah,lt on other articles will be Rs 5,56,745-4-0. Out of this, Rs 1,05,711-10-0 mnst be deducted for the charges of collection, and the remaining Rs 4,51,033-10-0 will be the savmgs of the Sarkar. After settlmg the par,qanalt Arrah, Mr Alexander and the writer set out on the 22nd Ramazan, and arrived in the parganah Sasaram. Will hereafter inform the Governor of the state and settlement of this parganalt as also of the par,qanah Chainpur. PS.-The accounts of the sarkar Chiran are included in those of Shahabad which are now enclosed.

[Page 41]

3. Mar. 28. 1770, 153.

To the Vazir. Some time ago the Nawab Qamaru'd-Daulah [Mr Verelst I wrote to the addressee requestmg him to send some grain to Bengal, but up till now it has not arrived It appears that owing to pressure of business, the addressee has forgotten about it. Remarks that the distress of the people is so great that it cannot be described and requests the addressee to send by water as much grain as may be available with the greatest dtspatch.

[Page 85]

4. June. 25. 1770, 286.

286. The King to the Vazir. Encloses copies o£ an 'arzi from Najibu'd-Daulah, of His MaJesty's reply to that 'arzi and of a letter from the Queen-mother. Asks the Vazir to g1ve careful thought to the contents of these letters. In response to the oft-repeated solicitations of Najibu'd-Daulah, His Majesty has resolved to proceed to the capital after the rains, and is now employed in makmg preparations for the jour ney. It is necessary that his ' brother ' the Vazir should also prepare himself for the expedttion Has written to the Einglish sardars about this matter. Will write to them once more when the start is about to be made. Declares on oath that he is determmed to march to the capital after the rains Hopes that the addressee will be ready to accompany His Majesty at that time.

[Page 85]

5. June. 25. 1770, 287.

The King to Najibu'd-Daulah. Promises to proceed to the capital after the rains.

[Page 122]

6. Nov. 7. 1770, 447.

From Najaf Khan. It is long since he was favoured with the Governor's letter, though he is evet anxious to hear the news of His Excellency's welfare As the writer Considers himself an adherent of the English Company, he has continually been informing the Governor of his situation Only God knows the distress he has been in for the last seven or eight months at the Royal Court. It is evident that had it not been for the friendship of the Enghsh sardars for him, it would have been impossible for him to have maintained his position. Being in urgent need of money, he has borrowed from Captain Brook Rs 33,333-5-0 which is the amount of his salary for the two months commencing from 14 Rabi I Requests the Governor to order the above sum to be paid to the Captain. As the wnter's salary for two [Page 123] months more falls due on 5 November, he requests the Governor to issue orders for its payment also. Requests further that in future his salary may be paid to him regularly every month.

[Page 206]

7. May. 26. 1771, 763.

From Birj Kishor Ray, Diwan of Burdwan It was solely through the countenance and favour of the Governor that the writer was appointed Divan of Burdwan Notwithstandmg the famine and the bad state or the country, he succeeded in collecting the revenues. Hopes to manage this similarly in future By the auspicious favour of the Governor, RaJa Tej Chand was appointed to the zamindari of his deceased father, Raja Tilok Chand, and thu~ maintained the prospenty of the house of the deceased Raja. It is perhaps known to the addressee what diffculties the writer has undergone in showing his allegiance to the Raja Hopes that aecording to the established eustom the business of the RaJa will be conducted so that no one mav have any reason for complamt and the people may live in peace. He had written a letter to his vakil as well as to one of his friends in Calcutta asking their opinion on certain matters. Babu Ram Chand, son of late Manik Chand, intercepted both the letters in Calcutta, uncovered and read. them and also sent copies to the Raja [Tej Chand], who produced them before a number of people Says that it is contrary to law to open the letters of others without their permission. As the writer looks for protection to none but the Governor, who is the ruler of the country, he lays the matter before him and asks for justice.

[Page 213]

8. June. 17. 1771, 792.

From Nawab Muniru'd-Daulah Intimates that during the last rains the Ganges oveflowed because of its embankment being in a ruinous state, and caused much trouble and hardship to the inhabltants of the neighbouring countries His MaJesty, with a view to relieving the sufferings of the inhabitants, directed Colonel Gailllez to [Page 214] repair the embankment and issued a bill for Rs 40,000 to cover the cost of the repairrs. Having learnt that the ofticers at Murshidabad have not yet forwarded the said amount to the Colonel, His Majesty advised the writer to ask the addressee to order the officers to send the amount as soon as possible to Colonel Gailliez. Requests the addressee therefore to act in accordance with the Royal instructions, eo that the embankment may speedily be repaired and the people may be relieved from further trouble.

[Page 215]

9. June. 20. 1771, 795.

General Barker to the King. Is delighted to receive his shuqqah containing the Royal instructions His Majesty argues against the representations of the writer in respect of the halt and march of the Royal troops The reasons put forth may look sound to him but the writer can never agree with them It was the writer's devotion and loyalty to His Majesty that prompted him to act in a manner that could only be conducive to the good ot the throne. Says that he is 'very sorry at this move of His Majesty, who (It is strange) took no notice of the disturbed state of the capital and of the quarrels and differences among the Marhatta sardars , and set himself upon this enter- prise without thinking of any reliable scheme for his own security. The Roval march can by no means be safe durmg such stirring times, although His MaJesty has said that he will give the Mahrattas a surprise visit and then march his army back by way of Farrukhabad. It is expedient not to shake off the protection of the English sardars until a plan is devised for his personal security, because It is hkely to bring some unforeseen calamity upon him His MaJesty has further remarked that his stay at Kora will increase his expenses but the writer cannot understand how the march of the Royal trops through Farrukhahad will curtail them. Is certain that Ahmad Khan's circumstances do not allow him to contribute to the upkeep of the Royal troops during their stay at Farrukhabad the expenditure will then be much greater. Besides the dearness of grain and other necessaries His Majesty will have to pay Rs 24,000 towards the salary of the two nattalions; If it is not paid regularly every month, men will desert. Moreover every coin that Is spent over the Royal army [at FarrukhabadJ willrun out of Allahabad and Kora, so that lakhs of Rupees will go to the Rohilla country, causing a fall in the revenue of those two places. 'The rains have now set in and the Roya.l march, if continued, will end in disaster. It does not seem to be of any advantage until there is concord among the Mahratta sardars. As an expression of his loyalty and fidelity the writer makes another representation and hopes that His Majesty will duly consider it. So long as His Majesty stops at Kora or at Bhuttere, the English troops wxll be at his service and protect the Royal territories, because it wlll enhance the honour of the English. If, which God forbid, His Majesty goes bevond the boundaries of Kora and sustains a defeat [at the hands of the Mahrattas], the English sardars will not hold themselves responsible for [Page 216] it. If in disregard of these representation. His Majesty is determined to march on, the writer wtll sent tho two Royal battalions to the Presence and come personally to take his leave.

[Page 217]

10. June. 24. 1771, 801.

General Barker to the Kmg. It is now four days since the wnter submitted an 'arzi stating all that appeared to him good for the prosperity of the throne, but received no reply to it. Requests His Majesty to favour him with a reply to his representations as he is only waiting for it. The rains have set in and the writer has many impor tant engagements In the east Is the1efore expecting the Royal commands every moment, for his engagements do not adnut of any further delay.

[Page 220]

11. July. 5. 1771, 812.

From Raja Shitab Ray. Hns already informed the Governor of the particulars of the Vazir's dismissal from the Presence at Jaujemow,1 Has transmitted all the mtelhgenee he had gathered about the Mahratta sardars. Beheves that the Gobernor has read it His Majesty will never consent to build quarters for his troops for the ensmng rains as "as proposed by his otficers some time ago. Has learnt' today' (19 June) from the correspondenee of a rehable person that His Majesty has issued orders for the erection of eleven bungalows at Bhuttore near Kora It is therefore presumed that until the Mahrattas evacuate the fort of Shahjahanabad and it comes into His MaJesty's possession, he will never set out for the capital. Accordingly His MaJesty has despatched Yaqut Khan (one of the Royal eunuchs) with seven khavats and bills for 2 lakhs of rupees to ShahJabanabad. If on his arrtval the eunuch reports that the Mahrattas have evacuated the fort, His MaJesty will then set out for the capital. As to the Mahratta sardars they are divided by internal feuds. Takoji Hulkar and Mahaji Sindhia have joined forces and want Ram Chandar Ganesh to have the command of the army again ; but VisaJi Pandit Will uot consent to this and his depnty acting under his sole orders is in possession of the fort. in order to guard the fort and to prevent other sardars from occupying it, he has pitched his tents by the side of the river and keeps a vigilant watch over the Qal'ahdar. Saifud,din Muhammad Khan negotiated in vain With the Mahrattas for the evacuation of the fort. Having failed to come to any terms on account of their private quarrels he did not return to His Majesty's Court. Patel Sahib has consented to evacuate the fort, while Takoji Hulkar desires to rorm an alliance with the Rohillas. Visaji Pandit on the other hand opposes both these schemes and says that he proposes to act with complete independence. The correspondence of the Pandit and Ram Chandar Ganesh has been transmitted to Madhu Rao and an answer is expected. The Mahrattas are encamped on the other side of the Jumna river in the town of Shahjahanabad. Consequently each sardar has selected a large house for his residence and is removing his baggage and artillery across the Jumna. This has greatly increased the price of grain.

This is a selection from the original text


calamity, king, majesty, rain, suffering

Source text

Title: Calendar of Persian Correspondence

Subtitle: Vol.III: 1770-1772

Publisher: Superintendant Government Printing, India

Publication date: 1919

Original date(s) covered: 1770-1772

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: Calcutta

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from print at the National Archives of India. Original date(s) covered: 1770-1772

Digital edition

Original editor(s): C.R. Wilson

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) page 7
  • 2 ) page 41
  • 3 ) page 85
  • 4 ) page 122
  • 5 ) page 206
  • 6 ) page 213
  • 7 ) page 215
  • 8 ) page 217
  • 9 ) page 220


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 > persian correspondence

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