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XVI.

That the said Hastings, having formed a resolution to execute one of the three violent and arbitrary resolutions aforesaid, namely, to sell the Company's sovereignty over Benares to the Nabob of Oude; or to dispossess the Rajah of his territories; or to seize upon his forts, and to plunder them of the treasure therein contained, to the amount of four or five hundred thousand pounds, did reject the offer of two hundred thousand pounds, tendered by the said Rajah for his redemption from the injuries, which he had discovered that the said Hastings had clandestinely meditated against him, although the sum aforesaid would have been a considerable and seasonable acquisition at that time; the said Hastings being determined, at a critical period, to risk the existence of the British empire, rather than fail in the gratification of his revenge against the said Rajah.

XVII.

That the first of his three instituted projects, namely, the depriving the Rajah of his territories, was by himself considered as a measure likely to be productive of much odium to the British Government; he having declared, whatever opinions 'he might entertain of its justice, "that it would

have an appearance of severity; and might

"furnish

See Hast ings's Let

ter.

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"furnish grounds unfavourable to the credit of our "Government, and to his own reputation, from the "natural influence, which every act of rigour, ex"ercised in the persons of men in elevated situa“tions, is apt to impress on those, who are too re

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mote from the scene of action to judge, by any "evidence of the facts themselves, of their motives or propriety." And the second attempt, the sum of money, which he aimed at by attacking the fortresses of the Rajah, and plundering them of the treasure supposed to be there secured, besides the obvious uncertainty of acquiring what was thus sought, would be liable to the same imputations with the former. And with regard to the third project, namely, the sale of the Company's soveowth reignty to the Nabob of Oude, and his having actually received proposals for the same, it was an high offence to the Company, as presuming, without their authority or consent, to put up to sale their sovereign rights; and particularly to put them up to sale to that very person, against whom the independence of the said province had been declared by the Governour-General and Council to be necessary, as a barrier for the security of the other provinces, in case of a future rupture with him. It was an heinous injury to the said Rajah, to attempt to change his relation without his consent, especially on account of the person, to whom he was to be made over for money, by reason of

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the known enmity subsisting between his family and that of the Nabob, who was to be the pur

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chaser; and it was a grievous outrage on the innocent inhabitants of the Zemindary of Benares, to propose putting them under a person long before described by himself to the Court of Directors, "to want the qualities of the head and heart requisite for his station;" and a letter from the British Resident at Oude, transmitted to the said Court, represents him "to have wholly lost, by "his oppressions, the confidence and affections of "his own subjects;" and whose distresses, and the known disorders in his government, he, the said Hastings, did attribute solely to his own bad conduct and evil character; admitting also in a letter written to Edward Wheler, Esq. and transmitted to the Court of Directors," that "that many circum66 stances did favour suspicion of his (the said Nabob's) fidelity to the English interest, the Nabob "being surrounded by men base in their characters, "and improvident in their understandings, his "favourites, and his companions of his looser hours. These had every cause to dread the effect of my influence on theirs; and both these, and the relations of the family, whose views of consequence "and power were intercepted by our participation "in the administration of his affairs, entertained a mortal hatred to our nation, and openly "avowed it." And the said Hastings was well

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aware,

aware, that in case the Nabob, by him described in the manner aforesaid, on making such purchase, should continue to observe, the terms of his father's original covenants and engagements with the Rajah, and should pay the Company the only tribute, which he could lawfully exact from the said Rajah, it was impossible that he could, for the mere naked and unprofitable rights of a sovereignty paramount, hafford to offer so great a sum as the Rajah did voffer to the said Hastings for his redemption from oppression. Such an acquisition to the Nabob (while he kept his faith) could not possibly be of any advantage whatever to him; and that therefore, if a great sum was to be paid by the Nabob of Oude, it must be for the purpose of oppression, and violation of publick faith, to be perpetrated in the person of the said Nabob, to an extent and in amanner, which the said Hastings was then apprehensive he could not justify to the Court of Directors, as his own personal act.

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Ꮲ Ꭺ Ꭱ Ꭲ III.

Expulsion of the Rajah of Benares.

I.

THAT the said Warren Hastings, being re

Desolved on the ruin of the Rajah aforesaid, as a

preliminary

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preliminary step thereto, did, against the express orders of the Court of Directors, remove Francis Fowke, Esquire, the Company's Resident at the city of Benares, without any complaint, or pretence of complaint, whatsoever, but merely on his own declaration, that he must have, as a Resident at Benares, a person of his own special and personal nomination and confidence, and not a man of the "Company's nomination; and in the place of the said Francis Fowke, thus illegally divested of his office, did appoint thereto another servant of the Company of his own choice.

II.

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"That soon after he had removed the Company's Resident, he prepared for a journey to the Upper Provinces, and particularly to Benares, in order to ́execute the wicked and perfidious designs by him *before meditated and contrived; and although he did communicate his purpose privately to such per"sons as he thought fit to intrust therewith, he did not enter any thing on the Consultations to that purpose, or record the principles, real or pretended, on which he had resolved to act, nor did he state any guilt in the Rajah, which he intended to punish, or charge him, the said Rajah, with entertaining any hostile intentions, the effects of which were to be prevented by any strong measure; but, on the contrary, he did industriously conceal his real

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designs

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