For most of the nineteenth century, the British view of Myanmar was that it was an extension of India—culturally, economically, and politically. With a major British base firmly established in the middle of the eighteenth century in the eastern part of India, the question of immediate security on India’s eastern frontier engaged British attention. Thus far, British relations with Myanmar had not been very cordial. In 1753, taking advantage of the civil war in Myanmar between the forces of Alaungpaya (founder of the Konbaung dynasty) and the Mons, the East India Company had occupied the strategic island of Negrais. From there the British hoped to check French activity in the Bay of Bengal. Alaungpaya resented such interference, at first mildly, in a letter addressed to King George II. The British government’s failure to reply and the knowledge gathered from Mon prisoners about British assistance to the Mon side in the Burmese civil war so provoked the Burmese monarch that he ordered a general massacre of the East India Company’s officials on Negrais. The company, then involved with the French in a major military power game on the Indian subcontinent, swallowed its pride quietly, suffered the losses resulting from the Negrais episode, and left Myanmar undisturbed for at least three decades.