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Our Governor-General of India in Council.(1850)

Our Governor-General of India in Council.(1850)

Secret Papers


March 16, 2023 at 12:31:46 PM

National Archives of India,Delhi

April, 6 , 1850

Mohammed Q,Binghalib


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The Translation and comment by Mirza Firuz Shah:-

                             No. 15 of 1850.

  Our Governor-General of India in Council.



I. We have received your letter in the Foreign Department, dated 6th April 1850, No. 12, acknowledging our despatch of I6th January, No. 2, on the succession to the


2. The Agent in his letter urged strongly the necessity of Making known to him who was to be the successor of the present Heir-Apparent Sovereign, not for the purpose of giving publicity to the dillons i'm- Selection during the lifetime of the King, but in order to enable posed. Agent to act promptly when His Majesty’s dissolution shall be at hand.


The Governor-General took the occasion to confer privately with the Agent on this subject a short time ago at Simla. It appears that in the uncertainty in which the question of succession now stands, the favorite Queen, and those about her, are making every exertion to obtain possession of valuable property within the Palace, which will be appropriated by them to the detriment of Prince Fakhruddin, unless effectual measures shall, in good time, be taken to prevent it.


•3. Upon full reflection, the Governor-General has come to the conclusion that, although it is neither necessary nor expedi- ent to declare any public recognition of Prince Pukrooddeen assuccessor to the throne of Delhi at present, it is nevertheless desirable to settle the succession in all its parts now, and not to leave it until the King shall be at the point of death.


4. The Hon’ble Court have consented to require from the person, who shall succeed to the throne of Delhi, certain conces-sions as the conditions on which alone he will be recognized as King. The occurrence of any interval in the declaration of the successor, after the demise of the present King, is on every account to be deprecated; and, as it is possible that Prince Pukrooddeen may feel reluctant to consent to the concessions which are required, and which have already been refused by the King, his father, it is politic to endeavor to obtain his consent now, when existing circumstances are more favorable to the probability of obtaining it readily than they will be when the death of the King is in immediate prospect.


5. At present Prince Pukrooddeen has a competitor for the throne in the person of his brother. Prince Mirza Jawan Bukht, These pretensions are strongly urged by the King, their father,now, while they will be rendered far less formidable by the father’s death or his approaching end. Although it is not the intention of the Government of India to transfer the Crown to Mirza Jewiin Buklit if Fukrooddoen should refuse the required conditions of succession, but only to withhold the Crown from


the latter unless he shall consent to those conditions, still Prince Fukrooddeen will naturally regard the declared com-petition of his younger brother with alarm. And, as the conditions are in themselves reasonable and just, and as it is for the interest of Prince Fukrooddeen himself that he should be brought to accede to them at once, it seems prudent to take advantage of every circumstance which may incline his mind to a prompt admission of concessions which it is indispensable he should make.


6. Those conditions are;-

1st, that he should consent, as King, to meet the Governor'-General of India at all times onterms of entire equality

2nd, SnJ, that the Taiool lands should be continued entirely under the control of the Government of India, the proceeds over and above the expenses of management being paid to the kling.

3rd that the whole body of the , except as hereinafter mentioned, shall be removed from the King's Palace and shall be subjected for the future to the lairs and regulations of Gov-ernment. The children and grandchildren alone of the reigning King shall be permitted to reside within the Palace and shall be recognized as exempted from process


7. In the despatch, to which the Court have now replied, it was recommended that the consent of the next possessor of the Koyal title to his removal from the Palace in Delhi would be well jmr chased by an additional stij)end of moderate amount. The Hon'ble Court has left this point to the discretion of the Government of India.


Subsequent reflection has not tended to weaken in any degree His Lordship's im^wessiou of the importance of this measure.


It still appears to the Governor-General that the removal of the titular King- from the crowded city of Delhi to his Palace at the Kootub would be an advantage to the Govern-ment and would lessen one cause of risk to the public tran-quillity.


The removal of the whole family, including its head, the King, from the Palace in the city, simultaneously, would greatly diminish the difficulty which must be anticipated in carrying into effect the peremptory directions which have now been given for the removal of the SidlafeeH, wdio are numerous Lastly, the possession of the Palace will be extremely valuable for purposes connected with the public service.


8. Such portions of the Palace as worthy of preserva-tion for their own beauty, or for the historical associations connected with them, may be retained in their present state. The rest of the space contained within the Palace and the small

fort attached to it should be used for the purposes of a magazine. The powder magazine, the Governor-General observes, has already been removed from the neighborhood of the city, and should not be replaced, unless a thoroughly safe receptacle can be found for it in the fort.

The magazine at Delhi has long been a dep6t of great importance ; and, far from decreasing in consequence, it has increased in value by reason of the extension of our territory beyond the Sutlej.The Delhi magazine has great advantages in the Water which passes under its walls, and especially in the lunubcr and skill of the artificers, who cannot easily be


])persuaded to remove themselves so as to be available for maga-zines which may be established in advance.

The continuance of a large magazine establishment at Delhi has accordingly been strongly urged upon the Governor-General. But the site of the present magazine and everything connected with it are objectionable in the extreme. Three Conmarauders-in-Chief, one after the other, have represented to His Lordship, In the strongest terms, the insecurity of this depot,and the risks which are incurred thereby. And His Lordshiphas himself testified, on the evidence of his own inspection, has himself testified, on the evidence of his own inspection,that this representation has not been exaggerated and that the risk is by no means visionary.


Hitherto the Governor-General has abstained from taking any active measures to remedy this evil beyond the removal of the powder magazine^ partly because the question of magazines generally was under review in consequence of the extension of the frontier, and partly because His Lordship still entertained the hope of obtaining possession of the palace on death of the king now nearly 80 years of age.


It is true that, if the King should be removed from the Palace in the city, some considerable expense must be incurred in adding to the Palace of the Kutub for his accommodation. But if he continues to occupy the Palace in the city, a new magazine must unquestionably be built, and the Governor- General apprehends that the expense of constructing the buildings, with their necessary defenses, and the considerable additional sums which must be expended in internal repairs on the City Palace, if His Majesty should continue to occupy it, will not fall far short of the expenditure which will be involved in the repairs and additions to the Kutub.


9. The Governor-General has dwelt upon this point in some detail in order to justify his acting on the discretion which the Hon'ble Court has been so good as to leave to the Government of India, and his endeavoring to obtain the consent of Prince Pukrooddeen to his relinquishment of the City Palace in connexion with his recognition as successor to the throne.


10. The Hon'ble Court are aware that His Lordship’s own inclinations and convictions would lead him to require the evacuation of the Palace as an indispensable condition of the succession, on the ground of its importance to the public interests. But, as the Governor- General formerly intimated his intention of not insisting on a compulsory abandonment of the Palace ty the Royal Family on the King’s death, as soon as His Lordship learnt that the members of the Hon’ble Court Rere adverse to the measure, although they did not withhold their official sanction from it, so His Lordship -will now limit his instructions to endeavoring to obtain from Prince Fukrood-


deen a voluntary relinquishment of the City Palace j and His Lordship will not make it a condition indispensable to his succession, as in the case of the other demands enumerated in paragraph 6.


11. The Agent at Delhi will take an early opportunity of communicating personally and privately with Prince Fukrooddeen. He will inform the Prince that, advertising to the circumstances of the family and to the declared objects of the King, his father, it is not expedient that any public


recognition should be declared at present of any member of the royal family as heir apparent to the throne.But, as it would be for the interests of the Prince and of the Royal Family that the ultimate succession to the throne should be determined without further delay, the Government is desirous of conveying to Prince Fuki’ooddeen an assurance of his being acknowledged as successor to the throne on the death of the King, his father.


Before, however, such assurance can be conveyed to the Prince, the Government of India must require at his hands cer- tain concessions connected with the future position of the King which are called for by the altered condition of public affairs, by the dignity of the British Government, and by the true interests of the King and of his kindred,


12. The Government of India requires;-


I—That the former practice of the Kings of Delhi shall be abandoned, and that the King shall hereafter meet the Governor-General as the representative of the British Government in India in terms of entire equality.


II—That the whole l lands of the King shall remain under the direction of British Officers, and that the whole of the proceeds thereof, after paying the expenses of management, shall be


made over to the King.


III That the Sullateeti shall cease to reside within the King's Palace, and shall become subject in all respects to the laws and regulations of the Government of India. From this rule shall excepted the children and grand- children of the then reigning King, who may reside within the Palace and shall be exempted from process.


IV The King shall remove entirely from the Palacein the city of Delhi with the whole Royal

Family. The King and those members of the family who shall be privileged, as above men-

tioned, shall reside in the Palace at the Kutub.Such alterations and additions shall be made to the Palace there by the Government of India as shall render it a fitting residence for Hisajesty and his family. A privileged circuit shall be set apart for the Palace at the Kutub, in the same manner as it is now set apart for the Palace in Delhi. The annual revenue allotted to the present King of twelve lacs per annum shall be continued as the income for the King and the Royal Family.

The Agent will explain to the Prince, if it should be necessary, the grounds on which each of these concessions is required.

He will use his best exertions to obtain the consent of the Prince to the whole of them by such arguments and represen-tations as his local and personal knowledge of individuals and circumstances at Delhi so well qualify him to use.

13. If Prince Fukrooddeen should agree to the three first proposals, but should demur to the fourth, which provides for his withdrawal from the Palace in Delhi, the Agent will judge whether his reluctance is likely to be overcome by an increase to his personal stipend of a quarter of a lac per annum. In such ease, the Agent is empowered to promise that his future stipend as King shall be increased by that amount.


14 If Prince Pukrooddeen should consent to concede all the four points above mentioned, on any of the terms the Governor-General has described, the Agent will draw up a record of the matters agreed upon, under the signature of him-self and of the Prince. On the part of the British Government the record will recite the recognition of the Prince as heir to the throne of Delhi, subject to the conditions above enumerated, and on the part of Prince Pukrooddeen his consent to the conditions attached to the recognition. TheAgent will thereupon report the conclusion of the matters entrusted to him under this despatch.

15 If Prince Pukrooddeen should refuse to accede to the fourth proposal on any terms, or to any of the three first proposals, the Agent will forthwith report the circumstance for the information of the Government of India, who will furnish him with further instructions thereon.

16.If previous to the receipt of such further instructions the present King of Delhi should die, the Agent, in consideration of the evils which may result from delay in the declara-tion of successor, after the actual death of the King, is authorized to renew thereupon his communication with Prince Fukrooddeen.

17 If the Agent should still find that no exertions on his part will induce the Prince to consent to the fourth proposal, on either of the conditions above stated, he is authorized to relinvrish that proposal, and to declare Prince Pukrooddeen successor to the throne on His Highness executing a formal consent to proposals I, II and III.


1^. The proposals I, II and III are absolutely indispensable. If the Prince should refuse to execute his formal consent to them, the Agent will refuse to declare him King and will recognize no successor. He will take such measures as he may deem necessary for the security of the property within the Palace and for the maintenance of order there, as well as for the preservation of the public peace throughout the city

Having done so, the Agent will report the state of affairs.immediately for the information of the government of India,and will await further instructions thereupon.

2. From Sir Theofhilvs Metcjlfb, Bart., Agent, Lieutenant-Governor, North-Western Provinces, Behlee, to J.THORNTON Esquire, Secretary to Government, North-Western Provinces,

Agra,—No. 79, dated Camp Khurrur, between Hansee and Hissar, 8th December 1851.

On the evening before last (yesterday) I received from Sir H. Elliot, K.C.B., copy of the despatch in the Secret Department, No. 72, addressed to you, and dated SOth November.


2. I am thus far on my way to Fazilka to join theCamp of the Hon'ble the Lieutenant-Governor, but with reference to the 3rd, the concluding portion of the 4th and the 11th paragraph of the above despatch, I have the honor to address you with a view to ascertain whether I should at once proceed to Dehlee for the purpose of giving effect to the instructions of the Most Noble the Governor-General, or delay the execution of these orders until my return during the course of next month in company with His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor.


3. From the Secretary to the Government, North-Western Provinces, Agra, to Sir T. Metcalfe, Bart., Agent to Lieuten- ant-Governor, Delhi,—dated Lieutenant-Governor's Camp,16th December 1851.

Having laid your letter. No. 79, dated the Sth^instant, before the Hon'ble th Lieutenant-Governor, I am directed to inform you that, in His Honor's opinion, it will be right for you to return at once to Delhi with the view of giving effect to the instructions of the Most Noble the Governor-General.


4. From Sir Tbeophiius Metcalfs, Bart., Agent, Lieutenant-Governor, North-Western Provinces, Dehlee, to J. Thornton, Esquire, Secretary to Government, North-Western Provinces,Agra,-—No. 7, dated Dehlee, 2dth January 1852.

The Prince, Mirza Futteh-ool-Moolk, commonly called Mirza Pukhrooddeen, having expressed a trish through my Assistant to pay me a visit, I received him yesterday at the Kootub immediately after his interview with the Hon'’ble the Lieutenant-Governor, and I took that opportunity of communicating with him on the subject of Sir Henry Elliotts despatch to your address. No. 72 of the 30th November last.


2. I found the Prince well disposed to meet the wishes of the Most Noble the Governor-General ; but he at the same time earnestly begged of me to submit for His Lordship's favorable consideration certain requests, which will be hereafter noticed, a compliance with which will naturally tend to improve his present position, both as regards respectability and comfort.


3. The original deed of agreement executed by the Prince and duly signed and sealed by him in the presence of myself and Assistant, and attested by a confidential friend of his, who accompanied him to my house, but was not present at our interview, I have the honor to forward here- with, with a translate, and I trust it will be considered satisfactory. By this deed the Prince binds himself on his succession as head of the Timoor Family, if invested with the Title of King and permitted to assume the externals of royalty.


1st, to receive the present and all future Governors-general on a perfect footing of equality.

2nd , to vacate with his own family, and the whole body of Sullateens, the Palace at Dehlee; to transfer it to the british government and to make the environs —---------Mehroulee* his future place of him

3rd, to surrender to the British Government all the Taiool Estates, the revenue to be paid to him,

the management to remain entirely with the British Government.

4. The particular requests to which I have before alluded, and which the Prince is most anxious should meet with favorable consideration, are—

1st, that he receive for the future the salary of an Heir-Apparent, with the arrears now in deposit

2nd, that the Guards at the Palace gates be drawn out to salute him whenever passing to and from the Palace ; and

3rd, that the Agent be instructed to visit him.

As a compliance with these requests would be a virtual acknowledgment of the Prince as Heir-Apparent, I felt that I could not under the instructions conveyed in the concluding portion of the 11th paragraph of Sir Henry Elliot’s despatch give him any hope of success j but, considering the readiness he had evinced to meet the views of the Most Noble the Governor- General, I could not withhold a promise of making his wishes known to superior authority


5. The indignities to which he has long been subjected through the machinations of the chief eunuch, who is entrusted with the charge of the favorite son. Prince Juwan Bukht, will be increased so soon as it can be ascertained that he has entered into an engagement with the British Government. In public opinion he will be considered as the undoubted successor of the present King, and as the long-cherished hopes in favor of the favorite Prince must now be relinquished

even by the King himself, I would venture to submit an opinion that a public acknowledgment of the Prince Eutteh- ool-Moolk as Heir-Apparent would not now be attended with any objectionable results, and would most materially tend to increase his respectability and comfort, and confirm him in his gratitude to the British Government.




6. There was a fourth point on which the Prince was as anxious to obtain my concurrence, viz., that on his succession Heir-Apparent should be entrusted with the distribution of the Royaland the con- , •' ditions i'm- stipend.posed. I apprized him that the arrangement as it now exists is considered very objectionable and is not likely to be continued hereafter. At any i-ate, the question might well be postponed until circumstances should render its discussion necessary.

7. No allusion was made at our interview to an increase to his personal allowance when King of a quarter of a lac per annum, as suggested in the 13th paragraph of Sir HenryElliot’s despatch ; but I am of opinion that such a mark of consideration on the part of the British Goernment would not only be gratefully received by the Prince, but would be highlyextolled by the native public.

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