1823 Fort William Bengal Major Arden 27th Regiment Sir James Hogg

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Order for Sir Frances Workman MacnaghtenJudge and Sheriff of the Town of Calcutta at Fort William in Bengal, to locate any next of kin of the recently deceased Major Samuel Arden of the Honorable East India's First Battalion Twenty Seventh Regiment Native Infantry.

Also signed by the future Chairman of the East India Company Sir James Hogg.

Fort William is a fort in Hastings, Calcutta (Kolkata). It was built during the early years of the British occupation of Bengal. It sits on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly, the major distributary of the River Ganges.

George the Fourth….TO THE SHERRIF for the Town of Calcutta at Fort William in Bengal, and the Districts thereof…we do require and Command you, that you o peremptorily cite, or cause to be cited, the lawful next of kin of
Major Samuel Arden (1) late of First Battalion Twenty Seventh Regiment Native Infantry deceased
To appear before our Justices of our Supreme Court of Judicature , at Fort William in Bengal, at the Townhall of Calcutta, at Fort William…and place our Judicature there on Friday next the Twenty Sixth Day of September instant….

Witness Sir Frances Workman Macnaghten (2) Knight Senior Justice at Fort William the twenty second Day of September in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty three and in the fourth Year of our Reign
JWHogg (3)  Registrar

At the instance of James Weir Hogg Esquire the Registrar of the Supreme Court

Received 22 Sept 1823 Sheriff’s Office


Nice large red seal "Honni soit qui mal y pense"

On the back text to the Justices, certifying no next of kin found within the Districts or Countries of Bengal Behar and Orissa of the Province or District of Benares or in any of the Factories, Districts and Places which now are annexed to and made subject to the Presidency of Fort William....26th day of September 1823    F W  Macnaghten Sheriff

Vertical folds. Toning top edge.

22 x 38 cm 


(1) Samuel Arden was born around 1782 in Staffordshire, England, the son of Margaret Elizabeth Arden and John Arden. He was of the H.E.I. Co.'s 27th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry. He married Jane Hannah Franklyn in 1812 at Westbury on Trym, Gloucestershire, England and had 5 children with her.

Arden's 10-year period was roughly coterminous with a dramatic era in British Indian history. It was then that Hastings, Governor of the East India Company territories from 1813 to 1823, finally established British control in India. Hastings' problem concerned the directors of the East India Company in London who were interested in profits, not territory or wars. The chaotic conditions in India caused by the dissolution of the unified Mongul Empire early in the 18th century, however, required a peace imposed by war if trade was to survive. Clive, a junior clerk in the East India Company, had discovered that fact in the middle of the 18th century, when he prevented the French from backing local princes who almost succeeded in thrusting the British from India. So did Hastings and, earlier, Wellesley, who held the governor's post from 1798 to 1807. Each of these men had expanded the Company's territories from isolated factory locations to a vast area of India.

It remained for Hastings to complete the job in 1814-1816. He defeated the Gurkhas who had led plundering raids into British territory from their homes in Nepal. He then defeated the Pindau robber bands in 1818, using a force of 20, 000 men and 300 guns - the largest force assembled by the British up to that date. Finally, he broke the power of the Maratha States in the final Maratha War (1817-1819) and brought Rajput and other states within the pole of British protection. 

It is reasonable to assume that Major Samuel Arden of the 27th Bengal Regiment participated in some, or all, of these events, during the decade of Hastings' governorship which led to British control of India.

(2) The Workman-Macnaghten, later Macnaghten Baronetcy, of Bushmills House in the County of Antrim, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 16 July 1836 for Francis Workman-Macnaghten, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Madras between 1809 and 1815 and of Calcutta between 1815 and 1825. Born Francis Macnaghten, he assumed the additional surname of Workman in 1809.

(3) Sir James Weir Hogg, 1st Baronet (1790 – 1876) was an Irish-born businessman, lawyer and politician and Chairman of the East India Company.

He was called to the Bar and proceeded to India in 1814, where he obtained a large and lucrative practice. In 1822 he accepted the appointment of Registrar of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Calcutta, which he held until his return to England in 1833. In 1839 he was elected a Director of the East India Company.

He was elected MP for Beverley in 1834, and represented Honiton from 1847 to 1857,...

Hogg was twice Chairman of the East India Company, and in 1858 when the government of India was transferred to The Crown he was elected member of the Council of India, until his resignation in 1872, aged eighty two.

He was created a Baronet, of Upper Grosvenor Street in the County of London, in 1846, and was offered the posts of Judge Advocate General (United Kingdom) and the Governorship of Bombay, both of which he refused. Hogg had made himself extremely wealthy.