The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12)
by Edmund Burke
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That the said Warren Hastings,—having broken a solemn and honorable treaty of peace by an unjust and unprovoked war,—having neglected to conclude that war when he might have done it without loss of honor to the nation,—having plotted and contrived, as far as depended on him, to engage the India Company in another war as soon as the former should be concluded,—and having at last put an end to a most unjust war against the Mahrattas by a most ignominious peace with them, in which he sacrificed objects essential to the interests, and submitted to conditions utterly incompatible with the honor of this nation, and with his own declared sense of the dishonorable nature of those conditions,—and having endeavored to open anew the treaty concluded with Tippoo Sultan through the means of the Presidency of Fort St. George, upon principles of justice and honor, and which established peace in India, and thereby exposing the British possessions there to the renewal of the dangers and calamities of war,—has by these several acts been guilty of sundry high crimes and misdemeanors.


That, by an act of the 13th year of his present Majesty, intituled, "An act for establishing certain regulations for the better management of the affairs of the East India Company, as well in India as in Europe, the Governor-General and Council are required and directed to pay due obedience to all such orders as they shall receive from the Court of Directors of the said United Company, and to correspond from time to time, and constantly and diligently transmit to the said Court an exact particular of all advices or intelligence and of all transactions and matters whatsoever that shall come to their knowledge, relating to the government, commerce, revenues, or interest of the said United Company."

That, in consequence of the above-recited act, the Court of Directors, in their general instructions of the 29th March, 1774, to the Governor-General and Council, did direct, "that the correspondence with the princes or country powers in India should be carried on through the Governor-General only; but that all letters to be sent by him should be first approved in Council; and that he should lay before the Council, at their next meeting, all letters received by him in the course of such correspondence, for their information."

And the Governor-General and Council were therein further ordered, "that, in transacting the business of their department, they should enter with the utmost perspicuity and exactness all their proceedings whatsoever, and all dissents, if such should at any time be made by any member of their board, together with all letters sent or received in the course of their correspondence; and that broken sets of such proceedings, to the latest period possible, be transmitted to them [the Court of Directors], a complete set at the end of every year, and a duplicate by the next conveyance."

That, in defiance of the said orders, and in breach of the above-recited act of Parliament, the said Warren Hastings has, in sundry instances, concealed from his Council the correspondence carried on between him and the princes or country powers in India, and neglected to communicate the advices and intelligence he from time to time received from the British Residents at the different courts in India to the other members of the government, and, without their knowledge, counsel, or participation, has dispatched orders on matters of the utmost consequence to the interests of the Company.

That, moreover, the said Warren Hastings, for the purpose of covering his own improper and dangerous practices from his employers, has withheld from the Court of Directors, upon sundry occasions, copies of the proceedings had, and the correspondence carried on by him in his official capacity as Governor-General, whereby the Court of Directors have been kept in ignorance of matters which it highly imported them to know, and the affairs of the Company have been exposed to much inconvenience and injury.

That, in all such concealments and acts done or ordered without the consent and authority of the Supreme Council, the said Warren Hastings has been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.




I. That the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, who now holds of the Vizier the territory of Rampoor, Shahabad, and certain other districts dependent thereon, in the country of the Rohillas, is the second son of a prince renowned in the history of Hindostan under the name of Ali Mohammed Khan, some time sovereign of all that part of Rohilcund which is particularly distinguished by the appellation of the Kutteehr.

II. That, after the death of Ali Mohammed aforesaid, as Fyzoola Khan, together with his elder brother, was then a prisoner of war at a place called Herat, "the Rohilla chiefs took possession of the ancient estates" of the captive princes; and the Nabob Fyzoola Khan was from necessity compelled to waive his hereditary rights for the inconsiderable districts of Rampoor and Shahabad, then estimated to produce from six to eight lacs of annual revenue.

III. That in 1774, on the invasion of Rohilcund by the united armies of the Vizier Sujah ul Dowlah and the Company, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, "with some of his people, was present at the decisive battle of St. George," where Hafiz Rhamet, the great leader of the Rohillas, and many others of their principal chiefs were slain; but, escaping from the slaughter, Fyzoola Khan "made his retreat good towards the mountains, with all his treasure." He there collected the scattered remains of his countrymen; and as he was the eldest surviving son of Ali Mohammed Khan, as, too, the most powerful obstacle to his pretensions was now removed by the death of Hafiz, he seems at length to have been generally acknowledged by his natural subjects the undoubted heir of his father's authority.

IV. That, "regarding the sacred sincerity and friendship of the English, whose goodness and celebrity is everywhere known, who dispossess no one," the Nabob Fyzoola Khan made early overtures for peace to Colonel Alexander Champion, commander-in-chief of the Company's forces in Bengal: that he did propose to the said Colonel Alexander Champion, in three letters, received on the 14th, 24th, and 27th of May, to put himself under the protection either of the Company, or of the Vizier, through the mediation and with the guaranty of the Company; and that he did offer, "whatever was conferred upon him, to pay as much without damage or deficiency as any other person would agree to do": stating, at the same time, his condition and pretensions hereinbefore recited as facts "evident as the sun"; and appealing, in a forcible and awful manner, to the generosity and magnanimity of this nation, "by whose means he hoped in God that he should receive justice"; and as "the person who designed the war was no more," as "in that he was himself guiltless," and as "he had never acted in such a manner as for the Vizier to have taken hatred to his heart against him, that he might be reinstated in his ancient possessions, the country of Ins father."

V. That on the last of the three dates above mentioned, that is to say, on the 27th of May, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did also send to the commander-in-chief a vakeel, or ambassador, who was authorized on the part of him, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, his master, to make a specific offer of three propositions; and that by one of the said propositions "an annual increase of near 400,000l. would have accrued to the revenues of our ally, and the immediate acquisition of above 300,000l. to the Company, for their influence in effecting an accommodation perfectly consistent with their engagements to the Vizier," and strictly consonant to the demands of justice.

VI. That, so great was the confidence of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan in the just, humane, and liberal feelings of Englishmen, as to "lull him into an inactivity" of the most essential detriment to his interests: since, "in the hopes which he entertained from the interposition of our government," he declined the invitation of the Mogul to join the arms of his Majesty and the Mahrattas, "refused any connection with the Seiks," and did even neglect to take the obvious precaution of crossing the Ganges, as he had originally intended, while the river was yet fordable,—a movement that would have enabled him certainly to baffle all pursuit, and probably "to keep the Vizier in a state of disquietude for the remainder of his life."

VII. That the commander-in-chief, Colonel Alexander Champion aforesaid, "thought nothing could be more honorable to this nation than the support of so exalted a character; and whilst it could be done on terms so advantageous, supposed it very unlikely that the vakeel's proposition should be received with indifference"; that he did accordingly refer it to the administration through Warren Hastings, Esquire, then Governor of Fort William and President of Bengal; and he did at the same time inclose to the said Warren Hastings a letter from the Nabob Fyzoola Khan to the said Hastings,—which letter does not appear, but must be supposed to have been of the same tenor with those before cited to the commander-in-chief,—of which also copies were sent to the said Hastings by the commander-in-chief; and he, the commander-in-chief aforesaid, after urging to the said Hastings sundry good and cogent arguments of policy and prudence in favor of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, did conclude by "wishing for nothing so much as for the adoption of some measure that might strike all the powers of the East with admiration of our justice, in contrast to the conduct of the Vizier."

VIII. That, in answer to such laudable wish of the said commander-in-chief, the President, Warren Hastings, preferring his own prohibited plans of extended dominion to the mild, equitable, and wise policy inculcated in the standing orders of his superiors, and now enforced by the recommendation of the commander-in-chief, did instruct and "desire" him, the said commander-in-chief, "instead of soliciting the Vizier to relinquish his conquest to Fyzoola Khan, to discourage it as much as was in his power"; although the said Hastings did not once express, or even intimate, any doubt whatever of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan's innocence as to the origin of the war, or of his hereditary right to the territories which he claimed, but to the said pleas of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, as well as to the arguments both of policy and justice advanced by the commander-in-chief, he, the said Hastings, did solely oppose certain speculative objects of imagined expediency, summing up his decided rejection of the proposals made by the Nabob Fyzoola Khan in the following remarkable words. "With respect to Fyzoola Khan, he appears not to merit our consideration. The petty sovereign of a country estimated at six or eight lacs ought not for a moment to prove an impediment to any of our measures, or to affect the consistency of our conduct."

IX. That, in the aforesaid violent and arbitrary position, the said Warren Hastings did avow it to be a public principle of his government, that no right, however manifest, and no innocence, however unimpeached, could entitle the weak to our protection against others, or save them from our own active endeavors for their oppression, and even extirpation, should they interfere with our notions of political expediency; and that such a principle is highly derogatory to the justice and honor of the English name, and fundamentally injurious to our interests, inasmuch as it hath an immediate tendency to excite distrust, jealousy, fear, and hatred against us among all the subordinate potentates of Hindostan.

X. That, in prosecution of the said despotic principle, the President, Warren Hastings aforesaid, did persist to obstruct, as far as in him lay, every advance towards an accommodation between the Vizier Sujah ul Dowlah and the Nabob Fyzoola Khan; and particularly on the 16th of September, only eight days after the said Hastings, in, conjunction with the other members of the Select Committee of Bengal, had publicly testified his satisfaction in the prospect of an accommodation, and had hoped that "his Excellency [the Vizier] would be disposed to conciliate the affections [of the Rohillas] to his government by acceding to lenient terms," he, the said Hastings, did nevertheless write, and without the consent or knowledge of his colleagues did privately dispatch, a certain answer to a letter of the commander-in-chief, in which answer the said Hastings did express other contradictory hopes, namely, that the commander-in-chief had resolved on prosecuting the war to a final issue,—"because" (as the said Hastings explains himself) "it appears very plainly that Fyzoola Khan and his adherents lay at your mercy, because I apprehend much inconveniency from delays, and because I am morally certain that no good will he gained by negotiating": thereby artfully suggesting his wishes of what might be, in his hopes of what had been, resolved; and plainly, though indirectly, instigating the commander-in-chief to much effusion of blood in an immediate attack on the Rohillas, posted as they were "in a very strong situation," and "combating for all."

XI. That the said Hastings, in the answer aforesaid, did further endeavor to inflame the commander-in-chief against the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, by representing the said Nabob "as highly presuming, insolent, and evasive"; and knowing the distrust which the Nabob Fyzoola Khan entertained of the Vizier, the said Hastings did "expressly desire it should be left wholly to the Vizier to treat with the enemy by his own agents and in his own manner,"—though he, the said Hastings, "by no means wished the Vizier to lose time by seeking an accommodation, since it would be more effectual, more decisive, and more consistent with his dignity, indeed with his honor, which he has already pledged, to abide by his first offers, to dictate the conditions of peace, and to admit only an acceptance without reservation, or a clear refusal, from his adversary": thereby affecting to hold up, in opposition to and in exclusion of the substantial claims of justice, certain ideal obligations of dignity and honor,—that is to say, the gratification of pride, and the observance of an arrogant determination once declared.

XII. That, although the said answer did not reach the commander-in-chief until peace was actually concluded, and although the dangerous consequences to be apprehended from the said answer were thereby prevented, yet, by the sentiments contained in the said answer, Warren Hastings, Esquire, did strongly evince his ultimate adherence to all the former violent and unjust principles of his conduct towards the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, which principles were disgraceful to the character and injurious to the interests of this nation; and that the said Warren Hastings did thereby, in a particular manner, exclude himself from any share of credit for "the honorable period put to the Rohilla war, which has in some degree done away the reproach so wantonly brought on the English name."



I. That, notwithstanding the culpable and criminal reluctance of the President, Hastings, hereinbefore recited, a treaty of peace and friendship between the Vizier Sujah ul Dowlah and the Nabob Fyzoola Khan was finally signed and sealed on the 7th October, 1774, at a place called Lall-Dang, in the presence and with the attestation of the British commander-in-chief, Colonel Alexander Champion aforesaid; and that for the said treaty the Nabob Fyzoola Khan agreed to pay, and did actually pay, the valuable consideration of half his treasure, to the amount of fifteen lacs of rupees, or 150,000l. sterling, and upwards.

II. That by the said treaty the Nabob Fyzoola Khan was established in the quiet possession of Rampoor, Shahabad, and "some other districts dependent thereon," subject to certain conditions, of which the more important were as follow.

"That Fyzoola Khan should retain in his service five thousand troops, and not a single man more.

"That, with whomsoever the Vizier should make war, Fyzoola Khan should send two or three thousand men, according to his ability, to join the forces of the Vizier.

"And that, if the Vizier should march in person, Fyzoola Khan should himself accompany him with his troops."

III. That from the terms of the treaty above recited it doth plainly, positively, and indisputably appear that the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, in case of war, was not bound to furnish more than three thousand men under any construction, unless the Vizier should march in person.

IV. That the Nabob Fyzoola Khan was not positively bound to furnish so many as three thousand men, but an indefinite number, not more than three and not less than two thousand; that of the precise number within such limitations the ability of Fyzoola Khan, and not the discretion of the Vizier, was to be the standard; and that such ability could only mean that which was equitably consistent not only with the external defence of his jaghire, but with the internal good management thereof, both as to its police and revenue.

V. That, even in case the Vizier should march in person, it might be reasonably doubted whether the personal service of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan "with his troops" must be understood to be with all his troops, or only with the number before stipulated, not more than three and not less than two thousand men; and that the latter is the interpretation finally adopted by Warren Hastings aforesaid, and the Council of Bengal, who, in a letter to the Court of Directors, dated April 5th, 1783, represent the clauses of the treaty relative to the stipulated aid as meaning simply that Fyzoola Khan "should send two or three thousand men to join the Vizier's forces, or attend in person in case it should be requisite."

VI. That from the aforesaid terms of the treaty it doth not specifically appear of what the stipulated aid should consist, whether of horse or foot, or in what proportion of both; but that it is the recorded opinion, maturely formed by the said Hastings and his Council, in January, 1783, that even "a single horseman included in the aid which Fyzoola Khan might furnish would prove a literal compliance with the stipulation."

VII. That, in the event of any doubt fairly arising from the terms of the treaty, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, in consideration of his hereditary right to the whole country, and the price by him actually paid for the said treaty, was in equity entitled to the most favorable construction.

VIII. That, from the attestation of Colonel Champion aforesaid, the government of Calcutta acquired the same right to interpose with the Vizier for the protection of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan as they, the said government, had before claimed from a similar attestation of Sir Robert Barker to assist the Vizier in extirpating the whole nation of the said Fyzoola Khan,—more especially as in the case of Sir Robert Barker it was contrary to the remonstrances of the then administration, and the furthest from the intentions of the said Barker himself, that his attestation should involve the Company, but the attestation of Colonel Champion was authorized by all the powers of the government, as a "sanction" intended "to add validity" to the treaty; that they, the said government, and in particular the said Warren Hastings, as the first executive member of the same, were bound by the ties of natural justice duly to exercise the aforesaid right, if need were; and that their duty so to interfere was more particularly enforced by the spirit of the censures passed both by the Directors and Proprietors in the Rohilla war, and the satisfaction expressed by the Directors "in the honorable end put to that war."



I. That during the life of the Vizier Sujah ul Dowlah, and for some time after his death, under his son and successor, Asoph ul Dowlah, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did remain without disturbance or molestation; that he did all the while imagine his treaty to be under the sanction of the Company, from Colonel Champion's affixing his signature thereto as a witness, "which signature, as he [Fyzoola Khan] supposed," (rendered the Company the arbitrators) between the Vizier and himself, in case of disputes; and that, being "a man of sense, but extreme pusillanimity, a good farmer, fond of wealth, not possessed of the passion of ambition," he did peaceably apply himself to "improve the state of his country, and did, by his own prudence and attention, increase the revenues thereof beyond the amount specified in Sujah ul Dowlah's grant."

II. That in the year 1777, and in the beginning of the year 1778, being "alarmed at the young Vizier's resumption of a number of jaghires granted by his father to different persons, and the injustice and oppression of his conduct in general," and having now learned (from whom does not appear, but probably from some person supposed of competent authority) that Colonel Champion formerly witnessed the treaty as a private person, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did make frequent and urgent solicitations to Nathaniel Middleton, Esquire, then Resident at Oude, and to Warren Hastings aforesaid, then Governor-General of Bengal, "for a renovation of his [the Nabob Fyzoola Khan's] treaty with the late Vizier, and the guaranty of the Company," or for a "separate agreement with the Company for his defence": considering them, the Company, as "the only power in which he had confidence, and to which he could look up for protection."

III. That the said Resident Middleton, and the said Governor-General Hastings, did not, as they were in duty bound to do, endeavor to allay the apprehensions of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan by assuring him of his safety under the sanction of Colonel Champion's attestation aforesaid, but by their criminal neglect, if not by positive expressions, (as there is just ground from their subsequent language and conduct to believe,) they, the said Middleton and the said Hastings, did at least keep alive and confirm (whoever may have originally suggested) the said apprehension; and that such neglect alone was the more highly culpable in the said Hastings, inasmuch as he, the said Hastings, in conjunction with other members of the Select Committee of the then Presidency of Bengal, did, on the 17th of September, 1774, write to Colonel Champion aforesaid, publicly authorizing him, the said Colonel Champion, to join his sanction to the accommodations agreed on between the Vizier Sujah ul Dowlah and the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, to add to their validity,—and on the 6th of October following did again write to the said Colonel Champion, more explicitly, to join his sanction, "either by attesting the treaty, or acting as guaranty on the part of the Company for the performance of it": both which letters, though they did not arrive until after the actual signature of the said Colonel Champion, do yet incontrovertibly mark the solemn intention of the said Committee (of which the said Hastings was President) that the sanction of Colonel Champion's attestation should be regarded as a public, not a private, sanction; and it was more peculiarly incumbent on such persons, who had been members of the said Committee, so to regard the same.

IV. That the said Warren Hastings was further guilty of much criminal concealment for the space of "twelve months," inasmuch as he did not lay before the board the frequent and urgent solicitations which he, the said Hastings, was continually receiving from the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, until the 9th of March, 1778; on which day the said Hastings did communicate to the Council a public letter of the aforesaid Middleton, Resident at Oude, acquainting the board that he, the said Middleton, taking occasion from a late application of Fyzoola Khan for the Company's guaranty, had deputed Mr. Daniel Octavus Barwell (Assistant Resident at Benares, but then on a visit to the Resident Middleton at Lucknow) to proceed with a special commission to Rampoor, there to inquire on the spot into the truth of certain reports circulated to the prejudice of Fyzoola Khan, which reports, however, the said Middleton did afterwards confess himself to have "always" thought "in the highest degree improbable."

That the said Resident Middleton did "request to know whether, on proof of Fyzoola Khan's innocence, the honorable board would be pleased to grant him [the Resident] permission to comply with his [Fyzoola Khan's] request of the Company's guarantying his treaty with the Vizier." And the said Middleton, in excuse for having irregularly "availed himself of the abilities of Mr. Daniel Barwell," who belonged to another station, and for deputing him with the aforesaid commission to Rampoor without the previous knowledge of the board, did urge the plea "of immediate necessity"; and that such plea, if the necessity really existed, was a strong charge and accusation against the said Warren Hastings, from whose criminal neglect and concealment the urgency of such necessity did arise.

V. That the Governor-General, Warren Hastings aforesaid, did immediately move, "that the board approve the deputation of Mr. Daniel Barwell, and that the Resident [Middleton] be authorized to offer the Company's guaranty for the observance of the treaty subsisting between the Vizier and Fyzoola Khan, provided it meets with the Vizier's concurrence"; and that the Governor-General's proposition was resolved in the affirmative: the usual majority of Council then consisting of Richard Barwell, Esquire, a near relation of Daniel Octavus Barwell aforesaid, and the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, who, in case of an equality, had the casting voice.

VI. That, on receiving from Mr. Daniel Barwell full and early assurance of Fyzoola Khan's "having preserved every article of his treaty inviolate," the Resident, Middleton, applied for the Vizier's concurrence, which was readily obtained,—the Vizier, however, "premising, that he gave his consent, taking it for granted, that, on Fyzoola Khan's receiving the treaty and khelaut [or robe of honor], he was to make him a return of the complimentary presents usually offered on such occasions, and of such an amount as should be a manifestation of Fyzoola Khan's due sense of his friendship, and suitable to his Excellency's rank to receive"; and that the Resident, Middleton, "did make himself in some measure responsible for the said presents being obtained," and did write to Mr. Daniel Barwell accordingly.

VII. That, agreeably to the resolution of Council hereinbefore recited, the solicited guaranty, under the seal of the Resident, Middleton, thus duly authorized on behalf of the Company, was transmitted, together with the renewed treaty, to Mr. Daniel Barwell aforesaid at Rampoor, and that they were both by him, the said Barwell, presented to the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, with a solemnity not often paralleled, "in the presence of the greatest part of the Nabob's subjects, who were assembled, that the ceremony might create a full belief in the breasts of all his people that the Company would protect him as long as he strictly adhered to the letter of his treaty."

VIII. That, in the conclusion of the said ceremony, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did deliver to the said Barwell, for the use of the Vizier, a nuzzer (or present) of elephants, horses, &c., and did add thereto a lac of rupees, or 10,000l. and upwards: which sum the said Barwell, "not being authorized to accept any pecuniary consideration, did at first refuse; but upon Fyzoola Khan's urging, that on such occasions it was the invariable custom of Hindostan, and that it must on the present be expected, as it had been formerly the case," (but when does not appear,) he, the said Barwell, did accept the said lac in the name of the Vizier, our ally, "in whose wealth" (as Warren Hastings on another occasion observed) "we should participate," and on whom we at that time had an accumulating demand.

IX. That, over and above the lac of rupees thus presented to the Vizier, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did likewise offer one other lac of rupees, or upwards of 10,000l. more, for the Company, "as some acknowledgment of the obligation he received; that, although such acknowledgment was not pretended to be the invariable custom of Hindostan on such occasions, however it might on the present be expected," Mr. Daniel Barwell aforesaid (knowing, probably, the disposition and views of the then actual government at Calcutta) did not, even at first, decline the said offer, but, as he was not empowered to accept it, did immediately propose taking a bond for the amount, until the pleasure of the board should be known.

That the offer was accordingly communicated by the said Barwell to the Resident, Middleton, to be by him, the Resident, referred to the board, and that it was so referred; that, in reply to the said reference of the Resident, Middleton, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, did move and carry a vote of Council, "authorizing Mr. Middleton to accept the offer made by Fyzoola Khan to the Company of one lac of rupees," without assigning any reason whatever in support of the said motion, notwithstanding it was objected by a member of the board, "that, if the measure was right, it became us to adopt it without such a consideration," and that "our accepting of the lac of rupees as a recompense for our interposition is beneath the dignity of this government [of Calcutta], and will discredit us in the eyes of the Indian powers."

That the acceptance of the said sum, in this circumstance, was beneath the dignity of the said government, and did tend so to discredit us; and that the motion of the said Hastings for such acceptance was therefore highly derogatory to the honor of this nation.

X. That the aforesaid member of the Council did further disapprove altogether of the guaranty, "as unnecessary"; and that another member of Council, Richard Barwell, Esquire, the near relation of Daniel Octavus Barwell, hereinbefore named, did declare, (but after the said guaranty had taken place,) that "this government [of Calcutta] was in fact engaged by Colonel Champion's signature being to the treaty with Fyzoola Khan." That the said unnecessary guaranty did not only subject to an heavy expense a prince whom we were bound to protect, but did further produce in his mind the following obvious and natural conclusion, namely, "that the signature of any person, in whatever public capacity he at present appears, will not be valid and of effect, as soon as some other shall fill his station": a conclusion, however, immediately tending to the total discredit of all powers delegated from the board to any individual servant of the Company, and consequently to clog, perplex, and embarrass in future all transactions carried on at a distance from the seat of government, and to disturb the security of all persons possessing instruments already so ratified,—yet the only conclusion left to Fyzoola Khan which did not involve some affront either to the private honor of the Company's servants or to the public honor of the Company itself; and that the suspicions which originated from the said idea in the breast of Fyzoola Khan to the prejudice of the Resident Middleton's authority did compel the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, to obviate the bad effects of his first motion for the guaranty by a second motion, namely, "That a letter be written to Fyzoola Khan from myself, confirming the obligations of the Company as guaranties to the treaty formed between him and the Vizier,—which will be equivalent in its effect, though not in form, to an engagement sent him with the Company's seal affixed to it."

XII.[23] That, whether the guaranty aforesaid was or was not necessary, whether it created a new obligation or but more fully recognized an obligation previously existing, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, by the said guaranty, did, in the most explicit manner, pledge and commit the public faith of the Company and the nation; and that by the subsequent letter of the said Hastings (which he at his own motion wrote, confirming to Fyzoola Khan the aforesaid guaranty) the said Hastings did again pledge and commit the public faith of the Company and the nation, in a manner (as the said Hastings himself remarked) "equivalent to an engagement with the Company's seal affixed to it," and more particularly binding the said Hastings personally to exact a due observance of the guarantied treaty, especially to protect the Nabob Fyzoola Khan against any arbitrary construction or unwarranted requisition of the Vizier.



I. That, soon after the completion of the guaranty, in the same year, 1778, intelligence was received in India of a war between England and France; that, on the first intimation thereof, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, "being indirectly sounded," did show much "promptness to render the Company any assistance within the bounds of his finances and ability"; and that by the suggestion of the Resident, Middleton, hereinbefore named, he, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, in a letter to the Governor-General and Council, did make a voluntary "offer to maintain two thousand cavalry (all he had) for our service," "though he was under no obligation to furnish the Company with a single man."

II. That the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did even "anticipate the wishes of the board"; and that, "on an application made to him by Lieutenant-Colonel Muir," the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did, "without hesitation or delay," furnish him, the said Muir, with five hundred of his best cavalry.

That the said conduct of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan was communicated by the Company's servants both to each other and to their employers, with expressions of "pleasure" and "particular satisfaction," as an event "even surpassing their expectations"; that the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, was officially requested to convoy "the thanks of the board"; and that, not satisfied with the bare discharge of his duty under the said request, he, the said Hastings, did, on the 8th of January, 1779, write to Fyzoola, "that, in his own name," as well as "that of the board, he [the said Hastings] returned him the warmest thanks for this instance of his faithful attachment to the Company and the English nation."

IV.[24] That by the strong expressions above recited the said Warren Hastings did deliberately and emphatically add his own particular confirmation to the general testimony of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan's meritorious fidelity, and of his consequent claim on the generosity, no less than the justice, of the British government.



I. That, notwithstanding his own private honor thus deeply engaged, notwithstanding the public justice and generosity of the Company and the nation thus solemnly committed, disregarding the plain import and positive terms of the guarantied treaty, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings aforesaid, in November, 1780, while a body of Fyzoola Khan's cavalry, voluntarily granted, were still serving under a British officer, did recommend to the Vizier "to require from Fyzoola Khan the quota of troops stipulated by treaty to be furnished by the latter for his [the Vizier's] service, being FIVE THOUSAND HORSE," though, as the Vizier did not march in person, he was not, under any construction of the treaty, entitled by stipulation to more than "two or three thousand troops," horse and foot, "according to the ability of Fyzoola Khan"; and that, whereas the said Warren Hastings would have been guilty of very criminal perfidy, if he had simply neglected to interfere as a guaranty against a demand thus plainly contrary to the faith of treaty, so he aggravated the guilt of his perfidy in the most atrocious degree by being himself the first mover and instigator of that injustice, which he was bound by so many ties on himself, the Company, and the nation, not only not to promote, but, by every exertion of authority, influence, and power, to control, to divert, or to resist.

II. That the answer of Fyzoola Khan to the Vizier did represent, with many expressions of deference, duty, and allegiance, that the whole force allowed him was but "five thousand men," and that "these consisted of two thousand horse and three thousand foot; which," he adds, "in consequence of our intimate connection, are equally yours and the Company's": though he does subsequently intimate, that "the three thousand foot are for the management of the concerns of his jaghire, and without them the collections can never be made in time."

That, on the communication of the said answer to the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, he, the said Hastings, (who, as the Council now consisted only of himself and Edward Wheler, Esquire, "united in his own person all the powers of government,") was not induced to relax from his unjust purpose, but did proceed with new violence to record, that "the Nabob Fyzoola Khan had evaded the performance of his part of the treaty between the late Nabob Sujah ul Dowlah and him, to which the Honorable Company were guaranties, and upon which he was lately summoned to furnish the stipulated number of troops, which he is obliged to furnish on the condition by which he holds the jaghire granted to him."

That, by the vague and indefinite term of evasion, the said Warren Hastings did introduce a loose and arbitrary principle of interpreting formal engagements, which ought to be regarded, more especially by guaranties, ill a sense the most literally scrupulous and precise.

That he charged with such evasion a moderate, humble, and submissive representation on a point which would have warranted a peremptory refusal and a positive remonstrance; and that in consequence of the said imputed evasion he indicated a disposition to attach such a forfeiture as in justice could only have followed from a gross breach of treaty,—though the said Hastings did not then pretend any actual infringement even of the least among the conditions to which, in the name of the Company, he, the said Hastings, was the executive guaranty.

III. That, however "the number of troops stipulated by treaty may have been understood," at the period of the original demand, "to be five thousand horse," yet the said Warren Hastings, at the time when he recorded the supposed evasion of Fyzoola Khan's answer to the said demand, could not be unacquainted with the express words of the stipulation, as a letter of the Vizier, inserted in the same Consultation, refers the Governor-General to inclosed copies "of all engagements entered into by the late Vizier and by himself [the reigning Vizier] with Fyzoola Khan," and that the treaty itself, therefore, was at the very moment before the said Warren Hastings: which treaty (as the said Hastings observed with respect to another treaty, in the case of another person) "most assuredly does not contain a syllable to justify his conduct; but, by the unexampled latitude which he assumes in his constructions, he may, if he pleases, extort this or any other meaning from any part of it."[25]

IV. That the Vizier himself appears by no means to have been persuaded of his own right to five thousand horse under the treaty,—since, in his correspondence on the subject, he, the Vizier, nowhere mentions the treaty as the ground of his demand, except where he is recapitulating to the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, the substance of his, the said Hastings's, own letters; on the contrary, the Vizier hints his apprehensions lest Fyzoola Khan should appeal to the treaty against the demand, as a breach thereof,—in which case, he, the Vizier, informs the said Hastings of the projected reply. "Should Fyzoola Khan" (says the Vizier) "mention anything of the tenor of the treaty, the first breach of it has been committed by him, in keeping up more men than allowed of by the treaty: I have accordingly sent a person to settle that point also. In case he should mention to me anything respecting the treaty, I will then reproach him with having kept up too many troops, and will oblige him to send the five thousand horse": thereby clearly intimating, that, as a remonstrance against the demand as a breach of treaty could only be answered by charging a prior breach of treaty on Fyzoola Khan, so by annulling the whole treaty to reduce the question to a mere question of force, and thus "oblige Fyzoola Khan to send the five thousand horse": "for," (continues the Vizier,) "if, when the Company's affairs, on which my honor depends, require it, Fyzoola Khan will not lend his assistance, what USE is there to continue the country to him?"

That the Vizier actually did make his application to Fyzoola Khan for the five thousand horse, not as for an aid to which he had a just claim, but as for something over and above the obligations of the treaty, something "that would give increase to their friendship and satisfaction to the Nabob Governor," (meaning the said Hastings,) whose directions he represents as the motive "of his call for the five thousand horse to be employed," not in his, the Vizier's, "but in the Company's service."

And that the aforesaid Warren Hastings did, therefore, in recording the answer of Fyzoola Khan as an evasion of treaty, act in notorious contradiction not only to that which ought to have been the fair construction of the said treaty, but to that which he, the said Hastings, must have known to be the Vizier's own interpretation of the same, disposed as the Vizier was "to reproach Fyzoola Khan with breach of treaty," and to "send up persons who should settle points with him."

V. That the said Warren Hastings, not thinking himself justified, on the mere plea of an evasion, to push forward his proceedings to that extremity which he seems already to have made his scope and object, and seeking some better color for his unjust and violent purposes, did further move, that commissioners should be sent from the Vizier and the Company to Fyzoola Khan, to insist on a clause of a treaty which nowhere appears, being essentially different from the treaty of Lall-Dang, though not in the part on which the requisition is founded; and the said Hastings did then, in a style unusually imperative, proceed as follows.

"Demand immediate delivery of three thousand cavalry; and if he should evade or refuse compliance, that the deputies shall deliver him a formal protest against him for breach of treaty, and return, making this report to the Vizier, which Mr. Middleton is to transmit to the board."

VI. That the said motion of the Governor-General, Hastings, was ordered accordingly,—the Council, as already has been herein related, consisting but of two members, and the said Hastings consequently "uniting in his own person all the powers of government."

VII. That, when the said Hastings ordered the said demand for three thousand cavalry, he, the said Hastings, well knew that a compliance therewith, on the part of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, was utterly impossible: for he, the said Hastings, had at the very moment before him a letter of Fyzoola Khan, stating, that he, Fyzoola Khan, had "but two thousand cavalry" altogether; which letter is entered on the records of the Company, in the same Consultation, immediately preceding the Governor-General's minute. That the said Hastings, therefore, knew that the only possible consequence of the aforesaid demand necessarily and inevitably must be a protest for a breach of treaty; and the Court of Directors did not hesitate to declare that the said demand "carried the appearance of a determination to create a pretext for depriving him [Fyzoola Khan] of his jaghire entirely, or to leave him at the mercy of the Vizier."

VIII. That Richard Johnson, Esquire, Assistant Resident at Oude, was, agreeably to the afore-mentioned order of Council, deputed commissioner from Mr. Middleton and the Vizier to Fyzoola Khan; but that he did early give the most indecent proofs of glaring partiality, to the prejudice of the said Fyzoola Khan: for that the very next day (as it seems) after his arrival, he, the said Johnson, from opinions imbibed in his journey, did state himself to be "unwilling to draw any favorable or flattering inferences relatively to the object of his mission," and did studiously seek to find new breaches of treaty, and, without any form of regular inquiry whatever, from a single glance of his eye in passing, did take upon himself to pronounce "the Rohilla soldiers, in the district of Rampoor alone, to be not less than twenty thousand," and the grant of course to be forfeited. And that such a gross and palpable display of a predetermination to discover guilt did argue in the said Johnson a knowledge, a strong presumption, or a belief, that such representations would be agreeable to the secret wishes and views of the said Hastings, under whose orders he, the said Johnson, acted, and to whom all his reports were to be referred.

IX. That the said Richard Johnson, did soon after proceed to the immediate object of his mission, "which" (the said Johnson relates) "was short to a degree." The demand was made, and "a flat refusal" given. The question was repeated, with like effect. The said Johnson, in presence of proper witnesses, then drew up his protest, "together with a memorandum of a palliative offer made by the Nabob Fyzoola Khan," and inserted in the protest:—"That he would, in compliance with the demand, and in conformity to the treaty, which specified no definite number of cavalry or infantry, only expressing troops, furnish three thousand men: viz., he would, in addition to the one thousand cavalry already granted, give one thousand more, when and wheresoever required, and one thousand foot,"—together with one year's pay in advance, and funds for the regular payment of them in future.

And this, the said Richard Johnson observes, "I put down at his [the Nabob Fyzoola Khan's] particular desire, but otherwise useless; as my orders" (which orders do not appear) "were, not to receive any palliation, but a negative or affirmative": though such palliation, as it is called by the said Johnson, might be, as it was, in the strictest conformity to the treaty.

X. That in the said offer the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, instead of palliating, did at once admit the extreme right of the Vizier under the treaty, by agreeing to furnish three thousand men, when he, Fyzoola Khan, would have been justified in pleading his inability to send more than two thousand; that such inability would not (as appears) have been a false and evasive plea, but perfectly true and valid,—as the three thousand foot maintained by Fyzoola Khan were for the purposes of his internal government, for which the whole three thousand must have been demonstrably necessary; and that the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, by declining to avail himself of a plea so fair, so well founded, and so consonant to the indulgence expressly acknowledged in the treaty, and by thus meeting the specific demand of the Vizier as fully as, according to his own military establishment, he could, did for the said offer deserve rather the thanks of the said Vizier and the Company than the protest which the aforesaid Johnson, under the orders of Warren Hastings, did deliver.

XI. That the report of the said protest, as well as the former letter of the said Johnson, were by the Resident, Middleton, transmitted to the board, together with a letter from the Vizier, founded on the said report and letter of the said Johnson, and proposing in consequence "to resume the grant, and to leave Fyzoola Khan to join his other faithless brethren who were sent across the Ganges."

That the said papers were read in Council on the 4th of June, 1781, when the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, did move and carry a vote to suspend a final resolution on the same: and the said Hastings did not express any disapprobation of the proceedings of the said Johnson; neither did the said Hastings assign any reasons for his motion of suspension, which passed without debate. That in truth the said Hastings had then projected a journey up the country to meet the Vizier for the settlement of articles relative to the regulation of Oude and its dependencies, among which was included the jaghire of Fyzoola Khan; and the said Hastings, for the aforesaid purposes, did, on the 3d of July, by his own casting vote, grant to himself, and did prevail on his colleague, Edward Wheler, Esquire, to grant, a certain illegal delegation of the whole powers of the Governor-General and Council, and on the seventh of the same month did proceed on his way to join the Vizier at a place called Chunar, on the borders of Benares; and that the aforesaid vote of suspending a final resolution on the transactions with Fyzoola Khan was therefore in substance and effect a reference thereof by the said Hastings from himself in council with his colleague, Wheler, to himself in conference and negotiation with the Vizier, who, from the first demand of the five thousand horse, had taken every occasion of showing his inclination to dispossess Fyzoola Khan, and who before the said demand (in a letter which does not appear, but which the Vizier himself quotes as antecedent to the said demand) had complained to the said Hastings of the "injury and irregularity in the management of the provinces bordering on Rampoor, arising from Fyzoola Khan having the uncontrolled dominion of that district."



I. That the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, being vested with the illegal powers before recited, did, on the 19th of September, 1781, enter into a treaty with the Vizier at Chunar,—which treaty (as the said Hastings relates) was drawn up "from a series of requisitions presented to him [the said Hastings] by the Vizier," and by him received "with an instant and unqualified assent to each article"; and that the said Hastings assigns his reasons for such ready assent in the following words: "I considered the subjects of his [the Vizier's] requests as essential to the reputation of our government, and no less to our interest than his."

II. That in the said treaty of Chunar the third article is as follows.

"That, as Fyzoola Khan has by his breach of treaty forfeited the protection of the English government, and causes by his continuance in his present independent state great alarm and detriment to the Nabob Vizier, he be permitted, when time shall suit, to resume his lands, and pay him in money, through the Resident, the amount stipulated by treaty, after deducting the amount and charges of the troops he stands engaged to furnish by treaty; which amount shall be passed to the account of the Company during the continuance of the present war."

III. That, for the better elucidation of his policy in the several articles of the treaty above mentioned, the said Hastings did send to the Council of Calcutta (now consisting of Edward Wheler and John Macpherson, Esquires) two different copies of the said treaty, with explanatory minutes opposed to each article; and that the minute opposed to the third article is thus expressed.

"The conduct of Fyzoola Khan, in refusing the aid demanded, though (1.) not an absolute breach of treaty, was evasive and uncandid. (2.) The demand was made for five thousand cavalry. (3.) The engagement, in the treaty is literally for five thousand horse and foot. Fyzoola Khan could not be ignorant that we had no occasion for any succors of infantry from him, and that cavalry would be of the most essential service. (4.) So scrupulous an attention to literal expression, when a more liberal interpretation would have been highly useful and acceptable to us, strongly marks his unfriendly disposition, though it may not impeach his fidelity, and leaves him little claim to any exertions from us for the continuance of his jaghires. But (5.) I am of opinion that neither the Vizier's nor the Company's interests would be promoted by depriving Fyzoola Khan of his independency, and I have (6.) therefore reserved the execution of this agreement to an indefinite term; and our government may always interpose to prevent any ill effects from it."

IV. That, in his aforesaid authentic evidence of his own purposes, motives, and principles, in the third article of the treaty of Chunar, the said Hastings hath established divers matters of weighty and serious crimination against himself.

1st. That the said Hastings doth acknowledge therein, that he did, in a public instrument, solemnly recognize, "as a breach of treaty," and as such did subject to the consequent penalties, an act which he, the said Hastings, did at the same time think, and did immediately declare, to be "no breach of treaty"; and by so falsely and unjustly proceeding against a person under the Company's guaranty, the said Hastings, on his own confession, did himself break the faith of the said guaranty.

2d. That, in justifying this breach of the Company's faith, the said Hastings doth wholly abandon his second peremptory demand for the three thousand horse, and the protest consequent thereon; and the said Hastings doth thereby himself condemn the violence and injustice of the same.

3dly. That, in recurring to the original demand of five thousand horse as the ground of his justification, the said Hastings doth falsely assert "the engagement in the treaty to be literally FIVE thousand horse and foot," whereas it is in fact for TWO or THREE thousand men; and the said Hastings doth thereby wilfully attempt to deceive and mislead his employers, which is an high crime and misdemeanor in a servant of so great trust.

4thly. That, with a view to his further justification, the said Hastings doth advance a principle that "a scrupulous attention to the literal expression" of a guarantied treaty "leaves" to the person so observing the same "but little claim to the exertions" of a guaranty on his behalf; that such a principle is utterly subversive of all faith of guaranties, and is therefore highly criminal in the first executive member of a government that must necessarily stand in that mutual relation to many.

5thly. That the said Hastings doth profess his opinion of an article to which he gave an "instant and unqualified assent," that it was a measure "by which neither the Vizier's nor the Company's interests would be promoted," but from which, without some interposition, "ill effects" must be expected; and that the said Hastings doth thereby charge himself with a high breach of trust towards his employers.

6thly. That the said Hastings having thus confessed that consciously and wilfully (from what motives he hath not chosen to confess) he did give his formal sanction to a measure both of injustice and impolicy, he, the said Hastings, doth urge in his defence, that he did at the same time insert words "reserving the execution of the said agreement to an indefinite term," with an intent that it might in truth be never executed at all,—but that "our government might always interpose," without right, by means of an indirect and undue influence, to prevent the ill effects following from a collusive surrender of a clear and authorized right to interpose; and the said Hastings doth thereby declare himself to have introduced a principle of duplicity, deceit, and double-dealing into a public engagement, which ought in its essence to be clear, open, and explicit; that such a declaration tends to shake and overthrow the confidence of all in the most solemn instruments of any person so declaring, and is therefore an high crime and misdemeanor in the first executive member of government, by whom all treaties and other engagements of the state are principally to be conducted.

V. That, by the explanatory minute aforesaid, the said Warren Hastings doth further, in the most direct manner, contradict his own assertions in the very letter which inclosed the said minute to his colleagues; for that one of the articles to which he there gave "an instant and unqualified assent, as no less to our interest than to the Vizier's" he doth here declare unequivocally to be neither to our interests nor the Vizier's; and the "unqualified assent" given to the said article is now so qualified as wholly to defeat itself. That by such irreconcilable contradictions the said Hastings doth incur the suspicion of much criminal misrepresentation in other like cases of unwitnessed conferences; and in the present instance (as far as it extends) the said Hastings doth prove himself to have given an account both of his actions and motives by his own confession untrue, for the purpose of deceiving his employers, which is an high crime and misdemeanor in a servant of so great trust.

VI. That the said third article of the treaty of Chunar, as it thus stands explained by the said Hastings himself, doth on the whole appear designed to hold the protection of the Company in suspense; that it acknowledges all right of interference to cease, but leaves it to our discretion to determine when it will suit our conveniency to give the Vizier the liberty of acting on the principles by us already admitted; that it is dexterously constructed to balance the desires of one man, rapacious and profuse, against the fears of another, described as "of extreme pusillanimity and wealthy," but that, whatever may have been the secret objects of the artifice and intrigue confessed to form its very essence, it must on the very face of it necessarily implicate the Company in a breach of faith, whichever might be the event, as they must equally break their faith either by withdrawing their guaranty unjustly or by continuing that guaranty in contradiction to this treaty of Chunar; that it thus tends to hold out to India, and to the whole world, that the public principle of the English government is a deliberate system of injustice joined with falsehood, of impolicy, of bad faith, and treachery; and that the said article is therefore in the highest degree derogatory to the honor, and injurious to the interests of this nation.



I. That, in consequence of the treaty of Chunar, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, did send official instructions respecting the various articles of the said treaty to the said Resident, Middleton; and that, in a postscript, the said Hastings did forbid the resumption of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan's jaghire, "until circumstances may render it more expedient and easy to be attempted than the present more material pursuits of government make it appear": thereby intimating a positive limitation of the indefinite term in the explanatory minute above recited, and confining the suspension of the article to the pressure of the war.

II. That, soon after the date of the said instructions, and within two months of the signature of the treaty of Chunar, the said Hastings did cause Sir Elijah Impey, Knight, his Majesty's chief-justice at Fort William, to discredit the justice of the crown of Great Britain by making him the channel of unwarrantable communication, and did, through the said Sir Elijah, signify to the Resident, Middleton, his, the said Hastings's, "approbation of a subsidy from Fyzoola Khan."

III. That the Resident, in answer, represents the proper equivalent for two thousand horse and one thousand foot (the forces offered to Mr. Johnson by Fyzoola Khan) to be twelve lacs, or 120,000l. sterling and upwards, each year; which the said Resident supposes is considerably beyond what he, Fyzoola Khan, will voluntarily pay: "however, if it is your wish that the claim should be made, I am ready to take it up, and you may he assured nothing in my power shall be left undone to carry it through."

IV. That the reply of the said Hastings doth not appear; but that it does appear on record that "a negotiation" (Mr. Johnson's) "was begun for Fyzoola Khan's cavalry to act with General Goddard, and, on his [Fyzoola Khan's] evading it, that a sum of money was demanded."

V. That, in the months of February, March, and April, the Resident, Middleton, did repeatedly propose the resumption of Fyzoola Khan's jaghire, agreeably to the treaty of Chunar; and that, driven to extremity (as the said Hastings supposes) "by the public menaces and denunciations of the Resident and minister," Hyder Beg Khan, a creature of the said Hastings, and both the minister and Resident acting professedly on and under the treaty of Chunar, "the Nabob Fyzoola Khan made such preparations, and such a disposition of his family and wealth, as evidently manifested either an intended or an expected rupture."

VI. That on the 6th of May the said Hastings did send his confidential agent and friend, Major Palmer, on a private commission to Lucknow; and that the said Palmer was charged with secret instructions relative to Fyzoola Khan, but of what import cannot be ascertained, the said Hastings in his public instructions having inserted only the name of Fyzoola Khan, as a mere reference (according to the explanation of the said Hastings) to what he had verbally communicated to the said Palmer; and that the said Hastings was thereby guilty of a criminal concealment.

VII. That some time about the month of August an engagement happened between a body of Fyzoola Khan's cavalry and a part of the Vizier's army, in which the latter were beaten, and their guns taken; that the Resident, Middleton, did represent the same but as a slight and accidental affray; that it was acknowledged the troops of the Vizier were the aggressors; that it did appear to the board, and to the said Hastings himself, an affair of more considerable magnitude; and that they did make the concealment thereof an article of charge against the Resident, Middleton, though the said Resident did in truth acquaint them with the same, but in a cursory manner.

VIII. That, immediately after the said "fray" at Daranagur, the Vizier (who was "but a cipher in the hands" of the minister and the Resident, both of them directly appointed and supported by the said Hastings) did make of Fyzoola Khan a new demand, equally contrary to the true intent and meaning of the treaty as his former requisitions: which new demand was for the detachment in garrison at Daranagur to be cantoned as a stationary force at Lucknow, the capital of the Vizier; whereas he, the Vizier, had only a right to demand an occasional aid to join his army in the field or in garrison during a war. But the said new demand being evaded, or rather refused, agreeably to the fair construction of the treaty, by the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, the matter was for the present dropped.

IX. That in the letter in which the Resident, Middleton, did mention "what he calls the fray" aforesaid, the said Middleton did again apply for the resumption of the jaghire of Rampoor; and that, the objections against the measure being now removed, (by the separate peace with Sindia,) he desired to know if the board "would give assurances of their support to the Vizier, in case, which" (says the Resident) "I think very probable, his [the Vizier's] own strength should be found unequal to the undertaking."

X. That, although the said Warren Hastings did make the foregoing application a new charge against the Resident, Middleton, yet the said Hastings did only criminate the said Middleton for a proposal tending "at such a crisis to increase the number of our enemies," and did in no degree, either in his articles of charge or in his accompanying minutes, express any disapprobation whatever of the principle; that, in truth, the whole proceedings of the said Resident were the natural result of the treaty of Chunar; that the said proceedings were from time to time communicated to the said Hastings; that, as he nowhere charges any disobedience of orders on Mr. Middleton with respect to Fyzoola Khan, it may be justly inferred that the said Hastings did not interfere to check the proceedings of the said Middleton on that subject; and that by such criminal neglect the said Hastings did make the guilt of the said Middleton, whatever it might be, his own.



I. That on the charges and for the misdemeanors above specified, together with divers other accusations, the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, in September, 1782, did remove the aforesaid Middleton from his office of Resident at Oude, and did appoint thereto John Bristow, Esquire, whom he had twice before, without cause, recalled from the same; and that about the same time the said Hastings did believe the mind of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan to be so irritated, in consequence of the above-recited conduct of the late Resident, Middleton, and of his, the said Hastings's, own criminal neglect, that he, the said Hastings, found it necessary to write to Fyzoola Khan, assuring him "of the favorable disposition of the government toward him, while he shall not have forfeited it by any improper conduct"; but that the said assurances of the Governor-General did not tend, as soon after appeared, to raise much confidence in the Nabob, over whom a public instrument of the same Hastings was still holding the terrors of a deprivation of his jaghire, and an exile "among his other faithless brethren across the Ganges."

II. That, on the subject of Fyzoola Khan, the said Hastings, in his instructions to the new Resident, Bristow, did leave him to be guided by his own discretion; but he adds, "Be careful to prevent the Vizier's affairs from being involved with new difficulties, while he has already so many to oppress him": thereby plainly hinting at some more decisive measures, whenever the Vizier should be less oppressed with difficulties.

III. That the Resident, Bristow, after acquainting the Governor-General with his intentions, did under the said instructions renew the aforesaid claim for a sum of money, but with much caution and circumspection, distantly sounding Allif Khan, the vakeel (or envoy) of Fyzoola Khan at the court of the Vizier; that "Allif Khan wrote to his master on the subject, and in answer he was directed not to agree to the granting of any pecuniary aid."

IV. That the Resident, Bristow, did then openly depute Major Palmer aforesaid, with the concurrence of the Vizier, and the approbation of the Governor-General, to the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, at Rampoor; and that the said Palmer was to "endeavor to convince the Nabob that all doubts of his attachment to the Vizier are ceased, and whatever claims may be made on him are founded upon the basis of his interest and advantage and a plan of establishing his right to the possession of his jaghire."

That the sudden ceasing of the said doubts, without any inquiry of the slightest kind, doth warrant a strong presumption of the Resident's conviction that they never really existed, but were artfully feigned, as a pretence for some harsh interposition; and that the indecent mockery of establishing, as a matter of favor, for a pecuniary consideration, rights which were never impeached but by the treaty of Chunar, (an instrument recorded by Warren Hastings himself to be founded on falsehood and injustice,) doth powerfully prove the true purpose and object of all the duplicity, deceit, and double-dealing with which that treaty was projected and executed.

V. That the said Palmer was instructed by the Resident, Bristow, with the subsequent approbation of the Governor-General, "to obtain from Fyzoola Khan an annual tribute"; to which the Resident adds,—"If you can procure from him, over and above this, a peshcush [or fine] of at least five lacs, it would be rendering an essential service to the Vizier, and add to the confidence his Excellency would hereafter repose in the attachment of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan." And that the said Governor-General, Hastings, did give the following extraordinary ground of calculation, as the basis of the said Palmer's negotiation for the annual tribute aforesaid.

"It was certainly understood, at the time the treaty was concluded, (of which this stipulation was a part,) that it applied solely to cavalry: as the Nabob Vizier, possessing the service of our forces, could not possibly require infantry, and least of all such infantry as Fyzoola Khan could furnish; and a single horseman included in the aid which Fyzoola Khan might furnish would prove a literal compliance with the said stipulation. The number, therefore, of horse implied by it ought at least to be ascertained: we will suppose five thousand, and, allowing the exigency for their attendance to exist only in the proportion of one year in five, reduce the demand to one thousand for the computation of the subsidy, which, at the rate of fifty rupees per man, will amount to fifty thousand per mensem. This may serve for the basis of this article in the negotiation upon it."

VI. That the said Warren Hastings doth then continue to instruct the said Palmer in the alternative of a refusal from Fyzoola Khan. "If Fyzoola Khan shall refuse to treat for a subsidy, and claim the benefit of his original agreement in its literal expression, he possesses a right which we cannot dispute, and it will in that case remain only to fix the precise number of horse which he shall furnish, which ought at least to exceed twenty-five hundred."

VII. That, in the above-recited instruction, the said Warren Hastings doth insinuate (for he doth not directly assert),—

1st. That we are entitled by treaty to five thousand troops, which he says were undoubtedly intended to be all cavalry.

2d. That the said Hastings doth then admit that a single horseman, included in the aid furnished by Fyzoola Khan, would prove a literal compliance.

3d. That the said Hastings doth next resort again to the supposition of our right to the whole five thousand cavalry.

4th. That the said Hastings doth afterwards think, in the event of an explanation of the treaty, and a settlement of the proportion of cavalry, instead of a pecuniary commutation, it will be all we can demand that the number should at least exceed twenty-five hundred.

5th. That the said Hastings doth, in calculating the supposed time of their service, assume an arbitrary estimate of one year of war to four of peace; which (however moderate the calculation may appear on the average of the said Hastings's own government) doth involve a principle in a considerable degree repugnant to the system of perfect peace inculcated in the standing orders of the Company.

6th. That, in estimating the pay of the cavalry to be commuted, the said Hastings doth fix the pay of each man at fifty rupees a month; which on five thousand troops, all cavalry, (as the said Hastings supposes the treaty of Lall-Dang to have meant,) would amount to an expense of thirty lacs a year, or between 300,000l. or 400,000l. And this expense, strictly resulting (according to the calculations of the said Hastings) from the intention of Sujah ul Dowlah's grant to Fyzoola Khan, was designed to be supported out of a jaghire valued at fifteen lacs only, or something more than 150,000l. of yearly revenue, just half the amount of the expense to be incurred in consideration of the said jaghire.

And that a basis of negotiation so inconsistent, so arbitrary, and so unjust is contrary to that uprightness and integrity which should mark the transactions of a great state, and is highly derogatory to the honor of this nation.

VIII. That, notwithstanding the seeming moderation and justice of the said Hastings in admitting the clear and undoubted right of Fyzoola Khan to insist on his treaty, the head of instruction immediately succeeding doth afford just reason for a violent presumption that such apparent lenity was but policy, to give a color to his conduct: he, the said Hastings, in the very next paragraph, bringing forth a new engine of oppression, as follows.

"To demand the surrender of all the ryots [or peasants] of the Nabob Vizier's dominions to whom Fyzoola has given protection and service, or an annual tribute in compensation for the loss sustained by the Nabob Vizier in his revenue thus transferred to Fyzoola Khan.

"You have stated the increase of his jaghire, occasioned by this act, at the moderate sum of fifteen lacs. The tribute ought at least to be one third of that amount.

"We conceive that Fyzoola Khan himself may be disposed to yield to the preceding demand, on the additional condition of being allowed to hold his lands in ultumgaw [or an inheritable tenure] instead of his present tenure by jaghire [or a tenure for life]. This we think the Vizier can have no objection to grant, and we recommend it; but for this a fine, or peshcush, ought to be immediately paid, in the customary proportion of the jumma, estimated at thirty lacs."

IX. That the Resident, Bristow, (to whom the letter containing Major Palmer's instructions is addressed,) nowhere attributes the increase of Fyzoola Khan's revenues to this protection of the fugitive ryots, subjects of the Vizier; that the said Warren Hastings was, therefore, not warranted to make that a pretext of such a peremptory demand. That, as an inducement to make Fyzoola Khan agree to the said demand, it is offered to settle his lands upon a tenure which would secure them to his children; but that settlement is to bring with it a new demand of a fine of thirty lacs, or 300,000l. and upwards; that the principles of the said demand are violent and despotic, and the inducement to acquiescence deceitful and insidious; and that both the demand and the inducement are derogatory to the honor of this nation.

X. That Major Palmer aforesaid proceeded under these instructions to Rampoor, where his journey "to extort a sum of money" was previously known from Allif Khan, vakeel of Fyzoola Khan at the Vizier's court; and that, notwithstanding the assurances of the friendly disposition of government given by the said Hastings, (as is herein related,) the Nabob Fyzoola Khan did express the most serious and desponding apprehensions, both by letter and through his vakeel, to the Resident, Bristow, who represents them to Major Palmer in the following manner.

"The Nabob Fyzoola Khan complains of the distresses he has this year suffered from the drought. The whole collections have, with great management, amounted to about twelve lacs of rupees, from which sum he has to support his troops, his family, and several relations and dependants of the late Rohilla chiefs. He says, it clearly appears to be intended to deprive him of his country, as the high demand you have made of him is inadmissible. Should he have assented to it, it would be impossible to perform the conditions, and then his reputation would be injured by a breach of agreement. Allif Khan further represents, that it is his master's intention, in case the demand should not be relinquished by you, first to proceed to Lucknow, where he proposes having an interview with the Vizier and the Resident; if he should not be able to obtain his own terms for a future possession of his jaghire, he will set off for Calcutta in order to pray for justice from the Honorable the Governor-General. He observes, it is the custom of the Honorable Company, when they deprive a chief of his country, to grant him some allowance. This he expects from Mr. Hastings's bounty; but if he should be disappointed, he will certainly set off upon a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, and renounce the cares of the world.—He directs his vakeel to ascertain whether the English intend to deprive him of his country; for if they do, he is ready to surrender it, upon receiving an order from the Resident."

XI. That, after much negotiation, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, "being fully sensible that an engagement to furnish military aid, however clearly the conditions might be stated, must be a source of perpetual misunderstanding and inconveniencies," did at length agree with Major Palmer to give fifteen lacs, or 150,000l. and upwards, by four instalments, that he might be exempted from all future claims of military service; that the said Palmer represents it to be his belief, "that no person, not known to possess your [the said Hastings's] confidence and support in the degree that I am supposed to do, would have obtained nearly so good terms"; but from what motive "terms so good" were granted, and how the confidence and support of the said Hastings did truly operate on the mind of Fyzoola Khan, doth appear to be better explained by another passage in the same letter, where the said Palmer congratulates himself on the satisfaction which he gave to Fyzoola Khan in the conduct of this negotiation, as he spent a month in order to effect "by argument and persuasion what he could have obtained in an hour by threats and compulsions."



I. That, in the course of the said negotiation for establishing the rights of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, Major Palmer aforesaid did communicate to the Resident, Bristow, and through the said Resident to the Council-General of Bengal, the full and direct denial of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan to all and every of the charges made or pretended to be made against him, as follows.

"Fyzoola Khan persists in denying the infringement on his part of any one article in the treaty, or the neglect of any obligation which it imposed upon him.

"He does not admit of the improvements reported to be made in his jaghire, and even asserts that the collections this year will fall short of the original jumma [or estimate] by reason of the long drought.

"He denies having exceeded the limited number of Rohillas in his service;

"And having refused the required aid of cavalry, made by Johnson, to act with General Goddard.

"He observes, respecting the charge of evading the Vizier's requisition for the cavalry lately stationed at Daranagur, to be stationed at Lucknow, that he is not bound by treaty to maintain a stationary force for the service of the Vizier, but to supply an aid of two or three thousand troops in time of war.

"Lastly, he asserts, that, so far from encouraging the ryots [or peasants] of the Vizier to settle in his jaghire, it has been his constant practice to deliver them up to the Aumil of Rohilcund, whenever he could discover them."

II. That, in giving his opinions on the aforesaid denials of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, the said Palmer did not controvert any one of the constructions of the treaty advanced by the said Nabob.

That, although the said Palmer, "from general appearances as well as universal report, did not doubt that the jumma of the jaghire is greatly increased," yet he, the said Palmer, did not intimate that it was increased in any degree near the amount reported, as it was drawn out in a regular estimate transmitted to the said Palmer expressly for the purposes of his negotiation, which was of course by him produced to the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, and to which specifically the denial of Fyzoola Khan must be understood to apply.

That the said Palmer did not hint any doubt of the deficiency affirmed by Fyzoola Khan in the collections for the current year: and,

That, if any increase of jumma did truly exist, whatever it may have been, the said Palmer did acknowledge it "to have been solemnly relinquished (in a private agreement) by the Vizier."

That, although the said Palmer did suppose the number of Rohillas (employed "in ordinary occupations) in Rampoor alone to exceed that limited by the treaty for his [Fyzoola Khan's] service," yet the said Palmer did by no means imply that the Nabob Fyzoola Khan maintained in his service a single man more than was allowed by treaty; and by a particular and minute account of the troops of Fyzoola Khan, transmitted by the Resident, Bristow, to the said Palmer, the number was stated but at 5,840, probably including officers, who were not understood to be comprehended in the treaty.

That the said Palmer did further admit it "to be not clearly expressed in the treaty, whether the restriction included Rohillas of all descriptions"; but, at any rate, he adds, "it does not appear that their number is formidable, or that he [Fyzoola Khan] could by any means subsist such numbers as could cause any serious alarm to the Vizier; neither is there any appearance of their entertaining any views beyond the quiet possession of the advantages which they at present enjoy."

And that, in a subsequent letter, in which the said Palmer thought it prudent "to vindicate himself from any possible insinuation that he meant to sacrifice the Vizier's interest," he, the said Palmer, did positively attest the new claim on Fyzoola Khan for the protection of the Vizier's ryots to be wholly without foundation, as the Nabob Fyzoola Khan "had proved to him [Palmer], by producing receipts of various dates and for great numbers of these people surrendered upon requisition from the Vizier's officers."

III. That, over and above the aforesaid complete refutation of the different charges and pretexts under which exactions had been practised, or attempted to be practised, on the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, the said Palmer did further condemn altogether the principle of calculation assumed in such exactions (even if they had been founded in justice) by the following explanation of the nature of the tenure by which, under the treaty of Lall-Dang, the Nabob Fyzoola Khan held his possessions as a jaghiredar.

"There are no precedents in the ancient usage of the country for ascertaining the nuzzerana [customary present] or peshcush [regular fine] of grants of this nature: they were bestowed by the prince as rewards or favors; and the accustomary present in return was adapted to the dignity of the donor rather than to the value of the gift,—to which it never, I believe, bore any kind of proportion."

IV. That a sum of money ("which of course was to be received by the Company") being now obtained, and the "interests both of the Company and the Vizier" being thus much "better promoted" by "establishing the rights" of Fyzoola Khan than they could have been by "depriving him of his independency," when every undue influence of secret and criminal purposes was removed from the mind of the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, Esquire, he, the said Hastings, did also concur with his friend and agent, Major Palmer, in the vindication of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, and in the most ample manner.

That the said Warren Hastings did now clearly and explicitly understand the clauses of the treaty, "that Fyzoola Khan should send two or three [and not five] thousand men, or attend in person, in case it was requisite."

That the said Warren Hastings did now confess that the right of the Vizier under the treaty was at best "but a precarious and unserviceable right; and that he thought fifteen lacs, or 150,000l. and upwards, an ample equivalent," (or, according to the expression of Major Palmer, an excellent bargain,) as in truth it was, "for expunging an article of such a tenor and so loosely worded."

And, finally, that the said Hastings did give the following description of the general character, disposition, and circumstances of the Nabob Fyzoola Khan.

"The rumors which had been spread of his hostile designs against the Vizier were totally groundless, and if he had been inclined, he had not the means to make himself formidable; on the contrary, being in the decline of life, and possessing a very fertile and prosperous jaghire, it is more natural to suppose that Fyzoola Khan wishes to spend the remainder of his days in quietness than that he is preparing to embark in active and offensive scenes which must end in his own destruction."

V. Yet that, notwithstanding this virtual and implied crimination of his whole conduct toward the Nabob Fyzoola Khan, and after all the aforesaid acts systematically prosecuted in open violation of a positive treaty against a prince who had an hereditary right to more than he actually possessed, for whose protection the faith of the Company and the nation was repeatedly pledged, and who had deserved and obtained the public thanks of the British government,—when, in allusion to certain of the said acts, the Court of Directors had expressed to the said Hastings their wishes "to be considered rather as the guardians of the honor and property of the native powers than as the instruments of oppression," he, the said Hastings, in reply to the said Directors, his masters, did conclude his official account of the final settlement with Fyzoola Khan with the following indecent, because unjust, exultation:—

"Such are the measures which we shall ever wish to observe towards our allies or dependants upon our frontiers."




Copy of a Letter from Warren Hastings, Esquire, to William Devaynes, Esquire, Chairman of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, dated Cheltenham, 11th of July, 1785, and printed by order of the House of Commons.

To William Devaynes, Esquire, Chairman of the Honorable the Court of Directors.

Sir,—The Honorable Court of Directors, in their general letter to Bengal by the "Surprise," dated the 16th March, 1784, were pleased to express their desire that I should inform them of the periods when each sum of the presents mentioned in my address of the 22d May, 1782, was received, what were my motives for withholding the several receipts from the knowledge of the Council, or of the Court of Directors, and what were my reasons for taking bonds for part of these sums, and for paying other sums into the treasury as deposits on my own account.

I have been kindly apprised that the information required as above is yet expected from me. I hope that the circumstances of my past situation, when considered, will plead my excuse for having thus long withheld it. The fact is, that I was not at the Presidency when the "Surprise" arrived; and when I returned to it, my time and attention were so entirely engrossed, to the day of my final departure from it, by a variety of other more important occupations, of which, Sir, I may safely appeal to your testimony, grounded on the large portion contributed by myself of the volumes which compose our Consultations of that period, that the submission which my respect would have enjoined me to pay to the command imposed on me was lost to my recollection, perhaps from the stronger impression which the first and distant perusal of it had left on my mind that it was rather intended as a reprehension for something which had given offence in my report of the original transaction than as expressive of any want of a further elucidation of it.

I will now endeavor to reply to the different questions which have been stated to me in as explicit a manner as I am able. To such information as I can give the Honorable Court is fully entitled; and where that shall prove defective, I will point out the easy means by which it may be rendered more complete.

First, I believe I can affirm with certainty, that the several sums mentioned in the account transmitted with my letter above mentioned were received at or within a very few days of the dates which are prefixed to them in the account; but as this contains only the gross sums, and each of these was received in different payments, though at no great distance of time, I cannot therefore assign a greater degree of accuracy to the account. Perhaps the Honorable Court will judge this sufficient for any purpose to which their inquiry was directed; but if it should not be so, I will beg leave to refer for a more minute information, and for the means of making any investigation which they may think it proper to direct, respecting the particulars of this transaction, to Mr. Larkins, your Accountant-General, who was privy to every process of it, and possesses, as I believe, the original paper, which contained the only account that I ever kept of it. In this each receipt was, as I recollect, specifically inserted, with the name of the person by whom it was made; and I shall write to him to desire that he will furnish you with the paper itself, if it is still in being and in his hands, or with whatever he can distinctly recollect concerning it.

For my motives for withholding the several receipts from the knowledge of the Council, or of the Court of Directors, and for taking bonds for part of these sums, and paying others into the treasury as deposits on my own account, I have generally accounted in my letter to the Honorable the Court of Directors of the 22d May, 1782: namely, that "I either chose to conceal the first receipts from public curiosity by receiving bonds for the amount, or possibly acted without any studied design which my memory at that distance of time could verify; and that I did not think it worth my care to observe the same means with the rest." It will not be expected that I should be able to give a more correct explanation of my intentions after a lapse of three years, having declared at the time that many particulars had escaped my remembrance; neither shall I attempt to add more than the clearer affirmation of the facts implied in that report of them, and such inferences as necessarily, or with a strong probability, follow them.

I have said that the three first sums of the account were paid into the Company's treasury without passing through my hands. The second of these was forced into notice by its destination and application to the expense of a detachment which was formed and employed against Mahdajee Sindia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Camac, as I particularly apprised the Court of Directors in my letter of the 29th November, 1780. The other two were certainly not intended, when I received them, to be made public, though intended for public service, and actually applied to it. The exigencies of the government were at that time my own, and every pressure upon it rested with its full weight upon my mind. Wherever I could find allowable means of relieving those wants, I eagerly seized them; but neither could it occur to me as necessary to state on our Proceedings every little aid which I could thus procure, nor do I know how I could have stated it, without appearing to court favor by an ostentation which I disdain, nor without the chance of exciting the jealousy of my colleagues by the constructive assertion of a separate and unparticipated merit, derived from the influence of my station, to which they might have laid an equal claim. I should have deemed it particularly dishonorable to receive for my own use money tendered by men of a certain class, from whom I had interdicted the receipt of presents to my inferiors, and bound them by oath not to receive them. I was therefore more than ordinarily cautious to avoid the suspicion of it, which would scarcely have failed to light upon me, had I suffered the money to be brought directly to my own house, or to that of any person known to be in trust for me: for these reasons I caused it to be transported immediately to the treasury. There, you well know, Sir, it could not be received without being passed to some credit, and this could only be done by entering it as a loan or as a deposit: the first was the least liable to reflection, and therefore I had obviously recourse to it. Why the second sum was entered as a deposit I am utterly ignorant: possibly it was done without any special direction from me; possibly because it was the simplest mode of entry, and therefore preferred, as the transaction itself did not require concealment, having been already avowed.

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