(Referred to at LETTER XIX.)

The Sultan’s regulations for the commercial department of his government, of which it is proposed to give an outline in the present article, were issued at two different periods; one section of them being dated the 14th of Ahmedy of the year Sâhir, or A.M. 1221,* and another, the 3d of Ahmedy of the following year, Râsikh.* They are introduced by two passages from the Koran, headed in the fol­lowing manner:—

“Two verses from the Word of God, which descended [or were delivered] in “honor of maritime commerce, are here transcribed.”

Then follow the verses in question, the first of which (taken from the chapter entitled the Bee), is to this effect:

“It is he who hath subjected the sea [unto you] that ye might eat fish there­out, and take from thence ornaments for you to wear: and thou seest the ships “plowing [the waves] thereof, that ye may seek [to enrich yourselves] of his “abundance by commerce; and that ye might give thanks.”

The second is from the chapter entitled the Greeks, and is as follows:

“Of his signs one is, that he sendeth the winds bearing welcome tidings [of “rain], that he may cause you to taste of his mercy, and that ships may sail at “his command, that ye may seek [to enrich yourselves] of his abundance by “commerce, and that ye may give thanks.”*

It might be inferred from this preamble, that the design of the Sultan, in the present regulations, was to provide exclusively for the promotion and encouragement of the maritime trade: but though this was, no doubt, at all times, his principal object, it will, nevertheless, appear, that he was not altogether unmindful of, or indifferent to, the benefits of inland commerce. Whether his manifest preference of the former was founded on the distinction apparently conferred upon it by the quoted passages of the Koran, or arose from a desire of becoming a maritime power, or was a natural consequence both of the local position of a large portion of his dominions, and of their particular produce, I will not take upon me to determine. It is probable, indeed, that each of these considerations had more or less weight with him; besides which, an intercourse with strangers, separated from him by the ocean, was not liable to suggest to his jealous and distrustful mind, the same apprehensions of danger, as were likely to be, and actually were, incessantly created, by whatever tended, in any degree, to a free communication with the countries immediately contiguous to his own.

The regulations in question set out with describing the general duties of the of­ficers at the head of the commercial department, which the Sultan designated by the term <Arabic> or the Mulikût Tûjâr department.* These officers were nine in number, and appear to have constituted a sort of permanent board, or college.

The following were the principal objects to which the attention of this board was more especially directed.

1. They were to see that the various articles required for commercial purposes, such as silken stuffs, sandal-wood, pepper, cardamums (great and small), cocoa-nuts, rice, sulphur, elephants, &c. were duly provided [according to the nature of the commodity] as well for importation as for exportation.*

2. They were to draw foreign merchants to Mysore, by transmitting to them, for that purpose, the most solid and encouraging assurances [of favour and pro­tection].

3. They were to seek out and engage in the service [of the state] trust-worthy and economical Mûtusuddies, and able and experienced Gûmâshtehs, skilled in accounts and commercial affairs, and of approved integrity and disinterestedness: and having procured such, were to employ them in the several Kohties, or factories, [whether at home or abroad].

4. They were to pay the most minute attention to all the concerns of their department; to investigate the various accounts thereof, in the most rigorous man­ner; and to be careful, that no frauds, or embezzlements, were committed by any of those employed under them, whether in the foreign factories or in the home depôts.

5. The heads of the departments, as well as the various officers under them, were to pledge themselves in the most solemn manner, according to the forms of their respective religions, to discharge the duties of their several stations, with the utmost diligence, concord, and fidelity.

6. If any of the principal officers of the department should violate, or in any instance swerve from, the duties of his station,* all the rest were to unite in exposing the offender to shame and disgrace, and in representing his conduct to the Presence, in order that he might be signally punished for the same, and a useful example be thereby afforded to others.

7. If any of the inferior persons, attached to the different Kohties, or factories, should be guilty of fraud, or other misdemeanors, they were to be punished for the same, agreeably to the law of God.

8. In all cases of difficulty, or of particular importance, the heads of the department (excluding the Mûtusuddies and others from their meetings) were to sit and deliberate together on the same; each person writing down, in a book to be provided for the purpose, his opinion on the point under consideration, and subscribing his name thereto. The book, containing these minutes or consultations, was to be deposited in a box, which was to remain under the seal [of the office], till there might be occasion to refer to it, for the justifications or explanation of the proceedings, or resolutions, of the meeting; which, in case of any difference of opinion, were to be determined by the majority of voices.

9. They were to report their proceedings fully and regularly to the Sultan, whose pleasure on the occasion would be signified in writing, at the back, or at the bottom of the said report.

10. In any transaction relating to large pecuniary advances, or being of such importance as to require particular secrecy, the written documents, necessary to be submitted on the occasion, were to be written in the hand-writing of some member of the board, or of one of the heads of the department,* and delivered to the Sultan by such member himself; when a written answer, duly authenticated by the Sultan’s own signature, would, in like manner, be secretly returned to him.

11.* Nubby Mâlik [the Prophet is Lord]. All Hûkm-nâmehs and other papers bearing the seal and signature of the Presence, must be deposited in a box, to which the seal [of the department] is to be affixed. This box shall be lodged in the treasury at the seat of the empire [Seringapatam], where it will be taken charge of by the Meer Meerân. Copies [only, of these documents] are to be [taken, and] retained by the proper officers. Nubby Mâlik [as before].

12. Care was to be taken, that all the Mahommedan officers of the department, such as the Mirzâey Duftur, &c. should be selected from the tribe of Koreish, and the sect of Siyuds, following the tenets of Hunifah, to the end that they might agree the better together

Next follow the more specific or detailed directions for the guidance of the department of trade.* These are distributed into separate sections, which though numbered, are not titled or headed. They, however, treat briefly

I. Of the marine force.

II. Of the Kohties, or factories, of Muscat and Kutch.

III. Of the appropriation of the fund, or capital, allotted for commercial purposes.

IV. Of the commercial depôts or marts established in Mysore; and of provincial factors, and other officers of commerce.

V. Of the means to be pursued, with a view to the opening and establishing of commercial intercourse with foreign countries.

VI. Of commercial deposits; or a plan for admitting the people at large to a participation in the benefits to accrue from the trade of the country.

VII. Of field Mulikût Tûjârs.

VIII. Miscellaneous regulations.

I. Of the Marine Force.

Before proceeding to communicate the substance of this article, it is proper to apprize the reader, that although, at the date of the following regulations, the marine department was placed under the control and superintendance of the Mulikût Tûjârs, or board of trade, yet it was erected, a few years after, into a separate and independent branch of the government, under the denomination of the Meer Yumm, or admiralty department; of which a more particular account will be found in Appendix K, including a detailed statement of the naval force at that time in the Sultan’s contemplation.

1. You must set about building a hundred ships.* In the mean while, ten sail, completely manned, and equipped with warlike stores, have been placed under your orders.

2. It is expected, that you will exert yourselves to collect together [as many] trusty men, experienced in [naval] warfare [as may be procurable], as well as others conversant in the affairs of trade; and that you will labor, with one accord, to promote the prosperity of the commerce of our dominions.

3. The wood, iron, rope, and other articles, which may be required in the construction of the ships ordered to be built, are to be bought [in the countries adjacent to the docks, with the assistance of the Asofs of the districts in question, who will receive the necessary directions for this purpose].*

4. The workmen of every description [employed on this service] must be paid with the utmost regularity, and the ships be completed with all possible dispatch.

5. If the necessary warlike stores should not be procurable for money [or at market], the same is to be represented to the Presence, when we will direct you to be supplied with such articles as you may require [from our own magazines].

The four following articles are extracted from the instructions to the Meer Asof, or revenue department.

6. The merchants established at Jumâlâbâd, Mâjidâbâd, and Wâjidâbad,* are to engage to build, with all possible expedition, thirty-one three-masted and two-masted vessels, for the purposes of commerce. Eleven of these to be built at Jumâlâbâd, and ten at each of the other places named.

7. The merchants building these vessels shall be allowed to lade them with rice, cocoa-nuts, and any other articles [not reserved for the exclusive trade of the Sircar].

8. After the vessels, here specified, are built, the merchants building them shall discontinue employing the small craft which they now use, and which, at any rate, they are not to be suffered to send to sea after the expiration of a year from this time. All other merchants are immediately to cease from employing the small craft in question.*

9. Whereas the ships of China are precluded, by the circumstance of not being armed,* from resorting to these seas,* some of ours must be sent to that country; where due encouragement and assurances being given to the merchants thereof, and the protection of our vessels being afforded them, they will be induced to repair hither, with an abundant supply of the rare productions of that region. These being disposed of, the vessels, so importing, are to be permitted to depart, when­ever the owners or merchants please, and are to be safely conducted, under a proper convoy of our ships, to the borders of our dominions.*

II. Of the Kohties, or Factories, of Muscat and Kutch.

Though not stated in the instructions to the commercial department, it appears by an article in those addressed to the Meer Asofs, that there were two factories established by the Sultan at each of the ports of Muscat and Kutch. One of these, belonging to Muscat, consisting of fifty of what are called Chushmehs, was placed under the orders of the Asof of Jumâlâbâd: the other, consisting of thirty-four Chushmehs, was given in charge to the Mulikût Tûjâr department. Again, of the two factories of Kutch, one, consisting of twelve Chushmehs, was commit­ted to the superintendance of the Asof of Wâjidâbâd: the other, containing twelve Chushmehs, being subjected, like the inferior factory of Muscat, to the authority of the commercial board. What is meant by Chushmehs (springs or fountains) I cannot at present state with any confidence; but I think it probable, that the term may have a reference to the number of the commodities, in which the dealings of the respective factories consisted.

The same instructions to the Meer Asofs contain the following additional articles, relative to the factories of Muscat and Kutch, not inserted in those addressed immediately to the Mulikût Tûjârs.

1. Of the six thousand Utls of sulphur, ordered to be annually sent from Muscat, eight hundred Utls are to be delivered to the Asof of Jumâlâbâd, and seven hundred to the Asof of Nugr, for the manufacture of gunpowder.* The remaining four thousand five hundred Utls are to be dispatched to, and delivered to the charge of, the Kilaadâr of Seringapatam.

2. The Dâroghas and Mûtusuddies employed at the aforsaid factories are to be changed every three years.

The instructions relative to the factories in question, addressed directly to the Mulikût Tûjâr department, were as follow:

1. The factories of Muscat and Kutch are hereby placed under your control and direction; and you are, accordingly, to take charge of all the Hûkm-nâmehs, as well as the official seals,* appertaining thereto.

2. You will, moreover, dispatch thither trusty and able persons, selected by yourselves, to receive charge of the aforesaid factories from the agents now there, who will be directed to deliver over the same, together with all the stores, &c, appertaining thereto, to the officers whom you shall nominate to supersede them, taking from the latter the necessary receipts for the articles so delivered.

3. You are to report unto us the quantities of round (or black) pepper, sandal-wood, cardamums (great and small), cocoa-nuts, beetle, rice, wax, and honey,* that you may require [for exportation], in order that the necessary direc­tions may be issued to the Asofs of the Presence for assisting you in the purchase of the same.

4. The profits arising from the sale of the aforesaid articles are to be regularly and faithfully accounted for, and entered in the books of the respective factories.

5. No persons but your Gûmâshtehs, or agents, at the aforesaid factories, are to be allowed to deal in the articles specified.*

6. You are annually to procure from the factory at Muscat six thousand Khâm Utls* of sulphur of the first quality, and to dispose of the same according as you shall be directed by us, upon your reporting its arrival.

N.B. Most of the articles composing the preceding, as well as the following instructions, are subscribed at the end of each with the words Nubby Mâlik (or, the Prophet is Lord), written in the Sultan’s own hand, and formed in the manner of a cypher. This was the signature by which he always attested his orders.

III. Of the Appropriation of the Fund, or Capital, allotted for Commercial Purposes.

1. The sum of four lacks of Râhities* has been committed to you, in trust, for commercial purposes. With this money you are to make the necessary pur­chases of gold and silver bullion,* cloths, elephants, &c.* and to hold the same in readiness [for exportation]. With the blessing (or aid) of God the most high, countless profit shall be hereby acquired.

2. Having stated to the Presence the number of elephants, as well as the several quantities of sandal-wood, cardamums (great and small), round (or black) pepper, rice, beetle, cocoa-nuts (dry and moist), and cinnamon,* required for commer­cial purposes [i. e. for exportation], and having thereupon received from us the necessary orders to the Asofs for assisting you in the purchase thereof, at such prices as shall be regulated by them, you will pay into the hands of the said Asofs the value, as so settled, of every article with which you shall be supplied, taking their receipts for the same.

3. All purchases of gold and silver, coined or uncoined, and of silken stuffs made of your department, whether on account of the Presence, of the Asof Kuchurry, or of the Sudoor Kuchurry, shall be paid for in money; and you must, in like manner, pay in money for whatsoever articles you may purchase of the said Kuchurries. If, however, the payments in question should be postponed for three or four months, it will be of no consequence.

4. Gold and silver bullion, jewels, silks, and other valuable articles, may be received as pledges for the payment of goods sold by your agents: thus for goods valued at one thousand rupees, a pledge of the value of 1200 rupees may be accepted.

5. You are to pay the established duties or imposts on all articles,* in the same manner as is done by the Ryots in general.

IV. Of the Commercial Depots, or Marts, established in Mysore; and of Pro­vincial Factors, and other Officers of Commerce.

1. You are to entertain in our service, and to station at the thirty places within our dominions, hereafter enumerated, the necessary Gûmâshtehs and Mûtusuddies, for carrying on, to the extent suited to the place, a trade in such articles as shall yield a proper profit.

2. The following are the places within our dominions, where you are to estab­lish factories or commercial depôts:

The Capital or Putn, Nugr or Bidnore,
Sulâmâbâd or Sattimungalum, Shikârpoor,
Viziemungul or Arivacoochy, Soondeh,
Bangalore, 20.Kooriâl or Mangalore,
5.Bâgloor, Khooshâlpoor,
Colar, Barkoor,
Murwâgul, Gurwâr or Kurwâr,
Muddunpilly, Jumâlâbâd,
Zufurâbâd or Gurramcoondah, 25.Bhut-Kullah or Butcul,
10.Punganoor, Futahâbâd,
Rachouty, Kuroor or Guroar,
Fyze-Hisâr or Gooty, Gurrup or Kurrup,
Dhurumwâr, Bunwâsy,
Furrûkh-yâb-Hisâr or Chittledoorg 30.Gurdoon-Shikoh or Nundy-doorg.
15.Bay-nuzeer* or Hurriâl, 

3. Other subordinate agents are to be employed, for the like purpose, at such places in our dominions (yielding proper produce for trade) as are not compre­hended in the foregoing list. These agents are to be changed every year.*

4. There is no objection to your disposing of the articles heretofore enumerated, and being the produce of our dominions, to private merchants, who may be desirous of speculating in the same on their own account.*

5. Besides the Gûmâshtehs to be employed in the different depôts above enumerated, you are to station with every Asof throughout our dominion, a Nâib, or deputy, who must be a trust-worty person, and a man of respectable character and condition. He is to have a Mûtusuddy for an assistant. Before dispatching these persons, however, to their stations, you must obtain sufficient security for their good behaviour, and then producing them in the Presence, procure our special signature to their nomination.

6. The subordinate agents, mentioned in Article 3, are to be placed under the control and authority of the Nâibs, or deputies, stationed with the Asofs.

7. The aforesaid Nâibs and Mûtusuddies are to accompany the Asofs, in the annual attendance of the latter on the resplendent Presence, for the purpose of celebrating the Eed, or festival, of Zilhijjah. Immediately on their arrival [at court], you must examine their accounts of receipts and disbursements, and pre­pare an abstract thereof for our information.

8. On a certain day, to be occasionally appointed, all the Musulman officers belonging to your department shall be entertained, at the charge of the Sircar, with a public repast, to consist of Pûllâo of the first sort. The Mûtusuddies and others, being Hindoos, shall, at the same time, have a separate repast provided for them, to consist of rice, and such other articles as usually compose their food. The whole of them, after this, are to be brought into the Presence, when the above-mentioned accounts are to be produced and examined; and they are to make such verbal communications, relative to their respective concerns, as may be judged requisite. This business being concluded, they are to receive the pawn leaf,* to make their obeisance, and to withdraw.

9. You are to procure the special signature of the Presence to the afore-men­tioned accounts, and to preserve the same in your office.

10. You are [periodically] to receive back from the Nâibs and Mûtusuddies above-mentioned, all such letters and receipts [or acknowledgements] whether formal or informal,* as you have previously written or sent to them. Of these you are to make a list [or abstract], which, after affixing a seal and signature to it, your are to deliver to the said Nâibs, in lieu of the original documents, which last are all to be destroyed.*

V. Of the Means to be pursued, with a view to the opening and establishing of a Commercial Intercourse with Foreign Countries.

1. You must address Urzies to the Sirdârs [or chiefs] of foreign countries,* and send the same, together with [suitable] presents for the said Sirdârs, by the hands of persons of respectable character and condition. After applying to, and obtaining from, those Sirdârs, the necessary Kowl* for the purpose, you will proceed to establish factories in their countries, by appointing and sending thither the requisite officers, duly provided with money.

2. These officers [or Nâibs, as they are called in the original] are to be in­structed to purchase and send hither all the rare and curious productions of those countries, which, on arriving here, are to be sold [on our account, or for our benefit]. In like manner are the rarities and commodities of this country to be sent to the aforesaid factories, and there sold [on our behalf].

3. The factories to be thus established in foreign countries are to be seventeen in number (including those of Kutch and Muscat, already existing) agreeably to the following list:

Cheena-putn or Madras,
Nagore (in Tanjore),
Wyrâg (depending on Poonah),
Mâligong (ditto on Hyderabad),
Pâgar Koteh (belonging to the Râsta,)
Utnee (belonging to the Râsta),
Nândair (depending on Hyderabad),
Humnâbâd (ditto),
Rachore (Adoni),
Kurachy-bunder of Sinde belonging to Nuseer Khân Buloche,
Mahé-bunder, to France.

4. You are authorized to expend such sums as shall appear necessary and proper to you, for the purpose of establishing the aforesaid factories.

5. Proper agents must be stationed at those places in our dominions, where silken stuffs, of a superior quality, are fabricated, whose business it shall be to make œconomical contracts for the provision thereof. The stuffs, so provided, are then to be exported to the places where they may be in demand.

6. Agents must, also, be sent to those foreign parts noted for their silken manu­factures; which being purchased, are to be brought hither, and sold at an advantageous price.*

7. Sending, in charge of your deputies or agents, to other countries, the produce of our dominions, and disposing of the same there, the produce of those countries must be brought hither in return, and sold at such prices as will afford [good] profit.*

VI. Of Commercial Deposits; or a Plan for admitting the People at large to a Participation in the Benefits to accrue from the Trade of the Country.*

1. All praise and glory be to the most high God, who, breathing life into a handful of clay, which was before inanimate, gave it the form of man; and who has raised some chosen individuals [of the species] to rank and power, riches and rule, in order that they might administer to the feeble, the helpless, and the destitute, and promote the welfare of their people.

In pursuance of this duty, we now decree as follows:

2. That whosoever shall deposit with you any sum, from five to five hundred Imaumies,* for the purpose of being employed in traffic [on his account], such person shall be entitled to receive [from you], at the end of a year, together with the principal amount of the said deposit, a profit, or increase, of half an Imaumy on every Imaumy so deposited or advanced.*

3. That whosoever shall make a similar deposit, of from five hundred to five thousand Imaumies, such person shall, in like manner, be entitled to receive, at the end of a year, together with the principal amount of his advance, a profit thereon of a quarter Imaumy on every Imaumy so deposited.*

4. That for every sum exceeding five thousand Imaumies which shall be so deposited, the person making such deposit shall be entitled, at the end of a year, to receive, together with his principal, a profit, or increase, to be calculated at the rate of twelve Imaumies on every hundred Imaumies of such principal.*

5. That this regulation shall remain in force from generation to generation.

6. That whenever any person, making a deposit of the nature above described, shall think proper to apply for the restoration of any part of such deposit, together with the proportion of profit which may be due thereon, the same shall be imme­diately paid to him, without hesitation or dispute, and a receipt for the amount be taken from him.

7. That in the event of the death of any person making a deposit of the nature aforesaid, the heirs and successors of such person, shall, on producing the certificates (bearing the seal of the Sircar) which were granted by the Mulikût Tûjâr department to the deceased, at the time of his making the deposit in question, and on due proof being obtained of their being the rightful claimants, be entitled to receive the amount of the same [principal and profit], without demur or delay.*

Here follow some subsidiary regulations, respecting the mode in which the accounts of these transactions were to be kept, which it is not thought necessary to insert.

VII. Of Field Mulikût Tûjârs.

1. As often as three or more Kushoons of the Meer Meerân department, to­gether with two or more Kushoons of the Meer Sudoor department,* are sent upon any service of the Khodâdâd Sircar, there are to be attached to such force one Meer Meerân [or general officer in command], one Meer Sudoor, one Meer Asof,* one Meer Khâzin,* and one Mulikût Tûjâr, who are conjointly to order all issues of pay and other disbursements, and to consult together on all matters relating to the interests of the state, such as war, revenue, the state of garrisons, &c.; on which occasions the result of their deliberations is to be committed to writing, according to which they are to act.* The record, containing the aforesaid deliberations, is to be deposited in a box, which is to be sealed up, and lodged as directed in Article 21 of the first section of these Regulations.

2. When one or two Kushoons are detached on any service, under a Bukhshy or Sipahdâr of the Meer Meerân department, or when one Kushoon from the Meer Sudoor department is so detached, there must be sent with such Bukhshy or Sipahdâr, from each of the departments of state above enumerated, a person of respectable character and condition, and properly qualified for the situation; whose duty it shall be to assist in all deliberations on the affairs of government, in the same manner, and with the same authority, as prescribed in the case of a Meer Meerân, &c. employed with a superior force.

3. You must accordingly provide five men of respectable family, and duly qualified for the occasional discharge of the trust in question, and present them [for our approval]: after which you must give them the necessary instructions for their guidance in the service for which they are designed, and hold them in readi­ness to proceed on the same whenever required.*

VIII. Miscellaneous Regulations.

1. Every possible encouragement was to be given to the culture of sandal-wood and black pepper; the Ryots’ share of which articles of produce was constantly to be bought up, on account of the Sircar.

2. The commercial Nâibs, stationed with the several provincial Asofs, were authorised to employ Gûmâshtehs, throughout their respective districts, for the purpose of trafficking in all articles, excepting those exclusively reserved for the account of government (among which sandal-wood, and coined and uncoined gold and silver, are particularly specified). With the exception of such articles, they might deal freely* in all others, without let or hindrance from the Asofs, who, on the contrary, were directed to be aiding to them in their commercial pursuits. No other persons (except those to be presently mentioned), were, on any account, to be suffered to exercise the same free trade.

3. The several Asofs and Aumils, throughout the country, were allowed to employ their own property* in trade; and were, moreover, exempted from the payment of duties.

4. Whenever a Durbâr, or court, was to be held, notice thereof was to be given to the chief officers of the several departments of state; and, among the rest, to the Mulikût Tûjârs, one of whom, accompanied by a Mirzâey Duftur,* and a Hindooy Duftur, was always to attend the Durbâr, on such occasions, and to remain there till it broke up: as well in order that the said Mulikût Tûjârs might, in succession, acquire a knowledge of the general transactions of the government,* as that they might be enabled to state verbally to the Sultan, such matters, concerning their own particular department, as might require his atten­tion.

5. Elephants, required for exportation, were to be bought of the Sircar;* and such as might be wanted for the immediate use of the Sultan, were to be pro­cured from Mahmood-bunder,* and other places.

6. The Mulikût Tûjârs were to collect all the gold and silver bullion they could from the various factories under their direction, and to send the same to be coined to the fourth mint,* at Seringapatam, which was to be paid the estab­lished mintage on the amount.