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CHAP. 3.

BOOK IV ment, exasperated at the fatigue they had to endure, behaved mutinously on the way.

Before they reached Patna, the French had arrived ; and, to obviate disputes, had been sent forward by Ramnarain into the territory of the Subahdar of Oude, with whom he had begun to negotiate an alliance. Major Coote was at first instructed to endeavour by intrigue and by force to wrest the government from Ramnarain: but while he was meditating the execution of these orders, he received further instructions which led to an accommodation; and he returned to Moorshedabad on the 13th of September. The detachment which he had conducted was stationed at Cossimbuzar, near Moorshedabad; the rest of the army was sent into quarters at Chandernagor as a more healthy situation than the seat of the Presi. dency; and on the day after the arrival of Major Coote, Colonel Clive left Moorshedabad and returned to Calcutta.?

1757.

' Ramnarain was avowedly a subject of the Subahdar of Bengal and Behar. His conduct was equivocal, and it was necessary to compel him to submission, or deprive him of his government. As soon as he saw that Meer Jaffier was resolutely supported by the English, he satisfied Clive of his being free from all treasonable intentions, and there was no longer any motive for his removal.-W.

2 The chief authorities which have been followed for this series of transactions in Bengal, have been the Seer Mutakhareen, i. 298–772; the First Report from the Committee on the Nature, State, and Condition of the East India Company, in 1772, which is full of curious information ; Orme's War in India, ii. 28-196; and the tracts published by the various actors in the scene, Scrafton, Watts, &c.

BOOK IV
CHAP. 4.

1756.

CHAPTER IV.

Renewal of the War with the French in the Carnatic.

- Arrival of Lally.— French power superior to the English.

English power superior to the French.Pondicherry taken.— And the French driven out of the Carnatic.

When the English detachment for the recovery of Calcutta, and the French detachment for the relief of Bussy, left the Carnatic, the contending parties were so far diminished in force, as to meditate quietness and forbearance: the English, till the troops which they had sent to Bengal should return; the French, till the armament should arrive, which they expected from Europe. In the mean time it was felt by the English as a grievous misfortune, that though their Nabob Mohammed Ali was now without a rival in the Carnatic, its pecuniary produce was remarably small. The governors of forts and districts, the zemindars, polygars, and renters, employed, as usual, all their means of artifice and force, to withhold their payments; and the rabble employed by Mohammed Ali, 'as soldiers, ill paid and weakly governed, were found altogether inadequate to the establishment of an efficient authority in the province. The notion which was early entertained of the great pecuniary supplies capable of being drawn

! It was a real evil to the government, that the revenues were withheld by refractory tributaries and contumacious dependants.-W.

CIAP. 4.

BOOK IV from Madura and Tinivelly, appears still to have

maintained a determining influence in the councils of Madras; and notwithstanding the general resolution to remain inactive, Captain Calliaud, the commanding officer at Trichinopoly, before the end of the year 1756, received instructions to renew his attempts for the reduction of those dependencies. In the hope of prevailing upon the King of Tanjore to afford some assistance; a hope which, as usual, he took care to disappoint; Captain Calliaud directed his march through Tanjore, and crossing Marawar, arrived in Tinivelly. The troops who accompanied him, joined to the body of Sepoys who had remained in the country, and the troops of the Polygars who had espoused the English interest, composed a formidable army. But it was unable to proceed to action for want of money; and the utmost exertions of Calliaud produced but an insignificant supply. Intelligence that the rebellious polygars were treating with the Mysoreans, who had a station at the fort of Dindigul, presented in strong colours the necessity of expedition; yet he was unable to leave Tinivelly before the 10th of April; when he marched to attack Madura with 180 Europeans, 2500 Sepoys, six fieldpieces, and 500 horse. Upon arriving at the town, he found it a place of much greater strength than he had been led to suppose; and, without battering cannon, not easy, if possible to be reduced. He planned an effort to take it by surprise. The first ladders were planted; and Calliaud himself, with twenty men, had got into the fausse-bray, when the guard within received the alarm, and they were obliged to retreat. Two companies of Sepoys were

CHAF. 4.

1757.

soon after despatched to bring pieces of battering BOOK IV artillery from Trichinopoly; and Calliaud had commenced an intrigue with some of the jematdars, or captains of the enemy's troops, when he received intelligence that the French had arrived at Trichinopoly.

During these efforts to obtain possession of the revenues of Madura and Tinivelly, similar efforts had been undertaken in other parts of the province. A brother of the Nabob, by name Nujeeb Oolla, who was Governor of Nelore and its district, situated in the northern quarter of the Carnatic, evaded or refused payment of the sums demanded of him; and the Nabob, who possessed not the means of coercion, was urgent with the English to perform it in his stead. The rupture between the two brothers took place towards the end of February, and it was the Ist of April before the English troops were ready to march. By the end of the month they had erected batteries against the fort; on the 2d of May a breach was effected, which they deemed practicable; and a storm was attempted the next morning. But the English were repulsed from the breach, nor was it deemed expedient to renew the attack till more battering-cannon should be received from Madras. the mean time the detachment received orders to return to the Presidency with all expedition.

The Government of Pondicherry, notwithstanding the pacific policy inculcated by the recall of Dupleix, and the commands which they had received to abstain from all operations of hazard, till the arrival of the forces which they expected from Europe, determined, when they saw the English so largely at work,

In

CHAP. 4.

BOOK IV and their small force separated to such a distance as

Tinivelly and Nelore, to avail themselves of an op1757. portunity which good fortune seemed to present.

They took the field on the 6th of April; but, to cover their designs,with only a small number of troops, and for an object of minor importance. By forced marches they appeared before Ellavanasore on the 10th, a fort possessed by a chief, who had hitherto refused to acknowledge either the English or the French Nabob. In a sally, in which he threw the French army into great jeopardy, he received a mortal wound, of which he died in a few days, and the garrison, during the night, evacuated the fort. The French, after this acquisition, marched in the direction leading to the territory of some polygars with whom they had disputes; and Captain Calliaud received a letter from the Madras Presidency, on the very day on which he attempted to surprise Madura, that from the late intelligence received of the motions of the French, no design on their part was apprehended against Trichinopoly. The season for the arrival of the English troops from Bengal was elapsed; and it was impossible now that any should return before September. The French, therefore, suddenly, barring their garrisons; leaving in Pondicherry itself none but invalids; and enrolling the European inhabitants to man the walls, despatched every soldier to the field; and the army took post before Trichinopoly on the 14th of May. The garrison, deprived of the troops which had marched to Madura, were insufficient to guard the walls; and

Cambridge, p. 140.

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