Definitions for black hole of calcutta

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Black Hole of Calcutta(noun)

    a dungeon (20 feet square) in a fort in Calcutta where as many as 146 English prisoners were held overnight by Siraj-ud-daula; the next morning only 23 were still alive

Freebase

  1. Black Hole of Calcutta

    The Black Hole of Calcutta was a small dungeon in the old Fort William, at Calcutta, India, where troops of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, held British prisoners of war after the capture of the Fort on 20 June 1756. One of the prisoners, John Zephaniah Holwell, claimed that following the fall of the fort, British and Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians were held overnight in conditions so cramped that many died from suffocation, heat exhaustion and crushing. He claimed that 123 prisoners died out of 146 held. However, the precise number of deaths, and the accuracy of Holwell's claims, have been the subject of controversy.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Black Hole of Calcutta

    a confined apartment 13 ft. square, into which 146 English prisoners were crammed by the orders of Surajah Dowia on the 19th June 1756; their sufferings were excruciating, and only 23 survived till morning.

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