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Chapter V – Biderra

Of the five great maritime powers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Holland was the second to enter into commercial communication with India. Not less the spirit of adventure, than the desire to snatch for their country the trade and to injure the resources of her Iberian enemies, animated her children in this great enterprise. Spain was her first enemy, but in 1580 Portugal had been united to Spain. From that date all the efforts of Holland, in the East, were directed to transfer to herself the position and the influence which had been acquired in that part of the world by the latest component portion of the empire of her mortal foe.

She succeeded almost beyond her hopes. In the Chinese seas, in the Malay peninsula, in Java, in Sumatra, in Ceylon, in India, her troops gradually prevailed. The hostility, once excited, survived the severance of Portugal from Spain. In 1646 Holland had planted an agency at Chinsurah on the river Hugli, twenty miles north of Calcutta. But, fourteen years later, in one year, she expelled the Portuguese from their possessions south of Goa on the western coast, and from Nagapatanam,19 and all the others on the eastern.

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The general affairs of the Dutch in the East were not, however, directed from the soil of India. In 1619 they had built in Java20 a city which they called Batavia, and which they destined to be the capital and head-quarters of all their possessions in that quarter of the globe. Gradually, as they settled in Bengal, as they seized the possessions of the Portuguese, and established themselves in Ceylon, in Sumatra, and in the Malay peninsula, this plan assumed consistency. In the beginning of the eighteenth century Batavia had become the recognised capital of all the Dutch establishments in the East. There resided the Governor-General and the Council of the Dutch Indies, and to them all the other possessions, great and small, were subordinate. These possessions were ranked in grades, some being ruled by a governor, some by a chief or director; some by a commandant, some simply by an agent. On the Malabar coast of India, Kochin, properly called Kuchi, was the head-quarters of the government. On the eastern coast, Nagapatanam first, afterwards Palikat, occupied a similar position. In Bengal, Chinsurah was the head-quarters of a director presiding over all the other factories on that side of India.

This arrangement was in force at the time when Siraju’d daulah sacked Calcutta in 1756. The Dutch and the French at Chinsurah and at Chandranagar had purchased immunity from a similar catastrophe, by the payment each of a large sum.21 They had no idea at the time, that, from the misfortune of their rivals there would be a rebound which, in its course, would likewise overwhelm them.

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How the English repaid the Nuwab for his attack on Calcutta, and how the rebound affected the French at Chandranagar, has been already related. We have seen how Mir Jafar succeeded Siraju’d daulah. From that date English influence, gradually but steadily progressing, became paramount throughout the three provinces. In vain did Mir Jafar struggle against the yoke he had imposed upon himself. He could not shake it off. To purchase English aid he had mortgaged the resources of the State. The assessments which were imposed to pay off that mortgage alienated many of his most influential followers, and turned against him the hearts of his people. In spite of himself, he was forced, on every emergency, to call in the aid of the English. He had to invoke that aid first against his people, then against some of his nobles, and finally against an attack from the north. Of course he had to pay for it. New trading advantages, new concessions, new transfers of land followed each transaction. He felt that he was more and more involving himself in a net from which there was little hope of extrication; that his allies were becoming every day more and more his masters. But what was he to do? In his secret council-chamber, conferring with his son and his intimates, he bewailed the fatal necessity which forced him to be the suppliant of the race to which he owed his throne, and implored them to suggest a remedy. For long, not even the astutest among them could point to one. Suddenly, however, a faint wail from the Hugli was wafted to his ears. At first it attracted no attention, but as it increased in volume and persistency, and, changing its tone, finally resolved itself into a suggestion, he turned to it with increasing eagerness, until he became satisfied that he had at last discovered the plan which would rid him of his foes.

The wail came from the Dutch at Chinsurah. The concessions granted by Mir Jafar to the English, more especially the monopoly of the saltpetre trade, the right given to them to

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search all the Dutch vessels coming up the Hugli, and to prevent the employment of other than English pilots, had caused great exasperation in the Dutch colony. Their trade, likewise, had been seriously affected. That of the English, on the other hand, fostered by the Nuwab, had at the same time proportionally increased.

The position may thus be described. The English, in virtue of the consequences of Plassey, were prospering to an extraordinary degree; the Dutch, in virtue of the same consequences, were declining in influence and wealth; the Nuwab was anxious to shake off the yoke imposed upon him by the English. It was not long before the feeling of resentment entertained by the two last produced a firm understanding against the first. The Nuwab first listened to the remonstrances of the Dutch against the privileges he had, to their detriment, granted to their rivals. In return he questioned them about their power, their resources, their ability to carry out a great plan. This exchange of questions led to confidence, and a secret agreement was arrived at in virtue of which the. Dutch promised to procure from Batavia a force sufficient, in men and ships, to expel their rivals from Bengal; whilst the Nuwab, concealing his complicity, should secretly prepare his army to co-operate with them at the opportune moment. The arrangement embodying this plan was arrived at in November 1758. The time for action seemed to the contracting parties to be singularly favourable, for in the preceding month Clive had despatched a great number of his available troops, under Forde, to the northern Sirkars. For the defence of Calcutta and the British factories in Bengal, and to assert the British influence at the court of Mir Jafar, there remained, then, in Calcutta, little more than three hundred English, and two weak battalions of native troops. It is true that Clive was there as governor, but Clive was so little suspicious of danger, so confident in himself, and so bent on using all his resources to aid

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in the defeat of the French, then threatening Southern India, that he was despatching all the reinforcements from England, as fast as they arrived, to Madras.

No moment, then, could be more opportune for the conspirators. Conscious of this, the Dutch war-party at Chinsurah, which then enjoyed an ascendency in the councils of the director, pressed their plans on the supreme Government at Batavia, and urged immediate action. In the meanwhile, and before Batavia could respond, Mir Jafar had been forced, sorely against his will, to appeal once again to the protecting arm of Clive. Threatened by an invasion from the north, led by the rebellious son of the Emperor of Dihli, Mir Jafar, doubtful of his own followers, had invoked the assistance of the English. Clive had speedily repelled the invasion. As a reward, the Nuwab had bestowed upon him a large personal jaghir, and in the month of June following (1759), had accompanied him to Calcutta. Whilst there, he received from the Dutch a private intimation that their plans were approaching maturity. Mir Jafar stayed then but a short time in Calcutta; but he returned to that place in the October following, professedly again to visit Clive, really to be near at hand when the expected crisis should occur. Meanwhile, as far back as August, rumour had spoken of the expected arrival of a large Dutch force. During that month, in fact, a Dutch vessel, having on board a considerable number of Malayan soldiers, had arrived at the mouth of the Hugli. Clive at once informed the Nuwab of the event, whilst he took precautions to prevent alike the passage of the ship up the river and the landing of the soldiers. The Dutch authorities, called upon to explain, declared that the vessel was really bound for Nagapatanam, and had been driven to the Hugli by stress of weather; that as soon as she could provide herself with water and provisions she would resume her voyage. She did so, eventually, although a clandestine attempt of the Dutch master-attendant to convey eighteen of the Malayan soldiers to

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Chinsurah in his official barge – an attempt discovered and frustrated – threw some doubt on the explanation.

But, in the October following, whilst Mir Jafar was in Calcutta, the real attempt was made. In that month seven armed ships, full of troops, European and Malayan, arrived at the mouth of the Hugh. Clive hastened to inform the Nuwab of this invasion. The Nuwab, forewarned, affected to treat the matter lightly, and announced his intention of proceeding at once to his own town of Hugli, to summon thither from Chinsurah the Dutch authorities, and to insist upon their at once dismissing their ships, or, in case of their refusal, of chastising them and driving them out of Bengal. Mir Jafar did proceed to Hugli; he did summon to his presence the Dutch authorities. What actually passed in secret conference cannot be known, but the historian has the authority of Clive himself for asserting that Mir Jafar “received them in a most gracious manner, more like friends and allies than enemies to him and to his country.” A few days later the Nuwab wrote to Clive to inform him that he had granted the Dutch some indulgences with respect to their trade, and that they had engaged to leave the river with their ships and troops as soon as the season would permit.

The occasion was one of those which brought into the strongest light all the higher qualities of Clive. In the presence of danger his intellect was always clear, his judgment always unerring, his action always prompt and resolute. Not for a moment was he taken in by the specious letter of the Nuwab. Reading between its lines he saw not only that the Dutch had no intention of sending away their ships, but that they had obtained the Nuwab’s assent to bring them up to Chinsurah. He at once resolved, to use his own emphatic words, that they “should not” bring them up. The events of the few days immediately following came to justify his prescience. Certain information reached him that the Dutch ships had weighed

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anchor, and were moving upwards, that Dutch agents were actively engaged at Chinsurah, at Kasimbazar, and at Patna, in raising troops, and that at these acts the Nuwab was conniving.

The position was such as would have driven an ordinary man to despair. On board the Dutch vessels in the river were seven hundred Europeans and eight hundred Malay troops, well-armed and equipped; at Chinsurah were a hundred and fifty Dutch soldiers, and native levies daily increasing in number; behind the Dutch was the Nuwab, as ready now to act as he had been at Plassey, the moment fortune should seem to declare in their favour. To meet this enemy Clive had at Calcutta three hundred and thirty Europeans and twelve hundred sipahis. It is true that he had other detachments scattered over the province, but the nearest of them was too distant to be available at the crisis then impending. But in this hour of danger Clive was cool, calm, self-reliant, even confident. He took at once every possible precaution. He sent special messengers to summon all available men from the outposts; he called out, to defend the fort and the town, the militia, amounting to three hundred men, five-sixths of whom were Europeans; he formed half a troop of horse of some twenty to thirty volunteers, and enlisted as infantry nearly a similar number of men who could not ride. Of the four English vessels then in the Hugli, he despatched one, the smallest, with an express to Admiral Cornish, then cruising on the Arakan coast, asking for immediate aid; the three others he ordered up to aid in the defence of the town. The batteries which commanded the most important passages of the river near the town, Tannah fort and Charnock’s battery,22 were greatly strengthened: heavy cannon were mounted at each, as well as on the face of the new fort, Fort William, commanding the river. Just at this moment Colonel Forde, fresh from the storming of Machhlipatanam,

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arrived, accompanied by Captain Knox. To the first Clive assigned the command of the whole available force; to the latter that of the parties at Tannah fort and Charnock’s battery.

These preparations were made not a moment too soon. In the second week of November, the Dutch, finding further delay would not screen them, threw off the mask, and forwarded to Calcutta a long remonstrance, recapitulating all their grievances, and threatening vengeance and reprisals unless the English should renounce their claim of the right of search and all opposition to the free progress of their ships and their vessels. Clive replied, with a specious audacity, that the English had offered no insult to the colours, had not attacked the property, and had infringed no privilege of the Dutch; that if their boats had been stopped and searched, and the advance of their troops opposed, it had been by the express direction of the Nuwab, acting with the authority of the Emperor. He concluded by referring them to the Nuwab, and by offering his services as a mediator on the occasion. Notwithstanding the tone of this reply, Clive – as he records himself – was not a little embarrassed as to the course he should adopt in case the Dutch, continuing to advance, should pass the batteries below Calcutta. The responsibility of commencing hostilities against an ally of England was very great, and Clive and the Council felt grave doubts as to whether the Court of Directors would hold him justified in incurring it.

From further anxiety on this head he was saved by the conduct of the Dutch. The reply of Clive, containing, as it did, expressions which, though true in the letter, were the reverse of true in their plain signification,23 exasperated them to a degree

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beyond endurance. Without attempting further diplomatic intercourse, they attacked and captured seven small English vessels, lying off Falta, tore down the English colours, and transferred the guns and stores they carried to their own ships. Amongst the captured vessels was the despatch-boat carrying Clive’s letter to Admiral Cornish asking for assistance. At the same time landing troops at Patti and Riapur, they burned the houses and effects of the English agents stationed there. Their ships then stood up the river. Having no pilots, however, their progress was necessarily slow. This action on the part of the Dutch reassured Clive. He at once sent a despatch to the Nuwab, apprising him of the acts of violence which had been committed, and stating his wish that as the quarrel lay only between the Dutch and the English, it might be fought out between those two nations alone. Whilst, however, asking no direct assistance, he added that the Nuwab would convince him of his sincerity and attachment if he would “directly surround their (the Dutch) subordinates, and distress them in the country to the utmost.” Whilst thus writing to the Nuwab, Clive directed Forde to take possession of Barnagar (Barnagore); to cross then the river with his troops and four field-pieces to Shirirampur (Serampore); and to march thence on Chandranagar; the object being not only to strike terror into Chinsurah, but to be ready to intercept the Dutch troops in case they should endeavour to gain that place by land. I shall describe in its proper place the manner in which these instructions were executed.

Meanwhile the Dutch ships were moving upwards. On the 21st they anchored in Sankral reach, just below the point of the fire of the English batteries. The next day they landed their troops – seven hundred Europeans and eight hundred Malays – on the right bank of the river, with directions to march to Chinsurah. They then dropped down to Melancholy Point.

This action cleared the ground for Clive. He had now two distinct objects before him, each to be met on its own ground.

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The landing of the Dutch troops had severed them from their base, the ships which had conveyed them. To attack and overthrow these troops before they could gain a new base – that at Chinsurah being the only possible one – and at the same time to attack and destroy the old base – the Dutch ships – these were the clear and definite objects at which he aimed. Sending information to Forde of the landing and march of the Dutch troops, and directing Captain Knox, with the parties at the batteries, to join that officer with all possible expedition, he proceeded to deal with the Dutch ships.

I have stated in a previous page24 that before the commencement of hostilities Clive had but three ships of any size at his disposal, and that he had directed these to come up close to Calcutta, so as to aid in the defences of the town. They were three Indiamen – the Duke of Dorset, 544 tons, Captain Forrester; the Calcutta, 761 tons, Captain Wilson; the Hardwicke, 673 tons, Captain Sampson. They all carried guns. When the senior officer, Captain Wilson, who acted as commodore, received the order to bring his ships nearer to Calcutta, the Dutch squadron had already passed him. He had therefore followed it up steadily, anchoring some distance below it. But when, on the 23rd, the Dutch squadron, after having landed its troops, fell back to Melancholy point, Wilson made as though he, in his turn, would pass them; but the Dutch commodore noticing his intention, sent him a message to the effect that if he persisted in the attempt he would be fired upon. Wilson, having no orders to engage, at once desisted, but sent a report to Clive. Clive’s answer was clear and determined. He directed Commodore Wilson to send at once a despatch to the Dutch commodore, demanding immediate restitution of the vessels, property, and British subjects he had seized, a full apology to the English flag, and his immediate departure from the river.

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If these terms were not complied with, Wilson was directed to attack the Dutch squadron.

To understand the nature of the task which Clive had imposed upon this brave sailor, I may mention that whereas Wilson had at his disposal only three vessels, each capable of carrying at the most thirty guns, the Dutch squadron was composed of four ships, the Vlissingen, the Bleiswyk, the Welgeleegen, and the Princess of Orange, each carrying thirty-six; of two, the Elizabeth Dorothea and the Waereld, each carrying twenty-six; and of one, the Mosel, carrying sixteen guns. It was a force which exceeded his own by nearly two to one.

On the 24th Commodore Wilson transmitted his demand. It was promptly refused. Upon this Wilson weighed anchor and stood for the Dutch squadron. Captain Forrester, in the Duke of Dorset, the best sailer of the three, took the lead, and soon laid his ship alongside the Vlissingen, which bore the flag of the Dutch commodore. He had scarcely taken up this position when the wind changed, and his consorts were unable for some time to come near him. With great gallantry, however, Forrester attacked his antagonist, and though the mark himself for the first half-hour of other ships in the Dutch squadron, he stuck to her, and, after a contest which lasted two hours, forced her to strike. But before this had happened the Hardwicke and the Calcutta had succeeded in approaching the other ships. So well were they managed, and so hot was the fire they maintained, that in a very short time two of their smaller adversaries cut their cables and fled, whilst a third was driven on shore. The other ships maintained the contest till the Vlissingen had struck, when, with one exception, they followed her example. The exception was the Bleiswyk, the captain of which made his way to Kalpi, the English ships being too crippled to follow him. He was not, however, destined to escape. At Kalpi he met two English ships, the Oxford and the Royal George, which had arrived at the mouth of the Hugli

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two days before, and were now hastening upwards. They made an easy capture of the last of the Dutchmen.

In this most brilliant action the loss of the English in killed was very slight. The Duke of Dorset, though riddled through and through, though ninety shot were in her hull and her rigging was cut to pieces, and though many of her crew were wounded, did not lose a single man. The Dutch lost, in killed and wounded, upwards of a hundred men. On the Vlissingen alone thirty were killed and more than double that number wounded. It was an action worthy to be compared with the best achievements of the British navy.

Thus successfully had been carried out one of the two clear and distinct objects which Clive had determined to accomplish. I turn now to record the manner in which he dealt with the other. The reader has seen that Clive had no sooner heard of the debarkation of the Dutch troops and of their march towards Chinsurah, than he sent information to Forde, and directed Captain Knox to join him with the troops manning the two river batteries. I proceed now to examine the manner in which those two officers improved their opportunities.

Obeying the first orders transmitted to him on the 19th November, Forde, at the head of a hundred Europeans, four hundred native troops, and four guns, had the following day attacked and captured the Dutch factory of Barnagar. Crossing the river to Shirirampur, he marched thence towards Chandranagar, and encamped, on the night of the 23rd, in the French gardens south of the fort. It had been his intention to march the next morning and take up a position nearer Chinsurah, which lies only three miles north of Chandranagar. But the Dutch had not noticed in vain the advantage which taking the initiative gives to fighting men. They did not take into consideration the fact that about fifteen hundred of their own troops were marching on Forde’s rear, and that if they could only hold their own in Chinsurah till their arrival

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they would place Forde between two fires. They resolved to anticipate them. They therefore sent their whole available force, amounting to a hundred and twenty Europeans and three hundred native soldiers, from Chinsurah on the evening of the 23rd, and bade them take up a position in the ruins of Chandranagar, and hinder the further progress of the English. In that position, supported by four field-pieces, Forde found and attacked them on the morning of the 24th. The numbers were about equal on both sides, but on that of the English the soldiers, native and European, had been inured to Indian warfare. The result was never doubtful. Forde drove the Dutch from their position up to the very walls of Chinsurah, and captured their guns. That evening he was joined by Knox. This junction raised his numbers to three hundred and twenty Europeans and eight hundred native infantry and fifty European volunteer cavalry. The Nuwab had also placed about one hundred horsemen at his disposal, not to fight, but to spy.

From the prisoners he had taken, and from other sources, Forde learned that same evening that the Dutch force landed from the ships would certainly arrive the following day. He at once sent off an express to Clive, stating that he thought he had a fair prospect of destroying the enemy, but that he required explicit instructions as to the course he should pursue. Clive was engaging in playing whist when this note reached him. He read it; then, without quitting the table, he wrote on the back of it in pencil, “Dear Forde – Fight them immediately. I will send you the Order in Council to-morrow,” and dismissed the messenger.

Armed with this authority Forde, early on the morning of the 25th, took up at Biderra, about midway between Chandranagar and Chinsurah, a position commanding the road to the latter place. His right rested on the village of Biderra, his left on a mango-grove, both of which he occupied; his front was covered by a broad and deep ditch. Securely planted behind

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this, his guns commanded the treeless plain in front of it. It was the very best position that could have been taken, for whilst very defensive, it commanded all the approaches. At about 10 o’clock in the morning, the Dutch force, led by Colonel Roussel, a French soldier of fortune, was seen advancing across the plain. As soon as the enemy arrived within range, the four guns of the English opened fire; but, notwithstanding the gaps they made, the Dutch pressed on. At last they reached the ditch. This obstacle, of the existence of which they were ignorant, stopped them. The halt caused great confusion, as the men in the rear, ignorant of its cause, continued to press on. This confusion, and the exposure, at the same time, to a concentrated fire of small arms from their enemies, some posted in the village, some in the grove, were fatal to the Dutch. After many gallant endeavours to surmount the difficulty, they fairly turned. Forde used the first moment of their wavering to launch at them his English cavalry. The small number of these was not at the moment apparent to the enemy, and the charge, made at an opportune moment, forced their masses back in disorder. Seeing the effect produced, that the Dutch were fairly beaten, the cavalry of the Nuwab, who had not responded to the invitation to accompany their European comrades in the first charge, dashed forward and completed the defeat. The Dutch and Malays, fresh from the confinement of shipboard, the latter unused to fight cavalry, were ridden over in their efforts to escape. No victory was ever more decisive. Of the seven hundred Europeans and eight hundred Malays comprising the Dutch force, a hundred and twenty of the former and two hundred of the latter were left dead on the field; three hundred in about equal proportions of both were wounded; whilst M. Roussel, fourteen of his officers, three hundred and fifty Dutch, and two hundred Malays were made prisoners.25 Some sixty Dutchmen, and two hundred and

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fifty Malays escaped, and of the former only fourteen eventually succeeded in finding their way to Chinsurah.

In this brilliant manner did Forde carry out the second distinct object aimed at by Clive. The policy of the latter had been carried out to the letter. By vigour, decision, and daring, a danger, greater than any which since January 1757 had threatened the British settlement in Bengal, had been encountered and overthrown. Of the secret understanding between the Dutch and the Nuwab, there can be no doubt whatever. Clive entertained none. The Nuwab, in fact, groaning under the restraints imposed upon him by the British connection, was anxious to substitute for a foreign master a foreign ally. His troops were ready for action. Had the Dutch squadron beaten the three English ships in the river, and had Forde been vanquished at Biderra, these troops would have joined the Dutch in an attack upon Calcutta. If that attack had succeeded, the Nuwab, grown wise by experience, would have imposed upon the Dutch terms far less galling to himself than those which had made him little more than a pageant sovereign guided by English counsels.

This conspiracy had been defeated by the calm decision of Clive, by the gallantry, skill, and daring of Forde and of the officers and men, sailors as well as soldiers, who were engaged. The victory on the Hugh, and the victory at Biderra, brought the Dutch, hitherto so threatening, to the feet of the English governor; not only for mercy, but for protection. They sorely needed the latter. Three days after the battle, Miran, the son and heir of the Nuwab, arrived from Murshidabad with six thousand horse. Up to that moment the great opponent of the English alliance, the secret instigator of the intrigues with the Dutch, Miran had come down in the hope of dictating his own terms, if, as he hoped, the English had been beaten. But finding them victorious on all points, the Dutch broken – almost annihilated, – he, with characteristic versatility, at once changed his

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tone. The yoke of the English must still be borne. His policy must be to ingratiate, not to offend. In this view he spoke of nothing less than the extermination of the Dutch, of expelling the remnant of them from Bengal. To protect themselves from the consequences of these threats, the Dutch implored the aid of the enemy whom they had so gratuitously provoked. Clive displayed a mastery of statesmanship, the greater inasmuch as it bore the appearance of signal generosity. After the victory of Biderra, he had responded to the submission of the Dutch by ordering Forde to cease all hostilities. He now proceeded to Chinsurah, and succeeded in effecting an accommodation between the Dutch and the Nuwab. But the terms of the accommodation bore the impress of the practical mind of a man who was resolved that no opportunity should ever again be afforded to the Dutch to wage war against the English in Bengal. For, whilst he persuaded the Nuwab to confirm all the trading privileges previously accorded to that people, and gave them permission to maintain a hundred and twenty-five soldiers for the protection of their factories at Chinsurah, at Kasimbazar, at Patna, and at Baleshwar (Bala-sore), he compelled them to send away their squadron with those prisoners recently taken by the English, who would not serve the conqueror; to discharge all the native soldiers whom they had raised; and to agree never to carry on hostilities, to enlist or introduce troops, or to erect fortifications, within the limits of the three provinces.

The other terms of the accommodation were not less satisfactory. The Dutch agreed to disavow the conduct of their fleet, to acknowledge themselves as the aggressors, and to pay three lakhs of rupees to cover all the losses sustained by the English, and the expenses of the war. This decision was subsequently approved by special commissioners of the two nations appointed in Europe to examine into the whole question. The conduct of Clive was declared, by this impartial tribunal, to

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have been marked by a prudence, a judgment, and a generosity such as to entitle him to unqualified commendation.

For us judges after an interval of more than a hundred and twenty years – there remains something more than a mere confirmation of this verdict. We have to render justice to the hand as well as to the head, to the scholar as well as to the master. Without detracting for one instant from the supreme qualities manifested by Clive at this crisis, we must not fail to render homage to the man who, fresh from the storming of Machhlipatanam, decisively foiled, with a force inferior in numbers, the attempt to establish an Indo-Batavian empire, on the field of Biderra.


19. “The city of snakes,” so called from “Naga” (a snake), and “patanam” (city). With their usual carelessness regarding the correct rendering of Indian proper names, the English of a century and a half ago transmuted this singularly expressive name into Negapatam – placing the accent on the last syllable – a name utterly meaningless. The barbarism continues at the present day.

20. Transcriber’s note: in the original 1867 printing, this word was ‘Japan’, but this is an obvious error since Batavia is, in fact, in Java, and subsequent text confirms this. The Dutch never built any city in Japan.

21. The Dutch paid 450,000 rupees; the French, 350,000. The difference in favour of the latter being a consequence of their having furnished the Nuwab with two hundred and fifty chests of gunpowder.

22. The fort of Tannah was five miles below Calcutta, on the right bank of the river; Charnock’s battery was nearly opposite to it.

23. Though Clive had the authority of the Nuwab for the acts complained of by the Dutch, it was an authority which he had himself solicited for the protection of British interests; and the Nuwab, who had given him that authority, had encouraged and even implored the Dutch to pay no regard to it, as baying been extracted from his necessities, and being therefore void.

24. Page 114.

25. I have followed, in the main, the account of this contest given by the Dutch East India Company. Vide Grose’s Voyage to the East Indies, vol. ii. page 876.

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