Battle Of Plassey MPPSC Exam Notes

The battle finally ended at around 8 PM on the same day, much after sunset. It became clear to Clive that the substantial Indian force, motionless but in a position that appeared to threaten his right flank, must be the troops of Mir Jafar Khan. Free from anxiety of an assault by this force, Clive launched attacks on the hill to the left of the French redoubt and, once that was successful, on St Frais’ men in the redoubt itself. Isolated and outnumbered, St Frais retired from the redoubt. On the left of the line, Major Kilpatrick saw the beginning of the withdrawal of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s troops and that the French were being left isolated at the large tank. Kilpatrick took it on himself to order forward his contingent of 250 European troops and 2 of the 6 pounders.

There’s a lot of information available and it is very responsible in making sure you know what you’re doing, and has plenty of resources to help you along. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly, our support team will be happy to help. This definitely showed the character of Clive vis-à-vis the treacherous Jafar Ali Khan and his cohorts.

  • They dug embrasures in the mango grove mound for their guns to fire through, while Siraj-ud-Daulah’s cannon caused havoc only among the mango trees, firing over the heads of the English soldiers concealed behind the mound.
  • And the battle just didn’t end at sunset; though the writing was on the wall much before the battle was actually fought.
  • Coote urged that a delay would enable Monsieur Law to join Siraj-ud-Daulah from Bhagalpur with his French troops, known to have been urgently summoned by Siraj-ud-Daulah.

The camp of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s large army was within earshot, about a mile up the river. At 1 am on 23rd June 1757, the army reached Plassey, a small village with a hunting lodge owned by the Nawab, Siraj-ud-Daulah. The army bivouacked in a mango grove beyond the village, placing vedettes around the grove. Clive’s army marched again at sunset on 22nd June 1757. It was now raining heavily, the earliest onset of the annual monsoon weather, and in places the river overflowed its banks, forcing the soldiers to march in water that reached up to their waists. On 12th June 1757 the remaining troops at Calcutta with 150 sailors from Admiral Watson’s squadron marched to join Clive’s force at Chandranagar.

Battle Of Plassey

Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army comprised 35,000 foot soldiers, most poorly armed and lacking formal discipline. His cavalry was around 15,000 horsemen, mostly Pathans from the North-West, well mounted, armed with swords and spears. Clive halted the advance at Katwa and wrote to the Committee in Calcutta asking for their advice as to whether to proceed with the advance. This was an unusual show of hesitation in Clive, normally impetuous to the point of rashness. That evening, after writing to the Rajah of Burdwan asking him to join his army with a thousand horsemen, Clive held a Council of War with all his officers.

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When Mir Jafar Khan reached the point opposite the western end of the mango grove, his troops left the column and wheeled towards the English positions. Mir Jafar Khan’s intentions were still unclear and Clive was uncertain whether the troops approaching his line were Mir Jafar’s. A small English detachment with a field gun was given the task of halting this approach, which it did. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s artillery comprised 53 cannon, all of heavy calibre; 32, 24 and 18 pounders. Guns of this size, more usually deployed in fixed position siege work, were not ideal for use on the battlefield, being cumbrous, slow to load and difficult to move.

They goaded Siraj to quit and the latter escaped on camel back to reach Murshidabad early next morning. On 21 June 1757, Clive called a Council of War to decide whether to continue with the campaign as he was unsure of the intent of Mir Jafar and his lackeys. By then, Siraj’s army of 50,000 had reached the mango plantations of Plassey . And without Mir Jafar’s express commitment, this decision was very crucial for Clive. He sent a relief force towards Chandernagore, but later withdrew it. It took almost two months for the EIC to get ready for the invasion of Bengal.

Siraj was unnerved, for the second time in his brief period of showdown with the EIC. However, the crucial turn around for Clive took place at 12 pm with the onset of the monsoon rains. Siraj’s artillery wing was so careless that they did not bother to bring adequate covers for the ammunition. At the other end, Clive’s forces were disciplined enough to cover their guns and ammunition with tarpaulin. Clive’s entourage arrived at Fort St David (near Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore of today), along with the warships led by Rear Admiral Watson.

Company policy

Finally, as Dalrymple writes, on 13 October 1756, an expeditionary force of ‘785 European troops, 300 marines and 940 Indian sepoys’ set sail towards Bengal. By the middle of December 1756, one of the ships Kent, anchored at Fulta in Bengal – where the English survivors of SirajudDaula’s attack on Fort William in Calcutta in June 1756 – had taken shelter. In fact, by then, almost 50 per cent of the original survivorshad died of fever. Watson was least interested in moving towards Bengal and defend the interests of the EIC because he was representing the Crown directly and wished to remain in Madras since he was sent for that purpose. However, Clive prevailed upon the Council members of the English East India Company at Madras and finally succeeded in persuading Watson to accompany him to Bengal.

It was a normal monsoon day, with occasional rain in the mango groves at the town of Plassey…… It was in those mango groves that the British forces faced the Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula’s army and convincingly defeated it. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s soldiers fought hard, but were leaderless and without direction, other than St Frais’ Frenchmen. The cannon and musket fire from Clive’s positions inflicted great loss on Siraj-ud-Daulah’s troops and the oxen towing the platforms for the heavy guns. At 11am Clive called his senior commanders to a council to decide what to do.

Clive’s guns resumed their fire with considerable effect, killing Indian gunners and causing supplies of their ammunition to explode, generating panic among the draft animals and clouds of powder smoke. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s Plassey camp was covered by entrenched works, stretching for 200 yards away from the river and then for about 3 miles towards the north. Clive marched out of Chandranagar on 13th June 1757, leaving a garrison of 100 men. Arriving on 16th June at Palti, Clive sent Major Eyre Coote of the 39th Foot with a small force to take the post of Katwa, containing a native garrison and a considerable quantity of supplies. The garrison surrendered to Coote after a token resistance. Mir Jafar, commander-in-chief of the army, was also uneasy with Siraj, and was courted assiduously by Ghaseti.

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The Charter was signed on 31 December 1600 whereupon it was emphasised that the Company was to restrict itself to trade and not to attempt colonisation or conquest. William Hawkins captained the ship HECTOR and reached India at the largest of the Mughal ports – Surat. As Hawkins anchored offshore on 24 August 1608, began an era of British mercantilism in India which later transformed into capitalistic imperialism. No forts to be erected by the Nawab’s government on the river side, from Hooghley downwards.

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Near the Fort of Budge Budge, Manikchand in a surprise move attacked Clive’s retinue. Clive was about to order a retreat as he was taken aback by this sudden attack. However, field artillery and rapid firing of the Brown Bess muskets saved the day for Clive. Clive moved his force forward to the tank abandoned by St Frais and began a bombardment of the Plassey camp. The reaction from Siraj-ud-Daulah’s thousands of soldiers who were not part of the conspiracy against him was to turn back, march out of the camp and resume the battle, which now became intense.

As per their agreement, Clive collected £2.5 million for the company, and £234,000 for himself from the Nawab’s treasury. In addition, Watts collected £114,000 for his efforts. The annual rent of £30,000 payable by the Company for use of the land around Fort William was also transferred to Clive for life. To put this wealth in context, an average British nobleman could live a life of luxury on an annual income of £800. Clive’s army suffered casualties of 23 dead and 49 wounded. The casualties of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army were around 500 dead and many wounded.

Since Arabs were in control of the sea trade to India’s Malabar region, they siphoned off the profits and price of spices inflated as they finally reached Europe. Yes, the battle began early on the 23rd of June 1757, no doubt; not quite at dawn per se, but to be particular at around 8 AM. And the battle just didn’t end at sunset; though the writing was on the wall much before the battle was actually fought.

Kabir Bedi in London

Clive moved his force nearer to the camp in three detachments. One, comprising nearly half his force, moved to the mound by the smaller of the two tanks, while the other half advanced to the higher ground between the tank and the river. A further party of some 160 men from the Are grey items the real deal grenadier company of the 39th Foot and a sepoy grenadier company moved even closer, occupying another tank. All the English troops and guns opened a general fire on Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army. Clive could not afford even the few casualties caused by the French and Indian gunfire.

Principal officers—British

Eventually, through the connivance of traders such as Amichand , and William Watts, Mir Jafar was brought into the British fold. The Battle of Plassey was one of the major steps that brought England to dominate and conquer India. It was not only a battle with local authorities but part of the rivalry with France over available markets. However, European colonial expansion was a part of an even bigger phenomenon that would bind the peoples and cultures of the world together through dissemination of technology and sharing among cultures. In this respect, the Battle of Plassey can be seen as one step in a sad but necessary process.

In any case, the French commander, St Frais, refused to retreat and continued to fight from the large tank, although the soldiers of the now deceased Mir Madan Khan joined the withdrawal to the camp. While Mir Madan Khan lived and commanded in the key part of the battlefield, it was possible for Siraj-ud-Daulah to win the battle. Without that capable and faithful commander he was at the mercy of the other three commanders, all disloyal. This cannonade continued for three hours, but without any decisive effect. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s guns maintained their fire and there was no sign of any of his commanders deserting him. The French, under St Frais, fired the first gun, which acted as a signal for the opening of a heavy bombardment all along the line of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army.

At 8 am on the 23rd of June 1757, Siraj’s artillery started firing at the EIC. In 30 minutes or so, Clive lost 10 Europeans and 20 sepoys. Immediately, Clive ordered his troops to take defensive positions. Siraj’s soldiers thought the EIC men were retreating and hence kept on firing at them by moving up their heavy guns. But the shots missed the EIC, rather they hit the trees.

The crossing took most of the day and brought the army within 15 miles of Plassey. On hearing that Clive was halted at Katwah, Siraj-ud-Daulah rushed his force forward to occupy the camp at Plassey, an established post for his army. If he did not, the likelihood was that Clive’s army would be overwhelmed in a battle.

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