General Chronology of Events Preceding the War from 1748 to 1753.

1748

March 25, 1748: Mutiny bill passed

June 19, 1748: Treaty of Fort Pickawillany, Piqua, Ohio. Signed at Lancaster, Pennsylvania by the Twigtwee Indians, a group of Miami-speaking Indians under the leadership of a sachem named Memeskia, known as “Old Britain” by the English and “La Demoiselle” by the French, this treaty establishes trade between the Twigtwees and the English.

October 7, 1748: Peace of Aix la Chapelle

1749

1749: French explorer Céleron de Blainville claims much of present day Ohio and western Pennsylvania for France.

April 12-13, 1749: Part of Admiral Boscawen’s fleet lost in a storm.  “The Namur of 74 guns and the Pembroke of 60 guns were entirely lost with almost all their people, there being only two midshipmen and 24 men of out those on board the former and 12 from the latter who saved by swimming ashore from the wrecks.  Of the former about 40 with the admiral, Captain Marshall, etc., were happily on shore and on duty, and near 70 sick at the hospital.  That the Namur foundered, and the Pembroke was lost on a place called Calderon Ledge, a little to the southward of Porto Novo.  That he had luckily the day before sent his majesty’s ships Tartar, Apollo, Deal Castle, Swallow and Edgebaston East India ship, to a place called Davacota, to the southward of Porto Novo, but they being at sea, and more to the southward, are all saved, and returned to Fort St. David, though without their masts, and in a most miserable shattered condition, except the Apollo of 40 guns, which ship was not heard of , and he was greatly apprehensive she was likewise lost, with all her people on board, being 350.  The number drowned in the Namur was 520, including the 1st, 2nd, and 4th lieutenants, master, gunner, and two lieutenants of marines; and in the Pembroke, about 330, among whom were the captain, and all the officers, except the captain of marines and purser, who were ashore with leave.”

May 26, 1749: Reduction of the army and navy

July 4, 1749: “Anaverdi Khan defeated and killed by the French and their confederates, in a battle to the south of Arcot.”

September 13, 1749: Céleron lands at Pickawillany to bring the Twigtwees back into the sphere of French trade. His entreaties are rejected and he returns to Detroit on September 20.

October 5, 1749: Commercial treaty with Spain at Buen Retiro; the Spanish Government pay 100,000L.

November 16, 1749: The garrison of Gibraltar and people there had for some time been in great distress for want of provisions, the Spaniards having cut off all communication with that place, under pretence of their being afraid of the plague being brought in there, by reason of their correspondence with Africa ; and though, to remove this pretence, general Bland, the governor, ordered that no vessel from the coast of Barbary should be admitted into that port, yet this prohibition caused no alteration in the measures taken by the Spaniards, who placed guards at all the avenues to that fortress, and imprisoned several persons for attempting to carry in provisions; nor would they allow any vessel to enter their ports, if they heard of their having touched at Gibraltar, having lately stopped four Portuguese vessels at Malaga, and confined their crews in the penthouse, for no other reason but because they just touched at Gibraltar in their passage from any port of the Mediterranean.

1750

1750: The English obtain permission from the Twigtwees to build a stockade at Pickawillany.

March 14, 1750: The Mutiny Bill passes Parliament.

April 5, 1750: “The French, etc. defeated by the English and their confederates under major Lawrence, in a battle 20 miles to the northwest of Pondicherry, April 5, 1750.”

April 26, 1750: “The French in the East Indies made a new Nabob, who in return, made them a present of several towns, and a great extent of country; they got possession of fort St. Thomas, and were grown so powerful that the English settlements, in case of a new war, were in danger of falling in an easy conquest.”

August, 1750: “Mohammed Ali defeated by the French, etc. in a battle to the west of Tira-Vidi, in August, 1750.”

September, 1750: Nova Scotia; “In the beginning of this month, Governor Cornwallis sent to Chignecto, a large force, consisting of 3 or 4 sloops of war, and about 1000 regular forces, to drive out the Indians who had annoyed our settlements ever since our first landing, and who, instigated by the French, burned, last April, the town of Chignecto, on the approach of the troops that were then sent thither from Halifax.  On the arrival of the forces, orders were given to land, which was interrupted by the Indians, mingled with neutral French; who, to the number of 7 or 800, had entrenched themselves behind strong banks and palisades that were cannon-proof, and could not be affected by the fire from the ships: Major Lawrence, therefore, who commanded the expedition, at the head of about 100 chosen men, landed a mile and a half from this entrenchment, where the enemy were ready to receive him with their small arms.  He received their fire (by which he lost only five or six of his men) reserving his own , and marched up with all expedition, before they could load again, bravely mounted their entrenchments, and discharged his fire just at their noses, by which he killed a great number of them, and the rest fled with the greatest precipitation, and passed the river to the other side on the French ground, where a French officer, with about 100 regular troops, stood and was witness of the action.  All our forces then landed, and have taken possession of a fine country, cleared of trees, for 20 or 30 miles with the harvest standing upon the ground.  This action has so effectually strengthened our settlement, and done such injury to the French, and especially to those of Cape Breton, who received most of their supplies of provision from the neutral French settled at Chignecto, that we now are in no pain for our settlement, but with reason expect it to be the most flourishing colony in America.”

September 22, 1750: Ratifications of a treaty of subsidy concluded with the elector of Bavaria were exchanged at Hanover by the British, Austrian. Dutch and Bavarian ministers. The substance of this treaty, which was to last six years, was that the maritime powers pay the Elector an annual subsidy of 40,000/. for which the Elector was to keep in readiness a body of 6000 foot for the service of the maritime powers whenever demanded, provided that they were not employed against the Emperor or empire. As the design of the maritime powers tended to the advantage of the empire, his electoral highness engaged to second the efforts of his Britannic Majesty in the diet, and in the electoral college; which efforts were for electing the archduke king of the Romans. If the Elector should be attacked on account of this treaty, the maritime powers were to assist him, and procure him satisfaction for any damage received.

October 4, 1750: “This day Capt. How, who was the person usually sent to hold conference with the French and Indians, when any was demanded, he understanding their language best, had half an hour’s conversation with a French officer, during which time their dykes were filled with French or Indians, and as he took his leave of the French officer, the treacherous rascals fired a whole volley at him and kill’d him.”

October 5, 1750: Commercial treaty of Madrid between Spain and Great Britain signed.

November 22, 1750: “An order was made at the War Office, that all foreign garrisons should be relieved once in five years.”

December 16, 1750: “Nasr Jing murdered by his own people and his army reduced by the French, etc. at Jingi, Dec. 16, 1750.”

1751

March 20, 1751: Frederick, Prince of Wales, dies

March 22, 1751: The Mutiny Bill passes Parliament.

June 3, 1751: “An order of Admiralty was issued for shipping off from Woolwich, on board the Garland sloop, and a transport, a large quantity of warlike stores for Nova Scotia.”

June 15, 1751: “Was tried at Woolwich, before Sir John Ligonier and the rest of the board of ordnance, one of his Majesty’s six pounder brass cannon, out of which were fired 300 shot in three hours twenty two minutes, after which the gun was searched, and found to be as good as before trial.”

June 19, 1751: “M. de Villiers drove away the English Ohio Company from the banks of that river.”

June 30, 1751: “The English, etc. under Capt. Gingers defeated by the French, etc. at Volcondah, June 30, 1751.”

July 11, 1751: The admiralty gave orders for a general surrey of the navy in all the yards and ports of England, and lord Anson, and Admirals Boscawen and Rowley, were to inspect the same.

July 25, 1751: At a board of Admiralty, where all the lords were present. It was resolved to put in commission two men of war of seventy, two of sixty, and two of fifty guns. Orders were given for fitting out six transports for Nova Scotia, with warlike stores, and all sorts of implements for husbandry.

The Spaniards built a fort on the island of Rattan, which we quitted by the peace, with a view to intercept all ships coming into the bay of Honduras to cut logwood.

August 4, 1751: Mr. Keppel, commander of the British Squadron in the Mediterranean, settled  the differences between this court and Dey of Algiers, by waving the restitution of money and effects taken from on board the prince Frederic packet-boat, on condition, that his Majesty’s packet-boat should never be obliged to carry Algerian passports, but on producing their commissions should be at full liberty to pursue their voyage; and that the British merchants should enjoy the privilege of trading.

August 11, 1751: “The lords of trade and plantations ordered five ships to be got ready to sail for Nova Scotia with two companies of Lee’s Foot (44th Foot), and warlike stores.”

August 11, 1751: Orders were issued for repairing and augmenting the fortifications of Carlisle, and several towns in North Britain.”

August 31, 1751: An order was issued by the king of Spain, at the pressing representations of Mr. Keene, the British minister, to all governors and commanders of ships in the Spanish West Indies, “Not to molest or interrupt the navigation and commerce of the English in the West Indian seas; nor to stop any vessels belonging to that nation, on any pretence whatever, unless actually found carrying on the contraband trade prohibited by treaties.” Commanders of the King’s ships or guarda costas were to be severely punished that presumed to disobey this order.

August 31, 1751: Capture of Arcot. Capt. Clive, with 200 Europeans and 300 sepoys, and five guns, marched from Madras on the 26th of August to attack Arcot, and on the 31st arrived within ten miles of the place, where the enemy’s spies discovered the English continuing then march during a fearful storm, the thunder, lightning, and rain, even more terrific than is usual in India, and seemed to render further advance impracticable; but Clive, aware of the impression that such hardihood would produce on Oriental minds, pushed forward in spite of the elemental strife. Daunted by his boldness, the garrison instantly abandoned the fort, and the English marched through the city to the astonishment of about 100,000 inhabitants, and took possession both of the town and citadel, the latter of which Clive immediately occupied.  September 14, 1751. Successful Sortie from Arcot.  Clive, finding himself invested in Arcot by a powerful and increasing force, and anxious for the safe arrival of two 18-pounders, resolved to attack the besiegers. On the night of the 14th of September he made a successful sortie, the enemy being defeated with considerable loss; and the convoy entered the fort in triumph.

September 19, 1751: Commodore Keppel, commander of his majesty’s squadron in the Mediterranean, signed a treaty of peace and commerce between his majesty and the kingdom of Tripoli, with Robert White, Esq., his majesty’s consul general at Tripoli, and the divan, Kiaja bey, and bashaw of the state and kingdom of Tripoli.

September 24, 1751: Sortie from Arcot. Chunda Saib, having detached 4000 men from Trichinopoly under his son Rajah Saib, and being reinforced by 150 French troops from Pondicherry, assailed Arcot on 23rd September, and, in conjunction with the army already assembled there, proceeded to tighten the chain of investment. But the rajah soon found that he had no common adversary to deal with. At daybreak on the 24th, Clive directed a sortie to be made in two columns, with a view rather to impress the besiegers with the conviction of their own inferiority as soldiers, than for the purpose of driving them from a large open town. Then leading one of the columns, the enterprise was conducted with so much gallantry that the rajah was struck with amazement. However, it cost the garrison dearly: upwards of thirty Europeans fell in the conflict, while not a single gun, though several were at one moment m their possession, was carried off by the daring assailants.

October 19, 1751: Commodore Keppel, commander of his majesty’s squadron in the Mediterranean, signed a treaty of peace and commerce between his majesty and the state of Tunis, with Charles Gordon, Esq., his majesty’s consul general at Tunis, and the lord Ali Pasha, begler bey and supreme commander of the said state of Tunis.

November 9, 1751:  The King reviewed in the Green park, St. James’s, colonel Rich’s regiment of foot, called the King’s Tangier regiment, raised in 1680; there were present the duke of Cumberland, lord Cadogan, general Huske, and Sir Robert Rich. They made a very fine appearance, and after the review marched over Westminster Bridge to their quarters in Kent.

November 14, 1751: Defence of Arcot. Chunda Saib, greatly enraged at the unexpected fall of his capital, sent his son, Rajah Saib, with a force of four thousand men, to expel the English. Being reinforced by one hundred and fifty Europeans from Pondicherry and three thousand men that had collected around the fugitive garrison of Arcot, this formidable force found no difficulty in entering the city. Clive, notwithstanding the great disparity of strength, resolved to dislodge them, and sallied from the fort with his artillery; but the enemy, occupying the houses with their musketry, compelled Clive to retreat with some loss; and on the following day, reinforced by two thousand men from Vellore, they commenced a regular siege of the citadel. Although Clive’s guns were soon disabled, he so retarded the operations of the besiegers, by making frequent sorties, that it was a fortnight before they could effect a breach. Two of considerable extent were at length opened, and Clive pre- pared for their defence, though he had only eighty Europeans and one hundred and twenty sepoys fit for duty; but he had contrived to infuse into this little band a portion of his own indomitable spirit, and they resolved to hold out until the last extremity. Rajah Saib made his assault on the 14th November, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Ali’s family, the festival most reverenced by these Mohammedans. When the assailants advanced, they found themselves exposed to works that commanded the breaches as well as the traverses; and these cross-fires were so well maintained that the enemy were mowed down by entire ranks. They nevertheless made repeated efforts to establish themselves; but being driven back with the loss of 400 men killed and wounded, they abandoned the attempt, and evacuated the town that night, after having maintained the siege for fifty days. On the following morning, Clive being joined by a detachment from Madras, and a body of Mahrattas, commenced an active pursuit, and, having over-taken the enemy, inflicted upon them a severe defeat. He then recovered Conjeveram, which had been garrisoned by the French.

November 25, 1751: Siege and capture of Arcot, India. Robert Clive of England successfully captures this city after defeating an Indian army that includes a French contingent.

December 14, 1751: “The French, etc. are defeated by the English, etc. under capt. Clive, in the plains of the Arnj, Dec. 14, 1751.”

December 25, 1751: “Kanjavaram besieged and taken by the English, etc. under capt. Clive, Dec. 25, 1751.”

1752

February 28, 1752: Surrender of Conjeveram.  The defences of Conjeveram pagoda had been ruined by the English on their capture of that fortress the preceding year; but soon after the forces returned into Madras the French and their Indian allies again occupied their old post. The English under Clive once more appearing before Conjeveram, those of its defenders who did not abandon it, surrendered on 28th Feb., and consented to be taken into British pay.

February 29, 1752: Action at Coverpank, Chunda Saib, the ally of France, recommencing his incursions on the English district, after abandoning Conjeveram, was reinforced by 400 French troops and 2000 sepoys, with artillery. With this force he proceeded to Arcot, and, failing to obtain possession of that place by treachery, they decamped from the pettah. Clive in the meantime was searching for them with 380 Europeans, 2300 sepoys, and 6 field-pieces. On the evening of the 29th of February, while on the road to Arcot, our troops were suddenly fired upon by 9 guns, from a grove of Mango trees, within the distance of 250 yards. The main body immediately found shelter in a dry watercourse, the baggage being sent into the rear, with a gun to protect it; and another detachment, with two guns, dispatched to oppose the cavalry of Chunda Saib, appearing on the plain 2500 strong, the three remaining field-pieces returned the fire of the French. As the moon rose, the French infantry attacked the British in the watercourse. The opposing columns met in this narrow defile, and for two hours were sharply engaged, when Clive, ascertaining that their rear was unprotected, detached a force, under Lieut. Keene, to make a circuit and then assail the enemy in that quarter. Having discovered a way into the grove unperceived by the enemy, and opening his fire when close upon them, the effect was astounding. The French were routed, and abandoned their guns; while some of the fugitives, reaching the watercourse, spread the alarm, and they fled in all directions, the cavalry of their allies, on the plain, following their example. Our loss amounted to 40 Europeans and 30 sepoys killed, and many wounded; whilst that of the enemy was very great.

March 12, 1752: “The French, etc. defeated by the English, etc. under capt. Clive, at Kaviri Fakam, March 12, 1752.”

March, 1752: “Upon Commodore Buckle’s arrival at Guinea with 3 men of war and the Badger sloop or war, he found 3 French men of war on the coast, viz. one of 64, one of 54 and another of 20 guns, who were about building a fort, in order to made a settlement at Anamaboe: Upon which the commodore desired them to desist, the property or right to that place being in the crown of Great Britain, otherwise he should be obliged to compel them by force to abandon their enterprize; and accordingly he made ready for an engagement:  But the French commodore, after a little parleying and consideration, thought fit to sheer off and quit the coast…After these conferences, Commodore Buckle sailed to Cape Coast castle, and there had intelligence, that the captains of the aforesaid French men of war, a little before abandoning Anamaboe, told the natives that they might expect to see them again in ten months at least; for as they had given a valuable consideration (about 15,000l. Sterling) for leave to settle there, they were resolved to carry their point sooner or later.”

March 17-June 3, 1752:  Recently arrived from Great Britain, Major Stringer Lawrence, who at his own request, had the command given to him by Captain Clive, and he set out on the 17th of March from Fort St. David at the head of 400 Europeans and 1000 sepoys, and took under convoy a large quantity of stores and ammunition for Trichinopoly, and proceeded, without molestation, till he came with his forces near Coiladdy on the 28th, when the enemy strove to take advantage of his situation, a strong detachment of French from Chunda Sahib’s army, having thrown up an entrenchment in the way he was to march, cannonaded him from it, and endeavoured to interrupt his passage, which induced Major Lawrence, on the Nabob’s part, to return it, and occasioned the loss of some men on both sides; but the enemy not advancing, he went on the next day for Trichinopoly, about 16 miles distant, and as the road was in sight of the enemy’s camp, they came out with their whole force to oppose him.  Major Lawrence, in order to secure the baggage, marched to meet them; this brought on a cannonading from them, which did him but little damage; but his guns galled the enemy very much, and forced them to retreat into a hollow way; upon this Major Lawrence, drew off his men, and joined the army that night.  In this action the enemy lost above 300 horse, besides Allam Cawn, a man of great interest in the country.  Chunda was soon obliged to raise the siege of Trichinopoly, and collect his forces in Seringham, a neighboring island; and the English forces having possessed themselves of all the strong points quite round it, they so effectually prevented provisions from coming to the enemy, that Chundah’s great army, of above 30,000 men, was dispersed in less than two months; and himself, with the French, and a few black horse sepoys, who held out, were in a miserable condition for want of sustenance.  Upon this the Nabob summoned them to surrender prisoners; and after they had sent Chunda in the night to Monaackjee, they delivered up the island of Seringham on the 3rd of June, on condition that the French officers should have leave to go to Pondicherry on their parole, never to serve against the Nabob or his allies; and the soldiers be sent to Europe by the first opportunity.

April 15, 1752: Attack upon Samiaveram repulsed.  A midnight attack was made by about 50 French troops and 700 sepoys upon Samiaveram, a fortress held by the English under command of Clive. This distinguished officer, then a captain, was for the moment taken by surprise, and wounded; but, soon recovering his presence of mind, by inducing a division of the attacking party to believe that it was surrounded by his troops, it speedily surrendered. The prisoners thus taken, were, however, soon released by the main body of the enemy, who, making a stand in a small pagoda, repulsed an attack upon them. While holding parley with Clive and making terms, an English deserter killed, by a single discharge of his musket, the two sergeants on whom the wounded captain, weak from loss of blood, was leaning. The French, after this treacherous act, immediately surrendered. The sepoys made the best of then- way out of the camp before morning, and, pursued by the British Mahratta horse, were all cut to pieces.

May 9, 1752: Capt. Dalton, commanding two companies of the 1st Madras European regiment, altogether 150 men, with 400 sepoys, 500 Mahratta cavalry, and four field-pieces, attacked a convoy near the fort of Utatoor, which was there waiting to enter Seringapatam, then held by the French and their allies. After a severe action in the attack and defence of a choultry in front of the fort, during which the English lost an officer and several men, Capt. Dalton succeeded in driving the enemy under the walls of Utatoor. At this moment a body of cavalry belonging to the convoy attacked the English in their rear; but the Mahrattas engaged them till a gun was brought to bear, when the whole force of the enemy took refuge in the fort for the night. Before daylight the next morning they retreated towards Volcondah, abandoning the fortress.

May 28, 1752: Action near Volcondah. Chunda Saib, being deserted by a great portion of his army, on the 18th May -withdrew within the pagoda of Seringham, with no more than 2000 horse and 3000 foot, amongst whom 1000 Rajputs undertook to defend the inner temples. The French occupied Jumba Kistnah pagoda, the wall of which was stronger and more defensible; and although the garrison was more numerous than his own force, the place was invested by Major Lawrence on the same day. In the meantime it was of the utmost importance that the convoy driven from Utatoor by Capt. Dalton should be destroyed. It had taken shelter at Volcondah, from which it was again advancing, when Capt. Clive, with 100 Europeans, 1000 sepoys, 1000 horse, with six field-pieces, marched on the evening of 27th May to intercept it, and on the morning of the 28th he arrived at Utatoor. The French had reached within three miles of that place, when, suspecting Clive’s advance, they suddenly fell back. A small body of Mahrattas being sent in pursuit, had the effect of merely amusing the enemy, who, thus retarded, were overtaken by the rest of the horse and the sepoys that had outmatched the Europeans. The enemy now hastily re- treated, harassed by the cavalry, and took up a position under the walls of Volcondah. The greater number of the sepoys had been in the service of the enemy at the siege of Arcot, but, enlisted by Clive,- after the action of Arnee, had been repeatedly in action under that officer, and had acquired great confidence in them- selves. These men, advancing with great rapidity, but in little order, were not checked by a fire under which several fell; but, rushing forward with the bayonet, drove all before them through the barrier, while the cavalry charged upon both flanks, until the enemy, having gained the wall of the pettah, opened fire and checked their further advance. The Europeans now arriving up, forced the barrier, and drove the enemy into the fort. The English were preparing to blow in the gate, when M. D’Anteuil hung out the white flag, and terms were soon settled. The garrison, consisting of 100 Europeans, 400 sepoys, and 340 horse, surrendered; and, besides a quantity of military stores, booty to the amount of 10,000/. was secured.

May 28, 1752: “The Spanish ministers, in answer to Mr. Keene, on the so often repeated complaints of the British subjects, of the depredations of the Guarda Costas [in the West Indies], declared that his Catholic Majesty was far from authorising the Guarda Costas in interrupting a lawful commerce; that he sincerely designed a perfect union and friendship between the two nations, and would cause reparations to be made for any infractions; but that, in satisfying the laws of justice in that respect, it was natural not to lose sight of his own rights, and the protection doe to his subjects.”

June 3, 1752: Surrender of French Troops.  After the successes at Volcondah, Capt. Clive returned, on 30th May, to his camp, with his European prisoners and booty. On the following day, Chunda Saib, on the sacred promise of not being detained a prisoner and being properly used, was induced to deliver himself up to the Tangore general, who likewise gave him an assurance of safe passport to Carical. But Monaackjee broke his oath, seized and put in chains the captive prince. The possession of Chunda Saib created much jealousy and ill-feeling among all the native allies, and was carried to such an extent that the existence of the confederacy was seriously endangered. In order to rid himself of so much anxiety and danger Monaackjee came to the determination of taking the fallen prince’s life. The murderer was a Patan, who found the unfortunate man lying on the ground, unable from sickness to raise himself. The entrance of the assassin into his apartment immediately suggested to his victim the object of his intrusion. Having requested to see Monaackjee, to make a communication of importance, he was stabbed to the heart, and his head, severed from the body, was sent to the Nabob Mohamed Ally at Trichinopoly, who then for the first time saw the face of his rival. By the ignominious and cruel death of this unhappy prince, the war in the south of India was brought to a close. On the 3rd of June, the French force under Law, amounting to 800 Europeans and 2000 sepoys, with all their materiel and baggage, surrendered prisoners of war. Four mortars and thirty-one pieces of cannon, with large quantities of ammunition and stores, also fell into the hands of the British.

June 14, 1752: “Seringham besieged and taken by the English, etc. under major Lawrence, June 15, 1752.”

June 21, 1752: Attack on Pickawillany. Charles Langlade, leading a mixed force of 240 French and Indians, attacks this trading post while the majority of the Twigtee warriors are out hunting. The post surrenders with most of the English traders taken prisoner. Memeskia, for his friendly disposition towards the English, is boiled and eaten.

July 9, 1752: The fort of Vellore, held by the French and sepoys, surrendered to the English force under command of Major Lawrence.

August 4, 1752: “Orders were given for raising a considerable number of recruits to reinforce the garrisons at Gibraltar and Port Mahon.”

August 26, 1752: Commodore Keppel, with his squadron, arrived at Spithead from the Mediterranean, where he had been stationed above three years

August 27, 1752: French defeated near Bahoor.  The French army, under M. de Kerjean, consisting of 400 Europeans, 1500 sepoys, and 500 cavalry, was defeated near Bahoor, with the loss of eight pieces of cannon, by Gen. Lawrence, with 400 Europeans, 1700 sepoys, and 4000 of the Nabob’s troops, whose loss did not exceed 80 in killed and wounded.

September 3, 1752:  The Gregorian or New Stile, according to the late act of Parliament, took place in all his Majesty’s dominions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, this day, from hence called the 14th day of September.

September 24, 1752: Sortie from Fort St. David’s. The Regent of Trichinopoly, on hearing of the victory of Rahoor, sent to Pondicherry for a French reinforcement; and, although professing to be the ally of, and at peace with the English, continued to seize and carry into his camp all supplies entering the city. Capt. Dalton having received instructions from Madras to treat him as an enemy, marched out of fort St. David’s on 23rd September, with a large detachment of Europeans and sepoys. Crossing the river, they entered the enemy’s camp, bayoneted the sentries and advanced pickets, whom they found asleep, and, continuing their advance in double files from the center, penetrated well in among the tents unperceived, and then commenced a fire on both flanks from front to rear. Nothing was heard on all sides but the cries of the wounded, the noise of the affrighted animals that had broken loose, and parties firing upon one another in mistake. A few blue lights being burnt, only served to show the enemy more distinctly, and the firing was continued until every opponent outside the pagoda had disappeared. The enemy, who lined its walls, then commenced firing, and in a short time 20 men were killed and wounded. The sepoys having effectually secured a number of horses and baggage, the troops leisurely retired towards the city before the break of day.

October 31, 1752: Capture of Covelong and Chingleput.  After the victory of Bahoor in August, Major Lawrence recommended the reduction of Chingleput and Covelong. A force of 200 European recruits of the first Madras European regiment and 500 undisciplined sepoys was accordingly sent from Madras, and Clive volunteered to command them. On the 10th September, the party marched against Covelong with four 24-pounders; but before the guns had been placed in battery, the place surrendered. On the next morning a party of the enemy advancing to the relief of the place, the detachment marched out to meet them, and, moving boldly to the attack, delivered their fire with such precision that upwards of one hundred men were knocked over by the first volley. The commanding officer, twenty-five Europeans, and 250 sepoys, with two field-pieces, being captured in a charge that instantly followed the rest threw away their arms and fled towards Chingleput, whither Clive immediately followed them. On his arrival before that place he commenced to batter the walls, and, a breach having been made on 31st October, the fort surrendered. The capture of these two places, effected against a superior force by a handful of recruits and a few undisciplined sepoys, completed the reduction of all the country north of the Paliar river between Sadras and Arcot. The works at Covelong were blown up; but those of Chingleput being repaired, the fort was garrisoned by the British.

December 28, 1752: The court of Spain by the augmentation made in her marine, attempted to aim at the title of a maritime power. It was reckoned that they had, in the several ports of the kingdom, eighteen ships of the line of battle and several frigates in readiness to put to sea, and it was confidently asserted that before the end of the winter the navy consisted of sixty-four  ships of sixty guns and upwards, and twenty-eight frigates. Most of the ships of the line lately built were in a condition to be rigged.

1753

January 2, 1753: Sortie from Trincomalee. Trincomalee, in possession of the English, besieged by French and Mahrattas. On the 2nd of January, 1753, the garrison made a successful sally, and captured 5 guns and 1 pair of colours.

January 3, 1753: Ensign Monachin took Cauranchandypollam from the Mysoreans, India. He soon after sustained a siege therein.

January 4, 1753: Skirmish near Trivadi. The British forces, under Major Lawrence, were encamped with the army of the Nabob Mahomed Ali, whose cause we were espousing under the walls of Trivadi, in the beginning of the year 1753. It was during this period, on the 4th January, according to an entry made in Orme’s unpublished MS. papers, that an officer of the name of Innis attacked and took from the Mahrattas their plunder. Four thousand of these daring native cavalry, under a chief called Morai Row, were at this time in the service of the French, and were engaged in harassing our troops and cutting off supplies. They occasionally found this a dangerous duty to perform, and, as in the present instance, had to disgorge their spoil.

January 5, 1753: Repulse of Mahrattas.  A British force, on march from Trivadi to Trivendapa, repulsed an attack of Mahrattas. As we have before mentioned, 4000 of these bold Asiatics were at this time acting with the French in the Avar which arose out of the disputed Musned of Arcot. The rival armies of the English and French Companies and their allies were en- camped within a short distance of each other, the former under the walls of Trivadi. Major Lawrence, to protect a convoy of provisions from Fort St. David, had dispatched a strong escort, and the Mahrattas, according to their custom, made a desperate charge upon the British; but the steady fire of our infantry was too much for these wild horse-men, and they were repulsed with severe loss. In this and similar attacks, at the beginning of the year 1753, they had altogether 600 men killed or wounded.

January 9, 1753: Action near Trivadi. In the lingering war between the English and French East India Companies, with their native allies, the contention was who should put a nabob on the Musned of Arcot. The French had surrendered one army to the British in the preceding year, and one pretender to the nabob-ship, supported by them, had been put to death. They had now another army in the field and another pretender to fight for Rajah Saib, the son of their late protégé. Commanded by Dupieix, they were encamped at a little distance from the village of Trivadi, and then held by the English, on whom they directed their Mahratta allies. Morai Row and a strong body of these wild horsemen, supported by two companies of Topasses, native infantry in his pay, with several guns, advanced and opened a fire upon Trivadi. Major Lawrence and the Nabob Mahomed Ali on the instant got their troops under arms, and the grenadiers and sepoys attacking the enemy, captured the artillery before a second round could be fired. The Mahrattas, however, retired along the plain in good order, Major Lawrence following them up with his infantry and field-pieces. At length, not wishing to be drawn far from his camp, the major commenced his return, when he was suddenly attacked by the enemy. It was a moment of imminent peril to the little band of English and sepoys surrounded by Mahrattas, but the infantry steadily reserved their fire till the horsemen were close to the muzzles of their pieces. The artillery also opened upon them, and Morai Row was repulsed, with the loss of about 100 men, and, repairing to the French camp, he bitterly reproached Dupieix for not coming to his aid.

January 28, 1753: Attack on Convoy repulsed. On 28th January, a body of Mahratta horsemen made some desperate charges upon the British troops proceeding from Fort St. David’s to the army; but so vigorously were they repulsed, that on the return of the convoy with the supplies they had not the temerity to dispute the way.

March 8, 1753: The Mutiny Bill passes Parliament.

March-June, 1753: Off Lochaber and the Western Isles: Several of the King’s ships have been cruising since March last.  The government having had information that arms, ammunition, etc. were landed in those parts from France, and several of the rebel chiefs who escaped and fled to foreign countries were returned to the Highlands and Isles, to spirit up their friends, and enlist men for the service of the Pretender; one of their captains was shot at Inverlochy, having refused to surrender, and wounding one of the King’s officers, three others surrendered.  The 28th of May, Captain Ferguson, of his Majesty’s the Porcupine, took four in the Isle of Skye, and hath them prisoners on board; there are several companies of the army in different parts, in quest of others, most of whom are skulking in the islands in order to get off, lest they should meet their deserved fate at Tyburn.

April, 1753: “By way of New York, there is further intelligence: That an army of French and Indians, to the number of 1200, besides batteaumen, were seen by some of the Six Nation Indians, the middle of April last, in their march, well equipped for war to Cardaracqui, a French fort (and usual place of rendezvous) situate near the east end of Lake Ontario, among whom were a great -many officers, and young gentlemen.”

June, 22, 1753: “Charlestown, South Carolina; Advices have been received from the governors of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York that the French have marched 7000 Indians, and 1000 regular forces, with all kinds of military stores requisite in a siege, from Canada, in order to dislodge the English from Logtown, a settlement, upon the Ohio, a branch of the Mississippi, lately made by the government of Virginia, and that they have sent a detachment against the Catawbas, a nation firmly attached to the English, with a view to intimidate all the other nations in our alliance.  Yesterday our militia brought in six northern Indians, who said they were of the Shawano nation, on the Ohio; but contradicted each other as to their business here.  They had French guns with rifled barrels, and were well armed, with cords of black wampum, for tying prisoners.”

July 18, 1753: “From Fort Augustus we are informed that Archibald M’Donald of Barrisdale, was apprehended in a wood on the side of Lochhorn in Moydart, by a party of General Howard’s regiment, and in company with him –M’Donald younger of Morar, Ronald M’Donald, commonly known by the name of capt. of Barrisdale’s guard, with four others of his gang.  As they were all in arms, and had secured themselves in a hut in the wood, they would have no doubt have made resistance, had they not been quite surrounded by the party, in the morning, before they suspected any danger.”

August 4, 1753: “An experiment was made at Woolwich, before the principal officers of the ordnance, on a short brass gun, a six pounder, cast by Mr. William Bowen, which was fired 300 times in 3 hours 7 minutes and 3 quarters, charged with a ball of the above weight, and a pound and a quarter of powder, after which the gun was thoroughly searched, and found as perfect as before she was fired.”

August 15, 1753: “Lymington, Hants, An experiment was made on the seashore near Soley, by Mr. Lannoy de Villers, on a twelve pounder cannon, fired on a cast iron carriage of his invention, when he fired several shot with seven pounds and six pounds of service powder, before several persons of distinction, who were highly satisfied with the performance.  These carriages are made of a particular sort of cast iron, which is of so tough a body that they can be filed and chiseled like wrought iron, and are not heavier than wooden carriages, but much more durable, especially in the East and West Indies, where the worm destroys all wood carriages.  It is made upon such a principle that it requires not more than two to work it, whereas other gun carriages require a greater number. – [Perhaps this invention is somewhat like that of Col. Cook, in Georgia and Carolina, where, by virtue of an iron spindle, one man may traverse a carriage with a 24 pounder on it.]”

September 23, 1753: Action of the Golden Rock. — Major Lawrence, having determined to attack the enemy in their strong entrenchments, — extending 500 yards from the Sugar-loaf Rock towards the rock on their left, — the better to mask his intentions, he marched, on the 20th of September, out into the plain, and cannonaded their camp, with an 18-pounder. Early on the morning of the 21st, he formed his column of attack. The 12th Madras regiment, 600 strong, was in three divisions; the sepoys followed in the rear to the right and left of the divisions; the Nabob and Monagre, with their cavalry, brought up the rear, and the artillery were divided on each flank of the Madras regiment. The leading division being ordered to carry the Golden Rock, approached within a few yards before they were perceived. The enemy were so much surprised that they even forgot to fire their two pieces of cannon, and the infantry fired their muskets at random. The rock was carried in an instant, its defenders flying with precipitation towards the French camp: little time was spent in dismounting the guns and securing the post. The leading division then attacked the enemy’s camp, which they entered by the unfinished works on its left. The enemy had by this time drawn up to receive them, and as the day dawned the British advanced to where the French troops were formed in line, having on their left a large body of sepoys. Both these corps were speedily driven back; and the English sepoys having pushed on outside the entrenched works to the right of the French regiment, carried the Sugar-loaf hill in gallant style. In the meantime the Madras regiment having formed in line attacked the French battalion with such vigour, that after a short resistance they fled in great disorder, having sustained a loss of 100 men killed, and 100 wounded and prisoners. The enemy were defeated at all points, and abandoned their camp, leaving eleven pieces of artillery, with ammunition and baggage.

Autumn of 1753: George Washington delivers a letter to the French commander at Fort LeBeouf, Captain Jacques Legardeur de St. Pierre, from Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie demanding that the French abandon territory allegedly belonging to the English. The French commander wines and dines Washington and sends him on his way after forwarding Dinwiddie’s demand to his superiors. Dinwiddie’s demand is declined politely.

October, 1753: “Extract from a Letter from Virginia, Feb. 9 [1754].  In October last a messenger was sent to enquire, whether the French had built forts at the back of our settlements, who is returned with the following account:  That there have been 1500 regular forces sent from France; that they have built three forts upon the Ohio, on some lands of which several gentlemen in London and Virginia have a grant from the king.  The French expected to be repulsed, but, finding no opposition, they intend to keep possession.  They used our messenger very well, and gave him a guard of 200 men to escort him through the Indians.  It is expected that a number of forces will be raised, as we have a sufficient quantity of gunpowder from London, with 30 pieces of cannon.  If the French are not soon drove off, and the forts built by the English on the Mississippi, they will have such strongholds, that it will never be in our power to expel them.”

November 23, 1753: “Ireland; On November 23, Arthur Jones Neville, Esq.; late surveyor and engineer general of Ireland, and member for the county of Wexford, was expelled from the House of Commons, for misemploying the money allotted for building barracks, and erecting many of them in such a manner, as to endanger the health of the troops:  On this account prodigious rejoicings have appeared throughout the nation.”

November 23, 1753: French attack on Trichinopoly Defeated.  In the early part of November, the French at Seringham were reinforced by 300 Europeans, 200 Topasses, and 1000 sepoys, with some artillery. During the night of the 27th, the whole French force crossed over from the island and attacked Trichinopoly; and whilst the attempt was made on Dalton’s battery, the Mysoreans and Mahrattas were distributed around the city to distract the attention of the garrison. Six hundred of the French battalion were to escalade at this point, and 200 more, with a body of sepoys, formed the reserve, who were to follow the advance when they got over the walls. At three on the morning of the 28th November, they passed the ditch at a place nearly dry, planted their ladders, and all entered the battery without arousing the guard of fifty sepoys and two European gunners, who were at once dispatched; but some of the enemy stumbling into a pit, their muskets went off, and gave the alarm. The French immediately turned the guns against the place, and two parties moved forward, one to force open the small gate leading into the fort, the other to escalade. By this time the garrison were at their posts; and Lieutenant Harrison, being second in command, assumed the chief control, his commandant, Captain Kilpatrick, from his late wounds, being confined to his bed. The escaladers had so far succeeded as to plant their ladders against the inner wall, and began to ascend; and the officer commanding, preceded by his drummer, were the first to reach the top. The latter was shot and thrust over the wall, whilst the officer, after receiving two wounds, was pulled inside. The artillery officer, guided by the frequent flashes of fire, pointed his guns so effectually as to shatter the ladders and kill a number of men. The enemy now attempted to retreat, and, all their ladders being broken, had to leap down on the hard rock a drop of upwards of twenty-eight feet. About one hundred made the attempt, but not one escaped serious injury. The rest, in despair, turned, and recommenced a fire upon the works. Being at length over- powered by the well-directed fire from the fortress, they concealed themselves behind the battery; but when the day dawned, they threw down their arms and surrendered. Three hundred and sixty prisoners were secured, and about 100 killed and wounded. Trichinopoly was thus saved from the greatest risk it had ever been exposed to during the war, and mainly attributable to the courage and intelligence of Lieut. Harrison. This promising young officer died a short time after performing this gallant exploit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s