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BARON GEORGE PIGOT (1719-1777)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 600 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARON GEORGE PIGOT (1719-1777), English governor of Madras, was born on the 4th of March 1719 and entered the service of the East India Company in 1736; alter nineteen years he became governor and commander-in-chief of Madras in 1755. Having defended this place against the French in 1758-59 and occupied Pondicherry on behalf of the company, he resigned his office in November 1763 and returned to England, being made a baronet in 1764. In the following year he obtained a seat in parliament, and this'he retained until his death; in 1766 he was created an Irish peer as Baron Pigot. Returning to India in 1775 to occupy his former position at Madras, Pigot was at once involved in a fierce quarrel with the majority of his council, which arose out of the proposed restoration of the rajah of Tanjore. The governor was arrested by order of his opponents, and was still a prisoner when he died on the 11th of May 1777. Meanwhile the conduct of Pigot was censured by the court of directors in England and the order for his restoration was followed immediately by another for his recall. This happened about a month after his death, but before the news had reached England. In 1779 the matter was discussed in parliament, and four of those who were responsible for his arrest were tried and were fined £1aoo each. Pigot, who left several illegitimate children, was never married, and his barony became extinct. Two of the governor's brothers were men of repute. SIR ROBERT PIGOT (1720-1796), who succeeded to the baronetcy, commanded his regiment (the 38th) at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill during the War of American Independence. He became a lieutenant-general in 1782. The other brother, HUGH PIGOT (c. 1721-1792), was a sailor. After some years of service he became an admiral and commander-in-chief in the West Indies in 1782. One of his sons was General SIR HENRY PIGOT (1750-184o), and another was HUGH PIGOT (1769-1797), a captain in the navy, who was murderedduring a mutiny in September 1797 while in command of the Hermione." PIG-STICKING, or HOG-HUNTING, the chase of the wild boar, as a sport, on horseback with the spear. The chase on foot was common among ancient peoples, and in central Europe has lasted to the present day, although, on account of the introduction of fire-arms, the spear has gradually become an auxiliary weapon, used to give the coup de grace to a wounded animal. The modern sport is the direct descendant of bear-spearing which was popular in Bengal until the beginning of the 19th century, when the bears had become so scarce that wild pigs were substituted as the quarry. The weapon used by the Bengalese was a short, heavy, broad-bladed javelin. British officers introduced the spear or lance and this has become the recognized method of hunting wild pigs in India. The season for hunting in northern India, the present headquarters of the sport, is from February to July. The best horses should be quick and hot too big. Two kinds of weapon are used. The long, or underhand, spear, weighing from two to three pounds, has a light, tough bamboo shaft, from seven to eight feet long, armed with a small steel head of varying shape. This spear is held in the hand about two-thirds the distance from the point, with the knuckles turned down and the thumb along the shaft. The short, or jobbing, spear is from six to six and a half feet long, and somewhat heavier than the longer weapon. It is grasped near the butt, with the thumb up. Although easier to handle in the jungle, it permits the nearer approach of the boar and is therefore more dangerous to man and mount. Having arrived at the bush-grown or marshland haunt of the pigs, the quarry is " reared," i.e. chased out of its cover, by a long line of beaters, usually under the command of a mounted shikari. Sometimes dogs and guns loaded with small shot are used to induce an animal to break cover. The mounted sportsmen, placed on the edge of the cover, attack the pig as soon as it appears, the honour of " first spear," or " spear of honour," i.e. the thrust that first draws blood, being much coveted. As a startled or angry wild boar is a fast runner and a desperate fighter the pig-sticker must possess a good eye, a steady hand, a firm seat, a cool head and a courageous heart. For these reasons the military authorities encourage the sport, which is for the most part carried on by the tent clubs of the larger Indian stations. The following technical terms are used. " Frank," a boar enclosure. " Jhow," the tamarisk, a common cover for boars. " Jink " (of the boar), to turn sharply to one side. " Nullah," a dry water-course. " To pig," to hunt the boar. " Pug," the boar's footprint. " Pugging," tracking the boar. " Ride to hog," to hunt the boar. " Rootings," marks of the pig's snout in the ground. " Sanglier " (or " singular "), a boar that has separated from the " sounder." " Sounder," a family of wild swine. Squeaker," a pig under three years. " Tusker," a full-grown boar. See Pig-Sticking or Hog-Hunting, by R. S. S. Baden-Powell (London, 1889).
End of Article: BARON GEORGE PIGOT (1719-1777)
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