1500-1799 | Famine | India

EAST INDIA COMPANY RACKETEERS PROFIT FROM BENGAL’S FAMINE

1 September 1771 On 1 September 1771, the Scots Magazine published an account from a ‘gentleman’ in Bengal describing an unprecedented famine. It has been provoked by a combination of a prolonged drought and the rapacity of Britain’s East India Company which, despite the wretched condition of the population, continued to ruthlessly extract high levels of taxation….

1500-1799 | Famine | India

News breaks of a famine in Bengal and ‘calamities’ for British investors

28 January 1771 On 28 January 1771, news arrived in Britain of a famine in the East India Company’s newly acquired territory of Bengal.  ‘We learn,’ observed the Northampton Mercury, ‘that several of the Districts in the Kingdom of Bengal have suffered considerably… from a dreadful famine.’1  There was no indication of any panic.  The Kentish Gazette calmly…