Lot 377: British Army officer (1772–1817) made commander-in-chief of the Bombay Army in 1809, leading the forces that captured Mauritius in 1810. LS, twelve pages three sets of adjoining sheets, 7.25 x 12.25, January 19, 1810. Comprehensive letter to Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville, head of the India Board at the time, regarding political connections between Great Britain and local Indian princes, the problems provoked by perceived piracy in the Arabian Gulf, the necessity of diplomatic treaties with Persia, and, ultimately, the deplorable state of the army. In part: "Within these four months, we have been engaged in a war with our old ally the King of Travancore. The Island of Rodrigues has been occupied by a force from Bombay; a considerable expedition has been employed against the pirates in the Persian Gulph since the month of October, and that service is still unfinished. Twenty thousand men at least are now in the field, under Colonel Close, acting against Mur-Kawn…It is notorious that the seeds of disaffection have long been sown in the Madras Army, and close observers have foreseen that an explosion sooner or later was inevitable. The want of subordination and attachment in the Indian Armies can alone be attributed to a radical defect in the whole of the military system, and nothing short of a complete reform can ensure for the future the loyalty of its officers." In fine condition.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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