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Coote, Sir Eyre

Coote, Sir Eyre (1726–83). Coote was born at Limerick and joined the army during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. His most distinguished service came in India where he fought under Robert Clive at the battle of Plassey in 1757. On 22 January 1760 he commanded at Wandewash when the French threat to southern India was extirpated. He then went on to capture Pondicherry, the French capital in India, in 1761. Posted to Calcutta, he rapidly quarrelled with members of the Bengal Council and left for England in 1762. In 1769 he returned as commander-in-chief of the Bengal army but soon resigned again for the same reason. In 1779, he came back once more as C.-in-C. under Warren Hastings and led the army in the second Mysore War. But he was defeated by Hyder Ali, the Mysore sultan, at Porto Nuovo in 1781. Coote died at Madras in 1783.

David Anthony Washbrook

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Eyre, Sir James

Sir James Eyre, 1734–99, English jurist. As a young lawyer he was counsel (1763) for John Wilkes in the suit against the government that established the illegality of general warrants (warrants for the arrest of any or all persons, no names being specified, involved in an offense). He later became president of the Court of Exchequer (1787) and chief justice of common pleas (1793). He presided (1794) over the famous state trials of John Horne Tooke and others for alleged subversion of the government.

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