CHAPTER VI  pp. 175-215

CHAPTER VI

By John Clark Marshman

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SECTION I

MR. HASTINGS'S ADMINISTRATION TO THE DEPARTURE OF MR. FRANCIS

Warren Hastings was appointed in the Act the first Governor-General of India. He had landed in Calcutta as a writer on the Company's establishment in 1750, and was employed for the first seven years in appraising silks and muslins and copying invoices. The great events which followed the battle of Plassy afforded the first opportunity of developing his talents, and he was selected by Colonel Clive to represent the Government at the durbar of Moorshedabad, then the most important of subordinate offices in the service. Three years after he came by rotation into the Council board, and offered a strenuous resistance to those profligate measures of his colleagues which brought on the war with Meer Cossim. He returned to England after fifteen years' service comparatively poor, while Mr. Vansittart, who sailed in the same ship with him, was reported to have taken home little short of fifty lacs. After a residence of several years in England, the Court of Directors restored him to their service, and appointed him second member of Council at Madras, where he exhibited such zeal and ability as to be selected to take charge of the Government of Bengal. Hastings found the administration in a state of complete anarchy. The double Government established by Clive, which was considered a masterpiece of policy, had turned out to be the curse of the country.