Skip to main content

Full text of "James Outram a Biography: a biography"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

^ f-/ / 

— t 







*Whote spirit lent a fire 
Sren to the dnllMt peMant In his camp ' 

Shakspsrk, Henry IV. Pt. IT. Act. 1, Sc. 1 


VOL. I. 



[All right* reterred] 



C^tse 9olnmt0 are xtBftcifniljt ^ebuattb 








Seventeen years ago, in accordance with the expressed desire 
of Sir James himself, the late Sir John Kaye had agreed to 
write the ^ life of Outram.' What ability and power this 
brilliant writer would have brought to bear upon his task, 
the many readers of his ' War in Afghanistan ' and other 
books will readily understand. But ill-health and press of 
official and literary work interfered to prevent progress ; and 
eventually Sir John Kaye died without carrying out his in- 
tention. When in Paris during the winter of 1877-78, the 
question was referred to me whether I would -assume this 
unfvilfilled responsibility. Engaged at the time in the com- 
pletion of an official report connected with a mission to the 
French island of B^union, from which I had but just returned, 
the prospect of continued employment was agreeable to me. 
Though recently out of State harness, I had not been so 
chafed by the yoke of Fixed Occupation as to seek to throw 
it off altogether : nor was I ambitious of a Leisure for which 
I did not possess the conventional qualifications. 

In undertaking, then, more than two years ago, to write 
the biography of one whose name is a household word, not 
only in England and British India, but throughout the 
civilised world, I perhaps laid myself open to a charge of 
imprudence, if not actual presumption. But the subject 

viii PREFACE, 

presented was of so great attractiou, and the proposal made 
was of so flattering a kind, that, in the weakness of human 
nature, I succumbed. 

While prosecuting the task undertaken, however, I have 
found my labours considerably lightened, and in one sense 
my responsibilities materially lessened, by the cordial and 
continuous assistance received from a member of Sir James 
Outram's family. I was aware from the very first that my 
materials would be abundant ; and a glance at those materials, 
when coming into my possession, convinced me that they 
had been arranged in the most careful and methodical 
manner : but I could not at the outset have anticipated how 
much I should have become indebted to any individual 
helper for the suggestions, paragraphs, and illustrative details 
of which I have availed myself freely in the course of the 
work. Had the biography been confined to certain chapters, 
such as those on the Mutiny campaign, I must have associated 
the name of my assistant with my own, as that of a distinct 

Mj own personal knowledge of Sir James Outram was 
but slight. I was a fellow-passenger with him for a short 
voyage in 1849 : and some three years later was privileged 
to meet him at a dinner in Bombay, when, to the best of 
my recollection, there were no other guests. But I had 
naturally heard and learnt much of his character and career, 
and had had especially good opportimities of studying and 
appreciating a section of his work ; for it fell to my lot to 
investigate the claims of the Ex-Amirs of Haidarabad, 
Khairpur, and Mirpur — both as a Deputy, working under the 
Collector of Shikarpur, and as Assistant Commissioner for the 
settlement of alienations of land and revenue in the Province 


of Sind. A long residence in those parts, and subsequent 
political employment in Baluchistan, Western Afghanistan, 
and Persia, have, moreover, given me some practical training 
in a field by no means the least important of those in which 
Outram passed some of the best years of his life. 

It is like standing on the threshold of platitudes, to say 
that a published biography should have an object beyond 
the indulgence of family wishes, or compliance with firiendly 
opinion. And to explain that object to be the instruction of 
the reader, or, more generally, the better being of the human 
species, may be to repeat a mere truism. But we may 
assert, in less hackneyed and equally relevant phraseology, 
that the lives of illustrious men are comparatively useless 
records to after generations, unless they contain plain lessons 
which those who run may read: and the one feet which 
should be apparent in all — namely, that no successful career 
is without its episodes of crosses and failures — may convey a 
trite moral, but is an ever firesh, wholesome, and practical text 
of sermons. 

Many hundreds, it may be thousands, of those to whom 
the name of Sir James Outram has become familiar, irrespec- 
tive of the multitude who contemplate his bust in Westmin- 
ster Abbey, or sit under his statue on the Thames Embank- 
ment, picture to themselves the successful soldier-statesman, 
who has risen to eminence by the usual routine of conquering 
arms and well-applied diplomacy. Among them many will 
have heard that he had had diflFerences with his Government, 
and differences with individuals ; and that his professional 
labours led him, more than once, not only within the 
treacherous precincts of paper controversy, but t^ submit 
official appeals and protests against treatment which he him- 


self had experienced at the hands of local authority. But 
few can realise the pain which this extra-professional work 
must have cost him, or how much valuable time, and moral 
and physical energy were thus expended without profit* 
Apart from the feelings of the individual sufferer, in respect 
of severed friendships and mistaken motives, who can say 
how much good service to the State has been impaired by 
the misapplication of State power towards an enthusiastically 
loyal servant ? The great lesson to be learnt here is not, 
however, to be restricted in its meaning to young men whose 
conduct is moulded on illustrious exemplars. It is twofold : 
one for those in high places, if they will accept it ; the other 
for aspirants, who will be sure to search it out. For the 
former, if put into conventional shape, if would read much 
after the manner of one or more of the following proposi- 
tions : — 

* Do not refuse to your oj£cial agents that consideration 
which you are ever ready to accord your Mends, even when 
they are no longer fulfilling the particular duty for which 
you think them qualified. Do not assume that fitness for 
strange and rough work implies necessarily the absence of 
refined sentiment, or is incompatible with a keen sensitive- 
ness. If it be the proper task of diplomatists to humour 
the weaknesses of those with whom they have to do, and 
generally to gather advantage from a knowledge of human 
character — so is it the duty of statesmen high in oj£ce, to 
study the dispositions of their confidential agents, and 
studiously avoid wounding them in tender points. The 
willing horse should never be allowed to get out of con- 
dition, or to have any real cause of complaint against his 
employers. If a servant of the State has earned his reward, 


assuredly he has earned the right to receive and weai: the 
honours conferred upon him.' 

Outram eventually triumphed, and his triumph completes 
the moral lesson of his life in its fitness for the study of 
rising generations. But a less strong man than he might 
have sunk under like circumstances. Should this be ? 

In any case it is hoped that one old familiar Truth will be 
discerned between the lines of the Biography now submit- 
ted to the reader. It is that, independently of work which 
claims, and often obtains the recognition of the State, there 
is something also to be done which brings its own reward 
from the consciousness that it belongs to a higher cause than 
that of Government* ; something which, if only part fulfil- 
ment of the great duty of man to his neighbour, is to hu- 
man ken admirable in its very imperfection. Outram's firiends 
and contemporaries have not been slow to appreciate in his 
character an overflowing benevolence void of all cant or 

But let us glance for a moment on the more practical 
uses of a mind like his upon the questions of the present 
day. Does he not help us in any way to interpret the 
Afghan puzzle which English statesmen and soldiers are 
now seeking to understand ; and which is after all, perhaps, 
as likely to be resolved by Chance or Circumstance, as by any 
fixed lines of policy ? We say not this in any disparagement 
of authority, nor to lay a charge of unwisdom at the door of 
any of our rulers. Have not the last forty yearsV experience 


of the Afghan people taught us that Outram's first recorded 
estimate of them was a right one ; and that the rules he 
laid down for our guidance in 1839 are, in 1880, equally 
applicable to our dealings with these faithless intriguers ? 


We believe that fair conclusions in this respect may be 
formed on the information contained in the following pages ; 
though we cannot but feel that, had our work been confined 
to one phase only of a busy life, very much more might 
with propriety have been quoted to enlighten the reader. 

He admitted the impolicy of any interference on our 
part * with the internal affairs of the Her&tis, or generally of 
Afghanistan.' On this subject he thus wrote from Baghdad 
in May 1857, to the late Lord Lyveden : — * Nothing iai more 
to be deprecated, in my opinion, than the most diata/nt 
attempt on our part to side with this or that chieftain, much 
less to foster a policy for incorporating the whole of that 
country under one rule or ruler. Any such scheme, however 
cautiously pursued, would involve us in inextricable diffi- 
culties, and be followed with one only result — &ilure — as 
regards any solid advantage which our Indian Empire would 
reap therefrom. The time is not come for British inter- 
vention to effect any good among the Afghans themselves ; 
and the consolidation of an Afghan empire, under present 
circumstances, and i/n view of the geographical position of 
that covmtry, might be attended with serious inconvenience, 
as well to our north-west frontier as to our political rela- 
tions with Russia and Persia.' The italics are not in the 
original, but emphasise expressions to be borne in mind by 
those who consider them in 1880. I would solicit attention 
to the feet that neither in the above quotation, nor in any 
other of the writer's recorded opinions, is there anything 
like an assertion that British interference could never be 
judiciously exercised in Afghanistan ; nor that a consolidated 
Empire was a sine qu& non for the better government of 
three substantially separate States as Herat, Kabul, and 

PREFACE, xiii 

His views on the advisability of restricting our frontier 
to the Indus caused him to regret up to the closing years 
cf his life, that we had ever shackled ourselves with the 
Peshawar valley : but let no politicians urge this as a reason 
for making a retrograde movement towards the river line 
after the events which have transpired under the last three 
Viceroys of India. For my own part — whatever judgment he 
might have formed on the * Scientific Frontier' and our 
responsibilities along the Suliman range of mountains— I 
do not believe that Sir James Outram, had he been now 
living to give his counsel, would — ^with his knowledge of the 
Ai^hans and their Persian neighbours, and the exterior in- 
fluences bearing upon both — ^have advised withdrawal from 
our position in Kandahar. 

Independently of politics, Outram has done more to 
enlighten the world on the geography of Afghanistan and 
Baluchistan than has been hitherto placed to his credit. 
From Bamian to Sonmiani is a long stretch of country, in 
parts of which he was the first English explorer ; the moun- 
tain track by which he hit the Kabul road leading to 
Bamian — the diversions made to attack the Ghilzai forts 
between Kabul and Kwatta — the alternative route to 
Pottinger's, by which Baila was reached from Kal&t — all 
these may need something more of acknowledgment to him 
than has been yet accorded by books and maps. Scientific 
accuracy may be wanting in actual mapping ; but where 
the information imparted has been turned to good account, 
should not the giver of it be recognised with all due honour ? 

With regard to the spelling of Oriental names, the prin- 
ciple which I have adopted is to transliterate generally, on 
Dr. Hunter's system ; substituting u, i, and a (Ik) for the 


old oo, €«, and u respectively — with an occasional accent \ 
where necessary, to guide the pronunciation of less practised 
readers. Where Vh is used, it represents the corresponding 
letter in the Arabic word hh/wrj or the two letters in the 
Sanskrit dvlck. Unfortunately, the numerous extracts, with 
which these pages are necessarily studded, show a different 
orthography. It need scarcely be stated that quotations, to 
be genuine, or copies, to be correct, must be left as much as 
possible as found in the original. For, independently of 
this consideration, the mode of spelling affects, in some way, 
the personality of the speller. There are many civil and 
military oflBcers of the Indian Government, at the present 
day, wliom nothing but a radical change of nature would 
induce to write * K4nhpur ' for * Cawnpore,' or * Lakhnau ' for 
* Lucknow.' As a rule, then, there has been little or no 
interference with the spelling of proper names by Outram 
and his contemporaries. If, in one instance — the diary in 
Chapter X. — the treatment has been exceptional, it is be- 
cause it is so woven with the narrative as to form almost 
part of the text. I may be told that a wholesale recurrence 
to the old system would have saved the apparent incon- 
sistency now exhibited. This would have been, in my 
opinion, a retrograde step ; and it would not have secured 
uniformity, for the quoted letters and papers illustrate a 
mode of transliteration as varied as it is unsystematic. 

I have now to offer my sincere acknowledgments to the 
many kind friends who have aided the preparation of these 
volumes. Among the abundant family records and corre- 
spondence supplied to me unreservedly by Sir Francis 
Outram were letters and papers of great public interest and 
value. The original contributions of Sir Bartle Frere, Sir 


Vincent Eyre, Sir Joseph Fayrer, and others whose names 
are noted in the last chapter, speak eloquently for themselves. 
So also do the passages scattered here and there from manu- 
script papers placed at my disposal by the Eeverend Dr. 
Percy Badger, a gentleman always ready and able to respond 
to my solicitations for aid. The communications of Mr. 
Stuart Poole, General Olpherts, Captain Eobertson, and 
others, rendered available to illustrate the narrative, will 
bear similar testimony on behalf of the writers. Sir George 
Clerk has evinced his interest in my work by the kind loan 
of letters, and in many other ways ; and I would add a like 
remark with reference to Captain W. J. Eastwick. To Colonel 
Henry Yule, Sir William Merewether, Major-General George 
Hutchinson, Colonel McLeod Innes, and Colonel Malcolm 
Green, I am under very great obligation for looking over 
many proof-pages which must, in some cases, have taken 
up hours of valuable time. If I do not specify those other 
gentlemen to whom I have been, in a less degree, indebted 
for help or advice, they will still, I hope, accept my thanks, 
and not attribute the omission of their names to forgetfulness, 
or failure to appreciate their kindness. 


3 Observatort Avknue, Campdbn Hill: 
May 31, 18S0. 










The Oatram Family — ^Mr.Ootram, of Batterlej Hall — Dr. James Ander- 
son of Monnie, and Mrs. Outram — Sketch by Miss Catherine Sinclair — 
Francis Ontram^ James Outram : his bc^hood and education — Re- 
ceires an Indian cadetship ...... 3 



Early military tastes — ^Arriyal in Bombay — Comparatively peaceful 6tate 
of India — Joins regiment — Experience of an Adjutant's duties — 
Sick-leave to Presidency — Accidental explosion — Home letters — 
Lieutenant Ord*s stories of shikdr — Outram*s ' first spears ' — Sent in 
command of wing to Maleg&on — ^The Commander-in-Chief— Second 
sick-leave to Presidency — Kittur — Malair — Appointed to command a 
Bhil corps ........ 1^2 



Khandesh and the Bhils — Outram*s Bhil corps . .51 

VOL. I. a 





Bhils at school— Francis Outram— D&ng Expedition of 1830— finmmary 
of remaining service with the Bhils till 1885'-Shik4r experiences . 79 



Appointment to a Special Mission— Leave toBombay— Marriage— Two 
years and three quarters in the M&hi Kanta . . . .114 



Family affiiirs — Appointment to Sir John Keane's Staff— Arrival in Siod 
with the Bombay Division of the Army of the Indns — liissions to 
Cntch, Haidarabad, and Shikirpur — ^Aocident — Accompanies General 
Willshire from Qand4va, but rejoins Commander-in-Chief on arrival 
at Kandahar— Opinions on A%han War . .149 



Ohasni — Outram's employment at, and prior to the Siege — Pursuit of 
Dost Muhammad Khan — Return from Bamian, and Mission from 
Kabul to Ohilzai Country — Work in the disturbed districts — Return 
to Kwatta — Si^ge of Kal4t — Journey from Kal&t to Sonmi&ni with 
despatches for Bombay . . . . . . 1 74 



Honours and Rewards— Political Agent in Lower Sind — Political Agent 
in Sind and Baluchistan — Retrospect of Upper Sind History — ^Mirs 
Sohrab, Rustam, and Ali Murad — Journey to Kwatta — Investiture 
of the Khan, and Treaty with KaUt — Work at D&dar— Departure 
of Lord Auckland, and arrival of Lord Ellenborough 207 



Retrospect of Outram's work in Sind and Baluchistan, from February 
to November, 1842— Return fh)m D4dar to Sakhar— Disaster at 
Haikalzdi— Letter to Mr. Maddock, on available military resources — 



Ketom to Kwatta — Subordination to Major-Oeneral Nott — Transfer 
of the Sh41 and Sibi districts to Kal&t — Displeasure of GoTemor- 
General — Retom of General England's force to Sind — Arrival at 
Sakhar of Miyor-General Sir Charles Napier — Ontram remanded to 
regimental duty ....... 





Back in Sind again — The Amirs and their Downfall — Extracts from 
Journal — Defence of Haidarabad Residency — Embarkation for 
England ........ 







Home— Ketom to India — Nimar — Disturbances in Southern Maratha 
Country — Kolapur and Sawant-Wari .... 




Appbkdix a 




Appendix £ 




„ G 


„ H 






PoRTRi.IT ...... To face TiiU-page 



Section L . . •« />• 188 

„ n ,190 

ft il l« , m. . . . f, Ivit 

„ IV ,,203 

,|V, ■ . . . . , ,, zuo 



Page 180, line 8 : for Captain Laurence read Captain (now General Sir George) 




VOL. I. B 



The Outram Family — ^Mr. Oatram, of Butterley Hall— Br. James Anderson 
of Moonie, and Mrs. Ontram — Sketch by Miss Catherine Sinclair — Francis 
Ontram — James Outram : his boyhood and education — ^Beceires an Indian 

When James Outram, the subject of this biography, was 
bom at Butterley Hall, Derbyshire, on January 29, 1803, 
his fEunily had long been resident in that and the neighbour^ 
ing counties. The race from which he sprang was ap- 
parently one of honest yeomen or small landowners and 
£Burmers, little known beyond the limits of their own parishes, 
with now and then a representative in the Church* But 
undistinguished in history as the family may have been, it 
happens that the soldier-statesman is Hot the first member 
of it whose remains have been honoured by a resting-place 
in Westminster Abbey, In Poet's Comer may be observed 
a monument recording the peaceful virtues of William 
Outram, D.D.,' Archdeacon of Leicester, and Prebendary of 
Westminster, who, though a Court chaplain in the evil days 
of Charles II., was acknowledged to be, as Pepys describes 
him, * one of the ablest and best of the conformists, eminent 
for his piety and charity, and an excellent preacher.' He 
was moreover a soimd lind leamed Protestant divine, as his 
work * De Sacrificiis,' on the expiatory and vicarious sacrifice 
of Christ, which still holds a place among standard works 
of divinity, best testifies. 

' Biograj;htcal EncyctajpediOt abridged from Biographia Britannica. 

B 2 

4 JAMES OUTRAM, 1803- 

Passing over the other numerotis entries of the name, 
variously spelt, to be found in the Bishop's Registry at 
Lichfield, through which the family is traced up to Thomas 
Outram, Rector of Durton, near Gainsborough, in 1435, we 
come to Joseph Outram, of Alfreton, Derbyshire, a well-to-do 
surveyor and manager of estates, and himself possessor of 
some property in land and collieries, in whose marked vigour 
of character, shrewd sense, and kind heart, we begin to 
discern qualities which his sons and grandsons were des- 
tined to develop in a wider sphere. 

His eldest son, Benjamin,* bom in 1764, was so named 
after Benjamin Franklin, a friend of his father's. He 
did no discredit to the sponsorship of that eminent 
philosopher and politician, and as a young civil engineer, 
gave evidence of talent and energy which raised him to 
distinction in a very few years. Of special professional 
achievements attributed to him there is no very distinct 
record ; but his name is associated with that of more than 
one of the heralds of railway construction whose voice 

' The second of his numerous family, Ednrund, earned for himself in the 
Church a high reputation for learning and worth. He became D.D., Public 
Orator at Cambridge, Prebendary of Lichfield, Archdeacon of Derby, Chancellor 
of the Lichfield Diocese, and holder of more than one substantial preferment. 
Kamed by Chancery co-guardian of his elder brother's orphans with Mr. Seton 
of Mounie, he ever prored himself a kind and generous friend to his bereaved 
sister-in-law and her family, until his death in 1S21, at the comparatively 
early age of fifty-five. The third son, Joseph, also a civil engineer, was for some 
time associated with Mr. Benjamin Outram in the management of the Butterley 
Works, but migrated to the neighbourhood of Glasgow, where his representatives 
remain still. His youngest daughter, now Lady Deas, first married, as his second 
wife, a kinsman of whom we must record a few words. Sir Benjamin Fonseca 
Outram, C.B., Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets, saw much sharp service afloat 
in the medical department of the navy, from 1 794 till 1803, from which time till 
the end of the war he served principally on board the Eoyal yachts. He lived 
to refute the mis-statements in Thiers' History regarding one of the actions in 
which he took part, viz., the remarkable exploit of the ' Superb ' (Captain 
Keats), when she destroyed two Spanish three-deckers, the 'Carlos* and 
* Hermengildo,' and captured a French seventy-four, the ' St Antoine,' during 
the night of July 12, 1801. His presence of mind in extinguishing a fire at 

-i8i8 MR. OUTRAM. 5 

was heard during the past and at the dawn of the present 
century. At first he appears to have been employed chiefly 
in the construction of canals, but after a while turned his 
attention more especially to supplementing or superseding 
water traffic by iron railways in suitable localities. His 
energy and success in the introduction of such lines, not- 
withstanding much prejudice and opposition, not only in 
the neighbourhood of Derby, but also in the Forest of Dean, 
in Wales, and elsewhere, appear to have suggested the 
generally received idea that the word * tram ' had its origin 
from the second syllable of his name. That such a notion 
prevails, and that even so high an authority as Mr. Smiles 
entertained and recorded it in the first edition of his * Life 
of George Stephenson,' though he subsequently found the 
word to be of much older application, is strong presumptive 
proof of Mr. Outram's great reputation on the practical side 
of the profession.* 

But the imdertaking which latterly monopolised his 
energies was the foundation and organisation of the Butterley 
Ironworks in Derbyshire. About three years before their 
establishment he had become purchaser of the Butterley 
Hall estate, jointly with Francis Beresford, Esq., and here it 
was that he fixed his residence, forming, in association with 
Messrs. John Wright, of Nottingham, and William Jessop, 
the civil engineer, the company which, having acquired 
Codnor Park, an adjacent property rich in coal, iron, and 
other minerals, carried on business imtil his death as * Ben- 
jamin Outram & Co.* and after that, under the now well- 
known designation of * The Butterley Company.' His career 
was, however, cut short when apparently on the verge of 

the door of the magazine is said to have saved the * Superb ' from sharing the 
fate of her blown-up antagonists. 

' See notes by George Stephenson, in reference to the • Spajson Kail ways,* 
8mile8*8 lAfe of George StephenMon, p. 69 ; and Wood's Practical Trsatise on 
Raawayi (1838). 

6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1803- 

success. Shortly before his marriage in 1800, he withdrew 
ahnost entirely from the practice of his profession, then 
yielding him from 2,000Z. to 3,000L i)er annum, in order to 
devote himself without hindrance to his ironworks. Endowed 
with genius, judgment, and a spirit of enterprise potent in 
overcoming every diflSculty, it was considered by those able 
to form an opinion that, had life been spared to him he would 
have become a millionaire. It was otherwise ordained : he 
died in 1805, having barely attained middle age, and at a 
critical time of the work he had taken in hand; a work 
in which more than half his capital and the half share of 
Butterley Hall had been sunk — and only just beginning to 
make a return. The result of his death was a complete wreck 
of his fortunes, and both anxiety and poverty to his family. 
He is described as a tall fine-looking man, very determined 
and high-spirited, acutely sensitive of honour, with a hasty 
and impetuous but generous temper, and a restless energy 
which could ill brook either stupidity or opposition— charac- 
teristics of disposition inherited by both his sons. 

Fortunately for the present biography, the influence of 
the mother upon the son is one generally acknowledged ; so 
that it is now as much to the purpose to lay before the reader 
some account of Mrs. Benjamin Outram as of her husband 
and his family. Her lather, James Anderson, LL.D., was 
* unquestionably a man of an ability and mental power far 
beyond the average.' ' Having added the study of chemistry 
and other sciences to the thorough agricultural training he 
had received at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, he became dis- 
tinguished as an experimental agriculturist and weighty 
author. For many years he conducted a periodical called 
the * Bee,' remarkable for the practical tone of its contents, 
he himself writing much in its pages as elsewhere on agri- 
culture, and especially gardening. At the instance of Tx)rd 

' Chambers' Encyclopadia : • Br. Anderson/ 

^i8i8 DR. JAMES ANDERSON. - y 

Melville he undertook a circuit of the north-western islands 
and coasts of Scotland, which, in respect to any useful 
results then obtained, appear to have been virtually a terra 
incognita. He made an elaborate report of their capabilities 
of improvement, accompanied by charts, statements, and 
miscellaneous details. His information and recommenda^ 
tions were deemed valuable, and led to many improvements, 
as well as anticipated schemes which have since been inde- 
pendently carried out. A ship was placed at his disposal, 
but he received no remuneration beyond thanks for his use- 
ful labours. We are told that he was too proud to ask, or 
to explain the cost to himself, and the value of the time 
expended under his by no means affluent circumstances ; 
and those were not days when governments volunteered 
substantial rewards for services thus incidentally given. 
Intimate with most of the literary men of his day in Scotland, 
he corresponded with many celebrities abroad, and among 
others, George Washington; but by some mischance the 
valuable series of letters which he possessed from that great 
man disappeared at his death and were lost to his family. 
He married the heiress of Mounie in Aberdeenshire, and his 
eldest son consequently assumed the maternal name of 
Seton,* honoured in Scottish annals. 

Dr. Anderson's only daughter who survived childhood, 
Margaret, was born in 1780. The loss of her mother when 
she was only six or seven years old, and the preoccupation 
of her father in literary and other pursuits explain the reason 
that she received but a poor education. Dr. Anderson had a 

* One of Dr. Anderson's grandsons "waa the gallant Coloriel Alexander 
Peton, of the 78th Regiment, who commanded the detachment which went 
down so heroically on the deck of the * Birkenhead.' His nephew, Admiral 
Henderson, was one of Nelson's band of officers, said to have received the sHrae 
number of wounds as his illustrious chief. Of his sons who went to India, 
one, Major Henry Anderson, of the Engineers, shared iji the misery of Monson's 
retreat and died from exposure at the siege of Deig. One letter of General 
Washington 's given in Appendix A. 

8 JAMES OUTRAM. 1803- 

horror of ladies' schools, and the curriculum of * modem 
accomplishments ' for girls ; and he does not seem to have 
given that attention to providing something better in their 
place which might have been expected from the judicious 
arrangements made for his eight sons. The possession of 
remarkable talents, however, soon enabled his daughter to 
recover lost ground when brought into contact with society. 
By personal application and observation, and a readiness to 
turn to account all such chance instruction and training as 
were offered her, she acquired a knowledge which, if not so 
comprehensive and methodical -as that of schools, was quite 
as real, and possibly more to the purpose. She was married 
to Mr. Benjamin Outram in June 1800, and in May 1805 
was left a widow with five young children : Francis, bom in 
1801; Anna, afterwards Mrs. Sligo, in 1802; James, the 
subject of our biography, in 1803 ; Margaret, afterwards Mrs. 
Farquharson, in 1804; and Eliza, in 1805. Her wedded 
life, passed at Butterley Hall, though brief, had been appa- 
rently a prosperous and happy one ; but her widowhood was 
beset with trials. As above shown, Mr. Outram's invest- 
ments and purchases at the period of his decease had not 
yet yielded fruit ; the balance sheet exhibited entries almost 
wholly on the side of debit and outlay : and to make matters 
worse, trade was depressed. The casualty had been so 
sudden, that there had been no time or opportunity for the 
arrangement of his affairs; and his estate was burdened 
with a debt involving endless anxiety on his representative. 
Finally, affiiirs were thrown into Chancery, to await a tardy 
and unprofitable compromise. Mrs. Outram faced her 
cheerless prospects with characteristic spirit and independ- 
ence. Compelled to accept 200?. a year from relatives, she 
determined to make that allowance, combined with the little 
she could realise from the wreck of her husband's personal 
property, suflBce for her wants. At first she remained in 

-i8i8 MRS. OUTRAM. 9 

the neighbourhood of Butterley Hall, three years at Worksop, 
and two more at Bamby Moor. The circumstance that at 
the latter place she occupied a house which, on account of 
its lonely situation and reputation for being haunted, was 
let at a cheap rate, is of itself a strong proof of courage. 
Not many women would care to reside under one and the 
same roof with the ghost of a proprietor who had cut his 
throat on the premises ! In 1810 she removed to Aberdeen, 
where schooling was good and of moderate cost, and the re- 
ceipt, at this time, of a small annuity from Government as 
the daughter of Dr. James Anderson, obtained on her own 
personal representation of her father's eminent services, 
enabled her to provide all the better for the maintenance 
and education of her children. The story of her visit to 
Lord Melville in London, which resulted in the grant of this 
pension, is eminently characteristic. This is her own account 
of the interview, given twenty years after its occurrence : — 

* My spirit rose, and in place of meanly supplicating his 
favour like a pauper soliciting charity, I addressed him like 
a responsible being, who had misused the power placed in 
his hands by employing my father's time and talents for the 
good of the country, and to meet his own wishes and ends, 
then leaving him ignobly to suflFer losses he could not sustain, 
but which his high-toned mind would not stoop to ward off 
by solicitations to those who had used him so unjustly. I 
then stated my own situation, my dependence and involved 
affairs, and concluded by saying that I could not brook de- 
pendence upon friends when I had claims on my country by 
right of my father, adding, " to you, my lord, I look for the 
payment of these claims. If you are an honest or honourable 
man, you will see that they are liquidated ; you were the 
means of their being incurred, and you ought to be answer- 
able for them. In making this application I feel that I am 

to JAMES OUT RAM, 1803- 

doing your lordship as great a favour as myself, by giving 
you an opportunity of redeeming your character from the 
stigma of holding out promises and not fulfilling them." All 
this I stated and much more in as strong language, which 
was so different from anything his lordship expected, or was 
used to meet with, that he afterwards told me he never 
was so taken by surprise or got such a lecture in his life.' 

For some years she lived in a small cottage in the out- 
skirts of Aberdeen called * Berryden.' When her daughters 
grew older she moved to an upper flat in Castle Street, in 
order that the best tuition available for them might be 
within their reach. The shortcomings in her own training 
made her painfully anxious to complete, so far as practicable 
within her limited means, the education of those for whom 
she was herself responsible. Possessing a hasty and some- 
what imperious temper — ^Uke that of her husband, impatient 
of misapprehension as of opposition — she had nevertheless 
taken occasion of adverse fortune to practise self-denial, and 
accept with resignation a position of comparative poverty and 
seclusion. If, in her lighter social moments, inborn wit and 
vivacity led her at times to say things it had been better to 
have left imsaid, or to exact more than was right, she was 
ready to acknowledge and recall the error ; and all the more 
earnestly if a harsh or injurious word had been spoken of an 
absent person. While she abhorred, it was her constant cus- 
tom to avoid debt and dependence ; and her children were 
brought up to follow this salutary example. 

After the departure for India of her sons, the marriage 
of her eldest daughter in 1822 to George Sligo, Esq., of 
SeacliflF, Haddingtonshire, and the keenly felt loss of her 
youngest child, Eliza, in 1824, Mrs. Outram indulged her 
taste for travel, and wandered much in France, Switzerland, 
and Great Britain. Her brilliant talents and conversational 

-i8i8 MRS. OUTRAM, li 

powers enabled her to shine wherever she went, and these 
gifts, combined with a feiculty of keen appreciation, enabled 
her to enjoy the best society afforded by the place in which 
she happened to be. Her reminiscences of the many people 
of mark whom she had encountered in her sojourns at home 
and abroad, were varied and amusing. In later years she 
made Edinburgh or its neighbourhood her head-quarters. 
Always dignified, she was far too sensible to run into the 
common error of strong-minded and unfettered old ladies, 
and allow herself to be outrSe^ or remarkable from any pecu- 
liarity. She was simply natural and in accordance with her 
age and position. To the last she resisted the oft-repeated 
solicitations of her son that she would indulge herself in 
maintaining a house and carriage of her own. Ever simple 
and abstemious in her personal tastes, energetic, industrious, 
and imtrammelled by fcishionable innovations, she saw no 
reason for dissatisfaction with her neat and comfortable suite 
of three rooms in a good Edinburgh house, with her maid as 
her * establishment ' and her dog as her * companion.' Her 
strength of constitution was exceptional, and until she 
became a little lame a few years before her death, health 
never interfered with her plans, a little congenial excite- 
ment proving the best restorative from passing ailments. 
She wrote fugitive pieces of clever poetry, but never came 
forward as an authoress. One of the points in which she 
proved herself an exception to most feminine characters was 
punctuality. She boasted, and it is believed with accuracy, 
that she had never of her own fault kept a person waiting 
five minutes in her life. With a strict and high sense of 
honour, she abhorred meanness and appreciated excellence 
in any walk of life. Like her son, she possessed in a singular 
degree the power of attracting strangers of worth, and of re- 
taining their regard ever afterwards. Few of the numerous 
visitors who were daily to be met in her drawing-room but 

12 JAMES OUTRAM, 1803- 

carried away with them a kindly and lasting interest in the 
talented and most UTicommonplace old lady. 

To these reminiscences of Mrs. Outram, given as re- 
corded in fjEimily memoranda,^ we may add the words of one 
who is writing of a most intimate Mend ; of one whose reputap- 
tion has been long since recognised in the world of letters as 
in the more private sphere of social virtues and accomplish- 
ments. No apology indeed will be required for quoting from a 
manuscript by Miss Catherine Sinclair. 

'Her intimate friends, knowing that her income was 
straitened, made frequent oflFers of assistance, but all in vain. 
Her independent Scottish spirit recoiled from receiving an 
obligation, and she struggled successfully on through every 
diflSculty or privation. . . . Mrs. Outram was formed by 
nature to be the mother of a hero, and those among her friends 
who knew the gallant and chivalrous son, might see that he had 
inherited his noble and generous sentiments, his bright talents, 
his inflexible integrity, and his indomitable energy from a 
parent of the old Scottish stamp, who has since her recent 
decease left few equals behind her. Even after the age of 
eighty, Mrs. Outram's conversation continued to be so original, 
so sprightly, so full of wisdom and excellence, that every day 
there gathered around her a circle. . . . With the most cordial 
kindness there was an intellectual dignity in her manner 
that commanded respect. Mrs. Outram occasionally received 
her friends in the evening, and on her eighty-second birthday 
she had about twenty ladies at tea, to each of whom she 
presented a beautiful shawl of her own work. . . . Lord 
Dalhousie, while Governor-General in India, fully appreciated 
the noble character of Sir James Outram, and on his lord- 
ship's return, he became so partial to the society of the hero's 

' In 1844, unfortunately, Mrs. Outram's heavy boxes were burned at 
Brechin, and in them all her accumuUted family relics, correspondence, and 
miscellaneous papers. 


mother^ that he visited her very frequently, and when on his 
deathbed he said, " If I ever reach Edinburgh again, my 
first visit shall be to Mrs. Outram." • . . She had a peculiar 
talent for letters, writing the most graphic description of 
passing scenes and of daily events, with a sparkle of vivacity 
and a glow of kindness never to be imitated. As years 
advanced, her style became more thoughtful, and she read for 
hours at a time with those large bright eyes which served her 
for above eighty-three years without becoming dim. Many 
a sorrowing friend and relative must daily miss the cordial 
sympathy, the soimd advice, and the aboimding anecdotes 
of gaiety and gravity of one so endeared to all who knew her.' 

Francis, the elder of Benjamin Outram's two sons, re- 
ceived his early training at Christ's Hospital. After a long 
elementary course of seven years' duration, from which, 
agreeably to the wishes of his maternal uncle, classics had 
been carefully excluded, he was sent to continue his studies 
at Aberdeen. Here his natural ability had ftdler scope, and 
he soon found opportunity of gaining much lost groimd. 
At Marischal College, where he attended one session, he 
must have made a singularly favourable impression, for 
the opinion of him entertained by a contemporary jimior 
student is now foimd recorded in the following terms : 
*He appeared to my youthful imagination the heau 
icUal of all that is elegant and refined ; but having been 
brought up in England, I think he did not take kindly 
to Aberdeen.' But his Scotch schooling was cut short 
by the grant of an Indian cadetship ; and a nonoination to 
Addiscombe, obtained from Mr. Elphinstone through the 
Duke of Gordon, opened a new field for the exercise of his 
powers. At the East India Company's Military College— 
now, like the great corporation whose authority it acknow- 
ledged, a tradition of the past — his work was brilliant and 

14 JAMES OUTRAM, 1803- 

full of promise. Ere long he became a distinguished scholar 
and superior draughtsman, while three, instead of the usual 
four terms, suflBced to place him at the head of his fellow- 
students — enabled to enter Chatham an oflBcer of Engineers 
with a reputation for talent and attainments of rare order. 
To his brief Indian career allusion will hereafter be made. 

Perhaps, as a rule, the nursery and school days of a man 
who has left his mark on the passing age show no more of 
incident and adventure than those of an undistinguished 
unit in the inmiense sum of living humanity. Nor is there 
any reason why any such distinction as that alluded to 
should be apparent in the two conditions. But it is very 
certain that while, in the latter case, few readers would 
be found for the story of an ordinary man's boyhood, it is 
always a matter of general interest to trace the rise and pro- 
gress of a mind which has exercised an exceptional and 
acknowledged influence over other minds. We may there- 
fore be excused for dwelling somewhat lengthily upon James 
Outram's boyhood, of which a fair accoxmt is rendered 
by contemporaries from his twelfth year. He was but a 
child of less than three years old when his father died, and 
had probably reached the age of eleven when sent to Udney 
School, near Aberdeen. It has been already stated that 
Mrs. Outram remained in the neighbourhood of her former 
home at Butterley Hall for the first years of her widowhood, 
and removed to Scotland in 1810. We find it was in the 
autumn of 1814, when residing at Berryden, that she ar- 
ranged with Dr. Bisset, the master, for admission of her 
second son to Udney. The boy is described at that period 
as somewhat pale, but quite healthy, and of prepossessing 
countenance. He had his mother's black glossy hair ; * his 
dark hazel eye kept time, as it were, with whatever was 
going on, and marked his quick apprehension of, and sym- 
pathy with, every scintillation of wit, drollery, or humour,* 

-i8i8 EARLY TASTES. 15 

yet * his usual manner was quiet and sedate/ This is his 
teacher's picture, and we may believe in its fidelity. Ac- 
cording to the same authority, the pupil made creditable 
progress in classics and other studies, but showed especial 
taste and enei^ in acquiring a knowledge of mathematics 
and the exact sciences. As an instance of his powers in 
the latter respect, it is stated that Mr. Forbes Irvine of 
Drum, an accomplished votary of literature and the fine arts, 
lighting by chance upon one of James Outram's original 
demonstrations left on the dining-room table, was greatly 
struck by the accuracy and ingenuity, as well as the draughts- 
man's neatness which it displayed; and afterwards made 
habitual inquiry as to the young mathematician's * fresh dis- 
coveries.* One of his favourite occupations in play-hours, 
when bad weather or other cause kept him from out-door 
sports, was carving figures with a knife out of such materials 
as were more readily available ; and in the exercise of this 
bent he seems to have been both skilful and artistic. * The 
figure of an elephant continued for many years to adorn the 
mantelpiece of the Udney drawing-room, and never failed 
to be spoken of, by those who could appreciate perfect truth- 
fulness of expression, as a chef-d^G&uvre in its kind.' But in 
out-door pursuits he gave unmistakable evidence of excep- 
tional mettle ; here he was va limme the hardy soldier, the 
untiring traveller, and the bold sportsman. * Whether at 
football, shindy, bowls, or cricket, he was equally ardent, 
speedily rose to the front rank as a player, and before he was 
fourteen was the recognised leader of the school. When 
parties were formed, those who had Outram on their side 
felt pretty sure of victory.' Benowned, moreover, as a 
wrestler, he was as generous as valiant ; and it is related of 
him that on one occasion, when a front tooth had been 
broken and his mouth otherwise damaged in a contest with 
a schoolfellow, he was most persistent in exonerating his 

i6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1803^ 

antagonist from all blame, and in proving the injury to be 
accidental. ' In the swimming groimd ' we learn that * there 
was a pond, some fifteen or twenty feet deep, which was gene- 
rally shimned, but the few who essayed it gained much in 
reputation among their fellows. Of this number was Outram, 
soon after joining the school.' He used to return from his 
watery exploration with a * gratified air,' * bearing generally 
some trophy in his hand — pebble, sand, or mud — in proof of 
his having reached the bottom.' In climbing trees again, he 
obtained honours not easily won amid a host of enterprising 
boys, to whom the prospect of rooks' eggs was much as a 
decoration or a step in rank to the subaltern oflScer only a 
few years their senior. But his comrades promoted him at 
once beyond the subaltern ranks : in their estimation he 
deserved higher position, and he was generally known to 
them as * Captain Outram.* 

From the master's recollection of his pupil we now pass to 
the testimony of a younger schoolfellow at Udney, who writes : 

* He was always kind to me, protecting me from the 
bullying of older boys ; and I believe he was equally gene- 
rous and just to the others. He drilled us regularly. . • • In 
winter he had forts of snow built, in the attack and defence of 
which there was many a severe contest. In every adventure 
of daring he was the leader, and frequently he exposed him- 
self to great danger. There was a tradition in the school 
that he let himself down from the top of Udney Castle by 
using an umbrella for a parachute. But I can hardly sup- 
pose that anything so fearfully dangerous was attempted. 
The very feet, however, of the boys believing it, shows their 
estimation of him.' 

Apart from the school contributions, there are further 
authentic and interesting data of James Outram's early 


life, which the reader will doubtless prefer to have in the 
very words of the recorder. Mrs. SUgo thus alludes to her 
brother's boyhood : — 

* He was the reverse of studious, but equally the reverse 
of indolent. His play-time was spent in active exercise, 
gardening, mechanics, and every athletic sport. His great 
enjoyment, however, was to associate with the soldiers at the 
barracks, or the sailors at the docks — we, in the meantime, 
never knowing where our missing brother had gone. I recol- 
lect our surprise one evening when, on returning from our 
walk and glancing at the soldiers going through their exer- 
cises, we saw our own little Jemmy at their head, as perfect 
in all the manoeuvres as any among them. He was the delight 
of the regiment, but even still more, if possible, the sailors' 
pet. There was a mutiny among the latter — I can't remember 
the date, but I think he must then have been about twelve 
or thirteen years of age. All Aberdeen was imeasy ; my 
brother, of course, not at home. The sailors were drawn up 
in a dense body on the pier. The magistrates went down to 
them, backed by the soldiers, whose muskets were loaded ; 
and they were held in readiness to fire on the mutineers, if 
necessary. Between the latter and their opponents, Jemmy 
Outram was to be seen, with his hands in his trouser-pockets, 
stumping about from one side to the other, like a tiger in 
his den, protecting his sailor friends from the threatening 
muskets; resolved to receive the fire first, if firing was to be. 
*A11 ended peacefully, however; much to the general 
satisfaction, and to our particular thankfulness, when we 
were told how our brother had exposed himself. He had 
the courage and fortitude of a giant, with the body of a 
pigmy (being very small for his age). I never remember 
his evincing the slightest sign of bodily pain. When very 
young, we all crossed over to the other side of the Dee to 
VOL. I. c 

i8 JAMES OUTRAM. 1803- 

enjoy a sunny holiday in scrambling on the rocks, picking 
up shells and seaweed, and dining in very simple mode in 
one of the fisher-huts. There we saw several large crabs 
lying on their backs, and we thought that they were dead ; 
we soon, however, found that this was not the case, when 
one of them caught hold of little Jemmy's forefinger. He 
calmly held it up, the blood streaming down on the creature, 
which thus hung, until of its own accord relaxing its hold, 
it fell to the ground. Not a cry had been heard fi"om the 
sufierer, nor even a wry face made. He wrapt his hand- 
kerchief round the wounded finger, coolly saying, " I thought 
he'd get tired at last." ' 

His talent for carving little figures, particularly of animals, 
is thus described by the same hand : — * He liked much to be 
at the menageries which occasionally visited the town, the 
better to represent the creatures they contained. These he 
carved out of anything which he could obtain as yielding to 
the penknife. Date-stones, fixed together by a cement made 
from their own pulverised substance, he particularly liked for 
this purpose ; and in the attitudes of the monkey race he was 
especially successful. My mother thought that perhaps he 
would do well as a sculptor, but having no friends in that 
Une, she did not make any endeavour to follow up this view.' 
An anecdote related by a friend of the family, illustrates in 
a remarkable manner his mechanical taste when a boy of 
thirteen or fourteen at Aberdeen. The lady referred to 
remembers her mother's astonishment on coming home one 
day after a short absence, and finding the entire works of a 
large eight-day clock which stood on the stairs, all laid out 
on the school-room table, as well as the locks of all the doors. 
Objects of this kind it was the enquiring youth's delight to 
take to pieces, and restore to their respective places. % 

After about four years at Udney, James Outram was 


removed to a school then supposed to be the best in Aber- 
deen, kept by the Rev. Mr. Esson. Here he distinguished 
himself rather by the exuberance of his boyish spirits than 
close application to study, and on one occasion a practical 
joke played upon the principal usher, resulted in a severe 
castigation, the boy's manful endurance of which was 
worthy of a nobler cause. His diary — a record, by the way, 
kept under school direction and supervision — contained an 
entry of the occurrence in the following form, with date and 

hour duly inserted. * From till flogged by Mr. 

for making him an April fool.' At the same time his pluck 
had occasionally a better field for display ; and we learn of 
one particular case in point, when he appeared at home with 
face so bruised and features so changed that he was hardly to 
be recognised by his relatives. On this occasion he had upheld 
the weak against the strong, and to the anxious ques- 
tions put to him by his sister with a view to eliciting an 
explanation of his condition, he was able to reply trium- 
phantly : * Never mind, Anna, I've licked the biggest boy in 
the school in such a manner that hell not ill-treat any of the 
little boys again. 111 be bound.' Courage was one of his 
many characteristics in early boyhood. A playmate much of 
his own age — ^both being about thirteen — ^was walking with 
him in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen, when they were 
attacked by a large farm mastiff. His comrade's natural 
alarm was not in the least degree shared by James Outram. 
Without a moment's hesitation, and without any kind of 
weapon, he faced the furious brute, ran at him, struck him 
with fists and feet, and drove him off in dismay. The 
narrator, in recalling this incident in after years, speaks of 
the strong impression which it made on him at the time, 
and expresses the belief that few boys or men would have 
undert^en such a feat ; and fewer still would have thought 
or said so little of it after it was over. 

c 2 

20 JAMES OUTRAM, 1803- 

His removal to Mr. Esson's was really, however, an 
important step on the educational ladder; for it introduced 
him to Marischal College, where he attended the second 
mathematical class, and Professor Copland's course of natural 
and experimental philosophy, for the session 1818-19. The 
college reports represent him to be uniformly an attentive 
and well-behaved student, evincing good abilities and an 
amiable disposition, and making satisfactory progress in his 

This higher-class education was, however, but a temporary 
measure. The year 1819 brought him an Indian cadetship. 

Mrs. Outram had applied to her cousin. Colonel Hender- 
son, a Peninsula oflBcer, for assistance in getting her son 
James into the army ; but his reply was unfavourable. Any 
profession was, he thought, preferable to one in which there 
was nothing but pay to depend on; for, owing to the 
seeming certainty of peace, there could be no opportunity of 
advancement. Another cousin, brother to the last-named, a 
captain (afterwards an admiral) in the navy, made answer 
much to the same eflfect when addressed in respect of his 
own calling. The anxious lady then bethought her of the 
Church, and had recourse to Archdeacon Outram, her 
husband's younger brother, of whom we have before spoken, 
and who had been a kind friend to her. He also represented 
the little likelihood of success in his own profession, even 
were the candidate's habits more studious than reported. 
Dr. Outram was, moreover, educating two of his own sons to 
take holy orders. Still, he consented to do what he could 
in furtherance of his relative's wishes ; and the intention 
might have been fulfilled had it not been for objections 
raised by the boy himself, who, hearing of his mother's 
action in the matter, lost no time in giving expression to 
his feelings in a quarter where there was a good chance of 
meeting sympathy. * They mean to make me a parson,' he 


said to his sister. * You see that window ; rather than be 
a parson, I'm out of it ; and I'll 'list for a common soldier ! ' 
This repugnance to undertake a duty for which he clearly did 
not consider himself qualified, having been communicated 
to Mrs. Outram, she was perplexed how further to pursue 
the quest for her son's provision in life. It so happened 
that Captain Gordon, member for Aberdeenshire, called upon 
her in the midst of her troubles, and to him she detailed 
the circumstances of the case. He readily came to the 
rescue, and soon succeeded in obtaining for her the offer of a 
direct Indian cadetship. A still better offer, a nomination 
to Addiscombe, forwarded about the same time by the Duke 
of Gordon, decided her to let the boy follow the profession 
of a soldier. He was allowed to choose a starting-point — 
a direct commission or college preparation, and the first 
presented the greater attraction to his young ambition, 
* Frank,' he argued, referring to his elder brother, * when 
only half the allotted time at Addiscombe, gained all the 
highest prizes there, and got into the Engineers. If I 
remain the whole three years, I shall at the best come out 
only as cadet for the infantry. It's much better, therefore, 
that I should at once go out as a cadet ; I choose Captain 
Gordon's appointment.' 

Mrs. Outram thought he had done wisely ; for she did 
not expect that he would have distinguished himself as his 
brother had done. And she was justified in the judgment 
which she had formed of her sons. Whatever might have 
been the residt of his military instruction, it would have 
been difl&cult, within the confined limits of Addiscombe, to 
measure the full value of James Outram, who had a part to 
play among people and nations of the outer world. 

22 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 



Early military tastes — Arrival in Bombay — Comparatively peaceful state of 
India — Joins regiment — Experience of an Adjutant's duties — Sick-leave 
to Presidency — Accidental explosion — Home letters — Lieutenant Ord's 
stories of Shikdr — Outram's 'first spears* — Sent in command of wing to 
Maleg&on — The Commander-in-Chidf — Second sick-leave to Presidency — 
Kittur — Malair — Appointed to command a Bhil corps. 

We have already shown that James Outram's tastes were 
not of a kind to lead parent or guardian to choose for him 
one of the learned professions. It may further be affirmed 
that the bent of his mind was essentially that of a soldier. 
His yearning for things military did not confine itself to 
mimic troops, martial toys, or those counterfeit instruments 
and implements of war by which childhood is often attracted 
without more serious cause than the love of display and 
glitter. In his case the young heart was touched, imagi- 
nation was at work, and arrested development might have 
been attended with results as pernicious as the too sudden 
check of certain physical complaints under mistaken medical 
treatment. Instinctively drawn as he had been to the com- 
panionship of soldiers and sailors, his boyish ambition was, 
moreover, stirred by sights calculated to endear that com- 
panionship and graft it into the custom of his after-life. 
In 1815, he watched with eager eye the march of a regi- 
ment or detachment, largely composed of mere boys ; and he 
saw some of these return again in a few months, if not weeks, 
in the full glory of Waterloo. That spectacle, according to 
his own recollection, was the incident which fixed unalterably 


his resolution to be a soldier and nothing else but a soldier 
— a private if he could not be an oflScer. Though scarcely 
able to comprehend the anxious aspirations, the tears and 
prayers, which had accompanied the body of warriors as it 
sped gallantly forth to a field of world-wide renown, he 
could heartily participate in the burst of exhilaration, 
congratulation, and rapturous welcome with which it was 
received on return to its native shores. An incident such as 
this might easily make indelible impression on the mind of 
an ordinary boy of twelve. On one of sensitive and sym- 
pathetic nature, and of generous and enthusiastic tempera- 
ment, the impression would be as eflfectual as indelible. 
We are not surprised to learn that in the present instance it 
actually determined the after-professional career. 

His school contests had been rather in the cause of the 
weak and oppressed than from any desire of personal dis- 
tinction. At college, however, he appears to have been 
somewhat more strictly pugnacious. For we learn that he 
was the leader in many a ' town and gown ' row, and con- 
sequently all but *came to grief on several occasions. 
Once, it is said, a kind lady friend paid a considerable fine 
imposed by the authorities, and so prevented the report of 
delinquency firom reaching the ears of his mother, of whom 
he stood in great awe. His own account of himself at that 
period, according to a confession volimteered in later years, 
was ingenuous and condemnatory. And he would laughingly 
cap the reminiscence by affirming that he dared not yet 
return to Aberdeen, because a reward of 5Z. hung over his 
head, as the imdetected leader in a disturbance which had 
proved more than usually destructive to the windows of the 
college and its neighbourhood. 

Mrs. Outram accompanied her son to London, whither 
he proceeded on receipt of his cadetship; for there were 
several forms and ceremonies to be attended to in Leaden- 

24 JAMES OUTRAM. ' 1819- 

hall Street, beside the demands of an outfit. Their vojrage 
in the smack was a sufficiently miserable one, but it was 
accomplished without mishap. They stayed with Mr. 
James Anderson till the sailing of the good ship * York * on 
May 2, 1819.» 

Of the passage out we have no details. To Ensign 
Outram it was probably monotonous and uneventful ; for all 
that he has told us on the subject is that, after recovery 
from the almost inevitable visitation of sea-sickness, he 
acquired the faculty, or it may be, the accomplishment, of 
smoking. He appears at this period to have brooded over 
his physique ; for he refers to being only five feet one inch 
in height, and looks upon himself as a * puny ' lad. Sub- 
sequent growth to five feet eight inches he attributed to 
fever and sickness generally ; but even when he had entered 
his twentieth year, we find him described by his brother 
Francis as the * smallest staff officer in the army.' The 
vessel in which he was a passenger reached Bombay on 
August 15; the 4th of that month is, however, the date 
given by the Army List of the year to his lieutenant's 
commission in the Ist Grenadier Native Infantry. 

On arrival the young officer was kindly received by his 
cousin, Dr. Ogilvie, in whose house he remained while not 
required for duty, or until fidrly posted to a regiment. His 
impressions on first joining his comrades in arms are not to 
be traced in the correspondence now extant. But we may 
conclude that he soon found attraction in his surroundings. 
His shikar book affords positive evidence that he was not 
long in becoming initiated in hog-hunting ; for it is there 
recorded that he fleshed his maiden spear at Goolygaun, 

> Sho left the Downs on Hay 5 ; as did also the 'Barossa* with the Bombay 
Commander-in-Chief, Sir Charles Colville, on board ; and the * Marquis of 
Hastings/ in which the only cadet passenger was the present General Sir 
William Wyllie, G.C.B. The late General Stalker was a fellow cadet and 
passenger of James Outram in the ' York.' 

-1824 INDIA IN 1818. 25 

near Siriir, in November. He saw much sport with the 
Sirtir and Puna hunts during the remainder of the season, 
but at that time kept no regular diary or memoranda of 
his exploits in the saddle, as later experience led him to do. 
The period to which we refer was an eventful one for our 
Eastern Empire. The deposed Peshwa had reached his 
appointed residence at Bithur — a place destined to attain, 
some forty years later, a cruel celebrity in the annals of 
British India. The * reformed ' Pindaris had been disposed 
of in two peaceable colonies, strictly according to the dictates 
of philanthropy and rules of civilisation. The strong for- 
tress of Asirgarh had surrendered to a British general. 
Quiet had been restored to Sawant Wari and Ber4r ; and 
Bhuj, with its barbarous Eajah, had easily passed into the 
hands of our troops. More, much more, had been done ; but 
we refer to the latest achievements only. The situation in 
August 1818 had been well explained by the Governor-General 
himself in answer to an address of congratulation from the 
inhabitants of Calcutta ; and a popular chronicle of the day 
sums up, with all semblance of authority, subsequent events 
up to the middle of 1819, in the following terms : — 

* From the mouths of the Indus, north-east to the Sutlej, 
from the Sutlej south-east to Chittagong, from thence to Cape 
Comorin and Ceylon, an area containing thousands of miles, 
and embracing twenty-five degrees of latitude and twenty- 
two degrees of longitude — all is now at peace — we have no 
public enemy to oppose. It is little more than twelve 
months since we were threatened by a confederacy of the 
native powers which had for its aim the renewal of every 
sort of plunder and devastation, and the reduction of British 
authority where it had long been paramount. The whole 
is now dissolved.' The turbulent spirits which broke forth, 
boasting of their strength and power, have shrunk into 

26 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 

nothing. The hosts that assembled tumultuously to support 
their pretensions are overthrown and dispersed.' * 

This was the state of things proclaimed about the time 
that James Outram landed at Bombay, and in the ninth 
year of Francis, Marquis of Hastings, one of the most distin- 
guished of Grovemors-Greneral. It was natural that a young 
and ardent soldier should, under the circumstances, turn 
his attention to the dangers and excitement of the himting- 

But peace in India during these years of consolidation 
was neither complete nor permanent. A Govemor-Generars 
proclamation, like a royal message, has no time or space for 
details ; and it would be impolitic and inexpedient to depart 
from generalities except as regards matters better under- 
stood by the masses than are Indian or Asiatic politics. If 
little or nothing was said of external relations to the 
Calcutta residents, it was, perhaps, because they did not 
interest themselves greatly about them ; and that they more 
immediately concerned Western than Eastern India. Not 
that all was quite satisfactory to the Indian Foreign Office. 
Among other * outer barbarians' who gave trouble, the 
Joasmi pirates in the Persian Gulf were conspicuous. An 
attempt had been made to coerce them in 1809, but no stop 
was put to their misdoings ; they frightened the port of 
Bu-shahr, threatened Basrah, and, moreover, plundered ships 
and butchered crews from British India. Major-General Sir 
WilKam Kier Grant, who had just done good service in 
Sawant Wari and Bhuj, was sent in command of troops 
against them. These operations lasted from October 1819 
till April 1820; but when the expedition returned to Bom- 
bay, it was judged necessary to leave a detachment or small 
corps of observation in the island of Kishm. 

* ' Hlfltoiy of Europe ' in Annual Register for 1819. 


Although the name of Lieutenant James Outram is found 
in the Army list of 1819 among the officers of the 1st 
Grenadier Native Infantry, he was "first appointed to the 
1st Battalion of the 4th Native Infantry, at an up-country 
station, and proceeded to join about three weeks after disem- 
barkation from Europe. His departure for Sat&ra is at 
that time recorded in the Gazette ; but he appears axftually 
to have joined his battalion at Puna, marched with it to 
Savandrug, and returned to the Presidency by Octo- 
ber 1, In Government General Orders of November 1 
his name is shown as twenty-fifth in a long list of officers 
recently arrived, and he is then posted to the 1st Grenadier 
Native Infantry, his departure to join the 2nd battalion of 
which regiment at Puna * is notified in the Gazette as on 
December 2. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to the 
1st battalion of the 12th Begiment, on its embodiment, at 
the same station, and he became its acting adjutant about 
the beginning of July 1820. The choice of so young an 
officer for this post gives good evidence of the estimation in 
which he was held by his seniors. 

On October 5, 1820, he wrote to his mother firom Puna, 
with reference to the regimental appointment :— 

* I have now acted upwards of three months, and expect 
to act one month longer, as I believe the adjutant will not join 
tiU that time. It is of no immediate advantage to me, other- 
wise than that it teaches me my duty, but my having acted as 
adjutant four months will give me strong claims for that ap- 
pointment when it becomes vacant. Though an adjutancy is 
thought by the generality of people to be a very ardiious and 
responsible situation, yet it really is not much so, as it is a 
mere rotation of the same duties monthly, and should a vacancy 

> His own notes saj that he joined at Sirdr. 

28 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 

happen to-morrow, I would not hesitate a moment about 
applying for the situation, as I would feel confident (without 
flattery to myself) that I would be equal to the task, with a 
little application and trouble on my part.' 

This was the natural view of a true soldier, who, like the 
poet, ««s(?i^ur nonfit; and who, in his teens as in after 
years, ignored difficulty in every professional shape. But 
the opinions were hardly sound, and the writer, soon aftj^r 
expressing them, admitted that he had misapprehended the 
full scope of his work. The appointment had a deeper im- 
portance than he at first supposed. A yoimg Indian officer, 
competent to excel, and laudably ambitious of excellence 
in the little restricted arena which lay open to him half a 
century ago, could scarcely find a better training-school than 
in the adjutancy of a native regiment. Intimate acquaint- 
ance with aipahiSf from the drill-ground to the commissioned 
ranks, and with European officers, especially coromanding 
officers, both on parade and in quarters, was one of the great 
advantages thus obtained, by a sure process to which the 
mere company captain or subaltern was a comparative 
stranger. More than this, the special gain to the intelligent 
novice was the experience of power and self-discipline. He 
attained the knowledge how to work under a commandant, 
whether smart and strict, or smart and easy ; ignorant and 
testy, or ignorant and lax ; in fine, whatever the type pre- 
sented, good, bad, or indiflferent. The tact was thus acquired 
of exercising delegated authority over equals, superiors, and 
inferiors in rank and position, in a manner calculated to ensure 
subordination and efficiency. He was not, however, relieved 
of his acting appointment so soon as expected. Between 
six and seven months after date of the last quoted letter 
James Outram again addressed his mother. On this occa- 
sion he wrote from Baroda, whither he had marched with his 


regiment from Puna,* making excuses for a long ^ence, not 
to be attributed, as he himself explained, to forgetfulness. 
He had had so * much to do lately in the adjutancy,' and 
had found it * a much more difficult situation to fill ' than he 
had before contemplated. Thus he expressed himself: — 

*Many difficulties were thrown in my way, which. 1 had 
not foreseen. Several officers who were removed from the 
corps had charge of a company each, all of which were thrown 
upon my hands, and I had to make out the papers of almost 
all the companies, besides all the battalion ones. Almost all 
adjutants have two writers, one which Government allows — a 
sergeant — and one which he keeps at his own expense. Now 
I have been altogether, I daresay, five months without one at 
all, and have never had more than one at any time. At first 
a sergeant was not procured (as it is a new corps) till about 
seven months after I had begun to act. I had, now and 
then, a writer for a few days, but I daresay I was five months 
without one altogether ; and when I got the sergeant I found 
him more a burden than a help to me, as he had everything 
to learn. ... I have also been latterly acting quartermaster. 
I am to be relieved by the regular adjutant, I suppose, on 
the Ist of next month (May), as he has been relieved from 
the corps which he has been obliged to remain with till this 
time. I shall then have done the duties of adjutant exactly 
ten months.' 

We doubt not that many Indian officers have been in like 
case ; and such as these would readily admit that the little 

> This march is alluded to in a brief entry for the year 1 820-2 1» made in 
his $hfk^ book : — 'Had little sport on the road» and nothing bnt coorsing at 
Baroda.' In the Bombay Gazette of Noyember 22, 1820» it is noted as a 
moTement ' now taking place ; ' but the corps did not leaye till February 10, 
1821, arriTing at its destination, vid Bombay, Snrat, and Broach, on March 29. 
The 2ad Battalion was ordered at the same time to Kishm, in the Persian 

30 JAMES OUTRAM, 1819-' 

early and extra responsibilities thus thrust upon them have 
had their value. They do more than many books and in- 
structions to explain the actual routine of duty, and their 
lessons, once acquired, are seldom, if ever, forgotten. Though 
times have certainly changed, and the adjutant of a native 
regiment has neither the same inducements nor the same 
opportunities of equipping himself for the battle of life that 
he had in former years, the school he represents may still be 
foimd a good one, and those who profit by its teaching should 
not be in too great haste to abandon it for a wider and more 
ambitious field. Patience is a more practical virtue than 
ever in these days of railways, speed, and restlessness. 

In the following year (1822) another letter to his mother, 
dated Ahmadabad, April 28, a full twelvemonth later than 
the last quoted one, affords a singular contrast between 
locomotion in India experienced in 1878-79, and the slow 
movements of olden times. The writer had been sent, on 
account of sickness, to Bombay, and would have left the 
Presidency to rejoin his corps in February, but that an 
* unfortunate accident,' just after embarkation, had compelled 
him to put back and lay up for a month. On March 9, he 
had re-embarked with two companions, and after tossing 
about at sea for two days, disembarked on the north side of 
the island of Bombay, proceeding thence by land. He had 
been about six weeks on the road to Ahmadabad, a journey 
now accomplished in, perhaps, twice that number of hours ; 
and his corps was moving about somewhere to the north-east 
of that station. The full (or, according to Indian parlance, 
paka) adjutancy had been conferred upon him on January 
15, but absence from the regiment had prevented his 
receipt of any emoluments accruing from the appointment. 

He is not explicit as to the sickness which had driven him 
to Bombay, but we gather, incidentally, that it was a fever 
which had prostrated many of the residents at Baroda after 

-1824 FIREWORKS. 31 

the rains of 1821, His own allusions to it are with reference 
to the drain thereby caused upon his scanty income. The 
regiment had been ordered on field service to the M4hi 
K&nta, a province in the east of Gujr^t (and the littoral of 
the river M4hi), of which we shall have to say much in a 
subsequent chapter; and he had made preparations to 
accompany it as adjutant* Of these preparations the impor- 
tant items of tents and camels will give some support to the 
idea that they were on a large scale, when considered in 
respect of a single subaltern. Owing to the nature and 
severity of his attack, he had had to proceed suddenly from 
Baroda to Cambay, and thence to take boat to Bombay, the 
cost of which unexpected journey had to be met by the sale 
of his camels at a disadvantage. The expenses of the return 
journey and purchase of a horse at the Presidency had con- 
tributed to swell the demands upon a not over-stocked purse, 
and he had found himself with no remedy but, much against 
his will, to borrow money. 

As regards the * unfortunate accident ' above noted, and 
hardly explained by a statement that his enforced detention 
was * owing to the bum,* we find tolerably detailed accounts 
among the family papers. It appears that the medical men 
at Bombay were of opinion that he should return home to 
recnut strength after his attack of jaTigcd fever. This 
arrangement, however, did not suit his own plans; and 
feeling sufficiently recovered for the work before him, he 
started to rejoin his regiment in K4thiaw&r, embarking on 
board a native boat, with horses and kit, to get over the first 
part of the way by sea. From some cause unknown, the 
evening was a gala one, and fireworks were to be let oflF in 
the harbour. The convalescent resolved to share in the fiin 
and signalise his own departure at the same time. So, in 
addition to the necessary impediment of ordinary travelling 
baggage, he laid in a superfluous stock of combustibles, and 

32 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819^ 

had them carefully brought on board his unpretending craft. 
The story continues that he blew up his boat, that its 
contents were showered into the water around, that the 
horses were killed or drowned, and that he himself was 
picked up floating, a ^hardly animate mass of blackened 
humanity.' Not even recognised as a European, he was left 
uncared for when first deposited on the shore ; but in course 
of time a charitable Parsi, whose name has never transpired, 
had him placed in a palanquin and conveyed to his own 
house, whence, his identity discovered, he was removed to 
Mr. Willoughby's. It is added that the skin of his face 
peeled off, and was replaced by a second skin coarser than 
the first : but that the explosion, however injurious to his 
personal appearance, was attended on the other hand with 
one good result. All traces oijangal fever had been as 
effectually blown out of its victim as they could have been 
eradicated by a voyage to Europe and transfer to his native 
atmosphere. As no account is rendered of servants or 
followers, let us hope that any such may have escaped with- 
out serious injury. Two months after the occurrence, 
Francis Outram, then still 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers at 
Bombay, adverting to it in a letter to his mother, says that 
results might have been much worse, but that James luckily 
escaped with a good scorching, and that * he will be more 
careful with gunpowder for the future.* 

His own home letters at this period, as indeed for the 
first few years of his Indian career, are mainly taken up with 
matters of domestic interest. These belong essentially to 
his biography, inasmuch as they exhibit the working of inner 
life and reveal the secrets of individual character. But for 
obvious reasons we shall be sparing in extracts, merely 
selecting those passages which may better serve to illustrate 
the whole correspondence. The reader may rest assured that 
if he were to read over from first to last every line of the 

-1824 HOME-LETTERS, 33 

four or five original letters now before us, which come 
within the chronological scope of the present chapter, he 
would see no cause to consider the selections exceptional. 
The tone is one of genuine and honest aflFection ; the spirit 
breathed is that which fathers and mothers would rejoice to 
acknowledge in the writings of their own sons ; and if the 
language be not remarkable for high educational polish, it 
has the more sterling merit of straightforward expression 
and simplicity. That he was not trained when a boy in the 
art of polite correspondence may be taken for granted. Mrs. 
Outram could tell the story of a certain epistle he had to 
prepare, in which the mere formula of commencing and 
ending was not accomplished without assistance ; and she 
seemed to think this the only piece of letter-composition that 
could be credited to him prior to departure for India.* She 
marvelled how he wrote so well when fairly laimched on his 
Indian career. 

We have quoted his views regarding employment on the 
regimental staflf. Let us turn from self to his care for the 
happiness of others, especially of her whom he addressed as 
the presiding genius of his home. Assuredly it is manhood 
and not childhood, nor even youth, which realises the poetry 
as well as essential charm of the relationship between mother 
and son. 

* You used to say you were badly off,' he wrote in an 
undated letter, bearing the postmark of November 1822, 
* but as I had been used to poor Udney, I thought we were 

• Th6 real story is thus told : — * During the holidays, a schoolfellow (one 
of the Gordons of Manar) sent him a letter by a servant. His mother said he 
must in cirility answer it, so he retired to do so. After a while he came back, 
saying, ** How am I to begin ? " ** Why, * My dear Gordon,* of course.** Thus 
jnrompted, he again disappeared for a considerable time. He then came and 
asked how he was to end, and being told, " Yours sincerely, James Outram,'* 
soon brought his letter. His mother had the curiosity to look at what he bad 
•aid. The contentc were simply, ^ My dear Gordon — Yours sincerely James 

VOL. I. D 

34 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 

very comfortable at our humble home. Now, when I see 
how many privations you had to put up with, I think you 
made wonderful sacrifices for your children, whose duty it is 
to make you as comfortable as they possibly can. I, for one, 
am certainly sorry that I have not been more prudent, for I 
certainly ought by this time to have been able to send you, 
at least, something ; for I got the allowances of the acting 
adjutancy for eight months out of the ten in which I acted, 
after a reference to Grovemment. . . . When I rejoin my 
corps I shall be in the receipt of 600 rs. per mensem, as the 
corps is at present in the field ; out of which I shall at least 
be able to save 300 rs. a month, which is about 350Z. a year. 
I am obliged to keep an additional horse and oflBce establish- 
ment and field-carriage, but 300 rs. a month will certainly 
cover all expenses in the field, and 250 in garrison. The 
above 600 rs. per mensem is the field-pay and allowances, 
the garrison is about 400 rs. per month ; so that in the 
field I shall save about 350i., and in garrison about 150 rs. 
a month, which makes about 1 80?. a year ; all of which is, 
of course, dedicated to you ; and much greater pleasure will 
spending it in this manner aflFord me than if I was amassing 
riches upon riches on my own account.' 

A little later in the year (though the letter bears the 
postmark of October), he continues in the same strain, 
entering fireely into details of money liabilities, and adding: 

* I was at first undetermined whether to let you know 
how I am circiunstanced, . . . but then I recollected that 
honesty is the bpst policy, and that being candid with you 
would please you more than if I were perhaps not exactly to 
fulfil what I promised. I therefore have told you everything, 
and always shall.' 

It is but fair to remark that Francis Outram shared the 
same filial sentiments, and could equally appreciate the in- 


estimable value of a mother's attachment. His letters are 
conclusive testimony on this point. 

We have already said that when James Outram went up 
to rejoin his battalion in 1822, it was somewhere north-east 
of Ahmadahad. He fell in with it at the village of Morassa, 
where it formed part of a field force assembled with a view 
to the suppression of local disturbances which had become 
aggravated by long continuance. Lieutenant Bichard Ord, 
of the same regiment, but of the 2nd battalion, then at 
Kishm, was acting adjutant, and from him he received charge 
of his substantive appointment. This officer had spent 
eighteen months in the Persian Gulf, but ill-health having 
prevented his return thither, he had been directed to attach 
himself to the 1st battalion of his regiment in the M4hi 
Ktota. The campaign being brought to a close by the 
capture of the rebel chief Konkaji, the battalion was ordered 
to Rajkot for the rains. A march in K4thiaw4r during the 
prevalence of the hot winds is not pleasant, but the weather 
does not appear to have abated the energy of the yoimg men 
thus incidentally thrown together. They were much of the 
same standing, for Ord was only two senior to Outram in 
the regimental list of lieutenants. The latter had not 
enjoyed much sport on his upward journey. His journal 
shows he had had a little himting at Surat, and had been 
unfortunate in breaking down a colt brought from Bombay ; 
also that he foimd some hog at Ahmadabad, where he had 
experienced two severe falls. But of the * little sport on the 
road ' through K&thiaw&r to Rajkot, to which he refers, Lieu- 
tenant Ord gives the following accoimt : — 

* A few days after he (Outram) had joined, he and I were 
riding in rear of the column, and as day broke we espied 
hog at a little distance. Immediately we started in chase, 
not anticipating much result from our hunt, as we had no 

D 2 

^6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 


spears, merely our swords. After a short run we detached a 
fine large fellow from the herd, who, after a sharp burst of 
about a mile, took refuge in a large patch of cactus bushes, 
out of which we found it impossible to dislodge him, though 
Outram in his eagerness dismounted, and did his best to 
make him bolt. From what I afterwards saw of hog-hunting 
I think it was as well , , that he did not succeed. Foiled 
in our attempt, we galloped back to the regiment, and were 
just in time to rejoin it before it arrived at the encamping 

Again, a little later, a regular hog-hunt was organised. 
Owing to the hot weather, however, there was but one 
hunter to the fore, besides the same two named ; Ord 
loquitur : — 

*OflF we started, and after riding about three miles, 
admiring the mirage, the solemn stillness, and the various 
villages flashing on the horizon, we came to a large level 
plain covered with grass and stunted trees. Our guides 
stopped, and upon our asking them where the hogs were, waved 
their arms in a circle and said " There ! " We all looked 
rather blank, for having no beaters with us, we might as well 
have searched for a needle in a haystack as a hog on that 
wide plain. Suddenly we caught sight of a little flag waving 
from a solitary tree in the distance, and, putting our horses' 
heads in that direction, soon started a huge boar. Away we 
went as hard as we coidd lay legs to the groimd, my horse 
leading — and Outram just behind, calling out to me to turn 
him. On, on we rode, but just when I came within nearly 
a spear's length of him, instead of turning from me, he 
charged furiously at me, and had not my gallant steed 
bounded in the air and leaped over him, we should have 
been rolled upon the plain. Before I had recovered the 
suddenness of the attack, Outram rushed to the rescue ; the 


hog charged him furiously, but being a practised hand, he 
received the charge on his spear. In the concussion the 
spear was broken in half, one part remaining fast in the 
animal's head. Our enemy was now brought to bay but, 
sitting on his haunches with the spear in his head, he had 
such a strange appearance and charged so furiously when we 
approached, that our horses woidd not go near enough to him 
to allow of his getting his ooujMie-^raoe. We had, at this 
time, but one spear, I having dropped mine, and Outram's 
being broken — ^but after a while our horse-keepers came up 
with other spears, and the boar was soon despatched. My 
companions were much amused at my discomfiture, but gave 
me great credit for my first attempt.' 

Outram had purchased a house at Eajkot, and into this 
he moved shortly after reaching the station. The other 
officers who could not find bangla accommodation went into 
tents. Ord took up his quarters with a friend in the 1st 
Cavalry, joining the mess of that regiment ; but Outram, not 
thinking this arrangement compatible with a proper esprit 
de corpSj eventually persuaded him to share his own house 
and become a member of his own mess. 

Colonel Ord, at a comparatively recent date, in reviewing 
the weekly hog-hunting picnics of Eajkot held at this 
particular period, gives a stirring account of an adventure at 
a place called ^ Kerisera,' prefacing it with the remark that 
* in India sporting is much encouraged by the higher 
authorities, it being the general opinion that these hardy 
exercises conduce much to the military training and for- 
mation of a soldier.' * He had heard both Sir John Malcolm 
and Sir Lionel Smith ' — and few men could be trusted for 
soimder opinions on military training- — ' observe that they 
never knew a good sportsman who was not a good soldier,' 
We quote the original narrative : — 

38 JAMES OUTRAM, 1819- 

* Outram, Liddle, and myself were together ; we started a 
sounder. Outram looking after one hog, and L, and myself 
after another, Outram soon lost sight of his in the thick 
jimgle, but L. and I pursued our course. Soon we heard 
0. galloping up behind us ; we pushed on, hoping to get 
the spear before he came up. Most unfortunately there was 
a deep jungly ravine before us ; into that the hog dashed, 
and while we stopped on the brink, Outram rushed by us, 
and after floundering and rolling over several times reached 
the bottom — a dry nullah. We thought that he must have 
been severely hurt, but not a bit — soon he was on his horse's 
back again, and after a long nm he killed the boar, although 
he had only half a spear, the shaft having been broken in 
his descent down the ravine. When Outram had left us, 
L. and I went into the jungle, hoping to finish another hog. 
We had not ridden far when we heard a rustle, and saw the 
grass moving at a little distance in front of us; we im- 
mediately set oflF in pursuit, but on coming to a more open 
space we found that it was not a hog that we were in chase 
of, but two lions. The lions, on getting a fair view of us, 
stopped and turned to look at us. We stopped also, feeling 
no inclination to encoimter them. After gazing at each 
other for a while, the lions quietly walked away, and we 
followed their example. On regaining Outram, and telling 
him what we had seen, he was anxious that we should again 
go in pursuit, but we resolutely declined. These were the 
first lions, I believe, that were ever seen in Kdthiaw&r ; since 
then I have heard that many have been met with, and some 
killed, but with the rifle, not the spear.' 

Running a nilgai down without dogs, and following him 
into the middle of a river, is another story of those days 
told of his hero by the same authority. One morning, too, 
that they were out with the dogs in quest of foxes, they 

-1 824 

'FIRST spears: 


slipped the whole pack at some wolves which appeared upon 
the ground. These fought fiercely, and seriously damaged 
their assailants. The result was that most of the dogs went 

For the year 1823 there is recorded in James Outram's 
fihikdr book, that he had * good hog-hunting in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rajkot.' A list of eighty-three first spears is 
given, of which fifty belong to the recorder himself, the 
rest being divided among twelve other competitors, the 
highest of whose individual scores is eight. Of course many 
of the party were oftener out than others ; Outram always. 
The rule of the hunt was that all should go after the same 
hog, selecting the largest. For the year 1824 the shikar 
register in K4thiaw4r is roughly continued until March 4 
only, at which date thirty-nine hog and one chitd (leopard) 
had been killed. Of the first spears Outram carried oflF 
twenty-four, inclusive of the ehitd; the remainder being 
divided among three comrades, one of whom scored eight. 
He also killed in K^thiawdr four nilgai^ two hyenas, and two 
wolves ; the nUgdi having been obtained in seven runs, at 
the cost of four horses ! * 

* A detail of winners of these ' first spears ' is giyen in the shikdr book. 
Adding the two years together, we obtain a total of 123 (83 + 40), in the 
following order : — 

Outram .74 



Watkins . 






Bowland . 






Sparrow . 

Wilkes . 


Stevenson . 

Jkm Bija of Na 




40 JAMES OUTRAM, 1819- 

But the years 1823 and 1824 were not wholly taken up 
with the chase. The account just given of trophies in the 
hunting-field begins really in the last week of July and 
ends on March 4, thus exhibiting a detail of consecutive 
sport for little mpre than seven months. During this 
period Outram, a young man of but one-and-twenty, up to 
January 29 took three-fifths of the * first spears,' it is true ; 
but he was winning his professional spears also by energy on 
the regimental parade. Independently of the duties of his 
own corps, he had already been adjutant of a detachment on 
service in K4thiaw4r under Captain Morris. In January 
1823, he commanded the Ist battalion of the 12th N. I. 
on its annual review, and was highly complimented by 
Colonel Turner, the reviewing officer, in Station Orders 
of the day; and in March 1824 he commanded a wing of 
his corps on the occasion of its review by Sir Charles 
Colville at Junagarh. The state of the battalion generally 
may be inferred firom the Commander-in-Chiefs order, dated 
February 29, the day on which he had reviewed its head- 
quarters for the first time since * incorporation into the 
Line.' His Excellency expressed to the officers and men how 
much gratification he had experienced *in witnessing that 
their good composition as a body' was * equalled by their 
smart and soldier-like performance under arms, and the 
report of their orderly and correct conduct in cantonment.' 
No slight praise is hereby implied to an adjutant who, 
however able his commandant, must, if he be of the proper 
stamp, exercise a strong direct personal influence upon both 
officers and aipahia in a native regiment. And he had 
then only just entered his two-and-twentieth year. The 
good opinion of the higher authorities on his soldierly 
qualities was, however, not evinced by mere compliment. 
In April 1824, when his regiment moved in wings to relieve 
the 19th Native Infantry at Maleg4on, in Khandesh, he was 


placed in command of the wing reviewed by the chief at 
Junagarh, resuming, at the end of the march, his duties of 
adjutant. Selection of a junior lieutenant for such respon- 
sible work was no poor evidence of eflBciency. Dr. Johnston, 
of the Bombay army, accompanied in* medical charge. 
His recorded reminiscence of this chapter of Indian life is of 
suflScient interest to be utilised for the benefit of the reader. 
The march is described as ' a distance of 250 miles, through 
a fine coimtry, not wanting in game.' The strict discipline 
maintained by the young commanding officer did not admit 
of * ahikaring ' while the men were in movement. ^ But,' 
writes the doctor, * after reaching our ground, encamping the 
men, and discussing a good breakfast in the mess tent, we 
generally sallied out in quest of game, and many a wild boar 
bit the dust on these occasions. Outram was always ready 
to join those under his command in the field sports, of 
which indeed he was the great promoter, and in which he 
took more first spears than any other man. But this, so 
far from leading them to be lax in their duties, made every 
man try to do his best. Duty was always a labour of love 
with those under him, for he inspired all who were capable 
of any elevation of feeling with some portion of his own 
ardour, and made all such willing assistants rather than 
mere perfunctory subordinates. Thus early did he show 
that wonderful tact of commanding which few have possessed 
in such a high degree.' 

In October 1824 he proceeded on medical certificate to 
Bombay. Some four or five months before, his battalion 
had been converted into a regiment,* under the designation 

* The order of the Governor-General in Ck)ancil for the reorganisation of the 
Armies of the three Presidencies is dated May 6. Twelve regiments of Native 
Infantry, consisting of 2 battalions each, were given to Bombay ; 25 to Madras, 
and 34 to BengaL The separation into regiments accordingly was notified in 
Bombay Government Orders of June 7» when James Outram appeared as 
fourth Lieutenant in the 24th N.I. Francis Outram was at the same time 
shown as sixth among the Lieutenants of Engineers. On July 29, James 

42 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 

of 23rd. He himself had been posted next to Lieutenant 
Ord in the 2nd battalion or 24th, and appointed adjutant ; 
but he had been permitted at his own request to return to 
his original battalion and his original adjutancy.* 

His Khandesh experiences of skikdr had not been as 
full as those of K4thiaw4r, nor were his results so successful. 
For a party of four there is only shown a list of ten first 
spears ; but then seven of these belonged to James Outram. 
One of the seven was exceptional, in that it was not taken 
upon a hog. The young Nimrod had again nm down a 
nilgai^ and the exploit had once more cost him ' a valuable 

Many old officers of the Bombay army will doubtless 
remember a story which obtained credit in those days, to 
the eflfect that Lieutenant Outram volunteered for employ- 
ment in the Birmese campaign, and that the Commander- 
in-Chief, who had a real appreciation of the volunteer's 
soldierly qualities, but may not have cared to move him 
from the scene of present usefulness, replied through his 
secretary that he would not accede to the application, as, 
after giving the matter every consideration, he had come to 
the conclusion that the war might be successfully accom- 
plished without him ! The sequel was said to have been a 
challenge, to which the good humour and good sense of the 
old General replied by a friendly admonition conveyed 
through a third party. We think it probable that the 
following is the more correct account. It claims to be that 

Oatram is gazetted Adjutant of the 24th Kegiment NJ. from August 1, *vie6 
Allen, who resigns.' 

' The following is the text of the Government Order, dated September 3, 

* 2drd Regiment NJ, — Lieutenant J. Outram, having exchanged from the 
24th to this Regiment N.I. (in order to remain in a corps in which he has 
long done duty), to be continued in the discharge of the duties of Adjutant 
without alteration of original date of appointment, and his appointment of 
Adjutant to the 24th Begiment of K.I., \>j the General Order of July 29 last, 
is cancelled.' 

-i824 KITTCR. 43 

related by Sir James himself in after years : — He used to be 
nicknamed * the little general,' and when he asked the chief 
to be allowed to go to Birmah, verbally, the reply of * Oh, 
no, little general, I think we can manage it without you,' so 
enraged him that he rushed out bent upon the dueUo^ and 
eager to find a sympathising second. Of course no one 
woidd act in that capacity ; and the General, on hearing of the 
matter, said to him, * It's lucky you did not find one, for I'd 
have shot you.' In any case Sir Charles Colville must have 
been the chief referred to, and it is not imlikely that the 
occurrence took place about the period of his inspection of 
the 23rd Regiment in March 1824 ; for it was in that very 
month that Sir Archibald Campbell was appointed to 
command the expeditionary force in Birmah. It may be here 
mentioned that Lord Amherst had arrived as Governor- 
General in Bengal, in succession to the Marquis of Hastings, 
in the middle of the previous year. 

While Outram was at Bombay, towards the end of the 
year 1824, one of those miniature wars occurred, which, 
trifling as they are in respect of numbers and area, afford 
lessons to young soldiers more practical in their way than the 
sand-modelling experience of our military colleges. The story 
is instructive because it illustrates an incident of British rule 
in India which may have been repeated more or less often, 
with variations in detail but like general results ; because it 
shows the delicate ground on which we tread in enforcing 
our morals as well as laws upon a people unwilling to accept 
either where they clash with ancient custom or prejudice ; 
and because it establishes the fsict that a rebellion against 
authority may be carried on, even by the more xmcivilised of 
our Indian subjects, in a strange spirit of chivalry, devoid of 
personal rancour or animosity. 

The Deshai, or hereditary native governor of Kittur, died 
in September 1824 without heirs; and his jdgiry ox alien- 


ated lands, lapsed to the paramount power, Mr. Thackeray, 
British Eesident in the native state, consequently assumed 
control of the property, pending receipt of the further orders 
of Government. But some members of the native household 
sought both to conceal the death of the chief, and to palm oflf 
a successor, falsely represented to have been adopted. It be- 
came, therefore, necessary to take measures for securing the 
treasure and jewels, valued at about 15 lacs of rupees ; and a 
guard, sufficient to supply the requisite sentries, was ordered 
to move into the fort on October 22. The day following the 
spirit of resistance was clearly manifested, and admittance re- 
fused to a relief of soldiers. Strong measures were necessary ; 
so the Collector gave orders that Captain Black should proceed 
with two guns to the gateway and demand surrender of the 
place, with one hour to consider. This done, without answer 
returned, and a further half-hour having been accorded with 
similar result, the gates were blown open. A heavy fire was 
then opened upon our troops from within the fort; Mr. 
Thackeray, Captain Black, and Lieutenant Dighton were 
killed, and Lieutenant Sewell was badly woimded. Messrs. 
Stevenson and Elliott, of the Madras Civil Service, the Col- 
lector's Assistants, who had been taken prisoners, were brought 
in front of the aipahis to induce them to ceaae firing. The 
device was successful, and the rebels carried their point. 

No time was lost in repairing the mischief done to the 
prestige of our authority. There were no railways or tele- 
graphs in those days, but fortunately Kittur was not a very 
remote locality. On November 7 the 1st European regi- 
ment and a detachment of artillery embarked from 
Bombay for Vingorla, to proceed to Dharwar; and soon 
afterwards a combined force of Madras and Bombay troops, 
which had been directed to assemble in the Southern Mar- 
hatta coimtry, entered the refractory State under command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Deacon, C.B., of the Madras establish- 


ment. On December 10 the Governor of Bombay in Council 
published the despatches reporting the reduction of the for- 
tress, and expressing his entire approbation of the measures 
adopted to achieve success, as well as of the conduct of 
officers and men engaged. Government viewed ' with par- 
ticidar satisfaction the exertions of the several corps to reach 
their destination from distant points, under circumstances of 
great difficulty attendant on the late unusual season and 
the great want of carriage in the country through which 
they had to pass.' The affair had been smart and well- 
managed, with a total loss on our side of three killed and 
twenty-five wounded. It is worthy of remark that Messrs. 
Stevenson and Elliott were well treated throughout this short 
period of captivity. According to the portion of the local 
press then considered the more authoritative, they were 
desired by the Marhattas to look upon the fort as their own, 
and their keepers, not themselves, as prisoners ! 

Now it so happened that both Francis and Jam^s Outram 
were present at the siege of Kittur: the former in the 
course of duty, the latter as a volunteer on leave at the 
Presidency. For the parts they respectively played we 
must refer to the despatches of the officer commanding the 
field detachment, although the Engineer only is mentioned 
in them by name. Colonel Deacon says : * In reconnoitring 
... I was ably assisted by the abilities of Captain Pouget, 
of the Bombay Engineers ; and his decided exertions and 
operations, as well as those of Lieutenants Lawe and Outram, 
of the same branch, were of the greatest use to me.' He 
added, however, that a demur on the side of the besieged to 
fulfil the terms of capitulation, which had been intimated 
by prearranged signal, had caused him to move forward 
* H Jtf .'s 46th Regiment imder Lieutenant-Colonel Willshire,* 
and the 3rd Bombay Native Infantry under Lieutenant- 

> Afterwarcb General Sir Thomas Willshire, Bart. K.C.B. 

46 JAMES OUTRAM, 1819- 

Colonel Seely.' Suspicion of treacherous dealing had been 
so far aroused, that * the batteries were several times about 
to re-open : ' but all ended well, for after a little delay in 
negotiation * the prisoners were • • • brought out and the 
forts surrendered, about 8 o'clock on the momii^g of 
December 5.' By the light of these passages in the de- 
spatch, we understand the personal notes which inform us 
that James Outram, after successfully volunteering for the 
Kitttir expedition, was * attached to the 3rd Eegiment in 
command of the Light Company,' and that he had further 
* volimteered to lead the storming-party,' a contingency con- 
templated, but rendered imnecessary owing to the submis- 
sion of the insurgents. 

As their arrival at Bombay is notified in the same day's 
Gazette, we may conclude that the two brothers returned 
thither from Kittur together on January 19. The younger 
did not tarry many days at the Presidency, and in February 
had joined his regiment at Maleg&on. One month later, 
an insurrection which, unchecked, might have proved of a 
serious character, broke out in the western districts of Khan- 
desh, in the suppression of which he was called upon to 
take a prominent part. The leading rebel, with 800 men, 
attacked and plundered Antapur, and carried his spoil to 
the hill-fortress of Malair, a village between Surat and 
Maleg^n. There, having established his head-quarters, 
he raised the banner of the recently conquered Peshwa, 
and proclaimed his intention of reviving the glories of the 
Marhatta confederacy. Convenient military stations, such as 
Surat, J^lnah, and Ahmadnagar, were warned to hold soldiers 
in readiness for service ; while the more immediately avail- 
able force was concentrated for protective purposes upon 
Zai Kaira, the chief town of the Malair district, and seat of 
the treasury; that place being only twelve miles distant 
from the stronghold of the insurgents. 


On the morning of April 5 a requisition for troops 
reached Maleg^on : and a detachment of 200 men of the 
11th and 23rd Regiments was paraded and marched oflF at 5 
o'clock in the evening. Lieutenant Outram, who was to 
command, and his friend, Mr. Graham the assistant-collector, 
followed at 11 P.M. on an elephant. They reached Zai Kaira 
at sunrise on April 6 — 37 miles in seven hours. On the way 
they had seen the fires in Malair; and the surrounding 
country had appeared to them in a blaze. For the last five 
miles into the town the road had been strewed with aipahia, 
completely knocked up. In the course of the day Outram 
received information which led him to believe that, despite 
of numbers, the fortress of Malair might be successfully 
escaladed on the further side. But this day's proceedings, 
and those of April 7, will be retold in the words of one who 
may be trusted for a knowledge of his subject : * He there- 
fore proposed to carry the place by a coup-de-^main^ to rout 
the insurgents under the panic of a sudden surprise and, by 
thus destroying the prestige they had already acquired, to 
dishearten the allies that were flocking to their standard. 
This proposition was enthusiastically received by his compa- 
nions. Ensigns Whitmore and Paul, of the 11th Regiment; 
but it so fEur exceeded the discretionary powers which their 
written instructions vested either in Graham or Outram, that 
it was a matter of serious deliberation with the former whether 
he was justified in giving his consent. The result of his enqui- 
ries, however, satisfied him that a rapid and alarming exten- 
sion of the insurrection could only be prevented by oflFering 
a prompt check to the rebels. He accordingly sanctioned the 
proposed measures ; and soon after nightfall Outram marched 
forth to carry them into execution. 

* As he neared the hill on which the fortress was situated, 
he sent Ensigns Whitmore and Paul, with 150 men, to make 
a false attack in front, while he himself, with the remaining 

48 JAMES OUTRAM. 1819- 

fifty sepoys of his detachment, turning oflf to the left, pro- 
ceeded to assail the rear, 

* The operation was completely successful. Both parties 
effected the ascent before daybreak, and while the rebels 
had their attention drawn to their front by the assault of an 
enemy whose strength it was impossible to ascertain in the 
dark, Outram dashed in upon them from behind. The 
panic-stricken garrison fled with scarcely an attempt at 
resistance, and at the head of his reunited detachment,- 
and some horsemen whom Mr. Graham had in the meantime 
collected, Outram followed them up so closely that they 
could neither rally nor discover the weakness- of their 
assailants. Their leader was cut down ; many of his ad- 
herents shared his fate, and the rest made for the neigh- 
bouring hills in a state of complete disorganisation. 

* As the infantry had now marched upwards of fifty miles 
in little more than thirty-six hours, Outram foimd it neces- 
sary to halt them soon after dawn. But the horsemen 
continued the pursuit so far as the nature of the ground 
permitted ; scouts were despatched to ascertain the point of 
rendezvous selected by the scattered foe, and, at night, the 
chase was resumed. The insurgents were a second time 
surprised ; many were slain, numbers were taken prisoners, 
and the rest, throwing down their arms, fled to their respective 
villages. A rebellion which had caused much anxiety to the 
authorities was thus crushed ere the troops intended for its 
suppression had been put in motion, and the plunder of 
Untapoor was restored to its lawful owners.' * 

These services, for which the acknowledgments of Govern- 
ment, the Commander-in-Chief, and the Division General, 
were received by the smart young adjutant and his supporters, 
were the last rendered by Lieutenant Outram in his capacity 

* Memoir, printed for privattd circulation in 1868. 


of regimental officer. He had been marked by the authorities 
for special employ, and his energy and abilities were to be 
displayed in a new and higher sphere. By Bombay General 
Orders of April 22, he was placed at the disposal of the 
collector and political agent in Khandesh for the purpose of 
conunanding a Bhil corps to be raised in that province for 
police duties. A fortnight afterwards appeared in the 
Government Gazette the appointment of an officer to be 
adjutant of the 23rd Eegiment N.I. ' vice Outram, appointed 
to command a Bhil corps.' We are not surprised to learn 
that when he thus officially, as it were, parted from his 
old companions, his commanding officer, Major Deschamps, 
recorded a warm eulogium on his services, attributing in a 
great measure to his individual merits and exertions, the 
good reputation obtained by the newly-formed regiment. 

Having now traced the strictly regimental career of the 
subject of our biography, it will not be out of place, be- 
fore commencing a new chapter, to glance at the result of 
this incipient work upon physical powers which an Indian 
climate and much out-door work had put to a tolerably 
severe test. 

He was not one to dwell upon bodily aUments, but he 
was not free from those to which flesh is heir; nor was 
India more kind to him during the first five years of his 
residence than to the generality of his companions. It has 
been shown that sickness had compelled him to leave Baroda 
in 1821 and Rajkot in 1824, proceeding on each occasion to 
Bombay. It has not, however, been stated that just before 
the march from Puna in the former year he had been 
attacked by a bilious fever which, to use his own words, 
though ' got over in three days,' was ' succeeded by a very 
curious disease, something between small-pox and chicken- 
pox.' He had managed to accompany his regiment out from 
Puna in that kind of second-class palanquin called a doolte\ 

VOL. 1. E 

50 JAMES OUTRAM, 1824 

and after four days' rest at his cousin's quarters in Bombay, 
whither he had gone by water from Panwell, he had felt well 
enough to decline his commanding oflScer's ofiFer to precede 
the corps by sear-passage to Cambay. That this attack, how- 
ever, had been of a decided character, may be inferred from 
his report of himself when it had fairly passed away : i.e. that 
he was ' a greater scare than ever,' and ' a little marked ' by the 
disease. Moreover, Mr. Elphinstone had not at first recog- 
nised him at Baroda, because he * had grown so much,' and 
his * face was greatly altered ; ' which latter result he attri- 
buted to the same circumstance. 

For some years he continued the * puny lad ' of his self- 
retrospect, liable to every prevailing sickness, and easily 
knocked up by exposure. But we learn that even in his 
early days he formed the resolution to fight it out with the 
climate or die : to acclimatise himself by surmounting all 
the illnesses of Anglo-Indian existence, or succumb to one of 
them altogether. If he was not to conquer such contingencies, 
he did not care to live in the atmosphere to which they 
belonged. And he did fight it out and, strange to say, ill- 
ness after illness left him none the worse permanently ; while 
the result of an unusually varied series of approaches to 
death's door was the establishment of a constitution of iron, 
proof against all influences, and proverbial in its marvellous 
capacity for endurance of deadly trials; nerves of steel — 
shoulders and muscles worthy of a six-foot Highlander. He 
was given over in cholera more than once, and experienced 
fevers and other diseases or complaints which, humanly 
speaking, would have killed most men : but excitement and 
work soon became, and long remained, his best restoratives 
and tonics. 

Of his ' moving accidents by flood and field ' and * hair- 
breadth scapes,' we shall have to tell hereafter. Our 
inmiediate business is with the Bhils of Khandesh. 



Khandesh and the Bhils^Outram's Bhll Corps. 

The province of Khandesh, situated to the north-north-easfc 
of the port of Bombay, from which its principal town, Dhulia, 
is distant 181 miles, became incorporated in British Indian 
territory in 1818, after the Peshwa's downfall. For a time 
it formed part of the district of Ahmadnagar; but was 
separated in 1849. It is now known as a coUectorate, of 
which the greatest length is, from east to west, 175 miles, 
and breadth, from north to south, 128 miles.* 

Thirty-seven years ago. Captain Douglas Graham described 
the tract as contained between the Satpura hills. on the 
north, and that branch of the ghdta which passes under the 
names of Chandar, SatmWa, and Ajanta, to the south. So far 
the description holds good at the present day. Let us add 
that, beyond the Satpuras, are the Akrilni pargarma and 
the native state of Barw&ni. These comprise lands south of 
the Narbada, flanked by the territory of Holkar and the 
Cr4ikw4r, the last extending also along the Sukhain hiUs, or 
western limits of Khandesh. East and south^st are Berar 
and the country of the Nizam. The tabular trap hills on the 
north are, according to Captain Graham, * separated from 
each other by ravines of vast magnitude, and are covered 
with splendid forests which afford, amidst the most romantic 
scenery, unbounded shelter to the outlaw.' The Sukhain 

» Sm also Appendix B, af regardi Khandwh and the BhUi gencrallj, 

B 2 

52 JAMES OUTRAM, 1825- 

range is steep and stony, but the ghdta on that side are 
broken : they sustain * tangled masses of bamboo found no^ 
where else in greater luxury or more difficult of access.' A 
thick babul jangal clothes the hilly country on the south. 

What with bad roads, sparse hamlets, rugged impracticable 
mountain passes, and the spread o{ jangal over the cultivable 
tracts, the aspect of the province, on being brought under 
British occupation, was far from inviting. Its decline is 
dated at a period within the present century, when Holkar's 
ravages were followed by famine, and famine was followed by 
misgovemment and official plunder. Irrespective of these 
visitations, though in some degree consequent upon them, 
lawless men moved, and savage beasts prowled over the face of 
the land in quest of mischief. Foremost among marauding 
tribes, one, the Bhil, is especially connected with the work 
which we have in hand. 

Colonel Briggs, political agent in 1818, estimated the 
Bhils in Khandesh to form an eighth part of the whole 
population. Fifteen years later, Mr. W. S. Boyd, an ex- 
perienced collector, adopting the same basis of calculation, 
fixed the number at 55,000. The former believed them to 
be a distinct people ; and assigned them a habitat in the 
mountainous tract lying between Dharanpur in the Konkan 
(20'- 2 3' north lat.) and Meywar, belonging to the B4na of 
Udaipur. Sir John Malcolm saw in them a distinctiveness of 
race and class-separation dating from the most remote ages. 
Captain Douglas Graham placed on record that, on being 
driven out of Meywar and Jodhpur by other tribes, they 
had located themselves among the rocky ranges of the 
Satpura, Vindhya and Satmdla, and amidst the woody banks 
of the M^hi, Narbada, and Tapti, * where, protected by the 
strong nature of the country, they have since dwelt, subsisting 
partly on their own industry, but more generally on the 
plunder of the rich landholders in their vicinity, considering 

1 828 . THE BHILS. 53 

depredation on the inhabitants of the plain as a sort of 
privilege, and a tax upon all persons passing through the 
country of their occupation as a national right.' He believed 
the bulk of the Khandesh Bhils to have settled in Baglan 
(or Baglana), and to the north and north-west, as peaceable 
cultivators, proprietors, and village officials — respectable 
probably as their fellows, because having the same interest 
in the preservation of their rights and property. But there 
must have been many exceptions to this hopeful majority 
in the indolent, improvident lot whom he found scattered 
in nimibers throughout the province, refusing intimacy with, 
or to acknowledge as kith or kin, those who had become 
* degraded ' by trade or labour, and had abandoned the normal 
ways and habits of the tribe. The most restless and trouble- 
some he stated to be ' those dwelling immediately at the 
foot, and amidst the recesses of the surrounding ranges, who 
at different periods have either usurped, or have been en- 
trusted with all the passes leading into the country, and till 
lately have held charge of many of the most important 
fortresses in the plains. Their hive-like habitations formerly 
crested the top of each isolated hill, where approach from 
every side was easily defended or immediately discovered ; 
and these hovels, not reared for permanent occupation but 
hastily put together to be crept into for a few months or 
weeks, were without regret abandoned on any occasion that 
induced the occupants to shift their quarters. Eoving and 
restless by disposition, and skilful hunters by necessity, 
the woods and jimgles supplied them with roots, berries, 
and gdme ; a successful foray filled their stores to over- 
flowing, and as every man's hand was lifted against them, 
so the measure of wrath was fully returned by the tribe, 
whose powers of mischief far exceeded those of their nu- 
merous oppressors, and whose habits and locations enabled 

54 JAMES OUT RAM. 1825- 

them to bid such a lengthy defiance to so many Grovem- 
ments.' * 

The term, like that of * Kurd ' in Asiatic Turkey, has 
been long traditionally associated with robbery and violence, 
but circumstances may have had something to do with 
turning the haiid of the Bhil against his neighbour, equally 
with inborn combativeness and natural predilections. In 
village communities the Bhil of Khandesh was described 
to be usually the recognised watchman, who received a 
certain amount of rent-free land and grain for the ordinary 
fulfilment of duty, and special rewards for special services. 
We speak of the system in its condition under native 
states unaffected by the changes of European civilisation. 
It was observed however that, in the interior, that is, at 
some distance from the moimtain ranges, the village Bhil 
seldom admitted the authority of an official or hereditary 
chief, or acknowledged any superior but one who had acquired 
the greatest reputation as a leader of banditti — failing whom, 
his choice fell on the oldest and wisest of his fellows. There 
is therefore good reason to infer that the settlement in the 
plains of certain of the tribe as peaceable members of an 
agricultural family, was brought about by compulsion or 
strong persuasion on the part of the Muhammadan rulers.* 
Moreover, on the occurrence of famine and invasion, it 
appears that the Bhil watchmen and cultivators generally 
broke away from their more domestic ties, and took refuge 
in the surrounding hills. 

Apart from village organisation and the milder morality 
of the plain country, there were the fierce, intractable Bhil 
robbers of the mountain: men of strong animal passions and in- 
stincts, who had no sympathy or part with the tiller of the soil, 

' A Brief Historical Sketch of the Bhil Tribes inhabiting the Province t^ 
Khandeth. Bombay, 1843. 

* Report by Lieuter.ant-Colonel Robertson, of March 18, 1825. 

-1 828 THE BHILS, 


and knew nothing of honest livelihoods or the uses of in- 
dustry ; who prided themselves in a profession of plunder 
invested with the character of sanctity, and whose religion 
was allegiance to the powers of evil, illustrated by pro- 
pitiatory sacrifices of a sanguinary type. No wonder that 
these, and such as had not been grafted into a more civilised 
state than these, isolated themselves from, and were readily 
isolated by their neighbours, whose bitter and hereditary 
enemies they naturally became. Suspicious, cunning, and more 
ready to prey on the weak than test the prowess of the strong, 
their bravery was perhaps in most cases that of desperation 
and recklessness of life, but has also been held to partake 
of * manly fortitude ' and * heroic devotion.' 

One authority, admitting two sides to the picture, 
speaks of them in the following terms : * Small in stature, 
lean and wiry, these Bhils are capable of great endurance, 
and from constant exercise their senses of sight and hearing 
are wonderfully acute. They seem, in their natural state, 
like the Bushmen of Africa, scarcely men, but rather a link 
between the human species and the wild creatures among 
whom they live. Robbers and marauders by natural descent, 
for long their hand was against every man and every man's 
hand against them. Hunting, varied by plundering and 
cattle-lifting, was their normal trade. There was something 
noble in them too ; they were in fact the Rob Roys of India 
and, like our Rob Roy, they for a long time actually levied 
black mail from the inhabitants of the open country. Pro- 
scribed by Government and hunted down, they were killed 
by hundreds, but never subdued.' * Of those who were essen- 
tially hill-men, it may be said that, prior to the formation 
of the British coUectorate of Khandesh, no coercion or per- 
suasion had, from time immemorial or according to any 

* Lechire delivered in Edinburgh to H.M/s 78th Highlanders, by Colonel 
Davidson, late of the Bombay Army. 

56 JAMES OUTRAM, 1825- 

tradition extant, succeeded in drawing them from their 
mountain abodes and fastnesses. 

But we must not now confine ourselves, either ethno- 
logically or geographically, to any one particular division of 
the race, though the strict range of biographical narrative 
be limited to the inhabitants of one British Indian coUec- 
torate and its immediate neighbourhood. We have to do 
with all to whom a particular designation applies, whether 
dweller in the hills or plains, or ignorant of one or the other, 
or an occasional visitor or frequenter of both; only, be it 
premised, our subject is rather warrior than cultivator, and 
more commonly a disturber than a preserver of the peace. 

The Bhils had taken advantage of the war between 
Muhammadans and Marhattas to give 'vent to their tastes 
and powers of misdoing : but on the cessation of that 
struggle, a new period of anarchy and confusion arose which 
must have been at its height when Khandesh came into 
our hands in 1818. 

At that time we are told : — 

* Murder and rapine stalked openly and unrestrainedly 
through the land. Fifty notorious leaders infested this 
once flourishing " garden of the west," and their every 
command was implicitly obeyed by upwards of five thou- 
sand ruthless followers, whose sole occupation was pillage 
and robbery, whose delight alone consisted in the mur- 
derous foray, and whose subsistence depended entirely on 
the fruits of their unlawful spoil. Smarting also under the 
repeatedly broken pledges of the former Native Government, 
and rendered savage from the wholesale slaughter of their 
families and relations, the Bhils were more than usually 
suspicious of a new government of foreigners, and less than 
ever inclined to submit to the bonds of order and restraint.'* 

The Satpura and Satmdla, or northern and southern 

' Captain Douglas Graham's Memoir. 


hills, as well as western ghats^ were alive with large bodies 
of warlike and disaffected men, ever ready, more or less, to 
ruffle the tranquillity of the plain country beneath. So in- 
secure was the condition of the cultivator, that he was con- 
strained to refuse the taka/wi, or money advanced for seed, 
an act in many cases significant of a coming season of desti- 
tution. War between British and Bhils became therefore 
a stem necessity ; and it was further necessary at once to stop 
the forcible seizing of grain in the lowlands. 

For seven years every effort was made to bring about a 
better order of things. Colonel Briggs, the political agent, 
tried conciliatory, as well as repressive measures. Some of 
the delinquents were enlisted in the Government service, 
some were pensioned, and with others an attempt was made 
to organise a local police ; but notwithstanding the loss by 
death or confinement of many of the more prominent in- 
surgents, a^d that great and reasonable inducement to accept 
terms had been held out, little sensible progress was at- 
tained. It was not until the new policy inaugurated by 
Colonel Archibald Eobertson had been rendered intelligible 
to the mass, and names such as Ovans and Outram had be- 
come familiar to the Bhil, that a marked change ensued for 
the better. This change is dated from the year 1825, when 
the Bhil agency was established and effect given to the 
orders specially communicated by the Court of Directors. 
The three agents were Captain Eigby in the north-west, 
having under his charge the ta'lukds of Nandurbar, Sul- 
tanpur and Pimpalnair, with all the independent and tribu- 
tary chieftains, those of the D4ng inclusive ; Captain Ovans 
in the south, in charge of Jamnair, Burgeon, and Ch&lisg^n, 
inclusive of the districts below and adjoining the Ajanta 
and Satmala range ; and Lieutenant James Outram in the 
north-east, superintending the line of the Satpuras, with the 
districts of Chopra, Ydwal, and Sauda, to which were after- 


wards added Erindol, Amalnair, and Nasar4b4d. To the 
latter officer was moreover entrusted the duty of raising a 
Bhil Light Infantry corps under native conmiissioned and 
non-commissioned officers of Line regiments. 

The agents were certainly instructed how to carry on 
generally the important work committed to them, and made 
acquainted with the results which it was desirable they 
should achieve. But it is manifest that much must have 
been left to their discrimination and judgment, and that 
individual character would go far to solve the problem of 
success or failure in an undertaking of the kind. They had 
to combine administrative with executive fimctions : to 
be magistrates, judges, arbitrators, advisers, police super- 
intendents, and military commanders : to conciliate as well 
as repress, to attract as well as awe, and to inculcate honesty 
and fair dealing by example as well as by precept. Outram 
had, in addition, to instil discipline and obedience into the 
minds of those whom he was to rear as a local force. 

To render acceptable the humane and enlightened policy 
about to be initiated, military operations were reduced to a 
minimum. To stop them entirely would have been unwise, 
impolitic, and unfair to the peaceable inhabitants of Khan- 
desh 2 but a general amnesty was offered to all Bhils but 
the more heinous offenders, for whose apprehension large 
rewards had been proclaimed ; and indeed, a free pardon for 
past crimes was granted to those who surrendered at discretion. 

Although the order to organise a Bhil corps under a 
European officer was long delayed, and the incident of the 
Malair rebellion, in which Outram bore so conspicuous a 
part, doubtless hastened its issue and execution, credit may 
not be withheld from the local Government for the measures 
eventually taken. Mountstuart Elphinstone, Governor of 
Bombay from 1819 to 1827, had had a long experience of 
Western India. Great natural ability, combined with a keen 


insight into the native mind, and that cool courage which had 
caused Colonel Arthur Wellesley to hold him * certainly bom 
a soldier,' soon gave him a high local reputation, which was 
afterwards not diminished by his tenure of the Presidential 
dignity. In the matter of the Bhils he leaned to the milder 
policy of conciliation, and looked hopefully to the possibility 
of ameliorating the condition of these proscribed brigands 
and outcasts. He would reclaim rather than exterminate ; 
and happily the Home Government, despite of objections put 
forward, eventually supported his proposals. The selection 
of so junior an officer as James Outram for the double work 
of morally civilising and physically disciplining the rough 
and ignorant Bhil of Khandesh, was not more creditable to 
the nominee's character than to the judgment of the 
Governor. In at once throwing up his regimental position 
and accepting the appointment offered, the young adjutant 
acted against the advice of firiends, who expatiated on the 
poor prospect of a successful result to his labours. But he 
was wise in his generation. 

A severe illness detained Lieutenant Outram until the 
beginning of May in Maleg^n, where his regiment was 
stationed. Here also were the head-quarters of a field force 
designed to keep in check the Bhils of the Ajanta or 
Satmala range, who, under the guidance of one Pandu and 
other leaders of local celebrity, had long ravaged the plains 
below the mountains with impunity, setting at nought all 
attempts to dislodge them from their fastnesses. As it was 
not practicable to open communications from this place, 
Outram proceeded up to Kanur, a small station in the 
Nizam's country above the ghats, but with no practical result. 
Hence he returned to Malegdon in the hope of persuading 
the local authorities to consent to active operations ; for he 
was convinced that his mission would be vain so long as 
the spirit of rebellion was fostered by the belief that our troops 


could not attack the evil at its source, by penetrating the 
mountain retreats. Again disappointed, he made his way to 
a native officer's post at Jatigdon, some thirty miles distant, 
also above the ghats, whither the men were detached from 
his own regiment. The commandant, recognising one whom 
he had long been accustomed to obey, and ignorant that a 
General Order, placing the English adjutant of the 23rd N.I. 
on separate staflF employ, had virtually cancelled his immediate 
authority over the aipahis, even though drilled and disciplined 
by himself, at once complied with Outram's requisition to 
hold in readiness all his disposable men for a march after 
nightfall. Thus provided, he set oflf under guidance of a 
native spy, marched upon a strong position where he had 
heard the Bhils were then concentrated, and came upon his 
quasi-enemy by daybreak. His detachment consisted of only 
thirty bayonets, but the surprise had its anticipated effect. 
On the first alarm that the red-coats were upon them, given 
by the scouts when the distance was too great for actual 
assault, the whole body of rebels fled in every direction 
panic-stricken, leaving their women, children, and scant 
property at the mercy of the soldiers. Separating then his 
small party into threes and fours, Outram directed the 
sipahis to pursue the Bhils so long as any came in sight, 
and to rendezvous at a particular spot, searching the ravines 
closely on their way thither. The sight of the scarlet 
uniform and the sound of musketry in many different 
quarters confirmed the fugitives in the idea that the whole 
British force was upon them, and prevented all attempts at 
rallying ; in fine, the dispersion for the time was complete. 
On this occasion two Bhils were killed and many supposed 
to be wounded, while most of the families remained in the 
power of the assailants. But the matter did not end here. It 
was determined to prevent, as much as possible, renewal of 
mischief. Information of the proposed coup de main had 


been sent to Major Deschamps, commanding at MalegAon, 
and his co-operation invited and accorded. Eeinforcements 
consequently appeared, and a pm-suit of the Bhils, carried 
out on a more extensive scale than before, ended in the 
occupation of their haunts by regular troops, and the 
destruction of their power to such an extent that a way was 
opened for the introduction of restorative and remedial 

Outram then commenced his work of organisation and, as 
he himself expresses it, laid the foundation of the corps 
through the medium of his captives, * some of whom were 
released to bring in the relatives of the rest, on the pledge 
that they all should be set at liberty.' He has further non- 
oflScially recorded the particulars of this interesting and 
remarkable inauguration of a great philanthropic as well as 
political movement : — 

* I thus eflFected an intercourse with some of the 
leading Naicks, went alone with them into their jungles 
gained their hearts by copious libations of brandy, and 
their confidence by living unguarded among them, until 
at last I persuaded five of the most adventurous to risk their 
• fortunes with me, which small beginning I considered ensured 
ultimate success.' 

Outram's first report bears date July 1, and is addressed 
from Dharangdon to Colonel Eobertson, collector of Khan- 
desh. It relates that on May 8 the writer, agreeably 
to his instructions, proceeded to Ch^lisg^on in search of 
recruits. At this place he received all necessary aid from 
Mr. Graham, the assistant collector, who explained personally 
to the superior native ofBcials, and caused them to explain 
to those under their orders (as well as to the Bhils them- 
selves, when forthcoming), the nature and advantages of 
enlistment in the service of the British Government. Pending 

62 JAMES OUTRAM, 1825- 

the result of such appeal, he went to a station above the 
ghM% privately, to secure the support of Captain Kelly, of the 
Nizam's army, an officer generally credited with influence 
among the people with whom negotiations were to be opened. 
The gentleman thus addressed was not slow to act upon his 
young friend's requisition ; but his efforts were unavailing 
and, as he declared it to be his decided opinion that the 
prejudices and fears of the Bhils in the matter were not to 
be overcome, the applicant returned to Ch&lisg&on on May 
20. Here, too, during the few days of his absence, no 
candidates for service had been induced to offer themselves ; 
but Outram thought too well of this particular part of 
Khandesh, in its relation to his main object, to abandon 
it in a hurry, so he continued in the district, visiting and 
residing at. neighbouring Bhil villages until June 15. 

In the official report of these proceedings there is no 
mention of the affair in which the aipahia of the Jatigdon 
detachment were engaged; but it must have occurred at the 
period we have reached, and it was not improbably the result 
of the visit to Captain Kelly and failure to obtain recruits at 
Ch41isg6on. The unsuccessful application to Maleg&on for 
armed men was doubtless as private in its way as the 
promptly met requisition on the native officer ; and conse- 
quently neither circmnstance appears on the record in 
official foolscap. It is not hard to understand the shyness 
of the Bhils to enter upon a new line of life on the representa- 
tion of comparative strangers. They had had ample cause 
to mistrust authority under Native Governments, and insuf- 
ficient experience of the British rule to accept it in a 
thoroughly trusting spirit. The fears of the men at some 
supposed lurking mischief were among the main obstacles 
to enlistment; and three or four of the first comers were 
firightened away by a report that they had been enticed with 
a view to eventual transportation beyond the seas. At length, 


as already shown, five of the bolder, it may be the more 
intelligent of the number, were persuaded to take the shilling 
in earnest, and, though not a man seems to have been 
actually enrolled until late in Jime, Outram had, on July 1 , 
as many as 25 recruits. On September 1 he again wrote 
to Colonel Eobertson from Dharang^n which, on hygienic 
reasons, he had constituted for the time his head-quarters, 
and where he had commenced hutting his recruits for the 
monsoon. From 25, the number of enlistments had increased 
on August 1 to 62, and on the date of writing to 92, but it 
will be seen that the progress was held insuflScient. The 
report is explicit : — 

*You will be sorry to observe that they have not, 
during the last month, increased in niunber in the ratio 
that might have been expected from the former. Several 
are the causes of this ; partly from the Mohurrum festival 
having intervened, during which I kept all my men together 
to make them pass a happy holiday; partly because I find it 
prudent at present not to appear to press the rapid assembly 
of a large number whilst yet unarmed ; but chiefly, I am 
sorry to say, because the suspicions of our motives gain 
ground daily. Alarming reports are doubtless kept alive by 
those who are interested in frustrating this measure, in the 
success of which they foresee the deathblow to plundering 
with impunity.' 

The necessity for keeping the recruits unarmed gave 
a colour of truth to the mischievous stories circulated, 
and an unfortimate coincidence, arising from the locality 
selected, rendered the recruiting oflScer's position more 
delicate still : — 

* The town of Dharangfion, and the very cutcherry in 
which I am residing, having been the scene of the massacre 

64 JAMES OUTRAM, 1825- 

of a number of Bhils (enticed on a very similar plan about 
eleven years ago, during the Peshwa's government), the 
butcheries of that period are fresh in their memory, 
and a repetition is dreaded by all but those who are now 
with me. I have spared no endeavour to remove their 
fears by constant intercourse with them ; by talking of the 
cruelty above alluded to with marks of detestation and 
without reserve; by explaining the advantages we expect 
from their services (for they could not understand, and 
would suspect any other motive for the liberality of the 
Government) ; by listening to their complaints, enquiring 
into, and obtaining redress for oppression, to which the 
families of many were subjected when unable to complain ; 
by interceding for those who, though proscribed, have sought 
my intercession, and by taking every opportunity of display- 
ing a perfect confidence in them, and exacting little services 

from them. 

^ By these means I have succeeded in inspiring almost 
all who are in the corps with a feeling of security, and a 
confidence in me, of which I have had ample proof. Had 
this not fortunately been the case, the undertaking must 
have been ruined on the 26th instant, when, by some means 
or other, a report was spread among them that, in the great 
concourse of people assembled in the town on that day (being 
the last of the festival), were concealed the agents by whom 
they were to be slaughtered in the evening. Well calculated 
to strike terror in the minds of people most of whom had 
had relations or friends, cut off by similar treachery during 
the Peshwa's reign, the story was only credited by about 
fifteen of the newest and most timorous of the recruits, who 
fled on the first alarm. 

* The moment I heard of the rumour I ordered the Bhils 
to assemble, and was promptly obeyed. I explained to them 
how much disappointed I had reason to be in men who, 


notwithstanding the confidence I placed in them, sleeping 
under their swords every night (having none but a Bhil guard 
at my residence), still continued to harbour suspicions of me. 
The feeling with which they answered me was so gratifying 
that I do not regret the cause which brought it forth. They 
immediately went after the fugitives, and returned with 
eight in the evening. The others, whose fears had carried 
them out of reach, are still absent, but I have not struck 
them off the strength of the corps, their firiends having gone 
to recall them, and I have no doubt they will be happy to 
return when they find their fears were groundless. 

* Others have given early proof of their fidelity. In the 
beginning of August I despatched two parties to recruit, the 
one of a JvavUdar and 20 Bhils to the Ch41isgdon, the other 
of a Tiawk and 10 Bhils to the Londir ta^lukas. Most of 
them were inhabitants of the countries to which they were 
sent, and on their arrival at their homes, they found that 
report had been busy with their fate during their absence. 
So terrified were their relations firom what they had heard 
of our intentions, that they endeavoured by every means to 
persuade ray men to desert, but notwithstanding such solici- 
tations they all returned, though they could only prevail on 
nine men to accompany them. . . . 

* Agreeably to your permission I purchased twenty swords, 
which I have distributed among the Bhils, but they are not 
calculated to give the appearance of security I am anxious to 

* I have shown that those now with me are firee from fear, 
but if kept without arms, I could not answer for their long 
remaining so. . . . 

* Having previously received your assent, on July 1,1 
promoted three Bhils to Tvcdcksy^ and on August 1, one of 
the naicks to havUdarJ^ My motives for making such early 

I N&yak, a corporal. * ffavild&r, a sergeant. 

VOL. I. V F 

66 JAMES OUTRAM. 1825- 

promotions were to excite a spirit of emulatioii by showing 
what they had to look up to as a reward of good behaviour, 
and to teach obedience to non-commissioned officers of my 
creation, in opposition to what they had only been accustomed 
to pay to their hereditary Tiaicka. My wishes have been 
completely answered ; the non-commissioned officers are 
aware of their responsibility, and the privates look up to them 
as they ought. 

* The great bar to order at first was their firequent indul- 
gence in intoxication : this I have put out of their power 
by the mode of payment, which provides them daily with 
merely the necessaries of life ; except on the last day of the 
month, when the surplus of their pay is given, which I am 
happy to find they are beginning to expend in articles of 
finery in preference to spirituous liquors, and I have not 
observed a single instance of excess in this respect during 
the past month. . . . 

* To terrify the Bhils into taking timely refuge in the 
corps, I also employed my men on one or two occasions to 
apprehend oflfenders. You have already been informed that 
a detachment firom the Bhil corps was anticipated in the 
seizure of the notorious Heeria Naick, by one day. They also 
apprehended a gang of thirteen which had just committed a 
highway robbery; but the stolen articles not being found 
upon them, the prisoners were released — though there was no 
doubt they were the perpetrators, the information against 
them having been given by an accomplice whose evidence 
I did not think it prudent to bring forward. 

* The alacrity they evince in the performance of these 
services convinces me they will soon have no scruple to 
bring about their nearest relations to justice when required to 
do so. That these exertions have terrified the Bhils who 
continue to oppose the laws, is fiiUy proved by the cir- 
cumstance of two of the mcTst notorious naicks, Lallia and 


Saibia, who have for years eluded all attempts to apprehend 
them, having voluntarily tendered their submission to me. 
Although they are proscribed, taking advantage of their 
being thus in my hands would have been very detrimental 
to establishing the character of the friend of the Bhils, on 
which the success of my undertaking so much depends. I 
therefore promised my intercession with you in their behalf, 
on which subject I had the honour to address you on the 
22nd ultimo. 

* I may also mention in proof of this position, the circum- 
stance of the country for fifteen miles round my head- 
quarters, which had hitherto been most particularly a prey 
to the rapacity of the Bhils, having been perfectly free from 
their depredations since the establishment of the Bhil corps 
at this place : not a single robbery having'ibaken place, though 
formerly of daily occurrence, while travellers, who once 
never ventured out without the protection of horsemen and 
admTidiea^^ now proceed alone and unarmed. Should the 
Bhils in the corps prove faithful and efficient servants — 
which the little experience I have now had in them leads 
me confidently to hope I shall render them — ^the rest of that 
class will be compelled to have recourse to peaceable occu- 
pations for a livelihood, when it is not unreasonable to 
hope that this hitherto degraded race, finding protection 
under our mild rule, may become gradually habituated and 
attached to the change. Such is what I foresee will be the 
reward of this humane measure ; and though I am aware it 
will at present be treated as a vague speculation, I do not 
hesitate thus early to express my confidence of the result. 

* In consideration of the irregular class of people I have 
to deal with, I entreat that the few propositions I may 
submit in the first stages of this undertaking may be treated 
with more indulgence than, as coming from so young and 

' Sibandiy a kind of militia for reyenue and police dutleB. 

F 2 

68 JAMES OUTRAM. 1825- 

inexperienced a man, they might otherwise be entitled to. 
I may possibly in some instances be miable to abide by 
former custom or rule in my attempts to reform the Bhils, 
wherein I must be guided chiefly by circumstances as they 
occur. Placing early trust in them, for instance, will natiurally 
be regarded as imprudent, and as placing temptation in their 
way— yet I am persuaded that this is the only way to make 
them trustworthy. Delay in the sanction of any measures is 
what I dread, and to show the necessity of avoiding this is 
my reason for making these remarks, and humbly requesting 
that you will consider the expediency of sanctioning or 
rejecting my propositions — while this undertaking is still in 
its infancy — without the delay of reference.' 

Long extracts have been purposely made from this early 
report of progress, because it affords a very practical illus- 
tration of the difficulties arising at the outset of a great 
work — difficulties apt to be overlooked or underrated by 
those who have had no experience of similar ventures. 
Among other annoyances with which the writer had to con- 
tend, was the want of a long-expected detachment of regular 
aipahis which Government had placed at his disposal. 
These men were to constitute the nucleus of the new levy, 
and Outram had, with instinctive sagacity, given out from 
the first that they were coming. Only it was feared that 
their appearance at a late hour might rather impede than 
assist the growth of the corps, by encouraging the notion 
that they were intended as a check upon the Bhils already 
recruited. As it happened, when the aipahis did arrive 
in November, it was necessary to disarm them temporarily, 
so as to put them on a like footing witl/ the recruits who 
had not yet been provided with weapons. In October, 
however, the newly enlisted men had commenced to show signs 
of usefulness, and to convince their young conunander that 

'1 828 A BHlL DETECTIVE, 69 

they were unwilling to eat the Government salt, without 
making return of some kind for benefits received. One Jambu 
Ndyak, leader of a large body of marauders, who had slain a 
horseman in the Potran district, was brought in a prisoner 
to camp, and handed over to the civil authorities. His 
capture had been effected by a Bhil like himself, one of 
Outram's recruits, who, by direction of his British leader, 
had joined the lawless gang a few days before, without ex- 
citing suspicion that he was a mere detective. The man 
having accompanied Jambu — at a time that he was separated 
from the main body, and attended only by a few of his 
followers — to the locality of a tribe whose leader was in 
British pay, had there foimd means to secure and carry him 
off. This act was soon succeeded by other proofs of in- 
dividual or collective zeal and devotion ; and on November 1, 
when the total number of Bhil recruits had exceeded a 
hundred, and the whole scheme looked more than ever 
promising, and likely to bear firuit in accordance with the 
more sanguine expectations of its promoters, the periodical 
report to Colonel Eobertson showed that the exertions of the 
men on police duty had on several occasions merited the 
collector's approbation, and that three privates had been 
made corporals for specially good service. 

On the other hand the following passage in the report would 
infer that all was not coulefwr de rose at this period : — * As 
was to be expected from suddenly raising the hitherto lawless 
Bhil to be the instnmient of power, my parties were in one 
or two instances at first guilty of making petty exactions, 
which, though given as presents, were of course only granted 
from the idea of the donors that more would otherwise be 
extorted.' But Outram checked the system by timely 
punishment; and the reduction to the ranks of a ndvak 
thus offending, brought the more intelligent of his men to a 
correct appreciation of their duties and responsibilities. 

^o JAMES OUTRAM, 1825. 

After little more than four months' experience of the work, 
he trusted to render his Bhils fully efficient for the outpost 
duties of Khandesh, and contemplated relieving all or most 
of the Line detachments then employed upon them. 

The corps marched in December, and, passing through 
the pargcmas of Burg^n, Ch&lisg^on, and Nandig^on, 
encamped within a short distance of Maleg^n. Nothing 
could well be more satisfactory than the behaviour of the 
young Bhil soldiers, to whom the change of scene and camp- 
shifting on this occasion afforded a pleasurable novelty. 
Some hundred miles were thus traversed with excellent 
effect. On January 1, 1826, according to the provincial 
report, the levy had increased to 134 men. There had been 
36 enlistments since November 1, but 7 desertions and 4 
rejections had reduced the number to 25, to be added to 
109 previously borne on the rolls. The new year's report 
is the more interesting because it refers to the introduction 
of drill and discipline in a less indirect way than before 
attempted; and chronicles the admirable behaviour of the 
older sipahis tigwards their low-caste brethren. We gather 
that the ^regulars obtained the entire confidence of the 
Bhils by their conciliatory conduct ; ' that the ready associa- 
tion of the regular troops .with the irregular recruits had the 
happiest effect, for these last ^ began to rise in self-esteem, 
and feel proud of the service,' which placed them *on an 
equality with the highest classes.' The behaviour of Outram's 
own regiment (the 23rd N.I.) in this respect, when the 
men of the Bhil corps were sent bodily into the Malegion 
cantonment, is told in a manner so characteristic of the 
honest heart of the narrator, that we make no apology for a 
full quotation : — * Not only were the Bhils received by the 
men without insulting scoffs, but they.were even received as 
friends, and with the greatest kindness invited to sit down 
among them, fed by them, and talked to by high and low — 


as on an equality from being brother soldiers. This acci- 
dental circumstance will produce more beneficial effects 
than the most studied measures of conciliation; and Bhil 
reformation will owe much to it. The Bhils returned quite 
delighted and flattered by their reception, and entreated me 
to allow them no rest from drill until they became equal to 
their brother-soldiers! Thus happily has another obstacle 
been removed.' This obstacle— a purely moral one — he ex- 
plains to have been caused by the impression that his men 
would be unfavourably disposed towards the regular army ; 
whereas, instead of any such result accruing from the con- 
tact, a feeling of regard for the red-coats arose in the minds 
of the Bhils, which would assuredly, in his opinion, be com- 
municated to future recruits. A postscript dated January 4 
reports the arrival and distribution of arms and accoutre- 
ments. The men seemed highly pleased with, and proud of 
the former, notwithstanding that a very few months before 
they had expressed themselves strongly against receiving 

Early in 1826, Outram had returned to Dharang^n, 
which place he then determined to make his permanent 
head-quarters. On May 1 of that year, he states that it is 
his intention to discontinue for a time recruiting ; and on 
July 1 he reports that he has *now in the service 308 
Bhils, of whom 258 attend drill.' During the two previous 
months the men had been much engaged in the construction 
of barracks. Their conduct continued to be satisfactory ; 
there had not been a single complaint against them from 
villagers throughout June, and none that could be remem- 
bered in May. They abstained from spirituous liquors, 
except on ^certain special occasions, when the use was 
authorised ; they exerted themselves with zeal and success 
to suppress robbery and violence ; and they loyally responded 
to the call of their commandant to set an example of 

72 JAMES OUTRAM. 1825- 

soldierly obedience and good behaviour, whether on duty or 
parade, or in quarters with their families. 

In December the Bhils were inspected by Mr. Bax, of 
the Bombay Civil Service, who had succeeded Colonel 
Eobertson as collector of Khandesh. The corps was reported 
competent to take part in the charge and escort of treasure ; 
to keep the peace in case of plimdering or disturbance ; to 
act in a body, or detachments, against outlaws or rebels ; to 
assist regular troops in the event of serious field operations ; 
and to supply ordinary guards and escorts to the local 
authorities. Outram concludes an oflScial report, dated 
December 13, with the expression of his intention to recom- 
mence recruiting so soon as the arrival of his expected 
adjutant would enable him to move about the country. * I 
shall endeavour,' he says, ^ to draw off recruits from all parts 
of the Satpura range, and make myself perfectly acquainted 
with every stronghold and place of refuge in these mountains ; 
80 that, on the occurrence of any disturbances similar to 
those of last rains, and every former year, I may be able to 
circumvent all such gangs by my Bhils, and at once.' 

In April 1827 an affair took place which enabled the 
authorities to judge more fairly of the temper and quality 
of the Bhil corps. A gang of marauding Bhils had been 
assembled for mischief in the hills beyond Sirpur. It had 
been just strengthened by the accession of two notorious 
characters, Mahdeo Singh and Govinda N4yaks, bringing 
more than twenty followers, and one Lahnu who had been 
expelled from Outram's levies ; and rumours were current 
to the effect that emissaries from these men were busily 
engaged in endeavouring to draw together the disaffected, 
and seduce the loyal inhabitants and Government servants 
throughout the province. Their numbers were said to be 
increasing daily, and it was generally believed that they 
would attack the Adllage of Bonw^ri, which from its strong 


position had already resisted one attempt made by them 
upon it. 

Outram was moving with a detachment of his men in 
search of recruits when he learnt the state of afTairs, and his 
first impulse was to solicit the orders of the collector. But the 
news reaching him that six carts and twenty-four bullocks had 
been just seized by the gang, he took the responsibility of 
action on his own shoulders. Marching his recruiting party 
to a village at ten miles' distance, he selected a detachment of 
one jamxi^ddr^ one havUdaVy and twenty-five rank and file dis- 
ciplined Bhils. And this is his accoimt of the sequel : — 

*The whole body eagerly pressed to go, but being 
desirous to prove the power of discipline, I informed them 
that a larger force would detract from their merit, as I 
believed the enemy were not above double the number of 
those I had selected. 

*With the detachment above mentioned, I marched at 
nightfall on Boorwarry (twenty miles) at which place we 
arrived at about three a.m. The jungle around the village 
was all on fire, and fearing that it had fallen into the hands 
of the rebels I proceeded to reconnoitre. Being perceived 
by the villagers, who in the obscurity took me for an enemy, 
I was fired upon, but upon giving them to understand who I 
was, the gates were opened, and the detachment received as 
deliverers, the villagers having been in momentary expecta- 
tion of attack. 

^ I caused Callian Chowdry, and Dhen Sing, and Anchit 
Naicks immediately to assemble their followers, and under 
their guidance proceeded to attack the rebels, whose haunt 
was represented to be about six miles further in the hills. We 
reached a rugged ravine in which it was situated at simrise, 
but I was surprised and disappointed to find they had been 
warned of our movements, and were nowhere to be seen. On 
dispersing some of my men to look for their traces, they 

74 JAMES OUTRAM. 1825- 

attacked me very spiritedly from ambush, and before a shot 
waa fired by our party, had woimded my jemadar. This, 
together with their terrific shouts, and showers of arrows and 
stones from a height commanding us, at first startled my 
Bhils, but they were speedily rallied, and maintained the 
skirmish very steadily. The enemy having the advantage 
of the height and the cover of trees and rocks, it was 
necessary to draw them from their position. To this end 
I feigned a retreat which brought them down from the 
heights ; my detachment then turned, charged very gallantly, 
and put them to flight. There being no prospect of ever 
taking a nimble and hardy Bhil on such precipitous groimd, 
with men burdened with arms and accoutrements, and who 
had marched upwards of thirty-six miles, I again drew my 
detachment off, and induced the enemy to follow, when 
another charge totally dispersed them, leaving two killed 
behind them, besides several wounded, whom they carried 
off. Our loss was great in proportion to my small party ; the 
tAiil jemadar severely wounded by two arrows, three sepoys 
with arrows, and about a fifth of the whole bruised by 
stones. • . • 

* Having returned to Boorwarry, where we were joined by 
the remainder of my detachment (which I had directed to 
follow in the morning from Tekwarry), at midnight I again 
marched into the hills with a detachment of twenty men and 
an officer, in the hope of securing the families of the enemy ; 
but they were secreted, or sent off to other haunts. After 
searching till midday yesterday to no purpose (only five 
Bhil scouts having been seen, who fled at our approach), I 
returned to Boorwarry, and having left a detachment at that 
place sufficient to overawe the dispersed Bhils from re- 
assembling, and to assist the mamlutdar * (whom I have sent 

* MdnUaUddr : doubtless from the Perso-Arabic Mu^dmala-d&r ; a native 
revenue official. 


witlj his police to that place to endeavour to apprehend some 
of the fugitives), I marched this day with the remainder of 
my detachment to Talnair. 

* The conduct of the Bhil detachment on this occasion is 
highly satisfactory, being the first opportunity I have had of 
proving my men when opposed to their own tribe. They 
have freely risked their blood in our cause, and fought boldly. 

* The quickness with which they rallied, and the boldness 
with which they charged, together with the fatigue which 
they had undergone and the eagerness they showed to ac- 
company me on the second night, entitle them to the 
approbation of Government ; especially considering that they 
were imsupported by regulars (whom I purposely left with the 
remainder of the detachment), and that, of the whole party 
engaged, only four were above eighteen years of age, and 
that the enemy they had to encounter had obtained consider- 
able celebrity by the success with which nearly the same 
nmnber of Bhils, with the same leaders, and nearly on the 
same ground, had repulsed a detachment last year, consisting 
of an officer and seventy-five regular troops.' 

The above is extracted from a report dated Camp, Talnair, 
April 22, 1827. Fifteen days later a further report, dated 
from * Ajimda,' shows that Outram had since pushed on to 
this latter village, with as many ' horse and foot ' as he could 
collect together, and dispersed a gang under one Seepria 
N4yak, which had been hovering around the scene of a recent 
disturbance with the manifest object of joining the rebels 
under Mahdeo. * All the Bheels in this neighbourhood,' he 
writes, * had been more or less concerned, though few had 
jomed in arms. All had connived at the assembly of the 
gang, and maintained correspondence with it. I deemed it 
prudent therefore to secure in the first place as many of 
their persons as possible, both to obtain information, and to 

76 JAMES OUTRAM, 1825- 

prevent their absconding from fear of their connection with 
the rebels becoming known — in which case it would have been 
diflScult to settle the country, whilst they would be driven to 
plunder for a livelihood. Accordingly, at midnight, my 
parties apprehended simultaneously eighteen Bheels, of 
several villages, and having these in my hands, I secured the 
attendance of all with whom they are connected. From 
them I learnt that the gang had been formed here, but 
was chiefly composed of Bheels from a distance ; that having 
assembled they proceeded to join the rebels in the hills, but 
returned and dispersed ; and that only two or three were 
now in this pergunnah^ the rest having separated and found 
safety individually. . . . 

* Having now satisfactorily ascertained that no more of 
the gang are left in this country, and having no fear that 
any of the rebels will dare to return and unite to disturb it, 
I took upon me such measures as I deemed immediately 
necessary to restore confidence and preserve tranquillity. . . . 

* I released all prisoners excepting the two who had be- 
longed to the gang, after giving them and the Bheels of the 
surrounding villages written protections from any further 
molestation on account of the late rising, giving them to 
understand that this clemency is owing to the speedy dis- 
persion of the rebels before the conmiission of any violence, 
and that all who are still absent (except the five leaders) 
who return to their villages within ten days shall not be 
molested. . • . 

* I am happy to state that these measures have had the 
desired effect ; the peace of the coimtry is entirely restored. 
... Of the leaders not one is left in the country. . . . 

* I have explained to the Bheels of the country that they 
will not be treated so leniently : that the mere circimistance 
of their concealing their knowledge of a rebellion being 
meditated or proposed, will subject them to severe punish- 

-i828 THE BH/L COEPS. 77 

ment ; and that in future Government will not merely make 
examples of the principal leaders as heretofore, but that all 
concerned in such risings shall equally suffer. They are 
now so fully convinced of the utter uselessness of such 
attempts, and of my ability and determination to carry my 
threats into execution, that I can confidently answer for 
their remaining quiet.' 

In a history of local progress, there is little more to be 
added for the year 1827, beyond the fact of reduction of 
establishment in the northern agency and successful coloni- 
sation in the south of Khandesh. A new agency on the prin- 
ciple of the other three was at the same time created in the 
Nizam's territory. As for the Bhil corps, it grew gradually 
stronger and more efficient, and, on the occasion of a review 
by the brigadier conmianding the province, numbered as 
many as 600 men. It was now enabled to relieve the regu- 
lars wholly firom outpost duty. In 1828, the collector 
reported that, for the first time in twenty years, the country 
had enjoyed six months of uninterrupted repose. 

Fairly to judge of the services thus rendered, the reader 
must not lose sight of the material of which the new levies 
were composed. An amusing illustration of the Bhil recruit 
in 1827 occurs in a note of introduction from Captain Ovans, 
thus describing its bearer : — * He is a restless and dangerous 
character, who will not settle at the plough, and who must 
not be left without a subsistence. But he will make a &mous 
grenadier when you form your flank companies.' On De- 
cember 18 in the same year, Mr. Gibeme, the collector of 
Khandesh, referring to Captain Ovans's views, in which he 
agrees, writes : — * You should never consider looks or chou- 
racter in taking recruits : yours is a peculiar duty.' 

From Outram's private correspondence during the last- 
named year, we gather that his mother had been under 

78 JAMES OUTRAM, 1828 

grave apprehension on the score of his personal exposure to 
danger in the hunting-field. He had sought to reassure her 
in the following terms : — * It is not dangerous hunting tigers 
on an elephant as I do ; it is as safe as firing at the mon- 
sters firom the top of a tower. If I have been carried away 
by enthusiasm occasionally to expose myself unnecessarily, 
believe me, I shall bear your advice and admonitions In mind, 
and abstain for the future. In my situation a little daring was 
necessary to obtain the requisite influence over the minds 
of the raw, irregular people I command ; and if ever you hear 
of any act of temerity I may have hitherto been guilty of, do 
not condemn me as unmindful of what I owe to you and our 
fiunily, but attribute it to having been a part of my peculiar 
duty. . . . The necessity for a recurrence of such duties is 
now at an end.* Boar-hunting was not to be had in Khan- 
desh, and he had not experienced its pleasures and excite- 
ment for three years. The rapid diminution in the number 
of tigers was, moreover, even rendering that sport a com- 
paratively rare one. As regards his bodily health, never 
had he felt better or stronger. He spoke of going home, 
but thought it well to await the termination of his brother 
Frank^s proposed furlough, so that the younger son's visit 
might succeed the elder's, and the absence of one would in 
some way be compensated by the presence of the other. 
We shall see with how little of the foresight displayed in his 
professional career he was reckoning up the concerns of his 
feunily and home. 

To Mr. Gibeme, the collector, he expressed himself con- 
tented to remain as long as possible in Khandesh. Puna 
and Nagar — the two fevourite stations, cited as typical of 
convivial gatherings — had no special attraction for him. * I 
care not for their society,' he wrote, * not being calculated to 
shine out of the range of my own forests.' 




Bhils at school — Francis Outram — Dang Expedition of 1880 — Summary of 
Bemaining Service with the Bhils till 1 836 — Shikar Experiences. 

Early in the new year Outram had reported to the collector 
of Khandesh that the time had arrived when the experiment 
might be made of opening a school for the children of his 
Bhil soldiers. Heretofore the scheme had been judged 
impracticable ; because that, in the eyes of these men, to 
educate was to degrade, and no Bhil had been known, on 
the testimony of an existing generation, to be capable of 
either writing or reading. A change had, however, been 
effected, which, without directly affecting the Bhil estimate 
of education, greatly £Eu;ilitated the introduction of a 
healthier state of things. The discovery had been made 
that an Englishman could use the rod with impartiality, 
even though it were one of iron. If other Englishmen were 
of the stamp of those sent to govern Khandesh, within the 
limits of the agencies, then, it might reasonably be argued, 
must their words and wisdom be trustworthy ; and if they 
said that education was essential to those under their charge, 
it was more than probable that they were right. It was not 
to be expected that so little advanced a thinker as the Bhil 
would stop to inquire whether all Englishmen were alike. 
And of course he knew nothing whatever of policies, or of 
the views of particular Governments, and particular Vice- 


roys, A school was accordingly established at Bhil head- 
quarters, tx)^teach the aipahia themselves and their 

One event in the year 1829 would have, doubtless, cast a 
deeper gloom over the routine life of the Bhil commandant, 
had his mind not been so healthily and usefully engaged in 
the service of the State, As it was, he felt the blow 
severely. The death of his Engineer brother, at the early 
age of 28, occurred on September 18, under painful circum- 

We have before stated that Francis Outram was a man of 
no ordinary abilities. That he was also generous and unselfish 
above the average of his fellows, is demonstrated in a little 
incident which occurred on the occasion of his leaving 
England for India. He was then, like other cadets of his 
stamp, supplied with a first-class passage ; but, without in- 
forming others of his intention, he exchanged his passage- 
ticket for one of the second-class, so as to be enabled to make 
parting presents to his sisters and friends out of the money 
saved. The discomfort and indignities to which he voluntarily 
subjected himself by the arrangement, in a long voyage round 
the Cape, were as nothing in the scale to the satisfection he 
derived from the knowledge that the tokens of affection pro- 
vided would be received after his departure, and that he had 
not become indebted for them to any resources but his own. 
Many may consider the story insignificant in its simplicity ; 
others may agree with ourselves that it illustrates the 
morality of a whole life, in which it would be the key to 
many apparent anomalies. 

In India he soon established a character for talent, 
energy, and professional zeal. His standard of honour was 
high and well maintained; but his independent spirit in- 
volved him sometimes in trouble. On one occasion, when 
he came in contact with a superior whom he could not 


respect, he laid himself open to a charge of insubordination, 
and the result was a court-martial, which sentenced him to 
the loss of six steps. Opinion was divided on the justice of 
the finding, but the severity of the sentence was generally 
admitted, and there is every reason to suppose that, had the 
suflFerer proceeded home as intended, a reversal would have 
been obtained. He did not, however, await the result of his 
appeal to this effect, for, in a fit of delirium, caused by 
jangal fever, he put an end to his life. Feeble in health, 
and keenly sensitive, he was morbidly jealous of character, 
and a year had scarcely elapsed since the fiat of the court 
had gone forth, when some misdoings on the part of a native 
subordinate led him to imagine a defalcation in his cash- 
sheet for which he would be held morally, if not legally, 
responsible. That his apprehensions were in point of feet 
imfoimded, and the nature of his personal responsibility in 
the matter exaggerated, became clear upon after-investigation. 
Individual statements of men of position and honour, added 
to the proceedings of the court of inquiry, and the Govern- 
ment letter — ^which in exonerating his memory from reproach 
added a high tribute to his worth — give ample proof that the 
self-accusation which preceded self-destruction was nothing 
else but the delusion of a fevered brain. Among other testi- 
monies to his character, those of Sir John Malcolm and Mr. 
Elphinstone, both Governors of Bombay, might be cited. 
The latter, when in England, had written to Mrs. Outram in 
eulogistic terms of her elder son. The former, when in the 
discharge of his pro-consular duties in India, expressed a 
strong opinion of the harshness of the sentence of the court- 
martial, so soon to be followed by a yet more serious 
calamity ; and in after years, spoke of the yoimg officer in 
terms indicating peculiar esteem. 

For a Native Infentry subaltern, however intelligent, and 
even on staff employ, to address the Governor of the Presi- 

VOL. I. G 

82 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

dency in which his corps is serving, on his personal afifairs, 
is a bold and unusual step. But the object of his appeal 
being to seek vindication of the character of a deceased 
brother, James Outram felt satisfied that he need make * no 
further apology for the liberty' taken *to Sir John Malcolm.' 
After this pre£Eice he wrote : — 

* The knowledge I have of my late brother's honourable 
sentiments, and implicit confidence in his integrity, impel 
me to solicit the influence of your authority to cause the 
strictest inquiry into the accounts of the office which was 
under his charge, in order that his innocence may be estab- 
lished of any knowledge of the defalcations (if such there 
were) in his treasury, and that the guilty authors, who in that 
case were the murderers of my poor brother, may be brought 
to justice. The only information I have received of such 
deficiency in the treasury lately under my brother's charge, 
is contained in the subjoined copy of a memorandum * found 
on his death-bed. No communication from himself, or 
other circumstances have led me to believe that such is the 
case. I presume the first knowledge my brother had of the 
circumstance must have been obtained when on the point of 
leaving his station for the sea-coast on account of dangerous 

* Though he could have had little anxiety on account of 
the deficient sums, which he must have known he had 
friends able and willing to assist him to replace, yet the 
idea, perhaps, that the uncharitable world might be 
too apt to impute dishonourable motives to him — together 
with the disgrace he had been subjected to by a late 
court-martial (which had ever since preyed much upon his 
mind) — have driven him, weakened in mind and body 
from disease, into a state of temporary madness, during 

> This paper it not forthcoming, bat its natore is evident. 

-1 835 -S"//? JOHN MALCOLM. 83 

which he committed the dreadful act which terminated his 
life. I am confident the only guilt that can be laid to my 
brother's charge is neglect. For this there is no excuse ; 
but to account for it, I have to state that the imfortunate 
result of the trial at Poonah must have greatly tended to 
lessen his zeal, to the over-exertion of which he attributed 
that misfortune; and though he was assured of reinstate- 
ment to former rank by your exertions in his favour, for the 
kind tender of which he ever entertained the most lively 
gratitude (and latterly, by the promise of assistance from 
his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief ), yet the impression 
that he had been disgraced could not be removed from his 
highly honourable mind, and drove him into that state of 
carelessness to which he alludes.' 

He adds an impression of certainty that his brother would 
not have allowed the loss of a single rupee to accrue to Gov- 
ernment through his neglect ; and that he holds it a * sacred 
duty ' to that brother's memory to fulfil his wishes in this re- 
spect, by personally making good * the deficiency he appears 
to allude to, should any be really found to exist.' He leaves 
to the Governor, on becoming officially assured of the inno- 
cence of the deceased officer, to give the same publicity to 
such assurance as already obtained for the self-accusing 
memorandum above mentioned. 

* Should the style of this letter be faulty,' is the con- 
cluding passage, * I beg you will pardon it, in consideration 
of the state of feeling and of excitement under which I write, 
for nothing but the highest respect can be intended.' 

To this appeal Sir John replied : — 

* I have received your letter, and can fully understand, 
and as fully approve, the motives which have led you to 
write to me upon the melancholy subject of your late brother's 

o 2 

84 JAMES OUTRAM. 1829^ 

death. You may depend upon every effort in my power to do 
justice to his memory. He had his errors and failings — and 
who is without them ? but all, I believe, are impressed with 
the same conviction that I have, that he was as distinguished 
for zeal and integrity as he was for professional talent. I 
assure you, I consider his death a serious loss to the public 

When writing to his sister, Mrs. Farquharson, on the 
subject of an epitaph to be inscribed on their brother's tomb, 
Outram thus expressed himself : * It is my wish that nothing 
in the usual strain should be written. The feelings of friends, 
or the worth of the deceased, cannot be described by words. 
The most unworthy and commonplace characters have ful- 
some eulogiums written on their tombs by those who despised 
the person when living. No estimation of the character is 
formed from these memorials. Poor Frank's memory is 
esteemed by all : his worth and talents are known by all our 
army. The simple inscription I propose is 




Pray let me know your opinion, and that of Colonel Farqu- 

Some relics of Francis Outram's inventive genius and 
scientific attainments are to be found in practical designs 
for the economy of manual labour by the use of self-acting 
machinery ; but they would hardly convey a true notion of 
the intrinsic power which his contemporaries considered 
him to possess. So marked, indeed, were his artistic tastes 
and capabilities, that he seriously entertained the idea of 

-1 835 TT/J? DANG COUNTRY. 85 

resigning the service and adopting the profession of an artist, 
in the event of his appeal against the sentence of the 
court-martial proving unsuccessful. 

In the year 1830 occiured the invasion of the D&ng 
country and capture of its chiefs. This tract of tangled 
forest, situated on the west of Khandesh, and on the further 
side of the Sukhain Hills, had never been penetrated by 
troops. Its Bhil inhabitants, as little used to subjection as 
the Arab of the desert, had long been in the habit of seek- 
ing prey and plunder beyond their lawful limits, and of 
encroaching upon the lands of their neighbours. From 
time immemorial retaliatory measures having been foimd 
as difficult as actual suppression, a legacy of disorder had 
been left to the successors of native rulers, to deal success- 
fully with which would have sorely taxed the powers of a 
Government less chary of oppression and generally scrupu- 
lous than our own. Captain Douglas Graham looked upon 
the Dtogchis as the most uncivilised of all the wild tribes 
he had come across in Western India ; deficient in intel- 
lect of the most ordinary description ; physically stunted by 
hardships of living, climate, and poverty ; extremely super- 
stitious ; addicted to intoxication, and careless of any fixed 
home. He thought it no matter of surprise that among a 
set of such degraded beings the principle of right and wrong 
was entirely lost, or the fear of consequences overwhelmed 
in a blind reliance on fortune ; that the dread of treachery 
was the predominant idea, and that the animal instinct alone 
remained in full force to urge the supply of daily necessities. 
Outram was convinced that by the medium of his own 
Bhils he could efiFect a settlement of the D&ng, the unruly 
occupants of which could easily be turned one against the 
other, and thus prevented concentrating against the sovereign 
authority represented by British officers. Accordingly he 
undertook to march a body of troops into the heart of their 

86 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

country, consisting of 250 of the newly raised Bhil corps, four 
companies of native infantry from Surat and Khandesh, 120 
auxiliary horse, and 1,100 auxiliary Bhils under their own 
chiefs or Rajahs. 

Entering himself from the eastward,* with two companies 
of native regular sipahia, his own Bhils, 50 of the Puna 
auxiliary horse, and some Bhil auxiliaries, and awaiting 
simultaneous advances of detachments from four separate 
stations on the opposite frontier, he had contemplated a 
partial junction of his forces in the centre of the D4ng, but 
could give no fixed points of meeting, as his actual routes 
were unknown. When he had descended from the Gh^ts 
to the village of Grabrdi, after a march of eighteen miles 
eflfected on the first day, the jangal was found so thick on all 
sides that, even had he known the localities reached, it would 
have been no easy task to open communications with his 
detached oflBcers. As for the inhabitants of the country, his 
party had not fallen in with even one ; they had passed 
sites of destroyed huts, and had arrived at the residence of a 
petty Eajah, where the dwelling-places were entire but utterly 
deserted. On the day following he heard of the arrival of 
one detachment of his force at Garvi. Two days afterwards 
he visited that village, which eventually became a connecting 
post, with forty horse and fifty Bhil auxiliaries. Two days 
later still he was able with three detachments to eflfect a 
thorough scour of a jangal twenty miles in circumference. 
The D&ngchi leaders soon became fugitives and disheartened, 
and the ' Silput,* their chief authority, was openly deserted 

* One of the great approaches to Giyrat from the eastward was through the 
Sindwa Qhat. It appears that the pass in this direction was formerly pared 
by the Mahammadan conquerors, and that after consolidation of their powers 
they constructed'a line of as many as eighty-four forts in a convenient position 
west of the Sindwa, to keep the turbulent tribes in subjection. The few of 
these that remained on the British occupation were distinguished by the names 
of the respective commanders under whose auspices they were erected. 


by his more prominent followers. On April 18, or not a 
fortnight after commencement of active proceedings, four 
local Bajahs had personally presented themselves with offers 
of assistance, and two others had expressed a wish to be re- 
ceived in the British camp ; while 500 head of cattle with 
many prisoners were in British hands. Outram promised to 
restore the former and release the latter on the apprehension 
of the * Silput.' ' 

On May 22, the British force returned, as its leader him- 
self expresses it, * with the principal chiefs our prisoners, and 
all the others in alliance, after having subdued and surveyed 
the whole country.' In the morning of that day, the Silput 
himself had surrendered, conditionally that his life be 
spared. The followers of the captives had been dispersed ; 
and an opposing force, said to consist of some 10,000 bows, 
had vanished into thin air. When it is borne in mind that 
the country was imexplored, and had been reported impreg- 
nable because impracticable,^ and that the end was attain,ed 
with scarce a shot fired, and the loss of one life only ; the 
feat will doubtless appear eminently satisfactory. This is 
one of those expeditions, the importance of which must not 
be measured by the casualty list. It is to be judged by a 
knowledge of the difficulties of country traversed, and rapid 
movements of the lawless enemy, as well as by the results 
obtained, and their bearing on the pacification and well-being 
of the peoples concerned, whose habitat may be defined as 
situated between the Nizam's and Holkar's territories and 
the sea. Another element of anxiety not to be forgotten is 
to be traced in the connivance of the officers of a neighbour- 
ing native state, Baroda, with the movement we sought to 
suppress. The G^ikwar was apparently ever willing to lend 

* The description of the D&ng in the Collector's Keyenne Report, dated 
4^iigTist 1, 1828> vas rather an account, and a brief one, by Mr. £ax, of the 
(Chiefs and their resources than of the features of the country. 

88 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

assistance to the robbers of the D&ng in their opposition to 
British supremacy.* 

Of Outram's share in the miniature campaign we should 
give but a faint idea did we restrict it to field operations, or 
even to the exact fulfilment of the orders and wishes of the 
civil authorities. We have the best authority for stating 
that Sir John Malcolm, governor of Bombay, had expressed 
his opinion in council that a strong brigade of regular troops 
would be insuflScient to attempt invasion of the Ddng 
country ; and it was his confidence alone in the foresight of 
his Bhil agent and commandant that led him to sanction the 
project so satisfactorily put into practice. On Outram's 
shoulders rested the whole responsibility, and to him was 
naturally due the main credit accruing from the expedition. 

But though there was barely any loss of life on either 
side occasioned in actual warfare, much sickness prevailed 
among the troops at the close of the campaign and on their 
return from the D4ng. The several detachments had been 
scarcely broken up when nearly half the men and officers 
were seized with fever, caused, it may be presumed, from 
the fatigues, exposure, and privations undergone during the 
two months of their employment in an unhealthy climate. 
Eventually, it would appear that more harm still resulted 
from this expedition, for of the thirteen officers engaged, not 
one was exempt from jangcd fever ; three or four died, and the 
rest were compelled to leave Khandesh for change of climate. 
Outram alone, of all the Europeans, escaped, and his immu- 
nity he attributed to * covering his head and face with fine 
gauze * when sleeping in feverish tracts, a habit which his 
comrades in the D&ng could not be induced to adopt. 

On May 20, 1830, the magistrate of Khandesh conveyed 
to Lieutenant Outram, and the officers and men under his 

' Captain Douglas Graham : 8ynoj>8is of Bhil Settlement in Khandesh, 
See also Public Reports and Despatches of Captain Outram, 


command, the thanks of the Bombay Government ' for the 
highly meritorious service of the detachment in the D4ng ; 
and four days later, in acknowledging the report of the 
Silput Eajah's surrender, the same functionary added : 
' Nothing can exceed the indefatigable exertions made by 
yourself and the officers and troops under your command, in 
bringing this most harassing duty to a conclusion .... 
which has now been most happily eflfected through the un- 
yielding perseverance maintained, and the judicious measures 
you have pursued throughout.' On June 7, Grovemment 
endorsed the magistrate's personal opinion by a renewal of 
thanks to Lieutenant Outram * for the zeal, activity, and 
judgment he has displayed on this occasion, to which is to be 
attributed the fortunate conclusion of the harassing service 
he has had to conduct.' It will not do to dwell further on 
this brief passage of an illustrious career ; but, as the 
necessity for economising space and the reader's attention 
forbids the indiscriminate recourse to extract, we take the 
opportunity of remarking that Outram's final report to Mr. 
Collector Boyd (the state of whose health would not admit 
of his meeting the D4ng chiefs near their own country), 
shows, on the part of the writer, a knowledge of his subject, 
and of his men, as well as an administrative ability and a 
rare energy of character deserving of appreciation and study. 
Not the least noteworthy feature in his recommendations is 
the care with which cause is shown for grants of money and 
other presents to particular chiefs and native officials who 
had rendered good service to the British Government. 

In 1831, the collector of Khandesh deputed Lieutenant 
Outram to inquire into certain daring outrages committed in 
the districts of Ydwal and Sauda, in the north-eastern Bhil 
agency; also to determine and apprehend the offenders. 
Accompanied by some of his own Bhils and a few auxiliaries, 
not fifty in all, he captured 469 suspected persons, and in- 

90 JAMES OUTRAM. 1829- 

vestigated the charges against them, selecting for trial such 
as appeared to be actually guilty. Of 158 so committed, 114 
were Bhils, accused for the most part of gang robbery. 
Attacks had been, moreover, made on the Dhulia treasury, 
and on the houses of bankers, showing an inclination to 
serious mischief which called for immediate check and 
punishment. The official reports on these proceedings show 
that, owing to the measures taken, the spirit to break out had 
not only been subdued, but the apprehension of all ofiFenders 
had been eflfect^d without the offer of a single reward, or 
any expense to Government further than the maintenance 
of the prisoners. The native Mamlutdar of Ydwal and his 
Sarishtadar were considered to merit especial notice for 
services rendered. Of the first, named Eam Chandar Bdlaji, 
Outram wrote, with characteristic warmth, that he had 
' throughout exerted himself in a manner ' he had * never 
foimd equalled in an officer in his situation. 

In March 1831, he learnt the death, in India, of his 
sister Margaret, wife of Colonel Farquharson, one whom he 
describes, in replying to her husband's letter conveying the 
sad intelligence, as * the warmest and most excellent friend ' 
he possessed on earth, and the most affectionate of sisters. 
About three months later, addressing the same correspondent, 
he mentioned also having heard from Glasgow of the death 
of his uncle Joseph Outram, and adds : * All, all are falling; 
I shall have no relations left to welcome me home, if I ever 
can return.' 

With a short notice of one more minor campaign which 
occurred in the spring of the year 1 833, we shall bring to a 
close the historical portion of ten busy and useful years 
among the Bhils, passing on to consider the less palpable 
and direct, but not less efficacious, means employed to 
effect the reformation and discipline of this rough and 
turbulent people. Let us premise that Outram was no longer 

-1835 BHtL TO CATCH BHIL, 91 

a subaltern : his Captain's commission dated from Oc- 
tober 7, 1832. 

The Bhils of the Barw4ni territory, in the Satpura 
mountains, north of Khandesh, and of the neighbouring petty 
states on the Narbada in Nimdr, having risen in rebellion, 
became so formidable that their Sajahs were unable to control 
or face them, and parties of the rebels having entered the 
British collectorate of Khandesh under Hatnia and Esnia 
Ndyaks, sacking several villages, killing a 'paidl^ and 
woimding others of our subjects, it was found necessary to 
send against them such force as could be hastily collected. 

On April 24 Captain Outram took 25 men of the Bhil 
corps, and 20 horse, strengthened by some hundred auxiliary 
Bhils, with the intention of cutting oflF communication 
between the gangs of the two leading insurgents, and also of 
attacking N&yak Esnia when joined by a coming detachment 
of 50 men of the 18th Kegiment. After a fatiguing march 
of two days through diflBcult jangraZ and over strong passes, 
and in a country uninhabited and destitute of supplies, his 
party arrived in the centre of the Satpura hills. The im- 
mediate result of this movement was the capture of Esnia, 
who was betrayed into the hands of the British oflBcers by his 
uncle. On April 26 Outram was joined by the men expected 
from the 18th Regiment N.I., and marched the day following 
to a place called Mangwfira, where he had appointed a 
meeting with the Barw^ni Rajah. This chief, however, failing 
to appear, though a special escort had been sent to attend 
him, it was resolved, after three days' waiting, to push on at 
once against Hatnia, who, it was affirmed, had been joined 
by a large number of attendant rebels. The small force, 
marching 24 miles during the night, came upon his encamp- 
ment at daylight of May 1. It was deserted ; but the signals 
heard among the surrounding heights showed the enemy to 

* Village head man, or local authority. 

92 JAMES OUTRAM. 1829- 

be on the alert. Thither, then, did the detachment move. 
Hatnia — observed ascending a hill with two or three followers, 
to join his companions assembled on the summit — was cap- 
tured by Lieutenant Hart's horsemen, who intercepted his 
retreat. The rest fled on the loss of their leader, with the 
exception of one small body of bowmen, who stood their 
ground for a time and fired many arrows, but finally decamped 
on seeing mounted assailants in their rear. One hundred 
and seventy head of cattle were recovered on the pursuit of 
the fugitives. 

This blow, however decisive, was not considered sufficient 
to check the misdoing of the Barwdni Bhils and their ac- 
complices. Outram accordingly proceeded to the village of 
Auli, whither the Rajah came to meet him, bringing the 
before-mentioned escort, and about 50 horse and followers of 
his own. Having ascertained there that two ndydka and a 
patell^ suspected of active participation or indirect complicity 
in the recently reported outrages in British territory, were 
in the camp of his native ally, he obtained the consent of the 
latter to arrest and forward them to Khandesh ; and it is 
worthy of remark that these men, together with the captive 
chief Hatnia, were handed over, for this purpose, to the charge 
of auxiliary Bhils under native officers. The next step was 
to cross the Narbada and move against one Sajia, N&yak of 
Dassowa, said to have harboured the scattered rebels of the 
Satpura, to have long committed depredations in the terri- 
tories of Holkar and the Barwtoi Bajah, and to have become 
strong enough to defy the whole body of neighbouring chiefs 
in Nim&r. 

It was at the solicitation of his native friends and our 
allies that Outram had come to the resolution to assist in 
this matter until the strength of the insurgents had been so 
far broken as to enable the more powerful State officials to 
act unsupported against their common foe. And he called 


upon the Barw&ni Rajah, and a certain Mamlutdar of Chikaldi, 

to join him with such troops as they could get togetjier. 

But when arrived on the northern side of the Narbada, the 

news that Rajia had vacated his stronghold, followed by that 

of the dispersion of his followers, caused him to change his 

plans ; and he judged it prudent to leave the pursuit of a 

scattered gang to the chiefs themselves, simply furthering 

and facilitating the object in view by the nearness to the 

scene of his own detachment. The repugnance of the 

Mamlutdar to act on this proposal was, however, so evident 

that he was allowed to return to his home, and Outram 

himself had eventually to scour the tract in which were 

situated Rajia's principal posts. Led by a friendly Rajah, 

Durjan Singh of Dhir, he pressed on during the night to one 

of these ; but on reaching the place at daybreak he found 

that the usual occupants had decamped. After a march of 

more than 30 miles, with little intermission, he encamped at 

Piplod, a deserted village in the Dhir district, and in the 

heart of Rajia's retreats. Here he stayed for two full days 

in the hope of securing some of the leading offenders ; but 

the threatening weather operated against him. He was 

compelled to recross the Narbada and seek shelter for his 

men, who were totally unprovided with tents or extra 

clothing, or indeed any necessaries for a prolonged absence 

on active service. Arriving at Barwdni on May 13, he 

addressed the collector on that date, signifying his intention 

to halt there in completion of his arrangements on behalf of 

the Rajah, and then to return to Khandesh via the Sindwah, 

doing such further service with his detachment as he might 

* find necessary to insure tranquillity after its departure.' 

On June 2, a full report of these proceedings was made 
from Dhtilia, satisfactory and to the point. Already, some 
three weeks before this date, the collector had addressed 
Government on the subject as follows : — * The capture of the 

94 JAMES OUT RAM, 1829 

Hatnia naick (the rebel chief), previous to the monsoon, was 
what I could not, I confess, feel sanguine enough to expect ; 
and as he is in reality a person of greater weight and im- 
portance in the country than his hereditary chief and 
superior, the raja of Barwdni (an independent prince, whose 
country is situated between the Satpura hills and the Nar- 
bada), his having escaped for the present must in probability 
have called for the employment of a regular expedition the 
ensuing season, till which period our whole northern frontier 
would have been a prey to the numerous gangs which would 
have risen at the instigation of Hatnia and his adherents. 

* I cannot sufficiently commend the prompt and judicious 
manner in which Captain Outram proceeded against and 
captured Hatnia, who in considerable force occupied a 
position in a tract of country the nature of which can only 
be known to those who have entered the Satpura range of 
mountains, and considered by themselves as totally imprac- 

^ The eflfects of this decisive and successful measure will 
be experienced not only at present, but for years to come ; it 
will now check the rising inclinations of our own Bhils on the 
immediate frontier, who showed signs of beginning to join in 
the robberies perpetrated in the vicinity, and for the future 
it will prove a lasting warning to the foreign chiefs and Bhils, 
that, however little we know of their country and its strength, 
no outrages committed upon our territories can remain un- 
noticed, or the culprits undiscovered.' 

On June 27, Government expressed to the Magistrate of 
Khandesh their great satisfaction at the successful termina- 
tion of the expedition, and requested him to conmiunicate 
to Captain Outram the high sense which they entertained 
^ of his ability and judgment in concerting, and zeal and 
activity in executing those measures by which the insurrec- 


tion had been suppressed, and the neighbouring parts of the 
province of Khandesh preserved from plunder.' The thanks 
of Government were also conveyed to Lieutenants Hart and 
Partridge, Ensigns Morris and Renny, and Jemadar Allahyar 
Khan, who co-operated with Captain Outram on the occasion, 
with an intimation that their deserving conduct would be 
brought to the notice of the Commander-in-Chief. 

Prior to this expedition of 1833, Outram had begun to 
feel that he should like a wider field for the exercise of his 


powers ; and now that it was brought to a happy conclusion 
his mind not unnaturally reverted to the prospect of a new 
appointment. He had written to his mother in April 1832, 
to use her home interest to get him employed in the political 
department, *the only line in the Indian services which 
allows a military officer to display his talents, both civil and 
military.' His great wish was to be appointed an Assistant 
to the British Resident at Holkar's Court, or Indor, where 
he thought that his services might be useful, and an antici- 
pated vacancy would give reasonable ground for the applica- 
tion. In November 1833, when there was question of the 
formation of a separate Agra Government, we find him 
writing home in the following strain : * I am most anxious 
to leave the Bombay Presidency for the new one in Central 
India, for there is no further honour and advancement to be 
obtained for me here in this confined sphere. ... In India 
I believe I can ensure success, having gained some little 
distinction, and many friends in power ; therefore, get me 
home patronage, and strong recommendations to the new 
Governor; I will do the rest. Mr. Elphinstone, I think, 
would espouse my cause, as he was my first and best 

To Mrs. Outram's letter in accordance with, and quoting 
the above request, Mr. Elphinstone replied : — 

96 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

Albany, May 6, 1834. 

* Having the highest opinion of Mr. Outram, both for his 
enterprise and gallantry, and for his power of conciliating 
and gaining the confidence of the natives, I should be most 
happy to forward his views, if it were in my power ; but I 
have not seen Sir Charles Metcalfe for these five-and-twenty 
years, and I do not feel myself entitled to address such a 
reconmiendation to him as Mr. Outram desires, or indeed to 
make any such application as would be eflfectual in a case 
like the present. This being the case, it is with much 
satisfaction that I perceive the date of Mr. Outram's letter, 
from which I conclude that he had not then heard who was 
to be the new Governor, and supposed that it would be some 
stranger from this country, on whom Indian reputation 
would have no efifect. The Governor who has been named, 
however (Sir Charles Metcalfe), spent all his life in India, and 
probably is more difficult to approach from this quarter than 
from others more within Mr. Outram's reach. I make no 
doubt that he is already well acquainted with Mr. Outram's 
merits, and he is a great deal more likely to employ him 
from his own impression of his fitness, than in consequence 
of any reconmiendation that could be sent from England.' 

The Bombay Government, however, were not going to 
part with go valuable a public servant without further putting 
to the test and reaping the advantages from his capabilities 
within the limits of their own control. His work with the 
Bhils was not yet over ; nor, when over, was it to be ex- 
changed without a second and equally hard apprenticeship 
before he would be permitted to acknowledge other imme- 
diate superiors. 

But we have now to illustrate Outram's * non-official' 
dealings with the Bhils ; that is to say, his off-parade be- 
haviour to his men, at times when he might have kept aloof 


frotn them altogether without prejudice to the strict letter 
of his duty to the State. Should it have been no infrequent 
practice with young officers of the native Indian army to 
avail themselves of leisure hours rather for the indulgence of 
their own particular tastes than the indirect advantage of 
their profession, they have only done what their fellows 
have done in other walks of life. Time and example often 
work, in these cases, a wholesome and eflfectual change. The 
real evil is, to ignore, or to forget that the aipahiy whom 
they are accustomed to meet at drill or in orderly room, is 
a human being like themselves, and susceptible of heart in- 
fluences as much as professional instruction. Those who do 
this, and consequently touch no chord of personal sympathy 
in their relations with the Indian soldier, are assuredly not 
acting in the true spirit of the covenant under which they 
serve. To use a hackneyed, but appropriate term, they are 
to all intents and purposes *hajd bargains.' 

Had James Outram followed such impulses, the Bhil 
corps would never have been raised by him, and never would 
he have become a power for good throughout these un- 
civilised regions. The secret of his success lay in the un- 
selfish and unwearied pursuance of principles exactly the 
opposite. He spared no pains to establish over his outlawed 
friends the power which springs from tested sympathy — not 
that inspired by awe alone. They found, not only that he 
surpassed them in all they most admired, viz., in all that 
was most manly, but that he thoroughly understood them 
and their ways ; that he loved them ; that he could and did 
enter thoroughly into their fears and their difficulties, their 
joys and their sorrows. Such a bond, all-powerful in its 
action, could be established and maintained only by the 
genial intercourse of daily life. Though his wild subjects saw 
their soMb exercising the open-handed hospitality of Anglo- 
Indian bachelor life in his costly residence at Dharangaon — a 

VOL. I. H 

98 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

palace in their eyes — yet they fell that he essentially be- 
longed to themselves ; while his active habits brought him 
into constant contact with the minute interests of their 
every-day existence. 

No wonder that we hear of his memory still lingering in 
Khandesh, shrouded by a semi-divine halo. We are told 
that, a few years ago, some of his old sipahia happened to 
light upon an ugly little image. Tracing in it a fancied 
resemblance to their old commandant, they forthwith set it 
up and worshipped it as * Outram Sahib.' 

Beminiscences of Khandesh life must now be brought to 
a close by extracting a few of the many anecdotes still extant 
regarding those exploits in the jangal which formed an 
effective link in the chain of influence the young soldier 
made it the business of life to draw around his Bhils. He 
loved dangerous sport for its own sake, but rightly con- 
sidered it a duty, though it happened to be a congenial one, 
to follow his own instincts in outdaring the brave little 
hunters whose hearts he sought to win. It must be con- 
fessed that his assurances to his mother were more honoured 
in the breach than the observance. For James Outram to 
eschew * acts of temerity ' within his reach, when duty did 
not absolutely forbid, seemed a physical impossibility. 

The following are among the many gleanings of Captain 
Stanley ^ott from the recollections of old Bhil native 
officers. They will serve to illustrate, in some degree, the 
kind of impression made on the minds of the narrators them- 
selves by the deeds of prowess recorded : — 

In April or May, 1825, news having been brought in by his 
shikari, Chima, that a tiger had been seen on the side of the 
hill under the Mussulman temple, among some prickly pear 
shrubs. Lieutenant Outram and another sportsman proceeded 
to the spot. Outram went on foot, and his companion o^i 
horseback- Searching through the bushes, when close on 


the animal, Outram's friend fired and missed, on which the 
tiger sprang forward roaring, seized Outram, and they rolled 
down the side of the hill together. Being released from the 
claws of the ferocious beast for a moment, Outram with 
great presence of mind drew a pistol he had with him and 
shot the tiger dead. The Bhils, on seeing that he had been 
injured, were one and all loud in their grief and expressions 
of regret; but Outram quieted them with the remark, 
* What do I care for the clawing of a cat ! ' This speech was 
rife among the Bhils for many years afterwards, and may be 
so until this day. 

In 1827, it was reported to Outram that a tiger was 
lurking in the densely wooded ravine of * Mahi Burda ' in 
the Saigaon jaTigal. He proceeded thither, with his rifle, on 
foot. When near the spot indicated, it suddenly occurred to 
him that, by commanding the narrow end of the ravine, and 
placing the beaters at the other, the tiger must make his 
exit through the gorge, and he would get the opportunity of 
a close shot ; but to find on the bank a place from which to 
fire was impossible, as the jangal grew close up to the sides, 
and the bottom of the ravine was not visible from the top. 
Outram's mind was not one to be bafSed by trifles. He and 
some followers climbed a tree, a branch of which overhung the 
ravine. Securely posted on that branch, the Bhils tied their 
pagria (turbands) and waistbands together, passed a band 
round their commandant's chest and und6r his arms, and let 
him down dangling in the air. He now saw clearly all that was 
taking place beneath. The tiger, driven down by the shouts 
of the beaters, came within easy range of his rifle, and from 
his wonderful position he got the desired shot and killed the 
animal dead. Instantly drawn up into the tree again, he 
turned round laughingly to the Bhils, and said, * You have 
suspended me like a thief from a tree, but I killed the 

a 2 

loo JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

In 1832, the inhabitants of Virgin, in the Taluka of 
Pimpahiair, brought information to Outram that there was a 
tiger in \h%\x jangal. He immediately caused search to be 
made, and it was discovered that the animal had taken up 
his abode in a dark cave. Outram went to the mouth with 
three or four native followers and, placing them outside, he 
entered. On hearing a low growl immediately in front of 
him, he fired ; the tiger not coming out, he fired again, 
when to his delight he found he had killed him. 

In 1833, in the month of April, when encamped at 
Sirpur, the villagers gave Outram information of a tiger 
that had been marked down in the thorny jangal to the 
north of the village. This part of the country was plain, 
and there was no hill or ravine near. Outram started on 
foot, spear in hand, a follower carrying a rifle, and some 
six others bows and arrows. The tiger broke ground on 
their approach ; Outram followed him up on foot for three 
miles, and eventually speared him to death. This act, it 
is a£Srmed, has never been equalled, before or since, in 

For the following spirited account of Outram and his Bhil 
trackers we are indebted to Colonel Davidson : * Selecting 
a few of the most dashing and expert men (who could follow 
up the trail of man or animal for days together through 
those jungly wilds), he formed a band of scouts or trackers, 
with a famous little fellow named Khundoo at their head. 
In conducting a tiger-himt on elephants, the first thing to 
be done is to disperse the Bheels over the country. They 
scatter, and yet act in concert ; and when the " pug " (or 
print of the tiger's foot) is found, they collect, and follow up 
the marks. In this, their dexterity, to one who is not 
initiated in the art, surpasses credence. They seem to 
follow the game over places where no vestige of a mark 
could light. Sometimes they are at fault, at others the 

-i835 TIGER TRACKING. loi 

scent (as it were) seems to run breast high, and on they 
go at a jog trot, marking as they run, with the point of a 
spear, the last decided print. Should they reach any thick 
jungle, covered with high grass and herbage, where no trace 
can possibly be foimd, they divide into two parties, right 
and left, and circle roimd the obstructive patch, till they 
meet on the opposite side, looking with lynx eyes at every 
inch of the line by which they circumscribe the spot. Find- 
ing no signs of egress, they conclude at once that the tiger 
is within the circle ; so they divide again and circle back, 
dropping a man at intervals till they have formed a ring of 
sentinels round the patch. These sentinels get into trees, 
partly for safety, but chiefly to extend their range of vision. 
The tiger, perhaps not satisfied with his resting-place, or 
for reasons tigers can only know, is about to quit the spot. 
A Bheel sees him from aloft, and utters a low deep cough. 
The tiger, awed by the human voice, generally retires in- 
wards, and tries another place. Again he encounters the 
same mysterious cough, till at last, from necessity, he 
becomes reconciled to his quarters, and the sun being hot, 
he lays himself down to rest. A messenger is then sent to 
tell the %akih log ' that the tiger is marked down. Should 
the sportsmen be at a distance, or should any circumstance 
prevent their immediate attention to the call, these staunch 
pointers wiU keep their posts ; and if the tiger break cover 
they track him up from place to place, even for days together, 
to his final halting place, when they again siurround him 
with their guardian wing ; and this faculty of tracking is not 
confined to the case of animals, for they follow up traces of 
men with the same facility. This makes them a valuable 
agency for the capture of marauders when they take to the 
jungles to escape detection. Outram's band rendered much 

* For the benefit of the few to whom this Indian expression is strange, we 
may state that it means British officers or residents generally. 

I02 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

good service in this way when Khandesh was a sort of hiding 
place for outlawed men. . . . 

* Khundoo, the naich or commander of this band of 
trackers, was the very heau idSaZ of a Bheel. Though a little 
fellow, he was a great man with his master, and it was one 
of the saddest days in Outram's chequered life, when this 
£eiithful follower met his death. A man-eating tiger had 
killed a native, and Khundoo, with a few men, was hard 
upon his track. Just previous to this, Khundoo had dis- 
appointed his master of a tiger, and he laid it so much to 
heart that he secretly resolved never again to send in word 
unless he had actually seen the beast himself. Following 
out this resolution in the present instance, with nothing in 
his hand but a slight spear, Khundoo approached the bushes 
where he believed the tiger to be concealed. In a moment 
the beast sprung out, Khundoo's spear glanced ofiF his thick 
head, and in the next instant the tiger's fangs had met in 
the upper part of the little fellow's chest. The tiger slunk 
back to cover, where he was surrounded by a portion of the 
Bheels : the others took up their dying chief, carried him to 
Outram's tent, and laid him at his master's feet. Outram's 
first impulse was to destroy the savage beast and, vowing he 
would neither eat nor drink till the tiger had bit the dust, 
he seized his rifle and rushed off.* A well-directed shot laid 
the man-eater low, and when Outram galloped back, he 
found poor Khundoo's life was ebbing fast. It was a touch- 
ing spectacle, as the brave Outram bent over the dying chief 
to catch his last ferewell. Khundoo took the hand of his 
little son and, placing it in Outram's, bid him supply a 
father's place to him.' 

Major C. Gibeme, late of the Bombay Army, tells a story 

^ The Bhils firmly believed that a man killed by a tiger became subject to 
the beast in the next world, nnless instantly avenged. Hence their com- 
mandant's prompt pursuit, to ease Khundoo's mind in his latest moments. 


of these days of Indian shikar too good to be here omitted. 
His acquaintance with Outram dated from 1825, towards the 
close of which year he proceeded up country to do duty with 
the 23rd N.I. at Malegdon :— 

* A party of us went out imder Outram's leadership. . . . 
Word was brought us that the Bheels had tracked a tiger 
into the dry bed of a river, where he had taken refuge 
among the tamarisk bushes on a small island in the centre. 
We were at once divided into three or four parties, and sta- 
tioned on both banks of the nvZUiy while the Bheels were 
distributed on the rising groimd a little farther oflf to watch 
our proceedings and prevent the tiger making his escape. 
Outram, followed by a few sepoys, then deliberately walked 
across to where the tiger was lying, fired at him and broke 
his fore leg. He immediately charged out of his lurking 
place and was received by us with a volley of balls, when . . . 
he rushed across and laid himself down in a bush on the 
opposite bank to where I was. Outram then advanced 
towards him, supported in rear by three sepoys with fixed 
bayonets, under which it was his intention to cast himself 
should his shot prove a failure and the tiger spring out upon 
him. Just as he arrived within three paces of the tiger, and 
he was on the point of springing upon him, he fired and the 
tiger fell down dead.' 

The following is from Colonel Ord's notes, but no date is 
assigned to the occurrence related : — * One day when Outram 
was in our camp, some villagers came in from a village 
about eight or ten miles ofiF, to pray that some of us 
would come out to kill a well-known man-eating tiger 
who had just killed a man not very fer from the village. 
It was not long before Outram, myself, and one or two 
others, among whom was Ensign T. Parr, of the 23rd 

104 JAMES OUTRAM. 1829- 

Begiment N.I.* . . . mounted and were on the spot, 
guided by some of the villagers. There lay the body in a 
sequestered part of the jimgle, with the fleshy part of the 
throat torn out, and the legs and arms eaten clean oflF to 
their junetfbp with the body. The trunk alone remained, 
and it was neatly covered with green grass, though still 
visible. The villagers not being of the hunter caste, knew 
not where the tiger was. But there was no lack of foot- 
marks, and we were soon in his trail, accompanied by a few 
of the Bheels, led by their determined chief, Outram ; who, 
on all these occasions^ was our chief also. After an in- 
tensely exciting hour or two, occupied in pugging him 
through the jungle, we came suddenly upon him, or rather 
he came upon us, or at least on Parr, for on looking to one 
side, we saw him standing on his hind legs with his jaws, as 
it seemed to us, about to close on our friend's head, who was 
instinctively pulling at the trigger of his gun. No explosion, 
however, followed, for he, like ourselves, not expecting the 
tiger at that precise moment, had not cocked his gun. 
Fortimately this was of little consequence, for the brute, 
scared either by our appearance or the click of our gims 
being put on full cock, turned away without having so much 
as touched Parr. He did not go far, however, for a well- 
directed shot from Outram's famous gun laid him low.' 

By his fearless bearing in the presence of danger, and 
his general prowess in the chase, Outram attracted the 
aCFection and admiration of the wild men among whom his 
lot was cast for so many years. Willingly would they have 
followed him anywhere. He could excel in tiger-slaying — 
a feat in which was their own greatest pride. He could 
trust their rude honour — a result at which none of his 

* Now General T. Chase Parr, of the Bombay Arm y. 

-i835 DOUGLAS GRAHAM, 105 

predecessors could arrive, though ofl&cials of a native 
government. He was clearly their pattern of an authority 
which they could acknowledge without loss of self-esteem, 
or such equivalent for caste as they were contented to 
accept. That ocw^e, in the Indian sense, is not a term 
applicable to themselves, is perhaps undisputed. Even the 
common village barber would not exercise his profession 
upon the Bhil otherwise than on compulsion ; and one col- 
lector of Khandesh had to administer a fine before the razor 
was produced for shaving the men of his guard. 

Lieutenant Douglas Graham, from whose writings we 
have already quoted, succeeded Lieutenant Beck as adjutant 
of the Bhil corps. Writing of his commanding ofl&cer in 
1833, he designates him his own ^staimchest friend,' and 
the * boldest and the best sportsman' in Western India. 
* We have lived together,' he says, * for seven long years now 
. . . without having had a diflference. . . . He has saved 
my life ; I have done the like good office to him ; we have 
fought together, and fed together, been for months without 
any but our own sweet society ; and, to smn up the story, I 
do not think friendship can go a step further than what 
exists between us two.' 

If Douglas Graham's journals are known mainly by 
repute in Bombay, many of the exploits related in them 
should be familiar there as household words, especially 
among sportsmen, and have doubtless been circulated far 
beyond the limits of the Western Presidency. We shall, 
therefore, select for extract only three or four of the more 
striking narratives : — 

* Before starting this morning (June 12, 1828) on very 
sure intelligence, I had been wondering why a certain long 
spear, one of your real Maratha lances, with a knob of rusty 
iron at one end, and a bayonet-like bit of steel at the other. 

io6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1829- 

was undergoing the process of excessive filing and sharpen- 
ing ; when I recalled to my remembrance some expressions 
of my commandant, that tended to imply a determination 
of spearing a royal tiger. And as the exploit was said to 
have been once perpetrated on horseback on the Bangalore 
race-course, a sort of vow rose floating among the mazy 
recollections of the last evening's conversation, of his in- 
tention to perform it on foot. Fifty good reasons were 
adduced why the attempt was rash, nay, amounted to a 
sort of indiCFerence to the least chance of existence in the 
struggle ; but no, the word had gone forth, and he would 
peril to the uttermost to redeem the pledge. 

' Fears were laughed at*, and dissuasion entirely set at 
nought, so we had nothing for it but to see we had French 
caps in our pockets (H.B. never miss) and proceed, anxiously 
desirous that no opportimity would occur for our too adven- 
turous friend. There was a fine thick cover down each side 
of the broad nullah that ran past the tents, and at intervals 
on either side two or three small topes, with abundance 
of under creepers well known to us as frequented haunts. 
There were only two elephants out that day, so, of course, 
each took his own side. We had beat through the first cover 
which was on our line, and had halted abreast of the second, 
to observe the operations of the other howdah, on the oppo- 
site bank, when a startling volley came provokingly across 
from the very centre of the thicket, and the loud and con- 
tinued bursts of uproarious music, fully declared that there 
.was more than one of the right sort on foot. Our position 
was by no means so commanding as our wishes. We were 
stuck on a bank which extended half a mile on each side of 
us, and presented, as far as I could see, a perpendicular Ml 
of ten or twelve feet ; but this was no time to stick at trifles, 
so we shoved old Hyder at the place, notwithstanding the 
remonstrances of the mahout, who declared the descent im- 


practicable. But, making a virtue of necessity, for he saw 
the butt-end of a rifle coming in contact with his sconce, he 
began to manoeuvre his " ankoos " ' in style. Hyder got down 
on his belly in the most scientific manner, and stretched 
his fore legs to their full extent over the side, but finding 
no bottom, and not at all relishing a drop leap, withdrew 
speedily firom this position. Thrice he was brought down, 
but to no avail; in the third attempt, luckily, the bank 
gave way, and down we came, elephant, howdah, and all, but 
landed in safety on the bed of the nullah. The firing still 
continued in the tope, and on our arrival, we found one tiger 
mortally wounded on the ground, and two others charging 
fiercely firom below a thicket of creepers. A cast round the 
wood soon put us in possession of their mark. We had 
hardly proceeded a hundred yards when the track went right 
into a porcupine's earth, and I was indulging in the idea of 
enjoying a novel sort of sport, when I saw my firiend's eye 
turn to the Maratha spear, with a meaning glance that 
could not be mistaken, and the condition of my nerves was 
by no means improved on seeing him alight firom the how- 
dah, and on his knees creep a little way into the hole, to 
look, as he said, for the glittering of the eyes. Having 
ascertained that there were only two entrances to the den, 
he blocked up one passage with thick bushes, placed the 
elephant about two yards in firont, and my firiend took up his 
station at the very mouth of the remaining hole. 

* There he stood, spear in hand, like a gladiator in the 
arena of a Boman amphitheatre, ready for the throwing 
open of the wild beast's cage. The bushes were set fire 
to, and the tiger, by no means relishing the smoke, came 

1 As this word seems to call for explanation, the opportanity is taken to 
interpret with it four preceding words in the same letter, i.e.: — Nullah, 
strictly nUd, a river or river-bed ; tope or top, a wood, tuft of trees ; howdah, 
strictly hauda, an elephant's turret ; niahoiU, strictly mahdwat, the elephant 
keeper or driver ; ankoos or dnkus, ankus, a goad. 

io8 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

puffing and blowing like a porpoise, every five or six seconds, 
to get a little fresh air ; but scenting the elephant, he was 
always fain to retreat again. This sort of work went orf for 
some time, and bush after bush blazed away without produc- 
ing the desired eflfect. I could not have stood the suspense, 
when life was at stake. At last there was a low angry growl, 
and a scuffling rustle in the passage. The tiger sprang out, 
and down descended the long lance into his neck, just 
behind the dexter ear. With one stroke of his powerful paw 
he smashed the spear close to the head. There was a pretty 
business. Mr. Tiger one step below, with the steel sticking 
in his neck, which by no means improved his temper, had 
gathered his huge hind quarters below him for a desperate 
spring ; and my ftiend, armed after the fashion of the South 
Sea Islanders, standing on a little mound, breathing defiance 
and brandishing his bamboo on high — odds by far too over- 
powering ; so, to bring things a little more to equality, I 
threw in a couple of balls from old Hyder, which turned the 
scale, as Brennus' sword did of old. The tiger was luckily 
stunned and floored by this salute, but shortly recovered, 
and finding too many enemies besetting him on the open 
ground, scampered away to the thicket. We found him 
again below an old bush, and very vicious he was, tearing 
through the jungle, and charging in mad fury whenever we 
came near his entrenchment. Three times he was on the 
elephant, roaring and screaming ; charge succeeded charge, 
ball after ball went into his inside, and at length he yielded 
up the ghost, under the very trunk of the elephant. Had 
the spear not been directed with the most cool self-posses- 
sion, so as to arrest the progress of the tiger, and give me a 
slight chance of hitting, and had not old Hyder remained 
perfectly steady, without taking at all into consideration my 
fluttering nerves and state of anxiety, there would have 
been an end of one whose like we shall seldom see again ; 


at best it was the happy accomplishment of a very rash 

Undated, but headed * Fragments, 1828 to 1832,' are 
two entries appropriate to these pages. It need scarcely 
be said that Outram is the * commandant ' whose directions 
are so implicitly obeyed in sporting attire as in uniform : — 

* Moved to Pingulwara, where we killed a very splendid 
tiger after break&st, and on our way home fell in with the 
marks of a tigress and cubs, which we followed for about two 
miles, when they went into an old tunnel that had been car- 
ried for eighty or ninety yards through a small hill. As the 
aperture was of just sufficient size to allow us to enter 
abreast, we put our rifles, double-barrelled two-ounce ones, 
all ready, and went in together, on the understanding that 
the moment we saw the glittering of the brute's eyes we 
were to fire sharp and fall flat on our faces. I have no hesi- 
tation in saying that it was with fear and trembling that 
I entered this ugly den ; but as my conmiandant proposed 
the thing, I could not be oflF, so, making up my mind for a 
pretty scrimmage, away we went. The place was foul, dark, 
and damp ; but, as good luck would have it, the tigress had 
made no stay in the place, but had gone right through. As 
there was no arguing about these things with my com- 
mandant, I always did as he did, and left the result, in this 
and a hundred other mad tricks, to the entire direction of 
the fates. The elephants were close at hand, and we 
bagged the tigress and cub among some very high reeds 
in the nullah, not a hundred yards from its mouth. She 
had no chance, as we saw her crouched for a spring, about 
twenty yards oflF, and took the liberty of checking her in- 
tentions by a couple of well-directed balls. A tiger is very 
difficult to twig just at the proper moment. His colour 
confounds him with the decayed leaves and wood, and were 

no JAMES OUTRAM. 1829- 

it not for his strawberry-leaf shaped ears, which some way 
always catch a practised eye, the game would pass often 
unseen on very open ground.' 

The next is entitled * The First Accident : ' — 

' I remember well the occurrence, whilst on a hunting 
trip among the rocky moimtain ranges that separate 
Khandesh from the Deccan. It was towards the close of a 
June day, when but little of vegetation and water remained ; 
the leaves of the bushes were shrivelled up, the country 
parched and cracked, the very stones in a glow of white 

*We had been particularly successful during the trip, 
and had upwards of forty full-sized tigers on our list, owing 
to the research and sagacity of our Bheels, and the skill and 
perseverance of our chief ; and flushed with the fiilness of 
sporty and rendered careless, probably, from success, we all 
entertained rather too contemptible an opinion for the tyrant 
of the flock. 

* The country was a difficult and dangerous one to hunt 
— the side of a long waving hill, intersected by numerous 
broad stony ravines, and covered with short, thick, thorny 
bahuL bush, whose yellow, discoloured leaves increased the 
difficulty tenfold of discovering our game. We beat up a 
nullah with three elephants, but an accidental shot had 
scared the monster. He had quitted his lair, which we 
foimd quite fresh, and sneaked o^ among the bushes. The 
party separated, and each elephant took his line about a 
quarter of a mile apart from the other. I had that day 
charge of old Hyder — that pink of elephants — and was lean- 
ing over the side of the howdah with my rifle in my hand, 
half a dozen Bheels close beside me, eagerly examining a patch 
of open ground which extended fifteen or twenty yards from 
the edge of the nullah where the jungk commenced, and 



pressing forward, notwithstanding the strict injunctions they 
had received to keep well behind, when a roar loud and deep 
startled me from my position. All had either fallen to the 
ground or fled, except one, a fine, handsome, active young 
fellow, and a particular favourite with us all, named Gurwur. 
He stood riveted to the spot, fascinated by the tones of that 
awful roar. The huge yellow form came cleaving through 
the air with the rapidity of light; in one fell swoop he 
pounced on his prey, and in the same instant his paw rested 
deep in the shoulder and his ruthless teeth were crashing 
through the skull of the unfortunate one. I could see the 
fierce glare of his eye as he stood overtopping his victim, and 
holding him up in his terrible jaws. It was all the work of a 
second. I had scarce time to bring my gun to my shoulder, 
but I aimed high, and fired both barrels. The savage 
quitted his grasp and disappeared amongst the thicket. Poor 
Gurwur's sword was half drawn, but his fight was over ! ' 

About a week afterwards. Lieutenant Graham was sur- 
prised at seeing his chief gallop up to camp with an enor- > 
mous tiger s trapped to his saddle-bpw* It was the fierce 
destroyer of the foregoing story. After committing the act 
narrated, the beast, in accordance with invariable practice, 
fled across the hills to seek concealment in the thickest cover 
available. Outram had followed, with steady determination 
to avenge, if possible, his Bhil. For three days, we are told, 
the pursuit lasted, through rain and wind, over mountain 
and torrent, and across valley and forest. On the evening 
of the fourth day the tiger was brought up by a long shot, 
whilst skulking along the side of a palm jcmgal. 

To give some imperfect notion of the continuous nature 
of this exciting sport, we might quote no less than twelve 
entries in fourteen days, or from May 7 to 20, 1829, in- 
clusive, each day after bears or tigers, and usually with the 


112 JAMES OUTRAM, 1829- 

sought for result. In the previous year are two successive 
entries, very brief, and worthy of special extract. One of 
them has just been made familiar to us in the form of a 
detailed narrative. 

* Jv/nt 9. — Went out after an immense tiger. Outram 
wounded him from horseback. He went into a small 
nuUah, and when he advanced, he charged, and wounded one 
of the Bheels.' 

^ June 12. — Killed two tigresses and one tiger. The 
tiger got into a hole, and we smoked him out. Outram 
stood above the hole, and speared him in the neck as he 
came out. He turned and broke the spear to pieces, and 
was just making a daur upon Outram, when Tapp and I 
fired from the howdah and knocked him over. The finest 
day's sport I ever saw.' * 

In May 1828, there is a vivid account of an assault upon 
a herd of wild buflfaloes in Meywar, ending in the death of 
a fine bull, who made a vigorous defence against the many 
spears and rifles brought against him. But we have no 
more space for extract from these journals of exceptional 
shikar. A summary from Outram's personal record will 
aptly illustrate the case, in conclusion. 

He has noted that, during ten years, or from 1825 to 
1834 inclusive, he himself and associates in the chase, killed 
no fewer than 235 tigers, wounding 22 others ; 25 bears, 
wounding 14; 12 buffaloes, wounding 5; and killed also 
16 panthers or leopards. Of this grand total of 329 wild 
animals, 44 tigers and one panther or leopard were killed 
during his absence by gentlemen of the Khandesh hunt; 
but Outram was actuaUy present at the death of 191 tigers, 
15 panthers or leopards, 25 bears, and 12 buffaloes. It 
is to be regretted that, during the period specified five 

• See ante, pp. 105-108. Dawr— Anglici— * rush/ * run,' or • spring.* 

-i835 SUMMARY OF SPORT, 113 

natives, while assisting in the ahikar^ were killed, and 
four wounded ; but it must be remembered that the Bhil 
is not a participator in such dangerous doings upon com- 
pulsion, but under pressure from his own restless nature. 
In 1825-26, of the five English gentlemen who composed 
the party, two died of jangal fever, and Outram, while on 
foot, was severely wounded by a chita. In 1827-28, he, 
though usually mounted on his elephant Haidar (who was 
twice wounded), killed and wounded two tigers oflF horseback, 
besides spearing one tiger on foot, as before mentioned. In 
1831, the highest figure was attained in the account of 
spoil. Out of 65 animals then killed and woimded, 46 
tigers were killed. Outram speared a bear during the same 
year. In 1830, however, with the exception of ten days passed 
with the Nagar hunt,* he had shared but little in the ex- 
citements of the chase, owing to the campaign in the Diug ; 
and he was again much occupied in the Satpura expedition 
of 1833. 

The time has now come to take leave of Khandesh, and 
though the scene of action in the next chapter will not be 
very far away from that province, we shall have to treat of a 
comparatively new subject, and new characters. 

* At which time he took 10 first spears — aU but one contested — in a party 
of six, 65 hog being killed ; broke the smaU bone of his right leg the first day, 
and was compelled to give op running altogether on the eighth, in conse- 
quence of bruises. He had before been with the Nagar hunt in 1S29, when 
be managed to take 12 first spears — all contested. 

VOL. 1. I 




Appointment to a Special Mission — Leaye to Bombay — Marriage — Two jears 
and three quarters in the Mahi E4nta. 

Early in 1835 Captain Outram accompanied Mr. Bax, then 
Eesident at Indor, through Malwa and Nimar. The scant 
supply of home letters received from him at this period finds 
ready explanation in his reports of constant marching and 
attendance on native darbars and festivals. Later on, the 
same deficiencies are accounted for by other and more 
pressing demands of the public service. After return from 
his annual Khandesh tour in June, he was confidentially 
addressed by Government, and his opinion invited on the 
affairs of the neighbouring province of Gujrat, which had 
long been in an unsettled state, and which, in the M4hi 
K4nta, had assumed a threatening aspect. This tract of 
territory, literally but incorrectly interpreted as the littoral 
of the river Mdhi, comprised, in those days, all that portion 
of Gujrat proper yielding tribute to the G&ikaw4r on com- 
pulsion only, or realised at the point of the bayonet. It is 
situated far above Khandesh and the Narbada, and extends 
up towards Sirohi and Udaipur on its north, leaving Kaira 
on its south, Dungapur east, and P^ldnpur west. From 
south-east to north-west its length is estimated at about 1 00 
miles, and its breadth in the direction of the opposite angles 
at about 60 ; the area is given at 3,400 square miles. 

The following descriptive account from the R4s Mdla is 

-1838 THE RAS MALA. 


80 clear and explicit that we make no apology for its insertion 
here : — 

The level country (which, covered with noble grove8 of trees, 

* may vie,' says Mr. Grant Duff, the historian of the Mahrattas, 

* for hundreds of miles with the finest parks of the nobles of 
England,') was almost entirely reduced by th© Mahrattas under 
direct government; though the jungles of the Choonwal and the 
banks of the Myhee, as far south as Baroda, still furnished shelter 
to independent tribes, and many villages, including those which 
belong to the Rajpoot landholders, in some of the richest districts 
required an annual armament to enforce payment of their tribute. 
As the smallest streams branched off, many independent commu- 
nities appeared among the ravines and jungle on their banks • as 
these rivulets increased in number, and the forest grew thicker 
and more continuous, the independent territories also became more 
frequent, and were found in more solid masses, until at length the 
still untamed principalities of Eedur and Loonawara were reached 
amidst the mountains of the north-east. Many Koonbees 
Waneeas, and others of the peaceable classes, were included 
among the population of the Myhee Kanta ; but the castes which 
bore arms, and in whom the whole authority of the country was 
vested, were Eajpoots, Kolees, or Muhammadans ; of these the 
Kolees were by far the most numerous, though they were for the 
most part found under Eajpoot rule. All the Rajpoots used swords 
and shields, matchlocks and spears. They often wore defensive 
armour either of leather or chain, and placed it upon their horses. 
Their plan of warfare was to defend their villages ; they seldom 
except after an ineffectual defence, took to the woods like the 
Kolees, and were quite incapable of the desultory warfare so con- 
genial to the latter tribe. The Kolees or Bheels (for, though the 
former would resent the classification, the distinctions between them 
need not here be noticed) were more diminutive than the other 
inhabitants, and their eyes wore an expression of liveliness and 
cunning, their turbans, if they used any, were small; their common 
head-dress was a doth carelessly wrapped round the temples; their 
clothes were usually few and coarse ; they wei-e seldom seen with- 
out a quiver of arrows, and a long bamboo bow, which was instantly 
bent on any alarm, or even on the sudden approach of a stranger. 
The natives described them as wonderfully swift, active, and hardy • 

I 2 

ii6 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

incredibly patient of hunger, thirst, fatigue, and want of sleep ; 
vigilant, enterprising, secret, fertile in expedients, and admirably 
calculated for night attacks, surprises, and ambuscades. Their 
arms and habits rendered them unfit to stand in the open field, and 
they were timid when attacked, but had, on several occasions, 
shown extraordinary boldness in assaults, even upon stations occu- 
pied by regular British troops. They were independent in spirit, 
and although professed robbers, were said to be remarkably faith- 
ful when trusted, and were certainly never sanguinary. They 
were averse to regulai* industry, exceedingly addicted to drunken- 
ness, and very quarrelsome when intoxicated. Their delight was 
plunder, and nothing was so welcome to them as a general dis- 
turbance in the country. The numbers of the Kolees would have 
rendered them formidable had they been capable of union ; but 
though they had a strong fellow-feeling for each other, they never 
regarded themselves as a nation, nor ever made cause against an 
external enemy. 

The inhabitants of this country — and we do not confine 
the term to the * Kulis,' or supposed dboriginea — had long 
been known as a warlike and rebellious people : and when 
the British Government was first brought into immediate 
contact with them in 1820, it soon became evident that 
without the application of stronger and fairer measures than 
had been attempted by the Gdikawfix for .the suppression 
and control of these his unruly tributaries, there could be no 
security to life and property in the villages and lands which 
they occupied. The establishment of a British agency was 
due to Mr. Elphinstone, who visited the M4hi Kilnta in 1821 ; 
and who had hoped, by this means, to secure quiet to the 
country, and a peaceful realisation of his dues to the native 
ruler. Our local authorities, however, while using undoubted 
goodwill and good intentions to introduce order into chaos, 
were unfortunate in the choice of means. Whether right 
men were not consulted for right measures, or not put into 
right places, it matters little now to inquire. The result 
was signal failure to achieve the desired end. But in order 

-1838 INTERNAL FEUDS. 117 

to make the situation intelligible, we must resort to a sum- 
mary of the state of affairs in the M4hi K4nta, when Outram's 
services were to be put in*requisition there, practically much 
in the same way as for Khandesh. 

In the year 1828, Gambhir Singh, Rajah of Edar, burnt 
the village of Km, which belonged to Fath Singh of Bup&l. 
The latter complained to the British agent at P4l6npur, who 
then exercised a temporary superintendence of the M4hi 
Kilnta. Gambhir Singh was directed to pay a heavy fine ; 
but, as the decision remained a dead letter, Fath Singh took 
the law into his own hands, and imprisoned the brother of 
Khem Chand, a minister of the Edar Rajah, when a guest in 
his house. Such a hostage would, he thought, prove better 
security for damages due than less tangible professions and 
promises. Khem Chand, however, pleaded the attachment of 
the Edar State by the British Government as a cause for 
non-payment of fine ; and his brother remained a prisoner. 
At this time, one Surdj Mall, the turbulent son of Jalum 
Singh, lowest in rank but greatest landholder of eight Rajput 
feudatories of Edar, was in banishment ; and to him appeal 
was made for assistance against Fath Singh. He readily 
undertook the task assigned, and raising a body of 400 or 500 
men, attacked and plundered Rup41. But as the unfortunate 
hostage was not to be found, Khem Chand refused to pay the 
promised reward ; and Sur&j Mall was left to his own devices. 
His ways were those of strong and imprincipled contem- 
poraries : he supported himself and followers by a course of 
pillage and devastation among the viUages of Edar. Seven 
years after the occurrence of the original cause of quarrel — 
and long after the death of Gambhir Singh, the main offender — 
the feud threatened to become a chronic infliction. A third 
disturber of the peace had, moreover, appeared on the scene, 
in the person of Pirthi Singh, son of the deceased Karn 

ii8 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

Singh of Ahmadnagar, who, with his brother Hamir Singh and 
many adherents, caused three widows of the late Eajah to be- 
come aatisj^ in despite of the injunctions, and abnost within 
sight of the British pob'tical agent. MiUtary operations were 
rendered imperative, and a field force was called out against 
Sur&j Mall and the Thdkur of Eupdl. By the middle of 
March 1835, the principal strongholds of both chiefs had been 
destroyed — and Ahmadnagar was in the possession of British 
soldiers. But in the former case, the oflFenders themselves, 
both outlaws, were still at large, while the occupation of a 
town, was, at best, but a superficial measure of success. A 
report, favourable to an approaching peaceful settlement of 
the M4hi K4nta, sent to the Court of Directors by the Bombay 
Government in September, was succeeded by one in October 
of a less cheering kind. It was to the effect that, notwith- 
standing the * severest suffering and privations on the part 
of the troops in toiling through a most difficult and rugged 
country' with which the authorities were imperfectly ac- 
quainted, the chiefs had not been captured, and the causes of 
disaffection and disturbance had not been removed. What 
was required was a better knowledge of the place and people, 
and an influence over the popular leaders : something, in 
fine, which, in effecting the work of pacification, could be 
substituted for the too common remedy of overwhelming 
brute force. 

In furtherance of its views of amelioration, the local 
Government proposed to make a survey of the tract under 
report, and to aim at the acquisition of moral control over its 
warlike inhabitants through the exercise of a conciliatory 
policy such as had been successfully adopted for Khandesh. 
Hence the consultations with Captain Outram to which we 
have referred, and which only took official shape after a 
frequent interchange of thought embodied in a confidential 

• Anglich, * Suttee.' 


correspondence with Government officers. Among the last 
was the late Major Orlando Felix, so long on the personal 
staflF of Indian governors, whose urbanity and tact in the 
fulfilment of social duties were on a par with a highly in- 
telligent appreciation of the more strictly professional part 
he had to perform. One of the subjects discussed with this 
gentleman was Outram's own proposal to divide his Bhil 
corps and, instead of raising it, as contemplated, to a thou- 
sand strong, to break it into two regiments or battalions of 
five hundred men each. The palpable advantage recognised 
in the modification was that, in case of emergency, the force 
could be doubled in number without any firesh accession 
of officers. But another question arose firom this discussion. 
Should there be occasion to form a brigade of Kulis in 
Gujrat, who more fit than Outram to advise on, and, if 
practicable, take under his immediate charge the organisa- 
tion of the scheme ? His services would be invaluable for 
the purpose, and it was natural to try and secure them. A 
much wider responsibility, however, than involved in the drill 
and discipline of KuUs, was to rest upon him in his new 
sphere of action. 

About the middle of March 1835, Sir Eobert Grant had 
succeeded Lord Clare as Governor of Bombay. In prompt 
obedience to the orders of Government, bearing date August 
27 of the same year. Captain Outram quitted Khandesh on 
September 11 following, for Indor. His object in taking this 
circuitous road to the M4hi K^nta was to consult with Mr. 
Bax on some details of his mission ; but more particularly to 
enter, if possible, the disturbed districts from the Malwa 
side, through a part of the country on which trustworthy 
information was urgently needed. At Indor he was des- 
tined to disappointment ; for the route he had laid out for 
himself was reported impracticable, owing to the deep mud 

I20 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

which, impervious to cattle or carriage of any kind, had 
generally covered Malwa, during six weeks of continuous 
rain. He was, therefore, force(tix) make the best of his way 
to Baroda, nearer the northern bank of the Narbada, by Bho- 
pdwar, and Chhot4 Udaipur. Through the care of the British 
resident at Indor, the journey across Holkar's territory 
was uneventful and free from obstruction ; but the passage 
across this section of the Vindhya mountains, and through 
the neighbouring jangaly in autumn, are acts always 
attended with serious risk to health for Europeans or 
natives, and it is not strange that fever and other sickness 
should have visited the camp. Out of Holkar's limits a 
certain annoyance was experienced in the behaviour of the 
G4ikaw4r's employ^. These, it had been inferred, would 
have readily aided the progress of a duly accredited British 
officer traversing the tracts in which they exercised a little 
brief authority ; and faith in their friendly disposition caused 
Outram, on entering Gujrat, to dismiss the horsemen who 
had been placed at his disposal by the Rajah of Udaipur. But 
the event proved he had made a mistake. On reaching, late 
at night, one of the Gdikaw^r's large towns, the servants of 
the mission were refused a guide to show them the public 
resting-place, and could not procure even a little milk on 
purchase. Outram himself was not more successful at the 
Police Thdna, and though supperless, like the remainder of 
his party, was glad to accept the shelter offered him by a 
kindly Brahmin schoolmaster. From Baroda he proceeded 
tx) Ahmadabad, and thence to Ahmadnagar, Edar, and Disa, 
returning to Ahmadabad to draw up his report, in personal 
communication with the political commissioner, Mr. Wil- 
liams, and with the advantage of access to the records of his 
office. This report, completed at Baroda, was prepared with 
.much care and ability, and is an elaborate and comprehensive 
State paper. It set forth the measures necessary for dealing 


with the insurgents at once, and under certain future contin- 
gencies ; it detailed the cases of individual leaders ; it investi- 
gated the elements of which the hostile forces werfe composed, 
and the sources and causes of hostility ; it entered into the 
question of PoUce for preservation of the peace of the coun- 
try present and future; it discussed the liabilities of the 
native ruling power ; it showed the importance of survey, 
and the opportunities likely to offer for carrying out the 
measure ; finally, it expressed the writer's conviction that the 
M4hi K^nta could not be tranquillised, nor could a system of 
active reform be successfully introduced among its inhabit- 
ants, until the unruly clans had been brought under subjec- 
tion, and the chiefs punished for their opposition to British 
troops. Its date of November 14, little more than two 
months after departure from his old Bhil head-quarters of 
Dharang^n, gave ample evidence that no time had been lost 
by Captain Outram in fulfilling a mission which, mentally 
and physically, was arduous, and of special kind. 

Later in the same month of November, Outram was 
oflFered by the commander-in-chief. Sir John Keane, com- 
mand of the troops then about to be assembled against the 
insurgents of the M4hi K4nta. In the spirit which actuated 
him throughout life, but which circumstances have rendered 
more conspicuous in his later years, he declined the honour 
in favour of a friend very much his senior. His letter to the 
chiefs military secretary on this occasion is very characteristic. 
He declared himself sensible of the distinction conferred upon 
him by such mark of confidence, but felt it his duty to point 
out that the appointment of so junior an oflicer might give 
umbrage in quarters where unanimity was necessary. The 
senior officer on the spot was almost the senior captain in the 
army: none above him could be sent with the detached 
companies of which the force would be composed ; whereas 
he himself, from his junior position in the army, would, if in 

122 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

command, be the caiise of separating captains from their 
companies, to the detriment of the service. He wrote, 
moreover : * the qualifications of the officer now commanding 
the detachment in the disturbed districts are far superior to 
mine. I willingly stake my humble reputation on his con- 
duct. Associated with him, as I presume I shall be in the 
duty, while his be the honour of success, mine be the blame 
of defeat, in measures of which I am the proposer.' 

If the sentiment here exhibited appear to some in any 
way Quixotic, it was certainly genuine. Nor was it the 
expression of an unambitious soldier, or of an untried man, 
whose temper was unknown to his employers. Sir John 
Keane, while appreciating the objects of Captain Outram, and 
admitting the merits of the senior officer on whose behalf he 
had written, could not accept the change of arrangements 
submitted. * His Excellency considers,' replied Major Mac- 
donald, * that the ultimate success of all the plans of 
Government will mainly depend upon your being left in the 
free exercise of your own good judgment without anybody 
being placed over you to control it. It is not alone the task 
of meeting the enemy in the field that devolves upon the 
person having the chief arrangement of affairs in these 
rebellious districts. . . . His Excellency highly approves of 
what he understands to be the intention of Government — 
namely, to invest you with civil and political powers, which 
will render you independent of the authority of senior officers ; 
and the military, of whatever rank, must take their directions 
from you. This is according to precedent and Indian usage ; 
and why should it not be acted on in your case, who possess 
the confidence of Government, and are looked up to, of all 
others, as the person best qualified to put their plans into 
execution ? ' 

Seldom has a more complimentary letter than this been 
addressed to a junior captain under the circimistances. Mr. 


Bax, the former collector in Khandesh, wrote privately to 
Outram on the subject of this correspondence, that he had 
* acted judiciously and most considerately ' in declining a 
command which must have annoyed many of his seniors in 
the service — a result which would have been * overlooked by 
nineteen men out of twenty,' for the sake of the distinction 
to be conferred. 

On completing his report Outram repaired to the Presi- 
dency. It was not alone on public grounds that the requisite 
leave to make this visit had been solicited, though a personal 
conference with the members of Government on the affairs 
of Gujrat seemed an indispensable sequel to the late in- 
quiry and proceedings. Another urgent cause prompted 
the application. He was about to be married to his cousin 
Miss Margaret Anderson ; and the bride was daily expected to 
arrive in Bombay. He had hoped to have welcomed her in 
the previous year : for the engagement had been of some 
standing ; but passages to and from India were more serious 
affairs then than now considered, and not arranged as at 
present, irrespective of particular ships and particular seasons. 

The settlement of the M4hi K4nta was a matter of so 
urgent a nature in the eyes of the local Government that no 
time was lost in issuing instructions for the more immediate 
guidance of the executive officers ; but Outram's proposals 
were held to be too warlike, and conciliation was to be put in 
practice, and thoroughly tested, before recourse should be had 
to violence. Sir Robert Grant, the Governor, was essentially 
a man of peace and a philanthropist. He could not believe in 
the existence of disaffection among the chiefs without a camse, 
which, at least, demanded full and patient inquiry. He 
wished this inquiry, if possible, to precede any sterner mea- 
sures : and no disarming, or tooth-drawing, would be sanc- 
tioned in the interim. In the words of the memoir already 
quoted : * he had seen a purely conciliatory policy successful in 

124 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

another province of Guzerat ; and, overlooking the difference 
in the condition of the two countries, he assumed that the 
measures which, under the masterly management of Major 
Walker, Captain Bamewell, and Mi*. Willoughby, had given 
peace to Kattywar and Rajpeempla, must necessarily suflSce 
for the tranquillisation of the M^hi K4nta. . . . So confident 
was this estimable and benevolent governor of the omnipotence 
of gentle speech and singleness of purpose, that he actually 
diminished the strength of the force which had already found , 
itself inadequate to control the insurgents, though Captain 
Outram had recommended that it should be temporarily 
increased, not necessarily for employment, but for purposes 
of demonstration,' To what extent such views were con- 
curred in by the Court of Directors will shortly become 

Though we read of breakfasts and interviews at Govern- 
ment House at this period, there is no record of any conver- 
sations which transpired. The Governor invited ; Major 
Felix issued the invitations ; Outram and others attended : 
further particulars are wanting. But there is also no lack of 
official correspondence to throw a light on the course of 
events. Before referring to this, we have to note that, in 
December 1835, Outram's marriage was solemnised in 
Bombay, where his affianced bride was temporarily residing 
in the house of her brother-in-law, Mr. Morris, of the Civil 
Service. During the week or two of leave which preceded 
the wedding-day, his time was chiefly occupied at the 
Secretariat offices, reporting, or otherwise employed on public 
matter^. A fortnight after his marriage, or in January 1836, 
he was forced to hurry off to his rough work in the Mdhi 
Kdnta, under injunctions to modify his original plans of 
settlement in accordance with the benevolent intentions of 
Government. He was now to all intents and purposes a 
political agent ; but notice of confirmation in the appoint- 


ment was not received by him until the end of March, when 
his friend Douglas Grraham succeeded him in the command 
of the Bhil corps. 

A very few days subsequent to his departure from 
Bombay, he was again at AHmadabad, and there made 
acquainted by the assistant political commissioner, Mr. 
Arthur Malet, with the lines of policy laid down for his 
conduct of the agency, as defined in writing by Mr. Secretary 
Willoughby. The remarkable administrative faculty of the 
last-named gentleman, and his general aptitude of expression 
in communicating the instructions and meaning of his Govern- 
ment to the several officials it was his privilege to address, were 
almost universally admitted by those who were capable of 
forming an opinion on the subject, and Odtram was not 
behind his fellows in respect for the Secretary's abilities. 
But in the matter of the M^hi Kdnta troubles, the new 
political agent found it very difficult to believe that the 
Government programme was suited to the occasion. * I will 
pay every attention to your remarks on the subjects you 
notice,' he writes on February 7, * but while Government 
thus generously pardons the transgressions of these chiefs 
against us, no provision appears in my instructions for the 
satisfaction of the claims of others who have suffered at their 
hands. Such claims will, I fear, prove nimierous and not 
easily answered, as, for instance, that of the Edar Boukar^ 
Akka Chand, whose capture by Sur^j Mall was reported by 
Mr. Erskine, and from whom a ransom of 10,000 rupees was 
extorted after a long exposure to dreadful tortures ; also 
for the blood that has been spilt by them, and property 
destroyed in their attacks on the Edar village in Kuppora — 
in which, I hear, lives were lost, and a hundred buffaloes and 
other property taken ; and the attack on Bottawur, another 

* Now traniiliterated iHhulcaT^ a merchant or banker. 

126 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

Edar village, where one man was killed, and property 
destroyed, reported on the 5th instant. On these chiefs 
being taken nnder our protection, it will, 1 presiune, be 
necessary to satisfy all well-founded claims against them, 
both in justice, and to prevent retaliation ; and I beg to 
know how far I may hold out hopes of remuneration to the 
sufferers, either from the chiefs who plundered them —the 
pecuniary claims against the one being already so great^ and 
the other having no means or estate whatsoever — or from 
the Edar Raja, or from the British Government, by whom 
their aggressors are protected ? ' 

The language was strong; and it will surprise no one 
versed in the ways of official correspondence to learn that the 
writer was apprised how, in addressing his Government, he 
must find a second word for * spade,' which was inadmissible 
at any cost. But the rebuke was administered in the 
mildest possible terms, and the Governor in Council highly 
approved of Captain Outram's determination, distinctly ex- 
pressed in his letter, impartially to follow the tenor of his 

Conspicuous among the refractory chiefs with whom 
the political agent had to do were Fath Singh, Th&kur of 
Rup&l, Sur4j Mall, the adventurer, Part&b Singh, of Aglor, 
and Karm Singh, Thdkur of Gorwdra. Of the two first we 
have already spoken ; and we now refer to them, as to the 
whole four, in the light of illustrative cases. To understand 
the Government position with regard to these persons, it must 
be borne in mind that we were fighting the battle of a native 
power as much as on our own account. Indeed, one main 
cause of contention was the exaction of a tribute called the 
0ha8 dandy acknowledged by precedent and the custom of the 
country. This was the G4ikaw4r's, and could not, therefore, 
be permanently reduced without that ruler's consent ; but 


the Bombay Government reserved to itself the right to make 
temporary remissions when found expedient. Another pay- 
ment exacted was the Richrij regarding which similar diffi- 
culties existed. 

On first assiuning charge of the political agency, Outram 
despatched letters, calling the outlawed chiefs to his camp. 
An amnesty was granted for all past offences under condi- 
tions which w^U-meaning men, however proud and inde- 
pendent, might easily have fulfilled ; but which those who 
saw more personal gain in lawlessness and vagabondage 
would naturally disregard. Fath Singh, Th4kur of Rupdl, 
appeared with others, but soon absented himself, on the plea 
of seeking for securities. A long year was consimied in 
endeavouring to effect a settlement of his affairs. He shuf- 
fled and evaded, argued, objected, threatened, but did not 
proceed to violence. Eventually — ^in 1837 — his case was 
settled in the spirit of leniency by which the Government 
was actuated, and which pervaded all its instructions, in 
respect of the disturbers of the peace in M&hi K4nta. The 
proceedings are not of sufficient public interest to be de- 
tailed ; but there are passages in the recorded official corre- 
spondence regarding the Th4kur of Rup41 which we feel it a 
duty to reproduce, in proof of the loyalty and honoiurable 
action of the political agent. 

There was a little cavilling at the departure of the 
Thdkur in the present instance without furnishing securities, 
which, caused perhaps by suspicion of mismanagement, 
called for full explanation on Outram's part. Certainly there 
was something expressed or signified in the communications 
from Bombay which touched the sensitiveness of this honest 
servant of the State ; for he had only been three months in 
the discharge of his new functions when he stated his 
apprehensions that he had lost the confidence of Govern- 
ment. A long despatch signed by the Chief Secretary thus 

128 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

removes in a concluding paragraph all cause for such appre- 
hension : — * I am directed to request that you will assure 
Captain Outram that the confidence of G-ovemment, as it 
was not lightly given, will not be lightly withdrawn. The 
Right Honourable the Governor in Council trusts that he will 
go on cheerfully, under the conviction that though Govern- 
ment may dissent from his judgment on some points, it 
ent/crtains the firmest general reliance on his zeal, enterprise, 
and sagacity, and confidently anticipates from his eflforts — 
under Providence — the ultimate achievement of one of its 
most important and most favourite objects — the civilisation 
of the Mdhi Kdnta.' 

At a later stage in the correspondence, ' the Governor in 
Council very much commends the tone of Captain Outram's 
communications to the Th&kur, leaving, as it does, the door 
open for the extension of mercy, and the avoiding extremi- 
ties.' Later still, *the Governor in Council thinks that 
Captain Outram's proceedings are entitled to the highest 
commendation of Government ; for though his own opinions 
of the course of conduct to be pursued towards the Hup41 
Th&kur varied in some respects from those entertained by 
Government, he has most faithfully adhered to the latter, 
without which they could not have been successful.' But a 
higher compliment followed. Outram had recommended to 
the favourable consideration of Government the Thdkur's 
request to be permitted to pay the first instalment of the 
sum with which he was authoritatively debited one year later 
than the year fixed. To this Government objected on certain 
reasonable grounds ; but the objection was followed by an 
unusual concession to the Government agent, thus expressed : 
< Should that officer, notwithstanding what has been stated 
above, still incline to think that the advantage of begin- 
ning a year earlier is not worth the difficulty or the risk 
which may be incurred by insisting on its being yielded, the 

-1838 SURAy MALL. 129 

Governor in Council is willing to forego that advantage, and 
to abide by the terms Captain Outram proposed.' 

The despatches quoted were written in 1836. In the 
subsequent year, the political agent forwarded the bonds re- 
quired from the Th^kur, and received the further approval of 
Government to his proceedings. But he himself was never 
satisfied that the settlement was real : for he saw mischief in 
the character of the man with whom he was dealing ; and 
we find it on record that Fath Singh subsequently broke out 
when he saw his opportunity, and when there was no Outram 
in the Mdhi Ktota to keep him to his better behaviour. 

Sur^j Mall had left the British agent's camp in search of 
securities, much in the same way as theTh^kur, Fath Singh. 
During his absence, his case became further complicated by a 
charge brought against him, similar to that which first intro- 
duced him to the reader. Some three months before, he had 
seized and imprisoned a native merchant of Sidhpur, a subject 
of the G4ikaw4r ; and it was ascertained that he still retained 
the man in confinement, with the view of extorting a ransom 
of 2,000 rupees.* Outram, already believing that the treats 
ment he had been instructed to pursue with the refractory 
chiefs was marked by unnecessary forbearance, could not but 

* The details of Surij Mall's offence, gathered from the B&s Mala, are 
illustrative of the state of affairs in the M&hi K4nta and neighhourhood at 
the time of commission, and also of the extraordinary audacity of the chief 
offender. It appears that on the death of the principal of a Hindu monastery 
at Sidhpur, the succession to his authority was disputed by two disciples. 
One of these» named Bi\j Bharti, turned rebellious, donned Eajput attire, and 
enlisted Sur&j Mall in his cause under promise of payment The two together 
appeared one day with a party of horsemen at a town near Sidhpiir, and ac- 
counted for themselves to the satisfaction of inquirers by a made-up plausible 
story that they were peaceable travellers. In the evening they entered the 
market-place with the intention of seizing the person of the head merchant; but 
failing tx) find him, they went in s<>arch of a fitting substitute, one Lakhu Shet. 
This unfortunate individual they discovered at his dinner, forced him into the 
street, and carried him off on one of the horses of the party. The alarm was 
raised, and an attempt made to close the town gates against the marauders ; 
but boldness and violence won the day, and they escaped. 

VOL. I. K 

I30 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

feel highly indignant at this new proof of detennined misdoing. 
And the circumstance that the evil-doer had quite recently 
been adinitted to pardon, and publicly received by the politi- 
cal agent, greatly enhanced the seriousness of the offence. 
He therefore addressed a letter to Sur^j Mall, informing him 
that he was again amenable to punishment for his conduct, 
and that if he did not accept certain conditions required of 
him to atone for his acts, he would be proclaimed and re- 
garded as an enemy. As he was known to be close at hand, 
a period of three days was considered sufficient time to allow 
for acceptance or refusal of the terms offered. In reporting 
this matter to Government, Outram hoped for approval of 
his proceedings, but expressed his apprehension lest their 
tendency should be considered * too lenient.' Government, 
however, did not approve, and there were no telegraphs in 
those days to supersede or supplement postal communication. 
The ball had been set roUing, and could not be stopped. 
Sur4j Mall, declining to take advantage of the peaceable 
solution of the difficulty oflfered, was proclaimed an outlaw. 
Captain David Forbes, commandant of the M&hi K4nta field 
detachment, was called on to co-operate with the political 
agent, and a few troops were moved to take up here and 
there a position of precaution. The outlaw was followed up 
into his mountain fastnesses, and finally tendered his submis- 
sion without striking a blow. 

Mr. Willoughby's despatch, animadverting on the pro- 
ceedings reported at the outset, was dated April 9. In the 
meanwhile, active measures had been taken with complete 
success, and the result submitted for the consideration of 
Government on the 29th of the same month. The despatch 
in acknowledgment of this subsequent report presents a 
curious contrast to the preceding one. We have no wish to 
criticise the writings of a secretariat so redolent of genuine 
philanthropy as that under the control of Sir Eobert Grant ; 

.1838 GOOD OUT OF EVIL. 131 

we are, moreover, willing to believe that this ruling spirit of 
benevolence was not only appreciated by Outram at the very 
time he was supposed to swerve from its teaching, but that 
its lessons greatly influenced his own after-career ; neverthe- 
less, we are bound to continue our extracts from oflBcial 
papers, which, if a controversy be admitted as between mas- 
ter and servant, give at least an apparent victory to the 

The Bombay Government, on April 9, 1836, expressing 
concern at what had occurred, directed that Captain Outram 
be called upon, without a Trvoment^s delay ^ to explain a pro- 
ceeding which could not, prima faciey be reconciled with his 
instructions ; and they stated their strong apprehensions 
that the measures he had taken might precipitate the crisis 
which it was their wish to avert. On April 26, when all had 
ended satisfactorily, the Secretary acknowledged receipt of 
the intelligence that Surdj Mall had surrendered on the sole 
condition that his life be spared, and, expressing the gratifi- 
cation of the Governor in Council, requested that Captain 
Outram be congratulated * on so fortunate a result of his 
spirited, though, in their opinion, somewhat rash proceed- 

Then followed these four paragraphs : — 

*The outlawing of Surdj Mall is conceived by the 
Governor in Council to have been harsh, and the consequent 
march of our forces unnecessary, but the plan has been 
executed with a skill and decision worthy of Captains Outram 
and Forbes, and which, no doubt, have contributed to the 

* I am desired to observe that good may arise out of evil, 
and the Right Honourable the Governor in Cormcil is 
perfectly willing that Captain Outram's success should be 
ascribed, not to his instructions, but to his departure from 

K 2 

132 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

theniy provided only that the spirit of the instructions be 
henceforth carried into eflfect. 

* With the exception of the measure of outlawing Sur4j 
Mall, the whole of Captain Outram's proceedings, I am 
directed to state, reflect on him the highest credit, and 
entitle him to the warmest commendation of Government. 

* I am at the same time instructed to observe . . . that 
in calling Captain Outram's march unnecessary, the Governor 
in Council considers it so only in this view, viz., that it was 
the consequence of an unnecessary proclamation of outlawry. 
Under the circumstances ... it was an expedient and 
excellent measure.' 

Not a fortnight after the date of this letter, Sur&j Mall 
presented himself before the political agent, accompanied 
by the merchant of Sidhpur ; when Outram, acting in the 
spirit of his instructions, and not perhaps against his own 
good judgment, released the turbulent chief from arrest 
without infliction of fine. For this act of unexpected 
clemency we read that the latter appeared to be deeply 

In the following year the same Sur&j Mall had proved so 
good and loyaJ a subject to the paramount power, by active 
assistance afforded to British officers, that Outram was 
authorised to present him with ayogrrt and add * in the name 
of his Government for the purpose of indicating the sense 
entertained of the service he had rendered. * We rejoice,' 
said the Governor in Coimcil, writing from Bombay to the 
Court of Directors, * in being able to report the continued 
good conduct of Sur&j Mall since his admission to pardon, 
and we feel pleasure in having it also in our power to state 
to your Honourable Court that his exertions have been joined 

* The sel& is, according to Dr. Forbes, 'a kind of sheet constituting a part 
of drees eepecially worn and' given in prebents in the Dakhin.' 

-1838 PARTAB SINGH. 133 

with those of Captain Outram in re-establishing peace and 
good order in the M4hi Kdnta.' 

PartAb Singh, the third on the list of chiefs whose cases 
wft have selected for notice^i was one of the most dangerous 
of the Ktili insurgents in opposition to his liege lord the 
G&ikawdr. Though his nominal range was the 'pargomi of 
Bijapur, yet he possessed influence, and was likely to do 
mischief beyond such narrow limits. In March 1837, owing 
to a threatened insurrection at this man's instigation, Outram 
made requisition on the officer commanding at Hargol for a 
troop of cavalry and company of infantry to proceed to 
Parantej for the protection of the Ahmaddbdd territory, and 
to co-operate with detachments prepared to act from 
Ahmadnagar and Sadra, amounting in all to one company of 
infantry and some G^kaw4r horse. The requisition was 
duly attended to, and the presence of the troops at Parantej, 
together with the arrest of four principal chiefs, must have 
had a good eflfect in checking the general progress of the out- 
break. But some of the rebels, to the number of 500, took 
up a determined position in the strongly situated village of 
Ransipur, on the banks of the Sabar-Matri, whence they 
ravaged the surrounding districts, and openly defied the 
native authorities. 

The G&ikaw&r's commander-in-chief appealed to Outram 
for aid, implying that we were bound to place our available 
soldiers at his disposal. The political agent would not for a 
moment admit the notion that the men should be transferred 
from his orders to those of a native state, but lent a ready 
ear to the alternative proposal of acting in concert with an 
ally. Accordingly, with no other warrant than that given by 
the political commissioner at Baroda, he resolved to become 
a party to the attack on Ransipur. A proclamation was 
issued in the name of the Gr4ikaw4r, allowing eight days' 

134 JAMES OUTRAM, 1835- 

reflection. If, within that period, the rebels did not come 
in and state their grievances, they were to be treated as 

* thieves ' and destroyed, wherever found, in the dominions of 

* either Sirkar ' (that is, the British Government, or that of 
the GWbikaw^) by * the troops of both Sirkars.' 

The eight days having passed without advantage taken 
of the oflFer of peaceable adjustment, Outram proceeded to act 
in accordance with the plan of operations agreed upon with 
the native commander-in-chief. Colonel Troward commanded 
the British troops, consisting of one troop of cavalry and two 
companies of infantry. The G^dkaw^'s force was composed 
of 400 horse, and about an equal number of foot siband/id. 
The local field artillery was to have been strengthened by a 
horse artillery gun supplied from Disa; but this did not 
arrive until too late for use. From Colonel Troward's report 
we learn that the infantry and guns were in position 
early in the morning of May 2 ; that * Captain Outram's 
endeavours to induce the enemy to lay down their arms 
having failed,' the batteries opened ; and that after a few 
rounds of shell, the town was fired in several places. 

*The Gteikaw4r's troops then attacked,' continues the 
Colonel, *and, after some brisk skirmishing, entered the 
place, when the Kholis crossed the river, and endeavoured to 
break through the ravines of the eastern side (where part of 
my detachment was formed), but suffered most severely in 
the attempt, about 50 being killed and 47 taken prisoners. 
A very few succeeded in escaping through some very thick 
jungle, where horse could not act or follow them. 

*Our loss in the affair was one sepoy of the 17th 
Regiment severely wounded, and one of the 9th Regiment 
slightly so, but I cannot ascertain correctly the loss of the 
G^kaw^r's troops. 

* When the enemy approached the ravines commanded by 


our own troops, they were called on to surrender, and assured 
their lives would be spared, which they only answered by firing 
arrows, and rushing sword in hand upon us, when they were 
met by our fire, with the destructive eflfect above mentioned. 

* The slaughter in the town must have been very great, 
as His Highness' troops were engaged for some time within 
it, and were opposed in a most determined manner. 

* The principal rebel chief, the Th4kur of Paria, was 
wounded and taken prisoner ; and the other, the Th^ur of 
Sansipur, was slain by the G^kawfix's troops, who displayed 
much gallantry in the attack.' 

A subsequent report shows that on the British side there 
had been one man killed, and one wounded : 8 killed and 29 
wounded of the G&ikaw&r's troops ; and that, while no true 
figure could be given for their killed and woimded, 77 bodies 
of the rebels had been actually found. 

It has been stated, with a certain amount of authority, 
that Outram,when proposing to act in concert with the Gujr4t 
executive against Ransipur, solicited the early instructions of 
Government ; that, owing to some official accident, never 
satisfactorily explained, a delay occurred in placing his letter 
before Council; and that no answer to the reference was 
received in time to allow operations to be suspended.* At 
first sight such a statement is hardly to be reconciled with the 
assertion before made in these pages that the attack on Ran- 
sipur had been determined on in communication with the 
political commissioner at Baroda. But the question is one 
of mere routine and form : the latter functionary was the 
natural referee in such matters, and it was his particular 
duty, not that of the political agent of the M^hi K4nta, to 
address the Bombay Government. Outram reported fully to 
Mr. Williams all his proceedings, regarding his sanction or 

• Memoir of the Public Services of Colonel Outram^ p. 44. 

136 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

disapproval as coming with the authority of the Governor in 
Council; and no aflFair of magnitude could be undertaken 
at all without his express concurrence. In the matter of 
PartAb Singh, the requisition for troops to protect the Ahmad- 
abdd territory was communicated to the conunissioner on the 
day that it was made to the local military authorities con- 
cerned, and the subsequent arrangements for co-operation 
with the Gr4ikaw4r's officers were carefully and systematically 
detailed for his approval. Active interference, it was ex- 
plained, was not so much desired from a conviction of justice 
in the original action of the Baroda darhar^ as of necessity 
for securing the tranquillity of the M^hi Ktota, in which 
district the insurrection had spread, and was threatening to 
spread yet further. On the other hand, a combination of 
forces might give opportunity for beneficent interposition 
between the G-4ikaw4r and the insurgents, both in the 
event of submission, and even if submission were delayed. 
Outram's last recorded despatch to Mr. Williams, prior to 
the assault on the town, is a statement of his * cheerful com- 
pliance ' with a proposal of Granpat Eao, the Gujr^t com- 
mander, for the temporary release of an imprisoned Bajah, on 
the ground that the act might indirectly tend to a preven- 
tion of hostilities. 

Unfortunately, there was an element of injustice in the 
G4ikaw4r's dealings with Part4b Singh ; and the rebellion of 
that chief against his sovereign had been in some measure in- 
stigated by the sovereign's disregard of the subject's personal 
grievances. The Government of Sir Robert Grant was more 
likely to keep this ill-treatment in view than to sympathise 
with their agent's anxiety for the maintenance of British 
prestige and power. Outram saw the mischief of leaving 
unpunished the lawless acts of a bold rebel, whose example had 
its immediate eflfect on the surrounding people, British sub- 
jects as well as others ; while in the eyes of authority in Bom- 


bay, the first duty was to ascertain and remove the cause of 
oflFence, so as to be in a position to mediate between our 
native ally and his dependent before taking the part of either 
against the other. Undoubtedly the aims of both were the 
same : but the process to be pursued was differently devised. 
In one case repression would precede inquiry ; in the other, 
inquiry would lead the way, and might possibly obviate the 
necessity of repression. 

But there were other signs which made him act with 
determination. During the first year of his work in the 
M4hi K&nta Outram had received a confidential communica- 
tion from the Governor's private secretary, at Dapuri, to the 
effect that there were reasons for apprehending a combina 


tion of native powers against the British Government, and 
an attempt on their part, through secret agents, to seduce 
the sipahis from their allegiance. A Brahmin had intro- 
duced two avhadara of a native infantry regiment to the son 
of the minister of the Sat&ra Rajah, in whose presence they 
were informed of the names of many well-known princes and 
chiefs who had, it was alleged, united to subvert the British 
supremacy. The native oflScers had reported the circum- 
stance, and were instructed to watch further proceedings; 
but although their good faith was held unimpeachable, and 
a commission had assembled to investigate the charges, the 
affair fell through without practical result, the Rajah stoutly 
denying his own complicity. Now, notwithstanding the 
failure to prove an accusation which, if established, would 
have implicated some of the most distinguished of our native 
allies and feudatories in the most barefaced sedition, there 
was at this time cause for especial vigilance on the part of 
British oiBScers who, like Outram, had so much to do with 
internal politics. It was essential to show that British jus- 
tice was not weak, nor British mercy a mere expediency ; 
and acts were so much more intelligible to the mass than 

138 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835 

words. At the same time, the omission of the G4ikaw4r's 
name from the list of compromised Indians of distinction 
seemed to afford a strong reason for favourable consideration, 
should this ruler ask or need our assistance. 

When it did come, the censure of the Bombay Govern- 
ment was couched in strong language. Mr. Secretary 
Willoi:^hby'8 despatch, expressing the sentiments of the 
Governor in Council on becoming first acquainted with the 
measures proposed to be taken by Captain Outram in con- 
junction with the G4ikaw4r's troops, was only dated May 6, 
whereas, three days before, Outram had officially reported to 
his inmiediate chief the success of his operations against 
Ransipur. The secretary had been instructed to inform the 
political commissioner that the proceedings he had sub- 
mitted were the most extraordinary that had * ever come 
under the observation of Government;' for, with a full 
acknowledgment that the Kuli insurrection in the G^ka- 
w4r's district of Bijapur had originated in wrong and 
injustice. Captain Outram had, upon his own responsibility,' 
consented to combine his forces with those of an officer of the 
G^kaw&r, for the purpose of reducing the rebels. He went 
on to remark that whatever the result of these injudicious 
proceedings, * even should Captain Outram succeed, by the 
skill and judgment which have heretofore invariably marked 
all his military operations, either in inducing the insurgents 
to submit, or in capturing them without bloodshed,' the Gov- 
ernment could not but disapprove of the interference exer- 
cised. And he conveyed to both the political conunissioner 
and political agent unqualified disapprobation at their omis- 
sion to seek in the first instance the instructions of higher 

* Mr. Williams, in acknowledging Captain Outram*s notes of conference 
lirith Ganpat Bao Damderah, and plan of combined operations to be undertaken 
against the refractoiy Ki&lis, added that he perfectly coincided in the opinions 
expressed, and requested that action be taken accordingly. 


authority before adopting measures * embracing such delicate 
and important matters.' 

But nearly six months after this date, a despatch, dated 
October 19, was more severe upon the political commis- 
sioner in Baroda, who had brought to notice and defended 
the exercise of his own responsibility, in suppressing the 
insurrection according to the programme recommended and 
adopted by the political agent. * It matters not to Govern- 
ment,' are the words of this communication, * whether your 
consent was influenced by any strong opinion and plausible 
arguments which might have been expressed to you by 
Captain Outram in favour of the measure, since such an 
excuse, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, could in 
no way shift the responsibility from the superior to the 
subordinate officer. Whoever suggested the measures in 
question, you took it on yourself to order them, and for 
having done so, you, I am desired to state, and you alone, 
must be held the accountable person.' 

As for Outram, he was relieved from the censure with 
which he had been visited for assuming an unjustifiable 
responsibility, his possible offence of persuasiveness being 
left to a tribunal of conscience, with which Government had 
nothing to do. The remarks passed upon his conduct in 
other respects were such as to leave it questionable whether 
the occasional disapproval of superiors might not be made in 
form more acceptable than their stereotyped satisfaction. 
In one paragraph the Governor in Council, lamenting * the 
impolitic and mistaken proceedings ' taken by both officers 
concerned, could not doubt that both * acted from a sincere 
and honest conviction ' that they were doing for the best ; 
and they could *not help taking into consideration the 
eminently able and highly valuable services performed by 
Captain Outram in the M4hi K4nta since his appointment 
to the agency of that province.' In the next, while rudely 


contrasting, to the disparagement of the civilian, the respec- 
tive merits of the two public servants addressed, the writer 
states that * the terms in which Grovemment have felt them- 
selves compelled, on the present occasion, to speak of Captain 
Outram have been productive to them of indescribable pain.' 
The paragraph immediately succeeding we reproduce more 
m ea^enao : * Captain Outram is regarded by Government as 
one of the finest military officers imder this presidency, being 
full of courage, resource, activity, and intelligence ... at 
those periods when the British power was struggling for exist- 
ence or for empire he would have acted a brilliant part ; but 
... his fault is that, though perfectly fitted for the perform- 
ance of civil duties, he is essentially warlike. The capture 
of Ransipur was of easy accomplishment, yet, so far as was 
compatible with operations on so minute a scale, those of 
Captain Outram were, in the opinion of Government, perfect 
both in conception and execution, and deeply do they regret 
that his great military talents should have been exercised on 
such a field.' 

Before reverting to the views expressed by the Court of 
Directors in England on these acts of their Bombay Govern- 
ment and its officers, we will glance at one more case illus- 
trative of Outram's first M&hi K4nta career, that of the 
Th4kur of Gorw4ra, one of the more notorious hharwattisy 
or outlaws of the day. The word bharwattia was expressive 
of a kind of self-imposed outlawry or vagabondism, which in 
French colonies is known as Trux/rroruige ; and when openly 
resorted to by a discontented chief, it was commonly accom- 
panied by abduction, plunder, or some act of violence, 
which rendered unmistakable the oflFender's hostility to the 
State, and contempt of law and order. Karm Singh was a 
chief whose quarrels with other chiefs, and consequent resort 
to bharwattia, placed him for the better part of two years in 
constant opposition to the authorities. In the spirit of his 


general instructions, and also in obedience to special orders 
bearing on the case in point, Outram tried to arrive at the 
root of this man's grievances ; and called in the aid of a 
native court, known as a pcmchaiyaty in the hope of a suc- 
cessful result. The investigation was held, but the Th^kur 
of Gorw^a declined to abide by its decision. He would 
neither heed the political agent, nor the panchaiyat. 
Eventually Sir Robert Grant and his council acceded, though 
with great reluctance and regret, to the adoption of strong 
measures recommended in this case by the political agent. It 
was well they did so ; for Karm Singh repented of his mal- 
practices, and surrendered himself imconditionally to the 
latter officer — a result which caused great satisfaction in Bom- 
bay. We add an extract from the despatch communicating the 
intelligence, because it explains how success was obtained : — 

* This event will, I trust, justify in the eyes of the Right 
Honourable the Governor in Council the policy to which I 
expressed myself compelled to adhere, though at variance 
with the wishes expressed by Government, in Mr. Secretary 
Willoughby's letter. 

* Had any negotiations with the bharwatti been at- 
tempted, as therein suggested, I am convinced that the 
Thakur would have continued " out," in the hope of ulti- 
mately gaining his ends ; and had any modification in the 
terms finally decided on, and publicly promulgated by Gov- 
ernment, been allowed, it would have encouraged a continu- 
ance of the system of bahrwaMia-ismy which I am convinced 
it is in our power, as it is our duty, I conceive, to put an 
end to. 

* The Thakur sent to me last night to say he would abide 
by the decision of the panchaiyaty if he might now be 
admitted to pardon, and that he was ready to come in on 
that condition. I answered that, having committed a breach 

142 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

of the peace in the face of the public proclamation of 
Government, by seizing a banian^ I would give him no con- 
ditions ; that if he came in, he would be placed in confine- 
ment to answer for his conduct, as might be directed by 
Government ; at the same time, intimating to him that, as 
he had since released the banian^ and committed no further 
excesses, his adopting the step of peaceably giving himself up 
would ensure my good offices with Government to obtain his 
pardon, on the full understanding, however, that he was to 
abide by the settlement of the pcmchaiycU, 

* On this imderstanding, the Thakur surrendered himself 
this morning, and is now a prisoner in my camp/ 

In October 1837, the Honourable Court of Directors 
wrote an important letter expressive of their sentiments on the 
affairs of the M&hi K&nta, and the arrangements then recently 
made by the Bombay Government for the political superin- 
tendence of Gujr^t. It need scarcely be said that this, in 
common with many like manifestoes issued in the halcyon 
days of Leadenhall Street, was a State paper worthy of at 
least as much attention as the despatches of more exalted 
but not more qualified critics in ministerial offices. But the 
body corporate was just as jealous of its principles as any 
individual statesman could be of his, and no cabinet minister 
could take more pains to show that he had rightly forecast 
coming events than did the Court to prove infallibility in 
political prescience. Throughout the Bombay letter there 
was an evident tendency to impress upon the Governor's 
mind that any success which had attended his benign policy 
in the M^i K4nta was to be attributed to the attention he 
had given to fulfilling home instructions, contrary to the 
habit of his predecessors. Captain Outram's report, on first 
proceeding to reconnoitre his new field of labour, had dis- 
appointed them ; they would * not have expected that an 
officer who had assisted in reclaiming by mildness and con- 


ciliation wild tribes which had been driven to desperation 
by a system of coercion, would have fallen into the common 
error of supposing that severity must precede indulgence : ' 
but that same officer must now, they felt assured, have 
become convinced that his recommendation at the outset had 
been rightly set aside. They would not refuse sanction to 
his nomination as political agent : and they saw no advantage 
in making the political commissioner at Baroda the organ for 
transmitting his correspondence. 

A subsequent letter congratulated the Bombay Govern- 
ment on the complete success of their * just and generous 
policy ' in the M&hi K4nta, and on * the re-establishment of a 
tranquillity not previously enjoyed for many years,' to be 
ascribed to the Governor's * judicious instructions, and to the 
manner in which Captain Outram has carried those instructions 
into effect.' And the Court immediately added : — 

* In bestowing this commendation upon Captain Outram 
we are not forgetful of the fact that on several occasions that 
officer has shown a disposition to act in a more peremptory 
manner towards refractory chiefs, and to resort sooner to 
measures of military coercion than your Government has 
approved. In all such cases which have been reported to us 
we agree in the main, or altogether, in the opinion of your 

When the Court's ruling was made known to Outram, he 
chafed under what he considered to be injustice or miscon- 
ception. His impetuous and sensitive nature could not 
brook in silence remarks which he himself described as * very 
severe animadversions on the opinions ' expressed in his 
report of November 1835. The official communication to 
his address bears date June 7, 1838, but the letter to which 
it referred may have been six months or more on the road. 
On receipt he proceeded with characteristic fervour to reply 

144 yAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

to the objectionable passages seriatim ; but he prudently 
reserved completion and despatch for some weeks, and the 
consequence was that he sent in a fairly temperate and 
logical paper. We have no space to analyse, but may allude 
to the prominent points of his defence, as a demonstration 
that his policy with the Bhils, admitted to have been suc- 
cessful and therefore not quoted against him, had not always 
been conciliatory ; a disavowal of entertaining warlike views 
in dealing with the rebellious Th&kurs ; a recapitulation of 
reasons for disposal of particular cases and assuming un- 
sought responsibilities; and an appeal to practical and 
apparent results for a general confirmation of his zeal and 
devotion. The Bombay Government, in acknowledging the 
receipt of this reply for transmission, request the political 
commissioner in Gujr^t to inform Captain Outram that 
* while the Government are fully satisfied with the soimdness 
of the principles which have governed the Honourable Court 
and themselves in the affairs of the M4hi K^nta, the spirited 
and energetic manner in which he has firequently acted on 
his own responsibility has, whenever the Governor in Council 
conceived that oflBcer exercised a sound discretion, received 
the commendation of Government, and that whenever, as at 
Bansipur, approbation could not be awarded, it has been 
withheld under much regret.* 

The next paragraph has a force which seems to disallow 
compression : — 

*You are further requested to inform Captain Outram 
that on the occasions on which he acted on his own responsi- 
bility and received the commendation of Government, he has 
shown how judicious was the selection which placed him, 
from the experience of his most valuable services in 
Khandesh, in the oflSce of political agent of the M4hi K4nta. 
But if his energy and prompt decision have been often 


important in their consequences, not less have been his 
execution of instructions varying from his own impressions of 
what was best, and his scrupulous obedience when unexpected 
events did not call for his assuming the responsibility of 
action. The confidence of Government in the influence of 
this principle not unfrequently recorded will, I am directed 
to state, be particularly pointed out to the Honourable Court 
as showing the very high opinion entertained of Captain 
Outram's military and political character.' 

After the extracts already given in this and the two 
preceding chapters, it would be superfluous to quote from 
public docmnents further testimony to the extraordinary 
estimation in which were held Outram's services in Khandesh 
and the M4hi K4nta. We should have been glad to have 
introduced here and there a sketch of the work performed 
by other of his fellow-labourers in the same field ; but beyond 
casual mention of names it has been impossible to carry out 
any such intention. Colonel Ovans, for instance, will be 
long known in Indian local story as a great reclaimer and 
benefactor of the Bhils ; nor can his merit be classed as 
inferior to that of any officer associated with him in the 
same line of duty. He did not, however, transform the 
Bhil recruit into the Bhil soldier, nor make, out of the very 
materials of disorder and destruction, instruments of discipline 
and preservation. In saying this we are not seeking to draw 
invidious distinctions ; only to explain that there are separate 
spheres of action and usefulness in India as elsewhere ; and 
all workers do not attain the same degree of honour in one 
that they would in another. 

To those unaccustomed to the ways of Indian public life, 
any description of the routine of a political agent in the 
M4hi E&nta would be barely intelligible. In his more 
strictly official capacity, Outram had to attend to the well- 

VOL. 1. L 

146 JAMES OUTRAM. 1835- 

being of his barons and minor feudiitories : to make judicial 
investigations into their complaints, extricate them from 
financial embarrassment, and keep them, as much as practic- 
able, in the paths of respectability. In other respects, he had 
to perform the general duties of a magistrate ; to organise 
and keep in order a local police ; to superintend the formation 
<^ a corps of Kulis ; to establish tribunals for the adminis* 
tration of justice ; to render the roads secure to merchants and 
travellers, especially the main lines of traffic ; and to give a 
stimulus to commerce by the institution of fairs and reduc- 
tion of transit duties. In the last-named efforts he had the 
advantage of co-operating with Colonel Spiers, the political 
agent for Meywar and Malwa, an able and energetic officer. 

He had also to contend with a system of bribery and 
corruption, on which we shall have so much to say by-and-by 
under its locally familiar name of Kfiatpat^ that a detailed 
account of it may be deferred for the present. 

Upon the whole, these two years and three-quarters in 
the M&td K&nta were for him a great contrast to Khandesh 
existence. Though he and Douglas Graham had been 
accustomed to spend the rainy months almost alone in their 
* palace ' at Dharang&on, they were both good readers, and 
seemed never to have lacked occupation; while the open 
seasons brought them Nimrod guests in plenty, and Bh!ls, 
buffaloes, or tigers afforded ample scope for superfluous 
energies. But here, the free wild life in the jcmgaly the 
congenial duties and associations of the Bhil corps, had given 
place to the dull jog-trot of an isolated political agency. No 
sport attracted kindred spirits to the locality. The days of a 
^ hundred mad pranks,' ' and of practical jokes, all well spiced 
with danger, were gone. Old Haidar's hauda and the Mara- 
tha spear had degenerated into an office chair and an office 
quill. But James Outram threw himself into his new duties 

* DoogUi Graham's expression. 

-1838 SIVORD AND PEN. 147 

mth the zest and absorption characteristic of Anglo-Indian 
soldier-statesmen. He had abready learnedto wield the pen 
of a ready writer ; for without pretension to ciiltiHre of style, 
he expressed himself on paper with a fluency and a force 
which often proved embarrassing to gentlemeb of the 
Secretariat. Official platitudes were wasted upon him ; * how 
not to do it' he would not see ; to the bottom of the matter 
both he and his Government must go ; and he could never 
manage to sit still under what his too ready sensitiveness 
construed into a misrepresentation or an unjust rebuke, no 
matter by whom administered. It was well, both for the 
public service and for himself, that he served his ^ political ' 
apprenticeship under men who, like Sir Eobert Grant and 
Mr. Willoughby, not only cherished warm feelings of personal 
regard for the young soldier, but could fully appreciate his real 
qualifications. Otherwise his outspoken energy would pro- 
bably have soon dismissed him to his regiment a disappointed 
man— marked as one whose tendencies, both of sword and pen, 
were too essentially warlike for any but regimental duties. 
Mr. (afterwards Sir John Pollard) Willoughby used to speak 
of this as the most critical period of his friend's public life. 
Hard and uphill official battles we shall find him fighting in 
its after stages, but he had then established for himself a 
political reputation and a general sympathy which he lacked 
as a captain on special employ in the M&hi K&nta. Here 
and throughout his Presidency he was known as one of the 
most dashing soldiers and spc»rtsmen in Western India ; but 
his political spurs he had yet to win. 

A despatch from the Court of Directors to the Governor in 
Council, Bombay, bearing date March 12, 1840, reviews the 
good work done by their officers in the district of which we 
have now been treating. Among its later paragraphs is an 
expression of regret at reading the earnest defence of his 
views, submitted to their consideration by Captain Outram ; 


148 JAMES OUTRAM 1838 

an admission that no error had been observed in that officer's 
conduct since he had been made acquainted with the policy 
propounded by the Honourable Court ; an assurance that the 
pacification of the M&hi K&nta had never been supposed 
capable of accomplishment without some exhibition and 
occasional employment of force ; a high compliment paid to 
Captain Outram and his assistant, Lieutenant Wallace, for 
the removal firom the popular mind of mistaken impressions 
of Grovemment objects ; and, finally, acceptance of Captain 
Outram's own proposal to issue a proclamation declaring 
Bha/nvattya an offence not to be passed over with impunity.^ 
At the date of this despatch, however, Outram was £Eur 
away from the M^i K&nta ; and by the time that it had 
reached its destination, his mind was full of cares and 
anxieties on behalf of a people situated beyond the limits of 
India Proper. 

' Appendix C. 




Family affidra — ^Appoiotment to Sir John Kf.ane's Staff— AiriTal in Sind with 
the Bombay Diyision of the Army of the Indue— Missions to Ooteh, 
Haidarabad, and Shik4rpnr — Accident — Acoompaniee General WiUshire 
from Ghindiva, hat rejoins Commander-in-Chief on arrival at Kandahar — 
Opinions on Afghan War. 

Although James Outram^s career was essentially that of a 
public servant, we may not altogether lose sight of his 
domestic life, nor of those home associations which naturally 
influenced his character. In writing to his mother from 
Sadra in August 1838, he expresses a determination to 
remain in the M&hi K&nta no later than the following 
December, and, unless war should break out, to visit England 
in February 1840. He deplores the uncertainty and irregu- 
larity of homeward and outward bound mails, and encloses 
the triplicate of a bill, lest the original and duplicate, both 
before despatched, should never reach their destination. 
* Some of our packets,' he says, * have been plundered by the 
Arabs, and some have returned from being unable to face the 
monsoon.' Altogether, the picture is such as to reconcile 
Anglo-Indians to any defects in home communications ap- 
parent in 1880. 

But the writer had unusual reasons for depression. His 
wife had left India in the previous year from ill-health. She 
had joined him at Ahmadabad in May 1836, shortly after 
their early separation consequent on his sudden and forced 
departure from Bombay. A son had been bom at Harsol in 
September of that year. Danger to life had ensued on the 


event, and Mrs. Outram had been conveyed to the residency 
at Sadra, so soon as pronounced able to bear the fatigue of 
moving. Hence she was ordered to the hills for the hot 
weather of 1837. Not being free to accompany her, Outram 
followed at a convenient opportunity, and they passed the 
rains at Puna. But he had to wend his way back to Sadra 
alone: the doctors would not hear of the lady's return 
thither : change to England was imperative. 

Sadra had now few attractions for the political agent. 
The residency bangloj or ^mansion,' as he designated it, 
on which he had spent time and money, had suffered during 
the latest rains ; and its leaking rooms had brought on 
serious damage. Benovation of carpets and matting would 
entail a tiled roof for protective purposes. All this expense 
was annoying at any time ; for a qtuxsi bachelor in straitened 
circumstances it was most unsatisfactory. He had, moreover, 
changed in ways and habits since his marriage. Physical 
exertion was in a great measure abandoned. He detested 
* constitutionals ' in any shape, and soon fell into the mistake 
of avoiding exercise if he could possibly manage it. The 
early morning, like every period of the day, was devoted to 
desk work. At Harsol he would walk beside his wife's 
tonjon in the evening ; but at Sadra he often passed the 
walking hour in inspecting the workmen carrying out pro- 
posed improvements in the house, an expensive amusement 
to which he was everywhere prone. He had begun to grow 
quite stout before leaving the M&hi Kinta. Shikar expeditions 
did not engage his attention as before, with their dash and 
excitement. At Harsol he sometimes went after hog. At 
Sadra there was no sport to tempt him. It is supposed that 
he killed his last tiger in the jangal near Kaira, when in 
company with a friend during the hot weather of 1837 — the 
beast had been reported a man-eater, and was giving trouble. 
The pursuit of small game he never cared for: indeed he 

-i839 ^N EXTRA A.D.C. 151 

made a vow as a youngster never to fire anything but ball, 
and kept it. Outram's intention to return to England in 
February 1840 had, we have stated, been saddled with a 
condition. The outbreak of war was the contingency which 
might materially affect his plans. Now it so happened that, 
throughout the early part of the year 1838, movements had 
been going on in India which looked decidedly warlike : and 
on October 1 was issued the manifesto directing the ^ assembly 
of a British force for service across the Indus.' There was 
to be no advance on Herat as once contemplated, but there 
was to be an occupation of Kandahar and other parts of 
A^hanistan, in favour of Shah Shuja, the sovereign of our 
choice. This, then, was a realisation of a state of things 
which had been dimly portended. Outram's regiment was 
ordered on service, and Outram naturally volunteered to join. 
Lord Auckland had, it seems, heard of him, and had sug- 
gested to the Bombay Government, through the channel of 
private secretaries, that it might be desirable to attach him 
in some capacity to the army; so that his offer was -at once 
accepted. One recommendation on his behalf was, that he 
should command the Shah's contingent ; but he disclaimed 
all hopes of so great honour or distinction. Eventually Sir 
John Keane, commanding the Bombay column, appointed 
him an Extra Aide^e^Camp on his staff. To judge from his 
own account, he did not at this time aspire to any high 
military post: his object was rather recreation than hard 
work; but he was evidently amused at the unexpected 
manner in which they had provided for his employment. 
* Neither you nor I,' he writes to his wife, * ever could have 
thought I should be an A.D.C. : but recollect, this is not to 
flutter about in a ball-room, but to attend the General on 
service.' Then, as if apprehensive that he had foreshadowed 
a position of too much danger, he immediately changes his 
note, and explains how pleasant vrill be the discharge of duties 

152 JAMES OUT RAM. 1838- 

enabling him to see everything as an amateur ; adding that, 
since the enemy never came near enough to the chief of the 
forces to endanger his life, the cdde-de-camp ran no risk 
whatever ! 

His correspondence with friends in India, during the 
months of August, September, and October 1838, show how 
keen was the interest with which he regarded the approach 
of the then impending Afghan campaign. To Colonel 
Sutherland he proposed to raise, on the Shah's account, a 
small body of select horse in Grujrat, to be placed under the 
command of Mir Sarfar^ Ali, a nobleman whose good service 
to the British Government during the Pind4ri war had 
elicited the warm commendation of Sir John Malcolm. He 
also suggested the enrolment of a larger number of men from 
the same quarter, under EngUsh officers. The same subject 
was resumed in September in a letter to Major FeUx. * One 
month's notice,' he said, ^ would suffice to complete a thousand 
dotadra, and they would march at the rate of ten cobs a day 
without halts — which would take them to the Indus in a 
month, viA Jaisalmir.' In October, he again wrote to the 
same correspondent on the weakness of the cavalry in the 
army destined for Afghanistan, and proposed an increase to 
that branch of the Bombay expeditionary force, indicating 
the regiments he would employ, and forecasting a brigade of 
dashing troopers, to be attached to which, * simply as volunteer, 
or in any capacity,' would afford him immense gratification. 
That he was right in pronouncing the proportion of cavalry to 
be far too small, the experience of the campaign fully showed. 
The notification of his own eventual appointment was ex- 
pressed in flattering terms by Mr. Secretary Willoughby. 
Government, in complying with his request to share in an 
expedition for which his regiment had been detailed, could 
not * help feeling the great loss ' which temporary Absence 
from his important duties in the M&hi K&nta would occasion; 


but ^ being impressed with the high qualifications ' which he 
possessed ^ for rendering the most valuable services ' to the 
cause on behalf of which his zeal had prompted him to come 
forward, the Honourable the Governor in Council had ^ not 
thought it right to withhold acquiescence ' in his wishes. 

Captain Lang was appointed to succeed Captain Outram 
in the political agency of the M&hi Ktota ; and on November 
21, 1838, the latter officer embarked at Bombay on board the 
^ Semiramis ' steamer, with Sir John Keane and suite. On the 
27th the Hujamri mouth of the Indus was reached ; but the 
want of camels and boats prevented further progress for a 
considerable period. The difficulty was a real one : its im- 
portance made it one of those opportimities which men like 
Outram can instantly turn to account. Two days after 
arrival in Sind, the Extra Aide-de-Camp was despatched on a 
special mission to Cutch, to procure that assistance in land 
and water carriage which the Amirs had fiedled, or been 
unable, to supply. On rejoining head-quarters at Gorab&ri, 
after an absence of eleven days, he was able to make a 
satisfactory report of his work. He had proceeded by sea to 
Mandavi, from which port, after arranging for the despatch 
of boats, forage, and sheep, he had made a camel and horse 
journey to Bhuj, to confer with the assistant Resident, and 
visit the Sao, or reigning prince ; he had then returned to 
Mandavi and sailed, past the mouth of the Hujamri, to 
Kar&chi. This place was, at the time, no more than an 
obscure fishing-village ; but it possessed one or two wealthy 
native merchants, and Outram was enabled to do much 
business there, and again on his way thence to camp, in 
furtherance of the transports so urgently required. His 
return involved an unsafe journey of about ninety-five miles. 
* I went,' he explains, * without servants or baggage of any 
kind, determining myself to go overland to camp, and hoping 
to excite confidence by displaying it in thus going totally 

154 JAMES OVTRAM. 1838- 


unattended — my object being ostensibly merely to look after 
camels, but in reality also to feel the temper of the natives, 
and to endeavour to ascertain the actual intentions of their 
rulers.'^ Leaving Kar^hi soon after midnight <»i December 
9, he reached camp at 9 p.m. on the lOth, having spent 
twenty-seven hours on camel-back. On the way he explored 
a ruined city, besides scrutinising the country generally, and 
effecting a good stroke of transport work. The people were 
excited and suspicious — no wonder — ^but * on the whole ' he 
^ had no great incivility to complain of, and experienced no 
difficulties of any consequence.' It was not, however, until 
December 19 that the camels from dutch arrived ; they had 
been delayed en routt by the hostile action of Shir Muhammad, 
of Mirpur, one of the lower Sind wmvrB or chiefs. On the 
24th the force moved forward, and reached Thatta on 
December 28. 

To make our narrative intelligible at this stage — and 
with future episodes of Outram's career in view — it will be 
well to attempt a brief sketch of our relations with the rulers 
of that province in which were now encamped the troops 
forming the Bombay column of the army of the Indus. 

The Amirs of Sind were members of a Baluch family 
called Talpur. According to the territorial divisions of their 
governments, those belonging to Khairpur, or Upper Sind, were 
Bustam Khan and his brother, Mub&rak ; those in Haidarabad, 
or Central and Lower Sind, were Nur Muhammad and 
Muhammad Nasir Khan, with their cousins-german, Sobdar 
and Muhammad ; while Shir Muhammad of Mirpur owned 
the tracts west of the Indus. Of the three ruling branches, 

* Extracts from Captain Outram's Journal-letters to his wife were printed 
for private circulation, and subsequently published under the title Bouffk 
Notes of the Campaign in Scinde and Jfghmiaian in 1838-9. We shall baTe 
further oscasion to quote sparingly from these unpretending but graphic and 
interesting diaries. 


the Amirs of Haidarabad possessed the better known and 
more important State, but the Amir of Mirpnr was the 
member, personally, most hostile to British influence. Our 
knowledge of these chiefs originated in our knowledge of 
their predecessors; but time had worked a change, and 
passive relations of reciprocal benefit had been converted 
into a one-sided activity on our part, which caused the new 
generation of Talpurs to regard the Anglo-Sindi alliance as a 
sort of inconvenient incubus. There is a formidable blue- 
book, containing the * Correspondence relative to Sinde,' from 
1838 to 1843, which commences with a treaty of four articles 
dated August 22, 1809. By this treaty the contracting 
parties were jointly pledged to * eternal friendship ' and the 
interchange of agents; and the less powerful of the two 
signatories was pledged to the more powerful not to allow 
* the tribe of the French ' to be established in Sind. Eleven 
years later a second treaty was concluded, much to the same 
effect, but with no specification of European ' tribes.' In 
1832 we renewed and somewhat amplified our written en- 
gagements with Mir Murad Ali, the then sole responsible chief 
of Haidarabad; and made a separate treaty with the State 
of Khairpiur — vowing * eternal friendship ' with it, closing for 
ever * the eye of covetousness ' to its good things, and yet 
receiving from it, for our merchants, the use of the river 
Indus and roads of Sind. Then followed a ^commercial 
treaty' with Haidarabad in 1834; and a treaty of two 
articles with Mirs Nur Muhammad and Muhammad Nasir 
Khan, sons of Murad Ali, in 1838. This last instrument 
was short but significant. It provided for the mediation of 
the British Government in adjusting differences between the 
Amirs of Sind, and the Maharaja Banjit Singh ; and the 
residence of an accredited British Minister at the court of 
Haidarabad, with liberty to the Amir to send an agent to oiur 
court in return. The nature of the mediation to be effected 

156 JAMES our RAM, 1838- 

is apparent in a later treaty of more note and many more 
articles, concluded between the British Crovemmenty Ranjit 
Singh, and Shah Shuja ul Mulk, of which the sixteenth* 
article is thus expressed : — 

^Shah Shuja ul Mulkkgrees to relinquish, for himself, his 
heirs and successors, all claims of supremacy, and arrears of 
tribute, over the country now held by the Amirs of Sind 
(which will continue to belong to the Amirs and their 
successors in perpetuity), on condition of the payment to 
him by the Amirs of such a sum as may be determined, 
under the mediation of the British Government ; 1,500,000 
rupees of such payment being made over by him to 
Maharaja Sanjit Singh. On these payments being com- 
pleted . • . the customary interchange of letters and smtable 
presents between the Maharaja and the Amirs of Sind shall 
be maintained as heretofore.' 

In July 1838 — or exactly one month after this treaty was 
* done ' at Labor — Colonel Pottinger, the resident in Sind, 
was instructed that the minimum of the sum which the 
Amirs would have to pay in conformity with the article 
quoted, might certainly be estimated at twenty lacs of rupees 
(200,000?,) ; that they must be made sensible of the advan- 
tage of at once coming to terms ; and that in the event of 
their declining to meet the wishes of the British Government 
and accept British mediation, they must be prepared for an 
occupation of their frontier town of Shik&rpur and adjacent 
country, and other such measures as the Shah might event- 
ually determine to adopt. 

We need not here enter into the story of this tribute. 
How it originated, and what were the circumstances of its 
abandonment and revival, are matters which belong rather to 
the history of the period than to a separate biography : so 
also the right we had to mediate between Sikhs and Sindis 
and Afghans, to the gain of one and prejudice of the other, 


when our own interests were at the root of the whole pro- 
cedure. It is enough for our present purpose to know that 
the Besident exercised the discretion vested in him, to defer 
making the ungracious communication to the Amirs; and 
that the chapter of accidents in which their enlightenment 
on our ^ firiendly ' intentions is recorded, contains many evi- 
dences of intrigue and ill-will in active operation against us. 

Such being the state of affairs on the arrival of the 
Bombay division at the mouths of the Indus, it is not sur- 
prising that obstacles were thrown in the way of its progress 
to join the Bengal forces moving towards Afghanistan : and 
that the services of Sir John Keane's extra Aide-de-Camp 
were put in requisition for special duty at Thatta, as they 
had been seven weeks before, when the Lieutenant-General's 
head-quarters were lower down the river. 

On this occasion, however, the question was not one of 
boats, camels, or commissariat, but of a new and detailed 
treaty. Outram was associated with Lieutenant Eastwick, 
the assistant resident, in a mission to the court of Haidara- 
bad, the particulars of which may be gathered from a 
perusal of the published instructions addressed by the 
resident to the former oflBcer. In Colonel Pottinger's letter 
to Mir Nur Muhammad the names of both emissaries are 
mentioned ; but it is not clear that any distinct duties were 
assigned to each, nor indeed that the association of a second 
delegate meant more than that a great miUtary authority 
having appeared on the scene, his dignity required a repre- 
sentative at any formal visit to be paid to the local da/rhar. 
The draft treaty was of twenty-three articles, and besides 
the usual declarations of peace, and amity, and ' perpetual 
enjoyment ' of present possessions, it provided for a British 
military cantonment at Thatta ; the part payment by the 
Amirs of our troops permanently quartered in Sind (as these 

158 JAMES OUTRAM. 1838- 

princes would * derive such vast advantages' from their 
presence) ; the protection of Sind from all foreign aggression, 
and the unconditional aid of the Sind army if found 
necessary by the British Grovemment. Lest the Amir should 
fail to see all the benefits contemplated in this purposed 
understanding, Nur Muhammad's particular attention was 
called to the obvious intention that the two Governments 
should * really become one ' ; and it was pointed out to him 
that the wealth about to * flow into Sinde from the British 
force stationed in it,' and which would ' give employment to 
thousands of the people of the country,' must * cause a vast 
increase to the revenues from the demand for grain, and 
every other article of consumption,' and would * bring mer- 
chants from every quarter to settle in the country.' ' The 
later opinions of both Lieutenant Eastwick^ and Captain 
Outram on the Sind question, are suggestive that either the 
sympathy of these oflBcers with the views of their Grovem- 
ment must at this early period have been half-hearted, or 
that their acquaintance with the merits of the case before 
them was as yet imperfect. 

The steamer conveying to the seat of native government 
the representatives of British power, civil and military, was 
twice aground on the first, and twice again on the second 
day after leaving Thatta. Such occurrences represented too 
closely the normal ccmdition of the classical Indus to have 
the character of ill omen. On the third day the opportunity 
was afforded to the passengers to visit the village of Jerak, 
since the head-quarters of a deputy collector ; and, on the 

> See Sinde Correspondence, 1838-1843 ; presented to both Houses of 
Parliament by command of Her Majesty, 1843. 

* For many years, as Captain W. J. Eastwick, a prominent member of the 
Directorate of the East India Company, and of the Council of the Secretary of 
State for India. This able and upright public servant became one of the most 
active champions of the despoiled Amirs of Sind — a hearty ally, in the cause 
of justice, of his lifelong friend James Outram. 


morning of the fourth, the anchor was cast on the river 
bank at a point some three miles distant from Haidarabad. 
Daring the voyage, Outram's keen eye, as we gather from 
his diary, was searching out the military features of the 
country, A deputation from the Amirs attended to welcome 
the new arrivals ; but it was not imtil the afternoon of the 
following day that the mission was received by the three 
joint rulers, Nur Muhammad, Muhammad Nasir, and 
Muhammad Khan. The fourth, Mir Sobdar Khan, owing 
to indisposition of some sort, was absent. Outram had not 
been idle in the interim, for he had ridden to the town, and 
nearly round the walls of the fort, and, in spite of insulting 
abuse received on passing the Baluch camps, had effected a 
double reconnaissance of the several approaches to these 
points. At the reception the chiefs were outwardly polite, 
and displayed much cordiality, Tnoribua suisy towards the 
British officers ; and they readily discussed with them the 
subject of the treaty. But the behaviour of the Baluch 
soldiery and many general indications of hostility observed 
outside the darhdr-roomj were such as to necessitate a 
demand for explanation; and so unsatisfactory was the 
reply, that Eastwick and Outram had no alternative but to 
re-embark without waiting for a second interview. An attack 
upon their small detachment of sixty-nine men was averted 
only by its remaining on the alert throughout the night. 
The promised answer as to acceptance or rejection of terms 
offered had been deferred; but a verbal message, to the 
effect that the treaty would be sent back, was brought on 
the fourth day by the native agent in our employ. The 
envoys rejoined Sir John Keane's head-quarters at Jerak, to 
which place the troops had advanced from Thatta. Their 
report, and the intelligence received in other quarters, 
indicating possible aggression on the part of the Sind 
Baluchis, led to the request for a military demonstration of 

i6o JAMES OUTRAM, 1838- 

our strength from the north, where the commander-in- 
chief, Sir Henry Fane, had pitched his camp, and where 
Major-General Sir WiUoughby Cotton was preparing to cross 
the Indus at the head of a Bengal division. The construc- 
tion of a bridge of boats on either side of the island of 
Bakhar, to facilitate the passage of an army from the left 
bank of the river at Sohri, was not a matter of instant 
accomplishment. And as it happened that the requisition 
for aid in Central Sind came at a season when progress was 
suspended on this account, compliance was willingly given. 
Accordingly, the major-general had himself marched a 
portion of the Bengal force as far as Kandi&ra, about a third 
of the way to Haidarabad, when a dispatch from Sir John 
Keane caused him to coimter-march his men, and return to 
their starting-place. The prospect had brightened. A 
change had come over the minds of the Amirs ; they had 
accepted the treaty; friendship had been renewed; and 
the Bombay division was in full movement up the river. 
Whether this result was owing to the military demonstrations, 
and occupation of Kar^hi by the naval and reserve forces, 
or to Colonel Pottinger's diplomacy, or to all combined, we 
need not stop to examine. 

Although Outram does not appear to have taken any 
prominent part in the brief diplomatic discussion at Haidar- 
abad. Lieutenant Eastwick doubtless felt the advantage of 
having at his elbow so worthy a coadjutor. On return to 
Jerak, work was found for him of another kind. He was 
sent out by the general with fifty Puna horsemen, to scour 
Xh^jwagaL and make a reconnaissance along the road about 
to be traversed by the troops. When this task was achieved, 
he took some six or seven hundred camp-followers to assist 
in tracking the boats laden with stores, still working up the 
stream from Thatta, and closed his day's labours by bringing 
in all to within one mile of the camp landing-place, with 


the single exception of one long flat-bottomed craft, which, 
notwithstanding the employment of 200 men on the work, 
could not do more than half her prescribed journey. The 
last duty gave him the opportunity of exploring a burning 
* shik^rg&h,' or forest, in which the bodies of three officers 
of the Queen's Royals had been discovered the previous day, 
and of satisfying himself that the deceased must have lost 
their way and perished in the flames, without being able to 
get clear of the jangal. On the second day all the boats 
were brought abreast of the encampment ; and the upward 
march commenced on the day following. 

The Bombay division of the army of the Indus broke 
ground from Jerak on February 3, reaching Kotri in two 
marches. The position of this station on the right bank 
of the river, almost immediately opposite to Haidarabad, 
rendered it a desirable halt. Advantage was taken of the 
comparatively peaceful aspect of aflFairs to permit officers, 
under certain restrictions, to visit the. capital. Outram 
attached himself to a party consisting of the chief engineer, 
the commandant, and brigade-major of artillery, and other 
scientific officers appointed to make close examination of 
the city, its fort, and environs. Tt was with no small 
satisfaction that he found the plan, sketched during his 
diplomatic mission, certified as correct in every respect, 
while the mode of attack which he had proposed to the 
commander-in-chief was pronounced to be the most ju- 
dicious that could be adopted. 

Three days were spent at Sehwan, to give time for the 
whole force to clear the Lakhi Pass ; * and during these 
the commander-in-chief. Sir Henry Fane, arrived in the 

* From Kotri the force moved to Sehwan, hj the Lakhi Pass, traversing 
the rocky spur of that name overhanging the Indus. With the natnral 
obstacles presented at this stage of the march, the passage of artillery was no 
simple matter. Owing to the encroachments of the river and consequent 
disuse of the track round the base of the hill, it had become necessary to make 

VOL. I. M 

162 JAMES OUTRAM. 1838- 

immediate neighbourhood, on his downward route to Bom- 
bay, for embarkation to England. Outram was in personal 
attendance on Sir John Keane when proceeding t^ meet his 
senior general, and has recorded the cordial embrace of the 
two veteran warriors ; adding that he breakfasted in Sir 
Henry's boat, and passed the day with him and his staff, 
J each member of which had a separate boat comfortably 
fitted up.' Sir Henry's health did not admit of his staying 
in camp, but he was enabled to ride thither, and derive 
satisfaction from inspection of the cavalry and artillery 
horses, before re-embarking in his tiny flotilla. The de- 
parture of this distinguished and much respected officer left 
Sir John Keane commander-in-chief of the army about to 
enter Afghanistan. 

Inclusive of its progress from the Hujamri mouth of the 
Indus to Thatta, the Bombay division had marched some 224 
miles in Sind, up to Sehwan. Shik4rpur, where Mr. Mac- 
Naghten, the envoy with Shah Shuja ul Mulk, had taken up 
his temporary quarters, was yet at a distance of 132 miles. 
With little exception, such as presented by the river-reaching 
spur of the Lakhi hills, the country was sandy, low, and flat, 
and the monotonous character of the scenery, though 
pleasantly varied by extensive wheat-fields and other culti- 
vated land, was insufficiently relieved by village and forest. 
Hot weather, acting upon this monotony, would naturally 
have a depressing effect upon new-comers; but when 
Sehwan was left on February 23, there were yet two or 
three weeks to intervene before the actual setting-in of 
Sind heat. On February 28, at a point where the upward 
direction of troops and travellers would turn inland from the 

a practical way over the higher ascent. By the skill and labour of the 
engineers and their assistants, the difficulty was overcome in an incredibly 
short time by means of a ' zigzag path cut out of and built upon the almost 
perpendicular ^e of the hill/ 


bank of the river, Outram was ordered by Sir John Keane 
to start immediately for Shik^rpur, and hold personal com- 
munication with the envoy. These orders were received 
at midday, and the recipient was at Larkh^na, more than 
thirty miles off, in the evening. Sesting there for the 
night, he left at nine the next morning, with the two camels 
on which he had accomplished the greater part of the 
previous day's journey, and reached his destination at 
10 P.M. — a long and weary forty miles, though the distance 
would have been nothing to a well-mounted rider. He was 
heartily welcomed by Mr. MacNaghten, whom he found 
at table with his assistants. Major Todd and Captain 

The precise object of his mission is not stated by Outram 
in the pages of his printed journal. That it related, 
however, in some way to commissariat arrangements, may 
be inferred from the fact that the available Bengal officers 
vested with the responsibilities of that department were 
summoned to the envoy's tent on March 2, to furnish certain 
information required by Sir John Keane ; and he was able 
to report that the result of the meeting was * much more 
favourable in some respects than he had expected.' On the 
same afternoon it had been arranged that the Bombay 
delegate was to be presented to Shah Shuja. His Majesty 
was so overcome by the heat that he sent to request a 
transfer of the scene of reception from the formal audience 
chamber to the place of evening promenade. Thither 
accordingly went the British officials. Bemaining on horse- 
back while the king, sitting in a native Uii^trrvAJoany or 
litter, conversed with them, they were not detained for a 
long interview. Outram noticed the custom, approved by 
our authorities, to approach and leave the Shah with much 
ceremony, as well as the scrupulous observance of prescribed 
etiquette inculcated by the envoy in our outward relations 

X 2 

i64 * jAi\fES OUTRAM, 1838- 

with the Afghan court. He adds that his Majesty re- 
ceived him with much aflfability, and that he appeared to 
be between fifty and sixty years of age, and of mild 

But apart from the journal or his own writings, we gather 
in another quarter that Outram was really commissioned to 
obtain, if possible, through Mr. MacNaghten's agency, a 
large number of camels to supply the wants of the com- 
mander-in-chief, in whose camp the mortality among baggage 
animals had been seriously felt. So grave, indeed, had been 
the loss, that it was reported impracticable to move the 
whole Bombay division to the Bolan without a further re- 
inforcement. The arrangement proposed for attaining this 
end was complicated, and its success depended on the dip- 
lomatic adroitness of the procedure adopted. Let us see what 
light has been already thrown on the situation. 

*The self-complacency of his Majesty, and the official 
dignity of the Envoy,' writes the author of the ' Memoirs of 
Colonel Outram's Services (1853),' quoting in part from 
Kaye, * had been so seriously oflFended by the contempt for 
their unsoldierly levy which Sir Willoughby Cotton un- 
disguisedly evinced, and Sir John Keane barely affected to 
conceal, that Sir William MacNaghten, assuming a high tone, 
had insisted on a prominent place being given to the Shah 
in the approaching operations. And the commander-in-chief 
had cogent reasons for avoiding a rupture with the British 
Plenipotentiary. He therefore resolved to go through the 
form of oflFering a thousand of his own insufficient herd of 
camels for the use of the contingent; but he determined, 
at the same time, thii the reverse arrangement should be 
carried outy if by skilful man/igement it could be effected.* 
Outram, we are further told, performed the duty confided 
to him with a success beyond even the anticipations of his 
chief, who received from the envoy *a supply of camels 

m839 offer of political EMPLOY. 165 

more than double in number those he had offered for the use 
of the Shah's contingent.' 

It should be mentioned that on February 23, or the 
day on which the Bombay division left Sehwan, the cavalry, 
artillery, the 13th light infantry, and three native infantry 
regiments of the Bengal column had marched from Shik^rpur 
towards the Bolan and Kandahar. The 4th infantry brigade 
had been detained to escort the Afghan king, who proposed 
moving at an early opportunity. Outram, having sent on 
his riding camels half the distance to be got over, took leave 
of Mr. MacNaghten after dinner on March 3, and started at 
midnight, by palankeen, to return to Sir John Keane's camp, 
then pitched at Larkhdna. If evidence were needed of the 
favourable impression made upon the envoy's mind by his 
energetic visitor, none better could be adduced than the 
written application for transfer of the latter's services to his 
own special mission, which had reached the chief before the 
A.D.C. himself. But the offer was thankfully and respectfully 
declined on the honourable plea of unwillingness to leave the 
army while there was prospect of active employment in its 
ranks. That he was useful to the lieutenant-general, even 
in his every-day capacity, has already been demonstrated. 
Now again, on return to head-quarters, his tact and fimmess 
were remarkably evinced in bringing to order some refractory 
camel-men from Cutch. These camp-followers struck work, 
positively refusing to advance a step further ; and Outram 
was despatched to quell the mutiny. Assembling all, to the 
number of two or three thousand, he selected twenty of the 
most influential of their ^'a7na(idr«, and marked them off in 
confinement. * I then,' he writes in his journal, * ordered the 
remainder to take on their camels under the surveillance of 
a body of horse ; but they refused. Having warned them, 
without effect, that we could be trifled with no longer, and 

i66 JAMES OUTRAM. 1838- 

of my determination to flog them all round unless they 
complied, I was under the necessity of tying up one and 
giving him a dozen lashes ; a second succeeded, and a third 
— who got four dozen, he having been observed checking the 
rest when they began to show symptoms of giving in. This 
had the desired eflfect ; they promised obedience in future, 
and took out the camels to graze. On their return in the 
evening, they were again mustered, and told that they should 
remain under siu'veillance, unless such of the Cutch jwmaddrs 
as had been faithful throughout should pledge themselves 
for their good conduct. The required pledge having been 
given, they were sent to their duty.' Those ja/moLddra who 
had been placed in confinement were not released at once, 
as further security seemed requisite for their future behaviour; 
but on the day after the example had been made, the 
mutineers were * quite obedient.' 

A detachment of the Bombay troops, consisting of H. M.'s 
I7th and 2nd regiments of foot, proceeded from Larkhin 
towards Ganddva in the KaUt State, on March 11. The 
commander-in-chief and staff, with horse artillery, the 1st 
Bombay cavalry, and a wing of the 1 9th native infantry followed 
on the 12th idem. After three short stages, each averaging 
thirteen miles, and a long march across the desert of thirty 
miles, Outram was despatched on a new mission to the envoy, 
then in camp with Shah Shuja. Eiding all night on a tired 
camel and, for half the distance, quite alone, through a 
country of abandoned grain-fields and protective watch- 
towers — frequented by Baluch plunderers, who evinced their 
hostility by murdering every stranger — he reached Gand^va 
(forty-one miles) late in the morning. Thence, on the 
following day, March 15, he continued his route to Bagh 
(forty-five miles) upon a pony lent him by the conmiissariat 
officer, escorted by two armed Baluchis entertained for the 
journey. Here he fell in with Mr. MacNaghten, and com- 

-i839 A BROKEN BONE. 167 

municated to him the objects of his coining, returning on the 
19th to Gand^va, and rejoining Sir John Keane at Panjok, 
a few miles beyond • Owing to the information which he 
brought from the royal camp, the chief directed him to 
hasten back to Gand&va, for the purpose of despatching 
thence an express messenger to the envoy, conveying the 
intelligence that his Excellency had resolved upon pushing 
on with a small escort to D6dar, there to meet the Shah, 
and accompany his Majesty and the British oflBcers with him 
up the Bolan, then occupied by oiur soldiers. The latest 
accounts from Sir Willoughby Cotton were to the eflfect that 
the head of his column was within one march of the top of 
the Pass, and that it was expected no opposition would be 
offered to its progress before arrival at Kandahar. 

General Willshire was nominated to command the 
* Bombay division of the army of the Indus ; ' but it was 
not to lose the presence of Outram, though attached to the 
personal staff of its late commander, and doubtless preparing 
to accompany him. On March 21, while riding out from 
Gand&va to meet Sir John Keane, an accident occurred 
which disabled him for a time from all active work. His 
horse, making a sudden turn when at speed, fell flat on his 
side with ^is rider below him : and the bone of the pelvis, 
above the hip-joint, was fractured from violent contact with 
the hilt of his sword. It can well be understood how 
vexatious to him was the contretemjis ; but there was 
consolation in the reflection that things might have been 
worse. The medical officers were of opinion that the utmost 
detention he could suffer would be for three weeks; and 
though he might not accompany his chief in advance, he 
could be safely carried in a palankeen with the troops which 
would shortly leave Gand^va. 

It was on March 31 that the main body of infantry in the 
Bombay division, with Outram and the dragoons, managed 

i68 JAMES OUTRAM, 1838- 

to get clear of Gand&va. Of the first day's short march to 
Gagar, the invalid writes, * I did not feel the slightest in- 
convenience from the shaking in the palankeen ; and, in 
fact, were it not necessary to remain quiet in order to allow 
the fractured bone to unite, I believe I might now walk 
about.' But although on April 29 he was able to ride 
twenty-two miles to join his chief at breakfast * in a delight^ 
ful garden a few hundred yards from the walls of Kandahar,' 
he had only abandoned the palankeen and resumed his seat 
on horseback on the 25th. 

We need not linger over that month of April, with its sad 
experiences of starvation for animals, and of death, by the ruth- 
less hands of robber-tribesmen, for unwary men armed or un- 
armed.* Outram, whether on horseback, or borne along from 
day to day in an ungenial palankeen, noted carefully all the 
features of the line of country now so familiar to us, and re- 
corded the events of the march. Passing near, or among the 
bodies of murdered sipahis and others belonging to the force, 
in one narrow defile, at the outlet of the Bolan, he found * the 
stench arising from the countless putrefying camels dreadful.' 
Nor did the horses escape the general sufifering. On the 
arrival of the Bombay division at Kandahar, it was ascertained 
that about one hundred and fifty of those of the axtillery and 
auxiliary cavalry had dropped on the road from exhaustion. 
The surviving animals had suffered much, but were pro- 
nounced to be in a better state than the horses of the 
Bengal army, three hundred and fifty of which had been 
lost. From this and former experiences, the author of 
* Eough Notes ' takes occasion to remark on the superiority, 
for work and endurance, of Arab and Persian horses over stud 
and country breds ; and gives the palm, in both respects also, 
over stud-bred horses to some recent imports from the Cape. 
The reason of his hurried ride into Kandahar, broken bone 

* Appendix D. 


and all, was General WUlshire's lack both of provisions and 
of information about the road in front — postal communication 
having been eflfectually cut oflF by the marauding tribes. On 
his arrival, he found that only six days' supplies remained in 
the commissariat stores. However, his consultation with Mr. 
MacNaghten resulted in measures which, it was hoped, would 
relieve the wants of the army till the approaching harvest. 
Supplies were accordingly sent back, and the Bombay 
division came up on May 4. 

Kandahar now became the head-quarters of the army 
of the Indus ; the Bengal and Bombay divisions, and the 
Shah's troops being there united under the commander-in- 
chief. The Shah had made his State entry a few days before 
Outram's arrival ; but the latter was called upon to arrange 
with Mr. MacNaghten the military programme for a later 
ceremony of no less significance — the celebration of his 
Majesty's restoration to the * kingdom of his ancestors,' a 
strong expression, perhaps, when applied to a grandson of 
the foimder of any monarchy at all in Afghanistan. ' On his 
ascending the masnady we are informed that * the whole 
line presented arms, whilst a salvo was discharged from 101 
pieces of artillery ' ; and then- that * the army of the Indus 
marched round in front of the throne, in order of review, 
mustering some seven thousand men of all arms, and pre- 
senting a most imposing spectacle.' In the evening Outram 
attended the commander-in-chief to the residence of the 
envoy, who gave an entertainment in honour of the king's 
accession, and made a speech for the occasion, as did also 
Sir John Keane and Sir Alexander Bumes. It was a bad 
omen, perhaps, that the few lamps which loyalty or ob- 
sequiousness had lighted in the streets were totally ex- 
tinguished when the British guests returned home. 

It will be appropriate in this place to reproduce certain 
opinions entertained and expressed by Outram on the part 

I70 JAMES OUTRAM. 1838- 

taken by the Indian Government in the expedition to 
restore Shah Shnja to the throne of Afghanistan. We do 
not ask attention for them so much as pertinent to a 
biography, as on account of their significance on all our 
subsequent relations with that country. It was his lot in 
more than one instance to diflFer in respect of policy from 
the authority which he was bound to acknowledge. And 
among other eminent men to whose views he could not 
always subscribe were Lord Auckland and Sir William 
MacNaghten. Both were aware of this divergence of 
opinion, but neither was dissuaded thereby from employing 
the intelligent Bombay officer on important military and 
political duties. Later on, as the Kabul disasters are 
approached, we shall have more to say on this subject. At 
present we confine ourselves to letters addressed to friends 
from Kandahar, at the period already reached in our pages, 
adding one from Kabul which barely anticipates the narrative. 
Outram writes thus to Lieutenant Eastwick, assistant 
political agent. Upper Sind, on May 6, 1839 : — 

Every day's eacperience confirms me in the opinion that we 
should have contented ourselves with securing the line of the Indus 
alone, without shackling ourselves with the support of an unpopular 
Emperor of Afghanistan, whom, to maintain, will cost us at least 
thirty lakhs annually, besides embroiling us hereafter with all the 
rude states beyond, which it must perpetually do. We have now 
stretched out our feelers too far to pull them back, however, and 
must and will carry our objects for the present triumphantly ; but 
I cannot blind myself to the embarrassment we are storing for the 
future : for it is too plain that the Shah is not popular, notwith- 
standing some little temporary enthusiasm displayed by the mob 
on his entry into Candahar the other day, and the flocking to his 
standard of a few greedy and needy Afghans, who hope to benefit by 
any change, and whom the poor Shah is obliged to entertain in his 
service, although without the means of supporting them. . . . Neither 
is the Shah's popularity apparent in the country we have passed 
through, the inhabitants of which have heartily united in injuring 


bim and us to the utmost of their power : aU classes — ^peasantry as 
well as soldiery — ^turning against us, robbing and murdering whom- 
soerer they can get hold of belonging to us, and inveigling our 
people to their Tillages for no other purpose than cold-blooded 

To Major Felix he writes, ten days later :^ 

If — as I suspect will be the case — Dost Mahomed prefers tem- 
porary exile to submission, seeing that the Shah is only upheld by the 
presence of a British army which must soon be withdrawn, he will 
return with tenfold popularity to raise the standard of the faithful 
against a King forced upon bigoted Afghanistan by infidel bayonets. 
Then will Shah Shooja be in his turn deserted by those who are now 
seduced to his side by British gold, but who only can be held there 
so long as the golden stream flows undiminishedly. The fact is not 
to be concealed that Dost Mahomed, at the outset of this struggle, 
had the preponderance of personal weight in this country, a well- 
trie<1, able, and fortunate ruler, against the bad luck (' bad bakht '), 
which goes a great way with natives, and had name of Shah Shooja : 
and it is not to be supposed that the Dost's temporary expulsion will 
otherwise than enlist the sympathy of his countrymen, who will 
hail his return too as the triumph of the champion of the ^ true 
faith * over the hireling slave of * infidels * — as they will then be 
taught to consider Shah Shooja, if they do not already do so. . . 
I am of opinion we should be restricted to placing Shah Shooja in 
pot«eFsion of Cabool, leaving officers to discipline his contingent, and 
a resident to guide him ; and that our army should then descend 
to the Attock before winter, thence to operate on Sdnde, or to 
return to India, as may be required. 

. . . For our own sakes I think it better we should pass 
peaceably through Afghanistan, and fulfil our mission without 
hostilities, because once involved in warfare, we should have to 
continue it under lamentable disadvantiiges in this countiy. A 
blow once struck by us at the A%hans will oblige us to become 
principals on every occasion hereafter, much to our cost and little 
to oui* credit. . . . You will be surprised that / should display 
so little desire for actual war ; but I hope you will give me credit 
for some discretion, which is as necessary as bravery to a good 
soldier, and do me the justice to believe that I would weigh well 

J72 JAMES OUTRAM, 1838^ 

consequences before plunging into war, when hostilities can honour- 
ably be avoided. I have well considered every side of the question, 
and am now satisfied that British bayonets need never be pushed 
beyond the Hdla mountains for the defence of India ; that British 
armies of any strength could not be supplied or supported for a 
length of time on this, the Afghan, side of these mountains ; and 
that the natural and impregnable boundary of our Empire is the 

On May 22 he thus expresses himself to Mr. Willough- 

It is possible from what we learn of opinions at home, that our 
armies may be ordered to withdraw from Afghanistan, after seating 
the Shah at Oabool, without waiting for or enfoi'cing the submis- 
sion of the rebel chiefs. If unopposed on this occasion, we can do 
so without discredit, leaving the Shah in possession of his throne, 
with the support of his own contingent and subjects ; but if opposed 
by Dost Mahomed, we must go to extremity with him, which would 
be uphill work if he leads us into protracted warfare, and knows 
how to deal with us — i.e., cutting off our communications, destroy- 
ing crops and water in our route, attacking baggage on the line of 
march, harassing our camp by night alarms, cutting off foragers, 
kc,, kc. Eager as I am for service, still so convinced am I that 
little glory to our aims, and less benefit to the State, could be 
gained in such a struggle — where our enemy need never meet us 
hand to hand, and has it so much in his power to destroy our very 
limited resources — that I shall consider it fortunate if we are per- 
mitted the credit of marching in warlike army from the sea, through 
Afghanistan, to Attock, without any enemy daiing to face us ! 
We should then leave behind us a high reputation for j)ower, 
wealth, and moderation, as, of course, we sumptuously pay as we 
go (and most lavishly too), prevent any sort of oppression to the 
people, and forego what they see in our power — the appropriation 
of any portion of their territory. 

The Kabul letter to which we have alluded is to Major 
Felix again, and bears date August 20 : — 

Unless to prevent a European enemy obtaining a temporary foot- 
ing in Afghanistan, and breathing time therein, I am satisfied that 

^i839 • THE hVDUS-OR BEYOND f 173 

our armies need never enter this country, and that such a measure 
should be avoided if possible; that it would suffice to maintain our 
ascendency tranquilly on the Indus until invasion is threatened, 
when our detachments pushed forward to the main passes, within 
reach of supplies and support, might defy any army in the world, 
especially after traversing such- a country as Afghanistan, — or, 
were it feared that our enemy's object was to establish himself in 
this country in the first instance, that a small iorce advanced to Ca- 
bool — which (being received as friends) would always be practicable 
to and within reach of our troops on the Indus — would effectually 
frustrate his design. What I mean to say is, that British power on 
the Indus must secure the preponderance of our influence here, 
above that of any European power ; and that that alone would most 
probably prove a sufficient bar to the advance of any hostile army 
into Afghanistan ; but that it would then be in our power at any 
time to establish troops at Cabool, if necessary, long before our 
enemies could approach, without a hope being left to them of 
maintaining themselves in that country, or the possibility of 
debouching into the valley of the Indus. 

174 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 



Ghazni — Outram's employment at, and prior to the Siege — Pursuit of Dost 
Muhammad Khan — Return from Bamian, and Mission from Kabul to 
Qhikai Country —Work in the disturbed districts — Return to Kwatta — Siege 
of Kal&t — Journey from Kalat to Sonmiini with despatches for Bombay. 

OUTRAM left Kandahar with the advance column and head- 
quarters on June 27. His journal represents the march to 
Ohazni to have been upon the whole uneventful : but 
habit had inured him to road adventures, and he lays com- 
paratively little stress upon transport difficulties, impudent 
robberies, and ruthless murders, in which last the Ghilzais 
were the heroes. Of these there was a kind of daily record. 
He makes the distance traversed 240 miles and a fraction, 
and, as there were twenty-two marching days and three halts, 
the average daily progress was within eleven miles. About 
two-thirds of the way lay near the right bank of the 
Tamak river, the source of which was reached on July 14. 
Here Shah Shuja overtook the column. At the seventh stage 
out of Kandahar two of Outram's horses were stolen from 
their pickets by the Ghilzais. One of the two, a chestnut 
Arab charger, which the owner considered * without ex- 
ception the finest in the whole army,' was a very serious 
loss; and a reward of 2,000 rupees (2002.) was offered, 
through Sir Alexander Bumes, to anyone who could effect 
its ransom. -Twelve miles south of Ghazni, at midnight of 
July 20, General Willshire's brigade came up with the re- 
mainder of the force ; and the whole army, arranged in three 

1 839 BEFORE GHAZNL 175 

columns, moved the next morning over the intermediate 
spacious plain. No enemy, however, appeared until the 
British troops were actually within a mile of the fort, when 
preliminary operations commenced with the discharge of 
guns and matchlocks from the walls and outskirts, the clear- 
ance and occupation of a garden by our infantry, and the 
assignment of a position to our artillery. Outram himself 
had the honour of eliciting the first shot from the fort when 
reconnoitring ; being, moreover, exposed to a^heavy fire at 
sixty yards' distance. 

As the day advanced firing was continued generally by 
the enemy ; the 35th and 48th regiments of native infantry, 
occupying the garden, exchanged shots with the garrison of 
an outwork ; and there was promise of extended skirmishing, 
but Sir John Keane wisely prohibited the further exposure 
of his men in desultory warfare. Guns and troops were 
withdrawn out of range ; a systematic reconnaissance of the 
fort and approaches was effected ; and the camp was shifted, 
across the Ghazni river, to a position commanding the Kabul 
road on the north. On July 22 the commander-in-chief 
reconnoitred the place in person, and approving Captain 
Thomson's proposal to blow open the Kabul gate by bags of 
powder, and follow up the act by a dash at the gateway, gave 
all the necessary orders, and made all the necessary ar- 
rangements for an assault early next morning. 

How Ghazni was successfully stormed on July 23 need 
not here be narrated. The capture of this strong fortress, 
accomplished within three quarters of an hour from com-^ 
mencement of the assault, is an event which occupies too 
prominent a place in history, and has already been too well 
and circumstantially chronicled, to warrant the obtrusion, at 
this late hour, of any new account.* That Outram's name 

* Perbape the most recent and ciicumstantial renion is that contained in 
Darand's Birtt Afghan War (Longmans, 1879.) 

176^ JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

does not appear in the despatches is one of those unexplained 
occurrences, which if it were compulsory on the historian 
or biographer to fathom, we venture to affirm that few 
histories or biographies would be written at all. Either 
would the inquirer not arrive at the root of the matter, or, 
arriving there, he would find weaknesses and littlenesses 
which, if not unbecoming his office to exhume, would 
sorely embarrass him to apportion fairly to the respective 
possessors. Ii^ this case, the omission cannot be accounted 
for as accidental : nor can it be laid at the door of custom 
or precedent. 

On the eve of the capture of Ghazni, Captain Outram 
performed an exploit which, as it has already been narrated 
and eulogised by historians of the Afghan war, we will retail 
as it has reached us in his own words : — 

* About noon the hills to the southward of our camp were 
crowned by masses of horse and foot, displaying several 
standards; their designs appearing to be directed against 
the Shah*s camp, which lay immediately under their position. 
Two of his Majesty's guns, with all his cavalry, supported 
by lancers, and by a regiment of Bengal cavalry, moved out 
immediately to oppose this demonstration ; and the enemy, 
who had already begun to descend into the plain, being 
met by the Shah's horse under Captain Nicolson, were, with 
trivial loss on our side, compelled to re-ascend the heights, 
leaving behind one of their standards in our possession, and 
four or five of their number killed in the conflict. Having 
galloped out to ascertain what was going on, I reached 
the scene of action just before this occurrence, and finding 
no European officer on the spot, I prevailed on a body of the 
Shah's horse to follow me round the hills in the enemy's rear, 
where I stationed them so as to cut oflF their retreat. The 
enemy, being intimidated by this movement, and repulsed 


by Captain Nicolson's gallant charge, ascended the heights 
beyond all reach of our Horse, whom I therefore left in 
position, returning myself to the front. 

* Meeting, at this juncture, a small detachment of the 
Shah's contingent, consisting of about one hundred and fifty 
infantry and matchlock-men, under a European officer, I 
suggested to him the propriety of an immediate attempt to 
force the enemy from the heights, in the direction where I 
had just stationed the cavalry. He expressed his readiness 
to act under my orders and, relinquishing to me the charge 
of his detachment, which was composed of piquets from 
different corps hastily assembled, we ascended the hill 
together. The matchlock men behaved with great gallantry, 
advancing steadily under a galling fire, and availing them- 
selves of every rock and stone as feist as the enemy were 
dislodged. They were followed by the sepoys in close order, 
who occupied every favourable undulation of ground, and 
were thus prepared to meet any sudden rush that might be 
made on the part of the enemy. Step by step we thus at 
last attained the loftiest peak, over the crest of which floated 
the holy banner of green and white — the largest and most 
conspicuous in the ranks of the whole host, the first unfurl- 
ing of which by the Moslem High Priest, who had preached 
a crusade against the British, had called t(^ether a mob of 
fanatics, who, judging from their reckless personal exposure, 
must have been deceived into the belief that they were 
safe under the charm of its sacred influence. Towards this 
object we made our way, ascending a very precipitous 
acclivity under a smart fire, from which we were sheltered 
by the rocks, until on our arriving within fifty paces of the 
enemy, a fortunate shot brought down the standard-bearer. 
The whole of our party then rushing up with a general cheer, 
the banner was seized, whilst the enemy, panic-stricken at 
this proof of the fallacy of their belief, fled with precipita- 

VOL. I. N 

178 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

tion to a second hill, whither I deemed it useless to follow 
them, both because our men were already much exhausted 
from thirst and fatigue, and because the range, instead of 
terminating, as I had conjectured, at this point (in which 
case the fugitives might easily have been driven into the 
plain), proved to be a succession of steep hills, among which 
it was not practicable for cavalry to act. 

* Having rested some time therefore, we finally retired, 
bearing oflF our wounded — nine or ten in number — and leaving 
the bodies of five of our opponents lying around the spot on 
which the large standard had been planted. Ten or twelve 
others, who had fallen in the contest towards that position, 
were likewise strewed on the face of the hill, making a total 
loss on the side of the enemy of thirty or forty killed and 
wounded, in addition to about fifty made prisoners by the 
cavalry : one of these latter, on being brought into the 
King's presence, stabbed one of the principal officers of state 
in the open durbar — an oflFence for which the whole are said 
to have atoned with their lives. On our side the total loss 
throughout this affair amounted to about twenty in killed 
and wounded.' 

Nor had Outram been an idle or inactive aid&-de-camp, 
in fulfilling the wonted requirements of his office in the field. 
On the day of arrival before Ghazni, he more than once con- 
veyed his chiefs orders to the troops engaged with, or 
threatened by the enemy, after fire had been opened on both 
sides. He himself has admitted that, during the actual 
assault, the personal staff of the commander-in-chief had 
very little employment ; but he was twice despatched, in 
that exciting interval, to ascertain the progress of operations, 
and was the first to announce to His Excellency the entrance 
of the troops into the town by the Kabul gate. He, more- 
over, under Sir John Keane's instructions, placed guns at a 


point to command the western face of the fortress, with the 
view to check the escape of the garrison ; and afterwards rode 
round the eastern walls to make arrangements to intercept 
the fugitives in that direction. However, as before stated, his 
name did not appear in the despatches reporting the fall oS 
Ghazni, and he missed his well-earned honours or promotion. 
On July 30 the army of the Indus resumed its march 
towards Kabul, and halted at Haidar Khel * on August 3. 
Here it was joined by Shah Shuja ul Mulk, who, with the 
Bombay infantry, had been left to follow from Kandahar. 
Here also Outram received his orders for undertaking a new 
and important duty — the capture, if possible, of the Amir 
Dost Muhammad Khan. This remarkable man, against 
whom we were now unfortunately arrayed in open hostility, 
was clearly unwilling to risk a general engagement with the 
invading troops ; and the loss of Ghazni had not tended to 
lower his estimate of our power. Information had just been 
received that he had fled towards Bamian, a valley on the 
high road to Turkistan, and about a hundred miles to the 
north-west of Kabul ; and it was determined to send two 
thousand of the Shah's A%hans in pursuit of him. One Hajji 
Khan, Kakar, otherwise the ^ Naairu-d-daulah,' or Defender 
of the State, a person of low origin, who had raised himself 
from the condition of a seller of melons to that of a State 
minister, and who had passed from the service of Dost 
Muhammad Khan to that of the Kandahar chiefs, and had 
now transferred his all^iance to Shah Shuja, was placed at 
the head of this body. The detachment was to be frurther 
strengthened by one hundred of our own cavalry, regular 
and irregular, and the following officers, volunteers : — Captain 
Wheeler, Bengal cavalry. Captain Backhouse, Bengal artillery, 

* * Hjdenje ' in the ' Bough Notes ' ; but * Haidar Khel' seems to be the 
place iDtended ; it is placed by MacGregor, quoting Hough, Campbell, aad 
Bellew, at thirty-three miles firom Ohaani and fifty-frar from KabuL 

M 2 

g[8o JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

and Captain Troup, Shah's contingent, Majors of brigade ; 
Captain Christie, commanding regiment of Shah's cavabry ; 
Captain Laurence, Bengal cavalry; Lieutenant Eyves, 
Adjutant 4th local horse; Captain Keith Erskine, Poona 
auxiliary horse; Lieutenant Broadfoot, Shah's Gurkha 
battalion; Lieutenant Hogg, Bombay stafiF; and Doctor 
Worral, local horse. Outram was to exercise conmiand of 
the whole. 

It was a rough bit of work — as the tale of recent experi- 
ence in Afghanistan will suggest to the reader — ^and nobly 
done, though the main object of the expedition failed. Hajji 
Khan was guide and adviser as well as conmiandant of the 
Shah's detachment, and this Afghan played the double game 
of which his countrymen are so fond, and which they think so 
suited to their purpose in dealing with Englishmen. On the 
day of setting out, the two thousand horsemen were awaited 
till dark. Not half the number came ; and of those who did 
come, not half were considered eflfective. The greater part 
were a mere rabble, mounted upon yabua and starved ponies. 
At the outset there was an ominous division of counsels. To 
the mind of Outram the direction to be taken was obvious : a 
short and rapidly-made cut across the hills oflFered the sole 
chance of intercepting the fugitive. Hajji Khan proposed a 
Btart along the high road * and, though compelled to abandon 
his argument, he practically gained his end by the consump- 
tion of time and patience. At Goda, after the first night's 
march of 32 miles, over ranges of hills and amid tortuous 
river-channels, not more than one himdred Afghans came up 
with the British officers to the encamping ground : and when, 
after another day and night of similar or more hazardous 

* His proposal was to proceed along die high road between Qhazni and 
Kabul up to Maidan, whence they would turn westward to Bamian, by the 
high road between Kabul and Bamian. Outram preferred reaching the latter 
road at a poiut about three marches beyond Maidan. 


riding, the latter had contrived, by clearing a lofty and pre-, 
cipitous pass of the Paghman mountains, to reach the small 
village of K&dir-i-Safid, barely fifty of their worthless auxili- 
aries were present. The information received at this place 
that the Dost was at Yourt, only one march beyond, was a 
stronger inducement to Outram than the almost utter want 
of supplies, to push on at all hazards. But Hajji Khan urged 
a halt on the plea that the force at their disposal was in-* 
sufficient to cope with the enemy. Outram insisted on 
moving, and managed in the course of the afternoon to get 
together some 750 Afghans of sorts whom he induced to 
accompany his own particular party. Through accident or 
design, the guides went astray, and in the darkness of the 
night the way was lost * amid interminable ravines, where 
no trace of a footpath existed ; ' so that Yourt was not reached 
until the next morning, when Dost Muhammad was reported 
to be at Kharz&r, sixteen miles distant, on the high road 
leading &om Kabul to Bamian. No inducement could get 
the Afghans to advance another stage until the morning of 
the following day, August 7 ; and in the interim, their 
leader attempted, by every available means, and including 
even threJtts, to dissuade Outram from proceeding any fur- 
ther, strongly representing the scarcity of provisions for his 
men, and the numerical superiority of those whom he sought 
to encounter. He was unable, however, to carry his point : 
for he pleaded to one who went onward in spite of every 
obstacle. When the pursuers arrived at Kharz4r, they 
ascertained that the Amir had gone to Kalu, whither, leaving 
behind their Afghan adviser, they pressed on the same 
afternoon, over the Hajji Guk (or Khak), a pass 12,000 feet 
above the ocean, whence they saw the snow 1,500 feet below 
them. At Kalu they were again doomed to disappointment. 
Dost Muhammad had left some hours previously, and it was 
supposed that he had already surmounted the Kalu Pass^ the 

i82 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

highest of the Hindu Kush. Here Oatram and his comrades 
were compelled to remain the night encamped at the foot of 
Kuh-I-B4b4, ^The Father Mountain,' monarch of that mighty 
range, and 22,000 feet high : they had been nine hours in 
the saddle, and horses and men were knocked up. The next 
day they were overtaken by Captains Taylor and Trevor, with 
30 troopers and about 300 Afghans, which reinforcement, 
though it seems to have inspired Hajji Khan with courage to 
rejoin his head-quarters, did not a whit diminish his ardour 
in endeavouring to persuade the British commandant to 
delay the pursuit. He tried by entreaty, menace, and with- 
holding guides, to keep back this dauntless soldier even 
when mounting his horse, and in the act of departure : but in 
vain ; before nightfall Outram had crossed the steep Shutar- 
gardan (camel neck), a pass some thousands of feet higher 
than the Hajji 60k, and after dark he halted ^ at a deserted 
village at the foot of the Gh&t .... on the banks of a 
stream which flows into the Oxus.' Briefly, after six days' 
hard riding and roughing he reached Bamian to miss again 
iJie object of his search, and to certify that, with such a guide 
and in such a country, it would be madness to continue the 
chase. On August 11, the day before leaving Bamian, he 
addressed a letter to the envoy, from which the following 
passages are extracted : — 

* On my arrival at this place on the 9th instant, I had 
the honour to address you with information that the Ameer 
Dost Mahommed Khan had escaped beyond the frontier; 
expressing at the same time my intention to await the result 
of a letter that had been addressed to his adherents by 
Nusseer-ood-Dowlah, myself, and others, or the receipt of 
further orders from yourself. 

* The accompanying extracts from my journal will explain 
to you the circumstances under which I have been compelled 

1 839 REPORT FROM B AMI AN. 183 

to resolve on returning from Bamian to-morrow, at mid-day, 
unless supplies, reinforcements, or orders to the contrary 
shall be received by that time ; when, having completed 
three days at this place, a sufficient period will have elapsed 
to admit of an answer arriving from the adherents of Dost 
Mahommed Khan, to the letter addressed to them on the 8th 
instant, if it ever was really despatched by Hadji Khan 
Kakur, which I have now reason to doubt. 

* It will be seen . . that the fugitive might have 
been overtaken at Hurzar on the morning of the 6th instant, 
had not our guides, who were under charge of Nusseer-ood- 
Dowlah's people, deserted us during the night; that the 
Elhan then insisted on delaying at Yourt, only half-way to 
Hurzar, instead of pushing on as urged by me to do ; and 
that, although he promised to make up for the delay in the 
afternoon, he ultimately refused to go on, thus retarding 
our advance till next morning, the 7th instant, when we 
expected to overtake Dost Mahommed Khan at Kulloo — to 
which place, in that hope, I was compelled to proceed with 
the British detachment alone, xmsupported by Nusseer-ood- 
Dowlah or any of the Afghan troops, who remained behind at 
Hurzar notwithstanding my personal solicitations to that 

^ It will be further seen that he next day again endeavoured 
to prevent our following the fugitive ; that he deceived me 
by repeated false assurances of Dost Mahommed Khan's 
escape being cut off; and, finally, that he formally announced 
to me his inability to face Dost Mahommed Khan with his 
own Afghans, not a man of whom, he declared, would fight 
against the Ameer ; even hinting his belief that they were 
more likely to turn against ourselves.' 

So they retraced their steps to the commander-in-chiefs 
camp, now stationed, not where they had quitted it, but at 

j84 JAMES OUTRAM, 1839 

Kabul, before the walls of which town Shah Shuja had 
appeared with the British army on August 6. But the 
letter to the envoy did not contain the statement of what 
was done, or contemplated to be done, on the eve of entering 
Bamian, where the Dost was supposed to be with 200 staimch 
adherents. We must refer to the diary for particulars of the 
* council of war ' held on this occasion : — 

* It was resolved that on the Ameer turning to oppose 
us, of which, on our overtaking him to-morrow, as we expect 
to do, there can be no doubt, the thirteen British officers 
who are present with this force, shall charge in the centre of 
the little band, every one directing his individual eflForts 
against the person of Dost Muhammad Khan, whose fall 
must thus be rendered next to certain. It being evident 
that all the Afghans on both sides will turn against us, unless 
we are immediately successful, this plan of attack appears to 
afford the only chance of escape to those who may survive ; 
and it is an object of paramount importance to effect the 
destruction of the Ameer, rather than to permit his escape. 
Although crowded as usual into one small rowtie (marquee), 
with little to eat, nothing whatever to drink, and no bed on 
which to lie, saving our sheep-skin cloaks, our little party, 
always cheerful and merry, has never been mwe happy than 
on this night, under the exciting expectation of so glorious a 
struggle in the morning. All prospect of danger on such 
occasions as these is met by the soldier with the gratifying 
conviction that should he fall, he will have earned an enviable 
place in the recollection of those loved, though di8tant,firiend8, 
in whose memory he most desires to live.' 

The sober spirit in which the return of the gallant band 
from Bamian was effected, may have offered a marked 
contrast to the buoyant hopefulness which had characterised 
its original outset : but though disappointed and, it may be, 

1 839 ARRIVAL AT KABUL. 185 

irritated at the deceit practised upon them, its members 
had no cause to be crestfallen. It was not alone with rocks 
and ravines, or want of food, shelter, and forage that they 
had to contend : but with traitors and enemies in the guise 
of friends. Let anyone acquainted with Afghanistan and 
other mountainous and roadless tracts on a like scale, study 
the detailed map of the country between Haidar Khel and 
Bamian ; and, after taking account of the physical difficulties 
there presented, accept as a truth that these were as nothing 
compared to the obstacles raised up, and risks occasioned 
within the same limits, by man's duplicity ; and he will have 
some idea of the whole situation. 

Outram arrived at Kabul on August 17.* Four days 
later, he was placed at the temporary disposal of the British 
envoy, ' for the purpose of conducting an expedition into 
certain disturbed districts lying between Kabul and Kandahar, 
in order to tranquillise the disaffected Ghilzai tribes, none of 
whom had yet submitted to the king.' His duties were 
subsequently defined under four heads : the arrest of Mihtar 
Musa Khan, Abdu-r-Sahman Khan, Gul Muhammad Khan, 
and the * M6m4,' four refractory Ghilzai chiefs ; the establish- 
ment in power of three new Ghilzai governors ; the punish- 
ment of the inhabitants of a certain village of Maruf, who 
had wantonly destroyed a caravan en route to India from 
Kandahar ; and the reduction of the forts of Hajji Khan, the 
Nasiru-d-daulah, should his adherents decline to surrender 
them. The last-named nobleman had been arrested by the 
king's order, for treason and conniving at Dost Muhammad's 
escape — a charge eventually brought home to him on 

This little expedition would take its leader far on the 
way to his own Presidency, and his political functions would 

* He makes the distance from Bamian only 97 milea ; but Geoeral Kaye 
reckons it at 112. 

i86 JAMES OUTFAM. 1839 

cease on its accomplishment. But there was a prospect of 
active employment for him in the field, previous to return to 
India : and he would be thrown into contact with authorities 
likely to avail themselves of his services in a purely military 
capacity. It was suggested that he should visit Ghazni, and 
thence proceed by the road branching ofiF near Mukur, east of 
Kandahar, to Kwatta. Major-General Willshire, who would 
probably return to India by the same route, was to be 
instructed to assist him with men, if requisite, within certain 
limitations. Meanwhile the force to be instantly placed at 
his disposal, was composed of the Ghurka infantry regiment, 
with a proportion of cavalry and artillery from Shah Shuja's 
contingent ; he was promised also any detail that could be 
spared from the Camel Battery. Further south, at Kaldt-i- 
Ghilzai, the Shah's infantry regiment from Kandahar, with 
a few cavalry, and Captain Anderson's troop of horse artillery, 
were to await his orders. His departure was hastened by 
a supplementary commission to punish the murderers of 
Colonel Herring, an oflicer of the 37th Bengal native 
infantry, who had been waylaid by a body of armed men 
near Haidar Khel, and cut to pieces before assistance could 
be rendered. 

Hitherto, history has rendered but scant justice to the 
manner in which this not unimportant mission was fulfilled. 
Its general objects were tolerably clear; but the modus 
operandi was rightly left to the leader's own discretion, on 
which Mr. MacNaghten had every reliance. Independently 
of political responsibility, there was work to be done which 
would test his qualifications for military command, and in 
this respect his instructions were a carte bla/nche. The en- 
voy had quickly taken measure of his man, and selected him 
from appreciation of his worth and honour. Shah Shuja re- 
ceived his new commissioner in open darbdr, on September 6, 
introducing him to the Afghan chiefs who were to accompany 


him — ^and whom he cautioned as to their future behaviour — 
and afterwards conversing with him in his private apartment. 
The following day Outram made his first march out, agreeably 
to notice ; but on that occasion the whole escort was com- 
prised in 300 of the Shah's cavabry, and 100 of Skinner's 
horse ; and his Afghans did not really join him in force until 
a fiill week afterwards. 

The semi-official, as well as official correspondence of 
the day explains how disturbed were men's minds at the 
capital. The Dost was stirring up mischief in Khulm, and 
it was considered imperative to expel him from that locality. 
Nor was this all to cause uneasiness on the part of those 
dressed in the brief authority of the Bala Hissar. ' I do not 
remember any period of my life,' writes Mr. MacNaghten 
unreservedly to Captain Outram, 'at which I was more 
bothered and oppressed in my business than the present. 
Both his Majesty and myself have had the utmost difficulty 
in driving these heavy Afghans out to join you.' 

Our business is, however, not with Kabul. The city has 
been reached, but we have little to do with it in these pages. 
We must also take leave of the commander-in-chiefs camp, 
about to be shifted from Kabul to Pesh&war and India. It 
is the story of Sir John Keane's ex-aide-de-camp we have to 
relate, and he is moving towards Sind again, and the regions 
of the Lower Indus. 

The first serious opposition which the detachment ex- 
perienced in the Ghilzai country was on September 22. It 
had then been recently strengthened by a wing of the 16th 
Bengal native infantry, under Major MacLaren, from Ghazni. 
Before this, however, Mir Alam Khan, one of the new 
governors accompanying it, had secured six of the gang 
concerned in Colonel Herring's murder, and Bakhshi Khan, 
an eminent actor in the same tragedy, had fallen into the 
hands of Outram's native assistants ; the difficult Kharw^ 

i88 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

Pass had been surmounted ; the Kharwdr district jcrossed ; 
and the Zurmal ^ valley scoured ; forts and property had been 
captured and made over to responsible persons on the Shah's 
behalf; and nine prisoners had been sent in to the care of 
the Ghazni garrison. Outram thus narrates the affair in his 
diary : — 

* Made a night march, in order to surprise the Kanjak 

banditti, whose haunt I had ascertained to be in the Indran 

mountains, eighteen miles to the eastward. Arrived as the 

day broke at a deep dell occupied by the gang, and while 

the infantry advanced from the front, I despatched the horse 

in two bodies to cut off retreat from flanks and rear. The 

ground being very broken and difficult, however, most of the 

enemy had found time to ascend a precipitous hill, along 

the ridge of which they must have escaped, had I not 

fortunately been mounted on an exceedingly active horse, and 

thus been enabled to gallop ahead and deter them from 

advancing until the cavalry came up. Finding themselves 

completely surrounded, they defended themselves most 

stoutly, and maintained their position until their anmiunition 

was nearly all expended, when on a general rush being made 

from every quarter at once, they were induced to throw 

down their arms, after sixteen of the more desperate of their 

body had been killed, and several others wounded. Even the 

women assisted in the fray, by handing ammunition to their 

husbands, and throwing stones at our troops. The loss on 

our side amoimts to three sepoys and one horse killed, and 

two lieutenants, one risscddary one dufadavy and several men 

and horses wounded. In the evening we returned with 112 

prisoners, comprising some women and children who, with 

the men killed in the attack, form the whole of the Kanjak 

' A region reported as too turbulent to be entered by any Afghan king without 
a large army at his back. 


gang. Not a soul contrived to escape, and the whole of their 
arms and property, together with 112 camels, have fallen 
into our hands — nearly all the latter bearing the Company's 
mark, showing that they were stolen from the British army 
dming its advance.' 

On September 23, he selected forty-six of the most 
desperate of the prisoners for transmission to Kabul, and 
continued his journey to the southward. On the 28th, at 
Mushkhail, Mihtar Musa Khan, one of the chiefs he was 
specially commissioned to arrest, and ' leader of the fanatic 
army' which had 'threatened the British camp the day 
before the fall of Ghazni, came in and surrendered.' On 
October 3, at Ushlan, he was joined by the Puna auxiliary 
horse under Captain Keith Erskine, from General Willshire's 
camp, then only three miles to the westward ; and on the 
next night, at Mansur, he came up with three nine-poimder 
guns sent for his use from Ghazni. Thus reinforced, he 
pushed on, marching forty-two miles in twenty-four hours, 
to Kali-i-Murgha, the fort of Abdu-r-Eahman Khan, the 
principal Ghilzai chief, whose father, in the days of Shah 
Zam4n, had besieged Kabul with 50,000 men, and who had 
himself kept our army so much on the alert during the march 
from Kandahar to Ghazni. Outram succeeded in surprising 
him in his castle, a well-constructed defence with a ' high 
citadel and wet ditch.' But a wish to rest his troops, and 
follow up the capture of the place with a dash at the two 
remaining chiefs in his list (to be brought within reach by a 
forced march), induced him to defer the attack till next day 
— a delay which proved fatal. In spite of 500 cavalry 
surrounding the fort, and two companies of native infantry 
placed under cover at less than 200 yards from the gate, the 
garrison, which had been purposely reduced to some eighty 
select horsemen, sallied forth during the night and, scattering, 

I90 yAMES OUTRAM. r839 

rode sharply past the pickets, escaping to a man/ — owing to 
neglect of orders by one of the oflScers on the watch. After 
destroying the stronghold, and making the best arrangements 
in his power for eventual seizure of the fugitives, Outram 
joined General Willshire's camp between Ghazni and the 
country of the Utak Ghilzais, east of Kandahar. For this 
ride of twenty miles he was escorted by only two Ghilzais, a 
proof of the singularly wholesome efiFect of his recent opera- 
tions. He had not, however, marched with his Bombay 
comrades for many days, before a second brush occurred with 
the Khans opposed to the Shah. Some of the more notorious 
happened to be in his immediate vicinity. An expedition 
against the Barakzai tribes, who had plundered and ill-treated 
the India-bound caravan mentioned in his instructions, was 
strictly within his tether — and the presence of a British 
column, and the locality they had reached, ofiFered an excellent 
opportunity to organise one. Accordingly, a detachment, 
comprising cavalry, gims, sappers, and native infantry, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Stalker, moved out in the direction of 
the villages of Maruf ; and the political officer thus describes 
his own share of the work then accomplished : — 

* I galloped on with the cavalry and surrounded them 
before a soul had time to escape. Abu Khan and Jabar 
Khan, the chiefs of the tribe, together with all their followers, 
were secured ; and they informed against others concerned, 
whom I also apprehended by proceeding immediately to their 
villages with a few horsemen. Having placed the prisoners 
in charge of the infantry, I crossed the valley to the 
fort of Maruf, which, in consequence of the approach of the 
Bombay colunm, had been evacuated some days before. To 

> Oatram states, in his ' Rough Notes/ that three of the wives of Abdn-r- 
Kahman, and his sister, who was one of the wives of Dost Mubammad Khan, 
rode out of the fort with the rest, protected bj the darkness, which rendered 
pursuit of no avail. 



my astx)iiishment, it proved to be the strongest fortress 
that we had yet seen in the country, being constituted with 
double gates, a ditch, fausse-braye, and towers of solid 
masonry, which might have held out successfully against 
all the maUriel with which the Bombay division is pro- 


In connection with this concluding passage of Outram's 
brief but brilliant career in Afghanistan, the following 
extracts, written on September 23 from the heart of the 
Ghilzai country, are full of interest and have a present sig- 
nificance. The first was addressed to Mr. MacNaghten : — 

. . . . ' Having placed Shah Shooja on his throne, we 
have done our duty by him; but we thus have imposed a 
further and sacred duty on ouraelvea, that of seeing that the 
government we have so mainly contributed to erect is just 
and beneficial to the people; and we know that oppres- 
sion and extortion must be the inevitable and immediate 
consequence of letting loos^ the Shah's greedy courtiers upon 
his provinces, so prolific a field for bullying and peculation, 
especially while yet v/nasseased .... for even Dost 
Mahomed's exactions cannot be taken as a fair assess- 
ment — latterly, it would appear, having only been limited 
by the extent of his power to extort ; while those of his 
immediate predecessors may, on the contrary, perhaps, 
have been too light, owing to their feeble sway. 

' We should best preserve the people from over-exactions, 
and the Shah from imposition — at the same time performing 
our duty to both parties and to ourselves, which in justice, 
honourj and policy, we are surely bound to exert ourselves to 
the utmost to do— by directly supervising and narrowly 
scrutinising the first settlement of the Shah's revenues. We 
should render our interference, as it is an obligation to him. 

192 JAMES OUTRAAf, 1839 

also a benefit to his people, instead of the contrary — a result 
which the new government might soon bring about if not 
so controlled, o\iing to the insatiable demands of those 
courtiers who fancy they cannot be too highly rewarded 
for their share in the Shah's restoration (the curse of every 
reatoration)^ or, that they are essential to his stability 
.... he would be too apt to make over to them the 
management of districts, without previously ascertaining their 
real value, or instituting any measures whereby to protect 
the people from the extortions of such persons, whose only 
object would be to extort the utmost ^ without care for the 
interests either of king or people. 

' By thus acting the part of mediator between the people 
and the new government, we should soon convince the former 
of our superior justice and generosity to anything they had 
hitherto been accustomed to ; for wej with our independent 
incomes, can afiFord to be just and generous, even were we not 
so, as by nature and education we ought to be, but which the 
native oflicials cannot be, they having everything to derive 
froTTi tfioae they are 'placed over. So far^ our interference 
would tend to render us popular in this coimtry, instead of 
the very contrary, which we shall too soon become by con- 
tinuing only to appear, as at present, in the light alone of 
supporters to the Shah ; and as our future connection with 
the Afghans must now, of necessity, become most intimate, 
wie cannot too soon secure it on a beneficial footing to all 
classes — a result, the direct reverse of which the system of 
non-interference, so far from promoting, must, on the 
contrary, inevitably insiu-e.' 

The second was to Captain MacGregor, secretary to the 
Envoy : — 

*I fear the Envoy may think me intrusive in thus 
volunteering my suggestions, but I think not, for he must 


appreciate my motives — being sent here to do my best for 
the benefit of all parties — even should he not agree in opinion 
as to the propriety, or policy, of assuming to ourselves so 
intimate an interference on behalf of these people. Time 
will show whether I am right ; and I do not hesitatie to 
prognosticate that these districts, if left to the direct and 
uncontrolled management of the Shah's native agents, will 
never prosper, and will ever prove a hoiked of sedition: 
whereas, if properly managed, as only they would be through 
our interveTUiorij they may become the most prosperous and 
contented in the Shah's dominions. 

'I shall ever look back to my passing visit to this 
quarter with much satisfetction, if I can think I have been in 
the slightest degree the cause of so great a blessing to these 
poor people as an impartial^ but energetic, government, and 
fair taxation, without which these districts will cost the 
king more than he derives from them, and will ever prove a 
thorn in his side. In saying this, I now take leave for ever 
of Loghur, Kurwar, Gurdaez, Zoormut, and Kuttywass ' — 
five of the Ghilzai districts, to establish the Shah's authority 
over which he had been deputed. 

Marching with, and occasionally detached from the 
returning force, Outram continued in discharge of the duty 
with which Mr. MacNaghten had entrusted him up to the 
time of his arrival in Kwatta. Especially had he to giwe his 
attention to the strongholds of his old associate Hajji Khan, 
K&kar, which lay within moderate distance of the main track 
he was following. In some cases, the occupants were openly 
hostile to the British troops, and to meet these a more 
thorough procedure than dismantling was expedient; but 
the insignificance of the building for defensive purposes 
might save it firom destruction. One fort he completely 
demolished, * blowing up every bastion, gateway, and out- 

VOL. I. o 

194 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

work,' to the apparent satisfaction of the inhabitants of the 
valley below it, on whom the garrison had exercised a 
system of aggression made all the more formidable from the 
possession of the higher stream which supplied water to their 
villages. On October 31 he marched with the column to 
Kwatta ; and here, as already shown, his political functions 
would have no field for exercise : they ceased, in fact, on his 
entering the Sh41 valley. He would have to find new em- 
ployment, or take leave of his friends in camp. 

But James Outram was not one to be spared from the 
scene of emergencies, when they arose within his sphere of 
work. Circumstances had made it more or less imperative, 
on the part of our high politicals, to call Mihrab Khan of 
KalUt to account for an obstructiveness which had become 
dangerous to the interests they sought to protect. It was 
therefore decided that General Willshire should march 
against him in his head-quarters. Kal&t is situated about a 
hundred miles south and a little west of Kwatta ; and thither 
the attacking force moved leisurely on November 4, 
through the large and well watered valley of Mastung. A 
week from that date they were at a distance of two easy 
marches from their goal. Outram had accompanied as an 
amateur up to this point. He was now nominated to attend 
the general in the capacity of aide-de-camp during the 
expected action, and to serve with the engineers during the 
siege. Mihrab Khan had threatened to bring out his whole 
force to expel or annihilate the Farangi intruders, but, wisely 
perhaps if imfortunately, contented himself with preparing 
for defence within walls. 

In dealing with fact«, we are not called upon to discuss 
the political merits of the quarrel with Kal&t, or criticise the 
treatment of Mihrab Khan by the Indian Grovemment. Our 
business is at present with the siege. General Willshire's 
force consisted of H.M.'s 2nd and 17th regiments of foot, and 


the Slst Bengal native infantry: the- three together not 
numbering one thousand rank and file ; two guns of the 
Bombay horse artillery, and four of the Shah's; some 
sappers and miners, and 150 irregular horse ; *the whole in 
the highest possible order.' The remainder of the Bombay 
column had continued their homeward route by the Bolan 
Pass. On November 12, the general advanced fifteen miles 
to the station immediately before the capital ; and Outram 
was sent out with Lieutenant John Bamsay, assistant quarter- 
master-general, and an escort of local horse, to reconnoitre. 
K the reconnaissance did not elicit the fighting capacities of 
our enemies, it cannot be said to have done better for our 
allies. A few mounted scouts were observed to gallop away 
the moment the party appeared in sight : while, on the other 
hand, attack was threatened by some fifty horsemen who 
descended into the plain firom an eminence off the road. 
Beating retreat, however, when they found a resolute firont 
opposed to them, these only halted when their adversaries 
halted ; advancing again when the others retired, and now and 
then relieving the monotony of the movement by an ineffec- 
tual shot. * This system,' wrote Outram, * was continued until 
we had entered a small pass leading through the hills by 
which Khelat is surrounded, when the enemy once more 
formed, and suffered us to advance within fifty yards of them, 
as if here determined to oppose our further progress. They 
then fired a volley, wheeled, and galloped off — fortunately for 
us, without waiting to see the result of their bravado, which 
had sent every man of our escort, saving the jemadar, to the 
right-about ! Had our opponents followed up their advan- 
tage, Lieutenant Ramsay and myself would have been left 
to stand our ground as we best might; but it so turned out 
that the enemy continued their flight to Khelat, upon per- 
ceiving which our party recovered courage, and followed them 
a short distance.' 

o 2 

196 JAMES OUTRAM, 1839 

On the following morning the British troops arrived 
before Kal4t ; the town and fortress coming in view so soon as 
they had surmounted a small range of hills, after a seven 
miles' march, varied with desultory skirmishing. To Outram, 
* it was truly an imposing sight. Some small hills in front 
were crowned with masses of soldiers, and the towering 
citadel which frowned above them in their rear, was com- 
pletely clustered over with human beings — ^ladies of the 
harem chiefly — ^who had assembled to witness the discomfiture 
of the Feringees, and the prowess of their lords, all of whom, 
with the Khan at their head, had previously marched out 
to the heights, where they awaited us in battle array ! ' 
We use freely his own words to describe the sequel of that 
stirring day :— 

* No sooner had the head of the British column showed 
itself, than the enemy's gims, of which there were five in 
position on the heights, opened upon it; but being ill 
directed, they were unattended with effect. In order to 
assemble every efficient man of his small army, General 
Willshire here halted the troops until the baggage had closed 
up, assigning the charge of it, and of the sick, to the local 
horse. It was very evident that the enemy, who greatly 
outstripped us in point of numbers, were fully bent upon 
mischief; and our total strength amounting to less than one 
thousand bayonets, we had nothing to spare in the contest 
that awaited us. During this delay two companies were 
sent to clear some gardens on our left ; and a body of horse 
threatening us from that direction, a few shrapnel shells 
were thrown amongst them, which caused them to withdraw to 
the fort. The cool and determined demeanour of our veteran 
general inspired everyone present with confidence of success ; 
nor shall I ever forget the obvious feeling of delight with which 
his deep-toned word of command, ^ Loosen cartridges ! ' was 

1 839 SIEGE OF KALAT, ig? 

received by the soldiers — evincing as it did that an immediate 
attack was intended, and that serious opposition might be 

According to the plan of assault conmiunicated, four com- 
panies of each regiment, in three colimins of attack, were to 
carry the redoubts on the heights under cover of the artillery; 
two companies were to advance through gardens on the left ; 
and the remaining ten companies would form the reserve. 
All being in readiness, the columns aforesaid * moved steadily 
forward, preceded by the artillery, which unlimbered at the 
foot of the hills, and opened a cannonade of shells and 
shrapnel with such admirable precision, that the masses of 
the enemy, crowning the heights, were compelled to abandon 
their position long before the infantry had gained the 
summit. Observing the enemy endeavouring to draw oflF 
their guns, the general despatched me with orders to the 
column of the Queen's Royals, which was the nearest to the 
gate, to pursue the fugitives, and, if possible, to enter the 
fort with them — but at any rate to prevent their taking in 
the ordnance. I overtook the head of the colunm . . . .and 
galloped on to the redoubt at the very moment that the 
enemy were vacating it ; when perceiving them to be engaged 
in an attempt to carry oflF one of the pieces of artillery, I 
called on Captain Raitt of the Queen's Royals to push down 
quickly with his grenadiers, and if unable to enter the gate 
with the enemy, at all events to capture the gun. I accom- 
panied this party, which rushed down the hill, but arrived 
too late to enter the fort with the enemy, who, however, 
abandoned the gun outside, and hastily closed the gate after 

* Leaving the grenadiers to take post under cover of a 
ruined building . . . within sixty yards of the gate, so as to 
be in readiness to enter by it, in case the general might 

198 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

decide upon following up this advantage by blowing open the 
gate before the garrison should find time to block it up, as 
they doubtless would do were the attack to be delayed, I 
rode back to report progress. The whole of our troops were 
already on the heights, and the guns were also being dragged 
up. Four of the latter were directed to play upon the towers 
conunanding the gateway . . . whilst the other two were 
ordered down ... for the purpose of battering the gate 
itself. The general at the same time despatched me . . . 
with instructions to bring up the light companies under 
Major Pennycuick to . . . where a mud wall, about four feet 
in height, afforded shelter within thirty yards of the wall on 
the opposite side of the gate to that near which the grenadiers 
of the Queen's Eoyals were posted. Having brought them 
at double quick time across the jflain to within two hundred 
yards of the walls, and then directed them to scatter and 
rush under cover, I returned to the general, ' warning the 
grenadiers on the way, * that the gate would be immediately 
blown open, when they were to rush in simultaneously with 
the light companies from the opposite side.' 

Most of the day's casualties occurred whilst Outram was 
executing the two duties last named. On both occasions he 
was the only mounted officer present ; but although both the 
nature of his occupation, and the singularity of his uniform, 
differing as it did from all others, must have attracted a con- 
siderable share of the enemy's observation, he escaped with 
his usual good fortune. To resume : — 

*The two guns now opened upon the gate, and being 
admirably directed (by Lieutenant Henry Creed, of the 
Bombay artillery) a few rounds were sufficient to throw down 
one half of it. The general's signals for the advance of the 
storming parties not being immediately observed, I galloped 
down, and accompanied the grenadiers to the gate, after 

i839 SIEGE OF KALAT, 199 

seeing them in secure occupation of which, I returned to the 
general, whom I met close to the fort, bringing up the main 
body of the troops. He immediately despatched me with 
Captain Barley's Company of H.M.'s 17th foot, with instruc- 
tions to take the 31st regiment Bengal native infantry along 
with me, and with these to storm the heights and secure the 
gate on the opposite side of the fort. After passing quickly 
round the western face, from which we were exposed to a 
considerable fire, I placed the company of the I7th under 
cover of a spur of the hill, and thence proceeded back to seek 
for the Slst raiment, which I found scouring the suburbs. 
Having united the two detachments, we stormed the heights 
• . . where we experienced some trifling opposition from match- 
lockmen occupying the rocks above ; these being soon dis- 
persed we rushed down to the gate . . . driving in a party 
of £he enemy with such precipitation that they had not time 
to secure the gate, possession of which was thus obtained, and 
the escape of the garrison entirely cut oflF. 

* We were here joined by a party under Major Deshon, 
which had been sent round by the eastern face of the fort, 
when I directed the officers to leave a detachment in charge 
of the gate, and with the remaining portion to make their 
way up to the citadel, which still maintained a fire upon our 
troops, whilst I accompanied Lieutenant Creed for the pur- 
pose of selecting a position from whence to bombard it with 
the Shah's guns. Placed the guns in position . • and 
opened a fire on the citadel, which was continued with 
destructive effect, until our soldiers had obtained possession. 
Sejoining the general in the meantime to report progress, 
I found him at the gate first carried, giving orders for 
attaching bags of gunpowder to the gates of the citadel, which 
had hitherto successfully resisted all attempts to enter it from 
this side. Eeported that the party from the opposite quarter 
had already got well up and, with the aid of Lieutenant 

200 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

Creed's guns, would shortly surmount every obstacle. Here- 
upon troops were again sent up to co-operate, and a few 
minutes more sufficed to display the British standards 
waving over the highest of the towers of KaMt. All hostili- 
ties immediately ceased, and the soldiers displayed much 
greater forbearance than they usually do on such occasions. 
Quarter was never refused by them, when craved by cries of 
*, Am&n,' * Am^n,' and before nightfall nearly 2,000 prisoners 
had been removed from the fort unharmed. 

* About four hundred of the garrison are supposed to 
have fallen in this affair, and amongst them are • • Mehrab 
Khan, Wullee Mahommed Khan, and other principal Beloche 
chieftains — every person of note having been either slain or 
captured. Some anxiety was expressed by the general on 
the occasion of my rejoining him at the first gate, in conse- 
quence of the rumoured escape of Mehrab Khau ; but I 
assured him that as the fighting portions of the garrison 
had been driven back whilst in the act of attempting to 
decamp by the opposite gate, I entertained no doubt that 
the Khan was still within. the fort, since he could not, in 
honour, have previously deserted his followers. This after- 
wards proved to be the case. Foiled on that occasion in his 
attempt to escape, the chief had returned to the citadel with 
Wullee Mahommed Khan, of Wudd, and others of his most 
trusty followers, where they had all died sword in hand ; the 
Khan himself being slain by a shot through the neck, firom 
whose hand it is not known. Considering the small number 
of our troops, not one half of whom were actually engaged, 
the loss on our side is severe. Thirty-two were kiUed, and 
one hundred and seven wounded; amongst the former is 
Lieutenant Gravatt of the Queen's Royals, and there are nine 
officers amongst the latter.' 

The next day, working parties were employed in remov- 


ing and burying the dead, as well as in collecting prize 

* Scattered as the dead bodies are over every part of the 
town, among houses, the numerous dark chambers of which 
are not easily explored, it has not yet been practicable to 
ascertain the number of the slain. The amount of booty is 
supposed to be very considerable, but we unfortunately do 
not possess the means of carrying it away, nor is there any 
market here in which to dispose of it. The arms especially 
are of very superior manufacture, and the sword of the fallen 
chief Mehrab E^han in particular, which is of the most costly 
workmanship, is estimated to be of great value. The mem- 
bers of our little army have with one accord resolved upon 
presenting this enviable trophy to their gallant leader. 
General Willshire, in token of their admiration of his heroic 
bearing yesterday.' 

In the despatch, under date November 14, 1839, 
reporting to Lord Auckland the fall of Kal&t, Captain 
Outram's good service, in conducting two companies of 
infantry to take up a material position during the siege, is 
especially noticed: and the following paragraph is more 
precise still : — ^ From my aides-de-camp. Captain Bobinson, 
and Lieutenant Halkett, as well as Captain Outram, who 
volunteered his services on my personal staflF, I received the 
utmost assistance, and to the latter oflScer I feel greatly in- 
debted for the zeal and ability with which he has per- 
formed various duties that I have required of him upon 
other occasions as well as the present.' Then was added : — 
* I have deputed Captain Outram to take a duplicate of the 
despatch to the Honourable the Governor of Bombay by the 
direct route from hence to Sonmitoi Bandar, the practica- 
bility or otherwise of which for the passage of troops I consider 
it an object of importance to ascertciin.' 

ao2 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

The fulfilment of the hazardous duty here indicated, one 
which had been conceived by Outram himself, supplies an 
interesting chapter of romance in a singularly active career. 
There are two roads from Kal^t to Sonmi&ni, the more easterly 
of which, by Wadd, separating from the other at Sohrab, and 
re-uniting at Baila, had been reported on by Colonel Pottinger, 
who traversed it in the early part of 1810, moving upwards 
from the sea-coast. On that occasion both Pottinger and 
Christie had assumed the character of agents to an influential 
native contractor for supplying horses to the Governments of 
Madras and Bombay ; but, although the actual atdtua of the 
English officers was a puzzle to most inquirers, and their 
European origin was patent to many, the native dress which 
they wore kept them from that suspicious and continuous 
scrutiny with which the Farangi traveller is distressed in his 
wanderings through the less visited regions of the East. 
They were three full weeks in getting from Sonmi&ni to the 
capital of Mahmud Khan, then chief of Kal&t : that is to say, 
they performed the journey in fifteen marches, and halted 
seven days, reckoning the distance at a fraction above 345 

Outram chose the western route, by N&l ; made out his 
journey in less than eight days, and reckoned the distance 355' 
miles — a figure somewhat higher than that of his predecessor. 
His movements were necessarily secret and rapid, too much so 
for accurate survey or observation : for he was travelling at a 
time of great local excitement, through an enemy's country and 
amid a rough and rude people. Starting at midnight, disguised 
as an Afghan, with one private servant only, he left camp under 
the guardianship of two Saiyids of Sh&l, who had accepted 
the responsibility of escorting him, and whose two armed 
attendants made up the whole party. There were thus six 
persons in all — mounted on four ponies and two camels, 

> The Itinerary attached to his Diary has become a valuable reference. 


carrying provision for themselves, and as much as practicable 
for the animals. On the first day, they were nineteen hours 
in the saddle, ran the gauntlet through a host of inquirers 
and families flying from Kal&t, and met with many adventures. 
For some time they had to travel in company with the family 
of the prime minister, out of whose wardrobe Outram's 
disguise had been provided. Fortunately, it proved of too 
mean a character to provoke identification. When resting 
or refreshing, the Saiyids skilfully managed, as a rule, to 
keep their charge in the background, and to answer all 
questions put, as if in every case addressed to themselves. 
But Outram had to play more than a silent or sleeping part. 
The comparative fairness of his complexion was alone likely 
to arouse suspicion, and, this once aroused, any over-anxiety 
to escape notice would add fuel to the fire. He had been 
introduced as a * Pir,' or saintly man, and had to support the 
character according to his ability. These * Pirs' are in great 
local request in Sind and Baluchistan. What wonder then 
that in one case it fell to his lot, sorely against his conscience, 
to utter a charm over a tuft of hair which the owner of a sick 
camel brought for that particular purpose ! On the second 
day, they were little molested, owing to the deserted state of 
the track through which they rode; and they slept with 
safety and comfort among uninhabited ruins. On the third 
day they were in the immediate neighbourhood of N&l, too 
large a place to enter into ea Tnaasey but too important to be 
passed without procuring there a supply of grain for the 
horses. Here Outram and his personal attendant lay con- 
cealed while his escort did the marketing ; but one Saiyid 
delayed his return so long that the Englishman, anticipating 
mischief, was on the point of declaring himself to the chief 
of the village. As to the other Saiyid he was discovered in 
a small fort, * assisting at the coronach for the dead chief, the 
tidings of whose fall at Kalat had been received that very 

204 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

At night they resumed the hazardous march, and did not 
draw bridle until dawn ; their great object being to outstrip 
the exciting intelligence of the capture of Kal&t. After 
having traversed thirty miles of coimtry without espying a 
trace of human habitation, they availed themselves of the bank 
of a river to lie down and sleep until 7 a.m. of the fourth 
day. The genial mildness of temperature here experienced 
was a pleasant contrast to the bitter and perishing cold they 
had lately endured. About that hour they awoke to find 
that their guide had decamped. But such an occurrence 
was not extraordinary ; and the mishap was soon remedied 
by the enlistment into their service of a stray shepherd. 
Eight hours in the saddle, over a good but wholly deserted 
road, brought them across a lofty range of mountains to th^ 
bed of the Umach river, where water and a little green grass 
for the horses, and a little tamarisk for the camels — the first 
green foliage seen since leaving Kabul, with the exception of 
a few junipers on the Kdkar hills — supplied a wholesome 
addition to the scanty allowance of grain on which the poor 
beasts had up to this time subsisted. After a repose 
sufficient for travellers eager to reach a most dangerous 
journey's end, they again started at midnight, and, moving 
silently through cornfields and straggling hamlets, threaded 
the pass over a range of mountains seemingly higher than 
that of the previous day, by a road utterly impracticable 
for guns, and incapable of being made so, unless at 
immense cost of time and labour. This day, the fifth, 
was a hard one : they dismounted after having been eleven 
hours in the saddle, and passed the day in a ravine scantily 
supplied with water, and green pasture for the cattle. In 
the evening, they continued the journey for seven hours 
over another range of mountains : not having seen the 
trace of any inhabitant during the whole eighteen hours' 
ride. But the monotony of the brief halt was broken by the 

Plato 6. 

^ EHGUSH M/l£S . 

trjtMfVftov o*x>«. KSTAmr 


apparition of ' a ferocious-looking Baluchi . . . armed with 
a long matchlock,' to Outram, as he was reading a copy of 
the Bombay * Times ' procured from one of the garrison at 
Kaldt. How the unexpected visitor came there — on a high 
b^nk overlooking the object of his attraction — was a mys- 
tery : no sooner, however, did he hear a call to the Saiyid 
and attendants, and see them rise in response, than he 
made oflF. We need not continue the journey in detail. 
Passing the large town of Baila, the capital of the Las 
Baila district — ^before break of day, so as to avoid obser- 
vation — the travellers reached Sonmi4ni in safety at ten 
in the forenoon of November 23, having made a last 
march of fourteen consecutive hours, during the entire 
journey Outram was obliged to content himself with subsis- 
tence on dates and water, to carry out his assumed character of 

At Sonmitoi, he made himself known to the Hindu agent 
of Sett Nao Mall, a merchant of Kardchi, whose long attach- 
ment to British interests has been rewarded in recent years 
by the third class Order of the Star of India. This man 
treated the new comers with great hospitality, and at once 
provided a boat for the conveyance of his English guest to 
Kar&chi. The latter took with him on board his Afghan yabu^ 
of which he relates that, although not more than thirteen 
hands in height, it had carried himself and saddle-bags, 
* weighing altogether upwards of sixteen stone, the whole dis- 
tance from Kal^t ... in seven days and a half (an average 
of nearly forty-seven miles per day), during which time he 
had passed one hundred and eleven hours on his back.' 

On arrival at Karachi, he astonished his brother-in-law. 
General Farquharson, by coming unexpectedly upon him in 
the dress of a native, sword and small shield inclusive. The 
general thought him looking very well, and little changed, 
except, indeed, that the hair was thinning on the top of his 

2o6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

head. His visitor's appearance he afterwards described as 
follows: — ^A small pagri (native turban) composed of a twist 
about as thick as one's finger sparsely bound about his head, 
the hair cropping through the interstices; white native 
tunic and trousers ; native slippers ; all very dirty and mean- 
looking. There was no saddle on the pony — merely a cloth 
over his back. 

From Kar&chi he embarked, on the evening of Novem- 
ber 24, for Bombay. Not many days after arrival there, 
he learnt that at midnight, on the date of his departure from 
Sonmi&ni, the son of Wall Muhammad Khan, chief of Wadd, 
killed at the siege of Kal&t, had reached that port from the 
interior in pursuit of him, expressing much disappointment 
and irritation at missing his intended prey. Outram attri- 
buted his escape, in a great measure, to the forced march of 
fifty miles he had made from N41, whereby he had * out 
stripped the fljring tidings of the overthrow of Khelat.' Under 
Providence, his wisdom and energy had certainly outwitted 
his pursuers. 




Honours and Rewards — Political Agent in Lower Sind — ^Political Agent in 
Sind and Baluchistan — Retrospect of Upper Sind History — Mirs Sohrab, 
Rnstam, and Ali Morad — Journey to Kwatta — Jnyestiture of the Khan, 
and Treaty with Eal4t — Work at Dadar — Departure of Lord Auckland, and 
Arrival of Lord EUenborough. 

For his services at Eal&t, Captain Outram was promoted to 
Major on November 13, 1839 ; but the omission of his name 
from Sir John Keane's despatches was one of those undoubted 
grievances which, under precedent and prescriptive custom, 
he might, had he seen fit, have fairly agitated. That he did 
not do so is an instance of that self-denial which was ever a 
marked feature in his character. To a man constituted as 
he was — ^possessing a keen sense of justice and great facility 
of appreciating the inner, as well as outer life around him — 
the consciousness of self-sustained injury at the hands of 
authority, however jealously suppressed or hidden, could not 
fail to be severely felt. And if it be true Christian teach- 
ing, that what we plead in our case should be admitted by 
us in the case of others,* the converse will not assuredly be 
disallowed, that as we judge of others so may we judge of 
ourselves. It is not Outram's own ambition, nor is it the 
assumption of his friends, but a well-known fiict, that, had 
common justice been done to his claims, he would have been 
gazetted a Major for Ghazni, and, consequently, a lieutenant- 
Colonel for Kal&t. The Court of Directors in London seemed 
to think he had obtained the two steps, and Lord Auckland 

> F. W. Rohertson. 

2o8 JAMES OUTRAM, 1839 

congratulated him on the supposed well-earned promotion.^ 
As it happened, he lost three years of rank in the higher 
grade, and after honours. 

He also received the thanks of both the Bombay and 
supreme Governments for the ' very interesting and valuable 
documents ' relating to the Kal4t-Sonmi4ni route, which, in 
the spirit of General Willshire's instructions, he had placed 
before them. The perusal of these had afforded the 
Governor-General * much satisfaction.' Prior to this, more- 
over, the envoy and minister with Shah Shuja had con- 
veyed his Majesty's bestowal of the second class order of the 
DiuT^ni Empire, in * acknowledgment of the zeal, gallantry, 
and judgment ' which he had displayed in several instances 
during the past year, whilst employed on the King's imme- 
diate behalf. Three of the instances in which his * merit 
and exertions ' were * particularly conspicuous,' are specially 
cited : — 

First, on the occasion of his gallantly placing himself *at 
the head of His Majesty's troops engaged in dispersing a 
large body of rebels, who had taken up a threatening position 
immediately above his Majesty's encampment on the day 
previous to the storm of Ghazni.' 

Secondly, on the occasion of his * conmianding the party 
sent in pursuit of Dost Mahomed Slhati,' when his * zealous 
exertions would in all probability have been crowned with 
success, but for the treachery ' of his Afghan associates. 

Thirdly, for * the series of able and successful operations ' 

' Paragraph 6 of a Despatch from the Secret Ck>minittee of the Honourable 
Court of Directors, dated February 29, 1840, expresses concunence in the 
praises of the Indian Goyemment * bestowed on Captain Outram, and in the 
propriety of paying the expense of his journey from Kelat» and of conferring 
upon him the brevet rank of LieutenarU-Oolonel* No explanation was e^^er 
offered why this purticular promotion — officially announced to ' Lieutenant- 
Colonel Outram ' by the Government of Bombay — did not have effect ; and no 
remonstrance on the subject was e^er submitted by the officer concerned, who 
considered that ' honours 9oughi are not to be esteemed/ 

-i842 SIN UPWARD AGAIN. 209 

conducted under his superintendence, * which ended in the 
subjection or dispersion of certain rebel Ghilzai and other 
tribes, and which have had the eflFect of tranquillising the 
whole line of country between Kabul and Kandahar, where 
plunder and anarchy had before prevailed.' * 

Outram's stay at the Presidency was not a long one. 
Even before his arrival there. Lord Auckland had addressed 
to him a flattering and kindly letter offering him the appoint- 
ment of political agent in Lower Sind in succession to 
Colonel Pottinger, about to give up his charge of Sind and 
Cutch from t^e first day of the New Year. After consulta^ 
tion with friends, he quickly made up his mind on the sub- 
ject ; and on Christmas Day, 1839, he wrote a brief letter to 
the Governor-General from Bombay, expressing his grateful 
acceptance of the post, and determination to fulfil the duties 
which it involved to the best of his ability. He at the same 
time despatched a few lines to Mr. Colvin, his lordship's 
private secretary, entering into certain details in connection 
with his proposed oflSce. The pecuniary gain would not be 
great, in exchanging the M4hi K4nta for Sind : because the 
expenses in the latter province would be heavier: but he cared 
little or nothing for this. Only he doubted lest the abolition 
of the title of ' Resident,' held by his predecessor, might, by 
an apparent diminution of dignity, impair his usefulness in 
the eyes of the natives. It was a question whether the 
designation should not on public grounds be retained ; but 
Lord Auckland preferred for the nonce adhering to his first 
proposition, and, on the separation of Lower Sind from 
Cutch, reconstructing the former as a political agency. 

In a home letter written on the last day of the year, we 
have better evidence of his real feelings on the subject of the 
new appointment. From it we learn that his experience of 

' See also Appendix E. 
VOL. I. P 


the countries he had lately traversed had taught him ^ to 
look upon Guzerat as a paradise in comparison ; ' and the 
nature of the 3ind climate caused him some apprehension on 
his wife's account. But he consoled himself with the reflec- 
tion that, while Haidarabad would be his permanent head- 
quarters, EarlLchi, which offered the advantages of sea-air, 
was available for a change at any time; and he recom- 
mended that Mrs. Outram's outward voyage be so timed that 
she should rejcrin him at the close of the very hot weather. 
When writing thus he contemplated sailing from Bombay 
within a week for Cutch, proceeding from the place of dis- 
embarkation to Bhuj, where he would receive charge of his 
office from Colonel Pottinger, and then continue his journey 
across the large waste flat called the ^ Rann,' to Haidarabad. 
Let us pause for a moment longer over a page or two of pri- 
vate correspondence. 

Mr. Bax — whom we need not re-introduce to the reader 
— no sooner heard of his friend's nomination to Lower 
Sind, than he wrote from Harsol to congratulate him on the 
Governor-General's approbation of his services. * How many 
people,' he remarks, ^ have emerged into £eime and notoriety 
who have not accomplished a hundredth part of what you 
have accomplished ! . . . You will get to the top of the 
ladder, as you deserve.' Then — in evident allusion to expres- 
sions of gratitude towards himself on the part of his corre- 
spondent, whom he charges with overvaluing the little he had 
ever done in promoting his successful career — he warmly 
adds, * Your own right hand — ^your own sound heart and 
right sense — ^your own energy and enterprise— have accom- 
plished everything — ^and I knew a dozen years ago they 
would raise you to feme whenever opportunity offered.' 

The next letter — his own — ^we give in its entirety. It i« 
addressed to Mr. MacNaghten, eight days before departure 
from Bombay : — 

-1 842 LETTER TO THE ENVOY. 211 

^I beg to thank you for your two kind letters dated 
November 4 and 30, in both of which you express the 
expectation of further warfare in the north-west. My 
object in now writing is to remind you that in ihjoi case 
my humble services are always at your command, and I trust 
you will not scruple to command them to the utmost for 
any temporary military and political service you may think 
me fit. Most gladly shall I obey the smnmons, for, in addi- 
tion to zeal for the public service and anxiety to distinguish 
myself, which formerly led me to A^hanistan, I have now 
the further impulse of personal gratitude to the Governor- 
General, to you, and to the Shah. Pray remember also that 
I require no pecuniary advantage, and would accept of none; 
for the moiety of my salary in Scinde, which I should still 
receive while absent on duty, is most handsome and far 
above my deserts. I look upon it not only to more than 
compensate for any services I miay have to perform in that 
country, but also as the purchase in advance of all that I 
could ever do hereafter in the public service. My wife will 
arrive in Bombay about May, but I would not wait on that 
account. As a soldier's wife, she knows, and will admit, my 
first duty to be to the public, to which all private and perso- 
nal considerations should be sacrificed. She has two sisters 
in Bombay to receive her, with whom she will be more 
satisfactorily situated — so much nearer the scene of opera- 
tions than if in England. Please order me how, when, and 
where to go, and what to do ; you will find me punctual to 
tryste, and ready to perform whatever is expecfted of me in 
any quarter. At the same time pray write for the Governor- 
General's sanction to my temporary absence firom Scinde, the 
duties of which coxdd, I hope, be fulfilled ioft the present by 
my assistants, as no great steps for the improvement of our 
relations in that quarter can be entered upon until every- 
thing has been effectually settled in the ncH'th-west. In the 

p 2 

212 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

meantime things can be maintained as they are, by them as 
well as by me.' 

Outram embarked at Bassein on January 13, 1840, arrived 
at Mandavi on the 22nd, and was with Colonel Pottinger at 
Bhuj on the 25th of the same month. This officer's infirm 
state of health prevented his continuous attention to busi- 
ness ; so that it was not until February 24 that the political 
agent reached head-quarters at Haidarabad. He had, how- 
ever, been subjected to a five days' delay at Lakpat, whence 
the first march includes the passage of a creek, and more 
than forty miles of dreary flai^on the Sind side. His recep- 
tion was all that could be desired. Arrived at a certain 
point, the representatives of the Amirs insisted on supplying 
him with every requisite for self and suite, without payment, 
and at each stage; and at the second march firom the 
capital he was met by a Qiember of the reigning family^ 
and other noblemen of distinction. On approaching the 
residency, after dark, he was overtaken by the sons of JMir 
Nasir Khan, and Mir Sobdar SIhan, respectively, deputed to 
congratulate him on his coming; they further insisted 
on accompanying him to his quarters. The next morning, 
according to local custom, fifteen trays of sweetmeats, and 
immense quantities of provisions were sent by each of the 
four Amirs: the former were accepted, but the latter 
respectfully declined. 

In all these preliminaries of an intercourse which after- 
wards ripened into a fixed deference and personal regard on 
the part of the Talpur chiefs for their British adviser, and 
into more than common sympathy on Outram's part for the 
misfortunes of those to whom he became the representative 
of an absorbing power — ^there was nothing exceptional or 
contrary to everyday experience. The sugar of compliments 
and smooth speeches has no truer or deeper meaning than 
that of the trays loaded with material confectionery ; but 


the force of personal character works otherwise, and tells 
even upon the selfish, sluggish Oriental, when it finds 
opportunity. And as weeks rolled on, the political agent, 
firom a mere diplomatic presence, grew, as it were, into a 
benevolent personality* It is quite true that, in writing to 
Mr. Secretary Willoughby firom Kandahar in May 1839, he 
had adverted to the ^ treachery and underhand opposition 
. . . experienced firom the Amirs,' as justifying our subver- 
sion of the native Government. But whatever ideas he may 
then or at any other time have entertained, or expressed, on 
the political exigency of making Sind a British province, he 
had not long received charge of the Haidarabad residency, 
before his kindly nature evinced itself in a more congenial 
contemplation. The day after his arrival, he addressed to 
the Governor-General the formal report of his instalment 
in ofiice. Four-and-twenty hours later, he solicited Lord 
Auckland's instructions on a proposal suggested by a report of 
his assistant. Lieutenant Whitelock, to teach English to the 
sons of Mir Nur Muhammad. He was of opinion that ^ the 
greatest benefit would be derived firom the intimate inter- 
course that might be established between the sons of the Amir 
and the gentlemen of the Agency, who would be reasonably 
expected to superintend their education.' ' 

And so will it be found, if we trace his subsequent acts, 
always remembering the motives which we may safely attri- 
bute to the doer. The wish was rather to conciliate and 
win the heart by philanthropic measures, to preach the 
theory and illustrate the practice of mutual benevolence, 
than to enforce argument, and carry out the political objects 
of his Government by intimidation and braggadocio. 
Where necessity caused him to deviate firom the line of 
his natural inclinations, he acted but in loyal obedience to 

> CorTetp<mdene6 relative to Sinds^ 1838-48, pretented to both Houiat of 
Parliament bj command of Her Majesty, 1843. No. 282, pp. 234-A. 

214 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

the orders of lawful superiors, a refusal tx> acknowledge which 
would have been tantamount to mutiny ; while to decline the 
responsibilities thrust upon him would have been desertion 
from his post. To have vacated his appointment at such a 
time, moreover, would have been a mistaken kindness to 
the Amirs ; for no successor that could have been chosen 
to support a policy shortly to cuhninate in territorial annex- 
ation, would have been so gentle and ^nnpathetic to the 
fallen as James Outram. 

We do not dwell in any detail upon his official work in 
Lower Sind. It was, upon the whole, more locally impor- 
tant than generaUy interesting. The two main features, in 
1840, were the reduction of taxes on inland produce brought 
to the British camp at Kar^hi, to which may be added the 
relief of the Indus traffic from vexatious tolls; and the 
negotiations with ^Mir Sher Muhammad of Mirpur, whereby 
this restless chief was brought into quasi-amicable relations 
with ourselves. In 1841 he had to deal with the very intri- 
cate question of the transfer of Shik4rpur to his Grovemment, 
and no wonder that he was unsuccessful. The Amirs were to 
be made consenting parties to an arrangement which would 
deprive them of an important possession on the right bank 
of the river, and which was to be ceded to us in lieu of the 
subsidy guaranteed to our Government by treaty. Such a 
task was neither gracious nor easy of accomplishment. The 
proposed proceeding was distasteful to the Talpur chiefs, 
especially Nasir Khan, who looked upon the cession of lands 
as dishonourable,' and was particularly tenacious of the fiEm- 
cied honour of nominal sovereignty* involved in this instance. 
Eventually the negotiation fell through, in favour of alter- 
native measures, soon after followed by wholesale confiscation. 
Outram's treaty with Mir Sher Muhammad was, on the 

* DryLtave9fr(mY<mngEgfpt. By an ex-Political. (Jamea Madden, 1861.) 

• Sind CKftrespondence bNofore DOt«d, Nu. 808, foot-note. 


other hand, a signal success, and called forth the high ap- 
proval of the Governor-General of India in Council, 

In diplomatic ability to cope with Orientals, few officers 
could be found superior to Colonel Pottinger, whose experi- 
ence and sound judgment rendered him a more than com- 
monly safe representative of his country in Cutch and Sind. 
His successor publicly acknowledged the value of the late 
Besident's advice, given to him during his short stay 
at Bhuj, and stated that it would ever be his wish and 
pride to follow, as closely as he could, this gentleman's 
example and policy in hi? personal intercourse with the 
Amirs, and the general conduct of his duties. But the 
geniality and warmth of heart brought into play for the 
occasion were his own ; and though these might not fall into 
the classification of strictly diplomatic qualifications, they 
performed the offices of diplomacy with, at times, admirable 
effect. If a sneer at the well-meant exertions of his fellows 
be ever justifiable in a patriotic statesman, it is wholly and 
especially misapplied when raised at honest men who, dis- 
carding the mask and cloak, strive to achieve political objects 
by honest means. Success in such endeavours may be, often 
is, and oftener still might be, the result of untiring and 
uncompromising straightforwardness. The charm of Ou- 
tram's character was nevw more strikingly exemplified than 
on the occasion of the sickness and death of Mir Nur 
Muhammad of Haidarabad. 

The story is told in that opposite of all romance, a Par- 
liamentary blue-book. It is in the words of the political 
agent himself, and is vivid in its simplicity. Before making 
our extracts, we would recall to the reader the figures of the 
Talpur Amirs of Sind, drawn or described by Crowe, Bumes, 
Pottinger, Eastwick, and others. They were men for the 
most part portly in person, but of dignified exterior ; of semi- 
Persian, semi-Jewish physiognomies ; courteous in manner. 

2i6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

and of frank and open address ; dressed, much as their attend- 
ants, in angrikhda, or * tunics of white muslin, neatly prepared 
and plaited, so as to resemble dimity,' with kamarba/nda, 
or sashes of silk and gold, wide Turkish trousers of coloured 
silk, and the national head-gear, of cylindrical form, resem- 
bling an inverted European hat, covered with the gay brocade 
known as kimkhwdb. Nur Muhammad, we are told, pre- 
sented a great contrast to his brother Nasir. He was, in 
fact, rather an exceptional Talpur Baluch, and is described by 
Edward Eastwick as possessing ^ a thin, cimning countenance, 
and quick, twinkling eyes, expressive of suspicion and dis- 
trust ; ' whereas the other was a man * of enormous bulk,' with 
an eminently handsome face, and winning ways which might 
have been those of * a highly-polished English nobleman.' We 
have now to speak of the former chief, the senior representa- 
tive of the reigning family. 

Outram had not seen Nur Muhammad for some days 
from motives of delicacy. The Amir's state of health was 
such that recovery seemed hopeless ; and negotiations were 
in progress to which it was neither kind nor prudent to draw 
his attention. He would, probably, it was thought, seek for 
promises which could not be accorded ; and frequent visits 
might give a semblance of wished-for interference in feonily 
affairs which was to be avoided. One day, however, the invalid 
expressed a desire to see his English monitor, who would, at 
the same timej introduce a physician, a fellow-countryman, to 
prescribe for his malady : — 

We were met at the fort gate [wrote the political agent] by Meer 
Shahdad, Meer Noor Mahomed's eldest son, who conducted us to 
the dwelling where the Ameer's married wife resides, to which his 
Highness had been lately removed to die, on all hope of recovery 
being given over. Meer Nusseer Khan, and the other sona of 
their Highnesses, received us when we dismounted, and the former 
led me to the sick Ameer's bedside, who, on seeing me, attempted 

-i842 THE SICK AMIR, 217 

to rise, which I hastened to prevent ; but his EUghness, hailing me 
as his brother, put his arms round me, and held me in his embrace 
a few minutes, until I laid him quietly down. So feeble and 
emaciated had the Ameer become, that this exertion quite ex- 
hausted him, and it was minutes afterwards before he could speak, 
when, beckoning his brother Meer Nusseer Khan, and yoimgeet son 
Meer Hoossein Ali, to the bedside, he then took a hand of each, and 
placed them in mine, saying, *■ You are their father and brother, 
you will protect them,' to which I replied in general but warm 
terms of personal friendship, adiling that I trusted his EUghness 
himself would long live to guide and support them \ but this the 
Ameer had evidently given up all hope of, and appeared to regret 
that he had given Doctor Owen the trouble of coming so far, 
though very grateful for the prompt manner in which his wishes 
had been attended to. Meer Shahdad, the eldest son of Meer Noor 
Mahomed, was present when the circumstance above mentioned 
took place, but appeared neither surprised nor chagrined at the pre- 
ference displayed by his father, and continued to join in the con- 
versation as if nothing had occurred. 

Doctor Owen, having satisfied himself as to the nature of the 
complaint, galloped home to prepare some preliminaiy medicine, 
I remained for some time afterwards, at his earnest request, with the 
Ameer, who became quite a changed person, rising from the depth of 
despondency — in the conviction that he could not live beyond a 
few hours, or days at the utmost — to cheerful hope, on my impai*t- 
ing the Doctor's opinion that his case was not hopeless, if his 
Highness would implicitly follow medical advice in all things. He 
declared his determination to accept the condition, but begged of 
me to return with Doctor Owen in the evening to see that the 
gentleman was fully informed of his case from first to last. 

In the evening I returned accordingly, accompanied by Mr. 
Whitelock and Dr. Owen. We were met a few hundred yards 
from the palace by Meers Shahdad and Hoossein Ali, and 
conducted to the Ameer, whom we found very cheerful and 
happy, from the impression that the medicine which Doctor 
Owen had sent in the morning had already benefited him. 
He conversed cheerfully with Mr. Whitelock and myself, especially 
expressing interest in our success in China . . . and trust 
that all enemies of the British would ever be discomfited . . . 
with much apparent sincerity. 

2i8 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

In tke course of the interview, Meer Hoossein All, the Ameer^s 
younger son, came fix)m the inner apartmenia and whispered in 
his father's ear, who smiled, and informed me that the Khanum 
(the mother of his sons) sent to say she hailed me as her brother 
with much gratification, to which I made a suitable acknowledg- 
ment. On inquiry afterwards, I learnt that this is considered an 
extraordinary proof of friendship, such as never heretofore displayed 
except to the nearest relations. 

Ten days later, Major Outram reported the demise of the 
sick Amir on the previous morning. Dr. Owen had been 
unremitting in his attendance on his patient, and his pre- 
scriptions had been the means of alleviating the suflFerings 
of the dying chief, although it had been out of his power to 
cheek the progress of disease. The report continues : — 

The remains of his Highness were carried to the grave at 10 a.m., 
and buried within the mausoleum of his father, the late Moorad 
Ali, attended by a large concourse of chieftains and followers, besides 
the immediate relations of the deceased, and sons of Meer Sobdar 
Khan, and by Lieutenant Whitdock and myself in mourning 
costume — a mark of respect to the memory of Meer Noor Mahomed 
Khan, which my public duty, as well as personal friendship for 
the departed chief, induced me to pay. The attention appeared 
to be deeply appreciated by all, and especially by the brother and 
sons of the deceased, who embraced me affectionately before the 
assembled multitude, and placed us with themselves and Meer 
Sobdar's sons during the mournful ceremony. . . . 

I have eveiy reason to lament the loss of Meer Noor Mahomed 
Khan, and do so most sincerely, both on public and private 
grounds. Whatever that chiefs secret feelings towards the British 
may have been, certainly his acts latterly were all most friendly, 
and I cannot but place faith in almost the last words the dying 
chief uttered, solemnly protesting the sincerity of his friendship for 
the British Oovemment, not only because, being then perfectly 
aware that he had but few hours to live and, seeking nothing, he 
couA have had no motive for deception, but also, because I had my- 
self always found his Highness most ready to forward our interests, 
and least ready to welcome reports prejudicial to us, which, during 


late exciting times, were bo industriously propagated, and greedily 
devoured by those more inimical to us. In fact I am satisfied that 
Meer Noor Mahomed Khan at last perceived that it was wiser to 
cultivate our Mendship than hopelessly to intrigue against our 
power ; and he had sense enough on more than one occasion, when 
the signs of the times encouraged others to hope for our discomfiture, 
to prognosticate that temporary reverses, or the machinations of the 
factions, would but cause the firmer riveting of our power ; and 
I have lately ascertained that, on the occasion of Meer Nusseer 
Khan's deputing agents to Mecca, Meer Noor Mahomed positively 
forbade making use of the opportunity to communicate with the 
Shah of Persia, and strongly expressed his sense of the folly of con- 
tinuing their former underhand practices, and determination not to 
countenance them in future. 

Of the late Ameer's personal feelings towards myself, I had 
latterly received many affecting proofs, especially during the last 
three days of his existence — when I daily visited his Highness, on 
finding that my doing so gave him real gratification. On the 4th 
instant, the morning before his death, the Ameer, evidently feeling 
that we could not meet again, embraced me most fervently, and 
spoke distinctly to the following purport, in the presence of Dr. 
Owen and the other Ameers : ' You are to me as my brother 
Nusseer Kban, and the grief of this sickness is equally felt by you 
and Nusseer Khan ; from the days of Adam no one has known so 
great truth and friendship as I have found in you.' I replied, 
* Your Highness has proved your Mendship to my Gk)vemment 
and myself by your daily acts. You have considered me a brother, 
and as a brother I feel for your Highness, and night and day I 
' grieve for your sickness.' To which he added, ' My friendship for 
the British is known to Grod. My conscience is clear before Qod.' 
The Ameer still retained me in his feeble embrace for a few 
moments, and, after taking some medicine from my hand, again 
embraced me as if with the conviction that we could not meet 
again.' ^ 

On the Amir's death, the question of succession and 
inheritance arose, and immediate decision was urgent, in 

■ Ccnreipondenee relative to Simde, 1838-1843, presented to both HouBei 
of Parliament by command of her Majesty, 1843, pp. 268-69. 



anticipation of coming difficulties. Well it was that its dis- 
posal was not left to the will of native partisans. Outram 
undertook it, as he undertook everything, in an earnest and 
honest spirit, and entered upon the task with single-minded- 
ness and thorough conscientiousness. His long and elaborate 
reports on the subject are lasting certificates of the labour 
so ungrudgingly bestowed, in fulfilling a trust which was 
almost as much personal as official. In acknowledging the 
uses of his individual influence exercised in the matter, 
Government directly approved of the part he had taken in 
bringing about a settlement. But his time was occupied in 
affairs of a more distasteful nature than even family disagree- 
ments among Sindi-Baluch chiefs in whose welfare he was in- 
terested. The frauds and general peculations of one Jetha 
Nand, a Munshi in the employment of the British Govern- 
ment, gave him untold trouble, and tried his patience sorely. 
This person — ^besides unlawfully enriching himself at the cost 
of his employers to the value of nearly 40,000Z. by business 
transactions, the accounts of which were fidsely rendered — 
had bribed the servants of the darbdr with such judicious 
roguery as to deter the Amirs themselves from giving 
evidence against him. To English ideas of justice, the im- 
prisonment and dismissal which followed the detection of his 
misdeeds were but mild awards in satis&ction of a long 
course of complicated villainy. Among Orientals the shame of 
such offence is rather in discovery than commission. Neither 
in perjury nor in forgery is there the same intensity of crime 
recognised in the East as in the West ; but we shall hereafter 
have more to say on the Indian idiosyncrasy in this respect. 
On August 18, 1841, Outram had taken his leave of the 
Haidarabad court; and we find him then addressing in- 
structions, on board the river steamer Comet, bound for 
Sakhar, to his assistant, Captain Leckie, regulating the con- 
duct of our future relations with the Amirs in those parts. 

-1 842 LORD AUCKLAND, 221 

His official despatch concluded with a request that certain 
presents might be given to certain native secretaries attached 
to the darbar^ as a trifling mark of * gratification with the 
very firiendly tone ' pervading every international discussion 
in which he had had a share during the eighteen months of 
his residence in Sind. In the previous October, the Secretary 
to the Government of India had written to the political 
agent at Haidarabad, informing him that possible failure in 
health might compel Mr. Ross Bell, the political agent in 
Upper Sind, to relinquish his duties, and that in such case it 
was Lord Auckland's wish that Major Outram should assume 
them, in addition to his existing charge of Lower Sind, with 
the full authority committed to that officer. Now, the con- 
tingency spoken of had arrived. 

Men in high places had formed their own opinion on 
Outram. They had judged him for themselves apart from 
the wretched intervention of interested advisers, too ready to 
submit a false estimate of character of those whom they per- 
sonally dread or dislike ; and consequently their appreciation 
was a true one. Lord Auckland's letters to him in Sind are 
full of confidence and friendliness. On one occasion, he had 
thought it necessary to explain to the Governor-General the 
particulars of an untimely honour paid to him at Haidarabad. 
His Lordship good-naturedly replied : ' You need not have 
made any apology for the salute which was prematurely fired 
by the Ameer of Sinde upon the rumour of your promotion. I 
must feel that goodwill exhibited . . . whilst it is an evidence 
of kind personal feeling towards you, is an exhibition also of 
goodwill towards the Government which you represent, and I 
readily therefore admit of such a compliment being paid you.' 
At a later period, when he had taken up the higher post for 
which the Governor-General had specially selected him. Lord 
Auckland refers to a certain policy which his nominee had 
adopted, slightly at variance with home instructions.. * It is 

222 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839. 

generous and bold,' are the expressions used ; ^ I am always 
disposed to turn to the judgment of those in whom I place 
such confidence as I place in you.' But the fulness and free- 
dom from reserve with which these semi-official papers were 
written, afford the truest and strongest evidences of the 
Governor-General's sentiments towards his political agent. In 
like manner, at Bombay, successive governors were proud to 
acknowledge him as one of the officers of their own Pre- 
sidency. The signs of distinction which Sir John Malcolm 
had observed in the dawn of his career were not delusive. 
Some twenty years afterwards, Sir James Camac, the out- 
going governor, addresses Outram, when still political agent in 
Lower Sind, in the following strain : — * I cannot bid adieu 
to this country without bidding you, if you will allow me to 
use the expression, an affectionate farewell. I shall always 
hail the day when we became personally acquainted, as one of 
the bright spots of my career in life. I entertain for you 
most sincere sentiments of regard and respect, and you will 
ever find me, I trust, when thinking or speaking of you and 
your valuable services, influenced strongly by those im- 
pressions. I foresee, please a kind Providence, a career before 
you which will give full scope for the display of all those 
eminent qualities with which you are endowed.' 

The appointment to Upper Sind, honourable and flatter- 
ing as it was, had its drawbacks and inconveniences, in that 
it was subversive of domestic arrangements. Mrs. Outram 
had again arrived in India before the first half of 1840 had 
quite passed away ; and it had been agreed that the hard- 
worked political agent in Lower Sind should obtain leave to 
visit the Presidency, meeting and returning thence with his 
wife to Haidarabad, wh^re his principal amusement in leisure 
moments had latterly been the superintendence of the build- 
ing of a ^ Residency.' But a delay of months had scarcely 
been anticipated ; and although the lady had reached Bombay 


at the beginning of June, it was not until January 24 in a new 
year that Outram was enabled to fblfil his intention. And 
then — such were the continuous exigencies of his employment 
— their short sojourn together in Sind was but the prelude to 
another lengthened separation. In May 1841, Mrs. Outram's 
delicate health rendered a change necessary to Kar&chi, where 
her brother-in-law, Brigadier Farquharson, was in conmiand ; 
and when her husband was summoned to the still more un- 
healthy region of Upper Sind, where no proper accommoda- 
tion for ladies then existed, it was judged advisable for her 
to return to Europe once again, he, meanwhile, proposing to 
follow her thither, on well-earned and long-anticipated fur- 
lough, at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Colonel Pottinger had not been left alone in the conduct 
of Sind diplomacy. It had been found necessary to depute 
a second agent to Khairpur ; so Sir Alexander Bumes, always 
671 rott^e somewhere, was stopped on a mission to Kal4t, and 
directed to revisit the old R4is of Upper Sind. He was to 
explain to him the part he would have to play in the approach- 
ing spectacle of the army of the Indus, and the few reqture- 
ments he would have to meet — ^among them the cession to 
his English allies of the fortress of Bakhar. It was true that 
he had taken this island-stronghold, in his younger days, by 
the aid of his own good sword ; but what of that ? it was only 
required as a loan by very intimate friends. These firiends 
could not, by the terms of the treaty before concluded, covet 
anything similar on either bank of the river ; and this posses- 
sion was happily isolated in mid-stream. And so one army 
came from the north-east ; and another army from the south- 
west; and Sind was thrown into terror and confusion. The 
Amirs of Haidarabad struggled, and were silenced ; the Amir 
of Eliairpur groaned, and gave in. A further treaty with Mir 
Bustam was the result of these proceedings* On January 
10, 1839, the ratification of the Governor-General thereto 

224 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

fairly annulled the independence of the Khairpur State- 
* Friendship, alliance, and unity of interests ' ushered in a set 
of articles whose general tendency was to prove, as it appeared, 
the existence of the two former an anomaly, and the latter 
impossible. Shortly afterwards, Bumes found another, though 
not a fresh field for employment, and plunged, for the second 
time, into the vortex of Afghan politics. A new star was now 
observed in the Sind horizon. 

Towards the middle of 1839, Mr. Ross Bell, of the Bengal 
Civil Service, was appointed political agent at Shikarpur.* 
The policy which he had been sent to carry out with the 
Amir of Khairpur and his brother, would occupy, if set forth 
in detail, several pages in the exposition ; but the substance 
of it may be expressed in very few words. It was to befriend 
those who did what we required them to do, and to punish 
those who thwarted and opposed our objects. His official 
labours were not confined to Sind. He had important duties, 
besides, beyond the Sind-Kal4t frontier, which required his pre- 
sence and the exercise of all his energies. The burden of re- 
sponsibility was heavy, and the strain upon the mind excessive 
The action required was for the most part impulsive, and too 


immediate to brook the delay of a jreference to Calcutta ; and 
consultation with others on the spot, whatever the issue, would 
be ignored at head-quarters, where all confidence and control 
were given to, and intended for acceptance by a single in- 
dividual. The situation in Kaldt in 1840-41 was especially 
critical. Mihrab Khan had paid the penalty of resistance to 
our armies and failure to advance our interests, with his 
life, and we had put up in his place young Shah Nawaz — a 
descendant of Mahabbat Khan, the chief deposed by Ahmad 
Shah — arbitrarily annexing part of the country to Afghanistan. 
But our proceedings had not satisfied the people ; and a re- 
volution shortly broke out in favour of Nasir Khan, son and 

* Appendix E. 

-r842 LOST GROUND. 225 

heir of the deceased Mihrab. Our nominee was compelled 
to abdicate ; and the British representative at Kal&t was im- 
prisoned and afterwards murdered. We found ourselves 
engaged in a serious and untimely conflict ; to retire from 
which, with the least possible loss of honour and prestige, would 
necessitate a reversal of Government policy. The dilemma 
had been caused by our awkward interference in the affairs of a 
neighbouring State in a spirit of selfish interest ; and though 
late in the day for moral reflections, there was no more politic 
remedy than to practise justice. Wisely, but tardily, we paid 
attention to the popular cry ; and Mr. Boss Bell, at the time 
of his last illness, was busily engaged in conciliating the 
ruler whom we oioght never to have refused to recognise. In- 
dependently, moreover, of the Kal4t succession, the prestige of 
oiu" native soldiery had been shaken by more than one 
military disaster in the hill country of the Baluchis. 

In Upper Sind we were involved in the most ungracious 
task of extracting payment, from doubtful and not over-solvent 
debtors, of an obsolete money claim on behalf of our parti- 
cular king of Afghanistan; and the arguments of Mir Ali 
Murad, in the matter of his inheritance under Sohrab's will, 
had gained an attentive hearing from the British agent. 
This same Ali Murad, his half-brother Mir Bustam Khan 
(old enough to be his grandfather), and Nasir, eldest son of 
another brother Mubtoik, were the leading native chiefs 
awaiting Major Outram's arrival at Sakhar, in August 1841. 
The political agents in Upper and Lower Sind were not 
personal acquaintances; but their correspondence is that of 
men trusting, to say the least, in each other's ability, zeal, 
and good £iith. Among the many private and semi-official 
letters which passed between them, one from Mr. Boss Bell at 
Kwatta, dated June 1841, informed Outram that, in the event 
of ill-health, the writer had been instructed to make over 
his office to him ; that he had become a constant invalid, 
VOL. I. Q 

226 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

whose only chance of permanent restoration was, according 
to the medical officer, to proceed home or to sea by the 
earliest date possible ; and that he proposed to leave Kwatta 
at the end of September, en route to the coast by the Bolan 
and Sakhar. On July 21, Lord Auckland wrote to Outram 
in anticipation of his assuming charge of Mr. Bell's agency, 
calling his attention to the urgency of impressing on the 
native mind that such appointment would in no way imply 
a change in the Government views with regard to Baluch- 
istan ; the main object being * the pacification and the pros- 
perity of the countries' within his range. On August 11, 
Outram had heard a rumour of Mr. Ross Bell's death, 
and thus wrote to the assistant political agent, Lieutenant 
Wallace : — 

* Should Mr. Bell have fallen a sacrifice to that abomin- 
able climate, I shall post up inunediately, and I hope you 
will be able to stay till then. ... In the event of the head 
of the office being now vacant, I shall at once write officially 
to Captain Brown and yourself to inform you that I have 
assimied it on the strength of my confidential instructions 
of September, and in the meantime request you to act 

But a week before the date of this last letter, Mr. Boss 
Bell had died, and Lieutenant Wallace had assumed charge 
of the agency on his own responsibility, reporting the act 
and his reasons to Lord Auckland's private secretary, Mr. 
Colvin. Outram had received confirmatory tidings of the early 
report of the casualty on August 12, within a week from 
which date we have seen him writing farewell instructions 
on board the river steamer. A detention of three or four 
days at Haidarabad was unavoidable, to enable him to com 
plete his pending business with the Amirs ; but as this was a 
St-ate necessitv he could submit to it with comparative com- 

-x842 CLIMATE OF dADAR. 227 

posure. He must have chafed, however, over the slow 
passage of the vessel up the stream to Sakhar, which place 
he reached Cin company with Lieutenant French, who had 
left Sakhar to join him) on the evening of August 24. Two 
whole days spent upon a sandbank had prolonged the weari- 
ness of that Indus journey. From Sakhar to Kwatta is a 
distance of some 250 miles, of which three-fifths are over a 
dreary desert. He appears to have left the former station 
on the morning of the 25th, but he was in all probability 
detained nearly two days at Shikarpur to allow for posting 
bearers, or such other dJak arrangements as were necessary. 
We know that he reached Kwatta on September 2, for his 
report to that effect caused the Governor-General to express 
satisfaction at the promptitude with which he had joined 
the headquarters of his office. It is also on record that he 
halted two days at D4dar to let the dak be laid up the 
Bolan Pass, the same bearers that brought him thus far on 
his way having to go on. He must therefore have accom- 
plished his arduous journey, at a fearfully hot season, in the 
short space of five days of actual travelling.* Whether the 
time be reckoned from Sakhar or ShikArpur (a shorter 
distance by 24 miles), the feat is a remarkable one when the 
climate, country, and means of conveyance are taken into 

' Memoir of Services, page 92. 

* The following extracts from Colonel Dennie's letters, published in that 
officer's Personal Narrative of the Campaign in 4f9^^i^i<^t will give some 
idea of the sufferings of a solitary European traveller, wending his waj fh>m 
Sakhar to Kwatta — sufferings experienced by Outram, not only in August 
1S41, but again in June 1842 ; to say nothing of return journeys. If by 
rapidity of moTement he was lees exposed to the evils noticed by Colonel 
Bennie, it should be remembered that he took this route in the height of the 
hot season : — ' We ascended from Dadur to that place (Quetta) through the 
Bolan Pftss, an elevation of between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, having previously 
traversed at its foot a long dreadful desert plain, from Shikarpoor to Dadur, of 
about 150 miles ... As for the heat, God be praised you can form no con- 
ception of it ! / have escaped, and can only tell you that I shudder to look back 


22a JAMES OUTRAM. 1839 

The work before Outram was of a difficult and compli- 
cated kind. His letter to Lord Auckland of August 13, from 
Haidarabad, had broken ground in his new sphere, and well 
deserred the term 'excellent' applied to it by the Governor- 
General. It indicated a wonderful aptitude on the part of 
the writer to comprehend the large question with which 
he had to deal, and it boldly grappled with detail. In it^ 
among many other subjects discussed, he advocated the 
union of Upper and Lower Sind and Baluchistan, including 
the districts of Sh41 and Kachi, under one control, rather 
than the formation of two distinct agencies, likely to be 
conflicting; he proposed stations for European soldiers in 
case necessity should arise for the permanent occupation of 
Baluchistan ; and he showed cause for sending down de- 
tachments of corps from Eal4t to Sonmi&ni, in place of 
marching up from the latter port with reinforcements, as 
had been authoritatively contemplated. A few days later 
he supplemented this despatch by one addressed to Mr. 
Colvin, from the Indus steamer, in whicji he drew out a 
scheme of establishments. His proposal was to give fourteen 
assistants to the political agent, and to divide them into 
three classes : three first class for Upper Sind, Lower Sind, 
and Baluchistan ; five second class for the same localities, 
with Sonmi4ni and Sh4l ; and four third class for all these 
except Sonmi4ni. The cost would be about 5002. per ftTiniim 
less than that already sanctioned, irrespectively of the 

at what I and those with me underwent. . . . Colonel Thompson, who com- 
manded one of the regiments of my brigade, and who followed me a few dajs 
in the rear, died instantly in his tent, and Lieutenant Brady, H. M. 17th Foot, 
fell dead in the same manner, their bodies turning as black as charcoal. 
Between fifty and sixty persons of another convoy were sufiboated by the 
breath of this same deadly simoom, which sweeps across the desert at intervals 
during the hot season, dealing destruction to all within its influence ... To 
give you a correct notion of the temperature, the thermometer stood, in the 
tent of a young oiRcer, my aide-de-camp— a smaller one than mine, and termed 
a hill tent- nt 126 degrees ! ' 

-1842 COLONEL STACY. 229 

political agent's own salary, on which there would be a 
further reduction ; but the appointment of a first and third 
class assistant for the management and revenue collections 
of ShiMrpur, would show a counterbalancing expenditure 
apart firom political charges.^ 

After the re-occupation of KaUt in November 1840, by the 
troops under Major-General Nott — a measure resulting from 
the revolutionary action taken by its inhabitants — Colonel 
Stacy of the Bengal army had been directed to assume 
charge of our relations with the Brahui State. This delicate 
and difficult duty involved the reconciliation of the young 
Khan and his adherents with the destroyers of his house. 
Undertaken in pursuance of a voluntary offer, it appears to 
have been performed with single-mindedness and ability. 
The Colonel's own narrative has the ring of conscientiousness 
and honesty, and is at the same time interesting and in* 
structive. We see in it a fit sequel to the romance of the 
previous twelvemonth, during which the fatherless boy had 
been, more or less, a fugitive, debarred from his lawful 
inheritance. For ten months Nasir Khan coquetted with 
those who, in spite of protestations and profession, could 
hardly be regarded as disinterested well-wishers, but whose 
responsible representative eventually won him over by perse- 
verance in a new and honourable policy. On the eve, how- 
ever, of full attainment of the object desired, when the 
young Khan had consented, and was actually on his way to 
visit the camp of the British political agent, the news of 
Mr. Ross Bell's death caused inevitable delay in bringing 
matters to a satisiactory conclusion. It became essential 
to await the coming of a successor invested with similar 
powers. Meanwhile, Colonel Stacy was requested by lieu- 
tenant Wallace, the acting agent, to repeat the assurance 
of continued kind feelings on the part of his Government 

* Appendix E. 

230 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

towards Kal4t ; and to say that in Major Outram the ruler 
would find a warm advocate and firiend. A month passed, 
at the close of which the newly appointed a^ent arrived at 
Kwatta. Nasir IChan had been kept amused and much in 
the same temper as before, through the unremitting exer- 
tions of Colonel Stacy and his countrymen. On September 
4, he set out from Mastimg, attended by his English adviser, 
to meet Major Outram. Captains Browne and Knyvett 
went out to welcome him a march from Kwatta. We quote 
Colonel Stacy's own account of the meeting : — 

We rested the day of our arrival ; and according to the custom 
of the country mutual inquiries passed between Major Outram and 
the Elhan. After seeing him comfortably established in a tent 
pitched for him, I went to Major Outram, and was most kindly 
congratulated on the success of my exertions, and the zeal with 
which I had pursued the object of my duties. The next morning 
was fixed for darbdr. 

At 8 a.m., I accompanied the young Khan to the darbdr, and 
introduced him to Major Outram. The brigadier commanding 
the troops, Major-General England, Captain Bean, and eight or 
nine officers were present. AlS might be expected, the youth was 
rather embarrassed at first, but on Major Outram's assuring him 
of the kindly feelings of Government towards him, he expressed 
his desire to become an ally of the Company, the value of whose 
friendship he said he was fully aware of. He added that he had 
often heard of their justice and liberality, and he had come to enrol 
himself amongst the number of their servants {khizmatgcMr-i-kamv- 
pani), to live under the shade of their flag, and that he was willing 
to agree to whatever terms the Company might prescribe. Though 
abashed at first, he gained more confidence as the novelty of the 
scene wore off. In about half an hour the presents were introduced, 
and the Khan shortly after took his leave. A salute of twenty- 
one guns from the civil lines, which was repeated in camp, 
announced the happy event of the Khan's acknowledging the para- 
mount power of the British Government and his alliance with it. 

The next important day to be marked, in the political 
annals of the place and period, was that on which occurred 


the Khan's installation under British auspices. But the 
importance of this procedure was greatly enhanced by the 
circumstance that, two or three hours prior to its occurrence, 
there had been formally concluded a treaty of firiendship 
between the Indian Government and State of Kaldt. The 
earlier business was transacted at a darhar held in the 
forenoon by the British political agent; to which Nasir 
Khan came, accompanied by the whole of his aardara and 
principal people, with one or two exceptions owing to sick- 
ness. On this occasion the treaty was publicly produced, 
as agreed upon, and read out by the minister, the words 
being repeated by the young chief himself, who, at the close, 
said, ^I agree' {kabvX\ and, taking his signet from his 
bosom, put on the ink and applied the seal. The later 
ceremony was carried out in the afternoon at a darh&r held 
by the Khan, whither Outram proceeded, in company with 
the brigadier-general, and attended by all the gentlemen of 
the agency and escort. Indian custom at Muhammadan 
courts seems to have regulated the details of investiture. 
When the formalities were over, we learn that * every 
British officer heartily shook hands with the Prince, fol- 
lowed by every individual in the room, while a royal salute 
was fired from the Khan's own guns in very good style. 
The young chief was visibly affected — almost to tears — by 
the good feeling displayed towards him by the English 
gentlemen; and general and sincere were the thanks, loudly 
expressed by the principal natives, to Colonel Stacy for his 
friendly exertions to bring about so happy a consummation.'* 
Outram and the other officers then accompanied the Khan 
on horseback to an open space without the walls, where the 
Brahuis exhibited their horsemanship. At night they re- 
turned to the Miri, or palace, to see the national dance, * in 
which all ranks and classes heartily joined.' 

» Major Outram to Mr. J. R. Colvin, October 7, 1841. 

23? JAMES OOTRAM. 1839- 

The treaty with Nasir Khan was one of nine articles, of 
which the first four were almost identical with a draft which 
had been prepared by Sir William MacNaghten, and sent to 
Colonel Stacy before Outram's appearance on the scene. It 
so happened that Lord Auckland's specific instructions for 
guidance in the matter did not reach the political agent 
until the second day after the Khan's formal acceptance had 
been signified. The fortunate hour for the investiture had 
been fixed by the Mullas and, when so fixed and approved, 
it was thought that ample time had been allowed for the 
receipt of the expected despatches firom India. Execution 
of the treaty would precede installation, because the last 
and more popular ceremony would thus be admitted as 
a consequence of the first, in due regard to British prea^ 
tige. But the modifications of the Governor-General were 
not such as to cause any serious difficulty ; and eventually, 
ratification was accorded to eight articles to the following 
effect : — 

Ist. Acknowledgment of vassalage to Kabul. 

2nd. Restoration to Kaldt of the two first of the three 
districts of Kachi, Mastung, and Shdl, which had been re- 
sumed on the death of Mihrab Khan. 

3rd. Power to station British, or Shah's troops in Kal4t 
when necessary. 

4th. British counsels to be paramount. 

5th. Protection to be afforded to merchants, and no undue 
exactions made. 

6th. No negotiations to be carried on with foreign 
powers, without consent of British and Shah's Govern- 

7tlL Assistance to be rendered by British Government, if 
judged necessary, in the event of external aggression or 


8th. Provision secured for the maintenance of Shah Naw4z 
Khan, the former chief named by British Government.* 

It is not too much to say that if, in our recent war with 
Afghanistan, the previous occupation of Kwatta has facili- 
tated the advance of our troops from the southward, we owe 
something of the advantage so gained to the annulled Anglo- 
Brahui treaty of October 6, 1841. 

Outram remained at Kal&t until October 14, when he set 
out on his return to D&dar, which station he reached in a 
fortnight, travelling to and through the Bolan Pass. His 
letters at this period, official, semi-official, and private, show 
how actively he was employed in keeping order and open 
communications, both jeopardised by the action of hostile 
tribes and the numerous robbers infesting the neighbourhood 
of the Passes. The brief experience of the country gained 
two years before had not beei;! without its value ; and he 
knew his surroundings well enough to apprehend the true 
distinctions which marked the strange, wild characters 
brought up daily to his tent, whether calling themselves 
Afghan, Brahui, or simply Baluch. At D^ar he fixed 
for a time his head-quarters, and would, doubtless, 
have carried into effect many proposals for the pacification 
and well-being of the Khan and his subjects, which he sub- 
mitted to the Governor-General, had not disastrous tid- 
ings from Afghanistan drawn his attention to more pressing 

He was a little sensitive on the subject of certain guns 
which the Marri Baluchis had captured from our soldiers ; 
and he had written semi-officially to Mr. Colvin, point- 
ing out, with characteristic detail, his reasons for seeking the 

'This treaty became a dead letter within a year of its ratification, aa the 
Taeealage contemplated was to Shah Shuja and his heirs, and not to the 
Barakzais. It was formally annulled* by a new treaty in May 1864, the third 
article, howerer, being retained in a modified form. 

234 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

peaceful recovery of these uncomfortable trophies, reserving to 
his own unfettered diplomacy the actual process he would 
adopt to bring about their ready restoration by the Marri 
chief. On November 14 — the day after writing this letter — 
he communicated to the secretary that he had received from 
Major fiawlinson, at E^ndahar, information of a nature 
likely to arrest the homeward progress of the Bengal troops, 
whose arrival at D^ar, from A%hanistan, he had been con- 
templating. Four days later, he reported, * with much regret,' 
for Lord Auckland's information, a still more serious state 
of things as represented in a letter from the envoy with 
Shah Shuja to Major fiawlinson ; and on November 20 he 
wrote as follows to Mr. Willoughby, then looking forward to 
the coming of Sir W. MacNaghten, the Governor elect of 
Bombay: — 

* There are deplorable accounts from Cabool ! I sent you 
the day before yesterday copy of a note from Sir. W. Mac- 
Naghten, dated November 1, showing that he was still there; 
so there is no possibility of his getting away before spring, I 
should say. Neither can the brigade from Candahar go 
beyond Ghuznee, on account of the snow. But it is impossible 
the rebels can keep the field during winter. . . . neither 
can they hold the city under the guns of the Balla Hissar 
. . . Under the present aspect of affairs, however, we must 
keep all the troc^s we have in the country, and it may be 
necessary hereafter to push more troops to Candahar, 
which may be sent by the Sonmeanee route in February. 
Moreover, Captain Hammersley reports from Quetta that 
he considers the desertion of his Kaukers from the Rangers 
the prelude to a general Kauker insurrection connected with 
the Cabool disturbances, and it is possible I may have to act 
against them from hence. But this I do not apprehend to 
be likely ; nor do I think a general rising of that tribe will 


take place. ... It is proper to be prepared however.* To 
Mr. Colvin, on the same date, he writes ; — 

* I have evary confidence that the Murree chief is coming 
to me, and, if he does, the peaceable submission of all the 
Hill tribes of Northern Cutchee is certain. It is possible 
that the machinations of the traitor (suspected) Naib of 
Shawl may have extended to them ; but it is not likely, for 
there can scarcely have been time to communicate with them, 
and I really am not in the least degree apprehensive on the 

Later again — ^but still in the same month of November 
— his letters express a fear lest communication with Kan- 
dahar should be rendered insecure by the enforced evacuation 
of Kali Abdullah, near the entrance, or at about eight miles 
east, of the Khojak Pass. Annoyance on this score is, how- 
ever, somewhat mitigated by the arrival in his camp of the 
* high priest ' of the Kikars and others of the tribe, to tender 
the submission of their chief Ghafiir Khan, who had been, up 
to that time, opposed to all conciliatory advances on our 
part. December was naturally a month of great anxiety. 
The following extract is from a letter to Mr. Willoughby, 
written on the 4th : — 

* So critical a state of things, as represented throughout 
the whole line of communications with Cabool and in the 
capital itself, at the last accounts dated November 9, renders 
it incumbent on me to devise every means of preparing sup- 
port for Candahar, from whence principally we must look for 
the retrieval of our affairs should we be driven to extremity 
at Cabool ; for our line of posts is more complete, and the 
obstacles are neither so numerous nor so serious by the Bolan 
and Sonmeanee routes as they appear to be by the Khybur. I 
consider we are secure in the Bolan Pass, with the command 

^3^ JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

above and below, and the Brahoe tribes on the left of the Pass in 
our interests— even should the Kakurs turn against us, which I 
do not apprehend. • • • I do not think the inhabitants of the 
Pisheen valley are likely to become malcontent, and if they do, 
there are no commanding situations from Quetta to the Ko- 
juk where they could attempt to arrest our troops, except the 
Koochlack Pass, which is commanded from Quetta ; and our 
position at Killa Abdoolla could be strengthened in case of 
necessity, to afford a flanking party to take up a command- 
ing position at the crest of the Kojuk on all occasions of 
troops and convoys passing over. From thence to Candahar, 
no very commanding positions occur easily tenable by an 
enemy in the face of our troops. At Kelat-i-Ghilzie and 
Ghuznee we are impregnable, provided provisions have been 
laid in in plenty, which I presume must be the case, as those 
places were to be held under any circumstances. Our com- 
munications with Cabool can therefore, I consider, be best re- 
opened by that route.* 

On the 7th, a hopeful disposition had apparently restricted 
his main attention to the work immediately before him. * We 
are still,' he writes to Mr. CJolvin, * without direct accounts 
from Cabool ; but the tranquillity at Candahar is a strong 
proof that the insurrection is quelled. . . . The Khan com- 
menced his progress through Cutchee this morning, accom- 
panied by Colonel Stacy, who is instructed to encourage the 
young chief to personal inquiry into the affairs of the country,' 
also to induce his pupil * to invite all aggrieved parties freely 
to state their grievances.' The K&kar negotiations had pro- 
gressed favourably, and Ghafur Khan was to be taken to one 
of the assistant politicals, in order that the settlement with 
him might be formally concluded. But so fiur from the insur- 
rection being quelled at Kabul, the disasters to our army in 
that city were, when Outram was writing, fast approaching to 
the bitter end. 


On the 11th, owing to the receipt of bad news again, he 
thought it prudent to warn the head-quarter wing of H.M. 
41 st foot at Karachi, to be ready to embark for Sakhar, in 
the event of having to push on the other wing from D^ar up- 
ward. He also directed the 2nd native grenadiers, under 
orders to return to Bombay when relieved, to stand fast for 
the time in Upper Sind. On the 15th he heard of the flight of 
the Durr&ni Naib of Sh&l, a disaffected A%han, closely related 
to one of the more prominent opponents of the Shah ; and 
requested Brigadier-General England to send up the wing of 
a svpdhi corps, so as to complete a force at Kwatta consisting 
of two strong regiments of native in&ntry (minus three 
companies at Kal& Abdullah), two nine-pounders of European 
(Bombay) artillery, and two nine-pounders of the Bolan 
rangers, with a company of Bengal artillerymen. He would 
then be * under no anxiety whatever, were the rebels to come 
in their utmost strength against that post: ' a contingency 
which might reasonably be contemplated with the object of 
stopping communications with Kandahar. In the young Khan 
he placed full confidence: he was satisfied of his disinclination 
to join any combination against the British. He closed a long 
letter to Mr. Colvin, discussing these subjects, with the state- 
ment that he was about to send up his report on the assistants 
and establishments of his agency, which he had reduced 
nearly a lakh (10,000i!.) annually, without detriment to effici- 
ency, and independently of reductions in the cost of the 
Indus flotilla. On December 18 he officially reported to the 
Governor-General the reforms already effected in these re- 
spects, and those about to be effected, addressing to Mr. Colvin 
a semi-official communication on the same question the day 
following. He also wrote to Mr. Colvin xm the latter date to 
point out that, should rebellion break out at Kandahar (but 
only in that case), it would be advisable to withdraw the 
detachment of troops at the intermediate post of Kal& 
Abdullah ; and he added : — 

238 JAMES OUTRAM. 1839- 

< Should the counter-Suddozye league prove true, I shall 
have no fear of any serious agitation extending to this quarter 
and to the Ameers ; but I have little doubt the early ap- 
pearance of reinforcements from Guzerat and at Sonmeeanee 
will keep down the disaffected under any circumstances. 
Colonel Stacy has effected a satisfactory treaty with the 
Murrees . . . and nothing but the most untoward events 
in A%hanistan, and the spread of insurrection to our very 
borders, will cause any risk of serious agitation within my 
charge, and I am not apprehensive that it will extend so feur, 
or that I shall be unable to quell it if it do take place. 
Although I have no fears for our Quetta post, I agree with 
Major Eawlinson in the policy of moving up as many troops 
as the accommodation at Quetta can possibly shelter.' Five 
companies were to march thither on the day following, and 
this addition to the force was, he believed, the utmost that 
could be accommodated. It was afterwards arranged with 
Brigadier-General England that a company of the 41st 
regiment of foot, completed to one hundred men, should at 
once move through the pass with the head-quarter wing of 
the 25th native infantry. Outram explains his chief aim to 
have been, the moral effect produced by the paissage of troops 
up the Bolan, at a time when, according to Major fiawlinson, 
there was a growing impression that we were about to eva- 
cuate the country. 

He wrote to Mr. Maddock, Secretary to the Government 
of India, on December 22 : — 

* No excitement has been caused in this country by the 
exaggerated nunours of disasters to us in Affghanistan which 
pour in from Candahar. There is little sympathy between 
the Affghans and Brahoes ; and nothing but a general rise 
against us on the score of religion would tend to infect 
the tribes of Beloochistan. ... I consider that it must be 
impossible for the rebels to overcome our troops, if m the. 


BaUa Hisf^ar, and with three months' provisions — as reported 
in the last accounts we have received from Jellalabad.' And 
to Mr. Colvin on the 23rd : — 

*Lest his Lordship should be under anxiety regarding 
Quetta, I enclose the copy of a letter just received from 
Lieutenant Hammersley which, although evidently written 
for no other eye than my own, shows so exactly the feeling 
of the garrison, that I need not apologise for sending it, as 
affording the best security that our troops at that post cannot 
be beaten. I never had any anxiety on that subject; but the 
dangerous move of evacuating Killa Abdoola was, I confess, 
a source of some anxiety.' Then, in allusion to the return of 
the detachment from that fort : ^ I was much delighted to 
learn of its safe arrival at Quetta, only five stragglers having 
fallen, slain by the Affghan horse in our own pay, who turned 
upon us when they found us in retreat.' 

The traitors referred to belonged to a body of cavalry 
known as Bosanquet's ; but what were these events to the 
more widespread calamity which had overtaken our country- 
men and their native associates at Kabul ? On the date last 
named, while Outram, in his usual untiring spirit and readi- 
ness to cope with detail, was discussing on paper, with Mr. 
Colvin, as also Colonel Stacy and Lieutenant French, the 
questions arising in his more immediate ervtourage^ Sir 
William MacNaghten was shot by Muhammed Akbar Khan — 
the last of a series of individual murders soon to be followed 
by wholesale slaughter and all but annihilation. This intelli- 
gence did not reach DMar for some four weeks ; but in those 
days there was little in the general condition of Afghanistan, 
or the political situation in that country, to render the 
Anglo-Afghan alliance a fit subject of congratulation to 
British officers in North-Westem India, especially at Christ- 
mas and the New Year. How cheerily, however, our * warden 

240 JAMES Ol/TRAM. 1839- 

of the marches ' wrote to despondent friends, even at this 
gloomy Christmas-tide, and notwithstanding his thorough 
grasp of the real perils of the situation — a grasp of which 
his many letters of this period give detailed proof — ^the fol 
lowing note to Mr. Willoughby, dated December 27, is a 
specimen : — 

* Depend upon it you need have no fear of my napping 
in fancied security, from the fair professions of these people. 
Of course I know that, however individuotla might feel well- 
disposed, they could not resist a sudden and general impulse 
of religious enthusiasm. But I have little fear of any out- 
break being attempted, having so many screws secured in 
every direction that each chief would wait for his neighbour 
to begin first, and they cannot combine without my know- 
ledge. Keep a good heart, my dear friend — "nil desper- 
andum" — all will yet go well-*-we shall rise like the phoenix, 
resplendent from our ashes.' 

On January 20, 1842, when retribution was all that 
remained to complete the tragedy, Outram wrote to Colonel 
Stacy : — * This is a lamentable fimale to poor MacNaghten's 
career : but just what he ought to have expected from treat- 
ing with the rebels at all. I am glad that after-negotiations 
appear to have been broken ofif under another attack on the 
cantonment, which I trust must have been followed by the 
garrison cutting its way into the Bala Hissar. ... I think it 
may be as well to tell the Khan the whole truth at once, 
ascribing all our losses to treachery. . . . and giving hope 
that we still hold the Bala Hissar, which it is possible the 
cantonment garrison may have made their way to. How- 
ever, exercise your own discretion as to at once informing the 
Khan and chiefs, or delaying till arrival here, which would 
perhaps be better. Tell what great preparations are making 
for re-invading the country, and that in three months all 
Afghanistan will again be subdued.* 


Little by little, the whole truth became known,' and 
Outram's abundant energies were taxed to the utmost to sup 
port the failing prestige of his country. 

Throughout the trying occasion how keen was his morti- 
fication, how ardent his desire of honourable retrieval, how 
competent his appreciation, can only be thoroughly known 
to his fellow-workers, apparent as they may be from the 
numerous letters of which the record has been preserved. 
Nor should the labours of his coadjutors be lost sight of in 
this retrospect. It has been already well said, in reference 
to the occasion, that * to provide fwr the sustenance and safety 
of the weak and scattered military posts within their juris- 
diction; to inspire confidence in quarters wherein panio 
threatened to consmnmat^ the very evils it apprehended ; to 
aid in the retrieval of our tarnished honour by providing our 
generals with the means of prosecuting a war of retribution ; 
and to do so through the agency of those whom we had 
wronged, and who were incited to rise against us — such were 
the duties which Major Outram and his able staff were called 
on to perform.' » 

We now approach the period when a great change was made 
in the person/ad of the Indian Government. Independently 
of special and exceptional circumstances, the season had just 
arrived for new appointments in high places at Simla and 
Calcutta, and prescribed habit would take its course. On 
February 28, 1842, Lord Auckland was relieved from his 
arduous and responsible duties; and British India passed 
under the rule of his successor. Lord EUenborough. Two days 
before, the departing Govemor-Greneral addressed a long 
and highly interesting letter to Major Outram, from which 
we feel at liberty to make the more pertinent extracts : — 
* You wiU feel, as we all of us feel, that our first solici- 

* Appendix E. 

' Memoir of Services, 

VOL. I. R 

242 JAMES OUTRAM, 1839- 

tude must be for the troops in advance; but you will never 
lose sight of the great consideration that the basis of safety 
and of power throughout the districts under your influence 
is at Sakkar and Shikarpore. And I should generally prefer 
a moderate force very securely placed at Shikarpore, to a 
large cantoument at that place, and I would have your 
magazines and the main body of your strength in the more 
healthy and accessible position of Sakkar. 

^ It has given me pleasure to learn that you think it 
possible that the Khan of Kelat may at no distant period be 
safely entrusted* with the defence- of Shtt, of Dadur, and 
Seebee — and it might perhaps be good policy that he be 
made to feel at once our disposition to give to him and 
his tribes this accession of power and of territory as soon 
as our difficulties in Afghanistan shall be brought to a 

^ It is possible that a very large force may in the end be 
collected by you for the summer in Sh&l and Mastung, and 
you might safely hold the language which may please you 
best, to all around you: and as the cold weather may 
approach, you might settle on your own terms all the 
countries which lie between Sh&l and Kurachee, always 
following out, however, that excellent plan of conciliation 
on which you have acted towards Belochistan. I would 
endeavour to save at least thus much of our late accessions 
of power from the disasters which have been brought upon 
them. This is probably the last letter that I shall have to 
write to you, and I would take my leave of you with an 
assurance to you, that you have from day to day, since your 
late appointment, added to that high estimate with which I 
have long regarded your character, and which led me to place 
confidence in you. It is mortifying and galling to me to feel 
that plans which you had nearly brought to sutibessfiil 
maturity, for great improvement, for the consolidation of 

-i842 WORDS OF THE WISE, 243 

security and influence, for the happiness of the popula- 
tion of immense tracts, and for your own and our honour, 
should be endangered by events of which our military 
history has happily no parallel. You will, I know, do well 
in the storm, and I trust that, as far as the interests con- 
fided to you are concerned, you will enable us to weather it.* 

And he did well, as the world has testified; and the 
storm woB weathered, as history has certified. But ^ the race 
is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet 
bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, 
nor yet fevour to men of skill.* Were there not thousands 
of instances of merit unacknowledged, to be drawn firom the 
annals of everyday Ufe; did not lame and halt ones reach the 
goal, when the nimble-footed fail ; was not strength subdued 
by cunning, the bread of the wise given to charlatans, and 
wealth marred by ignoble uses ; and were not the ignorant 
and unworthy set in honourable seats — ^how could we inter- 
pret this passage of an undying record left by the wisest 
of kings to after-generations ? Surely the wisdom of these 
golden words is in their truth. 


244 JAMES OUTRAM, 1842 



Betrospect of Ontram'f work in Sind and Balachiatan, £rom February to 
November, 1842 — ^Betnm from Didar to Sakhar— Disaster at Baikal- 
zai — Letter to Mr. Maddock, on available military reeonrces — ^Betnm to 
Kwatta — Subordination to M%jor-G^neral Nott — Transfer of the SbU 
and Sibi districts to Ealit — ^Displeasure of QoTemor-General — Betnm of 
(General England's force to Sind — Arriyal at Sakbar of Miyor-Qeneral 
Sir Charles Napier — ^Ontram remanded to regimental duty. 

Lord Auckland's departure might have been personally a 
source of greater distress to Outram, who had so long enjoyed 
that nobleman's confidence, had it not occurred at a time 
when the honour of his country was at stake, and when so 
much responsibility in the maintenance of that honour 
devolved upon himself. Had it been possible to instigate his 
zeal and energy yet further in the cause, the arrival in India 
of a new Governor-General would have proved a likely means 
of imparting the required stimulus. But he was in reality at 
boiling-point ; and his eflforts were now directed to putting 
pressure upon others — ^in many cases upon men invested with 
public functions like himself, though higher in the official 
scale, and some of them cast in a different mould. He had 
written, only a few days before Lord EUenborough had set 
foot on Indian soil, to Major Eawlinson in Kandahar, ex- 
pressing delight at being made the channel of communica^ 
tion to General Nott, in forwarding the direct orders of 
superior authority to hold fast in that city.' * The Govem- 

' Among the many ofi&dal reports left by Sir James Ontram is the copy of 
a correspondence between General Nott and ICajor Bawlinson, bearing date 


ment of India,' he told Mr. Willoughby, *had at last 
recovered from its panic, and displayed the determination 
and vigour necessary for this crisis.' In a previous letter to 
Lieutenant Hammersley, he had expressed his hope that 
Kandahar would hold out as Sale had resolved to do at 
Jal41abad, at any rate until the views of the new Governor- 
General became known ; adding, ^ I cannot believe that a 
retrograde movement will be allowed by Lord EUenborough 
.... until we have rescued or avenged our captured 
countrymen at Cabool. I doubt not General Pollock will 
immediately force the Khaibar Pass to Jall&labad, and, having 
discretionary power, will then push on to Cabool, where by 
that time dissensions among the Afghans will favour him.' ^ 

To Colonel Palmer, commanding at Ghazni, he addressed 
a remarkable letter, almost on the eve of Lord EUenborough's 
disembarkation, giving strong reasons why the orders to 
evacuate his post, issued upon due compulsion from Kabul, 

Febroary 1, 1842, consequent on the receipt of orders to eyacnate Kandahar. 
We quote two remarkable passages, each worthy of preservation. The latter 
officer writes : — ' I am led to believe that we should avail ourselves of the dis- 
cretion which if left to us by Qovemmenti and shape our proceedings rather 
with the view to prospective, than immediate retirement, aiming to create 
such an impression of our power in the minds of the inhabitants of this part of 
Afghanistan, while we remain in the country, as shall efface the memory of the 
disasters at Cabul, and lead the people to respect our national character, if not 
to remember with gratitude the many benefits we have conferred on them.' 

In the reply, the view of the situation is thus stated : — ' I think our in- 
structions from GK)vemment will be widely different from those dated December 
3, 1841, and until we receive further orders IwiU not conaent to retire from this 
country. I could offer many reasons for this determination, but at present it is not 
necessary.' Some one has underlined in pencil the words here rendered in italics, 
and written in the margin of Outram*s copy : * This is very good ; we may be sure 
he is in his position at Candahar.' Kaye alludes to Major Rawlinson*s letter 
of February 1 in an extract from that distinguished officei^s MS. journal of the 
21st idem, but does not quote from it 

* In the P.S. of a letter to Major Bawlinson at this period we find Outram's 
summary of the tactics most suitable for warfore in Afghanistan, vis. : 'Attack 
the enemy on every occasion, and disabuse the opinion now obtaining that the 
A%hans are a match for us in the field.* So think, and so act, our gallant 
frontier officers now. 

246 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

should not be obeyed. He strove to re-assure him by the 
prospect of speedy relief which the despatch of a brigade up 
the passes from India would enable General Nott to afiford 
him from Kandahar. * We can have no fears for your force 
in the meantime . • . .' he wrote : — 

Nothing could touch you in the citadel, even though the enemy 
may be in possession of the town ; for of course you would leave 
no artillery in the town, and your musketry from the citadel alone, 
must render the town a dangerous occupation for the enemy. We 
hear they attempt to mine you, but fear not that you will fail 
to counteract such efforts by sallies, and the occasional fovom* of 
shells and other combustibles, for nowhere could they find shelter 
to commence their operations under so commanding a fire ; if a 
lodgment is effected, we know it would be destroyed by counter- 
mines or outward sally; — doubtless you would have frequent 
opportunities of destroying any stores of powder the enemy might 
collect for the purpose of loading a mine, by the rifle practice of 
your officers with Norton's shells (egg-ball, with tin tube let in at 
the small end, filled with powder, and closed at the outward end 
by a percussion cap) — by mining they may draw off the water 
from your wells, but still we fear not for you, the river running 
directly under and within range of your musketry. In &ct, we 
are quite satisfied that you would cheerfully meet and undeigo 
every difficulty rather than surrender on cmy terms, which, as in the 
dreadful Cabool instance, would be destruction. It is feared that 
the Cabool artillery given over to the enemy, may be brought against 
you when the roads will admit of their transport, but we have 
every hope that in the meantime the i*ebel chie& will be too much 
occupied by dissensions among themselves to think of you ; or, in 
the expectation of our advance from Peshawur, they may keep the 
artillery at the capital, or send it to oppose our troops ; but even 
should it be brought against you, you have some good aHillery to 
oppose, by the aid of which we doubt not you would successfully 
resist all efforts of the enemy, in the confidence of ultimate relief. 
General Sale has no fears for Jallalabad, where he has strengthened 
the works and laid in provisions. All is quiet at Quetta, and in 
Scuide and Belochistan at present ; Lord Ellenborough, the new 
Governor-General, is expected at Calcutta about this time; the 


birUi of a Prince of Wales, and an extensive brevet in consequence, 
is the only news of interest by the last maiL Our affidrs are pros- 
pering in China, and the Burmese, Nepaulese, dire., betray no 
hostile intentions. 

The history of the first Anglo-Afghan campaign is too 
well known to require any separate, or expository sketch in 
these pages. We do not, therefore, think it necessary to 
explain all allusions to passing events, in our extracts firom 
the papers before us. Yet it is well to state that, in review- 
ing the work of one man at that critical period, we are not 
confining the retrospect to Outram's own correspondence * — 
full and varied as it is. Beference also is made, where desir- 
able for truth and clearness, to independent narratives. 

It must be premised that the position of Major Outram in 
Sind, and of Mr. — ^better known in later years at the CJouncil 
Board as Sir — George Eussell-Clerk, on the north-west fron- 
tier, was that of men who had good reason to fear that an 
ignominious withdrawal of our forces from A%hanistan was 
contemplated, without an effort either to release our captives 
or to restore our most dangerously shattered prestige. They 
both foresaw the disastrous results of such a solution of our 
embarrassments, a solution fatal to the future peace and 
prosperity of India. They both saw how easy it would be for 
Pollock and I{ott to open the way for retreat by aggressive 
action and the consequent release of our prisoners and 
reassertion of our power. And they both risked their all in 
persistent endeavour to induce the Governor-General to see 
things in the same light and act accordingly. It is not 
our province to follow the fortunes of the chivalrous Bengal 

* Of the twelve oorrespoDdents, whose names appear on the title-page of 
the selections from Oatram*s letters written in lS41-42» and printed for private 
ciicnlation, bnt two are now living, Sir Henry Bawlinson, and Sir George Clerk. 
Sir Henry Lawrence, General Nott, Colonel Sutherland, Sir James Camae, 
Sir Richmond Shakespeare, the political assistants, Hammersley and Brownei 
and the secretaries ItfAddock, Dnrand, and Willonghby— have all passed away. 

248 yAJfES OUTRAM. 1842 

civilian, but it will be seen how his like-nunded comrade feured 
in the struggle. It would but weary the reader to multiply 
quotations from Outram's many letters bearing on the one 
aim. Directly and indirectly, officially and demi-officially, by 
appeal and by allusion, he continued to press the matter during 
these drearily busy months; others, besides the Generals 
Pollock and Nott, strove towards the same end, and at last 
prevailed — after a fashion. Henry Lawrence, himself commis- 
sioner of Peshawar during the crisis, and a correspondent of 
Outram's — though pers<mally, then and for many years after^ 
a stranger to him — has had naturally something to say on 
the subject; and thus wrote in the * Calcutta Review* 
of September 1845: ^ James Outram in one quarter, and 
George Clerk — a kindred spirit — in another, were the 
two men who then stood in the breach ; who forced the 
authorities to listen to the fact against which they tried to 
close their ears, that the proposed abandonment of the British 
prisoners in A%hanistan would be as dangerous to the State, as 
it was base towards the captives. These counsels were success- 
fully followed : the British nation thanked our Indian rulers, 
while, of the two men, without whose persevering remon- 
strances and exertions Nott and Pollock might have led back 
their armies, without being permitted to make an effort to 
retrieve our credit — Clerk was slighted, and Outram super- 

These words supply the key to what has now to be related 
in regard to a cloudy period of James Outram's career. 
The experiences of 1879 will enable the English reader the 
better to appreciate the events of 1842. But it must be 
borne in mind that we were then strangers throughout the 
independent territories which lay within Major Outram's 
jurisdiction— from Karachi on the ocean to the Khojak Pass — 
strangers, moreover, whose proceedings had tended to 
alienate into enmity both Sindis and Baluchis; that the 


passes above D&dar and the Peshin valley swarmed with pre- 
datory tribes then unaccustomed to the curb, and who had yet 
to learn the inexorable sweep of the Farangi sword and the 
inexhaustible flow of Farangi gold; that these were days 
when the spell of our success had just been rudely broken, 
while all those upon whom we intruded ourselves had 
only too good cause to dread our rapacity, and distrust 
our motives ; and that while ^ etappen ' arrangements were 
then undreamt of, it was the political agent who had to 
extract from these invaded territories means of transport, 
local supplies, and nearly all else needful to an army in mo- 
tion, save hard cash, powder and shot. On him it fell to 
^ manage ' predatory hordes, to maintain communications, to 
organise local levies, to be the * intelligence department,' 
and much else besides. All this in addition to what may 
be termed * diplomatic' functions throughout these varied 
principalities and tribes ; with which were connected unde- 
fined, or one might say infinite, civil duties involved in eflForts 
to check misrule and ameliorate the condition of the peoples 
within his influence. In the case of Baluchistan, these duties 
included the administration of Sh&l, and other important 
tracts. This is but an incomplete rSaumi of the work which 
tasked the energies of Major Outram and his single-minded 
assistants during the protracted crisis of 1841-2. We must, 
however, confine our extracts and allusions to a few of the 
more personal features of the time, leaving the reader to fill 
in, ad liMturriy the everyday details of duty and of danger, 
of worry and of anxiety, of responsibility and of perplexity. 
The mass and variety of correspondence available are enor- 
mous. Illustrations of points dwelt upon might be multi- 
plied to any extent ; but patience must not be overtried, 
and to condense without obscurity is no easy task. We 
may insert here a letter of May 19, 1842, to Mr. Qerk, not 
only as illustrative of the above remarks, but as contain- 

250 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

ing views of general policy which are of weighty interest in 
our own days : — 

I note with regret — hut not surprise — ^that your opinions 
as to the measures proper to he pursued in A%hanistan do not 
meet those of the €k>vernor-€reneral, who cannot with all his home 
Indian experience, help heing swayed in his estimate of the 
physical difficulties to he encountered in Afghanistan, and of Afghan 
prowess, hy the results of the past six months. Now these, it 
must he evident to Knj practical man capahle of judging the true 
value of hoth, were hrought ahout hy neither the one nor the other. 
There exist no further physical difficulties (to signify) than what 
have already heen overcome — the passage of the Ehyhur on one 
side, and that of the Bolan and Kojuck Passes on the other; and 
as to ihi^prawies of the Afghans, our experience of four years among 
them, during which we have had some twenty or thirty hand to 
hand engagements with them, ought to have lowered instead of raised 
in our eyes their character in that respect ; for in no instance— except 
in that ahsurd husiness of Hykulzye — have they ever heen ahle 
to cope with us, however superior in numhers, or in strength of posi- 
tion ! Every engagement only tended to heighten the despair of the 
enemy of ever heing able to compete with us in the field ; and had 
it not been that our own measures at Cabal drove certain chiefs to 
desperation, and our insane arrangement of placing treasure and 
godouns (dep6ts) within their power, enabled those chiefii to inflame 
the rabble, and commit the whole city, by laying open those stores 
to indiscriminate plunder — at the same time incapacitating our 
troops — at this moment, I say, the Afghans would have continued 
subservient ; and as it is, will succumb to any demonstration of 
our strength. This you and / know, and every officer of experience 
in Afghanistan is convinced of. But his Lordship cannot but give 
heed to the more timid counsellors who preach * prudently with- 
drawing from further contest ' against an exaaperaied nation — 
having in his recollection the struggles of Spain against Napoleon's 
efforts, and his disastrous expulsion from Bussia! True, the 
parallels appear complete, but they are not really so, and cannot 
be drawn until 30,000 British bayonets can keep all Europe in 
subjection, as they now do India. ^Then — but not till then — ^will 
the rules of European warfare extend to Asia. Had we heretofore 
estimated our enemies in this quarter of the globe on such equality , 


we never should have obtained India, nor should we have retained 
it; and if Lord EUenborough is induced to swerve from the only 
course now left us for recovering our honour, through an over- 
estimate of amf Asiatic enemy — ^from that period will be dated the 
decline of our power in India ; and those neckrer home will be en- 
oouraged .to lay their heads together, and to oppose the Qovemment 
on every favourable opportunity for raising a disturbance. Our 
armies must be increased to overawe the then turbulent, but 
hitherto 'peaceable population of India, while at the same time 
the revenues decrease owing to such disturbances, until either the 
people become too powerful, or the country too impoverished to 
admit of our continuing the government. 

With such a result in view, I shall continue to urge, by every 
means in my power, directly or indirectly, what I with you feel to 
be the most advantageous course, until we are committed beyond 
recall, which I still hope the favourable turn of affairs in Afghan- 
istan, and General Nott's decisive opinion, may avert ; or, until 
reproved for intruding such opinions — ^which I may now expect to 
be, since you, whose opinion is entitled to so much greater weight, 
have been checked in expressing what, as coming from me, has 
hitherto escaped notice only horn being less entitled to con- 

One other extract will complete the general view of 
Afghan politics. The anxiety here expressed regarding the 
course of action to be decided on by Government, and by 
General Nott under his perplexing instructions, formed the 
chief of the heart-bmtiens which weighed upon Major Outram 
throughout this period of doubt and mystery. In June his 
hopes were raised by Pollock's call to Nott to advance on Kabul 
upon his (Pollock's) own responsibility as senior officer, and the 
strength of the indefinite latitude just accorded to the gene- 
rals. Outram urged Nott strongly to act on this soldierly 
summons, but was disappointed; and anxieties were only set 
at rest by the tardy advance in August. He thus continued 
his train of thought in a letter to Sir B. Shakespear, General 
Pollock's military secretary, of May 21 : — 

252 JAMES OUTRAM, 1842 

I am much obliged to you for your very intereBting and instruc- 
tive, letter, dated 4th inst and loae no time in thanking you for 
it, and in assuring you that I cordially coincide in all your views, 
excepting in the adyisability of assuming Afghanistan to ouiselveB, 
which you appear to lean towards, in preference to the altematiye 
of withdrawing after re-occupying Oabul, which I would prefer. 
I have always been opposed to the loccUion of our troops in 
A%hanistan ; and to show you what my sentiments were on the 
subject so far back as this time three years ago, I enclose an extract 
from a letter I wrote the Bombay Secretary when we were at 
Candahar in 1839. Late events have of course strengthened that 
opinion ; but I have ever been adverse to withdraw our troops, 
after we were committed in the country, until we can do so with 
honour : and I agree with you that cannot now be, until we have 
re-asserted our power at CakuL, You will have been thunderstruck, 
as I was, on the receipt of the Govemor-C^eneral's orders of the 
19th ult., which I observed were forwarded to General Pollock, 
and, I conclude, were to the same effect as those sent through me 
to C^eral Nott, of the same date ; and I am pretty sure that the 
sentiments of Generals Pollock and Nott, yourself, Mr. Clerk, 
and indeed every practical man concerned, coincide with mine. 

. . . . I must say, however, that I would recommend the 
return of the united armies by this route, instead of by the Khybur, 
which for the reasons stated in a letter I addressed to Mr. Maddock 
on the subject,^ I would abandon altogether; returning the whole 
army by this route, wherein there is no chance of obstruction, such 
as retiring troops would be subject to in the Khoord Cabul and 
Khybur passes. The only pass of any difficulty on this route, 
the Bolan, we hold the key of in the Brahooes, and I am sure I 
could ensure the passage of our armies by this route without the 
slightest loss.' From hence, a portion might be shipped round to 
Calcutta, and the rest march by land to the upper provinces. I 
shall continue in much anxiety till I hear G^eral Pollock's deter- 
mination on receipt of the order of the 19th April— still feel little 
doubt as to the course he will adopt. 

1 In an official despatch, dated May 2 (which is not giTon in the Blue 

' It will be seen hereafter how Ontram fulfilled this pledge, in with- 
drawing General England's portion of the armji nnder far less &Toarable 
circnmstances than would have attended the return of the whole united army, 
after harisg been yictorioui at Cabul. 


About March 10 he left D&dar for Sind, afid Sakhar on 
the Indus was selected as a convenient spot both for his local 
work and keeping open the communication with Afghanistan. 
As regards the change of locality, Sakhar may have the 
advantage over D4dar in cheerfulness and beauty of outer 
scenery, but for the six months commencing with March the 
heat is simply indescribable in both places. At such a time 
the charms of landscape can only be appreciated by the most 
SBsthetic of EngHshmen as a briUiant opera can be appre- 
ciated by a listener with a splitting headache. He had been 
at Sakhar for two or three days when, on March 27, he thus 
addressed Captain Durand, private secretary to the Governor- 
General : — 

I am waiting with much anxiety the development of Lord 
Ellenborough's views in our present most difficult position. I 
almost fear the very many and serious obstacles which present 
themselves against the only course left to retrieve our honour, will 
deter his Lordship from attempting it at present. The most 
serious is, the feeling which has displayed itself among the sepoys 
of General Pollock's force of late : but if he can induce them to go 
on to Jellalabad, I do hope the rest would be plain sailing; — 
certainly if they can be persuaded to pursue their march on Cabool 
it would be so, aided by a simultaneous advance from Candahar— 
and provided Colonel Palmer maintains his position at Ghuznee, 
which I am sorry to find by the accounts from Cabool, dated 5th 
inst., he was thinking of evacuating ; but I am in hopes that my 
letter from Dadur (which I despatched on the 24th ult., and was 
to have been delivered in twelve days) would reach that officer in 
time to cause him to defer such a step until he receives the 
positive orders of Government, for I am happy to see that young 
ConoUy has thrown obstacles in the way, calculated to cause delay. 
I hope that having thrown up the Pass Ckneral England's brigade, 
will be approved of by the Governor-General : whatever course 
may be resolved on, it was equally necessary — either with the 
view to the odvamM or rei^wJt of General Nott's army — and indis- 
pensable to provide supplies of treasure and ammunition, which 
were alwolutely necessary to enable the Candahar troops to move, 

i54 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

or hold out. Moieover, tiie moyement up the Pass was equally so 
to prevent the hUl tribes risiiig, and closing the Bolan Pass, and 
stopping our communication altogether ; independently of the moral 
effect of that movement in favour of our captive countfymen in 
Afghanistan under any circumstances, and of our cause, should it be 
determined to relieve our positions. Whatever may happen else- 
where, I am under no apprehensions of the Ameers of Scinde 
openly committing themselves, or that their united powers could 
shake us here if they did ; but I am relying on our being reinforced 
by one regiment from Ferozepore, which is necessary for the security 
of this extensive and straggling cantonment. 

To Mr. Willoughby he also wrote on the same date, for- 
warding a copy of the letter from which we have last extracted. 
In this he says : — 

I think Brigadier England wrong to move on to Pisheen as he 
appears to intend, before the remainder of his brigade ascends the 
Pass, for that movement will Tioto do no good either to General 
Nott (who says he is not prepared to send an escort to receive the 
supplies) or to any one else ; whereas, his remaining at Quetta a 
week longer, will enable his rear detachment to join, and deter the 
tribes from attempting to oppose it going up the Pass, — or, he 
would be at hand to aid the ascent of the troops should they do so. 
As Qeneral England is not prepared to march on to Oandahar till 
his whole brigade is assembled, surely he should wait till the rear 
detachment joins him, when the mere feu^t of his doing so vnswre* 
its safety, which otherwise may he jeopardised. 

Being at Quetta, he was ready to carry on the supplies to the 
Kojuck, had General Nott been prepared to send so far to receive 
them ; hut the latter not heing so, and, moreover, it having been 
determined that Brigadier England's whole brigade is to take on 
the sui)plie6 the whole way, wbat possible use can there be in 
moving off frt>m Quetta to Piaheen, there to await the junction of his 
rear detachment, at too great a distance to support it in the Pass 
should it be opposed) 

Outram was no diplomatist in the too commonly received 
sense of the term ^diplomacy.' Had he belonged to the 


times of Machiavelli and Richelieu, or moved in the social 
spheres of Talleyrand and Mettemich, he could not have 
shared the laurels of success with adepts such as these. 
Open and honest in his ordinary dealings, only under some 
strong conviction of doing service to his country could he 
have been otherwise than plain-spoken. But reticence may 
be a virtue on occasions : and he could not brook that the 
rumour of our proposed abandonment of Afghanistan should 
be spread abroad one moment before the dread fiat to that 
eflFect had gone forth. * Don't let out,' he said to Lieutenant 
Hanmiersley in the postscript of a note dated March 28 : 
* that Government contemplates ultimately withdrawing from 
Afghanistan. It is satisfetctory to find, however, that it is 
determined to re-establish our power in the meantime. 
ThaX I shall let out readily enough.' The very day on which 
this note was written, occurred a serious disaster to our 
troops. General England was defeated at Haikalzai, a village 
in the Pishin valley, about 30 miles above Kwatta, suffering a 
loss of 27 killed and 71 wounded. He had left the latter can- 
tonment, escorting treasure, en r(yaX^ for Kandahar, without 
awaiting a detachment in completion of the full force at his 
disposal which had yet to work its way through the Bolan. 
His reasons for moving thus early, contrary to Major Outram's 
advice and General Nott's orders, were stated to be the want 
of forage at Kwatta, and the probability of obtaining a better 
supplyatKal^a Abdullah, four marches beyond. At this place, 
some eight miles east of the mouth of the Khojak Pass, he 
had purposed to remain imtil joined by the remainder of his 

This serious mishap was retrieved on April 28, exactly 
one month after its occurrence, when the enemy's position at 
Haikalzai was attacked and carried by General England, with 
a loss of 10 wounded only, and the brigade passed on, with 
its treasure convoy, to Kandahar. But its effect was not fa- 


vourable to British prestige, weakened the influence of British 
political officers, and materiaUy embarrassed the local govern- 
ment. There arose from it, moreover, questions of a dis- 
agreeable nature, the discussions of which were attended with 
bitterness, though confined to our own camp. On one side it 
was urged that the military authorities had been misinformed 
of the strength of the enemy and the erection of stockades ; 
on the other, the accuracy of the information afforded was de- 
fended in both respects, and the supposed importance of the 
enemy's defensive works was disallowed. The controversy found 
its way into the Bombay newspapers, and in one of them — the 
^ Times ' — an account of the Haikalzai disaster appeared, so 
closely resembling the general's own official despatch on the 
subject dated two-and-twenty days before, as to lead to the 
impression that the text of that record had through some 
imknown agency been made available iot the public en- 
lightenment before attaining the period of Intimate 
publicity. Outram felt keenly the matter of this premature 
publication for two especial reasons. First, because he con- 
sidered the reflections made therein upon the conduct of the 
sipaJiia engaged to have been unjust, and based upon wrong 
assumptions ; and secondly, because he could not acquiesce 
in the censure awarded his assistant. Lieutenant Hammersley, 
for want of proper acquaintance with the disposition and 
movements of an enemy which had successfully opposed our 
troops in their advance from Kwatta. 

As regards the native soldiers, it was his belief that they 
would ever follow and ably second a European leader. They 
had * abready proved on fifty occasions,' he maintained, that 
they were * able and willing to meet A%hans in the field — aye, 
and always beat them too when led against them, without any 
other European assistance than that of their European offi- 
cers.' In the case of Lieutenant Haomiersley, Outram's open 
and generous advocacy brought him under the displeasure of 


the higher authorities. Construing the remand of that oflBcer 
to regimental duty as consistent with temporary retention of 
appointment, pending a further inquiry into the supposed 
cause of his removal from political employ, Outram took 
upon himself if not actually to suspend a Government order, 
certainly to interpret it to the advantage of his subordinate, 
whom he looked upon as a hardly-treated Government ser- 
vant. He kept Hammersley in his post at Kwatta, on the 
fair plea of urgent requirements ; and addressed letters on 
his behalf to Generals Nott and England, and Colonel Stacy. 
But those were busy times, and there were not many who, 
in the midst of heavy, responsible, and very serious work, 
would willingly go out of their way and devote their little 
leisure to inquiring into an individual grievance on which, if 
they had not themselves already spoken, the opinion of 
superior authority had been openly expressed. Among the 
names of men who came forward on the occasion that of 
Outram was almost the only influential one denoting a 
thorough-going, fearless advocate of the officially condemned 
lieutenant. It is little to be wondered that the result was 
failure to establish his case ; and to his request that his as- 
sistant might be allowed to draw office allowances up to date 
of final decision on his appeal, the Secretary to Government 
with the Governor-General informed the political agent that 
compliance was impossible. ^ It would,^ to quote the despatch, 
^ sanction the step which you took of suspending that officer's 
removal from his situation, pending a reference to the Gov- 
ernor-General as to the ground upon which you assumed that 
he had been removed.* This decision, however, was never 
communicated to poor Hammersley, who died three days 
before the date which it bore. His mind had become 
seriously afiTected by the treatment he had experienced, and 
this treatment formed the subject of his incoherent utter- 
ances to the last. What Outram himself anticipated, as the 
VOL. I. s 

258 JAMES OUTRAM. 184^ 

result of his chivalrous stand on behalf of his subordinate, we 
find in a letter to Mr. Willoughby : — * See this correspondence 
about Hammerslej, which I take it will end in his Lordship 
sending me to my regiment.' 

Lord Ellenborough's despatches, or the withdrawal orders, 
written on April 19, have given rise to much comment and 
controversy. We have no intention of discussing their 
merits in these pages, or comparing them with the previous 
instructions to Generals Nott and Pollock, Sir Jasper Nicolls, 
and Mr. Gerk, of March 15. Such a criticism of general 
policy belongs to history rather than biography. But one 
arrangement of the Government of India, ruling the subor- 
dination of the political to the military authority in Lower 
Afghanistan, Sind, and Baluchistan — in other words, investing 
General Nott with the chief political as well as military 
control in those parts— directly affected Outram. His first 
impression, on receipt of it, was that the change in his posi- 
tion was due to a too free expression of opinion in his 
correspondence with General England, of which a copy had 
been submitted by himself for the Governor-General's in- 
formation. The conclusion was natural enough under the 
circumstances : for this was not the sole instance in which 
the tone of his Calcutta letters, contrary to former practice, 
might be judged significant of mistrust or even censure, quite 
as much as of confidence or cordiality. At the same time, he 
admitted the wisdom of leaving the military conmiander 
unfettered and wholly responsible during the operations of 
war ; and in due course received a laconic reply to a question 
put on the subject to Captain Durand, explaining that the 
extension of Major-General Nott's command had no reference 
to him individually, but was part of a general measure. 

Mr* Clerk, having forwarded a copy of two important 
letters he had addressed to Government, regarding the 
possible military movements and political questions to which 



the violent death of Shah Shuja had given rise. Major 
Outram thus wrote officially to Mr. Maddock on May 2, 
1842 :— 

* We are well-informed that Kelat-i-Grhilzie and Candahar 
are amply provisioned at present ; and General Nott, having 
the means of keeping a strong brigade in the field, to which 
will be added Major-General England's brigade, now march- 
ing on Candahar, insures the command of the resources of 
the country, communication with Kelat-i-Ghibde, and the 
abiUty to provision that fortress and Candahar to any extent 
requisite. Upwards of 20 lacs of treasure are now at the 
disposal of General Nott, which, with the facility of selling 
biUs on India, arising firom so large an introduction of specie, 
removes any apprehension of want in that respect for a long 
time to come. A sufficiency of medicines, rum, &c., for six 
months for the whole force above the pass is now with the 
army. I believe, also, that a considerable supply of ammu- 
nition has been taken on by Major-General England. • • •' 

He then proceeds to estimate the probable strength of 
the Kandahar garrison, when reinforced, the means of car- 
riage available, and the defensive arrangements requisite for 
posts such as Ewatta, Dadur, Sibi, and Chatar, adding : — 

^ So long as we are in power at Candahar, there is no risk 
of disturbance below the passes in Cutchee or Sind. 

* I have thus shown that General Nott will have it in his 
power, on the junction of the Bombay troops, either at once 
to take the field at the head of 10,000 men in support of 
General Pollock's advance upon Cabool — leaving every mili- 
tary position throughout southern A%hanistan, Beloochistan, 
and Sind in sufficient strength ; or, should the forward move- 
ment from Jellalabad be delayed for a season, his troops 
may maintain their present positions so long as necessary. 

8 2 

26o JAMES OUTRAAf. 1842 

... I now proceed to state what are our prospects of securing 
increased means in camel-carriage for further reinforcements 
during such delay.' 

The details then given in respect of camels would hardly 
interest the reader, however indicative of the writer's capacity 
to deal with the most practical of conmiissariat questions in 
the East. His conclusion is thus expressed : — 

• With the above means, and the carriage which can be 
hired in this country, I estimate that two strong brigades 
could be equipped in time to ascend the Bolan early in 
October next, so as to pass though Shawl and reach Candahar 
before the severity of winter.' 

The proposals contained in the remainder of the letter 
are based on the hypothesis of a concentration of the whole 
force, for the cold weather, at Kandahar, after the re-occupa- 
tion of Kabul. They embrace the question of the future 
government of Afghanistan, and suggest the fitting course 
to facilitate the return to India of the British troops. We 
add one paragraph which bears directly upon a leading topic 
of the past year's campaign, and involves a consideration 
which may at any time be revived : — 

* As so immediately connected with the interests of my 
charge (Beioochistan), I may be allowed to offer an opinion 
on the Candahar portion of the arrangement : 1. If this were 
a separate kingdom under Timour Shah, maintained by a 
British subsidiary force, our troops could always be supported 
via the Bolan or Sonmi&ni routes (for the late temporary 
suspension of our communication could never have occurred 
had the simple precaution of securing water in Killa 
Abdoolla been taken, or a fortified post been placed in the 
Kojuck Pass) ; they would never have to encounter the vids- 
litudes of the extremes of climate; we should secure as 

1842 AS IN 1842, SO IN 1880. 261 

commanding an influence over the neighbouring kingdom of 
Cabool as if our armies continued there — because its principal 
channels of commerce would lay through the Candahar terri- 
tory, on which the ruler of Cabool would rather depend than 
either the routes through the Khyber and Punjab on the one 
side, or Balkh and Bokhara on the other ; even the products 
of those countries would reach Cabool more cheaply, safely, 
and perhaps more expeditiously by the well-protected (as 
they might be under this arrangement) roads from Shikar- 
poor, or Herat, vi& Candahar ; we could exercise an equally 
commanding check to the maturing of hostile designs against 
British India, either at Cabool or Herat; and we should 
the better secure our engagements to Kelat. 2. Leaving 
Timour Shah in possession, but without military support, 
our influence at Candahar would always be paramount from 
being in power on the Indus, and commanding her commu- 
nications with India, but of course, without military support 
Timour's kingdom would be liable to constant anarchy, 
commerce would not be fostered, and the territory of our 
ally, the Khan of Kelat, would be liable to infringement. 
. • • Whether those evils, or the advantages on the other 
side, are of sufficient magnitude to warrant the expense and 
inconvenience of maintaining a large army at such a distance 
as Candahar, it is not my province to discuss ; and the ques- 
tion which must arise as to how we are to maintain our 
pledges to Kelat under the second arrangement, can be con- 
sidered hereafter if required.' 

It has been remarked, with truth, that Indian officials of 
the higher grades are often much overtasked in the perform- 
ance of their professional duties ; and that the daily routine 
of a London Government office is, as a rule, child's play to 
that of a zealous, conscientious, and responsible Anglo-Indian 
functionary, engaged in civil and political administration. If 

i62 JAMES OUTHAAf. 1842 

this be 80 in ordinary times, how much stronger would be 
the argument under the influence of the crisis resulting to 
British India from the Kabul insurrection of 1841 ? Ou- 
tram's work at Sakhar — for the ten weeks of his sojourn there 
in the hot weather of 1842 — if judged from his correspond- 
ence only, must have been arduous in the extreme. Yet 
contrasted with like evidences of the immediately preceding 
months at D^dar, it was much in accordance with his usual 
practice. At these times, the number of his correspondents, 
the precision and frequency of his semi-official communica- 
tions to each, the scope, length, and minute detail of his 
strictly official despatches, addressed on one occasion to the 
Supreme Government, on another to Bombay, or to Generals 
Nott, England, or Farquharson — cannot but strike the 
observer as marvellous. They certainly give speaking testi- 
mony to the clearness of head and exceptional ability of the 

On May 10, Outram received a letter from Mr. Maddock, 
in which was the following sentence : — * Unless you should 
have received instructions of a different tenor from General 
Nott, you will, without prejudice to your health, at the first 
convenient period proceed to Quetta, or to such other point 
as may enable you to give the greatest aid in feu^iUtating the 
movements of Brigadier England and the Major-General.' 
The same day he wrote to Captain Durand :— 

I have to-day received his Lordship's orders to proceed to Qaett«, 
and shall make immediate arrangements for doing so, which I 
might have hesitated to do, supposing that the order arose from 
my own proposition to you in my letter of the 18th ultimo. This 
had chiefly in view to induce Ckneral England to advance to 
€(eneral Nott's support, that event having happily been already 
accomplished ; but as I observe Mr. Maddock's letter, dated 28th, 
has taken twelve days on the way, mine of the 18th could hardly 
have reached you on the 28th, or tenth day. I conclude, therefore, 
that the order for my proceeding to Quetta must be solely caused 


by his Lordship's opinion that my place is above the pass just nowy 
and as I can with perfect confidence entrust the conduct of affairs 
here to Lieutenant Brown during my absence, I must admit that 
Quetta is the most important position for my exertions — to facilitate 
so delicate an operation as t)ie reti*eat of a large army down 
mountain defiles before an elated enemy ; and moreover to carry 
into effect the necessary arrangements of our future relations with 
the Khanate of Kelat, prior to the abandonment of the upper 
countries, on the subject of which I addressed Mr. Haddock officially 
on the 7th instant. 

You must be well aware that it is at some personal risk I shall 
pass the burning plains of Cutchee so late in the season, or ascend 
the Bolan when no military escort is available for me ; and I re- 
mind you of this circumstance, not with any view to enhance my 
services, which I value not as anything equal to what is 4ue by me 
to my Government, but in the hope that this, perhaps my last 
opportunity of advocating a policy which I deem vitally essential 
to our interests in India, may be permitted to me— should you see 
no objec ion to lay my humble opinion privately before his Lord- 
ship^ wh'ch it would be presumptuous in me to have intruded offici- 
ally thro gh Mr. Maddock. 

Tou have seen with what confidence General Nott looks for- 
ward to the result of a combined advance on Cabul from Candahar 
and Jellalabad. C^eral Pollock also appears to have no doubts 
on the subject, provided carriage can be fiimished to him before 
the proper season to advance is past, which I consider may be any 
time from the beginning to the end of June or even July. In the 
meantime dissensions between the Barukzye and Suddozye factions 
with, probably, the secret influence of the Kuzzilbash tribes on our 
side, will weaken the enemy to such a degree that while the one 
party would hail our support with delight, the other would be in 
no condition to oppose our entrance to the capital ; nor, even allow- 
ing that the enemy did continue united to oppose us, can there be 
a doubt of the result, at a season when the harvest is available, and 
the climate is congenial to our troops. Even supposing that the 
Bala Hissar is held against us, I should be equally confident of 
speedily reducing Cabul with General Nott's siege train (four 18- 
pounders), in addition to the splendid field artillery with Generals 
Pollock and England, and also at Candahar, and we know that the 
rebels are deficient in gun ammunition. 

264 JAMES OUTRAM, 1842 

Had I any personal militaiy reputation, however great, I should 
have no hesitation in staking the whole on this result, i.e. that we 
should take Cabul, by the end of June or July, dictate our own 
arrangements there, and march on Ghuznee (which need not be 
approached by General Nott on his advance to Cabul, as it can be 
turned), having taken which, winter the whole army at Candahar, 
if too late to pass Quetta (although during ordinary years the 
Bolan Pass may be descended at all times), and then withdraw 
from Afghanistan on such terms as will preserve us and our allies 
— ^the Seikhs, BrahoeeSy and Sindians — from future insults at the 
hands of the Afghans. 

Or, should General Pollock be disabled, by deficiency of carriage, 
fi*om a forward movement this season, and find it inconvenient to 
support his large army at Jellalabad, he might leave adequate gar- 
risons there and in the Khybur, and await his time at Peshawur, 
while General Nott can preserve his positions at Kelat-i-GhiLde and 
Candahar, by securing his communication with Quetta by a post in 
Kojuck, without a chance of the enemy attempting any one of 
those positions, disheartened by previous &ilures, and by seeing 
them newly stored, reinforced, and strengthened. To this alone 
General Nott would confine his operations this season, if our final 
triumph is put off till the next Moreover, his troops could be 
better supplied while thus divided, than if all were united on one 
spot, and he would be more ready and able to take the field when 
the time arrived, with a certainty of meeting no opposition on the 
side of Kelat-i-Ghilzie at all events. 

If, therefore, a temporary retirement on Quetta only is contem- 
plated — which the orders to General Nott to destroy the defences 
of Candahar and Kelat-i-Ghilzie would denote — I would beg most 
earnestly to advise that the orders to General Nott be so far modi- 
fied as to leave it to his own discretion either to abandon or sustain 
his present positions, at any rate till October, before which period 
he could not descend the Bolan Pass, or traverse Cutchee, on 
account of the heat. 

By remaining as at present, he commands, and will gather in, 
the resources of the country sufiSdent to provide for the campaign 
next season, if it cannot be concluded in this ; he holds all the 
strong positions and a secure communication throughout the country 
from Sukkur to Kelat-i-Gbilzie ; he breaks the confidence of the 
enemy, whose dissensions in the meantime he would be in a posi- 


tioD to take advantage of, should any particular turn, &vourable to 
the views of his Lordship, in the interim occur ; he insures the 
safety of the Cabul prisoners who, so long as we hold our positions 
in the country, would be preserved by those in whose possession 
they are, with a view to making their own terms when we re-assert 
our power, which they will dread so long as we do not withdraw ; 
he revents agitation in Scinde and Beloochistan so long as he 
remains in power at Candahar; and he preserves his troops in 
health and plenty, who, if all are brought to Quetta during the hot 
season, will suffer from that dreadful climate, even more severely 
than last year, owing to the assemblage of so large an army on the 
spot ; while the valley of Shawl and neighbouring districts under 
Kelat would be unable to afford provision and forage for so long a 

How far you may deem yoiu^lf warranted in com- 
municating the opinion of so humble an individual as my- 
self to his Lordship I cannot judge j but such is my opinion, 
founded on some practical experience and much consideration, i.e. 
that if Generals Pollock and Nott are allowed to exercise their own 
discretion aa to advancing on Cabul this season, they may very 
probably find that they can do so without risk of failure ', but that, 
if the campaign is deferred for a season, we shall be in a much 
better condition to enter upon it at our convenience by retaining 
our present positions until then, which we cam do toithotU 

I think an apology to a comrade, having the honour and 
interests of our countiy equally at heart, can hardly be required for 
this letter, which, however, I leave to your discretion, and that of 
Mr. Maddock — should you both do me the favour to exercise your 
judgment upon it — whether or not to lay before his, Lordship. 

I hope to have everything ready to leave this by the 15th, and 
to arrive at Quetta in a few days, being unencumbered with bag- 
gage or followers, who cannot pass through Cutchee now. 

True soldier as he was, Outram, as will be seen, resolved 
not only to obey the letter of the instructions received, but 
to carry out in a loyal spirit the duties required at his hands. 
He was, however, mortal, and cotdd not but feel aggrieved 
at the modus agendi adopted towards him, so Afferent from 

266 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

that to which he had been accustomed under former masters. 
Opening his heart to Mr. Willoughby, he has left us another 
letter bearing the same date as that just laid before the 
reader, but couched in a different strain. *I go up,' he 
writes to the firiendly and sympathising secretary, *to 
ofiSciate in the immediate neighbourhood, and as the humble 
subaltern of General Nott, where so lately I was supreme ; I 
pass through the heat of Cutchee, and the dangers of the 
Bolan, to the deadly climate, privations, and annoyances of 
Quetta, from a comfortable house, and the comparative ease 
and luxury of this station — ^with certainly less cheering pro- 
spects, imder these circumstances, but with undiminished 
zeal, and determination to fuMl the duty assigned to me, 
however degrading that may be in my opinion, and however 
lowered my personal position ; but I must here in justice to 
myself add, that it is not my intention to remain in this 
coimtry, in the subordinate capacity so assigned to me, one 
hour after the withdrawal of the army, and hostilities have 
ceased ; when the necessity for a military dictator in these 
countries no longer existing, I should degrade myself by con- 
tinuing in a lower position than that to which Government 
had thought proper to raise me, and in which, so far from in 
a single instance incurring displeasure, every act of mine 
has been highly approved, and every measure successful. 
Unless, therefore, the Court of Directors are pleased to 
order that, on the termination of hostilities in Afghanistan, 
General Nott's political powers over me are withdrawn, I 
most assuredly must respectfully resign the line in which I 
have so long endeavoured to serve them, and join my regi- 
ment, a poorer man than when I left it, nearly twenty years 

^ It is in no bitter spirit I write this ; these are simply 
the feelings of an honourable man willing to do his duty 
80 long as be can do so without dishonour, but not gro- 

1842 HALF-WAY NO WAY. 267 

veiling enough to submit to the least degree of disgrace. As 
such you have long known me, my dear friend, and ever shall 
know me while I live. 

* I might have hesitated, probably, so strenuously to urge 
an immediate advance on Cabool, tiow the Shah is removed^ 
had we not been fully equal to the task but being ao, and 
having been at the cost of throwing the troops into A^han- 
istan, why now stop half-way ? ' 

Fifteen days later, he transmitted intelligence to General 
Nott, which appeared to warrant the assumption that if he 
and General Pollock could advance that season on Elabul, 
they would carry everything before them. Stating his own 
opinion that Lord Ellenborough's orders of April 19 were 
based on the supposition that Nott's actual strength was 
insufficient to carry out the objects in view, and that the 
advanced positions of Kandahar and Kal4tp-i-Ghilzai would 
be untenable in winter, he dwelt upon his Lordship's evident 
intention to recommence active operations at a later period, 
when reinforced from England. *I still hope,' he con- 
tinued, Hhat late fiivourable events in A^hanistan • • • 
may induce Lord £. to allow you to exercise your own discre- 
tion as to whether or not to prosecute the campaign at once, 
or to hold on your present positions.' Then, after discussing 
the present and prospective means of carriage for the army, 
and stating in detail the number of camels and bullocks avail- 
able, or likely to be available, for possible movements, he 
thus referred to home intelligence which had recently 
arrived by the Overland : — 

* This does not look as if the instructions Lord Ellen- 
borough received by this Mail would authorise backing out 
of the scrape we have got into ; and I have every hope we 
shall soon see the consequences of the home advice in new 
instructions from his Lordship of a more wholesome tenor 

268 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

than those of the 19th nit. I leave this on the 1st proximo, 
and expect to be at Quetta on the 10th, where I shall be 
ready to receive, and most willing to execute, your com- 

Accordingly, on the night of June 1, installing Lieu- 
tenant Brown in his own vacated post at Sakhar, he left 
that place to repeat the old, dreary, and perilous journey to 
the Passes beyond the desert. The frontier posts of Ehan- 
garh, Chatar, and Sibi were taken on the way, and sub- 
jected to. minute inspection. Reaching DiUiar on or about 
the 8th, he was delayed there two days, to enable him to 
move rapidly through the Bolan, and on the night of the 
.1 1th he was again at Kwatta. Here Outram remained until 
the end of September, to play, as he had done elsewhere, an 
active and important part in the drama then engaging the 
attention of our statesmen at home and in India — ^and, be it 
added, to contribute materially towards its happy d&noue- 
ment But his personal action, while patent to the world 
about him, was unrecognised where it should have been 
rewarded : in some cases it was misrepresented, and, as we 
shall have to show, an incident of zeal on his part was mag- 
nified into deliberate error. At first there were, amid the 
thunder-clouds, gleams of sunshine and other signs of fiedr 
weather. Notwithstanding the little consideration evinced 
towards their political agent in the matter of subordinating 
his work to military control, and the doubtful courtesy of 
the curt replies to his references, the authorities in Calcutta 
were occasionally pleased to throw out expressions of appro- 
bation at a devotion out of the common order. * His Lord- 
ship wrote to you,' are Captain Durand's words, in a letter 
of May 21, replying to Outram's of the 10th idem, already 
reproduced m eoctensOy * upon the subject of your moving up 
to Quetta prior to the receipt of your request for permission 

l84) THE DESPATCH OF MAY 22. 269^ 

to go there ; and with the hope that it might be done with- 
out too great a risk on your part of health and safety. His 
Lordship anticipated that neither of these considerations 
would by yourself be allowed to weigh against a call for your 
services where deemed most necessary; but still, he fully 
appreciates the readiness with which you willingly incur such 
risks in the execution of your duty.' Again, on learning of 
his later movements, the private secretary was instructed to 
forward to him the Governor-General's approval. 'I am 
directed • • • to inform you that his Lordship highly appre- 
ciates the public zeal you have manifested in the perform- 
ance of your duty at much personal risk, by proceeding at 
this season to Quetta, where your exertions are especially 
required in aid of Major-General Nott's army.' Between five 
and six weeks later, came the merest scrap of a note written 
by Lord EUenborough himself, in which was the following 
passage : — ^ I am much gratified by the accounts received 
firom you to-day of the extent of carriage now at Major- 
General Nott's disposal, and of the &cility with which you 
think it can be immediately increased. It is essential that 
the Major-General's army should have furnished to it ample 
means of moving in any direction ; and I indulge the hope 
that, through your zealous and able exertions, this has now 
been done,' 

Perhaps, however, the highest as the most substantial 
testimony to the value set upon his services by the Lidian 
Government would have been the despatch of May 22, had 
its provisions ever been carried into effect. This paper was 
a remarkable one in its way, pr^piiant with matter, and withal 
brief and busines&-like. It opened with a quasi-lament over 
a system which admitted the employment, in countries 
to the north of India, new to our intervention, of a number 
of British officers equal to that of the salaried efifwployis in 
H. M. diplomatic service throughout Europe. It expressed 

270 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

the Governor-General's intention to reduce this overgrown 
institution to within reasonable limits, and sketched out 
an administrative staff for the Lower Indus, consisting of 
an envoy, with private secretary, and three secretaries of 
legation, besides whom, and a commandant of escort, no 
European officers would be required. It gave the envoy 
power to nominate and remove any and every member of 
his establishment, and to leave their distribution and dis- 
posal under his absolute control. It touched upon the deli- 
cate question of individual fitness, for the service contemplated, 
of certain European officers then in Sind or Baluchistan* 
Finally, Outram was requested at once to prepare nominal 
lists of natives whom he would propose to employ, together 
with a note of the duties to be entrusted, and salaries to 
be awarded, to each ; and, as a climax to the whole project, 
the last of the twenty paragraphs in the despatch informed 
him that he himself was to be the Envoy. Thiis was it 
worded : ^ It is necessary for me to acquaint you that, on the 
formation of the reformed establishment, it is the intention 
of the Governor-General to bestow upon you the appoint- 
ment of Envoy, his Lordship being perfectly satisfied with 
the zeal and ability you manifest in the discharge of your 

But the promise here held out was not fulfilled ; and, as 
we have already led the reader to infer, Outram never was 
the Envoy. He replied with sufficient fulness to the requi- 
sition made, to elicit an expression of the Governor-General's 
pleasure, in finding that his ^ zealous attention ' had been 
given to the subject ; but there the matter dropped. Only 
he was desired, without waiting his Lordship's final orders, 
to adopt ^ every practicable means of economy' to reduce 
the expense of the offices under his supervision, an object 
to which it will be remembered he had already turned his 
thoughts with substantial result. 

i84a THE KHAN OF KALAT. 271 

Had the situation been more fitvonrable to the work re- 
quired, he would have fulfilled these Government behests 
both readily and completely. But he had other and more 
urgent work to attend to, in the interests of the same 
Government in Kal6t, and to these he gave his first spare 
hours* In this instance, his views were, unfortunately, not 
those of the Governor-General. Again, had there been no 
Kabul disaster to repair, and had our troops nevet penetrated 
the passes of the Bolan or Khaibar, Outram would have found 
ample occupation of his time in putting on a sound basis 
British relations with Sind and Baluchistan. In neither 
country had our interference produced a result on which the 
nation, in or out of Parliament, could be heartily congratu- 
lated : and where justice has been once superseded by ex- 
pediency, it is not always easy to prove satisfiustorily, to 
comparative strangers, that the act is a mere exception to 
the rule. As it happened, the exigencies of the moment 
made Afghanistan a primary consideration ; but Baluchistaii, 
represented by Kal&t, was not to be shelved or set aside ; for, 
even in connection with the larger State, it had a special 
political value.- To Sind we shall have to revert a little 

During his stay at IMular, in the winter of 1841-42, a 
period to which we have already referred, Outram's hands 
were indeed full. Had it been possible, he would then have 
gladly devoted himself exclusively to secure to Kal&t a good 
government, and to enhance generally the influence of its 
Khan. But the urgent nature of his exceptional dutieS on 
the occurrence of the crisis in Kabul, and for many months 
afterwards, not only forbade the concentration of his energies 
on any isolated measure of diplomacy, but took him away for 
a time from the side of his Brahdi proUgi. Thus, in March 
1842, under the pressure of circumstances, the young chief 
had been deprived of his two best friends and supporters. 

272 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842 

Colonel Stacy — ^rejoining his regiment to accompany Briga- 
dier Greneral England up the Pass, and share in the reverse 
as well as after-success at Haikalzai — had been replaced, 
in attendance on the Khan, by Captain Pontardent, of the 
Bombay artillery. Just three days later, Outram himself 
left D4dar for Sakhar, whither, for the time, he was to shift 
his head-quarters. But the political [agent would allow 
neither locality, nor the pressure of internal politics, to 
draw off his attention wholly from his double charge, or 
lessen his responsibility a whit in the conduct of our rela- 
tions with Kal&t or Sind.. His correspondence with the 
new agent at the former place was continuous and com- 
prehensive. Among the topics discussed in it, none had a 
greater importance than the ownership of the Shil district, 
better known to us under the more popular name of Kwatta, 
its principal town. 

Early in May, from the fiimace of his summer quarters 
at the Sakhar residency, Outram put before the Governor- 
General his proposal — since virtually adopted by Lord 
Dalhousie and his successors — to substitute pecimiary for 
military help to the Khan of KaUlt, upon the withdrawal 
of British troops from Kandahar. To this end, he recom- 
mended that a lakh and a half of rupees (15,000{.), the sum 
originally suggested by Captain French, be given^-ostensibly, 
and in some sense practically — ^in commutation for tolls as 
well as remuneration for protection of merchandise. At the 
same time, he enclosed extracts from demi-official letters 
which he had addressed to Mr. Colvin in the beginning of the 
year, on the policy to be pursued with the Kal6t State in the 
contingency that had now arisen, viz., our impending with- 
drawal from Afghanistan. As the writer was informed, in 
reply, that his correspondence, when embracing matter of a 
political nature, should be submitted through Major-General 
Nott, disposal of the reference became an affair of considerable 


duration. Two despatches on the subject were transmitted 
to the General. A fortnight after, he wrote this * demi-oflScial ' 
to Mr. Maddock : — 

* General Nott merely acknowledges the receipt of my 
various letters relating to Kelat, but gives me no instructions 
whatever, or any intimation of what are his views. Neither 
does he appear into to intend to enter any consideration of 
the subject ; for in a private letter to Lieutenant Hammersley 
he thus expresses his opinion : ** When the Government gave 
me political authority, it could only have been intended the 
power of putting my veto on what I may deem injurious ; it 
could not have been meant that I should interfere with details. 
The charge of an army of 25,000 men is quite enough.** See- 
ing that I can look to no instructions from the General re- 
garding the settlement of Kelat, and considering that our 
future quiet in Sind depends so much on a wise permanent 
arrangement with the chiefs of Baluchistan before we leave 
this country, I shall be obliged again to solicit his Lordship's 
consideration to the subject. ... As I have been directed 
to address Government only through General Nott, oflBci- 
ally, I must trouble you in a demi-official form, so soon 
as I receive a reply to a reference I have made to Captain 

But between the date of his second despatch to General 
Nott, and this letter to Mr. Maddock, he had written to the 
former officer asking for sanction to make over to Kal^t the 
districts of Shil and Sibi, in the spirit of Lord Auckland's 
intimation that it might be good policy if the Khan were 
* made to feel our disposition to give to him and his tribes 
this accession of power and of territory so soon as our diffi- 
culties in Afghanistan should be brought to a close.' The 
young Khan had behaved loyally towards us throughout a 

VOL. I. T 

274 JAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

period of disquiet and disturbance. Even on the very day 
that the assistant political agent at Kwatta heard of General 
England's reverse at Haikalzai, that officer reported well of 
Nasir Khan's fidelity. ' The Khan is staunch to us,' he then 
wrote, *but would like a Barukzai at Kandahar.' There 
were other reasons why Lord Auckland's views of a fitting 
reward to Kal4t should be acted on in anticipation of the 
winding-up of oiur relations with A%hani8tan. To Outram's 
mind, the aspect of affairs in his neighbourhood gave an 
urgency to the case which brooked neither delay nor circum- 
locution. We quote from two paragraphs of his letter to the 
Alajor-General : — 

* It appears to me that by now placing the territories in 
question in the Khan's hands, he will be enabled to secure their 
possession before the withdrawal of our troops, which, if delayed 
till that event, he might be unable to effect ; and as I can see 
no advantage to us from holding them (further than merely 
continuing their general control as at present but on his be- 
half), I think that in fairness to the Khan we should now make 
them over, and during the remainder of our stay assist him in 
establishing government. 

* Should any treaty be entered into with any of the Afghan 
powers, I beg to suggest that the cession of Shdl and Sibi be 
formally stipulated ; otherwise, the Khan being in possession 
oif those districts will be a plea for the Afghans making war 
on him, whom we are bound by treaty to protect against 
foreign enemies. Although the late Khan of Kelat was not 
possessed of Sibi at the time we took possession of the 
Khanate — and that district, though once in his possession, 
had generally continued an appendage to Kandahar — still, as 
the high road of the Afghans into Kachi (which the fortress 
of Sibi commands), as well as being a check on the hill tribes, 
nnd as a natural fortress of Kachi, I would most strongly 


-i842 SHORT, BUT 'IN EXTENSO: 27$ 

recommend that it be not given up to the Dixrranis on any 
consideration. . . .' 

How the general regarded the acknowledgment of his 
political suzerainty, expressed by the submission to him of 
the political agent's proposals, may be gathered from his 
already quoted letter to Lieutenant Hammersley ; but perhaps 
the following full text of his reply to two out of the three 
references on the Sh6,l and Sibi transfer will not be bad pre- 
sumptive evidence : — 

* Kandahar, Jane 2S. 

* My dear Sir, — I have the pleasure to acknowledge the 
receipt of your letters as per margin. 

* (Signed; W. NoTT, Major-General.' 


At this particular juncture, there were dangerous intriguers 
moving about the State of Kal4t. One Muhammad Sadik, a 
leader of Afghans hostile to Shah Shiga's cause, was seeking to 
bring about a coalition of Brahuia against the British power ; 
and one Muhammad Sharif, who had fled from British custody 
at Sakhar, was supposed to be plotting with similar intent, 
using Muhammad Sadik as his instrument. Outram would 
have rejoiced in receiving renewed sanction to strengthen the 
Anglo^Brahui alliance, and so defeat the machinations of its 
opponents, by an act of such palpable friendliness as restoring 
a whole district to the Khan's territorial possessions. But 
the unwillingness of the Calcutta magnates to take so decisive 
a step was a diflBculty not easily to be removed without a 
bold stroke of individual responsibility. Time was precious ; 
opportunities once missed might never occur again. There 
was no veto against carrying out Lord Auckland's expressed 
vrishes referred to by Outram. , The latter, reasoning from 
experience that he was right, and risking the rest, took upon 

T 2 

276 yAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

himself to do that for which he had vainly asked sanction, 
and to which sanction, if withheld, had not been refused* He 
cut the Gordian knot by making over Sh&l to the Khan, 
acquainting the Supreme Government with the circumstance, 
and soliciting authority to dispose in like manner of the dis- 
trict of Sibi. 

As an independent exercise of judgment, the accomplished 
fact was coldly accepted and curtly noticed by Lord Ellen- 
borough and Major-General Nott. Neither censure noi: 
approval of the policy followed were vouchsafed in either 
case. In the letter addressed to Major Outram on the 
occasion from the Governor-General's head-quarters at 
Allahabad, we read that * it may have been expedient to trans- 
fer Sh4l to the Khan of Kelat at that particular time, if it 
were determined that it should ultimately belong to him ' ; 
while the communication from Kandahar, acknowledging the 
report, * with pleasure,' and adding, * I daresay the Govern- 
ment will approve of your proceedings regarding Shal,' qualifies 
the courtesy so evinced by the words immediately following : 
— ' but it was my wish to retain Quetta until my army en- 
camped there ; this would have been convenient. I regret 
you did not wait for my orders.' Fortunately, Outram could 
inform the General that the transfer would in no way inter- 
fere with his-^rrangements ; for that our military occupation 
of the town would remain as before, and the resources of the 
district were at his disposal. More trouble, however, was 
involved in disposal of the question at Allahabad. 

The despatch of the Supreme Government did not confine 
itself to the abstract feet of the transfer effected under Lord 
Auckland's implied sanction. It dealt with certain collateral 
circumstances. Outram, in excess of zeal for the interests of 
the State, having had recourse to a diplomacy foreign to his 
nature, had laid himself open to a charge of error ; and the 
action thus taken, though not even noticed by his immediate 


superior at Kandahar, was commented upon by the Governor- 
General in a manner which could not but wound him 
grievously. Not a word of objection to his proposal had been 
communicated by Government; so that when the General 
declared himself unwilling to interfere in political matters, he 
interpreted his position to be that of a responsible oflBcer, 
virtually authorised to act on the responsibility vested in him. 
In this view he had addressed the Khan to the effect that he 
Jiad received authority to make over the district to his 
Highness, as though * a reply on the subject had just been 
received.' We quote from Outram's own letter, in which he 
certainly did not make the best of his case, but reported the 
occurrence against himself with the most ingenuous frankness 
and persuasion of rectitude. And he further aggravated his 
imputed offence by laying before Government a copy of his 
leftter to Captain Pontardent, instructing that oflScer to 
explain to the Khan that the political agent had come to 
Kwatta mainly with the object of carrying out the transfer 
aforesaid — a statement strictly in accordance with the an- 
nouncement contained in his letter to Captain Durand of 
May 10, already quoted. In the last-noted communication 
the two main objects of his projected move to Kwatta were 
specified — viz., to facilitate the retreat of the army down the 
passes, and to * carry into effect the necessary arrangements 
of our future relations with the Khanate of Kelat, prior to 
the abandonment of the upper countries, on the subject of 
which I addressed Mr. Maddock officially on the 7th inst.' 
The restoration of Sh&l, in accordance with Lord Auckland's 
unrepealed instructions, was unquestionably the most im- 
portant of these necessary arrangements, and, of the two 
objects, the settlement of Kal&t affairs was that which most 
called for the presence of the political agent in person. 

The term * error ' has been applied to Outram's procedure : 
but assuredly it was something more than the desire to 

278 JAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

dispeuse even-handed justice which prompted a rebuke such 
as this : — 

* The Q-ovemor-General will not now consider to what 
extent, if at all, and under what circumstances, if any, it may 
be justifiable to resort to fiction in political transactions, but 
his Lordship must observe that to resort to fiction in com- 
munications to a native chief, without the shadow of justifying 
necessity, if any such there can be, is conduct inconsistent 
with the character which he desires the diplomacy of India 
to maintain, and calculated to shake the confidence of the 
Government in the fidelity of the communications it may 
receive from its own officers. 

* The Q-ovemor-Q-eneral trusts that he shall never again 
have occasion to remark upon similar conduct, which he has 
witnessed ¥dth the greater regret on the part of an officer so 
able and so zealous in the performance of public duty as you 
have heretofore shown yourself to be.' 

Outram's reply was respectful and dignified. We quote 
from the concluding paragraphs of an important public de- 
spatch which introduces the personal exoneration, as it were, 
incidentally : — 

* In conclusion, I beg to be allowed to express my regret 
that my measures should have caused the severe displeasure 
of Government, and with the utmost deference to declare 
that throughout my public career no measure of political 
expediency, however urgent, has ever in my mind warranted 
a wilful departure from, or perversion of, the truth, such 
as I understand to be imputed to me in the despatch 
alluded to. 

* In the enclosures to my despatch to your address . . . 
I intimated the necessity for making over Shdl and Sibi to 
Kelat before evacuating Baluchistan — a measure, the prospect 

-1842 APOLOGY FOR ZEAL. 279 

of which the late Governor-General had authorised me to 
hold out to the Khan. In your reply ... no objection was 
made to that proposition, but I was directed to communicate 
in all matters relating to Kelat through Major-General Nott. 
It never occurred tome, consequently, that any objection was 
intended to the transfer of Sh4l, which I naturally considered 
one of the most important measures to be carried into eflfect 
previous to our ¥rithdrawal from Baluchistan, and a part of the 
final political settlement with the Kelat State . . . the 
principal object of my being sent up to Quetta, as a matter of 
course — although to aid General Nott to withdraw the troops 
was certainly specified, and was considered by me as a con- 
sequent duty. 

* • . . Your despatch . . . adverts to there not having been 
" the shadow of a necessity " for the communication to the 
chief of what is designated " a fiction " — I had declared in 
. . . my letter on which you thus animadvert, that the 
necessity was extreme, in the following words which I beg 
leave to quote, to save the trouble of reference : " I hope the 
measures I have had recourse to, ¥rith a view to counteract 
such designs — which, if successful, would have thrown Baluch- 
istan into a flame, and involved a war with the Brahuis — will 
be approved by his Lordship, and have the desired eflfect." 

* Under this explanation, I sincerely and earnestly hope 
that I may be exonerated in his Lordship's mind firom the sup- 
position that I could wilfully pervert truth under any circum- 
stances ; and at the same time I submissively claim for any 
errors of judgment which I may inadvertently commit, such 
indulgent consideration as his Lordship may deem just to an 
individual situated as I here am, ¥dth no instructions or pre- 
cedents to guide me ; . . . harassed in body and mind by 
my incessant endeavours to forward the public service ; kept 
in ignorance of the measures intended by the authorities at 
Kandahar, which I am expected to forward ; and surrounded 

28o JAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

by a fanatidal and treacherous people whom I have to pre- 
serve in good faith, although naturally opposed to us by 
religion, and by awe of our enemies their neighbours — 
besides being goaded by recent recollections of the many hard- 
ships they have suffered at our hands, such as spoliation of their 
territory, sacking of their capital, and slaughter of their Khan 
and principal chiefs. In successfully working as I have been 
under these disadvantages to effect ahnost impossibihties, 
and at the sacrifice of health and every reasonable comfort, 
I had hoped to earn the approbation of his Lordship's 
Government ; but although so bitterly disappointed, I shall 
not relax in the slightest degree my endeavour to forward the 
public interests.' 

We have purposely dwelt upon an imgracious passage in 
the high and honourable career under review, hitherto little 
discussed, because it relates to a charge which, in the heat 
of much-to-be-deplored after controversy, was the severest 
that could be revived against James Outram ; and because 
the rude form of its expression so affected his sensitive 
temperament that, were we to slur over the incident or 
leave it wholly unnoticed, our biography would be unwar- 
rantably incomplete.* 

* Mr. Lushiogton, an advocate of Lord EllenborongVs policy, in A Great 
Countrt/a Little Wars, thus speaks of the restoration of ShU : * The portion of 
his dominions taken from him (the Khan of Kelat) has since been restored by 
Lord Ellenbo rough. It is worth observing that to this single act of justice we 
may attribute the subseqaent tranquillity of the country .* Further on, he allades 
to this measnre as ' almost the only spot upon which the eye can dwell with 
pleasure, in the dark hibtory of our four years* supremacy beyond the Indus.* 

Palmam qui meruit ferat / How can we doubt that this act of justice, and 
the efforts of Outram and his assistants in 1841-2, paved the way for a better 
understanding with the Baluchis in later years, the full fruit of which has 
been seen in our operations of 1878-9. When Dr. Stocks travelled through 
these regions in 1850, he found the name of Outram still honoured above aU 
others in Baluchistan. He transmitted to him a letter from one Kurd chief, 
old Allah Dinah, of Merv, with a postscript ih)m another, in which the former 
offers * to be always ready, as in 1842, to perform any service that may be re- 


Not many hours after despatch of his letter reporting the 
cession of Sh^, Outram was present at the capture of 
Muhammad Sharif, eflFected by Lieutenant Hammersley in 
command of a party of Puna horse. He explains with charac- 
teristic modesty and consistent self-denial, that he had him- 
self accompanied his political assistant merely to afford the 
weight of his * authority for any ulterior measures that 
might have been necessary.' 

Though General Nott must have received his famous 
permission to withdraw via Kabul on July 20, Outram 
could only thus write on August 1 to Mr. Willoughby : * Not 
being honoured with his Lordship's confidence regarding 
what is to be done by General Nott, and the General having 
bound Bawlinson to the strictest secrecy, he is unable tp 
inform me ; I can but give you, therefore, such insight into 
what is intended, as I glean from officers of the camp who 
have correspondents at Kandahar. This, it appears, is 
decided : i.e. that General Nott takes the bulk of his army 
northward, and General England brings the remainder this 

We need not linger over the events of that memorable 
month of August, diuring which Generals Nott and England 
moved out of Kandahar, the one in the direction of Kabul, 
the other in that of Kwatta ; or of the still more memorable 
month of September, when Ghazni was deprived of the 
Somn&t gates, and Generals Nott and Pollock entered 
Kabul from diflferent sides, triumphantly to reassert the 
power of British India. Throughout the two months named, 
Outram was at his post, ever active and busy, striving to 

qaired of him ; * while his comrade, Sjnd Wais Shah, of Mastuiuc, ' desires re- 
memhrances of former passages and adventores of the road/ adding that ' many 
others, be they of greater or lesser note, hold yet good memory of Ontram Sahib.* 
Allah Dinah told Dr. Stocks that he was ready at Outram's call, with his whole 
clan, to open the Bolan and act according to orders. 

282 JAMES OUTRAM, 1841- 

fulfil the instructions, while conscious of the unjust dis- 
pleasure of the Supreme Government; marvellously successful 
in counteracting the opposition, and obtaining the support 
of those among whom he was placed ; and finally securing, 
in despite of many and serious obstacles, the practically safe 
and imobstructed passage through the Kohjak to Kwatta of 
General England's troops on their way back to Sind and 
India, the * impedimenta' of the column being carried on 
Brahui camels. Constant mental worry, and the distress 
naturally caused by the death of his assistant. Lieutenant 
Hammersley, at whose bedside he had watched for several 
nights, brought on an affection of the brain, which might 
have terminated fatally in the case of a man of less sea- 
soned strength, and which compelled him, hardy as he was, 
to employ Captain Bichardson as a temporary amanuensis. 
But his energy and fine spirit carried him safely through 
the crisis. 

A letter to his old friend Mr. Bax gives a graphic view 
of what was really a most critical act in the drama then in 
progress. Its date is September 6. Elsewhere he speaks of 
his illness as having * speedily brought him to the brink of 
the grave ' : — 

We have weathered a storm, which had long been brewing in 
this quarter — fomented by the Ameers' agents from Scinde, and 
Mahomed Sadeeq and Saloo Khan, rebel Affghan leaders, all of 
whom were striving to cause the Brahoes to rise — ^the former, with 
a view to occupy us above the passes, while they should disturb 
the small force in Sdnde, the latter that the Candahar troops 
should be unable to detach towards Cabool. All these schemes 
were thwarted, however, by various precautions and counter- 
workings, and by the capture of the principal mover, Mahomed 
Sherif — a Syud who escaped from confinement at Sukkur (two days 
after I left that station to come here), at the instigation of the 
Ameers' minister, who deputed him to embroil the Brahoes with us. 
I * chuppaoed ' (surprised) him in the midst of the Kakur tribes, 

-1 842 LETTER TO MR. BAX, 283 

whom he had enrolled for the purpose of bringing against us here, 
simultaneously with certain disaffected tribes of Brahoes (who had 
been sucoeesfdUy tampered with), and the Affghan rebels. This 
averted the first convulsion ; but a second nearly followed when it 
became known that Candahar was evacuated, and that only a 
very small force was to return this way, having no Europeans in 
its composition, and scarcely any artillery, and no cavalry, the 
main body of the forces being taken on by (General Nott to Oabool. 
This caused the mischief-brewers again to bestir themselves in the 
endeavour to seduce the Brahoes to join in opposing Greneral Eng- 
land in the Kojuck, and to close the Bolan Pass. Suffice it to say 
that in this again they were foiled, and not only have the Brahoes 
continued £edthful, but they will also fulfil their pledges to supply 
our forces with the requisite carriage cattle (6,000 camels), for 
which we are dependent on them, General Nott having taken 
almost every beast of burden with him. The very delicate opera- 
tion of passing the troops down the Bolan, when having the appear- 
ance of a retreat, will, consequently, be effected without opposition, 
I trust, and with the aid, moreover, of the very tribes whom it was 
scarcely but fair to expect, urider such circumstcmces, would at IcSast 
do all in their power to discompose us, if not openly turning against 
us. . . . 

From the above you will observe that I have incurred his 
Lordship's displeasure, and that I have been ill. The first was 
caused by my taking on m3^self to restore the province of 
Shawl to Kelat, after in vain seeking instructions for two 
months (having stated that its immediate restoration was essen- 
tial to preserve the Brahoes faithful) — which restoration had 
previously been pledged by Lord Aucklcmd! ! Notwithstanding 
which, and our treaty with the Khan of Kelat, Lord EUenborough 
was for leaving him and the A£^haiis to scramble for what 
we ourselves had robbed Kelat of in the first instance I My 
having taken this ... on my own responsibility, caused the 
extreme wrath of his Lordship. ... So much for my own affiiirs 
— Oh ! by the bye, I forgot the allusion to my late illness; it was a 
sei'ious bout of brain fever, of which I thought little, and the doc- 
tors thought serious. Now to turn to the satisfactory fact 
that our troops are on the march (though at the eleventh hour, 
and doing what ought to have been done two months ago) to Ghizni 
and Kabul.' 

284 JAMES OUTRAM. 1841 • 

To his mother he wrote cheerily at the same time : — 

' We are about to withdraw to Sakkhar, and then we shall 
haye 10,000 men, which insures the peaceful management of our 
affairs in Sind, and all will be satis&ctorily settled by the end of 
the year. In the course of this numth we move down into the 
plains, and by about the middle of next^ not a British soldier will 
be cm this side of Sukkhar. In the intended new arrangements, I 
am to be styled Envoy, with Secretaries of Legation, Ac. — higher 
titles than Political Agent and Assistants — but I do not expect any 
increase of salary. The duties of my new a{^intment will be quite 
a sinecure compared to what it was heretofore, when I had per- 
sonally to traverse all Sind and Baluchistan with fifteen Assistants 
scattered over the country. . . . Everything is quiet within my 
chai^ ; and I am enabled, without difficulty, to furnish the means 
of moving our troops from the people of the country, which is 
satiB&ctory, considering how strenuously it has been the endeavour 
of our enemies to turn the Brahms against us for some time past, 
and how much their people had suffered at our hands until their 
Khan submitted a year ago.' 

On or about October 1, he bade fiurewell to Kwatta. 
Before leaving, he despatched one of his last letters to his 
esteemed friend and trusted adviser, Colonel John Sutherland. 
In this he * poured out his vexations * on public and private 
matters, and entered into a long account of the ungenerous 
treatment which he had experienced at the hands of the 
Supreme Government. And it was unjust as well as 
ungenerous; but the climax had not yet been attained. 
Another injury was to be inflicted, the cause of which can 
only be traced, on the one hand, to that secret pernicious 
influence which affects an Indian pro-consul as well as a 
European Court, and, on the other, to the infatuation 
yielding to that influence. He thus unburdened himself to 
his confidant : — 

* Human nature could hardly be tried beyond what I 
have had to endure during the past few months. The disgrace 


of our Cabul disasters ; the bare thought of the possibility 
of the more disgraceful abandonment of our honour and of 
our imprisoned countrymen, which was contemplated; the 
anxiety regarding my own Mahomedan charge ; all this of a 
public nature have I had to endure — which, however, could be 
compensated by the retrieval of the honour of our army, in- 
sured by the order to march on Cabul, although issued at the 
eleventh hour, were it not for anxiety regarding the prisoners 
who wyw are jeopardised, but would not have been so had we 
advanced, as we could have done and should have done, two 
months earlier. Now for my private vexations. I complain 
not of military supersession, because where warfare is likely 
to occur, the responsibility should never be divided, and of 
course should rest on the military commander ; I complain 
not of being bandied like a racket-baU, up and down this 
abominable pass, because it is my duty to go wherever it is 
thought I am most required ; but I do complain of the 
lackey style in which I am treated by the Governor-General; 
of the bitter reproof he so lavishly bestows on me when he 
thinks me wrong, and I know I am right ; of the withering 
neglect with which he treats the devoted services of those in 
my department ; of the imjust sacrifice of one of my most 
deserving assistants ; of the imceremonious dismissal of five 
others without any communication to myself whatever on the 
subject. Such treatment (caused solely by his Lordship's 
vexation at my advocacy of the advance on Cabul and poor 
Hammersley's cause) would have goaded many men to mad- 
ness ; but I verily believe it has been the resurrection of me 
from the very jaws of death — like Marryat's middy — for, 
when in extreme danger the other day (brought on, by the 
bye, by attendance on the death-bed of poor Hammersley, 
whose death the medical men declare was accelerated, if not 
positively caused, by the treatment he received), the most 
insulting letter I ever received in my life . . . arrived ; my 

286 JAMES OUTRAM, 1841- 

eager desire to reply to which gave a fillip to my system from 
which I benefited at any rate.' 

Accompanying General England through the only part 
of the Bolan Pass where molestation was considered likely, 
and himself aiding to flank the heights at the head of 
Brahui auxiliaries, he pushed on alone to D4dar. Here he 
prepared his long report of the evacuation of Baluchistan, 
and of the services rendered by himself and the officers 
imder his orders during the critical period through which 
they had lately passed. At the expiration of three days, he 
rode rapidly into Sakhar. There were reasons for this- 
speed, independently of political requirements and the 
storm-cloud overhanging the province to which he was re- 
turning. He had to report himself to a new superior officer 
— one whose acquaintance he had yet to make, and whose 
sympathy he sought to enlist, if not for himself, at least for 
those who had done good service in his department. But it 
is now time to introduce a new actor, destined to play an 
important part in the drama of which the closing scene was 
to be laid in Sind. 

In the autumn of 1841, Major-General Sir Charles 
Napier, a tried soldier of the Peninsula, and ex-governor 
of Cephalonia, then in his sixtieth year, accepted from Lord 
Hill the oflFer of a command in India. Arrived at Puna, 
after taking over his military charge, he did not restrict his 
attention to the mere neighbourhood of his place of sojourn, 
but soon turned his thoughts to the critical state of British 
relations with Afghanistan. Before long he had submitted 
to Lord EUenborough, among more general remarks, his 
opinion on the operations necessary to be undertaken for 
recovering our prestige and strengthening our position in 
that quarter. Eventually, in August 1842, he was directed 
to proceed to Sind and assume command of the troops there 


and in Baluchistan, with entire control over the political 
agents and civil officers. If the action of their chief be any 
criterion, this nomination was neither distasteful to the 
latter, nor unexpected by them. Some months prior to its 
notification, Outram, ¥dth a view to securing the presence 
of a military leader fitted by rank, experience, and energy, 
to direct the movements requisite to retrieve his country's 
reputation, had set his eye upon the old soldier as the 
wanting man for the left bank of the Indus, and sought to 
impress upon Mr. Willoughby his own conviction to that 
eflfect. * Despatch him in a steamer,' he wrote unreservedly 
to the secretary on April 14, ^ even if he has to stop at 
Sukkhar.* Eeferring again to the wished-for arrangement 
in a letter to Captain Durand of April 16, he says of the 
proposed nominee : ^ General Napier, whose character seems 
formed for such a crisis.' 

The General had been at Sakhar for about a week 
when Outram arrived there on October 12. There is every 
reason to believe that their mutual regard was as genuine 
as their first meeting was outwardly cordial. They con- 
sulted together freely and unreservedly on the more urgent 
political questions of which they had to take professional 
cognisance; and the long P4dar report was mllingly de- 
livered over to the superior officer for submission to the 
Governor-General. Especial attention was given to the 
pending negotiations with Sind, where both the Haidarabad 
and Khairpur rulers were, more or less, disposed to resist 
the demands of the British Government. It is not im- 
probable that the return of General England's troops may 
have led to the supposition that we had been compelled to 
evacuate Afghanistan, and thus encouraged them in their 
unfriendliness. Under the orders of Government, com- 
municated before his departure from Kwatla, Outram drew 
out a return of complaints against the Amirs for submission 

288 JAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

to Sir Charles Napier. Before receipt of this paper the 
General had himself commenced a memorandum of observa^ 
tions on the occupation of Sind for the Governor-General's 
information. Among many pertinent paragraphs one as- 
serted that several chiefs had neglected their treaty obliga- 
tions ; and pleaded * abundant reasons ' why, in the position 
then held by us in the country, we should take to ourselves 
Kar^hi, Sakhar, Bakhar, Shikarpur, and Sabzalkot. With 
reference to this view, Outram repeated his impression that 
the parties who had * most deeply committed themselves * 
were Mirs Kustam and Nasir Khan of Khairpur, and Mir 
Nasir Khan of Haidarabad. But the proposals involved a 
considerable amount of detail, into which it would be im- 
possible to enter. We will therefore only add, to this notice 
of them, that the * memorandimi ' was completed after 
personal communication with Outram, to whom the original 
sketch was handed for perusal. * His experience of these 
countries,' wrote Sir Charles Napier, ' his abilities, and the 
high situation in which he has been placed by the Governor- 
General, render his opinion very important.' * Since his 
arrival,' he continued, * he has given me every assistance.' 

On October 22, Outram told Mr. Willoughby : * I work 
with hearty goodwill under Sir Charles, because he works 
heartily with me, and sympathises in my degradation.' The 
term is a strong one ; but the severest blow of all had not 
then been delivered. On October 26, as we gather from a 
letter of that date again addressed to Mr. Willoughby, 
Outram had been remanded to his regiment, and the 
politica} establishment had been dissolved. Of the promised 
appointment of Envoy to the States on the Lower Indus, not 
a syllable was said. Neither by official nor semi-official com- 
munication was a word of explanation on the subject offered. 
The order bore date the 20th of the month ; and thus it 
ran : — 

-i842 SCANT WAGES. 289 

* The Grovemor-Q-eneral requests that Major-General Sir 
C. Napier will express to Major Outram and the other 
political officers, his thanks for the zeal and at)ility they 
have manifested in the collection of the means of carriage 
and supply, and in their various transactions with the native 
chiefs and tribes, tending to facilitate and secure the descent 
of the several columns of the army.' 

Such was the only recognition, such the only reward, 
ever vouchsafed to Major Outram and his hard-wrought 
assistants, so far as Lord EUenborough and the Government 
of India were concerned : and in point of fact the only 
official return Outram ever received for 'these three eventful 
years ' of exceptionally arduous and important service, was 
this curt remand to regimental duty. Nevertheless Lord 
Auckland stated in the House of Lords on February 26, 
1843 : * He took that opportunity of saying that, throughout 
these transactions, to no man in a public office was the 
public service under greater obligations than to Major 
Outram ; a more distinguished servant of the public did not 
exist, and one more eminent in a long career.' And the 
President of the Board of Control, Lord Fitzgerald, in reply, 
expressed his * cordial ' concurrence in the terms applied by 
Lord Auckland to Major Outram's services.' 

' The reasons assigned by Outram himself for Lord Ellenboroogh's dis- 
pleasure are detailed in the letter to Mr. Willoaghby of October 22. Be it 
observed that in each case he had delibercUeli/ sacrificed his own interest to 
the demands of right and public honour : — 

* My real ofifences being such as he cannot forget, i.e. my advocating poor 
Hammersle/s cause, and opposition to the disgraceful retreat (from Afghan- 
istan) once determined on ; for in the only instance in which he fancied he had 
room to find fault, he has tacitly admitted that I was in the right — at least so I 
read the acknowledgment of my letter defending the cession of 8h41, without 
comment or disapproval, which otherwise would have been expressed freely 
enough, I presume. ... As my name does not go up with his despatches, an- 
nouncing the Kabul victories, of course I shall have no share in the honours 
that will be showered. . . . But I regret nothing that has passed ; indeed you 
ar^ well aware that I fully laid my account to sufifering personally in the cause 


290 JAMES OUTRAM. 1841- 

Many personal regrets at the treatment experienced 
might be added to many personal testimonials of unrequited 
service, to prove how public opinion was shocked at this 
unexpected result of a campaign to the success of which 
Outram had so essentially contributed. But we content 
ourselves with an extract here and there from the papers 
before us. 

The late Brigadier-General John Jacob was, at this time, 
a subaltern in command of the Sind Horse. His services in 
protecting the line of march of the returning troops through 
Kachi had been handsomely acknowledged by General Eng- 
land, who had attributed to his exertions * the miraculous 
tranquillity of the country,' and who had given him charge 
of the outpost of Khangarh^now Jacobabad — with two 
companies of infantry and two guns, in addition to his own 
irregulars. * I have just received,' he wrote to Outram on 
October 27, *your letter . . . about the abolition of the 
politicals. As far as we small fry are concerned it must be 
a matter of perfect indiflference, I should think, to all ; but 
everyone must be indignant at the . . . way in which you have 
been treated. . . . Pray accept my best thanks for all your 
kindness to me. One thing you may be sure of, namely, 
that no man was ever looked on with more profound respect 
and admiration than yourself, not only by your friends, but 
the very party against you. They might as well try to put 
Qut the sun as to throw your services in the shade ! ' 

Much in the same strain is Colonel Sutherland's letter 
of October 31, in which he writes : — 

* I was . . . prepared to congratulate you on attaining 
the highest office in the department, and you may judge of the 
dismay with which I received last night the order of the 19th. 
I could not at first believe that it applied to you, and I 

of Hanmersley, months ago ; and were it all to do over again, I would not vary 
my course. I am prepared for the worst, and fully expect it.* 



cannot yet believe that it is intended to afifect you injuriously. 
... If services such as yours are not to be rewarded, 
what is to become of us who have be6n leading inglorious 
lives in tranquil India ; and if his Lordship seeks to reward 
only military services, where, in the lists of those who have 
most distinguished themselves, or raised the military 
reputation of their country, will he find anyone more deserv- 
ing than James Outram ? ' 

An address from the desks of the Sakhar agency, under 
date October 29 - among the eight signatures to which are 
those of men who did much good after-service in Sind, in 
higher and more responsible positions — was full of gratitude 
and sympathy. The language may have been a little soar- 
ing and ambitious, but there can be no doubt that its spirit 
was genuine, and that the good wishes expressed in it were 
sincere. To Outram this evidence of appreciation must have 
been gratifying ; and none the less so because it especially 
acknowledged the kind consideration he had shown for the 
personal welfare of eaeh member of his establishment in 
seemingly trivial but really significant acts.* 

On October 28, Sir Charles Napier had officially written 
his compliance with Major Outram's request to proceed, 
when convenient, to Bombay, intimating at the same time 
that a steamer had been placed at his disposal. ' I cannot 
allow you to leave this command,' he added, ^ without ex- 
pressing the high sense I entertain of your zeal and abilities 
in the public service, and the obligations I personally feel 
towards you for the great assistance which you have so 
kindly and so diligently aflforded to me ; thereby diminish- 
ing in every way the difficulties that I have to encounter as 
your successor in the political department of Sind.' 

Nor was this all that the newly arrived commander had 

' See Appendix F. 
u 2 

292 JAMES OUTRAM, 1842. 

to say of one whose single-minded usefulness and nobility of 
character had been foreshadowed to him during his short 
stay in Bombay, and personal acquaintance with whom set 
the seal of truth upon local report. We learn from the 
journals of the day that on November 5, a public dinner was 
given to Major Outram by the Military Society at Sakhar, 
oa the occasion of his departure from Sind. At this, nearly 
one hundred officers of the three Presidencies were present ; 
among them Sir Charles Napier, who, as chairman, spoke 
as follows : — 

* Gentlemen, — I have told you that there are only to be 
two toasts drunk this evening ; one, that of a lady (the 
Queen) you have already responded to, the other shall be 
for a gentleman. But before I proceed any further, I must 
tell you a story. In the fourteenth century there was in 
the French army a knight renowned for deeds of gallantry 
in war, and wisdom in council ; indeed, so deservedly famous 
was he, that by general acclamation he was called the knight 
sans peur et sans reproche. The name of this knight, you 
may all know, was the Chevalier Bayard. Gentlemen, I 
give you the " Bayard of India,* sans peur et sans reproche. 
Major James Outram, of the Bombay army." ' 

' This honourable epithet has since become permanently linked to the 
name of Outram. The fitness of the connection was quite recently referred to 
in an anniversary sermon, grandly eloquent in its simplicity, delivered by 
the Doan of Westminster to a crowded congregration in the Abbey. 



1842— 184a. 

Back in Sind again. — The Amirs and their Downfall. — ^Extracts from Joornal. — 
Deface of Haidarabad Residency. — Embarkation for England. 

If Outram's departure from Sind occasioned a spontaneous 
ebullition of personal regard on the part of his many friends 
in that province, his return to Bombay was, in every sense, 
a moral triumph. A Government letter, acknowledging his 
report of arrival, expressed the great satisfaction with which 
the Governor in Council had perused Sir Charles Napier's 
letter to his address, on taking charge of the political de- 
partment he had vacated, and further assured him of the 

* high gratification ' which the Bombay authorities had derived 

* from observing the eminent zeal and ability ' with which he 
had * discharged the important duties confided to him during 
the three past eventftil years.' And in token that these were 
not mere words of compliment, the Governor, ten days after 
his arrival, offered him conmiand of the Puna horse, an ap- 
pointment just placed at his Excellency's disposal ; stating 
his regret that there was then no post available which, in point 
of responsibility and emolxunent, would approach nearer to 
those he had already held in the Western Presidency, * with 
such distinguished advantage to the public service, previous 
to . . . joining the Commander-in-Chief, in the field.' 

But Outram was not disposed to remain in India one day 
longer than necessary, unless the State really required his 
presence. The formation of an army of reserve at Firuzpur 
had certainly made him scent possible warfare, and he had 

294 JAMES OUT RAM, 1842- 

written to Captain Durand on the subject before leaving 
Sakhar. But Lord Ellenborough's reply to his request to 
be allowed to perform in the field the military duty for which 
he had become available, received in Bombay, held out little 
prospect that his wishes would be gratified. His Lordship, 
it was set forth, would with pleasure make use of his services 
for active operations, but he trusted that there could be * no 
necessity, after return of the army firom Afghanistan, for any 
such taking place/ The Bombay appointment, honourable as 
it was, offered no temptation to him to forego his homeward 
visit after nearly twenty-four years of almost incessant work. 
So returning his grateful acknowledgments for the Governor's 
consideration, he declined the cavalry command on the plea 
of having sent in his application for a year's furlough. 

How it was that the home project was again deferred, 
and that the further aid of the superseded political agent 
was again required in Sind, imder a new designation but for 
the solution of an old question, we shall leave Outram to re- 
late presently in his own words. It so happened that he was 
invited to a public dinner organised by the conmiunity of 
Bombay for the purpose of bidding him an honourable fare- 
well, and testifying to him, on his embarkation for Europe, 
that his Indian career had been highly appreciated by his 
fellow-countrymen in the East. At this banquet all political 
and official matters were carefully eschewed; and Mr. 
Fawcett, of the house of Remington and Co., who presided 
on the occasion, being hampered by no ties or traditions 
of the covenanted service, must have been regarded as a 
thoroughly independent chairman. Among other happy 
eulogies on the guest of the evening, he said : * Well has he 
been compared by a gallant officer, in another place, to the 
knight who, above all, bore the character of being «ati« peur 
tt %an% reproche — ^the noble Bayard, the pride of chivalry, 
the glory of France ; for like him, bold in the field, wise in 
council, courteous and gentle in the chamber, wherever he 


has moved he has been admired, respected, and beloved. The 
whole coursft of his service has been so marked with distinction 
that, were I to endeavour to follow it, I should have to tres- 
pass too long on your patience. 

But the speaker was compelled to add that, contrary to 
the original object of the great gathering, their guest would 
need encouragement for renewed work rather than their good 
wishes for temporary repose. Believed from his duties, and 
about to revisit his native land, he had just re-appeared 
among them. Now, under sudden eidgency, at the call of 
the State, he had been replaced in harness : — 

' With that readiness to sacrifice all personal considerations 
which marks his character, knowing that the post of duty is 
that of honour, without hesitation he is preparing to return, 
and a few hours will see him on his route. Those who know 
him best cannot but be assured that, whatever the duties 
may be that will be entrusted to his charge, they will be ful- 
filled in a manner beneficial to the public interest, and 
honourable to himself. . . . We will not say ** FareweU,** but 
we will cheer him on his course.' 

A few days later, a similar entertainment followed at the 
club— more of the nature of an affectionate recognition of a 
comrade's merits by members of the civil and militaiy services — 
but we have no space to quote the expressions of confidence 
and esteem to which utterance was then given. Truly, the 
sunshine of social and official sympathy which the battered 
^ regimental captain ' found awaiting him when he returned, 
a snubbed and degraded man, to those who had known him 
best and longest, was well calculated to cheer the warm heart 
which had so long chafed and toiled under the mysterious 
despotism then ruling the destinies of India. It encouraged 
him as he entered on one more phase of depressing duty 
under circumstances which his own journal will best ex- 
plain : — 

296 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

* Having made every preparation for returning to England 
after twenty-four years' absence, on the first application for 
leave from my duty that I had ever made — ^ taken my passage 
in the steamer which was to sail on January 2, 1843 — written 
by the previous mail to my wife and mother to meet me in 
London (from Edinburgh) by February 10 or 12 — and in the 
belief that the Government of India had no further occasion 
for my services after the sunmiary manner in which I had 
been dismissed, on November 15, from the political control of 
Sinde and Beloochistan, without thanks or acknowledgment 
of any sort (and even without the direct communication from 
Government which courtesy, at least, would dictate towards 
a person who held one of the most responsible situations in 
India, and who had committed no error, or, at least, had been 
accused of none) — I was surprised at receiving, on December 
12, the following letter directing me to return to Sind, should 
Sir Charles Napier require me, but without expressing the 
slightest consideration for my own wishes or convenience, and 
without any reference to the Bombay Government, and its 
Commander-in-Chief, at whose disposal I had been placed. 

• ** From the Secretary to the (Government of India. 
To M%jor Outram, &c, &c. 

( {{I 

* "d/ Camp Bnddee, November 24, 1842. 

* " Sir, — Major-General Sir C. Napier having intimated a 
wish to employ you as a Commissioner for the arrangement 
of the details of a revised treaty which is to be proposed to 
the Ameers of Sinde, I am directed to inform you that the 
Governor-General will sanction any such appointment ; and 
you will hold yourself in readiness to proceed to join the 
Major-General as soon as you may receive from him the 
notification of his requiring your services. 

* " I have, &c., &c. 

' « (Signed) T. H. Maddock.' 


*The summary manner in which I had been removed 
from my late important charge, where I had been so long 
the representative of Government, and the unceremonious 
manner in which I was ordered back to serve in a subordinate 
capacity where I had previously been supreme, causecf my 
most intimate friends to advise my declining again to place 
myself at the Governor-General's disposal to the sacrifice of 
my private interests, especially considering my previous 
treatment at his Lordship's hands, and the ungracious manner 
of my recall to Sind. 

' But the principle which has ever guided me throughout 
my career of service — implicit obedience to the orders of 
Government (and when, as in this case, orders were con- 
veyed, and no option was left to me) — I had no hesitation in 
following on this occasion, and accordingly replied as follows : 
— **Sir, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter dated 24th ultimo; and to forward, for the information 
of the Bight Honourable the Governor-General of India, the 
copy of a letter I addressed in consequence to the Political 
Secretary to the Government of Bombay, with that gentle- 
man's reply, and of my letter to the Adjutant-General of the 
Bombay army, in accordance with which I purpose embark- 
ing in a steamer which proceeds to Sind to-morrow. I 
expect to arrive at Sukkur about the 30th instant. Dated 
Bombay, December 13." * 

' My departure from Bombay was delayed till December 
16, in consequence of the arrival, by the Suez mail on De- 
cember 14, of General Ventura, for whom the steamer in 
which I was to proceed to Sind was directed to be detained 
a couple of days. The only notice I received from the 
Governor-General of the devotion to Government I had thus 

' We regret that ecoDomy of space compels ns to omit the letter which 
M^or Outram drafted in his journal as expressive of what he would have 
written had he considered his * private conscience and feelings prior to public 

298 • JAMES OUT RAM, 1842- 

displayed, was the simple acknowledgment of my letter 
through his secretary.' 

Outram embarked on the date stated in the steam-firigate 
' Seyairamis,' which anchored oflf the Hujamri mouth of the 
Indus on December 21. He then shifted into the ' Euphrates,' 
one of two river-steamers towed by the larger vessel, and 
moved up the stream. On December 24, after dark, he was 
at anchor oflf the Haidarabad agency. During her upward 
course from Thatta, the Euphrates had been hailed by 
numerous boats bringing deputations from the several Amirs 
sent to welcome their old acquaintance and adviser, and 
anxious to obtain his assistance under the continually re- 
curring perplexities which met them at every new step in the 
negotiations with his countrymen and successors. To avoid 
embarrassing discussions, he had been compelled to pass 
them by on the plea of insuflficient time. At Haidarabad 
also, though he left the landing-place at an early hour in the 
morning of the 25th, he found messengers from the Amirs 
begging him to await visits from their masters ; and excused 
himself from receiving them on board much in the same 
words used to the deputations. He, however, availed himself 
of the occasion to address a letter to the darh&r^ thanking 
the chiefs for their attentions, and expressing regret at in- 
ability to attend upon their Highnesses then, with a hope 
to return soon from Sakhar, after consultation with Sir 
Charles Napier. 

The journal continues : — 

^ The information I obtained during my voyage up the 
Indus, and my previous knowledge of the chiefs of Sind, 
satisfied me that the reports of their warlike preparations 
were unfounded, probably promulgated by themselves, in the 
hope that our demands would be less stringent, if we supposed 
them in any way prepared for resistance. ... I well knew 


that they themselves were quite conscious of their inability 
to oppose our power ; that they had no serious intention 
of the sort ; and that nothing but the most extreme proceed- 
ings arid forcing them to desperation would drive them to it. 
' On my arrival at Sakhar on the night of January 3, I 
was much distressed, therefore, to learn that Sir Charles 
Napier had actually marched some days previously to depose 
Mir Bustam . . . induced thereto by the subtle acts of Mir 
Ali Murad, who, in the first place, had promulgated reports of 
the hostile intentions and preparations of the other Amirs 
. . . and led the General to address them in a strain to 
which they had not been accustomed. ... At the same time 
their fears were promoted by the misrepresentations of Ali 
Murad as to the General's real intentions towards them, he 
pretending to keep well with us ... to save them, but 
really playing his own cards to their ruin. Accordingly Sir 
Charles having written to Mir Bustam and the others to 
disperse their troops and disarm their followers . . . Ali 
Murad led Mir Bustam to believe that • . . our intention 
• • • was to seize his person and family. In that supposi- 
tion the old chief was induced to fly in one direction ; Mir 
Nasir Khan and Muhammad Husain in another ; and Mir 
Muhammad Khan to his fort in the desert, Imamgarh ; all 
these parties being represented as in hostile array. Rustam's 
party was said to number upwards of 2,000 warriors, daily 
increasing; Nasir Khan's about 8,000; and Mir Muhammad's 
fort to be garrisoned by 500 men. On the flight of Mir 
Bustam . . . the Amirs of Upper Sind were directed to 
obey Ali Murad as B&is, to whom was to be given over also 
the fourth shares of their territories, or the customary sup- 
port of the chiefship. This, in addition to the cession of 
Sakhar, Bakhar, and Bohri, and all the territory on the 
eastern side of the Indus above Bohri, which had been 
previously required by the new treaty. . . . Such was the 

300 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

state of affairs when I joined Sir Charles Napier at Diji, 
about 30 miles SE. from Sakhar, on January 4. I found the 
General preparing an expedition to proceed against Imamgarh, 
for which we marched the next night with a detachment con- 
sisting of about 350 men of H.M. 22nd regiment, mounted 
on camels, two 24-pounder howitzers of the camel battery, 
and 60 of the Sind irregular horse, and accompanied by Ali 
Murad and a few mounted followers.' 

At Diji, Outram took the opportunity of submitting to 
Sir Charles Napier his views as to what were the real objects 
of the Amirs in pursuing the shuflSing practice for which they 
had become distinguished, and especially in the intrigues 
and self-seeking of Ali Murad. The general, on his side, 
discussed with Outram the course which it seemed most 
advisable to approve for the better government of Sind in the 
future. He inclined to the belief that a single chief would 
be preferable to the oligarchy under which the province had 
groaned for so many years. Outram, while admitting the 
advantage of a powerful and undivided rule, doubted the wis- 
dom and dwelt on the injustice of subverting, impoverishing, 
and rendering hostile to ourselves the feudal chiefs as then 
acknowledged ; and had no confidence in the measures which 
Ali Murad would introduce if placed at the head of affairs. 
But let us revert to the pages of the journal : — 

* We marched from Diji at 2 A.M. on January 6. While 
riding with the advance shortly after sunrise, we met a man 
on a camel, whom I recognised as an attendant of Mir Bustam, 
and who, on seeing me, inmiediately dismounted and threw 
himself at my feet. I took him aside and asked him why his 
master had fled. ... He replied that, having heard of my 
arrival, the Amir had sent him to seek me to represent his 
miserable state, and to beg my kind offices with the General. 
Having ascertained from the man that the Mir's camp was 


situated only a few miles oflf our line of march, I went back 
to Sir Charles, told him what I had learnt, and begged to be 
permitted to go myself to Mir Bustam to communicate the 
messages of assurance which he (the General) had transmitted 
through Ali Murad previous to the Amir's flight, but which 
I was sure the latter had not honestly delivered. ... Sir 
Charles allowed me to go : I took with me Captain Brown 
A. D. C. (at his own request) and two horsemen. Having to 
pass Ali Murad as I diverged from the road, I was necessi- 
tated to inform him where I was going, and to avoid show- 
ing mistrust invited his minister to accompany me. Luckily 
there was no time to precede me with any fidse reports to 
Mir Bustam's camp; otherwise the old man would have 
again, doubtless, been scared away by representations that 
the British troops were coming to attack him, it being Ali 
Murad's object to prevent any direct communication between 
us and his victims, and to promote the belief that Mir 
Bustam was only bent on hostility. We came upon the 
^mir's camp, at the distance of about ten miles, pitched on 
an elevated spot in the midst of jungle. On our approach 
being seen the utmost consternation was observable in the 
shouting and hasty assemblage of the armed followers, while 
the chiefs themselves mounted their horses to fly on the 
supposition that we were the advance of a chujypao. My 
name being called, however, I was gratified to see confidence 
immediately restored : the chiefs dismounted and came to 
meet me, at the same time keeping back their somewhat 
excited followers. I was embraced by them all most cordi- 
ally, and taken into their principal tent, a single fly not twelve 
feet square, in which and a few wretched routies they and 
their families had been exposed during the late heavy rains. 
I was distressed to observe that Meer Boostam, who is seventy- 
two years old, looked very much older and more broken than 
when I last saw him ; he had been, and still was unwell, 

302 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

caused, doubtless, by exposure and anxiety, the evidences of 
which were plainly traceable on his benign and venerable 
countenance. The poor old chief freely disclosed, in the 
presence of Ali Murad's own minister, how basely he had been 
decei^d ; how he had been driven bj^ his brother (Ali Murad) 
to fly in dread of seizure and transportation ; further, how 
Ali Murad had pledged himself to watch over his interests 
whilst lie himself stayed with the British General. I gave 
the old man, who expressed anxiety to go in person to Sir 
Charles, every comfort that it was in my power to offer ; but 
not wishing to expose him to the heat and fatigue of the 
journey in his then weak state, I said it would suffice to 
send the eldest of the other chiefs to receive the General's 
assurance in his behalf, and recommended that he should go 
back with his family and followers to Khairpur, there to await 
in quiet and shelter our return from the expedition on which 
we were engaged — the object of which I told the chief in 
order that he might see that we had not been in pursuit of 
himself. After conversing a short time and drinking sherbet 
with the Amir, I took a cordial farewell of all the chiefs old 
and young, and proceeded to the spot fixed on for Sir Charles's 
encampment, accompanied by Mirs Ali Akbar (second son of 
Mir Rustam), and Dost Muhammad (brother of Mir Nasir 
Khan) ; we arrived at about 3 p.m. In approaching the 
General's quarters we had to pass through Ali Murad's camp, 
who seeing the chiefs with me, came forward and embraced 
them with an affected cordiality, and desired them to visit 
him on their return from the interview with Sir Charles. 
Meeting his visitors outside, the General took them into his 
tent, where we all sat together on the carpet in the absence 
of chairs. The chiefs delivered their message, setting forth 
that Mir Rustam Khan had previously signified his ac- 
quiescence to the new treaty, and was ready to sign it, and to 
submit to any condition that might be imposed ; that he had 


tied in consequence of its having been represented that, not- 
withstanding the General's assurances, transportation was to 
be the lot of himself and family ; and more to the same effect. 
Sir Charles replied, through the Munshi, in kind words, but 
in the decided tone and terms which would be addressed to' 
European rebels. The chiefs evidently considered the mat- 
ter less than the manner, and remarked moreover, that the 
General neither referred to, or spoke to them through me, 
which was farther calculated to weaken their confidence. I 
endeavoured to remove this impression by suggesting to Sir 
Charles, after he had finished, to proflFer them his hand, with 
a view to show his sincerity ; and this he very readily did. 
Before returning to Mir Kustam the chiefs unfortunately went 
to Ali Murad, who had a long conference and secret interview 
with them — which ended, I was afterwards grieved to learn, 
in buying them over to his interests against those of their 
own father. They saw Ali Murad's power established, and 
that of Mir Bustam gone, and the ingrates gladly secured 
to themselves the pledge of the continuance of their own 
possessions, with an increase thereto from the rising sun: 
consequently (as I have to-day ascertained through a spy I 
sent into Kustam's camp for the purpose of watching pro- 
ceedings) so far from giving any confidence to the poor old 
Mir, his scheming deputies described the angry tone of the 
General, and conveyed only, as his orders, that they were all 
to proceed with their families to the fort of Diji, and there 
remain under Ali Murad's protection. They also dwelt on the 
obviously little influence I had with the General, and argued, 
therefore, that no dependence could be placed on my doing 
anything for them. Thus was effected Ali Murad's object 
in preventing the return of Mir Rustam to his own home at 
• Khairpur . . . where it had been appointed that all parties 
were to meet me for the arrangement of the details of the 
treaty and settlement of all differences. . . . He sought to 

304 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842^ 

drive the other Amirs to commit themselves either by acts of 
aggression, or by keeping " out,*' so as to induce the General 
to confiscate their lands and make them over to him — the 
rapacious man not being content with the whole power, and 
upwards of half of their remaining possessions which had al- 
ready been assigned to him. 

* I represented this to Sir Charles, and suggested — with a 
view to convince Ali Murad that he would gain nothing more 
by persecuting his brethren further, and that, therefore, his 
best policy would now be to obtain for himself the merit of 
appearing a mediator in their behalf — that it should be dis- 
tinctly intimated to that chief that, should the other Amirs 
drive the British Government to confiscate their estates, they 
would not devolve on him, but be attached by the British 
Government. Sir Charles, whose kind heart always induces 
him to adopt the most humane course, readily acceded to 
this, and wrote to Ali Murad accordingly ; but unfortunately 
here, where a decided expression would have convinced that 
chief, the whole effect of the measure was annulled by the 
termination of the letter thus : — * at least I think that 
would be done,' or some expression to that purport, which, 
encouraged as Ali Murad is by the uniform kindness with 
which the General always treats him, while it gave the Amir 
an idea of our object, left him the hope of still eflfecting his 
aim. Indeed he had now the assurance to write a long letter, 
advocating the advantage of giving him the entire control of 
the property of the State, as well as its government — all 
the other Amirs and chiefs to rely on him for support. 

' These discussions occurred during oiur march to Imam- 
garh, where we arrived on January 11. Mir Muhanmiad 
Khan, who never had an idea of opposing us (as had been 
represented), of course fled on hearing of our march from 
Diji, leaving nothing in the fort but a little grain, and a 
large quantity of powder which had apparently been stored 


there for years, and which, although a very inferior stuflF, and 
caked like hard mud, came into play in blowing up the for- 
tress. This, as a stronghold to which the chiefs of Sind 
might hereafter have recourse in the event of rebellion, it 
was a good measure to destroy ; for although we had made 
good our march with a detachment of artillery, infantry, and 
horse, sufficient to take the place when it got there, it was 
very evident we might very easily have been prevented 
reaching it, by filling the few scanty cutcha wells at our 
halting places in the desert. The demolition of this fort will 
also destroy the confidence of the chiefs of both Upper and 
Lower Sind in their other desert strongholds, such as Shah- 
garh, Umarkot, and others. 

^The distance from Diji to Imamgarh measured very 
nearly eighty miles, which we had made in seven marches 
— the first three through thick jungle, and a not very bad 
road, the remaining four through an ocean of loose sand hills 
sometimes very high and steep, over which we had much 
difficulty in taking the guns (two 24-pounder howitzers of 
the camel battery). Fatigue parties of infantry were con- 
stantly required to drag these up the ascent, although some- 
times 25 camels were yoked to each besides. During the 
13th, 14th, and 15th, the detachment halted, while the 
sappers were occupied in blowing up the fort, in utterly 
destroying which all the powder found in the place (7,000 
pounds) was expended. 

* During our stay at Imamgarh a confidential Mimshi 
arrived from Mir Bustam, charged with a last appeal to the 
General (as he communicated to me verbally on the evening 
of his arrival, when too late to present him). During the 
night Ali Murad's minist-er, Ali Husain, got hold of the 
man, and bought him over to his master's interests. Next 
morning I ascertained that they were occupied together 
for upwards of an hour : the result was the delivery of a letter 

VOL. I. X 

3o6 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

of a very different purport, more calculated to irritate than to 
conciliate, the fictitious dociunent having been substituted 
for the real one by inserting it within the cover to which 
Mir Bustam's seal was attached. Fortunately I had obtained 
a clue to the villainy that was going on, and warned Sir 
Charles of it prior to the receipt of the letter, which accord- 
ingly he estimated as it deserved. 

' On the night of the 15th, I departed from Imamgarh for 
Diji, en route to Khairpur, to prepare for the meeting of the 
chiefs of Upper Sind, and Wakils of the Amirs of Lower 
Sind, which had been fixed for the 25th, and determined 
to make one more effort to save Mir Bustam. I made 
a detour to his camp (which still continued where I had 
left it) and arrived there about 10 A.M. The old chief 
and all about him received me very civilly, and appeared 
grateful for the trouble I took on their account, but 
their confidence in me was evidently much shaken. The 
corrupted Munshi (who had returned from the Greneral's 
camp) had doubtless aided those previously in Ali Murad's 
interests in misrepresenting my real feelings — and their 
suspicions, consequently, that I was insincere in my friendly 
professions, were further confirmed when I declared to the Mir, 
in order that no unfounded hopes should be raised, that it 
was not in my power to alter the arrangements which had 
already been decided by the Governor-General, i.e. the terms 
of the new treaty, and the elevation of, and pledges to Mir 
Ali Murad ; but I said it was my desire to settle all details, 
and the arrangement of the territory that remained, as much 
as possible, fairly towards all parties. The Amir then re- 
marked, " What remains to be settled ? Our means of 
livelihood are taken ; " adding, " Why am I not to continue 
B4is for the short time I have to live ? " 

' He gave me a sort of vague promise to follow me in 
two or three days to Khairpur, but at the time appeared so 


dejected and despairing, that I had little expectation he 
would do so. He parted kindly from me, however, as did the 
others, and I continued my journey to Diji, which I com- 
pleted on one camel (upwards of 90 miles in consequence of 
the detour I had taken) by six o'clock on the evening of the 
16th. My only escort through this " hostile " country was a 
couple of Baluch horsemen.' 

It was, perhaps, in the brief interval after meeting at 
Diji, and before setting out for the desert-fort at Imamgarh, 
to which we have already referred, that the marked diflference 
of opinion on Sind politics between Sir Charles Napier and 
Major Outram first found expression ; and that the germs 
appeared of a controversy which, to whatever extent developed 
in later years, was unfortunately never, at any subsequent 
time, exhausted in manuscript or printed volumes. Amid 
the many statements and counter-statements addressed to the 
public by the principals in this paper-war and their advo- 
cates, there might be no serious difficulty in seeking out the 
main issues, but no material object would be gained in the 
process, and there is manifest harm in needlessly reviving 
an ungracious theme. Nothing could have been of brighter 
augury than the first impressions mutually derived at 
Sakhar in the autumn of 1842. *Our acquaintance has 
been very short,' then wrote Sir Charles to the younger 
officer, with that generous frankness for which he was 
remarkable, * but I trust it will continue long. I assure you 
that the high opinion which I everywhere heard expressed of 
your character before I had the pleasure of your acquaintance, 
has been more than confirmed in my mind during the few 
days we have served together ; and I only regret that we did 
not meet at a more early period and in the field. Believe 
me when I say that wherever you may be, my best wishes and 
sincere respect and friendship will follow.' Outram's openly 
avowed admiration of the General has been already noted in 

X 2 

3o8 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

the preceding chapter. But his letter to his mother dated 
January 12, 1843, is more to the point still. It was addressed 
from Imamgarh, at the close of the week's march they had 
had together over a desert country; and after that each must 
have opened his mind to the other in personal conversation 
on the nature of the work they had undertaken : — 

* You will not know where to look for the place whence 
this is dated ... so I must explain that it is a small 
fort, situated in the midst of the desert, about 100 miles 
a little to the eastward of south of Khairpur, the capital of 
Upper Sind — a stronghold where the chiefs of Sind are in 
the habit of taking refuge when in rebellion or pressed by 
foreign invasion. ... I found, on joining the General, that 
he had been led into the field by hostile indications on the 
part of the Amirs, and that he had been encamped in the 
neighbourhood of Khairpur some days before my arrival. . . . 
I had ascertained sufficiently on my voyage up the Indus, 
however . . . and by previous experience of these people, 
that they were instigate to feeble attempts to arm by mis- 
trust of us, and with a view to defence rather than any idea 
of acting offensively : and, as my duty is peace-maker, I hope 
I shall have the happiness to be instrumental towards pre- 
serving amity. My present chief, Sir Charles Napier, is fortu- 
nately so good and kind-hearted a man that he never would 
drive the Amirs to extremity so long as he could prevent 
bloodshed, and I myself am satisfied that all will be quietly 
settled ... he and I are equally anxious to prevent war- 
fare. We shall be back at Khairpur about the 20th instant, 
when, I doubt not, the chiefs will combine to arrange matters 
amicably. . . . After arranging with the Upper Sind Amirs 
I shall have to go to Haidarabad to effect a settlement with 
those of Lower Sind : so I fear my calculation of going home 
in the March steamer is wrong, and that I cannot, at any 
rate, get away before April. In the meantime I am very un- 

-i843 A LI MURAD, 309 

comfortably situated, having brought nothing up with me 
but a few suits of clothes, in the determination not to stay in 
this country. My position as subordinate, where formerly I 
was supreme, is very grating ; but of course I must suppress 
all such personal considerations in a sense of public duty ; 
neither do I complain, or work less zealously than if I were 
as formerly. Indeed it would be most ungrateful to Sir 
Charles Napier were I to do otherwise ; for he is most kind 
and considerate.' 

On January 20, Outram proceeded to Khairpur, and 
there he found the Wakils of the Lower Sind Amirs ; but 
no representative on the part of those of Upper Sind was in 
attendance except Ali Murad's minister, who had accompanied 
him. That Amir himself remained with Sir Charles, and 
must have been well pleased to be rid of an English officer 
who, with full knowledge of Sind af&drs, had such good cause 
to suspect and scrutinise his acts. We need not now pause to 
inquire to what extent the non-fulfilment of Outram*s wish 
to bring about an interview between the General and Mir 
Kustam is to be attributed to the scheming of this ambitious 
younger brother. Certain it is that the old chief, impelled 
to destruction, under some strong and secret influence, fled, 
and became confounded with our enemies. January 25, the 
last day allowed to the futigive Amirs for submission, passed 
away without the appearance in the British camp of any of 
the parties, either personally or by proxy. 

About this period, Outram was informed through Sir 
Charles Napier that the Governor-General had fixed his 
salary, as * Commissioner 'in Sind, at 1,500 rupees (150i.) per 
mensem. He acknowledged the intimation in the following 
non-official letter : — 

' My dear Sir Charles, — I have to-day received your letter 
forwarding that from Government fixing my salary at 1,500 


rupees per mensem. So fas from murmuring at the amount, 
(although less by 200 rupees than I received as political 
agent in Guzerat years ago,^ from which I was transferred to 
Sinde on no suing of my own) I really do not consider that I 
deserve so much, for, in hct^ I have been unable to effect 
anything as commissioner as yet, and see little prospect of 
doing more. 

' Whatever may be my private objections to receiving what 
possibly might be construed as a pecuniary favour,* I must, 
without reference to any personal feelings whatever, abstain 
from accepting public money which I have not earned. I 
beg you will not be annoyed with me, therefore, for declining 
to take advantage of the authority to draw salary as " Com- 
missioner," or rather the salary assigned to me personally not 
being that which commissioners in India enjoy. 

^ Pray do not suppose that I purpose officially objecting 
to receive the money, or that I purpose taking any notice 
whatever of the matter : I merely purpose allowing the half- 
sheet of Government foolscap to remain a dead letter— or, 
rather, I have destroyed it, that I might not be tempted 
hereafter to make use of it. 

* I shall simply draw my Captain's pay in the field to which 
I have an undoubted right without being beholden to any. 
I am too glad of the honour of your friendship and confidence 
to require or wish for further advantage so long as I continue 
with you. ' I shall defer sending this letter, however, until 
you dispense with my services, lest it should induce you to 
do so one day sooner than you otherwise intended. 

* I am, &c. &c. &c. 

* (Signed) J. Outram.' 

> The political agent's monthly Falary in Sind and Balnchiftan was 3,2*50 
rupees (326/.) 

* The following note was Outram's own on the record : — * This has no 
allusion to my dismissal from office of course, but to an accusation from his 
I^nlship of political dereliction from veracity which was not withdrawn, 
althouajh the refuUtion was receive*!, and was unanswerahle. 


The writer of this letter, delivered to the Greneral on 
February 20, was, however, influenced by other motives than 
here expressed, in acting as he had done. Foreseeing the 
utter ruin of the Khairpur chiefs, he dreaded lest they should 
involve in the same calamity their cousins of Haidarabad, 
men towards whom he was attracted by the recollection of a 
lengthened firiendly intercourse, and he had solicited the 
General's permission to remove to the city of that name, in 
the hope of adjusting matters by personal interference. In 
another letter to Sir Charles Napier, bearing the precise date 
of that declining the salary, will be found the following 
passages : — 

* I am sorry to confess myself unable entirely to coincide in 
your views, either as respects the policy or justice of, at least 
so suddenly, overturning the patriarchal government to which 
alone Sind has been accustomed. ... I say patriarchal^ for, 
however we may despise the Amirs as inferior to ourselves, 
either in morality or expansion of intellect, each chief 
certainly lives with^ and for, his portion of the people ; and 
I question whether any class of the people of Sind, except the 
Hindoo traders . . . would prefer a change to the best 
government we could give them. . . . 

* The specific I advocated was, affording protection to the 
trading classes who should seek to locate in the bazaars of 
our cantonments, and refuge to the serfs as cultivators in the 
proposed Shikarpoor farm (obtained on fair terms of purchase). 
I was sanguine that the mere force of example, which the 
prosperity of our bazaars and flourishing state of our farm 
must have afforded to the neighbouring chiefs, would have 
caused them, from motives of self-interest, similarly to pro- 
mote trade — consequently to cherish their Hindus and foster 
agriculture — and consequently, again, to improve the state of 
the serf. The facility of obtaining protection under British 

312 yAMES OUT RAM, 1842- 

laws in the heart of Sind, must have compelled the rulers 
so to govern their people as to prevent their seeking our 
protection : thus our object would have been gained without 
either the appearance or reality of injustice, 

* It grieves me to say that my heart, and the judgment 
God has given me, unite in condemning the measures we are 
carrying out for his Lordship as most tyrannical — positive 
robbery, I consider, therefore, that every life which may 
hereafter be lost in consequence will be a murder, and I 
cannot but think that the sudden revolution we seek to 
effect is as little called for by necessity, as unjustifiable in 
lacb* • • • 

* Until we entered Sind, I verily believe all classes in the 
country were as happy as those under any government in 
Asia. The amity with which four rulers at Haidarabad, 
and four at Khairpur, acted together, was dwelt upon by all 
who visited these countries with wonder and admiration. 
Although every chief ruled his own people, each brotherhood 
had one head, or " Rais," for the conduct of the foreign re- 
lations of the State, and whose power interposed in internal 
quarrels. I do not justify our location in Sind imder the 
terms of the former treaty (my objections to which, stated to 
Colonel Pottinger at the time ... I submitted to you), and 
imdoubtedly our coming here has been the cause of much 
misrule. For instance, we destroyed the ruling head of 
Lower Sind where now six chiefs have equal powers ; and we 
undermined the power of the " Rdis ^ of Upper Sind to his 
ultimate destruction. I am, therefore, very sensible that it is 
our duty to remedy the evils which we have ourselves caused, 
and my idea as to the mode in which we might have done 
so I have stated above. . . . 

* You observe that I myself had pointed out Ali Murad's 
previous consistency of character, and advocated his claims 
to the " Rdis "-ship. I did recommend that his claims to that 


dignity, whtn it became vacant by Rustam^a deaths should 
be admitted, as consonant with the customs of the country, 
and as politic, because Ali Murad never would have sub- 
mitted to the domination of any of his nephews, and in 
any struggle with them would have been victorious . . • 
and because Ali Murad is personally a more able man, as far 
as we can judge, than any of the others, and, under our 
strict control and guidance, might be prevented from mis- 
using his power ; but I never contemplated conferring the 
chiefship on him before the demise of Mir Rustam — a usurpar- 
tion which must turn all classes against him, who otherwise 
would have been as ready to support Ali Murad as any of the 
others ... I never had any idea of dispossessing any of the 
other chiefs of any portion of their territory to uphold Ali 
Murad*s power, which is sufficiently secured by our counte- 
nance ... I consider that the superior share of territory 
assigned to the Rilis by Meer Sohrab, was for the main- 
tenance of troops necessary to protect the State against 
foreign aggression which, as I before remarked,* is no longer 
required under British protection. . • . 

* Had I been in your position, of course I must have 
obeyed ; as it is, I consider myself fortunate that I am here 
as your subaltern ... for I know you will never order me 
to do what my conscience condemns ; and if I find it im- 
possible to arrange details which the parties spurn, and you 
are satisfied that I have honestly exerted myself to the ut- 
most of my ability, I hope you will allow me to depart — which 
I shall do, I assure you, with a heavy heart, for it is my 
most earnest desire to serve you usefully, in gratitude for 
the extreme kindness I have ever experienced from you. 

* I fear I can be of no manner of use here now, but still 
hope I may possibly do something at Haidarabad, both with 
the Upper and Lower Sind Amirs, should you send me there. 

* AppoDdix G. 

314 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

* I make no excuses for the freedom with which I have 
expressed myself, because you asked my sentiments, and, I 
know, would expect me to give them without disguise. . . . 

* I cannot close this without expressing my sorrow that 
you should "have such a very low estimate of the Amirs 
personally. I call them " children " merely in reference to 
their puerile dealings with us and foolish suspicions, but 
they are much like most Oriental princes, and, in my 
opinion, equally able to manage their own affairs. • • • 

* It is with very great oonoem I write what may possibly 
cause you annoyance, or presume to differ from you in 
opinion, my dear Sir Charles, but you would consider me im- 
worthy of your esteem did I hesitate to express my sentiments 
when you call for them.' 

In restricting our extracts, we have omitted very much 
valuable matter ; but the object of selection has been rather 
to show the general views of the writer on the question with 
which he had to deal, than to instruct the reader in the very 
intricate details of Sind history and politics, a thorough com- 
prehension of which must be acquired out of the range of 
biography. It is but fair to add the General's brief but 
genial reply : — 

. ' My dear Outram, — Your long letter, and dinner, came 
in together, and I only write just to say I have not read it — 
ergOy can't answer it. I went to the end just to see if you 
had heard aught of the Vakeels, and see a few words about 
giving me annoyance. My dear friend, you cannot do that ; 
a man that can be annoyed at a friend who tells him frankly 
his opinions, even had they not been asked and are honoured, 
has neither good sense nor good feeling ; and I assure you, 
you may trust that I have enough of both to avoid such 

* Whatever your letter contains, whether we agree or 


not, nothing can affect the sincere regard with which I am, 

' Yours, &c., &c,, 

* (Signed) C. Napier/ 

Sir Charles Napier did not long tarry in the deserts 
around Imamgarh. Having shown that this isolated strong- 
hold was not inaccessible to his troops, and having destroyed 
its more material defences, he thought it well to abandon 
the uninviting locality. On January 18, he was within 
reach of provisions and water in abimdance. Four days 
later he was at Pir Abu Bakar, a station near Diji. Here, 
agreeably to his report to the Governor-General, he was to be 
joined by the remainder of the force, with which he would 
advance towards Haidarabad, should the negotiations which 
Major Outram had undertaken not progress satisfactorily. 
We have shown that nothing had been done up to January 
25. On the 28th the General wrote from Haldni, about 
twelve miles from the Indus, and on the high road between 
Khairpur and Haidarabad, that the Lower Sind Amirs had all 
sent vakils with full powers to Major Outram. Those in 
Upper Sind having made no sign, had been addressed by a 
special proclamation extending the time for appearance up to 
February 1. Military operations, it was stated, would go 
forward ; but the persons of the chiefs would be respected, 
and all considered as friends up to the specified date. Outram 
himself was, in accordance with his request, ordered to Haidar- 
abad; but the letter of instructions miscarried, or was treacher- 
ously withheld, and he did not leave Sakhar until February 4, 
reaching his destination by steamer on the 8th idem. Sir 
Charles was then at Daulatpur, about 90 miles north of 

Amid the clouds and smoke of controversy in which this 
particular passage of history has been enveloped, we discern 

3i6 JAMES OUTRAAf, 1842 

and may safely lay down as feet that, while the Creneral 
officer who exercised civil and military control in Sind was, 
in accordance with his own views and under the thorough 
sanction of the Crovemor-General in India, hastening to 
bring about a crisis which he believed to be both excusable 
and imperative, his Conmiissioner was in the false position 
of one acting against his judgment and conscience, but under 
a sense of inexorable duty. 

On the day of his arrival at Haidarabad, and on the day 
following, Outram held conferences with the Amirs. At these 
were present Mir Nasir Khan and sons, and Mir Muhammad 
Khan, representing the ruling chiefs of Lower Sind, and 
Mirs Rustam Khan and sons, Mir Nasir Khan, and Mir 
Muhammad Khan of Khairpur. The Commissioner pressed 
upon them the acceptance of the new treaties; but the 
resistance displayed was of a determined character. It was 
argued by the Amirs that, having never broken the old 
agreements into which they had entered with the British 
Government, there was no necessity to impose upon them new 
and objectionable terms as punishment for an offence which 
they had not committed. In the light of free agents, they 
declined them vn toto. There was one condition, however, 
on which they would be induced to submit : that was, the re- 
storation to Mir Rustam of the turban of sovereignty. They 
further begged that the march of the British troops might 
be delayed; otherwise it would be impossible for them to 
withhold the Baluchis from aggressive operations. On the 
afternoon of February 9, deputies from the Haidarabad 
Amirs waited on Major Outram, and applied the seals of their 
Highnesses to a written pledge to sign the new treaty. 
Three days afterwards, a further conference was held, at which 
the Persian copies of the draft treaties were produced, and 
a formal request made to the Amirs, both of Upper and 
Lower Sind, to affix their seals in the presence of the British 


Commissioner. The meeting was so fistr satisfectory that the 
Haidarabad Mirs, also Mirs Bustam and Muhanmiad of Upper 
Sind, did as required, and Mir Nasir Khan of Khairpur 
promised compliance on the following morning. But it was 
evident, from the signs out of doors, that the Baluchis meant 
mischief, and, notwithstanding the precaution taken by the 
chiefs against outrage, one of the British officers of the 
escort was struck by a stone. On the following afternoon, 
confidential agents from the Amirs waited upon Major Outram 
to ask for assurances on behalf of Mir Bustam, whose rights 
the Baluch Sirdars had pledged themselves to uphold. As it 
was impossible to give these, the deputies expressed themselves 
to the effect that there was little hope of allaying the excite- 
ment of the people. The Commissioner, they urged, had 
demanded that the Amirs should control their soldiers and 
subjects, and had promised that the General would carefully 
consider their alleged grievances. If any replies on these 
points were to be made they would bring them that night. 
Otherwise it was to be taken for granted that their masters 
could do nothing further. The messenger did not return that 
night. Sir Charles Napier was then sixty miles from the 
capital, at Sakarand, where he had halted three days in 
compliance with Major Outram's request. 

On February 14, Outram saw cause to believe that open 
hostility was intended by the Amirs. Independently of ap- 
pearances in his immediate vicinity, our seizure of certain 
men of the Marri tribe, reported by the General, would, he 
thought, bring matters to a crisis. He wrote to Sir Charles 
accordingly, and addressed a request to the officer command- 
ing H.M.'8 41 st regiment, then en route to Karachi, to halt 
at Thatta, or the former place, pending further orders for its 
disposal. 'On February 15, he wrote his now historical de- 
spatch to the General, describing the attack upon the British 
Besidency near Haidarabad. It was characteristic of the 

3i8 JAMES OUT RAM, 1^42- 

writer that he desired the officer in command of the escort 
to report the brilliant affair. Sir Charles Napier, however, 
returned Captain Conway's despatch, insisting that as Major 
Outram's diplomatic functions had ceased with the first shot 
fired, it was his duty to report, as senior officer present. To 
this Outram was only reconciled by the General's assurance 
that his representation of Captain Conway's gallant service 
would most benefit the latter. The official account is brief : 
but we curtail it in order to add a few particulars heretofore 
unpublished : — 

My despatches of the last few days will have led you to expect 
that my earnest endeavours to effect an amicable arrangement with 
the Ameers of Sinde wouM fail ; and it is with much regret I have 
now to report that their Highnesses have commenced hostilities 
by attacking my residence this morning, which, after four hours' 
most gallant defence by my honorary escort, the light Company 
of Her Majesty's 22nd regiment, commanded by Captain Conway, 
I was compelled to evacuate, in consequence of our ammunition 
running short. 

At 9 A.M. this morning, a dense body of cavalry and infantry * 
took post on three sides of the Agency compound (the fourth 
being defended by the ' Planet ' steamer, about 500 yards distant), 
in the gardens and houses which immediately command the in- 
closure, and which it was impossible to hold with our limited 
numbere. A hot fire was opened by the enemy, and continued in- 
cessantly for four hours ; but all their attempts to enter the Agency 
inclosure, although merely surrounded by a wall varying from four 
to five feet high, were frustrated by Captain Conway's able distribu- 
tion of his small band, and the admirable conduct of every indi- 
vidual soldier composing it, under the gallant example of their 
commanding officer and his subalterns. Lieutenant Harding and 
Ensign Pennefather, Her Majesty's 22nd regiment, also Captahis 
Green, of the 21st regiment native infantry, and Wells, of the 
16th regiment, who volunteered their services, to each of whom 
was assigned the charge of a separate quarter ; also to your aide-de- 

' Ascertained, afterwards, to have amounted to 8,000 men under the com- 
mand of Mir Shahdad Khan, his cousin Mir Muhammad Khan, Nawab Ahmad 
Khan Laghari, and many principal chiefs. 


camp Captain Brown^ Bengal engineers, who carried my orders to 
the steamers, and assisted in working her gnns and directing her 
flanking fire. Oar ammunition being limited to forty rounds per 
man, the officers directed their whole attention to reserving their 
fire and keeping their men close under cover, never showing them- 
selves or retaming a shot, except when the enemy attempted to rush, 
or showed themselves in great numbers. . . . Our hope of receiv- 
ing a reinforcement and supply of ammunition by the 'Satellite ' 
. . . being disappointed, on the arrival of that vessel without either, 
shortly after the commencement of the attack, it was decided at 
12 A.M., after being three hours under fire, to retire to the steamer 
while still we had sufficient ammunition to fight the vessel up the 
river ; I requested Captain Conway to keep the enemy at bay for 
one hour, while the property was removed, for which that time 
was ample, could the camp followers be induced to exert them- 
selves : accordingly, after the expiration of another hour (during 
which the enemy, despairing of otherwise effecting their object, 
had brought up six guns to bear upon us), we took measures to 
evacuate the Agency. Captain Conway called in his posts, and all 
being united, retired in a body, covered by a few skirmishers, as 
deliberately as on parade, canying off our slain and wounded. 

So fiur the official report. We add a supplementary 
statement from a source not less authentic' It should be 
premised that the Residency, as already shown, was situated 
in an enclosure or compound, the wall of which was from 
four to five feet high. This wall ¥ra8 built more or less 
parallel to the then river bank ; its length — roughly N.W. 
to S.E, — was probably 300 yards, and its breadth 200. In- 
cluded herewith were two smaller enclosures on the N.W. 
face, in which the doctor and his assistants had houses. At 
the S.E. end was a village, with bazar and orchard apper- 
taining. The gate was on the N.E. side, the direction in 
which lay the city of Haidarabad. 

* An original draft in Ontram's handwriting, which has had the advantage 
of snpemsion by an officer who bore the chief part in the honoarable and notable 
exploit narrated— Captain, now Major-General, T. S. Conwjiy (C.B.). 

320 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

The position for the first three hours is thus described :^ 

To the westward an approach by the bed of a mtUak was 
watched by a party of fifteen men under Lieutenant Penne- 
father, guarding the wall. 

To the firont, * four scouts watched a body of horse, and 
occasionally fired shots to keep the assailants at a distance. 

Twenty men, under Captain Wells, manning part of the 
wall, watched the gate : some ten men more being placed in 
reserve under cover of the cook-house, in readiness to repel 
any sudden rush ip this quarter. 

Twenty men under Lieutenant Harding manned another 
part of the wall. The whole were obliged to lie very close in 
consequence of the commanding firefirom the flat-roofed upper- 
storied houses in the neighbouring compounds ; and never 
showed their heads above the wall, except when the enemy 
threatened a rush at the gate, or to surmount the wall on the 
opposite side. Each man bored a hole with his bayonet, 
through which to watch the enemy, and to fire at every 
favourable opportunity. 

There was also a party of thirty men to watch the enemy 
occupying the adjoining village, outbuildings, and detach- 
ment lines, in dense masses. Of this party a corporal and 
three men were posted in a convenient building to pre- 
vent the enemy surmounting some flat^roofed stables available. 
One particular position, considered the most important, was 
occupied by Captain Conway himself, although from time to 
time he visited other posts. Conductor Keily, with a com- 
missariat guard of a Naigue and three sipahisj kept the 
entrance firom the bazar. 

A flatr-roofed office of considerable elevation was held by 
Captain Green and fifteen men — stationed at the windows, or 
wall, and on the roof. This position commanded the bazar 
square and communication with the vessels, and prevented 

■ The gate-side— i.e. looking towards the city is the * front/ 


the enemy showing himself outside the orchard wall ; he was, 
moreover, kept in check by the fire from the ^ Planet ' steamer. 

At the expiration of three hours— when it was de- 
cided to withdraw affcer one hour more, and the enemy 
were bringing up their guns, not before observed — it was 
resolved, as a preparatory measure, to abandon the front 
positions of the compound. Accordingly, at a preconcerted 
signal, the parties posted there fell back to the Residency, 
which then became the front line of defence. 

The hour allotted for carrying off the baggage having ter- 
minated, the retreat was soimded, on which all posts except 
one were abandoned, and the men dosed in double march at 
a gate appointed. When formed. Captain Conway marched 
the party by sections to the river front of the still guarded 
post, and then marched in column directly down to the 
steamer, the march being the signal for the last batch of 
defenders to drop from the windows, and cover the retiring 
column by skirmishing to the rear in extended order. 

About the period of the second formation. Captain Brown, 
having observed the enemy preparing a battery behind 
the embankment of a nuZIoA, transferred himself from the 
^Planet' to the ^Satellite' steamer, which had then arrived, 
and took up a position in her, so as to rake the nvJlah and 
prevent the enemy placing three guns they were bringing 
up against us — and which were afterwards used in position 
to annoy the vessels in their upward passage. While the 
* Planet' was occupied in bringing off the ^ fiat,* three guns 
were brought through the Agency compound, and placed in 
Dattery under the trees in front of the gate where our 
soldiers had last formed. Their fire was met, and almost 
entirely kept under, by the * Planet's * single twelve-pounder ; 
and the detachment was embarked without loss — the 
wounded and corpses of the slain having been previously 
removed on board. 

VOL. I. Y 

322 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

The first object being to secure the fuel dep6t at the 
village of Kotri, about three miles up the opposite bank c^ 
the river, ere yet the enemj had time to destroy it, the 
^ Satellite ' steamer was immediately despatched for its protec- 
tion, until a sufficiency of wood to enable both vessels to 
pursue their course up the river had been laid in. The 
three guns formerly alluded to as having been withdrawn, 
which in the meantime had been brought into position 
higher up the river, opened their fire as the ^Satellite' 
passed. She returned the fire, and by her good practice dis- 
mounted one gun. 

The next point was to carry off the large flat which 
was moored to the shore immediately opposite the enemy's 
guns, to effect which the ^Planet' remained. The flush 
decks of the river-steamers affording no protection from 
shot for those on board, the officers commanding them 
had prepared bulwarks, previous to the embarkation of the 
troops, by piling up every movable article. Under this 
cover all except those employed in working the vessels were 
well protected ; but the removal of the imwieldy flat was 
an operation which obliged all hands belonging to the 
^ Planet ' (and especially her commander, Mr. Cole) to expose 
themselves much. That they did so with impunity is extra- 
ordinary, because they were under a very hot fire for more 
than twenty minutes. The enemy, emboldened by the 
departure of the ^ Satellite,' sought to approach the remaining 
vessel across the jdry bed of the liver ; and only fell back to 
the ^long shot' position after examples had been made 
among the more venturesome of their number. Three times 
did the ^ Planet ' fiedl to attain her object : and three times 
had she to return and go round before bringing off her charge in 
tow firom imder the hostile guns. During this proceeding the 
soldiery on board had kept their fire in reserve, as heretofore, 
only opening as opportunity was afforded by the increased 
audacity of their opponents. 


The < Planet * then followed the * Satellite/ running the 
gauntlet of the artillery, and the fire of the enemy from every 
hollow which afforded cover, with no loss. Large bodies of 
the enemy kept company with her for about two miles up the 
river, when they departed. The * Planet ' having delayed at 
Kotri on the right bank^ while the ^ Satellite ' was completing 
her fuel, both vessels continued their upward course until 
sunset, when they anchored for the night about ten miles 
above the Agency. On the 16th they pursued their voyage at 
daylight, and at 9 a.m. anchored opposite to and about a mile 
from Mat&ri, where, shortly afterwards, the advanced guard 
of the army arrived. 

Outram wrote that in the operations above described, the 
loss on our side was only two killed and eleven wounded; while 
there were, on the side of the enemy, more than sixty killed, 
and ^ probably the usual estimate—quadruple of that number 
wounded.' This extraordinary disparity he attributed to the 
'judicious disposal of our men, and their steady maintenance 
of their posts, to draw them from which aU attempts of the 
enemy failed — except to the extent of springing up,' when- 
ever the latter tried to close, ' delivering their fire, and again 
squatting, before the enemy had time to take aim or even 
fire.' Thus it was, he continued, that the assailants ' became 
momentarily less daring, and were at last obliged to bring 
up six guns to force an imperfect low-walled enclosure of 
200 yards square, defended by only one hundred men against 
countless numbers possessing commanding positions and cover 
up to our walls on three sides.' ^ 

I lu the rough memorandum written by Ontram, firom which the abore 
a(^oonnt is taken, it is added that when the army reached the Residency on 
Febmary 19 (fbnr days after the assault), three of the gans were found stiU 
on the river bank. The other three had broken down on the road between the 
Residency and town, in the attempt to take them back. The official report 
gave two men killed of H JI.*s 22nd regiment and one camp follower ; ten 

T 2 

324 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

He joined his chief at Mat&ri, a town situated only sixteen 
miles north of Haidarabad. Between the two places was the 
Tillage of Mi&ni — ^a name common in Sind to the abode of 
fishermen ; and around Mifini were gathering the available 
forces of the Sind Amirs.^ From Mat4ri, on the day of his 
joining, it was arranged that Outram, in company with Captain 
Green, lieutenants Wells, and Brown, his co-defenders of the 
Besidency, and 200 convalescent aipdhisy should be despatched 
on a night expedition. The object was to attain a position 
which would enable them, at an early hour of the morning, to 
bum the Mi&ni and neighbouring ^ikdrgdh, or forest, in which 
it was expected the enemy would collect, and firom which, when 
collected, their dislodgment would be difficult. That the 
proposal was Outram's own may be certified on perusal of 
his report of arrival at the Mat&ri ferry, addressed to the 
General before the latter had reached the town of Mat&ri, 
and had pitched his camp between it and the river. But 
the necessity of clearing the shik&rgahs by some means, 
whether by land or water, was obvious to Sir Charles Napier, 
who had, moreover, reason to suppose that the enemy's left 
flank was posted in them, and that an army of 22,000 men 
was in position at Mi4ni ! In Outram's diary of February 16, 
the entry is as follows :^* At 12 . . . force arrived at Mat&ri, 
and encamped about a mile firom the steamer. Visited Sir 
Charles Napier, who instructed me to take two hundred men 
next morning to bum the shih&rgaha which skirted his line 
of march, while he should continue his advance to within a 
few miles of the city, where I was to join him.' 

wounded, ftmong whom were Mr. Gondactor Keily, Mr. CarliBle, the agency 
clerk, U*o of the steamer's crew, four men of H.M. 22nd regiment, and two 
camp followers, and four camp followers missing. 

■ Outram's belief that there was really 'no preparation' for hostility on 
the part of the Amirs, will be readily reconciled with this aggregation of 
armed chie& and retainers hastily brought together. Such Oriental local 
armaments are commonly procurable at a very short notice ; and in the then 
temper of th^ Baluchis, a summons to arms would be rather anticipated than 

-i843 BATTLE OF MIANL 325 

On the 17th we read : — * Occupied all day in endeavouring 
to destroy the shikdrgdJiSy in which we had to traverse many 
miles. There being no wind, the woods burned very slowly 
and partially. We only saw one body of about 500 of the 
enemy, who made off on observing our approach ; we heard 
firing in the direction of the army, which continued till 
1 P.M. I proposed to take our detachment round the shikar^ 
gdhj so as to fiedl upon the retreat, towards the city, of the 
enemy, who would doubtless have retired before Sir Charles. 
The officers, however, considered their men too much knocked 
up to attempt an enterprise involving a further march of some 
miles. We returned to our vessels about sunset, and shortly 
after learned from the natives the severe action which had 
taken place. I decided on making my way to Sir Charles's 
camp with 100 men, to be in time to partake in the advance 
on the fortress, which we considered would take place next 

The firing heard was indeed from the battle-field. The 
severe action reported by the natives was that of Mi&ni. A 
struggle had occurred, the result of which, in the words of 
the Govemor-Greneral, * placed at the disposal of the British 
GK>vemment the country on both banks of the Indus from 
Sakkhar to the sea, with the exception of such portions thereof 
as may belong to Mir Ali Murad of Khairpur, and to any 
other of the Amirs who may have remained faithful to his 

Sir Charles Napier pre&ces his despatch describing the 
victory with a notice of the risks run at Haidarabad by his 
Commissioner, and of a plot laid to murder Major Outram 
and his companions which had happily been firustrated ; and 
thus speaks of the attack on the Agency : — * The report of 
this nefeurious transaction I have the honour to enclose. I 
heard of it at Hala, at which place the fearless and distin- 

326 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

guished Major Ontram joined me, with his brave oompanions 
in the stem and extraordinary defence of his residence against 
so ovarwhehning a force, accompanied by six pieces of cannon*' 
At the close of the same paper, he reverts to the subject : 
< The defence of the Residency by Major Outram and the 
small force with him against such numbers of the enemy 
was so admirable, that I have scarcely mentioned it in the 
foregoing despatch, because I propose to send your Lordship a 
detailed account of it, as a bnlliant example of defending a 
military post/ 

Of the burning the ehikdrgdhaj he says : — 

^ This was an operation of great difficulty and danger, but 
would have been most important to the result of the battle. 
However, the enemy had moved about eight miles to their 
right during the night, and Major Outram executed his task 
without difficulty at the hour appointed, viz., nine o'clock, 
and from the field we observed the smoke of the burning 
wood arise. I am strongly inclined to think that this circum- 
stance had some effect on the enemy. But it deprived me 
of the able services of Major Outram, Captain Oreen, and 
Lieutenants Brown and Wells, together with 200 men, which 
I much regretted, for their sakes.' 

But we left Outram about to rejoin the victorious army. 
The diary continues : — 

* February 18.— At 2 A.M., marched with 100 men for 
the camp, eight miles distant, which we reached just before 
daybreak ; our road lay along the course of the Falaili. The 
field of battle, over which we passed, plainly showed, in the 
bright moonlight, from the heaps of slain covering it, how 
severely contested the action must have been. We were soon 
in possession of the particulars of this very sanguinary, at one 
time doubtful, and finally decisive conflict. Our loss, in pro- 


portion to the numbers engaged, was very heavy : 19 officers 
and 256 men, and 95 horses killed and woimded out of about 
2,700 actually in the field. There were many chiefs, and up- 
wards of 5,000 killed and woxmded of the enemy. 

^ Early in the morning, messengers came into camp to 
tender the submission of the Amirs. Sir Charles gave them 
till mid-day to surrender unconditionally; otherwise, our 
troops would march at that hour on the capital. Before the 
time specified bad elapsed, Mirs Hasan Khan, Shahdad, and 
Husain Ali Khan, the Amirs of Haldarabad who had led the 
enemy, came into camp and surrendered unconditionally. 
The two former were detained as prisoners, but the latter 
was released by Sir Charles at my intercession, out of respect 
to the memory of his late father, Mir Nur Muhammad, who, 
on his death-bed, had consigned the youth to my guardianship. 
Overtures were also made by the Amirs of Upper Sind, who 
were informed that no other terms than unconditional sur- 
render would be given. 

* February 19. — ^Marched past Haidarabad to the banks 
of the Indus, and encamped close to the Agency, now a heap 
of ruins. Mir Rustam Khan, and one of his sons, and 
Nasir Khan of Khairpur came into camp, and surrendered as 
prisoners of war unconditionally. As nothing further can 
now be done until the Govemor-Q-eneral's orders are re- 
ceived, and as my functions as commissioner ceased on hos- 
tilities breaking out, Sir Charles Napier has granted me 
permission to return to Bombay, for which I shall embark in 
the " Satellite " steamer to-morrow at noon, bearing the de- 

On the march fix>m Mi&ni to the site of the Haidarabad 
Residency, the British commissioner rode side by side with 
the fallen chiefs. One of them, Mir Nasir Khan, asked him, 
with some show of curiosity, where he had been during the 

328 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

actkni of the previoiis day ? He had lodged fw him, he 
affirmed, through his spy-glass, aft» the rout of his Balnchis, 
in order that he might surrender to a personal firiend ; but, 
failing to reoogmse him among the British officers, he had 
gone on his way with the rest. This statement accorded 
with the testimony of lieutenant Fitzgerald, of the Sind 
Horse, who had observed one of the principal Amirs, mounted 
on a camel, answering to Nasir^s description, long hovering 
about the retreating army, and otherwise aoting in an unae- 
eountable manner. On Outram's explaining the cause of his 
absence from the field, the Amir admitted that there had 
been aa intention, on the part of his people, to occupy the 
ehikargahaj but that they had changed their minds. It is 
highly probable that the plan of firing the forests from the 
rear having transpired before the period of its execution had 
arrived, the enemy modified his tactics accordingly, and was 
driven to fight at once in the open — ^a course which gave the 
British general the opportunity of bringing the campaign, in 
a few hours, to a comparative close. Outram gratified Nasir 
Khan much, by telling hinn how great credit he had gained 
with the British officers for the gallant fight he had main- 
tained ; and amused him, even in his natural despondency, 
by turning to Mir Shahdad, also riding near, and stating 
that hie &ilure to make good the assault upon one hundred 
men with a force^of eight thousand, was as much the ridicule 
as the other's action was the admiration of the English army. 
The £Etct is that the treachepr ia^bahdad, which had become 
evident, merited severer treatment than conveyed in a road- 
side rebuff. This chief had asked Outram's permission to 
bring his followers to the Besidency, for the protection of its 
occupants, on the very eve of the attack upon the place, 
which it was felt that he himself, to all intents and purposes, 
had led and instigated. 

Taking leave of the Greneral, his companions in arms and 

-i845 RETURN TO BOMBAY. 329 

native firiends, Outram embarked in the river steamer. It 
cannot be said that he parted from any with a light heart, 
or free from cares, as much for others as on his own account. 
The widow of the late Mir Nur Muhammad had petitioned him 
on behalf of her sons. Of these, although Shahdad was en- 
titled to little consideration at his hands, the other brother, 
Husain Ali, was his especial protSgS. But for the Talpurs 
generally, he felt a sympathy which few of his brother officers 
in Sind could quite understand ; and he had misgivings on the 
future, too, of the Amirs and their families, whose unsought 
association with the powerfol foreigner had brought about 
their ruin. Off Thatta, on February 22, he wrote to his 
friend. Lieutenant Brown, the following brief letter : — 

^ As you are the custodian of the captive princes, let me 
entreat of you, as a kindness to myself, to pay every regard 
to their comfort and dignity. I do assure you my heart 
bleeds for them, and it was in the fear that I might betray 
my feelings that I declined the last interview they yesterday 
sought of me. Pray say how sorry I was I could not call 
upon them before leaving; that, could I have done them any 
good, I would not have grudged .... any expenditure of 
time or labour on their behalf; but that, alas, they have 
placed it out of my power to do aught, by acting contrary to 
my advice, and having recourse to the &tal step of appeal to 
arms against the British Power.* 

Before the last day of February, Outram had agidn landed 
in Bombay, and been received with kindly consideration and 
cordiality by the Governor, Sir George Arthur. He had pur- 
posed returning home by the steamer of March 1, but the 
result of his conference with His Excellency made him defer 
his departure for at least another month. The suggestion 
that he still might be wanted in Sind had been put to him 
with new arguments which his own modesty and self-abnega- 

330 yAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

tion had not before suffered him to entertain ; and he could 
not brook the bare notion that personal pique in one instance, 
and mere difference of opinion in another, had caused him to 
abandon a scene of action in which he might still be excep- 
tionally useful. Instead, therefore, of taking leave of his 
Presidency firiends preparatory to embarkation, he wrote, on 
the last day of February, a letter to the Governor, enclosing 
a long memorandum on the merits of the ^ Sind question,' 
but personally, full of excellent feeling. One passage may be 
extracted: — 

* You are so good as to think that although Sir Charles 
permitted my departure, he might really have wished my 
stay ; and that I might be of use in the arrangement of the 
details of whatever settlement may have to be carried into 
effect in Sind. It never occurred to me that possibly Sir 
Charles, in his kind consideration for my personal convenience, 
may have let me come away sooner than he otherwise would 
have wished ; and it is with compunction that I reflect on 
the enormous labour which he certainly will have to go 
through during the coming hot season, much of the minor 
details and drudgery of which I might save him from. 

^ If such is really the opinion of Sir Charles, I would re- 
join him with alacrity and pleasure on the footing of an acting 
aide-de-camp, as which, I should have no voice of my own in 
the policy Sir Charles might adopt, and merely should have to 
carry out to the best of my ability the details which he might 
entrust to me, which would be fiur preferable to me to the situa- 
tion in which I was formerly placed, when, having a voice^ I 
was bound to raise it as my conscience dictated. 

^ Simply as aide-de-camp to Sir Charles, the military 
allowances of which situation are defined^ there can be none 
of the personal scruples which I entertained to receiving his 
Lordship's bounty on the former occasion, and I should not 


gmdge the time and trouble that might be incmred in 
working out the settlement of Sind during the ensuing hot 
season, so long as I were serving v/ndeTy and for^ Sir Charles 

Sir G-eorge Arthur, in replying to this letter, generally 
approved of the course which the writer had pursued in 
delaying his return. About a week afterwards, Outram him- 
self wrote fully to Sir Charles. Speaking of Sind, he wished 
to Heaven the G-eneral were out of that country, adding : — 
* or that if you do stay, I were with you, as a humble mili- 
tary aide-de-camp (not a poUtioal or carn/ndasumer) for I 
cannot but fear you will have a most troublesome time of it, 
the dangers of which I would with all my heart share with 
you in that capacity. As T believe Sir George Arthur wrote 
to you, I have not the presumption to think that I could be 
of much use in a purely military line, but it would gratify 
me to share your fiitigues and dangers, and I should be no 
longer called upon to officiate out of that line. • • • 

^ I am sick of poUcy ; I will not say yours is the beatj 
but it is undoubtedly the shortest — that of the eword. Oh, 
how I wish you had drawn it in a better cause I ' 

He touched, moreover, on other than official matters: 
for he had been to see Lady Napier, and her &mily. Had 
he had ten times the distance to go, he wrote, he would have 
been more than rewarded by the outward indications of a 
happiness which the sight of one who had so recently shaken 
the gallant general by the hand had afforded. 

While at Bombay, the rumour that a second engagement 
in Sind was imminent, caused him formally to volunteer his 
services there in a military capacity ; and he proposed to ac- 
company a detachment of artillery then preparing to embark. 
In reply he was informed by the Secretary to GK>vemment 
that with reference to his * former position in Sind, and distin- 

332 ^ JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

guished services,* considerations existed which induced ^ the 
Hon. the G-ovemor in Council to think it inexpedient that 
Government should accept the offer/ Independently of his 
letter to Sir Charles which we have quoted, he wrote twice 
to his secretary on the subject, using, on the second occa- 
sion, these words: — ^I certainly did not anticipate any 
farther open hostilities when I left • • . and I shall ever 
blame myself for having come away when I did if they do take 
place. I wish I was again with Sir Charles, to share his 
fittigues and dangers. ... as his subaltern and a mere 
volunteer. As such I asked to return the other day, when 
un&vourable reports were brought down.' 

We have alluded to Outram's warm reception at Govern- 
ment House in Bombay. It need scarcely be said, however, 
that on his return to the Presidency, he had been welcomed 
in all quarters, official and non-official, with every demonstra- 
tion of regard and respect. On March 25, a meeting of his 
friends was held, at which it was unanimously resolved to 
present him with a sword of the value of 300 guineas, and a 
costly piece of plate. The copy of the resolutions then 
passed and forwarded to him was acknowledged with ^feel- 
ings of gratitude and pride,' which he expressed himself at a 
loss to describe. *I have always felt,' he wrote to Mr. 
Le Geyt, one of the committee of subscribers, Hhat to 
obtain the applause of my comrades in arms is the highest 
honour to which I could aspire, but when I perceive men of 
all classes unite with them in according to me this distin- 
guished mark of approbation, I feel my merits have been 
greatly overrated, and that it is to their partial estimate of 
the services I have performed that I am indebted for this 
splendid token of their approbation. 

^I accept with gratitude the sword thus presented to 
me. It will be my most cherished possession while I live, 
and, on my death, it shall be bequeathed to my representa- 


live, as the most highly valued gift I can bestow.' There 
were no fewer than 511 subscribers to this testimonial. 
On the sword ran this inscription : — 

^Presented to Major James Outram, 23rd Begiment 
Bombay Native Infantry, in token of the regard of his 
firiends, and the high estimation in which he is held for the 
intrepid gallantry which has marked his career in India, but 
more especially his heroic defence of the British Besidency 
at Hyderabad, in Scinde, on the 15th February, 1843, 
against an army of 8,000 Beloochees with six guns.— 
Bombay, April, 1843.' 

Marked on one side of the blade : — 

^ Major James Outram.' 

On the other : — 

* Soma peur et sane reproche.* 

With farther reference to the Bombay meeting, the 
following letter was addressed to him in whose honour it 
was held, three or four days later, by Bishop Carr, of Bombay.^ 

' In fitting contrast to this hononzable testimonial from his own church, maj 
be mentioned the award to M^or (then Colonel) Outram of a gold medal from 
the late Pope Pins IX. for services referred to in the foUowing letter, dated 
from the Qiglish College in Rome, January 31, 1860 :— * His Holiness Pius IX. 
has commanded the undersigned rector of the English College in Rome, to for- 
ward to you a gold medal ; and he has desired that it should be sent without 
delay, as a testimonial of gratitude for the kindness displayed by you on Tarious 
occasions to poor Catholics under your command, or stationed within your 
Besidency. As soon as the Holy Father receired information that an R«g tif h 
bishop was on his way to Calcutta, he ordered this medal to be prepared and 
sent by that opportunity to you ; but as the bishop had unfortunately quitted 
Naples, it was sent to me, and I write by the earliest post to apprise you of 
this act of consideration on the part of His Holiness, and to ask you whether 
you wish me to send it to England, to your agent in London, or whether I am 
to send it by Malta through some other channeL 

* Allow me to add that I feel highly honoured in having been chosen by the 
Holy Father as the medium of communication with you ; and I shall be happy 
if you ever visit Borne, to present you to His Holiness, and to render you any 
other service in my power. 

334 JAMES OUTRAM. 1842- 

Aooompanjing it were a Bible and Prayer-book, with these 
words in the good old prelate's hand writing, ^ Thou hast 
covered my head in the day of battle ; ' and ^ This is Life 
Eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true Grod, 
and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent ' :— 

Bycnllah: March 29, 184S. 

* My dear Sir, — ^Amongst the firiends who assembled in 
the Town Hall on Saturday, in order to oflFer you a tribute 
of their respect, there probably was none who felt more 
admiration of your conduct in the late campaigns, and in 
your former situation, when you were reducing the Bheel 
tribes to habits of order, than myself. I felt, however, that 
I could not consistently take part in the offering of a sword, 
as it is the object of my office and ministry to keep the 
sword in its scabbard, and to labour to promote peace. With 
these views, and with feelings of great respect for the 
intrepid bravery, ability, persevering activity, and I will add, 
forbearance towards the weak, which have marked your con- 
duct, I venture to offer you a small tribute of respect, and 
to request your acceptance of a Book, a blessed Book, in 
which you may find support in the hour of trial, and conso- 
lation at that time when the sword must be laid aside, and 
when external things must cease to interest. In it, my 
dear Sir, is to be found a peace which the world cannot 
disturb. I pray that this peace may be yours, and with 
sentiments of much admiration and respect, believe me to 
be, Sir, very sincerely yours, 

* Thomas Bombay.* 

Outram returned home by the steamer of April 1. 
Though he was not to reappear in Sind, either in a civil or 
military capacity, his connection with that country was by 
no means severed. His acquaintance with its people and 

-i843 ENGLAND AGAIN 33$ 

politics would be soon put to a new and cmcial test. It 
would occupy his thouglits in the West, as it had already 
done in the East. But nearly twenty-four years of unbroken 
service in India should suffice to complete one section of the 
career we have undertaken to describe: and a thorough 
change of scene points to an appropriate division of our 







Home. — Return to India. — Nimar. — Disturbances in Southern Maratha Ooiui- 
try.^Kolapor and Sawant-Wari. 

Absence from England for a quarter of a century may bring 
about distaste and unfitness for the climate and ways of the 
old country ; but the sight of home, even after so many years, 
can hardly prove a matter of indifference to the returning 
wanderer. In Outram's case this long period had been al- 
most reached : the full vigour of manhood had replaced the 
undeveloped powers of youth ; and there had been much 
growth and formation of taste in India to dim the colour of 
boyish association. But family ties and patriotic instincts 
ever exercised a strong influence over him ; and in a letter 
addressed to his mother from Malta, on his homeward voyage, 
the old filial affection bums brightly as ever. He thanks 
heaven that he is ^ now on the high road ' towards her, and 
calculates the precise date on which he may be actually 
proceeding from London to Scotland. 

As it happened, the satisfaction of revisiting his native 
land had more of alloy for Colonel Outram than SeJIs to the 
average lot of the Indian officer availing himself of a long-de- 
ferred furlough to Europe. Even his richly-deserved honours 
were not to be matter of pure congratulation. True that the 
Sind gazettes enabled him to turn his face homewards a brevet 
Lieutenant-Colonel and C.B. ; but this was exactly what he 
had been officially led to consider himself three years before. 
How friends and comrades viewed his promotion was well 

% 2 

340 JAMES OUT RAM 1843- 

ezpressed in the words of the most eminent of the Governors 
under whom he served. Mr. Elphinstone, in a letter to an 
East India Director of the day, took occasion to remark that 
had the honours been received agreeably to original promise. 
Colonel Outram would then, under ordinary precedent for 
distinguished military service, have been an aide-de-camp to 
the Queen and K.C.B. — rewards quite irrespective of excep- 
tional work in the political department.' But, personal 
considerations apart, his mind was full of cares and anideties 
concerning the honour of his country and on behalf of the 
Amirs of Sind ; and it was natural that he should wish the 
home authorities to understand what had been his own 
share of responsibility in the treatment of the deposed and 
exiled chiefs and the annexation of their 4ands. He felt, 
moreover, constrained by honour and duty to represent the 
circumstances of these unfortunate princes in the light which, 
to his appreciation, was that of truth. His own intimate 
acquaintance with the more prominent members of the fallen 
dynasty, and especially the legacy of trust committed to him 
by one of the number on his dying bed, made him keenly 
sensitive to the necessity of pleading a cause which, without 
such advocacy, could not obtain a legitimate hearing. In 
taking this course he knew fuU well that he once more, and 

' The exact words may be quoted: — '/. • two distinctioiMi which had 
been promised, and more than promised, long ago. Had he received these 
honours at the time, he would now (on the principle which most have been 
obserred of advancing each officer one step) have been made aide-de-camp to 
the Qaeen and K.C.B. All this is written as if Colonel Ontram was merely 
a military officer who had distingoished himself in the Afghan campaign, and 
who now again shared with many others in the services lately performed in 
Scinde ; bnt yon are well aware how fi» this is from Colonel Ontram's real 
position. Besides his ample share in the planning and condnct of varioua 
military enterprises, his political services for several years have been such as 
it would be difficult to parallel in the whole course of Indian diplomacy . . . 
Considering all these services, and the high station held by Colonel Outram 
when he performed them, the appearance of his name among crowds of subal- 
terns is rather a humiliation than an honour.* 


this time perhaps hopelessly, imperilled both reputation and 
prospects. Indeed, to initiate at head-quarters an attack 
upon the policy of the Grovemor-General and of others high 
in power and influence might seem deliberate oflBcial suicide. 
He did not at the time anticipate that disinterested efforts 
on behalf of the Amirs would involve a breach with a man 
whose firiendship he especially valued, and whose character he 
especially admired — Sir Charles Napier. But no considera- 
tions whatever could restrain him from what he believed to 
be the straight line of duty, particularly when it implied 
justice to the oppressed, the misrepresented, or the maligned 
— and such he believed the deposed Amirs to be. 

Lord Bipon was at that time President of the Board of 
Control ; but it was not only with that nobleman that his 
Indian experience and repute placed him in oonmiunication. 
Sir Eobert Peel, then Prime Minister, sent for, and received 
from him a statement of his views on the Sind question : 
and he had also to meet similar requisitions from the Chairs 
of the Court of Directors, as well as from the Duke of 
Wellington through his secretary, Mr. Arbuthnot. He 
found that most important official documents had never 
reached the home authorities — such as his notes of confer- 
ences with the Amirs ; and he was enabled to supply copies, 
as well as to submit verbal explanations of these. Arrival 
in London was consequently not immediately followed by 
departure to join his &mily in the North. It was on a 
Saturday afternoon in May. Installing himself at the 
Burlington Hotel in Cork Street, he proceeded at once to the 
India Board, where he had to await the coming of the 
President, who was on a Cabinet Council, and did not appear 
until 6.30. P.M. too fatigued for new work. There was no 
remedy but to defer the interview until Monday. On 
Monday, his Lordship was closeted with the Prime Minister, 
and on appearance at the office in the afternoon, apologising 

342 JAMES OUTRAM, 1843- 

for the exigencies of his high position, had to hurry off again 
to a Cabinet Council. We need not continue these details to 
explain how it was that days passed before Outram rejoined 
his funily at Cheltenham, which place was fixed upon as a 
more convenient temporary residence than any part of 
Scotland. A letter to his mother, dated May 25, may, 
however, be quoted: — *The truth is that my going to 
Edinburgh at all till the next India Mail arrives, is very much 
against the wish of the Court of Directors. ... I believe 
they concede it out of kindness to me ; and discussions daily 
arise firom which reference has to be made to information 
which I have to afford. To-day, for instance, I was closeted 
with the Duke of Wellington's secretary two hours, and shall 
again be required by Lord Bipon to-morrow, and am liable 
to be so every day till it is decided what has to be done. I 
feel, therefore, that I should be deserting my post to go 
away at this moment.' 

During his nominal stay at Cheltenham, he was perpetu^ 
ally on the move between that place and London. In the 
former town he was invited to a dinner to be given to him 
by the Anglo-Indian residents, but declined the honour. 
His health was good, although he was annoyed by the 
remains of an enormous Sind boil on his cheek. This at one 
time kept him imder treatment and, in a note to his wife 
written firom London, he mentions that his £ace is such a 
figure he is * ashamed to go' even *to the club.' From 
Cheltenham he and Mrs. Outram moved to London before 
the close of the season, and were presented at Court. It- 
was a great pleasure to them in those days to meet with 
their old fidends of Khandesh, Mr. and Mrs. Bax. After the 
ceremony of presentation, in which both ladies bore a part, 
Outram ran up to Scotland for a hasty visit of less than a 
fortnight to his lister Mrs. Sligo at Seacliffe, and his father- 
in-law in For&rshire. This absence firom London and the 


vicinity was the occasion of an unfortunate contretemps which 
he imagined ever afterwards might have afforded grounds for a 
misapprehension affecting his loyal courtesy — if such a term 
be admissible. He received an invitation to a State Ball when 
in Scotland, and having no skilled courtier at hand to point 
out the conmiand which the honourable compliment implied^ 
he took it as an ordinary civility, and excused himself on the 
plea of absence firom London. Had he understood the true 
nature of the case he would, of course* have made a point of 
hurrying up, at any cost, in obedience to the gracious 
smnmons. Not only was the fault overlooked, but the 
great honour was accorded him of an invitation to a second 
State Ball immediately succeeding the first. This, however, 
through some mischance, he did not receive until the speci- 
fied day had passed ; and in tendering his explanation he 
unwittingly fell into the error of preferring it demi-officially, 
through a personal friend among the nobility, instead of 
submitting a formal apology, which he vainly regretted he 
had &iled to do when too late conscious of the omission. 
Those who knew him, and how deep and chivalrous were his 
loyalty and attachment to the Sovereign, would rightly 
interpret acts such as these to be mere indications of a camp 
and * out-of-door * training — ^results which men are accus- 
tomed to consider the accidents rather than the incidents of a 

From the lodgings and distractions of London, and the 
lionising, which he cordially disliked but now found himself 
subject to, it was decided to move to Brighton. Mrs. 
Outram preceded him; but he soon rejoined her, having 
accomplished in the interim his journey to Scotland and 
back. From Brighton, after a short stay, they crossed to 
Dieppe and went on to Paris. The dweller among Bhils 
and Brahuis, Afghans and Sindis, not being an expert in 
the French language, found little permanent attraction in 

344 7^MES OUTRAM. 1843 

Parisian theatres and other amusements; and avoided 
^ sights,' in the general sense of the term. His mind was 
fiill of Sind ; and he had ahready, before coming to the Con- 
tinent, placed certain papers in the printer's hands and 
received the proofis for correction — ^processes which, when 
once essayed, are seldom restricted to the one occasion. He 
missed even the frequent official references made to his 
knowledge and experience by the Directors, or by authorities 
less immediately connected with India; and he longed again 
to talk over at the clubs, with men interested like himself 
in the subject, past and passing events and possible future 
contingencies affecting the honour and welfsure of our stiU 
growing British Empire in the East. Accordingly a sudden 
return to lodgings in Brook Street took place before the end 
of September ; and in London he remained, until quitting 
England for India on December I of the same year. In 
November, when he had been only six months in the en- 
joyment of his furlough, intelligence was received in London 
of the revolution of Labor and murder of the Maharaja Sher 
Singh. War with the Sikhs was foreshadowed ; and Outram 
indulged in the hope that his services would be made avail- 
able in the North-West. 

He addressed himself in the first instance to Lord Bipon, 
expressing his desire to return by the next outgoing mail, 
instead of awaiting the expiration of his furlough ; and 
solicited his Lordship's good offices to enable him to find 
employment under Lord Gough in the capacity of a mere 
volunteer, without encroachment on the General's patronage 
in respect of personal staff and field appointments. At the 
suggestion of Lord Ripon, however, the application was 
transferred (and with success) to the Duke of Wellington, 
who, as Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's army, both at 
home and abroad, would naturally have less scruples than 
a civilian in recommending an officer for military service. 


Nor was this the only communication that Outram had to 
make to the Board of Control preparatory to re-embarkation 
for ilie East. Circumstances had transpired to render advis- 
able the submission in the same quarter of a memorandum 
designed to counteract any injurious misrepresentation of 
his proceedings in Sind which might possibly reach the Home 
Oovemment; and this paper was given in, as a precau- 
tionary measure, on the eve of his departure. The ^ possible ' 
misrepresentations had then, indeed, reached the Home offices, 
but they were not shown to him whom, personally, they 
chiefly concerned, nor was he favoured with any intimation 
of their existence or arrival. Before he coidd learn anything 
of them they were to be put before Parliament and the 
country, a procedure which occurred in March 1844. The 
memorandiun which he had thought proper to prepare by 
way of precaution had been returned in the previous January, 
with an intimation that it should have been sent through 
the Government of India ! 

Fortunately we need not dwell at length on the painful 
controversy occasioned by his strictures on the annexation 
which followed the battles of Mi4ni and Dabba, the utterance 
of which at home was but a natural consequence of the situa- 
tion in which the late political agent and commissioner in 
Sind found himself placed on leaving Western India. When 
Outram was at Bombay in March, just before embarkation, 
the question arose as to the propriety of putting a fiill ex- 
position of his views on the Sind complication before the 
Governor-General. Nothing, however, was done in the 
matter. Sir George Arthur, then Governor, did not think 
that his Government could express any opinion on the subject, 
and it was doubtful whether the submission of any indi- 
vidual remarks, without an accompanying letter of comment, 
might not lead to the writer's detention in India. But his 
sympathy with the Amirs was well known to the authorities 

346 yAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

both in Sind and Bombay ; and, when about to leave Sind, he 
had placed before Sir C. Napier a full and clear statement of 
our relations with those princes. After his arrival in England, 
some of his Indian friends kept him au courant of local 
events. Among them Major Gordon forwarded from time to 
time an accoimt of the captive Amirs, over whom he had 
been placed as superintendent at Sasur, noting the aflFec- 
tionate manner in which they spoke of ^ Outram Sahib ' as 
their best friend. Mirs Sobdar and Nasir Khan, and the 
old Mir Rustam Khan of Upper Sind, all took advantage of 
Major Gordon's correspondence to address their old acquaint- 
ance, detailing their griefs, and assuring him, in their own 
handwriting, of their kindly remembrance and regard. He 
had, therefore, always at hand, the case of the Amirs of Sind 
up to the latest dates ; and, in imparting freely to the Home 
Government his information and opinions, he laid himself 
open to no charge of secret or inconsistent action. He was 
advocating a cause which he had before openly espoused in 
India, and attacking a policy from which he had already 
publicly dissented in the same quarter. That the diflference 
of opinion with his temporary chief, admitted at first in so 
friendly a spirit* by Sir Charles Napier, should have become 
aggravated into a serious rupture, must be attributed to the 
excitement of the times and the introduction of new elements 
of discord as the controversy progressed — elements aggra- 
vated by the intervention of partisans whose bitter pens 
revelled in paper warfare. Ample evidence has been recorded 
on both sides to guide the impartial reader to a correct 
judgment ; and if he wade through all the volumes that have 
been printed on this one subject only, he will hardly fail to 
regret the time spent and energy wasted by the litigants on 
an argument which would better have been debated by 
professional pleaders in the law court or council chamber. 
Whichever view he take, we have no fear that the ability. 


integrity, or honesty of purpose of the subject of this bio- 
graphy will suffer in his estimation. As regards the sentence 
of history, Time, the great soother of contention and often 
the fairest discriminator between public contreversialists, 
has already, in part, pronounced its judgment ; and the full 
decision will follow in due course. One of those incidental 
revelations which afford pregnant * materials of history ' has 
recently laid bare to us the secret councils of the powers 
that were in 1843. An article by the Bight Hon. W. E. 
Gladstone, in the * Contemporary Eeview* of November 1876, 
apropos of Russian proceedings in Asia, contains the follow- 
ing most remarkable passage : — 

A notable example occurred in 1843, when Sinde was conquered 
by Napier, under the auspices of Lord Ellenborough. That 
conquest was disapproved, I believe, unanimously by the Cabinet 
of Sir Robert Peel, of which I can speak, as I had just entered it 
at that time. But the ministry were powerless, inasmuch as the 
mischief of retaining was less than the mischief of abandoning it, 
and it remains an accomplished fact 

Under the unexpected light which thus breaks upon an 
otherwise shrouded page of our annals, we see the Bayard of 
India stand more than justified in his riskful championship 
of the helpless Amirs. But the contest proved a long and 
costly one for him. Allies able and not uninfluential took 
up the cause with him, and eventually he emerged from the 
struggle, firmer in the saddle than ever — scathed, indeed, and 
weary, but with his modest scutcheon brightened rather than 
blurred. For years the uncongenial paper warfare dragged 
on, the incubus of a life — each day of which brought its full 
burden of public care — and the source of misrepresentations, 
misimderstandings, and aspersions peculiarly trying to a 
sensitively honest natiure. 

For ourselves, long and close experience with the chiefs 
and people of Sind under British rule has not shaken our 

348 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

faith, acquired at first sight, in the justice of Outram's argu- 
ment. It shall now be our business, in these pages^ to give 
as much as possible an incidental character to this phase of 
the Sind question. In the excellent spirit which has guided 
a comparatively recent biographer in his allusions to it,^ we 
see a precedent and a model which may well and wisely be 
followed as closely as circumstances permit. 

There is one passage, however, in the book imder reference, 
which we may not leave quite unnoticed. We do not revert 
to it so much on account of its pertinency to our own bio- 
graphy, as from the wish to complete a deeply interesting 
correspondence which cannot but reflect lustre on the 
memories of those between whom it arose. No reprint 
of already published letters, or summary of their contents, 
will now be given. The consciousness that certain feelings, 
though essentially human, are too sacred, in some sense, 
for repeated expression, forbids us to retrace, in any but the 
faintest outline, the following occurrence of the year 1858. 
The elder Mrs. Outram, then an octogenarian, wrot« a letter, 
full of sorrowful reproach, to General Sir William Napier, in 
correction of a too hasty statement on his part as to the 
death of her son Francis, which had caused her much pain. 
To this appeal the General sent a short but touching and 
noble reply. We have now to add that this reply was for- 
warded, with a copy of Mrs. Outram's generous acknowledg- 
ment, to James Outram, then almost at the zenith of his 
fame. Upon receipt, he addressed to his mother the follow- 
ing letter, from which few portions have been omitted, lest 
the force of the original should be impaired. It must have 

' Life of General Sir W, Napier, K,C,B, By H. A. Bruce, Esq.. M.P., toL 
ii. p. 165: — *Thi8 painful controyersj, which thus arose between the two 
brothers . . . and a man who has gained the respect and admiration of 
thousands, and who possessed in a very remarkable degree the quality of COD- 
ciiiuting the worm aflection of those about him, is here dismissed.' 


been written — and the text bears evidence of the accuracy of 
the date — on the very day that its writer, at the head of the 
1st division, retook the Residency, during that brilliant 
series of operations which resulted in the final capture of 
Jjakhnao by Sir Colin Campbell : — 

* As you did not send me a copy of your first letter I can 
only infer its substance and tone from the very meagre 
allusions you make . . and firom the manly and touching 
acknowledgment it drew forth firom one who — may God 
forgive me for the harsh and unjust judgment — I believed 
incapable of acknowledging an error. Your reply to this 
brief but affecting note was worthy of yourself, my noble- 
minded mother, and due to your correspondent. And his 
concluding note was worthy of a brave and good man. 

* I was very much affected when I read these documents, 
and my first impulse was to ¥nrite a letter to Sir William Na- 
pier expressive of the emotions their perusal had awakened — 
and venturing a hope that there might henceforth be a cessa- 
tion on his part of all hitter feelings towards your son. But, 
on reflection, I abandoned the idea. For our controversies 
have been so niunerous, and so complicated, that I could 
not, without writing a volume, have explained to him how 
thoroughly he and his brother had misunderstood my feelings 
and misinterpreted my conduct to the latter. Nor could I 
have satisfied him how innocent I was of those unworthy 
innuendoes and unmanly sarcasms which their over-zealous 
partisans had persuaded Sir William and Sir Charles to dis- 
cover in my writings. And I feared, moreover, that he 
might attribute my communication to wrong motives — to a 
dread of future attacks — or to a sneaking anxiety to get him 
to modify, in future editions of his books, what he has already 
written. But I am not even yet satisfied that I ought not to 
have written to him. If to write was my duty, as a Christian, 

350 JAMES OUTRAM, 1843- 

no consideration of the trouble it would involve and no fear 
of misconstruction, ought to have prevented my performing 
it. Think over the matter, dear mother, and give me your 
opinion. If yovi. think that I ought to write, I vrHll ; even 
though my doing so were to bring do¥Fn on me fresh attacks 
from his powerful pen — ^though it is most ungenerous to 
suppose that such would be the case. It would be a satisfac- 
tion to me, situated as I now am— of whom it may em- 
phatically be said that in the midst of life I am in death — to 
feel assured tiiat others were at peace with me. But it most 
concerns me to be certain that / am at peace with themj and 
if I know my own heart, I can solemnly declare before that 
great God at whose judgment-seat I may in half an hour be 
called to stand, that I do, from the bottom of my soul, forgive 
Sir William Napier all the harsh, and, as I believe, utterly 
undeserved, epithets he has lavished on me, all the mon- 
strously untrue statements regarding me which his ardent 
temperament led him to believe without due inquiry, and 
his fraternal affection to record as history — and all the 
injury to my worldly interests and advancement which has 
resulted from his own and his brother's hostility towards me. 
As regards his brother, few have even heard me apeak harshly 
of him. All who have been much with me can testify to the 
warmth with which I ever dwelt on his noble and generous 
qualities, even when he was most bitterly assailing me. YoUj 
mother, know the intensity of the love that I ever bore that 
man. You know how deep the pain which the severance of 
our friendship cost me. Fou, at least, know how little I 
imagined that I was preparing for its severance when — im- 
pelled by a sense of the duty I owed my ward,^ and giving 
effect to an intention of which I had apprised Sir Charles, 
and of which he seemed to approve — I implored Lord Sipon 

* The Sind Amir, Hussin Ali, consigned to Outram's charge by his ikther 
Hir Nur Muhammad, on his dying bed. 


to show that mercy to him, and the other Ameers, which I 
thought it cruel in Lord Ellenborough to withhold. And you 
know that when Sir William accused me of seeking to injure 
my late chief — to intercept the gratitude of Parliament, and 
the favour of his sovereign from one whom it was then my 
proudest boast to call my friend — he accused me of that 
which (though doubtless he believed it) was as utterly the 
reverse of true, as that I was under pecuniary obligations to 
mercantile firms connected with the Indian Press, oi' any of 
the other egregious fictions which he and Sir Charles were 
persuaded to accept and promulgate as &cts. It was not in 
human nature not to feel indignant when misrepresented. 
It was too much in consonance with fiiUen hiunan nature to 
regard and treat the misrepresentations as intefnMoTud — ^to 
repay harsh words and unkind imputations with harsh and 
unkind rejoinders — to return railing for railing. All this I 
did ; but long ere Sir Charles was called away, I often bitterly, 
and with a deep sense of humiliation, deplored the loose run 
I had given to my irritated feelings, and the licence I had 
allowed my pen. And when the grave closed over him, I 
had, from the bottom of my soul, forgiven him in respect of 
all I had thought he had done requiring my forgiveness. 
Once, and once only, since then, have I spoken of what I 
considered the wrongs he had done me. This I did in the 
excitement of a speech delivered at a dinner given me at 
Calcutta, just at the time his posthumous work appeared. 
And the words — such as they were^— were hardly uttered ere 
they were repented of. But this is too painful a subject to 
dwell on longer. I have said enough to satisfy you as to the 
state of my own feelings. Advise me as to whether I should 
write to Sir William. If so, suggest to me what I should 
say — and I will act on your suggestions.* 

Assuredly, the seal has now been set to a controversy 

352 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843 

so ill according with the heart-spoken sentiments of the 

Armed with a letter from the Duke of Wellington to the 
Commander-in-Chief in India, Colonel Outram left England 
for the second time, bright with the sentiments of loyalty, 
cherished from his boyhood, but in &r more serious mood 
than on first setting out. He contemplated returning by 
an early steamer from Bombay, should no prospect of imme- 
diate service offer : and it is probable that a communication 
from Sir Charles Napier, which only reached him at Malta, 
confirmed him in this intention. It was now evident that, 
owing to his statements to the Board of Control, and other 
official quarters in London, aggression was threatened at 
home, requiring measures of self-defence : and there would 
at the same time be a hostile influence to counteract in 
India. Writing from the outward-bound vessel near Aden, 
on the last day of the year, he begged Mrs. Outram to form 
no plans for joining him until she had received his letters, 
or heard definitely of his movements, by the mail of Feb- 
ruary 1. 

By that opportimity, though he had no positive informa- 
tion to impart of his prospective movements, he could show 
that a return to old associations had worked a change in his 
way of thinking. Disembarkation on Indian soil had had, 
for the moment, something of the effect of the trumpet- 
sound upon the war-horse. He now stated his resolution to 
remain for a time in India. That resolution was made at 
the instigation of men on whose judgment and friendship he 
could rely, and its wisdom was evident, inasmuch as with- 
drawal from the land of his professional career because he 
could not find active service there, or employment to his 
liking, would have been to avow himself an aggrieved man. 
A letter addressed to his wife on January 23, told of his 
arrival at Asirgarh, en route to the Govemor-General^s camp 


at Gwalior. The battles of Panniah and Maharajpur had 
been recently fought, and were still the subject of current 
conversation at Indian mess-tables. To Outram's mind it 
was not clear whether the result of those victories might not 
rather encourage than discourage the Sikhs to &ce us, be- 
lieving themselves, as they did, greatly superior to the Ma- 
rathas. He could say nothing of his own chances of field 
service until reaching Sir Hugh Gough's head-quarters ; but 
the Bombay friends with whom he had held personal com- 
munication since his return, were not sanguine of his success 
in the teeth of opposition firom an authority higher than that 
of the military chief. A still deeper cause of distress to him 
was the indifference expressed by so many of his brother 
officers on the annexation of Sind, coupled with subversion 
of the native rule in that province — a proceeding which he 
looked upon in the light of usurpation. His rate and mode 
of travelling at this time were not such as to soothe his 
temper, or lead him ta forget his cares. Bearers could not 
be procured to carry him at all stages, and between Aurang- 
abad and Asirgarh he had to ride on village tattoos, putting 
his palankeen in carts. From Indore he anticipated having 
recourse to camels. 

Three weeks later, he thus wrote to his mother from 
Fathpur : — * Fancy my being in the same camp yesterday 
with Lord Ellenborough, to whom I proffered my attendance 
as in duty bound, and to show I did not shun to meet his 
Lordship, after all I had done at home. He, however, . • . 
declined the interview, unless I would state my reasons in 
writing ; so we did not meet,* and now he is on his way to 

> The draft of ft leU«r to Mr. Melvill on this sabject is more explicit, and 
may here be qnoted : — * With a Tiew to lay mj proceedings in England before 
Lord EUenborongh, if allowed the opportunity, and to show the req>ect dne to 
the Goremor-General, being in the neighbourhood of his Lordship's camp, I pro- 
ceeded there to solicit the honour of an audience, intimating to the private 
secretary that I had no oj^ciaX objects, but that I was ready to display all that 

VOL. I. A A 




354 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

Calcutta, having previously sent me the offer of an appoint- 

The inferiority of this post,* political charge and revenue 
management of Nimar, an appendage to Indore, compared 
with the offices which he had previously held, certainly gave 
a warrant to the supposition that its refusal was anticipated ; 
but Outram had the good sense, acting imder the advice of 
Colonel Bamewell and others, to conquer his personal objec- 
tions, and accept the offer. He thus describes the scene of 
his impending labours :— 

<It is situated on the banks of the Narbudda, on the 
road between Asirgarh and Mhow, called Mandlesir. There 
we shall have a good house and garden, a doctor and his 
wife, and one or two officers. A detachment of troops is 
always stationed there ; it is a pretty place also . • . but 
there are jungles to pass between it and Khandesh, which are 
not safe till January. ... I had fully made up my mind to 
return home for another year, when I found there was no 
chance of anything to do in the Punjab, and in the supposi- 
tion that I should never be restored to the political depart- 
ment during Lord E.'s rSgime. Having now been replaced in 
it, however, I trust he will see the necessity ... of raising 
me to my proper position, a year or two in which will enable 

I had advocated or oommonicated at home relative to Sind before the Governor- 
General, if required to do so. The interview was declined on the ground that 
no private audiences are granted, except under certain roles (with which, by 
the bye, I had already complied) . . . His Lordship having previously objected 
to my joining Sir Hugh Gough, a situation was then offered to me of a veiy 
inferior natureto what I had held (an assistantship under Indore), but which 
under my peculiar circumstances, and denied military service — with which 
view I had returned to India before the expiration of my furlough — I was necessi- 
tated to accept, and did so, I trust, in sufficiently submissive and becoming 

^ Both in salary and importance, it was less than that which he had held 
ten years before. Thus, the whole of his services since leaving Khandesh in 
1836, as political agent in the Mahi Kdnta, political agent in Lower Sind, and 
political agent in Sind and Baluchistan, became, as it were, annulled. 

-i845 ^/^^ ^T MANDLAISIR. 35J 

me to return to you, for I declare I am determined to do so 
in two or three years at furthest.' - 

His journey from Bombay to the Upper Provinces, and 
back to Mandlaisir, occupied a period of nearly two months. 
This, for a part of the coimtry where there were no facilities 
for locomotion, was considered quick travelling. He reached 
his new destination on March 10, having seen Gwatior and 
the Taj at Agra — * which alone,' he wrote, * would repay the 
journey ' — and having * met with much civility and attention 
from everybody except Lord Ellenborough.' We obtain 
some insight into his daily life after a fortnight's experience 
of his Nimar head-quarters, in a letter again addressed to 
his mother: — 'I go to office at sunrise, stay there till 10 
o'clock, receiving petitions, and transacting business person- 
ally with the natives ; break&st at 10; then remain in my 
office at home, doing official correspondence, &c. till dinner 
at 4 ; ride out after dinner ; then have tea, and read till 
bed-time.' He was in anxiety at this time about Mrs. 
Outram's health, and desirous of ascertaining through his 
mother whether she would be strong enough to join him in 
India after the rains, so as to guide his own prospective 
movements. As to the position which he had advisedly 
accepted, he comes philosophically to the conclusion that he 
is * banished in this quiet comer until liord Ellenborough 
goes home.' 

His craving for active service may in a measiure have 
been abated by the consciousness that his military rank was 
insufficient to obtain for him high command in the field ; 
but he could not shut his eyes to the fact that, had his good 
work already performed met with the reward bestowed on 
his comrades for bx less brilliant achievements, this obstacle 
would not have existed. * I can scarcely hope,' are his words 
in a draft letter to Mr. Melvill, written during his first 

A A 2 

356 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

montb at Mandlaisir, ^that I may be so fcnrhmate as to 
obtain the honour of a Queen's A.D.C., but the sooner yoa 
do confer it on some of your lieutenant-colonels, the better, 
to afford a few active officers sufficiently high in army rank 
for the secondary commands in the field. . • ' 

We have ahready stated that Outram's precautionary 
memorandum, left in the hands of the authorities in London, 
was returned to him in January 1844. Let us now add 
that the option of withdrawal was part of the same proce- 
dure, and that* the honest-hearted soldier, ignorant of 
coming blue-books, and of publications more or less con- 
demnatory of his views and actions, did as his masters at 
home evidently wished him to do, and cancelled the 
jn^ juatificative which was so soon to reappear as an 
essential instalment of after volumes. And what was the 
bitter sequel? In his comparative seclusion the news 
reached him that Parliament had discussed the affairs of 
Sind and its Amirs, the debaters having been guided by 
the light of incomplete despatches and papers wholly unaf- 
fected by his anticipatory comments, although these, in 
some instances, had the full force of counter-statements. 
This was a severe blow to him, and hard to bear. He had 
foreseen that the fate of the deposed chiefs was sealed ; and 
he daily became more sensible that neither could voice be 
raised, nor pen or brain exercised with any practical 
success on their behalf. But the manner in which his efforts 
to benefit them had been received at home, and the little 
regard paid to his Sind experiences and long Lidian service 
in the acceptance of a decision which ought in fedmess to 
have been directly influenced by both, disheartened and 
hurt him. His personal character, was, moreover, involved ; 
and to remain silent looked to him like admission of error. 
Yet, while he felt in possession of ample material wherewith 
to establish his ase, cand defeat his opponents, he was de- 


barred from defending himself without official permission ; 
and he doubted, whether such permission would be granted in 
compliance with any request on his part.^ Write an appeal, 
however, he must to the Secret Committee* If not to get 
abroad, it might, he reasoned, be placed among the secret 
archives : and he consoled himself with the reflection that his 
heir might extract it thence at a time when his own contempo- 
raries had passed away from the busy world aroimd. Mean- 
while he would submit in silence to the injurious condemna- 
tions to which he had been subjected, and to the ruin which 
he not imnaturally, if somewhat impulsively, conceived had 
be&llen him as a public man. 

The residence at Mandlaisir was not of a protracted cha- 
racter, nor were the duties of the post which kept him there 
calculated to draw out the high qualities of the holder. Yet 
if it be regarded for him as an episode of repose, the notion 
must be restricted to the exigencies of official routine, for 
beyond giving due attention to local requirements, his mind 
was busy and ^ perplexed in the extreme.' In his home and 
Indian correspondence the tone is less buoyant than of old ; 
and the mood is occasionally the reverse of cheerful. He 
goes so far as to complain that his friends forsake him in his 
difficulties ; he laments the waste of days in the, to him, 
inaction of Nimar life. That this gloomy picture was 
mainly that of a harassed isolation we may judge from the 
many letters of the period addressed to hi% from various 
quarters in terms of evident affection. Friends and advisers, 
such as Colonel Bamewell, and Messrs. Tucker ^ and Melvill 

' Permission was solicited for publicaHon of his letter to Sir Chsrles 
Napier, in reply to one which that officer had published, bat the request was 
declined by the Oovemment of India. 

* Mr. 8t. George Tocker, the weU-known Direotor of the East India Com* 
pany. OutrHm, hearing that one of this gentleman's sons (St. George), a yoang 
cirilian, had been woonded in a gallant encounter with Dacoits, about the time 
that he himself was going to the Governor-General's camp in 1844, posted mor« 

358 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

in England, and Mr. Willoughby in India, showed that he 
possessed the sympathy of the old Company's best and truest 
servants. Mountstuart Elphinstone always expressed an 
interest in his career, and at this period of it, as before and 
after, proved himself his sincere well-wisher. But he 
dreaded for him the threatening paper-warfiure. ^ If he were 
sure of complete success/ he wrote to Colonel Bamewell, ' it 
would be no compensation for devoting himself to a life of 
obscure controversy, instead of going on in his career and 
forcing people to acknowledge his former services by fire^ 
instances of his zeal and ability.' The distinguished states- 
man, however, who gave such sound counsel, would never 
have lent his sanction to the confinement of his proiSgS to 
the obscure limits of an assistant-political's duties at Mand- 
laisir. Out of the circle of civilians and his ^native in&ntry ' 
companions, he found a valued correspondent in his old 
acquaintance, Major Oriando Felix, whose shrewd, cheery 
letters have in them much of solace and sunshine. 

Lord Ellenborough's recall in May, and the succession of 
Sir Henry Hardinge to the Governor-Generalship, did not 
restore his equanimity or fill him with new hope. He had 
reason to believe that his name had been favourably men- 
tioned to the latter ; but he was conscious at the same time 
that the endeavours of his friends might succumb to a power- 
ful hostile influence. On September 10, 1844, the day on 
which he had gpompleted a six months' service at Nimar, 
Outram resigned his appointment, and proceeded to Bombay 
with the intention of returning to England. The resignation 
had been contemplated from the time of his acceptance 
of the office, but the resolution to go home was sudden. It 
had not been mentioned in his August letter to Mrs. Outram, 
on the arrangement for whose outward passage he had then 

than 100 miles out of his way to visit him and oflfer a twofold tribute of con 
dolence and congratulation. 


written at length. Had the application for leave been 
answered in time from Calcutta, he would have left by the 
mail in the beginning of October ; bat delay in the receipt 
of the reply ^ necessitated his waiting for that of November 
1, when he would take leave, in the first instance, only to 
Egypt — afterwards, to Europe or not, according to circum- 

The detention proved a fortunate one, for, meanwhile, an 
outbreak in the Southern Maratha country, or that part of 
Western India which is situated within the coast line between 
Bombay and Goa, had assumed a greater importance 
than had originally belonged to it in the eyes of the 
local government. A detachment of troops under Colonel 
Wallace of the Madras army, sent from Belg^un for the re- 
storation of order, had been checked in an attempt to take 
from the Grarhkaris (or hereditary occupants'^ the strong fort 
of Samangarh on September 24 ; and, two days before, the 
troops of the Kolapur Bajah had been driven away from the 
fort of Budargarh by a bold sally of the rebel garrison. The 
British conmiander was awaiting reinforcements and battering 
guns ; alarm was spreading throughout the disturbed tract ; 
and fears, in some cases amounting to panic, were entertained 
for the stations of fiatnagari, Yingorla, and even Belgtoi itself.' 
As might have been expected, Outram, with alacrity, placed 
his services at the disposal of Government. They were 
accepted : he was put on ^ special ' duty ; and on October 11, 
he appeared in Colonel Wallace's camp.' On the morning of 

> By notification in the Calcutta GajtetiSt dated September 24, 1844, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Outram, G^. Assistant in eharge of Nimar, obtained per- 
mission to resign his appointment, preparatory to applying to the CK)Temment 
of Bombay for permission to proceed to Europe on furlough on urgent priTate 

* Calcutta RevieWf No. 7, Article 7, Volume it. (1845). 

* He had left Bombay in a patamar, or large native boat, disembarking at 
Vingorla, whence to Samangarh, he describes his oumey to have been a yeiy 
unpleasant one, ' in a deluge of rain the whole way.' 

36o JAMES OUTRAAf. 1843- 

the ISth, he was present at the taking of Somangarh; and in 
reporting that event the next day to division head-quarters, 
the officer in ccnnniand of the troops wrote thus : < I cannot 
eonchide without giving expression to the feelings of pride 
and gratification I could not bat entertain when an officer 
of Ueatenan^-Colonel Ontram's high character, well-known 
gallantry, and established fiune, placed his services at my 
disposal, not only during the storm of the Fort of Saman- 
garh,^ but during the subsequent operations on the same 
day of the wing of the 5th light cavalry, under Captidn 
Graeme, against a large body of the enemy. On both these 
occasions lieutenantp^lonel Outram's services were valu- 
able ; and I have requested lieutenant-Colonel Outram, C.B., 
in this day's orders, to accept my best thanks and grateful 
acknowledgments.' The despatch firom which this is an 
extract, was supplemented by Captain Graeme's report, ex- 
pressing his sense of the obligations under which he felt 
himself to Colonel Outram, who had accompanied him 
* throughout ' the cavalry affsdr noted, and to whose * experi- 
ence and guidance ' he attributed much of the success ob- 

The fedl of Samangarh was, however, by no means the 
termination of these disturbances. A few days prior to this 
event, the detachment firom Belgtoi became a part only of 
the force brought together to crush the rebellion against 
authority, which now threatened to spread fSur and wide ; and 
Major-Genend Delamotte, commanding the southern divi- 
sion of the army, had been placed at the head of the troops 
in the field. Outram had reported himself, as in duty 
bound, to the General ; and we are told that he joined his 
camp * in a political capacity.' * But this definition of the 

* There is good authority for stating that he was the first man in at the 
assault, and, for several minutes, stood alone among the enemy 

* Calcutta Review. 


* special duty/ on which his official designation showed him 
to be authoritatively employed, would give but a fidnt idea 
of the work he had actually to perform. The term, be it 
said, is a vague one at aU times, and is not imfrequently 
used in the case of officers whose zeal and intelligence in 
responsible positions are more trusted by Government than 
are the judgment and capability of its own secretariat in 
providing them with distinct instructions. It is, moreover, 
convenient in its very vagueness, for while allowing to the 
ruling powers the fiill merits of an agent's success, it saves 
them from a too direct responsibility in the event of faQure. 
In the present instance, irrespective of a distinction in grade, 
Outram's duties were practically those of a joint special 
commissioner with Mr. Beeves, the recognised commissioner 
or political agent for the Southern Maratha coimtry: for 
the two officers advised together, or acted independently, 
according to circumstances. He was ^so an improvised 
chief of the staff, or head of the intelligence department, 
to the General commanding, careful to take advantage of 
his military T6le to join in aU active operations in the field. 
It was the intention of Government to set aside the civilian 

* inter arma,' and place him under Colonel Outram ; but to 
this the latter objected, in recollection of many a well-con- 
tested * first spear* in pig-sticking days long gone by; 
and he was accordingly appointed in conjunction with his 
old friend. While the detailed tactics of the British autho- 
rities and their native opponents at this early stage of the 
vmhrogUo are not without interest, they involve too compli- 
cated a story to be here repeated. A glance at the main 
incidents will suffice to illustrate generally the part taken in 
the campaign by Outram until his return to Bombay in 
December. We learn from a distinguished and trustworthy 
writer, reviewing the events in the year following their 

362 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

occurrence,* that this oflScer * wherever employed, threw into 
all proceedings that moderation, energy, and ability which 
have everywhere so strongly marked his career;' that he 
and Mr. Beeves offered at a fitting opportuliity, and with 
certain exceptions, ^ an amnesty to all who would willingly 
return to their allegiance,' but that ^ few, if any, accepted the 
terms : a strong presumptive proof that the unfortunate men 
had real grievances.' Further, that ^ the day after the capture 
of Samangarh, Colonel Outram, with Colonel Wallace and 500 
men of his brigade, proceeded to Kaghal, one march from 
Kolapiur, to procure the release of the minister,' a certain 
Daji Pandit, whose training in an Anglo-Indian hachchari 
may have rendered him obnoxious to the Bajah's refractory 
subjects ; but that it was not until October 24, when the 
detachment had been strengthened, that the prisoner was 
set at liberty from the strong fort of Pandla, on which occar- 
sion, Hhe young Sajah of Kolapur, with his aunt and mother 
and the majority of his chiefs, left the city, and joined the 
British camp.' The real leader of the rebellion, Babaji Ahir* 
akar-who had imprisoned the minister, usurped the govern- 
ment, and instigated a raid into British territory, with the 
robbery of a local treasury — ^absconded at the head of 500 
Kolapur troops to the fort of Budargarh, whence, on the 
subsequent surrender of the place to the general command- 
ing, he again found means of escaping to Pan&la. Six days 
afterwards. Colonel Ovans, the British resident at Satfira, 
who had been appointed special commissioner in the South- 
em Maratha country, and would, on joining, have taken the 
place of the joint commissioners, was captured on a d&k 

* Cdoutia Review, The article is attribated to the late Sir Henij 
Lawrence. The reviewer prefaces his remarks thus: — *The tone of onrremaiki 
upon Colonel Outram may savour of partial panegyric to those of our readers 
who have not followed Outram's career as we have done; but no personal 
feelings can mingle in our praise of a man whom we have never seen, and whom 
we know only by his public acts/ 


journey from SaUura to Kolapur, and carried prisoner to the 
same Pan&la stronghold. 

A few words of comment are here necessary. Colonel 
Outram had been just a fortnight in camp when Sir George 
Arthur wrote to offer him the appointment of political agent 
in the Southern Maratha country, subject to the confirma- 
tion of the Government of India, explaining that the situar 
tion contemplated was ^a post of honour, the duties of which 
required great decision and vigour, combined with discretion.' 
Knowing, however, his strongly-expressed intention to take 
advantage of his unexpired fbrlough, imless required for 
particular service, the Governor considerately stated that, if 
that intention were still unchanged, he need not, of course, 
consider himself under any obligation to remain in the 
Southern Maratha country. The wound was now re-opened ; 
Outram respectfully declined the offer ; not on the ground 
surmised, but from a sense of self-respect. Pleading the 
unremedied wrong, he briefly drew attention to the parti- 
culars of his treatment in Sind, and since his last return to 
India. He had been ^ removed from one of the highest and 
most responsible situations under the Government of Indiar— 
the political charge of Sind and Baluchistan,' notwithstand- 
ing the expressed approval of his services in it by high 
authority, and he had accepted an inferior position to prove 
his zeal and loyalty. Circimistances had occurred to obviate 
the necessity of his return home ; ^ but, on completion of the 
work in hand, he would be grateful for permission to revert 
to regimental duty. * I do hope,' he wrote, * that when I 
have restored quiet, and have placed matters in this country 

* His friend, Colonel Barnewell, wrote Ftrongly to dissuade him from the 
stop, and he had reason to believe that the appointment of Besident at Baroda 
might be offered to him if he remained. This he could accept with honour, 
and would be some kind of compensation for his late treatment at the hands of 
Government. Above all, Mrs. Outram^s health had so much improved that 
she proposed joining him very shortly in India. 

364 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

OQ such a footing that they can be satis&ctorily transferred 
to any person whom you may appoint permanently to the 
office, I may be allowed to join my regiment, there to 
remain in humble repose after the incessant wear and tear of 
body and mind which I have had to imdergo for so many 
years past; for I consider that by accepting permanently 
any situation inferior in rank, importance, and emolimient to 
what I have heretofore fiUed with — ^I presume to think — 
advantage to the State, although the contrary to myself, I 
should sign my own admission of the justice of the treatment 
to which I allude.' Upon rdbeipt of this reply, intimation 
was made to Outram that Colonel Ovans, Resident at Sat&ra, 
had been appointed special commissioner for the settlement 
of the Kolapur state and territory, on whose arrival he was 
requested to return to Bombay. 

It is important that these &ct8 should be clearly imder- 
stood, because the proceedings of the special commissioners, 
Mr. Beeves and Colonel Outram, were not all approved by 
the Bombay Government, and the impression may have been 
left on the minds of some persons, that this disapproval had 
to do with the nomination of Colonel Ovans. As to the 
particular acts which elicited adverse comment, it appears 
that objection was taken to the division of forces at Kolapur, 
when concentration had been desired ; as also to the move to 
Kaghal ; but above all to the proclamation of the amnesty, of 
which mention has been made above, and which the au* 
thorities erroneously inferred had been so worded as to 
include all the leaders. The responsibility for these mea- 
sures was not merely accepted, but actually claimed by 
Outram.* More characteristic of his chivalry than illustrative 

' The subsequent despatch of the Court of Directors, dat^ September 17, 
1845, reyiewing the whole proceedings in the states of Kolapur and Sawant- 
Wari, satisfactorily explains Colonel Outram*s conduct, and attributes the 
disapproval of his mel&ures to the imperfect information obtained on the 
subject by the local government 


of his worldly wisdom, was the reply tx) the despatch which 
first communicated the doubts of Government on the pro- 
priety of the action of the joint commissioners. He therein 
says: — *Had the responsibility . . . rested avowedly with 
me, I should have left the result to prove the policy, but 
as my immediate superior, Mr. Beeves, has alone incurred 
the displeasure of Government for those proceedings, I feel 
myself boimd to say that if blame is merited, I at least ought 
to share it ; for I cannot but be conscious that I advocated 
the course which has been thus condenmed ; and, under the 
circumstances in which I wa&r placed, when I so advised, it 
is possible that that gentleman may have been somewhat in- 
fluenced by my opinion.' He then continued an elaborate 
defence of the line of conduct pursued by himself and his 
colleague, which eventually brought upon him the severe 
strictures of the Governor-General, as well as of his own 
immediate superiors. The tendency to justify his acts was 
displayed on this occasion in so marked a manner, that we 
can hardly wonder at the sequel ; and explanations of his 
boldness, if it be not indiscretion, must be looked for in the 
circumstance that the chief blame had been laid on other 
shoulders than his own, and that he was rather censiured 
by implication than directly. 

But, however open to question was the decision of error 
in judgment passed upon the joint commissioners, the un- 
expected seizure and imprisonment of Colonel Ovans on 
November 16 kept them for some time longer in their 
responsible posts. It was not until December 1 that Colonel 
Ovans was released by the Gadhkaris on the reduction of 
their stronghold ; and Outram did not take his departure 
firom camp before the 17th of that month. In the interim 
he had won fresh laurels in the field, as we find firom the fol- 
lowing extracts. 

liieutenant-Colonel Poole, of H.M. 22nd regiment, re- 

i66 ' JAMES OUTRAAf: ig43- 

porting to Major-Q-eneral Delamotte^ on November 29, 
1844, the capture of the Pettahs near the gate on the north 
side of the Forts of P&wangarh and Pan&Ia, writes : — 

* On ascending the hills, the enemy, who were in consider- 
able numbers, commenced firing on us from behind rocks 
and other cover, and were inmiediateij driven into the Pettah 
by the skirmishers. The main body of the party were there 
halted imder cover on the edge of the Pettah, the advance 
parties, half European and half Native, moving on imder 
Ensign Budd, H.M. 22nd regiment, and Ensign Black, 2nd 
grenadiers, led by Lieutenant-Clolonel Outram, and attended 
by Captain Clarke, 2nd grenadiers acting brigade-major. 
The enemy were speedily driven into the Fort of Panala ; 
the party then passed close under the gate of the Fort, 
enabling Colonel Outram to make a full and satisfectory 
reconnaissance ; then, moving on, took post under cover just 
below the neck of land connecting the two Forts, whence 
Captain Clarke was despatched by Colonel Outram to the 
main body, which was conducted by that oflSceir, under 
Colonel Hickes's orders, through the whole of the Pettahs in 
succession to the spot where Colonel Outram was posted, the 
enemy during the whole time keeping up a heavy fire of 
artillery and matchlocks from the walls*' 

Lieutenant-Colonel Brough, of H.M. 2nd regiment, re- 
porting, on December 2, the storm of Pandla on the previous 
evening, remarks : — 

* The heroic Lieutenant-Colonel Outram, C.B., was in his 
accustomed place, the front rank.' 

And Major-General Delamotte, in his own despatch of 
December 3, says : — 

* The diflSculty of reaching the walls was very great from 


the rugged and steep ascent which led to a ledge or path 
by which they (the storming party) were obliged to proceed, 
flanked by a very heavy fire from the walls, and large stones 
hurled down upon them as they advanced, which they did in 
the most gallant manner, to the breach. Among the first 
and foremost I noticed : — 

^Lieutenant- Colonel Brough, commanding the storming 
party; Lieutenant Graham, leading engineer after Major Peat 
was disabled; and the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Outram, 
C.B. I beg now to bring to the &vourable notice of his 
Excellency the Commander-in-Chief. . . . Lieutenant- 
Colonel Outram, C.B., who, on all and every occasion, tendered 
his services, and from whom I received valuable information 
and suggestions.' 

A Government notification, of December 9, announcing 
the storm and captiure of Pan^a, thus recognises the service 
here alluded to : — 

* The Honourable the Governor in Council begs in parti- 
cular to ofier his best thanks to . • . and to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Outram, C.B., of the 23rd regiment of Bombay 
N.I., who volimteered his services and was among the fore- 
most who entered the Fort of Pandla.' 

That he had, at this time also, regained the full appro- 
bation of Government for his political work may be inferred 
by perusal of the Secretary's two despatches to his address, 
dated December 2 and 12 respectively. The first, referring 
to his reception of a delegate from the rebel camp, states : — 

* The Honourable the Governor in Council entirely ap- 
proves of the whole of your proceedings now reported. The 
letters addressed by you to the Sirdars and to the Gadhkaris 
of Pan&la and P&wangarh are written exactly in the proper 

368 JAMES OUTRAM 1843- 

spirit.' The second bears upon his prolonged detention on 
special duty : — 

*The seizure and confinement of Lieutenant-Colonel 
OvanSy the ofl&cer appointed to relieve you, having still kept 
you for a longer period than was intended in your position 
at Kolapur, the Honourable the Governor in Council has 
much gratification in recording his great satis&ction that 
you have thereby had an opportunity, during the military 
operations that have been in progress, of displaying those 
high qualities as a soldier, for which you have been ever dis- 
tinguished ; whilst your subsequent proceedings at Kolapur, 
more particularly after the seizure of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ovans, have generally been marked with prudence and firm- 
ness.' Finally, the Grovemment of India thus addressed 
the Grovemor of Bombay in a later despatch on the same 
subject : — * The Governor-General in Council entirely concurs 
in the opinion of Lieutenant-Colonel Outram's conduct since 
the capture of Colonel Ovans, and while the latter officer 
was retained by the garrison of Pan41a, as mentioned in the 
fifteenth paragraph of your letter to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Outram; and it is with much satisfaction the Governor- 
General in Council records his entire approbation of that 
conduct, and his opinion of the temper, judgment, and 
discretion which have marked Lieutenant-Colonel Outram's 
proceedings on every occasion subsequent to the occurrence 
above alluded to.' 

During the imprisonment of Colonel Ovans, Outram 
begged repeatedly that he might, on public considerations, 
be allowed to take his place, but the former officer would 
not entertain the idea for a moment. Outram argued that 
the rebels, knowing how favourably their prisoner was disposed 
towards them, would readily consent to his release, in the 
belief that he might, when at large, efiect an arrangement in 


their favour; but Ovans thought that the exchange would 
only place his substitute in danger, do him himself no good, 
and be injurious to the character of Government.^ 

While yet en route to Bombay, the receipt, at Sat4ra, 
of a letter from Mrs. Outram, intimating her proposed de- 
parture from England on February 1, confirmed him in his 
resolution of remaining in India; but he still entertained 
the idea of going to Egypt, for he could meet his wife at 
Alexandria. Scarcely, however, had he reached the Pre- 
sidency when his services were placed at the disposal of the 
CoDMnander-in-Chief, and his presence was required to aid in 
the suppression of serious disturbances in Sawan<>-Wari — a 
tract south of the country which he had just quitted. 
Writing to his mother on December 29, he tells her that 
the quarter to which he is moving is so * inundated with 
troops ' that he expects to find * all warfare over ' almost 
before he gets there ; that he has ' a month to spare ' before 
proceeding to meet Mrs. Outram, and will occupy it with the 
portion of his regiment then employed in the field ; and that 

> We are eoabled to supply two of the letters which passed on this oc- 
casion, dated NoYember 21 and 22 respectively : — 

* My dear Ovans, — I again beg that you will propose to the garrison to take 
me as your substitute ; they see yon are favourable to them, and they deem 
me inimical ; the hope, therefore, that (were you) at liberty you might effect 
something for them, while they would consider me nearly equal security in 
their hands, will induce them readily to accede to this arrangement which, for 
private as well as public considerations, I earnestly implore yon to consent to. 


* My dear Outram, — As I said before, your coming to take my place here is 
quite out of the question. It would only place you in danger, and would do 
no good, and would be injurious to the character of Government My object 
is, whatever may happen, to uphold our name and fame. But these men have 
not, as yet, by word or deed, thrown any indignity on me or the Government 
It is natural enough their keeping me here for their own safety, but this is the 
extent of their present offence. But, under no circumstances will I consent to 
your coming here, or to any other person coming here, in my place. 

*C. OVAKS,' 

VOL. I. B B 

376 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843. 

his sudden departure that evening must account for a hurried 
letter. But he had not attached the importance to his new 
military duties which they merited. It was no matter of 
mere regimental command, for which his services had been 
required by the head of the Bombay army. On January 4, 
we trace the first of* his detachment orders, dated Vingorla, 
appointing his staff; a week later, he is at Sawant-Wari, 
detaching a hundred men under an English officer back to 
Vingorla ; and three days afterwards, he is, under instructions 
from division head-quarters, organising a light field detach- 
ment of his own, 1,200 strong, composed of European and 
NatiVe infantry, sappers, artillery, and local troops.* 

The truth is that the insurrection had taken a shape that 
foreboded all sorts of evil consequences, unless the prestige 
of British power were at once asserted and maintained by 
strong, decided action. The fugitives from Kolapur had, on 
the destruction of their forts, and about the time that Outram 
was relieved from his joint commissionership, sought to 
avoid the detachments of troops overrunning the surround- 
ing lands by taking refuge in the nearest jangals^ whence 
they effected a junction with some two thousand of the Wari 
people under the Phund Sawant and Anna Sahib. These 
two chiefs had become notorious by acts of violence and 
lawlessness, and were then engaged in stopping the roads 
and laying waste a great part of the Konkan. Their strength 
was mainly in the difficult nature of the country they 
occupied ; but there were not wanting other obstacles to the 
successful progress of invaders than inaccessible rocks, im- 

> ' In his first inarch from Vingorla,' according to Murray's Handbook qf 
India, part ii. Bombay, ' Colonel Outram had a narrow escape. Riding at the 
head of the column with Captain Battye, of the 21st N.I., he was obserred 
by a party of rebels posted in trees, and was known by his blue coat to be the 
bora sahib, or officer of the highest rank. A Tolley was fired at him, bnt the 
bullets intended for hira struck Captain Battye's horse, which fell dead, shot 
through in three places.' 


penetrable forests, and impassable ravines. Miasma, which 
had ceased to affect them, was a powerful element in checking 
the advance of their foes. Frustrated attempts to reach the 
more prominent offenders had already given confidence to 
the rebel forces, in spite of defective organisation and the 
absence of discipline; while owing to their readiness to 
scatter on all occasions, it was not easy to assail them with 
an effective or decisive blow. To an officer directing opera- 
tions against such an enemy, experience with Bhils, Kulis, 
and even Afghans would not have been thrown away. He 
of whom we are writing possessed this qualification, and 
natural gifts besides peculiarly suited to the due accomplish- 
ment of his task. * Never,' says the before quoted writer in 
the * Calcutta Review,' * was the magic power of one man's 
presence more striking than on Outram's return to the seat 
of war. • . . From January 14 matters took a different turn ; 
• . . hitherto the three brigades had been playing bo-peep 
with the enemy. But now, at length, a decided movement 
was announced for hemming in the rebels in the valley of 
Sirapur. Twelve hundred men were placed under Outram, 
with orders to beat up the low ground from Wari towards 
the forts of Manohar and Mansantosh ; Colonel Carruthers, 
with a brigade, was to occupy the Seevapoor valley on the 
other side of the ridge on which those forts are situated; 
while Colonel Wallace was on a given day to descend the 
Ghats. . . .' The date named was that on which the de- 
tails of the light field detachment were assembled at Sawant^ 
Wari. On the morning of th^ 16th their movements had 
been planned, their marching arrangements completed, and 
they advanced upon the enemy. 

If there has been controversy on the merits of certain 
commanders engaged in the operations that ensued, and in 
respect of certain of those operations, there has been no 
question raised as to the gooA, work then done by James 

B B 2 

372 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

Outram. If there had been complaints of delay and in- 
activity in attacking and dispersing the rebels before his 
appearance on the scene, when he did appear, no such charges 
could be laid at his door. His progress in suppressing the 
rebellion was rapid : his movements were well considered 
and well executed ; and his success was brilliant. Cutting 
his way through thick and hitherto imexplored jcmgal; 
ascending high and steep passes ; seeking, where practicable, 
to co-operate with his brother leaders, but generally compelled 
to act on his own sole discretion ; marching, in one stretch 
of twenty-four hours, a distance of forty-six miles — in fine, 
allowing no moral or physical obstacle to be insuperable, he 
drove the enemy from one stockade after another, occupied 
their villages, and, on the 8th day after setting otlt, stationed 
himself before the fort of Mansantosh. On January 24, 
disappointed in not obtaining two expected mortars, his 
energies were restricted to watching the play of the single 
howitzer which his old friend Captain Pontardent had 
brought up the previous evening, and was now directing 
against the stronghold. His own report may be quoted for 
the proceedings of the next day : — 

* Two Scinch mortars, having arrived during the night, 
were placed in position 600 yards from the Fort, and the 
howitzer moved up to the same. Having determined on 
storming the stockades, lest longer delay should enable the 
enemy to strengthen them still further, I sent Lieutenant 
Peyton with the company of 23rd regiment to occupy a 
belt of jungle running up to the scarp of the Fort to thejeft of 
the stockades, with orders to ascend till within forty or fifty 
yards of the scarp, where the cover was sufficiently dense to 
shelter his men from the stones hurled from the Fort above, 
or shot from the stockades in flank.' 

Here let us explain that Manohar and Mansantosh are 


situated on two lofty rocks, perhaps a mile from the foot of 
the Ghats, and thirty-five miles from Vingorla; they are 
separated from each other by a profound chasm. The height 
above the plain is about 2,500 feet. 

The lieutenant's instructions were to lay close until the 
advance for the storming party was sounded, and then to 
push up and take the stockades in flank while the attention 
of the enemy was distracted by the assault on their front. 
A false attack on the neighbouring fort of Manohar, by the 
pickets on the opposite side, was to be made at the same 
moment, so as to draw off the defenders of the stockades to 
that quarter. But the shelling with which the day's proceed- 
ings opened had not the immediate effect expected, and the 
attack was deferred until 11 A.M.,a later hour than intended. 
Then, the advance being sounded, Outram was disappointed 
at seeing the 23rd skirmishers (his own regiment) rise from 
their cover at the bottom, instead of near the top of the 
ja/agal belt. Not being so high up as the head of the 
storming party, they could not attain, in time, the position 
requisite to bring about the contemplated diversion. 

* Belying, however,' he continues, *on the gallantry of 
the troops composing the storming party, and feeling the ill 
effect of further delaying to take the stockades, I sounded 
to the head of the stormers to throw out skirmishers to the 
left. • . . Lieutenant G-ardiner gallantly led, thus turning 
the flank of the enemy's position. The whole steadily 
ascended the steep ridge, at the top of which a succession 
of three stone stockades were occupied by about 150 of the 
enemy, who opened a heavy fire upon the stormers • . . 
also exposed to showers of stones from the top of the Fort 
immediately over them. The stockades were carried with 
little further difficulty than that of climbing the very steep 
{tscent, and the enemy fled the moment they saw their flank 

374 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

tumed. Lieutenant Munbee, of the engineers, who led the 
advance, and Lieutenant Grardiner, who led the flankers, were 
the first to enter the stockades, immediately followed by 
Captain Jacob, 2nd grenadiers . . . also Lieutenant Belfield, 
H.M. 17th regiment, and Lieutenant Battye, 21st regiment 
N.I. Those officers then pushed on to the steps leading 
up to the gate of the Fort, with the few men up with 
them, and were there awaiting further support when I arrived 
on the spot.' 

As the fugitives from the stockades avoided entering 
Mansantosh, it was doubtful whether serious opposition was 
to be looked for from behind its walls. Its immediate capture 
was, in any case, an important object, because its fell would 
ensure that of Manohar also, and possibly result in the 
apprehension of the chiefs in both places. Upon the whole 
Outram thought it well to lend a favourable ear to the step 
which Lieutenant Munbee gallantly volunteered to take — 
viz. to apply powder-bags to the gate. Five officers * and a 
few men of H.M. 17th and 22nd regiments, accompanied 
the directing engineer on this occasion, but the attempt was 
unsuccessftil and some loss ensued.* The result was distress- 
ing, and circumstances would not have justified any hasty 
instructions for a second experiment of the kind. Meanwhile, 
attention was given to prevent the egress of the garrison pre- 
paratory to repetition on the following night. One party was 
lefb in possession of the steps leading to the gate ; a second 
party was placed under shelter in the gap between the two 

^ Captains Le Ghrand Jacob, and Hume ; Lieutenants Gardiner, Battye, and 

' The return of casualties had not been made up when Outram wrote the 
report from which the above account is obtained. But he knew that in this 
attempt, and the previous advance on the stockades, five men had been killed, 
and five officers and several men wounded. He attributed the check received 
to the delay in the original attack, which enabled the enemy to collect the piles 
of stones with which the storming party was overwhelmed. 


Forts, to prevent the despatch of succour from Manohar; 
and the third side of Mansantosh was secured by the occu- 
pation of the stockades and a cave at the bottom of the 
scarp on the west. Outram had had no opportunity of recon- 
noitring the scarp on the fourth side, which was not within 
the limits of his charge ; but he understood that it was so 
perpendicular as to prevent the possibility of escape, in the 
face of the troops co-operating in that quarter, whose mortars 
had opened fire on the previous day. 

Accordingly, at an hour after dark on January 26, Lieu- 
tenants Munbee and Schneider, supported by Lieutenant 
Mardell, who had volunteered his services with some native 
riflemen, were in position on the steps ; but the storming 
party had miscalculated the time necessary to reach the spot, 
and did not arrive until the rising moon made their purpose 
too apparent for successful accomplishment. The enterprise 
was therefore again deferred for another twenty-four hours, 
at the end of which time Outram, confident in the secure re- 
tention of the garrison of Mansantosh, hoped to see eflFected 
a complete investment of Manohar as well, by the exertions 
of his brother commanders. He was, however, greatly sur- 
prised and chagrined to find in the morning that both forts 
had been evacuated; their garrisons having slipped out 
on the sides supposed to be watched by the co-operating 

Writing on the date of this imlooked-for event, Outram 
says: — 

*The escape of the garrisons, including, I believe, the 
young Rajah and all the chiefs of the rebels, at a time when 
their capture was so possible, and their escape might have 
been so easily prevented, is most deeply to be regretted. I 
hear that they have made their way down the jungle in front 
of the Menohur gate, and coming over the Sassudroog ridge. 


376 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843- 

some distance beyond the post which I established thereon 
(and made over to the other brigades), passed on to the 
Visla jungles, where they were seen at four o'clock this 
morning. I shall now direct my endeavours to follow them 

He cZwZ follow them up, and there was more fighting in 
the thick ^'angroZ, in which some sipdJiis were killed on our 
side and much loss of life occurred on that of the enemy. 
Eventually the resistance subsided, and negotiations were 
opened with the Portuguese authorities of the bordering 
State of Goa for the delivery of those insurgents who had 
sought a refuge there. By the end of April the campaign 
was at an end. We have attempted no account of it as an 
historical narrative ; but in confining ourselves to Outram's 
story of his own operations, we have certainly not drawn the 
reader's attention to the least stirring part of the whole. 
One or two brief extracts, however, firom the * Calcutta Review ' 
may be added with advantage. It is there stated : — 

On January 20, a combined movement was ordered upon the 
high peak to the west of Munsuntosh. The main attack was 
to be made by Colonel Carrutbers, who, supported by a portion of 
Colonel Wallace's brigade, was to carry some stockades in his 
front, and then move up the Dakhan-waii or Sivapur side of the 
ridge, while Colonel Outram was to make a diversion from the 
Shirsaji or Gotia valley. This last detachment performed their part ; 
but on reaching the summit of the peak, frx)m which an extensive 
view was commanded, no sign appeared of either brigade. They 
saw the stockades which Colonel Carruthers was to have attacked, 
but which being now taken in flank were abandoned, the enemy 
flying to Munsuntosh, within 800 yards of which fort Outram 
established a post. Colonel Carruthers's brigade had been prevented 
by the nature of the country frt)m taking their full share in the 
operations of the day. The next morning another combined 
movement was made on the village of Ootia, immediately below 
the forts ; again the nature of the country favoured Outram| the 


advanced guard of wboee detachment captured the village with all 
its stockades, though very strongly situated. , . . Colonel Outram 
was . . . left unsupported, to carry on operations against Munsun- 
tosh. One of those accidents which no human foresight can obviate, 
frustrated his attempt to gain that fortress by a cowp de main. . . . 
Outram had skilfully thrown out parties to command the debouches 
from the south and south-west faces of the forts, leaving the re- 
maining portion of the cordon to be filled up by the brigades. 

failed on his part, and thus suffered the rebel chiefs, who had all 
been engaged, to escape over the Sisadrug ridge, close to one of his 
posts, into the Goa territory. Outram followed hard upon their 
track, had several skirmishes, took many prisoners, and on one 
occasion nearly captured the chief. Again he scoured the wild 
country beneath the Ghats, encouraging the loyal, and beating up 
the disaffected villages. The nature and value of his services 
durinir the operations . . . are not to be measured by the actual 
op^tion ex^rienced or Ices sustained, but by tbe «tLte formed 
by other commanders of the obstacles and enemy to be encountered 
. . . the promotion bestowed on him amply proves that €k)vem- 
ment took the same view of his conduct throughout the campaign 
as did General Delamotte, Colonels Brough and Wallace, and 
indeed all his comrades. 

His proceedings at Goa were distinguished by tact com- 
bined with firmness, and a straightforwardness which, though 
natural and void of effort, was highly effective. In the first 
instance, Captain Arthur, military secretary to the Governor 
of Bombay, had been deputed to confer with the Governor 
of the Portuguese settlement on the best means to be 
adopted for preventing insurgents firom Sawant-Wari finding 
an asylum in his territory, and for apprehending those 
already there. Further personal communication becoming 
necessary, Major Stevens, Outram's able staff oflBcer, was sent. 
Then Outram himself had to go ; and the letters which he 
addressed at this period to Mr. Secretary Gomez are instruc- 
tive and interesting, read in connection with his reports to 
Government. The question imder discussion was a delicate 
one, and all tbe more so because, independently^ of Britibh 

378 JAMES OUTRAM. 1843^ 

prestige, the credit of a second European Power was involved 
in its solution. On April 15, Colonel Outram was enabled 
to report, for Sir George Arthur's information, that all the 
objects of his mission to Goa had been satisfectorily con- 
cluded by the surrender to that Government of all the 
insurgent Sawant-Wari chiefs, and most of the inferior 
leaders in the insurrection. *The Hon. the Governor in 
Council has great satisfaction,' wrote the secretary in acknow- 
ledging this report, * in now recording his approbation of the 
temper, ability, skill, and judgment which you have evinced 
in all your communications with the Goa Government. I 
am at the same time desired to intimate to you that the 
Governor in Council chiefly attributes to your exertions the 
present favourable prospects of the immediate restoration of 
tranquillity in the recently disturbed districts.' 

But this was a small part only of the publicly-expressed 
recognition of services rendered. OflBcial acknowledgments 
were indeed multiplied. The Governor in Coimcil recorded 
his opinion that Hhe energy, boldness, and military skill 
displayed by Lieutenant-Colonel Outram, and the rapidity 
and success which characterised all the movements of his 
detachment in a particular degree, entitle him, and the 
officers and men under his command, to the thanks and 
approbation of Government.' The Commander-in-Chief of 
the Bombay army, Sir Thomas MacMahon, expressing the 
pleasure felt in communicating the praise thus bestowed 
*for zeal, activity, skill, and gallantry,' added the words 
^ which you have so conspicuously evinced on all occasions.' 
Not only did Lord Hardinge endorse the approval of Sir 
George Arthur, but the Home Government also; and we 
learn that Her Majesty's Ministers considered that * but for 
the conciliatory policy adopted by Colonel Outram, they might 
have been involved in a disagreeable misunderstanding 
with the Government of Portugal.' The despatch on the 


subject of the Kolapur and Sawant-Wari disturbances, which 
reached India from the Court of Directors near the close of 
the year, was highly eulogistic of the share taken in their 
suppression by * this distinguished oflBcer.' * As an instance 
of how universally admitted was his high character through- 
out India, even at this stage of his career, the Adjutant- 
General of the Madras army— referring to his fevourable 
notice, for the Marquis of Tweeddale's information, of the 
services of an assistant-surgeon of that Presidency — writes: — 
* His Lordship receives with much pleasure a testimony of 
merit from an officer whose praise is so honourable to Dr. 

As early as February 3 — when intelligence of the 
events immediately following the evacuation of Mansantosh 
and Manohar must have just reached Bombay — the appoint- 
ment of Besident at Sat&ra was offered to Outram by the 
Grovemor, through his military secretary. Acceptance having 
been notified in the interim, the formal nomination was 
communicated in the following terms : — 

*The Honourable the Governor in Council having observed 
with great satisfeu^tion the gallant and energetic spirit in 
which your late operations in the Sawant-Wari territory 
have been undertaken, and the ability with which they have 
been carried into execution, I am desired to inform you 
that, to mark the approbation with which these services are 
regarded by Government, he is pleased to appoint you to the 
office of Besident at Sattara and commandant of the troops 
at that station.' 

Owing to the work still before him in Sawant-Wari, his 
orders to join were not issued until May 3, when they were 
forv^arded by the Commander-in-Chie^ writing in his own 

* Seo Appendix H. 

38o JAMES OUTRAM. 1845 

name to express the satisfection with which he made the 
commimication. Again did his Excellency avail himself of 
an opportunity to publish his *high sense' of the *zeal, 
ability, and .energy' evinced by Outram throughout his 
services in the Southern Maratha country and Sawant-Wari — 
thereby signifying how feirly and honourably the promotion 
accorded had been earned. 

It was now stated that the presence of the new Besident 
was urgently required at Sat&ra. Handing over, therefore, 
all necessary papers to Captain Le Grand Jacob, political 
superintendent of Sawant-Wari, he left for his new destina- 
tion, and joined his appointment on May 26, 1845. 






The following letter, from a copy found among the papers of Mrs. 
Margaret Outram, will be read with interest : — 

* Mount Vernon, Jnlj 25, 1798. 

' Esteemed Sir, — ^Your favour of February 8 came safe, and 
would have received an earlier acknowledgment if anything had 
sooner occurred worthy of communication. I hope you have not 
only got relieved of the fever from which you were then recovering, 
but of the languor with which it had affected you, and that you 
are now engaged in the literary pursuit of which you gave the out- 
lines ; and which, with your pen and arrangement of the subjects, 
must be curious, entertaining, and instructive. Thus persuaded, if 
you propose to carry the work on by way of subsciiption, it would 
give me pleasure to be numbered among the subscribers. I little 
imagined when I took my last leave 6f the walks of public h'fe, and 
retired to the shades of my vine and fig-tree, that any event would 
arise in my day that would bring me again on a public theatre ; 
but the unjust, ambitious, and intoxicated conduct of France to- 
wards these United States has been, and continues to be such, that 
they must be opposed by a firm and manly resistance, or we shall 
not only hazard the subjugation of our government, but the inde- 
pendence of our nation also, both being evidently struck at by a 
lawless, domineering power, who respects no rights, and is re- 
strained by no treaties, when it in found inconvenient to observe 
them. Thus situated, sustaining daily injuiies, even indignities, 
with a patient forbearance, from a sincere desire to live in peace 


and harmony with all the world, the French Directory, mistaking 
the motiyee and the American character, and supposing that the 
people of this country were divided, and would give countenance to 
their nefarious measures, have proceeded to exact loans (or in other 
words contributions), and to threaten us — in case of non-compliance 
with their wild, unfounded, and incoherent complaints — that we 
should share the fistte of Venice and other Italian States. This 
has roused the people from their slumbers, and filled their minds 
with indignation from one extremity to the other of the Union ; 
and I trust, if they should attempt to carry their threats into efiect, 
and invade our territorial as they have done our commercial rights, 
they will meet a spirit that will give them more trouble than th^ 
are aware of in the citizens of these States. 

' When eveiything sacred and dear to freemen is thus threat- 
ened, I could not, consistent with the principles which have actu- 
ated me through life, remain an idle spectator, and refuse to obey 
the call of my country to head its armies/or de/erice ; and therefore 
have pledged myself to come forward whenever the urgency shall 
require it. 

* With what sensations, at my time of life (now turned of sixty- 
six), without ambition or interest to stimulate me thereto, I shall 
relinquish the peaceful walks to which I had retired, and in the 
shades of which I had fondly hoped to have spent the remnant of 
a life worn down with cares in contemplation on the past, and in 
the enjoyment of scenes present and ,to come of rural growth, let 
others, and especially those who are best acquainted with my ways 
of thinking, decide ; while I, believing that man was not designed 
by Providence to live for himself alone, shall prepare for the worst 
that ean happen. 

* The gardener you were so obliging as to send me continues 
to conduct himself extremely well ; he is industrious, sober, and 
orderly, and understands his business ; in short, I never had a kind 
servant that pleased me better ; and what adds to the satisfaction 
is, that he himself is content, having declared that he never was 

* My best wishes always attend you ; and, with great esteem 
and r^ard, I am. Sir, 

' Your most obedient and obliged humble servant, 

(Signed) 'Geo. Washington. 

' t)r. Jas. Anderson, in or near London.* 


And again : — 

'Philadelphia, Dec. 10, 1798. 

* Esteemed Sir, — Healing that the ship (" Suffolk") by which the 
enclosed letter was sent w^ captured by the French, who never 
restore any of mine, I do, to avoid the imputation of inattention to 
your favours, and the correspondence with which you honour me, 
send a duplicate, being, with very great esteem and regard. Sir, 

' Your most obedient and obliged humble servant, 

(Signed) ' G. Washington.' 

VOL. I. c c 




The area of ELhandeRh, roughly estimated in 1833 at 20,000, and 
in 1843 at 13,000, is I'ecorded in the latest published reportB at 
10,162 square miles. Official statements make the population 
1,070,000 ; or an average of 105*33 to the square mile. The Trigo- 
nometrical Survey, has yet, we understand, to publish the full 
results of its work for this particular subdivision of Western India ; 
but the unhealthiness of the country at certain seasons, and physi- 
cal difficulties encountered, have been productive of delay. Much 
is in progress, or remains to be done on the western side, and 
something on the south-east of Khandesh to complete the survey. 

Ebandesh once played an important, if a brief, part in Indian 
history. At the dawn of the fifteenth century, it became an inde- 
pendent State; and one Malik Raja, son of Khan Jahin, to whose 
family belonged some of the most respectable of the Dehli nobles, 
under Allahu Din Ghilzai, is considered by Farishta the first of its 
thirteen Faruki kings. Entrusted by Firuss Tc^hlak with the 
command of 2,000 horse he was afterwards granted by the same 
monarch the districts of Talnair and Kerind. He was also made 
Sipah SaJ^r, or chief military commander of the whole province 
and, the 2,000 horse having been authoritatively raised to 3,000, he 
found means to increase the number of his mounted retainers to 
12,000. On the death of Firuz he invaded Gujrit, laying waste 
the districts of Nandurbar and Sultdnptir. In 1399 he was suc- 
ceeded by his son Nasir, and up to the close of the sixteenth 
century, when the province became absorbed in the Imperial terri- 
tory, and its affidrs were administered by Abul Fadhl, Wazir of 
Akbar the Great, Khandesh remained a separate State, or, as we 
read it, kingdom.* 

' See vol. iii., paasinif Elliot's History of India, edited by Professor Dovson. 


Low, bare hillocks, sinking gradually to the valley beyond, 
mark the south-eastern boundary of the 'Collectorate' of Khandesh, 
which contains sixteen MvJcaSy independently of recent transfers 
to Nassik. Of these, Sauda, Yiwal and Chopra, on the east, touch 
the Northern or Satpura hills, while the Chilisgdon district is 
merged in the Southern or Satmala range. The land revenue is 
estimated at 40 lakhs (40,000Z.) : total gross revenue about 50. 
Although Khandesh is stated by Thornton to be a great valley, or 
basin, traversed throughout, from east to west, by the Tapti, the 
passage of this river is through the more northern of its territorial 
divisions, and therefore haidly answers the description of a central 
line. According to the same authority, the lower part of the 
CoUectorate is in general fertile, ' the soil consisting principally of 
a rich mould of a dark reddish-brown colour, formed, apparently, 
for the most part, of the disint^p^ation of the Trappean rock. 
There is indeed a considerable portion of sand as well as hard, 
unkindly soil mixed with gravel ; yet the better descriptions pre- 
dominate.' ^ 

Farirthta, in his account of the Kings of Khandesh, associates 
the Bhil with the predatory Ktill of Gvgi-dt. According to this 
historian, they both suffered severely from the famine in the days of 
Malik Baja, the first king ; and had habitually infested the roads 
and disturbed the peaceable inhabitants of towns prior to the 
reign of Adil Khan Faruki I., at the close of the fifteenth 

Noting the local tendency to limit the term ' Bhil ' to lawless 
and savage men who live separate from their fellows, Captain 
Graham explains at the same time that it is also given to many who 
do not acknowledge it. He is of opinion that, irrespective of the 
common Bhils of Khandesh who vauntingly merge all class distinc- 
tions in the one generic name, there are no more than seven clans 
in the province which merit mention. These are the Tarvis, a fine 
race of Muslim converts, with the dark, diminutive, and barbarous 
Nahals in the north-east ; the fierce and surly Muhammadan Hindhis 
in the south-east ; the milder Matwaris, Burdas, and Dorpies in the 
north-west ; the wild Khotils of the Satpura mountains, and the 
unmitigated savages of the Ding, or DAngchis, who reside below the 
Western Ghits. Mr. Boyd makes Uiree divisions of Bhils only : 

* Ossetteer, under the head ' Candeiah.' 

* Briggs : translatioo of Farishta, 

c 2 


i.e. those of the hills, almost all under different chiefs or Naiks ; 
those of the plains and villages ; and the Tarvis or Muhammadans 
in the east The Nahals and others, he does not consider suffici- 
ently impoiiiant for separate notice. 

With regard to the amnesty generally offered on the inaugora- 
tion of the humane policy adopted in 1825, there was diversity of 
opinion as to the degree of blame to be attached to offenders. Some 
thought the Bhil a victim of treachery and cruelty in the past, and 
attributed his ruffianism and malevolence to misconception of his 
fellows : believing that if he could only discriminate between the 
humanity of the newly-arrived Western ruler and that of the di?'- 
placed Oriental despot, he would readily recognise in the first a bene- 
factor and fiiend. Others again were less disposed to wholesale 
judgment in favour of a white and in condemnation of a dark-visaged 
administrator, and these naturally threw the onus of misdoing on 
the Bhil himself, setting down his mistrust and estrangement to his 
conviction that he deserved no forbearance at the hands of any 
government under the control of which he might chance to come. 
This was the view of Colonel Bobertson, an able and experienced 
officer of the old and justly-honoured school of Indian politicians. 
His opinion on the Bhfls may be further quoted with advantage : — 

' They had in general no property, and what they had there is 
no instance of their having been deprived of. The Crovemment 
would not, I think, from mere wantonness, have selected this class 
as the objects of cruel and merciless persecution. . • . To relinquish 
the life they were leading was a course very far from the wishes of 
the Bheels. ... If for the Naiks such a change was unpalatable, 
it was more so for those who adhered to them ; who, comparatively 
speaking, rioted in the plenty which their leaders' courses yielded^ 
and who, by forsaking them, returned not only to a listless life, 
bat also to an income not more than sufficient for their support, as 
well as to a humble station in the community and corresponding 
duties — none of which would be agreeable to them, after passing a 
long time in a state of the rudest independence (almost of all 
restraint) — who, in the hills, beyond yielding a very slight obedience 
to their leaders, were under no control, and came and went as they 
chose; they were all equals, and they shared in all that was got by 
plunder, the extent of which was only limited by their own exertions. 
We may fancy how unpleasantly the call to return to their proper 


station and duties must under such circumstances have sounded 
to the Bheels in the hills ; and how, even if tempted by prospect of a 
provision their leaders felt inclined to yield, their adherents must 
have thwarted their intentions/ 

The town of Chilisgion bears the name of a Muka or district, 
containing in 1863 a population of between thirty and forty thou- 
sand, and more than one hundred and forty registered Government 
villages. To the natural advantage of a river on its northern and 
eastern side, it adds the possession, by artificial endowment, of a 
railway in its centre.* But its contiguity to the Nizam's territory 
on the south — where a high wall-like range of hDls, supporting on 
their summit an extensive table-land, extends to almost the entire 
breadth of the district — has made it, even in recent yeara, a difficult 
ground for satisfactory settlement : and in the days of which we 
write, it had none of the benefits of more modem skill and appli- 
ances. The revenue commissioner, Mr. (now Sir Barrow) Ellis, 
in reporting of the locality in question some sixteen years ago, 
speaks of the Hurbulent characters' of this frontier, whom he 
would suggest keeping in order by a more effective police super- 
vision than theretofore exercised. 

Exclusive of the sn all nucleus of regulars, Outram's light 
infantry consisted of Bhils only; the pay of the men being fixed at 
five rupees monthly, with an additional rupee for outpost duty. 
Clothing was supplied by Government. At the outset only 4 J rupees 
was actually paid over, and that in daily instalments of two annas, 
the balance of twelve annas in a long and ten in a short month 
being given on the last day when acquittances were taken. The 
clothing consisted of a p(igri (pagiya)^ or turban, dyed green; 
a white angrikha (angarkha)^ or vest ; and a gurgi^ a kind of knee 
breeches, made double and of strong cloth. This was found suited 
to their tastes, and gave them a respectable appearance. In 
Outram's report of September 1 , quoted in the text, are the following 
passages, regarding his new levies : — 

* They are daily improving in cleanliness, and beginning to ex- 

* The reader, desirous of becoming acquainted with thie part of Khandef h, 
CAD do no better than refer to the published papers on the assessment proposed 
for the Dh^lia and Chab'sgam tdlukas contained in the Seleciums from (kg 
Bombay Govirnmefit Records, No. Izxii., New Series (1868). 


pend their surplus pay at the end of the month in purchasing shoes 
or ornaments. This dreps will last about six months, and is well 
calculated for a police, being uniform and looking well with native 
arms ; it is also the cheapest that could be given, the whole expense 
being 3^ rupees. 

' I was unable to proceed in hutting more than thirty men, grass 
not being procurable so late in the season ; the rest I have quartered 
in empty houses in the town without infringing on any prejudice 
of the inhabitants, who were, at first, very averse to their neigh- 
bourhood, and had many causes of complaint against the Bheels, 
who were then rather disorderly; but latterly such complaints 
have entirely ceased, and their behaviour is to the satisfaction of 

* I have, for the present, divided the corps into two classes, the 
one consinting of the men for general police duties, the other of those 
whom I hope to train and discipline as light infantry. The 
latter are selected from the youngest and most intelligent ; of this 
class there are only at present about twenty. 

' The duties I yet exact are light ; from the former a daily and 
nightly guard of a Naick (or lance) and six privates ; from the 
latter whom I wish to attach as much as possible to my person, two 
orderlies are supplied daily. 

* In pursuance of what I deemed prudent, i.e. exacting early sei^ 
vice from them, I detached several parties to recruit. The ill-success 
of two which were sent to the greatest distance I have already 
shown, but the fidelity they evinced on that occasion was more 
gratifying than the most complete success. I have reason to be 
equally well pleased with all the parties I detached in the neigh- 
bourhood, all of which, though meeting with little success, deserved 
the trust I placed in them, and exerted themselves to the utmost.' 

The following interesting particulars from the pen of Sir Bai*tle 
Frere came to hand at too late an hour for embodiment in the 
text, but in time to be here added : — 

' Candeesh is one of the richest provinces of Western India, 
formed by the basin of the Taptee river, somewhat lower and more 
sheltered than the general table*land of the Deccan, with better 
soil and better water. It had been rich and populous during the 
flourishing days of the Delhi empire ; but as that empire fell into 


decrepitude, Candeesh suffered from being on t)ie great roads 
leading from the cradle of the Mahratta race in the southern Deccan 
to the fertile plains and cities of Hindoostan. From the rise of 
the Mahratta power every year saw the Mahratta hordes advancing 
northwards to their annual plundering expeditions, or returning 
with their plunder to the safer recesses of the Deccan and, as the 
province possessed but few great fortresses between the range of 
Ghauts on its western border and Asseeghur on the east, Candeesh 
gradually became devastated by passing bands of plunderers to 
such an extent, that the jungle overpowered the cultivation, and 
the greater part of the province lapsed into a state of forest — while 
the few inhabited portion? suffered from almost annual inroads of 
Pindarees or Mahrattas, or from the incursions of Bhils. This 
wild mountain race had in previous ages been driven to the rocky 
fastnesses of the ranges which encircle Candeesh on all sides ; but, 
encouraged by the distracted state of the country after the rise of 
the Mahratta power, they plundered what little was left to the 
defenceless villagers, and perpetuated the desolation caused by the 
passage of armies. 

' To such an extent had the devastation of the land and the 
increase of jungle proceeded when the country came into our pos- 
session rather more than sixty years ago, that Mr. Chaplain, the 
first Commissioner who took over that part of the Mahratta Peish- 
wa's dominion after its conquest in 1817-18, reported that the first 
year's police returns showed a total of 30,000 cattle destroyed by 
tigers within the province. It soon after fell to the Hon. Mount 
Stuart Elphinstone to arrange for measures required to render life 
and property secure in Candeesh, and to restore its ancient pros- 
perity. He selected for this purpose two men whom he used to 
name ** his sword " and " his plough." Outram was " the sword," 
and Captain Charles Ovans was *' the plough," and to both were 
allotted young military officers carefully chosen for their enter- 
prise, courage, and other military qualities. I know of only one 
who still survives. Colonel Patrick French, who assisted Captain 
Ovans from the first, and subsequently succeeded him as Bhil 
agent, his business being to make the acquaintance of the wild 
Bhil tribes, to settle them down to agriculture, train them, and 
teach them to use the ploughs and cattle which were given them 
by the Government. 


* Wbilbt this was the work of the '* plough/' Outram was to raise 
and oommand a corps of Bhils, who were to^ employed as military 
police in the wilder parts of the coontry, to stop marauding and 
gang robbery, to rid the country of tigers and other wDd beasts^ 
and to do whatever else was required to render life and property 
in the province secure. 

' It is difficult to convey an adequate idea of the difficulties 
which beset both classes of officers. The country, unsurveyed and 
imperfectly known, was everywhere covered with dense jungle ; 
the climate was often malarious and dangerous to health ; but the 
great difficulty of all was the seeming impossibility of gaining the 
confidence of the Bhils, and inducing them to accept the well-meant 
measures devised for them by the British Government. 

' This was mainly owing to the manner in which they had been 
treated by our predecessors, the Mahratta governors of the province, 
who had adopted a system of forcible retaliation, often accompanied 
by treachery, which had rendered the Bhils suspidoiis of every- 
thing offered to them by their civilised fellow-men. The following 
anecdote may illustrate the kind of treatment the Bhils used to 
receive from their Mahratta rulers. About forty- five years ago I 
was trying, as assistant Magistrate, a magisterial case, in which 
two Bhils were accused of theft, when a Brahmin of high rank 
under the Mahratta government came in to draw the pension which 
had been assigned him after the conquest He sat and listened 
with some interest to the proceedings till the case was concluded, 
and then remarked that ** the sahib was taking a great deal of 
unnecessary trouble ; that these kind of people would go on thieving 
as long as there was anything to steal ; and that formal trials and 
civilised punishments were altogether misapplied in their case." I 
asked him how he would deal with them, and he said, *• Well, I 
was once employed in Candeesh myself, when I was a young man, 
under a Soubedar famous for the vigour of his administration and 
the peace he maintained in the country. These Bhils were then 
very troublesome, and after sundry expeditions, with veiy little 
result, the Soubedar came to the conclusion that formal miUtary 
operations were useless against such an enemy. He, therefore^ 
desisted from sending out detachments of troops, and having 
managed to communicate with some of the Bhil chiefs, invited 
them to a conference. At the conference he told them that he had 



become convinced of the necessity of making it worth their while 
to abstain from plundering, and that if they and all the chiefs of the 
neighbouring forest country would meet him, he would arrange terms 
by which they would be in the receipt of fixed money allowances. 
The bait took, and on a day appointed they all assembled to have 
a grand feast to ratify the ari*angement made, when the Soubedar 
caused troops who had been in concealment to fall upon them, and 
they were all exterminated." In answer to my expressions of 
hoiTor at such a proceeding, my visitor informed me " that it would 
doubtless have been wrong had they been reasonable beings, but 
they were little better than monkeys, and had all the attributes of 
wild bea£t8, and could only be dealt with by measures similar to 
those necessary for exterminating beasts of prey " — and he left me 
with evident pity for the philanthropic weakness which prevented 
a young Englishman from agreeing to the lessons of ^e and ex- 

' Such had been the treatment to which the Bhils had been used 
under our predecessors, and it was long before Outram and those 
who joined him in the undertaking could regain the confidence of 
the Bhils, even sufficiently to induce them to join his camp. 

* One young officer who gave me graphic accounts of his early 
life with Outram was Douglas Gi'aham — afterwards well known as 
one of the most daring huntsmen in Western India ; some thii-ty- 
^^^ years ago, the companion of Sir William Harris in his mission 
to Shoa, the southern kingdom of Abyssinia; and later again, 
political agent at Kolapoor in the southern Mahratta country. 
Graham had come out strongly recommended by some of his Scotch 
connections to the Grovemor, the Hon. Mount Stuart Elphinstoiie, 
and as soon as Mr. Elphinstone had gauged the capacity of his 
young protege, he told him that he thought he could not do better, 
in order to make a man and a soldier of him, than send him up to 
assist Outram in the task on which he was then engaged, the 
civilising of the Bhils, and raising a corps for the protection of 
life and property in the wilder parts of Candeesh, to be com- 
posed entirely of that race under officers, some native and a few 
Europeans, carefully chosen from the ranks of the Bombay army. 

* Young Ensign Douglas Graham accordingly journeyed up to 
join Outram (mounted on a pony, the only means of conveyance at 
that time), by paths through jungles, which are now traversed by 


the great railway from Bombay to Calcutta over the Thul Ghaut. 
Naasik, the feimous Hindoo city of pilgrims, and Maligam, the head- 
quarteiv of the troops which garrisoned Candeesh, were almost the 
only towns he saw till he joined Outram at a village on the vei^ 
of civilisation on ihe eastern skirts of the great chain of the Syadri 
Ghauts. Oatram had come to this village at the earnest request 
of the inhabitants, who represented to him that — suffering as they 
always did from the depredations of the tigers, who had almost 
the whole of the country between that and the Surat coast to 
themselves — their existence had been made quite intolerable by a 
huge tigress, who preyed upon their cattle and occasionally their 
wom^i and children. She had taken up her abode in a long 
tunnel, cut through a spur of a hill, in more prosperous times, by 
the Mogul rulers of Baglan, to convey to the village the water of a 
distant stream. Douglas Graham found Outram with a few Bhils 
recently attached to him by what they had heard of his hunting 
prowess, planning with the villagers his scheme of operations 
against the tigress. She had ensconced herself in the tunnel, a 
passage of considerable length through a hill composed of soft tufa^ 
which had been cut out sufficiently to enable two men, stooping, 
to walk abreast and clear the water channel of obstructions. The 
water was, at that dry and intensely hot season, only a few inches 
deep, and afforded a pleasant lair to the tigress after her nightly 
foray. The villagers could not tell, as she had walked along 
the watercourse, by which end she had entered, and there 
were places inside large enongh for her to turn, so that it was 
impossible to say which way she might be lying in watch for 
anything she heard approaching. Outram 's first question to his 
young friend was, *' whether he had brought his gun." Of course 
he was answered in the affirmative, and the single-barrelled fowling- 
piece, duly inspected, was pronounced to be strong enough to be 
loaded with ball ; in fact, Graham, for the last two days of his 
journey^ had been convinced that there were beasts of prey behind 
every bush, and like a brave young Scot had charged his piece 
with a bullet, determined to do his best in any encounter which 
might offer. He saw that Outram was evidently musing whether 
it was flair to deprive his young assistant of a chance of distin- 
guishing himself, or whether it might not be better to wait till he 
was more practised as a shot. Graham felt bound in honour to 


press hiK right to accompany bis chief, so Outram explained to him 
that they would have to walk in with the water over their ankles, 
and stooping, with the certainty that the tigress would hear their 
approach, and would turn round and enable them to see her 
position by the glare of her eyes. " We will go in as quietly as we 
can," he said, " but if you catch a sight of her eyes, take a very 
steady aim and fire between them : take care not to fire too high. 




The foUowing extract from the * Bombay Gazette/ published in 
' Allen's Indian Mail' of March 1, 1879, appears to be a fitting 
addendum to a chapter relating Outram's experiences and work in 
the M4hi-E4nta. Though the name of this distinguished officer may 
not have been mentioned by the framer of the address presented to 
Sir Eichard Temple, it is probable that among the Europeans and 
natives in whose presence it was read and responded to, there may 


have been one, or more than one, to whom it would naturally 
occur in connection with the reforms inaugurated at the dawn of 
the preceding half century : — * 

*SiR Eichard Temple and the Mahi Kanta Chiefs. — 
During his recent tour in Guzerat H.E. the Governor of Bombay 
held a durbar at Sacha, which was attended by thirteen chiefs of the 
Mahi Elanta, headed by the Maharaja of Edar. One Thakore was 
ofiended at the place assigned him and went away, and a second 
was accidentally absent. Af^r the presentation, H. H. the 
Maharaja of Edar read the following address with a strong, clear 
voice, and distinct, tolerably correct pronunciation, showing a fairly 
good knowledge of English : — 

" To his Excellency the Honourable Sir Richard Temple, Bart., 
G.C.S.I., C.I.E., Governor of Bombay. — May it please your 
Excellency, — I beg on my own behalf, and on that of the other 
chiefs, sirdars, and people of this province, to bid your Excellency a 
hearty welcome to the Mahi Kanta. Your Excellency is the 
second Governor of Bombay that has visited this province. We 
hail your arrival, and rejoice that you should see and judge with 
your own eyes the vast changes and various reforms that have 
taken place since the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone paid a 


visit to the Mahi Kanta more than half a century ago. Owing in 
a great measure to the policy adopted by that statesman, rapine 
and violence have given way to peace and tranquillity. Where 
there were marauding bands of robbers and outlaws, a thriving and 
prospering agricultural population now till the ground, secure of 
reaping the fruits of their toil, and the habits of nearly all classes 
have changed for the better, while education is extending even 
to the Kolee. We cordially acknowledge that to the protection 
of the British Grovemment the Mahi Kanta is indebted for this 
happy change, and we trust that under its fostering care the peo- 
ple of this province will rise still higher in the scale of civilisa- 
tion. We rejoice in your Excellency's visit, not merely on official 
grounds, but also because we are glad to meet thus face to face 
the statesman whose administi-ative ability and untiring energy 
are so renowned throughout India. In conclusion, we b^ to 
express our sincere and grateful thanks for the kindness yon have 
shown, and to assure your Excellency of our firm loyalty and 
unswerving devotion to our gracious Sovereign Queen Victoria, 
Empress of India, and we pray that you will be pleased to lay 
these our sentiments at the foot of the Imperial Throne." 

' In reply his Excellency said that he was glad to make the 
personal acquaintance of the Mahi Kanta chiefs in their own 
province, and to hear an address in English so well read by the 
Maharaja of Edar. His Excellency was aware that an English 
education was not within the reach of all of them at present, being 
more or less expensive, but hoped that such vernacular education 
as was obtainable would be availed of for the rising generation. 
His Excellency was glad to be able to visit the Mahi Kanta, and to 
see for himself the state of the province. He enjoined the Thakores 
to make it their business to increase the productiveness of their ter- 
ritones and ameliorate the condition of their subjects, by carrying 
out irrigational projects, by the careful study of agriculture, and 
by introducing reforms. His Excellency animadverted on the 
Byad system, regretting the frequency of disputes between the 
Thakores and their relations and dependents ; and ascribed it to 
the faulty system of allotting to the Byads some portion of land or 
village property, whilst reserving the right of levying certain local 
imposts on the produce or tenure of these allotments. His Excel- 
lency advised the Thakores to accord to the Byads some means of 


Rubsistence less calculated to cause trouble and dissatisfaction, 
averring that a small allotment free of reserve was much better 
than a large assignment burdened with some bond of contention. 
On the other hand, his Excellency admonished the Bjads not to 
embarrass their tribal rulers, the Thakores, by factiousness, and 
warned them that such conduct would be gravely discountenanced 
by GU)vemment. In conclusion his Excellency congratulated the 
Thakores on the complete abolition of female infanticide.'— Bombay 

What a contrast does the educated Mahardja of Edar present to 
the Fath Singhs and Suraj Mails of Captain Outram's time I 




Th£ oocorrences of April 1839, as regards the Bombay column, 
were not of an importance or interest commensurate with the pro- 
gress of an army of invasion or occupation in a country so disturbed 
as A%hamstan. The experiences gained, however, were useful, 
and may be studied with advantage by present and future soldiers, 
merchants, or travellers. Let us examine them as handed down to 
us, and select the more salient passages on the record. Attacks 
and robberies, or attempted robberies, by Baluchis were very fre- 
quent, and required to be met with spirit and promptitude. Severe 
examples were made to deter the offenders ; but their audacity 
knew no bounds and, on the very skirts of the camp, camels were 
driven off and camel-drivers stripped of their property in the broad 
light of day. During the six marches through the Bolan, only on 
one day, the second, were the troops with whom Outram proceeded 
really opposed, and they suffered no loss in repulsing their adver- 
saries by means of a cavalry charge. Not so with the Major- 
Qeneral, who was a march or two in rear. His baggage was 
attacked with considerable spirit at the pass ; foriy-nine camel- 
loads of grain were carried off, five horses killed, and three troopers 
wounded. On the other hand, many of the enemy are said to 
have been then slain by our men. Beyond Kwatta, at Haikalzai, 
the rear guard wito fired on and a camp-follower missed, but no fur- 
ther harm done ; beyond Haikalzai, a peon was cut down and three 
camels and an oflScer's horse were abstracted without redress 
obtained ; but few, if any, like misadventures, between the Bolan 
and Kandahar, have place in Outram's journal, as coming under 
his own observation. He mentions, however, that, as at the Bolan, 
80, before and after joining the artillery at the Kohjak Pass, 
General Willshire was subject to molestation, and that his brigade 


had had several a£&drs with horuemen hovering ahout the baggiige, 
in which upwards of fifty of the assailants were killed, with the loss 
of only two or three on our side. 

The j^engal column and Shah's contingent had been harassed 
by these attacks on a larger scale : and their losses must have been 
more considerable. With reference to the proceedings of the mixed 
force in its integrity, it was estimated that at least five hundred 
Baluchis, Kdkars, and Afghans, had £dlen before our soldiers since 
leaving Shikarptir and Larkhdna ; the casualty roll on our side 
showing thirty or forty killed in open combat, besides some hundreds 
of followers murdered. The loss in baggage animals, owing to death, 
deseHion of drivers, abandonment, robbery, and the many causes 
presenting themselves in a coimtry where forage was scarce, water 
not always procurable, and travelling dangerous and difficult, must 
be set down at a very high figure. Sir Willoughby Cotton's 
regiments and detachments had so suffered from defective commis- 
sariat arrangements that, on arrival at Kwatta, the men composing 
them were placed on half-rations, and the camp-followers on an 
allowance barely sufficient to support nature. If, in such case, 
human beings died of starvation, the lot of beasts of burden could 
liardly have been less cruel. 




But for the Generars unexplained silenoe regarding his varied ser- 
vices as extra aide-de-camp, Outram's brevet for KalAt would have 
been a lieutenant-colonelcy, probably accompanied by a C.B.-ship. 
Indeed, he was actually on the list for promotion to that rank, but 
at the eleventh hour some occult influence in London prevailed to 
cancel it As it was, he remained a m%jor till 1843, much to the 
prejudice of after-advancement, for his regimental promotion was 
exceptionally slow, and always lagged fiebr behind his brevet rank. 

It is pleasant to remark that among the most active of those 
admirers whose kind exertions, twenty years later, secured the suc- 
cess of the ' Outram Testimonials,' was one whose warm friendship 
for him dated from the time when they served together on the 
Commander-in-Chiefs staff in Afghanistan, viz. the second Lord 
Keane of Ghazni. And although both Sir William Macnaghten 
and Lord Auckland had been fully aware of the Bombay captain's 
outspoken condemnation of their Afghan policy, it in no way 
affected their generous recognition of his merits. They not only 
showed their confidence by selecting him for responsible duties, but 
they omitted no opportunity of expressing their unreserved appro- 
bation of his manner of fulfilling them. A friendly correspondence 
with the high-minded Envoy continued till his tragic death. His 
last official letter is that noticed in the text, intimating the grant 
of the Order of the Duritui Empire. 

The GJovemor-General's approbation did not evaporate in public 
and private expressions of commendation. It marked out, for the 
young Bombay ' political,' a wider and more responsible field of 
action than any available within his own Presidency. 



MB. ROSS BELL, page 224. 

Mr. Ross Bell, of the Bengal Civil Service, was designated bj 
Lord Auckland as 'an officer of tried energy and intelligence.' 
Much haa been said and written of this gentleman's love of display 
and of the pomp and parade attendant on his movements from 
place to place, in the fulfilment of his official duties. Contrasted with 
the simpler ways of Colonel Pottinger and \iS» assistants, it is quite 
intelligible that the style of living and moving of the Upper Sind 
magnate was considered by many to be unnecessarily costly and 
luxurious. But we believe the difference to have been as much one 
of Englishmen's habits generally in the two Presidencies of Bengal 
and Bombay, as of idiosyncrasy. In other respects, Lord Auck- 
land was well satisfied with his nominee ; and from first to last, 
throughout the late Mr. Boss Bell's short career vpL Sind and 
Baluchistan, did not hesitate to express himself in the strongest 
terms of the importance and value of his services. Unfortunately, 
a weak state of health, brought on by an ungenial climate, greatly 
aggravated the difficulties of his position. Regulation and prece- 
dent, which commonly guide and render smooth the routine of 
Indian hachahrvi^ were almost wholly wanting within the limits 
of a Baluchistan political agency. Their place would here be sup- 
plied by common sense, knowledge of native character, moral and 
physical courage, tact, energy, and sound discrimination : and no 
amount of high principle and zeal could atone for the absence of 
qualities such as these. 

It may be well here to say a few words on our relations with 
Upper Sind at the time of Mr. Ross Bell's agency. If Lower 
Sind was important as the seat of the higher class local government, 
the Amirs of Khairpur, or the Upper Sind districts, were far 
from insignificant members of the Talpur clan, and could boast a 
family history quite as interesting as that of their cousins lower 
down the river. One * Kaka, ' or * Bijan,' was the common an- 
cestor, from whose son, Hotak, sprang the respective founders of 
the two houses of Haidarabad and Khairpur, and whose other 
son, Manik, numbered among his immediate descendants the first 
ruler of Mirpur. His grandson Shahdad, eminent among the 
BaJuch settlers in the country dui-ing the rule of the Kalhoras 
(who preceded the Talpurs), was perhaps more than an ordinaiy 


laiuUiolder, and exercised a sort of feudal sway in i^e land 
of his sojourn. First of the family to quit his native hills and 
take service in Sind, he had bix)ught many Baluch followers 
to the newly adopted standard. These had not the patience to re- 
main long in obscurity ; and stirring times were near to test their 
prowess and nationality. On the death of Shahdad, his sons Chdkar 
and Bahram became the recognised heads of the Sind Talpurs. The 
murder of the latter, and other acts of violence and oppression 
committed by the chiefe in power, brought about a revolution ; the 
government was subverted; and eventually Sohrab the son of 
Chikar, in Upper Sind, and Eath Ali, Ghulam Ali, Karm Ali, and 
Murad Ali, sons of Bahram in Lower Sind, together with Tdra in 
Mirpur, became the d^fcuOo aovereigna of the country. 

It is of Sohrab and his children we have now to speak. He 
had aided in the expulsion of the Kalhoras from Haidarabad, and 
might therefore reasonably claim a share of the spoil in the general 
partition of the province ; but the tract which fell to his lot was 
insufficient to satisfy his ambition, and he was not long in extend- 
ing its limits. To this end, both Bhawalpur and the Afghans were 
destined more or less to contribute a quota ; the first, on clear com- 
pulsion, the second, with comparative indifference to the transfer of 

One hundred and forty years ago, the Persian conquerors of 
Dehli, under the leadership of Nadir Shah, possessed themselves of 
extensive lands west of the Indus. The helpless Sindians were 
driven to Umarkot and the Eastern deserts. On the death of 
Nadir in 1747, Ahmad Shah Abdalli raised up a new kingdom be- 
tween Northern India and Persia, which, while it saved the former 
country from the aggressions of the latter, made little change in it 
otherwise, for it merely replaced there one plunderer by another. 
The Afgbftn monarch was an awkward neighbour ; invaded on his 
own account, and scattering his followers over Sind and the Punjab, 
demanded a certain amount of black mail from the inhabitants in 
return for holding his hand. In Sind this tribute became heredi- 
tary, both to givers and receivers. Throughout Ahmad Sbah's 
reign every art and evasion was called into play to get rid of the 
incubtiB ; but the Afghan was needy and could never dispense with 
the money. When taking the province from the Kalhoras, the 
Talpurs had also taken the debt^ but^ more fortunate than their 

D D 2 


predeoeesors, they found means of staving off the liabiliiy. The 
relief, however, was not permanent, nor was the claim snflfered to 
b3Come obsolete. Taimur Shab, the less formidable successor of 
Ahmad, had bean quieted by pretexts ; the next king, Zam4n, had 
accepted a shabby settlement in lieu of arrears; and Shuja-ul- 
Mulk, brother to Zamin, had followed the latter's example. Nay 
more, the Amirs of Sind had so far turned the tables on th^ old 
oppressors, as to abstract Shikarpur from the hands of its local 
governors, and make that important possession their own. Sud- 
denly, new interests arose; the question of Sind tribute was 
I'evived with a purpose hitherto unknown; a new power had 
interfered to exhume the buried accounts ; and the debtors were 
consigned to so-called justice. We have already shown the nature 
of the tribunal before which the Amirs were arraigned, and the 
sentence passed upon them. British mediation is a serious afiair 
in circumstances such as these. 

But Sohrab himself had retired from public life in 1811, and 
made over the dignity and cares of government to his eldest son 
Rustam, with whom, twenty years later, Alexander Bumes 
opened treaty relations. This popular and kindly chief not only 
suffered from his hospitable attention to strangers, but was doomed, 
through the intrigues and ambition of a near relative, to experience 
hard treatment in his own home. Even prior to the negotiations 
of 1831, he had begun to be involved in domestic and dynastic 
p3rplexity. His father had but recently died at a very advanced 
age — ^probably in his ninetieth year — and, before dying, had con- 
trived, by wills and codicils, to throw disorder into his succession. 
Abdication of the riydsat^ or office of BdU, had been followed by 
marriage with a young wife, and this wife had presented old 
Sohrab with a son, when the son of a former wife, Rustam, was a 
quinquagenarian, and busily engaged in directing the affitirs of State. 
In process of time the child became a man, and a covetous and 
very aspiring man, who rested not until he had brought his vene- 
rable half-brother to ruin. Indian history knows the youngest son 
of Sohrab as Mir Ali Murad of Khairpur. His career affords a 
remarkable illustration of Sindi-Baluch character, and may be 
studied with advantage by our own political officers in India, an 
well as by native candidates for Grovemment service. To the first 
it should supply an incentive to imderstand our subjects as closely 


aa these striye to understand their rnlers, and with better results. 
To the second it should be a caution to deal heedfullj and, as 
much as in them lies, honestly, with individual representatiyes of 
the British Govemment, who are not all cast in the same mould 
nor professors of one and the same political creed. 


With reference to Outram's scheme, submitted to Mr. Colvin in 
August 1840 — of the first-dass assistants in Sind and Baluchistan, 
Captain Edmunds was already in the Kalit State, Lieutenant 
Ledde was at Haidarabad, and Lieutenant Postans at Shikarpur. 
It was proposed to complete the number by nominating Captain 
French to Upper Sind. Of second-class assistants, as there were 
six (».e. Captains Kennedy, €k>rdon, and Kynvett, with Lieutenants 
Eastwick, Hammersley, and Whitelock) at the time, on the roll of 
officers employed in the agency, one was in excess of the proposed 
number. But the supernumerary officer would be available to fill 
one of the vacancies in the third class, in which four new names 
were submitted for approval, viz. Captains Hart and Christal, 
Lieutenant Pelly and Lieutenant Agar. Under the old system of 
separate agencies for Upper and Lower Sind, Captain Bean was 
the political agent at Kwatta (for Shdl), but as he might not elect 
to remain under the arrangement which placed his office among 
the limited agencies, his tenure was not treated as a permanent one. 
Three officers, Messrs. Brown, Varden, and Wallace, then employed 
in Sind and Baluchistan, were not included in the programme, 
because it was understood that the first had resigned, and the two 
last would be compelled, by Ul-health, to leave the coimtiy. Lieu- 
tenant Eastwick, a second-class assistant, had, moreover, gone on 
sick leave to Karachi 


The busy Political Agent's voluminous correspondence abounds 
sug^festive comments upon Afghan events generally, but space 


forbids lengthened quotation: In a letter to Colonel Satherland, 
dated December 26, 1841, for submission to the Govemor-QeDfiral 
if deemed advisable, he reviews the existing situation :^- 

' I had long contemplated the possibilily of the Afghan explo- 
sion, and revolved in my mind the most creditable, and least dis- 
advantageous, way of shaking off the Cabool connection, if it should 
become necessary ; and in that case, what arrangement would best 
secure our influence in Afghanistan* ... To allow ourselves to be 
driven out, or to withdraw, under preseTU circumatcmces, would, I 
really think be tantamount to throwing up our hold on India, for 
such a declaration of weakness would be a death-stroke to power 
principally based on opinion. ThcU, therefore, is not to be thought of, I 
trust : neither will the necessity occur, I confidently hope, for humili- 
ating capitulation by any of oiir garrisons throughout the countiyy 
every one of which is capable of holding its position on the defensive 
until spring, if provided with ammunition, of which, I trust, every 
post has a sufficiency, at least for mere defence, behind walls which 
need not call for much expenditure; and I have every expectation 
that among so mercenary a people, provisions will be obtained with- 
out difficulty, after the first enthusiasm of the revolt abates, and the 
vigilance of the besiegers begins to relax and dissension to arise, 
as inevitably must result from delays in attaining their objects. I 
rely upon it, that by the time for our troops to advance on Cabool, 
from Jellalabad and Candahar, the league ¥riU be greatly weakened, 
if not entirely broken ; and that little or no opposition will be 
offered, or if so, nothing that will not be overcome by fresh and 
eager troops, at infinitely less cost than the weak and worn-out 
brigade under Sale suffered on retirement fh>m that capital . . . 
I would, after the reatUnnission of the chiefe, admit their right to 
choose a king for themselves, since the national voice has declared 
against Shah Soojah, . . on the condition of a British representa- 
tive being retained at that court, and pledges for due deference to 
British counsels. A Barukzye would most likely be nominated ; 
and if Dost Mahomed, it would be to our advantage.' 

How accurately these anticipations were in accordance with 
actual facts, the events of 1842, the journals of Eyre, of Mohun 
Lall, and of Lady Sale fiilly testify. But the 'military crime' (as 
he expressed it) witnessed at Kabul, and the non-provisioning of 
Ghazni, were beyond the ken of those who, like himself, had based 


their predictions of the safety of the large and well-provided force 
upon knowledge of place and people, and upon ordinary milita,ry 
considerations. He writes to Sir J. Camac on February 10, 1842 : 

' I have proved a false prophet, alas ! as regards the issue of 
affidrs at Gabool;.but who could conceive that five thousand 
British troops would deliberately commit suicide, which literally 
has been the fate of the Cabool garrison? From first to last such a 
tissue of political and military mismanagement the history of the 
world has never shown.' 

After commenting in detail upon the errors committed, he con- 
cludes: 'Within my own charge, I confidently trust to all going 
on welly in spite of the volcano around us. . . . you will see that I 
then (in 1839) predicted everything that has come to pass so far as 
the AffghanB are concerned, though certainly I never could have 
believed that <mr troops in that country could be humbled to such 
a depth of degradation/ 

4o8 JAMES 0U7RAM. 



In reference to the peculiar treatment of Major Outram described 
in the text it would be unfair to his memory to pass by altogether 
the spontaneous expressions, however eulogistic, of two such com- 
petent observers as Henry Lawrence and Mountetuart Elphinstone. 
The former remarks in his already quoted article in the ' Calcutta 
Review ' of September 1845 : 

' In the year 1838, Outram carried to Affghanistian a diaracter 
such as could not be paralleled by any o£Scer of his standing in India. 
His services during the first Affghan war were second to those of 
no officer then and there employed. And had he remained in the 
Ghilzee country, or at Elhelat, many of our disasters might have 
been averted. But it is by his civil management, first of Lower 
Sind, and then of both the Upper and Lower Provinces, and of all 
Beloochistan, that Outram has won our highest admiration. 

* When the European inhabitants of Calcutta trembled for our 
Indian Empire — ^when, in the highest places, men grew pale at the 
evil tidings from Afghanistan — Outram held his frontier post 
with a firm hand, a brave heart, and cheerful tone that <mglU 
to have been contagious. Vigilant, conciliatory, courageous, he 
managed, with his handful of troops, not only to prevent the Ameers 
from taking advantage of our disasters, but to induce them to aid 
in furnishing supplies and carriage for the rdievmgy then considered 
the retreating f army. The merits of his exertions on that occasion 
are little understood. He obeyed as was his duty; but he did not 
the less clearly perceive the ruinous tendency of the Government 
orders. He had the moral courage to sacrifice his own immediate 
interests by stemming the then prevalent tide of cowardly 

Begarding Hammersley's£Ekte, Sir Heniy remarked; ^Qutnoa's 


chiy&lrons defence of his assistant. Lieutenant Hammersley, is 
one of the many instances in which he advocated the right> at the 
peril of his own interests. Hammersley was as brave, as honest- 
hearted a young soldier as ever fell a victim to his duty. We knew 
him well ; and no man who did so need be ashamed to shed a tear 
over his &te. He was literally sacrificed for telling the truth — 
a truth, too, that was of vital importance to the beleaguered 
Candahar army — nay, to the interests of British India ! Peace be 
to the memory of this noble fellow ! ' 

Mr. Elphinstone thus writes to one of the Directors of the East 
India Company in 1843: ' Besides his ample share in the planning 
and conduct of various military enterprises, his political services 
for several years have been such as it would be difficult to parallel 
in the whole course of Indian diplomacy. We forced a subsidiary 
grant and tribute on Sind ; we made open war on the Brahoes of 
Khelat, killed their chief, and took their capital ; and on these two 
powers, all our communications with Candahar depended. To keep 
them quiet, and prevent them thwarting our measures, would have 
been difficult even in times of peace and prosperity ; yet such was 
Colonel Outram's management as to obtain their cordial co-opera- 
tion during the whole of our dangers and disasters in Affghanistan. 
Our movements in every direction from Candahar depending 
on the country supplies we received from them, all of which they 
might have withheld, without any show of hostility or ground of 
quarrel with us, had they been disposed for more open enmity — 
General England's detachment could neither have retired or 
advanced, as it did ; and it is doubtful whether Nott himself could 
have made his way to the Indus, through the opposition and 
privations he must have suffered in such a case. In an advance 
towards Cabul, he certainly could not, without the assistance he 
received through the Sind and Khelat countiy.' 




The letter from which extracts are given in the text was written 
from Elhiirpnr on January 26. One of two days' earlier date from 
the same place, had put the General in possession of certain &ct8 
and figures, illustrating the reduced circumstances of the Upper 
Sind Amirs — ^brought about by our interference— which Sir Charles 
frankly acknowledged to have ^giieved him exceedingly.' The 
following extract will convey some notion of the money value of 
the territoiy and revenues lost to the chie& : — 

' The balance which now remains to the Ameers of Upper 
Sinde is rupees 14,29,000, and you are bound, I understand, 
to make good to Ali Moorad his share of the ceded countiy, whidi 
he claims to the value of 1,50,000 and which, in addition to his 
original territory of 2,95,000, gives him rs. 4,46,000. Added to this 
you are, I believe, pledged to give him one-fourth of the remaining 
property of Upper Sinde (or, of rupees 14,29,000)asrupees 3,57,250 
— Total rupees 8,02,250. Consequently, all that will remain for 
the support of the other Ameers and their familieB and feudal 
chiefe and dependents, as well as most of the Belooch chieftaina 
who have hitherto enjoyed Jaghires in the portion of the territory 
to be made over to Meer Ali Moorad (who will undoubtedly eject 
them all sooner or later to make room for foreign mercenaries, 
relatives, and countrymen of his minister Ali Hoossein, and 
Afghans whom Ali Moorad particularly patronises) — will be rupees 
6,26,750, who formerly enjoyed rupees 17,44,000, the revenue 
shared among them previous to our entering the country (exclusive 
^ AU Moorad's portion). 



. OF BOMBAY : DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1845, NO. 25, page 379. 

3. On the death of the late Rajah at Kolapoor in November 
1838, it became the duty of the British Government to make 
arrangements for the government of that country daring the 
minority of the present Bajah. The treaty of 1829 had given us 
the right of appointing a minister, but your predecessors preferred 
to give their support to the administration which might be accept- 
able to the persons of greatest influence in the State itself. The 
Sirdars of Kolapoor had mostly attached themselves either to the 
Bajah's mother (Tara B4ee) or to the Diwan Sahiba, widow of a 
previous Bajah. After a short and successful attempt to combLoe 
these parties in a joint administration, the Diwan Sahiba was made 
Begent, and the two principal Sirdars of her party, Bowjee 
Wukuns and a Dinkur Bow Guicowar, were appointed to assist 
her, as Karbarrees (or minister), with the aid of another Chief 
named Moro Punt. 

4. The arrangement proved a failure, the corruption, profusion, 
and incapacity of the Administration led you in the beginning of 
1843 to set it aside and to banish the two Karbarrees, Bowjee 
Wukuns and Dinkur Bow Guicowar, from the seat of government. 
In our letter dated February 28, No. 3, 1844, paragraphs 3 and 7, we 
approved this course.' 

5. The attempt was now made to form an administration from 
the other of the two rival parties, that of Tara Baee, the Maee 
Sahib. A Begency was formed consisting of the Baj Adnya (the 
principal Sirdar of that party) and Hindoo Bow Guicowar, a 
Mahratta Chief, of whom Mr. Townsend, at that time Political 
Agent, entertained a high opinion. It was intended stjll ^ 


retain Moro Fimt> as a member of the Begency, but he declined 
to act. 

6. The new administration proved itself equally incompetent 
with the former. In a letter dated September 12, 1843, Mr. Townfh 
end, after representing various instcmces of its ' inertness and foUy ' 
declared that ' no actual revenue settlement had been made for the 
last two years,' that ' for that period no exact accounts of income 
can be given,' that the ' corruption and mismanagement at Colapore 
are on a gigantic scale,' that eveiy reform was utterly hopeless 
' under a management so devoid of energy as that of the Raj 
Adnya ' — * whether imbecility or knavery be the cause, whether 
fear of those around him, or a hope that the Agent will be changed 
and a change of measures adopted, I cannot say for certain, but the 
result is the same, nothing is done towards a reform, things continue 
at the worst.' On January 15, Mr. Townsend reiterated his con- 
viction of the 'iudolence, inefficiency, and deceit' of the 'Raj 
Adnya,' and said that to effect any improvement while he is 
Karbarree is out of the question.' He reported that it had been 
impossible by any amount of importunity to obtain from the 
Karbarree the accounts of receipts and disbursements since the 
Bajah's death, and that ' his yads to the Durbar were mere waste 
papers.' He expressed, as he had previously done, his conviction 
that it was necessary to appoint as chief manager a person wholly 
independent of the Durbar of Kolapoor. 

7. The two Kolapoor parties having thus successively proved 
their unfitness to be entrusted with office, you abandoned the 
attempt to form an exclusively native administration ; and, on the 
recommendation of Mi*. Townsend, Dajee Kristna Pundit, a servant 
of the British Grovemment and Dufterdar of Dharwar, was placed 
at the head of the Begency. With him were at first associated 
Hindoo Bow Guicowar, a member of the preceding ministry, and 
Kassinath Punt, the government Akhb^-navis. These individuals, 
however, were shortly suspended by Mr. Beeves, who had suc- 
ceeded Mr. Townsend as Political Agent. The grounds of their 
suspension were, in the case of Hindoo Bow, that the administra- 
tion of which he had formed a part was found to have left a great 
deficiency in the treasury, and to have, immediately before giving 
up office, unanthorilsedly, and (it was suspected) corruptly, released 
fk number pf JSnains which had beep attached. The suspension of 


Kassinath Pant was caused by his having withheld from Mr. 
Beeves a knowledge of the release of the Enams and by various 
complaints of his having abused the influence which he derived 
from his office of Akhbdr-navis ; and we must here remind you that 
the inquiry into the conduct of this individual has never been 
completed, Mr. Beeves (in consequence, no doubt, of the subsequent 
press of more urgent duties) having never furnished the additional 
information called for in your Secretary's letter of October 2, 1844. 
8. On April 5, 1844, Dajee Kristna Pundit commenced his 
functions as chief minister of Kolapoor. On July 22 the first 
manifestation took place of armed opposition to his administration. 
The Ghudkurees or hereditary garrison of the fort of Booduighur 
shut the gates against the Mamlutdar, and were immediately joined 
in their insubordination by tho^ of Samunghur. Attempts were 
made by Mr. Beeves to open a communication with the Qhudkurees 
for the purpose of conciliation, but without success. The only 
grievance which they alleged was that the number of Mamlutdars 
of the Kolapoor State having (for reasons of economy) been reduced, 
the forts had no longer, as before, Mamlutdars to themselves, but 
were included in larger districts. It was from the first the 
opinion of Mr. Beeves and of Diyee Existna that the Qhudkurees 
acted at the instigation of some persons of influence at Kolapoor. 

9. A force under lieutenant-Colonel Wallace marched from 
Belgaum on September 16, to reduce the refractory forts and 
reached Samunghur on the 19th. The Ghudkurees persevered in 
their resistance. From a variety of causes, among which imperfect 
information respecting the strength of the fort (for which imper- 
fection it is veiy difficult to account) appears to have been the 
principal, the defence was unexpectedly and most unfortunately 
protracted, and Samunghur did not fall into the hands of our 
troops until October 13, when it was taken by storm. During 
the interval the insurrection had become general. The town of 
Chickodee in the British territory was surprised, and its treasury 
plundered. The Ghudkurees of Munshur, a fort in the Kolapoor 
country, but overlooking that of Sawunt Warree, commenced 
aggressions upon the last-mentioned territory. The strong forts 
of Punalla, and Pownghur in the northern part of Kolapoor were 
placed in a state of defence. The troops at Kolapoor itself, under 
a leader named Babajee Ahirakur, sdzed upon the minister Diyee 


Kristna, and upon the young Rajah's tutor, threw them into con- 
finement at Punalla, and recalled the former Karbarrees, Eowjoe 
Wukuns and Dinkur Bow Quioowar, whom, together with the 
Dewan Sahib, they reinstated in the administration. 

10. After the capture of Samunghur and the defeat of a 
party of the Kolapoor insurgents who were on their way to relieve 
that place, the primary object was to suppress the insurrection at 
Kolapoor itself. For this purpose lieutenant-Colonel Ontram 
(who, having volunteered to proceed to the scene of disturbance, had 
been placed by your Gkivemment under the orders of Mr. Reeves) 
moved forward with a light detachment towards Kolapoor, and in a 
few days succeeded in obtaining peaceable possession of the town and 
fort and of the Rajah's person. A large portion, however, of the 
Sebundy, headed by BatMtjee Ahirakur left the place and continued 
in arms. Before lieutenant-Colonel Outram was admitted into 
the town he had promised (on condition of immediate submission) 
what was called an amnesty, and this measure, being in the first 
instance imperfectly reported to you, appeared to you extremely 
objectionable. On further explanation, however, it appeared that 
(besides the exception made of all who were concerned in the affidr 
at Chickodee, or who had committed any other act of aggression 
against British territory) the chiefe themselves had received no 
promise of pardon, in case they should afterwards prove to have 
instigated the rebellion, and the amnesty altogether was conditional 
upon establishing the existence of grievances. lieutenant-Colonel 
Outram gave every facility and even encouragement to the troops 
and people to make their grievances known. Very few complaints, 
however, were made, and these were not only trifling, but appeared 
on examination to be unfounded. The Karbarree D%jee Kristna 
came out with unblemished character from the investigation^ 
and the amnesty was nullified by the failure of an efiflftnta'al con- 

11. The movement of Major-Qeneral Delamotte's force against 
Boodurgfaur, which had been suspended while Kolapoor itself was 
in insurrection, was now resumed, and on November 10 the Major- 
Oeneral obtained possession of the fort, having first granted terms 
to the Ghudkurees considerably more favourable than was con- 
sistent with the intention or even the orders of your Qovem- 
ment, and this too although Babiyee Ahirakur and his followers 


had been admitted into the fort and were hurried oat at one gate 
while Major-General Delamotte entered by another. 

12. Boodurghur is at no great distance from Munohor, and the 
force under Major-General Delamotte was about to proceed against 
the latter place when it was summoned to the northward in con- 
sequence of the intelligence that Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans (who 
was on his way toKolapoor by order of QoTemment to assume the 
temporary management of that State) had been waylaid and carried 
o£f by the Ghudkurees of Punalla. The necessity of this north- 
ward movement was the more unfortunate as at the same time a 
formidable insurrection broke out in the Sawunt Warree. The 
Phond Sawunt family (who since their pardon by €k)Temment 
appeared to have resumed their former turbulent habits) rose in 
arms, and persuaded Anna Sahib, the son of the Siutlessye, to go 
o£f with them to Munohur. In a short time no part of Sawunt 
Warree could be said to be in the possession of the Govemmenty 
except the town itself, and the posts actually held by detachments 
of troops. Plundering incursions were also fi^uently made into 
British territory towards Baitsee and Parghur on the one side, 
Bairee, Yingorla, and Malwa on the other. 

Paragraph 13, referring to the imprisonment of Oolonel Ovans, 
states : ' We must express our satisfaction .... that Mr. Reeves 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Outram refused to listen to any propositions 
(rom the insurgents previously to his release. That release, when 
it took place, not having been accompanied by any offer of sub- 
mission, except upon conditions which could not be granted to 
armed insurgents, it unhappily became necessary to storm the 
fort ; and the chief insui^gent leader, Babajee Ahirakur, fSsll in the 

The origin of the insurrection is thus sketched and commented 
on : — 

16. The territory of Kolapoor contains thirteen forts, twelve of 
them hill-forts, and in point of situation among the strongest in 
the world. Of these thirteen, eleven have on this occasion been in 
arms against our Government, the exceptions being the two 
forts of Gui^undurgur and Sewghur, belonging to the dependent 
Chief of Bowra. The resistance has in general been obstinate ; no 
less than six of the forts were either taken by storm or evacuated 
after a first unsuccessful assault. Besides this, all, or nearly all 


its troops were concerned in the establishment of the unanthorised 
Gk)vemment at Kolapoor. 

17. According to your statement, 'there are strong reasons for 
believing that there is not a single person of any note connected 
with the ELolapoor State who will not be found more or less 
implicated in the late unlawful proceedings in that territory.' 

18. Such a display of hostility cannot in our opinion be 
explained by the intrigues of a few persons, or by any partial or 
local dissatisfieustiOn. The feeling must have been national. What 
has taken place is not an insurrection of disaffected subjects against 
the Kolapoor Government, but a general rising of the Kolapoor 
State against the British power. 

19. The British Gk)vemment had given no just cause for any 
such manifestation of animosity. Its interference in the affiEurs of 
Kolapoor had been entirely disinterested, having no other aim than 
the benefit of the Rajah and of the State. Nor had it attempted 
any fundamental alteration of existing institutions. Its object had 
been to correct gross abuses and to secure the^ better working of the 
existing machinery of government. 

20. The motives of the Kolapoor Sirdars and those of Ghud- 
kurees require to be distinguished. 

21. Mr. Beeves and Lieutenant-Colonel Outram have made a 
careful investigation in relation to both. 

22. From the evidence forwarded with Mr. Beeves' letter dated 
December 30, 1844, it appears that before the commencement of 
operations against Samxmghur (but not before the Ghudkurees 
began their resistance) Babajee Ahirakur and other leaders (^ the 
Sebimdees had a secret interview with Dinkur Bow Guicowar ; 
that the prolonged resistance of Samunghur determined their sub- 
sequent conduct ; that several of the Mankurries or dignitaries of 
the State, came into their views at an early period ; that after the 
seizure of Dajee Kristna ' all the Mankurries, and Huzzrias of the 
Putucks assembled, and in the presence of Dinkur Bow, Bowjee 
Wukuns, Humunt Bahadoor and both Princes, all touched the 
Maharajah's idol, and bound themselves by an oath to be Mthful 
to one another, and to obey the two Karbarrees, Rowjee Wukuns 
and Dinkur Bow ; and that they immediately despatched agents 
to seek assistance from Goa and Sawunt Warree.' The motive 
assigned is dissatisfiiction at the appointment of a foreign Kar- 


ban*ee. On the part of those connected with the two previous 
administrations, resentment at the loss of power and of legitimate 
or corrupt emolument was the obvious inducement. On the part 
of the military leaders the motive was said to be ' that they were 
now under a Karbarree sent by the British Government with whom 
nobody's intercession had any weight, who did not send for any of 
them, and to whom they could not apply for any presents, which 
they used to do when they were under their own Karbarrees. 

23. There is evidence to show that even after the Chiefs at 
Kolapoor had ostensibly submitted to Lieutenant- Colonel Outram, 
some of them were in communication by emissaries (Lallgeree 
Gossavee, Sukharam Ghutkey, and others) with the Ghudkurees 
of Punalla ; it seems even probable thafc the seizure of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Ovans was brought about by information received from 
Kolapoor, and it was the arrival of Sukharam Ghutkey and 
Lallgeree Gossavee of Punalla which, after the Ghudkurees had 
almost resolved to submit, decided them to hold out. It is asserted 
the Ghudkui'ees and Babajee Ahirakur expected that the Dewan 
Sahib and the Eajah's brother would come out and openly counten- 
ance their resistance, and there is considerable reason to believe 
that such was really the intention of those persons, though 
frustrated by Lieutenant-Colonel Outram's vigilance. On the 
several points, however, which relate to Punalla, Mr. Beeves (as 
appears from his letter of March 19) is much less decided in his 
opinion than Lieutenant-Colonel Outram. 

24. The motives of the Dewan Sahib and the Kolapoor Sirdars 
for the course they adopted are obvious, and those of the leaders of 
the Kolapoor troops are also sufficiently intelligible. But the 
Ghudkurees were differently situated. They do not appear to 
have been deprived of any illicit gains by reforms in the adminis- 

25. There is, however, no sufficient reason to believe that any 
instigation from Kolapoor preceded the first acts of insubordination 
by Samunghur and Boodurghur Ghudkurees. The evidence points 
rather to the conclusion that the discontented at Kolapoor were 
encouraged to what they did by the previous resistance of the 
Ghudkurees, and especially by the prolongation of the siege of 

26. We feel little doubt that the Ghudkurees of the two forte 
VOL, I. E E 


were originally acted upon by fear of encroachment upon their rights 
and privileges, though they may have been encouraged to prolong 
their resistance by inducements held out from Kolapoor. 

27. It has been proved that the rights of the Ghudkurees had 
not in fact been encroached upon. Their only actual grievance was 
that their forts and the villages from which they derived their 
revenues were merged in larger revenue districts ; and even this 
arrangement had been adopted (though not carried into effect) 
imder the Karbarrees who preceded Dajee Kristna Pimdit in the 
administration. But under the former system the Mamlutdarwas 
imder the orders of the Chief of the Ghudkure^ who communicated 
directly with the Durbar. Under the new system the Chief of 
the Ghudkurees was under the orders of the Mamlutdar, a change 
naturally offensive to their pride, and which in minds probably 
distrustful of the general tendency of our system might easily appear 
to be a preparation for placing the districts altogether under Khdlsa 
management. They might also very reasonably presume that the 
revenue oflScer of a large district would be lees acquainted with, 
and less careful of, their rights than an officer who resided in the 
midst of them ; who was, ostensibly at least, under their orders ; 
and who, having the charge of their district and of no other, was in 
a manner identified with themselves. 

28. The evidence of the Boodurghur piisoners transmitted by 
Mr. Reeves in his letter of December 3, 1844, gives strong con- 
firmation of these opinions. Although the dues of the Ghudkurees 
had not been interfered with by the new Mamlutdar, it appeared that 
alarm had been given by counting their houses and finiit-trees, 
and the privilege of sealing with their own seal all the orders and 
letters issued from the fort had been discontinued. It is also 
asserted that they had been threatened jtdth the discontinuance of 
some minor privileges. 

29. Mr. Reeves says 'they had ample opportunity afforded 
them for making known all circumstances in their condition 
which they felt irksome and grievous.* But men who were ac: 
customed, as these doubtless were, to look upon their military 
prowess, and the strength of their forts, as the only security for their 
pi'escriptive rights against the usurpations of even their own Qovem- 
ment, naturally shut the gates of their fort on the first serious indi- 
cation of what they deemed a purpose of encroachment. 


Paragraph 34 is illustratiye of the enlightened spirit and sound 
judgment of the Court. It states : 

That portion of the Kolapoor troops who did not quit the 
place with Babajee Ahirakur, nor commit any subsequent acts of 
insubordination, have been pardoned unconditionally, and you have 
directed ' that their former situations and privileges be continued 
to them as long as they conduct themselves properly.' At a later 
period an amnasty was tendered to the Sawunt Warree insurgents, 
except the leaders and those personally implicated in any outrage, 
provided they laid down their arms within a certain time. We 
should have been glad if, on the termination of military operations 
in the Kolapoor country, a similar amnesty could have been granted 
to the misguided subjects of that State. You have deteimined that 
such of the Kolapoor offenders as it might be necessary to bring to 
justice (including the Sirdars Rowjee Wukuns and Dinkur Row 
Guicowar), should be tried by Mr. Lumsden aided by native 
assessors. By a subsequent arrangement, those taken in our own 
territory of the Coulon are to be tried by Mr. Brown, an acting 
judge of the Sudder Adawlut on circuit. 

We conclude oiu* extracts with the nine following para- 
graphs : — 

38. The forts of every description are to be dismantled (except 
that, with respect to Munsontosh and Munohur, you were waiting 
for a report from Lieutenant-Colonel Outram), the functions of the 
Ghudkurees, an hereditaiy garrison, being thus superseded; the 
Ghudkuree system is to be abolished, but the hereditary privil^es 
of the Ghudkurees are to be retained by them (except when 
lawfully forfeited) on conditions to be clearly stated and under- 
stood by them, that their services are to be made available for 
other useful State purposes, such as a local police force for every 
district, &c. 

39. The military force of the State, already limited by treaty 
to 400 horse and 800 infimtry, is to be disbanded, saving (we trust) 
th6 faithful execution of any promises which have been given to the 
portion of the Sebundy who, as already noticed, had received a 
full pardon from Grovemment. 

40. A local corps, similar to that of Sawunt Warree, is to be 
formed, and employment given in it to as many as possible of the 
able-bodied Ghudkurees ; to such of them as cannot be employed 

B B 2 


either in this manner or on police duties you intend to hold out 
encouragement for engaging in cultiyation. 

41. An addition of three companies and a second in command 
is to be made to the Sawunt Warree local corps, and some portions 
of the forfeited possessions of the chiefs of the insuri'ection in that 
territory are to be bestowed as rewards on those who have adhered 
to our interests. 

42. The little territory of Vishulghud, subordinate to Kolapoor, 
has been taken, for the present, under British management. 

43. Finally, Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans having resigned the 
offices of Resident at Sattara and the command of the troops at that 
station, you have conferred those appointments upon lieutenant- 
Colonel Outram, in consideration of the gallant and energetic 
spirit in which his operations in Sawunt Warree have been under- 
taken, and the ability with which they have been carried into 

44. To all these measures we have the satLsfaction of giving 
our entire approbation. 

45. In consideration of the zealous and valuable aid which 
Chintamun Row, the Chief of Sanglee, has afforded to your 
Government, both in troops and by advances of money during the 
disturbances, you recommended that, as one of the most gratifying 
marks of honour which could be conferred upon that respectable 
Chief, a sword, with a suitable inscription, should be presented to 
him by the Court. We shall take immediate steps for carrying 
this suggestion into effect. 

46. In conclusion, we feel it a duty to express our sense of the 
vigour and promptitude with which the powers and resources of 
your Gk)vemment have been placed at the disposal of the officers 
entrusted with the immediate conduct of the late operations. We 
must also applaud the.sincere desire which you have manifested to 
ascertain and redress all real groimds of complaint, and we trust 
we shall find that you have been equally disposed to make due 
allowance for even groundless apprehensions and to be satisfied with 
the fewest and least severe examples, consistent with making the 
needful impression on the minds of the disaffected. 



OF JANUARY 2, 1860.> 


THE BRITISH ARMY. (75 Paragraphs.) 

Tlie so-called mutiny, — Bear in mind how unspeakably great 
had been our recent obligations to the European troops of the East 
India Company, as well as to their glorious comrades of the Royal 
Army, who had cheerfully laid down their lives to save an empire 
that then appeared tottering to its fall. Think of the marvellous 
deeds of valour they had just performed, of the privations and 
hardships they had endured, and of the (to them) heavy losses 
which many of them had sustained beyond the destruction of that kU 
for which alone they could hope to obtain compensation. Re- 
member that the Press had long teemed with denunciations of the 
Government on the ground that we were cruelly negligent of the 
claims of our own countrymen, while, as was all^;ed, we were 
needlessly caressing and enriching natives who had but scanty 
claims on our consideration. Recollect that for years past a pain- 
ful conviction had pervaded the Army that the Government had 
not behaved fairly to it in the matter of prize — a conviction which 
led to the destruction, in Lucknow alone, of property to the extent 
of many tens of thousands of pounds — to the destruction, indeed, of 
all frangible property which could not be appropriated by the 
captors, who (and the men were not Company's soldiers) declared 
that ' Government should make nothing by it.' Keeping all these 
facts in view, let us place ourselves in the position of the Company's 
European soldiers, when informed that, owing to financial difficul- 
ties arising out of that mutiny which they had so zealously and 
successfully aided in subduing, they were^ on what they regarded 
as a lawyer's quibble — to be deprived of that re-enlistment (with 

* These Minutea aro referrini to in Book III. Ch. VT., near the close of the 
Second Vohime. 


the boiiniy which that re-enlistment implied) to which the Prime 
Minister of England had declared them fully entitled. And doing 
this wo must admit that some allowance should be made for their 

Injustice to India of amalgamation, — But granting, as I readily 
do, that for all the purposes of real soldiership — for marching, for 
bivouacking, roughing it in the field, and fighting, Indian r^ments 
are superior to those that have not had the like experience of the 
real and distinctive elements of military life; I cannot admit either 
the policy or the equity of upsetting the military system under 
which India was gained and has been maintained— dealing a grie- 
vous blow at our Eastern Empire, imposing vast burdens on our 
Eastern native fellow-subjects, and inflicting cruel wrongs on six 
thousand English gentleman who have well acquitted themselves 
of their duties, though unfortunately they have but little aristo- 
cratic interest, and no Parliamentary or Press influence, simply 
that an increased number of the regiments of Her Majesty's Line 
may acquire a greater practical knowledge of thdr profession. If 
the real objects of the proposed amalgamation be merely to give 
Indian experience to a greater number of Eoyal r^ments, let the 
twenty-four corps of the line and four regiments of cavalry, which 
before the mutinies were found sufficient to supplement the local 
force, be relieved every ten, every seven, or if need be every five 
years, the Imperial Treasury bearing the additional cost. 

Comparative cost, — It is a fact that the local European corps of 
India actually cost less than the line regiments supplied from 
England. The pay of officers and men is alike — their rations, 
clothing, &c,, the same. But, partly owing to the costliness of the 
separate depot system, two com|)anies of each raiment being kept 
up in England — partly owing to the greater sickness to which, as a 
rule, they are subject for the first few years of their service — the 
fact is as I have stated it. The average number of line raiments 
coming out to India before the mutinies was 1| per annum : under 
the amalgamation system it would, even with i-oliefs only after 
fifteen or twenty years' service, be five or six per annum, involving 
a proportionably increased cost to the State. 

The cadets of the old regime, — They have come out to India as 
boys — ^healthy, ingenuous, manly bojrs, ignorant of the enjoym^its 
and dissipations of 'life ' in England, and full of eager expectations 


in respect of the country which is to be their Iwrnt for the next 
twenty or thirty years. On their anivaJ they have been thrown 
into close contact with m^i who had resided long in India and ac- 
quired a knowledge of its people, its languages, its religions, and 
its civil and military history. From these they have taken thdr 
tone — ^acquiring from them a vast fund of information not to be 
obtained in books, and practical maxims, the result of the experience 
of many generations. Associating with such men, they have early 
become * ambitious to emancipate themselves from griffinhood * — in 
other words, to acquire a thorough familiarity with the country, 
its customs, and its concerns. Taking readily to field sports, they 
have necessarily been thrown into intimate intercourse with the 
natives under circumstances which begot in them kindly feelings 
towards the latter. They have thus early learned to penetrate 
below the surface of the native character, to admire its good 
features, and to understand and guard against its less amiable pecu- 
liarities ; and thus did they acquire that knowledge of the work- 
ings of the native mind which enabled them in after-life to 
discharge with efficiency, and in kindness, the various military, 
political, departmental, and administrative duties assigned to them. 
Such were the men, and such was the training of the men, who 
have hitherto commanded the r^ular and irregular corps of the 
local army ; who have been the private friends and official counsel- 
lors of the chiefs and nobles and gentry of India ; who have managed 
and controlled those enormous commissariat and other military es- 
tablishments, through the working of which the native masses are 
brought into contact with Europeans ; who have wandered amongst 
the rural population, and been brought into intimate relations 
with it in the pursuit of sport, and when officially engaged in con- 
ducting surveys, adjudicating disputes, constructing bridges, roads, 
and tanks, suppressing violence, redressing wrongs, and performing 
those numberless miscellaneous duties that so constantly devolve 
on military officers in this country. Deeply interested in the native 
masses, such men were to be found sitting for hours under the 
shade of a village tree in earnest colloquy with the people — listen- 
ing to their tales, answering their questions, clearing their minds 
of misapprehensions, giving them advice, and rendering them prac- 
tical aid in many ways. ... It may be said that when amalgama- 
tion takes place, India will be supplied as before with yoimg men 


who, inspired by the prizes which the staff and departmental 
offices hold out, will exert themselves as earnestly and as success- 
fully in the acquisition of local knowledge and experience as their 
predecessors of the local army. I reply : — * the idling is impossible ; 
the lads may bring the same earnestness, but it is impossible they 
can achieve equal success. They will not be placed under those 
conditions of early association and local training to which, much 
more than to formal study, the success of their predecessors was 
due. . . .' 

[The Appendices A and B to Sir James Outram's ' Amalgama- 
tion ' Minute of January 2, 1860, must be read as a whole in order 
to obtain any idea of the elaborate scheme for the instruction of 
both private and officer, and of the equally elaborate scheme of 
organisation of the army staff in all grades, military and medical, 
which their one hundred and fifty paragraphs or clauses set forth. 
The following are selected from those which, in Appendix A, relate 
to the professional prizes to be held out for attainment by privates 
of the Indian Local European Army.] 

Commissions, — I desire to replenish the local force with a higher 
class of men than those who form the present average of our British 
armies — to entice into our ranks the steady, sober, and moral 
peasants and artificers of Britain, and steady, sober, moral, and 
intelligent men of a still higher parentage and education, but of 
humble means and uninfluential connections. Such men I would 
seek — in the interests of the State, and for the honour and moral 
influence of our nation in this country — to attract to our colours by 
opening to every private of high moral character and superior zeal 
and ability, the opportimity of working his way up to the highest 
of our staff appointments and the highest of our military ranks and 
commands. I propose to make such a feat difficult of accomplish- 
ment — too difficult to awaken any reasonable jealousy of those who 
enter the army as commissioned officers, but still sufficiently prac- 
ticable to the worthy, the able, the resolute, the industrious, to offer 
a strong inducement to such to enter the service. 

Unattaclied commissions, — And I propose to allow steady, sober, 
intelligent, and industrious privates to attain the dignity of a com- 
mission on still lower terms. I propose to allow any private who 
by professional excellence and good conduct has raised himself to 
the position of a non-commissioned officer, and who having for a 


certain length of time served with honour in that position, has 
possessed himself of the accomplishments (general and professional) 
required of an ensign aspiring to a lieutenant's commission, to earr^ 
for himself, as of right, by honourable service as a non-commissioned 
officer, an ensign's commission, with subsequent promotion according 
to certain defined rules. Without contending against the conversion 
of deserving non-commissioned officers into regimental commissioned 
officers, I abstain from recommending it as part of my scheme. I 
only ask that they should be furnished with unatt<iched commis- 
sions ; and I propose to employ them (with the position and all 
the social considerations attaching to commissioned officers) in the 
various departments and administrative posts now held by ' clerks,' 
'deputy' and 'assistant commissaries,' 'conductors,' &c., whose 
monthly salary is equal to and above that of regimental ensigns, 
lieutenants, and captains. . . . 

EestUta of proposed scheme, — And what would not be the advan- 
tage to India of the presence of such a body of men as our European 
local corps would become under the moral influence of the class of 
men 1 speak of, and under the influence of that fine spirit of emu- 
lation in steadiness, and mutual accomplishment, which the adop- 
tion of my scheme would induce ? In what respects is that scheme 
impracticable % As to its expense, even if it did to a small extent 
increase the annual military outlay of the country, it would still be 
cheapness itself as compared with the cost of the amalgamation 
scheme ; and I am convinced that if fair play be given to my scheme 
in its integrity — which involves superior sanitary arrangements, the 
encouragement of industry, kc, — the health and longevity of the 
troops would be so improved that a very considerable saving would 
be annually efifected in hospital expenses (a terribly large item), in- 
validing charges, kc The retiring pensions I propose conferring on 
unattached officers would probably be less, certainly not greater, 
tdian the average amount of retiring pensions enjoyed by uncove- 
nanted civilians. 

[From * Supplementary Minute ' by Sir James Outram, of 
February 11, 1860, intended aa an additional appendix to his 
'Amalgamation' Minute of January 2, 1860. (114 paragraphs.) 
On Sanitary and Greneral Improvements for the well-being of the 
European soldier in India.] 

* Board ship ' arrangements — Officers. — Considerable care should 


be taken in the selection of the officers placed in command even of 
the smallest detachments. I solemnly declare that I would rather a 
detachment were put under the control of the captain of the ship, 
than subjected to the command of a military officer inexperienced 
in, or unsuited for the management of European soldiers — of a 
tyrannical, hard, unsiympathising, foul-mouthed man — of a puppy 
who, considering duty a bore, cares not to disguise his feelings ; or 
even of a good-natured, well-meaning man of indolent and slovenly 
habits, given to the perfunctory performance of his work. Still 
more do I deprecate recruits being placed under an officer who 
cannot command himself, whether his inability to do so arise from 
want of temper or from intemperance in the use of wine. Yet, 
painful as it is, I am constrained to confess that I have known of 
many cases, in which such exceptionable men have been placed in 
charge of recruits ; in fiact I know that I accurately describe the 
present state of matters when I say that, in the nomination of 
officers to the charge of troops, these special qualifications for the 
officer are little considered. It is assumed that any man who has 
served a certain number of years in the army, and obtained a 
certain rank, is fit for the post. But this is a grievous mistake. 
Thrown together as officers and men necessarily are on board ship, 
no evasion of duty on the part of the former^ no disingenuous fudg- 
ing of work, no vicious habits, no deficiency in the qualifications 
for command, no indifference to the feelings or comfort of the men, 
can possibly escape the observation of the latter, who, poor fellows, 
have not much'else to observe. And little idea can be formed, by 
those who have not investigated and pondered over the matter, of 
the demoralisation and permanent contempt for authority — nay, 
of the positive vindictivenees towards all exercising it — which may 
thus be acquired by soldiers in the course of a four months' voyage ; 
to say nothing of the evil habits into which they fall, under the 
emmui of a long confinement on board ship, when deprived of that 
of which they never ought to be deprived — the ever-vigilant control 
and paternal guardianship of a firm, but benevolent, conscientious, 
and intelligent officer. . . . 

Non-^iommissioned officers on board, — But, besides subalterns, the 
commanding officer should have a stafi* of experienced and efficient 
non-commissioned officers, in a proportion of not less than one to 
every fifty men. And, as well to secure an adequate supply of 


these for every batch of recroitSy as in acknowledgement of the great 
merits of that inoet estimable body of men, I would recommend 
that four non-commissioned officers per regiment should annually 
receive an eighteen months' modified furlough to Europe. . . . 

Instruction on board. — In my former Minute I recommended 
that, so far as might be practicable, the systematic course of instruc- 
tion in which the men had been engaged in dep6t should be con- 
tinued on board ship. . . . But in addition to the ordinary school 
tuition thus recommended, ic is, I think, desirable that the troops 
should be instructed in matters specially relating to the coimtry 
whither they are proceeding : what to look for, and * how to observe ' 
that which will be presented to their eyes — the general geographical 
and ethnographical features of India — its climatic peculiarities, the 
influence of these on health, and the mode in which their morbific 
tendencies may best be neutralised. These are topics on which the 
medical and other officers would generally be competent to en- 
lighten the men. But to avoid all risk of this species of instruc- 
tion being neglected, I would recommend that a course of lectures 
(prepared imder authority by some competent person) should be 
printed and supplied to the commanding officer of each detachment, 
together with an adequate supply of maps, pictures, models, and 
diagrams for their due illustration. . . . 

Two or three hours per week, devoted by each of the officers to 
the instruction of those solicitous for it, in drawing, mathematics, 
fortification, or such other branches as they might be qualified to 
teach, would be but a slender tax on them, and might hereafter 
prove a boon of exceeding value to some of their humbler fellow- 
voyagers. A single hour per diem, devoted by each officer to 
friendly conversation with the men on the library books they were 
perusing, would not be missed by him, and could hardly fail to be 
appreciated by them. 

And no one who has seen much of the European soldier on his 
first arrival in India can doubt that the lessons thus given (in Hin- 
dustani colloquial phrases, <fec.) would prove to him very useful, 
smoothing away many of his early difficulties, and saving him from 
many an imposition, and many a fracas with natives. Were the 
medical officer to devote three hours per week, on a four months' 
voyage, to the instruction of such men as chose to avail themselves 
of his offer, in bandaging, in the use and application of tourniquets, 


in the art of extemporising these by sticks and handkerchiefe — and 
in other such-like minor items of surgical procedure, I feel assured 
he would find an abundance of apt pupils. 

FvmMhmemJt of the * brute ' on hoard. — Adequately aided by the 
non-commissioned officers who, I have recommended, should be 
sent with each detachment, I believe it to be perfectly possible for 
a firm and judicious commanding officer entirely to put a stop to 
the use of that coarse and pruiient language, intended for the 
women's ears, which, too generally, I believe, is made use of in the 
lower deck at night. I am as averse as any man can be to corporal 
punishment ; but I do not hesitate to say that, were I in command 
of troops on a sea voyage, I would for the third offence of this 
nature, scourge the filthy scoundrel's back till he howled in very 
agony. The first offender I would put on bread and water for 
forty-eight hours^ keeping him a prisoner near the wheel the whole 
time, if the weather permitted : the second I would additionally 
subject for a week to fSfttigue work of the hardest and most menial 
character : the third, as I have said, I would appeal to in the only 
way in which such a degraded animal could be successfully appealed 
to on board ship — by the torture of his unmanly carcase. The 
offence is a brutal and a cowardly one — its possible results very 
dreadful ; and the punishment should be that suited to a brute and 
a coward, and one calculated by its severity to prevent a repetition 
of the offence by the same man, or by others. 

Effect of careful attention to * hoard ship ' life. — ^And I maintain 
that, under a judicious system of training during a four months' 
voyage, very much may be done to invigorate the constitutions of 
our men, and to repair the evil effects of previous enervating habits 
— very much to enhance their efficiency as soldiers — very much to 
beget in them a taste for reading and simple and innocent recrea- 
tions — very much to fortify them against the temptations, and 
moral and constitutional dangers, to which they will be exposed 
on landing — and very much indeed to awaken and fostei* in them 
kindly, grateful, and reverential feelings towards their commissioned 
superiors, by practically demonstrating to them that their present 
comfort and future welfare are objects of affectionate solicitude to 
the latter. 

Eejmement in harracka. — But I confess myself one of those who 
believe that external circumstances very powerfully influence the 


inner man— that there is a very intimate connection between ma- 
terial and moral refinement. Every argument in favour of sub- 
stituting neatness for squalor in the dwellings of the humbler 
cLases in civil life, appears to me as logically establishing the pro- 
priety of elevating mere neatness into elegance. And every 
argument in behalf of uncostly and modest elegance, which is valid 
in respect of the civil population, I conceive to be a fortiori 
applicable to their military brethren. . . . 

I ask not for the dandyism, but for the decencies of the mess- 
house, for extreme cleanliness, and for such little elegancies as 
matting for the floor, chicks for the doors and windows, uncostly 
but artistically commendable prints for the wall% chairs and 
benches a little above the roughest products of bazaar manufacture, 
trays (be they of the coarsest tin) to preserve the tables from the 
stains of porter mugs and coffee cups, metal plates for receiving 
pipe-ashes, and decent spittoons. . . . 

Ccmteens. — ^Whatever decision be arrived at as regards the ap- 
pearance and furniture of our military canteens, let us, at a]l events, 
do our utmost to induce our soldiers ix) seek such refreshments as 
they require (or fancy they require) where wholesome beverages 
are supplied to them, rather than go in quest of them to the vile 
dens which are, and ever will be, accessible to them, be our canton- 
ment regulations ever so stringent. Give them, in our own can- 
teens, shade and coolness (by punkahs and tatties when necessary) 
in the day-time — abundant illumination in the evenings — flight, 
unadulterated beer to any extent they choose to pay for — ^wholesome 
spirits (that is spirits as little prejudicial as absolute purity can 
render them), when only spirits will satisfy their morbid cravings — 
and though they may at times exceed, their excesses will injure 
them less than if practised in the hot dirty bazaars, where the 
veriest poison is sold under the name of liquor — and where the 
drinking den and the brothel, when not identical, are conterminous. 
In the canteens tliey will, at least, be under surveillance and con- 
trol, and when tipsy they can be at once removed to their barracks, 
thus avoiding the scandal and injury which the public display of their 
debauchery inflicts on the British name and the Christian faith. 
And just in proportion as we carry out the recommendations I have 
made in this and my previous Minute, and supplement these re- 
commended measures by compelling our canteen-keepers to fVunish 


rich, strong, delidons coffee, genuine and well-made tea, and good 
and cheap ginger-beer, lemonade, and soda-water — ^by bestowing on 
our canteens the comforts, in the English-looking elegancies for 
which I plead —by supplying them with the means of innocent and 
sedentary recreation — and by covering their tables with the lightest 
of light and amusing, but wholesome, periodical literature — -just 
in the same proportion shall we win our soldiers from the love 
of alcohol, and gradually give them a distaste for those coarser ex- 
citements in which only at present can the i*ougher of them realise 
what they call 'life and fun,' but &om which not a hundred- 
brigadier-power, however energetically exerted, could drive them 
until substitutes are provided such as I have suggested. 

Mental culture, — I would endeavour to supply stimuli to mental 
culture, and to furnish its means, to those whom the regimental 
school, and the prizes it holds out, fail to attiuct thither. And I 
look, in the event of the arrangement above recommended being 
adopted, to the officers of our military stations supplementing the 
efforts of Government by the delivery of lectures to the men on 
many interesting subjects. 

Effects of such a system, — That, by providing him with amuse- 
ments and offering him remimerative employment, you will con- 
vert a drunkard into a sober man, or a bad soldier into a good 
one — inspire a grumbler or a * lawyer ' with contentedness and the 
spirit of prompt and willing obedience — drive out invincible in- 
dolence from a lazy fellow, or confer smartness on the man of 
slovenly tastes and habits — I do not for a moment suppose. But I 
do believe that you may reclaim those who are only negatively bad, 
and confirm those who have good and healthy principles, and keep 
in the right path an overwhelming majority oi those who hereafter 
join the army ; elevating them in their own and the world's esti- 
mation, preserving their health, vastly enhancing their efficiency, 
and bestowing upon our own military service a prestige which shall 
make it popular amongst classes higher in the social scale than 
those from which its ranks ai*e now mainly recruited. 


OF FEBRUARY 21, 1860. 

ON 'miscellaneous questions affecting the organisation and 

Tht * individuality ' of the soldier. — I believe that the tendency 
of our military system has been mischievously to repress his indivi- 
dualism, to weaken his sense of personality, and thus to check the 
development of that intelligent consciousness of personal capacities, 
and of that desire to multiply his resources of independent action, 
the want of which is apt to prove most lamentable in many of the 
contingencies of active service. ... I believe that much more 
could (and ought to) be done, to augment the individual efficiency 
and practical knowledge of our men. ... I would not leave the 
matter one altogether of choice. I would compel our men to ac- 
quire a practical knowledge of everything that could influence their 
individual comfort, safety, and efficiency, in every conceivable con- 
tingency of active service. I would take care that each soldier 
was thoroughly indoctrinated in all such practical expedients and 
their philosophy, as are, for example, laid down in Mr. Galton's 
useful little book, * The Art of Travel.' . . . He should, moreover, 
be made thoroughly to understand the rationale of all the move- 
ments, formations, and evolutions, to the mechanical performance of 
which he is drilled. He should be habituated to contemplate, and to 
frame for himself rules of action in trying emergencies, which may 
at any time occur on field service — such, for instance, as those in 
which detached posts lose their commissioned and non-commissioned 
officers, or pickets are cut off &om their supports (as has happened 
sometimes in jungly districts during the recent campaigns and in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the enemy, for hours, and even 


days together). He should be not only theoretically, but pi-sctically 
trained to the pi-ocedure and pi'ecautions indispensable in that 
str^t, suburb, and jungle fighting to which no judicious leader 
will ever unnecessarily expose him, but which it is impossible 
always to avoid in the conduct of military operations. Very much 
more attention should be paid to his perfection in marksmanship than 
I fear, is, or at all events used to be, the case. ... I conceive 
moreover that enery infantry soldier (and not merely a percentage 
of each corps) should be taught artillery drill, and often exercised in 
it, so as to keep him qualified to act as a gunner on any sudden 
emergency. . . . Four or six hours per week, in the hot season, 
devoted to (what for want of a better term I shall call) ' the theo- 
retical instruction of their men,' would not be an excessive demand 
on the captain of a company and his subalterns. . . . 

Practical drills, — I believe that they might be advantageously 
substituted for some of the regular ' horse in the mill ' battalion 
parades, in which zealous commanding officei'S luxuriate morning 
and evening in the cold season, and which, in some regiments, Skre 
carried to an extent that not only wearies, but positively stupifies 
both officers and men. It is amidst ruined buildings, and the 
debris of old villages, hedges, cornfields, topes of trees, broken 
ground, the unequal banks of nullahs, <fec. <fec., that the ' light 
infantry drill ' of the smooth parade-ground can alone be perfected 
into that which will often be demanded of the soldier in the 
field. ... 

Military topography, — I hold it to be a primary duty with each 
officer above the rank of lieutenant, on the arrival of his regiment 
at any station, to familiarize himself most thoroughly with its 
military topography. I would that I could lay my hands on Sir 
Henry Lawrence's remarks on this subject . . . Like all his words, 
they were woi'ds of wisdom ; and as the voice of that great and 
good and sagacious man, speaking from his grave, they would have 
an influence far beyond that which I can hope will be accorded to 
my own feeble utterances. 

Independent commands. — Most earnestly do I advocate — and for 
the reasons so ably and forcibly adduced by Sir Bartle Frere — the 
maintenance of the present arrangement by which each of the three 
older Presidencies is provided with a separate army. And with 
him I most sincerely believe, that the less we trammel our com- 
manders — ^whether regimental, brigade, divisional, or chief — with 


* regulations,' and the more we allow them full scope for the play 
of their individual energies — so long as toe scrupulottsly exclude 
from commands of every kind any save those most JU to hold them, 
the more efficient will he our armies. 

Bed-tape and suspicion, — ^When we catch a rogue let us punish 
him with exemplary severity ; hut let us not perpetuate a system 
which seems to assume that every officer would he a rogue if he 
could, and, hy its infinity of invidious checks, almost exonerates 
our functionaries from any r^ard for the pecuniary interests of the 
puhlic not prescribed by the strict letter of the r^ulations. 

Most of the details I have given involve principles — ^all of 
them I deem of practical importance— and when I have seemed to 
urge for adoption that which has been already adopted, I have 
merely meant to express my conviction that it has not been carried 
out as it Tnight and ought to be carried out. 

As regards Sir James Outram's forebodings of the evil results 
of amalgamation of the Boyal and India|i armies, we recall attention 
to the following extract from a letter which appeared in the * Times ' 
of September 15, 1864, fit)m its Calcutta correspondent, writing 
after a three years' experience of the dreaded measure : 

* Everyone acquainted with military affairs can perceive that 
the '' amalgamation " of the Indian and English armies has not 
worked well. Indian officers used to take a sincere interest in their 
labours : they knew their men well, they tried to turn them into 
efficient soldiers, they were content to spend their days here in the 
discharge of duties of which tiiey were proud. Be the cause what 
it may, it is certain that this is all changed. Queen's officers hate 
the country with a bitter hatred, and the army has been weakened 
by illiberality and injustice. The disadvantages of destroying the 
Indian army,^-disadvantages which such men as Lord Stanley, Sir 
John Lawrence, Sir James Outram, Sir R. H. Vivian, and Colonel 
Durand foresaw when they opposed the amalgamation, — are work- 
ing their full measure of evil. The army now shares the feeling 
which is so prevalent in English society here of hating the country, 
and the ever-present desire to get home. Is it desirable to 
strengthen these views in the army % * 

VOL. I. F F 


A de^paicb from Lord Com wallis, written in 1795 to the Court 
of Directors, contains the following important paragraph, which, if 
forgotten in the letter, is not obsolete in spirit : 

'The conditions on which the European non-commissioned officers 
and soldiers at present in the Company's service have enlisted 
cannot be altered, and therefore those men who do not chooae on 
receiving a new bounty to re-enlist voluntarily on the usual terms 
in the King's service can only be required to perform the engagements 
in India which they have contracted to the Company, subject during 
those periods to the Articles of War (which in no essential point 
differ from those of His Majesty) under which they enlisted, and after 
the eicpiration of those engagements they are to be furnished with 
passages to Europe in the Company's ships.' 

The above extract, found among Sir James Outram's papers, 
was on a proposal, in 1795, to transfer the Company's army to the