Brick Lane Circle’s work on the East India Company
Since 2007 the Brick Lane Circle has undertaken a number projects and activties on the the East India Company. The first programme was a series of three events organised during June an July 2007 to comamorate the 250 years anniversary of the Battle of Plassey on 23 June 1757, which lead to the British conquest of Bengal. We have provided details of everything we have done in relation to East India Company on this website.
23 June 2007 – 250 years after the Battle of Plassey
This was a decisive day in 1757 when the British achieved victory in Bengal under Robert Clive. It was also the beginning of the British Indian Empire. The events organised by Brick Lane Circle (BLC) will consist of a Poetry Reading session on Saturday 23 June and a one day Conference on Sunday 24 June at the Whitechapel Idea Store followed by an East India Company Walk on Sunday 1 July. The Conference will bring together a number of scholars, researchers and members of the community where the context, impacts and the implications of the Battle of Plassey will be explored. The East End of London is dotted with important sites and buildings that have historical links with Bengal. The area is also the home of the largest concentration of Bangladeshi people in the UK. The 250 Years anniversary events of the British conquest of Bengal will provide a focus to engage people from diverse backgrounds to explore the area’s historical links with Bengal. It will also help widen the public appreciation of the deeper historical connections between London’s multi-cultural communities.
THE BATTLE OF PLASSEY YOUNG PEOPLE’S PROJECT
In 2008 Brick Lane Circle received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to engage a group of young people (18-25) to undertake research and write a book on the London Heritage of the East India Company and the city’s historical links with Bengal. As part of the Battle of Plassey Young People’s Project an exhibition on the East India Company was delivered at the Mile End Arts Pavilion during 4-10 October 2010. The exhibition was based primarily on the Plassey’s Legacy book. During the week long show many visitors expressed surpise after learning about the East End’s long historical connections with Bengal.
Some of the feedback comments of the visitors are provided below:
‘A very good topic of exhibition and a subject that needs to be explored widely. The exibition is well rganised and the collection of pictures are very good’ – Rumana
‘A very interesting exhibition, full of amazing stories and interesting historical facts. Our first visit to the Arts Pavilion, really worth it’ – Charlie and Una
‘Very informative. I was aleady interested in this subject, but have learnt a great deal more’ – M Boyle
‘We stumbled across it but were delighted to read about the history of a company, its characters and the ways in which it has left its mark on London’ – Emma
‘Very informative. Very hospitable. I will read the book’ – Kate
‘The exhibition was very educational and sheds some light on a part of history that is not commonly known’ – Sabina
‘Interesting story, well presented, good “storyteller”‘ – Ben
‘It was excellent. It is great to see a balanced, informative history of the East India Company in an exhibition’ – Danial
‘Excellent’ – Jingxian
‘Excellent. I hope that this exhibition will help our young people to learn about the rich history of Bengal’ – Nooruddin
‘It looks relly interesting and lots of information (background into has been the venue)’ – Ayan
‘Seems excellent and wish I knew about it before so I could have brought young people to inspire them’ – Sahra
‘Absolutely brilliant, as a British Bangladeshi who is born here this is invaluable’ – Emdad
PLASSEY’S LEGACY BOOK
Plassey’s Legacy: Young Londoners explore the hidden story of the East India Company
The book was written by eight young people (18-25 years) who explored the London heritage of the East India Company and the city’s historical links with Bengal. It was published in May 2010 and luanched at a specially organied event at the Museum of London Docklands.
The publication is part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project called Battle of Plassey Young People’s Project. A shortened version of the eight chapters of the book will be published in the website soon under the following headings.
East India Company Army
Tea: Dividing Politics, Uniting Heritage
The Decline of the East India Company
The Secret Company
The Liquidation of the East
India Company and the Dispersal of its Assets
A Tower Hamlets College Project
The Enlightening Journey: So Far
The Young Authors