SUPREME COURT. The designation of the English Court established at Fort William by the Regulation Act of 1773 (13 Geo. III. c. 63), and afterwards at the other two Presidencies. Its extent of jurisdiction was the subject of acrimonious controversies in the early years of its existence; controversies which were closed by 21 Geo. III. c. 70, which explained and defined the jurisdiction of the Court. The use of the name came to an end in 1862 with the establishment of the ‘High Court,’ the bench of which is occupied by barrister judges, judges from the Civil Service, and judges promoted from the native bar. The Charter of Charles II., of 1661, gave the Company certain powers to administer the laws of England, and that of 1683 to establish Courts of Judicature. That of Geo. I. (1726) gave power to establish at each Presidency Mayor’s Courts for civil suits, with appeal to the Governor and Council, and from these, in cases involving more than 1000 pagodas, to the King in Council. The same charter constituted the Governor and Council of each Presidency a Court for trial of all offences except high treason. Courts of Requests were established by charter of Geo. II., 1753. The Mayor’s Court at Madras and Bombay survived till 1797, when (by 37 Geo. III. ch. 142) a Recorder’s Court was instituted at each. This was superseded at Madras by a Supreme Court in 1801, and at Bombay in 1823.

SURA, s. Toddy (q.v.), i.e. the fermented sap of several kinds of palm, such as coco, palmyra, and wild-date. It is the Skt. sura, ‘vinous liquor,’ which has passed into most of the vernaculars. In the first quotation we certainly have the word, though combined with other elements of uncertain identity, applied by Cosmas to the milk of the coco-nut, perhaps making some confusion between that and the fermented sap. It will be seen that Linschoten applies sura in the same way. Bluteau, curiously, calls this a Caffre word. It has in fact been introduced from India into Africa by the Portuguese (see Ann. Marit. iv. 293).

c. 545.—“The Argell” (i.e. Nargil, or nargeela, or coco-nut) “is at first full of very sweet water, which the Indians drink, using it instead of wine. This drink is called Rhonco-sura,1 and is exceedingly pleasant.”—Cosmas, in Cathay, &c., clxxvi.

[1554.—“Cura.” See under ARRACK.]

1563.—“They grow two qualities of palm-tree, one kind for the fruit, and the other to give çura.”—Garcia, f. 67.

1578.—“Sura, which is, as it were, vino mosto.”—Acosta, 100.

1598.—“ … in that sort the pot in short space is full of water, which they call Sura, and is very pleasant to drinke, like sweet whay, and somewhat better.”—Linschoten, 101; [Hak. Soc. ii. 48].

1609–10.—“ … A goodly country and fertile … abounding with Date Trees, whence they draw a liquor, called Tarree (Toddy) or Sure.… ”—W. Finch, in Purchas, i. 436.

1643.—“Là ie fis boire mes mariniers de telle sorte que peu s’en falut qu’ils ne renuersassent notre almadie ou batteau: Ce breuvage estoit du sura, qui est du vin fait de palmes.”—Mocquet, Voyages, 252.

c. 1650.—“Nor could they drink either Wine, or Sury, or Strong Water, by reason of the great Imposts which he laid upon them.”—Tavernier, E.T. ii. 86; [ed. Ball, i. 343].

1653.—“Les Portugais appelent ce tari ou vin des Indes, Soure … de cette liqueur le singe, et la grande chauue-souris … sont extremement amateurs, aussi bien que les Indiens Mansulmans (sic), Parsis, et quelque tribus d’Indou.… ”—De la Boullayele- Gouz, ed. 1657, 263.

SURAT, n.p. In English use the name of this city is accented Surátt; but the name is in native writing and parlance generally Surat. In the Ain, however (see below), it is written Surat; also in Sadik Isfahani (p. 106). Surat was taken by Akbar in 1573, having till then remained a part of the falling Mahommedan kingdom of Guzerat. An English factory was first established in 1608–9, which was for more than half a century the chief settlement of the English Company in continental India. The transfer of the Chiefs to Bombay took place in 1687.

We do not know the origin of the name. Various legends on the subject are given in Mr. (now Sir J.) Campbell’s Bombay, Gazetteer (vol. ii.), but none of them have any probability. The ancient Indian Saurashtra was the name of the Peninsula of Guzerat or Kattywar, or at least of the maritime part of it. This latter name and country is represented by the differently spelt and pronounced Sorath (see SURATH). Sir Henry Elliot and his editor have repeatedly stated the opinion that the names are identical. Thus: “The names ‘Surat’ and ‘Surath’ are identical, both being derived from the Sankrit Suráshtra; but as they belong to different places a distinction in spelling has been maintained. ‘Surat’ is the city; ‘Súrath’ is a pránt or district of Kattiwar, of which Junágarh is the chief town” (Elliot, v. 350; see also 197). Also: “The Sanskrit Suráshtra and Gurjjara survive in the modern names Surat and Guzerat, and however the territories embraced by the old terms have varied, it is hard to conceive that Surat was not

  By PanEris using Melati.

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