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object is to entreat the favourable and immediate attention of Government to the prayer of the inhabitants of this city, a prayer important in its object, often urged, powerfully supported, yet long lest without any reply.
In 1726, British Law was first introduced into India, and in 1774 the Supreme Court was founded in Calcutta, with the same number of judges and similar jurisdiction as the King's Bench in England. With British Law, and a British Court, the inhabitants had hoped that trial by jury, which is the grand characteristic of that law, and the invariable practice of these Courts, had also been given to this city, but in 1779 the judges determined, that except in cri inal cases, they had no authority to try by jury. In consequence of this determination a petition was presented by the inhabitants of this city to the legislature, against a court being established, “who should be at once judges and jury, and invested with uncontrolled and indefinite powers, such as no men were to be trusted with.” This petition was presented, but was not followed up by any substantive motion, for then one great obstacle existed to granting its prayer, which has long since been remov. el, the want of a sufficient number of capable jurymen.
On the 14th of April 1832, a public meeting was convened at the Town-hall to petition Parliament for a legislative enactment, for trial by Jury in civil cases. The requisition to the Sheriff was signed by the unprecedented number of 312 persons, comprehending every mercantile film in Calcutta, and 162 of the most opulent natives. One of the present judges of the Court, the Hon'ble Mr. Justice Grant, took a most prominent part at the meeting, and all the resolutions were carried with only one dissentient voice, and 3,108 inhabi. tants of Calcutta, signed the petition to the King and Legislature,
. The Right Hon'ble Charles Grant presented this petition to His Majesty and to the House of Commons and the Marquis of Lansdowne to the House of Lords. Mr. Grant, as President of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, addressed a letter dated November 1834, to Mo. Longueville Clarke, the chairman of the committee, recommending an application to the Governor. General and the Legislative Council, as possessing full powers to comply with the prayer of the petition. In consequence of this reeommendation, a second public meeting was convened by the high Sherff at the Town-hall on the 8th of July 1835, at which a petition was unanimously voted to the Hon'ble Sir Charles Theophilus Metcafe, then Governor General, praying for an Act of Council, granting trial by jury in civil cases, and which petition was singed on behalf on the inhabitants by the high Sheriff of the city.
No legislative enactment having been passed, and the Right Honourable Lord Auckland having arrived as Governor General, a third public meeting of the inhabitants of Calcutta was convened at the Town-hall on the 12th of April 1836. At this meeting a petition to the Governor General was unanimously voted, and presented to him personally by the high Sheriff, and the whole committee, on which occasion, his lordship was pleased to say, that the petition should be laid be. fore phe Law Commissioners and their attention called to its great importance.
From that time to the present no legislative enact. ment has been passed, no communication has been made to the committee, and trial by jury in civil cases has not been introduced into Calcutta.
In addition to the above detail, shewing the unanimous wish and continued efforts of the inhabitants of this city to obtain trial by jury, we beg to refer to the repeated charges of chief justice Ryan to the Grand juries, especially in the 12th of April 1828, and also to the charges of Chief Justice Grey, and Mr. Justice Franks, Pronouncing their strong opinions on the importance
tion to the prayer of the inhabitants of this city.
of introducing trial by jury in civil cases, while the fact of Mr. Justice Grant having been a member of the committee up to the time that he became a Judge of the Supreme Court, at once establishes, that the judges of the Supreme Court, consider, the introduction of juries in civil cases of essential consequence.
The recommendation of the president of the Board of Commissioners to apply to the Legislative Council, at least establishes that the highest authority in England, did not object to the proposal. The numerous signatures of the barristers, officers of Court, and attornies to the petitions; prove, that the experience of the profession was strongly in favour of the measure.
Such, Honourable Sir, are the facts under which we address you, and respectfully entreat your early attenWe do submit in plain, but we trust in becoming language, that the strength of our case is almost unparallelled. The capital of British India is now praying for the introduction of that system, which is the most ancient, and the most prized in the British Constitution, a system closely identified with the cherished punchyat of the natives, and forming as it were a link still further to unite the European and native subjects of Her Majesty. The introduction of this system has been strongly advocated by the judges of the very Court in which it is to take effect, it has been advocated by the bar, the officers, and the attornies, and three times in the last eight years have the citizens publicly assembled and petitioned the Crown, the Legislature, and the local Government, to grant them that trial by jury, which ought to be inseparable from British rule, and which is rapidly introducing into every country through which knowledge, freedom, and tolerance, are disseminating. We have the honour to remain, Hon’ble Sir, a Your obedient humble servants,
LoNGueville CLARKe, Chairman. W11.lia M PAT Rick GaANT. David H.A.R.E. George V1NT. Jou N Farnlie Leith, Robert John BAqsuaw. Dwan KANAUTil Tagore. Prosonoocooman Tagore. HENRY Mr R.EDITH PARKER. Ch Attles Roblitt PRINser. To Longueville Clarke, Esq. AND OTHERs.
Being “the committee appointed by a public meeting of the inhabitants of Calcutta, convened for the purpose of promoting trial by jury in civil cases in Her Majesty's Supreme Court of Judicature for this presidency.”
GentleMEN, -I am directed by the Hon'ble the President in Council, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated the 21st instant, and to inform you, in reply, that at a time when the Indian law cominissioners are immediately engaged in the consideration of the existing law of procedure in all the Courts of India, and in framing a code for the future regulation of the same, his honour in council does not think it proper to forestal the results of their deliberations upon a general subject of such great importance, by introducing intermediately a charge in the mode of administering civil justice in the Supreme Court of Calcutta.
which matters of fact are now decided by the Supreme
Court, or what modifications generally in the application
to India of the principle upon which they are decided
in England;” the best attention of the Legislative Coun
cil will be given to the wishes of the body which you
represent, and to the arguments with which those wishes have been urged.
I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, Your most obedient servant, (Signed) Ross D. MANoles, Offg. Sec. to the Govt. of India.
Council Chamber, May 28, 1838. [Hurkaru, June 6.
LAND HOLDERS’ SOCIETY.
Proceedings of a general meeting of the members of Government, and support it by a separate representa
that Society, held at the Town-hall, on Monday, the 28th May. PRESENT.
The committee beg leave to lay before the Society, the following short report of their proceedings since the last general meeting.
Their first meeting was held at the Town-hall on the 27th March, when an establishment was voted for carrying on the business of the Society, and Mr. Dickens was requested to find some gentleman willing to undertake the office of secretary. The Union Bank was requested to act as treasurer, and it was ordered that a respectful letter be addressed to Government, informing them of the establishment of the Society, soliciting to be allowed to communicate with Government through the secretary of the Society on all subjects connected with the general interests of the landholders, n the same manner that the Chamber of Commerce does now on matters relating to trade.
An application was presented by the provisional secretary, requesting the Society to memorialize the Government, to introduce the Vernacular language into the proceeding of the Sudder instead of the Oordo, as contemplated at present.
On the 2d of April, the committee met at Mr. Hurry's office, that gentleman having agreed to act as European secretary, and having offered the Society the use of apartments in his house, No. 3, Clive-street ghaut. Baboo Prosonoocoomar Tagore also consented to continue to act as secretary for the native languages. The following gentleman were elected additional members of the committee : Baboo Pranauth Chowdry ; Baboo Callynauth Roy Chowdry ; Baboo Mothoornauth, Mullick ; Baboo Shumbo chunder Mitter; Rajah Burodacaunt Roy ; and Baboo Radhamadhub Banerjee. A list of districts was submitted to the meeting, in order to form sub-committees of correspondence. On the 23d April, the committee took into consideration the resumptionpetition, and agreed to forward it to
tion. It was resolved, that Government should be applied to, for a copy of the draft resumption law, which is understood to have been printed. The answer of Government to the request of the Society, to be allowed to communicate with it having been received, was read, and is as follows:
No. 501. To W. C. Hunty, Esq. and Baboo Prososoocooman TAGore.
Gentlemen, - I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 7th instant, enclosing the prospectus of a Society to be called the Landholders' Society, and requesting permission to address the Government, through the medium of the Society's secretary, in the same manner as is done by the Chamber of Commerce.
In reply, I am directed to state, that the Hon'ble the deputy Governor of Bengal will always be disposed to receive and consider the representations of any class of the inhabitants, affecting their own interests or the good of the community.
The communications of the Landholders’ Society upon matters connected with the lands, revenue, and judicial departments of government, must be addressed in due course, through the secretary of those departments.
I am, Gentlemen, your obedient servant,
General Department. Fort William, 11th April, 1838.
On the 7th of May the committee were increased to the twenty-four, by adding six European members, as follows:
G. Vint, Esq.; W. Storm, Fsq.; Robert Watson, Esq: ; James Hastie, Esq.; J. McKilligan, Esq.; and W. Fergusson, Esq.
They determined, that the question of vernacular language be discussed at a general meeting in consequence of its importance, and this-day (the 28th) was accordingly fixed for the purpose.
On the 14th May, the distribution of the sub-com. mittees was completed. On the 21st May, the answer of Government to the letter, requesting a copy of the draft resumption regulation was read, and is as follows:
The committee in thus giving you a short summary of their proceedings beg to remark, that they have not confined themesives to the monthly , meetings prescribed by the rules of the Society, but have met and transacted business every week since its formation, being anxious to bring it into extensive operation as speedily as possible. In the short time, that has elapsed, they have obtained the recognition of the Society by Govern ment, and the permission to address it through their secretaries; they have organized permanent sub-committees of correspondence for every district in Bengal, and appointed three sub-committees for special purpose of importance, viz.
G. Vint, Esq., W. Storm, Esq., and Baboo Ramcomul Sen, formed a sub-committee for examining a paper of grievances of the landholders, received fom Daboo Mlothooranauth Mullick.
Messrs. George Prinsep, Moonshee Mohumed Ameer and Suttochurn Ghosaul have been elected to consider the resumption petition, and prepare a letter to Government to accompany it. Rajah Radhacaunt Bahadoor, Rajah Kallykissen Bahadoor, and Baboo Ramcomul Sen are to take into consideration the very important subject of public instruction, which though it may not be considered as directly within the province of the Society, as in various ways closely connected with its objects.
Your committee feeling deeply the importance of ge. meral co-operation, in order to make the Society really and permanently useful, earnestly entreats every mem
An application from Moonshee Mohumed Ameer, expressing his opinion in favour of the Persian language, was also read by the secretaries in Bengallee and Eng. lish, which was replyed to, by the following gents. men :-Baboo Dwarkanauth Tagore, Rajah iiadhao Bahadoor, Mr. W. Fergusson, and G. Prinsep, ~sq. After a considerable discussion on the merits of the petition, the following resolution was proposed by G. A. Prinsep, Esq. That this meeting generally concur in the opinion expressed in the petition, that it would be desirable to make the Bengallee the language of the courts in Bengal, and the Oordoo that of the courts of Behar and upper-provinces; but as the question affects not the landed interests, alone, but all the community, this meeting do not think it a subject proper to be taken up separately by the Landholders' Society. This was seconded by Baboo Dwarkanauth Tagore, and carried unanimously. After offering the usual thanks to the chairman, the meeting dissolved.
I have the honour to remain, Sir, your obedient servant, Longueville Clarke, Chairman of the committee. Esplanade Row, July 1837.
Rosolved.—It appearing that Mr. Tudor experiences great difficulty in procuring vessels to carry cargoes of ice, and for which he is obliged to pay double freight, the importation might be greatly promoted, if the Gov. ernment would offer an encouragement to ship-owners by a remission of port duties, a plan which has been successfully adopted by the authorities at Havannah.
Resolved.—That the true ground for soliciting the Government to offer this bounty to vessels landing ice, is the opinion of the medical profession of its vast importance to the public health, especially in cases of fever so incidental to this climate.
Resolved.—Some medical gentlemen of the first eminence, having offered to savour the committee with their opinions in writing on the great importance of a permanent supply of ice to the public health, that a circular be addressed to all the members of the profession at the presidency, soliciting their opinions on the subject, for the purpose of being submitted to the Government in aid of the intended application by the committee.
To The Honourable the Presidest of The Council of INDIA IN Council.
HoNounable Sin, -I have been directed by the committee for encouraging the importation of American ice into Calcutta, to solicit most respectfully the aid of the Government, in promoting the undertaking.
The grounds on which the committee urge this request are, that the importation of ice is of the greates importance to the public health, and that the success of the undertaking is endangered, unless assistance be afforded.
The committee are well aware of the unremitting attention bestowed by Government to the great object of public health, and of the vast sums expended for this
urpose. They therefore believe, that if they can clearjoin that the importation of ice is of immense consequence to the health of this great capital, that the assistance which they seek will meet with favourable consideration.
The committee have obtained the opinions of all the principal medical practitioners in Calcutta, regarding the efficacy of ice in diseases, peculiarly incidental to
the climate, and I am directed to submit to your Honour in Council, correct copies of the circular, which the committee issued, and the answers which they have received. The letter of the committee distinctly stated the object which they had in view, and that the opinions were to be submitted to the Government. Of the twenty-two answers which they rsceived, twenty-one treat a permanent supply of ice in Calcutta, as of great importance to the public health.
It was about a year ago, that the committee from carefully watching the receipts and expenditure of the speculation, began to entertain fears, that the sale of ice in Calcutta might not remunerate Mr. Tudor, its spirited importer; they believed that the undertaking might be injured, and not benefitted, by raising the price, as that would diminish the sale, and if the sale were not rapid, loss would be inevitable, from the perishable nature of the article. The committee were aware, that the Government of Havannah had for the last eighteen years, secured, a permanent supply of ice for that settlement, by giving Mir. Tudor a monopoly for its importation, and remitting all port and pilotage duties on vessels landing a cargo of ice ; and they were also aware, that this plan originated at the suggestions of the medical profession. It was under these circumstances the cominittee proposed to adopt a similar course, but forbore unaking any application until they found Mr. Tudor entertaining doubts of his own success. Mr. Tudor has never been apprized of the fears, or intentions of the committee, but these fears have been realized, by the following paragraph in a letter from that gentleman, dated the 15th of February : —“The profits at best are very small—expenditures, of every kind, very heavy. After a shipment of twelve cargoes, aud the consumption of four years of time, the debtor side of the ice account to India exceeds the credit side, and it is still a business of hope and expeciations.”
Under these circumstances the committee respectfully submit to your Honour in Council, that the opinions of so many eminent medical men, decidedly establish, how important it is to the public health of the capital to secure a permanent supply of ice. The experience of the committee, and the statement of Mr. Tudor, shew that after four years' trial, and expenditure has not been covered by the receipts, and they are fully convinced, that increasing the price would not afford a remedy. It is under the latter circumstances, and on the former ground, the committee venture to appeal to the Government for aid.
The chief obstacles which Mr. Tudor has to encounter, are the objections of ship-owners to carry cargoes of ice, and the very high freight which they charge. It appears to the committee that these difficulties might be in a great measure removed, by the adoption of the plan pursued at Havannah, and if the port and pilotage charges were remitted to eight vessels every year, pre: vided they landed not less that one hundred tons of ice, ship-owners would be desirous of taking the cargoes of ice at Prices which Mir. Tudor could afford to pay.
A press of business obliges me to be succinct in my reply. As an article of luxury, I need not expatiate upon the use of ice. It lies more within my province to declare, that the article is a therapeutic agent of immense value in the treatment of a variety of ailments that urgently demand the aid of the surgeon, no less than of the physician. This is especially the case on oecasions where the preparation of artificial cold mixtures, would be operose, incur delay—be inaccessible to many on account of the expense, &c. and after all, the substance not be suited for direct application as well internally as to various parts of the external surface of the body, as ice.
Purposely omitting all but affections of imminent danger, I content myself with observing, that there are cases of hemerrallage where during the hot-season especially, the application of ice, and of ice only might save life. In certain severs, with great determination to the head, and burning heat, the application of ice lessens vascular action, and soothes the sense of rending pain in the brain, bringing not only relief, but a tendency to repose. The same remark applies still more forcibly to the dentition fevers of children, in whom the sensorial excitement and tendency to organiclesim, are still greater than in adults. In internal inflammation, the surgeon in this climate does not possess a more soothing or more patent resolvent, and in cases of stangulated herbia, though such are not frequently heard of amongst us, ice might literally be worth its weight in gold. I might adduce other instances, but time will not permit.
I have the honour to be, dear Sir, yours faithfully, 8th June, 1838. J. GRANT.
No 2. To L. Clarke, Esq. Chairman I. C.
Sin,--In compliance with the request contained in your circular, 1 have to state that cold is undoubtedly a most powerful remedial agent in many cases of medical, surgical, and obstitrical diseases, and ice, affords an easy expeditious, safe, very convenient. and effectual means of applying it. In my opinion, in this point of view, ice is as valuable, as it is, as a comfort and luxury, in this torrid climate, and even in these respects it promotes health and makes life worthy having.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedt, servl.
A. Halliday, M. D. Precy. Surgeon. Chowringhee, August 8, 1897.
No 3. To L. Clanke, Esq. Chairman I. C.
* Sin,-With reference to our conversation the other day, I can have no objection to state it as my opinion,
that Government can seldom have a more favourable opportunity of conferring a most incalculable benefit opon the inhabitaats of all ranks and conditions of this town and neighbourhood, than by holding out every inducement for the importation, and the reduction for the price of ice.
I do not speak of this article as a luxury merely, but as a most important and essential remedial agent in a vast variety of diseases, both medical and surgical.
The substitutes to which physicians and surgeons have for ages been in the habit of resorting, for the relief of many of the formidable diseases of this country, are not to be compared in efficiency to the pure water ice ; besides which, they were always very limited in their use or application, in consequence of the expensive nature of the materials of which cold or cooling mixtures were formed.
By relieving the vessels importing ice to this town, of the various duties to which they were now liable, Government will confer a lasting boon upon all classes of the community of this place.
It is not the higher ranks of Europeans and rich natives alone who use ice ; on the contrary, l have been credibly informed, that the greater number of purchasers of the first cargo of ice, were dirgees who crowded to the ice house every afternoon, to provide themselves with a small portion, ere they commenced their seven miles' walk home.
I am, Sir, your most obdt, servt. S. Nicolson, Surg. Genl. Hosp. Calcutta, 2d August, 1837.
There can be no doubt that ice in cerebral and other affections, is one of the most certain remedies we possess: and the only means in some affections, on which, we can rely for the prevention of a fatal result.
Faederick CorbyN, Garrison Surgeon. Fort William, August 5th, 1837. o
No. 5. Chowringhee, 1st August, 1837,
SiR,-In reply to your circular of the 20th ultimo, which incessant occupation has hitherto prevented me from attending to, I have no hesitation in stating it as my opinion, that a permanent supply of ice in such a. climate as this, would not only be one of the greatest luxuries, but one of the greatest benefits, which could be conferred on a large portion of the population of Calcutta. Where disease in every form is so fearfully rapid in its progress, and so frequently attended with great determination of blood to the head, &c. the advantages of having at all times at command, a remedy of the greatest efficacy in subduing high vascular excitement, need only be mentioned to be duly appreciated.
I might enter much into detail on such a subject, but the expression of an opinion, being all you, require, I shall conclude by hoping your committee may succeed in persuading Government to hold out every inducement in their power, to the accomplishment of an object, of so much importance to us all.