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to bring the prices of the thirteenth century to a level with those of the present day. Combining the two, and setting the comparative dearness of cloth against the cheapness of fuel and many other articles, we may perhaps consider any given sum under Henry 3rd and Edward 1st, as equivalent in general command over commodities to about twenty-four or twenty-five times that nominal value at present. Under Henry 6th, the coin had lost onethird of its weight in silver, which caused a proportional increase of money prices; but, so far as I can perceive, there had been no diminution in the value of that metal. We have not much information as to the fertility of the mines which supplied Europe during the middle ages; but it is probable that the drain of silver towards the East, joined to the ostentatious splendor of courts, might fully absorb the usual produce. By the statute of 15 Hen. 6th, c. 2, the price up to which wheat might be crported is fixed at 6s. 8d., a point no doubt above the average; and the private documents of that period, which are sufficiently numerous, lead to a similar result. Sixteen will be a fair multiple, when we would bring the general value of money in this reign to our present standard. But after ascertaining the proportional values of money at different periods by a comparison of the prices in several of the chief articles of expenditure, which is the only fair process, we shall sometimes be surprised at incidental facts of this class which seem irreducible to any rule.
These difficulties arise not so much from the relative scarcity of particular commodities, which it is for the most part easy to explain, as from the change in manmers and in the usual mode of living. We have reached in this age so high a pitch of luxury, that we can hardly believe or comprehend the frugality of ancient times; and have in general formed mistaken notions as to the habits of expenditure which then prevailed. Accustomed to judge of feudal and chivalrous ages by works of fiction, or by historians who embellish their writings with accounts of occasional festivals and tournaments, and sometimes inattentive enough to transfer the manners of the seventeenth to the fourteenth century, we are not at all aware of the usual simplicity with which the gentry lived under Edward 1st, or even Henry 6th. They drank little wine; they had no foreign luxuries; they rarely or never kept male servants, except for husbandry; their horses, as we may guess by the price, were indifferent; they seldom travelled beyond their county. And even their hospitality must have been greatly limited, if the value of manors were really no greater than we find it in many surveys, Twenty-four seems a sufficient ão when we would raise a sum mentioned by a writer under Edward 1st, to the same real value expressed in our present money, but an income of 10!. or 20l. was reckoned a competent estate for a gentleman; at least the lord of a single manor would seldom have enjoyed more. A knight who possessed 150l. per
annum passed for extremely rich. Yet
Yet this was not equal in command over commodities to 4,000l. at present. But this income was comparatively free from taxation, and its expenditure lightened . the services of his villeins. Suc a person, however, must have been among the most opulent of country gentlemen. §. John Fortescue speaks of five pounds a year as “a fair living for a yeoman,” a class of whom he is not at all inclined to diminish the imtoo. So when sir William rury, one of the richest men in Suffolk, bequeaths, in 1493, fifty marks to each of his daughters, we must not imagine that this was of greater value than four or five hundred pounds at this day; but remark the family pride, and want of ready money, which induced country gentlemen to leave their ounger children in poverty. Or, if we read that the expense of a scholar at the university in 1514 was but five pounds annually, we should err in supposing that he had the liberal accommodation which the present age deems indispensable, but consider how much could be afforded for about sixty pounds, which will be not far from the proportion. And what would a modern lawyer say to the following entry in the churchwarden’s accounts of St. Margaret, Westminster, for 1476?–" Also paid to Roger Fylpott, learned in the law, for his counsel giving, 3s. 8d. with four-pence for his dinner.”— Though fifteen times the fee might not seem altogether inadequate at present, five shillings would hardly furnish the table of a barrister, even if the fastidiousmess of our manners would admit
of his accepting such a dole. But this fastidiousness, which considers certain kinds of remuneration degrading to a man of liberal condition, did not prevail in those simple ages. It would seem rather strange, that a young lady should learn needle-work and good-breeding in a family of superior rank, paying for her board; yet such was the laudable custom of the fifteenth and even sixteenth centuries, as we perceive by the Paston Letters, and later
authorities. There is one very unpleasing remark which every one who attends to the subject of prices will be induced to make, that the labouring classes, especially those engaged in agriculture, were better provided with the means of subsistence in the reign of Ed., ward 3rd, or of Henry 6th, than they are at present. In the fourteenth century, sir John Cullum observes, a harvest-man had fourence a day, which enabled him in a week to buy a comb of wheat; but to buy a comb of wheat, a man must now (1784), work ten or twelve days. So, under Henry 6th, if meat was at a farthing and half the pound, which I suppose was about the truth, a labourer earning three-pence a day, or eighteen-pence in the week, could buy a bushel of wheat, at six shillings the quarter, and twenty-four pounds of meat for his . A labourer at present, earning twelve shillings a week, can only buy half a bushel of wheat, at eighty shillings the quarter, and twelve pounds of meat at seven-pence. Several acts of parliament regulate the wages that might be paid to labourers of different kinds. Thus Thus the statute of labourers in 1350, fixes the wages of reapers during harvest at three-pence a day without diet, equal to five shillings at present; that of 23 H.6th, c. 12, in 1444, fixes the reapers' wages at five-pence, and those of common workmen in building at 3:#d. equal to 6s. 8d. and 4s. 8d.; that of 11 H. 7th, c. 22, in 1496, leaves the wages of labourers in harvest as before, but rather increases those of ordinary workmen. The yearly wages of a chief hind or shepherd by the act of 1444 were, 11.4s. equivalent to about 20l. ; those of a common servant in husbandry, 18s. 4d. with meat and drink; they were somewhat augmented by the statute of 1496. Yet, although these wages are regulated, as a maximum, by acts of parliament, which may naturally be supposed to have had a view rather towards diminishing than enhancing the current rate, I am not fully convinced that they were not rather beyond it; private accounts at least do not always correspond with these statutable prices. And it is necessary to remember, that
the uncertainty of employment,
natural to so imperfect a state of husbandry, must have diminished the labourer's means of subsistence. Extreme dearth, not more owing to adverse seasons than to improvident consumption, was o endured. But after every allowance of this kind, I should find it difficult to resist the conclusion, that however the labourer has derived benefit from the cheapness of manufactured commodities, and from many inventions of common utility, he is much inferior in ability to support.
a family, to his ancestors three or four centuries ago. I know not why some have supposed, that meat was a luxury seldom obtained by the labourer. Doubtless he could not have procured as much as he pleased; but from the greater cheapness of cattle, as compared with corn, it seems to follow, that a more considerable portion of his ordinary diet consisted of animal food than at present. It was remarked by sir John Fortescue, that the English lived far more upon an animal diet than their rivals the French ; and it was natural to ascribe their superior strength and courage to this cause. I should feel much satisfaction in being convinced, that no deterioration in the state of the labouring classes has really taken place; yet it cannot, I think, appear extraordinary to those who reflect, that the whole population of England, in the year 1377, did not much exceed 2,300,000 souls, about one-fifth of the results upon the last numeration, an increase with which that of the fruits of the earth cannot be supposed to have kept an even pace.
ORIGIN OF THE PIND ARIES.
(By an Officer in the Service of the East-India Company.)
The name of Pindarie may be found in Indian history as early as the commencement of the last century; several bands of these freebooters followed the Mahratta armies in their early wars in Hindostan, and they are mentioned by Ferishta as having fought against Zoolfeccar Koo.
and the other generals of Aurengzebe. One of their first and most distinguished leaders was a person named Ponapah, who ravaged the Carnatic and took Vellore early in the reign of Sahooiee. This chief is said to have een succeeded by Chingody and Hool Sewar, who commanded fifteen thousand horse at the battle of Paniput, and under whom the Pindarie system would seem to have assumed a more regular form. They were divided into durrahs, or tribes, commanded by sirdars or chiefs; people of every country, and of every religion, were indiscriminately enrolled in this heterogeneous community, and a horse and sword were deemed sufficient qualifications for admission. A common interest kept them united; the chiefs acquired wealth and renown in the Mahratta wars, they seized upon lands which they were afterwards tacitly permitted to retain, and transmitted with their estates, the services of their adherents to their descendants. Heeroo and Burran are subsequently mentioned as leaders of the Pindaries; and in order to distinguish the followers of Tuckojee Holkar from those of Madajee Scindiah, they were henceforward denominated the Scindiah Shahee, and the Holkar Shahee. Dost Mohummud and Ryan Khan, the sons of Heroo are still powerful chiefs; but in an association which is daily augmented by the admittance of strangers, it is natural to suppose that influence will not be confined to hereditary claims, and that men of superior genius and enterprise will ultimately rise to the Vol. LXI.
chief command. This is accordingly found to be the case, and Seetoo, who is now the most powerful of all the Pindarie leaders, was a few years ago a person of no consideration. It is only of late, that these banditti have become really formidable, and they may now be looked upon as an independent power, which if properly united, under an able commander, would prove the most dangerous enemy that could arise to disturb the peace and prosperity of India. The climate and hardy habits of these plunderers render tents or baggage an unnecessary incumbrance; each person carries a few days provisions for himself and for his horse, and they march for weeks together, at the rate of thirty and forty miles a day, over roads and countries impassable for a regular army. They exhibit a striking resemblance to the Cossacks, as well in their customs as in the activity of their movements. Their arms are the same, being a lance and a sword, which they use with admirable dexterity; their horses, like those of the Cossacks, are small, but extremely active; and they pillage, without distinction, friends as well as foes. They move in bodies seldom exceeding two or three thousand men, and hold a direct undeviating course until they reach their destination, when they at once divide into small parties, that they may with more facility plunder the country, and carry of a larger quantity of booty; destroying, at the same time, what they cannot remove. They are frequently guilty of the most inhuman barbarities, and 2 K their their progress is generally marked by the smoaking ruins of villages, the shrieks of women, and the groans of their mutilated husbands. At times they wallow in abundance, while at others they cannot procure the common necessaries of life; and their horses, which are trained to undergo the same privations as their masters, often receive a stimulus of opium when impelled to uncommon exertion. Night and the middle of the day are dedicated to repose; and recent experience has shown us that they may be surprised with effect at such hours. Fighting is not their object, they have seldom been known to resist the attack even of an inferior enemy; if pursued, they make marches of extraordinary length, and if they should happen to be overtaken, they disperse, and re-assemble at an appointed rendezvous; or if followed into their country, they immediately retire to their respective homes. Their wealth and their families are scattered over that mountainous tract of country which borders the Nerbudda to the north. They find F.". either in castles beonging to themselves, or from those powers with whom they are either openly or secretly connected. They can scarcely be said to present any point of attack, and the defeat or destruction of any particular chief, would only effect the ruin of an individual, without removing the evil of a system equally inveterate in its nature, and extensive in its influence. The most powerful of the Pindarie chiefs are Kurreem Khan, Cheetoo (or Seetoo, as he is often
called) and Dost Mohummud, There are however, several subordinate chiefs, who are the commanders of dhurras, or tribes, and acknowledge a tacit obedi. ence to one or other of the three
great leaders before mentioned. Kurreem Khan is descended from an ancient Mahomedan family; his early No. was spent in the service of Holkar, which he subsequently quitted for that of Dowlut Row Scindiah ; his character and enterprising spirit soon increased the number of his adherents, he enlarged his possessions, partly by grants from Scindiah, and partly by usurpations from the rajah of Berar and nabob of Bhopaul, whose dominions he alternately invaded and ravaged. He possessed himself of several fortresses, and, at the termination of the Mahratta war, his power was such as to excite the fears and jealousy of Scindiah, who caused him to be treacherously seized and confined at Gwalior. Here he lingered some years in prison; after which, having obtained his release by the payment of a ransom, he resumed his former habits, returned amongst his companions, and, in a short time, became as powerful as he had been before. Scindiah, unable to crush him by open force, had once more recourse to treachery, and taking advantage of a quarrel between Kurreem and Seetoo, assisted the latter, who, having overthrown Kurreem in a pitched battle, compelled him to fly for refuge to Ameer Khan, who made him over to Toolsa Bhye, the widow regent of the Holkar family. Kurreem has since so or rather been o liberated,