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 Bombay Marine – HEIC naval-marine force in India 
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Post Bombay Marine – HEIC naval-marine force in India
Bombay Marine – HEIC naval-marine force in India

I am currently reading a novel about the Bombay Marine in 1761. I will post about it in fiction when I have finished it.

I wonder if anyone knows much about its history or maybe knows of a good non-fictional book about it.

I have found some details about this group on-line. The Honourable East India Company (HEIC) employed it to protect its merchant shipping in Indian waters from pirates and any enemy navy such as the Portuguese, Dutch, or French.

It was founded in the early 1600’s and went through a number of name changes. Originally called the HEIC’s Marine or Indian Marine, the name changed to the Bombay Marine when its headquarters moved to Bombay in 1686. It became the Indian Navy in 1830.

In the 1758-1760 period, the Bombay Marine under Admiral George Pocock defeated the French fleet leaving the British the undisputed masters of the sea around India. That is what some on-line sources say. Other sources state that no real battles took place -- the French fleet just ran away or escaped. I would like to know more.

The only book I have about the HEIC is titled "The Honourable Company – A History of the English East India Company" by John Keay. It barely mentions the Bombay Marines.

Don


Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:43 am
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Special note for those interested in more information about the Bombay Marine:

In the Afterword of the novel I am reading, the author mentions that very little is known about the first commando-style unit called the Bombay Marine. He recommends Charles Rathbone Low’s "History of the Indian Navy 1613-1863" in two volumes, London 1877. I am attempting to get a copy through an interlibrary loan since this does not seem to be readily available.

Don


Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:51 am
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Post records destroyed
One reason that information about the Bombay Marine is sparse, might be explained in a comment with the (very short) bibliography included in "The East Indiaman" by Ellis K. Meacham.

"The Bombay Marine carried on its operations for the Honourable East India Company from 1613 to 1830 when it became the Indian Navy. It has been almost forgotten, since its records at Bombay Castle were destroyed in 1860, and it has been over 90 years since a history of the service was published by private subscription."

This comment was written in 1968 and no book in the list was primarily focused on the Bombay Marine. Instead, the books listed were general histories of the HEIC, England, or India.

Don


Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:55 pm
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