By G.A. Grierson
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Additional resources for Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. 2
From these small beginnings grew the great bastion of British power in south-east India—Madras, one of the most important cities of British India. Shortly after the acquisition of Fort St George, events in England put the Company’s activities in India into a minor key, when the growing conﬂict between Charles I and Parliament erupted in 1642 into Civil War and Revolution. Although under Cromwell’s leadership the Commonwealth government in England pursued aggressive and vigorous colonial and commercial policies during the 1650s, they were chieﬂy aimed at expansion in the West Indies and North America—the much-vaunted ‘Western design’.
At length our gallant cavalry Scarce ﬁfteen hundred men, The ﬂower of Britain’s chivalry Prepare to charge again. That gallant chieftain Colonel White, These heroes bravely led; They sought the hottest of the ﬁght, Their path was strewn with dead. ’Twas plainly marked for all to see Where charged our British cavalry.
3 While the British East India Company was asserting its control over indigenous people and pushing aside its European rivals, it also suffered a crisis of conscience over its standards of administration. The basic problem was how to control the widespread corruption of Company ofﬁcials. When faced, as they were from the outset, with a system of chronic bribery and corruption in India, the servants of the Company had frequently used the same methods in their dealings with Indians. ’ These problems had been brought dramatically to the public’s attention during Warren Hastings’s Governorship of India, in 1773–85.