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LETTER LXXII.: Colonel Stuart and the India House. - David Hume, Letters of David Hume to William Strahan 
Letters of David Hume to William Strahan, ed. G. Birkbeck Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888).
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Colonel Stuart and the India House.
25 of Jany., 1774.
I write to you in a great hurry and with great Earnestness: It is to beg your Vote and Interest in the India house for Coll. Stuart, Brother to our Friend, Andrew1 , whose Appointment to command in Bombay is in danger of being over-haul’d by the Court of Proprietors2 . This woud be a most invidious Measure, very cruel to the Collohel and all his Friends. I know that on Andrew's Account, you woud interest yourself against it; but as he thinks, that my Entreaties woud add something to your Zeal, I hereby join them in the most earnest manner, tho’ indeed rather to satisfy him, than that I think they will be any-wise necessary3 .
I am &c.
Note 1. See ante, p. 239, n. 9.
Note 2. The Home Government of the East India Company consisted at this time of a Court of Proprietors, and a Court of Directors elected by the Proprietors. Four Courts of Proprietors, or General Courts, were held regularly in each year. The qualification for a vote in the Court of Proprietors was raised by Lord North's Regulating Act of 1773 from £500 to £1000 of stock. ‘According to the Constitution the supreme power was vested in the Court of Proprietors.... To act under their ordinances and manage the business of routine was the department reserved for the Court of Directors.... Nevertheless all power has centered in the Court of Directors, and the government of the Company has been an oligarchy in fact. So far from meddling too much, the Court of Proprietors have not attended to the common affairs even sufficiently for the business of inspection.’ Mill's Hist. of British India, ed. 1858, iii. 2, 348.
Note 3. ‘Feb. 1, 1774. The following question was at a General Court of Proprietors of East India Stock determined by ballot:— “That it is the opinion of this Court, that it be recommended to the Court of Directors to appoint Col. Robert Gordon Commander-in-Chief of the Forces at the Presidency of Bombay, by rescinding the late appointment of Col. Stuart to that command.”