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PART V.

Third Revolution in Benares.

'THAT the said Warren Hastings having, in the manner before recited, divested Durbege Sing of the administration of the province of Benares, did, of his own arbitrary will and pleasure, and against the remonstrances of the Rajah and his mother, (in whose name, and in whose right the said Durbege Sing, father of the one and husband of the other, had administered the affairs of the government) appoint a person, called Jagher Deo Sheo, to administer the same.

That the new administrator, warned by the severe example made of his predecessor, is represented by the said Warren Hastings as having made it his "avowed principle (as it might be

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expected it should be) that the sum fixed for the

revenue must be collected." And he did, upon the principle aforesaid, and by the means suggested by a principle of that sort, accordingly levy from the country, and did regularly discharge to the British Resident at Benares, by monthly payments, the sums imposed by the said Warren Hastings, as it is asserted by the Resident Fowke; but the said Warren Hastings did assert, that his annual

collections

collections did not amount to more than lack 37,37,600, or thereabouts, which he says is much short of the revenues of the province, and is about twenty-four thousand pounds short of his agreement.

That it further appears, that notwithstanding the new administrator aforesaid was appointed two months, or thereabouts, after the beginning of the Fuseli year, that is to say, about the middle of November 1782, and the former administrator had collected a certain portion of the revenues of that year, amounting to £. 17,000 and upwards; yet he, the said new administrator, upon the unjust and destructive principle aforesaid, suggested by the cruel and violent proceedings of the said Warren Hastings towards his predecessor, did levy on the province, within the said year, the whole amount of the revenues to be collected, in addition to the sum collected by his predecessor aforesaid.

That, on account of a great drought, which prevailed in the province aforesaid, a remission of certain duties in grain was proposed by the chief Criminal Judge at Benares; but the administrator aforesaid, being fearful that the revenue would fall short in his hands, did strenuously oppose himself to the necessary relief to the inhabitants of the said city.

• That notwithstanding the cantonment of several bodies of the Company's troops within the province,

since the abolition of the native government, it became subject in a particular manner to the Rajahs upon the borders; insomuch that in one quarter no fewer than thirty villages had been sacked and burned, and the inhabitants reduced to the most extreme distress.

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That the Resident, in his letter to the Board at Calcutta, did represent that the collection of the revenue was become very difficult; and, besides the extreme drought, did assign for a cause of that difficulty the following:

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"That there is also one fund, which in former

years was applied in this country to remedy temporary inconveniencies in the revenue, and "which in the present year does not exist. This

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was the private fortunes of merchants and Shroffs (bankers) resident in Benares, from whom Au"mils (collectors) of credit could obtain temporary "loans, to satisfy the immediate calls of the

Rajah. These sums, which used to circulate "between the Aumil and the merchant, have "been turned into a different channel, by bills of

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exchange to defray the expenses of Government "both on the west coast of India, and also at "Madras." To which representation it does not appear that any answer was given, or that any mode of redress was adopted in consequence thereof.

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That the said Warren Hastings, having passed

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through the province of Benares (Gauzipore) in his progress towards Oude, did, in a letter dated from the city of Lucknow, the 2d of April 1784, give to the Council Board at Calcutta an account (highly dishonourable to the British Government) of the effect of the arrangements made by himself in the years 1781 and 1782, in the words following: Having contrived, by making forced stages, while "the troops of my escort marched at the ordinary rate, to make a stay of five days at Benares, I was thereby furnished with the means of acquir

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ing some knowledge of the state of the province, "which I am anxious to communicate to you. "Indeed the inquiry, which was in a great degree "obtruded upon me, affected me with very morti

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fying reflections on my inability to apply it to

any useful purpose. From the confines of Buxar to Benares I was followed and fatigued by the "clamours of the discontented inhabitants. It was what I expected in a degree, because it is "rare that the exercise of authority shall prove

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satisfactory to all, who are the objects of it. "The distresses, which were produced by the long continued drought, unavoidably tended to heighten the general discontent; yet I have reason to fear that the cause existed principally "in a defective, if not a corrupt and oppressive, "administration." "Of a multitude of petitions,

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"which were presented to me, and of which I "took minutes, every one, that did not relate to a personal grievance, contained the representation " of one and the same species of oppression, which " is in its nature of an influence most fatal to the "future cultivation. The practice, to which I allude, is this: it is affirmed that the Aumils and "renters exact from the proprietors of the actual "harvest a large increase in kind on their stipu"lated rent; that is, from those, who hold their "Potta by the tenure of paying one half of the produce of their crops, either the whole, without

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subterfuge, or a large proportion of it by a false

measurement, or other pretexts; and from those, "whose engagements are for a fixed rent in money, "the half, or a greater proportion, is taken in kind. "This is in effect a tax upon the industry of the "inhabitants; since there is scarce a field of grain "in the province, I might say not one, which has "not been preserved by the incessant labour' of "the cultivator, by digging wells for their supply, " or watering them from the wells of masonry, "with which their country abounds, or from the

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neighbouring tanks, rivers, and Nullahs. The

people, who imposed on themselves this volun❝tary and extraordinary labour, and not unat"tended with expense, did it on the expectation "of reaping the profits of it; and it is certain they "would not have done it, if they had known that

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