Untold lives blog

164 posts categorized "War"

19 April 2022

The cost of living crisis - part 1: Bread in 1795

At the end of the 18th century, a succession of bad harvests severely depleted the national crop of wheat.  The harvest of 1795 in particular resulted in chronic shortages.  On top of this, the geopolitical landscape of Europe had been turned upside down by the French Revolution and the subsequent wars with the French Republic altering trade and commerce across the continent.  The combination of these pressures was a doubling of the price of bread among ordinary civilians.  Counties around Britain appealed to the Privy Council for supplies of wheat to aid their populations as people in towns felt the effect.  A number of bread riots broke out across the country as people went hungry.  Burial figures from these years show a marked increase in 1795, implying a rise in death rate.

Document entitled ‘Thoughts in Consequence of the Present High Price of Grain’ ‘Thoughts in Consequence of the Present High Price of Grain’, Add MS 38353, f.208. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Faced with increasing discontent and instability the government had to do something to address the crisis.  There was an effort to import more grain from the Quebec and the Baltic, but there were plans forged at home as well.  Records in the Liverpool Papers show how the government were concerned that big farms were benefitting from the shortage by selling their wheat at over-opulent prices.  There were suggestions of limiting the control that the big farms had over price at the markets, but little action was taken on big producers’ profits.

Instead, attention turned to stretching supply.  Members of Parliament debated a motion to force millers to not strip the bran from their flour, so supplies might go further.  Millers were a popular focus of anger during the crisis.  They were often accused of mixing in other substances into flour in order to stretch their profits, so by forcing millers to change their product from the popular white bread to an unpopular whole-wheat bread, the government hoped some of the public’s ire would be redirected to them.

Document suggesting a plan 'to force the miller to dress his flour coarser than at present’ ‘…to force the miller to dress his flour coarser than at present’, Add MS 38353, f.280.  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence


Advice given to the government at the time shows that given there was least some bran in loaves of bread already it was unlikely that the public would notice too much change.  However, the author of the report stipulates that in his opinion the bran probably offers ‘no nourishment to the human stomach’.

Report suggesting that bran probably offers ‘no nourishment to the human stomach’Report suggesting that bran probably offers ‘no nourishment to the human stomach’, Add MS 38353, f.290. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Another suggested course of action was the mixing of grains; unlike wheat, harvests of barley, rye, oats and peas had done well.  Suggestions were made for bakers to mix grains and create new loaves of bread for sale, but again this divergence from the white loaf was unpopular.

Recipe for wheat boiled in milk as a substitute meal instead of breadRecipe for wheat boiled in milk as a substitute meal instead of bread Add MS 38377, f.116.  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

When these plans were put in action it was the poorest segment of the population that would be consuming these altered loaves.  The richer demographics could choose to avoid wheaten bread altogether as they could easily exchange it for other sources of food.

The bread crisis would ease a little with a successful domestic harvest in 1796, however prices would continue fluctuate wildly over the end of the 18th century bringing continued hardship to those who relied on bread for many years to come.

Jessica Gregory
Project Officer, Modern Archives and Manuscripts


Further Reading:
The Liverpool Papers: Add MS 38190-38489
Stern, Walter M. 'The Bread Crisis in Britain, 1795-96', Economica, vol. 31, no. 122, 1964, pp. 168–87.

 

Food Season 2022

British Library Food Season

 

08 March 2022

Looting of golden bells from the Temple of Heaven

The Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900) began as an uprising against foreign influence in China and resulted in fighting between Chinese forces and an eight-nation alliance, which included Britain and Germany.  Following the conflict, troops from the foreign coalition occupied areas in northern China for over a year, during which time looting and acts of violence were common.

In 1920, the British Foreign Office was informed that an individual had approached German officials offering - for a price - evidence of such looting carried out by Indian Army personnel.  The individual believed this would interest the German government as the Treaty of Versailles required them to return looted items, and such evidence might give them some political benefit.  The Germans declined to purchase it, but its existence prompted the British to investigate the matter.

The evidence comprised communications between officers in the 16th Cavalry and inspired a flurry of correspondence between India and the UK.  Reading these, we can determine the sequence of events.

The Temple of Heaven, PekingThe Temple of Heaven, Peking from The Earth and its Inhabitants. The European section of the Universal Geography by E. Reclus. Edited by E. G. Ravenstein (London, 1878). Public Domain Creative Commons Licence
 BL flickr

During the occupation of Peking (modern Beijing), two golden bells were taken from the Temple of Heaven by Indian Army officers; one was taken by C. E. Thornton of the 16th Cavalry from what was subsequently described as a rubbish heap.  The commanding officer gave permission for the bells to be taken back to India as regimental trophies, where the 16th kept theirs as mess decoration.  In 1906, while Thornton was on leave for medical reasons, other officers in the regiment voted to sell the bell.  Thornton objected, claiming that as ‘finder’ he had sole rights over the bell.  The dispute prompted Thornton to contact lawyers and the bank where the bell was temporarily stored, and the whole affair was made public.  Ultimately, the British government decided that as the bells were found in ‘rubbish’ and as commanding officers had given permission for their removal, no looting had taken place.

In 1927, Mr H. Beechey started sending letters insisting on the restoration of either the bells or their value to the Temple of Heaven.  Beechey was persistent; he sent multiple letters to the Foreign Office, various politicians, the Prime Minister, and even the King-Emperor George V himself.

The recipients of his letters were dismissive of such demands; however, newspaper articles from the time suggest the general public was not.  In 1921, the Daily Express reported demands raised by Chinese voices in London for the value of the bells to be restored to the Temple.  Articles continued to appear in various papers over the next decade, but eventually the public lost interest in the story.

In 1994, there were reports in online publications of a bell returned by the Indian Government to the Temple of Heaven, one of sixteen that were taken by British troops during the Boxer Rebellion.  Whether the bells mentioned in file IOR L/MIL/7/16819 were part of this set is unclear, but perhaps there are other files in the India Office Records, waiting to be discovered, that could add to the story.

Djurdja Brankovic
Student of librarianship, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Further reading:
British Newspaper Archive -Daily Express, 15 July 1921
New York Herald, 3 January 1926
IOR L/MIL/7/16819 Collection 402/153 Alleged looting of golden bells from Temple of Heaven, Peking (Beijing) by British officers of Indian Army, 1920-1927.

 

02 March 2022

Letters of James Jackson of the Royal Navy – Part 2

A recent post on this blog introduced James Jackson, Royal Navy seaman, whose letters to his family in England have been acquired by the India Office Private Papers.  We left James aboard the HMS Suffolk sailing to India.

On 30 September 1794, James wrote from Madras Roads.  He says that they had a ‘tolerable pleasant voyage of 4 months and 9 days…but the monsoons or winter months are now very near coming on – we yesterday was drove from our anchor to sea in violent weather but are here again all well’.  Of India he says: ‘I find this country very hot but I think it pleasanter than Europe’, although he is unimpressed by the lack of good meat: ‘the beef is not bigger than your small calves of a twelvemonths growth, the sheep are also very diminutive and pigs like rats – all skin and bone’.

Letter written by James Jackson from Madras Roads. 30 September 1794

Letter written by James Jackson from Madras Roads. 30 September 1794 - Mss Eur F756 f.8Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

His sixth letter is dated 20 August 1795 and gives news of the British invasion of Ceylon.  He says they have been laying siege to Trincomalee for three weeks, ‘I cannot say how long they may hold it out with us – but we are determined to be victorious – it is the most valuable island the Dutch have in this country and nearly as large as England’.  The British were stopping all vessels that came to Ceylon so that the Dutch could get no supplies: ‘there is a strange vessel in sight of us now and I am going in our boat to board her’.  He also reports on the sinking of the British ship HMS Diomede, ‘but by the endeavours of all people on board the other ships here at that time – her men was saved but the loss was great happening at this critical time’.  He mentions that his brother William was well when last he heard in July, but he does not expect to see him on this voyage.

Letter written by James Jackson 19 March 1796 on board the Suffolk in the East IndiesLetter written by James Jackson 19 March 1796 on board the Suffolk in the East Indies - Mss Eur F756 f.14 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence


James’s last letter is dated 19 March 1796, on board the Suffolk in the East Indies.  He describes the British attacks on Amboyna (‘this island was full of cloves and other spices and their warehouses were all full’) and Banda (‘the nutmegs on this island alone are valued at two hundred thousand pounds sterling’) in the Dutch-held Molucca islands.  He expected the British ships to sail for Europe about Christmas, but the war had taken its toll: ‘we have not much above half our compliment of men, we have buried a great many indeed’, and he was worried about the lack of fresh provisions ‘as we are all upon very short allowance of victuals - what we have is badly salted - the country is very hot and unhealthy for Europeans in this part which is near the Pacific Ocean’.  However, he is hopeful ‘if our Agents for our prize money do us the least justice in nature we shall be pretty well and decently paid for our troubles’.  James concludes his letter by looking forward to meeting his family again in England.

John O’Brien
India Office Records

Further Reading:
Papers of the Jackson Family, 1784-1843, British Library shelfmark: Mss Eur F756.
HMS Suffolk 

24 February 2022

Letters of James Jackson of the Royal Navy – Part 1

An interesting new addition to the India Office Private Papers gives a glimpse into the life of a seaman in the British Royal Navy in the late 18th century.  Little is known about James Jackson other than he was serving aboard HMS Suffolk from 1793 to 1796.  His letters were sent home to his ‘brother and sister’ who were living in Enfield, England at that time.

The first three letters were written at Spithead on 18 November 1793, 5 January 1794 and 19 April 1794 where the Suffolk was being refitted in preparation for sailing with the next fleet to India.  In his first letter he apologises for not writing sooner ‘but was prevented from fulfilling it by our ship’s being unexpectedly ordered to sea’.  He mentions mutual friends, and says ‘I think Brother John Clarkson has met his fate poor fellow in the watery Element as well as Robert or you would have heard some tidings of him before this’.

Letter written by James Jackson from Spithead 18 November 1793Letter written by James Jackson from Spithead 18 November 1793 - Mss Eur F756 f.1 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

In these letters he enquires anxiously after the health of his sister who he had heard was ill, and reports a rumour that he had heard from an officer who he is friendly with that they will be continuing on to the East Indies, and that they will be attacking islands belonging to the French.  James believes that they will not be returning to England for about two years.  He mentions that if he gets the opportunity he will try to contact their brother William who is in India.  The collection does also include three letters from William Jackson in Calcutta.  He thanks them for paying the postage on their reply to his previous letter as ‘otherwise I could not redeem it at present we have not been paid as it is customary to be the last thing before we sail altho’ we are now quite ready for sea waiting for it’.

Letter written by James Jackson from Spithead 5 January 1794Letter written by James Jackson from Spithead 5 January 1794 - Mss Eur F756 f.3 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

In his third letter, on the eve of sailing he wrote: ‘it is a pleasing satisfaction to me to be able to inform you that I leave this country without the least regret and in good health which I hope will be continued till my return both on my part and yours’.  He promises to write whenever he can but warns that it may be eighteen months or longer before they hear from him again.  In May 1794, the Suffolk under the command of Captain Peter Rainier led a convoy of merchant ships to Madras.  During the voyage, James was able to send off a letter home, via the East Indiaman Earl of Wycombe to St Helena, dated 6 June 1794 ‘at sea’: ‘I have this first opportunity embraced to forward you this letter according to your request as also to acquaint you that I am very well.  I might say never better only very warm for we are at this time nearly under the sun….we shall touch at Rio Janario in South America’.  He concludes ‘I wish you well but the boat is waiting alongside so adieu’. We will catch up with James in a forthcoming post.

John O’Brien
India Office Records

Further Reading:
Papers of the Jackson Family, 1784-1843, British Library shelfmark: Mss Eur F756.
HMS Suffolk

 

02 December 2021

Oysters in the Black-Out

You can catch this Maison Prunier menu, dating from December 1940, in the small display about the Second World War, Life on the Home Front, in the Treasures of the British Library Gallery until 11 December 2021.  It forms a counter-point to the ration books in the same case which reflect the introduction of food rationing in January 1940 and the queues and hardships that followed.

Maison Prunier Menu December 1940Maison Prunier, Menu, [London], December 1940. B.L. shelfmark: LD.31.b.752.


The first Maison Prunier was opened in Paris in 1872 by Alfred Prunier and his wife Catherine.  Their granddaughter Simone, with the assistance of her husband Jean Barnagaud, took over the Parisian restaurant, which had become famous for its oysters, on the death of her father Emile in 1925.  Ten years later she opened the London branch in St. James’s Street, off Piccadilly and near Green Park.  Having looked at several potential buildings in the area she had chosen a dauntingly large site which had previously been a Rumpelmayer’s teashop.

The interior decoration was created by her friend, the artist Colette Gueden, and was based on Simone’s childhood recollections of Jules Verne’s Twenty thousand leagues under the sea.  The design included two glass cases which created the illusion that you were eating while looking out from portholes in a submarine.  The opening reception on the evening of 17 January 1935 was almost too successful in creating publicity and the restaurant was overwhelmed with eager clients the following day.  Among the subsequent patrons were the then Prince of Wales and Mrs Simpson.

Simone championed the use of cheaper fish including herring and mackerel and her book, Madame Prunier’s fish cookery book, was first published in 1938 and reprinted several times.  In contrast to the restaurant perhaps, it was aimed at a fairly general audience, providing recipes for both the proficient and the less-proficient cook.

With the advent of war and the black-out in September 1939 the evening trade at Maison Prunier initially declined, but a prix-fixe menu encouraged people to return and by January 1940 it also opened on Sundays to attract those on weekend leave.  At the start of the Blitz in September 1940 the restaurant closed for dinner but again Simone came up with a plan to encourage customers back.  She appointed a taxi-driver specifically for Maison Prunier and advertised an air-raid lunch and a black-out dinner as you can see here.  With the difficulty of obtaining supplies and rationing, this was not a simple operation, and customer numbers remained relatively low.  Items which are rationed are clearly noted on the menu and as you can see 'only one dish of meat or poultry or game or fish may be served at a meal'.  However, the famous oysters were still available.

Though affected by bomb blasts and subject to the general restrictions on the amount that could be charged for meals, Maison Prunier survived the war and continued in business at St. James’s Street until 1976.

Alison Bailey
Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1901-2000

Further reading:
Madame Prunier, La Maison: the history of Prunier’s. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1957. B.L. shelfmark: 7939.g.12.
Madame Prunier’s fish cookery book / selected, translated and edited, with an introduction and notes, from Les poissons, coquillages, crustacés et leur préparation culinaire par Michel Bouzy, by Ambrose Heath. With a special foreword by Madame S.B. Prunier and decorations by Mathurin Meheut. London: Nicholson & Watson Limited, 1938. B.L. shelfmark: 7944.pp.13.

 

30 November 2021

Report of a crash-landing of a Japanese bomber

The papers of Frank Owen Bell, Indian Civil Service officer, contain some fascinating reports of a fire-fight between local police and a group of Japanese airmen during the Second World War.  The file in the India Office Private Papers consists of reports and telegrams between 25 and 30 December 1942 circulating between local government officials in the area of Kalapara in the District of Patuakhali in Bengal (now Bangladesh).  As the reports circulated, a picture began to build up of a dramatic skirmish as the Japanese air-crew attempted to evade capture.

Telegram concerning the report of a crashed aircraft 28 December 1942Telegram concerning the report of a crashed aircraft 28 December 1942 Mss Eur D733/40 f.3  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

On 24 December at 10.40 in the evening, a Japanese bomber crashed at Dhulasar, a few miles from the sea shore.  The plane had been struck by anti-aircraft fire causing it to crash heavily.  The seven crew members all survived, with only 2 being slightly wounded.  No doubt frightened and confused, they approached a nearby house, but the residents fled thinking them to be robbers.  The following morning, having taken shelter in the house for the night, the Japanese airmen looked for someone who could help them escape by sea but were hindered by being unable to speak the local language or any English.

Around this time local police officers, consisting of a head-constable and four constables, arrived and began searching for the airmen.  At about 11.00am, they spotted the Japanese airmen crossing a river, and immediately opened fire.  The Japanese retaliated with machine gun fire before retreating into the jungle.  No-one was hit and the policemen kept guard on the river bank.

Report about the crashed bomber 30 December 1942Report about the crashed bomber 30 December 1942 Mss Eur D733/40 f.1. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

At around 3.30pm, the Japanese airmen emerged from a different part of the jungle, and rushed a large boat firing revolvers and a machine gun.  The fishermen on the boat dived overboard and swam to safety.  The boat was loaded with rice and vegetables, and was equipped with a sail.  The airmen set sail out to sea, and were not seen again.  In a printed report of the incident sent to the Inspector General of Police in Bengal, it was estimated that it would take four days to sail to Burma.  Search aircraft attempted to locate the Japanese airmen without success.  A handwritten note on the back of the report commented that the villagers were naturally frightened but showed no pro-Japanese or anti-British sentiments.

Born on June 1907, Bell was educated at Christ’s Hospital at Horsham, and Christ’s College, Cambridge.  He joined the Indian Civil Service on 16 October 1930, and arrived in India November 1930.  He served in Bengal as Assistant Collector and Magistrate; and in December 1931 was promoted to Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector.  From October 1936 he was a Settlement Officer.  He was awarded the OBE in January 1946. On returning to England in 1947, Bell qualified as a solicitor and worked for the Greater London Council.  He died in 1991.

John O’Brien
India Office Records

Further Reading:
Correspondence connected with the crash-landing of a Japanese bomber at Dhulasar, Bengal, 24 December 1942, BL shelfmark: Mss Eur D733/40.
India Office and Burma Office List (1947) page 142, for brief details of Frank Owen Bell’s ICS career.
Papers relating to Frank Owen Bell's service as a councillor in Chesham UDC and Buckinghamshire County Council, held at Buckinghamshire Archives, reference D_190

 

18 November 2021

The danger of supporting German Cathedrals during the Second World War

Showing support for German creations when at war was dangerous, as Sydney Cockerell found out four years into the Second World War.  The former director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge penned a letter to The Times on 10 July 1943 lamenting the damage to Cologne Cathedral made by British forces.  Whilst he wrote that it was probably unavoidable, he argued that as a nation Britain should not be afraid to express regret of damage to historical monuments, even those situated in enemy countries.  The reaction to this statement is contained in dozens of letters sent to him, collected in the British Library’s Modern Archives.

He received numerous statements of support for his view, with many providing detail of the damage sustained.  Others agreed with him that it was probably unavoidable, and even that the Germans may have known that British forces would hesitate to harm such beautiful buildings.  However, other commentators were not so positive, as can be seen in this letter below which assumes he must be ‘a tottering silly old fool for writing such tripe’.

A letter sent from Newark to Cockerell 13 July 1943A letter sent from Newark to Cockerell 13 July 1943 – Add MS 52771 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

A harsh reply, but arguably the worst was to follow.  Another man wrote to Cockerell saying ‘people with your namby pamby views are not wanted in this country & are unworthy of the freedom enjoyed here’.  He goes on, ‘You are not fit to be called an “Englishman” & should be denaturalised & sent to Germany…you would promptly be shot, in some ways the Germans know better how to deal with your type’.

A more rational reply was given by an inhabitant of Coventry, arguing that instead of showing support for German cathedrals, he should focus closer to home, specifically on Coventry Cathedral.  She writes of the ’11 hours of diabolical bombing’ which ‘utterly destroyed it’ in November 1940.  Furthermore, her husband was killed that night on duty as an Air Raid Warden, and her home destroyed.  Included with her letter were two postcards showing the damage done.

Interior view of Coventry Cathedral before the bombingCoventry Cathedral before the bombing Add MS 52771, f. 104v Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The shell of Coventry Cathedral after the bombingCoventry Cathedral after the bombing Add MS 52771, f. 105v Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Following all these replies, Cockerell went on the offensive. In a further letter written to The Times nine days after the initial one, he asserts that ‘fine architecture is part of the common heritage of humanity, irrespective of frontiers’.  He also bemoans the angry replies, arguing if such people would feel no regret if Beethoven or Mozart were forgotten, ‘As patriotic Englishman, should we now repudiate these enemy composers?  Fine architecture is music and rhythm in stone’.  His archive contains many more letters of support than negative replies, though many are keen to stress that damage is often inevitable, a point he himself makes on multiple occasions.

Cockerell would continue to lament damage to historical monuments throughout the War, including Rouen Cathedral.  He received an interesting reply in an unsigned and undated letter: ‘Most people…would rather see a fine, modern power station (the symbol of a full and glowing life for everyone) than an old cathedral (the symbol of an evil past)’.

Whatever the truth of this statement, this short episode shows how expressing support of historical monuments situated in enemy countries was risky and could lead to vitriol and hatred.

Jack Taylor
Doctoral researcher at the Open University.  His CHASE-funded research explores sexual violence between men in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Letters, original illustrations, photographs, books and leaflets, together with items issued to air raid wardens form part of the Life on the Home Front display in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery. The free display gives a flavour of the experience of those living and working in Britain during the Second World War.  It runs from 14 September until 11 December 2021. 

Further reading:
Add MS 52771 - Cockerell Papers, Vol, CXLIX, Correspondence rel. to the bombing of Cologne Cathedral, 1943 (ff. 92-122b); Correspondence and photographs rel. to the damage to Rouen Cathedral, 1944 (ff. 123-162).
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Alan Bell, ‘Cockerell, Sir Sydney Carlyle (1867–1962), museum director and book collector’.

 

16 November 2021

Miguel of Mazagon, Mumbai – Part One

Some years ago, I walked through narrow streets in Mazagon, Bombay (Mumbai), looking for the site of the old Gloria Church.  It was originally the personal chapel in the estate of my ancestor, Sir Miguel de Lima e Souza, who lived there from around 1750 to 1806.  This search was part of a larger quest to trace Sir Miguel’s roots back to the earliest Portuguese Fazendar, or estate owner, Antonio Pessoa in 1547.  That quest floundered in the historically murky era between the conquest of the Portuguese Norte India Province by the Marathas and the recapture of most of that area by the British in 1775.  I never was never able to document fully the family tree prior to Miguel and his father, but I had stumbled upon an intricate web of relations between Miguel's family and the East India Company at the time the Company was metamorphosing from a faltering trading enterprise to opulent overlord of much of the Indian subcontinent.

The cross that marks the spot of the original Gloria Church

The cross that marks the spot of the original Gloria Church (photo taken by Megan deSouza) Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Miguel and his brothers seem to have played a significant part in this hinge period: Antonio based in Madras, Thomas in Calcutta, and Manoel in the Far East.  Miguel’s role is well-documented even though his emergence into prominence is something of a mystery.  There is little evidence of his presence before 1775 when the British conquered the island of Salsette north of Bombay from the Marathas.  Initially he was one of the merchants who leveraged the rising military power of the British to monopolise the cotton market in Gujarat and to create a coastal trading system between India and Eastern Africa, with ties to his brothers in Madras and Calcutta.  This mercantile base gave him entry into the newly established British corridors of power in and around Bombay.

Mazagon from the sea, with boats and ships in the foregroundView of Mazagon by Jose M. Gonsalves (fl. 1826-c.1842). Plate 6 from his Lithographic Views of Bombay published in Bombay in 1826. British Library W7506(6)  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

One early British connection was an important British official, William Gamul Farmer, who played a prominent role in the wars with the Marathas.  There is a charming account by Farmer’s great granddaughter telling of how Miguel (presumably with his brother Manoel’s help) obtained for Farmer some orange saplings from the Far East.  But Miguel’s presence on the main stage came from his strong and close relationship with the British Governor Jonathan Duncan.

Initially Miguel was Duncan’s emissary in Gujarat to help build a permanent political and military presence.  Duncan appreciated his help enough to specially petition the Governor General Wellesley for a special reward.  However, Miguel was destined to play an even more important role in averting a major crisis during the Napoleonic Wars.  When Napoleon invaded France, the British feared that this would embolden their enemies in India to form an alliance to overwhelm them.  The British feared that the French allies would capture Goa and that the Portuguese were in no position to defend that port which would provide lines of communication between the French in Egypt and the French alliance in India.  Miguel was deputed to negotiate a deal with the Portuguese, and he smoothed the way for a virtual occupation of Goa by the British which secured Goa under British protection as long as the danger lasted.  His role was recognised by both parties with the Portuguese government bestowing on Miguel the Order of Christ, Portugal's highest civil honour, and with British Governor Duncan personally investing him with the same.

Megan deSouza, independent researcher and blogger
Denis Rodrigues, amateur historian interested in the history of Bombay

Further reading:
The Home People 
The Portuguese Militia in Bombay
British Newspaper Archive also available via Findmypast

Miguel of Mazagon, Mumbai – Part Two 

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