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Margaret Hunt (Uppsala) ‘The English East India Company and the 1689 Mughal Siege of Bombay’
March 15, 2016 @ 4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
In 1689 The English East India Company settlement of Bombay came under siege by forces loyal to the Mughal Empire, with which the East India Company had unwisely gone to war. That siege, which lasted over a year, decimated the English garrison and virtually destroyed the town. Moreover, in the course of the siege much of the garrison deserted over to the enemy. Ultimately the Company was forced to sue for peace on unfavourable terms, and the ensuing blow to its prestige greatly damaged the Company’s already tarnished reputation back in England. This talk uses a hitherto little-known diary of the Siege of Bombay to examine the Company’s attempts to manage ethnic, racial and religious difference during the Siege, the problem of troop loyalty (or its lack) and the role of historical cover-ups in traditional master-narratives of British imperial expansion.