« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Council to re-consider the arrangement by which only one native regiment is stationed on this coast, and no European artillery attached to the garrisons of Tavoy and Mergui. The regiments having been reduced to eight companies and to eighty men per company, one regiment is not equal to the duties required.
With respect to the conspirators, whom I tried at Mergui, it will be seen, that I have sentenced them to death subject to the confirmation, of the Governor-General in Council. Happily, there was no occasion for any immediate example to be made as in the revolt at Tavoy, and adverting to the unexplained conduct of our own garrison, and to all the circumstances attending the first plotting and subsequent abandonment of the conspiracy, and the manner in which the principal conspirators put themselves into our power, I was anxious that Government should determine how far it will be proper to carry my sentences into execution. I would beg to suggest, that seven only of those condemned, viz. Moung Showe Ya, Nga Shewen, Nga Tshi, Nga Ail, Moung Bo, Moung Thwon Myat and Bawa Saib, should suffer punishment.
In consideration of the manner in which Moung Showe Gyah, the person who assumed the title of Myolloon, or Governor, returned to his duty, I have pledged myself to recommend him to the mercy of Government in the strongest
It remains for me only to state, that Mr. Corbyn, the Master Attendant of Amherst, and Mr. Dromgoole, have been of much service to me by the skilful manner in which they have navigated the Diana through very tempestious weather; and I am also under great obligations to Captain Aikin of the ship Lady Munro, who, although I had been the cause of preventing his vessel from being chartered by Colonel Kelly, volunteered in the most handsome and public-spirited manner, to accompany me to Mergui with a party of his men, and by his able and experienced aid enabled the Diana to tow the other vessel safely over a heavy sea, which molested us much between Tavoy point and Taroy Island.
I returned last night to this place where I am obliged to remain for some days in order to make various arrangements, but I propose to send the Diana back to Moulmein immediately with the intelligence of our proceedings at Mergui.
The protracted absence of the Civil Commissioner had been a source of the greatest uneasiness to me, as the repeated outrages committed by the Burmese at Martaban, and their increasing insolence must soon force us to go over and chastise them. I have appealed, without avail, to both the Martaban authorities and the Woongyee at Rangoon, against some of these outrages, and nothing but the apprehension of embarrasing the Government, or counteracting measures which may be in progress at Calcutta has kept me from applying to Brigadier Vigoureux for a party of troops, to be sent over to Martaban and directed to treat the inhabitants there as a band of lawless robbers and freebooters. The present state of things cannot last, and something must soon be done by us to answer the appeals which are daily made to us by our own villages for protection against the Burmese. Rather, however, than embark in measures which may pledge the Government to ulterior proceedings, I have considered it best, until the return of the Civil Commissioner, to re-man most of the public row-boats, and station one of them off each village which the robbers of Martaban are most likely to go again and attack.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.
Deputy Commissioner in the Tenasserim Provinces.
TO MAJOR H, BURNEY
Deputy Commissioner of the Tenasserim Provinces.
SIR, I have the honor to forward for your information the following deposi tion obtained from Nga Shoon, who being a Tavoyer, was unwilling to return to Mergui, and quitted his companions in the course of last night. Colonel Kelly has communicated with the Brigadier on the subject.
DEPOSITION OF NGA SHOON, A NATIVE OF TAVOY.
That he arrived here last night in a small boat with a party of fifteen men for the purpose of ascertaining the state of affairs at Tavoy, and was sent by the present Governor of Mergui Nga Shwai Yah; that Moungda had written him
Nga Shwai Yah, detailing his plans and pointing out the method which Nga Shwai Yah, should adopt. The letter reached him on the 7th of the waxing of wagoung, (21st August. 1829,) and on the night of the same day he intended attacking the place with about 500 men, but the knowledge of this letter having reached Captain
-, he ordered it to be proclaimed throughout the town, that such an epistle could only have originated with bad and disaffected people, and desired them to remain firm in their collegiance; about 12 o'colck the same night Captain-left Mergui town in a boat and had not returned, when he quitted the officers and sepoys dispersed in various directions, but have since been apprehended and confined in jail. The Burmese are now in possession of the town with the arms, ammunition, &c. Taken before me, this 28th August, 1829.
J. MAULE, in Civil Charge, Tavoy. I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, Tavoy, the 28th August, 1829. J. MAULE, in Civil Charge.
The information of Nga Shwai Yah, a native of Tavoy, son of the late Burmese Governor of Mergui, Nga Myat Lé.
The object of his visit to this place is to give information of the state of affairs at Mergui, which he quitted about seven days ago, in consequence of having heard that the English intended attacking Mergui. He has been absent from Tavoy, and resident at Mergui about eighteen months.
About fifteen days ago Monngda sent a letter to the present Myo Woon Nga Shwai Geyah, the contents of which he did not peruse, but heard, that Moulmein and Tavoy had been taken possession of from the English, and that Oozsnah was with an army as far as Ye, a portion of which had been sent by Oozanah to Tavoy. He does not know to whom the letter was addressed, nor was any meeting held in consequence of it. A day previous to the receipt of this letter, Captain heard from a former prisoner of Tavoy (Nga Shwai Bey), who had been sent to Mergui, that Tavoy was taken from the English, As this news was spread throughout Mergui, Nga Shwai Bey was apprehended by Captain's orders and placed in confinement, and Captain sent for him, Nga Shwai Yah, the present Governor, Nga Shwai Geyah, and Moung lek, the former cutwall, and desired them to mention what they had heard. They replied, that they had not heard any thing; he then told them, that they were suspicious characters, and desired them to be on their guard or he would send them away to Kangoon. He (Nga Shwai Yah) returned home-and mentioned the circumstance to his mother. On the following day the letter from Moungda was received from the people of Palau (he professes all ignorance as to whom the letter was addressed or first given) but heard from Nga Shwai Geyah that it was received, who enquired of him what course should be adopted; he replied, that as he was youthful and inexperienced he could not advise him in this matter. Hereupon Nga Shwai Yah immediately sent Nga Geyoung in a boat to Tavoy to ascertain the state of affairs, who returned about eight days since, and reported that they were all fighting. He (Nga Shwai Yah,) heard from the people that in consequence of Bawa Saib having mentioned the purport of the letter to Captain,he, (Captain- -) quitted the place during that night without communicating his motives to the inhabitants in Captain Briesley's cutter and another boat. All the officers and sepoys accompanied Captain as also the dresser and a peon. The sepoys carried their muskets away, but the treasure-box, ammunition and two large guns were left behind; the former contained seven bags of rupees and sixty-nine gold mohurs. They (the Burmese) were informed by Mr. Hutton, (Captain's clerk,) that the total amount was about ten thousand rupees. Nga Shwa Geyah ordered the spikes to be removed from the guns, desired all the arms which might be found in possession of the inhabitants to be collected, and delivered them to the following officers who were stationed on the hill:
Yewoon Moungboh, Nga Young, Moung Iek, Moung Chien, Nga Pan Oo, and Nga Pan Oung.
Four large boats with sixteen men in each armed with jinjols, muskets, &c., were sent in pursuit of Captain Briesley's cutter to solicit Captain-and party to return, but were fired at by the sepoys, on hearing them, when the Burmese returned
-and party, arrived at Mergui in a small canoe. He (the peon) stated, that he had quitted the cutter by stealth, and reported the English officers to be some where in the Birds'-nest Island, in great distress for want of provisions. Mr. Hutton and his son were confined in jail for a couple of days. The treasure has not been touched, and Nga Shwai Geyan has the key. He saw the Malay boat approach Mergui a day or two before he left; the which departed again without communicat ing. He was first informed of the English having re-taken Tavoy, and of the death of Moungda on his arrival at Peemboo, a village near Tavoy.
Taken before me, the 3d September, 1829.
(A true Copy)
J. MAULE, in Civil Charge, Tavoy. Deputy Commissioner in the Tenasserim Provinces.
To GEORGE SWINTON, Esq.
Chief Secretary to Government.
SIR,-With reference to my despatch of the 11th instant I have now much satisfaction to report to you, that the party belonging to the late garrison of Mergui, together with Captain B—and the officers of the 19th regiment M.N.I. having been traced to Saint Susannah's Island, on which Mr. Briesley's cutter had landed it, the whole has been brought back in safety to this place. As Mr. Briesley's cutter* has proceeded to Penang with the exaggerated accounts of the fate of these provinces, I have been induced to direct Lieutenant Leslie to despatch a small vessel from Mergui to Penang immediately, in order to prevent the unnecessary alarm and expense, which the arrival of such accounts there may superinduce.
Ihasten to submit the enclosed, Captain B ——'s report of the causes which led him to Mergui. It was certainly most unfortunate for him that neither of the despathes which Mr. Maule had addressed to him in the end of July and on the 9th of August, reached him. The first was detained at Palau and the boat to which the second was entrusted, was obliged to put back from stress of weather. It had been my intention to have visited Mergui immediately after suppressing the revolt here; but a boat having arrived from that quarter with the intelligence that all was quiet there down to a late date, and being perfectly conscious with Captain B―, that "he was fully able to resist and suppress any attempt that any party in Mergui, unassisted from without, could make against him," I changed my intention, and sent down an express boat to Mergui, and returned myself in the Diana to Moulmein, to communicate to Brigadier Vigoureux. Unfortunately, also, that expressboat, as I have before reported, arrived just too late.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient, servant,
Deputy Commissioner in the Tenasserim Provinces.
SIR,-Imbued with a deep sense of the unhappy situation in which 1 am placed, I hasten to lay before you, for the information of superior authority, some explanation of the causes that led me to quit Mergui, and thereby incur a responsibility the most serious and weighty that can fall to the lot of a public functionary
About 10 o'clock on the night of the 19th of August, Bawah Saib, the jailor, brought me a report, that it had come to his knowledge, that there had occurred in the house of an inhabitant of the Daway division of the town, some conversation respecting a revolt that had broken out at Tavoy. I instructed him immediately to endeavour to trace and apprehend the author of this report, and after some hours' search he succeeded in taking into custody one of two men who had arrived in a small boat from a village in the Tavoy province. Upon examination of this man on the morning of the 20th, it appeared that he and another were thieves
The Malay crew rose on Mr. Briesley, Killed him and the rest of the party, excepting Mrs. Briesley and her mother, and run the vessel on shore on the Siamese coast, above Junkceylan, and burnt her. Some tidings of poor Mrs. Briesley have lately been heard, that she is now at Singora or Songkra, a town in Lower Siam below Sigor, in the Gulf of Siam.
bound to Mergui; this boat, on its way down, touched at an intermediate village on the coast, and during her stay there, intelligence arrived at that villege that there had been an attack made upon the British force by an armed body of the inhabitants; but the account was not sufficiently distinct to enable the examinant to say how the conflict had terminated. The boat, in which the examinant had originally quitted Tavoy, remaining on a mercantile speculation at the intermediate villages, examinant and two or three other men proceeded on to Mergui in samall liberated from the Tavoy jail, and by direction of Mr. Maule, put on board a boat canoe, where they arrived during the night between the 18th and 19th of August, after a passage, according to their varying dates, of fifteen days from Tavoy. I could not obtain any further intelligence from this man, and therefore remanded him into custody. In the course of tracing this man during the preceding night, circumstances occured, which induced me to suspect that Moung Shooay-gya, a man who had held a high office under the Burman Government, had not only received a letter from some of the conspirators at Tavoy, but had received into his house the bearers of this intelligence from Tavoy, and held a consultation with others upon the subject during the 19th instant. Suspicion fell also upon MonngShooay-yah, the son of the ex-Myoo-woon, upon Moungce, formerly an officer under both the Burman and British Governments, and upon Gua Skyee, a man who had once been Too-gyee of Meimamyoo. I sent for these men about eight o'clock, and interogated them respecting the news from Tavoy, and a monished them to be circumspect in their conduct, since being under suspicion they would be narrowly watched, and on the least symptom of disaffection evincing itself, they would be the first objects of the precautionary measures of Government. They all denied any knowledge of a conspiracy in the town or any clandestine correspondence with the rebels at Tavoy; and I, unable to bring home to them any act of treason, after they had assured me of their attachment to our authority, dismissed them. During this day (the 20th) a great number of contradictory and inconsistent reports were circulated, and the whole town was in a ferment and consternation; for my own part, I was occupied as usual, in my ordinary business, and placed no credit whatever in the remours. In the course of the afternoon I issued a proclamation, with a view to allay the ferment in the town, and to quiet the apprehensions of the timid, by expressing my disbelief of the rumours, and attributing their circulation to the evil designs of thieves and vagabonds, who expected to reap a rich harvest in creating a tumult. In the evening I walked alone, and apparently unconcerned, round the principal streets of the town, occasionally stopping to converse with a few of the more respectable inhabi'ants, and I was rejoiced to find, that the proclamation I had issued, had at least attracted attention, although it had certainly not removed the chief cause of alarm, the rooted conviction that some disaster, the nature and extent of which was unknown, had befallen the British power at Tavoy. Upon consulting with the officer in command of the stationed at Mergui, in was judged prudent, that the jail guard should be strenghtened, sentries loaded, and other measures of vigilance and caution adopted, so as to guard against surprize or treachery. At night the report made by Bawa Saib of the intelligence he had been active in collecting, began to shake my incredulity, although it was still apparent that there was no consistent story yet afloat, recognized as true by all parties. I passed the night without retiring to rest, anxiously listening to every sound and fully prepared for any extremity. I felt perfectly conscious, that we were fully able to resist and suppress any attempt that any party in Mergui, unassisted from without, could make against us; and I knew that no movement could be made in the town without being observed and reported by my public servants, who were all on the alert. The night passed quietly. Early on the morning of the 21st Bawah Saib reported, that the father-in-law of Gna-twon-myat, the Goum writer, was in the confidence of Moung Shooay-gya, and that Nga-twou-myat having overheard his father-in-law conversing with others on the subject of the letter received by Monng-Shoony-gya from Tavoy, he had immediately communicated the circumstance to him (Bawa Saib,) for my information. This information I deemed conclusive, and the object now was, to ascertain the contents of that letter, to have sent and seized Moung Shooay-gyab, as at first suggested itself to me, would assuredly have defeated that object; the result of my deliberations was a too facile assent to the proposition of Bawa Saib, that he should, in the evening at dusk, go to Moung Shooay-gyah, and assume a familiarity with, and a confidence in him, & endeavour
to worm the secret out of him in all its bearings and tendency. After breakfast, it being a court-day, I attended the Goum as usual, and heard cases. About noon, being much distressed for want of intelligence from Tavoy, and the rumour gaining ground and belief that a large body of men was marching down upon Mergui, I despatched a trusty man to the northward to gather all the information he could, with all possible speed. I had a long conference with Gna-twou-myat, who confirmed all that he had reported to Bawa Saib about the receipt of the letter by Moung Shooay-gya. I gave the officer in command of the company every information and advice in my power, and he immediately commenced removing the men, ammuni tion and stores up to the temple on the hill, and planted the guns so as to command department that could be done by so small and inefficient a body as a company of the two most open approaches; in fact, every thing was done in the military sepoys, ten of whom were in hospital. It was a great misfortune to me that the best of my native servants, the one in whom I could place the least reserved confidence, was absent on public business out in the country. In the course of the day I had a conference with the head-men amongst the Chinese, and had reason to believe, that I might rely on them for assistance in case of need; the Portuguese also could have mustered pretty strong on our side, but the great desideratum was in arms and ammunition. Before night-fall we had so disposed matters, that notwithstanding the gloomy and menacing aspect of affairs as pictured in the reports and fears of the people, I felt tolerably secure, and had just retired to take a little refreshment with the officers about eight o'clock, when Bawa Saib came in with last report, having returned from his interview with Moung Shooay-gya. His first remark certainly startled me. we are all lost," he said, "the reports are perfectly true, that Tavoy has fallen into the hands of Moungda, all the British inhabitants have been killed and their heads stuck up over the walls: Mrs. Burney and her children have alone been saved." He went on to relate that he had gone, as had been proposed, to Moung Shooay-gya, and affecting an interest in the cause of the conspirators, and a desire to secure his favour and protection in case of the success of the conspiracy, had completely succeeded in obtaining from him the contents of his letter from Tavoy, as well as his answer. It appeared, the letter had been received early on the morning of the 20th, by the hands of a man who had arrived in a small boat landed in the jungle, entered the town while it was yet dark, and returned instantly with Moung Shooay-gya's answer. The letter stated, that Moungda, with the assistance of four hundred men, who had come down from Moulmein (being a detachment from the large army said to be there), had collected a body of men at Tavoy, and attacking the British force, had, after a conflict of sixteen or eighteen hours, completely destroyed the whole detachment of sepoys and all the British inhabitants, with the exception above alluded to; and that two large boats had been sent to Rangoon, filled with treasure and other booty that had fallen into their hands. It proceeded to exhort Moung Shooay-gyah to make a similar attempt at Mergui, and promised him an immediate reinforcement of men and arms from Tavoy. From the bearer of this letter Moung Shooay-gyah had learnt that at the time of the despatch of the letter from Tavoy no certain written intelligence had reached there of the operations of the large army destined for the attack on Moulmein; but reports had arrived that it had succeeded in taking the place; routing the British force; burning the shipping; and especially destroying the steamer. Moung-myat, lay, the ex-Governor of Mergui, was said to have arrived at Tavoy from Rangoon, at which place the officer appointed to receive the money due to the British from the Burman Government, had been assassinated. Such, Moung Sooay-gya assured Bawa Saib (as he reported to me) was the nature of the intelligence he had received from Tavoy, to which he had sent an answer, stating, that he was as yet too weak in numbers and arms to make an open attack, and that he waited only for assistance and for certain intelligence as to the operations of the large force against Moulmein. Moung Shooay-gya added, that he hourly expected the arrival of the promised reinforcement, and begged of Bawa Saib, that he would not tell me any thing of what he had now communicated to him until the arrival of further intelligence from Tavoy, when he proposed that Bawa Saib should undertake to induce me to put myself quietly under Moung Shooay-gya's protection, and that I should be kindly treated. Lastly Moung Shooay-gya assured Bawa Saib, that it was useless my relying upon the man I had sent to the northword for information, since orders had already been issued to seize any emissary of mine, and that those orders would be
New Governor of Bilery and Martaban (1838).