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2 appear, if we consider of what vital influence upon national prosperity the India trade has always been regarded, a general conviction evinced by the perpetual struggles of individuals and communities to obtain a participation of it; and if we consider the closeness of the ties which, multiplying with the diffusion of commerce, and the extension of our establishments, turn the anxieties of an increasing number of British families to news from the East.

Impressed with the conviction that a periodical intelligencer, calculated to meet such a state of the public mind, cannot fail of success, the projectors of the Asiatic Journal are actuated by a most earnest desire to promote its utility in every point of view, political, scientific, and domestic.

ASIATIC JOURNAL

FOR

JANUARY 1817.

A BRIEF MEMOIR

OF THE LIFE OF

THE LATE EARL OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.

Robert, late Earl of Buckinghamshire, and President of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, was the son of George, Earl of Buckinghamshire, Baron Hobart of Blickling; he was born the 6th of May 1760. It is well known that his lordship was attached to the administration of Mr. Pitt, to whose line of politics he invariably adhered during the whole course of his life. His lordship received the appointment of Governor of Madras in 1794, and at the same time was nominated successor as Governor General of India in the event o£ the removal of Sir John Shore. A detailed recapitulation of the successive acts of his lordship's government we do not think necessary; it would be equally improper, however, were we not to remind the public of some of those measures in the discharge of his exalted functions for the service of his country, which, perhaps, may be regarded as characteristic of his government. The Court of Directors having, in October 1797, superseded the above successional nomination, by the appointment of the Earl of Morn, Jngton to the supreme government, and of General Harris to the government of Madras, Lord Hobart conceived that these measures indicated the expediency of his re

Aiiatic Journ.-—No. 13.

turn to Europe, and accordingly resigned his charge in February ] 798. We do not think that we can describe the character of his lordship's measures and usefulness, hotter than by a citation of his own words used on the occasion of his retiring from the Government*.

"Having always met, and explicitly stated, the pecuniary embarrassments under which this government, from various and unavoidable causes, has laboured, I shall not be silent upon that subject at present: at the same time 1 can confidently assert, that amongst those causes, neither a strict regard to economy, nor a minute attention to so essential an object, has been wanting on my part. External conquests cannot ba made without extraordinary expanse; and the increase of the military establishment, with an extended investment, will be found to have occasioned that pressure upon the Treasury against which I have had to contend. The records will bear testimony to the persevjrance and diligence with which the revenues have been attended to. In some instances they have considerably, and, I trust, permanently, increased :. in others, where there may have been a teifc

• Vide Parliamentary Papers. Vol. HI. B

porary failure, the cause of it has found highly beneficial

been sufficiently manifest to shew that it has arisen from circumstances not within the power of this government to control.

"The complete subjection to which the tributaries of the Company have been reduced may, I think, be adverted to as a prominent feature of my government; and 'some particular notice may perhaps be due to the proceedings respecting the Vizianagram Zemindary,

"When I arrived at Madras, that Zemindary was in a state of serious commotion. Although Vizeram Rauze had fallen, the power of the Zemindar remained formidable; and it was not till after a severe 'struggle, and the Surmounting of. difficulties that rendered perseverance in our plan sometimes questionable, that a settlement was made, by which the inordinate and' dangerous power of the Pushputy family was brought within reasonable, bo.unds, the rights of the inferior 'Zemindars (in which is included the restoration of the heir of tne" unfortunate Bhupali Raja) established, and the Company's authority rendered decidedly permanent throughout that extensive and vaJuable country.

"The investment has been increased to an unexampled extent; •and although the heavy expenses of the war, and the existing •scarcity of specie, have rendered h advisable to curtail it for the present, the Company may derive great future advantage from the knowledge .they have acquired of the extent to which it may be carried.

"Having erery reason to be. Jieve that the regulations which have been established during my ernment, with a riew to a comete system of check and control the military department, will be •teadily followed up, I am confident that Jheir operation will bo

to the Company's interests.

"If, in times of peculiar turbulency and agitation all over the world, the government of Madras has been remarkable for the due respect which has been paid to its authority, some merit may be allowed to those by whom it has been conducted.

"If the very proud and advantageous situation in which the British Empire in India is now placed be attributable to the exertions of this government, I may be permitted to congratulate those with whom I have had the honour to act, upon a circumstance so creditable to our administration.

"It would ill become me, when upon this subject, to be unmindful of those services and of that cooperation, for which this government has so repeatedly had occasion to be grateful to Admiral Rainier, whose zeal for the public good has been as conspicuous as his integrity in avoiding all Durbar intrigue has been demonstrative of the disinterestedness of his character.

"If the resistance I have made to the destructive system of lending money to the natives upon usurious loans, and particularly to the Nabob of the Carnatic and the Raja of Tanjore, has laid the foundation of abolishing a practice. so injurious to the government and to the people, I shall never regret any personal enmity it may have provoked against me: it was an enmity I always foresaw, and which I should not have been so imprudent as to have h zarded, had I not been impelled to it by a deep sense of the magnitude of the evil, "I should wish to pass entirely unnoticed (if consistency would permit it) the differences that have taken place between the SupremeGovernment and me. I trust', however, it must be evident, that they were differences into which I was led by the necessary defence of my own measures. The princi

pal objects of public importance of the crown he had to distinguish

on which they turned were, the proposition of Major Kirkpatrick for stocking the Nizam's army with British officers; the execution of the orders from Europe respecting the Dutch settlements, viz. the steps previous to the attack of Trincomalee; the Candian embassy ; and the Eastern expedition. Upon these points, I do not assume more than the public records will justify, when I assert that the measures of this government have been approved by the Court of Directors.

"Upon the discussions respecting the Nabob of the Carnatic arid the Raja of Tanjore, unable to speak from positive official authority, I shall only express my conviction, that experience will show the futility of those hopes that rest upon the expectation of carrying any essential object with them by persuasion alone, and that humanity, sound policy, and justice, will impress the necessity of a more effectual interference."

Soon after his return to this country his lordship was. called up by writ to the House of Peers, and placed in the ancient barony of Hobart. In 1801 he was appointed Secretary at War; in 1804 he succeeded to the titles and estates of the late Earl, his father \ in 1806 he was appointed Post Master General; and, on the removal of Lord Melville to the Admiralty, he obtained the high distinction of President of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India. The extraordinary zeal and unwearied activity displayed by this nobleman, in the execution of the important duties of his office, demand a respect which, perhaps, none in any way connected with the concerns of our Eastern Empire will be inclined to withhold.

In the important discussion on the renewal of the Company's exclusive privileges, the weight of his lordship's abilities and experience wag fully manifest. As a minister

between the advantages, in a national point of view, which would accrue from a partial opening of the trade, and the dangers which would have undoubtedly attended the realizing of the extravagant expectations and unbounded pretensions which influenced the public mind at the period of the renewal qf the present charter..

These pretensions, like most other. popular feelings, were neither founded in justice, nor did they look to more than one side of the question, and the rights of the East India Company, the great political measures they had in the course of two centuries achieved, and the harassing exactions and the commercial difficulties which they had surmounted, and had still to contend with, were scarcely at all weighed by the majority of the nation at large. The terms of the charter of 1813 are too'fully in the possession of the public to need recapitulation here. The extension of the trade to the out ports, whichis its most important feature, was not, we believe, contemplated by the Gentleman* who was President of the Board at the commencement of the negociation, and the policy of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, in recommending to the legislature the adoption of that measure, may be considered in almost every point of view as questionable, and has certainly not yet been made apparent. In awarding to his lordship the share of praise which justly belongs to him in the conduct of this important negociation, it is not eray to lose sight of the extraordinary ability and eloquence which was displayed by the Directors of the Company on the other sideof the question

The subject of the renewal of the Company's Charter and the Embassy to China, were the last acts of his lordship's' political life; and t'll within a few days-of'his decease, he was actually employ

• Mr. Dundas.

ed, in conjunction with the leading members of the Court of Directors, in completing the arrangement of Lord Amhurst's important mission, to the favourable issue of which it is well known that he looked with sanguine expectations.

His Lordship's health had declined since the autumn of 1815, and he had been some time seriously indisposed in consequence of a fall from his horse in St. James's Park, nearly three months previous to his decease. By the advice of his physicians he repaired to Bath, but obtaining no benefit from the change, and receiving little or no hopes of recovery, he removed to town, where he expired in the 56th year of his age, at his house in Hamilton Place, on the 4th Feb. 1816.

On the demise of his lordship Mr. Canning was appointed his successor at Whitehall, and Mr. T. Wallace retired, after a long and active discharge of the duties of a Member of the Board.*

The Earl was twice married: first to Margaretta, the relict of Thomas Adderley, Esq. of Ircnishannon, in the county of Cork, in January 1792; and a second time to Eleanor Agnes Eden, a daughter of Lord Auckland, in June 1799. Having no male issue the titles and estates devolve on his nephew George Henry, the present Earl. Lady Sarah Hobart, his Lordship s daughter by his first lady, is married to the Hon. F. Robinson.

. The Clerkship nfll.e C.mmrui Pleas in the Exchequer of Ireland also bctaine Vacant by hii Lordship's death.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal.

Sir,—Many of your readers besides myself have to thank you for the valuable information contained in your number for October, on the long unsettled question of rank and precedence in India. Length of service in the country and military rank, heretofore the only claims to distinction, have long been found insufficient for the preservation of the due order and decorum of the refined society of British India, a society which in point of the purity of its morals and true civilization stands confessedly the first of any European colony. The course now pursued was 1 believe recommended by the late Earl of Buckinghamshire and is similar to the one adopted in the year 1760, with reference to his Majesty's colonies in America.

1 have however to regret that with the ladies the knotty point is still undecided, and that on their ac'count it' is again referred home. I would not for a moment entertain the idea that our fair country

women would push their feelings so far that they would rather "RiM;n in Hell tlian serve in Hearen;" but those who like myself have witnessed the direful contests which have occurred, at no very distant period at the Presidency under which I served, will scarcely entertain very sanguine hopes that even the weight of royal authority can satisfactorily allay the "pleasing hopes and fond desires" of female emulation. But, sir, much as I lament the disputes which have thus arisen among the ladies in India, ] am by no means of opinion that it is a question of trifling import, or that it will be best settled when left to itself; it is mainly to the influence of the fair sex that society in India is indebted for the pure and high tone of character which it now enjoys, and while we admit the truth (a practical truth to all who have resided any time in India) it is . undoubtedly proper that their rank should be.assigned and fixed • with the same regard to 'delicacy

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