New British subjects
Bombay (now called Mumbai) was given to England in 1661 as part of the dowry of the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II. This meant that the Goans of Bombay became English subjects.
| View of Bombay. © NMM|
Charles II loaned Bombay to the East India Company. Goa was one of the best natural harbours, located halfway between the pepper ports of south west India and Bombay or Surat. It became a frequent port of call for East India Company ships.
First military action
Indo-Portuguese men were first used in a military situation by Admirals Pocock and Watson in 1756.
| The attack made on Geriah Fort by Rear Admiral Watson, 13 February 1756.|
They took part in the attack on Geriah, capital of the pirate Tulagee Angria, who had been attacking Portuguese and British shipping.
Three hundred 'Topaze' Indo-Portuguese from Bombay were in the British force. The word Topaze means that these men were Christians, who could therefore perform any duties that Hindus were not allowed to do. Hindu laws restricted work and food preparation to particular castes.
|The Capture of Geriah, February 1756.|