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CHAPTER II.

Accou N T of the progress of Sir G. H. Barlow in the East India company's service— appointed chief secretary to the supreme government—nominated by the marquis of Wellesley a member of council—created a baronet—succeeds, on the death of the marquis Cornwalls, as governor-general of India—struggle of the court of directors, with the administration of Mr. Fox and lord Grenville, to retain him in that office—the nomination of lord Lauderdale opposed—and lord Minto ultimately appointed, on a compromise on behalf of Sir G. H. Barlow, who is named to the government of Fort St. George—receives the order of knighthood of the Bath—proceeds to Moros, and supersedes Mr. Petrie— Sir G. H. Barlow proposes the abolition of the tent contract—short account of that contract—colonel Capper, the adjutant-general, ordered to notify the abolition to the army— his representation thereon—hesitation of the governor to carry it into effect—colonel Capper suggests a meliorated plan, which is uot received—contract ordered to be abolished—supposed mismanagement in the grain department detected—Mr. Sherson, the gentleman in charge, suspended from his office without any previous inquiry—the accounts of the grain department afterwards submitted to the civil auditor, who reports in favour of Mr. Sherson—the report of the auditor sent back for revision—returned to the government unaltered—regarded as a species of contumacy—Mr. C. Smi h, the auditor, removed in consequence from his office, and appointed a judge in one of the northern provinces— resigns the office, and proceeds to England—Mr. Sherson suspended the service—Sir G, H. Barlow becomes generally unpopular–right of suspension incidentally considered— Governor interferes in criminal prosecutions growing out of the inquiry into the nabob of Arcot's debts—information preferred against Reddy Row to Mr. Matland, justice of the peace, for forgery—he is in consequence apprehended-bill of indictment found by the grand jury—he is tried and convicted—Batley, a witness on the behalf of Reddy Row, tried and convicted of perjury—a subsequent bill found against both parties for conspiracy, on which they are also found guilty—the defendants sapported in both criminal proceedings, on the application of the commissioners for investigating the nabob’s debts, by the company's advocate general and solicitor—Mr. Roebuck, one of the prosecutors on these trials, removed from his office of mint-master and pay-master-general—Mr. Maitland’s name struck out from the list of justices—Messrs. Grant and Strachey, of the grand jury, and Messrs. Oliver and Keene, of the petty jurv, with Mr. Wood, summarily removed from their offices—Mr. Justice Sullivan's opinion on these proceedings—the quartermaster-general's report, in respect to the abolition of the tent contract, discovered and viewed in an adverse light by commanding officers of corps—charges preferred against the framer of it—the quarter-master-general is placed under arrest by general M’Dowell-released by the government—arguments referable to the charge—the commander-in-chief's protest against the release of lieutenant-colonel Munro–publishes a farewell address to the army

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the deputy adjutant-gen, suspended in consequence of such order—general M’Dowall's depar. ture from Madras—adjutant-general also suspended for the like cause—brief examination of

Sir G. H. Barlow's general policy—hostilities threatened from Tranvancore.

The affairs of the presidency of Fort St. George, during the interval, embraced by the preceding chapter, were more interesting and more critical than the concerns of the sister presidencies. As these cannot be considered without the recurrence, almost in every page, of the name of Sir George Barlow, a prominent and busy actor, it may not be unseasonable to take a short view of the circumstances, conducive to and attendant on his appointment to the government of Madras. This gentleman, like all the civil servants of the company, proceeded to Calcutta at a very early age ; and having diligently discharged the minor offices of the service, was nominated, in due course, to the important charge of the chief secretariship of the supreme government, in which he appears to have acquitted himself most satisfactorily, during the long and important administration of the marquis Wellesley. He was afterwards taken by this nobleman, without personal suit or application, from the secretary's desk, and placed on the same seat with himself at the council table. This unsought preterment seems of itself to infer some eminent qualities in the object of it. The local knowledge of Sir George Barlow, or, more properly speaking,his intimate acquaintance with the peculiar interests of the East India company, within the province of his original destination, has never been denied, and in the application of his peculiar information to the cares of his new office, the views of his noble patron appear to have been fully and substantially answered. Sir George Barlow, as an official member of the supreme government, was the active, steady, and uniform supporter of the general policy, which it would be soreign from the present purpose to treat, of the governor-general of India. Through the further exertions of the favour of the marquis Wellesley,

the new member of council was afterwards distinguished by a more permanent badge of honour, than is in the power of the East India company to bestow—the hereditary title of baronet, On the reappointment of the marquis Cornwallis to the supreme government, Sir George Barlow felt himself as much disposed to adopt the distinct policy of that prudent and venerable statesman, as of his more ardent and speculative predecessor, and had the rare and almost singular good fortune of uniting, with the favour of the government abroad, the protection of the constituted authorities at home; so that on the death of the marquis Cornwallis, an event ever to be regretted, Sir George Barlow was placed in an easy and expected transition, by the effect of a special commission, in the chair of the supreme presidency. But he was soon removed, by the fickleness of fortune, or the policy of party, from his enviable seat. He possessed it, however, long enough for the declaration of a system of economy and reform, on which he proposed, or professed a disposition, to regulate the general concerns of the company; a declaration which he knew, from experience, would find favour, as it had uniformly done, with the executive body in England. Either from this early promise of the government of Sir George Barlow, or from the value of his precedent services, he acquired such a reputation in Leadenhallstreet, as to raise an influence in his behalf, counteractive for awhile, of the fresh and full power of a new ministry, whom it must have been the interest of the court of directors to conciliate on their accession to the government of the country. The office of governor-general of India has always been considered as one of the most lucrative offices holden by a British subject, and it has of late been generally granted, if not of right, at least in courtesy or common policy, at the nomination of the ministers of the crown. On the demise of Mr. Pitt, and the dispersion of the constituent members of his administration, the persons who succeeded, and who had been excluded for a long season from power, were not unmindful of the advantage and influence to be derived from the appointment. In the arrangement of places, among many claimants, the office of governor-general, though it was not formally vacant, was regarded as an available means of reward for one of their most strenuous and indefatigable supporters. Indeed, from the very nature of the office, and its relation to our general foreign polity, it may reasonably be viewed as inseparable from the common concern and guardianship of the national administration; and hence, the possession of it has commonly fluctuated with the men who are destined to conduct the public affairs. The Earl of Lauderdale was recommended by Mr. Fox and lord Grenville to succeed to the chair at Calcutta ; but the court of directors could not be prevailed upon, after a vigorous and protracted negotiation, to acquiesce in the nomination, nor were they ultimately inclined to accept a second nominee, but on mixed stipulations, protective of the rights of the party in actual possession of the government. It was at length adjusted that lord Minto should proceed to India with the title of governor-general, and that Sir George Barlow should be sent to the subordinate government of Madras; and in order to render the retrograde step less ungrateful to the feelings of the temporary governor-general, he received the additional dignity of the knighthood of the Bath, from the hands of his successor in office. The separate policy of parties might have been promoted, but it may be doubted whether the interests of the company were advanced, by the issue of this negotiation. The attention and talents of Sir G. Barlow, had hitherto been directed to

and new pursuits, and these to be cultivated, through the instrumentality of men to whom he was an utter stranger; of whose habits he could have no information ; of whose characters and pretensions, he could have no personal knowledge, and whose official rules and customs he had yet to learn. A single and distinct employment, early embraced and invariably pursued, cut off from society at large, and the knowledge of external manners, however it may qualify the officer for the discharge of a particular duty, almost necessarily contracts his views, and renders him as unfitted for general business, in the degree that it recommends him in his peculiar avocation. Confined to the boundaries of Bengal, their proper sphere, the talents of Sir G. Barlow might have been useful to himself, and profitable to his employers; but is there no hazard if transplanted from their natural soil, that they may droop in a foreign land At all events, the company's executive were determined on this experiment, and it remains to be shown from the test of experience, whether it has been successful or otherwise. The trial itself could not be made, without first clearing the ground which was already occupied, and at the peril of displaying product of long and mature growth. On the recal of lord Willian Bentinck from Fort St. George, Mr. Pe. trie, the first member of the council, succeeded, by a similar precautionary appointinent, with that possessed by Sir G. Barlow, to the temporary charge of the Madras government. This gentleman had served the East India company for nearly forty years, and having toiled through all the gradations of the service, had arrived at last, if not at the head, at the second office in the government. Nay, he had more than once been selected as the provisional governor of a settlement, in which he had spent almost a life; and in the customs and interests of which he must consequently be presumed to have had a most thorough and complete information. This gentleman, of to make room for the display of more conspicuous talent, drawn from a remote quarter, and applied in an unatto 1, ... sphere Mr. Petrie is renov ed, and Sir G Barlow is inducted, with the apparent case of routine succession, into his vacant seat. It would be impossibie to fincy circumstances more striking and more impr ssive of the extraordinary sense entertained of a public officer, than the circumstances attendant on the appointment of Sir G. Borlow to the government of Madras. But in the proportion that they excite an inter, st, they awaken a lively curiosity to the acts of the individual, to observe whether they are worthy of the reputation attached to him, or justify, by their character, the unusual patronage exerted on his behalf. Placed in this commanding point of view, with anticipations so raised as to the events of his administration, and with an unavoidable, if not a natural jealousy of his proceedings, the new governor, so watched and so contensplated, must be expected to step with caution and circumspection. A liberal mind must wish well to his arduous undertaking, and that he nay sustain his established fame ; while the candid observer will view with leniency any errors, into which he may casually fall, if the tenor of his conduct be straight and pure. Sir G Barlow arrived at Madras about December, 1807, or early in 1808, and was scarcely introduced into office, before he was called upon to give efficacy to a measure of reform in the military system, which had been planned by the late commander-inchief of the coast army, and adopted by his immediate predecessors, lord William Bentinck and Mr. Petrie. To the merits, as well of the plan itself, as to the necessity of the introduction of it, the supreme government it seems had given their concurrent testimony and sanction. Still, however, a certain nicety was de manded in the manner of carrying the proposed reform into execution, from anterior measures, that had been ad

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so much experience, so acknowledged and co distinoviched is to he disnlared

dency; which had scarcely left untouched any one source of advantage that the army had been accustomed to enjoy. Within a very short distance from the date now alluded to, the Bazar allowances had been abolished ; and the commands, before exclusively exercised by the company's military servants, had been indiscriminately thrown open, and, if report may be credited, more than equally shared, by the officers of a separate service. On the reforms themselves, it is not necessary to express an opinion ; but as they deprived an extensive community of their known and admitted enjoluments, they might be supposed, as the event shewed, to have engendered some acerb ty of feeling, which had not time to subside, ere another more general and more wide regulation was proposed, which seemed to infringe on the only remaining object of profit, left to the company's officers ; and it was required of Sir G. Barlow, in the very opening of his government, to execute the obnoxious and unpopular act of abolishing the tent contract. As this was not effected without much apparent emotion throughout the company's army, and, as it is said to have had some influence on other events that will be separately considered hereafter, it may neither be superfluous, nor out of place, to take a hasty view of the contract itself, and the immediate consequences attendant on its abolition. During several wars with the Native powers of India, and more especially during the last campaign of the narquis Cornwallis with Tippoo Sultaun, the company had suffered a very considerable loss, by the frequent occurrence of the capture of public cattle and camp equipage. The amount on the whole was so large, as to make a strong impression on the mind of lord Cornwallis at the time, and afterwards on general Stuart, the commander-inchief of the Madras army, an old and experienced soldier in Indian warfare. On considering the nature and extent of the injury, and in reflecting on a possible or practicable remedy, the

descried a mode of furnishing and providing and carrying the tents of the conveying the necessary field equip- Madras army, in war as well as peace,

ment, at less expense, and less risk to and imposed that burthen on the com

the public service, than the course then manding officers of corps, allowing in use. The general supposed, that if them a stipulated consideration for the he could give certain individuals a par- particular service. The advantage ticular interest in the equipage, and suggested in this novel regulation, was the cattle necessary to convey it, such the saving of a certain expense, the circumstance would operate more security of a ready supply of tents powerfully than the influence of mere and cattle, for all emergencies, and duty, to the preservation of those ob- a more easy and safe conveyance of the jects. This supposition, confirmed by articles of equipment for the field ; a further reflection and inquiry, even- circumstance of great importance in tually led to the formation of the tent the ordinary operations of an army.* contract, by which the government exo- By making the interests of indivinerated themselves of the charge of duals subservient to their respective

* The tent-contract, as has been shewn, was planned and carried into effect by general Stuor some time, it is believed, about the year 1822; on a conviction of the superiority of the plan, to which it gave effect, over the pre-existing course of provision and conveyance of the tents and public stores. The errors of the former system had been experienced in the wars carried on under the command of the marquis Cornwallis and general Harris; and, indeed, of every other preceding commander-in-chief. The two generals had an opportunity of witnessing, not only the inefficiency of the old system, but the advantage to be derived from the operative principle of the new ; though they were not fortunate enough to carry that principle into general use. General Stuart afterwards improved on the measure of his predecessors, and rendered their partial suggestion a general and permanent improvement.

In the first war against Tippoo Sultaun, in 1790, when the tents were provided, and conveyed, with the stores ...] equipments, at the public expense of the company, the marquis Cornwallis experienced such great distress, by the loss of cattle, by capture, and otherwise, that he would have been utterly unable to prosecute his march to Seringapatam; unless he had been assisted by the means of individuals. . In this conjuncture, his lordship called not only on the commanding officers of corps, but on the general body of the Native officers, and even on the private sepoys, to aid him in the carriage of the public stores and ammunition, at their own incumbrance and expense, with which call they readily and cheerfully complied; or the evils of war would have been protracted for another campaign, and the war might possibly have terminated less gloriously than it did.

In the second war with Seringapatam, in 1790, general Harris, then commander-inchief, had to encounter the like difficulties, (and before he had marched 150 miles,) that had been experienced by his noble predecessor; and took the same means of relieving himself from them.

These had again and again been felt, in countless instances, by general Stuart, who at length perceiving the beneficial operation of the principle of exciting a zeal and interest in individuals in the conveyance of public appointments and stores, suggested the plan of the tent contract, which stimulated the exertions of all the commanding officers of Native corps, not only to expedite, but to watch over the security of the cattle and stores, by giving them a direct advantage in the preservation of them. To that end he contracted with the commanding officers of corps, for providing tents, and cattle for the carriage of them, and the public stores, for the use of their respective battalions; and with other officers of the same corps, for the provision and carriage of their own tents; at a fixed monthly sum ; whether it should be war on pace. The monthly sun, the consideration , given to commanding officers and others, for bearing the burthen in question, was calculated on the principle of saving in time of peace, which would be sufficient, it was supposed, to indemnify them for the losses incident to war.

The advantage of the tent contract was proved by the test of a severe experiment in the long and desultory warfare of Sir Arthur Wollesley (now lord Wellington) in the Mahratta campaigns from April, 1802, to 1894. In a letter from safferabad, in the latter year, o: of the loss of individuals in camp equipage and field equipments, from the rapidity and continuity of his operations, and of their zeal on all occasions in forwarding the public service, he recommends that six months batta should be given to them, over and above the contract; so that it was plain, that the general did not conceive the terins of the contract to exceed the expenses incident to it.

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