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12.42 History of India: Mysore
(3,534 words)

In Volume 1-1: Qurʾānic Literature, History, and Biography | Section 2, History, Biography, etc.

previous chapter: 12.41 Bālā-g’hāṭ

§ 1066. An anonymous author (Muns̲h̲ī Amīr, according to a note on the fly-leaf of Ethé 516), who after serving for two years under Captain (afterwards Sir) John Kennaway left his service on the last day of D̲h̲ū ’l-Qaʿdah 1196/6 Nov. 1782 and then returned to Ḥaidarābād, wrote

(Qiṣṣah i Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān), a history of Ḥaidar ʿAlī to 1196/1782 (beg. Sitāyis̲h̲ i Nāṣirī): Rieu iii 1033a (circ. ad 1850), Ethé 516 (n.d.).

§ 1067. In 1196/1782 an anonymous author wrote

Aḥwāl i Nawwāb Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān Bahādur (beginning: C̲h̲ū īn tāzah-tar nihālīst), a history of Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān from his birth to 1196/1782 completed with a brief statement concerning his death on 1 Muḥarram 1197/7 Dec. 1782: Rieu ii 802a (18th cent.).

§ 1068. Lālah Bud Sing’h “Muns̲h̲ī”, possibly identical with Bud’h Sing’h K’hatrī, who wrote the Risālah i Nānak S̲h̲āh (see p. 523 supra), spent three years in the compilation of his Tawārīk̲h̲ i Ḥaidarī, probably soon after Ḥaidar ʿAlī’s death.

Tawārīk̲h̲ i Ḥaidarī, a life of Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān from his birth in 1125/1713 [so] to his death and the accession of Ṭīpū Sulṭān in 1197/1782: Ethé 518 (ah 1217/1802), 519 (n.d.), 520 (fragment only).

§ 1069. At the request of Richard Johnson1 an anonymous author wrote his

Aḥwāl i Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān (beg.: Bar ṣūrat-nawīsān), a life of Ḥaidar ʿAlī in nine bābs compiled in 1199/1784–5: Ethé 517 (autograph, ah 1199/1785).

§ 1070. Ṭīpū Sulṭān was born at Devanhalli on the 20th of D̲h̲ū ’l-Ḥijjah 1163/20 Nov. 1750.2 At the death of his father, Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān, on 7 Dec. 1782 he became ruler of Mysore and continued the war which his father had been waging against the British. Having defeated General Matthews at Bednūr and forced Colonel Campbell to surrender after a prolonged siege at Mangalore in 1783, he made peace in 1784. Soon afterwards he sent an embassy to the Sublime Porte in the vain hope of enlisting the Ottoman Sulṭān’s support against the British.3 In 1786 he assumed the title of Pāds̲h̲āh. In the same year his territory was invaded jointly by the Marāṭ’hās and by a contingent from Ḥaidarābād. After some successes against them he made peace early in 1787. In this year he sent an embassy to Paris, but he obtained only empty promises of future support. In December 1789 he invaded Travancore. In February 1792 he was besieged in Seringapatam by Lord Cornwallis, and agreed to cede half of his dominions, pay an indemnity and surrender two of his sons as hostages. In 1797 he renewed his efforts to obtain help from the French and sent envoys to Mauritius. This action, together with other evidences of hostile intention, caused Lord Mornington, who became Governor-General in 1798, to declare war. In March 1799 Ṭīpū was defeated at Malvalli by General Harris and on the 4th of May he was killed in the course of General Baird’s storm of Seringapatam.

A report on the correspondence and other documents found in the palace at Seringapatam was submitted to the Governor-General on 27 July 1799 by Colonel William Kirkpatrick, and is printed, almost in full, on pp. 180–95 of Lt.-Col. A. Beatson’s View of the origin and conduct of the war with Tippoo Sultaun (London 1800*). From the mass of these papers certain documents were selected by the Governor-General for examination by N.B. Edmonstone, the Persian Translator to the Government (for whom see Buckland’s Dictionary of Indian biography, p. 132), and were published in translation (with the text of the French, but not the Persian, documents) in a volume entitled Official documents, relative to the negotiations carried on by Tippoo Sultaun, with the French nation, and other foreign states, for purposes hostile to the British nation; to which is added, Proceedings of a Jacobin club, formed at Seringapatam, by the French soldiers in the corps commanded by M. Dompart: with a translation … (Calcutta: printed at the Honorable Company’s Press. 1799*).4 Some of the translations reappear in Copies and extracts of advices to and from India, relative to the cause, progress, and successful termination of the war with the late Tippoo Sultaun, Chief of Mysore; the partition of his dominions in consequence thereof; and the distribution of the captured property found in Seringapatam. Printed for the use of the proprietors of East-India Stock, [London?] 1800*,5 and in the appendix to the aforementioned work of Lt.-Col. Beatson. An unofficial second edition6 of the Fort St. George publication mentioned in the note on this the previous page is A review of the origin, progress, and result of the decisive war with the late Tippoo Sultaun, in Mysore: with notes; by James Salmond, Esq. of the Bengal military establishment. To which are added, Some account of Zemaun Shah—The Proceedings of a Jacobin Club, formed at Seringapatam—Official advices to India on the subject of the War—An abstract of the forces employedLetters from Generals Stewart and Harris, containing the accounts of the engagements on the 6th March and 7th May 1779; and Major General Baird’s Report of the storming of Seringapatam;—And an appendix, containing translations of the principal state papers found in the Cabinet of Tippoo Sultaun; and other important official papers … (London 1800°*. Pp. xxxii, 88: Appendix, pp. 300, unpaginated).

The letters and other documents mentioned above are quite different from the Select letters translated by W. Kirkpatrick (see below).

Tārīk̲h̲ i k̲h̲udā-dādī,7 a brief autobiography extending to the termination of the Marāṭ’hā War, i.e. Feb. 1787, which “evidently formed, as far as it went, the ground-work of the more diffuse and elaborate history of Zynûl Aabideen Shoostry …” (Kirkpatrick): Ethé 2990 (45 foll., defective at both ends.8 See also W. Kirkpatrick’s account of this ms. in his Select letters of Tippoo Sultan, London 1811, preface, pp. xvii–xviii).

Translated extracts (amounting to “a considerable portion” of the whole): Select letters of Tippoo Sultanarranged and translated by W. Kirkpatrick, London 1811, pp. 18–21, 57–9, 147, 202–7, 325–32, 374–5, 387–90, 410–11, 425–31, 476–83, and appendix pp. iii–xi.

Letters (see also pp. 605–606 above): Ethé 525 (vol. i only, covering the years 1198–1201/1784–7 and containing all the letters of which translations were published in the Select letters of Tippoo Sultan as well as more than 600 others, ad 1800).

English translation of selections: Select letters of Tippoo Sultanarranged and translated by William KirkpatrickLondon 1811°*.

Register of Ṭīpū Sulṭān’s dreams with their interpretations: Ethé 3001 (autograph. Cf. Beatson, op. cit. infra, pp. 196–7).

English translation of six dreams: A view of the origin and conduct of the war with Tippoo Sultaun … by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Beatson, London 1800*, appendix, pp. cix–cxiii.

Various official manuals and collections of documents relating to the administration of Mysore in Ṭīpū’s time have been preserved.9 They include (1) ḥukm-nāmahs, instructions and regulations intended for different departments and officials, Ivanow 1645–9, 1676–7, 1679, 1681, 1684–93, Berlin 68 (3), 68a, 516, 531 (11), 531 (25), Ethé 526, r.a.s. P. 167–70, (2) Ḍawābiṭ i sulṭānī, regulations for the proper shape and form of royal insignia, the orbs or disks at the top of banners, seals, official signatures, etc., Ethé 2761, 2762 (a portion only. Dated 1226 Maulūdī10), Ivanow 1642 (probably the same portion as Ethé 2762), (3) (Risālah i padak-hā), on medals, decorations, flag-tops, seals, brands, etc., Ivanow 1640, 1641, (4) “A description of the Seals, Flags, Standards,11 Inscriptions, etc. used by Tīpū Sultān” (perhaps identical with (2) or (3) above), r.a.s. P. 171, (5) various other documents, Ivanow 1643, 1682–3, r.a.s. P. 88 = Morley 78, P. 172.

A manuscript of this kind must be the original of The Mysorean Revenue Regulations. Translated by B. Crisp from the original Persian, under the seal of Tippoo Sultaun (Calcutta 1792°). For the Fatḥ al-mujāhidīn which contains regulations for Ṭīpū’s army see p. 608 infra.

[Biographical Anecdotes of the late Tippoo Sultaun; together with an Account of his Revenues, Establishment of his Troops, etc. Taken from the information of one of Tippoo’s Officers, written in the year 1790 and Translated from the Persian by Capt. J.A. Kirkpatrick (in The Asiatic Annual Register … for the Year 1799 (2nd ed., London 1801*), Characters, pp. 1–5); Lt.-Col. A. Beatson A view of the origin and conduct of the war with Tippoo Sultaun …, London 1800 (portrait frontispiece); C. Stewart Memoirs of Futteh Aly Khan Tippo Sultan (in C. Stewart A descriptive catalogue of the oriental library of the late Tippoo Sultan of Mysore, Cambridge 1809, pp. (43)–(94)); M. Wilks Historical sketches of the South of India, in an attempt to trace the history of Mysoor, London 1810–17, 2nd ed. Madras 1869; Lewin B. Bowring Haidar Alí and Tipú Sultán, Oxford 1893 (Rulers of India series); Buckland Dictionary of Indian biography pp. 424–5; Ency. Isl. under Tīpū Sulṭān (Haig), and many other works.]

§ 1071. A certain G̲h̲ūlām-Ḥasan12 wrote at Ṭīpū’s request and completed in 1198/1784 his

Ṭīpū-nāmah or Fatḥ-nāmah i Ṭīpū Sultān, a mat̲h̲nawī in 49 dāstāns on Ṭīpū’s wars: Ethé 1719 (ah 1221/1807), 1720 (n.d.), 1721 (n.d.).

§ 1072. S. Zain al-ʿābidīn b. S. Raḍī [al-Dīn] Mūsawī S̲h̲ūs̲h̲tarī was a younger brother of Mīr-ʿĀlam (for whom see pp. 591–592 supra). According to S. Ḥusain Bilgrāmī, A memoir of Sir Salar Jung, Bombay 1883, p. 10, he “left Haidarabad at an early age, and resided for the rest of his life at Tipu’s court”. According to Sprenger (Catalogue … of the libraries of the King of Oudh, p. 591) “He lived long at Madras and was in the service of Nawáb Áçaf-jáh, subsequently he went to Balághát [sic] and entered the service of Haydar ’alyy Khán, and finally he became a courtier of Typú Sulṭán, … He died at Ḥaydarábád (Subḥe waṭn, p. 105).” According to H.G. Briggs, The Nizam vol. i, London 1861, p. 141, he died at Seringapatam during the siege in 1799.

His best-known work, written ah 1197/1783 at Ṭīpū Sulṭān’s request and under his supervision, is the Fatḥ al-mujāhidīn which contains rules and regulations for Ṭīpū’s army (see Bodleian 1903, Ethé 2738–59, Rieu Suppt. 406). At the request of Ṭīpū Sultān he wrote also the Muʾaiyid al-mujāhidīn, a collection of metrical k̲h̲uṭbahs (see Ethé 2619, Ivanow 882–3, Sprenger 571).

Sulṭān al-tawārīk̲h̲, a florid history of the Sulṭāns of Mysore elaborated from materials dictated by Ṭīpū himself and divided into two daftars ((1) Fatḥ Nāʾik and Ḥaidar ʿAlī, (2) Ṭīpū’s reign to ad 1789): Ethé 521 (apparently imperfect).

Description: Historical sketches of the South of India, in an attempt to trace the history of Mysoor … By Lieut.-Col. Mark Wilks, vol. i, London 1810, pp. xix–xxv.

[W. Kirkpatrick Select letters of Tippoo Sultan, London 1811, p. 163–4; Subḥ i waṭan p. 105; Sprenger 571.]

§ 1073. A certain Ḥamīd K̲h̲ān who accompanied Lord Cornwallis, the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, in his campaign against Ṭīpū Sulṭān (Dec. 1790–Feb. 1792) wrote—

Tārīk̲h̲ i Ḥamīd K̲h̲ān,13 a history of Ḥaidar ʿAlī and Ṭīpū Sulṭān down to the peace of 1206/1792: Bānkīpūr vii 619 (19th cent.).

§ 1074. The Nasab-nāmah i rājahā i Maisūr was originally written in Canarese. By order of Ṭīpū Sulṭān two Persian translations were made in 1212/1798 by Asad Anwar and G̲h̲ulām-Ḥusain. One of these is the work described below.

Nasab-nāmah (or Fihrist, or Aḥwāl) i rājahā i Maisūr u Nagar, a list of the rulers of Mysore from the time of Timmarāj to that of Ḥaidar ʿAlī, with the dates of their birth, the names of their wives and children and the countries over which they ruled: r.a.s. P. 86 = Morley 74, Morley 75, Morley 76, Ethé 514, 515, Ivanow 199 (19th cent.).

§ 1075. Mīr Ḥusain ʿAlī K̲h̲ān b. S. ʿAbd al-Qādir Kirmānī, the author of the Tad̲h̲kirat al-bilād wa-’l-ḥukkām, which he completed in 1215/1800–1 (see p. 602), and of the Badīʿ al-maʿānī, a life of the saint Bābā Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn Ḥusainī, was in the service of Ḥaidar ʿAlī and his son Ṭīpū Sulṭān.

Nis̲h̲ān i Ḥaidarī, a history of Ḥaidar ʿAlī and Ṭīpū Sulṭān completed ah 1217/1802: Browne Pers. Cat. 105 (ah 1231/1816), Ivanow 200 (ah 1231/1816?), Bānkīpūr Suppt. i 1775 (ah 1233/1817–18), Āṣafīyah i p. 258 no. 297 (ah 1299/1881–2), Ethé 522, 523, 524 (small fragment), r.a.s. P. 87 = Morley 77.

Edition: Bombay 1307/1890°*.

Translation: (a) The History of Hyder Naik … Nawaub of the Karnatic Balaghaut … Translated … by Colonel W. Miles. London 1842°* (Oriental Translation Fund). (b) The History of the Reign of Tipú Sultán, being a continuation of the Neshani Hyduri; … Translated … by Colonel W. Miles. London 1864°* [sic., for 1844],

§ 1076. Not later than 1223/1808 was written

A history of the Rājahs of Seringapatam and of Ḥaidar ʿAlī and Ṭīpū to the latter’s death in 1213/1799 (Dar d̲h̲ikr i riyāsat i rājahā-yi Sīrang-Patan u Nawwāb Ḥaidar ʿAlī K̲h̲ān Bahādur jannat-makān u ḥaḍrat i Ṭīpū Sultān i s̲h̲ahīd etc., beginning Pas az ḥamd i Kirdgār i kārsāz rūzgār): Oxford Ind. Inst. ms. Whinfield 62 (ah 1223/1808), Ethé 531 (foll. 57–112).

§ 1077. For Ṣafdar ʿAlī S̲h̲āh “Munṣif’s” Jirjīs i razm, which contains a metrical account of Wellesley’s campaign against Ṭīpū Sulṭān, see p. 601 supra.

§ 1078. Muḥammad Sulṭān (i.e. Prince M.), better known as h.h. Prince G̲h̲ulām-Muḥammad, one of the youngest of Ṭīpū Sulṭān’s twelve sons, was born in March 1795 and was therefore only four years old when his father was killed. With other sons of Ṭīpū’s he was removed from Seringapatam to Vellore. In 1806, after the Vellore Mutiny, he was transferred to Calcutta and there he lived the rest of his long life. Highly respected for his amiability, hospitality, charity and toleration, he was a favourite in official circles. He visited England in 1855 and again in 1859, when he persuaded the Secretary of State, Sir Charles Wood, to make a special grant to the Mysore family. In February 1871 he was made a k.c.s.i. Certain charities were founded by him in perpetuity for the poor of all races at Calcutta and in Mysore. He died at Rasapagla, near Calcutta, on 11 August 1872. He “revised and corrected” The History of Hyder Shah, alias Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur: and of his son, Tippoo Sultaun. [Written in London 1784] By M.M.D.L.T. [i.e. M.M. de la Touche?], General in the Army of the Mogul Empire, London 1855.

The Mosque of Prince G̲h̲ulām Muḥammad, the finest mosque in Calcutta, near the intersection of Dharamtola St. and Chowringhee, was erected by him “in gratitude to God, and in commemoration of the Honourable Court of Directors granting him the arrears of his stipend in 1840”.

Kárnáma i Hydary, or Memoirs of the brave and noble Hyder Shah, surnamed Hyder Ally Khán Bahádur. To which is annexed a sketch of the history of his illustrious son, Tippoo Sultan. Compiled from the different works written by English, French, and Oriental authors. Calcutta 1848°*.

Urdu translation by Aḥmad ʿAlī Gōpāmawī: Ḥamalāt i Ḥaidarī, Russapuglah [i.e. Rasapagla, a southern suburb of Calcutta] 1849°*.

[Kār-nāmah i Ḥaidarī pp. 931–8 (portrait facing p. 935); Correspondence and memorials of Prince Gholam Mahomed addressed to the Government of India and the Hon’ble Court of Directors (in Extracts from Capt. Colin Mackenzie’s work regarding the dominions of the late Tippoo Sultaun 1854); The Times 20.3.1871 p. 6a, 11.9.1872 p. 6a, 19.9.1872 p. 10b; The Englishman (Calcutta) 13.8.1872 p. 2d; The Indian Daily News (Calcutta) 13.8.1872 p. 2d; The Times of India (Bombay) 14.8.1872 p. 2d; Lewin B. Bowring Haidar Alí and Tipú Sultán pp. 10, 201.]

§ 1079. Other works:

Accounts of the events of ah 1197–1200/1783–6: Ethé 528 (1–3).
Aḥwāl i rājah i Sōlāpūr u rājah i Srīrangpatan: Ethé 527 (18).
Aḥwāl-nāmah i Ḥaidar Nāʾik, a very short biography of Ḥaidar ʿAlī (8 foll.): Ethé 527 (1) (not later than ad 1808).
History of Ṭīpū Sultān and his court, by Muns̲h̲ī M. Qāsim: no mss. recorded. English translation: i.o. mss. Eur. C. 10 pp. 203–25 (Kaye 291).
Short account of Dhundia Wagh, or, as he is called here, D’hūndū-jī Wāg’h, the famous freebooter of Mysore, who was at last killed by tbe British in 1800 (see Beale Oriental biographical dictionary p. 120): Ethé 859 (5).
Short historical account of Seringapatam and its rājahs, their contests with Ḥaidar ʿAlī and Ṭīpū Sulṭān and the final annexation of Mysore by the E.I.Co. (ah 1144/1731–2—1214/1799–1800): Ethé 529.
A similar work (Kaifīyat i riʾāsat i Srī-Rang-Paṭṭan etc.): Ethé 530.

next chapter: 12.43 Coorg


^ Back to text1. For an account of Richard Johnson see an article by Sir T. Arnold in Rupam, no. 6 (Calcutta, April 1921).

^ Back to text2. Nis̲h̲ān i Ḥaidarī p. 1917–18. Other dates are given elsewhere, e.g. 1749 (Stewart) and 1753 (Bowring). Kirkpatrick says “In a loose paper in my possession, containing directions for the military salutes on various occasions(1*), [Footnote “(1*) I have since met with the same regulations in the Futhûl’ Mûjâhideen”] there is a note, or memorandum, purporting, that the Sultan was born on the 14th of Tûlooey of the year of the Higera 1165” (Select letters p. 217, where the 14th of Tûlooey [i.e. Ṭulūʿī, the 9th month in Ṭipū’s first reformed calendar] in a solar year corresponding to 1785 is equated with the 20th of December).

^ Back to text3. For the diary of G̲h̲ulām-ʿAlī K̲h̲ān, an envoy who travelled to Istānbūl in 1200–1, see Ivanow 1678 (Waqāʾiʿ i manāzil i Rūm). A report by Ṭipū’s envoys to Ḥaidarābād dated 1217 Maulūdī and dealing chiefly with the expenses incurred on the journey is also preserved at Calcutta (Ivanow 1680, Rūz-nāmah i wukalā i Ḥaidarābād).

^ Back to text4. In the same year (before the Calcutta publication?) appeared at Fort St. George [Madras] a volume of which there is a copy in the British Museum (see Edwards col. 577), but not in the India Office library, and which bears on the title-page the words Copies and translations of official documents relative to the negotiations carried on by Tippoo Sultaun with the French nation and other foreign statesprior to the commencement of the war between the English and that prince in Feb. 1799 … Fort St. George 1799. This cannot differ much from the Calcutta publication.

^ Back to text5. Almost identical with the documents contained in this publication are those printed in The Asiatic Annual Register … for the year 1799 (2nd ed., London 1801*), State papers, pp. 41–100 (Heading: Papers presented to the House of Commons, relating to the late War in the East Indies with Tippoo Sultaun. (Ordered to be printed 26th September 1799)), and, Supplement to the state papers, pp. 201–300.

^ Back to text6. On p. xix is a “preface to second edition”, which begins as follows: “Several very important Papers on the subject of the Mysore War having been received from India since the publication of the Quarto edition of this Work, and others then published having by means of the Papers printed for the use of the Proprietors of India Stock, and through the medium of the public prints, been since very generally communicated, it is presumed that a new edition, in the present form, will not be unacceptable to the Public. Such documents antecedent to the capture of Seringapatam, as are already sufficiently known, have been omitted. The orthography of the whole of the original French Papers is so extremely incorrect, that the authenticated Translations only are preserved in this edition. With this exception, all the Papers found in the Palace of Seringapatam, which were originally published by the Authority of the Governor General in Council at Madras, have been republished.”

^ Back to text7. This title, not mentioned by Ethé, is recorded by Kirkpatrick, Select letters, preface p. xviii: “The copy with which that gentleman” [i.e. Colonel Ogg] “favored me was entitled Tareekhe Khodâdâdy, i.e. the Khodâdâdy Annals, or History of the Khodâdâd Sircar.” Sarkār i K̲h̲udā-dād was the official title of Ṭīpū Sulṭān’s government and was, for example, stamped on the bindings of books belonging to his library.

^ Back to text8. The first three pages, accidentally destroyed while the ms. was in Col. Kirkpatrick’s possession, “were occupied chiefly with an account of the Sultan’s ancestors.”

^ Back to text9. Cf. Government and administrative system of Tipu Sultan by Surath Charan Sen Gupta (in the Journal of the Department of Letters (University of Calcutta), vol. xix (Calcutta 1929)).

^ Back to text10. For the Maulūdī era (an era of solar years from Muḥammad’s birth) introduced by Ṭīpū see J.R. Henderson Coins of Ḥaidar Alī and Tīpū Sulṭān, Madras 1921, p. 9 seqq. The account given by Kirkpatrick in his Select letters, pp. xxvi–xxxvii, needs correction in the light of Henderson’s statements.

^ Back to text11. For reproductions of tracings of two such standards preserved in the Chapel of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, see an article by T. Grahame Bailey in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, vol. ii, pt. 3 (1922) pp. 549–54 (cf. vol. ii, pt. 4 (1923) p. 833).

^ Back to text12. There seems to be no good ground for Garcin de Tassy’s identification of this author with Ḥusain ʿAlī K̲h̲ān Kirmānī.

^ Back to text13. The “Humeed Khaney, by Humeed Khan, Moonshee to Lord Cornwallis in 1792” is among the authorities mentioned on p. 388 of The History of Hyder Shah, alias Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur: and of his son, Tippoo Sultaun. By M.M.D.L.T.… Revised and corrected by H.H. Prince Gholam Mohammed (London 1855).

Cite this page
“12.42 History of India: Mysore”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 30 May 2023 <>
First published online: 2021

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