Gouache sketch of Noakhali in Bangladesh by Jane Blagrave (fl. 1809-1840) in 1837. Inscribed on the front of the mount in ink is:’ Noacolly.J.M.A. Blagrave/37.’
Formerly known as Sudharam, Noakhali is a port city in southern Bangladesh on a small channel of the Meghna River, 10 miles from the point where it flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Meghna Estuary consists of an alluvial tract of mainland and several islands. The area is particularly liable to destructive floods from the sea, generally caused by southerly gales or cyclones occurring at the time when the Meghna is swollen by heavy rains, and at flood-tides. At the beginning of the 17th century Portuguese pirates, under Sebastian Gonzales, occupied the area but were ultimately reduced to subjection by Shaista Khan, the governor of Bengal, about the middle of the century. In around 1756 the English East India Company established factories in Noakhali and Tippera.