Chennai (formerly Madras), Tamil Nadu

Louis Paradis de la Roche1758

Kalakriti Archives

Kalakriti Archives

A printed edition of Louis Paradis de la Roche’s plan of the Fall of Madras, providing context to the accompanying manuscript map.

This printed version of Louis Paradis de la Roche’s map was engraved for Jacques-Nicolas Bellin and appeared in Abbé Prévost’s Histoire générale des voyages (Paris, 1758), a popular book on global exploration and colonial affairs.

It explains the operations leading to the Fall of Madras in September 1746. The ‘Renvoy’ (Reference) on the printed map identifies 51 key aspects of the action (lettered A to Z to identify sites in Madras, while those lettered a to x identify aspects of the attacking French forces). These include: A) Fort St. George; B) The Governor’s House; F) the powder magazine; M) the ‘Ville Noir’ (the part of the city inhabited by Indians, partially destroyed by French artillery); V) the houses of the British residents; and Y) houses intentionally burnt by the British prior to the French siege.

The action follows with: c) hospital destroyed by the French; e) houses intentionally destroyed by the British, so as not to be used by the French as cover; g) the first camp of the French army; h) the second camp of the French army; o) a great Hindu temple; q) the place of the landing of the French troops brought by the Comte de Bourdonnias; r) Bourdonnias’ three vessels, the Phenix, l’Achille and the Bourbon; t) supporting ships; and x) small landing vessels.

After a two-day siege, the French secured the surrender of Fort St. George on September 9, 1746, although they would not occupy the entire city of Madras until September 21.

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  • Title: Chennai (formerly Madras), Tamil Nadu
  • Creator: Louis Paradis de la Roche
  • Date Published: 1758
  • Location Created: Paris
  • Physical Dimensions: 16.4 x 32.2 cm
  • Type: Document
  • Medium: Copper engraving
  • Title (Original): Plan de Madras et du Fort St. Georges pris par les François le 21 septembre 1746
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1701/1748