5. The ‘newly-acquired territories’ referred to are the Sagar and Nerbudda Territories, comprising the seven districts, Sagar, Jubbulpore, Hoshangabad, Seoni, Damoh, Narsinghpur, and Baitul, ceded in 1818, and now included in the Central Provinces. The tenor of the replies given to Lord Amherst’s queries shows how far the process of Hindooizing had advanced among the European officials of the Company. Lord Amherst left India in March, 1828. See ante. Chapter 4 and Chapter 8, for cases of sati (suttees). For a good account of the suttee discussions and legislation, see D. Boulger, Lord William Bentinck (1897), chap. v, in ‘Rulers of India’ Series. No other biography of Lord William Bentinck exists.
6. Dhamoni is in the Sagar district of the Central Provinces, about twenty-nine miles north of Sagar. The fort was taken by General Marshall in 1818. It had been rebuilt by Raja Birsingh Deo of Orchha on an enormous scale about the end of the sixteenth century. In the original edition, the author’s march is said to have taken place ’on the 24th’. This must be a mistake for ‘on the 4th’; as the last date, that of the march to Bahrol, was the 3rd December. The author reached Agra on January 1, 1836,
7. The number fifty-two is one of the Hindoo favourite numbers, like seven, twelve, and eighty-four, held sacred for astronomical or astrological reasons. Birsingh Deo was the younger brother of Ramchand, head of the Bundela clan. To oblige Prince Salim, afterwards the Emperor Jahangir, he murdered Abul Fazl, the celebrated minister and historian of Akbar, on August 12, 1602, Jahangir, after his accession, rewarded the murderer by allowing him to supersede his brother in the headship of his clan, and by appointing him to the rank of ‘commander of three thousand’. The capital of Birsingh was Orchha. His successors are often spoken of as Rajas of Tehri. The murder is fully described in The Emperor Akbar by Count von Noer, translated by A. S. Beveridge, Calcutta, 1890, vol. ii, pp. 384-404. Orchha is described post, Chapters 22,23.
Basaltic Cappings—Interview with a Native Chief—A Singular Character.
On the 5th we came to the village of Seori. Soon after leaving Dhamoni, we descended the northern face of the Vindhya range into the plains of Bundelkhand. The face of this range overlooking the valley of the Nerbudda to the south is, as I have before stated, a series of mural precipices, like so many rounded bastions, the slight dip of the strata being to the north. The northern face towards Bundelkhand, on the contrary, here descends gradually, as the strata dip slightly towards the north, and we pass down gently over their back. The strata have, however, been a good deal broken, and the road was so rugged that two of our carts broke down in descending. From the descent over the northern face of the tableland into Bundelkhand to the descent over the southern face into the valley of the Nerbudda must be a distance of one hundred miles directly north and south.