When talking about the past, particularly when talking about countries which have highly contested histories, terminology is very important. Were possible I have tried to use consistent terms and use them in the way as described in this glossary.


Descendants of children’s born to British and Indian parents from the 17th century onwards.


The name for present day Mumbai until 1995.

British subjects

Those who have British ancestry, born in a British colony or dependency.

East Africa Protectorate (British East Africa)

A British protectorate in the African Great Lakes, occupying roughly the same area as present-day Kenya, from the Indian Ocean inland to the border with Uganda in the west. It was established in 1895 until 1920 when it became the Colony of Kenya.


The lowest rank of commissioned officers in the infantry regiments of the British Army.


.. of a mixed European and Asian origin. This term was in common use up until the end of the 19th century. c.f. Anglo-India

Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC)

A commercial association founded to develop African trade in the areas controlled by the British Empire in 1888. In 1893 the IBEAC transferred its administration rights of the territory to the British Government. The territory was then divided to form the Uganda Protectorate in 1894 and East Africa Protectorate in 1895.


The name for present day Chennai until 1996.