Calendar of Persian Correspondence, Vol.II: 1767-1769

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 1767 to 1769. The fourth volume was published in 1914. The selections from the correspondences reveal that the scarcity of grain was being felt in different parts since the later half of 1769. The correspondence also point out to the relief measures being considered by the Nawab.

Selection details

The second volume of Calendar of Persian Correspondence covers the years between 1767 to 1769. The fourth volume was published in 1914. The selections from the correspondences reveal that the scarcity of grain was being felt in different parts since the later half of 1769. The correspondence also point out to the relief measures being considered by the Nawab.

[Page 186]

1. Nov. 26. 1767

683. To Muhammad Riza Khan. Encloses a copy of a letter from Mr. Alexander's gumashtah, wherein he complains that he has been insulted and robbed by a French gumashtah. Desires that the affair may be immediately inquired into, as complaints of the same nature multiply continually, and cannot be suppressed but by the severest punishment of the criminals.

[Page 298]

2. Aug. 20. 1768

1097. From Muhammad Riza Khan. Has received the Governor's letter. Will circulate parvanahs to prohibit the exportation of slaves and put an end to that pernicious practice of the French, agreeably to the Governor's instructions on the subject.

[Page 363]

3. Nov. 4. 1768

1179. From Raja Shitab Ray. Complains of the great scarcity of grain occasioned by the want of rain.

[Page 363]

4. May 22. 1769

1384. Mr. Cartier to Muhammad Riza Khan. Has been informed by one Munna that Sahsaram, brother of Ram Ballabh, has killed Ghulam Muhammad, brother of the complainant at Jessore. As the latter is within the jurisdiction of Muhammad Ali Khan [Faujdar of Hooghly] both the complainant and the accused have been sent to him that he may try the case.

[Page 375]

5. June 29. 1769

1447. From Muhammad Riza Khan. Has received the Governor's letter concerning the new gold currency, and intimating that the regulations for carrying on the Company's investments have heen settled by the gentlemen of the Council after the plans devised at the city [Murshidabad]. Expresses the highest approbation of the aforesaid plans and says that great advantage wiil accrue to the Government, the country, and individuals therefrom.

[Page 391]

6. Aug. 5. 1769

1513. From Raja Shitab Ray. Is exerting himself to collect the balances for the year 1176 Fasli and is never idle for a moment. Strange that there was no rain here during Asarh which is, as a rule, a rainy month, and in which the seeds of the Bhadovi crop germinate; but since the beginning of Savan it has rained two or three times both in the town and in the mufassal, and people are feeling hopeful. Encloses a copy of a letter from the Naib of Champaran concerning the scarcity in that district.

[Page 391]

7. Aug. 5. 1769

1514. The Naib of Champaran to Raja Shitab Ray. Has received the Raja's letter saying that this is the time for collecting the revenue, but that the writer has not yet remitted any sum; and expressing concern thereat. Replies that he is without remedy. The Raja may have heard about the state of this district. Hundreds of people are daily found dead under the trees and reports of similar tragedies are being received daily from every tappah. Has already forwarded to the Raja the letters of Lal Bishan Lal, Peshkar of Mihsi, and Umrao Singh, Sazaval of Saronah , on the subject. Is in no way neglectful of his duties, but it is no use quarrelling with the will of the Almighty. Has with great difficulty collected and remitted to the Raja. Rs. 10,002— Rs. 6,000 on account of the money that was stolen and Rs. 4,002 on account of the revenue. Desires that a harkarah may be sent to inquire into the state of this disrict, and report upon it. Up till now, not a single drop of rain has fallen here. Whatever mandva was sown, has been shrivelled up. The people are in great distress.

[Page 393]

8. Aug. 12. 1769

1520. From the King. Has received the Governor's letter, agreeing to the dispatch of some English troops to escort His Majesty to the Capital, and to assist him in managing the affairs of Hindustan. The thought of loyalty and fidelity of the Governor and the other English sardars is deeply engraved on His Majesty's mind and it is certain that His Excellency will fulfil his promise, Looks upon him as the strong pillar of the Empire. His Majesty had intended to set out for Akbarabad [Agra] before the commencement of the rains. But as he had to await the Governor's letter so long, and as in the meantime the rainy season set in, he had to postpone his departure. Will undertake the intended expedition after the rains are over, provides nothing untoward happtens in the interval Hopes that the Governor will send two nattalions to accompany the Royal stirrup to the Capital. As to the Governor's advising him to think twice before he undertakes the expedition, in view of the disturbances that daily take place in Hindustan, he fully agrees with His Excellency on the point, but says that by the grace of God he got the Empire of Hindustan, that by the grace of God, it is now free from all disturbances, and that as long as the English troops and his other vassals are near his stirrup to serve him, he [Page 394] has nothing to fear. On the contrary, he thinks that success will attend the expedition beyond the most sanguine expectations of his well-wishers. PS.—Desires that the English sardars at the Court may be directed to send two battalions with him when he sets out for the Capital, and that one or two battalions may be appointed to remain permanently with the person, whom His Majesty will leave behind at Allahabad as its Governor.

[Page 395]

9. Aug. 12. 1769

1524. From the Vazir. When Lord Clive and the writer had a conference at Chiran Chapra, His Lordship said that two pahrahs would remain, on behalf of the English at the fort of Chunargarh to guard the grain stored there, and that after it was removed from that place, the pahrahs would be withdrawn. It is now three years since the grain was taken away from the fort, yet the pahrahs have not been recalled. Some time ago when the English gentlemen came to this place, and the treaty between the writer and the English was renewed, it was decided that as long as the English troops remained in the writer's territory, one or two pahrahs should continue to stay at Chunargarh, and that after the recall of the troops, the pahrahs should also be recalled. At present the troops have been recalled but the pahrahs are still there as before. Nay, formerly there were two pahrahs at Chunargarh, now two companies have been stationed there. Represents that when there is not one battalion of the English troops with the writer, it is immaterial whether there is a company or a battalion in the fort; but that on account of the presence of the two companies, great disorder prevails there. Desires that they may be recalled, seeing that what belongs to the writer, is the Govemor's. In case the Governor does not agree, the writer will withdraw his own troops from the fort, and leave it to the English.

[Page 400]

10. Aug. 24. 1769

1548. From Raja Balvant Singh. Has received the dastak, enabling him to travel to Gaya in safety. Offers thanks, but says that as it is the middle of the rainy season now, he cannot avail himself of the dastak at present. Will do so after the rains are over.

[Page 403]

11. Sept. 5. 1769

1565. To Raziu'd-Din Muhammmad Khan. In these days there is such a great scarcity of grain in Calcutta that the poor find it difficult to got their daily subsistence. Has been informed that while a few boats laden with grain were coming down to Calcutta, they were stopped by the Khan's 'amlah, and are still being detained. Desires the Khan [Page 404] immediately on receipt of this letter to release the boats that they may arrive here and the distress be relieved. Desires him also to see that boats laden with grain are not detained on the way and to encourage bankers and tradesmen to send grain to Calcutta. This will greatly please the writer.

[Page 404]

12. Sept. 5. 1769

1566. To Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan. Seven boats laden with grain and belonging to Mr. Barton were coming down to Calcutta, when two of them were disabled and their cargo was unloaded at Farashdanga. Has been informed that the Khan has demanded duties on the cargo and appointed two sepoys to guard it. As the unloading of grain at Farashdanga was due to an accident, and as an English gentleman is the owner of the grain, the Khan is desired to release it and not to demand any duties on it.

[Page 406]

13. Sept. 7. 1769

1577. From Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan. Has received the Governor's letter, directing him not to prevent grain boats from coming to Calcutta. Protests that the matter has been misrepresented to the Governor. The writer's 'amlah never stops such boats as bear the Sarkar's dastak. The fact of the matter is that many Calcutta merchants manage to have rice boats taken to Farashdanga under the Sarkar's dastak, and sell the rice there. Even now several such boats are lying at that place. In these circumstances, the writer had to send a man there to demand duties from the boat people. This is the whole extent of his interference with the boats. It is impossible for his 'amlah to stop boats bearing the Company's dastak. But many boats carry goods in excess of what are specified in the dastaks. If he refrains from examining the goods, it will cause loss to the Sarkar.

[Page 410]

14. Sept. 16. 1769

1590. From Ghulam Husain Khan. Some time ago His Majesty wrote to Hafizu'l-Mulk [Hafiz Rahmat Khan], Dundi Khan, Bakhshi Sardar Khan and Faizu'llah Khan, desiring them to hold themselves in readiness near Kora Jahanabad, as His Majesty was resolved to conquer the Jat country. The said sardars wrote in reply that, as the rainy season was approaching, the time was not suitable for the expedition; but that they would obey His Majesty's commands after the rains were over. Hafiz Rahmat Khan has directed the writer to inform the Governor of this affair. The Hafiz himself has written to His Excellency a letter which is enclosed. Requests a reply to the same.

[Page 411]

15. Sept. 16. 1769

1593. To Udepuri Gusain. Has received his letter saying that as the rainy season is nearing its end, he desires to proceed to Nagpur; and asking permission before his departure for that place to come to Calcutta to see the writer. Approves of this, and hopes that on his reaching Nagpur he will endeavour to strengthen the foundations of the friendship [existing between Raja Januji and the English].

[Page 418]

16. Oct. 1. 1769

1629. To Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan. Two Dutch gentlemen have come to the writer and asked him to use his influence in deciding the disputes that are going on between the Nizamat and the Dutch factory. The Khan's orders stopping the passage of grain to the Dutch factory have caused the Dutch great distress and concern. They suggest that an arbitrator should be appointed on behalf of the Nizamat to inspect their sanads and other documents; and they promise to abide by his decision. Has consequently written to the Nawab to appoint an arbitrator and send him [to Hooghly]. Desires that, until his arrival there, the Dutch may not be troubled. As they promise to release the Nizamat sepoys whom they imprisoned, to settle the present disputes and to obey the Nizamat orders in future, the writer has adopted a friendly attitude towards them.

[Page 419]

17. Oct. 5. 1769

1633. From Sambhaji Ganesh. After recapitulating, for the most part, the Governor's letter regarding the appointment of an English Resident [in Orissa], he replies as follows. His reason for making the suggestion to the Governor was to provide for exigencies, and to make use of his master's friends, the English, against Madhu Rao. Now that all disturbances have subsided through the valour and good conduct of his master, there remains no occasion for any new negotiations or deputies, Udepuri being sufficient on the side of the Marhattas, and Mr. Alleyn on that of the English. Assures the Governor that the delay in replying to his letter did not proceed from any fault of his own. Most probably the heavy rains and the swelling of the river detained the bearer of his letter on the route.

[Page 421]

18. Oct. 17. 1769

1644. To Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan. Has already written to the Khan to allow the passage of grain to the Dutch factory. Has just been informed by the Dutch that he has not yet done so, that many people have died of starvation there, and that many more are dying. As the Dutch agree to obey the orders of the Nizamat after an arbitrator has respected their sanads, determined the boundaries, and fixed the duties, it is desired that until the arrival of an arbitrator and the decision of the above questions by him, grain may be allowed to pass to their factory as usual, in order that the poor may have something to eat and not die of starvation.

[Page 421]

19. Oct. 17. 1769

1645. To Muhammad Riza Khan. Recapitulates the substance of the foregoing letter, and desires that Raziu'd-Din Khan may be directed to allow the passage of grain to the Dutch factory, until the disputes between the Nizamat and the Dutch have been settled by an arbitrator.

[Page 422]

20. Oct. 21. 1769

1651. To Muhammad Riza Khan. Has already written to the Khan regarding the Dutch. The new Dutch Governor of Batavia has just come to see the writer, apologised for the past conduct of the Dutch, and promised that in future they would in all respects obey the orders of the Nizamat. Desires, therefore, that [Raziu'd-Din Muhammad Khan], the Faujdar of Hooghly, be directed to release the Dutch boats which he has detained, and to allow the passage of grain to their factory as usual, until the present disputes have been decided by an arbitrator.

[Page 422]

21. Oct. 24. 1769

1652. To the Vazir. Cannot describe the distress in which the people of this province are on account of the drought.. All parts of the province are suffering equally. The distress can only be relieved by the importation of grain from another province. As the scarcity is not so great in His Excellency's province as it is here, and as in many parts of the same the revenue consists of the produce of the land, it is hoped that His Excellency will sell the grain that is collected as revenue in Bengal. This will greatly oblige the writer and all the people of this province. The price of the grain will be paid to him wherever he likes. Requests a speedy reply to this letter.

[Page 433]

22. Feb. 21. 1769

1693. From the Vazir. Has received the Governor's letter requesting supplies of grain for Bengal. Their mutual regard is too deeply rooted to require any reserve in such matters. Is confident that neither of them would refuse even his life for the other's service. Is highly pleased with this instance of the Governor's friendship, but he is no stranger to the state of the writer's country. However, the distress of the writer's subjects, though great, is not equal to that of the people of Bengal. And as there is no separation between ''us", he has determined to supply the Governor with as large a quantity of grain as can be collected, and will manage to dispatch it without delay. The Governor may depend on the writer's diligence

This is a selection from the original text


distress, gomastha, grain, scarcity, starvation

Source text

Title: Calendar of Persian Correspondence

Subtitle: Vol.II: 1767-1769

Publisher: Superitedent Government Printing, India

Publication date: 1914

Original date(s) covered: 1767-1769

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: 1767-1769

Digital edition

Original editor(s): C.R. Wilson

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) page 186
  • 2 ) page 298
  • 3 ) page 363
  • 4 ) page 375
  • 5 ) page 391
  • 6 ) pages 393 to 395
  • 7 ) page 400
  • 8 ) pages 403 to 404
  • 9 ) page 406
  • 10 ) pages 410 to 411
  • 11 ) pages 418 to 419
  • 12 ) pages 421 to 422
  • 13 ) page 433


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

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