Grant of the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company by the Great Mughal Shah Alam (1765)

Introduction: After Robert Clive had conquered Bengal in 1757, imposing a Nawab (governor) of his choice, the Great Mughal offered him the Diwani (civil administration) of the province. Clive originally wanted to accept this only on behalf of the Crown and not on behalf of the East India Company (see his letter to William Pitt), but Pitt feared that King George III would use the revenue of Bengal so as to bypass Parliament on whose grants he depended. Pitt urged Clive to accept the Diwani on behalf of the Company. This was confirmed by the decree (Firman) of Shah Alam.
(see also AHOI, Ch.5, section: Robert Clive and the Diwani of Bengal)

At this happy time our royal Firman , indispensably requiring obedience, is issued, .... we have granted (the English company) the Diwani of the provinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa.... as a free gift and ... without the association of any other person, and with an exemption from the payment of the customs of the Diwani, which used to be paid to the Court. It is requisite that the said Company engage to be security for the sum of twenty-six lakhs of rupees a year for our royal revenue ......... as the said company are obliged to keep up a large army for the protection of the provinces of Bengal etc. we have granted to them whatever may remain out of the revenue of the said provinces after remitting the sum of twenty.six lakhs of rupees to the royal Circar, and providing for the expenses of the Nizamat. It is requisite that our royal descendants, the Viziers... Omrahs.... Muttaseddees.... using their constant endeavours for the establishment of this our royal command, leave the said office in possession of the said Company from generation to generation, for ever and ever........

(A.B.Keith (ed.), Speeches and Documents on Indian Policy 1750-1921 (London 1922), Vol. I, p. 20 f.)


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