British military presence in India from 1600 to 1947
This project will include the GEni profiles of British officers and men who served in India before 1947, directly employed by the British government or the East India Company.
Add any suitable profiles to this project, regardless of classification.
Projects related to GEni or of Interest
India - British Colonial Era
Governors General of India
College of the East India Company
World War I: Indian Armed Forces
1612-1757, the East India Company established "factories" (trading posts) in various locations in India, with the consent of Mughal emperors or local rulers. Its rivals were Dutch and French trading companies. In the middle of the 18th century, three "presidential cities": Madras, Bombay and Calcutta grew in size.
1757–1858- was the period of the Company's rule in India. The Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called "Presidencies". However, it also came increasingly under the supervision of the British government, effectively sharing sovereignty with the Crown. At the same time, it gradually lost its mercantile privileges.
1857- After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Company's remaining powers were transferred to the Crown.
1858-1947The New British Raj: Sovereignty was extended to some new regions such as Upper Burma. The major Presidencies were divided into "Provinces".
The Honorable East India Company ([H]EIC)entered into the Charter to represent the commercial interests of the British Crown and to establish trade east of the Cape of Good Hope. They received this Charter from about 1612 until shortly after the Indian Mutiny, when the EIC was dissolved. HEIC ships and trading posts (often called "factories") needed to defend against pirates, marauders, and forces of hostile powers, both European and Eastern.
Starting in 1700 for the next 160 years or so, theHonorable East India Companyformed its own armed forces. The three administrative areas of India, the Presidencies of Bombay, Madras and Bengal, each maintained its own army with its own Commander-in-Chief.
The Commander-in-Chief of Bengal was considered the superior officer of the three. These armies were paid entirely from the East India Company's Indian revenue, and together they were larger than the British army itself.
All officers were British and trained at the Company's military academy in England. There were several European infantry regiments, but the vast majority of the Company's soldiers were native soldiers. These sepoys, as they were called, were mostly high-caste Hindus and many of them, especially in the Bengal Army, hailed from Oudh in what is now the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.
They were organized into numbered regiments and trained in the British style. Sepoy regiments were led by Europeans, with a hardening of European noncommissioned officers.
Attached to this force were the Crown regiments, units of the British Army loaned by the Crown to the HEIC in times of need. In 1857, the total number of soldiers in India was 34,000 Europeans of all ranks and 257,000 sepoys.
Sir Thomas Smith- 1558-1625, was the first governor of the East India Company.
HEIC troops fought many minor skirmishes and major battles to protect East India Company assets. It was not until the end of 1756 that the Bengal Regiment emerged after the reforms ofMajor General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, KB.
Some events in the history ofeast india companythey are listed below.
1613- Earlier in the year, the Mughal Emperor issued a Firman to the HEIC for the establishment of a factory in Surat, near Bombay, this was the first settlement of the British on the mainland of India. HEIC prospered and expanded.
1625- The factory was installed in Masulipatam.
1634- February 2nd, a Firman issued for HEIC byShah Jehan Emperor of Indiafor the establishment of factories in Bengal.
1640- Obtaining concession for establishment in Madras.
1645- An unexpected extension of the Company's power in Bengal has been obtained. Emperor Shah Jehan had a favorite daughter who had suffered severe burns, the surgeon on one of the HEIC ships.Gabriel Broughton, was sent to attend to her, her treatment so successful that the emperor was overwhelmed with gratitude, he said he would grant Broughton whatever he could ask. Broughton's request was that HEIC be given permission to establish a factory in Hoogli (Calcutta), this was granted and a thriving trade arose.
1652- From the beginning it was necessary to have some kind of guard in these factories, at the time the Company employed an officer and thirty European soldiers to protect its factory near Calcutta, and according to reports they were a mixed group, mercenaries, adventurers and deserters from foreign armies, however, they were amalgamated into an efficient professional military unit.
History claims that the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the Royal Munster Rifle Regiment, designated by Lord Cardwell's reorganization of the British Army on 1 July 1881, can trace their regimental roots back to this small group of servicemen.
1668- March - Bombay Island ceded to HEIC by King Charles II. Military service under the HEIC was offered and accepted to a detachment of the kings' troops.
1680- The expansion and increased trade of the HEIC required additional recruits for the private army of the HEIC. Recruitment took place in England and permission was given by James II to raise small numbers of troops in Ireland.
1685- Six companies of infantry sent from England and Ireland, and a detachment from Madras with the object of establishing the Company's position in Bengal.
1689- Settlements in Bengal were abandoned, all military force returned to Madras.
1690- Settlements were re-established in Bengal at the end of the year, the force totaling a company of 100 men commanded by a Captain Hill.
1692-Captain John Goldesboroughhe arrived in Madras to command all HEIC forces in India.
1694- Goldesborough when on an inspection tour of Bengal ordered the establishment to be reduced to 2 sergeants, 2 corporals and 20 privates.
1697- A dangerous revolt breaks out in Bengal, led by Rajah Subah Sing, against the emperor's authority. The HEIC agent, Mr. (later Mr.)Carlos Eyre, he applied to the local Nawab for permission to fortify the factory at Chattanuttee, present-day Kolkata. In view of this, it was decided to erect a fort, to be called Fort William, in honor of King William III, and at the same time Bengal was declared a separate presidency.
1707- Fort William is reasonably complete, with several cannons and 125 soldiers, half of whom are European.
1710- The strength and constitution of the military forces in the three Presidencies, Bombay, Bengal and Madras have undergone many changes, each having more or less the organization and disposition of its own forces. The white part of the armies was made up of detachments sent from England and Ireland.
1743HEIC officer Robert Clive arrives in India, then transfers to military service in the HEIC, distinguishing himself as a soldier.
1753- Clive returns to England after accumulating wealth.
1756- June - Robert Clive returns to Madras from England, appointed governor of Fort St David with a commission as a lieutenant colonel. He is also credited with turning the army in India into an orderly military force.
1756- Aug 5 - News received in Madras, capture of Calcutta by Surajah Dowlah, the new Nawab of Bengal, imprisonment of Europeans in a dungeon called Black Hole. Clive was ordered to secure Calcutta and release the prisoners.
1756- 16 December - Independent companies and detachments formed into Regiment by Clive, placed under the command of Major Kilpatrick under the designation of -The European Regiment of Bengal.
References and sources
- HEIC Army and the "Europeans of Bengal" Regiment
- Record of Services of Honorable East India Company Officers in the Presidency of Madras, 1741-1858... comp. and ed. of records held by the Secretary of State of India
- Military Archive Search - HEIC
- Britannica - East India Company
- Rootsweb - The HEIC and the British Armed Forces in India
- BBC: Profile India - Timeline
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