Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cleland, Portuguese Secretary, Overseer of the OarIn 1736to1707-in the service of the East India Company Bombay

John Cleland, 1707-1787,

Portuguese Secretary, Overseer of the Oarts,
Collector of the Pension,
arrived in India October 1st, 1729.
— Forrest's Selections, He is said by Allibone to have been the son of Colonel Cleland, i.e., Will Honeycomb of the Spectator's Club.

From records in the Bombay Gazetteer, I find that on October 4th, 1734, John Cleland was required to take the oath of fidelity to the East India Company. Bombay Consultation of November 1st, 1735, has the following : — " The correspondence with the country Governments growing very large and proving a great trouble to the President, and the present Secretary lor the Portuguese affairs being infirm, a proper person is wanted for this branch.

— Mr. John Cleland being well versed in the Portuguese language and other- wise well qualified for the post is accordingly placed iu that office."

In 1736 he was in the service of the East India Company at Bombay, He left Bombay in a destitute condition, some- what hurriedly, and for unknown reasons connected with a quarrel he had with members of Council there.

For many years he wandered in obscurity over the cities of Europe. An infamous book was published in 17 — . It is said he received £10 for it, the publishers making £10,000 by the sale thereof.

For some service, secret or otherwise, he received from Lord Granville a pension of £100 a year. It is stated that " Grose's Travels," 1750-64, in two volumes, which deal mostly with the Bombay Presidency, were written out by him from notes received from Grose. It may interest the reader to learn that John Henry Grose, the Bombay Civilian, was a brother of the celebrated antiquarian Captain Francis Grose, immortalised by Burns.

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