Home »

Black hole of calcutta

The meaning of «black hole of calcutta»

The Black Hole of Calcutta was a dungeon in Fort William, Calcutta, measuring 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet), in which troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, held British prisoners of war on the night of 20 June 1756.[1][2]: 58  John Zephaniah Holwell, one of the British prisoners and an employee of the East India Company, said that, after the fall of Fort William, the surviving British soldiers, Indian sepoys, and Indian civilians were imprisoned overnight in conditions so cramped that many people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion, and that 120 of 146 prisoners of war imprisoned there died.[3] Modern historians believe that 64 prisoners were sent into the Hole, and that 43 died there.[4]

Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}22°34′24″N 88°20′53″E / 22.573357°N 88.347979°E / 22.573357; 88.347979

Fort William was established to protect the East India Company's trade in the city of Calcutta, the principal city of the Bengal Presidency. In 1756 India, there existed the possibility of a military confrontation with the military forces of the French East India Company, so the British reinforced the fort. Siraj-ud-daula ordered the fortification construction to be stopped by the French and British, and the French complied while the British demurred.

In consequence to that British indifference to his authority, Siraj ud-Daulah organised his army and laid siege to Fort William. In an effort to survive the battle, the British commander ordered the surviving soldiers of the garrison to escape, yet left behind 146 soldiers under the civilian command of John Zephaniah Holwell, a senior bureaucrat of the East India Company, who had been a military surgeon in earlier life.[5]

Moreover, the desertions of Indian sepoys made ineffective the British defence of Fort William, which fell to the siege of Bengali forces on June 20, 1756. The surviving defenders who were captured and made prisoners of war numbered between 64 and 69, along with an unknown number of Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians who earlier had been sheltered in Fort William.[citation needed] The English officers and merchants based in Kolkata were rounded up by the forces loyal to Siraj ud-Daulah and forced into a dungeon known as the "Black Hole".

Holwell wrote about the events that occurred after the fall of Fort William. He met with Siraj-ud-Daulah, who assured him: “On the word of a soldier; that no harm should come to us”.[6] After seeking a place in the fort to confine the prisoners (including Holwell), at 8.00 p.m., the jailers stripped the prisoners of their clothes and locked the prisoners in the fort's prison—“the black hole” in soldiers' slang—a small room that measured 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet).[7] The next morning, when the black hole was opened, at 6.00 a.m., only about 23 of the prisoners remained alive.[5]

© 2015-2021, Wikiwordbook.info
Copying information without reference to the source is prohibited!
contact us mobile version