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nationally identified by colonization. Every Englishman who goes there hopes to return; nobody loves to live there ; none settle; no one regards it as his home. Hence the lack of per sonal interest in the country; and hence, again, the general coldness of which we have been complaining. The duties of all in office are performed faithfully and well; but they are per formed as duties, and such sympathy as strangers feel is, like their con nexion with the soil, temporary. We notice the defect, not for the purpose of disparaging our government of India, which is, beyond all question, the best its nations have ever known-one which gives them that great element of social happiness, security of person and of property, and what we are disposed to regard as of almost equal importance, immunity from agitation. We notice the defect, not, we say, for the purpose of underrating the horrors of anarchy and terrors of misrule, from which our government has saved the people of India ; or of depreciat. ing the higher degree of civilisation which it has been, to a great extent, the means of introducing ; but for the purpose of showing that to compen sate for a defect which appears to be inherent in the nature of our connexion with India, we are bound the more carefully to consult her interests, and, as a means towards this, to make them more known, in various forms, through the press. Interest and pride seem alone to link us to India-interest in its rich resources--pride in the ho nours we have won there. We long to be united to that country by a holier tie_ by that good feeling which must arise from well-directed efforts to improve the condition and raise the character of its many peoples. Our humble sphere is, to aid in making these known, and our first step an attempt to outline their history.
The India trade was, from the ear. liest period, looked on in the West as the most magnificent of all commercial objects; and each European nation, as it rose in maritime importance, as pired to a participation in its golden fruits. It is characteristic of the gedius of Alfred, justly named the Great, that he endeavoured to direct the at. tention of our merchants to that line of traffic. He, as we are told by Wil liam of Malmesbury, sent, in the year
883, Sighelenus, Bishop of Sherburne, to India, under the pretext of making offerings at the shrine of St. Thomas, and the monk adds, that at the date of his chronicle, some of the commodities which the bishop brought back were to been seen in the church at Sherburne. The crusades, in later periods, made us somewhat better acquainted with the usages and productions of the East; but it was not until about the period of the Reformation, when, and much owing to that event, we were becoming a manufacturing people, that the expanding spirit of commercial enterprise began to exhibit itself in vigorous efforts to extend our trade, and then intercourse with India became our first object. The earliest of these attempts was the voyage of Robert Thorne, in the reign of Henry VIII., in the year 1527, to discover a north-west passage to India. Then followed the fatal voyage of Sir Hugh Willoughby, who, with all his crew, perished on the coast of Lapland. This voyage was in search of a northeast passage, and was made in the reign of Edward VI., in whose time, and that of Elizabeth, others of a like character were repeatedly undertaken by such well-known navigators as the Cabots, Frobisher, Davis, Hudson ; some to seek out a north-west, others a northeast passage to India. These intrepid mariners failed in finding for their country the short track to the gold of Cathay, or to the diamond mines of Golconda ; but they taught her a better service, in rendering her sons hardy and accomplished seamen. The discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by Bartholomew Diez, in 1486, and the actual voyage made to India, by Vasca de Gamo, in 1498, revealed the longsought-for course. We have, in our former paper, noticed the steps by which the Portuguese and the Dutch, availing themselves of this discovery, established their connexion with the East. It was not until Drake's circumpavigation voyage that our English merchants directed their attention to the course to India by the Cape. Drake, who had passed that promontory in fair weather, disrobed it of the terrors with which it had been invested by the Portuguese and Dutch ; and his voyage, which had given new impulse to the enterprise of our traders, was soon followed by an incident well calcu
lated to stimulate their desire for gain -we mean the capture of some Por tuguese Indiamen with immense trea sure, and with papers affording information of greater value. Besides the details thus made known, there had been a good deal of knowledge on the subject of the Indian trade, collected by an association called the Levant Company, which had been for some years established, and which conveyed goods from Aleppo and Bagdad, and thence by the Tigris to Ormus, on the Persian Gulf. This company succeeded in opening a very extensive intercourse with India ; but the ex. penses of the transit were so great that the returns were not very lucrative. Encouraged by the hope of larger pro fits, and prompted, as we have said, by the spirit of maritime enterprise, ves sels were fitted out, and voyages made to India, some by government vessels, and some by vessels fitted out by indi. viduals. They, in all cases, partook of a piratical character, and their gains were usually enormous. Still the ha zards were found to be too great for private capital, and an application, in consequence of this, having been made to Queen Elizabeth, she, in December, 1600, granted to the petitioning merchants a charter, erecting them into a corporation, under the title of “ The Governors and Company of Merchants of London trading to the East Indies." This charter gave them the privilege of exclusive trade; but the crown re. served to itself the right of resuming its grant, after a three years' notice. The early intercourse of the company was with the Indian islands, and their chief station was at Bantam, in Java. They subsequently found it advan. tageous to open a trade with the continent of India, which was first at. tempted at Surat, in 1609. The Portuguese, who were at that time in pos session of the trade there, showed every disposition to oppose them ; but they quailed before the determination of Sir Henry Middleton, who commanded the company's ships. Our merchants soon made some character with the native traders, and gained no little influence with the nabobs and princes of the country.
On the 11th January, 1612, they obtained from the Emperor Jehanghire a firman, authorising them to hold establishments in certain places along
the shores of his kingdom. Pursuant to this, they, in the course of that year, built a factory at Surat, and thus made their final settlement on the continent of India. This was in the reign of James I., who, about the saine period, sent out Sir Thomas Roe as his ambassador to the court of the Great Mogul. This mission supplies us with a most interesting account of the emperor, his court and country, but was not attended with any political advantages. Soon after this an incident occurred, which led our merchants to abandon their connexion with the Eastern Archipelago, and to direct all their attention to the trade with continental India. The naval power of the Portuguese was declining, and with it their influence in the East, but the Dutch were our active and powerful competitors. They were deeply jealous of our endeavours to share with them the lucrative trade of the Spice Islands, and evinced this feeling in an act which will for ever stain their annals - known as the massacre of Amboyna. They had in that island a strong fort, garrisoned with two hundred men, and there were eighteen Englishmen residing in the town engaged in trade. These they arrested altogether, with some few Japanese and one Portuguese, on the ground that they had conspired to seize the fort. The statement of the charge exhibits the improbability of its truth, and this is further heightened by the nature of what they called their evidence. Their first information was from one of their own Japanese soldiers, and obtained by the application of torture. They then put all the prisoners to the rack. At first each of them denied any knowledge of such a plot, but the torture being again applied, they of course confessed all that their accusers wanted. When released from pain, they repeated their denial of the charge, but being tortured anew, were compelled to reconfess it. Nine of the English, including their captain, were put to death, their heads being cut off by a scimitar. They all declared their innocence in the most solemn manner. Nine Japanese and one Portuguese shared their fate, while the remaining Englishmen were pardoned.
The account of this cruel proceeding excited, as might be expected, the
greatest indignation in England, and to increase it, the court of directors had a picture prepared, copied and circulated, representing the horrors of the scene. It was not, however, the interest of our government to go to war on the occasion, and negotiations were commenced, which were protracted from 1923, the period of the transaction, until about 1654, in the time of Cromwell, when an adjustment took place. The immediate result was, however, what the Dutch no doubt anticipated--the abandonment of our intercourse with the Indian Archipelago. Our merchants felt that they had neither forces nor forts enough to protect a trade, and thus was this guilty act long attended with all the advantages which its originators had contemplated.
Mill, whose prejudices often mar his work, assumes at times an air of impartiality, which is sadly misplaced. He endeavours on this occasion to excuse the Dutch, by suggesting that, biassed by self-interest, they may have believed their rivals guilty. The fan ciful assumption of motives may pal liate any crime; but unhappily this is not the only proceeding which taints the colonial conduct of the Dutch. On the contrary, it is only character istic of their selfish and cruel policy in the East.
Partly in consequence of the loss of trade which ensued directly on this catastrophe, and partly from the large expense incurred by their contests with the Portuguese, the East India Company became at this time a good deal embarrassed ; and it was while their finances were thus deranged, that a circumstance took place, which led to their settlement in Bengal, and subsequently proved the main source of their prosperity.
A physician, named Boughton, having been called on to attend the daughter of the Emperor Shah Jehaun, in a dangerous illness, was so fortunate as to cure her, and, in consequence, gained her father's good will. With generous feeling, he availed himself of this to advance the interests of his countrymen, and obtained for them the privilege of carry ing on a free trade. The same gen.
tleman was equally successful at the court of the Nabob of Bengal, from whom he procured, in 1636, permission for the company's servants to erect a factory at Hoogley, on the sonamed branch of the Ganges. Much about the same time a fort was erected at Madraspatam, on the Coromandel coast, where we had for some time previously had depots. This new station was named Fort St. George; and thus bave we traced the commencements of our three presidencies, on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts, and in Bengal. But the state of affairs in England precluded the company from availing themselves of these opening prospects, and during the civil wars their existence, as a corporation, was in peril.
The India trade was in fact thrown open, for the five years which preceded 1657, the date at which Cromwell renewed the privileges of the company. The effects of this free trade are very differently stated in works of the pe. riod; but the nearest guess we can make at the truth leads us to think that our merchants offered India goods at low prices, and extended their sales to almost every part of Europe, underselling the Dutch even in Ainsterdam. In confirmation of this last fact, Sir John Malcolm cites a passage, in the “ Letters of Thurloe," Cromwell's secretary, to the effect that the merchants of Amster. dam, “having heard that the Lord Protector would dissolve the East India Company at London, and de. clare the navigation and commerce to the Indies to be free and open, were greatly alarmed, as they considered such a measure would be ruinous to their own East India Company.**
The prospects of our own East India Company became more eocouraging under Charles II. and his brother James. The former renewed and extended their privileges, and made over to them the island of Bom. bay, which he had received as part of the portion of his queen, the Infanta of Portugal. James added the important prerogatives of levying troops, holding courts-martial, and coining money. It is not, perhaps, to be wondered at, that these high powers were
sometimes abused—that merchants dread at this time were the merchants with such prerogatives were too eager of their own country, who interfered for gain—that factors, living in what with their monopoly, and were known was felt, from its distance, to be a new by the name of - Interlopers." Their world, forgot their responsibility. In profits were doubtless larger than 1665, Sir Edward Winter, governor those of the company, and they beof Madras, being superseded for undue came so influential at home, that practices, bad the boldness to imprison when, in 1698, the charter of the East the person who was sent out to succeed India Company was brought under him, and actually held the government the consideration of parliament, they until 1668, when, by the special din actually obtained for themselves the rection of the king, he resigned it. exclusive right of trading with the Sir John Child seized thirteen large East. This they acquired by offering ships at Surat, the property of mer to the government an advance on chants there, and sailed with his plun- better terms than those proposed by der to Bombay, of which he was then the company. But the latter soon governor. It appears, indeed, that after got a new confirmation of their this was effected with the knowledge grant; and thus the nation had at the of a sub-committee of the directors at same time two East India Companies, home; but if this circumstance di- each with privileges alike exclusive, minishes the audacity of the act, it granted by the crown and confirmed exhibits the morals of the company as by the legislature, and both expending of no very elevated order. Quite in their gains in corrupting parliament, agreement with this view are the sen not only by purchasing seats, but also timents of the chief director, as ex by directly bribing members of the pressed in a letter to one who was lords and commons. Wearied by appointed a judge in India. “I ex- such expensive struggles, they at length pect,” says that autocratic trader, combined their stock, under the charcó that my will and orders shall be ter given to the old company, on the your rule, and not the laws of Eng- 5th September, 1698, and assumed land, which are a heap of nonsense the name under which they have ever compiled by a number of country since remained incorporated " The gentlemen, who bardly know how to United Company of Merchants Trad. govern their own families, much less ing to the East Indies.” The privi. the regulating companies and foreign leges of the united corporation were commerce. Having now the power of confirmed, and extended by an act of condemning the company's enemies, or parliament, in 1708, and the general such as shall be deemed so, particularly tranquillity which, a few years afterthose that shall question the company's wards, ensued on the peace of Utrecht, power over all the British subjects in was favourable to their interests. India, I expect my orders from time It was a little previously to these to time shall be obeyed and received last dates that the company seems as statute laws.”
for the first time to have raised their It was not, as our readers will easily views from trade to territory. In believe, by conduct and principles 1689 they write out to their agents such as these, that the East India that revenue is for the future to enCompany advanced in power, but in gage their attention, as much as traf. despite of them. They incurred the fic; that they wish to be “ a nation in dislike and the hostile feelings of the India," and they cite with approval native princes, and Aurungzebe threat. the example of the Dutch, who they ened to raze their factories to the say wrote to their governors ten para. ground. He seized Surat, sent a fleet graphs about tribute, for every one to attack Bombay, and at the same which concerned commerce. But as time assailed them in other points. yet their views in this respect were of The servants of the company made the humblest character; they only ex. the most abject submission, and the tended to the acquisition of territory emperor, only looking on them as by purchase, and in this manner they traders, and conceiving their com- became possessed of some districts on merce to be of some importance to his the Coromandel coasts, where they subjects, forgave them. The enemies built Fort St. David ; and the Nabob from whom the company had most to of Bengal, desiring to replenish his
exchequer, in order to enable him to sustain a war, the company succeeded in buying from him the zemirdarships of certain towns and districts, amongst which was that of Calcutta, where they erected Fort William, and which was, in 1707, declared to be the seat of a presidency.
From the peace of Utrecht, until the recommencement of hostilities in Europe, embracing a period of more than thirty years, the company advanced in commercial prosperity. The date of the war which then took place between England and France, 1744, is a cardinal era in the history of our Asiatic realm ; but before we attempt any narrative of its events, we must glance at the relations of the latter power with the East.
In the reign of Louis XIV., and the year 1664, Colbert founded a French East India Company; their capital was £625,000; their charter, pursuant to the views of the age, was a monopoly, with what were even at that time singular encouragements. They were to have not only an immu. nity from all taxes for fifty years, but the government bound itself to make good to them any loss they might sustain within the first ten. Their commencing efforts were made in Madagas. car, but their settlement was ill-chosen and unsuccessful. They afterwards, with better fortune, took possession of the islands of Ceane and Mascarenhas, and gave them respectively the, names of Mauritius and Bourbon. In 1668 they established a factory at Surat, and after failing in other places, they formed a station at Pondicherry. This place, which was well fortified, became the centre of the French trade in India, and they acquired some ter ritory around it ; when, in 1744, Walpole was driven from power, and war took place between England and France, the French conceived the idea of destroying our settlements in India, and of extending their own influence, They had at this time some agents there of distinguished ability. One was M. de Labourdonnais, a native of Brittany, who, early in life, engaged in trade in India, and made there a considerable fortune. His talents attracted the attention of the viceroy of Goa, at whose suggestion he entered the service of the king of Portugal, and was for two years the agent of
that government on the Coromandel coast. Returning to France, he was selected by his own government to form their new colonies in the isles of France and Bourbon, and by a wise and energetic administration he advanced the resources and civilisation of those islands in a very remarkable manner. He made roads, constructed bridges, had the natives taught the most useful trades, extended and improved the cultivation of the coffeeplant, and introduced the culture of indigo and of the sugar-cane. The character he thus made, raised his influence with the ministers at home, and on his return to Europe, in 1740, he suggested a plan whereby he should be prepared, on the first outbreak of hostilities, to attack and destroy the English settlements in the East, before a fleet from Europe could arrive to support them. This we shall see he afterwards attempted. M. Dupleix, who was at this time governor of Pondicherry, and chief of the French in India, was also a remarkable man. He inherited from his father, who was a director of the French East India Company, a large fortune, which he greatly increased by successful speculations in the India trade. He was, in 1720, sent out as first member of the council at Pondicherry; was afterwards made chief of the French station at Chandernagore, and having in these positions made known his public talents, he was appointed governor-inchief at Pondicherry. He was bold, able, upscrupulous, and ambitious. Being largely engaged on his own account in the internal trade of India, he became better acquainted with the politics and relations of that country than any other European of that period. These were the two most prominent Frenchmen in India when the war of the Austrian succession broke out, in 1744. At this time France had undoubtedly more influence in the East than England. Her East India Company was to the full as wealthy, and she had besides extensive possessions in the Spice Islands. She could also command a larger military force, and bad besides armed and disciplined the sepoys. It was, we may observe, from her that we learned the two main secrets of our successes in the East-the superiority of regular troops when employed against Asiatic hordes,