The British conquest of Bengal at the battle of Plassey, 23 June 1757, was not wholly accidental. Nor is it that the British had no active role in the Plassey conspiracy.2 If not the Court of Directors in London, the Company servants and other merchant adventurers closely connected with the British trade in India, did from time to time advocate in no uncertain terms the acquisition of territory in India and dreamt of an ‘empire’ whatever that might have meant in contemporary vocabulary. A full-fledged imperialism was perhaps not thought of but certainly there was a conscious attempt to establish a ‘dominion’ in India ostensibly for the purpose of carrying on trade vigorously. But trade here meant not only the corporate trade of the Company but also private trade of the Company servants which really was their main interest. This attitude of the Company servants and their activities to enhance the British national as well as their own private trade interest may be termed as sub-imperialism which had developed as an ‘imperium in imperio’ within the framework of a trading corporation.