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In the second volume of the Marquess Wellesley's Official Papers, it appears that his Lordship had tendered his resignation of the office of Governor-General to the Court of Directors. The motives of that resignation are explained in the letter of the Governor-General to the Right Honourable Henry Addington (then first Lord of the Treasury, &c.), dated 10th of January 1802, an extract of which letter is here published. To that document is annexed the letter of the Court of Directors, requesting his Lordship to continue in the government of India until January 1804. To these letters are added extracts from the Governor-General's Notes relative to the late transactions in the Mahratta Empire, dated Fort William, December 15th, 1803. These extracts will serve to illustrate the nature of the constitution of the Mahratta Empire, and to explain more fully the subject of this volume.

The first letter in the series of despatches published in this volume signifies to the Court of Directors that the Marquess Wellesley had deemed it to be his public duty to continue in India beyond the period fixed by his original letter of resignation, in consequence of the state of affairs in the Mahratta Empire.

The subsequent documents contain a detailed relation of the transactions with the Mahratta States, and of the causes, commencement, progress, and issue of the war, down to the peace with Dowlut Rao Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar.


The Marquess Wellesley to the Right Honourable Henry Addington.


Cawnpore, Jan. 10, 1802.

In my despatch to the Court of Directors notifying my resignation of this government, I have assigned no other causes for that step than the successful accomplishment of the most essential branches of my general plans for the security of this Empire, the general prosperity of the existing state of our affairs in India, and my expectation of completing in the course of the current year as great a proportion of improvement in various departments of the Company's affairs in India, as I could hope to accomplish within any period of time to which my government could be reasonably protracted. I am however aware that considerable public benefit might be expected in India from the continued operation of the established authority of my administration until the end of the year 1803, or until a peace with France shall take place; and I am not insensible of the advantage which might be derived to my public character by such an extension of my residence in India, as should enable me to bring into more immediate profit to the Company the fruits of my services. But my continuance in India is precluded by powerful causes; and my administration is brought to a premature conclusion by the authority most interested in its extension.

A due consideration of the relation in which I stand towards the Court of Directors, as a servant of the East India Company, and a sense of the propriety of observing a submissive and respectful deportment in all my official communications with the Court, have induced me to abstain from any official record of the real and efficient causes of my resignation.

These causes are reducible to the three following general points :First. That the Court of Directors has manifested a want of confidence in my administration of their affairs.

Secondly. That the Court of Directors has recently been pleased to interfere directly in several of the most important details of the local executive government of India; in the dismission of persons employed with my full confidence and approbation for the ordinary despatch of business, and in the selection of others, in whom I cannot confide, and whose appointment is entirely contrary to my judgment; and that the Court has plainly disclosed an intention of pursuing a similar system of direct interposition in the future local government of these possessions, and in the choice of persons to be employed in the subordinate executive departments of this Empire.

Thirdly. That the Court of Directors has positively disapproved various measures of my administration, which I have adopted as being expedient in the ordinary course of business, or as being essentially necessary to the dignity, prosperity, and security of this Empire; and that the Court

has withholden its sanction from other branches of my administration of the highest importance in my estimation, under circumstances which have furnished me with every reason to expect the orders of the Court for the demolition of institutions and arrangements, which, in my conscientious judgment, can neither be demolished nor altered without imminent hazard to the interests of Great Britain in India.

The several acts and proceedings of the Court referable to these general heads have been communicated to me either within the course of the last year, or since the danger from the combination formed against the British Empire in India in 1798 has been effectually removed by the success of the war in Mysore.

For some time past I have perceived the symptoms of an unfavourable disposition arising in the Court of Directors towards the general system of my administration; and private reports and rumours, through authentic channels, have confirmed the opinions which I had formed. But a strong sense of public duty and of gratitude has induced me to remain at my post under much vexation and disgust, until the most recent despatches from the Court to this government, added to those proceedings which have compelled Lord Clive to resign his charge, convinced me, that I could not retain mine with any prospect of private honour, or of public advantage, unless the Court should be pleased to restore to me the advantage of its confidence and support in the most formal and unequivocal terms, and in the most public manner; and unless the Court should also afford me a satisfactory assurance of its intention to revive and confirm in my hands the exercise of those powers which are indispensably requisite to enable me to conduct this arduous government.

Any person acquainted with the tenor of the despatches from the Court of Directors and from the Secret Committee to India during the last eighteen months, will readily anticipate the particular orders to which I have referred in the preceding general statement; but as it may be necessary for your information to enter into a more special detail, I will state the particular orders to which my objections apply.

First.-A peremptory order to reduce the military strength of this Empire, particularly in the peninsula of India; the augmentation of which strength had been made under my express authority, after the fullest deliberation, and after consulting all the most experienced officers in India.

The principle of these augmentations of the army is directly condemned by the Court, the encreased force is stated to be unnecessary, and to have been raised in an objectionable mode, and no option is left to my discretion with regard to the reductions enjoined.

This order cannot admit of any other construction than that the Court of Directors has judged me to have been either ignorant of the extent of the force necessary for the preservation of the empire founded in the Peninsula in the year 1799, or to have negligently or wickedly encreased the army at Madras and Bombay without an adequate necessity.

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