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The [[East India Company]] maintained a formidable army in each of its three [[Presidencies]]. Although there was a military presence in each Presidency beforehand, the Company established formal armies following the French capture of [[Fort St George]] (Madras) during the [[War of Austrian Succession]] in 1746. These armies grew over the next hundred years until the renowned ‘[[Indian Mutiny]]’ (1857-59). After the Mutiny, the India Act of 1858 of the English parliament, decreed the dissolution of these armies. Its European soldiers were given the option either of transferring to the British Army or of discharge with a bounty and shipment back to Europe. About 50 percent selected each option. The mutinous native regiments were disbanded but those few, who remained loyal to the British, plus loyal
[[native irregular units ]], formed the basis of the new ‘[[Indian Army]]’, which continued until [[Independence ]] in 1947.