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The 'Incumberances'British Women in India, 1615-1856$
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Joan Mickelson Gaughan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092148.001.0001

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Fishing Fleets

Fishing Fleets

(p.103) 8 Fishing Fleets
The 'Incumberances'

Joan Mickelson Gaughan

Oxford University Press

Following Robert Clive’s victory at Plassey, ‘shaking the pagoda tree’, that is, finding a wealthy ‘nabob’ and marrying him for ‘three hundred pounds, dead or alive’, provided British women with another incentive to travel to India, and new social conventions such as the Captain’s Ball and ‘setting up’ were designed to further marriage. As in the earlier period, the low salaries of the Company’s servants coupled with their extravagance that continued to characterize Anglo-Indian society remained obstacles to accomplishing that goal, and some marriages were disasters. Fortunately, divorce and remarriage were regarded fairly lightly, possibly since the most prominent woman socially, Maria Hastings, was a divorcee.

Keywords:   Robert Clive, Plassey, Captain’s Ball, nabob, ‘setting up’, Anglo-Indian society, divorce and remarriage, Maria Hastings

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