FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT, 1500 to 1767
|1710 (a) [to 1712]: Calcutta and down east coast|
|Documented causes: drought|
|Documented effects: official relief efforts in city|
|"The early annals of the English in Bengal, being the Bengal public consultations …" (vol. 1, 1895)|
|pp333-4 (consultation of 15 Jun 1710): [Editor's summary of background] "Rice was very scarce this year, not only in Calcutta but in Madras and Bombay too. Two or three ships had put into Calcutta, asking for supplies of rice. The Company therefore regulate the price at which it is to be sold to the poor people"|
[Consultation minute] "There being now a very great scarcity of rice to that degree that the poor are ready to starve, agreed we order to be sold in the bazar, the fine at one maund for a rupee, and the coarse at maunds 10 for a rupee and to encourage the same : it is ordered that the Buxie sell five hundred maunds of the Company's at that price; by reason a great many of the country people hoard it up in hopes of getting a great price for it."
p340 (consultation of 24 Aug 1710): "There being in the Company's store-house a quantity of rice which is in a decaying condition, and rice being very scarce among the inhabitants of this place, order the Buxie to dispose thereof at 1 maund 10 seers per rupee, and when the new rice comes in buy up more for a store and to supply the coasts."
|"The early annals of the English in Bengal, being the Bengal public consultations …" (vol. 2 pt. 1, 1900)|
|p15 (item 475, consultation of 9 Jul 1711): "Here having been a Famine in the Country for this severall months, so that severall thousands have famished for want of rice and the poor people of this place complaining that they are not able to pay their monthly rents. Agreed that we forbear taking it from them till such time as Grain becomes cheaper, otherwise if oppression should be used they will leave the place.|
Agreed also that 500 Maunds of Rice be distributed amongst some poor inhabitants of this place who are just ready to famish, to make good this expence Agreed that the Mary Bouyer be sent to Ballasore to bring up her loading of Rice, the proffit of which when sold will countervail the same."
p35 (Item 521, consultation of 22 Dec 1711): The Council receive a letter from Madras in which "They advise us that for want of Rain in due Season they are in great danger of a Famine, their Grain being all burnt up, and desire to be Supply'd from us, with what Grain Procurable."
|"The Early Annals of the English in Bengal, being the Bengal public consultations …" (vol. 2 pt. 1, 1900)|
|p36: (Item 528, consultation of 24 Jan 1712) "Rice already being very Scarce and dear, and to all Appearance this Ensuing Season threatens us with a famine, for want of grain, wherefore Agreed that we Allow the Poor Tenants of this Place the Liberty of our Dusticks for Rice only, and that the Jamidar register all Dusticks so given, and that care be taken that every Person lands his Rice in this Place to whom dusticks are given.|
Ordered the Buxie do Send and Provide what Rice Procurable from the Properest Places where it may be had at the most Reasonable Rates."
p41: (Item 536, consultation of 25 Feb 1712) The Council receive a letter from Madras, with news of Mr. Hastings and his people at Vizagapatam.
"They write that the Troubles at Vizagapatam from the Nabobs and Rajahs there daily Encrease, So that the People are prevented bringing in Grain from Ganjam as they Expected, and that the Crop with them is burnt up by the Sun for want of due rain, and they being likewise Obliged to Supply Fort St. David who are still distressed. They are Apprehensive of having a Great famine unless greatly Supply'd by us, which they very Earnestly desire, wherefore Agreed that the Buxie do Imediately buy up what Grain Procurable and lade sufficient Quantity on board Ship Derby and Supply them further as Opportunity offers."