The Battle of Seringham was fought on the island of Srirangam between 1,000 troops of the British East India Company commanded by Stringer Lawrence and a confederacy of French East India Company troops and Chanda Sahib.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
Following their victory at Bahour, the British East India Company troops entered the city of Trichinopoly and took position there. Contrary to the orders from Dupleix to fall back on Pondicherry, French troops under the Scotsman Law retreated at once to the island of Srirangam to the north of Trichinopoly and planned to attack and oust the British from Trichinopoly.
On April 12, 1753, Lawrence sent a detachment of 400 men under Captain Dalton to attack Chanda Sahib's troops and drive them out. But with scanty knowledge of the place and the terrain, Dalton and his men were caught unawares by Law who, however, panicked and allowed them to retreat safely. Law, then. decided to implement his strategy of retreating to Seringham, also known as Srirangam.
Events[edit | edit source]
Soon after the retreat of the French forces, the British troops advanced and on April 17, 1753, captured Samayapuram to the north of Srirangam. The French troops were now completely encircled.
On April 10, 1753, d'Auteil set up at the head of 620 troops to relieve Law. On April 25, he reached Utatur, 50 miles north of Samayapuram. d'Auteil proceeded to the Coleroon river avoiding Clive's army and sent a messenger to inform Law of his movements but the messenger was captured by Clive who forced him to retreat to Utatur. Taking advantage of Clive's departure from Samayapuram, Law sent a force of 80 Europeans and 700 sepoys to take Samayapuram but was repulsed.
Following this incident, the Thanjavur Maratha allies of the British East India Company took Coiladdy on May 7, 1753. On May 20, 1753, Stringer Lawrence sent an army of 1050 troops under Captain Dalton to Utatur forcing d'Auteil at fall back on Pondicherry. Law attacked Dalton's troops but was repulsed and retreated to Srirangam once again. On June 8, 1753, Clive attacked d'Auteil at Volcondah and forced him to surrender along with his army.
With the situation turning desperate, Law entered into negotiations with the Thanjavur Maratha general Manokji for a safe passage for Chanda Sahib. However, immediately upon reaching the Maratha camp, Chanda Sahib was seized and taken prisoner. Manokji had him stabbed and sent his decapitated head to the Law. On the morning of June 13, 1753, Law surrendered along with 35 officers, 785 European soldiers and 2,000 sepoys.
References[edit | edit source]
- George Bruce Malleson (1868). History of the French in India: from the founding of Pondicherry in 1674 to the capture of that place in 1761. Longmans, Green, and co. pp. 309–332.
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