Resumptions, Inquiries, Jurisdiction, etc. 1844–1857
The jurisdiction of the Special Commissioner appears to have been largely curtailed in 1845–1846, though it was not abolished till April 1852. Most of them needed identification and resumption, till when they could scarcely be under his jurisdiction except in name. He appears to make no reference to Mr. Donnelly’s revised list of 1836, which had been sent to him in 1844 for investigation. The investigation of Mr. Henckell’s and Donnelly’s mahalls was one of the ordinary duties of the Sundarban officers during the years 1846–1850, but little appears to have been achieved, other matters generally getting the preference. Donnelly’s mahalls were, he explained, more numerous than Henckell’s, but smaller in size, though the areas of those that had been discovered exceeded Donnelly’s estimate. The number of both kinds of mahalls then stood thus in 1851—Henckell’s mahalls, 81 for investigation; Donnelly’s mahalls, 165 for investigation.