Malabar Manual Vol 1 CHAPTER III. HISTORY
Section (E) - THE DUTCH, ENGLISH AND FRENCH SETTLEMENTS
The Struggle for the Pepper and Piece Goods Trade. A.D. 1663-1766.
When the Dutch acquired in the manner described in the preceding section all the Portuguese possessions in Malabar they found, among the settlers at Cochin, a small factory of the English East India Company established there, as already described, so early as 1634-35, and these factors receiving immediate notice to quit, took the earliest opportunity to leave the place after it fell into Dutch hands.
From a very early period in its history the English Company had set its face against martial enterprises. And Sir Thomas Roe, the Ambassador to the Great Mogul, had given the Company some invaluable advice which they took well to heart.
“The Portugueses”, he wrote, "notwithstanding their many rich residences are beggared by keeping of soldiers, and yet their garrisons are but mean. They never made advantage of the Indies since they defended them. Observe this well. It has also been the error of the Dutch who seek plantations here by the sword. They turn a wonderful stock; they prole in all places ; they possess some of the best, yet their dead pays consume all the gain.”
So far indeed did the English Company carry this policy that they even forbade at times an appeal to arms by the factors for their own defence ; and the annoyances experienced in consequence of this were occasionally almost intolerable. But the strength of the Company lay in the admirable arrangements whereby they encouraged trade at their fortified settlements.
They established manufactures ; they attracted spinners and weavers and wealthy men to settle in their limits ; the settlers were liberally treated and their religious prejudices were tolerated ; the privacy of houses were respected by all classes and creeds; settlers were allowed to burn their dead and to observe their peculiar wedding ceremonies ; no compulsory efforts were made to spread Christianity, nor were the settlers set to uncongenial tasks ; shipping facilities were afforded ; armed vessels protected the shipping ; all manufactured goods were at first exempted from payment of duty ; the Company coined their own money ; and courts of justice were established ; security for life and property in short reigned within their limits.
In 1685-90 a martial policy was tried at Bombay and Surat, but the Company found to their heavy cost that it did not pay, and so it was once more abandoned. And the settled policy of the Company seems to have been from this time forward to avoid war, either defensive or offensive, unless a substantial return could be obtained for the outlay in money and men.
The English Company’s servants were graded in their order of seniority as apprentices for five years, as writers for five years, as factors for three years, as senior factors for three years, and as merchants.
Some changes subsequently took place in these grades, for senior factors were latterly styled merchants, and the merchant grade became senior merchants. The pay of the several grades was very small. In 1739 the Chief of the Tellicherry factory received only £70 a year, the two senior merchants £40 a year each, one junior merchant £30 a year, and one writer £5 a year with an additional Rs. 144 (equivalent at that time to £18 a year) for reading divine service.
One or more of these servants seem to have been despatched from time to time to look after the Company’s investments at the different ports on the coast. They lived under the protection of the native rulers of the places where they settled, and were in no way different from ordinary private merchants.
In time, as the Company’s investments became larger and more important, the necessity for fortified posts to protect the Company’s warehouses made itself felt ; but for many years after the Company’s factors were unceremoniously turned out of Cochin by the Dutch in 1663 the English Company’s servants in Malabar had to rely alone for protection on the native chieftains in whose territories they were settled.
It would be difficult to over-estimate the benefits of the experience thus obtained in the Company’s dealings with the natives, for the factors had perforce to study native character and to adapt themselves to it ; and in doing this they were unconsciously fitting themselves to become the future rulers of the empire.
Such settlements seem to have been formed at Rattera and Brinjan in Travancore territory and at Ponnani and Calicut in the Zamorin’s country. It was with the latter chief that the English Company’s earliest extant1 agreement was concluded in September 1664 shortly after the taking of Cochin by the Dutch. Two of the Company’s servants by name Riveri (? Rivers) and Vetti (?) appear to have proceeded to Calicut in June preceding the above date, and to have been permitted to settle there on agreeing to pay duty to the Zamorin on the trade carried on.
NOTEs: Collection of Treaties, etc,, i. I.—Calicut 1879. END OF NOTEs
The Zamorin is described shortly after this time as ruling the country “from Ticori (Trikitodi1) to Chitwa,”2 a distance of about 22 leagues. His palace at Calicut was built of stone, and he kept up “some faint resemblance of grandeur” about it.
NOTEs: 1. Page 72.
2. Chavakkad, see p. 77 END OF NOTEs
He was still “reckoned the powerfullest king” on the coast, and he had the best trade in his country. The products of his country were pepper, betel-nut, coconut, jaggery, copra, sandalwood, iron, cassia-lignum and timber. His supremacy appears to have been acknowledged by all the Malayali chiefs, except, perhaps, the Cochin Raja, from the northernmost part of Malabar to the southernmost extremity of Travancore by the offering of a flag or other token of submission, and by attending him once in twelve years at the Tirunavayi ceremony already fully described.3
This supremacy was however little more than nominal, and his position among the country powers appears to have deteriorated greatly from what it was in 1498 when the Portuguese appeared upon the scene.
NOTEs: Pages 163-8. END OF NOTEs
In August 1664 the French “Compagnie des Indes” was formed by Colbert. It started with a capital of 15,000,000 “livres tournois” (£600,000), and Louis XIV had to publish an edict telling his courtiers it was not derogatory for a man of noble birth to trade to India.
Men who had thus to be reminded of what "was or was not fitting to their position were not the men to push French interests successfully, and the English Company’s servants soon saw that the French men were poor men of business and not likely to prove successful rivals in trade.
Fryer described their Surat factory about this time as “better stored with monsieurs than with cash ; they live well, borrow money, and make a show'”.
Their first venture was a fresh attempt on Madagascar, and most of their funds were spent in combating with a bad climate, a poor soil, and the hostility of the Malagasis. In 1672 they relinquished their attempts on the island and their colonists were scattered abroad, some to India and some to Mauritius and Reunion.
Meanwhile in 1665 war had broken out in Europe between the English and the Dutch ; and the Dutch4 in 1673 with a fleet carrying 6,000 men under VanGoens threatened the English settlement at Bombay, where in September 23, 1668, the English Company had finally settled down and secured for themselves from the Crown authorities an unequalled position for trade. The Dutch, on finding they were likely to receive a warmer reception than they had bargained for, wisely determined not to land.
NOTEs: The Dutch settlements on the coast at this time were —
(4) Cannanore, which were all placed under the command of the Governor at.
(5) Cochin. END OF NOTEs
In 1674 the French, who had been driven out of St. Thome by the Dutch, settled under Francois Martin at Pondicherry.
About 1680 the Dutch began to experience the results of their error in seeking trade at the point of the sword. The expenses of the garrisons maintained at their various settlements were so large that their trade yielded no profits, and they began gravely to consider the advisability of destroying the forts of Cannanore, Cranganore and Quilon, or of re-selling them to the Portuguese.
For various reasons, however, the resolution was not carried out. The Dutch were also very intolerant of persons professing the Roman Catholic faith, and in their overtures to Portugal about this time they proposed to hand back the places (except Cochin) where that faith had obtained a firm hold of the people. The negotiations fell through, and in 1684 the Roman Catholic priests were at last allowed to return to the charge of their flocks.
In this same year (1684) the English Company obtained from the Attingal Rani (of the Travancore family) a sandy spit, of land at Anjengo. The site was badly selected in some respects, for there was no good water within three miles or so and the open roadstead and surf rendered shipping operations precarious.
The place, however, had other advantages. Pepper was abundant, also calicoes of excellent quality. And when the place was fortified some years later, the cannon of the fort commanded the river, the main artery of traffic, as well as the shipping in the roadstead.
It was in 1690 that the Rani of Attingal gave permission to the English Company to erect the Anjengo fort, but no written treaty remains as a record of the fact.
The English system of sending factors to various points on the coast to test the value of the trade at those places seems to have enabled the Company to decide where it would be best for their interests to plant factories for the defence of the trade thus ascertained to exist ; and, in this way, towards the close of the seventeenth century they settled on two points on the Malabar coast, one at Anjengo, as already described, and the other at Tellicherry.
Calicut would probably have been selected as a more favourable spot for trade than Tellicherry, but the Zamorins seem, not unnaturally after their experience of what had befallen them in the Portuguese period, to have looked with jealousy on all foreign fortified settlements ; and so strong seems to have been the feeling on this point that it was not, until after the English Company had been settled for nearly a whole century at Calicut, that they were permitted in 1759 even to tile their factory there so as to secure it against fire.
As the English Company’s operations expanded in this way so did the Dutch Company’s business fall off, notwithstanding the number and strength of their fortified posts. On September 10, 1691, the Dutch gave up Chetwai to the Zamorin. In 1697 the walls of the Dutch fort at Cochin had become so ruinous, owing to the parsimonious policy pursued, that it was manifest something must be done. In pursuance therefore of the policy inaugurated in 1680; steps were taken to reduce their military expenditure.
The Cochin fort was reduced to half its size, at Cannanore and Quilon only one tower was to be left standing, and at Cranganore the exterior works only were to remain. Moreover the military at all the outposts— Paponetty, Purakkat, and Calli-Quilon —were to be withdrawn, and the marine establishment was reduced to the most attenuated proportions-—one small yacht, two sloops, and three row boats.
These reductions had their natural effect on the country powers, and the Dutch Company was no longer feared.
It was in 1695 that the notorious Captain Kydd’s expedition was lifted out in England to put down1 European piracy in the Indian seas. The Mogul held the factors at Surat responsible for the piratical acts of Kydd, the Dutchman Chivers, and others. And the other country powers seem to have reasoned in like fashion, for about November 1697 the Anjengo settlement was violently but unsuccessfully attacked by the Travancoreans on the plea that, the factors were pirates. It may, however, be doubted whether this, their ostensible reason, was the true one, for, as will presently appear, the presence of the English in Travancore was gradually leading to a revolution in that State.
NOTEs: Pages 73-4. END OF NOTEs
It was not the country powers alone who charged the old English Company with fomenting piracy, for their rivals (the new company) also brought this charge against, them ; and indeed from the extent to which European piracy had prevailed, the alternative lay between the suppression either of it or of honest trade.
It would be out of place here to set forth the grounds of quarrel between the rival East India Companies, but in passing it requires to be noted that, English interests suffered severely in consequence of the disputes, whereby piracy was encouraged. The Mogul made the Surat factors pay heavy damages, and even went the length of ordering the factories to be destroyed.
The differences were at, last, however, arranged; on April 27, 1702, the rival Companies approved an instrument of union, and on and after July 22 of that same year all opposition between the rival Companies’ officers in India was to cease.
It took a year or two more, however, to adjust all their differences ; and it was not till September 29, 1708, that the Earl of Godolphin, Lord High Treasurer of England, who had been appointed arbiter in the disputes, made his famous award, and from that date the style of the association was altered to that of “The United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies.”
Notwithstanding those troubles the English settlements on the coast were making progress.
About 1680 there had occurred a disruption in the Northern Kolattiri family. Hamilton, who visited the reigning Kolattiri in 1702, but who had been on the coast some years previously, thus describes the event :—“There were three princes of the blood royal who conspired to cut him” (the reigning Prince Unnitri) “and his family off, to possess themselves of the government of Callistree ” (Kolattiri): “but being detected they were beheaded on altars built of stone. About two miles from Cannanore the altars were standing when I saw there. They were only square piles of hewn stone, about three yards high and four yards each side.”
Such family quarrels were not infrequent in the Kolattiri Chief’s house, and the reasons therefore are in operation in all Malayali families down to the present day and more especially in North Malabar. The head of a Malayali house has two conflicting sets of interests to deal with—first;, those of his legal heirs, the children of his female relatives of various degrees ; and secondly, those of his natural heirs, his own wife and children. The latter have no legal claim on him, but natural affection comes into play, and to provide suitably for his own children and their mother a man not infrequently trenches upon the right of his legal heir.
Hence arise bitter quarrels and jealousies. There can be no doubt that the Kolattiri family’s dominions had become greatly curtailed by such provisions having been made for the natural heirs of the chiefs out of the territories belonging of right to the legal heirs. And at the period when the Tellicherry factory was established, somewhere about I694-95, one of the natural offshoots of the family, the Kadattunad Raja, known to the early English as the Boyanore or Baonor1 of Badagara2 was in semi-independent possession of Kadattunad3 ;i that is, of the territory lying between the Mahe and Kotta rivers.
NOTEs: 1. Valunnavar - Ruler.
2. Vadakara (p. 72)
3. See map at paragraph II of Section (b), Chapter IV. END OF NOTEs
And another such offshoot was in similar semi-independent possession of the Malayalam territory lying to the north of the Kavayi river. And of the territory lying between the Kavayi and Mahe rivers various portions had come, whether by family alliances of the kind described or by grants, it is difficult to say, into the possession of various chieftains who were all more or less dependent on the Kolattiris.
Randattara, otherwise called Poyanad,4 was under the Achanmar (fathers) four houses of the Nambiar caste ; Kottayam was under the Puranat (foreign) Rajas, and Iruvalinad including Kurangoth ) was ruled by six houses of the Nambiar caste and by one house of the Nayar caste. Besides the above the two houses of Nambiars still continued to rule, in some subjection to the Kolattiris, the territories,1 assigned, (it is said) to them by Cheraman Perumal himself along the foot of the Western Ghauts in the present Chirakkal taluk, and there were other houses of Nambiars (though of lower lank) located in different places in what is now the Chirakkal taluk.
NOTEs: 4. Tradition says that, this was the county (nad) from which Cheraman Perumal went (poyi) to Arabia.
1. (Chulali and Noriyot) - Conf. p. 234. END OF NOTEs
Lastly the Mappilla Chief of Cannanore (the Ali Raja) or Raja of the Sea had secured to himself a small slice of territory at and about Cannanore. The original Kolattiri dominions were therefore broken up into a large number of petty principalities at the time of the founding of the Tellicherry factory, and the territory which remained under the direct rule of the Kolatliris was of comparatively small extent.
To understand thoroughly the position of affairs at this time, it is further necessary to explain that the Kolattiri house itself had become largely disintegrated. The following table shows its present (1886) constitution:
Several other sub-branches had broken off from the parent stem, but these have all since become extinct.
The eldest female of all the branches was accustomed to some distinction, and was entitled to the sthanam (dignity) annexed to the Achamma Mupasthanam. She was nominally the head of the whole family just as the Ambadi Kovilagam Rani was the nominal head of the Zamorin’s house.
But the executive power was in theory at least sub-divided among the five eldest male members, who were styled, respectively, in their order of seniority.
1. The Kolattiri,
2. The Tekkalankur ,
3. The Vadakkalankur,
4. The Nalamkur, and
5. The Anjamkur.
When this arrangement was first made, the Kolattiri himself probably retained originally the immediate executive charge of only the middle portion of his dominions. The Tekkalankur (the Southern Regent) used to have separate charge of the southern portion of the territories of the house with his headquarters at Putupattanam on the Kotta river , and tradition says that it was by marriage with one of the southern regents that one of the Kadattanad Raja’s female ancestors acquired the territory of that family. The Vadakkalankur (the Northern Regent) had separate charge of the northern territories, and from a marriage with one of them, the Nilesvaram Rajas acquired their territory forming at present the southern portion of the Kasargode taluk in South Canara.
The other Kurvalchas (rulers of portions), namely, the fourth (Nalamkur) and fifth (Anjamkur), probably remained in more or less immediate attendance on the Kolattiri himself and rendered him any assistance he required.
The dissensions which broke out from time to time in the family, and of which that noticed by Hamilton is the first on record, were caused no doubt by the extensive surrenders of territory to the consorts of the ruling members. The Tekkalankur, when he succeeded to that dignity in order of seniority, would find himself, if he accepted the situation, a ruling chief without any territory to rule, and he would not willingly part with what remained of the territory attached to the dignity (the Vadakkalankur’s) he was about to vacate.
On examining the records it is found that, as a rule, the ablest member of the family, sometimes peaceably with the consent of all the members, sometimes by force, seized the reins of power at the earliest possible opportunity, and the rest of the family, although perhaps senior to himself, were mere puppets in his hands.
This explains how it came about that the grant of the Tellicherry factory site was obtained, not from the Kolattiri himself but from the Northern Regent (the Vadakkalankur), who happened at the time to be the de facto ruler of Kolattunad. It is not easy to explain why the Company eventually decided to settle at Tellicherry, for it was a place of no importance up to that time. Hamilton, who however bore the factors no good-will, was not able to find a satisfactory reason for it at the time. His narrative runs thus:—
“The place where the Factory now stands belonged to the French, who left the mud walls of a Fort built by them to serve the English when they first settled there, and for many years they continued so, but of late1 no small pains and charge have been bestowed on its buildings ; but for what reason I know not for it has no River near it that can want its protection, nor can it defend the Road from the insults of Enemies, unless it be for small vessels that can come within some rocks that lay half a mile oft or to protect the Company’s Warehouse, and a Punch-House that stands on the Sea-Shore a short Pistol Shot from the garrison.”
NOTEs: 1. Published in Edinburgh in 1727. END OF NOTEs
The factory site was probably chosen more for purposes of trade than with a view to securing that trade once it was developed. Tellicherry lies close to the fine pepper-producing countries of Kottayam and Randattara, and the finest cardamoms in the world are produced in the country lying at the head of the Periah pass into Wynad, to which Tellicherry is the nearest point on the coast.
These were advantages which the Company would certainly appreciate. By selecting Darmapattanam Island, however, the same advantages could have been secured along with capabilities of defence such as Tellicherry could not boast. But the island was at this time in dispute among the country powers, and when the chance did occur of acquiring it the expense of moving the garrison and warehouses to the island was so heavy that, although the removal was sanctioned, it was never actually carried out.
As to when the factory was established it is certain that this event happened some time before the 24th October 1699, the first, date in the “General Letter Book” of the factory extant on 6th May 1728 as mentioned in the factory diary of this latter date. The Company had probably had a trading post at Tellicherry for some years previously, and it is certain that at the union between the Companies in 1702 Tellicherry is mentioned along with Karwar, Calicut, and Anjengo as among the affiliated factories of Bombay.
It was the Vadakkalankur (Northern Regent) of Kolattiri who permitted the English Company to settle at Tellicherry. Their settlement was as usual unprotected. And, it is said, that one of the rival Kolattiri princes of the Udayamangalam branch, in combination with the neighbouring Nayar chieftain of Iruvalinad, the Kurangoth Nayar, entered the Company’s warehouse one day about 1704-05 and committed certain regularities, which were duly reported to the Northern Regent, and it was at the same time pointed out to him that such events would recur unless the place were fortified.
The Regent thereupon gave his consent to the building of a fort, and it is said that he himself laid the foundation-stone thereof. With the consent, it is said, of the Ponattil Poduval and of the Vallura Tangal, a house site belonging to the former and a hill (Tiruvallappan Kunnu) belonging to the latter were taken up, and on these sites the fort and fort-house were built. The Company also bought up, for the same purpose, a street of weavers which existed at the place.
The town, Hamilton says, lay at the back of the fort with a stone wall round it “to keep out Enemies of the Chief’s making, for in 1703 he began a war that still continues, at least there were Folks killed in 1723 when I was there”.
The buildings and the war together, he said, had taken, “double the Money to maintain them that the Company’s investments came to,” and he thus relates the origin of the disturbance.
“The occasion of the War, as I was informed, began about a trifle. The Nayar, that was Lord of the Mannor, had a Royalty, for every Vessel that unladed at Tellicherry paid two Bales of Rice duty to him. There was another Royalty of every tenth Fish that came to the Market there, and both together did not amount to £20 Sterling per annum.
The Chief either appropriated these Royalties to his own or the Company’s use, and the Nayar complained of the Injustice but had no Redress. These little duties were the best part of the poor Nayar’s subsistence which made it the harder to bear, so his friends advised him to repel force by force, and disturb the Factory what, he could, which he accordingly did (by the secret assistance of his Friends) for above twenty years. The Company are the best Judges whether the War is likely to bring any profit to their affairs there or no."
It is extremely improbable, it may be remarked, that the Company’s officers, who had been careful to buy up the weavers’ and others’ houses and lands before beginning to erect their fort, would have refused to pay the petty dues Hamilton writes about, had they been justly payable, and he omits all mention of the irregular entry into the Company’s warehouse before the fort was built, so he is not an impartial witness in the matter.
Jealousies between the Kolattiri chiefs had probably more to do with it than the reasons assigned by Hamilton.
A paper in the records states that every endeavour was made to arrange matters amicably with the Kurangoth Nayar, and it was only when these proved abortive that the English Company resorted to force. They stormed the Mailan hill on the outskirts of Tellicherry and took it, although it had, with a view to giving trouble to the factory, been fortified by the Nayar with the secret assistance of his friends,1 no doubt, as Hamilton says.
NOTEs: Hamilton himself, who was an Interloper, was probably to be reckoned of this number as he paid a visit to Mahe, the southern limit of the Nayar’s territory in 1707. END OF NOTEs
On August 20th, 1708, the Northern Regent formally gave2 and made over the Tellicherry fort, which had been “built at the request and entreaties made by me as a friend " to the Honourable Company, and he added that within its limits "no person shall demand, collect or plant," and “our custom house will be obliged to give us what has been settled."
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. III. This treaty was subsequently confirmed by the Kolattiri himself and other members of the family. Ibid., i. VIII, IX and X. END OF NOTEs
The Nayar appears to have maintained a desultory warfare with the factory until, on 29th September 1719, he submitted proposals of peace, which were accorded to him and ratified on that date. Among other terms3 he gave the Company “two great guns and a slave in lieu of one you have lost," and he agreed to give the Company a monopoly of his pepper produce without any duty and to surrender "the Ramem hill," which is probably identical with that of Mailan already referred to.
NOTEs: 3. Treaties, etc., i. VI and VII. END OF NOTEs
The Zamorin in 1699 had probably received an advance of money from the Company, as in that year he came to an understanding4 with a Mr. Peni (Penny?) authorising him to deduct 25 per cent, of the duty on pepper exported. And again in 1710 he had authorised1 them to employ the oil ordeal for settling their disputes with native traders. It appears they also had the privilege of protecting debtors who took refuge in their Calicut factory, to the disadvantage occasionally of interlopers like Hamilton.
NOTEs: 4. Treaties, etc., i. II.
1. Treaties, etc., i. IV. END OF NOTEs
Meanwhile affairs in other parts of the Zamorin’s territory had not proceeded so satisfactorily for the English Company’s interests. It has already been said that the Dutch in pursuance of their policy to curtail their military expenditure had in 1691 placed the Island of Chetwai in the Zamorin’s hands. The Zamorin was not slow to follow up the advantage this gave him of being placed on the flank, as it were, of his hereditary foe, the Cochin Raja’s territory. War broke out shortly afterwards, and from 1701 till 1710 the Dutch were drawn into it in a desultory manner in protection of the Cochin Raja’s interests.
It was this protection of the Cochin Raja against the Zamorin which involved the Dutch in so much profitless expenditure in Malabar. So long as the Chetwai Island remained in the Zamorin’s hands, he could at any moment turn, as it were, the flank of the Cochin Raja’s defence, and it, therefore, became an object of importance to the Dutch Company to protect the northernmost point of the island. In 1714 they accordingly set about the erection of a fort at this point.
The English Company, on the other hand, and, if Hamilton’s account is correct, the Chief of the English factory, Mr. Robert Adams, had, in particular, interests of their own to protect. Ever since the place had been in the Zamorin’s hands, the English chiefs had made, as Hamilton expresses it, “a good Milch Cow” of it, by vending presumably on their own private account, “between 500 and 1,000 Chests of Bengal Ophium yearly up in the inland Countries where it is very much used.2 The Water Carriage of the River being cheap and secure, the Price of Ophium high, and the Price of Pepper low, so that their profits were great both ways.”
NOTEs: 2. The consumption in these same parts is still large. END OF NOTEs
The Raja of Cochin made over his claims to the island to the Dutch, “who,” as Hamilton records, “made small account who had the best Title, but carried on their Work with Diligence.”
Acting on the advice of Mr. Adams on the other hand, the Zamorin determined to resort to stratagem to recover possession of it. He accordingly sent some soldiers disguised as coolies who entered the Dutch service to help in the building of the fort. These men were instructed to watch their opportunity, and for this purpose they lay in ambuscade “in a Morass overgrown with weeds near the Fort.”
The two Dutch lieutenants in charge of the works began one evening to play dominoes in a temporary guard-room about half a mile from the fort, while the garrison strolled about off their guard in the cool of the evening. Taking advantage of this favourable opportunity the men in ambush easily overpowered the sentinels and took the half-built fort.
Collecting a few men the officers rushed to the spot, but one of them was killed in the advance, and the other losing heart drew off his men and sailed for Cochin. Before sailing he had the mortification to see the English flag flying over the fort. On reaching Cochin he was tried by court-martial and shot, Hamilton being present at the execution. The Zamorin’s people set to work at once to demolish the fort and carried off some great guns belonging to the Dutch. “And this was the Prelude of the War.”
The reason for the hoisting of the English flag over the unfinished work appears to have been that in February 1715, Mr. Adams had obtained permission1 from the Zamorin to build a warehouse at Chetwai, and keep a person there for trade purposes.
The Dutch could not stand this affront, so Councillor Willem Bakker Jacobtz took the field at the head of 4,000 European and native troops. Chetwai was recovered ; Paponetty previously mortgaged to the Zamorin was also taken ; and notwithstanding some unacceptable advice tendered to Mr. Adams by Hamilton “not to embark his Masters in that Affair because war was a different Province from his,” the war ended in “a dishonourable and disadvantageous Peace” in 1717. The Zamorin by the conditions of peace “was obliged to build up the Fort he had demolished, to pay the Dutch Company 7 per cent, on all the pepper exported out of his Dominions for ever, and to pay a large Sum towards the Charges of the War. Some Part of the Money, I believe, he borrowed.”
The Dutch formally resumed possession of the Chetwai fort on April 10th, 1717. It was named Fort William and Heer Wilhem Blasser, Captain-Lieutenant, and first commandant thereof, died there on the 2nd of February 1729, as his tombstone lying at the Chetwai public bungalow still attests.
After the conclusion of this disadvantageous peace, Mr. Adams continued to be the Chief of the Tellicherry factory for many years, and he was not relieved of that charge till the 10th of March 1728. Hamilton’s belief that part of the money spent by the Zamorin in this war was borrowed was fully justified, for the early Tellicherry records show that the Company took great exception to the loans which Mr. Adams had made out of their money to the Zamorin, the Punnattur Raja, the Prince Regent of the Kolattiri dominions and others.
Notwithstanding the most persistent dunning, the Zamorin’s debt amounted to the large sum of fanams 6,68,122.04 when Mr. John Braddyl eventually took charge of the factory. Mr. Adams did not regularly deliver over charge of it. He proceeded with Mr. Braddyl to Tanur to recover some of the money lent. Mrs. Adams, after some restraint (subsequently withdrawn) had been used to prevent her leaving Tellicherry, came down the coast “on board the Decker for Fort St. George,” picked up her husband at Calicut, and the records do not say what further became of them.
In consequence of these expensive wars the "Dutch settlement at Cochin was not paying its way, so in 1721 the Supreme Council in Batavia came to the very important resolution that the Raja of Cochin was no longer to be supported in his interminable fights with the Zamorin, and the Cochin council was solemnly cautioned to live peaceably with all men : advice more easily given than capable of being carried out.
This resolution of the Dutch Company, coupled with the results of certain memorable events at Anjengo, speedily led to great changes among the country powers.
The Honourable Company settled at Anjengo mainly for two reasons—“Pepper” and “piece-goods.” Travancore was at the time of the settlement and for many years subsequently in a state which did not favour trade. The Rajas were as a rule mere puppets in the hands of certain Brahmans of the Trivandrum temple and of certain petty chieftains of the Nayar caste, who were styled the Ettuvittil Pillamar, or the Pillays of the eight houses.
These latter appear to have been the local heads of the Nayar tara organisation - of the organisation, that is, which, as already fully explained, was charged with the maintenance of the rights of all classes, and with preventing any such from falling into disuse.
The country was therefore broken up, as was also the case with Kolattunad, into an immense number of petty chieftainships, over which the Rajas had very limited and precarious authority. Such a country was not favourable for trade. What the English Company would have liked would have been a despotic monarch who could assign to them monopolies of the produce they came seeking and could enforce the same with a strong arm.
A weaker prince than usual appears to have succeeded to the Travancore Raj in 1718, and another prince then quite a boy, but afterwards famous as the great Martanda Varma, appears to have set himself in opposition to the Brahmans and feudal chiefs, and in consequence the country was in a disturbed state.
In April 1721 the Anjengo factors were applied to for their usual annual present due to the Rani of Attingal, of the Travancore family. “Those1 who demanded it assured him (the Chief of the Factory) that they came to demand it by the Queen’s order, and offered their Receit of it in her Name.” The chief appears to have had reason to expect that if the present were sent it would never reach Her Highness as the Ettuvittil Pillamar were just then in the ascendant, so he refused to pay it into any hands but those of the Rani. On this the Rani invited him to bring it to Attingal himself.
NOTEs: 1. Hamilton's New Account, etc., I. 332-3. END OF NOTEs
“And he to appear great there, carried two of his Council, and some others of the Factory with most Part off the Military belonging to the Garrison, and by Stratagem they were all cut off, except a few black Servants whose heels and language saved them from the Massacre, and they brought the sad news of the tragedy.”
This happened on the 15th April 1721.
Two years later the Chief of the Anjengo factory was Dr. Alexander1 Orme, the father of the Historian2 Robert Orme. He had come as an adventurer to India about 1706, and proving serviceable as a surgeon to the factors at Anjengo he had been taken into the Company’s service, being described by the Anjengo factors, who recommended his being entertained, as “a very capable and ingenious person that would be extraordinarily serviceable to our masters and us in sickness." He appears to have been appointed as the chief of the factory directly after the massacre.
The resolution taken by the Honourable Company on learning of this massacre is thus expressed in an ola (cadjan letter), written by the Travancore Raja to Dr. Orme on the 15th August 1723 ; —
“Owing to the loss sustained by the Honourable Company in the capture of Atinga (Attingal) and the money and artillery, which the enemies robbed in our country, the Honourable Company have resolved, in spite of money expenses, to put down the enemies and subject the country to the king, we are ready to do anything, which the Honourable Company may require, and shall personally come there and punish the enemies there in the best manner you may desire, regarding which we affirm to do without fail, and wish to know when must we come there with our army.”
The Raja appears to have died shortly after this letter was written, and it was not till 1726 that the first important step was taken by his successor, advised to it also by the Prince Martanda Varma, now twenty years of age, to break the power of the Ettuvittil Pillamar and other chieftains whose interference was as unwelcome to the Raja as it was to the trading English Company. This step consisted in obtaining a body of troops—1,000 cavalry and 2,000 sepoys from the Nayak of Madura—in consideration of Travancore undertaking to become tributary to him.
With the aid of this force the refractory feudal chiefs were kept under some restraint, but it was not until after 1729, when the famous Raja Martanda Varma at last succeeded to the Raj, that effectual steps were taken “to put down the enemies, and subject the country to the king.” And the extirpation of the Ettuvittil Pillamar was the first effectual step taken in this direction by that energetic chief.
The advantage of having a standing army of trained troops had however meanwhile become so apparent that the next step adopted by this capable Martanda Varma was to employ the famous Fleming Eustachius D'Lanoy to organise his forces. D’Lanoy had been taken prisoner at the Travancorean attack on the Dutch fort of Colachel in August 1741 ; he had attracted the notice of the Raja who had treated him with much kindness and consideration, and in return he and several of his companions had entered the Raja’s military service.
Things had in this way become rife for great changes in the south, and in consequence
First, of the Dutch Company’s resolution in 1721 not to back up their native allies, or to do it in an irresolute fashion, which appears to have been what actually happened ;
Secondly, of the English Company’s resolution in 1723 to “subject the country to the king” and so facilitate their trade ;
Thirdly, of the formation about 1741 of a standing army in Travancore,
the next few years saw the Travancoreans masters of the whole of the country as far north as Cranganore, leaving to the luckless ally of the Dutch Company, the Cochin Raja, only a few square miles lying round his palaces at Ernakulum and Cochin.
Meanwhile the French had secured a stable footing on the coast as competitors for the Malayali produce of pepper, piece-goods, ginger and cardamoms, and the way of it was as follows : —
Hamilton, as already set forth, mentions incidentally that the French had formed a temporary settlement in a small mud fort at Tellicherry prior to the occupation of that place by the English. And he further notices the fact that in 1698 they had a factory at Calicut. They were, however, evidently not doing much there, as he says they had neither money nor credit and were “not in a condition to carry on a trade.”
Hamilton chanced once to visit the place which he called “Mealie,”1 and which the French subsequently seized in the manner to be presently described, and his account furnishes much interesting information regarding the chief of that district of Kolattunad, whom the French afterwards dispossessed of a small portion of his territory.
NOTEs: 1. Mayyali — Mahe. END OF NOTEs
“And 8 or 10 miles further to the Southward” (of Mahe) “is Burgara,2 a seaport in the dominions of Ballanore3 Burgarie2 a formidable Prince. His country produces Pepper and the best Cardamoms in the World.”
NOTEs: 2. Vadakara.
3. Corrupt form of Valunnavar = Ruler. END OF NOTEs
In January 1703 Hamilton appears to have visited the place and bought cardamoms, and received a visit from the prince on board his ship, which he minutely inspected and then signified his intention of building a similar one “but there wanted water enough in his Rivers to flote her.”
“This Prince and his predecessors have been Lords of the Sea, Time out of Mind, and all trading vessels between Cape Comorin and Damaan were obliged to carry his Passes. Those of one Mast paid for their Passes about 8 shillings yearly, and those with three paid about sixteen ; but when the Portuguese settled in India, then they pretended to the Sovereignty of the Seas which occasioned a War between him and them that has lasted ever since. He keeps some light Gallies that row and sail very well, which cruise along the Coast from October to May to make Prize of all who have not his Pass.
“In our discourse I asked him if he was not afraid to venture his person on board of a Merchant Ship since he himself was an Enemy to all Merchants that traded on these Coasts. He answered that he had heard of my Character, and that made him fearless and that he was no Enemy to trade, but only vindicated the Sovereignty of those Seas before mentioned, and that our own King was invested with the like Sovereignty not only on his own Coasts, but on those of France, Holland and Denmark and could have no greater right than he had, only he was in a better Position to oblige the transgressors of his Laws to obedience than he was.
“However, he would maintain his claim and right the best way he could, and whoever lost their Ships or Vessels for contempt of his authority might blame their own obstinacy or folly and not him.”
On parting with Hamilton he gave him a bracelet and made him "a free Denizen in all his Territories.”
Hamilton paid him a return visit on shore at “his palace which was very meanly built of Reeds and covered with Coconut Leaves, but very neat and clean.”
He expressed wonder why the English did not settle in his dominions because he had pepper and cardamoms which were carried both to Calicut and Tellicherry and paid customs en route to other chiefs while he only charged 5 per cent as duty. Hamilton replied “that sending his Vessels to cruise on Merchant Ships had blasted the reputation of his country.”
He proposed to Hamilton to settle there, but Hamilton told him in reply that he could not accept of his favours without the approbation of the Company.
In 1707 Hamilton again came from Cochin to buy a new ship which the Raja (Kadattunad) had built. He called at a place, belonging to him “called Mealie.”1 He was received with great favour, but the Raja would not sell the ship until he had first employed her in one voyage himself.
NOTEs: 1. Mayyali — Mahe. END OF NOTEs
“When I went to his palace the first time I was innocently guilty of ill-manners, for walking with him near his lodgings, I chanced to touch the Thatch with my Hat which polluted it so much that as soon as I went away he stript it of its Covering because Religion forbade him to sleep under it when it was thus polluted, but it was soon re-sanctified by a new Thatching.”
If this had been done by one of his own subjects he might have been in danger of his life for it. The Raja insisted on all things being supplied to Hamilton without payment, and he had in consequence to pay fishermen on the sly for the fish he got from them.
“I do not certainly know how far Southerly this Prince’s Dominions reach along the Sea Coast, but I believe to Tecorie,2 about 12 miles from Mealie,1 and in the half way is Cottica,2 which was famous formerly for privateering on all Ships and Vessels that traded without their Lord’s Pass.”
NOTEs: 2. Trikkodi, p. 72. 1. Mayyali — Mahe. 2. Kottakkal, p. 72, and foot-note, p. 330. END OF NOTEs
Hamilton further notices the “sacrifice Rock” lying off Cottica, about 8 miles in the sea—so called, tradition says, because “when the Portuguese first settled at Calicut, the Cottica2 cruisers surprised a Portuguese vessel and sacrificed all their Prisoners on that Rock.”
NOTEs: Kottakkal, p. 72, and foot-note, p. 330. END OF NOTEs
In 1719 the “Perpetual Company of the Indies” was formed in France by Law, and a few years after this event a French squadron made, in 1725, a descent on Mahe3 “in pursuance4 of orders from the Directors, with the view to secure on the Malabar Coast a post that would indemnify the French for the loss of Surat.”
NOTEs: 3. It appears from the Tellicherry factory diary of 28th November 1726 that the French had previously in 1722 occupied Mahe, and this is probably the occupation to which Hamilton alludes in his “ New Account, etc.” 1,298, in the following terms :—“About 4 miles to the south ward of Tellicherry is a small French factory lately settled at the mouth of a small river, but for what end I know not : but I believe more to employ a little stock for the gentlemen of Calicut factory’s account than for the French Company.”
4. Malleson’s “History of the French in India” p. 82, foot-note. END OF NOTEs
“In the year 1725, a small French squadron under the command of M. dePardaillan, acting under the orders of the Government of Pondicherry, came to opposite the little town of Maihi, just below Tellicherry, on the Malabar coast, and summoned the place to surrender. The governor refused. The situation of Maihi indeed seemed to place it out of all danger.
“On high ground rising up from the sea, and washed on its north side by a little river, the entrance into which, as it ran into the sea, was closed by rocks for even the smallest boats, Maihi seemed to be able to bid defiance to any enemy who should attack it on the side of the sea. So at least thought the governor, and so, apparently, seemed to think the French commodore. He, at all events, was, hesitating as to the course he should adopt under the circumstances, when the captain of one of his ships submitted to him a plan which he begged he might be permitted to carry himself into execution. The name of this captain was Bertrand Francois Mahe deLabourdonnais.
“On arriving at Pondicherry, he was attached to the squardon of M. dePardaillian, just starting for the conquest of Maihi. It is under the orders of this commodore, hesitating regarding the attack of the place, that we now find him.
“The plan which Labourdonnais submitted to the commodore was to land the troops on a raft of his own designing, in order of battle, under cover of the fire of the squadron. He pressed also that he might be permitted to lead them himself. M. dePardaillian, struck with the ingenuity of the plan, and with the energy and quickness of decision evinced by the young officer, gave his consent to the scheme, it was carried out almost instantly.
“The raft was made, the troops were placed upon it, and, piloted by deLabourdonnais, were landed, with dry feet and almost in order of battle, at the foot of the high ground. This difficulty being surmounted, the place was stormed.
As an acknowledgment of the skill and enterprise of his young captain, the commodore by a slight alteration of the letters which went to form the name of the captured town, transformed it from the Indian Maihi or Mahi1 into the French Mahe — the first name of Labourdonnais. This new name, not only took root, but it gradually effaced the recollection that the town had ever borne another.
NOTEs: The Malayalam name ia written thus : മയഴി— Mayyali. END OF NOTEs
“We are indebted to the Carnatic Chronology of Mr. C. P. Brown, late Madras Civil Service, for the information regarding the origin of the name ‘Mahe’. It was evidently unknown to Mr. Mill, and equally so to the authors of the Indian Gazetteers.”2
NOTEs: 2. Pages 62-64, Malleson’s History of the French in India. END OF NOTEs
The Tellicherry factors naturally enough regarded this intrusion of the French at a place so close to their limits—only two miles from their outposts in no friendly light, and the first paper on the record of the extant Tellicherry factory diary beginning with Monday, 1st August 1726, is a letter from the President and Council at Madras expressing concern at the success of the French in seizing Mahe.
From an entry a week later it would appear that the Kadattunad Raja had been at war at this time with the Kottayam Raja as well as with the French. Mr. Adams succeeded however in reconciling them with a view no doubt to turn all the Kadattunad Raja’s efforts towards embarrassing the French, and the terms of peace demanded by Kottayam and accepted by Kadattunad were—(1) The districts of “Belleta” with absolute command thereof to be delivered to the former ; (2) an elephant to be given to Tellicherry pagoda by the latter with an offering of butter tied round its neck ; (3) a piece of ground and a house for Brahmans to be given up by latter ; and (4) a house in the latter’s country to be burnt.
This however did not much affect the result. On the 14th August the French seized a small hill lying between them and Kadattunad’s force, and notwithstanding smart firing the latter failed to dislodge them. On the 15th, 100 Tellicherry Nayars were sent to assist3 Kadattunad ; but he wanted money and being already indebted to the Company, he was told first of all to settle his accounts. Rather than do this he preferred to come to terms with the French, and notwithstanding the chief’s efforts to “embarrass the affair,” he sent on the 8th September to say that he thought himself obliged by force to hearken to the French, and was told in reply that he was unreasonable.
NOTEs: 3. He had, on February 17th, 1725, agreed with the English factors not to permit any other Europeans to settle in this country and to give the English a monopoly of the produce of pepper and cardamoms. Treaties, etc., i. XIII. END OF NOTEs
On the 10th of September there was a cessation of hostilities, and Kadattunad began to try to obtain the best terms he could by playing off the one factory against the other. No sooner had the hostilities with Kadattunad ceased than the French under M. Fremisot began to be active in other directions. Between the two factories lay the territory of the Kurangoth Nayar with whom the English factors had previously been at war as already described. The Nayar welcomed the French as allies and with their aid began to try to recover the territory he had lost.
The great annual hunting festival of the Nayars, Tulappattua1, was at hand ; between Tellicherry and Malie lay some hills covered with brushwood which harboured wild pigs, and Mr. Adams obtained information that on the 12th of October the Nayar and the French intended to hunt on two hills, called Punnella and Putinha, which had been taken from the Nayar by the English factors. It was accordingly resolved to get up an opposition hunt and to guard the hills in order to prevent the French from seizing them.
NOTEs: Conf. p. 172. END OF NOTEs
On 12th October accordingly the Nayar and French combined and suddenly attacked the people stationed on the disputed hills. In the fight which ensued one Nayar was killed on the side of the English, and one Frenchman was slain and several wounded on the other side. On the following day there was another fight in which one Nayar boy was killed on the English side and three Nayars and a fisherman were wounded.
The affair ended in mutual protests between the two factories, both urging that their nations were at peace in Europe, and finally a conference was arranged in December to settle matters. The English factory limits at this time are thus described: “From Upalla Canidi to Ponella Malla, north and south, and what may be to the westward of said places or with them, and Tellicherry fort to Moohara and Codalla.”
The firm attitude assumed by the English factors had, they were assured, greatly advanced their credit in the country.
To protect their trade the English factors resolved to assist Kadattunad with money, etc., as being cheaper than war ; and they made use of the friendship of the Prince Regent in the Kolattiri dominions to bring over to their2 side the four Kulatta Nambiar’s of Iruvalinad, who were in a position to stop country supplies from reaching Tellicherry.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i.e. XV end XVI. END OF NOTEs
This fighting at Tellicherry was not approved either at the Presidency (Bombay) or by the Court of Directors. Orders were sent to live amicably with the French, to reduce expenses,3 and to recover debts.
The Secretary of State was also moved to send a remonstrance to the French Ministry against the French insults at Tellicherry, and the Royal Company of France was ordered to be in amity with the English settlements in India.
The result was that the two settlements began to interchange friendly visits, and much gunpowder was spent in salutes, much to the chagrin of the Kurangoth Nayar, who tried various plans to prevent the respective factors from coming to an amicable understanding. His people came vapouring up before the English posts, which however were ordered “to bear everything till attackt.”
They next pulled down one dark night a fence round a French post in their own lines with a view to make the French believe the English had done it and set the French firing in all directions ; but Mr. Adams had no difficulty in exposing the Nayar’s “villainous artifices”.
The respective factors finally arranged terms mutually satisfactory and advantageous, and these were embodied in two agreements1 and duly executed on 9th March and 17th—28th April 1728. This agreement secured both factories against the intrigues of the Kurangoth Nayar and other petty chieftains in Iruvalinad ; it provided for the surrender of deserters, and for fixing a fair price for pepper ; and even if war prevailed between the two countries in Europe, the conditions of the agreement were to be observed until notice to the contrary was given by either side.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i. XVII, afterwards in 1736. Extended in regard to the surrender of deserters who had committod crimes in the respective settlements. See i. XXXII. END OF NOTEs
Thus peace and security reigned to the south and east of the Tellicherry factory. To the north disturbances occurred in another quarter.
The Tellicherry factory diary records, on the 6th June 1727, that Ally Raja “did last night Treacherously seize the said Hill and Fort” (namely, Codalla) which the Prince Regent in Kolattunad had erected “purely as a barrier to a Large Country which produced a great quantity of Pepper.”
The Dutch were still at this time settled in Cannanore in Fort Angelo taken from the Portuguese, and Ally Raja, or more correctly Ali Raja (the sea king), lived under the guns of their fort at a house called the Arakkal in Cannanore town.
Reference2 has already been made to the origin of this Mappilla chieftain. The Keralolpatti would trace the family history back to the time of Cheraman Perumal, but tradition is tolerably unanimous that the first chieftain of the family was a Nayar, by name Arayan Kulangara Nayar, one of the ministers of the Kolattiri, who is said to have lived about the end of the 11th or beginning of the 12th century A.D., and who embraced Islam and adopted the name of Muhammad or Mammad Ali.
NOTEs: Conf. p. 235. END OF NOTEs
Owing to his skill and ability, it is said, the Kolattiri retained him as his minister after his conversion, and his successors were known as the Mammali Kitavus, who were hereditary ministers of the Kolattiri. Tradition says that Mammad Ali and his successors1 were admitted to all the important counsels of the Kolattiri and that they used to stand on such occasions with sword point resting on a box, implying that, whatever was determined on, they would find the money to do it.
The following is the traditionary list of these chieftains :—
1. Mammad Ali. 2. Ussan Ali. 3. Ali Mussa. 4. Kunhi Mussa.
5. Ali Mussu is said to have conquered some of the Maldive Islands in 1183-84. The Laccadive Islands had probably before this time been colonised from Kolattunad. The Kolattiri is said to have arranged with him for an annual payment of 18,000 fanams for the islands besides any further required sum of money in times of need. And as a reward for his services the port of Cannanore and the desams of Kanattur and Kanottamichala were assigned to him. The long subsisting connection between the Maldive Islands and the Cannanore family probably also began at so early a date as that here assigned by tradition. It is certain that in the beginning of the 16th century the Maldive king was a tributary of Cannanore.
6. Alivappan Mappilla, A.D. 1204-5. 7. Issa Pokra, A.D. 1283-84.
8. Valiya Mammali, A.D. 1364-65. The title of this chieftain, viz., the Great (Valiya) Mammali (Muhammad Ali), is suggestive of an extension of the family influence about his time. The family title of Mammali was well known to the Portuguese and other Europeans, and from the family connection with the Maldives and Laccadives the 9° channel separating Minicoy from the Laccadive group was usually referred to down to nearly the end of the 18th century, as “Mammala’s channel.”
9. Pokrali Koya, said to have been killed by the Portuguese in 1544-45. This appears to have been a brother of the chieftain (Mammali), and the Portuguese appear to have first offered to him the position of “Lord of the Maldives." Shortly after this the Maldive king in 1552 became a convert to Christianity. The Portuguese reduced the Islands in 1553, but ten years afterwards two Katibs, assisted by four vessels from the coast (“Corsaires Malabares”) took the Portuguese fort, killed 300 of the garrison, and established themselves as joint kings.
10. Kuttiali, A.D. 1544-45.
11. Kunhi Pokko, A.D. 1590-91. 12. ChoriyA Kunhi Pokkur, A.D. 1606-7. In the time of this chieftain, the family connection with the Maldives appears to have been resumed, and he, after defeating the claimants to the Maldive throne, appointed one of them as his “Vice-Regent.” Very little is known of the Maldives after his time until the beginning of the 18th century, but from about the middle of the 17th century the Maldive kings have placed themselves under the protection of the dominant European power in Ceylon, first the Dutch and afterwards the British.
13. Mammali, A.D. 1 609-10. 14. Mammali Koya, A.D. 1646-47. 15. Kamali Karnavar, A.D. 1654-55. 16. Mammali, A.D. 1655-56. 17. Kuttiali, A.D. 1699-91. I8. Kunhi Avusi, A.D. 1703-4. 19. Kunhi Mammali, A.D. 1719-20. 20. Kunhi Bi, alias Aravichchikiravu, A.D. 1727-28. 21. Junumma Bi, A.D. 1731-32. 22. Kunhi Amsi, A.D. 1744-45. 23. Jumumma Bi, Valiya Tangal A.D. 1776-77. 24. Abdul Kadar, A.D. 1815 16. 25. Bi Valiya Tangal, A.D. 26. Maria Amma Bi, A.D. . 27. Ayissa Bibi Valiya Tangal, died, A.D. 1861-62. 28. Sultan Ali Raja, died A.D. 15th November 1870, 29. Sultan Ali Raja, the present chieftain. END OF NOTEs
Hamilton gives an interesting account of these chieftains after they had become independent of the Kolattiris. He describes Cannanore as “a pretty large town built in the bottom of the bay” and as independent of the Dutch stationed Fort Angelo. It was under “Adda Raja, a Mahometan Malabar prince, who upon occasion can bring near 20,000 men into the field.”
“His government is not absolute, nor is it hereditary ; and instead of giving him the trust of the Treasury which comes by Taxes and Merchandise, they have chests made on purpose with holes made in their lids, and their coin being all gold, whatever is received from the treasurer is put into these chests by these holes and each chest has four locks, and their keys are put in the hands of the Raja, the Commissioner of Trade, the Chief Judge, and the Treasurer, and when there is occasion for money none can be taken out without all these four be present or their deputies.”
The practice alluded to doubtless had its origin in the time when the Mammali Kilavus were the Kolattiri’s Chief Sea Customs Agents and Admirals. After the Portuguese reprisals on the Moorish commerce, the relations between the Ali Rajas and the Kolattiris had become strained, and at the period now reached the Dutch had evidently set up the Ali Raja to seize Codally, with a view to gain for themselves the pepper of the country (Randattara) commanded from that place. The Dutch making use also of the manifold dissensions always existing in the Kolattiri family had also made it impracticable for the Prince Regent to act vigorously.
A detachment sent to Agarr,1 in June 1727, to protect the English warehouse there, was stopped at Darmapattanam Island by Ali Raja’s people and turned back with insults. The Chief appealed to the Prince Regent to “unite with those of the Royal line” and maintain peace. But the prince quaintly replied that “as there are so many of the Royall Line ’tis extream difficult to effect the necessary Union.”
NOTEs: 1. Conf. p. 70. END OF NOTEs
The Kottayam Raja, however came to his assistance and between them they, in February 1728, took one of Ali Raja's forts on Darmapattanam Island. On the 26th of the same month the Prince Regent took and destroyed the Mappilla settlement at Valarpattanam, killing 600 men, women and children. On the 29th the united forces took Darmapattanam Island, another great Mappilla settlement, and Ali Raja’s people had to take refuge in the little2 island lying about a gunshot off the point of Darmapattanam, whence they exchanged shots with the Prince Regent’s people on the main island ; and there they maintained themselves for some time.
NOTEs: 2. Called in Hamilton’s time “Cacca Diva, i.e. Crow (Kakka) Island, but usually, called at this time “Grove Island” by the factors. END OF NOTEs
In their letter of 14th March 1728 to Bombay the factors reported that “Ally Rajah .... is sailed for duddah, and all his country save Cannanore entirely destroyed by the Prince.” The next news of him received in October, through Bombay, was that he had been poisoned at Jeddah by his minister, and that all his effects had been seized on account of presents promised to the prophet’s tomb. But the factors informed Bombay, that the Moors had not been discouraged thereby, and they were 14,000 to 15,000 strong in Cannanore. So the war went on ; the Prince Regent, in great need of money and supplies, and being refused the same by the English factors, opened negotiations with the Dutch of Cannanore to hand over to them Darmapattanam Island, the possession of which was essential to the trade of Tellicherry.
The factors thereupon (September 1730) determined to open their purse strings and store-rooms, and, as the best means of preventing a large expenditure of money, they further resolved to bring about peace between the Prince Regent and the Mappillas. On the 1st of November the Chief (Mr. Braddyl) had a satisfactory interview with the Prince Regent, and on the 2nd at another interview the Chief obtained from him a grant3 of a monopoly of trade in Iruvalinad, Darmapattanam Island and Randattara, with permission to hoist their flag if the Dutch or French threatened to take possession of these places.
NOTEs: Treatise, etc., i. XIX. END OF NOTEs
In return the Chief promised him 20,000 fanams worth of military stores to enable him to carry on his war against the Mappillas. On 13th January and 10th May following further loans were given him, and on the 9th June 1731, peace was at last arranged through the mediation of the Kalliad Nambiar, the Mappillas agreeing to pay an indemnity of 1,00,000 fanams at once, and a similar sum in four months time.
Hearing of this, Mr. Braddyl promptly applied for repayment of the loans, but the prince answered : “The present Treaty is only to give me a Breathing for four months.”
Before, however, the four months had elapsed, a greater danger to the Prince’s authority began to make itself felt. It seems to have had its origin in the same family dissensions which had probably precipitated the Mappilla outbreak. The prince had stated, when applying for the loan given to him on the 10th of May, that the money was wanted to enable him to fight the Canarese as well as the Moors, and on 23rd October following he applied for Tellicherry manchuas (small coasting craft), etc., to “cruise against the Canarees,” and a fortnight later news came from the factors at Honore regarding “ the Extraordinary Insolency of the Canarees” in having taken the guns out of several Bombay boats because the English at Tellicherry had assisted the Prince Regent against them.
The Ikkeri, or Keladi, or Bednur Rajas were chiefs who had obtained independence on the breaking up of the Vijayanagar dynasty after the battle of Talikota in 1564. Prior to that event, Wilks says : The founder of the dynasty had been raised from the situation of an opulent farmer to the rank of Governor of Bednur, and the ninth in descent from him (Sivappa Nayak) who reigned from 1649 to 1671, but who had really been de facto king for a much longer period during the reigns of three of his cousins (1604-49), had defeated the Jain Rajas of Tuluva, and had acquired Canara from Honore to Cassargode.
At Cassargode the Canarese necessarily came into contact with Malayalis and with the dominions of that offshoot of the Kolattiri family which had been founded by intermarriage with the Zamorin’s family.
The Prince Regent, as already described, had found it “extream difficult to effect the necessary union” among the various branches of the family, and it seems to have been on the invitation of one or more of his discontented relatives that Somesekhara Nayakha, the thirteenth of this line of Bednur Rajas, pushed his forces across the Malayali frontier.
On the 16th January 1732 the factors reported to the President and Council at Bombay that the Prince Regent’s army had been routed by the Canarese, who had, they said, “gott as farr as Monuty1 Dilly,” and the factors expressed anxiety as to their grain supplies usually obtained through the Canarese port of Mangalore.
On the 28th January news came that the parts of the country about Valarpattanam were “altogether unsettled” and “in utmost confusion by reason of the great progress made by the Carnatick army against this kingdom.”
Adherence to the Prince Regent’s cause meant starvation to the Tellicherry settlement, and great anxiety prevailed as to the provision of grain for consumption in the ensuing monsoon season. Moreover to add to the anxieties of the factors at this time the native pirates became unusually active ; but they despatched two successful expeditions against them, in one of which a pirate vessel, mounting 15 small guns, was taken, and in another, Ensign Lewis Mendonza, after first taking off the Valarpattanam river month a small Canarese vessel which attacked his party, was in turn attacked by a pirate vessel belonging to “Cutty Coileen” and carrying 200 men.
A skilfully planted shell, however, appears to have reached the pirates’ magazine and she blew up, not one of her crow escaping. The factors were nearly in despair as to the provision of grain, and were planning secret expeditions to seize the Canarese boats carrying it to the army, when a welcome supply of 2,000 bales came in from Bombay. Almost simultaneously, however, came the unwelcome news that the Canarese had taken by assault on the 10th of May the fortified peninsula of “Matame” held by the Mappillas to the north of the Valarpattanam river.
The Prince Regent had apparently made some sort of terms with the Canarese on condition that they should help him in his feud with the rebellious Mappillas of Cannanore.
There was nothing now to prevent the Canarese from making themselves masters of the whole of the country down to the very gates of Tellicherry, and from overrunning the whole of the country from which the settlement obtained its chief supplies of pepper. The situation became consequently very embarrassing. On 22nd October 1732 news came that the Canarese had passed to the south of the Valarpattanam river, and were about to besiege Cannanore in aid of the Prince Regent and in pursuance of a treaty with him.
The factors learnt by letter next day from the prince himself what terms he had accepted from the Canarese general “Ragonatt,” These were:—The prince to hold the country north of Valarpattanam river as far as Nilesvaram as a tributary of Bednur. Bedmir to have three forts in the said territory - one at “Madacarro”1 another at “Cavi,”2 and the third at Nilesvaram in South Canara.
NOTEs: 1. Near the Valarpattanam river mouth — Conf. p. II.
2. Kavvayi — Conf. p. 69. END OF NOTEs
The country south of the river to be under the Prince Regent, who was to receive assistance against his rebellious subjects, first of whom were the Mappillas of Cannanore. In January, and again in February 1733, Cannanore was accordingly attacked, but on both occasions the Prince Regent’s troops and the Canarese were repulsed with loss.
The possession of the Darmapattanam Island now became a matter of supreme importance to the factory. The main portion of it was still held, it is true, by the Prince Regent's people, but it was quite possible that they might transfer it to the Canarese, and on the other hand it was quite possible the Kottayam Raja might hand it over to the French. With the possession of it either in Canarese or in French hands, the Tellicherry trade would certainly have either disappeared altogether, or been fatally hampered, as the country from which their chief pepper supplies were drawn were commanded by this island.
Strenuous efforts were accordingly made to obtain exclusive possession of it, and the conduct of the negotiations lay in competent hands—those of Mr. Stephen Law1 - who had succeeded Mr. Braddyl as Chief on 17th December 1732. The first step taken was to secure a firm hold of “Grove Island” lying off the Point of Darmapattanam, and this was done with the Bibi of Cannanore’s consent, on 5th October 1734, on which date Sergeant John Christian, 2 corporals, 7 soldiers and 15 sepoys were admitted to garrison the small island in company with the Bibi's men.
NOTEs: 1.Afterwards President and Governor of Bombay. END OF NOTEs
The Chief having gained this first step, took care to let the French factors know his determination to keep out everybody else. He accordingly next introduced men in English pay, but nominally in the prince’s service, into all the forts on the island under a secret engagement already obtained from the prince, for at this time (October-November 1734) the Chief was under an apprehension that the French would take it by a coup de main assisted by the crew of a French ship then at Mahe. And it was known that the Kottayam Raja, who had helped the prince to take it from the Mappillas, had agreed to give up the positions held by him on it to the French whenever they should choose to take them.
The Bibi of Cannanore was next2 prevailed on in November-December 1734 to surrender her claims to the island out of fear that the Canarese or French would take it, and owing to her inability to retake it herself and keep it securely. If it was to be in any other hands than her own, she preferred that it should be taken possession of by the English.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc i. XXIV, XXV and XXVI. END OF NOTEs
There remained then only the Kottayam Raja to be dealt with, and his consent was at last obtained after an army of between 4,000 and 5,000 Canarese had, on 3rd February 1735, crossed the Anjarakandi (called at that time the “Trentapatam”) river and had encamped on the sandy flats at the east end of the island with a view to the further3 invasion of the Kottayam Raja’s territory. The preliminaries were arranged with him on the 6th February; the cadjan4 deed containing his consent to the English occupation was received at Tellicherry at 2A.M. on the 7th.
NOTEs: 3. The French afterwards gave out that, this advantage had been planned by the English to compel Kottayam to come to terms with them. There was probably some good ground for this assertion.
4. Treaties, etc., i, XXVII. END OF NOTEs
A hasty council was summoned, and it was resolved to act on it at 8A.M. by formally taking possession of the largest fortress and any others the engineers might think necessary. These being secured, a peremptory demand was to be sent to the Canarese to evacuate the island forthwith. Captains Slaughter and Mendonza and Ensign Adams with 120 soldiers, 140 Nayars and 60 Tiyars, and others, mustering altogether 400 men, accordingly took possession of the fortress that same forenoon, and the Canarese general received notice to quit, with which he feigned compliance ; but he did not actually go.
The Kottayam Raja's alarm of invasion had meanwhile not abated, and on the 19th of February he sent to the Chief an unconditional agreement1 to plant the English flag and post garrisons on the island. It was then only that the prior secret arrangement2 with the Prince Regent of Kolattunad was made public, making the grant of the island to the English absolute.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. XXVIII, followed by another a few days later—i. XXX.
2. Treaties, etc., i. XXI, XXII. END OF NOTEs
As soon as the business of gaining a solid footing on Darmapattanam Island had been thus satisfactorily arranged, the Chief set himself to the still more difficult task of trying to form a combination of the petty country chieftains against the Canarese. The Prince Regent had proposed this to the Chief in the preceding December (1734), and had proposed to raise the necessary funds by “tribute, and taking from such Pagodas as are supplied therewith.”
On 8th February 1735 the Chief advised the prince to help the Canarese until the Kadattunad and Kottayam Rajas and the Nambiars of Iruvalinad were forced to combine against the invaders. The Kottayam Raja shortly after this gave in his adhesion to the Chief’s project. But jealousies were rife and the others all held aloof. The French too had professed their willingness to strike in, but when the Chief visited Mahe on 31st March to arrange the matter, the French, much to the disgust of the country powers, backed out of it. The negotiations for a combination did not make much progress under such circumstances.
In fact it was not till 29th January 1736 that any substantial progress way made, and then the combination included only the Prince Regent, the Kottayam Raja and the English. On that day, however, the resolution was taken to begin the necessary propagations at once by enlisting Mappillas at 23 fanams per month. News had come from Bombay two days previously that Madras and Anjengo had been asked to help, and that men and a sloop-of-war were on their way from Bombay. On the 17th February the Prince Regent deposited Rs. 20,000 as his share of expenses.
On the 24th February the Canarese were peremptorily ordered to move back to the north of the Valarpattanam river, and their general seeing that mischief was brewing, took the hint and at noon on the 25th retreated across the Anjarakandi river towards Agarr and a strongly fortified post built at a place called “Cadalay”. On the 27th the native levies from Tellicherry—all Narangapuratta Nayar’s men, the corps of Tiyar, and 231 Mappillas, 450 men in all—proceeded to join the Prince’s and Kottayam Raja's forces at Edakkad.
On the 20th the first hostilities ensued. The allies were attacked by the Canarese at Edakad, but the assailants were repulsed with loss, and a Canarese redoubt ("Trankier") at the Edakad point was taken. On the 3rd March the Chief himself (Mr. Stephan Law) took the field and planned a fort to annoy the “Cadalay” fort held by the Canarese. He next devoted his attention to the Canarese outlying works and to intercepting their supplies of food. On the 7th their Madakara fort was surrendered to the English war “gallivats”.
On the 8th the Chief proceeded thither and found the fort to be 500 yards in circumference with eight half - moon bastions. He wished to dismantle it and abandon the place, but the Prince Regent fearing it would fall into the hands of the Mappillas persuaded him to keep it, and an engagement1 was accordingly afterwards2 drawn up in ratification of the arrangement.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i, XXXI.
2. On 5th July 1737.END OF NOTEs
The news reached him on the same day that the Canarese were beginning to desert other fortified posts to the north. The incursion of the Canarese had been disastrous to the Dutch trade at Cannanore as well as to the English, and on the 15th March the Dutch Chief at Cannanore, under orders from Cochin, took steps to stop the supply of food to the Canarese. That same day the Chief (Mr. Stephen Law) began to draw in his detachments and to concentrate on the isolated position of the Canarese at Cadalay.
The preparations for attacking it were complete on the 17th, and on the morning of the 18th the first attack was delivered. The English force secured an eminence with the Nayars on their right, but the latter fled when attacked by the Canarese. The English position was next attacked and was successfully defended with the loss of 3 men killed and 20 wounded. At 4PM. a retreat was made to a better position.
The Dutch factors at Cannanore were meanwhile holding aloof from active operations against the common enemy. They were afraid lest the post of Cadalay, if it were taken, would be retained by the English and used to intercept the Dutch trade with the pepper country lying up the Valarpattanam river. To remove their jealousy the Chief agreed on the 19th to give them a certificate renouncing all claim to Cadalay if it should be taken. It is like enough that if the attack of the 18th had succeeded Cadalay would have been retained by the English and used to cut out the Dutch.
On the 20th a reinforcement (an ensign and 30 men) arrived from Anjengo. On the 21st the Dutch agreed to join on the understanding that Cadalay should be razed to the ground. On the 26th Dutch reinforcements, in five ships and other small vessels, arrived at Cannanore, and on the 29th Mr. Law visited Cannanore and after some more fencing about the future occupation of Cadalay the Dutch at last agreed to land 300 men (of whom 180 were Europeans) to assist the English, and this was accordingly done on March 30th.
On the 31st a council of war was held, and it was agreed to seize a hill near the Canarese camp, to erect a breastwork there, and then to bring up cannon and mortars to reduce the Cadalay fort.
On the morning of 1st April this plan was put into operation. An advanced guard, half English and half Dutch, seized the hill. A general advance of the whole force was then made. The Canarese horse made a stand, but the Dutch, assisted by the English, routed them in great disorder, some taking towards the fort and some to the ground below it. The combined force then made a rush for the fort ; the Canarese hung out a flag of truce, but continued firing. This enraged the assailants, and a great slaughter took place at the gate, which was stubbornly defended by the Canarese, and which became blocked up by the dead bodies of assailants and defenders.
At this crisis an English topass one Joam Pichota, brought up a ladder, scaled the fort wall, and discharged his own piece as well as those of 18 others handed up to him in quick succession. This cleared the wall, and the English colours were soon flying on the ramparts. Meanwhile the defence of the gate slackened, the assailants poured in, and many of the Canarese defenders sought safety by lowering themselves over the walls by ropes. At about 7 a.m. the fort was completely taken amid great slaughter, women and children and the Canarese general, Gopalji, being among the slain.
A large body (300) of the enemy, after giving up their arms and while proceeding to Cannanore, were barbarously massacred by the Nayars. By the Chief’s exertions 600 or 700 more were saved and taken to Tellicherry. A third body of 200 horse and foot, while trying to escape inland, was cut off by the Nayars. The loss of the allies was not very great, the English lost five natives killed and 8 wounded. The Dutch had 1 ensign killed (died from over-exertion on the march), another European killed, and 2 others burnt by an explosion of gunpowder. The Nayars and other Malayalis suffered in their eagerness for plunder, for a magazine blew up and killed 100 of them.
Eight cannon and 1 mortar were among the spoils, and it was found that the Canarese would have been very soon starved into surrender, even if their fort had not been taken. The other Canarese forts surrendered one by one after this event to small detachments sent under Ensign Fisher and Captain Lane. These forts were located at Madayi, Taliparamba, Matalay and Ayconny. This last fort, described as 500 yards in circumference with ten half-moon bastions, situated at the mouth of the Kavayi river “in a pleasant plain country,” gave some trouble.
Captain Lane bombarded it at pistol-shot distance from 6A.M. to 3A.M. After its surrender, the whole of the garrison, men, women and children, were. Captain Lane reported, “cruelly—shamefully— and in violation of all laws divine and humane, most barbarously butchered” by the Nayars, notwithstanding the exertions of the English officers to save them.
The 700 Canarase saved by the Chief at Cadalay were sent back (all but three officers) under safe escort as a sort of peace-offering to Bednur, and on 11th May the Chief wrote to the Bednur Raja detailing the causes of his breaking with him. These were (i) the factory at Honore had to be abandoned in consequence of the oppressions of his people ; (2) the Company’s broker at Mangalore had been fined and imprisoned on a false pretext ; (3) the promise to respect the English trading privileges in the Kolattiri country had been broken; (4) and two English vessels driven ashore in Canara had been seized and plundered and no redress had been given ; (5) finally the Canarese general Gopalayya, had created dissensions in the Kolattiri family and tried to alienate the Company’s privileges. And he followed this up with an offer to negotiate terms of peace, between Bednur and the Prince Regent.
On the 12th August 1736 a somewhat questionable transaction took place. The Bibi of Cannanore had begun to show some hankering after Darmapattanam Island acquired by the Company in the way above described, and as Grove Island, to which the military had, with her consent, been admitted in October 1734, commanded the entrance to one of its rivers, it was resolved to “send away the Moors now on it.”
There is no doubt this was regarded as a breach of faith by the Mappillas, and was resented as such. ; but it was submitted to quietly enough. The fact was that the Bibi of Cannanore could not afford to act independently of the English, and on the 8th October 1736, when she showed some signs of trying to intrigue against the Company, the Chief warned her to desist in very plain terms:-
“If in future you continue in same evil practices, I shall no longer make those favourable allowances, but proceed for compelling you to desist.” The Bibi was so placed that if the English had shut up her communications by sea, as they could very easily have done, and if the Prince Regent had co-operated with them by land, as he would have been only too delighted to do, the Bibi’s stronghold at Cannanore could not have resisted the joint attack for any length of time.
On 30th April1737, the Bibi's husband agreed to take an oath in the chief mosque at Cannanore that she had never attempted anything against the English Company. The country people all know this to be false, so the Chief and factors accepted the offer, judging it would make the family contemptible in the eyes of the natives. After this, amicable relations were resumed and a vessel seized at Anjengo was restored.
On 10th September 1737 the factors received news that, the Dutch had come to a disagreement with the Prince Regent, and had threatened to refuse further aid against the Canarese.
The facts forcibly illustrate the different methods of dealing with the country powers adopted by the Dutch and by the English Companies. The Dutch wished the Prince Regent to undertake to sell them 100 candies of pepper at 13½ Venetians, to be laid on any district of his country.
To this the prince replied that he did not concern himself with merchandise, that he had already assigned to the English Company privileges of trade, and that the English only bought pepper with the free consent of the owners thereof. This did not content the Dutch ; the negotiations went on ; and eventually about January 1737 an agreement was arranged that the Dutch should assist the prince to expel the Canarese beyond the Cassargode river, should aid him to reduce the Mappillas of Cannanore and the Raja of Kottayam on condition that the prince should deliver to them annually 1,000 candies of pepper at Rs. 56 per candy, about half its market rate.
This arrangement did not much disconcert the Tellicherry factors, who shrewdly recorded in their diary that even if the Dutch did their part, the prince would not do his because of his avarice, which prevented him from paying even for the few Nayars the Company had entertained at Ayconny fort (Alikkunuu opposite Kavayi), and which would certainly, they concluded, prevent him from paying the market price for pepper and selling it at a loss to the Dutch.
The English Company were well advised in paying market prices for the produce they required, for North Malabar was so broken up into petty principalities that the Prince Regent could not have, without war, secured the produce of any district, in his dominions at less than the market rates.
The state of disunion among the petty chieftains, and, more especially between the different members of the Kolattiri family, and their mutual jealousies were more strongly than ever forced on the attention of the factors in endeavouring to arrange a peace with Bednur ; and after an unsuccessful effort made in October 1736 by Captain Gibbs and Mendonza with 200 soldiers and 180 sepoys to take the Nilesvaram fort, the last remaining stronghold held by the Canarese, the factors decided to send one of their number, Mr. Lynch, to Mangalore to arrange a general peace, if possible, and if that, as seemed probable, were unattainable, then a separate peace on behalf of the English Company.
Mr. Lynch went properly equipped for the undertaking, and in his bill of expenses subsequently submitted there occurred the item of “Rs. 200 defraying the equipping himself with apparel suitable to the gay temper of the Canarese,” which item the factors passed with the remark that what he alleged had weight, the more so that his ordinary style of dress was very indifferent.
The result of Mr. Lynch’s embassy was a treaty,1 dated 9th - 20th February 1737, in which the Canarese Governor of Mangalore Surapaya, ratified all former grants to the Company, empowered them to re-open the factory at Honore, secured all English wrecks from seizure, assigned to the English a monopoly of pepper and cardamoms in all the Kolattiri territory that might thereafter be conquered, secured recognition of all their grants theretofore obtained from the Kolattiri, empowered the Company and their officers to export rice from Mangalore without payment of a heavy duty called Adlamy, barred the Canarese from coming to the south1 of the Valarpattanam river, or erecting strongholds near the Company’s fort at Madalkara and left the rest of the Kolattiri dominions to be overrun by the Canarese as they might think fit ; and besides these terms the diary shows that damages to the extent of 5910 pagodas were obtained for wrongs suffered.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. XXXIII.
1. In the diary of January 6th, 1737, it is stated that this is the country where all the pepper is grown. END OF NOTEs
On the 16th February 1737 a counterpart agreement2 was executed by the Chief Mr. Stephen Law, on behalf of the Company.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. XXXIV. END OF NOTEs
Directly Mr. Lynch left Mangalore, the Canarese to-crossed the Nilesvaram river. The Prince Regent applied as usual for money to aid him to oppose them, but he was reminded that, at the first settlement being formed at Tellicherry, the Company was to keep up no force, and that the Prince Regent was to protect the settlement in return for the customs duties which the Company had agreed, to pay. He was accordingly informed that money would be advanced only if due security for re-payment were given. And the factors noted in their diary that even if the worst came to the worst, “the fortresses we have erected in this country may be esteemed a tolerable security for the trade, even should the prince or whomsoever be disposed to attempt any violations therein.”
On the 14th January news arrived of a grave disaster suffered at the Ayeonny fort (Allikkunnu) protecting the mouth of the Nilesvaram river. Bombardier John Hull, it seems, was engaged in fixing some fuzes. Instead of using a wooden mallet he attempted to do it with an iron hammer ; the magazine door was carelessly left open, an explosion took place, and in a second the magazine exploded, the fort gate was knocked down, also part of the wall ; 6 soldiers and 1 sepoy were killed, 13 soldiers and 12 sepoys were wounded ; the house, provisions, arms and most of the stores were destroyed.
But under the treaty it became no longer necessary to hold this fort, and so, on 16th February (the date on which the Chief ratified the terms), orders were sent to vacate it, which was immediately done. The Nayars on this deserted it, and it was immediately occupied by the Canarese. It gave them the command of the Nilesvaram river and of the Nilesvaram portion of the Kolattiri dominions. The peace enabled the factors to reduce their military establishment. They sent back the Anjengo and part of the Madras detachment, and a return shows that, on 7th March 1737, they had 2 captains, 4 ensigns, 19 sergeants, 16 corporals, 13 rounders, 14 drummers, 91 Europeans, 42 mustees, 221 topasses, total 422, less 30 sick, leaving 392 effective men for duty. These men were thus distributed:
NOTEs: 1. 1. Elara, or Agarr. END OF NOTEs
For the necessary reliefs a “free guard” of 140 men was wanted, making a total of 484 ; so the factors wanted 92 sepoys to make up their force to its proper strength.
On 8th April 1737 news arrived from Bombay that Salsette Island had been taken by the Mahrattas. The Presidency asked for succour, and the factors at once despatched 170 sepoys (already under orders to go back) and 3 gallivats and 100 stand-of-arms.
The Canarese were busy meanwhile within the limits allotted to them in the treaty with the English Company. In April 1737 they had again come south as far as Madakkara, and supplies and men had to be sent thither as a precautionary measure. In July the Prince Regent was promised Rs. 5,000 if he would decline to deal with any other European nation than the English and if he would consent to give an authentic deed ratifying the English Company's hold on Eddakat and Madakkara. Rs. 1,000 were sent to him and he2 did as he was required.
NOTEs: 2. Conf. Treaties, etc., i. XXXI, XXXV. END OF NOTEs
The Dutch functionaries too retired in disgust to Cochin, not being able to arrange terms with the Canarese or with the Prince Regent, uttering vague threats of vengeance against the Canarese as they retired. Their trade at Cannanore must now have dwindled away to very small proportions, as the English Company from their Madakkara fort were now able to keep them out of the Valarpattanam river. In fact, on 18th March 1737, as some of their boats entered they were brought to by the fort and obliged to retire across the bar.
By August 1737 the Canarese had again overrun the whole of the country as far south as the Taliparamba river, but Madayi fort still held out against them.
The factors now interposed and arranged articles of peace between the Kolattiri and the Canarese. The Chief and Mr. Lynch and the Prince Regent, on 30th August 1737, met Surapaya, the Canarese general, near Madakkara. Both parties went strongly armed and escorted fearing treachery, and the Canarese escort was described as "very ungovernable” in their demeanour. The terms arranged were as follows
1 : “That from the fort of Madday (Madayi), westward, to Urbolly, southward, and as the river winds to the foot of the hills, eastward, with all the country, northward of the said river, shall hereafter appertain to the King of Bednur, and from the parts aforesaid, southward, the King of Colastri (Kolattiri) shall enjoy what appertains to him, etc.”
These terms were not, however, acceptable to the King of Bednur, who had more ambitious schemes of conquest in view, and simultaneously (20th, 21st October 1737) with his refusal to ratify the terms came the news that the Company’s vessels at Mangalore had been refused a supply of rice. The Bednur Raja by turning off the rice tap, so to speak, had it always in his power to inconvenience seriously the Company’s settlements and to cause an artificial famine. And rice was urgently needed just then in the Presidency for the Mahrattas were threatening an invasion.
Surapaya was superseded by Ragonatt as Governor of Mangalore and Commander of the Army, and the selection was not agreeable to the factors. On 20th December 1737 he reached the camp at Madayi, and, on 1st January 1738 the Chief received a peremptory order from him to proceed forthwith to the camp to talk of important matters, whereupon the diary records the following remarks : “The Board naturally remark the haughtiness of the precited Ragonatt and how base is his disposition. The Chief never thought proper to visit him even in times of the Canarese elated state, well knowing that Chicane and Treachery are what Ragonatt is extremely addicted to.”
They however agreed to disguise their real feelings and to send a deputation to ascertain his intentions, and on the 4th January the deputation returned and reported that the Canarese wished the Company to remain neutral in the war about to be commenced against “the Mallabars.”
The factors’ reply to this was the putting of the Madakkara fort in a thorough posture of defence and the securing the mouth of the Valarpattanam river so as to prevent the Canarese from crossing it into the pepper districts. This being accomplished, the factors awaited the current of events, but beyond seizing (April 1738) the guns of some English vessels detained at Mangalore the Canarese did nothing towards pursuing their conquests up to August 1738.
There is a gap in the diary at this period, and the events of the next twelve months cannot be fully ascertained from the other records. In October 1738 the Prince Regent appears to have been so far pressed that he actually delivered Rs. 30,000 to the factors to prosecute the war, and the agreement come to with the factors at this juncture “to make war against the insolence of Canara” and “to drive out Canara” is still on record.1
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. XXXIX. END OF NOTEs
About the end of the year hostilities were in progress. On January 2nd, 1739, Mr. Law reported from Madakkara a skirmish with the Canarese in which, on the English side, the Malabars displayed great apathy. On January 7th an attack by bombardment was delivered on the Canarese position near the same place ; the Canarese made a counter attack on the English flank, but were repulsed by the “remarkable fire” of the English troops. On January 10th prospects of peace began to dawn, the Canarese being dejected at the obstinate defence of the line of the Valarpattanam river, but the actual terms2 were not definitely settled for another thirteen months.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. XLII, XJLIII. END OF NOTEs
The chief points were the permission to export a definite quantity of rice without duty from Mangalore, and the omission of the clause stopping the Canarese from making conquests to the south of the Valarpattanam river, in other respects the treaty followed pretty closely that of February 1737, which was likewise at the same time ratified.
After the conclusion of peace in the manner above indicated, the Bednur forces gave little further trouble to the Tellicherry factory, and they do not appear ever to have subsequently attempted to force their way to the south of the Valarpattanam river, which was securely guarded by the Company’s fort at Madakkara. The fact seems to have been that besides the opposition which the factors would have made had they attempted to pass to the south of the river, the invaders had pretty well exhausted the resources of the country to the north of it, and found a difficulty in supporting the large force they had there, and which it is said was costing them in January 1749 as much as 12,000 pagodas per month.
On February 27th, 1739, there arrived the ship “Harrington” from England with despatches from the Court of Directors appointing the Chief, Mr. Stephen Law, to be President and Governor of Bombay, and appointing Mr. William Wake from Anjengo to the chiefship of Tellicherry. By the same ship the Directors wrote pointing out that “Rs. 1,36,000, the charge (of the Tellicherry factory) last year is a sum which runs away with all our profit.”
The dissensions in the Kolattiri family still continued, and the party of disorder appears to have been headed by a prince called “Ockoo,” who, in consequence of the peace with the Canarese, seemed to have turned his attention next to creating trouble in the south. In an attempt to reach Kadattunad by sea in November 1739 he was taken prisoner by the factors and sent in custody to Madakkara fort. But this does not seem to have disheartened his followers,, and the record of the next few years is full of references to various petty risings by this gang in different parts of the country.
Moreover, two of his immediate followers escaped from custody in Dharmapattanam Island through the carelessness of a “Centinel” on 12th December 1739, and the factors were so annoyed at this that they dealt summarily with those responsible. “The commanding officer is relieved and severely reprimanded. The corporall is broke, and the centry Henry Goodgame ordered to run the gauntlet and confined to duty in the fort for two months.”
The escape of these men appears to have encouraged the rest of their party. Meanwhile the French at Mahe had been at war with the Nambiars of Iruvalinad. The original cause of dispute was whether a certain Nayar called “Polatche” should pay pattam to the Nambiars, who claimed him as a vassal. The French, on the other hand, laid similar claims to him.
The Nambiars imposed an interdict by tying a bough to a tree after the country fashion. The French pulled the bough down, and “Polatche” took their side.
The French obtained assistance from the Kadattunad Raja, who was at this time a minor and under their influence, but the Nambiars repulsed their enemies on 4th September 1739 after killing the French commanding officer and many of his men. The English factors finding the Nambiars hard pressed shortly after this, assisted them indirectly through the Prince Regent, and on 20th November the French were repulsed.
The respective factories then protested formally against each other and peace1 was restored in December 1739.
But the peace was of short duration, for on the 22nd of that same month the French seized a hill near Mahe under the pretext that they had bought it from the minor Kadattunad Raja, whose mother, on the other hand, refused to acquiesce in the arrangement, and amicable relations were, accordingly broken off in that direction.
The French were very busy about this time and pushing in all directions. In December 1739 they hoisted their colours at Tanur. In January 1740 they attempted to settle at Chetwai, but the Zamorin would not consent, and the Dutch also marched down on them and forced them to leave. Then on 6th March 1740 and again in the end of the year came news from Europe of a probable impending war between England and Spain assisted by France.
In April the French, who were blockading the Kadattunad country, seized an English boat, but released it. In June the English factors obtained information that the French had designs on Andolla Mala, an outlying bit of territory attached to Tellicherry. The English factors were on the alert and hoisted their colours on the hill, sending at the same time a party of military to protect them. The French began making entrenchments under the English guns on the hill, whereupon they were promptly attacked on 17th June 1740 by Ensign Bilderbeck and turned out of the place.
The English loss was one man mortally, and another slightly, wounded. The usual protest followed, the French sending a sergeant and drummer to notify the same. And the English factors in their diary of 23rd July 1740 recorded that the English Company had a grant from the Kolattiri, empowering them to hoist their colours at any time and anywhere in the kingdom consisting of seven provinces, viz :—
"1. Pallartuta Naddu. 2. Choulsaroum. 3. Neliotusaroum. 4. Alerta Naddu.5. Edevadu Naddu.6. Cartua Naddu.7. Porovenaddu.”
And they observed that the Canarese had conquered Aleta Naddu, and that “long since one of his (Kolattiri) ancestors being embarrassed in war, granted to one who was of the race of kings (which is a particular caste) the province of Porovenaddu (now called Cotiote), which he was to govern according to the dictates of an idol of a pagoda who is called Peremal a Podee.”
And they continued : The kings heretofore appointed a governor in Cartua Naddu, but some few years before the French settled at Mihie the Governor (called Boyanore) paid little regard to the present king, who was then also embarrassed with war. Upon the French settling, they countenanced him, and since the governor’s death his sister who presides pays no allegiance at all.”
It also appears that the French had lately set up “one of the caste of kings” in opposition to the Regent (Boyanore’s sister), but this proceeding of theirs had not been approved by their superiors.
On 5th September 1740 the French were repulsed in attacking a hill in Kadattunad on the road to Peringatur, where they had an outpost. On the 18th they suffered another disaster at the same place. They had taken forty men out of one of their Europe ships to assist, them, and in the attack which followed, thirty of these were killed besides twenty others of the garrison, making in all fifty killed. Besides those, twenty men were wounded, exclusive of Nayars and sepoys. Of course the French protested against the English factors, and in proof sent the latter an English cannon ball which had been fired into their fort. The following day a reply was sent from Tellicherry to say that English cannon balls could be found in every country where the English had settled, and they recommended the French factors to return it “whence it came.”
This war continued in a desultory manner till the beginning of May 1741, when, both parties agreed to a cessation of arms for a time.
The diary of 13th November 1741 contains the following: — Arrived M. de Labourdonnais with two large ships at Mihie.” And on the 15th the factors received notice of his intention of making war on the Kadattunad Raja, and of overhauling boats and vessels approaching that part of the coast.
The tone of the letter was somewhat overbearing, as if written with the full knowledge that if his requests were not acceded to, he had ample force at his back to compel compliance. And so it turned out, for next day news came that three other French ships of Labourdonnais’ squadron had reached Mahe, and another had arrived at Calicut.
Thus reinforced the French speedily took the field, and on the 22nd their forces captured the Kadattunad entrenchments after a warm fight in which many were killed on both sides. Labourdonnais had despatched one of his ships to Goa for provisions, etc., and on 10th December news arrived that the Mahratta pirate, Angria of Gheria, with seven grabs and thirteen gallivats, had surrounded and after a long day’s fighting, from 7 a.m. till 6 p.m., had taken her, although she had 200 European soldiers and mariners on board. She was deeply laden with rice, wheat flour, and arrack, and she had besides between 300 and 400 slaves on board intended for the French Islands.
Having defeated Kadattunad, Labourdonnais next turned his attention towards bringing about a more satisfactory state of the relations between the French and English factories. The agreement1 of 17th - 28th April 1728 had adjusted the differences between the factories in regard to the Kurangoth Nayar’s domains. Both factories had since then, and particularly just before Labourdonnais’ arrival, been competing for the command of the Iruvalinad Nambiars’ domains which adjoined those of Kurangoth inland.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. XVII. END OF NOTEs
Each had seized and fortified several places in that part of the country. At Labourdonnais’ suggestion they now wisely decided to relinquish those advanced posts, which only served “to bring an expense on both, give disgust to the Malabars, and afford them an occasion of sowing divisions between the settlements of Tellicherry and Mahe.”
It was accordingly agreed2 to raze the following posts and to withdraw from them the guns and garrisons :
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. CVII. This agreement and that which follows it (CVIII) were signed by M. de Labourdonnais as Mahe de La B. The French settlement is usually alluded to in the diary as “Mihie," which represents pretty accurately the native spelling "Mayyali”. END OF NOTEs
Neither factory was in future to erect warehouses or forts in Iruvalinad, but only to hold such places as might be within gunshot of the respective settlements. Commissaries were to supervise the carrying out of the above ; and the produce of the Nad was to be bought only at the respective factories.
On Christmas day 1741 the above articles were supplemented by others.3 Joint action by both factories was to be taken against the Nambiars of Iruvalinad and against the Kottayam Raja if they attempted to disturb peace.
NOTEs: 3. Treaties, etc., i. CVIII. END OF NOTEs
If attempts were made to sow dissensions by showing forged letters, etc. (as had already happened), inter-communication between the factories was to be free in order to get rid of the distrust thereby caused. The Nayars1 in the pay of the respective companies were to be kept quiet, and the factories were to take joint action in case of dissensions among them and also in protecting them against other people.
NOTEs: English.—(l) Naranport Nayar, (2) Muicara Cunoti Nayar, (3) Muicara Candil Nayar.
French. - (1) Kurangoth Nayar, (2) Unichatoo Nayar. END OF NOTEs
To keep down the price of pepper “which rises daily” the merchants of the respective factories were not to be permitted to monopolise the product and the factors were to consult how to keep it down. In January and February consultations and assemblies of the respective merchants, with a view to fixing fair rates for pepper, were to be held. If after a rate was fixed the price should rise, the factors were to consult before making any advance on the rate already fixed. And if the merchants raised the price inland suitable remedies were to be applied.
Further it was provisionally2 agreed that in disputes arising between the French and the Kadattunad Raja the English factors were to arbitrate, and the French factors were to act similarly in disputes between the English and the Prince Regent of Kolattiri, and as regards disputes with other Malabar powers the factors were to afford mutual succour to each other by arbitration, if asked, and failing that by arms if necessary. If arbitration were not asked, then the respective factories were to remain neuter and under no pretext whatever was succour to be given to the native powers.
NOTEs: 2. It does not appear that what follows was ratified by the President and Council at Bombay. END OF NOTEs
The succour to be respectively given was to consist of ammunition and provisions, and to evince the friendly understanding between the factories, soldiers and officers were likewise to be lent. Finally the agreements3 of 1728 and 1736 were to remain in full force.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i. XVII—XXXII. END OF NOTEs
On the following day, 26th December 1741, orders were given for withdrawing the guns and garrisons. On the 11th January following peace was declared between the French and Kadattunad. The latter gave up the two hills about which they had been fighting, besides some adjoining land from the river to the sea. The hill recently stormed and taken by the French, called Porto Peak, was not to be occupied by either party. The French paid Kadattunad 2,000 pagodas presumably for the land taken by them.
The French also concluded peace with the Nambiars of Iruvalinad who relinquished 14 coconut gardens to the French and received back their bonds4 for 1,80,000 fanams for war expanses, but the bonds were to revive if they misbehaved themselves.
NOTEs: 4. Conf. Treaties , etc., i, XLI. END OF NOTEs
Having thus, in a very short time and in a very satisfactory manner, adjusted the affairs of the Mahe factory with its neighbours, M. deLabourdonnais sailed on 13th January 1742 for the Island of Mauritius with one ship only.
It will be necessary now to revert to the 29th December 1740, on which day the Achanmar (fathers, chieftains) of a district, called Randattara, repaired to the Tellicherry fort, bringing with them fanams 1,029 in part-payment of the Prince Regent’s debt to the Company and proposing to the factors to hand over the revenues of that district “for the remaining part of their proportion of said debt, and such a further sum as will make the whole 60,000 fanams which they will repay at the end of five years, and pay the interest thereon annually at the rate of 10 per cent.”
The factors’ resolution thereupon was that "this being a matter that requires some time to enquire into, we defer giving them an answer for some few days.”
On the 3rd January 1741, the matter was fully explained. The Prince Regent had assessed the district of Randattara with 1,00,000 fanams as its share of the Canarese war expenses in 1737. Of that sum, 70,130 fanams 4 vis had been paid, and there remained a balance of 29,869 fanams 12 vis of the principal and 11,388 fanams 9 vis as interest, making in all 41,258 fanams 5 vis.
‘‘They now request that we lend them 18,741 fanams 11 vis, which will make their balance to be 60,000 fanams, for payment of which in five years and interest arising thereon they propose to make over the rents and revenues of their country to the Honourable Company, which now by moderate computation do not amount to less than 2,20,000 fanams per annum.
"Out of which they constantly maintain about 1,000 Nayars, which with other officers and servants, amounts to upwards of 1,80,000 fanams, and pay annually towards defraying Government charges in time of peace about 8,000 fanams and more in war or on emergent occasions. The above-mentioned 1,00,000 fanams was their proportion of expense incurred by Government in the late wars with the Canarese. Whence there will remain in time of peace about 30,000 fanams and is what their families—in number now 13—subsist upon.
“Their occasion for about 20,000 fanams is for repairing a place of worship, which sum the country people cannot now pay without overburthening them at a time when the country requires cultivating to restore it to its former productive state destroyed by the Canarese war, and which occasioned Chattoo Chitty to be in arrears with the Company, the country at present not producing half the quantity of pepper. We could formerly depend on it for a yield of 800 to 1,000 candies annually.
“It is observed that they will not go for a loan to shreffs and merchants who cannot protect them ; but if we do not comply they will have to mortgage their country to the prince, who probably could not supply them, and if he could it would subject them to him more than is consistent with their privileges. The only other people they can apply to are the Honourable Company or the French, or the Cotiote. It would damage the Company’s interest if the French or Cotiote were to supply them, as the pepper would be lost.
“The security offered is undeniable, and if the President and Council should disapprove, then the money could be raised from others at Tellicherry living under the Company’s protection.
“Resolved, therefore, to accept their proposals by lending fanams 60,000 (inclusive of 41,258 fanams 5 vis now due by them) for five years, and to obtain their mortgages1ola making over to the Honourable Company the routs and revenues of their country.”
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. XLIV. END OF NOTEs
This entry in the diary throws a good deal of light on the former relations between the ruling chiefs and the petty chieftains, who, under them, directly governed the country. The petty chieftains had to defray out of the pattam (or authority’s share of the produce) the charges connected with maintaining the body of militia of the district. The pattam, was still in fact the public land revenue of the country, and was not rent as understood in Europe. This coincides with the views on the subject adopted in Chapter IV.
The relations between the Honourable Company and the Randattara Achanmar thus inaugurated were afterwards more closely cemented, and the bonds of union were of so much advantage to the respective parties that no serious attempt seems ever to have been made by the Achanmar to pay off the debt and to recover their former independence.
On 12th June 1741, in consequence of a son of the Achanmar having sided with some members of Ockoo’s gang of rebels, the necessity of having more control over them was felt, and the Achanmar agreed2 to keep all intruders out of their district who were inimical to the Prince Regent or to the Honourable Company and to chastise any of their own number who might molest the prince or Company.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. XLV.—The house of the rebellious youth was pulled down by an elephant in the presence of one of the Kolattiri princes “as the utmost mark of disgrace to his family.” END OF NOTEs
The factors recorded in regard to this deed :—“The intent of the above ola is to give the Honourable Company authority over the Achanmars as also, to interpose with the prince if he should oppress them by extravagant taxes which has heretofore happened.”
But the temples had not been taken into account in the bond, and it became necessary to include them formally.3 This did not, however, work well, and the Brahmans appear to have been jealous of English interference in their affairs. The principal of the bond was accordingly in 1749 reduced by 15,000 fanams by enfranchising4 for payments to that amount, the lands in Randattara held by the temples.
NOTEs: 3. Treaties, etc., i. CIX.
4. Treaties, etc,, i. LVII, LVIII, LIX, LX, LXI, mid foot-note to LXI. END OF NOTEs
The Achanmar at the same time (7th September 1749) renewed5 their bond and gave additional security. On 16th October the principal of the debt had increased6 to 60,000 fanams. On March 23rd, 1765, after a period of disturbance during which the management of the district was conducted by the Kolattiri, the Prince Regent finally ceded7 the protection of Randattara to the Honourable Company, and from that year the Honourable Company became the virtual1 sovereigns of that district and began to levy a regular land revenue from it.
NOTEs: 5. Treaties, etc., i. LXII.
6. Treaties, etc., i. LXIV.
7. Treaties, etc., i. LXXXI, LXXXII.
8.Treaties, etc., i. LXXXIII, LXXXIV. END OF NOTEs
Hyder’s impending invasion of Malabar at this latter time also weighed with the factors in accepting this charge. Hyder at first respected the Honourable Company’s rights in the district. It has already been stated that a large French ship belonging to Labourdonnais’ squadron was captured in December 1741 by a fleet of country vessels belonging to the pirate chief Angria of Gheria. This important capture seems to have inflamed the imaginations of the coast pirates generally and to have incited them to renewed activity, for the records during the next two years are full of notices of them and of their exploits.
On 30th January 1742, the gallivats of a Mahratta pirate known as “Kempsant” made a descent during the night on the coast near Cannanore and looted and burnt some houses. On 15th March, one Kunhi Ahamad, a nephew of the pirate chief of Kottakal, who was generally known as “Cota2 Marcar,” was captured with a boat’s crew of his men by the English boats employed in stopping the exportation of pepper from Cannanore to Calicut. It did not appear that he was piratically engaged at the time, so he resented the treatment and taking opium, ran amuck.
He killed a sergeant with a knife and was then shot by the guard. Of his companions several escaped, of whom two were retaken, one of them being killed. The general opinion was that the pirates had been badly treated, and this treatment seems to have led to an outburst of fanaticism both at Tellicherry and Calicut, in which several lives, including that of a Portuguese Padre, were lost and other persons were wounded. Great honours were, it seems paid to the tomb of Kunhi Ahamad, and to that of the man who killed the Padre at Calicut.
NOTEs: 2. Cota Marcar = Kotta (fort and name of river) and Marggakkaran (lit. doer of the law or rule, i.e., convert from Hinduism to some foreign religion, in this case Muhammadan), Conf. foot-note p. 330. END OF NOTEs
After the monsoon of 1742 the pirates were again busy. Coompta was looted by Kempsant. In January 1743 Angria with 7 grabs and 11 gallivats appeared at Calicut and fired about 100 rounds at the shipping, driving some of them ashore. On the 13th this piratical fleet was off Mahe. In February the Company’s armed gallivat “Tiger” under Richard Richards, succeeded in capturing one of Kempsant’s gallivats and three small vessels.
Angria’s fleet was meanwhile lying off Mount Deli, and Kempsant’s off Mangalore, intercepting the rice vessels. In March the latter took a French ship, which was however again taken from them by a Portuguese fleet off Mangalore. Angria also took another French ship, and appeared off Calicut in March, causing a great panic there and causing people to desert the place with their families and valuables.
In April several encounters occurred between the pirates and various English ships and the “Tiger” gallivat on the voyage between Bombay and Tellicherry. The “Tiger” was kept busy in looking after the Kottakal pirates to the south likewise. After the monsoon of 1743 Angria again put to sea and came south to Calicut and Tellicherry.
The “Montagut" and "Warwick” coming down the coast, were engaged from 8 p.m. till 4 a.m. during one night and from 6 a.m. till noon next day with a fleet of Angria’s, consisting of 7 grabs and 8 gallivats, but 4 of the small vessels under their convoy were taken.
In January 1744 a Portuguese frigate was engaged for two days and two nights off “Pigeon Island” with 7 of Angria’s grabs and 17 gallivats. She would likely have fallen a prize, for all her masts had been shot away, had not the Company’s vessels above named, under Commodore Freeman, come to her rescue ; two of the piratical grabs were hauled off from this encounter in a sinking state.
In July the Kadattunad Raja (the King of the pirates) asserted his right to the wreck of a French brigantine, which went ashore to the south of Mahe.
In 1744 war broke out in Europe between England and France. Unfortunately the records are incomplete at this time (August 1744 - 31st July 1745). But the war had little effect at first on the Company’s settlements owing to the great losses at sea sustained by the French. In March 1746 the factors found there were “no buyers of pepper now but us,” and taking advantage of that fact they promptly proceeded to lower the price of the article.
The following month they recorded that the French commerce was now carried in Dutch ships.
It looked for a time as if the anticipations of the Bombay President and Council that the French would not be troublesome would be fulfilled. But on 17th July 1746 two ships came into Mahe roadstead, a French brigantine and an English prize (a country ship from Bengal) captured off Mozambique. On the 20th the factors heard with dismay of the activity of their quondam friend Labourdonnais on the Coromandel Coast. On the 24th the French at Mahe began to make warlike preparations, giving out they would soon be saying mass in Tellicherry as their fleet was expected in October.
Matters thus suddenly began to look alarming, and it was well that the factors had just before this news reached them been successful in getting one of the Kolattiri princes, favourable to their interests, installed in Kolattanad. They had in August 1745 been obliged to recognise another of the Kolattiri princes and assist him with gunpowder and lead in order to cheek the Prince Regent “his arbitrary proceedings.”
The weakness of that prince was avarice, and Ali Raja of Cannanore, helped by the French, had been “spiriting up” the Prince Regent with money and creating dissensions between him and the English factory. A desultory war ensued between Ali Raja and the English about the mouth of the Valarpattanam river and the English fort at Madakkara, but Captain Faudell with 300 men on 22nd October 1745 dislodged the enemy from their entrenchments with the loss of 1 soldier killed and 5 wounded. As a protection on the landward side, the factors enlisted1 in their interest the Raja of Kottayam as it seemed not unlikely the Prince Regent himself would take the field against them.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i, CX. END OF NOTEs
They next asked the Dutch for permission to attack Cannanore directly, but this was refused. In April 1746 there was a revolution in Kolattunad, and a prince favourable to the Company's interests obtained the reins of power after getting rid of an obnoxious minister, named Unni Chandu Kurup.
Almost simultaneously there was a riot in Cannanore and two of Ali Raja’s ministers were slain by the populace. In June the ex-Prince Regent died, so that in July, when the above ominous news came from the Coromandel Coast, the factors were in a position to raise all the important country powers (except Ali Raja) in their favour if there should arise a necessity for it.
Nor was the foresight thus displayed long in being justified, for, notwithstanding the indecisive naval action off Point Calimere, in which Labourdonnais was wounded, that indefatigable officer with his customary promptitude and decision brought matters speedily to a crisis by capturing Port St. George at Madras.
The first news that arrived was that it had fallen on the 8th September 1746, but Mr. Hinde at Fort St. David shortly afterwards corrected this date to the 10th and at the same time sent the factors the reassuring message that he had just completed a bomb-proof building, as the French used bombs, that the factors should follow his example, and that he had no doubt he could hold out in Fort St. David for twelve months against all the force the French could bring against him.
The French at Mahe marked the receipt of the news of the capture of Madras with every demonstration of joy and with much expenditure of gunpowder from all their forts. The English factors at once set to work to prepare for a siege by the French fleet. Provisions and liquors were laid in, men were enlisted, the garrison was concentrated as much as possible, the Native Chiefs, the Prince Regent, the Bednur Raja, the Nileswaram Raja, the Achanmar of Randattara, etc., came forward with offers of assistance of men, some of whom were accepted.
The French at Mahe enlisted 1,500 Mappillas, and the Mudaliyar (chief man) of the Valarpattanam Mappillas joined the English. The English garrison was camped out between Tellicherry and Mailan forts to be ready at a moment’s notice. But their services were not required, for Fort St. David not only stoutly held out, but even repulsed the enemy. And shortly afterwards the French fleet was reported as having passed Anjengo and Tanur on its way north to Mahe. It arrived in two detachments on 27th February and 1st March 1747, and consisted of the Centaur, Mars, Brilliant, St. Lewis, Princess Mary and one other.
Ali Raja repaired at once to Mahe with 500 men. But his reception seems to have cooled his ardour for the French alliance, and after this powerful French fleet had sailed away without even attacking Tellicherry, he soon sued the English factors for peace and stated his hearty repentance. The factors promptly tendered to him a bill for 3,10,556 fans., 12 tar. He offered to pay Rs. 15,000, which was declined at first, but after a day or two’s delay accepted.
The French fleet had gone ; the factors knew not whither. They heard it was at Goa and awaiting Labourdonnais’ return from the islands with another squadron. They were still in daily dread of being besieged. It was with no little satisfaction therefore that, about July 1747, they received the welcome news that the dreaded Labourdonnais had been sent an unhappy prisoner to France. The departure of the French fleet enabled the English factors to reduce their military establishment, and to succour Fort St. David with 250 sepoys in June 1747 and with 1301 more on the 19th August.
NOTEs: 1 Orme states this reinforcement at 400 men, but it seems that only 380 men were sent. END OF NOTEs
These men afterwards proved unfaithful to their salt. Their commander, “a Moor” (? Mappilla) was tampered with by an ex-interpreter of the Governor of Madras, who was in secret communication with Madame Dupleix, the wife of the French Governor of Pondicherry. The commander’s design to desert to the French in the first engagement that should happen was discovered, and he and ten of his officers were banished to St. Helena, where several of them helped each other to end their lives rather than remain as prisoners in such a hopelessly remote island.
The naval warfare between the English and French still went on, and after the monsoon of 1747, the English fleet appears to have kept to the Coromandel Coast and the French to the West coast, and there was constant anxiety for the safety of the Company’s ships. On 14th and 26th September, four French ships arrived at Mahe, one of them bringing in two prizes, one English and one Dutch, taken off Bombay.
As they came into the roads they were flying English colours “with the union downwards.” But after the receipt on 8th February 1748 of the news of Anson’s victory off Finisterre, events took a different turn, and on March 29th, H.M.’s ships Exeter (Commodore Panlet) and Winchester (Lord Thos. Bertie) came into the Tellicherry roads, and took on board a party of men, with a design to destroy the St. Lewis, which was lying in the Mahe roads at the time.
Accordingly, on March 30th, H.M.’s ships ran into Mahe roads under Portuguese colours, which they hauled down about noon and the English ensign was hoisted in their place. The French were taken by surprise ; the St. Lewis fired signal guns and boats pushed off from Mahe to her assistance. They did not all arrive in time, however, and the action, which lasted only about an hour, resulted in the St. Lewis cutting her cables and getting under the protection of the Mahe forts with the aid of her jib or jib staysail, the rest of her rigging having been torn from her yards, and her three top-gallant masts having been shattered ; she continued, however, to defend herself, and the engagement ceased at sunset.
Next day the French unloaded their ship and hauled her in so close under the forts that it was thought she was aground. She lost 50 men in the action, including her captain, while the English loss was only 2 men.
Meanwhile, the tables had been successfully turned on the French on the Coromandel Coast also, and the French at Mahe were obliged to despatch men to help to defend Pondicherry, besieged by Admiral Boscawen. On 24th October 1748 the news of the preliminaries having been settled of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle arrived, and orders came at the same time for a cessation of hostilities after 19th October. The French at Mahe were immediately apprised of the fact. It was not however, until 24th September 1749 that H.M.’s proclamation of peace arrived. This proclamation was read to the military and artillery train drawn up outside the Tellicherry gates.
The Chief (Mr. Thomas Byfeld) proceeded thither in state, accompanied by two of the gentlemen from the Mahe factory, with whom cordial relations had again been established. Twenty-one guns were fired from the fort, and the day was “spent in other demonstrations of joy.” The French and English factors had meanwhile likewise combined and had succeeded in reducing the price of pepper to Rs. 50 per candy, the lowest price it had ever fetched.
The Prince Regent of Kolattunad during the time of the French war (1744-49), byname Kunhi Raman, appears to have been jealous of the Company’s interference in the affairs of Randattara, and to have impeded the Company’s officers in collecting the revenues of that district. In 1747 he claimed the property of a Nambidi, who died without heirs, and interfered in two desams, “laying impediments on the ground,” besides which, it was brought to the factors’ notice, he had “tyed four or five elephants in Randattara and ordered the olaes and fruit to be gathered from trees belonging to themselves (the Achanmar) and others which used not to be done formerly.”
His alliance was of too much importance to the factors at this time for them to attempt to break with him, and as the Achanmars’ troubles continued, and the Prince Regent encroached more and more on their privileges. In August and September 1748 matters came to a crisis by the Prince Regent “laying an impediment” on one of the Company’s merchants, on mulcting him heavily. On being remonstrated with for this and other similar behaviour, he strenuously asserted his right to take the half of every man’s property, and the whole of it if he committed a fault.
In November 1748 he had, it seems, portioned out his country to certain headmen in order that they might plunder his subjects, and the Commandant at Madakkara reported that soon the country would be ruined. Meanwhile, the cessation of hostilities with France had strengthened the factors’ position, and they were able to deal with him with more firmness in regard to Randattara and other matters. The result was duly recorded in an agreement,1 dated 10th January 1749, by which he agreed to turn a number of people out of his dominions, to dismiss his customs master, and not to interfere except as agreed in Randattara affairs.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i. XLVI. END OF NOTEs
But there were other matters remaining to be settled, particularly in regard to the island of Madakkara, and the Chief Mr. Byfeld, took an early opportunity of visiting Madakkara fort and of personally conferring with the Prince Regent and others regarding them. He was present at an affecting interview with a very old and bed-ridden lady, described as the prince’s mother ; she expressed her satisfaction on being informed that everything had been amicably accommodated,1 and enjoined her son as her last parental counsel and advice never to give umbrage to the Chiefs of Tellicherry, who had protected the Palli branch of their family in its utmost distress.
NOTEs: Treaties, etc., i. XLVIII. END OF NOTEs
Mr. Byfeld also seized the opportunity to obtain from the prince, who held the rank of Vadakkalankur (Northern Regent) at the time, and who belonged to the Udayamangalam branch, a deed,2 dated 9th May 1749, transferring absolutely to the Prince Regent of the Palli branch all the property of his family lying to the south of a line drawn from the river Quilavelly to Urbelli.”
This line appears to have coincided pretty closely with that of the Taliparamba river, and probably cut off the isthmus running south to Madakkara fort and lying between the river and the sea, the portion, in short, of North Malabar which was at this time tributary to the king of Bednur.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. XLIX ; Conf. i. XXXVIII oncl ii. CCX. It was probably under this deed that the Palli branch of the family virtually superseded the other (Udayamangalam) branch, which arrangement still continues in force. The nominal Kolattiri is still the eldest male of both branches, but the de facto head of the family is the oldest male of the Palli branch, who is usually styled the Chirakkal Raja. The matter has been more than once before the British Courts.—Mr. Rickards’ decree of 6th August 1803 and Sadr Adalat Special Appeal No. 9 of 1821. END OF NOTEs
This deed was cancelled and another3 signed two days later (11th May 1749), in which the southern limit of the Udayamangalam branch territory was fixed at “Cheria Kunnu” which appears to correspond with the amsam of Cherukunnu, about a mile to the south of the Taliparamba river opposite Madayi.
The Vadakkalankur, who signed these deeds, was at the time a prisoner in the Valarpattanam fort belonging to the Palli branch of the family. On signing the latter deed, which put the Prince Regent in a better position to pay off his debts to the Company, the Vadakkalankur was released from confinement at Mr. Byfeld’s request. But the younger princes of the Udayamangalam branch naturally objected to being thus compelled to part with their birth-right, and as the Chief was unable to bring them to terms in any other way, he resolved to assist the Prince Regent vigorously with men and ammunition.
NOTEs: 3. Treaties, etc., i. L. END OF NOTEs
The result was that their stronghold at Puttur was captured in June 1749, and they themselves were driven into the jungles and their followers dispersed.
Having thus for the time being enabled the Prince Regent to quell the dissensions in his own family, Mr. Byfeld next turned his attention to strengthening the position of the Company in the Kadattunad territory, while maintaining therein, as far as a treaty could do it,4 the authority of the Prince Regent of Kolattunad. And that having been satisfactorily accomplished, a general settling up5 of accounts took place in September 1749.
NOTEs: 4. Treaties, etc., i. LIII,
5. Treaties, etc,, i. LIV to LXII. END OF NOTEs
The trade of the Company likewise received attention. The method adopted for getting the pepper at a low figure was as follows:
A monopoly of the trade in the country having been secured from the various chiefs by treaty, the exporting of the article without permission was prohibited both by sea and land. This prevented, to a certain extent, sales being made to outsiders, but whenever the price of the article in a free market, as at Calicut, rose high, the merchants were tempted to run the risk of exporting for the sake of the extra prices obtainable.
The Company, however, had much control over its merchants, for the latter obtained no protection anywhere outside the limits of the Tellicherry factory, and when the Chief found that they were exporting the pepper to a free market, and that they were consequently unable to fulfil their contracts, he took summary means to bring them to reason by incarcerating them.
The same influences which had so weakened and distracted the Kolaltiri family in the past were still at work. The Prince Regent had married the Kadattunad Raja’s sister, and had built a house for her in Iruvalinad, the country of the Nambiars. His object was to establish his son therein as ruler (Valunnavur, the title held by the Kadattunad Raja). But to do this, it was necessary that the semi-independent Nambiars should either submit willingly or be compelled to it.
The Chief seeing in this a means of counteracting French influences in that district, assented to the proposal, which also, of course, had the support of the Kadattunad Raja, whose nephew and heir this youth was. The Company were not, however, to take an active part in the operations : indeed on the contrary, they just then took the opportunity of reducing their military to a peace1 footing. The design of the prince was not, however, carried through, but in March 1750 the Kadattunad ruler formally assumed the title of Raja, the Prince Regent being privy to it.
NOTEs: 1. The establishment consisted of 400 military under a “Captain,” who received 10 shillings sterling per day ; 70 gunners under a “Lieutenant Fireworker,” who received £75 per annum, and 365 “milita,” consisting of sepoys, Mappillas and Nayars under various headmen. END OF NOTEs
On 17th January 1750 Mr. Byfled handed over charge of the Tellicherry factory to Mr. Thomas Dorril, as Chief, and immediately a change for the worse came over its management. Mr. Dorril appears to have been rash as well as narrow-minded and weak. He was easily misled, and being weak, he mistook obstinacy for firmness.
The Prince Regent’s bad advisers, banished in Mr. Byfeld’s time, returned and signalled their return by an outrage on a private servant of one of the English officers at Madakkara fort. The new Chief, nettled perhaps at this event, set his face against the designs of the Prince2 Regent, who had married Kadattunad’s sister ; and this estrangement speedily led to divers troubles, for, although the Chief and factors acknowledged an elder prince, who, by virtue of his age, ought to have been the ruling prince, the latter was powerless, and very probably at heart unwilling to help them.
NOTEs: 2. There were two princes regnant at this time, and although the younger is styled the junior prince in the Diary, he was de facto ruler. END OF NOTES
Of the Iruvalinad Nambiars, some adopted one side and some another. The Chief was warned from the Presidency not to allow the Company to be dragged in as principals in any of the country quarrels, but he blindly took the steps best calculated to bring this about. The de facto Prince Regent finding himself thrown over by Mr. Dorril, naturally turned to the French alliance.
Mr. Dorril in April 1751 proceeded to the Madakkara fort, and thence to Valarpattanam fort, and placed himself in communication with the nominal head of the house, the Kolattiri Raja himself, a frail old man, who had no power in the country. He assented, at Mr. Dorril’s suggestion, to the appointment of a junior prince, without any power in the country, by name Ambu Tamban, to be Prince Regent in supersession of the de facto ruler, and this arrangement was duly embodied in three deeds,1 dated the 21st April 1751.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. LXV, LXVI and CXIII. END OF NOTEs
The Chief’s eyes ought to have been opened to the fatal step he was taking, when, on proceeding strongly guarded to Cotcunna (Kottakkunnu) to interview the elder Prince regnant, the latter, on learning his mission, abruptly withdrew inside his fort and prepared to fire at the Chief’s party. The Chief’s guard were ill advised enough to open fire at this threat. It was returned from the fort, and the Chief withdrew to Valarpattanam, where he received the news that the de facto Prince Regent, then in the south, was advancing with 1,500 Kottayam and Kadattunad men to attack Tellicherry.
Next day (22nd April), as the Chief and party withdrew from Valarpattanam to Madakkara, they were again fired at. And to complete the list of his errors, Mr. Dorril made prisoner of the aged Kolattiri and of the young Ambu Tamban, and took them off with him to Tellicherry, presumably as hostages for the good conduct of the rest of the family.
It is difficult to understand what could possibly have been Mr. Dorril’s object in acting thus, for it soon became evident that he had roused the country, and had no friend left among the chieftains, except Ali Raja of Cannanore, who only promised to remain neuter. Lest the Achamnar of Randattara should give him aid, the de facto Prince Regent threw 2,000 men into that district to overawe it and demanded 1,00,000 fanams from the Achamnar.
Finding no friend near home, Mr. Dorril had perforce to seek them abroad, and on 7th July he advised the Bednur Governor of Mangalore that now was his opportunity to seize Nilesvaram fort. His real object in tendering this advice was to prevent its falling into the hands of the French, for it was only too obvious by this time that the French were stirring with a view to benefit themselves in the impending struggle, and the Nilesvaram country yielded sandalwood and cardamoms, which would be lost to the English if the French settled there.
The French were not slow to make use of the opportunity offered, and by the 17th July, they had hoisted their flag at Nilesvaram and the mouth of Kavvayi river (Ayconna—Alikkunnu) and were busy fortifying both places. They had also thrown men into Valarpattanam fort.
The Canarese under a Brahman who is described as an “inactive man," moved towards Nelesvaram in August, but created very little diversion on that side. The Achanmar of Randattara came to Tellicherry to seek protection, and receiving aid in military and militia, attempted to return to their district via Agarr ; after some smart skirmishes, the military had to return on finding themselves confronted by 5,000 of the Prince Regent’s Nayars. Their loss was 2 killed and 9 wounded.
The Prince Regent on 25th September openly visited Mahe and was received with a salute. And this was followed by fresh concessions to the French ; Ramdilly fort and the Ettikulam fort on the point of Mount Deli were placed in their hands. Moreover, by this time, the Prince Regent was able to assume the aggressive. On 9th September he had attacked and been repulsed from the Company’s post of Edakad.
On 18th October he attacked Ponolla Malla on the outskirts of Tellicherry with 4,000 men. Being repulsed he set to work with French and to erect a battery on a hill called Chimbra which commanded Ponolla Malla.
On 21st October Tirimalla, another outpost on the Tellicherry limits was taken by surprise, and (it was alleged) treachery. The garrison resisted, bravely headed by their corporal, but being taken unawares, they had not time to fix their bayonets and were all slain and their bodies placed on the chevaux de frise. Ponolla Malla was also hotly attacked. A panic ensued among the inhabitants, who all flocked into the limits commanded by the Tellicherry fort.
Then a crisis occurred. The Nayars and Tiyars at Ponolla Malta deserted, and the sepoys refused to sacrifice themselves. Orders were sent to retreat from Ponolla Malla after spiking the guns and destroying the ammunition and stores and this was done. The English loss in this day’s engagement was about 100 killed, and 20 wounded were brought to hospital. How many more were not brought in does not appear.
The panic among the inhabitants continued ; families were sent away and the merchants deserted. The Prince Regent busied himself on the 23rd, burning the houses of the inhabitants within the Tellicherry limits, and threatening Morakkunnu, which was immediately reinforced. On the 24th the Tiruvengad pagoda, another outpost, was in his hands and Melur aud Kodolli were threatened.
On the 27th a French ship of considerable force came in sight, and the most gloomy anticipations were indulged in by the beleaguered factors.
In the straits to which he had so easily brought the settlement, Mr. Dorril turned, as already said, to the Raja of Bednur for help, and to this end he despatched the Company’s Canarese linguist, as he was called, by name Antonio Pircs, to Mangalore to seek assistance. The linguist arranged two treaties,1 dated respectively 25th and 30th October 1751, but these were of little advantage beyond preventing the French from concluding terms with Bednur.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. LXVII and CLXVIII. END OF NOTEs
On 29th October a welcome supply of rice from Mangalore arrived just in time to save the garrison from starvation. And the Chief was on 2nd November at last successful in creating a split in the enemy’s camp.
From the position of the Kottayam Raja’s territories abutting on the Tellicherry limits inland and extending thence into the Ghats and Wynad, the Raja and the Company combined could prevent the passage of troops and inter-communication between the Kolattiri's and Kadattunad’s dominions. And any enemy attacking Tellicherry from the landward side was liable to have his rear attacked unless he had laid his accounts to have Kottayam as a friend.
Kottayam ratified the proposals2 on 12th November, and bargained for Rs. 40 per diem as his own allowance, payable fortnightly “so long as he acted as a faithful ally to the Honourable Company”. He also agreed to lend the Company, on payment, 1,000 men with arms and to stop the communication between the Kolattiri and Kadattunad dominions as soon as the Prince Regent had gone north into Kolattunad and his wife (Kadattunad’s sister) had gone south into her brother’s territory.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties, etc., i. CXIV. END OF NOTEs
It was well for the Tellicherry factory that this treaty was concluded, for the Company was beleaguered on all hands—Madakkara fort was also besieged. On 4th November the Morakkunnu redoubt within the Tellicherry limits was attacked, and the enemy came up to the very gates of the Tellicherry fort itself. The cavalier bastion in the south-east corner of the latter was of great service on this occasion. On the 13th the communications with Mailan fort guarding the southern limits were intercepted, and a second unsuccessful attack was made on Morakkunnu redoubt.
On the 16th the siege was pressed with great vigour and the batteries kept up an incessant fire with shot, and shell on the besiegers. On the 22nd the factors resolved that if any advantage was gained against Mailan fort they would withdraw their forces from all the outposts. Next day came the crisis, and it fortunately took a favourable turn, for Captain Cameron, in command at Mailan fort, succeeded in destroying the opposing battery on Putinha hill, and greatly alarmed the French by sending a few shells into Ponolla Malla battery, where their gunpowder was unprotected.
Kottayam, who had probably been waiting the turn of events, now came forward, and on the 25th November he managed that the Prince Regent should withdraw his forces from Narangapuram and Putinha and so free the Tellicherry limits.
The Bombay President and Council had had troubles of their own on hand just then and had been unable to send the successor urgently demanded for Tellicherry. On 14th December they at last managed to send ships to the assistance of Tellicherry, and with it came a letter expressing their utmost surprise at the turn affairs had so unexpectedly taken, and attributing it all to Mr. Dorril s great want of judgment for reasons already set forth above.
Meanwhile the mediation carried on by Kottayam went on slowly. He was in no hurry to arrange terms while being paid a personal allowance of Rs. 40 per day as may be imagined, and he appears not to have scrupled at declaring openly that he meant to make the most he could for himself of the troubles in the country. So the war went on. In December the Canarese met with a severe reverse when attempting to cross the Nilesvaram river.
In January 1752, when terms of peace had been almost arranged, the Prince Regent “flew off” on hearing of another success in the north. On 19th March the French attacked Madakkara fort with big guns from a new battery, alleging they had acquired land there.
On 22nd March the enemy returned to Putinha and began erecting a battery there. Captain Mostyn offered to take it, and he appears to have succeeded. But a panic ensued consequent on Ensign Target’s being shot through the head going up to the captured redoubt, and a hasty retreat was made by the common soldiers, of whom it is recorded “ happy was he who could run fastest.”
On the 1st of April an attack was made on Madakkara, but the enemy were driven back with 100 to 150 killed and wounded. On 12th April the batteries on Putinha were enlarged, but on the 17th the fire from Malian fort silenced them for a time. Up to 13th May the duel between these two places continued.
A week later on (or 22nd May 1752) an armistice was concluded, and on the following day the terms1 of peace were ratified by the Prince Regent. These were for the most part very general. The Honourable Company and the Kolattiri princes were not to meddle in each other’s affairs, the grants to the Company being confirmed. They were to give each other mutual assistance if attacked. And finally the Tellicherry linguist (Pedro Rodrigues) and his family were not to be employed in any transactions between the parties.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties, etc., i. LXIX. END OF NOTEs
But besides these terms there were others which did not appear : Rs. 50,000 was paid to the Prince Regent as compensation, and Rs. 10,000 to Kottayam as mediator. Madakkara fort was given back, and the prince was to destroy his redoubts on the outskirts of Tellicherry on the hills of Andolla, Ponolla and Putinha.
Mr. Dorril objected to the insertion of these terms in the treaty because they were disadvantageous to the Honourable Company and because he did not wish to have the facts entered on the “Prince, his records.”
The records for some time after this are full of the charges brought against, the Company’s linguist, Pedro Rodrigues. Mr. Dorril and the factors endeavoured to make a scapegoat of him, but although he fled to Mahe and the factors gave out that, his property was going to be seized, no serious steps were really taken against him, and on 16th September 1752 the Bombay President and Council sent orders forbidding the seizure of his effects, “this family having been so remarkably distinguished by the Honourable Company.” And the despatch continued : “We peremptorily order you not to do it.”
The French continued at war with Bednur in aid of the Prince Regent of Kolattiri during 1753, and meanwhile afresh combination of the country powers was brought about. The Zamorin was in April 1753 induced to visit the Tellicherry factory, and on his return journey he was escorted with great military pomp by sea as far as Quilandy. An alliance was formed between the Zamorin, Kottayam, and the Iruvalinad Nambiars, backed of course by the Honourable Company, and their object was “to ward against the growing power of the Prince Regent (Kolattiri) and Kadattunad backed by the French.”
This combination made the Prince Regent of Kolattunad exceedingly uneasy, and in June he wished to visit the factory. But on desiring the Chief to come out to meet him, Mr. Dorril declined and the prince then went to Mahe, where he was received with open arms by the French Chief. The war, however, had told on the French resources, and they began to be in straits for money, their new forts in the north costing them as much as Rs, 15,000 per mensem. Moreover, just about this time the Canarese gained an important success over the French allies, the details of which were carefully kept secret.
In October 1753 the Kadattunad commenced hostilities in Iruvalinad against the Nambiars and Kottayam, who were backed of course by the Tellicherry factors. The Prince Regent would fain have come to his brother-in-law’s help, but the factors and Kottayam together effectually blocked his way in the manner already described. The effect of this was that the Prince Regent, for the first time since Mr. Dorril commenced hostilities against him, came to the factory on the 17th November 1753.
Little time however remained for effecting a complete reconciliation between them, for on 3rd January 1754 there arrived from Bombay two gentlemen (John Sewell and Thomas Hodges), commissioned as “Supravizors,” to enquire into Mr.Dorril’s administration of the factory affairs, and after completing the enquiry one of them (Thomas Hodges) was commissioned to remain on as Chief of the settlement. The “supravizors” completed their enquiry by the 15th March, on which date Mr. Hodges assumed the office of Chief.
The enquiry resolved itself into a battle between Mr. Dorril and the linguist Pedro Rodrigues. The supravizors naturally held Mr. Dorril solely responsible for the misfortunes which had befallen the factory and Pedro Rodrigues was acquitted, and on 12th May 1754 restored to office as linguist.
In July the French Chief (M. Louet) managed to arrange a peace between Kadattunad and the Iruvalinad Nambiars and Kottayam. Kadattunad accepted M. Louet’s intervention, but was disgusted at the French having secretly assisted the Nambiars.
Mr. Hodges’ management of affairs was much more prudent than Mr. Dorrill’s and the factors began slowly to regain the ground they had lost in the latter’s time. He avoided war ; but steadfastly set his face to turn the French out of Nilesvaram. To this end he succoured the third Prince of the Nilesvaram family in opposition to the first Prince, who was in alliance with the French, and a desultory war begun in August 1755 kept the French employed in that quarter till after the news had arrived (28th May 1756) that France was again at open war with England.
Meanwhile it will be necessary to revert to Dutch affairs. The important resolution taken by the Supreme Council in Batavia in 1721 not to succour their native allies, which has already been alluded to, began shortly afterwards to bear its natural fruit. In October 1733 Calli-Qulion was threatened by the energetic Marthanda Varma of Travancore ; the Dutch Governor, A. Mateu, was applied to for aid, and the result was a refusal to grant it, coupled at the same time with advice to join another chief who had refused passage to the Travancoreans and to drive back the invaders.
In 1734 the territories of this latter chief and another were annexed by Travancore. In 1739 Mr. Van Imhoff became Governor. He was a most intolerant man, and directly he arrived he saw the necessity of curbing the rising power of Travancore if the Dutch were to retain their hold of the trade of the country and not allow it to pass into the hands of the English, who were backing up the Travancore Raja. Van Imhoff, it is said, carried to the Travancore Raja his own protest against the Raja's occupation of the territory acquired in 1734. His protest failed, and Van Imhoff nettled at this result spoke of invading Travancore.
“The Raja replied1 that doubtless he might do so, but there were forests into which he could retire in safety.”
NOTEs: 1. Day's Land of the Permauls, p. 131. END OF NOTEs
Imhoff retorted that “where Travancoreans could go, Dutch could follow.”
The Raja then broke up the conference by sneeringly observing, he had “been thinking some day of invading Europe !”
Unfortunately for Van Imhoff he had no sufficient force at hand to command respect and obedience to his wishes. War ensued, but it was not conducted with energy and vigour, and the successes obtained by the Dutch at starting were not maintained. They waited for orders from Batavia, and maintained a desultory war meanwhile.
On October 18th, 1748, the Batavian Council at last approved of the terms finally accepted by Travancore, but it was not till nearly five years later that peace was finally established on August 15th, 1753.
The Dutch were mean enough to stipulate on this latter date that they "shall2 recede from all engagements, which they may have entered into with the other Malabar princes, whom the King of Travancore might choose to attack, and on no account interfere in their disputes, afford them assistance or shelter, or in any respect raise any opposition to the enterprises of the king.”
NOTEs: 2. Day’s Land of the Permauls, p. 133. END OF NOTEs
And what were they to get in exchange for such a pledge ? Just 4 annas on every 25 lb. of pepper to be supplied to them from Travancore and from the territories to be conquered by that State ! !
Such sordid meanness defeated its own end of course, and shortly after the treaty was signed, and after the Travancore frontiers had advanced as far as Cochin, the Travancore Raja of course turned on them and repudiated his obligations, telling the Dutch, factors at Cochin they were no longer a sovereign power, but merely a number of petty merchants, and if they required spices they should go to the bazaars and purchase them at the market rates. They had eventually to pay market prices for the pepper they wanted.
This treaty gave the coup de grace to Dutch influence in Malabar.
The pirates too had meanwhile begun to give trouble once more. In 1753-54 the Tellicherry factors were kept in constant anxiety on account of the Honourable Company’s shipping, and the Mahratta Angria’s fleet was much feared.
In September 1755, Ali Raja of Cannanore organised a big buccaneering expedition in close alliance with Angria. He sent 3,000 men with guns in 70 native small craft (manchuas) and large boats to ravage the Canarese country. This expedition attacked Manjeshwar and obtained there a booty of 4,000 pagodas, besides 100,000 more from a private merchant. They also landed people to the north of Mangalore, marched 18 leagues inland to a very rich pagoda called “Collure” and carried off booty to the extent, it was reported, of no less than 4,000,000 pagodas.
In this expedition the Mappillas killed some Brahmans who were greatly mourned at the Bednur court. And of course Bednur adopted the readiest means at his command for bringing everybody to their senses ; he stopped the export of rice from Mangalore, and thus put everybody, English, French, Dutch, Nayars, and Mappillas, all in a serious predicament.
The Bombay President and Council, on 7th November 1755, sent Ali Raja a sharp letter of remonstrance on his conduct. He had not attacked the Company’s shipping, else he would have been as summarily dealt with as his ally, Angria, shortly afterwards (January and February 1756) was at Gheriah by a squadron of H.M.’s and of the Honourable Company’s ships under Admiral Watson and Colonel Clive.
The Tellicherry factors were jubilant on this occasion ; the news of the capture of Gheriah on the 13th February reached Tellicherry on the 23rd and a royal salute was fired at once.
It had come shortly after this to the knowledge of the factors that affairs were again in a critical state in Europe between England and France, so like wise men they set all their energies to work to lay in a suitable stock of grain in anticipation of hostilities, and in this Mr. Hodges was successful in the early part of 1756.
On the 28th May of that year authentic news arrived via Madras of the renewal of hostilities in America, but war had not been declared. All doubt, however, on this latter point was set at rest on 17th October 1756 on receipt of H.M.’s declaration of war against France. The news came via Bussorah and Bombay. The factors had not, when they got the news, completed their collection of stores, so they waited a day or two before publishing it till all their rice and store boats had come in.
On 26th October a store of 12,000 bales of rice was on hand and the factors felt themselves to be relieved of anxiety on that score.
It has been said that the first news of the critical state of politics in Europe reached the factors on the 28th May 1756. Mr. Hodges had prior to this event been vigorously sending aid to his ally the third Prince of Nilesvaram in pursuance of his policy of driving the French out of that country and securing its cardamoms and sandalwood for the Honourable Company. The results of Mr. Hodges’ action were soon apparent, for on 5th April news had come that the third Prince had defeated the French in two hand-to-hand engagements.
On the 1st of May news of another victory came to hand : the French had again been defeated with the loss of 2 officers and 20 sepoys and others killed and 70 more wounded. Then on 23rd June came the still more important news that the French fort at Mattalye had been surprised by the third Prince of Nilesvaram. This fort maintained the French communications between their fort of Ramdilly (Alikkunnu) and their furthest post at Nilesvaram, so that its capture imperilled their line of communications. The garrison, consisting of 1 officer and 20 soldiers, was put to the sword ; all but the gunner, who was spared on the condition that he would point their guns for the captors.
The fort mounted 20 guns, chiefly 18-pounders, and 1 mortar, and there were also 200 muskets with suitable ammunition. On the 4th July the third Prince was further aided by Mr. Hodges, both with money and stores, as news had come that the Prince Regent himself meant to take the field with 1,000 men in aid of the French. The French were very uneasy, as may be imagined, at the loss of the fort and the danger to their line of communications with Nilesvaram, and were ready to agree to any terms to have it restored.
The Prince Regent intervened in their favour, and arranged that if Mattalye fort were restored to them they would evacuate Nilesvaram and some other small places, and the Prince Regent in return for his services was to have his bond for Rs. 60,000, advanced to him in the war with the Tellicherry factors, returned to him and cancelled. Moreover the Prince Regent guaranteed on oath that the French would perform their part of the contract and surrender Nilesvaram and the other places.
The French fired a salute of 15 guns at Mahe on being repossessed, on 22nd July 1756, of Mattalye ; but they deliberately broke their promises of evacuating Nilesvaram and other places and of returning the Prince Regent's bond to him.
This was not unnaturally the turning point in the Prince Regent’s friendship with the French.
When the declaration of war arrived therefore on the 17th October following, the English factory affairs under Mr. Hodges’ able guidance were in a prosperous condition, while the French at Mahe were exhausted with the protracted warfare in the north and with the heavy monthly expenses of their garrisons in those regions.
The Chief next directed his energies towards extending and consolidating good relations with the various country powers. Kottayam and Ali Raja appeared inclined to join the Honourable Company against the Prince Regent and the French. And it was hoped that Kadattunad and the Iruvalinad Nambiars too would join. There remained the Prince Regent to be brought to terms, and matters were already arranging themselves in the desired direction because of his disgust at the broken promises of the French. On 2nd November he came to the factory and gave vent to his anger at Mr. Dorril having been let off so easily ; he had been dismissed the service : but that was punishment insufficient he thought for what he had done : he called him a ‘cullan’1 (which in Mallabars signifies infamous man, or more literally interpreted, robber).”
NOTEs: 1. Kallan. END OF NOTEs
At this interview it is noted that Messrs. Johnson and Taylor, from the progress they had made in “Mallabars,” were able to understand the Prince without the aid of an interpreter, so that the linguist, Pedro Rodrigues, had not to be called in. A very important2 step had consequently been taken towards freeing the Chief from underhand intrigues of the linguist.
NOTEs: 2. This was followed up on 8th February 1758 by a formal examination, the first of its kind no doubt ever held in Malabar, conducted by the Chief in person, in which Messrs. Johnson, Taylor, and Samuel Crocs were tested as to their proficiency “in Mallabars." END OF NOTEs
This interview was followed by a secret one on the following day, at which the Prince Regent promised to assist the factors against the French and to oblige Kadattunad to do the same. He would not, however, though pressed, give this in writing. He evidently wished to give the French a last chance of fulfilling their promises, and, accordingly, on 11th November, on his way to the south with his wife and family, he had a very private interview with the French Chief of Mahe.
The French too were on the alert, and on the very day after the Prince had thus gone to the south, the Honourable Company’s fort of Meylure on Darmapattanam Island was attacked by three Mappillas, who killed two people and dangerously wounded the corporal in charge. They were however themselves slain, and Mr. Hodges, on informing the Prince Regent of the affair, learnt that, in the Prince’s opinion it was an act of his enemies to embroil him with the Company.
On hearing from him to this effect he was asked to send some of his people to be present to “assist ours in spitting them as they are not worthy of burial.” This was accordingly carried out, and on the 25th November the bodies, after being “spitted” a sufficient time, were thrown into the sea to prevent others from erecting monuments and canonising them for having slain others of a different religion. The factors, though in some doubt on the point, concluded that this attack was an artifice on the part of "Candotty Pacquey", the Mahe merchant, to embroil the English factors with the Prince Regent.
It will be recollected that, at the beginning of Mr. Dorril’s term of office, a somewhat similar event at Madakkara had led him into hostilities with the Prince. On the 15th December 1756 the negotiations with Kottayam for a defensive alliance had progressed so far that, a treaty1 was arranged on a basis favourable to both parties. He promised to let the factors have the services of as many as 6,000 Nayars, and he himself was to receive a douceur of Rs. 2,000 whenever war broke out and the French assumed the offensive; but if the Company were going against the French he agreed not to assist the latter, but he would not act against them.
NOTEs: 1. Treaties etc., i. CXXI. END OF NOTEs
Meanwhile hostilities had commenced in November by the Honourable Company’s Commoodre capturing between Tellicherry and Calicut a French vessel, the “Indian” of 700 tons and 24 guns with 400 men, coming from Pondicherry and laden with military stores for Mahe. No details of the fight are given, but the Commodore’s loss was not great.
This capture must have crippled still more the French resources.
Mr. Hodges was still busy extending good relations with the country powers, and even the Kurangoth Nayar appears to have at this time been on good terms with the factory. The Prince Regent had fallen sick, and when he had recovered sufficiently, Mr. Hodges on 19th April 1757 set out for Chirakkal to pay him a visit. He was very handsomely received and the Prince sent his own chaise for him, and in it Mr. Hodges travelled as far as the road would permit.
The result, of this interview was embodied in an agreement,2 dated the 21st April 1757, though the terms had been arranged in the previous November. The Prince agreed to assist the Honourable Company against the French or any other nation who might attack them, and to use his influence in the same direction with the other country powers.
If a French fleet arrived, 1,500 musketeers and other armed men were at once to be sent to Tellicherry, and if the English were to go against the French, the Prince was to assist after settling what gain he was to get. He was in turn to be assisted by the Honourable Company if he required it, and his people, if killed or wounded, were to be treated like those of the Company.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties etc. i. LXX. END OF NOTEs
Finally the Company’s trade was to remain on the same footing as formerly, and to be enlarged, if possible, and the Prince was to be assisted on his part as formerly.
This treaty, brought about in great measure by the broken promises of the French, restored English prestige in Kolattunad to its old footing and completed Mr. Hodges’ masterly preparations for the coming conflict.
But just as the factors—their preparations being completed — were settling quietly down to await the anticipated conflict, an event happened which upset, for a time, their calculations of preparedness. For on 19th August 1757 the diary records that “Cotiote (Kottayam) demised of a bile in his arm” and of course the agreement with him became mere waste paper unless ratified by his successor.
Who that successor was to be was fiercely contested, for the Prince Regent of Kolattunad intervened in the dispute, and so did the French. It was not till the 28th June 1759 that the Vice Regent of Kottayam was able to report that he had been crowned at “Vaenalt” (Wynad), and on 23rd August following the Chief obtained from him a ratification1 of the former treaty in an amplified form.
NOTEs: 1. 1. Treaties etc,, i. LXXIII. END OF NOTEs
Meanwhile, another similar event had happened, and in the diary of 9th May 1759 it is recorded that the Prince Regent too had “demised.” The Chief had much difficulty in securing a suitable successor, but he decided at last to exercise all his great influence in favour of a prince who had already succeeded to the title of Vadakkanlankur or Northern Regent of the Kolattunad, and who was senior in age to the late prince, and to oppose the claims of a junior prince, Unaman, who had married the late Prince Regent’s daughter, and who was therefore likely to fall under the influence of the French exerted through his wife’s uncle the Kadattunad Raja.
The preliminaries took months to arrange, but at last, on 5th September 1760, everything was ready and a combination of the Kolaltiri Northern Regent, of Kottayam, and of Ali Raja of Cannanore was formed. On 6th September the Northern Regent executed two agreements2 ratifying the Company’s privileges and extending them.
On the 23rd hostilities commenced and were rapidly and successfully carried through, place after place being taken from Prince Unaman by the allied forces, while the Kadattunad Raja’s forces were kept from passing to the north to assist his beleaguered nephew-in-law by the cordon drawn across the country from the sea shore at Tellicherry to the limits of Wynad by the combined forces of the Honourable Company and of Kottayam.
NOTEs: 2. Treaties etc., i. LXXIV and LXXV. END OF NOTEs
On the 8th October Prince Unaman sued for peace, but the terms he obtained were so little to his liking that he determined to go to the south, taking his wife, Kadattunad’s niece, along with him. He was allowed to pass through the cordon on 16th October, and on the 17th the Northern Regent was in full possession of the country and the Honourable Company’s forces were recalled. Pursuant to his engagement in the previous treaty, the Northern Regent then transferred3 “for ever” to the Honourable Company the “whole right of collecting the customs in all places in our dominions” for the sum of 21,000 silver fanams to be paid annually.
The formal deed evidencing this transaction, though dated 21st November 1760, was not signed till 11th March 1761, the Northern Regent having in the meanwhile on various pretexts put off signing it.
NOTEs: Treaties etc, i. LXXVI. END OF NOTEs
So far the Tellicherry factory had not been disturbed by the French. On 4th July 1758 the factors heard with alarm the news of the fall of Fort St. David in the previous month. The Prince Regent shortly after this, actuated by the French, put on foot negotiations for a strict neutrality between the settlements, but after what had passed this had no chance of being listened to.
On 11th March 1759 the factors were jubilant with 21 guns over the news of the siege of Madras having been raised, and on the 20th of the same month they fired 21 guns on receiving intelligence of the taking of Surat castle and of Admiral Boseawen’s successful expedition against Louisbourg.
On the 24th they flouted the Dutch by stopping one of their ships from exporting pepper from Vadakkara. And things altogether seemed to wax prosperously with them : each of the ships despatched at this time to Canton with pepper and sandalwood was freighted by them up to £40,000 sterling. The Chief even found time to devote to such petty matters as the “cloathing of our irregulars.”
The sepoys had “scarlet coats faced with green perpets” and a belt “covered with green perpets.” The Calli-Quiloners (Mappillas) had “blue coats faced with green perpets ” and thin bolts like those of the sepoys. The artillery lascars had blue coats faced and bound with red, and no belts. The coats were made to reach just below the knees.
The English fleet had come up the coast in the end of 1759, and the Chief had thought of going against Mahe but desisted for want of an Engineer officer to make the approaches.
In January 1760 the French again brought forward proposals for a strict neutrality between the settlements, which were of course rejected on the obvious ground that all the advantages of such an arrangement under the existing circumstances would be with the French. The French at Mahe were in fact in a bad way. On 13th April 1760 the factors wrote to Bombay that “Mahe had long been in a deplorable condition and was then without appearance of relief.”
On the 11th September 1760 the first ostensibly aggressive act of the factors against the French, was an unsuccessful attempt to cut out a French “Snow” from under the guns of Mount Deli fort.
The English on the East Coast were still engaged with the siege of Pondicherry, when on 27th December 1760 there occurs the following entry in the Tellicherry factory diary :—“Imported the Honourable Company’s ships Neptune, York and Earl Temple from England and Triton from Bengal—and came ashore Major Hector Munro, Commander of H.M.’s troops on board.”
The troops belonged to Colonels Parslow’s and Moriss’ regiments, the former under Major Piers, and the latter under Major Hector Munro the senior officer. There "were six hundred and thirty-five rank and file, besides officers, and one hundred and three of them were down with scurvy.
On the following day (28th) the troops were landed and put under tents to await an opportunity of sending them to Fort St. George, and at a consultation with the factors Major Hector Munro expressed an opinion that Mahe could be reduced since the French there were now in great straits and had even been selling their good arms to procure means of subsistence, and their European soldiers were kept on constant duty to prevent their deserting for want of pay.
On the 29th more troops arrived in the Honourable Company’s ship London, and on the 30th there came H.M.’s ships Elizabeth, Baleine and South Sea Castle with a tender and a French prize, the Hermione—all from Trincomallee.
On the 31st the fleet sailed for Bombay, all but the Triton. On the 3rd January 1701 the Company’s ship Egmont arrived from England with the rest of the troops. The factors now found themselves sufficiently strong to attack Mahe and so prevent the French from exporting pepper, as they had been doing in Portuguese bottoms, but orders came from Bombay disapproving of this, as the place must fall on Pondicherry being taken.
And Pondicherry, it was well known, had for some time been in an almost hopeless plight and provisions were so scarce in that beleaguered city that the poorer inhabitants had been reduced for some time back to the eating “of camels, elephants, dogs and cats.” The Bombay authorities, therefore, directed that if the news of Pondicherry having been taken reached the factors before they had forwarded the troops to Madras, they were to employ them against Mahe.
These orders arrived on 19th January, and simultaneously came the melancholy news from Colonel Coote of a dreadful storm having occurred on 2nd idem at Pondicherry, which had driven ashore several of Admiral Steven’s squadron, had dispersed the rest, and had blown down, with many casualties among the native troops, the greater part of his encampment, and damaged most of his gunpowder.
He sent an urgent requisition for stores and gunpowder, and the factors at once began their preparations to aid him. By the 31st their preparations were almost complete and everything was ready to start, when there arrived "the glorious news” of the surrender of Pondicherry on the 16th idem.
Messages were at once sent flying about the country informing the various chiefs of what had happened, amidst thundering salutes from the batteries and ships and a feu de joic by the king’s troops. On February 1st the factors accordingly set to work in earnest for the conquest of Mahe. They prevented both by sea, and by land with Kottayam’s help, the French from calling in their garrisons in the north ; whilst they themselves withdrew as many as possible of their outpost troops in order to combine with H.M.’s troops under Major Hector Munro for the reduction of Mahe.
On the 3rd M. Louet was called on to surrender Mahe and its dependencies, to which he replied on the 16th that be the respective forces what they might, he could not “but defend and support H.M.’s colours.” The factors’ reply to this was the seizure of Chambra hill, from which to attack Fort St. George at Mahe, and on the 7th orders were sent to Major Hector Munro to march, every thing being ready.
On the 8th accordingly the battalion of Colonel Parslow's regiment marched with the Company’s irregular forces, all under Major Piers, to the south end of Ponolla Mala to take the defences in flank, but there was to be no fighting, for, on that same day a party of deserters came in bringing the news that the Mahe Council had decided to capitulate. Notwithstanding this, however, preparations continued and Colonel Moriss’ battalion of Highlanders with the Company’s regulars were ordered to join the other troops next morning.
And this movement was carried out although between 1 and 2AM on the 9th, letters were received from M. Louet and his council proposing terms of capitulation. On 9th February 1791 the French delivered over all their forts in the north, except Mount Deli and Ramdilly (Alikkunnu), to Prince Cape Tamban of the Kolattiri family.
On the 10th two topsail vessels came in sight flying Danish colours, but evidently intent on reaching Mahe. The blockading squadron however cleared them away. And a manchua, a schooner and a sloop mounting six swivel guns were driven on shore, one sergeant being killed and six others wounded in the latter operation, which was successfully carried out by Captain James Lindsay in the Success ketch.
On the 11th Ali Raja of Cannanore, without giving any notice to the factors of his intention, surprised the French fort1 on Ettikulam Point at Mount Deli and most barbarously massacred the garrison of 20 men. The interval between the 9th and 12th had been taken up in discussing the terms of capitulation, and on the latter date the articles2 were received back duly signed by the French Chief M. Louet and his military officers. The terms were briefly as follows :—
NOTEs: 1. Conf. Treaties, etc., i. CV as to the terms on which the French had in Mr. Dorril’s time obtained this and the Alikkunnu fort from the Kolattiri.
2. Treaties, etc,, i. LXXVII. END OF NOTEs
The Roman Catholic religion was not to be disturbed. “The garrison to march out with honours of war, drums beating, colours flying, each man with, a ball in his mouth, four field-pieces with one mortar and twelve rounds to march to Tellicherry, etc.” the arms, etc., being delivered up at Tellicherry.
The garrison was to be sent to the Island of Bourbon or to Europe. All deserters, except one, named Thomas Palmer of Colonel Parslow’s regiment, were to be pardoned. Private property of various descriptions was not to be confiscated, along with that belonging to the French Company. All forts to the northward were to be surrendered on the same conditions. The French factory at Calicut was to be treated as neutral. Assistance was to be rendered to the garrison for transporting their effects and for treating the sick and infirm.
On the 13th, in pursuance of the above-articles, Major Piers with about five hundred men went to take possession of Mahe, and about noon the British flag was run up under a salute from the ships and forts. At 2 P.M. the French troops arrived at Tellicherry with drums beating, colours flying, etc., and grounded their arms at the southern limit gate. M. Louet and the officers were received by the Chief Mr. Hodges, who returned them their swords, and M. Louet was saluted with fifteen guns as he entered the fort.
M. Louet publicly declared that if the country powers had not been drawn off from the French alliance, Mahe would have made a better stand, which was a well-deserved tribute to the superior diplomatic powers of Mr. Hedges.
On the 16th of February Major Hector Munro proceeded to the north to recover the French forts in Prince Capu Tamban’s hands. He had some difficulty in effecting this service, and some experience, which has already1 been quoted, of the Nayar modes of fighting. By the 19th of March he had accomplished the task and proceeded to demolish the forts, of which Mattalye was reported to be of great natural strength. Their retention would have been of no use for the Company’s trade in those parts. When, therefore, the fleet came round from Pondicherry in March, bringing with it the 70th Regiment of Highlanders and artillery to assist in the capture of Mahe, there was nothing for them to do and they were considerably disappointed.
NOTEs: Page138. END OF NOTEs
On the 1st May 1701 M. Louet with his family and the other French prisoners were embarked for Europe on board the Lord Mansfield under a salute of fifteen guns. And nothing else of importance, except an unseemly quarrel between the factors and Major Hector Munro in regard to the ownership of the French stores found in the Mahe forts, occurred, until on 20th April 1763 H.M.’s proclamation of a cessation of arms was received and published.
In consequence of the destruction of the French influence and competition in trade the factors were enabled to withdraw a number of outposts and to concentrate their establishments with economy. In this way the Madakkara fort was blown up, and the island was restored to the King Regent on 28th August 1762, and other smaller posts were similarly relinquished, until on 1st August 1764 the only outposts kept up consisted of Darmapattanam Island and Mould Deli.