Previous page  
List of subjects |  Sources |  Feedback 

Share |

Discover in a free
daily email today's famous
history and birthdays

Enjoy the Famous Daily

Black Hole of Calcutta: 1756

The legendary details of this much quoted event are these. When the nawab of Bengal seizes Calcutta on 20 June 1756, he locks 145 men and one woman in the jail of the fortress. There is just one small window, in the intense heat of the Indian summer. By the morning there are 23 survivors, of whom the woman is one.

The account of this horrible incident, dramatically described by a survivor, is first published eight years later. But there is no evidence of any expression of British outrage at the time of the incident. It seems likely that an accident did occur, and some British lives were lost, but that it was less gruesome than the much repeated account would suggest.

Previous page