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1763 scarcity [+ see 1764]: Bihar1763 map
Documented causes: politics + possible natural causes
Documented effects: disaster for the Company at Patna

Henry Vansittart, "A narrative of the transactions in Bengal, from the year 1760, to the year 1764 ..." (vol. 2, 1766)
pp286-7 (letter from the Council at Patna to the Board at Fort William, 18 Feb 1763): "A dearth some years ago, which had very near proved fatal to our troops here, made it necessary that some precaution should be taken to avoid, as much as possible, our experiencing the like distress in future; for this purpose, Mr. Amyatt, then chief of the factory, established a gunge, where our people have ever since been amply supplied with provisions at cheaper rates than they can be elsewhere, and at the same time prevented them falling into the numerous broils that must daily happen, from their being obliged to seek their sustenance in the different markets of the city. Advantages well known to any person who has resided any time at Patna.
This gunge the President [i.e. Vansittart] agreed with the Nabob should be abolished; and in its stead, he desired the chief to lay up 20,000 maunds of grain on account of the Company; which we, however, have thought most proper to defer, not chusing to put our employers to what we deem an unnecessary and unprofitable risk, without the sanction of your orders. The encouragement given Nobit Roy on this occasion, has induced him to seize and carry away by force all the dealers of this gunge, to detain boats loaded with our own particular property having dustucks, and to send the chief word, that he will not suffer a further importation of grain. He has likewise publickly punished three boatmen, who have been long employed in this service; and made proclamations throughout the city, that whoever brings grain to the English shall be treated in the same manner ..."
[The problem was that grain was subject to customs duties, so gunges (wholesale markets) had to be authorised and supervised by Government, a law which the Company's Patna staff had apparently ignored ...]
J. Long, "Selections from unpublished records of government ... Bengal" (vol. 1, 1869)
p323 (Company government proceedings at Calcutta, 13 Jun 1763): "Received a letter from Patna, dated the 3rd instant, advising us that they had come to a resolution of purchasing a stock of grain on account of the Company, as they have great reason to apprehend a famine in the province, and are informed that no more boats with grain will be suffered to pass Monghyr."
[The sequel to this was that the Patna staff, fearing an attempt to starve them, used their defence force to capture the city a fortnight later, only for their sepoys to abandon discipline and disperse for looting, making them easy targets for a counter-attack which forced the British to a futile attempt at escape by river. Captured, they were nearly all later executed.]
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