The French Seize British Madras 1746, Chromo Advertising 1890
A rare 1890 chromo advertisement card on the French seizing British Madras 1746. This is a very rare small 1890 advertisement card for the Lombart Chocolate of Paris, France. The card gives a brief account of the British and French Naval conflict in Madras. The image shows French Ships lined up bombarding Fort St George in Madras (now Chennai) in 1746. The war between England and France in Europe had its fallout in Madras.
The commander on the French side was Mahe De La Bourdonnais, the governor of Mauritius. He was given the order to arm all merchant ships capable of carrying artillery to besiege Madras. He arrived with a fleet. Around 1900 men landed with two guns and with 1800 men on his ships blocked the city from the seaside. British Governor Morse and the garrison surrendered.
The Nawab of the Carnatic, Anwaruddin, the suzerain (overlord) of both the British and French merchants on the east coast. Sent an army under his eldest son, Mahfuz Khan, to confront the French occupiers of the Fort. But a small contingent of French soldiers beat back the Nawab’s army. When the English lost Madras, Fort St David (Cuddalore) became the seat of their presidency.
The French Governor of Pondichery Joseph-François Dupleix launched several attacks on Fort St David but failed to seize it. Meanwhile, the war in Europe had ended with the signing of a treaty. Soon afterward, Madras was restored in return for Quebec (Canada). The return of the city to the English took place on August 21, 1749. The occupation of the Fort convinced the British they should raise a stronger army of their own and fortify Fort St George in an impregnable manner.
Major Stringer Lawrence, who had successfully defended Fort St David, raised a regiment of native soldiers in Cuddalore and Madras. Which later metamorphosed into the Indian Army. Thus, Major Lawrence Stringer came to be known as the father of the Indian Army. The British systematically set about strengthing Fort St George. Another French siege took place in 1758 for 67 days but without success this time. Yet again, Madras would be shelled, this time by the German Ship SMS Emden during WWI.
Did you know – that Dupleix carted away merchandise, bullion, stores, and ordnance valued at Rs 2 crores to Pondicherry.
Past posts – Raja Ravi Varma’s Goddess Laxmi 2 Postcards., First Line Beach, Commercial Street of Madras 1940 ., Birds-Eye-View of Banaras, Old Postcard 1900., Daimler Car For The Maharaja India, Old Print 1917.