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tion was carried, and Mr. Ruffel was appointed. But the oppofition, determined to frustrate or revoke this appointment, proposed, though contrary to the orders of the Company, that the Committee of Circuit should immediately enter upon their inquiry into the state of the country subject to the Company, before the affairs of Tanjore were settled. This proposal was made, because the orders of the Company had appointed Mr. Ruffel one of this Committee. At the same time it was proposed and carried, that Colonel Stuart should take the military command in Tanjore. After this, the immediate departure of the Committee of Circuit, and of Colonel Stuart, was urged with great vehemence, and voted by a majority of seven to four. The President, who saw the motive and drift of these violent proceedings, and knew that their success must be attended with the entire defeat of the intentions of the Company with respect to Tanjore, firmly refused to give his consent to the departure of Colonel Stuart as Commandant, till Mr. Ruffel should have received his instructions as Resident at Tanjore.
- It will here be necessary that we interrupt the course of the narrative, while we take notice of some objections made to his Lord ship's conduct.
With respect to the Nabob, besides the complaints already examined, it is said, that Lord Pigot appointed his servants to seize a certain Dobbeer, a principal servant of the Nabob, and his attendants, and carry them away prisoners, with all the Nabob's papers in their charge. This is asserted to have been inconsistent with the independent rights of the Nabob, acknowledged by the treaty of Paris, and with an act of parliament. But it appears that the treaty of Paris only acknowledges Mahommed Ally lawful Nabob of the Carnatic, and not an independent Prince: this action, therefore, was no violation of independent rights. Nor was it a breach of the act which forbids hoftilities against any Indian Prince, except by express orders of the Council or Company: the action was not hostile, for the officer was sent by Lord Pigot to escort the Dobbeer to Tanjore, and he attended him with his free-will and at his requeft: and this Dob. beer was not a servant of the Nabob; he had been long before a servant of the Rajah, and was now principal financier of Tanjore. But had it been an act of hoftility, it was not committed by order of Lord Pigot, who only appointed the officer to go to Vickarum, a part of the Rajah's dominions, where he apprehended the Dobbeer to be at that time, and not to Arrialoor, where he was found : and it was an act which it would have been dangerous to postpone ; as without the Dobbeer the accounts could not be adjusted, and therefore came within the cases excepted by the act.--Another charge against Lord Pigot is, that he by proclamation prohibited the people of Tanjore from affording protection or asistance to the people of the Nabob. This charge is denied. No such proclamation was issued by Lord Pigot. It is farther alleged, that Lord Pigot's dependents had treated the ancient servants of the Nabob with indignity. But no one officer is named who was ill-treated; no proof is produced; and the fact is denied.-Another act of violence attributed to Lord Pigot, is the seizure of some of the Nabob's Reiats by night from the door of his house. The truth here was, that he exerted himself to rescue an unhappy woman and her attendants, who, within the bounds of the Company, befought his protection from the people of the Nabob, by whom She had been stolen, and from whom she expected torture. Lastly, Lord Pigot is accused of seizing Hebray Khan, a servant of the Nabob- but without the least appearance of proof.
Lord Pigot is, in the next place, charged with inflicting arbitrary and inhuman punishment upon Comera Dubash, a man of note in India. This fact was as follows: This Comera, a broker or money-lender in Madras, on the night of Lord Pigot's arrival at Tanjore, intruded upon the Rajah, to give him his advice (in which he said he was supported by seven members of the Council) not to accede to the propofitions of Lord Pigot; at the same time offering to lend him any sum of money. The Rajah, considering him as an emisiary employed by the Nabob, complained to his Lordship of his intrusion and insidious propo. fals; in which Lord Pigot cut his machinations short, by ordering him to be chabucked on the public parade.
It remains that we examine the charge against Lord Pigot, respecting his conduct at the Board, that he claimed and exercised a right of putting a negative on every act of government which appeared to him ruinous to the interests of the Company. To vindicate Lord P. in the exertion of this power, it may be observed ; that it is not, as has been declared, tantamount to an affumption of all the powers of government; that it is not a dangerous power, being safely exercised in the British government; that it is not a power which it is likely a Governor should abuse, there being checks abundantly fufficient to prevent such abuse; that it is not a greater power than is intrusled to the Presidents of other political bodies, particularly to the Governors of our settlements abroad; that it has been given as an opinion, by Mr. Thurlow and Mr. Dunning, in a similar case (that of Fort William, the conftitution of which was at that time the fame as that of Fort George), “That the President and Governor was an integral and effential part of the Council, without which no Council could be legally holden :'' that in the commiffions of government, ancient and modern, this power is expressly conveyed to the Governor; that by the royal charters of justice of George 1. 1726, and George il.
1753, he is invested with the same power ; that from the commillion of Lord Pigot, the general letter sent out with him from the Company, and their letter transmitted at the same time to the Nabob, it appears that he is supposed to stand in that degree of responsibility to the Company, which neceffarily involves this power; and that there is nothing in the exertion of it incon Gittent with the standing orders of the Company, the usage of the Board, or any precedent in the affairs of Madras, the records of which for an hundred years do not furnish a single inftance, where a majority of Council without the President was considered as a Board. From these confiderations we infer the exiflence of this power in the Governor, and the consequent legality of Lord Pigot's exertion of it.
To return to the narrative, the President renewed, in the strongest terms, his earnest with that Mr. Russel might proceed to Tanjore, if it were only for a few days, to relieve the distresses of the Rajah : but, though the appointment of a resident was not rescinded, it was again determined that Mr. Ruffel should not proceed. The President, on this, refused to give his fanction to any instructions to Colonel Stuart, and to put the question concerning them. The opposition immediately entered minutes of their approbation of the instructions, and resolved that a letter should be written to Colonel Harpur to deliver over to Colonel Stuart the command of the garrison of Tanjore ; hereby claiming a right to do acts of government without the concurrence of the President. This Board was held the 20th of August. On the 22d the majority delivered a minute, censuring
the President's refusal to put the question for taking into consideration the instructions to Colonel Stuart. Of this mi. nute Lord Pigot took no notice; but proposed that the matter Thould be suffered to rest, till the pleasure of their honourable malters could be known. This candid proposal was rejected. Mesirs. Stratton and Brooke figned a letter to the Secretary, directing him to sign the instructions and letter, by order of Council, and send them to Colonel Stuart: this exercise of a power which only legally belonged to the President and Council, laid Lord Pigot under the neceflity of putting a stop to theft proceedings immediately. He therefore took the letter, as foon as it was figned by Meffrs. Stratton and Brooke, folded it up and put it in his pocket : and, being prepared for all probable events, produced a written charge against Melsrs. Stratton and . Brooke, “ For having been guilty of an act subversive of the authority of government, and tending to introduce anarchy, in the signing orders to the Secretary to give instructions to Colonel Stuart, which had not been approved and passed by the President and Council.” The gentlemen, not admitting the charge, and refusing to give any answer to it, were suspended.
That the charge was just, is evident from the nature of the action, which was a direct assumption of a power in the Council, or a majority of the Council, to do positive acts of government by their sole authority without the concurrence of the President.
Nur do there appear any circumstances in the affair to render the suspension illegal. The fact was fully proved, and was of such a nature that no time was required to answer it. The suspension was a regular act of the Board, that is, of all the members then present having a right to vote. The question was put by the President; the votes of all the members present who had a right to vote were taken ; they were equal, four to four : the President then, besides his vote, gave his casting vote. The members accused, according to the standing orders of the company, could not vote : the fufpenfion therefore was carried regularly. The next day, a protest was signed, in which the party in opposition to Lord Pigot, after censuring the proceedings of the two last meetings fay, “ We the majority of the Board do consider ourselves as the only legal representatives of the Honourable Company under this prefidency, and as such we have no doubt but all the servants of the Company will regard us :"-hereby virtually suspending Lord Pigni, and four other members of the Board. The next day (Aug 23.) at four o'clock the President and Council assembled again. Before this time, the opposition had circulated copies of their protest, among the commanders of his majesty's ships, the officers of the main guard, &c. This being justly considered by Lord Pigot as a direct assumption of all the powers of government, civil and military ; it was resolved to suspend Messrs. Floyer, Palmer, Jourdan and Mackay, and that Sir Robert Fletcher, being a military officer should be ordered into arrest, and the command of the troops was given to Colonel Stuart. These measures, the object of which was to put a stop to the confufion and anarchy which threatened the government, were legal, and though vigorous, were necessary.
Before Lord Pigot had met the first Council, after the fufpension of Meffrs. Stratton and Brooke, the faction of seven assembled, and agreed upon the form of a protest, and a letter to be written to Bengal. Early in the afternoon they assembled again, and at three o'clock signed a resolution to arreft the person of Lord Pigot, and to appoint Colonel Stuart, on whom they conferred the command of the army and garrison, to execute this design. This act was prior to the suspention of the remaining members of the majority, and therefore could not be, as has been infinuated, the effect of that suspension. They appear to have been hereked into this measure by the Naboh, with whom they had frequent intercourse, and who in a letter written four C.3
days before the arrest of Lord Pigot, had strongly urged his removal from the government.
Colonel Stuart, to whom the execution of this business was committed, supped with Lord Pigot as a friend on the evening of the 23d of August. The next morning he breakfaited with his Lordihip, and after breakfast delivered to him an obfcure and ambiguous letter, requesting information concerning his duty. He returned again to a friendly dinner. To make every thing agreeable to him, Lord Pigot invited him to the consultationroom at fix. The intervals between these hospitable meals and friendly meetings the Colonel employed in completing his plan. Having concerted the whole operation, he came to the Council, where he held a vague conversation : after which he accepted an invitation to sup with Lord Pigot, and having no conveyance of bis own, requested his Lordship to take him in his chaise. Lord Pigot, who had not the smallest apprehensions of any design upon his person, gave him a seat in his carriage. About eight o'clock, Lieutenant Colonel Edington, and Captain Lysaught, attended by a company of Seapoys, stopped the chaise. Colonel Stuart seized the arm of the Governor, and said, “Go out, Sir." Captain Lysaught received him as his prisoner, and conducted him to the mount; while Colonel Edington conveyed the news of their success to the Seven. On this, they issued a Proclamation, declaring themselves, under the Company, possessed of the sole power in the Government, enacting that George Stratton, Esq; is according to the order of the Company, President of the Council and Governor of Fort St. George, and pronouncing the powers of Lord Pigot, and Mefirs Rufiel, Dalrymple and Stone, annulled. They next proceeded to remove Lord Pigot from his own house to Chinleput, and gave Colonel Stuart an indefinite power to take any farther measures he might judge neceffary for the security of his Lordship’s person. They paid every mark of respect and attention to the Nabob. They treated the Rajah with neglcct and insolence. They discovered unremitting hatred, and implacable rancour, against Lord Pigot.
In the preceding abstract we have given our Readers the subfance of the facts and arguments which this able Apologist has brought together in defence of Lord Pigot. To give our judge ment, or even opinion, on this affair is unnecessary, and at prefent would be thought premature.
To the body of the work is subjoined an Appendix cons taining authorities at full length, in support of the principal points on which the Author insists in the course of this defence.