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GLADWIN AND THE ORIGIN OF THE FAMOUS
The famous Calcutta Gazette owed its origin to the initiative of Francis Gladwin to whom we have referred already The first number was issued on the 4th March 1784. Though Gladwin was then a Senior Covenanted Civilian, the official department of the paper was kept quite distinct from the editorial, and the Government was in no way connected or identified with the management or politics of the paper, but only used it as a medium for making known general orders, requisitions and official notices of all sorts. The paper was never regarded by the Government as their official organ, and though conducted by one of their Civil Servants, they took particular care to check any excesses on his part in his editorial capacity. Thus on roth February 1785, an announcement appeared in the editorial column of the Calcutta Gazette saying that the Honourable Governor-General and Council had expressed their entire disapprobation of some extracts from English papers which appeared in the editorial part of the paper on 30th September 1748. TO THE HON'BLE WARREN HASTINGS, ESQR., GOVERNOR
GENERAL AND ETC. MEMBERS OF COUNCIL. HON'BLE SIR AND SIRS,—I humbly presume that to establish an Authorised Gazette, under the immediate Superintendence of a Covenanted Servant, who should be made responsible for it's Contents, would be a measure of public Utility, and as such not Unworthy of the attention of Government, besides being the Channel for Conveying the Proclamations and Orders of Government and Ordinary Articles of Intelligence, it might be made particularly Useful to the Junior part of the Company's Servants by the insertion of Extracts from the most approved Persian Authors; in the original Character with English Translations, and thus facilitate their Improvement in that Language, the study of which has been so frequently recommended to them by the Court of Directors.
If this plan is honored with your Approbation, I entreat Gentlemen, lyou will condescend to grant me the Sanction of your Authority for Printing such a Gazette and that you will direct the heads of the respective Departments of Government to make my Paper the exclusive Channel for the Publication of the Company's Orders. I ask no particular Indulgence but I flatter myself you will allow my Gazette to go by the public Dawk at half postage being the rate established at the Post Office for other News Papers.
I am, etc.,
(Sd.) FRAS. GLADWIN. FORT WILLIAM, the 2nd February 1784.
Public Con., 9th February 1784, No. 20. Agreed that Mr. Gladwin be authorized to publish a Gazette under the sanction of this Board and that the Heads of offices be directed to issue all such Advertisements or Publications as may be ordered on the Part of the Company, thro' the Channel of his paper.
Letter from Mr. Gladwin, 2nd FebruaryAgreed to in the terms of his application. Reve. Dept.
W. WEBBER, 6th Febry. 1784.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FIRST CENSORSHIP
ON THE BENGAL PRESS.
in consequence of the number of improper paragraphs which had appeared in the newspapers, the Government of Lord Wellesley established censorship on the Bengal Press and published the following regulations for their strict compliance :
1. Every printer of a newspaper to print his name at the bottom of the paper.
2. Every editor and proprietor of a paper to deliver in his name and place of abode to the Secretary to Government.
3. No paper to be published on Sunday.
4. No paper to be published at all until it have been previously inspected by the Secretary to the Government, or by a person authorised by him for that purpose.
5. The penalty for offending against any of the above regulations to be immediate embarkation for Europe.
These regulations were communicated to the proprietors and editors of the then existing newspapers who severally addressed the Government the following correspondence, promising strict compliance there. with. These regulations were extended to other papers as they started. For the guidance of the Secretary to Government in his inspection of the newspapers, Lord Wellesley prescribed the following rules :
1. To prevent the publication of all observations on the state of public credit, or the revenues, or the finances of the Company.
2. All observations respecting the embarkation of troops, stores or specie, or respecting any Naval or Military preparations whatever.
3. All intelligence respecting the destination of any ships, or the expectation of any whether belonging to the Company or to individuals.
4. All observations with respect to the conduct of Government, or any of its officers, Civil or Military, Marine, Commercial or Judicial.
5. All private scandals or libels on individuals.
6. All statements with regard to the probability of war or peace between the Company and any of the native powers.
7. All observations tending to convey information to an enemy or to excite alarm or commotion within the Company's Territories.
8. The republication of such passages from the European newspapers as may tend to affect the influence and credit of the British Power with the Native states.
Some of these rules were only applicable to a state of war and were not uniformly or rigidly enforced in
times of peace.
TO G. H. BARLOW, ESQ., SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT,
SIR,—In answer to your letter just received I have to inform you that I am the proprietor of the Bengal Hercarrah,
at present, generally conduct it myself. The Printer Mr. Urquhart has always affixed his name to the bottom of
As the paper ought to be circulated in Calcutta early to-morrow morning, the failure of which would disappoint the subscribers, I shall be glad to be informed to whom and where it is to be sent for inspection.
(Sd.) B. HUNTER.
CALCUTTA, 13th May 1799.
G. H. BARLOW, Esq., Secretary to the Government.
SIR,--In obedience to the orders of the Vice-President in Council, we beg leave to inform you, that we the undersigned are the Proprietors, Editors, (Mr. Bush, the late Editor, having relinquished the management of the Paper) and Printers of the Calcutta Morning Post, which Paper is printed and published under the Firm of Ferris and Company ;-and that we have been regularly brought up to the Art of Printing, by which profession we earn our livelihood, and consider it as a duty incumbent in us to comply in every respect to the Regulations of Government.
Archibald Thomson and Paul Ferris at present reside in the office, No. 1, Old Court House Street; Samuel Greenway in Mangoe Lane.
We have the Honor to be,
G. H. BARLOW, Esq., Secretary to the Government.
SIR, -We have been honoured with your Letter of the 13th Instant in answer to which we beg leave to acquaint you for the information of the Honourable the Vice-President in Council that his Orders which were contained in it shall be most respectfully obeyed.
Conformably to the Orders above alluded to, we request to inform you, that we have no Editor to the Calcutta Courier, but are ourselves the sole Proprietors, Managers, and Printers of the same ;—and that we have transferred the Day of our publication, from Sunday to Friday.
No. 3 Meeru Jauney Gully,
GH. BARLOW, Esq., Secretary to the Government.
SIR, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant, and shall strictly conform myself to the several regulations and orders therein contained.