The British settlement in Madras was called White Town. The area was mainly occupied by the British settlers. On the other hand, the areas that were occupied by Indians were called Black Town.
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Settlement and segregation in Madras in colonial India (Town Planning and Architecture):
- In 1639, the British constructed a trading post in Madraspatam and the settlement known as Chenapattanam.
- The company had purchased the right of settlement from the local Telugu lords, the Nayaks of Kalahasti.
- Rivalry with French East India Company led the British to fortify Madras.
- Chintadripet area meant for weavers, the Washermanpet colony of dyers, Royapuram was a settlement for Christian boatmen.
- The dubashes were Indians who could speak two languages the local language and English.
- Paraiyars and Vanniyars formed the labouring poor.
- The Nawab of Arcot settled in nearby Triplicane which became the nucleus of a substantial Muslim settlement.
- Mylapore and Triplicane were earlier Hindu religious centres that supported a large group of Brahmins.
- San Thome with its cathedral was the centre Roman Catholics.
White Town Fort St. George:
- Fort St. George became the nucleus of the White Town where most of the Europeans lived.
- Colour and religion determined who was allowed to live within the fort.
- The Company did not permit any marriages with Indians.
- Other than the English, the Dutch and the Portuguese were allowed to stay because they were European and Christian.
- The Black Town developed outside the Fort.
- It was laid out in straight lines, and housed weavers, artisans, etc.
- Middlemen and interpreters were the person who played a vital role in the company trade