Kerala History for Kerala PSC:  Anjengo Revolt and Attingal Outbreak

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Kerala History for Kerala PSC:  Anjengo Revolt and Attingal Outbreak

The Anjengo Revolt

  • In 1684 AD, British obtained a sandy plot of land at Anjengo for the construction of a factory from the Rani of Attingal
  • In 1690, they obtained permission to build a fort at Anjengo and its construction was completed in 1695.
  • A depot for military stores was also opened there.
  • Anjengo developed in to the most important British possession on the West Coast, next only to Bombay.
  • Under pressure from the English, Rani of Attingal was compelled to grant them the monopoly of pepper.
  • English manipulated the price of pepper against the interest of the local cultivators
  • In November 1697 the factory at Anjengo was subjected to a violent attack by the local people.
  • They attacked English factories there and massacred Englishmen.
  • The Rani of Attingal was forced to sign a fresh treaty by which Rani agreed to rebuild the factory and to pay 80,000 panams as compensation.

Attingal Outbreak of 1721

  • In 1721 a crisis occurred in the functioning of the Anjengo factory.
  • This revolt was the first organized revolt against British authority in Kerala.
  • The British followed a policy of economic exploitation at Attingal.
  • British tried to please Rani by providing costly presents every year.
  • In the Easter Dinner given by the Company, An English woman insulted a Muslim merchant by throwing colored water or powder to him.
  • The chief factor Gyfford ordered to punish the Muslim, instead of punishing the real culprit. 
  • The situation was aggressed by the policy of British government to give costly presents to the Rani of Attingal to win more concessions.
  • The gents of the Pillamar (Nair chieftains) demanded that the presents should be handed over to them for transmission to  the Rani 
  • Gyfford refused the demand and proceeded to Attingal along with 140 English men to hand over the price to Rani in person.
  • On their return, they were attacked by the provoked local people.
  • In this attack almost all the English men were murdered including Gyfford.
  • The hostile mob then turned against Rani.
  • They proceeded towards Anjengo fort which was defended by Gunner Ince.
  • The siege lasted for six months and it ended with the arrival of reinforcements from Tellichery.
  • Following the failure of the revolt, the English and Rani entered into an agreement under which the Company was compensated for all the losses.
  • They were also given the sole monopoly of trade in pepper as well as the right to erect factories in places of its choice.

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