The Bengal prince was annoyed at the defenses which the British began to make at Calcutta as soon as they learned of the outbreak of the Seven Years' War. He swooped down on the city, captured it, and herded one hundred and forty-five Englishmen and the half-caste wife of one of them into a little room, the "Black Hole," barely eighteen feet long and fourteen feet wide. All day and all night the suffocating group called in vain for more air and for water. On the following morning only twenty-three still remained alive; among these the woman, who was taken to Surajah Dowlah's harem.
(from A History of England and the British Empire)