CUDDALORE, a town of British India, in the South Arcot district of Madras, on the coast 125 m. S. of Madras by rail. Pop. (1901) 52,216, showing an increase of 10% in the decade. It lies low, but is regarded as exceptionally healthy, and serves as a kind of sanatorium for the surrounding district. The principal exports are sugar, oil-seeds and indigo. There are two colleges and two high schools. In the neighbourhood are the ruins of Fort St David situated on the river Gadilam, which has as stirring a history as any spot in the Presidency. As a small fort built by a Hindu merchant it fell into the hands of the Mahrattas after the capture of Gingi by Sivaji in 1677. From them it was purchased by the English in 1690, the purchase including not only the fort but the adjacent towns and villages " within ye randome shott o'f a piece of ordnance." A great gun was fired to different points of the compass and all the country within its range, including the town of Cuddalore, passed into the possession of the English. The villages thus obtained are still spoken of as " cannon ball villages." From 1725 onwards the fortifications were greatly strengthened. In 1746 Fort St David became the British headquarters for the south of India, and Dupleix' attack was successfully repulsed. Clive was appointed its governor in 1756; in 1758 the French captured it, but abandoned it two years later to Sir Eyre Coote. In 1782 they again took it and restored it sufficiently to withstand a British attack in 1783. In 1785 it finally passed into British possession.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)