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R E V EN UE RECORDS,
A. D. 1822-1833.
PUBLISHED, WITH THE SANCTION OF GOVERNMENT, BY ORDER OF
THE BOARD OF REVENUE, NORTH-WEST PROVINCES.
IN 1866 the Government of India published a Volume containing Selections from the Revenue Records of the North-West, from 1818 to 1820. Much of the discussions and correspondence which preceded the enactment of Regulation VII. of 1822 is embodied in that Volume. Abundant information, on the other hand, exists as to the Settlement operations carried on in these Provinces since the enactment of Regulation IX. of 1833. But of the deliberations and controversies which took place between 1822 and 1833 very little has as yet been made known. The object of the Selections now published is to continue the series of published Records, by supplying information as to the course pursued in the interval between 1822 and 1833.
Some of these papers have already been printed in the Report of the Select Committee on Indian Affairs, which sat in 1832. Among them are the Resolution of Government which forms the first of the Selections, Mr. Holt Mackenzie's Memorandum of 19th October, 1826, and Lord Metcalfe's Minutes. The Report alluded to is little known, and the republication of these papers will be useful. But many valuable documents—the Minutes of the Governor-General (Lord William Bentinck) for example, and Mr. Bird's Minutes, have never, the Board believe, seen light. The Selections, whether or not now for the first time published, have been arranged in order of time. They commence, it will be seen, from the Resolution of Government dated 1st August, 1822, which was published simultaneously with the enactment of Regulation VII. of that year; while the Board's Circular letter No. 40, dated 17th September, 1833, instructing the several Commissioners as to the measures to be adopted under Regulation IX. of 1833, then just become law, brings the present series to a close. The papers now printed contain but a fraction of the correspondence which took place during the period they refer to. But they have been selected as first in order of importance; they carry on the narrative of the Settlement history in a complete and continuous form; and they will be hereafter supplemented by the publication of further subordinate documents, completing and filling in the details which are omitted in the present Volume.
Anindex and an abstract of the contents of each paper are prefixed to the Volume. The old spelling of vernacular names and places has been adhered to, grotesque though it often seems. With the single exception of the omission of some trivial side-notes by Mr. Harrington in the second number, the Selections have, in all cases, been printed exactly as they are in the original, without omission, addition, or alteration. The asterisks which frequently occur in Mr. Mackenzie's Memorandum occur also in the original. A foot-note bas in most places called attention to this. But it will be understood that, whether or no a foot-note exists, the originals have throughout been scrupulously reproduced.
It was at first intended to issue these Selections from time to time in the Revenue Reporter. But the convenience of having them for reference in a single Volume has led to their publication in the present shape. Another Volume will shortly be printed, containing extracts of the evidence given before the Select Committee of 1832, and further extracts from the Board's Records. These, again, will from time to time be followed in the Revenue Reporter by fresh Selections; and the Board hope that Revenue Officers will communicate for publication notes and memoranda on the documents
so published, with especial reference to the light they throw on the past history and present status of landed tenures in these Provinces.
It will be of use to give a brief sketch of the several papers contained in this Series. The Selections open with the Resolution which was issued to give practical effect to Regulation VII, of 1822. Though necessary to complete the subject, this paper contains little of importance, except to the officers whom it was immediately framed to guide. It is mainly occupied with directions as to the machinery to be employed in working out the ensuing Settlement. But opportunity is taken emphatically to repeat the public pledge given in the preamble to Regulation VII., 1822: “A moderate assessment being equally conducive to the true interests of Government and to the well-being of its subjects, it is the wish and intention of Government that in revising the existing Settlement, the efforts of the Revenue Officers should be chiefly directed, not to any general and extensive enhancement of the jumma, but to the object of equalizing the public burthens.” This is the language of the Regulation; and the Resolution is even more explicit : “ The Governor-General in Council resolves to fix moderation of demand as the leading principle of the ensuing settlement.” Para. 81. An interval of four years, during which more or less unsuccessful efforts had been making to carry out these directions, brings us to the Second Number. In his Memorandum of 1826, the results of the four years were passed in review by Mr. Holt Mackenzie, and his criticisms, in turn, discussed by Mr. J. H. Harrington. This elaborate Memorandum will be found of very great interest, both as showing what were the circumstances in those days of villages which can easily be identified, the tenures, rights of cultivators, rent-rates, prices, area under cultivation, and other similar points : and as containing an exposition of Mr. Mackenzie's later views in respect of the