20-foot tall obelisk in memory of Brigadier-General John Carnac

According to the available information, after distinguishing himself in this battle, he was twice appointed Commander-in-Chief of the entire British armed forces in India by the East India company – in 1760-61 and 1764-65.

During his first tenure as the Commander-in-Chief, he defeated Shah Zaddah near Bihar in 1761 and during his second term, he defeated the Marathas in the Doab, the area between the Jamuna and the Ganges. Following his retirement, he settled at Calcutta.

Meanwhile, he also served as a Member of Council in Bombay between 1776 and 1779 and was among the dignitaries present at the foundation of the Asiatic Society, Culcutta, in 1784.

In 1769, at the age of 53, he had married 18-year-old Elizabeth Rivett, who died in 1780 leaving no issue. Both Elizabeth and John Carnac feature in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery.

Details of the last years of Brigadier General John Carnac are also hazy. However, according to an article published in ‘The Messenger,’ he was appointed Deputy Governor of Madras Presidency. In this capacity, he visited Mangalore in 1799 or 1800, the area which was just liberated from the tyrannic rule of Tippu Sulthan. John Carnac died in Mangalore at the age of 84 and was interred at the British cemetery, which is now known as St Paul’s cemetery (now in the hands of the Church of South India).

His property in England was bequeathed to his brother-in-law James Rivett on condition that the latter append the surname Carnac, which he did in 1801, to become James Rivett Carnac.

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