4. the friendship of William Grenville. From Eton he went to Christ Church, but after three years his career there was cut short by the death of his father. On succeeding to the title, he left Oxford & returned to his home. When in a few months' time he came of age, he took his place in the Irish Houe of Peers, so starting his political life. His rise to notoriety was due partly to his own ability, partly to his friendship with Pitt. He was a strong admirer of Grattan & a supporter of his old school-friend William Grenville, who shortly afterwards became Chief Secretary for Ireland. In 1783, he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Patrick, when that Order was created by George III. A year later he entered the English House of Commons, a member of which he remained until he went to India. He was made a Lord of the Treasury in 1786, & a member of the Privy Council in 1793, & in the last named year he first became connected with India by being appointed a member of the Board of Control. This post gave him an interest in Indian affairs, & during the time that he occupied it he gained by his studies nearly all the knowledge of India that he carried out with him as Governor General four years later. He owed that office very largely to good fortune. Owing to the quarrels
5. between Sir John Shore at Calcutta & Lord Hobart at Madras, changes in Indian administration became imminent. Lord Cornwallis accepted the offer made to him by Pitt to resume the Governor-Generalship, & Mornington - for so we must for the present call him - was appointed Governor of Fort St. George & was given the promise of the reversions of the GovernorGeneralship. This was in March 1797: less than four months later, before he had sailed, the reversion fell to him, as the troubles in Ireland rendered it impossible for the Government to spare Cornwallis from home. He was also given at this time an English Peerage - Baron Wellesley -, but of course remained known as Lord Mornington. Early in November he left England. - Such then was the early career of a man who was appointed Governor-General of the great Peninsula at the early age of thirty-seven. His difficulties & his brilliancy in overcoming them will be more readily realized after a sketch of the situation in India & in Indian affairs at the time of his accession to that office.
History & position of the East India Company. The East India Company, the only British authority in India, had been founded nearly two hundred years before, for purely commercial reasons. By charters of Charles II,
6. the Company, which at that time only owned factories at Calcutta, Madras, Masulipatam, Bombay, & Surat, obtained the power of civil & criminal jurisdiction, of making war on native states, & of coining their own money. The acquisition of these rights by the Company naturally led to its becoming more & more an administrative instead of a merely commercial body. It had come into possession of district upon district until 1785, at the close of the rule of Warren Hastings, it not only owned large tracts of land around Bombay, Fort St. David & Madras, but possessed & governed the Circars & the whole of Bengal & Behar as far as Benares, & had reduced the Kingdom of Oudh to vassalage. It had also secured some sort of control over the Karnatik, which Clive had separated in 1765 from the Nizam's dominions. But the work of Clive & Warren Hastings, great though it was, had not unburdened the Company of the difficulties & responsibilities of Government. It had, rather, added to the load. Now that it was a power in the land, the Company found a ready & jealous enemy, longing to annihilate it or oust it from its strong position. Holland's rivalry had been practically removed by the war with that country, which had ended in