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capital till the end of the year to support the government and to maintain order. The early months of 1846 had been eventful ones, but the closing months of this same year were scarcely less eventful than their predecessors. Much had been effected by the power of the sword ; much was afterwards achieved without bloodshed ; and thus the year 1846 closed with the suppression of the Sheikh Imamudeen in Cashmere, the great State trial and the expulsion of Lal Sing, and with the treaty of Byrowal, which gave Henry Lawrence, as the British Resident, "unlimited authority in all matters of internal administration and external relation during the Maharajah's minority,' and constituted him master of the Punjab for a period of eight years.
It was now that he looked around for the men who were to assist him in bringing into order 'a country more backward in civilisation than any other part of India-a country only recently reclaimed from a state of most ignorant barbarism, and one that had been but little subjected to the wholesome restraints of a regular government.' Among the first to be called to Lahore under the altered condition of affairs was the Assistant to the Superintendent at Ajmir, and thus Reynell Taylor was transferred from his 'quiet and unpromising post’at Beawur to the wider field offered by the Punjab. A new life dawned on him from this moment, and at Lahore he took his place among those who have come to be known as the soldier-politicians of the Lawrence school. All of them earned distinction, most of them became historical, for opportunity offered to some a more brilliant opening than to others, but in that group of distinguished men, who seemed to have been
formed by Providence for a great purpose, and to stand out, as it were, almost alone, few were more distinguished than Reynell Taylor, none surpassed him in absolute devotion to duty.
The deeds of the more prominent actors in the Punjab have been recorded page by page ; the light has been thrown in upon their lives, and their histories now stand side by side upon the same shelves; but here and there are gaps, for some still live, and others have not long since passed away. It is with the hope of filling one of these empty spaces that I have taken up my pen to write, and if I should appear to claim for Reynell Taylor one iota of praise to which he is not justly entitled, I will quote two sentences from two letters, written, while Reynell Taylor was still living, the one by one of India's greatest generals, and the other by one of India's most prominent civilians.'
The first says of him, “He was the Bayard of the Punjab, sans peur et sans reproche '; and the second, * His character can never stand otherwise than amongst the foremost of the great men the Punjab produced.' And what, it may be asked, was the opinion of those whose welfare he always had nearest at heart—the natives? They called him their ferishta, their good angel.
His opportunity had come now. The wind of future events did indeed blow from the north, and though only a light air at this time, it grew gradually in strength till it came to be a hurricane, sweeping over the Five Rivers and bringing down in one confused heap the mighty commonwealth which Runjeet had built up with so much care. The storm died away at length, and when peace followed the chaos of convulsion, and the kingdom of Porus had
passed irrevocably into other hands, Lawrence's assistants, separated from each other by many hundreds of miles, were still found at their posts, weather-beaten no doubt, torn by the gale, tried, but not found wanting. The names of such men as Henry, John, and George Lawrence, Nicholson, Edwardes, James Abbott, and Herbert can never be forgotten, but to these I would add one moreReynell Taylor.
As soon as Reynell Taylor was relieved at Beawur he set out immediately for Lahore, which he reached early in the month of March. He did not, however, remain there long, for in May he was sent into Cashmere to report upon the condition of that province, and to inquire into the complaints made by the inhabitants against their new ruler. Few natives have been painted in blacker colours than Golab Sing. Herbert Edwardes set him down as the worst native he had ever met, ‘a bad king, a miser, and a liar, and the dirtiest fellow in all India'; and even so liberal-minded a man as Henry Lawrence considered that he was beyond being either reclaimed or civilised. Yet such was the man into whose hands we placed one of the most lovely countries of the habitable globe, without any regard whatsoever to the wishes or the feelings of its inhabitants. History has long since passed her verdict on that act, and the mistake made then we may well sorrow over to the present day.
If the new ruler of all Cashmere was bad, his predecessor, the Sheikh Imamudeen, appears to have been even
• Beneath the smooth surface of accomplishment and courtesy, which was so noticeable a feature in the character of this individual, lay an ill-assorted and incongruous disposition : ambition, pride, cruelty and intrigue strangely mixed up with indolence, effeminacy, voluptuousness and timidity,' and if the unfortunate Cashmerees had hitherto groaned beneath the tyranny of a ruler deputed by the Lahore Durbar, it was scarcely probable that they would fare better under a man of Golab Sing's character coming to them with the title of Maharajah. What was the consequence? The oppression of the one was followed by the misrule of the other, and after Golab Sing had been six months in power it was found necessary to send an officer from Lahore to inquire into the condition of the country. Youth as he still was, Reynell Taylor was chosen for this duty; his orders being, as he writes himself, not to invite complaints, but to learn all he could of the character of the several kardars (tax collectors) and to pick up all the general and statistical knowledge possible.'
Travels, to be interesting, must at least possess the charm of novelty, and though there is a complete account of daily incidents and impressions in the diary before me, I do not think much advantage would be gained by my transcribing them here. Reynell Taylor was accompanied in his expedition by Melvill, afterwards Secretary to the Board of Administration. They set out from Lahore on May 15, and, travelling leisurely, stayed a day here and a day there, hearing complaints and collecting statistics of the general condition of the country. The scenery naturally charmed one of Reynell Taylor's artistic temperament, and there is constant reference in the diary to points which reminded him of his own country. Thus one day they halted in a beautiful dell surrounded by most picturesque hills covered with pines and Scotch firs.' “Many parts
of the road,' he writes, 'put me in mind of the Sandhurst and Ascot country. Another day he continues : 'The scenery is very beautiful, too grand to be English, and yet with the fresh smell of the fir, the fine fresh air, and an occasional sight of the blue hills beyond, I had a very strong English feeling upon me.
'I was much delighted at recognising my old friend the jackdaws of England ; their cheerful, consequential cry and their absurd manners put me strongly in mind of my old friend “Chock," and the days when I possessed him.'
In the middle of June they reached the capital, Sirinuggur, and here they were met on the river Jhelum by the Maharajah in a magnificent barge. Like John Lawrence at Paniput, Reynell Taylor determined to be always within reach of those who wished to address him, and in this first interview with Golab Sing he at once declined the proffered invitation to the Shere Gurree. “The emperor was very polite and asked affectionately after our health. He was very anxious that we should go to the Shere Gurree, which move I stoutly but civilly resisted, having no intention of putting myself within walls carefully guarded by his soldiers, and where no petitions or petitioners could reach me.
He accordingly had the boat turned round and we proceeded to the Shaikhbagh, which we had actually passed.'
Here they found a commodious house ready for them, with gardens sloping to the river, and within easy access of the town. The principal points concerning which Reynell Taylor had to make inquiries were the free grants of land and money known as 'jageers’and'dhurmurths'; the condition of the shawl-weavers, or shalbafs; the coinage ;