Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/204

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[ 200 ] CHAPTER XIV The Consolidation of British India. Marquess Cornwallis again, 1805. — The financial strain caused by these great operations of Lord Wellesley had mean- while exhausted the patience of the Court of Directors at' home. In 1805, Lord Cornwallis was sent out as Governor- General a second time, with instructions to bring about peace at any price, while Holkar was still unsubdued, and with Sindhia threatening a fresh war. But Cornwallis was now an old man, and broken in health. Travelling up to the north- west during the rainy season, he sank and died at Ghazfpur, before he had been ten weeks in the country. Sir George Barlow, 1805. — His immediate successor was Sir George Barlow, a civil servant of the Company, who as a locum tenens had no alternative but to carry out the commands of his employers. Under these orders he curtailed the area of British territory, and, in violation of engagements, abandoned the Rajput Chiefs to the cruel mercies of Holkar and Sindhia. During his administration, also, occurred the mutiny of the Madras sepoys at Vellore (1806), which, although promptly suppressed, sent a shock of insecurity through the empire. The feebly economical policy of this interregnum proved most disas- trous. But fortunately the rule soon passed into firmer hands. Earl of Minto, 1807-1813. — Lord Minto, Governor General from 1807 to 1813, consolidated the conquests which Wellesley had acquired. His only military exploits were the occupation of the island of Mauritius, and the conquest of Java by an expedition which he accompanied in person. The condition of Central India continued to be disturbed, but Lord Minto succeeded in preventing any violent outbreaks without himself having recourse to the sword. The Company had ordered him to follow a policy of non-intervention, and he managed to obey this instruction without injuring the prestige of the British name.