Page images
PDF

provinces has fallen into their hands, and the government remains at the disposal of his Majesty's representative.

In this sacred charge, it is his earnest prayer, that the Power Which has vouchsafed thus far to favour the undertaking, may guide his councils to a happy issue, in the welfare and prosperity of the people, and the honour of the British empire.

Under circumstances far different from any which exist in the present case, it would be a duty, and a pleasing one, to favour the re-establishment of a fallen Prince, if his dominion could be fixed on any principles of external relation compatible with the rights of the neighbouring government, or his internal rule in any reasonable degree reconciled to the safety of bis subjects.

But the horrible transactions of the fatal year 1803, forced upon the recollection by many local circumstances, and by details unknown before; the massacre of 150 sick soldiers lying helpless in the hospital of Candy, left under the pledge of public faith, and the no less treacherous murder of the whole British garrison commanded by Major Davie, which had surrendered on a promise of safety, impress upon the Governor's mind an act of perfidy unparalleled in civilized warfare, and an awful lesson recorded in characters of blood against the momentary admission of future confidence, while the obstinate rejection of all friendly overtures, repeatedly made during the intermission of hostilities, has served to evince an implacable animosity, destructive

of the hope of a sincere reconciliation.

Of this animosity, a daring Lb* stance was exhibited, in the unprovoked and barbarous mutilation of ten innocent subjects of the British Government, by which seven of the number lost their lives—a measure of defiance calculated, and apparently intended^ to put a final negative to every probability of friendly intercourse. If, therefore, in the present reverse of his fortunes and condition, it may be presumed the King would be found more accessible to negociation than in former times, what value could be set on a consent at variance with the known principles of his reign; or what dependence placed on his observance of conditions which he has hitherto so perseveringly repelled? Still less could the hope for a moment be entertained, that any conditions of safety were capable of being established on behalf of the inhabitants, who had appealed to his Majesty's Government for protection, and yet more hopeless the attempt to obtain pardon or safeguard for the Chiefs, who had deemed it a duty paramount to every other obligation, to become the medium of that appeal.

How far their complaints havt been groundless, and their opposition licentious, or, on the contrary, their grievances bitterly and intolerably real, may now be judged by facts of unquestionable authenticity.

The wanton destruction of human life comprises cr implies the existence of general oppression. In conjunction with that, no other proofs of the exercise of tyranny require

require to be specified; and one single instance, of no distant date, will be acknowledged to include every thing which is barbarous and unprincipled in public rule, and to pourtray the last stage of individual depravity and wickedness, the obliteration of every trace of conscience, and the complete extinction of human feeling.

In the deplorable fate of the wife and children of Eheylapola Adikar, these assertions are fully substantiated, in which was exhibited the savage scene of four infant children, the youngest torn from the mother's breast, cruelly butchered, and their heads bruised in a mortar by the hands of their parent, succeeded by the execution of the woman herself, and three females more, whose limbs being bound, and a heavy stone tied round the neck of each, they were thrown into a lake and drowned.

It is not, however, that under an absolute Government, unproved suspicion must usurp the place of fair trial, and the fiat of the ruler stand instead of the decision of justice; itis not that a rash, violent, or unjust decree, or a revolting mode of execution, is here brought to view, not the innocent suffering under the groundless imputation of guilt: but a bold contempt of every principle of justice, setting at nought all known grounds of punishment, dispensing with the necessity of accusation, and choosing for its victims helpless females uncharged with any offence, and infants incapable of a crime.

Contemplating these atrocities, the impossibility of establishing with such a man, any civilised relations either of peace or war, ceases to be a subject of regret;

since his Majesty's arms, hitherto employed in the generous purpose of relieving the oppressed, would be tarnished and disgraced, by being instrumental to the restoration of a dominion, exercised in a perpetual outrage to every thing which is sacred in the constitution or functions of a legitimate Government.

On these grounds his Excellency the Governor has acceded to the wishes of the Chiefs and people of the Candian provinces, and a Convention has in consequence been held, the result of which the.fol. lowing public act is destined to record and proclaim :—

PROCLAMATION.

At a Convention held on the 2d day of March, in the year of Christ, 1815, and in the Cingalese year, 1736, at the palace, in the city of Candy, between his Excellency Lieut. General Robert Brownrigg, Governor and Commanderin Chief in and over the British settlements and territories in the island of Ceylon, on the one part, and the Adikars, Dessaves, and other principal Cliiefs of the Candian provinces, on behalf of the inhabitants, and in the presence of the Mohottales, Coraals, Vidaans, and other subordinate Headmen from the several provinces, and of the people then and there assembled on the other part, it is agreed and established as follows :—

1st. That the cruelties and oppressions of the Malabar Ruler in the arbitrary and unjust infliction of bodily tortures and the pains of death without trial, and sometimes without an accusation, or the-possibility of a crime, and in the general contempt and contravention pf all civil right*, have become flagrant,

flagrant, enormous, and intolerable, the acts and maxims of his Government being equally and entirely devoid of that justice which should secure the safety of his subjects, and of that good faith which might obtain a beneficial intercourse with his neighbouring settlements.

2d. That the Rajah Sri Wikreme Rajah Sinha, by the habitual violation of the chief and most sacred duties of a Sovereign, has forfeited all claims to that title or the powers annexed to the same, and is declared fallen and deposed from the office of King. His family and relatives, whether in, the ascending, descending, or collateral line, and whether by affinity or blood, are also for ever excluded from the Throne; and all claim and title of the Malabar race to the dominion of the Candian provinces is abolished and extinguished.

, 3d. That all male persons being or pretending to be the relations of the late Rajah Sri Wikreme Rajah Sinha, either by affinity or blood, and whether in the ascending, descending, or collateral line, are hereby declared enemies to the Government of the Candian provinces, and excluded and prohibited from entering these provinces on any pretence whatever, without a written permission for that purpose, by the authority of the British Government, under the pains and penalties of martial law.

4th. The dominion of the Candian provinces is vested in the Sovereign of the British empire, and to be exercised through the Governors or Lieutenant-Governors of Ceylon for the time being. 5th. Th.2 religion of Boodhe,

professed by the chiefs and inhabitants of these provinces, is declared inviolable; and its rites, ministers, and places of worship, are to be maintained and protected.

Cth. Every species of bodily torture, and all mutilation of limb, member, or organ, are prohibited and abolished.

7th. No sentence of death can be carried into execution against any inhabitant, except by the written warrant of the British Governor.

GOD SAVE THE KING.

By his Excellency's command, James Sutherland, Dep. Sec.

WAR UEPARTMENT.

Downing-street, Aug. 1. A dispatch, of which the following is a copy, was this day received by Earl Bathurst, from Major-Gen. Sir Hudson Lowe.

Cvjes, July 24, 1S15.

My Lord,—I have the honour to inform your lordship, that the forts and ships in Toulon have this day hoisted the white flag, and that Marshal Brune, and all the generals and admirals in that place, have signed their acts of submission to the King.

The circumstances which led to this event, so far as in any way connected with the operations of the force under my orders, have been as follows:—

On the first appearance of the

fleet and transports, under Lord

Exmouth, off the coast of France,

Marshal

Marshal Brune, who was opposite to Nice with a body of about 6000 infantry, and 300 cavalry, called the corps of observation of the Var, made immediate proposition for an armistice with the commander of the Piedmontese force at Nice, in which object he succeeded, and then marched directly to the relief of Toulon. On the 14th of July, the day on which the troops landed at Marseilles, he caused a letter to be addressed to the admiral, Lord Exmouth,enclosing a copy of the armistice signed at Paris, and demanding an extension of it to the British force in this country, which was immediately rejected.

He then addressed LieutenantGen, the Marquis de Riviere, exercising the King's authority in Provence, stating his desire to send two officers to Paris, to offer the submission of Toulon, and saying he should refrain from hostilities during the ten days neeessarv for his communication. This proposition was also objected to, and the marshal was informed he must resign his authority to the officer who governed Toulon before Buonaparte's invasion, hoist the white flag, and suffer the garrison of Toulon to be composed of national guards and royalists, in as large proportion as the troops of the line. On the same day his letter was raeeived by the Marquis de Riviere, information was had that he was marching towards Aix, on which I immediately ordered the whole •f the British troops out of Marseilles, to take up such a position »* might menace Toulon, watch him,, and secure Marseilles itself.

against attack; but the report of his march on Aix gave wav to that of his concentring near Toulon, when the following dispositions were nmde by me:—1 directed the troops to move forward in two columns, one on the high road to Toulon, by Aubagne, Gemenos, and Cujcs, and the other by the coast to Cassis antl Ciotat, in which latter place I stationed a small garrison, and afterwards moved the column to Leqnes and Saint Cyr, haung an advance at Bandol. My owu head-quarters were at Cujes, having an advance at St. Anne's, with very strong ground both to my front and rear, and the power of collecting my force to act along the coast, or on the high road, as circumstances might best point out. The national guards and royalists occupied Beausset, Castelet, La Cadierc, and other strong points in my immediate front or flank. Admiral Lord Kxmouth had, in the mean time, detached one line of battle ship to Ciotat, and another to Bandol. The enemy's advanced posts were on the outside of the pass of Ollion'os. It was whilst the troops were in this position that the Marquis de Riviere and Marshal Brune carried on their negooislions. through the means of Admiral Ganteaume, who, «n the day after the marshal's first proposition was made, was received in Toulon as the King's commissioner. Various propositions were made, all with the view of gaining time. The two following were immediately rejected—that of acknowledging the King's authority, but retaining the tri-coloured flag, and that of requiring that the Biitisl. British troops should retire, and promise not to attack Toulon; on which no assurance would be given. Whilst these points were discussing, a party of the national guards having moved to St. Nazaire, had thus turned the pass of Ollioules, which caused so much agitation, as having occurred whilst Admiral Ganteaume was treating, that Marquis de Riviere thought proper to withdraw it, whilst I collected my left column and pushed forward an advance to support him, should the circumstance have brought forth an attack. Finally, yesterday, the submission of Marshal Bruneand his generals was received, but the regiments still refused to wear the white cockade; and it was only this day, whilst at Ollioules with Admiral Lord Exmouth, the submission of the whole was notified, and consent given to the royalists and national guards occupying the forts, in conjunction with a portion only of the regular troops.

The garrison of Toulon consisted of six* regiments of the line, a regiment of marines, a detachment of three hundred cavalry, artillery, veterans, &c. battalion of half-pay officers and federalists, called "Le Battalion Sacre," most of whom, with Marshal Murat, and some of his adherents, were suffered to quit Toulon, and absconded, it is not known where, on the eve of the resolution being taken for hoisting the white flag.

The nature of the operation in whicli 1 have been engaged, lias

* 9th, 13th, 14th; 16th, 35th, 166th, veterans.

been such as to afford little or no opportunity of distinction for the officers and men under my orders, yet I cannot avoid expressing my sense of the zeal which animated all ranks, nor my obligations to the officers in command of brigades, Col. Burrows aud Col. Burke, and the officers of the staff, for their assistance to me in all preparatory arrangements, particularly Major Sir Thomas Reade, Assistant Adjutant General, Major Pratt, Assistant Quarter Master General, Major Gamble, Royal Artillery, Major Gorreyner, Military Secretary, Mr. Cummings, of the Commissariat, and Doctor Porteus.

Lieutenant Colonel Faverges, of the Italian Levy, who commanded the advance, merits likewise my best thanks, as also Major Andreis, of the staff, and Lieutenant Smith, of the Royal Engineers, by whom the duties of reconnoissance were principally exercised, and who executed them with an activity and intelligence that left me nothing to desire.

I can never sufficiently express my obligations and gratitude to Lord Exmouth and the navy in general, for the cordial assistance they have shown themselves disposed to render on every occasion, and for the aid in particular whicli I received from the marines, of which a battalion was formed, under the command of Major Cox, and placed at my disposition.

Accounts have been received that Antibes has hoisted the white flag, so that there is now no declared enemy in the south of France.

This report will be delivered*0

your lordship by the honourable

Csplaifl

« PreviousContinue »