Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Caillaud, John

CAILLAUD, JOHN (d. 1810), brigadier-general, was a contemporary of Stringer Lawrence and Clive, frequently mentioned by Orme in his ‘History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Hindostan.’ The earliest mention of him occurs in Orme's ‘History’ (i. 309), where he is referred to as having arrived in India from Europe with a detachment of 247 British soldiers in 1753, and having shortly afterwards taken part in an engagement with the French in the neighbourhood of Trichinopoly. From that time until 1775, when he retired from the service and returned to England, Caillaud was a prominent actor in the struggle which ended in the establishment of the British power in India. He was a man of undaunted courage and of great readiness of resource. In 1758, just before the second and unsuccessful siege of Madras by the French, Caillaud was sent to Tanjore to procure military assistance from the Rájá of Tanjore. He made his way by sea to Tranquebar in an open masúla boat, accompanied by only six native boatmen, and after having encountered a gale on his voyage, and been stranded during a whole night in the immediate vicinity of a fort held by the French, he succeeded in reaching Tanjore, and with difficulty obtained the troops for which he had been sent. With these he tendered effective service to the besieged garrison by disturbing the enemy's communications with Pondicherry. In 1759 Caillaud held for a time the command of the company's troops in Madras, and in the same year he was appointed, on the recommendation of Clive, to command the troops in Bengal. In the following year he was actively employed in repelling an invasion of Behar by the eldest son of the emperor of Delhi. In 1763 he obtained the rank of brigadier-general, and in 1766 he was sent to take possession of the northern Sirkárs, which had been ceded to the company by the emperor. In the performance of this duty he met with very slight opposition; but, owing to the attitude assumed by Nizam Ali, the subahdar of the Dekhan, who, considering that he had a claim upon the Sirkárs, threatened an invasion of the company's territories in the south, Caillaud was deputed by the Madras authorities to Hyderabad, where he concluded a treaty binding the company to pay an annual tribute to the subahdar for the Sirkárs. Caillaud on his retirement from the service in 1775 was granted a pension by the company. He passed the remainder of his life as a country gentleman in Oxfordshire, where he died in 1810.

[Orme's History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Hindostan from the year 1745 (4th edition, Madras, 1861); Philippart's East India Military Calendar (1824); Mill's History of British India, vol. iii. (1840).]

A. J. A.