Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/188

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1 84 THE FOUNDATION OF BRITISH RULE IN INDIA. name. In 1761, it was found expedient and profitable to dethrone Mir Jafar, our Nawab of Murshidabad, and to substi- tute his son-in-law, Mfr Kasim, in his place. On this occasion, besides private donations, the English received 'a grant of the three Districts of Bardwan, Midnapur, and Chittagong, estimated to yield a net revenue of half a million sterling a year. Revolt of Mir Kasim, 1763. — But the freshly appointed Nawab of Bengal, Mfr Kasim, soon began to show a will of his own, and to cherish dreams of independence. He retired from Murshidabad to Monghyr, a strong position on the Ganges which commanded the line of communication with the northi- west. There he proceeded to organize an army, drilled and equipped after European models, and to carry on intrigues with the Nawab Wazfr of Oudh. He was resolved to try his strength with the English, and he found a good pretext. The Company's servants claimed the privilege of carrying on their private trade throughout Bengal, free from the Nawab's inland imposts. The assertion of this claim caused affrays between the customs officers of the Nawab and the native traders, who, whether truly or not, represented that they were acting on behalf of the servants of the Company. The Nawab alleged that his civil authority was everywhere set at nought. The majority of the Council at Calcutta would not listen to his complaints. The Governor, Mr. Vansittart, and Warren Hastings, then a junior member of Council, attempted to effect some compromise. But the con- troversy had become too hot. The Nawab's officers fired upon an English boat, and a general rising against the English took place. Two thousand of our sepoys were cut to pieces at Patna; . about 200 Englishmen, who there and in other various parts of Bengal fell into the hands of the Muhammadans, were massacred. Re-conquest of Bengal, 1764.— But as soon as regular warfare commenced, Mir Kasim met with no more successes. His trained regiments were defeated in two pitched battles by Major Adams, at Gherii and at Udhun&la; and he himself took refuge with the Nawab Wazir of Oudh, who refused to deliver him up to us. This led to a prolongation of the war. Shall Alam, who had now succeeded his father as emperor, and Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab Wazir of Oudh, united their forces,