Page images

Incal jurisdiction extended over the whole Collectorship of Colombo, excepling the lands of Chilaw, and the lands within the gravets or limits, which as nas been before mentioned, belonged to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice,

In the year 1770, the Government of Ceylon auihorized the Landraad to not only on contests' relative to lanıl, but on all disputes of civil cog: nizance arising among the natives under its jurisilicuon.


On this arrangement the Regulation for the Landraads framed by the late Governor Van de Graaf was ratified by Gorerument and issued in the year 1789. The Supreme Gorernment of Batavia disapproved this Regulation, and directrd that the Landraad should be limited to the deteriniuation of those matters only for which it had originally been instituted.

The correspondence between Ceylon and Batavia, each Government adhering to its uwn opinion, vas carried to a great length, and in the meantime the Rrguiation of M. Vau de Graaf had been introduced, and was observed big all the Landraads, it being found by experience to be well adapted to the circum. gtances of the vatives, and ibe decisiou of their cuptests.

All sequestrations decided by the Court of Justice on Lands lying beyond the gravels, were executed by the Landraads, and proprietors of lands not at liberty to dispose of their estates without a certificate from the Land: raads slating that no impediment existed to prevent the alieuation.



[ocr errors]

At Jaffnapatam the Judicial establishments were formed on the same model as those at Colombo, and consisted of " The Court of Justice," the “ Court of Matrimouial and petty causes," and the “Lundraads,”

First. The Court of Justice" was composed of a President, eight Members and a Secretary. The (ominandunt was the Pernianent President. The Members consisted of the Dessave or Collector, the Commandant of the Troops, tho. Administrutor, the Secretary to the Council of Government, one Military Officer, and three of the Company's Book-keepers, in addition to wbich persons, the Fiscal in all civil cases was entitled to a rote.

The jurisdiction of this Court in criminal cases extended over the district of Jutfoa including the country called the Wanny (or more properly the Vahva) from its being covered with wood, and Manuar.

In civil cases its jurisdiction was limited to the town and fort of Jaffua patam and a small part of the couptry known by the name of the Fiscal's Church Disirici.

The sentences of this Court were final in all civil cases nut exceeding in value the sum of 300 Rix-dollars, in cases beyond that amount an appeal lay to the Court of Justice at Colombo.

In Criminal cases its sentences could not be executed without the ratifica.

[ocr errors]

tion of the Government of Ceylon, in the same manner os hes been men. tioned under the urticle of Colombo, but shenever an appeal was directed, it Jay in the Court of Justice at Colon bo, and not as in the latter settlement 10 the Court of Bataria.

Here also “ Parata Executio"' required the fint of the Fiscal, previous 10 its being carried into effect.

Second. The Court of Matrimonial and pelly causes" was composed of a Preident and six members.

The Administrator was President. Four of the members were Burgbers of Jafina, and the other two were Company's Serrants.


The Chief Officer of the Burghers was alunys the Fice President.
The Secretary of the Landraad officiated also as Secretary to this Court.
Its local jurisdiction in ciril

was similar ta that of the Supreme Council at Jafna, which was ljonited to the amount of 120 Rix.dollars, and ad appeal lay from the sentences of this Court to the Court of Justice at Jafva.

3rdly. The lundraad" was composed of the Dessare or Collector, who was President, the members were selected from the japior Merclavis and Book-keepers of the Company, and some of the Native Malabar Chiefs together with a Secretary

Its jurisdictioa within the Distriot of Jaffna ras similar in erery respect to that of the Landrand of Colombo, subject to an appeal to the Court of Justice al Jaffna, provided the permission of the Comwandant of that place was previously obtained.


At Galle the same arrangement of ihe Tribunals prevailed.

First. The court of Justice was composed of a presideni, ciglit Dien.bers and. a secretary : Of these the Conimandanı nas permanent, president, the Admi. nistratur, the Commandant of the troops, the Master Attendant, ibe Book-keeper of payments, the Chief Ware-house keeper, ilse head Surgeon and a Company's book-keeper, composed the rest of the Court. The Fiscal in civil cases pos. sessed a vote.

The jurisdiction of this Court in criminal cases extended over the District of Galle and the Dessavonie or Collectorship of Matura, and was exercised precisely as at Jaffvepalan.

In civil cases, after the alteration in the functions of the Lardraads which has been before nientioned, the jurisdiction of the Court of justice was limited Lo the town of Galle and its immediate environs; it decided cases of the Rame amount and subject to the same appellate jurisdiction as the Court of Jaffnapatam.

Secondly. The Court for Matrimonial and petty causce” was composed of a pre.

sident and four members; the Administrator was President, the Captain of the Burghiers Vice. I'resident, the ofile nouluis Were Eurghers, and one A Comp.zor's servant. Its jurisdiction was limited to causes 101 exceeding 01.6 bundred Riadellars with an appeal therefrom to the Court of justice.

Thirdly. Th« Laudicad was composed of the Superintendent of the Gallo (orle (or ist division,) l'resident the Rowd-keeper of paymenis, Vice President, the 'l vmbo keepier, certain of the Company's bock-keepers, the Modliars of Gulle, and of the ( oiles or Districts, together with two Dvhandirams of the body guard and the Secretary: whenever the chief of ihe Mababadde (or (ba, lias) happened " be at Galle, he also had a seat and voice iu ibis Courta Dext lo tbe President.

The jurisdiction of the Court extended orer the whole District of Gallo and that part of the l'allarilli Corle which belongs to Galle, with an apo peal from its seuleuces to the Court of justice, in the same cases, and will the sanię resuictious, as frupi ibo Lapdraud at Juifua,


The inbabitants of a hilar being entirely Cingalese, there was at that tona a Laudraad only; it cousisted of the Chief, as President, the principal na tive chiefs of the several departicuis iuto which Chilaw is divided; the Socretary of Government at a hilaw was Secretary of ihe Laudraud alsu. AD appeal from its decrees luy to ibe ( ourt of justice at Colowabu; provided permissivu wąs obiained from the Guverner,


At this place was held a Lundraed, for the determination of all civil suits arising iu the Nanny or Vuhuu country. It was composed of the Chief of the Wanny counuy, us President, the con mandant of the troops, three Civil Servants of Moeletivoe, the Company's resideuls at the ouier statious of this District aud the Nodelians of the difierent provinces. The Secretary of Go.

at Moeletivoe was also Secretary of this Court.



On similar principles the Landraad at Mannaar was formed. The chief was President, the commandant of the troops, three Civil Servants, and the Chiefs of the natives were inembers; logether with the Secretary of Govern. mouc of Mannaar, who was also Secretary of this Couri.

From tach of the Lundruads of Nocletivoe and Maunaar, an appeal was allowed to the Court of justice at Jatinapataw, but the permission of the res. pective commandeurs at each station was necessary w ils allowance.


At this place there were two judicial establishments, a Landsvergadering and i Landraad.

First. The Landsvergadering" or “ Assembly of the fountry," was composed of the Chief of Batticaloe President. The Conmondant of the Troops, iho Commercial Book-keeper, the Acting Secretary of the poinciple Native Chirss : , This Court determined all contests arising between the inhabitants of the provinces, belonging to Batticaloe and exercised revulative poser over be agricoltore, taxes, and onilli services, that is tax in lica of personal serice). the resolution of this assembly were transmitted for approval or reversal 10 the Gurernident of Ceylon.

Sccunilly. The Lundraad," consisted of the same President, and other * European Members, as the Landsvergedering, together with the Surgeon and Company's Presidents at the outer stations.

This was a Court of Civil Jurisdiction over the inhabitants of Batticaloe oaly. An appeal herefrom lay to the Huffran Justice, at Colombo, the permission of the Goveruor having been first oblained.


: At Calpentyn, during the last ten years, the Chief alone acted as Judges

in all civil cases.


At Pullam a Landraad was established, consisting of the Chief as Presidening the Wavnias and the Chief of the Musselinaus, an assistant a servant of the Company's was Secretary, an appeal from hence lay to Court of Justice at Columbo, the permission of the Governor having been previously obtained.





Epping. Bungalow, June 201h, 1841.

My Dear Cousix,-Since my last from this we've seen and done little or nothing, for what with the beary rains and getting to rights a bit we've had quite enough to do iu doors. Talk wf rains indeed, I only wish some of you in okl England could get a sight and a taste of one of the tropical showers. You'd think you bud got the New River o: the City canal dying about your ears, and no mistake,

li doesn't seem to require any very extensive knowledge of architecture or engineering to proct the temporary Bungalow of a Coffee 'Planter, and yet Mr. Trunk has made a shocking mess of mive! Its architectural pro

[ocr errors]

portions are certainly of the Adam and Eve order, and consist of four une equal, crooked sides with a very unsightly roof, anu a door that will not be persuadert on any account to come near the door post. My walls were come posed of green branches of trees stuck a foot or two into the ground, with the twigs and leares lest on them to keep out some of the wind, the roof is merely grass laid on pretty thickls, and affords an excellent and commo. dious retreat for rats and snakes of all sorts. The floor is the pure soil of the isle, which being of a fine bright red gives a nice tinge to our wearing apparel, particularly during the heavy rains. My superintendent had huile or rather stuck the bungalow on the side of a hill which he bad levelled 'to a certain extent hút noi sufficiently to prerent every thing having a deciiled inclination to slide towards one end of our hut. The first few nights i found the door so sloping that I was continually gliding towards the botium part of the bed, and with my feet projecting beyond the bough-nalls into the rain.

Another evil was that although our being on the side of a hill prntected us from the wind, it at the same time caused us to be inundated by the mountain streams that came pouring doun from the top of the bill. One day I really thought we were all going to be washed away. It was raining like mad and the water on our mudfloor was rising erery minute. In my distress I called for Mr. Trunk, but he was not within bearing: then I sent for som coolies and they fould not stir out in the wet, so as

there was no time to lose I had to off coat and shoes and with spade and pickase cut a channel for the water, by which means the deluge was turned of. I used to think, and I dare say so used you, consin, that ap indian jangle life, a sort of Paal and Virginia existence, was a most delightful and beau. tiful thing. And so perhaps, it is, with two young persons making love, like the above individuals, but when it comes down to a mere wife and iso very small children, the thing is altered altogether and it won't do.

What nonsense it is for those chaps on the stage to pretend to be so happy when acting an indian character, with their bear-skin jackets avd oh-no-te nerer-mention-ems, their fowling pieces aud their clay houses. They appear to be so comfortable and snug, and sing such a lot of songs : but its all humbug! A week out here in the jungle would knock them all up. Cooper too, in his American norels, makes one believe that the Cherrykeys and the Snatches, with ibeir scalped beads, their tommy-banks and their portable

furniture, are the finest chaps in the world, and a great deal happier than .. the Lord Mayor of London with his glass coach and six, and his gold sword.

But how is it they make such a capital thing of a savage life, says you ? Why, says I, because they say nothing about beary showers of rain, having your curry and rice spoilt, or your bed wet, and never allude to such articles a6 squalling children and a fidgetty wife: there aipt any romance in their

« PreviousContinue »