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Outram
Outram
371

him in November to go for change of air to Egypt and Syria, and he occupied himself there by writing an exhaustive memoir on Egypt for the East India Company, for which he received the thanks of government. Outram returned to his post at Baroda in May 1850. Here he set himself to work to put down ‘khatpat’ or corruption. He sent in charges against Narsu Pant, head native agent at the residency, and in a full report, dated 31 Oct. 1851, for submission to the court of directors, he dealt with the khatpat case without respect of persons.

He did not mince matters, and his report was considered by the government to be couched in disrespectful terms to itself, and likely to affect amicable relations with the gáekwár. The result was that Outram was removed from the office of resident at Baroda. He returned to England in March 1852. While the court of directors upheld the Bombay government, they expressed regret that Outram had not been required to withdraw or modify any objectionable expressions which rendered him liable to censure, and they gave Outram credit for the zeal, energy, ability, and success with which he had prosecuted inquiries attended with great difficulty. The directors also expressed a hope that on Outram's return to India a suitable opportunity would be found of employing him. Even then there were some directors who considered that the despatch did not do justice to Outram, nor make sufficient allowance for his irritation at finding his efforts for a great public object constantly thwarted or inadequately supported.

In July 1853, having been promoted regimental lieutenant-colonel in the preceding month, Outram returned to India, arriving at Calcutta on 12 Sept. While at Calcutta, at the request of the governor-general, he wrote a ‘Memorandum on the Invasion of India from the Westward.’ Lord Dalhousie, moreover, appointed him an honorary aide-de-camp to the governor-general. The court of directors had written to the governor-general to find employment for Outram under the supreme government, and the transfer, towards the end of the year, of Baroda from the Bombay government to the government of India enabled Lord Dalhousie to reinstate Outram as resident there, and so make the ‘amende honorable.’ After a public dinner in his honour at Calcutta, Outram arrived at Baroda on 19 March 1854, and, after holding the office for a month, was appointed political agent and commandant at Aden. He embarked at Bombay in June, but the change to Aden in the hot season affected his health. In November Lord Dalhousie appointed him to the residency of Oudh, and he made his official entry into Lucknow on 5 Dec. Outram was instructed to prepare at once a report on the condition of the country, and to state whether the improvement peremptorily demanded by Lord Hardinge seven years previously had in any degree been effected; and, if not, whether the duties imposed by treaty on the British government would admit of any longer delay in proceeding to extreme measures to remedy the evils existing. In March 1855 he submitted his report, which represented the condition of Oudh as deplorable, and reluctantly recommended annexation as the only remedy. Annexation took place in February 1856. Outram was promoted major-general on 28 Nov. 1854, and was made a K.C.B. in February 1856, having been specially recommended for the honour in September 1855 by Lord Dalhousie, who expressed the opinion that Outram had not received the reward that was his due. Ill-health compelled him to return home in May. On 13 Nov. he was summoned to the India house and informed that he had been appointed to the command of the army for the Persian war, of which a division under Major-general Stalker had already gone to Persia from Bombay. Outram was given the local rank of lieutenant-general, and invested with diplomatic powers. He left England at once, and landed at Bombay on 22 Dec. 1856. There he found active preparations in progress for the despatch of a second division, under Havelock, and a cavalry division under John Jacob, to Bushahr.

Outram left Bombay on 15 Jan. 1857, and arrived at Bushahr on the 27th. The second division began to arrive shortly after. The Persian commander-in-chief had formed an entrenched camp at Barazján, and was collecting a large force there. He determined to attack this position before extending operations elsewhere. After a march of forty-six miles in forty-one hours, in cold, wet, and stormy weather, the camp was reached, and found to have been hastily abandoned on Outram's approach, together with the camp equipage and magazines. Having destroyed the gunpowder, Outram commenced his return march on the night of 7 Feb. to Bushahr, carrying with him large stores of provisions. On the march, at daybreak on 8 Feb., they were attacked at Khush-áb by some six thousand Persians, with a few guns. After a smart action, in which seven hundred Persians were killed and two guns captured, the Persian force fled, and only the paucity of British cavalry saved the fugitives from total destruction.