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VERELST, Harry.

A View of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the English Government in Bengal:

Including a reply to misrepresentations of Mr. Bolts, and other writers.

London: Printed for J. Nourse, Brotherton and Sewell, G. Robinson, and T. Evans, 1772 Stock Code: 123984
£750.00
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First edition. Harry Verelst (1734-1785) succeeded Robert Clive as Governor of Bengal in 1767 and held the post until his resignation in December 1769. Verelst's policy with regard to Bengal was to maintain Clive's dual system, upholding the native government under East India Company control rather than fully asserting British sovereignty. Verelst found he lacked the authority of Clive, and under his governorship, and after his return to Britain, he found that his and Clive's governance of the province was being openly criticised. The most notable attack was by William Bolts, a junior merchant in the East India Company, who publicly denounced both Clive and Verelst and their supposedly venal governments in his 1772 work Considerations on Indian Affairs. The present work was Verelst's attempt to counter Bolts and other critics' writings and to give a defence of his and Clive's administrations, alongside affirming the necessity of the dual system and the inappropriateness of directly applying British laws. The work has a lengthy appendix of government papers and letters which the author believed vindicated his claims.

With an appealing Indian provenance: from the library of East India Company stockholder James Amyatt (1734-1813), with his armorial bookplate and gilt crest in head compartment of spine (a hind passant) within a pretty foliate frame on a black morocco label with rope-twist border. Amyatt served with the HEIC as an alderman at Calcutta (1766) and as a "country captain" (i.e. captain of a ship "owned in Indian ports, though often officered by Europeans", Hobson-Jobson). He married the widow of his cousin, Peter Amyatt, chief of the British factory at Patna, who was murdered in 1763 by troops loyal to the nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim.

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Description

Quarto (264 x 205 mm). Contemporary quarter calf, parchment corner pieces, red morocco label, repeated gilt foliate motif to spine, gilt rope-twist banding, marbled sides.

Condition

Small ink gift inscription to pastedown, a number of contemporary marginal annotations (these shaved by the binder). Joints starting at foot, covers rubbed, extremities a little worn. A very good copy.

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