A rare, early Calcutta edition of the Bengal Calendar, circa 1788


The Bengal Calendar for the Year [1788?] including a list of the Hon. and United East India Company’s civil and military servants on the Bengal establishment…. Calcutta 1788 [or possibly 1787] . 8vo [ 9 x 6 ins].

Defective: lacking title page & half of i [Table of Contents], iii-viii, pp 3-56, two further pages of the Alphabetical List of Infantry Officers [Blair to Cowley] are numbered 49 & 50 but there already are pages 49/50 earlier in the book. Slightly later half red pebbled morocco gitl with textured cloth boards, the spine untitled. Bound in before the first damaged page is the original linen backed East Indian Commission of the owner, appointing Philip Baldwin, Gentleman to be a Lieutenant of Infantry from 2nd June 1783 and signed Warren Hastings & Edwd. Wheler[this has a tear along part of the lowest fold, repaired before the linen backing was applied]. The contents include lists of Factors. Writers [incomplete, ending with Peregrine Treves 1785], Officers of the Army [pp3-24 beginnning with the supernumerary Majors], Officers on furlough [pp25-28], General Abstract of Officers [p29], Disposition of the Bengal Army [pp30-35], List of Surgeons & Assistant Surgeons [pp36-39, Commissaries, Chaplains, Military Depts, Legal Officers, Police Commissioners, Bankers [pp40-44], Governors of Orphan Society [p45]. List of Lodges in Calcutta with officers [pp46-48], Alphabetical List of Civilians [pp49-51], Engineer & Artillery Officers [pp52-55], Infantry officers [incomplete p 56 Archdekin to Archdekin not in alphabetical order], pp49/50 Blair to Cowley. The annotations to the lists of serving and furloughed officers add to the interest of the book rather detracting from it. Sad lists of Dead and Killed are on some pages, his own name is highlighted on another, and a third notes two officers who were killed at Seringaptaam.           nov19/2           SOLD 23rd November 2020

Although sadly defective, this is an exceptionally rare and early copy of this title. Although the title page is lacking it is clearly a Calcutta printing because of the size [London editions were always considerably smaller: the earliest we have is 1789 and that is the size of the standard later East India Register . Shaw Printing in Calcutta to 1800 records [item 99, page 110] a copy of this title as being printed but adds No copy traced. He records one copy of the 1787 edition published in Calcutta by John Hay [Bl.: 1477.a.3].


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