William, Fort

William, Fort

      citadel of Calcutta, named after King William III of England. The English East India Company's main Bengal trading station was moved from Hooghly to Calcutta in 1690 after a war with the Mughals. Between 1696 and 1702 the first fort was built in Calcutta, with the nawab of Bengal's permission.

      In 1700 Calcutta became a separate presidency accountable to London; until 1774 its governors, and thereafter until 1834 its governors-general, were given the added title “of Fort William in Bengal.” In 1756 the fort was taken by Sirāj-ud-Dawlah, nawab of Bengal. After the recovery of Calcutta (1757), this fort was demolished and a new one constructed farther south, with an unobstructed field of fire. The latter fort, completed in 1773, still stands.

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