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´╗┐Title: Observations on the Disturbances in the Madras Army in 1809
Author: Malcolm, John
Language: English
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  IN 1809.







  Greville Street


I have hitherto abstained from controversy regarding the late unhappy
proceedings at Madras. The part which I had taken in these proceedings
had placed me in possession of much information, and I had given a
shape to my sentiments upon the subject; but the knowledge of these
was limited to a few intimate friends, and to them only under the
strictest injunctions of secrecy. I have been applied to more than
once for papers and information upon this subject, but have invariably
refused; as I deemed it improper to give publicity in any mode to
communications, whether verbal or in writing, which had been, at the
moment at which they were made, considered as private, or confidential.
Nothing could have led me to a departure from this principle but a
perusal of the dispatch under date the 10th of September, 1809, from
the Government of Fort St. George to the Secret Committee of the Court
of Directors, printed by order of the House of Commons. That dispatch
contains an implied censure upon my conduct, which nothing but a
conviction of its justice could induce me to pass over in silence.

Injustice is aggravated by the power of the individual or body by
whom it is committed, and by the want of ability or opportunity in
the person who suffers to repel the attack. Had not this dispatch
been printed by order of the House of Commons, my character would
have secretly received a deep and incurable wound: for as it is not
likely the Honourable the Court of Directors could have ever thought it
possible that so deliberate and grave an authority as the Government
of Fort St. George, could (without adequate grounds) have pronounced
censure on the character of an officer who stood at the moment as high
in rank and trust as the local Government of India had power to raise
him[1], it becomes probable, that most of those who read this dispatch
would be satisfied, without a minute examination of the documents by
which it was accompanied: and if any readers went into this detail,
and were struck with the remarkable difference between the apparent
premises and the conclusions drawn from them, it is more likely they
would conclude, that grounds, not yet brought before them, existed,
which would warrant the assertions made by Government, than that they
should ever suppose the latter had committed such an injustice towards
any individual in their service.

I cannot, on this occasion, limit myself to an account of my mission to
Masulipatam, which is that part of my conduct to which the Government
of Fort St. George exclusively refers: justice to my own character
demands that I should give a narrative (accompanied by an Appendix of
original documents), which will show, in a clear and concise manner,
the part I took, and the advice I gave, throughout the whole of those
unhappy and guilty proceedings which have lately afflicted our country
in India. To render this narrative intelligible to all, I shall prefix
a general view of the principal acts of the Government of Fort St.
George, from the commencement to the termination of the late violent
agitations on the coast. My object in this publication is to vindicate
myself, not to attack others. A plain statement of indisputable
facts will show, that though my judgment might on some occasions
have been wrong, I was invariably actuated by an indefatigable zeal,
and an undeviating principle of public duty; that I predicted at the
commencement, and at different stages of the proceeding, every event
of importance that occurred; that if any one of the many slighted
suggestions which I offered had met with attention, the most serious
evils would have been averted; and that my efforts were such as ought
to have entitled me to the praise and gratitude of those by whom I now
find my conduct misrepresented and my character calumniated.

Sir George Barlow has, I observe, from the volume of papers printed
by order of the House of Commons, placed upon record a number of my
private and confidential communications. This I did not anticipate;
and these letters were written in a less guarded style, and with more
warmth, than they would have been, if I had foreseen the public use to
be made of them. I do not, however, conceive that I have any right to
complain of this act: the letters contain not one sentiment of which
I am ashamed: they were all on public subjects: and that alone, when
they were addressed to Sir George Barlow or his Secretary, rendered
them public. But I must claim to myself an equal privilege in bringing
forward such private documents as are necessary to prove what I have
stated, and to defend myself from those imputations which have been
thrown upon my character from a partial, and, I trust I shall prove, a
most unfair statement of my conduct when employed at Masulipatam.

I should feel unworthy of that station which I hope I hold in life,
if any motive upon earth had such power over my mind as to make me
silent under reflections (which I deemed unjust) upon my conduct:
and where those have been, from any cause, (however unforeseen,)
brought before the public, my reply must of course be submitted to
the same tribunal. This is a circumstance which I by no means regret.
Publications in England on the affairs of India have been rare,
except on some extraordinary epochs, when attention has been forcibly
drawn to that quarter; and a groundless alarm has been spread of the
mischiefs which (many conceive) must arise from such free disclosure,
and consequent full discussion, of the acts of the Indian Governments.
This practice, in my opinion, will have a direct contrary effect. It
must always do great and essential good. The nature of our possessions
in India makes it necessary that almost absolute power should be given
to those entrusted with governments in that quarter; and there cannot
be a better or more efficient check over these rulers than that which
must be established by the full publicity given to their acts, and the
frequent discussion of all their principles of rule. Such a practice
will expose imprudence and weakness, however defended by the adherence
of powerful friends in England: and it will be more certain to prevent
oppression, or injustice, than the general provisions of law, which
may be evaded; or the check of superiors, who may, from conceiving
the cause of an individual identified with that of authority itself,
feel themselves condemned to support proceedings which they cannot
approve. This practice, in short, (restrained, as it always must be,
by the laws of our country within moderate bounds,) must have the most
salutary effects. Its inconveniences are obvious, but trifling when
compared to the great and permanent benefits which it must produce: and
I am confident that every effort made to repress such discussion is not
merely a sacrifice to personal feeling, and to momentary expedience,
of one of the best and most operative principles of the British
Constitution; but a direct approximation to the principles of that
oriental tyranny, which it is, or ought to be, our chief boast to have



Some agitation, though of a trifling nature, had prevailed among the
Company's officers on the coast establishment from a period as far back
as the publication of the Regulations of the year 1796, which they
conceived to entitle them to a complete equalization of allowances with
the officers of the Bengal establishment. These feelings had little
time for operation in the course of that active and brilliant service
in which the Madras army was employed during the administration of Lord
Wellesley. The increase of establishment rendered necessary to preserve
the great accession of territory acquired by that nobleman, occasioned
a promotion, that, for a period, silenced their discontent; but that
spirit was revived in the year 1805 and 1806, when, in addition to
their former grievance, they conceived that there was an evident and
injurious partiality shown towards his Majesty's officers, who were
said to be promoted to commands and staff situations to the injury
of the officers of the Company's service. Addresses to Government
and to the Court of Directors were at this period agitated and in
circulation; but none, to my knowledge, were brought forward; owing,
perhaps, to the orders from the Honourable the Court of Directors,
who, it would appear, had, on private representation, adopted some
measures to redress those grievances of which the army at that moment
complained. This spirit of discontent might have died of itself; or, at
all events, it would have been more easily repressed, had not the flame
of discord burst out in a higher quarter. The quarrel which occurred
between the Governor, Sir George Barlow, and the Commander-in-Chief,
General McDowall, may, no doubt, (as it led to those measures which
Government adopted towards the general staff of the coast army,) be
deemed the remote source of all the violent and indefensible acts
of the army, and in that view merits a short notice. The mind of
General McDowall was much irritated at his not being appointed to
council; and he gave way, in consequence, to a language of complaint
and discontent, of which, it must be concluded, he could never have
calculated the effect. Every act of Government that affected the wishes
or interests of either an individual or a class of officers naturally
caused complaints, which the Commander-in-Chief certainly did not
discourage. He must have thought that the influence and importance of
a seat in council would have enabled him more easily to have satisfied
or silenced their murmurs; and he cannot be supposed to have felt much
sorrow that Government should have experienced the inconvenience of an
exclusion which he considered as so great a personal grievance: and
when his mind was further irritated by what he deemed to be slight
and neglect, on the part of Sir George Barlow, of his rights in his
military character of Commander-in-Chief, these feelings had probably
a wider action. In the temper which I have shown the coast army was in
at this moment, it is not surprising, when they saw such an example
of discontent, and felt unrepressed by that high authority which was
immediately over them, that they should have been more bold, and that
their violence should have taken a more formidable shape towards
Government, against which this spirit was, by the proceeding of the
Commander-in-Chief, very unadvisedly and inconsiderately, however
unintentionally, directed. But if a want of reflection on one part (few
will accuse General McDowall of more than want of reflection) led to
such consequences, can we say there was much more wisdom on the other,
which, if it did not provoke, never made one attempt to prevent, the
occurrence of those evils with which it was threatened? A cold, even,
mechanic course of action, which gave great attention to the ordinary
rules of public business dignified with the name of public principles,
but none to human nature, was opposed at this period to the proceedings
of the Commander-in-Chief and the army; and had the effect, which was
to be expected, of accelerating that crisis which it was so important
to avoid.

It may be here necessary to explain what was meant by the term public
principle. It was constantly used at Madras (with some deviation, I
conceive, from its highest and most dignified sense) to denote the
rules of public business founded either in precedent or in written law,
and certainly well adapted for order and convenience in the common
course of affairs. But if such rules were sufficient, no talents
would be necessary to govern mankind. A copying clerk, or even the
regulation-book which he copies, might rule a state. Success in this
endeavour (the object of which is to render the task of Government
simple and easy) will be always agreeable to the character of the
Government. The more despotic that is, the more easily may we preserve
inviolate such rules or principles. For though great commotions will
occur in the most despotic states, and force their rulers to an
occasional deviation from such principles, these deviations will be
unfrequent to what must arise in more free and liberal governments,
in which that constant attention which it is necessary to pay to
men's tempers, and to those pretensions and rights upon which such
an order of things is grounded, must produce a much more frequent
departure from the exact letter (and sometimes from the spirit) of
those unbending rules. It is this fact which renders the task of
government so much more difficult in those states than in any others.
Any man (who has obsequious slaves to govern) can, if he has memory to
recollect the principles of rule, be a despot, or a despot's deputy;
but far different qualities are required where the minds of those under
authority are of a freer and bolder stamp: over such a society those
alone are fit to rule, who, fully informed of all its component parts,
can judge the periods when the temporary departure from an established
principle will effect more in the cause of authority than its rigid
observance; when lenity is more powerful than severity, and mildness
and moderation tend more to restore order and to maintain tranquillity,
than all the force of a violent government.

The intelligent reader will perceive, that, in contrasting free and
despotic governments, I refer exclusively to rules of administration.
Laws are, no doubt, more inflexible in free states than in others. But
even respecting laws it may be observed, that the general principle
prevails: for the legislative power in free states shows a disposition
to repeal or modify laws in reference to the interests, the opinions,
sometimes even to the prejudices, of great bodies of the people;
while the despot has no maxim, but that all must be subject to the
authority of Government. There is, no doubt, a great distinction in
every community between civil and military bodies: the laws for the
government of the latter are, of course, more arbitrary and unbending;
but, even in these bodies there is a _national character_ that will
compel attention. The same principles cannot be applied to an English
as a Russian army: and it is when such bodies are in an agitated and
convulsed state, that these characteristic distinctions are most
prominent and discernible. It is on such emergencies that a statesman
will succeed in averting a danger, which will only be increased by
every measure of the mere rote follower of public rules. Cicero[2]
has observed, that "it appears to be the dictate of sound policy, to
act in accommodation to particular conjunctures, and not obstinately
persevere in one invariable scheme, when the public circumstances,
together with the sentiments of the best and wisest members of the
community, are evidently changed. In conformity to this notion, the
most judicious reasoners on the art of government have universally
condemned an inflexible perseverance in one uniform tenor of measures.
The skill of the pilot is shown in weathering the storm at least,
though he should not gain his port." Public merit (agreeable to
the extended view of that great orator and statesman, as expressed
afterwards) consists in "having been inflexible in our intentions for
the public welfare, and not by a positive perseverance in certain
favourite modes of obtaining it."

It will be unnecessary to trace the petty differences which took
place between the Commander-in-Chief and the Governor: the general
character and evil effect of these differences have been described.
The first act which led to serious discussions, was the former
placing the Quarter-Master-General, Lieutenant-Colonel Munro, in
arrest. The nature of this case is well known: and few, I imagine,
can doubt that Government had _a right_ to command his release: but
it will remain a question with many, how far a knowledge of the
character and actual temper of the Commander-in-Chief, the state of
the army, and other circumstances, would have warranted Government
in forbearing to use _this right_. It is nonsense to say, that it
would, by so forbearing and moderate a proceeding, have abandoned
an officer entitled to protection. This language, if it means any
thing, implies that Government did not conceive there were at that
moment thirteen officers, either in the King's or Company's service,
on the coast, upon whose honesty and honour it could rely. This is a
proposition which appears too extravagant for notice: but, even if this
point be conceded, will it be said, if Colonel Munro had suffered an
additional injustice by the sentence of a violent and partial court
martial, that the Government was, in that extreme case, deprived of
the right to protect that officer? On the contrary, would not the
necessity for the exercise of that right have been, under such an
event, much more apparent and unobjectionable. It may be asked, if any
circumstances could justify Government in so pusillanimous a conduct,
as that of forbearing to exercise an admitted right, and of allowing
a court martial to judge upon a public act which it had recognised
and approved? It is to be replied, that such conduct might, on many
occasions, be the result of prudence and of fortitude. It is weakness,
not firmness, that takes an early alarm at danger, and by showing a
want of confidence in all the subordinate aids of its power, creates,
by its suspicion, that defection which it apprehends. In the recent
case of Sir Francis Burdett, the House of Commons did not abandon its
exclusive right, but it forbore the exercise of that right, and, with a
confidence and wisdom worthy of so enlightened and august an assembly,
allowed a question, which involved its rights and authority, to be
discussed in a court of law. There can, I should conceive, be no doubt
whatever, that had Colonel Munro been tried on the charges preferred
against him, he would have been honourably acquitted; and the influence
and reputation of his accusers would have been in no slight degree
lessened: an object which, in itself, was of consequence at that period
to Government.

It is a remarkable fact, that the officers who had signed the charges
against Colonel Munro, were, on reflection, and from learning the
sentiments of the Judge-Advocate-General, so convinced that the
charges they had made were either groundless or illegal, that they
wrote to the Commander-in-Chief to suspend the prosecution of them.
This certainly proves (if any proof was wanting) that there could
have been no doubt of the result of a court martial, grounded on the
state of general feelings, as far as that regarded the charges against
Lieutenant-Colonel Munro; for if the accusers themselves had shown
they distrusted the cause they had so rashly adopted, there could,
assuredly, be no apprehension of the judgment of thirteen officers of
rank (all of whom, if it had been thought necessary, might have been
chosen from his Majesty's service) giving a biassed or unjust sentence.
The Government of Madras, in their dispatch to the Court of Directors
upon this subject, draw a directly opposite conclusion from this fact,
which, they say, "proves in itself the inexpediency of their having
had recourse to such a proceeding;" but they state no grounds for this
conclusion. In the whole course of this affair they appear to have
been much, if not solely, guided by the opinion of their law officers:
and no man can peruse the letter of Lieutenant-Colonel Leith upon this
subject, without a just respect for the talents and extensive legal
knowledge of that public officer. But those that think great, numerous,
and obvious evils resulted from the decision of Government on the
case of Lieutenant-Colonel Munro, will not immediately perceive the
necessity of its having been governed by rules of law in its decision
on a question which clearly involved the most serious considerations
of state policy. They will think, and with justice, this was a
question not for lawyers, but statesmen; who, in the exercise of their
legitimate discretion, are in the situation in which Mr. Burke has so
well described legislators; and therefore, like them, "ought to do
what lawyers cannot, for they have no rules to bind them but the great
principles of reason and equity and the general sense of mankind;
these they are bound to obey and follow: and rather to enlarge and
enlighten law by the liberality of legislative reason, than to fetter
and bind their high capacity by the narrow constructions of subordinate
artificial justice."

Several months previous to General McDowall's departure for England,
that officer had been called upon by the Governor to repress a
Memorial to the Governor General, on the subject of late reductions,
which was stated to be in agitation at the principal stations of the
army. General McDowall had written circular letters to forbid such
proceedings; and nothing further appeared upon this subject till that
officer, on the 23d of January 1809, forwarded and strongly recommended
to notice a Memorial to the Honourable the Court of Directors signed
by a number of the officers of the army, and containing, in moderate
and not disrespectful language, a statement of what they deemed their
grievances, which chiefly referred to the equalization of their
allowances with the Bengal establishment, the hardship of the several
reductions of emolument which they had lately sustained, and the
partiality in appointment to commands which they conceived was still
shown to his Majesty's officers. General McDowall forwarded, at the
same time, another Memorial, which was also addressed to the Court
of Directors, and signed by a number of officers commanding native
corps, regarding the injury they conceived they had sustained by the
abolition of the tent contract. The principle of both these Memorials
was strongly condemned by the Government. The former, they informed the
Commander-in-Chief, would be sent to the Governor General in Council;
and the latter was returned, as relating to a subject which had already
been decided.

There were many circumstances connected with these addresses, which
confirm the truth of those sentiments I before expressed regarding
the feelings by which General McDowall allowed himself to be governed
at this moment: but the state of his mind, and the operation that
was likely to have upon the officers of the army, was a subject
that merited the serious consideration of Government; which, unless
satisfied that there was no danger from the progress of such a spirit
of discontent as then existed, should either have adopted _at that
moment_ some decided measures to repress that evil, or have carefully
avoided every act of aggravation. If both of these Memorials had been
merely permitted to go as numbers of the dispatch to England, those
by whom they were signed would have thought nothing more of their
grievances till an answer was received from the Directors: and that,
if contrary to their wishes, would have been deemed final, and the
Directors would assuredly not have censured Government for a slight
departure from established rules at a period when, from extraordinary
events, of a nature never likely to happen again, the army was not
only in a state of great agitation, but the civil power had lost the
aid of that high military authority on which it would in common times
have relied to subdue so dangerous a spirit. Few will contend that
there would have been any loss of either dignity or of strength in
such a proceeding: and how completely, had it been adopted, would
the turbulent and seditious be deprived of one of their chief means
of increasing irritation[3]. But this question appears to have been
decided, like every other, upon an abstract consideration of its own
merits as a single and insulated question; and in that light the
decision was _undoubtedly right_: but if it had been viewed, as it
certainly should, in its relation to the actual state of the army,
_it was as certainly wrong_. It had an evident and malignant action
throughout all the troubles that ensued. And this absolute, and, as
they deemed it, unnecessary and ungracious refusal to allow their
grievances to be even heard by the Court of Directors, combined with
the punishment[4] with which it was accompanied, rankled to the last in
the minds of the discontented, and indeed appeared to be one of the few
subjects, on the hardship and injustice of which the most moderate of
those concerned agreed with the most violent.

The next event of consequence, was the publication of a general order,
under date the 28th January, by the Commander-in-Chief, censuring
Lieutenant-Colonel Munro for his appeal to the civil Government against
his decision; an act which General McDowall deemed destructive of
subordination, subversive of discipline, and a violation of (what he
termed) the sacred rights of the Commander-in-Chief. There can, I
should conceive, be little doubt regarding the character of this order.
It is certainly indefensible. It in substance arraigned the exercise
of an act of authority, the legality of which General McDowall had
recognised by his obedience a few days before, and in this view was
highly disrespectful to Government, who were justly incensed at the
proceedings; and who, in an order under date the 31st of January,
removed General McDowall from the command of the army, which it
appeared he had not then resigned, though on his way to Ceylon for the
purpose of proceeding to England. The links that bound the cause of
General McDowall to that of the officers of the Company's army on the
coast, were neither strong nor durable: a common feeling of discontent
against Government had united them for a moment, but there was no
cohesion either from similar objects or interests; and the Government
order, as far as related to General McDowall, could have given rise
to no serious consequences: but the suspension from the service, in
the same order, of Major Boles, the Deputy-Adjutant-General, on the
ground of his having given currency to the obnoxious order of the
Commander-in-Chief, had an immediate and electric effect over the whole
army. There was hardly an officer in either the King's or Company's
service that did not doubt the justice of this measure, or that did
not feel that it inflicted a vital wound on the first principles of
military discipline; and the universal clamour and indignation that it
excited, was no doubt the proximate and direct cause of the rebellion
that ensued.

The merits of this unhappy act of power have been fully investigated in
England; and the general opinion seems decidedly against the Government
of Fort St. George. The wisdom and expediency of the act is defended
by none; and some of the first law authorities[5] in England doubt its
justice. The subject has been completely exhausted; and I shall say no
more upon it, than that there, perhaps, never was so complete a want
of knowledge displayed of the character of military feeling, as in the
attempt made to prevail upon Major Boles to degrade himself in his own
profession, by making an apology for having performed what he deemed
his duty, and what he could not have expressed regret for having done,
without an admission of guilt. The urgency with which this apology was
sought, is of itself a proof that the Government had been precipitate.
How much more manly, wise, and dignified, would it have been to have
rescinded the resolution which had been taken, on the plain ground
of a conviction that Major Boles had erred from want of knowledge,
and without intention of offence; and such must have been the actual
sentiments which were entertained of his conduct, or Government could
never have professed itself ready to accept a slight apology. But
a little stickling spirit about supposed dignity, more worthy of a
wrong-headed individual engaged in an affair of honour, than a great
Government, prevented this obvious measure, and produced irremediable
mischief to the state.

On the 1st of February, the day subsequent to that on which Major Boles
was suspended, an order was issued, suspending the Adjutant-General,
Lieutenant-Colonel Capper, for the same offence, that of being
concerned in circulating the offensive order of the Commander-in-Chief.
The only difference in the facts of this case from that of Major Boles,
(they were alike in principle), was, that Colonel Capper, the moment
he heard of Major Boles's suspension, made a declaration, that the
circumstance of his being with General McDowall was the sole cause that
had led to Major Boles's name being affixed to orders which it was
his (the Adjutant-General's) duty to sign; and that he considered all
responsibility connected with the office of Adjutant-General rested
solely with him, as principal. The generous object of this gallant and
meritorious officer (who was lost on his passage to England), was to
exculpate his deputy. He did not, however, succeed in that object; and
his free avowal of the principal share he had in the circulation of
the order was instantly taken as the ground for inflicting a similar
punishment on him.

From the hour that these measures were adopted, the state of the army
underwent a complete revolution. The most discontented had, till this
period, been cautious in their measures, and aimed at no more than
obtaining some attention to what they deemed their grievances. There
is no doubt, that before these orders were issued a very general
spirit of dissatisfaction prevailed; but there was no danger of that
taking any mutinous or rebellious shape. Many, and among these some of
the most respectable officers in the army, had up to this date taken
no concern in those proceedings that had offended Government: but the
suspension of Colonel Capper and Major Boles (particularly the latter,
who, it was perfectly known, had no share in the councils of the
Commander-in-Chief, and whose act of signing and issuing the obnoxious
order was therefore exclusively ministerial,) effected a complete and
dangerous change in the general temper. All seemed to be actuated
by the same resentment at measures which they deemed arbitrary and
unjust; and many officers of the highest rank and first respectability,
both in his Majesty's and the Honourable Company's service, joined in
reprobating the principle upon which it was adopted. The subsequent
efforts made to prevail upon Major Boles to sign an apology, and the
letter circulated by the commanding officer of the forces, General
Gowdie, which condemned that officer for not having acceded to this
proposition, had the double effect of increasing the indignation at
Government and the popularity of Major Boles, who was, after this
act, deemed an honourable martyr in a cause which it was the duty of
every military officer to support. Before the more moderate, and with
them all those officers of his Majesty's service who had given way to
their first feelings, had recovered from their error, numbers of the
more violent in the Company's service were irretrievably pledged to
violent and guilty proceedings, into which there is no doubt they were
deluded by the force of example, and the assurance that the cause in
which they were engaged was general. The first of their acts which
attracted the notice of Government, was the agitation and preparation
of an address to the Governor General, remonstrating against the acts
of the Government of Fort St. George, and soliciting the removal
of Sir George Barlow; and an address, or letter, to Major Boles,
conveying to that officer a contribution for his support during what
the addressers deemed his unjust suspension. The Government, in an
order dated the 1st of May, 1809, suspended Captain J. Marshall and
Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, on the ground of their being principally
concerned in preparing the Memorial[6] (or, as it is termed in this
order, "seditious paper,") addressed to the Governor General; and the
same punishment was inflicted upon Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable
Arthur St. Leger, on the ground of his having promoted the circulation
of the Memorial in the corps under his command. Major J. de Morgan
was suspended for nearly similar reasons. Captain James Grant,
commanding the body-guard of the Governor, (but then absent on service
in Travancore,) had signed the address to Major Boles; and, from a
feeling congenial with his candid and gallant character, he deemed
concealment of this act dishonourable, nor could he reconcile to his
mind the propriety of continuing to hold his appointment with the line
he had pursued. He wrote, therefore, a private letter to Major Barclay,
(Military Secretary to the Governor,) stating the reasons that had led
him to resign the command of the body-guard, and desiring that Sir
George Barlow might be informed of his motives; and he enclosed (that
the information of the Governor regarding the actual state of the
feeling of the army might be complete,) a copy of the letter to Major
Boles. He was suspended on the ground of having signed the address
to Major Boles; which document, it was stated in the order, he had
forced on the attention of the Governor in Council. Lieutenant-Colonel
Robert Bell, the commanding officer of the artillery, was removed
from all military charge and command, on the ground (as was stated
in the orders,) of his having promoted the circulation of a paper
similar in substance (to that address) among the officers under his
command. Lieutenant-Colonel Chalmers was removed from his immediate
command, on the charge of not having reported to Government, or exerted
himself to repress, the exceptionable proceedings of the officers
under his orders: and Lieutenant-Colonel Cuppage was removed, on the
same ground, from the staff situation of Adjutant-General, to which
(though he then held a station of command in Malabar,) he had been
appointed: while Captain Coombes was deprived of his staff office of
Assistant-Quarter-Master-General in Mysore, on the general grounds
of being concerned in these reprehensible proceedings. This order
concluded by a panegyric upon the discipline and fidelity which
the troops in his Majesty's service had invariably shown, and by a
compliment to all those of the Company's service who had not taken
a share in these reprehensible proceedings, but particularly the
subsidiary force at Hyderabad, the conduct of which was stated to have
been most satisfactory and exemplary.

Though the right of suspending officers from the service till the
pleasure of the Court of Directors was known, is one that has been very
properly vested in the local Governments of India, they possess no
power which should be exercised with such extreme caution. It never can
be wisely exercised in any cases but those of most clearly established
guilt, where trial would either endanger the authority of Government,
or expose its dignity to the highest insult and degradation; which
is indeed one, and perhaps the most effectual, mode of endangering
its existence. Every officer is conscious, when he enters the public
service, that he subjects himself to military law, but not to arbitrary
power. There are, however, (as has been shown), extreme cases, which
create exceptions that interfere with his right to this jurisdiction:
but when the ruling power is compelled to act contrary to usage, it is
bound, in all such cases, to establish the necessity of its so acting,
by an exposure both of the nature of the crime and of the proof of its
having been committed[7]. The King of England may, no doubt, strike any
officer's name out of his army without assigning any reason; but his
adviser would incur serious responsibility; and an inferior authority
exercising this great power should be still more cautious, lest the
very purpose for which it was granted be perverted, by the destruction
of that general confidence in the justice of their rule, upon which the
power of departure (when the safety of the state absolutely requires
it) from ordinary forms of law is grounded. No sense of expedience,
or desire to strike terror, (by the mere display of arbitrary power,)
can warrant the slightest deviation from principles so essential to
preserve the temper and order of a military body under this alarming
though legal departure from its usual rights and privileges.

It was a remarkable fact, relative to the orders issued on that date,
that (unless in the case of Captain Grant, who had come forward to
accuse himself[8] of the act for which he was punished) no proof
of the guilt of any of the others was brought forward. They were,
indeed, almost all suspended, removed, and disgraced, on the grounds
of private information; which, supposing it true, could not, from its
nature, and the resentment to which it would expose individuals, be
publicly stated. The consequence was, that many of the individuals
who had been thus condemned and punished without a hearing, loudly
declared their innocence, and brought strong presumptive evidence to
support their assertion. They were generally believed; and a sense of
their particular wrongs, added to the alarm caused by the sweeping use
which Government had on this occasion made of its right of suspending
officers without trial, greatly aggravated the discontented, who felt
an almost maddening motive to action in the immediate contemplation of
the ruin and disgrace which threatened some of the most honourable and
distinguished of those that had taken any share in their proceedings.

The obvious and acknowledged source of the crimes which Government had
at this moment to punish, was its own act--the recent suspension of
Lieutenant-Colonel Capper and Major Boles; and it ought to have been
evident, that the orders of the 1st of May would aggravate, in the
highest degree, the general agitation which that measure had produced;
and almost every paragraph of this order would appear as if intended
for that object. The thanks given in it to his Majesty's troops were
no doubt merited, but invidious; and, being so, could never have been
desired by that body; many of whom, though they had been led (by the
operation of the principles of the distinct constitution of the army
to which they belonged,) to renounce every share in the proceedings of
the discontented officers in the Company's service, still participated
in their feelings: but the useless irritation of this part of the
order appears a trifling error when compared to that eulogium which
it so unfortunately bestowed on the Hyderabad force, whose officers,
however much circumstances might have prevented their coming forward,
could not possibly, as a body, have a separate interest from the rest
of that army to whom they were on this occasion held forth as a corps
on whose fidelity Government had peculiar confidence. The operation
of such praise was inevitable: the Company's officers at Hyderabad
were not only exposed to the reproach of inaction in what were deemed
objects of common interest, but to the accusation of being in part the
cause of the ruin of some of the most popular officers of the army: for
the discontented argued, that if Government had not thought it could
rely on their support, it never would have had recourse to so bold
and arbitrary a course of measures. Correct information regarding the
temper of this force would have satisfied Government that there was
no good ground for this eulogium; and the slightest reflection on the
common motives of human action would have prevented its being made. The
Company's officers at Hyderabad treated the praise bestowed upon them
with scorn, disclaimed all right to it in an address to Government,
and, abandoning that moderation which had before characterized their
proceedings, they commenced with all the zeal of converts in their new
career. In their ardour to make amends for the past, they took the lead
in violence. Their numbers and apparent unanimity inspired them with
fatal confidence: and this force, who were excited to action by a weak
and unwise attempt to divide them from the rest of the army, became the
most active promoters of sedition, and gave an example of opposition to
Government, in which their repentance came too late to prevent the ruin
of many of those who were betrayed, by a reliance on them, into the
adoption of the same unjustifiable course.

The general spirit of indignation which the orders of the 1st of
May were calculated to excite, must have been foreseen; but it was
perhaps expected, that the terror struck by so decided and vigorous a
proceeding would repress the effects of this spirit, and alarm even
the most violent into order and obedience. If such was the intention,
the measure was certainly inadequate to the end proposed. When we
bear in mind the inflamed state of the minds of a great majority of
the officers of the coast army, was it reasonable to expect, that the
suspension from the service, and the removal from their commands, of
a few of the most popular (including some of the most moderate[9])
officers in the service, would strike a panic in a body of men
so agitated? Was it not more likely that they would deem this a
repetition of what they had before considered injustice, and rush on
the extreme of violence? It could have no other effect; and therefore,
if it had been resolved to take no steps to conciliate or restore the
temper of the army, this was the period (before their combinations
were matured,) that a severe and wise Government would have chosen
to come to issue; and, had the danger been fully met at this moment,
those consequences which resulted from the line pursued would, in
all human probability, have been avoided: but if the object of the
Government of Fort St. George had been the ruin of its own army, no
measures could have been more calculated to effect that object than
those pursued. The character of its acts till the 1st of May has been
fully shown. It would be as tedious as useless to dwell upon the many
trifling but irritating measures to which it had recourse from that
period till the 26th of July. These measures were, if not oppressive,
all marked by a spirit of the most provoking suspicion, and never
contained one particle of that generous feeling of noble confidence,
which, by exalting the character of authority, attaches those that are
wavering, reclaims the insubordinate to their duty, and, by giving a
motive in which they have a pride, recalls the most guilty to the path
of honour and virtue. A bare catalogue of a few of the expedients to
which the Government resorted will be sufficient to show the nature of
the whole. Some officers were removed from the command of corps, and
sent to distant stations, without any reason being assigned; others
were insulted, by being ordered away from the Presidency and other
places at a few hours' warning, upon the ground of private information
regarding their conversation or actions. Leave to visit the Presidency
was refused to all officers. An institution of cadets (boys) was
dissolved, because they had a quarrel with one of their comrades in
consequence of his going to Lady Barlow's ball. A corps was removed
to a distant and unpleasant (if not unhealthy) station, because its
officers refused to dine with the Governor. But the conduct of the
officers of the European regiment at Masulipatam, in consequence of
a dispute about a toast at their mess-table, and the measures that
precipitated a mutiny in that garrison, (the particulars of which will
be stated in my narrative,) forms one of the completest examples of the
character of that system of irritation pursued by the Government of
Fort St. George, during this short but important and eventful period.
In viewing this system, we ought not to take any single case, but look
at the whole; and we shall find it, as such, fully adequate to the end
which it effected, of making a brave and meritorious though mistaken
body of men rush upon their own ruin; and of greatly weakening, if not
destroying, by its probable operation on the attachment and allegiance
of our native army, the most essential of all those principles, on the
preservation of which must depend the future safety and existence of
our empire in India.

The mutiny which an imprudent measure of Government (the particulars
of which will be hereafter stated) brought on at Masulipatam, was
one of the first acts of open violence committed by the officers on
the coast establishment. As the Governor of Fort St. George thought
it might be quelled by means short of coercion, he directed me to
proceed to that garrison, in the hope that I should recall the
officers to their duty. But his other measures ill accorded with the
avowed principles of that conciliatory and moderate proceeding. It
had long been reported throughout the army, that Government intended
to make such a distribution of the native corps as would place them
under the complete check of his majesty's regiments. The alarm, and
indeed despair, caused by this report, were excessive and general.
The numerous officers of the Company's army who had become engaged in
guilty combinations, thought their destruction was certain, and that
union and resistance offered the only hope of safety. It might not
have been the intention of Government to make such an impression; but
is it not clear to the most common understanding which reflects on
what had passed, and the actual state of feeling in the army, that
this impression must have been produced[10]? Was it not evident that
the mutiny at Masulipatam had been caused by the mere rumour of this
intention on the part of Government? And could it be expected by the
most weak, or infatuated, that the actual execution of this plan would
not produce the same effect in a situation such as Hyderabad, where the
spirit of disaffection was more violent, and the power of resistance
as great, if not greater. It is hardly possible to make any other
conclusion, but that those who advised this measure foresaw the result,
and thought that such an act of open disobedience would give the colour
of unavoidable necessity to the extreme measures[11] which they then
contemplated. It produced its natural effect--the order for the march
of the 2d battalion of the 10th regiment from Hyderabad to Goa was
disobeyed, and the Company's officers at that station forced down a
precipice of guilt, at which, in spite of their violent language, they
shuddered. This act of open disobedience, accompanied by a violent and
seditious paper styled their _Ultimatum_[12], which they transmitted to
the Governor, constituted the immediate grounds upon which Government
adopted the extreme measure of the 26th of July, of calling upon all
the European officers of the native corps to sign a test of their
fidelity, and, on their refusal, of separating the officers from their

Though a violent agitation certainly existed at this time throughout
almost all ranks of the officers of the Company's army, this agitation
had a variety of shades, which it is of importance to consider. Many
officers in the Company's service had no share whatever in those
proceedings which had met with the disapprobation of Government: but
these, though they severely condemned the conduct of the disaffected,
and regretted their errors, could not but be alive to the character
and reputation of the army to which they belonged; they were, of
course, anxious for measures that would retrieve the service from that
disgrace and ruin with which it was threatened: and it was the natural
wish of this class (who were stronger in influence than numbers,)
that Government should endeavour to reclaim the discontented to their
duty by some act that mixed as much consideration and indulgence for
the errors into which they had fallen, with a vigorous exertion of
its authority as it was possible to mix, without a sacrifice of its
strength and dignity.

The next, and a very principal if not a numerous class, were officers
of some rank and influence, who had gradually, and without reflection,
involved themselves in proceedings, the scope and extent of which they
had never contemplated till they had gone too far to retract. They had
persuaded themselves that Government would yield to the representations
of the army; and the hope of success, added to the fear of being
accused of defection, had hitherto kept them firm to the general cause:
but these men, at the period of which I speak, contemplated their
situation with affliction and horror; they saw themselves borne away
in a tide that they could not resist: they conceived, from a false
but imperious sense of honour, which, from a singular but powerful
principle of human nature, was felt to be the more binding because at
variance with duty, that they were pledged to support the rest; or,
more properly speaking, not to abandon them. They were sensible too
late of having lost their authority and control over the younger and
more violent part of the service, and regretted their proceedings; but
at the same time saw, under the rigid course pursued by Government, no
safety but in union. This class of men would have rushed to any door
that had been opened to their retreat; they would have made a stand on
any ground that the clemency or generosity of Government had afforded
them; and would not only have reclaimed themselves, but the rest; for
they were, generally speaking, of that rank and character who had the
chief influence with the troops; and, if extremes had been resorted to,
with them on the side of Government, the others must have submitted, as
their efforts at resistance would have been quite hopeless. The last
and most numerous, though certainly the least powerful party among
the officers of the coast army, were those who, unfortunately for its
reputation, had the chief management of all the criminal proceedings.
This party, which consisted of a few wrong-headed and violent old
officers, and almost all the junior part of the service, completely
took the lead in their correspondence and deliberative committees;
in both of which a very violent and indecent tone of proceeding
was adopted; and the authority of commanding officers of corps was
apparently suspended by the principle of equality introduced in their
proceedings. But this loss of power was more apparent than real; for,
though the commanding officers may have had little more influence in
the committee than the youngest officers, their military authority
(generally speaking) remained, and that must have given them, whenever
they had the courage to exert it, a very commanding influence over the
whole: and this circumstance establishes what has been before stated,
that the most numerous, clamorous, and violent, were in fact the least
powerful party in the army, though they have assumed a style in the
written documents, as if they were the undisputed and uncontrolled
leaders of the whole of the Company's army.

The objects of the different classes of officers were, of course, as
various as their feelings. The first could have no wish, but such a
settlement as should vindicate the dignity of Government, and, as far
as possible, spare the character and reputation of the service. They
were too well aware of the nature of those causes that had led the
discontented astray, not to hope that every effort might be made to
reclaim the misguided; but they were prepared, if such efforts failed,
to have acted with a forward and animated zeal in support of lawful
authority, and to have contributed their efforts to reduce men who
had shown themselves unworthy of kindness and indulgence. The next
class that has been described required more aid from the consideration
of Government, before they could disentangle themselves from those
unfortunate pledges into which they had entered. They felt that, after
having proceeded so far, they would have been disgraced if they had,
by their retreat, left their associates to be punished. These officers
thought they could not abandon the cause before it was at least
ascertained none should suffer for what had passed; but they had become
fully sensible of the deep guilt in which they were involved: and
though many of this class had entered into a pledge to have obtained
what was termed a redress of grievances (inclusive of a complete
repeal of the orders of the 1st of May), they were not disposed to
persevere to the extent of disobedience in the pursuit of this object:
and had Government, in addition to an act of amnesty, held out the
slightest prospect that the officers of the army would, by an immediate
return to good order and duty, acquire a claim upon the clemency and
consideration of the Court of Directors, which might operate favourably
to those officers who were suspended, and who were the object of their
painful solicitude, this class would have used their utmost efforts to
reclaim the more turbulent, and, in the event of those efforts failing,
have employed all their influence and authority with the troops, to
have prevented any injury to the state, from the violence or insanity
of the rest.

It is difficult to say what were the objects of the last class among
the officers of the coast army. This, it has been stated, were the
most numerous and most violent, but the least powerful; though
it was probably judged otherwise by Government, from this party
having throughout conducted the proceedings of the committees, and
correspondence, and having always exaggerated its means, and assumed,
from a desire to intimidate, a tone as if it spoke the sentiments of
all the officers of the army.

One of the earliest motives to action with this class, was a personal
hatred of Sir George Barlow[13], and of some officers on the general
staff who were supposed to be his chief advisers. This feeling had
latterly absorbed every other. From indulging it, they persuaded
themselves that they were compelled to the indefensible extremes they
had adopted, and thus found an alleviation of that misery in which
a sense of guilt had involved them. It would be difficult to state
the objects which men acting under the dominion of such passions
had in view. They, in fact, did not well know themselves what they
desired: but there were, I believe, very few among this class even,
so completely unreasonable, as to approve of that paper called
_the Ultimatum_, which the officers of the Hyderabad force had the
presumption to send to Government.

Such was the diversified temper of the numerous officers of the
Company's army on the coast when the test was proposed for universal
subscription. In describing that measure, it is perhaps more essential
to attend to the mode in which it was carried into execution, than its
substance. The Government of Fort St. George had, in consequence of
the information which I gave them from Masulipatam[14], assembled a
field force near Madras. The majority of this camp was formed of his
Majesty's troops: but the senior officers of the Company's troops,
who composed a part of this corps, were men of whose violence, in
whatever situation they were placed, Government could entertain no
apprehension[15]; and every thing might have been expected, under the
slightest management, from their good sense and moderation. Sir George
Barlow, it is true, sent for some of these officers, and appeared to
treat them with confidence in some discussions he had with them on the
state of the army: but one fact will suffice to show the character of
this confidence, and the general impressions which his conduct on this
occasion was likely to make. Lieutenant-Colonel Rumley (who commanded
the native cavalry at the Mount, and was one of those respectable
officers who were honoured with his confidence,) received, during this
period, an extraordinary communication from Major Russel, of an attempt
to excite the native officers of the cavalry against their European
commanders. It appears of importance to insert this written report, as
drawn up by the Major himself. It is as follows:

"On the afternoon of the 23d ultimo[16], Secunder Khan Subahdar
came to me, on my return from Madras to camp, and said he had been
very anxious to see me for several hours, as something of a very
extraordinary nature had occurred. That walking in the vicinity of the
lines he had been accosted by a brahmin, who asked him if he was not
the senior officer of cavalry, and said he had business of the greatest
importance to communicate to him. He then proceeded to disclose to him,
that he had been sent by Colonel Munro to inform the native troops that
their officers had sent in a petition to Sir George Barlow to be put on
Bengal allowances, which Sir George had informed them the resources of
this country would not admit; and, in consequence of this refusal, they
had resolved to mutiny: that in case the officers should propose to
engage them in seizing the person of Sir George, it was their duty to
say he was their Governor, and that they would not act in such a cause.
The only way, _he further said, in which the demand of the officers
could be complied with, was by taking away a proportion of the pay of
the native officers and men_. That if Secunder Khan would undertake
to persuade all the men and officers to act in this manner, he should
receive a handsome jagheer: and he was further informed, that Colonel
Munro had dispatched emissaries or letters to communicate the same to
all the native corps in the army. That he had no occasion to apprehend
injury from any one, as he might observe Sir George had suspended every
person who acted in opposition to his wishes[17]."

Colonel Rumley was naturally indignant at a proceeding which he
was convinced (from the whole behaviour of Sir George Barlow) could
not have his sanction, and which he deemed, at the moment, to be an
impolitic and dangerous expedient of a person who, enjoying a large
share of his confidence, might have acted on this occasion without his
knowledge. With these impressions, he hastened to give full information
of the circumstance to Sir George Barlow; but his report was received
without either emotion or surprise; and he was forced to conclude, from
no notice being taken of it, that the measure of which he complained
had been adopted by authority. The circumstance became public after
Colonel Rumley returned to camp, and the minds of most of the officers
were greatly inflamed at this glaring instance of what they deemed
unmanly duplicity.

A short account of the mode in which the test was proposed to the
officers at Fort St. George and the camp near the Mount, will convey,
better than any general detail, the character of the measure. The
following is a copy of that remarkable document:--

"We, the undersigned officers of the Honourable Company's service,
do in the most solemn manner declare, upon our word and honour[18]
as British officers, that we will obey the orders and support the
authority of the Honourable the Governor in Council of Fort St. George,
agreeable to the tenor of the commission which we hold from that

This test was sent to the commanding officer of the forces assembled
at Fort St. George and the Mount, and it was accompanied by a circular
letter to the commanding officers of divisions, which was read to the
officers of the Company's service before their signature was required.

The substance of this letter was an order to assemble the Company's
officers at each station, to propose the test to them, and instantly
to remove from their corps all such as declined to sign it. They were
directed to be sent to such stations as the commanding officer chose,
and that they should there receive their allowances until the situation
of affairs and the temper of their minds should admit of their being
employed with advantage to the state.

This was, it must be recollected, the first public appeal that had
been made to the officers of the Company's service by the Government
of Madras since the orders of the 1st of May; and it certainly was not
of a character calculated to flatter the feelings of those to whom it
was addressed. It spoke to their sense of duty, and pride as officers;
but in the same breath told them they were not trusted, and that they
were to be coerced into order and submission. The high praises that
were given in this letter to the fidelity and loyalty of his Majesty's
troops were perfectly just; but quite unnecessary, as far as regarded
the allegiance and obedience of that part of the service; and could
therefore serve no purpose but to exasperate the feelings of the
officers of the Company's army. But the mode in which this measure was
carried into execution was the most characteristic of the Government by
whom it was adopted, and of itself was sufficient to account for its
complete failure, and indeed to make it very doubtful if it ever was
wished or intended that it should succeed.

No previous effort whatever was made to dispose the minds of the
senior and more reflecting part of the Company's officers in favour
of this measure, though such a step (which could have been adopted
in many ways without the slightest hazard) seemed essential to its
success. A short and peremptory summons was sent to every Company's
officer of the garrison of Fort St. George, to attend at the quarters
of Colonel Conran, the commanding officer. That officer read the
circular letter to which I have alluded to the astonished officers
whom he had assembled; and then, presenting the test, informed them
they must either sign immediately, or go to Pulicat, the place fixed
for their banishment. Can any man the least acquainted with the human
mind be surprised, that an almost general and indignant rejection was
the result of such a proceeding? Five regimental officers only could
be prevailed upon to sign it at this meeting; and the remainder were
immediately sent to Pulicat[19]. At the Mount the rejection was still
more general. Colonel Hare had the day before removed his tents across
the bridge of Marmalon, where all the officers were summoned at an
equally short notice. When Colonel Hare read the circular letter,
presented the test for signature, and told them that those who refused
their signature would not be allowed to return to camp, they refused
with one general sentiment of indignation at the manner in which they
had been treated, and were immediately separated from their corps[20].

The test was signed by all the staff-officers at the Presidency, and
by some officers who were there on leave: at Trichinopoly twenty-two
signed it, but few others at any other station of the army. In short,
the whole number of signatures did not amount to one hundred out of
about one thousand two hundred, which is near the number of officers on
the coast establishment in India.

The almost total failure of this expedient (if it ever was intended to
reclaim or fix any officers in the Company's service to their duty,)
will not surprise any man the least acquainted with human nature,
and with the temper of those to whom the measure was proposed. Those
officers, who had never departed from their duty in thought, word, or
deed, felt this test, which was a mere repetition of the obligation
of their commission, as at least an act of supererogation; and it was
painful, as it had a taint of suspicion in it. Others, who were in
some degree pledged to support their brother officers, conceived that
this was an indirect mode of obtaining their individual pledges to act
against them; and concluded, from its being proposed, that every hope
of an amnesty was at an end[21]; whilst the more violent only saw in it
the pursuit of plans which banished every expectation from their minds
of obtaining personal security, much less the object they had in view,
through any means but successful resistance.

The most moderate among these officers argued, that no opportunity
whatever had been given to the Company's army of retrieving itself;
and, guilty as it might have been, they said the memory of its former
fame merited some consideration; and an appeal to its loyalty and
duty, combined with an act of amnesty, would, they thought, if it had
been made to the officers of the Company's army with that confidence
which inspires attachment, have secured the fidelity of a great part
of them: and if it had been possible for Government to have gone
further, and to have promised, "that in the event of the conduct of
the army meriting such favour, they would recommend the case of the
officers who had been suspended to the indulgent consideration of
the Court of Directors[22]," they were confident all would have been
reclaimed to their duty. But had efforts so worthy, in their opinion,
of the clemency and greatness of Government failed in bringing all
to reason, they would have acted with the most ardent zeal against
men whom they should in such event not only have considered as rebels
to their country, but as destroyers of the reputation of the army to
which they belonged. There can be no doubt these were the sentiments
of many respectable officers of rank and influence: and had Government
adopted, on the 26th of July, any such measures of conciliation, it
would have been completely successful; and not only the hazard of a
contest, but all those disastrous consequences which were certain to
be the inevitable consequence of complete success, would have been
avoided. And can there be a doubt in the mind of any rational being but
it might have taken such a line, at the very moment that which has been
described was adopted, without any substantial sacrifice of either its
strength or dignity, and certainly with the greatest benefit to the
interests of the British nation in India?

The measure that was taken was supposed, by almost all the
discontented, to be a completion of that design which the Government
of Fort St. George had from the first (they conceived) entertained,
of relying solely on the King's troops; and they concluded, from
the substance as well as the mode in which the step taken on the
26th of July was carried into execution, that the Company's military
establishment on the coast was meant to be destroyed at the first blow;
and all were therefore included in one general mass, as fit objects of
suspicion and disgrace.

Government had, no doubt, a right to expect success in the execution
of this measure; it had a just reliance on the fidelity and attachment
of his Majesty's troops. A few regiments, who composed part of the
British army, could not have joined in such a confederacy without
incurring certain and indelible disgrace: and it had been the policy
of the Government of Fort St. George, from the first appearance of
dissatisfaction and discontent, to court the allegiance and flatter
the feelings of this branch of the service. And though no man can
calculate the temper that was lost, or the consequent evils that have
been produced by this proceeding, the limited object was undoubtedly

Sir George Barlow appears to have had great confidence in the
attachment of the native troops to Government; which, I believe, he
always thought was paramount to their attachment to their European
officers: and this was consequently calculated upon as one great means
of carrying his measures into prompt and successful execution: but
certainly the fulfilment of this hope depended upon the course pursued
by the European officers who commanded these men. There could be no
ground to make such a conclusion upon any general principles applicable
to military bodies, and much less so from the constitution, character,
or history of the native branch of the military establishment in
India. The difficulty that a body of officers have in any service,
is to keep soldiers to their duty: there is little in debauching
them from it. They are led by example: and to follow that of their
officers, is both a principle and a habit. The native troops of India
are perhaps more attached to their European officers than any others.
These officers are to them the only representatives they know of the
Government they serve; they are the sole link in the chain of their
attachment; and, with rare exceptions, their men are completely
devoted to them. The Governor might, perhaps, expect, that though this
feeling would operate in the first instance, it would soon give way
to a fear of losing all those solid benefits that the service of the
Company offers; and that the sepoys would never continue to attach
their fortunes to so desperate a cause as that of the officers must
soon appear. This is a natural conduct for a sensible and reflecting
man: but do soldiers think, or reflect deeply? Would not the increased
pay which their officers (if they were serious in rebellion) would be
likely to give, or, what is still more attractive to men like them,
a latitude to plunder, have more effect than twenty proclamations
to recall them to their duty. Besides, had this dreadful contest
continued, the passions would have had their way, and a few months
might have changed the character of our native soldiery, and rendered
them more formidable than all the enemies we ever had to encounter in

It will at least appear, from what has been said on the subject, that
Government had no right to look to the fidelity and attachment of the
native troops, as a certain means of coercing their European officers
to obedience. But the fact was, that the sure ground of success, and
that on which the Government had more right to calculate (when it
resorted to extremes,) than all others put together, was the action of
the virtuous feelings and loyal principles of the Company's officers
themselves, and the total want of object, accord and combination, in
the execution of the indigested plans of the most violent. It was
well known that many of those officers had never brought their minds
to contemplate disobedience to the state: and the most guilty even, at
first proceeded on the idea that such an extreme would never occur.
They certainly had hoped that Government would yield, to avoid it: and
when they latterly found that result was not likely, they shuddered
at the crisis which they had precipitated. They had no object in view
that could justify to their own minds the extremes in which they were
involved; they found themselves on the point of being placed in the
situation of rebels, with minds altogether unsuited to act that part
which can alone give a hope of success to the cause of rebellion. They
could not (violent as they were against the Governor of Madras and some
others) bring their minds to believe they were enemies to a revered
King and beloved country; and they consequently wished to reconcile the
incompatible principles of opposition to the local Government, with a
spirit of fidelity to their employers, and loyalty to their sovereign.
There could be no doubt of their sincerity in these feelings: and,
from the clashing of such opposite principles of action, Government
had a right to expect irresolution, division, and distraction in their
councils and measures. It was certain that many would not join in any
act of disobedience, and that those who ventured on opposition would
proceed with alarm; and every moment of reflection would make them
view with increased horror the guilt in which they were involved, and
produce a wavering and hesitation that must soon have the effect of
losing them the confidence of their followers and of each other.

Under such circumstances, there could be little doubt of the ultimate
success of Government in the measures adopted for subduing the
refractory European officers of the army. We shall now examine the
dangers by which these measures were likely to be attended. These were
numerous, and all of an alarming political magnitude[23]. The greatest,
was the shock which was given by this proceeding to that attachment
between the European officer and the natives under his command, which,
from the first establishment of the Company in India to the present
moment, had been looked upon as one of the principal, if not the
chief, sources of our strength in India. This body of officers has
been hitherto justly considered as the great means by which British
India was conquered, and by whose fidelity, knowledge and courage, it
was to be maintained. They were comparatively a few persons, through
whom a large foreign army was not only disciplined, but attached to
the present state. Their station was one of more than ordinary trust,
their duties very sacred, and they had for a long period of years
been distinguished by the manner in which these had been performed. A
part of them had been seduced, and misled into error, and ultimately
hurried away, by their passion and resentment against individuals in
authority, to the most criminal extremes. They certainly had merited,
in the strictness of military law, the most serious punishment;
and it was, no doubt, as far as the principles of that law were
concerned, most desirable, for the sake of example, that punishment
should be inflicted, particularly as those officers had in this
instance endeavoured to pervert that complete obedience which their
men owed them, into an engine of faction and revolt; and to render
the attachment of those under their command, which had been so long
considered the safety of their country, its future bane and danger.
That any body of officers should have, or conceive they had, the power
of furthering their own views or interests by means so desperate, and
so entirely subversive of the foundations of all order and government,
was, no doubt, an evil of great magnitude: but it should have been
recollected, that the connexion between the native soldiers and their
European officers is the cherished plant of a hundred years: and
before we can account those men wise who laid the axe to its trunk,
it must be proved that the existing spirit of insubordination among
the European officers was attended with dangers as imminent and
as incapable of remedy, as the evil that has been embraced by the
deliberate dissolution of this great bond of our strength and safety.
Some persons, who refer to a former occasion[24] on which the Indian
army are supposed in some degree to have overawed the Government into
a redress of their grievances, and viewing only one side of this great
question, may argue, that it was rather desirable to adopt a measure
that would prevent the European officers from having such reliance on
the support of their men, and teach the latter that they have a duty
paramount even to their obedience to their officers, in that which
they owe the state: but it is a great fallacy to conceive that such a
feeling can ever exist as an operative principle in the minds of such a
class of men; and if it did, it must weaken a devotion and attachment
that are quite essential to the preservation of our power in India[25].

The next positive evil that was certain to attend this course of
measure, was the destruction of that harmony which it had been the
labour of years to introduce and maintain between his Majesty's and the
Company's service, and which had so greatly contributed to our military
successes in India. It could hardly be expected that these would (for
some years at least) serve together again with those sentiments towards
each other which before inspired them: and nothing can be so dangerous
to our interests in India, as feelings of irritation and jealousy
being kindled betwixt the two services. Those who have cast away
this harmony, which has so long been deemed one of the chief sources
of our permanent strength, would perhaps see more security to the
Government of India in an irreconcileable division between the King's
and Company's troops. But there is no danger of an error, in predicting
that the date of our rule over India will be short, if our Government
in that quarter can only be supported by such weak and wretched
expedients as that of keeping up a principle of division among its own

The last positive and immediate evil which could not but attend this
measure, was that effect which it was calculated to produce among the
natives of all ranks and classes. Our strength in India has hitherto
greatly rested upon the supposed impossibility of any civil commotion
among ourselves: and the dissolution of this charm will give rise to a
thousand doubts regarding the stability of our power; and, in all human
probability, excite ambitious projects to assail it. This effect is of
a magnitude that in itself required every exertion should be made to
avoid an extreme that could not but make so general and dangerous an
impression regarding the character of our power in India. It must show
our enemies in that quarter that we are not exempt (as it has long been
believed we were) from those internal divisions and civil wars which
have accelerated the fate of the other conquerors of the East[26].

There is one more consideration connected with this question. The
comparative safety which appeared in the gradual removal of those
radical causes which created a spirit of discontent, over a system of
harsh coercion under the most unfavourable circumstances that could
be supposed, whether we consider the situation of Government or the
army. It is not necessary in this place to detail all those causes.
One of them, which excited great discontent (though certainly not
rebellion), was undoubtedly that system of reduction which at this time
threatened to leave the Company's officers in India without a motive
of action. They saw (at the period of its progress) no prospect of any
alteration in their condition that would, by elevating the service and
facilitating their return to their native country, make amends for
what they lost; and their minds gave way to greater despair, from an
impression that those who _they believed_ were founding their fortune
and reputation on the reduction of their allowances, took no interest
in obtaining any advantages to counterbalance what was taken from them.
This grievance, unallayed by a hope of redress, had an effect upon the
general temper of the army that merited the greatest attention.

But the fact is, the Government of Fort St. George never appear to have
taken any view of this subject, that comprehended those considerations
which have been stated. They seem to have decided every question, as it
arose, upon its own narrow ground, and to have always been fettered in
the forms of their own proceedings[27]. The order for the imposition of
the test which was prescribed to the Company's officers, was positive,
and vested no discretion. In stations where the superiority of his
Majesty's troops was decided, this character of the order could do no
mischief: but few of those acquainted with the circumstances can doubt,
that to the wisdom and forbearance of Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable
Patrick Stuart, of his Majesty's 19th regiment, who took upon himself
to suspend the execution of this positive order, and to give time for
the action of reason upon minds under the sole dominion of passion, may
be attributed not only the safety of that corps, but the tranquillity
of Travancore. A similar conduct was observed by Lieutenant-Colonel
Forbes, of his Majesty's 80th regiment, who commanded in Malabar; and
by Colonel Gibbs, of the 59th regiment, at Bangalore: and the evidence
of these respectable officers must be conclusive with regard to the
actual temper of the Company's officers under their command, on the
day they received the orders of the 26th July, and prove to the most
incredulous, how easily men under the influence of such feelings as
they describe, might have been reclaimed by means far short of that
baneful measure which was adopted.

The force at Hyderabad continued but a short period in a state of
resistance; and they committed no act of violence. The impression
which Colonel Close's effort (though unsuccessful at the moment) had
made upon both the minds of European officers and natives, the effect
produced by the perusal of an order issued by Lord Minto on the 20th
of July, and the knowledge that his lordship was hourly expected at
Madras, deprived rebellion of its chief motive--personal hatred to
Sir George Barlow. And these circumstances, aided by the unremitted
conciliatory efforts of the commanding officer, Colonel Montresor,
and the Resident, Captain Sydenham, made a complete change in the
sentiments of this corps, who upon the 12th of August signed the
test: and as their example encouraged many corps of the army, but
particularly those that formed the garrison of Seringapatam, in a
rebellious resistance to Government, their defection from the cause
put an end to this horrid and unnatural contest: and Lord Minto, who
arrived a few days after this event, found a complete and unreserved
submission to his authority. Had he arrived a month earlier, he would
have saved an army from disgrace and ruin: and as it was, it is not
easy to calculate the good which his presence effected: but it is not
unreasonable to conclude, that the report even of his approach went
farther to terminate the partial rebellion that had occurred, than all
the violence of the Madras Government.

The whole of these proceedings ought to be held in constant remembrance
by all parties in future times. "As they have existed for our shame,
they ought to exist for our instruction[28]."

To the officers of the Indian army they are awfully instructive. They
will not consider a few remarks on the nature of that instruction as
unbecoming in one who has served with them for near twenty-eight years;
who came among them in childhood; whose fortune and character have been
acquired with them; whose affection and pride are, and always must be,
deeply interested in their reputation.

If they dispassionately consider these events, they will clearly
perceive the danger of the first approaches towards a military
combination, intended only to solicit a Government, but necessarily
tending to influence, to overawe, and to coerce it. The purity of
intention affords no security against this progress. Men who deliberate
and confederate with arms in their hands soon become impatient of the
slow course of redress by regular means. Indignant at refusals, or even
delays, which they deem unjust, they become familiar with the dangerous
idea of seeking more summary justice. They assemble, their passions are
kindled by communication of grievances, they are emboldened by a sense
of collective strength, and proceed from solicitations to threats,
disguised (from the great majority of those that use them) in the form
of predictions apparently flowing from an anxious desire to avert the
evils foretold.

Such addresses bring upon them censure and harsh imputation, which
they resent the more because they are not yet distinctly conscious
of intentions which merit them. Their language becomes still more
indecorous and violent; and some of their most conspicuous leaders are
punished. They have then unhappily placed themselves in a situation
where they are pushed forward on the road of guilt by the most virtuous
impulses of the human heart--fidelity towards each other, honourable
attachment to the distinguished members of their body become sufferers
in their cause, and indignation against what they (under the influence
of self-delusion) regard as insupportable tyranny, impel them onward
with irresistible force. Youth, with all its generous feelings, its
inexperience and its impetuosity, assumes the lead in their councils.
The prudent and the moderate are either banished as traitors, or
compelled to be instruments of the more inconsiderate and daring. They
find that they have forfeited all expectation of a tolerable pardon.
They see no hopes of safety but in victory; and they are hurried on by
fear and despair, as well as anger and resentment, to rebellion.

Thus terminates in guilt the progress of men who began with innocence
and honour; and of whom each, if the termination had been foretold even
when he was far advanced in impropriety, might with sincerity have
exclaimed, "_Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?_"

Any event of such a rebellion would be most unfortunate to those
engaged in it, but success would be the greater misfortune, and indeed
the most severe punishment with which the justice of Providence could
visit their guilt.

Success would every where be a dreadful calamity to a body of
British officers betrayed into military rebellion against the
civil authorities of their country. Their success would be the
destruction of every source and guard of their own security, and of
every thing of which the defence peculiarly ennobles and endears the
profession of arms to a British soldier. In India, however, this
misfortune of success would have very bitter aggravations. As soon
as British officers had oppressed the lawful authority, they would
quickly discover what, in the tumult of dissension, their passions
had concealed from them, that they had, though unknowingly, raised
their arms against their country, which must espouse the cause of her
delegated authorities[29]. They would thus be proscribed and exiled by
a country, the hope of revisiting which is the basis of every plan and
expectation of their lives.

Apprehending mutiny among their soldiers, revolt among their subjects,
irruption from their Asiatic neighbours, or conquest by some European
state, no longer guarded by their own country, but the objects of her
just hostility, they would find themselves alone and unprotected in
the world. In this friendless situation they could be supported by no
generous enthusiasm, the child of patriotism and honour, which could
awaken no feeling in their bosom but shame and remorse. Their numbers
could only be kept up by adventurers, the refuse of the military
profession in Europe. The civil wars, inevitable in such a state of
things, would be not so much the consummation of their evils, as a
refuge from such intolerable calamities.

Happily for the British officers in India, (I speak not paradoxically,
but considerately,) no such calamity is probable. They are sure of
being haunted by so many "compunctious visitings of nature," from
the thoughts of their friends, of their Sovereign, of their beloved
country, as to impair that criminal energy necessary for the success of
desperate enterprizes. Theirs is not a country, or a state of manners,
or a system of religion and morality, which trains men to revolutionary
sternness and ferocity. Their failure was, and ever will be, certain.
But such convulsions bring dreadful consequences:--the loss of that
collective character which was the source of pride to each individual,
long regret and remorse, their hearts taught to dread generous and
social feeling; and the most distinguished of them, if not condemned to
death, still more unhappily abandoned to a dishonourable life.

In their native land they will meet little or none of that sympathy
which supports the sufferers for a general cause. Their discontent
appears to spring only from the most ignoble sources. Those who
have not visited India will not easily conceive that a pecuniary
retrenchment is chiefly felt (_which it really is_) as a degradation,
by an army already sufficiently excluded from the higher rewards of
valour: first shut out from military honours, and then from that
compensation for them which they had found in the prospect of returning
home to the exercise of generous virtue. Last, and worst of all, they
find that their more glaring and dangerous guilt has almost effaced the
remembrance of that misconduct which produced it, and given popularity
and character to those they deem their enemies.

To the British Governments of India these deplorable occurrences are
not less fertile in instruction. They will learn, that to preserve
the obedience of a military body, exiled almost for life in a distant
dependency, to civil bodies who are the temporary delegates of a
Commercial Company, is one of the most difficult problems of policy:
that such obedience is not always to be preserved by a rigid adherence
to official rules, nor restored by undistinguishing obstinacy clothed
in the garb of firmness. They will be taught by high authority, "_how
much ought to be done to avert a contest in which concession does not
find its place_[30]."

They will feel, that the difficulty of their policy respecting the army
will always be increased at moments when the necessities of the state
require extensive retrenchments. A wise Government will prepare the way
for such retrenchments, by evidently showing that they are necessary,
and that they are equitably imposed on all classes: they will not
disdain more particularly to satisfy those distinguished members of an
army, whose influence over their brethren is a principle of natural
discipline. They will redouble their vigilance to distribute military
honours and rewards with the strictest equity; and they will be
solicitous to display the appearance as well as the reality of kindness
towards the individuals of a body who are about to suffer.

When the passions of the moment have subsided, no man will believe
that a Governor, confessedly unpopular[31], introducing or maintaining
systems of retrenchment, necessary indeed, but most severe, and without
preparation, without public precaution or private conciliation, did
not, by these circumstances, most materially contribute to the unhappy
crisis which followed. The total omission of all those means which make
reformation popular, or even tolerable, will assuredly be regarded as
a great political offence. It will be considered as ridiculous to call
for particular proof that a cold and unfeeling manner tended to make
privations be felt as insults. No man of common sense will doubt that
a popular Governor may reconcile men to retrenchments, which, under a
Governor of an opposite character, may produce the most fatal effects.
A recent example might be found at no great distance from Madras, (if
any examples of what is so obvious were necessary,) of a Governor[32]
who had imposed greater retrenchments than Sir George Barlow, and who,
without any sacrifice of dignity, left his government, universally
beloved. But it will not be doubted that the Government of Madras
thus contributed their share towards maturing the discontents of the
army previous to the orders of General McDowall. Still less can it be
doubted, that by the suspension of Colonel Capper and Major Boles the
spark was struck out which fell on the combustible materials.

In the circumstances of the case, and after the restoration of the
surviving officer by his superiors, it is very mild language to call
this suspension an act of very doubtful justice. And it is most
certain, that an act of authority so harsh, and of such doubtful
justice, against officers who had such a fair appearance of mere
military obedience, and whose very fault, if they had one, must have
sprung from a zeal for military privileges, was of a nature to vibrate
through every nerve of an army. When the Government once did an act
which made two officers of rank at least appear to suffer unjustly for
the army, they entirely changed the character of the disputes. They
drove the generosity, honour, and justice of the army into rebellion.
They supplied the discontented with the colour of right, without which
no leaders are ever able to seduce multitudes to resistance. They
exalted pecuniary grievances into the feelings of generous sympathy and
wounded honour. They made it be thought disgraceful to abstain from
taking a part in a combination to prevent injustice. The moderate, the
disinterested, the loyal, even the timid and circumspect, were forced
into opposition,--by shame, by fear, by sympathy, by that tumultuous
combination of causes, generous and mean, which recruit the ranks of
insurgents, and change the murmurs of a few into the mutinous clamour
of the many. Whatever the evil intentions of a few may be, it is
always an act of real or supposed injustice which throws the multitude
into the hands of the ill-affected leaders. Before the suspension there
existed only discontents; after it, general disaffection, conspiracy,
and sedition.

The necessity of vesting the power of dismissing or suspending officers
in the Government will never be questioned by thinking men: but when it
is considered, that the operation of the general orders of the 1st of
May was, considering the rank and number of the suspended officers, not
a much less exertion of authority than if his Majesty were to strike a
tenth part of his general officers out of the list of the army, it will
not be wondered that this example of the precarious and degraded tenure
by which military rank was held, should have diffused universal dismay,
and reinforced resentment by despair.

The dispassionate observer, after remarking with wonder that every
expedient was omitted or rejected which could detach the misguided
from the ill-affected, or open a creditable retreat for the penitent,
will pause before the sword was drawn, to consider whether general
submission would then have been too dearly purchased by an amnesty
which should not have excluded from hope even the officers suspended on
the 1st of May.

It will be acknowledged, that the example of a sedition proceeding so
far without punishment, is an evil: but it was to be balanced against
other evils;--against the calamities of civil war; against the mischief
of rendering one part of our military force in India the enemies of
the other; against the evils of a victory which must be gained over
the spirit of the army, and consequently over the strength of the

It will be considered, whether a measure, _not of concession_, but _of
conciliation_[33], offered a prospect of greater evils than a plan of
division, such as Machiavelian politicians have sometimes employed
against the public enemy;--but which was now to be, for the first time,
employed against the only safeguard of the state;--a plan to make the
King's troops look down on the Company's with the proud contempt of
conquerors, and the Company's army feel towards the King's all the
mortified pride and secret indignation natural to the vanquished; a
plan for suppressing a rebellion of European officers by clandestinely
instigating a mutiny of native soldiers against them; a plan for
securing the Government by dividing and dispiriting the army, and for
founding general tranquillity upon a monstrous balance of officers
against soldiers, and of one army against another.

It will be ascribed to the unbending temper of Sir George Barlow, that
he did not perceive the probability of amnesty being at length granted,
after open resistance, by the humanity of the British Administration in
India and England, almost as general as that of which, before the sword
was drawn, he treated the proposal as every thing but a crime.

Future Governments will not be insensible to the dreadful dangers which
have been incurred, even if the character of British officers should
prevent the threatened evils from being realized; and they will see,
that though the policy of Great Britain has supported the cause of
authority, yet her equitable benevolence has virtually disavowed these
measures, by interposing to repair their harsher consequences.


After I had written these observations on the late disturbances at
Madras, I perused a very able and ingenious article in the ninth
number of the Quarterly Review, upon that subject. The first part of
that article explains the progress of the violent proceedings of the
Company's officers engaged in those disturbances, and enters into very
full discussions to prove and establish the fact of their guilt. In
almost all this part my sentiments differ little from those of the
reviewer. I do not, however, agree with the opinions he has stated on
the case of Lieutenant-Colonel Munro. He conceives, that if Government
had allowed that officer to have been tried by a court martial, it
would have been a base desertion, and a sacrifice of a public servant.
I trust I have shown, that although Government had a _full legal right_
to act as they did, a contrary conduct might have been adopted without
any such desertion or sacrifice, and with every prospect of advantage
to the public interests.

The reviewer dwells throughout the article upon the crude and violent
Memorial to Lord Minto, and assumes, with great advantage to his
argument, that it may be taken as a fair specimen of the sentiments of
all the discontented officers at Madras. He is probably ignorant of
the comparatively small number of those officers who approved of this
intemperate production. He cannot, I think, be aware, that many of
those whom he has blended in his general censure, merely because they
were blended in the undistinguishing proscription of the Government of
Fort St. George, never saw that document till it was published.

I have, in my observations on the disturbances at Madras, said little
on the question of the suspension of Colonel Capper and Major Boles;
but I conceive all that the reviewer has said upon that subject will be
deemed by those who consider it attentively, as more ingenious than
solid. The whole of that discussion would appear to resolve itself into
a very short question. The act of disobedience to his superior, in a
military officer or soldier, can alone be justified in a case where the
civil law would punish his obedience. A great deal must of course be
decided by the circumstances of the moment. "To your tents, O Israel!"
would, in the present state of Great Britain, be an unobjectionable
text. It certainly was not so in the reign of Charles the First. But
we have only to suppose Major Boles on his trial before a civil court,
for publishing, or aiding in the publication, of a seditious libel.
Among the circumstances to be considered in such a case, that prompt
and undeliberate obedience which it is the habit of an officer to give
to the orders of his superiors, would assuredly be one of the most
prominent; and an English jury would, I imagine, be slow in condemning
an officer situated as Major Boles was. They would probably think,
that the great and vital principle of prompt obedience, on which
the existence of that armed force which guarded the civil community
depended, was of too important and sacred a nature to have its plain
meaning frittered away by casuists and lawyers. These reflections
would certainly lead plain men to decide, that we ought not to refine
too much upon such delicate points, and that no military order should
be disobeyed, the illegality of which was not of so obvious a nature
as to be clear to the most common understanding. But, after all, the
justice or injustice of this act of authority is but a small part of a
very large question. The wisdom and policy of the measure, (which is
the point on which the character of the Government of Fort St. George
is chiefly concerned,) appear, however, to be given up even by those
who are the warm advocates of many other parts of that system which was

The writer of the review traces what he deems an exact similarity of
character between Sir George Barlow's measures and those adopted by
Lord Clive, in 1766, to quell a sedition among the officers of the
Bengal army; and infers, from a general and sweeping conclusion, that
the reputation of these two Governors must stand or fall by the same
arguments. To those who are satisfied with the superficial and general
facts,--that both Lord Clive and Sir George Barlow exercised power in
India, that there were discontents and combinations among a part of
the European officers of the native troops during their respective
administrations, which terminated, on both occasions, in submission to
authority,--the observations made in the Quarterly Review on this part
of the subject will be satisfactory, and conclusive: but to such as
examine the particulars of these two important events, and trace to its
true cause the defection of the officers of the Bengal army in 1766,
and then observe the open, military, and manly conduct of Lord Clive,
there will appear much more grounds for a contrast than a comparison.
The conduct of the officers of the Bengal army, their limited number,
and the actual constitution of the native army[34] at that period of
our dominion in India, make a still wider difference in all those
considerations, that render the late measures of the Government of
Madras, as they affect the personal attachment and fidelity of the
sepoys to their European officers, dangerous to our future security.
But supposing the difference in this respect did not exist, Lord
Clive, when actually engaged in war, might have been compelled, by the
conduct of officers, which the situation of affairs rendered doubly
disgraceful, to adopt a measure that was most deeply injurious to
those principles upon which our empire is founded. We have escaped
this danger; but is that any reason for incurring a similar hazard?
It has never been stated that the danger from weakening the respect
and attachment of the sepoy for his officer was inevitable, and must
be destructive to our power within a specific period. Its alarming
tendency has been shown: and it is this which must be disproved, and
the _absolute necessity_ of having had resort to it established, before
the course pursued in this instance by the Government of Fort St.
George can be efficiently defended.

The reviewer appears resolved to deny every fact that can even palliate
the guilt of the officers of the Madras army. He terms their desire to
submit to Lord Minto a difference in point of form, "a saving to their
pride, not to their consciences;" and he is amused with the assertion,
that the love of their country had a decided operation in defeating
their guilty proceedings. The man who reasons thus coolly upon such
events, has probably never witnessed a scene at all resembling that
of which he treats; or he would have discovered, that when passion
seizes that ground which reason has abandoned, men act more under
the influence of feelings than forms; and with minds deluded, but
not debased, they make a vain attempt to reconcile the most opposite
principles of conduct, and fall, _self-subdued_, by those virtues which
are implanted too deeply in their hearts to be eradicated by the sudden
action, however violent, of a guilty but transient impulse.

The able writer in the review conceives that he has at once discovered
the chief cause of the late disturbances, and the best apology for
the Company's officers concerned in them, in the constitution of the
Company's service, and the habits of those that belong to it. The
atmosphere they imbibe is calculated, in his opinion, to relax all just
ideas of subordination; and they are, he infers, predisposed, from
such causes, to an opposition to the authority placed over them. Some
disposition to resistance may no doubt be found in every community,
civil as well as military, that ever existed; and to the existence of
this universal and natural feeling every excellence of human government
may be traced. But let us suppose that this disposition had, from
local circumstances and other causes, attained such a degree among the
Company's officers in India, as to threaten the public tranquillity;
what does this prove? It is, _if true to the extent stated in the
review_, not an excuse for those who produced that crisis which has
been described; but an eulogium, and a very high one, upon the wisdom
and vigour of those rulers of our Indian possessions, who have not
only repressed this disposition to opposition, but have rendered
those to whom it is ascribed the instruments of the advancement of
the interests and glory of their country: and a reflecting man would
probably find much more to admire, than condemn, even in that case[35]
which is triumphantly brought forward to prove this assertion. When
events led a wise and moderate Governor-General[36], and an able and
politic Indian minister[37], to prefer a course which certainly made
many and important sacrifices of ordinary maxims of rule, but which led
to a quiet and just settlement of all complaints; to the pursuit of a
severe, inflexible system, which (anxious only for its own character)
defends a principle at the hazard of a state: most persons, when they
contemplated the great end, would at least pardon the means by which
it was obtained, and perhaps see more of wisdom and generosity, than
of "short-sightedness and absurdity," in the measures of those who
exercised their powers with such temper, forbearance, and indulgence,
upon that memorable occasion. Those who endeavour to heap obloquy upon
their names, in order to exalt a contrary course of proceeding, will
find no support to their arguments from the conduct of the officers
of the Bengal army subsequent to that occurrence: that has been
exactly the reverse of what it ought to have been, agreeable to the
conclusions of the writer of the review; and the great progress made in
the discipline of that army, their strict adherence to every principle
of order and subordination, (particularly on the occasion of the late
agitations at Madras,) affords a most convincing proof of the wide
difference between a spirit of discontent carried even to the extreme
of opposition to authority, among a body of officers, (who, however
lost to reason and duty for the moment, must soon return, instructed
by their deviation, to that order on which their condition depends,)
and a mutiny of common soldiers. Men solely educated in civil life are
too apt to confound this great distinction: and to that ignorance of
the different shades of military feeling which varies from the proud
but rational submission of a cultivated mind, to the mere habit of
mechanical obedience in one of a more vulgar mould, a great part of the
evils which occurred at Madras may be ascribed.

It has always been discovered, on a near view of human affairs, that
smaller causes than the self-importance of man is willing to believe,
produce the greatest changes in society. The difference between a
general view of a subject, and a minute observation of all its parts,
is immense: and to this difference, more than to any other cause, I am
disposed to ascribe the opposite opinions I entertain, on many points
of this large question, from the able writer of the review. He has,
with a full sense of the advantage, dwelt upon those general principles
that regulated the conduct of Sir George Barlow; and has enlarged,
with great force and effect, upon their importance to good order and
government. While he maintains this ground he is unassailable; and he
seldom quits it: but if truth be the object of our search, we must go
deeper. There perhaps never was an administration which exhibited,
during the period of which we treat, so extraordinary a mixture of good
principles, and a bad application of them; of an inflexible regard to
form, and a total neglect of feeling, as that of the Governor of Fort
St. George. It is from this reason, that every man of impartiality, who
peruses a general statement of the late transactions at Madras, will
give Sir George Barlow the highest praise: but if he looks further, and
examines with a minute attention, not only his measures, but the season
and mode of their execution; his admiration will infallibly diminish.
He will be compelled (though perhaps reluctantly,) to abandon some
abstract ideas regarding the beauty of general principles, which he
may have long and fondly cherished, and to confess the force of that
observation which experience taught Mr. Burke to make, upon all such
general questions--"I have lost," said that great orator and statesman,
"all confidence in your swaggering majors, having always found that the
truth lurked in the little minor of _circumstances_."

In the conclusion of the article of the review the writer animadverts
on the description given by Mr. Petrie of the cold and repulsive
manners of Sir George Barlow; and in observing upon this "deficiency
in the charm of demeanour," though he admits it must subtract from
the influence of a statesman, he makes an allusive comparison (on the
ground of common defects) between his character and that of some
of the greatest names in history[38], who, notwithstanding their
defective manners, have, by the force of their superior genius, been
able to command the support of mankind: and, to give more effect to
this allusion, the reviewer quotes a public dispatch from Lord Minto,
in which that nobleman ascribes the great unpopularity of Sir George
Barlow to "a pure and inflexible discharge of ungrateful, but sacred
and indispensable duties." Self-defence has alone compelled me to
discuss the acts of Sir George Barlow. On his character my opinion
was long ago formed. It will be seen, that at the commencement of
these disturbances I confidentially stated that opinion[39]. I then
represented him as a man of excellent talent, of unsullied integrity,
of indefatigable industry, and distinguished by long and meritorious
services to the Company. I still retain that opinion; and no injustice
of which he may be guilty towards me, shall ever prevent me from
expressing it. I then foresaw that the defects of his character would,
in his situation, probably produce very pernicious consequences. My
opinion has been confirmed by the event. Experience seems to me to
have most fully proved, that the very qualities which eminently fit
a man for subordinate situations, may unfit him for the supreme; and
that the rules which are necessary to the good order of many of the
inferior departments, may, in their undistinguishing application, prove
destructive in the general administration of a great state.


[1] I was, at the moment this letter was written, at Madras, preparing
to proceed on a mission to Persia: not a word even of dissatisfaction
at my conduct was expressed--no explanation of any of my acts required;
and, consequently, no opportunity afforded of defending myself against
the serious charges that were thus secretly transmitted to England. The
letter to the Secret Committee is dated the 10th September, 1809, the
day before that on which Lord Minto arrived at Madras.

[2] Cicero's Letters to his Friends, Vol. I. p. 194. Octavo. London,

[3] As if an unqualified refusal to forward these Memorials was not
adequate to produce this dangerous effect, the names of all the
officers who had signed the first Memorial were placed on a proscribed
list, and deemed ineligible to any promotion in commands or staff
situations. One fact will show the impression that this act made upon
the most moderate. I wrote to Colonel Aldwell Taylor, an officer of
high rank and respectability, expressing my earnest desire to see him
placed in a command in which I thought his principles and character
would be useful to Government. In his answer, which is dated the 29th
of July, he details the causes of his being in a situation of actual
retirement. When he had applied for a command to which his services
gave him a right to aspire, he observes, that he was informed of the
crime by which he had not only forfeited all hope of that particular
station, but also (he adds), "that for having affixed my signature to a
respectful address to my superiors and employers, I was placed at the
head of a list of names comprising nearly two thirds of the army, and
thereby marked by the extreme displeasure of Government, and thence
deprived of every future hope of situations of honour and emolument.
Whilst smarting under these most serious injuries, I felt it impossible
to resume the command of Masulipatam, and made application to retire."
This case is more marked than others of the same kind, because there
can be little, if any doubt, the violent mutiny that took place at
Masulipatam would never have occurred, if Colonel Taylor had remained
in command of that garrison. The nature of this unavowed punishment
(for though there is, I imagine, no doubt such a resolution was passed
by Government, it was never published in any order,) is very peculiar;
but it is very characteristic of the system of measures pursued. It was
teasing and aggravating in its operation, without efficiency in its end.

[4] Vide the preceding note.

[5] Vide Mr. Pigott's Opinion, printed with the Memorial of Major Boles.

[6] This crude and violent address was never transmitted to the
Governor General. The crime laid to the charge of the officers here
mentioned, was being implicated in framing it and in promoting its

[7] There may be some rare exceptions to this rule, which apply to
secret confederacies against a state, where the object is to _deprive
an individual of power, more than to punish as an example_. This
consideration could, on the 1st of May, have hardly applied even as a
fair pretext to any one individual of the many that were punished.

[8] In this officer's case there was no impropriety or disrespect in
the letter, that could have aggravated the offence; and the motive
which made him state what he had done, was assuredly honourable.

[9] It is, of course, meant the most moderate among those who were at
all discontented.

[10] I heard this plan mentioned by an officer high on the staff,
the day before I sailed for Masulipatam, and protested against its
principle, as directly contrary to that on which I had been desired
to act, and indeed to every effort of conciliation. The Governor, to
whom I immediately stated this fact, appeared to me to accord in my
opinion; but, a few days after my departure, he was induced to adopt
this measure, and to provoke disobedience to authority.

[11] The following are the sentiments of Colonel Close upon this
subject, as expressed in his letter to Major Barclay under date the
24th of July, 1809, and published in the correspondence laid before the
House of Commons:

"It is generally admitted as a sound maxim, not to hazard the giving
of an order unless there be a fair ground of presumption that it will
be obeyed. From the apparent circumstances of the time, the orders
sent to Masulipatam were perhaps fairly hazarded; but, after those
orders had been disobeyed, to send orders to Hyderabad for the march
of a battalion, might have been regarded as a measure in some degree
exceptionable. The officers, who have opposed the orders sent for
the purpose, are now more forcibly tied together than before. The
extreme of their proceedings is increased, and their danger and fear
seriously heightened. Their impulse to act is become more violent; and
accordingly the loss to the public cause must be in proportion to all
these augmentations. But this is not all. If the measure of moving the
battalion was meant to be useful, in having an experimental effect,
Hyderabad was assuredly the very place at which the experiment should
not have been made; confusion could not be so hurtful any where else."

Those who know the delicacy of this superior man will judge, from this
extract, what must have been the strength of his feelings upon the

[12] The trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, and the removal from the
general staff of some officers obnoxious to the malecontents, were
among the demands in this paper.

[13] Lord Minto has, in his letter to the secret committee, noticed
this feeling, as forming a strong and operative principle of action in
the minds of these infatuated men.

[14] Vide Appendix.

[15] The names of the principal of these officers, Colonel Clarke,
Colonel Rumley, Colonel Floyer, Major Russel, and Captain Noble, will
be received by all parties as full evidence of the truth of this

[16] July, 1809.

[17] Emissaries of a similar character were at and before this period
sent to all the native corps.

[18] Government could not have supposed men very deep in guilt, upon
whose solemn assurance that they would fulfil the obligation of their
commissions such reliance was to be placed. It was evident, that had
they cherished any serious designs against their country, or any of its
constituted authorities, they would not have hazarded the failure of
their schemes by stickling at the little additional guilt that would
have attended the breach of any test so forced upon their acceptance;
they would have signed, and watched the opportunity of accomplishing
their plans. But of this there was no apprehension: they were
acknowledged, at the moment this pledge was presented, to be men of
honour, and alive to all the obligations that word implies. And can it
be argued that men, with such feelings, were not to be fixed in their
duty, or reclaimed to it, by other means than such as _almost imposed
opposition as a point of honour_, as by it only they could avoid the
reproach of having been trepanned, alarmed, and coerced into a promise
to perform that duty which they owed to the state they served.

[19] Captain Moodie, the commanding officer, and almost all the
officers of the first battalion of the 6th regiment, were among this
number, though that corps had, up to this date, been remarkable for
never having joined in any one of the guilty or objectionable measures
of the army. It was a sense of their past conduct that made such
treatment more insufferable.

[20] The senior Company's officer at this meeting was Colonel Clarke,
commanding the artillery, who was known to be exempt even from
suspicion of any share whatever in the violent proceedings of a part
of the army, and had been recently selected on that ground to command
at the Mount. Was it not natural that a sense of his own conduct
should have led this honourable officer to reject with indignation a
proposition made in a mode so insulting to his feelings as a man and an

[21] To many of this class it must have been an agreeable release from
the rigid obligations of their commission. It offered a temporary
retirement from their duty to the state; and, in doing so, changed in
some degree the _character of that duty_. By signing the test they
became volunteers against men whose guilt they had to a certain extent
shared, and had no longer, to support their minds in so trying a
situation, that plea of indispensable necessity which their commission

[22] This was the substance of the order that I recommended to be
issued at this period, the principle of which has been so arraigned by
the Government of Fort St. George. A copy of this order is inserted in
the Appendix.

[23] I might fill a volume if I were to enter into any general
reasoning on the vital wound given to military subordination by this
measure. The relation of the private soldier to the subaltern has been
well termed the key-stone of the arch: an army may survive any other
change; but to disturb that relation, is to dissolve the whole: here
begins the obedience of the many to the few. In civil society, this
problem appears of difficult solution: but there, it is the obedience
of the dispersed and disarmed many; it is rare, and in well regulated
communities almost unfelt. In military bodies it is the hourly
obedience, even to death, of the armed and embodied many. The higher
links which bind subalterns to their superiors, and these to one chief,
are only the obedience of the few to the fewer, and these fewer to one.
These relations are easily intelligible. Honour, and obvious interest,
are sufficient to account for these: and any injury they sustain
can be repaired. But the obedience of the whole body of soldiers to
their immediate officers, is that which forms an army, and cannot be
disturbed without the utmost danger of total destruction. It was upon
this act of the French Assembly that Burke observed, "They have begun
by a most terrible operation; they have touched the central point,
about which particles that compose armies are at repose; they have
destroyed the principle of obedience in the great essential critical
link between the officer and the soldier, just where the chain of
military subordination commences, and on which the whole of that system
depends." Sir George Barlow, it has been forcibly remarked, could
discover no other mode of suppressing a _rebellion_ of officers than by
exciting a _mutiny_ of _soldiers_.

[24] 1794 and 1795.

[25] There can be no doubt of the truth of the observation which a
great and well-informed statesman formerly made upon this question.
"The European character in India" (Lord Melville observes in one of
his letters to the Court of Directors) "cannot be raised too high. If
the natives should be accustomed to look upon persons in the British
service with indifference and contempt, they will rapidly annihilate
our Empire there, and with it the very few Europeans by whom that
country is held in subjection." If this is true of Europeans in
general, and our Indian subjects, with what particular force must it
apply to the relations between the sepoy and his European commander?

[26] The most violent even among the officers were so alarmed at the
evil this impression must produce to their country, that they carefully
avoided, till the last extremity, any mention of it to the natives
under their command: not, I am satisfied, from any fear of failing in
their efforts to debauch them from their duty, but from a deep sense
of the danger of such a communication: and those who believe that the
defeat of this confederacy through the means adopted will for ever
prevent the occurrence of a similar evil, should recollect, that it is
just as likely to have an opposite effect, and to render that evil, if
brought on by similar causes, far more dangerous. The European officers
may, in their next quarrel with their local Government, be taught
by this failure to league with the native officers, and to hold out
advantages to them that will secure their most zealous co-operation;
and such a conspiracy would lose India. It is dangerous even to hold an
opinion that this Empire can be preserved by any means but the action
of a wise, temperate, and just Government, which, though firm and
powerful, must rule its British subjects with the greatest attention to
those habits and principles which are, from the form and character of
the constitution under which they are born, inherent in their nature,
and which can never be disregarded or offended without a danger of
sedition or convulsion.

[27] As a proof of this, the following fact will suffice. At the
period the test was promulgated, a direct correspondence, in the
native language, was opened by the chief civil and military officers
of Government with the native officers. This was equally maintained
with those corps, the European officers of whom remained firm in their
duty, as others; and a respectable Company's officer, who had signed
the test, and was commanding a corps at Madras, (on his senior subahdar
bringing him letters of this description, which he had received,) made
a representation of the circumstance; but was reprimanded for doing so,
and told it was a general rule, from which it was not deemed proper to
make any deviation. If it had been desirable to make any communications
in the native languages to the men, such could assuredly have been
forwarded to the European officer in command, and the principles of
military discipline observed; but an observance of the general rule was
the point to which _importance was attached_, even in a case where the
operation was _admitted_ to be baneful, and consequently where the more
_limited_ that was, the better for the public interests.

[28] Burke.

[29] These are not sentiments formed on a contemplation of the result
of the disturbances. I presented a similar picture of their situation
to the deluded officers at Masulipatam, and circulated a letter
containing all the substance of these reflections to the army previous
to the occurrence of any deliberate opposition to Government. Vide
Appendix: Letter to Lieutenant-Colonel McLeod.

[30] Lord Minto.

[31] Vide Lord Minto's dispatch.

[32] General Maitland, late Governor of Ceylon.

[33] These words have been, in the course of the discussion regarding
the disturbances at Madras, as they were during their existence,
greatly distorted from their simple and plain meaning. _Concession_,
I conceive, is to grant the original and substantial objects of
the demands made by the mutinous army. To have restored the tent
contract, to have promised an effort to obtain an equalization of their
allowances with the officers of Bengal, would have been concessions:
but if the exercise of a generous clemency, in pardoning those who had
offended in a moment of general insanity, and to have held out hope to
others of even deeper guilt, be deemed _concessions_ which a Government
_cannot make_, there can be no such thing as conciliation _in act_: and
as to the profession of kindness and consideration, when the conduct
observed by the ruling power is inflexible and severe in its measures,
it can have no effect but that of aggravating men's feelings into
greater crime.

[34] The whole power was in the commanding officers of the sepoy
battalion, and the native officers had much greater influence than the
European subalterns of the corps: _the latter were not even attached to
companies_. It has been the labour of near twenty years to supersede
the effects of this system, which was deemed bad, and to transfer the
influence formerly enjoyed by the native officers to the European: and
the eagerness with which the native officers grasped at a prospect of
reviving their power, though it might have had a favourable operation
for Government under that desperate expedient to which they had resort,
must have given rise to dangerous feelings, and produced jealousy
and distrust in that important link between the European and native
officers, where complete confidence and cordiality is most essential to
our safety.

[35] Disturbances in Bengal in 1794 and 1795.

[36] Lord Teignmouth.

[37] Lord Melville.

[38] William the Third, and Demosthenes.

[39] See the letters to Lord Wellesley and Sir A. Wellesley, p. 64, 65.



When the first violent agitation appeared in the coast army I was
at Bombay, in charge of a force destined for service in the Gulf of
Persia. A part of this force was composed of Madras troops; and it
became my peculiar care to prevent, as far as could be effected by the
influence of reason and discipline, any contagion from spreading among
those under my command. That I succeeded in this object is chiefly to
be ascribed to the excellent character of the officers of this force,
and to the distance at which they were from the scene of agitation.
From what I heard before I left Bombay, on the 1st of May 1809, of
the transactions on the coast, and the perfect knowledge I had of the
character of the Governor of Fort St. George, I early apprehended the
most unhappy result; and on the 18th of April 1809, I wrote to Lord
Minto in the following terms:--

"We hear every day the most exaggerated reports from Madras; but
matters are, I fear, in a very bad state. It is said a Memorial has
been sent to your Lordship for the removal of Sir George Barlow. I
can hardly credit this, though stated on very respectable authority.
I know that there is a personal irritation against him, which exceeds
all bounds; and this, however unjust and indefensible, will make it
almost impossible for him to adjust matters by any means short of
coercion: and I trust in God such will not be found necessary; for even
success would not prevent the ruinous effects with which any measure
of violence would be attended. I cannot but think the great majority
are yet to be reclaimed to their duty; and I should think one principal
means of effecting this, would be your Lordship's presence at Madras:
and assuredly there never was an occasion on which the active exertion
of all the great powers lodged in your Lordship's hands was more
necessary to the welfare of the state."

The impressions upon my mind at this moment will be still more forcibly
shown by the following extract from a letter to the Marquis Wellesley,
of the same date as that to Lord Minto, and upon the same subject:--

"Both Lord Minto and the Commander-in-Chief of India should come to
Madras; or, at all events, Lord Minto. Whatever justice may be on
the part of Sir George Barlow, it will be ten times more difficult
for him to settle the question than any other; for the degree of
personal dislike which all ranks and classes have of him, is not to be
described. This may be, and I dare say is, very indefensible: but it
exists, and cannot be changed; and the safety of the state should not
be thrown into hazard, if that hazard can be avoided by the adoption
of any measures that do not compromise its dignity, or permanently
weaken its authority. I am quite satisfied of the purity and rectitude
of Sir George Barlow's character. The public never had a more zealous
or more laborious servant; he is devoted to his duty, and has no
enjoyment beyond that of performing it; but his system is cold and
inflexible, and proceeds in its course without the slightest attention
to the feelings of those on whom it is to operate; and the present
distracted state of affairs at Madras is, I fear, a _comment_, and _a
melancholy one_, upon the result of _such systems_. All the reforms
which Sir George Barlow thought it his duty to make, might have been
made without giving rise to any serious discontent, if he had proceeded
with that caution and that attention to the temper of the men which
the situation in which he found the army required. They were in a state
of great irritation when he arrived; and he was, from his reputation
as a _reformer_ and a _retrencher_, received with prejudices. The
authority which should have controlled the army, acted a contrary part,
and consequently made their ebullitions more to be dreaded. All these
were subjects worthy of consideration; and relaxation from a severe
system, till an insubordinate spirit was somewhat subdued, and the
ruling authority fortified, would have not merely been warranted, but
have been wise. At all events, the means of suppressing a disposition
to violence should have been correctly calculated, before it was
provoked to action. This, I fear, has not been the case; and it is
most difficult to discover any means by which such a general spirit
of discontent, as that which now exists, can be repressed. As it is
unmixed with any thing like disaffection to the country, it will
probably, if met with a firm and dignified spirit of conciliation,
correct itself; and then every plan should be adopted that can prevent
the recurrence of so dangerous an evil."

The following is the concluding paragraph of a long letter, dated the
16th of April 1809, which I wrote to Lord Wellington, on the same

"I am yet very imperfectly informed of what has occurred. I shall
soon know all. I proceed in a few days to Madras. _Had I been there
at an earlier stage of this affair, I might have done good; but
that expectation is over_: matters are too far gone; and there is
too great irritation on the minds of all parties, to give hopes of
reconciliation. You know Sir George Barlow: he is a highly respectable
public servant. His principles of action are all right and correct;
but his measures are often ill-timed, and consequently unfortunate.
He generally leaves altogether out of the question, that which would
engage the chief attention of an abler ruler,--_men's minds_: and
though his cold system appears excellent in an abstract and general
view, it often proves mischievous in its operation. He has another
great fault, which looks so like an excellence at first glance, as to
deceive most: he is perfectly inflexible with regard to every thing
that he deems a principle or rule. Now this is good on most occasions,
but on some it is the height of folly; for, in the endeavor to do a
little good, are we justified in hazarding a world of mischief?"

Such were my sentiments, and such the view I took of the situation of
affairs on the coast, before I left Bombay, from which I sailed on the
1st of May, and arrived at Madras on the 17th of that month. I was
received by Sir George Barlow with even more than his usual kindness.
He seemed to expect my personal efforts would aid greatly in allaying
any little agitation that remained; for, at this moment, he was
decidedly of opinion that the orders of the 1st of May had completely
settled every thing that was serious, and that what appeared to
remain, was merely the reaction of that seditious spirit which he had
subdued. After a very few days' residence at Madras I became satisfied
of the extent and danger of this error, and I laboured incessantly to
convince Sir George Barlow that he was mistaken, and that a new, more
extensive, and violent confederacy, than that which he had conquered,
was in progress; the object of which was to obtain the repeal of the
orders of the 1st of May. His unwillingness to believe this fact may
be conceived, when I state, that he would not admit the conduct of the
subsidiary force at Hyderabad, who, in a public address, disclaimed the
compliment he had paid their fidelity, to be evidence of its truth.

I was not discouraged by that strong disinclination which I observed
in Sir George Barlow to credit every information I gave him upon this
subject, but continued to press upon him the urgency of the case, and
to entreat him to adopt measures calculated to remedy so desperate and
general an evil, before it had attained that maturity to which it was
fast approaching. The great and generous object was, I said, to save,
not to destroy, a body of brave and meritorious, though infatuated
men, who were rushing upon their own ruin. They had (I not once, but a
hundred times repeated to Sir George Barlow,) a more serious quarrel
than that with Government, they had quarrelled with themselves; and,
unless he could adopt some measure that would restore them to their
own good opinion, every attempt to establish order and subordination
would be vain, as they were goaded on to further guilt by a torturing
sense of that into which they had already plunged. On being, at one
of these conferences, desired by Sir George Barlow to suggest what I
thought would promote this end, I proposed (if the expedient had his
approbation,) to draw up an address to him from the Company's officers
on direct opposite principles to those seditious papers that I knew
were then in circulation; and to give, by this measure, a shape to
that feeling which still existed in the army, but which was scattered,
and, from having no union, was repressed by the combined action of the
discontented and turbulent. This address was as follows:

"We, the undersigned officers of the Madras establishment, trust that
the very extraordinary and unprecedented situation in which we are
placed by some recent occurrences, will plead our excuse for an address
which has no object but that of vindicating ourselves, as a body,
from those serious imputations to which we conceive it possible we
may become liable, from the nature of late proceedings in the army to
which we belong; and to assert our devoted allegiance to our King, our
unalterable attachment to our Country, and our consequent respect and
submission to the laws and acts of that local Government under which we
are placed, and whose commands it is our duty, under all circumstances,
to obey, as those of a legitimate branch of the constitution of our

"It would be painful to retrace all those events which have led to
the present unhappy state of feeling in the army, and have compelled
Government to those measures which it has judged proper to adopt: we
shall therefore content ourselves with expressing our conviction,
that, however far they might have been carried by the warmth of the
moment, none of our brother officers who were concerned in those
proceedings which have been deemed so reprehensible by Government, ever
harboured an idea in their minds that was irreconcileable to their
allegiance as subjects, or their duty as soldiers. Government must be
fully acquainted with the rise and progress of all the proceedings
to which we allude, and can refer to its true cause any apparent
excess, either in expression or act, that may have marked the conduct
of any individuals: and it will, we are assured, separate actions
which have their motive in generous and honourable though mistaken
feeling, from any deliberate design of showing a spirit of contumely
and insubordination to that authority which it is their duty to obey,
and whose orders they could never dispute, without a total sacrifice
of their characters as good soldiers and loyal subjects: and we feel
perfectly satisfied there is not one officer in this army who would
not sooner lose his life than forfeit his claim to such cherished

"We cannot have a doubt but it must have been with extreme reluctance
that Government has adopted the measures it has done, against those
of our brother officers who have more particularly incurred its
displeasure, from the forward share they took, or were supposed to
take, in the proceedings which have met with its disapprobation: and
though we never can presume to question in any shape the acts of
that Government which it is our duty to obey, it is impossible for
us to contemplate the present situation of those officers without
sentiments of the deepest concern: and when we reflect on the general
high reputation, and the well-merited distinction, which some of them
have, by their valour and ability, obtained in the public service, we
should be unjust to the characters of our superiors both in India and
England, if we did not entertain a hope that their case would meet with
a favourable and indulgent consideration. But we feel restrained from
dwelling upon this subject, as we are aware its very mention might be
deemed improper in an address, the great and sole object of which is
to correct misapprehension, and to convey a solemn assurance of our
continued and unalterable adherence to the same principles of loyalty
and attachment to our King and Country, and of respect and obedience to
the Government we serve, that have ever distinguished the army to which
we belong."

The object of this address was to reconcile men to themselves; and
it therefore ceded as much as was possible in its expression to the
predominant feelings of the moment; but its principle was not to
be mistaken: and the unqualified and decided declaration which it
contained, of attachment and of implicit obedience to Government,
must have had the certain effect of separating all those by whom this
address was subscribed, from persons who cherished contrary sentiments.
But the great object of this measure was to concentrate and embody
the good feelings of the army; to hoist a standard to which men could
repair, whose minds revolted at the proceedings then in progress,
but who were deterred by shame, fear of reproach, and want of union,
from expressing an open difference of opinion from the more violent.
I was assured at the moment that I suggested this measure, of its
partial success, and not without some hopes that it would be general;
but I perfectly knew, that if the senior and more reflecting part
of the officers of the army signed an address that pledged them to
an active discharge of their duty to Government, all danger of the
remainder having recourse to desperate extremes, was at an end; for the
influence of the senior part of the army over the native troops was
decided; and this open declaration would at once have drawn a line
of separation betwixt the moderate and reasonable, and the turbulent,
which would have deprived the leaders of the latter of their chief
source of strength, which obviously lay in their being able to deceive
the multitude they guided, by persuading them that the cause was
general[40], and that many, whom prudence made reserved, would join
them the moment they ventured on a bolder line of action.

In my anxiety to reconcile his mind to the adoption of this measure, I
more than once modified the expression of the address; and softened,
and in some instances struck out, those passages which he seemed to
think were most objectionable. I also took every pains to satisfy
his mind that it should never be known he had been consulted on the
subject. It was my intention to endeavour to obtain the high and
honoured name of Colonel Close at the head of this address; and after
adding those of several other officers of rank and estimation, whose
sentiments I knew would be favourable to such an object, to circulate
it with an appeal to the good sense of the whole army. Sir George
Barlow certainly hesitated regarding this measure, for he kept the
draft of the address two or three days, and then returned it with a
rejection of the expedient, grounded on his dislike to the adoption of
any step that was contrary to the established rules of his Government;
to his fear, that receiving such an address in a favourable manner
might in some degree sacrifice[41] his dignity, and, by doing so,
weaken that authority to which he trusted for the settlement of that
partial spirit of discontent which still existed. It was in vain that
I argued that the common rules of Government were adapted for common
times, and that in emergencies like the present, which presented
nothing but difficulties, those should be chosen which were likeliest
to effect the object at the least hazard to the state. All my reasoning
was ineffectual; and I was most reluctantly compelled to abandon
this project, from which I at that moment expected great success.
Every future event has satisfied my mind I was not too sanguine. I
conscientiously believe, if it had been adopted, though numbers might,
by their obstinacy and violence, have merited and received punishment,
yet the large body of Company's officers on the Madras establishment
would have restored the character of the army to which they belonged.
The extremes which have occurred, with all their baneful, and perhaps
irremediable consequences, would have been avoided; and assuredly the
prospect even of attaining such ends and of averting such evils, was
worth a slight departure from a common rule, and might have justified
some small deviation from the rigid system pursued by the Government of

To show in the most convincing light the correct view I took at that
moment of the actual state of affairs, and the very opposite sentiments
entertained by Sir George Barlow, I shall here quote some passages
from the private letters that I wrote from the 3d to the 15th of June,
(which includes the whole of the period of which I am now speaking,)
to Lord Minto and his private secretary. The following is a copy of my
letter to Lord Minto of the 3d of June.

"I have delayed from day to day writing to your Lordship, till I
could inform myself of the real state of affairs at this distracted
Presidency; and I wish I could, in discharging my duty towards you,
confirm those impressions which _I believe you have received_, of the
general good effect produced by the orders of the 1st of May, and of
the return of the officers of this Presidency to the principles of
good order and subordination. The very contrary I believe to be the
fact: and I am satisfied that general spirit of discontent which has
long pervaded this army, had never more danger in it than at this
moment. I differ with Sir George Barlow (who has behaved with the most
flattering kindness to me, and given me his complete[42] confidence,)
upon this point; but I have too good a reason to rely upon my sources
of information. Besides, can there be a greater indication of this
spirit than has been exhibited in the conduct of the subsidiary force
at Hyderabad? They have, in an address to the whole army, disclaimed
all title to the thanks bestowed upon them, and publicly avowed, that
they not only shared the sentiments of the army, as expressed in their
former addresses, but felt deeply for their brother officers, who
had been arbitrarily suspended for just and honourable actions, and
were determined to contribute to their support in a firm, legal, and
moderate manner. These are, as nearly as my memory serves, the words
of this address: but a copy has probably been sent to your Lordship;
as one has, I understand, been received at head-quarters. Nothing can
exceed the present irritation: and it has, I am assured, gone much
greater lengths than Sir George Barlow can bring himself to believe. I
confess I am not without some apprehension of misfortune: and however
reluctant my mind is to believe that men can ever be so desperate
as to forget their duty to their country, I cannot resist evidence;
and I certainly have seen what convinces me that the most dangerous
combinations are formed, and conducted on principles entirely hostile
to order and good government. I have most frequent, and indeed daily,
communications with Sir George Barlow upon this subject; and have not
only given him every information I possess, but every opinion I have
formed; and have the highest reason to be satisfied with the manner
in which my communications are received. He is as satisfied as I am,
that the best reliance which Government has at this moment, is the
remaining good feeling of the army itself. We differ a little as to
the best means of bringing this into action. He is adverse to every
expedient that is _not in consistence with usage_. I think that those
means are best which will most speedily effect the object in a manner
that will be satisfactory to the pride and loyal feelings of the great
majority of the army, and yet not compromise in the slightest degree
the dignity of Government. The irritation that has been caused and kept
up by those acts, which Government has taken from private information
or reports of speeches at table, &c. is not to be conceived. The most
extreme emergency can only justify any public authority opening such
dangerous and suspicious channels, and they should be closed the moment
the danger is past. At present I am satisfied, (and so is Sir George
Barlow,) it is better to incur any hazard than have further resort to
such unpopular and uncertain means of detecting delinquency: and he is
resolved to let military law have its free course, in the conviction,
that his best chance of reclaiming a body of honourable though
misguided men, to their duty, is by showing he has not lost confidence
in them.

"Sir George Barlow has hopes this agitation will subside[43] of itself.
I cannot think so. They are maddened with a thousand reflections, and
with none more than the shame and ruin which their rash proceedings
have brought on some of the most popular of their brother officers.
They have, in fact, not only quarrelled with Government, but with
themselves; and such quarrels are difficult to settle. Besides, they
are secretly goaded on by a thousand discontented men, who, defeated in
other objects, wish to throw this Government into confusion."

On the 12th of June I again wrote to his lordship:

"I wish I could say affairs here were in a better state; but I cannot
yet agree with Sir George Barlow that the discontent is subsiding.
Addresses have come from every part of the army to the principal
officers suspended by the orders of the 1st of May, containing
assurances of support, &c. These, fortunately, have not yet been
brought under the eye of Government. I say fortunately; because it
would be impossible for Government, in consistence with its past
proceedings, to pass such addresses unnoticed; and I should regret
to see it obliged to notice them at a moment when the good sense and
good feeling of the army seems lost, and the whole appears under the
influence of blind passion. Sir George Barlow has put an end to all
proceedings grounded on private information, and has resolved to
maintain that dignified line which never stoops to suspicion, and makes
men worthy of confidence by boldly giving it to them. _If this is
persevered in_, it will do great good; for it will excite into action
the remaining good feeling of the army, which, though dormant, must be
considerable; and which forms, at this moment, the great, if not the
only, strength of Government."

And upon the 15th of June I wrote to his Lordship's son and private
secretary, Mr. John Elliott, as follows:

"With regard to this army I have already written to Lord Minto. I am
satisfied he has never had a full idea of the danger to which the
public interests are exposed, or I think he would have come to this
spot. I am far from meaning to state that Sir George Barlow has not
communicated all he knew or thought: but, in the first place, I am
satisfied he has been, generally speaking, badly informed; and, in the
next, he has been endeavouring to persuade himself that there was no
danger, and even now he tries to think every thing will subside; though
he knows (_for I have told him_) that papers of the most objectionable
nature are in circulation, and that the most violent measures have
been, and are, contemplated. It is impossible to convey to men who are
calm and think rationally, any idea of the state of this army. All
the respectable men in it appear to suffer a set of mad-headed boys
to take the lead: and the greatest merit I see any man claim, is that
of being passive; though all confess it is a period at which one step
will involve the country in all the horrors of a civil war: and there
are numbers (such is the insanity that has got head,) that desire to
accelerate that event.

"You may be satisfied I would not even hint at a state of affairs so
shocking to contemplate, if I had not the strongest grounds for what I
state: but I have seen the greater part of their correspondence, _and
know, and have informed Sir George Barlow_, of the extent to which
matters have proceeded, and of the increase of irritation that has
been lately produced: particularly by that ill-judged and unmerited
compliment to the force at Hyderabad, who, from being moderate, have,
with the customary zeal of converts, become the most violent; and
would (but for the timely exercise of Colonel Montresor's personal
influence,) have forced a paper a few days ago upon Government, which
it must have noticed most seriously; and that notice was expected by
some of the maddest to be the signal of some very violent measures.
This remonstrance, as I said before, has been stopt; but there is, I
fear, too much reason to conclude others of the same character will
be forwarded. I know not whether Lord Minto is informed of all these
circumstances; but it is proper he should know them, as they refer
to one of the most serious dangers that can assail the Empire under
his charge. I enjoy Sir George Barlow's fullest confidence upon this
subject; but he has, I believe, _more congenial counsellors_, who
are fonder of maintaining the consistency of Government upon paper,
than of tranquillizing the minds of a meritorious and honourable,
though misguided body of men: but assuredly every means should be
adopted which human wisdom can suggest, to reclaim them to temper and
attachment, provided always such means do not compromise the strength
and dignity of Government. Concessions cannot be made to demand; but
men may, perhaps, by management, be reconciled to themselves and the
state by something short of concession. Sir George Barlow has rather an
exaggerated opinion of my personal influence; and he thinks, I believe,
it will effect what I only expect from the united good feeling of the
army. I have, however, done all I can; and shall continue, under all
circumstances, my most ardent efforts in the cause of good order and

I heard, towards the end of June, of some extraordinary proceedings
that had taken place regarding the European regiment stationed at
Masulipatam, in consequence of a dispute between the Lieutenant-Colonel
commanding and the officers of the corps. The substance of these
proceedings[44] may be given in a few words. Lieutenant-Colonel Innes,
the day after he joined the regiment (the 7th of May), dined at the
mess, where a toast was given, "The friends of the army;" to which
he objected, and proposed it to be changed for one of less equivocal
meaning--"The Madras army." This was not assented to, and he left
the table. Next day he wrote an account of this circumstance to
head-quarters, but _desired it should not be noticed_, as he expected
an apology from those officers whose conduct he considered as most
disrespectful. The moment his letter reached Madras, an order was
transmitted, directing Lieutenant David Forbes, who was said to be the
person who had given the toast, to proceed, at a few hours' warning, to
the Fort of Condapilly, a solitary and far from healthy post, at the
distance of forty miles, and one at which there was not _one_ man of
the corps to which he belonged. Lieutenant Maitland, who was reported
to have seconded the toast, was, by the same order, deprived of his
station of Quarter-Master. These measures, combined with an imprudent
declaration of Colonel Innes, that the corps would be disbanded if a
young officer refused to accept the vacant station of Quarter-Master,
(by which probably it was only meant that that event might be
apprehended, if such a spirit of insubordination continued,) threw the
officers of the regiment into a great ferment, and led to their making
a representation to head-quarters, earnestly soliciting the benefit of
regular military trial, and deprecating the disgrace to which they were
exposed from such punishments being inflicted, without the slightest
opportunity being given to individuals of vindicating themselves from
the private accusations made against them.

I was quite satisfied, from what I heard of those proceedings, of which
I have only given the outline, that they were more than severe; and
were calculated, in even ordinary times, to produce much irritation;
and I therefore was not at all surprised at their aggravated effect
at a period of such general agitation. Soon after these events had
occurred, I was informed by Admiral Drury, that he had, in consequence
of an order from the Duke of York, desiring all the men of his
Majesty's regiments employed as marines to be landed, applied to the
Government of Fort St. George for some men; and that a detachment had
been ordered from the regiment at Masulipatam, for which a frigate and
sloop of war were to sail that evening. Many circumstances had made me,
about this period, very reluctant to press the attention of Sir George
Barlow to a danger, the existence of which he _appeared resolved_ not
to believe; but I could not help, upon this occasion, stating to his
private secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, all I thought upon the
subject. The following is an extract of my note to that confidential

"The great object at present, is not to agitate, in any way, (if it
can be avoided,) any of those questions which have disturbed the
temper of the army; and to restore that, by every means short of
concession, to its proper tone. To effect this, we must trust in large
points to the action of the good feeling of the army itself, and small
questions will soon die of neglect. Now it occurs to me, the ordering
a large detachment of the European regiment at this moment on board
his Majesty's ships, is liable to much misrepresentation, and is
calculated to increase discontent. This has not been usual; and, after
the conduct of the officers of the regiment, it will be considered as
a punishment: and if it is so, it will, from its nature, have no good
effect; for it will be referred to a desire to divide a corps, which
men will say never could have arisen, if Government had been confident
in their obedience and attachment. The corps itself will receive this
order as an additional stigma on their character; and, in the heated
state they are in, I should not be surprised if they went to greater
extremities than they already have gone; and, if the accounts I have
heard of their proceedings are correct, they have been bolder in their
expressions of discontent than any corps in the service. All this is
perhaps very improbable; but still no man acquainted with the present
state of affairs can say it is impossible; and why incur the most
distant hazard of aggravating men's feelings by a measure of such
trifling consequence? No man could, at this moment, have recommended,
as a political measure, such a wretched expedient as that of dividing
this corps in the manner proposed; and if it is merely to comply with a
requisition of the Admiral for marines, he might take them, as has been
the usage, from any one of the King's regiments, or might go without,
rather than give cause to misrepresentation at such a moment. If all or
any of the officers of the European regiment merit punishment, let them
be punished in an open manner, agreeable to usage, and my life upon the
consequence: but to think of sending one here, and one there[45], is
only to show weakness, and to give grounds to the wicked to circulate
aggravated reports, and to kindle the flame of discord and discontent.
Pardon this hasty note, and tear it[46]. You will understand what I
mean perfectly. _Depend upon it, it is trifles of this nature which
merit all the attention of Government at this moment._"

I did not receive any answer from Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay till next
morning; when, after stating the hurry that prevented him from writing,
and the causes which had made Government order this detachment, he
states his belief, grounded on his knowledge of Masulipatam as a
station, that there will be a competition between both officers and
men to proceed as marines; and concludes by saying, "I shall only add
further, that there is no guarding against wilful misrepresentations,
and that those who are obliged to act, must, in such cases as the
present, be satisfied with the uprightness of their intentions."

Every thing that I had foreseen occurred. The arrival of the orders
for the marines occasioned an instant mutiny of the garrison of
Masulipatam, and precipitated that crisis which it was of such great
consequence to avoid. Sir George Barlow felt this occurrence as a
serious evil; and, in a long conversation I had with him upon the
subject, he expressed the extremest anxiety to prevent those bad
consequences which were to be expected to result, by the adoption
of every moderate and conciliatory means that he could use, without
a compromise of the authority and dignity of Government. He told me
he had rejected all the violent measures that had been proposed,
of coercing the garrison into submission by the employment of his
Majesty's troops; as such, he was convinced, would cause a general
rupture, which he still hoped would be avoided; and which, at
all events, it was most important to retard. His anxiety on this
occasion was much increased by the receipt, at the same period, of
a highly improper address from the officers of the subsidiary force
at Hyderabad; and he desired my opinion on the best course to be
pursued on so alarming an emergency. I advised a line that appeared
to me likely to arrest the progress of men standing on a precipice of
guilt. Every hour gained gave time for the operation of reason; and if
that should fail, it was still of consequence that Government should
be more prepared than it was at that moment for the occurrence of a
rupture with its army. On these grounds, I recommended that an officer
of rank should be sent to Masulipatam to assume the command, and that
he should be appointed president of a committee to inquire into the
causes of the mutiny, and report their proceedings to Government, _who
would, when the information upon this subject was complete, adopt
measures for the prosecution and punishment of the most guilty_. In
this proceeding there was an appearance of great temper and moderation;
no serious sacrifice of dignity was made; and time (which, for reasons
before stated, appeared the great object,) was gained: and all those
effects which must have attended the detachment of a force against the
garrison, or the equally unwise proceeding of attempting (before either
reason had time to operate, or the means of coercion were prepared) to
arrest or confine any individual, were avoided. On Sir George Barlow's
expressing his assent to my suggestions, I offered, in the warmth of
my zeal, to proceed to Masulipatam. He accepted this offer with great
apparent pleasure; and he evidently thought that the appointment of an
officer who was known to enjoy his confidence, and who had so publicly
professed a conciliatory disposition, proclaimed the character of the
act: and the nomination of Lieutenant-Colonel William Berkley and Major
Evans to aid me, (two officers who are now no more, but who, while
they lived, enjoyed in an eminent degree the love and respect of all
ranks in the army to which they belonged,) was a full confirmation (if
any had been wanted) of the nature of this measure[47]. If it had been
possible for me to have mistaken Sir George Barlow in the conversation
I had with him on the morning he received this intelligence, I was
completely confirmed by what passed in the evening after I had been in
the fort, and, in the office of the commander of the forces, (General
Gowdie,) had a discussion with some of the officers of the general
staff upon the whole of this subject. One of those officers, who was
known to enjoy the chief share of Sir George Barlow's confidence,
stated at this conference, that movements of corps would be immediately
ordered that would place the native troops under the complete check of
his Majesty's regiments; and that the Governor should, in his opinion,
have no hesitation in throwing himself at once upon the King's army.
I could not but treat such sentiments with some warmth, as being
altogether incompatible with that ardent wish which was professed of
reclaiming the Company's officers to their duty. The very knowledge, I
observed to General Gowdie, of such sentiments being held and declared,
was in itself sufficient to drive men to extremes. The General fully
acquiesced in my opinion. Another officer of the staff, who was also
a principal adviser of the Governor, said upon this occasion, that
he understood I was a friend to concessions that would degrade the
Government; that his advice had been, to send a detachment to attack
Masulipatam; and that unless I could, the moment I went there, send
Major Storey and the other ringleaders under a guard to Madras,
evil, instead of good, must result from my mission. I repelled this
gentleman's attack with a warmth that produced interference to prevent
a personal dispute, and concluded by telling him, that I was now aware
of the true character of those sentiments entertained by the persons
who had the chief influence over Sir George Barlow's mind; and that,
with that knowledge, I should certainly not proceed to Masulipatam,
as I saw the probability of measures being adopted, in my absence,
of a directly opposite character to those I was desired to execute;
and the only consequence I should anticipate, was failure and loss
of character. Some explanations were made, but none that dispelled
the alarm I had taken at the sentiments which I had just heard. I
went immediately to the Governor, to whom I mentioned all that had
passed: and I can most solemnly affirm, that Sir George Barlow gave
me, at this second conference, every assurance that could be given to
satisfy my mind. He declared he would not listen to any such violent
counsels[48] as I had heard; that he gave me his entire confidence,
and vested me with the fullest discretion to act in all respects as I
thought proper, in my endeavours to reclaim the deluded men, to whom
I was proceeding, to reflection and duty; and that he was satisfied
the honour of his Government was perfectly safe in my hands. Not one
word was mentioned, at this conference, regarding my commencing my
proceeding by an appeal to the men, or by confining those officers who
had been most active in the mutiny. It was, indeed, evident that the
first of these acts would have caused a desperation in the minds of
the officers, that must have led to that instant rupture which _it was
the object of my mission to avoid_; and, with regard to the second, a
military court of inquiry had been ordered to investigate the whole of
the proceedings at Masulipatam, chiefly, if not exclusively, with the
view of enabling Government to gain time, without loss of reputation;
and any precipitate proceedings against the ringleaders would have been
an obvious sacrifice of that great object.

Such were the sentiments of Sir George Barlow at the moment I was
deputed to Masulipatam: at least such were the impressions which all
his observations made upon my mind. He determined at this moment
to return the address from Hyderabad, and to write a letter to the
commanding officer of that force in terms calculated to show his
forbearance, and indeed to evince to the violent and misguided
officers of that station the same spirit of temperate and conciliatory
disposition as had led him to depute me to Masulipatam. He desired me
to make a memorandum of what I conceived he should write upon this
occasion. I instantly drew out the following.

"Substance of a letter to the commanding officers at Hyderabad and

"Expressing the great regret and disapprobation with which Government
has received a Memorial from the officers of the subsidiary force,
soliciting it to rescind the orders of the 1st of May.

"Pointing out in a calm but forcible manner the dangerous tendency of
such addresses, and the total impossibility of complying with such a
request; stating that Government is only fulfilling a sacred duty when
it exhorts the officers who have signed and forwarded these papers
to reflect most seriously upon the consequences which a perseverance
in such measures must produce. It owes this warning and exhortation
to a body of men, who, acting under warm and erroneous impressions,
have for a moment forgot what is due to their own high character, and
to that Government under which they are placed. The motives of this
expostulation with the a officers of the subsidiary force will not be
misunderstood; but it is necessary that they should distinctly know,
that while Government can and does make every allowance for that
momentary delusion and irritation which a variety of circumstances
have been calculated to produce, that it will never either abandon
or compromise its authority; and that it will, if compelled to act,
maintain, under every extreme and at every hazard, those principles of
obedience and subordination, without which, it is satisfied, neither it
nor the army can exist."

With this memorandum Sir George Barlow was perfectly pleased, and
desired me to give it the form of a letter, and deliver it to
Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, that it might be dispatched next day[49]. I
did so, and carried the copy of the memorandum with me to Masulipatam,
for which place I sailed on the 2d of July 1809, the whole of the
circumstances to which I have alluded having taken place on the day

I landed at Masulipatam on the 4th of July; and the journal of my
proceedings at that place, with the extracts of my letters to Sir
George Barlow, General Gowdie, and Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, and
of the letters I received from the latter officer (all of which form
numbers of the Appendix), will give the clearest and most faithful
account of the manner in which I executed the arduous task that an
imprudent, but I hope not an illaudable, zeal led me to undertake.
During my residence at that place I continued active in my endeavours
to disseminate, by letters to different quarters of the army, such
sentiments as I thought calculated to counteract the poison of those
inflammatory papers that were then in circulation: and the extract from
my letter addressed to a respectable field officer (Lieutenant-Colonel
McLeod), under date the 20th of July 1809, which forms a number of the
Appendix, will show the complete and just view I took at that period of
the result of the violent proceedings of the army.

I left Masulipatam on the night of the 22d of July, and arrived at
Madras on the morning of the 26th, having travelled two hundred and
ninety miles in little more than three days. I knew of the flagrant act
of disobedience which the subsidiary force at Hyderabad had committed,
in refusing to allow the 2d battalion of the 10th regiment to march to
Goa, to which station it had been ordered in prosecution of the plan
for dividing the native corps so as to place them under the check of
his Majesty's regiments[50]. I thought it probable that this event
would give rise to some strong measures on the part of Government, and
I was most anxious to communicate all the information I had collected
before any such were adopted: but, though no danger could have resulted
from delay, the Governor, who knew I would be at Madras on the morning
of the 26th, did not deem it necessary to wait even for a few hours,
though strongly urged to do so by Major-General Gowdie[51], the
commander of the forces; and the moment of my arrival was that of the
execution of the orders of the 26th of July for the separation of the
officers from their men. I did not see Sir George Barlow till next day:
and the cold manner in which I was received, the slighting view which I
saw was taken of my efforts at Masulipatam, and the reserve maintained,
not only by him, but by others, left me without a doubt that I was no
longer honoured with his confidence; which I was now, indeed, convinced
I had never possessed but in a very limited degree. I therefore
resolved, in future, to confine myself to an obedience of any orders
I might receive, and no longer to expose myself to that failure and
disgrace which must always attend the person who acts as a confidential
agent, on delicate and important occasions, to one with whose
proceedings his mind does not accord, whose confidence he does not
enjoy, and of whose plans he is but imperfectly informed. But, before
I proceed to explain the subsequent part I took in these transactions,
it will be proper to offer some remarks on the observations made in
the letter, under date 10th September, 1809, from the Government of
Fort St. George to the Secret Committee of the Court of Directors,
respecting my conduct at Masulipatam. The following is an extract from
the letter from the Governor of Fort St. George upon this subject.

"On receiving intelligence of the mutiny, we appointed
Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm, in whose zeal and talents we entertained
the fullest confidence, to the command of the Madras European regiment,
and the garrison of Masulipatam, for the purpose of re-establishing
the authority of Government over the troops, inquiring into the
causes of the mutiny, and placing the most guilty of the offenders
under arrest. Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm was not furnished with any
written instructions: it was left to his discretion to adopt such
measures as circumstances might render advisable, with the view to the
accomplishment of the objects of his deputation.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm immediately proceeded by sea to
Masulipatam. On his arrival he found that the officers of the garrison
had formed themselves into a committee, in which every officer had
a voice. The greatest anarchy and confusion prevailed; and it was
with difficulty that he prevailed on the officers to acknowledge his

"As it never was in the contemplation of the Government to disband the
European regiment, it was expected that Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm
would have taken the earliest opportunity to communicate to the men
a distinct and public disavowal of that intention on the part of the
Government, and have employed the most strenuous exertions to recall
the men to a sense of their duty, by impressing upon their minds the
degree of guilt and danger in which their officers, for purposes
entirely personal to themselves, had endeavoured to involve them. It
was also expected that Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm, by establishing his
influence and authority over the troops composing the garrison, would
have secured their obedience, and by that measure have deprived the
officers of the power of prosecuting their designs, and brought the
leaders to trial for their mutinous conduct.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm appears, however, to have adopted a course
of proceedings entirely different from that which we had in view in
deputing him to Masulipatam. He abstained from making any direct
communication to the men: and when we authorized him, with the view
of detaching the troops from the cause of their officers, to proclaim
a pardon to the European and native soldiers for the part which they
might have taken in the mutiny, he judged it proper to withhold the
promulgation of the pardon, from an apprehension (as stated in his
letter to our President, dated the 18th of July) of irritating the
minds of the European officers, and driving them to despair.

"To this apparent unreasonable forbearance and attention to the
feelings of the officers, who had, by their acts of violence and
aggression, forfeited all claims to such consideration, may, we
conceive, be ascribed Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's failure in the
establishment of any efficient control over the garrison: and he
appears to have been principally occupied, during the period of
his residence at Masulipatam, in negociations with the disorderly
committees; calculated, in our opinion, to compromise rather than
establish his authority; and in fruitless attempts to induce them, by
argument, to return to their duty, and abandon the criminal combination
in which they had engaged. Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's reasons for
pursuing this line of conduct, and for recommending to us the adoption
of conciliatory and temporizing measures, are detailed in his letters
to our President, dated the 4th, 5th, and 6th of July. In those letters
he states, that the officers at Masulipatam had received assurances
from most of the military stations of the army, applauding their
conduct, and promising them effectual support; that the whole army were
united in a resolution to oppose the authority of Government; that
there was not a single corps, from Ganjam to Cape Comorin, which was
not prepared to break out into open rebellion. The measures recommended
by Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm, as constituting, in his opinion, the
only means of averting the most dreadful calamities, consisted of a
modified repeal of the orders of the 1st of May; the restoration to
the service, and to their appointments, of all the officers whom we
had found it necessary to suspend or remove; with an intimation to the
army, that their claims to Bengal allowances would be brought to the
notice of the Honourable the Court of Directors. Lieutenant-Colonel
Malcolm returned to Madras, on the arrival of Major-General Pater at
Masulipatam to assume the command of the northern division of the
army, having succeeded no further in accomplishing the objects of his
mission, than in preventing the officers from adopting any flagrant
acts of outrage to authority during his residence at Masulipatam."

The first charge is hardly less than a direct accusation of
disobedience of orders. It is stated, that as it never was in the
contemplation of Government to disband the European regiment, it was
expected I would have taken the earliest opportunity to communicate
to the men a distinct and public disavowal of that intention. In
the succeeding paragraph I am accused of having adopted a course of
proceeding entirely different from what Government had in view in
deputing me; and I am positively charged _with_ "_having abstained
from making any direct communication to the men_." My letter to
Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, of the 18th July, is a number of this
dispatch, and has been printed with it. This letter contains the
following passage: "You will satisfy Sir George Barlow, that one of
the first things that I did, after I came on shore, was to satisfy the
minds of the officers, and, through them, of the men, of the intentions
of Government in ordering a party of marines from the corps; _and you
will see, by the enclosed extract from my Journal, that I took the
first good opportunity that offered of_ STATING THIS FACT _in the most
public and impressive manner to the whole regiment_." I may ask, with
great surprise and some indignation, Why the extract alluded to in this
letter was not transmitted to the Honourable the Court of Directors?
This extract was a copy of my speech made to the European regiment
under arms on the 15th of July. The whole of this speech is in my
Journal[52]. The following is a part of it.

"I consider it my duty to declare to you at this moment, that it never
was in the contemplation of Government to _disband_ or disperse this
corps; and that it never meant to employ any officer or man of the
regiment in any manner, or upon any service, but such as was suited to
the character of British soldiers; and which it, of course, conceived
both officers and men would be forward to proceed upon."

Is it possible that any disavowal could be more distinct, or made in
a more proper and military manner? Yet I am directly charged with
_having abstained_ from making any such communication to the _men_! It
is possible a charge so completely unfounded may have originated in
mistake or neglect: but where there exists, as on the present occasion,
an evident desire to criminate; where the secret nature of the blow
afforded no opportunity of defence; such mistake, even if proved,
neither can nor ought to disarm honest resentment. It is too much to
have a character, that has been obtained by the struggle of a whole
life, assailed in such a manner. But the knowledge which the Governor
of Fort St. George had of my proceeding, upon this point, was not
limited to this communication through Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay. The
day after my return to Madras, I read to him the whole of my Journal.
It is true he did not pay much attention to it: and the little value
he attached to the detail of my proceedings was the cause of my not
loading my public report with a copy of its contents. I had neither
received at that moment, nor at any subsequent period, the slightest
official notice of even dissatisfaction; and the probability of my
conduct being misrepresented to my superiors in England in the manner
it has been, never once entered into my imagination.

In answer to the charge, "That I did not employ my strenuous exertions
to recall the men to a sense of their duty, by impressing upon their
minds the degree of guilt and danger in which their officers, for
purposes entirely personal to themselves, had endeavoured to involve
them," I must reply in the most solemn manner, that I was not withheld
from acting in the manner the Government here state they expected
I would, merely because I had no orders to do so, but because I
considered that such a proceeding would have had an operation directly
opposite to all Sir George Barlow's intentions, as expressed when I
left Madras. His desire then was, (as has already been shown,) to
conciliate and reclaim the officers of the Company's army, not to
render them desperate. I was particularly instructed to point their
views to England, to persuade them by every effort to await the
decision of the Honourable the Court of Directors, and to prevent
their precipitating themselves into a guilt from which they could
never retreat. Sir George Barlow appeared satisfied I could effect
this through the influence of my general character, and the power of
reason, aided by the justice of the cause I had to support: and I most
solemnly affirm, that if the Government of Madras desire to insinuate
(as the substance of these passages in their letter would imply) that I
acted contrary to the instructions of Sir George Barlow, communicated
to me in private, that the charge is not founded in fact: and it is
fortunate for me that the subsequent communications made by Sir George
Barlow's Secretary, and all the circumstances of this case, completely
corroborate and establish the truth of that unqualified assertion,
which I have deemed it due to my character to make on this point. A
letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay[53], dated the 12th of July, and
written by the Governor's order, in reply to my communications from
Masulipatam of the 4th, 5th, and 6th of July, in which I had required
further orders, repeats nearly the same sentiments in the same language
Sir George Barlow had used before I left Madras. "You cannot," he
observes, "render a more acceptable service to the public interests,
than by the exertion of your influence and ability in keeping the
garrison of Masulipatam firm to their duty, and _satisfying the
officers_ that it is not less for their interests than it is consistent
with their duty, to await the decision of the authorities in England on
the several questions which have occasioned so much agitation in the
minds of a considerable portion of the army of this establishment."

The same officer wrote to me a short letter on the 20th of July, in
which he repeats these sentiments, and concludes by stating, that the
greatest service I could render my country, in the actual situation of
affairs, was "to keep the garrison in order, and bring the _minds of
the officers back to reason_."

I was authorized, through the same channel, to proceed with the
inquiry, (if I thought it advisable,) without waiting for my
colleagues, reporting _the result, for the orders of Government_: and a
discretion was vested in me to grant a pardon to the non-commissioned
officers and privates of the garrison, if I should judge it necessary:
but this was evidently in reference to the possible occurrence of a
case of extreme emergency, which Colonel Barclay stated the Governor
felt assured would not arise.

It will certainly not occur, on a perusal of what I have stated, that
there existed the slightest ground for the Government of Fort St.
George indulging those expectations which they have declared they did
in their letter to the Secret Committee. Is it possible that they
could, at the moment, have expected that an officer, instructed as I
was, should have commenced his proceedings with "strenuous exertions
to excite the men against officers," whom he was directed to reclaim
to their duty by the efforts of reason and argument? And when he had
been commanded to carry on a military inquiry, in order to ascertain
the nature and degree of the crimes of different individuals, was it
reasonable to suppose he would disappoint the very object[54] for
which that was instituted, by a premature attempt to seize and bring
ringleaders to trial, on whose guilt he was expressly told "it was his
duty to report, and to await the orders of Government?"

It is sufficiently obvious, from what has been stated, that when the
Government of Fort St. George wrote those paragraphs (which have been
quoted) to the Secret Committee, the object was more to preserve a
character of consistence, than to give a correct view of the actual
situation of affairs at the moment of the occurrence of those events
which are described. The Government, in a subsequent part of the
same dispatch, gives a more just account of the character of this
proceeding. "We had hitherto," they observe, "continued to expect,
that the firmness of our measures, and the good sense of the officers
of the army, would have finally succeeded in restoring order: but we
were convinced, by the failure of Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's mission,
by the addresses received from Hyderabad, and by the intelligence
received from other quarters, that it was necessary to calculate on
the possibility of the officers proceeding to the last extremities
of rebellion; and to consider the means of preventing, or finally of
meeting, that arduous state of things. The moderate course of conduct
pursued by the Government, and which was founded on a favourable
opinion of the loyalty of the army, had failed; and we were reduced to
the alternative of making the concession demanded by the officers, or
subduing them by force."

Is it not evident from this paragraph alone, if other evidences were
wanting, that the Government considered my mission to Masulipatam as
a proceeding which was calculated, by its moderation, to reclaim the
officers to their duty; and in no degree whatever related to that
course of measures which was subsequently adopted? A most desperate
remedy was ultimately applied to the existing evils: and in having
recourse to the expedient of exciting the men against their officers,
and in impairing the strength if not destroying that link by which
almost all are agreed we hold India, the Government of Fort St.
George might perhaps be justified by the emergency of the moment; and
the controlling authorities in England may be satisfied that this
operation, however terrible, was necessary and politic; but assuredly
(even if all this is granted) no person can believe that any authority
but Government could adopt such a measure. It appears too much to have
expected, that an officer sent to moderate the minds of a body of
officers, and to reclaim them to their duty by argument and reason,
should (_acting upon his own discretion, and without orders_) have
adopted this desperate expedient; and that he should have commenced his
efforts to persuade the officers to return to their duty, by exciting
their men to throw off their authority.

The Government of Madras proceed to state, that it ascribes my failure
to an apparent unreasonable and unwise forbearance and attention to the
feelings of officers who had, by their acts of violence and aggression,
forfeited all claims to consideration; that my time was occupied in
negotiations with disorderly committees, and in fruitless attempts to
bring officers back to their duty by argument. A reference is made to
my reasons for this conduct, as stated in my letters[55] under date
the 4th, 5th, and 6th of July. The measures which I recommended are
there stated. These, the Government observed, "consisted of a modified
repeal of the orders of the 1st of May; the restoration to the service,
and to their appointments, of all the officers whom we had found it
necessary to suspend or remove; with an intimation to the army, that
their claims to Bengal allowances would be brought to the notice of the
Honourable the Court of Directors." It is stated in the conclusion of
this paragraph, that I returned to Madras, "having succeeded no further
in accomplishing the objects of my mission, than in preventing the
officers from adopting any flagrant acts of outrage to authority during
my residence at Masulipatam." As my failure is ascribed to an apparent
unreasonable and unwise attention to the feelings of officers who had
by their acts of violence forfeited all claims to consideration, may
it not be asked, What was the situation of these officers when I was
deputed by Sir George Barlow with instructions to restore them to
better feelings, and a juster sense of duty, by the efforts of reason
and argument? Were they not in a state of outrageous mutiny? Their
commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, had been placed under
sentries, and it was hourly expected they would openly throw off even
the show of obedience; and yet at such a period I received instructions
from Sir George Barlow to use every effort of reason and argument to
reclaim the officers to their duty. When I had, as appears from my
Journal[56] and letters, in a great degree succeeded, having released
Colonel Innes from his arrest, prevailed upon a mutinous garrison to
abandon its design of immediately throwing off its allegiance, and of
marching to Hyderabad, obtained from them a reluctant recognition of
my authority, and was proceeding with the inquiry which I had been
directed to make: when all these changes, I say, had been effected
without _one concession_, by the force of that reason which I was
directed to employ; and I had reported all that I had done; I received
a letter from Colonel Barclay, written by order of Sir George Barlow,
approving of my measures, desiring me to continue my efforts to reclaim
the officers, and to direct their attention to the decision of the
authorities in England: and yet, when my success within the few days
I was at Masulipatam had been as great as it was possible to expect
such means could produce, (for changes in men's minds that are effected
by reason and argument must be gradual,) I am accused, in a secret
dispatch to my superiors in England, of having failed in my mission,
from a forbearance, which, though subsequently termed unreasonable and
unwise, I have shown Sir George Barlow deemed, or professed to deem,
at the moment of my departure from Madras, wise and politic; and from
an attention to the feelings of those very officers, to whose feelings
and reason, when their crimes were at the greatest height, I had been
directed, by the verbal instructions of Sir George Barlow, _and the
letters_ of his secretary, to address myself.

It is stated, that my time was occupied in communication with
disorderly committees. To this I reply, that I never recognised
any committee in any public or official manner that could either
compromise my own authority, or commit the dignity of Government. I
communicated, it is true, chiefly with those officers who, from their
rank or ability, appeared to have most influence over the rest. Not
to have done so, would have been to neglect the employment of those
means to which I have shown Sir George Barlow exclusively trusted for
my success. I learnt, that there existed a garrison committee, of
which every officer was a member, and which could never meet without
danger of a mutiny that in its consequences would have precipitated
a rupture between the Government and most other parts of the army:
an extreme which it was my constant labour to retard, if I could
not altogether avert. This committee I endeavoured, by my influence
with the senior and more reflecting officers of the garrison, to
dissolve; and I considered my success in this point as a great step
towards the restoration of order. The control of the proceedings of
the whole became vested in a few senior officers of comparative
moderation, whose minds were more accessible to reason, and whose
small numbers rendered them less liable to those violent impressions
which produce such mischief in large and turbulent meetings. But all
the communications I ever had, either directly or indirectly, with
any individual or bodies of officers at Masulipatam, are stated in my
journal: and, it will be seen from that, I never made the slightest
concession to the repeated demands of the officers of that garrison.
That my proceedings were not such as is prescribed by an observation of
the regular course of military discipline there can be no doubt: but
Government had itself decided that question. They had refrained (for
the reasons stated in the dispatch to which I have so often referred)
from resorting to the usual means, the employment of force for quelling
the mutiny at Masulipatam. I was deputed on what is termed in this very
dispatch _a mission_, (a word in itself including a volume,) in order
that I might reclaim to duty, by the efforts of reason and argument,
the officers of a garrison which were known to be almost to a man
unanimously bent on mutiny and opposition to authority; and yet I am
subsequently condemned by the Government that sent me, for having used
the only means by which it was possible I could accomplish that object.

The statement made in the same paragraph of this dispatch regarding
the character of those measures which I recommended, with a view of
terminating the agitation of the army, will, I am assured, not be
considered as either fair or liberal, by any person who gives an
attentive perusal to my secret and confidential letter to Sir George
Barlow upon that subject. I saw, immediately after my arrival at
Masulipatam, that some conciliatory measures must be instantly adopted
by Government, if it intended to avoid the desperate extreme of a
contest with its own army. A contest which, it will be recollected,
I never doubted would early terminate in favour of the former: but
success, I was convinced, would bring dangers of a hundred fold
greater magnitude than any that could result from issuing the
order[57] that I recommended.

On the succeeding day I wrote another letter[58], which contained the
following paragraph:

"I can think of no improvement to this order, except you conceive
the great object of avoiding hostilities would justify the following
addition to it. 'Government received a representation from a number of
the officers of the coast army, in which they solicit the equalization
of their allowances with those of the officers of the Bengal army: This
is a subject, the consideration of which must exclusively rest with the
Honourable the Court of Directors, under whose notice this application
will, _in course_, be brought, and by whose decision it will be the
duty of the officers of the coast army to abide.'"

I may ask, Whether the order I suggested in my letter of the 5th of
July justifies the assertion in the letter from the Madras Government,
that I recommended "the restoration to the service and their
appointments of all the officers the Government had removed." The terms
of the order I suggested were only, that _in the full confidence_ that
the officers of the coast would immediately abandon their proceedings,
Government would _recommend_ the _officers suspended to the Court of
Directors_. That it restored Colonels Bell and Chalmers to command,
from which they had been removed, and also one or two staff officers
who were in a similar predicament. There is assuredly a wide difference
between the immediate restoration of all the officers suspended from
the service, and the conditional promise of a favourable recommendation
to that authority by which, under every circumstance, the fate of
these officers must have been decided. With respect to Colonel Bell,
I conscientiously believed at the moment, from what I knew of the
case of that valuable officer, that Sir George Barlow would not be
reluctant to consent to his restoration; and with regard to that of
Colonel Chalmers and one or two others in nearly similar predicaments,
I conceived that if any measure of this kind was adopted, it should
be as complete as it was possible to make it, without affecting the
principle which was to carry _conciliation in act_ (words, after what
had passed, could be of little or no avail) as far as was possible,
without serious injury to the authority and dignity of Government.
It was this consideration which led to the communication already
quoted from my letter of the 6th of July regarding the first Memorial
forwarded by General McDowall. What I recommended was nothing more
than what had, I believe, been done as an act of course, and was
stated in a mode which, though conciliatory, reminded the army of
their duty, and gave them no reason to believe more, than that the
Court of Directors _would see_ the document in question. I think at
this moment, as I did at that in which I recommended this measure,
that nothing could have been more fortunate than its adoption. I know
I differ on this point from very high authorities, who believe that
any concessions, (and such they would appear to deem _every act_ of
conciliation,) however modified and corrected, would have been ruinous
to Government: but, in spite of these imposing opinions[59], I must
ask reflecting men to look near the subject, to examine the evil which
this measure could have produced, consider the ills that were at that
moment to be expected, and to think on those that have resulted from
the complete success to authority that the most sanguine could have
anticipated, and then to pronounce their cool and deliberate judgment.
There certainly could be no apprehension entertained that this order
would have strengthened, to any purpose of immediate violence or
opposition, the discontented and turbulent: but the danger stated is,
that those would have deemed it a victory. Let us for a moment suppose
they had been led, by their first feelings of joy at their escape from
a punishment which they had merited, to have considered it as such,
what permanent effect could such a feeling produce? What had they
gained? _Nothing._ The fate of the officers who had been suspended
remained to be decided by the Directors; with whom it must, under all
circumstances, ultimately rest. Their Memorial for an increase of
allowances was to be brought before the same body, but without even
a promise from Government of any recommendation. There was an end to
their combinations and committees[60], and, with them, to all those
threats they had thrown out against the local Government, which, it
was evident, would acquire such a vast accession of strength by the
spirit of moderation and conciliation which it had shown, as would
fully enable it to enforce the most severe discipline, and particularly
in all cases which were attended with a danger of the recurrence of
evils of a similar character to those it had so recently encountered.
The majority, indeed, of the officers of the army, and all the most
respectable, had seen at this moment the desperate situation into which
they had unwarily suffered themselves to be led. They would have had no
sentiments but those of gratitude to a Government, whose consideration
had presented them with the means of escape. All these would, if such
an indulgence had been shown to their errors, have ranged themselves
with enthusiasm on the side of Government, and would have been the most
forward to retrieve the character of the service, by the punishment of
those whom a hardened spirit of disaffection and turbulence had led to
continue in opposition. That such a class would also have remained,
there is no doubt; and Government might have been satisfied, at the
moment this measure was taken, that future punishments would have
corrected any erroneous opinions regarding the true motives that had
induced so generous and politic a proceeding.

The situation of affairs at the period stated was such, that though
there could be little doubt of the ultimate success of Government even
under the violent course it pursued; yet that did not appear likely
to be attained, if extremes were resorted to, without bloodshed. His
Majesty's regiments at Hyderabad[61] and Travancore would be, if a
contest was precipitated, in the utmost danger; and if the combat
between our European and native troops had once commenced, feelings
would have been instantly engendered, the dreadful action of which no
man could calculate. That these results were averted, was owing to a
variety of causes, very little, if at all, connected with either the
foresight or vigour of the Government of Fort St. George.

But, passing over what was likely to be the probable results of the
desperate extreme to which the Government of Fort St. George had
resort, (though it is by a consideration of these results that the
merit of my suggestions should be tried,) let us contemplate what
has occurred, from the most favourable issue that could have been
anticipated. The officers of the coast army must long continue to feel
that degradation which they have endured. Years must elapse before the
action of this feeling will cease to produce disunion and discontent in
that establishment. But these are comparatively light considerations,
as all questions must be, connected with a body of men over whom
we must always have such strong ties and efficient control as the
European officers of our armies in India. It is the firm allegiance
and continued obedience of the natives of which the strength of those
armies is composed, which forms by far the most important principle
in our government of this great Empire. This can never be denied: and
it is as true, that in that almost religious respect with which the
sepoy of India has hitherto regarded his European officer, consisted
what has been always deemed the chief link of this great chain of
duty and obedience. That link (as far as relates to the sepoys of the
coast establishment)[62] has, if not broken, been greatly shattered
and impaired. A temporary object of importance, no doubt, has been
gained by a sacrifice of one a thousand times the value of the object.
The dignity of the local Government of Fort St. George has been saved
from an imputation of weakness, by a measure which threatens the most
serious danger to the future safety of our whole empire in India. An
evil, for which there were many and certain remedies, has been averted,
by incurring one, the progress of which (from its character,) cannot be
calculated; which is, from its nature, irremediable; and of which we
know nothing, except that it is efficient to our destruction.

The Government of Fort St. George appear resolved to withhold the
expression of their sense of that benefit which the substance of their
dispatch obviously shows flowed from my observation and conduct. Sir
George Barlow, through his secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, to
me, under date the 12th of July, states, that, "_in consequence of
the information which I had communicated_" _from_ Masulipatam, he had
ordered the assembling of a considerable force near Madras; and it is
to this precautionary measure, adopted upon my information, to which
the Government of Madras ascribes in a great degree the success of its
subsequent proceedings: and it seems also to have entirely escaped the
recollection of the Government, that if I had not, by my exertions,
reclaimed the garrison of Masulipatam from their design of marching to
join the Hyderabad force, and prevented from the 4th till the 22d of
July their committing any outrage, that a great part of the army would,
during that eventful period, have been precipitated into a rupture
before the Government had time for executing any plan for the defeat
of their designs. I do not mention these circumstances with a view of
claiming any merit from my exertions at that period; but to show that
the same principle, which led to an unfounded insinuation against my
character, has caused an omission of every fact that could bring my
services to the favourable notice of my superiors.

I shall resume my narrative, and state shortly what share I had in
the transactions at Madras, from my return from Masulipatam till the
arrival of Lord Minto at that settlement.

I have already stated that Sir George Barlow directed me, before I
went to Masulipatam, to write the draft of a letter to the commanding
officers at Hyderabad and Jaulnah, and had approved of what I had
written. I had carried a copy of that draft to Masulipatam, and had,
on my first violent discussion with the officers of that garrison,
adduced it as a proof of the moderation and temper with which the
Governor had acted. In a short period, however, it appeared that no
such document had reached Hyderabad, and I was exposed to the charge
of intended deception. I addressed a note to Colonel Barclay the day
after I arrived at Madras, stating this fact, and begged that he would,
by his answer, enable me to repel such a charge[63]. I received the
following reply, dated Fort St. George, 28th July 1809.


"I have just received your note of this date. I recollect perfectly
well, that before your embarkation for Masulipatam you put into my
hands, to be delivered to Sir George Barlow, a paper in the form of a
draft of a letter to be written to Colonel Montresor, on the subject of
addresses from the Hyderabad subsidiary force. I delivered the paper
according to your desire. I know that Sir George Barlow did not approve
of it; and I believe that no letter of the nature of it was sent to
Colonel Montresor.

"I remain, &c. &c.
(Signed)      "R. BARCLAY."

Greatly surprised at this answer, I wrote the following note:


"There must be a mistake, as the draft I gave you was written, by
direction of Sir George Barlow, from a memorandum now in my possession,
which I had read to Sir George not half an hour before, and of which
he at that moment approved, or he would not have desired me to put
it in the shape of a letter. I beg the nature of the request I made
in my note of yesterday may not be misunderstood. I am aware Sir
George Barlow, when he asked my opinion on the question of the reply
to be made to the representation from the Hyderabad force, might,
even if he approved my suggestion at the moment, be led by a thousand
considerations to alter his sentiments before the tappal[64] was
dispatched; but as I sailed for Masulipatam under the impression
that no change had occurred in his opinion, and made use of the
information I had upon the subject, to satisfy misguided men that they
were in error regarding his disposition towards them, and by doing
so have subjected myself to a charge of _intended deception_, I was
naturally anxious to clear my character from this imputation; and the
circumstances were evidently such, that it appeared in my mind I would
be enabled to do so without the slightest embarrassment to either you
or Sir George Barlow. If, indeed, I had not been satisfied of this, I
should never have written, at a moment like the present, upon such a
subject. Your note conveys no idea but that I had, without any previous
communication with Sir George Barlow, sent a draft of a letter to him
through you, of which he disapproved; and so far from answering the
object for which it was solicited, could make no impression but that my
assertions were founded on an ill-grounded presumption of my possessing
an influence over the judgment of Sir G. Barlow. _This, you must be
aware, is exactly opposite to the circumstances of the case, as I have
stated them to you at the period of their occurrence_; for I told you
it was by desire of Sir George Barlow I gave you the draft.

"I have felt it due to myself to say so much, but am not desirous a
word more should pass on the subject. I trust it never has and never
can be supposed, that I could either in word or deed do any thing that
could occasion the slightest embarrassment upon any question, much less
upon one of so personal a nature.

"Yours sincerely,
(Signed)      "JOHN MALCOLM."

To this communication I received the following more satisfactory reply:


"I have been so busy for the last two days, that I could not refer to
the answer which I wrote on the 28th ultimo to your letter of that
date, respecting the draft of the letter which you gave me for Sir
George Barlow previous to your embarkation for Masulipatam.

"I now find that it is not mentioned in that answer that you had
prepared the draft at Sir George Barlow's desire, after a long
conversation with him on the subject; _but I recollect perfectly well
that you told me so when you gave me the draft_.

"I remain, &c. &c.
(Signed) "R. BARCLAY,
"M. S."

"Fort St. George,
1st August, 1809."

This trifling but irritating circumstance confirmed me in the
resolution I had taken regarding my own conduct. I had come from Bombay
with the intention of joining my station at Mysore; but I had received,
when at Masulipatam, a letter from Lord Minto reappointing me to
Persia; and I had, since I reached Madras, been directed by a letter
from his Lordship, under date the 15th of July, to await his arrival
at that place. With such orders I could only offer my service as a
volunteer to Sir George Barlow; and I had little encouragement to do
that. He had, it is true, at the interview I had on the 27th, expressed
in a cold manner his wish that I should go to Mysore; but that wish had
never been repeated: he had made no further communication to me since
my return; nor had I even been required to give that information which
he knew I possessed. Under such circumstances, I felt that it was my
duty to obey the orders of the Governor-General, and not to intrude my
voluntary services when they were evidently not sought. In consequence
of this determination I addressed a private letter to Sir George
Barlow on the 1st of August; in which, after explaining very fully the
sentiments by which my conduct was regulated, I offered the following
observations on what had passed, and what might be expected from the
measure he had adopted:

"You are no stranger to that enthusiasm with which I embarked in the
present scene: and, whatever has been my success, I am assured that
you are satisfied I have not been deficient in zeal in the exertion
of my humble endeavours to reclaim my brother officers to temper and
to the path of duty: and I indulged, to the very moment of my arrival
at Madras from Masulipatam, a hope that this great object of your
solicitude would be effected without having recourse to coercive
measures; or at least that a great proportion of the officers of the
Company's army (including almost all who had weight and influence with
the men) would be recovered, and that the early submission of the rest
would have been a certain consequence of the return of their seniors to
their duty.

"The highly criminal violence of the force at Hyderabad, which is
known to the whole army to be guided by weak and wrong-headed men,
has unfortunately precipitated a very different issue to that which I
was so sanguine as to expect. That force has declared that they speak
the sentiments of the whole, or at least those of a great proportion
of the Madras army; though it is evident, at the moment they made
such an assertion, they could not have received an answer from any
station to that absurd paper which they term an _Ultimatum_, which
they have had the audacity to forward to Government; but which, I
conscientiously believe, would, if it had been publicly promulgated,
have been disowned and disclaimed by great numbers of the senior and
most respectable officers at every station in the army. I can speak
positively with regard to some, indeed all of the senior officers of
the garrison of Masulipatam upon this subject, and they have lately
been considered as the most violent of the whole. I am far from meaning
(such meaning would, indeed, be as contrary to that high respect I
have ever entertained for your character, as to the duties of my
situation) to offer even an opinion on the wisdom and policy of that
step which Government has lately adopted with the Company's officers
of this establishment. The test these were required to sign was, as
far as I understood it, a mere repetition of the obligations of the
commission that every one of them held; and the only rational objection
that could be made to it by men who were devoted to their duty, and
who had never deviated from it in thought, word, or deed, was, that
it was unnecessary; that it was, with regard to them at least, an act
of supererogation, and one that had a taint of suspicion in it. These
were, indeed, the feelings that passed in my mind when this paper was
first put into my hands; but they were instantly subdued by a paramount
sense of public duty; and I signed it to show (as far as my example
could show) my perfect acquiescence in a measure which the Government
I served had thought proper to adopt: but I am satisfied it was not
the terms of this paper which led the great majority of the Company's
officers both in camp and at the Mount, and in the garrison, to refuse
their signatures; it was the manner in which it was presented, and the
circumstances by which the whole proceeding was accompanied. The minds
of the most honourable, and of those most attached to Government and
to their Country, revolted more at the mode than the substance of the
act: they felt (perhaps erroneously) that they were disgraced, because
the manner in which their consent was asked showed they were not in
the least trusted: and this was, I am assured, one of the chief causes
of their almost general rejection of this proposed test of fidelity.
It appears to me of the greatest importance that you should be aware
of every feeling that this proceeding excited; and it is in discharge
of the duties of that friendship with which you have ever honoured me
that I have stated my sentiments so freely upon this subject. I am
very intimately acquainted with a great number of the officers of whom
I speak: some of them would, I am certain, have given their lives for
Government at the very moment they refused to give a pledge which they
thought, from the mode in which it was proposed, reflected upon their
honour; and others, who had unfortunately gone to a certain extent
in the late culpable and unmilitary proceedings, but who viewed the
criminal excesses of some of their brother officers with undisguised
horror and indignation, would, I am assured, if it had been possible
for Government to have pardoned what was past, and to have expressed,
in indulgent language, its kind intentions for the future, have
been the most forward in their efforts to punish those who, by an
unwarrantable perseverance in a guilty career, merited all the wrath of
the state: but, unfortunately, (though such an intention, I am assured,
never entered into your mind,) an almost general sentiment prevailed,
that it was meant the service should be destroyed by the first blow,
and that all were therefore included in one general mass, as just
objects of suspicion and disgrace.

"I am far from defending such an interpretation of this measure
of Government; I have only stated what I consider to be the fact,
and explained, as far as I could, those causes by which I believe
it to have been produced: their operation is, I fear, now almost
irremediable, and events must take their course. I know (and my
personal conduct has proved it,) that my brother officers are deeply
wrong; and I am quite heart-broken when I reflect on the consequences
to themselves and country which the guilt of some of them is likely to
produce. I need not assure you of my sincere happiness at the success
which has hitherto attended the execution of the measure you have
adopted, and I anxiously hope it may meet with no opposition. I have
never doubted the success of this measure, if it was resorted to, as
far as related to the accomplishment of its immediate object; and I
most earnestly pray that my judgment may have deceived me with regard
to the collateral and remote consequences by which I have always deemed
it likely to be attended."

The only reply I received to this communication, was by a note from
Colonel Barclay, under date the 2d of August, to acquaint me, that,
for the reasons I had stated, "Sir George Barlow would not press me
to go to Mysore, and that it was the Governor's intention to reply
to the other parts of my letter at more leisure." He never, however,
condescended to make such a reply, or indeed to honour me with any
subsequent communication whatever, either personally, or through the
medium of any of his staff: and an event occurred sometime afterwards,
which produced such irritation upon his mind, as to make him deny me
the common civilities due to an officer in my public station. Some
time after my return to Madras, an address[65] from the inhabitants
of Madras to Sir George Barlow was drawn up, and sent in circulation.
This address was said to have originated with a staff officer of rank.
None of the usual forms of convening the inhabitants had taken place;
and the mode adopted to obtain signatures was still more extraordinary
than this glaring departure from common usage. Gentlemen of the first
respectability in the civil service informed me, that when they had
testified an aversion to sign this address unless parts of it were
modified, they had received such plain intimations regarding the
consequences with which their refusal would be attended, as left them
in no doubt but that they must either sacrifice their opinions, or
bring immediate distress, and perhaps final ruin, upon themselves
and their families. Under these circumstances some had signed; while
others had actually absented themselves for days from their own houses,
to escape the painful importunities to which they were exposed. It
is necessary here to state, that almost all ranks were ready at this
moment to come forward with a public declaration of duty and attachment
to Government, and of their readiness to sacrifice their lives and
fortunes in its defence; but a strong objection was entertained by many
to that part of the circulated address which cast reflections upon
that body of officers who had embraced the alternative of retiring for
a period from their duty, rather than sign the test which Government
had proposed. It was said, and with great truth, that at the moment
when Government professed its desire to reclaim these officers to a
more active allegiance, nothing could be more unwise and useless than
exasperating their minds to a sullen perseverance in error, by an abuse
of them in an address signed by a few civil and military inhabitants
of Madras; and that it was perfectly evident such an expression of
sentiment could only have the effect of widening a breach it was most
desirable to close, and of creating (by exciting discussion) further
dissensions and difference of opinion among those of whose devoted
attachment to Government there could be no doubt. Such were my own
sentiments regarding this address: and while I foresaw the mischief it
was calculated to produce, I could divine no possible good from its
agitation. It was sent for my signature, with the following note from
Colonel Leith:

"The accompanying address is submitted to Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm
for his consideration, which, as soon as he is done with, it is
requested he will return to the bearer."

To this I immediately sent an answer, as follows:

"Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm returns the address to Lieutenant-Colonel
Leith. He has not signed it, for reasons very foreign to any want of
respect and regard for Sir George Barlow, or of duty, obedience, and
attachment to that constituted authority of his country under which he
is placed."

I cannot recollect that I ever in my life took a step in which my mind
was more decided respecting its propriety, on every public and private
principle, than upon this occasion. I considered the address, both from
the irregular mode in which it was brought forward, the unbecoming
means resorted to in order to obtain signatures, and the expressions
contained in it, as an unwise measure, which had originated in that
spirit of undistinguishing violence which I conscientiously believed
had been the chief means of producing a crisis that this act was
calculated to inflame. It did not appear to my mind to be attended with
the slightest benefit, for it brought no new friends to Government:
and though it could not shake the attachment to the legitimate
authority of their country of any persons whose principles were fixed,
its tendency was to excite jealousy and division among those who were
most warmly attached to order and Government: and among these, however
actuated by a sense of public duty, it was natural that a difference
of _private opinion_ should exist. Some were, no doubt, more disposed
than others to approve violent and unqualified proceedings, or perhaps
less disposed to maintain that independence of mind which no man should
ever be censured for maintaining upon such points; otherwise addresses
of this stamp would not only lose their value, but become tests of
the most odious and invidious nature that a tyrannic Government could
invent, to degrade or alienate the minds of its subjects.

I certainly was most reluctant to believe that this measure had Sir
George Barlow's sanction: it seemed to me of a character opposite to
all the principles and habits of his life: nor could I forget those
grounds which he had assumed when he recently refused to permit me
to frame an address of a very opposite tendency, and one that would,
in all probability, have prevented those evils which this seemed
calculated to inflame. I never was more surprised than when (some
days subsequent to my note to Colonel Leith) I was informed by a
confidential officer of the Governor's staff, to whom I mentioned what
I had done, and the reasons by which I was actuated, that the address,
from the first, had the Governor's complete sanction and approbation.

In closing this subject, it may be necessary to state, that this
address, after all the unbecoming efforts that were used to obtain
signatures, had only fifty-seven names affixed to it; among which,
twenty-four only were civilians and inhabitants of Madras: the
remainder were officers of his Majesty's service, with a few of the
staff of the Company's army. If all those who did not sign it were
not actually considered as disaffected, they were deemed by those
whom this measure had formed into a party, as lukewarm in the public
cause. This species of injustice is too common to such times, to
afford any individual a right of complaint; but there should be a
difference between the momentary feeling of a violent party during a
period of commotion, and the deliberate sentiments of a public ruler.
I have already mentioned, that the crime of having presumed, though
in the most respectful manner, to act conformably to the dictates
of my own judgment on a question which was referred to me as a
private individual, subjected me, at the moment, to the loss of those
civilities from Sir George Barlow to which I had a right from my public
station; and I did not require the evidence I have now obtained, from
the publication of the letter from the Government of Madras to the
Secret Committee, to satisfy my mind that my character has since had to
war with all the weight that belongs to the influence and opinion of
Sir George Barlow: but, great as this odds may appear to many, it can
excite no apprehension in a mind fortified as mine is by a conscious
sense of never having deviated from the path of private rectitude, or
public duty.

Though, subsequent to this transaction, all personal intercourse
between Sir George Barlow and me had ceased, I could not look with
indifference on the events that occurred; and when the mad desperation
of the officers of the two corps which marched from Chittledroog to
proceed to Seringapatam led to an action, I thought the opportunity
favourable to close this horrid scene in a manner every way suited to
the dignity of Government. I first communicated my sentiments upon this
point to Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, and afterwards ventured to address
the following note to Sir George Barlow, expecting that the importance
of the subject, and a consideration of former acquaintance and regard,
would at least obtain a pardon for such a liberty.


"I wrote a note to Colonel Barclay some hours ago, which he informed
me he sent to you for perusal. I have since received a letter from
Masulipatam, at which place they are between hope and despair; but
have refrained from further guilt, and mean to refrain, unless called
upon by those who have now, thank God! shown them an example of
returning to their duty. I am assured you will not blame that extreme
anxiety which makes me intrude, unasked, my opinion at a moment like
the present. I have, I am satisfied, the fullest information of the
real temper of this army at this present period; and, if I am not the
most deceived man in the world, there is an opportunity given, by the
conduct of the Hyderabad force[66], which enables you to combine the
immediate and complete settlement of these afflicting troubles with
the advancement of the reputation, power, and dignity, of Government.
I am aware of the very deep guilt into which almost all have gone;
some in intention, others in act: but the force at Hyderabad, who,
since the 1st of May, have been the cause of all the present evils,
and who lately insulted Government with demands, are now supplicating
clemency: a dreadful[67] example has occurred in Mysore, which will
make a lasting impression on both officers and sepoys, of the horrors
to which such illegal combinations lead. If it were possible to close
the scene here, an impression must be made that will for ever prevent
the repetition of such crimes; and the effect of shame and contrition,
which the clemency and magnanimity of Government must produce, will
have more effect upon the minds of liberal men than twenty examples.
Men's minds will be at once reclaimed, and they will be fixed in their
attachment by a better motive than fear. But this is not all. The
officers at Hyderabad, like those of other stations, act at the present
crisis entirely from the impulse of passion and feeling; and they fly,
as I have witnessed, from one extreme to another, with a facility that
is not to be credited by persons under the influence of calm reason.
Such persons can never be depended upon, whatever pledges they make,
while any strong causes of agitation remain: and no act, therefore,
which does not embrace the whole, can give that complete security and
tranquillity which is the object of desire. If a single question of
irritation and inflammation be left, it is a spark which may again
create a general explosion.

"You will, I am assured, pardon this communication. Nothing could
have induced me to the freedom, but a conviction that this is one
of those happy moments when all the dangers that threaten us may be
dissipated. If you can, on the grounds of your granting that clemency
to supplication, which you never would to demand; of military justice
being satisfied, and the army lessoned, in the dreadful example that
has been made in Mysore; and of your thinking it not derogatory, at
such a moment, to grant a general amnesty, and to bury the past in
oblivion: desiring all those who mean to perform their duty to join
their corps, and those who do not, to consider themselves out of the
service; and proclaiming every man a traitor, and liable to immediate
military execution, who opposes legal authority one hour after the
receipt of this order, I will answer with my life for the immediate
re-establishment of the public authority on more secure grounds than it
perhaps ever rested. Such an act as this will, I am assured, while it
advances the fame and dignity of Government, raise your own reputation
in the highest degree; and you will receive, as you will merit, the
blessings of thousands, with the applause of your country.

"I have perhaps already said too much upon this subject; and I could
adduce many more equally forcible reasons to those I have urged; but
I shall not trouble you further. If you think the suggestions I have
offered worthy of any attention, I shall attend you, and state them.
With regard to the success of this measure I cannot have a doubt. If
all did not immediately submit, they would be completely disunited: and
those that ventured to oppose (if there were any such), would be the
proper objects for example.

"I am, with great respect,
"Your obedient servant,

(Signed)      "JOHN MALCOLM."

The receipt of this note was not even acknowledged; and it was, of
course, the last communication I made to Sir George Barlow. When Lord
Minto arrived at Madras, I laid every part of my conduct before him.
I gave him every information I could regarding the actual state of
affairs; and submitted with freedom my sentiments of those principles
which should govern his final judgment on the important points that
remained for his decision. He expressed no dissatisfaction at my
conduct; he thanked me for my information; and though he differed with
me in many of the opinions I stated, he did not condemn me for that
difference: on the contrary, he appeared pleased with the liberty I
took in offering my advice with such boldness and freedom. The whole
of the manner, as well as the substance of the conduct, which this
able and virtuous nobleman observed towards me on this occasion, had
the effect of reconciling my mind to further exertions in the public
service; from which, I confess, it was, before his arrival, much,
if not wholly alienated. I had been employed, as I have shown, in a
confidential manner, without being trusted. I had been deputed on
a delicate and arduous mission, and recommended to pursue a system
which mixed firmness with conciliation, while it proposed to reclaim
by reason more than by terror; and before any time was given for the
operation of the measures I had taken, a new course was adopted,
grounded _on coercion_ alone: and because I had not by inspiration
divined that such would be the ultimate result, I now discover that I
have been most unjustly censured, as disappointing the expectations of
the Government: and it has been insinuated (a direct charge would have
been too bold) that I acted contrary to orders. I trust I have refuted
every charge of this nature: and if some should continue to think I
have committed errors; none, I am assured, can accuse me of crimes. Let
it be recollected that I was placed, throughout all the transactions
I have described, in a most painful and difficult situation. I had no
prescribed or distinct duty to perform; I was called upon by Sir G.
Barlow to exert, in the manner I thought best adapted to the end, all
the influence of my character to reclaim men with whom he thought I had
great weight; and he appeared for a period to give me his confidence,
and to trust implicitly to my discretion and judgment. I was all
along sensible to the full danger of the situation in which I placed
myself; but was too earnest in the cause to attend to prudence: and
I may conscientiously add, that I never was more assured of meeting
approbation from Sir George Barlow than at that moment when I found
myself estranged from all share in his confidence, and treated with
the most pointed neglect. But I had myself to reproach. I should
certainly have foreseen that my efforts would have been useless, when
combined with a system of measures to which they bore little or no
affinity; and I was (I must confess it,) wrong in supposing, for a
moment, that my advice, or any arguments I could adduce, could, under
any circumstances, permanently divert the Governor of Fort St. George
into a course that mixed feeling, and consideration for human failings,
with the established maxims of his ordinary rule. I should have known
better; and in fact I did, as my letters[68] before I went to Madras
prove: but, when on the spot, my heart conquered my head, and I tried
an impossibility: but I never shall regret the attempt, nor blush for
having recommended principles of action that are congenial to the best
feelings of human nature, that are calculated to make Government an
object of rational attachment, and to give the mind a generous pride
in submission and obedience; and which, so far from being of dangerous
example, and subversive of order, are familiar in the practice to every
free state, and have never been rejected in the most despotic, when
such have been governed by great and wise rules.


[40] These were the persons who fabricated those reports that were
circulated and believed by numbers, respecting promises of aid and
support from the officers of Bengal and Bombay.

[41] _This fear of being thought afraid_, is, perhaps, of all motives
of human action one of the weakest, though it wears a mask of boldness,
and under that is often productive of infinite mischief.

[42] I thought so at that period, though I have been since convinced I
was mistaken.

[43] Sir George Barlow not only thought so, but must, from the Governor
General's letter to the secret committee of the 12th of October
1809, have conveyed the same impression to Lord Minto. The merit of
foresight will not assuredly be claimed as one among the talents that
were displayed by the Governor of Fort St. George upon this memorable

[44] See Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's letter to General Gowdie, in the

[45] Lieutenant Maitland, the dismissed quarter-master, was ordered
to command the marines; and Lieutenant Forbes, who had been banished
to Condapilly, was directed to proceed to relieve an officer of the
regiment on duty at Prince of Wales's Island. This second punishment
was a torturing revival of those wrongs, of which not only the parties,
but all the officers of the corps, had before, with some justice,

[46] Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay afterwards returned me the original

[47] The following paragraph of a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel
Montresor to Lieutenant-Colonel Doveton, dated Secundrabad, the
10th July, 1809, is a proof of the light in which this measure was
viewed, and the use made of it to reclaim the most violent to duty
and submission.--"When the address was forwarded from Jaulnah, the
officers could not have known that the Government of Madras had taken
such steps as were most likely to quiet the public mind, in consequence
of the unpleasant state of affairs at Masulipatam. Lieutenant-Colonel
Malcolm, whose sound sense, knowledge of the army, and conciliatory
manners, peculiarly qualified him for the difficult task of allaying
the ferment in the northern division of the army, has already arrived
at Masulipatam, and a committee has been ordered to inquire into the
late occurrences, composed of three officers among the most popular
in the army: therefore I am sure the officers of Jaulnah will see the
bad effects of forwarding an address, at this moment, of any nature
whatever, as it could only tend to add to the irritation of the public
mind." Vide printed Correspondence, No. 2, page 35.

[48] Two days after I went away, and when no event had occurred of any
consequence, he was persuaded (as has been before shown) to commence
the plan for placing the native corps under check of his Majesty's
regiments, and the orders were sent to Hyderabad for the march of the
2d of the 10th to Goa.

[49] Instead of sending this letter, the order for the march of a
battalion from Hyderabad to Goa, in prosecution of the plan for
dividing the sepoy corps, was sent two days after my departure, and
provoked (as was, under such circumstances, to have been expected) open
resistance and rebellion.

[50] This irritating and imprudent order (which has been before
noticed) was sent to Hyderabad a day or two after I sailed; and the
same influence that obtained the adoption of this measure, prevented
the dispatch of the letter to the commanding officers of Hyderabad and
Jaulnah, which I drafted, and which Sir George Barlow at the moment
approved, and _assured me he would send_.

[51] The Major-General assured me of this fact.

[52] Vide Appendix.

[53] All the letters from this officer to me while I was at
Masulipatam, are in the printed Correspondence.

[54] One of the chief objects for which this proceeding was recommended
and adopted, was to gain time.

[55] See Appendix.

[56] Vide Appendix.

[57] See a copy of that order in the Appendix, in a letter to Sir
George Barlow, dated 5th July.

[58] See Appendix.

[59] I always thought, and always must think, that there is a wide
difference between the seditious combination of a body of officers
and a mutiny of soldiers, and that the two cases require a distinct
treatment. With the latter there can hardly be two modes of proceeding;
with the former there may be various, and all equally safe. They may
be restored by the influence of reason, and subdued by the operation
of their own feelings. Their minds may be reclaimed by many modes that
could not be applied to their men; and there is, in the worst extremes,
a character in their opposition that admits more of the application
of such remedies than the mad and instinctive action of a mutinous
soldiery. These two cases were certainly confounded at Madras; and most
of the evils that arose may be imputed to the fallacy of treating a
seditious combination of officers as a mutiny of soldiers.

[60] The danger that had been incurred was sufficient to authorize
Government to take the most decisive measures to guard against the
revival of such combinations against authority: and though numbers who
might have merited punishment had escaped, _not one object of benefit
to either individuals or the army at large had been attained_; and it
is therefore quite extravagant to assert such a termination could ever
have tended to encourage future proceedings of a similar nature.

[61] The account of what occurred at this station on the day General
Close made the noble effort he did to carry the orders of the
Government of Madras into execution, shows the desperate hazard that
was incurred. If, says an officer of high rank, during the period that
between four and five thousand troops were in a state of mutinous
violence and uproar, "one musket had gone off by accident, not a man of
his Majesty's 33d regiment would have been left alive, and a general
massacre of almost all Europeans would have been the most certain

[62] No consideration of this question can be local or limited. If a
successful example of disobedience or rebellion was exhibited by our
native troops on the Madras establishment, its baneful effects would
not be limited to that part of our possessions.

[63] I spoke to Colonel Barclay before I wrote upon this subject,
and he said he would show my note to Sir G. Barlow, and obtain me an
answer that would vindicate my character from the charge to which the
Governor's change of resolution had made me liable. This circumstance
left me without a doubt that the cautious reply I received from that
officer was by the direction of Sir G. Barlow. Indeed, I was satisfied
that this excellent and respectable officer, for whom I have always
entertained the same sentiments of esteem and friendship, never acted
in any part of those transactions, in which his name appears, _but by
the specific instructions or orders the Governor_.

[64] Post.

[65] See a copy of this in the Appendix.

[66] The officers of that force had signed the test.

[67] It was considered, at the moment when this note was written, that
almost the whole of the two corps from Chittledroog had been destroyed.

[68] Vide letters to Lords Wellesley and Wellington, pages 64, 65.


  No. I.

  _Copies of Letters from Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM _during his Stay at

Masulipatam, 4th July, 1809.


I arrived here early this morning. Nothing can be worse than the state
in which matters were. Major Storey seems a weak man, and the garrison
was commanded by a committee of violent spirited young men. They
deliberated, after my arrival, on the measures they were to pursue;
and were at first, I am assured, disposed to resist my authority: they
next made a demand of an act of amnesty for all late proceedings in the
garrison of Masulipatam. This, I told them, it was quite impossible for
me to grant; that a regular military proceeding had been instituted,
to inquire into late proceedings; and that I could declare, it was the
intention of Government to order a court martial to try any person this
court thought ought to be tried; but I could say no more. They had, I
found, pledged themselves most deeply to resist Government, to almost
all the stations in the army[69], and had received the strongest
assurances of support from Hyderabad; and I believe a movement towards
that quarter was intended in a day or two. The public avowal of their
determination to resist Government made them feel reluctant to relax
their opposition; and their fear of suffering for what has past,
rendered them quite desperate. They, however, after a conference of
some hours, became more reasonable, and professed their obedience to
my authority, and their acquiescence in the inquiry that had been
ordered. I issued the general orders, and directed the instant release
of Lieutenant-Colonel Innes from arrest. I saw him. He is no doubt a
very good, but he is a weak man. He feels naturally very indignant at
what has passed, but will be moderate in his conduct. I could have had
no idea of the length to which matters have proceeded, before to-day.
An organized opposition to Government was to have commenced as the day
after to-morrow; and, in the present temper of men, I know not if that
event can be avoided. Nothing can be so unfortunate as the occurrences
of the mutiny here, as numbers have been hurried into guilt, from
which they see no escape but in all being equally involved. This is a
melancholy state to have minds in. I have certainly succeeded in making
them abandon their violent measures for the moment; but a relapse is
to be apprehended; particularly as it would appear difficult, if not
impossible, to tranquillize them by an act of amnesty. What am I to do,
in case of an extreme? The combination is general. Excuse this hurried
note. I have not a moment.

I am, with great respect,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

Masulipatam, 5th July, 1809.


I wrote you a hurried letter last night. I have since come to the
knowledge of many additional facts, and have had some time to reflect
on what I have seen and heard; and I should be as wanting in my duty
to you as to my country, if I was withheld, by any motive whatever, in
stating my sentiments in the most undisguised manner on the present
state of affairs: and whether you coincide in my opinion or not, you
can have no doubt regarding those motives that lead me to express, in
that sacred confidence, which your knowledge of my character authorizes
me to use, the conviction of my judgment on the steps necessary to be
taken upon the present unfortunate crisis.

I have now seen the concerted plans of almost the whole of the army
against the authority of Government; and can say, with almost an
assurance that I am correct, that there is not one Company's corps,
from Cape Comorin to Ganjam, that is not implicated in the general
guilt, and that is not pledged to rise against Government, unless
what they deem their grievances are redressed. Be assured, that no
commanding officer, whatever they may write, has any real authority
over their corps[70]: and though in some places (where there are King's
regiments) they are more guarded, their resolution is the same; and
they mean to act, the moment the example is shown by those parts of the
army whom they consider as most likely to be successful in their first
efforts. The Hyderabad and Jaulnah force are chiefly looked to, and the
northern division of the army; and the European regiment has, from what
they style its regimental grievances, become the corps from which they
expect the first act of opposition. Its late proceedings are applauded
and confirmed by the force at Hyderabad: and I know it was intended,
if there had been the slightest indication of any coercive measures,
or even had the Commander-in-Chief arrived, to have marched this corps
and the two sepoy battalions in the division to effect a junction
with the Hyderabad force, in order to organize an army to commence
hostilities with Government. Their march was to have taken place as
to-day; and it was, for five hours after my arrival, a subject of warm
discussion, whether I should be recognised or not as their commanding
officer? And, after stating every thing a man could state to reclaim
them to better feeling, I was obliged to give them the choice of the
extreme, of either immediately submitting to the order of Government,
or of opposing it. They chose at last the former; but placed it on the
grounds of that general respect which was paid by them, and all their
brother officers, to my character. I did not think it necessary to
fight regarding the grounds of their obedience on this point, being
satisfied with the substance, and particularly as I had received this
proof after they were informed of my sentiments and intentions. Though
an immediate open rebellion against Government has been prevented by my
arrival at Masulipatam, the danger is not past; and we must not deceive
ourselves, or any longer evade this serious question. The officers of
the Company's army on the coast are no doubt at this moment in a state
of actual insurrection against the Government; and this combination
against authority is every moment maturing and spreading wider. I have
seen the letter[71] from the Bombay army to that of the coast, and it
is unqualified in its condemnation of the orders of the 1st of May,
and its promise of support. Several private letters have been received
from Bengal. An address from that army, to the same effect as that of
Bombay, is expected: at all events they appear certain that no human
power will lead the Bengal troops to act against them. They calculate
upon opposition from the King's army, and their plans are concerted to
meet it. These deluded men are aware of the ruin they are bringing upon
themselves; but their infatuation is so great, that they are reconciled
to their ruin, in the expectation that it will equally involve that
Government against which their rage has been so industriously and so
successfully excited. All attempts to reason with men in the state
of mind they are in, appears vain. Even the circulation of the able
letter from Bengal is, as I apprehended, likely to inflame, instead
of appeasing their passions. It is so true, that when men's minds
have gone completely wrong, that which ought to put them right has,
in general, a direct contrary effect: and the fact is, that all
those correct principles and loyal feelings, which are so eloquently
expressed in the letter from the supreme Government, but serve to
impress them more forcibly with a sense of that guilt into which they
have so precipitately rushed, and to render them more desperate in
their proceedings, as they can (after what has passed, and particularly
late events at this place,) only see individual safety in all being
equally involved in the deepest guilt. I entreat you to be persuaded
that these sentiments are quite general; or, at least, that the few who
do not entertain them have neither the means nor the courage to oppose
their progress; and allow themselves, with an indefensible passiveness,
to be borne along with the tide. Under such a state of circumstances,
all hopes of this spirit of insurrection subsiding must be at an end.
Some steps must instantly be taken; and no good can result from the
application of any partial remedy. The disease is general, and the
remedy must be so also. It remains with you to decide on the measures
that are to be adopted. The first and most military, though not,
perhaps, the most political, that suggests itself, is the employment of
actual force. In such a contest, however, not only the means must be
calculated, but the result; and, as far as I can judge, success, even
in this extreme, would not save us from the most baneful consequences.
It seems therefore not wise to have resort to such a measure, till
every other that it is possible for Government to take, without the
annihilation of its own power and dignity, has been tried and failed.
Unqualified concession to the demands of the army, either in dismissing
public servants of Government, or in rescinding its orders, would be
a virtual resignation of its power, and cannot therefore be made. It
would, indeed, be better and more honourable, if _matters were at the
worst_, that Government should fall by any hands than its own. Should
Government not resolve on having immediate resort to force, one line
only remains that could at the present moment afford a rational hope
of the necessity of having recourse to that extreme being avoided, or
at least of its being resorted to with advantage; which is, to meet
the crisis at once, by a general order to something of the following

"Government finds, with concern, that it can no longer indulge that
sanguine hope which it once entertained, that the irritation which
a variety of causes have combined to produce in the minds of the
Company's army on the coast would subside; and as it is satisfied that
the evils which must result from the existence of those combinations
against its authority, that are now formed in almost every station,
will, if suffered to continue, be as injurious to the public interests,
as if those by whom these proceedings are carried on were in a state
of open hostility to Government; it feels compelled to anticipate
every extreme that can occur, and to publish to the army at large the
final resolutions which it has adopted under this extraordinary and
unparalleled situation of affairs: and these resolutions will, it
is satisfied, be found to combine as much attention to the feelings
of the army as it is possible to show without a sacrifice of the
public interest, and an abandonment of the authority and dignity of
Government. The Governor and Council can and does make every possible
allowance for feeling so strongly excited as those of the officers of
the coast army have been, and is disposed to refer that great agitation
of mind into which they have been thrown by a concurrence of causes
which must greatly mitigate, if they do not altogether extenuate, that
degree of criminality which must always attach to such proceedings:
and, under such impressions, he can view their extreme solicitude
regarding those of their brother officers whom he has thought it his
duty to suspend the service, with that consideration which is due
to a highly meritorious body of officers, acting under the strong
impulse of warm and honourable, but mistaken feelings. And with such
sentiments he cannot deem it derogatory to Government to state, that
he intends, in the full confidence that the officers of the coast
army will abandon their present dangerous course of proceeding, to
recommend to the Honourable the Court of Directors the restoration
to the service of those officers, whose suspension, and the reasons
which led to it, have been reported to them, and who are consequently
the only authority by which that act can be repealed: and he can have
no doubt, but the earnest desire of their brother officers, combined
with the high character which most of the officers under suspension
formerly held, will induce the Honourable Court to overlook their late
conduct, and comply with this recommendation. Acting upon the same
principle, Government is pleased to appoint Colonel Bell to the charge
of the battalion of artillery at the Mount, and Colonel Chalmers to the
command of the subsidiary force in Travancore. Lieutenant Maitland is
appointed quarter-master of the European regiment of infantry.

"The committee of inquiry ordered to assemble at Masulipatam is
repealed; and no act, either of any body, or of individual officers
in the Company's service, of which no cognizance has yet been taken,
and which occurred before the present date, will be made subject of
future notice, or even operate to the disadvantage of such body of
officers or individuals, unless they should, by a perseverance in
the same course, and a repetition of the same conduct, forfeit all
claim to such lenity and consideration at a moment when Government
has taken such steps to tranquillize the agitated minds of the army,
and to leave even the most mistaken without a plea for perseverance
in their present dangerous course. It must declare its positive and
final resolution neither to alter nor modify this proceeding. It
will yield no more to the entreaties or demands of the army: and if
any officers are so infatuated, and so lost to every consideration
of the public good and the general prosperity of their country, as
not immediately, on the promulgation of this order, to abandon their
present course of proceeding, Government must, however much it may
deprecate such an extreme, meet it with that firmness and courage which
becomes a constituted authority of the Empire of Great Britain. It
has contemplated this possible, though, it trusts, highly improbable
event; and the different officers entrusted with command are directed,
should any spirit of turbulence and insubordination appear among the
officers of the troops under their command, to punish the individuals
with all the severity of martial law. And should the operation of the
regular course of justice be impeded, either by a combination among
the officers or men, such will instantly be proclaimed rebels against
the legal authority of Government and their country; as Government is
perfectly satisfied that the public interests will receive more injury
from any effort to conciliate men who persevere (after what has passed)
in principles so opposite to the restoration of order and discipline,
than it even can meet from them as open enemies to their King and

I am aware that a thousand objections may be made to an order of this
nature; but it must only be tried by the times; matters have arrived
at such a crisis, that something decided must instantly be done. There
is not an hour for delay. And what I have suggested is only the first
proclamation in a war that seems to me, even with this step, almost
unavoidable. If human means could avoid it, this act will; for it holds
out every motive that can incline men to good and deter them from evil.
It concedes, no doubt, in some points; but the case is urgent, and the
spirit of concession is corrected by the firmness and resolution which
is mixed with it. But your own mind will suggest every thing. I am, as
you know, devoted to the cause of my country. It will depend upon you
where I am to act, if matters draw to an extreme. I should prefer my
station at Mysore, as that in which I have most influence, and could,
in consequence, contribute most to the support of the public interests.
I cannot conclude without again entreating you not to allow yourself to
be lulled into security, and to be satisfied of the absolute necessity
of taking some steps or another to save the state from the imminent
danger to which it is exposed. But inaction, even dangerous as it is,
may be better than the commencement of a coercive system, before steps
have been taken to gain more friends to Government than it has at
present in the army: and I confess I can see no mode of doing this but
by a measure which is completely decided and final; and which, while
it grants every indulgence even to erroneous feelings, looks to the
close of this great question with a moderate and conciliatory, but a
firm and manly spirit. I shall be most anxious for your sentiments,
as soon as possible, on the line I am to pursue at this place. The
question of the marines, and the removal of some of the officers, had,
I find, (for they have shown me all their papers,) been anticipated by
the other stations; and the opposition here was in part by instruction:
and subsequent letters sufficiently show, that this case is no longer
that one, nor of the garrison of Masulipatam, but of the whole army;
and that they are most deeply pledged to the support of each other.
Indeed _there cannot be a doubt_ but the punishment of any one would
cause the whole to break out. This I feel it my duty to avoid, as well
as to prevent their marching, which was their intention, and which they
expect to be called upon to do, till I know the general line you mean
to pursue.

I am, my dear sir, &c.
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

(_Private, and Secret._)
Masulipatam, 6th July.


After my letter of yesterday I have little to add. I can only again
implore your most serious consideration to the whole question, and
your instant decision on the line that is to be pursued; not merely
here, but with the whole army. No half measures will at this moment
answer: and unless some effort is made to appease the minds of the
deluded officers of this army, you must make military preparations to
reduce them to order; and these must be directed against every station
under your Presidency: for though success may be various, an effectual
opposition will be made at all; and none are more violent than some
of those nearest the Presidency. If you adopt a measure of the nature
that I recommended yesterday, it should be _quite final_; and therefore
embrace every concession and act of conciliation _that you can make_,
without a substantial sacrifice of the dignity of Government.

I can think of no improvement to this order, except you conceive
the great object of avoiding hostilities would justify the following
addition to it:

"Government received a representation from a number of the officers
of the coast army, in which they solicited the equalization of their
allowances with those of the officers of the Bengal army. This is a
subject, the consideration of which must exclusively rest with the
Court of Directors, under whose notice this application will, _in
course_, be brought, and by whose decision it will be the duty of the
officers of the coast army to abide."

This order, which is only a repetition of facts added to what I
suggested yesterday, would, I think, _if firmly acted upon_, completely
end the present agitation; or, at all events, you would only have a
part to combat instead of the whole. Every man who was not lost to
reason and loyalty would be recovered; and the few that resisted, if
any did, would soon be reduced. This mode of settlement would, it may
be stated, give a triumph to the army, establish a dangerous precedent,
and violate fundamental principles of the Indian Government: but it is
not principles, but an empire, that is in danger: and what other course
can be adopted? No man can calculate the consequences of a contest
between Government and its army. The delusion which prevailed, that the
officers would never proceed to extremes, is now completely dissipated.
I have read papers, from almost every division, calling upon this
garrison to commence opposition; and I, two hours ago, read another
paper from the Hyderabad force, approving of the proceedings of the
garrison at this place in the cases of the marines and Colonel Innes,
declaring it to be the cause of the whole, and promising full support.
I knew papers of the same kind will be received, as fast as the tappals
can bring them, from every station in the army, and that they are all
pledged never to let a man or officer of this garrison be punished for
a proceeding which they consider (and with truth) to have been caused
by the general state of discontent and turbulence in the army. The
garrison here are equally impelled to action by a sense of their danger
from what has passed, and a desire to obtain credit with their brother
officers for being the first to step forward in the common cause. My
authority was at first disputed; and they have subsequently tried, by
every means that men could use, to obtain from me promises of amnesty
and of inaction, in the event of their being forced to move at the call
of their brother officers. Such promises I have, of course, steadily
refused; and I have taken advantage of every moment to diffuse better
sentiments: but I should deceive you if I stated that my success went
further than to keep them quiet. For the moment they are quiet; and,
unless a movement is made by the Hyderabad and Jaulnah force, I think
they will remain so, till some general measures are adopted by the
whole: and I have (I hope not erroneously) considered, that to keep
them, by any means that do not compromise my own authority or that of
Government, from acting at such a moment, is an object of the greatest
importance; for if any one corps begins, there is no remedy but in a
war. If this was only a mutiny of the garrison of Masulipatam, it would
be an easy question, and I should be proud to hazard my life in an
effort to quell it to morrow morning: but one step, of any description,
taken in this affair at the present moment, would undoubtedly cause
a general rise in the army: and it is, I conceive, of ultimate
importance, that you should know and prepare for this great political
danger; and I have consequently laboured incessantly, and I hope with
success, to prevent its breaking out at this most inflammable of all

The officers here have written to other stations to know whether they
are to submit to the investigation of the committee. They were greatly
disappointed at my not coming up, as they first expected, with powers
to treat with them. They would, no doubt, have been highly flattered
at such a result to their violence; and I am assured I need not state
to you, that any mode would be less injurious to the interests of
Government, than that of its even entering (as it once did) into a
discussion with the officers of its army upon this great question. If
you think you have not means to reduce the officers of this army, or
if you should not like to resort to them, there is only one mode, that
of issuing an order, conceding all you can, without hazard to your
authority, then coming to issue in a bold and prompt manner. This,
though it may be thought a concession of some points, is still an act
of authority; and that character of the measure will maintain the
dignity of Government, which would be altogether lost in a negotiation
with its own officers.

I am aware that the opinions which I have expressed are very different
from those you have heretofore maintained; but the case is altogether
changed. Steps of too bold a nature have been taken, for the officers
of the army to retreat; and they will immediately proceed, unless some
measure is instantly adopted to arrest them in their infatuated career
of guilt. The question has become entirely a practical one, and must
be tried as such, as much as if the country was suddenly invaded by an
enemy against whom we could use the means most calculated to repel him,
without any reference to general principles or to precedent.

The fact is, that course has been tried and has failed, and another
must be resorted to; and measures must be taken, when the state is
in less danger, to infuse better principles, and to establish a more
efficient control over our Indian armies.

(_Most Private._)
Masulipatam, 7th July.


You will hear the substance of my late communications to Sir George;
and you probably will not quarrel with the opinions I have given,
though others may, who think more of maintaining consistency upon
paper, than of practical Government.

I have no fear now of this garrison doing any thing, unless other
parts of the army break out; and that will not, I hope, take place
immediately[72]. But something must be done, as the danger of leaving
them in this fermenting state increases every hour. They are, in fact,
afraid to retract: and shame, despair, and hope, combine to impel
them forward. I know they are hastening to their own destruction; but
is it politic to let them destroy themselves, even supposing that
operation did not hurt Government? Certainly not. And if that extreme
can be avoided by any measure which does not substantially affect the
authority of Government, it should be adopted. Let us look near this
bug-bear principle of consistency, at which some men are so alarmed.
The order of the 1st of May was intended to break up a desperate
conspiracy against Government, which was in progress. It effected the
object: and now that a conspiracy has got head of a more extensive
nature, are we not to use the means which seem likely to destroy it,
because they are of a different character from those used on the 1st
of May, and in some respect abrogates part of that proceeding? It is
assuredly the effect which should be our chief and sole object, and we
should quarrel with no means that do not _actually_ impair our strength
or injure our dignity. Those I have recommended would, I think, raise

Tell Sir George I am incessant in my endeavours to infuse better
principles. I talk with all; and can hardly myself believe the change
which has in some respects been produced. I have given them no
promises, I have made them no pledges; but I have told them I would
take no steps but in an open manly way, and that I expected they would
make no secret attempts against my authority. In this they acquiesced.
I have given them all my letters regarding this unfortunate crisis,
that to Doveton, &c. to read; and I have painted to them, in the
strongest colours, the horrors and destruction which must follow an act
of any open departure from their duty. The facts I have stated are not
denied by the few among them who have sense and moderation; but even
they declare to me, that they are pledged beyond the power of retracing
their steps.

I wish some of those who are such resolute chamber-counsellors had gone
through the two first days I did with these poor misguided men: it
would have been a lesson during life.

I thank God I have established, without any compromise or concession,
the authority of Government over men who had almost completely thrown
it off; and I am pleased at having done this in a manner that has led
those very deluded men to express gratitude for the consideration I
showed to their agitated feelings. I have referred every thing to the
wisdom of my superiors; and, happen what will, I can never have cause
for self-reproach.

Masulipatam, 8th July.


The only thing I have seen to-day, is a letter from the committee at
Jaulnah, intimating their approbation of their proceedings here, and
their resolution to march the moment it became necessary to support

I saw a private letter from Hyderabad, stating that it was the general
opinion and wish there, that Masulipatam should not be abandoned, and
that two battalions and a regiment of cavalry would be sent to support
the troops of this division. They consider themselves pledged to show
me all papers; and they do so: but the fact is, that it is a new and
important feature in this conspiracy, that they no longer think any
concealment necessary. Some measures must instantly be taken with
these deluded men, and Government must go as far, the first step, as
it ever can go, to try and reclaim them. If little expedients or half
measures are taken, all will be confusion and trouble. Depend upon
it, the first King's corps that is moved, the whole commences. Their
private correspondence with Bengal is now very active. I am personally
here going on smoothly and well, and lose not a moment in giving better
impressions: but though this may calm for the moment, and dispose them
to receive any thing like a considerate decision, it will never stop

P.S. Our little party of artillery is true; but it is the only party I
yet know that can be depended upon.

(_Most private._)
Masulipatam, 10th July.


I shall be glad to see Sir Arthur's papers. When I wrote to Sir George,
and proposed that he should, along with every decided step, make some
_reappointments_, I, of course, meant to include several that I did not
mention by name: but if this principle is acted upon, Government cannot
be too large in their first order: any _thing little_ will spoil all.
Gentlemen who lose by these arrangements, should be declared, in public
orders, to have the right of succession to the first vacancies.

There are more letters, advising Masulipatam to be kept: and in one
of to-day from the committee at Hyderabad, I find they are equally
public there in their proceedings; so I suppose you must have heard
from that quarter, no order for the movement of a corps in any of these
divisions will be obeyed, nor even the removal of an officer; so that
the necessity of some measures being adopted is quite indispensable.
Perhaps Sir George Barlow will wish to see me at Madras, with the
report of the committee; but this will be, perhaps, too great a delay.
Taylor or Irton should command this regiment.

I saw a letter from Hyderabad to-day, written under a conviction that
the Bengal army had taken up their cause. This, I have told them, is
one of a thousand dangerous errors into which they are led; but I do
not think they believe me, for they are completely infatuated.

Masulipatam, 17th July, 1809.


I have this moment received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay
of the 12th instant, from which I observe, that you deem it impolitic
to adopt any measures of the nature I suggested in my letters of the
5th and 6th July from this place. If I did not consider the present
as one of the most serious crises that ever this Empire was placed
in, I certainly should not again intrude myself upon your notice; but
I feel bold in the consciousness that I am performing a duty of the
most sacred nature; and you will, I am assured, pardon the earnestness
with which I solicit leave to be allowed to report to you personally
the result of the proceedings here, and of all I have seen or heard
connected with the general combinations in the army, as well as those
means by which I think it may be averted, or its objects (if it does
occur) in some degree defeated. It is quite impossible for me to convey
to you in any letter the extensive information I now possess upon this
subject; and I should only be four days in going to Madras, and could
return, if required, with equal celerity. Little time would be lost by
my making this journey; and I feel satisfied its result might be of the
utmost consequence to the public interest.

Major-General Pater will be here the day after to-morrow; and no
inconvenience would result from the want of a high military authority:
but I would not, of course, proceed, if he thought there was any urgent
call for my remaining here. But such a trip would, I am assured, tend
to calm, instead of irritating men's minds, as they would suppose I had
gone to make a full representation of all that had passed, all that I
have observed.

I entreat you to pay attention to this earnest request: and if you do
that, you will order Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay to station bearers as
far as Ongole. I shall lay them to that place, in the confidence that
your kindness will not deny me this opportunity of endeavouring to
promote the public interests by important communications.

I beg you will not conceive that I am so presumptuous as to hope to
change any of those principles you have laid down for the government of
your conduct: but I am convinced I can give a detailed information that
will be useful, under every aspect which the present danger may assume.

I am, with respect,
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)      J. MALCOLM.

Masulipatam, 18th July, 1809.


I wrote last night, to request you would allow me to post to Madras
with the proceedings of the committee, which I expect will be closed
about the time I get your answer. I am most solicitous that you
should comply with my request. There are circumstances connected with
what has taken place here, of a nature too delicate but for personal
explanation: and there are points not only relating to what is likely
to be done by the deluded officers of this army, but to measures which
Government may adopt to counteract their designs, that I feel satisfied
I could give you the most useful information.

Should any circumstances lead you to deny my request, I hope, if
you contemplate extreme measures, that you will early place me in
a situation where I am conscious I can, under all circumstances, be
useful on the largest scale to Government. I mean at my station of
Mysore. The army of that state is strong, and can be increased at a
moment to any number; and I hope you will consider that at its head
(should any serious misfortune occur) I am in my proper place. Here,
after I have executed the objects of my mission, (which I understand
to be, to prevent men rushing into open rebellion, and to make inquiry
into the causes and reasons of what had passed,) I am only a regimental
officer at the head of a corps, with the officers and men of which I
can have no more influence than any other commanding officer would
have. There is a general officer commanding on the spot, and the senior
officer in the division.

I have already done all it is possible to do in disseminating good
feeling among these deluded men; but they are lost to reason; and,
except one or two, and those of little influence, they appear (such is
their delirium) to desire the occurrence of that crisis which must end
in their ruin.

I entreat you not to think that it is from any doubt of the power of
Government that I am so anxious for some measure that will prevent the
evils that are impending: it is from a near contemplation of all the
horrors of the scene that is about to occur, and a conviction that both
humanity and policy require every effort to be made, to save a brave
and meritorious class of men from destruction.

If any path was opened by which men led away by a false sense of
honour could retrace their steps, I believe numbers would return to
Government. If nothing is done, and measures of a serious preparation
or actual coercion are taken, no human power can prevent the occurrence
of the most shocking scenes: and the name and reputation of this army
will, whatever is the event, be lost for ever.

You will, I am sure, make allowances for my feelings: they are
communicated only to you. I am distressed and unhappy to an extent I
cannot describe; but I, of course, maintain a different tone to those
infatuated men under my command, from whom I have not concealed my
sentiments with regard to the destruction they are bringing on their
own heads.

General Pater is expected to-morrow. It will now be his duty to report
the state of this garrison. I shall intrude no more upon this, or any
subject connected with it, until I have the honour of seeing you, which
I trust will be at an early period.

I remain
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

Masulipatam, 18th July, 1809.


I last night received your letter of the 12th instant, and am most
happy to learn that Sir George Barlow approves of my first proceedings.

I expect that Berkeley and Evans will be here the 21st or 22d; and
it is my decided opinion no investigation should be made till they
arrive. This inquiry must be considered by the whole army as a regular
military proceeding: and the impression made by the appointment of such
a committee would be lost, if I was to execute its duties: besides, the
delay is trifling. If Sir George adopts no measure which supersedes
the object of this committee, I should wish to be authorized to carry
the report to Madras. I will travel Dawk; and can, if required, return
in the same way. General Pater will be here; and Berkeley can, if
necessary, be appointed to the temporary command of the regiment;
if Taylor[73] is not brought down, _which I think he ought_, from
Vizagapatam. Believe me it is of the utmost consequence I should
personally communicate with Sir George Barlow upon the whole of this
important subject.

I am glad Sir George Barlow has placed it at my discretion to pardon,
if I thought it necessary, the non-commissioned and privates of this
garrison: but no circumstance short of an open attempt to throw off
my authority can ever lead me to think of such a step, as it would
immediately drive to despair the European commissioned officers, on
whose temper and moderation depends, at this moment, the allegiance of
almost all the officers of the Company's army on the coast: for _one
line_ from this garrison would, to my _positive knowledge_, at this
moment spread the flames of mutiny over the peninsula.

Under such circumstances, of what consequence would even a triumph
over a few officers at Masulipatam be, supposing that certain, unless
you were prepared for contest every where? I will never abandon my
authority, or fail in the performance of my duty; but I never shall
(_unless positively ordered_) take any step that I conceive likely to
involve my country in a civil war. Such an extreme it must be the wish
of Government to avoid as long as it possibly can. Nothing, indeed, can
justify its commencement, but the total failure of every possible means
to prevent its occurrence.

The present combination of the officers of the Company's army against
the Government has hardly a feature common with an ordinary military
mutiny; and therefore the principles that would apply to the one, are
by no means applicable to the other. It is not the reduction of a corps
or garrison to order and obedience, but the reclaiming a large body of
men to their attachment and allegiance to the state they serve, which
is the object; and this never can be done by partial measures, whether
these are of a lenient or a coercive nature.

I have no doubt but Government would ultimately triumph in the
contest, if it commenced this moment; but it would be a triumph over
its own strength: and the occurrence of such a rupture must produce
consequences that will shake our Indian Empire to its base.

From the progress of the present agitation I fear Government will
not have much time for consideration[74]: and it should always be
recollected, that in a crisis like the present every thing depends on
the moment at which measures are adopted; and the same act which would
be successful to-day, would perhaps totally fail of producing the
desired effect if adopted a month hence.

You will satisfy Sir George Barlow, that one of the first things I did,
after I came on shore, was to satisfy the minds of the officers, and,
through them, of the men, of the intentions of Government in ordering
a party of marines from the corps: and you will see by the enclosed
extract from my journal[75], that I took the first _good_ opportunity
that offered, of stating this fact in the most public and impressive
manner to the whole regiment.

I am most anxious to hear from Sir G. Barlow, subsequent to his receipt
of my letters of the 5th and 6th instant, as my mind is in a state
of the most distressing anxiety. I have, however, to support me, the
consciousness of having fulfilled my duty to him and to my country.

Yours ever sincerely,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

P.S. I am again ordered to Persia by Lord Minto. When will this life
have an end?

Masulipatam, 18th July, 1809.


A most violent letter was received from the committee at Hyderabad
yesterday, abusing the garrison for suffering me to enter, and desiring
my instant removal, unless I promised that the orders of the 1st of
May should be rescinded. I have had a dreadful struggle all day; but
they are at last moderated in some degree. Their present resolution
is, to wait two days; but as I mean to commence the inquiry to-morrow,
agreeable to the authority I have from Sir George, I trust they will
agree to-morrow to remain in their allegiance till the result is
known. I shall finish it in four days; and probably, if General Pater
acquiesces, carry it myself to Madras. I beg you will post boys as far
as Ongole. I shall return, if necessary, instantly; and I can lose
nothing by the journey: and the information I shall have it in my power
to give, will be of ultimate importance under every resolution Sir
George takes.

Yours ever, most truly,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

Masulipatam, 19th July.


I wrote a short note to Colonel Barclay last night, informing him
of the change that had taken place here, in consequence of the
communication received by the officers of the garrison from the
different committees of the other stations, and particularly that of
the Hyderabad force, in which they were instructed to call upon me
for an instant assurance that the orders of the 1st of May would be
rescinded: and, if I refused to give it, to throw off their allegiance
and obedience to Government; and they were assured their example would
be instantly followed by every corps in the service: and part of the
Hyderabad force was, they were told, ready to march to their support.
The ferment which the receipt of those letters occasioned is not to be

I sent for some of the senior officers, and communicated my sentiments
regarding the irretrievable step this garrison was on the point of
taking; and pointed out, in the strongest colours, all the horrors
to which it would lead. I told them I must proceed to do my duty
if I found any rash resolution was taken, and that it would prove
the commencement of the most horrid and unnatural contest that ever
occurred. The truth of my arguments were admitted by some of those
to whom I spoke; and their efforts, after a great struggle, calmed
the minds of the others so far, that they agreed to wait for six days
further. This, I stated, was nothing. It was, in fact, better to come
to issue at once. That it had been my intention to have proceeded (in
consequence of authority I had received from you) instantly into the
inquiry of past transactions; and that I had meant, if I had thought
there was no fear of this garrison throwing off its allegiance while
I was absent, to have gone to Madras, and made this report in person;
but, if their sentiments did not alter, I could not carry that
resolution into execution. They stated their belief that the officers
of the garrison of Masulipatam would be most reluctant to refuse assent
to any proposition of mine that did not go to detach them from that
general cause to which they had sworn to sacrifice their lives; and
that though they knew, from what had passed, that I would give them
neither promises nor pledges, nor even communicate my opinion of the
probable measures of Government, they hoped there would be no objection
to my proceeding; and a pledge would be given, that unless other parts
of the army moved, or threw off their allegiance, that the garrison
of Masulipatam would remain dutiful and obedient till I returned to
communicate the resolution of Government, or till that was intimated
through some other channel.

I have considered it of great importance to delay that open opposition
to which this garrison has been excited by every station in the army,
as I was certain, under whatever circumstances it might occur, it
would be the signal for the whole to throw off their obedience. The
garrison here is not more than 1,100 effective men (exclusive of the
artillery); and if an effort had been successful to detach the men
from their officers, who are, to a man, combined against Government,
it would not have prevented the explosion; it would but have increased
that despair and madness which are impelling men to these acts of
disobedience: and no partial benefit that could have arisen, would
have counterbalanced the general effect of this measure. Besides, I
cannot speak with confidence of the success of this attempt: the _men
even_ of this garrison have been already debauched from their duty;
and as it has been hitherto my object to reclaim the officers to their
allegiance, and at all events to delay the execution of their plans,
it was incompatible with the success of such a line of conduct to
attempt to sound their men, or to make any private efforts to shake
their attachment to their officers. Such attempts would have produced
an instant open mutiny: and this, for causes before stated, I was
anxious to avoid. Besides, such an expedient would have been baneful
to the service, and was not to be resorted to while a hope remained of
reclaiming the officers to a sense of their duty.

I hope these reasons will satisfy you of the wisdom of the part I have
taken; and you must see, that unless I wish to precipitate the general
revolt of the whole of the Company's army, I could not, if I remained
here and waited your answer to my report, take any steps with the men
to secure their fidelity: and I shall (if it is your wish I should)
return to this command with your final orders, as strong, and probably
stronger, in influence, (as coming direct from the seat of authority,)
as I should have been, had I remained till your answer was received.

There is little chance of any thing occurring when I am away, as most
stations look to this; and the result of your proceedings on the report
I make will be awaited. Thus the Government will gain time, which,
under every plan you can mean to pursue, must be an advantage to you,
and a disadvantage to those combined against your authority. Their
insanity is at this instant at its height; and every moment that action
is delayed, reason has a chance of operating. Besides, their committees
are likely to differ in opinions; and this is a proof of weakness some
of them already begin to discover.

I have not lost a moment, as I will show you by my journal, and letter
book, when I arrive, in disseminating correct sentiments, and in
exposing to them in the boldest manner the true nature of that deep
guilt on which they are rushing.

I have drawn their attention to a very different picture of the dangers
and ruin that will attend their perseverance in this course from what
they have hitherto contemplated; and though the proceedings have
brought a thousand calumnies upon my head, I know great effect has
been produced in the quarters where it is most essential; among the
senior and thinking part, whom it has been my object to rouse; as I am
satisfied, if extremes are resorted to, they will command the men.

When to all the reasons I have stated for my proceeding to Madras
immediately, (that is, in three or four days from this date,) is added
the advantage you may receive from the very extensive information I
can give you of the temper of the army, and of their general plans
of combination and action, I cannot but anticipate your approbation
of this step. At all events, you must be satisfied nothing but a
conscientious conviction of its being essential to the public interests
could have led me to take it without your previous sanction.

I am, with respect,
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

P.S. I have, since writing the above, seen some of the senior officers,
who assure me that they and their brother officers are as jealous
of my honour as they would be of their own; and that if I think it
necessary to go to Madras, they will pledge themselves for the orderly
and dutiful conduct of the whole till my return, unless in the very
unlikely case of other stations rising in arms, which they will do
every thing in their power to prevent, by representing to them the
pledge they have made, which they will assure them is voluntary, and
has been made without the slightest promise from me. I have, indeed,
cautiously avoided any communication that could lead them to believe I
entertained an opinion that Government would make any concession; and
the same language is held, in the private letters I have communicated
to them, with regard to the actual situation of the army at this moment.

I feel now much more assured of the continued subordination of this
garrison during the period of my absence than if I was present.

Masulipatam, 21st July, 1809.


An account has just arrived of the opposition of the 2d of the 10th
to obey the orders of Government. This has caused little sensation
in the garrison, and is not expected to be followed by any movement
at Hyderabad; and I feel confident now, that nothing but one of the
divisions marching will make this deluded garrison stir a step further.
I shall be with you on the 26th. I wish I could fly, as I am assured I
can give Sir George Barlow the most complete information regarding the
whole character of this wide disaffection.

Yours sincerely,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

  _Private Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM _to
  Lieutenant-Colonel_ MCLEOD, _dated Masulipatam, 20th July, 1809_.


I have received your kind letter of the 8th instant; but fear your
hopes of my success will be disappointed. The voice of passion is alone
heard; and every man that speaks with temper and reason is condemned
and calumniated.

The crisis, in fact, if not arrived, appears now near at hand, when
every officer in the Company's service must determine whether he will
maintain his allegiance to the Government he serves, to his King
and Country, or decidedly throw it off; and assuredly there is no
individual who claims a title to any spirit of independence, who will
not exercise his judgment upon a question which must so deeply involve
all his future prospects and happiness.

If ever there was a moment in which it was important for men to look
at those consequences which are likely to ensue from one step more in
their course, it is the present; and it is assuredly worth while to
pause for a moment, and examine coolly the nature of our grievances,
and the length we are justified in going to obtain redress of them, and
the probable consequences to ourselves and to our country of throwing
off our allegiance to the state.

There were accounts by the last dispatches that the existence of
grievances in this army was already a topic of public discussion.
General McDowall and Colonel Capper have no doubt arrived before this
in England, and they would be soon followed by Colonel St. Leger,
and the other suspended officers. Is it not evident, that, with all
the aggrieved parties in England, the public records which must be
transmitted there, and the voluminous private correspondence which
every ship, since those transactions took place, has carried home,
that every one of the topics of complaint will be a subject of warm
discussion; and will not the agitation they have created in the army
be brought fully forward? And have we not reason to conclude, from
all these circumstances, that an early settlement of these questions
will be made by those authorities, by whom they must at all events
be ultimately judged, unless this country should permanently throw
off its allegiance and obedience to England? As far as we can judge
from the past, there appears reason to anticipate a fair and liberal
decision from the controlling authorities at home, who have certainly
hitherto judged questions of this nature with great attention to both
the feelings and the interests of the Indian army. With this prospect,
can we be justified in resorting to such desperate extremes, because we
are discontented with the acts of a temporary local Government, and not
only involving ourselves in ruin, but injuring, in the deepest manner,
our country, at a moment when it is the duty of every man, who has a
spark of patriotism in his breast, to support her against the numerous
and powerful enemies by whom she is assailed.

But we proceed, it is said, in the certainty that Government must see
those evils, and that it will give way, in order to avert them; and
that, indeed, it has no power, if it wished, to oppose our spirited
and united demand of a full redress of grievances. Let us examine
those points. Government may see great evils in our resistance of
its authority, but it may perceive still greater in yielding to the
peremptory demands of an armed body confederated for the purpose of
intimidating it into concession. It is the extreme of the pressure,
in cases of this nature, which too often causes the resistance; and
as to its power of opposing any attack upon its authority, it is
perhaps much greater than we at this moment calculate. There can be no
doubt of the fidelity of all the King's troops to Government. It has
a large body, not less than ten thousand disciplined infantry, four
thousand horse, and sixteen thousand peons, belonging to the Mysore
Government, all perfectly at its devotion: and it will, whenever a
rupture takes place, gain, through the influence of some of the older
officers, many of the native battalions. It will raise more troops.
It will be compelled to promote officers from King's regiments; to
give commissions to serjeants; to raise young men at once to rank, and
reward with promotion all who leave their brother officers before a
certain date: after which, those in arms against its authority will be
proclaimed rebels; and their men, both Europeans and natives, tempted
to desert and betray them by every inducement and encouragement that
can be offered. All the means of Government, whatever they are, will
be organized and regular; and with such it will probably triumph: but,
alas! its triumph will be over its own strength. It will be in the
destruction of those who are its support and glory; and, as such, must
be ten times more mournful than the most signal defeat from a foreign

Let us view the other side. When men had once passed the Rubicon, and
commenced opposition to Government, what would be their plans? They
must be settled by distant and probably divided committees: and every
young officer would feel, in such a situation of affairs, a right to
examine the actions of his superiors: and could any man, under such
circumstances, when the chain of discipline was broken, rely on the
order and fidelity of his troops? What could be offered to induce them
to resist the temptations held out by Government? And if they did not
desist, would they be equal to encounter the army of the state? But
say they are superior; that they were led on to victory, and all our
mad passions were gratified: at what point would we arrive? Could we
expect our King and Country to receive us again into favour, when our
hands were red with the blood of British subjects, that we had led
and assisted the natives of India to shed? And could we expect those
natives would allow a few officers to continue their rule over them,
after they had been taught to contemn the authority and slaughter the
soldiers of the British Government? But it is stated, that we have
gone so far, that to retreat would be to expose ourselves to shame
and degradation. Gracious God! What an argument is this? Would men,
recollecting themselves on the verge of guilt, and stopping, under
the action of loyal and patriotic motives, in a career to which they
had been led by strong feelings of injury, be subject of reproach or
disgrace? Would it not raise their reputation higher than ever, and
entitle them to look for a redress of their grievances, with a proud
confidence, to that Country to which they had so strongly proved their
attachment? Could it fail of exciting feelings even in the local
Government, which must lead to those very conciliatory acts, which will
be in vain expected, if sought with the bayonet?

This is the picture which presents itself to my mind of the scene now
before us. I contemplate it with horror. And you may judge my present
feelings, when I declare to God, that though I must part with those of
my brother officers who are so deluded as to rush into an open warfare
with the Government they serve, and their Country, I shall, I am
satisfied, be happier if I fall by the first ball that is fired in this
horrid and unnatural contest, than if I lived to see it terminated.

I see no possible mode in which the impending evils can be averted,
but by the action of the good and loyal feelings of the majority of
the officers of the army; and of this action I do not yet despair. I
must, indeed, to the last continue to hope that this noble spirit will
show itself, and snatch us from the gulf of destruction. I am now busy
with an inquiry into past proceedings at this place, with the report
of which I shall proceed in a few days to Madras; and may God grant
my efforts may be useful in averting the shocking calamities that are

At all events, I shall have fulfilled my duty to my brother officers,
to Government, and to my Country; and that reflection will, under every
event, be a consolation during my existence.

I am yours sincerely,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

N. B. An extract from a letter from Hyderabad, dated the 12th of
August, 1809, from Lieutenant Watson of the artillery, to Major
Morrison, at Madras, will show the effect this letter produced among
the most violent at that station.

"In these troubled times it requires the full exercise of a man's
judgment upon a question which must so deeply involve all his future
prospects and happiness. Colonel Malcolm has written at this crisis a
very able and elegant letter, to which a liberal consideration, I am
happy to say, has been given."

And the following passage from a letter lately received from
Lieutenant Little, at Madras, conveys a testimony, which, though
probably exaggerated, is a strong corroboration of this fact.

"You may recollect, during the late unhappy disturbances at this
place, having wrote a long letter to Colonel McLeod, pointing out the
melancholy consequences that would finally ensue if the army continued
to persist in their opposition to Government. A copy of this letter was
sent to Captain Carfrae, at Hyderabad, and by him shown to the force;
the greatest part of whom, a short time afterwards, declared to Major
Agnew, that they were chiefly influenced by this letter to sign the
test of obedience to Government."


[69] I have not complete evidence of this fact.

[70] This chiefly alludes to the officers of the corps.

[71] This was afterwards discovered to be a forgery.

[72] I mean not in two or three weeks.

[73] Taylor is an excellent _steady_ officer, has great weight with the
regiment, (particularly the men); and _though_ he signed some papers,
is, I feel satisfied, true to his country and the Government.

[74] There are two distinct measures now in progress; one, _an appeal
to Bengal_; and the other, _a plan_ to obtain, by operation of a
combined nature, if they cannot by remonstrance, the repeal of the
orders of the 1st of May.

[75] I sent Colonel Barclay a copy of my speech to the regiment on the
15th of July; and yet _I am accused_ by the Government of Fort St.
George of not making this communication.

  No. II.

  _The_ JOURNAL _of Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM, _at Masulipatam,
  from the 4th to the 22d of July 1809_.

_4th July._ Landed from the Victor sloop of war at 10 o'clock A. M. Was
received by several officers, Major Storey, Captain Andrews, Captain
Cotgreve, and some others, at the pier-head. As I went in at the Fort
gate the European sentry stopped me, apparently to take my sword, but
was ordered to desist by one of the officers. As I went to Captain
Andrews' quarters I showed the orders appointing me to the command
of the regiment and the garrison, as well as those for the military
committee. Captain A. said he hoped I would not insist on taking the
command, in the situation affairs were then in. I said I must, and
desired the fort-adjutant to be sent for, to publish the orders. After
we arrived at Captain A.'s house we were joined by several officers.
Among others were Major Hazlewood, 24th, Captain Kelly of the 19th,
and Messrs. Forbes, Nixon, and Lieutenant Spankie, of the European
regiment. A long, desultory, and warm discussion took place, in which
I stated all those arguments that I thought could moderate their minds
and bring them to a better feeling. I particularly insisted on the
consequences that must attend any of those desperate measures they
had intended; and entreated them not to rush into a course which was
likely to be so ruinous to themselves, and to have such dangerous
consequence to their country at a moment when every man should feel
it his duty to die, rather than promote, by any act, the designs of
her numerous and implacable enemies. I called to their recollection,
that the inquiry that was instituted was quite of a military nature,
and such as they had themselves required; and that to oppose my
authority, or to object to this investigation, was at once to declare
war with Government. I added to this declaration an assurance, that
no proceeding that was not in consistence with military usage would
result from the investigation. Their answers were, for the first two
hours of this discussion, made under the strong influence of passion.
They had already, they said, taken their line: they knew they had gone
too far to retract; and they were certain of support from the whole
army, to whom they had pledged themselves. They had first expected,
they said, force would be employed; and their preparations had been
made in concert with the Hyderabad force to meet that emergency. They
could, they said, show me the plan. I replied, with great warmth, I did
not desire to see it. Such were my feelings, that I would not for the
world have the guilt of such knowledge upon my mind. They recounted
at great length, and with much heat, all the grievances they shared
with others, and those that particularly related to the European
regiment, which had been, they said, calumniated and stigmatized; one
officer removed, and another banished, without a hearing: and when
they remonstrated, they were told from head-quarters they _were to be
disbanded_: and, after this communication, they were driven to mutiny
by a large party (100 men) being ordered, professedly as a punishment,
to act as marines on board his Majesty's ships. I told them, I was
aware that much misrepresentation had taken place, and they might
have some reason to complain; but the merits of the case could never
be known without a full and temperate investigation: and it was on
that account the committee was ordered, _even before the Government
insisted on the marines embarking_[76]. They had therefore, as a body
of officers, their choice, either to recognise my authority and allow
this proceeding to take its course, or to place themselves at once
in opposition to Government: there was no medium. They wished me to
promise an amnesty for all that had been done here; or, at least, that
I would recommend one. I said I would do neither; I would do my duty,
and what I was ordered. I had thought it, I added, no departure from
my duty to speak to them in the manner I had done, and should be happy
if any thing I had said brought them to reason and reflection. They
retired to another room; and I was informed by Major Hazlewood, that I
had wrought such a change in them, that he hoped they would abandon the
violent resolution they had taken.

They soon returned, and said they had done so, and submitted to my
authority. Government had, they said, by the act of selecting me,
taken the only step that could have stopped for an instant the course
of operations which they, in concert with the whole of the Company's
army, had resolved instantly to commence, in order to obtain redress
of their intolerable grievances: and they desired me to understand,
that it was consideration for a brother officer, who held that high
place in their esteem, which he did in that of the whole army, that
induced them to lay aside for the present all their schemes, and
to yield him their obedience: and, as a proof of the truth of this
sentiment, they declared I was the only officer of rank in India they
would have admitted into the garrison; and that it had been resolved
to have shut the gates on the Commander-in-Chief, had he arrived, as
was once expected. I was too well satisfied with the substance of
their submission to authority, to quarrel about the form of it. I
instantly ordered the sentries to be taken off Lieutenant-Colonel
Innes, and waited upon that officer, who I found (as was to be
expected) much irritated at what had occurred: but I discovered, from
his communications, too much cause for those excesses that had taken
place. He is, I make no doubt, a good and a conscientious man; but
his imprudence, combined with the impressions he brought from Madras,
and the unguarded private communications he has since received, and
made public, from a very high authority, were calculated to goad men
into mutiny in common times, and could not fail of producing that
effect at a moment like the present, when the whole of the Company's
army is in a state of open disaffection to Government. I explained to
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes the reasons that had led to my appointment,
and advised him to be moderate and guarded, which he promised me he

I dined this evening with the mess of the regiment. There were a great
number of gentlemen of other corps present. Their usual toast of "the
friends of the army" was given with three times three, and I joined in
it, with an observation, "that it was a very general toast, as I was
assured it included most men both in India and England." After we had
sat some time, and had a number of songs, a gentleman sung a sea-song,
in which the expression "common cause" was frequently repeated. This
was caught at by some of the younger officers, who were heated; and,
at their motion, the whole rose to drink the "common cause." As I
could not mistake the meaning they attached to this toast, I felt for
a moment embarrassed, but, rising and filling a bumper, I immediately
repeated, in as loud and as warm a manner as I could, "_the common
cause of our Country_;" and my amendment was received and drank with
acclamation. I soon afterwards left their table, and heard, as I
retired, my health toasted with three times three. Thus closed the most
anxious day I ever passed in my life. May my efforts be successful in
reclaiming these men from the errors into which they have plunged!

_5th July._ I had a visit from several of the gentlemen I saw
yesterday, at Mr. Savage's Gardens, (my place of residence). They seem
yet to be uneasy and unsettled in their minds. They showed me several
papers from different stations in the army, by most of which they were
called upon to act instantly, and with a decided spirit: the strongest
assurances given them of support and co-operation. Arrack for the
Europeans had, I found, been sent to Gundoor, the first march towards
Hyderabad; and every thing was prepared to move as to-day. They again
repeated their wish for some general assurance of not suffering for
what had passed; and this was accompanied by some hints on the line
they might be forced to pursue regarding me; though they expressed
the concern with, which they would have resort to such an extreme. I
smiled, and said, they could not expect, from the knowledge they had of
my character, that any motive on earth would ever induce me to deceive
them, or to evade my duty; that to give them a promise of amnesty that
I was not authorized to give them, would be deceit; and to be deterred
from doing what I conscientiously thought my duty, from any fear of
consequences, was, they must be satisfied, altogether unworthy of that
reputation I had hitherto supported. They went away (after showing
me some further papers, which they had just received, of the same
character I had seen before) apparently satisfied with my answer. They
communicated to me a report that had been drawn out of my conversation
of yesterday, which they meant, they said, to send to Hyderabad, &c.
and begged I would correct it, lest they should have misstated any of
my observations. I thanked them for their candour, and corrected the
paper; the circulation of which appeared to me calculated to do good.

The senior officers in this garrison are impelled to throw off their
allegiance from a consciousness of having already gone too far, and
seeing their only hope of individual safety in all being equally
involved in the deepest guilt; while their juniors are flattered by the
importance which they obtain in times of anarchy and trouble, and see
nothing but distinction in being the first to step forward in what they
deem the general cause of the army. I have written Sir G. Barlow my
full sentiments on the present unprecedented and alarming situation of

_6th July._ I went into the Fort to-day, and saw the regiment under
arms. I also visited the hospital and barracks. I had afterwards a
long and serious conversation with an officer (A.), who spoke not his
own sentiments, he said, but those of the garrison, when he entreated
from me a pledge that I would not oppose any proceedings this garrison
might feel itself forced to take, in co-operation with other parts of
the army. I smiled at this proposition, which, as I told the gentleman,
required a concession which it was altogether unworthy of me to make;
and that the gentlemen who had desired him to make it would be sensible
that it was so, if they gave it a second thought. I added, "I shall,
however, put your minds at rest, if you will put mine." I will take
no step relative to the officers of this garrison, except in a fair,
open, manly manner; and I expect, in return, they will make no secret
attempts, or underhand efforts, to injure or oppose my authority. He
went away, after assuring me that he was convinced what I had stated
would give satisfaction, and that the officers under my command
would be solicitous to show me they were deserving of that temper
and consideration with which I treated them. I spoke to a number of
officers to-day, and circulated a number of my private letters among
them. This mark of confidence would, I knew, please; and the sentiments
expressed in these papers were calculated to bring them back to reason
and reflection. I wrote again fully to Sir George Barlow.

_7th July._ I went early into the Fort. From conversations I had with
several officers, I found that I had succeeded in my efforts to
restore the temper of the garrison; that they felt grateful for the
moderation which I had shown; and some were sorry they had been so
warm in their expressions at their first interview. I saw this day
a communication from Hyderabad, and one from Jaulnah; both of which
forces were prepared to support the garrison in the event of their
acting in opposition to Government.

_8th July._ Nothing particular occurred this day. Some further
communications from the westward were shown to me; one of which
strongly recommended Masulipatam being kept, and not abandoned; and
a force of two battalions of sepoys and one regiment of cavalry were
promised to support the garrison, and the corps of the district, all of
whom they appeared to think would join. I entered at great length this
day into the whole subject with M. H., who, I knew, was in intimate
communication with all the senior officers, and had some influence
even with the junior. I pointed out to this officer what must be the
consequence of the whole or any part of the Company's army plunging
down that precipice, on the brink of which they were now standing.
I exposed the falseness of that confidence on which numbers were
proceeding; how they would be deserted by their brethren and their
men, when Government was compelled to declare them in rebellion. I
pointed out how wretched their means, how unconnected their plans; and
demanded, if even they had double the numbers, if he thought, after the
chain of discipline was once broken, and when they were commanded by
committees, and every boy thought he possessed the right to question
the authority of his superior, whether it was possible to oppose
the organized army that must, under all circumstances, remain with
Government, and which must every day gain strength from their ranks?
The whole of the king's army was, I said, decidedly with Government:
and if the last step was taken, many of the Company's officers, and
those probably who had the most influence with the native troops, would
range on the side of authority. I knew this, I said, to be fact,
because I had letters, fully expressive of their sentiments, from some
of the best and most popular officers in the army. I was myself, I
said, of that opinion, and proud to state it. I had been in this army
since I was twelve years of age; and such was my regard for my brother
officers, that I would give my life to see the present unfortunate
disputes happily adjusted: but if any circumstances whatever led these
officers to rise in rebellion against their King and Country, and such
they would do the moment they threw off their allegiance to the legal
constituted authority in India, I must stand in the opposite rank:
and I was convinced so many would be found of the same sentiments,
that Government must triumph, though I allowed such a triumph would
be one over its own strength, and consequently more mournful than
the most signal defeat from a foreign enemy. I added, that I would,
for the sake of argument, suppose, what I conceived impossible, that
Government was destroyed in the conflict, what would be the consequence
of this victory to a few officers who had led the natives of India to
the murder of their countrymen and to the destruction of the British
Government? Would these natives allow them to live and rule over them?
Or would they not be tempted to practise, for the last time, the lesson
they had been taught, and get rid at once of a race whose rule they
had been taught to consider as oppressive and tyrannical? Supposing
they did not, would the King and people of England be ready to make
peace with men whose hands were red with the blood of their countrymen?
Would they not rather, if they did not abandon this quarter of India
altogether, attempt its reconquest? And to what consequence would that
lead? You say, I added, that your grievances are intolerable, and that
if you abandon your attempts to obtain redress the coast army will be
disgraced, while, if you persist with firmness and spirit, Government
(which must be aware of all the consequences I have stated) must give
way. To this I answer: No grievances of the description this army now
has, can warrant its having recourse to arms, because they are such
as must come under the cognizance of the controlling and legislative
authorities in England, who are alone competent to notice and redress
them: and this army, so far from being degraded by a moderate
proceeding at a moment like the present, would raise its reputation
higher than ever; because it would prove to all the world that it
possessed a spirit of the highest loyalty and patriotism; and that when
a variety of circumstances had combined to throw it into a flame, the
action of these feelings had subdued every other, and it was contented
rather to suffer, till the superior authorities in England could judge
all those questions on which it thought itself aggrieved, than endanger
the general interest of the country. Would such sentiments, I asked,
redound to the disgrace or to the honour of this army? With respect,
I observed, to the probability of Government giving way, if assailed
with unanimity, firmness, and spirit, there was, I feared, a great
and dangerous error. Government could not give way, as it was termed,
beyond a certain point, without destroying itself; and it had better
fall by any hands than its own. It was the very pressure, I added, that
was brought against it, that forced it to resistance: and, besides,
what were the points which it was required to yield? In the present
agitated period of the army, every committee, every individual, had a
different opinion; and if it were possible to collect the general sense
of the army, I believe, in their present irritated state, concessions
would be required that would amount to the virtual abolition of the
existing local Government of this Presidency. It was no doubt, I
observed, the duty of Government to take every step that it could take
with dignity to restore temper, and to compose men's minds; but I, for
one, would never blame it for refusing its consent to its own death;
and such I should consider any act that made a substantial sacrifice
of its strength or authority. From the answer of the gentleman to whom
these observations were made, I could perceive that he and many others
had been led on from step to step, without contemplating the extreme
which was now so likely. It was also evident that the younger part of
the army were no longer manageable: they had run away with the rest,
who considered themselves too deeply pledged to retreat; and they
appeared afraid of the instant obloquy that was cast on every person
who withdrew himself.

_9th July._ As this was Sunday I went to a dressed parade of the
regiment, and afterwards visited the hospital and barracks. Nothing
particular occurred to-day: all the officers I saw seemed to have
returned to good temper; and I can have no fear of this garrison
breaking out into any extreme unless the example is given by other
parts of the army.

_10th July._ I went early into the Fort. A singular instance occurred
to-day, to show how little men reflect whose minds are in a state
of agitation. I was told, before I went to the Fort, that accounts
had been received of every thing in Madras being in a state of
confusion, and that some great event had happened there. When in the
Fort, the letter that gave rise to this belief was shown me. It was
dated Hyderabad the 5th July; and said a letter had that moment been
received from Madras reporting the confusion which had arisen at that
place; and stating that his correspondent, no doubt, "had heard of the
remarkable event that had occurred to give rise to it." The moment I
saw this communication I pointed out the date; and observed it was
an evident allusion to what had occurred at Masulipatam on the 25th
June, which had reached Madras the 30th; and the bustle it created
had been termed confusion, and sent round again, _via_ Hyderabad, to
Masulipatam. This was so clearly the fact, that the only astonishment
that was left, was how it had not struck somebody before. By letters
from Hyderabad it appears they make no secret of their proceedings.
One corresponding officer writes, who says he had received a most
extraordinary communication, from good authority, that the officers
of the Bengal army had sent in a Memorial to Lord Minto, praying the
removal of Sir G. H. Barlow. I laughed at this unfounded assertion,
and assured the person who told me, it was one of a thousand reports
circulated to inflame their feelings and mislead their judgment. They
have received great confidence from the address of the Bombay army[77],
which promises their warmest support in any measures they may take in
consequence of what they deem the unjust and arbitrary order of the 1st
of May.

By a letter from the committee at Hyderabad received to-day, this
garrison are advised to defend Masulipatam if they can. A junction
is proposed at Ongole or Condapilly. From the former station being
mentioned, it would appear as if a forward movement upon Madras had
been contemplated by some of the most violent.

_11th July._ I was with the officers of the regiment almost all this
day, and dined at the mess, of which I have become a member. Our dinner
was pleasant, and like that of a private party of gentlemen. I have
been particularly pleased to observe, that although they communicate
to me in confidence when I require it, no officer of the garrison ever
begins, when I am present, any conversation on the present situation
of the army; and when I speak to them upon it (as I frequently do),
they are much more moderate than they were. I have seen some of the
principal natives of this place, and find the events of the 25th
ultimo caused a very serious alarm, which was not dissipated before my
arrival. The defenceless inhabitants ascribe more influence to me than
I possess, and think nothing wrong can occur as long as I remain.

_12th July._ Very severe rains. I did not go into the Fort, and heard
nothing of consequence from any quarter.

_13th July._ Went into the Fort, inquired particularly from the
adjutant of the regiment, and found, from his report, that the privates
not only conceived they were to be dispersed and disbanded when the
order came for them to go as marines, but a report was even current in
the barracks, that they were going to Botany Bay. They were, he assured
me, now fully satisfied of the misrepresentations that had been made
to them; and he believed no discontent remained in the corps excepting
that which had long existed among the men enlisted for life; and which,
they had hopes, would have been altered before this, as Captain Andrews
had published an order, more than a twelvemonth ago, with a view of
quieting their minds; in which he stated, that Government had referred
the question to England. I desired Mr. Nixon to tell the sergeants that
I should inquire into this point, and do any thing in my power towards
obtaining them information of what had been done upon the subject.

_14th July._ I this morning inspected Captain Gibson's company of
artillery, and was highly pleased with their appearance. I addressed
them on parade, and told them the gratification I had received
from their steadiness under arms, and correct movements; adding my
conviction, that they would maintain, under all circumstances, the
high reputation they had acquired during the late Mahratta war. No
tappal[78] for the last three days, owing to the rain.

_15th July._ A regimental court martial sat yesterday on four men, and
the regiment was under arms at half past six, to see the sentences
carried into execution. I judged this a favourable opportunity of
addressing the corps; and, after the crimes and sentences of the
prisoners had been read, I made the following short speech:

"Regiment! As this is the first time I have met you upon such an
occasion, I forgive these men: but I desire you will not mistake the
motives of this act of lenity. It is my intention, as it is my duty, to
enforce the strictest discipline: and I must punish those that merit
it, not only to maintain the character of the corps, but to enable
me to grant indulgences to the good men of it, which I never can do
unless I punish the bad: but I trust, from what I have seen of your
conduct, I shall have little occasion to exercise severity. It is,
indeed, you must all feel, most incumbent upon you to preserve the
utmost regularity and order at the present period. A late occurrence
in the regiment, which has, I am satisfied, been solely produced by
misapprehension and misrepresentation, is on the point of becoming a
subject of investigation before a military court, who will inquire into
the causes by which it was produced. I shall therefore say nothing
on that subject: but I consider it my duty to declare to you at this
moment[79], _that it never was in the contemplation of Government to
disband or disperse this corps, and that it never meant to employ any
officer or man of_ the regiment in any manner or upon any service but
such as was suited to the honour and character of British soldiers,
and which it, of course, conceived both officers and men would be
forward to proceed upon. It was, soldiers, from a full conviction
that a serious misunderstanding alone of the intentions of Government
could have caused what has passed, that made me receive with pride and
gratification my nomination to the command of this regiment: and I am
convinced, from what I have already seen, that I shall (whenever I quit
that station) have to make a report which will add, if possible, to the
high reputation which the corps already enjoys; and satisfy all, that
as it is the first in rank of the infantry of this establishment, it is
also first in fidelity, loyalty, and attachment to the Government it
serves, and to its King and Country."

This address appeared to be received by both officers and men of the
corps with satisfaction; and I make no doubt of its effect. I was
withheld, by many and serious considerations, from haranguing the men,
or publishing any explanatory order to them, on my first arrival.
Such would, in the agitated state of the whole garrison, have been
completely misconstrued, and would probably have produced the very
opposite effect from what was intended.

_16th July._ I dined yesterday with the mess of the 1st battalion 19th
regiment N. I., and sat till a late hour. No toasts were given; and not
a word relating to the present situation of affairs escaped the lips of
any man present. I could not but be pleased with such good feeling, and
felt gratified at this mark of personal respect. The evening passed in
the utmost hilarity and good humour.

_17th July._ Some of the officers of the garrison waited upon me
to-day with letters of a most violent tenor that they had received
from Hyderabad and other stations, in which they were reproached with
weakness for having admitted me. I was described in some of these
letters as a consummate politician, and consequently as the most
dangerous man Government could have sent among them. The garrison
were told I would _tamper with their men, cajole them_, and in the
end ruin the general cause. I was happy to find the sentiments of the
gentlemen who waited upon me were not in unison with those of their
correspondents; but they hinted their fears of the violence of the
younger officers of the garrison, who, they said, had been hurt at the
speech I made to the men on the 15th, which they thought was calculated
to excite the men against their officers. I appealed to an old officer
of the regiment, who was present, Whether he thought the speech had
any such tendency? He said it certainly had not struck him as in the
least objectionable. I observed, that the testimony of an officer like
him should satisfy others; and if it did not, I could not help it;
for in such times a man could not put his foot over the threshhold
without a misconstruction of the manner in which it was done. The
officers who waited on me this day gave me a paper, the purport of
which was to learn what assurances I could give them of a disposition
of the Government of Madras to redress their grievances; and, in the
event of my declining, to inform them what I thought the intentions of
Government were. It was signified, that if I did not, the confidence
of the garrison would be withdrawn from me, and they would consider
themselves released from all promises they made. I told them I could
make no communication of the nature they required, and that they might
act as they thought proper: I should, under all circumstances, do my
duty to the Government I served.

_18th July._ This morning M. H. waited upon me, and showed me a
communication from the established committee at Hyderabad to this
garrison, which called upon them to demand from me an assurance that
the orders of the 1st of May would be repealed; and, if that was
refused, instructed them to throw off the authority of Government,
and make me leave Masulipatam. I went over all the grounds I had
done before with this officer; and told him, that if the garrison
was so lost to all sense of duty and propriety as to act upon this
instruction, I must judge for myself, and take those steps which the
emergency demanded. He said, the senior officers, who had sent him,
were not disposed to attend to the call made upon them by the Hyderabad
Committee; but they, he added, had now little or no control over their
juniors, who were decidedly for having recourse to immediate violence.
I asked him to what lengths men (who had still some reflection) meant
to allow themselves to be borne away with the tide? The hour, I added,
was come, when they must decide. I then pointed out the ground on which
I thought they might, without injury to their honour, make a stand, and
rescue the deluded young men of the army, as well as themselves, from
destruction. I expressed my conviction of the men remaining with the
senior officers, and that the young men must be reclaimed to reason,
or at least be prevented from becoming rebels, if those who were their
seniors acted with a becoming spirit. This conference lasted two hours,
and M. H. went to communicate with the rest. There was, I understood,
a warm discussion for several hours; after which, two of the senior
officers waited upon me, and said they had with difficulty prevented
the rest from coming to extremes that day; but they had at last
agreed to wait six days (till the 24th), when, if they heard nothing
favourable to their hopes, they meant to take such steps as they
thought calculated to forward the objects they had in view. They at the
same time said they had, in consequence of the opinion of their brother
officers at other stations, determined to admit no investigation into
their past conduct. I observed, that if these were their resolutions
we must come to issue at once, and I must take those steps I judged
best to counteract their measures, as I considered their proposition of
adhering to their duty for a limited period of six days, was nothing
less than an open defiance; and their refusal to admit investigation
was a measure of the same stamp. I had meant, I said, in conformity
with authority I had received from Government, to have entered into
the investigation immediately (before the arrival of my colleagues);
and I had entertained an intention of proceeding to Madras with the
report, in the conviction that this garrison would have remained steady
in its duty: but I must now, I added, abandon all such plans, and meet
with that firmness which it was my duty to meet it, that dreadful
emergency which this garrison had so rashly precipitated. I then read
them a letter to Colonel McLeod[80], pointing out all the horrors of
the crisis to which they were rushing. They appeared forcibly struck
with what I said and read, and expressed their hope that their brother
officers would alter their resolution, and not impede the course of
proceeding which I intended to pursue. It might, they said, afford some
ray of hope of the present distractions being ended; for though they
knew my sentiments differed widely from theirs, and that I was devoted
to my duty to Government, they were also sensible that I had warm
feeling for the situation of my brother officers. I went, immediately
after this interview, to dine at the mess of the regiment, and (strange
inconsistency!) received every mark of respect and kindness from men
who had been debating all the morning whether they should enter into a
contest with me for the authority of the garrison!

_19th July._ I went into the Fort early this morning, and called upon
Colonel Innes to give me a full statement of all that had passed
relative to the origin of those discontents that terminated in the
mutiny of the 25th ultimo[81]. I also called upon Major Storey, Captain
Andrews, and Mr. Nixon, the adjutant of the regiment, to give me every
information they had relative to these transactions. I was waited
upon, soon after I went to the Fort, by two of the senior officers,
who were, they said, desired by all to state that a general confidence
and respect for my character had induced the garrison to change their
resolutions, and that they hoped I would follow the course of inquiry
I intended; and, after making the investigation, proceed, if I thought
it advisable, to Madras. They would, they said, during my absence be
as jealous of my honour as of their own, and promise not to depart in
the slightest degree from the path of duty and order, unless a rise in
other stations was to take place; of which, they said, they thought
there was no probability, particularly as they would write to inform
them of the pledge they had made, and entreat them not to make any call
upon them before my return to my command. I told them I felt obliged by
this mark of their regard and confidence; but I would not receive it,
if I thought it was made under any idea or expectation that I would be
the advocate of their cause, or that of the army. They disclaimed any
such idea. I would, they knew, from what they had seen, do my duty in
the manner I thought best. I was gratified with the pledge I received;
which, as M. H. afterwards privately observed, gave me a stronger tie
on the officers while I was absent than I could have had during the
same period, if present. The reasons which led me to resolve on going
to Madras were fully stated to Sir George Barlow in a letter under this

Accounts were received this evening of the assembly of a force at
Madras. I anticipated the feeling this would make, and stated to an
officer present, when I received the letter, my conviction, that it
was in consequence of the many, and perhaps exaggerated, reports of
intended mutinies that had been consequent to that of Masulipatam.

_20th July._ General Pater arrived. I went to meet him, gave him a
return of the garrison, and made a full and confidential report of all
past proceedings. I found that the officers of standing, to whom I had
spoken so much on the danger of allowing young men to take such a lead
in the present discussions, had taken advantage of the good disposition
of the moment, as to carry a resolution, that the garrison committee,
which were mobbish meetings of the whole of the officers, should be
abolished, and the proceedings to be entirely carried on by the eleven
senior officers, by whose judgment all questions were in future to be
decided, and who were entirely to act for themselves, and not to follow
the instructions of other committees, or be influenced by the voice of
any person not a member of the committee. This measure I considered as
the first great step towards a return to reason and temper. I received
an invitation from the garrison to dine with them on the 22d. All the
gentlemen, civil and military, were invited to meet.

_21st July._ All was quiet. I received this day the most unequivocal
proofs of the desire of some of the senior officers to return to the
right path, if furnished with any ground on which they could absolve
themselves from the deep pledges they had made, and assert their right
to control their juniors.

_22d July._ General Pater looked at the regiment on parade, and
afterwards went, accompanied by his staff, to breakfast with
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes.

Captain Gibson of the artillery informed me, that though he had
received his leave to go to Madras, he would remain, if I advised him,
at Masulipatam. I spoke with General Pater; and it was his opinion,
as it was mine, that Captain Gibson should proceed. If he had been
ordered to stay after his leave was made public, it would have excited
suspicion, without any adequate benefit. Whether conciliatory or
coercive measures were adopted, Captain Moorhouse, who succeeded to
the command of the company of artillery, appeared equally, if not
better, suited to the charge at that crisis. He was a brave, excellent
officer, and had never for a moment even swerved from his duty; and his
character was respected even by the most violent of the disaffected.
Captain Gibson, on the contrary, having for a short time joined in
their schemes, had, when he (very meritoriously) checked himself in his
career of guilt, been considered a deserter from their cause, and had
become an object of their marked hatred and resentment. General Pater
dined with the officers of the garrison; and the best feeling possible
was shown at this entertainment. After dinner I proceeded by post to



[76] This was in accordance with the instructions I had received, and
most assuredly marks the character of the proceeding. Yet it has been
stated, I was immediately, _before investigation_, to seize the persons
of the principal offenders.

[77] This was afterwards discovered to be a fabrication.

[78] Post.

[79] I had watched an opportunity of making this communication in the
manner I thought would have most effect. I am accused by the Government
of Fort St. George of never having made it.

[80] Vide page 149.

[81] I had received authority to proceed (without waiting for my
colleagues) in this inquiry. Lieutenant-Colonel Berkeley had, indeed,
been prevented from attending by a severe illness.

  No. III.


  Fort St. George.

I have this day transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief of the forces
an account of the inquiry into the proceedings of the officers at
Masulipatam, previous to my assuming the command at that station. I
now consider it my duty to report every event that occurred during my
command of that garrison. It is, however, essential to my own character
and to the information of Government, that I should state the peculiar
circumstances under which I proceeded on this duty, as well as the
impressions which existed at that moment on my mind, respecting your
intentions not only regarding the garrison of Masulipatam, but the
whole army; as it is with reference to those impressions alone that my
conduct in the discharge of this delicate and important duty can be

I received a message to attend at your Gardens on the 1st July; and
was informed, when I arrived there, of the mutiny which had occurred
at Masulipatam, and of an improper and disrespectful remonstrance
which you had that day received from the Company's officers of the
subsidiary force in the Deckan. You did me the honour to ask my opinion
on both subjects; and I suggested, that an officer of rank should be
immediately ordered to Masulipatam, to inquire into, and report upon,
the proceedings of the officers of that garrison; and that a letter
should be written to the commanding officers of the subsidiary forces
at Hyderabad and Jaulnah, informing them of your having received, with
regret and disapprobation, a Memorial from the officers under their
command, soliciting that you should rescind the orders of the 1st of
May; and pointing out, in the most forcible manner, the dangerous
tendency of such addresses, and the total impossibility of complying
with their request; and directing the commanding officers to call
upon the officers under their command to reflect upon the serious
consequences which a perseverance in such measures must produce.

After some discussion regarding the officer it would be proper to
nominate to the command of the European regiment and the garrison
of Masulipatam, I offered to proceed myself upon that service; and
you accepted my offer with an apparent confidence in my success, of
which I could not but be proud. The emergency gave no time for the
preparation of instructions, and I was immediately appointed to command
the garrison of Masulipatam and the Madras European regiment; while two
respectable officers, Lieutenant-Colonel W. Berkeley and Major Evans,
were nominated to act with me, as members of a military committee that
was directed to investigate the conduct of the garrison.

I was repeatedly assured by you, at the last interview with which I was
honoured, that you committed the dignity and interests of Government
(as far as those were implicated on this occasion) into my hands with
perfect confidence, and that you gave me the fullest latitude of
action: adding, that I was fully acquainted with your sentiments upon
the whole subject of the existing discontents among the officers of the
Company's army. I certainly was, from the confidence with which you had
honoured me, fully aware of your sentiments. I knew that you were most
solicitous to allay the ferment that had arisen in the army, and that
you were at that moment resolved to use every means in your power to
effect that object, but such as you deemed derogatory to the honour and
dignity of the Government with which you were charged. You regarded,
I knew, the occurrence of a rupture between the state and any part of
its army, one of the most desperate evils that could arise, and thought
every moment that such an event was delayed was of ultimate importance,
as it gave time for reflection and the action of better feeling, and
strengthened the hope that deluded men might yet return to that path of
duty and good order from which they had so widely departed.

The act of my appointment to Masulipatam of itself proclaimed these
sentiments; and I was confirmed in them from the approbation you gave
to my suggestion regarding the mode of treating the Memorial you had
received from the officers of the subsidiary force, which you desired
I would put into the form of a letter, and send to you; which I did,
through the medium of your military secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel
Barclay. Impressed with these sentiments, I sailed for Masulipatam
early on the morning of the 2d of July, and arrived there on the
4th. I found the officers of that garrison in a state of open and
bold mutiny against Government, with every thing prepared to march
towards Hyderabad, to effect a junction with the subsidiary force at
that place, by whom they had been promised complete support in the
opposition they had commenced to the authority of Government. The
most violent among the officers of the garrison saw, in recognising
my authority, a complete suspension, if not a total discomfiture, of
their plans, and argued loudly against my being acknowledged: and
it was not till after a discussion of near five hours that I was
enabled to bring these deluded men to a sense of all the perils of
their situation, and of the consequences that must ensue from their
throwing off their allegiance to the state. They at last were subdued
by the force of reason; for no other means were used, as I thought it
equally my duty to avoid any promise of amnesty for the past, or of
consideration for the future: and they, after repeated and fruitless
trials, desisted from all applications upon these points. A repetition
of the discussions which occurred at this scene (accompanied, however,
with less violence) took place next day: after which, the question of
disputing my authority was abandoned.

I was happy to find, by a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, under
date 12th July, that the mode as well as substance of the proceedings
that I adopted on my arrival at Masulipatam was honoured with your
entire approbation.

I took every opportunity of mixing with the officers of the garrison,
and circulated among them a variety of letters, which I had written
with a view of reclaiming the more violent of my brother officers
to better feelings and better sentiments; and I found that my
conversation, and the perusal of these papers, had soon a very visible
effect; and that though they continued to share the general proceedings
of the army, they no longer (as they had done before my arrival)
thought it incumbent upon them to take the lead in an insurrection
against Government, though they were excited to that measure by the
most violent letters from almost every station in the army, and were
also impelled to it by their own sense of danger from what had passed,
which they thought would be greatly diminished when the majority of the
officers of the army were sharers in the general guilt. I considered,
that by effecting this change in the temper of the garrison of
Masulipatam, one of the chief objects which you had in contemplation
when you sent me to that garrison, was accomplished. The rupture which
had recurred, and which was likely to be followed by an insurrection
of a great part of the officers of the army, had been arrested in
its progress, without the slightest sacrifice of the authority, or
compromise of the dignity, of the state; and time was gained, which,
under every view that could be taken of the subject, appeared of the
greatest advantage to Government.

The first serious interruption to this progressive improvement of good
feeling among the officers of the garrison of Masulipatam, was caused
by a letter from an established committee at Hyderabad, which reached
that garrison on the 18th July. This letter, which, like all other
papers of a similar tendency, was shown to me, reproached the officers
at Masulipatam with want of wisdom in having admitted me to assume the
command of the garrison. The committee desired they would instantly
demand from me an assurance that the order of the 1st of May would be
rescinded; and, if I refused it, recommended that measures should be
immediately taken to oblige me to quit Masulipatam. A paper of demands,
which the Hyderabad committee termed their _Ultimatum_, and which
they said they intended to forward to Government, accompanied this
letter. These papers were shown to me by an officer of some rank and
influence, with whom I was in the habit of confidential intercourse. He
told me the senior officers of the garrison were far from approving of
the sentiments of the Hyderabad committee, but much was to be feared
from the violence of the juniors. I took this occasion of exposing
all the fallacy of the grounds on which they were proceeding, and of
impressing, in the most forcible language I could, the dangers into
which many of the officers of the Company's army were precipitately
rushing. As the substance of the communication I made to this officer
was afterwards circulated in the form of a letter, I enclose an extract
from my journal, in which it was immediately entered: and this extract
will show you the nature of those arguments I used to reclaim men from
their deep delusion. This communication had evidently a great effect
upon the person to whom it was addressed; and he promised me he would
not only communicate my sentiments to some of the most reflecting
among the officers of the garrison, and obtain, through their means,
the rejection of the proposals from Hyderabad, but would endeavour,
in concert with them, to effect an arrangement that would exclude the
younger part of the officers from any right of deliberation on the
questions with which the army was now agitated; which I agreed with him
would be a point of the greatest importance, and the first step towards
a final settlement of existing evils.

All these measures were happily effected. An answer was sent to
Hyderabad, that the officers of Masulipatam must assert their right
of judging for themselves, and that they could not comply with their
demand regarding me; and the garrison committees, which were mobbish
meetings of the whole of the officers, were dissolved, and all future
proceedings entrusted to a few of the senior officers, who were (it
was agreed) not to be influenced either by the opinions of other
committees, or by the opinion of any officer in the garrison not
included in their number, which was limited to eleven.

I had at this period received a report that Lieutenant-Colonel
Berkeley was too unwell to come to Masulipatam, and there was likely
to be some delay in the arrival of Major Evans. I also found that
formal examinations before a regular committee would be likely to
excite an irritation, which it had been, throughout, my study to
avoid. I therefore took advantage of the authority conveyed to me by
Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay's letter of the 12th of July, to commence
myself the investigation of the conduct of the garrison previous to my

I had always intended (provided I had obtained your permission) to
have proceeded with the report of the committee to Madras, as I was
sensible I should never be able to convey to you by letters the whole
of that important information I had obtained of the real state and
temper of the majority of the officers of the Company's army on the
coast, who, though apparently united in one confederacy, were actuated
by widely different motives, and took very different views of the
nature of the scene in which they were engaged: and of these different
shades in their situation and intentions it appeared to me most
essential you should have the fullest information, as this knowledge
was evidently the only basis upon which any arrangement could be made
for the settlement of the whole question, without having recourse to
an open and declared rupture, which I ever understood it was your
earnest desire to avoid till the last extremity. As I found the changes
which had been effected left me without any fear of the garrison of
Masulipatam departing from their duty during my absence, I thought
it my duty, after I had completed the investigation with which I was
charged, to exercise that discretion which you had given me before my
departure from Madras, and proceed in person to report the result of my
investigation. I communicated this intention to Major-General Pater,
the commander of the division, who arrived at Masulipatam on the 20th
July, and it met with his fullest concurrence and approbation.

I heard, before my departure, of the 2d battalion of the 10th regiment
of native infantry having refused to march; but as that event did
not appear likely to be immediately followed by any open act of
contumely or disobedience in the Hyderabad force, and as it produced no
commotion whatever in the garrison of Masulipatam, it was an additional
excitement to the resolution I had adopted, as I expected to have
arrived at Madras (by travelling in the rapid manner I did) before any
determination had been taken upon this act of mutiny and disobedience,
and to have furnished information that might have aided your judgment
in deciding upon that important question.

As I always conceived that it was the object of Government to
reclaim, if possible, the minds of the officers, I directed my whole
attention, during the period I was at Masulipatam, to this great
object. I therefore cautiously abstained from any attempt to discover
the sentiments of either the European or native soldiery. Such an
attempt must have been instantly known, and would have inflicted an
irremediable wound on the minds of the officers, and have been certain
to precipitate that crisis which it was my labour to avoid.

To evince that I have not been deceived in the expectations I formed of
the change of feeling in the affairs of the garrison of Masulipatam, I
enclose an extract of a letter from an officer, in whose correctness
I place entire confidence. The resolutions which the committee of
Masulipatam have agreed to consider, are such, no doubt, as it would
be impossible for Government to have acceded to; but they exhibit
a most important change from former violence to comparative temper
and moderation; and their agitation shows that these officers reject
all share in the demands made in that paper which is termed their
_Ultimatum_ by the Hyderabad committee. It must be recollected, that
in cases like the present, where the minds of a large body of men have
been greatly disturbed, that their return to reason is likely to be
as gradual as their departure from it: and I can have no doubt, from
what I know of the present temper and inclination of some of the senior
officers in the northern division, as well as in other quarters of
this army, that had not the recent acts of the force at Hyderabad led
to those measures which Government has thought it its duty to adopt,
they would have seized with avidity any opportunity that the indulgent
considerations of Government for their past errors had afforded them,
of reclaiming themselves and others from the deep crimes into which
they had plunged, and of restoring to its former name and glory a
service which the rash madness of some of its members threaten with
ruin and destruction.

It remains for me only to state, and I do it with deep regret, that, as
far as I can judge, late occurrences have annihilated every hope of the
garrison of Masulipatam (I speak with the exception of the artillery
company) remaining faithful to its duty; and I fear there are several
corps in the division, the officers of which will be disposed to follow
their example.

I entreat you to pardon the length of this letter, as well as the
freedom with which I have stated my sentiments. I can have no desire
but to show that I have not been false to that confidence by which
I was honoured; and that I have laboured with zeal, and not without
success, (at least as far as the scene in which I was employed was
concerned,) to promote the public interests.

  I have the honour to be,
  Honourable sir,
  Your most obedient servant,
  (Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM.

  1st August, 1809.

  No. IV.
  _Address of the Inhabitants of Madras to_ Sir GEORGE BARLOW.



We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, impressed with a deep sense
of our duty to our Country, and of the necessity of good order and
obedience to the constituted authorities, beg leave to render you, at
this moment of difficulty and danger, our assurances of support to the
interests of Government, and of our readiness to devote our lives and
fortunes to the maintenance of the public tranquillity in any way in
which to you, in your wisdom, it may seem meet to command them.

We desire to take this opportunity of publicly expressing our fullest
disapprobation of that spirit of insubordination which has recently
shown itself amongst the officers of the Honourable Company's army
serving under the Presidency of Fort St. George: fully convinced, that
it is the duty of every good subject to yield obedience to the commands
of those whom the will of his Sovereign and the laws of his country
have placed in authority over him, and patiently to await the result of
a reference to Europe for the redress of real or supposed grievances.
Any conduct, impatient of the period of such appeal, and backward to
the calls of professional obedience, we regard as subversive of all
good order and discipline, hostile to the constitution of our native
country, and big with danger to the existence of the British empire in

And we therefore, honourable sir, beg to repeat the assurances of our
firm determination to resist the operation of such principles, which we
are convinced must be equally reprobated and condemned by all good and
loyal subjects.

Fort St. George,
9th August, 1809.

  No. V.

  _Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM _to Major-General_ GOWDIE,
  _Commander of the Forces in Chief, Madras_.


I have before informed you, that in consequence of instructions I
received from the honourable the Governor, through the medium of
Lieutenant-Colonel Barclay, military secretary, I proceeded (without
waiting the assembly of the committee that was ordered) to make an
inquiry into the conduct of the garrison of Masulipatam. I considered
that the best form in which I could make this inquiry, was to collect
from Lieutenant-Colonel Innes every information he could give, and to
obtain such evidence from the officers of the garrison as appeared
necessary to establish the leading facts of the transactions it was
my object to investigate. I judged that a minute and formal personal
examination of the parties was equally unnecessary to the object of
the preliminary inquiry with which I was charged, and unsuited to the
temper of the times, or to the fulfilment of those objects which I
conceived the honourable the Governor to have had in view at the time I
was appointed to the command of the garrison of Masulipatam.

The officers of the garrison whom I called upon for information, were
of course cautious in committing to writing, or indeed in verbally
stating, any thing that might criminate themselves: and I was induced,
by many reasons, to avoid any examination of the men of the European
regiment, or native battalion. Such evidence was not necessary to
the establishment of the principal facts; and it could not have
been obtained without a complete sacrifice of that temper which it
was my object to maintain until the Government was in possession of
the general result of my inquiry, and of that important information
regarding the state of not only the garrison of Masulipatam, but of
other stations in the army, which my employment upon this duty had
enabled me to collect.

I enclose a statement given in by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, with an
Appendix, and two private notes in reply to queries I put to him,
subsequent to his delivering me his first statement.

I also enclose a paper, which contains the substance of the information
given me by Captain Andrews of the European regiment, and Captain Kelly
of the 1st battalion 19th regiment of native infantry, and which was
corroborated by several of the officers of the garrison. I transmit a
paper from Lieutenant Nixon, the Adjutant, whom I examined relating to
the different causes which had led to agitate the minds of the men of
the European regiment, and to make them, as well as their officers,
forget their duty.

You are in possession of Major Storey's public letter, stating the
nature of the situation in which he was placed, and the steps which
he adopted. In addition to that document I enclose the substance of a
verbal declaration which Major Storey made to me upon this subject, and
which shows the leading consideration which he states to have governed
his conduct upon this occasion.

These enclosures will throw complete light upon the conduct of
both Lieutenant-Colonel Innes and the officers of the garrison of
Masulipatam: and I shall, in the course of the few observations which
I feel it my duty to offer upon their contents, state such additional
facts as came to my knowledge from verbal communications upon this

It is not possible to contemplate the conduct of the officers of
Masulipatam throughout the different stages of this transaction,
without constant reference to the general discontent and disaffection
to Government which, at the moment of their proceedings, prevailed
in the minds of a large proportion of the officers of the Company's
army on this establishment, and which must be considered as one of the
chief, if not the sole cause of their excesses.

Lieutenant-Colonel Innes appears, from his statement, to have joined
the corps he was appointed to command with an impression that the
officers of it were disaffected to Government, and with a resolution to
oppose and correct such improper principles in whatever place or shape
he met them.

He landed at Masulipatam on the 7th May, and was invited on the same
day to dine at the mess of the regiment; and it was after dinner, on
this first day of their intercourse, that the ground-work was laid
of all their future disputes. The only substantial fact adduced by
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes on this occasion, and admitted by the other
parties, was, that "the friends of the army" was given as a toast,
at this meeting, by Lieutenant D. Forbes, and seconded by Lieutenant
Maitland, quarter-master of the corps. This toast Lieutenant-Colonel
Innes requested might be changed for "the Madras army;" but his
proposition was not acceded to, and he, in consequence, left the table.
This appears to be the only proved fact. Several observations are
stated by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes to have been made by officers at
the table, that were disrespectful to Government, and contrary to the
principles of subordination and good order: but the only one of these
observations that he specifies, is ascribed to Lieutenant Maitland
in a letter to that gentleman, which forms a number of the Appendix.
In that letter, Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, after regretting that
Lieutenants Maitland and Forbes had not made the apology he required
of them for their conduct on the evening of the 7th May, adds, "I will
still forward any explanations you may state to me with respect to the
_observations you made_ at the _mess_ on the 7th instant so _publicly_,
with respect to the _Nizam's_ detachment, and officers who are not
friends of the army." Lieutenant Maitland, in his reply to this letter,
states his hope that Government will not decide upon Lieutenant-Colonel
Innes's report until he has an opportunity of defending himself: and
further observes, "Until I received your letter this day, I never knew
for what words or actions of mine an apology was required; for _I most
solemnly deny_ ever having given any opinion, in any manner, regarding
the Nizam's detachment and its officers, that night, or at any other
time, in your presence."

When Lieutenant-Colonel Innes left the mess-room, which he did, as
has been before stated, in consequence of their refusing to change
the toast to "the Madras army," as he had proposed, it appears the
officers proceeded to drink their original toast in the manner they
were accustomed to drink it, with three cheers: and these, it is not
unlikely, may have been mistaken by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes for
further marks of disrespect to him, and consequently to the authority
by which he was appointed: but the officers of the regiment, who
were present at table, deny the existence or expressions of any such

These different statements cannot be deemed surprising, when the nature
of this meeting is considered. The parties could, indeed, hardly have
been personally known to each other: and although no doubt can be
entertained of the goodness of Lieutenant-Colonel Innes's motives, and
the laudable character of his zeal for the Government he served, it is
perhaps to be regretted that his first effort to correct the principles
of the officers of his corps should have been made at a convivial
scene, where it was to be supposed men would be less under restraint
than in any other situation, and therefore less disposed to attend to
either the voice of counsel or authority.

But Colonel Innes, from his statement, appears sensible of this fact.
He observes, after recapitulating the motives that led him to report
_privately_ the conduct of the officers of the regiment at the dinner
on the 7th of May, to a confidential staff officer, from whom he
received what he terms 'his original instructions,' "I at the same
time particularly requested, that no _public notice_ might be taken
of what I found it expedient to state, unless I should be compelled
subsequently to bring the business reluctantly forward officially;
having intimated that I expected an apology to be tendered to me by
Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland for their improper conduct on that
evening, when the general orders of the 1st of May last were commented
upon at the mess-room of the Madras European regiment."

That such was the impression upon Colonel Innes's mind, is confirmed
by a note from him to Mr. Nixon, the adjutant of the regiment, in
which he asserts, that he made no official report of the occurrence.
It appears, however, that, contrary to Lieutenant-Colonel Innes's
expressed expectation, you considered it your duty to notice the
private communication he had made of the occurrences of the evening
of the 7th May; and the letter which the Adjutant-General wrote to
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes upon that subject, under date the 17th May,
was immediately put into the regimental orderly book of the corps.
It would be superfluous for me to dwell upon the irritation which
the measures that were adopted upon this occasion, and the mode of
carrying them into execution, excited in the minds of the officers of
the regiment. The nature and extent of that irritation are sufficiently
explained in the accompanying documents. Its grounds were the supposed
incorrectness of Lieutenant-Colonel Innes's private communications
to head-quarters; the neglect with which the representations of the
officers of the regiment upon this subject were treated; the hardship
of a respectable staff officer being disgraced by a removal from his
station, without knowing of what he was accused, or being permitted
to say one word in his defence; and the unusual and extraordinary
measure of detaching (as a punishment) an officer of the regiment to
the command of a post where there was not one man of his corps, and the
refusal of a court martial to the officer on whom this unprecedented
mark of disgrace had been inflicted.

In addition to these subjects of complaint, the officers seem to have
considered the publication of the letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Conway
in the orderly book, as an unnecessary promulgation of the displeasure
and censure they had incurred among the men of the regiment: and
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes would appear to have been sensible, sometime
afterwards, that this was the fact, as he desired the letter to be
expunged from the orderly book.

You will observe, from the documents I enclose, all that took place
connected with the appointment of Lieutenant Spankie, regarding which
an impression was received by the officers of the regiment, from a
communication made by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, on the ground of a
private letter, which he stated to them he had received from you, that
it was in contemplation to disband the regiment, and place the officers
on half-pay, if they did not alter their conduct; but that the fate
of the corps would in a great degree be determined by the step which
Lieutenant Spankie might take; that is, by his refusal or acceptance of
the station of quarter-master. This idea (which I cannot think it was
ever the intention of your letter to convey) was directly intimated by
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes in the following private note to Lieutenant


"I believe I forgot to remark, that your situation and Lieutenant
Fenwick's are very different now. Under existing circumstances it was
equally proper for him to decline accepting of the quarter-mastership,
as it is absolutely proper and necessary that you should accede to the
General's wishes, to save a whole regiment. Think of this.

"Yours truly,
(Signed)      "J. INNES."

This proceeding could not but greatly increase the irritation that
before existed: it gave too much ground for the propagation of a
belief, that the general punishment of the whole corps might depend
upon the conduct of an individual (a young officer in the corps), on a
question of a particular and personal nature; and it was not possible
for an impression to have been made more calculated to increase the
irritation and spirit of discontent which before prevailed in the

I shall now proceed to a concise view of the circumstances which relate
to the order for the embarkation of a detachment of the Madras European
regiment for marines, and of the occurrences which took place on the
25th June: regarding which, however, the documents already in your
possession are so ample, as to require little further information upon
the subject.

When Lieutenant Forbes was directed to proceed to Penang, and a party
of marines, under Lieutenant Maitland, to be in readiness to embark
on board the Fox frigate, no idea appears to have been entertained of
opposition to these orders. Though the officers of the corps felt,
that Lieutenants Forbes and Maitland being particularly ordered on
these duties could only be as a punishment, and to avoid the stigma
which they conceived this proceeding would bring upon the corps, they
solicited Lieutenant-Colonel Innes to allow other officers to exchange
with Lieutenant Maitland and Lieutenant Forbes, and at the same time
assured him there was not an officer in the regiment that was not ready
to take the tour of duty. This application (which proves the officers
had no intention at that period of resisting the orders of Government,)
was refused by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, for reasons stated in his note
to me of the 22d July, which forms a number of the Appendix.

Before the orders were received at Masulipatam for an increased
number of marines embarking on board his Majesty's ships Piedmontese
and Samarang, the minds of the officers of that garrison had been
much inflamed by communications they had received from the different
stations of the army. These expressed (agreeable to the statement of
Captain Andrews and Captain Kelly) a general opinion of the illegality
of the orders regarding Lieutenant Forbes and Lieutenant Maitland, and
of the unjust manner in which the Madras European regiment had been
treated. It was also reported from a variety of quarters, that the
regiment was to be dispersed and disbanded: and these reports obtained,
from the nature of preceding occurrences, a very ready belief both
among the officers and men of the corps.

There can, however, be no doubt that the garrison at Masulipatam, as
well as other stations with which they communicated, contemplated
the detachment of so large a party as that ordered from the European
regiment, as a serious diminution of their strength, and consequently
injurious to the interests of the confederacy against Government, in
which they were so deeply engaged; and that this consideration in some
degree influenced them to that criminal course which they pursued: but
I do not believe that this motive, unaided by others, would have led
them at that moment to so bold and daring an opposition to orders.

The account given by Lieutenant-Colonel Innes of the proceedings of the
25th June, is, I am satisfied, perfectly correct. It is impossible for
me to afford any further information than what you will derive from
that document. To Major Storey's official letter, and the substance
of that officer's verbal declaration to me, (which forms a number
of the Appendix,) I can only add my conviction of two facts; 1st,
That Lieutenant-Colonel Innes had it not in his power to coerce the
obedience of the garrison in the state it was in; and, 2dly, That had
bloodshed taken place, it would (as Major Storey states in his verbal
declaration) have been the signal for the Company's officers at many
other stations throwing off their allegiance to Government.

The accompanying deposition of Lieutenant and Adjutant Nixon is
entitled to some attention. There is no doubt of the general facts
which that officer has stated; they are indeed proved by the conduct
of the men of the European regiment, who gave a ready support to their
officers in an act which they must have known was mutinous, which it is
not likely they would have done if they had not received unfavourable
impressions of the intentions of Government. These impressions,
however, were only the predisposing causes: the immediate impulse under
which the deluded men of the regiment acted, was a wish to support
officers who had been long with them, and a feeling of resentment at
threatened coercion; and, under the action of this impulse, they would,
no doubt, have opposed any troops that had been brought against them.

Though nothing can justify mutiny, it is impossible, when we consider
that the non-commissioned officers and men of the Madras European
regiment acted on this occasion at the call of almost all their
regimental officers, not to acquit them in a very great degree of
that share of criminality which must attach to all the individuals
implicated in such proceedings. I am satisfied of the truth of what
Lieutenant Nixon states regarding the discontent that exists among the
men of this corps who have enlisted for an unlimited period of service.
These men gave me a petition upon this subject, and prayed I would
bring it to your notice. I communicated this petition to Major-General
Pater, as I thought it implied, from the terms in which it was
expressed, that they were aware of their situation, and were disposed
to maintain their obedience to Government. It was at all events clearly
to be inferred from the mode and substance of this representation, that
those by whom it was made were sensible of the nature of the times, and
thought them favourable for the accomplishment of their object.

It is impossible for me to state what officers have been most culpable
in those irregular and unmilitary proceedings into which I have been
directed to inquire; but, with the exception of those stated in
Lieutenant-Colonel Innes's letter, (who had, in fact, no means of
being useful,) I believe that all the officers present with the Madras
European regiment, and the 1st battalion of the 19th regiment, were
implicated in the general guilt. Those who took the most forward part,
are stated in Lieutenant-Colonel Innes's letters.

The company of artillery stationed out of the Fort had no concern
whatever in these transactions, and has remained throughout perfectly
faithful to its duty and to Government.

I need hardly state that the native officers and men of the garrison
of Masulipatam had no concern in this mutiny. They fell in on their
parade, on the day of the 25th June, because a number of the officers
of the corps called upon them to do so.

It is a justice I owe to Major Storey and to Captain Andrews, senior
officer of the European regiment, to state, that from the 25th June
until the 4th of July, the day on which I took the command, the utmost
subordination and good order had been observed by the troops, and
the duty of the garrison had been carried on with as great regularity
and order as if nothing had occurred to disturb the usual routine of
military discipline.

I feel it would be presumption in me to offer any opinion upon the
subject of my inquiry, and I have therefore confined myself to the
object of bringing before you, in as clear and concise a manner as I
could, the leading and principal facts of those proceedings which I was
directed to investigate.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed)      JOHN MALCOLM,
Lieut.-Col. Com.

1st August, 1809.

  STATEMENT _of Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES.



Paragraph 1. "Previous to my being appointed to command the Madras
European regiment, I was informed that the officers of that corps had
given some very improper toasts on the day that Captain J. Marshall
had dined at their mess here, which fully expressed their political
principles, and how highly they disapproved of the previous measures of
Government, adopted after Lieutenant-General McDowall's leaving Madras
for Europe, whose cause and party they support.

Par. 2. "Impressed with the recollection of this circumstance, when I
went to dine at the mess of the Madras European regiment, the day I
landed here to assume the command, I determined neither to permit, or
to pass over unnoticed, any such scene as was reported to have occurred
on the day above alluded to, so extremely improper, and subversive of
that high respect which is due to Government from every officer of the
army of Fort St. George.

Par. 3. "What actually did take place on the evening of the 7th
May last, and which rendered it not only proper, but absolutely
requisite for me to quit the mess-room at an early hour, I deemed it
my indispensable duty next day to communicate, in a private manner,
to a confidential staff officer 'from whom I received my original
instructions,' in order to show the officer commanding the army in
chief, and the Honourable the Governor of Fort St. George, the violent
spirit of discontent, undisguised disapprobation, and determined
opposition to the measures of Government, which even then existed
amongst the officers of that corps, and which was previously well known
at head-quarters.

Par. 4. "I at the same time particularly requested that no _public
notice_ might be taken of what I found it expedient to state, unless
I should be compelled subsequently to bring the business reluctantly
forward officially; having intimated, that I expected an apology to be
tendered to me by Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland for their improper
conduct on that evening, when the general orders of the 1st May were
commented upon at the mess-room of the Madras European regiment.

Par. 5. "The next morning I went to breakfast with Captain Andrews
(who had dined at the mess the previous evening), and requested of
him to acquaint the officers composing the mess, that I was under the
necessity of declining to become a member of their society, 'as I had
proposed,' owing to existing circumstances that did not accord with my
ideas or sentiments of subordination, which was my imperious duty to

Par. 6. "Contrary, however, to my expectation, the information I
had originally given was acted upon, being considered of such a
tendency that it could not be passed over, as I had requested,
and which ultimately led to the publication of the orders by the
officer commanding the army in chief, reprimanding the officers of
the Madras European regiment, removing Lieutenant Maitland from the
quarter-mastership, and ordering Lieutenant D. Forbes to command at
Condapillee; as also the appointment of Lieutenant Maitland to command
a detail of the corps ordered to serve as marines, and Lieutenant D.
Forbes to command a detail of the corps at Prince of Wales Island.
Those measures were no doubt adopted with a view of checking any
future symptoms of insubordination amongst the officers of the
Madras European regiment. So far, however, from being attended with
the desired effect, they only tended to increase the former state of
irritation, and their determination on resistance to the orders of
the officer commanding the army in chief, and Government, when their
fractious arrangements were fully organized, and ready to be carried
into execution by the disaffected, as has since been fully confirmed by
their late and daring mutiny.

Par. 7. "When I transmitted Lieutenant D. Forbes's application to
head-quarters for a general court martial, it was accompanied by
my official letter, and report of the circumstances which occurred
on the evening of the 24th May last, at the mess-room of the M. E.
regiment, and which is now subjoined for your information; as also the
correspondence which subsequently passed between me and the officers of
the Madras European regiment upon this interesting subject, now under
consideration; which I felt it my duty to forward to head-quarters for
the consideration of the Commander-in-Chief, for the reasons assigned
in my two notes addressed to Lieutenant and Adjutant Nixon. It only
therefore remains for me to add, that what I honestly, candidly, and
conscientiously stated to have taken place at the mess of the M. E.
regiment on the evening of the 7th of May last, was the substance of
what actually passed, and, to the best of my recollection, in nearly
the same words, (or words to the same effect,) as I most solemnly
declare upon my honour, and am ready to confirm upon oath.

(Signed)      "J. INNES, Lieut.-Col."

19th July, 1809."

Previous to entering upon the documents alluded to, I will call your
attention to the two following paragraphs of the Governor General's
letter, addressed to Sir G. H. Barlow, Bart. K. B. Governor of Fort
St. George, dated 27th May, 1809; by which you will observe, I was
not only _sanctioned_, but _expected_ to give every information to the
Commander-in-Chief and Government, (from my official situation,) which
could tend to check disaffection in this division, and promote the
public service either by my own example and exertions, or by applying
to a higher authority to suppress it.

Par. 89. "We concur also entirely in the sentiment expressed in your
general orders of the 1st ultimo, that it is not sufficient for
officers holding commands to avoid a participation in such proceedings,
but that it is their positive and indispensable duty to adopt the
most decided measures for their suppression, and to report them to
the superior authorities. The purposes of tumult and sedition may as
effectually be promoted by their negative concurrence as by their
active participation.

Par. 90. "The neglect of duty is an offence varying only in degree
from a positive violation of it; and any officer who, apprised of the
progress of disorderly proceedings among those who are placed under his
immediate control, abstains from any attempt to suppress them either
by the exertion of his own authority or by an appeal to the superior
power, gives to those proceedings one mode of encouragement, and cannot
stand absolved of blame, nor found a claim to immunity, nevertheless to
a continuance of that implicit confidence which is attached to stations
of authority, on the basis of so culpable and mischievous a neutrality."

(A true copy.)
(Signed)      "J. INNES, Lieut.-Col."

  _Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to the Adjutant-General of
  the Army_.

"Fort St. George.


Paragraph 1. "I have the honour of reporting to you, for the
information of the officer commanding the army in chief, and the
Honourable the Governor in Council, the particulars of the daring and
premeditated mutiny which occurred here on Sunday the 25th June, about
two or three o'clock, P. M., when the three detachments of the M. E.
regiment were ordered to embark on board the fleet as marines.

Par. 2. "On the arrival of the Piedmontese frigate, and Samarang
sloop of war, at this place, I sent off a letter to Captain Foote
commanding the two ships, intimating that the three detachments of the
M. E. regiment were ready to embark, was he prepared and authorized
to receive them on board his ships. The non-commissioned officers and
privates appeared to be highly pleased at going on this duty.

Par. 3. "About sunset I observed a boat landing with some naval
officers; and having invited Captain Foote on shore, went down to meet
and receive him at the sea gate, to conduct him to my quarters, that we
might communicate fully on every subject which could tend to promote
the public service, in carrying the orders of the officer commanding
the army in chief into execution.

Par. 4. "Just as the naval officers were nearly landed, I was called
aside by Lieutenant Charles Forbes of the M. E. regiment, who was
accompanied by Captains Kelly and Harrington of the 1st battalion
19th regiment N. I., Lieutenant and Adjutant Nixon, and Lieutenant
and Quarter-Master Spankie of the M. E. regiment. Captain Kelly then
read a paper, which they were deputed to communicate to me not only by
the officers of the garrison, but those of this division, requesting
I would postpone the embarkation of the detachments of the M. E.
regiment till they could receive an answer to an address they had it in
contemplation to submit to the Commander-in-Chief, and the Honourable
the Governor in Council, _demanding_ a redress of _grievances_. To this
application I pointedly objected, having no authority to set aside the
instructions I received from the Commander-in-Chief.

Par. 5. "Lieutenant Spankie then boasted of their having the most
positive assurances of support from the troops at Hyderabad, Jaulnah,
the Bombay army, and every division on the coast. I then observed,
that I hoped those expectations would not induce them to resist the
embarkation, by being guilty of mutiny, and by trying whether the
troops would obey them or me. To order the whole in arrest, was _now_
my _only_ alternative. This, however, I could not attempt, or expect
their obedience to my authority, under existing circumstances, and
'standing alone.'

Par. 6. "At this instant the purser of the Piedmontese delivered to me
a letter from Captain Foote, annexed; which upon opening, it proved to
be an official letter from the chief secretary of Government, dated 22d
June 1809, ordering me to embark the detachment of H. M. 59th regiment
of foot on board the Samarang with the least delay. I then inquired of
the purser if he had not brought any other letter to me from Captain
Foote? He replied in the negative, nor did he hear of any detachment
being ordered on board but that of the 59th. This the deputation saw
and heard.

Par. 7. "But apprehending some mistake had occurred, I told the
deputation I expected a reply to my letter of that day, sent to
Captain Foote, which would elucidate the subject. At 10 o'clock P. M.
it reached me, referring me to his letter sent by the purser. I, of
course, concluded that the one from the secretary of Government was
the one he alluded to, and sent Captain Foote's letter to Lieutenant
and Adjutant Nixon directly: and we concluded that the detachments
of the Madras European regiment were not expected to embark; which I
communicated to the officers on parade next morning; adding, that they
must be prepared to embark at an hour's notice in any other ships that
might arrive to receive them on board, which appeared to give much
satisfaction, finding they were not going by this opportunity.

Par. 8. "About 1 o'clock P. M., 25th June, the Purser, and Mr.
Midshipman Shepperd, of the Samarang, returned from the Pettah to
my quarters; and, to my astonishment, put Captain Foote's first and
original letter (alluded to in his second) into my hand, which, by
mistake, they had omitted to do the previous evening. I then expressed
my regret at what had passed, although I was convinced it made no
difference; as I conceived, from what passed the evening before, that
the embarkation of the Madras European regiment's detachments would be
resisted by the _officers of the garrison_ at all events.

Par. 9. "I then sent for Lieutenant and Adjutant Nixon, showed him
Captain Foote's letter, (No. 4, annexed,) and directed him to have
the parties ready to go on board at 6 P. M., and to send the officers
ordered on this duty to receive my instructions. I at the same time
observed to the Adjutant, that, from what had passed the previous
evening, I had every reason to suppose the embarkation would be
resisted; and begged and conjured him to consider of the consequences;
and to inform the officers, that if they would pledge their _honour_
not to interfere with me in the _execution of my duty_, by carrying
the orders of the Commander-in-Chief and Government into execution,
it would afford me the highest satisfaction, and preserve order and

Par. 10. "If, however, resistance was intended to be offered by the
_officers_ to the embarkation, I would reluctantly be reduced to the
disagreeable necessity of applying to Captain Foote of the Piedmontese
to land the marines of both ships, and every seaman who could be
spared, to see the orders of Government and the Commander-in-Chief
_respected_, and to enable me to carry them into execution.

Par. 11. "So soon as the order for embarking was made public, and shown
to the officers, they ran, in a disorderly, tumultuous, and mutinous
manner, to the barracks of the Madras European regiment and the 1st
battalion 19th regiment native infantry, calling on the men to arm,
and prevailed on them to join them in the mutiny, and opposition to
my orders, and those of the Commander-in-Chief and the Honourable the
Governor in Council.

Par. 12. "Captain Kelly, Lieutenant and Quarter-Master Spankie, and
some other officers, came over to my quarters, conjuring me not to
insist on the embarkation, or to send to Captain Foote for assistance,
which could only occasion the shedding of much innocent blood, and
endangering the loss of the country. All this passed before the naval
gentlemen. Their first observation was a most serious one, having got
the two corps to join them in the mutiny.

Par. 13. "Another party of officers came shortly after up to my
quarters, repeating what the other officers had done, and upbraiding
me with giving incorrect information to Government and the
Commander-in-Chief relative to what passed on the 7th ult. at the mess;
on which they acted, and dispersed the regiment, on my suggestions,
as a punishment, and which they never would accede to. Many other
observations passed I do not exactly recollect: but I again intimated
to the gentlemen, that, had they obeyed the orders issued, no mutiny
could have occurred, or the public service been impeded, by their
conduct and exertions.

Par. 14. "Major Storey, who had been sent for by the officers in the
Fort to join in their mutiny, then came to my quarters, told me the
two corps were under arms, and would not be dismissed but by a proper
authority; and that he was called upon by the gentlemen to assume the
command, and put me under close arrest, for the preservation of the

Par. 15. "I observed to Major Storey, that I neither could or would
acknowledge his illegal arrest, and usurped authority, (although he
might put me into close confinement,) for which he and the other
officers would have to answer hereafter; having not only mutinied, but
prevailed on the troops in garrison to do so, by ordering them under
arms, (without my authority,) which they prevailed upon them to resist.

Par. 15. "Major Storey then ordered my letters to be seized that were
coming from the post office, to be examined by him, and not to allow
any to pass out, or any gentleman to visit me, without his permission.
He then, 'I hear,' issued a garrison order, assuming the command, (as
Captain Andrews did of the Madras European regiment,) and sent off
letters to Hyderabad, Bombay, Travancore, and every other station and
encampment that had united with them in the diabolical conspiracy
against the Government of Fort St. George, as will appear on reference
to the register of letters dispatched after the mutiny from the post
office here; having completely laid aside the mask, publicly avowing
and boasting of the support they depended upon receiving from their
friends, in having their grievances redressed, imposed on them by their
tyrannical Government.

Par. 17. "Here it is requisite to observe, Lieutenant Cecil,
Dr. Anderson, and Mr. Assistant Surgeon Jones, of the Madras
European regiment, did not join in the mutiny; nor do I think the
non-commissioned and privates of the Madras European regiment, or
the native commissioned, non-commissioned and privates of the 1st
battalion 19th native infantry, would, had they not been _misguided_ by
their guilty officers, _who even_ then, 'I hear,' had some difficulty
to prevail on them to mutiny against my authority and that of the
Commander-in-Chief and Government.

Par. 18. "Lieutenant Cecil, who commanded the main-guard, having
declined on every occasion to join the other officers in their
disorderly and insubordinate conduct, by resisting the measures of
Government, was relieved from the duty of the main-guard by the
mutineers; not, however, till he had _twice_ waited on me, at the risk
of his life; the second time after I was arrested, when I told him to
submit, opposition being then of no use, and, being ill, to report
himself sick, to avoid future ill treatment from the mutineers.

Par. 19. "Finding my letters seized by the mutineers, I sent a letter
secretly to Captain Foote by his purser, with a request that copies of
it might be transmitted without delay to the Commander-in-Chief and the
Honourable the Governor in Council, for their information, having no
other means of reporting to them till I was liberated; when a statement
of circumstances would be duly forwarded, which will fully _prove_ that
nothing was wanting on my part to carry my instructions into execution
instantly, notwithstanding the state of affairs here, so frequently
reported since my assuming the command of the Madras European regiment
and this division; previous to which, their opposition to the measures
of Government (and confederacy alluded to,) had commenced with the
Madras and Bombay army.

Par. 20. "In justice to the purser of the Piedmontese, I must here
observe, that his mistake, in not delivering the letter sooner, was
of no other consequence but that of delaying the mutiny a few hours,
it being regularly organized, and resolved upon for some time past,
and my being arrested, that I might not impede their seditious
plans against Government, so actively carried on; _sorry I am to
add, with too much success_. Understanding that General Pater will
not reach this place before the 15th July, I forward this letter in
a private and secret manner, that Government may be in possession of
the fullest information on the 3d July, in case I may be put to death
by the mutineers before or after the arrival of Major General Pater,
commanding officer of this division.

(A true copy.)
(Signed)      "J. INNES, Lieut. Col.
Commanding Masulipatam,
in charge N. D. of the Army."

  _Private Note from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to
  Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM, _dated Masulipatam, 20th July, 1809_.


I am favoured with your note of this day's date. In reply to which I
have to state, that I had no communications with the officers of the
Madras European regiment on the subject of reducing the corps. But when
Lieutenant Spankie waited upon me, to receive the Commander-in-Chief's
letter, I intimated to him, on his refusing to accept of the
quarter-mastership, proffered to him by General Gowdie, that if he did
so, it was the General's intention to bring him to a general court
martial. I at the same time conjured him to accept of the situation
offered to him, as on the conduct of the officers of the regiment much
depended, on this occasion; for if they persisted in the unwarrantable
conduct they were now pursuing, the regiment would be reduced, and all
those not on the staff put upon the half-pay of their rank. I then
told Lieutenant S., that other plans, of a much more pleasant nature,
were in contemplation for the regiment, which the officers seemed
determined to put a stop to. I therefore begged and entreated that he
and his friends would maturely and deliberately consider of existing
circumstances, and study their own interest, and that of the public, by
acceding to the General's wishes; which nothing upon earth could have
induced me to make known to Lieutenant S. but the extreme desire I had
to preserve order and tranquillity, in order to promote the benefit of
the regiment and the public service. My letter from the General was a
_private_ one; but, I conceived, couched in such terms, as to authorize
my making use of the information it contained, to check the irritation
that existed in the corps.

Yours sincerely,
(Signed)      J. INNES.

  _Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to Lieutenant-Colonel_ MALCOLM.


When I received the order of the Commander-in-Chief, appointing
Lieutenant Maitland to command the first party ordered to serve as
marines on board the Fox frigate, I was waited upon by Captain Yard and
four subalterns of the Madras European regiment, (in the name of the
corps,) requesting I would nominate any subaltern in the regiment to
go in the room of Lieutenant Maitland (who was always sick at sea), or
permit one to volunteer his services.

I accordingly showed the deputation my instructions and orders, from
which I had not authority to _deviate_; but offered to write to the
Commander-in-Chief for his permission, which they would not accede to.
I at the same time assured the gentlemen, the Honourable the Governor
in Council, and officer commanding the army in chief, were ready to
forget and forgive every thing that had taken place; and that I would
have much pleasure in accepting and forwarding any apology, 'however
slight,' which Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland might send me; and
did not entertain a doubt but should be able to get Lieutenant Maitland
restored to his quarter-mastership, and Lieutenant D. Forbes continued
with the regiment. They, notwithstanding, persisted in making _no_
apology, and the subject was dropped, to my great regret.

(Signed)      "J. INNES."
"Masulipatam, 22d July, 1809."

  ABSTRACT _of the Evidence of Captain_ ANDREWS _of the Honourable
  Company's European Regiment, and Captain_ KELLY _of the 1st
  Battalion 19th Infantry, which is corroborated by several other
  Officers of the Garrison_.

"On the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel James Innes at Masulipatam on the
7th ultimo, to assume the command of the Madras European regiment, he
was invited to dinner at the regimental mess, where there were several
strangers present. In the course of the evening a toast was proposed,
which it was conceived could not be objected to by any one, whatever
might be his opinion of the recent acts of Government that have excited
such general discontent amongst the officers of the coast army; viz.
"The friends of the Madras army." We were therefore much surprised to
hear Lieutenant-Colonel Innes express his disapprobation of it, and
his wish that it might be changed to a more general one; viz. "The
Madras army." Several observed, that there were officers in this army
who were not its friends, and it appeared to be the general opinion of
the Company that the toast should be given out as at first proposed.
Colonel Innes immediately arose from the table; and as he was going
out of the mess-room, the toast was drank with loud applauses. This,
we have reason to think, he construes into his being hooted out of
the mess. Next day Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland were informed,
that if they did not apologize for some observations said to be made
by them at the mess in the presence of their commanding officer, their
conduct would be reported to head-quarters. Those officers were,
however, acquainted that they should be furnished with a copy of the
report. As no specific observations were mentioned by Colonel Innes,
and as those officers had neither said nor done any thing that required
an apology, they of course refused to make any. When it was supposed
that Colonel Innes intended to recommend himself to Government by
informing them of the conversation of a convivial party, the officers
of the regiment resolved to have no further communication with him,
except in cases of duty. Some days afterwards, Lieutenants Spankie and
Hancorn waited upon Colonel Innes, and explained to him fully their
motives for declining to hold any private intercourse with him. In
the course of a long conversation he repeatedly told them, that he
had not reported Lieutenants Forbes and Maitland; and at last assured
them, unless obliged to do so by some future conduct of theirs, he
would not. With this assurance the officers of the regiment were so
satisfied, that they altered their behaviour towards Colonel Innes.
His declarations, however, were equivocal and false, as will appear
by the letter No. 1, which was published in the regimental orders of
the 22d ult. He has acknowledged by the letter No. 2, that it was
written in consequence of information communicated by him in a private
letter, but which he pretended he did not think would have been acted
upon. Agreeably to the orders, Lieutenant David Forbes submitted to
the punishment inflicted upon him; but, previous to his departure
for Condapillee, he requested the Commander-in-Chief to give him an
opportunity of proving his innocence of the charge laid against him
before a general court martial. The answer he received to this was,
that 'the Commander-in-Chief deemed his application inadmissible:'
but no reason whatever was assigned. Vide letters, No. 3 and 4.
Colonel Innes put Lieutenant Fenwick's name in orders, to succeed to
the situation of Lieutenant Maitland; but that officer begged leave
to decline acceptance of it under the existing circumstances. The
quarter-mastership was then offered to Lieutenant Spankie, who was
told, that if he refused the situation he would be brought to a court
martial; that the regiment would be disbanded, and the officers placed
upon half-pay. Vide the Memorandum, No. 5, written by Lieutenant
Spankie in the presence of Colonel Innes, by whom they were dictated.
He was also desired to recollect the situation of Captain Yard, a
married man with a large family, and to reflect upon the misfortunes
he would bring down upon his brother officers; but if he would accept
the appointment, there were favours for the regiment in contemplation
of Government. Thus the fate of a regiment, and the favours or frowns
of a Government, depended upon the will of an individual; and officers
of all ranks were to be punished, if his conduct (over which they had
no control) proved unsatisfactory!--Vide letter, No. 6, from Colonel
Innes to Lieutenant Spankie.--On the receipt of the general order
appointing him quarter-master, Lieutenant Spankie did, however, send
a letter to the Honourable the Governor in Council; and upon Colonel
Innes's refusal to forward it through the regular channel, he forwarded
it direct, in which he requested to relinquish the situation.--Vide
letter, No. 7.--To this letter no answer was ever returned. At the
same time that Colonel Innes forwarded the application of Lieutenant
D. Forbes for a court martial, he transmitted an official statement
of what had occurred at the regimental mess, in his presence, on
the evening of the 7th ult. When Lieutenant Maitland was acquainted
with this circumstance, he applied to him for a copy of such parts
as concerned himself.--Vide letter, No. 8.--Colonel Innes refused to
comply with this request, stating that Government would be guided by
his report of that day, and decide accordingly. He also mentioned,
that, as far as he knew, private information would not have been
acted upon, had the expected apology been made; and he imputed to
Lieutenant Maitland an observation which he said was made at the mess
that evening regarding the Hyderabad subsidiary force.--Vide letter,
No. 9.---Lieutenant Maitland informed him, in reply, that, until the
receipt of his note of this day, he did not know for what words or
actions of his an apology had been required, and most solemnly denied
having made any observations regarding the Hyderabad subsidiary force
on the night alluded to, or at any other time, in Colonel Innes's
presence.--Vide letter, No. 10.--The letter, No. 11, was signed by
every officer present with the regiment, excepting one, to whom it was
not sent. On the receipt of it, Colonel Innes wrote an official note
to the adjutant, in which he promised to forward the above letter, and
requesting the officers of the regiment, who were present at the mess
on the 7th ult., to draw up a statement of the circumstances which
induced him to quit the mess-room on the evening of that day.--Vide
letter, No. 12.--The letter, No. 13, is a copy of their answer. On the
2d of June arrived an order, directing Lieutenant D. Forbes to proceed
forthwith to the Presidency, and there to embark for Penang for the
purpose of taking charge of a few men of the regiment stationed at
that island. Lieutenant Maitland was at the same time ordered to hold
himself in readiness with thirty men of the regiment to go on board
the Samarang sloop of war, as marines. In consequence of this order,
a deputation from the officers of the Madras European regiment waited
upon Colonel Innes, and earnestly requested him to select two other
officers for the above duties. They strongly pressed upon him the
impropriety of selecting two officers whose conduct had been branded
in orders. If those gentlemen had been guilty of conduct contrary to
every principle of military subordination, they were unfit to be sent
on command with that stigma hanging over them; and if innocent, as
the officers of the regiment asserted them to be, they ought not to
be ordered from the coast until an investigation should take place,
and the charge as publicly retracted as it had been preferred. It is
here necessary to observe, that during the conference between Colonel
Innes and the deputation, he read to them an extract from a letter
received from the Commander-in-Chief, threatening the regiment's being
disbanded. Respecting Lieutenants Forbes and Maitland, he said he could
not select two others, as those officers had been nominated by the
Commander-in-Chief. He acknowledged that he might have been mistaken
as to Lieutenant Maitland's person, and that he now saw the matter
in a different light to what he did at first. He also said, that the
letter, No. 1, should be expunged from the orderly books; and that if
Lieutenants Forbes and Maitland would offer some slight apology, he
would endeavour to get the latter reinstated in his appointment. The
apology was positively refused.

"Upon a candid consideration of the preceding circumstances, it will
not excite surprise when we state, that alarm and indignation were
excited in the minds of the officers. The false aspersions cast upon
their characters might have tended to have lowered them in the opinion
of the men, ignorant as they must have been of the circumstances which
occasioned it. The two officers were naturally supposed to have been
selected for some punishment, as Colonel Innes had publicly declared
that such was the intention by their being appointed to those commands.
At any rate, their feelings had been wounded by the severe reflections
against them, contained in the letter of the Commander-in-Chief, which
was published to the regiment. A court martial had been positively
refused to the application of one of those injured officers, which was
the only means he knew to clear up his character before the world.

"All the circumstances above stated took place previous to the 10th of
June. We afterwards found that two more detachments were ordered from
the Madras European regiment, to act as marines. We found that the
officers of various stations concurred in opinion with the officers
of this garrison regarding the illegality of the order respecting
Lieutenants Forbes and Maitland, and the unjust treatment experienced
by the Madras European regiment in general; and we heard from different
quarters, that it really was intended to disband the regiment, which
circumstances rendered extremely probable. On the arrival, therefore,
of the Piedmontese and Samarang ships of war, a deputation from the
officers of the garrison waited upon Colonel Innes, and requested him
to suspend the execution of the orders regarding the three detachments
of marines, until we had made a representation on the subject to the
Commander-in-Chief, for the decision of the Honourable the Governor
in Council. With this request he positively refused to comply, and
threatened to enforce obedience to his orders by an appeal to the
men. Next day he seemed determined to abide by the resolution he had
expressed to the deputation, but appeared to be sensible that the
officers ordered to act as marines would not be allowed to embark, and
that the men respected their officers too much to go without them.

"He therefore stated, his determination to carry his orders into
execution, with the assistance of the detachments of H. M. 59th
regiment, the artillery, and a body of men which he said would be
landed from H. M. ships then in the roads, as more particularly
mentioned in the reasons signed by the deputation, and forwarded to
head-quarters by Major Storey, with his official account of what
occurred here on the 25th June."


  _Copy of regimental Orders published by Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES
  _in the Orderly Book of the Madras European Regiment_.

Masulipatam, 22d May, 1809.

Lieutenant David Forbes, of the Madras European regiment, is appointed
to command at Condapilly, and directed to proceed to that station in
the course of twenty-four hours after the publication of this order.
The officer now in command of that garrison is directed to join his
corps on being relieved by Lieutenant Forbes, who will not be permitted
to be absent from Condapilly unless it becomes necessary for his health.

The following letter is published for the information of the officers
of the Madras European regiment, in conformity with which Lieutenant
Maitland is removed from the appointment of quarter-master, and
Lieutenant Fenwick is appointed to act as quarter-master, and to take
charge of the office immediately, till further orders.

_To the Officer Commanding, or Senior Officer in charge of the Madras
European Regiment._


It having come to the knowledge of the officer commanding the army,
that conduct highly indecorous, and contrary to every principle
of military subordination, was observed at the mess of the Madras
European regiment on the 7th instant, and that Lieutenant David
Forbes and Lieutenant and Quarter-Master Maitland were the authors
and supporters of it, I am directed to desire that you will express
to the officers of the M. E. regiment the officer commanding the
army's highest disapprobation of such conduct; and inform them, that
a repetition of such irregularity will involve the whole corps in the
severest penalty to which such insubordinate proceedings are liable;
but which, however, from the benefit of your example, the officer
commanding the army is yet disposed to think it will be unnecessary
to resort to. Notwithstanding this hope, the officer commanding the
army feels himself called upon to mark, by a suitable example, the
authors of the exceptionable conduct that has come to his notice; and,
with that view, has taken upon himself to anticipate the sanction of
the Honourable the Governor in Council for the removal of Lieutenant
Maitland from the situation of quarter-master of the Madras European
regiment. For this purpose, I am directed by the officer commanding
the army to desire that you will remove Lieutenant Maitland from the
charge of the appointment of quarter-master of the regiment, and that
you will yourself appoint to succeed him the subaltern officer whose
conduct you most approve, and forward his name to this office, that
the officer commanding the army may recommend to Government to confirm
your selection. Lieutenant David Forbes you will be pleased to appoint
to command at Condapilly, and direct him to proceed in twenty-four
hours after the publication of your orders, directing the officer now
there to return to join his corps. And it is the officer commanding the
army's further orders, that Lieutenant Forbes may not be permitted to
be absent from Condapilly, unless it become necessary for his health.

(Signed)      J. H. S. CONWAY,

Adjutant-General's Office,
17th May, 1809.

  No. II.

  _Copy of a Letter addressed to Lieutenant_ NIXON, _Adjutant of the
  Madras European Regiment_.


I previously intimated to you, and some of the other officers of the
corps, that I would not report what passed on the 7th instant at the
mess _officially_. That I mentioned the circumstances _privately_, I
acknowledge, knowing that if I omitted to do so, other accounts would
soon reach Madras. I have now stated the circumstances officially to

Yours truly,
(Signed)      J. INNES, M. E. Regt.

24th May, 1809.

  No. III.

  _Copy of an Application from Lieutenant_ D. FORBES _for a Court



As the information which the officer commanding the army in chief has
received of my conduct at the regimental mess on the evening of the
7th instant must have been extremely incorrect; in vindication of my
character, I have requested, in the accompanying letter, a public
investigation, and beg you will forward it to the Adjutant-General of
the army.

(Signed)      D. FORBES,
Lieutenant of the Madras
European Regiment.

22d May, 1809.



Having been accused, in the copy of a letter from you, published in
regimental orders of the 22d instant, of being one of the "authors
and supporters of conduct highly indecorous, and contrary to every
principle of military subordination," I beg leave to request, that I
may be allowed the privilege of being allowed attempting to prove my
innocence of that most serious charge before a general court martial;
and I have to request that you will lay this my desire before the
officer commanding the army in chief.

(Signed)      D. FORBES,
Lieutenant of the Madras
European Regiment.

22d May, 1809.

  _Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to the Adjutant-General
  of the Army_.

Fort St. George.


I have the honour herewith to transmit to you an official note,
received last night, from Lieutenant D. Forbes of the Madras European
regiment, with one to your address; both of which I request may be
submitted to the Commander-in-Chief.

If Lieutenant Forbes's application is complied with, every young
officer under my command will soon be making similar applications to

The gross and public disrespect shown by Lieutenants D. Forbes
and Maitland, of the Madras European regiment, at the regimental
mess of that corps, on the night of the 7th instant, so derogatory
to the dignity of the Honourable the Governor in Council and
Commander-in-Chief, from the observations made by these officers on the
Government orders and those of the Commander-in-Chief, then received,
dated 1st May; as also on the steady conduct of the native troops at
Hyderabad, which was instantly noticed by me, calling upon Lieutenant
D. Forbes to change the _toast_ he proposed from the _friends of the
army_ to that of the _Madras army_, which was pointedly rejected, and
the former one repeated, with three times three, obliging me to quit
the mess-room; and for which improper conduct Lieutenants Forbes and
Maitland subsequently declined to make an apology. I therefore feel it
now my duty to report the circumstance officially, for the information
of the Honourable the Governor in Council, and Commander-in-Chief.

(Signed)      JAMES INNES,
Lieut.-Colonel commanding at

24th May, 1809.

  _Letter from the Adjutant-General to the Officer commanding the
  Northern Division of the Army._


The officer commanding the army requests you will nominate Lieutenant
Maitland, of the Madras European regiment, to the command of the
detachment of that corps ordered to serve as marines on board his
Majesty's ship the Fox; and that you will direct Lieutenant D.
Forbes, of the Madras European regiment, to proceed forthwith to the
Presidency, for the purpose of embarking for Prince of Wales Island, to
take charge of the corps doing duty there.

(Signed)      J. H. CONWAY,

Adjutant-General's Office,
27th May, 1809.


  _Copy of the Reply to the Application of Lieutenant_ D. FORBES.



I have the honour to annex, for your information, extract of a letter
received from the officer commanding the army in chief.

(Signed)      J. INNES,
Lieut.-Colonel in Charge of the
Northern Division of the

5th June, 1809.

  EXTRACT, _dated Adjutant-General's Office, 31st May, 1809_.

"In reply to Lieutenant Colonel Innes's letter of the 24th instant,
I have the honour to inform you, that Lieutenant D. Forbes's letter,
applying to be tried by a general court martial, has been submitted
to the officer commanding the army, who deems that officer's request

(A true extract.)
(Signed)      J. INNES,
Lieut.-Colonel in Charge of the
Northern Division of the Army.

  No. V.

  _Memorandum written in the Presence of Colonel_ INNES, _and dictated
  by him_.

"1st. Provided I (Lieutenant Spankie) do not accept of the situation of
quarter-master to the Madras European regiment, I must be brought to a
court martial for disobedience of orders.

"2dly. If I (Lieutenant S.) still persist in refusing the situation,
the regiment will be reduced, and every officer not on the general
staff placed on half-pay.

"3dly. In the event of my accepting this situation, other plans of a
much more pleasant nature have been in contemplation for the regiment,
which the officers seem determined to put a stop to."

  No. VI.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to Lieutenant_


I believe I forgot to remark, that your situation and Lieutenant
Fennick's are very different now. Under existing circumstances it was
equally proper for him to decline accepting of the quarter-mastership,
as it is absolutely proper and necessary that you should accede to the
General's wishes, to serve a whole regiment. Think of this.

Yours truly,
(Signed)      J. INNES.

  No. VII.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant_ SPANKIE _to the Honourable Sir_
  G. BARLOW, _Bart. K. B. Governor in Council, Fort St. George_.


I have the honour to request you to accept my resignation of the
situation of quarter-master of the Madras European regiment. I have
signed an official paper, in which I have declared, that I conceive
Lieutenant Maitland has been removed from his appointment in
consequence of an erroneous report of his conduct having come to the
knowledge of the Commander-in-Chief, and this is still my decided
opinion. On this account, and to prevent my being removed on private
information, without having an opportunity of getting my conduct
publicly investigated, I hope you will do me the favour to comply with
my most earnest request to be permitted to relinquish a situation which
I cannot hold, and at the same time retain the good opinion of my
brother officers.

(Signed)      J. S. SPANKIE,
Lieutenant of the Madras
European Regiment.

  No. VIII.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant_ MAITLAND _to Lieutenant-Colonel_


I have this moment understood that you have found it necessary to
report my conduct to the Commander-in-Chief. As I am not conscious of
any misconduct, it is probable I may have something to allege in my
defence; I therefore beg leave to request a copy of your report, or at
least to be made acquainted with its purport.

(Signed)      G. G. MAITLAND,
Lieutenant of the Madras European

24th May, 1809.

  No. IX.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to Lieutenant_


Under existing circumstances, I deem your application inadmissible.
Government will be guided by my report of this day, and will decide
accordingly. So far as relates to yourself, you may apply to the
Adjutant-General of the army for a copy. I am left to regret that you
and Lieutenant Forbes did not make the _required apology_ for your
conduct on the 7th instant. Had you done so, as I requested, private
information would not have been acted upon, as far as I know. Matters
must now take their course. I will still forward any explanations you
may state to me with respect to the _observations you made_ at the
_mess_ on the 7th instant, so _publicly_, with respect to the Nizam's
detachment, and officers who are not friends of the army.

(Signed)      J. INNES, Lieut.-Col.

  No. X.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant_ MAITLAND _to Lieutenant-Colonel_


I am sorry that circumstances exist to subject me to be condemned
unheard for a time. I hope Government will not decide upon your report
until I have an opportunity of defending myself; which, according to
your letter, I must look for from the Adjutant-General of the army.
Until I received your letter this day, I never knew for what words or
actions of mine an apology was required; or I most solemnly deny ever
having given any opinion, in any way, regarding the Nizam's detachment
and its officers, that night, or at any other time, in your presence.

(Signed)      G. G. MAITLAND,
Lieutenant of the Madras European

24th May, 1809.

  No. XI.

  _Copy of a Letter from the Officers of the Madras European Regiment
  to the Adjutant-General of the Army._


It was with the most extreme concern that in our regimental orders of
the 22d instant we found a copy of a letter from you, by which we were
informed, that it had come to the knowledge of the officer commanding
the army, that conduct highly indecorous, and contrary to every
principle of military subordination, had been observed at the mess of
the Madras European regiment on the 7th instant. We beg leave to assure
you, for the information of Major-General Gowdie, that it appears to us
that the account he has received of the conduct of those officers, who
were present at the mess on that evening, must have been erroneous.

We cannot help lamenting that such a stigma on the character of so
numerous a body of officers as we form, should have been thus publicly
thrown out, before we had been furnished with a copy of the report
that has been made against us.

We have seen, with the deepest regret, two of our brother officers
punished, without being specifically informed what part of their
conduct at the regimental mess induced the officer commanding the army
to suppose them to have been guilty of the serious crime with which
they are charged; and we naturally feel considerable apprehension
lest "the whole corps should," in a similar manner, "be involved in
the severest penalty to which insubordinate proceedings are liable."
We trust, therefore, that you will state to Major-General Gowdie
our confident hope that he will have the goodness to direct us to
be furnished with a copy of the information which he has received
regarding the conduct observed at the mess on the night of the 7th
instant. When we receive this, we have no doubt of being able to
convince the officer commanding the army in chief, that the conduct
of those who were present on that occasion did by no means merit the
severe censure with which it has been marked.

Signed by all the Officers present with the regiment, except one,
to whom it was not presented.

27th May, 1809.

  _Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to the Adjutant-General
  of the army_.


I have the honour to forward to you an address from the officers of my
corps, which they wish to be submitted to the Commander-in-Chief.

To elucidate the subject, I now transmit a copy of my note written
to the officers of my corps the moment I got their letter yesterday;
and when I receive the document called for, it shall be handed to you
directly, with every comment I deem requisite to make on it. They go

(Signed)      JAMES INNES,
Lieut.-Col. M. E. regiment, in
charge N. D. of the army.

28th May, 1809.

  _Copy of a Letter from the Adjutant-General to the Officer
  commanding the Northern Division of the Army._


I have had the honour to submit your letter of the 28th ult. with its
enclosures, to the officer commanding the army, by whom I am directed
to acquaint you, that he regrets you should have entered into any
correspondence with the officers of the M. E. regiment on the subject,
or deemed it necessary to forward their letter to head-quarters, as his
decision was not adopted without due consideration, and is final.

If Lieutenant Forbes's presence is required by the Court of Inquiry now
sitting at Masulipatam, you will be pleased to order him to attend.

(Signed)      J. H. CONWAY,

Adjutant-General's Office,
8th June, 1809.
(True Copies.)

  No. XII.

  _Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES _to Lieutenant
  and Adjutant_ NIXON.


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of an address from the
officers of the Madras European regiment to the Adjutant-General of
the army, which shall be forwarded to be submitted to the officer
commanding the army in chief. I have therefore to direct, that a
_statement_ of the _circumstances_ which passed on the 7th instant in
the mess-room of the Madras European regiment, may be made out by the
gentlemen of the corps now present, who dined at the mess-room on that
day, which obliged me to quit the mess-room of the corps. No apology
was ever subsequently made to me, although required and expected, by
Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland, (as it was their duty to do,) for
the pointed disrespect shown by them to the dignity of the Honourable
the Governor in Council, and Commander-in-Chief, in my presence, their
immediate commanding officer.

(Signed)      J. INNES,
Lieut.-Col. M. E. regiment, in
charge N. D. of the army.

27th May, 1809.

  No. XIII.

  _Copy of the Reply of the Officers of the Madras European Regiment
  to the above Letter._



Agreeably to your orders, communicated to us by Lieutenant and
Adjutant Nixon, we have the honour to state, that we were present at
the regimental mess on the evening of the 7th instant, and that it
was with considerable astonishment we observed you leave the mess so
abruptly. We are unable to say what was the occasion of your doing so.
"The friends of the army" was proposed as a toast, and we conceived
it to be one that would not have been objected to; but as you wished
to alter it, and rose from table when it was about to be drank, we
conjectured it had given you offence, and that it was on this account
you left the mess. So far from observing any pointed disrespect, we
did not notice any disrespect whatever, shown by Lieutenant D. Forbes
or Lieutenant Maitland to the dignity of the Governor in Council, and
Commander-in-Chief, in your presence; and until we see the account you
have forwarded on the subject to head-quarters, we shall be at a loss
to suppose what part of their conduct on the night alluded to appeared
to you to be exceptionable.

Signed by all the Officers present
with the mess on the 7th instant.

  SUBSTANCE _of the Deposition of Lieutenant_ NIXON, _Adjutant_.

Lieutenant and Adjutant Nixon informs Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm,
that the best opinion he can form, from his communication with
confidential men, is, that the non-commissioned, rank and file, of the
Madras European regiment, were alarmed in consequence of the measures
adopted towards their officers, Lieutenants D. Forbes and Maitland,
and the threat held out in the Adjutant-General's letter, (published
in the regimental orderly book,) lest the most severe penalty might
be inflicted on the regiment; conjecturing that they must either
be disbanded, transported, or other ways disposed of, by way of
punishment, on a repetition of similar conduct of their officers. To
use their own expression, it was a general saying, "that they might as
well order out one of us to be flogged or hanged up:" and certainly,
in my opinion, from that period great discontent prevailed amongst the
men. This discontent considerably increased from the order respecting
the marines nominating Lieutenant Maitland in particular, and directing
Lieutenant D. Forbes to proceed to Penang; and afterwards by two other
detachments being ordered on marine service, to which they said, that
they did not enlist to come to India as marines. They were also led
to believe, from the ship's boat that landed here, that no marines
were required for the ships in the roads, but that they wanted seamen
only, and consequently supposed they were to be turned over to the
navy. These points were most deeply impressed upon their minds by a
communication which was believed to have come from the high authority
of the Commander-in-Chief, that the regiment was to be disbanded, and
the officers put on half pay, in case Lieutenant Spankie should not
accept of the station of quarter-master.

Lieutenant Nixon further states, that considerable discontent exists in
consequence of the great number of men in the regiment who enlisted for
general service, "time unlimited," prior to Mr. Windham's act; and that
they consider it a hardship that they should not be admitted to the
full benefit of the act in point of limited service.

Another cause of discontent is, that the regiment has not its tour of
duty in the field, and change of station, with his Majesty's corps.

21st July, 1809.

  No. XIV.

  EXTRACT _from a Letter dated 28th May, 1809_.



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this
day's date, with the statement I thought proper to order to be made
out in my note of last night to you, for the information of the
officer commanding the army in chief. I shall now merely confine
myself to remarking to the officers whose names appear to the
letter now received, that had they not made observations on the
late general orders of the Honourable the Governor in Council and
Commander-in-Chief, and remarks on the steady conduct of the officers
of the subsidiary force at Hyderabad, as also on officers "in the
army" who are not the _friends of the army_, I should not have quitted
the table at mess-room _merely_ because "the friends of the army" was
proposed as a toast, which I requested might be changed to the _Madras
army_; and when not acceded to, I felt myself called upon to quit
the mess-room. Very fortunately there were many strangers present at
dinner, as well as myself, whose recollection of what passed on that
day may be able to elucidate this subject, should the Honourable the
Governor in Council and Commander-in-Chief deem it requisite to call
upon them for this purpose.

(Signed)      JAMES INNES,
Lieut.-Col. M. E. Regiment, in
charge N. D. of the Army.

  EXTRACT _from Division Orders, by Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES,
  _dated 1st June, 1809_.

"A detail, consisting of a subaltern, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, and
30 privates, belonging to the Madras European regiment, to be held in
readiness to embark at a short notice on board the Fox frigate, to
serve as marines. The officer commanding the Madras European regiment
will give the requisite orders for the equipment of the above detail,
which Lieutenant Maitland is appointed to command.

"Lieutenant D. Forbes of the Madras European regiment is relieved from
the command of Condapillee, and directed to proceed forthwith to the
Presidency, for the purpose of embarking for Prince of Wales's Island,
to take charge of the detail of the corps doing duty there.

"Ensign Dickson, 1st battalion 19th regiment native infantry, is
reappointed to command at Condapillee, and directed to proceed to that
station with the least delay, to relieve Lieutenant D. Forbes of the
Madras European regiment. The detail above named is to be struck off
garrison duty.

(Signed)      "JAMES INNES,
"Lieutenant-Colonel, in charge
of the N. D. of the Army."

  EXTRACT _from Regimental Orders_.

"Madras European Regiment, 2d June, 1809.

"A roll of the detail ordered on board the Fox frigate, to serve as
marines, to be sent to the paymaster, to enable him to furnish them
with a pay certificate. The roll alluded to, when ready, is to be
inserted in the regimental orderly book. Every thing requisite from the
regimental stores to equip the detail, is to be indented for directly,
that the whole may be prepared to embark at an hour's notice. Pay is
ordered to be issued to the detail alluded to above.

"The commanding officer has approved of the arrangement made for the
detail directed to embark; but as Lieutenant Maitland has expressed a
wish to the adjutant to make some exchanges of the non-commissioned
officers, accedes to the wishes of Lieutenant Maitland, provided the
officers commanding the companies to whom they belong consent to the
exchange; otherwise those already ordered will go."

  EXTRACT _from General Orders, 2d June_.

"Pay in advance for June, and arrears for May, to be issued to the
troops under orders of embarkation in the course of this day, to enable
them to prepare for their passage to the Presidency in the Fox frigate."

  EXTRACT _from Regimental Orders, Madras European Regiment, dated 3d
  June, 1809_.

"The adjutant will furnish Lieutenant Maitland with a roll of his
detachment; and officers commanding companies are directed to send
to that officer the pay advanced (as in yesterday's orders) for the
detachment ordered as marines."

  EXTRACT _from Division Orders, by Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES.

"Lieutenant Dixon of the 1st battalion 19th regiment native infantry,
having joined his corps this morning with the detachment from
Condapillee, is directed to resume the command of that station to
morrow, to relieve Lieutenant D. Forbes, in conformity with the
Division Orders of the 1st instant, and will be provided with a
passport by the acting fort-adjutant.

(Signed)      "JAMES INNES,
"Lieutenant-Colonel, in charge
of the N. D. of the Army."

"5th June, 1809."

  EXTRACT _from Regimental Orders, Madras European Regiment,
  June 6th, 1809_.

"The commanding officer having taken upon himself to grant family
certificates to the detail ordered on board his Majesty's ship Fox,
Lieutenant Maitland is requested to refer to the last order issued upon
this subject, which it will be requisite to attend minutely, to prevent
retrenchments hereafter."

  EXTRACT _from Division Orders, by Lieutenant-Colonel_ INNES,
  _7th June, 1809_.

"The detail ordered from the Madras European regiment is now reduced to
1 subaltern, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, 1 drum, and 26 privates,--in all
30,--to be held in readiness to embark at a moment's notice on board
the Samarang sloop of war, hourly expected.

(Signed)      "J. INNES,
"Lieutenant-Colonel, in charge
of the N. D. of the Army."

  EXTRACT _from Garrison Orders, 13th June, 1809_.

"Lieutenant D. Forbes of the Madras European regiment being summoned as
an evidence, by an Ensign Baker, to attend the Court of Inquiry ordered
to assemble for the purpose of investigating the conduct of Ensign
Baker, Lieutenant D. Forbes is consequently directed to remain here
till further orders."

  EXTRACT _from Garrison Orders, 20th June, 1809_.

"The detail from the Madras European regiment, ordered to be held in
readiness to serve as marines on board the Samarang sloop of war, are
directed to join their respective companies, and to do garrison duty
till further orders; but to be considered as under Division Orders to
embark on a short notice."

  EXTRACT _from Division Orders by Lieutenant-Colonel_ JAMES INNES,
  _dated 23d June, 1809_.

"Two detachments from the Madras European regiment to be held in
readiness to embark, at a short notice, on board of such of his
Majesty's ships as may be prepared to receive them, to serve as
marines, and to consist of the following strength; viz.

"One detachment, to be composed of 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants, 3
corporals, and 35 privates; making a total of 41.

"The other, of 1 lieutenant, 1 sergeant, 2 corporals, and 27
privates--31 total. Such men as wish to have family certificates are to
be provided with them by the officers under whose command they may be
placed immediately.

"No time being fixed for the embarkation of the above details, they are
to be considered on the strength of the garrison, (as also Lieutenant
Maitland's party,) till further orders.

(Signed)       "JAMES INNES,
"Lieutenant-Colonel, in charge
of the N. D. of the Army."

  EXTRACT _from Regimental Orders, June 24th, 1809_.

"Lieutenants Lawless and Carbery to indent for ammunition and every
thing requisite to complete their respective detachments directly.

"Should Lieutenant-Colonel Innes receive any additional information
from the ships, he will write to Lieutenant Nixon instantly."

  SUBSTANCE _of a Verbal Declaration made by Major_ STOREY.

Major Storey declared to Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm, that he was fully
satisfied, that if Lieutenant-Colonel Innes had persisted in the plan
he adopted for the coercion of the garrison, there must have been
immediate bloodshed; and he (Major Storey) was assured, from what he
knew of the general temper of the officers of the Company's army at
the moment, that such an occurrence, whatever was its issue, would
have produced an insurrection against the authority of Government in
many other quarters. This belief, Major Storey declares, was the chief
motive that made him take the step he did.


  Greville Street, Hatton Garden, London.

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Inconsistent hyphenation fixed.

P. 138: one of the most serious crisis -> one of the most serious

P. 158: a gentlemen sung a sea-song -> a gentleman sung a sea-song.

P. 176: after a dicussion -> after a discussion.

P. 219: Lieutenants D. Forbes -> Lieutenant D. Forbes.

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.