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The legacy of French rule in India (1674-1954)

Animesh Rai

Appendix 3

Chronology of Outstanding Events

Texte intégral

Chronology of outstanding events1

  • 1 David Annoussamy, L’Intermède français en Inde, pp. 391-396.

1* The events of special interest have been highlighted*


Exploration of Pondicherry by Jean Pépin, of the Company of Saint Malo.


Foundation of the Royal Company of France in India.

1672 25 September

De La Haye seizes San Thomé. Chir-khan lodi concedes to him a site in Pondicherry.

1673 4 February

Bellanger de Lespinay arrives in Pondicherry.


San Thomé is seized by the Dutch. François Martin arrives in Pondicherry with 60 men. The French establish a lodge in Pondicherry.


Chir-khan lodi is defeated by Shivaji at Thiruvadigai. François Martin receives a written order on the order of Shivaji.


François Martin obtains authorization to trade in Karikal.


The enclave of Chandernagore is founded.

1693 7 September

Surrender of Pondicherry to the Dutch.

1699 21 September

The Dutch return Pondicherry.

1701 5 September

Creation of a sovereign council in Pondicherry.

1706 25 August

Inauguration of the Fort Saint Louis in Pondicherry.


Gourouvappa goes to France to appeal to the justice of the king against the condemnation of his father by Hébert.

1720 30 April

The East India Company is reunited to that of the West.

1721 2 April

Obtaining of some land at the mouth of the river in Mahe.


A Jesuit college is opened in Pondicherry.

1731 30 July

Installation at Yanam.

1738 17 July

Treaty between Dumas and the king of Tanjore for the cession of Karikal.


The Mahrattas sweep through the region. The families of Sufder Ali and of Chanda Sahib take asylum in Pondicherry.

1746 21 September

Madras is taken by La Bourdonnais.

1748 14 October

Dupleix forces the English to leave Pondicherry after 54 days of open trench warfare.

1749 1 September

Madras is returned to the English.

1750 15 December

Mouzaferjung with support from the French triumphs over his uncle Nazerjung at Vellimédou-pettai, not very far from Gingy. He is proclaimed soubab of the Deccan.


Defeat of the French forces before Trichinapoly.

1757 23 March

The English take hold of Chandernagore and destroy it.

1758 2 June

Capture and complete destruction of the Fort Saint David of Cuddalore by Lally Tollendal.

1761 15 January

Capture of Pondicherry by the English who completely destroy the White town.


Treaty of Paris, the French possessions are reduced to the five enclaves.

1765 11 April

Return of Pondicherry to the French.

1771 27 July

Suppression of the Company. Declaration of Free Trade in Pondicherry.


Opening of a seminary in Pondicherry.

1776 28 February

The king takes on direct Administration of the enclaves. Surrender of the place of Pondicherry to the English.

1784 10 March

Return of Pondicherry by virtue of the preliminaries of the treaty of Paris of 1782.


New Company for trade in all the seas of India.

1787 26 July

Departure of the ambassadors of Tippu Sultan to Louis XVI.

1790 22 February

Arrival of the news about the Revolution.

1 March

General Assembly of citizens.

11 March

Dispatch of the notebook of complaints of the French and the Malabars.

1791 6 March

First manifestation of the Indians against the governor.

25 April

Desertion of the Indian soldiers.

22 July

Revolt of the Indians.

3 August

Political grouping of a representative corps of all the French establishments in India.


Virassamy is made Lieutenant Colonel.

14 July

Feast of the Federation.

2 August

The new national pavilion is displayed.

22 August

The National Assembly in Paris decides that India will send it two representatives.

1 October

Ban on trade of slaves by the Assembly of citizens.

1793 3 April

The tree of liberty is planted on the Arms Square. Liberty of trade is proclaimed.

25 July

It is decided that the judges will be elected in time by the citizens.

23 August

Pondicherry is occupied by the British.

1799 February

Search by the British at the house of all the inhabitants upon accusation of wanting to go to Tippu Sultan. Arrest of many including Nidarajappa Ayer.

4 May

Tippu Sultan is killed in Seringapattam.

1803 11 July

Decision to return Pondicherry to France.

1 October

Cancellation of the previous decision.

1814 30 May

Treaty of Paris.


Resumption of possession of the enclaves..


Pondicherry is declared a free port. Customs barriers raised around Pondicherry.

1819 6 January

Promulgation of French codes

1826 25 November

Establishment of the big bazaar.

1827 1 February

Creation of a free primary school.

12 February

Opening of a boarding school for young girls. Layout of the big canal separating the White town from the Black town.


Creation of a free primary school for pariahs.Creation of the first mechanical mill.

1836 10 May

Inauguration of the lighthouse of Pondicherry.


Beginning of the law school lessons.

1840 23 July

Organic order for the administration of India.

1842 2 July

Decree concerning the judicial organization.

1848 18 March

French India asked to elect a member of Parliament by universal suffrage. A right which is withdrawn immediately.

1849 13 February

Creation of a consultative chamber of commerce.

1851 24 July

Ascent by balloon in Pondicherry of Mr. Manet, a French aeronaut.


Fall of hailstones in Pondicherry in the afternoon, in the hot season.


Engraving of names of streets and numbering of houses.


Bridge on the river Sunambar.

1862 17 November

Inauguration of the French line of India by the Imperial Messageries (Naval Messageries)-Arrival of the source of Water from Mouttrapaléam to the fountains of the grand bazaar and of the government place.


Creation of a school of medicine.


Bridge over the river of Ariancoupom.

1871 7 February

Restoration of the right to elect a Member of Parliament by universal suffrage.


Right to elect a senator. Creation of the bank of Indochina in place of the English bank: Oriental Bank.

1877 2 May

Official opening of the Calvé College teaching French, Tamil and English.

1879 26 January

Creation of elective councils in French India. Distribution of seats by lists (Europeans and Indians).

15 December

Inauguration of the railway line in Pondicherry.

1880 12 March

Creation of the Municipalities.

24 April

Reorganization of the civil state.

1881 21 September

Possibility of renunciation of the personal statute.


Establishment of a coal park for replenishing the ships.


Creation of the Alliance Française of Pondicherry.

1898 14 March

Opening of the steel tipped Péralam-Karikal line.

24 May

Decree declaring compulsory education for everyone.


Allocation of water from Mouttrapaléam in the houses.


Setting up of an electricity producing factory.

1923 9 December

Institution of an eliminatory grade in French at the Baccalaureate.

1941 28 January

Customs agreement with the British Government.


An Indian is elected for the first time to sit in Paris.

23 August

Removal of lists, the members of the different councils to be elected by the citizens as a whole.

1946 25 October

Creation of a representative assembly.

1947 12 August

Creation of a Government Council.

28 August

Joint declaration of the French and Indian governments concerning the future of the enclaves.

7 November

Chandernagore is declared a free town.

1948 18 June

Ministerial declaration concerning the selfdetermination of the Establishments.

28 June

Agreement on the referendum.

30 December

Creation of a council of the autonomous administrative dispute.

1949 10 March

General Assembly of the Municipal Councils about the referendum.

1 April

End of the customs agreement.

18 October

Second Meeting of the General Assembly of the Municipal Councils concerning the referendum.

1950 3 April

Law for a referendum in the Establishments.

2 May

De facto transfer of Chandernagore.

1952 24 October

India denounces the agreement of 1948 on the referendum.

1954 10 May

Creation of a work tribunal.

24 September

Integration of Chandernagore in the state of West Bengal.

18 October

The Kijéour Congress approves the de facto transfer.

1 November

De facto transfer of the Establishments by France to India.


Chandernagore set up as a corporation. Creation of the Institut Français de Pondichéry.

1956 28 May

Signature of the Treaty of Cession.

1962 16 August

De jure Cession of the Establishments.

5 December

Pondicherry (Administration) Act.

1963 9 February

Equivalence of French degrees by the Inter University Board.

16 March

Supplementary Agreement. Complement to the Treaty.

10 May

The government of Union Territories Act. The Pondicherry (Laws) Regulation.


Struggle against the propagation of the Hindi language.

1966 21 October

Civil Courts Act.


Setting up of Broadcasting in Pondicherry.

1968 2 May

The Pondicherry (Extension of Laws) Act. Creation of Auroville.


New fall of hailstones in Pondicherry in the afternoon during the hot season.

1973 13 August

The Pondicherry Municipalities Act, The Pondicherry village and commune panchayats Act.


Demonstration against the merger attempt into the neighboring states.


Installation of a television transmitting set.


Creation of the University of Pondicherry.


The Consumer Protection Act.

1994 20 October

Institution of a complete system of legal aid.

2004 7 January

Law instituting overseas Indian nationality.


1 David Annoussamy, L’Intermède français en Inde, pp. 391-396.

© Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2008

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