1755 - British expedition in Madura and Tinnevelly

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Campaigns >> 1755 - British expedition in Madura and Tinnevelly

The campaign lasted from February to June 1755


On January 5 1755, a truce was signed between France and Great Britain in India. It stated that the two nations would "not to interfere in any difference which might arise between the princes of the country".

However, a month had not yet passed that the Nawab of Arcot, Mohammed Ali, asked to the East India Company for its assistance against the Palaiyakkarars (barons) controlling the districts of Madura (present-day Madurai) and Tinnevelly (present-day Tirunelveli). The nawab considered these two towns to be his tributaries and wanted to collect tribute from them. However, he lacked the military power to force these towns to comply. The authorities of the East India Company at Madras (present-day Chennai) immediately agreed to assist him.

At the beginning of February, a force of the East India Company, under Colonel Heron, advanced on Madura and Tinnevelly. This force consisted of 2,500 men, including 500 Europeans of the Madras European Regiment. It soon occupied both towns. Unfortunately, troops pillaged a pagoda, creating religious unrest in the area. The government of the conquered towns was handed over to Maphuze Khan, the brother of the nawab.

In June, Heron was encamped with his force before Trichinopoly (present-day Tiruchirapalli) when he was summoned to Madras to be court-martialed. He was judged guilty of accepting bribes and of malversation. Heron was consequently dismissed from the service of the East India Company.


This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:

  • An anonymous staff officer; Historical Record of the Honourable East India Company's First Madras Regiment, London: Smith, Elder and Co; 1843, pp. X-xvi, 119-120
  • Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 406-407