Page images
PDF
EPUB

1826. Bhurtpore.

the stores, arms, and ammunition fell into the possession of the victor, the whole military power of the Bhurtpore state might be considered as annihilated. The fortifications were demolished ; the principal bastions and parts of several curtains were blown up on the 6th of February; and it was left to the rains to complete the ruin. The futty bourg, or “ bastion of victory,” built, as the Bhurtporeans vaunted, with the bones and blood of British soldiers who fell in the assault under Lord Lake, was now laid low, and among its destroyers were some of those very men who twenty years before “ had been permitted,” in the boasting language of lui natives, “ to fly from its eternal walls.” In fact, the fort, in a military point of view, is in a state of complete ruin, open in every direction, and would demand as much expense, or nearly so, to render it again formidable, as would raise another in a new position. All the other fortresses within the Rajah's dominions immediately surrendered; the inhabitants returned to their abodes, and the Rajah was reinstated in his authority. Lord Combermere broke up his camp to return to Calcutta on the 20th February, and arrived there early in April.

Thanks were voted by Parliament and by the EastIndia Company;* and the prize-money arising from the capture, granted to the Company by the King, was ordered by the Court of Directors to be distributed among the army.

In the early part of 1827 the Bombay government was involved in a discussion with the Rajah of Colapore, a small independent Mahratta state in the province of Bejapoor. The British government, anxious to avoid à rupture, endeavoured, through the resident, to

adjust * Vide Appendix, page 196.

1827. Colapore.

[blocks in formation]

adjust the difference which had arisen without having recourse to extreme measures. The Rajah, deaf to all remonstrance, and blind to the real interests of his state, continued to disregard the advice offered to him ; he raised additional levies of troops, and at once placed himself in a hostile attitude, which rendered it incumbent on the government to prepare against aggression. The remonstrance of the government remained unanswered, and the Rajah, at the head of large bodies, commenced plundering, not only the properties and territories of his own dependent chiefs, but also those under the special protection or guarantee of the British government, and at the same time ex. torting money from the inhabitants by means of excessive cruelties. Thus forced into active operations, Colonel Welsh marched from Belgaum with the whole of the disposable troops of that station and crossed the Gutpurba river on the 12th September, and subsequently took up a position in the vicinity of Katabughee, in the Colapore territories, the inhabitants of which flocked in numbers to Colonel Welsh's camp, soliciting protection. These measures had the desired effect; the questions pending with the state of Colapore were brought to a satisfactory conclusion without recourse to actual hostilities ; and such arrangements were entered into as will secure the peace and tranquillity of the country, and prevent, on the part of the Rajah, the recurrence of any violation of his engagements.

Accounts were received in this country in the month of November of the death of Sir Thomas Munro, governor of Fort St. George. The lamented event took place at Pattercoondah, near Gooty, in the July preceding, and at the moment when that distinguished

servant

Sir Thomas

Munro.

1827. Sir Thomas

Munro.

servant of the Company was on the point of returning to his native land after a period of nearly forty years devoted to the interests of the Company and his country.

The Court of Directors, as a tribute of respect to their late valuable servant, passed a unanimous resolution expressive of the regard which they entertained for his memory.

Sir Thomas Munro's desire to be relieved from the charge of the government reached this country in September 1826, and in January 1827 Mr. Lushington, formerly of the Madras Civil Service, was appointed his successor. On the same day Major-General Sir John Malcolm was appointed to succeed the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone in the government of Bombay. Mr. Lushington sailed from Plymouth in Mr. Lush.

his

ington.

*" At a Court of Directors held on Wednesday the 28th

November 1827, “ Resolved unanimously, that this Court has learnt with feelings “ of the deepest concern the decease of Major-general Sir Thomas “ Munro, K.C.B., late governor of Fort St. George, and its regret is “ peculiarly excited by the lamented event having occurred at a “ moment when that distinguished officer was on the point of return“ ing to his native land, in the enjoyment of his well-earned honours, “ after a long and valuable life, which had been devoted to the inte“ rests of the Company and his country.

“ That this Court cannot fail to bear in mind the zeal and devotion 6 manifested by Sir Thomas Munro in retaining charge of the govern« ment of Madras after he had intimated his wish to retire therefrom, “ and at a period when the political state of India rendered the dis6 charge of the duties of that high and honourable station peculiarly “ arduous and important; and this Court desires to record this ex“ pression of its warmest regard for the memory of its late valuable “ servant, and to assure his surviving family that it deeply sympa“ thizes in the grief which so unexpected an event must have occa« sioned to them."

E

Sir John Malcolm.

Lord Wm.
Bentinck.

his Majesty's ship Herald in July (having been previously sworn in as a Member of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council), and reached Madras on the 18th October.

Sir John Malcolm sailed from Portsmouth in the ship Neptune, on the 6th July, and reached Bombay on the 26th October.

On the 18th July 1827 Lord William Bentinck was

appointed to succeed Lord Amherst as Governor-GeAmherst. neral. His Lordship sailed from Plymouth on the 9th

February last, and arrived at the Cape about the 9th May, where he found his Majesty's ship Herald, having on board Lord Amherst and suite from Bengal. The Undaunted proceeded on her voyage to Bengal on the 15th May, and the Herald arrived at Portsmouth on the 22d July 1828.

Lord

ANALYS I S.

BOMBAY MARINE.

The East-India Company have maintained, since their earliest establishment, a marine force under the government of Bombay, which has been denominated the BOMBAY MARINE, the ships or vessels in such service being commanded by officers bearing commissions issued by the Company, or by the government in India under their orders, rising by seniority to the respective ranks of lieutenant, commander, captain, and commodore. It is employed on various important services intimately connected with the defence of the British possessions in India, and in tủe protection of the local commerce: and although its efficiency has been materially lessened from the want of sufficient authority to enforce due subordination, it has nevertheless distinguished itself on several occasions; and instances of the most devoted gallantry have been displayed by the commanders and crews detached on separate service.

The expediency of placing the Bombay Marine under martial law was repeatedly represented to be indispensable by the Government abroad. It was a force constituted by valid authority under powers specifically granted by royal charters in the successive reigns from James II. to George II. Yet it had been held in the Court of the Recorder at Bombay, in causes tried there in 1807, that the charters under which the Bombay Marine had been formed did not import a renunciation of the King's general prerogative, to exact the service of all the subjects being seafaring men on board his own ships; and it had been further held, that the charters did not confer

the

E 2

« EelmineJätka »