William Godwin's Diary


The Times, 9 March 1790 reports that Captain David Williams (1752-1819) submitted a petition to the House of Commons to clear his name, in response to allegations (which arose seven years previously during the Warren Hastings trial but had recently been noticed in a morning newspaper) that he murdered Rajah Mustapha Khan during the attack on the British fort of Gorakhpur in 1781. Williams believed that he had legally executed Khan, but Burke argued that Williams should be prosecuted for murder. In this session, Fox also requested details from Grenville and Pitt of when the business of Quebec would be brought before the house. The inhabitants of Quebec were reported to be very dissatisfied with the constitution established by the Quebec Act, and were seeking its repeal in favour of a house of representatives. The Act had established a governor and a council chosen by the governor, the members of which the king approved and could remove at will.