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Walter K. Firminger (ed.) "Bengal District Records: Midnapur" (vol. ii, 1915)
[George Vansittart, the main contributor to these records, was born 15 Sep 1745; went to Bengal 1761; factor and Resident at Midnapore 1767 (also the year he married); junior merchant 1769; senior merchant 1772; returned to England after further promotions 1776; became an MP for Berkshire 1784; died 31 Jan 1785.]

p152 (letter from G. Vansittart in Midnapore to the Council in Calcutta, 4 Sep 1769): [On 22 August, the Council in Calcutta had issued new instructions about pay and expenses for sepoys stationed away from the Company's factories, guaranteeing them full pay without deductions, and clothing provided by the Company, but balancing these entitlements with removal of the "batta" allowance which was previously payable to such troops] ... "Your orders relative to the Seapoys belonging to this Factory have been issued and shall be strictly obeyed, I take the Liberty however of representing to you that in the Western Junguls dependant on Midnapore provisions are in general so dear that it will sometime be impossible for the Seapoys on that Service to subsist without their Batta unless by contribution from the Zemindars, which would open a door for many irregularities ..." [In view of past troubles caused by pay differentials, the Council, responding on 14 September, refused Vansittart's request]

pp159-60 (letter from the Council Secretary at Fort William to the Collector-General of Revenues for Bengal, 23 Oct 1769): "The alarming accounts which the Hon'ble the President and Council have heard of the distress of the country for want of grain from the great drought that has prevailed, and the melancholy prospect that this distress will increase, have determined them to take every measure in their power to provide against the fatal consequences that are to be apprehended. None can be more fatal than monopolies of grain at such a juncture, and it is greatly to be feared they will be aimed at. I have, therefore, the commands of the Hon'ble the President and Council to acquaint you that they particularly recommend you to exert your utmost endeavours to detect and prevent as much as lies in your power so fatal a measure.
With this prospect before their eyes, they behold with much concern the distress that the poor inhabitants must be involved in, and they are anxious to devise means to afford them every possible relief under this distressful calamity. They do therefore earnestly desire that you will give every encouragement in your power to the ryotts to cultivate pala, gram, barley, and every sort of grain that can be raised in the dry season, and in short to take every measure they can think of to supply the want of rice, and that they may judge will contribute to relieve the necessities of the Poor."
[The next transcribed letter from Midnapore revenue collector Vansittart is dated 25 October, before he received a copy of the above, and shows him focused more on the Council's request back in March for all districts to encourage the cultivation of mulberry trees, in order to increase silk production]

p162 (letter from the Collector-General of Revenues for Bengal, to George Vansittart in Midnapore, 31 Oct 1769): "... The enclos'd copy of a letter from the President and Council [i.e. the above letter of 23 Oct] I desire may have your strictest attention, and that your utmost endeavours be exerted to prevent the distress which those Salutary measures are calculated to relieve."

p163 (letter from the Council at Calcutta to George Vansittart at Midnapore, 8 Dec 1769): "Having thought proper to curtail the investment for the ensuing year we have limited the amount to be provided at your Factory to 100,000 rupees, and we desire that the goods may consist of those most in demand in Europe, and which are particularly required by the Court of Directors in the list of Investment we transmitter to you in our letter of the 30th October." [The list was not included with the printed transcript of the 30 Oct letter]

p164 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the Collector-General in Calcutta, 14 Dec 1769): "... The Chuars inhabiting the hills between the Pergunnas of Gatseela and Burraboom having lately been guilty of great disturbances in these districts, I have sent Lieut. Nun with three Company's of Seapoys to reduce them, which I imagine he will speedily be able to effect, though the neighbouring Chuars of Patcheat, Patcombe and Singboom having joined to assist them."

p165 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the incoming President, John Cartier, at Calcutta, 16 Dec 1769): "... I have as yet heard nothing from the Kerpoy Gomastah but general complaints of Numbers of Weavers having deserted those districts and fled to Midnapore. He has neither forwarded to me a list of their names nor sent any body to carry on any business with them on his part, or to collect the Balances which may be due from them, yet something is necessary to be done very speedily, or they will disperse themselves about the Country or retire into the Moratta dominions, and be no more to be found as to balances. Almost all who have come hither have so much the appearance of poverty that I much doubt if any thing material can be collected otherwise than gradually by the means of further advances, and in the present scarcity of money I know not where they will get further advances unless from the Company. The numbers who have fled hither from different parts is very considerable, between 4 & 500, although no manner of encouragement has been given them; they complain bitterly against the Kirpoy Gomastah with what justice I cannot pretend to say, but I think the most advisable method would be that a Gomastah should be sent from Calcutta independent of him, with orders to settle their former accounts and carry on any further business which you may deem suitable to the present State of the Company's finance." ...

pp166-7 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the Collector-General in Calcutta, 24 Dec 1769): "... The great want of rain which the country has this year laboured under puts it out of my power to settle our Tushkees on as advantageous terms as last year. The Zemindars of Midnapore Province have delivered a list of losses to the amount of Alla Sicca Rupees 130,000 and those of Jallesore to the amount of 40,000, and they are ready to submit to any punishment, they say, if upon scrutiny, they should be found to have exaggerated. Some Hircarrahs who have been sent through the Purgunnas to inspect into the State of them as well as could be done in a cursory manner, make the losses amount according to their computation to between 60 and 70,000 Rupees in the Paddy grounds, only exclusive of what have been sustained in the more valuable articles, and the unusually high price of Rice, which is at present only 22 Seer [for a Rupee] at Midnapore notwithstanding our embargo, adds weight to their information. Indeed by every account which I have been able to procure the losses have really been very considerable. Upon the whole therefore, I flatter myself you will approve of the following terms, Tegavy to be lent this year to the same amount as last, but the interest to be collected, the amount of the Tushkees this year to be Alla Sicca Rupees 7,093-10-1 less than last year, and the collection of 27,000 Rupees to be deferred for the present and made with the next year's rents. [Details of the financial proposals for the rest of Midnapore are in four attached documents, omitted from the printed transcript; they were appproved by the Collector-General on 6 January] I have hitherto always made a point of realizing whatever revenue has been settled, and I flatter myself that this adjustment may also be realized, but I think it is the utmost which the Zemindars will be able to afford, they will themselves be obliged to make much larger allowances to the Ryots, and it was not without very great difficulty that they have been brought to agree to it.
In my address of the 14th I acquainted you of the disturbances of the Chuars in our Western Junguls. I have since received advice of a body of 5 or 6000 of them having made an irruption into Gatseela and obliged the Zemindar with a small Party of our Seapoys to retire into the Fort of Runsing-gurr. I have ordered Captain Forbes therefore against them with two more Companies of Seapoys, whilst Lieut. Nun is engaged with those at Burraboom. Lieut. Nun has destroyed some of their retreats, and driven them into the hills with considerable loss, but they make a pretty stout resistance; in one of his engagements with them he had four Seapoys killed and seven wounded."
[Over the next couple of weeks, the military situation became increasingly chaotic, not least because, as predicted, the the pay of the sepoys out on the expeditions chasing Chuars was insufficient for their daily needs; Vansittart decided he would give them additional payments unless Calcutta positively objected, notifying their commanding officers on 8 January to start making the payments (to be entered in accounts under the heading of "Gratuity").]

p167 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the Collector-General in Calcutta, 7 Jan 1770): "I was directed last year by Mr. Becher and Mr. Alexander to grant to any Merchants who might apply to me perwanas for carrying Salt from the Collaries in those districts to Calcutta. The 30 per cent duty was to be collected after its arrival in Ballee Creek, and no duties were to be demanded in the way but those specified in the inclosed account of this regulation. I caused proper notice to be given, and I granted Perwanas accordingly; but now some of the Merchants have complained to me that their boats are stopped at Rangafulla Creek, and a duty of 30 per cent demanded there. I have thought it necessary, therefore, to represent this matter to you. I know not whether any new regulations have been established, or whether this is merely an abuse of the Chokeydar, but I should be glad to receive your orders upon the subject ..." [Having had no response within a fortnight, Vansittart wrote again on 23 January, which was in fact the date the Collector-General sent his response to this letter]

p172 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the President, John Cartier, at Calcutta, 19 Jan 1770): ... "In consequence of unexpected misfortunes which have been happened in our Junguls I have been obliged to order thither another complete Company of Seapoys and this has rendered our Garrison so extremely weak that I imagine you will scarcely think it possible for us to supply any escort for Lieutenant Carter. ..." [The letter requesting this escort is not transcribed]

pp174-5 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the President, John Cartier, at Calcutta, 31 Jan 1770): "I have been favoured with your letter of the 26th. I will make particular enquiry, and if I can procure any intelligence of any Jellamoota Ryots treated in the manner that Doulat Sing complains, they shall be spedily and fully redressed, but I must confess I much doubt the truth of what he has alleged, and I herewith enclose for your observation a copy of a letter which I received from him about a fortnight ago. In the first part he says that he has ordered some Subbung Molunghies {indentured salt boilers] to be released from Jellamoota according to custom, in the latter part he complains that the people of the Subbung Zemindars have been making disturbances in Jellamoota by unjust demands upon some Ryots who had formerly worked (in former years) some Collaries [salt-works] in Subbung, and tells me that he had therefore sent them to me and that he begs I will do them justice. In answer to the latter part I wrote him that whenever the Ryots he had sent arrived justice should certainly be done them, but I have heard nothing of them since. With respect to the Subbung Molunghies mentioned in the former part of his letter, the Zemindars complain to me that notwithstanding his Orders his Officers at Jellamoota will not yet release them.
I should be obliged to you, therefore, if you will direct him to inforce his orders with regard to the Subbung Molunghies, and either to deliver to you or transmit to me a more circumstantial account of this fresh grievance."

p178 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to Lieut. Goodyar, commanding one of the forces opposing the Chuar incursions, 22 Feb 1770): "I have been favoured with your letters of the 10th and 13th, and am glad to hear of your arrival at Coochung without opposition. I doubt not, but with the encouragement you give them, the Ryots of that place and Huldypocur will soon settle peaceably in their former habitations. If any of the Coochung Ryots wish to remove into the Gatseela districts let them have full liberty to do so, it will be for the Company's interest. ...
I wish you had been fortunate enough to lay hold of Bernaye or his brother. The expeditious march which you made, bade very fair for Success, I think. The Sirdar Chuar, whom you have taken, you will be pleased to send prisoner to Midnapore. I would not choose that you should pursue Bernaye or his brother beyond the limits of Gatseela and Coochung. But I approve of your threatening the neighbouring Zemindars and endeavouring to deter them from granting those fellows their protection. ..."

p179 (letter from the President at Calcutta to George Vansittart at Midnapore, 25 Feb 1770): "As many of our Battalions are very deficient in their compliment of men and as the Districts of Midnapore and Jellasore can furnish a number of good recruits, I desire that you would employ agents in the recruiting service, and raise a body about 64,800 men with the greatest expedition."

p180 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to the President at Calcutta, 28 Feb 1770): "I have been favoured with your letter of the 25th, and have, in consequence, directed Captain Forbes to raise the number of recruits you order. In the present scarcity of rice I believe it will be no great difficulty, but, as the inhabitants of this part of the country are in general rather low in stature I allow any to be received (on condition they are strong bodied men) who are five feet four inches high, which is the rule observed in the Battalion stationed here. I beg to know if you approve of this limitation, or what other you would choose to be observed. I beg to know also what you would have been done with the recruits when they are raised. Shall they be kept at Midnapore till the whole number is completed? Shall they be sent to Calcutta a hundred at a time, and to whom are they to be sent? About a hundred are now ready."

p180-1 (letter from the President at Calcutta to John Piearce in Midnapore, 3 Mar 1770): "To provide against possible as well as probable events is the duty of every Government, for which reason I think it necessary to desire you would, on receiving this, order two Company's from your Battalion towards the great River, one to Ingilee and the other to Kedgeree, and each company to be commanded by an officer. My design in giving you this order it is necessary to explain, we have the strongest reason to suspect the views of the French towards this country. When these views may take place is a matter of much uncertainty ... It is very likely and most certain when they do arrive, they will be in need of many things, which the country can amply supply, provisions draft and carriage bullocks, which to prevent their procuring of these must be the object of these Detachments at Injilee and Kedjeree by driving the cattle at least twenty miles inland or destroying them with other kinds of provisions which cannot be removed out of their reach. It is likewise expected from you on the first intelligence you may receive of an armament being in the River that the remaining part of the Battalion having immediately detached towards the River to harrass any parties that may land, and then rendezvous at Coorkerapatty. ...
To prevent any mistake in the officers commanding these detachments carrying the letter of their orders to an extreme, it is not intended preventing single foreign ships (French or Dutch) receiving every assistance of provisions which the country can afford."

p181 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to Claud Russell at Calcutta, 19 Mar 1770): "When I was in Calcutta in October I remember you told me that the Board intimated to the Council of Changernagore [base for the French East India Company] that they must recall the French Gentlemen who were dispersed about the Country in the quality of Residents and that in consequence the chap who is at Moohunpore in my territories would travel back to Chandernagore. I think it proper therefore to inform you that the chap is still at Moohunpore and has some Seapoys with him."

p182 (letter from Vansittart at Midnapore to Lieut. Nun, commander of another force opposing the Chuar incursions, 31 Mar 1770): "I have received your letter of the 15th, and am very glad that the disturbances at Burraboom are at length almost brought to a conclusion. I know not who Samzgungin is. I never heard of him before, but I imagine he is not of consequence sufficient to render it necessary for you to remain with your Detachment merely on his account. The expence of your detachment is considerable, and in the present scarce season I apprehend you must find it a difficult matter to procure provisions. ..."
[Shortly after this, Vansittart took up a new post as one of the first Revenue Supravisors, assigned to Dinagepore]

pp186-7 (letter from John Peiarce, temporarily in charge at Midnapore, to John Graham at Hooghly, 3 May 1770): "I received your favour of the 25th on the 28th which should have been answered before only that I waited for the return of an Express that I sent to Subbunry to bring me the particulars of the Molunghies which I herein enclose to you in Bengal {i.e. Bengali] and an Abstract of it I have sent in English. Mr. Dowlat Sing must have a very pretty stock of assurance to say that his Vakeel is here, or that he has been here, and rested the matter upon proofs that might appear. I can assure you there is no Vakeel here at present, nor has there ever yet been one to settle the dispute of the Molunghies. In one part of his assertion, Dowlat Sing, however, is right; and that is, in the Governor's writing to Mr. Vansittart. [i.e. this is a sequel to the events discussed on 31 Jan] ... And I believe upon perusal you will find Dowlat Sing had better left concealed the circumstances of the complaint to Calcutta and the Governor's letter, as I perhaps should not have thought of examining the former letters upon a chance of finding something to the purpose.
You are well acquainted with the Government of Midnapore not to know the loss that must ensue to the Mohar and Subbunry Taalucdars, by any number of their Collaries lying unworked. The season is almost over, and without plaguing the Governor with repeated complaints (which I believe was hardly thought worth while), we stood no chance of ordering the Molunghies thro' Dowlat Sing's Impartiality. Therefore you will much oblige if you will order the release of the contested Molunghies, and, in case you suppose a false relation (of their having too merely worked) being made to me, be so good as to send an Amseen of your own, and the matters shall be settled ..."

p187 (letter from Charles Floyer at the Company's export warehouse in Calcutta, to John Peiarce at Midnapore, 3 May 1770): "I have received the letter you addressed to Mr. Bathoe, Deputy Export Warehouse Keeper, under date 23rd ultimo and have, in consequence of the representation you made therein, sent orders to Mooteram Mohan Bysaac to be careful in leaving a proper person as his deputy, with sufficient funds to enable him to carry on the Keerpoy assortments of cloth providing within your districts, whenever the Company's business shall require his personal attendance at Keerpoy. This measure will, I hope, not only put a stop to the desertions of the weavers, but, by a proper conduct on the part of the deputy so appointed, will induce those who have already deserted, to return." [This refers back to the issue addressed on 16 Dec 1769]

p189 (letter from John Cartier at Calcutta to Mr Peiarce in Midnapore, 20 May 1770): "Mr. Baber put into my hands the letter which you wrote him the 17th instant. [not transcribed in the printed edition] I shall only observe that the direction you have given to Mr. Bateman are practical and cautious. We must guard against precipitency in unnecessary alarm. The distress of grain may oblige the French Council to establish magazines for the relief of a famished colony- it may belong to private persons. It is onyl having an eye upon it, and prevent its being used as a supply to any squadron, which they may send into this River- such a visit is possible, tho' not practicable, and if it should be made, the grain can easily be destroyed, and what cannot be destroyed the poor and necessitous in such a season as this would with encouragement soon carry it off."

p190 (letter fropm Claud Russell, Collector-General, at Calcutta, to John Peiarce, Midnapore, 10 Jun 1770): "The consideration of its being the duty of every Government to alleviate the sufferings of the poor in the time of a general calamity, such as the present, had induced the Board to authorize the Collector-General to distribute rice at Calcutta and Burdwan to real objects of distress at the Company's expense. At this time the effects of the calamity had not extended to the Districts of Midnapore, but as you have represented that they are now felt severely, the same means of relief became necessary, and you will therefore be pleased to act accordingly, taking care to deal with a sparing not a lavish hand. The sum allotted for Burdwan was about 20 or 25 Rupees per day in rice."

pp190-1 (letter from John Cartier at Calcutta to Mr Peiarce in Midnapore, 18 Jun 1770): "I have received your letter of the 16th. [not transcribed in the printed edition] Circumstantial as your letter is in all particulars, I must say I cannot really give credit to them. However as they are of too much importance to neglect, I shall adopt every necessary measure as if they were true. ..."

p191 (letter from John Cartier at Calcutta to Mr Peiarce in Midnapore, 21 Jun 1770): "Your Hircarrah arrived with me yesterday and confirms the intelligence you forwarded me the 16th instant, only with this variation, that he makes Cadjung lay to the southward instead of the northward of Cuttack. ...
There are great improbabilities in the Hircarraw's story but it is of too serious a nature not to give it some attention, and what [illegible] the man can have in the deception I am at a loss to know, when the detection must bring upon him a very exemplary punishment. ..."

pp191-2 (letter from John Cartier at Calcutta to Mr Peiarce in Midnapore, 10 Jul 1770): "After the most accurate scrutiny into the matter wch. you communicated to me under date the 16th ultimo, I find the whole to be without the least shadow of foundation. Mr. Coxe has sometime ago informed you of the escape of the Hircarraw, a circumstance I much lament, as I full intended to have made an example of him. ... The Hircarraws you have in the Cuttack Country ought all be suspcted after this as being parties concerned, for it seems the one who calls himself the Sirdar even confirmed by writing to you the intelligence wch. the other Hircaraws brought you. ...
[P.S.] The Detachments from the Midnapore Batalion at Ingilee and Kidguree I think may be called in, as certainly during the rains nothing may be apprehended. ..."

p197 (letter fropm Claud Russell, Collector-General, at Calcutta, to John Peiarce, Midnapore, 20 Sep 1770): "I ... congratulate with you on furnishing the collections for the year 1177 [Bengal calendar] without any balance remaining, besides what was deferr'd till this year on account of the draught, which I recommend to your attention."

p198 (letter from Claud Russell, Collector-General, at Calcutta, to Edward Baber, newly installed as the Company's full-time Resident at Midnapore, 27 Sep 1770): "... Last year the collection of Rs. 27,000 was deferred till the present year on account of the drought, as some relief to the ryatts. This I hope you will now soon be able to recover from the present favourable appearance of the crops upon the ground."
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