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Title: A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II
Author: Sleeman, William, 1788-1856
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II" ***




IN 1849--1850;




Resident at the Court of Lucknow


Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.

[Transcriber's note:
The author's spelling of the names of places and people vary
considerably, even within a single paragraph. The spelling of place
names in the text varies from that shown on the map. The author's
spelling is reproduced as in the printed text.]


My object in writing this DIARY OF A TOUR THROUGH OUDE was to
prepare, for submission to the Government of India, as fair and full
a picture of the real state of the country, condition, and feeling of
the people of all classes, and character of the Government under
which they at present live, as the opportunities which the tour
afforded me might enable me to draw.

The DIARY must, for the present, be considered as an official
document, which may be perused, but cannot be published, wholly or in
part, without the sanction of Government previously obtained.*

                    W. H. SLEEMAN.
Lucknow, 1852.

* This permission was accorded by the Honourable Court of Directors
in December last.

[Transcriber's note: _Rambles and Recollections of an Indian
Official_ by W. H. Sleeman 2nd Ed. 1915, p.xxxvi notes that the date
of the permission was not December 1851, but December 1852.]


Biographical Sketch of Major-General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B.


Private correspondence preceding the Journey through the Kingdom of


                   CHAPTER I.

Departure from Lucknow--Gholam Hazrut--Attack on the late Prime
Minister, Ameen-od-Dowla--A similar attack on the sons of a former
Prime Minister, Agar Meer--Gunga Sing and Kulunder Buksh--Gorbuksh
Sing, of Bhitolee--Gonda Bahraetch district--Rughbur Sing--Prethee
Put, of Paska--King of Oude and King of the Fairies--Surafraz mahal

                   CHAPTER II.

Bahraetch--Shrine of Syud Salar--King of the Fairies and the
Fiddlers--Management of Bahraetch district for forty-three years--
Murder of Amur Sing, by Hakeem Mehndee--Nefarious transfer of
_khalsa_ lands to Tallookdars, by local officers--Rajah Dursun Sing--
His aggression on the Nepaul Territory--Consequences--Intelligence
Department--How formed, managed, and abused--Rughbur Sing's
management of Gonda and Bahraetch for 1846-47--Its fiscal effects--A
gang-robber caught and hung by Brahmin villagers--Murder of
Syampooree Gosaen--Ramdut Pandee--Fairies and Fiddlers--Ramdut
Pandee, the Banker--the Rajahs of Toolseepoor and Bulrampoor--Murder
of Mr. Ravenscroft, of the Bengal Civil Service, at Bhinga, in 1823.

                   CHAPTER III.

Legendary tale of breach of Faith--Kulhuns tribe of Rajpoots--Murder
of the Banker, Ramdut Pandee, by the Nazim of Bahraetch--Recrossing
the Ghagra river--Sultanpoor district, State of Commandants of
troops become sureties for the payment of land revenue--Estate of
Muneearpoor and the Lady Sogura--Murder of Hurpaul Sing, Gurgbunsee,
of Kupragow--Family of Rajahs Bukhtawar and Dursun Sing--Their
_bynama_ Lands--Law of Primogeniture--Its object and effect--Rajah
Ghalib Jung--Good effects of protection to Tenantry--Disputes about
Boundaries--Our army a safety-valve for Oude--Rapid decay of Landed
Aristocracy in our Territories--Local ties in groves, wells, &c.

                   CHAPTER IV.

Recross the Goomtee river--Sultanpoor Cantonments--Number of persons
begging redress of wrongs, and difficulty of obtaining it in Oude--
Apathy of the Sovereign--Incompetence and unfitness of his Officers--
Sultanpoor, healthy and well suited for Troops--Chandour, twelve
miles distant, no less so--lands of their weaker neighbours absorbed
by the family of Rajah Dursun Sing, by fraud, violence, and
collusion; but greatly improved--Difficulty attending attempt to
restore old Proprietors--Same absorptions have been going on in all
parts of Oude--and the same difficulty to be everywhere encountered--
Soils in the district, _mutteear_, _doomutteea_, _bhoor_, _oosur_--
Risk at which lands are tilled under Landlords opposed to their
Government--Climate of Oude more invigorating than that of Malwa--
Captain Magness's Regiment--Repair of artillery guns--Supply of grain
to its bullocks--Civil establishment of the Nazim--Wolves--Dread of
killing them among Hindoos--Children preserved by them in their dens,
and nurtured.

                   CHAPTER V.

Salone district--Rajah Lal Hunmunt Sing of Dharoopoor--Soil of Oude--
Relative fertility of the _mutteear_ and _doomutteea_--Either may
become _oosur_, or barren, from neglect, and is reclaimed, when it
does so, with difficulty--Shah Puna Ata, a holy man in charge of an
eleemosynary endowment at Salone--Effects of his curses--Invasion of
British Boundary--Military Force with the Nazim--State and character
of this Force--Rae Bareilly in the Byswara district--Bandha, or
Misletoe--Rana Benee Madhoo, of Shunkerpoor--Law of Primogeniture--
Title of Rana contested between Benee Madhoo and Rogonath Sing--
Bridge and avenue at Rae Bareilly--Eligible place for cantonment and
civil establishments--State of the Artillery--Sobha Sing's regiment--
Foraging System--Peasantry follow the fortunes of their refractory
Landlords--No provision for the king's soldiers, disabled in action,
or for the families of those who are killed--Our sipahees, a
privileged class, very troublesome in the Byswara and Banoda
districts--Goorbukshgunge--Man destroyed by an Elephant--Danger to
which keepers of such animals are exposed--Bys Rajpoots composed of
two great families, Sybunsies and Nyhassas--Their continual contests
for landed possessions--Futteh Bahader--Rogonath Sing--Mahibollah the
robber and estate of Balla--Notion that Tillockchundee Bys Rajpoots
never suffer from the bite of a snake--Infanticide--Paucity of
comfortable dwelling-houses--The cause--Agricultural capitalists--
Ornaments and apparel of the females of the Bys clan--Late Nazim Hamid
Allee--His father-in-law Fuzl Allee--First loan from Oude to our
Government--Native gentlemen with independent incomes cannot reside
in the country--Crowd the city, and tend to alienate the Court from
the people.

                   CHAPTER VI.

Nawabgunge, midway between Cawnpoor and Lucknow--Oosur soils how
produced--Visit from the prime minister--Rambuksh, of Dhodeeakhera--
Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor--Agricultural capitalists--Sipahees and
native offices of our army--Their furlough, and petitions--
Requirements of Oude to secure good government. The King's reserved
treasury--Charity distributed through the _Mojtahid_, or chief
justice--Infanticide--Loan of elephants, horses, and draft bullocks
by Oude to Lord Lake in 1804--Clothing for the troops--The Akbery
regiment--Its clothing, &c.,--Trespasses of a great man's camp in
Oude--Russoolabad and Sufeepoor districts--Buksh Allee, the dome--
Budreenath, the contractor for Sufeepoor--Meeangunge--Division of the
Oude Territory in 1801, in equal shares between Oude and the British
Governments--Almas Allee Khan--His good government--The passes of
Oude--Thieves by hereditary profession, and village watchmen--
Rapacity of the King's troops--Total absence of all sympathy between
the governing and governed--Measures necessary to render the Oude
troops efficient and less mischievous to the people--Sheikh Hushmut
Allee, of Sundeela.



This distinguished officer, whose career in India extended over a
period of forty years, and whose services were highly appreciated by
three Governors-General--Viscount Hardinge, the Earl of Ellenborough,
and the Marquess of Dalhousie--evinced by their appointing him to the
most difficult and delicate duties--was the son of Philip and Mary
Sleeman, and was born at Stratton, Cornwall, 8th August, 1788. In
early years he evinced a predilection for the military profession;
and at the age of twenty-one (October, 1809), through the good
offices of the late Lord De Dunstanville, he was appointed an
Infantry Cadet in the Bengal army. Thither he proceeded as soon as
possible, and was promoted successively to the rank of Ensign, 23rd
September, 1810; Lieutenant, 16th December, 1814; Brevet-Captain,
24th April, 1824; Captain, 23rd September, 1826; Major, 1st February,
1837; Lieutenant-Colonel, 26th May, 1843; Colonel, 24th November,
1853; and obtained the rank of Major-General 28th November, 1854.

Early in his career he served in the Nepaulese war. The value of his
talents soon became known, and in 1816, when it was considered
necessary to investigate a claim to property as prize-money arising
out of that war, Lieutenant Sleeman was selected to inquire into it.
The report was accordingly made by him in February 1817, which was
designated by the Government as "able, impartial, and satisfactory."

In 1820 he was appointed junior Assistant to the Agent of the
Governor-General at Saugur, and remained in the Civil Department in
the Saugur and Nerbudda territories, with the exception of absence on
sick certificate, for nearly a quarter of a century. Here he
manifested that, if he had been efficient in an inferior position, he
was also an able administrator in a superior post. He distinguished
himself so much by his activity in the suppression of the horrible
practice of Thuggism, then so prevalent, that, in 1835, he was
employed exclusively in the Thuggee Department; his appointment in
the Saugur and Nerbudda districts being kept open, and his promotion
going on. The very valuable Papers upon Thuggism submitted to the
Governor-General were chiefly drawn up by Sir William Sleeman, and
the department specially commissioned for this important purpose was
not only organised but worked by him. In consequence of ill-health,
however, at the end of 1836, he was compelled to resign this
appointment; but on his return to duty in February 1839, he was
nominated to the combined offices of Commissioner for the Suppression
of Thuggee and Dacoity.

In 1842 he was employed on a special mission in Bundelcund, to
inquire into the causes of the recent disturbances there, and he
remained in that district, with additional duties, as Resident at
Gwalior, from 1844 until 1849, when he was removed to the highly
important office of Resident at the Court of Lucknow. Colonel Sleeman
held his office at Gwalior in very critical times, which resulted in
hostilities and the battle of Maharajpore. But for a noble and
unselfish act he would have received this promotion at an earlier
period. The circumstance was this: Colonel Low, the Resident at that
time, hearing that his father was dangerously ill, tendered his
resignation to Lord Auckland, who immediately offered the appointment
to Colonel Sleeman. No sooner had this occurred, however, than
Colonel Low wrote to his Lordship that, since he had resigned, the
house of Gaunter and Co., of Calcutta, in which his brother was a
partner, had failed, and, in consequence, every farthing he had saved
had been swept away. Under this painful contingency be begged to
place himself in his Lordship's hands. This letter was sent by Lord
Auckland to Colonel Sleeman, who immediately wrote to Colonel Low,
begging that he would retain his situation at Lucknow. This generous
conduct of Colonel Sleeman was duly appreciated; and Lord Auckland,
on leaving India, recommended him to the particular notice of his
successor. Lord Ellenborough, who immediately appointed Colonel
Sleeman to Jhansi with an additional 1000_l_. a-year to his income.

Colonel Sleeman held the appointment of Resident at Lucknow from the
year 1849 until 1856. During this period his letters and diary show
his unwearied efforts to arrive at the best information on all points
with regard to Oude. These will enable the reader to form a just,
opinion on the highly-important subject of the annexation of this
kingdom to British India. The statements of Colonel Sleeman bear
inward evidence of his great administrative talents, his high and
honourable character, and of his unceasing endeavours to promote the
best interests of the King of Oude, so that his kingdom might have
been preserved to him. Colonel Sleeman's views were directly opposed
to annexation, as his letters clearly show.

His long and arduous career was now, however, fast drawing to a
close. So early as the summer of 1854 it became evident that the
health of General Sleeman was breaking up, and in the August of that
year he was attacked by alarming illness. "Forty-six years of
incessant labour," observes a writer at this date, "have had their
influence even on his powerful frame: he has received one of those
terrible warnings believed to indicate the approach of paralysis.
With General Sleeman will depart the last hope of any improvement in
the condition of the unhappy country of Oude. Though belonging to the
elder class of Indian officials, he has never been Hindooized. He
fully appreciated the evils of a native throne: he has sternly, and
even haughtily, pointed out to the King the miseries caused by his
incapacity, and has frequently extorted from his fears the mercy
which it was vain to hope from his humanity."

Later in the year. General Sleeman went to the hills, in the hope of
recruiting his wasted health by change of air and scene; but the
expectation proved vain, and he was compelled to take passage for
England. But it was now too late: notwithstanding the best medical
aid, he gradually sank, and, after a long illness, died on his
passage from Calcutta, on the 10th February, 1856, at the age of

His Indian career was, indeed, long and honourable his labours most
meritorious. He was one of those superior men which the Indian
service is constantly producing, who have rendered the name of
Englishman respected throughout the vast empire of British India, and
whose memory will endure so long as British power shall remain in the

It is well known that Lord Dalhousie, on his relinquishing the Indian
Government, recommended General Sleeman and two other distinguished
officers in civil employment for some mark of the royal favour, and
he was accordingly nominated K.C.B., 4th February, 1856; of which
honour his Lordship apprised him in a highly gratifying letter.

But, however high the reputation of an officer placed in such
circumstances--and none stood higher than Sir William Sleeman, not
only in the estimation of the Governor-General and the Honourable
Company, but also in the opinion of the inhabitants of India, where
he had served with great ability for forty years, and won the respect
and love particularly of the natives, who always regarded him as
their friend, and by whom his equity was profoundly appreciated--it
was to be anticipated, as a matter of course, that his words and
actions would be distorted and misrepresented by a Court so
atrociously infamous. This, no doubt, he was prepared to expect, The
King, or rather the creatures who surrounded him, would at all cost
endeavour to prevent any investigation into their gross malpractices,
and seek to slander the man they were unable to remove.

The annexation of Oude to the British dominions followed, but not as
a consequence of Sir W. Sleeman's report. No greater injustice can be
done than to assert that he advised such a course. His letters prove
exactly the reverse. He distinctly states, in his correspondence with
the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, that the annexation of Oude
would cost the British power more than the value of ten such
kingdoms, and would inevitably lead to a mutiny of the Sepoys. He
constantly maintains the advisability of frontier kingdoms under
native sovereigns, that the people themselves might observe the
contrast, to the advantage of the Honourable Company, of the wise and
equitable administration of its rule compared with the oppressive and
cruel despotism of their own princes. Sir William Sleeman had
profoundly studied the Indian character in its different races, and
was deservedly much beloved by them for his earnest desire to promote
their welfare, and for the effectual manner in which, on all
occasions in his power, and these were frequent, he redressed the
evils complained of, and extended the _Ægis_ of British power over
the afflicted and oppressed.



THE following Narrative of a "Pilgrimage" through the kingdom of Oude
was written by the late Major-General Sir William Sleeman in 1851
(while a Resident at the Court of Lucknow), at the request of the
Governor-General the Marquess of Dalhousie, in order to acquaint the
Honourable Company with the actual condition of that kingdom, and
with the view of pointing out the best measures to be suggested to
the King for the improvement and amelioration of the country and

So early as October, 1847, the King of Oude had been informed by the
Governor-General, that if his system of rule were not materially
amended (for it was disgraceful and dangerous to any neighbouring
power to permit its continuance in its present condition) before two
years had expired, the British Government would find it necessary to
take steps for such purpose in his name. Accordingly on the 16th
September, 1848, the Governor-General addressed the following letter
to Sir William Sleeman, commissioning him to make a personal visit to
all parts of the kingdom:--

                         "_Government House, Sept_. 16, 1848.

"My Dear COLONEL SLEEMAN,--It was a matter of regret to me that I had
not anticipated your desire to succeed Colonel Sutherland in
Rajpootana before I made arrangements which prevented my offering
that appointment to you. I now regret it no longer, since the course
of events has put it in my power to propose an arrangement which
will, I apprehend, be more agreeable to you, and which will make your
services more _actively_ beneficial to the State.

"Colonel Richmond has intimated his intention of immediately
resigning the Residency at Lucknow. The communication made by the
Governor-General to the King of Oude, in October, 1847, gave His
Majesty to understand that if the condition of Government was not
very materially amended before two years had expired, the management
for his behoof would be taken into the hands of the British

"There seems little reason to expect or to hope that in October,
1849, any amendment whatever will have been effected. The
reconstruction of the internal administration of a great, rich, and
oppressed country, is a noble as well as an arduous task for the
officer to whom the duty is intrusted, and the Government have
recourse to one of the best of its servants for that purpose.

"The high reputation you have earned, your experience of civil
administration, your knowledge of the people, and the qualifications
you possess as a public man, have led me to submit your name to the
Council of India as an officer to whom I could commit this important
charge with entire confidence that its duties would be well
performed. I do myself, therefore, the honour of proposing to you to
accept the office of Resident at Lucknow, with especial reference to
the great changes which, in all probability, will take place.
Retaining your superintendency of Thuggee affairs, it will be
manifestly necessary that you should be relieved from the duty
of the trials of Thugs usually condemned at Lucknow.

"In the hope that you will not withhold from the Government your
services in the capacity I have named, and in the further hope of
finding an opportunity of personally making your acquaintance,

                "I have the honour to be,
                     "Dear Colonel Sleeman,
                          "Very faithfully yours,

"To Colonel Sleeman, &c., &c."

Immediately on receipt of this despatch, Sir William proceeded to
make the necessary inquiry. Doubtless the King (instigated by his
Ministers and favourites, who dreaded the exposure of all their
infamous proceedings) would have prevented this investigation, which,
he was aware, would furnish evidence of gross mal-administration,
cruelty, and oppression almost unparalleled; but Sir William Sleeman
was too well acquainted with the character of the people of the East
to be moved either by cajolery or menaces from the important duty
which had devolved upon him.

Sir William Sleeman's position as Resident enabled him to ascertain
thoroughly the real state of Oude; and the great respect with which
he was universally received manifests the high opinion entertained of
him personally by all ranks. The details he has given of the
prevailing anarchy and lawlessness throughout the kingdom, would
scarcely be believed were they not vouched for by an officer of
established reputation and integrity. Firmness united to amenity of
manner were indeed the characteristics of Sir William in his
important and delicate office at such a Court--a Court where the
King, deputing the conduct of business to Ministers influenced by the
basest motives, and who constantly sacrificed justice to bribery and
low intrigues, gave himself up to the effeminate indulgence of his
harem, and the society of eunuchs and fiddlers. His Majesty appears
to have been governed by favourites of the hour selected through
utter caprice, and to have permitted, if he did not order, such
atrocious cruelties and oppression as rendered the kingdom of Oude a
disgrace to the British rule in India, and called for strong
interference, on the score of humanity alone, as well as with the
hope of compelling amendment.

The letter addressed by Lord Dalhousie to Sir William Sleeman
expresses the desire of the Governor-General that he should endeavour
to inform himself of the actual state of Oude, and render his
Narrative a guide to the Honourable Company in its Report to the
Court of Directors. The details furnish but too faithful a picture of
the miserable condition of the people, equally oppressed by the
exactions of the King's army and collectors, and by the gangs of
robbers and lawless chieftains who infest the whole territory,
rendering tenure so doubtful that no good dwellings could be erected,
and land only partially cultivated; whilst the numberless cruelties
and atrocious murders surpass belief. Shut up in his harem, the voice
of justice seldom reached the ear of the monarch, and when it did,
was scarcely heeded. The Resident, it will be seen, was beset during
his journey with petitions for redress so numerous, that, anxious as
he was to do everything in his power to mitigate the horrors he
witnessed, he frequently gives vent to the pain he experienced at
finding relief impracticable.

The Narrative contains an unvarnished but unexaggerated picture of
the actual state of Oude, with many remedial suggestions; but direct
annexation formed no part of the policy which Sir William Sleeman
recommended. To this measure he was strenuously opposed, as is
distinctly proved by his letters appended to the Journal. At the same
time, he repeatedly affirms the total unfitness of the King to
govern. These opinions are still further corroborated by the
following letter from his private correspondence, 1854-5, written
when Resident at Lucknow, and published in the _Times_ in November

"The system of annexation, pursued by a party in this country, and
favoured by Lord Dalhousie and his Council, has, in my opinion, and
in that of a large number of the ablest men in India, a downward
tendency--a tendency to crush all the higher and middle classes
connected with the land. These classes it should be our object to
create and foster, that we might in the end inspire them with a
feeling of interest in the stability of our rule. _We shall find a
few years hence the tables turned against us_. In fact, the
aggressive and absorbing policy, which has done so much mischief of
late in India, is beginning to create feelings of alarm in the native
mind; and it is when the popular mind becomes agitated by such alarms
that fanatics will always be found ready to step into Paradise over
the bodies of the most prominent of those from whom injury is
apprehended. I shall have nothing new to do at Lucknow. Lord
Dalhousie and I have different views, I fear. If he wishes anything
done that I do not think right and honest, I resign, and leave it to
be done by others. I desire a strict adherence to solemn engagements,
whether made with white faces or black. We have no right to annex or
confiscate Oude; but we have a right, under the treaty of 1837, to
take the management of it, but not to appropriate its revenues to
ourselves. We can do this with honour to our Government and benefit
to the people. To confiscate would be dishonest and dishonourable. To
annex would be to give the people a government almost as bad as their
own, if we put our screw upon them. My position here has been and is
disagreeable and unsatisfactory: we have a fool of a king, a knave of
a minister, and both are under the influence of one of the cleverest,
most intriguing, and most unscrupulous villains in India."

Major Bird, in his pamphlet "Dacoitee in Excelsis," while
endeavouring to establish a case for the King of Oude, has assumed
that Sir William Sleeman was an instrument in the hands of Lord
Dalhousie, to carry out his purpose of annexing Oude to British
India. The letters, now first printed, entirely refute this hasty and
erroneous statement. Major Bird has, in fact, withdrawn it himself in
a lecture delivered by him at Southampton on Tuesday, the 16th of
February, 1858.

It will be seen that Sir W. Sleeman's "Diary" commences on December
1, 1849. To preserve chronological order, the letters written before
that date are prefixed; those which refer to a later period are added
at the end of the narrative.



                                    Camp, 20th February, 1848.

My Dear Sir,

I thank you for your letter of the 10th instant, and am of opinion
that you may be able to make good use of Bhurut Sing under judicious
management, and strict surveillance; but you do not mention who and
what he is--whether he is a prisoner under sentence, or a free agent,
or of what caste and profession. Some men make these offers in order
to have opportunities of escape, while engaged in the pretended
search after associates in crime; others to extort money from those
whom they may denounce, or have the authority and means to arrest. He
should be made to state distinctly the evidence he has against
persons, and the way he got it; and all should be recorded against
the names of the persons in a Register. Major Riddell is well
acquainted with our mode of proceedings in all such cases, and I
recommend you to put yourself in communication, as soon as possible,
with him, and Mr. Dampier, the Superintendent of Police, who
fortunately takes the greatest possible interest in all such matters.
I have no supervision whatever over the officers of the department
employed in Bengal; all rests entirely with Mr. Dampier. You might
write to him at once, and tell him that you are preparing such a
Register as I suggest; and if he is satisfied with the evidence, he
will authorise the arrest of all or part, and well reward Bhurut Sing
for his services.

       Believe me, My Dear Sir,
             With best wishes for your success,
                   Yours sincerely,
            (Signed)         W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Capt. J. Innes,


                                         Camp, 20th February, 1848.
My Dear Colonel Sutherland,

There are at Jubulpore a good many of the Bagree decoits, who have
been sentenced as approvers, by the Courts of Punchaet, in
Rajpootana, to imprisonment for very short periods. Unless they are
ordered to be retained when these periods expire, on a requisition of
security for their future good behaviour, they will make off, and
assuredly return to their hereditary trade. The ordinary pay of the
grades open to them in our police and other establishments, will not
satisfy them when they find that we have no hold upon them, and they
become more and more troublesome as the time for their enlargement

I send you copies of the letters from Government of the 27th June,
1839, from which you will see that it was intended that all
professional decoits who gave us their services on a promise of
conditional pardon, should have a sentence of imprisonment for life
recorded against them, the execution of which was to be suspended
during their good behaviour, and eventually altogether remitted in
cases where they might be deemed to have merited, by a course of true
and faithful services, such an indulgence. In all other parts, as
well as in our own provinces as in native states, such sentences,
have been recorded against these men, and they have cheerfully
submitted to them, under the assurance that they and their children
would be provided with the means of earning an honest livelihood; but
in Rajpootana it has been otherwise.

By Act 24, of 1843, all such professional gang-robbers are declared
liable to a sentence, on conviction, of imprisonment for life; and
everywhere else a sentence of imprisonment for life has been passed
upon all persons convicted of being gang-robbers by profession. This
is indispensably necessary for the entire suppression of the system
which Government has in view. Do you not think that in your Courts
the final sentence might be left to the European functionaries, and
the verdict only left to the Punchaets? The greater part of those
already convicted in these Courts will have to be released soon, and
all who are so will certainly return to their trade; and the system
will continue in spite of all our efforts to put it down. I have just
been at Jubulpore, and the bearing of the Bagree decoits, sent from
Ajmeer by Buch, is quite different from that of those who have had a
sentence of imprisonment for life passed against them in other
quarters, and is very injurious to them, for they get so bad a name
that no one will venture to give them service of any kind. Do, I pray
you, think of a remedy for the future. The only one that strikes me
is that above suggested, of leaving the final sentence to the
European officers.

I need not say that I was delighted at your getting the great Douger
Sing by the means you had yourself proposed for the pursuit--sending
an officer with authority to disregard boundaries.

            Yours sincerely,
          (Signed)           W. S. SLEEMAN

To Col. Sutherland.


                                     Jhansee, 4th March, 1848.

My Lord,

I had the gratification to receive your Lordship's letter of the 7th
of January last, at Nursingpore, in the valley of the Nerbudda, where
I commenced my Civil career more than a quarter of a century before,
and where, of all places, I should have wished to receive so gracious
a testimonial from such high authority. I should have earlier
expressed by grateful acknowledgments, and prepared the narrative so
frequently called for, but I was then engaged in preparing a Report
on Gang-robbery in India, and wished first to make a little more
progress, that I might be able to speak more confidently of its
ultimate completion and submission to Government. In a less perfect
form this Report was, at the earnest recommendation of the then
Lieut.-Governor N.W.P., the Honourable T. Robertson, and with the
sanction of the Governor-General Lord Auckland, sent to the
Government press so long back as 1842, but his Lordship appeared to
me to think that the printing had better be deferred till more
progress had been made in the work of putting down the odious system
of crime which the Report exposed, and I withdrew it from the press
with little hope of ever again having any leisure to devote to it, or
finding any other person able and willing to undertake its

During the last rains, however, I began again to arrange the confused
mass of papers which I found lying in a box; but in October I was
interrupted by a severe attack of fever, and unable to do anything
but the current duties of my office till I commenced my tour through
the Saugor territories, in November. I have since nearly completed
the work, and hope to be able to submit it to Government before the
end of this month in a form worthy of its acceptation.

I am afraid that the narrative of my humble services will be found
much longer than it ought to be, but I have written it hastily that
it might go by this mail, and it is the first attempt I have ever
thought of making at such a narrative, for I have gone on quietly
"through evil and through good report," doing, to the best of my
ability, the duties which it has pleased the Government of India,
from time to time, to confide to me, in the manner which appeared to
me most conformable to its wishes and its honour, satisfied and
grateful for the trust and confidence which enabled me to do so much
good for the people, and to secure so much of their attachment and
gratitude to their rulers.

Permit me to subscribe myself, with great respect, Your Lordship's
faithful and obedient humble servant,

            (Signed)          W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Lieut.-General the Right Hon.
Henry Viscount Hardinge,
     &c. &c. &c.


                                       Jhansee, 4th March, 1848.
Dear Sir,

Lord Hardinge, in a letter dated the 7th of January last, requested
me to make out a narrative of my humble services in India, and to
send it under cover to you, as he expected to embark on the 15th,
before he could receive it in Calcutta. I take the liberty to send my
reply with the narrative, open, and to request that you will do me
the favour to have them sealed and forwarded to his Lordship.

         Believe me, dear Sir,
              Yours very faithfully,
              (Signed)        W. H. SLEEMAN.

To J. Cosmo Melvill,
Secretary to the East India Company,
India House, London.


                                        Jhansee, 28th March, 1848.

My Dear Elliot,

The Court of Directors complain that decoit prisoners are not tried
as soon as they are caught, but they know little of the difficulties
that the officers under me find in getting them tried, for political
officers have, in truth, had little encouragement to undertake such
duties, and it is only a few choice spirits that have entered upon
the duty _con amore_. General Nott prided, himself upon doing nothing
whatever while he was at Lucknow; General Pollock did all he could,
but it was not much; and Colonel Richmond does nothing. There the
Buduk decoits, Thugs, and poisoners, remain without sentences, and
will do so till Richmond goes, unless you give him a fillip. If you
tell him to apply for an assistant to aid him in the conduct of the
trials, and tell him to nominate his own, he may go to work, and I
earnestly pray you to do something, or the Oude Turae will become
what it had for ages been before we cleaned it out. Davidson was
prevented from doing anything by technical difficulties, so that out
of _four Residents we have not got four days' work_.

You will soon get my Report, and it will be worth having, and the
last I shall make on crime in India.

If Hercules had not had better instruments he could not so easily
have cleared out his stable; but he had no "Honourable Court" to find
fault with his mode of doing the thing, I conclude. The fact is,
however, that our prisoners are pretty well tried before they get
into quod. Mr. Bird will be delighted at the manner in which he is
introduced in my first chapter, and many another good officer well

                   Yours sincerely,
                         (Signed)       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
Secretary to the Government of India,


                                    Jhansee, 29th March, 1848.

My Dear Maddock,

I hope you will not disapprove of the resolution to which I have come
of resigning the charge of the Saugor territories, now that
tranquillity has been restored,--the best possible feelings among the
people prevail, and the object you had in view in recommending Lord
Ellenborough to confide that charge to me has been effected,--or of
the manner in which I have tendered my resignation. Were I longer to
retain the charge, I should be subjected to humiliations which the
exigencies of the public service do not require that I should at this
time of life submit to, and I shall have enough of labour and anxiety
in the charge that will still remain to me. If an opening for Sir R.
Shakespear could be found, his salary might be saved by my residence
being transferred to Gwalior. If either Hamilton or I were to be
removed to some other post, it would be well to reduce Gwalior and
Indore to political agencies, under the supervision of an agent, as
in Rajpootana, with Bundelcund added to his charge. The latter of
these two measures has, you know, been under consideration, and was,
I think, proposed by Sutherland when you were at Gwalior with Lord
Auckland. Had the Lieutenant-Governor known more of the Saugor
territories when he wrote the paper on which Government is now
acting, he would not, I think, have described the state of things as
he has done, or urged the introduction of the system which must end
in minutely subdividing all leases, and in having all questions
regarding land tenures removed into the civil Courts, as in the
provinces. It is the old thing, "nothing like leather." I shall not
weary you by anything more on this subject. I hope a good man will be
selected for the charge. The selection of Mr. M. Smith as successor
to Mr. Brown was a good one. My letter will go off to-day, and be, I
trust, well received. I am grieved that Clerk has been obliged to
quit his post; he has been throughout his career an ornament to your
service, but his friends seem all along to have apprehended that he
could not long stand the climate of Bombay. I am anxious to learn how
long you are to remain in Council.

                      Yours very sincerely,
                      (Signed)       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Hon. Sir T. H. Maddock,
         &c. &c. &c.


                                        Jhansee, 2nd April, 1848.

My Dear Elliot,

Till I this morning got the public letter, which will go off to-day,
I never heard one word about Shakespear's intention or wish to go to
the hills, and only thirteen days remain. The orders of Government as
to his _locum tenens_ cannot reach me by the 15th, when he is to
leave, and I shall have to put in some one to take charge, as there
is a treasury under his management.

If Government wish to take Major Stevens from the Byza Bae, and give
him some other employment, he might be sent to act for Captain Ross;
but I know nothing of his fitness for such an office.

I believe you know Captain Ross, and I need say nothing more than
what I have said in my public letter. If he be sent to Gwalior, I
hope a good officer may be sent to act for him in Thalone, for the
duties are very heavy and responsible. Blake will do very well, and
so would his second in command, Captain Erskine, of the 73rd, who is
an excellent civil officer. I must pray you to let me have the orders
of Government on the subject as soon as possible.

                 Yours sincerely,
              (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

P.S.--I should consider Major Stevens an able man for a civil charge,
but have never seen him.

              (Signed)     W. H. S.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
     &c. &c.


                                        Jhansee, 6th May, 1848.

My Dear Maddock,

Your kind letter of the 21st ultimo had prepared me for the public
one of the 28th, which I got yesterday from Elliot, and I wrote off
at once, to say simply that I should be glad to suspend or to
withdraw the application contained in my letter of the 29th of March,
as might appear best to Government; and that I should not have made
it at all, had I apprehended that a compliance with it would have
been attended with any inconvenience.

With the knowledge I have acquired of the duties of the several
officers, and the entire command of my time here at a quiet place,
and long-established methodical habits, I can get through the work
very well, though it becomes trying sometimes. Arrears I never allow
to accumulate, and regular hours, and exercise, and sparing diet,
with water beverage, keep me always in condition for office work. I
often wish that you could have half the command of your hours, mode
of living, and movements, that I have. However, they will soon be
much more free than mine. I am very glad that you have the one year
more for a wind up; and hope that good fortune will attend you to the
last. You say nothing, however, about your foot. The papers and
letters from home have just come in. I hear that Lord John is very
unwell, and will not be able to stand the work many months more, and
that Sir R. Peel is obliged to be _cupped_ once a-week, and could not
possibly take office. Who is to take helm in the troubled ocean, no
one knows. I am glad that Metternich has been kicked out, for he and
Louis Philippe are the men that have put in peril the peace and
institutions of all Europe. I only wish that the middle class was as
strong in France as it is in England; it is no doubt infinitely
stronger than it was; while the lower order is better than that of
England, I believe, for such occasions. They have good men now in the
provisional Government--so they had in 1788; and, like them, the
present men will probably be swept away by the mob. They are not,
however, likely to be embarrassed by other nations, since the days of
Pitt and George III. are passed away, and so are the feudal times
when the barons could get up civil wars for their own selfish
purposes. There are no characters sufficiently prominent to get up a
civil war, but the enormous size of the army is enough to create
feelings of disquiet. It is, however, officered from the middle
classes, who have property at stake, and must be more or less
interested in the preservation of order.

The Government has no money to send to Algiers, and must reduce its
strength there, so that Egypt is in no danger at present; were it so,
we should be called upon to defend it from India, and could well do
so. It is evident that the whole French nation was alienated from
Louis Philippe, and prepared to cast off him and all his family,
though, as you say, I do not believe that there was anywhere any
design to oust him and put down monarchy. Had he thrown off Guizot a
little sooner, and left some able military leaders free to act, the
_émeute_ would have been put down; but those who could have acted did
not feel free to do so: they did not feel sure of the king, while
they were sure of the odium of the people. I am not at all sorry for
the change. I am persuaded that it will work good for Europe; but
still its peace and best institutions are in peril at present. We are
in no danger here, because people do not understand such things; and
because England is in a prouder position than ever, and will, I
trust, retain it.

Lord Grey seems an able man at home, but he is, I believe, hot-
headed, and Lord Stanley is ten times worse; he would soon have up
the barricades in London. Lord Clarendon seems a safe guide, but
_Peel_ is the man for the time, if he has the stamina. Lord
Palmerston has conducted the duties of his office with admirable tact
of late; and much of the good feeling that prevails in Europe towards
England at present seems to arise from it. Amelie begs to be most
kindly remembered; she is here with her little boy--two girls at
Munsoorie, and two girls and a boy at home.

              Yours very sincerely,
                (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Hon. Sir T. H. Maddock,
         &c. &c. &c.


                                    Jhansee, 14th May, 1848.

My Dear Weston,

I have been directed by Government to name an officer whom I may
consider competent to superintend the suppression of Thuggee in the
Punjaub, where a new class has been discovered, and some progress has
been made in finding and arresting them. I have, in reply, mentioned
that I should have Captain Williams, of the 29th, and Captain
Chambers, of the 21st; but their services might not be considered
available, since the prescribed number of captains are already absent
from their regiments, and, in consequence, I have you. I know not
whether you will like the duties; if not, pray tell me as soon as

The salary is 700 rupees a-month, with office-rent 40, and
establishments 152. The duties are interesting and important; and so
good a foundation has been laid by Larkins and the other local
authorities, and all are so anxious to have the evil put down, that
you will have the most cordial support and co-operation of all, and
the fairest prospect of success. But you will have to apply yourself
steadily to work, and if you have not _passed_, you should do so as
soon as possible. I do not see P. opposite your name, and Government
may possibly object on this ground. Let all this be _entre nous_ for
the present.

If you undertake the duties, you will have to go to Lodheeana, seeing
Major Graham at Agra, on the way, to get a little insight into the

                  Yours sincerely,
              (Signed)         W. H. SLEEMAN.

P.S.--You will be in the most interesting scene in India, and need be
under no apprehension about the permanency of the appointment.

To Lieut. Weston,
    &c. &c.


                                      Jhansee, 18th May, 1848.
My Dear Maddock,

Things are not going on so well as could be wished in the Punjaub;
and it appears to me that we have been there committing an error of
the same kind that we committed in Afghanistan--that is, taking upon
ourselves the most odious part of the executive administration. In
such a situation this should have been avoided, if possible. There is
a kind of chivalry in this--if there is anything odious to be done,
or repugnant to the feelings of the people, a young Englishman thinks
he must do it himself, lest he should be thought disposed to shift
off a painful burthen upon others; and he thinks it unbecoming of us
to pay any regard to popular feeling. Of course, also, the officers
of the Sikh State are glad to get rid of such burthens while they see
English gentlemen ready to carry them. Now, it strikes me that we
might, with a little tact, have altered all this, and retained the
good feelings of the people, by throwing the executive upon the
officers of the Sikh State, and remaining ourselves in the dignified
position of Appellate Courts for the redress of grievances inflicted
by these officers in neglect of duty or abuse of authority. Our duty
would have been to guide, control, and check, and the head of all
might have been like the sovereigns of England--known only by his
acts of grace.

By keeping in this dignified position we should not only have
retained the good feelings of the people, but we should have been
teaching the Sikh officers their administrative duties till the time
comes for making over the country; and the chief and Court would have
found the task, made over to them under such a system, more easy to
sustain. In Afghanistan we did the reverse of all this, and became
intolerably odious to the mass of the people; for they saw that
everything that was harsh was done by us, and the officers of the
King were disposed to confirm and increase this impression because
they were not employed. The people of the Punjaub are not such
fanatics, and they are more divided in creed and caste, while they
see no ranges of snowy mountains, barren rocks, and difficult passes
between us and our reinforcements and resources; but it seems clear
that there is a good deal of excitement and bad feeling growing up
amongst them that may be very mischievous. All the newspapers,
English and native, make the administration appear to be altogether
English--it is Captain This, Mr. That, who do, or are expected to do,
everything; and all over the country the native chiefs will think,
that the leaving the country to the management of the Sirdars was a
mere mockery and delusion.

We should keep our hands as much as possible out of the harsh and
dirty part of the executive work, that the European officers may be
looked up to with respect as the effectual check upon the native
administrators; always prepared to check any disposition on their
part to neglect their duty or abuse their power, and thereby bring
their Government into disrepute. Of course, the outrage at Mooltan
must be avenged, and our authority there established; but, when this
is done, Currie should be advised to avoid the rock upon which our
friend Macnaghten was wrecked. We are too impatient to jump down the
throats of those who venture to look us in the face, and to force
upon them our modes of doing the work of the country, and to
superintend the doing it ourselves in all its details, or having it
done by creatures of our own, commonly ten times more odious to the
people than we are ourselves.

It is unfortunate that this outrage, and the excitement to which it
has given rise, should have come so quickly upon Lord Hardinge's
assurances at the London feast, and amidst the turmoil of popular
movements at home. It has its use in showing us the necessity of
being always prepared.

Baba Bulwunt Row tells me that he has got a letter from you in the
form of Khureela, and claims one from me on that ground. Shall I
comply? We have avoided this hitherto, as the Pundits put him up to
claim everything that the Bae's family had, not even omitting the
Thalone principality; and hints have been dropped of a mission to
England, if the money could be got. I wish to subdue these
pretensions for his own sake, that he may not be entirely ruined by
temptations to expensive displays. He has now got the entire
management of his own affairs, and is a sensible, well-disposed lad.
He was never recognised as the Bae's successor by Government or the
Agent, nor was he written to on the Bae's death. Cunput Row Bhaca was
the person addressed in the letter of condolence. His son has run
through all he has or can borrow, and is in a bad way. Moresor Row
has the reputation of being very rich, though he pleads poverty
always. The whole of the Saugor territories, save Mundla, have
benefited by two very fine seasons, with great demand for land
produce, and the people are happy. I have asked for reductions in
Mundla, to save the little of tillage and population that has been
left. The whole revenue is a mere trifle in such a jungle as you know
it to be, and when once the people go off, there is no getting them
back. Deer destroy the crops upon the few fields left, tigers come to
eat the deer, and malaria follows, to sweep off the remaining few

I must not prose any longer at present. Amelia often talks of you,
and begs to be kindly remembered.

              Ever yours sincerely,
           (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Hon. Sir T. H. Maddock,
       &c. &c. &c.


                                        Jhansee, 28th May, 1848.
My Dear Maddock,

I yesterday sent off by Dawk Bangy an elaborate Report on Dacoits by
hereditary profession, and on the measures adopted by the Government
of India for their suppression, and hope it will reach Calcutta
before the rains set in heavily. Government may be justly proud of
the good which it shows to have been effected for the people of India
in the course of a brief period; and I am glad that you have for this
period been a member of it. There is much in the Report to interest
the general reader, but much of what is inserted would, of course,
have been left out by any one who had to consult the wishes of such
readers only.

At this time last year I had not the slightest hope of ever being
able to lay such a Report before Government; for I never expected to
find leisure in my present office, and could not carry the requisite
records with me, if driven away by sickness, to where I might find
it. The papers lay mouldering in an old box, to which I had consigned
them in 1840, when I withdrew them from the press, under the
impression that Lord Auckland thought that the exposition of the
terrible evil ought not to appear till more progress had been made in
its suppression; as G. Thompson and other itinerant orators would be
glad to get hold of them to abuse the Government. The Report is
infinitely more interesting and complete than it could have been
then, and may bid defiance to all such orators.

If printed, it will take from 400 to 450 pages, such as those of the
late Report on the Indian Penal Code, and be a neat and useful volume
for reference. I began it in the rains last year, but was stopped
short by a fever, and unable to continue it till I set out on my
tour. Three-fourths of it was written in the intervals between the
morning's march and breakfast-time during my tour through the Saugor

The tables of dacoitees ascertained to have been committed by the
dacoits described, and of the conditionally pardoned offenders, will
follow, and be found useful for reference, but should not, perhaps,
be in the same volume with the text of the Report; of that, however,
I leave Government to judge. I thank God that I have been able to
place before it so complete and authentic a record of what has been
done to carry out its views.

              Ever most sincerely yours,
             (Signed)         W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Hon. Sir T. H. Maddock,
       &c. &c. &c.

                                     Jhansee, 15th August, 1848.

My Lord,

As it is possible that the letter which I addressed to your Lordship
on the 6th of March last, and sent open to Mr. Melvill, the Secretary
at the India House, may have miscarried; I write to mention that I
sent it, lest it might be supposed that I was insensible of the
kindness which induced your Lordship to write to me before leaving
India. The work which made me delay so long to reply to that letter
is now being printed in Calcutta, under the authority of Government;
and, as it contains much that is curious and entertaining, and
honourable to our rule in India, I trust at no distant day to have
the honour of presenting a copy to your Lordship.

Amidst events of such absorbing interest as are now taking place
every day in Europe, India cannot continue long to engage much of
your thoughts; for, with the exception of the little outbreak at
Mooltan, tranquillity prevails, and is likely to do so for some time.
There has been delay in putting down the Mooltan rebels, but the next
mail will, I hope, take home news of the work having been effectually
done. This delay seems to have arisen from a notion that troops ought
not to be employed in the hot winds and rains; but when occasion
requires they can be employed at all times, and the people of India
require to be assured that they can be so. It has not, I think, been
found that troops actually employed in the hot winds and rains lose
more men than in cantonments, at least native troops.

It was, I think, your Lordship's intention that, in the Lahore state,
we should guide, direct, and supervise the administration, but not
take all the executive upon ourselves, to the exclusion of all the
old native aristocracy, as we had done in Afghanistan. This policy
has not, I am afraid, been adhered to sufficiently; and we have,
probably, less of the sympathy and cordial good-will of the higher
and middle classes than we should otherwise have had. But I am too
far from the scene to be a fair judge in such matters.

The policy of interposing Hindoo native states between us and the
beggarly fanatical countries to the north-west no wise man can, I
think, doubt; for, however averse our Government may be to encroach
and creep on, it would be drawn on by the intermeddling dispositions
and vainglory of local authorities; and every step would be ruinous,
and lead to another still more ruinous. With the Hindoo
principalities on our border we shall do very well, and trust that we
shall long be able to maintain them in the state required for their
own interests and ours.

I wish England would put forth its energies to raise the colony of
New Zealand, the queen of the Pacific Ocean; for the relations
between that island and India must some day become very intimate, and
the sooner it begins the better. I am very glad to find by the last
mail that the French have put their affairs into better hands--those
of practical men, instead of visionaries.

           Believe me, with great respect,
               Your Lordship's obedient, humble servant,
                   (Signed)         W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Lieut.-General the Right Hon.
Henry Viscount Hardinge, G.C.B.,
        &c. &c. &c.


                                       Jhansee, 22nd August 1848.

My Dear Sir Erskine,

I thank you for kindly sending me a copy of your Address to the
Native Youth at Bombay and their Parents, and should have done so
earlier, but it has been in circulation among many of my friends who
feel interested in the subject. Whatever may be thought of the
question as to where we should begin, all concur in acknowledging the
truth of your conclusions as to the value and use of the knowledge we
wish to impart, and in admiring the language and sentiment of your

There are some passages of great beauty, which I wish all persons
could read and remember; and I do not recollect ever having seen one
that has pleased me more, for its truths and elegance, than that
beginning, "But if a manufacturing population." That which begins
with--"The views, young men, as to the true object and ends to be
attained," is no less truthful and excellent.

It is unfortunate that the education which we have to supplant in
India is so blended with the religion of the people, as far as
Hindoos are concerned, that we cannot make progress without exciting
alarm. Had a nation, endowed with all the knowledge we have, come
into Europe in the days of Galileo and Copernicus, and attempted to
impart it to the mass of the people, or to the higher classes only,
the same alarm would have been raised, or nearly the same. We must be
content with small, or slow progress; but there are certain branches
of knowledge, highly useful to the people, that are finding their way
among them from our metropolitan establishments, and working good.

I might better have said, that had we come into Greece when Homer was
the Bible of the people, with all our astronomy, chemistry, and
physical science generally, and our literature, blended as it is with
our religion, we should have found our Greek fellow-subjects as
untractable as the Hindoos or Parsees. The fact is, that every
Hindoo, educated through our language in our literature and science,
must be more or less wretched in domestic life, for he cannot feel or
think with his family, or bring them to feel or think with him. The
knowledge which he has acquired satisfies him that the faith to which
they adhere, and which guides them in all their duties, ceremonies,
acts, and habits, is monstrous and absurd; but he can never hope to
impart to them this knowledge, or to alienate them from that faith;
nor does he himself feel any confidence in any other creed: he feels
that he is an isolated being, who can exchange thoughts and feelings
unreservedly with no one. I have seen many estimable Hindoos in this
state, with minds highly gifted and cultivated, and with abilities
for anything. For such men we cannot create communities, nor can they
create them for themselves: they can enjoy their books and
conversation with men who understand and enjoy them like themselves;
but how few are the men of this class with whom they can ever hope to
associate on easy terms! It is not so with Mahommedans. All the
literature and science in the world has no more effect on their faith
than on ours; and their families apprehend no alienation in any
member who may choose to indulge in them; and they indulge in them
little, merely because they do not find that they conduce to secure
them employment and bread.

I think it would be useful if we could get rid of the terms
_education_, _civilization_, &c., and substitute that of _knowledge_.
It would obviate much controversy, for the greater part of our
disputes arise from the vagueness of the terms we use. All would
agree that certain branches of knowledge are useful to certain
classes, and that certain modes are the best for imparting them. The
subject is deeply interesting and important; but I must not indulge

          Believe me, My Dear Sir Erskine,
             With great respect,
                Yours very faithfully,
               (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

 To Sir Erskine Perry,
 Chief Justice, Bombay.


                                 Jhansee, 24th September, 1848.

My Lord,

I feel grateful for the offer contained in your Lordship's letter of
the 16th instant, and no less so for the gracious manner in which it
has been conveyed, and beg to say that I shall be glad to avail
myself of it, and be prepared to proceed to take charge as soon as I
am directed to do so, as I have no arrears in any of my offices to
detain me, and can make them over to any one at the shortest notice,
with the assurance that he will find nothing in them to perplex or
embarrass him.

I shall do my best to carry out your Lordship's views in the new
charge; and though I am not so strong as I could wish, I may, with
prudence, hope to have health for a few years to sustain me in duties
of so much interest.

I hope your Lordship will pardon my taking advantage of the present
occasion to say a few words on the state of affairs in the north-
west, which are now of such absorbing interest. I have been for some
time impressed with the belief that the system of administration in
the Punjaub has created doubts as to the ultimate intention of our
Government with regard to the restoration of the country to the
native ruler when he comes of age. The native aristocracy of the
country seem to have satisfied themselves that our object has been to
retain the country, and that this could be prevented only by timely
resistance. The sending European officers to relieve the chief of
Mooltan, and to take possession of the country and fort, seems to
have removed the last lingering doubt upon this point; and Molraj
seems to have been satisfied that in destroying them he should be
acting according to the wishes of all his class, and all that portion
of the population who might aspire to employment under a native rule.
This was precisely the impression created by precisely the same means
in Afghanistan; and I believe that the notion now generally prevalent
is, that our professed intentions of delivering over the country to
its native ruler were not honest, and that we should have
appropriated the country to ourselves could we have done so.

There are two classes of native Governments in India. In one the
military establishments are all national, and depend entirely upon
the existence of native rule. They are officered by the aristocracy
of the country, chiefly landed, who know that they are not fitted for
either civil or military office under our system, and must be reduced
to beggary or insignificance should our rule be substituted for that
of their native chief. In the other, all the establishments are
foreign, like our own. The Seiks were not altogether of the first
class, like those of Rajpootana and Bundelcund, but they were so for
the most part; and when they saw all offices of trust by degrees
being filled by Captain This and Mr. That, they gave up all hopes of
ever having their share in the administration.

Satisfied that this was our error in Afghanistan, in carrying out the
views of Lord Ellenborough in the Gwalior State, I did everything in
my power to avoid it, and have entirely succeeded, I believe; but it
has not been done without great difficulty. I considered Lord
Hardinge's measures good, as they interposed Hindoo States between us
and a beggarly and fanatical country, which it must be ruinous to our
finances to retain, and into which we could not avoid making
encroachments, however anxious the Government might be to avoid it,
if our borders joined. But I supposed that we should be content with
guiding, controlling, and supervising the native administration, and
not take all the executive upon ourselves to the almost entire
exclusion of the native aristocracy. I had another reason for
believing that Lord Hardinge's measures were wise and prudent. While
we have a large portion of the country under native rulers, their
administration will contrast with ours greatly to our advantage in
the estimation of the people; and we may be sure that, though some
may be against us, many will be for us. If we succeed in sweeping
them all away, or absorbing them, we shall be at the mercy of our
native army, and they will see it; and accidents may possibly occur
to unite them, or a great portion of them, in some desperate act. The
thing is possible, though improbable; and the best provision against
it seems to me to be the maintenance of native rulers, whose
confidence and affection can be engaged, and administrations improved
under judicious management.

The industrial classes in the Punjaub would, no doubt, prefer our
rule to that of the Seiks; but that portion who depend upon public
employment under Government for their subsistence is large in the
Punjaub, and they would nearly all prefer a native rule. They have
evidently persuaded themselves that our intention is to substitute
our own rule; and it is now, I fear, too late to remove the
impression. If your Lordship is driven to annexation, you must be in
great force; and a disposition must be shown on the part of the local
authorities to give the educated aristocracy of the country a liberal
share in the administration.

One of the greatest dangers to be apprehended in India is, I believe,
the disposition on the part of the dominant class to appoint to all
offices members of their own class, to the exclusion of the educated
natives. This has been nobly resisted hitherto; but where every
subaltern thinks himself in a condition to take a wife, and the land
opens no prospect to his children but in the public service, the
competition will become too great.

I trust that your Lordship will pardon my having written so much, and
believe me, with great respect, your Lordship's obedient humble

                (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

P.S.--The Commander-in-Chief has asked me, through the Quartermaster-
General, whether any corps can be spared from Bundelcund. I shall say
that we can spare two regiments--one from Nagode, whose place can be
supplied by a wing of the regiment at Nowgow, and one from Jhansee,
whose place can be supplied from the Gwalior Contingent, if your
Lordship sees no objection, as a temporary arrangement.

                 (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Right Hon.
the Earl of Dalhousie,
   &c. &c. &c.


                                   Lucknow, 30th January, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

A salute of twenty-one guns had been fired here by the King for the
sadly dear victory over Shere Sing, and another has been fired to-day
for the fall of Mooltan. The King continues very ill, but no danger
seems to be apprehended. The disease is accompanied by very untoward
secondary symptoms, which are likely ultimately to destroy him, and
render his life miserable while it lasts. How much of these symptoms
he derives from his birth, and how much from his own excesses, is

The impression regarding the minister, mentioned in my last note, was
from a talk with him while he was, it seems, under the influence of
fever. In later conversations he has been more lucid; but he is a
third-rate man, and quite unequal to the burthen that the favour of
the King has placed upon him. That favour will, however, be but of
short duration, for the King is said to have expressed great distrust
in his capacity to do any of the things he promised, more especially
to collect the immense arrears of revenue now due.

I am preparing tables of the revenue and expenditure, and of the
machinery in all branches, and hope soon to submit a clearer view of
the state of things than Government is in the habit of getting on
such occasions; but I have to wade through vast volumes of
correspondence to ascertain what has been said and done in the
questions that will come under consideration, to conduct current
duties, and to become acquainted with the people in my new field,
European and native.

I want to ask you whether I could, with any prospect of success just
now, propose a plan which I have much at heart in the Thuggee and
Dacoity Department. The Lieutenant-Governor, I feel assured, will
advocate it. Major Graham is about to obtain his regimental majority,
with a certain prospect of soon obtaining the command of his
regiment, which will give him twelve hundred a-month. I am anxious to
retain him; for his services have been, and would continue to be, of
vast importance to the North-West Provinces. I should like to propose
that he be made superintendent of Thuggee and Dacoity in those
provinces upon a salary of, say eleven hundred rupees a-month. I
would at the same time propose that the Shahjehanpoor office, lately
under Major Ludlow, be done up, and the duties confided to the
assistant-magistrate, with a small establishment, he to receive an
extra salary, say, one hundred rupees a-month. The same with regard
to the Azimghur office, now under Captain Ward, who could be sent to
Rajpootana. Elliot is not suited well to the work, according to those
who have seen most of him and of it; and you might be able to put him
to some other for which he is fitted. Should you think it desirable
to retain him in Rajpootana, Captain Ward may for the present remain
where he is; and the saving from the Shahjehanpoor office will more
than cover the increase for Major Graham. Pray let me know as soon as
you can whether such a proposal would be likely to be well received.
Graham's services have been and will be most valuable to all the
local authorities at and under Agra.

I suppose the fate of the Punjaub is sealed, for though the Governor-
General might wish to spare it, the home authorities and the home
people will hardly brook the prospect or the chance of another
struggle of the same kind, particularly if the Afghans have really
joined the Seiks under Chutter Sing. The tendency to annexation,
already strong at home, will become still stronger when the news of
our late losses arrive. They indicate a stronger assurance of
national sympathy on the part of the chiefs and troops opposed to us
than was generally calculated upon. The fall of Mooltan will have
relieved the Governor-General's mind from much of the anxiety caused
by the inartistic management of the Commander-in-Chief.

           Yours sincerely,
          (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
    &c. &c.


                                Lucknow, 7th March, 1849.

My Dear Elliott,

I may mention what has been the state of feeling at Lucknow regarding
the state of affairs in the Punjaub, though it has become of less
interest to the Governor-General now that so decided a victory has
crowned his efforts. During the whole contest the Government five per
cent. notes have been every day sold in my office at par, and I
question whether this can be said of the offices in Calcutta. One day
during the races, on the King's firing a salute for victory, the
European gentlemen talked about it at the stand with many of the
first of the native aristocracy. They said that the Seiks could not
fight as they were fighting unless there had been some general
feeling of distrust as to our ultimate intentions with regard to the
Punjaub which united them together; and that this feeling must be as
strong with the Durbar and those who did not fight as with those who
did. I was not present, as I did not attend the races; but I found
the same opinion prevailing among all with whom I conversed. But all
seemed to be perfectly satisfied as to the utter hopelessness of the
struggle, as evinced by the great barometer of the Government paper.

I suppose Dost Mahomed's force in Peshawur will have proceeded in all
haste to the Khyber on hearing of the defeat of their friends, and
that General Gilbert's fine division will find none of them to
contend with; and that Gholab Sing will be glad of an occasion to
display his zeal by keeping Shore Sing and his father out of the

The river Indus will, I suppose, hardly be considered so safe a
boundary as the hills; for if any danger is to be apprehended from
the west, it would not be safe to leave the enemy so fine a field to
organize their forces upon after emerging from the difficult passes.
Well organized upon that field, a force could cross the river
anywhere in the cold and hot seasons; and the revenue of that field
would aid in keeping up a force that might in the day of need be used
against us. It was a great error committed by Lord Hastings in
allowing the Nepaulese the fertile portion of the Jurac, which then
yielded only two lacs of rupees, but now yields thirteen, and will,
ere long, yield twenty. Without this their military force would have
been altogether insignificant; but it is not so now.

             Yours sincerely,
          (Signed)       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
     &c. &c.


                                     Lucknow, 20th March, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

The King continues much the same as when I last wrote. Under skilful
treatment he might soon get well; but the prescriptions of his best
native physicians are little attended to, and he has not yet
consented to consult an European doctor. He could not have a better
doctor than Leekie, and the natives have great confidence in him; but
his Majesty has not expressed any wish to see or consult him. If he
did so, the chances are one hundred to one against his taking his

I do not like to write a public letter on the subject, but am anxious
to know the Governor-General's wishes as to whether any new
engagements should be entered into in case of the King's decease, and
with whom.

The instructions contained in your letter of the 16th August, 1847,
referred to in my last, will be carried out; but the Governor-General
may wish to have the new arrangements recorded in a former treaty,
the heads of the royal family consenting thereto, as at Gwalior, when
the regency was appointed. I have no copy of the treaty made at
Lahore, where the regency was appointed.

I should think it desirable to give the members of the regency each
distinct duties, so that he may feel responsible for them, and take a
pride in doing them well. One should be at the head of the Revenue
Department, and another at the head of the Judicial and Police, each
having a deputy; and the Resident, as president, should have a
deputy. These would be sufficient for a regency, and could form a
court, or council, to deliberate and decide about measures of
legislation and administration.

The mother of the King would be the best person to consult upon the
nomination of the members in the first instance; but neither she nor
any other female of the royal family should have any share in the

All important measures adopted by the Council should be submitted for
the consideration of the Governor-General; and no member of the
Council should be removed without his Lordship's consent. No
important measure adopted by the Council, and sanctioned by the
Governor-General, should at any future time be liable to be abolished
or altered without the sanction of our Government previously obtained
through the Resident.

On the heir-apparent attaining his majority, every member of the
regency who has discharged his duties faithfully should have for life
a pension equal to half the salary enjoyed by him while in office,
and be guaranteed in the enjoyment of this half by the British

The measures thus adopted during the minority would form a code for
future guidance, and tend at least to give the thing which Oude most
wants--stability to good sales, and to the machinery by which they
are to be enforced.

The King's brother--a very excellent man, who was Commander-in-Chief
during his father's life-time, but is now nothing--might also be
consulted with the mother of the King in the nomination of the
regency, and made a party with her to the new treaty.

These are all the points which appear to me at present to call for

The harvests promise to be abundant, but the collections come in
slowly, and the establishments are all greatly in arrear. I don't
like to write publicly on these subjects, because it is almost
impossible here to prevent what is so written from getting to the
Court; but the Governor-General's instructions were sent to me in
that form without the same risk.

                 (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
     &c. &c.


                                   Lucknow, 23rd March, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

It will perhaps be well to add to the regency, in case of the King's
death, a controller of the household, making three members of equal
grade, and to have no deputy for the Resident, or President of the
Regency. It may also be well to add the mother of the heir apparent
to the persons to be consulted in the selection of the members of the
regency, though she is a person of no mark or influence in either
public or private affairs at present.

The mother of the present King, his brother, the mother of the heir-
apparent, and the young heir-apparent himself will be enough to have
a voice in the selection.

I conclude that it will be the Governor-General's wish that the heir-
apparent should be placed on the throne immediately after the death
of his father, for the slightest hesitation or delay in this matter
would be mischievous in such a place as Lucknow. As soon as this is
done, I can proceed to consult about the nomination of the regency.
The members will, of course, be chosen from among the highest and
most able members of the aristocracy present at the capital, and they
can be installed in office the day they are chosen. I do not
apprehend any confusion or disturbance; but measures must be adopted
immediately to pay up arrears due to the establishments, and dismiss
all that are useless.

The, King is not worse--on the contrary, he is said to be better; but
the hot season may be too much for him. His present state, with a
minister weak in body and not very strong in mind, is very
unsatisfactory. Fortunately the harvest is unusually fine.

             Yours sincerely,
          (Signed)         W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
     &c. &c.


                                        Lucknow, 8th May, 1849.
My Lord,

Dr. Bell, has relieved Dr. Leekie from his charge, and I am glad that
so able and experienced a medical officer has been appointed to it by
your Lordship, for he will have the means of doing much good here if
he can secure the confidence and esteem of his native patients. The
way has been well paved for him by Dr. Leekie, who, in professional
ability, large experience, and perfect frankness of character, is one
of the first men I have met; and I regret exceedingly that the King
has never manifested any wish to consult him or any other European

Being anxious that both Dr. Leekie and Dr. Bell should have an
opportunity of seeing the King, and forming some opinion as to his
state of health, I proposed that his Majesty should receive them at
the same time with Captain Bird on his taking leave previous to his
departure for Simla. As it is usual for the residency surgeon to wait
on his Majesty when he first enters on his charge and when he quits
it, I knew that such a proposal would not give rise to any feelings
of doubt or uneasiness, and he at once expressed his wish to see
them. Yesterday, about noon, all three went to the palace, and sat
for some time in conversation with the King. They found him much
better in bodily health than they expected, and in the course of
conversation, found no signs of any confusion of ideas, and are of
opinion that in the hands of a skilful European physician he would
soon be quite well. His Majesty is hypochondriac, and frequently
under the influence of the absurd delusions common to such persons;
but he is quite sane during long intervals, and on all subjects not
connected with such delusions.

When in health, the King never paid much attention to business, and
his illness is, therefore, less felt than it would have been in the
conduct of affairs; but it is nevertheless felt, and that in a very
vital part--the collection of the revenue. The expenses of Government
are about one hundred (100) lacs a-year; and the collections this
year have not amounted to more than sixty (60), owing to this
illness, and to a deficiency in the autumn harvests. All
establishments are greatly in arrears in consequence; and the King
has been obliged to make some heavy drafts upon the reserved fund
left him by his father. I only wish none had been made for a less
legitimate purpose. The parasites, by whom he has surrounded himself
exclusively, have, it is said, been drawing upon it still more
largely during the King's illness, under the apprehension of a speedy
dissolution. The minister is a weak man, who stands somewhat in awe
of these musicians and eunuchs, who have no fear of anybody but the
Resident, whom it is, of course, their interest to keep as much as
possible in the dark. As soon as his Majesty gets stronger, I shall
see him more frequently than I have yet done, and be better able to
judge of what prospect of amendment there may be while he reigns. If
he ever conversed with his male relations, or any of the gentlemen at
the capital worthy of his confidence, I should have more hope than I
now have.

              With great respect I remain
          Your Lordship's obedient humble servant,
                     (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Right Hon.
The Earl of Dalhousie, K.T.,
Governor-General of India.


                                      Lucknow, 11th June, 1849.
My Dear Elliot,

It will be desirable to have at least the wing of a regiment sent as
soon as possible to Jhansee. Bukhut Sing, who was allowed to escape
after having been surrendered to Ellis at Kyrma, has been since
allowed to get too much a-head. He is aided by the Khereecha people
openly; and secretly, I fear, by some of the Powar Thakoors of Gigree
under the rose. There are four small fortified places between thirty
and forty miles west of Jhansee, and not far from the Sinde, held by
Powar Thakoors, who are a shade higher in caste than the Bondeylas;
and, in consequence, all the principal chiefs take their daughters in
marriage. They are needy, and as proud as Lucifer, and will always
eke out their means by robbery if they can. The Jhansee chief cannot
keep them in order without our aid. While I was there, they did not
venture to rob after the surrender of the Jylpoor man in September,
1844; and the Hareecha and Hyrwa people ventured only to send a few
highwaymen into the Gwalior state west of the Sinde river.

The Powar places I mean are Jignee, Odgow, and Belchree. There was a
fourth near them just as bad, called Nowneer; but the Thakoors of
that place are all well disposed towards the Jbansee chief, and are
obedient. All are in the Jhansee state. If the marauders are pressed
with energy and sagacity, they will be soon put down; and you may
rely upon the native chiefs not supporting them, though, from their
marriage connection, they may afford them an asylum secretly when

Who the Gwalior men are that are plundering I know not; but they are
men of no note, and, if pressed skilfully and rigorously in time,
will soon be put down. The chiefs may all be relied upon, I believe.
They are mere gangs of robbers; and you know how easily a fanatic or
successful robber may collect a body for plunder in any part of
India, where the danger of pursuit is small. Had they been dealt with
properly at first, they would never have got a-head so far: time has
been lost, and they will now give trouble, particularly at such a
season. The evil will be confined to the tract west of Jhansee
occupied by these Powars. The chiefs are to the east, north, and
south of Jhansee; and the marauders would be allowed to enter their
estates. The Governor-General need not feel uneasy about them. The
Nurwar chief was always needy, and disposed to keep and shelter
robbers. His few villages were resumed on his death last year, and
his widows pensioned; but some of his relations are, I conclude,
among the marauders. There is a wild tract west of the Sinde in the
Gwalior territory, to which the marauders will fly when hard pressed
in the Jhansee state.

                 Yours sincerely,
            (Signed)       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
     &c. &c.


                                  Lucknow, 18th June, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

I was writing the last sentence of a long Report on Oude affairs when
your note came in. There are some parts that will amuse, some that
will interest, and the whole gives, I believe, a fair exposition of
the evils, with a suggestion for the best remedy that I can think of.
It is the formation of a Board, consisting of a President and two
members nominated by the King, subject to the confirmation of the
Governor-General, and not to be dismissed without his Lordship's
previous sanction. This Board to make the settlement of the revenue
proposed when Lord Hardinge was here, and to have the carrying it

This Board will be a substitute for the Regency, but not so good. The
King is well in body; and, unless he will abdicate, we cannot get the
minority for the Regency. I think, upon the whole, the Governor-
General will think the Report worth reading, and the remedy worth
considering. It will bring little additional trouble on Government,
but a good deal on the Resident, who will require to have had much
administrative experience.

Things are coming fast to the crisis, in which I must be called upon
to advise and act, a thing which the fiddlers and eunuchs dread. I
can't trust the Report in the office, and the hand may not be so
legible as I could wish.

The Court is very averse to the appointment of a successor to Wilcox;
and it is with reluctance they have kept on the native officers who
go on with the work. I told them either to keep them on or to pension
them. I don't think a successor should be urged upon them in the
present state of beggary to which they are reduced. Nobody sees any
use in it, while there are a vast number of useful things neglected
for want of funds; as to the instruments, the Court care nothing
about them, knowing nothing of their value; and would, no doubt, be
glad to give them to any establishment requiring them.

The minister, singers, and eunuchs are all now sworn to be united;
but this cannot last many days. The "pressure from without," in the
clamour for pay, will soon upset the minister; but they will find it
difficult to get another to undertake the burthen of forty or fifty
lacs of balance, and a score of fiddlers and eunuchs as privy
councillors. Something must be done to _unthrone_ these wretches, or
things will be worse and worse. The best remedy that occurs to me is
to interpose an authority which they dare not question, and the King
cannot stultify; and if the King objects, to tell him that he must
abdicate in favour of his son. This, of all courses, will be the
best, and give no trouble; things would go on like "marriage bells,"
without any trouble whatever to the Governor-General and your

I am glad that the Punjaub Board goes on well. It is a scene of great
importance and interest. The only way to get the confidence and
affection of men is to show that we confide in them; and I don't
think we need fear Seik soldiers while we treat them, and govern the
country well.

We were very anxious about Mrs. Elliot for many days, for the
accounts from Simla were bad; but she is now, I am told, quite
restored. I have suffered much less than I expected: I recovered much
sooner. The doctors tell me that I should have had no right to expect
an earlier recovery had I been twenty years younger.

              Yours sincerely,
           (Signed)    W. H. SLEEMAN.

To H. M. Elliot, Esq.,
   &c. &c.


                                  Lucknow, 24th July, 1849.
My Lord,

I have to-day written to Lord Fitzroy Somerset to request that he
will do me the favour to have the name of my only son placed, if
possible, upon his Grace the Commander-in-Chiefs list of candidates
for commissions in Her Majesty's Dragoons. He was sixteen years of
age on the 6th of January last, and is now prosecuting his studies
under the care of Mr. C. J. Yeatman, Westow Hill, Norwood, Surrey,
five miles from London.

He is an amiable and gentlemanly lad, and will, I trust, be able to
qualify himself to pass the examination required; and my agents in
London will be prepared to lodge the money for his commission when
available. He is my eldest child, and will have to take care of four
sisters when I am taken from them, as I must be ere long; and I am
anxious to place him in the position from which he can do so with
most advantage. I could wish to have had him placed in the Bengal
Civil Service. But I have no personal friend in the direction, and no
good that I may have had an opportunity of doing for the people and
government of India can be urged as a claim to any employment for my

Having carried out your Lordship's policy successfully over a large
and interesting portion of India, and to the advantage, I believe, of
many millions of people, you will not, I think, be offended at my
soliciting your Lordship's protection for my only son. He will stand
in need of it, since I know no other that I can solicit for him; and
though my name might be of some use to him in India, it can be of
none in England. With a view to his taking care of his sisters, I
could wish him to be in a regiment not likely to come to India.
General Thackwell tells me that the regiments most likely to come to
India soon are the 6th Dragoons, 9th Hussars, and 12th Lancers.
Perhaps your Lordship might be willing to speak to Lord F. Somerset,
or even to his Grace the Duke himself, in favour of my son, who will
be proud at any time when commanded to attend your Lordship. I have
the misfortune to have been with some of the most inefficient
sovereigns that ever sat upon a throne, with deficient harvests last
year, and a threat of still more deficient ones this year; and with a
Government so occupied with the new acquisitions of the Punjaub as to
be averse to interfere much with the management of any other portion
of the country.

I remain, your lordship's most obedient, humble servant,

                       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Right Hon. Gen. Viscount Hardinge, G.C.B.,
            &c.     &c.       &c.


                                      Lucknow, 24th July, 1849.

My Lord,

May I, request that your Lordship will do me the favour to have the
name of my only son, Henry Arthur Sleeman, placed upon his Grace the
Commander-in-Chiefs list of candidates for a commission in one of her
Majesty's Dragoon regiments?

He was sixteen years of age on the 6th of January last; and he is now
prosecuting his studies under the care of Mr. C. J. Yeatman, at
Westow Hill, in Surrey, five miles from London, who will be
instructed to have him prepared for the examination he will have to
undergo. My agents, Messrs. Denny, Clark, and Co., Austin Friars,
London, will be prepared to lodge the money, and to forward to me any
letters with which they may be honoured by your Lordship. My rank is
that of Lieut.-Colonel in the Honourable East India Company's
service, and present situation, that of Resident at the Court of his
Majesty the King of Oude.

     I have the honour to be,
          Your Lordship's obedient, humble servant,
               W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Lieut.-General Lord Fitzroy Somerset, G.C.B.,
Military Secretary to his Grace the Commander-in-Chief,
Horse Guards, London.


                                         Lucknow, August 1849.

My Lord,

1. I will answer your Lordship's queries in the order in which they
are made.

2. The King, as I shall show in my next official report, is utterly
unfit to have anything to do with the administration, since he has
never taken, or shown any disposition to take any heed of what is
done or suffered in the country. My letters have made no impression
whatever upon him. He spends all his time with the singers and the
females they provide to amuse him, and is for seven and eight hours
together living in the house of the chief singer, Rajee-od Dowla--a
fellow who was only lately beating a drum to a party of dancing-
girls, on some four rupees a-month. These singers are all Domes, the
lowest of the low castes of India, and they and the eunuchs are now
the virtual sovereigns of the country, and must be so as long as the
King retains any power. The minister depends entirely upon them, and
between them and a few others about Court everything that the King
has to dispose of is sold.

3. To secure any reform in the administration, it will be necessary
to require the King to delegate all the powers of sovereignty to the
Board. This he can do, retaining the name of Sovereign and control of
his household; or abdicating in favour of his son the heir apparent,
to whom the Board would be a regency till he comes of age. If the
alternative be given him, and he choose the former, it should be on
the condition, that if his favourites continue to embarrass the
Government, he will be required to submit to the latter. Oude is now,
in fact, without a Government: the minister sees the King for a few
minutes once a week or fortnight, and generally at the house of the
singer above named. The King sees nobody else save the singers and
eunuchs, and does not even pretend to know anything or care anything
about public affairs. His sons have been put under their care, and
will be brought up in the same manner. He has become utterly despised
and detested by his people for his apathy amidst so much suffering,
and will not have the sympathy of any one, save such as have been
growing rich by abusing his power.

4. The members of such a Board as I propose, invested with full
powers, and secured in office under our guarantee during good
conduct, would go fearlessly to work; they would divide the labour;
one would have the settlement of the land-revenue, with the charge of
the police; the second would have the judicial Courts; and if the
Board be a regency during the minority, the control of the household;
the third would have the army. Each would have the nomination of the
officers of his department, subject to the confirmation of the whole
Board, and the dismissal would depend upon the sanction of the whole
or two-thirds, as might be found expedient. If the sanction of all
three be required. Court influence may secure one vote, and impunity
to great offenders. Neither of the three would be liable to be
deprived of his office, except with the consent, or on the
requisition of the Governor-General; and this privilege they would
value too highly to risk it by neglect or misconduct. The King's
brother--a most worthy and respectable, though not able man--might be
a member, if agreeable to the King.

5. The abuses they would have to remedy are all perfectly well
understood, and the measures required to remedy them are all simple
and obvious: a settlement would be made with the landholders, based
upon past avowed collections; they would be delighted to bind
themselves to pay such an assessment, as they would escape from the
more than one-third more, which they have now to pay, in one form or
another, to contractors and Court favourites; the large landholders,
who are for the most part now in open resistance to the Government,
would rejoice at the prospect of securing their estates to their
posterity, without the necessity of continually fighting for them.

6. The army would soon become efficient: at present every man
purchases his place in it from the minister and the singers and
eunuchs, and he loses it as soon as he becomes disabled from wounds
or sickness. The only exceptions are the four regiments under Captain
Burlow, Captain Bunbury, Captain Magness, and Soba Sing, lately
Captain Buckley's; in these, all that are disabled from wounds or
sickness are kept on the strength of the corps, and each corps has
with it a large invalid establishment of this kind unrecognized by
the Government. They could not get their men to fight, without it.
These regiments are put up at auction every season, and often several
times during one season; the contractor who bids highest gets the
services of the best for the season or the occasion; the purchase-
money is divided between the minister and the Court favourites,
singers, &c. These are really efficient corps, and the others might
soon be made the same. The men are as fine-looking and brave as those
of our, regular infantry, for Oude teems with such men, who have from
their boyhood been fighting against contractors under the heads of
their clan or families.

7. The rest are for the most part commanded by boys, or Court
favourites, who seldom see them, keep about two-thirds of what are
borne on the rolls and paid for, and take about one-third of the pay
of what remain for themselves. The singer, Rajee-od Dowla, the prime
favourite above named, has two regiments thus treated, and of course
altogether inefficient, ragged, hungry, and discontented. It will be
easy to remedy all this, get excellent men, and inspire them with
excellent spirit by instituting a modified pension establishment for
men disabled in the discharge of their duties, and providing for
their regular pay and efficient command.

8. This would prevent the necessity of employing British troops,
except on rare and great occasions; the settlement of the land-
revenue, and knowledge that they would be employed if required, would
keep the great landholders in obedience. It would be well to have
back the corps of infantry and two guns that were taken away from
Pertanghurh, in Oude, in 1835. This is all the addition that would be
required to secure an efficient Government; and the scale to which
our troops in Oude had been reduced up to that time (1835) was
generally considered the lowest compatible with our engagements. A
regiment of cavalry had been borrowed from Pertanghurh for the Nepaul
and Mahratta wars in 1814 and 1817; it was finally withdrawn in 1823.

9. The judicial Courts would be well conducted while the presiding
officers felt secure in their tenure of office, which they would do
when their dismissal depended upon proof of guilt or incompetency
sufficient to satisfy a Board guaranteed by our Government.

10. The police would soon become efficient under the supervision and
control of respectable revenue-officers, having the same feeling of
security in their tenure of office. All the revenue-officers would,
of course, be servants of Government instead of contractors. There
would be grades answering to our commissioners of divisions, say
four; 2nd, to our collectors of revenue, say twenty-eight; 3rd,
deputy-collectors, say twenty-eight; all under the Board, and guided
by the member intrusted with that branch of the administration: all
would be responsible for the police over their respective

11. Oude ought to be, and would soon be, under such a system, a
garden; the soil is the finest in India, so are the men; and there is
no want of an educated class for civil office: on the contrary, they
abound almost as much as the class of soldiers. From the numerous
rivers which flow through the country the water is everywhere near
the surface, and the peasantry would manure and irrigate every field,
if they could do so in peace and security, with a fair prospect of
being permitted to reap the fruits. The terrible corruption of the
Court is the great impediment to all this good: the savings would
more than pay all the increased outlay required for rendering
establishments efficient in all branches, while the treasury would
receive at least one-third more than the expenditure; that is,
1,50,00,000 Rs., or one crore and a half.

12. From the time the treaty of 1801 was made, up to within the last
few years, the term "internal enemies" was interpreted to mean the
great landholders who might be in resistance to the Government, and
this interpretation was always acted upon; the only difficulty was in
ascertaining whether the resistance was or was not, under the
circumstances, justifiable. While employed in Oude with my regiment,
and on the staff in 1818 and 1819, I saw much of the correspondence
between the Resident and Commandant; many letters from the Resident,
Colonel Baillie, mentioning how bitterly Saadulullee, with whom that
treaty was made, had complained, that after the sacrifice of half his
kingdom for the aid of British troops in keeping down these powerful
and refractory landholders, he could not obtain their assistance
without being subject to such humiliating remonstrances as he got
from officers commanding stations whenever he asked for it. Aid was
often given, and forts innumerable were reduced from time to time,
but the privilege of building them up again was purchased from the
same or another contractor next season.

13. At this time I have calls for at least two battalions and a train
of artillery, from about six quarters, to enforce orders on these
landholders. Captain Hearsey has had men of his Frontier Police
killed and wounded by them on the western border, and declares that
nothing can be done to secure offenders, refugees from our districts,
with a less force. Captain Orr has had several men wounded, and
prisoners taken from him, by the same class on the eastern border,
and declares to the same effect. Sixteen sepoys of our army, 59th N.
I., on their way home on furlough were attacked and two of them
killed, three weeks ago, by a third Zumeendar, at Peernugger, his own
estate, within ten miles of the Setapore Cantonments, where we have a
regiment. Captain Barlow's regiment and artillery, and another, with
all Captain Hearsey's Frontier Police, are in pursuit of him. Four
others have committed similar outrages on our officers and sepoys and
their families, and the Government declares its utter inability to
enforce obedience or grant any redress, without a larger force than
they have to send. Great numbers of the same class are plundering and
burning villages, and robbing and murdering on the highway, and
laughing at the impotency of the sovereign. It was certainly for aid
in coercing these "internal enemies" that the Sovereign of Oude ceded
his territories to us, and for no other, and that aid may be afforded
at little cost, and to the great benefit of all under the system I
have submitted for your Lordship's consideration. It will be very
rarely required, and when called for, a mere demonstration will, in
three cases out of four, be sufficient to effect the object.

14, After a time, or when the heir-apparent comes of age, the duties
of the guaranteed members of the Board may safely be united to a
supervision over the settlement made with the principal landholders,
whose obedience our Government may consider itself bound to aid in
enforcing; all the rest may be left to a competent sovereign; and
there will be nothing in the system opposed to native usages,
feelings, and institutions, to prevent its being adhered to. I should
mention, that many of these landholders have each armed and
disciplined bodies of two thousand foot and five hundred horse; and,
what is worse, the command of as many as they like of "Passies,"
armed with bows and arrows. These Passies are reckless thieves and
robbers of the lowest class, whose only professions are thieving and
acting as Chowkedars, or village police. They are at the service of
every refractory Zumeendar, for what they can get in booty in his
depredations. The disorders in Oude have greatly increased this
class, and they are now roughly estimated at a hundred thousand
families; these are the men from whom travellers on the road suffer

15. A second Assistant would be required for a time to enable the
Resident to shift off the daily detail of the treasury, which has
become the largest in India,--I believe, beyond those at the three

A good English copyist, capable of mapping, will be required in the
Resident's office at 150, and two Persian writers 100; total 250.
These are the only additions which appear to me to be required.

16. I annex a list of the regiments now in the King's service,
Telungas, or regulars, and Nujeebs, or irregulars; and with my next
official report I will submit a list of all the establishments, civil
and military.

17. The King's habits will not alter; he was allowed by his father to
associate, as at present, with these singers from his boyhood, and he
cannot endure the society of other persons. His determination to live
exclusively in their society, and to hear and see nothing of what his
officers do or his people suffer, he no longer makes any attempt to
conceal. It would be idle to hope for anything from him but a
resignation of power into more competent hands; whatever he retains
he will assuredly give to his singers and eunuchs, or allow them to
take. No man can take charge of any office without anticipating the
income by large gratuities to them, and the average gratuity which a
contractor for a year, of a district yielding three lacs of rupees a-
year, is made to pay, before he leaves the capital to enter upon his
charge, is estimated to be fifty thousand rupees: this he exacts from
the landholders as the first payment, for which they receive no
credit in the public account. All other offices are paid for in the
same way.

18. The King would change his minister to-morrow if the singers were
to propose it; and they would propose it if they could get better
terms or perquisites under any other. No minister could hold office a
week without their acquiescence. Under such circumstances a change of
ministers would be of little advantage to the country.

19. The King will yield to the measure proposed only under the
assurance, that if he did not, the Governor-General would be reduced
to the necessity of having recourse to that which Lord Hardinge
threatened in the 10th, 11th, and 12th paragraphs of his letter of
October, 1847, and the Court of Directors, on the representation of
Lord William Bentinck, sanctioned in 1831. The Court was at that time
so strongly impressed with the conviction that the threat would be
carried into execution, that they prevailed upon the President to
undertake a mission to the Home Government, with a view to enlarge
the President's powers of interference, in order to save them from
the alternative. This led to Mr. Maddock's removal from the
Presidency; all subsequent correspondence has tended to keep up the
apprehension that the threatened measure would be had recourse to,
and to stimulate sovereigns and ministers to exertion till the
present reign. The present King has, from the time he ascended the
throne, manifested a determination to take no share whatever in the
conduct of affairs; to spend the whole of his time among singers and
eunuchs, and the women whom they provide for his amusement; and
carefully to exclude from access, all who suffer from the
maladministration of his servants, or who could and would tell him
what was done by the one and suffered by the other.

20. But it is not his minister and favourites alone who take
advantage of this state of things to enrich themselves; corruption
runs through all the public offices, and Maharaja Balkishen, the
Dewan, or _Chancellor of the Exchequer_, is notoriously among the
most corrupt of all, taking a large portion of the heavy balances due
by contractors to get the rest remitted or misrepresented. There is
no Court in the capital, criminal, civil, or fiscal, in which the
cases are not tampered with by Court favourites, and divided
according to their wishes, unless the President has occasion to
interfere in behalf of guaranteed pensioners, or officers and sepoys
of our army. On his appearance they commonly skulk away, like jackals
from a dead carcase when the tiger appears; but the cases in which he
can interfere are comparatively very few, and it is with the greatest
delay and difficulty that he can get such cases decided at all. A
more lamentable state of affairs it is difficult to conceive.

      With great respect, I remain,
          Your Lordship's obedient humble servant,
            (Signed)    W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Most Noble
the Marquis of Dalhousie, K.T.,
     &c. &c. &c.

P.S.--I find that the King's brother is altogether incompetent for
anything like business or responsibility. The minister has not one
single quality that a minister ought to have; and the King cannot be
considered to be in a sound state of mind.

               (Signed)    W. H. SLEEMAN.


 1. Extracts, pars. 9 to 14 of Lord Hardinge's Memorial.
 2. Statement of British troops in Oude in Jan. 1835 and 1849.
 3. Table of the King of Oude's troops of all kinds.


                              Lucknow, 6th September, 1849.

My Lord,

I take the liberty to enclose, for your Lordship's perusal, a more
full and correct Table of the troops and police in Oude than that
which I submitted with my last letter, as also a Table of all the
other branches of expenditure--save those of buildings, charities,
presents, &c., which are ever varying.

It may be estimated that two-thirds of the numbers in the corps of
Telungas and Nujeebs paid for are kept up; and that one-half of what
are kept up are efficient, all having to purchase their places, and
those most unfit being disposed to pay highest.

Further: one-half of what are kept up are supposed to be always
absent; and when they are so, they receive one-half of their pay, and
the other half is divided between the commandant and the paymaster.
These two are supposed to take, on one pretence or other, one third
of the pay of those who are actually present. The corps of Telungas
commanded by Captains Barlow, Bunbury, and Magness are exceptions;
but the pay department is not under their control, and they are
obliged to acquiesce in abuses that impair the efficiency their

After reducing one-third-of these corps, and rendering the remaining
two-thirds efficient, the force would be sufficient for all purposes,
and we may well dispense with the corps of regular infantry which in
my last letter I proposed to restore to Oude. It will, however, be
desirable to have a good and experienced infantry officer as
inspector, to see that the measures adopted for reform are
effectually carried out. An artillery officer as inspector will also
be desirable, as it will be necessary to have that branch of the
force in the best possible order, when Oude has to depend chiefly on
its own resources. A few European officers, too, for commandants of
corps and seconds in command will be desirable--such as have been
employed with native corps as sergeant-majors or quartermaster-
sergeants, and have obtained distinctions for good conduct.

I should propose six primary stations as seats for the principal
Revenue and Judicial Courts, and the headquarters of the best corps
with cavalry and artillery; thirty second and third rate stations for
the subordinate Courts and detachments of troops and police. All to
be chosen, with reference to position in districts under
jurisdiction, and to salubrity of climate. At all these Stations
suitable buildings would be provided; and as all would be commenced
upon simultaneously, all would soon be ready.

Your Lordship will observe the small item put down for the judicial
establishments all over Oude. Such as are really kept up are
worthless, and are altogether without the confidence of the people.
The savings in the other branches of the expenditure will more than
cover all the outlay required for good ones.

The King continues to show the same aversion to hear anything about
public affairs, or to converse with any but the singers, eunuchs, and
females. At the great festival of the Eed, on the first appearance of
the present moon, he went out in procession, but deputed his heir-
apparent to receive the compliments in Durbar. He does not suffer
bodily pain, but is said to have long fits of moping and melancholy,
and he is manifestly hypochondriac. He squanders the state jewels
among the singers and eunuchs, who send them out of the country as
fast as they can. The members of his family who have its interests
most at heart, are becoming anxious for some change; and by the time
the two years expire, it will not, perhaps, be difficult to induce
him to put his affairs into other hands. He would change his minister
on the slightest hint from me; but it would be of no use: the
successor, pretending to carry on the Government under the King's
orders, would be little better than the present minister is, and
things would continue to be just as bad as they now are: they
certainly could not be worse.

The Board, composed of the first members of the Lucknow aristocracy,
would be, I think, both popular and efficient; and with the aid of a
few of the ablest of the native judicial and revenue officers of our
own districts, invited to Oude by the prospect of higher pay and
security in the tenure of office, would soon have at work a machinery
capable of securing to all their rights, and enforcing from all their
duties in every part of this, at present, distracted country. We
should soon have good roads throughout the kingdom; and both they and
the rivers would soon be as secure as in our own provinces. I think,
too, that I might venture to promise that all would be effected
without violence or disturbance; all would see that everything was
done for the benefit of an oppressed people, and in good faith
towards the reigning family.

With great respect, I remain your Lordship's obedient, humble

                (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Most Noble
the Marquis of Dalhousie, K.T.,
    &c.   &c.   &c.

P.S.--I may mention that the King is now engaged in turning into
verse a long prose history called Hydree. About ten days ago all the
poets in Lucknow were assembled at the palace to hear his Majesty
read his poem. They sat with him, listening to his poem and reading
their own from nine at night till three in the morning. One of the
poets, the eldest son of a late minister, Mohamid-od Dowla, Aga Meer,
told me that the versification was exceedingly good for a King. These
are, I think, the only men, save the minister, the eunuchs, and the
singers who have had the honour of conversing with his Majesty since
I came here in January last.
                                   W. H. S.


                                  Lucknow, 23rd September, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

I conclude that no further Tables will be required from me on Oude
statistics for the present. Should they be so, pray let me know, and
they shall be sent. I thought at first that it would be thought bad
taste in me to refer to the domestic troubles of the King, but it is
necessary to show the state to which his Majesty is reduced in his
palace. The facts mentioned are known and talked of all over Lucknow
and Oude generally, and tend more than greater things to bring his
conduct and character into contempt.

The time was certainly never so favourable to propose an arrangement
that shall secure a lasting and substantial reform, and render Oude
what it ought to be--a garden. The King is in constant dread of
poison, and would do anything to get relieved from that dread, and
all further importunity on the state of the country. His chief wife
would poison him to bring on the throne her son, and restore to her
her paramour, who is now at Cawnpoor, waiting for such a change. Her
uncle, the minister, would, the King thinks, be glad to see him
poisoned, in the hope of having to conduct affairs during the
minority. He is afraid to admonish his other wife for her
infidelities with the chief favourite and singer, lest she should
poison him to go off with her paramour to Rampoor, whither he has
sent the immense wealth that the King has lavished upon him.

The whole family are most anxious that the King should resign the
reins into abler hands, and would, I feel assured, hail the
arrangement I have proposed as a blessing to them and the country.
All seems ripe for the change, and I hope the Governor-General will
consent to its being proposed soon. Any change in the ministry would
now be an obstacle to the arrangement, and such a change might happen
any morning. At the head of the Board, or Regency, I should put
Mohsin-od Dowla, grandson of Ghazee-od Deen, the first King, and son-
in-law of Moohummed Alee Shah, the third King. His only son has been
lately united in marriage to the King's daughter. He is looked up to
as the first man in Oude for character, and the most able member of
the royal family. He is forty-five years of age. I should probably
put two of the King's uncles in as the other members, Azeemoshan and
Mirza Khorum Buksh, whose names you will find in the short appended
list of those who have received no stipends since the present King
ascended the throne. These princes cannot visit, the Resident except
when they accompany the King himself, so that I have never seen the
two last that I recollect, and only once conversed with the first.
But their characters stand very high. They are never admitted to the
King, nor have they seen him for more than a year, I believe.

The King will probably object to members of his family forming the
Board, but I dare say I shall be able to persuade him of the
advantage of it. Such a Board, so constituted, would be a pledge to
all India of the honesty of our intentions, and secure to us the
cordial good-will of all who are interested in the welfare of the
family and the good government of the country.

I should persuade the members to draw from the _élite_ of their own
creed in our service to aid in forming and carrying out the new
system in their several departments. We can give them excellent men
in the revenue and judicial branches, who will be glad to come when
assured that they will not be removed so long as they do their duty
ably and honestly, and will get pensions if their services are
dispensed with after a time. This is all I shall say at present.

                         Yours sincerely,
                      (Signed)      W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Sir H. M. Elliot, K.C.B.,
        &c.   &c.



My Lord,

My Official Report went off on the 25th instant, and will have been
submitted, for your Lordship's consideration. It contains, I believe,
a faithful description of the abuses that exist and require remedy,
and of the obstacles which will be opposed to their removal. But it
does not tell all that might be told of the King himself, who has
become an object of odium and contempt to all but those few
despicable persons with whom he associates exclusively. He eats,
drinks, sleeps, and converses with the singers and eunuchs and
females alone, and the only female who has any influence over him is
the sister of the chief singer, Rusee-od Dowlah, whom he calls his
own sister. No member of the royal family or aristocracy of Oude is
ever admitted to speak to or see his Majesty, and these contemptible
singers are admitted to more equality and familiarity than his own
brothers or sons ever were; they go out, too, with greater pomp than
they or any of the royal family can; and are ordered to be received
with more honours as they pass through the different palaces. The
profligacy that exists within the palace passes all belief, and these
things excite more disgust among the aristocracy of the capital than
all the misrule and malversation that arise from the King's apathy
and incapacity.

Should your Lordship resolve upon interposing effectually to remedy
these disorders, I think it will be necessary to have at Lucknow, for
at least the first few months, a corps of irregular cavalry. We have
no cavalry in Oude, and none of the King's can be depended upon. The
first thing necessary will be the disbanding of the African, or
Hubshee corps, of three hundred men. They are commanded by one of the
eunuchs, and a fellow fit for any dark purpose. They were formed into
a corps, I believe, because no man's life was safe in Lucknow while
they were loose upon society.

I think the King will consent without much difficulty or reluctance
to delegate his powers to a Regency, but I am somewhat afraid that he
will object to its being composed of members of his own family. The
Sovereign has always been opposed to employing any of his own
relatives in office. I shall, I dare say, be able to get over this
difficulty, and it will be desirable to employ the best members of
the family in order to show the people of Oude, and of India
generally, that the object of our Government is an honest and
benevolent one.

A corps of irregular cavalry might be sent to Lucknow from
Goruckpoor, and its place there supplied for a season by a wing from
the corps at Legolee. There is little occasion for the services of
cavalry at either of these places at present. Without any cavalry of
our own here, and with this corps of African assassins at Lucknow at
the beck of the singers, eunuchs, and their creature, the minister,
neither the Resident nor any of the Regency would be safe. The
treasury and crown jewels would be open to any one who would make
away with them. If, therefore, your Lordship should determine upon
offering the king the alternative proposed, no time should be lost in
ordering the irregular corps from Goruckpoor to Lucknow, to be held
at the Resident's disposal. Its presence will be required only for a
few months.

I have mentioned, in my private letter to Sir H. M. Elliot, three
persons of high character for the Regency. Two of them are brothers
of the King's father. The third, and best, may be considered as in
all respects the first man in Oude. Mohsin-od Dowlah is the grandson
of the King, Ghasee-od Deen; his wife, and the mother of his only
son, is the sister of the King's father, and his only son has been
lately united in marriage to the present King's daughter. He and his
wife have large hereditary incomes, under the guarantee of our
Government, and his character for good sense, prudence, and integrity
stands higher, I believe, than that of any other man in Oude.

All three belong to the number of the royal family who never visit
the Resident except in company with the King, and I have, in
consequence, never spoken to Mohsin-od Dowlah but once, and never
seen either of the other two whom I have named, Azeemoshan and Khorum
Bukeh, the King's uncles. The characters of all three are very high,
and in general esteem.

Things are coming to a very critical state. There is no money to pay
any one in the treasury, and the greater part of what comes in is
taken for private purposes, by those who are in power. All see that
there must soon be a great change, and are anxious "to make hay while
the sun shines." The troops are everywhere in a state bordering on
mutiny, but more particularly in and about the capital, because they
cannot indemnify themselves by the plunder of the people as those in
the distant districts do.

Fortunately the rains have this season been very favourable for
tillage, and the crops may be good if we can preserve them by, some
timely arrangement.

       With great respect I remain,
           Your Lordship's obedient, humble servant,

                 (Signed)        W. H. SLEEMAN.

To the Most Noble
the Marquis of Dalhousie.

P.S.--I find that the irregular corps of cavalry has been moved from
Goruckpoor to Sultanpoor Benares, and that Lagolee and Goruckpoor
have now only one corps between them.

The Sultanpoor Benares corps might well spare a wing for Lucknow, and
so might the corps at Bareilly spare one.

               (Signed)     W. H. SLEEMAN.


                                    Lucknow, 11th October, 1849.

My Dear Elliot,

Here is a little item of palace news, communicated by one of the
poets who has to assist his Majesty in selecting his verses, and who
knows a good deal about what is going on among the favourites.
Perhaps you may recollect him, Ameen-od Doulah, the eldest son of the
late Aga Meer.

There is not a greater knave than Walee Alee in India, I believe.
That his Majesty will consent to what the Governor-General may
authorise us to propose I have no doubt, for he and his family are by
this time satisfied that we shall propose nothing but what is good
for them and the people of Oude.

But the King is no longer in a sound state of mind, and will say and
do whatever the most plausible of the bad speakers may recommend.
When I see him, I must have his signature before respectable
witnesses to all his answers to distinct propositions, and act upon
them at once, as far as I may be authorised by the Governor-General,
or nothing will be done. It would not do for me to commune with him
about affairs till I get instructions from you, as he would be sure
to tell the singers, eunuchs, and minister all that has been said the
moment I left him.

He has never been a cruel or badly-disposed man, but his mind,
naturally weak, has entirely given way, and is now as helpless as
that of an infant. Every hour's delay will add to our difficulties,
and I wait most anxiously for orders. I am prepared with the new
arrangements, and feel sure that the system will work well, and have
the Governor-General's approval. I can explain it in a few words, and
show the details in a small Table all ready for transmission when
called for.

We shall have the royal family, the court, and people with us, with
the exception of the minister and the favourites, who are in league
with him, and those who share in the fruits of their corruption.
Fifteen lacs are spoken of as the means ready to get either me out of
the way or put a stop to all attempts of improvement for the present.
I have in my public letter mentioned seven lacs as the average annual
perquisites of the minister--they are at present at least twelve.

                Yours sincerely,
           (Signed)       W. H. SLEEMAN.

To Sir H. M. Elliot, K.C.B.,
        &c.  &c.

[Transcriber's Note: Map of the Kingdom of Oude - Drawn under the
superintendence of the Late Major General Sir Wm. Sleeman.
Approximate area covered 79° to 84° E by 25° to 28.5° N.; scale
approximately 38 miles to the inch. Map shows the route taken by the
author on his journey, as noted in his diary.]



Departure from Lucknow--Gholam Hazrut--Attack on the late Prime
Minister, Ameen-od-Dowla--A similar attack on the sons of a former
Prime Minister, Agar Meer--Gunga Sing and Kulunder Buksh--Gorbuksh
Sing, of Bhitolee--Gonda Bahraetch district--Rughbur Sing--Prethee
Put, of Paska--King of Oude and King of the Fairies--Surafraz mahal.

_December_ 1, 1849.--I left Lucknow to proceed on a tour through
Oude, to see the state of the country and the condition of the
people. My wish to do so I communicated to Government, on the 29th of
March last, and its sanction was conveyed to me, in a letter from the
Secretary, dated the 7th of April. On the 16th of November I reported
to Government my intention to proceed, under this sanction, on the
1st of December, and on the 19th I sent the same intimation to the
King. On the 28th, as soon as the ceremonies of the Mohurrum
terminated, His Majesty expressed a wish to see me on the following
day; and on the 29th I went at 9 A.M., accompanied by Captain Bird,
the first Assistant, and Lieutenant Weston, the Superintendant of the
Frontier Police, and took leave of the King, with mutual expression
of good-will. The minister, Alee Nakee Khan, was present. On the 30th
I made over charge of the Treasury to Captain Bird, who has the
charge of the department of the Sipahees' Petitions and the Fyzabad
Guaranteed Pensions; and, taking with me all the office
establishments not required in these three departments, proceeded,
under the usual salute, to Chenahut, eight miles.*

[* My escort consisted, of two companies of sipahees, from the 10th
Regiment Native Infantry, and my party of Captain Hardwick,
lieutenant Weston, and Lieutenant and Mrs. Willows and my wife and
children, with occasional visitors from Lucknow and elsewhere.]

The Minister, Dewan and Deputy Minister, Ghoolam Ruza, came out the
first stage with me, and our friend Moonuwur-od Dowla, drove out to
see us in the evening.

_December_ 2, 1849.--We proceeded to Nawabgunge, the minister riding
out with me, for some miles, to take leave, as I sat in my tonjohn.
At sunrise I ventured, for the first time since I broke my left
thigh-bone on the 4th April, to mount an elephant, the better to see
the country. The land, on both sides of the road, well cultivated,
and studded with groves of mango and other trees, and very fertile.

The two purgunnas of Nawabgunge and Sidhore are under the charge of
Aga Ahmud, the Amil, who has under him two naibs or deputies, Ghoolam
Abbas and Mahummud Ameer. All three are obliged to connive at the
iniquities of a Landholder, Ghoolam Huzrut, who resides on his small
estate of Jhareeapoora, which he is augmenting, in a manner too
common in Oude, by seizing on the estates of his weaker neighbours.
He wanted to increase the number of his followers, and on the 10th of
November 1849, he sent some men to aid the prisoners in the great
jail at Lucknow to break out. Five of them were killed in the
attempt, seven were wounded, and twenty-five were retaken, but forty-
five escaped, and among them Fuzl Allee, one of the four assassins,
who, in April 1847, cut down the late minister, Ameen-od Dowla, in
the midst of his followers, in one of the principal streets of
Lucknow, through which the road, leading from the city to Cawnpore,
now passes. One of the four, Tuffuzzul Hoseyn, was killed in
attempting to escape on the 8th August 1849, and one, Alee Mahomed,
was killed in this last attempt. The third, Fuzl Allee, with some of
the most atrocious and desperate of his companions, is now with this
Ghoolam Huzrut, disturbing the peace of the country. The leader in
this attempt was Ghoolam Hyder Khan, who is still in jail at Lucknow.

On my remarking to the King's wakeel that these ruffians had all
high-sounding names, he said, "They are really all men of high
lineage; and men of that class, who become ruffians, are always sure
to be of the worst description." "As horses of the best blood, when
they do become vicious, are the most incorrigible, I suppose?"
"Nothing can be more true, sir," rejoined the wakeel. An account of
the attack made by the above-named ruffians on the minister, may be
here given as both interesting and instructive, or at least as
illustrative of the state of society and government in Oude.

At five in the morning of the 8th of April 1847, the minister, Ameen-
od Dowlah, left his house in a buggy to visit the King. Of his armed
attendants he had only three or four with him. He had not gone far
when four armed assassins placed themselves in front of his buggy and
ordered him to stop. One of them, Tuffuzzul Hoseyn, seized the horse;
by the bridle, and told the minister, that he must give him the
arrears of pay due before he could go on. The other three, Fuzl
Allee, Allee Mahomed, and Hyder Khan, came up and stood on the right
side of the buggy. One of the minister's servants, named Hollas,
tried to prevent their coming near, but was fired upon by Allee
Mahomed. He missed him, but Fuzl Allee discharged his blunderbuss at
him, and he fell; but in falling, he wounded Hyder Khan slightly with
his sword. Hyder Khan then threw away his fire-arms and sprang into
the buggy with his naked dagger in his right hand and the minister in
his left. The minister seized him round the waist, forced him back
out of the buggy on the left, and fell upon him. Tuffuzzul Hoseyn
then quitted his hold of the horse and rushed to his comrade's
assistance, but the minister still holding Hyder Khan in his right
hand, seized Tuffuzzul Hoseyn with his left. Syud Aman Allee, another
personal servant of the minister, was cut down by Fuzl Allee, in
attempting to aid his master, and a third personal servant, Shah
Meer, was severely wounded by Allee Mahomed, and stood at a distance
of twenty paces, calling for help. Fuzl Allee now made two cuts with
his sword on the right shoulder and arm of the minister, below the
elbow, and he quitted his hold on the two assassins and fell. The
four assassins now grasped their victim, and told him that they would
do him no farther harm if no rescue were attempted. As they saw the
rest of the minister's armed attendants and a crowd approach, Fuzl
Allee and Hyder Khan, with their blunderbusses loaded and cocked,
stood one at each end of an open space of about sixty yards, and
threatened to shoot the first man who should venture to approach
nearer. The crowd and attendants of the minister were kept back, and
no one ventured to enter this space, in the centre of which the
minister lay, grasped by Tuffuzzul Hoseyn and Allee Mahomed, who held
their naked daggers at his breast. The minister called out to his
attendants and the crowd to keep back. He was then allowed to rise
and walk to a small raised terrace on the side of the street, where
he lay down on his back, being unable any longer to sit or stand from
the loss of blood. Tuffuzzul Hoseyn and Allee Mahomed knelt over him,
holding the points of their daggers at his breast, and swearing that
they would plunge them to his heart if he attempted to move, or any
one presumed to enter the open space to rescue him. Hollas and Syud
Aman Allee lay bleeding at the spot where they fell. Hollas died that
day, and Syud Aman Allee a few days after, of lock-jaw.

As soon as the attack on the minister was made, information of it was
sent off to the Resident, Colonel Richmond, who wrote to request the
Brigadier Commanding the Troops in Oude, to send him, as soon as
possible, a regiment of infantry with two guns, from the Cantonments,
which are three miles and a-half distant from the Residency, on the
opposite side from the scene of the attack, to prevent any tumult
that the loose characters of the city might attempt to raise on the
occasion, and repaired himself to the spot attended by the Assistant,
Captain Bird, and a small guard of sipahees. They reached the open
spot, in the centre of which the minister lay, about a quarter of an
hour after he fell. He found the street, in which the attack took
place, crowded with people up to the place where the two sentries,
Fuzl Allee and Hyder Khan, stood at each end of the open space, in
the centre of which the minister lay, with the daggers of the two
other assassins pressing upon his breast. On reaching one end of the
open space, the Resident directed Captain Bird to advance to the spot
where the minister lay. The assassin who guarded that end at first
threatened to shoot him, but no sooner recognized him than he let him
pass on unattended. He asked the two men, who knelt over the
minister, what they meant by this assault. They told him, that good
men were no longer employed in the King's service, and that they
were, in consequence, without the means of subsistence; and had been
compelled to resort to this mode of obtaining them; that they
required fifty thousand rupees from the minister, with a written
assurance from the British Resident, that they should be escorted in
safety across the Ganges into the British territory with this sum.

The Resident peremptorily refused to enter into any written agreement
with them, and told them, through the Assistant, that if they
presumed to put the minister to death, or to offer him any further
violence, they should be all four immediately shot down and cut to
pieces; but, if they did him no further harm, their lives should, be
spared; and, to prevent their being killed as soon as they quitted
their hold, that he would take them all with him to the Residency,
and neither imprison them himself, nor have them made over as
prisoners to the Oude Government; but that he declined being a party
to any arrangement that the minister might wish to make of paying
money for his life.

They continued resolutely to threaten instant death to the minister
should any one but the Resident or his Assistant presume to enter the
open space in which he lay. Many thousands of reckless and desperate
characters filled the street, ready to commence a tumult, for the
plunder of the city, the moment that the minister or the assassins
should be killed, while the relations and dependents of the minister,
with loud cries, offered lacs of rupees to the assassins if they
spared his life, so as to encourage them to hold out. They at last
collected and brought to the spot, on three or four elephants, the
fifty thousand rupees demanded by the assassins, and offered them to
his assailants apparently with his concurrence; and the four
ruffians, having assented to the terms offered by the Resident,
permitted Doctor Login, the Residency Surgeon, to approach the
prostrate minister and dress his wounds. One of the assassins,
however, continued to kneel by his side with his naked dagger resting
on his breast till he saw the other three seated upon the elephants,
on which the money was placed, with the understanding, that the guard
of sipahees, which the Resident had brought with him, should escort
them to the Residency, and that Captain Bird, the Assistant, should
accompany them. The fourth man then quitted his hold on the minister,
who had become very faint, and climbed upon Captain Bird's elephant
and took seat behind him. Captain Bird, however, made him get off,
and mount another elephant with his companions. The crowd shouted
_shah bash, shah bash!_--well done, well done! and they attempted to
scatter some of the money from the elephants among them, but were
prevented by Captain Bird, who dreaded the consequences in such a
tumult. They were all four taken to the Residency under the guard of
sipahees, and accommodated in one of the lower rooms of the office;
and a guard was placed over the money with orders to keep back the
crowd of spectators, which was very great. Three of the four ruffians
had been wounded by the minister's attendants before they could
secure his person, and their wounds were now dressed by Doctor Login.

It was now ten o'clock, and at twelve the Resident had an interview
with the King, who had become much alarmed, not only for the safety
of the minister, but for that of the city, threatened by the
thousands of bad characters, anxious for an occasion of pillage; and
he expressed an anxious wish that the assassins should be made over
to him for trial. But the Resident pleaded the solemn promise which
he had made, and his Majesty admitted the necessity of the promise
under the circumstances, and that of keeping it; but said that he
would have the whole affair carefully investigated. As soon as the
Resident left him, he sent a company of sipahees with fetters to the
Residency to receive charge of the prisoners, but the Resident would
not give them up. The King then wrote a letter to the Resident with
his own hand, requesting that the prisoners might be surrendered to
him. The Resident, in his reply to His Majesty's, letter, told him,
that he could not so far violate the promise he had given, but that
he would send them to answer any other charges that might be brought
against them, in any open and impartial Court that might be appointed
to try them; and if they should be found guilty of other crimes, His
Majesty might order any sentence passed upon them, short of death, to
be carried into execution.

Charges of many successful attempts of the same kind, and many
atrocious murders perpetrated by the ruffians, in distant districts
of Oude, were preferred against them; and they were prevailed upon to
give up their arms, and to submit to a fair and open trial, on the
other charges preferred against them, on condition that they should
neither be put to death nor in any way maimed, or put in fetters, or
subjected to ill-treatment before trial and conviction. The Resident
offered them the alternative of doing this or leaving the Residency,
after he had read to them the King's letter, and told them, that his
promise extended only to saving their lives and escorting them to the
Residency; and, that he would not be answerable for their lives
beyond the court-yard of the Residency, if they refused the
conditions now offered. They knew that their lives would not be safe
for a moment after they got beyond the court-yard, and submitted.
Their arms and the fifty thousand rupees were sent to the King. At
four in the afternoon, the four prisoners were made over to the
King's wakeel, on a solemn promise given under the express sanction
of his Majesty, of safe conduct through the streets, of freedom from
fetters, or any kind of ill-treatment before conviction, and of fair
and open trial.

But they had not gone two paces from the Residency court-yard, when
they were set upon by the very people sent by the King to take care
of them on the way; the King's wakeel having got into his palkee and
gone on before them towards the palace. They were beaten with whips,
sticks, and the hilts of swords, till one of the four fell down
insensible, and the other three were reduced to a pitiable condition.
The Resident took measures to protect them from further violence,
recalled the wakeel; and, after admonishing him for his dishonourable
conduct, had the prisoners taken unfettered to a convenient house
near the prison. The wounded minister wrote to the King, earnestly
praying that the prisoners might not suffer any kind of ill-treatment
before conviction, after a fair and impartial trial. The Resident
reported to Government all that had occurred, and stated, that he
should see that the promises made to the prisoners were fulfilled,
that, should they be convicted before the Court appointed to conduct
the trial, of other crimes perpetrated before this assault on the
minister, they would be subject to such punishment as the Mahommedan
law prescribed for such crimes. Three of them, Tuffuzzul Hoseyn,
Hyder Khan, and Fuzl Allee, were convicted, on their own confessions,
and the testimony of their own relations, of many cold blooded
murders, and successful attempts to extort money from respectable and
wealthy persons in different parts of Oude, similar to this on the
minister, and all four were sentenced to imprisonment for life. The
Government of India had insisted on their not being executed or
mutilated. Fuzl Allee, as above stated, broke jail, and is still at
large at his old trade, and Hyder Khan is still in prison at Lucknow.

These ruffians appear to have been encouraged, in this assault upon
the minister, for the purpose of extorting money, by a similar but
more successful attempt made in the year 1824, by a party headed by a
person named Syud Mahomed Eesa Meean, _alias_ Eesa Meean.

This person came to Lucknow with a letter of recommendation from
Captain Gough. He delivered it in person to the Resident, but was
never after seen or heard of by him till this affair occurred. He
became a kind of saint, or _apostle_, at Lucknow; and Fakeer Mahomed
Khan Rusaldar, who commanded a corps of Cavalry, and had much
influence over the minister, Aga Meer, became one of his _disciples_,
and prevailed upon the minister to entertain him as a mosahib, or
aide-de-camp. He soon became a favourite with Aga Meer, and formed a
liaison with a dancing-girl, named Beeba Jan. His conduct towards her
soon became too violent and overbearing, and she sought shelter with
the Khasmahal, or chief consort, of the minister, who promised her
protection, and detained her in her apartments. Eesa Meean appealed
to the minister, and demanded her surrender. The minister told him
that she was mistress of her own actions, as she had never gone
through the ceremonies of permanent marriage, or _nikkah_, nor even
those of a temporary one, _motah_; and most be considered as
altogether free to choose her own lovers or mode of life.

He then appealed to Moulavee Karamut Allee, the tutor of Aga Meer's
children, but was told, that he could not interfere, as the female
was a mere acquaintance of his, and bound to him by no legal ties
whatever; and must, therefore, be considered as free to reside where
and with whom she chose. Eesa Meean then took his resolution, and
prevailed upon some fifteen of the loose and desperate characters who
always swarm at Lucknow, to aid him in carrying it out. On the 2nd of
June 1824, Karamut Allee, the tutor, was bathing, and Aga Meer's two
eldest sons, Aga Allee, aged eleven, and Nizam-od Dowlah, aged six
years were reading their lessons in the school-room, under the
deputy-tutor, Moulavee Ameen Allee. It was early in the morning, but
the minister had gone out to wait upon the King. Eesa Meean entered
the school-room, and approached the children with the usual courtesy
and compliments, followed by six armed men, and one table attendant,
or khidmutgar.

The two boys were sitting beside each other, the eldest, Aga Allee,
on the left, and the youngest, Nizam-od Dowla, on the right. Eesa
Meean sat down on the left side of the eldest, and congratulated both
on the rapid progress they were making in their studies. Three of his
followers, while he was doing this, placed themselves on the left of
the eldest, and the other three on the right of the youngest. On a
concerted signal all drew forth and cocked their pistols, and placed
themselves at the only three doors that opened from the school-room,
two at each, while at a signal made by the khidmutgar, eight more men
came in armed in the same manner. Two of them with naked daggers in
their right hands seized the two boys with their left, and threatened
them with instant death if they attempted to more or call for help.
The other six threatened to kill any one who should attempt to force
his way into the apartment. The khidmutgar, in the mean time, seized
and brought into the room two large gharahs or pitchers of drinking
water, that stood outside, as the weather was very hot, and the party
would require it They were afraid that poison might be put into the
water if left outside after they had commenced the assault. Eesa
Meean then declared, that he had been driven to this violent act by
the detention of his girl by the Khasmahal, and must have her
instantly surrendered, or they would put the boys to death. Hearing
the noise from his bathing-room, their tutor, Karamut Allee, rushed
into the room with nothing on his person but his waist-band, and
began to admonish the ruffians. Seeing him unarmed, and respecting
his peaceful character, they let him pass in and vociferate, but paid
no regard to what he said.

The alarm had spread through the house and town, and many of the
chief officers of the Court were permitted to enter the room unarmed.
Roshun-od Dowlah, Sobhan Allee Khan, Fakeer Mahomed Khan, Nuzee Allee
Khan, (the Khasmahul's son-in-law,) and others of equal rank, all in
loud terms admonished the assailants, and demanded the surrender of
the children, but all were alike unheeded. The chief merchant of
Lucknow, Sa Gobind Lal, came in; and thinking that all affairs could
and ought to be settled in a business-like way, told the chief
officers to fix the sum to be given, and he would at once pledge
himself to the payment. All agreed to this, and Sobhan Allee Khan,
the Chief Secretary of the minister, set to work and drew up a long
and eloquent paper of conditions. On his beginning to read it, one of
the ruffians, who had one eye, rushed in, snatched it from his hand,
tore it to pieces, and threw the fragments into his chief's, Eesa
Meean's, face, saying, "that this fellow would write them all out of
their lives, as he was writing the people of Oude every day out of
their properties; that if they must die, it should not be by pen and
paper, but by swords and daggers in a fair fight; that all their
lives had been staked, and all should die or live together." He was
overpowered by the others, and other papers were drawn up by the
ready writer and consummate knave Sobhan Allee, but the one-eyed man
contrived to get hold of all, one after the other, and tear them up.

The minister was with the King when he first heard of the affair, and
he went off forthwith to the Resident, Mr. Ricketts, to say, that his
Majesty had in vain endeavoured to rescue the boys through his
principal civil officers, and had sent all his available troops, but
in vain; and now earnestly entreated the British Resident to
interpose and save their lives. The Resident consented to do so, on
condition that any arrangement he might find it necessary to make
should be binding on his Majesty and the minister. Aga Meer returned
to the King with this message, and his Majesty agreed to this
condition. The Resident then sent his head moonshie, Gholam Hossein,
to promise Eesa Meean, that the woman should be restored to him, and
any grievance he might have to complain of should be redressed, and
his party all saved, if he gave up the children. But he and his
followers now demanded a large sum of money, and declared, that they
would murder the boys unless it was given and secured to them, with a
pledge for personal security to the whole party.

The minister, on hearing this, came to the Resident, and implored him
to adopt some measures to save the lives of the children. The
Resident had been for three weeks confined to his couch from illness,
but he sent his Assistant, Captain Lockett, with full powers to make
any arrangement, and pledge himself to any engagements, which might
appear to him to be necessary, to save the lives of the boys. He
went, and being unarmed, was permitted to enter the room. He asked
for Eesa Meean, whom he had never before seen, when one of the party
that knelt over the boys rose, and saluting him, said, "I am Eesa
Meean." Captain Lockett told him that he wanted to speak to him in
private, when Eesa Meean pointed to a door leading into a side room,
into which they retired. Eesa Meean offered Captain Lockett a chair,
and at his request sat down by his side. He then entered into a long
story of grievances, which Captain Lockett considered to be
frivolous, and said, "that the minister had injured his prospects in
many ways, and at last disgraced him in the eyes of all people at
Lucknow, by conniving at the elopement of the dancing-girl that he
was a soldier and regardless of life under such disgrace, and
prepared to abide by the result of his present attempt to secure
redress, whatever it might be; that his terms were the payment down
of five lacs of rupees, the restoration of his dancing-girl, and the
security of his own person and property, with permission to go where
he pleased, unmolested." Captain Lockett reminded him quietly of what
he had just said: "that he was a soldier, and anxious only for the
recovery of his lost honour; that now, to demand, money, was to show
to the world that wounded honour was urged as a mere pretext, and the
seizure of the boys a means adopted for the sole purpose of extorting
money; that he could not condescend to hold further converse with him
if he persisted in such preposterous demands; that he might murder
the children as they seemed to be in his power, but if he did so, he
and his party would be all instantly put to death, as the house was
surrounded by thousands of the King's soldiers, ready to fall upon
them at the slightest signal." He then recommended him to release the
boys forthwith before the excitement without became more strong, and
accompany him to the Residency, where his real Wrongs would be
inquired into and redressed.

Eesa Meean then rose and said: "Money is not my object. I despise it.
I regard nothing but the preservation of my honour, and agree to what
you propose; but I have several companions here who require to be
consulted: let me speak to them." He then went into the large room.
His companions all made objections of one kind or another, and what
they all agreed to one moment was rejected the next. They vociferated
loudly, and disputed violently with each other, and with all around
them, and at times appeared desperate and determined to sacrifice the
boys, and sell their own lives as dearly as possible. Eesa Meean
himself seemed to be the most violent and boisterous of all, and had
his hand frequently on the hilt of his sword when he disputed with
the King's officers, whom he abused in the grossest possible terms.
They did more harm than good by their want of temper and patience,
but above all by their utter want of character, since no one could
place the slightest reliance on the word of any one of them in such a
trying moment. They seemed to have no control over their feelings,
and to think that they could do all that was required by harsh
language and loud bawling.

Captain Lockett at last persuaded them to leave the whole affair in
his hands; and had they done so at first, he would have settled the
matter, he thought, in half the time. They had been discussing
matters in this angry manner for four hours and a half, without
making the slightest impression on the ruffians; but when all became
silent, Captain Lockett prevailed on them to release the boys on the
conditions agreed to between him and Eesa Meean, and recorded on
paper. In this paper it was declared--"That Syud Mahomed Eesa Khan,
together with the woman, Beeba Jan, shall be allowed to go where he
liked, with security to his life and honour, and with all the
property and effects he might have, whether he got it from the King
of Oude or from his minister; and that no one, either in the
Honourable Company's or in the King of Oude's dominions, shall offer
him any molestation; that no obstruction shall be thrown in his way
by the officers of the British Government in the countries of any of
the Rajahs at whose courts there may be a British Resident; and
further, that no molestation shall be offered to him in the British
territories in consequence of the disturbance which took place at
Bareilly in 1816.

"(Signed)    A. LOCKETT, _Assistant Resident_."

After this paper had been signed by Captain Lockett, the two boys
were set at liberty, and sent off in palanqeens to their mother under
a guard. The minister had, in the morning, promised to give the
assailants twenty thousand rupees, and they arrived before the
discussions closed, and were placed on the floor of the school-room.
The girl, Beeba Jan, was now brought into the room, and made over to
Eesa Meean. When first brought before him, she thought she was to be
sacrificed to save the lives of the boys, and was in a state of great
agitation. She implored Captain Lockett to save her life; but, to the
great surprise of all present, Eesa Meean took up one of the bags of
money, containing one thousand rupees, and, with a smile, put it into
her arms, and told her that she was now at liberty to return to her
home or go where she pleased. The joy expressed by the girl and by
all who witnessed this scene was very great; for they had all
considered him to be a mere ruffian, incapable of anything like a
generous action.

It had been arranged that Eesa Meean, with all his party, should go
with Captain Lockett to the Residency; but when the time came, and
the excitement had passed away in the apartment, he began to be
alarmed, and told Captain Lockett that he felt sure he should be
murdered on the road. He wanted to go with Captain Lockett on the
same elephant, but to this Captain Lockett would not consent, as it
would compromise his dignity, to sit on the same elephant with so
atrocious a character. There was no palanqeen available for him, and
he would not allow Captain Lockett to enter his, declaring that if he
did so, he, Eesa Meean, would be instantly cut down by the King's
people. Captain Lockett was, therefore, obliged to walk with him from
the minister's house at Dowlut Poora to the Residency, a distance of
a mile, in the heat of the day, and the hottest month in the year,
followed by the King's troops, and an immense multitude from the
city. About four o'clock Captain Lockett reached the Residency, and
made over Eesa Meean and his sixteen followers to the Resident, who
ratified the written engagement, and sent the party to the
cantonments, three miles distant from the city, to Brigadier-General
Price, who commanded the troops in Oude, to be taken care of for a
few days till arrangements could be made for their safe conduct to
Cawnpore, within the British territory. Their arms were taken from
them, to be sent to the magistrate at Cawnpore, for delivery to them
when they might be released. On the morning of the 3rd the King came
to the Resident to thank him for what he had done, and express the
sense he entertained of the judicious conduct of his Assistant during
the whole of this trying scene; and to request that he might be
permitted to go to the palace to receive some mark of distinction
which his Majesty wished to confer upon him. Captain Lockett went
with the minister, and was received with marked distinction; and
thirteen trays of shawls and other articles were presented to him.
Captain Lockett selected one pair, which he accepted, and placed, as
usual, in the Resident's Toshuk-khana.

When he signed the paper he remarked the omission of all mention of
Eesa Meean's associates in that document, but did not consider it to
be his duty to point out the oversight, lest it might increase the
excitement, and prolong the angry discussions. In his report of the
circumstances to the Resident, however, he mentioned it to him, and
told him that the omission clearly arose from an oversight, and
unless his associates received the same indulgence as the principal,
Eesa Meean himself, their exclusion from the benefits of the
engagement might be attributed to decoit or artifice on his part. The
Resident concurred in this opinion, and in his report of the
following day to Government, he recommended that they should all be
considered as included in the engagement.

Government, in its reply of the 25th of June 1824, consents to this
construction of the written engagement, but notices a no less
important oversight on the part of the Resident and his Assistant, in
the free pardon given to Eesa Meean, for the share he had taken in
the Bareilly insurrection, which had caused the loss of so many lives
in April 1816. Government infers, that they could, neither of them
have been aware, that this ruffian was the original instigator and
most active leader in that formidable insurrection; that it was
chiefly, if not entirely, owing to his endeavours to inflame the
popular phrenzy, and to collect partizans from the neighbouring
towns, that the efforts of the local authorities, to quell or avert
the rising storm, failed wholly of success; that he stood charged as
a principal in the murder of Mr. Leycester's son, and that, on these
grounds, he was expressly excluded from the general amnesty, declared
after the successful suppression of the rebellion, and a reward of
two thousand rupees offered for his arrest; that this written pledge
had involved Government in the dilemma of either cancelling a public
act of the British Resident, or pardoning and setting at large,
within its territory, a proclaimed outlaw, and notorious rebel and
most dangerous incendiary; and that it felt bound in duty to guard
the public peace from the hazard of further interruption, through the
violence or intrigue of so desperate and atrocious an offender; and
to annul that part of the engagement which absolves Eesa Meean from
his guilt in the Bareilly insurrection, since the Resident and his
Assistant went beyond their powers in pledging their Government to
such a condition. Government directed, that he and his associates
should be safely escorted over the border into the British territory,
and that he should not be brought to trial before a Judicial Court,
with a view to his being capitally punished for his crimes at
Bareilly, but be confined, as a state prisoner, in the fortress of
Allahabad. The Government, in strong but dignified terms, expresses
its surprise and displeasure at his having been placed in so
confidential a position, and permitted to bask in the sunshine of
ministerial favour, when active search was being made for him all
over India; for the King and his minister must have been both aware
of the part he had taken in the Bareilly insurrection, since the King
himself alludes to it in a letter submitted by the Resident to
Government on the 8th of June 1824.

The Resident and his Assistant, in letters dated 15th of July,
declare that they were altogether unacquainted with the part which
Eesa Meean had taken in the Bareilly rebellion in 1816, the Resident
being at that time at the Cape of Good Hope, and his Assistant in
England. Eesa Meean was confined, as directed, in the fort of
Allahabad; but soon afterwards released on the occasion of the
Governor-General's visit to that place. He returned again to Lucknow
in the year 1828, soon after Aga Meer had been removed from his
office of minister. As soon as it was discovered that he was in the
city, he was seized and sent across the Ganges; and is said to have
been killed in Malwa or Goozerat, in a similar attempt upon some
native chief or his minister.

The two boys are still living, the eldest, Aga Allee, or Ameen-od
Dowla, at Lucknow, and Nizam-od Dowla, the youngest, at Cawnpore;
both drawing large hereditary pensions, under the guarantee of the
British Government. This is not the Ameen-od Dowla who was attacked
in the streets, as above described, in the year 1847.

About two years ago this Ghoolam Huzrut took by violence possession
of the small estate of Golha, now in the Sibhore purgunnah; and
turned out the proprietor, Bhowannee Sing, a Rathore Rajpoot, whose
ancestors had held it for several centuries. The poor man was re-
established in it by the succeeding contractor, Girdhara Sing; but on
his losing his contract, Ghoolam Huzret, on the 23rd of September
last, again attacked Bhowanne Sing at midnight, at the head of a gang
of ruffians; and after killing five of his relatives and servants,
and burning down his houses, turned him and his family out, and
secured possession of the village, which he still holds. The King's
officers were too weak to protect the poor man, and have hitherto
acquiesced in the usurpation of the village. Ghoolam Huzrut has
removed all the autumn crops to his own village; and cut down and
taken away sixty mango-trees planted by Bhowannee Sing's ancestors.
Miherban Sing, the son of the sufferer, is a sipahee in the 63rd
Regiment Native Infantry, and he presented a petition through the
Resident in behalf of his father. Other petitions have been since
presented, and the Court has been strongly urged to afford redress.
Ghoolam Huzrut has two forts, to which he retires when pursued, one
at _Para_, and one at _Sarai_, and a good many powerful landholders
always ready to support him against the government, on condition of
being supported by him when necessary.

On crossing the river Ghagra, I directed Captain Bunbury, (who
commands a regiment in the King of Oude's service with six guns, and
was to have accompanied me, and left the main body of his regiment
with his guns under his second in command, Captain Hearsey, at
Nawabgunge,) to surprise and capture Ghoolam Huzrut, if possible, by
a sudden march. He had left his fort of Para, on my passing within a
few miles of it, knowing that the minister had been with me, and
thinking that he might have requested my aid for the purpose. Captain
Bunbury joined his main body unperceived, made a forced march during
the night, and reached the fort of Para at daybreak in the morning,
without giving alarm to any one on the road. In this surprise he was
aided by Khoda Buksh, of Dadra, a very respectable and excellent
landholder, who had suffered from Ghoolam Huzrut's depredations.

He had returned to his fort with all his family on my passing, and it
contained but few soldiers, with a vast number of women and children.
He saw that it would be of no use to resist, and surrendered his fort
and person to Captain Bunbury, who sent him a prisoner to Lucknow,
under charge of two Companies, commanded by Captain Hearsey. He is
under trial, but he has so many influential friends about the Court,
with whom he has shared his plunder, that his ultimate punishment is
doubtful. Captain Bunbury was praised for his skill and gallantry,
and was honoured with a title by the king.

_December_ 3, 1849.--Kinalee, ten miles over a plain, highly
cultivated and well studded with groves, but we could see neither
town, village, nor hamlet on the road. A poor Brahmin, Gunga Sing,
came along the road with me, to seek redress for injuries sustained.
His grandfather was in the service of our Government, and killed
under Lord Lake, at the first siege of Bhurtpore in 1804. With the
little he left, the family had set up as agricultural capitalists in
the village of Poorwa Pundit, on the estate of Kulunder Buksh, of
Bhitwal. Here they prospered. The estate was, as a matter of favour
to Kulunder Buksh, transferred from the jurisdiction of the
contractor to that of the Hozoor Tehseel.*  Kulunder Buksh either
could not, or would not, pay the Government demand; and he employed
two of his relatives, Godree and Hoseyn Buksh, to plunder in the
estate and the neighbourhood, to reduce Government to his own terms.
These two persons, with two hundred armed men, attacked the village
in the night; and, after plundering the house of this Brahmin, Gunga
Sing, they seized his wife, who was then pregnant, and made her point
out a hidden treasure of one hundred and seven gold mohurs, and two
hundred and seventy-seven rupees. She had been wounded in several
places before she did this, and when she could point out no more, one
of the two brothers cut her down with his sword, and killed her. In
all the Brahmin lost two thousand seven hundred and fifty-five
rupees' worth of property; and, on the ground of his grandfather
having been killed in the Honourable Company's service, has been ever
since urging the Resident to interpose with the Oude government in
his behalf.

[* The term "Hozoor Tehseel" signifies the collections of the revenue
made by the governor himself whether of a district or a kingdom. The
estates of all landholders who pay their land-revenues direct to the
governor, or to the deputy employed under him to receive such
revenues and manage such estates, are said to be in the "Hozoor
Tehseel." The local authorities of the districts on which such
estates are situated have nothing whatever to do with them.]

The estate of Bhitwal has been retransferred to the jurisdiction of
the Amil of Byswara, who has restored it to Kulunder Buksh; and his
two relatives, Godree and Hoseyn Buksh, are thriving on the booty
acquired, and are in high favour with the local authorities. I have
requested that measures may be adopted to punish them for the robbery
and the cruel murder of the poor woman; but have little hope that
they will be so. _No government in India is now more weak for
purposes of good than that of Oude_.

This village of Kinalee is now in the estate of Ramnuggur Dhumeereea,
held by Gorbuksh, a large landholder, who has a strong fort,
Bhitolee, at the point of the Delta, formed by the Chouka and Ghagra
rivers, which here unite. He has taken refuge with some four thousand
armed followers in this fort, under the apprehension of being made to
pay the full amount of the Government demand, and called to account
for the rescue of some atrocious offenders from Captain Hearsey, of
the Frontier Police, by whom they had been secured. Gorbuksh used to
pay two hundred thousand rupees a-year for many years for this
estate, without murmur or difficulty; but for the last three years he
has not paid the rate, to which he has got it reduced, of one hundred
and fifty thousand. Out of his rents and the revenues due to
Government he keeps up a large body of armed followers, to intimidate
the Government, and seize upon the estates of his weaker neighbours,
many of which he has lately appropriated by fraud, violence, and
collusion. An attempt was this year made to put the estate under the
management of Government officers; but he was too strong for the
Government, which was obliged to temporise, and at last to yield. He
is said to exact from the landholders the sum of two hundred and
fifty thousand rupees a-year. He holds also the estate of Bhitolee,
at the apex of the delta of the Ghagra and Chouka rivers, in which
the fort of Bhitolee is situated. The Government demand on this
estate is fifty thousand (50,000) rupees a-year. His son, Surubjeet
Sing, is engaged in plunder, and, it is said, with his father's
connivance and encouragement, though he pretends to be acting in
disobedience of his orders. The object is, to augment their estate,
and intimidate the Government and its officers by gangs of ruffians,
whom they can maintain only by plunder and malversation. The greater
part of the lands, comprised in this estate of Ramnuggur Dhumeereea,
of which Rajah Gorbuksh is now the local governor, are hereditary
possessions which have been held by his family for many generations.
A part has been recently seized from weaker neighbours, and added to
them. The rest are merely under him as the governor or public
officer, intrusted with the collection of the revenue and the
management of the police.

_December_ 4, 1849.--Gunesh Gunge, _alias_ Byram-ghat, on the right
bank of the river Ghagra, distance about twelve miles. The country
well cultivated, and studded with good groves of mango and other
trees. We passed through and close to several villages, whose houses
are nothing but mud walls, without a thatched or tiled roof to one in
twenty. The people say there is no security in them from the King's
troops and the passies, a large class of men in Oude, who are village
watchmen but inveterate thieves and robbers, when not employed as
such. All refractory landholders hire a body of passies to fight for
them, as they pay themselves out of the plunder, and cost little to
their employers. They are all armed with bows and arrows, and are
very formidable at night. They and their refractory employers keep
the country in a perpetual state of disorder; and, though they do not
prevent the cultivation of the land, they prevent the village and
hamlets from being occupied by anybody who has anything to lose, and
no strong local ties to restrain him.

The town of Ramnuggur, in which Gorbuksh resides occasionally, is on
the road some five miles from the river. It has a good many houses,
but all are of the same wretched description; mud walls, with
invisible coverings or no coverings at all; no signs of domestic
peace or happiness; but nothing can exceed the richness and variety
of the crops in and around Ramnuggur. It is a fine garden, and would
soon be beautiful, were life and property better secured, and some
signs of domestic comfort created. The ruined state of the houses in
this town and in the villages along the road, is, in part, owing to
the system which requires all the King's troops to forage for
themselves on the march, and the contractors, and other collectors of
revenue, to be continually on the move, and to take all their troops
with them. The troops required in the provinces should be cantoned in
five or six places most convenient, with regard, to the districts to
be controlled, and most healthy for the people; and provided with
what they require, as ours are, and sent out to assist the revenue
collectors and magistrates only when their services are indispensably
necessary. Some Chundele Rajpoot landholders came to me yesterday to
say, that Ghoolam Huzrut, with his bands of armed ruffians, seemed
determined to seize upon all the estates of his weaker Hindoo
neighbours, and they would soon lose theirs, unless the British
Government interposed to protect them. Gorbuksh has not ventured to
come, as he was ordered, to pay his respects to the Resident; but has
shut himself up in his fort at Bhitolee, about six miles up the river
from our camp. The Chouka is a small river which there flows into the
Ghagra. He is said to have four or five thousand men with him; and
several guns mounted in his fort. The ferry over the Ghagra is close
to our tents, and called Byram-ghat.

_December_ 5, 1849.--Crossed the river Ghagra, in boats, and encamped
at Nawabgunge, on the left bank, where we were met by one of the
collectors of the Gonda Bahraetch district. He complained of the
difficulties experienced in realizing the just demands of the
exchequer, from the number and power of the tallookdars of the
district, who had forts and bands of armed followers, too strong for
the King's officers. There were, he said, in the small purgunnah of

1.--Pretheeput Sing, of Paska, who has a strong fort called Dhunolee,
on the right bank of the Ghagra, opposite to Paska and Bumhoree, two
strongholds, which he has on the left bank of that river, and he is
always ready to resist the Government.

2.--Murtonjee Buksh, of Shahpoor, who is always ready to do the same;
and a great ruffian.

3.--Shere Bahader Sing, of Kuneear.*

4.--Maheput Sing, of Dhunawa.*

5.--Surnam Sing, of Arta.*

6.--Maheput Sing, of Paruspoor.*

[* All four are at present on good terms with the Government and its
local authorities.]

They have each a fort, or stronghold, mounting five or six guns, and
trained bands of armed and brave men of five or six hundred, which
they augment, as occasion requires, by Gohars, or auxiliary bands
from their friends.

Hurdut Sing, of Bondee, _alias_ Bumnootee, held an estate for which
he paid one hundred and eighty-two thousand (1,82,000) rupees a year
to Government; but he was driven, out of it in 1846-47, by Rughbur
Sing, the contractor, who, by rapacity and outrage, drove off the
greater part of the cultivators, and so desolated the estate that it
could not now be made to yield thirty thousand (30,000) rupees a-
year. The Raja has ever since resided with a few followers in an
island in the Ghagra. He has never openly resisted or defied the
Government, but is said to be sullen, and a bad paymaster. He still
holds the estate in its desolate condition.

The people of Nawabgunge drink the water of wells, close to the bank
of the river, and often the water of the river itself, and say that
they never suffer from it; but that a good many people in several
villages, along the same bank, have the goitre to a very distressing

_December_ 6, 1849.--Halted at Byram-ghat, in order to enable all our
people and things to come up. One of our elephants nearly lost his
life yesterday in the quick-sands of the river. Capt. Weston rode out
yesterday close to Bhitolee, the little fort of Rajah Gorbuksh Sing,
who came out in a litter and told him, that he would come to me to-
day at noon, and clear himself of the charges brought against him of
rescuing and harbouring robbers, and refusing to pay the Government
demand. He had been suffering severely from fever for fifteen days.

Karamut Allee complains that his father, Busharut Allee, had been
driven out from the purgunnahs of Nawabgunge and Sidhore, by Ghoolum
Huzrut and his associates, who had several times attacked and
plundered the town of Nawabgunge, our second stage, and a great many
other villages around, from which they had driven off all the
cultivators and stock, in order to appropriate them to themselves,
and augment their landed estates; that they had cut down all the
groves of mango-trees planted by the rightful proprietors and their
ancestors, in order to remove all local ties; and murdered or maimed
all cultivators who presumed to till any of the lands without their
permission, that Busharut Allee had held the contract for the land
revenue of the purgunnah for twenty years, and paid punctually one
hundred and thirty-five thousand (1,35,000) rupees a-year to the
treasury, till about four years ago, when Ghoolam Huzrut commenced
this system of spoliation and seizure, since which time the purgunnah
had been declining, and could not now yield seventy thousand (70,000)
rupees to the treasury; that his family had held many villages in
hereditary right for many generations, within the purgunnah, but that
all had, been or were being seized by this lawless freebooter and his

Seeta Ram, a Brahmin zumeendar of Kowaree, in purgunnah Satrick,
complains, that he has been driven out of his hereditary estate by
Ghoolam Imam, the zumeendar of Jaggour, and his associate, Ghoolam
Huzrut; that his house had been levelled with the ground, and all the
trees, planted by his family, have been cut down and burned; that he
has been plundered of all he had by them, and is utterly ruined. Many
other landholders complain in the same manner of having been robbed
by this gang, and deprived of their estates; and still more come in
to pray for protection, as the same fate threatens all the smaller
proprietors, under a government so weak, and so indifferent to the
sufferings of its subjects.

The Nazim of Khyrabad, who is now here engaged in the siege of
Bhitolee, has nominally three thousand four hundred fighting men with
him; but he cannot muster seventeen hundred. He has with him only the
seconds in command of corps, who are men of no authority or
influence, the commandants being at Court, and the mere creatures of
the singers and eunuchs, and other favourites about the palace. They
always reside at and about Court, and keep up only half the number of
men and officers, for whom they draw pay. All his applications to the
minister to have more soldiers sent out to complete the corps, or
permission to raise men in their places, remain unanswered and
disregarded. The Nazim of Bharaetch has nominally four thousand
fighting men; but he cannot muster two thousand, and the greater part
of them are good for nothing. The great landholders despise them, but
respect the Komutee corps, under Captains Barlow, Bunbury, and
Magness, which is complete, and composed of strong and brave men. The
despicable state to which the Court favourites have reduced the
King's troops, with the exception of these three corps, is
lamentable. They are under no discipline, and are formidable only to
the peasantry and smaller landholders and proprietors, whose houses
they everywhere deprive of their coverings, as they deprive their
cattle of their fodder.

_December_ 7, 1849.--Hissampoor, 12 miles north-east, over a plain of
fine soil, more scantily tilled than any we saw on the other side of
the Ghagra, but well studded with groves and fine single trees, and
with excellent crops on the lands actually under tillage. One cause
assigned for so much fine land lying waste is, that the Rajpoot
tallookdars, above named, of the Chehdewara, have been long engaged
in plundering the Syud proprietors of the soil, and seizing upon
their lands, in the same manner as the Mahomedan ruffians, on the
other side of the river, have been engaged in plundering the small
Rajpoot proprietors, and seizing upon their lands. Four of them are
now quiet; but two, Prethee Put and Mirtonjee, are always in
rebellion. Lately, while the Chuckladar was absent, employed against
Jote Sing, of Churda, in the Turae, these two men took a large train
of followers, with some guns, attacked the two villages of Aelee and
Pursolee, in the estate of Deeksa, in Gonda, killed six persons,
plundered all the houses of the inhabitants, and destroyed all their
crops, merely because the landholders of these two villages would not
settle a boundary dispute in the way 'they proposed'. The lands of
the Hissampoor purgunnah were held in property by the members of a
family of Syuds, and had been so for many generations; but
neighbouring Rajpoot tallookdars have plundered them of all they had,
and seized upon their lands by violence, fraud, or collusion, with
public officers. Some they have seized and imprisoned, with torture
of one kind or another, till they signed deeds of sale, _Bynamahs_;
others they have murdered with all their families, to get secure
possession of their lands; others they have despoiled by offering the
local authorities a higher rate of revenue for their lands than they
could possibly pay.

The Nazim has eighteen guns, and ten auxiliary ones sent out on
emergency--not one-quarter are in a state for service; and for these
he has not half the draft-bullocks required, and they are too weak
for use; and of ammunition or _stores_ he has hardly any at all.

Rajah Gorbuksh Sing came yesterday, at sunset, to pay his respects,
and promised to pay to the Oude Government all that is justly
demandable from him. Written engagements to this effect were drawn
up, and signed by both the "high contracting parties." Having come in
on a pledge of personal security, he was, of course, permitted to
return from my camp to his own stronghold in safety. In that place he
has collected all the loose characters and unemployed soldiers he
could gather together, and all that his friends and associates could
lend him, to resist the Amil; and to maintain such a host, he will
have to pay much more than was required punctually to fulfil his
engagements to the State. He calculates, however, that, by yielding
to the Government, he would entail upon himself a perpetual burthen
at an enhanced rate, while, by the temporary expenditure of a few
thousands in this way, he may still further reduce the rate he has
hitherto paid.

The contract for Gonda and Bahraetch was held by Rughbur Sing, one of
the sons of Dursun Sing, for the years 1846 and 1847 A.D., and the
district of Sultanpoor was held by his brother, Maun Sing, for 1845-
46 and 1847 A.D. Rughbur Sing in 1846-47 is supposed to have seized
and sold or destroyed no less than 25,000 plough-bullocks in
Bhumnootee, the estate of Rajah Hurdut Sing, alone. The estate of
Hurhurpoor had, up to that time, long paid Government sixty thousand
(60,000) rupees a-year, but last year it would not yield five
thousand (5,000) rupees, from the ravages of this man, Rughbur Sing.
The estate of Rehwa, held by Jeswunt Sing, tallookdar, had paid
regularly fifty-five thousand (55,000) rupees a-year; but it was so
desolated by Rughbur Sing, that it cannot now yield eleven thousand
(11,000) rupees. This estate adjoins Bhumnootee, Rajah Hurdut Sing's,
which, as above stated, regularly paid one hundred and eighty-two
thousand (182,000) rupees; it cannot now pay thirty thousand (30,000)
rupees. Such are the effects of the oppression of this bad man for so
brief a period.

Some tallookdars live within the borders of our district of
Goruckpoor, while their lands lie in Oude. By this means they evade
the payment of their land revenues, and with impunity commit
atrocious acts of murder and plunder in Oude. These men maim or
murder all who presume to cultivate on the lands which they have
deserted, without their permission, or to pay rents to any but
themselves; and the King of Oude's officers dare not follow them, and
are altogether helpless. Only two months ago, Mohibollah, a zumeendar
of Kuttera, was invited by Hoseyn Buksh Khan, one of these
tallookdars, to his house, in the Goruckpoor district, to negotiate
for the ransom of one of his cultivators, a weaver by caste, whom he
had seized and taken away. As he was returning in the evening, he was
waylaid by Hoseyn Buksh Khan, as soon as he had recrossed the Oude
borders, and murdered with one of his attendants, who had been sent
with him by the Oude Amil. Such atrocities are committed by these
refractory tallookdars every day, while they are protected within our
bordering districts. Their lands must lie waste or be tilled by men
who pay all the rent to them, while they pay nothing to the Oude
Government. The Oude Government has no hope of prosecuting these men
to conviction in our Judicial Courts for specific crimes, which they
are known every day to commit, and glory in committing. In no part of
India is there such glaring abuse of the privileges of sanctuary as
in some of our districts bordering on Oude; while the Oude Frontier
Police, maintained by the King, at the cost of about one hundred
thousand (100,000) rupees a-year, and placed under our control,
prevents any similar abuse on the part of the Oude people and local
authorities. Some remedy for this intolerable evil should be devised.
At present the magistrates of all our conterminous districts require,
or expect, that their charges against any offender in Oude, who has
committed a crime in their districts, shall be held to be sufficient
for their arrest; but some of them, on the other band, require that
nothing less than some unattainable judicial proof, on the part of
the officers of the Oude Government, shall be held to be sufficient
to justify the arrest of any Oude offender who takes refuge in our
districts. They hold, that the sole object of the Oude authorities is
to get revenue defaulters into their power, and that the charges
against them for heinous crimes are invented solely for that purpose.
No doubt this is often the object, and that other charges are
sometimes invented, for the sole purpose of securing the arrest and
surrender of revenue defaulters; but the Oude revenue defaulters who
take refuge in our districts are for the most part, the tallookdars,
or great landholders, who, either before or after they do so,
invariably fight with the Oude authorities, and murder and plunder
indiscriminately, in order to reduce them to their own terms.

The Honourable the Court of Directors justly require that requisition
for the surrender of offenders by and from British officers and
Native States, shall be limited to persons charged with having
committed heinous crimes within their respective territories; and
that the obligation to surrender such offenders shall be strictly
reciprocal, unless, in any special case, there be very strong reason
for a departure from the rule.* But some magistrates of districts
disregard altogether applications made to them by the sovereign of
Oude, through the British Resident, for the arrest of subjects of
Oude who have committed the most atrocious robberies and murders in
the Oude territory in open day, and in the sight of hundreds; and
allow refugees from Oude to collect and keep up gangs of robbers
within their own districts, and rob and murder within the Oude
territory. Happily such Magistrates are rare. Government, in a letter
dated the 25th February, 1848, state--"that it is the duty of the
magistrates of our districts bordering on Oude to adopt vigorous
measures for preventing the assembling or entertaining of followers
by any party, for the purpose of committing acts of violence on the
Oude side of the frontier."

[* See their letter to the Government of India, 27th May 1835.]

_December_ 8, 1849.--Pukharpoor, a distance of fourteen miles, over a
fine plain of good soil, scantily tilled. For some miles the road lay
through Rajah Hurdut Sing's estate of Bumnootee, which was, with the
rest of the district of Bahraetch and Gonda, plundered by Rughbur
Sing, during the two years that he held the contract. We passed
through no village or hamlet, but saw some at a distance from the
road, with their dwellings of naked mud walls, the abodes of fear and
wretchedness; but the plain is well studded with groves and fine
single trees, and the crops are good where there are any on the
ground. Under good management, the country would be exceedingly
beautiful, and was so until within the last four years.

In the evening I had a long talk with the people of the village, who
had assembled round our tents. Many of them had the goitre; but they
told me, that in this and all the villages within twenty miles the
disease had, of late years, diminished; that hardly one-quarter of
the number that used to suffer from it had now the disease; that the
quality of the water must have improved, though they knew not why, as
they still drank from the same wells. These wells must penetrate into
some bed of mineral or other substance, which produces this disease
of the glands, and may in time exhaust it. But it is probable, that
the number who suffer from this disease has diminished merely with
the rest of the population, and that the proportion which the
goitered bear to the ungoitered may be still the same. They told me
that they had been plundered of all their stock and moveable property
by the terrible scourge, Rughber Sing, during his reign of two years,
and could not hope to recover from their present state of poverty for
many more; that their lands were scantily tilled, and the crops had
so failed for many years, since this miscreant's rule, that the
district which used to supply Lucknow with grain was obliged to draw
grain from it, and even from Cawnpore. This is true, and grain has in
consequence been increasing in price ever since we left Lucknow. It
is now here almost double the price that it is at Lucknow, while it
is usually twice as cheap here.

_December_ 9, 1849.--Bahraetch, ten miles north-east. We encamped on
a fine sward, on the left bank of the Surjoo river, a beautiful clear
stream. The cultivation very scanty, but the soil good, with water
everywhere, within a few feet of the surface. Groves and single trees
less numerous; and of villages and hamlets we saw none. Under good
government, the whole country might, in a few years, be made a
beautiful garden. The river Surjoo is like a winding stream in a
park; and its banks might, everywhere, be cultivated to the water's
edge. No ravines, jungle, or steep embankments. It is lamentable to
see so fine a country in so wretched a state.

The Turae forest begins a few miles to the north of Bahraetch, and
some of the great baronial landholders have their residence and
strongholds within it. The Rajah of Toolseepoor is one of them. He is
a kind-hearted old man, and a good landlord and subject; but he has
lately been driven out by his young and reprobate son, at the
instigation and encouragement of a Court favourite. The Rajah had
discharged an agent, employed by him at Court for advocating the
cause of his son while in rebellion against his father. The agent
then made common cause with the son, and secured the interest of two
powerful men at Court, Balkrishen Dewan and Gholam Ruza, the deputy
minister, who has charge of the estates in the Hozoor Tehsel. The
jurisdiction over the estate had been transferred from the local
authorities to the Hozoor Tehsel; and, by orders from Court, the
father's friends, the Bulrampoor and other Rajahs of the clan, were
prevented from continuing the aid they had afforded to support the
father's authority. The father unwilling to have the estate
devastated by a contest with the band of ruffians whom his son had
collected, retired, and allowed him to take possession. The son
seized upon all the property the father had left, and now employs it
in maintaining this band and rewarding the services of Court
favourites. The Nazim of the district is not permitted to interfere,
to restore rights or preserve order in the estate, nor would he,
perhaps, do either, if so permitted, for he has been brought up in a
bad school, and is not a good man. The pretext at Court is, that the
father is deranged; but, though not wise, he is learned, and no man
can be more sober than he is, or better disposed towards his
sovereign and tenants. That he is capable of managing his estate, is
shown by the excellent condition in which he left it.

Prethee Put, of Paska, is not worse than many of the tallookdars of
Oude, who now disturb the peace of the country; and I give a brief
sketch of his history, as a specimen of the sufferings inflicted on
the people by the wild licence which such landholders enjoy under the
weak, profligate, and apathetic government of Oude.

Keerut Sing, the tallookdar of Paska, on the left bank of the Ghagra,
between Fyzabad and Byram-ghaut, was one of the Chehdwara
landholders, and had five sons, the eldest Dirgpaul Sing, and the
second Prethee Put, the hero of this brief history. Before his death,
Keerut Sing made over the management of his estate to his eldest son
and heir; but gave to his second son a portion of land out of it, for
his own subsistence and that of his family. The father and eldest son
continued to reside together in the fort of Dhunolee, situated on the
right bank of the Ghagra, opposite Paska. Prethee Put took up his
residence in his portion of the estate at Bumhoree, collected a gang
of the greatest ruffians in the country, and commenced his trade, and
that of so many of his class, as an indiscriminate plunderer. Keerut
Sing and his eldest son, Dirgpaul, continued to pay the Government
demand punctually, to obey the local authorities, and manage the
estate with prudence.

Prethee Put, in 1836, attacked and took a despatch of treasure,
consisting of twenty-six thousand rupees, on its way to Lucknow, from
the Nazim of Bahraetch. In 1840 he attacked and took another of
eighty-five thousand rupees, on its way to Lucknow from the same
place. With these sums, and the booty which he acquired from the
plunder of villages and travellers, he augmented his gang, built a
fort at Bumhoree, and extended his depredations. In January 1842, his
father, who had been long ill, died. The local authorities demanded
five thousand rupees from the eldest son, Dirgpaul Sing, on his
accession. He promised to pay, and sent his eldest son, Dan Bahader
Sing, a lad of eighteen, as a hostage for the payment to the Nazim.
Soon after, Prethee Pat attacked the fort of Dhunolee, in which his
elder brother resided with his family, killed fifty-six persons, and
made Dirgpaul, his wife, and three other sons prisoners. Dirgpaul's
sister tried to conceal her brother under some clothes; but, under a
solemn oath from Prethee Put, that no personal violence should be
offered to him, he was permitted to take him. His wife and three sons
were sent off to be confined under the charge of Byjonauth Bhilwar,
zumeendar of Kholee, in the estate of Sarafraz Ahmud, one of his
associates in crime, on the left bank of the Goomtee river.

Three days after, finding that no kind of torture or intimidation
could make his elder brother sign a formal resignation of his right
to the estate in his favour, he took him into the middle of the river
Ghagra, cut off his head with his own hands, and threw the body into
the stream. Deeming this violation of his pledge a dishonourable act
his friend, Byjonauth, from whom he had demanded the widow and her
three sons, released them all, to seek protection elsewhere, as he
was not strong enough to resist Prethee Put himself. They found
shelter with some friends of the family in another district, and
Wajid Allee Khan, the Nazim of Bahraetch, in the beginning of
November 1843, went with the best force he could muster, drove
Prethee Pat out of Dhunolee and Paska, and put Dan Bahader Sing, the
eldest son of Dirgpaul, and rightful heir, into possession. In the
latter end of the same month, however, he was attacked by his uncle,
Prethee Put, and driven out with the loss of ten men. He again
applied for aid to the Nazim; but, thinking it more profitable to
support the stronger party, he took a bribe of ten thousand rupees
from Prethee Put, and recognized him as the rightful heir of his
murdered brother. Dan Bahader collected a small party of fifteen men,
and took possession of a small stronghold in the jungle of the
Shapoor estate, belonging to Murtonjee, another of the Chehdwara
tallookdars, where he was again attacked by his uncle in March 1844,
and driven out with the loss of four out of his fifteen men. Soon
after Prethee Put attacked and took another despatch of treasure, on
its way to Lucknow from Bahraetch, consisting of eighteen thousand
rupees. Soon after, in June, the Nazim, Ehsan Allee, sent a force
with Dan Bahader, and re-established him in possession of the estate
of Paska; but Ehsan Allee was soon after superseded in the contract
by Rughbur Sing, who adopted the cause of the strongest, and restored
Prethee Put, who continued to hold the estate for 1845.

In April 1847, Mahommed Hossein, one of the Tusseeldars under Rughbur
Sing, seized and confined Prethee Put, once more put Dan Bahader in
possession of the estate, and sent his uncle to Rughbur Sing. In
November 1847, Incha Sing superseded his nephew, Rughbur Sing; and,
thinking Prethee Put's the more profitable cause to adopt, he turned
out Dan Bahader, and restored Prethee Put to the possession of the
Paska estate, which he has held ever since. He has continued to
pursue his system of indiscriminate plunder and defiance of the
Government authorities, and has seized upon the estates of several of
his weaker neighbours.

In 1848, he attacked and plundered the village of Sahooreea,
belonging to Sarafraz Allee, Chowdheree of Radowlee, and this year he
has done the same to the village of Semree, belonging to Rajah
Bukhtawar Sing. He carried off fifty-two persons from this village of
Semree, and confined them for two months, flogging and burning them
with red-hot ramrods, till they paid the ransom of five thousand
rupees required. He has this year plundered another village,
belonging to the same person, called Nowtee, and its dependent hamlet
of Hurhurpoora. He has also this year attacked, plundered, and burnt
to the ground the villages of Tirkolee, in the Radowlee purgunnah,
and Aelee Pursolee, in Bahraetch. The attack on Tirkolee took place
in September last, and five of the inhabitants were killed; and in
the attack on Aelee Pursolee, six of the zumeendars were killed in
defending themselves. In this attack he was joined by the gang under
Murtonjee. He also plundered and confined a merchant of Gowaris till
he paid a ransom of seven hundred rupees; and about twenty-five days
ago he attacked and plundered two persons from Esanugur, on their way
to Ojodheea, on pilgrimage, and kept them confined and tortured till
they paid a ransom of five hundred rupees.

Prethee Put has, as before stated, in collusion with local
authorities, and by violence, seized upon a great portion of the
lands of Hissampoor, and ruined and turned out the Syud proprietors,
by whose families they had been held for many generations. He is
bound to pay twenty thousand rupees a year; but has not, for many
years, paid more than seven thousand.

Mahommed Hossein, the present Nazim of the Gonda Bahraetch districts,
describes the capture of Prethee Put by himself, as follows:-"In
1846, the purgunnahs of Gowaris and Hissampoor were reduced to a
state of great disorder by the depredations of Prethee Put, and the
roads leading through them were shut up. He had seized Syud Allee
Asgar, the tallookdar of Aleenughur, in the Hissampoor purgunnah,
taken possession of his estate, and driven out, or utterly ruined,
all the landholders and cultivators. He tried, by all kinds of
torture, to make Allee Asgar sign, in his favour, a deed of sale; but
his family found means to complain to the Durbar, and Rughbur Sing,
the Nazim, was ordered to seize him and rescue his prisoner. I was
sent to manage the two purgunnahs, seize the offender, and rescue
Allee Asgar. When I approached the fort of Bumhoree, where he kept
his prisoner confined, Prethee Put put him in strong irons, left him
in that fort, and, with his followers, passed over the Ghagra, in
boats, to his stronger fort of Dhunolee, on the right bank. I took
possession of Bumhoree without much resistance, rescued the prisoner,
and restored him to the possession of his estate, and put all the
rest of the lands held by Prethee Put under the management of
Government officers. Two months after, seeing my force much reduced
by these arrangements, he came at the head of a band of seventeen
hundred men to attack me in the village of Dhooree Gunge. The place
was not defended by any wall, but we made the best of it, drove him
back, and killed or wounded about fifty of his men, with the loss on
our side, in killed or wounded, of about twenty-three.

"I kept Prethee Put confined for two months, when Rughbur Sing sent
for him, on pretence that he wished to send him to Lucknow. He kept
him till the end of the year, when he was superseded in the contract
by his uncle, Incha Sing, who released Prethee Put at the
intercession of Maun Sing, the brother of Rughbur Sing, who expected
to make a good deal out of him." Prethee Put, of Paska, was attacked
on the morning of the 26th of March, 1850, in his fort of Dhunolee,
by a force under the command of Captains Weston, Thompson, Magness,
and Orr; and, on their approach, he vacated the fort, separated
himself from his gang, and took shelter in the house of a Brahmin. He
was then traced by a party from Captain Magness's corps; and, as he
refused to surrender, he was cut down and killed. His clan, the
Kulhunsies, refused to take the body for interment. The head had been
cut off to be sent to Lucknow as a trophy, but Captain Weston opposed
this, and it was replaced on the body, which was sewn up in a
winding-sheet and taken into the river Ghagra by some sipahees, as
the best kind of interment for a Hindoo chief of his rank. The
persons employed in the ceremony were Hindoos, who knew nothing of
Prethee Put's history; but it was afterwards found that the place
where the body was committed to the stream was that on which he had
killed his eldest brother, and thrown his body into the river from
his boat. This was a remarkable coincidence, and tended to impress
upon the minds of the people around a notion that his death was
effected by divine interposition. All, except his followers, were
rejoiced at the death of so atrocious a character. Dan Bahader, the
eldest son of the brother he had murdered, being poor and unable to
pay the usual fees and gratuities to the minister and court
favourites, was not, however, permitted to take possession of his
patrimonial estate, and he died in December, 1850, in poverty and
despair. Dhunolee and Bhumoree have been levelled with the ground.

_December_ 9, 1849.--In the news-writer's report of the 3rd December,
1849, it is stated--"that Ashfakos Sultan, Omrow Begum, one of the
King's wives, reported to his Majesty, that a man named Sadik Allee
had come to Lucknow while the King was suffering from palpitations of
the heart, and, in the disguise of a Durveish, hired a house in
Muftee Gunge, and taken up his residence in it. He there gave himself
out as one of the Kings of the Fairies (_Amil-i-Jinnut_); and the
fakeer, to whom his Majesty's confidential servants, the singers, had
taken him to be cured of his disease, was no other than this Sadik
Allee. The King, on hearing this, sent for Sadik Allee, who was
seized and brought before him on the 2nd December. He confessed the
imposture, but pleaded that he had practised it merely to obtain some
money, and that the singers were associated with him in all that he
did. The King soothed his apprehensions, and conferred upon him a
dress of honour, consisting of a doshala and roomul, and then made
him over to the custody of Ashfak-os Sultan. At night the King sent
for the minister, and, summoning Sadik Allee, bid him dress himself
exactly as he was dressed on the night he visited him, and prepare a
room in the palace exactly in the same manner as he had prepared his
own to receive his Majesty on that night. He chose a small room in
the palace, and under the ceiling he suspended a second ceiling, so
that no one could perceive how it was fixed on, and placed himself
between the two. When all was ready the King went to the apartment
with the minister, accompanied by Ruzee-od Dowlah, the head singer.
When the door of the apartment was closed, they first heard a
frightful voice, without being able to perceive whence it came.
Neither the minister nor the King could perceive the slightest
opening or fissure in the ceiling. They then came out and closed the
door, but immediately heard from within the peaceful salutation of
'salaam aleekom,' and the man appeared within as King of the Fairies,
and presented his Majesty with some jewels and other offerings. All
was here enacted precisely as it had been acted on the occasion of
the King's visit to Muftee Gunge. Turning an angry look upon Ruzee-od
Dowlah, the King said, 'All the evil that I have so often heard of
you, men of Rampoor, I have now with my own eyes seen realized;' and,
turning to the minister, he said, 'How often have these men spoken
evil of you before me!' Ruzee-od Dowlah then said, 'If your Majesty
thinks me guilty, I pray you to punish me as may seem to you proper;
but I entreat you not to make me over to the minister.' The King,
without deigning any reply, summoned Hajee Shureef, and told him to
place mounted sentries of his own corps of cavalry over the door of
Saadut Allee Khan's mausoleum, in which these singers resided, and
infantry sentries in the apartments with them, with strict orders
that no one should be permitted to go out without, being first
strictly searched. The sister of Ruzee-od Dowla could nowhere be
found, and was supposed to have made her escape."

The King had several interviews of this kind with his Majesty, the
King of the Fairies, who described the symptoms from which he
suffered, and prescribed the remedies, which consisted chiefly of
rich offerings to the Fairies, who were to relieve him. He frequently
received letters from the Fairy King to the same effect, written in
an imperious style, suited to the occasion. The farce was carried on
for several months, and the King at different times is supposed to
have given the Fairy King some two lacs of rupees, which he shared
liberally with the singers.

I had heard of the affair of the Durveish from the minister, through
his wakeel, and from Captain Bird, the first Assistant, in a letter.
I requested that he would ask for an audience, and congratulate his
Majesty on the discovery of the imposture, and offer any assistance
that he might require in the banishment of the impostors. He was
received by the King in the afternoon of the 6th. He expressed his
regret that the King should have been put to so much trouble by the
bad conduct of those who had received from him all that a king could
give-wealth, titles, and intimate companionship; hinted at the
advantage taken of this by Ruzee-od Dowlah, in his criminal
intercourse with one of his Sultanas, Surafraz Muhal; and earnestly
prayed him to put an end to the misery and disgrace which these men
had brought and were still bringing on himself, his house, and his
country. The King promised to have Ruzee-od Dowlah, his sister, and
Kotub-od Dowlah, banished across the Ganges; but stated, that he
could do nothing against Sadik Allee, however richly he deserved
punishment, since he had pledged his royal word to him, on his
disclosing all he knew about the imposition. The King asked captain
Bird, whether he thought that he had felt no sorrow at parting with
Surafraz Muhal, with whom he had lived so intimately for nine years;
that he had, he said, cast her off as a duty, and did Captain Bird
think that he would spare the men who had so grossly deceived him,
caused so much confusion in his kingdom, and ill-feeling towards him,
on the part of the British Government and its representative? His
Majesty added, "I cherished low-bred men, and they have given me the
low-bred man's reward, had I made friends of men of birth and
character it would have been otherwise;" and concluded by saying,
that he could not touch the money he had given to these fellows,
because people would say that he had got rid of them merely to
recover what he had bestowed upon them.*

[* When he afterwards confined and banished them in June and July
1850, he took back from them all that they had retained; but they had
sent to their families and friends, property to the value of many
lacs of rupees.]

The King, in the latter end of November, divorced Surafraz Muhal, and
sent her across the Ganges, to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. She had
long been cohabiting with the chief singer, Gholam Ruza, and was
known to be a very profligate woman. She is said to have given his
Majesty to understand that she would not consent to remain in the
palace with him without the privilege of choosing her own lovers, a
privilege which she had freely enjoyed before she came into it, and
could not possibly forego.



Bahraetch--Shrine of Syud Salar--King of the Fairies and the
Fiddlers--Management of Bahraetch district for forty-three years--
Murder of Amur Sing, by Hakeem Mehndee--Nefarious transfer of
_khalsa_ lands to Tallookdars, by local officers--Rajah Dursun Sing--
His aggression on the Nepaul Territory--Consequences--Intelligence
Department--How formed, managed, and abused--Rughbur Sing's
management of Gonda and Bahraetch for 1846-47--Its fiscal effects--A
gang-robber caught and hung by Brahmin villagers--Murder of
Syampooree Gosaen--Ramdut Pandee--Fairies and Fiddlers--Ramdut
Pandee, the Banker--the Rajahs of Toolseepoor and Bulrampoor--Murder
of Mr. Ravenscroft, of the Bengal Civil Service, at Bhinga, in 1823.

Bahraetch is celebrated for the shrine of Syud Salar, a _martyr_, who
is supposed to have been killed here in the beginning of the eleventh
century, when fighting against the Hindoos, under the auspices of
Mahmood Shah, of Ghuznee, his mother's brother. Strange to say,
Hindoos as well as Mahommedans make offerings to this shrine, and
implore the favours of this military ruffian, whose only recorded
merit consists of having destroyed a great many Hindoos in a wanton
and unprovoked invasion of their territory. They say, that he did
what he did against Hindoos in the conscientious discharge of his
duties, and could not have done it without God's permission--that God
must then have been angry with them for their transgressions, and
used this man, and all the other Mahommedan invaders of their
country, as instruments of his vengeance, and means to bring about
his purposes: that is, the thinking portion of the Hindoos say this.
The mass think that the old man must still have a good deal of
interest in heaven, which he may be induced to exercise in their
favour, by suitable offerings and personal applications to his

The minister reports to the Resident on the 9th, that the King had
relented, and wished to retain the singer, Ruzee-od Dowlah, and his
sister, and Kotub Allee, at Lucknow, with orders never to approach
the presence. Captain Bird, in a letter, confirms this report.

_December_ 11, 1849.--Left Bahraetch and came south-east to Imaleea,
on the road to Gonda, over a plain in the Pyagpoor estate, almost
entirely waste. Few groves or single trees to be seen; scarcely a
field tilled or house occupied; all the work of the same atrocious
governor, Rughbur Sing. No oppressor ever wrote a more legible hand.

The brief history of the management of this district for the last
forty-three years, is as follows. The district consisted in 1807, of

                              Khalsa Lands       Present Khalsa Lands
     Bahraetch    .    .    .   2,50,000                 4,000
     Hissampoor   .    .    .   2,00,000                40,000
     Hurhurpoor   .    .    .   1,25,000                10,000
     Buhareegunge .    .    .   1,50,000                15,000
                                ________                ______
                                7,25,000                69,000
                                ________                ______

The contract was held by Balkidass Kanoongoe, for five years, from
1807 to 1811, when he died, and was succeeded in the contract by his
son, Amur Sing, who held it till 1816. In the end of that year, or
early in 1817, Amur Sing was seized, put into confinement, and
murdered by Hakeem Mehndee, who held the contract for 1817 and 1818.
In the year 1816, Hakeem Mehndee, who held the contract for the
Mahomdee district, at four lacs of rupees a-year, and that for
Khyrabad at five, heard of the great wealth of Amur Sing, and the
fine state to which he and his father had brought the district by
good management; and offered the Oude government one lac of rupees a-
year more than he paid for the contract for the ensuing year. Hakeem
Mehndee resided chiefly at the capital of Lucknow, on the pretence of
indisposition, while his brother, Hadee Allee Khan, managed the two
districts for him. He had acquired a great reputation by his
judicious management of these two districts, and become a favourite
with the King, by the still more skilful management of a few male and
female favourites about his Majesty's person. The minister, Aga Meer,
was jealous of his growing fame and favour, and persuaded the King to
accept the offer, in the hope that he would go himself to his new
charge, in order to make the most of it. As soon as he heard of his
appointment to the charge of Bahraetch, Hakeem Mehndee set out with
the best body of troops he could collect, and sent on orders for Amur
Sing to come out and meet him. He declined to do so until he got the
pledge of Hadee Allee Khan, the Hakeem's brother, for his personal
security. This mortified the Hakeem, and tended to confirm him in the
resolution to make away with Amur Sing, and appropriate his wealth.
Both Hakeem Mehndee and his brother are said to have sworn on their
Koran that no violence whatever should be offered to or restraint put
upon him; and, relying on these oaths and pledges, Amur Sing met them
on their approach to Bahraetch.

After discussing affairs and adjusting accounts for some months at
Bahraetch, the Hakeem, by his courteous manners and praises of his
excellent management, put Amur Sing off his guard. When sitting with
him one evening in his tents, around which he had placed a select
body of guards, he left him on the pretext of a sudden call, and Amur
Sing was seized, bound, and confined. Meer Hyder and Baboo Beg, Mogul
troopers, were placed in command of the guards over him, with orders
to get him assassinated as soon as possible. Sentries were, at the
same time, placed over his family and wealth. At midnight he was soon
after strangled by these two men and their attendants. Baboo Beg was
a very stout, powerful man; and he attempted to strangle him with his
own hands, while his companions held him down; but Amur Sing managed
to scream out for help, and, in attempting to close his mouth with
his left hand, one of his fingers got between Amur Sing's teeth, and
he bit off the first joint, and kept it in his mouth. His companions
finished the work; and Baboo Beg went off to get his fingers dressed
without telling any one what had happened. In the morning Hakeem
Mehndee gave out, that Amur Sing had poisoned himself, made the body
over to his family, and sent off a report of his death to the
minister, expressing his regret at Amur Sing's having put an end to
his existence by poisoning, to avoid giving an account of his
stewardship. The property which Hakeem Mehndee seized and
appropriated, is said to have amounted, in all, to between fifteen
and twenty lacs of rupees!

Amur Sing's family, in performing the funeral ceremonies, had to open
his mouth, to put in the usual small bit of gold, Ganges water, and
leaf of the toolsee-tree; and, to their horror, they there found the
first joint of a man's finger. This confirmed all their suspicions,
that he had been murdered during the night, and they sent off the
joint of the finger to the minister, demanding vengeance on the
murderer. Aga Meer was delighted at this proof of his rival's guilt,
and would have had him seized and tried for the murder forthwith, but
Hakeem Mehndee gave two lacs of rupees, out of the wealth he had
acquired from the murder, to Rae Doulut Rae, Meer Neeaz Hoseyn,
Munshee Musaod, Sobhan Allee Khan, and others, in the minister's
confidence; and they persuaded him, that he had better wait for a
season, till he could charge him with the more serious offence of
defalcations in the revenue, when he might crush him with the weight
of manifold transgressions.

They communicated what they had done to Hakeem Mehnde, who, by
degrees, sent off all his disposable wealth to Shabjehanpoor and
Futtehghur, in British territory. In April 1818, the Governor-General
the Marquess of Hastings passed through the Khyrabad and Bahraetch
districts, attended by Hakeem Mehndee, on a sporting excursion, after
the Mahratta war; and the satisfaction which he expressed to the King
with the Hakeem's conduct during that excursion, added greatly to the
minister's hatred and alarm. He persuaded his Majesty to demand from
Hakeem Mehndee an increase of five lacs of rupees upon nine lacs a-
year, which he already paid for Mahomdee and Khyrabad; and resolved
to have him tried for the murder of Amur Sing, as soon as he could
get him into his power. Hakeem Mehndee knew all this from the friends
he had made at Court, refused to keep the contract at the increased
rate, and, on pretence of settling his accounts, went first to
Seetapoor from Bahraetch, and thence over the border to
Shahjehanpoor, with all his family, and such of the property as he
had not till then been able to send off. The family never recovered
any of the property he had taken from Amur Sing, nor was any one of
the murderers ever punished, or called to account for the crime.

On the departure of Hakeem Mehndee, Hadee Allee Khan (not the brother
of Hakeem Mehndee, but a member of the old official aristocracy of
Oude) got the contract of the district of Bahraetch with that of
Gonda, which had been held in Jageer by and for the widow of Shoja-od
Dowlah, the mother of Asuf-od Dowlah, commonly known by the name of
the Buhoo Begum, of Fyzabad, where she resided. Hadee Allee Khan held
the contract of these two districts for nine years, up to 1827. He
was succeeded by Walaeut Allee Khan, who held the contract for only
half of the year 1828, when he was superseded by Mehndoo Khan, who
held it for two years and a half, to the end of 1830, when Hadee
Allee Khan again got the contract, and he held it till he died in
1833. He was succeeded by his nephew, Imdad Allee Khan, who held the
contract till 1835.

Rajah Dursun Sing superseded him in 1836, and was the next year
superseded by the widow of Hadee Allee, named "Wajee-on-Nissa Begum,"
who held the contract for one year and a half to 1838. For the
remainder of 1838, the contract was held by Fida Allee Khan and Ram
Row Pandee jointly; and for 1839, by Sunker Sahae Partuk. For 1840,
it was held by Sooraj-od Dowlah, and for 1841 and up to September
1843, Rajah Dursun Sing held it again. For 1844 and 1845, Ehsan Allee
and Wajid Allee held it. For 1846 and 1847, Rughbur Sing, one of the
three sons of Rajah Dursun Sing, held it. For 1848, it was held by
Incha Sing, brother of Dursun Sing; and for 1849, it has been held by
Mahummud Hasun. The Gonda district consisted of the purgunnahs of
Gonda and Nawabgunge, and a number of tallooks, or baronial estates.

Under the paternal government of Balukram and his son, Amur Sing,
hereditary canoongoes of the district, life and property were secure,
the assessment moderate, and the country and people prosperous. It
was a rule, strictly adhered to, under the reign of Saadut Allee
Khan, from 1797 to 1814, never under any circumstances to permit the
transfer of _khalsa_ or allodial lands (that is, lands held
immediately under the Crown) to tallookdars or baronial proprietors,
who paid a quit-rent to Government, and managed their estates with
their own fiscal officers, and military and police establishments.
Those who resided in or saw the district at that time, describe it as
a magnificent garden; and some few signs of that flourishing state
are still to be seen amidst its present general desolation.

The adjoining district of Gonda became no less flourishing under the
fostering care of the Buhoo Begum, of Fyzabad, who held it in Jageer
till her death, which took place 18th December, 1815. Relying upon
the pledge of the British Government, under the treaty of 1801, to
protect him against all foreign and domestic enemies, and to put down
for him all attempts at insurrection and rebellion by means of its
own troops, without any call for further pecuniary aid, Saadut Allee
disbanded more than half his army, and reduced the cost, while he
improved the efficiency of the other half, to bring his expenditure
within his income, now so much diminished by the cession of the best
half of his dominions to the British Government. He assessed, or
altogether resumed, all the rent-free lands in his reserved half of
the territory; and made all the officers of his two lavish and
thoughtless predecessors,* disgorge a portion of the wealth which
they had accumulated by the abuse of their confidence; and, at the
same time, laboured assiduously to keep within bounds the powers and
possessions of his landed aristocracy.

[* Asuf-od Dowlah and Wuzeer Allee.]

Hakeem Mehndee exacted from the landholders of Bahraetch two annas in
the rupee, or one-eighth, more than the rate they had hitherto paid;
and his successor, Hadee Allee, exacted an increase of two annas in
the rupee, upon the Hakeem's rate. It was difficult to make the
landholders and cultivators pay this rate, and a good deal of their
stock was sold off for arrears; and much land fell out of cultivation
in consequence. To facilitate the collection of this exorbitant rate,
and at the same time to reduce the cost of collection, he disregarded
systematically the salutary rule of Saadut Allee Khan, who had died
in 1814, and been succeeded by his do-nothing and see-nothing son,
Ghazee-od Deen Hyder; and transferred the khalsa estates of all
defaulters to the neighbouring tallookdars, who pledged themselves to
liquidate the balances due, and pay the Government demand punctually
in future. This arrangement enabled him to reduce his fiscal,
military, and police establishments a good deal for the time, and his
tenure of office was too insecure to admit of his bestowing much
thought on the future.

As soon as these tallookdars got possession of khalsa villages, they
plundered them of all they could find of stock and other property;
and, with all possible diligence, reduced to beggary all the holders
and cultivators who had any claim to a right of property in the
lands, in order to prevent their ever being again in a condition to
urge such claims in the only way in which they can be successfully
urged in Oude--cut down all the trees planted by them or their
ancestors, and destroyed all the good houses they had built, that
they might have no local ties to link their affections to the soil.
As the local officers of the Oude government became weak, by the
gradual withdrawal of British troops, from aiding in the collection
of revenue and the suppression of rebellion and disorder, and by the
deterioration in the character of the Oude troops raised to supply
their places, the tallookdars became stronger and stronger. They
withheld more and more of the revenue due to Government, and expended
the money in building forts and strongholds, casting or purchasing
cannon, and maintaining large armed bands of followers. All that they
withheld from the public treasury was laid out in providing the means
for resisting the officers of Government; and, in time, it became a
point of honour to pay nothing to the sovereign without first
fighting with his officers.

Hadee Allee Khan's successors continued the system of transferring
khalsa lands to tallookdars, as the cheapest and most effectual mode
of collecting the revenue for their brief period of authority. The
tallookdars, whose estates were augmented by such transfers, in the
Gonda Bahraetch district, are Ekona, Pyagpoor, Churda, Nanpoora,
Gungwal, Bhinga, Bondee, Ruhooa, and the six divisions of the Gooras,
or Chehdwara estate. The hereditary possessions of the tallookdars,
and, indeed, all the lands in the permanent possession of which they
feel secure, are commonly very well cultivated; but those which they
acquire by fraud, violence, or collusion, are not so, till, by long
suffering and "hope deferred," the old proprietors have been
effectually crushed or driven out of the country. The old proprietors
of the lands so transferred to the tallookdars of the Gonda Baraetch
districts from time to time had, under a series of weak governors,
been so crushed or driven out before 1842, and their lands had, for
the most part, been brought under good tillage.

The King of Oude, in a letter, dated the 31st of August 1823, tells
the Resident, "that the villages and estates of the large refractory
tallookdars are as flourishing and populous as they can possibly be;
and there are many estates among them which yield more than two and
three times the amount at which they have been assessed; and even if
troops should be stationed there, to prevent the cultivation of the
land till the balances are liquidated, the tallookdars immediately
come forward to give battle; and, in spite of everything, cultivate
the lands of their estates, so that their profits from the land are
even greater than those of the Government." This picture is a very
fair one, and as applicable to the state of Oude now as in 1823.

But if a weak man, by favour, fraud, or collusion, gets possession of
a small estate, as he often does, the consequences are more serious
than where the strong man gets it. The ousted proprietors fight "to
the death" to recover possession; and the new man forms a gang of the
most atrocious ruffians he can collect, to defend his possession. He
cannot afford to pay them, and permits them to subsist on plunder. In
the contest the estate itself and many around it become waste, and
the fellow who has usurped it, often--nolens-volens--becomes a
systematic leader of banditti; and converts the deserted villages
into strongholds and dens of robbers. I shall have occasion to
describe many instances of this kind as I proceed in my Diary.

Dursung Sing was strong both in troops and Court favour, and he
systematically plundered and kept down the great landholders
throughout the districts under his charge, but protected the
cultivators, and even the smaller land proprietors, whose estates
could not be conveniently added to his own. When the Court found the
barons in any district grow refractory, under weak governors, they
gave the contract of it to Dursun Sing, as the only officer who could
plunder and reduce them to order. During the short time that he held
the districts of Gonda and Bahraetch in 1836, he did little mischief.
He merely ascertained the character and substance of the great
landholders, exacted from the weaker all that they could pay, and
"bided his time." When he resumed the charge in 1842, the greater
landholders had become strong and substantial; and he was commanded
by the Durbar to coerce and make them pay all the arrears of revenue
due, or pretended to be due, by them.

Nothing loth, he proceeded to seize and plunder them all, one after
the other, and put their estates under the management of his own
officers. The young Rajah of Bulrampoor had gone into the Goruckpoor
district, to visit his friend, the Rajah of Basee, Mahpaul Sing, when
Dursun Sing marched suddenly to his capital at the head of a large
force. The garrison of the small stronghold was taken by surprise;
and, in the absence of their chief, soon induced to surrender, on a
promise of leave to depart with all their property. They passed over
into a small island in the river, which flows close by; and as soon
as Dursun Sing saw them collected together in that small space, he
opened his guns and musketry upon them, and killed between one and
two hundred. The rest fled, and he took possession of all their
property, amounting to about two hundred thousand rupees. The Rajah
was reduced to great distress; but his personal friend, Matabur Sing,
the minister of Nepaul, aided him with loans of money; and gave him a
garden to reside in, about five hundred yards from the village of
Maharaj Gunge, in the Nepaul territory, fifty-four miles from
Bulrampoor, where Dursun Sing remained encamped with his large force.

The Rajah had filled this garden with small huts for the
accommodation of his family and followers during the season of the
rains, and surrounded it with a deep ditch, knowing the unscrupulous
and enterprising character of his enemy. In September 1843, Dursun
Sing, having had the position and all the road leading to it well
reconnoitred, marched one evening, at the head of a compact body of
his own followers, and reached the Rajah's position at daybreak the
next morning. The garden was taken by a rush; but the Rajah made his
escape with the loss of thirty men killed and wounded. Dursun Sing's
party took all the property the Rajah and his followers left behind
them in their flight, and plundered the small village of Maharaj
Gunge; but in their retreat they were sorely pressed by a sturdy
landholder of the neighbourhood, who had become attached to his young
sporting companion, the Rajah, and whose feeling of patriotism had
been grievously outraged by this impudent invasion of his sovereign's
territory; and they had five sipahees and one trooper killed. The
Bulrampoor Rajah had been plundered in the same treacherous manner in
1839, by the Nazim, Sunkersahae and Ghalib Jung, his deputy or
_collector_. He had invited them to a feast, and they brought an
armed force and surrounded and plundered his house and capital. He
escaped with his mother into British territory; and tells me, that he
was a lad at the time, and had great difficulty in making his mother
fly with him, and leave all her wardrobe behind her.

The Court of Nepaul complained of this aggression on their territory,
and demanded reparation. The Governor-General Lord Ellenborough
called upon the Oude government, in dignified terms, to make prompt
and ample atonement to that of Nepaul. "Promptness," said his
Lordship, "in repairing an injury, however unintentionally committed
is as conducive to the honour of a sovereign, as promptness in
demanding reparation where an injury has been sustained." The Nepaul
Court required, that Dursun Sing should be seized and sent to Nepaul,
to make an apology in person to the sovereign of that state; should
be deprived of all his offices, with an assurance, on the part of
Oude, that he should never be again employed in any office under that
government; and, that the amount of injury sustained by the subjects
of Nepaul should be settled by arbitrators sent to the place on the
part of both States, and paid by the Oude government. The Governor-
General did not insist upon Oude's complying with the first of these
requirements; but Dursun Sing was dismissed from all employments,
arbitrators were sent to the place, and the Oude government paid the
nine hundred and fourteen rupees, which they decided to be due to the
subjects of Nepaul.

Dursun Sing at first fled in alarm into the British territory, as the
Nepaul government assembled a large force on the border, and appeared
to threaten Oude with invasion; while the Governor-General held in
readiness a large British force to oppose them; and he knew not what
the Oude government, in its alarm, might do to the servant who had
wantonly involved it in so serious a scrape. His brother, Bukhtawar
Sing, the old courtier, knew that they had enemies, or interested
persons at Court, who would take advantage of the occasion to
exasperate the King, and persuade him to plunder them of all they
had, and confiscate their estates, unless Dursun Sing appeared and
pacified the King by his submission, and aided him in a judicious
distribution of the ready money at their command; and he prevailed
upon him to hasten to Court, and throw himself at his Majesty's feet.

He came, acknowledged that he had been precipitate in his over-zeal
for his Majesty's service; but pleaded, in excuse, that the young
Rajah of Bulrampore had been guilty of great contumacy, and owed a
large balance to the Exchequer, which he had been peremptorily
commanded to recover; and declared himself ready to suffer any
punishment, and make any reparation or atonement that his master, the
King, might deem proper. The British and Nepaul governments had
expressed themselves satisfied; but other parties had become deeply
interested in the dispute. The King, with many good qualities, was a
very parsimonious man, who prided himself upon adding something every
month to his reserved treasury; and he thought, that advantage should
be taken of the occasion, to get a large sum out of so wealthy a
family. Three of his wives, Hoseynee Khanum, Mosahil Khanum, and
Sakeena Khanum, had at the time great influence over his Majesty, and
they wished to take advantage of the occasion, not only to screw out
of the family a large sum for the King and themselves, but to
confiscate the estates, and distribute them among their male
relations. The minister, Menowur-od Dowlah, the nephew and heir of
Hakeem Mehndee, who has been and will be often mentioned in this
Diary, thought that, after paying a large sum to gratify his
Majesty's ruling passion, and enable him to make handsome presents to
the three favourites, Dursun Sing ought to be released and restored
to office, for he was the only man then in Oude capable of
controlling the refractory and turbulent territorial barons; and if
he were crushed altogether for subduing one of them, the rest would
all become unmanageable, and pay no revenue whatever to the
Exchequer. He, therefore, recommended the King to take from the two
brothers the sum of twenty-five lacs of rupees, leave them the
estates, and restore Dursun Sing to all his charges, as soon as it
could be done without any risk of giving umbrage to the British

The King thought the minister's advice judicious, and consented; but
the ladies called him a fool, and told him, that the brothers had
more than that sum in stores of seed-grain alone, and ought to be
made to pay at least fifty lacs, while the brothers pleaded poverty,
and declared that they could only pay nineteen. The minister urged
the King, to take even this sum, give two lacs to the three females,
and send seventeen to the reserved treasury; and called upon the
Chancellor of the Exchequer to give in his accounts of the actual
balance due by the two brothers, on their several contracts, for the
last twenty-five years. He, being on good terms with the minister,
and anxious to meet his wishes, found a balance of only one lac and
thirty-two thousand due by Dursun Sing, and one of only fifteen lacs
due by his brother, Bukhtawar Sing, in whose name the contracts had
always been taken up to 1842. The King, sorely pressed by the
females, resolved to banish Dursun Sing, and confiscate all his large
estates; but the British Resident interposed, and urged, that Dursun
Sing should be leniently dealt with, since he had made all the
reparation and atonement required. The King told him, that Dursun
Sing was a notorious and terrible tyrant, and had fearfully oppressed
his poor subjects, and robbed them by fraud, violence, and collusion,
of lands yielding a rent-roll of many lacs of rupees a-year; and,
that unless he were punished severely for all these numerous
atrocities, his other servants would follow his example, and his poor
subjects be everywhere ruined!

The Resident admitted the truth of all these charges; but urged, in
reply, that the Oude government had, in spite of all these
atrocities, without any admonition, continued to employ him with
unlimited power in the charge of many of its finest districts, for
twenty-five or thirty years; and, that it would now be hard to banish
him, and confiscate all his fine estates, when his Majesty had so
lately offered, not only to leave them all untouched, but to restore
him to all his charges, on the payment of a fine of twenty-five lacs.
The King was perplexed in his desire to please the Resident, meet the
wishes of his three ladies, and add a good round sum to his reserved
treasury; and at last closed all discussions by making Dursun Sing
pay the one lac and thirty-two thousand rupees, found to be due by
him, and sending him into banishment; holding Bukhtawar Sing
responsible for the fifteen lacs due by him, and seizing upon his
estates, and putting them under the management of Hoseyn Allee, the
father of Hoseynee Khanum, the most influential of the three
favourites, till the whole should be paid. She satisfied herself that
she should be able to make the banishment of the man and the
confiscation of the estate perpetual; and, before he set out, she
secured the transfer of the strong fort of Shahgunge, with all its
artillery and military stores, from Dursun Sing's to the King's
troops. Dursun Sing went into banishment on the 17th of March 1844;
but before he set out he addressed a remonstrance to the British
Resident, stating--"that he had paid all that had been found to be
due by him to the Exchequer, and made every atonement required for
the offence charged against him; but had, nevertheless, been ordered
into banishment--had all his charges taken from him, and his lands,
houses, gardens, &c., worth fifty lacs, taken from him, and made over
to strangers and Court favourites."

Hoseyn Allee had promised to pay to the Exchequer one lac of rupees
a-year for these estates more than Dursun Sing had paid. He had paid
annually for the Mehdona estates two lacs and eight thousand two
hundred and seventy-six; and for the Asrewa estates, in the same
district of Sultanpoor, one lac thirty-one thousand and eighty-nine-
total, three lacs and thirty-nine thousand three hundred and sixty-
five; and they probably yielded to him an annual rent of nearly
double that sum, or at least five lacs of rupees. Hoseyn Allee,
however, found it impossible to fulfil his pledges. The landholders
and cultivators would not be persuaded that the sovereign of Oude
could long dispense with the services of such a man as Dursun Sing,
or bring him back without restoring to him his landed possessions; or
that he would, when he returned, give them credit for any payments
which they might presume to make to any other master during his
absence. They, therefore, refused to pay any rent for the past
season, and threatened to abandon their lands before the tillage for
the next season should commence, if any attempt were made to coerce
them. All the great revenue contractors and other governors of
districts declared their inability to coerce the territorial barons
into paying anything, since they had lost the advantage of the
prestige of his great name; and the minister found that he must
either resign his office or prevail upon his sovereign to recall him.
The King, finding that he must either draw upon his reserved treasury
or leave all his establishments unpaid under such a falling off in
the revenue, yielded to his minister's earnest recommendation, and in
May 1844, consented to recall Dursun Sing from our district of
Goruckpoor, in which he had resided during his banishment.

On the 10th of that month he was taken by the minister to pay his
respects to his Majesty, who, on the 30th, conferred upon him
additional honours and titles, and appointed him Inspector-general of
all his dominions, with orders "to make a settlement of the land
revenue at an increased rate; to cut down all the jungles, and bring
all the waste lands into tillage; to seize all refractory barons,
destroy all their forts, and seize and send into store all the cannon
mounted upon them; to put down all disturbances, protect all high
roads, punish all refractory and evil-minded persons; to enforce the
payment of all just demands of his sovereign upon landholders of all
degrees and denominations; to invite back all who had been driven off
by oppression, and re-establish them on their estates, or punish them
if they refused to return; to ascertain the value of all estates
transferred from the jurisdiction of the local authorities to the
'Hozoor Tehsel,' without due inquiry; and report, for the
consideration of his Majesty and his minister, any _nankar_ or rent-
free lands, assigned, of late years, by Amils and other governors of
districts; to enforce the payment of all recoverable balances, due on
account of past years; to muster the troops, and report, through the
commander-in-chief, all officers and soldiers borne on the muster-
rolls, and paid from the treasury, but in reality dead, absent
without leave, or unfit for further service;" in short, to reform all
abuses, and make the government of the country what the King and his
minister thought it ought to be. Dursun Sing assured them that he
would do his best to effect all the objects they had in view; and,
after recovering possession of his estates, and conciliating, by
suitable gratuities, all the reigning favourites at Court, he went to
work heartily at his Herculean task after his wonted way. But he,
soon after, became ill, and retired to his residence at Fyzabad,
where he died on the 20th of August, 1844, leaving his elder brother,
Bukhtawar Sing--my Quartermaster-general--at Court; and his three
sons, Ramadeen, Rughbur Sing, and Mann Sing, to fight among
themselves for his landed possessions and immense accumulated wealth.

The minister was a man of good intentions; and, having inherited an
immense fortune from his uncle, Hakeem Mehndee, he cared little about
money; but he was an indolent man, and indulged much in opiates, and
his object was to reform the administration at the least possible
cost of time and trouble to himself. He had, he thought, found the
man who could efficiently supervise and control the administration in
all its branches; and he invested him with plenary powers to do so.
Of the duty, on his part and that of his master; efficiently to
supervise and control the exercise of these plenary powers on the
part of the man of their choice, in order to prevent their being
abused to the injury of the state and the people; or of the necessity
of taking from Court favourites the nomination of officers to the
charge of all districts and all fiscal and judicial Courts, and to
the command of all corps and establishments, in order to render them
efficient and honest, and prevent justice from being perverted, and
the revenues of the state from being absorbed on their way to the
treasury, they took no heed. Court favourites retained their powers,
and the King and his minister relied entirely, as heretofore, upon
the reports of the news-writers, who attend officially upon all
officers in charge of districts, fiscal and judicial Courts, corps
and establishments of all kinds, for the facts of all cases on which
they might have to pass orders; and remained as ignorant as their
predecessors of the real state of the administration and the real
sufferings of the people, if not of the real losses to the Exchequer.

The news department is under a Superintendent-general, who has
sometimes contracted for it, as for the revenues of a district, but
more commonly holds it in _amanee_, as a manager. When he contracts
for it he pays a certain sum to the public treasury, over and above
what he pays to the influential officers and Court favourites in
gratuities. When he holds it in _amanee_, he pays only gratuities,
and the public treasury gets nothing. His payments amount to about
the same in either case. He nominates his-subordinates, and appoints
them to their several offices, taking from each a present gratuity
and a pledge for such monthly payments as he thinks the post will
enable him to make. They receive from four to fifteen rupees a-month
each, and have each to pay to their President, for distribution among
his patrons or patronesses at Court from one hundred to five hundred
rupees a-month in ordinary times. Those to whom they are accredited
have to pay them, under ordinary circumstances, certain sums monthly,
to prevent their inventing or exaggerating cases of abuse of power or
neglect of duty on their part; but when they happen to be really
guilty of great acts of atrocity, or great neglect of duty, they are
required to pay extraordinary sums, not only to the news-writers, who
are especially accredited to them, but to all others who happen to be
in the neighbourhood at the time. There are six hundred and sixty
news-writers of this kind employed by the King, and paid monthly
three thousand one hundred and ninety-four rupees, or, on an average,
between four and five rupees a-month each; and the sums paid by them
to their President for distribution among influential officers and
Court favourites averages above one hundred and fifty thousand rupees
a-year. Many, whose avowed salary is from four to ten rupees a-month,
receive each, from the persons to whom they are accredited, more than
five hundred, three-fourths of which they must send for distribution
among Court favourites, or they could not retain their places a week,
nor could their President retain his. Such are the reporters of the
circumstances in all the cases on which the sovereign and his
ministers have to pass orders every day in Oude. Some of those who
derive part of their incomes from this source are "persons behind the
throne, who are greater than the throne itself." The mother of the
heir-apparent gets twelve thousand rupees a-year from it.

But their exactions are not confined to government officers of all
grades and denominations; they are extended to contractors of all
kinds and denominations, to him who contracts for the supply of the
public cattle with grain, as well as to him who contracts for the
revenue and undivided government of whole provinces; and, indeed, to
every person who has anything to do under, or anything to apprehend
from, government and its officers and favourites; and, in such a
country, who has not? The European magistrate of one of our
neighbouring districts one day, before the Oude Frontier Police was
raised, entered the Oude territory at the head of his police in
pursuit of some robbers, who had found an asylum in one of the King's
villages. In the attempt to secure them some lives were lost; and,
apprehensive of the consequences, he sent for the official news-
writer, and _gratified_ him in the usual way. No report of the
circumstances was made to the Oude Durbar; and neither the King, the
Resident, nor the British Government ever heard anything about it. Of
the practical working of the system, many illustrations will be found
in this Diary.

The Akbar, or Intelligence Department, had been farmed out for some
years, at the rate of between one and two lacs of rupees a-year,
when, at the recommendation of the Resident, the King expressed his
willingness to abolish the farm, and intrust the superintendence to
_men of character and ability_, to be paid by Government. This
resolution was communicated to Government by the Resident on the 24th
of April, 1839; and on the 6th of May the Resident was instructed to
communicate to his Majesty the satisfaction which the Governor-
General derived on hearing that he had consented to abolish this
farm, which had produced _so large a revenue to the state_. This was
considered by the Resident to be a great boon obtained for the people
of Oude, as the farmers of the department consented to pay a large
revenue, only on condition that they should be considered as the only
legitimate reporters of events--the only recognised _masters in the
Oude Chancery_; and, as the Resident observed, "they choked up all
the channels the people had of access to their sovereign;" but they
have choked them up just as much since the abolition of the farm, and
have had to pay just as much as before.

A brief sketch of the proceedings of Rughbur Sing, the son of Dursun
Sing, in his government of these districts of Gonda and Baraetch, for
the years 1846 and 1847, may here be given as further illustration of
the Oude government and its administration, in this part of the
country at least. It had not suffered very much under his uncle's
brief reign in 1842 and 1843, and the governors who followed him, up
to 1846, were too weak to coerce the Tallookdars, or do much injury
to their estates. Rughbur Sing had a large body of the King's troops
to aid him in enforcing from them the payment of the current revenue
and balances, real or pretended, for past years; and a large body of
armed retainers of his own to assist him in his contest with his
brothers for the possessions of the Mehdona and Asrewa estates, which
had been going on ever since the death of their father.

I have stated that Rughbur Sing held in contract the districts of
Gonda and Bahraetch for the years 1846 and 1847, and shown to what a
state of wretchedness he managed to reduce them in that brief period.
In 1849, some months after I took charge of my office, I deputed a
European gentleman of high character, Captain Orr, of the Oude
Frontier Police, to pass through these districts, and inquire into
and report upon the charges of oppression brought against him by the
people, as his agents were diligently employed at Lucknow in
distributing money among the most influential persons about the
Court, and a disposition to restore him to power had become manifest.
He had purchased large estates in our districts of Benares and
Goruckpoor, where he now resided for greater security, while he had
five thousand armed men, employed under other agents, in fighting
with his brother, Maun Sing, for the possession of the _bynamah_
estates, above described, in the Sultanpoor district. In this contest
a great many lives were lost, and the peace of the country was long
and much disturbed, but, after driving all his brother's forces and
agents out of the district. Maun Sing retained quiet possession of
the estates. This contest would, however, have been again renewed,
and the same desolating disorders would have again prevailed, could
Rughbur Sing's agents at the capital, by a judicious distribution of
the money at their disposal, have induced the Court to restore him to
the government of these or any other districts in Oude.

On the 23rd of July 1849, Captain Orr sent in his report, giving a
brief outline of such of the atrocities committed by Rughbur Sing and
his agents in these districts as he was able, during his tour, to
establish upon unquestionable evidence; but they made but a small
portion of the whole, as the people in general still apprehended that
he would be restored to power by Court favour, and wreak his
vengeance upon all who presumed to give evidence against him; while
many of the most respectable families in the districts were ashamed
to place on record the suffering and dishonour inflicted on their
female members; and still more had been reduced by them to utter
destitution, and driven in despair into other districts. To use his
own words--"The once flourishing districts of Gonda and Bahraetch, so
noted for fertility and beauty, are now, for the greater part,
uncultivated; villages completely deserted in the midst of lands
devoid of all tillage everywhere meet the eye; and from Fyzabad to
Bahraetch I passed through these districts, a distance of eighty
miles, over plains which had been fertile and well cultivated, till
Rughbur Sing got charge, but now lay entirely waste, a scene for two
years of great misery ending in desolation."

Rajah Hurdut Sahae, the proprietor of the Bondee estate, was the head
of one of the oldest Rajpoot families in Oude. Having placed the most
notorious knaves in the country as revenue collectors over all the
subdivisions of his two districts, Rajah Rughbur Sing, in 1846,
demanded from Hurdut Sahae an increase of five thousand rupees upon
the assessment of the preceding year. The Rajah pleaded the badness
of preceding seasons, and consequent poverty of his tenants and
cultivators; but at last he consented to pay the increase, and on
solemn pledges of personal security he collected all his tenants, to
take upon themselves the responsibility of making good this demand.
To this they all agreed; but they had no sooner done so, than Rughbur
Sing's agent, Prag Pursaud, demanded a gratuity of seven thousand
rupees for himself, over and above the increase of five thousand upon
the demand of the preceding year. The Rajah would not agree to pay
the seven thousand, but went off to request some capitalists to
furnish securities for the punctual payment of the rent.

The agent sent off secretly to Rughbur Sing to say, that unless he
came at the head of his forces he saw no chance of getting the
revenues from the Rajah or his tenants, who were all assembled and
might be secured if he could contrive to surprise them. Rughbur Sing
came with a large force at night, surrounded his agent's camp, where
the tenants and the Rajah's officers were all assembled, and seized
them. He then sent out parties of soldiers of from one hundred to two
hundred each, to plunder all the towns and villages on the estate,
and seize all the respectable residents they could find. They
plundered the town of Bondee, and pulled down all the houses of the
Rajah, and those of his relatives and dependents; and, after
plundering all the other towns and villages in the neighbourhood,
they brought in one thousand captives of both sexes and all ages, who
were subjected to all manner of torture till they paid the ransom
demanded, or gave written pledges to pay. Five thousand head of
cattle were, at the same time, brought in and distributed as booty.

The Rajah made his escape, but his agents were put to the same
tortures as his tenants. Rughbur Sing, among other things, commanded
them to sign a declaration, to the effect that his predecessor and
enemy, Wajid Allee Khan, had received from them the sum of thirty
thousand rupees more than he had credited to his government, but this
they all refused to do. Rughbur Sing remained at Bondee for six
weeks, superintending personally all these atrocities; and then went
off, leaving, as his agent, Kurum Hoseyn. He continued the tortures
upon the tenants and officers of the Rajah, and the captives
collected in his camp. He rubbed the beards of the men with moist
gunpowder; and, as soon as it became dry in the sun, he set fire to
it. Other tortures, too cruel and indecent to be named, were
inflicted upon four servants of the Rajah, Kunjun Sing, Bustee Ram,
Admadnt Pandee, and Bhugwant Rae, and upon others, who were likely to
be able to borrow or beg anything for their ransom.

Finding that the tenants did not return, and that the estate was
likely to be altogether deserted, unless the Rajah returned, Kurum
Hoseyn was instructed by Rughbur Sing to invite him back on any
terms. The poor Rajah, having nothing in the jungles to which he had
fled to subsist upon, ventured back on the solemn pledge of personal
security given by Pudum Sing, a respectable capitalist, whom the
collector had induced, by solemn oaths on the holy Koran, to become a
mediator; and, as a token of reconciliation and future friendship,
the Rajah and collector changed turbans. They remained together for
five months on the best possible terms, and the Rajah's tenants
returned to their homes and fields. All having been thus lulled into
security, Rughbur Sing suddenly sent another agent, Maharaj Sing, to
supersede Kurum Hoseyn, and seize the Rajah and his confidential
manager, Benee Ram Sookul. They, however, went off to Balalpoor,
forty miles distant from Bondee, and kept aloof from the new
collector, till he prevailed upon all the officers, commanding corps
and detachments under him, to enter into solemn written pledges of
personal security. The Rajah had been long suffering from ague and
fever, and had become very feeble in mind and body. He remained at
Balalpoor; but, under the assurance of these pledges from military
officers of rank and influence, Benee Ram and other confidential
officers of the Rajah came to his camp, and entered upon the
adjustment of their accounts.

When he found them sufficiently off their guard, Maharaj Sing, while
sitting one evening with Benee Ram, who was a stout, powerful man,
asked him to show him the handsome dagger which he always wore in his
waistband. He did so, and as soon as he got it in his hand, the
collector gave the concerted signal to Roshun Allee, one of the
officers present, and his armed attendants, to seize him. As he rose
to leave the tent he was cut down from behind by Mattadeen,
khasburdar; and the rest fell upon him and cut him to pieces in
presence of the greater part of the officers who had given the solemn
pledges for his personal security. Not one of them interposed to save
him. Doulut Rae, another confidential servant of the Rajah, however,
effected his escape, and ran to the Rajah, who prepared to defend
himself at Balalpoor, where Maharaj Sing tried, in vain, to persuade
his troops' to attack him. For two months the towns and villages were
deserted, but the crops were on the ground, and guarded by the Passee
bowmen, who are usually hired for the purpose.

Beharee Lal, the principal agent of Rughbur Sing in these districts,
now wrote a letter of condolence to the Rajah, on the death of his
faithful servant, Benee Ram--told him that he had dismissed from all
employ the villain Maharaj Sing, and appointed to his place Kurum
Hoseyn, who would make all reparation and redress all wrongs. This
letter he sent by a very plausible man, Omed Rae, the collector of
the Rahooa estate. Kurum Hoseyn resumed charge of his office, and
went unattended to the Rajah, with whom he remained some days
feasting, and swearing on the Koran, that all had been without his
connivance or knowledge, and that he had come back with a full
determination to see justice done to his friend, the Rajah, and his
landholders and cultivators in everything. Having thus soothed the
poor old Rajahs apprehensions, he prevailed on him to go back with
him to Bondee, where he behaved for some time with so much seeming
frankness and cordiality, and swore so solemnly on the Koran to
respect the persons of all men who should come to him on business,
that the Rajah's tenants and agents lost all their fears, and again
came freely to his camp. The Rajah now invited all his tenants as
before, to enter into engagements to pay their rents to officers
appointed by the collector as jumogdars; and the people had hopes of
being permitted to gather their harvests in peace. Kurum Hoseyn now
suggested to Beharee Lal, to come suddenly with the largest force he
could collect, and seize the many respectable men who had assembled-
at his invitation.

He made a forced march daring the night, appeared suddenly at Bondee
with a large force, and seized all who were there assembled, save the
Rajah and his family, who escaped to the jungles. Detachments of from
one hundred to two hundred were sent out as before, to plunder the
country, and seize all from whom anything could be extorted. All the
towns and villages on the estate were plundered of everything that
could be found, and fifteen hundred men, and about five hundred women
and children, were brought in prisoners, with no less than eighty
thousand animals of all kinds. There were twenty-five thousand head
of cattle; and horses, mares, sheep, goats, ponies, &c., made up the
rest. All with the men, women, and children were driven off, pell-
mell, a distance of twenty miles to Busuntpoor, in the Hurhurpoor
district, where Beharee Lal's headquarter had been fixed. For three
days heavy rain continued to fall. Pregnant women were beaten on by
the troops with bludgeons and the butt-ends of muskets and
matchlocks. Many of them gave premature birth to children and died on
the road; and many children were trodden to death by the animals on
the road, which was crowded for more than ten miles.

Rughbur Sing and his agents, Beharee Lal, Kurum Hoseyn, Maharaj Sing,
Prag Sing, and others, selected several thousand of the finest
cattle, and sent them to their homes; and the rest were left to the
officers and soldiers of the force to be disposed of; and, for all
this enormous number of animals, worth at least one hundred thousand
rupees, the small sum of one hundred and thirty rupees was credited
in the Nazim's accounts to the Rajah's estate. At Busuntpoor the
force was divided into two parties, for the purpose of torturing the
surviving prisoners till they consented to sign bonds, for the
payment of such sums as might be demanded from them. Beharee Lal
presided over the first party, in which they were tortured from day-
break till noon. They were tied up and flogged, had red-hot ramrods
thrust into their flesh, their tongues were pulled out with hot
pincers and pierced through; and, when all would not do, they were
taken to Kurum Hoseyn, who presided at the other party, to be
tortured again till the evening. He sat with a savage delight, to
witness this brutal scene and invent new kinds of torture. No less
than seventy men, besides women and children, perished at Busuntpoor
from torture and starvation; and their bodies were left to rot in the
mud, and their friends were afraid to approach them. Bustee's body
was stolen at night by his son, and Guyadut's was sold to his family
by the soldiers.

Among the persons of respectability who died under the tortures,
several are named below.* Buldee Sing, the husband of the Rajah's
sister, took poison and died; and Ramdeen, a Brahmin of great
respectability, stabbed himself to death, to avoid further torture
and dishonour. For two months did these atrocities continue at
Busuntpoor; and during that time the prisoners got no food from the
servants of Government. All that they got was sent to them by their
friends, or by the charitable peasantry of the country around; and
when sweetmeats were sent to them as food, which the most scrupulous
could eat from any hand, the soldiers often snatched them from them
and ate them themselves, or took them to their officers. The women
and children were all stripped of their clothes, and many died from
cold and want of sustenance. It was during the months of September
and October that these atrocities were perpetrated. The heavy rain
had inundated the country, and the poor prisoners were obliged to lie
naked and unsheltered on the damp ground.

[* 1. Byjonauth, the Rajah's accountant.
   2. Gijraj Sing, Rajpoot.
   3. Sheopersaud.
   4. Rampersaud.
   5. Jhow Lal.
   6. Guyadut.
   7. Duyram.
   8. Budaree Chobee.
   9. Mungul Sing, Rajpoot.
  10. Seodeen Sing, ditto.
  11. Akber Sing.
  12. Bustee, a farmer.]

Apreel Sing, a respectable Jagheerdar of Bondee, was tortured till he
consented to sell his two daughters, and pay the money; and a great
many respectable females, who were taken from Bondee to Busuntpoor,
have never been heard of since. Whether they perished or were sold
their friends have never been able to discover. The sipahees and
other persons, employed to torture, got money from their victims or
their friends, who ventured to approach, or from the pitying
peasantry around; and all laughed and joked at the screams of the
sufferers. Several times, during the two months, Rughbur Sing paid
off heavy arrears, due to his personal servants, by drafts on his
agents for prisoners, to be placed at the disposal of the payee, ten
and twenty at a time. It is worthy of remark, that an old Subadar of
one of our regiments of Native Infantry, who was then at home in
furlough, happened to pass Busuntpoor with his family, on his way to
Guya, on a pilgrimage. He and his family had saved what was to them a
large sum, to be spent in offerings, for the safe passage of his
deceased relatives through purgatory. On witnessing the sufferings of
the poor prisoners at Busuntpoor, he and his family offered all they
had for a certain number of women and children, who were made over to
them. He took them to their homes, and returned to his own, saying,
that he hoped God would forgive them for the sake of the relief which
they had afforded to sufferers.

In the latter end of October, Beharee Lal took off all the force that
could be spared, to attack the Rajah of Bhinga, and plunder his
estate in the same manner; and Kurum Hoseyn took another to plunder
Koelee, Murdunpoor, Budrolee, and some other villages of the Bondee
estate, which had suffered least in the last attack. He collected two
thousand plough-bullocks, and sold them for little to Nuzur Allee and
Sufder Allee, who commanded detachments under him. He soon after made
an attack upon Sookha and other villages, in the vicinity of
Busuntpoor, and collected between twenty and thirty thousand head of
cattle; but, on his way back, he was attacked by a party of twenty
brave men (under a landholder named Nabee Buksh, whom he wished to
seize), and driven back to his camp at Busuntpoor, with the loss of
all his booty. He attempted no more enterprises after this check. The
tortures ceased, and ten days after he ran off, on hearing that
Rughbur Sing had been deprived of his charge by orders from Lucknow.
At this time one hundred and fifty prisoners remained at Busuntpoor,
and they were released by Incha Sing, the successor and uncle of
Rughbur Sing.

The Akhbar Naveeses, so far from admonishing the perpetrators of
these atrocities, were some of them among the most active promoters
of them. Jorakhun, the news-writer at Bondee, got one anna for every
prisoner brought in; and from two to three rupees for every prisoner
released. He got every day subsistence for ten men from Kurum Hoseyn.
All the news-writers in the neighbourhood got a share of the booty in
bullocks, cows, and other animals. Two chuprassies are said to have
come from Government, and remained at Busuntpoor for nearly the whole
two months, while these tortures were being inflicted, without making
any report of them. When the order for dismissing Rughbur Sing came
from the Durbar, Maharaj Sing went off, saying, that he would soon
smother all complaints, in the usual way, at Lucknow.

In September 1847, Rughbur Sing's agents, with a considerable force,
encamped at Parbatee-tolah, in the Gonda district, and made a sudden
attack upon the fine town of Khurgoopoor. After plundering the town,
the troops seized forty of the most respectable merchants and
shopkeepers of the place, and made them over to Rughbur Sing's
agents, at the rate agreed upon, of so much a head, as the
perquisites of the soldiers; and these agents confined and tortured
them till they each paid the ransom demanded, and rated according to
their supposed means. The troops did the same by Bisumberpoor,
Bellehree Pundit, Pyaree, Peepree, and many other towns and villages
in the same district of Gonda. A trooper and his son, who tried to
save the honour of their family, by defending the entrance to their
house, were cut down and killed at Khurgapoor; and in Bisumberpoor
one of the soldiers, with his sword, cut off the arm of a respectable
old woman, in order the more easily to get her gold bracelets. The
poor woman died a few hours afterwards. The only relative of the poor
old woman who could have assisted her was seized, with forty other
respectable persons, and taken off to the camp at Parbatee-tola,
where they were all tortured till they paid the ransom demanded, and
a gratuity, in addition, to the soldiers who had seized them. One of
the persons died under the tortures inflicted upon him.

In the Gungwal district similar atrocities were committed by Rughbur
Sing's agents and their soldiers. These agents were Gouree Shunkur
and Seorutun Sing. The district formed the estate of Rajah Sreeput
Sing, who resided with his family in the fort of Gungwal. The former
Nazim, Suraj-od Dowlah, had attacked this fort on some frivolous
pretence; and, having taken it by surprise, sacked the place and
plundered the Rajah and his family of all they had. The Rajah died
soon after of mortification, at the dishonour he and his family had
suffered, and was succeeded by his son, Seetul Persaud Sing, the
present Rajah, who was now plundered again, and driven an exile into
the Nepaul hills. The estate was now taken possession of by the
agents, Goureeshunker and Seorutun Sing. Seorutun Sing seized a
Brahmin who was travelling with his wife and brother, and, on the
pretence that he must be a relation of the fugitive Rajah, had him
murdered, and his head struck off on the spot. The wife took the head
of her murdered husband in her arms, wrapped it up in cloth, and,
attended by his brother, walked with it a distance of fifty miles to
Ajoodheea, where Rughbur Sing was then engaged in religious
ceremonies. The poor woman placed the head before him, and demanded
justice on her husband's murderers. He coolly ordered the head to be
thrown into the river, and the woman and her brother-in-law to be
driven from his presence. Many other respectable persons were seized
and tortured on similar pretext of being related to, or having served
or assisted, the fugitive Rajah. Moistened gunpowder was smeared
thickly over the beards of the men, and when dry set fire to; and any
friend or relatives who presumed to show signs of pity was seized and
tortured, till he or she paid a ransom. All the people in the country
around, who had moveable property of any kind, were plundered by
these two atrocious agents, and tortured till they paid all that they
could beg and borrow. Many respectable families were dishonoured in
the persons of wives, sisters, or daughters, and almost all the towns
and villages around became deserted.

In Rajah Nirput Sing's estate of Pyagpoor, the same atrocities were
committed. Rajah Rughbur Sing seized upon this estate as soon as he
entered upon his charge in 1846, and put it under the management of
his own agents; and, after extorting from the tenants more than was
justly due, according to engagement, he attacked the Rajah's house by
surprise, and plundered it of property to the value of fifteen
thousand rupees. The Rajah, however, contrived to make his escape
with his family. He had nothing with him to subsist upon, and in 1847
he was invited back on solemn pledges of personal security; and, from
great distress, was induced again to undertake the management of his
own estate, at an exorbitant rate of assessment.

In spite of this engagement, Goureeshunker, when the tenants had
become lulled into security by the hope of remaining under their own
chief, suddenly, with his troops, seized upon all he could catch,
plundered their houses, and tortured them till they paid all that
they could prevail upon their relatives and friends to lend them.
Eighteen hundred of their plough-bullocks were seized and sold by
him, together with many of their wives and daughters. While under
torture, Seetaram, a respectable Brahmin, of Kandookoeea, put an end
to his existence, to avoid further sufferings and dishonour. Sucheet,
another respectable Brahmin, of Pagaree, did the same by opening a
vein in his thigh. A cloth steeped in oil was bound round the hands
of those who appeared able, but unwilling, to pay ransoms, and set
fire to, so as to burn like a torch. In these tortures, Lala Beharee
Lal, Rughbur Sing's deputy, was the chief agent. "I found," says
Captain Orr, "the estate of Pyagpoor in a desolate condition; village
after village presenting nothing but bare walls--the finest arable
lands lying waste, and no sign of cultivation was anywhere to be
seen. Even the present Nazim, Mahommed Hussan, after conciliating and
inviting in the Rajah on further solemn assurances of personal
security, seized him and all his family, and kept them confined in
prison for several months, till they paid him an exorbitant ransom.
The poorer classes told me, that it was impossible for them to plough
their fields, since all their plough-bullocks had been seized and
sold by the Nazim's agents. Great numbers in this and the adjoining
estates have subsisted entirely upon wild fruits, and some species of
aquatic plants, since they were ruined by these atrocities."

This picture is not at all overdrawn. In passing through the estate,
and communing with the few wretched people who remain, I find all
that Captain Orr stated in his report to be strictly correct.

In the Hurhurpoor district similar atrocities were committed by
Rughbur Sing and his agents. He confided the management to his agent,
Goureeshunker. In 1846 he made his settlement of the land revenue, at
an exorbitant rate, with the tallookdar, Chinghy Sing; and, in the
following year, he extorted from him an increase to this rate of
twenty-five thousand rupees. He was, in consequence, obliged to fly;
but he was soon invited back on the usual solemn assurances for his
personal security, and induced to take on himself the management of
the estate. But he was no sooner settled in his house than he was
again attacked at night and plundered. One of his attendants was
killed, and another wounded; and all the respectable tenants and
servants who had ventured to assemble around him on his return were
seized and tortured till they paid ransoms. No less than two thousand
and five hundred bullocks from this estate were seized and sold, or
starved to death. A great many women were seized and tortured till
they paid ransoms like the men; and many of them have never since
been seen or heard of. Some perished in confinement of hunger and
cold, having been stripped of their clothes, and exposed at night to
the open air on the damp ground, while others threw themselves into
wells and destroyed themselves after their release, rather than
return to their families after the exposure and dishonour they had

In the Bahraetch district, the same atrocities were practised by
Rughbur Sing and his agents. Here also Goureeshunker was the chief
agent employed, but the few people who remained were so terrified,
that Captain Orr could get but little detailed information of
particular cases. The present Nazim had been one of Rughbur Sing's
agents in all these atrocities, and the people apprehended that he
was in office merely as his "locum tenens;" and that Rughbur Sing
would soon purchase his restoration to power, as he boasted that he
should. The estate of the Rajah of Bumunee Paer was plundered in the
same manner; and Rughbur Sing's agents seized, drove off, and sold
two thousand bullocks, and cut down and sold or destroyed five
hundred and five mhowa-trees, which had, for generations, formed the
strongest local ties of the cultivators, and their best dependence in
seasons of drought.

In the Churda estate, in the Tarae forest, the same sufferings were
inflicted on the people by the same agents, Goureeshunker and Beharee
Lal. They seized Mudar Buksh, the manager, and made him over to
Moonshee Kurum Hoseyn, who had him beaten to death. The estate of the
Rajah of Bhinga was treated in the same way. Beharee Lal attacked the
town with a large force, plundered all the houses in it, and all the
people of their clothes and ornaments. They seized all the plough-
bullocks and other cattle, and had them driven off and sold. The
women were all seized and driven off in crowds to the camp of Rughbur
Sing at Parbatee-tolah. Many of them who were far gone in pregnancy
perished on the road, from fatigue and harsh treatment The estate of
the Rajah of Ruhooa was treated in the same manner; and the Rajah, to
avoid torture and disgrace, fled with his family to the jungles. In
July 1846, being in great distress, he was induced to come back on
the most solemn assurances from Rughbur Sing of personal security for
himself, family, and attendants. He left the Rajah his _nankar_ lands
for his subsistence, pledging himself to exact no rents or revenues
from them; but put the estate under the management of his own agents,
Lala Omed Rae and others. He at the same time pledged himself not to
exact from any of the poor Rajah's tenants higher rates than those
stipulated for in the engagements then made. But he immediately after
saddled the Rajah with the payment of five hundred armed men, on the
pretence that they were necessary to protect him, and aid him in the
management of these _nankar_ lands. In May 1847, when the harvests
had been gathered, and he had exacted from the tenants and
cultivators the rates stipulated, Goureeshunker was put into the
management. He seized all the tenants and cultivators by a sudden and
simultaneous attack upon their several villages, and extorted from
them a payment of fifty thousand rupees more. Not satisfied with
this, Goureeshunker seized the Rajah's chief manager, Mungul Pershad,
tied him up to a tree, and had him beaten to death. Many of the
Rajah's tenants and servants were beaten to death in the same manner;
and no less than forty villages were attacked and plundered. A good
many respectable females were seized and compelled to make up the
ransoms of their husbands and fathers who were under torture. Many of
the females who had been seized perished from the cruel treatment and
from want of food. Two thousand head of cattle, chiefly plough-
bullocks, were seized and sold from this estate.

I have passed through all the districts here named, save two, Churda
and Bhinga, and I can say, that everything I saw and heard tended to
confirm the truth of what has here been told. Rughbur Sing and the
agents employed by him were, by all I saw, considered more as
terrible demons who delighted in blood and murder than as men endowed
with any feelings of sympathy for their fellow-creatures; and the
government, which employed such men in the management of districts
with uncontrolled power, seemed to be utterly detested and abhorred.

It will naturally be asked, whether the circumstances described were
ever reported to the Oude Government or to the British Resident; and
whether they did anything to punish the guilty and afford redress and
relief to the sufferers. The following are the reports which were
made to the Oude Durbar by the news-writers, employed in the several
districts, and communicated to the Resident and his Assistant, by the
Residency news-writer, in his daily reports, which are read out to
them every morning.

_July_ 10, 1847.--Report from Bondee states, that Rajaram, Rughbur
Sing's collector of Mirzapoor and other villages in that estate, had
attacked and plundered Mirzapoor, and carried off sixty head of

_August_ 12, 1847.--Report from Bondee states, that the estates of
Bondee and Tiperha, which yielded one hundred and fifty thousand
rupees a-year, had become so desolated by the oppression of Beharee
Lal and Kurum Hoseyn, the agents of Rughbur Sing, that they could not
possibly yield anything for the ensuing year; that Kurum Hoseyn had
seized all the cattle and other property of the peasantry, sold them
and appropriated the money to his own use, and had so beaten the
landholders and cultivators, that many of them had died. Order by the
Durbar, that these two agents be deterred from such acts of
oppression, fined five thousand rupees, and made to release the
remaining prisoners, and restore the property taken. Nothing whatever
was done!

_August_ 14, 1847.--Report from Bondee states, that although the
landholders and cultivators of this estate had paid all that was due,
according to engagements, Beharee Lal and Kurum Hoseyn were having
them flogged and tortured every day to extort more; selling off all
their stock and other property, and selecting all the good bullocks
and cows and sending them to their own houses. Order by the Durbar,
that the minister punish the oppressors, and cause their property to
be given back to the oppressed. The minister ordered his deputy,
Ramchurn, to see this done. He did nothing whatever!

_September_ 6, 1847.--Report from Gonda states, that all the lands
from Bondee and Pyagpoor had been left waste from the oppression of
Rughbur Sing. Order by the Durbar, that the minister hasten to get
the lands tilled, as the season was passing away. Nothing whatever
was done!

_September_ 24, 1847.--Report from the same place states, that
Rughbur Sing had seized no less than eighteen thousand bullocks, from
the villages of the Bondee estate, collected them at Neemapoor, and
ordered his agents to get them all sold off as fast as possible; and
that the cultivators could till none of the lands in consequence.
Order by the Durbar, that the minister put a stop to all this
oppression. Nothing whatever was done!

_September_ 24, 1847.--Report from the same place states, that Kurum
Hoseyn had seized Ahlad Sing, the malgoozar of Hurkapoor in Bondee,
and had red-hot ramrods thrust into his flesh, on account of a
balance due, and then had him put upon an ass and paraded through the
streets. Order by the Durbar, that the minister see to this. Nothing
whatever was done!

_August_ 2, 1847.--Report from Gonda states, that the troops under
Beharee Lal were robbing all the females of the country of their
ornaments; and that Beharee Lal neither did nor said anything to
prevent them. Order by the Durbar, that Rughbur Sing be directed to
restrain his soldiers and restore the ornaments. Nothing whatever was

_September_ 6, 1847--Report from the same place states, that Luchman
Naraen, malgoozar of Bhurduree in Gonda, had paid all the rents due,
according to his engagements; that Beharee Lal had, nevertheless,
sent a force of three hundred men, who attacked his house, plundered
it of all that it contained, and took off five thousand seven hundred
and thirty-one maunds of stored grain. Order by the Durbar, that the
minister punish and restrain the oppressors, and cause all the
property to be restored. Nothing whatever was done in the matter!

_October_ 2, 1847.--Report from Gonda states, that Jafir Allee and
Hemraj Sing, Rughbur Sing's agents, had, with a body of sixteen
hundred troops, attacked the town of Khurgapoor in Gonda, plundered
it, and attacked and plundered five villages in the vicinity, and
seized Sudasook and thirty other merchants and shopkeepers of
Khurgapoor, Chungul Sing, the farmer of that place, Kaleechurn, a
writer, and Benee, the agent of the Gonda Rajah, and no less than one
hundred landholders and cultivators. Order by the Durbar: Let the
minister seize all the offenders, and release and satisfy all the
sufferers. Nothing whatever was done in the matter.

_October_ 5, 1847.--Report from Gonda states, that Rughbur Sing's
troops had seized and brought off from Gonda to Nawabgunge, two
hundred men and women, and shut up the road where they were confined,
that no one might pass near them--that three or four of the women were
pregnant, and near their confinement, and suffered much from harsh
treatment and want of food. Order by the Durbar: Let the minister
grant redress, and send a suzawal to see that the sufferers are
released. A suzawal was sent, it appears, but he remained a quiet
spectator of the atrocities, having received something for doing so.

_September_ 1, 1847.--Report from Hissampoor states, that Byjonauth
Sing, agent of Rughbur Sing, in Hissampoor, had seized all the
plough-bullocks and cows he could find, sent the best to his own
home, and made the rest over to Wazeer Allee, Canongoe, to be sold.
Order by the Durbar, that Rughbur Sing be directed to restore all
that has been taken, and collect the revenue with more moderation.
Nothing whatever was done.

_September_ 11, 1847.--Report from Bahraetch states, that the estate
of Aleenugger in Hissampoor, which yielded eighteen thousand rupees
a-year, had become so deserted from the oppressions of Rughbur Sing,
that it could no longer yield anything. Order by the Durbar, that
Rughbar Sing be directed to restore the tillage, or hold himself
responsible for the King's revenue!

_July_ 28, 1847.--Report from Gonda states, that Goureeshunker, the
collector of Gungwal and Pyagpoor, had, by order of Beharee Lal,
attacked the village of Ruhooa, and seized and carried off sixty-four
cultivators, and confined them in his camp. No order whatever was
passed by the Durbar.

_September_ 7, 1847.--From Nawabgunge in Gonda reports, that Beharee
Lal's soldiers were then engaged in sacking that town, and carrying
off the property. Order by the Durbar. Let the minister see that the
property be restored and wrongs redressed. Nothing whatever was done.

_September_ 18, 1847.--Report from Bahraetch states, that Cheyn Sing,
the tallookdar of Bahmanee Paer, had fled into the British territory,
but returned to his fort; that Beharee Lal heard of his return and
sent two thousand men to seize him; that the tallookdar had only
sixty men, but held out for three hours, killed ten of the King's
soldiers, and then evacuated the fort and fled; that Beharee Lal's
soldiers had collected two thousand bullocks from the estate, and
brought them all off to his camp. Order by the Durbar, that the
minister give stringent orders in this case. Nothing whatever was

_October_ 2, 1847.--Report from Seerora states, that Mahommed Hussan
(the present Nazim), one of Rughbur Sing's collectors, with one
thousand horse and foot and one gun, had come to the hamlet of Sondun
Lal, and the village of Seerora, attacked and plundered these places,
and seized and taken off one hundred men and women, and two hundred
bullocks, killed two hundred Rajpoots in a fight, and then gone back
to his camp at Bahoreegunge. Order by the Durbar, that the minister
seize and send the oppressors to Lucknow, and restore the property to
its proper owners. The minister did nothing of the kind; and soon
after made this oppressor the governor of these districts.

_September_ 20, 1847.--Report from Radowlee states, that armed men
belonging to Kurum Hoseyn, escorting one thousand selected bullocks,
sent by Rughbar Sing, had come to Radowlee, on their way to his fort
of Shahgunge. Order by the Durbar: Let the minister see to this
affair. Nothing was done.

On the 28th September 1847 an order was addressed by the Durbar to
Rughbur Sing, that his agent, Kurum Hoseyn, appeared to have attacked
the house of Seodeen, though he had paid all that was due by him to
the State, according to his engagements, and plundered it of property
to the value of eighteen thousand rupees, and seized and confined all
his relations--that he must cause all the property to be restored,
and obtain acquittances from the sufferers. Rughbur Sing took no
notice whatever of this order.

On the 2nd of October 1847, the Resident, Colonel Richmond, wrote to
the King, acquainting him, that he had heard, that Rughbur Sing had
seized and sold all the ploughs and bullocks in the Bahraetch
district, and, seized and sold also five hundred men, women, and
children of the landholders and cultivators; that he regrets all this
and prays that his Majesty will cause inquiries to be made; and,
should the charges prove true, cause the articles taken, or their
value, to be restored, and the men, women, and children to be
released. On the 25th of October 1847, the Resident again addressed
the King, stating, that he had heard, that, on the 2nd of October,
Jafir Allee and Maharaj Sing, agents of Rughbur Sing, with eleven
hundred soldiers, had attacked and plundered the town of Khurgapoor
and five villages in its neighbourhood, and seized and taken off
Ramdeen Sudasook, and thirty merchants, shopkeepers and other
respectable persons, also Junglee, the farmer of that town,
Kaleechurn Mutsudee, Dabey Pershad, the Rajah's manager, and one
hundred landholders and cultivators; and praying that orders be given
for inquiry and redress. Nothing whatever was done; but on the 30th
of October, the King replied to these letters, and to one written to
him by the Resident on the 31st of August 1847, transmitting a list
of unanswered letters. His Majesty stated, that he had sent orders to
Rughbur Sing and to his brother Maun Sing, in all the cases referred
to by the Resident; but that they were contumacious servants, as he
had before described them to the Resident to be; and had taken no
notice whatever of his orders!

_August_ 20, 1846.--Report from Bahraetch states, that Goureeshunkur,
the agent of Rughbur Sing, in Bahraetch, had taken four persons from
among the many whom he had in confinement on account of balances, had
them suspended to trees, and cruelly flogged, and then had their
hands wrapped up in thick cloth, steeped in oil, and set fire to till
they burned like torches; and that he sat listening to their screams
and cries for mercy with indifference. Order by the King: Let the
minister, Ameen-od Dowlah, be furnished with a copy of this report,
and let him send out three troopers, as suzawuls, to bring in
Goureeshunkur and the four men whose hands had been burnt, and let
him employ Mekhlis Hoseyn, to inquire into the affair, and report the
result. Nothing was done.

On the 29th of August, the Resident, Mr. Davidson, addressed a letter
to the King stating, that he had before represented the cruelties
which Rughbur Sing was inflicting upon the people of his district,
but had heard of no redress having been afforded in any case; that he
had received another report on the same subject, and now forwards it
to show what atrocities his agent, Goureeshunkur, was committing in
Bahraetch; that in no other country could the servants of the
sovereign commit such cruel outrages upon his subjects; that he had
been wrapping up the bodies of the King's subjects in oilcloths, and
setting, fire to them as to torches; that he could not do all this
without the knowledge and sanction of his master, Rughbur Sing; and
the Resident prays, that he may be punished, and that his punishment
may be intimated to him, the Resident. Nothing was ever done, nor was
any answer given to this letter, till it was, on the 30th of August
1847, acknowledged with the many others contained in the list sent to
the King, in his letter of the 31st August 1847, by the then
Resident, Colonel Richmond.

No report appears to have reached either the Durbar or the Resident,
of the atrocious proceedings of Rughbur Sing's agents at Busuntpoor,
where so many persons perished from torture, starvation, and
exposure; nor was any notice taken of them till I took charge of my
office in January 1849. Incha Sing had offered for the contract of
the two districts four lacs less than Rughbur Sing had pledged
himself to pay, and obtained it, and quietly superseded his nephew,
with whom he was on cordial good terms. Rughbur Sing went into the
British territory, to evade all demands for balances, and reside for
an interval, with the full assurance that he would be able to
purchase a restoration to favour and power in Oude, unless the
Resident should think it worth while to oppose him, which my
predecessor did not.* I had his agents arrested, and charges sent in
against them, with all the proofs accumulated, by Captain Orr; but
they all soon purchased their way out, and no one was punished. At my
suggestion the King proclaimed Rughbur Sing as an outlaw, and offered
three thousand rupees for his arrest, if he did not appear within
three months. He never appeared, but continued to carry on his
negociations for restoration to power at Lucknow, through the very
agents whom he had employed in the scenes above described, Beharee
Lal, Goureeshunker, Kurum Hoseyn, Maharaj Sing, &c.

[* Incha Sing absconded before the end of the season, and has never
returned to Oude. Mahommed Hussan got the contract on a reduction of
two hundred and thirty-one thousand rupees, below the rates which
Incha Sing bound himself to pay. But in 1850, he consented to an
increase of three hundred and ninety-nine thousand, with, I believe,
the deliberate intention to raise the funds for the payment by the
murder of Ramdut Pandee, and the confiscation of his estate.]

Amjud Allee Shah, who was something of a man of business, died 13th
February 1847, and was succeeded by his eldest son, the present King,
who knows nothing of, and cares nothing whatever about, business. His
minister, Ameen-od Dowlah, who had some character of his own, was
removed some three or four months after, and succeeded by the present
minister, Allee Nakee Khan, who has none.

The following table of the actual payments into the treasury, from
these two districts of Gonda-Bahraetch, for four years from 1845,
will serve to show the fiscal effects of such atrocities as were
permitted to be perpetrated in them for a brief period of
two years:--

    For 1845, under Wajid Allee    .  11,65,132  5  3
    For 1846, under Rughbur Sing   .  14,01,623  7  6
    For 1847, under    ditto       .  10,27,898  4  6
    For 1848, under Incha Sing .   .   6,05,492  0  3

But what table can show the sufferings of the people, and the
feelings of hatred and abhorrence of the Government and its officers,
to which they gave rise! Not one of the agents, employed in the
atrocities above described, was ever punished. The people see that
all the members of the Government are accessaries, either before or
after the fact, in all these dreadful cruelties and outrages, and,
that the more of them a public officer commits, the more secure is he
of protection and favour at Court. Their hatred and abhorrence of the
individual, in consequence, extend to and embrace the whole of the
Government, and would extend also to the British Government, by whom
that of Oude is supported, did they not see how earnestly the British
Resident strives to alleviate their sufferings, and make the Oude
sovereign and minister do their duty towards them; and how much all
British officers sympathise with their sufferings as they pass
through the country.*

[* Beharee Lal is now (June 1851) employed in a confidential
situation, in the office of the deputy minister. Goureeshunker is a
Tusseeldar, or native collector, in the same district of Bahraetch,
under the new contractor, Mann Sing. Moonshee Kurum Hoseyn holds a
similar office in some other district. Maharaj Sing, and the rest,
all hold, I believe, situations of equal emolument and

Almost all the khalsa lands of the Hissampoor purgunnah belonged to
the different branches of a very ancient and respectable family of
Syuds. Their lands have, as already stated, been almost all
transferred to powerful tallookdars, and absorbed by them in their
estates, by the usual process. It is said, and I believe truly, that
Hadee Allee Khan tried to induce the head of the Syud family to take
his daughter in marriage for his eldest son, as he was also a Syud,
(lineal descendant of the prophet.) The old Syud was too proud to
consent to this; and he and all his relations and connection were
ruined in consequence. The son, to whom Hadee Allee wished to unite
his daughter, still lives on his lands, but in poverty and fear. The
people say that family pride is more inveterate among the aristocracy
of the country than that of the city; and had the old man lived at
Lucknow, he would probably have given his son, and saved his family
and estate.

Captain Hardwick, while out shooting on the 10th, saw a dead man
hanging by the heels in a mango-tree, close to the road. He was one
of a gang of notorious robbers who had attacked a neighbouring
village belonging to some Brahmins. They killed two, and caught a
third member of the gang, and hung him up by the heels to die. He was
the brother-in-law of the leader of the gang, Nunda Pandee. There he
still hangs, and the greater part of my camp took a look at him in


Tallookdars of Bahraetch-Government Land Revenue according
            to the Estimate of this Year.

Names of Villages        Government        Present Condition

Bandee   .  .  .  .  .     65,000         Almost waste
Ruhooa   .  .  .  .  .     20,000           Ditto
Nanpara  .  .  .  .  .   1,50,000         Falling off
Gungwal  .  .  .  .  .     26,000         Much out of tillage
Pyagpoor .  .  .  .  .     59,000           Ditto
Ekona .  .  .  .  .  .   1,80,000           Ditto
Bulrampoor  .  .  .  .   1,50,000         Well tilled
Toolseepoor .  .  .  .   1,05,000           Ditto
Atrola   .  .  .  .  .     80,000         Much out of tillage
Munkapoor   .  .  .  .     35,000           Ditto
Bahmanee Paer  .  .  .     12,000           Ditto

Gowras alias Chehdwara
Paruspoor.  .  .  .  .     14,000         Well tilled
Aruta .  .  .  .  .  .     18,000           Ditto
Shahpoor .  .  .  .  .     30,000           Ditto
Dhunawa  .  .  .  .  .     42,000           Ditto
Paska .  .  .  .  .  .     20,000           Ditto
Kumeear  .  .  .  .  .     48,000           Ditto

Churda   .  .  .  .  .     62,000         Falling off

                  Gonda Pergunnah.

Desumberpoor.  .  .  .     95,000         Rajah Davey Buksh, in
                                            Good order.
Bhinga.  .  .  .  .  .     64,000         Recovering.
Akkerpoor.  .  .  .  .     46,015         In good order under
                                            Ramdut Pandee.
Sagha Chunda.  .  .  .   1,20,729         Ramdut Pandee, in good
Birwa .  .  .  .  .  .     24,000         A little out of tillage.

_December_ 12, 1849.--Gungwal, thirteen miles. The road lay through
the estate of Pyagpoor to within a mile of Gungwal. Little
cultivation was to be seen the whole way, and what we could see was
bad. Little variety of crops, and the tillage slovenly, and without
manure or irrigation. The tallookdar was ruined by Rughbur Sing, and
is not on terms with the present Nazim, and he did not appear. The
estate of Gungwal is not better cultivated than that of Pyagpoor; nor
better peopled--both may be considered as mere wastes, and their
assessments as merely nominal. The tallookdar did not appear. Both
were ruined by the rapacious Nazim and his atrocious agents,
Goureeshunker, Beharee Lal, Kurum Hoseyn, and others.

The Rajah of Toolseepoor, Dirgraj Sing, has an only son, Sahibjee,
now 17 years of age. The Rajah's old servants, thinking they could
make more out of the boy than out of the prudent father, first
incited him to go off, with all the property he could collect, to
Goruckpoor, where he spent it in ten months of revelry. The father
invited him back two mouths ago, on condition that he should come
alone. When he got within six miles of Toolseepoor, however, the
father found, that three thousand armed followers had there been
assembled by his agents, to aid him in seizing upon him and the
estate. Fearing that his estate might be desolated, and he himself
confined, and perhaps put to death, the Rajah ran off to his friend,
the Rajah of Bulrampore, for protection.

_December_ 13, 1849.--Purenda, eleven miles. The first half of the
way, through the lands of Gungwal, showed few signs of tillage or
population; the latter half through, those of Purenda and other
villages of Gonda, held by Ramdut Pandee, showed more of both. Some
nice villages on each side, at a small distance, and some fine groves
of mango-trees. On the road this morning, Omrow Pooree, a non-
commissioned officer of the Gwalior Contingent, whose family resided
in a neighbouring village, came up to me as I passed along, and
prayed me to have the murderer of his father seized and punished. He
described the circumstances of the case, and on reaching camp, I
requested Captain Weston to take the depositions of the witnesses,
and adopt measures for the arrest of the offenders. Syampooree was
the name of the father of the complainant. He resided in a small
hamlet, near the road, called after himself, as the founder,
"Syampooree ka Poorwa," or Syampooree's Hamlet. He had four sons, all
fine, stout men. The eldest, Omrow Pooree, a corporal in the Gwalior
Contingent, Bhurut Pooree, a private in Captain Barlow's regiment,
Ramchurun and Ramadeen, the two youngest, still at home, assisting
their father in the management of their little estate, which the
family had held for many generations. One day in the beginning of
December 1848, a short, thick-set man passed through the hamlet,
accosted Syampooree and his two sons, as they sat at the door, and
asked for some tobacco, and entered into conversation with them. He
pretended that his cart had been seized by the Nazim's soldiers; and,
after chatting with them for a short time, departed.

The second morning after this, before daylight, Ramadeen, the
youngest son, was warming himself at a fire on a small terrace in
front of the door, when he saw a party of armed men approaching. He
called out, and asked who they were and what they wanted. They told
him that they were Government servants, had traced a thief to the
village, and come to seize him. Four of the party, who carried
torches, now approached the fire and lighted them. Syampooree and his
other son, Ramchurun, hearing the noise, came out, and placed
themselves by the side of Ramadeen. By the light of the torches they
now recognised the short, thick-set man with whom they had been
talking two days before, at the head of a gang of fifteen men,
carrying fire-arms with matches lighted, and five more armed with
swords and shields. The short, thick-set man was Nunda Pandee, the
most notorious robber in the district. He ordered his gang to search
the house: on the father and sons remonstrating, he drew his sword
and cut down Ramchurun. The father and Ramadeen having left their
swords in the house, rushed back to secure them; but Nunda Pandee,
calling out to one of his followers, Bhowaneedeen, to despatch the
son, overtook the father, and at one cut severed his right arm from
his body. He inflicted several other cuts upon him before the old man
could secure his sword with his left arm. Having got it, he placed
the scabbard under his foot, drew forth the blade, and cut Nunda
Pandee across his sword-arm which placed him _hors-de-combat_; and
rushing out among the assailants, he cut down two more, when he was
shot dead by a third and noted robber, Goberae. Bhowaneedeen and
others of the gang had cut down Ramadeen, and inflicted several
wounds upon him as he lay on the ground. The gang then plundered the
house, and made off with property to the value of one thousand and
fifty rupees, leaving the father and both sons on the ground. The
brave old father died soon after daybreak; but before he expired he
named his assailants.

The two youngest sons were too severely wounded to admit of their
pursuing the murderers of their father, but their brother, Bhurut
Pooree, obtaining leave of absence, returned home, and traced the
leader of the gang, Nunda Pandee, to the house of one of his
relatives in the village of Kurroura, in Pyagpoor, where he had had
his wound sewn up and dressed, and lay concealed. The family then
tried, in vain, to get redress from all the local authorities, none
of whom considered it to be their duty to look after murderers and
robbers of this kind. Captain Weston succeeded in arresting this
atrocious gang-leader, Nunda Pandee, who described to him minutely
many of the numerous enterprises of this kind in which he had been
engaged, and seemed to glory in his profession. He mentioned that the
man whom he had seen suspended in the tree was his brother-in-law;
that he had had two other members of his gang killed by the villagers
on that occasion, but had succeeded in carrying off their bodies;
that Goberae, Bhowaneedeen, and the rest of his followers were still
at large and prosecuting their trade. Nunda Pandee was by the
Resident made over for trial and punishment to the Durbar; and
Goberae and Bhowaneedeen have since been arrested and made over also.
They both acknowledged that they murdered the Gosaen in the manner
above described, May 1851. The Mahommedan law-officer before whom the
case was tried declared, that he could not, according to law, admit
as valid the evidence of the wife and two sons of the murdered
Gosaen, because they were relatives and prosecutors; and, as the
robbers denied before him that they were the murderers, he could not,
or pretended he could not, legally sentence them to punishment The
King was, in consequence, obliged to take them from his Court, and
get them sentenced to perpetual imprisonment by another Court, not
trammelled by the same law of evidence. This difficulty arises from
_blood_ having its _price_ in money in the country where the law was
made, or the _Deeut_; any person who had a right to share in this
_Deeut_, or price of blood, was therefore held to be an invalid or
incompetent witness to the fact.

On the road from Bahraetch to Gungwal we saw very few groves or fine
single trees on either side. The water is close to the surface, and
the soil good, but for the most part flooded during the rains, and
fit only for rice-cultivation. To fit it for the culture of other
autumn crops would require a great outlay in drainage; and this no
one will incur without better security for the returns than the
present government can afford. Ramdut Pandee is the greatest
agricultural capitalist in these parts.

On the 8th of December it had become known all over the city of
Lucknow, that the King had promised Captain Bird that he would banish
Gholam Ruza and his sister, and Kotub Allee, across the Ganges; and
it was entered in the news-writer's report, though Captain Bird had
spoken of it to no one. He was asked by the minister whether he would
excuse the King for not keeping his word so far, and said he could
not. He demanded an audience of the King, who tried to avoid a
meeting by pleading indisposition; but the first Assistant, being
very urgent, he was admitted. He found the King in a small inner room
lying on a cot covered with a ruzae or quilt.

There were closed doors on the side of the room where the cot stood,
and Captain Bird perceived that persons were behind listening to the
conversation. On the minister advancing to meet him at the door.
Captain Bird declined taking his proffered hand, and in a loud voice
declared--"that he believed that he was mixed up with the fiddlers,
and was afraid of their being removed, or he would have carried his
Majesty's order for their dismissal into effect." He then advanced to
the King, shook him by the hand, apologized for intruding upon him
after his excuse of illness, and stated--"that his own character was
at stake, and he had been obliged to take this step to save it, and
requested that the minister might be told to retire during the
conversation, as he had already shown his partiality for the
characters whom his Majesty had stigmatized as low, intriguing, and
untrustworthy--as ruiners of his good name and his kingdom, and the
cause of ill-feeling between the British Government and himself. The
King expressed a wish that the minister might remain, that he might
have an opportunity to listen to what Captain Bird had to state, as
it appeared to be against him. Captain Bird replied, that he had no
complaint to make against the minister; that his object in coming
was, to claim the fulfilment of the promise which his Majesty had so
solemnly made to him, to dismiss Gholam Ruza and his sister, and
Kotub Allee, and send them across the Ganges; that he was induced to
demand this audience by the minister's visit of the preceding
evening, to ask him to excuse his Majesty's fulfilling the promise
which he had made; and by the written report given to him that
morning by the news-writer, stating, that his Majesty had changed his
mind, and pardoned the parties."

The King declared that he had never given Captain Bird any such
promise. Captain Bird then repeated to his Majesty the conversation
which had taken place on that occasion. The King seemed to be
staggered; but the minister came to his aid, and said--"that his
Majesty had ascertained from Sadik Allee himself, that Gholam Ruza
was not an accomplice in that affair." Captain Bird replied--"that
the King had told him, that the deception had been so fully proved,
that they were speechless; and that his Majesty had spit in their
faces." The King said "not in Gholam Ruza's. His sister and Kotub
Allee are alone guilty." Captain Bird urged, that all were alike
guilty, and he besought the King to fulfil his promise, saying,--"that
his, Captain Bird's, name was at stake; that if the parties were not
removed, the whole city would say, that the King had bribed him, and
bought off his promise." The King replied, "This is all nonsense; do
you wish me to swear that Gholam Ruza is innocent, and that I never
gave the promise you mention?" and, calling the minister, he placed
his right hand on his head, and said,--"I swear, as if this was my
son's head, and by God, that I believe Gholam Ruza to be entirely
innocent; and that I never promised to turn him out, or to send him
across the Ganges." Captain Bird then heard a movement of feet in the
next room behind the closed doors. He was horrified; but returning to
the charge, said, "Your Majesty has, at any rate, acknowledged the
guilt of Gholam Ruza's sister, and that of Khotub Allee; pray fulfil
your promise on the guilty." The King said--"When absent from my
sight, they are as far off as across one hundred rivers. I know they
are intriguers, and shall keep my eyes upon them." Captain Bird said
--"I have reported the circumstances of the case thus far to the
Resident. Your Majesty has made me a participator in the breaking of
your word. I have told Colonel Sleeman you would turn these men out."
The King said--"This case has reference only to my house--it has no
connection with the Government; but if you wish to use force, take me
also by the beard, and pull me from my throne!" Captain Bird said--"I
pray your Majesty to recollect how often, when force might have been
used, under your own sign-manual and seal, on these fiddlers
interfering in State affairs, the Resident has hesitated to put your
written permission for their removal into force; and now who can be
your friend, or save you from any danger, which may hereafter
threaten your life or your well-being? I must, of course, report all
to the Resident." The minister now said--"Yes, report to the Resident
that the King has changed his mind, broken his word, and will not
fulfil his promise; and ask for permission to employ direct force for
the removal of these men: see if he will give permission." Captain
Bird replied, "that any orders he received from the Resident would
certainly be carried, into effect; but if his Majesty's own
acknowledgment of the deceitfulness of these men, and their
intriguing rascality were not sufficient to induce him to remove
them--if the King set so little value on his promise--a promise now
known to the whole city, and which he must in self-defence now speak
openly of, he foresaw the speedy downfall of the kingdom. Who, he
asked, will subject themselves to be deceived in an endeavour to prop
it up by the removal of those who were living on its heart's blood,
or be made liars by reporting promises never to be fulfilled?" Thus
ended this interview.

The next day Sadik Allee had a dress of honour conferred upon him,
and an increase of one hundred rupees a-month made to his salary; and
Gholam Ruza, and his relative the fiddler, Anees-od Dowla, were
seated behind his Majesty in his carriage-and-four, and paraded
through the city, as in full possession of his favour. After the King
had alighted from the carriage at the palace, the coachman drove the
two singers to their apartments in the Mukbura, seated as before in
the khuwas, or hind seat. [On the 25th of May 1850, the King caused
the chief singer, Gholam Ruza, his father, Nathoo, his sister, and
her husband, Dummun Khan, Gholam Hyder Khan, Kotub Allee, his
brother, Sahib Allee, and the females of his family, in all fourteen
persons, to be seized and confined in prison. On the 2nd of June, all
but Gholam Ruza and Dummun Khan were transported across the Ganges
into British territory; and, on the 23rd of July, these two men were
transported in the same manner. The immediate cause of the King's
anger was the discovery that his divorced and banished wife,
Surafrazmahal, had actually come back, and remained concealed for
seven days and seven nights in the palace, in the apartments of the
chief singer, Gholam Ruza. They were all made to disgorge the
Company's notes and jewels found upon them, but the King visited
Gholam Ruza the day before his departure, and treated him with great
kindness, and seemed very sorry to part with him.]

On the 10th, I had written to Captain Bird to mention the distinction
which he appeared to have overlooked in his zeal to get the fiddlers
removed. The offence with which these persons stood charged in this
case was a personal affront to the King, or an affront to his
understanding, and not any interference with the administration of
the Government; and the first Assistant was requested by the Resident
to wait upon his Majesty, merely with a view to encourage him in his
laudable resolution to banish them, and to offer his aid in doing so
should his Majesty manifest any wish to have it; and not to demand
their punishment on the part of the British Government. In the one
case, if the King promised to punish the offenders and relented and
forgave them, we could only regret his weakness; but in the other, if
he promised to punish them and failed to do so, we should consider it
due to the character of our Government to insist upon the fulfilment
of his promise. On the evening of the 11th I got the above report of
his interview with the King from Captain Bird; and, on the 12th, I
wrote to tell him, that I considered him to have acted very
indiscreetly; that he had brought this vexation and mortification
upon himself by his overweening confidence in his personal influence
over the King; that he ought to have waited for instructions from me,
or at least for a reply from me to his letter, regarding the former
interview at Court; that I could not now give him the support he
required, as I could neither demand that his requisitions should be
complied with, nor tell the King that I approved of them that he had
been authorized by me to act on his own discretion in any case of
great emergency, but this could not be considered of such a
character, for no evil or inconvenience was to be apprehended from a
day or two's delay, since the question really was, whether his
Majesty should have a dozen fiddlers or only ten.

In the beginning of September 1850, the King became enamoured of one
of his mother's waiting-maids, and demanded her in marriage. See was
his mother's favourite bedfellow, and she would not part with her.
The King became angry, and to soothe him his mother told him that it
was purely out of regard for him and his children that she refused to
part with this young woman; that she had a "_sampun_," or the coiled
figure of a snake in the hair on the back of her neck. No man, will
purchase a horse with such a mark, or believe that any family can be
safe in which a horse or mare with such a mark is kept. His mother
told him, that if he cohabited with a woman having such a mark, he
and all his children must perish. The King said that he might
probably have, among his many wives, some with marks of this kind;
and that this might account for his frequent attacks of palpitation
of the heart. "No doubt," said the old Queen Dowager; "we have long
thought so; but your Majesty gets into such a towering passion when
we venture to speak of your wives, that we have been afraid to give
expression to our thoughts and fears." "Perhaps," said the King, "I
may owe to this the death, lately, of my poor son, the heir-
apparent." "We have long thought so," replied his mother. The chief
eunuch, Busheer, was forthwith ordered to inspect the back of the
necks of all save that of the chief consort, the mother of the late
and present heir-apparent. He reported that he had found the _fatal
mark_ upon the necks of no less than eight of the King's wives,
Nishat-mahal, Koorshed-mahal, Sooleeman-mahal, Huzrut-mahal, Dara
Begum, Buree Begum, Chotee Begum, and Huzrut Begum. The chief priest
was summoned, and the divorce, from the whole eight, pronounced
forthwith; and the ladies were ordered to depart with all that they
had saved while in the palace. Some of their friends suggested to his
Majesty, that Mahommedans were but unskilful judges in such matters,
and that a Court of Brahmins should be assembled, as they had whole
volumes devoted exclusively to this science. The most learned were
accordingly collected, and they declared that though there were marks
resembling in some degree the _sampun_, it was of no importance; and
the evil it threatened might be averted by singeing the head of the
snake with a hot iron. The ladies were very indignant, and six of
them insisted upon leaving the palace, in virtue of the divorce. Two
only consented to remain, the Buree Begum and Chota Begum.

_December_ 14, 1849.--Came on twelve miles to Gonda. The country well
studded with groves and fine single trees; the soil naturally
fertile, and water near the surface. Cultivation good about Gonda,
and about some of the villages along the road it is not bad; but
there is nowhere any sugar-cane to be seen beyond a small garden
patch. The country is so wretchedly stocked with cattle that little
manure is available for tillage.

The Bulrampore Rajah, a lively, sensible, and active young man,
joined me this morning, and rode along by the side of my elephant,
with the capitalist, Ramdut Pandee, the Nazim, Mahommed Hussan, and
old Bukhtawar Sing, the brother of the late Dursun Sing, whom I have
often mentioned in this Diary. Rajah Bukhtawar Sing is the King's
Mohtamin, or Quartermaster-General of the Resident's' camp. The Rajah
of Toolseepore also, who has been ousted by his son from his estate,
joined me last night; but he was not well enough to ride with me.
Dogs, hawks, and panthers attend for sport, but they afford little or
no amusement. Hawking is a very dull and very cruel sport. A person
must become insensible to the sufferings of the most beautiful and
most inoffensive of the brute creation before he can feel any
enjoyment in it. The cruelty lies chiefly in the mode of feeding the
hawks. I have ordered all these hunting animals to return to Lucknow.

Although the personal character of the Toolseepoor Rajah is not
respected, that of his son is much worse; and the Bulrampoor Rajah
and other large landholders in the neighbourhood would unite and
restore him to the possession of his estate, but the Nazim is held
responsible for their not moving in the matter, in order that the
influential persons about the Court may have the plucking of it at
their leisure. The better to insure this, two companies of one of the
King's regiments have been lately sent out with two guns, to see that
the son is not molested in the possession. The father was restored to
his estate in 1850, and the son fled again to the Goruckpoor
district. He became reconciled to his father some months after,
through the mediation of the magistrate, Mr. Chester, and returned to
Toolseepoor. The father and son, however, distrusted each other too
much to live long together on amicable terms, and the son has gone
off again to Goruckpoor.

The Toolseepoor estate extends along from east to west for about one
hundred miles, in a belt of from nine to twelve miles wide, upon the
southern border of that part of the Oude Tarae forest which we took
from Nepaul in 1815, and made over to the Oude Government by the
treaty of the 11th May 1816, in lieu of the one crore of rupees which
our Government borrowed from Oude for the conduct of that war. The
rent-roll of Toolseepoor is now from two to three lacs of rupees a-
year; but it pays to the Oude Government a revenue of only one lac
and five thousand, over and above gratuities to influential officers.
The estate comprises that of Bankee, which was held by a Rajah Kunsa.
Dan Bahader, the father of the present Rajah of Toolseepoor, attacked
him one night in 1832, put him and some two hundred and fifty of his
followers and family to death, and absorbed the estate. Mahngoo, the
brother of Kunsa, escaped and sought redress from the Oude Durbar;
but he had no money and could get no redress; and, in despair, he
went off to seek employment in Nepaul, and died soon after. Dan
Bahader, enriched by the pillage of Bankee, came to Lucknow, and
purchased permission to incorporate Bankee with his old estate of

Khyreeghur and Kunchunpoor, on the western border of that forest,
were made over by us to Oude at the same time, as part of the
cession. They had been ceded to our Government by the treaty of 1801,
at an estimated value of two hundred and ten thousand, but, up to
1816, they had never yielded to us fifty thousand rupees a-year. They
had, however, formerly yielded from two to three lacs of rupees a-
year to the Oude Government, and under good management may do so
again; but, at present, Oude draws from them a revenue of only
sixteen thousand, and that with difficulty. The rent-roll, however,
exceeds two hundred thousand, and may, in a few years, amount to
double that sum, as population and tillage are rapidly extending.

The holders of Khyreegur and Kunchunpoor are always in a state of
resistance against the Oude Government, and cannot be coerced into
the payment of more than their sixteen thousand rupees a-year; and
hundreds of lives have been sacrificed in the collection of this sum.
The climate is so bad that no people from the open country can
venture into it for more than four months in the year--from the
beginning of December to the end of March. The Oude Government
occasionally sends in a body of troops to enforce the payment of an
increased demand during these four months. The landholders and
cultivators retire before them, and they are sure to be driven out by
the pestilence, with great loss of life, in a few months; and the
landholders refuse to pay anything for some years after, on the
ground that all their harvests were destroyed by the troops. The rest
of the Tarae lands ceded had little of tillage or population at that
time, and no government could be less calculated than that of Oude to
make the most of its capabilities. It had, therefore, in a fiscal
point of view, but a poor equivalent for its crore of rupees; but it
gained a great political advantage in confining the Nepaulese to the
hills on its border. Before this arrangement took place there used to
be frequent disputes, and occasionally serious collisions between the
local authorities about boundaries, which were apt to excite the
angry feelings of the sovereigns of both States, and to render the
interposition of the paramount power indispensable.

It was at Bhinga, on the left bank of the Rabtee River, in the Gonda
district, and eight miles north-east from Bulrampoor, that Mr. George
Ravenscroft, of the Bengal Civil Service, was murdered on the night
of the 6th May, 1823. He had been the collector of the land revenue
of the Cawnpore district for many years; but, having taken from the
treasury a very large sum of money, and spent it in lavish
hospitality and unsuccessful speculations, he absconded with his wife
and child, and found an asylum with the Rajah of Bhinga, on the
border of the Oude Tarae, where he intended to establish himself as
an indigo planter. Strict search was being made for him throughout
India by the British Government, and his residence at Bhinga was
concealed from the Oude Government by the local authorities. The
Rajah made over to him a portion of land for tillage, and a suitable
place in a mango grove, about a mile from his fort, to build a house
upon. He built one after the Hindoostanee fashion, with bamboos and
grass from the adjoining jungle. It consisted of a sitting-room, bed-
room, and bathing-room, all in a line, and forming one side of a
quadrangle, and facing inside, with only one small door on the
outside, opening into the bathing-room. The other three sides of the
quadrangle consisted of stables, servants' houses, and out-offices,
all facing inside, and without any entrances on the outside, save on
the front side, facing the dwelling-house, where there was a large

                  PLAN OF MR. RAVENSCROFT'S HOUSE.

             _____________________________________  ___
             |                  |             |       |
             |                  |              Bathing|
             |  Sitting Room.   |  Bed Room.    Room. |
             |_______   ________|____   ______|_______|
             |     |                          |       |
             |     |                          |       |
             |                 ___                    |
             |                |   |                   |
             |     |          |   |           |       |
             |_____|          |___|           |_______|
             |     |           Cot            |       |
             |     |                          |       |
             |  O                                 S   |
             |  u                                 t   |
             |  t  |                          |   a   |
             |     |                          |   b   |
             |__O__|                          |___l___|
             |  f  |                          |   e   |
             |  f  |                          |   s   |
             |  i  |                          |       |
             |  c                                     |
             |  e                                     |
             |  s  |                          |       |
             |     |                          |       |
             |_____|                          |_______|
             |     |                          |       |
             |                                        |
             |     |        Entrance          |       |
             |     |___  _____      ____  ____|       |
             |                |    |                  |
             |                |    |                  |
             |________________|    |__________________|

The Rajah, Seo Sing, was a worthy old man. He had four sons,
Surubjeet Sing, the eldest, Omrow Sing, Kaleepurkas Sing, and
Jypurkas Sing. The eldest was then married, and about the age of
twenty-five; the other three were still boys. The old man left the
management of the estate to the eldest son, a morose person, who led
a secluded life, and was never seen out of the female apartments,
save twice a-year, on the festival of the hooley and the anniversary
of his marriage. Mr. Ravenscroft had never seen or held any communion
with him, save through his father, brothers, or servants; but he was
in the habit of daily seeing and conversing with the father and his
other sons on the most friendly terms. The eldest son became alarmed
when he saw Mr. Ravenscroft begin to plant indigo, and prepare to
construct vats for the manufacture; and apprehended that he would go
on encroaching till he took the whole estate from him, unless he was
made away with. He therefore hired a gang of Bhuduk dacoits from the
neighbouring forest of the Oude Tarae to put him to death, after he
had been four months at Bhinga. During this time Mrs. Ravenscroft had
gone on one occasion to Cawnpoor, and on another to Secrora, on

Bhinga lies fifty miles north-east from Secrora, where the 20th
Regiment of Native Infantry, under the command of Colonel Patton, was
then cantoned. On the 6th of May 1823, Ensign Platt, of that corps,
had come out to see him. In the evening, the old Rajah and his second
and third sons came to visit Mr. Ravenscroft as usual, and they sat
conversing with the family on the most friendly terms till nine
o'clock, when they took leave, and Mrs. Ravenscroft, with her child
and two female attendants, retired to the sleeping-room in the house.
Ensign Platt went to his small sleeping-tent outside the quadrangle,
under a mango-tree. This tent was just large enough to admit his
small cot, and a few block-tin travelling-boxes, which he piled away
inside, to the right and left of his bed. Mr. Ravenscroft slept on a
cot in the open air, in the quadrangle, a few paces from the door
leading to Mrs. Ravenscroft's sleeping-apartment. He that night left
his arms in the sitting-room, and Ensign Platt had none with him. Mr.
Ravenscroft was the handsomest and most athletic European gentleman
then in India, and one of the most expert in the use of the sword and

His servants had been accustomed to stand sentry, by turns, at the
entrance of the quadrangle, and it was his groom Munsa's turn to take
the first watch that night. He was to have been relieved by the
chowkeedar, Bhowaneedeen; but, in the middle of his watch, he roused
the chowkeedar, and told him that he had been taken suddenly ill, and
must go to his house for relief. The chowkeedar told him that he
might go at once, and he would get up and take his place immediately;
but he lay down and soon fell asleep again.

About eleven o'clock the whole quadrangle was filled by a gang of
about sixty dacoits, who set their torches in a blaze, and began to
attack Mr. Ravenscroft with their spears. He sprang up, and called
loudly for his sword and shield, but there was no one to bring them.
He received several spears through his body as he made for the door
of Mrs. Ravenscroft's apartment, calling out to her in English to fly
and save herself and child, and defending himself as well as he could
with his naked arms. Mosahib, a servant who slept by his cot, got to
Mrs. Ravenscroft's room and assisted her to escape, with her child
and two female attendants, through the bathing-room to the outside. A
party had been placed to stab Ensign Platt with their long spears
through the sides of his small tent; but they passed through and
through the block-tin boxes, and roused without hurting him. He
rushed out and attempted to defend himself by seizing the spears of
his assailants; but he received several of them through his arms. He
made for the entrance to the quadrangle, and there, by the blaze of
the torches, saw Mr. Ravenscroft still endeavouring to defend
himself, but covered with blood, which was streaming from his wounds
and mouth.

On seeing Ensign Platt at the entrance, he staggered towards him, but
the dacoits made a rush at Ensign Platt with their spears at the same
time. He saved himself by springing over a thick and thorny hedge on
one side of the quadrangle, and ran round behind to the small door
leading into the bathing-room, which he reached in time to assist
Mrs. Ravenscroft to escape, as the dacoits were forcing their way
through the screen into her bed-room from the sitting-room. As soon
as he saw her under the shade of the trees, beyond the blaze of the
torches, he left her and her child, and the two female attendants, to
the care of Mosahib, and went round to the entrance in search of her
husband. He had got to a tree, outside the entrance, into which
Deena, Ensign Platt's servant, had climbed to save himself as soon as
he saw his master attacked, and was leaning against it; but, on
seeing Ensign Platt, he again staggered towards him, saying faintly
_bus, bus_--enough, enough. These were the last words he was heard to
utter, and must have referred to the escape of his wife and child, of
which he had become conscious. By this time the gang had made off
with the little booty they found. On attacking Mr. Ravenscroft at
first, some of them were heard to say, "You have run from Cawnpoor to
come and seize upon the estate of Bhinga, but we will settle you."
Mrs. Ravenscroft, her infant, and female attendants, remained
concealed under the shade of the trees, and her husband was now taken
to her with eighteen spear wounds through his body. The Rajah and his
two young sons soon after made their appearance, and in the evening
the survivors were all taken by the old man to a spacious building,
close outside the fort, where they received every possible attention;
but the eldest son never made his appearance. Out of the twenty-nine
men who composed the party when the attack commenced, seven had been
killed and eighteen wounded. Mr. Ravenscroft died during the night of
the 7th, after great suffering. He retained his consciousness till
near the last; but the blood continued to flow from his mouth, and he
could articulate nothing. On the morning of the 8th, he was buried in
the grove, and Ensign Platt read the funeral service over his grave.
Mrs. Ravenscroft and her child were taken to Colonel Patton, at
Secrora, and soon after sent by him to Lucknow.

On the 10th, he reported the circumstances of this murder to the
Resident, Mr. Ricketts; and sent him the narratives of Mosahib and
Deena; and his report, with translations of these narratives, was
submitted by the Resident to Government on the 12th of that month.
But in these narratives no mention whatever was made of a British
officer having been present at the murder and the burial of Mr.
Ravenscroft. This suppression arose, no doubt, from the apprehension
that Government might be displeased to find that the military
authorities at Secrora had become aware of Mr. Ravenscroft's
residence at Bhinga without reporting the circumstance to Government;
and still more so to find, that he had been there visited by a
British officer, when search was being made for him throughout India.

In acknowledging the receipt of the Resident's letter on the 23rd of
May, the Secretary, Mr. George Swinton, observes, that the Governor-
General in Council concludes, that he shall receive a more full and
satisfactory report on the subject from Colonel Patton than that to
which his letter had given cover, since he considered that report to
be very imperfect; that one of the narrators, Mosahib, states, that
he himself conducted Mrs. Ravenscroft and her child to a neighbouring
village, and yet he brought no message whatever from that lady to
Colonel Patton at Secrora; that none of the wounded people or
servants of the deceased, except Deena, appear to have found their
way to Sacrora, though four days had elapsed from the date of the
murder to that of the despatch of the report; that the body seemed to
have been hastily interred by the people of the village, without any
notice having been sent to the officer commanding the troops at
Secrora; that such an atrocious outrage as that described in these
narratives, on the person of a subject and servant of the British
Government, demanded the exertion of every effort to ascertain the
real facts of the case by local inquiry; yet it did not appear that
any person had been despatched to the spot to verify the evidence of
the two men examined by Colonel Patton, or to clear up the doubts to
which all these circumstances must naturally have given rise; nor did
it appear that the defects in Colonel Patton's report had occurred to
the Resident, or that he had directed any further inquiry to be made.

The Resident was, therefore, directed to instruct Colonel Patton, to
depute one or more officers to the place where the murder was said to
be perpetrated, with orders to hold an inquiry on the spot in
communication with the King of Oude's officers, to take the evidence
of the wounded men, and that of any other persons who might have been
witnesses to any part of the transaction, and to the burial of Mr.
Ravenscroft; and to examine the grave in which the body of the
deceased was said to have been deposited; and further, to call upon
Colonel Patton to state whether any information had previously
reached Secrora of Mr. Ravenscroft's actually residing at Bhinga, or
at any other place within the dominions of the King of Oude. "His
Lordship in Council was," Mr. Swinton says, "satisfied, from the
known humanity of Colonel Patton's character, that every possible aid
and comfort had been extended to Mrs. Ravenscroft and her child; and
the information which that lady and her attendants must have it in
their power to give, could not fail to place the whole affair in its
proper light." Extracts from this letter were sent by the Resident to
Colonel Patton, on the 2nd of June, with a request that he would
adopt immediate measures to carry the orders of Government into
effect; and reply to the question whether any information of Mr.
Ravenscroft's residing at Bhinga had previously reached him.

A committee of British officers was assembled at Bhinga on the 11th
June, and their proceedings were transmitted to the Resident on the
18th of that month; but the committee, for some reasons stated in the
report, did not examine "the grave in which the body of the deceased
was said to have been deposited." Though in this committee Ensign
Platt stated that he was present when the murder was perpetrated;
that he attended the deceased till he died the next night, and
performed the funeral ceremonies over the body on the morning of the
8th; still he seemed to narrate the circumstances of the event with
some reserve, while there was a good deal of discrepancy in the
evidence of the other eye-witnesses, as recorded in the report,
seemingly from the dread of compromising Ensign Platt.

The Resident did not, therefore, think that Government would be
satisfied with the result of this inquiry; and, on the 20th of June
he directed Colonel Patton to reassemble the committee at Bhinga, and
require it to hold an inquest on the body, and take the depositions
of all the witnesses on oath. On the same day the Resident reported
to Government what he had done. The second committee proceeded to
Bhinga, and, on the 13th of July, Colonel Patton transmitted its
report to the Resident, who submitted it to Government on the 17th of
that month. The committee had taken the evidence of the witnesses on
oath, and held an inquest on the body; but, in doing so, it had been
necessary to dig through the tomb which Mrs. Ravenscroft had, in the
interval, caused to be erected over the remains of her husband; and,
at the suggestion of Colonel Patton, this tomb was rebuilt and
improved at the cost of Government, who were perfectly satisfied with
the result.

But in its reply, dated the 31st July, Government very justly
remarks, that all the unnecessary trouble which had attended this
investigation, as well as the very painful step of having the body
disinterred, which the Resident found himself compelled to adopt in
obedience to its orders, arose from a want of those obvious
precautions in the first instance which ought to have suggested
themselves to Colonel Patton. Had he made the requisite inquiries at
Secrora, he must have learnt that an English officer belonging to his
own regiment, who had been present at the interment, had been wounded
when Mr. Ravenscroft was murdered, and, for a time, rendered unfit
for duty. The facts since deposed to on oath by Ensign Platt might
have been elicited, and his testimony, if necessary, might have been
confirmed by the evidence of the widow of the deceased; and had such
conclusive evidence been submitted to Government in the first
instance, the doubts excited by the extraordinary circumstances of
the whole affair would never have existed. When ordered on the
inquiry to Bhinga, had Ensign Platt at once declared at Secrora that
he could there afford all the information required as to the fact of
the murder and interment of the body, the necessity of further
inquiry on the spot would have been obviated. He had apparently been
deterred from doing this by the apprehension of compromising both
himself and his commanding officer. Colonel Patton had no knowledge
of Mr. Ravenscroft being at Bhinga, though he had heard a rumour of
his being somewhere in the Oude territory; and, in his application
for a few days' leave, Ensign Platt made no mention of him or of his
intention to visit him. This is stated in a subsequent letter from
Colonel Patton to the Resident, dated 27th of August 1823.

The opinion that the Rajah had nothing whatever to do with the
murder, and that the gang was secretly hired for the purpose by his
eldest son, Surubjeet, has been confirmed by time, and is now
universal among the people of these parts. He died soon after of
dropsy, and the people believe that the disease was caused by the
crime. He left an only son, Krishun Dutt Sing. The Rajah, Seo Sing,
survived his eldest son some years; and, on his death, he was
succeeded by Krishun Dutt Sing, who now leads precisely the same
secluded life that his father led, and leaves the management of the
Bhinga estate entirely to his only surviving uncle, Kaleepurkas Sing,
the youngest of the two boys who visited Mr. Ravenscroft on the
evening of the murder. The other three sons of the old Rajah are
dead. The actual perpetrators of the murder were never punished or
discovered. Mrs. Ravenscroft afterwards became united in marriage to
the Resident at the time, Mr. Mordaunt Ricketts, and still lives. Her
child, a boy, was drowned at the Lucknow Residency some time after
his mother's marriage with the Resident. He had been shut up by his
mother in a bathing-room for some fault; and, looking into a bathing-
tub at his image in the water, he lost his balance, fell in, and was
drowned. When the servants went to let him out they found him quite



Legendary tale of breach of Faith--Kulhuns tribe of Rajpoots--Murder
of the Banker, Ramdut Pandee, by the Nazim of Bahraetch--Recrossing
the Ghagra river--Sultanpoor district, State of Commandants of
troops become sureties for the payment of land revenue--Estate of
Muneearpoor and the Lady Sogura--Murder of Hurpaul Sing, Gurgbunsee,
of Kupragow--Family of Rajahs Bukhtawar and Dursun Sing--Their
_bynama_ Lands--Law of Primogeniture--Its object and effect--Rajah
Ghalib Jung--Good effects of protection to Tenantry--Disputes about
Boundaries--Our army a safety-valve for Oude--Rapid decay of Landed
Aristocracy in our Territories--Local ties in groves, wells, &c.

_December_ 15, 1849.-Wuzeergunge. On the way this morning, we passed
Koorassa, which is said once to have been the capital of a formidable
Rajah, the head of the Kulhuns tribe of Rajpoots. The villages which
we see along the road seem better, and better peopled and provided
with cattle. The soil not naturally very fertile, but yields fine
returns under good culture, manure, and irrigation. Water everywhere
very near the surface. The place is called after the then _Nawab
Wuzeer_, Asuf-od Dowlah, who built a country-seat here with all
appurtenances of mosque, courts, dwelling-houses, &c., on the verge
of a fine lake, formed in the old bed of the Ghagra river, with
tillage and verdure extending down to the water's edge. The garden-
wall, which surrounds a large space of ground, well provided with
fruit and ornamental trees, is built of burnt bricks, and still
entire. The late minister, Ameen-od Dowlah, persuaded his master,
Amjad Allee Shah, to give this garden and the lands around, with
which it had been endowed, to his moonshee, Baker Allee Khan, who now
resides at Fyzabad, and subsists upon the rents which he derives from
them, and which are said to be about twelve hundred rupees a-year.

The Bulrampoor Rajah, Ramdut Pandee, the banker, and Rajah Bukhtawar
Sing, rode with me this morning. The Rajah of Bulrampoor is an
intelligent and pleasing young man. He was a child when Mr.
Ravenscroft was killed, but said he had heard, that the Bhinga chief
had suffered for the share which he had had in the murder; his body
swelled, and he died within a month or two. "If men's bodies swelled
for murder, my friend," I said, "we should have no end of swelled
bodies in Oude, and among the rest, that of Prethee Put's, of Paska."
"Their bodies all swell, sooner, or later," said old Bukhtawar Sing,
"when they commit such atrocious crimes, and Prethee Puts will begin
to swell when he finds that you are inquiring into his." "I am
afraid, my friends, that the propensity to commit them has become
inveterate. One man hears that another has obtained lands or wealth
by the murder of his father or brother, and does not rest till he has
attempted to get the same by the murder of his, for he sees no man
punished for such crimes." "It is not all nor many of our clan"
(Rajpoots), said the Rajah of Bulrampoor, "that can or will do this:
we never unite our sons or daughters in marriage with the family of
one who is so stained with crimes. Prethee Put and all who do as he
has done, must seek an union with families of inferior caste." I
asked him whether the people, in the Tarae forest, were still afraid
to point out tigers to sportsmen. "I was lately out with a party
after a tiger," he said, "which had killed a cowherd, but his
companions refused to point out any trace of him, saying, that their
relatives' spirit must be now riding upon his head, to guide him from
all danger, and we should have no chance of shooting him. We did
shoot him, however," said the Rajah, exultingly, "and they were all,
afterwards, very glad of it. The tigers in the Tarae do not often
kill men, sir, for they find plenty of deer and cattle to eat."--"Can
you tell me, Rajah Sahib," said I, "why it is that among the Arabs,
the lion is called 'the father of cultivation,' '_abol hurs_, or _abo
haris_.'" "No," replied the Rajah; "it is an odd name for a beast
that feeds on nothing but the flesh of deer, cattle, and men." "It
is, I suppose, Rajah Sahib," I remarked, "because he feeds upon the
deer, which are the greatest enemies of their young crops."

The Rajahs of Toolseepoor and Bulrampoor, and all the merchants and
respectable landholders in these parts assure me, that all the large
colonies of Bhuduks, or gang robbers by hereditary profession, who
had, for so many generations, up to A.D. 1840, been located in the
Oude Terae forest, have entirely disappeared under the operation of
the "Special Police," of the Thuggee and Dacoitee Department, aided
and supported by the Oude Government; and that not one family of them
can now be found anywhere in Oude. They have not been driven out as
formerly, to return as soon as the temporary pressure ceased, but
hunted down and punished, or made to blend with the rest of society
in service or at honest labour.

_December_ 16, 1849.--Nawabgunge, eight miles, over a plain of the
same good soil, but not much better cultivated. The people tell me,
that garden tillage is now almost unknown in these districts; first,
because kachies or gardeners (here called moraes) having been robbed,
ruined, and driven into exile by Rughbur Sing, cannot be induced to
return to and reside in places, where they would have so little
chance of reaping the fruits of their labour; and, secondly, because
there are no people left who can afford to purchase their garden
produce. They tell me also, that the best classes of ordinary
cultivators, the Koormies and Lodhees, have been almost all driven
out of the district from the same cause. The facts are manifest--
there are no gardeners, and but few Koormies and Lodhees left; and
there is, in consequence, little good tillage of any kind, and still
less of garden cultivation.

The Rajah of Bulrampoor and Ramdut Pandee, the banker, rode with me,
and related the popular tradition regarding the head of the Kulhuns
family of Rajpoots, Achul Sing, who, about a century and a quarter
ago, reigned over the district intervening between Gonda and Wuzeer
Gunge, and resided at his capital of Koorassa. The Rajah had a
dispute with one of his landholders, whom he could not get into his
power. He requested Rutun Pandee, the banker, to mediate a
reconciliation, and invite the landholder to an amicable adjustment
of accounts, on a pledge of personal security. The banker consented,
but made the Rajah swear by the _River Sarjoo_, which flowed near the
town, that he should be received with courtesy, and escorted back
safely. The landholder relied on the banker's pledge and came; but
the Rajah no sooner got him into his power, than he caused him to be
put to death. The banker could not consent to live under the
dishonour of a violated pledge; and, abstaining from food, died in
twenty-one days, invoking the vengeance of the _River Sarjoo_, on the
head of the perfidious Prince. In his last hours the banker was
visited by one of the Rajah's wives, who was then pregnant, and
implored him to desist from his purpose in mercy to the child in her
womb; but she was told by the dying man, that he could not consent to
survive the dishonour brought upon him by her perjured husband; and
that she had better quit the place and save herself and child, since
the incensed river Sarjoo would certainly not spare any one who
remained with the Rajah. She did so. The banker died, and his death
was followed by a sudden rise of the river and tempest. The town was
submerged, and the Rajah with all who remained with him perished. The
ruins of the old town are said to be occasionally still visible,
though at a great depth under the water in the old bed of the Sarjoo,
which forms a fine lake, near the present village of Koorassa, midway
between Gonda and Wuzeer Gunge.

The pregnant wife fled, and gave birth to a son, whose descendant is
now the head of the Kulhuns Rajpoots, and the Rajah of Bahmanee Paer,
a district on the eastern border of Oude towards Goruckpoor. But, it
is a remarkable fact, that the male descendants have been all blind
from their birth, or, at least, the reigning portion of them, and the
present Rajah is said to have two blind sons. This is popularly
considered to be one of the effects of the Rajah's violated pledge to
the banker. A handmaid of the Rajah, Achul Sing, is said to have fled
at the same time, and given birth to a son, from whom are descended
the Kulhuns tallookdars of the Chehdwara, or Gowaris district,
already noticed. The descendants of Rutun Pandee are said still to
hold rent-free lands, under Achul Sing's descendant, in Bahmanee
Paer; and the Pandee is worshipped throughout the districts as a
saint or martyr. He has a shrine in every village, at which offerings
are made on all occasions of marriage, and blessings invoked for the
bride and bridegroom, from the spirit of one who set so much value on
his plighted faith while on earth. The two branches of the Kulhuns
family above mentioned, propitiate the spirit of the deceased Pandee
by offerings; but there is a branch of the same family at Mohlee, in
the Goruckpoor district, who do not. Though Hindoos, they adopt some
Mussulman customs, and make offerings to the old Mussulman saint, at
Bahraetch, in order to counteract the influence of the Pandee's

Such popular traditions, arising from singular coincidences of
circumstances, have often a salutary effect on society, and seem to
be created by its wants and wishes; but rivers have, of late years,
become so much less prompt in the vindication of their honour, that
little reliance is placed, upon the oaths taken in their names by the
Prince, his officers or his landowners in Oude.

Nawabgunge, Munkapoor, and Bahmanee transferred to the British
Government, with the other lands, under the treaty of 1801; and
retransferred to Oude, by the treaty of the 11th of May 1816, in
exchange for Handeea, alias Kewae, a slip of land extending along the
left bank of the Ganges, between Allahabad and Benares.

                           Rent Roll.    Kankur.   Govt. demand

Nawabgunge, Wuzeergunge,.}   l,08,000     32,000       76,000
   Mahadewa .  .  .  .  .}

Munkapoor   .  .  .  .  .      40,000     12,000       28,000
Bahmanee Paer  .  .  .  .      12,000      3,000        9,000

The landholders and cultivators complain sadly of the change of
sovereigns; and the tillage and population have greatly diminished
under the Oude Government since 1816, but more especially, since the
monster, Rughbur Sing got the government. Here Ramdut Pandee, the
Rajah of Bulrampoor, and the Nazim of the district, have taken leave
of me, this being my last stage in their district. Ramdut Pandee
holds two estates in this district, for which he pays an annual
revenue to Government of 1,66,744 13 3.* He holds, at the same time,
a small estate in our district of Goruckpoor, where he resides and
keeps his family, till he obtains solemn written pledges, confirmed
on oath, for their security, not only from the local authority of the
day, but from all the commandants of corps and establishments,
comprising the military force employed under him. These pledges
include all his clients, who may have occasion to visit or travel
with him, as the Rajah of Bulrampoor is now doing. These pledges
require to be renewed on every change in the local authorities and in
the military officers employed under them. He is one of the most
substantial and respectable of the agricultural capitalists of Oude,
and the highest of his rank and class in this district. He every year
stands security for the punctual payment of the revenues due,
according to existing engagements, by the principal landholders of
the district, to the extent of from six to eight lacs of rupees; and
for this he gets a certain per centage, varying with the character
and capability of the landholders. Some are of doubtful ability,
others of doubtful character, and he rates his risks and per centage
accordingly. He does much good, and is more generally esteemed than
any other man in the district; but he has, no doubt, enlarged his own
landed possessions occasionally, by taking advantage of the
necessities of his clients, and his influence over the local
authorities of government The lands he does get, however, he improves
by protecting and aiding his tenants, and inviting and fostering a
better class of cultivators, He is looked up to with respect and
confidence by almost all the large landholders of the district, for
his pledge for the punctual payment of the revenues saves their
estates from the terrible effects of a visit from the Nazim and his
disorderly and licentious troops; and this pledge they can always
obtain, when necessary, by a fair assurance of adherence to their

[* The estate of Ramdut Pandee, for this year, 1849, comprises--
     Sirgha, Chunda, &c.  .  .  . 1,20,729  11  0
     Akberpoor, &c. .  .  .  .  .   46,015   2  3
                     Total   .  . 1,66,744  13  3 ]

On the 8th of November 1850, Ramdut Pandee lent the Nazim eighty
thousand rupees on his bond, after paying all that was due to the
State for the season, by him and all his clients, and on the 16th of
that month he went to Gonda, where the Nazim, Mahommed Hussan, was
encamped with his force, to take leave preparatory to his going to
bathe at Ajoodheea, on the last day of the month of Kartick, as was
his invariable custom. He was accompanied by the Rajah of Bulrampoor,
and they encamped separately in two mango-groves near to each other,
and about a mile and a half from the Nazim's camp. About nine at
night the Nazim sent two messengers, with silver sticks, to invite
and escort them to his tent. They set out immediately, leaving all
their armed followers in their camps, and taking only a few personal
attendants and palankeen bearers. No person is permitted to take arms
into the Nazim's tent; nor does any landholder or merchant of Oude
enter his tent without the pledges for personal security above
mentioned. Ramdut Pandee and the Rajah entered with only a few
personal servants, leaving all their other attendants outside the
outer curtain. This curtain surrounded the tent at a distance of only
a few yards from it, and the tent was pitched in the centre. They
were received with all due ceremony, and in the same friendly manner
as usual. The Rajah had no business to talk about, while the Nazim
and banker had; and, after a short conversation, he took leave to
return to his tents and break his fast, which he had kept that day
for some religious purpose. He left in the tent the Nazim, his
deputy, Jafir Allee, and his nephew and son-in-law, Allee Hoseyn,
sitting together on the carpet, on the right, all armed, and Ramdut
sitting unarmed, on the left, with a Brahmin lad, Jowahir, standing
at the door, with the banker's paundan and a handkerchief. Kurunjoo,
a second person, with the banker's shoes, and a third attendant of
his standing outside the tent door.

The Nazim and Ramdut talked for some time together, seemingly on the
most friendly and cordial terms; but the Nazim, at last, asked him
for a further loan of money, and further securities for landholders
of doubtful character, before he went to bathe. The banker told him,
that he could lend him no more money till he came back from bathing,
as he had lent him eighty thousand rupees only eight days before;
and, that he could not increase his pledges of security without
further consultation with the landholders, as he had not yet
recovered more than four out of the seven lacs of rupees which he had
been obliged to advance to the Treasury, on the securities given for
them during the last year. He then took leave and rose to depart. The
Nazim turned and made some sign to his deputy, Jafir Allee, who rose,
presented his gun and shot Ramdut through the right side close under
the arm-pit. Exclaiming "Ram! Ram!"--God! God!--the banker fell; and
the Nazim, seizing and drawing the sword which lay on the carpet
before him, cut the falling banker across the forehead. His nephew
and deputy drew theirs; and together they inflicted no less than
twenty-two cuts upon the body of Ramdut.

The banker's three attendants, seeing their master thus shot down and
hacked to pieces, called out for help; but one of the three ruffians
cut Jowahir, the Brahmin lad, across the shoulder, with his sword,
and all ran off and sought shelter across the border in the British
territory. The Nazim and his attendants then buried the body hastily
near the tent, and ordered the troops and artillery to advance
towards and fire into the two camps. They did so, and the Bulrampoor
Rajah had only just reached his tents when the shot came pouring in
upon them from the Nazim's guns. He galloped off as fast as he could
towards the British border, about twenty miles distant, attended only
by a few mounted followers, some of whom he sent off to Bulrampoor,
to bring his family as fast as possible across the border to him. The
rest he ordered to follow him. His followers and those of the
murdered banker fled before the Nazim's forces, which had been
concentrated for this atrocious purpose, and both their camps were
plundered. Before the Rajah fled, however, the murdered banker's son-
in-law, who had been left in the camp, ran to him with a small
casket, containing Ramdut's seals, the bond for the eighty thousand
rupees, and the written pledges given by the Nazim and commanding
officers of corps, for the banker's and the Rajah's personal
security. He mounted him upon one of his horses, and took both him
and the casket off to the British territory.

It was now about midnight, and the Nazim took his forces to the towns
and villages upon the banker's estate, in which his family and
relatives resided, and in which he kept the greater part of his
moveable property. He sacked and plundered them all without regard to
the connection or relationship of the inhabitants with the murdered
banker. The property taken from the inhabitants of these towns and
villages is estimated at from ten to twelve lacs of rupees. As many
as could escape fled for shelter across the border, into the British
territory. The banker's brother, Kishen Dutt, who resided in the
British territory, came over, collected all he could of his brother's
followers, attacked the Amil's forces, killed and wounded some forty
or fifty of his men, and captured two of his guns. The body of the
banker was discovered two days after, and disinterred by his family
and friends, who counted the twenty-two wounds that had been
inflicted upon it by the three assassins, and had it burned with due

The Nazim's agent at Court, on the 18th of November, submitted to the
minister his master's report of this affair, in which it was stated,
that the banker was a defaulter on account of his own estate, and
those of the other landholders for whom he had given security--that
he, the Nazim, had earnestly urged him to some adjustment of his
accounts, but all in vain--that the banker had disregarded all his
demands and remonstrances, and had with him five hundred armed
followers, one of whom had fired his pistol at him, the Nazim, and
killed one of his men--that they had all then joined in an attack
upon the Nazim and his men, and that, in defending themselves, they
had killed the banker. On the 19th, another report, dated the 16th,
reached the minister from the Nazim's camp, stating, that the banker
had come to his tent at ten at night, with his armed followers, and
had an interview [with] him--that as the banker rose to depart, the
Nazim told him that he must not go without some settlement of his
accounts; and a dispute followed, in which the banker was killed, and
two of the Nazim's followers were severely wounded-that so great was
the confusion that the Durbar news-reporters could not approach to
get information.

On the 20th, a third report reached the minister, stating, that the
Rajah of Bulrampoor had come with the banker to visit the Nazim, but
had taken leave and departed before the collision took place--that
the Nazim urged the necessity of an immediate settlement of accounts,
but the banker refused to make any, grossly abused the Nazim, and, at
last, presented his pistol and fired at him; and thereby wounded two
of his people--that he was, in consequence, killed by the Nazim's
people, who joined the banker's own people in the plunder of his

On receiving this last report, the minister, by order of his Majesty,
presented to the agent of the Nazim a dress of honour of fourteen
pieces, such as is given to the highest officers for the most
important services; and ordered him to send it to his master, to mark
the sense his sovereign entertained of his gallant conduct and
valuable services, in crushing so great _a rebel and oppressor_, and
to assure him of a long-continued tenure of office.

By the interposition of the British Resident and the aid of the
magistrate of Goruckpoor, Mr. Chester, the real truth was elicited,
the Nazim was dismissed from office, and committed for trial, before
the highest judicial Court at Lucknow. He at first ran off to
Goruckpoor, taking with him, besides his own, two elephants belonging
to the Rajah of Gonda, with property on them to the value of fifty
thousand rupees, which he overtook in his flight. The Rajah had sent
off these elephants with his valuables, on hearing of the
assassination of the banker, thinking that the Nazim would secure
impunity for this murder, as Hakeem Mehndee had for that of Amur
Sing, and be tempted to extend his operations. Finding the district
of Goruckpoor unsafe, the Nazim came back and surrendered himself at
Lucknow. Jafir Allee was afterwards seized in Lucknow. There is,
however, no chance of either being punished, since many influential
persons about the Court have shared in the booty, and become
accessaries interested in their escape. Moreover, the Nazim is a
Mahommedan, a Syud, and a Sheeah. No Sheeah could be sentenced to
death, for the murder, even of a Soonnee, at Lucknow, much less for
that of a Hindoo. If a Hindoo murders a Hindoo, and consents to
become a Mussulman, he cannot be so sentenced; and if he consents to
become so after sentence has been passed, it cannot be carried into
execution. Such is the law, and such the every-day practice.

The elephants were recovered and restored through the interposition
of the Resident, but none of the property of the Rajah or the banker
has been recovered. May 18, 1851.--The family of the banker has
obtained a renewal of the lease of their, two estates, on agreeing to
pay an increase of forty thousand rupees a-year.

Sirgha Chunda  .  .  .  . 1,20,729  11  0
    Increase   .  .  .  .   30,000   0  0
                          _______________ 1,50,729  11  0

Akberpoor   .  .  .  .  .   46,015   2  3
    Increase.  .  .  .  .   10,000   0  0
                          _______________   56,015   2  3
Total annual demand  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2,06,744  13  3

They bold the Nazim's bond for the eighty thousand rupees, borrowed
only eight days before his murder.

_December_ 17, 1849.--Five miles to the left bank of the Ghagra,
whence crossed over to Fyzabad, on platformed boats, prepared for the
purpose by the Oude authorities. Our tents are in one of the large
mango-groves, which are numerous on the right bank of the river, but
scanty on the opposite bank. From the time we crossed this river at
Byram-ghaut on the 5th, till we recrossed it this morning, we were
moving in the jurisdiction of the Nazim of the Gonda and Bahraetch
district. After recrossing the Ghagra we came within that of the
Nazim of Sultanpoor, Aga Allee, who was appointed to it this year,
not as a contractor, but manager, under the Durbar. The districts
under contractors are called _ijara_, or farmed districts; those
under the management of non-contracting servants of Government are
called _amanee_, or districts under the _amanut_, or trust of
Government officers. The morning was fine, the sky clear, and the
ground covered with hoar frost. It was, pleasing to see so large a
camp, passing without noise, inconvenience, or disorder of any kind
in so large a river.

The platformed boats were numerous, and so were the pier-heads
prepared on both sides, for the convenience of embarking and landing.
Carriages, horses, palankeens, camels and troops, all passed without
the slightest difficulty. The elephants were preparing to cross, some
in boats and some by swimming, as might seem to them best. Some
refuse to swim, and others to enter boats, and some refuse to do
either; but the fault is generally with their drivers. On the present
occasion, two or three remained behind, one plunged into the stream
from his boat, in the middle of the river, with his driver on his
back, and both disappeared for a time, but neither was hurt. Those
that remained on the left bank, got tired of their solitude, and were
at last coaxed over, either in boats or in the water.

The Sarjoo rejoins the Ghagra a little above Fyzabad, and the united
stream takes the old name of the Sarjoo. This is the name the river
bears, till it emerges from the Tarae forest, when the large body
takes that of the Ghagra, and the small stream, which it throws off,
or which perhaps flows in the old bed, retains that of the Sarjoo.
The large branch absorbs the Kooreeala, Chouka, and other small
streams, on its way to rejoin the smaller. Some distance below
Fyzabad, the river takes the name of _Dewa_; and uniting, afterwards,
with the Gunduck, flows into the Ganges. Fyzabad is three miles above
Ajoodheea, on the same bank of the river. It was founded by the first
rulers of the reigning family, and called for some time _Bungalow_,
from a bungalow which they built on the verge of the stream. Asuf-od
Dowlah disliked living near his mother, after he came to the throne,
and he settled at Lucknow, then a small village on the right bank of
the Goomtee river. This village, in the course of eighty years, grown
into a city, containing nearly a million of souls. Fyzabad has
declined almost in the same proportion.

The Nazim has six regiments, and part of a seventh, on duty under
him, making, nominally, six thousand fighting men, but that he
cannot, he tells me, muster two thousand; and out of the two
thousand, not five hundred would, he says be ready to fight on
emergency. All the commandants of corps reside at Court, knowing
nothing whatever of their duties, and never seeing their regiments.
They are mere children, or Court favourites, worse than children. He
has, nominally, forty-two guns, of various calibre; but he, with
great difficulty, collected bullocks enough to draw the three small
guns he brought with him from Sultanpoor, to salute the Resident, on
his entering his district. I looked at them in the evening. They were
seventy-four in number, but none of them were in a serviceable
condition, and the greater part were small, merely skin and bone. He
was obliged to purchase powder in the bazaar for the salutes; and
said, that when he entered his charge two months ago, the usual
salute of seven guns, for himself, could not be fired for want of
powder, and he was obliged to send to the bazaar to purchase what was
required. The bazaar-powder used by the Oude troops is about one-
third of the strength of the powder used by our troops. His authority
is despised by all the tallookdars of the district, many of whom
refuse to pay any rent, defy the Government, and plunder the country,
as all their rents are insufficient to pay the armed bands which they
keep up. All his numerous applications to Court, for more and better
troops and establishments, are disregarded, and he is helpless. He
cannot collect the revenue, or coerce the refractory landholders and
robbers, who prey upon the country.*

[* The Nazim for 1850-51, got both Captain Magness's and Captain
Banbury's regiments.]

He says that the two companies and two guns, which were sent out at
the Resident's urgent recommendation, to take possession of
Shahgunge, and prevent the two brothers, Maun Sing and Rughbur Sing,
from disturbing the peace of the country, in their contests with each
other, joined Maun Sing, as partisan; to oppose his brother; and that
Maun Sing has taken for himself all the _bynamah_ lands, from which
his brother, Rughbur Sing, has been ousted, under the favour of the
minister. He tells me also, that Beebee Sogura, the lady who holds
the estate of Muneearpoor, and pays fifty thousand rupees a-year to
the Government, was seized by Wajid Allee, his predecessor, before he
made over charge of the district to him, and made over to a body of
troops, on condition, that she should enter into engagement to pay to
them the ten months' arrears of pay due to them, out of the rents of
the ensuing year; and that they should give him receipts for the full
amount of these arrears of pay at once, to be forwarded to the
Durbar, that he might get credit for the amount in his accounts for
last year--that she has paid them fifteen thousand rupees, but can
collect no more from her tenants, as the crops are all being cut or
destroyed by the troops, and she is in close confinement, and treated
with cruel indignity. The rent-roll of her estate is, it is said,
equal to one hundred thousand rupees a year.

This was a common practice among governors of districts at the close
of last year; and thus they got credit, on account, for large sums,
pretended to have been paid out of the revenues of last year; but, in
reality, to be paid out of the revenues of the ensuing year. But the
collections are left to be made by the troops, for whose arrears of
pay the revenue has been assigned, and they generally destroy or
extort double what they are entitled to from their unhappy debtors.
This practice of assigning revenues due, or to be due, by
landholders, for the arrears of pay due to the troops, is the source
of much evil; and is had recourse to only when contractors and other
collectors of revenue are unable to enforce payment in any other way;
or require to make it appear that they have collected more than they
really have; and to saddle the revenue of the ensuing year with the
burthens properly incident upon those of the past. The commandant of
the troops commonly takes possession of the lands, upon the rents, or
revenues, of which the payments have been assigned, and appropriates
the whole produce to himself and his soldiers, without regard to the
rights of landholders, farmers, cultivators, capitalists, or any
other class of persons, who may have invested their capital and
labour in the lands, or depend upon the crops for their subsistence.
The troops, too, are rendered unfit for service by such arrangements,
since all their time is taken up in the more congenial duty of
looking after the estate, till they have desolated it. The officers
and soldiers are converted into manorial under-stewards of the worst
possible description. They are available for no other duty till they
have paid themselves all that may have been due or may become due to
them during the time of their stay, and credit to Government but a
small portion of what they exact from the landholders and
cultivators, or consume or destroy as food, fodder, and fuel.

This system, injurious alike to the sovereign, the troops, and the
people, is becoming every season more and more common in Oude; and
must, in a few years, embrace nearly the whole of the land-revenue of
the country. It is denominated _kubz_, or contract, and is of two
kinds, the "_lakulame kubz_," or pledge to collect and pay a certain
sum, for which the estate is held to be liable; and "_wuslee kubz_,"
or pledge to pay to the collector or troops the precise sum which the
commandant may be able to collect from the estate put under him. In
the first, the commandant who takes the _kubz_ must pay to the
Government collector or the troops the full sum for which the estate
is held to be liable, whether he be able to collect it or not, and
his _kubz_ is valid at the Treasury, as so much money paid to the
troops. In the second, it is valid only as a pledge, to collect as
much as he can, and to pay what he collects to the Government
collector, or the troops he commands. The collector, however,
commonly understands that he has shifted off the burthen of payment
to the troops--to the extent of the sum named--from his own shoulders
to those of the commandant of the troops; and the troops understand,
that unless they collect this sum they will never get it, or be
obliged to screw it out of their commandant; and they go to the work
_con amore_. If they can't collect it from the sale of all the crops
of the season, they seize and sell all the stock and property of all
kinds to be found on the estate; and if this will not suffice, they
will not scruple to seize and sell the women and children. The
collector, whose tenure of office seldom extends beyond the season,
cares little as to the mode as long as he gets the money, and feels
quite sure that the sovereign and his Court will care just as little,
and ask no questions, should the troops sell every living thing to be
found on the estate.

The history, for the last few years, of the estate of Muneearpoor,
involves that of the estate of Kupragow and Seheepoor, held by the
family of the late Hurpaul Sing, and may be interesting as
illustrative of the state of society in Oude. Hurpaul Sing's family
is shown in the accompanying note.*

[* Purotee Sing had two sons, Gunga Persaud and Nihal Sing. Gunga
Persaud had one son, Seosewak, who had three sons, Seoumber Sing,
Hobdar Sing, and Hurpaul Sing. Seoumber Sing had one son, Ramsurroop
Sing, the present head of the family, who holds the fort and estate
of Kupradehee. Hobdar Sing had one son, who died young. Hurpaul Sing
died young, Nihal Sing had no son, but left a widow, who holds his
share of one-half of the estate, and resides at Seheepoor.]

In the year A.D. 1821, after the death of Purotee Sing, his second
son, Nihal Sing, held one-half of the estate, and resided in
Seheepoor, and the family of his eldest son, Gunga Persaud, held the
other half, and resided in Kupragow. The whole paid a revenue to
Government of between six and seven hundred rupees a-year, and
yielded a rent-roll of something more than double that sum. The
neighbouring estate of Muneearpoor, yielding a rent-roll of about
three hundred and fifty thousand rupees a-year, was held by Roshun
Zuman Khan, in whose family it had been for many generations. He had
an only brother, Busawan Khan, who died, leaving a widow, Bussoo, and
a daughter, the Beebee, or Lady, Sogura. Roshun Zuman Khan also died,
leaving a widow Rahamanee, who succeeded to the estate, but soon
died, and left it to the Lady Sogura and her mother. They made Nihal
Sing, Gurgbunsee, of Seheepoor, manager of their affairs. From the
time that he entered upon the management, Nihil Sing began to
increase the number of his followers from his own clan, the
Gurgbunsies; and, having now become powerful enough, he turned out
his mistress, and took possession of her estate, in collusion with
the local authorities.

Rajah Dursun Sing, who then, 1836, held the contract for the
district, wished to take advantage of the occasion, to seize upon the
estate for himself, and a quarrel, in consequence, took place between
him and Nihal Sing. Unable, as a public servant of the State, to lead
his own troops against him, Dursun Sing instigated Baboo Bureear
Sing, of Bhetee, a powerful tallookdar, to attack Nihal Sing at
night, with all the armed followers he could muster, and, in the
fight, Nihal Sing was killed. Hurpaul Sing, his nephew, applied for
aid to the Durbar, and Seodeen Sing was sent, with a considerable
force, to aid him against Bureear Sing. When they were ready for the
attack, Dursun Sing sent a reinforcement of troops, secretly, to
Bureear Sing, which so frightened Seodeen Sing, that he retired from
the conflict.

The Gurgbunsee family had, however, by this time added a great part
of the Muneearpoor estate to their own, and many other estates
belonging to their weaker neighbours; and, by the plunder of
villages, and robbery on the highways, become very powerful. Dursun
Sing was superseded in the contract, in 1837, by the widow of Hadee
Allee Khan; and Hurpaul recovered possession of the Muneearpoor
estate, which he still held in the name of the _Lady Sogura_. In
1843, she managed to get the estate transferred from the jurisdiction
of the contractor for Sultanpoor, to that of the Hozoor Tehseel, and
held it till 1845, when Maun Sing, who had succeeded to the contract
for the district, on the death of his father, Dursun Sing, in 1844,
managed through his uncle, Bukhtawar Sing, to get the estate restored
to his jurisdiction. Knowing that his object was to absorb her
estate, as he and his father had done so many others, she went off to
Lucknow to seek protection; but Maun Sing seized upon all her nankar
and seer lands, and put the estate under the management of his own
officers. The Lady Sogura, unable to get any one to plead her cause
at Court, in opposition to the powerful influence, of Bukhtawur Sing,
returned to Muneearpoor. Maun Sing, after he had collected the
greater part of the revenue for 1846, made over the estate to Hurpaul
and Seoumber Sing, who put the lady into confinement, and plundered
her of all she had left.

Feeling now secure in the possession of the Muneearpoor estate,
Hurpaul and Seoumber Sing left a small guard to secure the lady, and
went off, with the rest of their forces, to seize upon the estate of
Birsingpoor, in the purgunnah of Dehra, belonging to the widow of
Mahdoo Sing, the tallookdar. She summoned to her aid Roostum Sa and
other Rajkomar landholders, friends of her late husband. A fight
ensued, in which Seoumber Sing and his brother, Hobdar Sing were
killed. Hurpaul Sing fled and returned to his fort of Kupragow. The
Lady Sogura escaped, and presented herself again to the Court of
Lucknow, under better auspices; and orders were sent to Maun Sing,
and all the military authorities, to restore her to the possession of
her estate, and seize or destroy Hurpaul Sing. In alarm Hurpaul Sing
then released the mother of the Lady Sogura, and prepared to fly.

Maun Sing sent confidential persons to him to say, that he had been
ordered by the Court of Lucknow to confer upon him a dress of honour
or condolence, on the death of his two lamented brothers, and should
do so in person the next day. Hurpaul Sing was considered one of the
bravest men in Oude, but he was then sick on his bed, and unable to
move. He received the message without suspicion, being anxious for
some small interval of repose; and willing to believe that common
interests and pursuits had united him and Maun Sing in something like
bonds of friendship.

Maun Sing came in the afternoon, and rested under a banyan-tree,
which stood opposite the gateway of the fort. He apologized for not
entering the fort, on the ground, that it might lead to some
collision between their followers, or that his friend might not wish
any of the King's servants, who attended with the dress of honour, to
enter his fortress. Hurpaul Sing left all his followers inside the
gate, and was brought out to Maun Sing in a litter, unable to sit up
without support. The two friends embraced and conversed together with
seeming cordiality till long after sunset, when Maun Sing, after
investing his friend with the dress of honour, took leave and mounted
his horse. This was the concerted signal for his followers to
despatch his sick friend, Hurpaul. As he cantered off, at the sound
of his kettle-drum and the other instruments of music, used by the
Nazims of districts, his armed followers, who had by degrees gathered
round the tree, without awakening any suspicion, seized the sick man,
dragged him on the ground, a distance of about thirty paces, and then
put him to death. He was first shot through the chest, and then
stabbed with spears, cut to pieces with swords, and left on the
ground. They were fired upon from the fort, while engaged in this
foul murder, but all escaped unhurt. Maun Sing had sworn by the holy
Ganges, and still more holy head of Mahadeo, that his friend should
suffer no personal hurt in this interview; and the credulous and no
less cruel and rapacious Gurgbunsies were lulled into security. The
three persons who murdered Hurpaul, were Nujeeb Khan, who has left
Mann Sing's service, Benee Sing, who still serves him, and Jeskurun
Sing, who has since died. Sadik Hoseyn and many others aided them in
dragging their victim to the place where he was murdered, but the
wounds which killed him were inflicted by the above-named persons.

The family fled, the fort was seized and plundered of all that could
be found, and the estate seized and put under the management of
Government officers. Maun Sing had collected half the revenues of
1847, when he was superseded in the contract by Wajid Allee Khan, who
re-established the Lady Sogura in the possession of all that remained
of her estate. He, at the same time, reinstated the family of Hurpaul
Sing, in the possession of their now large estate--that is, the widow
of Nihal Sing, to Seheepoor, comprising one-half; and Ramsurroop
Sing, the son of Seoumber Sing, to Kupragow, comprising the other
half.* The rent-roll of the whole is now estimated at 1,29,000 a-
year; and the _nankar_, or recognized allowance for the holders, is
73,000, leaving the Government demand at 56,000, of which they hardly
ever pay one-half, or one-quarter, being inveterate robbers and
rebels. Wajid Allee Khan had been commissioned, by the Durbar, to
restore the Lady Sogura to her patrimonial estate, and he brought her
with him from Lucknow for the purpose; but he soon after made over a
part of the estate to his friend, Bakir Allee, of Esoulee, and
another part to Ramsurroop, the son of Seoumber Sing, for a suitable
consideration, and left only one-half to the Lady Sogura. This she at
first refused to take, but he promised to restore the whole the next
year, when he saw she was resolved to return again to her friends at
Lucknow, and she consented to take the offered half on condition of a
large remission of the Government demand upon it. When the season of
collections came, however, he would make no remission for the half he
had permitted her to retain, or give her any share in the perquisites
of the half he had made over to others; nor would he give her credit
for any portion of the collections, which had been anticipated by
Maun Sing. He made her pledge the whole rents of her estate to Hoseyn
Allee Khan, the commandant of a squadron of cavalry, on detached
duty, under him. Unable to conduct the management under all these
outrages and exactions, she begged to have the estate put under
Government officers. Her friends at Court got an order issued for her
being restored to the possession of the whole estate, having credit
for the whole amount collected by Maun Sing, and a remission in the
revenue equal to all that Government allowed to the proprietors of
such estates.

[* In May 1851, the Nazim besieged Ramsurroop, in Kupragow, with a
very large force, including Bunbury's and Magness's Regiments and
Artillery. After the loss of many lives from fighting, and more from
cholera, on both sides, Ramsurroop marched out with all his garrison
and guns at night, and passed, unmolested, through that part of the
line where the non-fighting corps were posted.]

Wajid Allee Khan disregarded the order, and made over or sold
Naraenpoor and other villages belonging to the estate, to Rughbur
Sing, the atrocious brother of Maun Sing, who sent his myrmidons to
take possession. They killed the Lady Sogura's two agents in the
management, plundered her of all she had of property, and all the
rents which she had up to that time collected, for payment to
Government; and took possession of Naraenpoor and the other villages,
sold to their master by Wajid Allee. Wajid Allee soon after came with
a large force, seized the lady and carried her off to his camp, put
all her officers and attendants into confinement, and refused all
access to her. When she became ill, and appeared likely to sink under
the treatment she received, he made her enter into written
engagements to pay to the troops, in liquidation of their arrears of
pay, all that he pretended that she owed to the State. He prevailed
upon Ghuffoor Beg, who commanded the artillery, to take these her
pledges, and give him, Wajid Allee, corresponding receipts for the
amount, for transmission to the Treasury; and then made her over a
prisoner to him. Ghuffoor Beg took possession of the lady and the
estate, kept her in close confinement, and employed his artillery-men
in making the collections in their own way, by appropriating all the
harvests to themselves.

Wajid Allee was superseded in October 1849, by Aga Allee, who, on
entering on his charge, directed that martial-law should cease in
Muneearpoor; but Ghuffoor Beg and his artillery-men were too strong
for the governor, and refused to give up the possession of so nice an
estate. When I approached the estate in my tour, Ghuffoor Beg took
the lady off to Chundoly, where she was treated with all manner of
indignity and cruelty by the artillery. The estate was going to utter
ruin under their ignorant and reckless management, and the Nazim, Aga
Allee, prayed me to interpose and save it, and protect the poor Lady
Sogura. I represented the hardship of the case to the Durbar, but
with little hope of any success, under the present government, who
say, that if the troops are not allowed to pay themselves in this
way, they shall have to pay them all the arrears for which the estate
is pledged, not one rupee of which is reduced by the collections they
make. If they were to hold the estate for twenty years, they would
not allow it to appear that any portion of the arrears had been paid
off. The estate is a noble one, and, in spite of all the usurpations
and disorders from which it has lately suffered, was capable last
year of yielding to Government a revenue of fifty thousand rupees a-
year, after providing liberally for all the requirements of the poor
Lady Sogura and her family, or a rent-roll of one hundred thousand
rupees a-year.

_December_ 19, 1849.--Shahgunge, distance twelve miles. This town is
surrounded by a mud wall, forty feet thick, and a ditch three miles
round, built thirty years ago, and now much out of repair. It belongs
to the family of Rajah Bukhtawar Sing. The wall, thirty feet high,
was built of the mud taken from the ditch, in which there is now some
six or seven feet of water. The wall has twenty-four bastions for
guns, but there is no platform, or road for guns, round it on the
inside. A number of respectable merchants and tradesmen reside in
this town, where they are better protected than in any other town in
Oude. It contains a population of between twenty and thirty thousand
persons. They put thatch over the mud walls during the rains to
preserve them. The fortifications and dwelling-houses together are
said to have cost the family above ten lacs of rupees. There are some
fourteen old guns in the fort. Though it would be difficult to shell
a garrison out of a fort of this extent, it would not be difficult to
take it. No garrison, sufficient to defend all parts of so extended a
wall, could be maintained by the holder; and it would be easy to fill
the ditch and scale the walls. Besides, the family is so very
unpopular among the military classes around, whose lands they have
seized upon, that thousands would come to the aid of any government
force brought to crush them, and overwhelm the garrison. They keep
their position only by the purchase of Court favour, and have the
respect and attachment of only the better sort of cultivators, who
are not of the military classes, and could be of little use to them
in a collision with their sovereign. The family by which it is held
has long been very influential at Court, where it has been
represented by Bukhtawar Sing, whose brother, Dursun Sing, was the
most powerful subject that Oude has had since the time of Almas Allee
Khan. They live, however, in the midst of hundreds of sturdy
Rajpoots, whom they have deprived of their lands, and who would, as I
have said, rise against them were they to be at any time opposed to
the Government The country over which we have passed this morning is
well studded with groves, and well cultivated; and the peasantry
seemed contented and prosperous. The greater part of the road lay
through the lands acquired, as already described, by this family.
Though they have acquired the property in the land by abuse of
authority, collusion and violence, from its rightful owners, they
keep their faith with the cultivators, effectually protect them from
thieves, robbers, the violence of their neighbours, and, above all,
from the ravages of the King's troops; and they encourage the
settlement of the better or more skilful and industrious classes of
cultivators in their villages, such as Kachies, Koormies, and
Lodhies. They came out from numerous villages, and in considerable
bodies, to salute me, and expressed themselves well satisfied with
their condition, and the security they enjoyed under their present
landholders. We came through the village of Puleea, and Rajah
Bukhtawar Sing seemed to have great pleasure in showing me the house
in which he was born, seventy-five years ago, under a fine tamarind-
tree that is still in vigour. The history of this family is that of
many others in the Oude territory.

The father of Bukhtawar Sing, Porunder, was the son of Mungul, a
Brahmin, who resided in Bhojpoor, on the right bank of the Ganges, a
little below Buxar. The son, Porunder, was united in marriage to the
daughter of Sudhae Misser, a respectable Brahmin, who resided in
Puleea, and held a share of the lands. He persuaded his son-in-law to
take up his residence in the same village. Prouder had five sons born
to him in this village:-- 1. Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, my Quartermaster-
General. 2. Pursun Sing, died without issue. 3. Rajah Dursun Sing,
died 1844, leaving three sons. 4. Incha Sing lives, and has two sons.
5. Davey Sing died, leaving two sons.

The eldest son was a trooper in the Honourable Company's 8th Regiment
of Light Cavalry; and while still a very young man, and home on
furlough, he attracted the attention of Saadnt Allee Khan, the
sovereign of Oude, whom he attended on a sporting excursion. He was
very tall, and exceedingly handsome; and, on one occasion, saved his
sovereign's life from the sword of an assassin. He became one of
Saadut Alee's favourite orderlies, and rose to the command of a
squadron. In a fine picture of Saadut Allee and his Court on the
occasion of a Durbar, at which the Resident, Colonel Scott, and his
suite were present, Bukhtawar Sing is represented in the dress he
wore as an orderly cavalry officer. This picture is still preserved
at Lucknow. His brothers, Dursun, Incha, and Davey Sing became, one
after the other, orderlies in the same manner, under the influence of
Bukhtawar Sing, during the reign of Saadnt Allee, and his son,
Ghazee-od Deen. Dursan Sing got the command of a regiment of Nujeebs
in 1814, and Incha Sing and Davey Sing rose in favour and rank, both
civil and military.

Bhudursa and five other villages were held in proprietary right by
the members of a family of Syuds. They enjoyed Bhudursa rent free,
and still hold it; but the other five villages (Kyl, Mahdono,
Tindooa, Teroo, and Pursun) were bestowed, in jagheer, upon another
Syud, a Court favourite, Khoda Buksh, in 1814. He fell into disfavour
in 1816, and all these and other villages were let, in 1817, to
Dursun Sing, in farm, at 60,000 rupees a-year. The bestowal of an
estate in jagheer, or farm, ought not to interfere with the rights of
the proprietors of the lands comprised in it, as the sovereign
transfers merely his own territorial rights, not theirs; but Dursun
Sing, before the year 1820, had, by rack-renting, lending on
mortgage, and other fraudulent or violent means, deprived all the
Syud proprietors of their lands in the other five villages. They
were, however, still left in possession of Bhudursa. He pursued the
same system, as far as possible, in the other districts, which were,
from time to time, placed under him, as contractor for the revenue.
He held the contract for Sultanpoor and other districts, altogether
yielding fifty-nine lacs of rupees a-year, in 1827; and it was then
that he first bethought himself of securing his family permanently in
the possession of the lands he had seized, or might seize upon, by
_bynamahs_, or deeds of sale, from the old proprietors.

He imposed upon the lands he coveted, rates which he knew they could
never pay; took all the property of the proprietors for rent, or for
the wages of the mounted and foot soldiers, whom he placed over them,
or quartered upon their villages, to enforce his demands; seized any
neighbouring banker or capitalist whom he could lay hold of, and by
confinement and harsh treatment, made him stand security for the
suffering proprietors, for sums they never owed; and when these
proprietors were made to appear to be irretrievably involved in debt
to the State and to individuals, and had no hope of release from
prison by any other means, they consented to sign the _bynamahs_, or
sale deeds for lands, which their families had possessed for
centuries. Those of the capitalists who had no friends at Court were
made to pay the money, for which they had been forced to pledge
themselves; and those who had such friends, got the sums which they
had engaged to pay, represented as irrecoverable balances due by
proprietors, and struck off. The proprietors themselves, plundered of
all they had in the world, and without any hope of redress, left the
country, or took service under our Government, or that of Oude, or
descended to the rank of day-labourers or cultivators in other

[* Estates held by the family under _bynamahs_ or sale deeds:

   1. Puchumrath .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1,13,000
   2. Howelee .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   45,000
   3. Mogulsee, including Hindoo Sing's
      estate of Shapoor, obtained by
      fraud and violence  .  .  .  .  .  .   28,000
   4. Bhurteepoor and Laltapoor .  .  .  .   30,000
   5. Rudowlee   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   12,000
      Turolee in Huldeemow.  .  .  .  .  .   17,000
   6. Bahraetch in Sagonputtee  .  .  .  .    4,000
   7. Gosaengunge   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    3,000

            Total Company's Rupees .  .  . 2,52,000

Dursun Sing's contracts, for the land revenue, of districts, amounted
from 1827 to 1830, to 59,00,000 rupees a year. From 1830 to 1836, to
58,00,000. In 1836 to 46,100,000. In 1837 to 47,00,000. He continued
to hold the whole or greater part of these districts up to September

There were four brothers, the sons of a Canoongo, of Fyzabad; first,
Birj Lal; second, Lala; third, Humeer Sing, a corporal in one of our
Regiments of Native Infantry; fourth, Hunooman Persaud; fifth, Gunga
Persaud. The family held-eight villages, in hereditary right, with a
rent-roll of 6,000, of which they paid 3,000 to Government, and took
3,000 for themselves. While Dursun Sing was dying, in 1844, his
eldest son, Ramadeen, tried to get possession of this estate. He
seized and confined, in the usual way, Gunga Persaud, the Canoongo,
and kept him with harsh treatment, for 1844; and when his brother the
corporal complained, in the usual way, through the Resident, Gunga
Persaud was released, and he attended the Residents Court, as his
brother's attorney, till 1847, when the family recovered possession
of the estate. But in 1846, when Dursun Sing's son saw that the case
was going against him, he made their local agent, Davey Persaud,
plunder all the eight villages of all the stock in cattle, grain,
&c., that they contained, and all the people, of whatever property
they possessed.

Dursun Sing's family now pay to the Oude Government, a revenue of
1,88,000 rupees a-year, for their _bynamah_ estates, which were
acquired by them in the manner described. The rent-roll, recognized
in the Exchequer, is 2,56,000; and the _nankar_ 68,000; but the real
rent-roll is much greater-perhaps double. The village of Tendooa, in
Mehdona, belonged, in hereditary right, to Soorujbulee Sing and
Rugonauth Sing, Rajpoots, whom the family of Dursun Sing wished to
coerce, in the usual mode, into signing a _bynamah_, or deed of sale.
They refused, and some of the family are said to have been in
confinement in consequence, since the year A.D. 1844. When Gunga
Persaud, the Canoongo, was confined by Dursun Sing's family, on
account of his own estate, they extorted from him, on the pretence of
his being security for the punctual payment of what might be demanded
from these two men, Soorujbulee' and Rugonauth, the sum of 4,000
rupees. One of the eight villages, held by the Canoongoes, named Aboo
Surae, Ghalib Jung, alias Dursun Sing, another Court favourite, is
now trying to take by violence, for himself, following the practice
of his namesake. He has possessed himself of many by the same means,
keeping the troops he commands upon them at exercise and target-
practice, till he drives both cultivators and proprietors out, or
shoots them.

This Rajah, Ghalib Jung, is now a great favourite with the minister,
and no man manifests a stronger disposition to make his influence
subservient to his own interest and that of his family. By fraud and
violence, and collusion with the officers who have charge of
districts and require his aid at Court, he seizes upon the best lands
of his weaker neighbours, in the same manner as his namesake, Rajah
Dursun Sing, used to do; and of the money which he receives for
contracts of various kinds, he appropriates by far the greater part
to himself. He is often sent out, with a considerable force, to
adjust disputes between landholders and local authorities, and he
decides in favour of the party most able and willing to pay, under
the assurance that, if called to account, he will be able to clear
himself, by giving a share of what he gets to those who send and
support him. He commands a large body of mounted and foot police, and
he is often ordered to go and send detachments in pursuit of daring
offenders, particularly those who have given offence to the British
authorities. In such cases he generally succeeds in arresting and
bringing in some of the offenders; but he as often seizes the
landholders and others who may have given them shelter, intentionally
or otherwise; and, after extorting from them as much as they can be
made to pay, lets them go. He is not, of course, very particular as
to the quantity or quality of the evidence forthcoming to prove that
a person able to pay has intentionally screened the offenders from

Rajah Ghalib Jung was the superintendent of the City Police, and
commandant of a Brigade of Infantry, and a prime favourite of the
King, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, for two years, up to November 1835. He
had many other employments, was always in attendance upon the King,
and was much liked by him, because he saw his orders carried into
immediate effect, without any regard to the rank or sufferings of the
persons whom they were to affect. For these two years he was one of
the most intimate companions of his sovereign, in his festivities and
most private debaucheries. He became cordially detested throughout
the city for his reckless severity, and still more throughout the
Court, for the fearless manner in which he spoke to the King of the
malversation and peculations of the minister and all the Court
favourites who were not in his interest. He thwarted the imbecile old
minister, Roshun-od Dowlah, in everything; and never lost an
opportunity of turning him into ridicule, and showing his contempt
for him.

The King had become very fond of a smart young lad, by name Duljeet,
who had been brought up from his infancy by the minister, but now
served the King as his most confidential personal attendant. He was
paid handsomely by the minister for all the services he rendered him,
and deeply interested in keeping him in power and unfettered, and he
watched eagerly for an opportunity to remove the man who thwarted
him. _Mucka_, the King's head tailor, was equally anxious, for his
own interests, to get rid of the favourite, and so was _Gunga
Khowas_, a boatman, another personal servant and favourite of the
King. These three men soon interested in their cause some of the most
influential ladies of the palace, and all sought with avidity the
opportunity to effect their object. Ghalib Jung was the person, or
one of the persons, through whom the King invited females, noted for
either their beauty or their accomplishments, and he was told to
bring a celebrated dancing-girl, named Mogaree. She did not appear,
and the King became impatient, and at last asked Dhuneea Mehree the
reason. She had often been employed in a similar office, and was
jealous of Ghalib Jung's rivalry. She told his Majesty, that he had
obstructed his pleasures on this as on many other occasions, and
taken the lady into his own keeping. All the other favourites told
him the same thing, and it is generally believed that the charge was
true; indeed the girl herself afterwards confessed it. The King,
however, "bided his time," in the hope of finding some other ground
of revenging himself upon the favourite, without the necessity of
making him appear in public as his rival.

On the 7th of October, 1835, the King was conversing with Ghalib
Jung, in one of his private apartments, on affairs of state. Several
crowns stood on the table for the King's inspection. They had been
prepared under Mucka, the tailor's, inspection, from materials
purchased by him. He always charged the King ten times the price of
the articles which he was ordered to provide, and Ghalib Jung thought
the occasion favourable to expose his misconduct to his master. He
took up one of the crowns, put his left hand into it, and, turning it
round on his finger, pointed out the flimsy nature of the materials
with which it had been made. His left finger slipped through the silk
on the crown, whether accidentally, or designedly, to prove the
flimsy nature of the silk and exasperate the King, is not known; but
on seeing the finger pass through the crown, his Majesty left the
room without saying a word. Soon after several attendants came in,
surrounded Ghalib Jung, and commanded him to remain till further
orders. In this state they remained for about two hours, when other
attendants came in, struck off his turban on the floor, and had it
kicked out of the room by sweepers.

They then dragged out Ghalib Jung, and thrust him into prison. The
next day heavy iron fetters were put upon his legs, and upon those of
three of his principal followers, who were imprisoned along with him;
and his mother, father, wife, and daughters were made prisoners in
their own houses; and all the property of the family that could be
found was confiscated. On the third day, while still in irons, Ghalib
Jung and his three followers were tied up and flogged severely, to
make them point out any hidden treasure that they might have. That
night the King got drunk, and, before many persons, ordered the
minister to have Ghalib Jung's right hand and nose cut off forthwith.
The minister, who prayed forgiveness and forbearance, was abused and
again commanded, but again entreated his Majesty to pause, and prayed
for a private audience. It was granted, and the minister told his
Majesty that the British Government would probably interpose if the
order were carried into effect.

The King then retired to rest, but the next morning had Ghalib Jung
and his three followers again tied up and flogged. Six or seven days
after, all Ghalib Jung's attendants were taken from him, and no
person was permitted to enter the room where he lay in irons, and he
could in consequence get neither food nor drink of any kind. On the
19th of October, the King ordered all the females of Ghalib Jung's
family to be brought on foot from their houses to the palace by
force, and publicly declared that they should all on the next day
have their hair shaved off, be stripped naked, and in that state
turned out into the street. After giving these orders, the King went
to bed, and the females were all brought, as ordered, to the palace;
but the sympathies of the King's own servants were excited by the
sufferings of these unoffending females, and they disobeyed the order
for their being made to walk on foot through the streets, and brought
them in covered litters.

The Resident, apprehending that these poor females might be further
disgraced, and Ghalib Jung starved to death, determined to interpose,
and demanded an interview, while the King was still in bed. The King
was sorely vexed, and sent the minister to the Resident to request
that he would not give himself the trouble to come, if his object was
to relieve Ghalib Jung's family, as he would forthwith order the
females to be taken to their homes. The minister had not been to the
Resident for ten or twelve days, or from the first or second day
after the fall of the favourite. He prayed that the Resident would
not speak harshly to the King on the subject of the treatment Ghalib
Jung and his family had received, lest he, the minister, should
himself suffer. The Resident insisted upon an audience. He found the
King sullen and doggedly silent. The minister was present, and spoke
for his master. He denied, what was known to be true, that the
prisoner had been kept for two days and two nights' without food or
drink; but admitted that he had been tied up and flogged severely,
and that the females of his family were still there, but he promised
to send them back. He said that it was necessary to confiscate the
property of the prisoner, since he owed large sums to the State. The
females were all sent back to their homes, and Ghalib Jung was
permitted, to have four of his own servants in attendance upon him.

The Resident reported all these things to Government, who entirely
approved of his proceedings; and desired that he would tell his
Majesty that such savage and atrocious proceedings would ruin his
reputation, and, if persisted in, bring on consequences most
injurious to himself. When the Resident, at the audience above
described, remonstrated with the King for not calling upon his
officers periodically to render their accounts, instead of letting
them run on for indefinite periods, and then confining them and
confiscating their property, he replied--"What you state is most
true, and you may be assured that I will in future make every one
account to me every three months for the money he has received, and
never again show favour to any one."

Rajah Dursun Sing, the great revenue contractor, and at that time the
most powerful of the King's subjects beyond the precincts of the
Court, had, like the minister himself, been often thwarted by Ghalib
Jung when in power; and, after the interposition of the Resident, he
applied to have him put into his power. The King and minister were
pleased at the thought of making their victim suffer beyond the
immediate supervision of a vigilant Resident, and the minister made
him over to the Rajah for a _consideration_, it is said, of three
lacs of rupees; and at the same time assured the Resident that this
was the only safe way to rescue him from the further vengeance of an
exasperated King; that Rajah Dursun Sing was a friend of his, and
would provide him and his family and attendants with ample
accommodation and comfort. The Rajah had him put into an iron cage,
and sent to his fort at Shahgunge, where, report says, he had snakes
and scorpions put into the cage to torment and destroy him, but that
Ghalib Jung had "a charmed life," and escaped their poison. The
object is said to have been to torment and destroy him without
leaving upon his body any marks of violence.

On the death of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, Ghalib Jung was released from
confinement, on the payment, it is said, of four lacs of rupees, in
Government securities, and a promise of three lacs more if restored
to office. He went to reside at Cawnpore, in British territory; but,
on the dismissal of the minister, Roshun-od Dowlah, three months
after, and the appointment of Hakeem Mehndee to his place, Ghalib
Jung was restored to his place. The promise of the three lacs was
communicated to the new King, Mahommed Allee Shah, by Roshun-od
Dowlah himself, while in confinement; and it is said that Ghalib Jung
paid one-half, or one hundred and fifty thousand.

Ghalib Jung had, in many other ways, abused the privileges of
intimate companionship which he enjoyed with his master, as better
servants under better and more guarded masters will do; and the King,
having discovered this, had for some time resolved to take advantage
of the first fair occasion to discharge him. The people of Lucknow
liked their King, with all his faults--and they were many--and hated
the favourite as much for the injury which he did to his master's
reputation, as for the insults and injuries inflicted by him on
themselves. But when the unoffending females of the favourite were
dragged from their privacy to the palace, to be disgraced, the
feelings of the whole city were shocked, and expressed in tones which
alarmed the minister as much as the Resident's interposition alarmed
the King. They had no sympathy for the fallen favourite, but a very
deep one for the ladies and children of his family, who could have no
share in his guilt, whatever it might be.

Ghalib Jung was raised, from a very humble grade, by Ghazee-od Deen
Hyder, and about the year 1825 he had become as great a favourite
with him as he afterwards became with his son, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder,
and he abused his master's favour in the same manner. The minister,
Aga Meer, finding his interference and vulgar insolence intolerable,
took advantage one day of the King's anger against him, had him
degraded, seized, and sent off forthwith to one of his creatures,
Taj-od Deen Hoseyn, then in charge of the Sultanpoor district, where
he was soon reduced almost to death's door by harsh treatment and
want of food, and made to disgorge all the wealth he had accumulated.
Four years after the death of Ghazee-od Deen and the accession of his
son, Nuseer-od Deen, Ghalib Jung was, in the year 1831, again
appointed to a place of trust at Court by the minister, Hakeem
Mehndee, who managed to keep him in order during the two years that
he held the reins of government.*

[* Ghalib Jung died on the 1st of May 1851, at Lucknow, aged about 80

_December_ 20, 1849.--Saleepoor, ten miles. The country, on both
sides of the road, well studded with trees, hamlets, and villages,
and well cultivated and peopled. The landholders and peasantry seem
all happy and secure under their present masters, the brother and son
of the late Dursun Sing. They are protected by them from thieves and
robbers, the attacks of refractory barons, and, above all, from the
ravages of the King's troops; and the whole face of the country, at
this season, is like that of a rich garden. The whole is under
cultivation, and covered with the greatest possible variety of crops.
The people showed us, as we passed, six kinds of sugar-cane, and told
us that they had many more, one soil agreeing best with one kind,
another with another. The main fault in the cultivation of sugar-cane
is here, as in every other part of India that I have seen, the want
of room and the disregard of cleanliness. They crowd the cane too
much, and never remove the decayed leaves, and sufficient air is
never admitted.

Bukhtawar Sing has always been considered as the head of the family
to whom Shahgunge belongs, but he has always remained at Court, and
left the local management of the estate and the government of the
districts, placed under their charge in contract or in trust, to his
brothers and nephews. Bukhtawar Sing has no child of his own, but he
has adopted Maun Sing, the youngest son of his brother, Dursun Sing,
and he leaves all local duties and responsibilities to him. He is a
small, slight man, but shrewd, active, and energetic, and as
unscrupulous as a man can be. Indeed old Bukhtawar Sing himself is
the only member of the family that was ever troubled with scruples of
any kind whatever; for he is the only one whose boyhood was not
passed in the society of men in the every-day habit of committing
with impunity all kinds of cruelties, atrocities, and outrages. There
is, perhaps, no school in the world better adapted for training
thoroughbred ruffians (men without any scruple of conscience, sense
of honour, or feeling of humanity) than the camp of a revenue-
contractor in Oude. It has been the same for the last thirty years
that I have known it, and must continue to be the same as long as _we
maintain, in absolute sway over the people, a sovereign who never
bestows a thought upon them, has no feeling in common with them, and
can never be persuaded that his high office imposes upon him the
obligation to labour to promote their good, or even to protect them
against the outrage and oppression of his own soldiers and civil
officers_. All Rajah Bukhtawar Sing's brothers and nephews were bred
up in such camps, and are thorough-bred ruffians.

They have got the lands which they hold by much fraud and violence no
doubt, but they have done much good to them. They have invited and
established in comfort great numbers of the best classes of
cultivators from other districts, in which they had ceased to feel
secure, and they have protected and encouraged those whom they found
on the land. To establish a new cultivator of the better class, they
require to give him about twenty-five rupees for a pair of bullocks;
for subsistence for himself and family till his crops ripen, thirty-
six more, for a house, wells, &c., thirty more, or about ninety
rupees, which he pays back with or without interest by degrees. Every
village and hamlet is now surrounded by fine garden cultivation,
conducted by the cultivators of the gardener caste, whom the family
has thus established.

The greatest benefit conferred upon the lands which they hold has
been in the suppression of the fearful contests which used to be
perpetual between the small proprietors of the military classes,
among whom the lands had become minutely subdivided by the law of
inheritance, about boundaries and rights to water for irrigation.
Many persons used to be killed every year in these contests, and
their widows and orphans had to be maintained by the survivors. Now
no such dispute leads to any serious conflict. They are all settled
at once by arbitrators, who are guided in their decisions by the
accounts of the Putwaries of villages and Canoongoes of districts.
These men have the detailed accounts of every tenement for the last
hundred years; and, with their assistance, village traditions, and
the advice of their elders, all such boundary disputes and
misunderstandings about rights to water are quickly and amicably
adjusted; and the landlords are strong, and able to enforce whatever
decision is pronounced. They are wealthy, and pay the Government
demand punctually, and have influence at Court to prevent any attempt
at oppression on the part of Government officers on themselves or
their tenants. Not a thief or a robber can live or depredate among
their tenants. The hamlets are, in consequence, numerous and peopled
by peasantry, who seem to live without fear. They adhere strictly to
the terms of their engagements with their tenants of all grades; and
their tenants all pay their rents punctually, unless calamities of
season deprive them of the means, when due consideration is made by
landlords, who live among them, and know what they suffer and

The climate must be good, for the people are strong and well-made,
and without any appearance of disease. Hardly a beggar of any kind is
to be seen along the road. The residence of religious mendicants
seems to be especially discouraged, and we see no others. It is very
pleasing to pass over such lands after going through such districts
as Bahraetch and Gonda, where the signs of the effects of bad air and
water upon men, women, and children are so sad and numerous; and
those of the abuse of power and the neglect of duty on the part of
the Government and its officers are still more so.

Last evening I sent for the two men above named, who had been
confined for six or seven years, and were said to have been so
because they would not sign the _bynamahs_ required from them by Mann
Sing: their names are Soorujbulee Sing and Rugonath Sing. They came
with the King's wakeel, accompanied by their cousin, Hunooman Sing,
on whose charge they were declared to have been confined. I found
that the village of Tendooa had been held by their family, in
proprietary right, for many generations, and that they were Chouhan
Rajpoots by caste. When Dursun Sing was securing to himself the lands
of the district, those of Tendooa were held in three equal shares by
Soorujbulee and his brothers, Narind and Rugonath; Hunooman Sing,
their cousin; and Seoruttun, their cousin.

Maun Sing took advantage of a desperate quarrel between them, and
secured Soorujbulee and Rugonath. Narind escaped and joined a
refractory tallookdar, and Seoruttun and Hunooman did the same.
Hunooman Sing was, however, invited back, and intrusted, by Maun
Sing, with the management of the whole estate, on favourable terms.
In revenge for his giving in to the terms of Maun Sing, and serving
him, the absconded co-sharers attacked his house several times,
killed three of his brothers, and many other persons of his family,
and robbed him of almost all he had. This was four years ago. He
complained, and the two brothers were kept more strictly confined
than ever, to save him and the village. Hunooman Sing looked upon the
two prisoners as the murderers of his brothers, though they were in
confinement when they were killed, and had been so for more than two
years, and was very violent against them in my presence. They were no
less violent against him, as the cause of their continued confinement
They protested to me, that they had no communication whatever with
Seoruttun or Narind Sing, but thought it very likely, that they
really did lead the gangs in the attacks upon the village, to recover
their rights. They offered to give security for their future good
behaviour if released; but declared, that they would rather die than
consent to sign a _bynamah_, or deed of sale, or any relinquishment
whatever of their hereditary rights as landholders.

Bukhtawar and Maun Sing said,--"That the people of the village would
not be safe, for a moment, if these two brothers were released, which
they would be, on the first occasion of thanksgiving, if sent to
Lucknow; that people who ventured to seize a thief or robber in Oude
must keep him, if they wished to save themselves from his future
depredations, as the Government authorities would have nothing to do
with them."

I ordered the King's wakeel to take these two brothers to the
Chuckladar, and request him to see them released on their furnishing
sufficient security for their future good behaviour, which they
promised to produce.* They were all fine-looking men, with limbs that
would do honour to any climate in the world. These are the families
from which our native regiments are recruited; and hardly a young
recruit offers himself for enlistment, on whose body marks will not
be found of wounds received in these contests, between landlords
themselves, and between them and the officers and troops of the
sovereign. I have never seen enmity more strong and deadly than that
exhibited by contending co-sharers and landholders of all kinds in
Oude. The Rajah of Bulrampoor mentioned a curious instance of this
spirit in a village, now called the _Kolowar_ village, in the Gonda
district, held in copartnership by a family of the Buchulgotee tribe
of Rajpoots. One of them said he should plant sugar-cane in one of
his fields. All consented to this. But when he pointed out the place
where he should have his mill, the community became divided. A
contest ensued, in which all the able-bodied men were killed, though
not single cane had been planted. The widows and children survived,
and still hold the village, but have been so subdued by poverty that
they are the quietest village community in the district. The village
from that time has gone by the name of _Kolowar_ village, from Koloo,
the sugar-mill, though no sugar-mill was ever worked in the village,
he believed. He says, the villagers cherish the recollection of this
_fight_; and get very angry when their neighbours _twit_ them with
the folly of it.

[* They were released, and have been ever since at large on security.
One of them visited me in April 1851, and said, that as a point of
honour, they should abstain from joining in the fight for their
rights, but felt it very hard to be bound to do so.]

In our own districts in Upper India, they often kill each other in
such contests; but more frequently ruin each other in litigation in
our Civil Courts, to the benefit of the native attorneys and law-
officers, who fatten on the misery they create or produce. In Oude
they always decide such questions by recourse to arms, and the loss
of life is no doubt fearful. Still the people generally, or a great
part of them, would prefer to reside in Oude, under all the risks to
which these contests expose them, than in our own districts, under
the evils the people are exposed to from the uncertainties of our
law, the multiplicity and formality of our Courts, the pride and
negligence of those who preside over them, and the corruption and
insolence of those who must be employed to prosecute or defend a
cause in them, and enforce the fulfilment of a decree when passed.

The members of the landed aristocracy of Oude always speak with
respect of the administration in our territories, but generally end
with remarking on the cost and uncertainty of the law in civil cases,
and the gradual decay, under its operation, of all the ancient
families. A less and less proportion of the annual produce of their
lands is left to them in our periodical settlements of the land
revenue, while family pride makes them expend the same sums in the
marriage of their children, in religious and other festivals,
personal servants, and hereditary retainers. They fall into balance,
incur heavy debts, and estate after estate is put up to auction, and
the proprietors are reduced to poverty. They say, that four times
more of these families have gone to decay in the half of the
territory made over to us in 1801, than in the half reserved by the
Oude sovereign; and this is, I fear, true. They named the families--I
cannot remember them.

In Oude, the law of primogeniture prevails among all the tallookdars,
or principal landholders; and, to a certain extent, among the middle
class of landholders, of the Rajpoot or any other military class. If
one co-sharer of this class has several sons, his eldest often
inherits all the share he leaves, with all the obligations incident
upon it, of maintaining the rest of the family.

The brothers of Soorujbulee, above named, do not pretend to have any
right of inheritance in the share of the lands he holds; but they
have a prescriptive right to support from him, for themselves and
families, when they require it. This rule of primogeniture is,
however, often broken through during the lifetime of the father, who,
having more of natural affection than family pride, divides the lands
between his sons. After his death they submit to this division, and
take their respective shares, to descend to their children, by the
law of primogeniture, or be again subdivided as may seem to them
best; or they fight it out among themselves, till the strongest gets
all. Among landholders of the smallest class, whether Hindoos or
Mahommedans, the lands are subdivided according to the ordinary law
of inheritance.

Our army and other public establishments form a great "safety-valve"
for Oude, and save it from a vast deal of fighting for shares in
land, and the disorders that always attend it. Younger brothers
enlist in our regiments, or find employment in our civil
establishments, and leave their wives and children under the
protection of the elder brother, who manages the family estate for
the common good. They send the greater part of their pay to him for
their subsistence, and feel assured that he will see that they are
provided for, should they lose their lives in our service. From the
single district of Byswara in Oude, sixteen thousand men were, it is
said, found to be so serving in our army and other establishments;
and from Bunoda, which adjoins it to the east, fifteen thousand, on
an inquiry ordered to be made by Ghazee-od Deen Hyder some twenty-
five years ago.

The family of Dursun Sing, like good landholders in all parts of
Oude, assigned small patches of land to substantial cultivators,
merchants, shopkeepers, and others, whom it is useful to retain in
their estates, for the purpose of planting small groves of mango and
other trees, as local ties. They prepare the well and plant the
trees, and then make over the land to a gardener or other good
cultivator, to be tilled for his own profit, on condition that he
water the trees, and take care to preserve them from frost during the
cold season, and from rats, white ants, and other enemies; and form
terraces round them, where the water lies much on the surface during
the rains, so that it may not reach and injure the bark. The land
yields crops till the trees grow large and cover it with their shade,
by which time they are independent of irrigation, and begin to bear
fruit. The crops do not thrive under the shade of the trees, and the
lands they cover cease to be of any value for tillage. The stems and
foliage of the trees, no doubt, deprive the crops of the moisture,
carbonic gas and ammonia, they require from the atmosphere. They are,
generally, watered from six to ten years. These groves form a
valuable local tie for the cultivators and other useful tenants. No
man dare to molest them or their descendants, in the possession of
their well and grove, without incurring, at least, the odium of
society; and, according to their notion, the anger of their gods.

The cultivators always point out to them, in asserting their rights
to the lands they hold; and reside and cultivate in the village,
under circumstances that would drive them away, had they no such ties
to retain them. They feel a-great pride in them; and all good
landlords feel the same in having their villages filled with tenants
who have such ties.

_December_ 21, 1849.--Bhurteepoor, ten miles, almost all the way
through the estate of Maun Sing. No lands could be better cultivated
than they are all the way, or better studded with groves and
beautiful single trees. The villages and hamlets along the road are
numerous, and filled with cultivators of the gardener and other good
classes, who seem happy and contented. The season has been
favourable, and the crops are all fine, and of great variety. Sugar-
cane abounds, but no mills are, as yet, at work. We passed through,
and by three or four villages, that have been lately taken from Maun
Sing, and made over to farmers by the local authorities, under
instructions from Court; but they are not so well cultivated, as
those which he retains. The cultivators and inhabitants generally do
not appear to enjoy the same protection or security in the
engagements they make. The soil is everywhere good, the water near
the surface, and the climate excellent. The soil is here called
doomuteea, and adapted to all kinds of tillage.

I should mention, with regard to the subdivision of landed property,
that the Rajahs and tallookdars, among whom the law of primogeniture
prevails, consider their estates as principalities, or _reeasuts_.
When any Rajah, or tallookdar, during his lifetime, assigns portions
of the land to his sons, brothers, or other members of the family,
they are separated from the _reeasut_, or principality, and are
subdivided as they descend from generation to generation, by the
ordinary Hindoo or Mahommedan law of inheritance. This is the case
with portions of the estate of the Rajah of Korwar, in the Sultanpoor
district, one of the oldest Hindoo principalities in Oude, which are
now held by his cousins, nephews, &c., near this place, Bhurteepoor.*

[* Sunkur Sing, of Korwar, had four sons: first, Dooneeaput died
without issue; second, Sookraj Sing, whose grandson, Madhoo Persaud,
is now the Rajah; third, Bureear Sing, who got from his brother lands
yielding forty thousand rupees a-year out of the principality. They
are now held by his son, Jydut; fourth, Znbar Sing, who got from his
brother lands yielding nineteen thousand rupees a-year, which are now
held by his son, Moheser Persaud. Sunkir Sing was the second brother,
but his elder brother died without issue.]

Dooneeaput succeeded to the _reeasut_ on the death of his uncle, the
Rajah, who died without issue; and he bestowed portions of the estate
on his brothers, Burear and Zubur Sing, which their descendants
enjoy, but which do not go to the eldest son, by the law of
primogeniture. He was succeeded by his brother, Sookraj, whose
grandson, Madhoo Persaud, now reigns as Rajah, and has the undivided
possession of the lands belonging to this branch. All the descendants
of his grandfather, Sookraj, and their widows and orphans, have a
right to protection and support from him, and to nothing more. Jydut,
who now holds the lands, yielding forty thousand rupees a-year,
called upon me, this morning, and gave me this history of his family.
The Rajah himself is in camp, and came to visit me this afternoon.

It is interesting and pleasing to see a large, well-controlled camp,
moving in a long line through a narrow road or pathway, over plains,
covered with so rich a variety of crops, and studded with such
magnificent evergreen trees. The solitary mango-tree, in a field of
corn, seems to exult in its position-to grow taller and spread wider
its branches and rich foliage, in situations where they can be seen
to so much advantage. The peepul and bargut trees, which, when
entire, are still more ornamental, are everywhere torn to pieces and
disfigured by the camels and elephants, buffaloes and bullocks, that
feed upon their foliage and tender branches. There are a great many
mhowa, tamarind, and other fine trees, upon which they do not feed,
to assist the mango in giving beauty to the landscape.

The Korwar Rajah, Madhoo Persaud, a young man of about twenty-two
years of age, came in the evening, and confirmed what his relative,
Jydut, had told me of the rule which required that his lands should
remain undivided with his eldest son, while those which are held by
Jydut, and his other relatives, should be subdivided among all the
sons of the holder. This rule is more necessary in Oude than
elsewhere, to preserve a family and its estate from the grasp of its
neighbours and Government officers. When there happens to be no heir
left to the portion of the estate which has been cut off, it is re-
annexed to the estate; and the head of the family frequently
anticipates the event, by murdering or imprisoning the heir or
incumbent, and seizing upon the lands. Another Rajah, of the same
name, Mahdoo Persaud, of Amethee, in Salone, has lately seized upon
the estate of Shahgur, worth twenty thousand rupees a-year, which had
been cut off from the Amethee estate, and enjoyed by a collateral
branch of the family for several generations. He holds the
proprietor, Bulwunt Sing, in prison, in irons, and would soon make
away with him were the Oude Government to think it worth while to
inquire after him. He has seized upon another portion, Ramgur, held
by another branch of the family, worth six thousand rupees a-year,
and crushed all the proprietors. This is the way in which estates,
once broken up, are reconsolidated in Oude, under energetic and
unscrupulous men. Of course when they think it worth while to do so,
they purchase the collusion of the local authorities of the day, by
promising to pay the revenues, which the old proprietors paid during
their tenure of office. The other barons do not interfere, unless
they happen to be connected by marriage with the ousted proprietors,
or otherwise specially bound, by interest and honour, to defend them
against the grasp of the head of their family. Many struggles of this
kind are taking place every season in Oude.



Recross the Goomtee river--Sultanpoor Cantonments--Number of persons
begging redress of wrongs, and difficulty of obtaining it in Oude--
Apathy of the Sovereign--Incompetence and unfitness of his Officers--
Sultanpoor, healthy and well suited for Troops--Chandour, twelve
miles distant, no less so--lands of their weaker neighbours absorbed
by the family of Rajah Dursun Sing, by fraud, violence, and
collusion; but greatly improved--Difficulty attending attempt to
restore old Proprietors--Same absorptions have been going on in all
parts of Oude--and the same difficulty to be everywhere encountered--
Soils in the district, _mutteear_, _doomutteea_, _bhoor_, _oosur--
Risk at which lands are tilled under Landlords opposed to their
Government--Climate of Oude more invigorating than that of Malwa--
Captain Magness's Regiment--Repair of artillery guns--Supply of grain
to its bullocks--Civil establishment of the Nazim--Wolves--Dread of
killing them among Hindoos--Children preserved by them in their dens,
and nurtured.

_December_ 22, 1849.--Sultanpoor, eight miles. Recrossed the Goomtee
river, close under the Cantonments, over a bridge of boats prepared
for the purpose, and encamped on the parade-ground. The country over
which we came was fertile and well cultivated. For some days we have
seen and heard a good many religions mendicants, both Mahommedans and
Hindoos, but still very few lame, blind, and otherwise helpless
persons, asking charity. The most numerous and distressing class of
beggars that importune me, are those who beg redress for their
wrongs, and a remedy for their grievances,--"their name, indeed, is
_Legion_," and their wrongs and grievances are altogether without
remedy, under the present government and inveterately vicious system
of administration. It is painful to listen to all these complaints,
and to have to refer the sufferers for redress to authorities who
want both the power and the will to afford it; especially when one
knows that a remedy for almost every evil is hoped for from a visit
such as the poor people are now receiving from the Resident. He is
expected "to wipe the tears from off all faces;" and feels that he
can wipe them from hardly any. The reckless disregard shown by the
depredators of all classes and degrees to the sufferings of their
victims, whatever be the cause of discontent or object of pursuit, is
lamentable. I have every day scores of petitions delivered to me
"with quivering lip and tearful eye," by persons who have been
plundered of all they possessed, had their dearest relatives murdered
or tortured to death, and their habitations burnt to the ground, by
gangs of ruffians, under landlords of high birth and pretensions,
whom they had never wronged or offended; some, merely because they
happened to have property, which the ruffians wished to take--others,
because they presumed to live and labour upon lands which they
coveted, or deserted, and wished to have left waste. In these
attacks, neither age, nor sex, nor condition are spared. The greater
part of the leaders of these gangs of ruffians are Rajpoot
landholders, boasting descent from the sun and moon, or from the
demigods, who figure in the Hindoo religious fictions of the Poorans.
There are, however, a great many Mahommedans at the head of similar
gangs. A landholder of whatever degree, who is opposed to his
government from whatever cause, considers himself in a state of
_war_', and he considers a state of war to authorize his doing all
those things which he is forbidden to do in a state of peace.

Unless the sufferer happens to be a native officer or sipahee of our
army, who enjoys the privilege of urging his claims through the
Resident, it is a cruel mockery to refer him for redress to any
existing local authority. One not only feels that it is so, but sees,
that the sufferer thinks that he must know it to be so. No such
authority considers it to be any part of his duty to arrest evil-
doers, and inquire into and redress wrongs suffered by individuals,
or families, or village communities. Should he arrest such people, he
would have to subsist and accommodate them at his own cost, or to
send them to Lucknow, with the assurance that they would in a few
days or a few weeks purchase their way out again, in spite of the
clearest proofs of the murders, robberies, torturings, dishonourings,
house-burning, &c., which they have committed. No sentence, which any
one local authority could pass on such offenders, would be recognised
by any other authority in the State, as valid or sufficient to
justify him in receiving and holding them in confinement for a single
day. The local authorities, therefore, either leave the wrong-doers
unmolested, with the understanding that they are to abstain from
doing any such wrong within their jurisdictions as may endanger or
impede the _collection of revenues_ during their period of office, or
release them with that understanding after they have squeezed all
they can out of them. The wrong-doers can so abstain, and still be
able to _murder, rob, torture, dishonour, and burn_, upon a pretty
large scale; and where they are so numerous, and so ready to unite
for purposes "offensive and defensive," and the local authorities so
generally connive at or quietly acquiesce all their misdeeds, any
attempt on the part of an honest or overzealous individual to put
them down would be sure to result in his speedy and utter ruin!

To refer such sufferers to the authorities at Lucknow would be a
still more cruel mockery. The present sovereign never hears a
complaint or reads a petition or report of any kind. He is entirely
taken up in the pursuit of his personal gratifications. He has no
desire to be thought to take any interest whatever in public affairs;
and is altogether regardless of the duties and responsibilities of
his high office. He lives, exclusively, in the society of fiddlers,
eunuchs, and women: he has done so since his childhood, and is likely
to do so to the last. His disrelish for any other society has become
inveterate: he cannot keep awake in any other. In spite of average
natural capacity, and more than average facility in the cultivation
of light literature, or at least "_de faire des petits vers de sa
focon_," his understanding has become so emasculated, that he is
altogether unfit for the conduct of his domestic, much less his
public, affairs. He sees occasionally his prime minister, who takes
care to persuade him that he does all that a King ought to do; and
nothing whatever of any other minister. He holds no communication
whatever with brothers, uncles, cousins, or any of the native
gentlemen at Lucknow, or the landed or official aristocracy of the
country. He sometimes admits a few poets or poetasters to hear and
praise his verses, and commands the unwilling attendance of some of
his relations, to witness and applaud the acting of some of his own
silly comedies, on the penalty of forfeiting their stipends; but any
one who presumes to approach him, even in his rides or drives, with a
petition for justice, is instantly clapped into prison, or otherwise
severely punished.

His father and grandfather, while on the throne, used to see the
members of the royal family and aristocracy of the city in Durbar
once a-day, or three or four times a-week, and have all petitions and
reports read over in their own presence. They dictated the orders,
and their seal was affixed to them in their own presence, bearing the
inscription _molahiza shud_, "it has been seen." The seal was then
replaced in the casket, which was kept by one confidential servant,
Muzd-od Dowlah, while the key was confided to another. Documents were
thus read and orders passed upon them twice a-day-once in the
morning, and once again in the evening; and, on such occasions, all
heads of departments were present. The present King continued this
system for a short time, but he soon got tired of it, and made over
seal and all to the minister, to do what he liked with them; and
discontinued altogether the short Durbar, or levees, which his
father, grandfather, and all former sovereigns had held--before they
entered on the business of the day--with the heads of departments and
secretaries, and at which all the members of the royal family and
aristocracy of the city attended, to pay their respects to their
sovereign; and soon ceased altogether to see the heads of departments
and secretaries, to hear orders read, and to ask questions about
state affairs.

The minister has become by degrees almost as inaccessible as his
sovereign, to all but his deputies, heads of departments,
secretaries, and Court favourites, whom it is his interest to
conciliate. Though the minister has his own confidential deputies and
secretaries, the same heads of departments are in office as under the
present King's father and grandfather; and, though no longer
permitted to attend upon or see the King, they are still supposed to
submit to the minister, for orders, all reports from local
authorities, intelligence-writers, &c., and all petitions from
sufferers; but, in reality, he sees and hears read very few, and
passes orders upon still less. Any head of a department, deputy,
secretary, or favourite, may receive petitions, to be submitted to
the minister for orders; but it is the special duty of no one to
receive them, nor is any one held responsible for submitting them for
orders. Those only who are in the special confidence of the minister,
or of those about Court, from whom he has something to hope or
something to fear, venture to receive and submit petitions; and they
drive a profitable trade in doing so. A large portion of those
submitted are thrown aside, without any orders at all; a portion have
orders so written as to show that they are never intended to be
carried into effect; a third portion receive orders that are really
intended to be acted upon. But they are taken to one of the
minister's deputies, with whose views or interests some of them may
not square well; and he may detain them for weeks, months, or years,
till the petitioners are worn out with "hope deferred," or utterly
ruined, in vain efforts to purchase the attention they require.
Nothing is more common than for a peremptory order to be passed for
the immediate payment of the arrears of pension due to a stipendiary
member of the royal family, and for the payment to be deferred for
eight, ten, and twelve months, till he or she consents to give from
ten to twenty per cent., according to his or her necessities, to the
deputy, who has to see the order carried out. A sufferer often,
instead of getting his petition smuggled on to the minister in the
mode above described, bribes a news-writer to insert his case in his
report, to be submitted through the head of the department.

At present the head of the intelligence department assumes the same
latitude, in submitting reports for orders to the minister, that his
subordinates in distant districts assume in framing and sending them
to him; that is, he submits only such as may suit his views and
interests to submit! Where grave charges are sent to him against
substantial men, or men high in office, he comes to an understanding
with their representatives in Lucknow, and submits the report to the
minister only as a _dernière resort_, when such representatives
cannot be brought to submit to his terms. If found out, at any time,
and threatened, he has his feed _patrons_ or _patronesses_ "behind
the throne, and greater than the throne itself," to protect him.

The unmeaning orders passed by the minister on reports and petitions
are commonly that _so and so_ is to inquire into the matter
complained of; to see that the offenders are seized and punished;
that the stolen property and usurped lands be restored; that
_razeenamas_, or acquittances, be sent in by the friends of persons
who have been murdered by the King's officers; that the men, women,
and children, confined and tortured by King's officers, or by robbers
and ruffians, be set at liberty and satisfied; the said _so and so_
being the infant commander-in-chief, the King's chamberlain, footman,
coachman, chief fiddler, eunuch, barber, or person uppermost in his
thoughts at the time. Similar orders are passed in his name by his
deputies, secretaries, and favourites upon all the other numerous
petitions and reports, which he sends to them unperused. Not,
perhaps, upon one in five does the minister himself pass any order;
and of the orders passed by him, not one in five, perhaps, is
intended to be taken notice of. His deputies and favourites carry on
a profitable trade in all such reports and petitions: they extort
money alike from the wrong-doer and the wrong-sufferer; and from all
local authorities, or their representatives, for all neglect of duty
or abuses, of authority charged against them.

As to any investigation into the real merits of any case described in
these reports from the news-writers and local authorities, no such
thing has been heard of for several reigns. The real merits of all
such cases are, however, well and generally known to the people of
the districts in which they occur, and freely discussed by them with
suitable remarks on the "darkness which prevails under the lamp of
royalty;" and no less suitable execrations against the intolerable
system which deprives the King of all feeling of interest in the
well-being of his subjects, all sense of duty towards them, all
feeling of responsibility to any higher power for the manner in which
he discharges his high trust over the millions committed to his

As I have said, the King never sees any petition or report: he hardly
ever sees even official notes addressed to him by the British
Resident, and the replies to almost all are written without his
knowledge.* The minister never puts either his seal or signature to
any order that passes, or any document whatsoever, with his own hand:
he merely puts in the date, as the 1st, 5th, or 10th; the month,
year, and the order itself are inserted by the deputies, secretaries,
or favourites, to whom the duty is confided. The reports and
petitions submitted for orders often accumulate so fast in times of
great festivity or ceremony, that the minister has them tied up in
bundles, without any orders whatever having been passed on them, and
sent to his deputies for such as they may think proper to pass,
merely inserting his figure 1, 5, or 10, to indicate the date, on the
outermost document of each bundle. If any orders are inserted by his
deputies on the rest, they have only to insert the same date. There
is nothing but the _figure_ to attest the authenticity of the order;
and it would be often impossible for the minister himself to say
whether the figure was inserted by himself or by any other person.
These deputies are the men who adjust all the nuzuranas, or
unauthorized gratuities, to be paid to the minister.

[* On the 17th of October, 1850, Hassan Khan, one of the _khowas_, or
pages, whose special duty it is to deliver all papers to the King,
fell under his Majesty's displeasure, and his house was seized and
searched. Several of the Resident's official notes were found
unopened among his papers. They had been sent to the palace as
emergent many months before, but never shown to the King. Such
official notes from the Resident are hardly every shown to the King,
nor is he consulted about the orders to be passed upon them.]

They share largely in all that he gets; and take a great deal, for
which they render him no account. Knowing all that he takes, and
_ought not to take_, he dares not punish them for their
transgressions; and knowing this, sufferers are afraid to complain
against them. In ordinary times, or under ordinary sovereigns, the
sums paid by revenue authorities in _nazuranas_, or gratuities,
before they were permitted to enter on their charges, amounted to,
perhaps, ten or fifteen per cent.: under the present sovereign they
amount, I believe, to more than twenty-five per cent. upon the
revenue they are to collect. Of these the minister and his deputies
take the largest part. A portion is paid in advance, and good bonds
are taken for the rest, to be paid within the year. Of the money
collected, more than twenty-five per cent., on an average, is
appropriated by those intrusted with the disbursements, and by their
patrons and patronesses. The sovereign gets, perhaps, three-fourths
of what is collected; and of what is collected, perhaps two-thirds,
on an average, reaches its legitimate destination; so that one-half
of the revenues of Oude may be considered as taken by officers and
Court favourites in unauthorized gratuities and perquisites. The pay
of the troops and establishments, on duty with the revenue
collectors, is deducted by them, and the surplus only is sent to the
Treasury at Lucknow. In his accounts he receives credit for all sums
paid to the troops and establishments on duty under him. Though the
artillery-bullocks get none of the grain, for which he pays and
charges Government, a greater portion of the whole of what he pays
and charges in his accounts reaches its legitimate destination,
perhaps, than of the whole of what is paid from the Treasury at the
capital. On an average, however, I do not think that more than two-
thirds of what is paid and charged to Government reaches that

I may instance the two regiments, under Thakur Sing, Tirbaydee; which
are always on duty at the palace. It is known that the officers and
sipahees of those regiments do not get more than one-half of the pay
which is issued for them every month from the Treasury; the other
half is absorbed by the commandant and his patrons at Court. On
everything sold in the palace, the vender is obliged to add one-third
to the price, to be paid to the person through whom it is passed in.
Without this, nothing can be sold in the palace by European or
native. Not a single animal in the King's establishments gets one-
third of the food allowed for it, and charged for; not a building is
erected or repaired at less than three times the actual outlay, two-
thirds at least of the money charged going to the superintendent and
his patrons.

_December_ 23, 1849.--Halted at Sultanpoor, which is one of the
healthiest stations in India, on the right bank of the Goomtee river,
upon a dry soil, among deep ravines, which drain off the water
rapidly. The bungalows are on the verge, looking down into the river,
upon the level patches of land, dividing the ravines. The water in
the wells is some fifty feet below the surface, on a level with the
stream below. There are no groves within a mile of the cantonments;
and no lakes, marshes, or jungles within a great many; and the single
trees in and near the cantonments are few. The gardens are small and
few; and the water is sparingly used in irrigating them, as the
expense of drawing it is very great.

There is another good site for a cantonment at Chandour, some twelve
miles up the river, on the opposite bank, and looking down upon the
stream, from the verge, in the same manner. Chandour was chosen for
his cantonments by Rajah Dursun Sing when he had the contract for the
district; and it would be the best place for the head-quarters of any
establishments, that any new arrangements might require for the
administration of the Sultanpoor and surrounding districts. Secrora
would be the best position for the head-quarters of those required
for the administration of the Gonda-Bahraetch, and other surrounding
districts. It is central, and has always been considered one of the
healthiest places in Oude. It was long a cantonment for one of our
regiments of infantry and some guns, which were, in 1835, withdrawn,
and sent to increase the force at Lucknow, from two to three
regiments of infantry. The regiment and guns at Sultanpoor were taken
away in 1837. Secrora was, for some years after our regiment and guns
had been withdrawn, occupied by a regiment and guns under Captain
Barlow, one of the King of Oude's officers; but it is now altogether
deserted. Sultanpoor has been, ever since 1837, occupied by one of
the two regiments of Oude local Infantry, without any guns or cavalry
of any kind. There was also a regiment of our regular infantry at
Pertabghur, three marches from Sultanpoor, on the road to Allahabad,
with a regiment of our light cavalry. The latter was withdrawn in
1815 for the Nepaul war, and employed again under us during the
Mahratta war in 1817 and 1818. It was sent back again in 1820; but
soon after, in 1821, withdrawn altogether, and we have since had no
cavalry of any kind in Oude. Seetapoor was also occupied by one of
our regular regiments of infantry and some guns till 1837, when they
were withdrawn, and their place supplied by the second regiment of
Oude Local Infantry. Our Government now pays the two regiments of
Oude Local Infantry stationed at Sultanpoor and Seetapoor; but the
places of those stationed at Secrora and Pertabghur have never been
supplied. One additional regiment of infantry is kept at Lucknow, so
that our force in Oude has only been diminished by one regiment of
infantry, one of cavalry, and eight guns, with a company and half of
artillery. To do our duty _honestly_ by Oude, we ought to restore the
regiment of infantry; and in the place of the corps of light, send
one of irregular cavalry. We ought also to restore the company and
half of artillery and eight guns which have been withdrawn. We draw
annually from the lands ceded to as in 1801, for the protection which
we promised to the King and his people from "all internal and
external enemies," no less than two crores and twelve lacs of rupees,
or two millions sterling a-year; while the Oude Government draws from
the half of its territories which it reserved only one-half that sum,
or one crore of rupees.

Maun Sing is to leave my camp to-day, and return to Shahgunge. Of the
fraud and violence, abuse of power, and collusion with local
authorities, by which he and his father seized upon the lands of so
many hundreds of old proprietors, there can be no doubt; but to
attempt to make the family restore them now, under such a government,
would create great disorder, drive off all the better classes of
cultivators, and desolate the face of the country, which they have
rendered so beautiful by an efficient system of administration. Many
of the most powerful of the landed aristocracy of Oude have acquired,
or augmented, their estates in the same manner and within the same
time; and the same difficulty would attend the attempt to restore the
old proprietors in all parts. A strong and honest government might
overcome all these difficulties, and restore to every rightful
proprietor the land unjustly taken from him, within a limited period;
but it should not attempt to enforce any adjustment of the accounts
of receipts and disbursements for the intervening period. The old
proprietor would receive back his land in an improved condition, and
the usurper might fairly be considered to have reimbursed himself for
all his outlay. The old proprietor should be required to pledge
himself to respect the rights of all new tenants.

_December_ 24, 1849.--Meranpoor, twelve miles. Soil between this and
Sultanpoor neither so fertile nor so well cultivated, as we found it
on the other side of the Goomtee river, though it is of the same
denomination--generally doomut, but here and there mutear. The term
mutear embraces all good argillaceous earth, from the light brown to
the black, humic or ulmic deposit, found in the beds of tanks and
lakes in Oude. The natives of Oude call the black soil of Malwa and
southern India, and Bundlekund, _muteear_. This black soil has in its
exhausted state abundance of silicates, sulphates, phosphates, and
carbonates of alumina, potassa, lime, &c., and of organic acids,
combined with the same unorganic substances, to attract and fix
ammonia, and collect and store up moisture, and is exceedingly
fertile and strong.

Both saltpetre and common salt are made by lixiviation from some of
the poor oosur soils; but, from the most barren in Oude, carbonates
of soda, used in making _glass_ and _soap_, are taken. The earth is
collected from the surface of the most barren spots and formed into
small, shallow, round tanks, a yard in diameter. Water is then poured
in, and the tank filled to the surface, with an additional supply of
the earth, and smoothed over. This tank is then left exposed to the
sun for two days, during the hottest and driest months of the year.
March, April, and May, and part of June, when the crust, formed on
the surface, is taken off. The process is repeated once; but in the
second operation the tank is formed around and below by the debris of
the first tank, which is filled to the surface, after the water has
been poured in, with the first _crust_ obtained. The second crust is
called the _reha_, which is carbonate or bicarbonate of soda. This is
formed into small cakes, which are baked to redness in an oven, or
crucible, to expel the moisture and carbonic acid which it contains.
They are then powdered to fine dust, which is placed in another
crucible, and fused to liquid glass, the _reha_ containing in itself
sufficient silica to form the coarse glass used in making bracelets,

A superabundance of nitrates seem also to impair or destroy fertility
in the soil, and they may arise from the decomposition of animal or
vegetable matter, in a soil containing a superabundance of porous
lime. The atmospheric air and water, contained in the moist and
porous soil, are decomposed. The hydrogen of the water combines with
the nitrogen of the air, and that given off by the decomposing
organic bodies, and forms ammonia. The nitrogen of the ammonia then
takes up the oxygen of the air and water, and becoming nitric acid,
forms nitrates with the lime, potash, soda, &c., contained in the
soil. Without any superabundance of lime in the soil, however, the
same effects may be produced, when there is a deficiency of decaying
vegetable and animal matter, as the oxygen of the decomposed air and
water, having no organic substances to unite with, may combine with
the nitrogen of the ammonia, and form nitric acid; which, uniting
with the lime, potash, soda, &c., may form the superabounding
nitrates destructive of fertility.

This superabundance of reha, or carbonate of soda, which renders so
much of the surface barren, must, I conclude, arise from deposits of
common salt, or chloride of sodium. The water, as it percolates
through these deposits towards the surface, becomes saturated with
their alkaline salts; and, as it reaches the surface and becomes
evaporated in the pure state, it leaves them behind at or near the
surface. On its way to the surface, or at the surface, the chloride
of sodium becomes decomposed by contact with _carbonates of ammonia
and potassa--sulphuric and nitric acids_. In a soil well supplied
with decaying animal or vegetable matter, these carbonates or
sulphates of soda, as they rise to the surface, might be formed into
nutriment for plants, and taken up by their roots; or in one well
flooded occasionally with fresh water, any superabundance of the
salts or their bases might be taken up in solution and carried off.
The people say, that the soil in which these carbonates of soda
(reha) abound, are more unmanageable than those in which nitrates
abound: they tell me that, with flooding, irrigating, manuring, and
well ploughing, they can manage to get crops from all but the soils
in which this _reha_ abounds.

The process above described, by which the bracelet makers extract the
carbonates of soda and potash from the earth of the small, shallow
tanks, is precisely the same as that by which they are brought from
the deep bed of earth below and deposited on or near the surface. In
both processes, the water which brings them near the surface goes off
into the atmosphere in a pure state, and leaves the salts behind. To
make soap from the reha, they must first remove the silex which it

There are no rocks in Oude, and the only form in which lime is found
for building purposes and road-pavements is that of kunkur, which is
a carbonate of lime containing silica, and oxide of iron. In
proportion as it contains the last, the kunkur is more or less red.
That which contains none is of a dirty-white. It is found in many
parts of India in thin layers, or amorphous masses, formed by
compression, upon a stiff clay substratum; but in Oude I have seen it
only in nodules, usually formed on nuclei of flint or other hard
substances. The kingdom of Oude must have once been the bed, or part
of the bed, of a large lake, formed by the diluvial detritus of the
hills of the Himmalaya chain, and, as limestone abounds in that
chain, the bed contains abundance of lime, which is taken up by the
water that percolates through it from the rivers and from the rains
and floods above. The lime thus taken up and held in solution with
carbonic add gas, is deposited around the small fragments of flint or
other hard substances which the waters find in their way. Where the
floods which cover the surface during the rains come in rivers,
flowing from the Himmalaya or other hills abounding in limestone
rocks, they of course contain lime and carbonic-acid gas, which add
to the kunkur nodules formed in the bed below; but in Oude the rivers
seldom overflow to any extent, and the kunkur is, I believe, formed
chiefly from the lime already existing in the bed.

Doctor O'Shaughnessy, the most eminent chemist now in India, tells me
that there are two marked varieties of kunkur in India--the red and
the white; that the red differs from the white solely in containing a
larger proportion of peroxide of iron; that the white consists of
carbonate of lime, silica, alumina, and sometimes magnesia and
protoxide of iron. He states that he considers the kunkur to be
deposited by calcareous waters, abounding in infusorial animalculæ;
that the waters of the annual inundation are rich in lime, and that
all the facts that have come under his observation appear to him to
indicate that this is the source of the kunkur deposit, which is seen
in a different form in the Italian travertine, and the crescent
nodules of the Isle of Sheppey and of Bologne.

Doctor O'Shaughnessy further states, that the _reha_ earth, which I
sent to him from Oude, is identical with the _sujjee muttee_ of
Bengal, and contains carbonate of soda and sulphate of soda as its
essential characteristic ingredients, with silicious clay and oxide
of iron. But in Oude, the term "_sujjee_" is given to the carbonate
and sulphate of soda which remains after the silex has been removed
from the reha. The reha is fused into glass after the carbonic acid
and moisture have been expelled by heat, and the sujjee is formed
into soap, by the addition of lime, fat, and linseed oil, in the
following proportions, I am told:--6 sujjee, 4 lime, 21/2 fat, and
11/2 ulsee oil.

The sujjee is formed from the reha by filtration. A tank is formed on
a terrace of cement. In a hole at one corner is a small tube. Rows of
bricks are put down from one end to the other, with intervals between
for the liquor to flow through to the tube. On these rows a layer of
stout reeds is first placed, and over them another layer composed of
the leaves of these reeds. On this bed the coarse reha earth is
placed without being refined by the process described in the text
above. Some coarse common salt (kharee nimuck) is mixed up with the
reha. The tank is then filled with water, which filters slowly
through the earth and passes out through the tube into pans, whence
it is taken to another tank upon a wider terrace of cement, where it
evaporates and leaves the sujjee deposited. The second tank is
commonly made close under the first, and the liquor flows into it
through the tube, rendering pans unnecessary. It is only in the hot
months of March, April, May, and part of June, till the rains begin
to fall, that the reha and sujjee are formed. During the other nine
months, the _Looneas_, who provide them, turn their hands to
something else. The _reha_, deprived of its carbonic acid and
moisture by heat, is fused into glass. Deprived of silex by this
process of filtration, it is formed into sujjee, from which the soap
is made.

On this process of filtration. Doctor O'Shaughnessy observes:-"I do
not clearly understand the use of the common salt, used in the
extraction of soda, in the process you described. But many of the
empirical practices of the natives prove, on investigation, to square
with the most scientific precepts. For example, their proportions in
the manufacture of corrosive sublimate are precisely identical with
those which the _atomic theory_ leads the European chemist to follow.
The filtering apparatus which you describe is really admirable, and I
doubt much whether the best practical chemist could devise any
simpler or cheaper way of arriving at the object in view."

The country is well provided with mango and other fine trees, single,
and in clusters and groves; but the tillage is slovenly and scanty,
strongly indicative of want of security to life, property, and
industry. No symptom of the residence of gardeners and other
cultivators of the better classes, or irrigation, or the use of
manure in tillage.

_December_ 25, 1849.--Nawabgunge, eleven miles. The soil good, as
indicated by the growth of fine trees on each side of the road as far
as we could see over the level plain, and by the few fields of corn
in sight; but the cultivation is deficient and slovenly. A great part
of the road lay through the estate of Mundone, held by Davey Persaud,
the tallookdar; and the few peasants who stood by the side of the
road to watch their fields as we passed, and see the cavalcade, told
me that the deficient tillage and population arose from his being in
opposition to Government and diligently employed in plundering the
country generally, and his own estates in particular, to reduce the
local authorities to his own terms. The Government demand upon him is
twenty thousand rupees. He paid little last year, and has paid still
less during the present year, on the ground that his estate yields
nothing. This is a common and generally successful practice among
tallookdars, who take to fighting against the Government whether
their cause be just or unjust. These peasants and cultivators told us
that they had taken to the jungles for shelter, after the last
harvest, till the season for sowing again commenced; remained in the
fields, still houseless, during the night, worked in their fields in
fear of their lives during the day; and apprehended that they should
have to take to the jungles again as soon as their crops were
gathered, if they were even permitted to gather them. They attributed
as much blame to their landlord as to the Nazim, Wajid Allee Khan.
He, however, bears a very bad character, and is said to have
designedly thrown a good deal of the districts under his charge out
of tillage in the hope that no other person would venture to take the
contract for it in that condition, and that he should, in
consequence, be invited to retain it on more favourable terms. He was
twelve lacs of rupees in balance when superseded at the end of the
year, in September last, by the present governor, Aga Allee, who
manages the same districts on a salary of two thousand rupees a-
month, without any contract for the revenues, but with the
understanding that he is to collect, or at least to pay, a certain

The late contractor will no doubt relieve himself from the burthen of
this balance in the usual way. He will be imprisoned for a time till
he pays, or enters into engagements to pay, to the minister and the
influential men at Court, as much as they think he can be made to
pay, in bribes, and some half of that sum into the Treasury, and have
all the rest struck out of the accounts as irrecoverable--perhaps two
lacs in bribes, and one to the Treasury may secure him an
acquittance, and a fair chance of employment hereafter. His real name
is Wajid Allee; but as that is the name of the King, he is commonly
called Ahmud Allee, that the royal ears may not take offence.

_December_ 26, 1849.--Pertabghur, distance eight miles. In the course
of fourteen years, almost all signs of one of the most healthful and
most agreeable cantonments of the Bengal army have been effaced. Fine
crops of corn now cover what were the parades for cavalry, infantry,
and artillery, and the gardens and compounds of officers' bungalows.
The grounds, which were once occupied by the old cantonments, are now
let out to cultivators, immediately under Government, and they are
well cultivated; but the tillage of the rest of the country we have
this morning passed over is scanty and slovenly. The Rajah of
Pertabghur has, for some time, been on bad terms with the
contractors, greatly in arrears, and commonly in opposition to the
Government, having his band of armed followers in the jungles, and
doing nothing but mischief. This is the case with most of the
tallookdars of the country over which I have passed. Not one in five,
or I may say one in ten, attends the viceroys, because it would not
be safe to do so; or pays the demands of Government punctually,
because there is no certainty in them.

I passed down the line of Captain Magness's corps, which is at
present stationed at Pertabghur. It is as well-dressed, and as fine a
looking corps as any infantry regiment in our own native army, and
has always shown itself as good on service. It has eight guns
attached to it, well provided and served. The artillery-men, drivers,
&c., are as well dressed and as fit for their duties as our own.
Stores and ammunition are abundant, but the powder is execrable.
Captain Magness is a good officer. The guns are six 6-pounders, drawn
by bullocks; and two gallopers of very small calibre, drawn by
horses. They are not adapted for the duties they have to perform,
which is chiefly against mud-forts and strongholds; and four 9-
pounders, two howitzers, and two mortars would be better. They are,
however, well manned and provided with bullocks, ammunition and
stores. The finest young men in Oude are glad to take service under
Captain Magness; and the standard height of his men is at present
five feet ten inches. He has some few men, good for nothing, called
_sufarishies_, whom he is obliged to keep in on account of the
persons by whom they are recommended, eunuchs, fiddlers, and Court
favourites, of all kinds. In no country are there a body of finer
looking recruits than Captain Magness now has at drill. All of the
first families in the country, and of unquestionable courage and
fidelity to their salt. He has four hundred Cavalry, of what is
called the _body guard_, men well dressed, and of fine appearance.
These Cavalry are, however, likely soon to be taken from him, and
made over to some good-for-nothing Court favourite.* He has about
seven hundred men present with his Infantry corps. His adjutant,
Yosuf Khan, speaks English well, and has travelled a good deal in
England, Europe generally, and Palestine. He is a sensible,
unprejudiced man, and good soldier. Captain Magness attends the Nazim
of the district; but, unfortunately, like all the commandants of
corps and public servants of the State, he is obliged to forage for
fodder and fuel. A foraging party is sent out every day, be where
they will, to take these things gratis, wherever they can find them
most conveniently. Bhoosa, grass and wood are the things which they
are authorized to take, without payment, wherever they can find them;
but they, of course, take a good many other things. The Government
allows nothing to any of its troops or establishments, for these
things, except when they are in Lucknow. The consequence is, that
there is hardly a good cover to any man's house, or sufficient fodder
for the cattle of any village, during the hot season and rains.

[* They were soon after taken from Captain Magness and given to Mr.
Johannes; and soon after taken from him, and made over to an eunuch,
who turned out all the good men, to sell their places to men good for
nothing. They mutinied; but the King and minister supported the
eunuch, and the greater part of the men were discharged and their
officers ruined.]

_December_ 27, 1849--Halted at Pertabghur. I had a visit from many of
the persons who were in my service, when I was here with my regiment
thirty years ago, as watchmen, gardeners, &c. They continue to hold
and till the lands, which they or their fathers then tilled; and the
change in them is not so great as that which has taken place within
the same time among my old native friends, who survive in the Saugor
and Nerbudda districts, where the air is less dry, and the climate
less congenial to the human frame. The natives say that the air and
water of Malwa may produce as good trees and crops as those of Oude,
but can never produce such good soldiers. This, I believe, is quite
true. The Sultanpoor district is included in the Banoda division of
Oude; and the people speak of the _water_ of this division for
_tempering_ soldiers, as we talk of the water of Damascus, for
tempering sword blades. They certainly never seem so happy as when
they are fighting in earnest with swords, spears, and matchlocks. The
_water_ of the Byswara division is considered to be very little
inferior to that of Banoda, and we get our sipahees from these two
divisions almost exclusively.

Captain Magness's corps is, at present, attached to the Nazim of this
district, with its guns, and squadron of horse, as an auxiliary
force. Over and above this force, he has nine regiments of Nujeebs,
detachments of other Corps, Artillery, Pioneers, &c., amounting, in
all, according to the musters and pay-drafts, to seven thousand seven
hundred and seventy-eight men, for whom thirty-seven thousand seven
hundred and ninety-three rupees a-month are drawn. Of these, fifteen
hundred are dead or have deserted, or are absent on leave without
pay. Their pay is all appropriated by the commandants of corps or
Court favourites. Fifteen hundred more are in attendance on the
commandants of corps, who reside at the capital, and their friends or
other influential persons about the Court, or engaged in their own
trades or affairs, having been put into the corps by influential
persons at Court, to draw pay, but do no duty. Of the remaining four
thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, one-third, or one thousand
five hundred and ninety-two, are what is called _sufarishies_, or men
who are unfit for duty, and have been put in by influential persons
at Court, to appear at muster and draw pay. Of the remaining three
thousand one hundred and eighty-six present, there would be no chance
of getting more than two-thirds, or two thousand one hundred and
twenty-four men to fight on emergency--indeed, the Nazim would think
himself exceedingly lucky if he could get one-third to do so.

Of the forty-two guns, thirteen are utterly useless on the ground;
and out of the remaining twenty-nine, there are draft bullocks for
only five. But there are no stores or ammunition for any of them; and
the Nazim is obliged to purchase what powder and ball he may require
in the bazaars. None of the gun-carriages have been repaired for the
last twenty years, and the strongest of them would go to pieces after
a few rounds. Very few of them would stand one round with good
powder. Five hundred rupees are allowed for fitting up the carriage
and tumbril of each gun, after certain intervals of from five to ten
years; and this sum has, no doubt, been drawn over and over for these
guns, during the twenty years, within which they have had no repairs
whatever. If the local governor is permitted to draw this sum, he is
sure never to expend one farthing of it on the gun. If the person in
charge of the ordnance at Lucknow draws it, the guns and tumbrils are
sent in to him, and returned with, at least, a coating of paint and
putty, but seldom with anything else. The two persons in charge of
the two large parks at Lucknow, from which the guns are furnished,
Anjum-od Dowlah, and Ances-od Dowlah, a fiddler, draw the money for
the corn allowed for the draft bullocks, at the rate of three pounds
per diem for each, and distribute, or pretend to distribute it
through the agents of the grain-dealers, with whom they contract for
the supply; and the district officers, under whom these draft
bullocks are employed, are never permitted to interfere. They have
nothing to do but pay for the grain allowed; and the agents, employed
to feed the bullocks, do nothing but appropriate the money for
themselves and their employers. Not a grain of corn do the bullocks
ever get.

The Nazim has charge of the districts of Sultanpoor, Haldeemow,
Pertabghur, Jugdeespoor, and that part of Fyzabad which is not
included in the estate of Bukhtawar Sing, yielding, altogether, about
ten and a half lacs of rupees to Government. He exercises entire
fiscal, judicial, magisterial and police authority over all these
districts. To aid him in all these duties, he has four deputies--one
in each district--upon salaries of one hundred and fifty rupees each
a-month, with certain fees and perquisites. To inquire into
particular cases, over all these districts, he employs a special
deputy, paid out of his own salary. All the accountants and other
writers, employed under him, are appointed by the deputies and
favourites of the minister; and, considering themselves as their
creatures, they pay little regard to their immediate master, the
Nazim. But over and above these men, from whom he does get some
service, he has to pay a good many, from whom he can get none. He is,
before he enters upon his charge, obliged to insert, in his list of
civil functionaries, to be paid monthly, out of the revenues, a
number of writers and officers, of all descriptions, _recommended_ to
him by these deputies and other influential persons at Court. Of
these men he never sees or knows anything. They are the children,
servants, creatures, or dependents of the persons who recommend them,
and draw their pay. These are called _civil sufarishies_, and cost
the State much more than the military sufarishies_, already
mentioned--perhaps not less than six thousand rupees a-month in this
division alone.

The Nazim is permitted to levy for incidental expenses, only ten per
cent. over and above the Government demand; and required to send one-
half of this sum to Court, for distribution. He is ostensibly
required to limit himself to this sum, and to abstain from taking the
gratuities, usually exacted by the _revenue contractors_, for
distribution among ministers and other influential persons at Court.
Were he to do so, they would all be so strongly opposed to the
_amanee_, or trust system of management, and have it in their power
so much to thwart him, in all his measures and arrangements, that he
could never possibly get on with his duties; and the disputes between
them generally results in a compromise. He takes, in gratuities,
something less than his contracting predecessors took, and shares,
what he takes, liberally, with those whose assistance he requires at
Court. These gratuities, or nuzuranas, never appeared, in the public
accounts; and were a governor, under the _amanee_ system, to demand
the full rates paid to contractors, the more powerful landholders
would refer him to these public accounts, and refuse to pay till he
could assure them of the same equivalents in _nanker_ and other
things, which they were in the habit of receiving from contractors.
These, as a mere trust manager, he may not be able to give; and he
consents to take something less. The landholders know that where the
object is to exact the means to gratify influential persons about
Court, the Nazim would be likely to get good military support, if
driven to extremity, and consent to pay the greater part of what is
demanded. When the trust manager, by his liberal remittances to Court
patrons, gets all the troops he requires, he exacts the full
gratuities, and still higher and more numerous if strong enough. The
corps under Captains Magness, Bunbury, Barlow, and Subha Sing, are
called _komukee_, or auxiliary regiments; and they are every season,
and sometimes often in the same season, sold to the highest bidder as
a perquisite by the minister. The services of Captain Magness and
Captain Bunbury's corps were purchased in this way for 1850 and 1851,
by Aga Allee, the Nazim of Sultanpoor, and he has made the most of
them. No _contractor_ ever exacted higher _nazuranas_ or _gratuities_
than he has, by their aid, this season, though he still holds the
district as a trust manager. Ten, twenty, or thirty thousand rupees
are paid for the use of one of these regiments, according to the
exigency of the occasion, or the time for which it may be required.

The system of government under which Oude suffers during the reign of
the best king is a fearful one; and what must it be under a
sovereign, so indifferent as the present is, to the sufferings of his
people, to his own permanent interests, and to the duties and
responsibilities of his high station? Seeing that our Government
attached much importance to the change, from the _contract_ to the
_trust_ system of management, the present minister is putting a large
portion of the country under that system in the hope of blinding us.
But there is virtually little or no change in the administration of
such districts; the person who has the charge of a district under it
is obliged to pay the same gratuities to public officers and court
favourites, and he exacts the same, or nearly the same from the
landholders; he is under no more check than the contractor, and the
officers and troops under him, abuse their authority in the same
manner, and commit the same outrages upon the suffering people.
Security to life and property is disregarded in the same manner; he
confines himself as exclusively to the duties of collecting revenue,
and is as regardless of security to life and property, and of
fidelity to his engagements, as the landholders in his jurisdiction.
The trust management of a district differs from that of the
contractors, only as the _wusoolee kubaz_ differs from the
_lakulamee_; though he does not enter into a formal contract to pay a
certain sum, he is always expected to pay such a sum, and if he does
not, he is obliged to wipe off the balance in the same way, and is
kept in gaol till he does so, in the same way. Indeed, I believe, the
people would commonly rather be under a contractor, than a trust
manager under the Oude Government; and this was the opinion of
Colonel Low, who, of all my predecessors, certainly knew most about
the real state of Oude.

The Nazim of Sultanpoor has authority to entertain such Tehseeldars
and _Jumogdars_ as he may require, for the collection of the revenue.
Of these he has, generally, from fifty to sixty employed, on salaries
varying from fifteen to thirty rupees a-month each. The Tehseeldar is
employed here, as elsewhere, in the collection of the land revenue,
in the usual way; but the _Jumogdar_ is an officer unknown in our
territories. Some are appointed direct from Court, and some by the
Nazims and Amils of districts. When a landholder has to pay his
revenue direct to Government (as all do, who are included in what is
called the Hozoor Tehseel), and he neglects to do so punctually, a
Jumogdar is appointed. The landholder assembles his tenants, and they
enter into pledges to pay direct to the Jumogdar the rents due by
them to the landholder, under existing engagements, up to a certain
time. This may be the whole, or less than the whole, amount due to
Government by the landholder. If any of them fail to pay what they
promise to the Jumogdar, the landholder is bound to make good the
deficiency at the end of the year. He also binds himself to pay to
Government whatever may be due over and above what the tenants pledge
themselves to pay to the Jumogdar. This transfer of responsibility,
from the landholder to his tenants, is called "_Jumog Lagana_," or
transfer of the jumma. The assembly of the tenants, for the purpose
of such-adjustment, is called _zunjeer bundee_, or linking together.
The adjustment thus made is called the _bilabundee_. The salary of
the Jumogdar is paid by the landholder, who distributes the burthen
of the payment upon his tenants, at a per centage rate. The Jumogdar
takes written engagements from the tenants; and they are bound not to
pay anything to the landholder till they have paid him (the Jumogdar)
all that they are, by these engagements, bound to pay him. He does
all he can to make them pay punctually; but he is not, properly, held
responsible for any defalcation. Such responsibility rests with the
landlords. Where much difficulty is expected from the refractory
character of the landholder, the officer commanding the whole, or
some part of the troops in the district, is often appointed the
Jumogdar; and the amount which the tenants pledge themselves to pay
to him is debited to him, in the pay of the troops, under his

The Jumogdars, who are appointed by the Nazims and Amils, act in the
same manner with regard to the landlords and tenants, to whom they
are accredited, and are paid in the same manner. There may be one, or
there may be one hundred, Jumogdars in a district, according to the
necessity for their employment, in the collection of the revenue.
They are generally men of character, influence, and resolution; and
often useful to both, or all three parties; but when they are
officers commanding troops, they are often very burthensome to
landlords and tenants. The Jumogdar has only to receive the sums due,
according to existing engagements between the parties, and to see
that no portion of them is paid to any other person. He has nothing
to do with apportioning the demand, or making the engagements between
tenants and landlords, or landlords and Government officers.

The Canoongoes and Chowdheries in Oude are commonly called Seghadars,
and their duties are the same here as everywhere else in India.

_December_ 28, 1849.--Twelve miles to Hundore, over a country more
undulating and better cultivated than any we have seen since we
recrossed the Goomtee river at Sultanpoor. It all belongs to the
Rajah of Pertabghur, Shumshere Babadur, a Somebunsee, who resides at
Dewlee, some six miles from Pertabghur. His family is one of the
oldest and most respectable in Oude; but his capital of Pertabghur,
where he used to reside till lately, is one of the most beggarly. He
seems to have concentrated there all the beggars in the country, and
there is not a house of any respectable to be seen. The soil, all the
way, has been what they call the doomut, or doomuteea, which is well
adapted to all kinds of tillage, but naturally less strong than
muteear or argillaceous earth, and yields scanty crops, where it is
not well watered and manured.

The Rajah came to my camp in the afternoon, and attended me on his
elephant in the evening when I went round the town, and to his old
mud fort, now in ruins, within which is the old residence of the
family. He does not pay his revenue punctually, nor is he often
prepared to attend the viceroy when required; and it was thought that
he would not come to me. Finding that the Korwar and other Rajahs and
large landholders, who had been long on similar terms with the local
authorities, had come in, paid their respects, and been left free, he
also ventured to my camp. For the last thirty years the mutual
confidence which once subsisted between the Government authorities
and the great landholders of these districts has been declining, and
it ceased altogether under the last viceroy, Wajid Allee Khan, who
appears to have been a man without any feeling of humanity or sense
of honour. No man ever knew what he would be called upon to pay to
Government in the districts under him; and almost all the respectable
landholders prepared to defend what they had by force of arms;
deserted their homes, and took to the jungles with as many followers
as they could collect and subsist, as soon as he entered on his
charge. The atrocities charged against him, and upon the best
possible evidence, are numerous and great.

The country we have passed through to-day is well studded with fine
trees, among which the mhowa abounds more than usual. The parasite
plant, called the bandha, or Indian mistletoe, ornaments the finest
mhowa and mango trees. It is said to be a disease, which appears as
the tree grows old, and destroys it if not cut away. The people, who
feel much regard for their trees, cut these parasite plants away; and
there is no prejudice against removing them among Hindoos, though
they dare not cut away a peepul-tree which is destroying their wells,
houses, temples, or tombs; nor do they, with some exceptions, dare to
destroy a wolf, though he may have eaten their own children, or
actually have one of them in his mouth. In all parts of India,
Hindoos have a notion that the family of a man who kills a wolf, or
even wounds it, goes soon to utter ruin; and so also the village
within the boundaries of which a wolf has been killed or wounded.
They have no objection to their being killed by other people away
from the villages; on the contrary, are very glad to have them so
destroyed, as long as their blood does not drop on their premises.
Some Rajpoot families in Oude, where so many children are devoured by
wolves, are getting over this prejudice. The bandha is very
ornamental to the fine mhowa and mango trees, to the branches of
which it hangs suspended in graceful festoons, with a great variety
of colours and tints, from deep scarlet and green to light-red and

Wolves are numerous in the neighbourhood of Sultanpoor, and, indeed,
all along the banks of the Goomtee river, among the ravines that
intersect them; and a great many children are carried off by them
from towns, villages, and camps. It is exceedingly difficult to catch
them, and hardly any of the Hindoo population, save those of the very
lowest class who live a vagrant life, and bivouac in the jungles, or
in the suburbs of towns and villages, will attempt to catch or kill
them. All other Hindoos have a superstitious dread of destroying or
even injuring them; and a village community within the boundary of
whose lands a drop of wolf's blood has fallen believes itself doomed
to destruction. The class of little vagrant communities above
mentioned, who have no superstitious dread of destroying any living
thing, eat jackalls and all kinds of reptiles, and catch all kinds of
animals, either to feed upon themselves, or to sell them to those who
wish to keep or hunt them.

But it is remarkable, that they very seldom catch wolves, though they
know all their dens, and could easily dig them out as they dig out
other animals. This is supposed to arise from the profit which they
make by the gold and silver bracelets, necklaces and other ornaments
worn by the children whom the wolves carry to their dens and devour,
and are left at the entrance of their dens. A party of these men
lately brought to our camp alive a very large hyæna, which was let
loose and hunted down by the European officers and the clerks of my
office. One of the officers asked them whether this was not the
reason why they did not bring wolves to camp, to be hunted down in
the same way, since officers would give more for brutes that ate
children, than for such as fed only on dogs or carrion. They dared
not deny, though they were ashamed or afraid to acknowledge, that it
was. I have myself no doubt that this is the reason, and that they do
make a good deal in this way from the children's ornaments, which
they find at the entrance of wolves' dens. In every part of India, a
great number of children are every day murdered for the sake of their
ornaments, and the fearful examples that come daily to the knowledge
of parents, and the injunctions of the civil authorities are
unavailing against this desire to see their young children decked out
in gold and silver ornaments.

There is now at Sultanpoor a boy who was found alive in a wolf's den,
near Chandour, about ten miles from Sultanpoor, about two years and a
half ago. A trooper, sent by the native governor of the district to
Chandour, to demand payment of some revenue, was passing along the
bank of the river near Chandour about noon, when he saw a large
female wolf leave her den, followed by three whelps and a little boy.
The boy went on all fours, and seemed to be on the best possible
terms with the old dam and the three whelps, and the mother seemed to
guard all four with equal care. They all went down to the river and
drank without perceiving the trooper, who sat upon his horse watching
them. As soon as they were about to turn back, the trooper pushed on
to cut off and secure the boy; but he ran as fast as the whelps
could, and kept up with the old one. The ground was uneven, and the
trooper's horse could not overtake them. They all entered the den,
and the trooper assembled some people from Chandour with pickaxes,
and dug into the den. When they had dug in about six or eight feet,
the old wolf bolted with her three whelps and the boy. The trooper
mounted and pursued, followed by the fleetest young men of the party;
and as the ground over which they had to fly was more even, he headed
them, and turned the whelps and boy back upon the men on foot, who
secured the boy, and let the old dam and her three cubs go on their

They took the boy to the village, but had to tie him, for he was very
restive, and struggled hard to rush into every hole or den they came
near. They tried to make him speak, but could get nothing from him
but an angry growl or snarl. He was kept for several days at the
village, and a large crowd assembled every day to see him. When a
grown-up person came near him, he became alarmed, and tried to steal
away; but when a child came near him, he rushed at it, with a fierce
snarl like that of a dog, and tried to bite it. When any cooked meat
was put before him, he rejected it in disgust; but when any raw meat
was offered, he seized it with avidity, put it on the ground under
his paws, like a dog, and ate it with evident pleasure. He would not
let any one come near him while he was eating, but he made no
objection to a dog coming and sharing his food with him. The trooper
remained with him four or five days, and then returned to the
governor, leaving the boy in charge of the Rajah of Hasunpoor. He
related all that he had seen, and the boy was soon after sent to the
European officer commanding the First Regiment of Oude Local Infantry
at Sultanpoor, Captain Nicholetts, by order of the Rajah of
Hasunpoor, who was at Chandour, and saw the boy when the trooper
first brought him to that village. This account is taken from the
Rajah's own report of what had taken place.

Captain Nicholetts made him over to the charge of his servants, who
take great care of him, but can never get him to speak a word. He is
very inoffensive, except when teased, Captain Nicholetts says, and
will then growl surlily at the person who teases him. He had come to
eat anything that is thrown to him, but always prefers raw flesh,
which he devours most greedily. He will drink a whole pitcher of
butter-milk when put before him, without seeming to draw breath. He
can never be induced to keep on any kind of clothing, even in the
coldest weather. A quilt stuffed with cotton was given to him when it
became very cold this season, but he tore it to pieces, and ate a
portion of it, cotton and all, with his bread every day. He is very
fond of bones, particularly uncooked ones, which he masticates
apparently with as much ease as meat. He has eaten half a lamb at a
time without any apparent effort, and is very fond of taking up earth
and small stones and eating them. His features are coarse, and his
countenance repulsive; and he is very filthy in his habits. He
continues to be fond of dogs and jackals, and all other small four-
footed animals that come near him; and always allows them to feed
with him if he happens to be eating when they approach.

Captain Nicholetts, in letters dated the 14th and 19th of September,
1850, told me that the boy died in the latter end of August, and that
he was never known to laugh or smile. He understood little of what
was said to him, and seemed to take no notice of what was going on
around him. He formed no attachment for any one, nor did he seem to
care for any one. He never played with any of the children around
him, or seemed anxious to do so. When not hungry he used to sit
petting and stroking a pareear or vagrant dog, which he used to
permit to feed out of the same dish with him. A short time before his
death Captain Nicholetts shot this dog, as he used to eat the greater
part of the food given to the boy, who seemed in consequence to be
getting thin. The boy did not seem to care in the least for the death
of the dog. The parents recognised the boy when he was first found,
Captain Nicholetts believes; but when they found him to be so stupid
and insensible, they left him to subsist upon charity. They have now
left Hasunpoor, and the age of the boy when carried off cannot be
ascertained; but he was to all appearance about nine or ten years of
age when found, and he lived about three years afterwards. He used
signs when he wanted anything, and very few of them except when
hungry, and he then pointed to his mouth. When his food was placed at
some distance from him, he would run to it on all fours like any
four-footed animal; but at other times he would walk upright
occasionally. He shunned human beings of all kinds, and would never
willingly remain near one. To cold, heat, and rain he appeared to be
indifferent; and he seemed to care for nothing but eating. He was
very quiet, and required no kind of restraint after being brought to
Captain Nicholetts. He had lived with Captain Nicholetts' servants
about two years, and was never heard to speak till within a few
minutes of his death, when he put his hands to his head, and said "it
ached," and asked for water: he drank it, and died.

At Chupra, twenty miles east from Sultanpoor, lived a cultivator with
his wife and son, who was then three years of age. In March, 1843,
the man went to cut his crop of wheat and pulse, and the woman took
her basket and went with him to glean, leading her son by the arm.
The boy had lately recovered from a severe scald on the left knee,
which he got in the cold weather, from tumbling into the fire, at
which he had been warming himself while his parents were at work. As
the father was reaping and the mother gleaning, the boy sat upon the
grass. A wolf rushed upon him suddenly from behind a bush, caught him
up by the loins, and made off with him towards the ravines. The
father was at a distance at the time, but the mother followed,
screaming as loud an she could for assistance. The people of the
village ran to her aid, but they soon lost sight of the wolf and his

She heard nothing more of her boy for six years, and had in that
interval lost her husband. At the end of that time, two sipahees
came, in the month of February, 1849, from the town of Singramow,
which is ten miles from Chupra, on the bank of the Khobae rivulet.
While they sat on the border of the jungle, which extended down to
the stream, watching for hogs, which commonly come down to drink at
that time in the morning, they saw there three wolf cubs and a boy
come out from the jungle, and go down together to the stream to
drink. The sipahees watched them till they had drank, and were about
to return, when they rushed towards them. All four ran towards a den
in the ravines. The sipahees followed as fast as they could; but the
three cubs had got in before the sipahees could come up with them,
and the boy was half way in when one of the sipahees caught him by
the hind leg, and drew him back. He seemed very angry and ferocious,
bit at them, and seized in his teeth the barrel of one of their guns,
which they put forward to keep him off, and shook it. They however
secured him, brought him home, and kept him for twenty days. They
could for that time make him eat nothing but raw flesh, and they fed
him upon hares and birds. They found it difficult to provide him with
sufficient food, and took him to the bazaar in the village of
Koeleepoor; and there let him go to be fed by the charitable people
of the place till he might be recognised and claimed by his parents.
One market-day a man from the village of Chupra happened to see him
in the bazaar, and on his return mentioned the circumstance to his
neighbours. The poor cultivator's widow, on hearing this, asked him
to describe the boy more minutely, when she found that the boy had
the mark of a scald on the left knee, and three marks of the teeth of
an animal on each side of his loins. The widow told him that her boy
when taken off had lately recovered from a scald on the left knee,
and was seized by the loins when the wolf took him off, and that the
boy he had seen must be her lost child.

She went off forthwith to the Koelee bazaar, and, in addition to the
two marks above described, discovered a third mark on his thigh, with
which her child was born. She took him home to her village, where he
was recognised by all her neighbours. She kept him for two months,
and all the sporting landholders in the neighbourhood sent her game
for him to feed upon. He continued to dip his face in the water to
drink, but he sucked in the water, and did not lap it up like a dog
or wolf. His body continued to smell offensively. When the mother
went to her work, the boy always ran into the jungle, and she could
never get him to speak. He followed his mother for what he could get
to eat, but showed no particular affection for her; and she could
never bring herself to feel much for him; and after two months,
finding him of no use to her, and despairing of even making anything
of him, she left him to the common charity of the village. He soon
after learnt to eat bread when it was given him, and ate whatever
else he could get during the day, but always went off to the jungle
at night. He used to mutter something, but could never be got to
articulate any word distinctly. The front of his knees and elbows had
become hardened from going on all fours with the wolves. If any
clothes are put on him, he takes them off, and commonly tears them to
pieces in doing so. He still prefers raw flesh to cooked, and feeds
on carrion whenever he can get it. The boys of the village are in the
habit of amusing themselves by catching frogs and throwing them to
him; and he catches and eats them. When a bullock dies, and the skin
is removed, he goes and eats it like a village dog. The boy is still
in the village, and this is the description given of him by the
mother herself, who still lives at Chupra. She has never experienced
any return of affection for him, nor has he shown any such feeling
for her. Her story is confirmed by all her neighbours, and by the
head landholders, cultivators, and shopkeepers of the village.*

[* In November, 1850, Captain Nicholetts, on leaving the cantonments
of Sultanpoor, where he commanded, ordered this boy to be sent in to
me with his mother, but he got alarmed on the way and ran to a
jungle. He will no doubt find his way back soon if he lives.]

The Rajah of Hasunpoor Bundooa mentions, as a fact within his own
knowledge, besides the others, for the truth of which he vouches,
that, in the year 1843, a lad came to the town of Hasunpoor, who had
evidently been brought up by wolves. He seemed to be twelve years of
age when he saw him--was very dark, and ate flesh, whether cooked or
uncooked. He had short hair all over his body when he first came, but
having, for a time, as the Rajah states, eaten salt with his food,
like other human beings, the hair by degrees disappeared. He could
walk, like other men, on his legs, but could never be taught to
speak. He would utter sounds like wild animals, and could be made to
understand signs very well. He used to sit at a bunneea's shop in the
bazaar, but was at last recognised by his parents, and taken off.
What became of him afterwards he knows not. The Rajah's statement
regarding this lad is confirmed by all the people of the town, but
none of them know what afterwards became of him.

About the year 1843, a shepherd of the village of Ghutkoree, twelve
miles west from the cantonments of Sultanpoor, saw a boy trotting
along upon all fours, by the side of a wolf, one morning, as he was
out with his flock. With great difficulty he caught the boy, who ran
very fast, and brought him home. He fed him for some time, and tried
to make him speak, and associate with men or boys, but he failed. He
continued to be alarmed at the sight of men, but was brought to
Colonel Gray, who commanded the first Oude Local Infantry, at
Sultanpoor. He and Mrs. Gray, and all the officers in cantonments,
saw him often, and kept him for several days. But he soon after ran
off into the jungle, while the shepherd was asleep. The shepherd,
afterwards, went to reside in another village, and I could not
ascertain whether he recovered the boy or not.

Zoolfukar Khan, a respectable landholder of Bankeepoor, in the estate
of Hasunpoor, ten miles east from the Sultahpoor cantonments,
mentions that about eight or nine years ago a trooper came to the
town, with a lad of about nine or ten years of age, whom he had
rescued from wolves among the ravines on the road; that he knew not
what to do with him, and left him to the common charity of the
village; that he ate everything offered to him, including bread, but
before taking it he carefully smelt at it, and always preferred
undressed meat to everything else; that he walked on his legs like
other people when he saw him, though there were evident signs on his
knees and elbows of his having gone, very long, on all fours; and
when asked to run on all fours he used to do so, and went so fast
that no one could overtake him; how long he had been with the
trooper, or how long it took him to learn to walk on his legs, he
knows not. He could not talk, or utter any very articulate sounds. He
understood signs, and heard exceedingly well, and would assist the
cultivators in turning trespassing cattle out of their fields, when
told by signs to do so. Boodhoo, a Brahmin cultivator of the village,
took care of him, and he remained with him for three months, when he
was claimed and taken off by his father, a shepherd, who said that
the boy was six years old when the wolf took him off at night some
four years before; he did not like to leave Boodhoo, the Brahmin, and
the father was obliged to drag him away. What became of him
afterwards he never heard. The lad had no hair upon his body, nor had
he any dislike to wear clothes, while he saw him. This statement was
confirmed by the people of the village.

About seven years ago a trooper belonging to the King, and in
attendance on Rajah Hurdut Sing of Bondee, alias Bumnotee, on the
left bank of the Ghagra river, in the Bahraetch district, was passing
near a small stream which flows into that river, when he saw two wolf
cubs and a boy drinking in the stream. He had a man with him on foot,
and they managed to seize the boy, who appeared to be about ten years
of age. He took him up on the pummel of his saddle, but he was so
wild and fierce that he tore the trooper's clothes and bit him
severely in several places, though he had tied his hands together. He
brought him to Bondee, where the Rajah had him tied up in his
artillery gun-shed, and gave him raw-flesh to eat: but he several
times cut his ropes and ran off; and after three months the Rajah got
tired of him, and let him go. He was then taken by a Cashmeeree
mimic, or comedian (_bhand_), who fed and took care of him for six
weeks*; but at the end of that time he also got tired of him (for his
habits were filthy), and let him go to wander about the Bondee
bazaar. He one day ran off with a joint of meat from a butcher's
shop, and soon after upset some things in the shop of a _bunneeah_,
who let fly an arrow at him. The arrow penetrated the boy's thigh. At
this time Sanaollah, a Cashmere merchant of Lucknow, was at Bondee,
selling some shawl goods to the Rajah, on the occasion of his
brother's marriage. He had many servants with him, and among them
Janoo, a khidmutgar lad, and an old sipahee, named Ramzan Khan. Janoo
took compassion upon the poor boy, extracted the arrow from his
thigh, had his wound dressed, and prepared a bed for him under the
mango-tree, where he himself lodged, but kept him tied to a tent-pin.
He would at that time eat nothing but raw flesh. To wean him from
this, Janoo, with the consent of his master, gave him rice and pulse
to eat. He rejected them for several days, and ate nothing; but Janoo
persevered, and by degrees made him eat the balls which he prepared
for him: he was fourteen or fifteen days in bringing him to do this.
The odour from his body was very offensive, and Janoo had him rubbed
with mustard-seed soaked in water, after the oil had been taken from
it (_khullee_), in the hope of removing this smell. He continued this
for some months, and fed him upon rice, pulse, and flour bread, but
the odour did not leave him. He had hardened marks upon his knees and
elbows, from having gone on all fours. In about six weeks after he
had been tied up under the tree, with a good deal of beating, and
rubbing of his joints with oil, he was made to stand and walk upon
his legs like other human beings. He was never heard to utter more
than one articulate sound, and that was "Aboodeea," the name of the
little daughter of the Cashmeer mimic, who had treated him with
kindness, and for whom he had shown some kind of attachment. In about
four months he began to understand and obey signs. He was by them
made to prepare the hookah, put lighted charcoal upon the tobacco,
and bring it to Janoo, or present it to whomsoever he pointed out.

[* Transcriber's note--'six weeks' was printed as 'six months', but
is corrected by the author, in Volume ii, in a P.S. to his letter,
dated 20th November, 1852, to Sir James Weir Hogg.]

One night while the boy was lying under the tree, near Janoo, Janoo
saw two wolves come up stealthily, and smell at the boy. They then
touched him, and he got up; and, instead of being frightened, the boy
put his hands upon their heads, and they began to play with him. They
capered around him, and he threw straw and leaves at them. Janoo
tried to drive them off but he could not, and became much alarmed;
and he called out to the sentry over the guns, Meer Akbur Allee, and
told him that the wolves were going to eat the boy. He replied, "Come
away and leave him, or they will eat you also;" but when he saw them
begin to play together, his fears subsided and he kept quiet. Gaining
confidence by degrees, he drove them away; but, after going a little
distance, they returned, and began to play again with the boy. At
last he succeeded in driving them off altogether. The night after
three wolves came, and the boy and they played together. A few nights
after four wolves came, but at no time did more than four come. They
came four or five times, and Janoo had no longer any fear of them;
and he thinks that the first two that came must have been the two
cubs with which the boy was first found, and that they were prevented
from seizing him by recognising the smell. They licked his face with
their tongues as he put his hands on their heads.

Soon after his master, Sanaollah, returned to Lucknow, and threatened
Janoo to turn him out of his service unless he let go the boy. He
persisted in taking the boy with him, and his master relented. He had
a string tied to his arm, and led him along by it, and put a bundle
of clothes on his head. As they passed a jungle the boy would throw
down the bundle and try to run into the jungle, but on being beaten,
he would put up his hands in supplication, take up the bundle and go
on; but he seemed soon to forget the beating, and did the same thing
at almost every jungle they came through. By degrees he became quite
docile. Janoo was one day, about three months after their return to
Lucknow, sent away by his master for a day or two on some business,
and before his return the boy had ran off, and he could never find
him again. About two months after the boy had gone, a woman, of the
weaver caste, came with a letter from a relation of the Rajah, Hurdut
Sing, to Sanaollah, stating that she resided in the village of
Chureyrakotra, on his estate, and had had her son, then about four
years of age, taken from her, about five or six years before, by a
wolf; and, from the description which she gave of him, he, the
Rajah's relation, thought he must be the boy whom his servant, Janoo,
took away with him. She said that her boy had two marks upon him, one
on the chest of a boil, and one of something else on the forehead;
and as these marks corresponded precisely with those found upon the
boy, neither she nor they had any doubt that he was her lost son. She
remained for four months with the merchant Sanaollah, and Janoo, his
kidmutghur, at Lucknow; but the boy could not be found, and she
returned home, praying that information might be sent to her should
he be discovered. Sanaollah, Janoo, and Ramzan Khan, are still at
Lucknow, and before me have all three declared all the circumstances
here stated to be strictly true. The boy was altogether about five
months with Sanaollah and his servants, from the time they got him;
and he had been taken about four months and a half before. The wolf
must have had several litters of whelps during the six or seven years
that the boy was with her. Janoo further adds, that he, after a month
or two, ventured to try a waist-band upon the boy, but he often tore
it off in distress or anger. After he had become reconciled to this,
in about two months, he ventured to put on upon him a vest and a pair
of trousers. He had great difficulty in making him keep them on, with
threats and occasional beatings. He would disencumber himself of them
whenever left alone, but put them on again in alarm when discovered;
and to the last often injured or destroyed them by rubbing them
against trees or posts, like a beast, when any part of his body
itched. This habit he could never break him of.

Rajah Hurdut Sewae, who is now in Lucknow on business, tells me (28th
January, 1851) that the sowar brought the boy to Bondee, and there
kept him for a short time, as long as he remained; but as soon as he
went off, the boy came to him, and he kept him for three months; that
he appeared to him to be twelve years of age; that he ate raw meat as
long as he remained with him, with evident pleasure, whenever it was
offered to him, but would not touch the bread and other dressed food
put before him; that he went on all fours, but would stand and go
awkwardly on two legs when threatened or made to do so; that he
seemed to understand signs, but could not understand or utter a word;
that he seldom attempted to bite any one, nor did he tear the clothes
that he put upon him; that Sanaollah, the Cashmeeree merchant, used
at that time to come to him often with shawls for sale, and must have
taken the boy away with him, but he does not recollect having given
the boy to him. He says that he never himself sent any letter to
Sanaollah with the mother of the boy, but his brother or some other
relation of his may have written one for her.

It is remarkable that I can discover no well-established instance of
a man who had been nurtured in a wolf's den having been found. There
is, at Lucknow, an old man who was found in the Oude Tarae, when a
lad, by the hut of an old hermit who had died. He is supposed to have
been taken from wolves by this old hermit. The trooper who found him
brought him to the King some forty years ago, and he has been ever
since supported by the King comfortably. He is still called the "wild
man of the woods." He was one day sent to me at my request, and I
talked with him. His features indicate him to be of the Tharoo tribe,
who are found only in that forest. He is very inoffensive, but speaks
little, and that little imperfectly; and he is still impatient of
intercourse with his fellow-men, particularly with such as are
disposed to tease him with questions. I asked him whether he had any
recollection of having been with wolves. He said "the wolf died long
before the hermit;" but he seemed to recollect nothing more, and
there is no mark on his knees or elbows to indicate that he ever went
on all fours. That he was found as a wild boy in the forest there can
be no doubt; but I do not feel at all sure that he ever lived with
wolves. From what I have seen and heard I should doubt whether any
boy who had been many years with wolves, up to the age of eight or
ten, could ever attain the average intellect of man. I have never
heard of a man who had been spared and nurtured by wolves having been
found; and, as many boys have been recovered from wolves after they
had been many years with them, we must conclude that after a time
they either die from living exclusively on animal food, before they
attain the age of manhood, or are destroyed by the wolves themselves,
or other beasts of prey, in the jungles, from whom they are unable to
escape, like the wolves themselves, from want of the same speed. The
wolf or wolves, by whom they have been spared and nurtured, must die
or be destroyed in a few years, and other wolves may kill and eat
them. Tigers generally feed for two or three days upon the bullock
they kill, and remain all the time, when not feeding, concealed in
the vicinity. If they found such a boy feeding upon their prey they
would certainly kill him, and most likely eat him. If such a boy
passed such a dead body he would certainly feed upon it. Tigers often
spring upon and kill dogs and wolves thus found feeding upon their
prey. They could more 'easily kill boys, and would certainly be more
disposed to eat them. If the dead body of such a boy were found
anywhere in the jungles, or on the plains, it would excite little
interest, where dead bodies are so often found exposed, and so soon
eaten by dogs, jackals, vultures, &c., and would scarcely ever lead
to any particular inquiry.



Salone district--Rajah Lal Hunmunt Sing of Dharoopoor--Soil of Oude--
Relative fertility of the _mutteear_ and _doomutteea_--Either may
become _oosur_, or barren, from neglect, and is reclaimed, when it
does so, with difficulty--Shah Puna Ata, a holy man in charge of an
eleemosynary endowment at Salone--Effects of his curses--Invasion of
British Boundary--Military Force with the Nazim--State and character
of this Force--Rae Bareilly in the Byswara district--Bandha, or
Misletoe--Rana Benee Madhoo, of Shunkerpoor--Law of Primogeniture--
Title of Rana contested between Benee Madhoo and Rogonath Sing--
Bridge and avenue at Rae Bareilly--Eligible place for cantonment and
civil establishments--State of the Artillery--Sobha Sing's regiment--
Foraging System--Peasantry follow the fortunes of their refractory
Landlords--No provision for the king's soldiers, disabled in action,
or for the families of those who are killed--Our sipahees, a
privileged class, very troublesome in the Byswara and Banoda
districts--Goorbukshgunge--Man destroyed by an Elephant--Danger to
which keepers of such animals are exposed--Bys Rajpoots composed of
two great families, Sybunsies and Nyhassas--Their continual contests
for landed possessions--Futteh Bahader--Rogonath Sing--Mahibollah the
robber and estate of Balla--Notion that Tillockchundee Bys Rajpoots
never suffer from the bite of a snake--Infanticide--Paucity of
comfortable dwelling-houses--The cause--Agricultural capitalists--
Ornaments and apparel of the females of the Bys clan--Late Nazim Hamid
Allee--His father-in-law Fuzl Allee--First loan from Oude to our
Government--Native gentlemen with independent incomes cannot reside
in the country--Crowd the city, and tend to alienate the Court from
the people.

_December_ 29, 1849.--Ten miles to Rampoor. Midway we passed over the
border of the Sultanpoor district into that of Salone, whose Amil,
Hoseyn Buksh, there met us with his _cortège_. Rampoor is the
Residence of Rajah Hunmunt Sing, the tallookdar of the two estates of
Dharoopoor and Kalakunkur, which extend down to and for some miles
along the left bank of the river Ganges. There is a fort in each of
these estates, and he formerly resided in that of Dharoopoor, four
miles from our present encampment. That of Kalakunkur is on the bank
of the Ganges. The lands along, on both sides the road, over which we
are come, are scantily cultivated, but well studded with good trees,
where the soil is good for them. A good deal of it is, however, the
poor oosur soil, the rest muteear, of various degrees of fertility.
The territory of Oude, as I have said above, must once have formed
part of the bed of a lake,* which contained a vast fund of soluble
salts. Through this bed, as the waters flowed off, the rivers from
the northern range of hills, which had before fed the lake, cut their
way to join the larger stream of the Ganges; and the smaller streams,
which have their sources in the dense forest of the Tarae, which now
extends along the southern border of that range, have since cut their
way through this bed in the same manner to the larger rivers. The
waters from these rivers percolate through the bed; and, as they rise
to the surface, by the laws of capillary attraction, they carry with
them these salts in solution. As they reach the surface in dry
weather, they give off by evaporation pure water; and the salts,
which they held in solution, remain behind in the upper surface. The
capillary action goes on; and as the pure water is taken off in the
atmosphere in vapour, other water impregnated with more salts comes
up to supply its place; and the salts near the surface either
accumulate or are supplied to the roots of the plants, shrubs, or
trees, which require them.

[* Caused, possibly, by the Vendeya range once extending E. N. E. up
to the Himmalaya chain, which runs E. S. E. It now extends up only to
the right bank of the Ganges, at Chunar and Mirzapoor.]

Rain-water,* which contains no such salts, falls after the dry season
is over, and washes out of the upper surface a portion of the salts,
which have thus been brought up from below and accumulated, and
either takes them off in floods or carries them down again to the
beds below. Some of these salts, or their bases, may become
superabundant, and render the lands oosur or unfit for ordinary
tillage. There may be a superabundance of those which are not
required, or cannot be taken up by the plants, actually on the
surface, or there may be a superabundance of the whole, from the
plants and rain-water being insufficient to take away such as require
to be removed. These salts are here, as elsewhere, of great variety;
nitrates of ammonia, which, combining with the inorganic substances--
magnesia, lime, soda, potash, alumina, and oxide of iron--form double
salts, and become soluble in water, and fit food for plants. Or there
may be a deficiency of vegetable mould (humus) or manure to supply,
with the aid of carbonic acid, air, water, and ammonia, the organic
acids required to adapt the inorganic substances to the use of

[* Rain-water contains small quantities of carbonic acid, ammonia,
atmospheric air, and vegetable or animal matter.]

All are, in due proportion, more or less conducive to the growth and
perfection of the plants, which men and animals require from the
soil: some plants require more of the one, and some more of another;
and some find a superabundance of what they need, where others find a
deficiency, or none at all. The muteear seems to differ from the
doomuteea soil, in containing a greater portion of those elements
which constitute what are called good clay soils. The inorganic
portions of these elements--silicates, carbonates, sulphates,
phosphates, and chlorides of lime, potash, magnesia, alumina, soda,
oxides of iron and manganese--it derives from the detritus of the
granite, gneiss, mica, and chlorite slate, limestone and sandstone
rocks, in which the Himmalaya chain of mountains so much abounds; and
the organic elements--humates, almates, geates, apoerenates, and
crenates--it derives from the mould, formed from the decay of animal
and vegetable matter. It is more hydroscopic, or capable of absorbing
and retaining moisture, and fixing ammonia than the doomuteea. It is
of a darker colour, and forms more into clods to retain moisture. I
may here mention that the Himmalaya chain does not abound in volcanic
rocks, like the chains of Central and Southern India; and that the
soils, which are formed from its detritus, contain, in consequence,
less phosphoric acid, and is less adapted to the growth of that
numerous class of plants which cannot live without phosphates. The
volcanic rocks form a plateaux upon the sandstone, of almost all the
hills of Central and Southern India; and the soil, which is formed
from their detritus, is exceedingly fertile, when well combined, as
it commonly is, with the salts and double salts formed by the union
of the organic acids with the inorganic bases of alkalies, earths,
and oxides which have become soluble, and been brought to the surface
from below by capillary attraction. I may also mention, that the
basaltic plateaux upon the sandstone rocks of Central and Southern
India are often surmounted with a deposit, more or less deep, of
laterite, or indurated iron clay, the detritus of which tends to
promote fertility in the soil. I have never myself seen any other
deposit than this iron clay or _laterite_ above the basaltic
plateaux. I believe that this laterite is never found, in any part of
the Himmalaya chain. I have never seen it there, nor have I ever
heard of any one having seen it there. In Bundelkund and other parts
of Central and Southern India, the basaltic plateaux are sometimes
found deposing immediately upon beds of granite.

The doomuteea is of a light-brown colour, soon powders into fine
dust, and requires much more outlay in manure and labour than the
muteear. The oosur soil appears to be formed out of both, by a
superabundance of one or other of the salts or their bases, which are
brought to the surface from the beds below, and not carried off or
taken back into these beds. It is known that salts of ammonia are
injurious to plants, unless combined with organic acids, supplied to
the soil by decayed vegetable or animal matter. This matter is
necessary to combine with, and fix the ammonia in the soil, and give
it out to plants as they require it.

It is possible that nitrates may superabound in the soil from the
oxydizement of the nitrogen of a superfluity of ammonia. The people
say that all land may become _oosur_ from neglect; and when _oosur_
can never be made to bear crops, after it has been left long fallow,
till it has been flooded with rain-water for two or three seasons, by
means of artificial embankments, and then well watered, manured, and
ploughed. When well tilled in this way, all but the very worst kinds
of _oosur_ are said to bear tolerable crops. In the midst of a plain
of barren oosur land, which has hardly a tree, shrub, or blade of
grass, we find small _oases_, or patches of low land, in which
accumulated rain-water lies for several months every year, covered
with stout grasses of different kinds, a sure indication of ability
to bear good crops, under good tillage. From very bad _oosur_ lands,
common salt or saltpetre, or both, are taken by digging out and
washing the earth, and then removing the water by evaporation. The
clods in the muteear soil not only retain moisture, and give it out
slowly as required by the crops, but they give shelter and coolness
to the young and tender shoots of grain and pulse. Of course trees,
shrubs, and plants, of all kind in Oude, as elsewhere, derive
carbonic acid gas and ammonia from the atmosphere, and decompose
them, for their own use, in the same manner.

In treating of the advantages of greater facilities for irrigation in
India, I do not recollect ever having seen any mention made of that
of penetrating by wells into the deep deposits below of the soluble
salts, or their bases, and bringing them to the surface in the water,
for the supply of the plants, shrubs, and trees we require. People
talk of digging for valuable metals, and thereby "developing
resources;" but never talk of digging for the more valuable solutions
of soluble salts, to be combined with the organic acids already
existing in the soil, or provided by man in manures--and with the
carbonic acid, ammonia, and water from the atmosphere--to supply him
with a never-ending succession of harvests. The practical
agriculturists of Oude, however, say, that brackish water in
irrigation is only useful to tobacco and shama; and where the salts
which produce it superabound, rain-water tanks and fresh-water rivers
and canals would, no doubt, be much better than wells for irrigation.
All these waters contain carbonic acid gas, atmospheric air, and
solutions of salts, which form food for plants, or become so when
combined with the organic acids, supplied by the decayed animal and
vegetable matter in the soil.

Soils which contain salts, which readily give off their water of
crystallization and _effloresce_, sooner become barren than those
which contain salts that attract moisture from the air, and
deliquesce, as chlorides of calcium and magnesia, carbonates and
acetates of potassa, alumina, &c. Canals flowing over these deep dry
beds, through which little water from the springs below ever
percolates to the surface, are not only of great advantage for
irrigating the crops on the surface, but for supplying water as they
flow along, to penetrate through these deep dry beds; and, as they
rise to the surface by capillary attraction, carrying along with them
the soluble salts which they pick up on their way. In Oude, as in all
the districts that extend along to the north of the Ganges, and south
of the Himmalaya chain, easterly winds prevail, and bring up moisture
from the sea of the Bay of Bengal. All these districts are, at the
same time, abundantly studded with groves of fine trees and jungle,
that attract this moisture to the earth in rain and dew. Through
Goozerat, Malwa, Berar, and Bundelkund, and all the districts
bordering the Nerbudda river, from its mouth to its sources, westerly
winds prevail, and bring up moisture from the Gulf of Cambay; and
these districts are all well studded with groves, &c., and single
trees, which act in the same manner, in attracting the moisture from
the atmosphere to the earth, in rain and dew. In Rajpootana and Sinde
no prevailing wind, I believe, comes from any sea nearer than the
Atlantic ocean; and there are but few trees to attract to the earth
the little moisture that the atmosphere contains. The rain that falls
over these countries is not, I believe, equal to more than one-third
of what falls over the districts, supplied from the Bay of Bengal, or
to one-fourth of what falls in those supplied from the Gulf of
Cambay. Our own districts of the N. W. Provinces, which intervene
between those north of the Ganges and Rajpootana, have the advantage
of rivers and canals; but their atmosphere is not so well supplied
with moisture from the sea, nor are they so well studded as they
ought to be with trees. The Punjab has still greater advantages from
numerous rivers, flowing from the Himmalaya chain, and is, like
Egypt, in some measure independent of moisture from the atmosphere as
far as tillage is concerned; but both would, no doubt, be benefited
by a greater abundance of trees. They not only tend to convey to and
retain moisture in the soil, and to purify the air for man, by giving
out oxygen and absorbing carbonic acid gas, but they are fertilizing
media, through which the atmosphere conveys to the soil most of the
carbon, and much of the ammonia, without which no soil can be
fertile. It is, I believe, generally admitted that trees derive most
of their carbon from the air through their leaves, and most of their
ammonia from the soil through their roots; and that when the trees,
shrubs, and plants, which form our coal-measures, adorned the surface
of the globe, the atmosphere must have contained a greater portion of
carbonic acid gas than at present. They decompose the gases, use the
carbon, and give back the oxygen to the atmosphere.

_December_ 30, 1849.--Ten miles to Salone, over a pretty country,
well studded with fine trees and well tilled, except in large patches
of oosur land, which occur on both sides of the road. The soil,
doomuteea, with a few short intervals of muteear. The Rajah of
Pertabghur, and other great landholders of the Sultanpoor division,
who had been for some days travelling with me, and the Nazim and his
officers, took leave yesterday. The Nazim, Aga Allee, is a man of
great experience in the convenances of court and city life, and of
some in revenue management, having long had charge of the estates
comprised in the "Hozoor Tehseel," while he resided at Lucknow. He
has good sense and an excellent temper, and his manners and
deportment are courteous and gentlemanly. The Rajah of Pertabghur is
a very stout and fat man, of average understanding. The rightful heir
to the principality was Seorutun Sing, whom I have mentioned in my
_Rambles and Recollections_, as a gallant young landholder, fighting
for his right to the succession, while I was cantoned at Pertabghur
in 1818. He continued to fight, but in vain, as the revenue
contractors were too strong for him. Gholam Hoseyn, the then Nazim,
kept him down while he lived, and Dursun Sing got him into his power
by fraud, and confined him for three years in gaol.

He died soon after his release, leaving one son. Rajah Dheer Sing,*
who still lives upon the portion of land which his father inherited.
He has taken up the contest for the right bequeathed to him by his
father; and his uncle, Golab Sing, the younger brother of Seorutun, a
brave, shrewd, and energetic man, has been for some days importuning
me for assistance. The nearest relations of the family told me
yesterday, that they were coerced by the Government authorities into
recognising the adoption of the present Rajah, though it was contrary
to all Hindoo law and usage. Hindoos, they said, never marry into the
same gote or family, and they never ought to adopt one of the
relations of their wives, or a son of a sister, or any descendant in
the female line, while there is one of the male line existing.
Seoruttun Sing was the next heir in the male line; but the Rajah,
having married a young girl in his old age, adopted as his heir to
the principality her nearest relative, the present Rajah, who is of a
different _gote_. The desire to keep the land in the same family has
given rise to singular laws and usages in all nations in the early
stages of civilization, when industry is confined almost exclusively
to agriculture, and land is almost the only property valued. Among
the people of the Himmalaya hills, as in all Sogdiana, it gave rise
to polyandry; and, among the Israelites and Mahommedans, to the
marriage of many brothers in succession to the same woman.

[* Rajah Deer Sing died in April 1851, leaving a very young son under
the guardianship of his uncle, Golab Sing.]

The Rajah of Dharoopoor, who resides at Rampoor, our last halting-
place, holds, as above stated, a tract of land along the left bank of
the Ganges, called the Kalakunkur, in which he has lately built a
mud-fort of reputed strength. He is a very sensible and active man of
pleasing manners. He has two grown-up sons, who were introduced to me
by him yesterday. The Government authorities complain of his want of
punctuality in the payment of his revenue; and he complains, with
much more justice, of the uncertainty in the rate of the demand on
the part of Government and its officers or Court favourites, and in
the character of the viceroys sent to rule over them; but, above all,
of the impossibility of getting a hearing at Court when they are
wronged and oppressed by bad viceroys. He went twice himself to
Lucknow, to complain of grievous wrongs suffered by him and his
tenants from an oppressive viceroy; but, though he had some good
friends at Court, and among them Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, he was obliged
to return without finding access to the sovereign or his minister, or
any one in authority over the viceroy. He told me that all large
landholders, who had any regard for their character, or desire to
retain their estates, and protect their tenants, were obliged to arm
and take to their strongholds or jungles as their only resource, when
bad viceroys were sent--that if they could be assured that fair
demands only would be made, and that they would have access to
authority, when they required to defend themselves from false
charges, and to complain of the wrong doings of viceroys and their
agents, none of them would be found in resistance against the
Government, since all were anxious to bequeath to their children a
good name, as well as a good estate. He promised punctual payment of
his revenues to Government, and strict obedience in all things,
provided that the contractor did not enhance his demand upon him, as
he now seemed disposed to do, in the shape of gratuities to himself
and Court favourites. "To be safe in Oude" he said, "it is necessary
to be strong, and prepared always to use your strength in resisting
outrage and oppression, on the part of the King's officers."

At Salone resides a holy Mahommedan, Shah Puna Ata, who is looked up
to with great reverence by both Mahommedans and Hindoos, for the
sanctity of his character, and that of his ancestors, who sat upon
the same religions _throne_, for throne his simple mattress is
considered to be. From the time that the heir is called to the
_throne_, he never leaves his house, but stays at home to receive
homage, and distribute blessings and food to needy travellers of all
religions. He gets from the King of Oude twelve villages, rent free,
in perpetuity; and they are said to yield him twenty-five thousand
rupees a-year, with which he provides for his family, and for needy
travellers and pilgrims. This eleemosynary endowment was granted,
about sixty years ago, by the then sovereign, Asuf-od Dowlah. The
lands had belonged to a family of Kumpureea Rajpoots, who were ousted
for contumacy or rebellion, I believe. He was plundered of all he
had, to the amount of some twenty thousand rupees, in 1834, during
the reign of Nuseer-on Deen Hyder, by Ehsan Hoseyn, the Nazim of
Byswara and Salone, one of the sons of Sobhan Allee Khan, the then
virtual minister; but some fifteen days after, he attacked the
tallookdar of Bhuderee, and lost his place in consequence. The
popular belief is, that he became insane in consequence of the holy
man's curses, and that his whole family became ruined from the same

Bhuderee, which lies a few miles to the south of Salone, was then
held by two gallant Rajpoot brothers, Jugmohun Sing and Bishonath
Sing, the sons of Zalim Sing. In the month of October, A.D. 1832,
Dhokul Sing got the contract of the district, and demanded from
Bhuderee an increase of ten thousand rupees in its revenue. They
refused to pay this increase. At the established rate they had always
paid the Government demand punctually, and been good subjects and
excellent landlords. Dhokul Sing was superseded by Ehsan Hoseyn, in
March 1833; and he insisted upon having the increase of ten thousand.
They refused to pay, and Ehsan Hoseyn besieged and attacked their
fort in September. After defending themselves resolutely for five
days, Bishonath Sing consented to visit Ehsan Hoseyn, in his camp, on
a solemn assurance of personal security; but he no sooner came to his
tent than he was seized and taken to Rae Bareilly, the headquarters,
a prisoner, in the suite of the Nazim. He there remained confined, in
irons, under charge of a wing of a regiment, commanded by Mozim Khan,
till February 1834, when he effected his escape, and went back to
Bhuderee. In March, a large force was collected, with an immense
train of artillery, to aid the Nazim, and he again laid siege to the
fort. Having sent off their families before the siege began, and
seeing, in the course of a few days, that they could not long hold
out against so large a force, the two brothers buried eight out of
their ten guns, left the fort at midnight with the other two, cut
their way through the besiegers, and passed over a plain six miles to
Ramchora, on the left bank of the Ganges, and within the British
territory, followed by the whole of the Nazim's force.

A brisk cannonade was kept up, on both sides, the whole way, and a
great many lives were lost The two brothers thought they should be
safe at Ramchora, under the protection of the British Government; but
the Nazim's force surrounded the place, and kept up a fire upon it.
The brothers contrived, however, to send over the Ganges the greater
part of their followers, under the protection of their two guns, and
the few men retained to defend and serve them. Jugmohun Sing at last
consented to accept the pledge of personal security tendered by Rajah
Seodeen Sing, the commander-in-chief of the attacking forces; but
while he and his brother were on their way to the camp, with a few
armed attendants, the soldiers of the Nazim, by whom they were
escorted, attempted to seize and disarm them. They resisted and
defended themselves. Others came to their rescue, and the firing
recommenced. Jugmohun Sing, and his brother, Bishonath Sing and all
their remaining followers were killed. The two brothers lost about
one hundred and fifty men, and the Nazim about sixty, in killed. The
heads of the two brothers were taken off, forthwith, and sent to the
King. Three villages in the British territory were plundered by the
Oude troops on this occasion. This violation of our territory the
King of Oude was called upon to punish; and Ehsan Hoseyn was deprived
of his charge, and heavily fined, to pay compensation to our injured

Roshun-od Dowlah, the minister, was entirely in the hands of Sobhan
Allee Khan; and, as long as he retained office, the family suffered
no other punishment. When he, Roshun-od Dowlah, was afterwards
deprived of office, he went to Cawnpore to reside, and Sobhan Allee
and all his family were obliged to follow his fortunes. On his
dismissal from office, Roshun-od Dowlah was put into gaol, and not
released till he paid twenty-two lacs of rupees into the Treasury. He
had given eight lacs, in our Government promissory notes, to his
wife, and three to his son, and he took some lacs with him to
Cawnpore, all made during the five years he held office. Sobhan Allee
Khan, his deputy, was made to pay into the Treasury seven lacs, and
five in gratuities--all made during the same five years. Sobhan Allee
died last year on a pilgrimage to Mecca, with the character of one of
the ablest and least scrupulous of men; and his sons continue to
reside at Cawnpore and Allahabad, with the character of having all
the bad, without any of the good, qualities of their father. The
widow of Jugmohun manages the estate; but she has adopted the nearest
heir to her husband, the present Rajah of Bhuderee, a fine, handsome,
and amiable youth, of sixteen years of age, who is now learning
Persian. He was one of the many chiefs who took leave of me
yesterday, and the most prepossessing of all. His adoptive mother,
however, absorbs the estates of her weaker neighbours, by fraud,
violence, and collusion, like other landholders, and the dispossessed
become leaders of gang robbers as in other parts.

The Shah receives something from the local authorities, and
contributions from Mahommedan Princes, in remote parts of India, such
as Bhopal, Seronge, &c. Altogether his income is said to amount to
about fifty thousand rupees a-year. He has letters from Governors-
General of India, Lieutenant-Governors of the North-Western Provinces
and their Secretaries; and from Residents at the Court of Lucknow,
all of a complimentary character. He has lately declared his eldest
son to be his heir to the throne, and is said to have already put him
upon it. I received from him the usual letter of compliments and
welcome, with a present of a tame antelope, and some fruit and sugar;
and I wrote him a reply in the usual terms. His name is Shah Puna
Ata, and his character is held in high esteem by all classes of the
people, of whatever creed, caste, or grade.

The Bhuderee family give their daughters in marriage to the Bugheela
Rajahs of Rewa and the Powar Rajahs of Ocheyra, who are considered to
be a shade higher in caste than they are among the Rajpoots. Not long
ago they gave one hundred thousand rupees, with one daughter, to the
only son of the Rewa Rajah, as the only condition on which he would
take her. Golab Sing, the brother of Seoruttun Sing, of Pertabghur,
by caste a Sombunsee, is said to have given lately fifty thousand
rupees, with another daughter, to the same person. Rajah Hunmunt
Sing, of Dharoopoor, who is by caste a Beseyn Rajpoot, the year
before last went to Rewa, accompanied by some fifty Brahmins, to
propose an union between his daughter and the same son of the Rewa
Rajah. A large sum was demanded, but he pleaded poverty, and at last
got the Rajah to consent to take fifty thousand rupees down, and
seventy-five thousand at the last ceremony of the barat, or fetching
home of the bride. When all had been prepared for this last ceremony,
the Rajah of Rewa pleaded the heat of the weather, and his son would
not come to complete it, and take away his bride. Hunmunt Sing
collected one hundred _resolute Brahmins_, and proceeded with them to
Rewa, where they sat _dhurna_ at the Rajah's door, without tasting
food, and declared that they would all die there unless the marriage
were completed.

The Rajah did all he could, or could make his people do, to get rid
of them; but at last, afraid that some of the Brahmins would really
die, he consented that his son should go and fetch his bride, if
Hunmunt Sing would pay down twenty-five thousand rupees more, to
defray the cost of the procession, in addition to the seventy-five
thousand. He did so, and his daughter was taken off in due form. He
has another daughter to dispose of in the same way. The Rewa Rajah
has thus taken five or six wives for his son, from families a shade
lower in caste; but the whole that he has got with them will not be
enough to pay one of the Rajpoot families, a shade higher in caste
than he is, in Rajpootana, to take one daughter from him. It costs
him ten or twelve lacs of rupees to induce the Rajah of Oudeepoor,
Joudhpoor, or Jypoor, to take away, as his bride, a daughter of Rewa.
All is a matter of bargain and sale. Those who have money must pay,
in proportion to their means, to marry their daughters into families
a shade higher in caste or dignity, or to get daughters from them
when such families are reduced to the necessity of selling their
daughters to families of a lower grade.

Among Brahmins it is the same. Take, for example, the Kunojee
Brahmins, among whom there are several shades of caste. The member of
a family a shade higher will not give his son in marriage to a
daughter of a family a shade lower, without receiving a sum in
proportion to its means; nor will he give a daughter in marriage to
such a family till he is so exalted as to be able to disregard the
feelings of his clan, or reduced to such a degree of poverty as shall
seem to his clan sufficient to justify it. This bargain and sale of
sons and daughters prevails, more or less, throughout all Hindoo
society, and is not, even now, altogether unknown among Christian
nations. In Oude, this has led to the stealing of young girls from
our own districts. Some men and women from our districts make a trade
of it. They pretend to be of Rajpoot caste, and inveigle away girls
from their parents, to be united in marriage to Rajpoots in Oude.
They pretend to have brought them with the consent of their parents,
of the same or higher caste, in our territories, and make large sums
by the trade.

_December_ 31, 1849.--Eight miles to Sotee, over a country well
studded with trees, and generally well cultivated. The soil is, all
the way, doomuteea. The road, the greater part of the way, lies in
the purgunnah of Nyn, held by Jugunnath Sing, a Kumpureea Rajpoot,
and his nephew, and the collateral branches of their family. They
have a belt of jungle, extending for some twelve miles along the
right bank of the Saee river, and on the right side of the road, and
within from two to six miles from it--in some parts nearer, and in
others more remote. Wild hogs, deer, neelgae, and wild cattle abound
in this jungle, and do great injury to the crops in its vicinity. The
peasantry can kill and eat the hogs and deer, but dare not kill or
wound the wild cattle or neelgae. The wild cattle are said to be from
a stock which strayed or were let loose in this jungle some centuries
ago. They are described as fat, while the crops are on the ground,
and well formed--some black, some red, some white, and some mixed--
and to be as wild and active as the deer of the same jungle. They are
sometimes caught by being driven into the Saee river; but the young
ones are said to refuse all food, and die soon, if not released.
Hindoos soon release them, from the religious dread that they may die
in confinement. The old ones sometimes live, and are considered
valuable. They are said to be finer in form than the tame cattle of
the country; and from July to March, when grass abounds, and the
country around is covered successively with autumn and spring crops,
more fat and sleek.

The soil is good and strong, and the jungle which covers it very
thick. It is preserved by a family of Kumpureea Rajpoots, whose whole
possessions, in 1814, consisted of nine villages. By degrees they
have driven out or murdered all the other proprietors, and they now
hold no less than one hundred and fifty, for which they pay little or
no revenue to Government. The rents are employed in keeping up large
bands of armed followers and building strongholds, from which they
infest the surrounding country. The family has become divided into
five branches, each branch having a fort or stronghold in the Nyn
jungle, and becoming by degrees subdivided into smaller branches, who
will thrive and become formidable in proportion as the Government
becomes weak. Each branch acts independently in its depredations and
usurpations from weaker neighbours but all unite when attacked or
threatened by the Government.

Rajah Dursun Sing held the district of Salone from 1827 to 1836, and
during this time he made several successful attacks upon the
Kumpureea Rajpoots of the Nyn jungle; and during his occasional
temporary residence he had a great deal of the jungle around his
force cut down, but he made no permanent arrangement for subduing
them. In 1837, the government of this district was transferred to
Kondon Lal Partak, who established a garrison in the centre of the
jungle, had much of it cut down, and kept the Kumpureea barons
effectually in check. He died in 1838, and Rajahs Dursun Sing and
Buktawar Sing again got the government, and continued the _partaks_
system for the next five years, up to 1843. They lost the government
for 1844 and 1845, but their successors followed the same system, to
keep the Kumpureeas in order. Bukhtawar Sing got the government again
for 1846 and 1847, and persevered in this system; but in 1848 the
government was made over to Hamid Allee, a weak and inexperienced
man. His deputy, Nourouz Allee, withdrew the garrison, and left the
jungle to the Kumpureeas, who, in return, assigned to him three or
four of their villages, rent free, in perpetuity, which in Oude means
as long as the grantee may have the power or influence to be useful
to the granters, or to retain the grants. Since that time the
Kumpureeas have recovered all the lands they had lost, restored all
the jungle that had been cut down, and they are now more powerful
than ever. They have strengthened their old forts and built some new,
and added greatly to the number of their armed followers, so that the
governor of the district dares not do anything to coerce them into
the payment of the just demands of Government, or to check their
usurpations and outrages.*

[* This Nourouz Allee was, 1851, the agent of the Kumpureea barons of
this jungle, at the Durbar, where he has made, in the usual way, many
influential friends, in collusion with whom he has seized upon many
estates in the vicinity of the jungle, and had them made over to
these formidable barons.]

The present Nazim has with him two Nujeeb Regiments, one of nine
hundred and fifty-five, and the other of eight hundred and thirty
men; a squadron of horse and fourteen guns. The two corps are
virtually commanded by fiddlers and eunuchs at Court. Of the men
borne on the muster rolls and paid, not one-half are present; of the
number present, not one-half are fit for the duties of soldiers; and
of those fit for such duties, not one-half would perform them. They
get nominally four rupees a-month, liable to numerous deductions, and
they are obliged to provide their own clothing, arms, accoutrements,
and ammunition, except on occasions of actual fighting, when they are
entitled to powder and ball from the Government officer under whom
they are employed. He purchases powder in the bazaars, or has it sent
to him from Lucknow; and, in either case, it is not more than one-
third of the strength used by our troops. It is made in villages and
supplied to contractors, whose only object is to get the article at
the cheapest possible rate; and that supplied to the most petted
corps is altogether unfit for service.

The arms with which they are expected to provide themselves are a
matchlock and sword. They are often ten or twelve months in arrears,
and obliged to borrow money for their own subsistence and that of
their families, at twenty-four per cent. interest. If they are
disabled, they have little chance of ever recovering the arrears of
pay due to them; and if they are killed, their families have still
less. Even the arms and accoutrements which they have purchased with
their own money are commonly seized by the officers of Government,
and sold for the benefit of the State. Under all these disadvantages,
the Nazim tells me that he thinks it very doubtful whether any of the
men of the two corps would fight at all on emergency. The cavalry are
still worse off, for they have to subsist their horses, and if any
man's horse should be disabled or killed, he would be at once
dismissed with just as little chance of recovering the arrears of pay
due to him. Of the fourteen guns, two only are in a state fit for
service. Bullocks are provided for six out of fourteen, but they are
hardly able to stand from want of food, much less to draw heavy guns.
I looked at them, and found that they had had no grain for many
years, and very little grass or chaff, since none is allowed by
Government for their use, and little can be got by forage, or
plunder, which is the same thing. One seer and half of grain, or
three pounds a-day for each bullock, is allowed and paid for by
Government, but the bullocks never get any of it. Of the six best
guns, for which he has draft bullocks, the carriage of one went to
pieces on the road yesterday, and that of another went to pieces
this-morning in my camp, in firing the salute, and both guns now lie
useless on the ground. He has one mortar, but only two shells for it;
and he has neither powder nor ball for any of the guns. He was
obliged to purchase in the bazaar the powder required for the salute
for the Resident.

The Nazim tells me, that he has entertained at his own cost two
thousand Nujeebs or Seobundies, on the same conditions as those on
which the others serve in the two Regiments, on duty under him--that
is, they are to get four rupees a-month each, and furnish themselves
with food, clothing, a matchlock, sword, accoutrements, and
ammunition, except on occasions of actual fighting, when he is to
provide them with powder and ball from the bazaar. The minister, he
tells me, promised to send him another Nujeeb corps--the Futteh Jung--
from Khyrabad; but he has heard so bad an account of its discipline,
that he might as well be without it. All the great landholders see
the helpless state of the Nazim, and not only withhold from him the
just dues of Government, but seize upon and appropriate with impunity
the estates of the small proprietors in their neighbourhood.

_January_ 1, 1850.--Fourteen miles to Rae Bareilly, over a plain
with more than usual undulation, and the same doomuteea light soil,
tolerably cultivated, and well studded with trees of the finest kind.
The festoons of the bandha hang gracefully from the branches, with
their light green and yellow leaves, and scarlet flowers, in the dark
green foliage of the mango and mhowa trees in great abundance. I saw
them in no other, but they are sometimes said to be found in the
banyan, peepul, and other trees, with large leaves, though not in the
tamarind, babul, and other trees, with small leaves. I examined those
on the mango and mhowa trees, and they are the same in leaf and
flower, and are said to be the same in whatever tree found. Rae
Bareilly is in the estate of Shunkurpoor, belonging to Rana Benee
Madho, a large landholder. He resides at Shunkurpoor, ten miles from
this, and is strong, and not very scrupulous in the acquisition, by
fraud, violence, and collusion, of the lands of the small proprietors
in the neighbourhood. I asked Rajah Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor, as
he was riding by my side, this morning, whether he was not a man of
bad character. He said, "No, by no means; he is a man of great
possessions, credit, and influence, and of good repute." "But does he
not rob smaller proprietors of their hereditary lands?" "If," replied
the Rajah, "you estimate men's character in Oude on this principle,
you will find hardly any landholder of any rank with a good one, for
they have all been long doing the same thing--all have been
augmenting their own estates by absorbing those of smaller
proprietors, by what you will call fraud, violence, and collusion,
but they are not thought the worse of for this by the Government or
its officers." Nothing could be more true. Men who augment their
estates in this way, purchase the acquiescence of temporary local
officers, either by gratuities, or promises of aid, in putting down
other powerful and refractory landholders; or they purchase the
patronage of Court favourites, who get their estates transferred to
the "Hozoor Tehseel," and their transgressions overlooked. Those who
augment their resources in this way, employ them in maintaining armed
bands, building forts, and purchasing cannon, to secure themselves in
the possession, and to resist the Government and its officers, who
might otherwise make them pay in some proportion to their

Benee Madho called upon me after breakfast, and gave me the little of
his history that I desired to hear. He is of the Byans Rajpoot clan,
and his ancestors have been settled in Oude for about twenty-five
generations, as landholders of different grades. The tallook or
estate now belongs to him, and is considered to be a principality, to
descend entire by the law of primogeniture, to the nearest male heir,
unless the lands become divided during his life-time among his sons.
Such a division has already taken place, as will be seen by the
annexed note :*

[* Abdool-Sing, the tallookdar of Shunkurpoor, had three sons; first,
Doorga Buksh, to whom he gave three shares; second, Chundha Buksh, to
whom he gave two shares; third, Bhowanee Buksh, to whom he gave one
and half share. The three shares of Doorga Buksh descended to his
son, Sheopersaud, who died without issue. Chunda Buksh left two sons,
Ramnaraen and Gor Buksh, Ramnaraen inherited the three shares of
Sheopersaud, as well as the two shares of his father. He had three
sons, Rana Benee Madho, Nirput Sing, and Jogray Sing; Benee Madho
inherited the three shares, and one of the other two was given to
Nirput Sing, and the other to Jogray Sing. Gorbuksh Sing left one
son, Sheopersaud, who gets the one and half share of Bhowanee Buksh,
whose son, Joorawun, died without issue. Benee Madho is now the head
of the family; and he has more than quadrupled his three shares by
absorptions, made in the way above mentioned.]

The three and half shares held by his brothers and cousins are liable
to subdivision by the Hindoo law of inheritance, or the custom of his
family and clan; but his own share must descend undivided, unless he
divides it during his lifetime, or his heirs divide it during theirs,
and consent to descend in the scale of landholders. He says that,
during the five years that Fakeer Mahommed Khan was Nazim, a quarrel
subsisted between him and the tallookdar of Khujoor Gow, Rugonath
Sing, his neighbour; that Sahib Rae, the deputy of Fakeer Mahommed,
who was himself no man of business, adopted the cause of his enemy,
and persuaded his master to attack and rob him of all he had, turn
him out of his estate, and make it over to Rugonath Sing. He went to
Lucknow for redress, and remained there urging his claims for
fourteen months, when he got an order from the minister, Ameen-od
Dowlah, for the estate being restored to him and transferred to the
Hozoor Tehseel. He recovered his possessions, and the transfer was
made; and he has ever since lived in peace. He might have added that
he has been, at the same time, diligently employed in usurping the
possessions of his weaker neighbours.*

[* Benee Madho and Rugonath Sing have since quarrelled about the
title of Rana. Benee Madho assumed the title, and Rugonath wished to
do the same, but Benee Madho thought this would derogate from his
dignity. They had some fighting, but Rugonath at last gave in, and
Benee Madho purchased, from the Court a recognition of his exclusive
right to the title, which is a new one in Oude. They had each a force
of five thousand brave men, besides numerous auxiliaries.]

On our road, two miles from Rae Bareilly, we passed over a bridge on
the Saee river, built by _Reotee Ram_, the deputy of the celebrated
eunuch, Almas Allee Khan, some sixty or seventy years ago. He at the
same time planted an avenue of fine trees from Salone to Rae
Bareilly, twenty miles; and from Rae Bareilly to Dalamow, on the
Ganges, south, a distance of fourteen miles more. Many of the trees
are still standing and very fine; but the greater part have been cut
down during the contests that have taken place between the Government
officers and the landholders, or between the landholders themselves.
The troops in attendance upon local government authorities have,
perhaps, been the greatest enemies to this avenue, for they spare
nothing of value, either in exchange or esteem, that they have the
power to take. The Government and its officers feel no interest in
such things, and the family of the planter has no longer the means to
protect the trees or repair the works.

Rae Bareilly is the head-quarters of the local authorities in the
Byswara district, and is considered to be one of the most healthy
places in Oude. It is near the bank of the small river Saee, in a
fine, open plain of light soil, and must be dry at all seasons, as
the drainage is good; and there are no jheels or jungles near. It
would be an excellent cantonment for a large force, and position for
large civil establishments. The town is a melancholy ruin, and the
people tell me that whatever landholder in the district quarrels with
the local authorities is sure, as his first enterprise, to sack _Rae
Bareilly_, as there is no danger in doing it. The inhabitants live so
far from each other, and are separated by such heaps of ruins and
deep water-courses, that they can make no resistance. The high walls
and buildings, all of burnt brick, erected in the time of Shahjehan,
are all gone to ruin. The plain, around the town, is open, level,
well cultivated, and beautifully studded with trees. There is a fine
tank of puckah masonry to the north-west of the town, built by the
same Reotee Ram, and repaired by some member of his family, who holds
and keeps in good order the pretty garden around it. The best place
for a cantonment, courts, &c., is the plain which separates the town
from the river Saee to the south-east: they should extend along from
the town to the bridge over the Saee river. The water of this river
is said to be excellent, though not quite equal to that of the
Ganges. There is good water in most of the wells, but in some it is
said to be brackish. The bridge requires repair.

_January_ 2, 1850.--We halted at Rae Bareilly, and I inspected the
bullocks belonging to the guns of Sobha Sing's regiment and some guns
belonging to the Nazim. The bullocks have been starved, are hardly
able to walk, and quite unfit for any work. Some of the carriages of
the guns are broken down, and those that are still entire are so
rotten that they could not bear a march. This regiment of Sobha
Sing's was as good as any of those commanded by Captains Magness,
Bunbury, and Barlow, while commanded by the late Captain Buckley;*
and the native officers and sipahees trained under him are all still
excellent, but they are not well provided. Like the others, this
regiment was to have had guns permanently attached to it, but the
want of Court influence has prevented this. They now have them only
when sent on service from one or other of the batteries at Lucknow,
and the consequence is that they are good for nothing. Sobha Sing is
at Court, in attendance on the minister; and his adjutant, Bhopaul
Sing, a near relative of the Rajah of Mynpooree, commands: he seems
to be a good soldier, and an honest and respectable man.

[* Captain Buckley was the son of Colonel Buckley, of the Honourable
Company's service, a good soldier and faithful servant of the Oude
Government. His mother, widow, and son, were left destitute; but on
my earnest recommendation, the King granted the lad a pension of
fifty rupees a-month.]

The Nazim has with him this one _Komukee_, or auxiliary regiment, and
half of three regiments of Nujeebs, amounting, according to the pay
abstracts and muster-rolls, to fifteen hundred men. He has one
hundred cavalry and seven guns, of which one only is fit for use, and
for that one he has neither stores nor ammunition. He was obliged to
purchase in the bazaar the powder and cloth required to make up the
cartridges for a salute for the Resident. Of the fifteen hundred
Nujeebs not two-thirds are present, and of these hardly one-half are
efficient: they are paid, armed, clothed, and provided like the corps
of Nujeebs placed under the other local officers. The tallookdars of
the districts have not as yet presented themselves to the Nazim, but
they have sent their agents, and, with few exceptions, shown a
disposition to pay their revenues. The chief landholder in the
district is Rambuksh, of Dondeea Kherah, a town, with a fort, on the
bank of the river Ganges. He holds five of the purgunnahs as
hereditary possessions:--1, Bhugwuntnuggur; 2, Dondeea Kherah; 3,
Mugraen; 4, Punheen; 5, Ghutumpoor. The present Nazim has put all
five under the management of Government officers, as the only safe
way to get the revenues, as Rambuksh is a bad paymaster. Had he not
been so, as well to his _own retainer_ as to the _King's officers_,
the Nazim would not have been able to do this. It is remarked as a
singular fact among Rajpoot landholders that Rambuksh wants courage
himself, and is too niggardly to induce others to fight for him with
spirit. The last Nazim, Hamid Allee, a weak and inexperienced man,
dared not venture upon such a measure to enforce payment of

[* Rambuksh recovered the management of his estate, and had it
transferred to the Hozoor Tehseel: but he failed in the payment of
the expected gratuities; and in April, 1851, he was attacked by a
large force, and driven across the Ganges, into British territory. He
had gone off on the pretence of a visit to some shrine, and his
followers would not fight. The fort was destroyed, and estate
confiscated. He is still, January, 1851, negotiating for the purchase
of both, and will succeed, as he has plenty of money at command. The
King's troops employed committed all manner of atrocities upon the
poor peasantry: many men were murdered, many women threw themselves
down in wells, after they had been dishonoured; and all were
indiscriminately plundered.]

He married the daughter of Fuzl Allee, the prime minister for fifteen
months, during which time he made a fortune of some thirty or thirty-
five lacs of rupees, twelve of which Hamid Allee's wife got. He was
persuaded by Gholam Allee, his deputy, and others, that he might
aspire to be prime minister at Lucknow if he took a few districts in
farm, to establish his character and influence. In the farm of these
districts he has sunk his own fortune and that of his wife, and is
still held to be a defaulter to the amount of some eighteen lacs, and
is now in gaol. This balance he will wipe off in time in the usual
manner: he will beg and borrow to pay a small sum to the Treasury,
and four times the amount in gratuities to the minister, and other
persons, male and female, of influence at Court. The rest will be
struck off as irrecoverable, and he will be released. He was a man
respected at Delhi, as well on account of his good character as on
that of his wealth; but he is here only pitied as an ambitious fool.

The wakeel, on the part of the King, with the Resident, has been
uniting his efforts to those of Hoseyn Buksh,* the present Nazim of
Salone, to prevail upon Rajah Hunmunt Sing, the tallookdar of
Dharoopoor, to consent to pay an addition of ten or fifteen thousand
rupees to the present demand of one hundred and sixteen thousand
rupees a-year for his estate. He sturdily refused, under the
assurance of the good offices of Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, who has
hitherto supported him. Among other things urged by him to account
for his inability to pay is the obligation he is under to liquidate,
by annual instalments, a balance due to Bukhtawar Sing; himself, when
he held the contract of the district many years ago. Bukhtawar Sing
acknowledges the receipt of the instalments, and declares that they
are justly due; but these payments are, in reality, nothing more than
gratuities, paid for his continued good offices with the minister and

[* Hoseyn Buksh was killed in March following, by the followers of a
female landholder, whom he was trying to coerce into payment. He was
killed by a cannon shot through the chest, while engaged in the siege
of Shahmow, held by Golab Kour, the widow of Rajah Dirguj Sing, who
had succeeded to the estate, and would not or could not pay her

A few days before, Hoseyn Buksh attached the crops of another
tallookdar, Seodut Sing, of Dhunawan, who would pay no revenue. A
body of the King's cavalry was sent to guard the crops, but the
tallookdar drove them off, and killed one and wounded another. Hoseyn
Buksh then sent a regiment, the Futtehaesh, a corps of his own
Seobundies, and six guns, to coerce the tallookdar. Two guns were
mounted on one battery, under the Futtehaesh regiment, and four on
another, under the Seobundies. A crowd of armed peasants attacked the
battery with the two guns, drove back the regiment, captured the
guns, and fired upon the soldiers as they fled. They then attacked
the battery with the four guns, and the Seobundies fled, taking their
guns with them for four miles. In their flight they had three men
killed, and twelve wounded. Hoseyn Buksh, on hearing this, sent his
whole force, under his brother, Allee Buksh, to avenge the insult.
Seodut, thinking he could not prudently hold out any longer,
evacuated his fort during the night, and retired, and Hoseyn Buksh
took possession of the fort, and recovered his two guns. His
successor restored both Seodut and the widow, Golab Kour, to their
estates, on their own terms, after trying in vain to arrest them.]

While Dursun Sing, and his brother, Bukhtawar, held the contract of
Salone, the estate was put under management, and yielded one hundred
and seventy-four thousand rupees a-year, out of which they allowed a
deduction, on account of nankar, or subsistence, of some twenty
thousand. The Rajah and Bukhtawar Sing urge that this was, for the
most part, paid out of the property left by Byree Saul, to whom
Himmut Sing succeeded; and that the estate can now be made to yield
only one hundred and sixteen thousand, from which is to be deducted a
nankar of forty thousand. They offer him a deduction of this forty
thousand, out of a rent-roll rated at one hundred and thirty
thousand; and threaten him with the vengeance of his Majesty if he
refuses. He looks at their military force and smiles. The agents of
all the tallookdars, who are in attendance on the Nazim, do the same.
They know that they are strong, and see that the Government is weak,
and they cease to respect its rights and orders. They see at the same
time that the Government and its officers regard less the rights than
the strength of the landholders; and, from fear, favour the strong
while they oppress and crush the weak.*

[* Rajah Hunmunt Sing afterwards brought the contractor to consent to
take the same rate as had been paid to his predecessor; but he was
obliged to pay above six thousand rupees in gratuities.]

_January_ 3, 1850.--Gorbuksh Gunge, _alias_ Onae, fourteen miles. The
soil of the country over which we came is chiefly a light doomuteea;
but there is a good deal of what they call bhoor, or soil in which
sand superabounds. The greater part belongs to the estate of Benee
Madho, and is admirably cultivated, and covered with a great variety
of crops. The country is better peopled than any other part that we
have seen since we recrossed the Goomtee. We passed through several
villages, the people of which seemed very happy. But their
habitations had the same wretched appearance--naked mud walls, with
invisible mud coverings. The people told me that they could not
venture to use thatched or tiled roofs, for the King's troops, on
duty with the local authorities, always took them away, when they had
any. They were, they said, well secured from all other enemies by
their landlord. Bhopaul Sing, acting commandant of Sobha Sing's
Regiment, riding with me, said,-"Nothing can be more true than what
the people tell you, sir; but the _Koomukee_ Regiments, of which mine
is one, have tents provided for them, which none of the Nujeeb and
other corps have, and in consequence, these corps never take the
choppers of the peasantry for their accommodations. The peasantry,
however, always suffer more or less even from the Koomukee corps,
sir, for they have to forage for straw, wood, fuel, bhoosa, &c., like
the rest, and to take it wherever they can find it. When we have
occasion to attack, or lay siege to a stronghold, all the roofs,
doors, and windows of the people are, of course, taken to form
scaling-ladders, batteries, &c.; and it is lamentable, sir, to see
the desolation created around, after even a very short siege."

Rajah Hunmunt Sing and Benee Madho were riding with me, and when we
had passed through a large crowd of seemingly happy peasantry in one
village, I asked Benee Madho (whose tenants they were), whether they
would all have to follow his fortunes if he happened to take up arms
against the Government.

"Assuredly," said he, "they would all be bound in honour to follow
me, or to desert their lands at least."

"And if they did not, I suppose you would deem it a _point of honour_
to plunder them?"

"That he assuredly would," said Rajah Hunmunt Sing; "and make them
the first victims."

"And if any of them fell fighting on his side, would he think it a
_point of honour_ to-provide for their families?"

"That we all do," said he; "they are always provided for, and taken
the greatest possible care of."

"And if any one is killed in fighting for the King?"

They did not reply to this question, but the adjutant, Bhopaul Sing,
said,--"his family would be left to shift for themselves,--no one
asks a question about them."

"This," observed Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, "is one of the great sources
of the evil that exists in Oude. How can men be expected to expose
their lives when they know that no care will be taken of their
families if they are killed or disabled?"

It is the rule to give a disabled man one month's pay and dismiss
him; and to give the family of any one killed in the service two
months' pay. But, though the King is charged for this, it is seldom
that the wounded man, or the family of the killed, get any portion of
it. On the contrary, the arrears of pay due-which are at all times
great--are never paid to the disabled sipahee, or the family of the
sipahee killed. If issued from the Treasury, they are appropriated by
the commandants and their friends at Court; and the arms and
accoutrements, which the deceased has purchased with his own money,
are commonly sold for the benefit of the State or its officers.

They mentioned, that the family of the person who planted a mango-
tree, or grove, continued to hold it as their exclusive property in
perpetuity; but, that the person who held the mhowa trees, was
commonly expected to pay to the landlord, where there was one, and to
the Government officers, where there was not, a duty amounting to
from four annas to two rupees a-year for each tree, according to its
fruitfulness--that the proprietor often sold the fruit of one tree
for twenty rupees the season. The fruit of one mango-tree has,
indeed, often been sold for a hundred rupees the season, where the
mangoes are of a quality much esteemed, and numerous. The groves and
fine solitary trees, on the lands we have to-day passed through, are
more numerous than usual; and the country being undulating and well
cultivated, the scenery is beautiful; but, as everywhere else, it is
devoid of all architectural beauty in works of ornament or utility--
not even a comfortable habitation is anywhere to be seen. The great
landholders live at a distance from the road, and in forts or
strongholds. These are generally surrounded by fences of living
bamboos, which are carefully kept up as the best possible defence
against attacks. The forts are all of mud, and when the walls are
exposed to view they look ugly. The houses of the peasants in the
villages are, for the most part, covered with mud, from which the
water is carried off, by tubes of wood or baked clay, about two feet
long. There are parapets around the roof a foot or two high, so that
it cannot be seen, and a village appears to be a mass of dead mud
walls, which have been robbed of their thatched or tiled roofs. Most
of the tubes used for carrying off the water from the roofs, are the
simple branches of the palm-tree, without their leaves.

Among the peasantry we saw a great many sipahees, from our Native
Infantry Regiments, who have come home on furlough to their families.
From the estate of Rajah Hunmunt Sing, in the Banoda district, there
are one thousand sipahees in our service. From that of Benee Madho,
in the Byswara district, there are still more. They told us that they
and their families were very happy, and they seemed to be so; but
Hunmunt Sing said, they were a privileged class, who gave much
trouble and annoyance, and were often the terror of their non-
privileged neighbours and co-sharers in the land. Benee Madho, as I
have stated above, sometimes makes use of his wealth, power, and
influence, to rob his weaker neighbours of their estates. The lands
on which we are encamped he got two years ago from their proprietor,
Futteh Bahader, by foreclosing a mortgage, in which he and others had
involved him. The gunge or bazaar, close to our tents, was
established by Gorbuksh, the uncle of Futteh Bahader, and became a
thriving emporium under his fostering care; but it has gone to utter
ruin under his nephew, and heir, and the mortgagee. The lands around,
however, could never have been better cultivated than they are; nor
the cultivators better protected or encouraged. It rained slightly
before sunset yesterday, and heavily between three and four this
morning; but not so as to prevent our marching.

This morning, a male elephant belonging to Benee Madho killed one of
his attendants near to our camp. He had three attendants, the driver
and two subordinates. The driver remained in camp, while the two
attendants took the elephant to a field of sugar-cane, to bring home
a supply of the cane for his fodder for the day. A third subordinate
had gone on to cut the cane and bind it into bundles. One of the two
was on the neck of the elephant, and another walking by the side,
holding one of the elephant's teeth in his left hand all the way to
the field, and he seemed very quiet. The third attendant brought the
bundles, and the second handed them up to the first on the back to be
stowed away. When they had got up about a dozen, the elephant made a
rush at the third attendant, who was bringing the bundles, threw him
to the ground with his foot, knelt down upon him, and crushed him to
death with his front. The second attendant ran off as soon as he saw
the elephant make a rush at the third; and the first fell off under
the bundles of sugar-cane, as soon as the elephant knelt down to
crush the third to death. When the elephant rose from the poor man,
he did not molest, or manifest any wish to molest either of the other
two, but stood still, watching the dead body. The first, seeing this,
ventured to walk up to him, to take him by the ear and ask him what
he meant. At first he seemed surly, and shoved the man off, and he
became alarmed, and retired a few paces; but seeing the elephant show
no further signs of anger, he again walked up, and took him by the
ear familiarly. Had he ran or shown any signs of fear, the elephant
would, he thought, have killed him also, for he had killed three men
in the service of his former proprietor, and was now in his annual
fit of madness, or must. Holding the elephant by the ear, he led him
to the first tree, and placed himself on the opposite side to see
whether the animal had become quite sober. Seeing that he had, he
again approached, and put upon his two forelegs the chain fetters,
which they always have with them, suspended to some part of the body
of elephants in this state. He could not venture to command the
elephant to kneel down in the usual way, that he might get upon his
neck; and, ascending the tree, he let himself down from one of the
branches upon his back, where he sat. He then made the animal walk on
in fetters, towards camp, and on the way, met the mahout, or driver,
to whom the second attendant had reported the accident. The driver
came up, and, after the usual volume of abuse on the elephant, his
mother, father, and sundry female relations, he ordered the attendant
to make him sit down that he might get on his neck. He did so in fear
and trembling, and the driver got on his neck, while the attendant
sat on his back, and the elephant took them to Benee Madho's village,
close to my camp, where he was fastened in chains to a tree, to
remain for some months on reduced allowances, till he should get over
his madness. The body of the poor man was burnt with the usual
ceremonies, and the first attendant told me, that his family would be
provided for by Benee Madho, as a matter of course.

I asked him how he or any other person could be found to attend a
beast of that kind? Pointing to his stomach, he said--"We poor people
are obliged to risk our lives for this, in all manner of ways; to
attend elephants has been always my profession, and there is no other
open to me; and we make up our minds to do whatever our duties
require from us, and trust to Providence." He told me that when the
elephant shoved him off, he thought that in his anger he might have
forgotten him, and called out as loud as he could,--"What, have you
forgotten a service of six years, and do you intend to kill the man
who has fed you so long?" That the beast seemed to recollect his
voice and services, and became, at once, quiet and docile--"that had
he not so called out, and reminded the animal of his long services,
he thought he should have been killed; that the driver came, armed
with a spear, and showed himself more angry than afraid, as the
safest plan in such cases."

Dangerous as the calling of the elephant-driver is, that of the
snake-keepers, in the King's service, seems still greater. He has two
or three very expert men of this kind, whose duty it is to bring him
the snakes, when disposed to look at them, and see the effects of
their poison on animals. They handle the most venomous, with
apparently as much carelessness as other men handle fighting-cocks or
quail. When bitten, as they sometimes are, they instantly cut into
the part, and suck out the poison, or get their companions to suck it
out when they can't reach the part with their own mouths. But they
depend chiefly upon their wonderful dexterity in warding off the
stoops or blows of the snakes, as they twist them round their necks
and limbs with seeming carelessness. While they are doing so, the eye
of the spectator can hardily detect the _stoops_ of the one and the
guards of the other. After playing in this way with the most venomous
snakes, they apply them to the animals. Elephants have died from
their bites in a few hours--smaller animals sooner. I have never,
myself, seen the experiments, but any one may see them at the palace.
Elephants and the larger animals are too expensive to be often
experimented on.

_January_ 4, 1850.--Halted at the village of Onae, alias Gorbuksh
Gunge. It lost the name of Onae, after the proprietor, Gorbuksh, who
had built the Gunge, and made it a great emporium of trade in corn,
cotton cloth, &c.; but is recovering it again, now that the Gunge has
become a ruin, and the family of the builder has been dispossessed of
the lands. I rode out in the morning to look at the neighbouring
village of Doolarae-ka Gurhee, or the fort of Doolarae, and have some
talk with the peasantry, who are Bys Rajpoots, of one of the most
ancient Rajpoot families in Oude. They told me,--"That their tribe
was composed of two great families, Nyhussas and Synbunsies--that the
acknowledged head of the Synbunsies was, at present, Rugonath Sing,
of Kojurgow, and that Hindpaul, tallookdar of Korree Sudowlee, was
the head of the Nyhussas; that Baboo Rambuksh, tallookdar of Dhondeea
Kheera, had the title of Row, and Dirg Bijee Sing, tallookdar of
Morarmow, that of Rajah--that is, he was the acknowledged Rajah of
the clan, and Baboo Rambuksh, the Row, an inferior grade--that these
families had been always fighting with each other, for the possession
of each others lands, from the time their ancestors came into Oude, a
thousand years ago, except when they were united in resistance
against the common enemy, the governor or ruler of the country--that
one family got weak by the subdivision of the lands, among many sons
or brothers, or by extravagance, or misfortune, while another became
powerful, by keeping the lands undivided, and by parsimony and
prudence; and the strong increased their possessions by seizing upon
the lands of the weak, by violence, fraud or collusion with the local
authorities--that the same thing had been going on among them for a
thousand years, with some brief intervals, during which the rulers of
Oude managed, by oppression, to unite them all against themselves, or
by prudence, to keep them all to their respective rights and duties--
that Doolarae, who gave his name to the village, by building the
fort, was of the Nyhussa family, and left two sons, and only two
villages, Gurhee and Agoree, out of a very large estate, the rest
having been lost in the contests with the other families of the
tribe--that these two had become minutely subdivided among their
descendants: and Bhugwan Das, Synbunsee of Simree, four years ago,
seized upon the Gurhee, in collusion with the local authorities; that
Thakoor Buksh Nyhussa, talookdar of Rahwa seized upon Agoree in the
same way that the local authorities designedly assessed these
villages at a higher rate than they could be made to pay, and then,
for a bribe, transferred them to the powerful tallookdars, on account
of default."

Gorbuksh Sing, Synbunsee, died some twenty years ago, leaving an
estate, reduced from a greater number to ninety-three villages. His
nephew, Futteh Bahader, a child, was adopted by his widow, who
continued to manage the whole till she died, four years after. The
heir was still a boy; and Rugonath Sing, of Kojurgow, the head of the
Synbunsee family, took advantage of his youth, seized upon the whole
ninety-three villages, and turned him out to beg subsistence among
his relatives. In this he, Rugonath Sing, was, as usual, acting in
collusion with the local authorities of the Government. He continued
to possess the estate for ten years, but to reside in his fort of
Hajeepoor. Koelee Sing, a Guhlote, by caste, and a zumeendar of
Bheeturgow, and its eight dependent villages, which formed part of
the estate of Futteh Bahader, went to Court at Lucknow, and
represented, that Rugonath Sing had no right whatever to the lands he
held, and the Court had better make them over to him and the other
zumeendars, if they did not like to restore them to their rightful
heir. Bheeturgow and its dependent eight villages, were made over to
him; and ten sipahees, from Captain Hyder Hearsey's Regiment, were
sent to establish and support him in possession. Rugonath attacked
them, killed two of the sipahees, and drove out Koelee Sing. He
repaired to Court; and Mahomed Khan was sent out, as Special
Commissioner, with orders to punish Rugonath Sing. He and Captain
Hearsey attacked him in his fort of Hajeepoor, drove him out, and
restored Futteh Bahader, to twenty-four villages; and re-established
Koelee Sing, in Bheeturgow, and the eight villages dependent upon it.
Futteh Bahader was poor, and was obliged to tender the security of
Benee Madho, the wealthy tallookdar of this place, for the punctual
payment of the revenue. The year before last, when a balance of
revenue became due, he, the deputy, in collusion with Gholam Allee,
seized upon all the twenty-four villages.

Futteh Bahader went to seek redress at Lucknow, but had no money to
pay his way at Court, while Benee Madho had abundance, and used it
freely, to secure the possession of so fine an addition to his
estate. Futteh Bahader, as his last resource, got his uncle, Bustee
Sing, of the 3rd Cavalry, whom he called his father,* to present a
petition for redress to the Resident, in April 1849. Gholam Allee was
ordered to release Futteh Bahader, whom Benee Madho had confined, and
send him to Lucknow. The order was not obeyed, and it was repeated in
December without effect; but his uncle's agent, Gorbuksh, was
diligent at the Residency, and the case was made over for
investigation and decision to the Ameen, Mahomed Hyat. Finding Futteh
Bahader still in confinement, with sundry members of his family, when
I came here yesterday, I ordered him to be made over to the King's
wakeel, in attendance upon me, to be sent to the Court, to prosecute
his claim, and produce proofs of his right. Of his right there can be
no question, and the property of which he was robbed, in taking
possession, and the rents since received, if duly accounted for,
would more than cover any balance due by Futteh Bahader. When he gave
the security of Benee Madho, for the payment of the revenue, he gave,
at the same time, what is called the Jumog of his villages to him;
that is, bound his tenants to pay to him their rents at the rate they
were pledged to pay to him; and the question pending is, simply, what
is fairly due to Benee Madho, over and above what he may have
collected from them. Benee Madho had before, by the usual process of
violence, fraud, and collusion, taken eighteen of the ninety-three
villages, and got one for a servant; and all the rest had, by the
same process, got into the possession of others; and Futteh Bahader
had not an acre left when his uncle interposed his good offices with
the Resident.** The dogs of the village of Doolarae-kee Gurhee
followed us towards camp, and were troublesome to the horses and my
elephant. I asked the principal zumeendar why they were kept. He said
they amused the children of the village, who took them out after the
hares, and by their aid and that of the sticks with which they armed
themselves, they got a good many; that all they got for food was the
last mouthful of every man's dinner, which no man was sordid enough
to grudge them--that when they wished to describe a very sordid man,
they said--"he would not even throw his last mouthful (koura) to a

[* He called Bustee Sing his _father_, as sipahees can seek redress
through the Resident, for wrongs suffered by no others than their
mothers, fathers, their children, and themselves.]

[** A punchaet was assembled at Lucknow, to decide the suit between
Benee Madho and Futteh Bahader, at the instance of the Resident: and
they awarded to Benee Madho a balance due on account of thirty
thousand rupees, which Futteh Bahader has to pay before he can
recover possession of his estate.]

_January_ 5, 1851.--Halted at Onae, in consequence of continued rain,
which incommodes us, but delights the landholders and cultivators,
whose crops will greatly benefit by it. The halting of so large a
camp inconveniences them, however, much more than us; for they are
called upon to supply us with wood, grass, and straw, for which they
receive little or no payment; for the Kings people will not let us
pay for these things, and pay too little themselves. Those who attend
us do not plunder along the road; but the followers of the local
authorities, who attend us, through their respective jurisdictions,
do so; and sundry fields of fine carrots and other vegetables
disappear, as under a flight of locusts along the road. The camp-
followers assist them, and as our train extends from the ground we
leave to that to which we are going, for twelve or fourteen miles, it
is impossible, altogether, to prevent such injuries from so
undisciplined a band. The people, however, say, they suffer much less
than they would from one-fourth of the number under a contractor
marching without an European superior, and I give compensation in
flagrant cases. Captain Weston acts as our Provost Marshal. He leaves
the ground an hour or two after I do, and seizes and severely
punishes any one found trespassing.

In my ride this morning I found that Nyhussa and Synbunsee are two
villages distant about ten miles from our camp, to the south-east--
that all the Byses, who give the name of Byswara to this large
district, are called Tilokchundees, from Tilokchund, the founder of
the family in Oude. He had two sons, _Hurhur Deo_ and _Prethee
Chund_. Hurhur Deo had two sons, one of whom, Kurun Rae, established
himself in Nyhussa, and the other, Khem Kurun, in Synbunsee. Their
descendants have taken their titles from their respective villages.
Prethee Chund's descendants established themselves in other parts,
and the descendants of both bear the appellation of Tilokchundee
Byses. The Rajahs and Rows are of the same family, and are so called
from their ancestors having, at some time, had the title of Rajah and
Row conferred upon them.

Rajah Seodursun Sing, of Simrotee, who resides in the village of
Chundapoor upon his estate, four miles east of Bulla, has been with
me for the last five days. He is a strong man, and has been
refractory occasionally; but at present he pays his revenue
punctually, and keeps his estate in good order. He rendered good
service yesterday in the way in which all of his class might, by good
management, be made to aid the government of Oude. A ruffian, by name
Mohiboollah, who had been a trooper in the King of Oude's service,
contrived to get the lease of the estate of Bulla, which is about
twenty miles north-east from our camp; and turning out all the old
landholders and cultivators, he there raised a gang of robbers, to
plunder his neighbours and travellers. He had been only two months in
possession, when he attacked the house of an old invalid subadar-
major of the Honourable Company's service, (fifty-seventh Native
Infantry,) on the 21st of December, 1849, robbed him of all he had,
and confined him and all his family, till he promised, under good
security, to pay, within twenty days, a ransom of one thousand two
hundred rupees more. He had demanded a good deal more, but hearing
that the Resident's camp was approaching, he consented to take this
sum four days ago, and released all his prisoners. The subadar
presented a petition to me, and, after taking the depositions of the
old zumeendars and other witnesses, I requested the king's wakeel, to
send off a company of Soubha Sing's Regiment, to arrest him and his

They went off from Rae Bareilly on the night of the 1st instant; but,
finding that the subadar-major and his family had been released the
day before, and that the village was full of armed men, ready to
resist, they returned on the evening of the 2nd. On the 3rd, the
whole regiment, with its artillery, and three hundred auxiliaries,
under Rajah Seodursun Sing, left my camp, at Onae, at midnight, and
before daylight surrounded the village. There were about one hundred
and fifty armed men in it; and, after a little bravado, they all
surrendered, and were brought to me. Mohiboollah had, however, gone
off, on the pretence of collecting his rents, two days before; but
his father and brother were among the prisoners. All who were
recognised as having been engaged in the robbery, were sent off
prisoners to Lucknow, and the rest were disarmed and released.

Among those detained were some notorious robbers, and the gang would
soon have become very formidable but for the accident of my passing
near. He had got the lease of the estate through the influence of
Akber-od Dowlah, one of the Court favourites, for the sole purpose of
converting it into a den of robbers; and, the better to secure this
object, he had got it transferred from the jurisdiction of the Nazim
to the Hozoor Tehseel, over the manager of which the Court favourite
had paramount influence. He was to share with his client the fruits
of his depredations, and, in return, to secure him impunity for his
crimes. Many of his retainers were among the prisoners brought in to
me, having been present at the distribution of the large booty
acquired from the old subadar, some thirty or forty thousand rupees.
The subadar had resided upon the estate of Seodursun Sing; but
having, seven years ago complained through the Resident of over-
exactions for the small patch of land he held, and got back the grain
which had been attacked for the rent, he was obliged to give it up
and reside in the hamlet he afterwards occupied near Bulla, whose
zumeendars assured him of protection.* He had a large family, and a
great deal of property in money and other valuables concealed under
ground. Mohiboollah first seized and sent off the subadar, and then
had ramrods made red-hot and applied to the bodies of the children
till the females gave him all their ornaments, and pointed out to him
all the hidden treasures: they were then all taken to Bulla and
confined till the subadar had pledged himself to pay the ransom

[* The greater part of this property is understood to have been
confided, in trust, to the old subadar, by some other minion of the
Court, and the chief object of the gang was to get hold of it; as
their patron, Akber-od Dowlah, had become aware that his fellow-
minion had intrusted his wealth to the old subadar, after he had
taken up his residence near Bulla. The estate was made over, in farm,
to Benee Madho, as the best man to cope with Mohiboollah, should he
return and form a new gang.]

I requested the King to take the estate from this ruffian and restore
it to its old proprietors, whose family had held it for several
centuries, or bestow it in lease to some other strong and deserving

The Tilokchundee Byses take the daughters of other Rajpoots, who are
a shade lower in caste, in marriage for their sons, but do not give
their daughters in marriage to them in return. They have a singular
notion that no snake ever has destroyed or ever can destroy one of
the family, and seem to take no precautions against its bite. If
bitten by a snake they do not attempt any remedy, nor could Benee
Madho recollect any instance of a Tilokchundee Bysee having died from
a bite. He tells me that some families in every Rajpoot tribe in Oude
destroy their female infants to avoid the cost of marrying them,
though the King prohibited infanticide and suttee in the year 1833.
That infanticide does still prevail among almost all the Rajpoot
tribes in Oude is unquestionable.

_January_ 6, 1850.--Yesterday evening we moved to Omrowa West,
[Transcriber's note: this appears to be a misspelling for Morowa
West] a distance of twelve miles, over a plain of bad oosur soil,
scantily cultivated near the road. To the left and right of the road,
at a little distance, there are some fine villages, thickly peopled,
and situated in fine and well-cultivated soil. The country is well
wooded, except in the worst parts of the soil, where trees do not
thrive. We saw a great deal of sugar-cane in the distance and a few
pawn-gardens. The population of the villages came to the high road to
see us pass; and among them were a great many native officers and
sipahees of our Regiments, who are at their homes on furlough,
Government having given a very large portion of the native army the
indulgence of furlough during the present cold season. They all
seemed happy; but, to my discomfort, a vast number take advantage of
this furlough and my movements to urge their claims against the
Government, its officers, and subjects. Nothing can be more wretched
than the appearance of the buildings in which the people of all
grades live in these villages--mud walls without any appearance of
coverings, and doors and windows worse than I have seen in any other
part of India. Better would not be safe against the King's troops,
and these would certainly not be safe against a slight storm; a good
shower and a smart breeze would level the whole of the villages with
the ground in a few hours. "But," said the people, "the mud would
remain, and we could soon raise up the houses again without the aid
of masons, carpenters, or blacksmiths." It is enough that they are
used to them.

Morowa is a large town, well situated and surrounded with groves of
the finest trees in great variety; and, to the surprise of the
officers with me, they saw a respectable house of burnt brick. It
belongs to the most substantial banker and agricultural capitalist in
these parts, _Chundun Lal_. These capitalists and their families are,
generally, more safe than others, as their aid is necessary to the
Government and its officers, and no less so to the landholders,
cultivators, and people of all classes. Their wealth consists in
their credit in different parts of India; and he who has most of it
may have little at his house to tempt the robber, while the
Government officers stand generally too much in daily need of his
services and mediation to molest him. A pledge made by these officers
to landholders and cultivators, or to these officers by such persons,
is seldom considered safe or binding till the respectable banker or
capitalist has ratified it by his mediation, to which all refer with

He understands the characters and means of all, and will not venture
to ratify any pledge till he is assured of both the disposition and
ability of the party to fulfil it. Chundun Lal is one of the most
respectable of this class in Oude. He resides at this place, Morowa,
but has a good landed estate in our territories, and banking
establishments at Cawnpoor and many other of our large stations. He
is a very sensible, well-informed man, but not altogether free from
the ailing of his class--a disposition to abuse the confidence of the
Government officers; and, in collusion with them, to augment his
possessions in land at the cost of his weaker neighbours.

I am told here that the Tilokchund Byses, when bitten by a snake, do
sometimes condescend to apply a remedy. They have a vessel full of
water suspended above the head of the sufferer, with a small tube at
the bottom, from which water is poured gently on the head as long as
he can bear it. The vent is then stopped till the patient is equal to
bear more; and this is repeated four or five times till the sufferer
recovers. I have not yet heard of any one dying under the operation,
or from the bite of a snake. I find no one that has ever heard of a
member of this family dying of the bite of a snake. One of the Rajahs
of this family, who called on me to-day, declared that no member of
his family had ever been known to die of such a bite, and he could
account for it only "from their being descended from Salbahun, the
rival and conqueror of Bickermajeet, of Ojein."

This Salbahun* is said to have been a lineal descendant of the _sake-
god!_ He told me that the females of this family could never wear
cotton cloth of any colour but plain white; that when they could not
afford to wear silk or satin they never wore anything but the piece
of white cotton cloth which formed, in one, the waistband, petticoat,
and mantle, or robe (the dhootee and loongree), without hemming or
needlework of any kind whatever. Those who can afford to wear silk or
satin wear the petticoat and robe, or mantle of that material, and of
any colour. On their ankles they can wear nothing but silver, and
above the ankles, nothing but gold; and if not, nothing, not even
silver, except on the feet and ankles. No Hindoo of respectability,
however high or wealthy, can wear anything more valuable than silver
below the waist. The Tilokchundee Byses can never condescend to hold
the plough; and if obliged to serve, they enlist in the army or other
public establishments of the Oude or other States.

[* Salbahun must have been one of the leaders of the Scythian armies,
who conquered India in the reign of Vickramadittea.]

The late governor of this district, Hamid Allee Khan, is now, as I
have already stated, in prison, as a great defaulter, at Lucknow. He
was a weak and inexperienced man, and guided entirely by his
deputies, Nourooz Allee and Gholam Allee. Calamities of season and
other causes prevented his collecting one-quarter of the revenue
which he had engaged in his contract to pay. Gholam Allee persuaded
the officers commanding regiments under him to pledge themselves for
the personal security of some of the tallookdars whom he invited in
to discuss the claims of Government, and their ability to meet them.
Four of them came--Hindooput, of Sudowlee, who called on me this
morning; Rugonath Sing, of Khojurgow; Rajah Dirg Bijee Sing, of
Morarmow; and Bhoop Sing, of Pahor. They were all seized and put into
confinement as soon as they appeared, by the officers who had pledged
themselves for their personal safety; and Gholam Allee went off to
Lucknow to boast of his prowess in seizing them. There he was called
upon to pay the balance due, and seeing no disposition to listen to
any excuse on the ground of calamity of season, he determined to
escape across the Ganges. He wrote to Hamid Allee to suggest that he
should do the same, and meet him at Horha, on the bank of the Ganges,
on a certain night.

Hamid Allee sent his family across the Ganges, and prepared to meet
Gholam Allee at the appointed place; but the commandants of corps,
who suspected his intentions, and had not received from him any pay
for their regiments for many months, seized him, and sent him a
prisoner to Lucknow. Gholam Allee, however, effected his escape
across the Ganges, and is now at Delhi. The story of his having run
away with three lacs of Hamid Allee's money is represented here as a
fiction, as the escape had been concerted between them, and they had
sent across the Ganges all that they could send with that view. This
may or may not be the real state of the case. Hamid Allee, as I have
above stated, married a daughter of Fuzl Allee. Fuzl Allee's aunt,
Fyz-on Nissa, had been a great favourite with the Padshad Begum, the
wife of the King, Ghazee-od Deen, and adoptive mother of his
successor, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, who ascended the throne in 1827. She
had been banished from Oude by Ghazee-od Deen, but on his death she
returned secretly to Lucknow; and, in December of that year, her
nephew, Fuzl Allee, who had been banished with her, returned also,
and on the 31st of that month he was appointed prime minister, in
succession to Aga Meer. Hakeem Mehndee had been invited from
Futtehghur to fill the office, and had come so far as Cawnpoor, when
Fyz-on Nissa carried the day with the Queen Dowager, and he was
ordered back. In November, 1828, the King, at his mother's request,
gave him the sum of 21,85,722 1 11, the residue of the principal of
the pension of Shums-od Dowlah, the King's uncle, who had died. The
whole principal amounted to 33,33,333 5 4, but part had been
appropriated as a fund to provide for some members of the King's

In February, 1829, Fuzl Allee resigned the office of prime minister,
and was protected by the Government of India, on the recommendation
of the Resident, and saved, from the necessity of refunding to the
State any of the wealth (some thirty-five lacs of rupees) which he
had acquired during his brief period of office. This was all left to
his three daughters and their husbands on his death, which took place
soon after. He was succeeded in office by Hakeem Mehndee. Shums-od
Dowlah's pension of 16,666 10 6 a-month, was paid out of the
interest, at 6 per cent., of the loan of one crore, eight lacs, and
fifty thousand rupees, obtained from the sovereign of Oude (Ghazee-od
Deen Hyder, who succeeded his father on the 11th of July, 1814,) by
Lord Hastings, in October, 1814, for the Nepaul war. All the interest
(six lacs and fifty-one thousand) was, in the same manner,
distributed in stipends to different members of the family, and the
principal has been paid back as the incumbents have died off. Some
few still survive.*

[* The ground, on the north-west side of Morowa, would be good for a
cantonment, as the soil is sandy, and the plain well drained. Water
must lie during the rains on all the other sides, and the soil has
more clay in it.]

_January_ 7, 1850.--To Mirree, twelve miles, over a plain of light
doomuteea soil, sufficiently cultivated, and well studded with trees.
We passed Runjeet-ka Poorwa half-way--once a large and populous town,
but now a small one. The fog was, however, too thick to admit of my
seeing it. From this place to Lucknow, thirty miles, Seetlah Buksh, a
deputy of Almas Allee Khan's, planted an avenue of the finest kind of
trees. We had to pass through a mile of it, and the trees are in the
highest perfection, and complete on both sides. I am told that there
are, however, many considerable intervals in which they have been
destroyed. The trees must have been planted about sixty years ago.

I may here remark that no native gentleman from Lucknow, save such as
hold office in districts, and are surrounded by troops, can with
safety reside in the country. He would be either suspected and
destroyed by the great landholders around him, or suspected and
ruined by the Court. Under a better system of government, a great
many of these native gentlemen, who enjoy hereditary incomes, under
the guarantee of the British Government, would build houses in
distant districts, take lands, and reside on them with their
families, wholly or occasionally, and Oude [would] soon be covered
with handsome gentlemen's seats, at once ornamental and useful. They
would tend to give useful employment to the people, and become bonds
of union between the governing and the governed. Under such an
improved system, our guarantees would be of immense advantage to the
whole country of Oude, in diffusing wealth, protection, education,
intelligence, good feeling, and useful and ornamental, works. At
present, these guarantees are not so. They have concentrated at the
capital all who subsist upon them, and surrounded the Sovereign and
his Court with an overgrown aristocracy, which tends to alienate him
more and more from his people. The people derive no benefit from, and
have no feeling or interest in common with, this city aristocracy,
which tends more and more to hide their Sovereign from their view,
and to render him less and less sensible of his duties and high
responsibilities; and what would be a blessing under a good, becomes
an evil under a bad system, such as that which has prevailed since
those guarantees began.

In this overgrown city there is a perpetual turmoil of processions,
illuminations, and festivities. The Sovereign spends all that he can
get in them, and has not the slightest wish to perpetuate his name by
the construction of any useful or ornamental work beyond its suburbs.
All the members of his family and of the city aristocracy follow his
example, and spend their means in the same way. Indifferent to the
feelings and opinions of the landed aristocracy and people of the
country, with whom they have no sympathy, they spend all that they
can spare for the public in gratifying the vitiated tastes of the
overgrown metropolis. Hardly any work calculated to benefit or
gratify the people of the country is formed or thought of by the
members of the royal family or aristocracy of Lucknow; and the only
one formed by the Sovereign for many years is, I believe, the
metalled road leading from Lucknow to Cawnpoor, on the Ganges.

One good these guarantees certainly have effected--they have tended
greatly to inspire the people of the city with respect for the
British Government, by whom the incomes of so large and influential a
portion of the community and their dependents are secured. That
respect extends to its public officers and to Europeans generally;
and in the most crowded streets of Lucknow they are received with
deference, courtesy, and kindness, while in those of Hydrabad, their
lives, I believe, are never safe without an escort from the Resident.

The people of the country respect the British Government, its
officers, and Europeans generally, from other causes. Though the
Resident has not been able to secure any very substantial or
permanent reform in the administration, still he has often interposed
with effect, in individual cases, to relieve suffering and secure
redress for grievous wrongs. The people of the country see that he
never interposes, except for such purposes, and their only regret is
that he interposes so seldom, and that his efforts, when he does so,
should be so often frustrated or disregarded. In the remotest village
or jungle in Oude, as in the most crowded streets of the capital, an
European gentleman is sure to be treated with affectionate respect;
and the humblest European is as sure to receive protection and
kindness, unless be forfeits all claim to it by his misconduct.

The more sober-minded Mahommedans of Lucknow and elsewhere are much
scandalized at the habit which has grown up among them, in the cities
of India, of commemorating every event, whether of sadness or of joy,
by brilliant illuminations and splendid processions, to amuse the
idle populations of such cities. It is, they say, a reprehensible
departure from the spirit of their creed, and from the simple tastes
of the early Mahommedans, who laid out their superfluities in the
construction of great and durable works of ornament and utility.
Certainly no event can be more sorrowful among Mahommedans than that
which is commemorated in the mohurrum by illuminations and
processions with the Tazeeas; and yet no illuminations are more
brilliant, and no processions more noisy, costly, and splendid. It is
worthy of remark, that Hindoo princes in Central and Southern India,
even of the Brahmin caste, commemorate this event in the same way;
and in no part of India are these illuminations and processions more
brilliant and costly. Their object is solely to amuse the population
of their capitals, and to gratify the Mahommedan women whom they have
under their protection, and their children, who must all be



Nawabgunge, midway between Cawnpoor and Lucknow--Oosur soils how
produced--Visit from the prime minister--Rambuksh, of Dhodeeakhera--
Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor--Agricultural capitalists. Sipahees and
native offices of our army--Their furlough, and petitions--
Requirements of Oude to secure good government. The King's reserved
treasury--Charity distributed through the _Mojtahid_, or chief
justice--Infanticide--Loan of elephants, horses, and draft bullocks
by Oude to Lord Lake in 1804--Clothing for the troops--The Akbery
regiment--Its clothing, &c.,--Trespasses of a great man's camp in
Oude--Russoolabad and Sufeepoor districts--Buksh Allee, the dome--
Budreenath, the contractor for Sufeepoor--Meeangunge--Division of the
Oude Territory in 1801, in equal shares between Oude and the British
Governments--Almas Allee Khan--His good government--The passes of
Oude--Thieves by hereditary profession, and village watchmen--
Rapacity of the King's troops--Total absence of all sympathy between
the governing and governed--Measures necessary to render the Oude
troops efficient and less mischievous to the people--Sheikh Hushmut
Allee, of Sundeela.

_January_ 8, 1850.--Nawabgunge, eleven miles over a plain, the soil
of which, near the road, is generally very poor oosur. No fruit or
ornamental trees, few shrubs, and very little grass. Here and there,
however, even near the road, may be seen a small patch of land, from
which a crop of rice has been taken this season; and the country is
well cultivated all along, up to within half a mile of the road, on
both tides [sides]. Nawabgunge is situated on the new metalled road,
fifty miles long, between Lucknow and Cawnpoor, and about midway
between the two places.* It was built by the late minister, Nawab
Ameen-od Dowlah, while in office, for the accommodation of
travellers, and is named after him. It is kept up at his expense for
the same purpose now that he has descended to private life. There is
a small house for the accommodation of European gentlemen and ladies,
as well as a double range of buildings, between which the road
passes, for ordinary travellers, and for shopkeepers to supply them.

[* The term Gunge, signifies a range of buildings at a place of
traffic, for the accommodation of merchants, and all persons engaged
in the purchase and sale of goods and for that of their goods and of
the shopkeepers who supply them.]

Some people told me, that even the worst of this oosur soil might be
made to produce fair crops under good tillage; while others denied
the possibility, though all were farmers or landholders. All,
however, agreed that any but the _worst_ might be made so by good
tillage--that is, by flooding the land by means of artificial
embankments, for two or three rainy seasons, and then cross-
ploughing, manuring, and irrigating it well. All say that the soil
hereabouts is liable to become oosur, if left fallow and neglected
for a few years. The oosur, certainly, seems to prevail most near the
high roads, where the peasantry have been most exposed to the
rapacity of the King's troops; and this tends to confirm the notion
that tillage is necessary in certain soils to check the tendency of
the carbonates or nitrates, or their alkaline bases, to
superabundance. The abundance of the chloride of sodium in the soil,
from which the superabounding carbonates of soda are formed, seems to
indicate, unequivocally, that the bed from which they are brought to
the surface by capillary attraction must at some time have been
covered by salt water.

The soil of Scind, which was at one time covered by the sea, seems to
suffer still more generally from the same superabundance of the
carbonates of soda, formed from the _chlorides of sodium_, and
brought to the surface in the same manner. But in Scind the evil is
greater and more general from the smaller quantity of rain that
falls. Egypt would, no doubt, suffer still more from the same cause,
inasmuch as it has still less rain than Scind, but for the annual
overflowing of the Nile. The greater part of the deserts which now
disfigure the face of the globe in hot climates arise chiefly from
the same causes, and they may become covered by tillage and
population as man becomes wiser, more social, and more humane.

_January_ 9, 1850.--Halted at Nawabgunge. A vast deal of grain of all
sorts has for the last two years passed from Cawnpoor to Lucknow for
sale. The usual current of grain is from the northern and eastern
districts of Oude towards Cawnpoor; but for these two years it has
been from Cawnpoor to these districts. This is owing to two bad
seasons in Oude generally, and much oppression in the northern and
eastern districts, in particular, and the advantage which the
navigation of the Ganges affords to the towns on its banks on such
occasions. The metalled road from Cawnpoor to Lucknow is covered
almost with carts and vehicles of all kinds. Guards have been
established upon it for the protection of travellers, and life and
property are now secure upon it, which they had not been for many
years up to the latter end of 1849. This road has lately been
completed under the superintendence of Lient. G. Sim of the
engineers, and cost above two lacs of rupees.

The minister came out with a very large cortège yesterday to see and
talk with me, and is to stay here to-day. I met him this morning on
his way out to shoot in the lake; and it was amusing to see his
enormous train contrasted with my small one. I told him, to the
amusement of all around, that an English gentleman would rather get
no air or shooting at all than seek them in such a crowd. The
minister was last night to have received the Rajahs and other great
landholders, who had come to my camp, but they told me this morning
that they had some of them waited all night in vain for an audience;
that the money demanded by his followers, of various sorts and
grades, for such a privilege was much more than they could pay; that
to see and talk with a prime minister of Oude was one of the most
difficult and expensive of things. Rajah Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor,
told me that he feared his only alternative now was a very hard one,
either to be utterly ruined by the contractor of Salone, or to take
to his jungles and strongholds and fight against his Sovereign.*

[* The Rajah was too formidable to be treated lightly, and the Amil
was obliged to give in, and consent to take from him what he had paid
to his predecessor; but to effect this, the Rajah was, afterwards
obliged to go to Lucknow, and pay largely in gratuities.]

Rajah Rambuksh, of Dondhea Kheera, is in the same predicament. He
tells me, that a great part of his estate has been taken from him by
Chundun Lal, of Morowa, the banker already mentioned, in collusion
with the Nazim, Kotab-od Deen, who depends so much on him as the only
capitalist in his district; that he is obliged to conciliate him by
acquiescing in the spoliation of others; that he has already taken
much of his lands by fraud and collusion, and wishes to take the
whole in the same way; that this banker now holds lands in the
district yielding above two lacs of rupees a-year, can do what he
pleases, and is every day aggrandizing himself and family by the ruin
of others. There is some truth in what Rambuksh states, though he
exaggerates a little the wrong which he himself suffers; and it is
lamentable that all power and influence in Oude, of whatever kind or
however acquired, should be so sure to be abused, to the prejudice of
both sovereign and people. When these great capitalists become
landholders, as almost all do, they are apt to do much mischief in
the districts where their influence lies, for the Government officers
can do little in the collection of the revenue without their aid; and
as the collection of revenue is the only part of their duty to which
they attach much importance, they are ready to acquiesce in any wrong
that they may commit in order to conciliate them. The Nazim of
Byswara, Kotab-od Deen, is an old and infirm man, and very much
dependent upon Chundun Lal, who, in collusion with him, has certainly
deprived many of their hereditary possessions in the usual way in
order to aggrandize his own family. He has, at the same time,
purchased a great deal of land at auction in the Honourable Company's
districts where he has dealings, keeps the greater part of his
wealth, and is prepared to locate his family when the danger of
retaining any of either in Oude becomes pressing. The risk is always
great; but they bind the local authorities, civil and military, by
solemn oaths and written pledges, for the security of their own
persons and property, and those of their families and clients.

_January_ 10, 1850.--At Nawabgunge, detained by rain, which fell
heavily yesterday, with much thunder and lightning, and has continued
to fall all night. It is painful and humiliating to pass through this
part of Oude, where the families of so many thousands of our sipahees
reside, particularly at this time when so large a portion of them are
at their homes on furlough. The Punjab war having closed, all the
corps engaged in it have this year been sent off to quiet stations in
our old provinces, and their places supplied by others which have
taken no share in that or any other war of late. As a measure of
economy, and with a view to indulge the native officers and sipahees
of the corps engaged in that war, Government has this season given a
long furlough to all the native army of Bengal. Some three hundred
and fifty native officers and sipahees from each regiment are, or are
to be, absent on leave this season. This saves to Government a very
large sum in the extra allowance which is granted to native officers
and sipahees, during their march from one station to another, and in
the deductions which are made from the pay and allowances of those
who go on furlough. During furlough, subadars receive 52 rupees a-
month instead of 67; jemadars 17, instead of 24; havildars 9, instead
of 14; naicks 7, instead of 12; and sipahees 5-8, instead of 7.

These native officers and sipahees, with all their gallantry on
service and fidelity to their salt, are the most importunate of
suitors, and certainly among the most untruthful and unscrupulous in
stating the circumstances of their claims, or the grounds of their
complaints. They crowd around me morning and evening when I venture
outside my tent, and keep me employed all day in reading their
petitions. They cannot or will not understand that the Resident is,
or ought to be, only the channel through which their claims are sent
for adjustment through the Court to the Oude tribunals and local
authorities; and that the investigation and decision must, or ought
to, rest with them. They expect that he will at once himself
investigate and decide their claims, or have them investigated and
decided forthwith by the local authorities of the district through
which he is passing; and it is in vain to tell them that the "_law's
delay_" is as often and as justly complained of in our own territory
as in Oude, whatever may be the state of its _uncertainty_.

The wrongs of which they complain are of course such as all men of
their class in Oude are liable to suffer; but no other men in Oude
are so prone to exaggerate the circumstances attending them, to bring
forward prominently all that is favourable to their own side, and
keep back all that is otherwise, and to conceal the difficulties
which must attend the search after the truth, and those still greater
which must attend the enforcement of an award when made. Their claims
are often upon men who have well-garrisoned forts and large bands of
armed followers, who laugh at the King's officers and troops, and
could not be coerced into obedience without the aid of a large and
well-appointed British force. For the immediate employment of such a
force they will not fail to urge the Resident, though they have, to
the commanding officer of their company and regiment represented the
debtor or offender as a man of no mark, ready to do whatever the
Resident or the Oude authorities may be pleased to order. On one
occasion no less than thirty lives were lost in attempting to enforce
an award in favour of a sipahee of our army.

I have had several visits from my old friend Sheikh Mahboob Allee,
the subadar-major, who is mentioned in my _Essay on Military
Discipline_. He is now an invalid pensioner in Oude, and in addition
to the lands which his family held before his transfer to the
invalids, he has lately acquired possession of a nice village, which
he claimed in the usual way through the Resident. He told me that he
had possession, but that he found it very difficult to keep
cultivators upon it.

"And why is this, my old friend?" I asked. "Cultivators are abundant
in Oude, and glad always to till lands on which they are protected
and encouraged by moderate rents and a little occasional aid in seed,
grain, and stock, and you are now in circumstances to afford them

"True, sir," said the old subadar, "but the great refractory
landholder, my neighbour, has a large force, and he threatens to
bring it down upon me, and my cultivators are afraid that they and
their families will all be cut up some dark night if they stay with

"But what has your great neighbour to do with your village? Why do
you not make friends with him?"

"Make friends with him, sir!" replied the subadar; "the thing is

"And why, subadar sahib?"

"Sir, it was from him that the village was taken by the orders of the
Durbar, through the interposition of the Resident, to be made over to
me, and he vows that he will take it back, whatever number of lives
it may cost him to do so."

"And how long may he and his family have held it?"

"Only thirty or thirty-five years, sir."

"And neither you nor your family have ever held possession of it for
that time?"

"Never, sir; but we always hoped that the favour of the British
Government would some day get it for us."

"And in urging your claim to the village, did you ever tell the
Resident that you had been so long out of possession?"

"No, sir, we said nothing about _time_"

"You know, subadar sahib, that in all countries a limit is prescribed
in such cases, and at the Residency that limit is six years; and had
the Resident known that your claim was of so old a date he would
never have interposed in your favour, more especially when his doing
so involved the risk of the loss of so many lives, first in obtaining
possession for you, and then keeping you in it." Cases of this kind
are very numerous.

The estate of Rampoor which we lately passed through belonged to the
grandfather of Rajah Hunmunt Sing. His eldest son, Sungram Sing, died
without issue, and the estate devolved on his second son, Bhow Sing,
the father of Rajah Hunmunt Sing. The third brother separated from
the family stock during the life of his father, and got, as his
share, Sursae, Kuttra Bulleepoor, and other villages. He had five
sons: first, Lokee Sing; second, Dirguj Sing; third, Hul Sing;
fourth, Dill Sing; and fifth, Bul Sing, and the estate was, on his
death, subdivided among them. Kuttra Bulleepoor devolved on Lokee
Sing, the eldest, who died without issue; and the village was
subdivided among his four brothers or their descendants. But Davey
Buksh, the grandson, by adoption of the second brother, Dirguj Sing,
unknown to the others, assigned, in lieu of a debt, the whole village
to a Brahmin named Bhyroo Tewaree, who forthwith got it transferred
to Hozoor Tehseel, through Matadeen, a havildar of the 5th Troop,
7th-Regiment of Cavalry, who, in an application to the Resident,
pretended that the estate was his own. It is now beyond the
jurisdiction of the local authorities, who could ascertain the truth;
and all the rightful co-sharers have been ever since trying in vain
to recover their rights. The Bramin [Brahmin] and the Havildar, with
Sookhal a trooper in the same regiment, now divide the profits
between them, and laugh at the impotent efforts of the old
proprietors to get redress. Gholam Jeelanee, a shopkeeper of Lucknow,
seeing the profits derived by sipahees, from the abuse of this
privilege, purchased a cavalry uniform--jacket, cap, pantaloon,
boots, shoes, and sword--and on the pretence of being an invalid
trooper of ours, got the signature of the brigadier commanding the
troops in Oude to his numerous petitions, which were sent for
adjustment to the Durbar through the Resident. He followed this trade
profitably for fifteen years. At last he got possession of a landed
estate, to which he had no claim of right. Soon after he sent a
petition to say that the dispossessed proprietor had killed four of
his relations and turned him out. This led to a more strict inquiry,
when all came out. In quoting this case to the Resident, in a letter
dated the 16th of June 1836, the King of Oude observes: "If a person
known to thousands in the city of Lucknow is able, for fifteen years,
to carry on such a trade successfully, how much more easy must it be
for people in the country, not known to any in the city, to carry it

The Resident communicated to the King of Oude the resolution of the
Honourable the Court of Directors to relieve him from the payment of
the sixteen lacs of rupees a-year for the auxiliary force; and on the
29th of July 1839, he reported to Government the great gratification
which his Majesty had manifested and expressed at this opportune
relief. But his gratification at this communication was hardly so
great as that which he had manifested on the 14th of December 1837,
when told by the Resident that the British Government would not
insist upon giving to the subjects of Oude who might enlist into that
force the privilege of forwarding complaints about their village
affairs and disputes, through their military superiors and the
Resident; and it appeared to the Resident, "that this one act of
liberality and justice on the part of the British Government had done
more to reconcile the King of Oude to the late treaty, in which the
Oude auxiliary force had originated, than all that he had said to him
during the last three months as to the prospective advantages which
that treaty would secure to him and his posterity." The King
observed: "This kindness on the part of the British Government has
relieved my mind from a load of disagreeable thoughts." The prime
minister, Hakeem Mehndee, who was present, replied: "All will now go
on smoothly. When the men have to complain to their own Government,
they will seldom complain without just cause, being aware that a
false story will soon be detected by the native local authorities,
though it could not be so by European officers at a distance from the
villages; and that in all cases of real grievances their claims will
soon be fairly and speedily adjusted. If," added he, "the sipahees of
this force had been so placed that they could have enlisted their
officers on their side in making complaints, while such officers
could know nothing whatever of the circumstances beyond what the
sipahees themselves told them, false and groundless complaints would
have become endless, and the vexations thereby caused to Government
and their neighbours would have become intolerable. These troops,"
said he, "will now be real soldiers; but if the privileges enjoyed by
the Honourable Company's sipahees had been conferred upon the seven
regiments composing this force, with the relations and pretended
relations of the sipahees, it would have converted into corrupt
traders in village disputes sixteen or seventeen thousand of the
King's subjects, settled in the heart of the country, privileged to
make false accusations of all kinds, and believed by the people to be
supported in these falsehoods by the British Government." Both the
King and the minister requested the Resident earnestly and repeatedly
to express to the Governor-General their most sincere thanks for
having complied with his Majesty's solicitations on this point.*

[* See King of Oude's letter to the Governor-General, dated 5th
October, 1837, and Residents letters of the 7th idem and 14th
December, 1837.]

This privilege which the native officers and sipahees of our native
army enjoy of petitioning for redress of grievances, through the
Resident, has now been extended to all the regular, irregular, and
local corps of the three Presidencies--that is, to all corps paid by
the British Government, and to all native officers and sipahees of
contingent corps employed in and paid by native States, who were
drafted into them from the regular corps of our army up to a certain
time; and the number cannot be less than fifty or sixty thousand. But
European civil and political functionaries, in our own provinces and
other native States, have almost all some men from Oude in their
offices or establishments, whose claims and complaints they send for
adjustment to the Resident; and it is difficult for him to satisfy
them, that he is not bound to take them up in the same manner as he
takes up those of the native officers and sipahees of our native
army; and he is often induced to yield to their importunity, and
thereby to furnish grounds for further applications of the same sort.
This privilege is not recognized or named in any treaty, or other
engagement with the Sovereign of Oude; nor does any one now know its
origin, for it cannot be found in any document recorded in the
Resident's office.

If the Resident happens to be an impatient, overbearing man, he will
often frighten the Durbar and its Courts, or local officers, into a
hasty decision, by which the rights of others are sacrificed for the
native officers and sipahees; and if he be at the same time an
unscrupulous man, he will sometimes direct that the sipahee shall be
put in possession of what he claims in order to relieve himself from
his importunity, or that of his commanding officer, without taking
the trouble to inform himself of the grounds on which the claim is
founded. Of all such errors there are unhappily too many instances
recorded in the Resident's office. This privilege is in the hands of
the Resident an instrument of _torture_, which it is his duty to
apply every day to the Oude Durbar. He may put on a _screw more_ or
a _screw less_, according to his temper or his views, or the
importunity of officers commanding corps or companies, and native
officers and sipahees in person, which never cease to oppress him
more or less.

The most numerous class of complaints and the most troublesome is
that against the Government of Oude or its officers and landholders,
for enhanced demands of rents; and whenever these officers or
landholders are made to reduce these demands in favour of the
privileged sipahees, they invariably distribute the burthen in an
increased rate upon their neighbours.

Officers who have to pass through Oude in their travels or sporting
excursions have of late years generally complained that they receive
less civility from villages in which our invalid or furlough sipahees
are located than from any others; and that if they are anywhere
treated with actual disrespect, such sipahees are generally found to
be either the perpetrators or instigators. This complaint is not, I
fear, altogether unfounded; and may arise from the diminished
attachment felt by the sipahees for their European officers in our
army, and partly from the privilege of urging their claims through
the Resident, enjoyed by native officers and sipahees, now ceasing on
their being transferred to the invalid establishment.

But the privilege itself is calculated to create feelings of
dissatisfaction with their European officers, among the honest and
hard-working part of our native army. Such men petition only when
they have just cause; and not one in five of them can obtain what
they demand, and believe to be their just right, under an
administration like that of Oude, whatever efforts the Resident may
make to obtain it for them; and where one is satisfied, four become
discontented; while the dishonest and idle portion of their brother
soldiers, who have no real wrongs to complain of, and feign them only
to get leave of absence, throw all the burthen of their duties upon
them. Others again, by fraud and collusion with those whose influence
they require to urge their claims, often obtain more than they have
any right to; and their unmerited success tends to increase the
dissatisfaction felt by the honest, and more scrupulous portion of
the native officers and sipahees who have failed to obtain anything.

Government will not do away with the privilege without first
ascertaining the views and wishes of the military authorities. They
are not favourable to the abolition, for though the honest and hard-
working sipahees may say that it is of no use to them, the idle and
unscrupulous, who consider it as a lottery in which they may
sometimes draw a prize, or a means of getting leave of absence when
they are not entitled to it, will tell them that the fidelity of the
whole native army depends upon its being maintained and extended. I
am of opinion, after much consideration, and a good deal of
experience in the political working of the system, that the abolition
of the privilege would be of great advantage to the native army; and
it would certainly relieve the European officers from much
importunity and annoyance which they now suffer from its enforcement.
It is not uncommon for a sipahee of a regiment in Bombay to obtain
leave of absence for several times over for _ten months_ at a time,
on the pretence of having a case pending in Oude. When his leave is
about to expire, he presents a petition to the Resident, who obtains
for him from the Court an order for the local authorities to settle
his claim. This order is sent to the officer commanding his regiment.
The man then makes up a piteous story of his having spent the whole
ten months in prosecuting his claim in vain, when, in reality, he has
been enjoying himself at home, and had no claim whatever to settle.
The next year, or the year after, he gets another ten months' leave,
for the same purpose, and when it is about to expire, he presents
himself to the Resident, and declares that the local authorities have
been changed, and the new officers pay no regard to the King's
orders. New orders are then got for the new officers, and sent to his
regiment, and the same game is played over again.

Native officers and sipahees, in the privilege of presenting
petitions through the Resident, are now restricted to their own
claims and those of their wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and
daughters. They cannot petition through the Resident for the redress
of wrongs suffered, or pretended to have been suffered, by any other
relations. In consequence, it has become a common custom with them to
lend or sell their names to more remote relations, or to persons not
related to them at all. The petition is made out in their own name,
and the real sufferer or pretended sufferer, who is to prosecute the
claim, is named as the mookteear or attorney. A great many bad
characters have in this way deprived men of lands which their
ancestors had held in undisputed right of property for many
generations or centuries; for the Court, to save themselves from the
importunity of the Residency, has often given orders for the claimant
being put in possession of the lands without due inquiry or any
inquiry at all. The sipahees are, in consequence, much dreaded by the
people among whom they reside; for there really is no class of men
from whom it is more difficult to get the truth in any case. They
have no fear of punishment, because all charges against them for
fraud, falsehood, or violation of the rules laid down by Government
have to be submitted either to a court-martial, composed of native
officers, or to the Governor-General. Both involve endless trouble,
and it would, I fear, be impossible to get a conviction before a
court-martial so composed. No Resident will ever submit to a
Governor-General the scores of flagrant cases that every month come
before him; still less will he worry unoffending and suffering people
by causing them to be summoned to give evidence before a military

In a recent instance (July 1851), a sipahee in a regiment stationed
at Lucknow was charged before a court-martial with three abuses of
the privilege. He required no less than seventy-four witnesses to be
summoned in his defence. The Court had to wait till what could be got
out of the seventy-four appeared, and the man became an object of
sympathy, because he was kept so long in arrest. He named the first
Assistant to the Resident, who has charge of the Sipahee Petition
Department, as a witness; and he was not, in consequence, permitted
to attend the Court on the part of the Resident, who preferred the
charges, though he was never called or examined by the Court on the
part of the defence. The naming him, and the summoning of so many
witnesses were mere _ruses_ on the part of the sipahee to escape. No
person on the part of the Resident was allowed to attend the Court
and see that his witnesses were examined; nor had he any means of
knowing whether they were or not. He had reason to believe that the
most important were not. The sipahee was of course acquitted, as
sipahees charged with such abuses of the privilege always will be.
This man's regiment was at Lucknow, and near the place where the
cause of action arose, his own village, and the Resident's office.
How much more difficult would it be to get a conviction against a
sipahee whose regiment happens to be many hundred miles off!

The transfer of their lands from the jurisdiction of the local
authorities to that of the Hozoor Tehseel is often the cause of much
suffering to their copartners and neighbours. Their co-sharers in the
land often find much inconvenience from it, and apprehend that,
sooner or later, the influence of the sipahee will enable him to add
their shares to his own. The village so transferred, being removed
from the observation and responsibility of the local authorities,
often becomes a safe refuge for the bad characters of the district,
who thence depredate upon the country around with impunity. Claims to
villages, to which the claimant had really no right whatever, have
been successfully prosecuted by or through sipahees, for the sole
purpose of having them transferred to the Hozoor Tehseel, and made
dens of thieves and highway robbers. The person in charge of the
Hozool Tehseel villages has generally a good deal of influence at
Court, and this he lends to such claimants, for a consideration,
without fear or scruple, as he feels assured that he shall be able to
counteract any representations on the part of the local authorities
of the evils suffered from the holders and occupants of such
villages. He never pretends to be able to watch over or control the
conduct of the holders and occupiers of the villages under his
charge, situated, as they mostly are, in remote districts. The
transfer of such villages can be justified only in districts that are
held in contract, and even in them it might be easy to provide
effectually for the protection of the holders from over-exactions on
the part of the contractors.

This privilege is attended with infinite difficulty and perplexity to
the Resident and Government; and is at the same time exceedingly
odious to the people and Government of Oude. Officers commanding
regiments and companies have much trouble with such petitions. Able
to hear only one side of any question, they think that the evils
suffered by the sipahees are much greater and more numerous than they
really are, and grant leave to enable them to prosecute their claims
to redress more often than is necessary. Men who want leave, when
they are not otherwise entitled to it, feign wrongs which they never
suffered, or greatly exaggerate such as may really have been
inflicted on them in order to obtain it; or, as I have stated, lend
their names to others and ask leave to prosecute claims with which
they have really nothing whatever to do. The sipahees and native
officers of our army are little better with than they would be
without the privilege; and a great many enlist or remain in the
service solely with the view of better prosecuting their claims, and
resign or desert as soon as they have effected their purpose, or find
that the privilege is no longer necessary. They make a convenience in
this way of our service, and are the most useless soldiers in our
ranks. I am persuaded that we should have from Oude just as many and
as good recruits for our army without as with this privilege.

The regiments of the Gwalior Contingent get just as good recruits
from Oude as those of the Line, though they do not enjoy the
privilege. I believe that those corps which did not enjoy the
privilege till within the last two years got just as good recruits
from Oude as they now do, since it has been extended to them. Till
1848 the privilege was limited to the native officers and soldiers of
our regular army, and to such as had been drafted from our regular
army into local corps up to a certain date; but in July of that year
the privilege was extended to all corps, regular and irregular,
attached to the Bengal, Madras, and Bombay Presidencies, which are
paid by the British Government. The feelings and opinions of the Oude
Government had not been consulted in the origin of this privilege,
nor were they now consulted in the extension given to it.

Officers commanding regiments and companies complain that the
sipahees and native officers never get redress, whatever trouble they
take to obtain it for them; and, I believe, they hardly ever hear a
sipahee or native officer acknowledge that he has had redress. A
sipahee one day came to the first Assistant, Captain Shakespear,
clamouring for justice, and declared that not the slightest notice
had been taken of his petition by the Oude Government or its local
authorities. On being questioned, he admitted that no less than forty
persons had been seized and were in prison on his requisition; but he
would not admit that this was any proof of the slightest notice
having been taken of his complaint. All are worried, and but few
benefited by the privilege, and the advantage of it to the army never
can counterbalance all the disadvantages. Invalid pensioners do not
now enjoy the privilege, but are left to prefer their claims direct
to the King's Courts, like others of the King's subjects, on the
ground that they cannot--like _sipahees still serving_--plead
distance from their homes; but a large proportion of the sipahees
still serving who have, or pretend to have, claims, obtain leave of
absence from their regiments to prosecute them in person.

The objection once raised by Lord William Bentinck against our
employing troops in support of the Government of Oude against
refractory landholders, is equally valid against our advocacy of the
claims of sipahees to lands. "If," said his Lordship, "British troops
be lent to enforce submission, it seems impossible to avoid becoming
parties to the terms of submission and guarantees of their observance
afterwards on both sides; in which case we should become mixed up in
every detail of the administration." If the sipahee does not pay
punctually the assessment upon the lands which he has obtained
through the Resident, the Oude Government calls upon the Resident to
enforce payment; and if the Oude Government ventures to add a rupee
to the rate demanded for the year, or for any one year, the sipahee,
through the commandant of his corps, and, perhaps, the Commander-in-
Chief and Governor-General, calls upon the Resident to have the rate
reduced, or to explain the grounds upon which it has been made; or if
the sipahee has a dispute with his numerous co-sharers, the Resident
is called upon to settle it. If the King's troops have trespassed, if
the crops have suffered from calamities of season or marauders, or
the village has been robbed, the sipahee refuses to pay, and demands
a remission of the Government demand; and if he does not get it,
appeals in the same manner to the Resident. If a sipahee be arrested
or detained for defalcation, a demand comes for his immediate
release; and if his crops or stock be distrained for balance, or
lands attached, the Resident is called upon to ascertain and explain
the reason why, and obtain redress. All such distraint is represented
as open robbery and pillage.

It is not at all uncommon for a sipahee to obtain leave of absence
from his regiment three or four times to enable him to prosecute the
same case in person at Lucknow, though he might prosecute it just as
well through an attorney. He often enjoys himself at his home while
his attorney prosecutes his claim, if he really has any, at Lucknow.
The commanding officers of his regiment and company of course believe
all he says regarding the pressing necessity for his presence at
Lucknow; and few of them know that the cases are derided in the
King's Courts, and that the Resident could not possibly decide them
himself if he had five times the establishment he has and full powers
to do so. If the Resident finds that a sipahee has lent his name to
another, and reports his conduct, he makes out a plausible tale,
which his commanding officer believes to be true; the Commander-in-
Chief is referred to; the case is submitted to the Governor-General,
and sometimes to the Court of Directors, and a voluminous
correspondence follows, till the Resident grows weary, and the
sipahee escapes with impunity. In the mean time, troops of witnesses
have been worried to show that the sipahee has no connection whatever
with the estate, or thing claimed in his name, or with the family to
whom his name was lent. Many a man has, in this way, as above stated,
been robbed of an estate which his family had held for many
generations; and many a village which had been occupied by an honest
and industrious peasantry has been turned into a den of robbers. In
flagrant cases of false claims, the Resident may get the attorney,
employed by the sipahee in prosecuting it, punished by the Durbar,
but he can rarely hope to get the sipahee himself punished.

In a case that occurred shortly before I took charge, a sipahee
complained that a tallookdar had removed him, or his friends, from
their village by over exactions, demanding two thousand eight hundred
rupees a-year instead of eight hundred. An ameen was sent out to the
district to settle the affair. Having some influence at Court, he got
the sipahee put into possession, at the rate of eight hundred, and
obtained from him a pledge to pay to him, the ameen, a large portion
of the _two thousand_ profit! The tallookdar, being a powerful man,
made the contractor reduce his demand upon his estate, of which the
village was a part, in proportion; and the contractor made the
Government give him credit for the whole two thousand eight hundred,
which the estate was well able to pay, in any other hands, and ought
to have paid. The holder continued, I believe, to pay the ameen, who
continued to give him the benefit of his influence at Court. Cases of
this kind are not uncommon. The Resident is expected by commandants
of corps and companies to secure every native officer and sipahee in
the possession of his estate at a fixed rate, in perpetuity; and as
many of their relations and friends as may contrive to have their
claims presented through the Resident in their names. He is expected
to adjust all disputes that may arise between them and their co-
sharers and neighbours; or between them and their landholders and
Government officers; to examine all their complicated accounts of
collections and balances, fair payments, and secret gratuities.

Sipahees commonly enter the service under false names, and give false
names to their relatives and places of abodes, in order that they may
not be traced if they desert; or that the truth may not be discovered
if they pretend to be of higher caste than they really are, or
otherwise offend. When they find, in the prosecution of their claims
through the Resident, that this is discovered, they find an alias for
each name, whether of person, place, or thing: the troubles and
perplexities which arise from this privilege are endless.

The Court of Directors, in a despatch dated the 4th March, 1840,
remarking on a report dated the 29th November, 1838, from the
Resident, Colonel Low, relating to abuses arising from the
interference of the Resident in respect to complaints preferred by
subjects of Oude serving in our army, observes, "that these abuses
appear to be even more flagrant than the Court had previously
believed them to be, and no time ought to be lost in applying an
effectual remedy: cases are not wanting in which complaints and
claims, that are utterly groundless, meet with complete success, the
officers of the Oude Government finding it less troublesome to comply
with the unjust demand than to investigate the case in such a manner
as to satisfy the Resident; and the Oude Government, for the purpose
of getting rid of importunity, reduces the assessment on the lands of
these favoured individuals, making up the loss by increased exactions
from their neighbours." The Court orders the immediate abolition of
the privilege in the case of invalided and pensioned sipahees, and
directs that those still serving in our army be no longer allowed to
complain in respect of all their relatives, real or pretended, but
only in cases in which they themselves, their parents, wives, or
children are actually interested. "All unfounded complaints, and all
false allegations made in order to render complaints cognizable,
ought to be, when discovered, _punishable by our own military
authorities, who ought not to be remiss in inflicting such punishment
when justly incurred_." "Under the restrictions which we have
enjoined," continues the Court, "the trial may once more be made
whether this privilege is compatible with good government in Oude,
and with the rightful authority of the King of Oude and his officers.
Should the abuses which have prevailed still continue under the
altered system, the whole subject must be again taken into
consideration, and the Resident is to be required to submit a report
on the operation of the privilege after the expiration of one year."

How the rule with regard to relationship is evaded has been already
stated, and among the numerous instances of this evasion that have
been discovered every year since this order of the Honourable Court
was passed, the offence has never been punished by any military
authority in one. The Resident has no hope, nor the sipahee any fear,
that such an offence will ever be punished by a court-martial; and
the former feels averse to trespass on the time and attention of the
Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief with such references. He
hardly ever submits them till the necessity is forced upon him by
references made to the Commander-in-Chief, by officers commanding
regiments, in behalf of offenders in whose veracity they are disposed
to place too much confidence.

In one of the cases quoted by Colonel Low in his letter of the 29th
November, 1838, Reotee Barn, a sipahee, claimed a village, which was
awarded to him by the Court, without due inquiry, to avoid further
importunity. The owner in possession would not give it up. A large
force was sent to enforce the award; lives were lost; the real owner
was seized and thrown into gaol, and there died. Reotee Ram had no
right whatever to the village, and he could not retain possession
among such a sturdy peasantry. His commanding officer again appealed
to the Commander-in-Chief, and the case was referred to the Governor-
General and to the Honourable the Court of Directors, and a
voluminous correspondence took place. It was afterwards fully proved,
that the sipahee, Reotee Ram, had never had the slightest ground of
claim to the village; and had been induced to set up one solely at
the instigation of an interested attorney with whom he was to share
the profits.

In another case quoted by Colonel Low in that letter, a pay havildar
of the 58th Regiment complained, jointly with his brother Cheyda,
through the Commander-in-Chief, to the Governor-General, in June
1831, stating, that Rajah Prethee Put had murdered two of his
relations, plundered his house, burnt his title-deeds, cut down five
of his mango-groves, seized seventy-three beegahs of land belonging
to him, of hereditary right, turned all his family out of the
village, including the widows of the two murdered men, and still held
in confinement his relative Teekaram, a sipahee of the Bombay army.
On investigation before the Assistant Resident, Captain Shakespear,
the havildar and Cheyda admitted-first, that Teekaram had rejoined
his regiment before they complained; second, that of the two murdered
men, one had been killed fifty-five years before, and the other
twenty years, and that both had fallen in affrays between
landholders, in which many lives had been lost on both sides; third,
that he had never himself held the lands, and that his father had
been forty years before deprived of them by the father of Cheyda, who
had the best claim to them, and had mortgaged them to a Brahmin, from
whom Prethee Put had taken them for defalcation; fourth, that it was
not his own claim he was urging, but that of Cheyda, who was not his
brother, but the great grandson of his grandfather's brother, and
that he had never been in the British service; fifth, that the lands
had been taken from his father by Cheyda's father fourteen years
before he, the havildar, entered the British service twenty-eight
years ago; sixth, that his family had lost nothing in the village, by
Prethee Put, and that the persons deprived of their mango-groves were
only very distantly related to him.

Fuzl Allee, a notorious knave, having, in collusion with the local
authorities of the district, taken from Hufeez-ollah the village of
Dewa, which had been held by his family in proprietory right for many
generations, and tried to extort from him a written resignation of
all his rights to the lands, Hufeez-ollah made his escape, and went
to Lucknow to seek redress. During his absence his relations tried to
recover possession, and in the contest one of Fuzl Allee's followers
was killed. Fuzl Allee then prevailed upon Ihsan Allee, a pay
havildar in the 9th Regiment of our Cavalry, who was in no way
whatever connected with the parties, and had no claim whatever on the
lands, to present a petition to the Resident, charging Hufeez-ollah
with having committed a gang-robbery upon his house, and murdered one
of his servants. Hufeez-ollah was seized and thrown into prison, and
the case was made over for trial to Zakir Allee. No proof whatever
having been adduced against him for four months, Zakir Allee declared
him innocent, and applied for his release; but before his application
reached the Durbar, another petition was presented to the Resident,
Colonel Richmond, in the name of the pay havildar; and the Durbar
ordered that the case should be made over to the Court of Mahommed
Hyat, and that the prisoner should not be released without a
settlement and the previous sanction of the Durbar, as the affair
related to the English.

The prisoner proved that he was at Lucknow at the time of the affray,
and that the lands in dispute had belonged to his family for many
generations. No proof whatever was produced against him, but by
frequently changing the attorneys of the pay havildar, pretending
that he required to attend in person but could not get leave of
absence, and other devices, Fuzl Allee contrived to postpone the
final decision till the 27th of February, 1849, when Mahommed Hyat
acquitted the prisoner, and declared that the pay havildar had in
reality no connection whatever either with the parties or with the
lands; that his name had been used by Fuzl Allee for his own evil
purposes; that he had become very uneasy at the thought of keeping an
innocent man so long in prison merely to gratify the malice and evil
designs of his enemy; and prayed the Durbar to call upon the
prosecutor to prove his charges before the Minister or other high
officer within a certain period, or to direct the release of the poor

On the 16th of January, 1852, the prisoner sent a petition to the
Resident, Colonel Sleeman, to say, that after he had been acquitted
by Mahommed Hyat on the 27th of February, 1849, his enemy, Fuzl
Allee, had contrived to prevail upon the Durbar to have his case made
over to the Court of the Suder-os Sudoor, by whom he had been a third
time acquitted; but that the Durbar dared not order his release, as
the case was one in which British officers were concerned. He
therefore prayed that the Resident would request the King to order
his release, on his giving security for his appearance when required,
as he had been in prison for more than four years. On the 24th of
January, 1852, the Resident requested the King to have the prisoner
immediately released. This was the first time that the case came to
the notice of Colonel Sleeman, though Hufeez-ollah had been four
years in prison, under a fictitious charge from the pay havildar.

_January_ 11, 1850.--At Nawabgunge, detained by rain, which fell
heavily all last night, to the great delight of the _landed
interest_, and great discomfort of travellers. Nothing but mud around
us--our tents wet through, but standing, and the ground inside of
them dry. Fortunately there has been no strong wind with the heavy
rain, and we console ourselves with the thought that the small
inconvenience which travellers suffer from such rain at this season
is trifling, compared with the advantage which millions of our
fellow-creatures derive from it. This is what I have heard all native
travellers say, however humble or however great--all sympathise with
the landed interests in a country where industry is limited almost
exclusively to the culture of the soil, and the revenue of the
sovereign derived almost exclusively from the land. After such rains
the cold increases--the spirits rise--the breezes freshen--the crops
look strong--the harvest is retarded--the grain gets more sap and
becomes perfect--the cold season is prolonged, as the crops remain
longer green, and continue to condense the moisture of the
surrounding atmosphere. Without such late rain, the crops ripen
prematurely, the grain becomes shrivelled, and defective both in
quantity and quality. While the rain lasts, however, a large camp is
a wretched scene; for few of the men, women, and children, and still
fewer of the animals it contains, can find any shelter at all!

_January_ 12, 1850.-At Nawabgunge, still detained by rain. The
Minister had ordered out tents for himself and suite on the 8th, but
they had not come up, and I was obliged to lend him one of my best,
and some others as they came up, or they would have been altogether
without shelter. When he left them on the 10th, his attendants cut
and took away almost all the ropes, some of the kanats or outer
walls, and some of the carpets. He knew nothing about it, nor will he
ever learn anything till told by me. His attendants were plundering
in all the surrounding villages while he remained; and my people
tried in vain to prevent them, lest they should themselves be taken
for the plunderers. Of all this the Minister knew nothing. The
attendants on the contractors and other local officers are, if
possible, still worse; and throughout the country the King's officers
all plunder, or acquiesce in the plunder, utterly regardless of the
sufferings of the people and the best interests of their Sovereign.
No precaution whatever is taken to prevent this indiscriminate
plunder by the followers of the local authorities; nor would any one
of them think it worth his while to interpose if he saw the roofs of
the houses of a whole village moving off on the heads of his
followers to his camp; or a fine crop of sugar-cane, wheat, or
vegetables cut down for fodder by them before his face. It is the
fashion of the country, and the Government acquiesces in it.

Among the people no man feels mortified, or apprehends that he shall
stand the worse in the estimation of the Government or its officers,
for being called and proved to be a robber. It is the trade of every
considerable landholder in the country occasionally, and that of a
great many of them perpetually; the murder of men, women, and
children generally attends their depredations. A few days ago, when
requested by the King to apply to officers commanding stations, and
magistrates of bordering districts, for aid in the arrest of some of
the most atrocious of these rebels and robbers, I told his Majesty,
that out of consideration for the poor people who suffered, I had
made a requisition for that aid for the arrest of three of the worst
of them; but that I could make no further requisition until he did
something to remove the impression now universal over Oude, that
those who protected their peasantry managed their estates well,
obeyed the Government in all things, and paid the revenue punctually,
were sure to be oppressed, and ultimately ruined by the Government
and its officers, while those who did the reverse in all these things
were equally sure to be favoured and courted.

As an instance, I mentioned Gholam Huzrut, who never paid his
revenues, oppressed his peasantry, murdered his neighbours, and
robbed them of their estates, attacked and plundered the towns around
with his large band of robbers, and kept the country in a perpetual
state of disorder; yet, when seized and sent in a prisoner to Lucknow
by Captain Bunbury, he managed to bribe courtiers, and get orders
sent out to the local authorities to have his son kept in possession
of all his ill-gotten lands, and favoured and protected in all
possible ways. I knew that such orders had been obtained by bribery;
and the Minister told me, that he had ordered nothing more than that
the son should have the little land which had been held of old by the
family, and should be required to give up all that he had usurped. I
showed him a copy of the order issued by his confidential servant,
Abid Allee, to all commanders of troops in the district, which had
been obtained for me for the occasion of the Minister's visit to my
camp; and he seemed much ashamed to see that his subordinates should
so abase the confidence he placed in them. The order was as follows:-

  "_To the Officers commanding the Forces in the District
             of Sidhore, Nawabgunge, Dewa, &c._

"By Order of the Minister.--The King's chuprassies have been sent to
Para to invite in Bhikaree the son of Gholam Huzrut; and you all are
informed that the said Bhikaree is to be honoured and cherished by
the favour of the King; and if any of you should presume to prevent
his coming in, or molest him in the possession of any of the lands he
holds, you will incur the severe displeasure of his Majesty. You are,
on no account, to molest or annoy him in any way connected with his

                   (Signed)        "ABID ALLEE."

The thing necessary in Oude is a system and a machinery that shall
inspire all with a feeling-first, of security in their tenure in
office so long as the duties of it are performed ably and honestly;
second, in their tenure in their lands assessed at moderate rates, as
long as the rents and revenues so assessed are fully and punctually
paid, and the duties of the holders towards the Government, their
tenants, and the public, are faithfully discharged; third, in the
safety of life, person, and property on the roads and in the towns,
villages, and hamlets scattered over the country. This good can never
be effected with the present system and machinery, whatever be the
ability and diligence of the King, the Minister, and the Resident; be
they of the highest possible order, the good they can effect must be
small and temporary; there can be, under such a system, no stability
in any rule, no feeling of security in any person or thing!

A tribunal, formed under the guarantee of the British Government,
might, possibly--first, form a settlement of the land revenue of the
whole country, and effectually enforce from all parties, the
fulfilment of the conditions it imposed; second, decide, finally,
upon all charges against public officers--protect the able and
honest, and punish all those who neglect their duties or abuse their
authority; third, reform the military force in all its branches--give
it the greatest possible efficiency, compatible with the outlay--
concentrate it at five or six stations, and protect the people of the
country from its rapacity; fourth, raise and form a police, distinct
altogether from this military force, and efficient for all the duties
required from it; fifth, create and maintain judicial courts to which
all classes might look up with confidence and respect. But to effect
all this it would require to transfer at least twenty-five lacs of
rupees a-year from the pockets of official absorbants and Court
favourites to those of efficient public officers; and, finally, to
set aside the present King, Minister, and Commander-in-Chief, and
take all the executive upon itself.

The expenditure is now about twenty lacs of rupees a-year above the
income, and the excess is paid out of the reserved treasury. This
reserved treasury was first established by Saadut Allee Khan in A.D.
1801, when he had serious thoughts of resigning the government of his
country into the hands of the Honourable Company, and retiring into
private life. Up to this time he used to drink hard, and to indulge
in other pleasures, which tended to unfit him for the cares and
duties of sovereignty; but, in 1801, he made a solemn vow at the
shrine of Huzrut Abbas at Lucknow to cease from all such indulgences,
and devote all his time and attention to his public duties. This vow
he kept, and no Sovereign of Oude has ever conducted the Government
with so much ability as he did for the remaining fourteen years of
his life. On his death, which took place on the 12th of July, 1814,
he left in this reserved treasury the sum of fourteen crores of
rupees, or fourteen millions sterling, with all his establishments
paid up, and his just debts liquidated. When he ascended the musnud
on the 21st January, 1798, he found nothing in the Treasury, and the
public establishments all much in arrears.

Out of this reserved treasure, the _zukaat_, or two and a-half per
cent., is every year paid to the mojtahid for distribution among the
poor of the Sheea sect at Lucknow. No person of the Sonnee sect is
permitted to partake of this charity. Syuds or lineal descendants of
the Prophet are not permitted to take any part of this charity,
except for the _bonâ fide_ payment of debt due. The mojtahid is, at
the same time, the high priest and the highest judicial functionary
in the State. Being a Syud, neither he nor any member of his family
can legally take any part of this charity for themselves, except for
the _bonâ fide_ purpose of paying debts; but they get over the
difficulty by borrowing large sums before the money is given out, and
appropriate the greater part of the money to the liquidation of these
debts, though they all hold large sums in our Government securities.
To his friends at Court he sends a large share, with a request that
they will do him the favour to undertake the distribution among the
poor of their neighbourhood. To prevent popular clamour, a small
portion of the money given out is actually distributed among the poor
of the Sheea sect at Lucknow; but that portion is always small.

Saadut Allee's son and successor, Ghazee-od Deen Hyder, spent four
crores out of the reserved treasury over and above the whole income
of the State; and when he died, on the 20th of October, 1827, he left
ten crores of rupees in that treasury. His son and successor,
Nusseer-od Deen Hyder, spent nine crores and thirty lacs; and when he
died, on the 7th of July, 1837, he left only seventy lacs in the
reserved treasury. His successor, Mahommed Allee Shah, died on the
16th of May, 1842, leaving in the reserved treasury thirty-five lacs
of rupees, one hundred and twenty-four thousand gold mohurs, and
twenty-four lacs in our Government securities--total, seventy-eight
lacs and eighty-four thousand rupees. His son and successor, Amjud
Allee Shah, died on the 13th of February, 1847, leaving in the
reserved treasury ninety-two lacs of rupees, one hundred and twenty-
four thousand gold-mohurs, and twenty-four lacs in our Government
securities--total, one crore and thirty-six lacs. His son and
successor, his present Majesty, Wajid Allee Shah, is spending out of
this reserved treasury, over and above the whole income of the
country, above twenty lacs of rupees a-year; and the treasury must
soon become exhausted. His public establishments, and the stipendiary
members of the royal family, are, at the same time, kept greatly in

[* _November_ 30, 1851.--The gold-mohurs have been all melted down,
and the promissory notes of our Government all, save four lacs, given
away; and of the rupees, I believe, only three lacs remain; so that
the reserved treasury must be entirely exhausted before the end of
1851; while the establishments and stipendiary members of the royal
family are in arrears for from one to three years. Fifty lacs of
rupees would hardly suffice to pay off these arrears. The troops on
detached duty, in the provinces with local officers, are not so much
in arrears as those in and about the capital. They are paid out of
the revenues as they are collected, and their receipts sent in to the
treasury. For some good or pleasing services rendered by him to the
minister this year, in the trial of offenders whom that minister
wished to screen, three lacs of rupees have been paid to the mojtahid
as _zukaat_ for distribution to the poor. This has all been
appropriated by the mojtahid, the minister, and Court favourites.

The State, like individuals, is bound to pay this _zukaat_ only when
it is free from debts of all kinds. The present King's father was
free from debt, and had his establishments always paid up; and he
always paid this charity punctually. The present King is not bound to
pay it, but the high-priest, minister, and Court favourites are too
deeply interested in its payment to permit its discontinuance; and
the king, like a mere child in their hands, acquiesces in all they
propose. The _zukaat_ has, in consequence, increased as the treasury
has become exhausted.]

_January_ 13, 1850.--Russoolabad, twelve miles, over a country better
peopled and cultivated than usual, where the soil admits of tillage.
There is a good deal that requires drainage, and still more that is
too poor to be tilled without great labour and outlay in irrigation,
manure, &c. The villages are, however, much nearer to each other than
in any other part of the country that we have passed over; and the
lands, close around every village, are well cultivated. The
landholders and cultivators told me, that the heavy rain we have had
has done a vast deal of good to the crops; and, as it has been
followed by a clear sky and fine westerly wind, they have no fear of
the blight which might have followed had the sky continued cloudy,
and the winds easterly. Certainly nothing could look better than the
crops of all kinds do now, and the people are busily engaged in
ploughing the land for sugar-cane, and for the autumn crops of next

I had some talk with the head zumeendar of Naraenpoor about midway.
He is of the Ditchit family of Rajpoots, who abound in the district
we have now entered. We passed over the boundary of Byswara, about
three miles from our last encampment, and beyond that district there
are but few Rajpoots of the Bys clan. These Ditchits give their
daughters in marriage to the Bys Rajpoots, but cannot get any of
theirs in return. Gunga Sing, the zumeendar, with whom I was talking,
told me that both the Ditchits and Byses put their infant daughters
to death, and that the practice prevailed more or less in all
families of these and, he believed, all other clans of Rajpoots in
Oude, save the Sengers.* I asked him whether it prevailed in his own
family, and he told me that it did, more or less, as in all others. I
bade him leave me, as I could not hold converse with a person guilty
of such atrocities, and told him that they would be all punished for
them in the next world, if not in this.

[* The Sengers are almost the only class of Rajpoots in Bundelkund,
and Boghilcund, Rewa, and the Saugor territories, who used to put
their female infants to death; and here, in Oude, they are almost the
only class who do not.]

Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, who was on his horse beside my elephant, said,
"They are all punished in this world, and will, no doubt, be punished
still more in the next. Scarcely any of the heads of these landed
aristocracy are the legitimate sons of their predecessors; they are
all adopted, or born of women of inferior grade. The heads of
families who commit or tolerate such atrocities become leprous,
blind, deaf or dumb, or are carried off in early life by some
terrible disease. Hardly any of them attain a good old age, nor can
they boast of an untainted line of ancestors like other men. If they
get sons, they commonly die young. They unite themselves to women of
inferior castes for want of daughters in families of their own ranks,
and there is hardly a family among these proud Rajpoots unstained by
such connections.* Even the reptile _Pausies_ become _Rajpoots_ by
giving their daughters to Powars and other Rajpoot families, when by
robbery and murder they have acquired wealth and landed property. The
sister of Gunga Buksh, of Kasimgunge, was married to the Rajah of
Etondeea, a Powar Rajpoot in Mahona; and the present Rajah--Jode
Sing--is her son. Gunga Buksh is a Pausee, but the family call
themselves Rawats, and are considered to be Rajpoots, since they have
acquired landed possessions by the murder and ruin of the old
proprietors. They all delight in murder and rapine--the curse of God
is upon them, sir, for the murder of their own innocent children!"

[* A great number of girls are purchased and stolen from our
territories, brought into Oude, and sold to Rajpoot families, as
wives for their sons, on the assurance, that they are of the same or
higher caste, and that their parents have been induced to part with
them from poverty. A great many of our native officers and sipahees,
who marry while home on furlough, and are pressed for time, get such
wives. Some of their neighbours are always bribed by the traders in
such girls, to pledge themselves for the purity of their blood. If
they ever find out the imposition, they say nothing about it.]

"When I was sent out to inquire into the case of Brigadier Webber,
who had been attacked and robbed while travelling in his palkee, with
relays of bearers, from Lucknow to Seetapoor, I entered a house to
make some inquiries, and found the mistress weeping. I asked the
cause, and she told me that she had had four children, and lost all--
that three of them were girls, who had been put to death in infancy,
and the last was a fine boy, who had just died! I told her that this
was a just punishment from God for the iniquities of her family, and
that I would neither wash my hands nor drink water under her roof. I
never do under the roof of any family in which such a cruel practice
prevails. These Rajpoots are all a bad set, sir. When men murder
their own children, how can they scruple to murder other people? The
curse of God is upon them, sir.

"In the district of Byswara," he continued, "through which we have
just passed, you will find at least fifty thousand men armed to fight
against each other, or their government and its officers: in such a
space, under the Honourable Company's dominion, you would not find
one thousand armed men of the same class. Why is this, but because
you do not allow such crimes to be perpetrated? Why do you go on
acquiring dominion over one country after another with your handful
of European troops and small force of native sipahees, but because
God sees that your rule is just, and that you have an earnest desire
to benefit the people and improve the countries you take?"

He told me that he had charge of the cattle under Saadut Allee Khan
when Lord Lake took the field at the first siege of Bhurtpoor; that
his master lent his Lordship five hundred elephants, eight thousand
artillery bullocks, and five hundred horses; that two hundred and
fifty of the elephants returned; but whether any of the bullocks and
horses came back or not he could not say.

The country we came over to-day is well studded with groves and fine
single trees, but the soil is generally of the lighter doomuteea
kind, which requires much labour and outlay in water and manure. The
irrigation is all from wells and pools. In the villages we came
through, we saw but few of the sipahees of our army home on furlough;
they are chiefly from the Byswara and Bunoda districts. We found our
tents pitched upon a high and dry spot, with a tight soil of clay and
sand. After the heavy rain we have had, it looked as if no shower had
fallen upon it for an age. The mud walls of the houses we saw on the
road were naked, as usual. The rapacity of the King's troops is
everywhere, directly or indirectly, the cause of this: and till they
are better provided and disciplined the houses in the towns and
villages can never improve.

The commandant, Imdad Hoseyn, of the Akberee or Telinga Regiment, on
duty with the Amil of the Poorwa district, in which our camp was last
pitched, followed me a few miles this morning to beg that I would try
to prevail upon the Durbar to serve out clothing for his corps. He
told me that the last clothing it got from the Government was on the
occasion of Lord Hastings' visit to Lucknow, some thirty-three years
ago, in 1817; that many orders had been given since that time for new
clothing, but there was always some one about Court to counteract
them, from malice or selfishness; that his father, Zakir Allee,
commanded the corps when it got the last clothing, and he succeeded
him many years ago. The Telinga Regiments are provided with arms,
accoutrements, and clothing by Government. The sipahees formerly got
five rupees a-month, but for only ten months in the year; they now
get four rupees and three and a-half annas a-month for all the twelve
months. 'He is, he says, obliged to take a great many _sufarashies_,
or men put in by persons of influence at Court, out of favour, or for
the purpose of sharing in their pay; and, under the deductions and
other disadvantages to which they are liable, he could get no good
men to enlist. The corps, in consequence, has a wretched appearance,
and certainly could not be made formidable to an enemy. The "Akbery"
is one of the Telinga corps of infantry, and was intended to be, in
all things, like those of Captains Barlow, Bunbury, and Magness; but
Imdad Hoseyn told me that they had a certain weight at Court, which
secured for their regiments many advantages necessary to make the
corps efficient, while he had none: that they had occasional
intercourse with the Resident, and were all at Court for some months
in the year to make friends, while he was always detached.

_January_ 14, 1850.--Halted at Russoolabad, for our second set of
tents, which did not come up till night, when it was too late to send
them on to our next ground. We have two sets of sleeping and dining
tents--one to go on and the other to remain during the night--but
only one set of office tents. They are struck in the afternoon, when
the office duties of the day are over, and are ready by the time we
reach our ground the next morning. This is the way in which all
public functionaries march in India. Almost all officers who have
revenue charges march through the districts under their jurisdiction
during the cold season, and so do many political officers who have
control over more than one native principality. I have had charges
that require such moving ever since the year 1822, or for some
twenty-eight years; and with the exception of two intervals of
absence on medical certificate in 1826 and 1836, I have been every
cold season moving in the way I describe.

No Resident at the Court of Lucknow ever before moved, over the
country as I am doing to inquire into the condition of the people,
the state of the country, and character of the administration; nor
would it be desirable for them to do so unless trained to civil
business, and able and disposed to commune freely with the people of
all classes. The advantages would hardly counterbalance the
disadvantages. When I apologize to the peasantry for the unavoidable
trespasses of my camp, they always reply good-humouredly, "The losses
we suffer from them are small and temporary, while the good we hope
from your visit is great and permanent." Would that I could realize
the hopes to which my visit gives rise.

_January_ 15, 1850.--To Meeangunge, five miles, over a plain of good
doomuteea soil, well studded with trees; but much of the land lies
waste, and many of the villages and hamlets are unoccupied and in
ruins. We passed the boundary of the Russoolabad district, about two
miles from our last ground, and crossed into that of Meeangunge or
Safeepoor. The Russoolabad district was held in contract for some
years by one of the greatest knaves in Oude, Buksh Allee, a dome by
caste, whose rise to wealth and influence may be described as
illustrative of the manners and customs of the Lucknow Court and
Government. This man and his deputy, Munsab Allee, reduced a good
deal of the land of the district to waste, and depopulated many of
its villages and hamlets by over-exactions and by an utter disregard
of their engagements with the landholders and cultivators; and they
were in league with many atrocious highway robbers, who plundered and
murdered so many travellers along the high road leading from Lucknow
to Cawnpoor, which runs through the district, that it was deemed
unsafe to pass it except in strong bodies.

When I took charge of my office in January last, they used to seize
every good-looking girl or young woman, passing the roads with
parents and husbands, who were too poor to purchase redress at Court,
and make slaves or concubines of them; and, feeling strong in the
assurance of protection from the fiddlers in the palace, who are of
the same caste--domes--Buksh Allee defied all authority, and kept
those girls and women in his camp and house at Lucknow, while their
parents and husbands, for months and years, in vain besought all who
were likely to have the least influence or authority to interpose for
their release. Some of them came to me soon after I took charge, and,
having collected sufficient proof of these atrocities, and of some
robberies which he had committed or caused to be committed along the
high road, I insisted upon his being deprived of his charges and
punished. He remained for many months concealed in the city, but was
at last seized by some of the Frontier Police, under the guidance of
an excellent officer, Lieutenant Weston, the Superintendent.

I had prevailed on the King to offer two thousand rupees for his
apprehension, and the two thousand rupees were distributed among the
captors. The girls and young women were released, their parents and
husbands compensated for the sufferings they had endured, and many of
the persons who had been robbed by him and his deputy had the value
of their lost property made good. Great impediments were thrown in
the way of all this by people of influence about Court; but they were
all surmounted by great skill and energy on the part of Lieutenant
Weston and steady perseverance on mine; and Buksh Allee remained in
gaol, treated as a common felon, till all was effected. All had, in
appearance, been done by the King's officers, but in reality by ours,
under his Majesty's sanction, for it was clear that nothing would be
done unless we supervised and guided their proceedings. The district
is now held in contract by a very respectable man, Mahommed Uskaree,
who has taken it for four years.

The district of Safeepoor, in which we are now encamped, has been
held in contract for five years by Budreenath, a merchant of Lucknow,
who had given security for the former contractor. He could not fulfil
his engagements to Government, and the contract was made over to him
as surety, on condition that he paid the balance. He has held it ever
since, while his younger brother, Kiddernath, has conducted their
mercantile affairs at Lucknow. Budreenath has always considered the
affair as a mercantile speculation, and thought of nothing but the
amount he has to pay to Government and that which he can squeeze out
of the landholders and cultivators. He is a bad manager; the lands
are badly tilled, and the towns, villages, and hamlets are scantily
peopled and most wretched in appearance.

Near the border, we passed one village, Mahommedpoor, entirely in
ruins. After some search we found a solitary man of the Pausee tribe,
who told us that it had been held for many generations by the family
of Rugonath, a Gouree Rajpoot, who paid for it at an uniform rate of
six hundred rupees a-year. About three years ago the contractor
demanded from him an increased rate, which he could not pay. Being
sorely pressed, he fled to the jungles with the few of his clan that
he could collect, and ordered all the cultivators to follow his
fortunes. They were of a different clan--mostly Bagheelas--and
declined the honour. He urged that, if they followed him for a season
or two, the village would be left untilled, and yield nothing to the
contractor, who would be constrained to restore him to possession at
the rate which his ancestors had paid; that his family had nothing
else to depend upon, and if they did not desert the land and take to
the jungles and plunder with him, he must, of necessity, plunder
them. They had never done so, and would not do so now. He attacked
and plundered the village three times, killed three men, and drove
all the rest to seek shelter and employment in other villages around.
Not a soul but himself, our informant, was left, and the lands lay
waste. Rogonath Sing rented a little land in the village of Gouree,
many miles off, and in another district, still determined to allow no
man but himself to hold the village or restore its tillage and
population. This, said the Pausee, is the usage of the country, and
the only way in which a landholder can honestly or effectually defend
himself against the contractor, who would never regard his rights
unless he saw that he was prepared to defend them in this way, and
determined to involve all under him in his own ruin, depopulate his
estate, and lay waste his lands.

Meean Almas, after whom this place, Meeangunge, takes his name, was
an eunuch. He had a brother, Rahmut, after whom the town of
Rahmutgunge, which we passed some days ago, took its name. Meean
Almas was the greatest and best man of any note that Oude has
produced. He held for about forty years this and other districts,
yielding to the Oude Government an annual revenue of about eighty
lacs of rupees. During all this time he kept the people secure in
life and property, and as happy as people in such a state of society
can be; and the whole country under his charge was, during his life-
time, a garden. He lived here in a style of great magnificence, and
was often visited by his sovereign, who used occasionally to spend a
month at a time with him at Meeangunge. A great portion of the lands
held by him were among those made over to the British Government, on
the division of the Oude territory, by the treaty of 1801, concluded
between Saadut Allee Khan and the then Governor-General Lord

The country was then divided into equal shares, according to the
rent-roll at the time. The half made over to the British Government
has been ever since yielding more revenue to us, while that retained
by the sovereign of Oude has been yielding less and less to him; and
ours now yields, in land-revenue, stamp-duty, and the tax on spirits,
two crore and twelve lacs a-year, while the reserved half now yields
to Oude only about one crore, or one crore and ten lacs. When the
cession took place, each half was estimated at one crore and thirty-
three lacs. Under good management the Oude share might, in a few
years, be made equal to ours, and perhaps better, for the greater
part of the lands in our share have been a good deal impoverished by
over-cropping, while those of the Oude share have been improved by
long fallows. Lands of the same natural quality in Oude, under good
tillage, now pay a much higher rate of rent than they do in our half
of the estate.

Almas Allee Khan, at the close of his life, was supposed to have
accumulated immense wealth; but when he died he was found to have
nothing, to the great mortification of his sovereign, who seized upon
all. Large sums of money had been lent by him to the European
merchants at Lucknow, as well as to native merchants all over the
country. When he found his end approaching, he called for all their
bonds and destroyed them. Mr. Ousely and Mr. Paul were said to have
at that time owed to him more than three lacs of rupees each. His
immense income he had expended in useful works, liberal hospitality,
and charity. He systematically kept in check the tallookdars, or
great landholders; fostered the smaller, and encouraged and protected
the better classes of cultivators, such as Lodhies, Koormies, and
Kachies, whom he called and considered his children. His reign over
the large extent of country under his jurisdiction is considered to
have been its golden age. Many of the districts which he held were
among those transferred to the British Government by the treaty of
1801; and they were estimated at the revenue which he had paid for
them to the Oude Government. This was much less than any other
servant of the Oude Government would have been made to pay for them;
and this accounts, in some measure, for the now increased rate they
yield to us. Others pledged themselves to pay rates which they never
did or could pay; and the nominal rates in the accounts were always
greater than the real rates. He never pledged himself to pay higher
rates than he could and really did pay.

Now the tallookdars keep the country in a perpetual state of
disturbance, and render life, property, and industry everywhere
insecure. Whenever they quarrel with each other, or with the local
authorities of the Government, from whatever cause, they take to
indiscriminate plunder and murder over all lands not held by men of
the same class; no road, town, village, or hamlet is secure from
their merciless attacks; robbery and murder become their diversion--
their sport; and they think no more of taking the lives of men,
women, and children who never offended them, than those of deer or
wild hogs. They not only rob and murder, but seize, confine, and
torture all whom they seize, and suppose to have money or credit,
till they ransom themselves with all they have, or can beg or borrow.
Hardly a day has passed since I left Lucknow in which I have not had
abundant proof of numerous atrocities of this kind committed by
landholders within the district through which I was passing, year by
year, up to the present day. The same system is followed by
landholders of smaller degrees and of this military class--some
holders of single villages or co-sharers in a village. This class
comprises Rajpoots of all denominations, Mussulmans, and Pausies.
Where one co-sharer in a village quarrels with another, or with the
Government authorities, on whatever subject, he declares himself in a
_state of war_, and adopts the same system of indiscriminate plunder
and reckless murder. He first robs the house and murders all he can
of the family of the co-sharer with whom he has quarrelled, or whose
tenement he wishes to seize upon; and then gets together all he can
of the loose characters around, employs them in indiscriminate
plunder, and subsists them upon the booty, without the slightest
apprehension that he shall thereby stand less high in the estimation
of his neighbours, or that of the officers of Government; on the
contrary, he expects, when his _pastime_ is over, to be at least more
feared and courted, and more secure in the possession of increased
lands, held at lower rates.

All this terrible state of disorder arises from the Government not
keeping faith with its subjects, and not making them keep faith with
each other. I one day asked Rajah Hunmunt Sing how it was that men
guilty of such crimes were tolerated in society, and he answered by
quoting the following Hindee couplet:--"Men reverence the man whose
heart is wicked, as they adore and make offerings to the evil planet,
while they let the good pass unnoticed, or with a simple salute of

[* There is another Hindee verse to the same effect. "Man dreads a
crooked thing--the demon Rahoo dares not seize the moon till he sees
her full." They consider the eclipse to be caused by the demon Rahoo
seizing the moon in his mouth.]

The contractor for this district, Budreenath, came to call in the
afternoon, though he is suffering much from disease. He bears a good
character with the Government, because he contrives to pay its
demand; but a very bad one among the people, from whom he extorts the
means. He does not adhere to his engagements with the landholders and
cultivators, but exacts, when the crops are ripe, a higher rate than
they had engaged to pay at the commencement of tillage; and the
people suffer not only from what he takes over and above what is due,
but from the depredations of those whom such proceedings drive into
rebellion. Against such persons he is too weak to protect them; and
as soon as the rebels show that they can reduce his income by
plundering and murdering the peasantry, and all who have property in
the towns and villages, he re-establishes them on their lands on
their own terms. He had lately, however, by great good luck, seized
two very atrocious characters of this description, who had plundered
and burnt down several villages, and murdered some of their
inhabitants; and as he knew that they would be released on the first
occasion of thanksgiving at Lucknow, having the means to bribe Court
favourites, he begged my permission to make them over to Lieutenant
Weston, superintendent of the Frontier Police, as robbers by
profession. "If they come back, sir, they will murder all who have
aided in their capture, or given evidence against them, and no
village or road will be safe."

Some shopkeepers in the town complained that the contractor was in
the habit of forcing them to stand sureties for the fulfilment, on
the part of landholders, of any engagements they might make, to pay
him certain sums, or to make over to him certain land produce at the
harvest. This, they said, often involved them in heavy losses, as the
landholders frequently could not, or would not, do either when the
time came, and they were made to pay. This is a frequent practice
throughout Oude. Shopkeepers and merchants who have property are
often compelled by the contractors and other local officers to give
such security for bad or doubtful paymasters with whom they may
happen to have had dealings or intercourse, and by this means robbed
of all they have. All manner of means are resorted to to compel them:
they and their families are seized and confined, and harshly or
disgracefully treated, till they consent to sign the security bonds.
The plea that the bonds had been forced from them would not avail in
any tribunal to which they might appeal: it would be urged against
them that the money was for the State; and this would be considered
as quite sufficient to justify the Government officer who had robbed
them. The brief history which I propose to give of Buksh Allee, the
late contractor for the Russoolabad district, is as follows:--

Mokuddera Ouleea, one of the consorts of the King, Nuseer-od Deen
Hyder, was the daughter of Mr. George Hopkins Walters, a half-pay
officer of one of the regiments of British Dragoons, who came to
Lucknow as an adventurer. He there united himself (though not in
marriage) to the widow of Mr. Whearty, an English merchant or
shopkeeper of that city, who had recently died, leaving this widow,
who was the daughter of Mr. Culloden, an English merchant of Lucknow,
and one son, now called Ameer Mirza, and one daughter, now called
Shurf-on Nissa. By Mr. Walters this widow had one daughter, who
afterwards became united to the King in marriage (in 1827), under the
title of "Mokuddera Ouleea." Mr. Walters died at Lucknow, and the
widow and two daughters went to reside at Cawnpoor. The daughters
were good-looking, and the mother was disposed to make the most of
their charms, without regard to creed or colour.

Buksh Allee, a dome by caste, who had been by profession a drummer to
a party of dancing-girls, served them as a coachman and table
attendant. At Cawnpoor he cohabited with Mrs. Walters, and prevailed
upon her to take her children back to Lucknow as the best possible
market for them, as he had friends at Court who would be able to
bring them to the notice of the sovereign. They were shown to the
King as soon as he succeeded his father on the throne in 1827. He was
captivated with the charms of Miss Walters, though they were not
great, demanded her hand from the mother, and was soon after united
to her in marriage according to the Mahommedan law. A suitable
establishment was provided by the King for her mother, father-in-law,
brother, and sister; and as his Majesty considered that the manner in
which Buksh Allee and her mother had hitherto lived together was
unsuitable to the connection which now subsisted between them, he
caused them to be married in due form according to the Mahommedan
law. The mother and her three children now changed their creed for
that of Islamism, and took Mahommedan names.

By a deed of engagement with the British Government, hearing date the
1st of March 1829, the King contributed to the five per cent loan the
sum of sixty-two lacs and forty thousand rupees, the interest of
which, at five per cent., our Government pledged itself to pay to the
four females.*

[* Mulika Zumanee, 10,000; Taj Mahal, 6,000; Mokuddera Ouleea, 6,000;
Zeenut-on Nissa, the daughter of Mulika Zumanee, 4,000.]

These pensions were to descend in perpetuity to their heirs, if they
left any; and if they left none, they were to have the power to
bequeath them by will to whomsoever and for what purposes soever they
chose, the British Government reserving to itself the power to pay to
the heirs the principal from which the pensions arose, instead of
continuing the pensions.

The King died in July 1837, and Mokuddera Ouleea went to reside near
her mother and Buksh Allee, taking with her great wealth in jewels
and other things, which she had accumulated during the King's
lifetime. Her sister, Ashrof--_alias_ Shurf-on Nissa--resided in the
same house with her mother and Buksh Allee. Mokuddera Ouleea had from
the time she became estranged from her husband, the King, led a very
profligate life, and she continued to do the same in her widowhood.
On the 14th of September 1839, the mother died; and the sister,
Shurf-on Nissa, supplied her place, as the wife or concubine of Buksh

Mokuddera Ouleea became pregnant, and on the 9th of November 1840,
she was taken very ill from some violent attempt to produce abortion.
She continued insensible and speechless till the evening of the 12th
of that month, when she expired. The house which Buksh Allee occupied
at that time is within the Residency compound, and had been purchased
by Mr. John Culloden, the father of Mrs. Walters, from Mr. George
Prendergast on the 22nd of February 1802. Mr. Prendergast purchased
the house from Mr. S. M. Taylor, an English merchant at Lucknow, who
obtained it from the Nawab Assuf-od Dowlah, as a residence. The Nawab
afterwards, on the 5th of January 1797, gave him, through the
Resident, Mr. J. Lumsden, permission to sell it to Mr. Prendergast.
The remains of Mokuddera Ouleea were interred within the compound of
that house, near those of her mother, though the King, Mahommed Allee
Shah, wished to have them buried by the side of those of her husband,
the late King. The house is still occupied by Shurf-on Nissa, who
succeeded to her sister's pension and property, under the sanction of
the British Government, and has built, or completed within the
enclosure, a handsome mosque and mausoleum.

On the death of Mr. Walters, Mrs. Whearty made application, through
the house of Colvin and Co., for the arrears of pension or half-pay
due to him up to the time of his death, and for some provision for
herself as his widow; but she was told that unless she could produce
the usual certificate, or proof of her marriage with him, she could
get neither. No proof whatever of the marriage was forthcoming, and
the claim was prosecuted no further. Shurf-on Nissa, and her brother
and his son, continued to live with Buksh Allee, who, upon the wealth
and pension left by Mokuddera Ouleea to her sister, kept up splendid
establishments both at Lucknow and Cawnpoor.

At the latter place he associated on terms of great intimacy with the
European gentlemen, and is said to have received visits from the
Major-General commanding the Division and his lady. With the aid of
his wealth and the influence of his brother domes (the singers and
fiddlers who surround the throne of his present Majesty), Buksh Allee
secured and held for some years the charge of this fertile and
populous district of Russoolabad, through which passes the road from
Lucknow to Cawnpoor, where, as I have already stated, he kept up
bands of myrmidons to rob and murder travellers, and commit all kinds
of atrocities. This road became, in consequence, the most unsafe of
all the roads in Oude, and hardly a day passed in which murders and
robberies were not perpetrated upon it. Proof of his participation in
these atrocities having been collected, Buksh Allee was, in October
1849, seized by order of the Resident, tried before the King's
Courts, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, and ordered to
restore or make good the property which he was proved to have taken,
or caused to be taken, from travellers. His house had become filled
with girls of all ages, whom he had taken from poor parents, as they
passed over this road, and converted into slaves for his seraglio.
They were all restored to their parents, with suitable compensation;
and the Cawnpoor road has become the most safe, as well as the best,
road in Oude.

On the death of Mokuddera Ouleea, a will was sent to the Resident by
her sister, who declared that it had been under her sister's pillow
for a year, and that she had taken it out on finding her end
approaching, and made it over to her, declaring it to contain her
last wishes. By this document pensions were bequeathed to the persons
mentioned in the note below* out of one-third, and the other two-
thirds were bequeathed to her sister and brother. In submitting this
document to Government, the Resident declared that he believed it to
be a forgery; and in reply he was instructed to ascertain whether the
persons named in the document had any objections to consider Shurf-on
Nissa sole heir to her sister's property and pension. Should they
have none to urge, he was directed to consider her as sole heir, and
the pretended will as of no avail. They all agreed to consider her as
sole heir; and the Resident was directed to make over to her the
property, and pay to her the pension or the principal from which it
arose. The Resident considered the continuance of the pension as the
best arrangement for the present, and of this Government approved.

[* Buksh Allee, 1,000 rupees per month; Allee Hoseyn, 75; Sooraj
Bhan, 40; Syud Hoseyn, 30; Sheik Hingun, 20; Mirza Allee, 30; Ram
Deen, 12; Meea Sultan, 15; Sudharee, 10; Imam Buksh, 3; Ala Rukhee,
10; Sadoo Begum, 20; Akbar, 15; Mahdee Begum, 30.]

Shurf-on Nissa has no recognised children, and her brother and his
reputed son are her sole heirs, so that no injury can arise to him
from the omission, on the part of Government and the Resident, of all
mention of his right as co-sharer in the inheritance. Neither brother
nor sister had really any legal right whatever to succeed to this
pension, for Mokuddera Ouleea was an illegitimate child, and had no
legal heirs according to either English or Mahommedan law. This fact
seems to have been concealed from the Resident, for he never
mentioned it to Government. It was the dread that this fact would
cause the whole pension to be sent to the shrines in Turkish Arabia,
that made them forge the will. All readily consented to consider
Shurf-on Nissa the heir, when they found that our Government had no
objection to consider her as such. The King wished to have the money
to lay out on bridges and roads in Oude, and the Resident advocated
this wish; but our Government, ignorant of the fact of the
illegitimacy of the deceased, and with the guaranteed bequest of the
late King before them, could not consent to any such arrangement.

Government has long been strongly and justly opposed to all such
guarantees, and the Resident was told on the 14th November 1840,
"that the Governor-General in Council could not consent to grant the
absolute and unqualified pledge of protection which the King was
solicitous of obtaining in favour of four other females; and directed
to state to his Majesty that, although in the instances he had cited,
such guarantees had certainly been afforded in former times, yet they
were always given either under the impression of an overruling
necessity, or in consequence of some acknowledged claims, or
previously existing engagements, the force of which could not be
avoided; that their existence had often operated practically in the
most embarrassing manner, while it constituted a standing and
perpetual infringement of the rights of the Government of Oude; and
that his Lordship in Council was, consequently, decidedly opposed to
the continuance of a system so plainly at variance with every just
principle of policy." The objections of the British Government to
such guarantees are stated in letters dated 18th February, 28th
March, 20th May, 3rd October, and 19th December 1839, and 11th May

In a despatch from the Honourable the Court of Directors, dated 4th
March 1840, their just disapprobation of such guarantees is
expressed; and reference is made to former strong expressions of
disapprobation. In their despatch of the 28th March 1843, the
Honourable Court again express their disapprobation of such
guarantees; and refer to their letter of the 16th March, in which
they gave positive orders that no such engagement should ever be
concluded without a previous reference to the Court. The argument
that the arrangement did not, in any particular case, add to the
number of guaranteed persons, such persons being already under
guarantee, did not in the opinion of the Court touch the stronger
objection to such a measure, that of the impropriety of our aiding,
especially by the grant of peculiar privileges, the appropriation of
the resources of the State to the advantage of individuals. The Court
expresses a hope that they shall never have occasion to notice any
future violation of their orders as respects such engagements.

_January_ 16, 1850.--We were to have gone this morning to Ouras, but
were obliged to encamp at Burra, eight miles from Meeangunge, on the
left bank of the Saee river, which had been too much increased by the
late rains to admit of our baggage and tents passing over immediately
on anything but elephants. As we have but few of them, our tents were
pitched on this side of the river, that our things might have the
whole day before them to pass over on carts and camels, as the river
subsided. Ouras is three miles from our camp, and we are to pass
through it and go on to Sundeela to-morrow. There is no bridge, and
boats are not procurable on this small river, which we have to cross
and recross several times.

The country from Meeangunge is scantily cultivated, but well studded
with trees, and generally fertile under good tillage. The soil is the
light doomuteea, but here and there very sandy and poor, running into
what is called bhoor. The villages and hamlets which we could see are
few and wretched. We have few native officers and sipahees in our
army from the districts we are now in, and I am in consequence less
oppressed with complaints from this class of the Oude subjects.

We met, near our tents, a party of soldiers belonging to Rajah Ghalib
Jung, a person already mentioned, and at present superintendent of
police, along the Cawnpoor road, escorting a band of thieves, who
robbed Major Scott some ten months ago on his way, by dawk, from
Lucknow, and an European merchant, two months ago, on his way, by
dawk, from Cawnpoor to Lucknow. They had been seized in the Sundeela
districts, and the greater part of the stolen property found in their
houses. They are of the Pausie tribe, and told me that thieving was
their hereditary trade, and that they had long followed it on the
Cawnpoor road with success. The landholder, who kept them upon his
estate and shared in their booty, was also seized, but made over to
the revenue contractor, who released him after a few days'
imprisonment for a gratuity.

Of these Pausies there are supposed to be about one hundred thousand
families in Oude. They are employed as village watchmen, but, with
few exceptions, are thieves and robbers by hereditary profession.
Many of them adopt poisoning as a trade, and the numbers who did so
were rapidly increasing when Captain Hollings, the superintendent of
the Oude Frontier Police, arrested a great many of them, and
proceeded against them as Thugs by profession, under Act III. of
1848. His measures have been successfully followed up by Captain
Weston, his successor, and this crime has been greatly diminished in
Oude. It prevails still, however, more or less, in all parts of

These Pausies of Oude generally form the worst part of the gangs of
refractory tallookdars in their indiscriminate plunder. They use the
bow and arrow expertly, and are said to be able to send an arrow
through a man at the distance of one hundred yards. There is no
species of theft or robbery in which they are not experienced and
skilful, and they increase and prosper in proportion as the disorders
in the country grow worse. They serve any refractory landholder, or
enterprising gang-robber, without wages, for the sake of the booty to
be acquired.

Many of the sipahees of the Mobarick Pultun, on detached duty with
the king's wakeel in attendance upon me, were this morning arrested,
while taking off the choppers from the houses of villages along the
road and around my camp, for fuel and fodder, in what they called the
"_usual way_." The best beams and rafters and the whole of the straw
were fast moving off to my camp; and when seized, the sipahees seemed
much surprised, and asked me what they were to do, as they had not
received any pay for six months, and the Government expected that
they would help themselves to straw and timber wherever they could
most conveniently find it. All were fined; but the hope to put a stop
to this intolerable evil, under the present system, is a vain one.
The evil has the acquiescence and encouragement of the Government and
its functionaries of all kinds and grades throughout the country. It
is distressing to witness every day such melancholy proofs of how
much is done that ought not to be done, and how much that ought to be
done is left undone, in so fine a country.

A want of sympathy or fellow-feeling between the governing and
governed is common in all parts of India, but in no part that I have
seen is it so marked as in Oude. The officers of the Government
delight in plundering the peasantry, and upon every local Governor
who kills a landholder of any mark, rewards and honours are instantly
bestowed, without the slightest inquiry as to the cause or mode. They
know that no inquiry will be made, and therefore kill them when they
can; no matter how, or for what cause. The great landholders would
kill the local Governors with just as little scruple, did they not
fear that it might make the British Government interpose and aid in
the pursuit after them.

_January_ 17, 1850.--Sundeela, about thirteen miles from our last
camp, on the bank of the little River Saee, over a plain of good
doomuteea soil, very fertile, and well cultivated in the
neighbourhood of villages. The greater portion of the plain is,
however, uncultivated, though capable of the best tillage, and shows
more than the usual signs of maladministration. In this district
there are only three tallookdars, and they do not rob or resist the
Government at present. They distrust the Government authorities,
however, and never have any personal intercourse with them. The waste
is entirely owing to the bad character of the contractors, and the
license given to the troops and establishments under them. The
district is now held in _amanee_ tenure, and under the management of
Hoseyn Buksh, who entered into his charge only six weeks ago. He is
without any experience in, or knowledge of, his duties; he has three
regiments of Nujeebs on duty under him, and all who are present came
out to meet me. Anything more unlike soldiers it would be difficult
to conceive. They are feared only by the honest and industrious.
Wherever the Amil goes they go with him, and are a terrible scourge
to the country--by far the worst that the country suffers under.

The first thing necessary to effect a reform is--to form out of these
disorderly and useless bodies a few efficient regiments; do away with
the purveyance system, on which, they are now provided with fuel,
fodder, carriage, &c.; pay them liberally and punctually; supply them
with good clothing, arms, accoutrements, and ammunition; and
concentrate them at five or six points in good cantonments, whence
they can move quickly to any part where their services may be
required. No more than are indispensably required should attend the
local authorities in their circuits. All the rest should remain in
cantonments till called for on emergency; and when so called for,
they should have all the conveyance they require, and the supplies
provided for them--the conveyance at fixed rates, and the supplies at
the market price, in good bazaars. For police duties and revenue
collections there should be a sufficient body of men kept up, and at
the disposal of the revenue and police authorities. The military
establishments should be under the control of a different authority.
But all this would be of no avail unless the corps were under able
commanders, relieved from the fear of Court favourites, and under a
Commander-in-Chief who understood his duty and had influence enough
to secure all that the troops required to render them efficient, and
not a child of seven years of age.

Several of the villages of Sundeela are held by Syud zumeendars, who
are peaceable and industrious subjects, and were generally better
protected than others under the influence of Chowdhere, Sheik Hushmut
Allee, of Sundeela, an agricultural capitalist and landholder, whom
no local authority could offend with impunity. His proper trade was
to aid landholders of high and low degree, by becoming surety for
their punctual payment of the Government demand, and advancing the
instalments of that demand himself when they had not the means, and
thereby saving them from the visits of the local authorities and
their rapacious and disorderly troops: but in an evil hour he
ventured to extend his protection a little further, and, to save them
from the oppressions of an unscrupulous contractor, he undertook to
manage the district himself, and make good all the Government demand
upon it. He was unable to pay all that he had bound himself to pay.
His brother was first seized by the troops and taken to Lucknow. He
languished under the discipline to which he was there subjected, and
when on the point of death from what his friends call a _broken
heart_, and the Government authorities _cholera-morbus_, he was
released. He died immediately after his return home, and Hushmut
Allee was then seized and taken to Lucknow, where he is now confined.
The people here lament his absence as a great misfortune to the
district, as he was the only one among them who ever had authority
and influence, united with a fellow-feeling for the people, and a
disposition to promote their welfare and happiness.*

[* Hushmut Allee is still in confinement, but under the troops at
Sundeela, and not at Lucknow. July 20, 1851.]





IN 1849--1850;




Resident at the Court of Lucknow


Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.



Sundeela--The large landholders of the district--Forces with the
Amil--Tallookdars, of the district--Ground suited for cantonments and
civil offices--Places consecrated to worship--Kutteea Huron--Neem
Sarang, traditions regarding--Landholders and peasantry of Sundeela--
Banger and Sandee Palee, strong against the Government authorities
from their union--_Nankar_ and _Seer_. Nature and character of--
Jungle--Leaves of the peepul, bur, &c., used as fodder--Want of good
houses and all kinds of public edifices--Infanticide--Sandee
district--Security of tenure in groves--River Gurra--Hafiz Abdulla,
the governor--Runjeet Sing, of Kutteearee--Thieves in the Banger
district--Infanticide--How to put down the crime--Palee--Richness of
the foliage, and carpeting of spring-crops--Kunojee Brahmins--Success
of the robber's trade in Oude--Shahabad--Timber taken down the little
river Gurra to the Ganges, from the Tarae forest--Fanaticism of the
Moosulman population of Shahabad; and insolence and impunity with
which they oppress the Hindoos of the town.


Infanticide--Nekomee Rajpoots--Fallows in Oude created by disorders--
Their cause and effect--Tillage goes on in the midst of sanguinary
conflicts--Runjeet Sing, of Kutteearee--Mahomdee district--White
Ants--Traditional decrease in the fertility of the Oude soil--Risks
to which cultivators are exposed--Obligations which these risks
impose upon them--Infanticide--The Amil of Mahomdee's narrow escape--
An infant disinterred and preserved by the father after having been
buried alive--Insecurity of life and property--Beauty of the surface
of the country, and richness of its foliage--Mahomdee district--State
and recent history of--Relative fertility of British and Oude soil--
Native notions of our laws and their administration--Of the value of
evidence in our Courts--Infanticide--Boys only saved--Girls destroyed
in Oude--The priests who give absolution for the crime abhorred by
the people of all other classes--Lands in our districts becoming more
and more exhausted from over-cropping--Probable consequences to the
Government and people of India--Political and social error of
considering land private property--Hakeem Mehndee and subsequent
managers of Mahomdee--Frauds on the King in charges for the keep of
animals--Kunojee Brahmins--Unsuccessful attempt to appropriate the
lands of weaker neighbours--Gokurnath, on the border of the Tarae--
The sakhoo or saul trees of the forest.


Lonee Sing, of the Ahbun Rajpoot tribe--Dispute between Rajah
Bukhtawar Sing, and a servant of one of his relatives--Cultivation
along the border of the Tarae forest--Subdivision of land among the
Ahbun families--Rapacity of the king's troops, and establishments of
all kinds--Climate near the Tarae--Goitres--Not one-tenth of the
cultivable lands cultivated, nor one-tenth of the villages peopled--
Criterion of good tillage--Ratoon crops--Manure available--Khyrabad
district better peopled and cultivated than that of Mahomdee, but the
soil over-cropped--Blight--Rajah Ajeet Sing and his estate of
Khymara--Ousted by collusion and bribery--Anrod Sing of Oel, and
Lonee Sing--State of Oude forty years ago compared with its present
state--The Nazim of the Khyrabad district--Trespasses of his
followers--Oel Dhukooa--_Khalsa_ lands absorbed by the Rajpoot
barons--Salarpoor--Sheobuksh Sing of Kuteysura--_Bhulmunsee_, or
property-tax--Beautiful groves of Lahurpoor--Residence of the Nazim--
Wretched state of the force with the Nazim--Gratuities paid by
officers in charge of districts, whether in contract or trust--Rajah
Arjun Sing's estate of Dhorehra--Hereditary gang-robbers of the Oude
Tarae suppressed--Mutiny of two of the King's regiments at Bhitolee--
Their rapacity and oppression--Singers and fiddlers who govern the
King--Why the Amils take all their troops with them when they move--
Seetapoor, the cantonment of one of the two regiments of Oude Local
Infantry--Sipahees not equal to those in Magness's, Barlow's, and
Bunbury's, or in our native regiments of the line--Why--The prince
Momtaz-od Dowlah--Evil effects of shooting monkeys--Doolaree, _alias_
Mulika Zumanee--Her history, and that of her son and daughter.


Nuseer-od Deen Hyder's death--His repudiation of his son, Moona Jan,
leads to the succession of his uncle, Nuseer-od Dowlah--Contest for
the succession between these two persons--The Resident supports the
uncle, and the Padshah Begum supports the son--The ministers supposed
to have poisoned the King--Made to disgorge their ill-gotten wealth
by his successor--Obligations of the treaty of 1801, by which Oude
was divided into two equal shares--One transferred to the British
Government, one reserved by Oude--Estimated value of each at the time
of treaty--Present value of each--The sovereign often warned that
unless he governs as he ought, the British Government cannot support
him, but must interpose and take the administration upon itself--All
such warnings have been utterly disregarded--No security to life or
property in any part of Oude--Fifty years of experience has proved,
that we cannot make the government of Oude fulfil its duties to its
people--The alternative left appears to be to take the management
upon ourselves, and give the surplus revenue to the sovereign and
royal family of Oude--Probable effects of such a change on the
feelings and interests of the people of Oude.


Baree-Biswa district--Force with the Nazim, Lal Bahader--Town of
Peernuggur--Dacoitee by Lal and Dhokul Partuks--Gangs of robbers
easily formed out of the loose characters which abound in Oude--The
lands tilled in spite of all disorders--Delta between the Chouka and
Ghagra rivers--Seed sown and produce yielded on land--Rent and stock
--Nawab Allee, the holder of the Mahmoodabad estate--Mode of
augmenting his estate--Insecurity of marriage processions--Belt of
jungle, fourteen miles west from the Lucknow cantonments--Gungabuksh
Rawat--His attack on Dewa--The family inveterate robbers--Bhurs, once
a civilized and ruling people in Oude--Extirpated systematically in
the fourteenth century--Depredations of Passees--Infanticide--How
maintained--Want of influential middle class of merchants and
manufacturers--Suttee--Troops with the Amil--Seizure of a marriage
procession by Imambuksh, a gang leader--Perquisites and allowances of
Passee watchmen over corn-fields--Their fidelity to trusts--Ahbun
Sing, of Kyampoor, murders his father--Rajah Singjoo of Soorujpoor--
Seodeen, another leader of the same tribe--Principal gang-leaders of
the Dureeabad Rodowlee district--Jugurnath Chuprassie--Bhooree Khan--
How these gangs escape punishment--Twenty-four belts of jungle
preserved by landholders always, or occasionally, refractory in Oude
--Cover eight hundred and eighty-six square miles of good land--How
such atrocious characters find followers, and landholders of high
degree to screen, shelter, and aid them.


Adventures of Maheput Sing of Bhowaneepoor--Advantages of a good road
from Lucknow to Fyzabad--Excellent condition of the artillery
bullocks with the Frontier Police--Get all that Government allows for
them--Bred in the Tarae--Dacoits of Soorujpoor Bareyla--The Amil
connives at all their depredations, and thrives in consequence--The
Amil of the adjoining districts does not, and ruined in consequence--
His weakness--Seetaram, a capitalist--His account of a singular
_Suttee_--Bukhtawar Sing's notions of _Suttee_, and of the reason why
Rajpoot widows seldom become _Suttees_--Why local authorities carry
about prisoners with them--Condition of prisoners--No taxes on
mangoe-trees--Cow-dung cheaper than wood for fuel--Shrine of "Shaikh
Salar" at Sutrik--Bridge over the small river Rete--Recollection of
the ascent of a balloon at Lucknow--End of the pilgrimage.


Private Correspondence subsequent to the Journey through the Kingdom
of Oude, and relating to the Annexation of Oude to British India.




Sundeela--The large landholders of the district--Forces with the
Amil--Tallookdars, of the district--Ground suited for cantonments and
civil offices--Places consecrated to worship--Kutteea Huron--Neem
Sarang, traditions regarding--Landholders and peasantry of Sundeela--
Banger and Sandee Palee, strong against the Government authorities
from their union--_Nankar_ and _Seer_. Nature and character of--
Jungle--Leaves of the peepul, bur, &c., used as fodder--Want of good
houses and all kinds of public edifices--Infanticide--Sandee
district--Security of tenure in groves--River Gurra--Hafiz Abdulla,
the governor--Runjeet Sing, of Kutteearee--Thieves in the Banger
district--Infanticide--How to put down the crime--Palee--Richness of
the foliage, and carpeting of spring crops--Kunojee Brahmins--Success
of the robber's trade in Oude--Shahabad--Timber taken down the little
river Gurra to the Ganges, from the Tarae forest--Fanaticism of the
Moosulman population of Shahabad; and insolence and impunity with
which they oppress the Hindoos of the town.

The baronial proprietors in the Sundeela district are Murdun Sing, of
Dhurawun, with a rent-roll of 38,000; Gunga Buksh, of Atwa, with one
of 25,000; Chundeeka Buksh, of Birwa, with one of 25,000; and Somere
Sing, of Rodamow, with one of 34,000. This is the rent-roll declared
and entered in the accounts; but it is much below the real one. The
Government officers are afraid to measure their lands, or to make any
inquiries on the estates into their value, lest they should turn
robbers and plunder the country, as they are always prepared to do.
They have always a number of armed and brave retainers, ready to
support them in any enterprise, and can always add to their number on
emergency. There is never any want of loose characters ready to fight
for the sake of plunder alone. A tallookdar, however, when opposed to
his government, does not venture to attack another tallookdar or his
tenants. He stands too much in need of his aid, or at least of his
neutrality and forbearance.

_January_ 18, 1850.--Halted at Sundeela. To the north of the town
there is a large uncultivated plain of _oosur_ land, that would
answer for cantonments; but the water lies, for some time after rain,
in many places. The drainage is defective, but might be made good
towards a rivulet to the north and west. There is another open plain
to the west of the town, between the suburbs and the small village of
Ausoo Serae, where the Trigonometrical Survey has one of its towers.
It is about a mile from east to west, and more from north to south,
and well adapted for the location of troops and civil establishments.
The climate is said to be very good. The town is large and still
populous, but the best families seem to be going to decay, or leaving
the place. Many educated persons from Sundeela in our civil
establishments used to leave their families here; but life and
property have become so very insecure, that they now always take them
with them to the districts in which they are employed, or send them
to others. I observed many good houses of burnt brick and cement, but
they are going fast to decay, and are all surrounded by numerous mud-
houses without coverings, or with coverings of the same material,
which are hidden from view by low parapets. These houses have a
wretched appearance.

The Amil has twelve guns with him; but the bullocks are all so much
out of condition from want of food that they can scarcely walk; and
the Amil was obliged to hire a few plough-bullocks from the
cultivators, to draw out two guns to my camp to fire the salute. They
get no grain, and there is little or no grass anywhere on the fallow
and waste lands, from the want of rain during June, July, and August.
The Amil told me, that he had no stores or ammunition for the guns;
and that their carriages were all gone, or going, to pieces, and had
received no repairs whatever for the last twelve years. I had in the
evening a visit from Rajah Murdun Sing, of _Dharawun_, a stout and
fat man, who bears a fair character. He is of the Tilokchundee Bys
clan, who cannot intermarry with each other, as they are all of the
sama gote or family. It would, according to their notions, be

_January_ 19, 1850.--Hutteeah Hurrun, thirteen miles. The plain level
as usual, and of the loose doomuteea soil, fertile in natural powers
everywhere, and well tilled around the villages, which are more
numerous than in any other part that we have passed over. The water
is everywhere near the surface, and wells are made at little cost. A
well is dug at a cost of from five to ten rupees; and in the muteear,
or argillaceous soil, will last for irrigation for forty years. To
line it with burnt bricks without cement will cost from one to two
hundred rupees; and to add cement will cost a hundred more. Such
lining is necessary in light soil, and still more so in sandy or
_bhoor_. They frequently line their wells at little cost with long
thick cables, made of straw and twigs, and twisted round the surface
inside. The fields are everywhere irrigated from wells or pools, and
near villages well manured; and the wheat and other spring crops are
excellent. They have been greatly benefited by the late rains, and in
no case injured. The ground all the way covered with white hoar
frost, and the dews heavy in a cloudless sky. Finer weather I have
never known in any quarter of the world.

This place is held sacred from a tradition, that Ram, after his
expedition against Cylone, came here to bathe in a small tank near
our present camp, in order to wash away the sin of having killed a
_Brahmin_ in the person of Rawun, the monster king of that island,
who had taken away his wife, Seeta. Till he had done so, he could not
venture to revisit his capital, Ajoodheea. There are many legends
regarding the origin of the sanctity of this and the many other
places around, which pilgrims must visit to complete the _pykurma_,
or holy circuit. The most popular seems to be this. Twenty-eight
thousand sages of great sanctity were deputed, with the god Indur at
their head, on a mission to present an address to Brimha, as he
reposed upon the mountain Kylas, praying that he would vouchsafe to
point out to them the place in Hindoostan most worthy to be
consecrated to religious worship. He took a discus from the top-knot
on his head, and, whirling it in the air, directed it to proceed in
search. After much search it rested at a place near the river
Goomtee, which it deemed to be most fitted for the purification of
one's faith, and which thenceforth took the name of _Neem Sarung_, a
place of devotion. The twenty-eight thousand sages followed, and were
accompanied by Brimha himself, attended by the Deotas, or subordinate
gods. He then summoned to the place no less than _three crores and
half_, or thirty millions and half of _teeruts_, or angels, who
preside each over his special place of religions worship. All settled
down at places within ten miles of the central point, Neem Sarung;
but their departure does not seem to have impaired the sanctity of
the places whence they came. The angels, or spirits, who presided
over them sent out these offshoots to preside at Neemsar and the
consecrated places around it, as trees send off their grafts without
impairing their own powers and virtues.

Misrik, a few miles from this, and one of the places thus
consecrated, is celebrated as the residence of a very holy sage,
named Dudeej. In a great battle between the Deotas and the Giants,
the Deotas were defeated. They went to implore the aid of the drowsy
god, Brimha, upon his snowy mountain top. He told them to go to
Misrik and arm themselves with the _bones_ of the old sage, Dudeej.
They found Dudeej alive and in excellent health; but they thought it
their duty to explain to him their orders. He told them, that he
should be very proud indeed to have his bones used as arms in so holy
a cause; but he had unfortunately vowed to bathe at all the sacred
shrines in India before he died, and must perform his vow. Grievously
perplexed, the Deotas all went and submitted their case to their
leader, the god Indur. Indur consulted his chaplain, Brisput, who
told him, that there was really no difficulty whatever in the case--
that the angels of all the holy shrines in India had been established
at and around Neemsar by Brimha himself; and the Deotas had only to
take water from all the sacred places over which they presided, and
pour it over the old sage, to get both him and themselves out of the
dilemma. They did so, and the old sage, expressing himself satisfied,
gave up his life. In what mode it was taken no one can tell me. The
Deotas armed themselves with his bones, attacked the Giants
forthwith, and gained an easy and complete victory. The wisdom of the
orders of drowsy old Brimha, in this case, is as little questioned by
the Hindoos of the present day as that of the orders of drunken old
Jupiter was in the case of Troy, by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Millions, "wise in their generation," have spent their lives in the
reverence of both.

There is hardly any sin that the waters of these dirty little ponds
are not supposed to be capable of washing away; and, over and above
this, they are supposed to improve all the good, and reduce to order
all the bad passions and emotions of those who bathe in them, by
propitiating the aid of the deity, and those who have influence over

A good deal of the land, distant from villages, lies waste, though
capable of good tillage; and from the all pervading cause, the want
of confidence in the Government and its officers, and of any feeling
of security to life, property, and industry. Should this cause be
removed, the whole surface of the country would become the beautiful
garden which the parts well cultivated and peopled now are. It is all
well studded with fine trees--single and in clusters and groves. The
soil is good, the water near the surface, and to be obtained in any
abundance at little outlay, and the peasantry are industrious, brave,
and robust. Nothing is wanted but good and efficient government,
which might be easily secured. I found many Kunojee Brahmins in the
villages along the road, who tilled their own fields without the aid
of ploughmen; and they told me, that when they had no longer the
means to hire ploughmen, they were permitted to hold their own
ploughs--that is, they were not excommunicated for doing so.

In passing along, with wheat-fields close by on our left, while the
sun is a little above the horizon on the right, we see a _glory_
round the shadows of our heads as they extend into the fields. All
see these _glories_ around their own heads, but cannot see them
around those of their neighbours. They stretch out from the head and
shoulders, with gradually-diminished splendour, to some short
distance. This beautiful and interesting appearance arises from the
leaves and stalks of the wheat being thickly bespangled with dew. The
observer's head being in the direct rays of the sun, as they pass
over him to that of his shadow in the field, he carries the glory
with him. Those before and behind him see the same glory around the
shadows of their own heads, but cannot see it round that of the head
of any other person before or behind; because he is on one or other
side of the direct rays which pass over them. It is best seen when
the sky is most clear, and the dew most heavy. It is not seen over
bushy crops such as the arahur, nor on the grass plains.

_January_ 20, 1850.--Beneegunge, eight miles, over a slightly-
undulating plain of light sandy soil, scantily cultivated, but well
studded with fine trees of the best kind. Near villages, where the
land is well watered and manured, the crops are fine and well varied.
All the pools are full from the late rain, and they are numerous and
sufficient to water the whole surface of the country, with a moderate
fall of rain in December or January. If they are not available, the
water is always very near the surface, and wells can be made for
irrigation at a small cost. The many rivers and rivulets which enter
Oude from the Himmalaya chain and Tarae forest, and flow gently
through the country towards the Ganges, without cutting very deeply
into the soil, always keep the water near the surface, and available
in all quarters and in any quantity for purposes of irrigation. Never
was country more favoured, by nature, or more susceptible of
improvement under judicious management. There is really hardly an
acre of land that is not capable of good culture, or that need be
left waste, except for the sites of towns and villages, and ponds for
irrigation, or that would be left waste under good government. The
people understand tillage well, and are industrious and robust,
capable of any exertion under protection and due encouragement.

The Government has all the revenues to itself, having no public debt
and paying no tribute to any one, while the country receives from the
British Government alone fifty lacs, or half a million a-year; first,
in the incomes of guaranteed pensioners, whose stipends are the
interest of loans received by our Government at different times from
the sovereigns of Oude, as a provision for their relatives and
dependents in perpetuity, and as endowments for their mausoleums and
mosques, and other religious and eleemosynary establishments; second,
in the interest paid for Government securities held by people
residing in Oude; third, in the payment of pensions to the families
of men who have been killed in our service, and to invalid native
officers and sipahees of our army residing there, fourth, in the
savings of others who still serve in our army, while their families
reside in Oude; and those of the native officers of our civil
establishments, whose families remain at their homes in Oude; fifth,
in the interest on a large amount of our Government securities held
by people at Lucknow, who draw the interest not from the Resident's
Treasury, but from the General Treasury in Calcutta, or the
Treasuries of our bordering districts, in order to conceal their
wealth from the King and his officers. Over and above all this our
Government has to send into Oude, to be expended there, the pay of
five regiments of infantry and a company of artillery, which amounts
to some six or seven lacs more. Oude has so many places of
pilgrimage, that it receives more in the purchase of the food and
other necessaries required by the pilgrims, during their transit and
residence, than it sends out with pilgrims who visit shrines and holy
places in other countries. It requires little from other countries
but a few luxuries for the rich--in shawls from Kashmere and the
Punjab, silks, satins, broad-cloth, muslins, guns, watches, &c. from

A great portion of the salt and saltpetre required is raised within
Oude, and so is all the agricultural produce, except in seasons of
drought; and the arms required for the troops are manufactured in
Oude, with the exception of some few cannon and shells, and the
muskets and bayonets for the few disciplined regiments. The royal
family and some of the Mahommedan gentlemen at Lucknow send money
occasionally to the shrines of Mecca, Medina, Kurbala, and Nujuf
Ashruf, in Turkish Arabia; and some Hindoos send some to Benares and
other places of worship, to be distributed in charity or laid out in
useful works in their name. Some of the large pensions enjoyed by the
relatives and dependents of former sovereigns, under the guarantee of
our Government, go in perpetuity to the shrines in Turkish Arabia, in
default of both _will_ and _heir_. When Ghazee-od Deen succeeded his
father on the musnud in 1814, contrary to his expectation and to his
father's wish, he gave the minister about fifty lacs of rupees to be
expended in charity at those shrines, and in canals, saraees, and
other works of utility. Letters, full of expressions of gratitude and
descriptions of these useful works, were often shown to him; but the
minister, Aga Meer, is said to have kept the whole fifty lacs to
himself, and got all these letters written by his private
secretaries. Some few Hindoo and Mahommedan gentlemen, when they have
lost their places and favour at the Oude Court, go and reside at
Cawnpoor, and some few other places in the British territory for
greater security; but generally it may be said, that in spite of all
disadvantages Mahommedan gentlemen from Oude, in whatever country
they may serve, like to leave their families in Oude, and to return
and spend what they acquire among them. They find better society
there than in our own territories, or society more to their tastes;
better means for educating their sons; more splendid processions,
festivals, and other inviting sights, in which they and their
families can participate without cost; more consideration for rank
and learning, and more attractive places for worship and religious
observances. The little town of Karoree, about ten or twelve miles
from Lucknow, has, I believe, more educated men, filling high and
lucrative offices in our civil establishments, than any other town in
India except Calcutta. They owe the greater security which they there
enjoy, compared with other small towns in Oude, chiefly to the
respect in which they are known to be held by the British Government
and its officers, and to the influence of their friends and relatives
who hold office about the Court of Lucknow.

_January_ 21, 1849.--Sakin, ten miles north-west. The country well
studded with fine trees, and pretty well cultivated, but the soil is
light from a superabundance of sand; and the crops are chiefly
autumn, except in the immediate vicinity of villages, and cut in
December. The surface on which they stood this season appears to be
waste, except where the stalks of the jowar and bajara, are left
standing for sale and use, as fodder for cattle. These stalks are
called kurbee, and form good fodder for elephants, bullocks, &c.,
during the cold, hot, and rainy season. They are said to keep better
when left on the ground, after the heads have been gathered, than
when stacked. The sandy soil, in the vicinity of villages, produces
fine spring crops of all kinds, wheat, gram, sugarcane, arahur,
tobacco, &c., being well manured by drainage from the villages, and
by the dung stored and spread over it; and that more distant would
produce the same, if manured and irrigated in the same way.

The head men or proprietors of some villages along the road
mentioned, "that the fine state in which we saw them was owing to
their being strong, and able to resist the Government authorities
when disposed, as they generally were, to oppress or rack-rent them;
that the landholders owed their strength to their union, for all were
bound to turn out and afford aid to their neighbour on hearing the
concerted signal of distress; that this league, '_offensive and
defensive_,' extended all over the Baugur district, into which we
entered about midway between this and our last stage; and that we
should see how much better it was peopled and cultivated in
consequence than the district of Mahomdee, to which we were going;
that the strong only could keep anything under the Oude Government;
and as they could not be strong without union, all landholders were
solemnly pledged to aid each other, _to the death_, when oppressed or
attacked by the local officers." They asked Captain Weston, who was
some miles behind me, what was the Resident's object in this tour,
whether the Honourable Company's Government was to be introduced into
Oude? He told them that the object was solely to see the state of the
country and condition of the people, with a view to suggest to the
King's Government any measures that might seem calculated to improve
both; and asked them whether they wished to come under the British
rule? They told him, "that they should like much to have the British
rule introduced, if it could be done without worrying them with its
complicated laws and formal and distant courts of justice, of which
they had heard terrible accounts."

The Nazim of the Tundeeawun or Baugur district met me on his border,
and told me, "that he was too weak to enforce the King's orders, or
to collect his revenues; that he had with him one efficient company
of Captain Bunbury's corps, with one gun in good repair, and provided
with draft-bullocks, in good condition; and that this was the only
force he could rely upon; while the landholders were strong, and so
leagued together for mutual defence, that, at the sound of a
matchlock, or any other concerted signal, all the men of a dozen
large villages would, in an hour, concentrate upon and defeat the
largest force the King's officers could assemble; that they did so
almost every year, and often frequently within the same year; that he
had nominally eight guns on duty with him, but the carriage of one
had already gone to pieces; and those of the rest had been so long
without repair that they would go to pieces with very little firing,
that the draft-bullocks had not had any grain for many years, and
were hardly able to walk; and he was in consequence obliged to hire
plough-bullocks, to draw the gun required to salute the Resident; but
he had only ten days ago received an order to give them grain
himself, charge for it in his accounts, and hold himself responsible
for their condition; that they had been so starved, that he was
obliged to restrict them to a few ounces a-day at first, or they
would have all died from over-eating." This order has arisen from my
earnest intercession in favour of the artillery draft-bullocks; but
so many are interested in the abuse, that the order will not be long
enforced. Though the grain will, as heretofore, be paid for from the
Treasury, it will, I hear, be given to the bullocks only while I am
out on this tour.

In the evening some cultivators came to complain that they had been
robbed of all their bhoosa (chaff) by a sipahee from my camp. I
found, on inquiry, that the sipahee belonged to Captain Hearsey's
five companies of Frontier Police; that these companies had sixteen
four-bullock hackeries attached to them for the carriage of their
tents and luggage; and that these hackeries had gone to the village,
and taken all that the complainants had laid up for their own cattle
for the season; that such hackeries formerly received twenty-seven
rupees eight annas a-month each, and their owners were expected to
purchase their own fodder; but that this allowance had for some years
been cut down to fourteen rupees a-month, and they were told _to help
themselves to fodder wherever they could find it_; that all the
hackeries hired by the King and his local officers, for the use of
troops, establishments, &c. had been reduced at the same rate, from
twenty-seven eight annas a-month to fourteen, and their owners
received the same order. All villages near the roads along which the
troops and establishments move are plundered of their bhoosa, and all
those within ten miles of the place, where they may be detained for a
week or fortnight, are plundered in the same way.

The Telinga corps and Frontier Police are alone provided with tents
and hackeries by Government. The Nujeeb corps are provided with
neither. The Oude Government formerly allowed for each four-bullock
hackery thirty rupees a-month, from which _two rupees and half_ were
deducted for the perquisites of office. The owners of the hackeries
were expected to purchase bhoosa and other fodder for their bullocks
at the market price; but they took what they required without
payment, in _collusion with_ the officers under whom they were
employed, or in _spite_ of them; and the Oude Government in 1845 cut
the allowance down to seventeen rupees and half, out of which _three
rupees and half_ are cut for perquisites, leaving fourteen rupees for
the hackeries: and their owners and drivers have the free privilege
of helping themselves to bhoosa and other fodder wherever they can
find them. Some fifty or sixty of these hackeries were formerly
allowed for each Telinga corps with guns, now only twenty-two are
allowed; and when they move they must, like Nujeeb corps, seize what
more they require. They are allowed to charge nothing for their extra
carriage, and therefore pay nothing.

_January_ 22, 1849.--Tundeeawun, eight miles west. The country level,
and something between doomuteen and muteear, very good, and in parts
well cultivated, particularly in the vicinity of villages; but a
large portion of the surface is covered with jungle, useful only to
robbers and refractory landholders, who abound in the purgunnah of
Bangur. In this respect it is reputed one of the worst districts in
Oude. Within the last few years the King's troops have been
frequently beaten and driven out with loss, even when commanded by an
European officer. The landholders and armed peasantry of the
different villages unite their _quotas of auxiliaries_, and
concentrate upon them on a concerted signal, when they are in pursuit
of robbers and rebels. Almost every able-bodied man of every village
in Bangur is trained to the use of arms of one kind or another, and
none of the King's troops, save those who are disciplined and
commanded by European officers, will venture to move against a
landholder of this district; and when the local authorities cannot
obtain the aid of such troops, they are obliged to conciliate the
most powerful and unscrupulous by reductions in the assessment of the
lands or additions to their _nankar_.

To illustrate the spirit and system of union among the chief
landholders of the Bangur district, I may here mention a few facts
within my own knowledge, and of recent date. Bhugwunt Singh, who held
the estate of Etwa Peepureea, had been for some time in rebellion
against his sovereign; and he had committed many murders and
robberies, and lifted many herds of cattle within our bordering
district of Shajehanpoor; and he had given shelter, on his own
estate, to a good many atrocious criminals, from that and others of
our bordering district. He had, too, aided and screened many gangs of
Budhuks, or dacoits by hereditary profession. The Resident, Colonel
Low, in 1841, directed every possible effort to be made for the
arrest of this formidable offender, and Captain Hollings, the second
in command of the 2nd battalion of Oude local infantry, sent
intelligencers to trace him.

They ascertained that he had, with a few followers, taken up a
position two hundred yards to the north of the village of Ahroree, in
a jungle of palas-trees and brushwood in the Bangur district, about
twenty-eight miles to the south-west of Seetapoor, where that
battalion was cantoned, and about fourteen miles west from Neemkar.
Captain Hollings made his arrangements to surprise this party; and on
the evening of the 3rd of July 1841, he marched from Neemkar at the
head of three companies of that battalion, and a little before
midnight he came within three-quarters of a mile of the rebel's post.
After halting his party for a short time, to enable the officers and
sipahees to throw off all superfluous clothing and utensils, Captain
Hollings moved on to the attack. When the advanced guard reached the
outskirts of the robber's position about midnight, they were first
challenged and then fired upon by the sentries. The subadar in
command of this advance guard fell dead, and a non-commissioned
officer and a sipahee severely wounded.

The whole party now fired in upon the gang and rushed on. One of the
robbers was shot, and the rest all escaped out on the opposite side
of the jungle. The sipahees believing, since the surprise had been
complete, that the robbers must have left all their wealth behind
them, dispersed, as soon as the firing ceased and the robbers
disappeared, to get every man as much as he could. While thus engaged
they were surrounded by the Gohar, (or body of auxiliaries which
these landholders send to each other's aid on the concerted signal,)
and fired in upon from the front, and both right and left flanks.
Taken by surprise, they collected together in disorder, while the
assailants from the front and sides continued to pour in their fire
upon them; and they were obliged to retire in haste and confusion,
closely followed by the auxiliaries, who gained confidence, and
pressed closer as their number increased by the quotas they received
from the villages the detachment had to pass in their retreat.

All efforts on the part of Captain Hollings to preserve order in the
ranks were vain. His men returned the fire of their pursuers, but
without aim or effect. At the head of the auxiliaries were Punchum
Sing, of Ahroree, and Mirza Akbar Beg, of Deureea; and they were fast
closing in upon the party, and might have destroyed it, when Girwur
Sing, tomandar, came up with a detachment of the Special Police of
the Thuggee and Dacoitee Department. At this time the three companies
were altogether disorganized and disheartened, as the firing and
pursuit had lasted from midnight to daybreak; but on seeing the
Special Police come up and join with spirit in the defence, they
rallied, and the assailants, thinking the reinforcement more
formidable than it really was, lost confidence and held back. Captain
Hollings mounted the fresh horse of the tomandar, and led his
detachment without further loss or molestation back to Neemkar. His
loss had been one subadar, one havildar, and three sipahees killed;
one subadar, two havildars, one naik, and fourteen sipahees wounded
and missing. Captain Hollings' groom was shot dead, and one of his
palankeen-bearers was wounded. His horse, palankeen, desk, clothes,
and all the superfluous clothing and utensils, which the sipahees had
thrown off preparatory to the attack fell into the hands of the
assailants. Attempts were made to take up and carry off the killed
and wounded; but the detachment was so sorely pressed that they were
obliged to leave both on the ground. The loss would have been much
greater than it was, but for the darkness of the night, which
prevented the assailants from taking good aim; and the detachment
would, in all probability, have been cut to pieces, but for the
timely arrival of the Special Police under Girwur Sing.

Such attacks are usually made upon robber bands about the first dawn
of day; and this attack at midnight was a great error. Had they not
been assailed by the auxiliaries, they could not, in the darkness,
have secured one of the gang. It was known, that at the first shot
from either the assailing or defending party in that district, all
the villages around concentrate their quotas upon the spot, to fight
to the death against the King's troops, whatever might be their
object; and the detachment ought to have been prepared for such
concentration when the firing began, and returned as quickly as
possible from the place when they saw that by staying they could not
succeed in the object.

Four months after, in November, Punchum Sing, of Ahroree, himself cut
off the head of the robber, Bhugwunt Sing, with his own hand, and
sent it to the governor, Furreed-od Deen, with an apology for having
_by mistake_ attacked Captain Hollings' detachment. The governor sent
the head to the King, with a report stating that he had, at the peril
of his life, and after immense toil, hunted down and destroyed this
formidable rebel; and his Majesty, as a reward for his valuable
services, conferred upon Furreed-od Deen a title and a first-rate
dress of honour. Soon after, in the same month of July 1841, his
Majesty the King of Oude's second regiment of infantry, under the
command of a very gallant officer, Captain W. D. Bunbury, was
encamped near the village of Belagraon, when information was brought
that certain convicts, who had escaped from the gaol at Bareilly, had
taken refuge in the village of Parakurown, about fifty miles to the
north-west of his camp. Captain Bunbury immediately detached three
companies, with two six-pounders, under his brother, Lieutenant A. C.
Bunbury, to arrest them. After halting for a short time at Gopamow,
to allow his men to take breath. Lieutenant Bunbury pushed on, and
reached the place a little before the dawn of day. He demanded the
surrender of the outlaws from the chief of the village, named Ajrael
Sing, a notoriously bad character, who insolently refused to give
them up. A fight commenced, in which one of the convicts, and some
others, were killed; but at last Lieutenant Bunbury succeeded in
securing Arjael Sing himself, with some few of his followers, and the

Hearing the firing of the field-pieces, the surrounding villages
concentrated their quotas of auxiliaries upon the place, and attacked
Lieutenant Bunbury's detachment on all sides. He had taken possession
of the village; but finding it untenable against so large and
increasing a body of assailants, he commenced his retreat. He had
scarcely reached the outskirts when he found himself surrounded by
overwhelming numbers of these auxiliaries, through whom he was
obliged to fight his way for a distance of fourteen miles to Pahanee.
The armed peasantry of every village, on the right and left of the
road as they passed, turned out and joined the pursuers in their
attempt to rescue his prisoners. Lieutenant Bunbury's conduct of this
retreat was most gallant and judicious; and his men behaved
admirably. When the assailants appeared likely to overwhelm him, he
abandoned one of his two guns, and hastened on, leaving three men
lying under them apparently wounded, and unable to move. On this they
pressed on, sword in hand, to despatch the wounded men, and seize the
guns. When the assailants were within thirty or forty yards of the
gun, they started up, and poured in upon the dense crowd a discharge
of grape with deadly effect. A party then doubled back from the main
body of the detachment, protected the artillery men in limbering up
the gun, and escorting it to the main body, which again resumed its
march. This experiment was repeated several times with success as
they passed other villages, from which further auxiliaries poured
out, till they approached Pahanee, where they found support. In this
retreat Lieutenant Bunbury lost sixty men out of his three companies,
or about one-third of his number; but he retained all his prisoners.
Ajrael Sing soon after died of the wounds he had received in
defending the convicts in his village; and the rest of the prisoners
were all sent to the Oude Durbar. Lieutenant Bunbury is now in the
Honourable Company's Service, and in the 34th Regiment of Bengal
Native Infantry.

On the 23rd of January 1849, Captain Hearsey, of the Oude Frontier
Police, sent his subadar-major, Ramzan Khan, with a party of one
hundred and fifty men of that police, to arrest a notorious robber,
Mendae Sing, and other outlaws, from the Shajehanpoor district, who
had found an asylum in the village of Sahurwa, in the Mahomdee
district, whence they carried on their depredations upon our villages
across the border. The party reached Sahurwa the next morning a
little before sunrise. The subadar-major having posted his men so as
to prevent the escape of the outlaws, demanded their surrender from
the village authorities. They were answered by a volley of matchlock-
balls; and finding the village too strong to be taken by his small
detachment without guns, he withdrew to a more sheltered position to
the westward, and detached a havildar with fifty men to take
possession of a large gateway to the south of the village. During
this movement the villagers continued to fire upon them; and the
quotas of auxiliaries from the surrounding villages, roused by the
firing, came rushing on from all quarters. Seeing no chance of being
able either to take the village or to maintain his position against
such numbers, the subadar-major drew off his detachment, and
proceeded for support to Pahanee, a distance of twelve miles. He
reached that place pursued by the auxiliaries, and with the loss of
one havildar and one sipahee killed, and three sipahees very severely
wounded. There are numerous instances of this sort in which the
King's troops have been attacked and beaten back, and their prisoners
rescued by the landholders of Bangur, and the adjoining districts of
Mahomdee and Sandee Palee. They are never punished for doing so, as
the King is too weak, and the aid of the British troops, for the
purpose, has seldom been given.

It would be of advantage to remove the Regiment of Oude Local
Infantry from Seetapoor to Tundeeawun, where its presence and
services are much more required. The climate is as good, and all that
native soldiers require for food and clothing are cheaper. The
drainage is good; and to the east of the town there is one of the
finest plains for a cantonment that I have ever seen. There are but
few wells, but new ones can be made at a trifling cost; and the Oude
Government would willingly incur the outlay required for these and
for all the public buildings required for the new cantonments, to
secure the advantage of such a change. The cost of the public
buildings would be only 12,000 rupees; and the same sum would have to
be given in compensation for private buildings-total 24,000. The
refractory landholders would soon be reduced to order, and prevented
from any longer making their villages dens of robbers as they now do;
and the jungles around would all soon disappear. These jungles are
not thick, or unhealthy, consisting of the small dhak or palas tree,
with little or no underwood; and the surface they now occupy would
soon be covered with fine spring crops, and studded with happy
village communities, were people encouraged by an assurance of
protection to settle upon it, and apply their capital and labour to
its cultivation. The soil is everywhere of the finest quality, the
drainage is good, and there are no jheels. A few ponds yield the
water required for the irrigation of the spring crops, during their
progress to maturity, from November to March: they are said all to
become dry in the hot season. It is, I think, capable of being made
the finest part of this fine country of Oude.

It was in contemplation to make the road from Lucknow to Shajehanpoor
and Bareilly pass through this place, Tundeeawun, by which some
thirty miles of distance would be saved, and a good many small rivers
and watercourses avoided. Why this design was given up I know not;
but I believe the only objection was the greater insecurity of this
line from the bad character of the great landholders of the Bangur
and Sandee Palee districts; and the greater number of thieves and
robbers who, in consequence, reside in them. There has been but
little outlay in works of any kind in the whole line through
Seetapore; and when measures have been taken to render this line more
secure, a good road will, I hope, be made through Tundeeawun. It was
once a populous place, but has been falling off for many years, as
the disorders in the district have increased. The Nazim resides here.
The last Nazim, Hoseyn Allee, who was removed to Khyrabad, at the end
of last year, is said to have given an increase of _nankar_ to the
refractory landholders of this district during that year, to the
extent of forty thousand rupees a-year, to induce them to pay the
Government demand, and desist from plunder. By this means he secured
a good reputation at Court, and the charge of a more profitable and
less troublesome district; and left the difficult task of resuming
this lavish increase of the _nankar_ to his successor, Seonath, the
son of Dilla Ram, who held the contract of the district for some
twenty years up to the time of his death, which took place last year.
Seonath is a highly respectable and amiable man; but he is very
delicate in health, and, in consequence, deficient in the vigour and
energy required to manage so turbulent a district. He has, however, a
deputy in Kidder Nath, a relative, who has all the ability, vigour,
and energy required, if well supported and encouraged by the Oude
Durbar. He was deputy under Dilla Ram for many years, and the same
under Hoseyn Allee last year. He is a man of great intelligence and
experience; and one of the best officers of the Oude Government that
I have yet seen.

There are two kinds of recognised perquisites which landholders enjoy
in Oude and in most other parts of India--the _nankar_ and the _seer_
land. The _nankar_ is a portion of the recognised rent-roll
acknowledged by the ruler to be due to the landholder for the risk,
cost, and trouble of management, and for his perquisite as hereditary
proprietor of the soil when the management is confided to another. It
may be ten, twenty, or one hundred percent upon the rent-roll of the
estate, which is recognised in the public accounts, as the holder
happens to be an object of fear or of favour, or otherwise; and the
real rent-roll may be more or less than that which is recognised in
the public accounts. The actual rent which the landholder receives
may increase with improvements, and he may conceal the improvement
from the local authorities, or bribe them to conceal it from
Government; or it may diminish from lands falling out of tillage, or
becoming impoverished by over-cropping, or from a diminution of
demand for land produce; and the landholder may be unable to satisfy
the local authorities of the fact, or to prevail upon them to
represent the circumstance to Government. The amount of the _nankar_
once recognised remains the same till a new rate is recognised by
Government; but when the Government becomes weak, the local
authorities assume the right to recognise new rents, to suit their
own interest, and pretend that they do so to promote that of their

I may instance the Amil of this district last year. He was weak,
while the landholders were strong. They refused to pay, on the plea
of bad seasons. He could send no money to the Treasury, and was in
danger of losing his place. The man who had to pay a revenue of ten
thousand could not be induced to pay five: he enjoyed an acknowledged
_nankar_ of two thousand upon a recognised rent-roll of twelve
thousand; and, to induce him to pay, he gives him an increase to this
_nankar_ of one thousand, making the _nankar_ three thousand, and
reducing the revenue to nine thousand. Being determined to render the
increase to his _nankar_ permanent, whether the Government consents
or not, the landholder agrees to pay the ten thousand for the present
year. The collector sends the whole or a part of the one thousand as
gratuities to influential men at Court, and enters it in the public
accounts as irrecoverable balance. The present Amil, finding that the
increase to the _nankar_ has not been acknowledged by Government,
demands the full ten thousand rupees for the present year. The
landholder refuses to pay anything, takes to the jungles, and
declares that he will resist till his permanent right to the increase
be acknowledged.

The Amil has taken the contract at the rate of last year, as the
Government had sanctioned no increase to the _nankar_, and he pleads
in vain for a remission in the rate, which he pledged himself to pay,
or an increase of means to enforce payment among so turbulent and
refractory a body of landholders. As I have before mentioned, the
Oude Government has this season issued an order to all revenue
collectors to refuse to recognise any increase to the _nankar_ that
has been made since the year A.D. 1814, or Fusilee 1222, when Saadut
Allee died, as none has since that year received the sanction of
Government, though the _nankar_ has been more than doubled within
that period in the manner above described by local authorities. The
increase to the _nankar_, and the alienation in rent-free tenure of
lands liable to assessment in 1814 by local authorities and
influential persons at Court, are supposed to amount in all Oude to
forty lacs of rupees a-year. None of them have been formally
recognised by the Court, but a great part of them has been tacitly
acquiesced in by the minister and Dewan for the time being. They
cannot enforce the order for reverting to the _nankar_ of 1814, and
if they attempt to do so the whole country will be in disorder.
Indeed, the minister knows his own weakness too well to think
seriously of ever making such an attempt. The _seer_ lands are those
which the landholders and their families till themselves, or by means
of their servants or hired cultivators. Generally they are not
entered at all in the rent-rolls; and when they are entered, it is at
less rates than are paid for the other lands. The difference between
the no rent, or less rates, and the full rates is part of their
perquisites. These lands are generally shared out among the members
of the family as hereditary possessions.

_January_ 23, 1850.--Behta, ten miles, over a plain of fine muteear
soil. The greater part of the surface is, however, covered by a low
palas jungle. The jungle remains, because no one will venture to lay
out his capital in rooting up the trees and shrubs, and bringing the
land under culture where the fruits of his industry, and his own life
and those of his family, would be so very insecure, and because the
powerful landholders around require the jungles to run to when in
arms against the Government officers, as they commonly are. The land
under this jungle is as rich in natural powers as that in tillage;
and nothing can be finer than the crops in the cultivated parts,
particularly in those immediately around villages. There are numerous
large trees in the jungles, but the fine peepul and banyan trees are
torn to pieces for the use of the elephants and camels of the
establishments of the local officers, and for the cows, bullocks, and
buffaloes of the peasantry. The cows and buffaloes are said to give
greater quantities of milk when fed on the leaves of these trees than
when fed on anything else available in the dry season; but the milk
is said to be of inferior quality. All the cultivated and peopled
parts are beautifully studded with single trees and groves.

No respectable dwelling-house is anywhere to be seen, and the most
substantial landholders live in wretched mud-hovels with invisible
covers. I asked the people why, and was told that they were always
too insecure to lay out anything in improving their dwelling-houses;
and, besides, did not like to have such local ties, where they were
so liable to be driven away by the Government officers or by the
landholders in arms against them, and their reckless followers. The
local officers of Government, of the highest grade, occupy houses of
the same wretched description, for none of them can be sure of
occupying them a year, or of ever returning to them again when once
removed from their present offices; and they know that neither their
successors nor any one else will ever purchase or pay rent for them.
No mosques, mausoleums, temples, seraees, colleges, courts of
justice, or prisons to be seen in any of the towns or villages. There
are a few Hindoo shrines at the half-dozen places which popular
legends have rendered places of pilgrimage, and a few small tanks and
bridges made in olden times by public officers, when they were more
secure in their tenure of office than they are now. All the fine
buildings raised by former rulers and their officers at the old
capital of Fyzabad are going fast to ruin. The old city of Ajoodhea
is a ruin, with the exception of a few buildings along the bank of
the river raised by wealthy Hindoos in honour of Ram, who once lived
and reigned there, and is believed by all Hindoos to have been an
incarnation of Vishnoo.

I have often mentioned that the artillery draft-bullocks receive no
grain, and are everywhere so poor that they can hardly walk, much
less draw heavy guns and tumbrils. The reason is this, the most
influential men at Court obtain the charge of feeding the cattle in
all the different establishments, and charge for a certain quantity
of grain or other food at the market price for each animal. They
contract for the supply of the cattle with some grain-merchant of the
city, who undertakes to distribute it through his own agents. The
contractor for the supply of the artillery draft-bullocks sends an
agent with those in attendance upon every collector of the land
revenue, and he gives them as little as possible. The contractor,
afraid of making an enemy of the influential man at Court, who could
if he chose deprive him of his contract or place, never presumes to
interfere, and the agent gives the poor bullocks no grain at all. The
collector, or officer in charge of the district, is, however, obliged
every month to pay the agent of the contractor the full market price
of the grain supposed to be consumed--that is, one seer and half a-
day by every bullock. The same, or some other influential person at
Court, obtains and transfers in the same way the contract for the
feeding of the elephants, horses, camels, bullocks, and other animals
kept at Lucknow for use or amusement, and none of them are in much
better condition than the draft-bullocks of the artillery in the
remote districts--all are starved, or nearly starved, and objects of
pity. Those who are responsible for their being fed are too strong in
Court favour to apprehend any punishment for not feeding them at all.

In my ride this morning I asked the people of the villages through
and near which we passed whether infanticide prevailed: they told me
that it prevailed amongst almost all the Rajpoot families of any rank
in Oude; that very poor families of those classes retained their
daughters, because they could get something for them from the
families of lower grade, into which they married them; but that those
who were too well off in the world to condescend to take money for
their daughters from lower grades, and were obliged to incur heavy
costs in marrying them into families of the same or higher grade,
seldom allowed their infant daughters to live.

"It is strange," I observed, "that men, who have to undergo such
heavy penance for killing a cow, even by accident, should have to
undergo none for the murder of their own children, nor to incur any
odium among the circle of society in which they live--not even among
Brahmins and the ministers of their religion."

"They do incur odium, and undergo penance," said Rajah Bukhtawur
Sing; "do they not?" said he to some Brahmins standing near. They
smiled, but hesitated to reply. "They know they do," said the Rajah,
"but are afraid to tell the truth, for they and their families live
in villages belonging to these proud Rajpoot landholders, and would
be liable to be turned out of house and home were they to tell what
they know." One of the Brahmins then said, "All this is true, sir;
but after the murder of every infant the family considers itself to
be an object of displeasure to the deity, and after the twelfth day
they send for the family priest (Prohut), and, by suitable
gratuities, obtain absolution. This is necessary, whether the family
be rich or poor; but when the absolution is given, nothing more is
thought or said about the matter. The Gour and other Rajpoots who can
afford to unite their daughters in marriage to the sons of Chouhans,
Byses, and other families of higher grade, though they cannot obtain
theirs in return for their sons, commit less murders of this kind
than others; but all the Rajpoot clans commit more or less of them.
Habit has reconciled them to it; but it appears very shocking to us
Brahmins and all other classes. They commonly bury the infants alive
as soon as possible after their birth. We, sir, are helpless, living
as we do among such turbulent and pitiless landholders, and cannot
presume to admonish or remonstrate: our lives would not be safe for a
moment were we to say anything, or seem to notice such crimes."

I do not think that any landholder of this class, in the Bangur
district, would feel much compunction for the commission of any crime
that did not involve their expulsion from caste, or degradation in
rank. Great crimes do not involve these penalties: they incur them
only by small peccadillos, or offences deemed venal among other
societies. The Government of Oude, as it is at present constituted,
will never be able to put down effectually the great crimes which now
stain almost every acre of land in its dominions. It is painful to
pass over a country abounding so much in what the evil propensities
of our nature incite men to do, when not duly restrained; and so
little in what the good prompt us to perform and create, when duly
protected and encouraged, under good government.

_January_ 24, 1850.--Sandee, fourteen miles, over a plain of light
domuteea soil, which becomes very sandy for the last four or five
miles. The crops are scanty upon the more sandy parts, except in the
vicinity of villages; but there is a little jungle, and no undue
portion of fallow for so light a soil. About five miles from our last
ground, we came through the large and populous village of Bawun;
about three miles further, through another of nearly the same size,
Sungeechamow; and about three miles further on, through one still
larger, Admapoor, which is three miles from Sandee. Sandee and
Nawabgunge join each other, and are on the bank of the Gurra river, a
small stream whose waters are said to be very wholesome. We passed
the boundary of the Bangur district, just before we entered the
village of Sungeechamow, which lies in that of Sandee.

There is a Hindoo shrine on the right of the road between Sandee and
Admapoor, which is said to be considered very sacred, and called
Barmawust. It is a mere grove, with a few priests, on the bank of a
large lake, which extends close up to Sandee on the south. The river
Gurra flows under the town to the north. The place is said to be
healthy, but could hardly be so, were this lake to the west or east,
instead of the south, whence the wind seldom blows. This lake must
give out more or less of malaria, that would be taken over the
village, for the greater portion of the year, by the prevailing
easterly and westerly winds. I do not think the place so eligible for
a cantonment at Tundeeawun, in point either of salubrity, position,
or soil.

_January_ 25, 1850.--Halted at Sandee. The lake on the south side,
mentioned yesterday, abounds in fish, and is covered with wild fowl;
but the fish we got from it yesterday was not good of its kind. I
observed very fine groves of mango-trees close to Sandee, planted by
merchants and shopkeepers of the place. The oldest are still held by
the descendants of those by whom they were first planted, more than a
century ago; and no tax whatever is imposed upon the trees of any
kind, or upon the lands on which they stand. Many young groves are
growing up around, to replace the old ones as they decay; and the
greatest possible security is felt in the tenure by which they are
held by the planter, or his descendants, though they hold no written
lease, or deed of gift; and have neither written law nor court of
justice to secure it to them. Groves and solitary mango, semul,
tamarind, mhowa and other trees, whose leaves and branches are not
required for the food of elephants and camels, are more secure in
Oude than in our own territories; and the country is, in consequence,
much better provided with them. While they give beauty to the
landscape, they alleviate the effects of droughts to the poorer
classes from the fruit they supply; and droughts are less frequently
and less severely felt in a country so intersected by fine streams,
flowing from the Tarae forest, or down from the perpetual snows of
neighbouring hills, and keeping the water always near the surface.
These trees tend also to render the air healthy, by giving out oxygen
in large quantities during the day, and absorbing carbonic acid gas.
The river Gurra enters the Ganges about twelve miles below Sandee.
Boats take timber on this stream from the Phillibeet district to
Cawnpoor. It passes near the town of Shajehanpoor; and the village of
Palee, twenty miles north-west from Sandee, where we shall have to
recross it.

_January_ 26, 1850.--Busora, twelve miles north-west from Sandee,
over a plain of light sandy soil, or bhoor, with some intervals of
oosur. The tillage extends over as much of the surface as it ought in
so light a soil; and the district of Sandee Palee generally is said
to be well cultivated. It has been under the charge of Hafiz
Abdoollah, a very honest and worthy man, for seven years up to his
death, which took place in November last. He is said never to have
broken faith with a landholder; but he was too weak in means to keep
the bad portion under control; and too much occupied in reading or
repeating the _Koran_, which he knew all by heart, as his name
imports. His son Ameer Gholam Allee, a lad of only thirteen years of
age, has been appointed his successor. He promises to be like his
father in honesty and love of the holy book.*

[* He has been since removed, and was in prison as a defaulter, July

About half way we passed the village of Bhanapoor, held by zumeendars
of the _Dhaukurree_ Rajpoot clan, who told me, that they gave their
daughters in marriage to the Rykwars, but more to the Sombunsie
Rajpoots, who abound in the district, and hold the greater part of
the lands; that these Sombunsies have absorbed almost all the lands
of the other classes by degrees, and are now seizing upon theirs;
that the Sombunsies give their daughters in marriage only to the
Rathore and Chouhan Rajpoots, few of whom are to be found on the Oude
side of the Ganges; and, in consequence, that they take such as they
preserve to our districts on the other side of that river, but murder
the greater part rather than condescend to marry them to men of the
other Rajpoot clans whom they deem to be of inferior grade, or go to
the expense of uniting them in marriage to clans of higher or equal
grade in Oude. Some Sombunsies, who came out to pay their respects
from the next village we passed, told us, that they did not give
their daughters even to the Tilokchundee Bys Rajpoots; but in this
they did not tell the truth.

At the next village, the largest in the parish, Barone, the chief
landholder, Kewul Sing, came out and presented his offering of a fine
fighting-ram. He was armed with his bow, and "quiver full of arrows,"
but told me, that he thought a good gun, with pouch and flask, much
better, and he carried the bow and quiver merely because they were
lighter. He was surrounded by almost all the people of the town, and
told me, that the family held in copartnership fifty-two small
villages, immediately around _Barone_--that this village had been
attacked and burnt down by Captain Bunbury and his regiment the year
before last, without any other cause that they could understand save
that he had recommended him not to encamp in the grove close by. The
fact was, that none of the family would pay the Government demand, or
obey the old Amil, Hafiz Abdoollah; and it was necessary to make an
example. On being asked whether his family and clan, the Sombunsies,
preserved or destroyed their daughters, he told me, in the midst of
his village community, that he would not deceive me; that they, one
and all, destroyed their infant daughters; but that one was,
occasionally, allowed to live (_ek-adh_); that the family was under a
taint for twelve days after the murder of an infant, when the family
priest (Prohut) was invited and fed in due form; that he then
declared the absolution complete, and the taint removed.

The family priest was present, and I asked him what he got on such
occasions? He said, that to remove the taint, or grant absolution
after the murder of a daughter, he got little or no money; he merely
partook of the food prepared for him in due form; but that, on the
birth of a son, he got ten rupees from the parents. All the assembled
villagers bore testimony to the truth of what the patriarch and the
priest told me. They said, that no one would enter a house in which
an infant daughter had been destroyed, or eat or drink with any
member of the family till the Prohut had granted the absolution,
which he did after the expiration of twelve days, as a matter of
course, depending as he did upon the good-will of the landholders,
who were all of the same clan, Sombunsies. Few other Brahmins will
condescend to eat, drink, or associate with these family and village
priests, who take the sins of such murderers upon their own heads.

The old patriarch rode on with me upon his pony, five miles to my
tents, as if I should not think the worse of him for having murdered
his own daughters, and permitted others to murder theirs. I told him,
that I could hold no converse with men who were guilty of such
crimes; and that the vengeance of God would crush them all, sooner or
latter. For his only excuse he told me, that it was a practice,
derived from a long line of ancestors, wiser and better than they
were; and that it prevailed in almost every Rajpoot family in the
country; that they had, in consequence, become reconciled to it, and
knew not how to do without it. Family pride is the cause of this
terrible evil!

The estate of Kuteearee, on the left-hand side of the road towards
the Ramgunga and Ganges, is held by Runjeet Sing, of the Kuteear
Rajpoot clan. His estate yields to him about one hundred and twenty
thousand rupees a-year, while he is assessed at only sixteen
thousand. While Hakeem Mehndee was in banishment at Futtehgurh, about
fifteen years ago, he became intimate with Runjeet Sing, of
Kuteearee; and when he afterwards became minister, in 1837, he is
said to have obtained for him the King's seal and signature to a
perpetual lease at this rate, from which is deducted a _nankar_ of
four thousand, leaving an actual demand of only twelve thousand. Were
such grants, in perpetuity, respected in Oude, the ministers and
their minions would soon sell the whole of his Majesty's dominions,
and leave him a beggar. He has not yet been made to pay a higher
rate; not, however, out of regard for the King's pledge, but solely
out of that for Runjeet's fort of Dhunmutpoor, on the bank of the
Ganges, his armed bands, and his seven pieces of cannon. He has been
diligently employing all his surplus rents in improving his defensive
means; and, besides his fort and guns, is said to have a large body
of armed and disciplined men. He has seized upon a great many
villages around, belonging to weaker proprietors: and is every year
adding to his estate in this way. In this the old Amil, Hafiz
Abdoollah, acquiesced, solely because he had not the means nor the
energy to prevent it. He got his estate excluded from the
jurisdiction of the local authorities, and placed in the Huzoor

Like others of his class, who reside on the border, he has a village
in the British territory to reside in, unmolested, when charged by
the Oude authorities with heavy crimes and balances. He had been
attacked and driven across the Ganges, in 1837, for contumacy and
rebellion; deprived of his estate, and obliged to reside at
Futtehgurh, where he first became acquainted with Hakeem Mehndee. The
Oude Government has often remonstrated against the protection which
this contumacious and atrocious landholder receives from our subjects
and authorities.* Crimes in this district are not quite so numerous
as in Bangur; but they are of no less atrocious a character. The
thieves and robbers of Bangur, when taken and taxed with being so,
say, "of course we are robbers--if we were not, how should we have
been permitted to reside in Bangur?" All are obliged to fight and
plunder with the landholders, or to rob for them on distant roads,
and in distant villages.

[* See the Resident's letter to Government North-Western Provinces,
3rd August, 1837. The King's letter to the Resident, 7th April, 1837.
The same to the same, 19th May, 1837. Depositions and urzies. Runjeet
Sing was attacked by the King's troops and driven across the Ganges
again in June 1851, and died during the contest, which is being
continued by his son. 1851.--W. H. S.]

My camp has been robbed several times within the time I have been
out, and the property has been traced to villages in the Sundeela and
Bangur districts. In the Sundeela district it can be recovered when
traced with a small force, and the thieves taken; but in the Bangur
district it would require a large military force well commanded, and
a large train of artillery to recover the one or seize the other.

A respectable landholder of this place, a Sombunsie, tells me, that
the custom of destroying their female infants has prevailed from the
time of the first founder of their race; that a rich man has to give
food to many Brahmins, to get rid of the stain, on the twelfth or
thirteenth day, but that a poor man can get rid of it by presenting a
little food in due form to the village priest; that they cannot give
their daughters in marriage to any Rajpoot families, save the
Rhathores and Chouhans; that the family of their clan who gave a
daughter to any other class of Rajpoots, would be excluded from caste
immediately and for ever; that those who have property have to give
all they have with their daughters to the Chouhans and Rhathores, and
reduce themselves to nothing; and can take nothing from them in
return, as it is a great stain to take "_kuneea dan_," or virgin
price; from any one; that a Sombunsie may, however, when reduced to
great poverty, take the "_kuneea dan_" from the Chouhans and
Rhathores for a virgin daughter without being excommunicated from the
clan, but even he could not give a daughter to any other clan of
Rajpoots without being excluded for ever from caste; that it was a
misfortune no doubt, but it was one that had descended among them
from the remotest antiquity, and could not be got rid of; that
mothers wept and screamed a good deal when their first female
infants were torn from them, but after two or three times giving
birth to female infants, they become quiet and reconciled to the
usage, and said, "do as you like;" that some poor parents of their
clan did certainly give their daughters for large sums to wealthy
people of lower Clans, but lost their caste for ever by so doing;
that it was the dread of sinking, in substance from the loss of
property, and in grade from the loss of caste, that alone led to the
murder of female infants; that the dread prevailed more or less in
every Rajpoot clan, and led to the same thing, but most in the clan
that restricted the giving of daughters in marriage to the smallest
number of clans.

The infant is destroyed in the room where it is born, and there
buried. The floor is then plastered over with cow-dung, and on the
thirteenth day the village or family priest must cook and eat his
food in that room. He is provided with wood, ghee, barley, rice, and
tillee (sesamum). He boils the rice, barley, and sesamum in a brass
vessel, throws the ghee over them when they are dressed, and eats the
whole. This is considered as a _hom_, or burnt-offering, and by
eating it in that place the priest is supposed to take the whole
_hutteea_ or sin upon himself, and to cleanse the family from it. I
am told that they put the milk of the mudar shrub "asclepias
gigantea," into the mouth of the infant to destroy it, and cover the
mouth with the faeces that first pass from, the infant's bowels. It
soon dies; and after the expiation the parents again occupy the room,
and there receive the visits of their family and friends, and gossip
as usual!

Rajah Bukhtawar Sing tells me, that he has heard the whole process
frequently described in this way by the midwives who have attended
the birth. These midwives are however generally sent out of the room
with the mother when the infant is found to be a girl. In any law for
the effectual prevention of this crime, it would be necessary to
prescribe a severe punishment for the priest, as an accessary after
the fact. The only objection to this is, I think, that it might
deprive the Court of the advantage of an important witness when
required at the trial of the parents, but when necessary he might be
admitted as King's evidence. All the people here that I talk to on
the subject, say that the crime has been put down in the greater part
of the British territories, and that judicious measures honestly and
firmly carried out would put it down in Oude, and do away with the
scruples which one clan of Rajpoots have to give their daughters in
marriage to another. Unable to murder their daughters, they would be
glad to dispose of them in marriage to all clans of Rajpoots. It
might be put down in Oude, as it was put down by Mr. Willoughby, of
Bombay, in the districts under his charge, by making the abolition
one of the conditions on which all persons of the Rajpoot clans hold
their lands, and strictly enforcing the observance of that condition.
The Government of Oude as now constituted could do nothing whatever
towards putting it down in this or any other way.

_January_ 27, 1850.--Palee, eight miles north-west. The road half way
from Sandee to Busora, and half way from Busora to Palee, passes over
a very light, sandy soil--bhoor. I have already stated that kutcha
wells, or wells without burnt brick and cement, will not last in this
sandy soil, while it stands more in need of irrigation. The road for
the last half way of this morning's stage passes over a good
doomuteea soil. The whole country is however well cultivated, and
well studded with fine trees; and the approach to Palee is at this
season very picturesque. The groves of mango and other fine trees
amidst which the town stands, on the right bank of the Gurra river,
appear very beautiful as one approaches, particularly now that the
surrounding country is covered by so fine a carpet of rich spring
crops. The sun's rays, falling upon such rich masses of foliage,
produce an infinite variety of form, colour, and tint, on which the
eye delights to repose. We intended to have our camp on the other
side of the river, but no good ground could be found for it, without
injury to the crops, within three miles from Palee, and we must cross
it on our way to Shahabad to-morrow.

This small river flows along a little to the right of our march this
morning. About half way we passed a very pretty village, held and
cultivated by families of Kunojee Brahmins, who _condescend_ to hold
and drive their own ploughs. Other families of this class pride
themselves upon never condescending to drive their own ploughs, and
consider themselves in consequence a shade higher in caste. Other
Brahmin families have different shades or degrees of caste, like the
Kunojeeas; but I am not aware that any family of any other class of
Brahmins condescend to hold their own ploughs. I told them, that "God
seemed to favour their exertions, and bless them with prosperity, for
I had not seen a neater village or village community." They seemed to
be all well pleased with my compliment. At Palee resides Bulbhuder
Sing, a notorious robber, who was lately seized and sent as a felon
to Lucknow. After six months' confinement he bribed himself out, got
possession of the estate which he now holds, and to which he had no
right whatever, and had it excluded from the jurisdiction of the
local authorities, and transferred to the "Hozoor Tuhseel." He has
been ever since diligently employed in converting it into a den of
robbers, and in the usual way seizing upon other people's lands,
stock, and property of all kinds.

Hundreds in Oude are doing the same thing in the same way. Scores of
those who suffer from the depredations of this class of offenders,
complain to me every day; but I can neither afford them redress, nor
hold out any hope of it from any of the Oude authorities. It is a
proverb, "that those who are sentenced to six years' imprisonment in
Oude, are released in six months, and those who are sentenced to six
months, are released in six years." Great numbers are released every
year at Lucknow for _thanksgivings_, or _propitiation_. If the King
or any member of his family becomes sick, prisoners are released,
that they may recover; and when they recover, others are released as
a grateful, and, at the same time, profitable acknowledgment, since
the Government relieves itself from the cost of keeping them; and its
servants appropriate the money paid for their ransom. Those who are
in for long periods are, for the most part, great offenders, who are
the most able and most willing to pay high for their release; those
who are in for short ones are commonly the small ones, who are the
least able and least disposed to give anything. The great offenders
again are those who are most disposed, and most able, to revenge
themselves on such persons as have aided the Government in their
arrest or conviction; and they do all they can to murder and rob them
and their families and relatives, as soon as they are set at large,
in order to deter others from doing the same. This would be a great
evil in any country, but is terrible in Oude, where no police is
maintained for the protection of life and property. The cases of
atrocious murders and robberies which come before me every day, and
are acknowledged by the local authorities, and neighbours of the
sufferers, to have taken place, are frightful. Such sufferings, for
which no redress is to be found, would soon desolate any part of
India less favoured by nature.

In the valley of the Nerbudda, for instance, such sufferings would
render a district desolate for ages. The people, driven off from an
estate, go and settle in another better governed. The grass grows
rankly from the richness of the soil, and the humidity of the air,
and becomes filled with deer and other animals, that are food for
beasts of prey. Tigers, leopards, wolves, wild dogs, &c. follow, to
feed upon them; and they render residence and industry unsafe.
Malaria follows, and destroys what persons the tigers leave. I have
seen extensive tracts of the richest soil and most picturesque
scenery, along the banks of the Nerbudda, which had been rendered
desolate for ages by the misrule of only a few years. It is the same
in the Tarae forest, which separates Oude from Nepaul. But in the
rest of Oude, from the Ganges to this belt of forest, no such effects
follow misrule, however great and prolonged. Here no grass grows too
rankly, few deer fill it, few tigers, leopards, wolves, or wild dogs
come in pursuit of them, and no malaria is feared. If a landholder
takes to rebellion and plunder, he is followed by all his retainers
and clansmen; and their families, and the cultivators of other
classes, feeling no longer secure, go and till lands on other
estates, till they are invited back. The cowherds and shepherds, who
live by the produce of their cattle and sheep, remain and thrive by
the abundance of pasture lands, from which the rich spring and
harvest crops have disappeared. These cattle and sheep graze over
them, and enrich the soil by restoring to it a portion of those
elements of fertility, of which a long succession of harvests had
robbed it. Over and above what they leave on the grounds, over which
they graze, large stores of manure are collected for future use by
the herdsmen, who now exclusively occupy the villages. The landholder
and his followers, in the meantime, subsist and enrich themselves by
the indiscriminate plunder of the surrounding country; and are at
last invited back by a weak and wearied Government, to reoccupy the
lands, improved by this salutary fallow, at a lower rate of rent, or
no rent at all for some years, and a remission of all balances for
past years, on account of _paemalee_, or treading down of crops,
during the disorder that has prevailed.

The cultivators return to occupy their old lands, so enriched, at
reduced rates of rent; and, in two or three years, these lands become
again carpeted with a beautiful variety of spring and autumn crops.
The crops, in our districts, on the opposite side of the river
Ganges, bear no comparison with those on the Oude side. The lands are
all overcropped and under-stocked with cattle and sheep from the want
of pasture lands. There is little manure, the water is too far below
the surface to admit of sufficient irrigation, without greater outlay
than the farmers and cultivators can afford; the rotation of crops is
insufficient, and no salutary fallow comes to the relief of the soil,
from the labour of men living and working under the efficient
protection of a strong and able Government. The difference in the
crops is manifest to the beholder, and shown in the rate of rents
paid for the lands where the price of land produce is the same in
both; the same river conveying the produce of both to and from the
same markets.

A Murhutta army, under the Peshwa, Ballajee, invaded the districts,
about the source of the Nerbudda river, about one hundred and seven
years ago, A.D. 1742. They ravaged these districts as they did all
others which they invaded; but they, like the greater part of the
Oude Tarae, remain waste; while the others, like the rest of Oude,
soon recovered and become prosperous from the circumstances above
stated. The soil of some of the districts, about the source of the
Nerbudda, then ravaged, is among the finest in the world; but the
long grass and rich foliage, by which it is covered, are occupied,
like the pampos of South America, almost exclusively by wild cattle,
buffaloes, deer, and tigers. The district of Mundula, which
intervenes between them and the rich and highly-cultivated district
of Jubbulpoor, in the valley of that river, was populous and well
cultivated when we took possession of it in the year 1817; but it has
become almost as waste under our rule by a more gradual but not less
desolating process. Not considering the diminishing markets for land
produce, our assessments of the land revenue were too high, and the
managing officers never thought the necessity of reduction
established, till the villages were partially or wholly deserted. The
farmers and cultivators all emigrated, by degrees, into the
neighbouring districts of Nagpoor and Rewa, where they had more
consideration and lighter assessments, and the markets for land
produce were improving. The lands of Mundula became waste, and
covered with rank grass filled with deer; tigers followed to feed
upon them, and carried off all the poor peasantry, who remained and
attempted to cultivate small patches; malaria followed and completed
the work.

Like the _tharoos_ of the Oude forest, the Gonds born in this malaria
are the only people who can live in it; and the ravages of tigers and
endemial disease prevent their numbers from increasing. Those who
once emigrate never come back, and population and tillage have been
decreasing ever since we took possession, or for thirty-three years.
The same process has been going on in other parts of the Nerbudda
valley with the same results. In Oude, from the causes above
described, lands of the same denomination and kind often yield double
the rate of rent that they yield in our own conterminous districts,
or districts on the opposite side of the Ganges, and other rivers
that separate our territories from those of Oude. Under a tolerable
Government, Oude would soon become one of the most beautiful
countries in India; but the lands would fall off, in fertility, as
ours do from over-cropping, no doubt.

_January_ 28, 1850.--Shahabad, ten miles. We crossed, close under
Palee, the little river Gurra, which continued for some miles to flow
along, in its winding course, close by on our left. It is here some
five or six miles to the south-west of the town. The soil we have
come over is chiefly muteear, or the doomuteea, tightened by a
mixture of clay, or argillaceous earth. Rich crops of rice are grown
on this muteea, which retains its moisture so much better than the
looser doomutea soil.

Half-way we came through a neat village, the lands of which are
subdivided between the members of a large family of Kunojee Brahmins,
who came out to see us pass, and pay their respects. The cultivation
was so fine that I hoped they were of the class who condescended to
hold their own ploughs. I asked them; and they, with seeming pride,
told me that they did not--that they employed servants to hold their
ploughs for them. When I told them that this was their _misfortune_,
they seemed much amused, but were all well-behaved and respectful,
though they must have thought my notion very odd.

The little Gurra flows from the Oude Tarae forest by the town of
Phillibheet, where boats are built, to be taken down to Cawnpoor, on
the Ganges, for sale. About four hundred, great and small, are
supposed to be taken down the Gurra every year, in the season of the
rains. They take down the timber of the Tarae forest, rice, and other
things; and all are sold, with their cargoes, at Cawnpoor, or other
places on the Ganges. The timbers are floated along on both sides of
the boats. Palee is a good place for a cantonment, or seat of public
civil establishments, and Shahabad is no less so. The approach to
both, from the south-east, is equally beautiful, from the rich crops
which cover the ground up to the houses, and the fine groves and
majestic single trees which surround them.

Shahabad is a very ancient and large town, occupied chiefly by Pathan
Mussulmans, who are a very turbulent and fanatical set of fellows.
Subsookh Rae, a Hindoo, and the most respectable merchant in the
district, resided here, and for some time consented to officiate, as
the deputy of poor old Hafiz Abdoollah, for the management of the
town, where his influence was great. He had lent a good deal of money
to the heads of some of the Pathan families of the town, but finding
few of them disposed to repay, he was last year obliged to refuse
further loans. They determined to take advantage of the coming
mohurrum festival to revenge the _affront_ as men commonly do who
live among such a fanatical community. The tazeeas are commonly taken
up, and carried in procession, ten days after the new moon is first
seen, at any place where they are made; but in Oude all go by the day
in which the moon is seen from the capital of Lucknow. As soon as she
is seen at Lucknow, the King issues an order throughout his dominions
for the tazeeas to be taken in procession ten days after. The moon
was this year, in November, first seen on the 30th of the month at
Lucknow; but at Shahabad, where the sky is generally clearer, she had
been seen on the 29th. The men to whom Subsookh Rae had refused
farther loans determined to take advantage of this incident to wreak
their vengeance; and when the deputy promulgated the King's order for
the tazeeas to be taken in procession ten days after the 30th, they
instigated all the Mahommedans of the town to insist upon taking them
out ten days after the 29th, and persuaded them that the order had
been fabricated, or altered, by the malice of their Hindoo deputy,
_to insult their religious feelings_. They were taken out
accordingly, and having to pass the house of Subsookh Rae, when their
excitement, or spirit of religious fervour, had reached the highest
pitch, they there put them down, broke open the doors, entered in a
crowd, and plundered it of all the property they could find,
amounting to above seventy thousand rupees. Subsookh Rae was obliged
to get out, with his family, at a back door, and run for his life. He
went to Shajehanpoor, in our territory, and put himself under the
protection of the magistrate. Not content with all this, they built a
small miniature mosque at the door with some loose bricks, so that no
one could go either out or in without the risk of knocking it down,
or so injuring this _mock mosque_ as to rouse, or enable the evil-
minded to rouse, the whole Mahommedan population against the
offender. Poor Subsookh Rae has been utterly ruined, and ever since
seeking in vain for redress. The Government is neither disposed nor
able to afford it, and the poor boy who has now succeeded his learned
father in the contract is helpless. The little mock mosque, of
uncemented bricks, still stands as a monument of the insolence of the
Mahommedan population, and the weakness and apathy of the Oude


Infanticide--Nekomee Rajpoots--Fallows in Oude created by disorders--
Their cause and effect--Tillage goes on in the midst of sanguinary
conflicts--Runjeet Sing, of Kutteearee--Mahomdee district--White
Ants--Traditional decrease in the fertility of the Oude soil--Risks
to which cultivators are exposed--Obligations which these risks
impose upon them--Infanticide--The Amil of Mahomdee's narrow escape--
An infant disinterred and preserved by the father after having been
buried alive--Insecurity of life and property--Beauty of the surface
of the country, and richness of its foliage--Mahomdee district--State
and recent history of--Relative fertility of British and Oude soil--
Native notions of our laws and their administration--Of the value of
evidence in our Courts--Infanticide--Boys only saved--Girls destroyed
in Oude--The priests who give absolution for the crime abhorred by
the people of all other classes--Lands in our districts becoming more
and more exhausted from over-cropping--Probable consequences to the
Government and people of India--Political and social error of
considering land private property--Hakeem Mehndee and subsequent
managers of Mahomdee--Frauds on the King in charges for the keep of
animals--Kunojee Brahmins--Unsuccessful attempt to appropriate the
lands of weaker neighbours--Gokurnath, on the border of the Tarae--
The sakhoo or saul trees of the forest.

Lalta Sing, of the Nikomee Rajpoot tribe, whom I had lately an
opportunity of assisting, for his good services in arresting outlays
[outlaws ?] from our territories, has just been to pay his respects.
Our next encamping ground is to be on his estate of Kurheya and Para.
He tells me that very few families of his tribe now destroy their
female infants; that tradition ascribes the origin of this evil to the
practice of the Mahommedan emperors of Delhi of demanding daughters
in marriage from the Rajpoot princes of the country; that some of
them were too proud to comply with the demand, and too weak to resist
it in any other way than that of putting all their female infants to
death. This is not impossible. He says that he believes the
_Dhankuries_, whom I have described above to be really the only tribe
of Rajpoots among whom no family destroys its infant daughters in
Oude; that all tribes of Rajpoots get money with the daughters they
take from tribes a shade lower in caste, to whom they cannot give
theirs in return; and pay money with the daughters they give in
marriage to tribes a shade higher, who will not give their daughters
to them in return. The native collector of Shahabad, a gentlemanly
Mahommedan, came out two miles to pay his respects on my approach,
and we met on a large space of land, lying waste, while all around
was covered with rich crops. I asked, "Pray why is this land left
waste?" "It is, sir, altogether unproductive." "Why is this? It seems
to me to be just as good as the rest around, which produces such fine
crops." "It is called _khubtee_--slimy, and is said to be altogether
barren." "I assure you, sir," said Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, "that it is
good land, and capable of yielding good crops, under good tillage, or
it would not produce the fine grass you see upon it. You must not ask
men like this about the kinds and qualities of soils for they really
know nothing whatever about them: they are _city gentlemen's sons_,
who get into high places, and pass their lives in them without
learning anything but how to screw money out of such as we are, who
are born upon the soil, and depend upon its produce all our lives for
subsistence. Ask him, sir, whether either he or any of his ancestors
ever knew anything of the difference between one soil and another."

The collector acknowledged the truth of what the old man said, and
told me that he really knew nothing about the matter, and had merely
repeated what the people told him. This is true with regard to the
greater part of the local revenue officers employed in Oude. "One of
these city gentlemen, sir," said. Bukhtawar Sing, "when sent out as a
revenue collector, in Saadut Allee's time, was asked by his
assistants what they were to do with a crop of sugar-cane which had
been attached for balances, and was becoming too ripe, replied, '_Cut
it down, to be sure, and have it stacked!_' He did not know that
sugar-cane must, as soon as cut, be taken to the mill, or it spoils."
"I have heard of another," said the old Rusaldar Nubbee Buksh, "who,
after he entered upon his charge, asked the people about him to show
him the tree on which grew the fine _istamalee_* rice which they used
at Lucknow." "There is no question, sir," said Bukhtawar Sing, "that
is too absurd, for these cockney gentlemen to ask when they enter
upon such revenue charges as these. They are the aristocracy of towns
and cities, who are learned enough in books and court ceremonies and
intrigues, but utterly ignorant of country life, rural economy, and
agricultural industry."

[* The _istamalee_ rice is rice of fine quality, which has been kept
for some years before used. To be good, rice must be kept for some
years before used, and that only which has been so kept is called
_istamalee_ or _useable_.]

For a cantonment or civil station, the ground to the north of
Shahabad, on the left-hand side of the road leading to Mahomdee,
seems the best. It is a level plain, of a stiff soil formed of clay
and sand, and not very productive.

The country, from Sandee and Shahabad to the rivers Ganges and
Ramgunga, is one rich sheet of spring cultivation; and the estate of
Kuteearee, above described, is among the richest portions of this
sheet. The portions on which the richest crops now stand became waste
during the disorders which followed the expulsion of Runjeet Sing, in
the usual way, in 1837, and derived the usual benefit from the
salutary fallow. A stranger passing through such a sheet of rich
cultivation, without communing with the people, would little suspect
the fearful crimes that are every year committed upon it, from the
weakness and apathy of the Government, and the bad faith and bad
character of its officers and chief landholders. The land is tilled
in spite of all obstacles, because all depend upon its produce for
subsistence; but there is no indication of the beneficial
interference of the Government for the protection of life, property,
and character, and for the encouragement of industry and the display
of its fruits. The land is ploughed, and the seed sown, often by
stealth at night, in the immediate vicinity of a sanguinary contest
between the Government officers and the landholders. It is only when
the latter are defeated, and take to the jungles, or the Honourable
Company's districts, and commence their indiscriminate plunder, that
the cultivator ceases from his labours, and the lands are left waste.

Runjeet Sing two or three years ago seized upon the village of
Mulatoo, in his vicinity, to which he had no claim whatever, and he
has forcibly retained it. It had long paid Government ten thousand a-
year, but he has consented to pay only one thousand. Lands yielding
above nine thousand he has cut off from its rent-roll, and added to
those of his hereditary villages on the borders. Last year he seized
upon the village of Nudua, with a rent-roll of fourteen hundred
rupees, and he holds it with a party of soldiers and two guns. The
Amil lately sent out a person with a small force to demand the
Government dues; but they were driven back, as he pretends that he
got it in mortgage from Dumber Sing, who had taken a short lease of
that and other khalsa villages, and absconded as a defaulter; and
that he has purchased the lands from the cultivating proprietors, and
is, therefore, bound to pay no revenue whatever for them-to the King.
All defaulters and offenders who take refuge on his estate he
instigates to plunder, and provides with gangs, on condition of
getting the greater part of the booty. He thinks that he is sure of
shelter in the British territory, should he be driven from Oude; he
feels also sure of aid from other large landholders of the same class
in the neighbourhood.

_January_ 30, 1850.--Kurheya Para, twelve miles, over a plain of
excellent muteear soil, a good deal of which-is covered with jungle.
Para is a short distance from Kurheya, and our camp is midway between
the two villages. The boundary of the Sandee Palee and Mahomdee
districts we crossed about four miles from our present encampment.
This district, of Mahomdee was taken in contract by Hakeem Mehndee,
at three lacs and eleven thousand rupees a-year, in 1804 A.D., and in
a few years he brought it into full tillage, and made it yield above
seven lacs. It has been falling off ever since it was taken from him,
and now yields only between three and four lacs. The jungle is
studded with large peepul-trees, which are all shorn of their small
branches and leaves. The landholders and cultivators told me that
they were taken off by the cowherds who grazed their buffaloes,
bullocks, and cows in these jungles; that they formed their chief
and, in the cold season, their best food, as the leaves of the
peepul-tree were supposed to give warmth to the stomach, and to
increase the quantity of the milk; that the cowherds were required to
pay nothing for the privilege of grazing their cattle in these
jungles, by the person to whom the lands belonged, because they
enriched the soil with their manure, and all held small portions of
land under tillage, for which they paid rent; that they had the free
use of the peepul-trees in the jungles, but were not permitted to
touch those on the cultivated lands and in villages.

White ants are so numerous in the argillaceous muteear soil, in which
their food abounds, that it is really dangerous to travel on an
elephant, or _swiftly_ on horseback, over a new road cut or enlarged
through any portion of it that has remained long untilled. The two
fore legs of my elephant went down yesterday morning into a deep pit
made by them, but concealed by the new road, which has been made over
it for the occasion of my visit near Shahabad, and it was with some
difficulty that he extricated them. We have had several accidents of
the same kind since we came out. In cutting a new road they cut
through large ant-hills, and leave no trace of the edifices or the
gulf below them, which the little insects have made in gathering
their food and raising their lofty habitation. They are not found in
the bhoor or oosur soils, and in comparatively small numbers in the
doomuteea or lighter soil, but they abound In the muteear soil in
proportion to its richness. Cultivation, where the crops are
irrigated, destroys them, and the only danger is in passing over new
roads cut through jungle, or lands that have remained long untilled,
or along the sides of old pathways, from which these land-marks have
been removed in hastily widening them for wheeled carriages.

A Brahmin cultivator, whose cart we had been obliged to press into
our own service for this stage, came along with me almost all the
way. He said, "The spring crops of this season, sir, are no doubt
very fine; but in days of yore, before the curse of _Bhurt Jee_ (the
brother of Ram) came upon the landholders and cultivators of Oude,
they were much finer; when he set out from his capital of Ajoodheea
for the conquest of Cylone, he left the administration to his
brother, Bhurt Jee, who made a liberal settlement of the land tax. He
put a ghurra or pitcher, with a round bottom, turned upside down,
into every half acre (beegha) of the cultivated land, and required
the landholder or cultivator to leave upon it, as much of the grain
produced as the rounded bottom would retain, which could not be one
ten-thousandth part of the produce; he lived economically, and
collected at this rate during the many years that his brother was
absent. But when his brother returned and approached the boundary of
his dominions, he met hosts of landholders and cultivators clamouring
against the _rapacity and oppression_ of his brother's
administration. The humanity of Ram's disposition was shocked, sir,
at all this, and he became angry with his brother before he heard
what he had to say. When Bhurt had satisfied his brother that he had
not taken from them the thousandth part of what he had a right to
take, and Ram had, indeed, taken from them himself, he _sighed_ at
the wickedness and ingratitude of the agricultural classes of Oude;
and the baneful effects of this sad _sigh_ has been upon us ever
since, sir, in spite of all we can do to avert them. In order to have
the blessing of God upon our labours, it is necessary for us to
fulfil strictly all the responsibilities under which we hold and till
the land; first, to pay punctually the just demands of Government;
second, all the wages of the labour employed; third, all the
charities to the poor; fourth, all the offerings to our respective
tutelary gods; fifth, a special offering to Mahabeer, alias Hunooman.
These payments and offerings, sir, must all be made before the
cultivator can safely take the surplus produce to his store-room for
sale and consumption."

Old Bukhtawar Sing, who was riding by my side, said, "A conscientious
farmer or cultivator, sir, when he finds that his field yields a
great deal more than the usual returns, that is when it yields twenty
instead of the usual return of ten, gives the whole in charity, lest
evil overtake him from his unusual good luck and inordinate

I asked the Brahmin cultivator why all these offerings were required
to be made by cultivators in particular? He replied, "There is, sir,
no species of tillage in which the lives of numerous insects are not
sacrificed, and it is to atone for these numerous murders, and the
ingratitude to Bhurt, that cultivators, in particular, are required
to make so many offerings;" and, he added, "much sin, sir, is no
doubt brought upon the land by the murder of so many female infants.
I believe, sir, that all the tribes of Rajpoots murder them; and I do
not think than one in ten is suffered to live. If the family or
village priest did not consent to eat with the parents after the
murder, no such murders could take place, sir; for none, even of
their nearest relatives, will ever eat with them till the Brahmin has
done so."

The bearers of the tonjohn in which I sat, said, "We do not believe,
sir, that one girl in twenty among the Rajpoots is preserved. Davey
Buksh, the Gonda Rajah, is, we believe, the only one of the Biseyn
Rajpoot tribe who preserves his daughters;* his father did the same,
and his sister, who was married to the Bhudoreea Rajah of Mynpooree,
came to see him lately on the occasion of a pilgrimage to Ajoodheea,
on the death of her husband; of the six Kulhuns families of
Chehdwara, two only preserve their daughters--Surnam Sing of Arta,
and Jeskurn of Kumeear; but whether their sons or successors in the
estates will do the same is uncertain." These bearers are residents
of that district.

[* There are a great many families of the Biseyn Rajpoots who never
destroy their infant daughters.]

I may here remark, that oak-trees in the hills of the Himmelah chain
are disfigured in the same manner, and for the same purpose, as the
peepul and banyan trees are here; their small branches and leaves are
torn off to supply fodder for bullocks and other animals. The ilex of
the hills has not, however, in its nakedness the majesty of the
peepul and banyan of the plains, though neither of them can be said
to be "when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most."

_January_ 31, 1850.--Puchgowa, north-east, twelve miles over a plain
of doomuteea soil, a good deal of which is out of tillage at present.
On the road we came through several neat villages, the best of which
was occupied exclusively by the families of the Kunojeea Brahmin
proprietors, and the few persons of inferior caste who ploughed their
lands for them, as they are a shade too high in caste to admit of
their holding their own ploughs. They are, however, very worthy
people, and seemed very much pleased at being put so much at their
ease in a talk with the great man about their own domestic and rural
economy. They told me, that they did not permit Rajpoots to reside in
or have anything to do with their village.

"Why?" I asked.--"Because, sir, if they once get a footing among us,
they are, sooner or later, sure to turn us all out." "How?"--"They
get lands by little and little at lease, soon refuse to pay rent,
declare the lands to be their own, collect bad characters for
plunder, join the Rajpoots of their own clan in all the villages
around in their enterprises, take to the jungles on the first
occasion, of a dispute, attack, plunder, and burn the village, murder
us and our families, and soon get the estate for themselves, on their
own terms from the local authorities, who are wearied out by the loss
of revenue arising from their depredations; our safety, sir, depends
upon our keeping entirely aloof from them."

Under a government so weak, the only men who prosper seem to be these
landholders of the military classes who are strong in their union,
clan feeling, courage, and ferocity. The villages here are numerous
though not large, and by far the greater part are occupied by
Rajpoots of the Nikomee tribe.

The Amil of the Mahomdee district, Krishun Sahae, had come out so far
as Para to meet me, and have my camp supplied. He had earned a good
reputation as a native collector of long standing in the Shajehanpore
district, under Mr. Buller; but being ambitious to rise more rapidly
than he could hope to do, under our settled government, he came to
Lucknow with a letter of introduction from Mr. Buller to the
Resident, Colonel Richmond, paid his court to the Durbur, got
appointed Amil of the Mahomdee district, under the _amanee_ system,
paid his nazuranas on his investiture, in October last, and entered
upon his charge. A few days ago it pleased the minister to appoint to
his place Aboo Toorab Khan, the nephew and son-in-law of Moonowur-ood
Dowla; and orders were sent out immediately, by a camel-messenger, to
the commandants of the corps on duty, with Krishun Sahae, to seize
and send him, his family, and all his relations and dependents, with
all his property to be found upon them, to Lucknow. The wakeel, whom
he kept at Court for such occasions, heard of the order for the
supercession and arrest, and forthwith sent off a note to his master
by the fastest foot-messenger he could get. The camel-messenger found
that the Amil had left Mahomdee, and gone out two stages to Para, to
meet the Resident. He waited to deliver his message to the
commandants and subordinate civil officers of the district, and see
that they secured all the relatives, dependents, and property of the
Amil that could be found. The foot-messenger, more wise, went on, and
delivered his letter to Krishun Sahae; at Para, on the evening of
Tuesday the 29th. He ordered his elephant very quietly, and mounting,
told the driver to take him to a village on the road to Shajehanpoor.

On reaching the village about midnight, the driver asked him whither
he was going--"I am flying from my enemies," said Krishun Sahae; "and
we must make all haste, or we shall be overtaken before we reach the
boundary." "But," said the driver, "my house and family are at
Lucknow, and the one will be pulled to the ground and the other put
into gaol if I fly with you." Krishun Sahae drew out a pistol and
threatened to shoot him if he did not drive on as told. They were
near a field of sugar-cane, and the driver hedged away towards it,
without the Amil's perceiving his intention. When they got near the
field the elephant dashed in among the cane to have a feast; and the
driver in his seeming effort to bring him out, fell off and
disappeared under the high cane. The Amil did all he could to get out
his elephant, but the animal felt that he was no longer in danger of
severe treatment from above, and had a very comfortable meal before
him in the fine ripe cane, and would not move. The poor Amil was
obliged to descend, and make all possible haste on foot across the
border, attended by one servant who had accompanied him in his
flight. The driver ran to the village and got the people to join him
in the pursuit of his master, saying that he was making off with a
good deal of the King's money. With an elephant load of the King's
money in prospect, they made all the haste they could; but the poor
Amil got safely over the border into British territory. They found
the elephant dining very comfortably on the sugar-cane. After abusing
the driver and all his female relations for deluding them with the
hope of a rich booty, they permitted him to take the empty elephant
to the new Amil at Mahomdee. News of all this reached my camp last

I omitted to mention that, at Busora on the 27th, a Rajpoot
landholder of the Sombunsie tribe, came to my camp with a petition
regarding a mortgage, and mentioned that he had a daughter, now two
years of age; that when she was born he was out in his fields, and
the females of the family put her into an earthen pot, buried her in
the floor of the apartment, where the mother lay, and lit a fire over
the grave; that he made all haste home as soon as he heard of the
birth of a daughter, removed the fire and earth from the pot, and
took out his child. She was still living, but two of her fingers
which had not been sufficiently covered were a good deal burnt. He
had all possible care taken of her, and she still lives, and both he
and his wife are very fond of her. Finding that his tale interested
me, he went home for the child; but his village was far off, and he
has not been able to overtake me. He had given no orders to have her
preserved, as his wife was confined sooner than he expected; but the
family took it for granted that she was to be destroyed, and in
running home to preserve her he acted on the impulse of the moment.
The practice of destroying female infants is so general among this
tribe, that a family commonly destroys the daughter as soon as born,
when the father is from home, and has given no special orders about
it, taking it to be his wish as a matter of course.

Several respectable landholders of the Chouhan, Nikomee, and other
tribe of Rajpoots, were talking to me yesterday evening, and as they
were connected by marriage with Rajpoot families of the same and
higher clans in the British territories, I asked them whether some
plan could not be devised to suppress the evil in Oude, as it had
been suppressed there; for the disorders which prevailed seemed to me
to be only a visitation from above for such an all-pervading sin.
They told me that there would be little difficulty in putting down
this system under an honest and strong Government that would secure
rights, enforce duties, and protect life and property, as in the
British territories. Atrocious and cruel as this crime is in Oude, it
is hardly more so than that which not long ago prevailed in France
and other nations of Europe, of burying their daughters alive in
nunneries in order to gratify the same family pride.

It is painful to me to walk out of my tent of an evening, for I have
every day large crowds seeking redress for grievous wrongs, for which
I see no hope of redress: men and women, who have had their dearest
relatives murdered, their houses burnt down, their whole property
taken away, their lands seized upon, their crops destroyed by
ruffians residing in the same or neighbouring villages, and actually
in the camp of the Amil, without the slightest fear of being punished
or made to surrender any portion of what they have taken. The
Government authorities are too weak, even to enforce the payment of
the Government demand, and have not the means to seize or punish
offenders of any kind, if they have the inclination. In some
districts they not only acquiesce in the depredations of these gangs
of robbers, but act in collusion with their leaders, in order to get
their aid in punishing defaulters or pretended defaulters, among the
landholders. They murder the landholders, and as many as possible of
their families, and as a reward for their services the local
authorities make over their lands to them at reduced rates.

The Nazim of Sandee Palee told me on taking leave, that he had only
two wings of Nujeeb Regiments with him, one of which was fit for some
service, and in consequence, spread over the district on detached
duties. The other was with him, but out of the five hundred, for
which he had to issue monthly pay, he should not be able to get ten
men to follow him on any emergency. They are obliged to court and
conciliate the strong and reckless who prey upon the weak and
industrious; and in consequence become despised and detested by the
people. I feel like one moving among a people afflicted with
incurable diseases, who crowd around him in hope, and are sent away
in despair. I try to make the local authorities exert themselves in
behalf of the sufferers; but am told that they have already done
their utmost in vain; that if they seize robbers and murderers and
send them to Lucknow, they are sure to purchase their enlargement and
return to wreak their vengeance on them and on all who have aided
them in their arrest and conviction; that if they attempt to seize
one of the larger landholders, who refuses to pay the Government
demand, seizes upon the lands of his weaker neighbours, and murders
and robs them indiscriminately, he removes across the Ganges, into
one of the Honourable Company's districts, and thence sends his
myrmidons to plunder and lay waste the whole country, till he is
invited back by a weak and helpless Government upon his own terms;
that formerly British troops were employed in support of the local
authorities against offenders of this class; but that of late years
all such aid and support have been withdrawn from the Oude
Government, while the offenders find all they require from the
subjects and police authorities of the bordering British districts.

The country we passed over to-day, between Para and Puchgowa, is a
plain, beautifully studded with groves and fine solitary trees, in
great perfection. The bandha or mistletoe, upon the mhowa and mango
trees, is in full blossom, and adds much to their beauty; the soil is
good, and the surface everywhere capable of tillage, with little
labour or outlay; for the jungle where it prevails the most is of
grass, and the small palas-trees (butea-frondosa) which may be-easily
uprooted. The whole surface of Oude is, indeed, like a gentleman's
park of the most beautiful description, as far as the surface of the
ground and the foliage go. Five years of good Government would make
it one of the most beautiful parterres in nature. To plant a large
grove, as it ought to be, a Hindoo thinks it necessary to have the
following trees:--

The banyan, or burgut; peepul, ficus religiosa; mango; tamarind;
jamun, eugenia jambolana; bele, cratoeva marmelos; pakur, ficus
venosa; mhowa, bassia latifolia; oula, phyllanthus emblica; goolur,
figus glomerata; kytha, feronia elephantum; kuthal, or jack;
moulsaree, mimusops elengi; kuchnar, bauhinea variegata; neem, melia
azadirachta; bere, fizyphus jujuba; horseradish, sahjuna; sheeshum,
dalbergia sisa; toon, adrela toona; and chundun, or sandal.

Where he can get or afford to plant only a small space, he must
confine himself to the more sacred and generally useful of these
trees; and they are the handsomest in appearance. Nothing can be more
beautiful than one of those groves surrounded by fields teeming with
rich spring crops, as they are at present; and studded here and there
with fine single banyan, peepul, tamarind, mhowa, and cotton trees,
which, in such positions, attain their highest perfection, as if
anxious to display their greatest beauties, where they can be seen to
the most advantage. Each tree has there free space for its roots,
which have the advantage of the water supplied to the fields around
in irrigation, and a free current of air, whose moisture is condensed
upon its leaves and stems by their cooler temperature, while its
carbonic acid and ammonia are absorbed and appropriated to their
exclusive use. Its branches, unincommoded by the proximity of other
trees, spread out freely, and attain their utmost size and beauty.

I may here mention what are the spring crops which now in a
luxuriance not known for many years, from fine falls of rain in due
season, embellish the surface over which we are passing :--

_Spring Crops_.--Wheat; barley; gram; arahur, of two kinds (pulse);
musoor (pulse); alsee (linseed); surson (a species of fine mustard);
moong (pulse); peas, of three kinds; mustard; sugar-cane, of six
kinds; koosum (safflower); opium; and palma christi.

_February_ 1, 1850.--Mahomdee, eleven miles, over a level plain
of muteear soil of the best quality, well supplied with groves and
single trees of the finest kind; but a good deal of the land is out
of tillage, and covered with the rank grass, called garur, the roots
of which form the fragrant khus, for tatties, in the hot winds; and
dhak (butea frondosa) jungle. Several villages, through and near
which we passed, belong to Brahmin zumeendars, who were driven away
last year by the rapacity of the contractor, Mahomed Hoseyn, a
senseless oppressor, who was this year superseded by a very good
officer and worthy man, who was driven out with disgrace, as
described yesterday, while engaged in inviting back the absconded
cultivators to these deserted villages, and providing them with the
means of bringing their lands again into tillage. Hoseyn Allee had
seized and sold all their plough-bullocks, and other agricultural
stock, between the autumn and spring harvests, together with all the
spring crops, as they became ripe, to make good the increased rate of
revenue demanded; and they were all turned out beggars, to seek
subsistence among their relatives and friends, in our bordering
district of Shajehanpoor. The rank grass and jungle are full of
neelgae and deer of all kinds; and the cowherds, who remain to graze
their cattle on the wide plains, left waste, find it very difficult
to preserve their small fields of corn from their trespass. They are
said to come in herds of hundreds around these fields during the
night, and to be frequently followed by tigers, several of which were
killed last year, by Captain Hearsey, of the Frontier Police. Waste
lands, more distant from the great Tarae forest, are free from

I had a long talk with the Brahmin communities of two of these
villages, who had been lately invited back from the Shajehanpoor
district, by Krishun Sahae, and resettled on their lands. They are a
mild, sensible, and most respectable body, whom a sensible ruler
would do all in his power to protect and encourage; but these are the
class; of landholders and cultivators whom the reckless governors of
districts, under the Oude Government, most grievously oppress. They
told me--"that nothing could be better than the administration of the
Shajehanpoor district by the present collector and magistrate, Mr.
Buller, whom all classes loved and respected; that the whole surface
of the country was under tillage, and the poorest had as much
protection as the highest in the land; that the whole district was,
indeed, a garden." "But the returns, are they equal to those from
your lands in Oude?"--"Nothing like it, sir; they are not half as
good; nor can the cultivator afford to pay half the rate that we pay
when left to till our lands in peace." "And why is this?"--"Because,
sir, ours is sometimes left waste to recover its powers, as you now
see all the land around you, while theirs has no rest" "But do they
not alternate their crops, to relieve the soil?"--"Yes, sir, but this
is not enough: ours receive manure from the herds of cattle and deer
that graze upon it while fallow: and we have greater stores of manure
than they have, to throw over it when we return and resume our
labours. We alternate our crops, at the same time, as much as they
do; and plough and cross-plough our lands more." "And where would you
rather live--there, protected as the people are from all violence, or
here, exposed as you are to all manner of outrage and extortion."--
"We would rather live here, sir, if we could; and we were glad to
come back." "And why? There the landholders and cultivators are sure
that no man will be permitted to exact a higher rate of rent or
revenue than that which they voluntarily bind themselves to pay
during the period of a long lease; while here you are never sure that
the terms of your lease will be respected for a single season."--
"That is all true, sir, but we cannot understand the '_aen_ and
_kanoon_' (the rules and regulations), nor should we ever do so; for
we found that our relations, who had been settled there for many
generations, were just as ignorant of them as ourselves. Your Courts
of justice (adawluts) are the things we most dread, sir; and we are
glad to escape from them as soon as we can, in spite of all the evils
we are exposed to on our return to the place of our birth. It is not
the fault of the European gentlemen who preside over them, for they
are anxious to do, and have justice done, to all; but, in spite of
all their efforts, the wrong-doer often escapes, and the sufferer is
as often punished."

"The truth, sir, is seldom told in these Courts. There they think of
nothing but the number of witnesses, as if all were alike; here, sir,
we look to the quality. When a man suffers wrong, the wrong-doer is
summoned before the elders, or most respectable men of his village or
clan; and if he denies the charge and refuses redress, he is told to
bathe, put his hand upon the peepul-tree, and declare aloud his
innocence. If he refuses, he is commanded to restore what he has
taken, or make suitable reparation for the injury he has done; and if
he refuses to do this, he is punished by the odium of all, and his
life becomes miserable. A man dares not, sir, put his hand upon that
sacred tree and deny the truth--the gods sit in it and know all
things; and the offender dreads their vengeance. In your adawluts,
sir, men do not tell the truth so often as they do among their own
tribes, or village communities--they perjure themselves in all manner
of ways, without shame or dread; and there are so many men about
these Courts, who understand the 'rules and regulations,' and are so
much interested in making truth appear to be falsehood, and falsehood
truth, that no man feels sure that right will prevail in them in any
case. The guilty think they have just as good a chance of escape as
the innocent. Our relations and friends told us, that all this
confusion of right and wrong, which bewildered them, arose from the
multiplicity of the 'rules and regulations,' which threw all the
power into the hands of bad men, and left the European gentlemen

"But you know that the crime of murdering female infants, which
pervades the whole territory of Oude, and brings the curse of God
upon it, has been suppressed in the British territory, in spite of
these '_aens and kanoons?_'"--"True, sir, it has been put down in
your bordering districts; but the Rajpoot families who reside in them
manage to escape your vigilance, and keep up the evil practice. They
intermarry with Rajpoot families in Oude, and the female infants,
born of the daughters they give in marriage to Oude families, are
destroyed in Oude without fear or concealment; while the daughters
they receive in marriage, from Oude families, are sent over the
border into Oude, when near their confinement, on the pretence of
visiting their relations. If they give birth to boys, they bring them
back with them into your districts; but if they give birth to girls,
they are destroyed in the same manner, and no questions are ever
asked about them." "Do you ever eat or drink with Rajpoot parents who
destroy their female infants?"--"Never, sir! we are Brahmins, but we
can take water in a brass vessel from the hands of a Rajpoot, and we
do so when his family is unstained with this crime; but nothing would
ever tempt us to drink water from the hands of one who permitted his
daughters to be murdered." "Do you ever eat with the village or
family priest who has given absolution to parents who have permitted
their daughters to be murdered, by eating in the room where the
murder has been perpetrated?"--"Never, sir; we abhor him as a
participator in the crime; and nothing would ever induce one of us to
eat or associate with him: he takes all the sin upon his own head by
doing so, and is considered by us as an outcast from the tribe, and
accursed! It is they who keep up this fearful usage. Tigers and
wolves cherish their offspring, and are better than these Rajpoots,
who out of family or clan pride, destroy theirs. As soon as their
wives give birth to sons, they fire off guns, give largely in
charity, make offerings to shrines, and rejoice in all manner of
ways; but when they give birth to poor girls, they bury them alive
without pity, and a dead silence prevails in the house; it is no
wonder, sir, that you say that the curse of God is upon the land in
which such sins prevail!"

The quality of testimony, no doubt, like that of every other
commodity, deteriorates under a system, which renders the good of no
more value in exchange than the bad. The formality of our Courts
here, as everywhere else, tends to impair, more or less, the quality
of what they receive. The simplicity of Courts, composed of little
village communities and elders, tends, on the contrary, to improve
the quality of the testimony they get; and in India, it is found to
be best in the isolated hamlets of hills and forests, where men may
be made to do almost anything rather than _tell a lie_. A Marhatta
pandit, in the valley of the Nerbudda, once told me, that it was
almost impossible to teach a wild Gond of the hills and jungles the
_occasional_ value of a lie! It is the same with the Tharoos and
Booksas, who are, almost exclusively the cultivators of the Oude
Tarae forest, and with the peasantry of the Himmalaya chain of
mountains, before they have come much in contact with people of the
plains, and become subject to the jurisdiction of our Courts. These
Courts are, everywhere, our _weak point_ in the estimation of our
subjects; and they should be, everywhere, simplified to meet the
wants and wishes of so simple a people.

That the lands, under the settled Government of the Honourable East
India Company, are becoming more and more deteriorated by
overcropping is certain; and an Indian statesman will naturally
inquire, what will be the probable consequence to the people and the
Government? To the people, the consequence must be, a rise in the
price of land produce, proportioned to the increased cost of
producing and bringing to market what is required for consumption.
The price in the market must always be sufficient to cover the cost
of producing, and bringing what is required from the poorest and most
distant lands to which that market is at any time obliged to have
recourse for supply; and as these lands deteriorate in their powers
of fertility, recourse must be had to lands more distant, or more
cost must be incurred in manure, irrigation, &c., to make these,
already had recourse to, to produce the same quantity, or both. The
price in the market must rise to meet the increased outlay required,
or that outlay will not be made; and the market cannot be supplied.

As men have to pay more for the Land produce they require, they will
have less to lay out in other things; and as they cannot do without
the land produce, they must be satisfied with less of other things,
till their incomes increase to meet the necessity for increased
outlay. People will get this increase in proportion as their labour,
services, talents, or acquirements are more or less indispensable to
the society; and the price of other things will diminish, as the cost
of producing and bringing them to market diminishes, with
improvements in manufactures, and in the facilities of transport. No
very serious injury to the people of our territories is, therefore,
to be apprehended from the inevitable deterioration in the natural
powers of the soil, under our settled Government, which gives so much
security to life, property, and character, and so much encouragement
to industry.

The consequence to the Government will be less serious than might at
first appear. Under a system of limited settlements of the land-
revenue, such as prevail over all our dominions, except in Bengal,
the Government is in reality the landlord; and our land-revenue is in
reality land-rent.* We alienate a portion of that rent for limited
periods in favour of those with whom we make such settlements, and
take all the rest ourselves. On an average, perhaps, our Government
takes one-sixth of the gross produce of the land; and the persons,
with whom the settlements are made, take another sixth. The net rent,
which the Government and they divide equally between them, may be
taken, on an average, at one-third of the gross produce of the land.
The cultivator would, I believe, always be glad to take and cultivate
land, on an average, on condition of giving one-third of the gross
produce, or the value of one-third, to be divided between the
Government and its lessee; and the lessee will always consider
himself fortunate if he gets one-half of this third, to cover the
risk and cost of management.

* I believe our Government committed a great _political_ and _social_
error, when it declared all the land to be the property of the
lessees: and all questions regarding it to be cognizable by Judicial
Courts. It would have been better for the people, as well as the
Government, had all such questions been left to the Fiscal and
Revenue Courts. There is the same regular series of these Courts,
from the Tuhseeldar to the Revenue Sudder Board, as of the Judicial
Courts, from the Moonsiff to the Judicial Sudder Board; and they are
all composed of the same class of persons, with the same character
and motives to honest exertion. Why force men to run the gauntlet
through both series? It tends to make the Government to be considered
as a rapacious tax-gatherer, instead of a liberal landlord, which it
really is; and to foster the growth of a host of native pettifogging
attorneys, to devour, like white ants, the substance of the
landholders of all classes and grades.

Where the soil of a particular village in a district deteriorates, an
immediate reduction in the assessment must be given, or the lands
will be deserted. If the Government does not consent to such a
reduction, the lessee must sustain the whole burthen, for he cannot
shift it off upon the cultivators, without driving them from the
lands. The lessee may sustain the whole burthen for one or two years;
but if the officers of Government attempt to make him sustain it
longer, they drive him after his cultivators, and the land is left
waste. I have seen numerous estates of villages and some districts
made waste by such attempts in India. I have seen land in such
estates, which, when unexhausted, yielded, on an average, twelve
returns of the seed, without either manure or irrigation, and paid a
rent of twenty shillings an acre, become so exhausted by overcropping
in a few years as to yield only three or four returns, and unable to
pay four shillings an acre--indeed, unable to pay any rent at all.
The cultivator, by degrees, ceases to sow the more exhausting and
profitable crops, and is at last obliged to have recourse to manure,
or desert his land altogether; but no manure will enable him to get
the same quantity of produce as he got before, while what he gets
sells at the same rate in the market. He can, therefore, no longer
pay the same rate of rent to Government and its lessee. He has got a
less quantity of produce, and it has cost him much more to raise it,
while it continues to sell at the same price in the market.

But when the lands of a whole country, or a large extent of country,
deteriorate in the same manner, and all cultivators are obliged to do
the same thing, the price of land produce must rise in the markets,
so as to pay the additional costs of supply. All but the poorest and
most distant to which these markets must have recourse for supply, at
any particular time, will pay rent, and pay it at a rate proportioned
to their greater fertility or nearer proximity to the markets. Such
Markets must pay for land produce a price sufficient to cover the
costs of producing and bringing it from the poorest and most distant
lands, to which they are obliged at any particular time to have
recourse for supply. All land produce of the same quality must, at
the same time and place, sell in the market at the same price; and
all that is over and above the cost of producing and bringing it to
market will go to the proprietors of the land, that is, to the
Government and its lessees. The poorest and most distant land, to
which any market may have recourse at any particular time, may pay no
rent, because the price is no more than sufficient to pay the cost of
producing and bringing their supply to that market; but all that is
less poor and distant will pay rent, because the price which their
produce brings in that market will be more than sufficient to pay the
cost of producing and bringing their supply to that market.

The increase in the price of land produce which must take place, as
the lands become generally exhausted by overcropping, will, probably,
prevent any great falling off in the money rate of rents and
revenues, from the land in our Indian possessions; and with the
improvements in manufactures, and in the facilities of transport,
which must tend to reduce the price of other articles, that money
will purchase more of them in the market; and the establishments
which have to be maintained out of these rents and revenues may not
become more costly. Government and its lessees may have the same
incomes in money, and the greater price, they and their
establishments are obliged to pay for land produce may be compensated
by the lesser price they will have to pay for other things.

As facilities for irrigation are extended and improved in wells and
canals, new elements of fertility will be supplied to the surface, in
the soluble salts contained in their waters. The well-waters will
bring these salts from great depths, and the canal-waters will
collect them as they flow along, or percolate through, the earth; and
as they rise, by capillary attraction, they will convey them to the
surface, where they are required for tillage. The atmosphere, in
water, ammonia, and carbonic-acid gas will continue to supply plants
with the oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon which they require
from it; and judicious selection and supply of manure will provide
the soil with those elements in which it happens to be deficient.
Peace, security, instruction, and a due encouragement to industry,
will, it may be hoped, secure to the people all that they require
from our Government, and to our Government all that it can fairly
require from the people.

The soil of Mahomdee is as fine as that of any part of Oude that I
have seen; and the soil of Oude, generally, is equal to the best that
I have seen in any part of India. It is all of the kinds above
described--muteear (argillaceous), doomuteea (light), bhoor (sandy),
and oosur (barren), as far as I have seen. In some parts, the muteear
is more productive than in others, and the same may be said of all
the other denominations of soil. In the poorer parts of the muteear,
the stiff clay, devoid of decayed vegetable and animal matter, seems
to superabound, as the sand does in the lightest or poorer portions
of the soil, called doomuteea, which runs into bhoor. The oosur, or
soil rendered unproductive by a superabundance of substances not
suitable to the growth of plants, seems to be common to both kinds.
In all soils, except the oosur, fine trees grow, and good crops are
produced under good tillage; but in the muteear, the outlay to
produce them is the least. It is an error to suppose that a soil,
even of pure sand, must be absolutely barren. Quartz-sand commonly
contains some of the inorganic substances necessary to plants--
silica, lime, potash, alumina, oxide of iron, magnesia, &c.--and they
are rendered soluble, and fit for the use of plants by atmospheric
air and water, impregnated with carbonic-acid gas, as all water is
more or less. The only thing required from the hand of man, besides
water, to render them cultivable, is vegetable or animal substances,
to supply them, as they decay or decompose, with organic acids.

The late Hakeem Mehndee, took the contract of the Mahomdee district,
as already stated, in the year A.D. 1804, when it was in its present
bad state, at 3,11,000 rupees a-year; and he held it till the year
1819, or for sixteen years. He had been employed in the Azimgurh
district, under Boo Allee Hakeem, the contractor; and during the
negotiations for the transfer of that district, with the other
territories to the British Government, which took place in 1801; he
lost his place, and returned to Lucknow, where he paid his court to
the then Dewan, or Chancellor of the Exchequer, who offered him the
contract of the Mahomdee district, at three lacs and eleven thousand
rupees a-year, on condition of his depositing in the Treasury a
security bond for thirty-two thousand rupees. There had been a
liaison between him and a beautiful dancing-girl, named Peeajoo, who
had saved a good deal of money. She advanced the money, and Hakeem
Mehndee deposited the bond, and got the contract. The greater part of
the district was then, as now, a waste; and did not yield more than
enough to cover the Government demand, gratuities to courtiers, and
cost of management. The Hakeem remained to support his influence at
Court, while his brother, Hadee Allee Khan, resided at Mahomdee, and
managed the district. The Hakeem and his fair friend were married,
and lived happily together till her death, which took place before
that of her husband, while she was on a pilgrimage to Mecca. While
she lived, he married no other woman; but on her death he took to
himself another, who survived him; but he had no child by either. His
vast property was left to Monowur-od Dowlah, the only son of his
brother, Hadee Allee Khan, and to his widow and dependents. The
district improved rapidly under the care of the two brothers; and, in
a few years, yielded them about seven lacs of rupees a-year. The
Government demand increased with the rent-roll to the extent of four
lacs of rupees a-year. This left a large income for Hakeem Mehndee
and his family, who had made the district a garden, and gained the
universal respect and affection of the people.

In the year 1807, Hakeem Mehndee added, to the contract of Mahomdee,
that of the adjoining district of Khyrabad, at five lacs of rupees a-
year, making his contract nine lacs. In 1816, he added the contract
for the Bahraetch district, at seven lacs and seventy-five thousand;
but he resigned this in 1819, after having held it for two years,
with no great credit to himself. In 1819, he lost the contract for
Mahomdee and Khyrabad, from the jealousy of the prime minister, Aga
Meer. In April 1818, the Governor-General the Marquess of Hastings
passed through his district of Khyrabad, on his way to the Tarae
forest, on a sporting excursion, after the Marhatta war. Hakeem
Mehndee attended him during this excursion, and the Governor-General
was so much pleased with his attentions, courteous manners, and
sporting propensities, and treated him with so much consideration and
kindness, that the minister took the alarm, and determined to get rid
of so formidable a rival. He in consequence made the most of the
charge preferred against him, of the murder of Amur Sing; and
demanded an increase of five lacs of rupees a-year, or fourteen lacs
of rupees a-year, instead of nine. This Hakeem Mehndee would not
consent to give; and Shekh Imam Buksh was, in 1819, sent to supersede
him, as a temporary arrangement.

In 1820, Poorun Dhun, and Govurdhun Dass, merchants of Lucknow, took
the contract of the two districts at twelve lacs of rupees a-year, or
an increase of three lacs; and from that time, under a system of
rack-renting, these districts have been falling off. Mahomdee is now
in a worse state than Khyrabad, because it has had the bad luck to
get a worse set of contractors. Hakeem Mehndee retired with his
family, first to Shajehanpoor, and then to Futtehgurh, on the Ganges,
and resided there, with his family, till June 1830, when he was
invited back by Nusseer-do Deen Hyder, to assume the office of prime
minister. He held the office till August 1832, when he was removed by
the intrigues of the Kumboos, Taj-od Deen Hoseyn, and Sobhan Allee
Khan, who persuaded the King that he was trying to get him removed
from the throne, by reporting to the British Government the murder of
some females, which had, it is said, actually taken place in the
palace. Hakeem Mehndee was invited from his retirement by Mahomed
Allee Shah, and again appointed minister in 1837; but he died three
months after, on the 24th of December, 1837.

During the thirty years which have elapsed since Hakeem Mehndee lost
the contract of Mahomdee, there have been no less than seventeen
governors, fifteen of whom have been contractors; and the district
has gradually declined from what it was, when he left it, to what it
was when he took it--that is from a rent-roll of seven lacs of rupees
a-year, under which all the people were happy and prosperous, to one
of three, under which all the people are wretched. The manager,
Krishun Sahae, who has been treated as already described, would, in a
few years, have made it what it was when the Hakeem left it, had he
been made to feel secure in his tenure of office, and properly
encouraged and supported. He had, in the three months he had charge,
invited back from our bordering districts hundreds of the best
classes of landholders and cultivators, who had been driven off by
the rapacity of his predecessor, re-established them in their
villages and set them to work in good spirit, to restore the lands
which had lain waste from the time they deserted them; and induced
hundreds to convert to sugar-cane cultivation the lands which they
had destined for humbler crops, in the assurance, of the security
which they were to enjoy under his rule. The one class tells me, they
must suspend all labours upon the waste lands till they can learn the
character of his successor; and the other, that they must content
themselves with the humbler crops till they can see whether the
richer and more costly ones will be safe from his grasp, or that of
the agents, whom he may employ to manage the district for him. No man
is safe for a moment under such a Government, either in his person,
his character, his office, or his possession; and with such a feeling
of insecurity among all classes, it is impossible for a country to

[* Krishun Sahae has been restored, but does not feel secure in his
tenure of office.]

I may here mention one among the numerous causes of the decline of
the district. The contract for it was held for a year and half, in
A.D. 1847-48, by Ahmed Allee. Feeling insecure in his tenure of
office, he wanted to make as much as possible out of things as they
were, and resumed Guhooa, a small rent-free village, yielding four
hundred rupees a-year, held by Bahadur Sing, the tallookdar of
Peepareea, who resides at Pursur. He had recourse to the usual mode
of indiscriminate murder and plunder, to reduce Ahmed Allee to terms.
At the same time, he resumed the small village of Kombee, yielding
three hundred rupees a-year, held rent-free by Bhoder Sing,
tallookdar of Magdapoor, who resided in Koombee; and, in consequence,
he united his band of marauders to that of Bahadur Sing; and together
they plundered and burnt to the ground some dozen villages, and laid
waste the purgunnah of Peepareea, which had yielded to Government
twenty-five thousand rupees a-year, and contained the sites of one
hundred and eight villages, of which, however, only twenty-five were

During the greater part of the time that these depredations were
going on, the two rebels resided in our bordering district of
Shajehanpoor, whence they directed the whole. Urgent remonstrances
were addressed to the magistrate of that district, but he required
judicial proof of their participation in the crimes, that were
committed by their followers, upon the innocent and unoffending
peasantry; and no proof that the contractor could furnish being
deemed sufficient, he was obliged to consent to restore the rent-free
villages. The lands they made waste, still remain so, and pay no
revenue to Government.

Saadut Allee Khan (who died in 1814), when sovereign of Oude, was
fond of this place, and used to reside here for many months every
year. He made a garden, about a mile to the east of the town, upon a
fine open plain of good soil, and planted an avenue of fine trees all
the way. The trees are now in perfection, but the garden has been
neglected; and the bungalow in the centre, in which he resided, is an
entire ruin. He kept a large establishment of men and cattle, for
which sixty thousand rupees a-year were regularly charged in the
accounts of the manager of the district, through his reign and those
of Ghazee-od Deen, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, Mahomed Allee Shah, and
Amjud Allee Shah, and the first year of the reign of his present
Majesty, Wajid Allee Shah; though, with the exception of two bullocks
and two gardeners, the cattle had all disappeared, and the servants
been all discharged some thirty years before.

In October last, when six guns were required from the great park of
artillery at Lucknow, to be sent out on detached duty with the
Gungoor Regiment, an inspection of the draft-bullocks took place, and
it was found, that the Court favourite who had charge of the park had
made away with no less than one thousand seven hundred and thirty of
them, and only twenty could be found to take the guns. He had been
charging for the food of these one thousand seven hundred and thirty
for a long series of years. On mentioning this fact to a late
minister, he told me of two facts within his own knowledge,
illustrative of these sort of charges. This same Court favourite, in
the reign of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, in 1835, received charge of
sixteen bullocks, of surpassing beauty, which had been presented to
the King, and he was allowed to draw, from the Treasury, a rupee a-
day, for the food of each bullock.

In the reign of Mahomed Allee Shah, his prudent successor, a muster
of all the bullocks was called for, and Ghalib Jung, to whom the
muster was intrusted, to spite the favourite, called for these
sixteen bullocks. The favourite had disposed of them, though, he
continued to draw the allowance; and, to supply their place, he sent
to the bazaar and seized sixteen of the bullocks which had that day
brought corn to market. They were presented to Ghalib Jung for
muster. He pretended to be very angry, declared that it was
disgraceful to keep such poor creatures on the King's establishment,
and still more so to charge a rupee a-day for the food of each, and
ordered them to be sold forthwith by auction. Soon after they had
been sold, the poor men to whom they belonged came up to claim them,
but could never get either the bullocks or their price, nor could the
favourite ever be persuaded to refund any portion of the money he had
drawn for the sixteen he had sold.*

[* The favourite, in both these cases, was Anjum-od Dowlah.]

In the early part of the reign of Ghazee-od Deen Hyder, a fine dog
from the Himmalaya Hills was presented to him, and made over to the
charge of one of the favourites, who drew a rupee a-day for his food.
Soon after his Majesty became ill and very irritable, and one day
complained much of this dog's barking. He was told that the only way
to silence a dog of this description was to give him a seer of
conserve of roses to eat every day, and a bottle of rose-water to
drink. His Majesty ordered them to be given forthwith, and his repose
was never after disturbed by the dog's barking. A rupee a-day
continued to be drawn for these things for the dog for the rest of
the long reign of Ghazee-od Deen Hyder, and through that of his
successor, Nuseer-od Deen, which lasted for ten years, and ended in
1837, though the animal had died soon after the order for these
things was given, or in 1816, and he believed it continued to be
drawn up to the present day.

The cantonment at Mahomdee stands between this garden of Saadut
Allee's and the town, and this is the best site for any civil or
military establishments that may be required at Mahomdee. The Nazims
usually reside in the fort in the town.

_February_ 2, 1850.--Halted at Mahomdee. The spring crops around the
town are very fine, and the place is considered to be very healthy.
There is, however, some peculiarity in the soil, opposed to the
growth of the poppy. The cultivators tell me that they have often
tried it; that it is stunted in growth, whatever care be taken of it,
and yields but little juice, and that of bad quality, though it
attains perfection in the Shahabad and other districts around. The
doomuteea soil is here esteemed better than the muteear, though it
requires more labour in the tillage. It is said that _mote_ and
_mash_, two pulses, do not thrive in the muteear soil so well as in
the doomuteea.

_February_ 3, 1850.--Poknapoor, eight miles. We crossed the Goomtee
about midway, over a bridge of boats that had been prepared for us.
The boats came up the river thus far for timber, and were detained
for the occasion. The stream is here narrow, and said to flow from a
basin (the phoola talao) in the Tarae forest, some fifty miles to the
north, at Madhoo Tanda. There is some tillage on the verge of the
stream on the other side; but from the river to our tents, four
miles, there is none. The country is level and well studded with
groves and fine single trees, bur, peepul, mhowa, mango, &c., but
covered with rank grass.

Near the river is a belt of the sakhoo and other forest trees, with
underwood, in which tigers lodge and prey upon the deer, which cover
the grass plain, and frequently upon the bullocks, which are grazed
upon it in great numbers. Several bullocks have been killed and eaten
by them within the last few days; and an old fakeer, who has for some
months taken up his lodging on this side the river under a peepul-
tree, in a straw hut just big enough to hold him, told us that he
frequently saw them come down to drink in the stream near his
lodging. We saw a great many deer in passing, but no tigers. The soil
near the river is sandy, and the ground uneven, but still cultivable;
and on this side of the sandy belt it is all level and of the best
kind of doomuteea. Our tents are in a fine grove of mango-trees, in
the midst of a waste, but level and extensive, plain of this soil,
not a rood of which is unfit for the plough or incapable of yielding
crops of the finest quality. It is capable of being made, in two or
three years, a beautiful garden.

The single trees, which are scattered all over it, have been shorn of
their leaves and small branches by the cowherds for their cattle, but
they would all soon clothe themselves again under protection. The
groves are sufficiently numerous to furnish sites for the villages
and hamlets required. All the large sakhoo-trees have been cut down
and taken away on the ground we have come over, which is too near the
river for them to be permitted to attain full size. Not an acre or a
foot of the land is oosur, or unfit for tillage. Poknapoor is in the
estate of Etowa, which forms part of the pergunnah of Peepareea, to
which Bahadur Sing, the person above described, lays claim. He holds
a few villages round his residence at Pursur; but the pergunnah is
under the management of a Government officer, under the Amil of
Mahomdee. The Rajah, Syud Ashruf Allee Khan, of Mahomdee, claims a
kind of suzerainty over all the district, and over this pergunnah of
Peepareea among the rest. From all the villages tilled and peopled he
is permitted to levy an income for himself at the rate of two rupees
a-village. This the people pay with some reluctance, though they
recognise his right.

The zumeendars of Poknapoor are Kunojee Brahmins, who tell me that
they can do almost everything in husbandry save holding their own
ploughs: they can drive their own harrows and carts, reap their own
crops, and winnow and tread out their own corn; but if they once
condescend to _hold their own ploughs_ they sink in grade, and have
to pay twice as much as they now pay for wives for their sons from
the same families, and take half of what they now take for their
daughters from the same families, into which they now marry them.
They have, they say, been settled in these pergunnahs, north-east of
the Goomtee River, for fifty-two generations as farmers and
cultivators; and their relatives, who still remain at Aslamabad, a
village one koss south-east of Mahomdee, which was the first abode of
the tribe in Oude, have been settled there for no less than eighty-
four generations. They form village communities, dividing the lands
among the several members, and paying over and above the Government
demand a liberal allowance to the head of the village and of the
family settled in it, to maintain his respectability and to cover the
risk and cost of management, either in kind, in money, or in an extra
share of the land.

The lands of Poknapoor are all divided into two equal shares, one
held by _Dewan_ and the other by _Ramnath_, who were both among the
people with whom I conversed. Teekaram, who has a share in Dewan's
half, mentioned that about thirteen years ago the Amil, Khwaja
Mahmood, wanted to increase the rate of the Government demand on the
village from the four hundred, which they had long paid, to four
hundred and fifty; that they refused to pay, and Hindoo Sing, the
Rajpoot tallookdar of Rehreea, one koss east of Poknapoor, offered to
take the lease at four hundred and fifty, and got it. They refused to
pay, and he, at the head of his gang of armed followers, attacked,
plundered, and burnt down the village, and killed his, Teekaram's,
brother Girdharee, with his two sons, and inflicted three severe cuts
of a sabre on the right arm of his wife, who is now a widow among
them. Hindoo Sing's object was to make this village a permanent
addition to his estate; but, to his surprise, the Durbar took serious
notice of the outrage, and he fled into the Shajehanpoor district,
where he was seized by the magistrate, Mr. Buller, and made over to
the Oude authorities for trial. He purchased his escape from them in
the usual way; but soon after offered to surrender to the collector,
Aboo Torab Khan, on condition of pardon for all past offences.

The collector begged the Brahmins to consent to pardon him for the
murders, on condition of getting from Hindoo Sing some fifty beeghas
of land, out of his share in Rehreea. They said they would not
consent to take five times the quantity of the land among such a
turbulent set; but should be glad to get a smaller quantity, rent-
free, in their own village, for the widow of Girdharee. The collector
gave them twenty-five beeghas, or ten acres, in Poknapoor; and this
land Teekaram still holds, and out of the produce supports the poor
widow. A razenamah, or pardon, was given by the family, and Hindoo
Sing has ever since lived in peace upon his estate, The lease of the
village was restored to the Brahmin family, at the reduced rate of
two hundred and fifty, but soon after raised to four hundred, and
again reduced to two hundred and fifty, after the devastation of
Bahadur Sing and Bhoder Sing.

These industrious and unoffending Brahmins say that since these
Rajpoot landholders came among them, many generations ago, there has
never been any peace in the district, except during the time that
Hakeem Mehndee held the contract, when the whole plain that now lies
waste became a beautiful _chummun_ (parterre); that since his
removal, as before his appointment, all has been confusion; that the
Rajpoot landholders are always quarrelling either among themselves or
with the local Government authorities; and, whatever be the nature or
the cause of quarrel, they always plunder and murder,
indiscriminately, the unoffending communities of the villages around,
in order to reduce these authorities to their terms; that when these
Rajpoot landholders leave them in peace, the contractors seize the
opportunity to increase the Government demand, and bring among them
the King's troops, who plunder them just as much as the rebel
landholders, though they do not often murder them in the same
reckless manner. They told me that the hundreds of their relatives
who had gone off during the disorders and taken lands, or found
employment in our bordering districts, would be glad to return to
their own lands, groves, and trees, in Oude, if they saw the
slightest chance of protection, and the country would soon become
again the beautiful parterre which Hakeem Mehndee left it thirty
years ago, instead of the wilderness in which they were now so
wretched; that they ventured to cultivate small patches here and
there, not far from each other, but were obliged to raise small
platforms, upon high poles, in every field, and sit upon them all
night, calling out to each other, in a loud voice, to keep up their
spirits, and frighten off the deer which swarmed upon the grass
plain, and would destroy the whole of the crops in one night, if left
unprotected; that they were obliged to collect large piles of wood
around each platform, and keep them burning all night, to prevent the
tigers from carrying off the men who sat upon them; that their lives
were wretched amidst this continual dread of man and beast, but the
soil and climate were good, and the trees and groves planted by their
forefathers were still standing and dear to them; and they hoped, now
that the Resident had come among them, to receive, at no distant day,
the protection they required. This alone is required to render this
the most beautiful portion of Oude, and Oude the most beautiful
portion of India.

_February_ 4, 1850.--Gokurnath, thirteen miles, north-east, over a
level plain of the same fine muteear soil, here and there running
into doomuteea and bhoor, but in no case into oosur. The first two
miles over the grass plain, and the next four through a belt of
forest trees, with rank grass and underwood, abounding in game of all
kinds, and infested by tigers. Bullocks are often taken by them, but
men seldom. The sal (_alias_ sakhoo) trees are here stunted, gnarled,
and ugly, while in the Tarae forest they are straight, lofty, and
beautiful. The reason is, that beyond the forest their leaves are
stripped off and sold for _plates_. They are carried to distant
towns, and stored up for long periods, to form breakfast and dinner
plates, and the people in the country use hardly anything else.
Plates are formed of them by sewing them together, when required; and
they become as pliable as leather, even after being kept for a year
or more, by having a little water sprinkled over them. They are long,
wide, and tough, and well suited to the purpose. All kinds of food
are put upon them, and served up to the family and guests. The cattle
do not eat them, as they do leaves of the peepul, bur, neem, &c. The
sakhoo, when not preserved, is cut down, when young, for beams,
rafters, &c., required in building. In the Tarae forest, the
proprietors of the lands on which they stand preserve them till they
attain maturity, for sale to the people of the plains; and they are
taken down the Ghagra and other rivers that flow through the forest
to the Ganges, and vast numbers are sold in the Calcutta market. The
fine tall sakhoos in the Tarae forest are called "sayer"; the
knotted, stunted, and crooked shakoos, beyond the forest, are called
"khohurs." There are but few teak (or sagwun) trees in this part of
the Tarae forest. The country is everywhere studded with the same
fine groves and single trees, and requires only tillage to become a
garden. From the belt of jungle to our camp at Gokurnath, seven
miles, the road runs over an open grass plain, with here and there a
field of corn. The sites of villages are numerous, but few of them
are occupied at present. All are said to have been in a flourishing
state, and filled by a happy peasantry, when Hakeem Mehndee lost the
government. Since that time these villages and hamlets have
diminished by degrees, in proportion as the rapacity of the
contractors and the turbulence of the Rajpoot landholders have

The first village we passed through, after emerging from the belt of
jungle, was Pureylee, which is held and occupied by a large family of
cultivating proprietors of the Koormee caste. Up to the year 1847, it
had for many years been in a good condition, and paid a revenue of
two thousand rupees a-year to Government. In that year Ahmud Allee,
the collector, demanded a thousand more. They could not pay this, and
he sold all their bullocks and other stock to make up the demand; the
lands became waste as usual; and Lonee Sing, of Mitholee, offered the
next contractor one thousand rupees a-year for the lease, and got it.
The village has now been permanently absorbed in his estate, in the
usual way; and, as the Koormees are a peaceful body, they have
quietly acquiesced in the arrangement, and get all the aid they
require from their new landlord. Before this time they had held their
lands, as proprietors, directly under Government. From allodial*
proprietors they are become feudal tenants under a powerful Rajpoot

[* By allodial, I mean, lands held in proprietary right, immediately
under the crown, but liable to the land-tax.]


Lonee Sing, of the Ahbun Rajpoot tribe--Dispute between Rajah
Bukhtawar Sing, and a servant of one of his relatives--Cultivation
along the border of the Tarae forest--Subdivision of land among the
Ahbun families--Rapacity of the king's troops, and establishments of
all kinds--Climate near the Tarae--Goitres--Not one-tenth of the
cultivable lands cultivated, nor one-tenth of the villages peopled--
Criterion of good tillage--Ratoon crops--Manure available--Khyrabad
district better peopled and cultivated than that of Mahomdee, but the
soil over-cropped--Blight--Rajah Ajeet Sing and his estate of
Khymara--Ousted by collusion and bribery--Anrod Sing of Oel, and
Lonee Sing--State of Oude forty years ago compared with its present
state--The Nazim of the Khyrabad district--Trespasses of his
followers--Oel Dhukooa--_Khalsa_ lands absorbed by the Rajpoot
barons--Salarpoor--Sheobuksh Sing of Kuteysura--_Bhulmunsee_, or
property-tax--Beautiful groves of Lahurpoor--Residence of the Nazim--
Wretched state of the force with the Nazim--Gratuities paid by
officers in charge of districts, whether in contract or trust--Rajah
Arjun Sing's estate of Dhorehra--Hereditary gang-robbers of the Oude
Tarae suppressed--Mutiny of two of the King's regiments at Bhitolee--
Their rapacity and oppression--Singers and fiddlers who govern the
King--Why the Amils take all their troops with them when they move--
Seetapoor, the cantonment of one of the two regiments of Oude Local
Infantry--Sipahees not equal to those in Magness's, Barlow's, and
Bunbury's, or in our native regiments of the line--Why--The prince
Momtaz-od Dowlah--Evil effects of shooting monkeys--Doolaree, _alias_
Mulika Zumanee--Her history, and that of her son and daughter.

Lonee Sing, who visited me yesterday afternoon with a respectable
train, has, in this and other ways less creditable, increased his
estate of _Mitholee_ from a rent-roll of forty to one of one hundred
and fifty thousand rupees a-year, out of which he pays fifty thousand
to Government, and he is considered one of its best subjects. He is,
as above stated, of the Ahbun Rajpoot clan, and a shrewd and
energetic man. The estate was divided into six shares. It had formed
one under Rajah Davey Sing, whose only brother, Bhujun Sing, lived
united with him, and took what he chose to give him for his own
subsistence and that of his family. Davey Sing died without issue,
leaving the whole estate to his brother, Bhujun Sing, who had two
sons, Dul Sing and Maun Sing, among whom he divided the estate.* Dul
Sing had six sons, but Maun Sing had none. He, however, adopted
Bhowanee Sing, to whom he left his portion of the estate. Dul Sing's
share became subdivided among his six sons; but Khunjun Sing, the son
of his eldest son, when he became head of the family, got together a
large force, with some guns, and made use of it in the usual way by
seizing upon the lands of his weaker neighbours. He attacked his
nephew, Bhowanee Sing, and took all his lands; and got, on one
pretence or another, the greater part of those of his other

[* _Mitholee_ contains the sites of one thousand four hundred and
eighty-six villages, only one-third of which are now occupied.]

He died without issue, leaving his possessions and military force to
Lonee Sing, his brother, who continued to pursue the same course. In
1847 he, with one thousand armed men and five guns, attacked his
cousin, Monnoo Sing, of Mohlee, the head of the family of the fourth
son of Dul Sing, killed four and wounded two persons; and, in
collusion with the local governor, seized upon all his estate.
Redress was sought for in vain; and as I was passing near, Monnoo
Sing and his brother Chotee Sing came to me at Mahomdee to complain.
Monnoo Sing remained behind sick at Mahomdee; but Chotee Sing
followed me on. He rode on horseback behind my elephant, and I made
him give me the history of his family as I went along, and told him
to prepare for me a genealogical table, and an account of the mode in
which Lonee Sing had usurped the different estates of the other
members of the family. This he gave to me on the road between
Poknapoor and Gokurnath by one of his belted attendants, who, after
handing it up to me on the elephant, ran along under the nose of
Rajah Bukhtawur Sing's fine chestnut horse without saying a word.

I asked the Rajah whether he knew Lonee Sing? "Yes," said he;
"everybody knows him: he is one of the ablest, best, and most
substantial men in Oude; and he keeps his estate in excellent order,
and is respected by all people."--"Except his own relations," said
the belted attendant; "these he robs of all they have, and nobody
interposes to protect them, because he has become wealthy, and they
have become poor!" "My good fellow," said the Rajah, "he has only
taken what they knew not how to hold, and with the sanction of the
King's servants."--"Yes," replied the man, "he has got the sanction
of the King's servants, no doubt, and any one who can pay for it may
get that now-a-days to rob others of the King's subjects. Has not
Lonee Sing robbed all his cousins of their estates, and added them to
his own, and thereby got the means of bribing the King's servants to
let him do what he likes?" "What," said the Rajah, with some
asperity, "should you, a mere soldier, know about State affairs? Do
you suppose that all the members of any family can be equal? Must
there not be a head to all families to keep the rest in order?
Nothing goes on well in families or governments where all are equal,
and there is no head to guide; and the head must have the means to
guide the rest."--"True," said the belted attendant, "all can't be
equal in the rule of States; but in questions of private right,
between individuals and subjects, the case is different; and the
ruler should give to every one his due, and prevent the strong from
robbing the weak. I have five fingers in my hand: they serve me, and
I treat them all alike. I do not let one destroy or molest the
other." "I tell you," said the Rajah, with increasing asperity, "that
there must be heads of families as well as heads of States, or all
would be confusion; and Lonee Sing is right in all that he has done.
Don't you see what a state his district is in, now that he has taken
the management of the whole upon himself? I dare say all the waste
that we see around us has arisen from the want of such heads of
families."--"You know," said the man, "that this waste has been
caused by the oppression of the King's officers, and their disorderly
and useless troops, and the strong striving to deprive the weak of
their rights."

"You know nothing about these matters," said the Rajah, still more
angrily. "The wise and strong are everywhere striving to subdue the
weak and ignorant, in order that they may manage what they hold
better than they can. Don't you see how the British Government are
going on, taking country after country year after year, in order to
manage them better than they were managed under others? and don't you
see how these countries thrive under their strong and just
Government? Do you think that God would permit them to go on as they
do unless he thought that it was for the good of the people who come
under their rule?" Turning to me, the Rajah continued: "When I was
one day riding over the country with Colonel Low, the then Resident,
as I now ride with you, sir, he said, with a sigh, 'In this country
of Oude what darkness prevails! No one seems to respect the right of
another; and every one appears to be grasping at the possessions of
his neighbour, without any fear of God or the King'--'True, sir,'
said I; 'but do you not see that it is the necessary order of things,
and must be ordained by Providence? Is not your Government going on
taking country after country, and benefiting all it takes? And will
not Providence prosper their undertakings as long as they do so? The
moment they come to a stand, all will be confusion. Sovereigns cannot
stand still, sir; the moment _their bellies are full_ (their ambition
ceases), they and the countries they govern retrograde. No sovereign
in India, sir, that has any regard for himself or his country, can
with safety sit down and say that _his belly is full_ (that he has no
further ambition of conquest): he must go on to the last.'"*

[* The Rajah's reasoning was drawn from the practice in Oude, of
seizing upon the possessions of weaker neighbours, by means of gangs
of robbers. The man who does this, becomes the slave of his gangs, as
the imperial robber, who seizes upon smaller states by means of his
victorious armies, becomes their slave, and, ultimately, their
victim, The history of India is nothing more than the biography of
such men, and the Rajah has read no other.]

The poor belted attendant of Chotee Sing was confounded with the
logic and eloquence of the old Rajah, and said nothing more; and
Chotee Sing himself kept quietly behind on his horse, with his ears
well wrapped up in warm cloth, as the morning was very cold, and he
was not well. He looked very grave, and evidently thought the Rajah
had outlived his understanding. But the fact is that the Rajah has,
by his influence at Court, taken all the lands held by his two elder
nephews, Rughbur Sing and Ramadeen, and made them over to their
youngest brother, Maun Sing, whom he has adopted, made his heir, and
the head of the family. He has, in consequence, for the present a
strong fellow-feeling with Lonee Sing; and, in all this oration at
least, "his wishes were father to his thoughts."

The sharpest retort that I remember ever having had myself was given
to me by a sturdy and honest old landholder of the middle class, whom
I had known for a quarter of a century on the bank of the Nerbudda,
in 1843. During the insurrection in the Saugor and Nerbudda
territories, which commenced in 1842, I was sent down by the
Governor-General Lord Ellenborough to ascertain if possible the
causes which had led to it. I conversed freely with the landholders,
and people of all classes in the valley, who had been plundered by
the landed aristocracy of the jungles on the borders, and had one
afternoon some fifty in my tent seated on the carpet. After a good
deal of talk about the depredations of the jungle barons upon the
people of the cultivated plains, and remonstrance at the want of
support on their part to the Government officers, I said to Umrao
Sing, one of the most sturdy and honest among them, "Why did you
withhold from the local officers the information which you must have
had of the movements and positions of the rebels and their followers,
who were laying the country waste? In no part of India have the
farmers and cultivators been more favoured in light assessments and
protection to life and property; but there are some men who never can
be satisfied; give them what you will, they will always be craving
after more."--"True, sir," said Umrao Sing, looking me steadily in
the face, and with the greatest possible gravity, "there are some
people who never can be satisfied, give them what you will. Give them
the whole of Hindoostan, and they will go off to Kabul to take more!"

There was a pause, during which all looked very grave, for they
thought that the old man had exceeded the bounds of the privilege he
had long enjoyed of expressing his thoughts freely to European
gentlemen; and Umrao Sing continued: "The fact is, sir, that after
you had, by good government, made us all happy and prosperous, and
proud to display the wealth we had acquired on our persons, and in
our houses and villages, you withdrew all your troops from among us,
and left us a prey to the wild barons of the hills and jungles on our
borders, whose families had risen to wealth, distinction, and large
landed possessions under former misrule and disorder, and who are
always longing for the return of such disorders, that they may have
some chance of recovering the consequence and influence which they
have lost under a settled and strong Government: they saw that your
troops had been taken off for distant conquests, and heard of nothing
but defeats and disasters, and readily persuaded themselves that your
rule was at an end; for what could men, born and bred in the jungles,
know of your resources to retrieve such disasters?

"After the Mahratta war, in 1817, you prohibited the people of your
newly-acquired districts from carrying arms, not dreaming that the
only persons who would obey or regard your order were the peaceful
landholders and peasantry of the plains, who were satisfied with your
Government, and anxious for its duration, but exposed to the envy and
hatred of the Gond and Lodhee chiefs, who occupied the hills and
jungles on their borders.

"When they came down upon us, you had no means left to protect us;
and having no longer any arms or any experience of the use of them,
after a quarter of a century of peace, we were unable to defend our
villages, our houses, or our families; if we attempted to defend
them, we and our families were killed; if we did not, we were robbed
and threatened with death, if we gave you information to their
prejudice. We saw that they could carry their threats into execution,
for your local officers had not the means to protect us from their
vengeance, and we suffered in silence; but you must not infer from
this that we were tired of your rule, or pleased with their
depredations; all here can testify that we longed for the return of
your strength and their downfal. It is true, however," added he,
"that the new European officers placed over us did not treat us with
the same courtesy and consideration as the old ones, or seem to
entertain the same kindly feeling towards us; and our communion with
them was less free and cordial."

All approved of my old friend's speech, and declared that he had
given expression to the thoughts and feelings of all present, and of
all the people of the plains, who lived happily under our rule, and
prayed earnestly for its duration. The portion of the estate of
Mitholee, held by Lonee Sing, now contains the sites of six hundred
and four villages, about one-half of which are occupied; four hundred
and eighty-four of these lie in the Mahomdee district, and one
hundred and twenty in that of Khyrabad. The number and names of the
villages are still kept up in the accounts.

_February_ 5, 1850.--Kurrunpoor Mirtaha, ten miles over a plain of
fine muteear soil, scantily cultivated, but bearing excellent spring
crops where it is so. Not far from our last camp at Gokurnath, we
entered a belt of jungle three miles wide, consisting chiefly of
stunted, knotty, and crooked sakhoo trees, with underwood and rank
chopper grass. This belt of jungle is the same we passed through, as
above described, between Poknapoor and Gokurnath. It runs from the
great forest to the north, a long way down south-east, into the
Khyrabad district. From this belt to our present ground, six miles,
the road passes over a fine plain, nine-tenths of which is covered
with this grass, but studded with mango-groves and fine single trees.
The forest runs along to the north of our road--which lay east--from
one to three miles distant, and looked very like a continued mango-
grove. The level plain of rich soil extends up through the forest to
the foot of the hills, and is all the way capable of the finest
cultivation. Here and there the soil runs into light doomuteea; and
in some few parts even into bhoor, in proportion as the sand abounds;
but generally the soil is the fine muteear, and very fertile. The
whole plain is said to have been in cultivation thirty years ago,
when Hakeem Mehndee held the contract; but the tillage has been
falling off ever since, under the bad or oppressive management of
successive contractors.

The estate through which we have been passing is called Bharwara, and
contains the sites of nine hundred and eighty-nine villages, about
one-tenth of which are now occupied. The landholders are all of the
Ahbun Rajpoot tribe; but a great part of them have become Musulmans.
They live together, however, though of different creeds, in tolerable
harmony; and eat together on occasions of ceremony, though not from
the same dishes. No member of the tribe ever forfeited his
inheritance by changing his creed. Nor did any one of them, I
believe, ever change his creed, except to retain his inheritance,
liberty, or life, threatened by despotic and unscrupulous rulers.
They dine on the same floor, but there is a line marked off to
separate those of the party who are Hindoos from those who are
Musulmans. The Musulmans have Mahommedan names, and the Hindoos
Hindoo names; but both still go by the common patronymic name of
Ahbuns. The Musulmans marry into Musulman families, and the Hindoos
into Hindoo families of the highest castes, Chouhans, Rathores,
Rykwars, Janwars, &c. Of course all the children are of the same
religion and caste as their parents. They tell me that the conversion
of their ancestors was effected by force, under a prince or chief
called "Kala Pahar." This must have been Mahommed Firmally, _alias_
Kala Pahar--to whom his uncle Bheilole, King of Delhi, left the
district of Bahraetch as a separate inheritance a short time before
his death, which took place A.D. 1488. This conversion seems to have
had the effect of doing away with the murder of female infants in the
Ahbun families who are still Hindoos; for they could not get the
Musulman portion of the tribe to associate with them if they
continued it.

The estate of Bharwara is divided into four parts, Hydrabad,
Hurunpoor, Aleegunge, and Sekunderabad. Each division is subdivided
into parts, each held by a separate branch of the family; and the
subdivision of these parts is still going on, as the heads of the
several branches of the family die, and leave more than one son. The
present head of the Ahbun family is Mahommed Hussan Khan, a Musulman,
who resides in his fort in the village of Julalpoor, near the road
over which we passed. The small fort is concealed within, and
protected by a nice bamboo-fence that grows round it. He holds twelve
villages rent free, as _nankar_, and pays revenue for all the rest
that compose his share of the great estate. The heads of families who
hold the other shares enjoy in the same manner one or more villages
rent free, as _nankar_. These are all well cultivated, and contain a
great many cultivators of the best classes, such as Koormees,
Lodhies, and Kachies.

We passed through one of them, Kamole, and I had a good deal of talk
with the people, who were engaged in pressing out the juice of sugar-
cane. They told me that the juice was excellent, and that the syrup
made from it was carried to the district of Shajehanpoor, in the
British territory, to be made into sugar. Mahommed Hussan Khan came
up, as I was talking with the people, and joined in the conversation.
All seemed to be delighted with the opportunity of entering so freely
into conversation with a British Resident who understood farming, and
seemed to take so much interest in their pursuits. I congratulated
the people on being able to keep so many of their houses well covered
with grass-choppers; but they told me, "that it was with infinite
difficulty they could keep them, or anything else they had, from the
grasp of the local authorities and the troops and camp-followers who
attended them, and desolated the country like a flock of locusts;
that they are not only plundered but taxed by them--first, the
sipahees take their choppers, beams, and rafters off their houses--
then the people in charge of artillery bullocks and other cattle take
all their stores of bhoosa, straw, &c., and threaten to turn the
cattle loose on their fields, if not paid a gratuity--the people who
have to collect fuel for the camp (bildars) take all their stores of
wood, and doors and windows also, if not paid for their redemption--
then the people in charge of elephants and camels threaten to denude
of their leaves and small branches all the peepul, burgut, and other
trees most sacred and dear to them, near their homes, unless paid for
their forbearance; and--though last, not least--men, women, and
children are seized, not only to carry the plunder and other burthens
gratis for sipahees and servants of all kinds and grades, and camp-
followers, but to be robbed of their clothes, and made to pay ransoms
to get back, while all the plough-bullocks are put in requisition to
draw the guns which the King's bullocks are unable to draw
themselves. In short, that the approach of King's servants is dreaded
as one of the greatest calamities that can befal them."

I should here mention, that all the Telinga regiments, fourteen in
number, are allowed tents and hackeries to carry them. The way in
which the bullocks of such carts are provided with fodder has been
already mentioned; but no tents or conveyance of any kind are allowed
for the Nujeeb corps, thirty-two in number. Whenever they move (and
they are almost always moving), they seize whatever conveyance and
shelter they require from the people of the country around. Each
battalion, even in its ordinary incomplete state, requires four
hundred or five hundred porters, besides carts, bullocks, horses,
ponies, &c. Men, women, and children, of all classes, are seized, and
made to carry the baggage, arms, accoutrements, and cages of pet
birds, belonging to the officers and sipahees of these corps. They
are stripped of their clothes, confined, and starved from the time
they are seized; and as it is difficult to catch people to relieve
them along the road, they are commonly taken on two or three stages.
If they run away, they forfeit all their clothes which remain in the
hands of the sipahees; and a great many die along the road of
fatigue, hunger, and exposure to the sun. Numerous cruel instances of
this have been urged by me on the notice of the King, but without any
good effect. The line of march of one of these corps is like the road
to the temple of Juggurnaut! When the corps is about to move,
detachments are sent out to seize conveyance of all kinds; and for
one cart required and taken, fifty are seized, and released for a
donation in proportion to their value, the respectability of the
proprietors, and the necessity for their employment at home at the
time. The sums thus extorted by detachments they share with their
officers, or they would never be again sent on such lucrative

It appears that in this part of Oude the people have not for many
years suffered so much from the depredations of the refractory
landholders as in other parts; and that the desolate state of the
district arises chiefly from the other three great evils that afflict
Oude--the rack-renting of the contractors; the divisions they create
and foster among landholders; and the depredations of the troops and
camp-followers who attend them. But the estate has become much
subdivided, and the shareholders from this cause, and the oppression
of the contractors, have become poor and weak; and the neighbouring
landholders of the Janwar and other Rajpoot tribes have taken
advantage of their weakness to seize upon a great many of their best
villages. Out of Kurumpoor, within the last nine years, Anorud Sing,
of Oel, a Janwar Rajpoot, in collusion with local authorities, has
taken twelve; and Umrao Sing, of Mahewa, of the same tribe, has taken
eighteen, making twenty villages from the Kurumpoor division. These
landholders reside in the Khyrabad district, which adjoins that of
Mahomdee, near our present camp.

The people everywhere praise the climate--they appear robust and
energetic, and no sickness prevails, though many of the villages are
very near the forest. The land on which the forest stands contains,
in the ruins of well-built towns and fortresses, unquestionable signs
of having once been well cultivated and thickly peopled: and it would
soon become so again under good government. There is nothing in the
soil to produce sickness; and, I believe, the same soil prevails up
through the forest to the hills. Sickness would, no doubt, prevail
for some years, till the underwood and all the putrid leaves should
be removed. The water that stagnates over them, and percolates
through the soil into the wells, from which the people drink, and the
exhalations which arise from them and taint the air, confined by the
dense mass of forest trees, underwood, and high grass, are, I
believe, the chief cause of the diseases which prevail in this belt
of jungle.

It is however remarkable, that there are two unhealthy seasons in the
year in this forest--one at the latter end of the rains in August,
September, and October, and the other before the rains begin to fall
in the latter part of April, the whole of May, and part of June. The
diseases in the latter are, I believe, more commonly fatal than they
are in the former; and are considered by the people to arise solely
from the poisonous quality of the water, which is often found in
wells to be covered with a thin crust of petrolium. Diseases of the
same character prevail at the same two seasons in the jungles, above
the sources of the Nerbudda and Sohun rivers, and are ascribed by the
people to the same causes--those which take place after the rains, to
bad air; and those which take place immediately before the rains,
after the cold and dry seasons, to bad water. The same petrolium, or
liquid bitumen, is found floating on the spring waters in the hot
season, when the most fatal diseases break out in the jungles, about
the sources of the Nerbudda and Sohun, as in the Oude Tarae; and, in
both places, the natives appear to me to be right in attributing them
to the water; but whether the poisonous quality of the water be
imparted to it by bitumen from below, or by the putrid leaves of the
forest trees from above, is uncertain; the people drink from the
bituminous spring waters at this season, as well as from stagnant
pools in the beds of small rivers, which have ceased to flow during
part of the Cold, and the whole of the hot, season. These pools
become filled with the leaves of the forest trees which hang over

The bitumen, in all the jungles to which I refer, arises, I believe,
from the _coal measures_, pressed down by the overlying masses of
sandstone strata, common to both the Himmalaya chain of mountains
over the Tarae forest, and the Vendeya and Sathpoor ranges of hills
at the sources of the Nerbudda and Sohun rivers. It is, however,
possible that the water of these stagnant pools, tainted by the
putrid leaves, may impart its poison through the medium of the air in
exhalations; and I have known European officers, who were never
conscious of having drunk either of the waters above described, take
the fever (owl) in the month of May in the Tarae, and in a few hours
become raving mad. These tainted waters may possibly act in both
ways--directly, and through the medium of the air.

While on the subject of the causes or sources of disease, I may
mention two which do not appear to me to have been sufficiently
considered and provided against in India. First, when a new
cantonment is formed and occupied in haste, during or after a
campaign, terraces are formed of the new earth dug up on the spot to
elevate the dwellings of officers and soldiers from the ground, which
may possibly become flooded in the rains; and over the piles of fresh
earth officers commonly form wooden floors for their rooms to secure
them from the damp, new earth. Between this earth and the wooden
floor a small space of a foot or two is commonly left. The new earth,
thus thrown up from places that may not have been dug or ploughed for
ages, absorbs rapidly the oxygen from the air above, and gives out
carbonic acid, nitrogen and hydrogen gases, which render the air
above unfit for men to breathe. This noxious air accumulates in the
space below the wooden floor, and, passing through the crevices, is
breathed by the officers and soldiers as they sleep.

Between the two campaigns against Nepal in 1814 and 1815, the brigade
in which my regiment served formed such a cantonment at Nathpoor, on
the right bank of the river Coosee. The land which these cantonments
occupied had been covered with a fine sward on which cattle grazed
for ages, and was exceedingly rich in decayed vegetable and animal
matter. The place had been long remarked for its salubrity by the
indigo-planters and merchants of all kinds who resided there; and on
the ground which my regiment occupied there was a fine pucka-house,
which the officer commanding the brigade and some of his staff
occupied. In the rains the whole plain, being very flat, was often
covered with water, and thousands of cattle grazed upon it during the
cold and hot seasons. The officers all built small bungalows for
themselves on the plan above described; and the medical officers all
thought that they had, in doing so, taken all possible precautions.
The men were provided with huts, as much as possible on the same
plan. These dwellings were all ready before the rains set in, and
officers and soldiers were in the finest state of health and spirits.

In the middle and latter part of the rains, officers and men began to
suffer from a violent fever, which soon rendered the European
officers and soldiers delirious, and prostrated the native officers
and sipahees; so that three hundred of my own regiment, consisting of
about seven hundred, were obliged to be sent to their homes on sick
leave. The greater number of those who remained continued to suffer,
and a great many died. Of about ten European officers present with my
regiment, seven had the fever, and five died of it, almost all in a
state of delirium. I was myself one of the two who survived, and I
was for many days delirious.

Of the medical officers of the brigade, the only one, I believe, who
escaped the fever was Adam Napier, who, with his wife and children,
occupied apartments in the brigadier's large pucka-house. Not a
person who resided in that house was attacked by the fever. There was
another pucka-house a little way from the cantonments, close to the
bank of the river, occupied by an indigo-planter, a Mr. Ross. No one
in that house suffered. The fever was confined to those who occupied
the houses and huts which I have described. All the brigade suffered
much, but my regiment, then the first battalion of the 12th Regiment,
and now the 12th Regiment, suffered most; and it was stationed on the
soil which had remained longest unturned and untilled on what had
been considered a park round the pucka-house, in which the brigadier
resided. I believe that I am right in attributing this sickness
exclusively to the circumstances which I have mentioned; and I am
afraid that, during the thirty-five years that have since elapsed,
similar circumstances have continued to produce similar results. I am
myself persuaded, that had the sward remained unbroken, and the
houses and huts been raised upon it, over wooden platforms placed
upon it, to secure officers and men from the damp ground, there would
have been little or no sickness in that brigade.

The second of the two causes or sources of disease, to which I refer,
is the insufficient room which is allowed for the accommodation of
our European troops in India. Within the room assigned for the non-
commissioned officers and soldiers, they soon exhaust the atmosphere
around of its oxygen or vital air, while they expire or exhale
carbonic acid, nitrogen and hydrogen gases, which render it
altogether unfit to sustain animal life; and death or disease must
soon overtake those who inhale or inspire it.

I may illustrate this by a fact within my own observation. In 1817, a
flank battalion of six hundred European soldiers was formed at
Allahabad, where I then was with my regiment to escort the Governor-
General the Marquess of Hastings. With these six hundred soldiers
there were thirty-two European officers. The soldiers and non-
commissioned officers were put into the barracks in the fort, where
they had not sufficient room. The commissioned officers resided in
bungalows in the cantonments, or in tents on the open plain. The men
were effectually prevented from exposing themselves to the sun, and
from indulging in any kind of intemperance, and every possible care
was taken of them. The commissioned officers lived as they liked,
denied themselves no indulgence, and were driving about all day, and
every day, in sun and rain, to visit each other and their friends. A
fever, similar to that above described, broke out among the soldiers
and non-commissioned officers in the fort, and great numbers died. Of
the six hundred, only sixteen escaped the fever. When too late, they
were removed from the fort into tents on the plain. From that day the
deaths diminished, and the sick began to recover. Of the thirty-two
commissioned officers, only one, I think, was ever sick at all, and
his sickness was of a kind altogether different; and, it is
impossible to resist the conclusion, that the non-commissioned
officers and soldiers got their disease from want of sufficient room,
and, consequently, of sufficient pure air to breathe. Subsequent
experience has, I believe, tended to confirm the conclusion; and, I
may safely say, that more European soldiers have died from a
disregard of it, than from all the wars that we have had within the
thirty-three years that have since elapsed. The cause is still in
operation, and continues to produce the same fatal results, and will
continue to do so till we change the system of accommodating our
European troops in India.

The buildings in which they are lodged should all have thatched or
tiled roofs, through which the hot and impure air, which has been
already breathed, may pass, and be replaced within by the pure air of
the atmosphere around, instead of roofs of pucka-masonry which
confine this air to be breathed over again by the people within; and
double or quadruple the space now allowed to each man should be
given. At the cost now incurred in providing them with this
insufficient room, under roofs of pucka-masonry, they could be
provided with four times the space, under roofs of thatch and tiles,
which would be so much more safe and suitable.

The state of the Bharwara district may be illustrated by that of one
of its four divisions or mahals, Alleegunge. In the last year of
Hakeem Mehudee's role (1818), this division was assessed at one
hundred and thirty-eight thousand rupees, with the full consent of
the people, who were all thriving and happy. The assessment was,
indeed, made by the heads of the principal Ahbun families of the
district, with Mahommed Hussan Khan as chief assessor. One hundred
and thirty-two thousand were collected, and six thousand were
remitted in consequence of a partial failure of the crops. Last year,
by force and violence, the landholders of this division were made to
agree to an assessment upon the lands in tillage of ten thousand and
five hundred rupees, of which not six thousand can be collected. The
other three divisions are in the same state. Not one-tenth of the
land is in tillage, nor are one-tenth of the villages peopled. The
soil is really the finest that I have seen in India; and I have seen
no part of India in which so small a portion of the surface is unfit
for tillage. The moisture rises to the surface just as it is
required; and a tolerable crop is got by a poor man who cannot afford
to keep a plough, and merely burns down the grass and digs the
surface with his spade, or pickaxe, before he sows the seed.
Generally, however, the tillage, in the portion cultivated, is very
good. The surface is ploughed and cross-ploughed from six to twenty,
or even thirty, times in the season; and the harrow and roller are
often applied till every clod is pulverized to dust.

The test of first-rate preparation for the seed is that a ghurra, or
earthen pitcher, full of water, let fall upon the field from a man's
head, shall not break. The clods in the muteear soil are so
pulverised only in the fields that are to be irrigated, or to the
surface of which moisture rises from below as the weather becomes
warm. The people say that it does so rise when required in land even
a good way from the forest, and that the clods are, in consequence,
not necessary to retain it. This is the only part of India in which I
have known the people take ratoon, or second crops of sugar-cane from
the same roots; and the farmers and cultivators tell me that the
second crop is almost as good as the first. The fields in tillage are
well supplied with manure, which is very abundant where so large a
portion of the surface is waste; and affords such fine pasture. They
are also well watered, for the water is near the surface, and in the
tight muteear soil a kutcha well, or well without masonry, will stand
good for twenty seasons. To make pucka-wells, or wells lined with
burnt bricks and cement, would be costly. Each well of this kind
costs about one hundred rupees. The kutcha-wells, which are lined
with nothing, or with thick ropes of twigs and straw, cost only from
five to ten rupees. The people tell me that oppression and poverty
have made them less fastidious than they were formerly; that formerly
it was considered disgraceful to plough with buffaloes, or to use
them in carts, but they are now in common use for both purposes; that
vast numbers of the Kunojee Brahmins and others, who could not
formerly drive their own ploughs, drive them now; and that all will
in time condescend to do so, as the penalties of higher payments with
and for daughters in marriage cease to be exacted from men whose
necessities have become so pressing.

_March_ 6, 1850. **--Halted at Kurunpoor, where the gentlemen of my
camp shot some floricans, hares, partridges, and a porcupine along
the bank of the small river Ole, which flows along from north-west to
south-east within three miles of Kurunpoor.

[** Transcriber's Note: The diary date jumps from the previous entry
of _February_ 5, 1850, at Kurrunpoor. This is a mistake in the date,
as at the start of Chapter V the diary jumps back to _February_ 14,

_March_ 7, 1850.--Teekur, twelve miles. The road, for three miles,
lay through grass jungle to the border of the Khyrabad district,
whence the plain is covered with cultivation, well studded with
trees, clusters of bamboos, and well peopled with villages, all
indicating better management. A great many fields are reduced to the
fine dust above described to receive the sugar-cane, which is planted
in February. The soil is muteear, but has in many parts become
impaired by over-cropping. The people told me that the crops were not
so rich as they ought to be, from the want of manure, which is much
felt here, where there is so little pasture for cattle. The wheat has
almost everywhere received an orange tint from the geerwa, or blight,
which covers the leaves, but, happily, has not as yet settled upon
the stalks to feed on the sap. This blight, the cultivators say,
arises from the late and heavy rain they have had, and the easterly
wind that prevailed for a few days. The geerwa is a red fungus,
which, when it adheres to the stems, thrusts its roots through the
pores of the epidermis and robs the grain of the sap as it ascends.
When easterly winds and sultry weather prevail, the pores of the
epidermis appear to be more opened and exposed to the inroads of
these fungi than at other times. If the wind continue westerly for a
fortnight more, little injury may be sustained; but should easterly
winds and sultry weather prevail, the greater part may be lost. "We
cultivators and landholders," said Bukhtawur Sing, "are always in
dread of something, and can never feel quite easy: if little rain
falls, we complain of the want of more; if a good deal comes down, we
are in dread of this blight, and never dare to congratulate ourselves
on the prospect of good returns." To the justice and wisdom of this
observation all assented.*

[* Westerly winds and cold weather prevailed and the blight did
little apparent injury to the crops; but the wheat crops, generally,
over Oude and the adjoining districts, was shrivelled and deficient
in substance. It had "run to stalk" from the excess of rain.]

The landholders of this purgunnah are chiefly Janwar Rajpoots.
Kymara, a fine village, through which we passed, about five miles
from Kurunpoor, is the residence of the present head of this family,
Rajah Ajeet Sing. He has a small fort close by, in which he is now
preparing to defend himself against the King's forces. The poor old
man came out with all his village community to meet and talk with me,
in the hope that I might interpose to protect him. He is weak in mind
and body, has no son, and, having lately lost his only brother and
declared heir to the estate, his cousins and more distant relations
are scrambling for the inheritance. The usual means of violence,
collusion, and intrigue have been had recourse to. The estate is in
the Huzoor Tuhseel, and not under the jurisdiction of the contractor
of Khyrabad. The old man seemed care-worn and very wretched, and told
me that the contractor, whom I should meet at Teekur, had only
yesterday received orders from Court to use all his means to oust him
from possession, and make over the estate to his cousin, Jodha Sing,
who had lately left him in consequence of a dispute, after having,
since the death of his brother, aided him in the management of the
estate; that he had always paid his revenues to the King punctually,
and last year he owed a balance of only one hundred and sixty rupees,
when _Anrod Sing_, his distant relative, wanted him to declare his
younger brother, Dirj Bijee Sing, his heir to the estate, in lieu of
Jodha Sing.

This he refused to do, and Anrod Sing came, with a force of two
thousand armed men, supported by a detachment from Captain Barlow's
regiment, and laid siege to his fort, on the pretence that he was
required to give security for the more punctual payment of the
revenue. To defend himself, he was obliged to call in the aid of his
clan and neighbours, and expend all that he had or could borrow, and,
at last, constrained to accept Anrod Sing's security, for no
merchants would lend money to a poor man in a state of siege. Anrod
Sing had now gone off to Lucknow, and bribed the person in charge of
the Huzoor Tuhseel, Gholam Ruza Khan, one of the most corrupt men in
the corrupt Court of Lucknow, to get an order issued by the Minister
to have him turned out, and the estate made over to Jhoda Sing, from
whom he would soon get it on pretence of accumulated balances, and
make it over, in perpetuity, to his brother, Dirj Bijee Sing. In this
attempt, the old man said, a good many lives must be lost and crops
destroyed, for his friends would not let him fall without a

[* The old man has been attacked and turned out with the loss of some
lives, in spite of the Resident's remonstrance, and the estate has
been made over to Jodha Sing, on the security for the payment of the
revenue of Anrod Sing. Jodha Sing is, naturally, of weak intellect;
and Anrod Sing will soon have him turned out as an incompetent
defaulter, and get the estate for himself, or for his younger
brother. Luckily _Anrod Sing_ and _Lonee Sing_, of Mitholee, are at
daggers-drawn about some villages, which Anrod Sing has seized, and
to which Lonee Sing thinks he has a better right. Their dread of each
other will be useful to the Government and the people.]

As soon as we left the poor old man, Bukhtawur Sing said, "This, sir,
is the way in which Government officers manage to control and subdue
these sturdy Rajpoot landholders. While they remain united, as in the
Bangur district, they can do nothing with them, and let them keep
their estates on their own terms; but the moment a quarrel takes
place between them they take advantage of it: they adopt the cause of
the strongest, and support him in his aggressions upon the other
members of his family or clan till all become weak by division and
disorder, and submit. Forty or fifty years ago, sir, when I used to
move about the country on circuit with Saadut Allee Khan, the then
sovereign, as I now move with you, there were many Rajpoot
landholders in Oude stronger than any that defy the Government now;
but they dared not then hold their heads so high as they do now. The
local officers employed by him were men of ability, experience, and
character, totally unlike those now employed. Each had a wing of one
of the Honourable Company's regiments and some good guns with him,
and was ready and able to enforce his master's orders and the payment
of his just demands; but, since his death, the local officers have
been falling off in character and strength, while the Rajpoot
landholders have risen in pride and power. The aid of the British
troops has, by degrees, been altogether withdrawn, and the
landholders of this class despise the Oude Government, and many of
them resist its troops whenever they attempt to enforce the payment
of even its most moderate demands. The revenues of the State fall off
as the armed bands of these landholders increase, and families who,
in his time, kept up only fifty armed men, have now five hundred, or
even a thousand or two thousand, and spend what they owe to
Government in maintaining them. To pay such bands they withhold the
just demands of the State, rob their weaker neighbours of their
possessions, and plunder travellers on the highway, and men of
substance, wherever they can find them.

"When Saadut Allee made over one-half of his dominions to the British
Government in 1801, he was bound to reduce his military force and
rely altogether upon the support of your Government. He did so; but
the force he retained, though small, was good; and while that support
was afforded things went on well--he was a wise man, and made the
most of the means he had. Since that time, sir, the Oude force has
been increased four-fold, as your aid has been withdrawn; but the
whole is not equal to the fourth part which served under Saadut
Allee. You see how insignificant it everywhere is, and how much it is
despised even by the third-class Rajpoot landholders. You see, also,
how they everywhere prey upon the people, and are dreaded and
detested by them: the only estates free from their inroads are those
under the 'Huzoor Tuhseel,' into which the Amils and their disorderly
hosts dare not enter. If the landholders could be made to feel that
they would not be permitted to seize other men's possessions, nor
other men to seize theirs, as long as they obeyed the Government and
paid its just dues, they would disband these armed followers, and the
King might soon reduce his. He will never make them worth anything;
there are too many worthless, but influential persons about the
Court, interested in keeping up all kinds of abuses, to permit this.
These abuses are the chief source of their incomes: they rob the
officers and sipahees, and even the draft-bullocks; and you
everywhere see how the poor animals are starved by them."

Within a mile of the camp I met the Nazim, Hoseyn Allee Khan, who
told me that Rajah Goorbuksh Sing, of Ramnuggur Dhumeree, had
fulfilled all the engagements entered into before me at Byramghat, on
the Ghagra, on the 6th of December, and was no longer opposed to the
Government; and that the only large landholder in his district who
remained so at present was Seobuksh Sing, of Kateysura, a strong
fort, mounted with seven guns, near the road over which I am to pass
the day after tomorrow, between Oel and Lahurpoor. As he came up on
his little elephant along the road, I saw half-a-dozen of his men,
mounted on camels, trotting along through a fine field of wheat, now
in ear, with as much unconcern as if they had been upon a fine sward
to which they could do no harm. I saw one of my people in advance
make a sign to them, on which they made for the road as fast as they
could. I asked the Nazim how he could permit such trespass. He told
me, "That he did not see them, and unless his eye was always upon
them he could not prevent their doing mischief, for they were the
King's servants, who never seemed happy unless they were trespassing
upon some of his Majesty's subjects." Nothing, certainly, seems to
delight them so much as the trespasses of all kinds which they do
commit upon them.

_March_ 8, 1850.--Oel, five miles, over a plain of the same fine
muteear soil, beautifully cultivated and studded with trees,
intermixed with numerous clusters of the graceful bamboo. A great-
grandson of the monster Nadir Shah, of Persia, Ruza Kolee Khan, who
commands a battalion in the King of Oude's service, rode by me, and I
asked him whether he ever saw such a cultivated country in Persia.
"Never," said he: "Persia is a hilly country, and there is no tillage
like this in any part of it. I left Persia, with my father, twenty-
two years ago, when I was twenty-two years of age, and I have still a
very distinct recollection of what it was then. There is no country
in the world, sir," said the Nazim, "like Hindoostan, when it enjoys
the blessings of a good government. The purgunnah of Kheree, in which
we now are, is all held by the heads of three families of Janwar
Rajpoots: Rajah Ajub Sing, of Kymara; Anrod Sing, of Oel; and Umrao
Sing, of Mahewa. There are only sixty-six villages of Khalsa, or
Crown lands left, yielding twenty-one thousand rupees a-year. The
rest have been all absorbed by the heads of these Rajpoot families.

                        Villages.           Jumma.
    Kymara   .   .   .     82   .   .    13,486  0  0
    Oel  .   .   .   .    170   .   .    54,790  0  0
    Mahewa   .   .   .     70   .   .    20,835  0  0
                          ___            _____________
                          322   .   .    89,111  0  0
    Khalsa   .   .   .     66   .   .    21,881  0  0
                          ___          _______________

                          388   .   .  1,10,992  0  0
                          ___          _______________

"These heads of families have each a fort, surrounded by a strong
fence of bamboos, and mounted with good guns; and the King cannot get
so large a revenue from them as he did thirty years ago, in the time
of Hakeem Mehndee, though their lands are as well tilled now as they
were then, and yield more rent to their holders. They spend it all in
keeping up large armed bands to resist the Government; but they
certainly take care of their cultivators and tenants of all kinds,
and no man dares molest them.

"But," said Bukhtawur Sing, "this beautiful scene would all be
changed were they encouraged or permitted to contend with each other
for the possession of the lands. I yesterday saw a great number of
the merchants of Kymara following the Resident's camp; and, on asking
them why, they told me that the order from Court obtained by Gholam
Ruza for you (the Nazim) to assist the Oel chief, Anrod Sing, in
despoiling Rajah Ajub Sing of his estate, had driven out all who had
no fields of corn or other local ties to detain them, and had
anything to lose by remaining. The chief and his retainers were
repairing their fort, and preparing to fight for their possessions to
the last; and if you take your disorderly force against them
according to orders, the crops now in the ground will be all
destroyed, and the numerous fields now prepared to receive sugar-cane
and the autumn seed will be left waste: they will make reprisals upon
Oel; others of their clan will join in the strife; and this district
will be what that of Bharwara, which we have just left, now is. The
merchants are in the right, sir, to make off: no property in such a
scene is ever safe. There is no property, sir, like that in the
Honourable Company's paper: it is the only property that we can enjoy
in peace. You feel no anxiety about it. It doubles itself in fifteen
or sixteen years; and you go on from generation to generation
enjoying your five per cent., and neither fearing nor annoying

The two villages of Oel and Dhukwa adjoin each other, and form a
large town; but the dwelling-houses have a wretched appearance,
consisting of naked mud walls, with but a few more grass-choppers
than are usually found upon them in Oude towns. There is a good-
looking temple, dedicated to Mahadeo, in the centre of the town, and
the houses are close upon the ditch of the fort, which has its
bamboo-fence inside its ditch and outer mud walls. I have written to
the Durbar to recommend that the order for the attack upon Rajah Ajub
Sing be countermanded, and more pacific measures adopted for the
settlement of the claims of the Exchequer and Anrod Sing upon poor
old Ajub Sing.

The Kanoongoes of this place tell me that the dispute has arisen from
a desire, on the part of the old man's wife, to set aside the just
claim of Jodha Sing, the old man's nephew, to the inheritance, in
favour of a lad whom she has adopted and brought up, by name Teeka
Sing, in whose name the estate is now managed by a servant; that
Jodha Sing is the rightful heir, and managed the estate well for his
uncle, after the death of his brother, till lately, when his aunt
persuaded his uncle to break with him, which he did with reluctance;
that Jodha Sing now lives in retirement at his village of Barkerwa;
that Anrod Sing's design upon the inheritance for his younger
brother, Dirj Bijee Sing, is unjust; and that he is, in consequence,
obliged to prosecute it on the pretence of recovering money due, and
supporting the claim of Jodha Sing, and in collusion with the
officers of Government; that Gholam Ruza, who has charge of the
Huzoor Tuhseel, is ready to adopt the cause of any one who will pay
him; and that Anrod Sing is now at Lucknow paying his court to him,
and getting these iniquitous orders issued.

Oel was transferred to the Huzoor Tuhseel in 1834, Kymara in 1836,
and Mahewa in 1839. These Rajpoot landholders do not often seize upon
the lands of a relative at once, but get them by degrees by fraud and
collusion with Government officers, so that they may share the odium
with them. They instigate these officers to demand more than the
lands can pay; offer the enhanced rate, and get the lands at once; or
get a mortgage, run up the account, and foreclose by their aid. They
no sooner get the estate than they reduce the Government demand, by
collusion or violence, to less than what the former proprietor had

_March_ 9, 1850.--Lahurpoor, twelve miles, over a plain of doomuteea
soil, well studded with groves and single trees, but not so fully
cultivated the last half way as the first. For the first halfway the
road lies through the estate of Anrod Sing, of Oel; but for the last
it runs through that of Seobuksh Sing, a Gour Rajpoot, who has a fort
near the town of Kuteysura, five miles from Lahurpoor, and seven from
Oel. It is of mud, and has a ditch all round, and a bamboo-fence
inside the outer walls. It is of great extent, but not formidable
against well-provided troops. The greater part of the houses in the
town are in ruins, and Seobuksh has the reputation of being a
reckless and improvident landholder. He is said not only to take from
his tenants higher rates of rent than he ought, but to extort from
them very often a _property tax_, highly and capriciously rated. This
is what the people call the _bhalmansae_, of which they have a very
great abhorrence. "You are a _bhala manus_" (a gentleman, or man of
substance), he says to his tenant, "and must have property worth at
least a thousand rupees. I want money sadly, and must have one-fifth:
give me two hundred rupees." This is what the people call
"_bhalmansae_," or rating a man according to his substance; and to
say that a landlord or governor does this, is to say that he is a
reckless oppressor, who has no regard to obligations or to

There are manifest signs of the present landholder, Seobuksh Sing,
being of this character; but others, not less manifest, of his
grandfather having been a better man, in the fine groves which
surround Lahurpoor, and the villages between this place and
Kuteysura, all of which are included in his estate. These groves
were, for the most part, planted during the life of his grandfather
by men of substance, who were left free to-dispose of their property
as they thought best.

All the native gentlemen who rode with me remarked on the beauty of
the approach to Lahurpoor, in which a rich carpet of spring crops
covers the surface up to the groves, and extends along under the
trees which have been recently planted. There are many young groves
about the place, planted by men who have acquired property by trade,
and by the savings out of the salaries and perquisites of office at
Lahurpoor, which is the residence of the Nazim, or local governor,
during several months in the year; and the landlord, Seobuksh, cannot
venture to exact his _property-tax_ from them. The air and water are
much praised, and the general good health of the troops, civil
establishments, and residents of all classes, show that the climate
must be good. The position, too, is well chosen with reference to the
districts, and the character of the people under the control of the
governor of the Khyrabad district.

The estate of Seobuksh is very extensive. The soil is all good and
the plain level, so that every part of it is capable of tillage.
Rutun Sing, the father of Seobuksh, is said to have been a greater
rack-renter, rebel, and robber than his son is, and together they
have injured the estate a good deal, and reduced it from a rent-roll
of one hundred thousand to one of forty. Its rent-roll is now
estimated in the public accounts at 54,640, out of which is deducted
a _nankar_ of 17,587, leaving a Government demand of only 37,053.
This he can't pay; and he has shut himself up sullenly in his mud
fort, where the Nazim dares not attack him. He is levying
contributions from the surrounding villages, but has not yet
plundered or burnt down any. He was lately in prison, for two years;
but released on the security of Rajah Lonee Sing, of Mitholee, whose
wife is his wife's sister. He, however, says that he was pledged to
produce him when required, not before the _present Nazim_, but his
_predecessor_; and that he is no longer bound by this pledge. This
reasoning would, of course, have no weight with the Government
authorities, nor would it be had recourse to were Lonee Sing less
strong. Each has a strong fort and a band of steady men. The Nazim
has not the means to attack Seobuksh, and dares not attack Lonee
Sing, as his estate of Pyla is in the "Huzoor Tuhseel," and under the
protection of Court favourites, who are well paid by him.

Lonee Sing's estate of Mitholee is in the Mahomdee district, and
under the jurisdiction of the Amil; and it is only the portion,
consisting of one hundred and four recently-acquired villages, which
he holds in the Pyla estate, in the Khyrabad district, that has been
made over to the Huzoor Tuhseel.* He offered an increased rate for
these villages to the then Amil, Bhowood Dowlah, in the year A.D.
1840. It was accepted, and he attacked, plundered, and murdered a
good many of the old proprietors, and established such a dread among
them, that he now manages them with little difficulty. Basdeo held
fourteen of these villages under mortgage, and sixteen more under
lease. He had his brother, maternal uncle, and a servant killed by
Lonee Sing, and is now reduced to beggary. Lonee Sing took the lease
in March, 1840, and commenced this attack in May.

[* Anrod Sing holds twenty-eight villages in the Pyla estate,
acquired in the same way as those held by Lonee Sing.]

The Nazim had with him, of infantry, 1. Futteh Aesh Nujeebs. 2.
Wuzeree, ditto. 3. Zuffur, Mobaruk Telinga. 4. Futteh Jung ditto;
Ruza Kolee Khan. 5. Captain Barlow's ditto. Eleven guns. But, being
unable to get any duty from the three regiments first named, he
offered to dispense with the two first, on condition that the command
of the third should be placed at his disposal for his son or nephew.

This request was complied with; and, on paying a fee of five thousand
rupees, he got the dress of investiture, and offered it to Lieutenant
Orr, a very gallant officer, the second in command of Captain
Barlow's corps, as the only way to render the corps so efficient as
he required it to be. The Durbar took away the two regiments; but, as
soon as they heard that Lieutenant Orr was to command the third, they
appointed Fidda Hoseyn, brother of the ruffian Mahommed Hoseyn, who
had held the district of Mahomdee, and done so much mischief to it.
Fidda Hoseyn, of course, paid a high sum for the command to be
exacted from his subordinates, or the people of the district in which
it might be employed; and the regiment has remained worse than
useless. Of the eleven guns, five are useless on the ground, and
without bullocks. The bullocks for the other six are present, but too
weak to draw anything. They had had no grain for many years; but
within the last month they have had one-half seer each per day out of
the one seer and half paid for by Government. There is no ammunition,
stores, or anything else for the guns, and the best of the carriages
are liable to fall to pieces with the first discharge. They are not
allowed to repair them, but must send them in to get them changed for
others when useless. The Durbar knows that if they allow the local
officers to charge for the repair of guns, heavy charges will be
made, and no gun ever repaired; and the local officers know that if
they send in a gun to be repaired at Lucknow, they will get in
exchange one _painted_ to look well, but so flimsily done up that it
will go to pieces the first or second time it is fired.

Captain Barlow's corps is a good one, and the men are finer than any
that I have seen in our own infantry regiments, though they get only
five rupees a-month each, while ours get seven. They prefer this rate
under European officers in the Oude service, to the seven rupees a-
month which sipahees get in ours, though they have no pension
establishment or extra allowance while marching. They feel sure that
their European commandants will secure them their pay sooner or
later; they escape many of the harassing duties to which our sipahees
are liable; they have leave to visit their homes one month in twelve;
they never have to march out of Oude to distant stations, situated in
bad climates; they get fuel and fodder, and often food, for nothing;
their baggage is always carried for them at the public cost. But to
secure them their pay, arms, accoutrements, clothing, &c., the
commandant must be always about the Court himself, or have an
_ambassador_ of some influence there at great cost. Captain Barlow
is almost all his time at Court, as much from choice as expediency,
drawing all his allowances and emoluments of all kinds, while his
second in command performs his regimental duties for him. The other
officers like this, because they know that the corps could not
possibly be kept in the state it is without it. Captain Barlow has
lately obtained three thousand rupees for the repair of his six gun-
carriages, tumbrils, &c., that is, five hundred for each. They had
not been repaired for ten years; hardly any of the others have been
repaired for the last twenty or thirty years.

The Nazim of this district of Khyrabad has taken the farm of it for
one year at nine lacs of rupees, that is one lac and a half less than
the rate at which it was taken by his predecessor last year. He tells
me, that he was obliged, to enter into engagements to pay in
gratuities fifty thousand to the minister, of which he has as yet
paid only five thousand; twenty-five thousand to the Dewan,
Balkishun, and seven thousand to Gholam Ruza, who has charge of the
Huzoor Tuhseel--that he was obliged to engage to pay four hundred
rupees a-month, in salaries, to men named by the Dewan, who do no
duty, and never show their faces to him; and similar sums to the
creatures of the minister and others--that he was obliged to pay
gratuities to a vast number of understrappers at Court--that he was
not made aware of the amount of these gratuities, &c., till he had
received his dress of investiture, and had merely promised to pay
what his predecessor had paid--that when about to set out, the
memorandum of what his predecessor had paid was put into his hand,
and it was then too late to remonstrate or draw back. There may be
some exaggeration in the rate of the gratuities demanded; but that he
has to pay them to the persons named I have no doubt whatever,
because; all men in charge of districts have to pay them to those
persons, whether they hold the districts in contract, or in trust.

The Zuffer Mobaruk regiment, with its commandant, Fidda Hoseyn, is
now across the Ghagra in charge of Dhorehra, an estate in the forest
belonging to Rajah Arjun Sing, who has absconded in consequence of
having been ruined by the rapacity of a native collector last year;
and they are diligently employed in plundering all the people who
remain. The estate paid 2,75,000 a-year till these outrages began;
and it cannot now pay fifty thousand. Arjun Sing and Seobuksh Sing,
of Kuteysura, are the only refractory landholders in the Khyrabad
district at present.

_March_ 10, 1850.--Halted at Lahurpoor. There is good ground for
large civil and military establishments to the south of the town,
about a mile out, on the left of the road leading to Khyrabad. It is
a fine open plain of light soil. New pucka-wells would be required;
and some low ground, near the south and north, would also require to
be drained, as water lies in it during the rains. There is excellent
ground nearer the town on the same side, but the mango-groves are
thick and numerous, and would impede the circulation of air. The
owners would, moreover be soon robbed of them were a cantonment, or
civil station, established among or very near to them. The town and
site of any cantonment, or civil station, should be taken from the
Kuteysura estate, and due compensation made to the holder, Seobuksh.
The town is a poor one; and the people are keeping their houses
uncovered, and removing their property under the apprehension that
Seobuksh will attack and plunder the place. All the merchants and
respectable landholders, over the districts bordering on the Tarae
forest, through which we have passed, declare, that all the colonies
of Budukh dacoits, who had, for many generations, up to 1842, been
located in this forest, have entirely disappeared. Not a family of
them can now be found anywhere in Oude. Six or eight hundred of their
brave and active men used to sally forth every year, and carry their
depredations into Bengal, Bebar and all the districts of the north-
west provinces. Their suppression has been a great benefit conferred
upon the people of India by the British Government.

_March_ 11, 1850.--Kusreyla, ten miles, over a plain of excellent
muteear soil scantily cultivated, but studded with fine trees, single
and in groves. Kusreyla is among the three hundred villages which
have been lately taken in mortgage from the proprietors, and in lease
from Government, by Monowur-od Dowlah, the nephew and heir of the
late Hakeem Mehndee. He is inviting and locating in these villages
many cultivators of the best classes; and they will all soon be in a
fine state of tillage. No soil can be finer, and no acre of it is
incapable of bearing fine crops. The old proprietors and lessees, to
whom he had lent money on mortgage, have persuaded him to foreclose,
that they may come under so substantial and kind a landholder. They
prefer holding the sub-lease under such a man, to holding the lease
directly under Government, subject to the jurisdiction of the Nazim.
Monowur-od Dowlah pays forty thousand rupees a-year for the whole to
Government, and has had the whole transferred to the Huzoor Tuhseel.

The Nazim of Khyrabad rode by my side during this morning's march,
and at my request he described the mutiny which took place in two of
the regiments that attended him in the siege of Bhitolee, just before
I crossed the Ghagra at Byramghat. These were the Futteh Aesh, and
the Wuzeeree. Their commandants are Allee Hoseyn, a creature of one
of the singers, Kootab Allee; and Mahommed Akhbur, a creature of the
minister's. They were earnestly urged by the minister and Nazim to
join their regiments for the short time they would be on this
important service, but in vain; nothing could induce them to quit the
Court. All the corps mentioned above, as attending the Nazim, were
present, and the siege had begun when, on the 17th of November, some
shopkeepers in camp, having been robbed during the night by some
thieves, shut up their shops, and prepared to leave the camp in a
body. The siege could not go on if the traders all left the place;
and he sent a messenger to call the principal men that he might talk
to them. They refused to move, and the messenger, finding that they
were ready to set out, seized one of them by the waist-hand, and when
he resisted, struck him on the head with a stick, and said he would
make him go to his master. The man called out to some sipahees of the
Wuzeeree regiment, who were near, to rescue him. They did so: the
messenger struggled to hold his grasp, but was dragged off and
beaten. He returned the blows; the sipahees drew their swords: he
seized one of the swords and ran off towards his master's tent,
waiving it over his head, to defend himself, followed by some of the
sipahees. The others ran back to the grove in which their regiment
and the Futteh Aesh were bivouaced; both regiments seized their arms
and ran towards the Nazim's tents; and when they got within two
hundred yards, commenced firing upon them.

The Nazim had with him only a few of his own armed servants. They
seized their arms, and begged permission to return the fire, but were
restrained till the regiment came near, and two tomandars, or
officers, who stood by the Nazim, were shot down, one dead; and the
other disabled. His men could be restrained no longer, and they shot
down two of the foremost of the assailants. The Nazim then sent off
to Lieutenant Orr, who was exercising his corps with blank cartridge
on the parade; and, supposing that one of these regiments was doing
the same thing near the Nazim's tents, he paid no attention to them.
He and his brother, the Adjutant, ran forward, and entreated the two
regiments to cease firing; and the Nazim sent out Syud Seoraj-od Deen
(the commandant of the Bhurmar regiment, stationed in the adjoining
district of Ramnugger Dhumeree, who had just come to him on a visit),
with the Koran in his hand, to do the same. The remonstrances of both
were in vain. They continued to fire upon the Nazim, and Lieutenant
Orr went off to bring up his regiment, which stood ready to move on
the parade. Alarmed at this, the two regiments ran off to their
grove, and the firing ceased.

During all this time, the other two regiments, the Zuffer Mobaruk and
Futteh Jung, stood looking on as indifferent spectators; and
afterwards took great credit to themselves for not joining in this
attempt to blow up the viceroy, who was obliged, the next day, to go
to their camp and apologize humbly for his men having presumed to
return their fire, which he declared that they had done without his
orders! On his doing this, they consented to forego their claim to
have the unhappy messenger sent to their camp to be _executed_; and
to remain with him during the siege. As to taking any part in the
siege and assault on the fort, that was altogether out of their line.
Ruza Kolee Khan, the commandant of the Futteh Jung, was at Lucknow
during this mutiny, but he joined a few days after. Lieutenant Orr
gave me the same narrative of the affair at the dinner-table last
night; and said, that he and his brother had a very narrow escape--
that his regiment would have destroyed all the mutineers had they
been present; and he left them on the parade lest he might not be
able to restrain them in such a scene. Even this mutiny of the two
regiments could not tempt their commandants to leave Court, where
they are still enjoying the favour of their patrons, the minister and
the singers, and a large share of the pay and perquisites of their
officers and sipahees, though the regiments have been sent off to the
two disturbed districts of Sundela and Salone.

They dare not face the most contemptible enemy, but they spare not
the weak and inoffensive of any class, age, or sex. A respectable
landholder, in presenting a petition, complaining of the outrages
committed upon his village and peasantry, said a few days ago--"The
oppression of these revenue collectors, and their disorderly troops,
is intolerable, sir--they plunder all who cannot resist them, but
cannot lift their arms, or draw their breath freely in the presence
of armed robbers and rebels--it is a proverb, sir, that _insects_
prey upon soft _wood_; and these men prey only upon the peaceful and
industrious, who are unable to defend themselves." The Nazim tells
me, that the lamentations of the poor people, plundered and
maltreated, were incessant and distressing during the whole time
these two corps were with him; and that he could exercise no control
whatever over them, protected as they were, in all their iniquities,
by the Court favour their two commandants enjoyed at Lucknow.*

[* Kootab Allee was one of the singers who were soon after banished
from Oude in disgrace. But all the influence they exercised over the
King has been concentrated in the hands of the two singers who
remained, Mosahib Allee and Anees-od Dowla. All are despicable
_domes_; but the two, who now govern the King, are much worse
characters than any of those who were banished.]

I asked Bukhtawur Sing, before the Nazim overtook us this morning,
why it was, that these governors always took so many troops with them
when they moved from place to place, merely to settle accounts and
inspect the crops. "Some of them," said he, "take all the troops they
can muster, to show that they are great men; but, for the most part,
they are afraid to move without them. They, and the greater part of
the landholders, consider each other as natural and irreconcilable
enemies; and a good many of those, who hold the largest estates, are
at all times in open resistance against the Government. They have
their Vakeels with the contractors when they are not so, and spies
when they are. They know all his movements, and would waylay and
carry him off if not surrounded with a strong body of soldiers, for
he is always moving over the country, with every part of which they
are well acquainted. Besides, under the present system of allowing
them to forage or plunder for themselves, it is ruinous to any place
to leave them in it for even a few days--no man, within several
miles, would preserve shelter for his family, or food for his cattle,
during the hot and rainy months--he is obliged to take them about
with him to distribute, as equally as he can, the terrible burthen of
maintaining them. Now that the sugar-cane is ripe, not one cane would
be preserved in any field within five miles of any place where the
Nazim kept his troops for ten days."

_March_ 12, 1850.--Seetapoor, nine miles over a plain of muteear
soil, the greater part of which is light, and yields but scanty crops
without manure, which is very scarce. Immediately about the station
and villages, where manure is available, the crops are good. The wind
continues westerly, the sky is clear, and the blight does not seem to

The 2nd Regiment of Oude Local Infantry is stationed at Seetapoor,
but it has no guns or cavalry of any kind. Formerly there was a corps
of the Honourable Company's Native Infantry here, with two guns and a
detail of artillery. The sipahees of this corps, and of the 1st Oude
Local Infantry, at Sultanpoor, are somewhat inferior in appearance to
those of our own native infantry regiments, and still more so to the
Oude corps under Captains Barlow, Magness, and Bunbury. They receive
five rupees eight annas a-month pay, and batta, or extra allowance,
when marching; and the same pay as our own sipahees of the line
(seven rupees a-month) when serving with them. But the commandants
cannot get recruits equal to those that enlist in our regiments of
the line, or those that enlist in the corps of the officers above
named. They have not the rest and the licence of the one, while they
have the same drill and discipline, without the same rate of pay as
the other. They have now the privilege of petitioning through the
Resident like our sipahees of the line, and that of the pension
establishment, while Barlow's, Bunbury's, and Magness's corps have
neither. They have none but internal duties--they are hardly ever
sent out to aid the King's local authorities, and do not escort
treasure even for their own pay. It is sent to them by drafts from
Lucknow on the local collectors of the district in which they are
cantoned; and the money required for the Resident's Treasury--a great
portion of which passes through the Seetapoor cantonments--is
escorted by our infantry regiments of the line, stationed at Lucknow,
merely because a General Order exists that no irregular corps shall
be employed on such duties while any regular corps near has a relief
of guards present. The corps of regular infantry at Shajehanpoor
escorts the treasure six marches to Seetapoor, where it is relieved
by a detachment from one of the regular corps at Lucknow, six marches

The native officers and sipahees of these two corps have leave of
absence to visit their families just as often and for just as long
periods as those of the corps under the three above-named officers--
that is, for one month out of twelve. The native officers and
sipahees of these three corps are not, however, so much drilled or
restrained as those of the two Oude local corps, in which no man
dares to help himself occasionally to the roofs of houses and the
produce of fields or gardens; nor to take presents from local
authorities, as they are hardly ever sent out to assist them. The
native officers and sipahees of the very best of the King of Oude's
corps do all this more or less; and they become, in consequence, more
attached to their officers and the service. Moreover, the commandants
of the two corps of Oude local infantry never become _mediators_
between large landholders and local governors as those of the King of
Oude's corps so often do; nor are any landed estates ever assigned to
them for the liquidation of their arrears of pay, and confided to
their management. So highly do the native officers of these three
Oude _Komukee_ corps appreciate all the privileges and perquisites
they enjoy, when out on duty under district officers, that they
consider short periods of guard duty in the city, where they have
none of them, as serious punishments.

The drainage about Seetapoor is into the small river Surain, which
flows along on the west boundary, and is excellent; and the lands in
and about the station are at all times dry. The soil, too, is good;
and the place, on the whole, is well adapted for the cantonment of a
much larger force.

_March_ 13, 1850.--Khyrabad, east nine miles, over a plain of
doomuteea soil with much oosur. A little outlay and labour seem,
however, to make this oosur produce good crops. On entering the town
on the west side, we passed over a good stone bridge over this little
stream, the Surain; and to the east of the town is another over the
still smaller stream of the Gond. Khyrabad is not so well drained as
Seetapoor, nor would it be so well adapted for a large cantonment. It
is considered to be less healthy. There is an avenue of good trees
all the way from Seetapoor to Khyrabad, a distance of six miles,
planted by Hakeem Mehndee. Our camp being to the eastern extremity of
the town, renders the distance nine miles.

Yesterday at Seetapoor I had a visit from Monowur-od Dowla, late
prime minister, and Moomtaz-od Dowla, grandson to the late King,
Mahommed Allee Shah, on their way out to the Tarae forest to join
Kindoo Rao, the brother of the Byza Bae, of Gwalior, in pursuit of
tigers. This morning on the road, old Bukhtawur Sing, after a sigh,
said: "I presented a nazur to the prince, Moomtaz-od Dowla, sir; he
is the grandson of a King, and the victim of the folly and crime of
shooting a monkey! His father, Asgur Allee Khan, was the eldest son
of Mahommed Allee Shah, and elder brother of Amjud Allee Shah, the
father of the present King. He was fond of his gun, and one day a
monkey, of the red and short-tailed kind, came and sat upon one of
his out-offices. He sent for his gun, and shot it dead with a ball.
The very next day, sir, he had a severe attack of fever, which
carried him off in three days. During this time he frequently called
out in terror, 'Save me from that monkey! save me from that monkey!'
--pointing to the part of the room in which he _saw him_. The monkey
killed Asgur Allee Khan, sir; and no man ever escapes death or misery
who wilfully kills one. Moomtaz-od Dowla might, sir, have been now
King of Oude had his father not shot that monkey."

"But I thought," said I, "it was the _hanoomaun_, or long-tailed
monkey, that was held sacred by the Hindoos?"--"Sir," said Bukhtawur
Sing, "both are alike sacred.* Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, the predecessor
of Mahommed Allee Shah, went one day shooting in the dilkhoosha park.
Several of the long-tailed monkeys came and sat upon a mango-tree
near him. He could not resist the temptation, and shot several of
them, one after another, with ball. He returned to the palace; but
had not been home more than three hours, when he and his favourite
wife, the Kooduseea Begum,** had a fierce quarrel, in which both
became insane; she was so enraged that she took poison forthwith,
and, in her agony, actually spit up her liver, which had been torn to
pieces by the force of the poison! The King could not stand the
horrible sight, and ran off and hid himself in the race-stand, near
which you fell and broke your thigh-bone in April last; there he
remained shut up till she died. He had had warning, sir, for a few
months after his accession to the throne; I attended him and his
minister, Aga Meer, on a visit to the garden, called padshah baag, on
the opposite side of the river: he had a gun with him, and, seeing a
monkey on a tree, he ordered the prime minister to try his hand at
it. I told Aga Meer that evil would certainly befall him or his house
if he shot the animal, and begged his Majesty not to assist upon the
minister's doing it. Both laughed at what they thought my folly; the
minister shot the monkey; and in a few days he was out of office and
in a prison. One way or other, sir, a man who wilfully destroys a
monkey is sure to be punished."

[* That Asgur Allee Khan, the eldest son of the King, Mahommed Allee
Shah, did shoot the monkey, got a fever a few days after, and died of
it, are facts well known at Lucknow. That he often mentioned the
monkey during his delirium, is generally believed; and that his death
was the consequence of his shooting that animal is the opinion of all
the Hindoo, and a great part of the Musulman, population. His death,
while his father lived, deprived his son, Moomtaz-od Dowla, of the

[** The Kooduseea Begum had been introduced into the palace as
waiting-woman to Mulika Zumanee, whom she soon superseded in the
King's affections, which she retained till her death. She was married
to the King on the 17th December, 1831, and died on the 21st of
August 1834.]

At Khyrabad there is a handsome set of buildings, consisting of a
mausoleum over his father, a mosque, an _imambara_, and a _kudum
rusool_, or shrine with the print of the prophet's foot, erected by
Mucka Durzee, a tailor in the service of the King, who made a large
fortune out of his master's favours, and who still lives, and
provides for their repair and suitable endowment. These buildings
are, like all others of the same kind, infested by a host of
professional religious mendicants of both sexes and all ages, who
make the air resound with their clamours for alms. Not only are such
buildings so infested, but all the towns around them. I could not
help observing to the native gentlemen who attended me, "that when
men planted groves and avenues, and built reservoirs, bridges,
caravansaries, and wells, they did not give rise to any such sources
of annoyance to travellers; that they enjoyed the water, shade, and
accommodation, without cost or vexation, and went on their way
blessing the donor." "That," said an old Rusaldar, "is certainly
taking a new and just view of the case; but still it is a surprising
thing to see a man in this humble sphere of life raising and
maintaining so splendid a pile of buildings."*

[* Mucka the tailor, to whom these buildings belong, is the person
mentioned in the account of the death of the King, Nuseer-od Deen
Hyder, and the confinement of Ghalib Jung.]

The town of Khyrabad has still a good many inhabitants; but the
number is fast decreasing. It was the residence of the families of a
good many public officers in our service and that of Oude; and the
local authorities of the district used to reside here. They do so no
longer; and the families of public officers have almost all gone to
reside at other places. Life and property have become exceedingly
insecure, and attacks by gang-robbers so frequent that no man thinks
his house and family safe for a single night. Government officers are
entirely occupied in the collection of revenue, and they disregard
altogether the sufferings and risks to which the people of towns are
exposed. The ground around the place is low, and the climate is
inferior to that of Seetapoor. Salt and saltpetre are 'made from the
soil immediately round the town.

I have mentioned that Moomtaz-od Dowla might now have been King of
Oude had his father not died before his father. The Mohammedan law
excludes for ever the children of any person who dies before the
person to whom he or she is the next heir from all right in the
inheritance. Under the operation of this law, the sons of the eldest
son of the reigning King are excluded from the succession if he dies
before his father, and the crown devolves on the second son, or on
the brother of the King, if he leaves no other son. The sons of all
the sons who die, while their father lives, are _mahjoob-ol-irs_,
that is, excluded from inheritance. In the same manner, if the next
brother of the King dies before him, his sons are excluded from the
succession, which devolves on the third brother, and so on through
all the brothers. For instance, on the death, without any recognised
issue, of Nuseer-od Been Hyder, son of Ghazee-od Deen, he was
succeeded on the throne by Mahommed Allee Shah, the third brother of
Ghazee-od Deen, though four sons of the second brother, Shums-od
Dowla, still lived. On the death of Mahommed Allee Shah, he was
succeeded by his second son, Amjud Allee Shah, though Moomtaz-od
Dowla, the son of his eldest son, Asgur Allee Khan, still lived.
Shums-od Dowla died before his elder brother, Ghazee-od Deen; and
Asgur Allee Khan before his father, Mahommed Allee Shah: and the sons
of both became, in consequence, _mahjoob-ol-irs_, excluded from
succession. The same rule guides the succession among the Delhi
sovereigns. This exclusion extends to all kinds of property, as well
as to sovereignty.

Moomtaz-od Dowla is married to Zeenut-on Nissa, the daughter of
Mulika Zumanee, one of the consorts of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, late
King of Oude; and he has, I fear, more cause to regret his union with
her than his exclusion from the throne. Zeenut-on Nissa enjoys a
pension of ten thousand rupees a-month, in her own right, under the
guarantee of the British Government. I may here, as an episode not
devoid of interest, give a brief account of her mother, who, for some
years, during the reign of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, presided over the
palace at Lucknow. Before I do so I may mention that the King,
Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, had been married to a grand-daughter of the
Emperor of Delhi, a very beautiful young woman, of exemplary
character, who still survives, and retains the respect of the royal
family and people of Lucknow. Finding the Court too profligate for
her, she retired into private life soon after the marriage, and has
remained there ever since upon a small stipend from the King.

Mulika Zumanee, queen of the age, was a daughter of a Hindoo of the
Koormee caste, who borrowed from his neighbour, Futteh Morad, the sum
of sixty rupees, to purchase cloth. He soon after died, leaving a
widow, and a daughter named Dolaree, then five years of age. They
were both seized and confined for the debt by Futteh Morad; but, on
the mother's consenting to leave her daughter in bondage for the
debt, she was released. Futteh Morad's sister, Kuramut-on Nissa,
adopted Dolaree, who was a prepossessing child, and brought her up as
her daughter; but finding, as she grew up, that she was too intimate
with Roostum, the son by a former husband of her brother's second
wife, she insisted on their being married, and they were so. Futteh
Morad soon after died, and his first wife turned the second, with her
first son, Roostum, and his wife, Dolaree, and the two sons which she
had borne to Futteh Morad--Futteh Allee Khan and Warus Allee Khân--
out of her house. They went to Futteh Morad's aunt, Bebee Mulatee, a
learned woman, who resided as governess in the house of Nawab
Mohubbet Khan, at Roostumnugger, near Lucknow, and taught his
daughters to read the Koran. Finding Dolaree to be not the most
faithful of wives to Roostum, she would not admit them into the
Nawab's house, but she assisted them with food and raiment; and
Roostum entered the service--as a groom--of a trooper in the King's
cavalry, called Abas Kolee Beg. Dolaree had given birth to a boy, who
was named Mahommed Allee; and she now gave birth to a daughter; but
she had cohabited with a blacksmith and an elephant-driver in the
neighbourhood, and it became a much "vexed question" whether the son
and daughter resembled most Roostum, the blacksmith, or the elephant-
driver; all, however, were agreed upon the point of Dolaree's
backslidings. Mahommed Allee, _alias_ Kywan Ja, was three years of
age, and the daughter, _Zeenut-on Nissa_, one year and half, when
some belted attendants from the palace came to Roostumnugger in
search of a wet-nurse for the young prince, Moona Jan, who had been
born the night before; and Bebee Mulatee, whose reputation for
learning had readied the royal family, sent off Dolaree as one of the
candidates for employment. Her appearance pleased the queen, the
Padshah Begum, the quality of her milk was pronounced by the royal
physicians to be first rate, and she was chosen, as wet-nurse for the
new-born prince.

Moona Jan's father (then heir-apparent to the throne of Oude) no
sooner saw Dolaree than, to the astonishment of the Queen and her
Court, he fell desperately in love with her, though she seemed very
plain and very vulgar to all other eyes; and he could neither repose
himself, nor permit anybody else in the palace to repose, till he
obtained the King's and Queen's consent to his making her his wife,
which he did in 1826. She soon acquired an entire ascendancy over his
weak mind, and, anxious to surround herself in her exalted station by
people on whom she could entirely rely, she invited the learned Bebee
Mulatee and her daughter, Jumeel-on Nissa, and her son, Kasim Beg, to
the palace, and placed them in high and confidential posts. She
invited at the same time Futteh Allee and Warus Allee, the sons of
Futteh Morad by his second wife; and persuaded the King that they
were all people of high lineage, who had been reduced, by unmerited
misfortunes, to accept employments so humble. All were raised to the
rank of Nawabs, and placed in situations of high trust and
emoluments. Kuramut-on Nissa, too, the sister of Futteh Morad, was
invited; but when Dolaree's husband--the humble Roostum--ventured to
approach the Court, he was seized and imprisoned in a fort in the
Bangur district till the death of Nuseer-od Deen, when he was
released. He came to Lucknow, but died soon after.

Soon after the death of Ghazee-od Deen had placed the heir-apparent,
her husband, on the throne, 20th of October, 1827, she fortified
herself still further by high alliances: and her son, Mahommed Allee,
was affianced to the daughter of Rokun-od Dowla, brother of the late
King; and her daughter, Zeenut-on Nissa, to Moomtaz-od Dowla, the
prince of whom I am writing. These two marriages were celebrated at a
cost of about thirty lacs of rupees; Dolaree was declared the first
consort of the King, under the title of "Mulika Zamanee," queen of
the age, and received an estate in land yielding six lacs of rupees
a-year for pin-money. Not satisfied with this, she prevailed upon the
King to declare her son, Mahommed Allee, _alias_ Kywan Ja, to be his
_own and eldest son_, and heir-apparent to the throne; and to demand
his recognition as such from the British Government, through its
representative, the Resident. His Majesty, with great solemnity,
assured the Resident, on many occasions during November and December,
1827, _that Kywan Ja was his eldest son_; and told him that had he
not been so, his uncle would never have consented to bestow his
daughter upon him in marriage, nor should he himself have consented
to expend twenty lacs of rupees in the ceremonies. The Resident told
him that the universal impression at Lucknow was, that the boy was
three years of age when his mother was first introduced to his
Majesty. But this had no effect; and, to remove all further doubts
and discussions on the subject, he wrote a letter himself to the
Governor-General, earnestly protesting that Kywan Ja was his _eldest
son and heir-apparent to the throne_; and as such he was sent from
Lucknow to Cawnpoor to meet and escort over Lord Combermere in
December, 1827.

On the birth of Moonna Jan, the then King, Ghazee-od Deen Hyder,
declared to the Resident that the boy was not his grandson, and that
his son, Nuseer-od Deen, pretended that he was his son merely to
please his imperious mother, the Padshah Begum, and to annoy his
father, with whom they were both on bad terms. Ghazee-od Deen had,
however, before his death declared that he believed Moonna Jan to be
his grandson.* In February, 1832, the King, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder,
first through the minister, and then in person, assured the Resident
that neither of the boys was his son, and requested that he would
report the same to his Government, and assure the Governor-General
"that both reports, as to these boys being sons of his, were false,
and arose from the same cause, _bribery_ and _ambition_, that Mulika
Zumanee had paid many lacs of rupees to influential people about him
to persuade him to call her son his, and declare him heir-apparent to
the throne; and that Fazl Allee and Sookcheyn had done the same to
induce others to persuade him to acknowledge Moonna Jan to be his
son. But, said his Majesty, I know positively that he is not my son,
and my father knew the same."

[* I believe that Ghazee-od Deen's first repudiation of Moonna Jan
arose entirely from a desire to revenge himself upon his termagant
wife, whose furious temper left him no peace. She was, from his
birth, very fond of the boy; and to question his legitimacy was to
wound her in her tenderest point. This was the "raw" which her
husband established, and which his son and successor afterwards
worked upon.]

The wary minister then, to clench the matter, remarked that his
Majesty had mentioned to him that he had ceased to cohabit with
Moonna Jan's mother for twenty-four months before the boy was born;
and the King assured the Resident that this was quite true. Hakeem
Mehndee was as anxious as Aga Meer had been to keep the King
estranged from his imperious mother, and the only sure way was to
make him persist in repudiating the boy or postponing his claim to
the succession.

Mulika Zumanee's influence over the king had, however, been eclipsed,
first, by Miss Walters, Mokuddera Ouleea, whose history has already
been given; secondly, by the beautiful Taj Mahal; and, thirdly, by
the Kuduseea Begum. She entered the palace as a waiting-woman to
Mulika Zumanee, and, on the 17th of December, 1831, the King married
her; and from that day till her death, on the 21st of August, 1834,
she reigned supreme in the palace and in the King's affections.

On the King's paying a visit of ceremony to Mulika Zumanee one
evening, he asked for water, and it was brought to him in a gold cup,
on a silver tray, by the Kuduseea Begum, then one of the women in
waiting. Her face was partially unveiled; and the King, after
drinking, threw the last few drops from the cup over her veil in
play. In return, she threw the few drops that had been spilled on the
salver upon the King's robe, or vest. He pretended to be angry, and
asked her, with a frown, how she could dare to besprinkle her
sovereign; she replied--"When children play together there is no
distinction between the prince and the peasant." The King was charmed
with her half-veiled beauty and spirit, and he paid a second visit
the next day, and again asked for water. He did the same as the first
day, and she returned the compliment in the same way. He came a third
time and asked for water, but Mulika Zumanee had become alarmed, and
it was presented by another and less dangerous person. A few days
after, however, the Queen was constrained to allow her fair attendant
to attend the King, and receive from him formal proposals of
marriage, which she accepted.

She was handsome and generous; but there was no discrimination in her
bounty, and she is said to have received from the King nearly two
millions of money out of the reserved treasury for pin-money alone.
Of this she saved forty-four lacs of rupees. The King never touched
this money, and it formed, in a separate apartment, the greater part
of the seventy lacs found in his reserved treasury on his death, out
of the ten krores or ten millions sterling, which he found there when
he ascended the throne in 1827.

She is said to have been the only one of his wives who ever had any
real affection for the King. She was haughty and imperious in her
temper; and the only female, who had any influence over her, was a
Mogulanee, who taught her to read and write. She assisted her
mistress very diligently in spending her pin-money, and made the
fortunes of sundry of her relations. Altercations between the
Kuduseea Begum and the King were not uncommon; but, on the 21st of
August, 1834, the King became unusually excited, and told her that he
had raised her from bondage to the throne, and could as easily cast
her back into the same vile condition. Her proud spirit could not
brook this, and she instantly swallowed arsenic. The King relented,
and every remedy was tried, but in vain. The King watched over her
agonies till she was about to expire, when he fled in a frantic state
and took refuge in the apartments of the race-stand, about three
miles from the palace, till the funeral ceremonies were over. It is
said, that in her anxiety to give birth to an heir to the throne, she
got the husband, from whom she had been divorced, smuggled into her
apartments in the palace in a female dress more than once; and that
this was reported to the King, and became the real cause of the

The Mogulanee attendant, who had accumulated twenty lacs of rupees,
was seized and commanded to disgorge. She offered five lacs to Court
favourites on condition that they saw her safely over the river
Ganges into British territory. The most grave of them were
commissioned to wait upon his Majesty, and entreat him most earnestly
to banish her forthwith from his territories, as she was known, in
the first place, to be one of the most _potent sorceresses_ in India;
and, in the next, to have been exceedingly attached to her late
mistress: that they had strong grounds to believe that it was her
intention to send his Majesty's spirit after hers, that they might be
united in the next world us they had been in this. The King got
angry, and said, that he had no dread of sorceresses, and would make
the old lady disgorge her twenty lacs. That very night, however, in
his sleep, he saw the Kuduseea Begum enter his room, approach his
bed, look upon him with a countenance still more kind and bright than
in life, and then return slowly with her face still towards him, and
beckoning him with her hand to follow! As soon as he awoke he became
greatly agitated and alarmed, and ordered the old sorceress to be
sent forthwith across the Ganges to Cawnpoor. She paid her five lacs,
and took off about fifteen; but what became of her afterwards I have
not heard.

One of the first cases that I had to decide, after taking charge of
my office, was that of a claim to five Government notes of twenty
thousand rupees each, left by Sultan Mahal, one of the late King,
Amjud Allee Shah's, widows. The claimants were the reigning King, and
the mother, brother, and sister of the deceased widow. She was the
daughter of a greengrocer, and, in February 1846, at the age of
sixteen, she went to the palace with vegetables. The King saw and
fell in love with her; and she forthwith became one of his wives,
under the name of "Sultan Mahal." In November, 1846, the King
invested eighteen lacs and thirty thousand rupees in Government notes
as a provision for his wives and other female relations. The notes
were to be made out in their names respectively; and the interest was
to be paid to them and their heirs. Of this sum, Sultan Mahal was to
have one hundred thousand; and, on the 21st of November, she drew the
interest, in anticipation, up to the 30th of December of that year.
The five notes for twenty thousand each, in her name, were received
in the Resident's Treasury on the 20th of April, 1847. On the 28th of
August, she sent an application for the Notes to the Resident, but
died the next day. The King, her husband, had died on the 18th
February, 1847.

Nine days after, on the 6th of September, the new King, Wajid Allee
Shah, sent an application to have these five notes transferred to one
of his own wives; urging, that, as his father and the Sultan Mahal
had both died, he alone ought to be considered as the heir. It was
decided, that the mother, sister, and brother were the rightful heirs
to the Sultan Mahal; and the amount was distributed among them
according to Mahommedan law. The question was, however, submitted to
Government at his Majesty's request; and the decision of the Resident
was upheld on the ground that the notes were in the lady's name, and
she had actually drawn interest on them; and, as she died intestate,
they became the property of her heirs.

By a deed of engagement with the British Government, dated the 1st of
March, 1820, the King contributed to the five per cent loan the sum
of sixty-two lacs and forty thousand rupees, the interest of which,
at five per cent, our Government pledged itself to pay, in
perpetuity, to four females of the King's family. To Mulika Zumanee,
ten thousand a-month; to her daughter, Zeenut-on Nissa, four
thousand; to Mokuddera Ouleea (Miss Walters), six thousand; and to
Taj Mahal, six thousand: total, twenty-six thousand rupees a-month.
On the death of Mulika Zamanee, which took place on the 22nd
December, 1843, her daughter succeeded to her pension of six thousand

The other portion of her pension--four thousand rupees a-month--went
to her grandson, Wuzeer Mirza, the son of Kywan Ja, who had died on
the 16th of May, 1838, before his mother.* Of this four thousand a-
month, one thousand are given to Zeenut-on Nissa for the boy's
subsistence and education, and three thousand a-month are invested in
Government securities, to be paid to him when he comes of age. But,
besides the six thousand rupees a-month which she inherits from her
mother, Zeenut-on Nissa enjoys the pension of four thousand rupees a-
month, which was assigned to her by the King in the same deed; so
that she now draws eleven thousand rupees a-month, independent of her
husband's income.** By this deed the stipends are to descend to the
heirs of the pensioners, if they have any; and if they have none,
they can bequeath their pensions to whom they please. Should they
have no heirs, and leave no will, the stipends are to go to the
moojtahids and moojawurs, or presiding priests of the shrine of
kurbala, in Turkish Arabia, for distribution among the needy

[* Wuzeer Mirza is not the son of Rokun-od Dowla's daughter. Kywan
Ja's marriage with that lady was never consummated.]

[** She takes after her mother, and makes her worthy husband very
miserable. She is ill-tempered, haughty, and profligate.]

An European lady, who visited the zunana of the King, Nuseer-od Deen
Hyder, on the anniversary of his coronation, on the 18th of October,
1828, writes thus to a female friend:--"But the present King's wives
were superbly dressed, and looked like creatures of the Arabian
Tales. Indeed, one (Taj Mahal) was so beautiful, that I could think
of nothing but Lalla Rookh in her bridal attire. I never saw any one
so lovely, either black or white. Her features were perfect, and such
eyes and eye-lashes I never, beheld before. She is the favourite
Queen at present, and has only been married a month or two, her age,
about fourteen; and such a little creature, with the smallest hands
and feet, and the most timid, modest look imaginable. You would have
been charmed with her, she was so graceful and fawn-like. Her dress
was of gold and scarlet brocade, and her hair was literally strewed
with pearls, which hung down upon her neck in long single strings,
terminating in large pearls, which mixed with and hung as low as her
hair, which was curled on each side her head in long ringlets, like
Charles the Second's beauties. On her forehead she wore a small gold
circlet, from which depended and hung, half way down, large pearls
interspersed with emeralds. Above this was a paradise plume, from
which strings of pearls were carried over the head, as we turn our
hair. Her earrings were immense gold rings, with pearls and emeralds
suspended all round in large strings, the pearls increasing in size.
She had a nose ring also with large round pearls and emeralds; and
her necklaces, &c., were too numerous to be described. She wore long
sleeves, open at the elbow; and her dress was a full petticoat with a
tight body attached, and open only at the throat. She had several
persons to bear her train when she walked; and her women stood behind
her couch to arrange her head-dress, when, in moving, her pearls got
entangled in the immense robe of scarlet and gold she had thrown
around her. This beautiful creature is the envy of all the other
wives, and the favourite at present of both the King and his mother,
both of whom have given her titles--See _Mrs. Park's Wandering_, vol.
i., page 87. Taj Mahal still lives and enjoys a pension of six
thousand rupees a-month, under the guarantee of the British
Government. She became very profligate after the King's death; and
after she had given birth to one child, it was deemed necessary to
place a guard over her to prevent her dishonouring the memory of the
King, her husband, any further by giving birth to more."

Of Miss Walters, alias Mokuddera Ouleea, the same lady writes:--"The
other newly-made Queen is nearly European, but not a whit fairer than
Taj Mahal. She is, in my opinion, plain; but she is considered by the
native ladies very handsome, and she was the King's favourite before
he saw Taj Mahal. She was more splendidly dressed than even Taj
Mahal. Her head-dress was a coronet of diamonds, with a fine crescent
and plume of the same. She is the daughter of a European merchant,
and is accomplished for an inhabitant of a zunana, as she writes and
speaks Persian fluently, as well as Hindoostanee; and it is said that
she is teaching the King English, though when we spoke to her in
English, she said she had forgotten it, and could not reply. She was,
I fancy, afraid of the Queen Dowager, as she evidently understood us;
and when asked if she liked being in the zunana, she shook her head
and looked quite melancholy. Jealousy of the new favourite, however,
appeared to be the cause of her discontent, as, though they sat on
the same couch, they never addressed each other."

Of Mulika Zumanee, the same lady says:--"The mother of the King's
children, Mulika Zumanee, did not visit us at the Queen Dowager's;
but we went to see her at her own palace. She is, after all, the
person of the most political consequence, being the mother of the
heir-apparent; and she has great power over her royal husband, whose
ears she boxes occasionally."


Nuseer-od Deen Hyder's death--His repudiation of his son, Moonna Jan,
leads to the succession of his uncle, Nuseer-od Dowlah--Contest for
the succession between these two persons--The Resident supports the
uncle; and the Padshah Begum supports the son--The ministers supposed
to have poisoned the King--Made to disgorge their ill-gotten wealth
by his successor--Obligations of the treaty of 1801, by which Oude
was divided into two equal shares--One transferred to the British
Government, one reserved by Oude--Estimated value of each at the time
of treaty--Present value of each--The sovereign often warned that
unless he governs as he ought, the British Government cannot support
him, but must interpose and take the administration upon itself--All
such warnings have been utterly disregarded--No security to life or
property in any part of Oude--Fifty years of experience has proved,
that we cannot make the government of Oude fulfil its duties to its
people--The alternative left appears to be to take the management
upon ourselves, and give the surplus revenue to the sovereign and
royal family of Oude--Probable effects of such a change on the
feelings and interests of the people of Oude.

When in February, 1832, the King, Nuseer-od Deen Hyder, assured the
Resident that Moonna Jan was not his son. Lord William Bentinck was
Governor-General of India. A more thoroughly honest man never, I
believe, presided over the government of any country. The question of
right to succession was long maturely and most anxiously considered,
after these repeated and formal repudiations on the part of the King,
Nuseer-od Deen Hyder; and Government would willingly have deferred a
final decision on so important a question longer, but it was deemed
unsafe any longer from the debauched habits of the King, the chance
of his sudden death, and the risk of a tumult in such a city, to
leave the representative of the paramount power unprepared to
proclaim its will in favour of the rightful heir, the moment that a
demise took place. Under these considerations, instructions were sent
to the Resident, on the 15th of December, 1833, in case of the King's
death without a son, or pregnant consort, to declare the eldest
surviving brother of the late King, Ghazee-od Deen Hyder, heir to the
throne, and have him placed upon it. According to the law already
noticed (which applies as well to sovereignty as to property) the
sons of Shums-od Dowlah, the second son of Saadut Allee Khan, who had
died shortly before his eldest and reigning brother, Ghazee-od Deen,
were excluded from all claims to the succession, and the right
devolved upon the third son of Saadut Allee, Nuseer-od Dowlah.
Ghazee-od Deen had only one son, the reigning sovereign, Nuseer-od
Deen Hyder.

This prince had impaired his constitution by drinking and other
vicious indulgences, in which he had been encouraged in early life by
his designing or inconsiderate adoptive mother, the Padshah Begum;
but for some time before his death, he used frequently to declare to
his most intimate companions that he felt sure he should die of
poison, and that at no distant period. He for some time before his
death had a small well in the palace, over which he kept his own lock
and key; and he kept the same over the jar, in which he drew the
water from it for his own drinking. The keys were suspended by a gold
chain around his neck. The persons who gave him his drink, except
when taking it out of English sealed bottles, were two sisters,
Dhuneea and Dulwee. The latter and youngest is now the wife of Wasee
Allee Khan. The eldest, Dhuneea, still resides at Lucknow. The
general impression at Lucknow and over all Oude was, that the British
Government would, take upon itself the management of the country on
the death, without issue, of Nuseer-od Deen Hyder; and the King
himself latterly seemed rather pleased than otherwise at the thought
that he should be the last of the Oude kings. He had repudiated his
own son, and was unwilling that any other member of the family should
fill his place. The minister and the other public officers and Court
favourites, who had made large fortunes, wished it, as it was
understood by some, that by such a measure they would be secured from
all scrutiny into their accounts, and enabled to keep securely all
that they had accumulated.

About half-past eleven, on the night of the 7th July, 1837, the
Durbar Wakeel, Gholam Yaheea,* came to the Resident and reported that
the King had been taken suddenly ill, and appeared to be either dead
or in a dying state, from the symptoms described to him by his
Majesty's attendants. The Resident, Colonel Low, ordered his two
Assistants, Captains Paton and Shakespear, the Head Moonshee and Head
Clerk, to be in attendance, and wrote to request the Brigadier,
commanding the troops in Oude, to hold one thousand men in readiness
to march to the Residency at a moment's notice. The Residency is
situated in the city near the Furra Buksh Palace, in which the King
resided. The Resident intended that five companies of this force
should be sent in advance of the main body and guns, for the purpose
of placing, sentries over the palace gates, treasuries, and other
places containing valuables within the walls. But this intention was
not unfortunately made known to the Brigadier. Captain Magness, who
commanded a corps of infantry with six guns, and a squadron of horse,
had been ordered by the minister at half-past eight o'clock, to
proceed with them to a place near the southern entrance of the
palace, and there to wait for further instructions, and he did so.
This was three hours before the minister made any report to the
Resident of the King's illness, and Captain Magness was told by the
people in attendance that the King was either dead or dying.

[* Gholam Yaheea Khan was the maternal uncle of Shurf-od Dowlah, who
was, afterwards, some time minister under Mahommed Allee Shah.]

Having given these orders, the Resident proceeded to the palace,
attended by Captain Paton, the first Assistant, and Dr. Stevenson,
the Residency Surgeon. They found the King lying dead upon his bed,
but his body was still warm, and Dr. Stevenson opened a vein in one
arm. Blood flowed freely from it, but no other sign of life could be
discovered. His features were placid and betrayed no sign of his
having suffered any pain; and the servants in attendance declared
that the only sign of suffering they had heard or seen was a slight
shriek, to which the King gave utterance before he expired; that
after that shriek he neither moved, spoke, nor showed any sign
whatever of life. His Majesty had been unwell for three weeks, but no
one had any apprehension of danger from his symptoms. He had called
for some sherbet a short time before his death, and it was given to
him by Dhuneea, the eldest of the two sisters.

The Resident took with him a guard of sipahees from his escort, and
Captain Paton distributed them as double sentries at the inner doors
of the palace, and outside the chief buildings and store-rooms, with
orders to allow no one but the ministers and treasurers to pass.
Captain Madness had placed one sentry before at each of these places,
and he now added a second, making a party of four sipahees at each
post. Captain Paton at the same time, in conjunction with the
officers of the Court, placed seals on all the jewels and other
valuables belonging to the King and his establishments; and as the
night was very dark, placed torch-bearers at all places where they
appeared to be required.

Having made these arrangements the Resident returned with Dr.
Stevenson to the Residency, leaving Captain Paton at the palace; and
wrote to the Brigadier to request that he would send off the five
companies in advance to the palace direct, and bring down all his
disposable troops, including artillery, to the city. The distance
from the palace to the cantonments, round by the old stone bridge,
was about four miles and half. The iron bridge, which shortens the
distance by a mile and half, had not then been thrown over the
Goomtee river, which flows between them. The Resident then had drawn
up, for the consent of the new king, a Persian paper, declaring that
he was prepared to sign any new treaty for the better government of
the country that the British Government might think proper to propose
to him.

It was now one o'clock in the morning of the 8th of July, and Captain
Shakespear, attended by the Meer Moonshee, Iltufat Hoseyn, and the
Durbar Wakeel, proceeded to the house of the new sovereign, Nuseer-od
Dowlah, who then resided where the present King now resides, a
distance of about a mile from the Residency. The visit was altogether
unexpected; and, as the new sovereign had been for some time ill,
some delay took place in arranging for the reception of the mission.
After explaining the object of his visit. Captain Shakespear
presented the paper, which the King perused with great attention, and
then signed without hesitation. Captain Shakespear returned with it
to the Resident, who repaired again to the palace, and sent Captain
Paton, the first Assistant, to the Residency, to proceed thence with
Captain Shakespear and the Durbar Wakeel, to the house of the new
sovereign, and escort him to the palace, where he would be in
readiness to receive him. He arrived about three o'clock in the
morning, and being infirm from age, and exceedingly reduced from
recent illness, he was, after a short conversation with the Resident,
left in a small adjoining room, to repose for a few hours preparatory
to his being placed on the throne and crowned in due form. His eldest
surviving son, afterwards Amjud Allee Shah, his sons, the present
King, Wajid Allee Shah, and Mirza Jawad Khan, the King's foster
brother, Hummeed-od Dowlah, and his confidential servant, Rufeek-od
Dowla, were left in the room with him; and the Resident and his
Assistants sat in the verandah facing the river Goomtee, which flows
under the walls, conversing on the ceremonies to be observed at the
approaching coronation, and the persons to be invited to assist at
it, when they were suddenly interrupted by the intelligence that the
Padshah Begum, the adoptive mother of the late King, with a large
armed force, and the young pretender, Moonna Jan, were coming on to
seize upon the throne, and might soon be expected at the principal
entrance to the palace to the north-west.

When the Resident was about to proceed to the palace, the first time
about midnight, he was assured by the minister, Roshun-od Dowla, that
every possible precaution had been taken by him to prevent the
Padshah Begum from attempting any such enterprise, or from leaving
her residence with the young pretender; that he had placed strong
bodies of troops in every street or road by which she could come.
But, to make more sure, and prevent her leaving her residence at the
Almas gardens, five miles from the palace, the Resident sent off one
of his chobdars, Khoda Buksh, with two troopers and a verbal message,
enjoining her to remain quietly at her palace. These men found her
with her equipage in the midst of a large mass of armed followers,
ready to set out for the palace. They delivered their message from
the Resident, but were sent back with her Wakeel, Mirza Allee, to
request that she might be permitted to look upon the dead body of the
late King, since she had not been permitted to see him for so long a
period before his death. But they reached the Resident with this
message, only ten minutes before the Begum's troops were thundering
for admittance at the gate. The Resident gave the chobdar a note for
the officer in command of the five companies, supposed to be in
advance on their way down from cantonments; but before he could get
with this note five hundred yards from the palace, he met the Begum
and her disorderly band filling the road and pressing on as fast as
they could. Unable to proceed, he returned to the palace with all
haste, and gave the Resident the first notice of their near approach.
Captain Magness had placed two of his six guns at each of the three
entrances to the south and west, but was now ordered to collect all,
and proceed to the north-western entrance, towards which the Begum
was advancing. Before he could get to that entrance she had passed
in, and he returned to the south-western entrance for further orders.

On passing the mausoleum of Asuf-od Dowlah, where the Kotwal or head
police officer of the city resided, she summoned him, with all his
available police, to attend his sovereign to the throne of his
ancestors. He promised obedience, but, with all his police, stood
aloof, thinking that her side might not be the safe one to take in
such an emergency. A little further on she passed Hussun Bagh, the
residence of the chief consort of the late King and niece of the
emperor of Delhi, and summoned and brought her on, to give some
countenance to her audacious enterprise. The Resident admonished the
minister for his negligence and falsehood in the assurance he had
given him; and directed Rajah Bukhtawur Sing, with his squadron of
one hundred and fifty horse, and Mozuffer-od Dowlah, the father of
Ajum-od Dowlah, and Khadim Hoseyn, the son-in-law of Sobhan Allee
Khan, the deputy minister, with all the armed men they could muster,
to arrest the progress of the pretender; but nothing whatever was
done, and the excited mass came on, and augmented as it came in noise
and numbers. All whom the Resident sent to check them, out of fear or
favour, avoided collision, and sought safety either in their homes or
among the pretender's bands.

Captain Paton, as soon as he heard the pretender's' men approach,
rushed to the gate to the north-west, towards which the throng was
approaching rapidly. He had only four belted attendants with him, and
the gate was guarded only by a small party of useless sipahees, under
the control of three or four black slaves. By the time he had roused
the sleepy guard and closed the gates, the pretender's armed mass
came up, and with foul abuse, imprecati