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The governor in council is pleased to express his entire approbation of the conduct of the 2d battalion of the royals, while they have been stationed at fort St. George.
The governor in council requests that lieutenant-colonel Conrail will accept the expression of his warmest thanks, for the able and satisfactory manner in which he has conducted the duties, incidental to the command of the troops in the garrison of fort St. George.
Fort St. GeoRGE, August 10.Yesterday the honourable the chief justice, the honourable Thomas Oakes, and James Henry Casamaijor, esqrs. members of the council, major-general Gowdie commanding the army in chief, and the principal inhabitants of Madras, waited on the honourable the governor at the government-house in Fort St. George, when the following address was read and presented to the governor by the chief justice.
To the honourable Sir George Barlow, lart. knight of the Bath, governor and president in council of Fort • St. George, and its dependencies, ko’c. &c. Honourable Sir, We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, impressed with a deep sense of our duty to our country, and of the necessity of good order and obedience to the constituted authorities, beg leave to tender you, at this moment of difficulty and danger, our assurances of support to the interests of government, and of our readiness to devote our lives and fortu e; to the maintenance of the public tranquillity, in any way in which to you, in your wisdom, it may seem meet to command them. We desire to take this opportunity of publicly expressing our fullest disapprobation of that spirit of insubordination, which has recently shewn itself amongst the officers of the honourable company's army, serving under the presidency of Fort St. George. Fully convinced that it is the duty of every good subject to yield obedience to the commands of those, whom the will of
his sovereign, and the laws of his country have placed in authority over him, and patiently to await the result of a reference to Europe for the re
dress of real, or supposed, grievances;
any conduct, impatient of the period of such appeal, and backward to the
calls of professional obedience, we re
gard as subversive of all good order and discipline, hostile to the constitution of our native country, and big with danger to the existence of the British empire in India. And we, therefore, honourable Sir, beg to repeat the assurances of our firm determination to resist the operation of such principics, which, we are convinced, must be equally reprobated and condemned by all good and loyal subjects. (Signed) Thomas Andrew Strange; T. Oakes; J. H. A. Cassamajor; Francis Gowdie, major-general commanding the army in chief; James Hare, lieutenant - colone! commanding centre division of the army; T. H. Conway, adjutant-general of the army; A. Falconar ; J. H. D. Ogilvie ; J. H. Peile; Frederick Gahagan ; Robert Alexander; J. Munro, quarter-master-general; W. Thackeray; W. Wayte; J. Kenworthy; A. Anstruther; V. Blacker, deputy-quarter-master-general; W. Brown; George Garrow ; James Taylor; Henry Hall; D. Hill; J. Leith, lieutenant-colonel ; R. Barclay, lieutenant-colonel ; W. Saunders ; R. Yeldham ; E C. Greenway; H. Gahagan; J. Baker; W. Nicholson, D. A. G. K. T.; C. W. Burdett, brigademajor, K. T.; W. Parker; S. T. Goad; H. Hussell ; G. E. Barlow, capt. 34th foot ; Thomas Robinson ; James Stuart Fraser, lieutenant; Thomas Gahagan ; W. M'Leod, lieutenant - colonel 69th commanding; Charles Trotter, lieutenant - colonel 1st bat. 20th regiment; Henry Conran, lieutenant-colonel royal regiment; J. Campbell, lieutenant - colonel 33d regiment; C. Nicol, major 00th regiment; Thos. Mac.cane ; J. Sinclair, major 2d bat. artillery commissary of stores; J. H. Symons, lieutenant-colonel Native infantry; C. Mackenzie, major engineers; W.Cooke; W. M.Taggart, sheriff; Terence Gahagan; P. Bruce, lieutenant-colonel ; W. H. Gordon; A. Scott; John Read; P. Vans Agnew, deputy-adjutantgeneral ; W. Morison; F. H. Bruce ; W. Horsman; J. Prendergast, deputy-military-auditorgeneral. Fort St. George, Aug. 9, 1809.
To this address the governor delivered the following reply. w GENTLEMEN, -I beg you will accept my warmest acknowledgements for this mark of respect and attachment to the interests of my government. Assurances of confidence and support from persons of your rank, character, and station, must at all times have been highly gratifying to me, but they are peculiarly acceptable at the present moment of difficulty, when the governor is deserted by two many of those, in whose hands the constitution had placed arms for its defence. When I reflect, however, on the distinguished reputation which the officers of the army of the honourable company have acquired, I cherish a well-grounded expectation that the example, which has this day been afforded by you, will produce the most salutary impressions on the minds of those individuals wilo have been so unhappily naisled, and induce them to return to a correct sense of their duty. While our native country is struggling for the support of the liberties of Europe, it cannot be possible that she should be wounded by our own sons in these distant and valuable possessions, which have been won by their arms, and which can be maintained only by a strict obedience to that authority to which she has confided their defence and government. There is a principle of national feeling and attachment deeply implanted on the minds of Britons, which cannot be eradicated. I am confident, therefore, that in the hour of danger every
British government must find friends and supporters in all the good and reflecting part of society, who would be ready to rally around it, and to defend the principles of that constitution, which is the source of our liberty and happiness. They will perceive that every violation of the authorities created by the constitution, is a violation of the constitution itself, and they will be convinced that the greatest misfortune, which could befall the state, would be the surrender of its authority to the army, which it maintains for its defence, and the submitting to their trampling on those first principles of duty and obedience, on the due observance of which by every class of the community, and particularly the military servants of the public, the stability of every government is founded, To maintain these principles must ever be my primary duty as the immediate head of the government of this important branch of the British empire in India, and to support me in the discharge of that duty must be the first wish of every loyal subject. Deeply impressed as you are with the truth of these sentiments, you will be rejoiced at being informed that the honourable zeal and loyalty of his majesty's officers and troops, and of a large body of the most respectable officers of the company's army, supported by the fidelity of the Native troops, have enabled me to frustrate the designs, which had been formed for the subversion of the government, and it will be a further source of satisfaction to you to know that the public security will be completed by the councils and authority of the right honourable the governor-general, whose arrival at this presidency may be shortly expected. In this extraordinary crisis, it must have been a source of gratification to every man of rank and high station to have had an opportunity of placing his name in the list of those, who have stood forward to discredit, by their authority, principles destructive of all order and legal government. The public sentiment in every society must
necessarily be influenced by the opinions and conduct of its leading members ; and I anticipate the most essential benefits from the exertion of your endeavours to disseminate those feelings of duty and attachment to the laws, which you have this day express
ed, feelings which will be applauded
by our country, and remembered to the honour of those by whom they have been manifested.
AUGust 10–This day a sessions of Oyer and Terminer, and general gaol delivery in the supreme court, commenced before the honourable sir Thomas Strange, kt. chief justice, at the court-house in Fort St. George, who addressed the grand jury in the following terms: Gentlemen of the grand jury, I have to beg your attention for a few minutes, while I trouble you with the matters which I have to give you in charge. Upon the larcenies in the calendar I have nothing pacticular to say, except to observe that a number of them were committed during the continuance of those tumults, which agitated the Native population of the town for several days subsequent to the close of the last sessions; occasioned by a difference that has long subsisted with respect to certain particulars between, in this part of India, two comprehensive classes of the Hindoos. In return for their unceasing and exemplary allegiance to us, we owe to this portion of our subjects an anxious attention to every thing by which their feelings, as well as their interests, are capable of being affected. It is not for us to deride their prejudicies, particularly such, the history and nature of which we but imperfectly understand. Exercising over them the rights of government, it is our duty, so far as we may have it in our power, to make their case our own, wherever either circumstances, or their reference calls upon us to interpose, though, upon abstract consideration of the subject, their estimate of its importance, and our's, may widely differ. Government has, therefore, acted both wisely and humanely in
appointing a committee to investigate the differences, to which I allude, with a view to some arrangement that may prevent, for the future,their tendency to disturb the public peace.The committee, engaged in the enquiry,is peculiarly qualified to answer its purpose, delicate as is the trust confided to it. In the mean time, justice must take its course against delinquents, who shall appear to have availed themselves of the disorder of the moment to commit depredations upon their terrified fellow subjects. Cases of this description will occupy some portion of the time you will have to allot to the public service in consequence of the summons under which you are assembled. There are, also, no fewer than three murders in the calendar. None of them require any particular observation from me at present, except one, for which you will find that the grand jury, at the last sessions, thought they could not, upon the evidence before them, justify finding a bill. The atrociousness of the case, and the just anxiety of that jury that the guilty should not escape, induced the court to detain, till the present sessions, the prisoners who stood committed for it, in the hope during the interval of some further discovery. I am sorry to have to tell you that none has been made, though the diligence of the police has been exerted for the purpose. The case, therefore, will come before you upon precisely the same evidence, upon which your predecessors in the function you are entering upon, thought it most discreet not to find any bill. The Prisoners, if discharged, this sessions, for want of a bill being found against them, will be liable, at any future time, to be called upon again to answer, upon discovery of better evidence, to charge them than what at Present exists. It is proper, however, for me to tell you, that you are not, in the slightest degree, bound by the judgment of the former grand jury. If the evidence, that will be laid before you, shall, in your opinion, be sufficient to warrant the accusation, upon which they stand committed, it will be your duty to confirm it by finding the
bill that will be preferred to you for the purpose. There is one other commitment in the calendar upon a charge of a description that requires to be noticed. It is a capital one, for a brutal and violent attack upon the chastity of the weaker sex, the nature of which I need not further particularise. It is preferred against a British soldier, and, if true, is attended with circumstances of considerable aggravation, for the prosecutrix is a native, and married. In an address, which I mean to publish, I am unwilling to enter into remarks upon an accusation of this sort, which might otherwise assist you in deliberating upon the evidence to be adduced in its support, and shall content myself, for the present, with imparing to you the caution in an enquiry of the kind, of one of the best and most enlightened judges that England ever saw. When the witnesses for the prosecution shall present themselves, should difficulties occur, if you will intimate them, it will be the duty of the court to guide you the best it can in their Mean while be it sufficient that I read to you some passages on the subject from the work of Lord Hale, the excellent judge to whom I allude. “It is true,” says he, (speaking of the offence in question) “it is a most detestable crime, and, therefore, ought impartially to be punished with death ; but it must be remembered that it is an accusation easily to be made, and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, though ever so innocent.” “And therefore,” says he, “though the party injured be in law a competent witness, yet the credibility of her testimony must be left to the jury upon the circumstances of fact that congur with that testimony.” He then proceeds to lay down a few general rules as guides to the discovery connected with the character of the prosecutrix, her deportment at that time, the signs of the alleged injury, the place where it was comInitted, and lastly, the conduct of the party accused. His experience had led him to be sceptical of the fact, while in the description of the crime
he uniformly speaks of it, as it deserves, with indignation and horror. Gentlemen, the certainty that acts of rebellion have, within the territories dependant upon this presidency, been recently committed by numbers of the honourable company's officers engaged in an extensive combination, eventually to throw off all obedience to this government, and seek redress of alleged grievances by arms, forbid may parting with you on the present occasion without drawing your attention to a state of things at once so extraordinary, so perilous, and so highly criminal. If there be in the mind of any one of you, gentlemen, the least doubt as to the fact, upon him I shall expect to make no impression till he be better informed on the subject. If the fact, however, be, that the description of persons, to whom I allude, have, with comparatively few exceptions, been prevailed with to enter into an illegal combination, and that individuals of them, availing themselves of its support, are by their acts leaving to this government no alternative, but either to compromise the public authority, or to endeavour to maintain it by the sword, then the time is, in my opinion, arrived, when it becomes every man in his sphere to consider the part which it may be proper for him to take in a contest, in which it is not seemiy to be neutral, and to exhort others, over whom he may have influence to adopt that which, upon a conviction of its being right, he means himself to pursue. That the moment for doing this in the most public as well as unreserved manner, has existed ever since the day, upon which government took measures for requiring from every company's officer a test of his fidelity, it will be believed that I can have little doubt in assurning. By that act, on the part of government, the most universal publicity was given to the state of things as it existed between it and that portion of the army to which I am alluding. In the development which the dictates of prudence seem upon that day to baye rendered indipensable, the Natives were expressly
included. The Native officers of corps were convened, by authority, to receive an explanation of the measure adopted, with respect to such of their European officers as had declined affording the test that had been required. The policy of reserve, from an apprehension of alarm, ceased with that act; and it became from that moment the proportionate duty of every friend to his country, by rallying round government, to countervail, as much as possible, the evil tendency of a disclosure that had taken place, and could be no longer restrained. If individuals, the combination alluded to being effected, are pushing their plans for the contioul of government to the extent described, it is for this court, exercising its legal discernment, to give the well-disposed the satisfaction of knowing, that if they are embarked in a conflict with their fellow-subjects, they are about to contend at least on the side of duty, for the preservation of whatever ought to be dear to them, in opposition to be
trayers of their trust, employing in
the subversion of the state the arms committed to them for its preservation. Dreadful, indeed, is the alternative to which government has been driven, more especially considering the numbers engaged in this design, for whom many a consideration will plead. But dreadful as it is, “ they who take arms against a lawful established government create the necessity of all acts requisite to be done on the side of that government, in order to repel and subdue them, or which, in the nature of things, becomes unavoidable for their suppression.” On the other hand, those, who on such an occasion can make up their minds to be instrumental in compromising the public authority, are either blind to consequences, or actuated by views quite distinct from the public good. Compromised it could not be without consequences following infinitely more to be dreaded than any evil to be apprehended from a steady opposition to armed demands, if go
vernment possess the means of making it. Thanks to the loyalty of his majesty's corps, of those officers of the honourable company, who are adhering to their duty, and to the discriminating sense of the native officers, the apprehension of any great ultimate danger to the state seems to be subsiding. The desperate experiment of forcing government, of substituting in effect aristocracy (the worst of all governments) in place of the one, under which it is our happiness to live, will, there is now reason to hope, be defeated without the difficulty that might have been expected. In the mean time, gentlemen, it becomes us at such a moment to recognise in the acts of the ruling power, the discharge of an extreme and painful duty. It should be remembered, that the British establishments in India represent the authority of the state at home," to which their conductors are severally responsible. It is some time since they could no longer with propriety be considered in the limited view of chartered governments. They have stood now for several years on the foundation of a celebrated act of Parliament, defining their powers and subjection, with reference to which latter they may be regarded as king's governinents, as much as any other within the empire, to which the king directly appoints. Against such an authority it is, that many of the company's officers may be considered as at this moment in arms, many more in a state of desertion from their duty, having incapacitated themselves from performing it by declining to abide by the tenor of their commissions. In such a state of things, gentlemen, is it for the government to surrender Distress might compel it; it must be extreme, however, indeed, to justify a thought of the kind. If it have the means of protecting the public authority, it is its duty to exert them for the purpose to the utmost. Gentlemen, the sentiments which, upon this occasion I wish to convey, occur in a paper I have lately had oc