Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 4, p. 326.
THE history of the army of India falls naturally into
three periods. To the first belongs the history of the
military forces of India under the East India Company;
to the second the armies of the Bengal, Madras, and Bombay
Presidencies under the Crown; while the history of the third
period is concerned with the unified Indian army.
I. The PFresidenciy Armies under the Company
First be- The Indian army sprang from very small beginnings.
ginnings. Guards were enrolled for the protection of the factories or
trading posts which were established by the East India
Company at Surat, Masulipatam, Armagon, Madras, Hooghly,
and Balasore in the first half of the seventeenth century.
These guards were at first intended to add to the dignity
of the chief officials as much as for a defensive purpose, and
were not really soldiers, but as time went on their military
character became slightly more marked. The original 'ensign
and thirty men' of Bengal received a reinforcement in the
shape of 'the gunner and his crew'; the small force sent
out, in 1662, to hold the island of Bombay for Charles II
became the nucleus of the military forces of Bombay; and
the 'peons' of the Madras factories were formed into bodies
which had some sort of military organization. But the origin
of the regular native army of India may be more accurately
traced to the enrolment of sepoys, in Madras, in 1748,
under Major Stringer Lawrence, 'father of the Indian army.'
War had broken out in 1744 between Great Britain and
France, and the capture of Madras by the latter power in
1746 obliged the Company to commence the formation
of a military establishment. It is, indeed, hardly too much
to say that we owe our native army to France. In 1676
Francois Martin, Governor of Pondicherry, obtained 300
native soldiers to supplement his scanty force of Europeans;
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