페이지 이미지

of strength and importance, commanding the road from Peshour to Cabul, had, according to these advices, betrayed marks of disaffection; and it was even apprehended that he might impede the progress of the court towards that capital. The late letters, from the embassy,

complain grievously of the extreme

dulness and uniformity of their life at Peshour, and of the increasing heat of the weather, and the mountains to the south and west, the snow had entirely disappeared; but the distant ridges to the north still wore their white livery, as in the midst of winter. “ In the vallies,” says a letter of the 17th of March, “ the country is assuming a more pleasing aspect : the mulberry-trees, planes, and willows, are getting their summer coats; every village is an arbour ; the corn, which had been cut down, is springing up anew, and much of the barl y is in ear. On the 27th of March, Mr. Elphinstone, and the gentlemen of his suite, were entertained by Mollah Jafur, (the first mehmaun ar, who received them on the road to Peshour) at a breakfast and tiffin, in the garden of Zimoor Shah. MAY 30-The Cabul embassy is now understood to be on its return from Peshour to the British territories, after the complete attainment of all the objects of its mission. Considerable apprehensions, however, are entertained concerning the fate of the present Afghan monarch, Suja-ulMulk, whose competitor, Mahmud, was, by the last accounts, advancing from Candahar, of which he had gained possession, against the capital, Cabul, with a force which is understood to be vastly superior to any that the present monarch can muster to oppose it, even if joined by the army of Cashmere, which is also suspected to be in a state of disaffection. It may be proper here to remark, for the information of a part of our readers, that Mahmud, the competitor of the present monarch, is the son of Timur Shah, and half-brother to the present monarch, Suja-ul-Mulk, Their

On the Cohaut hills,

father, Timur Shah, died after a reign of nineteen years, leaving nineteen sons. To the eldest, Humaiodn, he gave the sovereignty of Herat and Candahar; to his favorite, Zemaun Shah, half-brother of Humaiodn, he gave the sovereignty of Cabul, and the rest of his Afghan possessions, as well as Cashmere and Multan. Now the rebel Mahmud is the full brother of Humaioon, king of Herat, who was dethroned by his brother, Zemaun Shah, and deprived of his sight. On the overthrow of Humaiodn, Mahmud assumed the government of Herat, and after defeating Zemaun Shah, took him prisoner, and blinded him in his turn. The present monarch, Suja-ulMulk, the full brother of Zemaun Shah, and half-brother of Mahmud and Humaioan, not only recovered Cabul from Mahmud, but also expelled him from his own kingdom of Herat and Candahar. Of this latter he has again contrived to regain possession, and is hastening to Cabul, to contest with his opponent the sovereignty of all the Afghan dominions. Zemaun Shah, whose name was so celebrated, both in Hindoostan and in Europe, about nine or ten years ago, and whose forces the British army, then under sir James Craig, endeavoured to bring to battle, is now living at Peshour, in close confinement, and deprived of his eyes, through the cruelty of his half-brother, by whom he was deposed some years ago, as above stated. The honourable Mr. Elphinstone returns, from Cabul to Calcutta, previously to his proceeding to Nagpore. MAY 31. — The news of the defeat of the royal army in Cashmere, by the forces of the rebellious soobahdar, Attah Mohammed Khan, was brought to Jaypore, by a messenger from the court, early in the present month. They had been discomfited, it is said, in several successive actions; and, in the end, had been completely routed, and driven behind the boundaries of the province. They were pursued by Mohammed Azeem, the commander of the soobahdar's army, to

[ocr errors]

within four miles of Mozufferabad, a city on the road to Attock, situated nearly half way between Cashmere and the Indus. There, it is said, the scattered remains of the padshah's forces had, at length, taken refuge, and their pursuers, arrested in their progress, had fallen back again towards their own frontier. In the course of these engagements, Mohammed Houssein Khan, one of the principal sirdars of Suja-ulMulk, had fallen; and two others, Rahim Khan Dooranee and Molaun Akreem, being taken alive on the second day, had been immediately put to death by the enemy. On the 4th of May, a person is said to have arrived at Umrut-Sir from Pe-hour, bearing a letter to a merchant of the former city, which stated, that Mahmud Shah, the new pretender to the throne, had arrived at Cabul from Candahar. He was accompanied by his sons and by Futteh Khan, and supported by a considerable armed force. He had already, it is added, obtained possession of the Balahissor at Cabul, a castle of some strength, where the younger princes of the royal blood are usually confined. Goolistan Khan, the representative of the reigning sovereign in that quarter, according to some accounts, had fled to the mountains; but, according to others of a more recent date, had taken post in the principal fort adjoining to the capital, within which the royal palace is situated, and had prepared to defend it against the assault of the besieging army. The two rebellious chieftains abovementioned (Mahmud Shah and Attah Mohammed Khan) are represented, by late letters from the upper provinces, as having entered into a correspondence with each other, and formed a common plan for the subversion of the throne. In the event of Mahmud's success, his coadjutor was to retain, by stipulation, the sovereignty of Cashmere. So quick a series of disatrous events had, as might be expected, excited no little disquiet and dismay at the court of Peshour. Sujah-ul-Mulk found himself left there almost alone, with an exhausted treasury, and a force too in*onsiderable even for the defence of his

person, and totally unequal to oppose the formidable armies of his rivals. On the first receipt of the news from Cashmere, he appears to have formed the resolution of marching thither in person immediately, with all the troops at his command;—and the small force, which he had assembled against the rebels in the west, is accordingly said to have taken, forthwith, the road to Attock. The intelligence from Cabul, however, is supposed to have altered his purpose, or at least to have produced some degree of hesitation and delay. Meanwhile, he had summoned all his sirdars and dependants to attend him, with what forces they could muster. Akreem Khan, the prime minister, is said to have set out for Cabul.

British Envoy at Lahore.

A definitive treaty of friendship and alliance has been concluded with Rajah Runjeit Sing, by Mr. Metcalf, the British envoy, at Lahore, under an engagement that, within two months from the period of signature, a copy ratified by the supreme government shall be delivered to the Seik chieftain.

The ultimate object of Mr. Met. calf's mission being thus accomplished, he took his departure from Umrut-Sir, about the 3d current, on his return to Dehlee. Two days previous to his departure, he received a visit of state from Runjeit Sing, which he returned on the following day. He passed the whole of the 2d at the palace, and took leave of his highness on the following morning. The presents interchanged, on these occasions, consisted, on either side, of an elephant, a horse, a quantity of pearls, some pieces of raiment, and other articles of inferior value. Khelaats were, also, distributed among the attendants of the rajah, and of the British envoy.

BEN GAL Occurrences for June.

To N. B. Edmonstone, Esq. ehief secretary to government.

SIR,- It is with the most acute

and painful emotions of sorrow and concern, that I acquaint you, for the information of the right honourable the governor-general in council, of the loss of the H. C. ship, Asia, late under my command, on the Gillingham Sand. w On Thursday, the 1st instant, about half past nine, A. M. when nearly abreast of Mud Point, standing up under the topsails, with a fine moderate breeze from the southward ; and the pilot schooner a-head, waving (as I was informed) four fathoms, the ship suddenly shoaled her water to a half three, when tie helm was immediately put to port, and the yards braced up with the latboard braces ; the pilot (Mr. Nash,) conceiving there was deeper water to the eastward ; but the immediately shoaled to a small quarter three, and, before the head yards could be backed, took the ground. The starboard bower anchor was instantly let go, and in a short time she swung olf, and ode to the tide ; and the sails were all clewed up and handed. At a quarter past eleven, after waiting till there was four fathoms along side, we hove short ; and while the cable was biting with the intention of – kedding in to the eastward, as the pilot informed me, the ship drove, and almost immediately took the ground a second time ; the cable was veered away as fast as possible, but to no purpose, as a very strong flood tide had set the ship directly on the sand before the anchor held. The topsails, courses, jobs, and stay-sails were directly set, for the purpose of shooting her to the eastward ; and as soon as they were trimmed, the cable was cut ; but she had then too strong hold of the ground; and the tide, which before was setting strong out from channel creek, now began to ebb, without the sails having had any effect in altering her position; they were, therefore, clewed up and handed, the top-gallant yards and masts sent down on deck ; and the pilot schooner ordered to lay an anchor out a-head. A boat, with an officer, was dispatched to Culpee and Diamond harbour, for the purpose of sending down an anchor boat, and empty sloops and bhurs, to receive the guns, ald

what cargo it would be found necessary to discharge, in order to lighten her ; and, also, for what men that could be procured from the ships at those places, by which time it was near four o'clock, and as the ship was laying, apparently very easy, and the water in the well had not increased more than two inches from the time it had been founded (at in the morning ;) the ship's company were ordered to dinner, as they had not time to breakfast before the ship was got under weigh in the morning, and had not tasted any thing from the day before.

About half past four, while we were all at dinner, three of the beams in the hold, before the main-hatchway, gave way; and the upper deck and gunwale appeared to be rising on the larboard side. The booms and longboat were then ordered to be got out; the water to be started; and a party, under the third officer, ordered to attend at the pumps. At half-past five, the water in the well, which had been gradually increasing from the time the beams gave way, was now reported to be three feet : a strong party, however, at the pumps, kept it for some time from gaining on us ; but the number of men, which were necessary for that purpose, and for sending the booms and long-boat over the side, fully employed every individual of the ship s company, and the few lascars, which were spared, on my application, from the two pilot schooners, (the Hooghly having returned to us immediately after Mr. Humphreys had seen the Walthamstow safe at Diamond harbour,) and it was found impracticable to spare any men to take on board the end of the cable, which was fast to the anchor that the schooner had laid out to the eastward, before the flood had made too strong to effect it.

About eight o'clock the booms were all overboard, and it was then found that four of the iron knees in the main hold had broke, and the ship began to fill very fast The orlop deck hatches were ordered to be caulked down, and well secured ; and every on's sent to the pumps, where every

possible exertion was made, by every individual of the ship's company, and the greatest order and cheerfulness prevailed amongst them to the last. At nine o'clock the water had forced its way through the after hatches, (which had been caulked down,) and in less than half an hour afterwards, it appeared on the gun deck. The people were then ordered up from the pumps, the boats to be lowered, and (the flood having made strong) to prepare to cut away the main mast ; which was carried into execution at ten o'clock, the mizen topmast falling with it. The main top mast sticking in the sand, the heel of the lower mast lay over the larboard Gunwale, and the rigging on the quarter-deck and poop. Ateleven, the wreck of the mast and the rigging were cleared of the decks ; by which time the upper deck was nearly under water; when we assembled; almost every person on the poop, some few remaining on the forecastle,) with what few articles of clothes that could be secured; and anxiously waited till high water:—the sea occasionally breaking over us, and so high, that the starboard boat, although hoisted up, and the only one then remaining of any service to us, (the long-boat and large cutter having been stove alongside,) was frequently endangered. At half past two, on the morning of the 2d, as soon as the tide broke, the John Bebb, pilot schooner, (attending the ship) sent her boat, in which the sick, the most helpless, and as many others as he could take, were conveyed to that vessel; and, with the assistance of the Hooghly's boat, and the ships, I suppose every person was out of her by half past three; when, after examining every accessible part of the ship, the officers and myself quitted her ; and I had the heartfelt satisfaction to find, when I Thustered the ship's company, immediately on my getting on board this schooner, that every one was saved from the ship. I trust, when the circumstances, attending the unfortunate loss of this valuable and excellent ship, are investigated, (which I most respectfully

lay as possible) it will appear, that every exertion to preserve her, and the valuable property on board, which \ it was possible for men to use, circumstanced as we were, was made, by every officer and individual belonging to and on board her; and of their uniform, steady, sober, and orderly conduct at all times, and on this trying and melancholy occasion in particular, I cannot sufficiently express my approbation and thanks. The officers and men are distributed on board this vessel and a sloop, which was proceeding to Hidgele, on government service, for salt ; which I have detained for the purpose of taking such articles of clothes and stores, as can be saved from the gun and upper-decks, which we have been hitherto employed about, when the tide would permit boats to lay alongside the wreck: but I am sorry to add, that one man, yesterday, contrived to get so intoxicated (the only instance which has occurred of that kind) that neither persuasion nor threats could prevail on him to quit the ship, on the fiood making; but he was observed, about half flood, to get on one of the rafts, which had been made the night before, and cut it adrift; and I hope he will land in safety. The ship was completely covered at high water yesterday, and I much fear there is no possibility of recovering any part of the valuable cargo, stores, and private property, below the gun deck; which has been half full at low water every tide since we left her. I, however, purpose remaining here till every inting is secured, that can be saved ; and I re-pectfully request that the right hon, the governor-general in council will be pleased to order, (and also arrange with the captains of his in jesty's navy,) that the Asia's crew may be distributed among the honourable company's ships now in the river ? and that his lordship in council will further be pleased to allot a house, or quarters of some kind, for the primcipal and warrant officers. I cannot conclude this letter without inentioning the great assistance, which captain Marshall, lieutenant

Stock, and ensign Pool, of the Madras etablishment, Cornet Thorne, of his majesty's 25th regiment of dragoons, and Mr. William Gordot, of Madras, passengers, have affolded, in working the ship up the river, and in their subsequent endeavours to save every thing from the wreck, which they could I must not fail to acknowledge the ready assistance, which ca; t in Jones, of the honourable company's ship, Walthamstow, sent to us immediately his ship was placed in safety at Diari,ond Hai bour: and I also beg leave to express my entire approbation of the conduct and exertions of Mr. Adair, his second officer, commanding the party, and the officers under him. To Mr. Humphreys, of the Hooghly schooner, I am much obliged for the zeal and inclination he has shewn to render every assistance in his power; and for the attention, kindness, and hospitality, with which myself, officers, passengers, and ship's company, have been received and treated by Mr. Nash,

I feel myself very much indebted and

extremely grateful. I have the honour to be, &c. H. P. TREMEN HERE. The John Bekh, pilot schooner, off Channel Creek, June 3, 1809. A court of enquiry assembled at the office of the marine board, on the 12th instant, for the purpose of investigating the circumstances of the above CaSe. " After a full investigation of the case, the court reported as their opinion, “That captain Tremenhere, his of ficers, and ship's company, used every possible exertich to save the ship, both before and after she finally took the ground, and that no blame whatever is imputable to captain Tremenhere, his officers, or his ship's company. They have been, therefore, honourably acquitted by the court.” The right honourable the governor general in council, having been pleased to appoint captain Tremenhere to the frigate, lately built at Penang, by order of the honourable company, captain Tremenhere was yesterday sworn into the command, and, with

his officers, and ship's company, will proceed to that island in the Venus, expected to sail in a few days.

June 7– The honourable company's ship, Asia, is totally lost on the sand-bank, between Kedgeree and 1)iamond Harbour, upon which she struck on the first current, in her passage up the Hooghly. Fortunately, no lives have been lost by this accident. A small port of the ship's stores have been saved; but the stormy weather, which prevailed the latter end of last week, defeated the exertions that were made to recover a part of her cargo from the wreck, which, it is now supposed, must be entirely lost. The cargo of the Asia consisted chiefly of English woollens, belonging to the honourable company, a number of bales of coast piece-goods, some remaining parts of the private investments of the captain and officers, and a considerable quantity of Madeira Wine.

The Asia is the first instance of the loss of any of the company's ships by getting aground in the river Hooghly, for the last twenty-two years. The Hinchinbrooke was lost off the Baraboola sand, in 1787, since which time, till the wreck of the Asia, a similar accident has not happened.

It having been resolved some time since, by government, that Meerat shall be one of the principal militiary stations under the residency of Fort William, arrangements to that effect have been directed accordingly ; and majorgeneral Fuller proceeds to take the command of that station.

Aetocke, the princess of New Zealand, was presented, on Monday morning, at the government-house, to the right honourable the governor-general. She was introduced by Commodore Hayes, and was most courteously received. The princess appeared slightly enbarrassed at the first moment of introduction ; but she soon recovered her usual ease and affability of manner. She has made such progress in English that she clearly comprehends

« 이전계속 »