To RÂJAH RÂM CHUNDUR; dated 1st HYDERY. (29th October.)

DIRECTING him to issue strict orders to the different Aumils within his jurisdiction, to enroll [or impress] all such Piadehs* and Coolies as might be found concealed in the dress [or under the disguise] of peasants.


This letter would seem to show, that it was not unusual with Tippoo Sultan’s government to press into the public service, not only labourers and carriers of burdens (a custom, by the bye, very generally obtaining throughout India), but also fighting men, for the purpose of recruiting the army. It might likewise be inferred from this document, that neither of the oppressive practices in question was liable to affect the real peasant. I am, nevertheless, doubtful, how far either of these conclusions would be correct; and am, indeed, rather led to think, from various passages in the correspondence, that there was no period of the Sultan’s reign, in which the peasantry, or Ryots (as they are called in the original), were bonâ fule exempt from compulsory service, as laborers or artizans. It is, on the other hand, not impossible, that the present order for impressing soldiers might be no more than a temporary expedient, suggested by the exigencies of the war: and, at any rate, it would appear to have extended only to such persons as had formerly borne arms, but were become, from whatever motives, averse to the resumption of them.