[ALS.] To General Sir H. Fane G.C.B. &c &c &cSir, / You please to give me leave to thank you, and most humbly beg / to inform your honor, that I am swim, on the Sea of adversity; no any/ one hold up me, therefore I have to give a petition, one of the last Monday, / in the morning...[etc.] I remain to be sir your most obedient humbly Servant, Muddoosoodin Nauth of Calcutta.
ALS, ink on paper, sheet 250 x 205mm. 9¾ x 8". Glued to scrap sheet, edges overlaid by scraps.
Letter from a resident of Calcutta fallen on hard times to General Sir Henry Fane (1778 - 1840) asking for poor relief and/or employment. The correspondent refers to a 'petition' submitted to Fane 'last monday', which the General seems to have simply passed on to one of his staff with little further consideration. A unique and very personal insight into relations between the British administration of the Raj and the Indians they governed. Made a G.C.B. in 1826, Fane was appointed colonel of the 1st or king's dragoon guards, a colonelcy which ranks next to those of the regiments forming the brigade of household cavalry, on 24 February 1827. In 1829 the Duke of Wellington induced Fane to accept the office of surveyor-general of the ordnance. He re-entered the House of Commons as M.P. for Sandwich, and in 1830-1 was M.P. for Hastings. He went out of office when the reform cabinet of Earl Grey was formed, but continued on intimate terms with the Duke of Wellington, who appointed him commander-in-chief in India during his short tenure of office in 1835. Lord Melbourne's cabinet confirmed the appointment, and Fane took over the command-in-chief from Lord William Bentinck in September 1835, when he found India in a state of profound peace. Fane personally inspected every station in his command in 1836, and an interesting account of this tour of inspection, and of his interview with Ranjít Singh, the famous ruler of the Punjab, was published by his nephew and aide-de-camp, Henry Edward Fane. Towards the end of his period of command there were signs of war upon the north-west frontier, and in 1838 Fane got ready an army to proceed to the relief of Herat, which was then besieged by the Persians, and Lord Auckland and his advisers then began to mature the plans which brought about the first Afghan war. Fane entirely disapproved of this policy, and resigned his office, but the authorities at home took the unusual course of refusing to accept this resignation in January 1839, on the ground that they could find no general competent to succeed him. On Fane, therefore, devolved the final preparations for the Afghan war, and in 1839 he directed the operations. His health was by this time completely undermined (the writer mentions 'you was sick') and on his reiterated demand to resign, Major-general Sir Jasper Nicholls, the commander-in-chief in Madras, was appointed to succeed him. He then handed over the command of the expeditionary army against Afghanistan to Major-general Sir John Keane, the commander-in-chief in Bombay, and prepared to leave India. He left that country in the last stage of weakness, and he died at sea on board the Malabar off St. Michael's in the Azores, at the comparatively early age of sixty-one, on 24th March 1840.
[Ref: 12208] £320.00