Battle of Plassey

From Academic Kids

The Battle of Plassey was a battle that took place on June 23 1757, near Plassey (pronounced Palashee, in Bengali), a small village on the Baggirttee River located just north of Kolkata and south of Murshidabad in India. It was a battle between the forces of the British East India Company and of Siraj Ud Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal.



The reason for the battle was the Nawab's attack and capture of Calcutta (which he renamed to Alinagar), following the dispute on the additional fortification, with mounted guns, of the town built without the consent of the Nawab and the British policy of favouring Hindu Marwari merchants over local ones. The battle commenced on June 23.


The British army was vastly outnumbered, consisting of 800 Europeans and 2200 Indians. The Nawab had an army of about 50,000. But the British general Robert Clive bribed the Nawab's uncle and chief of army, Mir Jafar, who controlled the artillery and much of the army. The result was that Siraj Ud Daulah was deserted by the best troops in his army, and the British easily defeated those who remained loyal.

Battle details

The battled opened on a very hot and humid morning at 7:00 am on June 23, 1757 where the Nawab's army came out of its fortified camp and launched a massive cannonade against the British and Indian camp. At around 11:00 am, Mir Madan, one of the Nawab's most loyal officers, launched an attack against the fortified grove where the East Indian Compay was located, and was mortally wounded. Then at 12:00 noon, a heavy rainstorm fell on the battlefield where the tables were turned. The British and Indians covered their cannons and muskets for protection from the rain, whereas the Nawab's men did not. As a result, the cannonade ceased by 2:00 pm and the battle resumed where Clive's chief officer, Kilpatrick, launched an attack against the water ponds in between the armies. With their cannons and muskets completely useless, and with Mir Jafa refusing to attack Clive's camp, revealing his treachery, the Nawab was forced to order a retreat. By 5:00 pm, the Nawab's army was in full retreat and the British had command of the field.

The battle cost the British East India Company just 18 killed and 45 wounded, while the Nawab's army lost at least 500 men killed and wounded.


Mir Jafar, for his betrayal of Nawab Siraj and alliance with the British, was installed as the new Nawab, while Siraj Ud Daulah was captured on July 2 in Murshidabad as he attempted to escape further north. He was later executed on the order of Mir Jafar and his British allies.

The Battle of Plassey is considered to be the start of British rule in India.

Clive was awarded the title Baron Clive of Plassey and bought lands in County Limerick and County Clare, Ireland. He named part of his lands near Limerick City, Plassey. Following Irish independence, these lands became state property. In the 1970's a technical college, which later became Limerick University, was built at Plassey.

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