|Famine in Madras presidency,relief work.India.suchtimes.com|
Chennai (previously Madras), used to be called Chennapatnam (named after Chennappa Naiker) is not a city of great antiquity and is of recent origin. Founded by the East India company, the small town's boundaries and geographical limits changed several times, as a result of invasions and destructions by surrounding Hindu and Muslim powers. For instance, Golkonda forces under General Mir Jumla took control of Madras in 1646, massacred or sold into slavery much of the Christian European inhabitants and their allied Indian communities, and brought Madras and its immediate surroundings under his rule. However, the Fort and its surrounding walls remained under British control. Over a period of time they slowly rebuilt their colony with additional colonists despite another mass murder of Europeans in Black Town by anti-colonialists of Golkonda. Later the plague epidemic in the 1670s took a heavy toll on the population in that area. In 1674, the expanded colony had a population of nearly 50,000, mostly British and European colonists and was granted its own corporate charter, thereby officially establishing the modern day city . Eventually, after additional provocations from Golkonda rulers, the British pushed back until they defeated him.
|Chennapatnam (Madras.now Chennai) 1785.Ft.st.George. India.www.columbia.edu|
After the fall of Golkonda in 1687, the region came under the rule of the Mughal Emperors of Delhi. Who granted new Charters and territorial boundaries for the area and later Firmans were issued granting the rights of English East India company in Madras. This agreement put an end to the the local rulers to attack the British. In the later part of the 17th century, Madras steadily progressed during the period of the East India Company and under many Governors. Although most of the original Portuguese, Dutch, and British population had been killed during the Golkonda period, under the Mogul protection, large numbers of British and Anglo-American settlers arrived to replenish these losses.