Page images

himself in his narrative, and in no part thereof attempted to be impeached, is more worthy of credit; that is to say,

"With respect to the horse, you desired me in 66 your letter to inform you of what number I "could afford to station with you. I sent you à & particular account of all, that were in my ser


[ocr errors]

vice, amounting to one thousand three hundred "horse, of which several were stationed at distant places; but I received no answer to this. Mr. "Markham delivered me an order to prepare "a thousand horse. In compliance with your


wishes, I collected five hundred horse, and a « substitute for the remainder, five hundred Bur*kundasses [matchlock men], of which I sent 66 you information; and I told Mr. Markham that they were ready to go to whatever place they should be sent, No answer, however, came "from you on this head, and I remained asto"nished at the cause of it. Repeatedly I asked "Mr. Markham about an answer to my letter "about the horse; but he told me that he did not know the reason of no answer having been sent. I remained astonished."


That the said Hastings is guilty of an high offence in not giving an answer to letters of such importance, and in concealing the said fetters from


[ocr errors]

the Court of Directors, as well as much of his, correspondence with the Residents; and more particularly in not directing to what place the cavalry and matchlock men aforesaid should be sent, when the Rajah had declared they were ready to go to whatever service should be destined for them, and afterwards in maliciously accusing the Rajah for not having sent the same.


That, on the 3d of February 1781, a new demand for the support of the three fictitious battalions of Sepoys aforesaid was made by the said Warren Hastings: but, whilst the Rajah was paying by instalments the said arbitrary demand, the said Rajah was alarmed with some intelligence of secret projects on foot for his ruin; and being well apprized of the malicious and revengeful temper of the said Hastings, in order to pacify him, if possible, offered to redeem himself by a large ransom, to the amount of two hundred thousand pounds sterling, to be paid for the use of the Company. And it appears that the said alarm was far from groundless; for Major Palmer, one of the secret and confidential agents of the said Hastings, hath sworn, on the 4th of December 1781, at the desire of the said Warren Hastings, before Sir Elijah Impey, to the following effect that is to say, "that the said Warren

[ocr errors]

Hastings had told him, the said Palmer, that he,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

"the said Hastings, had rejected the offer of two "hundred thousand pounds made by the Rajah "of Benares for the publick service; and that he was resolved to convert the faults committed by the Rajah into a publick benefit, and would "exact the sum of £. 500,000 as a punishment "for his breach of engagements with the Government of Bengal, and acts of misconduct in his "Zemindary; and, if the Rajah should absolutely "refuse the demand, that he would deprive him of his Zemindary, or transfer the sovereignty thereof to the Nabob of Oude."

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

And Mr. Anderson, in his declaration front Scindia's camp, of the 4th of January 1782, did also, at the desire of Mr. Hastings, depose (though not on oath) concerning a conversation between him and the said Hastings (but mentioning neither the time nor place where the same was held); in which conversation, after reciting the allegations of the said Hastings relative to several particulars of the delay and backwardness of the Rajah in paying the aforesaid extra demand, and his resolution to exact from the Rajah "a considerable

[ocr errors]

sum of money to the relief of the Company's "exigencies," he proceeds in the following words : "that if he (the Rajah) consented, you (the said "Warren Hastings) were desirous of establishing "his possessions on the most permanent and eligible "footing;

footing; but, if he refused, you had it in your "power to raise a large sum for the Company


by accepting an offer, which had been made for "his districts by the Vizier." And the said Anderson, in the declaration aforesaid, made at the request of the said Hastings, and addressed to him, expressed himself as follows: "that you told *me you had communicated our designs to Mr. "Whelert (his only remaining colleague); and I "believe, but I do not positively recollect, you "said he concurred in them." But no trace of any such communication or concurrence did, at the time referred to, or at any time ever after, appear on the Consultations, as it ought to have done; and the said Hastings is criminal for having omitted to enter and record the proceeding. That the said Wheler did also declare, but a considerable time after the date of the conversations aforesaid, that," on the eve of the Governour-General's "departure, the said Hastings had told him, that

the Rajah's offences (not stating what offences, he having paid up all the demands, ordinary *and extraordinary) were declared to require early punishment; and as his wealth was great, and the Company's exigencies pressing, it was thought a measure of policy and justice to exact from "him a large pecuniary mulct for their relief. The sum, to which the Governour declared his resolution to extend the fine, was forty or fifty


"lacks; his ability to pay it was stated, as a fact, "that could not admit of a doubt; and the two "alternatives, on which the Governour declared "himself to have resolved, were, to the best of my recollection, either a removal from his Ze"mindary entirely; or, by taking immediate possession of all his forts, to obtain out of the "treasure deposited in them the above sum for "the Company."


That, in the declaration of the said Wheler, the time of the conversation aforesaid is stated to be on the eve of the Governour's departure, and then said to be confidential; nor is it said, or insinuated, that he knew, or ever heard thereof, at a more early period, though it appears by Major Palmer's affidavit, that the design of taking not four or five, but absolutely five hundred thousand pounds from the Rajah, was communicated to him as early as the month of June. And it does not appear by the declarations of the said Wheler, he did ever casually or officially approve of the measure; which long concealment and late communication, time not being allowed to his colleague to consider the nature and consequences of such a project, or to advise any precaution concerning the same, is a high misdemeanor.

« PreviousContinue »