BENGAL AND INDIA SECRET LETTERS
BENGAL AND INDIA SECRET LETTERS, also known as Letters received from India and Bengal or merely Secret Letters to the Secret Committee, preserved at the India Office Library, London. This correspondence is arranged in two series: the first covers the period 1778-1859 and the second 1817-1857. Relevant Enclosures to Secret Letters on the events and matters of India policy, from 1778 to 1859, are huge in bulk over 20,000 bound volumes. Some of these Secret Letters have been printed in the Blue Books, presented to British Parliament, viz.
Shah Zaman`s apprehended invasion of India1806XV (11); Afghanistan 1839XI, XXV (30); Sind 1843 XXXIV; and the Sikh Wars1846, XXI.The letters of 1804 throw light on the transactions of Lake and Ochterlony in the cis Sutlej region, and those of 1805 on Holkar`s intrusion into the Punjab. As the British interest increased in the affairs of the Sikhs, the Secret Letters became more detailed, especially about Shah Zaman`s invasion of the Punjab and the first British mission to the Sikh court (1798); the Metcaife Mission to Lahore (1808); the imagined Sikh Maratha intrigues (1810); and the warlike preparations of Ranjit Singh.The Enclosures to this correspondence include important documents such as Metcalfe`s Minute on the British policy towards the Sikh Sc india tangle (1830); Trevelyan`s report on the Indus Navigation Scheme (1831), and the Ropar meeting between Lord William Bentinck and Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1831).
Secret Letters of later period deal with Auckland`s policy towards Afghanistan and the Sikhs (1838), Punjab affairs and the Sikh cooperation during the first Anglo Afghan war (1841-42). A number of letters written during the years 1842-44 describe the uncertain political state in Lahore.Events leading to the Anglo Sikh war of 1845-46, and the details of military operations at Mudki, Baddoval, `Aliwal and Sabhraon are given (1846). They also give an account of Lal Singh`s administration and the rebellion in Kashmir which led to the treaty of Bharoval. A full account of the uprisings at Multan and Hazara and particulars of the military operations against Multan, besides the actions at Chelianvala and Gujrat are also provided (1848 and 1849).