‘The Perilous Territory of Not Belonging’: Exile and Empire in Sir James Mackintosh’s Letters from early nineteenth-century Bombay

‘The Perilous Territory of Not Belonging’: Exile and Empire in Sir James Mackintosh’s... Abstract This article examines the role of ‘exile’ in constructing the boundaries of belonging to metropolitan Britain in the early nineteenth century. In the context of mass mobility and displacement caused by imperial expansion and revolutionary wars, ‘exile’ took on new meanings that focused on the sadness, suffering and loss. This new discourse of ‘exile’ configured the nation state as the only viable site of belonging, emptying all other spaces of affective meaning. Although ‘exile’ usually refers to a state of forced displacement, many British imperial elites used ‘exile’ to represent their own situations in the colonies. Focusing on the letters and diaries of the British imperial judge and Whig politician, Sir James Mackintosh (1765–1832), written from Bombay between 1804 and 1811, this article argues that his use of ‘exile’ enabled him to effect an emotional and ontological separation between himself and Bombay’s cosmopolitan population. By referring to his residence in Bombay as a period of ‘exile’, Mackintosh emptied Bombay of any positive meaning and configured Britain as the only possible site of belonging and of ‘home.’ And just beyond the frontier between ‘us’ and the ‘outsiders’ is the perilous territory of not-belonging: this is to where in a primitive time peoples were banished, and where in the modern era immense aggregates of humanity loiter as refugees and displaced persons.1 Edward Said, 1984 In his essay, ‘Reflections on Exile’, first published in 1984, Edward Said defined the twentieth century, with its endless wars over resources and territory, as the age of ‘the refugee, the displaced person, mass immigration’.2 Although he acknowledged that ‘exile’ has a global history, stretching back to the earliest written records, the sheer volume of the displaced in his own times rendered ‘exile’ coterminous with modernity. For Said, ‘exile’, a condition of irreparable emotional loss, was inseparable from the violence and mass displacement engendered by European imperialism. Building on Said’s work, post-colonial and feminist scholars have long considered ‘exile’ a central concept with which to navigate questions of displacement, disorientation, hybrid belongings and identities that constitute the histories and legacies of racism and imperialism.3 In cultural and creative histories of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, for example, ‘exile’ evokes the unmaking of the subject through the void of the Middle Passage.4 In his seminal study of Black intellectual networks, Paul Gilroy noted that ‘exile’, as a middle space, has actually enabled Black scholars to navigate multiple and conflicting identities.5 In the art world, the imagery and insights borne of the experience of ‘exile’ are increasingly evident in galleries and exhibitions. For example, in the mixed-media panels entitled ‘Temporary Dwellings’ by Turkish artist Nil Yalter, ‘exile’ is evoked through the sense of absence created by the visual left-overs of what was once a presence.6 Yet despite the profound impact that post-colonial scholarship has had on the historiography of the British Empire, ‘exile’ has received surprisingly little attention by cultural historians of the British Empire. Rather, they have focused on the meaning of ‘home’ in the context of British imperial expansion and in relationship to new ideas of nationhood in the early nineteenth century. As Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose argue in their introduction to At Home with the British Empire, in nineteenth-century Britain the idea of ‘home’, as both domestic and nation space, enabled British imperial writers to feel assured that Empire was something ‘out there’, physically distinct and distant, even as they relied on imperial products to furnish the physical comfort of ‘home’.7 For British imperialists living in the colonies, the unhomeliness and unfamiliarity of Britain’s imperial domains and subject populations generated considerable anxiety.8 White and male-only clubs, and hill-station retreats, provided imperialists with sanctuary from the otherwise incomprehensible and overwhelming spectres of difference over which they were expected to rule.9 For many of these imperialists, it was often their inability to feel ‘at home’ in the colonies, expressed through their use of the term ‘exile’, that affirmed their belonging to Britain. This article examines the role of ‘exile’ in constructing the boundaries of belonging to metropolitan Britain in the early nineteenth century. It focuses on the use of the word ‘exile’ in the letters and diaries of the British imperial judge and Whig politician, Sir James Mackintosh (1765–1832), written from Bombay between 1804 and 1811. Although wealthier and of higher status than most, Mackintosh, like thousands of Britons from all socio-economic backgrounds, left the British Isles for financial reasons. Having borrowed extensively to fund his social climb from the ranks of the petty gentry in the Highlands of Scotland, to the upper echelons of Whig society in London, he was in large amounts of debt. In 1804, he and his family left London to take up his position as Recorder of the Court of Bombay.10 Based in what he referred to as ‘the most obscure corner of India’, Mackintosh represented his seven years in Bombay as a period of ‘exile’ from Britain as ‘home’.11 He was not alone amongst his contemporaries in using ‘exile’ to characterize his residence in the colonies. Sir James Douglas, Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, was a creole man, married to a woman of Irish, Cree and Canadian heritage, whose life geography spanned Demerara, Scotland and Canada: he referred to his ‘exile’ from England despite never having actually lived there.12 In a very different situation, Thomas Babington Macaulay represented his four years in Calcutta serving as member of the Governor-General’s Council as ‘exile’.13 The clergyman Murdoch Stewart’s sustained longing for the family left behind in Scotland, when he went to Cape Breton in Canada, is another instance of the feelings of ‘exile’ prevalent amongst a diverse, albeit all of relatively high status, body of imperial administrators.14 Few if any of these imperialists had genuinely been banished from their erstwhile ‘homes’, yet all used ‘exile’ as part of their claim to belong to Britain. In doing so, they contributed towards the configuration of what it meant to be British, and to the construction of the boundaries of belonging to the nation as ‘home’. In this article, I read Mackintosh’s letters and diaries not necessarily as accurate reflections of the reality of his day-to-day life in Bombay, but as performative acts through which Mackintosh constituted himself as a subject. In both form and content, Mackintosh’s letters configured his relationship to the elite, metropolitan social world that he had left behind; ‘exile’ played a key role in that process. The reiteration and recitation of himself as ‘in exile’ in Bombay enabled Mackintosh to retain his claims to belong to Britain as ‘home’, while simultaneously disavowing the socio-economic, racial and gendered exclusions upon which that belonging was based. Section One situates Mackintosh’s residency in Bombay in the context of British imperial expansion, and the changing nature of colonial rule, in early nineteenth-century India. His representation of himself ‘in exile’ in Bombay, however, drew on a much wider literary and political context, from the Classical tradition of writing from political banishment, to more recent reconfigurations of the meaning of ‘exile’ in the context of British imperial emigration, and the mass displacement generated by the French Revolution and subsequent wars. These contexts form the subject of the second section, which shows how Mackintosh’s use of ‘exile’ in his letters and diaries intersected with a wider discursive landscape that configured the meaning of self in relationship to space. The third section explores how ‘exile’ was a fundamental part of a process of imagining Britain as ‘home’, and of disavowing its embeddedness in global networks of exchange and exploitation. Drawing on racist stereotypes of Indian ‘degeneracy’, Mackintosh’s use of ‘exile’ enabled him to perform a proximity to metropolitan Britain, and to disassociate himself from Bombay’s multi-racial society. The final section explores the way that ‘exile’, as an emotional state overwhelmingly defined by a sense of sadness and emptiness, mapped on to, and reinforced, hierarchies of imperial space and colonized peoples. * * * The Mackintosh family, including Lady Catherine Mackintosh (née Allen, 1765–1830), James Mackintosh’s three daughters from his previous marriage to Catherine Stuart (1765–1797), and two daughters from his second marriage in 1797, sailed from the Isle of Wight on 14 February 1804. Three months later, in May, they arrived in the port town of Bombay, part of which had been reduced to ashes by a fire the year before.15 Bombay was the smallest and weakest of the three centres of East India Company rule on the Indian subcontinent; its population of approximately 200,000 was well under half that of Calcutta.16 At the turn of the nineteenth century Bombay’s economic viability and political survival was far from certain. Indeed, it was not until 1818, when the East India Company defeated the Peshwa Baji Rao II and annexed his dominions after the third Anglo-Maratha war (1817–18) that British rule in Western India, and thereby Bombay’s position as its administrative centre, was consolidated.17 Throughout its history, the East India Company merchants who held administrative power gained most of their wealth through trade, lending and partnerships with Indian businessmen, particularly the Parsis, who were, according to the travel writer, Maria Graham (1785–1848), ‘by far the richest individuals this side of India’.18 Parsis were Zoroastrians originating from Persia, with a considerable stake in the ship-building industry and in trading relations with China. They also owned much of the housing stock in Bombay, which they rented out to East India Company administrators.19 The Company’s financial and trade reliance on Bombay’s Parsis, as well as the Armenian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities, lent the city a more cosmopolitan character than either Calcutta or Madras.20 Bombay’s diversity was reflected in Mackintosh’s day-to-day interactions. Writing to Richard ‘Conversation’ Sharp (1759–1835), a wealthy merchant in London and a member of the social circle that revolved around Holland House, Mackintosh listed contacts and activities: I condemn a native of Ahmedabad to the pillory – I have given a judgment on a bribe of brandy supplied by a man who kept a dram shop at Poonah [Pune]. I have decided the controversies of parties who live in Cutch [Kutch] and granted commissions to examine witnesses at Cambay. I have in the same morning received a visit from a Roman Catholic Bishop of the name of Ramazzine from Modena[,] a descendant of the celebrated physician Ramazzine, a relative of Muraton who wondered that an Englishman should be learned enough to quote Virgil. Of an Armenian archbishop from mount Ararat[,] of a shroff (money dealer from Benares who came hither by the way of Singur and who can draw bills on his correspondents at Cabul [Kabul])[,] and of the Dustor or chief priest of the parsees at Surat who is copying out for me the genuine works of Zoroaster.21 The Mackintosh family’s domestic life was equally diverse. The household included about sixteen servants, including a Parsi head servant named Cowasjee, Catherine Mackintosh’s Muslim servant, Fudgelo, and two Christian nursery maids whom Mackintosh described as ‘black Christians called Portuguese’.22 Writing in his diary in 1807, Mackintosh reported an observation by Miss Dundas (Maria Graham, who stayed with the Mackintosh family upon her arrival in Bombay that year) that ‘six languages were this morning spoken at my breakfast table’ – Arabic, Persian, Hindustani, Italian, French and English.23 Yet Mackintosh concluded that ‘all this jumble of nations and sages and opinions … is not all worth one afternoon of free and rational conversation at the King of Clubs’.24 The ‘King of Clubs’ was the men-only social and intellectual club that met in the Crown and Anchor tavern on the Strand, which Mackintosh and his brother-in-law John Allen had established in 1798; its membership comprised some of the foremost Whig politicians of the day.25 Compared to this society of educated men situated in close proximity to the seat of metropolitan power, Bombay’s ‘English’ or ‘European’ men appeared parochially-minded and unintellectual. Worse still, the society of ‘Europeans’ whom Mackintosh was ‘compelled by decorum to associate with’ soon became his enemies.26 Having convicted one of Bombay’s leading merchants of bribery and corruption, he found himself the victim of a ‘powerful faction’ who, he claimed, made his life miserable and undermined his position and influence as judge in Bombay.27 The position of Recorder of the Court was a difficult one to occupy. The Recorder’s Court itself had only been established six years earlier, in 1798, and was one of a series of attempts by the British government to regulate the actions and power of East India Company servants in India that had begun with Lord North’s Regulating Act in 1773 and was later reinforced by Pitt’s India Act of 1784.28 Appointed and paid by the Crown, rather than the Company, Mackintosh’s job was partly to call Company actions to account. His arrival also coincided with a decree from the Court of Directors requiring Bombay’s civil servants to give up private commercial pursuits or resign their Company positions.29 In his position, but also in his politics, Mackintosh personified the changes intended to shake up the established structures of power and wealth of Bombay’s small community of ‘English’ merchants. It is no surprise, therefore, that Mackintosh felt isolated, resented and ostracized from an important section of Bombay’s ‘English’ society. Yet his representation of these men in his letters to friends focused less on the clash of political and economic structures, and more on what he perceived to be their moral and intellectual failings. In a letter to Sharp, Mackintosh claimed: ‘They have no exertion of mind, no knowledge, no curiosity, no interest in anything past, present or to come. It is much worse than mere ignorance or even mere folly – every power and faculty are asleep and motionless’.30 He seemed not to envisage the possibility of forming friendships with non-European men. Instead, Mackintosh turned to the various scholarly pursuits that he had begun whilst in England. These, he wrote to Canning, would be ‘the consolation of my exile’.31 So, too, would be the letters he hoped to receive from his friends in Europe. Writing to Dugald Stewart (1753–1828), Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, in November 1806, Mackintosh said ‘I am not without hopes that you will sometimes write to me, you can have little notion of the value of such memorials of our friends to us in this dreary exile’.32 Thousands of miles away from the place he called ‘home’, Mackintosh occupied much of his time in Bombay writing letters and journals to his friends and family, based primarily in Britain. These letters provided the vital means of maintaining a presence in absence, and of keeping abreast of political and social affairs.33 ‘One great break in the uniformity of our life arises from the arrival of the packets from Bassora [Basra] with the overland dispatches which usually arrive every month or six weeks’, Mackintosh wrote in a letter dated 1804. ‘We have letters from Constantinople [Istanbul] in seven weeks – I need not say how great an event the arrival of the Europe ships is to us.’34 This correspondence, dated between 1804 and 1811, constitutes nearly a third of Mackintosh’s private papers that are held in the British Library. The Mackintosh ‘epistolarium’ – a term that Liz Stanley employs to signify the dialogic nature of letters and their embedding in a wide epistolary network – provides a map of the expansive European-imperial literary community of which James Mackintosh, and his wife Catherine were part.35 The family’s correspondents included men and women from the landed aristocracy, such as Lord and Lady Holland, and wealthy industrialists, merchants and entrepreneurs, such as the Wedgwood family to whom Catherine Mackintosh was related through the marriage of her sisters. Letters to and from some of the foremost scholars of the late Enlightenment, including Dugald Stewart, Benjamin Constant and John Leslie, illustrate the Mackintosh family’s relationship to intellectual networks. Although dominated by elite white men, this broad circle included a number of important and prolific female literary figures, notably the novelist Madame de Staël (1766–1817) and the travel writer Maria Graham. The Mackintosh collection represents one node in a vast literary-imperial network, in which political, social and intellectual spheres overlapped and intersected. These intersections are visible not only in the occupations of individual correspondents, but also in the content of the letters themselves, which often combine family news, such as updates on health, marriages and births, with commentary on the political situation in India and Europe, alongside discussions of recently published books. Usually addressed to just one recipient, these letters would have been shared with friends and read aloud in parlours and salons. Replying to a letter from Mackintosh in 1804, Sharp wrote of his letters that as they had to be read to all his many friends in London ‘the poor thin paper has had a more troublesome journey in my pocket book about London, than it had in crossing deserts and seas’.36 Although less widely disseminated than published books and pamphlets, letters played a fundamental role in the circulation and consolidation of knowledge and ideas in a community.37 Intersecting with published literature, such as novels, histories and philosophies, the letters in the Mackintosh collection drew on popular literary tropes and representations to construct a common field of experience and feeling. ‘Exile’, which in conjunction with the figure of the ‘the wanderer’ and ‘the outsider’ was gaining increasing prominence in the art and literature of the period, was one such trope. * * * The discourse of ‘exile’ that Mackintosh drew upon to describe his position in Bombay had a long literary heritage stretching back to Classical Antiquity. Mackintosh compared his own situation with that of Trebatius in Gaul, whilst his representation of himself in Bombay mirrored Cicero’s description of his ‘exile’ from Rome in Letters to his Friends (c.51–63BC).38 For Mackintosh, as for many of his contemporaries, Cicero was a hero whose life, letters, and ‘exile’ offered inspiration, as well as a way to conceptualize his own position and ambitions. Cicero’s letters, which dwelled almost entirely on his past mistakes, obsessed over news from Rome, and regarded everywhere outside of Rome as ‘obscura et sordida’ (dingy and squalid), formed a template for Mackintosh’s own.39 Such a likeness would not have been lost on either his male or female correspondents, the majority of whom shared a Classical education, whether formally or informally gained. Jeremy Bentham, whose letters are peppered with references to Greek mythology and Classical scholarship, referred to Mackintosh as ‘Cicero’: in taking on the Recordership of Bombay, ‘Cicero had got a provision which, for the first time in his life, would enable him to do real service to mankind, and that he had always manifested dispositions to apply his talents to that use’.40 Although not intended to be wholly complimentary, this reference and others lent respectability and dignity to Mackintosh’s position in Bombay. The Classical idea of ‘exile’ laid emphasis on the personal sacrifice that exiles made when they put their political principles ahead of their personal attachments.41 It was this sense of selflessness that Mackintosh employed in his defence of the French émigré and Royalist, Jean Peltier, from the accusation of libel by Napoleon in 1803, in which he referred to his client as ‘a defenceless and proscribed exile’, ‘who has sacrificed his fortune, his hopes, his connections, and his country, to his conscience’.42 Peltier’s trial points to another, more immediate, context informing the discourse of ‘exile’. Between 1789 and 1799, the political turmoil in France which began with Louis XVI’s refusal to countenance the Third Estate’s demands for political representation caused thousands of individuals to flee. The first wave of emigrants from France primarily comprised monarchists and clergy, while the second came from a much broader political and socio-economic spectrum and included those escaping a brutal civil war in the Vendée.43 In her autobiographical narrative, Maria Graham noted the prevalence of émigrés when she had visited London as a child and their influence on her cousin’s manners, which she claimed had become ‘Frenchified’.44 Adding to the numbers of refugees from mainland France were French plantation and slave-owners escaping the biggest and most successful slave revolt in history on the Caribbean island of Saint Domingue, France’s most profitable sugar colony. In 1791, enslaved Africans rose up to demand an end to slavery. After fourteen years of successive armed struggle against both the British and the French, the now-free Black men, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture and subsequently Jean-Jacques Dessalin, declared Haiti an independent nation.45 Between fifteen and twenty thousand European colonialists fled Haiti during the period of the uprising, between 1791 and 1804.46 By 1815, when Napoleon himself was exiled to St Helena, hundreds of thousands of uprooted and displaced people were scattered across Europe and the Caribbean, including exiles from Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Prussia and Poland, in addition to those from France.47 In this context of mass displacement of Europeans, ‘exile’ became a key trope, largely in response to the radical sense of disorientation and displacement engendered by the French Revolution.48 With over 100,000 people emigrating from France to Britain, the presence and plight of the French émigrés in Britain inspired poets and novelists.49 They represented them as pitiful victims of events that, in Fanny Burney’s words, ‘have convulsed all order, and annihilated tranquillity’.50 In her poem The Emigrants (1793) Charlotte Turner Smith sought sympathy for the ‘plight’ of ‘these ill-starr’d exiles’, despite being critical of their politics.51 Similarly, Fanny Burney called on the English, and particularly English women, to give protection to the French émigré clergy and alleviate ‘their exile, by giving to it every character of a second and endearing home’.52 These usages of ‘exile’ combined the Classical idea of ‘exile’ as a punishment for political crimes, which gave it dignity and respect, with a newer definition that focused on sadness and loss of homeland.53 Narrating her own exile from Paris by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, Madame de Staël (1766–1817) described exile as a fate worse than death. The famous novelist, salonnière and political commentator observed: ‘There have been great men, both in ancient and modern times, who have sunk under this punishment. We meet with more persons brave against the scaffold, than against the loss of country.’54 In Smith’s ‘Emigrants’, too, exile as the loss of homeland is represented as the ultimate form of sadness: ‘[I] have felt how sad/It is to look across the dim cold sea/That melancholy rolls its refluent tides/Between us and the dear regretted land/We call our own’.55 Mackintosh’s letters from Bombay, and his use in them of ‘exile’, drew on and were part of this emerging literary context and its reconfiguration of identity in relationship to a new social, political and cultural terrain in Europe and Empire. Yet as a Highland Scot who went to Bombay to secure his livelihood, his own position had closer resonances with a different type of emigrant-exile who captured the literary imagination during a slightly earlier period; that of the emigrant to North America. From the 1770s, what Samuel Johnson referred to as an ‘epidemick desire of wandering’, particularly amongst the Highland Scottish and Irish peasantry, as well as rural English workers, was the subject of a pamphlet debate.56 This debate configured emigration as a form of ‘exile’, the result of desperation, and presented it as a state of ultimate sadness and loss. Discussing the plight of Scottish peasants in Sutherland, Thomas Pennant wrote that ‘They wander in a state of desperation; too poor to pay, they madly sell themselves, for their passage, preferring a temporary bondage in a strange land, to starving for life in their native soil’.57 In a different context, the entrepreneur and potter Josiah Wedgwood addressed a pamphlet to his workers in an attempt to prevent them from emigrating, particularly to North America. His pamphlet, published in 1783, told stories of failed efforts to set up a new life, and of shipwreck and disease.58 Ultimately, Wedgwood claimed, few emigrants succeeded and flourished. Instead, they succumbed to ‘a kind of heart sickness and despair, with an unspeakable longing after their native country’.59 As a member of the Highland gentry who saw his position in Bombay as temporary – a means of securing his return to metropolitan Britain – Mackintosh of course did not claim kinship with his poorer, émigré clansmen. Yet he certainly drew on the discourse of ‘exile’ that had developed during the eighteenth century, initially out of concern for the drain of the labouring population from the British Isles, and later to discuss the ‘plight’ of French émigré elite. In doing so, Mackintosh aligned himself with the affective mood of the literary society to which he belonged. In a letter dated 1805, probably written to the publisher Sir Richard Phillips, Mackintosh echoed this mood: ‘To be affectionately remembered by such men as you is one of the greatest pleasures I can receive and it is the greatest consolation which I can receive in those fits of dejection when I feel myself oppressed by the forlorn friendlessness and dreary solitude of distant exile’.60 His expressions of melancholy and isolation in Bombay resonated with Wedgwood’s description of the ‘despair’ and ‘longing’ that befell other emigrants to Empire. Fearing a Napoleonic conquest of Britain, he imagined himself as another émigré-exile casualty of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In a letter from Bombay dated 1 March 1806, around the time he would have received news of the Treaty of Pressburg when Austria left the coalition against Napoleon, Mackintosh wrote: ‘In my situation I think of an invader with the same horror as I would of a robber about to destroy a beautiful country house, which having been the long residence of my family and the place of my birth was also to be the refuge of my weary age’.61 In his fears of a Napoleonic invasion of his ‘cherished and chosen asylum’, Mackintosh projected a future dystopia onto a utopian image of a harmonious home that was symbolized by a ‘beautiful country house’. His vision of the nation as a country house, linking him to previous generations, echoes Edmund Burke’s image of the nation as a ‘noble and venerable castle’ that was built up from its ‘old foundations’ across time.62 Like Burke, Mackintosh imagined the home in relationship to the nation, a space of familiarity and belonging into which he was born, offering assurance and comfort in his old age. Yet Mackintosh had neither a country house nor a castle as ‘security for his old age’ and it was for this very reason that he had left his ‘cherished and chosen asylum’ and was writing from ‘exile’ in Bombay. His family, originally part of the Mackintosh clan based in the Highlands of Scotland, had long been dispersed across the British Empire. In 1804, he finally sold off the last ‘shreds of property’ in the Highlands that he had inherited on his father’s death, converting the Kyllachy estate into cash in order to pay off some of the debts accrued whilst living and studying in London.63 Although threat of a Napoleonic invasion offered an immediate and legitimate outlet for his fears of non-belonging, Mackintosh’s own exclusion from the geographical boundaries of the nation lay less in its potential conquest, and more in his inadequate financial resources. His conceptualization of the nation as a ‘country house’, and his fantasy of inheritance, expose the material wealth and economic status upon which his sense of national belonging was contingent. * * * The discourse of ‘exile’, with its emphasis on melancholy, loss, and longing for ‘home’, obscured the economic inequalities that forced so many to leave the British Isles and to become colonizers of other lands and peoples. The position of Recorder of the Court in Bombay, which Mackintosh gained through the patronage of Lord Canning, provided an annual salary of £5,000 and the promise of a pension at the end of five years’ service.64 It would amount to enough, he predicted in 1808, to rid himself of debts, furnish his house, and secure a ‘farm to furnish bread for my family in the event of political convulsions’, but was not to be considered a fortune.65 In his letters and diaries Mackintosh repeatedly calculated the amount of money he could save in Bombay, where he should invest, how much he would need to live comfortably in Britain – ‘nothing under £20,000 can be considered a fortune’ – and the soonest possible date for his return in the light of his financial circumstances.66 Mackintosh’s endless calculations, and the support he received from his friends, were far from unique. From the highest imperial administrator to the lowliest East India Company servant, the promise of financial gains far exceeding anything that could be earned in Britain drove imperial ambitions. Lord William Bentinck (1774–1839), later Governor General of India (1833–5), made similar calculations on a far grander scale, envisaging his position in India as a temporary measure until he could return with a fortune of £200,000, ‘which would make us very much at our ease and would prevent any descent from the style and comfort in which we have both lived’.67 An established member of the landed aristocracy, Bentinck looked to a high-level administrative position in India to enable him to continue to enjoy the lifestyle and status into which he had been born. In contrast, Mackintosh looked to imperial service in India in order to build up the necessary capital to secure a comfortable life for his family, whilst also consolidating his name and position amongst Britain’s political elite, a position that he had begun to establish for himself as a young man newly arrived in London from Edinburgh in 1788. If monetary gain was the key justification for his absence from the metropole, and the necessary condition of his return, ‘exile’ enabled him to configure that absence as loss. For Mackintosh, Bombay was simply the means to a financial end. He represented his residence there as a period of marking time, waiting to return ‘home’ to metropolitan Britain. His friends supported this representation. ‘Your friends here all delight in their hearts to learn that you are both so wise and so good as to save your money, that you may both return to us soon,’ wrote Sharp in 1806, ‘every rupee saved is an hour taken from your exile.’68 Even his own attempts to effect change, by reforming the jail, restructuring the police force and establishing a literary society, Mackintosh represented as mere ‘resources against listlessness’, which provided ‘some consolation for the absence from our friends’.69 This idea of ‘listlessness’ added a temporal dimension to Mackintosh’s ‘exile’ in Bombay by suggesting that the passage of time was itself empty of meaning and progress. On New Year’s Day 1807, he reflected on the year that had just passed, writing that ‘The year 1806 is almost a blank in this diary – so it almost was in fact. It was very barren in enjoyment or improvement’.70 Mackintosh’s claims that his life ‘in exile’ in Bombay was ‘barren of enjoyment or improvement’ intersected with a broader imperial-spatial imaginary in which metropolitan Britain represented the centre of ‘civilization’ and the driving force of ‘progress’. The idea of ‘barren’ lands was frequently invoked to critique indigenous societies as lacking productivity and resourcefulness, and thereby to justify settler colonialism. In contrast, ‘improvement’ – both agricultural and moral – lay at the centre of Scottish Enlightenment theories of progress. As Adam Smith had argued in The Wealth of Nations (1776), the urban commercial and manufacturing bourgeoisie provided the driving force for progress and ‘improvement’. Upon making their fortunes, the merchant inhabitants of cities would, in turn, purchase and improve lands in the countryside to the benefit of the whole nation.71 Smith’s ideas contributed to the development of stadial theory, in which societies advance according to four economic stages – hunting, pastoral, agricultural, and commercial.72 This linear model of human progress, which Adam Ferguson built on in his Essays on the History of Civil Society (1767) and which was consolidated through Lord Kames’s Sketches of the History of Man (1774), understood ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’ as radiating outwards from urban European centres.73 Drawing on this paradigm, Mackintosh represented Bombay as just another ‘backward’ province, marked by ‘pedantry’ and ‘scandal’, its ‘anecdotes’ ‘unworthy the notice of any rational creature’.74 The difficulty, he claimed, lay in blocking out the ‘noise’ of Bombay’s petty provincialism and corrupt ‘European’ society. Likening himself to Madame de Staël’s fictional heroine, he claimed that ‘like Corrina [sic] in Northumberland I find that a noise in the next house drowns the voice of Europe and of posterity’.75 The analogy between Bombay and Northumberland reinforced the idea that provinces, whether on mainland Britain or the Indian subcontinent, were effectively the same, marked as backward in contrast to metropolitan, urban centres. Yet the sophisticated political, legal and administrative system of the Mughals, as well as the evidence of centuries of flourishing commerce and arts across the Indian subcontinent, made it difficult to locate India on the ladder of progress upon which metropolitan Europe occupied the highest rung. By the late eighteenth century there was general agreement amongst British Orientalists, including the Scottish thinker William Robertson and the Welsh scholar Sir William Jones, that India was an ancient, ‘Hindu’ civilization that had long stagnated and declined.76 According to this theory, the original, ‘Hindu’, inhabitants had, for centuries, been ruled despotically by Muslim ‘invaders’.77 Remnants of a ‘golden age’ equivalent to that of Ancient Greece were to be found in cave temples and Sanskrit poetry, but, according to this theory, the arts and learning that had flourished during the Ancient period had long declined. For Mackintosh, as for his contemporary and correspondent Charles Grant, even the idea that India had once possessed a high degree of learning and civilization was spurious. ‘Eastern religion and art’, Mackintosh claimed, lacked the ‘beauty and grace’ of Ancient Greek culture, ‘all is fantastic, massy and monstrous’.78 By the time James Mill had published his History of British India (1817), the pejorative stereotypes of the ‘despotic’ Mughals, who ruled with tyranny and caprice over the ‘effeminate’ and ‘submissive’ Hindus, were hegemonic in British imperial discourse, circulating in travel literature and political pamphlets as well as histories and philosophical tracts.79 These representations coincided with, and reinforced, a gradual change in approach to East India Company governance in India. Up until the early nineteenth century, the East India Company had combined aggressive military intervention with a relatively non-interventionist approach to Indian governance itself. In land settlement and in law, East India Company policy was to rule through what it perceived to be the customary practices of the local population. By the early nineteenth century, in part as a result of the trial of Warren Hastings, but also due to the increasing influence of evangelical Christianity on the Board of Directors, that non-interventionist stance was gradually eclipsed by policies aimed at ‘civilizing’ and Christianizing Indian society.80 Those policies, which included the official sanctioning of Christian missions through the Charter Act of 1813, and the criminalization of sati in 1828, rested on overt assumptions of the moral superiority of Britain. For evangelical Christians, such as Charles Grant, this was a divinely-inspired project, inseparable from missionary activity.81 Although a practising Christian, Mackintosh himself was against missionary activity and understood these reforms under the more nebulous and secular banner of ‘progress’.82 Nonetheless, his representation of India and his various suggestions for reform encapsulate the broader change in attitude and policy. In a report on the state of the police in Bombay, for example, he represented Bombay’s ‘native’ population as ‘timid’, claiming that ‘the rich are unscrupulous and the poor are unresisting’.83 He advocated a restructuring of the police that would place ‘Europeans’ in positions of authority, to be overseen by ‘one of the principal English gentlemen of the community [which] will always be a sufficient security against oppression’.84 Mackintosh’s report suggested measures for greater accountability and due process, yet also assumed certain characteristics as inherent among ‘Europeans’ and implicitly lacking in the rest of Bombay’s population, whom he referred to homogenously as ‘natives’ or as the ‘Asiatic population’. In contrast, Mackintosh characterized ‘Europeans’ as ‘eminently respectable’ and of ‘robust constitution’; the idea that there would be any judicial corruption – ‘so un-English a crime’ – was, he claimed, unlikely.85 Similarly, his address to the Grand Jury of Bombay in 1805 defined the British nation as ‘renowned in every age … for valour, for justice, for humanity, and generosity’, whilst his address the following year characterized ‘the natives of India’ as ‘addicted to those vices which proceed from the weakness of natural feeling, and the almost total absence of moral restraint’.86 In his public pronouncements, Mackintosh made clear his belief in the innate superiority of Europeans in general, and Englishmen in particular, over all Indian people. Yet in his private correspondence he asserted that those ‘Europeans’ who resided in ‘barren and inhospitable regions’ were inferior to those living in metropolitan Europe.87 For Mackintosh, as for many of his contemporaries, India’s culture of ‘decadence’ and ‘depravity’ was dangerously contagious, posing a threat to the morals of Europeans themselves, and informing the nature of East India Company governance.88 Mackintosh understood proximity to Indian culture over time as in itself enough to threaten the English character, stating ‘every Englishman who resides here very long has I fear his mind either emasculated by submission or corrupted by despotic power. Mr Duncan [1756–1811, Governor of Bombay, 1795–1811] may represent one genus, the brahminised Englishman. Lord Wellesley [1760–1842, Governor-General of India, 1798–1805] is indisputably at the head of the other, the sultanised Englishman’.89 Attributing the differences between ‘Englishmen’ ‘at home’ and in the colonies to geographical distance, Mackintosh claimed that ‘the mind seems very materially changed by crossing the sea’.90 His friends concurred. In a letter dated 1806 Miss Amelia Sloper (d.1829) stated her hope that he would put such observations to philosophical and practical use. ‘I am not without hopes that … you will find time to give the world a just and philosophical account of the circumstances which contribute to the corruption and degradation of the European character in India.’91 In his friends’ imagination, Mackintosh himself represented a civilizing force, an embodiment of the ‘improvement’ that would spread outwards from metropolitan Europe. In 1805, Mrs Susannah Taylor (née Cook, 1755–1823, member of a prominent Dissenter family in Norwich) wrote to him that ‘We are speculating here upon the probable consequences of your residence in India, upon the moral and literary improvement you will produce’.92 Mackintosh’s establishment of a Literary Society in Bombay was an explicit attempt to do just that. Addressing the small audience of British-imperial men who attended the first meeting of the Literary Society as ‘detachments of the main body of civilized men’, he urged them to ‘levy contributions to knowledge, as well as to gain victories over barbarism’.93 As members of ‘one of the most intelligent and inquisitive nations of the world’, they were, he claimed, uniquely positioned to advance knowledge of India, and in so doing to ‘illuminate and humanise the whole race of man’.94 Mackintosh represented his own role in this literary project as the mouthpiece of ‘Europe’, ‘faithfully conveying to India the desires and wants of the learned at home’.95 In styling himself as the ‘representative of the curiosity of Europe’, he located himself at a distance from those whom he addressed, and in closer proximity to ‘Europe’. This public positioning intersected with, and reinforced, his repeated representation of himself ‘in exile’ in Bombay in his letters and diaries. Both public and private self-representations enabled him to dissociate himself from his surroundings and reassure his friends that he remained uncontaminated by an Indian culture of ‘effeminacy’ and caprice. In doing so, he assured his friends in metropolitan Europe that he remained relevant and oriented to the metropolitan social and intellectual world he had left behind. Complaining that ‘my understanding is indeed in almost absolute solitude and my body is too often in a croud [sic]’, Mackintosh represented himself as separate and untainted by Indian ‘degeneracy’.96 His library, and the scholarly works that he intended to continue whilst in Bombay, would serve, he continued, as ‘the consolation of my exile’.97 Again, his friends, and particularly Richard Sharp who played a significant role in circulating his news and ensuring his reputation in London, encouraged Mackintosh’s conceptual divorce from his surroundings. ‘I have a great dread lest you should become too Indian in your pursuits, which will then be of a sort not greatly esteemed here, nor likely to be so useful as those noble and interesting enquiries which occupied your mind in London.’98 The slippage between what would be ‘esteemed’ in London, and what could be considered generally ‘useful’, ‘noble’ and ‘interesting’ illustrates the pervasive Eurocentrism of Mackintosh’s circle. Referring to the ‘antiquities and mythologies’ of India as ‘Eastern trash’, Mackintosh assured his friends that he had no intention of ‘dabbling’ in Orientalism.99 Sharp responded positively, stating, ‘I do my best to keep your mind European’, and rejoicing in the same year to hear that Mackintosh had ‘discovered that it is not worthwhile to run about after singular manners and uncouth appearances … With such feelings surely you cannot forget European things to go hankering after the extravagances of orientalism’.100 ‘Exile’ laid emphasis on emotional and physical isolation, on solitude rather than interaction, placing ‘the exile’ outside of human networks and detached from the rest of the world. Yet although ‘exile’ implied solitude, Mackintosh saw no contradiction in representing himself as ‘in exile’ whilst also living with his immediate, nuclear family. Writing again to Sharp in 1808, he claimed that ‘if I could confine myself to my own family I should be happy anywhere’, and yet his longing for London, with its men-only social clubs and political world, renders that assertion spurious.101 For most of their residence in Bombay, the Mackintosh family lived in the governor’s country house in Parel, with a retinue of servants of various different heritages and religions. The youngest children were cared for by Portuguese ayahs, probably from Goa, and for his first few years their only son, Robert, born in Bombay in 1806, would have engaged more with Hindustani than with English.102 In his letters to his friends, however, Mackintosh placed greater emphasis on the routines that kept them ‘English’. Writing to his brother-in-law John Allen, he described the family’s evening routine, ‘At seven we drink tea and from tea to bed read to our whole family party to the amusement I hope of Kitty and to the instruction of my three elder children’.103 Included on this reading list were Milton, Cowper and Addison’s Spectator, a very English canon reinforcing their continued focus on what Sharp would have called ‘European things’ despite their absence from Europe. Family, and particularly his wife’s companionship, was also integral to his ability to weather his ‘exile’ and to retain ‘British’ values. Mackintosh wrote to the philosopher Dugald Stewart that ‘I carry with me to every country one companion very capable of exercising my understanding and of amusing my hours of relaxation – well qualified to rouse me from lethargy, to soothe my occasional irritations and to console my undue dejection’.104 The model of companionate marriage and benevolent patriarchy that Mackintosh presented in his letters to his friends from Bombay reinforced his own performance of ‘respectable’ and ‘civilized’ British masculinity. Mackintosh’s representation of family harmony and hierarchy contrasted with British depictions of the Indian household as messy and divisive. Indian women, who were, according to British imperial commentators, ‘held in slavish subjection by the men’, were nonetheless also perceived to be manipulating their husbands, and therefore controlling the household.105 Their ‘indecent railings’ disrupted order and undermined the hierarchy of the sexes, while their ‘slavish subjection’ ‘embruted’ the men who held them captive.106 Upon visiting the Nizam of Hyderabad’s zenana, Mackintosh reinforced his own civilized masculinity through his outrage at the subjection in which the Nizam’s wives were held. ‘I, who know of what excellence women are capable, feel the full extent of this shocking degradation.’107 Such ‘tyranny’, according to Mackintosh, was not restricted to Indian families, but extended to the small community of ‘Europeans’ who were subject to the jurisdiction of the Recorder’s Court. Presiding over a number of cases of ‘cruelty by husbands’, Mackintosh claimed that ‘this monstrous depravity certainly proceeds from the contempt of all order and authority which the mean character of this government has inspired. The curb has been removed which checks the wanderings of fancy and passion’.108 By blaming the ‘character of this government’ for the kind of criminal activities that were certainly also in evidence in the courts of Britain, Mackintosh constructed a false separation between a virtuous and idealized British government that he had been sent out to represent, and the ‘corrupt’ colonial governance of the East India Company. This separation mirrored the broader conceptual boundary that he created, using the discourse of ‘exile’, between himself and Bombay. In late 1808, Mackintosh undertook a journey across the Deccan plateau from Bombay to Hyderabad to visit a friend, Captain Sydenham, then Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad.109 Travelling through different regions, many of which had been devastated by successive wars, Mackintosh kept a daily journal of his travels, which he addressed to Catherine, who remained in Bombay with their six children.110 Although it was never published as a travel narrative, this journal took the form common to early nineteenth-century travel writing, recording the landscape, population of towns and condition of the people, as well as the actual and potential yield of the land. The tour, Mackintosh claimed, had given him greater knowledge of India than he could have achieved from five years’ reading.111 His observations led him to a ‘a firm conviction, that the first blessing to be wished to the inhabitants of India was, that a civilized conqueror might rescue them from their native oppressors’.112 Yet despite his professions of concern for the general plight of people living in the regions through which he travelled, Mackintosh expressed little immediate sympathy for the difficulties of the men who carried him in his palanquin. Rather, he represented their wounds – ‘whether real or pretended’ – from bearing his carriage across unforgiving terrain, as inconveniences that impaired his journey.113 As in so many of his other letters, Mackintosh denied any sympathy for, or identification with, those Indian people amongst whom he lived in close proximity, and upon whom he was fundamentally reliant. Despite the fact that he was accompanied by a military escort of fourteen soldiers and over fifty followers, including his personal servant Fyzulla, he wrote, as he so often did, of his ‘solitude’.114 A month into his tour, the construction of ‘solitude’ that had enabled Mackintosh to disassociate himself from the taint of Indian ‘degeneracy’ and ‘corruption’, returned to haunt him. Freezing cold, unwell and concerned that he and his retinue were thoroughly lost, Mackintosh wrote in his journal that he was ‘haunted by the stories I heard of unfortunate gentlemen dying in their palankeens [sic], and being carried forty or fifty miles after they were dead by the bearers, who never thought of opening the doors’.115 In an extraordinary reversal of power relations, it is the palanquin bearers whose unthinkingness denies any meaning, beyond the accumulation of a wage for their labour, to the body they carry. In this image, the spectre of a nameless, placeless, unremarked death, reveals the alienation at the heart of Empire, an alienation that resonates with Said’s definition of ‘exile’ as ‘the perilous territory of not belonging’. Two days after Mackintosh recorded his fears of dying alone and unnoticed in his palanquin, his thoughts took a very different turn. Writing his journal, he stated ‘I found myself at Touljapore [Tuljapur]’ – a peculiar turn of phrase that gestures to his reliance on the people who carried him.116 Relatively comfortable at last, Mackintosh reflected that his tent appeared as a ‘home’ and his servants, Lucco and Ramjee, as a ‘family’. For a moment, Mackintosh allowed his mind and his pen to wander to an alternative world in which tents on the Deccan plateau could constitute ‘home’ and Indian people his ‘family’.117 In this radical reimagining of belonging, the landscape and people to whom he had so consistently denied any meaning suddenly took on an emotional significance. The possibilities for recognition that lay in this momentary rupture in the pattern of disavowal were, however, abruptly foreclosed. ‘The next moment’, Mackintosh continued, ‘I directed my thoughts to my own home and I wrote a long letter to you [Catherine Mackintosh], one to Captain Close and one to Captain Sydenham.’118 Conclusion For British imperial elites living and working in the British Empire, to live in a space of hybridity, open to the possibilities of being changed through interaction, was to risk the loss of recognition by the elite metropolitan world they called ‘home’. The vast landscape of Empire, a ‘perilous territory of not belonging’, haunted imperial elites. Yet at the same time the imperial discourse of ‘exile’ that developed in the early nineteenth century enabled them to reclaim subjecthood and to perform their belonging to metropolitan Britain as ‘home’. Mackintosh used ‘exile’ to position himself emotionally in closer proximity to metropolitan Britain, and to create an affective separation between himself and the society around him. ‘Exile’ therefore also played a constitutive role in configuring the meaning of the metropole as the site of civilization, progress and ‘manly’ virtue, and ultimately as the only possible ‘home’. In contrast, the colony as a space of ‘exile’, was discursively emptied of meaning, represented as backwards, effeminate and degenerate, defined only by what it lacked. Recent post-colonial and feminist historians of colonialism have explored the role of denial in enabling the constitution of a ‘modern’ subject that is seemingly divorced from imperial violence and exploitation. This violence goes beyond individual and collective acts of physical violence, to the epistemic violence that is inherent in the denial of meaning to alternative lives and ways of understanding the world.119 In this article, I have argued that the discourse of ‘exile’ played a constitutive role in effecting the denial of meaning to the social and cultural geography of India. ‘Exile’, discursively reconfigured during this period as a state of ultimate sadness and loss, effected an emotional and ontological separation between Mackintosh and the multi-ethnic society in which he lived. ‘Exile’ reduced the people upon whom he was so reliant for his everyday needs, to objects. It was through this denial of meaning to the people and places of India and the refusal to see any value beyond the economic and financial, that Mackintosh and his friends constituted metropolitan Britain as the only possible site of belonging, as the only credible ‘home’. Onni Gust is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nottingham, teaching and researching the history of identity formation in relationship to British imperial expansion. Onni is currently working on a book that explores changing ideas of ‘home’ and ‘exile’ in the published and unpublished writing of British imperial literati during the ‘long’ eighteenth century. NOTES AND REFERENCES Footnotes 1 Edward Said, ‘Reflections on Exile’, in Reflections on Exile and Other Essays, London, 2000, p. 177. 2 ‘Reflections’, p. 174. 3 See, for example: Homi Bhabha, ‘The Home and the World’, Social Text 31/32, 1992, pp. 141–153; Cora Kaplan, ‘Deterritorializations: the Rewriting of Home and Exile in Western Feminist Discourse’, in The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse, ed. David Lloyd and Abdul Jan Mohammed, New York, 1990, pp. 357–68; Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss, ed. André Aciman, New York, 1993. 4 Hortense Spillers, ‘Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: an American Grammar Book’, Diacritics 17: 2, summer 1987, pp. 65–81. See also Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America, Oxford and New York, 1997, p. 74. 5 Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness, London and New York, 1993. 6 Mark Rappolt, ‘Nil Yalter: Exile is a Hard Job’, Art Review 69: 3, April 2017, pp. 60–71; see also Amna Malik, ‘Conceptualising “Black” British Art through the Lens of Exile’, in Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers, ed. Kobena Mercer, Cambridge MA, 2008, pp. 166–88. 7 Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose, ‘Introduction: Being at Home with the Empire’, in At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Cultures and the Imperial World, ed. Hall and Rose, Cambridge, 2006, pp. 1–31. 8 Ranajit Guha, ‘Not at Home in Empire’, Critical Inquiry 23: 3, spring 1997, pp. 482–93. 9 Mrinalini Sinha, ‘Britishness, Clubbability, and the Colonial Public Sphere: the Genealogy of an Imperial Institution in Colonial India’, Journal of British Studies 40: 4, October 2001, pp. 489–521; Dane Kennedy, The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1996. 10 For a biography of Mackintosh see Patrick O’Leary, Sir James Mackintosh: the Whig Cicero, Edinburgh, 1989. 11 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804: BL Add MS 52451a. 12 Adele Perry, ‘“Is Your Garden in England, Sir?”: James Douglas’s Archive and the Politics of Home’, History Workshop Journal 70, autumn 2010, p. 78. 13 Catherine Hall, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain, London, 2012, chap. 5. 14 Elizabeth Vibert, ‘Writing “Home”: Sibling Intimacy and Mobility in a Scottish Colonial Memoir’, in Moving Subjects: Gender, Mobility and Intimacy in an Age of Global Empire, ed. Antoinette Burton and Tony Ballantyne, Urbana and Chicago, 2009, pp. 67–88. 15 For a description of the town of Bombay see Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India by Maria Graham, Edinburgh, 1812, p. 4. 16 Amar Farooqui, Opium City: the Making of Early Victorian Bombay, New Delhi, 2006, pp. 58–60 and Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island, vol. 1, Bombay, 1909, pp. 150–63. Rama Deb Roy estimates the population of Calcutta in 1800 as 500,000: ‘Glimpses on the History of Calcutta, 1600–1800’, Annales de Démographie Historique, 1988, Paris, 1989, pp. 243–57. 17 Pamela Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India, 1784–1806, Cambridge, 1970, pp. 219–20. Claude Markovits, ‘Bombay as a Business Centre in the Colonial Period: a Comparison with Calcutta’, in Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India, ed. Sujata Patel and Alice Thorner, Bombay and Oxford, 1995, p. 27. 18 Maria Graham, Journal, p. 42. 19 See Jesse S. Palsetia, Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy of Bombay: Partnership and Public Culture in Empire, New Delhi, 2015. 20 For the history of Bombay in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries see Mariam Dossal, Imperial Designs and Indian Realities: the Planning of Bombay City, 1847–1895, Delhi, 1991; Farooqui, Opium City; Markovits, ‘Bombay as a Business Centre in the Colonial Period’ and Mariam Dossal, ‘Signatures in Space: Land Use in Colonial Bombay’, both in Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India, ed. Patel and Thorner, pp. 26–46, 89–99; Sheila Smith, ‘Indian Merchants and the Colonial Structure of Urban Space in early Nineteenth Century Bombay’, in 11th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, panel 4, Cities and the Use of Space, 1990; Meera Kosambi, Bombay and Poona: a Socio-Ecological Study of Two Indian Cities, 1650–1900, Stockholm, 1980; Prashant Kidambi, The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890–1920, Aldershot, 2007, chap. 2; Swati Chattopadhay, ‘Nineteenth-century British attitudes towards Calcutta and Bombay’, in The Urban Experience: a People-Environment Perspective, ed. S. J. Neary, M. S. Symes and F. E. Brown, London, 1994; Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India; James Douglas JP, Glimpses of Old Bombay and Western India with other papers, London, 1900; Percival Spear, The Nabobs: a Study of the Social Life of the English in Eighteenth Century India (1932), Calcutta, 1963, p. 66. 21 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 8: BL Add MS 52451a. 22 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 64: BL Add MS 78768. 23 Journal, 27 Aug. 1807, n.p.: BL Add MS 524536b. 24 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 8: BL Add MS 52451a. 25 ‘Register of the King of Clubs, 1798–1823’: BL Add MS 37337. 26 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451. 27 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 1 March, 1806, p. 161: BL Add MS 78763. 28 Christopher A. Bayly, The New Cambridge History of India, vol. 2: Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, Cambridge, 1988, p. 76; Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, From Plassey to Partition, Hyderabad, 2004, pp. 77–8; Robert Travers, Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: the British in Bengal, Cambridge, 2007, chap. 6; Jon Wilson, The Domination of Strangers: Modern Governance in Eastern India, 1780–1835, London, 2008, chap. 3. 29 Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India, p. 230. 30 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451a. 31 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 156. 32 Mackintosh to Stewart, Bombay, 2 Nov. 1805, p. 58: BL Add 78764. 33 Zoe Laidlaw, Colonial Connections 1815–45: Patronage, the Information Revolution and Colonial Government, Manchester and New York, 2005, p. 17. 34 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 65: BL add MS 78768. 35 Liz Stanley, ‘The Epistolarium: On Theorizing Letters and Correspondences’, Auto/Biography 12, 2004, pp. 201–35. 36 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 18 Jan. 1805, p. 23: BL Add MS 78764. 37 Sarah Pearsall, Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century, Oxford, 2008. 38 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 161: BL Add MS 78763. 39 Jo-Marie Claasen, Displaced Persons: the Literature of Exile from Cicero to Boethius, London, 1999, p. 28. 40 Bentham to Mackintosh, St Helens, 4 Jan. 1808, in The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Edinburgh, 1838–45, 11 vols, vol. 10: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/bentham-the-works-of-jeremy-bentham-vol-10-memoirs-part-i-and-correspondence, accessed 11 Nov. 2017. 41 Maurizio Isabella, ‘Exile and Nationalism: the Case of the Risorgimento’, European History Quarterly 36: 4, 2006, p. 497. 42 ‘A Speech in Defence of Jean Peltier, accused of a libel on the first consul of France. Delivered in the court of the King’s Bench on the 21st of February, 1803’, in Sir James Mackintosh, The Miscellaneous Works of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh (1846), Boston MA, 1857, p. 484. 43 Maya Jasanoff, ‘Revolutionary Exiles: the American Loyalist and French Émigré Diasporas’, in The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760–1840, ed. David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Basingstoke, 2010, p. 41. 44 Lady Maria Callcott, ‘Reminiscences’, in Maria, Lady Callcott: the Creator of ‘Little Arthur’, ed. Rosamund Brunel Gotch, London, 1937, p. 18. 45 C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, London, 1938; Laurent DuBois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804, Chapel Hill and London, 2004. 46 R. Darrell Meadows, ‘Engineering Exile: Social Networks and the French Atlantic Community, 1789–1809’, French Historical Studies 23: 1, 2000, pp. 67–102. 47 Kirsty Carpenter, Refugees of the French Revolution: Émigrés in London, 1789–1802, Basingstoke, 1999, chap. 1; Stuart Curran, ‘Romanticism Displaced and Placeless’, European Romantic Review 20: 4, 2009, pp. 637–50. 48 Peter Fritzsche, ‘Specters of History: On Nostalgia, Exile, and Modernity’, American Historical Review 106: 5, December 2001, pp. 1,588. 49 Curran, ‘Romanticism Displaced’, p. 642. 50 Fanny Burney, Brief Reflections Relative to the Emigrant French Clergy earnestly submitted to the humane consideration of the ladies of Great Britain, London, 1793, p. 2. 51 Charlotte Smith, The Emigrants: a Poem in Two Books, London, 1793, p. 31. 52 Burney, Brief Reflections, p. 25. 53 Isabella, ‘Exile and Nationalism’, p. 500. 54 Baroness de Staël-Holstein, Ten Years’ Exile, intro. Margaret Crossland, Frontwell, Sussex, 1968, p. 97. 55 Smith, The Emigrants, p. 19. 56 Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775), ed. Peter Levi, London, 1984, p. 102. For the history of British emigration to America see James Horn, British Diaspora: Emigration from Britain, 1680–1815, Oxford, 1998; Kerby Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America, New York and Oxford, 1985; Alex Murdoch, ‘Emigration from the Scottish Highlands to America in the Eighteenth Century’, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 21, 1998, pp. 161–74. 57 Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, London, 1772, pp. 365–6. 58 Josiah Wedgwood, An Address to the Workmen in the Pottery on the subject of Entering into the Service of Foreign Manufacturers, Newcastle[-under-Lyme, Staffordshire], 1783. 59 Wedgwood, Address, p. 15. 60 Mackintosh to Phillips, Bombay, 25 Sept. 1805, p. 48: BL Add MS 78765. 61 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 1 March 1806, p. 160: BL Add MS 78763. 62 Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (7th edn, 1790), New York, 2006, p. 33. 63 Onni Gust, ‘Remembering and Forgetting the Scottish Highlands: Sir James Mackintosh and the Forging of a British Imperial Identity’, Journal of British Studies 52, 2013, pp. 615–37. 64 Patrick O’Leary, Sir James Mackintosh: the Whig Cicero, Aberdeen, 1989, p. 72; Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island, vol. 2, Bombay, 1909, p. 120. 65 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 7 July 1808, p. 48: BL Add MS 52451a. 66 Mackintosh to Sharp, 7 July 1808, p. 49. 67 Lord William Bentinck to his brother the Marquis of Litchfield, 6 Sept. 1805: Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham, Pw H 249. 68 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 6 Jan. 1806, p. 29: BL Add MS 78764. 69 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 159: BL Add MS 78763. 70 Mackintosh Journals, 1 Jan. 1807: BL Add MS 52436. 71 Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 5th edn, vol. 1, Dublin, 1793, pp. 405–6. 72 Silvia Sebastiani, The Scottish Enlightenment: Race, Gender, and the Limits of Progress, New York, 2013, chap. 1; Harro Maximilian Höpfl, ‘Savage to Scotsman: Conjectural History in the Scottish Enlightenment’, Journal of British Studies 17: 2, spring 1978, pp. 19–40; Alexander Garrett, ‘Anthropology: the “original” of Human Nature’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. Alexander Brodie, Cambridge, 2003, pp. 79–93. 73 Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), 5th edn, London, 1782: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1428, accessed 8 Aug. 2017, section II: Of Rude Nations prior to the Establishment of Property; Henry Home Kames, Sketches of the History of Man, Edinburgh, 1774, Book 1, Sketch VI: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/kames-sketches-of-the-history-of-man-vol-1, accessed 22 Sept. 2016. 74 Journal, 5 Sept. 1810, p. 119: BL Add MS 52437. 75 Journal, 15 June 1808. n.p., BL Add MS 552436b. 76 See Asiatick Society of Bengal lecture by Sir William Jones, ‘Third Anniversary Discourse, on the Hindus delivered 2d of February, 1786’, in The Works of Sir William Jones. In Six Volumes, vol. 1, London, 1799, pp. 19–34; William Robertson, Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge the Ancients had of India:https://archive.org/details/historicalindia00robe, accessed 8 Aug. 2017; Jane Rendall, ‘Scottish Orientalism: from Robertson to James Mill’, Historical Journal 25: 1,1982, pp. 43–69; Stewart Brown, ‘William Robertson, Early Orientalism and the Historical Disquisition on India of 1791’, Scottish Historical Review 88: 2, 2009, pp. 289–312; Thomas Trautmann, Aryans and British India, Berkeley and London, 1997, chap. 2. 77 See Ronald B. Inden, Imagining India, Cambridge MA, 1990; Rosanne Rocher, ‘British Orientalism in the Eighteenth Century: the Dialectics of Knowledge and Government’, in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South India, ed. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, Philadelphia, 1993. 78 Journal, 16 Dec. 1810, p. 211: BL Add MS 52437. 79 Javed Majeed, ‘James Mill’s “The History of British India” and Utilitarianism as a Rhetoric of Reform’, Modern Asian Studies 24: 2, May 1990. 80 Thomas Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, Cambridge, 1995, chap. 2. 81 Charles Grant, Observations on the State of Society among the Asiatic subjects of Great Britain, particularly with respect to Morals and on the means of improving it, London, 1813. 82 James Mackintosh to Minto, Parell, Bombay, 21 Feb. 1806: NLS, MS11732–3 1st Earl of Minto papers. 83 ‘Letter from the Honourable Sir James Mackintosh, with a report on the police of the Island of Bombay’, October 1811 in William H. Morley, An Analytical Digest of all the Reported Cases decided on in the Supreme Courts of Judicature in India in the Courts of the Hon. East India Company and on Appeal from India by Her Majesty in Council together with an Introduction, Notes, Illustrative and Explanatory and an Appendix, vol. 2, London, 1849, p. 512. 84 As previous note, p. 522. 85 As previous note, p. 531. 86 Mackintosh, ‘A Charge, delivered to the Grand Jury of the Island of Bombay, on the 20th July, 1811’, in Mackintosh, Miscellaneous Works, p. 566. 87 Mackintosh, ‘Discourse read at the opening of the Literary Society of Bombay, 26th November 1804’, in his Miscellaneous Works, p. 398. 88 Sudipta Sen, Distant Sovereignty: National Imperialism and the Origins of British India, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 130–1. 89 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451a. 90 Mackintosh to Canning, Bombay, 13 June 1805, p. 155: BL Add MS 78763. 91 Miss Sloper to Mackintosh, South Audley, 1805, p. 88: BL Add MS 52451b. 92 Mrs Taylor to Mackintosh, Norwich, 7 Nov. 1805, p. 117: BL Add MS 52451b. 93 ‘Discourse read at the opening of the Literary Society of Bombay, 20th November 1804’, in Mackintosh, Miscellaneous Works, p. 398 94 ‘As previous note’ p. 398. 95 ‘As previous note’, p. 399. 96 Mackintosh to Canning, Bombay, 13 June 1805, p. 155: BL Add MS 78763. 97 Mackintosh to Canning, as previous note. 98 Sharp to Mackintosh, 18 Jan. 1805, p. 23: BL Add MS 78764. 99 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 24 Feb. 1806, p. 12: BL Add MS 52451a. 100 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 4 June 1805, p. 26: BL Add MS 78764. 101 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 7 July 1808, p. 49: BL Add MS 52451a. 102 Journal, 27 Jan.1807, n.p.: BL Add MS 52436b. 103 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 62: BL Add MS 78768. 104 Mackintosh to Stewart, 2 Nov. 1805, p. 57: BL Add MS 78764. 105 See Charles Grant, Observations on the State of Society, p. 28; Jeng-Guo S. Chen, ‘Gendering India: Effeminacy and the Scottish Enlightenment’s Debates over Virtue and Luxury’, The Eighteenth Century 51: 1–2, 2010, pp. 193–210; Jessica Hinchy, ‘The Sexual Politics of Imperial Expansion: Eunuchs and Indirect Colonial Rule in Mid-Nineteenth-Century North India’, Gender and History 26: 3, 2014, pp. 414–37. 106 Robert Mackintosh, Memoirs of the Life of Sir James Mackintosh, vol. 1, London, 1835, p. 508. 107 As previous note. 108 13 Feb. 1811, p. 58: BL Add MS 52438a. 109 For Sydenham’s career at the Nizam’s court see Henry George Briggs, The Nizam, his History and Relationship with the British Government, two vols., London, 1861, vol. 2, pp. 16–22. 110 The content of this journal is reproduced in Mackintosh, Memoirs of the Life, vol. 1, pp. 450–527. 111 As previous note p. 451. 112 As previous note p. 451. 113 As previous note p. 453. 114 As previous note p. 521. 115 As previous note p. 521. 116 As previous note p. 521. 117 As previous note p. 521. 118 As previous note p. 521. 119 Catherine Hall and Daniel Pick, ‘Thinking about Denial’, History Workshop Journal 84, autumn 2017, pp. 1–23; Simon Gikandi, Slavery and the Culture of Taste, Princeton and Oxford, 2011. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of History Workshop Journal, all rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History Workshop Journal Oxford University Press

‘The Perilous Territory of Not Belonging’: Exile and Empire in Sir James Mackintosh’s Letters from early nineteenth-century Bombay

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Abstract

Abstract This article examines the role of ‘exile’ in constructing the boundaries of belonging to metropolitan Britain in the early nineteenth century. In the context of mass mobility and displacement caused by imperial expansion and revolutionary wars, ‘exile’ took on new meanings that focused on the sadness, suffering and loss. This new discourse of ‘exile’ configured the nation state as the only viable site of belonging, emptying all other spaces of affective meaning. Although ‘exile’ usually refers to a state of forced displacement, many British imperial elites used ‘exile’ to represent their own situations in the colonies. Focusing on the letters and diaries of the British imperial judge and Whig politician, Sir James Mackintosh (1765–1832), written from Bombay between 1804 and 1811, this article argues that his use of ‘exile’ enabled him to effect an emotional and ontological separation between himself and Bombay’s cosmopolitan population. By referring to his residence in Bombay as a period of ‘exile’, Mackintosh emptied Bombay of any positive meaning and configured Britain as the only possible site of belonging and of ‘home.’ And just beyond the frontier between ‘us’ and the ‘outsiders’ is the perilous territory of not-belonging: this is to where in a primitive time peoples were banished, and where in the modern era immense aggregates of humanity loiter as refugees and displaced persons.1 Edward Said, 1984 In his essay, ‘Reflections on Exile’, first published in 1984, Edward Said defined the twentieth century, with its endless wars over resources and territory, as the age of ‘the refugee, the displaced person, mass immigration’.2 Although he acknowledged that ‘exile’ has a global history, stretching back to the earliest written records, the sheer volume of the displaced in his own times rendered ‘exile’ coterminous with modernity. For Said, ‘exile’, a condition of irreparable emotional loss, was inseparable from the violence and mass displacement engendered by European imperialism. Building on Said’s work, post-colonial and feminist scholars have long considered ‘exile’ a central concept with which to navigate questions of displacement, disorientation, hybrid belongings and identities that constitute the histories and legacies of racism and imperialism.3 In cultural and creative histories of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, for example, ‘exile’ evokes the unmaking of the subject through the void of the Middle Passage.4 In his seminal study of Black intellectual networks, Paul Gilroy noted that ‘exile’, as a middle space, has actually enabled Black scholars to navigate multiple and conflicting identities.5 In the art world, the imagery and insights borne of the experience of ‘exile’ are increasingly evident in galleries and exhibitions. For example, in the mixed-media panels entitled ‘Temporary Dwellings’ by Turkish artist Nil Yalter, ‘exile’ is evoked through the sense of absence created by the visual left-overs of what was once a presence.6 Yet despite the profound impact that post-colonial scholarship has had on the historiography of the British Empire, ‘exile’ has received surprisingly little attention by cultural historians of the British Empire. Rather, they have focused on the meaning of ‘home’ in the context of British imperial expansion and in relationship to new ideas of nationhood in the early nineteenth century. As Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose argue in their introduction to At Home with the British Empire, in nineteenth-century Britain the idea of ‘home’, as both domestic and nation space, enabled British imperial writers to feel assured that Empire was something ‘out there’, physically distinct and distant, even as they relied on imperial products to furnish the physical comfort of ‘home’.7 For British imperialists living in the colonies, the unhomeliness and unfamiliarity of Britain’s imperial domains and subject populations generated considerable anxiety.8 White and male-only clubs, and hill-station retreats, provided imperialists with sanctuary from the otherwise incomprehensible and overwhelming spectres of difference over which they were expected to rule.9 For many of these imperialists, it was often their inability to feel ‘at home’ in the colonies, expressed through their use of the term ‘exile’, that affirmed their belonging to Britain. This article examines the role of ‘exile’ in constructing the boundaries of belonging to metropolitan Britain in the early nineteenth century. It focuses on the use of the word ‘exile’ in the letters and diaries of the British imperial judge and Whig politician, Sir James Mackintosh (1765–1832), written from Bombay between 1804 and 1811. Although wealthier and of higher status than most, Mackintosh, like thousands of Britons from all socio-economic backgrounds, left the British Isles for financial reasons. Having borrowed extensively to fund his social climb from the ranks of the petty gentry in the Highlands of Scotland, to the upper echelons of Whig society in London, he was in large amounts of debt. In 1804, he and his family left London to take up his position as Recorder of the Court of Bombay.10 Based in what he referred to as ‘the most obscure corner of India’, Mackintosh represented his seven years in Bombay as a period of ‘exile’ from Britain as ‘home’.11 He was not alone amongst his contemporaries in using ‘exile’ to characterize his residence in the colonies. Sir James Douglas, Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, was a creole man, married to a woman of Irish, Cree and Canadian heritage, whose life geography spanned Demerara, Scotland and Canada: he referred to his ‘exile’ from England despite never having actually lived there.12 In a very different situation, Thomas Babington Macaulay represented his four years in Calcutta serving as member of the Governor-General’s Council as ‘exile’.13 The clergyman Murdoch Stewart’s sustained longing for the family left behind in Scotland, when he went to Cape Breton in Canada, is another instance of the feelings of ‘exile’ prevalent amongst a diverse, albeit all of relatively high status, body of imperial administrators.14 Few if any of these imperialists had genuinely been banished from their erstwhile ‘homes’, yet all used ‘exile’ as part of their claim to belong to Britain. In doing so, they contributed towards the configuration of what it meant to be British, and to the construction of the boundaries of belonging to the nation as ‘home’. In this article, I read Mackintosh’s letters and diaries not necessarily as accurate reflections of the reality of his day-to-day life in Bombay, but as performative acts through which Mackintosh constituted himself as a subject. In both form and content, Mackintosh’s letters configured his relationship to the elite, metropolitan social world that he had left behind; ‘exile’ played a key role in that process. The reiteration and recitation of himself as ‘in exile’ in Bombay enabled Mackintosh to retain his claims to belong to Britain as ‘home’, while simultaneously disavowing the socio-economic, racial and gendered exclusions upon which that belonging was based. Section One situates Mackintosh’s residency in Bombay in the context of British imperial expansion, and the changing nature of colonial rule, in early nineteenth-century India. His representation of himself ‘in exile’ in Bombay, however, drew on a much wider literary and political context, from the Classical tradition of writing from political banishment, to more recent reconfigurations of the meaning of ‘exile’ in the context of British imperial emigration, and the mass displacement generated by the French Revolution and subsequent wars. These contexts form the subject of the second section, which shows how Mackintosh’s use of ‘exile’ in his letters and diaries intersected with a wider discursive landscape that configured the meaning of self in relationship to space. The third section explores how ‘exile’ was a fundamental part of a process of imagining Britain as ‘home’, and of disavowing its embeddedness in global networks of exchange and exploitation. Drawing on racist stereotypes of Indian ‘degeneracy’, Mackintosh’s use of ‘exile’ enabled him to perform a proximity to metropolitan Britain, and to disassociate himself from Bombay’s multi-racial society. The final section explores the way that ‘exile’, as an emotional state overwhelmingly defined by a sense of sadness and emptiness, mapped on to, and reinforced, hierarchies of imperial space and colonized peoples. * * * The Mackintosh family, including Lady Catherine Mackintosh (née Allen, 1765–1830), James Mackintosh’s three daughters from his previous marriage to Catherine Stuart (1765–1797), and two daughters from his second marriage in 1797, sailed from the Isle of Wight on 14 February 1804. Three months later, in May, they arrived in the port town of Bombay, part of which had been reduced to ashes by a fire the year before.15 Bombay was the smallest and weakest of the three centres of East India Company rule on the Indian subcontinent; its population of approximately 200,000 was well under half that of Calcutta.16 At the turn of the nineteenth century Bombay’s economic viability and political survival was far from certain. Indeed, it was not until 1818, when the East India Company defeated the Peshwa Baji Rao II and annexed his dominions after the third Anglo-Maratha war (1817–18) that British rule in Western India, and thereby Bombay’s position as its administrative centre, was consolidated.17 Throughout its history, the East India Company merchants who held administrative power gained most of their wealth through trade, lending and partnerships with Indian businessmen, particularly the Parsis, who were, according to the travel writer, Maria Graham (1785–1848), ‘by far the richest individuals this side of India’.18 Parsis were Zoroastrians originating from Persia, with a considerable stake in the ship-building industry and in trading relations with China. They also owned much of the housing stock in Bombay, which they rented out to East India Company administrators.19 The Company’s financial and trade reliance on Bombay’s Parsis, as well as the Armenian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities, lent the city a more cosmopolitan character than either Calcutta or Madras.20 Bombay’s diversity was reflected in Mackintosh’s day-to-day interactions. Writing to Richard ‘Conversation’ Sharp (1759–1835), a wealthy merchant in London and a member of the social circle that revolved around Holland House, Mackintosh listed contacts and activities: I condemn a native of Ahmedabad to the pillory – I have given a judgment on a bribe of brandy supplied by a man who kept a dram shop at Poonah [Pune]. I have decided the controversies of parties who live in Cutch [Kutch] and granted commissions to examine witnesses at Cambay. I have in the same morning received a visit from a Roman Catholic Bishop of the name of Ramazzine from Modena[,] a descendant of the celebrated physician Ramazzine, a relative of Muraton who wondered that an Englishman should be learned enough to quote Virgil. Of an Armenian archbishop from mount Ararat[,] of a shroff (money dealer from Benares who came hither by the way of Singur and who can draw bills on his correspondents at Cabul [Kabul])[,] and of the Dustor or chief priest of the parsees at Surat who is copying out for me the genuine works of Zoroaster.21 The Mackintosh family’s domestic life was equally diverse. The household included about sixteen servants, including a Parsi head servant named Cowasjee, Catherine Mackintosh’s Muslim servant, Fudgelo, and two Christian nursery maids whom Mackintosh described as ‘black Christians called Portuguese’.22 Writing in his diary in 1807, Mackintosh reported an observation by Miss Dundas (Maria Graham, who stayed with the Mackintosh family upon her arrival in Bombay that year) that ‘six languages were this morning spoken at my breakfast table’ – Arabic, Persian, Hindustani, Italian, French and English.23 Yet Mackintosh concluded that ‘all this jumble of nations and sages and opinions … is not all worth one afternoon of free and rational conversation at the King of Clubs’.24 The ‘King of Clubs’ was the men-only social and intellectual club that met in the Crown and Anchor tavern on the Strand, which Mackintosh and his brother-in-law John Allen had established in 1798; its membership comprised some of the foremost Whig politicians of the day.25 Compared to this society of educated men situated in close proximity to the seat of metropolitan power, Bombay’s ‘English’ or ‘European’ men appeared parochially-minded and unintellectual. Worse still, the society of ‘Europeans’ whom Mackintosh was ‘compelled by decorum to associate with’ soon became his enemies.26 Having convicted one of Bombay’s leading merchants of bribery and corruption, he found himself the victim of a ‘powerful faction’ who, he claimed, made his life miserable and undermined his position and influence as judge in Bombay.27 The position of Recorder of the Court was a difficult one to occupy. The Recorder’s Court itself had only been established six years earlier, in 1798, and was one of a series of attempts by the British government to regulate the actions and power of East India Company servants in India that had begun with Lord North’s Regulating Act in 1773 and was later reinforced by Pitt’s India Act of 1784.28 Appointed and paid by the Crown, rather than the Company, Mackintosh’s job was partly to call Company actions to account. His arrival also coincided with a decree from the Court of Directors requiring Bombay’s civil servants to give up private commercial pursuits or resign their Company positions.29 In his position, but also in his politics, Mackintosh personified the changes intended to shake up the established structures of power and wealth of Bombay’s small community of ‘English’ merchants. It is no surprise, therefore, that Mackintosh felt isolated, resented and ostracized from an important section of Bombay’s ‘English’ society. Yet his representation of these men in his letters to friends focused less on the clash of political and economic structures, and more on what he perceived to be their moral and intellectual failings. In a letter to Sharp, Mackintosh claimed: ‘They have no exertion of mind, no knowledge, no curiosity, no interest in anything past, present or to come. It is much worse than mere ignorance or even mere folly – every power and faculty are asleep and motionless’.30 He seemed not to envisage the possibility of forming friendships with non-European men. Instead, Mackintosh turned to the various scholarly pursuits that he had begun whilst in England. These, he wrote to Canning, would be ‘the consolation of my exile’.31 So, too, would be the letters he hoped to receive from his friends in Europe. Writing to Dugald Stewart (1753–1828), Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, in November 1806, Mackintosh said ‘I am not without hopes that you will sometimes write to me, you can have little notion of the value of such memorials of our friends to us in this dreary exile’.32 Thousands of miles away from the place he called ‘home’, Mackintosh occupied much of his time in Bombay writing letters and journals to his friends and family, based primarily in Britain. These letters provided the vital means of maintaining a presence in absence, and of keeping abreast of political and social affairs.33 ‘One great break in the uniformity of our life arises from the arrival of the packets from Bassora [Basra] with the overland dispatches which usually arrive every month or six weeks’, Mackintosh wrote in a letter dated 1804. ‘We have letters from Constantinople [Istanbul] in seven weeks – I need not say how great an event the arrival of the Europe ships is to us.’34 This correspondence, dated between 1804 and 1811, constitutes nearly a third of Mackintosh’s private papers that are held in the British Library. The Mackintosh ‘epistolarium’ – a term that Liz Stanley employs to signify the dialogic nature of letters and their embedding in a wide epistolary network – provides a map of the expansive European-imperial literary community of which James Mackintosh, and his wife Catherine were part.35 The family’s correspondents included men and women from the landed aristocracy, such as Lord and Lady Holland, and wealthy industrialists, merchants and entrepreneurs, such as the Wedgwood family to whom Catherine Mackintosh was related through the marriage of her sisters. Letters to and from some of the foremost scholars of the late Enlightenment, including Dugald Stewart, Benjamin Constant and John Leslie, illustrate the Mackintosh family’s relationship to intellectual networks. Although dominated by elite white men, this broad circle included a number of important and prolific female literary figures, notably the novelist Madame de Staël (1766–1817) and the travel writer Maria Graham. The Mackintosh collection represents one node in a vast literary-imperial network, in which political, social and intellectual spheres overlapped and intersected. These intersections are visible not only in the occupations of individual correspondents, but also in the content of the letters themselves, which often combine family news, such as updates on health, marriages and births, with commentary on the political situation in India and Europe, alongside discussions of recently published books. Usually addressed to just one recipient, these letters would have been shared with friends and read aloud in parlours and salons. Replying to a letter from Mackintosh in 1804, Sharp wrote of his letters that as they had to be read to all his many friends in London ‘the poor thin paper has had a more troublesome journey in my pocket book about London, than it had in crossing deserts and seas’.36 Although less widely disseminated than published books and pamphlets, letters played a fundamental role in the circulation and consolidation of knowledge and ideas in a community.37 Intersecting with published literature, such as novels, histories and philosophies, the letters in the Mackintosh collection drew on popular literary tropes and representations to construct a common field of experience and feeling. ‘Exile’, which in conjunction with the figure of the ‘the wanderer’ and ‘the outsider’ was gaining increasing prominence in the art and literature of the period, was one such trope. * * * The discourse of ‘exile’ that Mackintosh drew upon to describe his position in Bombay had a long literary heritage stretching back to Classical Antiquity. Mackintosh compared his own situation with that of Trebatius in Gaul, whilst his representation of himself in Bombay mirrored Cicero’s description of his ‘exile’ from Rome in Letters to his Friends (c.51–63BC).38 For Mackintosh, as for many of his contemporaries, Cicero was a hero whose life, letters, and ‘exile’ offered inspiration, as well as a way to conceptualize his own position and ambitions. Cicero’s letters, which dwelled almost entirely on his past mistakes, obsessed over news from Rome, and regarded everywhere outside of Rome as ‘obscura et sordida’ (dingy and squalid), formed a template for Mackintosh’s own.39 Such a likeness would not have been lost on either his male or female correspondents, the majority of whom shared a Classical education, whether formally or informally gained. Jeremy Bentham, whose letters are peppered with references to Greek mythology and Classical scholarship, referred to Mackintosh as ‘Cicero’: in taking on the Recordership of Bombay, ‘Cicero had got a provision which, for the first time in his life, would enable him to do real service to mankind, and that he had always manifested dispositions to apply his talents to that use’.40 Although not intended to be wholly complimentary, this reference and others lent respectability and dignity to Mackintosh’s position in Bombay. The Classical idea of ‘exile’ laid emphasis on the personal sacrifice that exiles made when they put their political principles ahead of their personal attachments.41 It was this sense of selflessness that Mackintosh employed in his defence of the French émigré and Royalist, Jean Peltier, from the accusation of libel by Napoleon in 1803, in which he referred to his client as ‘a defenceless and proscribed exile’, ‘who has sacrificed his fortune, his hopes, his connections, and his country, to his conscience’.42 Peltier’s trial points to another, more immediate, context informing the discourse of ‘exile’. Between 1789 and 1799, the political turmoil in France which began with Louis XVI’s refusal to countenance the Third Estate’s demands for political representation caused thousands of individuals to flee. The first wave of emigrants from France primarily comprised monarchists and clergy, while the second came from a much broader political and socio-economic spectrum and included those escaping a brutal civil war in the Vendée.43 In her autobiographical narrative, Maria Graham noted the prevalence of émigrés when she had visited London as a child and their influence on her cousin’s manners, which she claimed had become ‘Frenchified’.44 Adding to the numbers of refugees from mainland France were French plantation and slave-owners escaping the biggest and most successful slave revolt in history on the Caribbean island of Saint Domingue, France’s most profitable sugar colony. In 1791, enslaved Africans rose up to demand an end to slavery. After fourteen years of successive armed struggle against both the British and the French, the now-free Black men, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture and subsequently Jean-Jacques Dessalin, declared Haiti an independent nation.45 Between fifteen and twenty thousand European colonialists fled Haiti during the period of the uprising, between 1791 and 1804.46 By 1815, when Napoleon himself was exiled to St Helena, hundreds of thousands of uprooted and displaced people were scattered across Europe and the Caribbean, including exiles from Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Prussia and Poland, in addition to those from France.47 In this context of mass displacement of Europeans, ‘exile’ became a key trope, largely in response to the radical sense of disorientation and displacement engendered by the French Revolution.48 With over 100,000 people emigrating from France to Britain, the presence and plight of the French émigrés in Britain inspired poets and novelists.49 They represented them as pitiful victims of events that, in Fanny Burney’s words, ‘have convulsed all order, and annihilated tranquillity’.50 In her poem The Emigrants (1793) Charlotte Turner Smith sought sympathy for the ‘plight’ of ‘these ill-starr’d exiles’, despite being critical of their politics.51 Similarly, Fanny Burney called on the English, and particularly English women, to give protection to the French émigré clergy and alleviate ‘their exile, by giving to it every character of a second and endearing home’.52 These usages of ‘exile’ combined the Classical idea of ‘exile’ as a punishment for political crimes, which gave it dignity and respect, with a newer definition that focused on sadness and loss of homeland.53 Narrating her own exile from Paris by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, Madame de Staël (1766–1817) described exile as a fate worse than death. The famous novelist, salonnière and political commentator observed: ‘There have been great men, both in ancient and modern times, who have sunk under this punishment. We meet with more persons brave against the scaffold, than against the loss of country.’54 In Smith’s ‘Emigrants’, too, exile as the loss of homeland is represented as the ultimate form of sadness: ‘[I] have felt how sad/It is to look across the dim cold sea/That melancholy rolls its refluent tides/Between us and the dear regretted land/We call our own’.55 Mackintosh’s letters from Bombay, and his use in them of ‘exile’, drew on and were part of this emerging literary context and its reconfiguration of identity in relationship to a new social, political and cultural terrain in Europe and Empire. Yet as a Highland Scot who went to Bombay to secure his livelihood, his own position had closer resonances with a different type of emigrant-exile who captured the literary imagination during a slightly earlier period; that of the emigrant to North America. From the 1770s, what Samuel Johnson referred to as an ‘epidemick desire of wandering’, particularly amongst the Highland Scottish and Irish peasantry, as well as rural English workers, was the subject of a pamphlet debate.56 This debate configured emigration as a form of ‘exile’, the result of desperation, and presented it as a state of ultimate sadness and loss. Discussing the plight of Scottish peasants in Sutherland, Thomas Pennant wrote that ‘They wander in a state of desperation; too poor to pay, they madly sell themselves, for their passage, preferring a temporary bondage in a strange land, to starving for life in their native soil’.57 In a different context, the entrepreneur and potter Josiah Wedgwood addressed a pamphlet to his workers in an attempt to prevent them from emigrating, particularly to North America. His pamphlet, published in 1783, told stories of failed efforts to set up a new life, and of shipwreck and disease.58 Ultimately, Wedgwood claimed, few emigrants succeeded and flourished. Instead, they succumbed to ‘a kind of heart sickness and despair, with an unspeakable longing after their native country’.59 As a member of the Highland gentry who saw his position in Bombay as temporary – a means of securing his return to metropolitan Britain – Mackintosh of course did not claim kinship with his poorer, émigré clansmen. Yet he certainly drew on the discourse of ‘exile’ that had developed during the eighteenth century, initially out of concern for the drain of the labouring population from the British Isles, and later to discuss the ‘plight’ of French émigré elite. In doing so, Mackintosh aligned himself with the affective mood of the literary society to which he belonged. In a letter dated 1805, probably written to the publisher Sir Richard Phillips, Mackintosh echoed this mood: ‘To be affectionately remembered by such men as you is one of the greatest pleasures I can receive and it is the greatest consolation which I can receive in those fits of dejection when I feel myself oppressed by the forlorn friendlessness and dreary solitude of distant exile’.60 His expressions of melancholy and isolation in Bombay resonated with Wedgwood’s description of the ‘despair’ and ‘longing’ that befell other emigrants to Empire. Fearing a Napoleonic conquest of Britain, he imagined himself as another émigré-exile casualty of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In a letter from Bombay dated 1 March 1806, around the time he would have received news of the Treaty of Pressburg when Austria left the coalition against Napoleon, Mackintosh wrote: ‘In my situation I think of an invader with the same horror as I would of a robber about to destroy a beautiful country house, which having been the long residence of my family and the place of my birth was also to be the refuge of my weary age’.61 In his fears of a Napoleonic invasion of his ‘cherished and chosen asylum’, Mackintosh projected a future dystopia onto a utopian image of a harmonious home that was symbolized by a ‘beautiful country house’. His vision of the nation as a country house, linking him to previous generations, echoes Edmund Burke’s image of the nation as a ‘noble and venerable castle’ that was built up from its ‘old foundations’ across time.62 Like Burke, Mackintosh imagined the home in relationship to the nation, a space of familiarity and belonging into which he was born, offering assurance and comfort in his old age. Yet Mackintosh had neither a country house nor a castle as ‘security for his old age’ and it was for this very reason that he had left his ‘cherished and chosen asylum’ and was writing from ‘exile’ in Bombay. His family, originally part of the Mackintosh clan based in the Highlands of Scotland, had long been dispersed across the British Empire. In 1804, he finally sold off the last ‘shreds of property’ in the Highlands that he had inherited on his father’s death, converting the Kyllachy estate into cash in order to pay off some of the debts accrued whilst living and studying in London.63 Although threat of a Napoleonic invasion offered an immediate and legitimate outlet for his fears of non-belonging, Mackintosh’s own exclusion from the geographical boundaries of the nation lay less in its potential conquest, and more in his inadequate financial resources. His conceptualization of the nation as a ‘country house’, and his fantasy of inheritance, expose the material wealth and economic status upon which his sense of national belonging was contingent. * * * The discourse of ‘exile’, with its emphasis on melancholy, loss, and longing for ‘home’, obscured the economic inequalities that forced so many to leave the British Isles and to become colonizers of other lands and peoples. The position of Recorder of the Court in Bombay, which Mackintosh gained through the patronage of Lord Canning, provided an annual salary of £5,000 and the promise of a pension at the end of five years’ service.64 It would amount to enough, he predicted in 1808, to rid himself of debts, furnish his house, and secure a ‘farm to furnish bread for my family in the event of political convulsions’, but was not to be considered a fortune.65 In his letters and diaries Mackintosh repeatedly calculated the amount of money he could save in Bombay, where he should invest, how much he would need to live comfortably in Britain – ‘nothing under £20,000 can be considered a fortune’ – and the soonest possible date for his return in the light of his financial circumstances.66 Mackintosh’s endless calculations, and the support he received from his friends, were far from unique. From the highest imperial administrator to the lowliest East India Company servant, the promise of financial gains far exceeding anything that could be earned in Britain drove imperial ambitions. Lord William Bentinck (1774–1839), later Governor General of India (1833–5), made similar calculations on a far grander scale, envisaging his position in India as a temporary measure until he could return with a fortune of £200,000, ‘which would make us very much at our ease and would prevent any descent from the style and comfort in which we have both lived’.67 An established member of the landed aristocracy, Bentinck looked to a high-level administrative position in India to enable him to continue to enjoy the lifestyle and status into which he had been born. In contrast, Mackintosh looked to imperial service in India in order to build up the necessary capital to secure a comfortable life for his family, whilst also consolidating his name and position amongst Britain’s political elite, a position that he had begun to establish for himself as a young man newly arrived in London from Edinburgh in 1788. If monetary gain was the key justification for his absence from the metropole, and the necessary condition of his return, ‘exile’ enabled him to configure that absence as loss. For Mackintosh, Bombay was simply the means to a financial end. He represented his residence there as a period of marking time, waiting to return ‘home’ to metropolitan Britain. His friends supported this representation. ‘Your friends here all delight in their hearts to learn that you are both so wise and so good as to save your money, that you may both return to us soon,’ wrote Sharp in 1806, ‘every rupee saved is an hour taken from your exile.’68 Even his own attempts to effect change, by reforming the jail, restructuring the police force and establishing a literary society, Mackintosh represented as mere ‘resources against listlessness’, which provided ‘some consolation for the absence from our friends’.69 This idea of ‘listlessness’ added a temporal dimension to Mackintosh’s ‘exile’ in Bombay by suggesting that the passage of time was itself empty of meaning and progress. On New Year’s Day 1807, he reflected on the year that had just passed, writing that ‘The year 1806 is almost a blank in this diary – so it almost was in fact. It was very barren in enjoyment or improvement’.70 Mackintosh’s claims that his life ‘in exile’ in Bombay was ‘barren of enjoyment or improvement’ intersected with a broader imperial-spatial imaginary in which metropolitan Britain represented the centre of ‘civilization’ and the driving force of ‘progress’. The idea of ‘barren’ lands was frequently invoked to critique indigenous societies as lacking productivity and resourcefulness, and thereby to justify settler colonialism. In contrast, ‘improvement’ – both agricultural and moral – lay at the centre of Scottish Enlightenment theories of progress. As Adam Smith had argued in The Wealth of Nations (1776), the urban commercial and manufacturing bourgeoisie provided the driving force for progress and ‘improvement’. Upon making their fortunes, the merchant inhabitants of cities would, in turn, purchase and improve lands in the countryside to the benefit of the whole nation.71 Smith’s ideas contributed to the development of stadial theory, in which societies advance according to four economic stages – hunting, pastoral, agricultural, and commercial.72 This linear model of human progress, which Adam Ferguson built on in his Essays on the History of Civil Society (1767) and which was consolidated through Lord Kames’s Sketches of the History of Man (1774), understood ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’ as radiating outwards from urban European centres.73 Drawing on this paradigm, Mackintosh represented Bombay as just another ‘backward’ province, marked by ‘pedantry’ and ‘scandal’, its ‘anecdotes’ ‘unworthy the notice of any rational creature’.74 The difficulty, he claimed, lay in blocking out the ‘noise’ of Bombay’s petty provincialism and corrupt ‘European’ society. Likening himself to Madame de Staël’s fictional heroine, he claimed that ‘like Corrina [sic] in Northumberland I find that a noise in the next house drowns the voice of Europe and of posterity’.75 The analogy between Bombay and Northumberland reinforced the idea that provinces, whether on mainland Britain or the Indian subcontinent, were effectively the same, marked as backward in contrast to metropolitan, urban centres. Yet the sophisticated political, legal and administrative system of the Mughals, as well as the evidence of centuries of flourishing commerce and arts across the Indian subcontinent, made it difficult to locate India on the ladder of progress upon which metropolitan Europe occupied the highest rung. By the late eighteenth century there was general agreement amongst British Orientalists, including the Scottish thinker William Robertson and the Welsh scholar Sir William Jones, that India was an ancient, ‘Hindu’ civilization that had long stagnated and declined.76 According to this theory, the original, ‘Hindu’, inhabitants had, for centuries, been ruled despotically by Muslim ‘invaders’.77 Remnants of a ‘golden age’ equivalent to that of Ancient Greece were to be found in cave temples and Sanskrit poetry, but, according to this theory, the arts and learning that had flourished during the Ancient period had long declined. For Mackintosh, as for his contemporary and correspondent Charles Grant, even the idea that India had once possessed a high degree of learning and civilization was spurious. ‘Eastern religion and art’, Mackintosh claimed, lacked the ‘beauty and grace’ of Ancient Greek culture, ‘all is fantastic, massy and monstrous’.78 By the time James Mill had published his History of British India (1817), the pejorative stereotypes of the ‘despotic’ Mughals, who ruled with tyranny and caprice over the ‘effeminate’ and ‘submissive’ Hindus, were hegemonic in British imperial discourse, circulating in travel literature and political pamphlets as well as histories and philosophical tracts.79 These representations coincided with, and reinforced, a gradual change in approach to East India Company governance in India. Up until the early nineteenth century, the East India Company had combined aggressive military intervention with a relatively non-interventionist approach to Indian governance itself. In land settlement and in law, East India Company policy was to rule through what it perceived to be the customary practices of the local population. By the early nineteenth century, in part as a result of the trial of Warren Hastings, but also due to the increasing influence of evangelical Christianity on the Board of Directors, that non-interventionist stance was gradually eclipsed by policies aimed at ‘civilizing’ and Christianizing Indian society.80 Those policies, which included the official sanctioning of Christian missions through the Charter Act of 1813, and the criminalization of sati in 1828, rested on overt assumptions of the moral superiority of Britain. For evangelical Christians, such as Charles Grant, this was a divinely-inspired project, inseparable from missionary activity.81 Although a practising Christian, Mackintosh himself was against missionary activity and understood these reforms under the more nebulous and secular banner of ‘progress’.82 Nonetheless, his representation of India and his various suggestions for reform encapsulate the broader change in attitude and policy. In a report on the state of the police in Bombay, for example, he represented Bombay’s ‘native’ population as ‘timid’, claiming that ‘the rich are unscrupulous and the poor are unresisting’.83 He advocated a restructuring of the police that would place ‘Europeans’ in positions of authority, to be overseen by ‘one of the principal English gentlemen of the community [which] will always be a sufficient security against oppression’.84 Mackintosh’s report suggested measures for greater accountability and due process, yet also assumed certain characteristics as inherent among ‘Europeans’ and implicitly lacking in the rest of Bombay’s population, whom he referred to homogenously as ‘natives’ or as the ‘Asiatic population’. In contrast, Mackintosh characterized ‘Europeans’ as ‘eminently respectable’ and of ‘robust constitution’; the idea that there would be any judicial corruption – ‘so un-English a crime’ – was, he claimed, unlikely.85 Similarly, his address to the Grand Jury of Bombay in 1805 defined the British nation as ‘renowned in every age … for valour, for justice, for humanity, and generosity’, whilst his address the following year characterized ‘the natives of India’ as ‘addicted to those vices which proceed from the weakness of natural feeling, and the almost total absence of moral restraint’.86 In his public pronouncements, Mackintosh made clear his belief in the innate superiority of Europeans in general, and Englishmen in particular, over all Indian people. Yet in his private correspondence he asserted that those ‘Europeans’ who resided in ‘barren and inhospitable regions’ were inferior to those living in metropolitan Europe.87 For Mackintosh, as for many of his contemporaries, India’s culture of ‘decadence’ and ‘depravity’ was dangerously contagious, posing a threat to the morals of Europeans themselves, and informing the nature of East India Company governance.88 Mackintosh understood proximity to Indian culture over time as in itself enough to threaten the English character, stating ‘every Englishman who resides here very long has I fear his mind either emasculated by submission or corrupted by despotic power. Mr Duncan [1756–1811, Governor of Bombay, 1795–1811] may represent one genus, the brahminised Englishman. Lord Wellesley [1760–1842, Governor-General of India, 1798–1805] is indisputably at the head of the other, the sultanised Englishman’.89 Attributing the differences between ‘Englishmen’ ‘at home’ and in the colonies to geographical distance, Mackintosh claimed that ‘the mind seems very materially changed by crossing the sea’.90 His friends concurred. In a letter dated 1806 Miss Amelia Sloper (d.1829) stated her hope that he would put such observations to philosophical and practical use. ‘I am not without hopes that … you will find time to give the world a just and philosophical account of the circumstances which contribute to the corruption and degradation of the European character in India.’91 In his friends’ imagination, Mackintosh himself represented a civilizing force, an embodiment of the ‘improvement’ that would spread outwards from metropolitan Europe. In 1805, Mrs Susannah Taylor (née Cook, 1755–1823, member of a prominent Dissenter family in Norwich) wrote to him that ‘We are speculating here upon the probable consequences of your residence in India, upon the moral and literary improvement you will produce’.92 Mackintosh’s establishment of a Literary Society in Bombay was an explicit attempt to do just that. Addressing the small audience of British-imperial men who attended the first meeting of the Literary Society as ‘detachments of the main body of civilized men’, he urged them to ‘levy contributions to knowledge, as well as to gain victories over barbarism’.93 As members of ‘one of the most intelligent and inquisitive nations of the world’, they were, he claimed, uniquely positioned to advance knowledge of India, and in so doing to ‘illuminate and humanise the whole race of man’.94 Mackintosh represented his own role in this literary project as the mouthpiece of ‘Europe’, ‘faithfully conveying to India the desires and wants of the learned at home’.95 In styling himself as the ‘representative of the curiosity of Europe’, he located himself at a distance from those whom he addressed, and in closer proximity to ‘Europe’. This public positioning intersected with, and reinforced, his repeated representation of himself ‘in exile’ in Bombay in his letters and diaries. Both public and private self-representations enabled him to dissociate himself from his surroundings and reassure his friends that he remained uncontaminated by an Indian culture of ‘effeminacy’ and caprice. In doing so, he assured his friends in metropolitan Europe that he remained relevant and oriented to the metropolitan social and intellectual world he had left behind. Complaining that ‘my understanding is indeed in almost absolute solitude and my body is too often in a croud [sic]’, Mackintosh represented himself as separate and untainted by Indian ‘degeneracy’.96 His library, and the scholarly works that he intended to continue whilst in Bombay, would serve, he continued, as ‘the consolation of my exile’.97 Again, his friends, and particularly Richard Sharp who played a significant role in circulating his news and ensuring his reputation in London, encouraged Mackintosh’s conceptual divorce from his surroundings. ‘I have a great dread lest you should become too Indian in your pursuits, which will then be of a sort not greatly esteemed here, nor likely to be so useful as those noble and interesting enquiries which occupied your mind in London.’98 The slippage between what would be ‘esteemed’ in London, and what could be considered generally ‘useful’, ‘noble’ and ‘interesting’ illustrates the pervasive Eurocentrism of Mackintosh’s circle. Referring to the ‘antiquities and mythologies’ of India as ‘Eastern trash’, Mackintosh assured his friends that he had no intention of ‘dabbling’ in Orientalism.99 Sharp responded positively, stating, ‘I do my best to keep your mind European’, and rejoicing in the same year to hear that Mackintosh had ‘discovered that it is not worthwhile to run about after singular manners and uncouth appearances … With such feelings surely you cannot forget European things to go hankering after the extravagances of orientalism’.100 ‘Exile’ laid emphasis on emotional and physical isolation, on solitude rather than interaction, placing ‘the exile’ outside of human networks and detached from the rest of the world. Yet although ‘exile’ implied solitude, Mackintosh saw no contradiction in representing himself as ‘in exile’ whilst also living with his immediate, nuclear family. Writing again to Sharp in 1808, he claimed that ‘if I could confine myself to my own family I should be happy anywhere’, and yet his longing for London, with its men-only social clubs and political world, renders that assertion spurious.101 For most of their residence in Bombay, the Mackintosh family lived in the governor’s country house in Parel, with a retinue of servants of various different heritages and religions. The youngest children were cared for by Portuguese ayahs, probably from Goa, and for his first few years their only son, Robert, born in Bombay in 1806, would have engaged more with Hindustani than with English.102 In his letters to his friends, however, Mackintosh placed greater emphasis on the routines that kept them ‘English’. Writing to his brother-in-law John Allen, he described the family’s evening routine, ‘At seven we drink tea and from tea to bed read to our whole family party to the amusement I hope of Kitty and to the instruction of my three elder children’.103 Included on this reading list were Milton, Cowper and Addison’s Spectator, a very English canon reinforcing their continued focus on what Sharp would have called ‘European things’ despite their absence from Europe. Family, and particularly his wife’s companionship, was also integral to his ability to weather his ‘exile’ and to retain ‘British’ values. Mackintosh wrote to the philosopher Dugald Stewart that ‘I carry with me to every country one companion very capable of exercising my understanding and of amusing my hours of relaxation – well qualified to rouse me from lethargy, to soothe my occasional irritations and to console my undue dejection’.104 The model of companionate marriage and benevolent patriarchy that Mackintosh presented in his letters to his friends from Bombay reinforced his own performance of ‘respectable’ and ‘civilized’ British masculinity. Mackintosh’s representation of family harmony and hierarchy contrasted with British depictions of the Indian household as messy and divisive. Indian women, who were, according to British imperial commentators, ‘held in slavish subjection by the men’, were nonetheless also perceived to be manipulating their husbands, and therefore controlling the household.105 Their ‘indecent railings’ disrupted order and undermined the hierarchy of the sexes, while their ‘slavish subjection’ ‘embruted’ the men who held them captive.106 Upon visiting the Nizam of Hyderabad’s zenana, Mackintosh reinforced his own civilized masculinity through his outrage at the subjection in which the Nizam’s wives were held. ‘I, who know of what excellence women are capable, feel the full extent of this shocking degradation.’107 Such ‘tyranny’, according to Mackintosh, was not restricted to Indian families, but extended to the small community of ‘Europeans’ who were subject to the jurisdiction of the Recorder’s Court. Presiding over a number of cases of ‘cruelty by husbands’, Mackintosh claimed that ‘this monstrous depravity certainly proceeds from the contempt of all order and authority which the mean character of this government has inspired. The curb has been removed which checks the wanderings of fancy and passion’.108 By blaming the ‘character of this government’ for the kind of criminal activities that were certainly also in evidence in the courts of Britain, Mackintosh constructed a false separation between a virtuous and idealized British government that he had been sent out to represent, and the ‘corrupt’ colonial governance of the East India Company. This separation mirrored the broader conceptual boundary that he created, using the discourse of ‘exile’, between himself and Bombay. In late 1808, Mackintosh undertook a journey across the Deccan plateau from Bombay to Hyderabad to visit a friend, Captain Sydenham, then Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad.109 Travelling through different regions, many of which had been devastated by successive wars, Mackintosh kept a daily journal of his travels, which he addressed to Catherine, who remained in Bombay with their six children.110 Although it was never published as a travel narrative, this journal took the form common to early nineteenth-century travel writing, recording the landscape, population of towns and condition of the people, as well as the actual and potential yield of the land. The tour, Mackintosh claimed, had given him greater knowledge of India than he could have achieved from five years’ reading.111 His observations led him to a ‘a firm conviction, that the first blessing to be wished to the inhabitants of India was, that a civilized conqueror might rescue them from their native oppressors’.112 Yet despite his professions of concern for the general plight of people living in the regions through which he travelled, Mackintosh expressed little immediate sympathy for the difficulties of the men who carried him in his palanquin. Rather, he represented their wounds – ‘whether real or pretended’ – from bearing his carriage across unforgiving terrain, as inconveniences that impaired his journey.113 As in so many of his other letters, Mackintosh denied any sympathy for, or identification with, those Indian people amongst whom he lived in close proximity, and upon whom he was fundamentally reliant. Despite the fact that he was accompanied by a military escort of fourteen soldiers and over fifty followers, including his personal servant Fyzulla, he wrote, as he so often did, of his ‘solitude’.114 A month into his tour, the construction of ‘solitude’ that had enabled Mackintosh to disassociate himself from the taint of Indian ‘degeneracy’ and ‘corruption’, returned to haunt him. Freezing cold, unwell and concerned that he and his retinue were thoroughly lost, Mackintosh wrote in his journal that he was ‘haunted by the stories I heard of unfortunate gentlemen dying in their palankeens [sic], and being carried forty or fifty miles after they were dead by the bearers, who never thought of opening the doors’.115 In an extraordinary reversal of power relations, it is the palanquin bearers whose unthinkingness denies any meaning, beyond the accumulation of a wage for their labour, to the body they carry. In this image, the spectre of a nameless, placeless, unremarked death, reveals the alienation at the heart of Empire, an alienation that resonates with Said’s definition of ‘exile’ as ‘the perilous territory of not belonging’. Two days after Mackintosh recorded his fears of dying alone and unnoticed in his palanquin, his thoughts took a very different turn. Writing his journal, he stated ‘I found myself at Touljapore [Tuljapur]’ – a peculiar turn of phrase that gestures to his reliance on the people who carried him.116 Relatively comfortable at last, Mackintosh reflected that his tent appeared as a ‘home’ and his servants, Lucco and Ramjee, as a ‘family’. For a moment, Mackintosh allowed his mind and his pen to wander to an alternative world in which tents on the Deccan plateau could constitute ‘home’ and Indian people his ‘family’.117 In this radical reimagining of belonging, the landscape and people to whom he had so consistently denied any meaning suddenly took on an emotional significance. The possibilities for recognition that lay in this momentary rupture in the pattern of disavowal were, however, abruptly foreclosed. ‘The next moment’, Mackintosh continued, ‘I directed my thoughts to my own home and I wrote a long letter to you [Catherine Mackintosh], one to Captain Close and one to Captain Sydenham.’118 Conclusion For British imperial elites living and working in the British Empire, to live in a space of hybridity, open to the possibilities of being changed through interaction, was to risk the loss of recognition by the elite metropolitan world they called ‘home’. The vast landscape of Empire, a ‘perilous territory of not belonging’, haunted imperial elites. Yet at the same time the imperial discourse of ‘exile’ that developed in the early nineteenth century enabled them to reclaim subjecthood and to perform their belonging to metropolitan Britain as ‘home’. Mackintosh used ‘exile’ to position himself emotionally in closer proximity to metropolitan Britain, and to create an affective separation between himself and the society around him. ‘Exile’ therefore also played a constitutive role in configuring the meaning of the metropole as the site of civilization, progress and ‘manly’ virtue, and ultimately as the only possible ‘home’. In contrast, the colony as a space of ‘exile’, was discursively emptied of meaning, represented as backwards, effeminate and degenerate, defined only by what it lacked. Recent post-colonial and feminist historians of colonialism have explored the role of denial in enabling the constitution of a ‘modern’ subject that is seemingly divorced from imperial violence and exploitation. This violence goes beyond individual and collective acts of physical violence, to the epistemic violence that is inherent in the denial of meaning to alternative lives and ways of understanding the world.119 In this article, I have argued that the discourse of ‘exile’ played a constitutive role in effecting the denial of meaning to the social and cultural geography of India. ‘Exile’, discursively reconfigured during this period as a state of ultimate sadness and loss, effected an emotional and ontological separation between Mackintosh and the multi-ethnic society in which he lived. ‘Exile’ reduced the people upon whom he was so reliant for his everyday needs, to objects. It was through this denial of meaning to the people and places of India and the refusal to see any value beyond the economic and financial, that Mackintosh and his friends constituted metropolitan Britain as the only possible site of belonging, as the only credible ‘home’. Onni Gust is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nottingham, teaching and researching the history of identity formation in relationship to British imperial expansion. Onni is currently working on a book that explores changing ideas of ‘home’ and ‘exile’ in the published and unpublished writing of British imperial literati during the ‘long’ eighteenth century. NOTES AND REFERENCES Footnotes 1 Edward Said, ‘Reflections on Exile’, in Reflections on Exile and Other Essays, London, 2000, p. 177. 2 ‘Reflections’, p. 174. 3 See, for example: Homi Bhabha, ‘The Home and the World’, Social Text 31/32, 1992, pp. 141–153; Cora Kaplan, ‘Deterritorializations: the Rewriting of Home and Exile in Western Feminist Discourse’, in The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse, ed. David Lloyd and Abdul Jan Mohammed, New York, 1990, pp. 357–68; Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss, ed. André Aciman, New York, 1993. 4 Hortense Spillers, ‘Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: an American Grammar Book’, Diacritics 17: 2, summer 1987, pp. 65–81. See also Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America, Oxford and New York, 1997, p. 74. 5 Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness, London and New York, 1993. 6 Mark Rappolt, ‘Nil Yalter: Exile is a Hard Job’, Art Review 69: 3, April 2017, pp. 60–71; see also Amna Malik, ‘Conceptualising “Black” British Art through the Lens of Exile’, in Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers, ed. Kobena Mercer, Cambridge MA, 2008, pp. 166–88. 7 Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose, ‘Introduction: Being at Home with the Empire’, in At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Cultures and the Imperial World, ed. Hall and Rose, Cambridge, 2006, pp. 1–31. 8 Ranajit Guha, ‘Not at Home in Empire’, Critical Inquiry 23: 3, spring 1997, pp. 482–93. 9 Mrinalini Sinha, ‘Britishness, Clubbability, and the Colonial Public Sphere: the Genealogy of an Imperial Institution in Colonial India’, Journal of British Studies 40: 4, October 2001, pp. 489–521; Dane Kennedy, The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1996. 10 For a biography of Mackintosh see Patrick O’Leary, Sir James Mackintosh: the Whig Cicero, Edinburgh, 1989. 11 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804: BL Add MS 52451a. 12 Adele Perry, ‘“Is Your Garden in England, Sir?”: James Douglas’s Archive and the Politics of Home’, History Workshop Journal 70, autumn 2010, p. 78. 13 Catherine Hall, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain, London, 2012, chap. 5. 14 Elizabeth Vibert, ‘Writing “Home”: Sibling Intimacy and Mobility in a Scottish Colonial Memoir’, in Moving Subjects: Gender, Mobility and Intimacy in an Age of Global Empire, ed. Antoinette Burton and Tony Ballantyne, Urbana and Chicago, 2009, pp. 67–88. 15 For a description of the town of Bombay see Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India by Maria Graham, Edinburgh, 1812, p. 4. 16 Amar Farooqui, Opium City: the Making of Early Victorian Bombay, New Delhi, 2006, pp. 58–60 and Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island, vol. 1, Bombay, 1909, pp. 150–63. Rama Deb Roy estimates the population of Calcutta in 1800 as 500,000: ‘Glimpses on the History of Calcutta, 1600–1800’, Annales de Démographie Historique, 1988, Paris, 1989, pp. 243–57. 17 Pamela Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India, 1784–1806, Cambridge, 1970, pp. 219–20. Claude Markovits, ‘Bombay as a Business Centre in the Colonial Period: a Comparison with Calcutta’, in Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India, ed. Sujata Patel and Alice Thorner, Bombay and Oxford, 1995, p. 27. 18 Maria Graham, Journal, p. 42. 19 See Jesse S. Palsetia, Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy of Bombay: Partnership and Public Culture in Empire, New Delhi, 2015. 20 For the history of Bombay in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries see Mariam Dossal, Imperial Designs and Indian Realities: the Planning of Bombay City, 1847–1895, Delhi, 1991; Farooqui, Opium City; Markovits, ‘Bombay as a Business Centre in the Colonial Period’ and Mariam Dossal, ‘Signatures in Space: Land Use in Colonial Bombay’, both in Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India, ed. Patel and Thorner, pp. 26–46, 89–99; Sheila Smith, ‘Indian Merchants and the Colonial Structure of Urban Space in early Nineteenth Century Bombay’, in 11th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, panel 4, Cities and the Use of Space, 1990; Meera Kosambi, Bombay and Poona: a Socio-Ecological Study of Two Indian Cities, 1650–1900, Stockholm, 1980; Prashant Kidambi, The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890–1920, Aldershot, 2007, chap. 2; Swati Chattopadhay, ‘Nineteenth-century British attitudes towards Calcutta and Bombay’, in The Urban Experience: a People-Environment Perspective, ed. S. J. Neary, M. S. Symes and F. E. Brown, London, 1994; Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India; James Douglas JP, Glimpses of Old Bombay and Western India with other papers, London, 1900; Percival Spear, The Nabobs: a Study of the Social Life of the English in Eighteenth Century India (1932), Calcutta, 1963, p. 66. 21 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 8: BL Add MS 52451a. 22 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 64: BL Add MS 78768. 23 Journal, 27 Aug. 1807, n.p.: BL Add MS 524536b. 24 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 8: BL Add MS 52451a. 25 ‘Register of the King of Clubs, 1798–1823’: BL Add MS 37337. 26 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451. 27 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 1 March, 1806, p. 161: BL Add MS 78763. 28 Christopher A. Bayly, The New Cambridge History of India, vol. 2: Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, Cambridge, 1988, p. 76; Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, From Plassey to Partition, Hyderabad, 2004, pp. 77–8; Robert Travers, Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: the British in Bengal, Cambridge, 2007, chap. 6; Jon Wilson, The Domination of Strangers: Modern Governance in Eastern India, 1780–1835, London, 2008, chap. 3. 29 Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India, p. 230. 30 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451a. 31 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 156. 32 Mackintosh to Stewart, Bombay, 2 Nov. 1805, p. 58: BL Add 78764. 33 Zoe Laidlaw, Colonial Connections 1815–45: Patronage, the Information Revolution and Colonial Government, Manchester and New York, 2005, p. 17. 34 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 65: BL add MS 78768. 35 Liz Stanley, ‘The Epistolarium: On Theorizing Letters and Correspondences’, Auto/Biography 12, 2004, pp. 201–35. 36 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 18 Jan. 1805, p. 23: BL Add MS 78764. 37 Sarah Pearsall, Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century, Oxford, 2008. 38 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 161: BL Add MS 78763. 39 Jo-Marie Claasen, Displaced Persons: the Literature of Exile from Cicero to Boethius, London, 1999, p. 28. 40 Bentham to Mackintosh, St Helens, 4 Jan. 1808, in The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Edinburgh, 1838–45, 11 vols, vol. 10: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/bentham-the-works-of-jeremy-bentham-vol-10-memoirs-part-i-and-correspondence, accessed 11 Nov. 2017. 41 Maurizio Isabella, ‘Exile and Nationalism: the Case of the Risorgimento’, European History Quarterly 36: 4, 2006, p. 497. 42 ‘A Speech in Defence of Jean Peltier, accused of a libel on the first consul of France. Delivered in the court of the King’s Bench on the 21st of February, 1803’, in Sir James Mackintosh, The Miscellaneous Works of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh (1846), Boston MA, 1857, p. 484. 43 Maya Jasanoff, ‘Revolutionary Exiles: the American Loyalist and French Émigré Diasporas’, in The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760–1840, ed. David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Basingstoke, 2010, p. 41. 44 Lady Maria Callcott, ‘Reminiscences’, in Maria, Lady Callcott: the Creator of ‘Little Arthur’, ed. Rosamund Brunel Gotch, London, 1937, p. 18. 45 C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, London, 1938; Laurent DuBois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804, Chapel Hill and London, 2004. 46 R. Darrell Meadows, ‘Engineering Exile: Social Networks and the French Atlantic Community, 1789–1809’, French Historical Studies 23: 1, 2000, pp. 67–102. 47 Kirsty Carpenter, Refugees of the French Revolution: Émigrés in London, 1789–1802, Basingstoke, 1999, chap. 1; Stuart Curran, ‘Romanticism Displaced and Placeless’, European Romantic Review 20: 4, 2009, pp. 637–50. 48 Peter Fritzsche, ‘Specters of History: On Nostalgia, Exile, and Modernity’, American Historical Review 106: 5, December 2001, pp. 1,588. 49 Curran, ‘Romanticism Displaced’, p. 642. 50 Fanny Burney, Brief Reflections Relative to the Emigrant French Clergy earnestly submitted to the humane consideration of the ladies of Great Britain, London, 1793, p. 2. 51 Charlotte Smith, The Emigrants: a Poem in Two Books, London, 1793, p. 31. 52 Burney, Brief Reflections, p. 25. 53 Isabella, ‘Exile and Nationalism’, p. 500. 54 Baroness de Staël-Holstein, Ten Years’ Exile, intro. Margaret Crossland, Frontwell, Sussex, 1968, p. 97. 55 Smith, The Emigrants, p. 19. 56 Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775), ed. Peter Levi, London, 1984, p. 102. For the history of British emigration to America see James Horn, British Diaspora: Emigration from Britain, 1680–1815, Oxford, 1998; Kerby Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America, New York and Oxford, 1985; Alex Murdoch, ‘Emigration from the Scottish Highlands to America in the Eighteenth Century’, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 21, 1998, pp. 161–74. 57 Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, London, 1772, pp. 365–6. 58 Josiah Wedgwood, An Address to the Workmen in the Pottery on the subject of Entering into the Service of Foreign Manufacturers, Newcastle[-under-Lyme, Staffordshire], 1783. 59 Wedgwood, Address, p. 15. 60 Mackintosh to Phillips, Bombay, 25 Sept. 1805, p. 48: BL Add MS 78765. 61 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 1 March 1806, p. 160: BL Add MS 78763. 62 Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (7th edn, 1790), New York, 2006, p. 33. 63 Onni Gust, ‘Remembering and Forgetting the Scottish Highlands: Sir James Mackintosh and the Forging of a British Imperial Identity’, Journal of British Studies 52, 2013, pp. 615–37. 64 Patrick O’Leary, Sir James Mackintosh: the Whig Cicero, Aberdeen, 1989, p. 72; Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island, vol. 2, Bombay, 1909, p. 120. 65 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 7 July 1808, p. 48: BL Add MS 52451a. 66 Mackintosh to Sharp, 7 July 1808, p. 49. 67 Lord William Bentinck to his brother the Marquis of Litchfield, 6 Sept. 1805: Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham, Pw H 249. 68 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 6 Jan. 1806, p. 29: BL Add MS 78764. 69 Mackintosh to Moore, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 159: BL Add MS 78763. 70 Mackintosh Journals, 1 Jan. 1807: BL Add MS 52436. 71 Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 5th edn, vol. 1, Dublin, 1793, pp. 405–6. 72 Silvia Sebastiani, The Scottish Enlightenment: Race, Gender, and the Limits of Progress, New York, 2013, chap. 1; Harro Maximilian Höpfl, ‘Savage to Scotsman: Conjectural History in the Scottish Enlightenment’, Journal of British Studies 17: 2, spring 1978, pp. 19–40; Alexander Garrett, ‘Anthropology: the “original” of Human Nature’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. Alexander Brodie, Cambridge, 2003, pp. 79–93. 73 Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), 5th edn, London, 1782: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1428, accessed 8 Aug. 2017, section II: Of Rude Nations prior to the Establishment of Property; Henry Home Kames, Sketches of the History of Man, Edinburgh, 1774, Book 1, Sketch VI: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/kames-sketches-of-the-history-of-man-vol-1, accessed 22 Sept. 2016. 74 Journal, 5 Sept. 1810, p. 119: BL Add MS 52437. 75 Journal, 15 June 1808. n.p., BL Add MS 552436b. 76 See Asiatick Society of Bengal lecture by Sir William Jones, ‘Third Anniversary Discourse, on the Hindus delivered 2d of February, 1786’, in The Works of Sir William Jones. In Six Volumes, vol. 1, London, 1799, pp. 19–34; William Robertson, Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge the Ancients had of India:https://archive.org/details/historicalindia00robe, accessed 8 Aug. 2017; Jane Rendall, ‘Scottish Orientalism: from Robertson to James Mill’, Historical Journal 25: 1,1982, pp. 43–69; Stewart Brown, ‘William Robertson, Early Orientalism and the Historical Disquisition on India of 1791’, Scottish Historical Review 88: 2, 2009, pp. 289–312; Thomas Trautmann, Aryans and British India, Berkeley and London, 1997, chap. 2. 77 See Ronald B. Inden, Imagining India, Cambridge MA, 1990; Rosanne Rocher, ‘British Orientalism in the Eighteenth Century: the Dialectics of Knowledge and Government’, in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South India, ed. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, Philadelphia, 1993. 78 Journal, 16 Dec. 1810, p. 211: BL Add MS 52437. 79 Javed Majeed, ‘James Mill’s “The History of British India” and Utilitarianism as a Rhetoric of Reform’, Modern Asian Studies 24: 2, May 1990. 80 Thomas Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, Cambridge, 1995, chap. 2. 81 Charles Grant, Observations on the State of Society among the Asiatic subjects of Great Britain, particularly with respect to Morals and on the means of improving it, London, 1813. 82 James Mackintosh to Minto, Parell, Bombay, 21 Feb. 1806: NLS, MS11732–3 1st Earl of Minto papers. 83 ‘Letter from the Honourable Sir James Mackintosh, with a report on the police of the Island of Bombay’, October 1811 in William H. Morley, An Analytical Digest of all the Reported Cases decided on in the Supreme Courts of Judicature in India in the Courts of the Hon. East India Company and on Appeal from India by Her Majesty in Council together with an Introduction, Notes, Illustrative and Explanatory and an Appendix, vol. 2, London, 1849, p. 512. 84 As previous note, p. 522. 85 As previous note, p. 531. 86 Mackintosh, ‘A Charge, delivered to the Grand Jury of the Island of Bombay, on the 20th July, 1811’, in Mackintosh, Miscellaneous Works, p. 566. 87 Mackintosh, ‘Discourse read at the opening of the Literary Society of Bombay, 26th November 1804’, in his Miscellaneous Works, p. 398. 88 Sudipta Sen, Distant Sovereignty: National Imperialism and the Origins of British India, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 130–1. 89 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 14 Aug. 1804, p. 7: BL Add MS 52451a. 90 Mackintosh to Canning, Bombay, 13 June 1805, p. 155: BL Add MS 78763. 91 Miss Sloper to Mackintosh, South Audley, 1805, p. 88: BL Add MS 52451b. 92 Mrs Taylor to Mackintosh, Norwich, 7 Nov. 1805, p. 117: BL Add MS 52451b. 93 ‘Discourse read at the opening of the Literary Society of Bombay, 20th November 1804’, in Mackintosh, Miscellaneous Works, p. 398 94 ‘As previous note’ p. 398. 95 ‘As previous note’, p. 399. 96 Mackintosh to Canning, Bombay, 13 June 1805, p. 155: BL Add MS 78763. 97 Mackintosh to Canning, as previous note. 98 Sharp to Mackintosh, 18 Jan. 1805, p. 23: BL Add MS 78764. 99 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 24 Feb. 1806, p. 12: BL Add MS 52451a. 100 Sharp to Mackintosh, London, 4 June 1805, p. 26: BL Add MS 78764. 101 Mackintosh to Sharp, Bombay, 7 July 1808, p. 49: BL Add MS 52451a. 102 Journal, 27 Jan.1807, n.p.: BL Add MS 52436b. 103 Mackintosh to Allen, Bombay, 22 Feb. 1805, p. 62: BL Add MS 78768. 104 Mackintosh to Stewart, 2 Nov. 1805, p. 57: BL Add MS 78764. 105 See Charles Grant, Observations on the State of Society, p. 28; Jeng-Guo S. Chen, ‘Gendering India: Effeminacy and the Scottish Enlightenment’s Debates over Virtue and Luxury’, The Eighteenth Century 51: 1–2, 2010, pp. 193–210; Jessica Hinchy, ‘The Sexual Politics of Imperial Expansion: Eunuchs and Indirect Colonial Rule in Mid-Nineteenth-Century North India’, Gender and History 26: 3, 2014, pp. 414–37. 106 Robert Mackintosh, Memoirs of the Life of Sir James Mackintosh, vol. 1, London, 1835, p. 508. 107 As previous note. 108 13 Feb. 1811, p. 58: BL Add MS 52438a. 109 For Sydenham’s career at the Nizam’s court see Henry George Briggs, The Nizam, his History and Relationship with the British Government, two vols., London, 1861, vol. 2, pp. 16–22. 110 The content of this journal is reproduced in Mackintosh, Memoirs of the Life, vol. 1, pp. 450–527. 111 As previous note p. 451. 112 As previous note p. 451. 113 As previous note p. 453. 114 As previous note p. 521. 115 As previous note p. 521. 116 As previous note p. 521. 117 As previous note p. 521. 118 As previous note p. 521. 119 Catherine Hall and Daniel Pick, ‘Thinking about Denial’, History Workshop Journal 84, autumn 2017, pp. 1–23; Simon Gikandi, Slavery and the Culture of Taste, Princeton and Oxford, 2011. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of History Workshop Journal, all rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

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