Bankipur (Bengal)

Coordinates: 22°46′N 88°22′E / 22.76°N 88.37°E / 22.76; 88.37 Bankipur was an ancient village on the Hugli river located in what is now West Bengal, north of Barrackpore, a little north of Ishapore. It is now a suburb of Barrackpore and is not to be confused with Bankipur city (West Bengal) located on the coast (at 21.76° N and 87.86° E). It was famous as the principal settlement of the Ostend Company, the one great effort made by the Austrian empire to secure a foothold in India. The Ostend Company was formed in 1722–1723, and with a capital of less than a million sterling founded two settlements, one at Coblom (Covelong) on the Madras coast between the English Madras and the Dutch Sadras, and the other on the Hugli between the English Calcutta and the Dutch Chinsura. Both English and Dutch were offended and in 1727, in order to obtain the European guarantee for the Pragmatic Sanction, the court of Vienna resolved to sacrifice the Company and suspended its charter. It became bankrupt in 1784 and ceased to exist in 1793. But in the meantime in 1733 the English and Dutch stirred up the Mahommedan general at Hugli to pick a quarrel. He attacked Bankipur and the garrison of only fourteen persons set sail for Europe. Thus imperial Austrian interests disappeared from India.