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INDIA TRACTS.
Holwell, J[ohn] Z[ephaniah].

INDIA TRACTS.

By Mr. Holwell, and friends. Containing I. An address to the proprietors of East-India stock; setting forth, the unavoidable necessity, and real motives, for the revolution in Bengal, 1760. II. A refutation of a letter from certain gentlemen of the Council at Bengal, to the Honourable the secret committee. III. Important facts regarding the East-India Company’s affairs in Bengal, from the years 1752 to 1760, with copies of several very interesting letters. IV. A narrative of the deplorable deaths of the English gentlemen who were suffocated in the Black Hole in Fort William, at Calcutta, June 1756. V. A defence of Mr. Vansittart’s conduct. Illustrated with a frontispiece, representing the monument erected at Calcutta, in memory of the sufferers in the Black Hole Prison. London : Printed for T. Becket and P. A. de Hondt, near Surry-Street, in the Strand, 1764.
2nd Ed, Revised and Corrected, with Additions. 4to. vii + [i] blank + 286pp. Folding frontis. (repaired to verso) Some browning and occasional spotting, fly-title Signature Ii2 cropped and used for title label to upper board, ink stamp to pastedown, upper hinge sl. cracked, rebound in cheap Indian cloth, rubbed and spotted, spine sl. faded, label to upper board. ESTC T9067. ‘Each tract has a separate titlepage.’ The infamous Black Hole of Calcutta in Fort William where troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, held British and Indian prisoners of war for one fatal night on 20 June 1756. John Zephaniah Holwell, one of the British prisoners and an employee of the East India Company, said that, after the fall of Fort William, the surviving British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers, and Indian civilians were imprisoned overnight in conditions so cramped that many people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion, and that 43 of 64 prisoners of war imprisoned there died. His original description was published in a pamphlet in 1758. The following year he produced and published ‘hastily’ the first edition of these tracts in vindication of unjust accusation made against him on his return to England. In his dedication the above work he says ‘it seems requisite I should explain a little more at large ...’
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