Saturday, December 30, 2006

Alexander Hamilton's Account of Fort St David

Alexander Hamilton was an Interloper, trading to India. An Interloper was someone who was from Britain who was not an official of the East India Company. He travelled and traded extensively around the Indian Coastline between about 1688 and 1723.

It is not possible to date his visit to Cuddalore exactly, but it was probably after 1700.

Fort St. David is next, a Colony and Fortress belonging to the English. About the Year 1686 a Moratta Prince sold it to Mr. Elihu Yale, for 90000 Pagadoes, for the Use and Behoof of the English East-India Company. The Fort is pretty strong, and stands close to a River; and the Territories annexed to the Fort by Agreement, were as far as any Gun the English had, could fling a Shot, every Way round the Fort; but whether the Buyer or Gunner were Conjurers or no, I cannot tell, but I am sure that the English Bounds reach above eight Miles along the Sea-shore, and four Miles with in Land. The Country is pleasant, healthful and fruitful, watered with several Rivers that are as good as so many Walls to fortify the English Colony. And ever since the Time that Aurengzeb conquered Visapore and Golcondah, there are great Numbers of Malcontents and Freebooters that keep on the Mountains, and often fall down into the open Country, and commit Depredations, by ravaging and plundering the Villages; and all the Mogul’s Forces cannot suppress them.

When the English bought Fort St. David, the Dutch had a little Factory there, about a Mile from the Fort, and the good-natured English suffer them still to continue a few Servants in it. Our Company did not find so much grace from the Dutch at Couchin, nor the gentlemen of Bantam and Indrapoura, when the Dutch seized those Places. It is true, the Dutch can drive no open Trade there, but what they must pay the English Company Customs for.

About the Year 1698 the Freebooters aforementioned had almost made themselves Masters of the Fort by Stratagem and Surprize. They pretended, that they had been sent from the Mogul’s Vice-Roy at Visapore, to take Charge of the Revenue collected at Porto Novo, and to carry it to the Treasury at Visapore, and desired Leave to put their feigned Treasure into the Fort for a few Days, to secure it from the Moratta Freebooters aforementioned, who, they said, were plundering the open Country, which Favour Mr. Frazer, Governor at the Time, granted, so they brought into the Fort ten or twelve Oxen loaded with Stones, and each Ox had two or three Attendants, and about 200 more of that Gang, who came along with the Carriage Beasts as a Guard, lodged themselves in a Grove near the Fort Gate, to be ready, on a Signal given, to enter the Fort. The Freebooters within took an Opportunity the very next Morning, and killed the Sentinel and a few more that were asleep in the Gate-way next to the Grove; but, before they could break the Gate open, the Garison was alarmed, and killed all their treacherous Guests, and the Ambush without being come into the Parade before the Gate, met with so warm a Reception, that they retreated in Confusion, and the English pursuing them, killed severals, but lost some of their own Men.

Mr. Frazer ordered directly the Grove to be cut down, for fear of future Danger from it, but Fort St. David being subordinate to Fort St. George, the Governor and Council there called Mr. Frazer to their Court, and fined him for Presumption, in cutting down so fine a Grove for Enemies to skulk in, without Leave asked and given in due Form; but; their Right Honourable Masters adjusted all that Matter, and ordered the Fine to be refunded, with the Interest; but Governors of different Views and Humours seldom agree.

This Colony produces good long Clothes in large Quantities, either brown, white, or blue dyed, also Sallampores, Morees, Demities, Gingees
Missing line
Assistance of this Colony, that of Fort St. George would make but a small Figure in Trade to what it now does.

The River is but small, tho’ very convenient for the Import and Export of Merchandize. And Cuddelore, that lies about a Mile to the Southward, is capable to receive Ships of 200 Tuns in the Months of September and October. The Rivers have both of them Bars, but are very smooth, whereas Fort St. George is always going ashore and coming off.

The Company has a pretty good Garden and Summer-house, where generally the Governor resides; and the Town extending itself pretty wide, has Gardens to most of their Houses. Their black Cattle are very small, but plentiful and cheap. And their Seas and Rivers abound in good Fishes.

From Alexander Hamilton's "A New Account of the East Indies."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Raworth's Rebellion 1713

Cuddalore History

Richard Raworth’s Rebellion

To Lieutenant Patrick Johnson,

Lieutenant Hugonin being indisposed I hereby order you
to take charge of the Company in the ffort and follow these
If any Gentleman from Fort St George comes
to the Fort, conduct him to ye Guard room at present my
appartment, but show him no more respect, then you
would a private merchant, if he has a Guard with him
of Europeans or Peons, suffer no one to enter the Fort
without my particular order,
And if he offers a paper to be read, immediately forbid
Him, and order him to the Chamber above mention’d, and
Your Soldiers to their arms, nor would I have you suffer
Him, or any belonging to him to talk with then.
Give the same orders to Cuddalore for the Execution of this
Shall be sufficient Warrant; Dated in Fort St
David this 8th October 1713.

R Raworth Deputy Gov’r

By the authority by the Governour
Order you to obey these orders
I am
Patrick Johnston.

With this document Richard Raworth announced that he intended to break away from the East India Company, and to take control of the factory at Fort St David. This event was to provide John De Morgan with his great break. By distinguishing himself during the crushing of this rebellion he came to the notice of his superiors and was promoted Sergeant.

Somehow the Madras authorities heard of Raworth's take over bid, and at once resolved to send a force to remove Raworth and to reclaim the fort. This force first had to make its way past the French settlement of Pondicherry.

Diary of all Transactions and Occurrences on the
Worsp’ll Henry Davenport Esq. His Journey
From Fort St George to ffort St David began ye 5th of
October 1713 & Consultations held since.
Octob 5 1713

Monday 5 This evening about six a clock took leave of the Hon’ble Edward Harrison Esq’ at ye ffort, and sett out for Fort St David and took the mount way, being accompanied with Mess Benyon, Boon, Trenchfield and Walker to that place, besides those ordered to ffort St David, namely Messrs Baker, Weld, Captn Poirier, Gunner Hugonin, three Corporalles and nine centinells, and Peons; upon arrival at Mount wrote the Honble Edward Harrison Esq by Mr Benyon.

Tuesday 6 This morning about half an hour after four, we set out from the mount, and at tenn a Clock arrived at Tippalore, and near three in the afternoon left it, and came to Sadrass at six in the evening, where we lodged all night.

Wednesday 7 We set out from Sadras by break of day, and by twelve a clock got about 20 miles on our way, and within two hours and a halfs march of Mercawn, stoping to refresh at Mongoode, in the Long wood, wher we dined, and were overtaken by a Dutch Tappa Peon from Pullicatt, going to Negapatam with a Dutch Packquett for that Place, we reached Mercawn this night, and lodged there where one of our Horses faultered. This morning Henry Davenport wrote the Hon’ble: President at our seting out, and sent it way by Tappys.

Thursday 8 About four in the morning we left Mecawn, and by nine a Clock got to Boomapollum, from whence ye Deputy Governour wrote the Hon’ble President by Tappys, here we Dined, nd at three in the afternoon, sett out from thence, we pass’d Pondicherry about four a Clock in the afternoon, when the Deputy Governour sent in Gunner Hugonin w’th his Letter to Governour Dulivier, acquainting him of his passing by his Garrison, and should be glad to serve him where he was agoing.

Fryday 9th We left Connygoil three quarters after five in the morning, & entered the Company’s bounds of Fort St David half an hour after, passing by Condapah Choultry with out any resistance, and then crossed Penny River by boat and a Cattamaran, having sent for Peter Ackman Officer of Cundapah Guard and acquainted him of his obedience and Duty to the Rt. Hon’ble President and Councell of Fort St George Commission to Henry Davenport Esq. Who’s orders he was to follow as being sent commisary and Deputy Governour of ffort St David, the Deputy Governour ask’d him if he knew of his coming, to which he answer’s no, so soon as we were Land’d on the South side of the river between the ffort and his guard he fired an allaum Gun, w’ch was immediately answer’d from Horsetail point firing another, and the like from ye Fort hoisting the fflags for signalls of enemys, as usual in time of Warr, in the mean time we kept on our way till we came to the Bore Chitteees Tope, where we stopt expecting Cap’t Poiriers return from the late Deputy Governour Robert Raworth Esqr. To whom Henry Davenport Esq’r (at our arrivall by Penna River) sent with a generall Letter from the President and Councell of Fort St George to the said Robert Raworth Esq’r accompany’s with another from himself signifying the occasion of his coming, and three letters by fellows in Coolies habit to the following Gentlemen of his councell, namely to Mssr’s Berlue, Woodward, and Houghton, and alfrom tht Post so to Lieutenant Hougonin and Hobbs, importing the same to them, and requesting their obedience to his authority, given him by the Hon’ble President & Councell of Fort St George after an hours stay at said Bode Chittees Tope, Messr’s Berlu, Houghton and Burton, came & acknowledged their obedience to Henry Davenport Esq’r and gave him the relation Enter’d after this diary, not withstanding which and the danger we were to expect, we set forward towards the ffort, and advanced to Tevenpatam Gate, w’ch the officer of ye Guard a Serjeant named Hans Stuport shut against us and made his men stand to their arms, and declared he had orders from Robert Raworth Esq’r to let no strangers in, which oblig’d us to hault , when the Deputy Govenour sent Mr Berton up to the Gate, and told him Henry Davenport was his Governour and Mr Raworth was Dismissed, and acquainted the said officer with the powers we had brought, afterwards, we return’d about a quarter of a mile from that Post, Mr Hugonin was order’d back by Henry Davenport Esq’r

On the 17th of October the Madras force reached the bound fence approximately 2500 yards from the northern end of Cuddalore town. The Choultry was a travellers rest house and place where merchants could store their goods and do business as they entered the settlement.

Saturday 17th Between one and two this morning Ensigns Handle & Ackman were sent with forty good men to endeavour to surprize Cundapau Choultry and Horsetail point, about four the deputy Governour was advis’d they had gott possession of the former, w’ch they found deserted, they put a guard into it, and immediately advanced towards Horsetail point, where they found only one Gunner, who upon their entering was going to fire an allarum Gun, w’ch. Ensign Handlee prevented by threatening him if he did not instantly lay down his match he was a Deadman.

By five this morning the whole body march’d for the bounds where soon after they arriv’d, and advanc’d to Cundapau Choultry where we drew up our men, Deputy Governor order’d Serjeant John D’Morgan with twenty men to keep possession of that Post, and Sergeant John Cordall with Andrew Middleton and twenty men to Horsetail point, immediately after we passed ye River when was sent a Peon to Ensign Hobbs to summon him to his obedience to the Right Hon’ble: Company, and for what was pass’d shou’d be fogott; he return’d answer that Mr. Raworth was his Governour & he knew no other, so cou’d not quitt his post without his order after we were all over the river, we march’d towards the Company’s Garden always taking care to be undercover from the Forts Gunns, when haulted within a hundred & fifty yards of the Garden Gate, fronting before which they had thrown five or six thousand crows feet to prevent our advancing on them, the Deputy Governour sent Mr. Burton to summon the officers and soldiers to return to their obediene to the Right Hon’ble: Company, who all peremtorily refus’d except Sergeant Fox that came to us upon secng summons and submitted himself to the order of the Deputy Governour, telling him that Mr. Raworth had kept ye men in a Continuall heat of Liquor, which he believ’d was the occasion of their being obdurate, during this parly a single Horseman from the Fort who we perceiv’d came to view us, and immediately return’d when Mr. Raworth was so kind to salute us with an eighteen pounder, which fled just over our heads, and litt between us and ye Garden, this was enough to provoke men of the best Tempers to have reveng’d themselves, when it lay in our power to have Cutt off every man that was lodg’d in the Gardens but to shew Mr. Raworth and the rest of his rebellious Crew, we delighted not in blood, we march’d to secure Cuddalore, between which and Trepopalore he fir’d a second shott at us, w’ch: did no mischief, and was was soon after taken up and brought to the Deputy Governour, at Ten we enter’d Cuddalore by the Braminy Gate, which finding shutt Mr. Hugonin jump’d over the Pallasadoes, and open’d the Gate by Cutting the barr in two, we took possession of the point (finding no body upon it) with a Barrell and a Jarr of Powder; the Forces were drawn up when the Officers were order’d to draw out their men and take possession of severall Guards, after this the Deputy Governour went to Mr. Farmers house which he makes his residence for himself and all the Gentlemen.

Soon after arriv’d at Mr Farmers house, we spy’d Mr Raworth’s Pinnace put out to sea, which we supposed somebody upon her was running away, upon enquiry we were inform’d twas sent by Mr. Raworth to take his Dubash Dossery, who had run away from him on a Cattamaran, this fellow is a great a villain as ever came into ye bounds, and had done as much mischief; the taking of this servant wou’d be of grat service to the Company in making him confess the many ill actions of Mr. Raworth, to whom he was his chief Councellor, so the Deputy Governour order’d a Chillinga imediately to be well man’d and sent upon her a Sergeant and Six Soldiers, with a promise to ‘em if they took ye. Boat, to give ‘em a months pay gratis.

Whilst we were at Dinner Mr. Raworth from ye Fort fired severall Gunns the shott of one of them fell through a house near Chellumbum Gate which was brought to the Deputy Governour.

At five this evening eight Horse Consisting of Trumpeters, Gardeners, and Cooks dismounted when they were over Penna River and attack’d Condapau Choultry first firing at them, and then threw Granadoes w’ch: Sergeant D;Morgan bravely defended, killing and mortally wounding five and took as many horses, the Sergeant of that Guard arriv’d here that night with his men, who refus’d to stand by him Mr. Raworth having threaten’d for that action to bring his whole force against them, which being about five miles from us t’woud be impossible for us to assist them.
This afternoon the Deputy Governour receiv’d a Letter from Mr. Raworth in answer to his sent him yesterday, Coppy of w’ch: is enter’d after this Diary.
At four this morning the Deputy Governour dispatch’d a Letter to the Hon’ble President, advising that we were in possession of Cundapau Choultry, at six that we had Horsetail Point, and at Ten Cuddalore.

Throughout this rather strange affair the Deputy Governor Raworth, and the new Governor Davenport kept up a rather curious correspondence, in which both parties tried to make it appear as if they are acting correctly.

The letter referred to above was recorded as follows: -

“Cuddalore Saturday 17th At a Consultation present The Worsp’ful Henry Davenport etc. “

From Mr. Raworth


I receiv’d the letter you sent me w:ch I now return not being able to find the Gentleman to whom it is adrest, the late Deputy Govenour of this place, having departted to Fort St. George the ultimo August last.
I likewise send you the Coppy of a Protest, which I sent to Pondicherry not knowing but you were there, w:ch I again lay to your Charge the blood which by your order was shed yesterday, by that vile rascall John De Morgan and his party. I further declare you a Traitor to the interest of the Rt. Hon’ble United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East India, for having in so irregular and unlawfull manner Enter’d the Town of Cuddalore, and spread seditious stories you have done, with the assistance of Messr’s Berlu, Baker, Woodward, and Houghton for w’ch I don’t at all doubt you’ll receive your reward, towards which I will contribute what lyes in my power, not withstanding in the former Course of my life, I have always approv’d my self.

Fort St David Sr
18th October 1713 Your most faithfull
Humble Servant
Rob:t Raworth
D Governour

After the Consultation at Fort St George on Friday the 18th of March 1714 it was minuted that: -

“Serjeant John De Morgan, being very well qualified and having behav’d himself remarkably well during the troubles at Fort St. David.AGREED that He be made Ensign to the Second Company of this Garrison, in the place of Ensign Gardener formerly discharg’d. Serjt. Jno. De Morgan havg. Behav’d himself well in ye. Troubles at ffort St. DavidHe is made an Ensign.