The Central Administration of the East India Company, 1773-1834

By B. B. Misra | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE CENTRAL SECRETARIAT
THE Central Secretariat at Fort William in Bengal was designed to furnish the requisite information for the formulation of policy and to carry out the orders of the Company's Government.It consisted in 1784 of three main branches: General, Revenue and Commercial. The General Branch was subdivided into three sections, namely Civil, Military and Marine. A Judicial Branch was later established with the separation of justice from revenue administration in 1793. Between 1793 and 1834, the Central Secretariat conducted its business in these four branches. Of these, the Civil Section of the General Branch was under the immediate control of the Supreme Board which consisted of the Governor-General in Council, and it was administered generally through Secretaries to Government in various departments. The other sections or branches of administration were controlled by intermediate authorities in the shape of inferior Boards acting under the direction of the Supreme Council.1This chapter will deal with the civil section of the General Branch and leave out military, marine and commercial administration which forms no part of this work. The Revenue and Judicial Branches will be dealt with separately. The civil service, which formed part of the General Branch of administration, will be treated likewise in a separate chapter.Taken in its wider sense, the Civil Secretariat also included the offices of the revenue, judicial and commercial departments. In a technical sense, however, Cornwallis specified civil charges and distinguished them from other categories on a principle which operated throughout the period under study. These were confined to the establishment of the Governor-General in Council and such other departments as acted either immediately under the Council or the Governor-General. The General Branch of the Civil Secretariat thus consisted of:
1. The Departments of Secretaries to Government under the Governor- General in Council;
____________________
1
The inferior Boards were reconstituted on the orders of the Court of Directors conveyed to Bengal in a letter of 21 Sept., 1785. In 1786, the Committee of Revenue was reconstituted as the Board of Revenue, the Board of Ordnance as the Military Board and the Board of Trade under the same nomenclature. A Hospital Board was formed in 1786 and a Marine Board in 1795.

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The Central Administration of the East India Company, 1773-1834
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I- The Supreme Government 17
  • Chapter II- The Central Secretariat 64
  • Chapter III- The Administration of Revenue 108
  • Chapter IV- The Settlement and Collection of Revenue 171
  • Chapter V- The Administration of Civil Justice 220
  • Chapter VI- The Administration of Criminal Justice and Police 298
  • Chapter VII- The Civil Service 378
  • Appendix Postal Communications 415
  • Bibliography 451
  • Index 460
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