History of Fort St. David
The ancient Fort St David is associated with a memorable history. The fort was built by a Hindu merchant. In the year 1677, this small fort was captured by the Marathas after they had captured the Gingee Fort under Shivaji. Later in the year 1690, it was purchased by the English from them. They repaired the fort and then renamed it as Fort St David in memory of the patron Saint of Wales as the then Governor of Madras (now Chennai), Elihu Yale. Along with the fort, they also purchased the nearby towns and villages and ruled them. A big gun was fired by them at different points and all the places within the range of the shot were taken over by the English. This also included the town of Cuddalore. The villages obtained at that time are still known as cannonball villages.
James MacRae was the governor of the fort. In the year 1725, he also became the Governor of the Madras Presidency. Since 1725, initiates were taken to strengthen the fortifications. In the year 1746, the fort served as the British headquarters for the southern India. The fort was attacked by the French forces under Dupleix but was saved. In 1756, Robert Clive was appointed as its governor. It was then captured by the French in the year 1758. After two years, it was soon abandoned to Sir Eyre Coote, KB. Again in the year 1782, they captured it and repaired and renovated it to survive against the British attack in 1783. In 1785, it finally passed into British possession.
Fort St David is presently in a ruined state. It is 100 km away from the Chennai and is well connected with all modes of transports.