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complaints of these enormities reached Mir Kasim from all quarters, and he presented the strongest remonstrances against them to the Council. Mr Ellis, the Resident at Patna, was among the most prominent in the violation of fiscal authority, and most of the Council were too much implicated to be the willing authors of a reformation. They affected to doubt or deny the existence of the injury, and declared the Nawab's remonstrances to be an evidence of ingratitude which ought to be reproved. When he offered to agree to a transit duty of 9 per cent., though it was much less than that paid by the natives, they met him with a reluctant offer to pay 21 per cent. on salt alone. At last the negotiations ended in a compromise, and a treaty was signed in December 1762, binding the Company to pay a small fixed duty on their internal trade. But the majority of the Council were jealous of the popularity and success of the Regent. He would not wink at their frauds or suffer their violence, and it was necessary, therefore, to pick a quarrel with him; and this they did by publicly annulling the treaty, declaring that the President had no authority to sign it. Indignant at being thus trified with, the Nawab issued a decree abolishing all internal duties, thus putting all classes in the country on an equal footing. The Council demanded its revocation, and preparations for hostilities were made on both sides. Some boats containing arms were stopped by Wir Kasim's orders ; they were afterwards released, yet this was made the pretext for the plunder of Patna by a European force. But reinforcements arriving, the native Governor turned the scales on the following day, and compelled the aggressors to capitulate, Mr Ellis, the obnoxious Resident, being of the number. The imprisonment of every Englishman in the province

Mill, book IV. chap. v.

1

was also ordered; but only in the case of Mr Amyatt, who had been acting as mediator between the two Governments, was any life sacrificed ; and his death was occasioned by the indiscretion of his escort, who drew upon themselves a volley by which he was killed.

Though Mir Kasim had been at some pains to organise and equip his army

after the European pattern, victory did not declare in his favour. Moorshedabad was taken on 19th June, and he was again defeated in a general engagement at Geriah, on the 2d August, after such a resistance as the invaders had not encountered before in any struggle with native troops.

He made another stand at the pass of Oodwa, and for a whole month defended it with judgment and resolution. Mongheer, which he had made his capital, fell in October; and now, finding his resources exhausted and fortune against him, in a paroxysm of rage and despair he ordered the execution of Mr Ellis and the prisoners from Patna, to whose conduct he mainly ascribed his downfall. He then took refuge for some time in Oude, and died at Delhi in 1777, in obscurity and indigence. When the Company found that Mir Kasim would not make his country's interests subservient to theirs, they entered into negotiations with Mir Jaffir for his resuming active authority; and, on the 10th July 1763, a new treaty was signed, by which the Company engaged to reinstate him in the full exercise of all the executive powers, rights, and functions, of Soubahdar. On his part, Mir Jaffir ratified the

previous treaty of 1757 ; granted afresh and confirmed to the Company the chucklas (districts) of Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong, for defraying the expenses of their troops ; “confirmed their privilege of trading free from all duties, taxes, and impositions, except in the article of salt, on which 2} per cent. was to be levied on the Hooghly market-price;

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gave them half the saltpetre from Purnea, and allowed no others to make purchases of that article; and gave

them half the chunam (lime) prepared in the district of Sylhet for five years. He agreed to “maintain 12,000 horse and 12,000 foot in the three provinces, and besides which, the Company's troops were to attend him whenever they were wanted;" to receive, wherever he should fix his court, a Resident or political agent, and to appoint a like official on his part at Calcutta ; to reverse and annul the free-trade edict of Mir Kasim, the differential tolls and duties to be levied on the natives as before; to "give thirty lacs for defraying the expenses of the war” with the superseded Regent; to reimburse losses incurred by private individuals, either in money or by assignments of land; and not to " allow the French to erect fortifications, maintain forces, hold lands, zemindaries, &c.; but to make them pay and carry on trade” as formerly. Experience had taught the aged Prince that the pledges and promises of his allies were not trustworthy, and he sought to obtain some higher guarantee for the fulfilment of these new covenants than that afforded by the signatures of the ever-changing Council at Calcutta. The terms of his demand, appended to the treaty, and accepted by all the members of the Council, are worthy of historic note. There they stand full to the brim with reproach of broken faith.

“I now make this request, that you will write in a proper manner to the Company, and also to the King of England, the particulars of our friendship and union; and procure for me writings and encouragement, that my

mind may

be assured from that quarter that no breach may ever happen between me and the English, and that every Governor, Councillor, and chiefs of the English that are here, or may hereafter come, may be well disposed and attached to me.'

He then proceeds to enumerate many ways in which mutual forbearance and respect by subordinates on each side ought to be enjoined and enforced. It has never been even pretended that, by him or his successors, any attempt was made to depart from the stipulations of this treaty ; yet, by degrees, one after another of its covenants have been infringed and frittered away by the stronger party, to the detriment of the weaker, until at last it has been coolly proposed, in a suppressed recommendation by a Secretary of State, that the whole substance and spirit of this fundamental treaty should be set at nought, and that the very existence of a Soubahdar of Bengal, from whom we were glad in 1763 to accept grants of land and privileges, should, after the lifetime of the present Prince, on grounds of financial expediency be publicly denied.

Suja-ul-Dowla, the Vizier of Oude, warmly espoused the cause of the fugitive Regent, and to threats of the Company's hostility returned a dignified rebuke of their ill-concealed designs. “To what,” he wrote, “can all these wrong proceedings be attributed, but to an absolute disregard of the court (of Delhi), and to a wicked design of seizing the country yourselves. If these disturbances have arisen from your own improper devices, deviate from such improper behaviour in future ; interfere not in the affairs of government; withdraw your people from every part, and send them to their own country ; carry on the Company's trade as formerly, and confine yourselves to your own commercial affairs.” Shah Alum also began to be alarmed at the state of affairs in Bengal, and with the Vizier he entered the province at the head of a powerful force in 1764.

For some months desultory skirmishes greatly harassed the European army, but a pitched battle was finally fought at Buxar, in which they were victorious. The Vizier sued

for peace, which the Company would only grant on condition of Mir Kasim's expulsion from Oude; the Padishah

; opened separate communications with the victors, with whom he made his own terms. Ultimately peace was concluded by the cession of the districts of Allahabad and Korah by the Vizier to the Padishah ; and while the negotiations lingered, in January 1765, Mir Jaffir died, and was succeeded by his son, Nudjum-ul-Dowla.

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