The Mysore Wars
First Mysore War
In 1766, the Marathas under Madhav Rao declared war against the Hyder. The Peshwa got the possession of Sira which was then held by Mir Ali Raza Khan, the brother-in-law of Hyder, who treacherously gave it up in return for Gurramkonda.
Hyder made peace with Madhav Rao by paying 35 lac of rupees. Half of this amount was paid immediately and for the rest, the Kolar region was given as security. Shortly afterwards the amount was paid, Madhav Rao returned to Pune in Mar 1767.
General Calliaud concluded a treaty with Nizam Ali on 12 Nov 1766 with the object of plundering Mysore. The Nizam invaded Mysore accompanied by the British troops under Colonel Joseph Smith and advanced upto Bangalore. But Hyder secretly negotiated with the Nizam and bought him off. Nizam Ali joined Hyder and together they attacked the Carnatic in August 1767.
The British took possession of Tiruppattur, Kaveripatnam and Vaniambadi, which belonged to Hyder. In September, Colonel Smith defeated the confederates at Changama and then at Tiruvannamalai. In the same month, Hyder and the Nizam attacked Colonel Smith at Trichinopoly and recaptured Tiruppattur and Vaniambadi. Hyder laid siege to Ambur (10 Nov-7 Dec 1767) but the garrison was gallantly defended by Captain Calvert. At Singarapettai, Hyder attacked the British, in which he lost several of his officers. When the British under Colonel Peach attacked Hyderabad, Nizam Ali deserted Hyder and a new treaty was concluded on 23 Feb, 1768, between the British and Nizam Ali, proclaiming Hyder Ali a rebel and usurper.
Hyder reached Bangalore and moved towards Gurramkonda. He succeeded in inducing his brother-in-law Mir Ali Raza Khan to return to his allegiance. Thus reinforced, he entered Baramahal and passed onto Coimbatore, while he sent his general Fazl Ulla Khan towards Srirangapatna with a large force to reduce the smaller posts held by the British.
Hyder seized Karur, marched towards Erode and took Kaveripuram. He thus re-conquered all the districts of the ghats which had been wrested from him by the British and marched towards Madras, which was the Company’s headquarters. He suddenly appeared at the gates of Madras and dictated his terms to the British. The Madras government dispatched Captain Brooke to offer terms of peace.
The Treaty of Madras was signed on Apr 2nd, 1769. As per the treaty, both sides agreed to return the prisoners and places. Both sides also agreed to help each other if there is any foreign invasion.
The Second Mysore War
The Second Anglo-Mysore war started when Hyder Ali invaded the Carnatic in Jul 1780. General Sir Hector Munro assumed the command of the British forces and marched to Kanchipuram. Hyder detached Tipu Sultan with 40,000 men to intercept Colonel Baillie, who was on his way to join Munro.
In this battle, on 10 September 1780, Tipu Sultan defeated Colonel Baillie’s forces. On hearing this news Sir Hector Munro threw off all his guns into the tank of Kanchipuram and retreated to Madras. And according to historical records, the defeat of Baillie was the severest blow that the British ever sustained in India.
After Baillie’s defeat, Hyder recommenced the siege of Arcot and took the fort by November. On 1 July, 1781, General Sir Eyre Coote defeated Hyder’s forces at the Battle of Porto Novo. Tipu who was investing Wandiwash, was recalled to join his father at Arcot. However, Hyder was again defeated at Pollilur on 27th Aug 1781, and then at Sholinghur on 27 September, 1781. In February, 1782, Tipu inflicted a crushing defeat on Colonel Braithwaite at Tanjore.
In August, the British under Colonel Humberstone seized Calicut and advanced towards Palakkad. Hyder dispatched Tipu to oppose them and the British retreated to Ponnani.
Tipu, with the assistance of the French resisted the British forces who were preparing for the siege of Palakkad. He made a vigorous attack at Ponnani but was compelled to retreat. Hyder had for a long time suffered from a cancer on his back and he died on 7th December, 1782 at the age of sixty. Tipu succeeded his father on 29 December, 1782 under the title of Nawab Tipu Sultan Bahadur.
Tipu Sultan continued the war and defeated the British at Wandiwash in 1783. General Matthews captured Bednore, Honavar and Mangalore. Tipu divided his army into two columns, with one retook Hydernagar and Kavale-durga and with the other Anantpur. Bednore was plundered and Mangalore was retaken from the British.
Meanwhile, the French withdrew their support for Tipu following the Treaty of Paris in July 1783. As soon as Tipu left the Carnatic, General Stuart captured Wandiwash, Karunguli, Vellore and Cuddalore. After capturing Palakkad and Coimbatore, Colonel Fullerton made preparations to advance against Srirangapatna.
The second Mysore war came to an end with the Treaty of Mangalore signed between Tipu Sultan and the British East India Company. Under the terms of the treaty both sides once again returned the conquered territories as well as the prisoners.
The Third Mysore War
The Treaty of Mangalore carried the seeds of strife with the Marathas, because they were disappointed in their expectation of acting as the mediators and of recovering their losses in the North of Mysore.
Tipu had emerged with enhanced prestige, and even the mighty English could not humble him. This excited the jealousy of both the Marathas and the Nizam who fought a war with him for two years between 1785 to 1787. The Nizam was also not friendly towards Mysore ever since he had come to power in 1761. He regarded himself as the overlord of the entire south, and expected Haidar and Tipu to be his tributaries. As he was military imbecile, he allied either with the Marathas or the English to distress the Mysore rulers. There was always a pro-British party at Hyderabad which dissuaded the Nizam from being cordial with Tipu.
In the war that followed, Tipu had the upper hand despite the alliance of his two neighbors. It came to an end by the Treaty of Gajendragadh, by which he ceded Badami to the Marathas hoping to win their support against the English. Tipu was disappointed in his expectations. Far from joining him to remove the English from India, both the Marathas and the Nizam joined the English in a powerful confederacy against Tipu in the Third Mysore war. The allies struggled hard for nearly two years from 1790 to 1792. Lord Cornwallis who had surrendered to the Americans at Saratoga in the new world assumed the command, and with great difficulty he was successful in a surprise night attack to enter into the island of Srirangapatna on 6th February, 1792.
Tipu was made to make peace by surrendering half of his kingdom and paying three crores has indemnity, apart from sending two of his sons as hostages to Madras. This was a serious blow to him.
Fourth Anglo Mysore War
The fourth Anglo-Mysore War was of a very short duration, and very decisive. Tipu was defeated by Stuart, at Sedaseer on March 5, 1799 and by General Harris at Malvelly on March 27. He then retired to Seringapatnam which was captured on May 4, 1799. Tipu was killed fighting bravely. Members of Tipu’s family were interned at Vellore.
The English annexed Kanara, Coimbatore, Wynad, Dharpouram besides the entire sea coast of Mysore. The Nizams received some land which they handed over again to the Company for the support of the British troops.
Thus the fourth Mysore war destroyed the whole state of Mysore. The British also offered some territories to the Peshwas, which they did not accept. Mysore was restored to the Hindu royal family after signing a subsidiary alliance. The Governor-General could interfere in the administration. As a result of this war, the British got complete power of South India.