Papers referred to in the sketch of a feudal system in Rajasthan

Being literal translations from inscriptions and original documents, most of which are in the author’s possession.

No. I – Translation of a Letter from the expatriated Chiefs705 of Marwar to the Political Agent of the British Government, Western Rajput States.

After compliments.

We have sent to you a confidential person, who will relate what regards us. The Sarkar Company are sovereigns of Hindustan, and you know well all that regards our condition. Although there is nothing which respects either ourselves or our country hid from you, yet is there matter immediately concerning us which it is necessary to make known.

Sri Maharaja and ourselves are of one stock, all Rathors. He is our head, we his servants: but now anger has seized him, and we are dispossessed of our country. Of the estates, our patrimony and our dwelling, some have been made khalisa706, and those who endeavour to keep aloof expect the same fate. Some under the most solemn pledge of security have been inveigled and suffered death, and others imprisoned. Mutasadis707, officers of

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state, men of the soil and those foreign to it, have been seized, and the most unheard-of deeds and cruelties inflicted, which we cannot even write. Such a spirit has possessed his mind as never was known to any former prince of Jodhpur. His forefathers have reigned for generations; our forefathers were their ministers and advisers, and whatever was performed was by the collective wisdom of the council of our chiefs. Before the face of his ancestors, our own ancestors have slain and been slain; and in performing services to the kings708, they made the State of Jodhpur what it is. Wherever Marwar was concerned, there our fathers were to be found, and with their lives preserved the land. Sometimes our head was a minor; even then by the wisdom of our fathers and their services, the land was kept firm under our feet, and thus has it descended from generation to generation. Before his eyes (Raja Man’s) we have performed good service: when at that perilous time the host of Jaipur709 surrounded [198] Jodhpur on the field we attacked it; our lives and fortunes were at stake, and God granted us success; the witness is God Almighty. Now, men of no consideration are in our prince’s presence; hence this reverse. When our services are acceptable, then is he our lord; when not, we are again his brothers and kindred, claimants and laying claim to the land.

He desires to dispossess us; but can we let ourselves be dispossessed? The English are masters of all India. The chief of ___ sent his agent to Ajmer; he was told to go to Delhi. Accordingly Thakur ___ went there, but no path was pointed out. If the English chiefs will not hear us, who will? The English allow no one’s lands to be usurped, and our birthplace is Marwar – from Marwar we must have bread. A hundred thousand Rathors – where are they to go to? From respect to the English alone have we been so long patient, and without acquainting your government of our intentions, you might afterwards find fault; therefore we make it known, and we thereby acquit ourselves to you. What we brought with us from Marwar we have consumed; and even what we could get on credit; and now, when want must make us perish, we are ready and can do anything710.

The English are our rulers, our masters. Sri Man Singh has seized our lands; by your government interposing these troubles may be settled, but without its guarantee and intervention we can have no confidence whatever. Let us have a reply to our petition.

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We will wait it in patience; but if we get none, the fault will not be ours, having given everywhere notice. Hunger will compel man to find a remedy. For such a length of time we have been silent from respect to your government alone: our own Sarkar is deaf to complaint. But to what extreme shall we wait? Let our hopes be attended to. Sambat 1878, Sawan sudi duj, (August 1821.)

True Translation:

(Signed) JAMES TOD.

No. II – Remonstrance of the Sub-Vassals of Deogarh against their chief, Rawat Gokul Das.

1. He respects not the privileges or customs established of old.

2. To each Rajput’s house a charas711 or hide of land was attached: this he has resumed.

3. Whoever bribes him is a true man: who does not, is a thief.

4. Ten or twelve villages established by his pattayats712 he has resumed, and left their families to starve.

5. From time immemorial sanctuary (saran) has been esteemed sacred: this he has abolished.

6. On emergencies he would pledge his oath to his subjects (ryots), and afterwards plunder them.

7. In old times, it was customary when the presence of his chiefs and kindred was required, to invite them by letter: a fine is now the warrant of summons: thus lessening their dignity.

8. Such messengers, in former times, had a taka713 for their ration (bhatta); now he imposes two rupees. [199]

9. Formerly, when robberies occurred in the mountains within the limits of Deogarh, the loss was made good: now all complaint is useless, for his faujdar714 receives a fourth of all such plunder. The Mers715 range at liberty; but before they never committed murder: now they slay as well as rob our kin; nor is there any redress, and such plunder is even sold within the town of Deogarh.

10. Without crime, he resumes the lands of his vassals for the

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sake of imposition of fines; and after such are paid, he cuts down the green crops, with which he feeds his horses.

11. The cultivators716 on the lands of the vassals he seizes by force, extorts fines, or sells their cattle to pay them. Thus cultivation is ruined and the inhabitants leave the country.

12. From oppression the town magistrates717 of Deogarh have fled to Raepur. He lays in watch to seize and extort money from them.

13. When he summons his vassals for purposes of extortion and they escape his clutches, he seizes on their wives and families. Females, from a sense of honour, have on such occasions thrown themselves into wells.

14. He interferes to recover old debts, distraining the debtor of all he has in the world: half he receives.

15. If any one have a good horse, by fair means or foul he contrives to get it.

16. When Deogarh was established, at the same time were our allotments: as is his patrimony, so is our patrimony718. Thousands have been expended in establishing and improving them, yet our rank, privileges, and rights he equally disregards.

17. From these villages, founded by our forefathers, he, at will, takes four or five skins of land and bestows them on foreigners; and thus the ancient proprietors are reduced to poverty and ruin.

18. From of old, all his Rajput kin had daily rations, or portions of grain: for four years these rights have been abolished.

19. From ancient times the pattayats formed his council; now he consults only foreigners. What has been the consequence? the whole annual revenue derived from the mountains is lost.

20. From the ancient Bhum719 of the Frerage720 the mountaineers carry off the cattle, and instead of redeeming them, this faujdar sets the plunderers up to the trick of demanding rakhwali721.

21. Money is justice, The there is none other: whoever has money may be heard. The bankers and merchants have gone abroad for protection, but he asks not where they are.

22. When cattle are driven off to the hills, and we do ourselves justice and recover them, we are fined, and told that the mountaineers have his pledge. Thus our dignity is lessened. Or if

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we seize one of these marauders, a party is sent to liberate him, for which the faujdar [200] receives a bribe. Then a feud ensues at the instigation of the liberated Mer, and the unsupported Rajput is obliged to abandon his patrimony722. There is neither protection nor support. The chief is supine, and so regardless of honour, that he tells us to take money to the hills and redeem our property. Since this faujdar had power, ‘poison has been our fate.’ Foreigners are all in all, and the home-bred are set aside. Deccanis and plunderers enjoy the lands of his brethren. Without fault, the chiefs are deprived of their lands, to bring which into order time and money have been lavished. Justice there is none.

Our rights and privileges in his family are the same as his in the family of the Presence723. Since you724 entered Mewar, lands long lost have been recovered. What crimes have we committed that at this day we should lose ours?

We are in great trouble725.

No. III – Maharaja Sri Gokuldas to the four ranks (char misl) of Pattayats of Deogarh, commanding. Peruse.

Without crime no vassal shall have his estate or charsas disseized. Should any individual commit an offence, it shall be judged by the four ranks (char misl), my brethren, and then punished. Without consulting them on all occasions I shall never inflict punishment726. To this I swear by Sri Nathji. No departure from this agreement shall ever occur. S. 1874; the 6th Pus.

Reproduction of Sanskrit Grant

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No. IV – Grant from Maharana Ari Singh, Prince of Mewar, to the Sindi Chief, Abdu-l Rahim Beg.




Sri Maharaja Dhiraj Maharana Ari Singh to Mirza Abdu-l Rahim Beg Adilbegot, commanding.

Now some of our chiefs having rebelled and set up the impostor Ratna Singh, brought the [201] Deccani army and erected batteries against Udaipur, in which circumstances your services have been great and tended to the preservation of our sovereignty: therefore, in favour towards you, I have made this grant, which your children and children’s children shall continue to enjoy. You will continue to serve faithfully; and whoever of my race shall dispossess you or yours, on him be Eklingji and the sin of the slaughter of Chitor.


1st. In estates, 200,000 rupees.

2nd. In cash annually, 25,000.

3rd. Lands outside the Debari gate, 10,000.

4th. As a residence, the dwelling-house called Bharat Singh’s.

5th. A hundred bighas of land outside the city for a garden.

6th. The town of Mithun in the valley, to supply wood and forage.

7th. To keep up the tomb of Ajmeri Beg, who fell in action, one hundred bighas of land.

Privileges and Honours.

8th. A seat in Darbar and rank in all respects equal to the chieftain of Sadri728.

9th. Your kettle-drums (Nakkara) to beat to the exterior gate, but with one stick only.

10th. Amar Balaona729, and a dress of honour on the Dasahra730 festival.

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11th. Drums to beat to Ahar. All other privileges and rank like the house of Salumbar731. Like that house, yours shall be from generation to generation; therefore according to the valuation of your grant you will serve.

12th. Your brothers or servants, whom you may dismiss, I shall not entertain or suffer my chief to entertain.

18th. The Chamars732 and Kirania733 you may use at all times when alone, but never in the Presence.

14th. Munawwar Beg, Anwar Beg, Chaman Beg, are permitted seats in front of the throne; Amor Balaona, and honorary dresses on Dasahra, and seats for two or three other relatives who may be found worthy the honour.

15th. Your agent (Vakil) shall remain at court with the privileges due to his rank.

By command:


S. 1826 (A.u. 1770) Bhadon (August) sudi 11 Somwar (Monday).

No. V – Grant of the Patta of Bhainsror to Rawat Lal Singh, one of the sixteen great vassals of Mawr.

Maharaja Jagat Singh to Rawat Lal Singh Kesarisinghgot734, commanding.

Now to you the whole Pargana of Bhainsror735 is granted as Giras, viz.: [202]

Town of Bhainsror 3000 1500
Fifty-two others (names uninteresting), besides one in the valley of the capital. Total value 62,000 31,000736

With two hundred and forty-eight horse and two hundred and forty-eight foot, good horse and good Rajputs, you will perform service. Of this, forty-eight horse and forty-eight foot are excused for the protection of your fort; therefore with two hundred foot and two hundred horse you will serve when and wherever ordered. The first grant was given in Pus, S. 1798, when the income inserted was over-rated. Understanding this, the Presence (huzur) ordered sixty thousand of annual value to be attached to Bhainsror.

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No. VI – Grant from Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar to his Nephew, the Prince Madho Singh, heir-apparent to the principality of Jaipur.

SRI RAMJAYATI (Victory to Rama).

SRI GANESH PRASAD (By favour of Ganesh)

SRI EKLING PRASAD (By favour of Eklinga)737

Maharaja Dhiraj Muharana Sri Sangram Singh, Adisatu, commanding. To my nephew, Kunwar Madho Singhji, giras (a fief) has been granted, viz.:

The fief (patta) of Rampura; therefore, with one thousand horse and two thousand foot, you will perform service during six months annually; and when foreign service is required, three thousand foot and three thousand horse.

While the power of the Presence is maintained in these districts you will not be dispossessed.

By command:


S. 1785 (A.D. 1729); Chait sudi 7th; Mangalwar (Tuesday).

Addressed in the Rana’s own hand.

To my nephew Madho Singh738. [203] My child, I have given you Rampura: while mine, you shall not be deprived of it. Done.

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No. VII – Grant of Bhum Rakhwali (Salvamenta) from the village of Dongla to Maharaja Khushhal Singh.

S. 1806 (A.D. 1750), the first of Sawan (July).

1st. A field of one hundred and fifty-one bighas, of which thirty-six are irrigated.

2nd. One hundred and two bighas of waste and unirrigatcd, viz.:

Six bighas cultivated by Govinda the oilman.

Three, under Hira and Tara the oilmen.

Seventeen cultivated by the mason Hama, and Lal the oilman.

Four bighas of waste and forest land (parti, aryana) which belonged to Govinda and Hira, etc., etc.; and so on enumerating all the fields composing the above aggregate.

Dues and Privileges

Pieces of money . . . 12.

Grain . . .24 maunds.

On the festivals of Rakhi, Diwali, and Holi, one copper coin from each house.

Serana . . .at harvest.

Shukri from the Brahmans.

Transit duties for protection of merchandise, viz., a pice on every cart-load, and half a pice for each bullock.

Two platters on every marriage feast.

No. VIII – Grant of Bhum by the Inhabitants of Amli to Rawat Fateh Singh of Amet. S. 1814 (A.D. 1758)

The Ranawats Sawant Singh and Subhag Singh had Amli in grant; but they were oppressive to the inhabitants, slew the Patels Jodha and Bhagi, and so ill-treated the Brahmans, that Kusal and Nathu sacrificed themselves on the pyre. The inhabitants demanded the protection of the Ram, and the pattayats were changed; and now the inhabitants grant in rakhwali one hundred and twenty-five bighas as bhum to Fateh Singh739. [204]

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No. IX – Grant of Bhum by the Inhabitants of the Town of Dongla to Maharaja Zorawar Singh, of Bhindar.

To Sri Maharaja Zorawar Singh, the Patels, traders, merchants, Brahmans, and united inhabitants of Dongla, make agreement.

Formerly the ‘runners’ in Dongla were numerous: to preserve us from whom we granted bhum to the Maharaja. To wit:

One well, that of Hira the oilman.

One well, that of Dipa the oilman.

One well that of Dewa the oilman.

In all, three wells, being forty-four bighas of irrigated (piwal), and one hundred and ninety-one bighas of unirrigated (mal) land. Also a field for juar.

Customs or Dignities (Maryad) attached to the Bhum.

1st. A dish (kansa) on every marriage.

2nd. Six hundred rupees ready cash annually.

3rd. All Bhumias, Girasias, the high roads, passes from raids and ‘runners,’ and all disturbances whatsoever, the Maharaja must settle.

When the Maharaja is pleased to let the inhabitants of Dongla reinhabit their dwellings, then only can they return to them740.

Written by the accountant Kacchia, on the full moon of Jeth, S. 1858, and signed by all .the traders, Brahmans, and townspeople.

No. X – Grant of Bhum by the Prince of Mewar to an inferior Vassal.

Maharana Bhim Singh to Baba Ram Singh, commanding.

Now a field of two hundred and twenty-five bighas in the city of Jahazpur, with the black orchard (sham bagh) and a farm-house (nohara) for cattle, has been granted you in bhum.

Your forefathers recovered for me Jahazpur and served with fidelity; on which account this bhum is renewed. Rest assured no molestation shall be offered, nor shall any pattayat interfere with you.


One serana741.

Two halmas742. [205]

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Offerings of coco-nuts on the Holi and Dasahra festivals.

From every hundred bullock-loads1743 of merchandise, twelve annas.

From every hundred and twenty-five ass-loads, six annas.

From each horse sold within Jahazpur, two annas.

From each camel sold, one anna.

From each oil-mill, one pula.

From each iron mine (madri), a quarter rupee.

From each distillation of spirits, a quarter rupee.

From each goat slain, one pice.

On births and marriages744, five platters (kansa).

The handful (inch) from every basket of greens.

With every other privilege attached to bhum.

Irrigated land (piwal) 51 bighas.
Unirrigated land (mal) 110 bighas.
Mountain land (magra) 40 bighas.
Meadow land (bira) 25 bighas.
226 bighas.

Asarh (June) S. 1853 (A.D. 1797).

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No. XI – Charter of Privileges and Immunities granted to the town of Thalrapatan, engraved on a Pillar in that City.

S. 1853 (A.D. 1797), corresponding with the Saka 1718, the sun being in the south, the season of cold, and the happy month of Kartika745, the enlightened half of the month, being Monday the full moon.

Maharaja Dhiraj Sri Unlined Singh Deo746, the Faujdar747 Raj Zalim Singh [206] and Kunwar Madho Singh, commanding. To all the inhabitants of Jhalrapatan, Patels748, Patwaris749, Mahajans750, and to all the thirty-six castes, it is written.

At this period entertain entire confidence, build and dwell.

Within this abode all forced contributions and confiscations are for ever abolished. The taxes called Bhalamanusi751, Anni752, and Rekha Barar753, and likewise all Bhetbegar754, shall cease.

To this intent is this stone erected, to hold good from year to year, now and evermore. There shall be no violence in this territory. This is sworn by the cow to the Hindu and the hog to the 141usalma-n: in the presence of Captain Dilel Khan, Chaudhari Sarup Chand, Patel Bak), the Mahesri Patwari Balkishan, the architect Kalu Ram, and the stone-mason Balkishan.

Parmo755 is for ever abolished. Whoever dwells and traffics within the town of Patan, one half of the transit duties usually levied in Haravati are remitted; and all mapa (meter’s) duties are for ever abolished.

No. XII – Abolitions, Immunities, Prohibitions, etc. etc. Inscription in the Temple of Lachhmi Narayan at Akola.

In former times tobacco was sold in one market only. Rana Raj Singh commanded the monopoly to be abolished. S. 1645.

Rana Jagat Singh prohibited the seizure of the cots and quilts by the officers of his government from the printers of Akola.

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No. XIII – Privileges and Immunities granted to the Printers of Calico and Inhabitants of the Town of Great Akola in Mewar.

Maharana Bhim Singh, commanding, to the inhabitants of Great Akola.

Whereas the village has been abandoned from the assignments levied by the garrison of Mandalgarh, and it being demanded of its population how it could again be rendered prosperous, they unanimously replied: “Not to exact beyond the dues and contributions (dand dor) established of yore; to erect the pillar promising never to exact above half the produce of the crops, or to molest the persons of those who thus paid their dues.”

The Presence agreed, and this pillar has been erected. May Eklinga look to him who breaks this command. The hog to the Musalman and the cow to the Hindu.

Whatever contributions (dand) parmo756, puli757, heretofore levied shall be paid. [207]

All crimes committed within the jurisdiction of Akola to be tried by its inhabitants, who will sit in justice on the offender and fine him according to his faults.

On Amavas758 no work shall be done at the well759 or at the oil-mill, nor printer put his dye-pot on the fire760-.

Whoever breaks the foregoing, may the sin of the slaughter of Chitor be upon him.

This pillar was erected in the presence of Mehta Sardar Singh, Sanwal Das, the Chaudharis Bhopat Ram and Daulat Ram, and the assembled Panch of Akola.

Written by.the Chaudhari Bhopji, and engraved by the stonecutter Bhima.

S. 1856 (A.D. 1800)

No. XIV – Prohibition against Guests carrying away Provisions from the Public Feast761.

Sri Maharana Sangram Singh to the inhabitants of Marmi.

On all feasts of rejoicing, as well as those on the ceremonies

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for the dead, none shall carry away with them the remains of the feast. Whoever thus transgresses shall pay a fine to the crown of one hundred and one rupees. S. 1769 (A.D. 1713), Chait Sudi 7th.

No. XV – Maharana Sangram Singh to the merchants and bankers of Bakrol.

The custom of furnishing quilts (sirak)762 of which you complain is of ancient date. Now when the collectors of duties, their officers, or those of the land revenue stop at Bakrol, the merchants will furnish them with beds and quilts. All other servants will be supplied by the other inhabitants.

Should the dam of the lake be in any way injured, whoever does not aid in its repair shall, as a punishment, feed one hundred and one Brahmans. Asarh 1715, or June A.D. 1659. [208]

No. XVI – Warrant of the Chief of Bijolli to his Vassal, Gopaldas Saktawat.

Maharaja Mandhata to Saktawat Gopaldas, be it known.

At this time a daily fine of four rupees is in force against you.

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Eighty are now due; Ganga Ram having petitioned in your favour, forty of this will be remitted. Give a written declaration to this effect – that with a specified quota you will take the field; if not, you will stand the consequences.

Viz.: One good horse and one matchlock, with appurtenances complete, to serve at home and abroad (des pardes), and to run the country763 with the Kher.

When the levy (kher) takes the field, Gopaldas must attend in person. Should he be from home, his retainers must attend, and they shall receive rations from the presence. Sawan sudi das (August 10) S. 1782.

No. XVII – Maharaja Udaikaran to the Saktawat Shambhu Singh. Be it known.

I had annexed Gura to the fisc, but now, from favour, restore it to you. Make it flourish, and serve me at home and abroad, with one horse, and one foot soldier.

When abroad you shall receive rations (bhatta) as follows:

Flour . . . . . . . . 3 lb.

Pulse . . . . . . . . 4 ounces.

Butter (ghi) . . . 2 pice weight.

Horses’ feed . . 4 seers at 22 takas each seer, of daily allowance.

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If for defence of the fort you are required, you will attend with all your dependents, and bring your wife, family, and chattels; for which, you will be exempted from two years of subsequent service. Asarh 14, S. 1834. [209]

No. XVIII – Bhum in Mundkati, or Compensation for Blood, to Jeth Singh Chondawat.

The Patel’s son went to bring home his wife with Jeth’s Rajputs as a guard. The party was attacked, the guard killed, and there having been no redress for the murder, twenty-six bighas have been granted in mundkati764 (compensation).

No. XIX – Rawat Megh Singh to his natural brother, Jamna Das, a patta (fief) has been granted, viz.:

The village of Rajpura, value . . . . Rupees 401

A garden of mogra flowers765 . . . . 11

Rupees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412

Serve at home and abroad with fidelity: contributions and aids pay according to custom, and as do the rest of the vassals.

Jeth 14th, S. 1874

No. XX – Charter given by the Rana of Mewar, accepted and signed by all his Chiefs; defining the duties of the contracting Parties.

A.D. 1818.

Siddh Sri Maharana Dhiraj, Maharana Bhim Singh, to all the nobles my brothers and kin, Rajas, Patels, Jhalas, Chauhans, Chondawats, Panwars, Sarangdeots, Saktawats, Rathors, Ranawats, etc., etc.

Now, since S. 1822 (A.D. 1776), during the reign of Sri Ari Singhji766, when the troubles commenced, laying ancient usages aside, undue usurpations of the land have been made: therefore

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on this day, Baisakh badi 14th, S. 1874 (A.D. 1818), the Maharana assembling all his chiefs, lays down the path of duty in new ordinances.

1st. All lands belonging to the crown obtained since the troubles, and all lands seized by one chief from another, shall be restored.

2nd. All Rakhwali767, Bhum, Lagat768, established since the troubles, shall be renounced.

3rd. Dhan769, Biswa770, the right of the crown alone, shall be renounced.

4th. No chiefs shall commit thefts or violence within the boundaries of their estates. They shall entertain no Thugs, foreign thieves or thieves of the country, as Moghias, Baoris, Thoris771: but those who shall adopt peaceful habits may remain; but should any return to their old pursuits, their heads shall instantly be taken off. All property stolen shall be made good by the proprietor of the estate within the limits of which it is plundered. [210]

5th. Home or foreign merchants, traders, Kafilas772, Banjaras773, who enter the country, shall be protected. In no wise shall they be molested or injured, and whoever breaks this ordinance, his estate shall be confiscated.

6th. According to command, at home or abroad service must be performed. Four divisions (chaukis) shall be formed of the chiefs, and each division shall remain three months in attendance at court, when they shall be dismissed to their estates. Once a year, on the festival of the Dasahra774, all the chiefs shall assemble with their quotas ten days previous thereto, and twenty days subsequent they shall be dismissed to their estates. On urgent occasions, and whenever their services are required, they shall repair to the Presence.

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7th. Every Pattawat holding a separate patta from the Presence shall perform separate service. They shall not unite or serve under the greater Pattawats: and the sub-vassals of all such chiefs shall remain with and serve their immediate Pattawat775.

8th. The Maharana shall maintain the dignities due to each chief according to his degree.

9th. The Ryots shall not be oppressed: there shall be no new exactions or arbitrary fines. This is ordained.

10th. ‘What has been executed by Thakur Ajit Singh and sanctioned by the Rana, to this all shall agree776.

11th. Whosoever shall depart from the foregoing. the Maharana shall punish. In doing so the fault will not be the Rana’s. Whoever fails, on him be the oath (an) of Eklinga and the Maharana.

[Here follow the signatures of all the chieftains of rank in Mewar, which it is needless to insert] [211]

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Palace of Udaipur


705. The names omitted to prevent any of them falling a sacrifice to the blind fury of their prince. The brave chief of Nimaj has sold his life, but dearly. In vain do we look in the annals of Europe for such devotion and generous despair as marked his end, and that of his brave clan. He was a perfect gentleman in deportment, modest and mild, and head of a powerful clan.

706. Fiscal, that is, sequestrated.

707. Clerks, and inferior officers of government.

708. Alluding to the sovereigns of Delhi. In the magnificent feudal assemblage at this gorgeous court, where seventy-six princes stood in the Divan (Diwan-i-Khass) each by a pillar covered with plates of silver, the Marwar prince had the right hand of all. I have an original letter from the great-grandfather of Raja Man to the Rana, elate with this honour.

709. In 1806.

710. The historian of the Middle Ages justly remarks, that “the most deadly hatred is that which men, exasperated by proscription and forfeitures, bear their country.”

711. Hide or skin, from the vessel used in irrigation being made of leather.

712. The vassals, or those holding fiefs (patta) of Deogarh.

713. A copper coin, equal to twopence.

714. Military commander; a kind of inferior maire du palais, on every Rajput chieftain’s estate, and who has the military command of the vassals. Ile is seldom of the same family, but generally of another tribe.

715. Mountaineers.

716. Of the Jat and other labouring tribes.

717. Chauthias. In every town there is an unpaid magistracy, of which the head is the Nagar Seth, or chief citizen, and the four Chauthias, tantamount to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, who hold their courts and decide in all civil cases.

718. Here are the precise sentiments embodied in the remonstrances of the great feudal chiefs of Marwar to their prince; see Appendix, No. I.

719. The old allodial allotments.

720. Bhayyad.

721. The salvamenta of our feudal writers; the blackmail of the north.

722. ‘Watan.’

723. The Rana.

724. The Author.

725. With the articles of complaint of the vassals of Deogarh and the short extorted charter, to avoid future cause for such, we may contrast the following: “Pour avoir une idée du brigandage que les nobles exerçaient à l’époque où les premières chartes furent accordées, it suffit d’en lire quelquesunes, et l’on verra que le seigneur y disait:– ‘Je promets de ne point voter, extorquer les biens et les meubles des habitans, de les délivrer des totes ou rapines, et autres mauvaises coutumes, et de ne plus commettre envers eux d’exactions.’ – En effet, dans ces tems malheureux, vivres, meubles, chevaux, voitures, dit le savant Abbé de Mably, tout était enlevé par l’insatiable et aveugle avidite des seigneurs” (Art. Chartres,’ Diet. de l’Ancien Regime).

726. This reply to the remonstrance of his vassals is perfectly similar in point to the 43rd article of Magna Charta.

727. Invocations to Ram, Ganesh (god of wisdom), and Eklinga, the patron-divinity of the Sesodia Guhilots.

728. The first of the foreign vassals of the Rana’s house. [Bari Sadri, about 50 miles E.S.E. of Udaipur city, held by the senior noble of Mewar, a Rajput of the Jhala sub-sept, styled Raja of Sadri (Erskine ii. A. 93).]

729. A horse furnished by the prince, always replaced when he dies, therefore called Amar, or immortal.

730. The grand military festival, when a muster is made of all the Rajput quotas.

731. The first of the home-chieftains.

732. The tail of the wild ox, worn across the saddle-bow.

733. An umbrella or shade against the sun; from kiran, ‘a ray.’

734. Clan (got) of Kesari Singh, one of the great branches of the Chondawats.

735. On the left bank of the Chambal.

736. To explain these double rekhs, or estimates, one is the full value, the other the deteriorated rate.

737. The first is the bhala, or lance, which is the sign-manual of the Salumbar chieftain, as hereditary premier of the state. The second is a monogram forming the word Sahai, being the sign-manual of the prince.

738. Bhanaij is sister’s son; as Bhatija is brother’s son. It will be seen in the Annals, that to support this prince to the succession of the Jaipur Gathli, both Mewar and Jaipur were ruined, and the power of the Deecanis established in both countries.

739. This is a proof of the value attached to bhum, when granted by the inhabitants, as the first act of the new proprietor though holding the whole town from the crown, was to obtain these few bighas as bhum. After having been sixty years in that family, Amli has been resumed by the crown: the bhum has remained with the chief.

740. This shows how bhum was extorted in these periods of turbulence, and that this individual gift was as much to save them from the effects of the Maharaja’s violence as to gain protection from that of others.

741. A seer on each maund of produce.

742. The labour of two ploughs (hal). Halma is the personal service of the husbandman with his plough for such time as is specified. Halma is precisely the detested corvée of the French regime. “Les corvées sont tout ouvrage ou service, soit de corps ou de charrois et bêtes, pendant le jour, qui est dû à un seigneur. Il y avait deux sortes de corvées: les réelles et les personnelles, etc. Quelquefois le nombre des corvées était fixe: mais, le plus souvent, elles étaient à volonté du seigneur, et c’est ce qu’on appelait corvées à merci” (Art. ‘Corvée,’ Dict. de l’anc. Régime). Almost all the exactions for the last century in Mewar may come under this latter denomination.

743. A great variety of oppressive imposts were levied by the chiefs during these times of trouble, to the destruction of commerce and all facility of travelling. Everything was subject to tax, and a long train of vexatious dues exacted for “repairs of forts, boats at ferries, night-guards, guards of passes,” and other appellations, all having much in common with the ‘Droit de Péage’ in France. “II n’y avait pas de ponts, de gués, de chaussées, d’écluses, de défilés, de portes, etc., où les féodaux ne fissent payer un droit à ceux que leurs affaires ou leur conhnerco forçaient de voyager” (Diet. de l’anc. Regime).

744. The privileges of our Rajput chieftains on the marriages of their vassals and cultivating subjects are confined to the best dishes of the marriage feast or a pecuniary commutation. This is, however, though in a minor degree, one of the vexatious claims of feudality of the French system, known under the term noçages, where the seigneur or his deputy presided, and had the right to be placed in front of the bride, “et de chanter à la fin du répas, une chanson guillerette.” But they even carried their insolence further, and “poussèrent leur mépris pour les villains (the agricultural classes of the Rajput system) jusqu’a exiger que leers chiens eussent leur couvert auprès de la mariée, et qu’on les laissât manger sur la table” (Art. ‘Noçages,’ Dict. de l’anc. Régime).

745. December.

746. The Raja of Kotah.

747. Commander of the forces and regent of Kotah.

748. Officers of the land revenue.

749. Land accountants.

750. The mercantile class.

751. Literally ‘good behaviour.’

752. An agricultural tax.

753. Tax for registering.

754. This includes in one word the forced labour exacted from the working classes: the corvée of the French system.

755. Grain thrown on the inhabitants at an arbitrary rate; often resorted to at Kotah, where the regent is farmer general.

756. Grain, the property of the government, thrown on the inhabitants for purchase at an arbitrary valuation.

757. The handful from each sheaf at harvest.

758. A day sacred to the Hindu, being that which divides the month.

759. Meaning, they shall not irrigate the fields.

760. This part of the edict is evidently the instigation of the Jains, to prevent the destruction of life, though only that of insects.

761. The cause of this sumptuary edict was a benevolent motive, and to prevent the expenses on these occasions falling too heavily on the poorer classes. It was customary for the women to carry away under their petticoats (ghaghra) sufficient sweetmeats for several days’ consumption. The great Jai Singh of Amber had an ordinance restricting the number of guests to fifty-one on these occasions, and prohibited to all but the four wealthy classes the use of sugar-candy: the others were confined to the use of molasses and brown sugar. To the lower vassals and the cultivators these feasts were limited to the coarser fare; to juar flour, greens and oil. A dyer who on the Holi feasted his friends with sweetmeats of fine sugar and scattered about balls made of brown sugar, was fined five thousand rupees for setting so pernicious an example. The sadh, or marriage present, from the bridegroom to the bride’s father, was limited to fifty-one rupees. The great sums previously paid on this score wore preventives of matrimony. Many other wholesome regulations of a much more important kind, especially those for the suppression of infanticide, were instituted by this prince.

762. ‘Defence against the cold weather’ (si). This in the ancient French regime came under the denomination of “Albergie ou Hébergement, un droit royal. Par exemple, ce ne fut qu’après le règne de Saint Louis, et moyennant finances, que les habitans de Paris et de Corbeil s’affranchirent, les premiers de fournir au roi et à sa suite de bons oreillers et d’excellens lits de plumes, tant qu’il sejournait dans leur ville, et les seconds de le régaler quand it passait par leur bourg.”

763. The ‘Daurayat’ or runners, the term applied to the bands who swept the country with their forays in those periods of general confusion, are analogous to the armed bands of the Middle Ages, who in a similar manner desolated Europe under the term routiers, tantamount to our rabars (on the road), the labars of the Pindaris in India. The Rajput Daurayat has as many epithets as the French routier, who were called escorcheurs, tard veneurs (of which class Gopaldas appears to have been), mille-diables, Guilleries, eto. From the Crusades to the sixteenth century, the nobles of Europe, of whom these bands were composed (like our Rajputs), abandoned themselves to this sort of life; who, to use the words of the historian, “préférèrent la vie vagabonde à laquelle ils s’étoient accoutumés dans le camp, a retourner cultiver leurs champs. C’est alors que se formèrent ces bandes qu’on vit parcourir le royaume et étendre sur toutes les provinces le fléau de leurs inclinations destructives, répandre partout l’effroi, la misère, le deuil et le désespoir; mettre les villes à contribution, piller et incendier les villages, égorger les laboureurs, et se livrer à des accès de cruauté qui font frémir” (Dict. de l’ancien régime et des abus féodaux, art. ‘Routier.’ p. 422).

We have this apology for the Rajput routiers, that the nobles of Europe had not; they were driven to it by perpetual aggressions of invaders. I invariably found that the reformed routier was one of the best subjects: it secured him from indolence, the parent of all Rajput vices.

764. Mund, ‘the head’; kati, ‘cut.’

765. [The double jasmine, Jasminum sambac]

766. The rebellion broke out during the reign of this prince.

767. Salvamenta.

768. Dues.

769. Transit duty.

770. Ditto.

771. Different descriptions of thieves. [The Moghias are settled principally in E. Mewar if not identical with, they are closely allied to, the Baori (Luard, Ethnographic Survey, Central India, App. V. 17 ff.). Gen. C. Hervey (Some Records of Crime, i. 386 ff.) makes frequent references to dacoities committed by them from their headquarters, Nimach. The Baori or Bawariya are a notorious criminal tribe (Rose, Glossary, ii. 70 ff.; M. Kennedy, Notes on Criminal Classes in Bombay Presidency, 173 ff., 198 ff.). The Thori in Marwar claim Rajput origin, and are connected with the Aheri, or nomad hunters (Census Report, Marwar, 1891, ii. 104). According to Rose (op. cit. iii. 466) those in the Panjab are rather vagrants than actual criminals.]

772. Caravans of merchandise, whether on camels, bullocks, or in carts.

773. Caravans of bullocks, chiefly for the transport of grain and salt.

774. On this festival the muster of all the feudal retainers is taken by the Rana in person, and honorary dresses and dignities are bestowed.

775. This article had become especially necessary, as the inferior chiefs, particularly those of the third class, had amalgamated themselves with the head of their clans,, to whom they had become more accountable than to their prince.

776. This alludes to the treaty-which this chief had formed, as the ambassador of the Rana, with the British Government.

This collection transcribed by Chris Gage
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