The ostensible reason for the battle was Siraj-ud-Daulah's earlier attack and capture of Fort William, Calcutta (which he renamed to Alinagar) during June 1756, but the battle is today seen as part of the geopolitical ambition of the East India Company and the larger dynamics of colonial conquest. From this base, the Company set about extending effective rule over the whole of the Indian Sub-Continent. The French East India Company (La Compagnie des Indes Orientales) sent a small contingent to fight against the British East India Company. When the nawab’s infantry advanced, Clive’s field guns opened fire with grapeshot along with volleys of infantry musket fire, and the Bengali troops were held back. The Battle of Plassey was fought in north-eastern India on 23 June 1757. The Battle of Plassey is considered as a starting point to the events that established the era of British dominion and conquest in India. But his death at the moment of his greatest victory at Quebec in 1759 earned him a reputation as a patriotic martyr. This confirmed British military supremacy in the region and gave the Company a political stake in India. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. By 5:00 p.m., the Nawab's army was in full retreat and the British had command of the field. Pâlāshir, an extravagant red flowering tree known as "Flame of the forest," gives its name to a small village near the battlefield. A narrative by one John Zephaniah Holwell, plus the testimony of another survivor, Cooke, to a select committee of the House of Commons, coupled with subsequent verification by Robert Orme, placed 146 British prisoners into a room measuring 18 by 15 feet with only 23 surviving the night. The Nawab’s men moved forward, assuming that Clive’s cannon were also inoperable. No forts to be erected by the Nawab's government on the river side, from Hooghley downwards. The following month Robert Clive seized the French fort of Chandernagore. Two hours before sun-set, flight occurred in Sirāju-d-daulah’s army, and Sirāju-d-daulah also being unable to stand his ground any longer fled.[5]. The victory at Plassey started a process that eventually resulted in British rule over the sub-continent. Mr. Chairman, at this moment I stand astonished at my own moderation"—Baron Robert Clive commenting on accusations of looting the Bengal treasury after Plassey, at his impeachment trial in 1773, "Heaven-born general"—British Prime Minister William Pitt "The Elder," Earl of Chatham referring to Robert Clive, "It is possible to mention men who have owed great worldly prosperity to breaches of private faith; but we doubt whether it is possible to mention a state which has on the whole been a gainer by a breach of public faith. He did much to organise and train the Company’s army on European lines, turning it into a formidable force. This was resulting in increasing French trade in Bengal. …conflict with Sirāj al-Dawlah, at Plassey (June 23, 1757), was decided by Clive’s resolute refusal to be overawed by superior numbers, by dissensions within the nawab’s camp, by Mīr Jaʿfar’s failure to support his superior, and by Sirāj al-Dawlah’s own loss of nerve. Franco-British fighting in North America and India became part of a general war in Europe with far-reaching consequences. So although he was humiliated by the Treaty, Siraj Ud Daulah sent the better part of his troops west under the command of his general, Raja Ram Narain. The French artillery opened fire first, followed by the Bengali guns. But he became little more than a puppet ruler, forced to cede control of Bengal through the treaties he signed with the British. These three last donations to be distributed at the pleasure of the Admiral and gentlemen of Council. One British survivor’s account states that 123 of the 146 prisoners died in the crush. At the sight of this, the aspect of Sirāju-d-daulah’s army changed, and the artillerymen with the corpse of Mīr Madan moved into tents. Thinking that the British guns were rendered as ineffective as his own by damp powder, the nawab ordered his cavalry to charge.

Siraj-ud-Daulah (1733-57) commanded around 50,000 men, including 16,000 cavalry. Project South Asia, South Dakota State University, Art, Music, Literature, Sports and leisure. To put this wealth in context, an average British nobleman could live a life of luxury on an annual income of £800. Finally, on June 5, 1757, a written agreement was signed between the Company, represented by Clive, and Mir Jafar, ensuring that Mir Jafar would be appointed Nawab of Bengal, once Siraj Ud Daulah was deposed. In the thick of the fighting, and in the heat of the work of carnage, whilst victory and triumph were visible on the side of the army of Sirāju-d-daulah, all of a sudden Mīr Madan, commander of the Artillery, fell on being hit with a cannon-ball. He was a contributor to. Ghaseti Begum and other powerful women were transferred to a prison in distant Dhaka, where they eventually drowned in a boat accident, widely thought to have been ordered by Mir Jafar. Updates? In this respect, the Battle of Plassey can be seen as one step in a sad but necessary process. "—First Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, "A great prince was dependent on my pleasure, an opulent city lay at my mercy; its richest bankers bid against each other for my smiles; I walked through vaults which were thrown open to me alone, piled on either hand with gold and jewels! 7 lacs to the Armenian sufferers. Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Clive (1725-74) commanded the British force.

The ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ subsequently proved to be a useful justification for British revenge and conquest. The story was amplified in colonial literature, but the facts are widely disputed. To find out more about how we collect, store and use your personal information, read our Privacy Policy. Mir Jafar later killed Siraj and was appointed nawab in his place. This was rushed by the British and captured. "He (Robert Clive) won it by promoting treason and forgery"—First Indian Prime Minister. While battling the French for trading supremacy, it simultaneously began to involve itself in local politics, especially in Bengal, India’s richest province. It was now midday, when the people of the tents fled. Empire Mahtab Rai, head of the Jagat Seth Bengal banking family, was concerned that the Nawab would seize the Seth's huge wealth for his own ends. But he later resigned in favour of Robert Clive, who was also later appointed Baron of Plassey in 1762. Mir Jafar, for his betrayal of the Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah and alliance with the British, was installed as the new Nawab, while Siraj Ud Daulah was captured on July 2, in Murshidabad as he attempted to escape further north. For an event with such momentous consequences, it was a surprisingly unimpressive military encounter, the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal owing much to betrayal. In years to come it would bring the Western colonialists to some awareness of their spiritual responsibility for other nations—for example, no matter how wide was the gap between the rich and poor in the West, in the East it was even wider. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. Young (he succeeded his father in April, 1756 at age 27) and impetuous, he was prone to quickly make enemies. They were met by a storm of fire and soon withdrew in disarray. The British covered their cannons and muskets for protection from the rain, whereas the French did not. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Cannon ball fired at the Battle of Plassey, 1757. The Battle of Plassey was one of the major steps that brought England to dominate and conquer India. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. British interference in the Nawab's court, and particularly their support for one of his aunts, Ghaseti Begum.

The Battle of Quebec in 1759 was one of Britain's greatest victories of the Seven Years War (1756-63). It has been the subject of much controversy ever since.

Facing this host, Clive arranged his force of 3,000, composed of European and Sepoy troops and a much smaller force of artillery. Be the first to hear about our latest events, exhibitions and offers. Monument commemorating the Battle of Plassey (1757), Palashi, West Bengal, northeastern India. No longer purely a commercial organisation, it had become an imperial power. He also had 50 field guns, a combination of 32-, 24- and 18-pounders. At this point, Mir Jafar, commanding the Nawab’s cavalry, refused to take part. In 1752, Robert Orme, in a letter to Clive, noted that the company would have to remove Siraj's grandfather, Alivardi Khan, in order to prosper.[4]. The enemy failed to do the same and their artillery was put out of action. The Bengali ruler Siraj-ud-Daulah had been in dispute with the Company for some time. India This conflict was precipitated by a number of disputes:[1]: During this capture of Fort William, of June 1756, an event occurred that came to be known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. The eighteenth century historian, Ghulam Husain Salim, describes what followed: Mīr Muhammad Jafar Khān, with his detachment, stood at a distance towards the left from the main army; and although Sirāju-d-daulah summoned him to his side, Mīr Jafar did not move from his position. They recaptured Calcutta on January 2, 1757, but the Nawab marched again on Calcutta on February 5, 1757, and were surprised by a dawn attack by the British, resulting in the Treaty of Alinagar.[3].

It is near Murshidabad, then the capital of the Nawab of Bengal in India. This cannonade was essentially futile in any case; the British guns had greater range than those of the French. After his victory at Plassey, Clive was appointed Governor of Bengal. The Battle of Plassey (Pâlāshīr Juddha) was a battle that took place on June 23, 1757, on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, about 150 km north of Calcutta. The 1857 rising was the biggest threat to Britain's colonial power during its rule of the Indian subcontinent. The nawab panicked at the loss of this valued general and ordered his forces to fall back, exposing the French artillery contingent.

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