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Full text of "Some Documents of Tharrawaddy's Reign: 1837-1846, Part I"

so AS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, Autumn 2003, ISSN 1479-8484 

Editorial Note: 

The following documents drawn from the reign of King Tharrawaddy are intended as one 
contribution of many forthcoming to the project of organizing and publishing the source 
accounts for one of the Kon-baung dynasty's most obscure, yet critical reigns. Thus, 
documents included have not been selected on the basis of their high rate of interest 
relative to other documents of the period, but rather more with the view of making the 
documentary record complete. 

M.W. C. 

Some Documents of Tharrawaddy's Reign: 1837-1846, Part I 

"Letter of Mr. Simons, Dated Rangoon, June 20, 1838: Relations Between Burmah and 
British India — The "heir apparent" and others put to death" 

By 

Mr. Simons 
American Baptist Missionary Magazine 29.2 (February 1839) 



The king of Burmah has latterly, through his ministers, tacitly signified his royal pleasure 
that the same friendly understanding, which existed in his brother's reign between the 
two countries, should be continued. At the same time it is difficult to say what are the real 
intentions of his Burman majesty. The governor of Rangoon, who has charge of the 
lower country from Prome, and is also empowered to settle any difficulties that may arise 
with the English, has more than once intimated to Mr. Bayfield, the acting resident to 
court just yet; that the king might consider it an insult offered to him, and, getting angry, 
serious difficulties might arise between the two governments. He therefore recommends 
that the resident, who may be appointed by the governor-general, should remain at 
Rangoon; and he has no doubt that, in two or three years, when the palace is finished, 
the king will receive him in a suitable manner at court. Should the governor-general in 
council be as ready to meet the wishes of this officer, and, of course, of his royal master, 
as the acting resident appears to be, we may consider the difficulty between the two 
governments, respecting the treaty, as settled for the present. 

About two days ago, official information was received by the governor, from the 
court of Amarapura, of the execution of the heir apparent and his wife, and nurse, and 
others — in all eight persons. The alleged crime was a supposed connivance at a 
counter-resolution in his favour, for which (so the report is,) his friends were preparing. A 
great many Burmans do not believe this report, but think that the heir apparent has run 
away into the Shyan country. 

One of the Shyan saubwas has been executed. An officer's wife has been put to 
death for having in her possession a valuable jewel, which belonged to the royal family. 



48 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 49 

At the time the heir apparent was executed, report says, that many who were supposed 
to be of his party, and had money, were also executed. Notwithstanding the king's 
severity to his own subjects, who have been so unfortunate as to incur his displeasure, 
the foreigners, who have visited him, speak well of his treatment towards them. 

Some time in the present month the king's eldest son is to be married to one of 
prince Mekara's daughters, and it is supposed that this son will become heir apparent to 
the throne, as he is the son of the king's head wife, or the present queen. How such a 
measure will meet the wishes of the prince of Prome and the prince of Paghan, sons of 
the king by one of his inferior wives, it is difficult to say. These young me are ambitious, 
took an active part in the revolution, and, in conjunction with prince Mekara, are at the 
head of the government; and one of them, prince of Paghan, is commander in chief of 
the army. 

Materials for building a new palace at Amarapura, are being collected. From this 
place a large quantity of buffalo hides are being sent. These are to be made into ropes, 
and some will be used to make size to mix with mortar. About 200,000 baskets of paddy 
also have been ordered to be sent up to replenish the royal granaries. 

The report mentioned in my last, of the death of Meawade, the ex-woon-gyee, 
appears not to be true. He was dangerously ill, and recovered. On account of his talents 
as a poet and musician, he is not confined with the other state prisoners, but is allowed 
to live in a small hut by himself, in the prison compound, and is employed to teach the 
young people music and singing. Not a word is heard of the ex-king, and it is not known 
whether he is dead of alive. 

For some cause, I have not heard from the church in Ava since the 8"^ of March. 
This may be owing to the consternation among the people, caused by the unexpected 
execution of the heir apparent and others. At such times of bloodshed every man is 
afraid of his neighbour, and he who remains quiet is at the farthest remove from 
suspicion. The officer who had charge of Ava when the king removed from Sagaing to 
Kyouk-Myoung, a person who was supposed to be in high favour, has been reduced to a 
common man. 

In my journal for last year I had occasion to mentioned the name of Lugyi, a 
young man whom br. I. baptized. He was in my employ for some time as a writer, and I 
hoped he would prove himself undeserving the suspicions I had respecting him; but time 
has brought his real character to light. There are strong reasons to believe that he 
deceived himself and the teachers who were here, when he was received for baptism. 
The last I heard of him, he had become an alchemist, and was in search of a nostrum 
which was to turn lead into silver. 



50 THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 

[Letter of Mr. Simons, 23 June 1838] 

By 

Mr. Simons 

American Baptist Missionary Magazine 29.2 (February 1839) 

Since writing the above, on the afternoon of the 21^', a vessel from Calcutta brought the 
intelligence that Col. Benson had been appointed resident at the court of Amarapura, 
and would soon be at Rangoon. Capt. McLeod, of Mergui, has been appointed also 
assistant to the resident, and Mr. Bayfield is to remain at Rangoon, to be under the 
direction of the resident. It is said the governor of Rangoon seems sadly disappointed by 
the appointment of a resident so soon. A despatch boat was sent up to Amarapura this 
morning, to communicate to the king this intelligence, and in twenty days it is supposed 
the boat will return with his majesty's answer. 

[Events at Amarapura, December 1837] 

Maulmain Chronicle, 9 December 1837 

Various reports have reached us by the late arrivals from Ranfoon, among others, that 
the half-brother of the late and present king, the Bo-thmoo Men-tha, has effected his 
escape from the Capital. If this be true, he will of course direct his flight to the Shan 
states of which he was formerly the Governor-General, and by whom he is, from all 
accounts, much beloved. He is said to be a man of far more energy and strength of mind 
than either of his half-brothers, and if he has escaped out of the present king's hands, 
the latter is likely to find in him a very troublesome disturber of his quiet, and one whom it 
will not be easy to put down. 

We have seen a copy of an order, or proclamation, or whatever else it may be 
called, addressed by His Majesty to all his loving subjects, in which he informs them that 
while his elder brother was on the throne, the Government was bad and the people 
oppressed and unhappy, but that he intends to restore justice and happiness — that for 
this purpose he did intend establishing himself at the birth-place of his great ancestor, 
but that it having been represented to him that Amarapura was the residence of his 
father — that it is a holy and fortunate city, and that all the omens and conjurations and 
divinations point to that city as the most eligible site for his throne and palace, he has 
determined upon re-establishing it as the Capital — that he has given orders for building a 
palace there, and that it is not his intention to call upon the people to contribute towards 
the expense which will be defrayed from the Royal Treasure. The last assurance, if 
abided by, which we much doubt, will be highly popular. 

Reports are prevalent at Rangoon of Mr. Sarkies having obtained from the king a 
monopoly of Timber; and it has naturally created considerable dissatisfaction. The 
report, however, requires confirmation. 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 51 

[Letter from Maulmain, 6 April 1839] 

By 

Eugenio Kincaid 

American Baptist Missionary Magazine 20.1 . (January 1840) 

As you will feel anxious to learn every particular bearing on the prospect of the re- 
establishment of the mission in Burmah, I embrace the first opportunity of giving you the 
outlines of what has transpired since my last date. 

Col. Benson reached Maulmain, the last of March, and after remaining here four 
days, left for Calcutta in a steam ship. After remaining five months in Amarapura, and 
making every effort that one of the most experienced Indian statesmen could, to restore 
harmony between the two Governments, he was obliged to leave, without even being 
recognized as an English envoy. During his whole stay, he was not only entirely 
neglected, but repeatedly treated with positive insult. I had an interview with him, the day 
before he left for Calcutta, and learned, what was anticipated by all who have any 
knowledge o the king and court, that it was hazardous, if not impossible, to get back to 
Rangoon. Repeated consultations have been held in the palace, on the expediency of 
destroying the resident, and all of his party; but some of the more considerate of the 
king's ministers thought it impolitic, and contrary to the established maxims of nations, 
and mentioned two instances in which they had cut off Chinese embassies, which, in the 
end, brought a great deal of misery on the country. Col. Benson became quite ill, which 
furnished a reasonable excuse for quitting the capital; but to bring away the whole party, 
was too hazardous to be attempted, even by veteran soldiers. Capt. McLeod, assistant 
to Col. Benson, is left in charge of the mission. He, too, will come way, as soon as he 
can frame an excuse sufficiently plausible to be admitted by the king and the court. In 
this covert manner, all the members of the mission must be withdrawn, or fall by 
murderous hyands. This is a most painful embarrassment, but the English government 
has imposed it upon itself, by a most extraordinary course of forbearance. Barbarous or 
half-civilized powers, are certain to construe forbearance into fear, and a spirit of 
conciliation into a tacit acknowledgement of weakness. Col. Benson things the king is 
inclined to be on friendly terms with the English, but he s under the influence of two 
headstrong sons, and a large number of robber chieftains, to whom he owes his 
elevation to the throne. Active preparations for war are still going forward, in all parts of 
Burmah. Such is the present state of affairs. 

War, however, is by no means certain. Some revolution may take place in 
Burmah, that will result in restoring former friendly relations. 

As things now are, it I impossible to attempt missionary labor in Burmah, with the 
least prospect of success. I have confidently anticipated labouring in Ava or Amarapura 
before this time, but repeated attacks of fever on a constitution already debilitated, 
render it extremely doubtful, at times, whether I shall ever again preach the gospel in 
Ava. During the months of January and February, my health was so much improved, that 
I felt cheered with the hope of regaining my strength, but, since the warm season began, 
I find myself shrinking again. Mrs. Kincaid has had three attacks of fever, with 
enlargement of the spleen, within three months past. I feel thankful that my lungs are not 
affected, and that I can speak with the greatest ease. I preach in the native chapel twice 



52 THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 

on the Sabbath, and four evenings during the week, besides labouring in different parts 
of the city, as my strength will allow. Not long since, I baptized two Burmans, and 
examined two others, but they were not received. 



[Letter from Maulmain, 9 April 1839] 

By 

Eugenic Kincaid 

American Baptist Missionary Magazine 20.1 . (January 1840) 

We have received further intelligence from Amarapura, which is now the residence of the 
court of Ava. Capt. MacLeod, left in charge when Col. Benson quitted the capital, has 
had a private interview with the king, but it appears to have been an informal visit, the 
same as he would have received from me or any other old acquaintance. Nothing was 
said relative to the position of the two governments. The king was affable, as he always 
is, but carefully avoided any remark or hint that could be construed into a recognition of 
Capt. McLeod's political character. Thus the subject of war or peace is attended with as 
much uncertainty as ever. 

We have obtained no further information from the church in Ava, or from those in 
the vicinity of Rangoon. It is "the reign of terror." Executions are almost of daily 
occurrence, attended with the circumstances of the most barbarous and revolting 
character. In some instances, they are too brutal and disgusting to be mentioned. In 
addition to this, Ava and the neighboring cities have just been visited by an earthquake 
more calamitous and awful than was ever before known in the empire. I will extract a few 
passages from a letter received this evenings, which contains some particulars in 
re[la]tion to it. [See "Amarapura, 23'^^ March 1820" under separate heading below] 

Another letter says, "the destruction and desolation are most appalling. The three 
cities are heaps of ruins, wherever there were brick buildings and pagodas. The waters 
of the river rose up, and flowed back. The great shock did not last above five minutes." 

Thus the judgements of Heaven are falling thick upon, poor, distracted Burmah. 
The king knows more of God, and his law, than any other monarch that ever sat on the 
throne of Ava, and yet he shuts light, and truth, and compassion, our of his heart. 

"Amarapura, 23'" March 1839" 
American Baptist Missionary Magazine 20.1 (January 1840) 



A most appalling event occurred between the hours of 3 and 4 this morning. We were all 
fast asleep, when a rumbling noise, resembling thunder, awoke us, and about ten 
minutes after, our houses shook with such violence that we were unable to stand, and 
were obliged to support ourselves by laying hold of one of the posts. The ground near 
the residency is rent in different places, and large quantities of black sand have been 
thrown upon its surface. In the plains, immense chasms have been formed, from three to 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 53 

four yards in breadth, and extending north and south to the distance of a mile and 
upwards. None of the individuals attached to the residency were hurt, but I am sorry to 
acquaint you that the whole of the brick houses and pagodas in the cities of Amarapura, 
Ava, and Sagaing, have become a heap of ruins, burying in their fall the unfortunate 
people who were asleep at the awful moment! The loss of lives is supposed to be great. 
At this city alone, upwards of one hundred have been already reported. Forty Burmans 
have been buried among the ruins of the buildings about the palace, and upwards of 
twenty Mussulmans in the different mosques. Ava is supposed to have suffered most. In 
a day or two we expect accounts of the loss sustained in that city and Sagaing. 



[Letter from Maulmain, 3 July 1839] 

By 

Eugenic Kincaid 

American Baptist Missionary Magazine 20.3 (March 1840) 

I am still preaching to the native church in this place, twice on the Sabbath and four 
times during the week. Br. Stevens preachers Tuesday and Friday evenings. I have 
recently baptized five converts, and there are five or six others who are expected soon to 
receive this ordinance. Not long sinxe the head native officer invited me to preach at his 
house, which was well filled with earnest literature. The truth is evidently gaining ground 
here; the violence of opposition has diminished, and the number of inquirers is greater 
than was ever known here before. Br. Stevens has commenced his school, and has the 
superintendence of all the assistants at this station. 

About six weeks since, information was received from Ava, that the king had 
ordered 70 or 80,000 men to march for Rangoon, Bassein, and Toung-00, under the 
command of three of his sons. Now the order is countermanded. I have just received 
letters from Moung Na Gau and Moung Oo Doung, of the church at Ava. They give 
intelligence of the death of Moung Moung, one of the brethren of the church, and state 
that they have been threatened by the authorities, but hitherto they have been 
providentially preserved. I long to be there. My whole heart is there. If I had consulted my 
own judgement exclusively, I should have been threesome months ago. Perhaps, 
however, it would not have been a wise course. My health is altogether better than it was 
a year since, and I hope I shall yet recover my original vigor. Mrs. Kincaid is far from 
being well. Br. Judson is still unable to preach. Br. And sister Simons have just buried 
two of their children, and another is dangerously ill. On the 21^' of June, we heard from 
sister Brayton. She was then given up by two physicians, and was expected to live but a 
short time. Br. Wade has recently been suffering from his old complaint, which we much 
fear will ultimately cut him down or drive him from the country. We have intelleigence 
that br. And sr. Howard reached Pinang in safety, and that they were anticipating much 
benefit from the voyage. 



54 THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 

[Letter From Maulmain, 20 January 1840] 

By 

Eugenio Kincaid 

American Baptist Missionary Magazine 2Q.^^ (November, 1840) 

My letter from Rangoon will have given you some idea of the fair prospects that 
appeared to be opening before us in Burmah. We are ready to grasp with eagerness the 
most distant hope of again entering our chosen field; but still, such is the policy of the 
new government that our expectations were not sanguine. The courteous manner in 
which foreigners were treated by the governor, raised up a host of enemies against him, 
and he was degraded from the vice-royalty, and ordered up to Ava. His successor is a 
brutal and ignorant man, who is capable of any acts however barbarous, and of 
executing any order however cruel. But a few months since, by order of the king, he 
buried alive in one building, above thirty persons, men, women, and children. By the 
appointment of this man, every one was prepared for new acts of oppression, and we did 
not mistake. First an order was issued to remove all Burmans from the service o 
foreigners, and next to forbid all Burmans paying money to foreigners, which is 
equivalent to forbidding all intercourse. The Burmans were afraid to come near me, or 
have me go near them. I often thought seriously of going direct to Ava, and begin my 
work, leaving the event to God, in whose hands are the hearts of all men. However, my 
family could not go up with me in such a state of the country, and to go alone would 
induce the suspicion that I was a spy, and so render my stay useless, if nothing worse. 
So far as personal danger is concerned, I should not hesitate to go to Ava or remain in 
Rangoon, but to remain in Burmah and do nothing is not in accordance with my feelings 
or views of duty. 

B. Abbott and I have spent nearly a month up the Salwen river, mostly among the 
Karens, but still have had an opportunity of communicating the gospel, and giving tracts, 
to many Burmans. We found both Burmans and Karens on the Salwen river, in the 
greatest possible state of alarm; and certainly not without some reason, for repeatedly 
during the time of evening preaching we were disturbed by the shouts and firing of gangs 
of robbers from the Burman side of the river. Sometimes a whole village is kept in a state 
of alarm till midnight by these bands of marauders. Great numbers of buffaloes, paddy 
and their property have been taken away, and the Karens along the river and for a 
considerable distance inland dare not sleep in their houses at night, with the exception of 
Ko Chetthing's village. It is truly afflicting to see the females and children compelled, 
through fear, to hazard their lives in the jungle, and poorly clad as they are, endanger 
their health by sleeping in the cold, damp air of night. I wrote down to the government, 
giving an account of the robberies, and the distressed state of the inhabitants. Mr. 
Blundell immediately ordered up two gun-boats well armed, for the protection of the 
frontier. Br. Abbott became ill with fever, and we were obliged to leave. 

As all hope of being able to labor in Burma for the present, is given up, I have 
had many anxious thoughts about the path of duty. At present my mind is nearly 
balanced between Mergui and some town in Arracan, and yet, if climate is left out of the 
account, Arracan has all the claim. It is painful being in such suspense, and to an all- 
wise Providence I desire to commit all my ways. 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 55 



[Tharrawaddy's Arsenal] 

Maulmain Chronicle, September 22, 1841, p. 193 

There will be found in our advertising columns, a recent enactment of the Legislative 
Council, which is important to be known by all persons engaged in trade at Maulmain. 
The only fault we find with it, is, it has come too late. Tharawaddee has already armed a 
force of some fifty thousand men with good muskets of British manufacture, and it is not 
likely that he has forgotten, that they are of no use without a good supply of powder of a 
similar manufacture. 



[Report on the Kayens] 

Maulmain Chronicle, September 22, 1841 

A gentleman lately come down from up the country, reports that the Kayens of the 
Yoonzalen are crossing over to our side in great numbers, in consequence of the 
cruelties and exactions in which they are subject from the Burmese authorities. He also 
state, that a considerable Shan force had moved down from Zimmay for the purpose of 
assisting the Kayens in their dispute with the Burmese, but returned in consequence of 
the Burmese force, which marched from Bileng, having returned to that place without 
executing the duty with which it was entrusted. We are somewhat puzzled to distinguish 
these Kayens from each other, and to know what tribe it is that appears to have thrown 
off the Burmese of Bileng and what tribes have taken refuge in our territories. Our own 
Kayens are said to be in some alarm at the doings on the Burmese side and at the 
threats held out against them if they continue subject to the English; but we have not 
heard of any disposition having been evinced among them to seek the benefits of 
Burmese rule and to contribute, with far more kicks than halfpence, towards the erection 
of the stockade, with which labour the silly old man at Martaban is harassing the people. 

[Tharrawaddy's March to Rangoon] 

Maulmain Chronicle, September 22, 1841 

The King of Burmah has, indeed, at last turned his back upon the capital. The general 
information and prevailing report is, that early in' the present month, the Princes and 
Woongyees of the Empire embarked on board their boats, and that His Majesty would 
positively commence his descent on the river on the 6*'^ inst. His capital he has left in 
charge of two of his confidential friends, the Mek-kara Prince and another Woon-gyee. 
These, we hear, are the only persons of eminence whom he has thought proper to leave 
behind him — an immense mass of the population accompanies His Majesty; some say 
200,000 in all; of whom nearly one half are well armed and prepared for immediate 
military service. A great number of gun-boats, or war-boats, must of necessity have been 
put in requisition and fitted out for this expedition, and we understand that a vessel of 
about 200 tons, built for river navigation, is attached to the squadron. This "naval 
armament" is to be increased in Rangoon, as orders have arrived there, brought by a 



56 THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 

special messenger, to procure to be constructed several more boats and one or two 
large vessels. His Majesty will arrive at Rangoon, if no accident impedes his progress, 
about the middle of next month. 

But why is he coming? is the constantly recurring question. Is it not remarkable 
that the object of a movement, accompanied by so much "pomp and circumstance," 
should be a profound secret? We think that suspicious of the peaceful intentions of His 
Majesty are not excited among the natives and foreign residents here, without good 
reason. We have long heard it said, and read it in print, that Tharawaddee is not fool 
enough, nor mad enough to make an attempt to recover these provinces by attacking 
our military position at Maulmain. We believe he is suffiently possessed of both these 
qualities, with a large mixture of cunning and deceit, and if he thinks circumstances are 
favourable on his arrival at Rangoon, he will not hesitate to attempt to do us mischief. If 
his object be only pleasure or religion, as some say it is, it would appear singular that he 
should surround himself with so strong a military force, as, according to universal report, 
he is bringing with him. To fulfil such an object, why should he come prepared for a 
military campaign? Besides, knowing as he must, that to approach our territories with 
even ten thousand troops, and to erect stockades within sight of our cantonment, cannot 
but awaken the suspicions of our Government, why has he not, as a friendly power 
would do in such cases, condescended to acquaint our Government with his intentions, 
and declare openly that he has no wish or purpose to disturb the peace of the 
provinces? It may be true that he is not "fool enough" to hazard another conflict with 
British bayonets; but our Government would be guilty of much greater folly to trust to his 
peaceful inclinations, knowing that he is coming prepared for war. During the 
unrecognized Residency of Col. Benson, and afterwards of Capt. McLeod at his capital, 
he heard of the frequent visits of our men-of-war and steamers at his port of Rangoon, 
and of an accession of military strength by another Queen's and Native Regiment at 
Maulmain, and thought us prepared for hostile operations. But, immediately, he sees the 
Residency withdrawn, he hears of a war with China, his sea-port is no longer visited by a 
man-of-war or steamer, and an European Regiment is withdrawn from Maulmain. There 
is no difficulty in deciding, at once, what conclusions such an uninformed and 
unenlightened mind as Tharawaddee's would draw from such circumstances. To him, it 
has no doubt appeared, that these things could not happen, unless our Government 
were hard pushed and had full occupation for its naval and military force elsewhere. It 
cannot have escaped observation, that it was under the circumstances alluded to, that 
he commenced raising his army and signified his intention of coming into close vicinity 
with these provinces. Still, as the saying is, "he may be more afraid of us than we are of 
him;" but appearances may show, that however undisturbed our apprehensions may be, 
he holds us, at present, in but little dread. 



[Preparations for Tharrawaddy's Arrival at Rangoon] 

Maulmain Chronicle, September 29, 1841 

The Burmese holidays have commenced and last, we believe, for ten days. We hear that 
a good show of men and boats will be made this year, and we are glad of it, as it will 
convince our neighbours that we care little for all the rumours and threats of attack on 
this place which have now been current for some months. Our people are very happy 
and comfortable where they are, and have no desire to partake of the "bhon" so much 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 57 

talked and boasted of by their late rulers. They have had no palaces or stockades to 
build here and are thankful for it. 

On Thursday last the H. C. Steamer Proserpine was despatched up the Salween, 
having on board Capt. McLeod, and Capt. Halstead of H. M. B. Childers. She also had in 
tow several gun-boats, manned with lascars and a detachment of the Talaing Corps, 
who are to be stationed at several villages on this side of the river. The Proserpine, we 
learn, grounded on a sand-bank a few miles above the town of Martaban. We believe 
she remained a night on it and floated off again the next morning without sustaining the 
slightest damage. Her presence up the river will have the effect, we trust, of repressing 
the petty depredations of our friends over the way, and of giving confidence to our own 
people on the bank of the river. 

After the above was put in type yesterday the Proserpine returned. We learn that 
she proceeded up the river to Myaing, about sixty miles, and steared clear of all shoals 
except the one above mentioned, and met with no accident whatever. The current of the 
river is very rapid, particularly at this season of the year, which, with the heavy drag of 
gun-boats in tow, was almost too much for the power of the engines: however, the trip 
has been quite satisfactory. The Steamer returned, we hear, in splendid style, having left 
Myaing about half past 9 o'clock A.M. yesterday, and anchoring at Maulmain at 4 p.m., 
stopping an hour and a half on the way. 

The H. S. Steamer Ganges returned on Sunday last from Rangoon and reports 
that great preparations were making for receiving the king, wh9ose approach had been 
more rapid than had generally been expected. The Ganges left Rangoon on Saturday 
when it was known that the king was at Sarawan, some seventy or eighty miles above 
Rangoon, but it was uncertain how long His Majesty intended to remain at that place. 
Some said, he would be there ten days, whilst others looked for his being at Rangoon 
before the full of the moon, or about to-day. It was expected that on Sunday, the 
advanced guard, under the command of the prince of Prome, would arrive at Rangoon. 
The rear guard is said to be under the command of the prince of Pahkan. The new 
landing place, erected at Rangoon expressly for the king, is reported to be a very elegant 
structure, divided off into three pavilions, the centre one red and the two others green. 
The whole length of the bridge has a richly carved balustrade, and the work altogether 
does great credit to the governor by whom, and at whose expense, it is said to have 
been erected in honor of His Majesty. The king's landing at Rangoon will certainly prove 
a spectacle well worth witnessing. The whole pomp and circumstance of the kingdom will 
be concentrated in that one spot, and doubtless His Majesty will, on that day, feel proud 
of being at the same time the Monarch of so great a host and the object of its admiration 
and homage. 



58 THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 

[Suggestions for a Show of Force Against Tharrawaddy, 2 October 1841] 

by 

"Prevantative" 

Letter to the Editor 

Maulmain Chronicle, October 13 1841 

Mr. Editor, 

But that we know His IVIajesty is acquainted with out power, the accounts we now 
receive from Rangoon regarding the numerous, well-armed men daily poruing into 
Rangoon, -regarding the well mounted field pieces, 19 pieces (from one to nine 
pounders) being landed from one raft,-regarding several vessels from 30 to 70 tons 
which have already arrived at Rangoon from the up-country, and from upwards of twenty 
large Chuliah Brigs, previously enticed to Rangoon under the pretence of being let off 
Port-charges when His Majesty arrived at Rangoon, and for which vessels cargoes of 
timber cannot now be had, we might reasonably infer that His Majesty entertained the 
intention to conquer Ceylon after settling affairs with Maulmain and our southern 
provinces. At all events. His Majesty seems to be offended at Lord Auckland's 
pugnacious temperament in not yielding up to His Majesty the Lord Paramountship over 
India, without putting His Majesty to all this unnecessary trouble to take it. 

We hear that all parties at Rangoon labour to impress on the minds of their 
hearers, that His Majesty's views and intentions are most religiously pacific, while others, 
better accustomed to link together facts with chains of circumstances, boldly assert that 
if His Majesty's intention be or was pacific, then is the crouching tiger a lamb, and the 
unreared venomous snake a harmless worm. Timidity on our part will mature temerity on 
the part of Tharawaddee. 

I conceive that the best plan to prevent our old enemy at Bileng from setting 
incendiaries to destroy our town, we should. Firstly, station a steamer with a few gun- 
boats on the Irrawaddie, off the mouth of the Line creek, down which His Majesty is 
proceeding. This little trifling armament would effectually separate His Majesty from the 
upper provinces by water communication. Secondly, instead of our steamer and 
gunboats being up the Salween, they should be on the Satang river, having a few guns 
on the Wind-mountain at Keedown. Thirdly, we should have two or more small class 
men-of-war and a steamer off Rangoon. Meanwhile where is your paper which was 
published in Burmese? It ought, I conceive, to be revived. The first article should be the 
Yandabo Treaty, therein shewing to His Majesty' subjects, that His Majesty has no more 
right to the Tenasserim and Arracan Provinces than the Pegue chief, now in Siam, has 
to the kingdom of Pegue; also giving an account of the ransom of Canton. It seems the 
Court of Ava effects to believe that we lost 8,000 men at Canton. If a token of suspicion 
that a white feather may be expected when His Majesty comes a little nearer to the 
scratch can be exhibited, I submit this affected knowledge of a notorious untruth is that 
token. Finally, you should inform the head of Government, that on Burmese affairs he 
would act wisely to appoint two Commissioners, one of who should be either Mr. Blundell 
or Col. Burney, as Senior Commissioner. 



THARRAWADDY'S REIGN 59 

Your obedient servant, 

PREVENTATIVE 2"^ October 

Note:-We presume the noble Earl at the head of the Indian Government, will sufficiently 
appreciate the measures of precaution recommended by our correspondent "Preven-ta- 
tive," such measures have the merit, at least, of being singularly novel, as we believe it 
has not occurred, in the present century, that a British military forces have taken 
possession of the rivers and territories of a power with whom their Government was on 
terms of peace! — Ed.