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

By B. B. Misra | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE ADMINISTRATION OF REVENUE

FOR clarity the administration of revenue will be treated in two separate chapters. We shall deal first with the structure of the administration, the various offices established and the officers employed in management; secondly with the settlement and collection of revenue in the territories immediately under the central administration. Both chapters will be confined to land revenue which formed the bulk of the Company's territorial income.


POSITION BEFORE 1765

Before the grant of the diwani in August, 1765, the territorial revenue of the Company was limited to the zamindari of Calcutta, the 24 Parganas and the assigned districts of Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagong. These were each under the administration of a Company's servant called Resident or Chief who acted under the general control of a Committee of Lands formed initially in 1758 to collect the revenues of the 24 Parganas. It seems that the function of the Committee was taken over by a Collector-General appointed in November, 1765, to supervise the collections of the said districts. He was answerable to the President and Council at Fort William until 1772, when the Residents or Chiefs of those districts became directly responsible to Government in the Revenue Department.

Up to 1765, considering the extent of the territories, the problem of revenue administration had been relatively simple. The Company's responsibility was limited in scope, since the authority of the Nawab of Bengal extended to the civil and military administration of the province as a whole, and the English Government still held a position in law subordinate to that authority.1


POSITION ON THE GRANT OF THE DIWANI AND CONTINUANCE OF
INDIAN CONTROL, 1765-9

The imperial grant of the diwani, however, altered the legal position of the Nawab. It took away from him the civil functions of

____________________
1
The Nawab had continued to exercise both civil and military jurisdiction since 1713.

-108-

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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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