ON 4 AUGUST 1782 the East Indiaman the Grosvenor, bound from India to England, struck rocks off the southeast coast of Mica. The ship rapidly broke up and sank, and 125 survivors found themselves cast ashore on an uncharted, unknown land.
Stephen Taylor's excellent new book opens with a view of the extremely profitable and often corrupt world of the East India traders. Prominent among these was William Hosea, the Resident in Madras. It must be assumed that Hosea had reasons for wanting to leave India in a hurry, for he