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he would not mention a syllable of what had passed, but let the matter drop entirely.”
That it afterwards appeared, in a minute of the said Hastings in Council at Fort William, on the 22d of September, 1783, that he promised, at the instance of a member of the Council, to write to Lieutenant James Anderson in favor of the Ranna of Gohud, and lay his letter before the board.
That, nevertheless, the said Hastings, professing not to recollect his said promise, did neglect to write a formal letter to Lieutenant Anderson in favor of the said Ranna of Gohud, and that the private letter, the extract of which the said Hastings did lay before the board on the 21st of October, 1783, so far from directing any effectual interference in favor of the said Ranna, or commanding his agent, the said James Anderson, to interpose the mediation of the British government to procure “honorable terms” for the said Ranna, or even “ safety to his person and family," contains the bitterest invectives against him, and is expressive of the satisfaction which the said Hastings acknowledges himself to have enjoyed in the distresses of the said Ranna, the ally of the Company.
That the measures therein recommended appear rather to have been designed to satisfy Mahdajee Sindia, and to justify the conduct of the British
government in not having taken a more active and a more hostile part against the said Ranna, than an intercession on his behalf.
That, though no consideration of good faith or observance of treaties could induce the said Hastings to incur the hazard of any hostile exertion of the British force for the defence or the relief of the allies of the Company, yet in the said private letter he directed,
that, in case his mediation should be accepted, it should be made a specific condition, that, if the said Ranna should take advantage of Sindia's absence to renew his hostilities, we ought, in that case, on requisition, to invade the dominions of the Ranna.
That no beneficial effects could have been procured to the said Ranna by an offer of mediation delayed till Sindia no longer wanted “our assistance to crush 80 fallen an enemy,” at the same time that no reason was given to Sindia to apprehend the danger of drawing upon himself the resentment of the British government by a disregard of their proposal and the destruction of their ally.
That it was a gross and scandalous mockery in the said Hastings to defer an application to obtain honor able terms for the Ranna, and safety for his person and family, till he had been deprived of his principal fort, in defence of which his uncle lost his life, and on the capture of which, his wife, to avoid the dishonor consequent upon falling into the hands of her enemies, had destroyed herself by an explosion of gunpowder.
That, however, it does not appear that any offer of mediation was ever actually made, or any influence exerted, either for the safety of the Ranna's person and family or in mitigation of the rigorous intentions supposed by Lieutenant Anderson * to have been entertained against him by Mahdajee Sindia after his surrender.
That the said Hastings, in the instructions † given by him to Mr. David Anderson for his conduct in negotiating the treaty of peace with the Mahrattas, expressed his determination to desert the Ranna of * 29 February, 1784. † Dated, Benares, 4th of November, 1781.
Gohud in the following words. “You will of course be attentive to any engagements subsisting between us and other powers, in settling the terms of peace and alliance with the Mahrattas. I except from this the Ranna of Gohud. ,... Leave him to settle his own affairs with the Mahrattas."
That the said Anderson appears very assiduously to hare sought for grounds to justify the execution of this part of his instructions, to which, however, he was at all events obliged to conform.
That, even after his application for that purpose to the Mahrattas, whose testimony was much to be suspected, because it was their interest to accuse and their determined object to destroy the said Ranna, no satisfactory proof was obtained of his defection from the engagements he had entered into with the Company,
That, moreover, if all the charges which have been pretended against the Ranna, and have been alleged by the said Hastings in justification of his conduct, had been well founded and proved to be true, the subject matter of those accusations and the proofs by which they were to be supported were known to Colonel Muir before the conclusion of the treaty he entered into with Mahdajee Sindia; and therefore, what ever suspicions may have been entertained or whaterer degree of criminality may have been proved against the said Ranna previous to the said treaty, from the time he was so provided for and included in the said treaty he was fully and justly entitled to the security stipulated for him by the Company, and had a right to demand and receive the protection of the British government.
That these considerations were urged by Mr. An. derson to the said Warren Hastings, in his letter of
the 24th of June, 1781, and were enforced by this additional argument, —“that, in point of policy, I believe, it ought not to be our wish that the Mahrattas should ever recover the fortress of Gualior. It forms an important barrier to our own possessions. In the hands of the Ranna it can be of no prejudice to us; and notwithstanding the present prospect of a permanent peace betwixt us and the Mahrattas, it seems highly expedient that there should always remain some strong barrier to separate us, on this side of India, from that warlike and powerful nation.”
That the said Warren Hastings was highly culpable in abandoning the said Ranna to the fury of his enemies, thereby forfeiting the honor and injuring the credit of the British nation in India, notwithstanding the said Hastings was fully convinced, and had professed, “that the most sacred observance of treaties, justice, and good faith were necessary to the existence of the national interests in that country,” and though the said Hastings has complained of the insufficiency of the laws of this kingdom to enforce this doctrine “by the punishment of persons in the possession of power, who may be impelled by the provocation of ambition, avarice, or vengeance, stronger than the restrictions of integrity and honor, to the violation of this just and wise maxim.”
That the said Hastings, in thus departing from these his own principles, with a full and just sense of the guilt he would thereby incur, and in sacrificing the allies of this country “to the provocations of ambition, avarice, or vengeance," in violation of the national faith and justice, did commit a gross and wilful hreach of his duty, and was thereby guilty of an high crime and misdemeanor.
That the property of the lands of Bengal is, according to the laws and customs of that country, an inheritable property, and that it is, with few exceptions, vested in certain natives, called zemindars, or landholders, under whom other natives, called talookdars and ryots, hold certain subordinate rights of property or occupancy in the said lands. That the said natives are Hindoos, and that their rights and privileges are grounded upon the possession of regular grants, a long series of family succession, and fair purchase. That it appears that Bengal has been under the dominion of the Mogul, and subject to a Mahomedan government, for above two hundred years. That, while the Mogul government was in its vigor, the property of zemindars was held sacred, and that, either by voluntary grant from the said Mogul or by composition with him, the native Hindoos were left in the free, quiet, and undisturbed possession of their lands, on the single condition of paying a fixed, certain, and unalterable revenue, or quit-rent, to the Mogul government. That this revenue, or quit-rent, was called the aussil jumma, or original ground-rent, of the provinces, and was not increased from the time when it was first settled in 1573 to 1740, when the regular and effective Mogul government ended. That, from that time to 1765, invasions, usurpations, and various revolutions took place in the government of Bengal, in consequence of which the country was considerably reduced and impoverished, when the East India Company received from the