Robert Clive and the British in India

Clive and the Shah
Clive meeting with Emperor Shah Alam II, 1765
Public domain image from Wikipedia.

Let’s remember the notorious story of the Black Hole of Calcutta. The year is 1756.

All the Englishmen in the fort, one hundred forty-six persons, were thrust at the point of a sword into a small room, the prison of the garrison, commonly known as the Black Hole, only twenty feet square. The Nawab had promised to spare their lives, but had gone to sleep after a debauch. No expostulations on the part of the prisoners, not even bribes, would induce the guards to awake the Nawab and obtain his leave to liberate the prisoners, until the morning, when, having slept off his debauch, he allowed the door to be opened. By that time, out of one hundred forty-six prisoners, one hundred twenty-three had miserably perished.

Meanwhile the French were also making their bid for India. The Seven Years War was on and the India theater would be big — and I mean really big.

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