PATEL, POTAIL, s. The headman of a village, having general control of village affairs, and forming the medium of communication with the officers of Government. In Mahr. patil, Hind. patel. The most probable etym. seems to be from pat, Mahr. ‘a roll or register,’ Skt.—Hind. patta. The title is more particularly current in territories that are or have been subject to the Mahrattas, “and appears to be an essentially Maráthi word, being used as a respectful title in addressing one of that nation, or a Súdra in general” (Wilson). The office is hereditary, and is often held under a Government grant. The title is not used in the Gangetic Provinces, but besides its use in Central and W. India it has been commonly employed in S. India, probably as a Hindustani word, though Monigar (see MONEGAR) (Maniyakaram), adhikari (see ADIGAR), &c., are appropriate synonyms in Tamil and Malabar districts.

[1535.—“The Tanadars began to come in and give in their submission, bringing with them all the patels (pateis) and renters with their payments, which they paid to the Governor, who ordered fresh records to be prepared.”—Couto, Dec. IV. Bk. ix. ch. 2 (description of the commencement of Portuguese rule in Bassein).

[1614.—“I perceive that you are troubled with a bad commodity, wherein the desert of Patell and the rest appeareth.”—Foster, Letters, ii. 281.]

1804.—“The Patel of Beitculgaum, in the usual style of a Mahratta patel, keeps a band of plunderers for his own profit and advantage. You will inform him that if he does not pay for the horses, bullocks, and articles plundered, he shall be hanged also.”—Wellington, March 27.

1809.—“…Pattels, or headmen.”—Lord Valentia, i. 415.

1814.—“At the setting of the jummabundee, they pay their proportion of the village assessment to government, and then dispose of their grain, cotton, and fruit, without being accountable to the patell.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. ii. 418; [2nd ed. ii. 44].

1819.—“The present system of Police, as far as relates to the villagers may easily be kept up; but I doubt whether it is enough that the village establishment be maintained, and the whole put under the Mamlutdar. The Potail’s respectability and influence in the village must be kept up.”—Elphinstone, in Life, ii. 81.

1820.—“The Patail holds his office direct of Government, under a written obligation …which specifies his duties, his rank, and the ceremonies of respect he is entitled to; and his perquisites, and the quantity of freehold land allotted to him as wages.”—T. Coats, in Tr. Bo. Lit. Soc. iii. 183.

1823.—“The heads of the family…have purchased the office of Potail, or headman.”—Malcolm, Central India, i. 99.

1826.—“The potail offered me a room in his own house, and I very thankfully accepted it.”—Pandurang Hari, ed. 1877, p. 241; [ed. 1873, ii. 45].

1851.—“This affected humility was in fact one great means of effecting his elevation. When at Poonah he (Madhajee Sindea) …instead of arrogating any exalted title, would only suffer himself to be called Pateil.…”—Fraser, Mil. Mem. of Skinner, i. 33.

1870.—“The Potail accounted for the revenue collections, receiving the perquisites and percentages, which were the accustomed dues of the office.”—Systems of Land Tenure (Cobden Club), 163.

PATNA, n.p. The chief city of Bahar; and the representative of the Palibothra (Pataliputra) of the Greeks. Hind. Pattana, “the city.” [See quotation from D’Anville under ALLAHABAD.]

1586.—“From Bannaras I went to Patenaw downe the riuer of Ganges.…Patenaw is a very long and a great towne. In times past it was a kingdom, but now it is vnder Zelabdim Echebar, the great Mogor.…In this towne there is a trade of cotton, and cloth of cotton, much sugar, which they carry from hence to Bengala and India, very much Opium, and other commodities.”—R. Fitch, in Hakl. ii. 388.

1616.—“Bengala, a most spacious and fruitful Province, but more properly to be called a kingdom, which hath two very large Provinces within it, Purb (see POORUB) and Patan, the one lying on the east, and the other on the west side of the River Ganges.”—Terry, ed. 1665, p. 357.

[1650.—“Patna is one of the largest towns in India, on the margin of the Ganges, on its western side, and it is not less than two coss in length.”—Tavernier, ed. Ball. i. 121 seq.]

1673.—“Sir William Langham…is Superintendent over all the Factories on the coast of Coromandel, as far as the Bay of Bengala, and up Huygly River…viz. Fort St. George, alias Maderas, Pettipolee, Mechlapatan, Gundore, Medapollon, Balasore, Bengala, Huygly, Castle Buzzar, Pattanaw.”—Fryer, 38.

1726.—“If you go higher up the Ganges to the N. W. you come to the great and famous trading city of Pattena, capital of the Kingdom of Behar, and the residence of the Vice-roy.”—Valentijn, v. 164.

1727.—“Patana is the next Town frequented by Europeans…for Saltpetre and raw Silk. It produces also so much Opium, that it serves all the Countries in India with that commodity.”—A. Hamilton, ii. 21; [ed. 1744].

  By PanEris using Melati.

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