Fought between: Siraj-ud-daulah, the Nawab of Bengal and the British East India Company
Mir Jafar, who was Siraj-ud-daulah’s army commander-in-chief was bribed by Clive and promised to be made the Nawab of Bengal if the British won.
People involved: Siraj-ud-daulah, Colonel Robert Clive, Mir Jaffar, Mohan Lal, Small French Forces
Result: Decisive victory for the British and the instalment of Mir Jaffar as Bengal’s Nawab by Clive.
The French had supported the Nawab.
When: 23 June 1757
The East India Company had established factories at Surat, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta in the 17th century.
Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar had issued a Farman in 1717 granting the Company rights to reside and trade freely within the Mughal Empire. The Company was also accorded the right to issue dastaks for movement of goods. This right was misused by the Company officials.
When Alivardi Khan, grandfather of Siraj-ud-daulah became the Nawab of Bengal, he took a stricter stance against the Company.
When Siraj succeeded him as the Nawab, he ordered the company to stop their fortification activities since they didn’t have the permission to do so. But the company carried on with their fortifications.
This led the Nawab to attack the British station in Calcutta in which they were beaten by the Nawab’s 3000-strong army.
Calcutta was occupied by the Nawab’s forces in June 1756 and the prisoners were kept in a dungeon in Fort William. This incident is called the Black Hole of Calcutta since only a handful of the prisoners survived the captivity where over hundred people were kept in a cell meant for about 6 people.
Fort William and other British establishments in Calcutta had fallen into the hands of the Nawab.
When news of this reached Madras in August, they sent troops under Colonel Robert Clive to win back the Bengal establishments of the British. Calcutta was recaptured in January 1757.
On the day of the Battle, in 23rd June, Robert Clive’s forces won against the much larger force of the Nawab since the Nawab was betrayed by Mir Jaffar and others in his own camp.
Effects of the Battle
Mir Jaffar became the Nawab of Bengal (Bihar and Odisha) but he was a puppet of the British.
Siraj-ud-daulah was captured and killed.
Clive also captured the French forts in Bengal.
The British became the paramount power in Bengal. They successfully ousted the French and resisted the Dutch.
The French were constrained to Pondicherry in India.
Colonel Clive became Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey because of his exploits in the battle.