Die Martis, 2 Martii 1830.
The Lord President in the Chair.
Thomas Gore Lloyd Esquire and James Cosmo Melvill Esquire are
called in, and examined as follows:
Is there any Point in your Evidence which you desire to correct?
(Mr. Lloyd.) To the Question which was put to me as to the
Proportion of the Territorial Advances in England that had been
repaid by Investments from India through China, my Answer was
given from an imperfect Document.
What Correction would you desire to make?
I stated in that Evidence that the Sum of £4,268,122 was a
Repayment of Territorial Charges paid in England through Investments for China, and that results after deducting the Proceeds of
Commercial Exports to India. Considering those Exports as
applicable exclusively to the India Trade, then the Total Amount
remitted through China, from 1814-15 to 1826-7, in Repayment
of Territorial Charges incurred in England, is £10,475,141, and
the Amount remitted in Commercial Investments from India is
£13,862,909, instead of £20,069,928.
When the Proceeds of the Sale of the Company's Goods exported to India are received there, are they confounded with the
Territorial Receipts, and placed in the same Treasury?
Therefore, when Drafts are made upon the Territorial Treasury,
it is not clear from what Fund those Drafts are paid - whether
from the Funds applied for the Repayment of Territorial Charges
advanced in England, or from the Commercial Funds belonging to
the Company in its Commercial Capacity?
There is no Distinction kept in our Books.
In your first Answer you supposed the Proceeds of Goods sent
to India to be invested in India for Remittance through China?
In your Answer To-day you have supposed the Proceeds of
those Goods to be remitted directly from India?
Can you state the Amount of Interest demandable in London
under the Terms of that Loan, which gives absolutely to all Proprietors of the Loan, bonâ fide resident in Europe, the Option of
receiving their Interest here or in India?
(Mr. Melvill.) £466,945.
Of that Sum what has been actually demanded in England?
£300,000 in the last Year.
Can you state what was demanded in the Three previous Years?
Of that Loan it was much the same.
Can you state what is the Amount of Interest demandable in
England during the Pleasure of the Company on each of the other
On the Loan of 1823 the Total Amount of Interest is £477,568.
The Option of receiving this in England or in India is granted only
to bonâ fide Residents in Europe. The Sum demanded in England
on that Account in the last Year was £125,000. Of the other
Loan £450,000 is the Interest, and which is all payable either in
England or in India, at the Option of the Holders generally,
whether resident in Europe or in India; and the Amount demanded in England on that Account in the last Year was £325,000.
A considerable Amount of Debt has been incurred within the Two
last Years, which do not come into this Computation.
Has the Amount demanded in England of the Interest of the
Two Loans to which you have last referred increased of late
Can you state the Amount paid in the Three last Years?
It has increased of course with the Increase of the Debt, which
has been progressive in the last Three Years; and independently
of that there has been a slight proportionate Increase in the
Amount demanded, but not considerable. There is also what is
called the Carnatic Debt, which is included in the Debts at Interest.
The Holders of the Carnatic Stock have the Option, at their
Pleasure, of being paid their Interest either in London or at
Madras. The whole Amount of the Interest demandable on the
Amount is £97,000 annually, and the Amount demanded has been
Is bonâ fide Residence necessary for Option in respect of Carnatic
It is not.
From what Sums have The East India Company the Power of
withdrawing that Option?
From the Five per Cent. Loan of 1823, the Total Amount of the
Interest of which is £477,568; and from the subsequent Five per
Cent. Loans, the Total Amount of Interest of which, up to the last
Account which has been closed, is £450,000.
State at what Rate of Exchange the Interest on that first Loan
to which you have referred is paid in this Country?
The Rate for the Five per Cent. Loan of 1823 is 2s. 1d. the
The Rate for the subsequent Five per Cent. Loans is 2s. the
Will you calculate the Difference between paying the Sum
demanded under those Two Loans at 1s. 11d., and 2s. 1d. and 2s.?
At 2s. 1d. it would be about Ten per Cent., and at 2s. it would
be about Five per Cent., on the Sums demanded. The Difference
would be about £12,000 upon the first of the optional Loans, and
about £16,000 upon the other.
Has not the Rate of Exchange risen materially between England
and India lately?
There has been a trifling Rise, but not considerable; 1s. 11d.
was the last Quotation.
How low had it been?
1s. 10d. in India for Bills on England has been the lowest.
(To Mr. Lloyd.) You have stated the Amount of the Commercial Capital of the Company Abroad and at Home, on the
First of May 1828 and the First of May 1827, at £21,731,869;
it appears by a Note to No. 25 of the printed Papers, that "this
Balance is subject to Reduction by the Amount of Advances
made in India from the Territorial Branch to the Commercial
Branch in the Indian official Year 1827-8. The Documents
whereby the Amount of those Advances is to be ascertained
have not been yet received from India, but it is estimated they
amount to £3,124,900, which will leave a Balance due to the
Company of £5,017,203, including Interest." Will you state
why you do not deduct that Sum of £3,124,900 from the Total
of the Commercial Assets which you stated as £21,731,869?
The Question has reference to the Debt due by the Territory to
Commerce, which is stated in that Account at £8,142,103. If
the Territory, in the Period stated in the Note to the Account,
should have repaid that £3,124,900, and thereby reduced the
Debt to £5,017,203, Assets would appear in that Account to
counterbalance it. If the Debt due by Territory to Commerce is
so much less, our other Assets would be increased.
State in what Manner?
Either by Cash or Goods received by Investments, or Goods in
the Export Warehouses in India, or afloat homewards.
That is by the actual Receipt in England of the Sum which you
understand to have been applied to the Payment of Territorial
Or an Issue to the Commercial Branch in India.
At what Period was the Territorial Branch separated from the
(Mr. Melvill.) In the Year 1814, under the Act of 1813.
Had you any List of Heads of what was given to the Territorial
Branch, and what was given to the Commercial Branch?
A Plan was prepared under the Provisions of the Act by the
Court of Directors, which Plan classed the several Descriptions of
Expenditure under the Heads of Territorial and Commercial; and,
in obedience to that Act, the Plan so prepared was submitted to the
Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, who had full
Power to make what Alterations they pleased. They altered the
Plan; and the Accounts have been kept as it was finally approved.
The Plan was laid before Parliament in 1816, and printed.
Will you refer to Page 5 of the Evidence given by you upon
the first Day of your Examination. You will see, in your Answer
to the second Question in that Page, that after stating that the
probable Excess of Charge over Territorial Revenue in future
Years will be £1,478,285, you state that that Excess can only be
met by a Reduction of Charge; can you state to the Committee
the particular Heads on which it is proposed by The East India
Company to make any Reduction of Charge?
Orders have been sent by the Court of Directors to the Indian
Governments to effect very extensive Reductions in the Military
Expenditure in India, and also for such a Revision of the Civil
Charges as may, it is hoped, lead to a material Reduction of their
Amount. Orders have also been sent for the Reduction of the
Establishments of Prince of Wales Island, Sincapore, and Malacca,
from a Government to Residencies; and Orders have likewise
been given for a large Reduction of the Expence of St. Helena.
Are there any Documents which will show the Particulars of
Reduction under each of those Heads of Charge?
I apprehend, if the Committee were pleased to call for an
Estimate, that such a Document could be prepared.
Can you state to what Amount those proposed Reductions come
in the Gross?
I am not prepared at present with the Particulars. I know that
the Military Reduction was supposed to amount, when it all comes
into Effect, to nearly a Million Sterling a Year; but that is of
course in a great measure prospective. The Officers who are to
be reduced are to be seconded, and die off.
Can you state whether, upon the whole, the proposed Reduction
would bring the Charge within the actual Receipts of the Territorial
I think there is reason to believe, from the Measures now going
forward in India, and from the Effect of the Orders I have explained, that in Time the Charges will be reduced sufficiently to
bring the Expenditure within the Income.
When you speak of "in Time," to what Period do you look
I refer principally to the Military Reductions, which will require
Five or Six Years before the Supernumeraries can be absorbed by
the Occurrence of Vacancies.
Can you at all speak to the Amount which is proposed to be
reduced in the Civil Charges?
No; I am not at present possessed of Materials to enable me to
furnish that Information.
Can you say what Proportion of the increased Charge of Articles
which you have enumerated in the Fifth Page of your Evidence
will be of a permanent and what of a temporary Nature?
I felt, in answering that Question upon the former Occasion, that
I had no other Means of forming a Judgment than that which the
Official Estimate presented.
In that Calculation of the Charge for the Year 1828-9, to which
you refer in your Answer, have you included any Charges of a temporary Nature, and to what Amount?
Certainly not; unless your Lordships consider that Portion of
the Military Charge which is included in that Estimate, and which
has been ordered to be reduced prospectively, of a temporary
There is no Charge in that Account which is for this Year, and
for this Year only?
I am not aware of any.
Do you know the Amount of the Arrears now payable by the
Government of Ava?
There has been received altogether £739,149, namely £553,139
in 1826-7, and £186,010 in 1827-8. The remaining Sum is
£420,851; whereof £208,800 was expected to be secured in
1828-9. There will then still remain due £212,051.
The Witnesses are directed to withdraw.
Thomas Fortescue Esquire is called in, and examined as follows:
You have served in the Civil Service in India?
What Situation did you last hold?
Commissioner of Delhi.
Can you state the Population of the District which was under
It is now Nine Years since I left it. The Number is probably
on Record in some of my Reports. I cannot distinctly state the
Number; but I should suppose near a Million.
What Revenue was collected from that District?
About Five and thirty Lacs of Rupees, including Customs and
Jaghires, and every thing.
Can you state the Expence of collecting the Revenue?
That is a Matter of Figures, which I cannot bear in mind; but
about Nine per Cent. I think.
What Number of Europeans are employed in that District?
There are Three European Gentlemen, Civil Servants of the
Company, in different Parts of the District, being myself at the
Head, residing at Delhi.
What Number of Natives had you under you?
There were subordinate Officers attached to the several Assistants
at very small Salaries, merely Clerks. There was a Law Officer
attached to each of them, to assist them in their Duty, a Mohamedan;
and one Hindoo Law Officer, besides the Mohamedan Law Officer,
attached to the Court over which I presided.
State the Manner in which the Revenue was assessed and
Purely from Villages. The District of Delhi is rather peculiarly
circumstanced; it differs a good deal from other Parts and other
Provinces; and the Settlements are entirely Village Settlements.
State in what Manner that Arrangement is made - with what
A Description of Persons called Mocuddims, or Head Men,
Do they act on the Part of the whole Village?
Always; and they are selected by the Village, and changed at
their Pleasure. They are generally Men of more Influence than
the rest, better able to conduct the Duties of the Village, on the
Part of the whole, than any other Set of Men.
Then the Mocuddims do not contract with the Government for
the Payment of a certain Revenue, but merely act for the Village,
to make an Agreement for the Village?
That is almost always the Case. They very rarely become the
Contractors; the Distinction is nice, perhaps.
How did you determine the Amount that each Village was to
Always by calculating what the People should pay; after
inquiring into the State of the Village - what it had hitherto paid,
what it was capable of, the State of the Lands, and what they ought
to bear with reference to the Produce.
In what Manner was it settled what each Man in the Village
was to pay?
That was an internal Arrangment, which it was desirable for us
not to interfere in; they among themselves settled at their Pleasure
what each was to pay.
Had you any Complaints on the Part of any of the Villages that
they were over-assessed?
I do not recollect One. There were some dissatisfied; but I do
not recollect One reasonable Complaint.
If they were dissatisfied with the Mocuddim they turned him
Yes; but when we came to make a Settlement with them,
sometimes one or two, sometimes the whole Village, would come
and be present, and whoever could speak best to the Point, or
make the best Arrangement on the Part of the others, he was the
Mocuddim; one Day one of them, and another Day another,
Were there any hereditary Officers in those Villages?
They were rather Servants of the Villagers than Officers. There
were no Officers of the Village, except the Carpenter, the Blacksmith, the Barber, and such People.
Was there any Village Accountant?
There was. He was generally what we call a Banyan, a Man
who used to dispose of the Grain of the Village; he was generally
a particular Adept in keeping the Accounts.
Do you think it would have been desirable to make a Settlement
with each Individual, rather than the whole Village?
Certainly not; it would have destroyed the Union among them,
and have penetrated into private and domestic Matters, which would
have been very unpleasant among them.
In what Manner were any Disputes which arose between the
Proprietors settled; how was Justice administered in the Village
It was left pretty much to the System that had existed before
our Time, as it appeared to be satisfactory to the People; that was,
leaving them to decide their own Disputes, where nothing very
heinous had occurred such as required the Cognizance of a
In what Manner did they decide those Disputes?
Always by Punchayet.
Will you describe what Punchayet is?
It is very similar to Arbitration, but in some measure different.
Arbitration is for any thing; Punchayet is an Assembly which they
form themselves: any one of the Village whom they would wish
should advocate the one Part and the other, most frequently the
Mocuddims, from their being the Men whom the Village had
most Confidence in, and who managed the Affairs of it most to
their Satisfaction; but it was not necessary it should be a
Were the People apparently satisfied with such Administration
of Justice as they obtained from the Punchayet?
Almost always; I do not recollect any Dissatisfaction of
How was the Administration of Justice in Cases of a more
important Description managed in your Time?
With respect to Criminal Offences, if any thing very heinous
occurred, the Officers on the Part of the Magistrates, dispersed
through the Country under the Name of Tannahdars, Police Peons,
and Burkandazes, (People carrying Fire-arms,) when they were
either informed or themselves acquired a Knowledge of any heinous
Offence, inquired into it, and reported it to the Magistrate.
That Magistrate was an European?
That Magistrate was one of the Gentlemen I have just mentioned; an Assistant.
To what Extent did those Magistrates decide Civil Causes?
They decided Causes, as far as my Recollection goes, to any
Was there an Appeal to you?
Always, in every Case.
Were those Appeals frequently made?
Not at all, with reference to similar Appeals in the other
You mean that there were fewer Appeals in the Province of
Delhi than in the Lower Provinces, compared to the Number of
To what Extent did the Assistants administer Justice in Cases
of an inferior Nature?
Punishment with Rattan, Confinement and Labour, to the
Extent allowed in the Lower Provinces; very much in the
Character and Manner as applied under the Regulations in the old
Territory. The Principles applicable to that Territory were proceeded on.
According to what Law did you and your Assistants administer
By the Mohamedan Law, modified as it has been and is by the
Regulations of the Government.
As regards the Mohamedan Law, the Regulations of the Government were introduced into that District?
I cannot say that they were specifically introduced; the Principles
of them were adopted; and when any Offence was tried, a
Mohamedan Judge gave his Opinion as in the Lower Provinces,
and the Measure of Punishment was awarded in the same Manner
as it would have been in the Lower Provinces.
According to what Law was Civil Justice administered?
The Mohamedan too.
Without the Intervention of the Regulations?
Yes; they were not authoritatively introduced into the Province;
but I was directed by my Instructions to follow the general
Principles of them.
You administered the Mohamedan Law, modified by the Spirit
of the Regulations?
But not altered by the Regulations?
Yes; there is a great deal of Mohamedan Law altered by the
Regulations. We administered Justice on the Principles of the
But without adhering to the Forms?
The whole Mode of Proceeding was conformable to the Practice
of the Courts below.
Did the People appear to be satisfied with that Administration
I do think they were particularly so.
Has the Revenue increased in that Country of late Years, since
we first got Possession of it?
Extremely; almost beyond Calculation.
And the Population?
Yes; and the Population also. When we took Possession there
were about 600 deserted Villages; when I came away, there were
about 400 of them that had been re-peopled again, chiefly by the
Descendants of those who had a Proprietary Right in those Villages,
and this in consequence of our Administration.
What Extent of Authority was conceded to any Native Commissioner in the Judicial Department?
I cannot exactly recollect; they have very trifling Criminal
Jurisdiction; but in Civil they have Causes to the Extent of a
Thousand Rupees to investigate. They were more as Assistants
in Criminal Matters, to inquire into any little trifling Things that
required more Time than it was consistent with the other Duties
of the Assistant or myself to attend to.
Did they appear to perform their Duties faithfully and well?
I think so; I was very well satisfied with them. I think their
Allowance ought to be more, and more Confidence placed in
From what you saw of the Natives, do you think they could
be introduced into higher Situations than those they had before
I think they might; but they must have a proportionable Reward
for their Services.
Is there any Alteration of System in the Lower Provinces, or in
the Ceded and Conquered Provinces, which would lead, in your
Opinion, to a Reduction of Charge, without diminishing Efficiency
in the Revenue and Judicial Departments?
I certainly think there is.
Have the goodness to state them.
I think, if the Revenue and Judicial reciprocally assisted each
other more than they do, at least than they did when I was in India,
the Business to be transacted would more speedily be got through,
and, of consequence, Benefit would result.
Do you allude to the Revenue and Judicial Functions?
Not altogether. I allude chiefly to a great Proportion of the
Duty which now appertains to the Courts of Judicature, being, in
the first Instance, examined into the adjusted by the Revenue
Will you state the Advantages of that Alteration?
The Advantages would be, that in the Revenue Department, in
which originates a very large Proportion of the Duty of the
Judicial, would be decided Cases the Moment they arise - on the
Spot very often, and by an Officer whose Knowledge gives him an
Advantage over the Judicial. In very many Instances it happens
that the Judicial Officer decides on Cases, after Reference to the
Collector, from the Reports he sends up.
Has a Person educated solely in the Judicial Department that
Knowledge which will enable him to decide the Revenue Cases that
will come before him?
I think not; I think no Judicial Officer can be a good one who
has not commenced in the Revenue Department.
What was the Custom of the Country previous to our Occupation
of it in that respect; were the Functions united?
Before our Government, little was thought of but Revenue;
there were none but Quazies. The Mohamedans distributed
Justice in no regular Way. Sometimes the Aumil, or the ruling
Authority itself, would interfere, but in rare Instances. There was
no Code furnished nor regular System practised by the Native
Government, for the Administration of Justice.
Are you of Opinion that, by a more extensive Union of the
Revenue and Judicial Functions, Justice would be equally well
administered, if not better, and the Charge diminished?
I think that by a better Classification of the aggregate Duties
that would be the Case.
What is the Proportion of the whole Assessment on a Village
or Estate supposed to be allowed to the Zemindar as a Compensation
for his Charges and Risk in the Lower Provinces?
By the Regulations of the Government I think it is about Ten
per Cent. on the Net Revenue he pays to Government, or Eleven
and a Half on the Gross.
Besides that Deduction from the Revenue collected from the
Zemindar, there is likewise a Charge of Collection, is there not?
There is about Five per Cent. for what is called Village
Besides that, there are Salaries of the Collectors themselves,
are there not?
Yes, there are.
What do you calculate to be the Total Charge per Cent. of
collecting the Revenue in the Lower Provinces, including the
Allowance made to the Zemindar?
I do not think I can answer that Question with any Precision;
but with regard to the preceding Question I would wish to add,
that the Allowance to the Zemindar I have just stated is, in my
Opinion, not sufficient; I hardly ever found it to be sufficient in
making the Settlement. I think it is more nominal than real. I
mean that in very large Estates in the Lower Provinces, where they
consist of several Villages, and there is but One or a very few
Proprietors, Ten per Cent. may do; but if it is a small Estate, and
the Family of the Zemindar is large, and the Estate liable to Fluctuations by reason of the Seasons, and the Ground not altogether
even in its Produce, in such Instances, and others I might mention,
the Ten per Cent. has never been enough.
Is it Ten per Cent. on the estimated Amount of the Receipts,
and not on the whole?
The Regulation says that Ten per Cent. shall be allowed on the
Net Receipt, or Eleven and a Half on the Gross; but that, in
your Opinion, is not sufficient in many Cases to enable the Zemindar
When a further Allowance is necessary to be made to a Zemindar,
is that regulated by the Discretion of the Collector?
I think so; that has always been my Mode. It was impracticable
often to make a Settlement; they would not agree with us. When
the detailed Accounts showed that the ordinary Expences of the
Zemindarry were so great, that Ten per Cent. would not remunerate
or allow the Zemindar to live, then it was requisite to make a
Are the Ceded and Conquered Provinces so situate as to make it
possible to introduce the System of Village Distribution there?
Generally speaking, not. In some Parts it did continue, particularly in the Province of Bundlecund.
When that Village Constitution has been once destroyed, it
would be impossible to re-create it, would it not?
I think it would; the more we interfere, the more we dissolve
Of what Religion is the Population in the Neighbourhood of
Immediately round Delhi it is chiefly Mussulman, but in the
Interior chiefly Hindoo. There are entire Villages Hindoo, and
entire Villages Mussulman.
What has been the Effect of the Renovation of the old Canal
that ran along the Line of the Jumna to Delhi; Murdan Shah?
It had just opened a Month or two before I left Delhi. It
had just passed Delhi and gone into the Jumna, and as it gradually
came through the Province it fertilized in an astonishing Manner
and to a most incredible Distance, Right and Left, even to the
Distance of Five or Six Miles, and in Wells which were completely
filled up and thought useless, the Water sprang up again. In the
City of Delhi itself it was wonderful.
Is the Canal for the Purpose of Irrigation only, or for the
Purposes of Navigation?
It is too narrow for Navigation.
Is it not possible to send some light Goods upon it?
I should hardly think more Water can be conveyed than is
required for the Country.
Was the Feroz Shah Canal begun when you left Delhi?
No, it was not. I had the Opinion of one or two Engineers,
but they wished to see the Effect of this before that was undertaken.
The Opinion of those Engineers was, that it was practicable; and
the Natives said, It has once run, why should not it again? I do
not say that the Engineers had officially surveyed it, but they were
in correspondence with me, and had examined it cursorily.
Had any Measures been taken, when you left India, for making
a Canal between the Jumna and the Ganges -the Dewab Canal?
No; there had been a long Time ago, when first we got Possession of the Province, but not since, at least while I remained
there; it had been examined in former Days.
Are you aware that the Canal of Feroz Shah communicated with
the Kuggur River, and that there was a Canal from the Jutledge to
I am rather doubtful on this Point; but I believe the Engineer
Officer with whom I was in Correspondence thought he could
actually trace it to the Kuggur.
Have the Mussulman Population apparently displaced the Hindoo
Population in the Neighbourhood of Delhi?
At a very remote Time of course, when the Mohamedan Rule
came into India. I do not suppose that the Mussulmans have tried
to turn out the Hindoos since.
The Civil Code of the Mohamedans was adopted because the
great Majority of the Population was Mohamedan?
Yes; that is looking to Centuries ago; they brought with them
their own Laws, and forced them on the Hindoos.
At the Period to which you have been speaking, the great
Majority of the Population was Mohamedan?
I allude to the Time that I left Delhi. The Emperor with all
his Court resided at Delhi. The City of Delhi, and all round, was
very greatly Mohamedan, but not farther off.
Did you administer Mohamedan Civil Law in Parts of the
Country in which there was an Hindoo Population?
In all nice Cases a Reference was made to the Hindoo Law
Officer, who gave his Bevesta or Opinion.
You state that Delhi is very populous; can you state in what
Degree it is more or less populous than adjoining Estates in India?
I say it is populous; but I do not think it is comparatively more
populous; I should rather say the contrary, if I were to give any
Opinion. It is rapidly increasing.
Had it been increasing previous to its falling under our
It had; but it was recovering from an extensive Famine that had
happened long ago, which had half depopulated the Country.
You now consider it to be increasing independently of the Consequences of that Famine?
I look to the present Increase as entirely owing to the Administration since we have had Possession of it.
You state that you have employed a Number of Native Officers at
small Salaries; is the Mohamedan and Hindoo Proportion of those
Officers the same as that of the Population, or nearly so?
I allude to common Clerks in Office; I should hardly call them
Officers; they were mere Copyists; they are nothing but common
Clerks. What I call Officers are those attached to European
Officers, and having some Authority.
The Question refers to those employed in any Way?
In employing them, or selecting them, or appointing them, I
never thought whether they were Hindoo or Mussulman; I generally
got the Person best qualified; and if he had been in a very subordinate Situation in the District, and was able to do the Duty
from that Situation, he was appointed.
The Question is not whether you have the Preference on account
of Religion; but what was, generally speaking, the Proportion?
As the Correspondence and Records were all in the Persian
Language, and as the Hindoos rarely acquire a Knowledge of that
Language but for some Purposes connected with Employment, the
Majority were Mussulmans, who, in writing Proceedings, were
more familiar with the Language, it being so connected with the
Language of their Religion.
There was no Exclusion of Hindoos?
No, by no means.
In Situations which were in any degree Places of Trust, did you
see any Motive for giving the Preference to Persons of the one
Religion over those of the others?
No; indeed I found them both equally trust-worthy.
You had no Reason to complain generally of the Want of
Integrity of the Persons you had so employed?
I wish to answer that with a little Reservation. I think not
where they have been what I would say liberally rewarded for their
Trouble, and Consideration has been shown towards them, they are
every way deserving of Trust; but where this has not been the
Case, then they have failed to merit that Confidence.
You have stated that Mohamedan and Hindoo Law Officers are
employed jointly; do you mean that they are consulted in unison
upon the same Points, or that there are particular Points referred
to one, and others to the other?
Certainly; what relates to the Mussulman Law is referred to the
Mussulman, and what refers to the Hindoo to the Hindoo; as in
Cases relating to Caste, Marriages, &c.
By whom are those Native Law Officers appointed?
In the Lower Provinces printed Regulations prescribe certain
Rules and Forms. They are generally recommended by the Judge
and Magistrate of the District to whose Court they are attached;
they also belong to the Courts of Circuit, and the Sudder Dewanny
and the Nizamat Adawluts.
What is their Manner of Appointment?
The nomination rests with the local Authority; the Confirmation
rests according to Circumstances, as is defined by the Regulations.
Are their Appointments liable to be revoked at Pleasure?
Not exactly at Pleasure; there must be some Cause of Dissatisfaction, something improper alleged and proved. Superannuation
or a Wish to retire may lead to their Appointment being revoked.
Such Cause being alleged, by what Authority are they liable to
The Regulations point out different Authorities; for instance, a
Judge and Magistrate has no Power to dismiss, only to suspend,
either of his Law Officers, without reference to the Court of Circuit,
his immediate Superiors. The Regulations point out all those
You state that the Banyans dispose of the Grain of the Village;
will you state in what Manner they generally dispose of it?
They have only the Disposal of it when it is the Pleasure of the
Parties to arrange with him for that Purpose; it is not necessarily
so, nor has he any special Authority to interfere one way or the
other; but when he does dispose of it, he generally takes it and
disposes of it at the average Price of the Market, or at any Price
that the Owners of it choose to arrange with him for.
He is a sort of Broker?
Yes; and he is their Cashkeeper frequently.
Does he frequently dispose of it to the Government?
No; Government never purchase. It is the Object of the
Government rather to get rid of it.
You have stated that the Revenue has greatly increased in the
Province; has that arisen from the improved Collection, or from
From both. The increased Duties, with reference to the Customs and Town Duties, have been greatly augmented; and also the
Land Revenue has increased greatly, owing chiefly to the Assessment on the different Villages, some of which paid no Revenue at
all before our Administration, or little or nothing, according to
their internal Ability to resist the former Government, or its local
Officers, or by Connivance.
Those new Assessments were made by your Direction?
Not exclusively by mine, but by those of my Predecessors; I was
sent up chiefly to report on the State of the Territory.
Did the Increase of Assessment occasion much Complaint?
I cannot say much Complaint. Those who paid nothing, or but
little, did not like to have the Revenue augmented; but there was
nothing like Rebellion - nothing like Resistance - nothing like
the Opposition there had been heretofore. All those Matters
which I have been speaking of are very fully detailed in Reports,
which it was my Duty to make on that Territory as to Revenue,
Customs, Police and the Administration of Justice. I have not
those Documents with me, and therefore I speak with some Hesitation on some of those minute Points.
Up to what Period do your Reports reach?
Up to the Period of my leaving India; I left in 1821, in consequence of the State of my Health. There is a great deal of
Peculiarity with reference to the District of Delhi.
You think that a considerable Advantage would arise from
uniting the Collectorship with the Duties of a Judge?
Not entirely. I meant to say that a great deal of the Judicial
Business would be much better performed by the Collector, and it
would be in aid of the general Establishment and general Administration of Justice.
That you thought it desirable the Collector should have Judicial
Yes, that is the Effect of my Answer. My Experience has
certainly proved that.
Would the Effect of that be to accelerate the Administration
I think very greatly. I have had a great deal of Experience in
every Part of the Province of Bengal.
The Separation was made by Lord Cornwallis, was not it?
Yes, it was, I believe.
In consequence of that Separation of the Judicial Individual
from the Office of Collector, has not the Administration of Justice
since been subject to great Delay?
I will not say positively that it has been in consequence of the
Separation of the Judicial Individual from the Office of Collector.
But subsequent to that Time it has been delayed, has it not?
I cannot say what was the Case before. I can speak to what it
is at present; but I think there are great Embarrassments to the
Administration of Justice from a Want of Division of Labour.
Were you acquainted with the State of the Courts within
the District of Delhi?
Do you know the State of Arrears of Causes in those Courts?
They are very minutely stated in my Reports. I know thus
much, that Business was decided as rapidly as it was prepared;
there was no Delay whatever as to myself. When I came away,
Two or Three Hours a Day was sufficient to leave every thing
clear up to the Moment, including every Reference from them, and
every private Petition.
What was the State of Arrears in the Courts, your Duty being
that of deciding the Appeals from the Courts?
Very nearly similar to what they were with regard to myself.
There are a Mohamedan Officer and an Indian Officer attached
to each of the Courts, are there not?
No; there is only a Mohamedan in that Court; there was an
Hindoo attached to me, but there was not Duty sufficient for more
than One. I have acted locally in all the other Parts of the
Province, in the Ceded and Conquered Provinces, and at Benares.
When a Cause is to be tried in one of those Courts, if it is to
be tried by the Hindoo Law, is it conducted by an Hindoo
No; the Hindoo Law Officer does not sit in the Courts in
general; if he chooses he may sit.
He is there only to answer the Questions put to him by the
Yes; at the same Time, perhaps, he is going on with his own
regular Business in another Part of the Court House.
By whom are the Witnesses examined in the Zillah Court in
Always by the Assistant; but in very pressing Cases the
Witnesses have, in some Part of the Court Room, been examined
in the Presence of the Vackeels and Agents of the Parties, in Civil
Suits. This has been done to prevent Delay, and when the Parties
have preferred it.
When it comes under the Mohamedan Law, is it conducted in
the same Manner?
The Indian Officers, or Mohamedan Officers, as it happens,
dictate the Sentence, do not they, usually?
Do not they mention to the presiding European Judge what
ought to be the Sentence?
If he is referred to; but they always, when requisite, make a
formal Reference to him of the Point on which he is to give his
Is that in Writing?
Always in Writing. Very often, (speaking of myself,) in a
Cause of any Intricacy, (and I believe others also,) I have requested
the Law Officer to be present, and to assist in going through the
Examination of the Case.
You have stated that you thought in some respects the Judicial
Officers were not very capable of performing their Duties; in
what Particulars do you think that was the Case?
I did not mean to say that, but that the Decisions of the
Judicial Officers, very often, from not having Revenue Knowledge,
were not so good and so practical, and that their Decisions were
not so correct, as they might have been otherwise. I would explain
myself by saying, that the Execution of a Decree, for Want of
Revenue Knowledge, was sometimes impracticable, often very very
Do you think the Judicial Officers in general, and particularly
when first placed in those Situations, are capable, from their Knowledge of the Language, of examining an Indian Witness?
I think their Knowledge of the Language certainly is sufficient
to enable them to examine a Witness.
Is the Court you have described under the Name of Punchayet
any thing more than a Reference agreed on between the Parties,
and applicable to Civil Cases?
I do not know whether I can call it a Court; it is a self-constituted Court among the People; it is an Assembly rather, elected
by the People, who decide whatever they choose to bring before it:
it is not a Thing they are called to, nor can we direct them to
assemble a Court.
Do they decide any Cases of Accusation?
None, but among themselves.
It is so far recognized amongst themselves as to try inferior
Rather Domestic Offences - not Offences against the Public;
Family Quarrels, Family Disputes, any little Thing, perhaps even
a little Theft.
You have stated that you thought the Native Officers that were
employed in the Courts, both Indian and Mohamedan, when their
Appointments were such as they ought to be for their Situation,
were entitled to full Confidence; do you apply that simply to those
who came under your Observation in the Province of Delhi, or do
you apply it generally as the Result of Information you have
received in other Parts of India?
I apply it generally to all the Provinces of Bengal in which I
You were understood to state that the Mocuddims are the
Persons who agreed with the Collectors for the Amount of the
Revenue from each Village?
Yes; very often there is more than One; there may be Four or
Five, or there may be Two or Three.
How does the Collector in the first Instance assess the Amount
of the Contribution?
From various Channels of Information. He looks, for instance,
to the Revenue the Village has hitherto paid; he looks to the State
of the Cultivation; he looks to the Pergunnah Rates, that is, the
Rent which such and such Land bears in that Village, or in the
neighbouring Villages. He ascertains in these and in other Ways
the general Assets; but in Delhi almost all the Lands have been
Having ascertained the estimated Produce of a Village, he
assesses it at a certain Amount?
That is the Mode of Proceeding?
How is that Assessment enforced?
I speak of Delhi; and it rarely happens, when the Assessment
is arranged, and the Parties are content, that there is any Difficulty
in collecting it at the stated Periods. There are what are called
Kists, or periodical Payments, arranged; and sometimes the Proprietors come in spontaneously with the Rent; at other Times an
Officer goes and requires it.
Supposing a Village should be in default of this Payment, what
Means are there of enforcing Payment from that Village?
It very rarely happens that that is so; and if it is so, it is
generally from some Circumstance which is a just Cause for postponing the Demand for a Time; bad Seasons in some Cases,
quarrelling among themselves, or something going wrong in the
Village. A subordinate Officer on the Part of the Collector will
then go and inquire among the Sharers what is the Cause of the
Kist not being paid up, and it rarely happens that Criminality
Do you in no Case levy the Money from Individuals?
Only the Tehsildar, or other Revenue Officer, will go and
communicate personally with the whole of the Villagers. They are
all Brothers or Relations. He will collect from them separately.
Is this Land, so assessed to the Revenue, subject to any Payment
for Rent to any body else?
There is no Middle-man between Government and themselves.
They look upon that which they pay to Government as a Rent.
The Government are Proprietors of the Land, and the Land
is let to those Persons on condition of their paying this Contribution?
That is a Question which has been greatly discussed in India.
As to the Proprietorship, my Belief is, that the Government is the
Proprietor of the Land, and that the Person occupying it is well
satisfied with the Occupation, paying that Rent.
That is the only Rent the Person pays for the Occupation of
Yes; there are Village Charges.
You stated that when you first went to Delhi there were a great
Number of deserted Villages, which afterwards were re-peopled;
how soon after they were re-peopled did you begin to levy the
Assessment upon them?
I cannot precisely say that without reference to the Papers; but
I can say that this Principle was adopted, of not assessing the
Village 'till it was in such a forward State of Cultivation that, with
reference to other Land, it was reasonable to assess it.
Is the Zemindarry System entirely done away in the Neighbourhood of Delhi?
The Word Zemindar, as applied in the other Provinces, is
perhaps not known there.
Is the Revenue for Delhi collected at a cheaper Per-centage than
in the Lower Provinces?
I believe I mentioned that I could not state that precisely at this
distant Period; but there are Statements I have sent which will
elucidate this Point. To the best of my Recollection, the Collection is cheaper than on the other Side of the Jumna; I think
about Nine per Cent.
Does the Ten per Cent. given to the Zemindar in the Lower
Provinces go to any other Officer in the Neighbourhood of Delhi?
It is a different Thing altogether. In the Provinces alluded
to there are Regulations which prescribe, that, having ascertained
the Produce, such and such Allowances shall be made to the
Zemindar, in which Allowance is included his Ten per Cent. In
the Delhi Territory there are no Regulations which prescribe
certain Terms of Assessments; and I believe I have just explained
how the Settlements were made.
Why is the Ten per Cent. allowed to the Zemindar?
It is an Allowance granted to him, fixed by the Government for
him as his Zemindarry Right; it comprehends so much that I do
not know how to describe it briefly.
When that Arrangement was made, was it not in the Contemplation of Government that the Zemindar had a Proprietary
Right over the Soil?
The Word Zemindar was understood to mean that.
It was afterwards found out that he had none?
There is a great deal to be said on that Subject; he was often
found not to be the Zemindar.
In the Province of Delhi the Revenue is collected at a cheaper
Rate than in the Lower Provinces?
That is a Matter of Account, and I should wish to refer to my
Reports; but the Impression upon my Mind, though I cannot give
a Reason for that Impression at this distant Period, is, that it is
cheaper; but by referring to the Accounts in the India House
this will be seen.
Do you think in all Cases, so far as your Observation has gone,
that in the Province of Delhi improved Cultivation of Land has
kept Pace with the Increase of Revenue?
I think that the improved Cultivation of Land has gone before
the Increase of Revenue.
Is the Mohamedan Law, as now administered there, very considerably influenced by those Regulations you have spoken of?
In what Points are the Defects of the Mohamedan Law chiefly
controlled or influenced by them?
Amputation, for instance, is commuted to Imprisonment;
another, with reference to the Witnesses, holding that Two Females
are only equal to One Male, &c. &c.
Is the Contribution agreed upon with the Mocuddims fixed on
the Gross Produce of the Village in Grain?
We arrange with the Mocuddim what he is to pay after
surveying the Resources.
How much per Cent. upon that is it usual to exact?
There is nothing further than that the various Sources of the
Village are on Paper.
You estimate it at a certain Amount?
What Proportion of that do the Government demand?
It depends greatly on Circumstances - on the Quality of the
Land and the Produce of it. It depends also on what hitherto those
People have paid; because there are some Villages which, previous
to our Possession, paid nothing, in consequence of their Power to
resist. As those Villages are from their Resources as competent
to pay as others, a gradually increasing Assessment has been
Can you give any Idea of the Proportion paid to Government of
the Produce of those Villages?
I know that sometimes the Mocuddims arrange so that the
Share to the Proprietors shall be sometimes Three Fourths, Two
Thirds, Three Fifths, One Half, - fluctuating, but all depending
upon so many local Circumstances. I cannot speak more closely
So that if one of the Ryots produces a certain Proportion of
Rice or any other Grain upon his Ground, the Value of Three
Fourths or One Half is paid to the Government?
I cannot say that, because there are a great many Things to be
taken out of it. A Proportion of the Produce will be taken to
pay the Expences of the Village; the Hospitality of the Village
for Strangers, and the different Officers of the Village - the
Carpenter, and so on; they have their Share out of it; there then
comes the Net Produce.
Upon that the Assessment is fixed?
Do you state that Three Fourths or Half go to the Government?
The Share coming to Government cannot be fixed precisely,
because it will not leave Half on some; but the general Principle
is, that a Half is what they call the Hakimee, or the Government
That is the Half of the Net Produce, after paying the Village
In some Instances it is but a Half of the Gross Produce; it is
not possible to give a distinct Answer to it, it depends so much
In the Case of the Failure of a Proprietor, what Steps does
the Government take against that Proprietor; does he forfeit the
Referring to Delhi, I would say that the Government know little
of the precise Property of any of the Proprietors. It is not the
Interest or the Wish of the Village that the Government should
scrutinize and know their Possessions; and therefore, if any One of
the Brotherhood fails to pay his Proportion, that is a Matter for
the Village at large to settle; they will often come forward to pay
it for him; but those are all private Arrangements kept to
Has the Mocuddim any Power from the Government to enforce
this Assessment in any way?
The Mocuddim is merely an Agent on the Part of the Village?
He is merely chosen by them.
Have the goodness to state in what Manner Property descends
from one Generation to another?
The Minutiæ of this Matter will be found in my official Reports;
that I now mention would be but general. I speak with some
Diffidence; but the Inheritance is very distinctly marked, and very
distinctly observed amongst them. The Sons inherit from their
Father generally. Females are excluded.
Does the Right of Primogeniture prevail?
No, it does not. If a Man dies with Four Sons, those Four
share in equal Proportions; and in respect of what is called in a
grand Division a Panee, supposing there were Four Sons, each
would inherit a Division of that Panee, which would create what is
called (4) Tokes.
Does that Mode of Inheritance extend to the Mussulman as well
as the Hindoo Population?
Yes; there are Exceptions of course; but I speak of that which
is generally the Case.
In the early Part of your Evidence you stated that you have no
Means of making any exact Calculation of the Population of Delhi,
and you have also spoken about the Villages; can you give any
general Idea of the Amount of Population in those Villages; do
they differ much, and, if so, can you mention the greatest Population of any one Village?
No; it would be hardly possible. Perhaps the largest Village
in point of Landed Extent might have the fewest Inhabitants in it;
for instance, those that were re-peopled again; the Lands appertaining to them are perhaps as large as any in the District, but the
Population may be the fewest; but they vary very much. They
are every Day augmenting. People who had abandoned them, or
their Relatives, are coming back, and getting Possession without the
When you speak of a Village, you include the adjacent Land?
Yes; all the Land appertaining to the Brotherhood who live in
the Hamlets or Houses.
Is the whole of the Land appropriated into Villages?
There is a considerable Part of it unoccupied, unclaimed and
uncultivated, but which will be cultivated as soon as the Aqueducts
which have been talked of shall fertilize the Soil.
Is the Consent of Government required for the Cultivation of
any new District?
No. Government are happy that People should come and take
up their Abode. They make no Inquiry if there is no Objection
made by the neighbouring Villagers; that is to say, that they do
not claim Land that others are in the Possession of.
What length of Possession gives a Right to the Property?
A Right of Possession remains 'till it is disturbed by some others
who claim it; but that is a Case that rarely or never occurs. There
are no Disputes of that Nature.
Has the District been well surveyed?
I do not know that there has been a very exact Survey. It has
been surveyed by the Revenue Officers; I meant that it was surveyed by the Revenue Officers.
Speaking of the Province of Delhi, in what respect does the
System for the Administration of Justice differ from that supposed
to be the Case in the best Times of the Mussulman Government?
The great Difference is, that there are certain Principles now
proceeded on; which was not the Case in those Days; there was no
System. In short, I cannot go back to any particular Time, unless
I go back an Hundred Years, or an Hundred and sixty. I have
seen Records of the Province, stating its extreme Fertility at that
Time. I do not know any Period when the Administration of
Justice was in a better State. I can find no Record of it.
Have you Reason to think that the Inhabitants of the Province
of Delhi rightly understand, and act on and approve of, the Changes
that have been introduced into the System of Mohamedan Law in
its Administration, by the Regulations to which you have referred?
I do not recollect that there has been an Alteration in the Civil
Code of Mohamedan Law; it is only in the Criminal Code.
Are they readily acquiesced in by the Natives?
I think they are favourable to them; I never heard any Objection
to them; on the contrary, I think they have approved of them.
They are grounded in Humanity.
Is it your Intention to return to India?
No; I have left on account of Ill-health, and have not been well
enough to go back.
What was the Amount of your Allowances while you were
Commissioner at Delhi?
Five thousand Rupees per Month.
Would you call that £6,000 a Year?
At Two Shillings, it would be about that.
At what Time of Life were you when you went there?
That is now Ten Years ago. I suppose about Forty.
How long had you been in India previously?
I went out in 1798, and passed through almost all the Gradations
of the Service. I was in Delhi not above Ten Months.
You had been Two and twenty Years in India before you went
The Witness is directed to withdraw.
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to Thursday next,