Page images


THE Malcolms of Eskdale were a fortunate and a wide circle of friends, notwithstanding his calanumerous family. Four of the sons attained mities. The Johnstones of Alva, a far distant knighthood in different professious, and with them, family, who bad, however, possessions in Eskdale honours, fame, and fortune, although their origin of which the farm of Douglan formed part, were was of the middle class, and their nativity a sheep among the number. The late Sir Harry Moncrieff farm. One hundred and fifty years since, that is wrote subsequently of the farmer of Burnfoot in in 1717, the Lord President of Scotland recom- terms which would lead us to suppose that he had mended the Earl of Dalkeith to present Robert ranked among the upper yeomen of the land. Mrs. Malcolm, a young preacher, of Fife, to the parish Malcolm's brothers, Dr. Gilbert Pasley, of Madras, of Ewes, in Dumfriesshire. The presentation was and Mr. John Pasley, a merchant of London, were issued five years after the date of Queen Anne's useful to the sons of the family, who only required Patronage Bill ; and must have been one of the to have a foot put in the stirrup in order to get earliest, if not the first, presentation of the Dal. upon the horse. So when John, or, as he was keith family. The appointment endured for forty. commonly called at Burnfoot, Jock, Malcolm was four years, the full average of Scotch incum- barely turned of eleven years he had obtained, bencies, even in a healthful, ventilated parish, as through Mr. Johnstone, a nomination to the milithe Ewes was, is, and probably ever will be- unless lary service of the East India Company. He was some change occur in Eskdale, where the popula- little more than twelve years of age when he left tion do not increase rapidly; for all the families Burnfoot for London, on his way to the Indies ; are not so productive as the second generation of and his biographer says that, on the morning of his Malcolms in Burnfoot. This Burnfoot was a farm departure from home, for London, with Mr. John rented by the Earl upou easy terms to the Minis- Pasley, the merchant of the metropolis, and broter of Ewes. The name and the staple produce ther of his mother, his old nurse delivered to him of the farm agreed admirably; for the district was the following charge—"Now (we assume it had chiefly pastoral, and the pasture was principally been 'Noo'), Jock, my mon, be sure when ye are occupied by sheep. Antiquarians expend much

Antiquarians expend much awa, ye kaim your head, and keep your face clean ; criticism over the origin of names. Probably the if ye dinna, ye'll just be sent hame again.” The parish of Ewes will not give them long labour in old nurse may be fairly acquitted from any charge that research. Ewes are its most numerous ani. for this commingling of English orthography with mals, or they were in the last century; and we do Scotch pronounciation. John Malcolm lived in not suppose that cultivation has materially eaten London for eighteen months, and arrived at Mainto sheep farming on that Eskdale yet. We have dras when not quite fourteen years old. four considerable Esk Rivers in Scotland. They These were the days of Warren Hastings and of all intersect excellent arable land for many miles Sir Eyre Coote; of Hyder Ali and Tipoo Saib. before their meeting with the ocean, and they all In those days there were French in India; and the originate in pastoral regions, of which the Southern Indian empire was beginning merely to gather Esk has the more extensive, but not the higher or strength. Thus, the life of one man, and that not the wilder runs.

a long life, connects Hyder Ali, of Seringapatam, Mr. Robert Malcolm, Minister of Ewes, died in with Mehemet Ali, of Egypt; and three genera1761—and his son George, who was, in the ma. tions bring us from the Fifeshire boy, thinking of ternal descent, the grandson of Principal Camp. the Ministry, shortly after the revolution of 1688, to bell, succeeded to the farm of Burnfoot; which the Anglo-Indian author, statesman, and soldier, rehe had managed for some years, because a defect in gretting, for a short time, our Reform Bill. To the his articulation obliged him to abandon the pulpit memory of Jock, the boy who left Eskdale in 1780, for which he had been educated. He added to the with instructions from his nurse “to kaim his head farm of Burnfoot the farm of Douglan; but his and keep his face clean"-fifty-five years after. dealings were not altogether prosperous; al wards, the people of Eskdale and Langholm though he was distinguished by stern honesty and assembled, under the guidance of Sir James Grarigid principles; or, probably, because he was pos- ham, not a sentimental politician, to lay the sessed in an eminent degree of these obvious dis. foundation of that obelisk which now overlooks qualifications to prosperity as a cattle breeder and Langholm, into the English border. salesman at the close of the last century. Even The family of Burnfoot were fortunate in the Dandy Dinmont, sharp man as he was, had diffi- world. Four of them, we have stated, were knighted, culties to encounter which overcame George Mal. or obtained baronetcies, for their public services. colm; who had moreover ten sons and seven Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm was better known daughters, and they all grew up to man and wo- in Britain than his brethren; but, perhaps, Sir manhood among the heather of Burnfoot. John Malcolm's services were more distinguished,

George Malcolm was known and respected by more useful, and they were more varied. He

* “ Life of Sir John Malcolm.” By J. W. KAYE, in 2 vols. London : Smith, Elder, and Co.

[blocks in formation]

was his own master at fourteen years of age, in a learned in India, at a time when the Britishstrange land, where the natives are always willing European army was not distinguished by the to give considerable credit to the English Officers. genius of its chiefs—for Abercrombie and Moore We are not astonished, therefore, to read the fol- had both fallen in fight. lowing confession by his biographer. It is exactly The necessities of the late war wrought a change what might have been expected :

of that wretched system. Although nearly all I am afraid that he was not a prodigy of youthful virtue.

our leading officers, like Sir Colin Campbell, Sir He was a fine, free-spirited, active, excitable boy-fonder of James Simpson, who was, we believe, much play of all kinds than study—a good horseman, a crack shot, maligned, and Sir Richard England, had seen accomplished in all gymnastic exercises. In his regiment, severe service in the East—especially the two forand wherever he was known beyond his regiment, he went by the name of “ boy Malcolm”—a name which he retained mer-yet the error of depriving the country of many years afterwards—there was something so open and assistance from the most effective subordinate jogous in his manner, so active and so frolicsome. Of course officers in the service became obvious ; and Lord he was beset by all manner of temptations. What he re- Panmure, in a few quiet lines, revolutionised our sisted, and what he did not, I do not particularly know; but military system. The Queen's commission in the he was soon immersed in debt, and surrounded by all its possession of an Anglo-Indian officer now carries attendant difficulties.

the same weight as a similar commission in our The Anglo-Indian military officers had in those home regiments. The appointment of General days the excuse of poverty for getting into debt, Grant to the chief command of the Madras army unless they possessed private means of support. was the first consequence of this change. The For the withdrawal of this temptation they are in selection of Sir James Outram to the chief comdebted to Sir John Malcolm, who was, doubtless, mand of the army in the Persian war is a more rendered more active in the cause from a recollec. striking result. Lord Panmure has done much tion of his own trials. He had written to his good to the army since bis entrance into public uncle, Mr. John Pasley, of London, for assistance, life; and we shall regret his resignation of the and that relative transmitted to him a sum of two | War Office, if that event be to occur soon, with hundred pounds ; but it was stopped, in transitu, which some people threaten the service. The by his elder brother Robert, then in the Civil Ser- progress of reform is far from rapid, but it is vice of the Company, at Madras, and who thought steady; and those who know best the difficulties that John should be allowed to work out of bis of the road are disposed to the belief that the troubles by his own means, in the hope that thereby present Minister at War bas endeavoured honestly he would learn not to get into others of a similar to surmount them. kind afterwards. So he was indebted to an old

Early in 1790, Tippoo Sultan recommenced natire woman, at the Bazaar, who supplied him hostilities against us by an attack on the lines of with provisions, without payment, until he should the Rajah of Travancore.” The Nizam brought find the discharge of his debt convenient. He the forces of the Deccan to our assistance, and the never forgot her kindness ; for the grateful debtor Mahrattas joined the war against Tippo. Sultan. paid the principal ; and pensioned his native friend Few years—sixty—a short period in history, have by way of interest. The Indian military service is now superior to passed since then, and all these great names are

well-nigh forgotten, and the nationalities fused into the Royal army for officers of more energy than the general confederation of the Presidencies wealth. The provision made for them may meet forming the Anglo-Indian empire. The 29th bat

Promotion in the Eastern is talion of Native Infantry, the corps to which more secure than in the Western service. The reward is ultimately larger. The opportunities of Nizam contingent, which, less overwhelming in the

Malcolm was attached, were ordered to join the obtaining distinction are greater. The manner of field than on paper, was equally feared by friends life is altogether more adventurous, more chival and foes. Mr. Kaye describes them as ** cowards rous, more pleasing to a rough-and-ready enthu

to the strong--tyrants to the weak—they made siast than the club life of a guardsman. But enemies, without any local distinctions, of all who until the late war, the commission of an Anglo- had no power to resist their merciless aggression.” Indian officer was limited to the east of the Cape. It is pleasing to read how even at that early When he reached the Atlantic or Europe, he was a civilian, or nobody. This arrangement was in- period the discipline of the British army, and the

presence of British officers, had changed the charactolerable, for not even his own manor was, pre- ter and conduct of the Sepoys ; and Malcolm, in a served to the soldier of the East. He could only rise to a given position, and there he was stopped; by the Nizam's forces :

paper on that march, says of one village plundered while a gentleman from the British army of Europe superseded him even in Indian warfare. Whenever the guard paraded to march to the ill-fated The late Sir John Malcolm was an intimate friend village I have mentioned, they made a collection of as much of the Duke of Wellington, and from the corres

rice as each man could afford to give to the starving inhabipondence, in these volumes, we learn that this tants. This was distributed where they went. Such con

duct (which was not confined to this single instance) was absurd regulation deprived the great commander of deemed folly, and excited a smile of pity on the countenances aid, in Spain, from officers whose worth lie had of the unfeeling, plundering horsemen of the Nizam’s army,

their expenses.

[blocks in formation]

but made a different impression on the inhabitants of the John Malcolm, who was employed and encouraged country.

by the noble Governor-General both in diplomacy Farther on he says

and war. Sir Pulteney Malcolm, while captain of Reputation for justice and humanity preceding an army, is

the Fox, conveyed Colonel Wellesley, who became of more consequence than an advanced guard of 10,000 men.

afterwards the Duke of Wellington, to India, The force to which he was attached succeeded

and even this slight circumstance may have contri

buted to increase Malcolnı's intercourse with the in reducing the strong forts Behaudur-Bundur, and Copoulee ; and this was the only service rendered

Wellesleys; but however it originated, it was of a

| very close and confidential nature. Towards the by them in that short war. During its existence,

close of that year, he was appointed Assistant Rehowever, young Malcolm extended his acquaintance,

sident at Hyderabad. Captain Kirkpatrick, the and formed the desire to engage in diplomatic

| brother of the former Resident, Colonel Kirkpa. services. He began the study of the Persian

trick, was his senior. The Nizam employed a language in the hope that an acquaintance with its

numerous force, trained by French officers, who mysteries might advance his purposes. He sought

inclined to the French interest. one diplomatic appointment a few minutes too

A French party

were established at the Court. late.

In 1799 this force

The delay was providential to him.

was disarmed and disbanded without resistance ; had a long life's work to do, but his request would

but the proceeding required address and skill on have been conceded had it been made in time. It

the part of the British Resident; and Malwas too late ; and the officer who obtained the office

| colm had then a lesson of tactics in Indian life was assassinated, soon after, at the court where he

that served him well afterwards. was resident, not from

He carried to public private but from

| the Governor-General the colours of the “annihi. motives. The next few years of Malcolm's life were free from incident. He became sick, and

lated French force," and he was again ordered to went to the sea coast. He got well and returned

join the Nizam's contingent when war was declared

against Tippoo Sahib. The greater part of the to grow ill again, and finally obtained leave for

native soldiers, belonging to the old French force, England, sometime in 1794. In this visit he

were employed by the Nizam, and belonged to his wrought hard to secure those advantages to the Indian officers-not quite equivalent to justice

army. The Sepoys, deprived of their old officers,

became disorderly or mutinous on the march. Capwhich were then conceded to them. He arrived iu England in July, 1794, and he was again at

tain Malcolm was employed to command them;

and when afterwards an European regiment was Madras in February, 1796, having been only two

joined to this division of the contingent, the 33rd years absent, at a time when one year must have been occupied in the voyage here and back again.

was selected by General Harris; and thus for the

first time Captain Malcolm was brought into conHe spent his winter at home with his family and in Edinburgh. The promotion of Pulteney to be

nection directly with Colonel Wellesley. They

were upon the march against Seringapatam. The Captain of the Fox, the success of James, and an

capture of that celebrated fortress, and the death opportunity of becoming Secretary to Sir Alured

of its owner closed the war upon the 4th May ; Clarke, who had been appointed to the chief command at Madras, induced him to shorten his stay

but during the summer, Captain Malcolm was en

| gaged in diplomatic arrangements, either in that at home. He arrived with General Clarke and the

quarter or at the Court of the Nizam. In the forces under that officer at the Cape of Good

autumn, the Governor-General decided to send an Hope, in time to participate in the operations

ambassador to the Persian Court, at Teheran, in against the Dutch, which led to the capitulation of

the hope of exciting the Persians to deliver us Cape Town and the establishment of our South

from the fear of Zemaun Shah, who was then the African Colony. The military proceedings were

ruler of Affghanistan, and who threatened to inunimportant; and at their close he wrote :

| vade India. I have got an honourable, but troublesome employment in We are now at war with Persia in defence of recruiting men out of the prisoners of war for the service of Affghanistan. So late as 1799. Malcolm was sent the Company in India. A set of finer fellows I never knew

to Persia in search of help against the Affghans. -all Germans. I have been very successful. I have hitherto acted together with Lieutenant Owen from Bengal, but as he As the British people had not been represented sails to-morrow, the whole business falls on my shoulders. in Persia for two centuries preceding that date, I expect in a month to have upwards of 200 for Madras. Lord Wellesley wished to give an air of Oriental Nearly 300 are already embarked for Bombay and Bengal. magnificence to the mission, and he could not have

Lieutenant Malcolm's life in Madras was des selected an officer more ready to second this policy titute of excitement, over a period of peace passed than Captain Malcolm. His expenditure and prein the family of Sir Alured Clarke. The Marquis sents during the Persian embassy were extremely Wellesley landed at Madras on his way to Cal. profuse. They probably contributed to establish cutta early in 1798, and he met Malcolm, now a a certain influence at Teheran for a time ; but Captain, who submitted to him papers he had drawn only for a short time; and it was overthrown by up on the condition of the native states. This the adroitness and tact of the French Embassy, seems to have been the origin of an intercourse which, soon after Captain Malcolm's departure, was which was in the last degree serviceable to Sir rendered resident; so that his stipulations against

[blocks in formation]

any intercourse with the French went for nothing. | cial relations with Persia were never extensive. He embarked at Bombay, on the 29th December, The political treaty was one of enmity towards the 1799, for the Persian Gulf, in one of the Com- Affghan chief and the French Government. pany's frigates, with a suite who might have satis. | Zemaun Shah, the Affghan, was soon rendered fied an older diplomatist. The frigate reached incapable of mischief, by the rebellion of his own Muscat in eleven days, and appears to have been a chieftains; while the French Government in a slow sailer. The opportunity was seized to im- short time recovered its ascendancy at Teheran, prove our intercourse with the Imaum of Muscat, The islands in the Persian Gulf which Captain and the Arab chiefs have ever since that date Malcolm wished to obtain for the British Governproved true friends of the British connexion. Mal ment were refused steadily; although he made colm did not reach Bushire until the 1st February, great efforts to secure them. It is not improbable 1800. Then began the usual course of bribery in that now, more than fifty years after his mission, the shape of presents.

Sir J. Outram, another west country Scotchman, The Governor of Bushire, Sheikli-Nasser, with a keen eye also of bumble origin, may take possession of to the coming presents, was profuse in his expressions of them permanently, without much negociation. It respect for the English in general, and the new Ambassador is rather remarkable that our business with Persia in particular. And a day or two afterwards he received his has always been conducted through Scotchmen, or quota of the wonderful supply of jewelled watches, doublebarrelled guns, achromatic telescopes, huntsmen's koives, and

with very few exceptions ; and astute as our coloured broadcloths, with which 'Malcolm had. sagaciously countrymen are, and patriotic, even a little selfish provided himself. Having despatched letters to the Persian | in patriotism, as some of them were, yet they have monarch and his prime minister at Teheran, and to the always had to pull against a current of diplomacy Prince Regent at Shiraz, setting forth the objects of his mission, Malcolm pitched his camp a little way on the road

at Teheran, occasionally French, and sometimes to the latter place.

Russian. The French from some not apparent A month elapsed before he received an answer

motivos, have endeavoured long to influence the

Persian Court, and even now French officers have even from Shiraz, and upon its arrival it was not

led the siege of Herat. The Russians have more satisfactory, and the middle of May had come

obvious reasons for seeking to rule in Persia, which before a reply was received from the more distant Teheran. In a month afterwards the Embassy

they regard with all that affection that the boa. reached Shiraz; but they only arrived at Ispahan

constrictor may be supposed to bestow upon the on the 23rd September. They found it, though

ox that is straying within the serpent's grasp.

The Shah's love for Malcolm Sahib evaporated fallen from its former greatness, beyond all com

in the course of a few years; and he even refused pare the richest and most populous city in Persia.

to his friend admission within his domivions. He Cashan, further on, was “a flourishing city, whose silks and carpets are amongst the finest in the

returned by way of Bagdad to the Gulf, and

reached Bombay upon the 13th of May, after a world.” And on the 16th November, Captain Malcolm, the son of the Eskdale farmer, was

stormy passage of twenty-one days, over a part of presented to the Shah of Persia, as the representa.

the Indian Ocean that our sailing vessels now cross tive of the GovernorGeneral of India. Difficulties

in half that time, and steamers can run in four or arose regarding the manner of his presentation.

five days. He received the appointment of pri. The Persian authorities insisted that he only

vate secretary to the Marquis Wellesley, and represented a subordinate official, aud not King

travelled with him up the Ganges, to complete George of England; and was not entitled, there

those negociations in Oude that, in our own time,

have led, under Outram, to the absorption of that fore, to the consideration that might have been bestowed upon the Governor-General himself.

territory. The travellers earned the gratitude of Malcolm Sahib carried himself with a high head,

the villagers at one point on the Ganges, by and a liberal hand, through these difficulties, and

destroying three tigers, which had taken up their became a favourite at the Persian court by the

abode near to them, and killed four of their bul. extent of his largesses. His engagements among

locks on the previous night. The joy of the the Persians continued until the spring of 1801.

villagers over the death of their foes reminds us of

Nimrod's accession to power, and the cause of it ; He had several audiences of his Majesty, and at all he was

and those facilities which our modern Nimrods received not only with marked respect, but with an affability of manner which was a flattering attribute to the personal

neglect of rendering themselves popular-- since character of the Eavov. He presented Malcolm with a dress / tigers still kill bullocks in India, eat up many perof honour, which the English gentleman wore over his sons annually at Singapore, and wolves destroy uniform ; on the occasion of his next visit to the Shah, he three to four hundred children per annum, we are gave him a jewelled dagger, and an elaborate portrait of him.

told, in the Punjauh. Writing at Patna, the great self, as marks of his royal affection ; and at the last visit

region of rice, Captain Malcolm says, on the 3rd which the Ambassador paid him, he said that he “should always consider Malcolm as a favourite, and desire his minis. October, now fifty-five years since :ters to write to him in whatever part of the world le might

Nothing can exceed the beauty of the country through Two treatics were negociated, one commercial

which we have lately passed. I never saw, in any part of

the world, so much cultivation, or such a general appearance and the otlicr political. The former was of little of comfort and happiness among the home classes, as I have importance to our Government, for our commer. | in this vorage.

[ocr errors]



And again, at Benares, on the 14th of Novem. the mountains in a pastoral village, he was released, ber, he writes :

but the chief paid a heavy fine for his precaution We have, since you left us, passed through one of the

in seizing an English Sahib, who, at this date, had finest and most highly cultivated tracts of country in this taken rank as a Major. From Bombay he commuworld.

nicated with the Persian sovereign and his minis. The letters from which these extracts are taken ters regarding the death of their ambassador; and were addressed to Sir George Barlow, who had Mr. Kaye describes the result of his proceedings been engaged in the settlement of the land tax in in the passage which we extract :these provinces, and the writer further states :- All were satisfied, from the King on the throne to the What adds to my pleasure, in contemplating these scenes,

humblest of the defunct Elchees' retainers. Bat the magniis to hear every man I ask tell how jungles have been cleared,

tude of the crisis had been greatly exaggerated. The death and waste places brought into cultivation. I cannot but

of the ambassador created but little sensation in Persia, and envy your feelings upon this subject. I confess before I

that little soon passed away. I was not regarded as a travelled through your provinces I was not perfectly recon.

national outrage, but as a debt contracted by us, which ciled to your system.

money payments might promptly discharge. And it was

said soon afterwards, at Shiraz, that the English might kill A greater man than either the writer or his ten ambassadors if they would pay for them at the same friend bad impressed his system on the soil of rate. Bengal, before them; and to Warren Hastings that Another ambassador was not, however, sent; from country is chiefly indebted for its land system, which we conclude that the Persian noblemen were which has been instrumental in maintaining the not so willing to be killed as Mr. Kaye supposes. quiet of the country, and in providing against those The Persian sovereign may not have been inclined periodical famines that have wasted other parts to resent a calamity which was accidental, although of India.

he may have entertained a different opinion ; but In December, Captain Malcolm was despatched we know that five years afterwards he welcomed upon a secret mission to Madras, with the view of

General Gardanne, the Ambassador of France, and counteracting the appointments at home, by retain-submitted to his influence. ing some of the officials then in Madras in their

In October, 1802, a great battle was fought places. It was one of the contests which the Gover near Poonah, between the armies of Holkar and nor-General had to conduct both with the Court of

Scindiah, who was assisted by Badjee Row, but was Directors and the Home Government; an exercise defeated. In his discomforture, he sought assistof intellect, and occasionally of intrigue, in whichance from the British. Their help was obtained, nearly all the Governor-Generals of these days but Poonah became soon after one of our principal were practised; for it should be remembered that stations, and is now a familiar word—the title of a the course of post between Calcutta and London leading town in Anglo-India. Major Malcolm was was then nearly twelve months, instead of the named to the residency at Mysore, but the Gopresent three, which we trust will be reduced to vernor-General, acquainted with his diplomatic one before the world be much older. The mission tact, detained him to deal with Holkar, Scindiah, was successful.

and their subordinates. Although no official was At this period a great calamity occurred, which probably more acquainted with India, yet he had tended, undoubtedly, to render nugatory the ex altogether miscalculated the strength of the ertions of Malcolm in Persia, and all the expendi. Mahrattas; for he wrote, now exactly fifty-four ture of his mission to Teheran. Hadjee Khalib

years ago, or upon New Year's Day of 1803, to Khan had been appointed by the Shah of Persia to

one of his correspondents, Kirkpatrick, a political return the visit, and he had landed at Bombay,

agent of the Government :early in the summer of 1802. He halted there, to arrange the forms of his presentation at the Court I trust that the affairs of the Mahratta empire will be settled

I anticipate every success from an armed negociation, and of the Governor-General. During that delay, a without blood. The present appearance is favourable to “quarrel arose between the Ambassador's retainers such a result; but should it be otherwise-should we be and the English Sepoys forming the guard of required to repel attack, or to puuish perfidy—can there be

a doubt of success? honour.” Hadjee Khalib Khan interfered to quell the disturbance, and was killed by a casual shot. Ten days afterwards, he wrote to General The occurrence caused very great grief to Malcolm, Lake, who was then Commander-in-Chief, in a who was upon terms of friendly intercourse with similar style of confidence, not only as to the the Persian nobleman, who had been selected for result of a battle, but also of a negociation which this honour; to meet a deplorable fate. Malcolm would render unnecessary any hostile proceedings : was instructed by the Governor-General to comniu

As I consider hostilities to be very improbable, I shall not nicate with the Persian Court. He repaired to

take up your time with speculations upon the likely result Bombay for that purpose, and an amusing illustra- of such an event-I shall only express my full conviction of tion is given of the state of the road, by his cap- a prosperous issue. The British arms would meet with little ture on the highway, between Bombay and Poonah.

opposition from even the combined efforts of the weak and A chief wanted a hostage in the troubles that

discordant branches of the Mahratta Empire, and one short

campaign would for ever dissipate the terror with which the loomed in the distance, and he seized Malcolm. Indian politicians in England are accustomed to contemplate After a short confinement and a happy one, among the power of the Mahratta nation.

« PreviousContinue »