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8T. martin's lane. 













DuKR OP Wellington's Despatches. 



*<Integritatem atque abetinentlam in tanto yiro roferre iqJniiaTirtotiim 
fuerit. Ne fanuun qnidem G^r etUun boni saepi Indulgent, ostentandA virtute, 
ant per artem qnaeslyit: procul ab emulatione ad versus collegas, procul k 
contentione adrersus procnratores et yincere inglorium et atterl sordidum 
arbitzabatur.'*— Tacitus, Li/e of Agricoia. 




My dear Lord Duke, . 

This Memoir of the Life and Services of 
Lord Harris, who received his first Commission 
in the Army from the kindness of the Marquis 
of Granby, is appropriately dedicated to your 
Grace, the Head of that noble House, which 
has derived such distinction from the military 
character of your illustrious ancestor. 

In the varied scenes of the eventful career 
of Lord Harris, I persuade myself that your 
Grace will find something to remind you of the 
frankness, fortitude, and benevolence, which 
characterized the Marquis of Granby, and are 
illustrated in your own life. 


That many years of happiness and honour 
may be added to that valuable life, can never 
cease to be the fervent prayer of your obliged 
and affectionate 

Norton Coukt, Kent, 
Ath May, 1839. 




Chaptbb I. 
Motives for undertaking this Memoir • • . . 1 

Chapteb II. 

Education of Lord Harris under the care of Mr. Bull — 
Character of Mr. Bull — An ensigncy in the 5th Regiment 
is given by the Marquis of Granby to Mr. Harris — Joins 
his regiment at Bedford, and saves the life of a brother 
officer — Makes a tour in France 6 

Chapter III. 

Proceeds with the 5th Regiment to Ireland — Forced into 
a duel with his commanding officer under very eztraor* 
dinary circumstances, which obtains for him the friend- 
ship of Sir William Medows 24 

Chapter IV. 

Purchases a company in the 5th Regiment, and proceeds 
on a recniiting party to England — Description of his 
person and character by Mrs. Dyer — His honourable 
conduct in a love affair — Anecdote of Sir William 
Medows ........ .33 



Chapter V. 

Proceeds with his regiment to America^-His first engage- 
ment with the Americans — Ordered to cover the retreat 
with his company--i-Half of the men killed and wounded 40 

Chapter VI. 

Attack upon Bunker's Hill — Captain Harris desperately 
wounded in the head— Sent from the field by his lieute- 
nant, Lord Bawdon (afterwards Marquis of Hastings) 
— ^Trepanned, and ordered home for the recovery of his 
health — Obtains a commission for his brother, and 
returns with him to America ..... 54 

Chapter VII. 

Forms an ardent attachment to the lady whom he after- 
wards married — Traits of her character — Again engaged 
ynih the Americans — Captain Harris and Colonel 
Medows wounded — Sent by Lord Comwallis with a 
letter to Washington — Is promoted to the majority of 
the 5th Regiment— Appointed to cover the embarkation 
of the troops, on the evacuation of Philadelphia — Becomes 
personally acquainted with Lord Howe, who was the last 
man to embark, and is commended by him for his exer^ 
tions in executing that disagreeable service ... 71 

Chapter VIII. 

Embarks with Brigadier-Qeneral Medows upon a secret 
expedition— Destined against St. Lucie«-£ngaged in the 
glorious repulse of 5,000 Frenchmen with 1,300 British 
soldiers— Anecdotes of General Medows ... 92 



Chapter IX. 

Proceeds to England in a Dutch vessel — Is taken prisoner, 
but soon released*-Is married— Rejoins his regiment in 
BarbadoeSy and then proceeds with it to Ireland as 
Lieutenant-Colonel— Saves the ship from being wrecked 
on the Old Head of Kinsale— Description of his exertions 
by Mrs. Harris 109 

Chapter X. 

Attempts to sell his commission, and retire to Canada — Is 
prevented by Sir William Medows^ and persuaded to go 
with him as Military Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to 
Bombay— Their voyage and arrival there . . 121 

Chapter XI. 

Proceeds with Sir William Medows to Madras, and is 
engaged in the campaigns against Tippoo Sultaun in the 
years 1790, 1791, and 1792— Returns to England at 
the close of that war— Rejoins his regiment at Calcutta 
in October, 1794, and is unexpectedly appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief at Madras . . i « . .130 

Chapter XII. 

Succeeds to the charge of the civil government of Madras 
— Lord Momington arrives as Governor-General of 
India, and sends orders from Calcutta for assembling the 
Madras army to defend the Company's territories against 
the designs of Tippoo and the French — ^Consternation 
created at Madras by this order — Narrative of the mea* 
sures adopted by General Harris in execution of Lord 
Mornington's orders 138 



Chapter XIII. 

Lord Clive relieves General Harris from the charge of the 
Government at Madras — Perfect success of Lord Mor- 
nington's policy at Hyderabad — 14,000 troops officered 
by Frenchmen, disarmed and disbanded — Detailed 
accoimt of that transaction 219 

Chapter XIV. 

Progress of the military preparations for the campaign 
against Tippoo— General Harris recommends the Go- 
vernor-General to give the command of the Army to Sir 
Alured Clarke — His confidence established by the kind 
and encouraging treatment of the Governor-General — 
Joins the Army at Vellore, and relieves Colonel Wollesley 
from the command 238 

Chapter XV. 

The Army moves towards the Frontier — Parting letter 
from the Governor-General — Reply thereto — Letter to 
Captain, afterwards Sir, George A, llobinsour describing 
his situation and expectations 251 

Chapter XVI, 

The Madras Army enters the Mysore country—- Colonel 
Wellesley appointed to command the Nizam's subsidiary 
force — Tippoo attacks a portion of the Bombay Army at 
Sedaseer under Colonel Montresor — Is repulsed with 
great slaughter — Faithful conduct of the Rajah of 
Coorg 263 



Chapter XVII. 

Progress of General Harris's army through Tippoo's country 
— Battle of Mallavelly — Tippoo driven off with slaughter 
— Disabled state of the draught and carriage cattle pre- 
cludes the effectual pursuit of his army — General Harris 
crosses the Cavery at Soosilly — Encamps in view of 
Seringapatam 275 

Chapter XVIII. 

The first operations of the Siege, in which Major-General 
Baird, the Honourable Colonel Wellesley, and Colonel 
Shawe were engaged — Failure of the first and second 
attempts to maintain possession^ of the Sultaunpettah 
Tope— Success of the third, which gave us excellent 
posts extending two miles in front of the Fort— Jjettcrs 
from Colonel Wellesley to General Harris . . . 289 

Chapter XIX. 

General Harris's Journal of the Siege — Daily progress of 
the Siege before the Assault 30.9 

Chapter XX. 

The breaching batteries open with great effect — Report 
from Colonel "Wellesley, commanding oflSccr in the 
trenches — General Harris resolves to storm the Fort 
next day — Communicates his intention to General 
Stuart — That officer's answer — General Baird appointed 
to command the troops in the assault — His instnictions 
— Seringapatam falls — Tippoo killed in the assault with 
thousands of his troops 324 



Chaptbr XXI. 
Lord Momingion receives the intelligence of the fall of 
Seringapatam — His letters and orders thereupon*- 
Ezpresses to the Authorities at Home his warmest admi- 
ration of the conduct of General Harris, and of the officers 
and men who had achieved the conquest of Mysore- 
General Harris highly commends the conduct of the 
staff officers — The Governor-Generars orders in conse- 
quence—His Lordship directs the immediate distribu- 
tion of the booty taken by the troops .... 356 

Chapter XXII. 
General Harris obtains possession of the different forts and 
countries belonging to Mysore — Dhoondiah is driven into 
the Mahratta territories — ^Tranquillity being established^ 
General Harris appoints Colonel Welleslcy to command 
in Mysore, and returns to the Presidency — Sees the 
Governor-General before his departure for Calcutta — 
Lord Momington's letter to Mr. Dundas — ^Thanks of 
the House of Commons and Court of Directors to 
General Harris— Farewell letter from Colonel Wellesley 385 

Chapter XXIII. 
In answer to the unfounded remarks contained in Mr. 
Hook's Life of Sir David Baird, upon the appointment 
of the Honourable Colonel Wellesley to the command 
of the Nizam's subsidiary force 401 

Chapter XXIV. 
In answer to the unfounded remarks contained in Mr. 
Hook's Life of Sir David Baird^ upon the appointment 
of Colonel Wellesley to command in Seringapatam • 410 



Chapter XXV. 

Becapitulation of those events of the Campaign in Mysore 
which preceded the fall of Seringapatam — Recital of 
other circumstances connected with its fall . . • 439 

Chapter XXVI. 

The Indian Government at Home neglect all the principal 
officers engaged in the Mysore Campaign — They perse- 
cute General Harris, and persuade the King to give him 
no Honours, and assist in prosecuting him in the Court 
of Chancery to deprive him of half his Prize-money- 
Are defeated in that Court — They appeal to the Privy 
Council, and the Council confirm to General Harris the 

L of all he had received 450 

Chapter XXVII. 

General Harris is created a Peer hy the Prince Regent, by 
the title of Baron Harris, of Belmont, and of Seringa- 
patam and Mysore, m the East Indies-^His feelings 
upon that event— Brief reference to his manner of life 
subsequent thereto^His death, in the eighty-fourth 
year of his age, at Belmont, in Kent .... 459 


Correction op some Misstatements in Mr. Alison's 
History 471 





I. Earl of Momington's Letter to Lord Clivc . . 495 

II. Particulars respecting Mr. Cockburn . . . .511 

III. Letter of Colonel Wellesley respecting the French 
Prisoners at Madras 516 

IV. Letters from Josiah Webbe, Esq. — Epitaph on Mr. 
Webbc 517 

V. Colonel Wellesley's Letter respecting the 25th Light 

Dragoons under Colonel Cotton .... 520 
yi. Declaration of the Allies, and other Papers relating to 

the War against Tippoo Sultaun . . . .521 
YII. Sketch of the Action near Mallavelly, March 27, 

1799 522 

YIII. The Marches of the Army under the command of 

his Excellency Lieutenant-General Harris^ from 

Yellore to Seringapatam 523 

IX. Memorandum on the Establishment of Draft Bul- 
locks, and on the Breeding Establishment of Mysore. 

By Colonel M. Cubbon 524 

X. Services of Sir J. L. Lushington, G.C.B. . . . 532 

XI. Letter from the Earl of Powis .... 535 

XII. Conclusion of General Harris's Appeal to the Court 

of Directors 53G 

XIII. Epitaph on Captain Charles Harris . . . 539 

XIV. Letter from Lord Bloomfield 540 

XV. Lord Harris's Directions for his Funeral . . . 541 

XVI. Epitaph on James Stephen Lushington, Esq. . 544 

XVII. Epitaph on Lord Harris 545 

XVIII. Letters from Lord Harris, and Extract from his 
Will 545 

XIX. Strength of the Allied Army, and Return of 
Casualties during the Siege and in the Assault of 
Seringapatam 549 


Page 71, line 9, for Dizeon, rtad DieksoiL 
„ 05, In the note, /or killed, read killed and wounded. 
, , S46, line 28, for enterpilBe, read enterpriaes. 

„ 428, line 26, far name In any despatch, read name him in any deqiatch. 
„ 458, line 23, for had, read have. 
„ 456, line U| fvr Commanderi nad ColXlaulnde^in'Chief. 


The Portrait of Lord Haitia, to fiu» the Title-page. 

The Plan of the Battle of MaUaTolly, to face page 522 in the Appendix. 





Motiyes for undertaking this Memoir. 

In the following pages I propose to lay before the 
reader a memoir of the life and services of the late 
Lord HaiTis. Before I went to India in 1827 it 
appeared to me^ after an intimate knowledge of 
his conduct and character during thirty years, 
that an accurate and simple detail of his actions 
and motives, through a long and eventful career, 
might gratify and stimulate the best feelings of 
those who are proud to have sprung from him, 
and of many others who aspire to be the artificers 
of their own fortune and fame ' by honest and 
honourable means. 

Influenced by these feelings, I often requested 
that he would write down the particulars of some 
important acts of his life, which his modesty had 
long restrained him from communicating even to 
the members of his own family. Some memo- 
randa were accordingly found after his lamented 



death ; and when I ascertained, upon my return 
from Madras in 1833, that unjust aspersions had 
been cast upon his memory in Mr. Hook's lAfe 
of Sir David Baird, I felt that it was as much an 
act of duty as of affection on my part to enable 
his countrymen to appreciate his many virtues, 
and to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, 
that there was not the slightest ground for these 

Feeling deeply the responsibility of the under- 
taking, I have thought it incumbent upon me to 
seek from different sources all the materials ne- 
cessary to the successful execution of this task« 
The interval which has elapsed since my return 
has been fia^vourable to this purpose, however 
feebly the work may be executed ; for the public 
mind has been at length awakened to the value of 
the achievements of the victorious army which 
General Harris commanded in execution of Ix>rd 
Wellesley's masterly policy in Mysore, by the pub- 
lication of his Lordship's admirable Minutes and 
Letters, and by that imperishable work, for which 
the country owies to Colonel Gurwood a large 
debt of gratitude. The Duke of WelUngtOfCs 
Despatches. The following extract from that 
woi'k^ is so germane to this matter, and contains 
a warning so appropriate to all who presume to 
write anything like a history of the events which 

* See Qurwood's D68patch€% of the DvJce of Wdlin^/ton^ vol. 
1. p. 38. 


have passed in their own time, that I cannot re- 
frain from quoting it. 

*^ The great end of history is the exact illus- 
tration of events as they occuiTcd, and there 
should be neither exaggeration or concealment to 
suit angry feelings or personal disappointment. 
It should contain the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth. Mr. Hook has, however, 
in this respect wandered from his proper province 
as an historian at the expense of the reputation of 
his gallant hero (Sir David Baird), by attacking 
the judgment, justice, impartiality, and duty, of 
the Commander-in-Chief (General Harris), and 
of the Governor-General (Lord Wellesley), for 
the purpose of establishing a grievance and an 
insinuation which the facts and results do not 
warrant, and to which Sir David Baird, had he 
been alive, would never have given countenance ; 
and certainly, what General Baird thouglit un- 
worthy of him as a soldier, his biogrs^her had no 
right to bring up against him, with no other appa- 
rent purpose than that of attacking the hoi^iour of 
those who are living, and the memory of those 
who are dead." 

Keeping constantly in my remembrance this 
most just and powerful incitement to truth, it will 
be my earnest endeavour to do equal justice to 
Lord Harris and to Sir David Baird. This duty 
is the more easy and gratifying to me, because an 
intimate and affectionate intercourse of thirty 

B 9 


years with Lord Harris, and personal knowledge 
of the real character of Sir David Baird, acquired 
whilst I was in India with him, and during a long 
and eventful voyage in the same ship with him 
from Madras in 1803, afforded me ample oppor- 
tunities of appreciating their many noble qualities. 
With this knowledge, I confidently affirm that 
they would have regarded the usurped laurels of 
any of their comrades as the most unhallowed 
offerings that could be laid upon their tombs, 
abundantly covered as they were with those 
gathered by their own brave hands. 

In the after period of thirty years from the 
fall of Seringapatam, during which it pleased the 
Almighty to preserve their lives, I can find no 
unkind expression, and I know of no unfriendly 
act, on either side* ; both descended to the tomb 
amidst the tears of their respective families, " with 
all that should accompany old age, as honour, 
love, obedience, troops of friends," little thinking 
that their ashes would be disturbed by the ill- 
fudging hands of indiscreet relatives, or that any 
stranger would be employed to re-open difTerences 
which had long been amicably closed. 

* Lord Harris died on the 19th of May, 1829; Sir David 
Baird died in August, 1829. In the year before Sir David 
Baird's death, he gave a narrative of what really passed in regard 
to Colonel Wellesley on the morning of the 6th of April, 1799, 
very di£Eerent from Mr. Hook's statement, and it was so given 
by Sir David Baird, for the avowed purpose of doing justice to 
Lord Harris. 


Taking warning from this bad example of un- 
founded censure of the one, and exaggerated 
panegyric of the other, I shall in no instance wil- 
fully assign to General Harris a larger portion of 
credit than was strictly his due; and I would 
venture to hope that the public will receive with 
kindness this memorial of one who (to use his 
own manly and simple words in a letter to the 
Earl of Mornington) was " an humble clergyman's 
son, thrown veiy early in life into the army, 
entirely a soldier of fortune, with scarce any as- 
sistance save his own exertions," and who, in the 
same letter, asserts, with equal truth and justice, 
that ^^ he had all his life endeavoured faithfully to 
do his duty to his king, his country, and those 
who had employed him." 



Education of Lord Harris under the car© of Mr, BnB— Character 
of Mr. Bull— An enfiigncy in the 6th regiment is given by 
the Marquis of Qranby to Mr. Harris — Joins his re^unent at 
Bedford, and saves the life of a brother officer— Makes a tour 
in France. 

Thb father of George Lord Harris was the 
youngest of seven children ; his parents dying 
when he was very youngs the care of his education 
and future establishment were undertaken by his 
maternal uncle, the Rev. Michael Bull, fifty-five 
years the revered rector of Brasted in Kent. 

As the character of Lord Harris received its 
first impressions from the skilful hand and pure 
example of Mr. Bull, I shall transcribe the ac- 
count given of this venerable man by his niece, 
Mrs. Dyer, a lady of considerable talents, as the 
extracts from her correspondence hereafter in- 
serted will abundantly testify. 

'^ When my eyes are closed in darkness, and 
the hand that now writes this is crumbled into 
dust, it will not be imagined that vanity had any 
share in prompting me to transmit to posterity, 
and particularly to my dear cousins (whose youth 
prevented that power of observing which I en- 
joyed), the character of our truly reverend uncle 
Bull, an act of justice due to him and them. 

MR, BVia*. J 

^*His temper was naturally cheerful^ equals 
and compassionate ; but he did not confine him- 
self to pitying the distressed, his hand was always 
eagerly stretched out to relieve those who required 
his assistance. 

^^ In his manners he retained all the politeness 
of the old school, without the formality which has 
been justly exploded. He was tall and graceful 
in his person, to which his dress contributed, as 
he never departed from the fashion of his youth, 
when clergymen were distinguished from the laity 
by their habit, as well out of as in the pulpit. 
The only difierence in his dress was a morning 
gown of black stuff, damask or calamanco, over 
his cassock, instead of the full dress for visits, 
and he never wore a coat but when on horseback* 

" Though learned beyond those with whom he 
usually conversed, his discourse was free and easy 
— to improve and entertain seemed his constant 
aim : of course, the ignorance of others was never 
the object of his derision. Sometimes, where be 
perceived an error, he would in a gentle manner 
endeavour to rectify the mistake, and thus gave 
pleasure with instruction. To his inferiors be was 
courteous and affable; instead of commaliding, 
he entreated his servants, and expressed himself 
obliged for the performance of their duty. When 
he granted a favour or conferred a benefit, the 
obligation was increased by his pleasing manners, 
which, while intended to lessen, increased its value. 


" He loved society, and Thursday was his day 
for receiving the neighbouring clergy at dinner. 
In the course of the year, all the farmers and 
tradespeople, his parishioners, with their families, 
dined with him in succession ; and at Christmas 
the poor were in turn entertained in his hospitable 
kitchen. He was a very early riser, in winter 
kindling his own fire ; in summer, frequently 
walking before his family was stirring ; at eight, 
they met him at prayers, for the neglect of which 
he admitted no excuse, as he used to say, ^ Pi*ayei-s 
and provender hinder no man/ After breakfast, 
he either rode on horseback or walked; if the 
former, he usually called on some of the gentle- 
men or clergy within six or seven miles* distance ; 
if the latter, often on some of his parishioners, 
particularly the sick and poor, whom he comforted 
and instructed by his kindness and advice, and 
occasionally relieved with alms. 

" He performed the whole duty of his parish 
till upwards of seventy. In all the public offices 
of the Church, as well as in his devotions with his 
family, his piety was truly edifying, and the best 
comment on those words of the Psalmist, * Wor- 
ship the Lord in the beauty of holiness/ 

" He had a perfect knowledge of Hebi^w, 
Greek, Latin, and French, and had added what* 
ever a long life of application could supply from 
the best authors who have written in those lan- 
guages, as well as in English. Divinity made a 

MR. BULL. 9 

principal part of his studies^ and the Scriptures 
wei*e the rule of his faith, his actions, and his 

" That he was perfectly free from the vices of 
avarice and ambition, the following anecdote will 

" At the accession of George IL, his noble 
friend the Duke of Dorset, and the Bishop of 
Ossory, solicited him to let them present him to 
his Majesty, as a certain introduction to prefer* 
ment. He thanked them for their kind inten- 
tions, which he declined accepting, saying, ' His 
parishionei-s were his children, whom he could 
not think of leaving. God had blessed him with 
the fall gratification of his wishes, and, should he 
form new ones, he might not know where to stop, 
or restrain them within those bounds which, as a 
minister of Christ's holy religion, he thought it 
his duty to observe.* 

** As his life had been the best preparation for 
death, so he expected it without any other fear's 
than those which the Author of our being has im- 
planted in the human heart as the foundation of 
the duty of self-preservation ; and he lived in that 
constant state of waiting for his dissolution, that 
for some years before it happened, when I took 
leave of him, he used to accompany his tender 
farewell with expressions signifying it would pro- 
bably be the last. Happy in a conscience void of 
offence towards God and towards man, and in the 


satisfaction of having properly employed bis ta^ 
lents^ he waited patiently the hour of his release^ 
nor repined at the rugged road that led to the 
mansions of eternal bliss^ which his blessed spirit 
entered on the 27th of Augustj 1763^ after a life 
of eighty-eight years^ spent in imitating his Divine 
Master^ who went about doing good." 

It was under the auspices^ and by the aid^ of 
this exemplary clergyman^ that Mr, Harris (the 
father of General HaiTis) was enabled to pm'sue 
his studies at Westminster and Cambridge^ and 
subsequently enter into orders. He does not 
appear to have risen above the grade of curate in 
his sacred profession^ and having married youngi 
and become the father of a numerous family, he 
was for some years apprehensive that it would be 
difficult for him to obtain a suitable provision for 
his eldest son George^ then at Westminster School* 

In this difficulty^ he recurred to a promise of 
providing for one of his family, which had many 
years before been made by Lord George Sackville, 
to whom, whilst at Cambridge, he had affiirded pro* 
tection from the hands of a notorious bully of that 
place. The assistance then given by Mr. Harris, 
who was of a remarkably powerful and active 
frame, and distinguished for his skill in athletic 
exercises, made so. deep an impression on Lord 
George's mind, as to induce him to declare that 
he would never forget it. Mr. Harris applied to 
his Lordship, then Master-General of the Ordnance^ 


in behalf of his son^ aad the application was 8uc^ 
cessfnl^ for early in 1759 a warrant of cadet in the 
Royal Artillery was issued to George Harris^ then 
about fourteen years of age ; but towards the close 
of this year (1759)^ Mr. Harris died^ and the battle 
of Minden^ and consequent dismissal of Lord 
George Sackville from the Ordnance^ again left 
our young soldier without a patron. Luckily for 
his future prospects^ the new Master-General of 
Ordnance, the Marquis of Granby, and his brother. 
Lord Robert Manners, had also been fellow-col- 
legians of Mr. Harris. A statement of his cir- 
cumstances was sent to Lord Robert Manners, of 
the hopes excited by Lord George Sackville's 
generous conduct, and the disappointment of those 
hopes by the removal of his Lordship from oflSice. 
This representation was drawn up by his cousin, 
Mrs. Dyer*, and sent in her aunt's name to Lord 
Robert Manners, who kindly forwarded it to the 
Marquis of Granby. 

^^ The Marquis,'* says Mrs. Dyer, in her nar- 
rative addressed to her god-daughter, Mrs. Lush- 
ington^ ** immediately answered it with an order 
for the first vacant commission in the Train of 
Artillery for your father, who was very soon after 

* Mts. Dyei was first cousin to Lord Harris, and being 
fifteen years his senior in age, became almost a second mother to 
bira. She was a persoon of great natural ability, cultivated mind, 
and pious disposition. A tablet to her memory, erected by Lord 
Haixis in Throwley church, records his sense of their uninterrupted 
firiendship of sixty-eight years, *^ from his cradle to her grave.'* 


appointed a lieutenant fireworker. Great, you 
may be sure, was mine and all bis friends' joy at 
tbis happy cbange in your father's prospects ; but 
it was not of long duration. Forgive me for 
sporting witb your feelings. Our first joy soon 
gave way to make room for gi'eater. The Mar* 
quis of Granby, whose benevolence rendered him 
the idol of the army, wrote to his brother, that, as 
peace was expected, the battalion to which Mr. 
Harris belonged would probably be reduced, and 
therefore he gave him the offer of quitting it and 
accepting an ensigncy in the 5th Regiment of 
Foot, then in Germany." This offer was, of course, 
joyfully accepted by Mr. Harris, and in the 
spring of 1763 he joined the 6th Regiment at 

An incident, which occurred shortly after at 
this place, afforded an early opportunity of dis- 
playing the courage and kindness of his heart. 
A boating excursion on the river Ouse having 
been formed by one of his brother officers, young 
Harris was requested to be of the party. They 
accordingly embarked, and were proceeding down 
the stream when Ensign Bagot, who was standing 
in the stem of the boat, unfortunately lost his 
balance and fell headlong into the water. Being 
unable to swim, the young man had already sunk 
twice before the danger of his situation was per- 
ceived by his comrades, and he was in the most 
imminent peril of perishing, when Ensign Harris 


plunged into the stream and swam to his assist- 
ance. The service was of the utmost danger to 
Mr. Harris, for the sinking officer, in the despera- 
tion of the moment, clung first to his hair and 
then to his arm ; nor was it without the greatest 
difficulty and exertion that he was enabled to free 
himself and support Bagot to the side of the river. 
The banks being perpendicular, it was impossible 
for him to ascend them with his almost lifeless 
companion. He, however, contrived to keep him 
above water until his friends reached the spot, 
and succeeded in dragging him and Bagot up the 

The gallantry of this action naturally secured 
for Mr. Hams the good opinion of all who knew 
him: and, in particular, won for him the affection 
of his senior captain, one of the first officers of 
his time, who patronized and directed his studies, 
and, as he himself often declared, treated him in 
all things like a son. The modesty with which he 
received the applause bestowed for the perform- 
ance of what he considered a common act of 
humanity, increased the good opinion which had 
already been formed of him. 

In the year 1765, Mr. Harris obtained a 
lieutenancy, by purchase, and was shortly after, 
by the good offices of his commanding officer. 
Major Ross, appointed to the adjutancy of the 
5th Regiment, then quartered at Waterford. The 
purchase of this step was not effected without 


considerable difficulty, as the reader may conjec- 
ture fipom the account already given of our young 
soldier's circumstances; but he had even then 
commenced the practice of a system of economy 
and self-denial which enabled him to save some- 
thing from his pay, and established habits of 
prudence and regularity, in money matters, from 
which, in after life, he derived the greatest ad- 
vantage. Ilie regiment to which he belonged 
did not abound in men of fortune : his cotempo- 
raries were, for the most part, as poor as himself, 
and living in cheap quarters and frequently invited 
by the gentiy of the neighbourhood, to whom his 
engaging and amiable manners had recommended 
him, his time appears to have flowed on both 
profitably and agreeably. 

About this time Lieutenant Harris was ad- 
vised by his commanding officer to apply for leave 
of absence from his regiment^ in order that he 
might make a tour on the Continent, and perfect 
himself in French, riding, and fencing. In the 
following lively and characteristic letter to his 
cousin, Mrs. Dyer, he describes the plan and in- 
tention of his proposed tour. 

« Wexfwd, April, 1767. 
^^ My dear Coz., 

*^ I've a great notion this epistle will not be 

veiy long, for many reasons. In the first place, 

it's on affairs of state, and those you know are 

always hurried over, or else they could never foil 


raojficrei) TOtm. 15 

so f>iten. You must consider what a consultation 

is called for ! No less than whether your deary 

shall travel and see the worlds and come home 

more a fool than he went. Seriously, my mother 

has made me an ofier of paying all reasonslble 

expenses that a trip to Paris^ or any other part of 

France, would occasion. She mentions my going 

froth Ireland) which, though it will prevent my 

ftedng you six months longer than I intended, yet 

will be so much for my advantage that I should 

even give up that pleasure. 

"My present plan is as follows: — I intend 

going to the nearest sea-port, St. Maloes, Brest, 

or any one to which I can find a ship going : from 

thence, getting up, as fistst as bad hacks and bad 

French will allow me, to Paris, where I intend 

staying two or three days with my sisters. Thence 

go to some provincial town where there is an 

academy; study the language with attention till I 

become master of it, and, at the same time, by 

way of exercise, take lessons in the manfege. After 

I have become tolerable master of the language I 

shall go to Paris, see everything I can there, then 

return with my sisters a pretty gentleman and 

your very humble servant, 

George Harris." 

From prudential motives the plan herein laid 
down appears to have been delayed till the next 
year, when it took place in the manner described 
in the following letters to the same lady: 


" My dear Coz., 

" After tossing and tumbling for two days I 
have got to Boulogne^ still drunk with the agita- 
tion of the waves, and, though we had soupe 
maigre for dinner, I am not yet quite recovered ; 
every one here hien poudr^, from the gentleman 
to the gargon. I shall, at least, learn that art*, 
what else I won't say. Their tongues run so fast 
they confuse me ! The air agrees with me, and I 
never was in better spirits. 

" I paid a visit to Miss , at her convent ; 

she is very well, but, to me, a little mad. (How* 
ever, I attribute her eccentric conversation to the 
presence of an old nun !) Is in raptures with 
the convent ! — ^would not change it on any con- 
ditions, — rather change her religion ! — ^wishes the 
bishop who inspects it would give her leave to 
stay! You a^e to know, after a certain age they 
must leave the convent she is at. What effect 
her brother's letters may have I don't know. 

^' I hope in the time I stay I may make a 
greater progress in the language than I had ex- 
pected. The place is much better than I antici- 
pated. It consists of two towns, the upper and 

* Note by Mrs. Dyer. — " In 1 768, powder was so little worn 
in England that Mr. Harris was surprised to see it so general in 
France. Now in 1794, the case is quite altered. The Conven- 
tion in Paris have prohibited the use of it, while in England 
everybody is bien poitdre" 


the lower. In the upper are many good houses^ 
and, as I could judge by passing, when the 
windows were open, elegantly furnished, much in 
the EngUsh taste. 

"The Ursuline convent makes but a poor 
appearance ; on the outside are small holes, with 
iron grates, which they call windows; but they 
are to protect it from the rash attempts of adven- 
turous youths, I suppose; therefore they should be 
strong. I was in the cathedral, which is really 
very handsome, in the Gothic style; the choir 
elegant, with a good picture of the Virgin over 
the altar. I cannot now say more, as we go off 
very early in the morning, and I must go to bed. 
When I get to Paris you shall hear from me. I 
hope it will be veiy soon. Till when adieu, &c., 
&c. G. H." 

Our young traveller's next letter is from Paris. 
It is addi-essed to the same lady, and is as follows : 

« Paris, September, 1768. 

" 'Tis as well to be out of the world as out 
of the fashion. So as all here are in mourning 
for their queen, I mourn also in paper*, nought 
else. Now are you longing to know how I am 
settled, and so forth. But, with your leave, I'll 
first bring myself to Paris. We set out on horse 
back from Boulogne on Thursday morning, the 
coach not going till Monday. I wish you had 

* It having a broad black edge. 


seen us mount: you must have laughed very 
heartily. Conceive two great fellows astride on 
two beasts^ not bigger than goats^ with saddles 
and bridles that hid them, and then you see us, to 
appearance, walking with a great saddle between 
our legs. But I should not abuse them; they 
carried us veiy well ; they are like their masters, 
all life. The first town we came to was Montreuil, 
eight leagues from Boulogne, between which 
places there is not anything worth notice but the 
number of crosses, erected almost on every emi- 
nence, and at the entrance of all the villages. 
The country is quite open, not a single hedge : 
and the prospect is not very pleasing, from the 
want of houses. There is scarce a gentleman's 
seat between that and Paris, though many con- 
vents, all pleasantly situated, but generally near 
gi'eat towns. 

^^ Montreuil is fortified, and appears strong 
from the situation, but as we only staid to change 
horses, I can say nothing more of it. Our next 
stage was to Abbeville, ten leagues. We did not 
reach it till six, having very bad horses. Here 
we were obliged to open our baggage, but having 
nothing contraband, we sustained no other loss 
but that of time, which, to a tired traveller, is 
very precious. We here inquired for some means 
to convey our baggage to Paris, but found none 
farther than to Amiens ; from thence a coach was 
to set out next day for Paris. This, you may be 


sure^ pleased us very much, for two reasons — 
going on horseback was very expensive, and, 
secondly, we were very much tired. In the morn- 
ing we embarked our all, for you are to know we 
went by water — ^a method of travelling you are 
not acquainted with. It was a large covered 
boat, drawn by men on the banks of the river, a 
very tedious way, but to us very pleasant, as it 
rained very hard most part of the day. We had 
provided part of a shoulder of mutton for our 
stock, though here our politeness got the better 
of our stomachs. It being Friday, we thought 
eating meat might offend our fellow-travellers. 
Indeed, I was not in much want of it ; the smell 
of near thirty people in so close a place is no 
great prx)vocative to the appetite, but we made up 
for it when we came to our journey's end, for my 
companion, though a good Catholic, ate meat with 
fall as much pleasure as I did. Here we found 
the coach, and put our portmanteaus into it, 
having had enough of confinement, so determined 
to set off on foot, which we did with the coach, 
but soon left it behind, which you will not be sur- 
prised at, when I tell you our carriers' wagons 
are full as light machines, and travel as fast. We 
walked four leagues to breakfast, not on washy 
tea, but good miUc, with a little of the cordial 
called eau de vie in it. We again set off for the 
place where the coach was to stop, to dine. Our 
great coats began to be very heavy, so we deter- 

c 2 


mined to wait for the coach^ and put them in. 
We waited two hours; they seemed very short, 
for I slept almost the whole time. (Walking one 
and twenty miles is a great help to Morpheus.) 
We set off again to walk four leagues, where the 
coach stopped that night. It was a poor village, 
as were all those we passed through. We saw 
from the road some pleasant convents, but the 
country is all the same, quite open. I need not 
tell you we slept sound. At five we got up, and 
found the coach had been gone three hours, with 
the intent that the people might go to church (it 
being Sunday), about three leagues off. We now 
wished for our great coats, as it looked very like 
rain, but that would not recall 'em ; so away we 
marched, and before we got five miles had not a 
dry thread about us. I have described the coun- 
try, so you will readily conceive we were not 
within sight of shelter. The first we met with 
was an eau de vie shop ; we got a sip, and went 
on. Here my companion began to tire, the road 
being paved, which is rather unpleasant when the 
feet are tender. We reached our stage, and, after 
breakfast, found ourselves so much refreshed, we 
went off again in good spirits, but before we got 
three leagues, he was worse, so we agreed to try 
and get a carriage, as the coach was quite full. 
By great good luck, we got one, for it is not here 
as in England, where public chaises are plentiful ; 
here every body travels in their own. Perhaps 


you think ours was a chaise ; indeed, it was drawn 
by two horses, and we had a postilion, but it was 
what in England is called a higgler's cart. We 
took it, however, to go seven leagues. This was 
the pleasantest part of the journey ; the country 
is better, and the pheasants and partridges were 
feeding by the road-side without fear of disturb- 
ance. We passed the Pretender's house, and a 
castle belonging to the Prince of Cond6, but gone 
to ruins ; it appears to have been very grand ; it is 
quite in the Gothic taste, and at a distance still 
makes a good appearance. We slept Sunday 
night within six miles of St. Denis, and next morn- 
ing walked there. It would have been very plea- 
sant, but a great deal of rain had fallen in the 
night, and made the roads very bad. We went 
through vineyards almost the whole way, but as 
the grapes were sour, it did not make up for the 
bad road. St. Denis is a large place, the church 
a very noble one, and, they say, contains great 
riches, but I had not an opportunity of seeing 
them, eleven being the hour. Near St. Denis is a 
barrack for young recruits, which is a very good 
institution ; here, after enlisting, they are made to 
learn their duty, and then sent to any regiment 
that may want them, which is a much better way 
than ours. 

" From St. Denis we took a hackney-coach, 
which plied as a stage to Paris, where we very 
soon arrived, and here am I quietly writing to you 


whilst all Paris are dancing, drinking, singing, or 
walking. This is their way of passing Sunday 

" You will be glad to hear I am in good health, 
and trust this will find you so, for it is a blessing 
far beyond the golden sands of Indus or the 
mines of Golconda ; moreover, I am as merry as 
any Frenchman, and that's saying a bold word. 
I have not time to tell you any of my adventures, 
as the person who brings this sets off immediately. 
Now I think of it, be so good as to fold your 
letters smaller, for as the French judge of all 
things by the show they make, they thought your 
letters must be well worth double another, so 
they charged accordingly. Had they known my 
thoughts, they might have charged ten times the 
sum, as I should have paid it with pleasure ; but 
as it is possible to have the same quantity for half 
the price, we may as well save it. 

Ever yours, 

George Harris.*' 

" I go on tolerably well in learning the lan- 
guage, and to you alone shall own I do not think 
my time will be thrown away, as I know, should 
it prove the contrary, you will endeavour to com* 
fort instead of laughing at me, as most people 
would do had I made such a declaration to them. 
I intend to expend three guineas in dancing, 
which will be about four months' time, at the end 
of which I hope to show you, when I come back. 


the best polished step of the minuet le bien. Will 
you learn ? — ^An excellent thought ; it must be so. 
Remember me to our uncle when you write. Tell 
him I have a bag big enough to put him and you 
in, and turn out my toes a merveille.'^ 

To the same Lady. 

"Paw, 1768. 
" Ma tres chfere cousine, croyez moi que je 
vous aime de tout mon coeur. For that reason, 
I'll write no more in French, for I am very sure I 
cannot in any language express half the warmth 
of my love to you, particularly in one of which I 
know so little. I would not say it to any one but 
you, for fear of bringing my taste into discredit, 
but, really and sincerely, I am heartily tired of 
this famed city, and nothing but the ^world's 
dread laugh ' has kept me here so long. I wish 
I was in Old England again. If people are un- 
polished there, they are, in general, honest. 

^' My progress in French is much slower than 
I imagined it would have been ; but I hope I shall 
lay such a foundation, that, with reading, I may 
quite master it when I return. I can now under- 
stand every thing they say, and make myself 
understood, but it is more by action than by word. 
I intend being with you about the 20th of Feb- 
ruary, for though I could stay three weeks longer 
in France, I am resolved to remain no longer. 
Adieu. Yours, &c. 

G. Harris." 



Proceeds with tlie 5th Regiment to Ireland — Forced into a duel 
with his commanding officer under very extraordinary cir- 
cumstances, which obtains for him the friendship of Sir 
William Medows. 


Mr. Harris returned to England about the end 
of February, and, after a few weeks' stay, em- 
barked for Ireland, where he joined his regiment 
at Limerick. About this time he became involved 
in a duel with one of his brother officers, a Captain 
Bell, who had at first been his dearest and most 
intimate friend, but, influenced by a degree of 
morbid sensibility, which ultimately terminated in 
complete derangement, had latterly conceived a 
most unaccountable aversion against him. An 
account of this transaction, which is most interest- 
ing from the light it throws on the feelings and 
character of General Harris, has fortunately been 
preserved, and is here given in his own words, 
written half a century after the event. 

^^ My kind friend, the late Lord Manvcrs, 
having adverted to some circumstances respecting 
a duel, which had been forced on me by one who 
was once the most intimate friend of his brother. 
Sir William Medows, and I, having been re- 
quested by my son-in-law, Stephen Lushington, 
to relate the particulars of that event, as a means 



of keeping up a communication with my children 
when I shall have ceased to exist, I proceed to 
attempt a compliance with his wish ; and I trust 
I shall not be accused of vanity when it is known 
that, now past three score years and ten, I do not 
recollect ever mentioning the circumstance, save 
at the moment to the two young men mentioned 
hereafter as being in quarters, and to Lord Man- 
vers on his questioning me about it. That it has 
often occurred to memory, may well be supposed, 
but, I trust, never without a feeling of gratitude 
to that all- protecting Being, who enabled me to 
conduct myself with such coolness in a first trial 
with a man who was universally respected, and, 
as I knew, the terror of many, from his contempt 
of personal danger and freedom of speech, when 
he saw anything incorrect going on among the 

" No doubt it was a most important moment 
in my transit through this world, for who could 
have foreseen that my conduct on that day should 
be the cause of my advancement to fame and for- 
tune many years after? But so it was; and so 
strong an impression did the circumstances make 
on my memory, that, while any exercise of that 
faculty exists, they cannot be obliterated. 

" Captain Bell was the captain of Grenadiers 
when I joined the 5th Foot at Bedford, a few days 
before my seventeenth birthday in 1763. He 
almost immediately made himself my protector 


and adviser. I sat next to him at the mess^ 
drank of his cup of wine and water, — or, perhaps, 
oftener the pure element, for he was the most 
temperate of men, — ^walked with him, fenced, 
read with him, and, in short, was seldom an horn* 
from him through the day. 

" This conduct he long continued, and made 
himself acquainted with my best of mothers, and 
so ingratiated himself with her by his praises of 
her son, that she did for me whatever he desired ; 
and two years afterwards, when he was appointed 
to command three companies at Cashel, he made 
a point of having the company I then commanded 
as one of them, and on the march from Dublin, 
at Castle Dermot, where the late Sir William 
Medows came on a visit to him, and marched 
some days with us, he told him (as Sir William 
informed me many years after) that he would 
show him the finest English boy he had ever met, 
and boasted of me as a fond father of a favourite 
child. This lasted through the summer, and sel- 
dom a day passed that we did not exercise to- 
gether, but more officers joining, some of them 
sportsmen, which I was naturally inclined to be 
myself, whilst he had no turn that way, he 
probably thought I neglected him. From this 
and other causes his temper became totally al- 
tered, and from all that was pleasing and fasci- 
nating he grew distant and reserved, often with- 
drawing himself for days together from the mess. 


seldom speaking when he did attend, and then 
not to me. This went on for some weeks, and 
was making me miserable, when, on the Christ* 
mas eve, as I was enjoying myself with a family I 
had become acquainted with, as a sportsman, 
about four miles from Cashel, there came on the 
most violent snow storm that had been known in 
Ireland for many years, and continued withou 
intermission till daylight. Had it ceased so that 
I could have found my way, not all the hospitality 
of Ireland would have kept me to make me liable 
to his reproof. As it was, I was at his room door 
long before the morning parade, and before he 
was out of bed. I knocked several times at his 
chamber door before he would make an answer, 
no doubt suspecting who it was, when at last he 
said ^Come in.' But before I could make an 
apology for staying out all night, he ordered me 
to my room, where, he said, * I should soon hear 
from him.* In about an hour he came over to my 
room, gave me a letter, and desired I would im- 
mediately comply with its contents. These were 
in the most intimidating terms and style ; direct- 
ing me to meet him at the abbey the moment I 
had: provided a case of pistols, and to bring my 
sword, but no second. I communicated his letter 
to the only two officers in quarters, Hussey and 
Jackson. One of them, a fine spirited young 
man, poor Hussey, insisted he would go with me, 
that I should not go without some one to witness 


what might pass, but this, with some difficulty, I 
fortunately (as matters terminated) overruled, and 
it was then agreed they should both go to the 
rock of Cashel, which overlooked the place ap- 
pointed. I then got Hussey's . pistols (never 
having had any), and joined my former friend at 
the place appointed, apologised for keeping him 
waiting, and began to request he would acquaint 
me why he had called me there. He answered 
that it was not to talk, and that there was a more 
retired place for the business on the other side of 
the wall he had been walking by ; he then at- 
tempted to scramble over a breach of the wall 
that had been built up with loose stones, and even 
accepted my assistance to get over. I then again 
begged he would explain what could have made 
him call me to the place, and said that I was 
ready to make every apology for any offence I 
might unknowingly have given him, the moment 
I was convinced of my error. ^ Sir,* he replied, 
^ I have told you already we are not met here to 
talk, so prepare yourself.' He then began to load 
his pistols (I believe, whistling a tune at the same 
time), whilst I, like some poor bird under the 
fascinating eye of the serpent, followed his ex- 
ample. When he had finished loading, he took 
off his coat and waistcoat, deliberately folded 
them together, and laid them on a broken tomb- 
stone. He then took off his sword, drew it, and 
laid it on his clothes ; in idl which I followed his 


example, except that my clothes were deposited 
on the ground beside me. He then took np his 
pistols, and on my again requesting he would say 
in what I had offended, he gave me the same 
answer as before, adding that he should insist on 
our firing as near as possible together after pre- 
senting. On my answering ' Very well,' he asked 
if I was quite ready, and on my saying / Yes,* he 
continued, 'Then let us both present, and fire 
directly.* We did instantly present, but he alone 
fired, and, I am truly grieved to say, evidently 
with intention to hit me. It may, indeed, be said 
that I escaped miraculously, for we afterwards 
picked one of his balls out of the wall in a line as 
if it had passed through me, and the other so little 
wide as to show that it was meant to hit. On my 
lowering my pistol, he instantly said, ' You have 
not fired.' ' No,' I replied, ' nor did I intend it, 
and now I hope you will be induced to inform me 
in what I have offended.' To this he answered, 
' Sir, this will not do, and I insist on your firing 
at me instantly.' I attempted still to soothe him, 
and at last, finding it in vain, and perhaps rather 
irritated, I presented, and, levelling on one side, 
fired. He then said, ' You must give me your 
word of honour that you will fire as nearly as 
possible with me.' I would have spoken, but he 
would not allow me, and, asking if I was ready, 
on my answering ' Yes,' he called out ' Present,' 
and I think the sound appeared as one shot. He 


istood for a few moments, and then moved towards 
his clothes, as I supposed to take his sword, on 
which I took up mine, and again begged him to 
tell me my oflFence. To this he answered, ^We 
shall go no further now, but you shall hear from 
me/ I observed that, ^If he was not satisfied, 
he had better reload,' as I saw he was not equal 
to using his sword (for he was actually trembling 
with weakness, and perhaps a little from anger, 
and certainly risking his life by coming out, as he 
was undergoing a violent course of mercury). He 
then turned towards me, and, as I thought, rather 
more cordially said, ^No, you shall hear from 
me ;' and, having put on his clothes, allowed me 
again to help him over the wall. My comrades, 
seeing us walking quietly towards the barracks, 
took their way, and he and I soon after separated, 
by his proposal, that we might not be suspected. 

'^In the course of the evening, his servant 
brought me a note, which, before perusal, I flat- 
tered myself would prove of a friendly nature ; 
but little did we know the height of madness my 
early patron had arrived at. The note contained 
an appointment for next morning, concluding with 
a direction to ^ bring a number of balls, as one of 
us must fall.' My two friends now insisted that 
we should not meet without seconds, and I agreed 
to write to him to that effect, assuring him, at the 
same time, of my readiness to apologise, if I saw 
occasion to do so. He did not send any answer. 


but next morning his servant came to me, and 
desired me to come to him. I went accordingly ; 
and, after our first greetings, the exact nature of 
which I do not remember, he informed me that 
the direful oflfence I had committed was the 
staying out of barracks all night, without pre- 
viously obtaining his leave, I observed, that ^ I 
had not done so premeditatedly ; that, had it been 
possible to find my way through the snow storm, 
I should have returned that evening, and that I 
came to him as soon as possible with the intention 
of apologising for my absence/ He asked ' If I 
was still willing to make a proper apology ?' I 
answered, ^ Certainly, if he still thought it neces- 
sary.' He said, ' It was highly necessary for him 
as commanding officer, and that he would send 
over a written one for me to sign, without which 
we could not be friends.' 

" The style of the apology sent for my signa- 
ture did not much meet my approbation, and still 
less that of my two youthful friends; but the 
obligations I really owed to him, and the love and 
reverence I had ever felt for him, together with 
the conviction that he would not propose what 
was improper, conquered, and I signed and carried 
it over to him. We then shook hands, and, after 
some little conversation, I observed that I could 
now convince him it was not in me willingly to 
give him offence. ' Why, how is that ?' ' Why, 
sir, by the assurance that neither of my shots was 


fired near you/ ^What!' he answered^ ^not the 
last?* ^No; neither, on my honour.' He ap- 
peared much struck, and, after saying some things 
in his former way, wished me good morning. I 
returned in high glee to my quarters, heartily glad 
the affair was over, and never thinking of my 
apology, and probably never should, had it not 
been intimated to me that he had sent it to head 

*^ Alas, poor fellow ! he was mad, and died in 
confinement in London, I believe, not long after, 
but not without doing me ample justice when 
journeying to England with Sir William Medows. 
Thus have I faithfully stated the particulars of a 
transaction which made an indelible impression 
on my memory. Considering my youth, and utter 
inexperience in the ways of the world, at the time 
of this occurrence, I may surely be allowed to 
express my conviction that the hand of Providence 
was on me, and how deeply thankful ought I to 
feel for His mercy in bringing me unharmed 
through such a trial. 

" The consequences were, the warm friendship 
of Sir William Medows, which ultimately led me 
to fame and fortune — the giving me such a confi- 
dence in myself, as to convince me that no dangers 
or difficulties could ever make me act in an unbe- 
coming manner — ^and lastly, the enabling me to 
preserve a command over my passions and temper 
in many after scenes of trial and annoyance." 



Parchascs a company in the 5th Regiment, and proceeds on a 
recruiting party to England— Description of his person and 
character by Mrs. Dyer — His honourable conduct in a love 
affair — ^Anecdote of Sir William Medows. 

From the year 1769 till 1771 Lieutenant Harris 
continued on duty with his regiment in Ireland ; 
but towards the middle of the latter year he was 
enabled, by the assistance of his friends, to effect 
the purchase of a company, with which he pro- 
ceeded on a recruiting tour to England*. The 
life of a subaltern officer on home service has little 
of novelty to recommend it to the attention of the 
general reader, and I shall rapidly pass over this 
portion of Captain Harris's life. To his active 
mind the monotony of a provincial barrack must 
have been unpleasing : we find him frequently ex- 
pressing hopes that he would soon be sent upon 
foreign service ; still his time does not appear to 

* From the purchase of this company, Captain Harris's for- 
tune arose; but this great object was not effected without in- 
curring a debt of 1100/. to his kind mother^ which, by pursuing 
a system of rigid and undeviating economy for many years, he 
was at length enabled to repay to her ; but the debt of gratitude 
which he owed to her for this generous devotion he felt that he 
never could repay. An example of this kind may be useful to 
officers similarly circumstanced, and convince them that it is pos- 
sible for the poorest and most uninfluential to rise to the highest 
honours of the British army. But if they would hope to do so, 
they must imitate Captain Harris's prudence and self-control. 


have hung heavily on his hands^ nor to have 
passed unprofitably, for a part of it was devoted 
to an attendance on Fergusson*s Lectures on Phi- 
losophy , which he writes are very instructive and 
entertaining. " You will say I ought to commend 
'em, when I tell you they cost me a guinea — one 
so poor, should be a better economist/' 

Captain Harris was now in his twenty-sixth 
year, and, if the description of his. affectionate 
relative, Mrs, Dyer, may be credited, he was one 
of the most amiable young men of the time. 
" The vivacity of youth," she says, '^ sparkled in 
his fine eyes; the glow of health adorned his 
cheeks; and, to a most engaging exterior, he 
joined a heart replete with every manly generous 
feeling. His manners (which he retained to the 
latest period) were as prepossessing as his person 
— cheerful, yet free from levity; polite, without 
aflfectation; attentive, without officiousness; sin- 
cere, without roughness ; and respectful, without 

It was natural that a person, thus gifted and 
embellished, should win golden opinions wherever 
he went ; and we find, accordingly, that at most 
of his stations, and particularly at Derby, he 
formed friendships which endured till death. Nor 
does he appear to have been free from the influ- 
ence of that more tender passion which he was so 
well formed to inspire and to feel. In the circle 
in which he moved at Derby, he met with a young 


lady, whose attractions appear to have staggered 
those prudent resolutions which the state of his 
finances had dictated* Her father was a man of 
fortune: she a beloved child* That Captain 
Harris really felt the force of her charms, his 
letters, written at the time, plainly establish; 
nor does the object of his admiration appear to 
have been insensible to his merits. It would^ 
perhaps, have been easy for a person of more 
effrontery and less principle than Captain Harris^ 
to have gained her consent. Hid real circum- 
stances were unknown ; but it Was not in him to 
act otherwise than with perfect openness and sin- 
cerity of purpose. He ventured a conversation 
on the subject with the aunt of the young lady, a 
person of sense and politeness ; and^ on her re^ 
marking, with many kind expressions of regard 
and esteem for him personally, that, under his 
present circumstances, it would be improper in 
him to urge his suit, he at once determined to be 
guided by her advice. The following letter, written 
shortly after he had formed this determination, 
will explain his feelings on the subject, which the 
reader, I think, will agree with me in considering 
alike honourable to his head and heart s — 

'^ My dear Cousin, 

^^ The fixing a resolution is a great ease to 
the mind. While our thoughts are wavering on 
any subject, quiet must be a stranger to the soul. 



Though I love with as strong a love as ever man 
did, yet am I determined to take no further steps 
towards the completion of my late wishes, and for 
the following reasons. How they might weigh 
with the world in general, I cannot say — ^to me 
they appear most forcible. First, that I must 
injure the person I love, in point of fortune; 
secondly, when I consider the despicable character 
of a fortune-hunter, I feel another obstacle in my 
way : for though I am conscious how thoroughly 
free my heart is from mercenary motives, I know 
that the world will think otherwise, and I would 
not, for my life, expose myself to that suspicion. 
Again, how could I face her friends ? Would they 
not, and with justice, compare me to the character 
of Captain Revel ? There are few things I would 
not endure for her sake, could I thereby insure 
her happiness; but as that cannot be^ is it not 
nobler to bear the stings and arrows of outrage- 
ous fortune, than, by injuring her I love, to end 
them ? 

" So, with a sad, sad farewell, do I give up all 
hopes — once too rashly formed. To forget, can- 
not be I 

" There is, on cool reflection, such a want of 
generosity, in attempting to gain her affections, 
that whatever opportunities might be thrown in 
my way, I am determined to withstand the temp- 
tation. I really, from my soul, can say, that I 
love her too well, to wish to marry her." 


In June, 1772, Captain Harris came to London 
— a place ill calculated to be his residence, divided, 
as it was, and is, between men of business, with 
whom he had no concern, and men of pleasure, 
with whom both prudence and inclination forbade 
him to mix. And not having resided long enough 
in it to become acquainted with men of character 
and independent fortune, who employ their time 
and means in a rational manner. Captain Harris 
would, undoubtedly, have suffered from that 
dreariest of all solitudes — the solitude of a vetst 
city, had not his colonel. Lord Percy, invited him 
to his seat in Yorkshire, and thence to his father's, 
the Duke of Northumberland's, at Alnwick. From 
Alnwick Captain Harris accompanied Lord Percy 
to Kelso races, where, to use his own words, " as 
I flatter myself I prefer friendship to pleasure, I 
left his Lordship, and the bonny Scots lasses, to see 
a brother officer, who has lately gone on half-pay 
from several good motives. Regret, at not seeing 
merit meet with its reward — the care of an old 
mother, and to pay some debts, which, through 
his openness of disposition, he had incuired. These 
were his reasons ; and, as I knew them, had I not 
gone to see him, when so near, he would have 
considered it a slight, and imagine that I, like the 
greater part of the world, only worshipped the 
rising star. Indeed, my dear Bess, I would not 
have missed going for the best ten guineas I shall 
ever see, and few want them more (or less) than me." 


From the year 1772 till the month of May, 
1774, we have no incidents of importance or inte- 
rest to record in Captain Harris's career, which 
had hitherto been confined to his native land. 
But the time, so much longed for by him, of 
active employ in the service of his country, had at 
length arrived, and in the war which was about to 
rage in America, the wished-for opportunities of 
distinction were frequently presented. Previously 
to entering upon this subject, I consider it an act 
of justice to the memory of Captain Harris's 
dearest and most esteemed friend. General 
Medows, to insert the following note from that 
officer, which shows, in a very pleasing light, the 
warmth and benevolence of his nature. 

"To Captain Harris, 5th Foot, Kinsale. 

/*irfw#<ifa, 1773. 
" My dear Harris, 

" Every little well-timed act of generosity in 
Mrs. Medows is worthy the heart it comes from, 
and the hands she puts it in to execute. You will 
have pleasure in delivering the enclosed, and in 
hearing me say that, with the strongest attachment 
to the regiment in general, I have one for you 
in particular. Adieu ; may every success attend 
you in this world, and may we meet in a better. 

Tiiine, and my countiy's ever. 

Whilst William Medows." 


An anecdote is recorded in General Harris's 
papers, which still further illustrates the character 
of Sir William Medows^ and shows how entirely 
his gallantry and spirit had gained for him the 
affections of those who were placed under his 
command. Some forces having been ordered to 
America, Lieutenant-Colonel Medows was ap- 
pointed to a new regiment, with leave to take as 
many men from his old corps as chose to accom- 
pany him. Having drawn his men up on one side 
of a large barn, he explained to them, in a few 
words, the service on which he was going, and stated 
that he would be happy to take as many as chose 
to volunteer for this expedition, but that he left it 
entirely to their free will to act as they pleased. 
Then, stepping to the other side, he added, " Let 
all who choose to go with me, come on this side." 
Every one instantly followed him. Colonel Medows 
was so deeply affected by this convincing proof 
of affection on the part of his men, that he burst 
into tears, and with difficulty expressed his gra- 
titude for their attachment. Such traits as these 
are alike honourable to officers and men, and throw 
the charm of social esteem and tenderness on the 
ragged profession of arms. 



Proceeds with hii regiment to America— His first engagement 
with the Americans — Ordered to cover the retreat with his 
company — Half of the men killed and wounded. 

The 5th Regiment having unexpectedly received 
orders to embark for America, Captain Harris 
addressed the following letter to his cousin, Mrs. 
Dyer : — 

^^ My dear Bess, 

" How vain are the best laid schemes for 
mortal happiness, without the concurrence of the 
All-seeing Power ! The very morning I had leave 
for two years at least, came an order for the regi- 
ment to go to Boston, every officer to attend. The 
transports are arrived, and we expect to be on 
board on Monday, if not sooner ; so, most probably, 
ere this reaches you, your George will have been 
most heartily sick, and on the mend again. You 
shall have a copy of my journal, but I cannot 
promise you much entertainment. 

" Comfort my old mother, as well as you can, 
with hopes of our speedy return. You are too 
good a soldier to have any feai*s for me : I have 
none for myself, but as my friends would suffer. 

" Was I clear with you all in money matters, 
this trip would be a very pleasant one, as I flatter 


myself you would have good accounts of me ; and 
I certainly never could see the New World at a 
better stage of life, or ever have such an opportu- 
nity of bettering my affairs, should anything be 
done in consequence of this breach with the 

" You would not be in love with me at this 
moment for my beauty, as ever since the order 
an-ived for our going, I have scarcely had the 
least appetite, from the thought how unhappy my 
poor mother will be, and how severely she and 
my sisters will feel my loss in worldly affairs, 
should fate demand me. A perfect trust in the 
Father of all can alone enable me to support this 
idea. I doubt not that His protecting arm will 
again guide me to the friends I love ; and then 
the recollection of past anxieties will add to pre- 
sent pleasures. 

" I can hardly quit my pen, though Jonathan* 
is perpetually calling, ' Sir, the baggage will be too 
late — we shall all be left behind.' Others are also 
calling. So, my dear Bess, I must bid adieu : 
you will be my frequent consolation during the 
voyage. That every happiness may attend you, is 
my first wish : that you deserve it is certain, but 
patient merit is sometimes spurned, though, re- 
member, only by the unworthy. 

Yours, &c., 

G. Harris.'* 
* The name of his Bcrvant. 


The passage across the Atlantic to the Western 
World appears to have been of the usual length 
and character, and to have elicited no remarks 
from our youthful soldier. His next letter is from 
Boston camp, and is dated August 7th, 1774. 

*^ By this time I fear my dear Bess has set 
me down as the most ungrateful of mortals. To 
have encountered the perils of a thousand leagues 
across the Atlantic, and not have told her of his 
safety the moment he landed, is such a violation 
of the laws of love and friendship, as has not 
occurred since the days of Mne&s ! 

" Of course you will have heard of my sickness 
and sulkiness at the tediousness of the passage, 
&c., without my plaguing you with a narration 
thereof in this place. Don't you thank me that, 
unlike some correspondents, I keep the unpleasant 
part for others, and communicate only what is 
pleasing to you ? In proof of this modest asser- 
tion (you'll say Hibernian air still infects me,) I 
proceed to state what I know will give' you the 
greatest pleasure. I was yesterday pleading (and 
if men's countenances are an index of the mind, I 
flatter myself with success,) or rather telling a 
poor unfortunate boy, one of my recruits, how to 
plead, before a general court-martial, by which he 
was to be tried for his life. His crime was deser- 
tion, which our present situation, and the num- 
bers who have deserted since our landing (N.B. 


not one from my company of Grenadiers), makes a 
most serious affair, from the consequences it may 
lead to, should the Americans proceed to extre- 
mities, of which there is a probability. 

'^His being my recruit was sufficient to in- 
terest me in his favour, if he in the least deserved 
it, for I cannot help feeling for a man who has 
been deprived of his liberty through my instru- 
mentality. To proceed, however, to that part of 
his histoiy which chiefly excited my sympathy. 
For a woman man ventured life eternal, and for 
a woman this poor boy ventured his existence. 
My partiality to the sex, and weakness when they 
are concerned, made me feel more for his situa- 
tion than some would have done who think less 
highly of ^heaven*s last best gift.' In conse- 
quence I have furnished him with a defence, 
which will, it is thought, extricate him from this 

'* Our duty is so strict, that I have not yet had 
an opportunity of exploring the interior of the 
country, so that all I can say is, that it has a most 
beautiful and luxuriant appearance. The entrance 
to the harbour, and the view of the town of 
Boston from it, is the most charming thing I ever 
saw: far superior to the harbour of Dublin, 
(which some consider equal to the Bay of Naples,) 
and having the advantage of being wooded by 
nature as picturesquely, as if art had superin- 
tended her operations. 


" Our camp is pitched in an exceedingly plea- 
sant situation on the gentle descent of a large 
common, hitherto the property of the Bostonians^ 
and used for the purpose of grazing their cows, 
which now, poor creatures, from custom, often 
attempt to force their way into their old pastures, 
where the richest herbage I ever saw abounds. 
But from these they are now driven by stones 
flung at them by the different sentries. An un- 
fortunate one, the other day, when endeavouring 
to effect an entrance, ran on a range of firelocks, 
with the bayonets on, with such force, that she 
wrenched the bayonet from the piece, and went 
off with it sticking in her body. Finding hei-self 
wounded, she made towards home, and passed 
close by our mess-tent, from which some of us 
ran out, and drew the bayonet from her with great 
difficulty, then ordered a serjeant to attend her 
home, by letting her walk slowly the way she 
chose. We have since had the pleasure of hearing 
V she is likely to recover. 

" August 14th, and my letter not yet finished. 
Indeed, Bess, a correspondence (such as ours) 
runs great risks of dying an early death, when one 
party is in Europe, and the other in this, at pre- 
sent, most unsociable quarter of the globe. No 
opportunity lately but the New York packet, 
and by that a letter would have little chance of 
reaching its destination. 

" My mother has, no doubt, told you of the 


loss I have sustained in my friend Lieutenant 
Palmer's death, which, as well as his illness, added 
inconceivably to the disagreeableness of the voyage. 
He chose me, poor fellow ! to assist him in making 
his peace with a God he had scarce ever offended, 
I believe, even in thought. It is at that awful 
day, when all worldly views are past, when all dis- 
guise is thrown off, that we see how a man should 
have been admired or despised. Never did man 
make a better end, or (after acknowledging his 
weaknesses) go to meet his Saviour and his God 
with a greater confidence in their mercy. He 
had more in his favour and less against him than 
any man I know, and I am as convinced he is 
happy as that any ever shall be. Whenever we 
meet again (if in this world), you must indulge 
me in talking of him, and listening to all the ac- 
counts of his tender friendship. My dear Bess 
does not love me more. 

^* I begin to be anxious at not having received 
any news from England, for however small our 
merits, we none of us like to be neglected ; and 
though no person is oftener guilty than I am of a 
breach of the laws of correspondence, few bear 
one so ill as I do ; so I beg. Madam, that you will 
instantly put pen to paper, and give me a long 
accoimt of all at home. 

" It is now time to begin dressing, for fear I 
should keep Brigadier-General Pigott waiting, 
having the honour to be of his party to day. 


Lord Percy continues his kindness and civilities 
towards me. Adieu! may Heaven watch and 
protect you, prays yours, &c., 

G. Harris.'' 

It is not necessaiy to remind the reader in this 
place of the events which preceded the American 
war, nor of the manner in which it was com- 
menced and conducted. The utter ignorance on 
the part of the English Ministry of the resources 
and spirit of the Colonists, explains, without justi- 
fying, the inactivity which marked the first pro- 
ceedings of the British forces. It was supposed 
that the mere presence of the King's troops would 
induce the Americans to yield to all the demands 
that the mother-country might be pleased to im- 
pose, and that affairs would be restored to their 
former state of peace and tranquillity without the 
effusion of blood. Captain Harris shared in the 
general infatuation on this subject, and seems to 
have hoped that hostilities would be avoided ; at 
the same time he appears to have had a natural 
reluctance to commence his active service in a 
war against a people of the same blood, language, 
and religion, as his forefathers. In his next letter, 
which is also from Boston, and is dated December 
6, 1774, he writes as follows : — 

*' My dear Cousin, 

'' I had nearly finished a sheet when your 
pleasant epistle arrived. An April shower is not 


more gprateful to the feathered race than are your 
letters to me ; and^ as distance increases expecta- 
tion and desire of hearing from our friends, my 
anxiety had been raised beyond what it formerly 
was in the proportion of one thousand leagues to 
twenty, such being the diflference of the distances 
between England and Ireland, and England and 

*' I shall not, my dear Bess, pretend to give 
you any account of political matters. In my pre- 
sent situation it rather becomes me to execute the 
orders of my King and council than to give my 
opinion of them. With regard to private matters, 
I may remark that the times don't allow much 
opportunity for love, or, as usual, you might have 
expected to have heard of an American charmer. 
Before last Tuesday no fair one struck my ima- 
gination, but on that day I found a coffin for my 
heart. (Excuse the pun, when told that Coffin* 
is her name.) I cannot tell you more of her than 
that she has a remarkably soft hand, and red 
pouting lips« I shall not attempt to lengthen this 
letter, as I have to write by to-morrow night to 
my mother and brother, besides making love, and 
attending a field-day, which we have as often as 
possible, firing ball constantly, so we shall at least 
be prepared for these wrong-headed people ; and 
I have not any doubt but that we shall make 
them sensible of their errors — ^peaceably, I hope 
* A lelation of Sif Isaac Coffin. 


— for though I must confess I should like to 
try what stuff I am made of, yet I would rather 
the trial should be with others than these poor 
fellows of kindred blood. I had almost for- 
got to mention another part of my avocations, 
between this and to-morrow, in eating, drinking, 
and sleeping. All three, notwithstanding my im- 
mensity of love, I am as equal to as any beef- 
eater belonging to his Majesty. (N.B. Your 
letter was the saving of two toasts, as it came at 
breakfast-time, not to mention the tea, which was 
quite cold.) May every happiness attend you. 

Ever yours, 

G. Harris." 

For three or four months after the date of the 
above letter, the British forces continued in the 
same state of confiding inactivity, whilst the 
Americans contented themselves with watching 
their encampment, and cutting off their supplies. 
With a view to this object, they had fortified a 
small mill near the British camp, and thus, in a 
great measure, prevented the passage of convoys. 
On the 19th of April a detachment was ordered to 
attack this post, and the 5th Regiment formed 
part of it under Lord Percy. The attack failed ; 
for though the Americans had not as yet learned 
to face the British troops in the field, they posted 
themselves so skilfully in the woods and hedges 
by which the mill was surrounded, and fired with 

CAPTAIN Harris's first engagement. 49 

such precision on the advancing party, that it was 
forced to retreat, with considerable loss of life. 
Captain Harris, then senior captain of the 5th 
Regiment, and captain of the Grenadiers, was 
ordered to cover the retreat. He was so hard 
pressed by the Americans, that half his company, 
and Lieutenant Baker, were killed or wounded. 
This was his first essay on actual service. The 
killed and wounded is sufficient evidence of the 
fire to which he was exposed, but it did not dis- 
turb his coolness or humanity, for in the retreat 
he filled his grenadier cap with water for the re- 
lief of the wounded, and when found by Lord 
Percy administering it to them, would fain have 
had him partake of the precious beverage, of 
which his Lordship, in after years, admired the 
kind intention, though he did not share in the 

Captain Harris's next letter alludes to this 

" Bo9Um^ May 5, 1775. 

" How can I think I have nothing worth 
writing about? Won't my dear Bess be more 
pleased with hearing I am well and hearty, than 
with the account of all the world beside ? That 
I am so, God alone can in his goodness account 
for; to Him I have, and ever ought, to return 
grateful thanks for such protection. ITie tale 
would last a winter's night, so, some Christmas, 
when we have exhausted all our gambols, you 



^ shall have a history of our late frolic. At pre- 
sent, it should seem we have the worst of the 
fight, for, however we block up their port, the 

^rebels certainly block up our town, and have cut 
off our good beef and mutton^ much to the dis- 

vcomfiture of our mess. But, while I get sufficient 
to sustain life, though of the coarsest food, with 
two nights out of three in bed, I shall not repine, 
but rejoice that fortune has given me a constitu- 
tion to endure fatigue, and prove that it is acci- 
dent, not inclination, that has made me hitherto 
eat the bread of idleness. You will perceive I 
write in a great hurry; probably this will be 
finished by the side of my fortification — ^mine I 
may safely call it, as I am not only planner and 
director, but partly executor — ^as often taking the 
spade as telling others where to employ it, which 
is attended with these good effects — exercise to 
myself and encouragement to the men, who, you 
will be pleased to hear, fly to execute that for me 
which for others would be done with a very bad 
grace, because I set them a good example in not 
being afraid of work. When you tell my mother 
this, mark if an approving tear does not steal 
down her ancient cheek. She often said, ^ George, 
make the men love you, but do your duty.' You 
know her spirit ; she does not like to be laughed 
at, nor does her son. I had three approving 
generals* in favour of my work, with one of 
* Gage, Pigott, Howe. 


whom I dine to-morrow ; that, perhaps, will be 
all my recompense, and, indeed, all I expect, as I 
act from a conviction that every officer in our 
present situation should not merely do his duty, 
but by his eicample encourage others to exert 
themselves, and give that assistance a willing 
mind is capable of. If my design fails, I have 
still the satisfaction of knowing that it was well 

'* I have now before me one of the finest pro- 
spects your warm imagination can picture. My 
tent-door, about twenty yards from a piece of 
water, nearly a mile broad, with the country be- 
yond most beautifully tumbled about in hills and 
valleys, rocks and woods, interspersed with 
straggling villages, with here and there a spire 
peeping over the trees, and the country of the 
most charming green that delighted eye ever 
gazed on. Pity these infatuated people cannot be 
content to enjoy such a country in peace. But, 
alas ! this moment their advanced sentinels are in 
sight, and tell me they have struck the fatal blow. 
Where it will end, but in their destruction, I can- 
not see. Thank you for the pocket-pistol (the 
bottle and cup) ; would that I had had it the 19th 
of April, for the sake of my friends and self. Ne- 
cessity obliges me to conclude, with love to all 
friends. Believe me, ever yours, &c., 

G. Harris.'' 

E 2 


In his next letter Captain Harris continues his 
remarks on the situation of the British forces, 
previous to the attack on Bunker's Hill. 

" Grenadier Camp^ June 12, 1775. 

"Affairs at present wear a serious aspect. 
I wish the Americans may be brought to a sense 
of their duty. One good drubbing, which I long 
to give them, by way of retaliation, might have a 
good effect towards it. At present they are so 
elated by the petty advantage they gained the 
19th of April, that they despise the power of 
Britain, who seems determined to exert herself in 
the conflict. Troops every day coming in, and 
such as will soon enable us, I hope, to take the 
field on the other side the Demel, alias the Neck. 
At present we are completely blockaded, and sub- 
sisting almost on salt provision, except such as 
the Americans (so strong is the old leaven of 
smuggling in them, about which these troubles 
arose) bring in to us. My garden (a propos to 
gardens, you and I will certainly have one) — 
what can afford the philosophic mind such food 
for contemplation? — ^with salt provisions, what 
can afford such food for the body ? such salads ? 
such excellent gi*eens the young turnip-tops make ? 
Then the spinach and radishes, with the cucum- 
bers, beans, and peas, so promising. All within 
six weeks from the first turning of the soil, is really 
surprising. Jonathan is an excellent gardener, 



though this is his first essay. I was quite Uncle 
Toby ; to plan and to direct was my department, 
his to execute and improve. My house will be 
struck over my head, if I do not quit it, as a 
change of ground is to take place immediately. 
I only wish the movement was towards the Ame- 
ricans, that we might sooner bring this unpleasant 
business to an issue, and get home to our friends. 
Near three years since I left you, and but little 
probability that three years more will bring me 
back. But a soldier should not complain ; and I 
think, Bess, that yours will be one of the last to 
do so. The ground is marked out. Holmes says 
we shall be last ; so adieu. May we, to the last, 
preserve that friendship that has hitherto been so 
pleasant to both. 

" Remember me to all friends. 

Yours, &c., 

G. Harris." 



Attack upon Bunker's Hill— Captain Hairis despeniteljr wounded 
in the head— Sent from the field hy his lieutenant, Lord 
Rawdon (afterwards Marquis of Hastings) — ^Trepanned, and 
ordered home for the recovery of his health — Obtains a com* 
mission for his brother, and returns with him to America, 

Five days after the date of the above, the British 
forces were led on to the attack of Bunker*s Hill, 
on which the Americans had strongly intrenched 
themselves. The result of that day's conflict is 
too well known to require any detailed observation, 
and if it were not, it would be the province of the 
historian, rather than of the biographer, to describe 
it. It is sufficient for me to record the share 
which Captain Harris took in the engagement ; 
and I am fortunately enabled to do so in his own 

^^ We had made a breach in their fortifications, 
which I had twice mounted, encouraging the men 
to follow me, and was ascending a third time, 
when a ball grazed the top of my head, and I 
fell, deprived of sense and motion. My lieute- 
nant. Lord Rawdon, caught me in his arms, and, 
believing me dead, endeavoured to remove me 
from the spot, to save my body from being 
trampled on. The motion, while it hurt me, 
restored my senses, and I articulated, ^ For God's 
sake, let me die in peace.' 


"The hope of preserving my life induced Lord 
Rawdon to order four soldiers to take me up, and 
carry me to a place of safety- Three of them 
were wounded while performing this office, (one 
afterwards died of his wounds,) but they succeeded 
in placing me under some trees out of the reach 
of the balls. A retreat having been sounded, poor 
Holmes'^ was running about, like a madman, in 
in search of me, and luckily came to the place 
where I lay just in time to prevent my being left 
behind ; for when they brought me to the water's 
edge, the last boat was put off, the men calling 
out they ' would take no more.* On Holmes hal- 
looing out, * It is Captain Harris,* they put back, 
and took me in. I was very weak and faint, and 
seized with a severe shivering ; our blankets had 
been flung away during the engagement ; luckily 
there was one belonging to a man in the boat, in 
which wrapping me up, and laying me in the 
bottom, they conveyed me safely to my quarters. 

"The surgeons did not at first apprehend 
danger from the contusion, notwithstanding the 
extreme pain I felt, which increased very much if 
I attempted to lie down. A worthy woman, seeing 
this, lent me an easy chair, but this being full of 
bugs, only added to my sufferings. My agonies 
increasing, and the surgeons observing symptoms 
of matter forming (which, had it fallen on the 
brain, must have produced instant death, or at 

* The name of Captain Harris's servant. 


least distraction,) performed the operation of 
trepanning, from which time the pain abated, and 
I began to recover; but before the callous was 
formed, they indulged me with the gratification 
of a singular curiosity — ^fixing looking-glasses so 
as to give me a sight of my own brain. The heat 
of the weather, and the scarcity of fresh provi- 
sions, added greatly to the sufferings of the 
wounded. As patience was the only remedy for 
the former, I trusted to it for relief; and for the 
latter, the attention of the surgeon, and a trnly 
benevolent family in Boston, who supplied me 
with mutton-broth, when no money could pur- 
chase it, was a blessing for which I can never be 
sufficiently thankful." 

The first thought that occurred to Captain 
Harris, after his wound was dressed, was the pjun 
his mother and other friends would undergo, on 
seeing his name among the wounded, in the 
Gazette. And as he knew that it would not con- 
tain particulars, he immediately wrote a line to 
his mother, in such a cheerful strain, as he hoped 
would counteract any ill cflFects that might have 
been caused by the statements of the newspapers. 
He also preserved, and afterwards presented to 
his eldest daughter, in memorial of the owner's 
devoted zeal and affection, a silver button' which 
had belonged to the grenadier who lost his life in 
attempting to save his captain's. 

His wound being nearly healed, Captain Harris 


was enabled to resume his correspondence with 
his cousin. His next letter is of July 24th, 
1775, Boston: — 

" Very unwillingly should I let this opportu- 
nity slip of telling my dear Bess that I am in a fair 
way perfectly to recover from the consequence of 
my wound: indeed, fortune seems to intend you 
shall have a few lines from me, as the vessel has been 
detained, from the date of my letter to my mother 
till now. When I wrote to her, my hand trembled 
so much, that I fear she would conclude me to be 
worse than I really was, but this was occasioned 
by weakness from lying in bed, and not by pain, 
from which I was relieved almost entirely as soon 
as the operation was performed. What I suffered 
before that, I alone can know ! They still every 
day peep at my brain^ which, all things consi- 
dered, is not an unlucky circumstance, as it may 
convince you and the rest of the world that I have 
such a thing ; and I should not regret that you, 
and the rest of my friends in Old England, could 
in the same manner take a peep at my heart. I 
am convinced they would find a warmth of affec- 
tion they may more imagine than I can describe. 
'^ So much for lectures on heads and hearts. 
Next, let me paint, in a few words, our present 
agreeable situation, first apologising to my dear 
and best of mothers for not having said more on 
that head, owing to weakness and restriction — 


indeed^ I am now rather exceeding bounds. The 
situation of Boston will be better explained to you 
by any common map, than by my description. 
The whole circle from Charlestown Neck to 
Dorchester is one continued fortification, to all 
appearance lined with the Americans, so that 
every avenue to the country is effectually shut, 

. and not one bit of any kind of provisions do they 
suffer to be brought in, which obliges us to subsist 
on salt provisions, without even vegetables, — 
pleasant you may think in this hot sun. As a sick 

/person, I am confined to broth alone. But broth 
of salt pork! — that's impossible. Yes, we get 
sometimes a piece of an old ox or cow, at the rate 
of fourteen times as much as we paid last summer, 
and from an extraordinary return of civility, one 
of the surgeons of the general hospital has most 
kindly supplied me, every two or three days, 
with mutton sufiicient to make me an excellent 
.mess of broth. Would not you and my mother 
kiss him for his kindness ? at least I shall tell him 
so. I have heard a piece of news, that I could 
wish confirmed — i. e., the Colonists have an answer 
from England to the affair of the 19th April, that 
you are determined to withdraw all troops from 
the colonies, and carry on the war by sea only. 
This appears the only possible way of distressing 
them, as we can cut off every intercourse with 
other nations, and by that means bring them to 
reason, at a much smaller expense than it can pos* 


sibly be effected by land ; then we shall have the 
pleasure of revisiting Old England once more. A 
circumstance that would give me great pleasure ; 
for though I am ready with life and limb to 
execute the orders of my king, yet when the busi- 
ness can be better done, without running my head 
against a post, I am not one of those bloody- 
minded people, that wish only for revenge and 
slaughter. I have scribbled the paper full, and 
have only just room to tell you the opinion of the 
faculty, on the last dressing which I can have 
before the ship sails, and to assure you I am with 
the greatest truth. 

Your affectionate friend, 

G, Harris. 

"P. S. Every thing about my old pate goes on 
as it should do." 

It may probably be in the recollection of the 
reader, that in the letters written by Mr. Harris 
from France, in the year 1768, mention was made 
of his younger brother and fellow voyager, Tho- 
mas. I shall now resume the notice of this 
young man, and devote a brief portion of this 
narrative to his short, though honourable, career 
in the army. After finishing his studies in France, 
he returned to London, and was shortly after 
placed in a merchant's counting-house; where, 
though he met with the greatest encouragement, 
he was far from happy. He appears from the 


first to have had a distaste for the duties of his 
profession, and to have eagerly wished to share 
the fortunes of his elder brother, to whom, as 
nine years senior to himself, he was accustomed 
to look up as to a parent, and by whom he had 
on all occasions been treated with the utmost love 
and affection. The following letter from Captain 
Harris to Mrs. Dyer, relates to an offer which 
had unexpectedly . been made by Sir William 
Howe, of an ensigncy for his brother Thomas. 
It displays in a lively manner the pure and simple 
affection of the brothers. 

''Boston^ October Sth, 1775. 

*^My dearest Bess does not require that 
irksome attention which ladies often claim ! Her 
love is free as air, and, from her own breast she 
judges of my affection. But I must acknowledge 
that it would be unpardonable in me to neglect 
any opportunity that may occur of telling her the 
state of my health under existing circumstances. 
My spirits are at present equal to anything, for 
my dear Tom is now, I think, in a fair way of 
entering a line of life in which he is fitted to 
excel. Courage and a generous mind I know he 
possesses, and I make no doubt that if we ever 
return, you will find him free from the rust which 
at present obscures his finer qualities. Hitherto 
his spirit has been curbed, but with me he will 
have a wider, and I think a more brilliant range. 


" We have had great promotion going on, and 
if the war lasts another campaign, shall have more. 
My situation, not my services, entitles me to 
expect something from Fortune. Perhaps she may 
think another rap on the pate suflScient. Be that 
as it may, 

I'll keep, tho' in the midst of woe, 
Myself in equilibrio. 

" As for politics, I know nothing about them, 
but judging from appearances there is reason to 
expect a longer war. 

" I need not request you to closet Tom before 
he takes his departure, or to insist on his becom- 
ing your correspondent. As your godson, he has 
claims on your knowledgie and powers of instruc- 
tion. The clock has struck ten, an hour past my 
usual bed-time, of which my head does not 
approve, so adieu, my ddarest and best of friends! 

May heaven protect you. 

Ever yours, 

G. Harris." 

Previously to the arrival of this letter, Mr. 
T. Harris had been offered a writership to India, 
which he was on the point of accepting, when the 
intelligence forwarded by his brother, of the 
ensigncy promised by Sir W. Howe, induced him 
to decline the Indian appointment. The letter 
conveying this piece of information, reached 
England only a few days before the writer, who, 
greatly to the delight and astonishment of his 


friends, had been prevailed on to accept a recruit- 
ing party, — ^his chief inducement being the hope 
of preventing his brother from sailing to the East. 
In this he was successful. The frigate on which 
he was allowed a passage by Captain Medows, 
had a speedy and prosperous voyage to England, 
where he had the pleasure of finding his brother 
and all other relatives in excellent health and 

It was immediately determined that Captain 
Harris should be accompanied by his brother 
Tom, who had now received his commission as 
ensign, to the seat of war in America, as soon as 
the fleet sailed. This appears from the following 
letter to have been in the month of May, 1776. 
It is from Ensign T. Harris to Mrs. Dyer. 

" PorUmouth^ May 23rd, 1776. 
" The time we have remained here idle will 
not admit of any excuse for not having written to 
you before, and I am sorry the shortness of our 
further stay will prevent my being so circum- 
stantial as is your due. I believe we shall leave 
this place to-morrow morning, and I mean to 
make amends during the passage for past mis- 
conduct, by giving you a very particular account 
of the voyage. I have now only time to express 
my sense of gratitude for your love, and my 
ardent hopes that my conduct may be a proof of 
it. My spirits are rather low as the time draws 


near for leaving Old England^ and almost all 
that*s dear to me. The cause I am embarked in^ 
and the happiness I shall feel in my brother's 
company, will soon overcome my present melan- 
choly. We are very happy in our mess. 

^^ We are now going on board, our convoy is 
under sail, and we must follow immediately. I 
hope our return will be speedy, and that in the 
mean time, every happiness may attend you. 
Ever your*s affectionately, 

Thomas Harris." 

The above letter was accompanied by one 
from Captain Harris, of the same date ; the con- 
tents of which were as follows : — 

"I have to acknowledge my dear Bess's 
kind present (Ossian) and kinder letter; at the 
same time I must give her a smart lecture for 
placing to my account what is entirely her own. 
My dear Bess is, and ever has been,, the truest of 
friends; that I am conscious of my obligation, 
is my only merit; that I boast of it, is my 
pride, and this feeling arises not merely from 
justice and gratitude, but from love of the truest 
kind; — ^love, that never doubted her truth and 

*^ In the time that she was hardest tried, sus- 
picion of her constancy never, for a moment, 
arose in my breast ; so what merit had I in con- 
fiding, or speaking what I thought? I would 


not, to gain a kingdom, join in condemning the 
innocent. Nay; I thank my God, I could not 
have done so ! To Him alone, who, by the ^ con- 
tinual dew of his blessing,' can aid, direct, and 
support us, let us be thankful ! So never again, 
dearest Bess, thank me for my friendship ! Give 
me but yours, and I am overpaid. 

" We have fallen down to St. Helen's, and in 
all probability shall sail with the morning tide. 
A long, long adieu to Old England, and all I hold 
dear ! May I not exclaim with the poet, ' what 
havoc does ambition make!' That alone takes 
me from you. If I am rewai'ded, well, — ^if I am 
not, well too. To pass through this vale of teare 
honestly and honourably, is perhaps all that is 
necessai-y; but to be serviceable to our friends, 
we must endeavour to ascend the hill of fame ; I 
shall try my best to do so, and esteem myself 
lucky it 1 do not fail through my own neglect. 

" Tom has just come into the cabin, looking 
a little pale, from sea-sickness ; I continue well. 
I was a little squeamish a short time ago, but a 
draught of punch and crust of bread has removed 
every symptom, and I now consider myself secure 
for the remainder of the voyage. 

" I shall study your present very constantly 
on the passage. It (Ossian) is really a book 
which I very much wished to have, and will, as 
you observe, require more than one perusal. 
Well, ray dear Bess, heaven protect you; take 


care of yourself, and do not lose that greatest of 
all earthly blessings, your health, by too strictly 
attending to your duties. 

Believe me, ever yours, affectionately, 

G. Harris." 

The fleet having sailed immediately after the 
date of the above, no other letters were received 
from Captain Harris until after his arrival in 
America. On this voyage he kept a journal, from 
which we shall give such extracts as appear wor- 
thy of insertion. After the usual remarks on the 
monotony and dulness of shipboard to all but 
sailors, (a remark in the justness of which all will 
agree, who have ever experienced the inconveni- 
ences of a long voyage,) he proceeds as follows: — 

^^ Sunday, June 30M. — After paying those 
outward and visible signs of respect and submis- 
sion to our Maker, so absolutely necessary to the 
due observance of His day, I have retired to my 
cabin to devote a portion of my time to my dear 
Bess. Words, however, cannot express the ful- 
ness of my affection for her. Would that she 
could read the heart. 

" We have now been in the latitude of the 
Western Isles for near a week, and yet are not 
certain whether we are to the east or west of 
them, so little progress have we made, and so little 
is longitude yet known. I wish, Bess, you could 
stumble on it ! Our small circle would be parti- 

66 CAPTAIN Harris's jovkha!l. 

enlarly obliged to you for any light you could 
throw on this difficult subject ! 

" July 2nd. — ^Two more long tedious days are 
gone^ and yet no sight of the Islands. All but 
the master say that we are certainly past them. 
Nothing can be more tedious than a long confine- 
ment on board ship ! Should I once more return 
from America, it would be a very great induce- 
ment that takes me out again. Honour was in 
this case the inducement. Satisfied with having 
paid this tribute to her, a little would tempt me 
to quit the world and spend the remainder of my 
days in retirement. 

^^July 4th. — Is it vanity, my dear Bess, in me 
to think myself endued with a great share of 
equality of temper? or do I really possess that 
blessing ? On reflection, I much fear my merit is 
suppositious, as I generally feel what others with 
less command of themselves, express ; and I 
believe I should repine in as silly and womanish 
terms as my comrades, did not shame prevent 

^^ Most heartily tired am I of the ship ; indeed, 
the prospect is so clouded, and what I say to keep 
up their spirits comes so little from the heart, that 
all the answer is a shake of the head, as much as 
to say. You do not believe it. The wind is almost 
a-head ; the day foggy, rainy, and disagreeable ; 
the sea short, trembling, and tumultuous. But, 
why should I trouble you with our miseries ? 


*^ July 5th. — People who have not experienced 
the desagr^mens of a long voyage usually conceive 
it an excellent opportunity for study. The case is 
far otherwise. 

*' Jub/ 7 thy Sunday. — I hope you will not be 
angry when I tell you that for near an hour this 
morning we have been endeavouring to catch 
bonetas^ and though without success^ the exercise 
amused us. Perhaps you will say that there were 
other amusements better fitted to the day. This 
I readily grant you; at the same time I do not 
conceive it to be any great sin thus to employ a 
part of the time which remains after public 

^^If I err in thus thinking, be assured it is 
from want of judgment, not from vicious inclina- 
tion. To return to the bonetas ; the method of 
striking them is with a harpoon, an instrument 
which is probably familiar to you. The attitude 
of the harpooner is very picturesque. He gene- 
rally fixes himself at the end of the sprit-sail yard, 
which is a sail that, by the assistance of the bow- 
sprit, is advanced about ten yards beyond the 
head of the ship. He supports himself on a rope 
fastened to the ends of the yard, and there, stand- 
ing as erect as possible, with the spear and hand 
elevated, ready to strike at any fish that may come 
near enough. He appears from the quarter-deck 
as if suspended between air and water, and to the 
eye a very agreeable figure. 

P 2 


" I4th. — Such a continuance of contraiy winds 
during the week past, that I have not bad spirits 
sufficient to resume my journal. I can now, I am 
happy to say, assure my dear Bess that it is toler- 
ably fair. This* has been such a day of blessings, 
that it would be highly ungrateful in us not to 
acknowledge them with joy and gladness. Don't 
you think a cheerful heart the most acceptable 
offering to the Almighty? To lay mine in the 
most respectful manner before Him, I now quit 
my writing. ##**♦♦ 

" That duty performed, I may record that a 
sailor has just caught a boneta with a flying fish 
of Holmes's making, of which Mr. Jonathan is 
not a little proud, as we never succeeded till this 
bait was used. The boneta resembles a salmon 
in shape more than any other fish I know of, 
though shorter and thicker in its proportions. 
The flesh looks coarse and hard. A flying-fish has 
just dropt on the deck. Poor fellow ! he found 
the proverb taken from his species fatally verified, 
for he only escaped the tyrants of the deep to fall 
before the worse tyrant, man. The longest flight 
that I have seen any of them take was about twice 
the length of the ship, and that so near, that I 
expected the wind would have brought them on 

" Jul^ I9th. — I have the pleasure to inform 
my dear Bess that I am just beginning to taste 
the beauties of her very pleasing present {Ossian). 

CAPTAIN Harris's journal. 69 

Her observations respecting it I find to be per- 
fectly just. The more I study, the more I find to 
admire, and the more eager am I to resume my 

" I now divide my time between these poems 
and the exercise of striking fish. Exercise is con- 
ducive to health, and harpooning being of a kind 
that requires some little dexterity and attention, 
it both excites and amuses. I am not long re- 
turned from the sprit-sail yard, where I hung for 
an hour, to the astonishment of Tom and the 
other lads who did not think me young enough to 
venture there, but they found that I can still use 
my limbs with the best of them, and I flatter 
myself we will show them how to shuffle the 
brogue some six years hence when we return to 
Old England. 

" July 26th. — ^Do not be alarmed, my dear 
Bess, at the last sentence, for you may rest as- 
sured that the moment honour will permit, and 
the care of our brother allow, I will fly on the 
wings of affection to embrace you all. I reckon 
it one of the greatest instances of my good for- 
tune that I have always found an of plea- 
sure on each return to my home. Thank God, I 
do not find that the love of variety tempts me to 
neglect familiar things, for I could with pleasure 
leave the busy bustle of the world, and look on it 
all as idle pageantry — ^not indeed for the ^ hairy 

70 CAPTAIN Harris's journal. 

gown and mossy cell/ but for those tranquil joys 
which domestic happiness confers. 

" July 28th. — ^According to our calculations, 
we are now, supposing the present breeze to con- 
tinue, within a few days' sail of land ; and you 
may conceive how greatly my anxiety to arrive is 
increased when I tell you that a packet, which left 
Falmouth only three and twenty days ago, joined 
our fleet yesterday. It will certainly bring news 
of my dear friends. Heaven grant they may be 
favourable! The hardships of war will appear 
light and trifling when I know that you are all 
healthy and happy. 

^^ August 6th. — ^A brief conclusion. I can no 
more. We are landed, and the packet is about to 
sail. Tom sends his best love.'' 




Fonns an ardent attaclunent to the lady whom he afterwards 
married — ^Traits of her character — Again engaged with the 
Americans— C/aptain Hanu and €k>lonel Medows wonnded 
-—Sent by Lord ComwaUiB with a letter to Waahingtonr— Is 
promoted to the majority of the 5th Regiments-Appointed 
to coyer the embarkation of the troops, on the evacuation of 
Philadelphia— Becomes personally acquainted with Lord 
Howe, who was the last man to embark, and is commended 
by him for his exertions in executing that disagreeable 

In the extracts given from this journal the reader 
may have observed the frequent allusions to do- 
mestic peace and happiness on which the writer 
dwells Mrith so much satisfaction. These feelings 
may be attributed not only to Captain Harris's 
usual predilection for the diversions and sports of 
a country life, but more particularly to his having 
about this time conceived an ardent attachment 
towards a young lady of the name of Dixson, to 
whom he was afterwards married. In leaving 
England for the seat of war, he had, on this occa« 
sion, the pain of parting not only from the rela- 
tives whom he had loved from his youth up, but 
also from the object of a new and more engrossing 
affection, whose desire for retirement had no in- 
considerable weight in the many attempts made 
by this lady's lover, in after-life, to become prema- 


turely a peaceful " country swain." Nor wfll the 
reader wonder at this influence of her who was so 
many years his faithful and affectionate partner, 
in every clime where his military duty called him, 
when he sees that even the French Republic, al- 
though war was raging between the two coun- 
tries, paid honourable tribute to Mrs. Harris's 
tender feelings, and her power of expressing them, 
notwithstanding the barbarous practice which then 
prevailed amongst those Republicans, of destroy- 
ing all private correspondence. 

With several letters from Mrs. Harris, then 
in Calcutta, to some of her absent children, the 
following envelope was sent : — 

The Commissary of the French Government in 
England, to Mrs. Dver, at Richmond, in 

^^ Madam, 

"The letters that I have the honour to 
transmit to you were found on board the vessel 
Ameliay coming from Calcutta, and were inter- 
cepted by one of our French schooners. They 
breathe the sweetest sentiments of nature, and as 
such, have been sent to me by the oflScers of the 
Admiralty, in order to forward them. 

"I esteem myself infinitely happy. Madam, to 
have it in my power, spite of the ciroumstances of 
war, to honour maternal feelings. 


"Deign to accept of the most respectful sen- 
timents^ with which I have the honour to be, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

Ju. Charretie." 
" Lmdony Sri October^ 1796." 

But to return to our narrative of Captain 
Hanis's voyage to America. It was natural that 
his imagination should revert, with some admix- 
ture of regret, to the happiness he had left behind, 
— ^that during the long days, and longer nights, of 
a rough and tedious passage across the Atlantic 
he should sigh for the companions of his youth, 
the friends of his maturer years, and the smiles of 
one so worthy of his ardent love. But if his 
spirits were thus for the time depressed, they seem 
to have regained their wonted buoyancy and even- 
ness as soon as he joined the British army. In a 
letter to his cousin, written a few weeks after his 
arrival, he describes the delight and satisfaction 
with which he felt himself inspired, when actively 
engaged in the service of his king and country. 

" At last, my dear Bess, the wish of my heart 
is fully accomplished. You have often heard me 
regret having been so long in the military line 
without seeing the army in a state of active ser- 
vice. I am happy to say that I never was better 
in my life — marching all day under a scorching 


sun, and laying my length at night on my 
mother earth, with only a blanket to cover me,***- 
instead of spoiling, improves my appearance. 
Every one compliments me on my looks. As for 
Tom, he looked very well when I saw him about 
a week ago, since when our corps has been moving 
so quick, that I have not been able to hear of 

" We have had what some call a battle, but if 
it deserves that name, it was the pleasantest I 
ever heard of, as we had not received more than a 
dozen shot from the enemy, when they ran away 
with the utmost precipitation. You may imagine 
the eagerness of our brave fellows. We have 
cleared Long Island, and I think, in a day or two, 
shall be on the continent. The contents of this 
letter are to be communicated in Marlborough 
Street, as I cannot find time to write more than 
once in our present state of hurry. The paper I 
write on was once the property of an American, 
at least so I suppose, as it was brought to me by 
my corporal. 

*^ My mother, I fear, will give me a thousand 
scolds for not being more particular as to the state 
of my head ; but I have not words or time to say 
how well it has been ever since I landed — not the 
least signs of headach, or annoyance of any kind, 
notwithstanding the many duckings we have had, 
often without a rag to change — at best, never more 
than one. 


^* Colonel Medows is my commandiDg officer, 
and this I consider one of the pleasantest things 
that ever happened to me. We sleep together in 
a soldier's tent, which, when well littered down 
with straw, we consider quite a luxury. He led 
us on to action in the most gallant manner ; and 
I am convinced that if General Howe had made 
a sign for us to follow the Americans into their 
works, we would have done it. Thanks to the 
General's prudence, we have effected this object 
vrithout the loss of the many brave fellows who 
must have fallen in the attempt. 

^^My present situation must excuse my not 
writing to my sisters. They will be glad to hear 
I am in excellent health and spirits. Adieu, 
Ever yours, affectionately, 

George Harris.** 

In a letter to his uncle, we find the following 
notices of the landing and movements of the 
force to which he belonged. As this letter is in 
the form of a journal, it will serve to connect the 
thread of events, as well as any extracts that 
might be made from the publications of that 
time, and as it contains many particulars of a 
personal and domestic nature which would not 
be found in works of more pretension, it will 
probably repay the reader for the trouble of 
perusal : — 

" On the 6th August we made the harbour of 


New York, and at the entrance joined the very- 
fleet with which I had so much wished to sail^ 
and of which ours, in fact, was the second part. 
On the 18th I got quit of the recniits to my great 
satisfaction, and joined my company on Station 
Island. About the 20th we embarked in boat^ 
for Long Island, and landed, without opposition, 
in Gravesend Bay ; marched six miles inland, and 
halted till the 26th. A large body of the Ame- 
ricans near us keeping up a fire from behind walls 
and trees. About four p.m. of the 26th struck 
tents, and lay on our arms during the night about 
three miles from Bedford ; and though in summer, 
it was the coldest night I have experienced up to 
this time (25th November). Such sudden changes 
of climate are not uncommon here. The weather 
is now most unnaturally hot and close, after severe 

^^At daybreak, the 27th, the light infantry 
attacked and forced several small posts which the 
Americans had on the road leading to their lines at 
Bedford. This appeared to be the first notice they 
had of our being near to them. About nine we fired 
two signal guns to a part of the army under Ge- 
neral Grant, who was to make a feint in the front 
of the Americans, while we got round to their rear : 
and immediately inarched briskly up to them, 
when, almost without firing a shot, they abandoned 
their post, and retreated to their lines under cover 
of their guns (these they also evacuated two or 


three days after, retiring upon New York during 
the night). Our men were most eager to attack 
them in their lines, and I am convinced would 
have carried them, but we were ordered to retreat 
out of reach of their guns, and lay from about 
four P.M. till very near dark at the entrance of a 
small wood, exposed to the fire of their riflemen. 
During the whole evening they hit but one man, 
though their balls continually whistled over our 
heads, and lodged in the trees above us. Their 
loss that day is acknowledged by them to have 
been 2,600; ours about 300 in killed and wounded. 

" On the 30th the resei-ve, with the light in- 
fantry, again left the army, which the next day 
took peaceable possession of all the American 
works on Long Island, and encamped near Hell 

" Batteries were soon erected to oppose a work 
they had on York Island, and though the East 
river is there 800 paces across, our artilleiy soon 
silenced theirs, and, as we afterwards found, dis- 
mounted most of their guns. Our landing on 
York Island was effected without the loss of a 
man, for the moment they saw us ashore, they 
retreated to their works at Kingsbridge. A lieu- 
tenant of theirs, who was that night my prisoner, 
informed me that a body of 3,000 had got round 
to our right, with the intention of attacking us 
before we could form after landing, but so little 
eager were they to commence the assault, that, 


upon their falling in with two companies of 
Grenadiers^ who had by accident been posted on 
the same road^ they fled with the utmost haste ; 
not even taking time to put on their packs and 
blankets, which they had thrown off on a thorough 
conviction of beating us. Their blankets were a 
great prize, as several of our men had thrown off 
their's on the 27th, when pursuing the enemy. 
Here they amply made up their losses. 

^' I wish that Tom were with us, and as my 
lieutenant. At present he makes war with a 
thousand luxuries, of which we are deprived. 
These, however, he cares as little for as I do, and 
the other night wished to volunteer going with us 
to attack in the Jerseys, but was prevented doing 
so. You may be sure I did not throw cold water 
on his offer, but rejoiced in it, and should have 
been as happy to have had him fighting by my 
side as to see him making successful love to Miss 

*' After landing in York Island, we drove the 
Americans into their works beyond the eighth 
mile-stone from New York, and thus got posses- 
sion of the best half of the island. We took post 
opposite to them, placed our picquets, borrowed a 
sheep, killed, cooked, and ate some of it, and then 
went to sleep on a gate, which we took the liberty 
of throwing off its hinges, covering our feet with 
an American tent, for which we should have cut 
poles and pitched, had it not been so dark. Give 


me such living as we enjoy at present^ such a hut 
and snch company^ and I would not care three 
farthings if we stayed all the winter, for though 
the mornings and evenings are cold, yet the sun 
is so hot as to oblige me to put up a blanket as a 

" Tell my best of mothers that my compass 
has been of the greatest use in enabling me to 
ascertain the proper aspects for our houses, arid 
has gained me, in fine, the thanks of all parties. 

^* The 16th of September we were ordered to 
stand to our arms at eleven a.m., and were in- 
stantly trotted about three miles (without a halt 
to draw breath), to support a battalion of light 
infantry, which had imprudently advanced so far 
without support as to be in great danger of being 
cut off. This must have happened, but for our 
haste. — So dangerous a quality is courage without 
prudence for its guide ; with it, how noble and 
respectable it makes the man. But to return to 
our narrative. The instant the front of our co- 
lumns appeared, the enemy began to retire to their 
works, and our light infantry to the camp. On 
our return we were exposed to the fire of the 
Americans. A man in my company had his hat 
shot through nearly in the direction of my wound, 
but the ball merely raised the skin ; and in the 
battalion on our left a man was shot so dead 
when lying on the ground, that the next man did 
not perceive it, but when he got up to stand to 


his arms^ kicked his comrade, thinking he was 
asleep, and then found, to his great surprise, that 
he was quite dead, a ball having entered under 
the ear, and very little blood having issued 
from it. 

"Before we started in the morning, our 
dinner, consisting of a goose and piece of mutton, 
had been put on the fire. The moment we 
marched, our domestic deposited the above-named 
delicacies on a chaise, and followed us with it to 
our ground. When the fight was over, he again 
hung the goose to the fire, but the poor bird had 
scarcely been half done, when we were ordered to 
return to our station. There we again commenced 
cooking, and, though without dish, plate, or knife, 
did ample justice to our fare, which we washed 
down with bad rum and water, and then com- 
posed ourselves to rest on our friendly gate. Our 
baggage joined us the next day. 

" We remained in camp till the 10th October, 
waiting for redoubts to be formed across the 
island. Lord Percy was left to defend these with 
three brigades of British and Hearne*s brigade of 
Hessians. At eight p.m. of the 10th, the reserve, 
the light infantry and 1,500 Hessians, embarked 
in boats, under General Clinton, went up the East 
river, passed Hell Gate, and landed at Frogneck 
without opposition. I cannot here help noticing 
a part of the river we went through, called Devil's 
Pans, at the point of an island, which here divides 


the river into two rapid streams, and causes a 
very dangerous whirlpool. The suction is so great, 
that at times the river on that side is impassable. 
This danger we avoided, though with difficulty, 
for, through the ignorance of our pilot, we were 
on the edge of the pool when too late to avoid the 
suction, and found ourselves, circle after circle, 
attracted to the centre, in spite of all our efforts, 
till at last the boatmen were on the point of 
quitting their oars, despairing of escape, when, 
animated I suppose by the love of life, I began to 
storm at them for their cowardice, and made them 
stick to their oars. We at length perceived that 
we made progi'ess, and emerged from the whirl- 
pool, escaping without other accident than the 
dislocation of a man's wrist, who very foolishly 
attempted to fend off a large wheriy, containing 
fifty men, which, by the force of the stream, was 
carried against our boat. 

" We lay on Frogneck till the 10th of October; 
on the 18th, at one in the morning, the van of the 
army, consisting of the light infantry and grena- 
diers, embarked for the continent, and landed 
without opposition. The boats soon brought over 
great part of the army, wheii we marched into the 
country, drove the enemy from some posts, and 
lay on our arms near New Rochelle. We lost 
here two light infantry officers and some men, 
owing to their too great haste to attack. The 
grenadiers did not suffer, being only exposed to 



the fire of the American batteries, which were 
very ill served. From this we marched to White 
Plains, being informed that 15,000 American 
troops were entrenched there. 

^^On the 28th, the army, in two columns, 
marched towards their position, and here, for the 
first time, we were tranquil spectators of the fight, 
except, indeed, as far as our anxiety for our friends 
and comrades was concerned. I had a brother 
in peril, till then unknown to him. Thanks be to 
God that he behaved like a man, and escaped nn* 
hurt. May he ever display the same spirit with 
the same result. 

"The Americans behaved in the most das- 
tardly manner, for, though they at first made a 
show of resistance, no sooner was our second bri- 
gade ordered to advance, than they gave way 
with such precipitation, that they escaped to the 
heights before our men could reach them. They 
acknowledge, however, to have lost in killed and 
wounded 600; ours was 200. Two days after 
this engagement they abandoned the heights, 
without attempting to defend them. 

" On the 6th of November we commenced our 
retreat from White Plains, and marched very 
leisurely to Fort Washington, on New York Island. 
After some halts, we were ordered on the 16th of 
November to attack the neighbouring heights, 
preparatory to investing it, which we very soon 
effected, and ere landing received terms of capita- 


lation from the commandant of the fort, which 
some days before they declared, was to have pre- 
vented us from returning that way to New York. 
Here we took 2,600 prisoners. 

^^ On the 19th of November we again struck 
tents, and embarked in boats at Fort Washington, 
passed Fort Constitution without being perceived, 
and landed at a place four miles above it, where 
100 resolute men might have stopped our whole 
army. Here we took possession of their tents, 
baggage, thirty- two guns, and a great quantity of 

^^ We now pursued the enemy, much too slowly 
for our wishes ; but it is not for us subordinates 
to comment on the movements of our com- 
manders, of which we are in general very incom- 
petent judges. Warped by passion, we consider 
only visible objects, and forget the thousand la- 
tent wheels by which a great army moves. 

" We marched vid Newbridge, Newark, and 
Elizabeth Town, to New Brunswick. So soon as 
winter quarters are settled, I depart for New York, 
where all my effects are in store, but where I 
most heartily wish they had never gone, as they 
wiU, in all probability, be greatly damaged. How- 
ever, life is left, and if the war continue, I have 
prospects that will amply repay me for such 
losses ; and if fair peace should come, she's wel- 
come, for I shall then return to my dearest friends, 
and be, though poor, contented. 



" The Americans have crossed the Delaware, 
and give out that they mean to attack us on the 
other Side. Next spring will put them to the 
test. Till then^ adieu politics and military opera- 
tions ; unless, indeed, a winter campaign should 
take place, of which there is some idea. I must 
not omit to inform you of the capture of Colonel 
Lee*. He was taken by a party of our's, under 
Colonel Harcourt, who surrounded the house in 
which this arch-traitor was residing. Lee be- 
haved as cowardly in this transaction as he had 
dishonourably in every other. After firing one or 
two shots from the house, he came out, and en- 
treated our troops to spare his life. Had he be- 
haved with proper spirit, I should have pitied him, 
and wished that his energies had been exerted in 
a better cause. I could hardly refrain from tears 
when I first saw him, and thought of the miser- 
able fate in which his obstinacy has involved him. 
He says he has been mistaken in three things ; 
1st. That the New England men would fight; 
2nd. That America was unanimous; and 3rd. 
That she could afford two men for our one. — 

The attack threatened by the Americans, and 
referred to in the preceding letter, was executed 
earlier than had been anticipated, and produced 
a disastrous change upon the succeeding course of 

* Jjee had deserted from the English, and joined the Ame- 
ricansy who conferred on him the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. 



the war in that country. In the following letter 
to his uncle^ Captain Harris gave a detailed 
account of what he denominates the tragedy of 
Ti*enton, and which appears to have arisen from 
one of those chances in war upon which the fate 
of empires has often depended. 

"/anuoty 16, 1777. 

"You know from history reverses in war 
are not uncommon. To have had our successes 
continued totally uninteiTupted was, perhaps, 
more than the most sanguine tory ever expected. 
Till very lately Caesar's laconic ^ Veni, vidi, vici/ 
might justly have been used by us. Had I time 
I would attempt to relate the whole affair at 
Trenton as it passed, according to the best inform- 
ation we could collect. But you must be con- 
tented with a slight sketch. We understand that 
Colonel Rawle, who commanded the Hessians, 
had intelligence of the intended attack, and had 
his men under arms the whole night. Long 
after day-break, a most violent storm of snow 
coming on, he thought he might safely permit his 
men to lie down, and in this state they were sur- 
prised by the enemy. The Hessians were about 
1,300 ; between 800 and 900 were taken, the rest 
escaping by a road, by which nearly the whole 
might have got off, if in those moments every 
man had been collected. But this is not to be 
expected. This success gave the Americans such 


spirit that they crossed the river in numbers, 
sufficient to make a post of Hessians fall back to 
Prince Town, and even then to cause such an 
alarm as led the commanding officer to request a 
reinforcement. This was not complied with for 
. some days, but then a part of the army was sent, 
the grenadiers, with the second battalion of 
Guards. You would have felt too much to be able 
to express your feelings, on seeing with what a 
warmth of friendship our children, as we call the 
light infantry, welcomed us, one and all crying, 
^Let them come!' 'Lead us to them, we are 
sure of being supported.' It gave me a pleasure 
too fine to attempt expressing, and if you see a 
stain on the paper, pray place the drops to the 
right motive, for the tears flowed even at the 
thought, so that I cotild not stop them. Tliis 
reverse has given the Americans great spirits, 
which I am convinced they never would have had 
if the Hessians had not been surprised, but fought 
as I have seen them. Washington, to do him 
justice, has taken advantage of the moment, 
crossing the Delaware, and beating three regi- 
ments that lay in his way. This has elated them 
so much, and occasioned such a change of quar- 
ters in ottr army, as to render the prospect of 
passing the tvinter in ease and luxury totally dark. 
The country which was entirely our own being now 
divided between us ; and every thing which was 
then to be got for money and at very moderate 


prices, must now be eaitied at the point of the 
sword, and what is worse, with very great fatigue. 
I could tell you a long stoiy of an excursion of 
mine to the rebel arhiy, but as I did not see their 
commander, the rest is not worthy of description. 
I shall therefore merely say, that Lord Corn- 
wallis employed me to carry a letter to General 
Washington relative to the Hessian prisoners, and 
I returned safe, to the astonishment of most of 
my friends, with the two light horse who accom- 
panied me. It may appear extraordinary that 
with a flag of truce I should be in danger, but 
the whole country is full of their scouting parties, 
whose greatest ambition is to be behind a cover 
and kill our light dragoons, who patrole most of 
the roads at different times, and for whose heads 
it is said a reward is offered in the army. How- 
ever, in a few miles riding, I found all the same 
parties so much more afraid of us, than we of 
them, that we hallooed and laughed at several 
who on first seeing us took to their heels. I must 
now bid you adieu, and go my rounds." 

From the date of this letter to the month of 
August, 1777, no event of public importance 
occurred in the force to which Captain Harris 
belonged. He then sailed with the fleet under 
Lord Howe from New York, and landed with the 
reserve of the army under Sir W. Howe, at Head 
of Elk, in September, and was shot through the 
leg in the attack on Iron Hill, where he had been 


sent in advance by Lieutenant Colonel Medows, 
to cover the guns of the battalion with his com- 
pany. The battle of Brandy Wine happened a 
few days after. Captain Harris was in a chaise 
with the baggage on account of his wound, when 
the army was ordered to form. Taking a horse 
without a saddle, he had the honour to share 
in the glory of that day, but attended with 
the drawback of finding his gallant commander 
and friend most literally in the hands of the 
surgeon, having lost the use of both his own. 
Lieutenant Colonel Medows distinguished himself 
most particularly on that day in leading on his 
grenadiers on horseback, with the intention of 
charging the enemy's line without firing. In this 
situation he received a shot, in the act of waving 
his sword-arm just above the elbow, that went out 
at the back, knocking him off his horse, and the 
fall breaking his opposite collar-bone. The 
Colonel had not recovered his senses when Cap- 
tain Harris came to him, but looking at him some 
time, and knowing his voice, he attempted to put 
out his hand, and not being able to use either, 
exclaimed " If s hard ;" then, quite recovering his 
senses, said, " It's lucky, Harris, poor Fanny does 
not know this ;" evincing then, as in every other 
instance, that perfect coolness and indifference to 
accidents as they affected himself, and only feel- 
ing anxiety for his friends. The wounded being 
ordered to Wilmington, on the Delaware, after 


the action^ and Captain Harrises wound having 
taken a bad turn, he was obliged to go to sick 
quarters. But he was soon ready for the first 
escort, and joined the army at Philadelphia, and 
was almost immediately ordered to take the com- 
mand of the 5th Regiment, in consequence of 
Colonel Walcot being shot through the body at 
German Town. He was soon after promoted to 
a majority, and the 5th Regiment was in most of 
the excursions from Philadelphia before the 
evacuation of that town. When that event took 
place. Major Harris with the 5th Regiment 
covered the embarkation, and had the good for- 
tune to become personally acquainted with Lord 
Howe, (who was the last man to embark,) and to 
be commended by that great and gallant officer 
for his exertions in executing that disagreeable 
service. One of his letters on this occasion is so 
characteristic of the buoyant spirit, but devout 
frame of mind, which accompanied him through all 
the varied changes and chances of his life, that it 
ought to be recorded. It is addressed to his 
cousin, and dated from Philadelphia, 27th Novem- 
ber, 1777. "Notwithstanding that I am now a 
man of business, and instead of a company, have 
the weight of a regiment on my shoulders, I shall 
not yet take so much the great man on me as not 
to acknowledge my dearest and ever kind friend. 
When I forget her goodness, may my love forget 
me ; and now that I am descending into the vale 


of years^ is not the imprecation most serious? 
Whatever the world may imagine, most sincerely 
I think so, for I would not lose my Nancy's* 
warm wishes to gain kingdoms. From the mood 
dame Fortune is now in, I cannot think the time 
of realizing them, far off. She is showering 
benefits on my head, that, lightly as I may talk, 
give me very serious reflections, and I cannot 
accuse myself of forgetting the Hand that dis- 
penses, however I may fail in paying the proper 
tribute. To begin with my appointment to the 
majority, which to you will I make no doubt 
appear the most essential; but to me scarcely 
afforded more pleasure than that of my best male 
friend. Colonel Medows, coming back to the 
regiment, as my Lieutenant Colonel, and my poor 
Tom being sure of either being immediately ap- 
pointed pay-master or quarter-master. He is 
very, very, hearty, is both bigger, browner, and I 
might add, for the sake of truth as well as alli- 
teration, braver, than your ever affectionate 

G. H." 

The following is also in the same strain : — 

^'January 2M, 1778. 

" Since my last to you on retirement, our 

views are wonderfully enlarged. Yet the most 

pleasing object I see among them (and perhaps 

the only certain one) is that we shall now be 

* His future wife. 


entitled sometimes to spare a guinea extraordi- 
nary to the poor, that we could before have ill 
afforded. This step (the majority) has at least 
doubled my pay, and I do not yet feel that it has 
increased my pride. The same rustic cot and 
russet gown would content the Major, that the 
Captain sighed for, supposing it furnished as you 
propose ; ambition has not so great a hold, but 
that love's softer dreams occur, and my mind is 
fixed, if this long absence does not alter my Nancy, 
to try a patriarchal apprenticeship. To have that 
day arrive is the point of time I look forward to ; 
beyond that I tioist I may have others and you 
also. The young ones, if God should bless us with 
them, shall for many years be her charge and 
yours. And then, if boys, the father must show 
them to cut the wave and hurl the ball, to ascend 
the woodland steep, and despise the sharp north- 
east, that their bodies may not refuse what the 
firm mind shall attempt. What a vain creature 
is man ! and in the pride of his heart what folly 
does he utter ! Three thousand miles from all 
these blessings! can he expect to enjoy them 
unalloyed! The hand of God is all powerful. 
To Him let us resign ourselves, and not attempt 
to dive into futurity further than is permitted. 
Colonel Medows is perfectly recovered of his 
wound, and is, as ever, the pleasantest and best 
man I know. 

G. H." 



Embarks with Brigadier-General Medows upon a secret expe- 
dition — Destined against St. Lucie— Engaged in the glorious 
repulse of 5,000 Frenchmen with 1,300 British soldiers* 
Anecdotes of General Medows. 

Between the date of this letter and the next^ an 
interval of nine months occurred. It is dated on 
board the Ocean transport, 30th October, 1778, 
and, as usual, addressed to his cousin : — 

"If any one should ask you where I am 
going, tell them what, by the way of secret, I'll 
tell you, — I do not know — and, if they should be 
more inquisitive, that I do not care. But, at the 
same lime, say I am on the tip-top of Fortune's 
wheel, and that if they want to write to me, they 
may direct to Major Harris^ Commander of the 
GrenadierSy second in command under Brigadier- 
General Medows. Tell my best of mothers my 
happiness, and let her pray that her spirit may 
not fail me in the day of trial. Every one seems 
to think our expedition is the road home ; if we 
can only get hand to hand with the Monsieurs, I 
am convinced it will be a glorious one." 

This expedition turned out to be for the re- 
duction of St. Lucie. An adventure, attended 
with unforeseen peril, but which, in the issue, was 


productive of great glory to the commanders and 
forces both by sea and land^ and of the highest 
advantage in all the ensuing operations of the 

The reserve of the army, consisting of the 6th 
Regiment, with the gi'enadiers and light infantry 
of the whole, under the command of Brigadier- 
General Medows, were landed at the Grand Cul 
de Sac (an inlet in the island of St. Lucie) on the 
13th December, 1778, and immediately marched 
forward to the heights on the north side of the 
bay. These posts, though veiy difficult of access, 
were soon forced. While General Prescot was 
employed in securing the bay. General Medows 
pushed forward, under the heat of a burning sun, 
and took possession of the important post of Vigie, 
which commands the north side of the Carenage 
harbour. The French commander, D*Estaing, 
seeing that General Medows was by distance and 
situation out of the reach of the main body, and 
that a retreat, however pressed or overpowered 
he might be, was impossible, determined to direct 
his whole efforts against General Medows and 
his party. The General was, however, nothing 
daunted or dismayed by the peril of his position, 
or the superior numbers of the enemy. He knew 
that he could rely, under all dangers, upon the 
braveiy and skill of the gallant band under 
him ; and there was something so bewitching in 
General Medows, when in the field, that the 


troops regarded him as the model of what a 
British officer ought to be in the hour of action ; 
nor were these impressions weakened by the 
chivalrous orders which he published to them on 
this occasion. 

" Si. Lucie, lith December, 1778. 
^^ Reserve Orders. 

"Brigadier-General Medows is extremely 
sensible of the high honour conferred upon him 
by being appointed to so distinguished a corps as 
the Reserve, From the active gallantry of the 
light infantry, the determined bravery of the gre- 
nadiers, and the confirmed discipline of the 5th 
Regiment, everything is to be expected. 

"The troops are desired to remember that 
clemency should go hand in hand with bravery j 
that an enemy in our power is an enemy no more, 
and the glorious characteristic of a British soldier 
is to conquer and to spare. Acting on these prin- 
ciples, they can never fail doing honour to them- 
selves, their king, and the country they serve." 

Although the result of the attack upon the Bri- 
tish troops at the Vigie has been recorded by the 
historians of those times in terms that reflect the 
highest honour upon Sir William Medows, Major 
Harris, second in command, and all the other 
officers and troops, I cannot withhold some further 
particulars of that glorious day which I have found 


written in Lord Harris's hand when in his eigh- 
tieth year. His attention at that late period of 
his life was specially called to the subject by a 
request from the officer commanding his old regi- 
ment^ the 5th^ in which he had passed so many 
years^ to explain to him the circumstances which 
had procured from the regiment the distinction 
of wearing a white feather, '^which he had always 
understood they gained at the Vigie." 

Lord Harris immediately answered this appeal, 
on the 22nd of June, 1824, by regretting that his 
memory, never very good, could now be of so 
little service to his old corps, but thought it likely 
that information might be obtained from Sir 
David Smith, Bart., at Alnwick, who was born in 
the regiment, highly distinguished himself with 
them in Canada, and from his strong attachment 
to the corps, had collected all the events he could 
that had occurred since their first formation, 
*^ All he could himself remember, at that distant 
period, relative to the white feather, was, that after 
the action of St. Lucie, when the men of the 5th 
were taking the white feathers from the hats of 
the Frenchmen who were killed, they said to each 
other, ^ No one will dispute our right to the white 
feather after this day*.' I can vouch that, for the 
twenty-six years I was with them, from ensign to 
lieutenant-colonel, they wore the white feather 

* The number of Frenchmen killed was more than the 
number of Englishmen imder arms at the Yigie, 


without a stain ; and I most heartily wish success 
to your application, which you are sure will be 
complied with, or very good reasons given why it 
cannot be granted." 

His mind having been thus called to the re- 
membrance of what passed at the Vigie, nearly 
half a century before, he wrote in his usual 
manner the following memoranda upon the backs 
of letters, but in such firm and good characters 
as to show the deep interest he felt in performing 
this last act of duty to his gallant comrades : — 

' " In revolving time perhaps this small tri- 
bute of aflfiection may chance to catch the eye of 
some descendants, who, generally more curious of 
family anecdotes than a present generation, may 
think themselves sufficiently interested to wish for 
any particulars that may explain (allow me to call 
it) the wonderful escape and victory of our de- 
tachment ! I hope I am not profane in attributing 
our success almost to the immediate interference 
of Providence! Some circumstances would, I 
humbly presume, bear me through that the hand 
of the Almighty was stretched out towards us, or 
how could it happen that 1,300 bayonets, with 
sixty rounds of ammunition in charge of the men 
(seldom over-careful even of this article) with 
only four six-pounders, should beat off, and kill 
or wound many more of the enemy than their 
own numbers ! We were attacked by 5,000 picked 


troops of Pi'ance, commanded by D'Estaing, and 
supported by 6,000 more, effectually keeping in 
check General Grant on the Mome Fortun6e, by 
their sudden landing, and taking a position be- 
tween us. So far D'Estaing acted like a good 
general ; but his arrogance in despising the intel- 
ligence he had, and might have had, undid him. 
Count Leslie (whose house D'Estaing often re- 
sorted to to reconnoitre) told me, a few days after 
the action, that D'Estaing was very near striking 
him with his cane for daring to explain his opinion 
of the troops which he had seen pass by to the 
Vigie. With D'Estaing we were *gens de cou- 
leur,' and he would not hear to the contrary. 
As such, he ordered us to be attacked, whether 
politically to encourage his people, or that it was 
his real belief, I do not pretend to know : how- 
ever, this is certain — ^we soon convinced him of 
his error. And, as some proof of what we were, 
allow me to relate the conduct of two of my com- 
panies as a specimen of the battalion, and, indeed, 
of the detachment. My gallant friend, now no 
more. Captain Shawe, with the 4th Company, was 
ordered by me to make his men lie down, and 
cover themselves in the brush-wood as much as 
possible, to prevent their being seen as marks ; 
when he (still standing as conspicuous as when 
he crossed the bank of the nullah before Seringa- 
patam in April, 1 799), immediately assured me he 
could answer that not a man would even wish to 



Stir until I ordered them. In this situation he 
had eight killed and wounded out of fifty, with- 
out firing a shot ! To show the steadiness of the 
battalion, on my ordering the 45 th Company, 
commanded by Captain Massey (from a reserve 
of three companies, which I kept under cover of a 
small eminence), tq relieve the 49th Company, 
he was in an instant fit his post, and as quickly 
ordered the company to make ready, and had 
given them the word ' Present,' when I called out, 
* Captain Massey, piy orders were not to fire, — 
recover!' This was done without ^ shot, and 
themselves under a heavy fire. This will, I trust, 
prove our colour w^^s right British ; and may it 
not be deemed an interference of Providence, that 
when we took possession of the Vigie, the enemy 
should have retired with such precipitation as to 
leave two twelve-pounders unspiked, with many 
rounds of ammunition ? These guns certainly de- 
termined the fate of the day, being most ably ma- 
naged by our senior artillery o$cer, Lieut. . 

Alas ! I cannot recall his name, although I so well 
remember his ingenuous praise of my beloved 
brother, and his active gallantry and masterly 
management of the two twelve-pounders ; nor can 
I forget Hill's* and my disappointment, when he 
lugged upon his shoulder a box of ammunition 
from the water-side, so heavy that it took two 

t His brotlier-ia*law, a man of gigantic power, and of the 
bravest heart. 


men to each of the same weight to follow him 
with their burden. He threw it down, and on 
opening it, we found the cartridges so rotten, that 
on being handled, they crumbled to dust. We 
had but |hree rounds left ; I turned to husband 
them, and he to join the 5th again, neither saying 
a word. 

"What immediately followed cannot be better 
expressed than in Sir William Medows's own 
words, repeated to me many years after the action. 
— ^ A few minutes before my giving you my last 
order, I considered it all over with us ! You had 
scarcely w^iispered to me, we had not three 
rounds a man left, when a shot* took you that I 
thought must be fatal ; my wound was becoming 
very painful; their column rapidly advancing; 
the wounded from our line constantly passing to 
the hospital ; ail looked ill. But your running up 
the little eminence the shot had driven you from, 
gave me hopes again, and I left you to prepare 
for my part in the orders I gave you. These 
were for you to charge with the line when you 
thought the enemy sufficiently near, and then all 
that could scramble off to join me at the flag 
staff, from which I would charge Math you as the 
last effort, and conquer or fall !' 

" I proceeded accordingly to the front of our 
line to prepare for the charge, when, to my great 
joy, I saw the head of the enemy's column stag- 

* This was only a spent ball, which produced no injury. 



gering, and some men even turned to retreat, from 

the effect of two rounds of the twelve-pounders. 

I instantly ordered the companies near me to fire, 

bidding them direct upon those in confusion, and 

in a minute or two the whole column was gone 

about, and retreating as fast as their sense of 

honour would allow — a feeling that the gallant 

soldier has even to the death, that his enemy 

may not disgrace him with the name of runaway." 

It is gratifying to see this fine old soldier, then 

in his eightieth year, thus remembering and doing 

justice to the gallantry of that enemy, which his 

own good conduct so much contributed to defeat ; 

and the following orders, published the day after the 

battle, and on the three following days, when the 

French threatened a renewal of their attack upon 

the Reserve, are quite in the generous spirit of his 

noble chief, Sir William Medows : — 

" Viffis, Idth December, 1778. 
" Reserve Orders. 

" Brigadier-General Medows has the highest 
satisfaction in communicating the flattering letter 
from the Commander-in-Chief to the troops under 
his command, and begs leave to mark to the 
officers and men his admiration of their gallantry 
and good conduct in the action of the 18th instant. 
He feels too much to be able to add more than 
that, at the head of such a corps, he must be 
pleased to live, or proud to die." 


" Copy of a letter from his Excellency the Com- 
mander-in-Chief to Brigadier-General 

" I cannot express how much I feel myself 
obliged to you, and the troops under your com- 
mand, for repulsing with so much spirit and 
bravery so great a body of the enemy. I own it 
was just what I expected from you and them ; 
and I am sure, under your command, they will 
always behave in such a manner, as to reflect 
honour on themselves and their country, and I 
must beg you will express my gratitude and thanks 
to them in the strongest manner." 

'' St. Lueie, 22nd December, 1778. 
^^ Reserve Orders. 

" The lines to be manned when the drum 
beats to arms.'' 

''24ih December, 1778. 

" The drums to beat to arms, and the lines 
to be immediately manned." 

^*Sl Lude, 25th December, 1778. 
" Reserve Orders. 

" As soon as our gallant and generous enemy 

are seen to advance in great numbers, the trdops 

are to receive them with three huzzas, and then 

to be perfectly silent and obedient to their 


^^ Whilst they are cool by day, and alert by 


night, they have nothing to fear. If the enemy 
want our arms, let them come and take them. 

^^ During the attack, the drums and fifes are 
to assemble round the colours of the 5th Regi- 
ment, and beat the ^Grenadiers' March.*" 

The whole conduct of General Medows was in 
the spirit of these orders, and he had a brave and 
prudent second in Major Harris. 

The operations of that day have been so elo- 
quently described in the Annual Register of that 
time, that I cannot deny myself the gratification 
of transcribing a small part of it. 

In the account given by this high authority, 
(and the Annual Register, as it was then in part 
written by Biirke, was of the highest authority,) 
we see a bright example of that devotion and suc- 
cess in their country's cause, in our naval and 
military services, which shone forth in later years 
with such lustre in the battles of Trafalgar and 
Waterloo, leaving the scale of pre-eminence so 
finely balanced, that it still remains (and will, I 
trust, fot ever remain) undecided by their equal 
glory and equal claims upon the gratitude of their 

" Nothing could exceed the dispositions made 
upon this occasion by General Medows, nor sur- 
pass his conduct in any of its parts. He was 
wounded in the beginning of the action, but could 
neither be persuaded by his surgeons to quit the 


field, dor to admit of their assistance in it until 
the affair was decided. It would be needless to 
make any observations upon the behaviour of his 
officers and troops ; where all were brave, little 
notice could be taken of individuals. Major 
Harris, who commanded the grenadiers, and was 
next in command to General Medows, and Major 
Sir James Murray, at the head of the light in- 
fantry, had, from their rank, an opportunity of 
being more particularly distinguished. It would 
seem, upon the whole, as if there had been a 
zealous emulation in danger and glory between 
the land and the naval departments, and that 
fortune had taken care to share the palm so 
equally, that the contest should still remain un- 
decided. The loss sustained by the French ex- 
ceeded any thing that could be supposed or appre* 
prehended, either from the numbers engaged, or 
from the duration of the action. No less than 
400 men were killed upon the spot ; 500 were so 
desperately wounded as to be rendered incapable 
of service, and 600 more were slightly wounded ; 
the whole amounting to a considerable number, 
greater than that bf the enemy whom they had 
encountered. The loss of the victftrs was compa- 
ratively as small, as that on the side of the van- 
quished was great, and beyond usual example ; and 
it cannot but excite astonishment, that, although 
many were wounded, not a single British officer 
should have lost his life in such an action/' 


Although there was no British officer killed on 
that important day^ there was one subsequent loss 
of the victors, which struck deep into the heart of 
Major Harris ; his brother was severely wounded, 
and 'died after the action. No man ever loved a 
brother with more devoted affection, as the family 
journal of Mrs. Dyer thus describes : " Alas ! the 
first accounts we received of the affair at the Vigie 
too fatally convinced us that ' the paths of glory 
lead but to the grave.' I truly lament that I am 
not possessed of the letter your father wrote to 
your grandmother on this melancholy occasion, 
and that my memory supplies me with only the 
first line : — ' Queens might behold you with envy, 
mourning as a mother for such a son.' Sorry 
I am that recollection fails of what I thought 
when I read it, whether considered in the light 
of filial or fraternal affection, piety or true hero- 
ism, the most beautiful epistle that ever was 
penned. How much he loved him, how sincerely 
he mourned his untimely fate, will appear by the 
following letters. 

« * Island of St. Lucie, March 14, 1779. 
" * How many anxious moments must my 
dear Bess have passed between the report of our 
expedition and the arrival of my letter by the 
Pearl frigate. It seems an age since we left New 
York, and if we reflect on the events, more of 
consequence has happened than in my whole life 


besides. You will all severely feel the loss of our 
poor Tom, but even you must allow the blow was 
ruder on me than on any. Long ere I could have 
reached him, a messenger arrived to say he was 
no more. Such were my sensations, that I could 
have sat over his 'grave till I had mouldered and 
become a clod of the valley, as he was. The 
boat's crew knew my intent in landing, and I 
could perceive on my return, that both they and 
Holmes were equally weak as myself. You will 
believe I thanked them, and was obliged. It was 
a melancholy morning, though of that kind it is 
manly to seek, for I then went to visit a serjeant 
in the company with my brother, and shot close 
by him, both behaving with a gallantry to make 
them more regretted by those they commanded. 
How glorious to die nobly in defence of our coun- 
try, regretted by an army, rather than ignobly, of 
a vile unwholesome air. Even the flinty heart of 
a soldier could not tell me of his death, but called 
General Medows aside, who, with tears that al- 
most stopped his utterance, stammered out, 
^ Harris, be a man in this, as in every thing else ; 
the struggle is past.' 'Tis impossible to convey 
to you the obligations I owe to General Medows, 
or the love I bear him. He is brave, good, and 
generous. I have every reason to be thankful. I 
cannot enumerate my blessings. I have far more 
than I deserve. God only can make me suffi- 
ciently thankful. May He enable me to live 


honourably and die gloriously ; and what is there 
in this life to make us wish a dear friend back? 
What are a few years more or less ? — b, speck in 
time, so fine as not to be seen !' " 

When these emotions of grief for his beloved 
brother, and the solemn thoughts which they had 
excited, began to subside, Major Harris turned 
with fond affection towards her who possessed his 
heart in England, and all his hopes were directed 
to a speedy return to her. 

In writing to his eousih he said, *' If but a 
single regiment get home, the 5th is, from several 
circumstances, the first. After all the instances 
of hair-breadth 'scapes and glorious enterprises, 
one cannot help now and then sighing for the 
friendly hearth. Five campaigns, though they 
have not abated my zeal, have certainly tended to 
strengthen my original love of retirement. A 
country life, with land enough to give me employ- 
ment, is what I have, however distant the pro- 
spect, continually in view." 

" June 3rd. — ^Notwithstanding my high spirits 
and fond hopes. Fortune has jilted us. The regi- 
ment is turned into marines. As the drowning 
wretch catches at a straw, I am willing to believe 
it will not be of long duration, or that the fleet 
may be blown to, or obliged to go to, England ; 
but at present Fortune has jilted us. It's not 
always slie's to be boldly won ; tho' I must con- 


fess it in general succeeds. Some poet says (and 
I suppose these gentlemen make Fortune a female 
for that purpose), that. 

Women, bom to be controlled. 
Stoop to the forward and the bold. 

However, I feel such confidence in the little blind 
urchin, after his attention in delivering my letters 
to you, that I cannot think he will iFail us now. 

" If I thought I could desert my country's 
cause for my own ease, I could not offer my 
Nancy so ignoble a heart ; but sure I am that, 
having her once mine, I should act with double 
zeal. I am therefore pretty much determined to 
see her at every risk. 

" My dear friend General Medows is in as good 
health as this climate will permit him. If you 
should be lucky enough to see him, you will see a 
man that I really believe I could get between and 
a cannon-ball, if I knew it was coming." 

As one of the many instances afforded in the 
after life of Major Harris, that this was no tran- 
sient feeling of affection to General Medows, I 
find an anecdote stated, which I believe to be well 
founded. The General, acting upon that principle 
which continually influenced his military career, 
and which taught him that it made little difference 
in the chances of a soldier's life, whether he did 
his duty cautiously and shabbily, or promptly and 
handsomely, exposed himself to the hottest fire 
whenever he could. On one occasion, he perse 


vered so heedlessly in doing so, that Colonel 
Harris, and the other officers with him, implored 
him to come down from the position where he 
stood as a mark to the enemy. He disregarded 
their remonstrance, when Colonel Harris jumped 
up, and placed himself beside him, saying, *^If 
you, sir, think it right to remain here, it is my 
duty to stand by you." This act of generous 
friendship had an immediate effect upon the noble 
heart of General Medows, and he descended from 
his perilous station. 



Proceeds to England in a Dutch vessel — Is taken prisoner, but 
soon released — ^Is married — Rejoins his regiment in Barba- 
does, and then proceeds Tvith it to Ireland as Lieutenant- 
Colonel— Sayes the ship from being wrecked on the Old 
Head of Elinsale — Description of his exertions by Mrs. 

All Major Hai*ris*s lettei'S at this period breathed 
the spirit of the warmest affection and anxiety to 
revisit his " ladye love." With this view, he ob- 
tained leave of absence from his regiment, and, in 
company with Lord Cranstown, took his passage 
in a Dutch vessel, but he was destined to suffer 
fresh delay and disappointment. They were cap- 
tured by a French privateer, and taken to France 
as prisoners of war; they were afterwards re- 
leased on their parole, as, by a private article in 
the treaty between the two countries, officers 
taken in neutral ships were not to be considered 
in the light of prisoners of war. 

After a short stay in England, his marriage 
was happily completed, and he set out, with liis 
bride, to rejoin his regiment in Barbadoes. 

Of the happiness of that marriage he spoke in 
terms of rapture, even in a ship, where he 
" thought each day too soon ended," But they 
had scarcely reached Barbadoes before they were 


exposed to one of those trials that must ever 
attend military marriages. Major Harris was 
sent upon an expedition, the destination of which 
was a secret. Some days passed in this most 
painful state of separation and anxiety, when the 
abandonment of the expedition restored him in 
safety; yet short was this gleam of happiness. 
The usual exchange of regiments taking place, 
the 5th was one of those that were to return to 
England in the summer of 1780 ; but as the time 
was rather uncertain, and Mrs. Harris's situation 
rendered it absolutely necessary for her to be 
settled in some comfortable place by a certain 
day, another separation was unavoidable. 

The journal which Mrs. Harris wrote of her 
lonely voyage home beautifully describes her feel- 
ings on this distressing occasion. After much of 
trial and suffering, she arrived at Plymouth ; but, 
to her inexpressible joy. Major Harris reached that 
port the day before she gave birth to a daughter, 
who, happily for all connected with her, has in- 
herited the tender affections of her mother, and 
the fortitude and sense of her noble father. 

In December of this year Major Harris was 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and 
ordered, with his regiment, to Ireland. During 
his passage an opportunity happened for the dis- 
play of his own great presence of mind, and his 
influence over others. The transport which con- 
veyed his regiment was commanded by a most 


incompetent captain, who had lost all authority 
over his crew. They declared that they would 
obey no commands but those of Colonel Harris, 
and nothing but his energy and composure in the 
midst of the greatest dangers and difficulties, 
saved tlie vessel from being dashed to pieces on 
the Old Head of Kinsale, as the following narra- 
tive most feelingly describes. It was written by 
Mrs. Harris, nine years after the event, for the 
information of her children during their father's 
a|)sence in the East Indies in the first war with 

After describing a boisterous p^sage down 
the Channel, and their being forced to take shelter 
in Plymouth, she begins: — "We had but little 
reason to conceive a high opinion of our ship's 
captain ; for being on deck at the time we weighed 
anchor at Catwater, I could not help observing 
his strange conduct^ and evident stupidity. His 
directions to the men were always given with a 
vulgar imperiousness, highly disgusting. But 
being very nearly thrown at that time into a very 
dangerous situation, by the impropriety of his 
own orders, he had the meanness to descend to 
the grossest flattery, and abjectly entreated those 
to obey him, whom before he had abused and 
derided. At last we bore away, after our whim- 
sical commodore ; who veered and tacked about, 
just as the fancy took him ; and except our own, 
scarcely a vessel was with him, when we made 


the Irish coast, Cork was the port we were 
bound for : and the Leandei' being a fine sailing 
ship, was far a-head of our heavy transport, and 
with the help of glasses, our mariners easily saw 
her making all the sail she could into the harbour, 
leaving us exposed on that dangerous coast, to a 
foul wind, hazy weather, and a rolling sea. Onr 
silly captain fretted, and in short, did not know 
what course to follow; but said if your father 
approved it, the ship should be put about, and 
we would tiy to make Kinsale. The proposal was 
readily agreed to, our situation now becoming 
very serious. A signal being made for a pilot, 
one soon came on board, and your dear father 
took me on deck, to observe how curiously the 
vessel would be navigated, in the narrowest chan- 
nel I ever beheld. The Old Head of Kinsale, a 
most tremendous jutting-out rock, was at the 
mouth of the harbour, and we should have run 
far within it, but we were so unfortunate as to 
have a pilot so besotted, he did not take sufficient 
notice of what he was doing, and brought the 
ship to, just abreast of this frightful place : how- 
ever, our anchor got pretty good hold, and satisfied 
by the Irishman's assurance of our safety, we 
resigned ourselves to remaining on board that 
night, it being too boisterous to venture a boat 
out; and though we concluded the ship was in 
good anchorage, I could not help observing, she 
rolled more violently than I ever experienced in 


the severest storm when under sail. The hopes 
that our voyage was just at an end, put me into 
the greatest spirits; and I went to bed with a 
light heart, though the motion of the ship was 
intolerable, and the tempest howled most dread- 
fufly without. Early in the morning I was 
awakened by the firing of a gun from the quarter- 
deck ; several succeeded, and on looking about, I 
found your dear father had left his bed. On 
hearing I was awake, he came immediately to me. 
The guns had alarmed me. I knew they were 
signals of distress, and began to apprehend some- 
thing dreadful in our situation. With that admi- 
rable composure and presence of mind for which 
your excellent father is so distinguished, he endea- 
voured to explain away my fears ; soothed me by 
a tenderness that was delightful ; and spoke the 
sweetest comfort, even when in immediate prospect 
of the pangs of death. I grew perfectly com- 
posed, and he went again upon deck, where I 
afterwards found his presence was of the utmost 
consequence, in encouraging and commanding 
the men, who had positively declared they would 
obey no orders but his ; and indeed his wonderful 
exertion saved the ship, and of course all the souls 
on board. The bustle above increasing, I called 
to our man-servant, who. was waiting at my cabin 
door, desiring to know what they were doing. 
* Oh madam (said he), we are lost people I they 



cannot keep the ship off the dregful rock; you 
may see it not a stone's throw from your cabin 
window. We have been in a most perilous situa- 
tion the whole night.' The imprudent fellow soon 
perceived the effects of his rashness by my coun- 
tenance, and brought his master instantly to me i 
finding all evasion was now impracticable^ he said^ 
our situation was undoubtedly a bad one^ but a 
boat was coming off shore immediately for us; 
that I must keep up my spirits, and all would 
soon be well. At the same time strengthening 
my fainting resolution, by reminding me what 
mercies we had received at the hands of pur 
bountiful Creator, who he doubted not would 
add our present relief to the number. He took 
me upon deck with him, for he durst not leave 
the men, and he knew I was easiest by his side. 
I wiU not distress your tender feelings with a 
full description of the scene that now presented 
itself tp my view, but must say it was indeed 
most terrifying; and added to all that was passing 
on board, I saw the wretches waiting in numbers 
on the shore, expecting our vessel would go to 
pieces, and intent (as is their barbarous usage) on 
plundering the wreck. From this dismal scene 
my attention was roused by the expected boat 
approaching near the ship. Your dear father was 
making everything ready to get me iiito it, but 
how that was to be accomplished, almost st^gered 

mus. Harris's narrative. 115 

even his resolution. The ship rolled most violently, 
what the sailors term gunnel-to; and being a 
very large and light transport, it is impossible to 
express the motion she suffered. Hqwever, by 
your excellent father's and the mariners' exertions, 
or rather by the immediate goodness of Almighty 
Providence^ Sally and I were got safely into the 
\i09i,X ; you, my dear Nancy, shivering and crying, 
being just taken from a warm bed, your dear 
father, at the risk of his own precious life, depo- 
sited safely in my arms. And now, my dear 
children, the most dreadful part of my trial began. 
^ My Nancy,' said your father, with a forced smile, 
while I too plainly saw the starting tear, *you 
must now exert yourself, as I know you can do ; 
I (^nnqt, my heart, leave the ship at present, so I 
commit you to the care of these worthy Irishmen. 
In a few hours I shall follow you; be sure dinner 
is prepared against I come, and wait till three.' 
Oh! my children, think what I suffered in that 
dreadful moment ! But there was no alternative. 
He flew up the ship's side, while our boat, which 
had sails, put off, quick as thought, to the shore. 
My eyes, dimmed with tears, could not behold 
Icing the vessel that contained my dear, dear trea- 
sury! while the boatmen, not considering how 
shocking it must be to me to hear them mention 
the great danger of the ship, spoke of nothing 
else; and with warm, though rude language^ 

I 2 


hoped that God would preserve the brave gentle- 
man (meaning your dear father) in safety. It 
blew a storm^ and snowed very fast. I was 
perishing with cold by the time we got to shore, 
distracted with apprehensions, and hardly able to 
keep my poor little Nancy at my breast. An 
officer of the regiment attended to protect me; 
with whom, Sally, and our man-servant, I landed 
at Kinsale. From the landing-place to the prin- 
cipal inn we had a dreadful walk, the snow being 
mid-leg deep ; and my poor babe cried so bitterly, 
I was forced to carry her myself, though fatigue, 
cold, and anguish, had rendered me almost unable 
to support my own weight. Behold me now at 
Kinsale, among perfect strangers, and in a country 
equally strange, and my mind distracted by your 
father's perilous situation. Yet be assured, my 
dear children, I did not so lose myself in sorrow, 
as to forget the many mercies the Almighty had 
shown him in the greatest dangers ; and the re- 
flection in whose hands he was, enabled me to 
get through this weary day with more composure 
than, on the retrospect, I can scarce think was 
possible, but for that support, which I trust 
throughout life the Almighty will bestow on ye, 
my dear children, and which He graciously pro- 
mises to all who implore his assistance and protec- 
tion : ^ Seek and ye shall find ; knock and it shall 
be opened unto you.* Surely no one can resist 

MRS. Harris's narrative. 117 

this pressing invitation^ so beneficial to their pur- 
suits here, and so vital to their hopes hereafter. 

^^ A little refreshment and dry clothes made us 
somewhat more comfortable; and I hoped the 
promised hour would bless me with my dear hus- 
band's arrival, which happy hope was, to all ap- 
pearance, confirmed, by observing a boat coming 
to the shore. It came, but instead of your dear 
father, brought a note from him, telling me, * the 
ship was assuredly getting into safer anchorage ; 
though he could not leave her till evening, yet I 
might depend the danger was over.' I need not 
describe the cruel disappointment I sustained — 
indeed, the bare recollection, at this distant period, 
is too much for my feelings. A melancholy and 
almost untasted meal over, a long and sad after- 
noon dragged on, and I became so ill, my maid 
and kind hostess insisted on putting me to bed. 
Wretched as I was, fatigue overpowered me, and 
I had fallen asleep ; when our landlady, who had 
before taken her leave, rapped at the door (which 
Sally had fastened), requesting, with an ^ Arrah, 
my dear honeys, let me in,' roused and alarmed me. 
I would not let Sally comply with her demand, 
which she repeated, and was again denied ; when 
your father's well-known voice gained the desired 
admittance. With what rapture the dear sound 
broke upon my ear is not to be described — (at 
present, indeed^ it is impossible, as that satisfac- 

118 MRS. Harris's narrative. 

tion is now beyond my reach, were I to offer my 
life for it). Oh! my dear children, will ye not 
endeavour to make us some recompense for those 
struggles your welfare has again obliged us to 
submit to?, Remember the sacrifice we arfe 
making ; be good and deserving, and sweet will 
be our reward. 

"The joy I felt in your dear father's beiilg 
restored to me, was much increased by the infor- 
mation that the ship and crew were safe. Next 
morning I had the pleasure of seeing my old ship- 
mates safely landed, and sweet was the gratification 
to me, when they all poured forth their warmest 
thanks to your dear father, for his unabating 
efforts and judicious conduct, it being clear to all 
that it was owing to these the ship and so many 
lives were saved, 

"May ye, my dear children^ make his example 
the object of your constant imitation : so will ye 
gain that love and reverence that ever follow his 
name. Thus have I gone through a painful re- 
cital, with as strict an adherence as possible to 
truth, as my rising emotions, and starting tears 
best prove. And to conclude the nan-ative, 1 
shall only observe to my beloved children that the 
retrospect of past trials should inspire us with a 
proper confidence, that all that follows will be 
overcome, through the infinite goodness of our 
Gracious iPather who is in heaven, and on whom 


I ardently pray my dear children may ever place 
the firmest reliance. 

Annb Carteret Harris, 
"Zofi^ Tofth, SeptembeTj 1789.** 

This artless and affectionate narrative of the 
perils through which she had passed^ and of the 
feelings they excited, does justice and honour to 
the warm heart of the writer^ and will account for 
the reluctance with which Colonel Harris conti- 
nued in the path of glory and of danger. 

When Mrs. Harris, whose infant daughter had 
been rocked in the rude cradle of this tempes- 
tuous voyage, had a little recovered from fatigue 
and apprehension. Colonel Harris proceeded with 
them to Kilkenny, where the beauty of the scenery 
and the warm hospitality of the neighbourhood, 
and of some friends who had known him during 
his former residence in Ireland, made them an 
agreeable abode. But it did not continue long ; 
for the report of a French invasion required that 
the 5 th Regiment should march immediately to 
Limerick, where Mrs. Harris increased the sources 
of her husband's affection by giving birth to a son 
(the present Lord Harris). He was subsequently 
stationed in various parts of Ireland, when the 
prospect of a numerous family, added to an innate 
love of retirement and country pursuits, prompted 
him to make several attempts to sell his commis- 


sion. Preparatory thereto, he took a cottage at 
Long Town, on the borders of Scotland, during^ 
the leave which he had from his regiment. Here 
he lived for some time, whenever his military duties 
admitted of his absence, but not without leaving 
in the remembrance of the neighbourhood a warm 
impression of his many excellent qualities, as I 
had recently an opportunity of hearing, after a 
lapse of more than fifty years. 



Attempts to sell his commission, and retire to Canada — Is pre- 
vented by Sir William Medows, and persuaded to go with 
him as Military Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to Bombay — 
Their voyage and arrival there. 

But aU Colonel Harris's endeavours to sell his 
commission failed^ except one^ and the negotia- 
tion for this arrived at the very last stage of ful- 
filment^ so far as his own will, and the means of 
the oflScer who was to purchase it from him, were 
concerned. He went to London to receive the 
money for his commission, intending to pro- 
ceed with it, and settle with his family in 

On his arrival in London, he accidentally met 
Sir William Medows in St. James's Street, and, 
after mutual expressions of friendship and affec- 
tion, awakened by the casual meeting of two such 
comrades in past dangers, he explained the pur- 
pose of his visit to town, and his future intentions. 
Sir William listened with pam and impatience to 
the story, and asked if he had actually received 
the money, and if the new commission had been 
positively signed by the king. He was told there 
would be the delay of another day, in consequence 


of the Princess Amelia's death. ^^Then/' smd he,* 
" Harris, you shan't sell out — ^you shall go with 
me as secretary and aide-de-camp : I am just ap- 
pointed governor of Bombay, and your presence 
will be a host to me. I'll go directly to the 
agent, and stop the sale.*' He did accordingly, 
and thus by the generous friendship of Sir Wil- 
liam Medows, and the intervention of a kind 
Providence, Colonel Harris was reserved for ano- 
ther and a higher destiny. AU the necessary 
preparations were qiiickly made for their voyage 
to Bombay. Coloniel Harris exchanged from the 
6th Regiment, then in Ireland, to the 76th, 
serving in India, and a heavy burden of care was 
taken from his mind, by a ndble trait in the con- 
duct of his kind friend. General Medows, who, 
with his brother, the late fearl Manvers, advanced 
4,000/. to insure Colonel Harris's life for the 
benefit of his wife and family. This disinterested 
act of friendship relieved him, in a great degree, 
from the anxiety and apprehension he felt at 
leaving his wife and children totally unprovided 
for In the event of his death, and the conscious- 
ness that he was doing his duty towards them In 
the step he was taking, lessened the bitter pangs 
of separation. 

His next letter Is to his cousin, Mrs. Dyer, who 
had promised to be the faithful companion of his 
wife and family during his absence : — 

LiSTtER TO Mrs. dyer. l23 

''To convince my dear Bess that I not only 
desire, but, to the best of my abilities, attempt to 
deserve, that she should continue a custom which 
has so long given pleasure and profit to her friend, 
I take the pen, full of the thought, that it is now 
almost thirty years since you first became my kind 
instructress in the use of it. How many tedious 
hours of that time hast thou beguiled by thy ani^ 
mated epistles ! How many has thy encourage- 
ment induced me to employ better, I fear, than 
they would otherwise have been disposed of! 
Though Nature refused that I should rival my 
kind mistress, I have sometimes the vanity to 
think that she is not ashamed of her pupil. What 
a satisfaction to your nevelr-changing fViend that 
you are the willing assistant of his beloved wife 
in attempting to make his dear infants what you 
wished him to be! My dear Anne Elizabeth's 
first performances with the pencil are enshrined 
in their proper cases, are watched and visited with 
more affection than a miser's gold. Thy riiig, my 
Bess, is a continued circle of joy to me ; faithful 
memory is at least every hour of the day at dear 
Long Town, and often in the night we are not 
divided. Bright hope, heaven's kind comforter, 
often leads me to the time when thy sweet (and I 
trust prophetic) picture of the last 18th March* 

* Hid birthdfty. 


shall be realized, and resignation to that Provi- 
dence, who orders all for good, is wonderfully my 
companion. Here, my dear fi'iend, your last pre- 
sent is become more valuable than you may, 
perhaps, have yet ventured to hope. Never at 
any time have I experienced such satisfaction in 
the perusal of the Scriptures as on this passage. 
The mild plain doctrines of our Saviour leave a 
calm the breath of man cannot give. 

" We are now, my Bess, beginning to be on 
the stretch of expectation ; again we have crossed 
the line, and are within a few days' sail of our 
destined port. We made Madagascar at sunset 
on the 8th, but I did not see it, which I know you 
will wonder at, for I might, by only going to the 
mast-head, whence only it was visible. To it we 
were obliged, in a great degree, for our smooth 
sailing; protected by its shores from the vast body 
of the Indian ocean, we glided with almost im- 
perceptible motion in five days to Johanna. Here 
we landed, and found the scenes of Tinian (as 
described in Anson's Voyages^) even exceeded; 
with all its natural beauties it has the advantage 
of being inhabited. The present lords of the 
soil are descendants from Arab freebooters, who 
have conquered and made slaves of the abori- 
gines. They pretend to be strongly attached to 
the English by gratitude for supplying them with 
arms to keep their rebellious subjects in order. 
To the credit of the India Company, they have an 


excuse for this, besides the convenience of the 
place to them. Two ships that were wrecked 
here had not only many lives saved by the Mus- 
sulmen, but all the cargo that could be got on 
shore. They seem to pride themselves on being 
called after our titles, and very few present their 
letters of recommendation with a lower title than 
that of baron ; they are in general handsome in 
their person, with a great deal of air and most 
insinuating address. Pity that I can't conclude 
this panegyric, without observing that, like the 
Chinese, they cannot help being of a thievish dis-* 
position. Lord Comhermaddy^ mine and my friend 
Hart's washerman^ who had been particularly 
well treated, given a great many things by Hart, 
and amply paid by me, besides giving him the 
epaulet from my shoulder (value half a dollar, I 
dare say) wanted the servant out of the next 
cabin to put his master's pewter basin into his 
canoe, and say it had been stolen, which four 
others had actually been the same day. 

" My man John, who is very quick-sighted on 
such occasions, does not perceive that we have 
lost anything but a bottle of Goulard and water, 
that had been mixed to bathe my eye, and which, 
from the look of the bottle, they had taken for 
smell water, their term for lavender. Here, alas ! 
suspicion falls strongly on the Prince of Wales's 
second son, but it was probably for his mistress ; 
and, from the respect I bear the royal family, I 


would not press the inquiry too close, for fear of 
disgracing him. 

'^ Adieu^ my dear Bess. If this should fail to 
amuse, yon have still the satisfaction of knowing 
that it has stolen a few moments from me which 
anxiety might have rendered tedious. 

Believe me ever 

Your sincere and affectionate friend whilst 

Georob Harris.*' 

The servant alluded to in this letter, hy name 
John Best, or the best of Johns (as Sir William 
Medows described him in the bequest which he 
made of a sword to him in his will), was a most 
faithful and attached creature, and (in subsequent 
years) raised himself by his merit to an honest 
independence. In consequence of his gallant 
conduct, as one of the forlorn hope at the storm 
of Seringapatam, which he insisted upon going on, 
he was offered a commission in the army. This 
he had the good sense to decline, and be satisfied 
with the more suitable post of a commissary of 
ordnance. When desperately wounded in the 
bed of the river Cavery, he sat upon a rock, and 
cheered the men as they passed to the storm of 
the breach. Mrs. Harris, thinking that her hus- 
band would be too much occupied in his nume* 
rous duties to write often to her during his ab- 
sence, had desired John Best to send, an account 
of him whenever he had an opportunity. I can- 


JOHN debt's lettkh. 197 

not withhold from the reader the following amus- 
ing specimen of his epistolary talents. 

" Bombay y January 9, 1789. 

*^ M iidam^ 

^^ It gives me great pleasure to inform you, 
by the ship Prince William Henry^ which is 
thought to be the first ship to London from this 
coast, and I am glad to inform you that my 
master is in perfect good health, and in a very 
comfortable healthy situation at present, and I 
hope you will receive this in good health and 
prosperity. And ever since we left London, 
Madam, there has been a great many pleasant 
affairs past, which did give me the greatest com- 
fort in the world ; for to see concerning my master 
on board the Winterton — we had not been long 
on board, before they all seeM, from my master's 
good pleasant looks and civil behaviour, that he 
was the sensiblest man on board, and in a short 
time they all became so very much pleased with 
him, that they did ask his advice at all times, for 
he perfectly at last gained all their favours ; and 
if he had wanted any favour, or asked the captain 
to forgive any man when he was angry, it was 
always granted. And when we landed at Bom- 
bay, in two days all was ready to entertain the 
gentlemen when they came to dine with the Go- 
vernor, for every day there is twelve or twenty 
different men at least every day, and they do 
make very free ai\d pass the time cheerfully, which 


is very pleasant to see ; for I have often thought 
in my breast, if you did see how my master makes 
all the gentlemen so happy, it wou'd in the first 
place, it would surprise any person for to see, it 
is so well carried on. And my master sits at the 
head of the table, and the General at the side, for 
he gives all the care to my master, and he gives 
the gentlemen many broad hints that it is all 
Col. Harris's, which makes it appear very plea- 
sant to me for to see them at all times like two 
brothers. The Governor very often tells the gen- 
tlemen some good story concerning Col. Harris, 
and they both agree in the same in such good 
nature, that it makes it very pleasant; and my 
master always drinks a glass of wine with every 
strange gentleman at table, and sometimes a great 
many, to the great pleasure of all the people at 
table; it looks so well, that when any strange 
gentleman comes to dine the first time, they seem 
quite surprised, and all the time keep their eyes 
fixed upon my master ; so, I think, the best com- 
parison I can make is, they look as if they were 
all his own children. But I am sorry to see the 
gentlemen live so fast ; but, to my great comfort, 
my master is as careful as ever he was at home, 
and in every particular careful of his self. And 
this wine, you must know, that he drinks, is three 
parts water. If you will put two glasses of water 
and one of madeira, and then a little claret, you 
wiU not perceive any difference^ and the claret, 

JOHN best's letter. 129 

one glass of water to one glass of claret. This I 
always mind myself, and give him, when he calls 
for madeira or claret. I hope. Madam, you will 
forgive me for giving myself the great honour of 
writing to you. 

I am^ with respect^ 

Your most obedient servant^ 
John Best." 

This letter, in its original spelling, would have 
been more amusing and natural, but the copy in 
Mrs. Dyer's hand-writing is alone forthcoming. 



Proceeds with Sir WiUiom MedowB to Madras, and is engaged 
in the campaigns against Tippoo Sultaun in the years 17^* 
179], and 1792 — Returns to England at the close of that 
war — Rejoins his regiment at Calcutta in October, 17^> aiid 
is unexpectedly appointed Commander-in-Chief at Madras. 

The remaining period of Colonel Harris's resi- 
dence at Bombay passed very agreeably to him- 
self and his chief, and when the appointment of 
General Medows to be Governor of Madras called 
him away, the inhabitants of Bombay expressed 
their warm regret at his departure. 

Soon after the arrival of General Medows and 
Colonel Harris at Madras, Tippoo made an irrup- 
tion into the Travancore country, and the Madras 
army was ordered by the Governor-General of 
India, Lord Cornwallis, to be immediately as- 
sembled for the punishment of this wanton vio- 
lation of the peace against one of the Company's 

So soon as the army could be collected toge- 
ther in the southern countries. General Medows 
joined it, with Colonel Harris, as his military 
secretary and principal aide-de-camp, and the fol- 
lowing general order was published. It will be 
found in the spirit of those which emanated from 


the same source after the battle at the Vigie. (See 
page 100.) 

" Head QttarterSy Vamp^ Trichimpoly Plains 
May 25, 1790. 

''The Coramander-in-Chief, Major-General 
MedowSj is happy to find himself at the head of 
that army, whose appearance adorns the country 
he trusts their brayery and discipline will save. 
An army that is brave and obedient^ that is patient 
of labour, and fearless of danger, that surmounts 
dij£culties and is full of resources, but, above all, 
whose cause is just, has reason to hope to be in- 
vincible against a cruel and ambitious tyrant, 
whose savage treatment of his prisoners but too 
many present have experienced ; however, should 
the fortune of war put him into our hands, uncon- 
taminated by his base example, let him be treated 
with every act of humanity and generosity, and 
enlightened, if possible, by a treatment so much 
the reverse of his own. To a generous mind, a 
fault acknowledged is a fault forgot; and an 
enemy in our power is an enemy no more. 

" That the army and the Commander-in-Chief 
may understand each other — ^and the sooner the 
better, as there is nothing on earth he idolizes 
more than a well-disciplined army, so there is 
nothing on earth he detests and despises more 
than the reverse — ^he is, therefore, determined to 
make the severest examples of the few that may 



dare to disgrace the army in general by a diffe- 
rent conduct. No plunderers will be shown the 
smallest mercy : he is resolved to make examples 
severe, in the hope of making them rare, and 
would think it one of the greatest blessings he 
could enjoy to make none at all. Among the 
first wishes of his heart is the army's reputation 
and success ; but it must be prepared for hard- 
ships, and to endure them — for difficulties, and to 
surmount them — ^for numerous enemies, and to 
beat them." 

Colonel Harris was present with General 
Medows during the whole of the campaigns of 
1790, 1791, and 1792, particularly at the storming 
parties of the Pettah of Bangalore, and of the 
fortresses of Bangalore, Savemdroog, and Nundy- 
droog. In the action of the 15th of May, 1791, 
he was appointed by Lord Cornwallis to com- 
mand the second line of the army, and was per- 
sonally engaged in his Lordship's attack on 
Tippoo's fortified camp and the island of Seringa- 
patam on the night of the 6th of February, 1 792, 
the success of which terminated that war. 

Peace being restored, Colonel Harris left Ma- 
dras, with Sir William Medows, in August, 1792, 
and, before they embarked for England, had the 
gratification of manifesting his grateful sense of 
the affectionate attachment and unbounded con- 
fidence which his gallant chief had always reposed 


in him, by placing at his disposal more than 
40,000/., which had been accumulated by his 
daily care of the General's financial concerns. 
This sum was the residue of his allowances as 
Commander-in-Chief and Governor, after pro- 
viding liberally for all the expenses of his high 
station, and there are some yet living who re- 
member the ample hospitality of Sir William's 
table. Those of Sir William's friends, who well 
knew his careless habits about money, and his 
indifierence to every thing but military fame, were 
surprised at the amount of his savings, and when 
they inquired how he had contrived to get such a 
sum, he replied, with his characteristic brevity and 
truth, " Harris knows how he scraped it together, 
but I don't." 

After a year passed in the society of his family 
and friends in England, Colonel Harris proceeded 
with Mrs. Harris and his eldest daughter, to join 
his regiment, then in Calcutta. He arrived there 
in October, 1794, and was immediately appointed 
to the command of Fort William, where he re 
mained occupied in the cheerful manner described 
in his letters to Mrs. Dyer, to whose ability, dili- 
gence, and warm affection, I am indebted for the 
facility and fidelity with which the preceding part 
of Colonel Harris's life has been detailed. 

But his philosophy was about to be put to a 
disagreeable trial by his promotion to the rank of 
Major-General. All his life looking forward to 


quiet and comfortable retirement for his latter 
days, ^^ it was (to use his own words) only the 
great advantage likely to accrue to my children 
and some few friends, that could have brought 
me to Calcutta, and to have those prospects cut 
off by a rank that will probably do no one good, 
may be allowed a trial of our fortitude. Record 
it then, our historian, that we are enabled to wait 
the event with due resignation, and even to look 
forward to its consequences rather as a general 
than an individual concern. Nay, I am not sure, 
but to some of us the greatest disappointment will 
be to stay. Having done our parts in making 
the exertion^ the being forced back to the privacy 
of a country-life, which we tore ourselves from, 
will be sensibly felt (as we ought to endeavour to 
receive all the dispensations of Providence) as a 
blessing, and be attended with no regret, but as 
it reduces our powers of assistance to those who 
may look to us. Is not this talking very phUoso- 
phically, on descending from seven thousand a-year 
to three hundred ? — the latter the amount of my 
lieutenant-colonel's pay in England ; and whether 
my generalship may add two or three hundred, if 
they bring me back, is very uncertain. Indeed, 
the many political cleums on Government, leave 
the soldier unconnected with parliamentary inte- 
rest, little chance in the piping times of peice, 
and those, thank Grod, I am too good a citizen 
not to wish may speedily arrive, and last long. 


Your god-daughter is all you can wish her, and 
gives every possible proof that she will one day be 
as respectable at the head of her family as her 
mother is and ever has been/* 

Happily for General Harris and all connected 
with him, the fear of his being compelled to re- 
turn home was soon removed by his promotion to 
the rank of Lieutenant-General, and his appoint- 
ment to be Commander-in-Chief at Madras, with 
a seat in the Council. Upon this Mrs. Dyer 
observes in her Journal : — 

^^ As these appointments will infallibly enable 
him to fulfil all his parental and philanthropic 
purposes, I flatter myself I may be permitted to 
behold my heart's best treasures in this world ; 
but should the Omnipotent decree otherwise, I 
have the consolation to believe I shall live in their 
kind remembrance. And if the events I have 
recorded in these pages are permitted to be the 
means of stimulating my dear children to virtue, 
and of deterring them from vice — ^if the letters in 
answer to my dearest Nancy's queries preserve 
them fi-om errors in matters of faith — if those to 
your uncle Thomas conduce to the constant prac- 
tice of rational and sincere piety and morality, I 
shall not have lived in vain. 

'* May ye, my dear children, inherit the virtues 
of your parents — ^may those virtues ever live and 
be remembered by you, that the name of Harris 
may be respectable to the latest posterity. 


^^And now, with the utmost satisfaction, I 
resign my post of historiographer and biographer 
to one not only well qualified to be my successor, 
but who, I hope and trust, will enjoy the advan- 
tages of health and ease long, very long, steady 
nerves, and good spirits, to mark and remark 
occurrences as they arise. 

"To me some of these desirable requisites 
were wanting long ere I began thus reviewing 
life's eventful page. It was your dear father's 
wish I should attempt it, though little did he or 
I think then, that our dear daughter wouM put 
the finishing hand to it." 

If the narrative were to close here, enough 
has been already written to prove that General 
Harris was a man of generous affections, high 
courage, and sound understanding ; he had, more- 
over, shown, from his earliest years, a calmness 
of temper, which enabled him to meet all tempt- 
ations and dangers with unyielding firmness. 
These qualities, graced as they were in his inter- 
course with the world by much personal courtesy, 
were greatly enhanced to his family and friends 
by the constant exercise of an affectionate, grate- 
ful, and pious heart. 

From this period of his life he is to be seen 
in a wider sphere of action, and to be estimated 
for his conduct, whilst holding high command in 
the King's and East India Company's service. 


In the month of January, 1797, he received at 
Calcutta the unexpected intelligence of his ap- 
pointment to command the army of Madras, with 
a seat in the Council, and the rank of Lieutenant- 
General ; he accordingly proceeded, with all prac- 
ticable expedition, to Madras, and entered upon 
his duties as Commander-in-Chief in the following 

After a short experience of his position in the 
Council at Madi*as, he felt that the military 
patronage was so entirely in the hands of the 
civil government, as to be detrimental to the 
public service ; he therefore discharged an indis- 
pensable but painful duty in claiming the right of 
primary recommendation of military officers for 
regimental and other services, which had no poli- 
tical or civil character. The Court of Directors 
thought his representations reasonable, and deter- 
mined that several of the military appointments 
which he had specified might be properly trans- 
ferred to the recommendation of the Commander- 
in-Chief, who had the best means of appreciating 
the merits and qualities of those under his imme- 
diate authority. The officers of the Madras army 
were hence indebted to Lord Harris for the better 
opportunities which their chief has since enjoyed 
of recommending and rewarding them. 



Succeeds to the charge of the civil goyemment of Madias — 
Lord Momington arriyes as GoTemor-General of India; and 
sends orders from Calcutta for assembling the Madras army 
to defend the Company's territories against the designs of 
Tippoo and the iVench — Consternation created at Madras by 
this order — Nanative of the measures adopted by General 
Harris in execution of Lord Momington's orders. 

Scarcely had a year elapsed in his exercise of 
the duties of Commander-in-Chief, when General 
Harris was s^pointed to take charge of the civil 
government of Madras, and in February, 1798, he 
succeeded to the President's chair. 

Whilst .he was in the discharge of the united 
duties of Governor and Commander4n-Chief, the 
Earl of Momington arrived in Madras roads as 
Governor-General of India, on the 22nd of May, 
1798, — a day ever to be remembered in the annals 
of British India, because we date from it a new 
and splendid aera in our history. 

Being then private secretary to General 
Harris, I was directed by him to proceed on board 
the Syhille to congratulate the Governor-General 
on his arrival, and during his residence at Madras 
his Lordship permitted me to have daily inter- 
course with him. I mention this circumstance 
here, that the reader may know that I had ample 


opportunities of becoming intimately acquainted 
with the progress of the matters I have under- 
taken to relate, and as the proof of my disposition 
to profit by these opportunities, I insert in the 
Appendix the noble earl's own representation of 
the manner in which I was then employed. 

I cannot, however, refer to Lord Mornington's 
letter, without expressing the pride I feel in the 
commendation his Lordship was pleased to confer 
on me — conferred, too, entirely without my know- 
ledge at the time, and. for nearly forty years after- 
wards; for until his Lordship's correspondence 
during his administration in India was recently 
published by Mr. Montgomery Martin, I knew 
nothing of Lord Mornington's letter, of July, 
1798, to Lord Clive. It is impossible for me, 
however, not now to feel, and it would ill become 
me not to acknowledge, that I owe to that letter 
much of the good fortune which has attended my 
own course of public service. But the sentiments 
of admiration which I have often expressed of 
Lord Wellesley's Indian administration, in the 
House of Commons, at the Court of Proprietors, 
and in later times in Minutes written whilst I was 
Governor of Madras, proceeded from a deep sense 
of the inestimable value and importance of the 
services which his Lordship rendered to the Com- 
pany and the nation during his brilliant career as 
Governor-General, and not from the overflowings 
of personal gratitude. 


In this long interval of time I have never 
forgot the impression made upon me by the dig- 
nified manner in which his Lordship conducted, 
and the kind temper in which he terminated, 
though unsuccessfully, his negotiation with the 
Nabob of the Carnatic, referred to in that letter 
to Lord Clive, in July, 1798. The report which I 
made of this to General Harris confirmed all his 
own impressions of the high qualities which after- 
wards shone with such lustre in the career of the 
noble earl ; and the confidence which this inspired 
in the mind of General Harris was soon called into 
active exercise in the important affairs described in 
the following correspondence : — 

(Secret.) '' Fort William, 9th June, 1798. 

" My dear Sir, 

"Although I imagine that the enclosed 
proclamation must have reached you, I think it 
most advisable to transmit a copy of it to you. 
There seems to be so little doubt that the procla- 
mation really was published at the Mauritius, 
that it must become a matter of serious discus- 
sion between this Government and Tippoo. How 
such a discussion may terminate, it is impossible 
to say ; perhaps the result of it may be to prove 
that M. Malartie has exaggerated, or wholly mis- 
represented the intentions of Tippoo : but, on the 
other hand, if Tippoo should choose to avow the 
objects of his embassy to have been such as are 


described in the proclamation, the consequences 
may be very serious, and may ultimately involve 
us in the calamity of war. I wish you to be ap- 
prised of my apprehensions on this subject, and 
to prepare your mind for the possible event. You 
will, therefore, turn your attention to the means 
of collecting a force, if necessity should unfortu- 
nately require it; but it is not my desire that 
you should proceed to take any public steps to- 
wards the assembling of the army, before you 
receive some further intimation from me. 

I am, &c., 


'< To HeutmarU-Gmercd Harrisy 
" Fort St. Getyrger 

''Madroi, 2Brd June, 17d8. 
'^ My dear Lord, 

" Your Lordship's favour of the 9th is just 
arrived. Sir Hugh Christian •sent the proclama- 
tion to this Government by the same opportunity 
as to yours, and we had the honour to forward 
your Lordship our answer to Sir Hugh the 7th 

"For my own part, I have no doubt (as 
matters now stand with the French) but that 
Tippoo will explain away our just grounds of com- 
plaint, although convinced he has committed him- 
self to the full extent of the proclamation. 

" His inveteracy to us will end only with his 


life, and he will always seize any opportunity that 
offers to annoy us ; but notwithstanding this, and 
that the political circumstances of India are now 
much in our favour, it perhaps still remains matter 
of serious consideration whether, in our very 
great want of money, and the effect our being 
engaged in war in this country may have on the 
affairs of Europe, it would not be better that he 
should be allowed to make the amende honor- 
able, if he be so inclined, than that we should 
avail ourselves of the error he has run into, and 
endeavour to punish him for his insolence. On 
my part, your Lordship may depend on my fol- 
lowing your instructions most implicitly, in 
respect of my secresy on this point, and until I 
hear further from you, I shall only quietly move a 
battalion or two towards the point of assembly, 
and one of which was predetermined for the place 
it will now go to. The 36th Regiment might 
move from Pondicherry to Amee, as we have in 
the latter unoccupied barracks for Europeans; 
but for this I must wait Sir Alured Clarke's 
final determination on that corps. A supply of 
grain to our garrisons is actually in forward- 
ness according to regulation, and it will be very 
easy to make additions when necessary without 
any suspicions arising. It was very pleasing to 
hear that your Lordship has some cash to send 
us ; but it is necessary you should understand that 
the whole mentioned will not more than make up 


our known deficiency to the end of September, 
and our debts are so injurious to our credit, that 
until something is done in liquidation of them, 
we cannot expect to raise a rupee by loan. 

" I have taken up more of your Liordship*s 
time than I intended ; but the friendly confidence 
you honoured me with during the pleasant visit 
you made us, has left such an impression on my 
mind, that you have my thoughts as they rise 
without disguise, or the least fear of misconstruc- 
tion. Mrs. Harris, my daughter, and Mr. Lush- 
ington, join in kind and respectful remembrances 

My dear Lord, Yours, &c., 

Gborge Harris/' 
'« Tk0 Earl ^ MorMmgUm:' 

(Secret.) To Lieut.-Gen. Harris. 

" My dear Sir, 

^^You have, before this time, received my 
letter, enclosing M. Malartie's proclamation, and 
advising you of the probability of my being under 
the necessity of making a serious representation 
to Tippoo Sultaun on that subject. I now take 
the earliest opportunity of acquainting you with 
my final determination. I mean to call upon the 
Allies without delay, and to assemble the army of 
the coast with all possible expedition. You will 
receive my public instructions in the course of a 
few days. Until you have received them, it will 


not be proper to take any public steps for the 
assembling of the army, but whatever can be 
done without a disclosure of the ultimate object, 
I authorize you to do immediately, intending to 
apprise you by this letter, that it is my positive 
resolution to assemble the army upon the coast. 
I wish to receive from you, by express, a state of 
the force which you can put in motion immediately, 
and within what time you can make any large 
additions to it. 

" By the same express, you will also have the 
goodness to inform me what station you deem the 
best for assembling a force, with a view of marching 
directly to Seringapatam, and at what period the 
army must move for that purpose, so as to reach 
Seringapatam before the coast of Malabar shall 
become safe for the approach of any naval force. 
I will send you, as soon as possible, the largest 
supply in specie which I can procure. 

" If you could despatch your answer to my 
questions by any fast-sailing vessel, and could 
send with your answers any intelligent oflScer who 
might be capable of entering into all the details 
of your force, of the seasons, and all other cir- 
cumstances connected with the object of striking 
a sudden blow against Tippoo, before he can 
receive any foreign aid, you would greatly 
assist me in the an*angement of my measures, 
upon this serious occasion. 

" You may rely on my unremitting attention 


to whatever communications you may make to 
me, and upon my most cordial support in all your 
exertions. You will, of course> feel the absolute 
necessity of keeping the contents of this letter 

I am, &c., 


Upon the receipt of this important letter. 
General Harris proceeded without a moment's 
delay in the execution of the different measures 
required. By the post of that day, I wrote, by 
his desire, to Major Beatson, the officer he thought 
most capable of affording all the information re- 
quired by Lord Mornington, the following letter. 

" Fiyri George, July 3, 1798. 
^^ Dear Beatson, 

" I am directed by General Harris to desire 
you will proceed to Masulipatam with all practi- 
cable expedition, and be in readiness to embark 
on a ship which will call for you at that port. It 
will bring instructions for your guidance in a 
secret service on which you are to be employed, 
that will not be unpleasant to you. The General 
recommends that you take with you all papers 
and maps that can give information relative to the 
Peninsula, and that you keep this communication 
entirely secret. 

Ever yours, sincerely, 



After an anxious night of meditation upon the 
probable conaeqnenceB of Lord Mornington*s mo- 
mentous communication^ General Harris sent me 
with the earVs letter to Mr. J. Webbe^ the chief 

secretary^ that the matter might be confidenttally 
brought before the next council board. 

As I had enjoyed many opportunities of be- 
coming acquainted with the great attainments of 
this extraordinary man, and knew with what de- 
ference his opinions were regarded in the settle- 
ment, I was dismayed by the expressions of asto- 
nishment and alarm which this communication 
called forth from Mr. Webbe, which were too 
remarkable to be ever forgot by me. 

Our unprepared state for war, in the absence 
of a large portion of our troops in the Eastern 
Islands ; our empty treasury, andbanki*upt credit 
at Madras ; all the horrors of Hyder*s merciless 
invasion of the Carnatic, of Tippoo's sanguinary 
destruction of Colonel Baillie's detachment. Sir 
Hector Munro's disgraceful retreat to Madras, 
and the first failure of Lord Comwallis against 
Seringapatam, rushed at once into Mr* Webbers 
mind, after reading Lord Momington's letter, and 
he exclaimed with bitterness and grief, *^l can 
anticipate nothing but a return of shocking disas^ 
ters from a premature attack upon Tippoo in our 
present disabled condition, and the impeachment 
of Lord Momington for his temerity*." 

* I have recently heard an anecdote 80 illuetratiTe of the able 


When I reported this interview to General 
Harris, he was much embarrassed, fearing that 
thie two Members of Council, who were naturally 
timid mm^ would take their tone from the as- 
eendant miod of tbe Chief Secretary ; and being 
himfielf vested only with a temporary authority, 
he foresaw great difficulty in executing Liord 
Momingtoii's wishes with promptitude and suc- 
cess. After a little pause, however, he said, " J 
am too old a soldier not to know that my own 
«onrse is quite clear : I will follow orders to the 
utmost limit of my means, and leave the issue in 
higher hands." 

His own subsequent communication with Mr. 
Webbe, and with the council^ entirdy confirmed 
these anticipations, and be therefore desired the 
Chief Secretary to state his opinions in writing, 
that he might forward the paper to Lord Morn- 
ington. In the mean time the following letter 
was pr^ared to be sent to the emi : — 

a^d fearless cbaiacter of Mr. Webbe, that it deserves to be men- 

The Bfunerons friends and admirers of this distinguished man, 
toidos erecfyig a public monnmfint to Jkis memory, published a 
Y&ty large engraving of his portrait, done by Hickey at Madras, 
which was not remarkable for the beauty of the garb in which it 
was dressed. One of these prints is in the dining-room of the Duke 
x)f WdliagtOA at Strathfieldsaye, and uttaacted the ourioaty of a 
lady visitor, who asked the duke " who that man with such a 
neckcloth and coat was meant for?" His Grace replied, " That 
man was one of the ablest I ever knew, and what is more, one 

L 2 


*^ Madras, Qth Jidy^ 1796. 
" My dear Lord, 

"I received your Lordship's favour of the 
20th ultimo late on Tuesday evening, the 3rd 
instant, and I must confess that the momentous 
importance and magnitude of the 'subject created 
reflections which for the time totally absorbed 
every other consideration. Adverting, however, 
to your Lordship's wish of speedy communication, 
my first step was to countermand the Bombay 
frigate, on the eve of sailing as convoy to a trans- 
port with stores for the fleet, and which the Victo- 
rious took care of. 

"I then directed my thoughts to find such 
a description of person as your Lordship was 
desirous should accompany my answer, and I 
did not hesitate in fixing on Major Beatson as 
particularly qualified to give your Lordship the 
fullest satisfaction on every point that you may 
refer to his judgment. An express was imme- 
diately dispatched to him at EUore with directions 
to repair to Masulipatam with all possible expedi- 
tion, where a vessel would touch for him with 
further instructions, apprising him that for the 
present he had only to take all his papers with 
him that could be useful in giving information re- 
specting the Peninsula, and to keep the commu- 
nication made to him absolutely secret. 

" Having effected these two points, it was too 
late to take any further steps that evening, more 


particularly as the official people I wanted had^ I 
founds left the Fort about the time your Lord- 
ship's letter was received. 

'^ Revolving the subject in my mind most part 
of the night, the magnitude of the difficulties to 
be encountered in an attempt to strike a sudden 
blow against Tippoo, before he can receive any 
foreign aid by the cessation of the monsoon on the 
other coast, occurred to me so forcibly, and has by 
subsequent reflection become so deeply impressed 
upon my mind, that I should think myself cul- 
pable, if I did not mention my thoughts on the 
subject, even though your Lordship had not re- 
quested information from me. Although the 
same points have unquestionably occurred to your 
Lordship, yet the practical experience of them 
may readily be supposed to have made stronger 
impressions on my mind than any that could have 
been conveyed by a different way. The dilatori- 
ness, indecision, and cowardice of our allies are 
beyond belief to those who have not been eye- 
witness to these qualities in them, and there is a 
moral assurance that not one of them will take 
the field, or be of the least use to us, even ad- 
mitting that their own situation presented no 
obstacle to their joining us, until we have secured 
a position to cover their advance, or gained a 
decided advantage over TRppoo. 

** Thus they acted with Lord Cornwallis, and 
as that conduct was governed by principles which 


hare undergone no change^ a repetition of it mnAt 
be expected. From these data^ it i« to bO argued 
that any sudden blow must proceed entirely from 
ourselves, and this cannot, I conceive, be at- 
tempted without a very large reinforcement from 
Bengal, aided by the Bombay army. When the 
reinforcement from your pi*esidency conld join us 
I need not speak of; but the Bombay artny could 
not begin to assemble until the cessation of the 
monsoon on the other coast, the period at which 
I understand your Lordship had hoped the im^ 
portant object in view would be in an advanced 
state of accomplishment. The last is a difficulty 
that might, perhaps, be rendered of less import* 
ance by your Lordship's exertions in dispatching 
a more ample force from Bengal $ but the difficult 
ties which press us hei'e are, I fear, insuperable^ 
Draft and carriage cattle, even for the defensiTB 
army, in Statement No. 1, cannot be collected to 
enable us to do more than merely to reach the 
Barrahmahal before the monSoon in October, or 
to repel the incursion of an enemy« 

*^No< 2, from Mr4 Cockburn, the best-informed 
man^ perhaps, in India on the subject, fixes nearly 
the same period even for the equipment of the 
defensive army; but such a force as shall be 
capable of undertaking the siege of Seringapatam^ 
with a reasonable prospect of success, could tiot^ 
in all prabability^ reach the place before the 1st 
of February, 


^^ The last point I have to observe on is cer-« 
tainly the most material^ — ^the feeding of the army 
when it has arrired at the point we wish. This 
difficulty obliged Lord Comwallis to relinquish 
the idea of besieging Seringapatam the first time 
he marched against it; and but for the almost 
despaired-of co-operation of the Mahrattas^ it 
would have been doubtful whether he would have 
ever been able to return to it again. 

^^ These considerations^ the little dependence 
to be placed in our allies^ and the facility of com- 
munication with the Bombay army by Palagant* 
cherry, joined to the importance of possessing 
the Coimbatoor country, incline me at present 
to be of opinion that when we engage in this 
great undertaking, it will be advisable to do it 
to the southward, by attempting the Caverri- 
pooram Pass; but this pointy and the season 
for the junction of the armies of the different 
coasts^ and for the final enterprise; how far the 
aid of the Nizam and Mahrattas, or one or other, 
may be essential to our success in the attack? 
whether it may be practicable to subsist our 
army during the siege without the assistance 
of those native powers? what posts should 
be secured for magazines^ so as to have the 
shortest and most secure line of communica^ 
tion by which to receive supplies? — and the 
grand subject of brinjarries, whether the native 
powers assist us or not? are considerations on 


which there is not now any time for me to en- 
large further, but on which, I can with confidenee 
refer your Lordship to Major Beatson for solid 
information* Your Lordship will also find great 
assistance from Lieutenant Colonel Scott; and on 
the subject of feeding and carriage, I know no 
one who can give you more correct information 
than Captain Sandys, or on whom more depen- 
dence can be placed for honest execution of 
orders in that line. Notwithstanding, however, 
the shortness of time and the aid your Lordship 
will otherwise have from the practical knowledge 
of the three gentlemen I have named, I should 
have felt it incumbent on me to have stated my 
sentiments in a more detailed and connected 
manner, on a subject of such moment to the 
national interests, if your Lordship had not the 
advantage of Sir Alured's complete knowledge of 
this army, and the resources of the Camatic. 
Upon the latter subject/ your Lordship is also 
perfectly informed from' the pressing representa- 
tions of this government, and the letter I had 
before the pleasure to write to you, and both must 
have convinced you that the whole expense of the 
war must be borne by your presidency, 

" Your Lordship may perhaps be inclined to 
send the Bombay back immediately with trea- 
sure ; if not, I think it necessary to mention that 
we had intended to send her for Bombay when 
the season for making a favourable passage should 


arrive, in consequence of a communication from 
Mr. Duncan, representing how much they re- 
quired her assistance on that coast. 

" Now, my dear Lord, having taken such a 
range of the subject as I tiaist you will not be 
displeased with receiving, I have only to assure 
you, that, however I may think it right to .point 
out difficulties, there can be none in your orders 
that it may be my part to execute, which I shall 
not cheerfully and zealously attempt to overcome. 
I should not, however, close this letter without 
informing your Lordship that I have apprized 
Admiral Rainier of the importance of preventing 
any communication of the French with the 
Malabar coast. 

"The various subjects which press upon the 
mind in deliberating upon this serious under- 
taking, and the urgent necessity of a prompt 
communication, render it far from improbable 
but that some points may have been imperfectly 
stated; if, however, upon a more mature consi^ 
deration any inaccuracy shall appear to have 
crept in, your Lordship may be assured that I 
shall have candour immediately to acknowledge 
and correct the error. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

George Harris. 

"P. S. For your Lordship's further informa- 
tion, I send Colonel Close's answers to the 
questions I put to him connected with this 



subject^ to which I have subjoined such obaerva* 
tions 00 have appeared to me necessary." 

No. 1. 

Force which it is supposed might be drawn toge^ 
tker at a convenient sittcation in the Camatic* 


I9ih Keg. of Dragoo&fli effw^ 

25tliR6g: ditto . 
1st Native Kegimcnt 
2iiddiUo ditto 
3rd ditto ditto • 
4th ditto ditto 





Ist Battalion 

2nd ditto . 

European Infantry. 12ih Regiment 
36th ditto . 
73rd ditto 
74th ditto . 




Native Infantry . Ist Battalion, Ist Regiment • 900 

2nd ditto 
2nd ditto 
Ist ditto 
2nd ditto 
2nd ditto 
Itt ditto 
2nd ditto 

Had ditto 
fith ditto 
6th ditto 
7th ditto 
9th ditto 
12th ditto 
diUo . 



Ottn Laacars . • 30 Companies^ eflbotive, R. F. 1500 
Native Pioneera . 5 ditto .... 500 




Total EaropeoDs • . 3,694 
Ditto Natiyes . • 10,450 

Oiand Total 14,144 

N.B. This arrangement leaves a company of 
artiUery with its complement of gun lascars in the 
Northern Circars. The additional privates at- 
tached to each of the native battalions inserted 
above it is supposed may be formed into com- 
panies^ and stationed at Vellore and Ambore. A 
detachment for Tyagar may be furnished from the 

No deta&s are taken for the field from the 
Northern Circars, theBarrahmahal,or the southern 
division, or Ceylon. It is not impossible, how- 
ever, but circumstances may allow of a small force 
being collected from those quarters. From the 
troops at present in the Barrahmahal and Salem 
district, it is imagined that Lieutenant Colonel 
Read, assisted by a few cavalry, might be able to 
form a little detachment, to be employed along 
the frontier as occasion might require. 

No* 3. 

Respecting the Supply of Draught and Carriage 
Cattle y from Mr. Cochhum. 

The smallest number of cattle required for the 
equipment of 12,500 men^ including the camp 


equipage^ ordnance, and provision departments^ 
must be 4,000 draught, and 16,000 carriage bul- 
locks. This includes carriage for forty days' rice 
and sixty days' arrack for Europeans, and forty 
days' rice for the native fighting men, besides 
forty days' grain for 1,200 horses. 

The best means of making the provision is by 
agency, on the footing established by Lord Com- 
wallis, or near it, I conclude the whole number 
may be collected within two months from the 
date of making advances for the provision — at 
farthest in two and a half, everything complete. 
An advance of 12,000 pgs. will be required for 
the draught, and 32,000 for the carriage — ^in all 
44,000 pgs., which is afterwards stopped out of 
their hire. The month's hire of the draught, in- 
cluding maestries and drivers , 8,900 
Of the carriage • • 25,800 

34,700 pgs. 

N.B. The cattle must be kept up at least four 
months to repay the advance. 

This inclusive of the salaries of the officers 
employed in the department. It will expedite the 
provision to direct the quarter-masters of corpij 
to supply the cattle of their corps, and the grain 
agents to find cattle for the carriage of their 
grain, which would leave the supply of the grand 
department only to the agent. 




Of course the troops will march to the centre 
from the south and north : it will be easy to draw 
a proportion of the supply from each quarter to 
march with the several detachments^ which will 
expedite the general provision. 

No, 3, 

Queries to Colonel Close; his Answers^ and the 
Observations of General Harris. 

1. A state of the force which The paper delivered in yes- 
can be put in motion imme- terday shows the force that 
diatel7« could be assembled immedi- 

ately. It might rendezvous at 
Walahajabad, and be collected 
there in the space of six weeks. 
It is difficult to say when it 
could be put in motion, as 
much would depend on the 
manner in which it was to be 


employed. The amount of its 
equipment would turn upon 
the objects it was destined to 
accomplish, and the time re- 
quisite for putting it in a state 
capable to move depend upon 
the amount of its equipment. 
It is presumed, however, that 
no force which could be col- 
lected for field service under 
this presidency could be equal 
to more than defensive opera- 
Gmeral Harris's Olaermtions ^.^^^ j,^^ ^^^^i a system of 
upon Colonel Closes Opinions. ^^^^^ j^ ^^^^ lequhe a field- 
This differs materially from train of about 60 pieces, and 
Mr. Cockbum's statement as conveyance for provisions for 
to ih£ period in which cattle at least that number of days. 



eovid be ooUeoted for ike de« 
femive ^rmy* Yom Lo^dahip 
will observe frpm my letter, 
tbat I decidedly indine to Mr* 
Goekbum'a opiQion. 

2. Within what time certain 
additions can be made to it, po 
as to form a large army. 

General Harrises ObiervdOUm, 
An augmentation might be 
made to tha natiTe iu&atry 
from the Northern Circars^ if 
it was resolved their places 
should be supplied 1^ detach- 
ments from tha reinforcementB 
of native troops to be sent 
from Bengal in their ojArch 
from Calcutta to join the coast 
army. This, howeyer, is the 
only arrangement which can 
be mada for drawing any part 
of the forces from the Northern 
Circars, without leaving the 
garrisons ther9 in a drfenceless 

8. What station is the best 
for assembling an amy with a 
view of marching directly to 
Seringapatam ? 

4. At what period should 
the army march for that pur- 

Omeral Harri/e Opinim* 
If the reinforcements from 
Bengal could arrive in time, 

This efuipment woidd recpiire 
about 25,000 bnUocks, and it 
is imagined these might be col- 
lected by iflie beginning of the 
jmgf a»d Mt bdbte. 

It would not be posrible to 
Add materially to the native 
force at present under this pre- 
ridency in an emergency. Sptne 
of our native battalions are at 
present incomplete. In case of 
war, we should not be able to 
procure recruits in numb^s 
sufficient to keep the corps in 
the field complete. 

This question answered in 
reply to question No. 1. What- 
ever the plan of operations, 
Walahajabad would be found 
the most convenient situation 
for assembling an army which 
would, if necessary, draw al- 
most the whole of its eqidp- 
ments from the presidency. It 
is presumed that an army des- 
tined against the eaemfs car 
pital should leave Ae CMUitie 



Ae viida dumU* if potsibley immfldirtdy after tb<s moiigoog» 
maich firom the placa of ren- 8o ae, if possible^ to appear be- 
dezYOus, 80 as to arrive in the fore the place by the beginning 
Banahnahal before the com- of February. The Cavery at 
mmm^eni of th« monsoon, ^brwgapatam fills g^itroUy in 
which tiiey would then escape ; the month of May. 
they might then possibly be in 
motion in Hie enem/s country 
by the 1st of Jaauanr, though 
not yery probably* 

From Mr. Josiah fPebbe, Secretary to the 
Government of Madras. 

''m July, 1798. 
Memorandum for General Harris, in consequence 
of his late conversation upon the possibility of 
an early rupture with Tippoo Suitaun. 

^^ That Mons. Malartie*s proclainatipu is 
genuine I have no doubt, because it is a terminal- 
tion perfectly consistent with an intrig^ue which, 
from respectable intelligence at the time, there was 
reason to believe on foot previous to the departure 
of his ambassadors for the Mauritius ; but whe- 
ther we should take measures at this period for 
punishing or preventing the effect of this negotia^ 
tion, is the most momentous question which can 
be proposed ia this place* Upon this question it 
is certainly my duty to state my ideas, but the 
shortness of time does not admit of any arrange- 

^^As all questions of national war should, I 
suppose, be determined by the national interests. 


it is natural to advert to the state in which India 
was placed by the Treaty of Seringapatam, be- 
cause that state was <3onsidered^ at the time we 
had the means of changing it^ as most advan- 
tageous to the British interests. The principle of 
our policy then was the preservation of Tippoo as 
a power of India^ and the balance between him^ 
the Mahrattas, and the Nizam^ by our superior 
influence and force. Whether this principle has 
been superseded by other notions in Europe I 
know not, but whether any attempt can now be 
made to introduce a new order of things, without 
a greater danger of evil than a chance of good, I 

"Tippoo, if he has not advanced in actual 
strength, has certainly the vantage ground, — the 
three other powers have receded from the con- 
dition they were in at the Treaty of Seringa- 
patam. The shock which the balance between 
the Nizam and the Mahrattas sustained from 
the warfare that was allowed to terminate in 
the Treaty of Kurdlah has driven him from his 
position, and the distractions which have since 
prevailed at Poonah incapacitate them from hold- 
ing their ordinary sphere, while the force of the 
English is checked and retarded by the pressure 
of the French war. 

" In the discussions which took place upon the 
political state of India, when the expedition 
against Manilla was under contemplation, it was, 


I believe^ acknowledged that the confusion at that 
time in the Mahratta empire was such as to 
render any exertion of their strength impro- 
bable/or at least not formidable. The subsequent 
confinement of Nana Fumanees, the eccentric 
irregularity of young Scindiah^ and the want of 
power in the Peishwah, certainly corroborated 
that notion, which, if it then left us little to ap- 
prehend from their enmity, can now give us little 
to expect from their friendship. The only re- 
spectable part of the Nizam's force is under the 
uncontrolled command of the French party ; that 
influence has increased, and whether our inertion 
during the contest between his Highness and the 
Mahrattas may have alienated the disposition 
which his minister once manifested towards ours, 
whether it is the natural consequence of a prevail- 
ing interest inimical to us, we have much reason, 
from Captain Kirkpatrick's late correspondence, 
to apprehend that our weight at Hydrabad is not 
gi'eat. The Nizam's irregular troops proved, 
during the last war, one of our serious impedi- 
ments; his efficient force could hardly be em- 
ployed — certainly not trusted under the com-- 
mand of Perron. In respect to ourselves, a very 
large portion of the coast army is detached, our 
means of resource curtailed by the war in Europe, 
and our credit in this country, at least upon this 
coast, bankrupt. If, therefore, with all the ad- 
vantages we possessed in the year 1790, with the 



heatty and effectual co-operation of t1|e Mab- 
rattas^ and with the friendship of the Nizam, our 
operations against Tippoo were not made soe^ 
oessAil without the gi^eatest difficulty, I am fearful 
that, under the general change of oircumstancee 
whieh I have mentioned, and which I believe to 
be oorreot, an attack upop him now is more likely 
to end in discomfiture than victory. 

^^ But let us descend to more particular consi- 
derations. AlthoMgh we have every reason to be 
satisfied that Tippoo's army has been kept in a 
state e^cient and prepared to meet the events 
which there might be reason to cKpect from the 
general appearance of a convulsion throughout 
India $ yet in the same discussions on the subject 
of the Manilla expedition, both Sir J. Shore and 
LcH'd I{(^ai*t were of opinion that he was not 
likely to hafiutrd a rupture, without a very large 
re-inforcement from the French. Whatever may 
be the object of Tippoo's embassy to the Mau- 
ritius, or whatever may be the event of it in 
Europe, the late intelligence from the islands, 
which leaves us no room to doubt that tlie military 
have been sent to France, and the French marine 
dispersed, satisfies me that no immediate conope- 
ration can take pl^e, and consequently that no 
rapture is to be apprehended, but by our own 

^^This argument I urge, in the per&ct convic- 
tion that, during* this unprecedented cooitest in 


Europe^ peace in India is indispensably necessary^ 
and that it ought not to be lisked without the 
prospect of positive advantage. If, however, it 
should be argued, that this very conjunction of 
circuinstances, which I h»ve mentioned, should 
impel us to mal^e an immediate eflfoit against 
Tippoo^ I answer, that all our former united and 
unexampled exertions were made against Tippoo^ 
single and unsupported by the French ; but single 
and unsupported as he was, except by the natural 
obst^les which oppose our progress, the exertions 
of the allies were only sujccessfu). For this I refer 
to the /chance by which Bangalore fell^ to the 
candition of X4>rd Cornwallis's army befpre the 
junction of the Mahrattas in May, 1791; to the 
di^culty with which the battering train was ad- 
vanced to S^ringapatam in the second campaign^ 
to the condition of the Bombay army, and to the 
state in which our own army returned after the 
conclusion of peace. With the war well advanced, 
with our preparations and aiTangementa on foot 
for twelve months before, and with such a corn-* 
bined alliance as may be now despaired of, it stiU 
Qost Lord Comwallis two campaigna before he 
conld besiege Seringapatam. 

^^ From the intrigues at Seringapatam, and the 
consequent emhasay to the Ide of France, I have 
no doubt that the French emissai^ies were em- 
ployed in persuading Ilppoo to hostilities with 
us, under promises of immediate assist^iijice. Tim 

M 2 


the Sultan appears to have considered insufficient 
ground to provoke a war, but if he should be pro- 
voked to a war by us, I conceive there would be 
a material difference of circumstances ; for though 
the French might find great difficulty in per- 
suading him to war, from the great difficulty of 
furnishing the force he requires, yet if he should 
be absolutely plunged into a war, they would find 
it easily practicable to foment and keep it alive. 
Hostility with Tippoo, if it should be known 
before the conclusion of peace, would inevitably 
tend to protract the war in Europe, or even to 
revive it, if peace should have been made. The 
French, despairing perhaps of any successful at- 
tempt upon England itself, would leave nothing 
unattempted to subvert, or at least curtail, our 
Indian empire. This arglinient is of the more 
force, because a very small increase of French 
soldiers is a very material addition to Tippoo's 

** In the event of hostility, I take it for granted 
the object will be to make it a war of alliance 
against Tippoo. I doubt that it is practicable to 
obtain the assistance of the Mahrattas ; the pre- 
sent disunion of the chiefs renders a hearty co- 
operation impossible. The aissistahce of any 
party, if even it could be persuaded to risk the 
danger of absence from its own territories, might 
have the natural effect of throwing its adversaries 
into the opposite scale. If such an event should 


take place, the Mahrattas would remain as they 
now are — ^balanced against each other — while 
Tippoo, freed, from the apprehension of their 
united force, would be at liberty to employ his 
whole cavalry against us. It is known to every 
officer in the field, that during the last war, the 
Nizam*s cavalry were a heavy incumbrance to us, 
and if, notwithstanding the apparent change in 
Azim ul , Omrah's dispositions towards us, we 
should be disposed to rely on the fidelity of his 
Royal Highnesses infantry under the command of 
M. Perron, it is not extravagant to anticipate an 
event which has already happened,— that marching 
into the Mysore country with his Highness in 
alliance, we were compelled to march back again 
with his Highness in alliance against us. In re- 
spect both to the Mahrattas and the Nizam, I 
think there is no reasonable ground to expect 
effectual assistance from either, until we should 
strike some signal blow. Neither of them were 
hearty in the cause during the last war before the 
fall of Bangalore. 

" Not to dwell upon the possible predicament 
in which we should be placed by a refusal of the 
allies to execute their engagements, let us look to 
our own means of equipping a force sufficient to 
support, a remonstrance to Tippoo upon his em- 
bassy to Mons. Malartie. It must never be for- 
gotten that the army under General Medows, in 
the month of November, 1790, consisted of about 


5,600 European, and 18,400 native, Reasoned men, 
and that even this army was augmented by troops 
froni Bengal before it marched against Bangalore. 
By the returns you have now received^ a body of 
about 14,000 m6n can be drawn together, in- 
cluding Lascars and pioiieers, a force so inade- 
quate to an offfensive wat, that you coitld not 
venture to quit the Carhatic. From Ceyloil, you 
could draw nd reinforcements, but, on the con- 
trary, might be called upOn to itiorea9e the force 
on that island, in the event of our army ihvading 
the Mysore country. The \irhole reinfOI*Cehi^t 
must be seiit from Bengali of what ^t^nt it 
could be, we have no means of judging, but it is 
obvibUS that it must be so large^ as to place its 
arrival here at a vfery remotfe distance. The 
SupeHority bf Tip|>oo in cclvgllry, and the greater 
rajiidlty with which he ttoVes^ would render it 
imfjit^aCticable to proceed to the attdck of Seriiiga- 
Jjateim Without eStablishilig a systematie chain of 
posts for dep6ts of stores and provisions. That 
he has endeavoured to frustrate this, iS evident 
fi'Otn his policy in the destructioti of Oosoor and 
B£lngfalot*e, and in making Seringapatath his Only 
and t^fincipal fbitifleatibh. By the fofmei*, it is 
his ihtentibn to iiicrease; the difficulty of our ap- 
proach by lengthening the Hue of out- operatious, 
and by the latter, to oppose such impediments ais 
to make the capture of Sei*ingapAtam imprabti*- 
cable in the course of one bampaign. The Cau- 


verypuoram Piidfi is yet unexplored^ but I undet*. 
stand that the route from thence to Seriiigapatam 
lies through a barren counti-y, feo much inter- 
spersed with jungle^ as to be extremely adverse to 
the march of an army. The Gu«llhutty Pass is 
iio longer thohght of; as nothings therefore^ short 
of the eaptUi*e of Sririagapatam can justly be con- 
sidered ad striking an ^ff^dtUal blow against 
Tippoo^ the achievemeht Of aily imtnfediate suc- 
cess appears toi me to be utterly impracticable^ 

'"This idea, thefa, of striking an immediate 
blow being abandoned^ tet m look to the Aow and 
regular equipment Of ail army fbr the intasiott of 
Mysore. The different corps cOUld^ 1 believe, be 
assembled at Wallajahb&d iti abdUt tWo months 
from the time of their being ordered to march. 
The equipment of bullocks for the army^ With its 
train of field artillery, Could fiot^ ftccordirig to mjr 
estimation, be accomplished before the month of 
January, but itt respect to a train of battering 
guns sufficient for the sicSge 6^ SeriUgftpatam, I 
can form tio motion, ftor do I believe Mr. Cock- 
burii can, of the time wheii it could be fUrnifehed 
with cattle. This period of the season (January) 
is, by the experifenciS bf Lord CorhWallis's cam- 
paign, too late for the establishmeht of a d^pdt at 
Bangalore and the siege of Seritigapatam in the 
same season, for, though We should be able to 
put Bangalore in a state to admit of its becoming 
a dep6t, we could not avoid being overtaken at 



Seringapatam by the monsoon, which sets in in 
May. Hence the necessity of a second season, 
and probably of a second equipment of bullocks, 
before an efficient army could invest Seringapa- 
tam. Supposing it, however, there, and joined by 
the Bombay army (the difficulty of which it is 
here unnecessary to consider), I doubt whether 
there are any well-grounded expectations that 
they could feed themselves. The experience of 
Lord Comwallis's army proves that we were un- 
able to supply ourselves, or to open our rear for 
the admission of brinjarries, until we had been 
joined by the Mahratta army, and the whole 
country embraced. 

^^At present, there is no grain at Amee or 
Vellore, and, I believe, no considerable quantity 
could be stored in the forts of the Barrahmahal 
before the harvests of November. The vessels 
which bring grain from the northern ports and 
from Bengal do not arrive here before the months 
of September and October. 

" Upon the whole, there are sufficient grounds 
for concluding that the whole of the coast army 
which could be assembled would be incapable of 
offensive operations, and that they could not be 
put in motion before the month of January. How 
far, and at what period, they may be in a con- 
dition to make a serious attack upon Tippoo, 
must depend upon the extent and time of rein- 
forcements from Bengal ; and as nothing of con- 


sequence could be undertaken without them, the 
time of our making any serious impression must 
be proportionably delayed. 

" Meanwhile the movement of our troops and 
military preparations could not escape the vigi- 
lance of Tippoo; his resources are always more 
prompt than our own, and, as great part of his 
army is said to be in a state of field equipment, 
our attempt to strike a blow at him is likely to 
produce an invasion of the Carnatic before we are 
in a situation to resist him, for, as Tippoo can, in 
my opinion, have nothing to apprehend from the 
Mahrattas, his whole attention will be directed 
to us. A comparison between his own and his 
father's wars, with the late experience of his own 
misfortunes, has taught him that our strength 
depends, upon our supplies. The crops of the 
Barrahmahal would be his first object, and the 
consequences of such a policy, which he has 
manifested by the demolition of Bangalore and 
Oosoor, might fix the war in the Carnatic, until, 
by the consumption of our supplies, and the failure 
of our resources, we should be compelled to ac- 
cept his terms of peace. 

"When the war of 1790 begun, the funded 
debt of this Presidency was 17 lacs of pagodas, 
the Company's credit high, and the rate of inte- 
rest low. Very large subscriptions were in con- 
sequence made within the course of a few days to 
a 12 per cent, loan; large supplies of dollars. 

170 MeMOaANSfJM Bt MHi WMM. 

brought hither iii the Catiton ships, and itotfetlded 
fdl- the China investmeht, Wete eonverted to the 
purposes of the war, aiid ittiitiense remlttahees 
were made from Bengal, aa well in specie as by 
bills. At present, the funded debt of this Presi- 
dency is 3 1 laes of pagodas, the Cottipany*s Credit 
so low, that their 8 per Cent, papet* bears a dis- 
count of 18 aiid 20 per cent., afad the scarcity of 
money so gi*eat, that their 12 per cent, bonds do 
not pass but dt A discount of 4 per eettt. Evet^y 
mode has been ti*ied without efFedt to liaise money 
at this Pi-esidency ; our only means of stipply is 
from Bengal. The bills which we have ih conse- 
quence been long compelled to substitute for 
ready-money payments have overstocked the 
market, and consequently pass ttt a discount. 
After repeated and urgent applications foi* ttidhey, 
we have been disappointed for want of funds in 
Bengal, and at this vei*y moment, \^^hen the ex- 
penses of the military establishment for the en- 
suing months cannot be provided for without 
specie from thence, the only sum which we can 
confidently expect is, as I understand, immaterial 
in comparison with our wants. 

" The deficit in the present fesnurces Cf this 
Government is at least 18 lacs of pagodas ; the 
expense of an army of 14,000 men in the field, 
and the expense of providing carriage for them, is 
34,700 pagodas per month. 

"Nothing can be more ui-gent than our re- 


presentations to Bengal upon the state of our 
finances^ except the necessities which produce 
them. It is a fact that^ without assistance in 
nioney from thence, our military expenses upon 
thcf peiace establishment catitiot be prorided for 
beyond the month of September; I am afraid, 
thferefore^ that far from being in a state to equip 
an arhiy for the field, we shall scarcely have the 
means of mai-ehiflg the difibrent corps to Wallajah- 
bad, while the state of the treasury renders it 
utterly impracticable to make any suitable ad- 
vance for draught and carriage cattle. 

^^ I have not studied to exaggerate any part of 
this memorandum ; but seeing that our resources 
have^ by the mere operation of the war in Europe, 
been reduced to a state of the greatest embarrass- 
ment, and having no hope of effectual relief but 
in peace, I can anticipate none but the most bane- 
ful consequences from a war with Tippoo. If this 
war is to be a Vindication of Oiir national rights, ' 
it is clear that w6 cahnot tindertake it in lefts than 
si* months, and this delay, With a referefflCe to 
our national int^^r^sts, ttlay ptdbAbly admit of its 
beiiig postponed till W6 attain sufiidient sti'ength 
to prosefetite it with vigdttr. fitit if Wftr is in- 
stable, and the pres^iU Ate judged the mdst 
advantageous circumstances Uhdei^ Which it cah 
commence, I fear that our situMidn is bad beyond 
the hope of remedy; 

^^This memorandum only reaches lo that 


period at which your military inquiries commence; 
they will require no less serious reflection, and 
must occupy the thoughts of those who are to 
direct, as well as of those who are to execute, the 
operations of the war. For myself, I ought to 
apologise for the freedom of these opinions, but 
the desultory manner in which they are stated 
will acquit me of all premeditated intention to 
give offence, and time does not admit of any 

J. Webbe." 

When General Harris had read this paper, he 
came from the council-room to my apartment, and 
desired me to prepare a postscript to add to his 
despatch to Lord Mornington, that this fearful 
document might not go without some qualification 
to the Governor-General. The following was 
accordingly added to his letter. 

^^P.S. I also send a memorandum which I 
have just received from Mr. Webbe, in conse- 
quence of my request that he would state his 
sentiments in writing upon the possible event of a 
war with the Sultaun, in consequence of the Mau- 
ritius proclamation, and upon the practicability 
of striking a sudden blow against him before he 
could receive any foreign aid. From the hurried 
perusal which I have made of it, I observe that 
he has taken a partial view of a question of too 
great magnitude to be decided by our present 


limited means of knowledge. That he has as- 
sumed as a fact, that the choice of peace for some 
time to come, or of war at the present period, rests 
with us ; not adverting to the probability, if Azim 
ul Omrah be really disaffected to us, of his here- 
after joining Tippoo and the French, and the 
equal chance of the Mahrattas being induced, 
when they are able, to unite in [the league against 
US; scarcely noticing the strong circumstance 
that the islands can now afford him no further 
aid ; passing over the immense benefits that will 
be secured by success, and the advantage with 
which we shall enter upon a war, having a perfect 
knowledge of his country, and possessing a strong 
chain of posts on our frontiers, and a fruitful 
country in the rear ; and lastly, that the French, 
at the conclusion of a peace, will possess the desire 
they now feel of subverting our Indian empire, 
and that the Sultaun will at that period be fully 
prepared to assist their purposes, if he should not 
be now arrested in his progress. These, however, 
are considerations which belong to your Lord- 
ship's better judgment to decide, and I should not 
have troubled you with the memorandum if I did 
not feel an anxiety that you should be prepared 
to meet all the arguments which will be stated 
with so much virulence by the opposition at home 
against the author of the war, if, unfortunately, 
we should be compelled to endure that calamity. 

G. H." 


General Harris haviog made up his mind to 
the course which his duty required him to pursii#, 
employed every means in his power to accelerate 
the execution of Lord Mornington's instructions, 
as the following letters and minutes folly 
explain : — 


» Madroiy Jtdy IM, 1798. 
" My 4ear Lord, 

" ^avingj since the dispatch of my letter 
to you of the 6th instant, a duplicate of which 
I h^ve now the pleasure to transmit, veiy seri- 
ously deliberated upon the various topics which 
it embraced, I have not been able to discover 
that the necessity of immediate communication 
occasioned ai^y inaccuracy, though I must confess 
that if there h^d bepn.roore leisure, I should have 
adverted to a circumstance which, from the want 
of it, I omitted to mention — I mean the different 
views which might be entertained of the Mauritius 
proclamation, correspondent to the different re- 
ports which were made of the circumstances 
which attended its publication. In my first letter 
tp your Lordship on this subject, I expressed my 
conviction that Tippoo had committed himself to 
the full extent of the proclamation. This opinion 
arose from the united circumstances of twQ am- 
basQ^ors from him being present when it was 
pubHf he4j his known resentment towards us, and 

WITH 7|PP0P BVhT^Vfi* 17^ 

the great importanpe wkwh bftd hem »ttftcU9d to 
th^ proclamation by I^rd M^oartnay, Sir H. 
Christian, and Mr. PriBgle, all of whom had it in 
their ppwer tq BMp^rt^n the circum4tanc3« under 
which it hftd b^n published, from the very channel 
by which they had received it. The information 
which I subsequently received from the mate of 
country ship Gre€fm>ich, ^nd whiph was (commu- 
nicated by Mr. I^usbington to Cplonisl Well/esley, 
assigned a Yiery diflerent m^otive for the proplama- 
tion; viz., the desire of Kf , Malartie to be relieved 
from some restless spirits who were not particu- 
larly attached to th^ interest of the isl$^nd, but on 
the contrary, suspected of favouring the plan of 
liberating the slaves. Though this intelligence 
changed entirely the colour of tbe proclamation, 
yet as I knew not what degree of credit was due 
to the author of it, I was unwilling upon such 
grounds to hazard any opinion in opposition to 
that I had before stated^ particularly when I re- 
flected that by sending this intelligence your 
Lordship was put in possession of all the grounds 
upon which any opinion from me could be formed, 
and that you would probably have additional 
means of passing a better judgment &b the case 
from the aid of Mr. Pringle's inquiries, and intel- 
ligence from other quarters. It may, however, 
be observed, that if the last explanation of the 
cause of the proclamation be correct, Tippoo 
becomes acquitted of any participation in it, and 


in respect to the circumstance of his ambassadors 
being present^ when it was published, it may be 
remarked that an intercourse has long prevailed 
between him and the French, and from the inqui- 
ries I have lately made, I find that vakeels and 
others were often formerly sent to Pondicherry, 
where he was supplied (and perhaps since from 
Mauritius) with stores and various other articles, 
and that Frenchmen sometimes, though not in any 
great number, went to Seringapatam from Pondi- 
cherry. These considerations, and the certainty 
that the Sultaun could derive no very material 
assistance from the small number of men already 
received from the islands ; the little expectation of 
his receiving from thence a more formidable sup- 
ply; but above all, the silence of the officers in 
charge of the frontier garrisons respecting the 
movement of his troops, and the enclosed intelli- 
gence this day received from Salem without any- 
thing to contradict it from other quarters, incline 
me to be of opinion that Tippoo does not meditate 
immediate hostilities. What effect the knowledge 
of our preparations may have upon him is yet to 
be determined; but the apprehension which we 
have expressed in our public letter, that he might 
attempt to lay waste the lower part of the Barrah- 
mahal and the Carnatic, has been materially 
diminished in my mind from a consideration of 
the causes I have now stated. 

" In the meantime, our preparations are going 


on with every possible energy consistent with the 
necessary regard to secresy, which I shall main- 
tain until I am informed from General Floyd that 
the corps south of the Coleroon are prepared to 
move across it; and I shall not fail to keep your 
Lordship constantly advised of their progress, and 
of the effect which they may appear to have on 
the enemy. Your Lordship will observe that I 
have forborne in my present and former letters to 
offer any opinion upon the political part of this 
question, and this not from any disposition to 
withhold my sentiments upon any subject of im- 
portance to the national interests, but from a 
consciousness of my inability to assist your Lord- 
ship's judgment. Amidst the trouble of my present 
situation, it is indeed a great consolation to me 
that the momentous duty of determining whether 
we must endure the calamity of war, or remain 
peaceful, as we now are, does not belong to me, 
but is entrusted to a person so well qualified to 
decide it. This remark appears a proper intro- 
duction to my reply to that part of your Lordship's 
letter of the 26th ult., which respects the letter 
written by this government to Admiral Rainier. 
It had been so customaiy at this Presidency to 
write to the Admiral that the secretary drafted the 
letter, and we passed it as an ordinary occurrence, 
without the most distant idea that we were trans- 
gressing the strict line of our duty. In inadvert- 
ence, therefore, not in any desire of infringing 



upon your Lordship's responsibility^ this measure 
originated^ and whilst I fully acknowledge the 
propriety of the public admonition we have re- 
ceived, I cannot but feel gratified by the sentiments 
which your Lordship has been pleased to express 
in your private explanation. All the intelligence 
which 1 have been able to collect respecting the 
publication of the proclamation at the Mauritius, 
and of the conduct of Tippoo's ambassadors 
during their residence in that island, is contained 
in No. 2, obtained from the mate of the Green- 
wich, on whose report Mr. Lushington wrote his 
letter to Colonel Wellesley ; if more can be collected 
I will transmit it. In No. 1, a report from Cap- 
tain Malcolm, and one from Captain Macleod^ 
your Lordship will find our latest advices respecting 
the state of Tippoo's force, and of his actual pre;- 
parations for war. In my letter to your Lordship 
of the 12th, I suggested to you the expediency of 
our being authorized to send the French prisoners 
now here to Calcutta. A strong impression of 
the inconvenience we should feel by their conti- 
nuing here in the event of hostilities, induced this 
recommendation ; and in my desire to communi- 
cate it to your Lordship as early as possible, the 
mode which you had proposed through Mr. Wel- 
lesley escaped my consideration. I shall now 
endeavour to freight a ship, and send them to 
Europe; or rather, I will mention the circum- 
stance to Lord Clive, who will probably have to 
execute it, as his Lordship's arrival is daily ex- 


pected. I have not the honour of being known 
to him^ nor am I even acquainted with his cha- 
racter. If I find him open and candid^ I shall 
have pleasure in the most unreserved communica- 
tion ; at all events, he shall not be led into eiTors 
without being warned to the best of my judgment. 
This morning I received a letter from Admiral 
Rainier, requesting the Bombay frigate might be 
sent to Trincomalee to go round with the Cen- 
turion to dock, as this ship is in so bad a state, 
that she cannot sail with safety alone. I have in 
consequence again informed him of her despatch 
to Bengal, and that I would notice his request to 
your Lordship. Though I imagine your Lordship 
will have received the substance of the inclosed 
intelligence, No. 3, respecting the destination of 
Sir H. Christian's fleet, I think it proper to trans- 
mit it to you. It may not be amiss to apprise 
your Lordship that, in the event of our proceed- 
ing to act against Seringapatam, we shall want 
artillerymen from Bengal, and particularly some 
good officers ; and if we even take the field, sup- 
plies of rice and rum will also always be season- 
able. Captain Malcolm's report is not yet con- 
cluded, although I know that he was engaged in 
it the greatest part of the night. 
I have the honour to be. 

My dear Lord, ever yours, 

George Harris." 
'^Madras, I4th Jidy, 1798." 

N 2 


"To Major Beatson. 

^'Madras, 2l»t July, 1798. 
" Dear Beatson, 

" The delay in the frigate's arrival is pecu- 
liarly unfortunate, and of equal disappointment 
to yourself, General Harris, and Lord Morning- 
ton. Though the General can hardly bear the 
thought of your being at Masulipatam in the 
latter end of next week, yet, as the Syhille frigate 
sails from hence for Calcutta on Thursday morn- 
ing, he has requested Captain Cooke to touch 
there, and inquire for you, so that if the Bombay 
frigate should not have arrived before that time, 
you will be good enough to be in readiness to 
embark on the Syhille. 

Yours, sincerely, 
(Signed) S. R. Lushington." 

" To the Earl of Morningtox. 

''Madras, July 22nd, 1798. 

" My dear Lord, 

" When your Lordship is informed of oin- 
difficulties from the want of money, you will not 
be surprised that we begin to be very anxious to 
hear from you on the subject. Yesterday we ad- 
vertised your ten years' proposal, from not having 
a better to offer ; but much cannot be expected 
from it, as, in the present state of exchange be- 
tween the Presidencies, it would be a great ad- 
vantage to purchase your bills, and send them to 
be placed in your remittance. To equalize the 


exchange, we must remit the pagoda at nine 
shillings, which we did not think ourselves autho- 
rized to offer. We have also advertised that pro- 
posals will be received for bills on Bengal, and 
from which I have some expectations, or should 
be under the necessity of entirely stopping our 
preparations, and which partially is the case, 
having stopped a further provision of bullocks 
(draught) than will move our field train, and some 
arrack carts. I have not brought the corps from 
the westward of Wallajabad put of cantonments, 
and I had intended to send the 36th into Ai-nee, 
instead of allowing them to remain on field allow- 
ances, but I shall wait until I hear further from 
your Lordship. A few days will always join the 
troops from the cantonments of Arcot, Coimba- 
tore, Arnee, and Vellore, as their carriage and 
camp equipage is ready. General Floyd informs 
me the 3rd battalion of the 6th Regiment, the 
first corps ready with him, begin to cross the 
Coleroon the 17th or 18th, and will be five or six 
days in effecting the passage, from his having but 
thi*ee boats. His Majesty*s 19th Dragoons and 
12th Infantry will follow in about eight days. 
Any one of these corps would enable us to watch 
Tippoo, should he come to see us. Our intelli- 
gence does not give us the least reason to believe 
the Sultaun has any immediate intention to com- 
mence hostilities, and if he even should, we must 
be very unlucky, if we cannot get troops sufficient 
to check him at least. 



^^ The camp at Wallajahbad will consist of His 
Majesty's 12th and 36th Regiments, 19th Dra- 
goons, 3rd and 4th Native Cavalry, 1st Battalion 
1st Regiment Native Infantry, with the 74th and 
two corps of Native Infantiy in the cantonment. 
A few days will always join these to the corps at 
Arnee and Arcot, as carriage and camp equipage 
is now all ready. This, from absolute want of 
cash to make any further preparation, must be 
the state until your Lordship supplies us. I 
have now, my Lord, to address you on the sub- 
ject of the French prisoners, whom I have been 
much urged to send to Calcutta, but have refused 
until I know your pleasure, — ^first, as being well 
acquainted with the nuisance they would be in 
Fort William ; secondly, as I am doubtfid whe- 
ther, under the capitulation of Pondicherry, we 
can send them anywhere but to Europe, without 
being guilty of a breach of it ; and, thirdly, as we 
can get vessels here that will engage as cartels, 
and which I should instantly have closed with, 
but that I do not think it safe to dispatch them 
without convoy, for fear of their going to Manga^ 
lore, instead of Old France. I shall write the 
Admiral privately, to hear what he says in respect 
to a convoy to the Cape, and your Lordship 
may turn in your mind whether the Bombay 
would not be well employed in this business, as it 
is of such importance, in case of hostilities, as to 
deprive us of one regiment of Europeans* If you 


should approve the Bombay s proceedings she 
should bring salt provisions, as we have not any 
in store. The Bombay has been most unlucky in 
her passage to Masulipatam. She left this the 
6th instant in the evening, and was not heard of 
the 16th at that place. She must certainly have 
passed her port, which must be very vexatious to 
your Lordship, as Major Beatson will be detained 
until the Sybille, which does not leave this till 
Thursday next, can bring him. By Captain 
Cooke you shall have duplicate of this, with any 
further information I may be enabled to furnish 
your Lordship by that time. 

I remain, &c., 

Gborge Harris. 

" P.S. We have appointed the Commission for 
Tanjore, consisting of Mr, Torin, Mr. Harris 
(not even an acquaintance of mine), and Mr. 
Stratton, as youngest member and secretary. 
Your Lordship has a pretty good notion of the dif- 
ficulties attending the finding of proper members 
who are not more usefully employed. The above 
young men have lately conducted themselves very 
much to their credit, Mr. Harris in a business of 
a similar nature in the Ramnad country, and Mr. 
Stratton as secretary to Court of Cutchery. Your 
Lordship's favourites, Messrs. Cockbum and 
Lushington, are positively against accepting the 
country from Serfogee, and I join them most cor- 


dially, but particulai*s will be forwarded by the 
St/bllley and then your Lordship will decide. The 
amount of fixed pay and allowance of the army 
now under orders for the field is — 

Pags- . . . . . 91,449 
Additional in the field . . I^IS^IOS 


*'To Admiral Rainier. 

'* Madras, 22nd July, 1798. 

" My dear Sir, 

" As it would be of infinite consequence, in 
case of hostilities, to get rid of the Frenchmen 
who are prisoners here, and as I can procure 
cartel ships, I lose no time to inquire if you can 
give us anything by way of convoy to the Cape. 
I do not think it would be safe to trust them by 
themselves, for fear they should prefer Mangalore 
to Old France ; but as you are much more master 
of this subject than I am, and equally sensible of 
the nuisance they would be here, I shall thank 
you for your opinion whether it would be advi- 
sable to send them without convoy, in case yon 
cannot assist. 

I remain, &c., 
(Signed) George Harris/' 


"To Major Bbatson. 

'^Madroi, 23rd July^ 1798. 

"Dear Beatson^ 

" I wrote you a letter on the 21st instant^ 
apprising you that the Sybille frigate would sail 
from hence for Calcutta on Thursday morning, 
and that Captain Cooke had promised to touch 
and inquire for you. The Hamburgh, by which 
this letter is conveyed to you, proceeds immedi- 
ately to Calcutta ; and as there is a possibility of 
the Sybille passing the port, the General thinks it 
will be advisable not to lose the opportunity of a 
passage by this neutral vessel, if her accommoda- 
tion be decent. 

Yours, sincerely, 


" The Earl of Mornington to General Harris. 
''Fart WUliam, I5tk July, 1798. 

" My dear Sir, 

" I transmit with this letter a despatch 
from this Government in the secret department, 
which I must request you not to record until you 
receive further communications from me. The 
measure directed to be executed in the secret 
despatch, requires the utmost degree of prompti- 
tude as well as of caution. My object is to restore 
the Nizam to some degree of efficiency and 
power. The measure forms part of a much more 
extensive plan for the re-establishment of our 


alliances^ previously to the moment when Tippoo 
may expect to be enabled to attack us. The 
whole of my arrangements will shortly be com-* 
municated to you; at present, I shall only recom- 
mend to you in the most earnest manner, the 
speedy and eflFectual execution of the measure 
directed in the annexed despatch. As I know your 
honest zeal for the public service, and the activity 
which accompanies it, I look with confidence to 
the accomplishment of my anxious wish for the 
success of that part of my plan which is now 
committed to your charge. I imagine that the 
best position for assembling the troops destined 
for Hyderabad would be in the Guntoor Circar. 
You will feel the great importance of selecting a 
proper officer for this very arduous command. 
The British force at Hyderabad, after the pro- 
posed addition, wiU amount nearly to seven thou- 
sand men, officers and artillery included ; it is my 
intention, if the plan should succeed, to recall the 
Bengal regiment, and to draw the whole detach- 
ment for Hyderabad from Fort St. George. This 
will preserve a unity of discipline as well as pre- 
vent jealousies in the detachment. You will at 
once feel that such a command is an object for 
the ambition of your most distinguished officers* 
I need not recommend the most strict attention 
to secresy in the whole of this proceeding ; the 
least intimation of my design would instantly set 
the whole French faction at Hyderabad in motion, 


and frustrate the whole of my views. It wUl be 
necessary to apprize the acting Resident at 
Hyderabad of the intended station of the troops, 
in order that he may communicate with the com- 
manding officer. I repeat my reliance on you 
for the expeditious and effectual performance of 
this service, of which the importance in my esti- 
mation is so high, that in addition to my applause 
on public grounds, I shall consider your cordial 
co-operation as a great claim on my private grati- 
tude. I take this opportunity of suggesting to 
you the expediency of as great an attention to 
economy in the mode of assembling the army as 
may be consistent with the great object of per- 
suading Tippoo Sultaun, that we are really pre- 
pared to repel his menaced attack, or to demand 
such satisfaction for his late conduct as we may 
deem just. The objects of economy and effectual 
preparation would be, perhaps, best combined by 
ordering native troops only to take the field, and 
drawing the Europeans into the frontier garrisons 
with all necessaiy equipments. I do not mean 
to disarm until I shall have effected all my 
objects of renewing the efficacy of our alliances, 
and of obtaining satisfaction from Tippoo; I 
think, however, that I shall be able to accomplish 
all my measures without a war, and the ultimate 
effect of them will be either wholly to avert that 
calamity for a considerable period of time, or to 
enable us to meet it with increased strength. 


" You will soon receive my ideas with respect 
to a permanent plan for the defence of the 
Cai-natic, by constantly keeping considerable stores 
of gi'ain in the frontier fortresses, and by esta- 
blishing a train of artillery at Aniee and Vellore 
to be always maintained in a state of readiness 
for the field ; I am aware of the expense of these 
measures of precaution, but I am persuaded that 
if we do not provide the permanent means of 
moving our army suddenly into Mysore, as the 
occasion may require, we never shall be safe in 
the Carnatic. 

^' I have received your letter with an account 
of your orders to the Resident at Tanjore, which 
I entirely approve. You will perceive that I had 
anticipated the want of the questions and an- 
swers of the Pundit, and that I dispatched the 
originals to you on the 16th of June. You will 
communicate the whole proceeding to the Resi- 
dents at Poonah and Hyderabad, for their inform* 
ation only, and not to be imparted to their 
respective courts. I am sorry that Mr. Cockburn 
does not go to Tanjore, and very anxious to know 
the names of your committee, 'on whose report 
much will depend. I am, &c. 


'^ There can be no objection to the public 
mention of your expectation of the 33rd* Regi- 

* Then at Fort William, Bengal, Colonel Wellesley beinr^ 
Lieut.-Colonel9 and ordered to Madras by Lord Momington. 


ment; I should even be glad that the news 
reached Tippoo^ as it would convince him that I 
am in earnest. Should Tippoo desire from you 
any explanation of our preparations^ you will be 
so good as to refer him to me for an answer. If 
you should be of opinion that the not encamping 
the European forces will be likely to lead Tippoo 
to doubt the seriousness of my intentions, I beg 
you will not attend to my suggestions with res- 
pect to the measure of stationing the English 
regiments in the frontier garrisons, my object 
being to impress the mind of l^ppoo with serious 

" To the Earl of Mornington. 

"jrw/y29M, lP.if., 1798. 
" My dear Lord, 

" Your Lordship's public and private letters 
of the 15th instant, are this moment received ; 
you may be assured that no time shall be lost in 
giving directions for carrying into effect the 
orders fhey convey, when I have determined in 
what manner your intention will be best effected, 
which in the present scattered state of our troops 
to the northward, and the urgent demand for 
them in other quarters, requires much considera- 
tion. July 30th. Having revolved the subject 
much in my mind last night and this morning, I 
have resolved to acquaint your Lordship with two 
or three points, by express, before I enter fully 
into the matter: — ^That unless we receive from you 


a supply of money before the end of August, we 
positively cannot proceed. That the Marine Bat- 
talion should be sent with every possible expedi- 
tion to Masulipatam, and the 33rd here. That 
the force you have directed cannot be assembled 
in the Guntoor Circar before the end of August, 
as a battalion must go from hence, and I believe 
two, where it is to be observed we have not a man 
to spare in defending ourselves from any attack 
that may be made ; and lastly, that the execution 
of your Lordship's orders for sending round the 
men of the 36th on the arrival of the 33rd Regi- 
ment, must be suspended if possible. I sent 
orders last night, for steps to be taken for the 
1 1th Regiment to be assembled, hoping that the 
force could have been furnished from the Circars, 
but shall stop them for a few days, as I am con- 
vinced half of it must march from here. I must 
again repeat that you may rely on every possible 
exertion, and that, although depressed by want 
of cash, I do not despond ; and am always your 
Lordship's faithful 

And devoted servant, 

George Harris.'* 

''To LiEUT.-CoL. Robert Shawe. 

''Madras, July 31, 179S. 
" My dear Shawe, 

"By this night's tappal you will receive 

directions to order the 2nd of the 7th Native 


Infantry to get in marching order, with all pos- 
sible dispatch, and as I am very anxious that not 
a moment should be lost in getting them to the 
place of their destination, it has occurred to me, 
that the carriage of Major Ferguson's corps may 
be employed, in case you should not have had 
bullocks sent from the paymaster ; to be in readi- 
ness, if occasion requires, you are at liberty to 
show this letter to Major Ferguson, with my 
compliments, and request his assistance in the 
way above-mentioned; and I would have you 
inform the commanding officer of the 7th, in 
order to set at ease the minds of his Sepoys who 
have families, that they are going northward, 
which I fancy they all like ; you may also inform 
him, that his exertions to be speedily in readiness 
will be esteemed marks of his attention to his 
Commander-in-Chief. The plot thickens, and 
will, no doubt, succeed, while such zeal pervades 
the coast army. Keep my two boys to their duty, 
and believe me. 

Very sincerely yours, 

George Harris. 

"P.S. Don't let Lascars be a difficulty, if 
you can raise them in the cantonment." 

^^ To the Earl of Mornington. 

''Madras^ August ], 1798. 

" My dear Lord, 

" My last letter to your Lordship, of which 


I now transmit a duplicate, was in a more de- 
sponding strain than you were probably prepared 
to receive, but if it had been my wish to soften 
the truths which it contained, I should have 
deemed it treacherous to your Lordship to have 
done so, for as the responsibility of the orders you 
have given rests exclusively with your Government, 
it was incumbent on me to apprise you of the 
difficulties which opposed their execution, that 
you might be enabled to send us early and effec- 
tual succours. 

" The selection of a person to command the 
detachment has been justly considered an object 
of great importance, and, after the fullest inquiry, 
my choice has fallen upon Lieutenant-Colonel 
Roberts, who commands the 11th Regiment, was 
at Hyderabad wKh it till relieved by the Bengal 
detachment, and gave great satisfaction to the 
Nizam and his ministers. Sir Alured Clarke 
knows his character. Lieutenant-Colonel Dal- 
ryuiple, the brother of Colonel Roberts, is the 
second in command, and an officer of high military 

" It will appear somewhat extraordinary to 
your Lordship, upon a perusal of the accompany- 
ing Minute, read in Council on the 13th inst. (but 
withdrawn for the present), that the required 
detachment would have been nearly ready by this 
time, if tlie want of money had not opposed so 
serious an objection^ and if I had not been much 


importuned to refrain from the measure^ and per- 
haps convinced that I should have been impeded 
m It. 

" The receipt of your instructions gave a differ- 
ent aspect to the measure^ and yesterday I de- 
livered to the Council the Minute No, 2. Objec- 
tions were, as I expected, started, but as I declared 
my resolution to take the measure upon myself, 
and execute it with my own funds if no public 
money could be obtained, the opposition was 
silenced, and the measures necessary for putting 
the troops in motion were instantaneously adopted. 

"The minute which I have delivered in has 
relieved the disquietude of mind under which I 
wrote my last letter, because I feel that I have 
done my duty towards the public and myself, in 
stating the difficulties to which we are exposed, 
whilst I have placed at the same time your Lord- 
ship's wishes in the best possible train of accom- 
plishment, and write this letter under a deter- 
mination of using my unceasing endeavours for 
their effectual completion. 

" In the various considerations that will occupy 
your Lordship's mind in deliberating upon this 
great question, that of the limited powers allowed 
to the Commander-in-Chief on the coast will not 
escape you. In the event of hostilities, I should 
most earnestly wish your Lordship to be here, and 
the Commander-in Chief in India to be in the 
command of the army, for, although I have no 



donbt your Lordship would endeavour to prevent 
the certain bad consequences of placing me in the 
command of the army without an extension of my 
present powers, I am thoroughly convinced the 
service would essentially benefit by your Lord- 
ship's presence at Madras. 

"I wish to draw your Lordship's particular 
attention to the order for drafting the 36th Regi- 
ment; it is a seasoned corps, officers and men 
well acquainted with the warfare of this country ; 
and you may expect both the 12th and 33rd will 
be skeletons after one campaign. I must also 
beg you will take into your consideration the very 
weak state of our European force actually in the 
Carnatic. Our southern division is left with only 
the sick and weakly of the 12th and 19th, until 
two companies of Europeans arrive from Jaffiia^ 
patam ; and this I have been obliged to risk, or 
we could not collect any thing like a respectable 
force to meet Tippoo in the field. 

^' In adverting to your Lordship's suggestion 
of combining economy with effectual preparations, 
I may observe that the state of our finances had 
obliged me to anticipate the idea of putting the 
Europeans into garrison, and orders have been 
issued to prepare the barracks at Amee to receive 
the 12th, and the 36th shall be put into Poona- 
mallee, which will leave them ready to embark, or 
to go to the field. 

^^ The 19th Dragoons may be stationed at the 


Mount, and 3rd Native Cavalry must double at 
Arcot with the 25th Dragoons and 1st Native 
Cavalry, and the 4th Native Cavalry need not 
move from Cuddalore, nor the battalion of Native 
Infantry from Pondicherry. 

" This arrangement, and the corps at Amboor, 
Vellore, Arnee, Arcot, and Coimbatore, being only 
equipped for field service, without moving until 
absolutely necessary, will be a material saving of 

" The outline of your Lordship's ideas for the 
defence of the Carnatic, appears to me perfectly 
correct ; and so sensible am I of the necessity of 
stores and a train in advance, that you will have 
a plan immediately laid before you for putting the 
Pettah of Kistnagherry into a state to make a 
dep6t, and which appears to me and Colonel 
Read to be so easily effected from his account of 
it, that I would have instantly set about it had 
the means been in my power. As matters now 
appear, I shall make use of the cattle we have 
been obliged to collect in transporting stores to 
Vellore, as we must keep them on pay for some 
months at leaist. 

^^ The unusual swelling of the rivers at Trichi- 
nopoly, and our total want of preparation in every 
way (not a boat being ready, and the nabob's 
people doing nothing), has caused a delay in that 
quarter that might have been most fatal, bad 



Tippoo come down on the first intelligence of our 

" The 3rd Native Cavalry commenced crossing 
the 17th inst., and this moment I have a letter of 
the 25th from General Floyd, which says, ^ The 
3rd Native Cavalry over both rivers, and to march 
towards Wallajahbad on the 28th. The twelve 
tumbrils and artillery were expected to cross on 
the 29th; the 12th Foot are arrived at Trichino- 
poly, and will cross after the artillery ; 19th Dra- 
goons all ready, and follow the 12th Regiment.' 
This will protract the junction of the troops till 
the latter end of next month — a strong proof of 
the necessity of always having an efficient army 
for field movements in the centre division, nearly 
as it will now be cantoned. 

^^ I hope your Lordship will approve the sen- 
timent I have expressed regarding Serfogee's 
proffered assignment of his country. As the con- 
sideration of such subjects is totally foreign to the 
habits of a military man, some defect may reason- 
ably be expected, but I must disclaim any that 
may appear to have originated in precipitation or 
want of inquiry. 

" If your Lordship had not seen at Madras a 
great part of the Company's civil servants on this 
establishment, you would perhaps have been sur- 
prised that my selection for the commission should 
have fallen upon gentlemen so young in the ser- 


vice. Mr. Torin's qualifications will be abun- 
dantly manifest from his own letters. Mr. Harris 
came to India in 1789^ and is a young man of 
much promise. Mr. Stratton, though a cove- 
nanted servant of only five yeai*s standing, has 
been ten years in the country, and has the cha- 
racter of much patient inquiiy and sound judg- 
ment. The principles of the whole I believe to 
be unquestionable, and I am certain they have 
never been in any way concerned in the Tanjore 
countiy ; and to remove the suspicion of patron- 
age, I should mention that neither of these young 
men were recommended to me, and that I have 
scarcely a personal knowledge of Mr. Harris. 

" This letter was begun the 30th of July, but 
so much has my time been taken up, that I could 
not have been able to forward it even by this 
night's tappal, only for the unwearied assistance 
of my son-in-law, Mr. Lushington. 

I am, my dear Liord, 
Your very faithful and obedient servant, 
(Signed) Geo. Harris. 

** P. S. Commodore Sutherland arrived here 
this morning, in order to take the command of 
the Bombay frigate, and will proceed to Bengal 
by the first opportunity, and, I hope, be in time 
to catch his ship. Duplicates of the present and 
of our further proceedings shall be forwai*ded by 
Commodore Sutherland." 


" No. 2. Enclosure in the foregoing letter. 

''^Secret Department, July 3], 1798. 

^^The President lays before the Board a 
letter from Bengal, which he recommends may 
not at present be entered on the records, directing 
that immediate orders may be issued for as- 
sembling, with all practicable dispatch, two native 
regiments of infantry, with field pieces, each bat- 
talion completed to the war strength of 1,000 
men, and intimating, that it is probable this force 
will shortly be required for the service of the 

" The President delivers in the following 
Minute : — 

" If the present order had been given after the 
receipt of our letter to the Supreme Government 
of the 10th inst., there would have been no cause 
to doubt what conduct we ought to pursue, be- 
cause the Governor-General in Council would 
have issued his directions under a knowledge of 
the difficulties in which we should be involved by 
the execution of his first instructions for as- 
sembling the coast army, with the ultimate view 
of marching to Seringapatam. 

"In that letter we stated our inability to 
undertake any offensive operation ; that our whole 
collected force was barely sufficient to repel any 
invasion of our own territories ; and that, without 
large and immediate supplies of money, we could 
not put it in a state of field equipment ; it fol- 

WITH TIPPOO sultaun; 1&9 

lows, then, that, by preparing and detaching so 
large a part of our army (and ^vhich it is probable 
will shortly be entirely withdratrn from our |iro- 
tection) as 4,000 effective infantry, with their 
complement of field artillery, that a very Serious 
reduction is made from our means of defence, 
and that the very measure which we were before 
scarcely in a condition to repel, is proportionkbly 

" The question, therefore, for our consideration 
is, whether these consequences shall be Hsked by 
the execution of the present order. 

"If I believed that the stipulated fbrce was 
required only for the ordinary service of the 
Nizam, I would not hesitate to recommend that 
the execution of the order should be suspended 
until a teply was received to the representation 
which has been made to the Supreme Govern- 
ment of our difficulties; but, jtidgihg from the 
very pressing private request of the Earl of Morn- 
ington, that the detachment may be equipped 
with the littnost promptitude and caution, that 
its formation is of great importahce to the British 
interests in India, I should deem myself culpable 
if I thwarted any general plan which may have 
been formed by the Supreme Government, by 
delaying, for a moment, to propose to the Board 
the mode which I deem most proper for the 
speedy and effectual accomplishment of the part 
with which we are charged. 


^^ I am aware that difficulties of gi'eat magni- 
tude oppose the arrangement I shall propose ; but 
feeling that they ought to yield to the more imme- 
diate object in view, it would be superfluous to 
dwell upon them, and culpable to shrink from the 
responsibility which may attach to us in meeting 

'* The public and private promise of a supply 
from Bengal in specie, lessens my apprehensions 
on this account; and as I have again, in the most 
urgent terms, pressed the immediate necessity of 
its performance, I am confident that his Liordship 
in Council will be as forward to afford effectual 
relief to our particular difficulties, as we may be 
to manifest a cordial co-operation in his plans for 
the general safety. 

Geo. Harris.'* 

The detachment was forthwith sent to Hyder- 
abad, and soon after this Minute was written. 
General Harris received from the Governor- 
General the following letter, upon which I find 
indorsed in the General's handwi'iting, — ^*This is 
a most able production." 

" (Private.) Fori William, Jvly 16, 1798. 

'^ My dear Sir, 

*' I return you many thanks for the despatch 
received by the Bombay frigate, yesterday at four 
o'clock, p. M. The frigate met with such bad 


weather on the passage^ that she could not touch 
at Masulipatam^ and she aiTived here without 
Major Beatson^ and so much disabled, that she 
will require a repair at Diamond Harbour before 
she can return to sea. 

" ITie information with which you have fur- 
nished me is sufficient for my present purpose, 
and I cannot express in terms equal to my real 
sentiments, my cordial approbation of the zeal 
with which you have entered into all my views 
for the public service, and of the alacrity, dili- 
gence, and correctness, with which you have exe- 
cuted the commission which I entrusted to your 
charge. I perceive, however, that the object and 
principle of my late directions to your Presidency 
are not thoroughly understood ; for your satisfac- 
tion, therefore, I will state very shortly a summary 
view of both. 

^* I have obtained the fullest evidence of the 
nature of Tippoo's designs against the British 
power in India, and I have been apprized that, in 
confoimity to the public declarations of his am- 
bassadors, he has actually made preparations for 
cariying that design into effect. At what moment 
he may think fit to strike the blow, which he has 
openly menaced, must always be a matter of mere 
conjecture ; the interests and wishes of France 
are decidedly in his favour ; the precise period of 
time when she may be able to afford him assistance, 
must be uncertain ; it is equally uncertain, whe^ 


ther the impetuosity of his temper will suflfer hiiii 
to wait for that assistance: various events in 
India might offer opportunities which he might 
deem (and perhaps with reason) favourable to the 
success of his hostile projects ; and without pre- 
tending to estimate the considerations which may 
govern his conduct, it is evident that while we 
remain without a soldier prepared to take the 
field in the Carnatic, and without an ally to assist 
our operations, we yield to this implacable adver- 
sary the decided advantage of selecting the time 
and mode of his long-meditated attack against 
our defenceless possessions. Under these circum- 
stances, I have never considered that the option 
between temporary peace and immediate war 
resided in our hands. The motionless condition 
of our army on the coast, contraste4 with the 
advanced state of Tippoo's preparations, places in 
his hands not only that option, but the choice of 
the moment of conquest; for in our present 
weakness, his first assault must be successful, 
whatever might afterwards be regained by our 
perseverance and resolution. The true state of 
the question, therefore, is, whether, by continuing 
unarmed and unallied, we shall abandon the issues 
of peace, war, and certain victory, to the discre- 
tion of a vindictive enemy, or whether by resuming 
the power of meeting him in the field, we shall 
replace in our hands the advantages which he now 


" With this view of the subject, the assembling 
our forces, and the placing ourselves in a state of 
preparation for war, at least equal to that of the 
enemy, appeared to me from the first moment of 
the authentication of the proclamation, to be 
measures not of choice, but of irresistible neces- 
sity, and of indispensable duty. But I did not 
stop at this point ; my decided opinion was and 
is, that every practicable reduction of the power 
of Tippoo, is warranted by the principles of 
justice, and demanded by those of policy; and I 
therefore determined in the first instance to en- 
deavour to anticipate the execution of his projects 
of vengeance, by attacking him on all sides with- 
out delay, and thus intercepting his means of 
availing himself of the solicited aid of France, or 
of any other assistance which might be presented 
to him by the variable course of Indian politics. 
But I never proposed to undertake any attack 
upon him, of which the success could be doubtful 
in the judgment of those whose opinions must 
always govern my discretion on every question of 
military detail; and although my judgment re- 
mains unaltered, with respect to the justice, policy, 
and even indispensable necessity of an efffectual 
reduction of Tippoo's power, I have not under- 
valued the practical difiiculties of such an attempt 
in the present moment. 

" The delay which must attend any movement 
of the army upon the coast, and the immense 


expense of protracted military operations, had 
made a considerable impression upon my mind, 
previously to the receipt of your letter dispatched 
by the Bombay frigate ; and I had, in consequence 
of that impression, relinquished all hope of effecting 
within any short period, the only operation which 
can afford permanent security to our possessions 
on the coast. 

"Your letter, together with the opinions of 
Colonel Close, confirmed the decision which I had 
already taken, and proved that any effectual blow 
against the power of Tippoo must be deemed 
utterly impracticable under the present circum- 
stances of the army at your Presidency. But the 
orders which I originally gave for assembling the 
army upon the coast, although pointed more par- 
ticularly at the object of an immediate attack 
upon Seringapatam, were founded (as I have 
already stated) upon principles independent of 
the judgment which I might hereafter form of the 
practicability of that object. The measure of 
assembling the army, and of continuing it, if not 
in the field, at least in a state of forward prepara- 
tion, is indispensable to the present defence of the 
Carnatic, the security of which it is my duty to 
establish upon foundations more solid than can 
be found in the forbearance of Tippoo Sultaun. 
In addition to this most pressing object, my views 
at every period of this crisis have been extended 
|:o other general measures essentially connected 


with the security of our power in India, and with 
our means of restraining the enmity of Tippoo. 
I have always known that an offensive war of any 
long duration in Mysore, would be difficult, if not 
impracticable, without the eo-operation of the 
Peishwah and of the Nizam, at least to the extent 
of facilitating the supplies of provision to our 
army in the field. A principal branch, therefore, 
of the precautions which from the first moment I 
proposed to take for our general defence, was the 
restoration of these two members of the triple 
alliance to the power of fulfilling their engage- 
ments with us. And it was always my intention 
that a negociation, accompanied with other mea- 
sures for that purpose, should precede any attack 
upon Tippoo. This part of my plan I have not 
abandoned ; it is now in train with very fair pro- 
spects of success. 

" I have annexed to this despatch, copies of 
several letters from the Residents at Poonah and 
Hyderabad, and of my recent instructions to them. 
These papers will furnish you with a complete 
knowledge of the actual dispositions and interests 
of the two courts, as well as of the nature of the 
system which I have framed for the purpose of 
uniting them with us upon the original basis of 
our subsisting treaties of defence against Tippoo. 

" You will observe that my views have also 
been directed to avert another danger which I 
have long considered with great apprehension, and 


which is now aggravated by the inclination which 
Tippoo has manifested to admit large bodies of 
Frenchmen into his armies. The growth of a 
French party in the councils and armies of the 
several native powers of India^ had attracted my 
attention before I left Europe : this evil has now 
reached an alarming height, and if not checked 
will soon produce convulsions in the system or 
Indian politics, which may facilitate the introduc- 
tion of the power and influence of France, and 
expose ours to imminent hazard. The French 
army at Hyderabad is the main root of tnis mis- 
chief, and I feel it to be a most urgent point of 
my duty to extirpate it without delay. 

*^ In considering the annexed papers, you will 
perceive what erroneous notions have been formed 
at Madras of the temper and views of Azim ul 
Omrah and the Mahrattahs, as well with respect 
to the reciprocal relations of the two courts to- 
wards each other, as to their common disposition 
towards the British Government. The moment 
is very favourable for adjusting their mutual dif- 
ferences, and for reconciling both parties to co- 
operate with us against Tippoo. I do not expect 
that Scindiah will be able to oppose any effectual 
obstacle to the success of a plan founded on the 
real interests of all parties, and calculated to con- 
ciliate the approbation of all the ancient friends 
of his family, and of all who possess any degree of 
permanent influence in his armies or dominions. 


It would be impossible to carry this plan into 
execution, without accompanying it by a respect- 
able state of preparation in the Carnatic ; as it 
cannot be supposed that Tippoo would remain an 
inactive spectator of our negotiations at Poonah 
and Hyderabad, unless he were checked by an 
appearance of our ability to move upon his fron- 
tier. Our preparations are the necessary conse- 
quences of those which he has made, and it would 
be neither rational nor just in him to consider 
them as provocations of war. If the fear of an 
attack from him in the early stage of our prepa- 
rations, is absolutely to preclude us from making 
them, we are, indeed, upon most unequal terms 
with him ; and we must then at once determine 
to leave our fate at his disposal, for it will then 
appear that we dare not take the common precau- 
tions of defence, while he with impunity pub- 
licly enters into an offensive alliance for the 
declared purpose of expelling the British nation 
from India. 

" Having already stated to you that I no 
longer entertain any idea of an immediate attack 
upon Tippoo, it will follow that my objects must 
for the present be limited to those measures of 
general preparation and defence which are abso- 
lutely necessary for enabling us to recover the 
eflSciency of our alliances, to repel any attack 
which Tippoo may make upon us, or even- 
tually to support any representation which we 


may hereafter judge it advisable to make to 

*^It is not my intention to forward any 
despatch to Tippoo until the allies shall have con- 
curred in it, shall be ready to second our demand^ 
and until our preparations shall be considerably 
advanced; the nature of our remonstrance to 
Tippoo will be determined by the circumstances 
of the moment in which it shall be made. 

" I now proceed to state to you another part 
of my general plan for the protection of the 
Carnatic, The result of my earliest inquiries into 
the nature and condition of the military establish- 
ments on the coast convinced me that there 
existed a radical defect in them, which rendered 
them peculiarly ill adapted to secure the principal 
object of their institution, more especially in the 
actual state of Tippoo's preparati<ms, of his 
temper, and of his power. It is impossible for 
any human foresight to ascertain the precise time 
when an attack from Tippoo may be expected ; 
but it is a matter of public notoriety, that he will 
attack the Carnatic, whenever circumstances shall 
appear to favour his declared design. To coun- 
teract such a design, and to avert the dreadful 
evils which must attend even the partial execution 
of it, the character of the enemy, and the nature 
of his force, require that our protecting force 
should be so constituted, as to be capable of 
sudden and rapid movements at a short notice ; 


but the want of an establishment of draught bul- 
locks, the want of a regular system for the speedy 
collection of the carriage bullocks from the 
country, the inadequate stores of grain and of 
other supplies necessary for the provision of an 
army in the field, the defects in the regulations 
for providing camp equipage, and lastly the want 
of a regularly-established train of artillery with 
all its proper equipments, nearly disqualify the 
army upon the coast for any speedy operation even 
of a defensive nature. 

" This was my opinion previous to the receipt 
of your despatch, from the perusal of which, and 
of the papers accompanying it, I am compelled to 
declare that I have received the most alarming 
impressions of the totally defenceless state of the 
Carnatic in the present condition of your army, 
as well as of the utter inefficacy of that force, for 
any present purposes, even of the most limited 
nature of mere defence. 

" The report of your Adjutant-General states 
distinctly that the army in the Carnatic, under its 
present circumstances, cannot be put in motion 
even for the purpose of defending that valuable 
possession, under a shorter notice than six months. 
A body so tardy in its operations cannot be 
deemed an efficient check upon the rapid and 
active movements which are supposed to form the 
characteristic qualities of the adversary to whom 
it is opposed. 



" If the opinion of your Adjutant-General is 
to be deemed correct, I have no hesitation in de- 
claring that the army upon the coast, notwith- 
standing its high state of discipline, and the ac- 
knowledged gallantry, activity, and skill of its 
officers, must be considered as an useless burden 
upon the finances of the Company, being, from its 
constitution, wholly unserviceable in the emer- 
gency of that species of war which it must ever 
expect to encounter, until the character of the 
enemy, and the nature of his force, shall be en- 
tirely changed. It cannot be doubted, that if 
Tippoo, in consequence of his alliance with 
France, had received the aid of one or two regi- 
ments, either from the Mauritius or from France, 
he would immediately have attempted an irruption 
into the Camatic with the whole force of his 
cavalry, which, although diminished, is still con- 
siderable. In such an event, if the Adjutant- 
General's opinion be correct, your army could 
have opposed no obstacle to the progress of 
Tippoo for many months. The state of Tippoo's 
preparations as supposed to be such as to enable 
him to move with facility and celerity, even for 
the purposes of oflFence, whfle the condition of our 
protecting force is represented by the Adjutant- 
General to be such as will not admit of its moving 
even for the purposes of defence before the 
commencement of the ensuing year. The ac- 
knowledged talents and experience of your Ad- 


jutant-General will not allow me to treat his 
opinioa lightly upon a subject so important as 
that which was submitted to his consideration, I 
am persuaded that he is incapable of attempting 
to exaggerate difficulties^ and I can conceive no 
motive which could induce him to endeavour to 
impede the progress of measures which it is his 
duty to execute with the full exertion of his zeal 
and ability ; yet if I am to receive his judgment 
implicitly^ I cannot view it in any other light than 
that of a sentence of disqualification upon your 
army as far as relates to the primary object of its 
institution — namely, ^^ defence against a sudden 
invasion of the Carnatic*" I am, however, aware 
that this sentence of disability is mitigated in a 
considerable degree by your judgment, and that 
of Mr. Cockburn, to both of which on every 
account I pay the greatest deference and respect. 
But even from the result of your opinion it ap- 
pears that it would be nearly three months before 
the army could be enabled to move even for 
operations of a defensive nature. This, my dear 
Sir, is a most serious consideration to me, who 
am charged with the arduous responsibility of 
preserving from injury every part of the British 
empire in India. I am determined not only to 
apply an immediate remedy to this evil, but to 
encounter the expense which I know must be in- 
curred, in providing a permanent security against 
the future return of the peril of our present gltua- 

P 2 


tion. With this view, I mean to record my sen- 
timents in the Secret Department upon the diffi- 
culties which obstruct the movement of your 
army. This step will be followed by a direction 
to your Government to report to me in council 
the most eligible plan for enabling the army upon 
the coast to be in constant readiness to take the 
field expeditiously upon any sudden emergency. 
On your report, combined with such information 
as I shall receive from the Commander-in-Chief, 
and from the authorities here, I propose to ground 
a permanent system for the necessary purpose 
already stated. In the meanwhile the measures 
which it is my intention to suggest to you for our 
present defence will lay the foundation of a more 
regular establishment of your means of taking the 
field in future, and will co-operate in promoting 
my ultimate object. My wish now is, that you 
should immediately encamp the native troops in 
such a position as you may deem most eligible for 
repelling any invasion of the Carnatic ; that you 
should draw the European force immediately into 
the frontier garrisons ; and if your point of union 
should be, as I suppose it must be, the Baramahi, 
that you should encamp the European force also 
there before the period of the monsoon. You will 
also immediately procure the necessary draught 
bullocks for the artillery ; it is my opinion that 
a permanent establishment of these will be abso- 
lutely necessaiy for your future safety. The 


carriage bullocks must be hired immediately 
according to Mr. Cockbum's suggestion; some 
system must hereafter be regularly introduced 
into the country, in order to facilitate the collec- 
tion of these upon all future emergencies. Grain 
and other necessary provisions must be stored in 
whatever place shall be judged most proper for 
such a depdt. I am persuaded that means must 
be found of constantly maintaining upon the 
frontier such a store of grain as would serve a 
large army for at least six months in the field. 
The train of artillery must be provided without 
delay ; this will serve as a foundation for a per- 
manent establishment of artilleiy to be always 
ready for use in the field. Camp equipage will 
be provided, of course ; but the best mode of pro- 
viding this article in future will be a leading 
object of your report to me. 

"Thus have I endeavoured to open to your 
view the general outline of my arrangements for 
frustrating the united efforts of Tippoo and of 
France. My leading objects are, to place your 
army in a respectable state of preparation for the 
present, and to enable it to move with alacrity 
and expedition on any future emergency; to 
restore to our allies the power of fulfilling their 
defensive engagements with us, both now and 
hereafter; to destroy every seed of the French 
party, now growing up in the heart of the domi- 


nions of one of our principal allies^ and on the 
confines of our own; and by the natural and 
necessary effect of this change in the political state 
of India^ to strengthen our barrier against the 
resentment and violence of Tippoo Sultaun, and 
to place in our hands the option of reducing his 
power according to our discretion, instead of 
abandoning our tranquillity to his mercy. All 
these objects appear to me to be attainable, but 
if they should not be attained, the blame shall not 
be imputable to any failure of diligence or labour 
on my part. 

^^ I am extremely pleased with the accounts 
from Tanjore, and I flatter myself that the country 
will at length become a scene of order and afflu- 
ence, an honour to the Government of the Com- 
pany and of the Rajah, and an increasing source 
of profit to both. 

^^ Pray remember me to Mrs. Harris, and to 
Mr. and Mrs. Lushington. Believe me, with 
great regard and respect. 

My dear Sir, 
Your faithful and humble servant^ 


^^'LieutmafU'Gfmeral ffarris^** 
^c^ 4^., i^(?. 


" To the Earl of Mornington. 

*' Madras, 1th August, 1798. 
^^ My dear Lord, 

*^I cannot express in adequate terms the 

satisfaction which I have received from your 

Lordship's letter of the 16th ultimo, and the 

enclosures which accompanied it. 

"This comprehensive explanation has dis- 
pelled every doubt of the necessity of the mea- 
sures which you have directed, and I congratu- 
late your Lordship, that the peril of our situation 
is diminished every day by the assembling of our 
troops and the forbearance of the enemy, whilst 
the measures you have in contemplation will 
certainly prevent the future return of it. At the 
close of the present, or the beginning of next 
month, I hope to have our army in a state of 
preparation, sufficiently advanced for our defence; 
but if that object should not be attained, it shall not 
be owing to any want of activity or diligence in me. 

" In my former remarks on this subject, I did 
not advert to one of the difficulties we at present 
feel in assembling our army, I mean the detach- 
ment of a very considerable part of it on foreign 
service. This compels us to draw our force from • 
distant garrisons to the place of rendezvous and 
necessarily occasions a very material delay, but as 
I have received your Lordship's public letter 
upon the most eligible plan for enabling us to 
take the field expeditiously, and am preparing to 


reply to it, I shall not now trouble you further, 
particularly since your Lordship will have per- 
ceived from my letter of the 1st instant, (of which 
I have the pleasure to transmit to you a dupli- 
cate) that I have been aware of the necessity of 
having always an efficient army for field move- 
ments in the centre division, nearly as it will now 
be cantoned. 

"That you may have a perfect idea of the 
plan of our cantonment, I have the pleasure to 
send you a sketch by Major Allan, which shows 
that we shall always be able in the event of any 
emergency to join in three days at Wallajahbad 
and at Arnee in five. To effect the junction at 
Wallajahbad, the advanced stations must fall 
back, but this can only be rendered necessary by 
one of the Sultaun's most rapid movements, and 
this from our latest intelligence he does not 
appear in any condition to make. Besides, as 
different confidential persons are employed on the 
frontier and in the southern districts, to obtain 
information of the motions of his army, I have 
little apprehension of a surprise. The prevention 
of this is obviously a most important object ; and 
I have, therefore, directed Lieut.-Col. Read to 
report as soon as possible upon the practicability 
of establishing signals in all the garrisons in 
the Barrahmahal, and from thence to the Presi- 
dency, or at least as far as Vellore, whence the 
common tappal reaches us in a day; the result 


shall be reported to your Lordship as soon as 

*^ At present, I am of opinion that your Lord- 
ship's suggestion of stationing the European 
troops in the frontier garrison ought not to be 
adopted. It will be first necessary to have a 
complete arsenal and a magazine of grain in the 
Barrahmahal. By encamping in so advanced a 
situation, the whole of the coast and the centre 
division would be left without defence, and as 
oflfensive operations are not at present meditated, 
the objects to be attended to, are the general 
defence of our possessions, and the easiest mode 
of putting the army in a condition to meet any 
circumstances that may arise, which I conceive 
can be best done by cantoning it in the way I 
have pointed out ; upon this subject I shall, how- 
ever, address your Lordship more fully hereafter. 
" Yesterday morning, I saw the 2nd Battalion 
2nd Regiment march for Guntoor in high spirits 
and great strength. I directed the commanding 
officer to march with as much rapidity as possible 
after the first three days, which will give time to 
the Sepoys and their families to get in proper 
marching order. The 2nd Battalion 7th Regi- 
ment were to march towards Guntoor from 
Wallajahbad this morning. These are two of the 
best corps in the service. The train of artillery 
for the detachment will be as follows : — two 12- 
pounders, eight 6-pounders, already ordered; 


two howitzers to be added. But as the number 
of men who can be spared for this train, even 
with the addition of the Bengal company at 
Hyderabad, will not be sufficient, I beg your 
Lordship will send a company to Masulipatam as 
soon as possible, and a part of it may follow the 
detachment, the whole of which will, I expect, 
be in complete readiness at the appointed place 
at the end of the month. 

" I should be extremely neglectful if I closed 
this letter without acknowledging that the very 
flattering manner in which your Lordship has 
been pleased to speak of my disposition to pro- 
mote the public and your views, has given me 
the highest satisfaction. 

Yours, &c. 

George Harris. 

" P. S. The outline of the return is tolerably 
correct, but there will be still some difference 
when we get the return of corps after going into 

" I have made economy no further an object, 
than as combined with being ready, but it will 
yet take near a month to have our train for the 
field complete. 

" Our party will, I flatter myself, be ready by 
the 1st of September for your orders." 



Lord Clive relieves General Harris from the charge of the 
Government at Madras.— Perfect success of Lord Mor- 
nington 8 policy at Hyderabad.— 14,000 troops officered by 
Frenchmen, disarmed and disbanded. — Detailed account of 
that transaction. 

Lord Mornington's letter of the 16th July was 
the last he wrote to General Harris as Acting 
Governor of Fort St. George, for Lord Clive, the 
new Governor, arrived at that presidency on the 
2Ist August, 1798, and from that period the 
communications with the Governor-General de- 
volved upon him. 

The letters of Lord Clive mark very forcibly 
the deep impression made upon his mind by the 
representations he received from the public 
officers of the embarrassments in which the 
affairs of that presidency were then involved. 
They prove at the same time that the manly 
heart which he derived from his gi-eat ancestor, 
was not intimidated by these statements of the 
peril and responsibility of his station, but that he 
regarded them as became one who felt that he 
had an hereditary right to share in the danger, 
and to contribute to the gloiy and prosperity of 
the British empire in India. 


As his Lordship's letters accurately describe the 
state of affairs at that time at Madras, I shall 
here transcribe two of them. 

" Lord Clive to the Earl of Mornington. 

''Fort St. George^ 22ndAuffusty 1798. 
" My Lord, 

"Having barely had time under the cir- 
cumstances of my recent arrival to read your 
Lordship's confidential letters of the 16th ultimo 
to General Harris, and of 29th to myself, I shall 
not now enter upon the very important topics 
they contain, but content myself for the pre- 
sent with expressing the grateful sense I enter- 
tain of the friendly and unreserved manner in 
which you have done me the honour to open 
your correspondence; and with assuring your 
Lordship that I am entering upon the important 
duties of my station, with a mind fully impressed 
by the great advantages which must result from 
mutual confidence and co-operation, and with the 
intention of showing the highest deference, and 
giving the most cordial support to the measures 
of the Supreme Government. 

With great consideration and esteem. 

My Lord, 



*^ Lord Clive to the Earl of Mornington. 
^^ Fart St. George, September 11, 1798. 
" My I^rd, 

" I embrace the opportunity which Colonel 
Kirk Patrick's return to Bengal presents to me of 
renewing my most sincere thanks to your Lord- 
ship for the open and unreserved communication 
of your sentiments in your letter of the 29th of 
July*, as well as for the assurance of friendly 
support in the conduct of my government, which 
you have had the goodness to give me. Upon 
my part, your Lordship may rely with confidence 
upon my zealous endeavours to meet the views 
and co-operate in the measures of the Supreme 
Government, for the prosperity of the Company. 
It gives me concern to find your Lordship has 
had any reason to complain of any thing like 
counteraction or party spirit in this settlement. 
I can venture to affirm that any tendency of that 
kind is foreign to my disposition, and do assure 
you that, should it ever be my misfortune to differ 
in opinion with your Lordship, though it may 
become my duty to express my sentiments with 
freedom, I shall never lose sight of the relation in 
which this Government stands to the Supreme 
Government, nor of the respect and obedience 
which is due to its directions. The point which 
has chiefly absorbed my attention since my arrival, 

* See Appendix. 


and which indeed presses with the greatest ur- 
gency, is the prospect of a war with Tippoo Sul- 
taun, when contrasted with the means this coun- 
try possesses of meeting such an event. I cannot 
view this important object, nor the embarrass- 
ment in which the affairs of this country are in- 
volved, very far exceeding what there was reason 
to expect when I left England, without the most 
extreme solicitude. 

^' The particulars of our situation are so well 
known to your Lordship, that I shall have occa- 
sion to bring them before you in a general point 
of view, for the purpose of expressing my senti- 
ments upon the subject, and not with the hope of 
being able to convey information upon what has 
been so much the object of your Lordship's atten- 
tion. Our main army, consisting of about 8,000 
fighting men, being in cantonments in the vicinity 
of Wallajahbad, is deemed to be a force totally in- 
adequate to oflfensive operations, and cannot be 
strengthened from this Presidency without ma- 
terially weakening the necessary garrisons, or 
drawing our troops from Ceylon ; a suflBicient re- 
inforcement of native corps to enable our army, 
in co-operation with that of Bombay, to under- 
take the siege of Seringapatam, can only be 
drawn from Benged ; and if reliance is to be put 
upon the judgment of the best-informed persons 
here, such a reinforcement cannot be expected to 
arrive in the Carnatic before the end of February 


or beginning of March — a period too late for the 
commencement of hostilities with a view to the 
taking of Seringapatam in the course of next 
yeai*^ the time for besieging that place beings as I 
am also informed, limited nearly to the months of 
February, March, and April. It therefore seems 
to follow that our army cannot be put in condition 
to act offensively, and with a speedy prospect of 
accomplishing the main object of a war with 
Tippoo, the capture of Seringapatam, earlier than 
January twelvemonth. When to these considera- 
tions is added the discouraging state of our 
finances, that our debt amounts to 54 lacs of 
pagodas, that an investment is expected to be 
provided of 12 lacs, that our ordinaiy expenses 
exceed our ordinary revenue by about 13 lacs, 
that the revenue of this year is expected to fall 
short of what it was estimated at by nearly 6 
lacs, that our 12 per cent, bonds are at a dis- 
count of 5 or 6 per cent., that our treasury is 
empty, our credit nearly gone, that the Govern- 
ment shortly before my arrival had taken up a 
lac of pagodas by bills on Bengal at 410 A. Rs. 
the 100 pagodas, and that I have been under the 
necessity of resorting to the same expedient, your 
Lordship will not be surprised at my viewing the 
situation of this country with extreme anxiety, 
nor at my expressing an earnest hope that the 
calamity of a war, for which we are so ill pre- 
pared, may be averted. 


" Having expressed what my feelings and my 
duty have urged me to state, I beg to assure 
your Lordship, in the event of your being forced 
into a war vrith the Sultaun, or in that of your 
ultimately determining to attack him, of my most 
cordial co-operation to the extent of my means in 
this Presidency, and of my most zealous and 
scrupulous attention to the directions of the 
Supreme Government. In the event of war, it is 
to your Lordship and Bengal that we must look 
for resources, for I am concerned to say, that I 
see no prospect of our being able to raise any con- 
siderable sum in this settlement, but, on the con- 
trary, considerable defalcations are to be appre- 
hended from the predatory warfare which the 
Sultaun may be expected to wage, and little, I 
fear, is to be expected from his Highness the 

" I have to thank your Lordship for the com- 
munication of the papers relating to the negotia- 
tions of Poonah and Hyderabad. The restoration 
of the Triple Alliance to the situation in which it 
stood when Lord Cornwallis left India, is an 
object of the first importance, and the measures 
which your Lordship has pursued with so much 
energy for its attainment, appear to me decisive 
and highly judicious ; that you may succeed, and 
reap the applause due to your exertions, must be 
the wish of whoever has British glory and British 
interests at heart. The reinforcement destined 


for Hyderabad, with the views of overthrowing 
the French party there, of securing the succession 
to Secunder Jah, and of establishing a permanent 
influence in the councils and conduct of the 
Nizam's court, has been contemplated by me 
with peculiar satisfaction. Should this decisive 
measure be crowned with success, and be pro- 
perly followed up, it will, without doubt, tend 
more than any other event to fix the British 
power in India. 

I have the honour to be, with sincere 
respect and esteem. 
My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most faithful servant, 


It is due to Lord Harris that I should here 
advert to the manner in which the Earl of Morn- 
ington regarded his zealous exertions on this 
important occasion, because Major Beatson has 
erroneously stated that the Government of Madras 
were ignorant of what was going on at Hyder- 
abad, and. Mr. Mill has adopted the mistake in 
his book. In the following letter the Governor- 
General thus warmly expressed his feelings. 

" My dear General, 

" You will be glad to hear that I have this 
day ratified in Council a subsidiary treaty with 



the Ni^am^ which was sigtied by bis Highness on 
the Ist of September^ eonfortnable in every rfe- 
Bpect to the plan proposed in my instructions to 
the Resident of Hyderabad. Your detachment 
was ready even before it wai^ wanted3 and I cannot 
express the extent df my approbation of the teal 
and alacrity with which it was assembldd; 

"If any public godd should h4 the result of 
my propoi^ed nieasures, a large share of the merit 
is to be ascribed to you, for, without your personal 
exertion^ my plan would have been inevitably de- 
feated. I sincerely assure you that what I now 
state to you shall be stated td Mr, Pitt, to Mr. 
Dundas^ and to the Court of Directors; and if 
my advice and solicitation can have any weight, 
you will not remain long without some mark of 
his Majesty's favour. 

<< Fori WaUanh SeptenO^ 18, 1798.'' 

It must be most gratifying to those who, like 
myself, hold the memory of Lord Harris in affec- 
tionate reverence, to know that the lapse of nearly 
forty years has made no change in the sentiments 
which the Earl of Mornington felt and expressed 
on that occasion, for in the volume of the Marquis 
Wellesley*s Despatches^ recently published, I find 
thiiS most just recognition of General Harris's 


" Upon the discussion in Council at Fort St. 
George (31 st July, 1798), relative to the furnish- 
ing pecuniary funds for the detachment of the 
army, ordered by the Governor-General to be 
sent to Hyderabad, General Harris, then acting 
Governor, offered to be responsible in his private 
funds for the sum required to put the troops 
in motion. This most generous and patriotic 
offer completely silenced all opposition, and orders 
were immediately issued for the advance of the 
troops to Hyderabad*." 

The two letters which I have quoted from 
Lord Clive show how strongly his mind was at 
first impressed by those around him with the dif- 
ficulties under which the Madras Presidency then 
laboured. Happily these fearful views were soon 
dispersed. The detachment sent under Lord 
Mornington*s special injunction to Hyderabad by 
General Harris, produced the immediate and 
entire destruction of the French influence, and at 
once restored the Soubah of the Deccan to the 
power of becoming a useful ally in the war 
against Tippoo. This first great master-stroke of 
Lord Momington's policy roused the courage and 
spirits of all classes at Madras, as was well ex- 
pressed in the following letter from General Harris 
to Lord Momington : — 

* Lord Wblleslet's DeBpatehetj p. 617« 



" To the Earl of Mornington, 

''Madras, 29th October, 1798. 
^^ My dear Lord, 

"Your kind favour of the 18th ultimo 
would have been acknowledged the moment it 
wag received, if I had only attended to the grateful 
feelings it occasioned; but convinced as I am 
how precious every moment of your Lordship's 
time is to the public, I should not even now have 
interrupted you, if the great and important news 
from Hyderabad did not compel me to congratu- 
late you on it. Never was any event more com- 
pletely the work of an individual, than that has 
been your Lordship's, and much am I flattered 
that you should think the part you consigned to 
me was performed with zeal and alacrity, which 
it certainly was, and will ever continue to be, 
while executing orders so pleasantly and clearly 

" It is a grand stroke, and I think will ensure 
all the rest of your excellent plan in the same 
bloodless style. We are going on with even in- 
creased vigour for this fillip. The second ten-gun 
battery sets off this day for Veliore, and as the 
monsoon still holds off, I am in hopes they will 
get there without being stopped by it. Lord 
Clive is very zealous, and only wants to know 
your Lordship's wishes to have them executed. 

THE nizam's troops. 229 

With my warmest congratulations once more, 
and those of my whole family added, on the com- 
plete success of your Lordship's policy, 
I am, with great sincerity, 

My dear Lord, 
Your faithful and obliged servant, 

George Harris." 

^* The great and important news" here alluded 
to by General Harris is so well described in the 
following letters from Captain (afterwards Sir 
John Malcolm) who was for some time an inmate 
in General Harris's family, that they will be gra- 
tifying to those who are interested in the details 
of achievements by which the wisdom of British 
Governors, and the vigour of British courage in 
subordinate officers, have been so frequently dis- 
tinguished in India ; and never were both com- 
bined with happier eflfects than in the instance 
here recorded : — 

'' jETyderabad, llth Octoher, 1798. 
" My dear Sir, 

^^Mr. Dennison (whose interests I will on 
all occasions promote) yesterday delivered me 
your letter. The kindness with which it was 
written called to my recollection so many proofs 
of your friendship, that I felt as if I had acted an 
ungrateful part in leaving a house where I had 
ever been treated more on the affectionate footing 


of a son than as one (which I was) whq had 
c£^ually dropped into a family, upon whom h^ 
had no claims, and from whom he had only a 
right to expect common civility. I ^xa too inti- 
mately acquainted with your character, to be at a 
loss fqr the motives which influenped your con- 
duct tpwards i«e. They are such as to give you 
a right to my sincerest gratitude, and of a nature 
never to be forgot. 

" From your patronage and favour I have beep 
enabled to lay the corner-stones of both fortune 
and reputation, and it is niy fault, not yours, if I 
do not erect two goodly buildings. But I haye 
done on this subject ; I know you are cpnvincfed 
of my sincerity, and more amdous th^t I should 
do credit to your friendship by my actions, th^n 

" As ypu will probably have my appoiutment 
notified from Bengal before this, I frust you wiU 
not hesitate a moment, on my account, iu n^ipi^g 
a successor to me as Persian interpreter at head- 
quarters. Perhaps my retaining any claim on 
that appointment, even for a few months, might 
be an objection to some person that you might 
wish tp uame : if so^ I beg you will at once cpij- 
sider it relinquished — indepd, when I reflecj; on 
circumst^pces, I am ashamed of ever having made 
the request I did. 

" I will in a day or two write you on the politics 
here, which are in a critical state. The removal of 


a few democrats is a]l th^t 19 wanting to securo us 
liere on ^ most permanent md honourable foot- 
ing ; hut these gentlemen arg at the head of 12,000 
ineu, ^ud imy not be inqlined to resign such dis- 
tinction with a good grace — if not, they must do 
it with a had que, for till they are extirpated, 
nothing ifiJ done, I cannot convince myself we 
will be ^ble to settl^i a taimahle with our French 
friends, but I ni^y be mistaken. 

Believe me, my dear Sir, with respect^ 
You? much obliged. 

And most obedient humble seivant, 
John Malcolm/* 

•« 2\8t 4- 22n^ Oetobery 1798. 
''■ My dear Sir, 

" You are, no doubt, fiilly informed of the 
new treaty formed with the Nizam, a secret 
article of which stipulated for the immediate dis- 
mission of the French officers, &c., and the com- 
plete disorganization of the corps which they had 

" Though prudence would perhaps have die- 
tated this Article to have been- carried into 
execution when the corps under the French were 
in a dispersed state, the minister thought if that 
mode was adopted, much property of the Govern- 
ment might be lost ; he therefore resolved to 
bring them all to one spot, and, on the ISth 
instant, they were all assembled except a few 
small detachments at their usual cantonments 


within two miles of Hyderabad. I enclose you a 
state of their force, which you will observe was 
by no means despicable, particularly when it is 
considered that their discipline and appointments, 
though inferior to ours, were eveiy way superior 
to that of the common troops in a Native service, 
and the extmordinary punctuality with which 
they had since the first formation been paid, 
secured to the officers the choice of the men of 
the country. 

" From the moment Colonel Roberts's detach- 
ment arrived, Captain Kirkpatrick urged the 
necessity of prompt and vigorous measures, but 
such are repugnant to the habits of this court. 
Fortunately, as it afterwards proved, a strong and 
spirited remonstrance of his against further delays 
delivered on the morning of the 19th, led to a 
discovery that the most serious intrigues against 
the accomplishment of the treaty were carried 
on, and the Minister, influenced by fear, (for he 
is the most timid of cowards,) avowed language 
that militated against a faithful and full per- 
formance of it. In a situation so delicate and 
important, there was no time for reflection. A 
moment's delay might have produced incalculable 
evils. The enemies of our connexion were nume- 
rous, and though they had no force at hand, they 
might in a few days have assembled one. 

*^ The Minister's forwardness to form this con- 
nexion, left no doubt of his inward wish to see it 


fully accomplished ; while a knowledge of his 
character and situation gave reason to conclude, 
that he was under the most alarming apprehen- 
sion, and that this was the cause of his change of 
language. These considerations, and many others, 
founded on private intelligence, determined the 
Resident on the most spirited and decided mea- 
sures. He ordered Colonel Hyndman's detach- 
ment of two battalions to a strong post, about 
four hundred yards in the rear of Monsieur Piron's 
camp, between which and him there was the river 
Moussy, which could only be forded by infantry; 
the guns could, however, play from the bank of 
the river, with excellent effect, on the principal 
magazine, and right of the camp. Colonel Roberts 
was encamped on a commanding spot, from whence 
he could have marched to the attack of the front 
and left of the French camp. The moment the 
troops had reached this position, the Resident in- 
formed the Minister, that after what he had heard 
from himself and others, he thought it his duty 
to provide both for the honour and safety of his 
own state ; that he had, to accommodate to the 
disposition of the Nizam's court, admitted, con- 
trary to his instructions, a procrastination of nine 
days, and he now could only give the court twenty- 
four hours, to send the French officers their dis- 
mission, to publish the Nizam's pleasure to their 
troops, and to send him (the Resident) a body of 
horse, to use coercive measures in co-operation 


with the English troops^ if suob was necessary. 
If they did not conform with these requisitions in 
the period prescribed^ they were plainly told that 
an attack would be made on Monsieur Piron's 
lines ; and that they might take the consequences 
upon their own heads^ as the natural effect of 
their crooked and unprincipled policy. This lan- 
guage^ and the nnexpected motion of the troops^ 
which left no doubt of the intention^ aided by the 
spirited remonstrances of Meer Allum^ who told 
the Minister that if he continued his trifling, the 
English would cancel the present advantageous 
treaty, and make a new one for themselves, 
worked the desired effect, All Captain Kirk- 
patrick's requisitions were cpmplied with. 

" Thp French officers, the moment their dis- 
missal was officially given, signified to the Resident 
their readiness to comply with the orders of the 
Presence, and that they wished to receive the 
protection of the English nation, as they were 
convinced (although general policy had dictated 
their removal,) they would be Individually consi. 
dered as leaving a right to that^ in thp fullest 
extent it could be granted them. It was impo^ 
sible for ^ body of men to behave better than they 
did : in the first instance, by making every exerr 
tipn to prepare to receive us ^s enemies ; and in 
the next, by the most cheerful obedience to the 
orders of the Prince they served, thp moment 
these were officially communicated- 


" Qn the oflScprs preparing to leave caipp Qn 
the morning of the 21st, a violent wutipy broke 
out, in several of the corps, on acqount of tlieir 
pay, thpugh only twenty-one days in arrear, an4 
every assur^npe had bpen given th^ni pf being 
retained in the sprvice. They cpnfine4 MPRsieur 
Piron, and all the commandAQts of corps ; the 
former, however, contrived tp make his pscfipp to 
Colonel lioberts's camp, though not without a 
scuffle, in which several were wounded. 

^^ On the morning pf the 22nd, as it was 
resolved to reduce them to obedience, and as t^he 
mutiny afforded an admirable opportunity pf dis- 
arming and disbanding the whole pprps at once, 
which otherwise would have been ^ work of tinie, 
the Hesident sent instructions to Colonel |loberts, 
to advance with his corps, and after he had made 
hin)se}f master of the heights that pommanded 
the French camp, to give the men one quarter pf 
an hour tp stapk their arms, and march pif to a 
cowle (or protection) flag, which was patched by 
one pf tl)e Nizam's principal officers, ^bout b^lf 
a mile to the right of their camp. If tfeey di4 
npt eoniply with the ternis pf this ^umq^pns, they 
werp ininiediatply to be attfMcJied, and on suph 
cppanienping, Colpnel Hyndman vas tp a4vance^ 
alspj A bPliy of near two thousand ^orse were 
placed nnder my orders, wit^ which I occupied 
tl^eir riglit flanK while five hundred were ^ent to 
the left. As I reached the ground two honrs 


before Colonel Roberts came up, and observing 
they were extremely alarmed, I ventured near, 
though cautiously, as I had with difficulty made 
my escape from them the day before. Four or 
five subadars came to meet me, and after I had 
explained the intentions of Colonel Roberts, they 
returned to explain it to their corps, from whom 
they instantly brought me a message that they 
were ready to comply with all the conditions, but 
trusted Company's Sepoys would be sent to take 
possession of their lines, as the Nizam's horse, 
if admitted, would plunder everything. On ob- 
serving this favourable aspect, I advanced, and 
found that they were completely disunited, and 
terrified, and ready to obey any orders, and as a 
proof of their having returned to their senses, 
they released all the officers they had confined. 

" I went to meet Colonel Roberts, to inform 
him of this favourable turn : he took immediate 
possession of the heights, and advanced eight 
Grenadier companies to take possession of the 
grand magazine, store-houses, and cannon, while 
the natives of the French corps moved off in 
a deep column to the appointed flag, and the 
Europeans all joined our camp, the latter full of 
'spirits : for the fears they had experienced from 
the fury of the men made them view us, not as 
belonging to a nation who had by its policy ruined 
all their prospects, but as men who had exerted 
themselves to save their lives. At five o'clock 


their whole lines were in our possession, and a 
corps consisting of sixteen thousand men in all, 
had been annihilated in six hours, without shed* 
ding one drop of blood. 

Ever, my dear Sir, 

faithfully your obliged, 

John Malcolm." 
" To Lieutenant-Generai ffarru" 



Progress of the military preparations for the campaign against 
Tippoo— General Hkrris recommends the Governor-General 
to give the command of the army to Sir Alnred Clarke — 
His confidence established by the kind and encouraging 
treatment of the Governor-General — Joins the army at 
Yellore^ and relieves Colonel Wellesley from the command. 

From this time, the preparations of every kind 
went forward with increased vigour. Lord Clive 
and all the officers under the Government, civil and 
military, emulated each other in their exertions 
for the advancement of the important purpose, 
which had been at first contemplated with great 
alarm by nearly every civil and military servant 
at the Presidency, except Mr. Cockbum. His 
able and ardent mind entered cordially into the 
wisdom and necessity of Lord Momington's 
policy, and he rendered every aid in his power to 
its success by his comprehensive knowledge and 
animated example. The high qualifications of 
this excellent man had not escaped the sagacity 
of the Earl of Momington, although he had only 
seen him for a short time at Fort St. George on 
his way to Calcutta. In writing to Lord Clive, 
the new Governor, upon the state of the civil 
service. Lord Momington thus expressed himseif. 


« Fiyrt WiUiam, July SOth, 1798. 

" Your Lordship will find all th^ members of 
the Board of Revenue worthy of Confidence. Mr. 
Cdckbum^ however, deserves particular notice. 
He bears the highest reputation for integrity, 
talents, and knowledge of the business of the 
country, and I found him fully answerable to his 
general character. I have very seldom met with 
a more valuable man in any part of the world ; 
and I take the liberty of recommending him 
earnestly to your Lordship's attention, as a 
person on whom you may rely for the most 
accurate information, and for the soundest and 
most honest opinions, entirely exempt from any 
taint of passion, prejudice, or self-interest *." 

The period of the greatest danger was now 
happily passed. Tippoo had done nothing whilst a 
considerable body of our troops had been gra- 
dually assembling in the southern division under 
General Floyd, and at Wallajahbad and Vellore 
under Colonel Harvey Aston, upon whose death 
the command devolved upon Colonel Wellesley. 

The Earl of Momington's admirable des- 
patches and measures, and the presence of Colonel 
Wellesley at Madras, had wrought so great a 
change in the feelings of the leading men in the 
settlement, that when the Governor-General 
arrived at Fort St. George, in December, he had 

* See also Lord Comwallis's character of Mr. Cockbum in 
ihe Appendix. 


soon the satisfaction of seeing all hearts and 
hands united for the furtherance of his wise and 
vigorous counsels. But as a proof of the feeling 
of opposition to Lord Mornington's policy, which 
at one period prevailed at Madras, and of the diffi- 
culties which General Harris had to contend against, 
I insert in the Appendix a letter from Colonel 
Wellesley to General Harris, in October, 1798. 

The decided, but honest, repugnance which 
Mr. Webbe and other public officers had felt when 
the noble earl's intentions were first disclosed, gra- 
dually yielded to the course of events and to their 
own maturer reflections. This happy change was 
accomplished with the greater facility, because 
General Harris had not only not resented or 
aggi'avated the pain and embarrassment which he 
had himself suffered from their first opposition, 
but had done all in his power to allay the dis- 
pleasure which Lord Mornington naturally felt 
when it became known to him. So strongly did 
the authorities at home enter into the feelings 
first expressed by Lord Mornington, that, in a 
moment of anger, a letter was actually written by 
Mr. Dundas, ordering Mr. Webbe and Colonel 
Close to be sent home. Most fortunately for the 
public service, however, a second letter from Lord 
Mornington arrived in time to prevent the degra- 
dation of these two most distinguished officers, 
which would have been a great public calamity. 
The epitaphs upon their monuments in St. Mai7's 


Church, at Madras, the one raised by public sub- 
scription, the other by the East India Company, 
abundantly manifest that two more distinguished 
men never adorned the civil and military services 
of India. 

But to Mr. Webbe, this was but a respite 
from affliction. He was subsequently removed, 
by the misguided interposition of the authorities 
at home, from the Chief Secretaiyship of Madras, 
in defiance of the indignant remonstrances of the 
Governor, Lord Clive, and notwithstanding the 
Governor-General had publicly declared that he 
possessed knowledge, talents and virtues, never 
surpassed in India, and had devoted the best 
years of his valuable life for the honour and the 
benefit of the Company. In his way to his 
appointment of Resident at Nagpore, he died on 
the banks of the Nerbudda, and amidst the 
general mourning for his loss, none more sincerely 
lamented him than the Governor-General and 
Colonel Wellesley. The opportunities which the 
noble earl had of appreciating his character, 
encouraged the principal inhabitants of Madras 
to request that his Lordship would be pleased to 
wnte such epitaph as he might deem appropriate 
for the public monument they had determined to 
raise in honour of Mr. Webbe, and though the 
Governor-General's official relations to those who 
had removed Mr. Webbe from his office, pre- 
vented his compliance with their wishes, his 



Lordship cordially shared in the feelings which 
dictated that just record, by which the memory 
of this great statesman will ever be remembered*. 
To repeat the words of the Duke of Wellington, 
he was ^' one of the most able, and what is more, 
one of the most honest men he ever knew." 

Amidst the many proofs which Mr. Webbe*s 
honourable life afforded of the justness of this 
character, was the impression his mind received 
from the manner in which he had been treated 
by General Harris, on the occasion of his oppo- 
sition to the measures first proposed by the 
General in furtherance of Lord Mornington's 
policy. He never forgot the forbearance and 
good temper shown to him at that period, and he 
manifested it in the way which he knew would be 
most acceptable to General Harris, by his kind- 
ness to myself after the General returned to 
England f. 

But the change which had taken place in the 
opinions of Mr. Webbe and other influential per- 
sons at Madras, in regard to Lord Momington's 
measures, encouraged no presumptuous thoughts 
in the mind of General Harris. His natural 
equanimity remained undisturbed, and he earn- 
estly recommended his Lordship, now, that 
Zeman Shah had retreated from the Company's 
western frontier, to send for the Commander-in- 
Chief, Sir A. Clarke, then at Calcutta, that he 

* See Epitaph in the Appendix. t See Ms Letters. 


might be himself relieved from the chief com« 
mand of the expedition against Mysore. 

The noble earl received this con^munication 
with the respect and kindness due to so great an 
instance of modesty and self-denial. But being 
satisfied that the arrangements he had already 
made for conducting the Government in Bengal, 
and for the command of the army on the coa^t, 
were well calculated to promote the public 
interests, he desired General Harris to consider 
well before he declined this great appointment, 
and after a night^s rest to return to him with his 
answer in the morning. 

Happily for the General, and for all con- 
nected with him, his confidence was re-established 
by the Governor-General's kind reception of his 
modest doubts of his own sufficiency, and by 
earnest prayer to the Giver of all victory, that he 
might be endowed with the powers necessary for 
this great undertaking. 

His fine cheerful countenance, when he re- 
turned to Lord Momington in the morning, so 
plainly spoke the result of his night's reflections, 
that before he could give utterance to them, the 
noble earl, by anticipation, congratulated him 
upon his decision, in that frank and generous 
spirit, which won the hearts of all who ap- 
proached him, and made them serve in all his 
counsels in India, as fervently as if they had been 
of their own suggestion. 


From this moment every arrangement pros- 
pered. ITiose individuals who had money, Eu- 
ropean and native, animated by the Govemor- 
General's own subscription of 12,000/. to the 
public loan, came handsomely forward with their 
contributions, and thus filled up the measure of 
those great supplies which this important expedi- 
tion required. 

All the preparations and arrangements for the 
campaign being nearly completed, and the troops 
assembled in the vicinity of Veliore, General 
Harris, accompanied by the general staff, left 
Madras on the 26th of January, 1 799, and joined 
the army on the 29th of the same month. 

The army consisted of 2,678 cavalry (of which 
912 were Europeans), 576 European artillery, 
4,608 European infantry, 11,061 native infantry, 
2,726 gun lascars and pioneers, forming altoge- 
ther a force of 21,649 men, with 60 field-pieces 
(including 12 equipped as horse artillery, and 
attached to the cavalry), 40 heavy guns, of which, 
two were 24-pounders, thirty 18-pounders, and 
eight 12-pounders, each having 1,200 shot, and a 
proportionate quantity of stores of every kind. 

This was the army of the Carnatic under the 
command of General Harris, and an army more 
perfect in all points had never taken the field in 
India. As a specimen of what the cavalry were, 
I insert in the Appendix a letter from Colonel 
Wellesley to General Harris. 

The army on the coast of Malabar, com- 


manded by General Stuart, and most efficiently 
equipped, was destined to act under General 
Harris, when he approached Seringapatam. And 
a considerable force was assembled to the south- 
ward under Lieut.-Colonel Brown, to join the 
detachment of Colonel Read in the Barrahmahal, 
and from their co-operation in bringing supplies 
to the grand army through the Caverypoorara 
Pass, essential aid was anticipated during the siege 
of Seringapatam. 

But the most important of all the advantages 
which General Harris enjoyed, was the unbounded 
confidence of the Governor-General, and the 
extent of power delegated to him. He was 
authorised to call upon all the servants of the 
Company, civil and military, for every aid and 
.resource they could supply; and their knowledge 
that the Governor-General was at Fort St. George, 
prepared to enforce the just exercise of these 
powers by all the ample means which the law had 
conferred upon him, inspired one universal spirit 
of prompt obedience and vigorous exertion. 

Under these circumstances, it was not presump- 
tuous in Lord Mornington to anticipate the most 
decisive success, for all that human power could 
do to secure it, had been done. General Harris 
had, however, seen such examples of the reverses 
to which militaiy enterprise were subject in India^ 
from the infirmity of the cattle, where a great 
battering train is indispensable^ and from, the 

246 LORD cornwallib's retreat 

difficulty of obt^dning supplies of food^ and he also 
remembered so accurately the mournful result of 
Lord Gomwallis's first attack upon the enemy 
with whom he had now to contend^ that he could 
not divest himself, though surrounded by this 
splendid armament, of considerable doubts of the 
practicability of arriving at Seringapatam in time 
to take it before the Malabar monsoon, if Uppoo 
vigorously opposed his daily progress. The 
month of February had now begun, and he had 220 
miles to march, chiefly through a hostile country, 
before he could reach Seringapatam. He recol- 
lected that Lord Comwallis, after having defeated 
Tippoo under the gates of his capital, in the 
month of May, 1791, was compelled to destroy 
his battering train, and lead back his victorious 
army in a state of miserable destitution, thus 
feelingly described by Major Dirom, who was, 
like General Harris, a partner in that misery : — 

^^The Mahratta armies having advanced to 
Seringapatam, in May, 1791, later than the ap- 
pointed period, their delay, and other unfortunate 
circumstances, reduced Earl Comwallis to the 
necessity of destroying his battering train, after 
having defeated Uppoo Sultaun on the I5th of 
that month in a pitched battle, and obliged his 
Lordship to lead back his victorious army, leaving 
the siege of the enemy's capital to be the object of 
another campaign. 

^'The Bombay army, commanded by Major- 


General Abercromby> had^ with infinite labour^ 
formed roads^ and brought a battering train^ and 
a large supply of provisions and stores, over fifty 
niiles of woody mountains called Ghauts, that 
immense barrier which separates the Mysore 
country from the Malabar coast. Part of General 
Abercromby*s train also fell a sacrifice to the ne- 
cessity of the times ; and his army, who thought 
they had surmounted all their difficulties, had the 
mortification to find their exertions of no utility, 
and had to return, worn down by sickness and 
£Eitigue, exposed to the incessant rains which then 
deluged the western coast of the Peninsula. 

^^ Lord Comwallis had advanced to Caniam- 
baddy, eight miles above Seringapatam, with 
a view to form a junction with the Bombay 
army, which the swollen state of the Cavery, 
and the unexpected badness of the ford, render- 
ing impracticable, his Lordship remained some 
days on the banks of the river, to cover their 
march, as they retired from Periapatam to the 
Ghauts, and began to move himself towards Ban- 
galore on the 26th of May. The army had suf- 
fered exceedingly from the inclemency of the 
weather, from wounds, and from extreme fatigue 
in bringing on the battering train and stores, 
which had required much assistance on the march 
from Bangalore to Seringapatam, and from thence 
to Caniambaddy had been dragged almost en- 
tirely by hand. The season of the year was un- 


favourable to the cattle : they were infected with 
an epidemic disorder, which killed them in vast 
numbers, and rendered the greater part of what 
remained of little service. The scarcity of grain 
was such, that the lower class of followers were 
reduced to the necessity of subsisting chiefly on 
the putrid flesh of the dead bullocks, and, to add 
to this scene of distress, the small pox unfortu- 
nately raged in the camp. 

"The public store of rice being nearly ex- 
hausted, and the loss which had taken place from 
the negligence or embezzlement of the buUock- 
drivers on the march having decreased the ori- 
ginal stock in a most alarming degree, it became 
necessary to issue to the troops the greater part 
of what remained, as the only means of securing 
it for their subsistence. The fighting men were 
thus provided, at the rate of half their usual 
allowance, with a quantity sufficient to support 
them till the army might by easy marches reach 
Bangalore, the followers depending chiefly on the 
casual supply, which, by taking a new tract, would 
be found in the adjacent countries. The distress 
of the officers was still more severe than that of 
the soldiers ; for having given part of their private 
carriage (cattle and carts) to the public depart- 
ments, to assist in transporting shot and stores 
from Bangalore for the siege of the capital, and 
disappointed in the supplies they expected from 
the Bombay army, they were now in want of 


everything, and many were under the necessity of 
requesting permission to draw the same allowance 
as the private men. The tents and the clothing 
were nearly worn out; the arrack, as well as the 
rice, was almost expended ; and, in this situation, 
the assistance of the troops was necessary to carry 
back part of the intrenching tools, which it might be 
difficult to replace, and to drag the field-pieces and 
tumbrils attached to their corps, — a task to which 
the surviving cattle were unequal in their weakly 
state. Great part of the horses of the cavalry 
were so reduced by want and fatigue, that they 
could no longer cany their riders, and many, unable 
to march, were now shot at their picquets. The 
ground at Caniambaddy, where the army had en- 
camped but six days, was covered in a circuit of 
several miles with the carcases of cattle and 
horses ; and the last of the gun-carriages, carts, 
and stores of the battering train left in flames, 
was a melancholy spectacle, which the troops 
passed as they quitted this deadly camp." 

The resolution which the remembrance of 
these mournful events excited in General Harrises 
mind was the wisest and best that could be 
formed. He determined that nothing should in- 
duce him to hazard a battle, or to march one foot 
out of the line by which he had determined to 
proceed to Seringapatam with such a quantity of 
heavy stores and guns, but Tipp6o*s stopping the 
course of his march. To this he firmly adhered ; 


and it was his constant study to inspire all the 
officers and departments of the army with an 
honest and ardent zeal like his own for the fur- 
therance of this all-important purpose. From no 
individual in the army did he derive greater aid 
than from Colonel Wellesley^ as his first report 
of that officer's masterly arrangements to the 
Governor-General expressed in the following 
letter : — 

** Camp near VeOon^ 2nd Februar^y 1799. 
^' My Lord, 

'^ Having had leisure, since my arrival here, 
to inspect the division of the army which has 
been since its formation under the orders of the 
Honourable Colonel Wdlesley, I have much sa- 
tisfaction in acquainting your Lordship that the 
very handsome appearance and perfect discipline 
of the troops do honour to themselves and to 
him ; while the judicious and masterly arrange- 
ments in respect to supplies, which opened an 
abundant free market, and inspired confidence 
into dealers of every description, were no less cre- 
ditable to Colonel Wellesley, than advantageous 
to the public service, and deservedly entitle him 
to my thanks and approbation. 

I have the honour to be. 

With great respect, &c., 

G. Harris/* 



The Anny moves towards the Frontier — ^Parting letter from the 
Qovemor-Oenend— Reply thereto— Letter to Captain, after- 
wards Sir, Qeoige A. Robinson* describing his situation and 

Not an hour was now lost in moving towards the 
frontier; and in his march General Harris had 
the gratification of receiving the following heart- 
stirring letter from Lord Momington. 

" (Piivate.) F^ S^ Oearg^, FOruarf^ 23, 1799. 

^^ My dear General, 

" Having answered all your public and 
private letters, adopted every arrangement sug- 
gested in your several minutes, and furnished you 
with detailed instructions applicable to every con- 
tingency for which I can provide, I now proceed 
to communicate to you without reserve my private 
sentiments with regard to your own situation, and 
to my expectations of the result of the important 
expedition which I have entrusted to your charge. 
The army of the Camatic immediately under your 
command is unquestionably the best appointed, 
the most completely equipped, the most amply 
and liberally supplied, the most perfect in point 
of discipline, and the most fortunate in the ac- 
knowledged experience and abilities of its officers 


in eveiy department, which ever took the field in 
India. It comprises a more numerous and better 
appointed corps of cavalry than any European 
power in India ever brought into action. The 
army on the coast of Malabar appears by all 
accounts to be in an equally efficient state, and 
the command on that coast never before was 
lodged in such able hands. All the departments 
relating to supplies from that quarter promise to 
aiford a far more effectual assistance than was 
derived from thence during the last war. The 
powerful force which is destined to co-operate 
from the southward is an advantage not possessed 
in the last war, and which will become doubly 
useful under the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Brown ; and in the Baramahl, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Read has already contributed the fruits of his 
experience in the collection of supplies, and every 
measure has been taken to secure the earliest 
benefits from his exertions. The appearance of 
so large a fleet on Tippoo*s coasts is a circum- 
stance of advantage not possessed in the last war^ 
and which cannot fail to aid your operations, by 
intimidating the enemy and by encouraging de- 
fection among his subjects. With regard to the 
allies, the Nizam's force has appeared in the field 
at a much earlier period than in the last contest 
with Tippoo ; and the cordial zeal of the court of 
Hyderabad for our success (which was so ques- 
tionable during the last war) now admits of no 


^^The Mahrattahs have accepted a detach- 
ment from Bombay; and during the siege of 
Seringapatam there is no reason to apprehend 
that the Peishwa will not make every effort to 
assist you with a large body of cavalry. You are 
invested with powers fully adequate to the 
management of these extraordinary and numerous 
advantages^ and you are surrounded by a staff 
appointed in the most liberal manner, and uniting 
every species of knowledge and ability which can 
tend to give additional force to the efforts of your 
own experience and zeal. The object of your 
operations is single, distinct, and definite, and the 
means of attaining it have been the continual 
study of yourself, and of those acting under your 
orders. The enemy's country, the nature of his 
resources, the strength of his defences, and the 
character of his force, are subjects perfectly fa- 
miliar to the whole of your staff, and to most of 
your principal officers. He cannot make a move- 
ment which they will not anticipate, nor is any 
contingency likely to arise against which they will 
not have provided. On the other hand, Tippoo 
Sultaun's army is known- to have suffered essen^ 
tially both in numbers and discipline since the 
last war. His finances are in great disorder ; he 
no longer possesses the confidence of his army, 
his councils are distracted by a variety of con-r 
tending factions, and his spirits are dejected and 
broken by the disappointment of his hopes of 


French assistance, by the retreat of Zemaun Shab, 
by the failure of his intrigues at the courts of 
Poonah and Hyderabad, and by the unexampled 
vigour, alacrity, and extent of our military pre- 
parations. You possess, therefore, every advan- 
tage which the most sanguine mind could expect, 
or the most anxious could desire, in the strength 
of your own army, in the cordiality of the allies, 
in the compai*ative weakness and dejection of the 
enemy, in the efficiency of your power, in the sup- 
port of the Government under which you are to 
act, in the ability of the counsels which you can 
command, and in the unity and simplicity of the 
object which you are directed to pursue. Under 
such cu*cum8tances, it is not presumption to ex- 
pect the most decisive success. With a full con^ 
fidence that you will make a just use of the un- 
precedented and unlimited advantages of your 
present enviable and commanding situation, and 
with a persuasion that you will conduct your 
army with a degree of vigour and alacrity pro- 
portioned to that with which you have equipped 
it, I cannot entertain the smallest doubt that 
(under Providence) the issue of the expedition 
will be as speedy and prosperous as the means 
which you possess ai*e abundant and unexampled. 
I am, however, aware that, in all great enterprises, 
difficulties will occur; but where previous mear. 
sures have been well combined, and every season* 
able precaution provided, a manly firmness will 


surmotint obstacles even of a formidable appear- 
ance, and the trivial ordinary embarrassments of 
detail are conquered the moment they are despised. 
Recollect the difficulties which opposed the de- 
tachment of a large portion of the central army 
to accomplish an arduous undertaking at the 
court of the Nizam 5 you encountered every im- 
pediment with resolution and spirit^ and within 
two months you saw the happy effects of your 
own firmness in the complete and easy success of 
that important measure^ and you now feel those 
effects in the great accession of strength which 
has resulted from that measure to the common 
cause of the allies. 

^^ Recollect that the equipment of the very 
army which you now command was long repre- 
sented to be utterly impracticable within the pre- 
sent season ; and that difficulties absolutely insur- 
mountable were supposed to preclude the possi** 
bility of raising the necessary funds for carrying 
on the present campaign. Every impartial mind 
must now admit that a more striking example 
of the efficacy of perseverance and resolution in 
overcoming practical obstacles of detail cannot be 
exhibited than that which appears in the actual 
state of your order of battle^ and of your tumbrils. 
These reflections will naturally animate you to an 
unremitting exertion of the same spirit of alacrity 
and promptitude^ which has brought your army 
to its present unrivalled and admirable condition. 


The magnitude of the enterprise, and the means 
which you possess of commanding its success by 
a vigorous use of your extensive powers, will raise 
your mind above the consideration of all tempo- 
rary inconveniences, will enable you to overcome 
every delay, and will accelerate the rapidity of 
your progress towards that object, which, how- 
ever 'great and valuable, is easily attainable by 
diligence, fortitude, and despatch. With these 
sentiments, my dear General, I take my leave of 
you (I trust for a veiy short period of time), in 
the firm conviction, that, within a few weeks, I 
shall have the satisfaction of congratulating you 
on the prosperous issue of a service, combining 
more solid advantages and more brilliant dis- 
tinctions than the favour of fortune, season, aud 
circumstances, ever placed within the reach of 
any British subject in India, from the earliest 
success of our arms to the present day. 

Believe me, my dear General, 
With the greatest regard and good wishes. 
Your faithful friend and servant, 


This admirable letter was not lost upon Ge- 
neral Harris. He felt deeply the generous con- 
fidence reposed in him by Lord Momington, 
to whom he immediately sent the following 


"Lieut.- General Harris to the Earl of 


" Cavkmgma^ seven miles W. of Tripcttore^ 
F^. 25, 1799. 
" My dear Lord, 

" Your Lordship's final instructions are re- 
ceived, and their very satisfactory contents per- 
fectly understood. 

" I shall not attempt an elaborate letter of 
thanks for them, or for all the noble and libei*al 
confidence and encouragement they contain ; but 
I trust to that Providence on whom I depend, 
that your Lordship shall be paid by a thorough 
conviction that everything to the best of my abili- 
ties shall be tried, to ensure that success which 
your Lordship's exertions give so fair a prospect 
of. And allow me here to relieve your Lordship's 
mind from the fear that I shall permit myself to 
become a despondie* in the business, by the 
assurance that never in my life was I known to 
have the smallest tendency or turn that way. — 
On the contrary, in some severe trials I have been 
most cheerful in the support of others, and thank 
God, have always found my spirits rise in the hour 
of danger. Tt is true I am anxious to examine 
the worst side of things, in order to provide a 
substitute if possible ; but when prevention is no 

* A " despondie" is an Hindostanee word, which appears in 
the Revenue transactions. Lord M. had applied it in a ludicrous 
sense to those who &' desponded'' of success in the war. 



longer in my power, I trust you will hear that I 
make the best of everything, and meet with cheer- 
fulness the accidents which must happen in our 
peregrinations. At present we are in a great way 
of supplies, and, with Read and Macleod*8 exer- 
tions, I have great hopes we shall escape similar 
distresses to those we experienced last war. 

^^ You may depend upon it, that there is no 
man in the army who wishes the business over 
more than myself; but no selfishness, or, I trust, 
persuasion, shall induce me to push the cattle 
beyond their powers, for that would be risking 
everything. On them we must depend for getting 
our noble battering train along, and we will soon 
make up any time supposed to be lost in this way, 
when once we begin the siege. 

^'Your Lordship's last communications have 
been particularly grateful to me ; and as you have 
taken care to secure me by every tie dear to man 
— by gratitude, by my own honour and conscience 
being pledged, and even by the Eastern policy of 
having my wife and children in your hands *", — 
I think you will not be deceived. That you may 
not, is my earnest prayer ; and that your Lordship 
will believe me. 

My dear Lord, with great esteem, 
Your devoted and faithful servant, 
George Harris.'' 

* Mrs. Harris and the General's children were all left at 
Madias, under the Cbvemor-Qenerars care. 


This was the last letter written by General 
Harris, before he inarched into Tippoo*s country, 
except one to Captain Robinson, (afterwards Sir 
Geoi^e Robinson,) a much honoured chairman of 
the East India Directors. This describes all his 
good feelings so accurately, that it will repay the 
reader the trouble of perusing it. 

" Camp Moodiwr^ FA-. 96, 1799. 
*' My dear Robinson^ 

*^The public prints must have announced 
to you my ExceHency's Titles and Powers. My 
constant scene of occupation follows, of course, 
and all my friends have equal reason with yourself 
to complain of my silence. Not a line have I 
written to any except Sir A. Clarke, about A fort- 
night since. So here we may close thid account. 
"Would that I could as easily settle the 
account With Tippoo. You are for negotiation ? 
So am I ! But the rascal would humbug me^ and 
make me lose the season, if he could onde get me 
to listen to him. Wonderful exertions have been 
made to fit out the army which Dame Fortune, in 
her freaks, has placed me at the head of. Even 
the season that is unfavourable to the coiintiy 
from the failure of rain, has promoted our views 
in allowing our bt*inging the battering train So 
foi-ward, and no doubt the army is appointed 
beyond every expectation. I have found the most 
liberal support from Lord Moiiiington, with all 

s 2 


the sincere advice I could have expected from a 
long established friend, and he has given me the 
clearest instructions possible for my future pro- 
cedure. In short, my dear Robinson, every cir- 
cumstance now seems to combine, for a most 
brilliant conclusion to the flattering situation I 
have been forced, into. 

^'Lord Moniington's plans seem everywhere 
to succeed. We shall have a very formidable 
force to the southward under Browne, and Read 
will also be left so strong as to despise anything 
short of Tippoo's army. These great sources for 
supplies he might have prevented. Indeed^ had he 
thrown his cavalry into the Barrahmahal, I doubt 
much whether we could have proceeded before 
the next monsoon. But he seems infatuated and 
delivered into our hands. 'Tis true we shall have 
our struggles^ though most things are so favour- 
able. Our bullocks are much harassed, and the 
small-pox has crippled many, and our Europeans 
of the 12th and Scotch Brigade fall down fast ; 
but I trust the latter will recover as they get into 
the cooler climates of the Mysore country, and to 
Read's collections I trust for recruiting our car- 
riage. Sanguine anticipations are formed, no 
doubt, of the most decisive success; and, all things 
considered, his Lordship has just reason, as far as 
his own exertions are concerned, and the unlimited 
powers and advantages he has given to me^ to 
expect it. 


" You will not doubt that I shall endeavour 
to conduct the business with vigour and alacrity, 
under the impression of such uncommon liberality, 
and when I consider the abilities of the staff I 
have chosen, I am sometimes led to indulge in 
the pleasing prospect that it will end well. 

" The command of such a body was at first 
seen by me in the most formidable point of view, 
and I rather shrunk from the magnitude of the 
object I had to encounter. Indeed, I would have 
given a large share of my little fortune to have 
been off; but seeing the thing inevitable, I did at 
last what I should have done in the first instance, 
— threw myself on that Providence for support 
who never foils to assist the humble ; and thanks 
to that Almighty Being who only knows what is 
right, I daily seem to gain confidence ; and what 
was at first labour, sorrow, and disappointment, 
is becoming familiar and easy to perform. 

" ITie intricacies and labyrinths I was in, are 
clearing fast away, and I can now combine mea- 
sures, and take precautions to obviate obstacles, 
and remove difficulties, whose formidable appear- 
ance would at first have completely embarrassed 
me. The support I have thus found will, I trust, 
be continued ; for this alone can animate me to 
the unremitting exertions my arduous station re- 
quires. This alone can enable me to support and 
overcome all the numerous difiiculties and tem- 
porary inconveniences I must have to encounter ; 


and this alone can raise the mind to the state 
necessary for the achievement of great designs^ 
such as that with which I am entrusted. 

^^ I shall now descend from my altitude^ and 
talk a little like one of this world. I have taken 
the liberty with you^ nolens volens^ to nominate 
you, jointly with my friend White, my attorney, 
or rather Mrs. Harris's and the brats, and I think 
I may rest satisfied you would not refuse your 
assistance to them in case they should want it. 
Ever your affectionate friend, 

Gbo. Harris/' 



The Madras army enters the M3rBoi6 conntry-^olonel Wellesley 
appointed to command the Nizam's subsidiary force — ^Tippoo 
attacks a portion of the Bombay army at Sedaseer under 
Colonel Montresor — Is repulsed with great slaughter- 
Faithful conduct of the Rajah of Coorg. 

From the date of this letter to Sir George Robin- 
son, the public despatches of the Commander-in- 
Chief to the Governor-General afford the most 
clear and satisfactory account of every operation 
of the campaign in Mysore. But they are too 
voluminous to be inserted here. The object 
which I profess in this memoir of doing justice to 
Lord Harris will be sufficiently answered by quo- 
tations from his public letters, his private journal, 
and other confirming testimony, relative to those 
events of the campaign which have been greatly 
misrepresented. These will abundantly fulfil the 
purpose I have in view, and at the same time 
establish ^^ the fact, which," to use the language 
of the Duke of Wellington's Despatches, ** is not 
sufficiently known, that General Harris himself 
conducted the details of the victorious army 
which he commanded." 

From the 3rd of February to the 4th of 
March the Madras army was occupied in passing 


through the Company's territories to Tippoo's 

On the 5th of March General Harris for- 
warded to Tippoo Sultaun the Governor-GeneraFs 
letter, dated the 22nd of February*, published 
the declaration in the name of the allies f, and 
commenced hostilities by sending a detachment 
to take possession of the hill forts of Neildroog 
and Anchittydroog. These measures were in 
strict conformity to Lord Mornington's public 
instructions of the 22nd of February, 1799 J. 

On the 6th of March General Harris reported 
to the Governor- General that the army under his 
command, accompanied by the contingent of his 
Highness the Nizam, then assembled within the 
frontier of Mysore, with every article of equip- 
ment which could be purchased without delay, of 
which the season would not admit, would com- 
mence its march towards Seringapatam on the 
following morning. 

In order to give to the force under Meer 
Allum Bahadur the utmost respectability, and 
render it equal to any service to which it might 
be exposed. General Harris had deemed it proper 
to strengthen the detachment under Colonel Ro- 
berts with an European regiment from his line, 
and as that officer had expressed a wish to be 
relieved from his command, he bad placed his 

* See Appendix. t Ibid. % Ibid. 

THE nizam's contingent. 265 

Majesty's 33rd Regiment with the Nizam's con* 
tingent, giving to the Hon. Colonel Wellesley the 
general command of the British forces serving 
with his Highnesses troops. 

This arrangement^ which was highly pleasing 
to Meer Allum Bahadur^ added greatly to the 
confidence of his troops, and promised to render 
them essentially useful in assisting to protect the 
baggage and stores of the army. But as the 
services of Lieutenant- Colonel Dalrymple with 
that detachment had merited every attention, 
<5eneral Harris considered this arrangement only 
temporary, and Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple as 
succeeding Colonel Roberts in the command of 
the subsidiaiy force, although at present, whilst 
acting with his Majesty's 33rd Regiment, ne- 
cessarily suboi*dinate to the Honourable Colonel 

In the same letter General Harris reported to 
Lord Mornington that the small hill forts of 
Woodiadroog, Anchittydroog, and Ruttengeriy, 
had been taken and occupied by the British 
troops, which would greatly facilitate Lieutenant- 
Colonel Read's endeavours to forward supplies for 
the army, to make arrangements in those parts of 
Tippoo Sultaun's dominions in the rear of our 
army, and to protect the Company's districts ; 
and that it would be highly beneficial if measures 
were adopted at the Presidency without delay for 


Seringapatam^ in the beginning of the month of 
March^ that he was going to attack General 
Harris at Muddoor, intending, however, to pro- 
ceed with all possible secresy and dispatch 200 
miles in the opposite direction to Periapatam. 
There he accordingly arrived on the 5th of 
March, "with the flower of his army, bent upon 
the destruction of a portion of the Bombay troops, 
before they could be succoured by the army to 
whicli they belonged. This design was, un- 
doubtedly, well calculated to make a serious im- 
pression upon the strength of the Bombay troops, 
and to embarrass not only their future movements, 
but to delay the completion of the great object of 
the campaign, until the descent of the Cavery in 
the month of May should render it impracticable. 
Nor can one feel any surprise at this attempt. 
Tippoo had a strong encouragement to such an 
enterprise, in the remembrance of the complete 
destruction of Colonel Baillie^s detachment, in 
the war of 1780 by his father Hyder AUy and 
himself, not thirty miles from Madras, and within 
ten miles of the army, under Sir Hector Munro, 
the commmander-in-chief. .When he found, upon 
his arrival at Periapatam, three Native battalions 
separated from the Bombay army, and stationed 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mon- 
tr^sor, at Sedaseer, he beheld them as the prey of 
his " tigers of war," for the following morning. 


and stimulated their efforts accordingly. But the 
determined bravery with which Lieutenant-Colonel 
Montr^sor and his gallant brigade of Sepoys de- 
fended themselves^ held him at bay, until half 
past two o'clock in the day, when Lieutenant- 
General Stuart came to their relief with one 
European Regiment, the 77th, and the two 
flank companies of the 75th. The British detach- 
ment was in a most perilous condition, when 
General Stuart arrived at Lieutenant-Colonel 
Montr^sor's post. He found the men exhausted 
with fatigue, and their ammunition almost ex- 
pended. Tippoo had taken his measures with 
such secresy and effect, that he was reported 
by two hircarrahs, recently arrived in General 
Stuart's camp from Seringapatam, to have marched 
with all his forces on the 20th of February, to 
oppose General Harris's army, and, therefore. 
General Stuart had no reason to expect any 
attack on the Malabar side. But on the morn- 
ing of the 6th of March, Tippoo pierced through 
the jungles with such expedition, that he attacked 
the rear and the front of Colonel Montr^sor's 
line, almost at the same instant. That he would 
have succeeded in destroying this detachment, 
cannot be doubted, but for the accidental disco- 
very of his encampment, on the 5th of March, 
by the Rajah of Coorg and a party of observa- 
tion, whom he had conducted to the top of 
Sedaseer, the highest hill in his country, for the 


purpose of looking into the Mysore territory. 
Their discovery of 'Kppoo's camp is well de- 
scribed in the following letter from the Rajah^ to 
the Governor General. 

^'On Tuesday, the 5th of March, myself. 
Captain Mahony, and some other English sirdars, 
went to the hill of Sedaseer, which is within my 
territories. This mountain, which is exceedingly 
lofty, the English sirdars and myself ascended, 
and we remained there. Having from thence re- 
connoitred, we observed nothing for the first four 
or five hours (Malabar hours) ; after this we 
observed one large tent in the direction of Peria- 
patam, which is within the territories of Tippoo 
Sultaun, and continued to see some other white 
tents rising; a large green tent then appeared, 
and then another tent which was red, and after 
that five or six hundred tents. Upon this, the 
English sirdars and myself were satisfied that it 
was the army of Tippoo Sultaun; we then re- 
turned to the English army at Sedapoor, and 
acquainted the General that Tippoo's army was 
at Periapatam. The army was accordingly pre- 
pared, as were also the battalions at Sedaseer, 
under the command of Colonel Montr6sor. Next 
morning, Tippoo's army advanced close to the 
battalions under the command of Colonel Mon- 
tr6sor, and there was a severe action. After the 
battle commenced^ the battalions put a great 


many of Tippoo*8 people to death. Tippoo, un- 
able to sustain their Are, and having no road by 
which to advance, divided his army into two 
divisions, with the intention of getting into the 
rear of Colonel Montr6sor's battalions by a secret 
path. The Colonel having received intelligence 
of this division, made a disposition of his force so 
as to sustain both attacks ; and maintained the 
fight from the morning, uninterrupted, till two 
o'clock. The enemy were beaten and unable to 
show their faces. When the information of 
Tippoo*s attack reached the main body^ General 
Stuart, in order to assist the force at Sedaseer, 
marched with two regiments of Europeans; 
keeping the remainder of the army in the plain 
of Kariydygood. Upoii this occasion, I accom- 
panied General Stuart. 

"Tippoo, in order to prevent the two regi- 
ments from advancing to the relief of the troops 
at Sedaseer, was posted in the road between. 
General Stuart, upon approaching, ordered the 
two regiments to attack the enemy. A severe 
action then ensued, in which I was present with 
my people. Many of the enemy were slain, and 
many wounded; the remainder having thrown 
away their muskets, and swords, and their tur- 
bans, and thinking it sufficient to save their lives> 
fled in the greatest confusion. 

^^ T^)poo having collected the remains of his 
troops, returned to Periapatam. Having consi- 


dered for five days, but not having taken up 
resolution to attack the Bombay army again, he 
marched on the sixth day (Saturday) back to 
Seringapatam. My continual prayer to the Al- 
mighty is, that the English Circar may continue 
as my parent, that I may remain as their child ; 
that all their enemies, may be defeated ; and that 
their territories, measures, and prosperity, may 
increase without end; and that I may enjoy 
peace under their protection. In this manner I 
approach the Sovereign Ruler with my constant 
prayer, night and day, and all times in humble 

I have transcribed a great part of the Rajah 
of Coorg's letter to the Governor-General, that 
I may do an act of strict justice to him, and also 
to Lieutenant-Colonel John Montr^sor, who was 
an officer of high reputation in the army, and 
much beloved by the troops who had served under 
him. He was, unfortunately, lost in too early 
life to his country's service from the climates of 
India and Egypt. 

The joy with which the Rajah of Coorg wit- 
nessed the success of the British arms, his ex- 
ample of fidelity to us, and his prayers to the 
Almighty, have, I lament to hear, availed but little 
in favour of his posterity. His immediate succes- 
sor became frantic, destroyed the greatest part 
of his own family, and rose in rebellion against 


the Company, so that the jungles of Coorg are 
now under assumption by the British Govern- 

The following letter recorded by the Earl of 
Mornington^ marks most strongly his sense of the 
services of the Rajah of Coorg, and greatly in- 
creases the regret inseparable from the necessity 
which has placed the poor country of Coorg in 
the Company's hands. 

" To the Governor of Bombay. 

" Fort St. George, 8<A Maf^, 1799. 

" The exemplary conduct and distinguished 
character of the Coorg Rajah, having ren- 
dered me desirous of manifesting some public 
testimony of my approbation of his recent 
services; the remission of his annual tribute to 
the Company, appears to me a measure which 
would combine the effects of an honourable dis- 
tinction and a profitable reward. My intention, 
is^ that of the whole amount of the Rajah*s pre- 
sent tribute, which I understand to be about 
24,000 rupees, a sum not exceeding a thousand 
rupees be reserved to the Company, or that in 
place of tribute, some article of value be annually 
required from him, as an acknowledgement of his 
allegiance to the British Government. I request 
that, after having determined the nature of the 
acknowledgement to be required according to 



your own judgment, you will take the necessary 
measures for carrying my intentions into effect. 
I think the arrangement should be made to take 
place from the day of the junction of the army of 
Bombay with the detachment commanded by 
Miijor-General Floyd. 

I am^ &c. 

*' To the Chtemor of Bombay.** 



Progress of Qeneral Harris's aimj through Tippoo's country. — 
Battle of MallaYelly. — Tippoo driven off with slaughter. — 
Disabled state of the draught and carriage cattle precludes the 
effectual pursuit of his army. — General Harris crosses the 
Cavery at Soosilly.^-Encamps in view of Seringapatam. 

Although imperfect rumours of the unsuccessful 
attack made upon Colonel Montr^sor's detach- 
ment had reached the camp; a passage through 
Tippoo's country was then such a perilous under- 
takings that no authentic intelligence was received 
by General Harris until the 25th of March. Two 
messengers then arrived, bringing letters ^of dif-. 
ferent dates from General Stuart. They highly 
commended the gallantry and skill with which 
Colonel Montr^sor had defended his outpost 
against all Tippoo's attacks for several hours, thus 
giving time for General Stuart to arrive with the 
Europeans, and beat off the enemy with great 

On the following day, after marching about 
three miles. General Floyd sent an ofl&cer ^^to 
acquaint me" (says General Harris in his journal) 
" that he had drawn up in open column on the 
right of the road, as a large body of cavalry was 
on his right, and Tippoo's army in front. 

" Sent two of my suite to General Floyd to see 

T 2 


how things appeared. Colonel Wellesley's cohimn 
not having yet made its appearance, I directed 
ours to move very slow, and sent off two troopers 
with a note to him to move on briskly, but before 
he could get parallel, we had gained the rising 
ground the army was proposed to encamp upon^ 
and found, if l^ppoo was in our front, he was now 
moving off in the direction of Mallavelly. 

" Some of my staff urged me to march to- 
morrow against Tippoo very early, leaving the 
park here ; but to this I gave a decided negative. 
I told them my object was to set down before 
Seringapatam as speedily as possible ; that the 
pains I had taken to be ready to fight Tippoo was 
entirely with the hope it would enable me to avoid 
it : that nothing but his stopping the high road 
should make me seek him/* 

This event happened on the following day. 
The Sultaun chose his own field of battle on the 
plain of Mallavelly ; and I find this entry in the 
GeneraFs journal, written with that modesty and 
good feeling which were habitual to him at every 
period of his life. 

^^ March 27th. — Let me only recoi-d my 
humble submission to that all-protecting Provi- 
dence for the support I have found through this 
day — a scene new to me, and difficult, perhaps, to 
any one. To-morrow I shall attempt to describe 
the course of events. 

'' March 28th for 27.— Marched for Mallavelly 


in the expectation of being cannonaded while cross- 
ing the swampy ground before it, but found it 
abandoned. On reconnoitring from a cavalier 
in the fort, we perceived Tippoo's army in motion 
about three miles from us, and I was much 
pleased to see he was going off. I directed the 
Quartermaster-General to mark out our ground, 
which he had scarcely eflfected, before a can- 
nonade opened from two 24-pounders at so great 
a distance, that the balls fell dead. Observing 
that they fell amongst a brigade of sepoys, which 
had formed in column instead of line, and also 
that the picquets were going too far and too near 
a large body of horse moving from their ground 
of encampment, I went down with the design of 
changing the position of the brigade, and rein- 
forcing the picquets, when several other guns 
opened, and the horse came so close to the picquets 
as to oblige them to give a fire of the division in 
front. Colonel Sherbrooke also sent me informa- 
tion that large bodies of infantry and cavalry 
were very near him. 

" I ordered a regiment of cavalry to support 
him as quick as possible, and a native battalion 
to follow, when meeting Close, I agreed to adopt 
his idea of forming our line on the picquets to be 
ready, but still in the intention of only showing 
it. But the cannonade increasing, and informa- 
tion being brought me that there was a veiy Ijarge 
force in the hollow way beyond the ridge of the 


hill, I thought it advisable to advance the line to 
see what they were. I soon perceived a large 
force of cavaliy and infantry on the side of the 
next ridge apparently not retiring, and some force 
in the bottom. 

" Judging it advisable to drive them away, I 
ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver's guns to open 
on them from the ridge of the hill we had formed 
the line under, and, under their cover, to advance 
on them in line, taking my post in rear of the 

" On descending into the valley, I had soon 
good reason to be satisfied with having attacked 
them, as it was very evident they had intended to 
be more than usually troublesome ; and it is very 
certain they were more than usually bold, for their 
infantry, instead of retiring (according to their 
former conduct) on our advancing, advanced on 
us, firing irregularly, and, as we understood after- 
wards, with the intention to charge our line, and 
to try the bayonet with us, by particular orders 
from Poorniah, who commanded. Their resolution, 
however, failed them ; for, after a very feeble fire 
for a few minutes, and receiving a very heavy one 
from His Majesty's 12th Regiment, commanded 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Shawe, they ran 
off much too fast for me to allow our men to follow 

^'Besides, we had several large parties of 
horse close to us, and a part of one of them, 


consisting of 300 men, under the influence of 
stimulants, were so daring as to charge the Scotch 
Brigade. Luckily I perceived their intention, and 
ordered the men to get ready, but not to fire till 
they came quite close. There was no time to 
call to the commanding officer, for the horse 
broke out from the jungle in the moment I had 
got the troops ready, when I gave the words 
^ Present' and * Fire,' so opportunely, that about 
forty men and horses fell within twenty yards 
of us. One man was bayoneted by the grenadier 
company^ and another cut through it close to 
me, the rest wheeling to^ their right, galloped 
along four or five regiments, and sustained their 
whole fire, without a man falling. 

'^The right wing now moved on in tolerable 
line, both the horse and infantry running be- 
fore us much top fast for us to catch them ; and 
here I may say the engagement with the right 
wing ended, although we followed them with a 
cannonade near two miles. We now halted, and 
remained a considerable time on the ground in 
search of water, but none of any consequence 
being found, I determined to fall back to Malla- 
velly. But while waiting to see if attempts woidd 
be made to annoy the rear, a party of infantry 
began to appear from a jungle in front of our 
right, and whilst doubting what they were, we saw 
a body we knew must be our picquets, under Co- 
lonel Sherbrooke, And the 36tb Dragoons, under 


Colonel Gotton*, supporting them. They had 
worked round the left flank of the enemy in a 
veiy masterly style, and had they made a second 
stand, would, no doubt, liave done great service 
by charging them. 

*^1 had great satisfaction in my staff, who 
who were all active and alert, but there was an 
animation in Allan that was delightful. 

'^Colonel Hart was particul^ly and kindly 
attentive, and Macleod, and Pearce, and Young 
as much so." 

Here ends the Commander-in-Chiers account 
of his personal view (Jf what passed in the right 
wing of the army. 

The operations of the left wing are thus 
described : — 

"The division commanded by Colonel Wel- 
lesley was formed nearly opposite the enemy's 
extreme right, which was strongly posted on the 
elevated crest of a rocky ridge. General Harris 
having sent an aide-de-camp to Colonel Wellesley, 
approving of the attack he proposed, and also to 
General Floyd to support it, Colonel Wellesley 
advanced in echellon of battalions, supported by 
three regiments of cavalry, when a column of the 
enemy, consisting of about 2,000 infantry, moved 
forward in excellent order towards the 33rd Regi- 
ment, which corps reserving its fire with the 

* Now Yiflcoimt Gombermeie. 


utmost steadiness^ received that of the enemy at 
a distance of about sixty yards ; then quickening 
its advance, the column gave way, and was thrown 
into disorder. General Floyd seized this critical 
moment, and with a charge of cavalry, led on 
by Major Dallas*, destroyed great numbers, and 
took their six standards. The retreat of the 
enemy soon became general, their cannon were 
drawn off, and, at two o'clock, the action had 
entirely ceased." 

I find, in a memorandum written by Lord 
Harris not long before his decease, an explanation 
respecting this Mallavelly affair as follows : — 

" There can be no doubt that the failure of 
this attempt decided the battle in Tippoo's mind, 
as his army instantly retreated; but Poorniah 
afterwards confirmed it to me, and explained his 
hope of breaking our line by these 300 devoted 
men, and then of pouring in his whole cavaliy. 
What might have been the consequence had the 
attempt succeeded cannot be known ; but it surely 
may be noled as a remarkable circumstance 
among the many in my fortunate trajet through 
this world, that as Commander-in-Chief of the 
armyj I should be the executive agent to defeat 

* Afterwards Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Dallas; whose 
deeds in the yiew of admiring armies throughout the wars of 
Coote, Medows^ Comwallis, and Harris, will be long remembered 
in India. He was as remarkable for the strength, symmetry and 
beauty of his person, as for his cool and daring courage. .. 


this best proof of soldiership that I saw in my 

" It may disarm the envious (if any there are) 
to hear that I never mentioned the circumstance, 
and that probably it would have been quite for- 
gotten, had not the captain of the grenadier 
company that day, now Major Cragie of the 
Perth Militia, put me in mind of it several years 
after it happened. 

'* I now recollect that the foregoing circum- 
stance gave rise to another of some importance in 
the heat of fire, when moments are ages. On my 
first suspecting Tippoo's intention, I had ordered, 
I think. Major Allan to bring up a Native regi- 
ment of cavalry, that was covering us, and with 
orders to watch a large party of men on our right, 
and to support Colonel Cotton if necessary. It 
was commanded by Major Torin, and came up 
just as I had fired ; when I immediately ordered 
an opening in the right of the 12th Regiment, and 
directed the Major to go in and cut the runaways 
up. He had scarcely got through the line, and 
was off in the gallop, when the firing began on 
our left. Recollecting the probability, that in the 
confusion our Native cavalry might be mistaken, 
I hallooed out, * Major Torin, halt,' which he in- 
stantly obeyed^ threw up his sword, and repeated 
the order to his regiment." 

There was another qualification which General 


Harris had for an occasion like this, besides quick- 
ness of sight and readiness of execution. He had 
one of the most powerful of human voices, and I 
have shown that he was in the position on this 
day where it could be exerted with the very best 

A sketch of the action near Mallavelly on the 
27th of March, 1799, as made by Captain B. 
Sydenham, will give to the military reader a perfect 
understanding of the operations of that day*. 

The efficient state of the Mysore gun cattle, 
and the miserable condition of the Carnatie bul- 
locks, precluded all idea of a successful pursuit of 
Tippoo's army, and this gave him the confidence 
to venture upon the experiment of this battle on 
the high land of Mallavelly, and a finer field of 
action it would be difficult to find. 

This affair cost to the British army only a loss 
of 66 men killed, wounded, and missing, whilst 
that of Tippoo was nearly 2,000, amongst whom 
were many of his bravest men and best officers. 
The entire failure of his two attacks of cavalry 
and infantry made a deep impression on the Sul- 
taun's mind; but he prepared to obstruct the 
further march of the British army on the line by 
which he felt assured they would march from 
Mallavelly to Seringapatam, then little more than 
thirty miles distant. 

On the following day the British army mardied 

* See Appendix. 


about four miles towards the Cavery, and halted 
at Angarapooram, in the usual route to Seringa- 
patam^ where alone they could get water fron^ 
the tanks. This necessity served to cover their 
nearer advance to the river^ without exciting any 
suspicion in Tippoo*s mind of the Commander- in* 
Chief's purpose in approaching it. 

General Harris now prepared to execute the 
intention he had already formed and announced 
to Lord Mornington of crossing the Cavery near 
Soosilly, if it should appear possible^ and of 
attacking Seringapatam on the western side^ in 
order to facilitate the junction of the Bombay 
army from the confines of Coorg, and of the 
supplies of grain which were to come through the 
Caverypooram Pass, escorted by Colonels Read 
and Browne's detachments. 

Major Allan, commanding the guides, and 
Captain Macaulay, General Harris's private secre- 
tary*, were accordingly sent from Angarapooram 
with the picquets of the cavalry on the evening of 
the 28th of March, to ascertain the distance of 
the Cavery, and to reconnoitre the country. They 
did not return till ten o'clock at night to the 
General's tent, and reported the distance to be 
about nine miles, through a fine open country, 
and the last three miles a gentle descent to the 

* Afterwards General Colin Macaulay, a man of distin- 
cnished talents and integrity. 


General Harris immediately determined to 
march to the Caveiy in the morning ; and as the 
secresy of this movement was essential to its suc- 
cess, it was communicated to no one until the 
moment for moving down to the river arrived. 
By this precaution the left wing of the army was 
actually across the Caveiy before the day closed^ 
whilst Tippoo was looking for them at a distance 
in the direct road to Seringapatam. 

On the 30th the whole of the park and ord- 
nance, and the remainder of the army, crossed the 
river, and encamped near the fort of Soosilly, 
where they found ample forage, some grain, and 
the public stock of provisions was recruited with 
a large supply of fine cattle and sheep. 

When the intelligence of this masterly move- 
ment reached Tippoo, it filled him with despair. 
Having assembled the whole of his pnncipal 
officers, *' We have arrived," he said, '* at our 
last stage; what is your determination?" — "To 
die along with you," was the universal reply. 

That this march was equally judicious and 
beneficial cannot be doubted; for such was the 
exhausted state of the gun cattle, that General 
Harris could not reach the position he had deter* 
mined to take up before Seringapatam in less 
than five days, although the distance was only 
twenty-eight miles, and his march undisturbed by 
any hostile attempt from Tippoo's army. 

On the 4th of April, I find in the private jour- 


nal this observation : ^' The poor miserable starved 
bullocks made out wonderAiUy, but some of the 
spare carriages were not in before nine o'clock in 
the evening/' 

The army had now arrived within three miles 
of the ground taken up by General Harris for the 
siege of Seringapatam. 

But this vast mass of men^ stores^ battering 
guns, and followers, whose success depended 
mainly upon their early arrival at the place to be 
attacked, had not proceeded in the direct road, 
but in an irregular and angular direction, so as 
greatly to extend the distance to be mai'ched*, 
and to the selection of this circuitous line must 
be attributed the comparative facility with which 
the army had reached its present encampment, 
because it had completely deceived the enemy, 
and preserved forage and water for the army. 
Their rate of marching, from the 11th of February 
to the 5 th of April, had been only five miles per 
day, and this, notwithstanding the attention of the 
Commander-in-Chief and his principal officers 
was constantly directed to this most important 
of his duties; and, notwithstanding his enemy 
had offered no impediment to his march till after 
the tanks at Achel had been seized, and a posi- 
tion was taken up between Sultaunpet and Malla* 
velly, on the 25th of March. 

This slow progress was entirely owing to the 

* Their daily progress is shown in the Appendix. 


complete failure of the system then in force for 
the draught and carriage depai^tments; This 
defect in the organization of the Indian army had 
been felt from our earliest wars. It had been 
complained of by every succeeding Commander- 
in-Chief from the time of Sir Eyre Coote to that 
of Lord Cornwallis, but nothing had been done to 
amend it. With eveiy new war the wild and 
small cattle of the Carnatic were to be purchased 
at whatever price, and attached to the guns with- 
out previous training, or experienced drivers ; and 
hence it was that Hyder and Tippoo, from the 
great $uperibrity of the Mysore cattle, defeated 
every attempt made by our commanders to over- 
take them in the field. 

Daily experience of this great evil had pressed 
heavily upon General Harris's mind during this 
march, as it had done upon all who had preceded 
him in high military command, and especially 
upon Sir Eyre Coote. He declared after the 
battle of Cuddalore, " If Hyder AUy, buoyed up 
with foimer success, had not come to seek us, I 
could not have moved the army to follow him, 
and this is a situation so trying to the respons* 
ible military commander, that an officer of cha- 
racter shudders at the idea of being placed in 
such a predicament.*' This serious defect was 
effectually removed after this campaign*, for 

* See in the Appendix an able paper on this subject by 
Colonel Cubbon; also Duke of Wellington's Despatcheiy vol. ii. 
p. 359. 


General Harris immediately recommended the 
use and protection of Tippoo's admirable esta- 
blishment of cattle, which was unequalled in 

When he had the gratification of seeing his 
battering train safe before Seringapatam, and this 
fine fortress was once more within the view of an 
English army, and all eyes were looking with 
anxious solicitude upon the object of their wishes, 
he lost no time in publishing the following order 
to the troops. 

" Camp in view of SeringapcOam^ April 4, 1799. 

" The Commander-in-Chief takes this oppor- 
tunity of expressing his deep sense of the general 
exertions of the troops throughout a long and 
tedious march in the enemy's country with the 
largest equipment ever known to move with any 
army in India. He congratulates officers and 
men on the sight of Seriugapatam. A continu- 
ance of the same exertions will shortly put an end 
to their labours, and place the British colours in 
triumph on its walls." 



The first operations of the siege, in which Major-General Baird, 
the Honourable Colonel Wellesley, and Colonel Shawe were 
engaged — Failure of the first and second attempts to main- 
tain possession of the Snltaunpettah Tope — Success of the 
third, which gave us excellent posts extending two miles in 
front of the Fort^Letters from Colonel Wellesley to General 

As the first operations of the siege have been 
much misunderstood and misrepresented, I shsfll 
here give the details, exactly as they are authen- 
ticated by three different but most competent 
authorities, — the private journal and public des- 
patches of General Harris ; the letters of Colonel 
Wellesley; and the confirming evidence of Major- 
General Baird. 

In his Journal of the 4th of April, General 
Harris wrote as follows, — ^being then within three 
miles of Seringapatam. 

"Commissioned General Baird to form a 
party of not less than the flank companies of the 
Brigade, supported by the picquets, to beat up a 
Tope in front of the ground the picquet was 
upon, and said to have parties of men with arms 
assembling on it. 

" It appears to me from the report, they are 



only intended for rocketting ; but at any rate, 
our beating them up instead of their attempting 
us, will have the best effect. If our intelligence 
is true, Tippoo's whole army are in a complete 
state of terror. Of course we should keep it so." 

General Baird accordingly proceeded on this 
service with the flank companies of His Ma- 
jesty^s 12th, 74th, and Scotch Brigade, and the 
battalion companies of the 74 th; the advanced 
picquets were also directed to be in readiness in 
case they should be wanted. This party lefk the 
camp at ten o'clock at night, and arrived at the 
Tope at eleven. They traversed the whole with- 
out discovering a single person, for the enemy 
had quitted it before General Baird reached it, 
and no one was either heard or seen. A great 
part of the night having elapsed. General Baird 
determined not to remain in possession of the 
Tope, but to return to the camp. In doing so 
he missed his way, and was marching to the Port, 
when Lieutenant Lambton (afterwards Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Lambton, the celebrated surveyor 
and astronomer, who was upon his staff) con- 
vinced the General, from his observation of the 
stars, that he was going north instead of south, 
and that he must face about in order to regain 
the head-quartei*s of the camp. The party were 
accordingly halted, faced about, and in their 
return they fell in with a small detachment of 


Tippoo's looties^ some of whom they took 
prisoners, dispersing the rest. General Baird 
returned to the camp at four o'clock in the 

When the day dawned, a great number of the 
enemy were again seen going into this Tope, and 
as it lay between the camp and the Fort, General 
Hrrris determined to get possession of it, and 
also of the post occupied formerly by the Bombay 
troops, which extended farther to the westward 
and nearer to the Fort. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Shawe, Mdth the 12th Re- 
giment and two battalions of Sepoys, was directed 
to attack the post on the left, which was a water- 
course, with its embankment running between the 
Fort and the encampment. Colonel Wellesley 
was ordered to attack the Tope with the 33rd 
Re^ment. It was with reference to this service 
that Colonel Wellesley wrote the following note 
to General Harris. 

'* Colonel the Honourable A. Welleslev to 
LiEUTfiNANT-GENERAL Harrts, Commaudcr- 

« Camp, 5th April, 1799. 
'' My dear Sir, 

" I do not know where you mean the post 
to be established, and I shall therefore be obliged 
to you if you will do me the favour to meet me 
this afternoon in front of the lines, and show it 


292 COLONEL wellesley's 

to me. In the mean time, I will order my bat- 
talions to be in readiness. 

" Upon looking at the Tope as I came in just 
now, it appeared to me that when you get pos- 
session of the bank of the nullah, you have the 
Tope as a matter of course, as the latter is on the 
rear of the former. However, you are the best 
judge, and I shall be ready. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Your most faithful servant, 

Arthur Wbllesley." 

It should be remembered that this note was 
written on the day the Madras army encamped 
before Seringapatam, at the distance of 5,000. 
yards from the rampart, and when the inter- 
vening ground was very little known. The near- 
est part of the Sultaunpettah Tope to the camp 
was about 900 yards, and Shawe*s' post about 
1,700 yards from the camp ; but the watercourse, 
where it went through the Tope, ran in a serpen- 
tine direction, and the enemy were posted under 
the cover of its windings in the Tope, so that 
whichever way the attacking party placed its 
front, it was flanked by them. 

The two parties, under Colonel Shawe and 
Colonel Wellesley, left the camp at eight o'clock 
in the evening; at nine, heavy firing of musketry 
was heard every where in front, and information 
was brought to the camp, that the two Sepoy 


battalions were separated fiom the 12th RegU 
ment^ which was in possession of the watercourse, 
and that not a shot had been fired by the 12th. 

It afterwards appeared that Lieutenant- Colonel 
Oliver's battalion of Sepoys getting into confu- 
sion, paid no regard to orders, and that Major 
Campbell, who commanded, was killed, while en- 
deavouring to rally them. Colonel Shawe was then 
present with that battalion, having gone in search 
of it, and found it in this confused situation, 
firing in every direction, but refusing to come 
forward. Colonel Shawe, with the utmost difli- 
culty and danger, at last found his way back to 
his own regiment. 

The other Sepoy battalion, commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, had moved more 
forward to a part of the same watercourse ; the 
fire of the enemy coming thick upon them, they 
fell back on the left of the 12th Regiment, and 
there remained, by Colonel Shawe's orders, until 
day-light, sheltered under the mud walls near to 
the ]2th Regiment. 

Colonel Wellesley entered the Tope with the 
flank companies of the 33rd Regiment, supported 
by the battalion companies under Major Shee. 
He was immediately assailed by a hot fire in front 
and flank from the enemy, and in the unevenness 
of the ground and the darkness of the night, the 
advanced party was separated from the regiment. 
Lieutenant Fitzgerald and several of the men 


were killed^ and some missing. Lieutenant West 
with a few grenadiers arrived at the main picquet 
about ten o'clock. Major Sbee^ with five companies 
of the 33rd, lost his way, and fell in with Colonel 
Shawe, and took shelter under the embankments of 
the watercourse, where he remained till daylight, 
and then returned to the camp. He could give 
no other information than that they had separated, 
and that Colonel Wellesley and one company 
were missing. Colonel Wellesley arrived at the 
Commander-in-Chief's tent at twelve o'clock, and 
reported the failure of his attack on the Tope, 
which is thus noted in General Harris's Journal. 

*' 6th Aprils 1799. Remained under great 
anxiety till near twelve at night, from the fear 
our troops had fired on each other. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shawe very soon reported himself in pos- 
session of the post, but a second firing commenced, 
and as he had previously sent to know what 
had become of the two Native battalions, I could 
not be satisfied but that, in the dark, they had 
mistaken each other. It proved that all the firing 
was from the enemy, his Majesty's 12th Regi- 
ment scarcely firing a shot the whole night. Near 
twelve. Colonel Wellesley came to my tent in a 
good deal of agitation, to say he had not carried 
the Tope. It proved that the 33rd, with which 
he attacked, got into confusion, and could not be 
foimed, which was great pity, as it must be par- 


ticularly unpleasant to him. Altogether, circum- 
stances considered, we got off very well. General 
Baird*s expedition of last night so far answered 
our expectations, as he fell in with a small party 
of the enemy*s horse, and cut up eight or ten of 
them, which will tend to prevent their plaguing 
us with rockets^ I trust. He missed his road 
coming back, although one would have thought it 
impossible; no wonder night attacks so often fail.** 

At daylight on the 6th of April large bodies 
of Tippoo's infantry crossed over from the Island 
and the Fort to support those in the Tope and 
water-course, and under cover of the houses and 
mud walls ; a considerable number of cavalry also 
took post in the rear of the Tope. Every move- 
ment of the enemy manifested a determination to 
drive Colonel Shawe from the post which he had 
taken in the early part of the night, and still re-* 
tained possession of with His Majesty's 1 2th 
Regiment and one battalion of Sepoys. 

When General Harris saw the extent of the 
enemy's preparations, he made all the dispositions 
he thought necessary both to support Colonel 
Shawe, and to execute successfully his intention, 
which had failed in the two preceding nights, of 
driving the enemy out of the Sultaunpettah Tope, 
and maintaining possession of it. 

The Scotch Brigade and two battalions of 
Sepoys were first ordered for this service, under 


the command of Colonel Wellesley; but when 
more of Tippoo's infantry and cavalry were seen 
marching in that direction. General Harris or- 
dered four i2-p6unders, covered by four compa- 
nies of Sepoys, to take post within about 400 
yards of the Tope, in order to fire into it, while 
Colonel Wellesley was marching to the attack ; 
and the 25th Regiment of Light Dragoons, under 
the command of Colonel Cotton, now Lord Com- 
bermere, and the 2nd Regiment of Native Ca- 
valry, under Colonel Pater, were directed to sup- 
port the right flank. Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace 
was also sent down with the grenadier company 
of the 74th Regiment, and four companies of 
Sepoys, to occupy a rock on Colonel Shawe's left, 
and prevent the enemy's galling the troops on that 
flank during the attack. 

When all was ready. Colonel Wellesley was 
not present ; and as General Harris had ordered 
that he should command, he could not compre- 
hend why he was absent, especially when so much 
time had elapsed whilst the additional forces were 
marching down to their allotted stations. 

After waiting a little longer, and inquiring 
from his staif what could be the reason of Colonel 
Wellesley's absence. General Harris became uneasy 
and apprehensive that the favourable moment for 
the attack would be lost ; and he directed General 
Baird, who was on the spot, to take the command, 
and proceed to the attack. General Baird im- 


mediately drew his sword, and, turning his horse, 
rode towards the column for this purpose. He 
had not moved many paces, when General Harris 
called him back, and said, " On further consider- 
ation, I think that we must wait a little longer 
for Colonel Wellesley," in which General Baird 
expressed his hearty concun*ence. 

Colonel Wellesley appeared in a few moments 
afterwards, having, by an omission in the Adjutant- 
General's office, been only just then warned for 
the duty. He instantly took the command of the 
troops, and* proceeded to the attack. 

As the troops approached the Tope, the 12- 
pounders opened, and threw in a heavy fire in 
different directions into it. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Shawe at the same time ordered his battalion- 
guns to fire in that direction, but remained quiet 
with the infantry. As the troops moved on to 
the attack, the 12-pounders ceased. 

The head of the column soon approached the 
left of the Tope, when they formed and entered, 
advancing in line with their guns. The firing 
then commenced, but the shot from the 12- 
pounders had dispersed the enemy considerably, 
so that not much resistance was made, and in less 
than twenty minutes Colonel Wellesley had com- 
plete possession of the post which had caused so 
much confusion and anxiety the two preceding 
nights. When this object was accomplished 
Colonel Shawe moved out at the head of the 


12th Regiment, which had continued under a heavy 
fire during the whole night, and up to this hour 
of the morning, without returning a single shot. 
They now received Colonel Shawe's ordeinsi to ad- 
vance, and, placing himself at their head, they 
rushed gallantly foi-waid, and, at the point of the 
bayonet, drove from the watercourse, with consi- 
derable slaughter, the troops which had filled it 
from the Fort. Thus was secured the complete 
possession of strong and well-connected posts of 
nearly two miles, forming an excellent parallel, 
well covered from the Fort, and within a mile 
distant from it. 

I have stated all the circumstances of the 
well-timed and well-executed attacks of this day 
in such detail, and exactly as they occurred^ be- 
cause they have been very differently related by 
Mr. Hook and other persons. To remove all 
doubt of the accuracy of this statement, so far as 
General Harris, General Baird, and Colonel Wel- 
lesley are concerned, I shall here insert the 
account given by Sir David Baird himself, only 
the year before he died, to Colonel Meyrick 
Shawe, of the circumstances which took place on 
the morning of the Gth of April, 1799 : — 

'' In the month of October, 1828, I passed some days 
with Sir David Baird at his residence, Femton, near Crief, 
in Perthshire, and had a great deal of conversation with 
him relative to the campaigns of 1791 and 179S, in Mysore, 
when I served with him in the army mider Lord Cora- 


wallis, aad ftleo respecting the memorable oampaign of 1799, 
ifvhen I was not present. 

'' la the coarse of conversation, I inquired whether a 
statement was oorreot, which I had not beard in India, but 
which had recently been circulated in this country, that he, 
Sir David Baird, had declined the command of the troops 
assembled on the morning of the 6th of April, 1799^ to 
take possession of the Tope and post of Sultaunpettah, 
which had been attempted, without success, by Colonel 
Wellesley on the preceding night, and that he had repre- 
sented to General Harris (who had proposed the command 
to him,) the injustice of conferring it upon any other person 
than Colonel Wellesley. 

*^Sir David Baird immediately replied ^^^ The state- 
ment is very incorrect, although there is a mixture of truth 
in it, and it is especially very unjust to Lord Harris. The 
facts are these. The troops destined for this service were 
assembled early on the morning of the 6th of April. 
General Harris was on the spot on horseback, and several 
officers of rank, as well as myself, were present as spectators. 
But Colonel Wellesley was absent, although it was gene- 
rally understood that he was to command the attack. We 
afterwards learnt that, by some accident. Colonel Wellesley 
was not warned for that duty, and, of course, he did not 
attend, but waited in his tent for the usual order or 

^' ' As the morning advanced, General Harris became 
impatient and apprehensive that the favourable moment for 
the attack would be lost by further delay ; and he directed 
me to take the command, and proceed to the attack. I 
certainly was surprised and embarrassed by this unexpected 
order, which I felt would interfere with Colonel Wellesley. 
But I need not remark to you, or to any soldier, that it 
would have been impossible for me to show any hesitation, 


or to make any observation, upon receiving an order from 
the Commander-in-Chief to proceed forthwith and assume 
an arduous and honourable service. 

" * I made no reply, but drew my sword, and, turning my 
horse, I rode towards the column. I had not moved many 
paces, when General Harris called me back, and said, ^' I 
think, upon reflection, that we must wait a little longer for 
Colonel Wellesley;^ 

" * I then expressed to General Harris, in the hearing of 
all around us, my great satisfaction at this determination, 
because I felt that it could not fail to be painful and mor- 
tifying to Colonel Wellesley, if any other person was em- 
ployed to complete the operation which he had begun. 

*' ' General Harrises mind was obviously influenced by 
the same reflections, when, of his own accord, he recalled me, 
and it is therefore unjust to ascribe to any one else, whatever 
merit may belong to it. 

" ' Colonel Wellesley (who I presume was sent for as soon 
as the mistake was discovered,) appeared in a few moments 
afterwards, and, taking the command of the troops, he led 
the attack, which, in a short time, was completely suc- 

" In the hand-writing of Meyrick Shawe, Colonel.**' 

The following letters from Colonel Wellesley 
to General Harris abundantly prove that neither 
the failure of the attack on the night of the 6th, 
nor the accidental waiting for Colonel Wellesley 
on the morning of the 6th of April, (from no fault 
of his,) interrupted for a moment those feelings 
of perfect confidence and kindness which pre- 
vailed between the Commander-in-Chief and 
Colonel Wellesley : — 


« Camp, 6th AprU, 1799- 
" My dear Sir, — I find that by moving Malcolm's corps 
to the rear a little, and by an arrangement of my posts on 
my right and rear, I shall be able to protect Meer AUum, 
the brinjarries, the park, and the cavalry, from any attempts 
that may be made by horse and rocket boys, which alone 
seems to me to be destined to annoy us in that quarter. 

^' I shall now go out, and see what support I can give to 
my post at Sultaunpettah, and will report to you on my 
return. I am, my dear Sir, &c., 

Arthur Wellesley.^' 

''Camp, 7th AprU, 1799. 
"My dear Sir, — I shall be much obliged to you if 
you will let me know whether you think the guards for the 
outposts can now be reduced a little, as between foraging 
parties and outline picquets, we have not men enough left 
to give a relief. The outline picquets were not relieved 
this morning for want of men. You were talking yesterday 
of looking at these posts this afternoon, and if you have an 
inclination, I will go with you at any hour you may ap- 
point. I think I can show you a situation where two 
embrasures might be opened in the bank of the nullah with 
advantage, and that would add to the strength of the post. 
I am, my dear Sir, &c., 

Arthur Welleslet,'' 

''Sf.m. 7th April, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, — A body of horse, of about seven or 
eight hundred, has passed,' and is getting round by my right 
and your rear. They keep clear of our picquets, and are 
most probably a reconnoitring party. 

" They have some few straggling horsemen with them, 
but I have seen no infantry. 

I am, my dear Sir, &c., 

^ Arthur Wellesley.'" 


** Camp, 7th April, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, — I have the pleasure to inform you 
that the foragers are coming in fast, well loaded with forage, 
and I have therefore ordered the battalion to stay where it 
is, ready to turn out, but (as battalions are now scarce 
articles) not to move till further orders. 

^^ The body of cavalry has passed our right flank, and 
seems inclining rather to its left. It appears more like a 
line of march than a body intended for a coup ds main, as 
there are with it bullocks and baggage of different kinds. 
At all events, it can do our right no harm, as, excepting by 
the high road, which Malcolm's corps will cover as soon as 
it shall have moved, no cavalry can approach us. 

I am, my dear Sir, &o., 

Arthur Welleslkt. 

'' I see the cavalry has come more round our right, and 
I have, therefore, ordered the battalion on to the high road, 
where it will afford protection to the foragers coming in, as 
well as to the rear of our camp, should they be inclined to 
molest it.^^ 

'' Camp, 1^ April, nw. 
'' My dear Sir, — I have drawn back the battalion, as 
the foragers are come in, and the cavalry have disappeared. 
As soon as Schoey's brigade shall have taken up its ground, 
we shall have four field-pieces, at least, bearing upon that 
road. When I shall have an opportunity of looking at it 
again, I will let you know whether they will be sufficient, 
or what will, 

" I have fourteen 6-pounder8, of which eight are out of 
the lines at the outposts and picquets. 

I am, my dear Sir, &c., 

Arthur Wellbsljet.'' 


« Camp, 7rtilpra, 1799. 

"My dear Sir, — Since I returned home, I have 
received a report from the outposts in Sultaunpettah, that 
some infantry had passed, this evening, in the same direc- 
tion in which the cavalry passed this morning, and there 
are some persons in this camp who say they saw guns pass 

" I have not received a report from my picquets in my 
front ; when I do, I will let you know what it is. 

" At all events, I am prepared for him, if his attack is 
directed against this flank of your line, whether it he made 
by day or by night ; I do not intend to relieve the outposts 
until after it is ascertained whether or not he intends to 
make his push here : if he does attack us here, he will pro- 
bably attack the outposts at the same time, and, in that 
case, we must depend upon your line for the support of our 

I am, my dear Sir, &c. 

Arthur Wellkslkt.*' 

''Camp, 7th April, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, — The field officer of the day was at 
the picquet in my front till sunset ; saw cavalry pass, but 
no infantry or guns. 

I am, my dear Sir, &c., 

Arthur Wellbslbt.^^ 

The extracts which I have already given from 
General Harris's private journal show how little 
he was disquieted by Colonel Wellesley's separa-* 


tion from the troops in the darkness of the nigbt 
of the 6th of April, 1799 ; the accident so extra- 
vagantly described by Mr. Hook, *^ as spreading 
like wildfire through the camp." The foregoing 
notes and letters in the Duke's hand\mting (of 
which the originals are now lying before me,) 
prove also that his serenity was not at all dis- 
turbed by this occurrence, or by the accidental 
omission of the Adjutant-Generars office on the 
morning of the 6th of April. They show, at the 
same time, the terms upon which he was with his 
General before, and subsequent to, the attacks of 
the Sultaunpettah Tope on the night of the oth 
and the morning of the 6th of April. Here are 
no less than six reports from Colonel Wellesley to 
his Commander-in-Chief in the course of a single 
day respecting the diflFerent movements of the 
enemy he was watching, and those which in his 
opinion would meet them, all written in the 
clearest manner and in the kindest spirit towards 
his superior officer, anxious to know distinctly 
what he desired to have done, and to do it 

The impression left upon the mind of General 
Harris by this Sultaunpettah Tope' affair, which 
has been so misrepresented and exaggerated, is 
distinctly shown in the following public despatch 
to the Governor- General. 


" Camp hrfore JShrinisfapatam, April 7, 1799. 
'' My Lord, 

^^ After crossing the Cavery on the 30th ult. 
at Soosilly, where the army halted the next day, I 
advanced by easy marches to this place, and took 
up my position on the 5th of this month. Wish* 
ing to occupy the post where General Aber- 
cromby's picquets were attacked in 1792, and the 
large tope and village of Sultaunpettah, both were 
attacked the night of our arrival ; but, owing in 
great measure to the darkness of the night, the 
attempt on the first only was partially successfuL 
We sustained some loss from the fire of the 
enemy, which was continued heavily till late next 
morning, when the posts were again attacked with 
perfect and rapid success. They give us a strong 
position, and greatly confine that of the enemy* 
Major-General Floyd, with four cavalry and six 
infantry corps, twenty field-pieces, and a body of 
the Nizam's horse, marched on the morning of 
the 6th to join General Stuart. This force is 
considered superior to any thing that can possibly 
be opposed to it by the enemy. The army has 
taken up its position for the siege. 

I have the honour to be, 
&c., &c., &c., 

George Harris. 

« The Earl of MomitigUm:' 

This letter proves beyond all doubt that these 



operations did not interrupt for a moment General 
Harris's feelings of perfect confidence in Colonel 
Wellesley^ from whom he was daily receiving all 
the aid this accomplished officer could afford in 
the progress of the siege. But the situation in 
which all parties had been placed by the partial 
success of the preceding night, and the accidental 
omission of the Adjutant-General's office in the 
morning, was painful and critical ; for they en^ 
0ouraged and enabled Tippoo to send more troops 
from the Fort ; but these very circumstances 
turned much to our advantage. They made our 
success much more important, and his loss con- 
siderably greater. Tippoo's attention was, more- 
over, so entirely engrossed by the operations then 
going on, that the march of General Floyd, to 
bring the Bombay army from Periapatam, wa* 
nnheeded, and he thereby gained twenty-four 
hours* start, for Cummur-ud-Deen was not sent 
with Tlppoo's cavalry in pursuit until the next 

These considerations entirely outweighed in 
General Harris's mind the little annoyance arising 
from the failures of the two preceding nights, and 
the omission of the Adjutant-General's office on 
the morning of the 6th. He had himself too 
often shared in the perils and chances of war not 
to make due allowance for occasional failures, and 
for accidental omissions ; and therefore, the dan- 
ger from which General Baird and his party had 


escaped on the night of the 4th^ when he was 
marching into the hands of the enemy^ and that 
from which Colonel Weilesley had escaped on the 
night of the 5th^ left no other impression on his 
mind in regard to either, than a determination to 
have no more night attacks, being satisfied that, 
if they failed under such officers, there could be 
no hope of success under any other. But when 
the day for heroic deeds arrived, these were the 
very officers who received the highest mat*ks of 
his confidence ; General Baird was appointed to 
command the assault of Seringapatam, Colonel 
Weilesley to succour him if he should be beaten 

I find recorded in G^ieral Harris's Journal a 
just tribute of his admiration of the gallantry dis* 
played on this day by Colonel Robert Shawe, one 
of his old comrades at the battle of the Vigie. 

He says, " Colonel Shawe's post had been 
much fired on all the time the preparations for 
Colonel Wellesley*s attack were going on, and 
I had been obliged to advance a six-poundei* 
and three companies of Sepoys to cover his reai*, 
and thought it advisable to strengthen them by 
the grenadier companies of the 74th, and four 
companies of Sepoys, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wallace, with the intention he should turn the 
flank of the people opposed to Colonel Shawe 
when Colonel Wellesley's attack commenced, 

X 2 


The effect of the attack was very fine ; and Shawe 
advanced several yards on the bank the enemy 
had annoyed him from, leading on the grenadiers, 
which placed him in a most glorious point of view." 

Nor is it irrelevant here to notice an instance 
of the gallantry of one of Tippoo's youthful sirdai^ 
on this occasion. Hussein Ally Cawn, a jagheer* 
dar and nobleman of high rank, on seeing his 
troops retreat from the Tope, charged a party of 
the 2nd Battalion 7th Regiment with a few of his 
adherents; and though he succeeded in getting 
through, was immediately afterwards shot. Some 
of his relations were permitted, after the action, 
to approach the battalion, and to carry away his 
body, which was put into a dooley, and sent, with 
his grateful followers, under the escort of a sepoy, 
over to the island. The sepoy and the dooley^ 
bearers were rewarded by the Cawn's people, and 
faithfully escorted back to their post. But in 
this evidence of good and gallant feeling on both 
sides, the Sultaun did not share ; his suUen and 
ferocious nature remained unchanged to the last, 
as was cruelly exhibited in the cold-blooded 
murder of his European prisoners only a few days 
before his death. 



General Harris's Journal of the Siege-— Daily progress of the 
Siege before the assault. 

On the day after Colonel Wellesley had carried 
the Sultaunpettah post. General Harris walked 
down with General Baird and Macleod to the 
advanced post, and ^^ found it/' as his Journal 
states, " very strong against such an enemy as we 
have to deal with, and which may, with a little 
work, be made very strong against any ; how for- 
tunate thus to find a good parallel prepared to 
our hands ! 

" A long line of cavalry seen coming out of 
the Fort about twelve; reported at three, by 
Colonel Wellesley, to have come more round our 
right, and that he has, therefore, ordered the bat- 
talion we spoke of (when looking what they were 
about) on the road which leads to Periapatam. 

" Our foraging party coming in fast, but this 
cannot be their object, or they would move more 
rapidly than they have done. It may perhaps be 
an intended attack on Floyd when returning. 

** Great many of us much fatigued. Our 
duties pretty severe, but if the whole is not 
pressed on with vigour, we shall fail, for no doubt 
there will be more difficulties to overcome, than 
we yet foresee. 


^^8th. — ^Visited the post taken possession of 
by Colonel Wellesley on the 6th instant. Found 
it a continuation of the nullah which makes 
Shawe's post, but not so favourable in that part 
for keeping hold of. — ^Directed a burnt village on 
a rise above the nullah to be made the right- 
hand post, by barricading the streets and cutting 
down the walls to six feet, thickening them next 
the Fort, and putting a banquet within. 

*^ Brisk cannonade from the Fort. Colonel 
Close brought Dallas and Hart to speak in favour 
of the buUock-owners, and to point out to me the 
certain ruin a muster would be to them. After 
long discussion^ agreed to postpone it. But 
there's no being aware of the roguery of those 
who live iti a camp. At last, got a sketch of our 
catnp from Beatson, not accurate, but sufficiently 
clear to prove we are very strongly posted. 

*' Tuesday^ 9th. — Visited the ordnance de- 
partment — rather in fear and' doubt of its state. 
Much pleased to find Lieutenant Colonel Carlisle 
quite confident he had a good report to make me 
of those articles he had not yet been able to 

" Gave some directions for the further security 
of the powder, and came away easier in my mind 
than I expected. 

" A letter from Tlppoo to me brought about 

" Its purport to inquire the meaning of the 

OF THE 8IBOE. 311 

advance of the English armies, and inclosing copy 
of Lord Mornington's letter, February 22nd. In- 
solent enough* — ^but, under Providence, I trust 
he will be humbled. 

'^Directed the chief engineer to give me a 
plan for the attack of the Fort without going on 
the Island, and another with possession of a 
certain part of it. Both regulated under the 
idea of our being established on both sides of the 

^' lOth. — Visited the chief engineer, and the 
village on the right, where Captain Mackenzie is 
making a post, and gave all the necessary direc- 
tions upon the necessity of exertion, and of 
distributing our working parties methodically. 
If this be not attended to, we shall be ruined. 

*^ llth. — ^Visited the whole rear of the encamp- 
ment; altered one picquet to a pagoda on the 
bank of the Cavery, with orders to communicate 
with Captain Schoey's picquets on its left, and 
prize agent's guard. This forms a complete chain 
of sentries round the rear, an extent of many 

^^I2th. — ^Employed Agnew and Beatson in 
ascertaining the ford on the Cavery, where 
General Abercromby passed in 1792, and Syden- 
ham to examine the ground from the river to the 

* This was the first notice be had taken of Lord Morning- 
ton's letter of the 22nd of February and the Declaration of the 


point proposed for Shawe's right, in order to 
prevent his coming round a march of some miles^ 
whereas the short cut is about a mile. 

" Wrote to Malcolm to send us a daily report 
of work done by his people ; no intimation from 

" Many of our young men complaining. James 
Lushington very ill in sick tope, when I imagined 
him gone with his corps to meet General Stuart. 
Had his tent pitched in the rear of mine. 

" I3th. — ^When the difficulties and delays at- 
tending the getting a large equipment out of a 
jungle are considered, and of these, we are tole- 
rable judges, we need not be uneasy, although 
General Floyd should not arrive before the 15th. 
But, knowing that all the enemy's horse are de- 
tached to annoy him, we cannot but be anxious. 
At the same time, there is eveiy moral certainty, 
they cannot do anything that will now impede 
the siege. 

" Visited Shawe's post ; much satisfied with 
the view of the western angle, as it proves there 
is plenty of ground to form on, clear of the river 
and rocks. 

^^A man of Captain Macleod's just come in 
from the Island. Reports that General Floyd's 
moving on the moiiiing of the 6th, gave him 
twenty-four hours' entire start of the enemy, and 
our attacking their posts the same day, took them 
in in every way. 


"Engineers and Beatson united in opinion 
on the point of attack. 

" Sunday, the \Ath. — ^l^'ook the 25th Dragoons 
and tlie 2nd Regiment of Cavahy, with a large 
party of Nizamites, to meet Floyd ; did not get in 
till past six, owing to the jaded state of the 

J have made these lengthened extracts from 
General Harris's Journal, in confirmation of the 
fact that he did himself conduct the details of 
his victorious army. On his return to camp with 
the Bombay army, he had the gratification of 
finding an hurkarrah, or native messenger, from 
the Governor-General, with the following letter in 
his own hand-writing. It was wi'itten on both 
sides of a very narrow slip of paper, and was sealed 
up in a quill, that the man to whom it was in- 
trusted might conceal it about his person in his 
journey through Tippoo's country, or swallow it, if 
necessity compelled him to do so. This precaution 
was adopted, because both Hyder and Tippoo were 
in the constant practice of ordering such mes- 
sengers to be hanged whenever they were found. 

" Gardens, Srd April, 1799. 
" My dear General, 

" I sincerely congi'atulate you on the com^ 
plete success of the 27th ultimo ; I trust that you 
will continue to prosper until you have effected 


your object ; I know you have experienced diffi- 
culties in moving your prodigious equipment ; but 
I trust you will have brought it to bear against 
Seringapatam before you can receive this note. All 
are well here, and satisfied with your conduct and 
happy in your success. Mrs. Harris is very well. 
I am delighted with our allies, the Nizamites. I 
imagine you do not now repent the detachment 
from the Central Division in August last. Do not 
allow Arthur to fatigue himself too much. I con- 
clude that you are all in good humour, as you 
have all done so well. 

Believe me always. 

Yours, most faithfully, 


The Journal of General Harris thus con- 
tinues : — 

" Got the Europeans in Shawe*s post covered 
from the sun and dews. 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Readers move towards 
the Caverypooram Pass is of the greatest conse- 

"A 24-pound beat shot fell in the cords 
of my dining tent ; supposed a range of 5,200 

" 15th. — No supplies for us with the Bombay 
army. Their supplies for themselves scarcely 
equal to ours. From a mortality amongst their 
bullocks, they have lost nearly 4,000. This is one 


of the Occidents of war which cannot be provided 

^^I6th. — Received the chief engineer's plan 
for the attack on the western angle of the Fort, 
and directed him to take care that no delay may 
occur in constructing the necessary works. Or- 
dered him to transmit to me regularly the number 
and nature of the working parties he would 
require, that every assistance in the power of the 
army might be given to accelerate the progress of 
the works. 

" I am sorry to add that this day, on measur- 
ing our rice to ascertain the exact quantity in 
store, we discovered that, from loss or fraud, the 
bags were so extremely deficient, that only eigh- 
teen days' rice, at half allowance, is in camp for 
the fighting men. 

"Unless Colonel Reade's supplies arrive be- 
fore the 6th of May, the army will be without 

" There is plenty in the Coorg country, but 
we have no means to convey or escort it hither. 

" But I hope to be in Seringapatam before the 
end of the month. 

^^17tk — Visited General Stuart and his out- 
posts ; much afraid he has not fifteen days' rice 
in the camp. Anxious times. Found the enemy 
very busy at work on the post we meant to seize 
for our battery. This determined me to make the 
attack as soon as possible. 


^*The party to consist of the 74th and 75th, 
and two battalions of Sepoys. Met the 74th on 
my return. Shook hands with George (his eldest 
son, now Lord Harris, then in the 74th) and bid 
him ^ do his duty.' " 

The more active operations of the siege com- 
menced from this time. At 4 p.m., a detachment 
of the Bombay army, consisting of His Majesty's 
75th Regiment, and two battalions of Sepoys, 
supported by the 74 th Regiment and a battalion 
from the main army, all under the command of 
Colonel Vaughan Hart, attacked and drove the 
enemy from their posts near the village of Agrar, 
on the north side of the river, with the greatest 
gallantry. The troops advanced under a severe 
cannonade, and took possession of the ruins of an 
old redoubt and village, about 900 yards distant 
from the east angle of the Fort. A breast-work 
was thrown up on the left of the ruins, which 
afforded good cover for the troops, and a battery 
for six IS-pounders completed in the course of 
the night, on the right of the redoubt, to enfilade 
the enemy's intrenchment on the south side of 
the river. This attack was supported by the 
fire of two 12-pounder8 from the right of Shawe's 

About the time of this attack, another was 
made on a nullah, called the Little Cavery, about 
500 yards in advance of Shawe's post, which was 


taken possession of by the 2nd Battalion 12th 
Regiment of Native Infantry, and hence called, 
from the name of the commandant, "Macdonald's 
Post." The nullah was filled with water by a 
dam joining the south bank of the river, and an 
island west of Montr6sor*s ; it ran parallel to the 
river, as far as the eastern extremity of Montr6- 
sor's Island, where it struck off, nearly at right 
angles, and afforded good cover for 600 yards. 
Hence, it took a turn to the Fort, and for a short 
distance was enfiladed. But it was afterwards 
secured, and used to cover the troops and the 
engineers' tools and materials. Upon the result 
of these attacks. General Harris noted in his 
Journal : 

"7 P.M. Success in all our attempts, and 
with very little loss. 

"18fA. — ^We have no other account of Colonel 
Reade, and none of Colonel Browne from any 
quarter ; this is extremely distressing. Distance 
of depot, weakness and want of cattle, and diffi* 
culty of sparing convoy sufficiently strong, render 
our large Coorg supplies of no immediate use. 

*^ 19/A. — ^Twenty-four years since the fight of 
Lexington. Disagreeable enough that was, but 
to our present situation it was ease and plenty, 
for Stuart sent his commissary, to acquaint me 
he had but two days' provision in camp for his 


^^ Ordered a quantity equal to eight days' con- 
sumption for his use, which leaves us, by Corner's 
report, sixteen, but this, allowing for casualties, 
should be called twelve, 

"20^A, 2lsL — ^Detailing the progress of the 

" 22nd. — We want only provisions and cattle 
at present. Of rice, we have collected, by various 
modes, enough to subsist our fighting men to the 
middle of May. 

*^ 23rd. — Made a special report to the Gover- 
nor-General on this subject. 

" 25th. — A violent storm of wind and rain last 
night ; the appearance of the weather very mon- 
soonish ; trust we shall not have more rain, or it 
will be next to impossible to get our guns into 
the batteries. Providence directs all things for 
the best; then let us bow down in humble re- 

^^ Friday y 26th. — Our new battery and the 
altered one opened, and very soon had every 
success expected. Ordered the men an extra 

^'Determined to attack the enemy's post in 
our front and right in the evening. 

'^ Disposition made and communicated to Col. 
Wellesley, who commanded in the trenches, with 
the 73rd Scotch Brigade, 2nd Battalion Bengal 
Volunteers, the 2nd Battalion 3rd Regiment Coast 

UPON THE enemy's FRONT. 319 

" 27th. — ^The attack had all the success pos- 
sible, but we have sustained more loss than usual." 

This operation was the most important of all 
that took place before the assault; it furnished 
the ground where the breaching batteries were to 
be erected, and when Tippoo discovered the posi- 
tion of our troops on the morning of the 27th, he 
made so violent an attack upon them from the 
guns of the Fort, and from the stone bridge, that 
Colonel Sherbrooke (as stated in General Harris's 
Journal) "was afraid he should not be able to 
sustain his right flank. Ordered to keep it to the 
last extremity ; succeeded, and all quiet from nine 
or thereabouts." 

As this was the last effort of any vigour made 
by Tippoo, it is worthy of being detailed. 

Colonel Wellesley's order for the attack was 
as follows : — 

" The troops are to move out in two divisions, 
one to the right from the four-gun batteiy, con- 
sisting of four companies of the 73rd Regiment, 
supported by four companies from the 2nd Bat- 
talion Bengal Volunteers, and commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Moneypenny ; the left division 
to consist of four companies of the Scotch Brigade, 
supported by four companies of the 2nd Battalion 
Bengal Volunteers, under the command of Major 

At the hour proposed the guns from our 


batteries comtneneed a heavy fire of grape, which 
was the signal for the attack. The Europeans 
then moved out, followed by the Native troops. 
The enemy, seeing this movement, began an active 
fire from behind their breastwork; guns from 
almost every part of the Fort opened upon our 
troops with great effect, and, by the time they 
had quitted the trenches, the fire of cannon and 
small arms was general. The companies from 
the 73rd Regiment and Scotch Brigade then 
pushed on with great rapidity to the enemy's 
works, who, seeing the determined spirit of Eng- 
lish troops, fled from their posts in great confusion 
and dismay ; but many fell by the bayonet while 
endeavouring to escape. 

The relief from the trenches, which was this 
evening commanded by Colonel Sherbrooke, had 
by this time arrived ; a part of the 74th Regiment, 
and the Regiment De Meuron, composed the 
Europeans of that relief, and were ordered imme- 
diately to advance to support the rest. These 
pushed on to the right of the attack. A heavy 
fire was continued from the ramparts, and by 
those of the enemy who had fled from the part of 
their intrenchments first attacked, and taken post 
behind the traverses more to the right; several 
made a desperate stand, and fell by the bayonet ; 
the Europeans dashed in, forcing the traverses in 
succession, until they had extended as far as the 
turn of the nullah towards the stone bridge. At 

UPON THE enemy's FRONT. 321 

this turn there is a redoubt, open to the south- 
east angle of the Fort, but which flanked a water- 
course running parallel and close to the intrench- 
ment that was carried. This redoubt was stormed 
by the 74th Regiment, and left in their possession, 
while Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, with a small 
party of that corps, and a few men from the Regi- 
ment De Meuron, pushed forward along the in- 
trenchments and the road, till he came to the 
bridge leading over the great river, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Wallace at the same time advancing con- 
siderably more to the right, till fearful of risking 
too many lives while acting in the dark, he pru- 
dently fell back, and took possession of the 
enemy's post at the stone bridge, on the road to 
Shawe'spost; but this post being too much de- 
tached from the main body of the troops, he 
withdrew the party left to defend it during the 

Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell crossed the 
bridge, and went some distance on the Island; 
but it was necessary to make an immediate retreat 
from that dangerous situation, and nothing but 
the night and the consternation of the enemy 
could have given the smallest chance for the party 
to escape. They returned under a heavy fire from 
all sides, and made their way back to .the redoubt, 
where Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace had taken post 
with the few of the 74th Regiment who had re- 
mained with him, and the rest of the troops whom 


he had placed to the left along the watercourse, 
which runs close to the intrenchment, and in this 
situation they remained all night, exposed to grape 
from the Fort, and galled by the musquetry from 
the ground on the right flank, and from the post 
at the stone bridge, which took them in the rear. 
The enemy continued firing grape and mus- 
quetiy at intervals the whole night ; at length the 
daylight appeared, and discovered both to us and 
to them the critical state of our men. Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Campbell having been crippled the 
preceding night by being barefooted during his 
excursion across the bridge, was obliged to return 
to camp, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace being 
next in command, he sent to inform Colonel 
Sherbrooke of their situation, and to request 
further support, as the enemy were collecting in 
great force on the right flank, and at the post 
they occupied near the stone bridge, from which 
they galJed our people in the rear to a great 
degree* Colonel Sherbrooke, on receiving this 
report., instantly ordered all the Europeans who 
had remained in the trenches to advance to 
Colonel Wallace's post, and each man to take with 
him a pickaxe, or momitie*. Colonel Wallace, in 
the mean time, seeing the necessity of dislodging 

* A sort of spade, used througliout India in the removal of 
eartby and very efficient in the hands of those who are accus- 
tomed to it. It is chieflj employed in the formation of those 
magnificent reservoirs for water, to which the Peninsula owes 
its fertility. 


the enemy from the bridge, ordered Major Skelly, 
with a few men of the Scotch Brigade, to move 
down and attack that post. He was followed by 
a company from that regiment, and soon got pos* 

The Europeans had by this time arrived from 
the trenches, and by their exertion and the assist- 
ance of the pioneers, an intrenchment was thrown 
np and completed by ten o'clock ; but from the 
dawn of day to that hour continued efforts were 
made by the garrison to regain what had been 
lost, but in vain. The determined bravery of our 
troops baffled all their endeavours. The post 
gained at the bridge secured the rear of the other, 
and presented a new front to the enemy ; it was 
strengthened by another company from the 74th 
Regiment and two companies of Sepoys, and in a 
short time the whole of them were under cover. 

The loss on this occasion was great. Two 
officers and 60 men killed, 10 officers and 216 
men wounded ; 19 men also missing ; altogether, 
killed, wounded, and missing, 307 officers and 

Y 2 



The breaching batteries open with great effect — Report from 
Colonel Wellesley, commanding officer in the trenches — 
General Harris resolves to storm the Fort next day — Com- 
municates his intention to General Stuart — ^That officers 
answer — General Baird appointed to command the troops in 
the assault. — ^His instructions. — ^Seringapatam falls. — ^Tippoo 
killed in the assault with thousands of his troops. 

From this time the operations of the siege went 
vigorously forward with very little disturbance 
from the enemy. A breaching battery for six 
guns, built on the 28th at night, was opened on 
the 30th in the morning, and in the course of the 
day demolished part of the outer wall of the west 
angle of the Fort, considerably shaking the ma- 
sonry of the bastion within. On the 1st General 
Harris reported to the Governor-General that the 
fire of this battery had continued with increased 
effect, that an additional battery, constructed the 
preceding night, was to be opened on the 2nd, 
and that he anticipated early possession of the 
fortress. His journal states that the last battery 
opened with such effect, that Tippoo did every 
thing in his power to repair the first breach, not- 
withstanding the fire kept up, and that he suc- 
ceeded in some measure, because the working 
of our people in front preparatory to the assault. 


prevented the firing of grape shot upon the 
breach ; but on the morning of the 3rd Colonel 
Wellesley reported the completion of this work in 
the following letter. 

"To Lieutenant- General Harris, 

"7 A.M., 3r<f i/oty. 

" My dear Sir, 

"We did all our work last night, except 
filling the sand bags, which could not be done 
for want of tools. I shall have them filled in the 
course of this morning, and there will be no in- 
convenience from the delay, as it was not deemed 
advisable last night to do more than look for the 
ford ; and it is not intended to do any thing to it 
until the night before it is to be used. 

" Lieutenant Lalor, of the 73rd, crossed over 
to the glacis. On the left of the breach, he 
found the wall which he believes to be the 
retaining wall of the glacis, seven feet high, and 
the water (included in those seven feet) fourteen 
inches deep. It is in no part more so, and the 
passage by no means difficult. Several other 
officers crossed by different routes, but none went 
so far as Lieutenant Lalor. All agree in the 
practicability of crossing with troops. The enemy 
built up the breach in the night with gabions, 
&c., notwithstanding the fire which was kept 
upon it. It was impossible to fire grape, as our 
working party was in front of the six-gun battery/ 


Irom which alone we could fire as we repaired the 

<^ lieatenant Lalor is now on duty here with 
his regiment^ but if you wish it, he will remain 
here to-night, and try the river again. 
I am, &c., 

Arthur Wellesley," 

General Harris, being now satisfied that the 
breach would be practicable next day, immedi- 
ately proceeded to settle with General Stuart 
what portion of the Bombay army should be 
raiployed in the storm, and in the course of the 
day received the following letter from that gallant 

<' ard May^ ial/foit 10 o'clock. 
" My dear General, 

^ Our European flank companies are formed 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlop, and our Se- 
poys are likewise formed under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Mignard, both esteemed good officers. 
The whole will consist of upwards of 1,200 men, 
including non-commissioned officers, and are the 
whole of the flank companies of the Bombay 
army. It required both the flank companies of 
our Sepoy corps to make up one of the present 
establishment. These troops are in camp ready 
to move when ordered. Our detail at the ad- 
vanced post is reduced to 300 Europeans and 


about 800 Sepoys, for which, with our picquets 
(which are also reduced to the lowest possible 
number), we have not quite or about a relief. 
But this is of little consequence, as it cannot now 
last long. Should your commissary send any 
refreshments for your European troops employed 
in the assault, it would be well he sent for ours 
also (644 men), in case ours should not arrive in 
time ; besides, it would be well that both armies 
received it at the same time. I have ordered our 
troops, besides the twenty-four rounds of ammu- 
nition in their pouches, to carry twelve spare 
rounds in boxes. Surgeons likewise attend them. 
I am, my dear General, 
Ever and most sincerely yours, 

J. Stuart." 

Major-General Baird having been already in- 
formed that the Commander-in-Chief had deter- 
mined that he should command the troops em- 
ployed in the assault, was now sent for to receive 
his instructions. The detail of the forces to be 
placed under him, and the manner in which the 
assault was to be made, were fully explained to 


The Commander-in-Chief instructed Major- 
General Baird to make the capture of the ram- 
parts his first object; with this view, the force 
placed under his command would be divided into 
two columns, one to move along the north^n 


rampart, under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dunlop, the other column to be com- 
manded by Colonel Sherbrooke, and to proceed 
along the southern rampart until the two columns 
joined on the east face, thus making the entire 
circuit of the rampart before they descended into 
the town, for the attack of the enemy's troops in 
the town, if this should be necessary, or of such 
of the cavaliers as might not be seized at the first 
onset. To prevent all confusion or delay at the 
time fixed for the assault, and to conceal the in- 
tended attack as much as possible, the different 
corps were to proceed to the trenches at such 
hours during the night, and in such succession, as 
should place them in the trenches agreeably to 
the order in which they were to march to the 
assault. Thus every officer and man would pre- 
viously know his place, and be ready to move out 
of the trenches when the signal was given. This 
was the plan formed for the assault by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and official orders to this effect 
were delivered to Major-General Baird by Co- 
lonel Close, afterwards Sir Barry Close, the dis- 
tinguished Adjutant-General of the army, as 
follows : — 

"To Major-Gbneral Baird. 

"Sir, . 

"You have been informed by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief that he proposes placing; you in 


the command of the troops which are to assault 
the Fort of Seringapatam, 

" A statement of the troops intended for this 
service is by his desire enclosed*. He wishes the 
whole to be lodged in the trenches during this 
night, in the order detailed in the enclosure^ from 
which you will perceive that the European flank 
companies, from the division under Lioutenant- 
General Stuart, are to lead the attack. Of the 
troops destined for the supporting party in the 
trenches, the 2nd battalion, 5th Regiment, is to 
be ordered from camp ; it Will be on the general 
parade at three o'clock, and there wait to receive 
your orders. The whole of the troops for the 
assault will be placed under your orders this 
evening, and you will be pleased to direct the 
different corps to proceed to the trenches at such 
hours during the night, and in such succession, 
as will place them in the trenches agreeably to 
the order prescribed, a little before daybreak. 

*^ Colonel Sherbrooke, coming on the duty of 
a general officer of the trenches, will be directed 
to obey such instructions as you may have occa- 
sion to send him relative to the movement, or 
disposition, of the troops in the trenches. 

* Abstract of the Force. 
Europeans . . . • . 2594 
Naiiyes 1882 

Total . . 4476 

See the detail in the Appendix, and also a Return of the killed 
and wounded in each of the attacking columns. 


" When the whole of the troops intended for 
the assault have left camp^ you will report on the 
subject to the Commander-in-Chief, who will 
then give you his further instructions. 
I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your very obedient servant, 

Barry Close, 
" Bead Quarters, A dj.-Gm. of Os Army." 

Camp before Serinffapatamy 
^d May, 1799." 

" Enclosure. 

^^ Dispontion of the Troops ordered for the Assault of the Fort of 
Seringapatamy on the 4th May, 1799, under the command of 
Major-Genebal Baird. 

^' Left attack, under Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlop, to consist 
of six companies of European flankers from the Bombay army. 

" His Majesty's 12th Regiment. 
„ 33rd do. 

^^ Ten companies of Bengal Sepoy flankers, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Oardiner. 

" Fifty artillerymen, with a proportion of Gun Lascars, under 
Captain Prescott. 

" To move in column, left in front. 

^* To take possession of the cavalier, close to the breach, and 
move along the north rampart of the Fort ; to proceed till they 
join the right attack, leaving a battalion company of the 33rd 
Regiment in charge of the cavalier already mentioned, close to 
the breach, and occupying such other parts on the ramparts, by 
detachments from the 12th and 33rd Regiments, as shall be 
thought necessary by Lieutenant*Colonel Dunlop. 

^' Right attack under Colonel Sherbrooke, to consist of four 
companies of European flankers, from the Scotch Brigade and 
Regiment de Meuron. 


'* His Majesty's 73rd Regiment. 
„ 74th do. 

*' Eight companies of the Coast Sepoy flankers, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple. 

'^ Six companies of Bombay Sepoy flankieis, under Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Mignard. 

^^ Fifty artillerymen, with a proportion of Qun Lascars, under 
Major Bell. 

" To move in column, right in front. 

"To move along the south rampart of the Fort, leaving such 
parties as may be thought necessary by Colonel Sherbrooke, from 
the 73rd or 74th Regiments in charge of such parts of the ram- 
parts as he may deem it essentially necessary to occupy. 

" Half of the European and half of the Native pioneers to 
accompany each attack with hatchets : the European pioneers to 
carry the scaling ladders, assisted by forty men from the bat- 
talion companies of each of the leading regiments; the Native 
pioneers to carry a proportion of fascines. 

" If the road across the river and the breach shall be deemed 
sufficiently broad, the two attacks to move out to the assault at 
the same moment ; on coming to the top of the breach, they are 
to wheel to the right and left, so as to get on the face they are 
ordered to move on ; but if the road and breach are too narrow, 
the left attack is to move out first. The leading companies of 
each attack to use the bayonet principally, and not to fire but 
in cases of absolute necessity. 

"Each attack to be preceded by a Serjeant and twelve 
volunteers, supported by a subaltern officer and twenty-five 

" The leading flank companies of each attack to be provided 
with hand-hatchets. 

Barrt Close, Adj.^Gm" 

Major-General Baird engaged with his wonted 
ardour in a duty so congenial to his gallant 
nature, and before the morning dawned, all the 


troops ordered for the assault wel'e quietly lodged 
in the trenches. 

A heavy fire had been kept up all night from 
our batteries, which prevented the enemy doing 
anything at the breach, and at daylight it was 
I'eported by the chief engineer to be practicable. 
Every preparation having been thus made, and no 
extraordinary movement on the part of the enemy 
having indicated their expectation of the assault, 
all were eager for the signal. The hour appointed 
by the Commander-in-Chief for the storm, one 
o'clock, had nearly arrived, when, a little before 
this time, while General Harris was sitting alone 
in his tent, anxiously reflecting upon the course 
he had resolved upon, if the Sultaun should suc- 
ceed in beating off^ the first assailants. Captain 
Malcolm (afterwards Sir John Malcolm) came 
into his tent, and seeing him full of thought, 
cheerily exclaimed, " Why, my Lord, so thought- 
ful?" "Malcolm," said the General sternly, 
" this is no time for compliments : we have 
serious work on hand ; don't you see that the 
European sentry over my tent is so weak from 
want of food, and exhaustion, that a Sepoy could 
push him down — ^we must take this fort, or 
perish in the attempt. I have ordered General 
Baird to persevere in his attack to the last extre- 
mity; if he is beat off, Wellesley is to proceed 
with the troops from the trenches: if he also 
should not succeed, I shall put myself at the head 


of the remainder of the army, for success is neces- 
sary to our existence*." 

The important moment of the assault had now 
arrived; at half-past one o'clock General Baird 
stepped out of the trenches, drew his sword, and 
gallaptly exclaimed, *^Now, my brave fellows, 
follow me, and prove yourselves worthy of the 
name of British soldiers." 

The jflank companies instantly rushed out of 
the trenches, followed by the supporting corps, 
and, under the cover of a heavy fire from our bat- 
teries, entered and crossed the river, assailed by 
rockets and musquetry from the Fort. The for- 
lorn hope of each attack consisted of a Serjeant 
and twelve Europeans, who were followed by two 
subaltern's parties ; that of the right column was 
commanded by Lieutenant Hill, of the 74th Re- 
giment, that of the left by Lieutenant Law- 
rence, of the 77th Regiment. The forlorn hope 
was accompanied also by John Best, (of whom I 
have before made mention,) who could not be 
restrained by his former master, the Gommander- 
in-Chief, from joining in this perilous service. He 
was severely'%vounded in tbe bed of the river, but 
sat on a rock cheering the flank companies of the 
two attacks as they passed headed by Colonel 
Sherbrooke and Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlop. A 

* This anccdoto was told to nie in 1813 by Sir J. ^Malcolm, 
and amongst the late Lord Harris's papers I found a letter of 
mine reminding him of it. 


brigade of engineers^ under Captain Caldwell, now 
Sir James Lillyman Caldwell, an officer of distin- 
guished science and gallantry, accompanied the 
storming party, but he also was wounded in 
crossing the river. Both the attacking parties 
ascended the glacis and the breaches in the 
faussebraye together. Some opposition was made, 
but the enemy were soon repulsed or cut down. 
In six minutes the forlorn hope, closely followed 
by the front companies of the two divisions, 
reached the summit of the breach, where the Bri- 
tish colours were instantly displayed. This was, 
indeed, a glorious sight. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Dunlop was here wounded in the hand, and was 
obliged to remain behind from loss of blood. 
General Baird having ascended with the flank 
companies of the right attack was now on the 
ramparts, when the leading companies of the two 
divisions took their respective routes along the 
northeiTi and southern ramparts, succeeded by 
the other troops who were yet under a heavy fire 
while crossing the river. 

The right attack under Colonel Sherbrooke 
marched rapidly forwavd on the southern rampart, 
according to the order prescribed by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief for the asssault, and met with 
little opposition until they came to the Mysore 
gateway, when a large body of the enemy endea- 
voured to oppose their getting within the interior 
rampart, but they were driven out with great 


slaughter. Lieutenant Shawe fell here, and a 
number of Europeans were killed and wounded. 
Having forced the gateway, Colonel Sherbrooke 
continued his march, and gained possession of all 
the rest of the cavaliers with v^iy inconsiderable 
loss, hoisting the British colours as he went along 
as signals of success and victory. 

The flank companies of the European corps 
on the other attack meeting with more resistance, 
their progress was much slower; some of the 
traverses were obstinately defended, for Tippoo 
himself was here present, and led on that fire, by 
which their front was frequently brought to a 
stand. But a part of the 12th Regiment having 
got across the ditch, found its way within the 
parapet where the enemy were posted, and drove 
them out ; their fire, and that of the companies 
in front of the left, soon cleared the rampart, and 
the fugitives who were not shot or drowned in the 
ditch crowded into a gateway. Before they had 
time to get ofl', they were met by part of the 
12th Regiment, and between their fire and that 
of the troops on the main rampart multitudes lost 
their lives. The two divisions, as they respec- 
tively passed along the north and south ram- 
parts, overcame all opposition, destroying those 
within their reach. Neither oflScers nor men knew 
when they could with safety arrest the hand of 
victory, for both had been taught, by mournful 
experience, that there was no hope of mercy from 

336 MAJOR Allan's mission 

Tippoo, or of peace with him, or those under his 
command, whilst his power and life remained. The 
path of the soldiers was therefore destructive and 
sanguinaiy. Thousands fell by their hands — 
indeed, the carnage did not cease, until the two 
divisions joined on the eastern rampart. All re- 
sistance was here at an end, for the whole works 
of the fortress were now in possession of our 
troops: nothing remained to be taken but the 
palace of Tippoo. Here the utmost confusion 
prevailed ; for the family of the Sultaun knew not 
what had befallen him since he left them in the 
morning. A report had, indeed been brought to 
the killedar that he had been shot, and was lying 
dead under one of the gateways ; but whilst un- 
certain of his destiny, they did not dai-e to open 
the gates of the palace without his permission. 
For themselves, too, they feared a dreadful retali- 
ation from our soldiers, in consequence of the 
cold-blooded murder, by Tippoo's express orders, 
a few days before, of twelve of the grenadiers of 
the 33rd Regiment who had fallen into his hands ; 
much address was therefore required to calm their 
apprehensions, and induce them to open the gates 
of the palace to the British troops^ who were 
drawn up on the outside prepared either to storm 
the walls, or to take peaceful possession. 

Happily the person employed by General 
Baird upon this duty was pre-eminently fitted to 
perform it with success. Major Allan (aftei-wards 


Sir Alexander Allan,) of whom the Commander- 
in-Chief speaks, in his account of the battle of 
Mallavelly, as delighting him by his animation, 
was deputed on this service. Nature had given 
to Major Allan a heart, a form, and a countenance 
admirably fitted for this humane duty. He had, 
besides, learned and practised his profession under 
the eyes of Medows and Cornwallis. Medows had 
taught him that *^an enemy conquered is an 
enemy no more," and the whole career of I^ord 
Cornwallis in India was a beautiful illustration of 
that divine precept which teaches us 

That earthly power does then shine likest God's^ 
"When mercy seasons justice. 

Major Allan performed this duty in the manner 
thus simply and modestly described by himself: 
— " Having fastened a white cloth on a sergeant's 
pike, I proceeded to the palace, where I found 
Major Shee and part of the 33rd Regiment drawn 
up opposite the gate ; several of Tippoo's people 
were in a balcony, apparently in great consterna- 
tion. I informed them that I was deputed by the 
General, who commanded the troops in the Fort, 
to offer them their lives, provided they did not 
make resistance, of which I desired them to give 
immediate intimation to their Sultaun. In a 
short time the killedar, another officer of conse- 
quence, and a confidential servant, came over the 
terrace of the front building, and descended 
by an unfinished part of the wall. They were 


338 MAJOR Allan's mission 

greatly embarrassed, and . appeared inclined to 
create delays, probably with a view of effecting 
their escape as soon as the darkness of the night 
should afford them an opportunity. I pointed 
out the danger of their situation, and the neces- 
sity of coming to an immediate determination, 
pledging myself for their protection, and propos- 
ing that they should allow me to go into the 
palace, that I might in person give these assur* 
ances to Tippoo. They were very averse to this 
proposal, but I positively insisted on returning 
with them. I desired Captain Scohey, who speaks 
the native languages with great fluency, to accom- 
pany me and Captain Hastings Fraser. We 
ascended by the broken wall, and lowered our- 
selves down on a terrace, where a large body of 
armed men were assembled. I explained to them 
that the flag which I held in my hand was a 
pledge of security, provided no resistance was 
made ; and the stronger to impress them ;with 
this belief, I took off* my sword, which I insisted 
on their receiving. The killedar and many others 
affirmed that the princes and the family of Tippoo 
were in the palace, but not the Sultaun. They 
appeared greatly alarmed, and averse to coming to 
any decision. I told them that delay might be 
attended with fatal consequences, and that I could 
not answer for the conduct of our troops by whom 
they were surrounded, and whose fury was with 
difficulty restrained. They then left me, and 


shortly after I obsei-ved people moving hastily 
backwards and forwards in the interior of the 
palace: I began to think our situation rather 
critical. I was advised to take back my sword, 
but such an act on my part might, by exciting 
their distrust, have kindled a flame which, in the 
present temper of the troops, might have been 
attended with the most dreadful consequences — 
probably the massacre of every soul within the 
palace walls. The people on the terrace begged 
me to hold the flag in a conspicuous position, in 
order to give confidence to those in the palace, 
and prevent our troops from forcing the gates. 
Growing impatient at these delays, I sent another 
message to the princes, waraing them of their 
critical situation, and that my time was limited. 
They answered, they would receive me as soon as 
a carpet could be spread for the purpose, and 
soon after the killedar came to conduct me. 

" I found two of the princes on the carpet, 
surrounded by a great many attendants. They 
desired me to sit down, which I did in front of 
them. The recollection of Moize U'Deen, who, 
on a former occasion, I had seen delivered up, with 
his brother, hostages to Marquis Cornwallis, the 
sad reverse of their fortunes, their fear, which, 
notwithstanding their struggles to conceal, was 
but too evident, excited the strongest emotions of 
compassion in my mind. I took Moize U'Deen (to 
whom the killedar, &c,, principally directed their 

Z 2 

340 MAJOR Allan's mission 

attention) by the hand^ and endeavoured, by every 
mode in my power, to remove his fears, and to 
persuade him that no violence should be offered 
to him or his brother, nor to any person in the 
palace. I then entreated him, as the only means 
to preserve his father's life', whose escape was 
impracticable, to inform me of the spot where he 
was concealed. Moize U'Deen, after some conver- 
sation apart with his attendants, assured me that 
the Padshah was not in the palace. I requested 
him to allow the gates to be opened. All were 
alarmed at this proposal, and the princes were 
reluctant to take such a step, but by the authority 
of their father, to whom they desired to send. At 
length, however, having promised that I would 
post a guard of their own Sepoys within, and a 
party of Europeans on the outside, and having 
given them the strongest assurances that no 
person should enter the palace but by my autho- 
rity, and that I would return and remain with 
them until General Baird arrived, I convinced 
them of the necessity of compliance, and I was 
happy to observe that the princes, as well as their 
attendants, appeared to rely with confidence on 
the assurances I had given them. 

" On opening the gate, I found General Baird 
and several officers, with a large body of troops 
assembled. I returned with Lieutenant-Colonel 
Close into the palace for the purpose of bringing 
the princes to the General. We had some diffi- 


culty in conquering the alarm and objections 
which they raised to quitting the palace; but 
they at length permitted us to conduct them to 
the gate. The indignation of General Baird was 
justly excited by a report which had reached him 
soon after he had sent me to the palace, that 
Tippoo had inhumanly murdered all the Euro- 
peans who had fallen into his hands during the 
siege ; this was heightened, probably, by a mo- 
mentary recollection of his own sufferings during 
more than three years' imprisonment in that very 
place : he was, nevertheless, sensibly affected by 
the sight of the princes, and his gallantry on the 
assault was not more conspicuous, than the mo- 
deration and humanity which he displayed on this 
occasion. He received the princes with every 
mark of regard, repeatedly assured them that no 
violence or insult should be offered to them, and 
he gave them in charge to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Agnew and Captain Marriott, by whom they were 
conducted to head-quarters in camp, escorted by 
the light company of the 33rd Regiment; as 
they passed, the troops were ordered to pay them 
the compliment of presenting arms. 

" General Baird now determined to search the 
most retired parts of the palace, in the hope of 
finding Tippoo. He ordered the light company 
of the 74th Regiment, followed by others, to enter 
the palace-yard. Tippoo's troops were immedi- 
ately disarmed, and we proceeded to make the 


search through many of the apartments. Having 
entreated the killedar, if he had any regard for 
his own life^ or that of his Sultaun, to inform us 
where he was concealed^ he put his hands upon 
the hilt of my sword^ and in the most solemn 
manner protested that the Sultaun was not in the 
palace, but that he had been wounded during the 
storm, and lay in a gateway on the north face of 
the Fort, whither he offered to conduct us, and if 
it was found that he had deceived us, said the 
General might inflict on him what punishment be 
pleased. General Baird, on hearing the report of 
the killedar, proceeded to the gateway, which 
was covered with many hundreds of the slain. 
The number of the dead and the darkness of the 
place made it difficult to distinguish one person 
from another, and the scene was altogether 
shocking; but aware of the great political impor- 
tance of ascertaining, beyond the possibility of 
doubt, the death of Tippoo, the bodies were 
ordered to be dragged out, and the killedar and 
the other two persons were desired to examine 
them one after another. This, however, appeared 
endless, and as it was now becoming dark, a light 
was procured, and I accompanied the killedar 
into the gateway. During the search, we disco- 
vered a wounded person lying under the Sultaun*s 
palanquin; this man was afterwards ascertained 
to be Rajah Cawn, one of Tippoo's confidential 
servants; he had attended his master during the 


OF Tippoo, 343 

whole of the day, and on being made acquainted 
with the object of our search, he pointed out the 
spot where the Sultaun had fallen. By a faint 
glimmering light it was difficult for the killedar 
to recognise the features, but the body being 
brought out, and satisfactorily proved to be that 
of the Sultaun, was conveyed in a palanquin to 
the palace, where it was again recognised by the 
eunuchs and other servants of the family. 

" When Tippoo was brought from under the 
gateway, his eyes were open, and the body was so 
warm, that for a few moments. Colonel Wellesley 
and myself were doubtful whether he was not 
alive. On feeling his pulse and heart, that doubt 
was removed. He had four wounds, three in the 
body, and one in the temple, the ball having 
entered a little above the right ear, and lodged in 
the cheek. His dress consisted of a jacket of 
fine white linen, loose drawers of flowered chintz, 
with a crimson cloth of silk and cotton round his 
waist ; a handsome pouch, with a red and green 
silk belt hung across his shoulder, his head 
was uncovered, his turban being lost in the con- 
fusion of his fall ; he had an amulet on his arm, 
but no ornament whatever. 

"Tippoo was of low stature, corpulent, with 
high shoulders, and a short thick neck, but his 
feet and hands were remarkably small, his com- 
plexion was rather dark, his eyes large and pro- 
minent, with small arched eye-brows, and his 


nose aquiline : he had an appearance of dignity, 
or perhaps of sternness, in his countenance, which 
distinguished him above the common order of 

The fact of the Sultan's death having been 
thus established beyond all doubt, Major-General 
Baird immediately directed Major Beatson to 
communicate to the Commander-in-Chief his 
request, that himself and the storming party 
might be relieved that night, as they were much 
fatigued with the labours of that important 
day. Major Beatson, accordingly, hastened to 
convey the Major-General's request to head- 
quarters, and General Harris at once directed 
the Deputy Adjutant-General, Major Turing, who 
was sitting in his tent, to put the oflScer next for 
duty in orders, to relieve Major-General Baird, 
and Colonel Wellesley being that oflScer, pro- 
ceeded into the Fort for this purpose early the 
next morning. 

General Harris wrote to the Governor-General 
that night the following laconic letter. 

" To the Earl of Mornington. 

^" Campy Serin^apatam, 4th Mayy 1799. 

" My Lord, 

" I have the pleasure to announce to you, 
that this day at one o'clock, a division of the 
army under my command assaulted Seringapa- 
tam, and that at half-past two, the place was 


entirely in our possession. Tippoo Sultaun fell 
in the assault. Two of his sons, the Sultaun 
P^shah and Moize U' Deen, are prisoners, with 
many of the principal sirdars. Our loss is trifling, 
and our success has been complete. I will for- 
ward to your Lordship details hereafter. 
I have the honour to be, 

With the highest respect. 
Yours, &c. 

George Harris." 

The body of the Sultaun was buried the next 
day, with military honours, in the mausoleum of 
his father, and a violent storm of thunder and 
lightning, which destroyed several Europeans and 
natives, gave an awful interest to the last solemn 
rites paid to a tyrant, whose life had been a con- 
tinued career of ambition and cruelty. His 
treaties with the French Directory, his intended 
plan of co-operation with Buonaparte, then in 
Egypt, with Zemaun Shah, the King of Cabul, the 
Mahrattahs, and other Indian powers, for the 
avowed purpose of driving the English from the 
land, all came to light, and confirmed the impres- 
sions which had been so long entertained of him. 
They all proved that his enmity to us was like 
that which the son of Hamilcar had sworn against 
the Romans, and ceased only with his life. 

On the 7th, General Harris dispatched the 
following letter. 


" To the Earl of Mornington. 

'^ My Lord, 

" On the 4th instant, I had the honour to 
address to your Lordship a hasty note, containing 
in a few words the sura of our success, which I 
have now to report more in detail. 

" The fire of our batteries, which had begun 
to batter in breach on the 30th of April, had on 
the 3rd instant so much destroyed the walls 
against which it was directed, that the arrange- 
ment was then made for assaulting the place on 
the following day, when the breach was reported 

" The troops intended to be employed, were 
stationed in the trenches early in the morning of 
the 4th, that no extraordinary movement might 
lead the enemy to expect the assault ; which I 
had determined to make in the heat of the day, 
the time best calculated to ensure success, as 
their troops would then be least prepared to 
oppose us. 

"The flank companies of Europeans taken 
from those regiments necessarily left to guard 
our camps and out-posts, followed by the 12th, 
33rd, 73rd, and 74th Regiments, and three corps 
of Sepoy grenadiers, taken from the troops of the 
three Presidencies, with 200 of his Highness the 
Nizam's infantry, formed the party for the as- 
sault, accompanied by 100 artillery and the 


corps of pioneers, and supported in the trenches 
by the battalion companies of the regiment De 
Meuron, and four battalions of Madras Sepoys. 
Colonel Sherbrooke, and Lieutenant-Colonels 
Dunlop, Dalrymple, Gardner, and Mignard, com- 
manded the several flank corps ; and Major- 
General Baird was entrusted with the direction 
of this important service. 

" At one o'clock the troops moved from the 
trenches, crossed the rocky bed of the Cavery 
under an extremely heavy fire, passed the glacis 
and ditch, and ascended the breaches in the 
faussebraye and rampart of the Fort ; sur- 
mounting in the most gallant manner every 
obstacle which the difficulty of the passage and 
resistance of the enemy presented to oppose their 
progress. Major-General Baird had divided his 
force for the purpose of clearing the ramparts to 
the right and left*. One division was commanded 
by Colonel Sherbrooke, the other by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dunlop : the latter was disabled in the 
breach, but both corps, although strongly op- 
posed, were completely successful. Resistance 
continued to be made from the palace of Tippoo, 
for some time after all firing had ceased from the 
works. Two of his sons were there, who, on 

* According to the Commander-in-Chiers instructions, as 
detailed in the Adjutant- Oeneral's letter to General Baird, of 
the preceding day. 


assurance of safety, surrendered to the troops 
surrounding them, and guards were placed for 
the protection of the family, most of whom were 
in the palace. It was soon after reported that 
Tippoo Sultaun had fallen. Syed Saheb, Meer 
Sadeck, Syed Goffar, and many others of his 
chiefs, were also slain. Measures were immedi- 
ately adopted to stop the confusion, at first una- 
voidable, in a city strongly garrisoned, crowded 
with inhabitants, and their property in ruins from 
the fire of a numerous artillery, and taken by 
assault. The princes were removed to camp. 

" It appeared to Major-General Baird so im- 
portant to ascertain the fate of the Sultaun, that 
he caused immediate search to be made for his 
body, which, after much difficulty, was found late 
in the evening in one of the gates, under a heap 
of slain, and placed in the palace; the corpse was, 
the next day, recognised by many of his family, 
and interred with the honours due to his rank, in 
the mausoleum of his father. 

" The strength of the Fort is such, both from 
its natural position and the stupendous works by 
which it was surrounded, that all the exertions 
of the brave troops who attacked it, in whose 
praise it is impossible to say too much, were re- 
quired to place it in our hands. Of the merits of 
the army I have expressed my opinion in orders, 
a copy of which I shall forward to-morrow, — 


and I trust your Lordship will point out their 
services to the favourable notice of their King 
and country. 

"I am sorry to add, that on collecting the 
returns of our loss, it is found to be much heavier 
than I had at first imagined. An accurate state- 
ment shall be sent to-morrow. 

" On the 5th instant, Abdul Khallik, the elder 
of the princes, formerly hostages with Lord 
Cornwallis, surrendered himself at our outposts, 
demanding protection; Kereem Saheb, the bro- 
ther of Tippoo Sultaun, had before sought refuge 
with Meer AUum Bahadur. A cowl-nameh * 
was yesterday dispatched to Futteh Hyder, the 
eldest son of Tippoo, inviting him to join his 
brothers. Poorniah and Meer Cummur-ud-Deen 
Khan have also been summoned to Seringapa- 
tam. No answers have yet been received, but I 
expect them shortly, as their families are in the 

" This moment Ali Reza, formerly one of the 
vakeels from Tippoo Sultaun to Lord Cornwallis, 
has arrived from Meer Cummur-ud-Deen Khan, 
to ask my orders for 4,000 horse now under his 
command. Ali Reza was commissioned to de- 
clare that Meer Cummur-ud-Deen Khan would 
make no conditions, but rely on the generosity of 
the English entirely. He desired merely to state 

* A passport. 


that his title to the jaghire of Gurrumcondah 
was well known, as was his family and character. 
If these, and his connexion with the unfortunate 
family of the late Tippoo Sultaun, should ^give 
him a claim to this ancient possession of his 
house, his obligation would bind him ever to 
the British interests. If this could not be granted 
to him, he hoped he might obtain permission to 
retire with his family to Hyderabad. On this 
subject I have promised to ask your Lordship's 
pleasure ; — he will shortly arrive, and as the army 
of the late Sultaun look up chiefly to him, I hope, 
through his means, to be enabled at once to 
restore tranquility. 

" Monsieur Chapuy, and most of the French, 
are prisoners. They have commissions from the 
French Government. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Geo. Harris." 

« Serin^apatam, 1th May, 1799.'* 

"General Order. 
" Camp at Seringapatamy 5th May^ 1799. 

"The Commander-in-Chief congratulates 
the gallant army which he has the honour to 
command, on the conquest of yesterday. The 
effects arising from the attainment of such an 
acquisition, as far exceed the present limits of 
detail, as the unremitting zeal, labour^ and unpa- 


ralleled valour of the troops surpass his powers 
of praise. For sei-vices so incalculable in their 
consequences, he must consider the army as well 
entitled to the applause and gratitude of their 
country at large. 

"While Lieutenant-General Harris sincerely 
laments the loss sustained in the valuable officers 
and men who fell in the attack, he cannot omit to 
return his thanks in the warmest terms to Major- 
General Baird, for the decided and able manner 
in which he conducted the assault, and the hu- 
mane measures which he subsequently adopted 
for preserving order and regularity in the place. 
He requests that Major- General Baird will com- 
municate to the officers and men, who on that 
great occasion acted under his command, the 
high sense which he must ever entertain of their 
achievements and merits. 

"The Commander-in-Chief requests that Col. 
Gent, and the corps of Engineers under his com- 
mand, will accept his thanks for their unremitting 
exertions in conducting the duties of that very 
important department ; and his best acknow- 
ledgments are due to Major Beatson for the 
essential assistance given to this branch of the 
service by the constant exertions of his ability 
and zeal. 

" The merit of the Artillery corps is so strongly 
expressed by the effects of their fire, that the 
Commander-in-Chief can only desire Colonel 


Smith to assure the officers and men of the ex- 
cellent corps under his command that he feels 
most fully their claim to approbation. In thus 
pul)licly expressing his sense of the good conduct 
of the army, the Commander-in-Chief finds him- 
self called upon to notice in the most particular 
manner the exertions of Captain Dowse and his 
corps of pioneers, which during the present service 
have been equally marked by unremitting labour, 
and the ability with which that labour was 

" On referring to the progress of the siege, so 
many occasions have occurred for applause to the 
troops, that it is difficult to particularise individual 
merit ; but the gallant manner in which Lieut.- 
Colonel Shawe, the Hon. Colonel Wellesley, Lieut. - 
Colonel Moneypenny, the Hon. Lieut.- Colonel St. 
John, Major M'Donald, Major Skelly, and Lieut.- 
Colonel Wallace, conducted the attacks entnisted 
to their guidance on the several outworks and 
posts of the enemy, demand to be recorded, and 
the very spirited attack led by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Campbell, of His Majesty's 74th Regiment, which 
tended so greatly to secure the position our troops 
had attained in the enemy's works on the 26th 
ultimo, claim the strongest approbation of the 

"The important part taken by the Bombay 
anny from the commencement of the siege in all 
the operations which heve led to its honourable 


conclusion, has been such as well sustains its long- 
established reputation; the gallant manner in 
which the post at the village of Agrar was seized 
by the force under Colonel Hart, the ability dis- 
played in directing the fire of the batteries esta- 
blished there, the vigour with which every attack 
of the enemy on the outposts of that army was 
repulsed, and the spirit shown in the assault of 
the breach by the corps led by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Dunlop, are points of particular notice, for which 
the Commander-in-Chief requests Lieu tenant- 
General Stuart will offer his best thanks to the 
officers and troops employed. 

"Lieutenant-General Harris trusts that Lieu te- 
nant-General Stuart .will excuse his thus publicly 
expressing his sense of the cordial co-operation and 
assistance received from him during the present 
service, in the course of which he has ever found 
it difficult to separate the sentiments of his public 
duty from the warmest feelings of his private 

*^ Prize rolls of corps to be made out as soon 
as possible. All corps and detachments above 
the Ghauts on the 5th May, 1799, or occupying 
garrisons or posts captured fi'om Tippoo Sultaun 
during the present war, to be considered as 
entitled to share in the general distribution 
which may take place, in the same manner as 
if they had been present at the assault of Se- 

s A 


Extract from General Order^ 8th May, 
" Lieutenant-General Harris feels parti- 
cular pleasure in publishing to the army the fol- 
lowing extract of a report transmitted to him 
yesterday by Major-General Baird, as it places in 
a distinguished point of view the merit of an 
oflBicer on the very important occasion referred to, 
whose general gallantly and good conduct since 
he has served with this army have not failed to 
recommend him strongly to the Commander-in- 

" ^ If, where all behaved nobly, it is proper to 
mention individual merit, I know no man so justly 
entitled to praise as Colonel Sherbrooke, to whose 
exertions I feel myself much indebted for the 
success of the attack.' " 

*^ To the Earl of Mornington. 

« Camp, Bth May, 1799. 

" My Lord, 

" I have the honour to enclose to your Lord- 
ship an official return of the killed, wounded, and 
missing, of the army, from the commencement of 
the siege of Seringapatam to its close. The diffi- 
culty of communication prevented the regular 
retuiiis of casualties being transmitted as they 
occurred during the continuance of our operations 
before the place. 

"The importance of an early communication 


to Europe of the success of this army has induced 
me to address letters to Mr. Dundas and the 
Chairman of the Court of Directors; copies of 
which, and of those I have written (o the Admiral, 
the Governor of Bombay, and the public officers 
of Government on the Malabar coast, I have the 
honour to enclose. 

" A temporary garrison for Seringapatam has 
been arranged. The Hon. Colonel Wellesley 
commands in the place ; and I have made some 
appointments of staff, subject to the approbation 
of Government, which I shall soon report in de- 
tail, in the hope that your Lordship will approve 
and confirm them. 

I have the honour to be, 
&c., &c., &c., 

Geo. Harris." 

t A9 



Lord Momington receives the intelligence of the tM of Seringa- 
patam^His letters and orders thereupon — Expresses, to the 
Authorities at Home his warmest admiration of the conduct of 
Oeneral Harris, and of the officers and men who had achieved 
the conquest of Mysore— General Harris highly commends 
the conduct of the staff officers — ^The Governor-General's 
orders in consequence — His Lordship directs the immediate 
distribution of the booty taken by the troops. 

" The Earl of Mornington to Lieutenant- 
General Harris. 

« F(yrt St. George, May 12, 1799. 
" I had yesterday the satisfaction to receive 
your letter of the 4th instant^ advising me of the 
capture of Seringapatam, and of the death of 
Tippoo Sultaun. 

*^ With the warmest sensations of admiration, 
affection, and attachment, I offer my cordial 
thanks and zealous congratulations to you, and 
to all the officers and privates composing the gal- 
lant army which has achieved this glorious and 
decisive victory, with a degree of energy, rapidity, 
and skill, unparalleled in this quarter of the 
globe, and seldom equalled in any part of the 

•* It has afforded me peculiar satisfaction on 
this important occasion to learn, that every pos- 


sibie attention has been paid to the family of 
Tippoo Sultaun^ and to those of his chieftains. 

"Although I have not yet received directly 
from you any official details of the circumstances 
attending the assault and capture of Seringapa- 
tam, it is evident that the acquisition has been 
attended with circumstances of a nature to facili- 
tate a final and satisfactory arrangement of the 

" I entirely approve all your proceedings of a 
political nature (as far as you have reported them 
to me) relative to the negotiations with the Sul- 
taun previously to the assault of the city. You 
have faithfully pursued the spirit of my instruc- 
tions, and departed from the letter only in such 
cases as would have compelled me to adopt simi- 
lar alterations of principles and measures if I had 
been on the spot. 

" The subject of a final adjustment of Mysore 
is, however, so complicated and delicate, as to 
appear to require my presence at Seringapatam. 
For this reason, I intend forthwith to proceed to 
Ryakottah ; from which fortress I can advance to 
Seringapatam, if such a measure should appear to 
be necessary. In the meanwhile, I have deter- 
mined to dispatch my brother, Mr. Heniy Wel- 
lesley, and Lieutenant-Colonel Kirkpatrick, to 
Ryakottah, with orders to proceed to the army, 
whenever the communication shall be sufficiently 
open, for the purpose of acting with the commis- 


sioners appointed under my instructions of the 
22nd February, and of ascertaining a variety of 
points of detail on which it is necessary that I 
should be fully and accurately informed pre- 
viously to the formation of any definitive adjust- 
ment of the aflairs of the kingdom of Mysore. 

^^ But it is requisite immediately that the 
Company should obtain full possession of all 
Canara (including Bilghuy, and the heads of ail 
the Ghauts communicating between Canara and 
the upper country), as well as of the Coimbatoor 
countiy; you will, therefore, without delay, re- 
quire from the proper persons the most peremp-- 
tory and unequivocal orders for the immediate 
delivery to the Company's officers of all the forts, 
and of all other public property comprehended in 
these countries. 

'* For the purpose of taking possession of Ca- 
nara, you will (unless you should deem it impru- 
dent), as soon as possible, detach the army of 
Bombay, or such part of it as may be necessary. 
It appears probable that you may safely detach 
the army of Bombay on this service ; on the other 
hand, the possibility of a French invasion in India 
from the Red Sea makes it desirable that the 
army of Bombay should return to the coast of 
Malabar, and that we should obtain possession of 
Canara as soon as possible. 

^^ For tlie purpose of securing the Coimbatoor 
country, it will perhaps be sufficient if you send 


thither the detachment under the command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Brown as soon as may be 

" The Barrahmahal at present containing an 
inconsiderable force, you will return Lieutenant- 
Colonel Read's detachment as soon as yt)u may 
judge expedient. 

**At the same time that you demand from 
the proper authorities the necessary orders for 
the surrender to the Company of the specified 
countries and forts, you are to require similar 
orders for the prompt and unconditional delivery 
to the officers of His Highness the Nizam of the 
forts and districts of Gooty, Bellary, Gurrum- 
conda, and Colar, with the exception only of any 
forts in the two latter, which may be situated at 
the head of passes leading from the table-land of 
Mysore into any of the districts of the Company, 
or of the Nabob of the Carnatic, it being my in- 
tention that all such forts shall be occupied by the 
Company's troops. 

" For the purpose of occupying and securing 
these countries, it will be necessary that the con- 
tingent of His Highness the Nizam, and the sub- 
sidiary detachment, should move towards the 
north' east as soon as possible. 

" The country and principal forts situated be- 
tween the north bank of the Cavery and Colar, 
may be occupied for the present either by the 
necessary detachments from your army, or by 


Colonel Read. The ultimate allotment of this 
tract is a point for future consideration. 

"The Sirdars, on whose ready acquiescence 
and submission the Company and the Nizam 
most depend for an early and easy possession of 
the forts and countries which have been men- 
tioned, must be plainly informed that the measure 
of favour and protection to be extended to them 
will be regulated by the alacrity and sincerity with 
which they shall exert themselves to satisfy the 
allies on this occasion. 

" With regard to Bednore, and other parts of 
the late Tippoo Sultaun's possessions bordering 
on the Mahrattah frontier, I wish those countries 
to remain unoccupied for the present, until I shall 
have determined what portion of territory shall 
be assigned to the Peishwah. Accordingly, no 
orders for the delivery of any forts, cr the cession 
of any districts to the Mahrattahs, must be issued 
by the Sirdars in authority without my specific 
requisition; and they must be apprized that I 
shall hold them responsible for the conduct of 
their respective managers and subordinate officers 
in the countries in question. All the French you 
mciy be able to secure (and you will make the 
most diligent inquiry after persons of that nation,) 
must be sent to the Presidency by the most favour- 
able opportunity. 

" I wish you to send a detachment of your army 
to meet nie at Ryakottah, whenever you deem it 


prudent to spare such a force. By the first oppor- 
tunity you will inform me bow far the state of 
Mysore may either require or admit of my pro- 
ceeding to Seringapatam. 

I am^ &c., 


" The Earl of Mornington to Libutenant- 
General Harris. 

*'Fort St. George, I5th May, 1799. 
" Sii', 

" I have already expressed to you, in my answer 
to your note of the 4th instant, my distinguished 
sense of the invaluable services of the admirable 
army under your command, and having now re- 
ceived the details of the assault of the 4th, I 
shall immediately issue a General Order in Council 
respecting the conduct of the rapid and brilliant 
campaign which terminated with such lustre on 
that memorable day. 

^^ My private and military secretaries will set 
out for Seringapatam by Ryakottah this evening, 
charged with instructions for your guidance until 
my arrival can take place. In the meanwhile, I 
authorize you to assure Meer Cummur-ud-Deen 
Khan that I receive with great satisfaction his un- 
conditional submission to the generosity of the Bri*. 
tish power ; and that he may rely with confidence 
on iny countenance and protection : you will add 


that, in concert with His Highness the Nizam, I 
will readily take into consideration Meer Cummur- 
ud-Deen's claim to the Jaghire of Gurrumconda, 
but it would be premature at present to enter into 
any specific engagement on that head. How- 
ever, I empower you to declare to Meer Cummur- 
ud-Deen immediately, in my name, that if I shall 
be satisfied with his services in the restoration of 
tranquillity, I will make an ample and liberal 
provision for him, fully equal to whatever may 
appear to be his just claims. As it may tend to 
inspire Meer Cummur-ud-Deen with additional 
confidence, I enclose a letter for him under my 
own hand and seal. 

'^ You will inform all the Sirdars, and persons 
lately in high office in the government of Mysore, 
that the degree of favour and protection to be 
extended to them by the Company and the allies 
will be regulated according to the fidelity with 
which they shall respectively render an account 
of all the property of the Sircar under their 
charge, referring in particular to the stable horse, 
to the draught and carriage cattle, and to all arms, 
ordnance, and ordnance stores, belonging to the 

*' I desire that you will issue such orders as 
you may judge necessaiy to the different asophs 
and officers of Tippoo Sultaun*s government, 
requiring them to hold the public property of 
every description at present in their charge^ as 


well as the revenue which may hereafter be col- 
lected^ at the disposal of the allies^ and apprising 
them that a regular account of all such property 
and revenue will be taken with the greatest accu- 
racy as soon as circumstances will permit. I 
think it expedient that all their orders should be 
issued in your own name, until my arrival at 
Seringapatam, as well for the purpose of giving 
the greater degree of force to them, as of obviating 
any jealousies which* might arise from the imme- 
diate appointment of officers on the part of the 
Company for the collection of the revenues. 

"I have no doubt you have adopted every 
necessary measure for securing to persons of every 
description the safe and undisturbed possession of 
their private properties. 

I am, &c., &c., 


" General Orders of the Governor-General 
IN Council. 

''Fort St. George, I5ih May, 1799. 
^^The Right Honourable the Governor 
General in Council, having this day received from 
the Commander-in-Chief of the allied army in the 
field, the official details of the glorious and deci- 
sive victory obtained at Seringapatam on the 4 th 
of May, oflFers his cordial thanks and sincere con- 
gratulations to the Commander-in-Chief, and to 


all the officers and men composing the gallant 
army which achieved the captm-e of the capital 
of Mysore on that memorable day. His Lordship 
views with admiration the consummate judgment 
with which the assault was planned, the une- 
qualled rapidity, animation, and skill with which 
it was executed, and the humanity which distin- 
guished its final success. Under the favour of 
Providence, and the justice of our cause, the 
established character of the army had inspired an 
early confidence, that the war in which we were 
engaged would be brought to a speedy, prosper- 
ous, and honourable issue. But the events of the 
4th of May, while they have surpassed even the 
sanguine expectations of the Governor-General in 
Council, have raised the reputation of the Bri- 
tish arms in India to a degree of splendour and 
glory unrivalled in the military history of this 
quarter of the globe, and seldom approached in 
any part of the world. The lustre of this victory 
can be equalled only by the substantial advan- 
tages which it promises to establish, by restoring 
the peace and safety of the British possessions in 
India on a durable foundation of genuine security. 
The Governor-General in Council reflects with 
pride, satisfaction, and gratitude, that in this 
arduous crisis the spirit and exertion of our Indian 
army have kept pace with those of our country- 
men at home ; and that in India,* as in Europe, 
Great Britain has found, in the malevolent designs 


of her enemies^ an increasing source of her own 
prosperity, fame, and power. 

"By order of the Right Honourable the 
Governor-General in Council. 

J. Webbe, 

Secretary to Oovemment." 

"The Earl of Mornington to the Right 
Honourable Henry Dundas. 

''Fort St. George, I6th May^ 1799. 
" My dear Sir, 

"Yesterday, I received the enclosed des- 
patch from Lieutenant-General Harris, containing 
the details of the capture of Seringapatam ; they 
require no comment; and I am persuaded that 
no solicitation is necessary on my part to induce 
you to recommend the incomparable army, which 
has gained this glorious triumph to the particular 
notice of his Majesty, and to the applause and 
gratitude of their country. The unconditional 
submission of Cummur-ud-Deen, accompanied by 
that of Futteh Hyder, will, I trust, much facilitate 
the means of making a new settlement. I am on 
the point of setting out for Seringapatam, and I 
have no doubt that, in any possible case, I shall 
be able to add to the annual revenues of the 
Company, in the Peninsula of India, a sum not 
less than twelve lacs of pagodas, with the addi-- 
tional advantage of contracting and strengthen- 


ing our frontieir, and of establishing a continuity 
of our territory from the coast of Coromandel to 
that of Malabar. 

"In our present situation^ the arrrival of a 
French force in India would be rather a desirable 
event than otherwise, as I am confident that the 
result must be an accession of reputation and 
honour to our troops^ and the disappointment and 
ruin of the enemy. If the French should be esta- 
blished in Egypt, it might be advisable to consider 
whether an expedition might not be fitted out 
from India, to co-operate, by way of the Red Sea, 
with any attempt which might be undertaken 
from the Mediterranean. I cannot venture to 
prepare any such expedition without orders from 
England ; but if I should receive them, you may 
be assured that they will be executed with alacrity 
and diligence, not only by me, but by the whole 
army in India. 

Believe me, my dear Sir, 
Yours, most faithfully and affectionately, 


" To the Earl of Mornington. 

^^ Seringapatam^ May 13, 1799. 
^^ My Lord, 

"I have forwarded to your Lordship, by 

various hircarrahs, an account of the success of 

the army in the assault of Seringapatam, with 


copies of the orders issued on that occasion. In 
those orders I expressed my approbation of the 
conduct of the troops in general, and my sense of 
the merits of those officers, whose behaviour had 
attracted particular notice. 

'^It remains for me to state what is in justice 
due to others, whom, for obvious reasons, I could 
not present in the same manner to your Lord- 
ship's notice. These are, officers on the general 
staflF, in my family, and others whose zeal 
induced them to forward the public service, by 
the exertion of their abilities, in aid of depart- 
ments to which they were not officially attached. 

^* In every point of view, I must call your 
Lordship's attention to the Adjutant-General of 
the army. His general character, as an officer, 
is too well established by a long and distinguished 
course of the most meritorious service to require 
my testimony, but the particular exertion of his 
talents on the present service, in directing, regu- 
lating, and assisting the progress of our Depart- 
ments, when embarrassed by all the difficulties 
attending a deficiency of conveyance for an un- 
commonly extensive equipment, during the ad- 
vance of the army, and the ability, zeal, and 
energy displayed by him in superintending the 
various operations of an arduous siege, where he 
was ever present stimulating the exertions of 
others, or assisting their judgment and labours 
with his own, claim from me to be stated to your 


Lordship in the most forcible terms. It is my 
earnest wish that my sentiments on this subject 
may be publicly recorded; and it is my firm 
opinion, that if the success of this army has been 
of importance to the British interests, that success 
is to be attributed in a very considerable degree 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Close. 

" From the officers more immediately in my 
family, I have derived all the assistance in the 
conduct of the public service which I had reason 
to expect from their experience ; and I am highly 
indebted to your Lordship for the indulgence 
with which you attended to my wishes in the 
selection of Lieutenant-Colonel Agnew and Cap- 
tain Macauley, as my confidential staff. 

" The gentlemen of the commission named by 
your Lordship to assist me with their advice on 
subjects of a political nature, have in every 
instance, when I have found it expedient to refer 
to their judgment, acted in a manner with which 
I am particularly satisfied. Your Lordship is in 
possession of their proceedings on the subject of 
the various overtures for negotiation made by 
Tippoo Sultaun ; and the orders I have since 
received on this head, leave me no ground to 
doubt your Lordship*s approbation of the line of 
conduct which they have uniformly pursued. 

^^ Major Dallas has strong claims to be parti- 
cularly recommended to your Lordship's notice : 
the readiness with which he came forward to 


exert his personal influence with the principal 
natives in the bullock department^ at a period 
when it seemed scarcely possible to move forward 
the public stores ; the effectual aid which he gave 
to the store department, by his personal assist- 
ance in its arrangements, and the duty, equally 
important and laborious, which he voluntarily 
took upon himself, of seeking and securing forage 
for the public cattle during the marches of the 
army, are amongst the many instances in which 
his zeal has been distinguished, and which entitle 
him to the attention of Government. In the 
department of the Quarter-Master General, the 
conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson and 
Major Allan has been very satisfactory to me. 
Captain Turing has ably assisted Lieutenant- 
Colonel Close in the Adjutant-General's office; 
and Captain Orr, of the Guides, has merited great 
praise by his judgment, diligence and activity, in 
conducting the marches of the army, and of all 
detachments of importance, which, since our 
encampment here, it has been necessary to make 
under Major-General Floyd. 

" Captain Macleod, of the Intelligence depart- 
ment, has been employed in the management of 
the bazaars of the army, and on a variety of 
services not specially the duty of any regularly 
established officer, but which required a perfect 
knowledge of the customs of India, and the 
strictest integrity in the person charged with this 

2 B 


avocation. I have^ on all such occasions, given 

my full confidence to Captain Macleod, and his 

conduct has shown him deserving of the trust. 

^^I have thought it a necessary pait of my 

public duty to make this report to your Lordship 

for the information of Govei*nment ; and have the 

honour to be. 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient 

and faithful servant, 

Geo. Harris.'* 

^^ General Orders of the Governor-General in 

''Madfw, May 2i,l'J99' 
*^ The Right Honourable the Governor- 
General in Council, directs the Commander-in- 
Chief of the allied army in the field, to assure 
the officers in the general staff qf the army, those 
composing the confidential stafi" of the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and those whose zeal, ability, 
and exertion, have been distinguished in aid of 
the departments to which they were not officially 
attached, that his Lordship entertains the highest 
sense of their several eminent services during the 
late glorious campaign in Mysore. 

" The conduct of the Adjutant-General, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Close, has amply justified the 
implicit confidence reposed by the Governor- 
General in Council in his extensive knowledge. 


approved experience, superior talents, ardent va- 
lour, and indefatigable activity. 

"The uniform zeal, perseverance and forti* 
tude, with which Lieutenant-Colonel Close has 
exerted all these great qualities, in every trial of 
difficulty and danger, entitle him to the praise, 
respect, and esteem of the Governor-General in 
Council. His Lordship feels himself bound, by 
every obligation of justice and public duty, to 
recommend the extraordinary merits of Lieute* 
nant-Colonel Close to the particular approbation 
of the Honourable the Court of Directors, and to 
the applause and gratitude of his country. The 
selection which the Commander-in-Chief had so 
judiciously made of Lieutenant-Colonel Agnew 
and Captain Macauley, for his confidential staff, 
was confirmed by the Governor-General in 
Council, with a just expectation that his Excel- 
lency would derive considerable advantage to the 
public service from their able assistance. 

" The Governor-General in Council is happy 
to record a public acknowledgement of the dis- 
tinguished conduct of Major Dallas, and to assure 
that officer that his Lordship has a just sense of 
the important services which he has rendered in 
his successful superintendence of the laborious 
departments under his charge. 

"It is very satisfactory to his Lordship to 
remark, that the conduct of the Quarter-Master 
General's department under Lieutenant-Colonel 

2 B s 


Richardson and Major AUan^ and that of the 
department of the Guides under Captain Orr, has 
met with the approbation of the Commander-in- 
Chief; his Lordship desires that his public thanks 
may be conveyed to those officers, and on this 
occasion, his Lordship thinks it proper to publish 
to the army the particular thanks which he had 
already directed the Commander-in-Chief to con- 
vey to Major Allan and Captain Macauley, for 
the essential services rendered by them on the 
28th of March last, after the battle of Mallavelly. 

" His Lordship is also happy to concur in the 
honourable testimony borne by the Commander- 
in-Chief, to the merits of Captain Turing and of 
Captain Macleod, and directs that his thanks may 
be conveyed to those meritorious officers. 

^^ In all ranks and depai*tments of the allied 
army, his Lordship has obseiTcd, with sincere 
pleasure, a general spirit of harmony and concord 
which (under the happy auspices of the Com* 
mander-in-Chief) has united every heart, head, 
and hand, in the common cause, signalized each 
progressive operation of the campaign with a 
peculiar character of alacrity and ardour, and 
crowned its early conclusion with victory, triumph 
and renown. 

"By order of the Right Honourable the 
Governor-General in Council. 

J. Webbe, 

^^J3ecretaf*y to Gatfemment,** 


" To the Earl of Mornington. 

« S^ringapatam, May 1 7, 1799. 
" My Lord, 

^^ Two letters from your Lordship of the 
12th instant were received last night. I have 
communicated to the army the very flattering 
terms in which you have been pleased to mark 
your approbation of their gallant conduct, and I 
am extremely happy that, in the negotiations with 
the Sultaun prior to the capture of the place, the 
measures I adopted have been such as your Lord- 
ship thought expedient. 

"Your Lordship's presence at Seringapatam 
will, I have no doubt, greatly facilitate the adjust 
ment of the affairs of Mysore ; and some points 
in your Lordship's letter of the lOth instant render 
me extremely desirous that you should adopt the 
resolution of making your arrangements on the 

" A regiment of cavalry accompanies Colonel 
Read's detachment, which he will send to attend 
your Lordship, if required, from Ryakottah, The 
contingent of his Highness the Nizam moves im- 
mediately to Chinapatam, to procure forage for 
the cavalry and cattle ; but this corps cannot for 
some time proceed further towards the frontier. 
To the Coimbatoor country I shall order a detach- 
ment without delay. 

" My former letters would inform your Liord- 


ship that I had anticipated your orders to search 
for treaties and correspondence of the late Sultaun 
with foreign states and Europeans. I had also 
taken measures to secure the revenue acdounts. 
Your Lordship's further instructions shall receive 
from me every possible attention. 

** I enclose duplicates of a variety of papers 
transmitted when the communication was less 
secure than at present^ and have the honour to be^ 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obedient 

faithful servant, 
Geo. Harris." 

^^To Lieutenant-General Harris, Commander. 
in-Chief, &c. &c. &c. 

" JFbr« /K. Georgej June 2, 1799. 

*' The Right Honourable the Governor-Gene- 
ral in Council having considered your report upon 
the ordnance, ammunition, military stores, treasure, 
and jewels, taken in the Fort of Seringapatam, 
directs me to acquaint you that his Lordship in 
Council has resolved to order an immediate dis- 
tribution of the treasure and jewels, which have 
fallen into your hands. At the same time that 
the Governor-General in Council communicates 
this resolution to you, his Lordship thinks it ex- 
pedient to impress upon your attention the prin- 
ciples of the law of nations, by which all property 


conquered from an enemy becomes the property 
of the State^ and by which all idea of positive 
right in the captors to property in a fort taken by 
assault is exploded. In conformity to these prin- 
ciples, the King has been pleased to grant to the 
Company, by letters patent bearing date January 
14, 1768, the right of all booty and plunder which 
shall be taken by their troops alone, reserving in 
express terms his royal prerogative of distribution 
in such manner and proportions as he shall think 
fit, in all cases in which the royal forces may have 
co-operated with those of the Company. 

" Although the orders of the Court of Direc- 
tors, prescribing the mode of carrying these letters 
patent into execution, expressly prohibit their 
governments in India from disposing of the 
^ whole plunder and booty which shall be takeii 
in wars, hostilities, or expeditions, by the Com- 
pany's forces ;' and although his Majesty, by the 
letters patent themselves, has reserved to himself 
in express terms his ^ prerogative royal to distri- 
bute the said plunder and booty in such manner 
and proportion as he shall think fit,* in all cases 
in which his own troops may have been employed; 
yet, having no doubt that the gracious bounty of 
his Majesty, and the liberality of the Court of 
Directors, will be proportioned to the important 
services of the gallant army under your com- 
mand, his Lordship has no hesitation in charging 
himself with the responsibility of anticipating the 


royal sanction, and the determination of the Court 
of Directors. In adopting this decision, his Lord- 
ship trusts that he will manifest to the army an 
unequivocal proof of the gratitude which he feels 
for the continued exertion of their matchless 
bravery and discipline, by the prompt distribution 
of a reward, which their decisive success has 
enabled him to bestow. In their letter of the 8tli 
March, 1758, the Honourable Court of Directore 
have ordered that, * in land operations all cannon, 
ammunition, and military stores of all kinds, are 
not to come into the division, but are to belong 
to the Company.* Upon a further consideration, 
therefore, of this positive injunction, as well as of 
the principles of the law of nations applied to 
the right of booty, plunder, and conquest, and to 
the expenses incurred by the Company for the 
support of the present war, the Right Honourable 
the Governor-General in Council directs me to 
inform you of his Lordship's intention to re- 
serve all ordnance, ammimition, and military 
stores (including grain), for the ultimate deci- 
sion of his Majesty, on such application as shall 
be made to him by the Honourable the Court of 

" It will accordingly be necessary that a proper 
board of officers should be selected and appointed 
for the purpose of valuing, and of taking an exact 
inventory of, all that part of the captured property 
which is included under the denomination of 


ordnance, ammunition, and military stores of all 
kinds, for transmission to the Honourable Court 
of Directors. In ordering the distribution of the 
treasure and jewels, the Governor-General in 
Council directs you to be guided by the esta- 
blished usages, which have been observed in the 
British service in all cases of a similar nature; 
and to take upon yourself the decision of all 
points whatever, referable to this distribution, 
without further communication to his Lordship 
in Council. The proportion of prize-money, to 
be allotted to the contingent of his Highness the 
Nizam, is to be determined by the number of his 
Highness's troops, actually employed in the field 
with the army before Seringapatam at the time of 
taking that place. 

" The British subsidiary force, serving with 
the contingent of his Highness the Nizam, will, 
of course, be included in the Company's army; 
and receive its proportion of prize-money accord* 
ing to the distribution made to the rest of the 
British forces. As it is probable that Meer AUum 
Bahadur may not be inclined to dispense with 
the right of his Sovereign over that part of the 
captured property which may be allotted to his 
Highness the Nizam, the Governor-General in 
Council directs you to consult him upon this 
point ; and to give orders for the appropriation of 
the Nizam's share, in such a manner as shall be 
most agreeable to Meer Allum. 


^^ I have the honour to inclose a general order 
by Government, which the Governor-General in 
Council directs you to publish to the army, in 
order that the distribution of the prize-money 
may be immediately announced to them. 
I have the honour to be, 
Your most obedient humble servant, 

J. Webbe, 

" Seeretary to Government,'^ 

" To Lieutenant-General Harris, Commander- 
in-Chief, &c., &c., &c. 

^^Fort St. George, lith June, 1799. 

'^I am directed by the Right Honourable 

the Goveraor-General in Council to acknowledge 

the receipt of your several letters noted in the 

margin, with the papers which respectively acom- 

panied them. 

^^The Right Honourable the Governor-General 

having, in his Lordship's separate despatches, 

communicated to you his sentiments upon your 

several arrangements and dispositions for the 

march and progress of the army towards the 

capital of Mysore, it becomes unnecessary to give 

a detailed answer to those parts of your despatches 

further than to repeat the expression of his Lord- 

ship^s entire approbation of the several measures 

adopted by you, as well as his perfect satisfaction 


of the zeal, exertion, and perseverance which 
enabled the army to surmount those serious diffi- 
culties which appeared to oppose its progress 
towards Seringapatam. 

" The Governor-General in Council feels the 
importance of the masterly movement which you 
made for crossing the river Cavery at Soosilly after 
the battle of Mallavelly, as well as the promptitude 
of your arrangements for detaching Major-Ge- 
neral Floyd, after your arrival in the neighbour- 
hood of Seringapatam, — measures no less admi- 
rable for the judgment and decision with which 
they were planned, than important in their con- 
sequences to the success of your operations. The 
period which comprises the operations from the 
commencement to the close of the siege exhibits 
a series of animated exertions, indefatigable per- 
severance, and heroic valour in the several corps 
of the army who progressively drove the enemy 
from their works, maintained their own positions, 
and finally pushed their success to the walls of the 
place. The animation and example which pro- 
duced these efforts, and the judgment, skill, and 
promptitude with which your several advantages 
were applied to the furtherance of your main 
object, are clearly distinguishable in the harmony, 
vigour, and vivacity of the siege. 

*^ Upon the memorable conquest of the capital 
of Mysore by assault, the Governor-General in 
Council has already conveyed to you his Lord- 


ship's high sense and admiration of the important 
services rendered to the Company, and to the 
nation, by the army under your command. 

"The Governor-General in Council directs me 
to express his perfect approbation of the manner 
in which you conducted the political communi- 
cations between you and Tippoo Sultaun, under 
the commission and instructions with which you 
were furnished by his Lordship for that purpose, 

" His Lordship in Council also approves your 
several commimications with the pnncipal Sirdars 
subsequently to the fall of Seringapatam, and 
upon the several points which relate to this sub- 
ject will transmit his Lordship's separate instrac- 
tions to the Commission appointed for the final 
arrangement of the affairs of Mysore. 

" The Governor-General in Council is entirely 
satisfied with the promptitude with which the army 
under the command of Lieu tenant-General Stuart 
returned to the Malabar coast, and trusts that the 
most vigorous and effectual measures will have been 
taken, as well for the defence and security of that 
province against any attempt which may be made 
by the French to invade it, as for subjecting to 
the Company's authority with all practicable ex- 
pedition the several districts and fortresses in the 
province of Canara. 

" His Lordship also commends the alacrity 
with which the detachment under the command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Read was equipped and 


despatched for the purpose of taking possession of 
the several fortresses situated to the northward of 

" The Governor-General in Council is deeply 
impressed with the importance and necessity of 
using the utmost degree of vigour and alacrity 
in the measures to be adopted for the restoration 
of order and system in the government of Mysore ; 
his Lordship therefore directs me to express his 
anxiety that the army should be put in a state of 
equipment with the least possible delay, as well 
for the purpose of moving in such directions as 
circumstances may render necessary, as of pre- 
serving that continuation of energy and efficiency 
which have hitherto distinguished your operations, 
and which are requisite for the permanent estab- 
lisliment of the Company's authority. 

J have the honour to be. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

J. Webbe, 

Secretary to Government.^ 

*'To Rear-Admiral Rainier, commanding His 
Majesty's Fleet in India. 

''June nth, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, 

"I have the pleasure to acknowledge the 

receipt of your letter, dated off Decala, 20th 


May^ informing me of your having ordered the 
Carysfort frigate to proceed direct to Eng^Iand 
with my despatch, 

^* The readiness with which you were pleased 
to accede to my wish of an early transmission to 
England of the important intelligence of the cap- 
ture of Seringapatam^ while it demands my 
warmest acknowledgements^ furnishes an addi- 
tional instance of the public spirit and disin- 
terested zeal which on all occasions have eminently 
distinguished your services. 

^^ Your congratulations to me, and to the army 
under my command^ upon our successes^ afford 
me peculiar satisfaction. Never^ during the 
brightest period of her glory and renown, has 
Great Britain experienced such ardent loyalty and 
union as now pervades her navies and armies. 
The cause is obvious. The heroic deeds of the 
navy in every quarter of the globe have not only 
called forth from all ranks and descriptions of our 
countrymen the warmest admiration, but have 
excited an enthusiastic eagerness of emulation, 
without a parallel in the history of the world. 

"These sentiments, and this happy union^ 
must bear Great Britain towering and triumphant 
over all difficulties, and secure upon a durable 
basis the dignity of the Crown, and the happiness 
and liberties of the people. 

" I rejoice to hear you are arrived-at Madras, 


and in good healthy where I hope soon to shake 
you by the hand^ being, with great regard. 
My dear Sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

G. Harris." 

*' To the Earl of Mornington. 

" Camp, 2\%t JwMy 1799. 
*^ My Lord, 

^^I have the honour to acknowledge the 
receipt of a letter from Mr. Webbe, the Secretary 
to Government, under date the 14th instant, con- 
veying to me the orders of your Lordship in 
Council on various points, to which I shall pay 
implicit obedience. 

"In consequence of the intelligence from 
Chittledroog, announced to your Lordship in my 
letter of the 1 6th instant, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Dalrymple marched from camp on the 20th 
instant with two battalions of Native infantry and 
one regiment of cavalry, carrying with him a 
supply of money for the immediate wants of that 
garrison. Orders have been sent to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Grant, with the Bengal regiment of the 
Contingent under his orders, to join Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dalrymple at Sera, who has instructions 
to advance from that place to Chittledroog when 
joined by Lieutenant- Colonel Grant's detach- 
ment ; or prior to this junction, should his intel- 
ligence lead him to think it can be done with 


propriety. The instant the army is sufficiently 
equipped, I shall move with it in the same 

" Major-General Hartley informs me, in a 
letter of the 15th instant, that having received 
from the killedar of Deria Bahadar Ghur, assu- 
rances of his disposition to receive a British 
garrison and obey the orders of that Circar, he 
has directed a detachment to march and occupy 
that fort. 

I have the honour, &c. 

Geo. Harris." 



Oeneral Harris obtains possession of the different forts and 
countries belonging to Mysore. — Dhoondiah is driven into 
the Mahratta territories. — Tranquillity being established^ 
General Harris appoints Colonel Wellesley to command in 
Mysore, and returns to the Presidency. — Sees the Governor- 
General before his departure for Calcutta. — Lord Morning- 
ton's letter to Mr. Dundas. — ^Thanks of the House of 
Commons and Court of Directors to General Harri8.-*-Fare- 
well letter from Colonel Wellesley. 

The two succeeding months of July and August 
were occupied by General Harris in obtaining 
and securing possession of the different forts and 
countries belonging to Mysore. On the coast of 
Malabar no difficulty was experienced so soon as 
the cessation of the Western monsoon enabled our 
troops to move ; and, early in July, the important 
fortress of Chittledroog was surrendered to Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Dalrymple, who had been detached 
by the Commander-in-Chief with a light force of 
cavalry and infantry in that direction. No ob- 
stacle to the general tranquillity now remained, 
but the disturbances excited in Bednore by 
Dhoondiah, who had been confined by Tippoo, 
and was imprudently released by our troops, with 
other prisoners, on the day of the assault. He 
immediately returned to his old avocations of 
plunder and murder, and being joined by some of 

2 c 


the disbanded silladars ofTippoo^s cavalry, pro- 
ceeded into the rich country of Bednore. Here 
the disaffected civil and military servants of 
Tippoo*s government combined in putting some 
of the principal places into his possession, before 
it was in the power of General Harris to send a 
sufficient force against him. 

So soon as the Commander-in-Chief could 
leave Seringapatam, he marched towards Chittle- 
droog ; and having detached Lieutenant-Colonel 
Dalrymple against Dhoondiah, no time was lost 
in making an example of the banditti under him, 
whose shocking cruelties had spread great con- 
sternation in the districts which were the scenes 
of their enormities. Colonel Stevenson, with 
another light corps, was Hlso detached into Bed- 
nore, and, by their united vigour and talents, 
Dhoondiah and his marauders were driven, before 
the middle of August, completely out of the 
country, himself escaping by a boat into the Mah- 
ratta territory. Here the pursuit ceased, as the 
Governor-General had strictly prohibited any 
violation of the Mahratta frontier. 

All the objects of the campaign having been 
now satisfactorily completed, and General Harris 
having received from the Governor-General in 
Council the following letter, immediately prepared 
to return to the Presidency, leaving the Honour- 
able Colonel Wellesley in command of the troops 
in Mysore. 


^^To Hi8 Excellency Lieutenant-Gbnbral 
Harris^ Commander-4n*Chief. 

" Fort St. George^ 7th At^futt, 1799- 

"The Right Honourable the Governor- 
General in Council, trusting that the 'arrange- 
ments made by the treaties of Mysore and 
Seringapatam for effecting a settlement of the 
dominions of Tippoo Sultaun, with the late rapid 
success of the detachment against the banditti 
attached to the rebel Dhoondiah, will now admit 
of measures being taken for a permanent distri- 
bution of the subsidiary forces in Mysore, directs 
me to desire that you will accordingly take the 
subject into your serious consideration. His 
Lordship is anxious to consult your opinion, 
previous to his departure for Bengal, with respect 
to the appointment and distribution ot the subsi- 
diary force, as well as with regard to the general 
military arrangements which will be rendered 
necessary by the late change in the political 
state of India ; he therefore directs you to pro- 
ceed to the Presidency as soon as you shall judge 
your presence no longer necessary for conducting 
the public service in Mysore. 

"The Governor-General in Council further 
directs you to leave such a force above the Ghauts 
as you may think necessary for completely sup- 
pressing the commotions prevailing in Bednore, 

2 2 


and for garrisoning the principal fortresses in the 
northern and north-western frontiers of the Rajah 
of Mysore; and to order the remainder of the 
army to the Carnatic. 

^'In communicating to you his Lordship's 
orders for quitting the army, the Governor-Ge- 
neral has great satisfaction in availing himself of 
the opportunity to express, in terms of the 
warmest gratitude, his entire approbation of your 
distinguished conduct in executing the important 
trust committed to your charge at the commence- 
ment of the late rapid and brilliant campaign. 
His Lordship has already conveyed to you, and 
to the gallant army under your command, his 
cordial thanks and sincere congratulations on the 
conquest of the capital of Mysore ; and the Go- 
vernor-General in Council now directs me to 
signify his particular sense of the firmness, con* 
stancy, and perseverance with which you subdued 
the difficulties opposed to the progress of your 
army through the enemy's country, of the zeal 
and unanimity with which you inspired all the 
great departments of your army, and the judg- 
ment displayed in the whole conduct of the cam- 
paign, especially in the passage of the Cavery, 
and in the position taken before Seringapatam, 
and the vigour and skill with which the siege was 
conducted. This great achievement entitled you 
to the gratitude and respect of the Company 
and your King and country ; and the Governor- 


General has already discharged^ with particular 
satisfaction, the grateful duty of stating to the 
Honourable Court of Directors, and to his 
Majesty*s Ministers, your eminent services in a 
manner adequate to the honour and advantage 
which the British empire is likely to derive from 
the splendid victories obtained by the army under 
your command. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 
J. Webbe, 
Secretary to the Government.** 

To this letter General Harris returned the 
following answer : — 

" To the Right Hon. the Earl of Mornington, 
K. P., Governor-General in Council, &c. 

" Camp opposite Hoonelly^ 
24th August^ 1799. 
" My Lord, 

"The dispersion of the followers of 
Dhoondiah, and the flight of that rebel to the 
Mahratta territory, leaving me little doubt of the 
immediate settlement of affairs in the Bednore 
province, I have issued orders to Colonel Steven- 
son, commanding the troops employed in that 
service, to detach two Native battalions to occupy 
Bednore, Cowley Droog, and other principal 
stations, and to hold Lieutenant-Colonel Dal- 


lymple's detachment in readiness to return in a 
short time to the Nizam*s dominions. 

" Under this view of affairs^ it is my intention 
to quit the army to-morrow, and to proceed 
towards the Presidency to pay my respects to the 
Right Honourable the Governor-General before 
his departure for Bengal. 

"I have directed the Honourable Colonel 
Wellesley to command the troops serving in 
Mysore, and have, conformably to the orders of 
your Lordship in Council, arranged a temporary 
establishment of staff, nearly similar .to that 
allowed to the subsidiary force serving with His 
Highness the Nizam, to assist him in conducting 
the details of the troops under his command. 

^'In the event of an additional force being 
required in the Bednore district, after Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Dalrymple's detachment shall have 
been withdrawn, I have authorized Colonel Wel- 
lesley to request a reinforcement of two Native 
battalions from Major-General Hartley, and di- 
rected that officer to comply with such request, 
if made to him. 

" His Majesty's 12th Regiment, now at Sera, 
is ordered to march to the Presidency in obedi- 
ence to your Lordship's order of the 17th instant. 
The 25th Regiment of Light Dragoons, which has 
been extremely sickly, and a battalion of Artillery, 
has also been ordered to the Camatic. 

" A return of the state and distribution of the 


army remaining above the Ghauts^ and a proposed 
distribution for the army of the Madras Esta- 
blishment^ shall be submitted to your Lordship 
in Council soon after my arrival at the Pre- 

" The very flattering manner in which your 
Lordship in Council has been pleased to mention 
my services^ in the late campaign^ has been highly 
gratifying to my feelings^ by the conviction it has 
afforded^ that my earnest endeavours to conduct 
the important service entrusted to me, agreeably 
to the wishes of Government, have been attended 
with success. 

I have the honour, &c., 

, Geo. Harris." 

In his journey to the Presidency, General 
Harris received the following letter from Colonel 
Wellesley : — 

"To Lieutenant-General Harris, Commander- 

''AuffUBt^, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I have received Colonel Agnew's private 
and public letters, and I am much obliged to you 
for the additional mark of your favour and confi- 
dence in allowing me to appoint my own staff. 
Colonel Agnew will communicate to you what I 
have written to him upon this subject. 



"Before I left Seringapatam, Colonel Scott 
desired me to request your permission for him to 
go to England in a letter which I wrote to you. 
I have this day informed him that you have left 
the army, and have given him leave to go to 
Madras. I have also desired him to make his 
application to you in the regular form through 
Captain Young. 

" I wish you joy of the successful termination 
of every thing here, and I am, my dear Sir, 

Ever your faithful and obliged servant, 
Arthur Wellesley." 

The troops serving in Mysore having been 
thus delivered over to the command of Colonel 
Wellesley, the Commander-in-Chief, made all the 
haste in his power to reach Madras before the 
departure of the Governor-General for Calcutta. 
The manner in which this journey was accom- 
plished is thus described, by himself, in a letter to 
Sir W. Medows. 

"In seven months* absence from Madras, 
we not only took the capital of that enemy, who, 
you observe, should never have been left the 
power of being troublesome, but marched to the 
northern extent of his empire, and left it in so 
settled a state that I journeyed from the banks of 
the Toombudra, three hundred miles across, in 
my palankeen, without a single soldier as escort^ 


except, indeed, at many places, the polygars and 
peons of the country, who insisted on being my 
guard through their respective districts. This 
was a kind of triumphal journey I did not dream 
of when setting off. The Almighty has been 
wonderfully bountiful to us. A conquest so com- 
plete in all its effects has seldom been known, and 
certainly in my respect left me nothing to ask/' 

General Harris had the gratification of 
arriving at Madras before the departure of the 
Governor-General for Calcutta, and of assisting 
in the military arrangements which the late 
change in the political state of India rendered 

Early in September, the Earl of M ornington 
sailed from Madras for Calcutta, leaving on the 
minds of the people of that Presidency the deepest 
feelings of admiration and gratitude. They were 
the first to feel the consequences of the wisdom, 
vigour, and justice of his measures, in their de- 
liverance from the perpetual alarm of a cruel 
invasion by the most implacable and powerful 
enemy of the British name in India. The glorious 
success of a just and necessaiy war, and the 
prospect of future peace in the Carnatic (which 
has never since been disturbed by any hostile 
aggression), gladdened all hearts, and inspired 
one universal feeling of reverence towards the 
immediate author of these blessings. 


How deeply the noble Earl felt the import- 
ance of those services which he had called into 
activity, and by which he had eflfected this great 
and happy change in the affairs of the East India 
Company, is fully and generously manifested in 
the following letter which he addressed to Mr. 
Dundas before he left Madras. 

**The Earl of Mornington to the Right 
Honourable H. Dcjndas. 

^^ Fart St. GeorgeyVJ^Q. 

" You wiU not be surprised at any degree 

of earnestness which I may feel to promote the 

interests of that gallant army, by whose assistance 

I have effected the late important and happy 

revolution in the affairs of the British nation on 

this side of India. 

^^Your own zeal for the public service, and 
the honourable support which it has always been 
your peculiar pride and pleasure to afford to 
those who have co-operated with you in the great 
cause in which we are all engaged, inspire me 
with a confident expectation, that I shall find in 
your sentiments a degree of cordiality and ardour 
correspondent with my own. 

**The army at large have received, in the 
captured property taken at Seringapatam, a 
reward in some degree proportioned to their 
merits, and it is rather the province of the Com- 


mander- in-Chief than mine to appreciate and 
recommend to notice the conduct of the officers 
of inferior rank to that of Generals on the staff. 
I shall therefore confine my recommendations to 
that rank. 

" I have already had repeated occasion to ex- . 
press to you my feelings of public and private 
gratitude towards Lieutenant-General Harris^ as 
well as to explain the strong grounds on which 
both those sentiments are founded in my mind. 
The share which General Harris has received of 
the prize taken at Seringapatam has placed his 
fortune above the want of any public aid ; other* 
wise^ I have no doubt that the magnitude of his 
services would have insured to him a liberal 
and munificent provision from the East India 

"Under Lieutenant-General Harris's actual 
circumstances^ I should hope that his Majesty 
might deem it proper to confer a distinguished 
mark of honour upon that deserving officer ; and, 
impressed as I am with the importance of the con- 
quest achieved under Lieutenant-General Harrises 
command, I trust that his Majesty will confer no 
honours on General Harris below those of the 
order of the Bath, and of a peerage of Great 
Britain. It is my duty to state to you, that any 
honours inferior to these would not meet the 
public opinion entertained in India with respect 
to the importance of the late victories, nor satisfy 


that sentiment of honourable pride which they 
have difiiised through every branch of the civil 
and military service in this country. I must^ 
therefore, make it my most anxious and earnest 
request to you, that you will omit no endeavour 
to obtain for Lieutenant-General Harris the 
honours which he has so well merited. 

"Lieutenant-General Stuart, Commander-in- 
Chief of the Army of Bombay, has long been 
distinguished for the ability and eminence of his 
services in India. During the late war, he has 
added considerably to his former laurels, and the 
victory obtained by the troops under his com- 
mand at Sedaseer must ever be remembered as 
one of the most brilliant events in our military 
history of India. His health is now declining, 
and he proposes to return to Europe in the ap- 
proaching season. His circumstances, even with 
the addition of his prize-money, will be mode- 
rate ; and certainly, no military character in this 
quarter of the globe, whether considered on the 
ground of long service, eminent success, or ap- 
proved integrity, ever was a more proper object 
for the munificence of the East India Company. 
I also trust that the splendid and important vic- 
tory of Sedaseer will recommend Lieutenant- 
General Stuart to his Majesty for the order of 
the Bath. 

" It is impossible to bestow too much com- 
mendation on the conduct of Major- General 


Baird^ in the assault of Seringapatam. A more 
judicious operation^ conducted with more heroic 
gallantry and spirit, never was achieved; and 
when you recollect the decisive consequences 
of the success of that day, effecting within the 
course of two hours the entire destruction of 
our most formidable enemy in India, I am per- 
suaded you will concur with me in an anxious 
solicitude to see the gallant leader of the assail- 
ants of Tippoo Sultaun*s capital rewarded in a 
manner suitable to his exertions, and to their 
beneficial effect. I have made it my particular 
business to inquire into Major-General Baird's 
circumstances, and I have ascertained that they 
are by no means affluent ; it would therefore be a 
peculiar satisfaction to me if the East India Com- 
pany should exercise their known liberality in this 
case. When it is remembered, that in the course 
of active and arduous service during the former 
war, he fell into the hands of Tippoo Sultaun, and 
suffered a long and cruel imprisonment in the 
dungeons of that fortress, which, on the 4th of 
May, 1799, submitted to his irresistible valour 
and skill, I am persuaded that his claim to public 
reward and honour will be deemed peculiarly 
interesting and powerful. I should also hope 
that his extraordinary merits on the 4th of May 
would induce his Majesty to consider him as a 
proper object for the order of the Bath. I en- 
close a letter from Major-General Baird, which 


reflects the highest credit on his sentimentB of 
honour and public spirit. 

" The Commander-in-Chief has made a very 
favourable report to me of the conduct of Major- 
General Fioyd^ who commanded the cavalry 
during the war. I understand that General Floyd 
proposes to return soon to Europe^ and that his 
principal object is to obtain a regiment. The 
Commander-in-Chief has also made a very fa- 
vourable report to me of the conduct of Major- 
Generals Bridges and Popham^ of the Company's 
service^ during the campaign ; and I have already 
had occasion J in my letters to the Court of Di- 
rectors, to applaud the services of Major-General 
Hartley on the coast of Malabar. 

^^ It appeared to me that even those parts of 
this letter which relate to the bounty of the East 
India Company would be more properly addressed 
to you than to the Court of Directors, who might 
deem it presumptuous in one of their servants to 
affect to point out to them the proper objects of 
their liberality on such an occasion as the present. 
You wiU, however, make whatever use of this 
letter may appear to you most advisable. 

" With regard to the several able and gallant 
officers, whom I have named, their persons were 
entirely unknown to me previously to my airival 
in India, nor have I any knowledge of their re- 
spective families or connections in Europe. The 
services which they have rendered to the public 


form the sole gi*ound of my own acquaintance 
with them^ and the only motive of the interest 
which I take in their welfare and honour. I 
know that the same circumstances will be their 
best recommendation to your countenance and 

Believe me^ dear Sir^ 

with great respect and regard. 
Yours, most faithfully and affectionately, 


Before General Harris embarked for England, 
he had the satisfaction of receiving "the thanks 
of the House of Commons and of the Court of 
Directors, for the whole of his able and merito- 
rious conduct in the command of the forces of 
his Majesty and the East India Company, during 
the late glorious and decisive war with the 
Sultaun of Mysore, and particularly for the 
ability, judgment and energy with which he 
planned and directed the assault of Seringapatam, 
the success of which brilliant achievement had so 
highly contributed to the glory of the British 
name, and to the permanent tranquility of our 
possessions in the East." 

General Harris had the further gi-atification 
of hearing from Colonel Wellesley, that all was 
quiet and prosperous in Mysore, in the following 
farewell letter. 


^^Seringapaiam^ itk December^ 1799. 

^^ My dear Sir, 

^^ My public communications with the 
Adjutant-General and with Government, have 
made you acquainted with the manner in which 
I have been going on here. You left me but little 
to do, and we are now quiet and prosperous every 

"I hear that you sail shortly for England 
with Mrs. Harris and your family. I beg that 
you will do me the favour to present my best 
respects to her. 

"I shall never forget the many marks of 
favour and kindness I have received from you, 
for which I again return my thanks. Wherever 
you go I shall always be glad to hear of your 
happiness, (of your success there is no doubt,) 
And believe me, my dear Sir, 
Your most faithful and obliged servant, 

Arthur Wellesley." 



In answer to the unfounded remarks contained in Mr. Hook s 
Life of Sir David Baird^ upon the appointment of the 
Honourable Colonel WcUcaley to the command of the 
Nizam 8 subsidiary force. 

To have closed the account of General Harris's 
services in Mysore, with these just tributes of 
approbation, would have been the most natural, 
and to me the most gratifying, conclusion of my 
narrative. But the biogi*apher of Sir David 
Baird, Mr. Hook, has thought himself at liberty, 
not only to treat that gallant officer as he would 
the hero of a novel, but to scatter unfounded 
censures upon the Commander-in-Chief, the 
Governor-General, and Colonel Wellesley, as con- 
spirators against that monopoly of merit, which 
Mr. Hook assumes for Sir David Baird in the 
fall of Seringapatam. 

In the support of this absurd claim, Mr. 
Hook has adopted the petty scandal of the 
gossips of the campaign of Mysore, in 1799, as 
authentic histoiy, and has thus abused the name 
of Sir D. Baird, as a medium for defaming those 
who were the chief instruments of that great 
national service. As if the heads and hearts of 
Englishmen were not clear and large enough to 

2 D 


appreciate the just claims which each had upon 
his country's gratitude, and as if it were neces- 
sary for the character of Sir David Baird — 

To raise 

Trophies for him from other men's dispraise. 

The substance of the imputations against 
Lord Harris in the Life of Sir David Baird, is, 
that he disregarded his superior claims by ap- 
pointing Colonel Wellesley to commands, which 
properly belonged to Major-General Baird ; and 
that this partiality originated in a servile defer- 
ence to the secret commands and private wishes 
of the Earl of Mornington, then Governor-General 
of India. He further states that Lord Harris 
was led by malice and envy to withhold from 
General Baird the applause he deserved. 

The instances referred to in respect to Colonel 
Wellesley are, that he was appointed to command 
the Nizam's subsidiaiy force, in February, 1799, 
and afterwards selected to command the fortress 
of Seringapatam, when it had fallen by siege and 
assault of the British troops, on the 4th of May, 

The simple statement of these transactions, 
confirmed by the letters of Sir David Baird and 
Colonel Wellesley, will satisfy every impartial 
reader, (and especially those who have any 
remembrance of the characters of the parties 
alluded to,) not only that these charges are 
entirely destitute of foundation, but that the kmd 


disposition and forbearance of the Commander- 
in-Chief, at Seringapatam, towards General Baird 
contributed greatly to the increased reputation, 
and well-earned independence, which that gallant 
officer had the opportunity of acquiring, after the 
conclusion of the campaign in Mysore. 

When General Harris selected Colonel Wei- 
lesley for the command of the Nizam's subsidiary 
force, the officers superior in rank to the Colonel 
were thus employed, — 

Major-Gen. Floyd . . . Commanding Cavalry. 
Major-Gen. Bridges . . Commanding Right Wing. 
Major-Gen. Popham . . Commanding Left Wing. 

All these officers were senior to General Baird, 
and were of a reputation and service not to be 
superseded by a junior officer. No appointment, 
therefore, remained for General Baird in the line, 
but that of a brigade, and he was accordingly 
directed to command the European Brigade in 
the Right Wing. 

In this order the army marched from Vellore 
on the 6th of February, 1799. On the 16th the 
Nizam's subsidiary force arrived at Goriatum, and 
the Commander-in-Chief determined that it should 
be strengthened by one European regiment from 
his army, and he selected the 33rd Regiment^ 
Colonel Wellesley's, and, as senior officer, the tem- 
porary command of the subsidiary force neces- 
sarUy devolved upon him. 

2 D 2 


He regretted to learn soon afterwards that 
Major-General Baird considered this appointment 
a supercession of his senior claims. The Com- 
mander-in-Chief sent for him, and explained to 
him that this was a political as well as a military 
appointment, and had reason to believe he had 
satisfied Major- General Baird that he had taken 
a very erroneous view of the matter ; but General 
Baird thought fit to write the following letter to 
General Harris. 

^' Camp^ near ByaikoUah, March 4, 1798. 
" Dear General, 

" By a conversation this morning with Cap- 
tain Young, I was happy to learn your present 
sentiments with regard to me, and that the reasons 
that induced you to appoint a junior officer to a 
higher command in this army than that which I 
hold, were such as would have been satisfactory 
to me had they been publicly known. I am per- 
fectly sensible of your having the undoubted right, 
without being obliged to assign your reasons to 
any one, to select such officers as you may think 
proper for any service that may offer, and I am 
the last person that would expect you to act in- 
consistent with your situation. It must, however, 
appear extraordinary that a major-general, sent 
out expressly by his Majesty to serve on the staff 
in India, should remain in the command of three 
battalions, whilst a colonel serving in the same 


army is placed at the head of seven, or rather 
thirteen, corps, and I may add a lieutenant-colonel 
(Browne), commanding a separate army, with the 
probability of having two of his Majesty's corps 
under him. Meer Allum's request to have the 
Governor-General's brother in command of the 
troops under him is certainly a good reason on 
that head ; but this is only known to me privately, 
whilst, as the order now stands, I am apparently 
degraded in the eyes of the army and of my friends 
at home. Under these circumstances, I trust to 
your adopting such measures as to you may 
appear pioper, in order that the real cause may 
be known of the appointment of Colonel Wei- 
lesley to a superior command. 

I have the honour to be, 

With much respect. 
Dear sir, yours, most ti-uly, 
D. Baird." 

** To Lteutenant-General Harris, ^c.^ 4^, 4^." 

I find upon this original letter from Major- 
General Baird the following endorsement in the 
Commander-in-Chiefs hand. 

"To have answered it even as the rough 
draft enclosed must have been disagreeable; a 
fortunate turn saved me the necessity.*' 


^^To Major-Gsnbral Baird. 

^^ I have received your letter of the 4th in- 
stant, and am sorry you should have thought it 
necessary to renew the subject of Colonel Wei- 
lesley's late appointment. It appears to me, after 
what had passed between us, that you should have 
treated it, as it really is, as a political arrangement 
likely to be highly beneficial to the public service, 
and not as having any reference to command in 
the line, with which it has nothing to do. My 
personal regard for you induces me to give this 
explanation, and makes me wish thus to relieve 
your mind from every idea that there could be 
any inattention to your situation, and which, I 
trust, will be perfectly clear to you when you are 
acquainted that the contingent of the Nizam can 
only be commanded by a colonel*." 

"The fortunate turn" here alluded to was 
the acknowledgment of Major-General Baird to 
the Commander-in-Chief that he had been wrong 
in his impressions respecting Colonel Wellesley's 
appointment, and therefore he requested the 
matter might be no further noticed. This, Gene- 
ral Harris, with his usual kindness, very readily 
promised, and he faithfully kept his word. He 
did not comment severely, as be might have done, 

* The agreement with the Nizam provided for the pay 
and allowances of all ranks, of which the highest was a colonel 


upon the manifest inconsistency of avowing that 
the Commander-in-Chief had a right to select 
such officers as he might think proper, for any 
service, without being obliged to assign his rea- 
sons to any one, and in the next sentence pre- 
suming to call upon him, not only to assign his 
reasons, but to make those reasons public. 

When General Harris selected the 33rd Regi- 
ment for service with the Nizam's detachment. 
Colonel Wellesley, who commanded it, was the 
senior officer belonging to the European regiments 
with the army. 

The selection of any other person would, 
therefore, have been a supercession of the officer 
who had the first claim to it, and who possessed 
all the personal qualities, and all the political 
advantages, required in the commandant of this 
force, enjoying as he did the entire confidence of 
the Commander-in-Chief, and having before him 
the reasonable expectation of acquiring the con- 
fidence and respect of the Nizam's native com- 
mander, Meer Allum, who was very desirous of 
his appointment. General HaiTis, therefore, lost 
not a moment in giving effect to that measure 
when the contingent force joined his army ; and it 
may be a profitable meditation for those who have 
a habit of being dissatisfied with everything not 
precisely of their own arrangement, to consider 
what would have been the effect upon Sir Bavid 
Baird's future life if either of his desires, as ex- 


pressed in his hasty letter to the Commander-in- 
Chief, had been complied with. 

If he had been appointed to the Nizam's con- 
tingent, Colonel Wellesley, and not Sir David 
Baird, would have commanded the assault of 
Seringapatam, and I may at least venture to say 
that Colonel Wellesley would have been as perfect 
a hero of that day as Major-General Baird. 

On the other hand, if his desire of superseding 
Lieutenant-Colonel Browne in the command of 
what he calls that " separate army *' had been 
complied with, he would not have reached Sering- 
apatam until ten days after the place had fallen^ 
and the prize-committee would have excluded 
him, as they did Lieutenant-Colonel Browne, from 
all share of the booty. Tliis exclusion, it is true, 
was disapproved by General Harris, severely re- 
prehended by the Governor- Genei*al, and finally, 
though too tardily, corrected by the authorities at 
home ; but still, if General Baird had followed the 
fortunes and march of that detachment, he would 
have received the same injustice from the prize- 
committee instead of that large share of applause 
and honourable prize, which General Han'is's 
kinder and wiser employment of his services ob- 
tained for him. 

It is " a little curious, too," as Mr, Hook so 
often observes in the course of his narrative, that 
the copy which he gives of Major-General Baird's 
letter to General Harris respecting Colonel Wei- 


lesley^s appointment to the Nizam's contingent, 
should entirely omit that part about " Lieutenant- 
Colonel Browne commanding a separate army, 
with the probability of having two of his Majesty's 
corps under him," to the prejudice of Major- 
General Baird's superior claims. The passage 
thus omitted contains within itself a refutation 
of the complaint which Mr. Hook labours to 
establish, per fas et nefasj — ^namely, that Colonel 
Wellesley was his only unworthy rival, and alone 
intruded upon his path, and this because of 
General Harris's servility to his brother, the Go- 
vernor-General. However, to adopt again Mr. 
Hook's candid phraseology, " It is not our pro- 
vince to assign motives or arraign intentions; 
truth should be the historian's guide." Ge- 
neral Baird's original letter, in his own hand- 
writing, is now lying before me ; it may be seen 
by any body*, it has been exactly copied in the 
preceding page, and the argument founded upon 
Mr. Hook's imperfect copy is not worthy of an- 
other remark in this place, except that which was 
addressed to a celebrated French biographer — 
" Ah, Monsieur, que votre ouvrage est beau! plus 
beau que la verity." 

* At Mr. Parker 8, West Strand. 




In answer to the unfounded remarks contiuned in Mr. Hook's 
lAfe of Sir David Baird, upon the appointment of Colonel 
Wellesley to command in Seringapatam. 

The second instance of the injustice and neglect 
which Major-General Baird is alleged to have 
suflTered from General Harris, was the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Wellesley to relieve him after 
Seringapatam had fallen by siege and assault. 

And here I am indebted to Mr. Hook for fur- 
nishing me with materials for the complete defence 
of my noble friend, and the condemnation of the 
prudence of General Baird's biographer. 

I well remember Lord Harris expressing to me 
the great pleasure he felt when Major-General 
Baird saw the folly of some complaining letters 
which he had written to him upon the subject of 
Colonel Wellesley's appointment to Seringapatam, 
and how readily he had complied with his request 
that they might be cancelled and forgot ; there- 
fore, neither the originals nor copies of them were 
found among his papers, but Mr. Hook has given 
the copies as follow. 


" To Lieut.-Gbneral Harris, Commander-in- 
Chief, &€., &e, 

^^Camp^ SeringapcOam, May 6, 1799. 
'' Sir, 

^^ Having, in a letter which I had this morn- 
ing the honour to address to you, given a detailed 
account of the assault of the Fort of Seringapa- 
tam, the conduct of which you did me the honour 
to entrust to me, permit me now, sir, to address 
you on the subject of the events which have taken 
place since that time. Having been honoured 
with the conduct of the assault, and having exe- 
cuted that duty to your satisfaction, I naturally 
concluded that I should have been permitted to 
retain the command of Seringapatam, or, at least, 
that I should not be superseded in it by a junior 
officer. Judge, then, my surprise, when expecting 
to have the honour of delivering to you the keys 
of Seringapatam in the palace of the late Tippoo 
Sultaun, and of congratulating you on the most 
brilliant victory that ever graced the British arms 
in India, to have an order put into my hands by 
Colonel Wellesley, by which I found myself in- 
stantly superseded in the command by that officer, 
I am really ignorant what part of my conduct 
could merit such treatment. When, on a former 
occasion. Colonel Wellesley was appointed to the 
command of the detachment serving with his 
Highness the Nizam, while I remained in charge 
of a~ brigade, you informed me that matters of a 


political nature made it necessary to have that 
officer with the Nizam's army. Although I severely 
felt the appointment of a junior officer to so dis- 
tinguished a command while I remained in an 
inferior station, I submitted to the necessity which 
you informed me dictated the measure ; but this 
second supercession I feel most sensibly^ as it 
must have the effect of leading his Majesty and 
the Commander-in-Chief in England to believe 
that I am not fit for any command of importance, 
when it has been thought proper to give the com- 
mand of Seringapatam to Colonel Wellesley, while 
he, at the same time, continues to hold the com- 
mand of the Nizam's detachment. In camp it is 
rumoured to have been at my own request, that 
another officer was appointed to the command of 
Seringapatam; you, sir, must know that this is 
not the case; the request, if made, must have 
been made by me to you, and, so far from its ever 
being my intention to make such a request, if, 
after the assurances I have repeatedly received 
from you, that you would take the first opportu- 
nity of placing me in a situation more adequate 
to the rank I hold than that of the command of a 
brigade, I had deemed it necessary to make 
any request to you, it would have been to be 
placed in the command of Seringapatam ; and 
when I reflected that my two seniors, belonging 
to the coast army, continued to stand appointed 
to the northern and southern divisions of the 


Carnatic, and that the Honourable Colonel Wel- 
lesley, the next junior to me, stood appointed to 
the command of an army, while I remained in 
charge of a brigade, I should have felt I was 
hinting a doubt, which I never entertained, of the 
sincerity of those assurances, if I made a parti- 
cular application for the command of Seringapa- 
tam; indeed, I could not think it necessary* 
Some mistake may have arisen from my having, 
through Major Beatson, expressed a desire that 
the whole storming party might be relieved from 
camp, so that order might be established, and 
troops more equal to take the fatigue of guard 
mounting during the night be placed in the Fort ; 
and I wished to be relieved for a short time, that 
I might myself have had the honour of reporting 
our success, and informing you in person of every 
particular relating to the storm. This not having 
been found convenient, I desired Captain Young, 
Deputy Adjutant-General of his Majesty^s troops, 
who was proceeding to camp at daylight next 
morning, to inform you that, as I was much re- 
covered from the fatigues of the preceding day, I 
wished not to be relieved till I had examined the 
state of the works, and ascertained the number 
of cannon captured. I received a letter from 
Captain Young, long before Colonel Wellesley 
superseded me, informing me that he had made 
my request known to you. I cannot but feel 
obliged by your having enabled me to act so dis- 


tinguished a part in the storm^ though I find so 
little attention has, in every other instance, been 
paid to my requests, that I am almost led to 
believe my being employed on that occasion, was 
owing to my being the only officer of rank who 
had made a voluntary offer of his services. I 
request that copies of this letter may be trans- 
mitted to His Royal Highness the Commander- 
in-Chief, for the information of his Majesty, that, 
at the same time he is informed of my having 
been twice superseded by Colonel Wellesley, he 
may be in possession of such reasons as you shall 
think proper to give for it, that he may be satis- 
fied the measure was dictated by necessity, and 
not by any want of capacity on my part to fill 
the situation. 

I have the honour, &c. 

D. Baird." 

''To Major-General Baird. 

'^ Camp^ Serinaapatamiy Bth May. 
" Sir, 

" The Commander-in-Chief directs me to 

inform you, that he has this day received from 

Major of Brigade Falconer, your report of the 

assault entrusted to your conduct on the 4th 

instant, and that, ever ready to do justice to the 

merits of officers under his command, he is 

happy in the occasion you have given him for 

taking particular notice of the conduct of Colonel 


Sherbrooke. I am also directed to acknowledge 
the receipt of the very improper letter which 
accompanied your report. The distinguished 
command for which you were selected by the 
Commander-in-Chief, and the sentiments he has 
so publicly and recently expressed on that occa- 
sion, sufficiently mark what was his sense of your 
military merit ; and it is with regret that he now 
finds himself compelled to blame a total want of 
discretion and respect in an officer of your high 
rank and length of service, in terms so opposite 
to those in which he was lately so happy to ap- 
plaud your gallantry, humanity, and zeal. Lieu- 
tenant-General Harris is persuaded that an officer 
who thinks himself authorized to remonstrate 
with his immediate superior, can never be use- 
fully employed in the army he commands. Should 
you, therefore, continue to hold sentiments so 
opposite to the principles of military subordina- 
tion, you have his permission to proceed by the 
first safe conveyance to Fort St. George. The 
Commander-in-Chief will certainly forward to 
His Royal Highness the Duke of York, copies of 
your letter and his reply. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your very obedient servant, 

P. A. Agnew, 

Mil, Sec, to the Commander-in-Chief," 



" I yesterday received a letter from Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Agnew, your public secretary, which 
has created in me the greatest astonishment. 
Conceiving myself injured, and my military cha- 
racter in some degree impeached, in the repeated 
preference that had been shown to my junior, 
the Honourable Colonel Wellesley, in nominating 
him to distinguished commands, whilst I, serving 
with the same army, was still left in my original 
situation of commandant of a brigade ; and feel- 
ing as I conceived every military man in a 
similar situation would have felt, on being super-" 
seded by the same officer in the command of the 
important fortress of Seringapatam, I thought it 
due to my own character to address you on that 
subject; and I can safely affirm that, in the 
address, it was my firm intention to make to you 
the most respectful statement of facts. On the 
receipt of your secretary's letter, I again and 
again perused the one I had had the honour to 
address to you; and, after every attempt, must 
acknowledge myself unable to discover one para- 
graph, or even one word, which can be construed 
into the smallest disrespect. God knows, such 
an idea was the furthest from my thoughts ; I, 
therefore, feel with double sensibility the un- 
merited asperity of your secretary's letter, which 
I can hardly bring myself to believe to contain 
your real sentiments. If, however, I am wrong 


in this conjecture, I trust you will enable me to 
clear myself before a general court-martial, from 
which I can have nothing to fear, being satisfied 
in my own mind that there is not an oflScer in 
this, or in any army, who more abhors the crime 
of which I stand accused. It was my intention, 
from the moment I was superseded in the com- 
mand of Seringapatam, to apply for permission 
to quit the army, as soon as I deemed my services 
to my King and country no longer required my 
remaining with it. My wish is still to do so, and 
I shall, when there is no longer an appearance of 
the army's being actively employed, make an 
application to you to that effect. If, however, 
you still persevere in your determination of 
ordering me from the army, in consequence of 
the respectful representation I have thought 
myself authorized to make to you, I shall, in that 
case, only have to regret the necessity there will 
be for making my removal from the army, and 
the circumstances which occasioned it, equally 

(Signed) D. Baird." 

*^ To Major-General Baird, &c. &c. &c. 

" SeringapcUam. 


"The Commander-in-Chief has received 
your letter of the 9th instant, and directed me to 
inform you in reply, that the explanation therein 

2 B 


given baa prpdvced ^lo cliange iu t^^e ^eutifqents 
expressed by his order on the 7th i^sta^t^ ii» my 
letter to you. It was not on the ^ords, but the 
tenor pf yoyr letter of the pth inst;ftnt, ttiat the 
Commanjier-i^^-Chiel' thpvight \\ his fli|Vy to ve- 
mwl^. He never can ctdmit the right qf any 
si^bqrd^nafe ofl^cer tq rqmo.nstr^ite >7^t|i h^m on 
the propriety of me^usures he has adopted for (he 
public service ; or on his selection of pfficers for 
situations of public trust. Jn assuming this 
privilege, be stiU thipks that you haye b^n 
wanting in discretion and respect; and ypur 
letter of yesterday has in a great n^e^sure removed 
the coftcern he felt at the necessity >vhiph pbliged 
him to inform you that such were his opinions. 
Lieutenant- General ^a^-ris desires that this fetter 
inay conclude a correspondence which you are at 
liberty to make as public as possible, 

J have the. honour to be. Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 
P. A. Aqnbw, 

Mil, Sec, to the Cijmma/nder'in-Qhiefr 

It appears clearly from M ajor-General Baird's 
first letter, that after the assault, he did himself 
that veiy night convey to the Commander-in- 
Chief, through Major Beatson, his desire that the 
"whple storming party might be relieved from 
^he campj and troops ipore eqjual tq take thp 
fatigue of guard-mounting during the night be 


placed in the Fort;" and the letter adds, "I wished 
to be relieved for a short time that I might my- 
self have the honour of reporting our success, and 
informing you in person of every particular 
relative to the storm." 

But the Major-GeneraFs wish to be relieved 
that night was not, and could not properly be 
complied with ; although Colonel Wellesley, who 
was next on the Roster, was put in orders that 
night. The lateness of the hour at which one of 
the most important operations of the day was 
concluded forbad it. The Sultaun's body was 
not found till torch-light, and the introduction of 
fresh troops under the circumstances in which 
the Fort was then placed, would have added 
greatly to the confusion and horrors of the night. 
Every part of the relief was necessarily and pru- 
dently postponed until the sun rose, to shed his 
light upon the awful deeds which had been done 
on the preceding day and night, within the walls 
of the fortress, where no less than 9,000 human 
bodies were claiming the rites of sepulture. 

But if the Commander-in-Chief had never 
received any application from Major -General 
Baird, his own sense of duty would have led him 
to pursue exactly the course which the Major- 
General had recommended. He would have sent 
the next senior officer from the trenches who had 
not been on the storming party, and a competent 
number of fresh troops, to relieve the whole at the 

2 E 2 


earliest practicable moment, and Colonel Wei- 
lesley being that officer, it fell to him, as matter 
of ordinary duty, to be employed upon it. 

There was, in the first instance, no selection 
of Colonel Wellesley, because he was the brother 
of the Governor-General, or because he was the 
best person that could be sent. I have found a 
memorandum of a conversation between the 
Commander-in-Chief and the Deputy Adjutant- 
General, Major Turing, on this occasion, which 
sets this matter quite at rest. Upon receiving 
General Baird's application to be relieved, he 
communicated it to Major Turing, and asked 
who was the next officer for duty. "Colonel 
Roberts," said Major Turing. " Then put him in 
orders to go," replied General Harris. Presently 
afterwards Major Turing, looking more atten- 
tively over the order, said, "No, Sir, I have made 
a mistake ; Colonel Wellesley is the next for duty, 
not Colonel Roberts." "Then let Colonel Wel- 
lesley be put in orders for the relief," said General 
Harris. Colonel Wellesley, accordingly, went in 
the common routine of military duty, expecting 
himself to be relieved whenever the Commander- 
in-Chief should think fit. Indeed, at the moment 
when Colonel Wellesley entered the Fort, and 
General Baird left it, the Commander-in-Chief 
could not say that the presence of both these 
distinguished officers might not be immediately 
required in the active duties of the field. We 


had, it is true, got Seringapatam, and found 
Tippoo's body, late in the evening, under a heap 
of slain, and it was removed to the palace. All 
that could then have been positively said, was, 
as the immortal Gray sung of the merciless 

MigHty Victor, mighty Lord, 
Low on his funeral couch he lies, 

No pitying heart, no eyes afford 
A tear to grace his obsequies. 

The sable warrior's fled. 

He rests among the dead. 

But whether the "swarm that in his noon-tide 
beam were bom," should be quickly ranged under 
some of his ferocious progeny, was still to be seen, 
and until this was decided, no permanent com- 
mandant could be properly appointed for the 
fortress of Seringapatam. 

On the following day, Abdul Khadir, the 
elder of the princes formerly one of the hostages 
with Lord Cornwallis, surrendered himself at our 
outposts. Kureem Saheb, the brother of Tippoo, 
sought refuge with Meer Allum, and on the 
succeeding two days, he had reason to look for 
Cummur-ud-Deen's immediate submission; and 
as the army of the Sultaun relied chiefly upon 
him, the Commander-in-Chief expected, through 
his means, to be enabled at once to restore tran- 

It was in the progress of these happy events 
that General Harris received the following letter 


from Colonel Wellesley, and to which, I desire to 
call the particular attention of the reader. 

^' Serifigapatamy May 6, 1799. 

^' My dear Sir, 

^^ Plunder is stopped — the fires are all extin- 
guished, and the inhabitants are returning to 
their houses fast. I am now employed in burjing 
the dead, which I hopie will be completed this 
day, particularly if you send me all the pioneers. 

"It is absolutely necessary that you should 
appoint a permanent garrison and a commanding 
officer to the place. Till that is done, the people 
will have no confidence in us, and everything 
must be in confusion. That which I arrange this 
day, my successor may alter to-morrow, and his 
the next day, and nothing ivill ever be settled. A 
garrison which would be likely to remain iiere 
would soon make themselves comfortable, although 
it might be found convenient hereafter to change 
some of the corps first sent in ; but these daily 
reliefs create much coiifusion and distrust in the 
inhabitants, and the camp is at such a distance, 
that it is impossible for the officers, or soldiere, 
or sepoys, to get down their dinners. 

"1 shall- be obliged to you if you will order 
an extra dram and biscuit for the 12th, 33rd, 
and 73rd Regiments, who got nothing to eat 
yesterday, and were wet last night. 

" In hopes that you will attend to my recom- 


mendations to send a garrison to-morrow, I'll 
look out a place to accommodate one or two 
battalions of Europeans, and three or four of 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Your most faithful servant, 


For all the reasons stated in this letter, and^ 
in consideration of ihfe happy change ^hifch had 
taken place in the two days which had intervehed 
since Geileral Baird was relieved by Colonel 
Wellesley, the Commander-in-Chief determined 
to appoint Colonel WelleSley to the coitimand of 
the fortress, and to give him a more permanent 
garrison. This was no Sooner done, tHaii General 
Baird was persuaded to remonstrate, iii the Uhbe- 
coming terms already quoted, againist the Com- 
mander-in-Chiefs selection. He received the 
reproof which he felt that he well deservfed; and 
it had the happy effect of recalling hini to a more 
correct view of his duty. He requested that he 
might be allowed to withdraw the correspondence 
whidh had passed, and to this the Cominander- 
in-Chief consented, fVom *^ personal regard.'* 
These are the very words used In General Ilarrii^'s 
private journal respecting this traiisaction, \t^ritteki 
in his own hand, and, oh the following day, he 
wrote to the tdrl of Momington as follows : — 


'' Serinffapatam, May 9<A, 1799. 
*^ My dear Lord, 

" That I most sincerely congratulate your 
Lordship on our most fortunate successes I feel 
you will give me entire credit for, without my 
dwelling further on the point. The Almig-hty 
has been pleased to grant a victory so complete 
in all its events, as to leave nothing on my side 
to ask, but that your Lordship will come and 
regulate the political concerns for the benefit 
of all. 

'^You may be assured that every order or 
wish of yours, signified to me, shall in future, as 
heretofore, be carried into execution with all pos- 
sible despatch, but for the good of our country, I 
really think your presence here necessary. For 
my part, politics have never been my study, ex- 
clusive of which my constitution is evidently 
giving way to the anxieties I have already gone 
through, and I am fearful will fail altogether, 
unless allowed to recruit in quiet. I cannot expect 
that the world shall allow that the anxieties of 
the expedition were proportionably great to the 
shortness of the period in which it has been 
executed, but I best know, that had mine been 
divided into as many years, as we have been 
months, they would still have worn me down ; 
added to this, I am not so equal to fatigue as I 
thought myself,— from all which I shall be much 
obliged by your Lordship making such arrange- 


ments, as to let me return as soon as convenient 
after our meeting here. In the meantime you 
may depend that the same active measures which, 
under Providence, have so greatly tended to our 
success, shall still be continued, and that we shall 
not sit down content with having taken the 
capital, but proceed, with all possible despatch, to 
secure the country. 

I am, with the greatest regard, my Lord, 

Your most truly faithful and obliged 
Friend and servant, 

George Harris." 

In this letter there is no allusion to Major- 
General Baird's intemperate proceeding, although 
the Commander-in-Chief had felt it most acutely : 
the more so, because his own health had been 
sinking, during the preceding fortnight, under 
disorder and anxiety, which, to use his own 
expressions, "had not yielded even to the great 
event which had given him fortune and fame." 
"My complaint still continues, and I remain 
weak and enervated as before." Indeed, it was 
not until the latter end of the month that his 
strength began to return, as the disorder (the 
Seringapatam fever) subsided ; and, in the begin- 
ning of June, I find the following entry in his 
Journal : — 

" June 8th, — ^Delivered to Major-General Baird 
the sword voted to him by the Prize Committee. 


I had directed officers commandlilg wings, bri- 
gades^ and corps t6 tneet me at my tent, trhen I 
addressed them nearly as follows : — 

'** Gentlemen, I have asisembled this very 
respectable meeting on an occasion whicb I hare 
no doubt will give eqiial plfeasUre to lis all. The 
Prize Committee, of which Major-General Floyd 
is President, have requested me to present to 
Major-GenerAl Baird, in the naitie of the army, 
the sword of Tippoo Sultdun, found in his bed- 
chamber on the day the tyrant fell, with an ex- 
tract of their t)roefeedings/ The extract I then 
read, and, taking the sword from Scott (my aide- 
de-eamp) said, ' Major-General Baird, I have now 
the pleasure to present yoti the sword you have 
so honourably obtiaihed, aiid most sincerely wish 
you long to wear it.' He was too much agitated 
to make any connected answer/* 

In the evening he sent to the Commander-in- 
Chief a letter, of which the following is an exact 
copy : — 

^'To Lieutekant-Gbnbral Harris, Com- 

" Camp rvsar ^eringapattam^ June 8«A, 1799. 

" From the state of hiy feelings this morn- 
ing, I really was incapable of making any reply 
to the distinguished honour which the army has 
been plieased to ^it-tesetit to me through you, and 
which I receive with the htfaiost gratitude and 


respect. To khow that 1 possess the good opinion 
of this gallant army is most gratifying tb iiiy 
feelings, particularly so, as it insures that of toy 
King and Country, \t^hich is the highest simbitioti 
of a soldier. 

" Permit me td return you my warmest thanks 
for the very handsome manner iii which yoii 
expriessed yourself to me on that occa^sion ; arid I 
request you will have the goodness to for^^ard 
tiiesfe, my sentiments, to Major-Gehferal Floyd, 
PlesideUt of the Committee of Prize. 
I have the honour to be. Sir, 

With the utmost respect. 

Your most obedient servant, 
D. Baird, 


Thus closed the correspondence of Major- 
General Baird and his Commander-in-Chief. 
From that time until the year in which they died 
(1829), I never heard of any unkind word or deed 
— indeed, in the year before Sir David Baird's 
death, his sense of justice prompted him volun- 
tarily to disclaim whatever merit might belong to 
an act which had been imputed to him, instead 
of to General Harris, and upon this erroneous 
imputation Mr. Hook has founded one of the 
most sentimental passages in his biography of 
Sir David Baird. It is lamentable, however, to 
read, in a publication professing to be a faithful 
record of the life of Major-General Baird, such a 
passage as the following : — 


" It SO happens that, in all Lord Wellesley'^s 
despatches to England, after the capture of 
Seringapatam, the name of General Baird does 
not once appear, — a fact rendered more striking-, 
because General Harris has obseiTcd a similar 
silence in all the despatches which he addressed 
to the Governor-General. We might, perhaps, 
rather say that the silence of the Governor- 
General upon the conduct of General Baird, arose 
from the apparently studied omission of his name 
in all the documents upon which his Excellency 
had to form an opinion of the various merits of 
the officers concerned in that brilliant affair." 

And then follows, in a note, these observa- 
tions : — 

" It is not our province to assign motives, or 
arraign intentions, more especially as years have 
passed since the occurrence of the events here 
recorded, and the gallant object of our care and 
affection is gone to a place where neither malice 
can assail, or envy thwart him ; but it is a curious 
circumstance, that in nothing communicated by 
General Harris to Lord Wellesley, except General 
Orders, mention is made of General Baird per- 
sonally, nor, as we have observed in the text, does 
Lord Wellesley name in any despatch to Eng- 

After such assertions and comments as these, 
what will the reader think of this part of Mr. 


Hook's biography, when he recurs to the letter 
written by the Earl of Mornington to Mr. 
Dundas, President of the Board of Control, and 
to General Harris's letter to the Governor-General 
ofthe7thof May, 1799*? 

The following is an extract from the Earl of 
Mornington's letter to Mr. Dundas, President of 
the Board of Control : — 

. " F(yrt Si. George, August, 1799. 
" It is impossible to bestow too much com- 
mendation on the conduct of Major-General 
Baird in the assault of Seringapatam. A more 
judicious operation, conducted with more heroic 
gallantry and spirit, never was achieved; and 
M'hen you recollect the decisive consequences of 
the success of that day, effecting in the course of 
two hours the entire destruction of our most for- 
midable enemy in India, I am persuaded you will 
concur with me in an anxious solicitude to see the 
gallant leader of the assailants of Tippoo Sul- 
taun's capital rewarded in a manner suitable to 
his exertions, and to their beneficial effect. I 
have made it my particular business to inquire 
into Major-General Baird's circumstances, and I 
have ascertained that they are by no means 
affluent ; it would, therefore, be a peculiar satis- 

* Vide pa;rc 349. 

430 REPI^Y TO IjflR. hook's IMPUTATIONS^ 

faction to me^ if the East India Company woiild 
exercise tl^eir known liberality in his case. When 
it is remembered that^ in the course of active and 
arduous service during the former war^ he fell 
into the hands of Tippoo S^^tau^^ and suffered a 
long and cruel imprisonment in the dungeons of 
that ^rtresSj which, on the 4th of May, 1799, 
submitted to his irresistible valour and skill, I am 
persuaded that his claims to public reward and 
honour will be deemed peculiarly interesting and 
powerful. I should also hope that his extraor- 
dinary merits on the 4th of IV^ay would induce 
l^is Majesty to consider him a proper object for 
the order of the Bath. I enclose a letter from 
Major-General Baird, which reflects the highest 
credit on his sentiments of honour and public 

If tliat gallant officer could, indeed, rise from 
that place " where neither malice can assail, nor 
envy thwart him,'* he would indignantly disclaim 
a sympathy purchased by such foul injustice done 
to his commanders and best protectors. Lord 
Wellesley, it is seei^, praised him usque ad astra : 
and these recommendatipnS;^ both of pecuniaiy 
Reward and of personal honour, were founded upon 
General Harris's letter to his Lordship of the 
7th of May, in which he leaves to General Baird 
the entire credit of that admirable plan for the 
assault which he had himself laid down for his 


gilidance^ an4 which was (^istipctly detailed \n the 
Adjutant-General's instructions*, and upon his 
General Orders to the ^rmy, which military men 
do not, like Mr. Hook, appreciate as ^^ nothing/' 
l)ut value as the piqst solemn recognition pf their 

The Commander-in-Chief, softer than^^ipg 
General Baird in the w^t*o^^st ter\ns, in Geperal 
Orders, for the decided ^nd able m^n^er iu wh^cl^ 
he conducted the assault, and the l^umane mea- 
sures wh^ch he subsequently adopted for pre- 
serving order and regularity in t^le place, "ex- 
pressed his qopfidence to thp Governor-General 
that he would point out his services'' tp the favour- 
able notice of his King and country f. 

A man's appetite for panegyric paust be glut- 
tonous indeed, who could desire more than Lord 
Mornington and the Cominander-in-Chief re- 
corded of him, an(i yet | find, in Mx. Hook's Life 
of Major- General ]Eiaird^ this insinuation; "Nor 
did Major-General Baird get so far into tl^e 
history or mystery pf the affair, as to ascertain 
whether his Lordship ever did make the applica- 
tion in his favour to the British Governmcjnt-" 

What X^ord Mornington did h^ been suffi- 
ciently shown; and Lord flarri$ did more for 

* See copy of Colonel Close's letter of the 3rd May, 1799, to 
Major-Qenexal Baird, and its enclosuies.— Hook s Life, pp. 
201— 2Q5. 

t See General Harris's letter to the Earl of Momin^ton^ 7tli 
May, 1799. ' ' ' 


Major-General Baird than even Lord Morning-ton 
had done in thus warmly recording all his good 
deeds. He cancelled his letters written when a 
rash humour triumphed over his better nature. 
He reported nothing to Lord Mornington, or to 
the Commander-in-Chief in England, of his in- 
temperate and insubordinate letters. Greneral 
Baird owed a large debt of gratitude to the for- 
bearance and silence of his superior oflBcer. 
Hence the Marquis Wellesley appointed him to 
command the expedition against Mauritius and 
Batavia, which afterwards went to Egypt, most 
reluctantly superseding his illustrious brother. 
Colonel Wellesley ; and hence the Duke of York 
subsequently sanctioned his command of the 
forces by which the Cape of Good Hope was 

Those who may have read Mr. Hook's de- 
scription of the manner in which Lord Wellesley 
first received General Baird's claim to command 
the expedition to Mauritius and Batavia, in pre- 
ference to Colonel Wellesley, will have no difficulty 
in determining what would have been the choice of 
the noble Marquis, if he had then had before him, 
with suitable comments, the correspondence of 
General Baird with his late Commander-in-Chief 
at Seringapatam, which Mr. Hook has thought 
fit to publish. Military men, more conversant 
with such matters than I am, and better ac- 
quainted with the lofty feelings of the Duke of 


York upon points of discipline, will as easily 
decide what would have been his Royal Highness's 
judgment, when General Baird's name was sub- 
mitted to him for a responsible command, if his 
correspondence with the Commander-in-Chief at 
Seringapatam had been transmitted to head- 
quarters. Such a glaring instance of want of dis- 
cretion and respect would, I apprehend, have 
called forth his Royal Highnesses marked animad- 
version, in support of those principles of subordi- 
nation in all ranks, by which "he raised the 
British army from a very low ebb, to be the pride 
and dread of Europe*.'* 

The notion that any feeling of malice, or envy 
of General Baird, or of any man breathing, could 
enter into the noble heart of Lord Harris, is 
falsified by the whole course of his just and 
honourable life. He grudged to no man the 
fame and fortune he had honourably and honestly 
acquired. Indeed, his letter to Lord Mornington, 
when honours were proposed for himself, will 
prove how little he coveted what the noble Lord 
thought due to him, and he was utterly incapable 
of desiring to usurp the honours of those who 
served under him. He gave to all their full share 
of praise, well measured, and heaped-up-f. He 

• Sir Walter Scott. 

t See his General Orders after the siege and capture of 
Seringapatam of the 5th Maj, 17^> and his letter to the 
Governor- General, applauding the exertions of the Staff of the 
Army, dated 13th May, 1799. 

S F 


never reproved but with painful reluctance^ and 
under a strong sense of public duty. 

To him who has cast this odious impataticm 
upon General Harris, and to those who have 
taken pleasure in reading it, I leave the mortifi- 
cation of seeing the just rebuke of their unworthy 
feelings in the following extract from his admi- 
rable letter to the Earl of Mornington^ dated 27rh 
June, 1799*. 

" My dear Lord, — ^You are far exceeding my 
humble wishes, and I really believe those of Mrs. 
Harris, or rather you would do so, if you preferred 
the request to his Majesty — to grant to me the dig- 
nity of a Baron of Great Britain. I am highly sen^ 
sible of your Lordship's friendship, and any mark 
of his Majesty's favour would always be received 
by me with respect, but, as I certainly do not 
wish these high honours, so should I be truly 
sorry you should lay yourself under obligations, 
for what, to say the truth, would annoy me most 

^^ Indeed, my dear Lord, you could not have 
puzzled me more, supposing I was solicitous to 
succeed, than by asking me, ^ What title I would 
choose to take?' An humble clergyman's sou, 
thrown very early in life into the army, entirely a 
soldier of fortune, with scarce any assistance, 
save his own exertions, is little likely to have any 

* Mab<4UEss WfiLLESLBrt De$p<U€h€9y page 617. 


hereditary place he would choose to cominemo- 
mte, and in my instance the 5th Regiment was 
near twenty-six years my constant home. 

"Your Lordship's wise policy and extraor- 
dinaiy exertions have thrown me into affluence 
equal to my most sanguine wishes ; but what is 
affluence with my military rank^ would be very 
moderate to support the honours you propose, 
and no doubt, as I am above the want of a pen- 
sion, so I think it most likely I shall keep clear of 
soliciting our honourable employers on that head, 
unless you should persist in forcing these honours 
on me. So take care. 

Ever, my dear Lord, 
With the greatest respect, 

Your very faithful and obliged, 

Geo. Harris." 

That the jealous feelings which General Baird 
had expressed upon the subject of Colonel Wel- 
iesley's appointment to command the fortress of 
Seringapatam gave much uneasiness to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief cannot be doubted; for it fur- 
nished an additional topic of clamour, gossip, and 
intrigue, to those who were already discontented 
with the determined resistance made by General 
Harris to the application of the prize-committee 
in behalf of the army for an immediate distri- 
bution of the booty taken by assault. This de- 
mand was founded upon an authority greatly 

9 F9 


revered by the army ia India — the Marquis Com 
wallis — ^and therefore naturally excited their san 
guine expectations. His Lordship had declared 
in public orders during the last war, that all 
booty taken in places by assault belonged of right 
to the captors. Geneitd Harris's refusal to per- 
mit a division of the spoil imtil it had been ap- 
proved of by the Earl of Mornington, the GJo- 
vernor-Geneml, therefore produced much dlscon* 
tent; but he discharged his painful duty with 
firmness^ and was rewarded by witnessing in that 
army their high sense of discipline and patience 
under this temporary disappointment^ and by 
soon receiving from the Governor-General full 
authority to distribute the prize according to the 
established usages of the British service in India in 
cases of a similar nature. But whilst this important 
matter remained in suspense^ it excited great 
bitterness of feeling, which enabled the idle and 
ill-intentioned talkers in the camp^ upon what 
was absurdly called General Baird's supercession 
by Colonel Wellesley's appointment, to direct this 
feeling against the Commander-in-Chief. It was 
with the knowledge of what was passing, that 
General Harris thus wrote to the Earl of Morn- 
ington : — 

« Camp, Milgottah, Juns 28, 1799. 
" I glory in the 4th of May, my dear Lord, 
and shall rejoice to see you before your Lordship 
returns to Bengal ; but neither that wish^ nor ray 


wife's, shall interfere with a sight of the Mah- 
rattas. I have acted from the heart ever since 
you have known ine, and so I trust I shall be 
enabled to continue until your Lordship shall 
honourably call me from my labours. Ill-inten- 
tioned people talk nonsense, I hear, of your 
brother's appointment to command in Seringapa- 
tam ; but I can defend it on principles most mili- 
tarily correct, if it were worth while to attend to 
the words of the idle. Colonel Wellesley was the 
next officer to relieve Baird, who had requested 
to be relieved. So little did I think of any par- 
ticular person at the time, that Roberts was 
named by Turing as next for duty, and agreed to 
by me, when Turing corrected himself, and said 
Colonel Wellesley was next. ^ Then let him go,' 
was my answer. He was afterwards permanently 
appointed by me, from my thinking him more 
equal to the particular kind of duty than any 
other officer in the army." 

This was Lord Mornington's answer to that 
part of the letter which referred to Colonel Wei- 
lesley's appointment : — 

«J«/y7, 1799. 
" With respect to the language which you 
say people have held of my brother's appointment 
to command in Seringapatam, you know that I 
never recommended my brother to you, and of 
course never even suggested how, or where, he 
should be employed ; and I believe you know also. 


that you would not have pleased me by placing* 
him in any situation in which his appointment 
could be injurious to the public service. My 
opinion, or rather knowledge and experience, of 
his discretion, judgment, temper, and integrity, 
are such, that if you had not placed bini in 
Seringapatam, / would have done so of my own 
authority, because I think him in every point of 
view the most proper for that service. 


No man, who knows what was the nature of 
the service to be performed by the permanent 
commandant of Seringapatam at that moment, 
will wonder that the Governor-General shonld 
have declared thus distinctly to General Harris, 
'' If you had not placed Colonel Wellesley in 
command, / would." But General Harris had 
been deeply sensible of the weighty responsibility 
which attached to him on the death of TippoO) 
when the destinies of an empire hung in the 
balance, and when he was the sole guardian of 
the high interests involved in this momentous 
charge, until Lord Momington should decide 
upon the future policy to be pursued. 

With a full sense of the imperative necessity 
of selecting, as a commandant for Seringapatam, 
one in whose talents, integrity, and discretion, 
unbounded confidence could be placed, he ap- 
pointed Colonel Wellesley, and was proud of his 
choice to the last hour of his life. 



Ijpoapitulation of those events of the campaign in Mysore which 
preceded the fall of Seringapatam — Recital of other cireum* 
stances connected with its fall. 

Having thus given what I believe to be a suffi- 
cient answer to Mr. Hook's unfounded strictures 
upon General Harris's selection of Colonel Wel- 
lesley to command the Nizam's detachment and 
the Fort of Seringapatam^ I shall now examine 
the grounds of that monopoly of merit which Mr. 
Hook assumes for Sir David Baird in the fall of 
that place. 

This is an act of justice due not only to the 
Commander-in-Chief and the many ^ble officers 
under him, but to the whole of the army who 
were engaged in the conquest of Mysore. It is 
also the more necessary because this matter has 
never been fairly understood in England. Here 
the easy task, as it proved, of taking possession 
of the Fort on the 4 th of May, has been consi^ 
dered as every thing, and all the other events of 
the campaign as comparatively nothing. For the 
continuance of this error Mr. Hook has laboured 
diligently, but not judiciously, for be has prolonged 
the memory of acts which Sir David Baird ear- 
nestly desired should be forgotten, and has 
ascribed to him other d«|^ds and words which 


that gallant officer would have indignantly dis- 
claimed. That Sir David Baird was always ready 
for any service of danger no man can justly 
doubtj and it was no fault of his^ that he bore no 
prominent part in any other operation which led 
to the conquest of Mysore, than in the assault of 
Seringapatam. But it so happened that nothing 
else of importance fell within the range of his 

In the first hostile affair of the campaign^ the 
defeat of the flower of Tippoo's army at Sedaseer 
by Colonel John Montr6sor, Colonel Dunlop, and 
Generals Hartley and Stuart, and in the spirited 
repulse of Tippoo's attacks upon the Bombay 
troops after they reached Seringapatam by Colonel 
Vaughan Hart, General Baird had no part, be- 
cause he was never present with the Army of 
Bombay. In the complete overthrow of Tippoo's 
designs at Mallavelly by the Commander-in- 
Chief, Colonel Shawe, Colonel Wellesley, and 
General Floyd; in the masterly crossing of the 
Cavery at Soosilly ; in the successful attacks upon 
the Sultaunpettah watercourse and Tope by 
Colonel Shawe and Colonel Wellesley ; in the 
assault of the enemy*s intrenchments, and in the 
seizure of the ground for erecting our heavy bat- 
teries, by Colonel Wellesley and Colonel Sher- 
brooke, Lieutenant-Colonels Wallace, St. John, 
M'Donald, Campbell, and Monypenny, and Major 
Skelly and Major Coleman ; in all these, the pro- 


g^ressive operations of the campaign, which drove 
the enemy from the field and from their works, 
and pushed our success to the walls of Seringapa- 
tam. General Baird had no concern, for none of 
these occurred where he happened to be present, 
or on the days when he commanded the trenches 
in rotation with other officers. All these events, 
however, sunk deep into the hearts of the bravest 
of Tippoo's officer* and men, and contributed to 
make an easy path for the assailants on the day 
of the assault. For in six minutes from the 
moment our troops moved out of the trenches, 
the British colonics were planted in triumph upon 
a breach, .one hundred feet wide, and easy of 
ascent. The defences to the right and left having 
been previously silenced by our batteries, the 
breach was, in fact, a place of safety ; the danger 
was in getting to it across the Cavery, but this 
was soon over. There was nothing like that 
lengthened, awful and doubtful struggle for vic- 
tory which had been anticipated in the storming 
of a fortress, whose works are, even in their ruin, 
still stupendous to look at, on whose walls were 
mounted 287 pieces of ordnance, whose arsenals 
were filled with every munition of war*, and all 

* Brass and iron gnns . . 929 

Gunpowder 520,000 lbs. 

Bound iron shot . . « • 424,000 
Firelocks, carbines, muskets . 120,000 

Stores and proTisions of every kind in abundance. 

442 SIR DAVID baird's share 

the stores required for a protracted siege^ whom 
available garrison was not less than 20^000 men, 
and whose leaders were men of known and des* 
perate courage. But the time for the assault was 
so happily chosen and so well concealed from 
Tippoo by General Harris^ and the whole details 
of the siege had been conducted under his orders 
by the many able officers in the different depart- 
ments with such masterly skill and vigour, that 
what appeared to Tippoo impossible, proved in the 
hour of trial to be no difficult undertaking. In 
fact, his mind was so little apprehensive of the 
result of the storm, and so thoroughly satisfied 
that it would not take place on the day in which 
it happened, that he could not be persuaded to 
take the most ordinary precautions of defence, 
though they were earnestly pressed upon him by 
his bravest officer, Seyid GofFhftr. The degree of 
bis infatuation is well described by Colonel Wilks, 
who succeeded Colonel Close in superintending 
the Hindoo government of Mysore, and his high 
character and attainments are the best pledges 
for the truth of the following statement. 

" On the morning of the 4 th of May, Seyid 
Goffb&r, who was wounded early in the siege, ex- 
claimed, * The Sultaun is surrounded by boys and 
flatterers, who will not let him see with his own 
eyes. I do not wish to survive the result ; I am 
going about in search of death, and cannot find 
it.' Having satisfied himself by further observa- 


tion that one hour would not elapse before the 
assault wodld commence, he hurried, in a state of 
rage and despair, towards the Sultaun. ' I will 
go/ said he, ^ and drag him to the breach, and 
make him see by what a set of wretches he is 
surrounded. I will compel him to exert himself 
at this last moment.' He was going, and met a 
party of pioneers, whom he had long looked for 
in vain, to cut off the approach by the southern 
rampart. ^ I must first,' said he, ^ show those 
people the work they have to do,' and, in the 
act of giving his directions, he was killed by a 
cannon shot*." 

When the death of Seyid Goff h&r was reported 
to Tippoo, he was at his dinner, and our troops 
were just dashing out of the trenches to storm 
the Fort. Before he could reach the breach, the 
British flag was flying upon the top of it, and our 
soldiers were driving his fugitive troops before 
them upon both of the ramparts. 

The return of our killed and wounded in the 
assault incontestably proves the limited nature of 
the resistance which the British columns encoun- 
tered, for the whole loss very little exceeded that 
of one of the preceding days, and did not amount 
to one-fourth part of the whole loss sustained 
during the siege. It is also curious, and contrary 
to the general impression, that the casualties in 
the two columns of attack corresponded so nearly. 

• See WiLKs's History^ vol. iii. pp. 436, 437. 

444 SIR DAVID baird's share 

In the left column, under Colonel Dunlop, and in 
the right column, under Colonel Sherbrooke, the 
number of killed was precisely the same^ and the 
number of wounded was greater in the right than 
in the left column But the whole number of 
killed, wounded, and missing, was only 386. Such 
was the small effect of the efforts of the garrison in 
opposing the entrance of our troops into the Fort, 
and it completely realised the anticipation or 
General Harris, as expressed in his letter to Sir 
George Robinson in February : — " Tippoo seems 
infatuated, and delivered into our hands/' Quern 
Deus vult perdereprius dementat, appears to bare 
been verified to the letter in Tippoo's case. Hiere 
seems no other rational mode of accounting for 
the infatuation of him who had given to his 
dominion the title of " The Gift of God," or '' the 
Khodadad Sirkar," but who, when corrupted by 
prosperity and power, forgot that the same over-- 
ruling Providence could give it into other hands, 
if unworthily administered. Well did Lord 
Harris thus give expression in his Journal, on the 
night of the 4th of May, to the thoughts which 
filled his mind at the moment when it pleased 
God to make him the instrument for receiving this 
gift : " The Almighty only can judge of hearts, 
and I hope mine is found humble in His sight:*' 

The human means by which Tippoo*s empire 
was placed at the disposal of the British Govern- 
ment will be found in the wisdom, vigour, and 


generosity displayed by the Earl of Moraingtori 
throughout the many great preparatory measures 
which preceded the actual operations of the cain*- 
paign ; in the fortitude, temper, and prudence of 
him who was selected by his Lordship to conduct 
those operations, in the due employment of the 
many able officers under his command, and in 
the bravery of the European and Native soldiery. 
That the noble EarFs recommendations to the 
Ministers at home, whether of public honour or 
of pecuniaiy reward to the generals who served 
in that campaign, were most ungraciously re- 
ceived, no man had better opportunities of know- 
ing than myself. General Harris shared the fate 
of many others who have all their lives endea- 
voured to do their duty to their King and country. 
He had for his enemies and traducers those who 
were restrained by his integrity from profiting by 
the public wants and disasters. 

But Mr. Hook speaks of General Baird*s cold 
reception by the authorities at home as '^ a 
miracle," and in his vain endeavours to solve it, 
he has represented many of those who were above 
General Baird, or acting with him in the public 
service in India, as the authors or instruments of 
injustice to him. If he had searched more accu- 
rately into the causes of this neglect, he would 
have discovered them partly in the querulous tone 
in which General Baird had sometimes been per- 
suaded to indulge, and partly in its infectious 


influence upon others, who were misled by it^ as 
Mr. Hook has been. These were the c^au8e8 
which contributed to his failure in obtaining tfaose 
honours which he had a right to expect from tbe 
authorities at home; for they conspired witfa 
other circumstances to cast a shade over and to 
disappoint the just claims of all the officers who 
were principally concerned in the Mysore cam* 
paign. More accurate knowledge of this subject 
would have restrained Mr. Hook from the ibjus* 
tice of imputing that neglect to General Baird*s 
comrades. That General Harris should have felt 
keenly the unjust treatment of which General 
Floyd, General Stuart, General Baird, and Colonel 
Wellesley, complained, will be readily understood, 
but he never mentioned it without expressing his 
deep sense of all the honourable proofs which 
they gave of their devotion to the common caase 
in which they were embarked with him. There 
Is one memorable instance of this conduct on the 
part of General Floyd, which I found carefully 
preserved amongst General Harris's papers. 
Though only a small pencil note written in camp 
and on horseback, it deserves to be known and 

When the time for calling the Bombay Army 
tinder Lieutenant-General Stuart to take its 
share in the operations of the siege had arrived, 
the Gommander-in-Chief felt that public injury 
might aiise if General Stuart's arrangements and 


authority were superseded by General Floyd, who 
was the senior officer, and commanding a powerful 
force of cavalry, which was indispensable to secure 
the safe junction of General Stuart's army. He 
therefore wrote privately to General Floyd, ex- 
pressing his hope that, though senior in the line 
to Lieutenant-General Stuart, he would respect 
his authority as Commander-in-Chief of the 
Bombay Army, and this was the answer of Ge« 
neral Floyd : — 

«3r(/il/>n7, 1799. 
" My dear Sir, 

^^ I will have the honour of waiting oh you 
to-morrow, and of explaining that no circum- 
stance of seniority on my part shall interfere with 
the public service, in the event of my meeting 
Lieutenant-General Stuart. He is an excellent 
fellow, and we should not differ. I will rather 
submit to receive his orders, 

Youi'S, my dear Sir, 

most faithfully, 

J, Floyd. 

** Lieutenant-General BarrUy 

The patriotic feeling which prompted this re- 
solution in the mind of General Floyd, upon a 
point on which military men are usually most tena- 
cious, did him high honour. In the same packet 
with this note I found two ot^ier letters— one from 


General Stuart^ and the other from Colonel Wel- 
lesley, written in that fmnk and cordial sprit 
which had marked their whole conduct during the 
campaign^ and from whom no expression^ of dis- 
content or jealousy sullied for a moment their 
most zealous co-operation and friendly intei^conrse 
with their Commander-in-Chief. Everything tlie 
Bombay Army was directed to execute was ac- 
complished in the most masterly manner by 
Lieutenant-General Stuart ; and, at the close of 
this service, he thus congratulated his Com- 
mander-in-Chief upon the issue of the siege and 
assault on the evening of the 4th of May : — 

^ Campy SerinffapcUamy 
ith May, 17d9. 

" My dear Harris^ 

"Accept my most warm and hearty con- 
gratulations on the brilliant and important event 
of the fall of Seringapatam. I will get as much 
of my small force together as I can, but I must 
still take care of the guns and ammunition in the 
batteries, as well as the batteries themselves, 
until we either take up another position, or some- 
thing is done with them. On this subject I wish 
to have your instructions as soon as convenient, 
for I shall be in readiness to move to-morrow, 
were I to throw my rear to the Fort, my right in 
the direction of the Carighaut Hills, and my left 
to the Eadgah Redoubt, or any other position 


which you may choose for us. For this purpose, 
I shall send our Quartermaster- General over to* 
morrow, that, if you have determined the point, 
he may consult with yours about occupying the 

*^ I have just heard you have got possession of 
the Sultaun's family. 

'^ Many such fortunate and honourable days 
may Mrs. Harris and you see, prays your ever 

J. Stuart.'* 




Hie Indian Oovernment at borne neglect all the principal offoen 
engaged in the Mysore campaign.— They penecute General 
Harris, and persuade the King to give him no honours^ and 
assist in prosecuting him in the Court of Chancery to deprive 
him of half his prize-money*-— ^Are defeated in that Oonrt.— 
They appei^ to the Privy Council, and the Council eoiifiim to 
General Harris the possession of all he had received. 

The , letter l^ound up with the preceding* from 
General Stuart was from Colonel Wellesley, dated 
the 4th December, 1799*. These memorials of the 
good-will and confidence of these, his distin- 
guished comrades. Lord Harris cherished to the 
end of his eventful life. At the same time, he 
could not comprehend why they had, like himself 
been so long neglected by the Government at 
home, after the conclusion of this campaign. 

There are also two letters from General Floyd, 
who was second in command during the Mysore 
campaign, and designated by Mr. Hook as Sir D. 
Baird's valued friend, expressing so strongly his 
disappointment in being wholly unnoticed upon 
his return home, that I shall here transcribe them. 
It will be seen that the unjust desire of imputing 
that disappointment to his Commander-in-Chief 
never entered into the mind of General Floyd ; 
and I am satisfied that Sir David Baird also would 

♦See page 400. 


never have given his sanction to the inferences m 
unwarrantably drawn, and so rashly scattered 
abroad^ by his biographer. 

'^From General Flovd to General Harris. 

''At^uit ISa, 1802. 
'^I have no chance of red riband or red 
regiment; my performances in India, and my 
capacity to be of use here, are as much unknown 
and as much untbought of, as the merits of my 
boy Sammy in India. As to your conduct, my 
dear General, it is clear and honourable, and will 
appear so for ever and ever. You are one of the 
few men I have met with who acknowledges him* 
self fortunate and happy. Your gratitude to the 
Almighty hand that gives, and that takes away, 
for wise purposes inscrutable to us all, renders 
you deserving of that happiness which will, I 
trust, abide by you always." 

Again, in 1804: '^ There must have been 
^mething very disqualifying in the conquest 
of Tippoo and his empire in a single campaign, 
which renders you and me, and all of us, un- 
worthy of notice. I thought it my duty to offer 
my very humble services, but I understand that 
it is not thought necessary, or even proper, as' the 
Generals are understood to be always at hi9 
Majesty*s service. I am sure it is a very comfort* 
able reflection, that the long list of Generals that 

9 0S 


we see on the Staff are all to be preferred before 

That the personage designated by Mr. 
Hook as the constant rival of General Baird, 
Arthur Colonel Wellesley (and whose services in 
Mysore and in the Deccan were there, as they 
ever have been in the fields of Spain and France, 
above all price and praise,) felt this neglect deeply, 
is fully shown in his letter, dated in Januar}*, 
1804, wherein he says, " I have served the Com- 
pany in important situations for many years, and 
have never received anything but injury from the 
Court of Directors, although I am a singular in- 
stance of an officer who has served under all the 
governments, and in communication with all the 
residents and many civil authorities ; and there U 
not an instance on record, or in any private cor- 
respondence, of disapprobation of any one of my 
acts, or a single complaint, or even a symptom of 
ill temper, from any one of the political or civil 
authorities in communication with whom I have 

*' The King's ministers had as little claim upon 
me as the Court of Directors ; I am not very am- 
bitious, and I acknowledge that I never have been 
very sanguine in my expectations that military 
services in India would be considered on the scale 
in which are considered similar services in other 
parts of the world. 


" But I might have expected to be placed on 
the Staff of India; and if it had not been for 
the lamented death of General Frazer, General 
Smithes arrival would have made me supernu- 
meraiy. This is perfectly well known in the 
army, and is the subject of a good deal of con- 

And who can wonder that such neglect should 
have excited observation, when it is remembered 
that this letter was written nearly a year and 
a-half after those splendid campaigns against the 
Mahrattahs, under Colonel Wellesley's command, 
which were crowned with the glorious battle of 

Nor was this neglect confined to Colonel 
Wellesley. The Governor-General, Marquis Wei- 
lesley, did not escape from it, as he has thus 
eloquently and recently written : — " Not the con- 
fidence and favour of three successive Sovereigns^ 
hot the dignity and power of various high official 
stations, not the government of my native country 
(Ireland) twice entrusted to my handd, could 
compensate in my mind the disfavour of that 
respectable authority under which my earliest 
and best sei*vices had been rendered to the 
empire/* . . • . "With equal candour, justice, 
and liberality, without any solicitation on my 
part, without any interference or influence of any 
description— casting away all passion, prejudiciet^ 
and error^ the Company has relieved me front thii 

4H ATTmiPTi TO OBf Riy» 0BI«SitA|i HARRIS 

heavy burden of grief» imd the delay whi<^ had 
occasioned so much affliction^now greatly enbanees 
the value of the deoision/* 

la this decisioB, however tardy^ the preienft 
Indian authorities have done high honour t# 
themselves, and have relieved the East India 
Company from that stain of injustice and ingrar 
titude which had remained upon them too long. 

But the treatment which Genieral Harris 
received from the Indian authorities, on bl« 
return, was worse than this. It was not limited 
^o neglect ; it was a cruel attempt to deprive hini 
tiot only of his good name, but of his property. 
They endeavoured to take away half of the prife- 
inoney he had received under the nuthority of 
the Governor-General, according to the esta^ 
blished usages of the British Service in Indian evea 
after it bad been confirmed by his Majesty^a 
grant, upon the pretence that he had divided the 
booty without due isanction. This they proposed 
to do, by giving a retrospective effect to a fanciful 
theocyof division, which never had been, and never 
ean be, carried into practice- in India. Ammigsl 
other absurdities, this scheme was made to ptace 
the Enropean soldier. and Native Sepoy upon 
an equality in their shares of .prize-money^ 
although all their allowances and all their wants 
are totaUy different, and to reduce the eighth 
pf the Commanda*-lh-Chief to a sixteenth.; This 
attempt was persevered is for several . year^ 


although every Commander-in-Chief in Indiit 
before General Harris had received an eighth, 
and notwithstanding every Commander^in-^Chief 
after him continued to receive the same share> 
of whom, the Diike of Wellington was one, and 
whose assertion of this right, with his accustomed 
force and truth, ^^was then on the records of 
J'ort William;* . 

^ The HoKoirBABLB C<3^!L0MBL Wellbslby to the 

*'As Commander-in-Chief by your Excels 
lcncy*s appointment of the Army of the Deccan 
!ti the late^war, I am entitled to one-eighth of 
the property captured, and given by your Excel- 
lency to the troops as prize ; and I am desirous 
6f knowing whether I shall draw gratuity upon 
fhe same principle.' - - -...r 

'. -^ - Arthur Welleslev,-* - 

'•' The treatment General Harris reeeived wa^ 
ih€ mora bitter to him, becauite it was supported 
by thoee whom he had been iehcburaged .by ih« 
Oovernments in India ^ to regard as. bis wnrmeit 
friends and protectors. The public language of 
the Earl of Moraington and of his colleagues in 
the Supreme Council, in praise of General 
Harjis's. conduct, I "have already quoted/ and 
also his Lordship^s private letters to tba Miiiil« 


ters, urging upon them the indispensable josfice 
of raising him to the British peerage* la 
accordance with these flattering expressions wus 
the language of the Government of Madras, over 
which Lord CUve then presided, with honour to 
himself, and great benefit to that '' country which, 
he loved as his own*/* 

Lord Ciive and his Council thus addressed 
the Court of Directors, 

" On the occasion of the departure of the 
Commander, we feel it difficult to restrain the 
expression of those sentiments of gratitude and 
admiration, to which the brilliant and important 
successes of the British arms under his Excel- 
lency's auspices must give rise, but Lieutenant* 
General Harris is about to present himself to bi3 
country on a wider sphere, where the fame of his 
achievements will have been proclaimed by the 
voice of public gratitude, and the consideration 
of local circumstances cannot increase the glory 
of the conquest of Mysore." 

And what was the return made to these 
recommendations by the Government at home? 
Neither the British peerage nor the riband 
of the . Bath was conferred upon him. They 
seem to have determined to verify the truth 
of that maxim, which proceeded from on;3 who 

* I here use the words of that noble Lord, which came 
warm from hi^ heart, in the letter, of which I annex a cop/ in 
the Appendix. . 


knew the human heart well, when he left as 
hU warning voice to posterity the well-known 
adage» Proprium humani ingenii est oditsse 
quern keserh ; in this spirit they endeavoured to 
deprive him, whom they had unjustly neglected, 
of the prize-money he had honourably obtained. 
They supported a suit in the Court of Chancery 
against his property, and no one knows better 
than myself all the anxieties which he suffered 
during those years of persecution. Though half 
his fortune was in peril, his spirit was too noble 
to listen to any compromise of those principles 
which had governed his conduct at the head of 
the army in Mysore. 

This was the price at which the honours he 
had so well earned, together with future peace, 
were tendered to him, but he spurned the offer, 
and firmly resolved to maintain his principles and 
bis property. The authority and the earning of 
the King*s and the Company's law officers, with 
the ample means of the East India Company, 
were all arrayed against his reputation and 

But General Harris determined never tamely 
to surrender either. He addressed to the Indian 
authorities, a remonstrance, of which I shall give 
the conclusion in the Appendix with particular 
satisfaction, because I have found it amongst his 
papers just as it was written by myself thirty-four 
years ago^ under the indignant feelings which my 


knowledge of the injurious treatment Be"' ww 
receiving excited in my mind^ and with grateful 
pleasure I i*ecall, at this distant period, the affeci 
tionate expressions with which he adopted it. 

But this remonstrance produced no effect 
upon minds already prejudiced and predeter- 
mined. It was not until General Harris had 
suffered six years of litigation and slander, that 
the dawn of better days first shone from the 
upright mind of Mr. Perceval. Having been 
misled by the grossest misrepresentations, he 
cheerfully corrected his opinion, aiid did justice to 
the unspotted character of General Harris, when 
be saw what falsehood and calumny had been 
heaped upon him. But this merited rebuke did 
not stay the march of his persecutors. They 
proceeded with their appeal in the Court of 
Chancery, and when it was dismissed from that 
court, they intruded it upon the- Privy Council*; 
where, after a solemn hearing, the General-s 
honourable character was vindicated, and- his 
property confirmed. 



General Harrig is created a Peer by tbe Prince Regent, hj the 
title of Baron Harris, of Belmont, and of Seringapatam 
and Mysore, in the East Indies— His feelinjrs npon that 
event — Brief reference to his manner of life subsequent 
thereto— His death, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, at 
Belmont, in Kent. 

ALtHOUGH tbe Privy C6uncil justly secured to 
General Harris, in full right, all that he had 
received of the prize-money of Seringapatam, yet 
it vaa impossible for him, and those who rever* 
enced and loved him, not to feel that the con^ 
tinued withholding of every mark of approbation 
tad honour for his services by the Crown, gave 
apparent substance to the slanders of bis perse- 
Cjators. -- 

This continued state of neglect was, however; 
borne by Qeneral Harris with great composure, 
iintil it was brought too keenly to h|9 feelings 
when he sat as a senior . member of a courts 
xpartial, at Winchester, close to the President, 
but with nearly the whole of the remaining junior 
members decorated with stars and ribands, wMcb 
they had well deserved by their meritorious 


. Upon that CfCcasAon I received from bim a 


letter^ strongly expressing bis mortified feelings 
in finding himself alone without any mark of 
royal favour, and I immediately answered it by 
urgently advising him, as I had often done before, 
though ineffectually, to address a public memo- 
rial to the Duke of York and to the E^rl of 
Liverpool upon this subject, and I drew up the 
draft of such memorial for his consideration. 

The following wiis the answer I received from 

" WincheiUr^ January^ 1815. 
'^ Your almost too kind letter deserves^ and 
has my warm acknowledgements, and yoa may 
depend that I will not this time flinch, as it must 
be the last. 

" Political duplicity is proverbial, and ^ — ^% 

name in that respect stands high, and no doubt 
he behaved shabbily to me from starting. 

'^ He even shirked presenting me to the Kii^ 
upon my return from India, and left me to 
announce myself to the lord in waiting. Thank 
God for good spirits and a good conscience, they 
never yet have spoilt my sleep. 

'^ I am not afraid of any investigation of my 
military career, though bitter, even as that of the 

^^But I now want no command, and have 
asked for no emolument. But I cannot say that 
the late honours going 1)y me have not made me 


sore. I am conscious I do not deserve it^ and in 
my opinion, the Government that suffers a soldier 
of fortune, who has been so distinguished by 
Providence, to go to the grave unnoticed, is cul- 
pable to their country. 

** You, my dear Stephen, load me too much ; 
but no doubt the time is come. I ought to ask 
my right of notice by my Prince, and I am ready 
to tell his Minister anything you may advise. 

^^ Unlike a gentleman I feel I cannot do it ; 
but I can do it strongly and steadily, if required. 

'^I am ashamed of plaguing you with this 
long rigmarole, but it shows I am in earnest. 

'^ Send me the memorials fair, and I will sign 
and forward tbeui. I actually have not time to 
write and eat. 

Gborob Harris.'* 

The memorials were accordingly sent, signed, 
and forwarded to his Royal Highness the Duke 
of York, then Commander-in-Chief, who, to use 
the language of Sir Walter Scott, " was a break- 
water behind the throne, while he occupied the 
station of next in succession ; whose virtues were 
honour, good sense, and integrity ; who, by the 
exertion of these qualities, raised the British 
army from a very low ebb, to be the pride and 
dread of Europe." 

His Royal Highness was pleased to assure 
General Harris, that it would afford him the 

489 ^na. msbaoe convbmuui^ 

greatest satisfaction to give any aid within his 
power in rewarding his distinguished servioei 
with the British peerage. 

The upright prime minister of that day, L^ord 
Liverpool, to whom another copy was forwarded, 
expressed himself to the same effect, and in Jiine, 
1815, General Harris received from the gradons 
hand of the Prince Regent, that honour \rhich 
had been withheld from him for more than 
sixteen years. 

lie was raised to the peerage by the «tyle and 
title of Lord. Harris, of Belmont, in Kent, and 
of Seringapatam and Mysore, in the East Indies, 
ttnd appropriately took as his motto, 

Sty Prince and my Conntry. 

The Latin motto which I have selected as 
most descriptive of Lord Harris's character is on 
the title-page, and I shall now offer to my fair 
readers a translation of it, persuading myself 
that all those who knew him wiU sanction the 
propriety of its application. 

" It would be derogatory to the character of 
such a man, to speak of his integrity and forbear«> 
ance. The renown which even good men are 
oftentimes disposed to covet, he would not par* 
chase by the parade of virtue or the meanness of 
artifice. Envy of his colleagues and contentioo 
with his subordinate officers were alike foreign to 
his nature. Victory over the one he deemed no 
honour, defeat from the other disreputable/* 


This is the substance of that affectionate 
delineatioa with which Tadtus pourtrayed the 
moral features of his father*in4aw^ and though I 
know that it wants the beauty and eloquence of 
the original, I do not yield to him in the warnitk 
of attachment by which he was animated. 

The gratification which General Harris de« 
rived from his elevation to the peerage, was 
founded in no feeling of personal vanity. He 
had been taught by others, most competent 
jodges, to regard this honour as the just reward 
of his public services, and, therefore, the fair 
Inheritance of his children. Although the attain-^ 
tnent of this dignity made a change in his manner 
of life, it was the reverse of what would generally 
have been expected. His frugal care of the 
means with which Providence had been pleased 
to bless his honest endeavours, had up to this 
time never been remitted ; but he now regarded 
his fortune as less at his own disposal for any 
personal enjoyment, and more strictly the right 
of his children. He saw that the rank he had 
been the means of giving them, would create new 
claims upon them when they were no longer 
sheltered under their father's roof, and the whole 
course of his subsequent conduct was influenced 
by this consideration. 

It required, however, no sacrifice . on his part 
to continue in this course to the end of his life, 
for privacy in the bosom of his family had been 


always the first desire of his heart. That bitter- 
ness which is too often found in the fullest cap of 
human happiness was, however, largely mixed in 
his during his latter years. Lady Harris, whose 
innate tenderness of heart, unassuming^^ worlh, 
and sincere piety* had endearied her to him and 
every member of her family, was doomed to suffer 
much illness, originating in her residence in the 
East and West Indies. This, with the loss of one 
of his sons in America, and another in India, 
made a deep impression on his affections, aod 
contributed gradually to wean him from the 
things of this life, and to fix his thoughts more 
intensely on those of a better. The death of bis 
son. Captain Charles Harris, who was aide-de- 
camp to General Thornton, and an officer of the 
highest promise, and killed in the expedition 
against New Orleans, afflicted him deeply. His 
sense of this affliction is touchiogly recorded on 
the monument raised to his memory in Throwley 
church. It brought back most forcibly to his 
remembrance, the like sorrowful circumstances 
attendant upon the loss of his brother at the 
battle of the Vigie, and to the latest hour of his 
life a flood of tears would roll down his venerable 
cheek when he described their characters and 
virtues, and with what grief he had seen 

. . . Above tlieir glowing mom 
The grave's deep shadow drawn. * 

In the services of his eldest sen (Lord Harris) 


he felt a just and grateful pride. Besides having 
been his companion in arms in Mysore and actively 
^i^^gcd in the assault upon Seringapatam^ he 
"was afterwards employed at the capture of the 
Cape of Good Hope by Sir David Baird^ at 
Copenhagen, in Germany, in Canada, and crowned 
the active part of his military career in the com- 
mand of the 73rd Regiment at Quatre Bras and 
Waterloo. In an account which I recently met 
with in French, I find this notice of the deeds of 
the 73rd on that day of glory : " La 13me Divi- 
sion du G^n^ral Comte d'Alten 6tant fort expos^e 
par sa position eut a repousser des charges in- 
nombrables. Qu'il suffise de citer pour exemple 
que le carr6 tm peu avanc6 des 30me et 73me 
Regimens Anglais fut charg^ onze fois sans le 
moindre succ^s par les lanciers de la Gaixie, et 
les cuirassiers. Que Ton juge par la de Facharae- 
ment d'un combat, qui apr^s trois heures d'eflForts 
inouies n'eut pour r^sultat qu'un horrible carnage!" 
Though Colonel Harris escaped unhurt whilst 
repelling these charges upon his regiment by the 
French lancers and cuirassiers, yet, when the 
moment came for the illustrious Wellington to 
order the troops to advance, what remained of 
the 73rd Regiment sprang forward with their 
Colonel at their head, and, whilst in the act of 
waving his sword and cheering on his men to 
the last struggle, he received a ball in the right 
shoulder, which penetrated to his back ; but as 

2 H 


he fell he was gratified by the shout of victory 
from his comrades. The loss in this single regi- 
ment was immense^ and exceeded the total 
number of the killed and wounded in the assault 
of Seringapatam. 

The greatest gratification which Lord Harris 
received in his latter years (independently of that 
which is inseparable from the remembrance of a 
well-spent life,) arose from the uniform kindness 
and condescension with which he was treated by 
his Sovereign and his august brother the Duke 
of York, and those immediately about them. 
Colonel M acmahon, an old and attached friend 
of Lord Moira, always regarded that noble Lord's 
captain at Bunker's Hill as well entitled to his 
kindest offices ; and in like manner Lord Bloom- 
field, Sir Herbert Taylor, and Sir William 
Knighton, did everything in their power to soothe 
the wounded feelings inseparable from the long 
and unjust neglect of Lord Harris's services. 

The letter? which they respectively wrote 
when his Majesty George the Fourth determined, 
at different periods, that a British Peerage, the 
Grand Cross of the Bath*, and the government of 
Dumbarton Castle should be conferred upon 
Lord Harris, are examples of the warm and 
friendly interest which they felt in any act in- 
tended to gratify him. 

The government of Dumbarton Castle was the 

* See letter from Lord Bloomfield in the Appendix. 



last act of grace and favour which he received 
from the Crown^ and it filled up all his desires of 
personal honour for himself., as was well expressed 
in a letter to Sir Herbert Taylor, characteristic 
of his frank, cheerful, and grateful heart. Few 
men, indeed, have lived, upon whom the unjust 
neglect, the slander, and the persecution he 
suffered upon his last return from India, would 
have had a less hurtful effect. The cardinal rule 
of his actions, at every period of his life, was 
founded upon the noblest principle of Christianity^ 
" to do as he would be done by," and this made 
him fearless of what might happen to himself. 
It might be truly said of him, from his eai*liest to 
his latest years, that he never was afraid of death, 
but always ready to meet it. This was strongly 
manifested in the cool collected courage which he 
exhibited when called upon, in his seventeenth 
year, to stand the fire of his commanding officer's 
pistol twice without returning it*; in the whole 
of his conduct throughout the varied dangers of 
his maturer life, and in the singular directions 
which he left, at different periods, for his funeral. 
Indeed, he not only never sought to avoid the 
consideration of this event, awful to all mankind, 
but constantly habituated himself to meditate, 
and to speak upon it. 

But this disposition excited in him no gloomy 
fears, or unsocial feelings. Long after he had 

* See page 29 of this Memoir. 

2 H 2 


passed man^s age, and lived in dignified retire- 
ment at Belmont, his company was sought by the 
youngest members of his family and friends as the 
most animating and cheerful treat they could enjoy. 

By his neighbours and tenantry, rich and 
poor, he was beloved and respected for his kind 
heart, clear understanding, and simple manners. 
That frankness of intercourse which was the 
result of these qualities, was quite in the spirit of 
Addison's portrait of the old English country 
gentleman, in the person of Sir Roger de Coverley, 
and produced the same effects : " the young women 
professed love to him, and the young men were 
glad of his company. When he came into a 
house, he called the servants by their names, and 
talked all the way up stairs to a visit.'* Nor did 
the resemblance to the good old knight stop 
here. His easy manners put all pomp and 
pageantry out of countenance in his presence; 
and though a high-hearted nobleman doing 
honour to the peerage and to his country by his 
personal virtues and public services, he was as 
unaffected as the simplest peasant. 

His feelings were, however, deeply excited 
when he thought the honour, happiness, or 
interests of the different members of his family 
were involved, and he left nothing that it was in 
his power to do, undone, to promote their per- 
manent prosperity. 

In the opening characters of his grand- 


children he felt the liveliest interest, and his 
affection was deeply and gratefully returned by 
them. By none more than by him whose rising 
talents and virtues attracted the approving notice 
of Bishop Heber, but whose thread of life was 
severed in the same distant land in the midst of 
an honourable career of earthly usefulness. I 
cannot deny myself the mournful gratification of 
extending the knowledge of departed excellence 
by adding to this volume that record*, which so 
well describes the public sense of his loss, on a 
monument raised by the munificence of his 
countrymen in St. George's Church at Madras. 
The epitaph was written by the late Venerable 
Archdeacon of Madras, the Reverend Thomas 
Robinson, the devoted, and highly gifted friend of 
the pious and accomplished Heber. 

Nor can I in justice and gratitude to Lord 
Harris omit to observe, that on no occasion was 
his solicitude for the welfare of those connected 
with him more affectionately shown towards the 
close of his eventful life, than on the appointment 
of his son-in-law, the compiler of this Memoir, 
to the government of Madras, and the good 
counsel and the assistance which he rendered 
greatly contributed to its success. 

To express the feelings with which I parted 
from him, in his eighty-second year, with very 
little hope of ever seeing him again, is beyond my 

* See Appendix. 


power. His death took place in the second year 
after I left England^ but I had the gratification 
of knowing that the same sincere and cheerfiii 
piety, the same manly fortitude he had exhi- 
bited throughout the changing scenes which 
he had passed through, continued up to the 
moment when it pleased the Almighty to call 
him from his labours. He received the Sacra- 
ment with all of his children who were pre- 
sent, under circumstances of the deepest interest, 
affectionately bade them farewell, and resigned 
his spirit into the hands of his Maker, in full con- 
fidence of the atoning merits of his Saviour. 

It was my fortune not to return until some 
years after his death ; but one of the earliest gra- 
tifications of that return was to assist in raising a 
monument to his memory in Throwley church, 
and in doing that justice to his private virtues 
and public services which the epitaph* upon his 
monument records. 

The only gratification that is wanted, in the 
compilation of this Memoir, is that he could know 
with what sincere affection it has been under- 
taken, and what feelings have been awakened, as 
the papers examined f have revived the memory 
of some act of generous kindness and confiding 
affection intended, or done, by him, to me and to 
my family. 


* See Appendix. t See some of them in the Appendix. 


20^A Nornnhm-, 1839. 

Since this Memoir was written, I have read that 
part of Mr. Alison's History, w^hich contains 
a summary account of Lord Wellesley's adminis- 
tration in India, and therein an abstract of Lord 
Harris's campaign in Mysore. I regret to observe 
that Mr. Alison has adopted, as authentic infor- 
mation, the errors of Mr. Hook, in his Life of 
Sir David Baird, and has founded upon them 
some comments of his own, which directly impeach 
the justice and impartiality of the Commander-in-. 
Chief in that campaign, and of the Governor- 
General, and indirectly assail the honour of the 
Duke of Wellington, in assuming that he had 
ever assented to become the object of private 
favour, and the instrument of individual injustice, 
by accepting an appointment which properly 
belonged to another officer. 

This conclusion is contrary to the whole 
course of Mr. Alison's just eulogium upon the 
Marquis Wellesley and his illustrious brother, 
and is expressly declared by him " to be one of 
the few blots on Lord Wellesley's administration 
in India." It will, therefore, I hope, be a gratifi- 
cation to Mr. Alison to learn, from the original 
documents contained in this Memoir, that neither 
the Commander-in-Chief, nor the Governor-Gene-r 
ral, did anything in the appointment of Colonel 


Wellesley to the command of Seringapatam^ bat 
what their duty to their country reqmred of tbem, 
and that " the blot" is in Mr. Hook's unfounded 
narrative, which Mr. Alison will no doubt take 
the earliest opportunity of discarding from bis 

Indeed, the greatest part of Mr. Alison^s short 
account of the campaign in Mysore, requires so 
much revision, that he appears not to have had 
an opportunity of examining correct authorities 
upon this subject. The very first hostile opera* 
tion of the campaign is inaccurately related^ in his 
account of Tippoo's attack upon the Native bat- 
talions, under Colonel John Montr^sor, at Se- 
daseer. He says, " The Sultaun's force, on this 
occasion, amounted to 12,000, the flower of his 
army ; but though the weight of the combat fell 
on 2000 European and Sepoy troops, they were 
defeated in half an hour, and quickly retired to 
the neighbourhood of Seringapatam, with the loss 
of fifteen hundred men killed and wounded*.'* 

The detail of this affair is shown in pages 267 
— 272 of this Memoir, where it will be seen, upon 
the authority of General Stuart's despatch, and 
the Rajah of Coorg's letter, who was an eye- 
witness, and sharer in the scene, that the con- 
test with Tippoo*s troops lasted for many hours ; 
that the British detachment was in the greatest 
peril, and saved only from falling a sacrifice to 

• See Alison's Hiitcry of Europe^ vol. vii. p. 124. 


the persevering efforts of the flower of Tippoo's 
army, by the skill of their commander and the 
courage of the men*. The Sultaun*s attack upon 
Colonel Montresor began between nine and ten 
in the morning, and he did not retreat till twenty 
minutes past three; and when "General Stuart 
arrived at Colonel Montresor's post, he found his 
men exhausted with fatigue, and their ammunition 
almost expended f." That such should have been 
their state, will excite no surprise, when the vast 
disparity of numbers is considered. Tippoo, with 
12,000 men, the flower of his army; Colonel 
Montresor, with only three battalions of Sepoys, 
and the artillery of his brigade, altogether not 
2000 men. The contest had continued for six 
hours, when General Stuart arrived with the 77th 
Regiment, and two flank companies of the 75th, 
and drove off a part of the enemy, who had pos- 
sessed themselves of the great road leading to 
Sedaseer. The engagement with them lasted 
nearly half an hour, wlien they fled M'ith precipi- 
tation through the jungles, to regain their column, 
which still continued the attack in front. "It 
was not till twenty minutes past tliree that the 
enemy retreated in all directions;}:." 

* See Beatson's History of the War^ p. 72; Mill's History 
of British India, vol. iii. p. 428; Gleggs History^ p. 156; 
WiLKs's History. 

f See General Stuart's Letter^ Wettesley Desjyatches^ p. 487. 

X Ibid. 


ButTippoo did not retire quickly to the neig^h* 
bourhood of Seringapatam. He continued in the 
neighbourhood of the Bombay Army for five days, 
in the hope of another opportunity of attacking 
a portion of them; and this induced General 
Stuart to withdraw the brigade from Sedaseer^ 
and concentrate the whole of his force at Seeda- 
pore. It might as well be said that the battle of 
Waterloo lasted but half an hour, because the last 
charge of our victorious troops on that glorious day 
did not occupy much more than this space of time. 

The next inaccuracy in Mr. Alison's account 
of the campaign, is in his description of the battle 
of Mallavelly. He says, "Colonel Wellesley 
commanded the division on the left, and General 
Floyd the centre. Owing to the exhausted state 
of the bullocks which drew the artillery, a delay 
occurred in the formation of the line, of which the 
Mysore horse took advantage to make a daring 
charge on Colonel Wellesley's division, which 
moved on to the attack, and was considerably in 
advance, and separated by a wide gap from the 
centre. A huge mass of cavalry, supported by the 
bravest of Tippoo's turbaned infantry, bore down 
on the English division, and filled the opening; 
but the 33rd were ordered to reserve their fire till 
within pistol-shot, when they delivered it with 
decisive effect, and immediately charged with the 
bayonet, while the red-plumed dragoons of Floyd 
soon after coming up from the centre^ charged 

IN MR. Alison's history. 475 

tliem on the other flank, and completed the rout. 

Two thousand of the enemy fell in the battle, or 

the pursuit, while the loss of the victors did not 

exceed three hundred.'* 

The whole of this statement is erroneous. 

General Floyd commanded the cavalry, not the 
centre. The Mysore horse did not attack Colonel 
Wellesley's division at all. They attacked the 
right wing, under the personal command of 
General Harris, and were so completely repulsed 
that Tippoo retired with his artillery and cavalry. 
It was the Kurreem Cutchery of infantry who 
attacked the 33rd Regiment under Colonel Wel- 
lesley. They were signally repulsed, when General 
Floyd charged them with the cavalry, and com- 
pleted their destruction. The British loss was not 
three hundred, but sixty-six. — See Gen. Harris's 
Official Report. These were the only affairs which 
our troops had with the Sultaun's army in the field. 
Mr. Alison's description of the first opera- 
tions of the siege is of the same character. He 
says, "The camp was formed opposite to the 
south-western side of the fortress. The army 
from Bombay effected its junction on the 9th. 
The approaches were conducted with great vigour. 
In the course of these operations, much annoy- 
ance was experienced from an advanced post of 
the Sultaun's, placed on a rocky eminence, near 
the walls, from whence a destructive fire, chiefly 
with rockets, was kept up on the parties working 


in the trenches. In order to put a stop to thi'* 
harassing warfare, an attack on the post during 
the night was resolved on, and intrusted tc» 
Colonel Wellesley and Colonel Shawe. This 
nocturnal encounter would be of little importance, 
were it not rendered remarkable by a circom— 
stance as rare as it is memorable, and worthy of 
being recorded for the encouragement of young- 
officers exposed to early disastei' — a failui-e bv 

" Colonel Wellesley, on entering the rocky 
eminence near the Sultaunpettah Tope, was as- 
sailed on all sides with so severe a fire, that both 
the 33rd Regiment and Sepoy battalion*, which he 
commanded, w^ere thrown into disorder, and be 
was obliged to fall back to the camp; and such 
was the confusion which prevailed, owing to the 
darkness of the night, that he arrived there 
ac^companied only by Colonel Mackenzie. The 
young officer proceeded at midnight to the Gene- 
ral's tent, at first much agitated, but finding 
General Harris not yet awake, he threw himself 
on the table of the tent, and fell asleep — ^a fact, 
in such a moment, singularly characteristic of the 
imperturbable character of the future hero of 
Torres Vedras." 

This is a misstatement both of facts and dates. 
The Bombay Army did not join till the 14th of 
April. The Madras Army arrived before Sering- 

* Colonel Wellesley had no Sepoy battalion with him. 

IN MR. Alison's history. 477 

apatain on the 5th of April, and on the same night 

General Harris ordered the attacks to be made by 

Colonel Shawe and Colonel Wellesley, not on a 

rocky eminence near the walls, but on the Sultaun- 

pettah Tope, and the bank of the water- course, 

nearly three miles from the Fort. No annoyance 

had been sustained from Tippoo's troops, nor had 

we any trenches for many days afterwards. The 

nature of Colonel Wellesley's failure has been 

already fully described (pp. 289 — 307), and it has 

been shown that he made his report at twelve 

o'clock at night to the Commander-in-Chief, who 

was anxiously waiting to receive it. What is 

therefore stated of General Harris " not being yet 

awake" at mid?iight, and of Colonel Wellesley's 

throwing himself on the table and falling fast 

asleep, before he had made his report to General 

Harris as a " fact singularly characteristic of the 

imperturbable character of the future hero of 

Torres Vedras," is mere fable. Mr. Alison goes 

on to state, " General Harris next morning drew 

out the troops for a second attack, and offered the 

command to General Baird, but that generous 

officer suggested that Colonel Wellesley should be 

again intrusted with the command. But for the 

elevation of mind which prompted both General 

Harris and General Baird to overlook this casual 

failure, and intrust the next attack to the defeated 

officer, the fate of the world might have been 

different, and the star of the future conqueror of 


Napoleon extinguished in an obscure nocrtumal 
encounter in an Indian water-course.^ 

General Baird's evidence upon this subject, 
given only the year before he died, proves that this 
story is not true. That he suggested nothing to 
General Harris respecting Colonel Wellesley, and 
that there was nothing calling for the display of 
any elevation of mind either from General Harris 
or General Baird, however natural it would have 
been for both to have shown this character in \i< 
highest degree, if any occasion had required it. 
The only thing which called for the Com- 
mander-in-Chief's indulgence on the mornings of 
the 6th of April, was the blunder in the Adjutant- 
General's office^ in not duly advising Colonel 
Wellesley of the time when he was to be on 
the parade, to command the second attack on the 
Sultaunpettah Tope. 

Mr. Alison thinks^ however, that this tale of 
General Baird's " elevation of mind," as stated in 
Mr. Hook's memoirs, is true, notwithstanding (as 
he observes), some doubt is thrown upon it in 
Gurwood's Despatches of fVelUngton. " For the 
honour of human nature," he says, " he is happy 
to give it an entire confirmation, having repeat- 
edly heard the anecdote from a most gallant 
officer. Colonel Gerrard, the author's lamented 
brother-in-law, to whose talents and virtues, 
durably recorded in the exploits of that band of 
heroes who contributed to the glories of Delhi and 

IN MR. Alison's history. 479 

Lasswarree^ he has a melancholy pleasure in 
bearing his public testimony." In that testimony 
to Colonel Gerrard, I desire humbly to join; but 
as I have proved, by the evidence of Sir David 
Baird himself^ that the story had no foundation in 
truth, there can be no other just inference than 
that Colonel Gerrard heard the tale as it was 
current in camp, and believing it (although un* 
true), related it to Mr. Alison. 

"Such is history!" as the old King of Prussia 
said when two persons, said to be eye-witnesses of 
the same fact, gave opposite accounts of it. But in 
this case, we have the concurring evidence of the 
three distinguished personages who were the dra- 
matis personse: Sir David Baird, who positively 
denied the truth of the story ; the letters of Colonel 
Wellesley on that and the following day, when it 
is said to have happened, taking no notice of it, 
and General Harris's minute daily Journal, in 
which there is not the slightest allusion to this 
tale, and of which Colonel Wellesley never even 
heard till many years afterwards. That such a 
tale was circulated, I have, however, no doubt; for 
I remember to have heard it from an officer of 
great gallantry and good conduct, like Colonel 
. Gerrard, when I was in the Poligar countries in 
1800, accompanied by an addition, delivered in a 
solemn whisper, that Colonel Wellesley was fright- 
ened, and ran away to the Commander-in-Chief's 
tent, on the night of the 6th, and therefore General 


Harris had ordered General Baird to take th* 
command on the morning of the 14th, which 
General Baird declined from personal considera- 
tion for Colonel Wellesley!!! 

Mr. Alison goes on to state that *^ several 
formidable sallies of the Mysore horse wo^e 
repulsed by the steadiness of the besiegers* infan- 
try." This is also entirely erroneous : there were 
no sallies of horse against the infantry of the 
besiegers; and a moment's reflection will point 
out the mistake. Who ever heard of horse h&ng 
employed to attack infantry in trenches ? 

The two attacks which were really made by 
Tippoo were directed against the Bombay tix)ops 
(where Colonel Wellesley was not), and they were 
made by Tippoo's Native infantry, and subse- 
quently by the Frenchmen in his service, of whom 
several were killed in General Stuart's lines. 

The account given by Mr. Alison of the 
assault, and the state of the enemy's prepamtion, 
is also very erroneous. He says, "The enemy 
were at their post, all was ready for the assault ; 
every battery was manned, and from every bastion 
a gun, which bore on the assailants a close and 
deadly fire, was directed, which speedily thinned 
their ranks, and would have caused any other 
troops to recoil. On, however, the British rushed, 
followed by their brave allies, through the deadly 
storm ; in five minutes the river was crossed, in 
five more the breach was mounted. A crimson 

IN MR. Alison's history. 481 

torrent streamed over the ruin. A sally on the 

flank of the assaulting column by a chosen body 

of Tippoo's guards was repulsed. The brave 

Asiatics were by degrees forced back, though not 

without desperate resistance, to the Palace, where 

a dreadful slaughter took place*.*' 

I have shown, in my account of the storm, 

that Tipppo was, happily, taken by surprise. 

He could not be brought to believe that the 

assault was to be made on the 4th of May. He 

was eating his dinner when our troops were 

mounting the breach, and he was not roused to 

make any serious exertion until he heard that 

his principal officer, Seyid GofFhar, had been killed 

by a cannon shot near the breach. " Seyid 

GofFh&r," he then observed, "never was afraid 

of death ; let Mahomed Cassim take his division.'* 

He ordered his carbines to be loaded, and his 

horse to be brought, which he mounted, and 

proceeded towards the breach ; but it was too late, 

our troops were on the ramparts, and driving the 

weak and fugitive defenders before them. The time 

which elapsed before the British colours floated in 

triumph on the breach was only six minutes from 

the moment of our troops stepping out of the 

trenchesf. Our loss was trifling compared with 

what it was reasonable to expect:):. As to the 

* See Alisozv's History of Europe, vol. Tii. p. 130. 

t See BRATBON'aHUtory, p. 127; Hook's Life of Baird, p. 207. 

X See the detail in the Appendix. 

2 I 


^* sally on the flank of the assaulting column by a 
chosen body of Tippoo*s guards/* and ^^ a crunsoo 
torrent streaming over the ruin;" it was so repre- 
sented in Porter's picture^ and in the theatrical 
exhibition of the assault at Sadler's Wells in 1799; 
but both of these representations were got up 
with the usual licence of painters and poets. 

Painters and poets our indulgence claim. 
Their daring equal, and their art the same. 

Historians have another duty to perform ; and for 
the honour of human nature^ I am glad to point 
out to Mr. Alison the error into which he has 
fallen in his History when he speaks of a dreadful 
slaughter in Tippoo's palace by the British troops. 
Mr. Alison must have forgot, or never read. Lord 
Mornington's letter to the Court of Directors of 
the 12th May, 1799, in which he observes, " I am 
persuaded that your Honourable Court will derive 
peculiar satisfaction from the intelligence that the 
Sultaun's family and palace suffered no insult or 
violence during the heat of the assault, and has 
since been protected with the utmost care ;** nor 
could Mr. Alison have read Sir Alexander Allan*s 
simple and unassuming statement of the generous 
means which he adopted, with General Baird*s 
sanction, to prevent any slaughter in the Palace, 
and which so entirely succeeded, that not one 
drop of blood was shed there. 

There is another mistake adopted by Mr. Ali- 
son, and which also implies a want of humane feel- 
ing on the part of Tippoo's conquerors. He says, 

IN MR. Alison's history. 483 

** His corpse was found under a mountain of slain 
stripped of all its ornaments and clothing." The 
account given by Sir A. Allan^ who assisted in 
bringing the body of Tippoo from under the gate- 
way, proves that no indignity had been offered to 
his person. " His dress consisted of a jacket of 
fine white linen, loose drawers of flowered chintz, 
with a crimson cloth of silk and cotton round his 
waist ; a handsome pouch, with a red and green 
silk belt, hung across his shoulder. His head was 
uncovered, his turban being lost in the confusion 
of his fall." The body was immediately put into a 
palankeen, and conveyed under a guard of honour 
to the Palace, and was interred the next day with 
as much pomp and respectful ceremony as the 
British army could have displayed even to their 
own Sovereign. 

The preparations for the funeral were super- 
intended by the Cauzee of Seringapatam ; every 
article was provided according to his directions ; 
and when the body reached the gate of Hyder's 
magnificent mausoleum, the British Grenadiers 
formed a street and presented arms as it passed. 
Both officers and men forgot in this moment what 
he had been to them when alive ; they no longer 
remembered what British prisoners had experi- 
enced from him ; and his family and officers were 
afterwards treated with the utmost humanity and 
generosity by the Governor-General. 

I have since visited the place of his interment, 

2 12 


when more than thirty years had elapsed fros 
the time of his funeral, and it was gradfyiK 
to see with what' care the mausolemn which 
contains the mortal remains of Hyder Ally 
Tippoo Sultaun, and his mother, and the sur- 
rounding religious edifices, have been regarded 
by succeeding British authorities. The good 
feeling which has suggested this reverential con- 
sideration, is part of that strength by which wt 
have obtained and kept our empire in that oountrr, 
and I trust that we shall never be deluded by the 
perilous zealof those who are unacquainted with the 
prejudices of our Eastern subjects to depart frofli 
this enlightened course. In its first effects, and 
in its lasting consequences, this forbearance from 
insult to those who difier in their religious feelingis 
from us, forms a noble contrast both in policy and 
in humanity to those who have preceded us as 
conqueroi-s in India, and the contrast has been with 
none greater than between the Mahommedaa and 
English rulers. Indeed, in close vicinity to the 
mausoleum which we have protected with such 
care, I saw a ferocious representation of Tlp- 
poo's savage disposition towards his British pri- 
soners. They were painted in the attitude of 
supplication, with tigers in the act of destroying 
them, and the colours still remained fresh upon 
the walls. I could not then comprehend how it 
had happenejd that the picture should have con- 
tinued for so many years unhurt by time and 

IN MR. Alison's history. 485 

weather ; but I have since learnt that it was 
T^etouched by Wellington's special orders whilst 
he was in authority, and those who succeeded 
him there have continued this memorial of 
Tippoo's cruelty, and our forbearance. 

Having thus noticed some of the errors in 
Mr. Alison's account of the campaign in Mysore, 
I shall now revert to the more serious charge 
which he has preferred, chiefly upon the authority 
of Mr. Hook's book, against Lord Harris and 
the Marquis Wellesley, in respect to the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Wellesley to command in Serin- 
gapatam, after it became expedient to have a 
permanent commandant there. 

Mr. Alison observes*, " Colonel Wellesley 
was not engaged in the storm, but he com- 
manded the reserve, which did not require to 
be called into action, and viewed merely with 
impatient regret the heart-stirring scene. He 
was next day, however, appointed Governor of the 
town by General Harris, which appointment was 
conj&rmed by Lord Wellesley, and constitutes one 
of the few blots in his administration. History, 
indeed, apart from biogi*aphical discussion, has 
little cause to lament an appointment which, early 
called into active service the great civil as well as 
military qualities of the Duke of Wellington. But 
individual injustice is not always to be excused 
by the merits of the preferred functionary, and 

♦ Vol. vii. p. 133. 


unquestionably the hero of Seringapatam^ the 
gallant officer who led the assault^ was entitled to 
a very different fate from that of being superseded 
in the command^ almost before the sweat was 
wiped from the brow which he had adorned with 
the laurels of victory." 

If any fault can be found for the rapidity with 
which General Baird was relieved after the duties 
of the assault were over^ he is alone to be blamed. 
It was his own particular request to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief that he might be relieved that 
nighty and the message was sent to General Harris 
through Major Beatson*, literally before the sweat 
was wiped from General Baird's victorious brow. 
Nor was the request unnatural; General Baird 
and his brave companions had borne the heat and 
burden of that day^ and it was fair^ both in him 
and them^ to wish that the painful duties of 
burying the dead, relieving the wounded, exe- 
cuting plunderers, and restoring order, should be 
performed by other hands. But General Harris 
did not deem it expedient that they should be 
relieved that very night, for the reasons given in 
page 419 of this Memoir. The course he pursued 
was in the ordinary routine of military duty, 
and without the slightest reference to the cinl 
qualities of the officer who should relieve General 
Baird. It has been already shown in this 
Memoir, that when General Harris received the 

* See General Baird's letter, 6tli May, 1799, p. 413. 

IN MR. Alison's history. 487 

application of General Baird to be relieved^ the 
Deputy Adjutant*GeneraI, Major Turing, was in 
attendance at his tent^ and was immediately 
desired by the Commander-in-Chief to inform 
him who was next for duty. ^'Colonel Roberts/* 
said Major Turing; "Then put him in orders 
to go," replied General Harris. Presently after- 
wards Major Turing, looking- more attentively 
over the Order-Book, said, "No, Sir, I have 
made a mistake; Colonel Wellesley is the next 
for duty, not Colonel Roberts." "Then let 
Colonel Wellesley be put in orders for the relief," 
was the General's reply. 

Colonel Wellesley accordingly went into the 
Fort early the next morning, and relieved General 
Baird after he had been refreshed by a night's 
rest, as he states in his own letter* of the follow- 
ing day ; and Colonel Wellesley fully expected to 
be himself relieved by some other officer in the 
regular course of the camp duties, as expressed in 
his letter to General Harris f, to which I have 
already directed the attention of the reader. 

The rapid submission of Tippoo's sons, chiefs^ 
and subjects in the two days succeeding the 
assault, entirely changed the character and nature 
of the duties to be performed by the Commandant 
of Seringapatam. Important civil functions, as 
well as militaiy^iuties, necessarily devolved upon 

* See General Baird's Letter, 6tli May, 1799, p. 413. 
+ Sec Colonel Wellesley's Letter, 6tli May, 1799, p. 422. 


him, and then General Harris was required to 
consider who was best fitted for their suooKsfoi 
discharge. After due consideration he resolved 
that Colonel Wellesley should be the permaDeai 
Commandant; and this selection was made not 
only in preference to Major-General Baird, but in 
preference to three other General Officers, senior 
to Major-General Baird, as well as to Colonel 
Wellesley, all of whom would have been proud of 
the appointment, and might fairly have claimed 
it, if seniority, bravery, and distinguished militanr 
Services had been the only proper considerations 
in the selection of a fit person to fill this appoint* 

But when a kingdom had fallen, and a king- 
dom was to be restored, it was the duty of the 
Commander-in-Chief, in the absence of the Go- 
vernor-General, to exercise, to the best of his 
judgment, the great powers confided to him. He 
was bound to select, from his army, the person he 
should deem best fitted to discharge all the great 
civil as well as military functions which would 
devolve upon him. His choice fell upon Colonel 
Wellesley, To justify this choice, by entering into 
a comparison of the relative qualifications of 
Colonel Wellesley, and any of the officei-s senior 
to him, for such a trust, would be an invidious 
and idle waste of time. But I cannot avoid ob* 
serving, that General Harris would have compro- 
mised his public duty, if he had preferred General 


JSaird for such a service to Colonel Wellesley; 
for, as Commander-in-Chief at Madras, he had 
been one of the Council that supported the Earl 
of Buckinghamshire in the discharge of a painful 
duty, hy removing Colonel Baird from the com- 
mand of Taujore, because he had been deluded by 
his Dubash, and other intriguing money-lenders, 
^o interpose his opinions and influence in the civil 
affairs of the government of that province, for the 
purpose of prolonging Amer Sing's usurpation of 
the rights of Serfogee, the prince entitled, by the 
Hindoo law, to fill the throne of Tanjore. 

But this just mark of General Harris's disap* 
probation of such improper interference did not 
prejudice his view of Colonel Baird's militaiy 
merits. To these he did full justice in the General 
Orders, published after Colonel Baird's removal 
from Tanjore, "proclaiming to the Army the 
favourable opinion he had formed of the Colonel, 
whilst in command of the 77th Regiment, so emi- 
nently distinguished by a series of long, spirited, 
and arduous services, honourable to themselves 
and advantageous to their country." 

These were the parting words of General 
Harris, then Commander-in-Chief at Madras, to 
Colonel Baird, in October, 1797, and when the 
Colonel returned from the Cape of Good Hope to 
Maditus, in January, 1799, having been promoted 
to the rank of Major-General, and appointed to 
the StalF of India, he was received by the Com- 


mander-in-Chief^ at Vellore, with the same kind- 
ness and confidence in his military merita. It was 
from this knowledge of his character that General 
Harris employed him in the very first operation of 
the siege against the Sultaunpettah Tope; and 
afterwards selected him for the distin^ished 
command of leading the assault on the 4th of 
May. Whatever might have been the perils of 
this service^ there perhaps never lived a man better 
qualified to execute it; and he received the warmest 
thanks of the Commander-in-Chief^ and was 
recommended by him to the Governor-General as 
entitled to the notice of his King and country, '^for 
the decided and able manner in which he con- 
ducted it." It was with painful reluctance that 
General Harris subsequently felt the necessity of 
censuring him for that total want of discretion 
and respect which he exhibited in his letters of 
the 6th and 9th of May, 1799; but a fault acknow- 
ledged by such an officer as Greneral Baird was 
sure of forgiveness from the kind heart of General 
Harris; and that just admonition which had 
been unwillingly forced from him, would ha?c 
been buried for ever in oblivion, as General Baird 
earnestly desired, and General Harris fully in- 
tended, if the misguided zeal of Mr. Hook had 
not given it publicity in his book. With Mr. 
Hook, therefore, and his employers, the responsi- 
bility for this must rest. 

For myself, it is not without painful reluctance 

IN MR. Alison's history. 491 

that I recur to it; but Mr. Hook's unfounded 
strictures^ and Mr. Alison's adoption of them^ 
leave me no choice. It is, however, gratifying to 
me to express my cordial concurrence in the just- 
ness of the character which General Middlemore 
has given of Sir D. Baird. " You might implicitly 
place your life, and honour, and happiness, in his 
hare word, and as he was firm and inflexible upon 
evei*y point of discipline and duty, so was he 
incapable of injuring a human being; with the 
courage of a hero, his heart was kind and gentle 
as a woman's." 

But it was of this kindness of nature that 
advantage was sometimes taken, by others not 
free from guile and intrigue Uke himself. Hence 
he was involved in errors, which produced much 
discomfort to this gallant officer and excellent 
man at different periods of his life ; at Tanjore in 
1797, at Mysore in 1 799, and at the Cape of Good 
Hope in 1807. 

Of these indiscretions Mr. Hook has thought 
fit to preserve records, with which the wiser and 
kinder friends of General Baird would have dealt 
as General Harris had done, and as Sterne did 
with the single transgression of his military hero— « 
have dropt a tear upon them, and blotted them 
out for ever. I trust, however, that there is 
enough in this volume to restrain future biogra- 
phers and historians from pursuing the same 
course, and that they wijl duly regard, as I have 


Sincerely endeavoured to do, that warning' voice 
which wrote for their instruction in the first 
volume of the Duke of Wellington's Despatches. 

I have quoted, in the beginnings of the 
Memoir, a portion of this just rebuke ; and I 
cannot conclude this documentary refutation of 
the unfounded imputations cast upon the honour 
of the Marquis Wellesley and of the Duke <rf 
Wellington, and upon the memoiy of Lord 
Harris, more appropriately, than by transcribing 
the whole of it. 

'^ The great end of history is the exact illustra* 
tion of events as they occurred, and there should 
be neither exaggeration nor concealment to suit 
angry feelings or personal disappointment. It 
should contain the trath, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth. Mr, Hook has, however, 
in this respect, wandered from his proper province 
as an historian, at the expense of the reputation 
of his gallant hero, by attacking the judgment, 
justice, impartiality, and duty of the Commander- 
in-Chief and the Governor-General, for the pur- 
pose of establishing a grievance and an insinua- 
tion, which the facts and results do not warrant ; 
and to which Sir David Baird, had he been 
alive, would have never given countenance. But 
Mr. Hook, being a civilian, could not be aware 
of the impropriety of publishing these letters of 
remonstrance, which are so inconsistent with 
subordination and discipline; particularly when it 

IN MR. Alison's history. 493 

is known that General Baird requested permis- 
sion to withdraw his intemperate appeal^ which 
General HaiTis, from personal regard, allowed 
to pass without further notice : and certainly, 
what Greneral Baird thought unworthy of him 
as a soldier, his biographer had no right to 
bring up against him, with no other apparent 
purpose than that of attacking the honour of 
those who are living, and the memory of those 
who are dead*." 

* Wkllinqton's Despatches, Note^ pp. 38 and 39. 


No. I. 

See page 139. 

*' The Earl of MoBNmaroN to Lord Clvte. 

^* (Most prirate and confidential) 

**jPbrt William, Jufy99, 1788. 
" My Lord, 

** Although I have not the honour of yoar Lord* 

ship^g personal acquaintance, I trust that my public situation, 

and my anxiety to discharge its duties in a satisfactory 

manner, wi]l be a sufficient apology for the liberty which I 

take in troubling you with this letter. 

'* I learnt the intelligence of your Lordship^s appoint- 
ment to the Oovemment of Fort St. Oeorge with very 
great pleasure, being convinced that the af&ira of that 
Presidency require the vigorous control of a person of 
your Lordship^s rank and character, and that you will have 
it in your power, (as I am persuaded it is your inclination,) 
to render essential service to the interests of the Company, 
and to confer considerable benefits upon the people com- 
mitted to your peculiar charge. 

^'For the system of measures which I think it advisable 
to adopt in the present crisis with regard to the defence of 
the Camatic, and to the restoration of our alliances, I refer 
your Lordship to my private corr^ondence with General 


Harris, and to the papers accompanying mj\ last letter 
to him. 

" Having frequently considered the state of the Prea- 
dency of Fort St. George previously to my departure from 
Europe, and having had the opportunity of correcting, by 
personal observation, the opinions which I had Ibrmed at 
home, I think it my duty to lay before your LfOrdship, 
without reserve, the final result of my deliberate judgment 
upon a subject equally interesting to yourself and me. In 
pursuing the various topics connected with this subject, I 
shall communicate my ideas to your Lordship with the 
same degree of confidential freedom which I should use to 
my most intimate friend ; being satisfied that your Lord- 
ship will not suifer communications of so secret a nature 
to pass beyond your own mind ; and being assured that jou 
will receive them as the most unequivocal testimony of my 
cordial zeal for the prosperity of your administration, and 
of my disposition to afford you every assistance towards the 
maintenance of the dignity, authority, and vigour of your 

" The Civil Service of the Presidency of Fort St. George 
is unfortunately in a condition very far removed from per- 
fection, and inferior in every respect to that of Bengal. 

^^ The deficiency of most of the civil servants at Madras, 
in the departments of revenue, is to be ascribed, in a great 
measure, to the system so long prevalent of administering 
the revenues through provincial chiefs and councils, whose 
policy it was to confine the means of acquiring a knowledge 
of the nature of the collections within the. most narrow 
channels, and who were themselves almost universally under 
the dominion of the native agents and servants. The whole 
administration of the revenue, was a scheme of mystery, 
calculated to embarrass inquiry, and to 'screen peculation 
from justice. 


'' The provision of the commercial investment upon the 
coast of Coromandel, has also been managed almost exelu- 
sivelyby native agents and contractors; and while their 
management shall continue, it cannot be expected that the 
servants of the Company will become conversant with the 
details of the several manufactures, or with the minute 
circumstances which affect the quality of the different 
fabrics. This defective mode of administering the revenue 
and commerce of the Company on the Coast, rendered the 
study of the languages, customs, and laws of the country, 
a superfluous, if not an useless labour ; since a servant of 
the Company might reach the most arduous trusts, and 
might discharge them with as much credit as his predeces- 
sors had ever enjoyed, without the previous application 
necessary for acquiring any of those branches of knowledge. 
On the other hand, the ignorance of the Company'^s civil 
servants necessarily threw them into the hands of the native 
dubashes, whose destructive influence soon produced em- 
barrassments, which led to the sacrifice of public trust and 
duty, and ultimately to the ^utter subversion of every prin- 
ciple of integrity and honour. To these causes must be 
added the continual operation of the intrigues of the dur- 
bars of the Nabob of Arcot and of the Rajah of Tanjore. 
The junior servants, I trust, under your Lordship's super- 
intendence, may be encouraged in the study of the native 
languages ; a knowledge of which is indispensably necessary 
to enable them to discharge any important public trust with 
advantage to their employers, or with honour to themselves. 
With this view I most earnestly recommend it to your 
Lordship to direct your most vigilant attention to the con- 
duct of the junior i?\Titers from the earliest period of their 
arrival at Madras. Too many of them fall into early 
habits of extravagance, in which they are encouraged by 
the native dubashes ; and I declare to your Lordship my 

2 K 


deliberate conviction, that this evil cannot be remedied in 
any other manner than by the personal exertions ot the 
Governor himself. 

'' Lord Comwallis watched over the conduct and morah 
of the junior servants of the Company in Bengal with the 
anxiety and solicitude of a parent ; and the beneficial eflects 
of his laudable care are now visible in every department of 
this Government. To a person of your Lordship'^s dispo- 
sition this duty will not be irksome. Various opinions 
have been stated to me with respect to the salary of the 
writers: some persons seem to think its present amoant 
sufficient, and that any increase would tend to extrava- 
gance ; while others are of opinion that it does not afibrd 
the means of maintaining the writers in a situation of 
competent affluence. I confess that I was not able during 
my continuance at Madras to form a decided opinion upon 
this important question. I therefore refer it to your Lord- 
ship's judgment, being persuaded that you will concur 
with me in feeling that the source of many of the defects 
in the civil service at Madras, is to be discovered in the 
original condition of the writers sent out from Europe, and 
that from the same source must be derived any permanent 
system of improvement. 

'' I should have observed to your Lordship that I believe 
a proper public building for the reception of the writers 
upon their first arrival at Madras, would be a very desirable 
object ; the buildings at present used for that purpose are 
extremely contracted, and, as I was informed, absolutely 
uninhabitable by any but those of the most vigorous consti- 
tutions. I would also suggest to your Lordship's considera- 
tion, whether it might not be proper to increase the salaries 
of the present offices of Mahratta and Persian translator, 
and to found offices of a similar description for the trans* 
lation of the various languages iu which the public businesi 


10 transacted in different parts of the coontrj subject to 
your Presidency. A measure of this nature would operate 
as a great encouragement to the study of the native lan- 
guages upon the Coast. Your Lordship will perceive by 
the directions which I shall speedily forward to you in 
council, that it is my wish to introduce in all those coun- 
tries subject to your government, which are now in a state 
to receive such an improvement, that system of permanent 
settlement of revenue, connected with a speedy and regular 
administration of justice, from which such essential benefits 
have been derived in Bengal. 

^' I conversed very fully with all the members of the 
Board of B«venue at Fort St. Oeorge on this most interest- 
ing subject, in which the prosperity and happiness of the 
whole people committed to your particular charge is deeply 
concerned; and I was convinced by the information I 
received from those respectable gentlemen, that the system 
to which I have adverted might immediately be introduced 
into almost every part of your Lordship^s government with 
infinite advantage, not only to the native inhabitants, but to 
the civil service of the Company. I am aware that, at the 
first institution of the courts of justice it may be very 
difficult, in the present state of the civil service of Fort 
St. Oeorge, to find a sufficient number of persons properly 
qualified for the several judicial offices ; but, on the other 
hand, the institution of such offices will open new channels 
for the ambition, industry, and talents of your civil servants. 
The study of the manners, languages, customs, and laws of 
the natives, will then become general, and the beneficial 
effects of such an additional incitement to the activity of 
your servants will soon be widely extended, and will gradu- 
ally produce a supply of persons equal to all the duties of 
the Company'^s civil service. 

** Before I quit the subject of the state of the civil 

2 K 2 


service at Madras, I must beg leave to call your Lordsbip'^s 
attention to the revision of your civil establisHments, as 
directed in my letter in council of this date, addressed to 
the President in Council of Fort St. George. Every prac- 
ticable reduction of your expenses and augmentation of 
your revenue will be of importance in the present distressed 
state of the finances of the Company in India. If my 
information be correct, the proposed establishment of the 
courts of justice will not ultimately prove any additional 
burthen upon your finances. 

'' With respect to the military establishments at Fort 
St. George, I have the satisfaction to declare to your Lord' 
ship that I do not believe there exists in any part of the 
world an army more distinguished for its high state of dis- 
cipline, or for the activity, gallantry, and skill of its officers, 
than that which will be under your immediate direction. 

'' In the ranks of colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and those 
still inferior, you will find many excellent officers. 

"The defects in your military establishments, which 
impede the power of putting any considerable portion of 
your army in motion at a short notice, are considered in 
my Letter to your Presidency of the 20th July, and in my 
Minute recorded in the Secret Department at Fort Wil- 
liam, of the same date, of which I will soon transmit a 
copy to your Lordship. 

" I most earnestly entreat your early and serious atten- 
tion to the very alarming considerations which arise from 
the view which I have taken of this important subject. Your 
Lordship will receive a more full detail of my sentiments 
on this head from General Harris, who will communicate 
to you all my private correspondence relating to it. I must 
also take the liberty of requesting that you will allow my 
brother. Colonel Wellesley, (whose regiment is now under 
orders for Fort St. George,) to have the honour of stating 


to your Lordship at large my opiDions with respect to the 
defence of the Carnatic. 

" Your Lordship will have learnt previously to your de- 
parture from Europe, that I was charged by the Court of 
Directors to attempt, by means of persuasion and advice, to 
induce his Highness the Nabob of the Carnatic to agree to 
the same modification of the treaty of 1792 which had been 
proposed to him by Lord Hobart. General Harris, and Mr. 
Lushington, who acted as my interpreter, will state to your. 
Lordship the means which I employed to endeavour to 
accomplish the object of my commission, in which I entirely 
failed. I was equally unsuccessful in my endeavours to 
prevail upon his highness to make provision for the liquida- 
tion of any part of his debt to the Company ; and I am 
satisfied that any other means would be as foreign to your 
Lordship^s disposition as they are to mine. My fixed rule 
during my continuance at Madras was, to treat the Nabob 
with the respect due to his rank, with the kindness due to 
the ancient friendship between his family and the Company, 
and with the delicacy demanded by his dependant situation. 
At the same time I avoided all familiarity with him, and I 
animadverted very fully upon the defects of his adminis- 
tration, and upon the extreme impropriety of his late con- 
duct with relation to the interests of the Company. I 
never allowed him to utter any invective against Lord 
Hobart, notwithstanding his various attempts both in public 
and private, to induce me to listen to a vein of abuse in 
which his highness is too apt to indulge himself on that 
subject. You will find his highnesses disposition to be 
very far from amiable or respectable ; he is insincere, mean, 
and timid; he is, however, said to be humane in his temper, 
although Lord Hobart has recorded instances which impute 
to him the guilt of very great cruelty. He is by no means 
deficient in his understanding ; I have met with few men 


who possess more address; Ids abilities, however, were 
always exhibited to me in the form of low cunning, artifice, 
and subterfuge. You will find a most virulent party 
formed against his highness amongst a certain description 
of the Company^s servants, civil and military, at Madras. 
The persons concerned in this party preserve no bounds of 
moderation or of decency in their public language concern- 
ing his highnesses conduct and character ; and if their opi* 
nion were suffered to guide the councils of the Government 
of Fort St. George, there is no degree of public humiliation 
or disgrace to which his highness would not be subjected, 
and scarcely an excess of compulsion and violence which 
would not be attempted to extort the surrender of his ooun* 
try from him. I must here take the occasion of assuring 
your Lordship that the character of those measures is wholly 
inconsistent with the acknowledged temper and disposition 
of Lord Hobart, whom I have known with the utmost de- 
gree of intimacy for many years. I shall forward to your 
Lordship shortly copies of the papers which passed between 
me and the Nabob, together with my observations upon 
them. In the meanwhile I offer it as my sincere advice to 
your Lordship not to attempt any immediate negociation 
with his highness for the surrender of his country. I found 
his mind in a state of great irritation and alarm; and 
although I flatter myself that those emotions were in some 
degree abated by my intercourse with him, I can hardly ex- 
pect that he is yet inclined to give favourable attention to 
any proposition for a modification of the treaty of 1792. 
For my own part, notwithstanding the anxiety of the Court 
of Directors upon the subject, I entertain very serious 
doubts whether the Company would gain considerably by 
the surrender of the mortgaged districts. This, however, 
is a point upon which I have not yet formed a decided opi- 
nion. I must, therefore, entreat your Lordship to turn 


your attention to it, and as I am persuaded that you will 
consider the question without passion or prejudioe, and that 
no virulence of party will be suffered to warp your judg*« 
raent, I expect to derive considerable advantage from receiver 
ing the honour of your opinion. 

*' With regard to the Nabob's debt to the Company, I 
think the present moment of general voluntary contribution 
might offer a favourable opportunity for persuading his high- 
ness to pay the whole or part of the new cavalry loan ; and 
I shall speedily forward to your Lordship a letter for his 
highness, suggesting the propriety of so seasonable a step in 
the present moment. 

'' I should here observe that his highness expressed great 
anxiety to be allowed to correspond privately with me, but I 
declined the proposition ; and your Lordship maybe assured 
that I will admit of no other mode of communication be- 
tween his highness and me than the regular channel of your 

^' It is very necessary that we should be prepared to de- 
cide the eventual question of the succession to the nabob- 
ship in the probable event of his highnesses early death. 
Your Lordship will have the goodness to ascertain, with as 
much accuracy as possible, the respective pretensions of 
those who might lay claim to the musnud in such an event. 
Upon such information as I shall receive from you, we may 
be enabled to anticipate the mischiefs of a disputed succes- 
sion, and to avoid the disgrace of adopting a premature 
decision which we might afterwards be compelled to revoke. 
General Harris will have communicated to you the direc- 
tions of this Government with respect to the succession to 
the musnud of Tanjore, and you will have learnt the man- 
ner in which those directions have been executed. I shall 
be extremely anxious to receive the report of the commis- 
sion which is to be appointed for inquiring into the real 


state of Tanjore. Until that report shall be received, ib 
will be impossible to form a permanent system for the im- 
provement of the interests of the Rajah or of the Companj- 
in that fertile, but harassed country. I think it necessary, 
however, to apprize your Lordship, that such information as 
I have already been enabled to obtain upon this subject, 
leads me to hope that the most advanta;];eou8 arrangement 
for the interests of the Company will prove to be that which 
would evidently most redound to their honour, and would 
place the character of their justice on the most substantial 
foundations. Your Lordship will have anticipated my idea, 
that the restoration of the whole country to Serfogee under 
an improved system of management, checked by the super- 
intendence of the Oovernment of Fort St. George, would 
produce the most beneficial permanent consequences to both 
parties. It was with this express view that I suggested the 
policy of endeavouring to persuade Serfogee to make a tem- 
porary cession of his kingdom to our management, in order 
that we might provide for him (during our temporary poe- 
session) not only such a permanent system of administra- 
tion as should enable him hereafter to govern his people 
with justice and mildness, but also such funds as should 
admit of his making the necessary advances for the culti- 
vation of the country, and of his securing the regular dis- 
charge of his subsidy to the Company. 

*' I now proceed to that part of my communication with 
your Lordship, which, although the most delicate and in- 
vidious, is, perhaps, the most urgently demanded by my 
public duty, and by the real interest which I take in the 
success of your Lordship'^s administration. 

^' With these sentiments I shall deliver my unreserved 
opinion of the character of such persons as I had an oppor- 
tunity of knowing at Madras ; and I must observe that 
although my oontinuance at Madras was but short, I had 


very frequent opportunities of seeing all the persons of whom 
I shall speak to your Lordship. 

" Mr. Wehbe, the Secretary of the Government, ap- 
peared to me to be a man of talents and knowledge ; his 
integrity I believe to be unblemished. 

^^ Your Lordship will find all the members of the Board 
of Revenue worthy of confidence. Mr. Cockburn, however, 
deserves particular notice. He bears the highest reputation 
for integrity, talents, and knowledge of the business of the 
country, and I found him fully answerable to his general 
character. I have very seldom met with a more valuable 
man in any part of the world ; and I take the liberty of 
recommending him most earnestly to your Lordship^s 
attention, as a person upon whom you may rely for the 
most accurate information, and for the soundest and most 
honest opinions, entirely exempt from any taint of passion, 
prejudice, or self-interest. 

" Mr. White is a very deserving and useful man ; I 
understand that he is not likely to remain at Madras beyond 
the present season. 

'^ Mr. Harrington is a gentleman of the highest cha- 
racter for integrity and diligence. Your Lordship will find 
him a very valuable public servant. His brother is the 
ablest officer in the court of Sudder Dewannee Adaulut in 
Bengal, and a person who possesses just pretensions to an emi- 
nent station in the judicial department at this Prei^dency. 

"Mr. Lushington, Secretary to the Board of Re- 
venue, and private secretary to General Harris, although a 
very young man, ought to be particularly mentioned to your 
Lordship as possessing very considerable talents and know- 
ledge, united to an uncommon degree of discretion and pru- 
dence, and with a peculiar propriety of manners. He has 
paid great attention to the study of the Persian language, 
in which he is a considerable proficient. He is, without 


exception, the most promising young man I aawat Madras, 
and, as far as I could judge from continual interooone with 
him during my stay there, I believe him to possess the 
soundest principles of integrity and honour. 

"Mr. Nathaniel Kindersley's character for integrity, 
ability, and general knowledge is universally established. 
He appeared to me to stand next to Mr. Ciockbum in point 
of consideration at Fort St. Oeorge. He has, however, 
lately adopted the business of agency and private trade, and 
therefore has relinquished, to a certain degree, the service 
of the Company, and has relaxed that minute attention to 
the details of business which you will find to be the pecn* 
liar characteristic of Mr. Cockbum. 

'' Colonel Close, the Adjutant-General, is a very able and 
intelligent man, and is perfectly conversant with the Peisian 
language. He is reputed to be of a vehement and ardent 
temper, and inclined to promote measures of that character, 
but I saw no symptom of any such disposition in him. 
The reputation of his integrity is unblemished. 

'' Captain Malcolm, the town-major, deserves every de- 
gree of countenance and protection ; he is an officer of great 
worth, of extremely good sense, and well acquainted with 
the country languages ; he has turned his attention particu- 
larly to the study of the political system of India, and to 
the relative situations and interests of the several native 
powers. On this subject he is capable of furnishing your 
Lordship with useful information, s^nd you will find him 
remarkably diligent, active, and zealous in the execution of 
any service with which you may entrust him. He has also 
the advantage of very pleasing and amiable manners. 

'^ In this place I take the liberty of mentioning to your 
Lordship the name of Captain Montgomery, who commands 
your body-guard ; he is a very worthy and intelligent man. 

'* Major Allan was a particular friend of Lord Hobart, 


and I believe him to be an intelligent and honourable 

^' The administration of the Company's Jaghire, under 
Mr. Lionel Plaoe, has been a subject of great animosity and 
party at Fort St. George. Your Lordship's notice will, of 
course, be immediately directed to it. Mr. Place (whom 
I did not see at Madras), as I am informed, is a man of 
considerable talents and of great diligence and zeal in the 
public service. He certainly has been engaged in a most 
invidious and difficult duty, in the execution of which he 
has encountered with great spirit and perseverance the com* 
bined influence of all the dubashes of Madras, and has 
succeeded in effecting a considerable augmentation of the 
produce of the Jaghire. On the other hand, I should 
apprize your Lordship, that repeated complaints were stated 
to me of his rigorous treatment of the renters and 
cultivators of the soil subject to his authority, and doubts 
were suggested with respect to the justice of his settlement 
of the land revenue. 

*' I had not sufficient time at Madras to enable me to 
enter into the investigation of the charges against Mr. 
Place, and my intention in what I have said upon this 
subject is merely to draw your Lordship's notice to it. The 
general impression upon my mind is, that the introduction 
of the Mocurrery system of land revenue would be more 
desirable as well as more speedily practicable in the 
Jaghire, than in any other part of the Company's terri- 
tories on the Coast. 

^^ Having troubled your Lordship with so much detail 
upon the subject of the internal Government of Fort St. 
George, I shall proceed to state some considerations with 
regard to the nature of the relation between that Govern- 
ment and the Governor-General in Council of Bengal. 
Your Lordship is, I doubt not, perfectly conversant with 


the provisions of the law on this point ; I shall, therefoie, 
advert merely to the practical principles resulting front 
those provisions, and I am anxious to explain my sentiments 
to your Lordship upon this head in the earliest period of 
your government, not only because the greatest inconve- 
niences have resulted to the public service from misunder- 
standings of the distinct practical duties of the two Govern- 
ments, but because I know that a faction exists at Madras, 
whose constant endeavour has been, and will be, assodu- 
ously employed to foment those misunderstandings into a 
systematic spirit of jealousy and contention. 

'^ All measures relating to the general defence and pro- 
tection of India, to the system of our alliances, and of oar 
negociations, or intercourse with the native powers, to the 
levying war or making peace, to the general administration 
of the revenues of all the Presidencies, to the employment 
of the military force, and, finally, to every point aflecting 
the general interests, whether civil or military, or politic&I, 
of the Company^s possessions, form the exclusive duties 
arising out of the superintending power of the Governor- 
General in Council. For all measures of this description 
he alone is responsible ; and therefore, the duty of the other 
Presidencies, with regard to such measures, consists in a 
cordial co-operation in the execution of that, which it is the 
peculiar province of the Governor-General in Council to 
determine. The Governor-General being in possession of the 
whole superintendence and control, as well as of the means 
of comprehending in one view the entire state of the Com* 
pany'^s empire and trade, and of all the various considera- 
tions and circumstances which may aJFect either, must 
frequently issue instructions, the fundamental principles, 
and final scope of which cannot at first sight be fully under- 
stood by the other Presidencies. In such cases, (as well, 
indeed, as in any of those already described,) I am per- 


auaded that your Lordship will concur with me in thinking 
that the duty of the other Presidencies can never be to mix 
direct or indirect censures with their formal obedience to 
the legal authority of the Governor-General in Council, still 
less can it be their duty to anticipate his decisions, by the 
premature interposition of their opinions and advice in any 
quarter where such interference may counteract the success 
of his general plans, and may introduce all the mischiefs and 
confusion of divided councils and of conflicting authority. 
The examination of the records of the late Government of 
Fort St. George, will manifest to your Lordship a constant 
tendency towards this fatal error ; and even since my 
arrival in Bengal, I have found it necessary to restrain the 
symptoms of the same disposition in two instances: the one, 
a letter written to Admiral Rainier, without any previous 
concert with me, suggesting a plan of operation for his 
Majesty^s squadron, entirely incompatible with my views 
for the general protection of our possessions ; the other, a 
letter to me in council, containing both direct and indirect 
censures of the orders which I have lately issued for assent- 
bling the army on the Coast, a measure indispensably 
necessary, and founded on a variety of reasons, of which 
the Government of Fort St. George could not at that time 
comprehend either the nature or extent. 

'^ Under your Lordship^s administration, I am confident 
that no such embarrassment can ever occur. With the 
same freedom which I have used throughout this letter, 
I will state to you distincly the mode in which I propose 
to conduct the intercourse between the two Governments, 
with a view to secure their cordial co-operation, and to 
preclude the possibility of distraction. Every endeavour 
shall be used on my part to communicate to your Lordship 
the fullest and earliest intelligence of the dature and object 
of any measure which I may have in contemplation, either 


with relation to your particular Gk>v6miiient, or to the 
general interests of the whole British Empire in India. 
These communications will be made to your Lordsbip 
through the channel of my private correspondenoe. On the 
other hand, I make it my earnest request to your Lordship, 
that whenever any such communication sh&Il be delayed^ 
you will attribute the delay either to the absolate neeenity 
of the case, or to my views of the public service, and that 
you will, therefore, have the goodness to prevent the 
Government of Fort St. George from proceeding to take 
any steps upon matters belonging to my exclusive respon- 
sibility, without a full previous communication with me, 
and without being apprized of my concurrence. In your 
Lordship's private correspondence, I trust that your Lord- 
ship will permit me to hope for the advantage of your 
unreserved opinion, not only with respect to all matters 
within your own peculiar charge, but to any point which 
you may think essential to the general interests of the 
British Empire in India, and I assure your Lordship most 
sincerely, that I shall always receive your private sug- 
gestions as personal favours. In regulating your public 
correspondence, I request that your Lordship will advert to 
the suggestions contained in this letter, and that yon will 
exclude from the public records every indication of jealousy 
and counteraction. On my part, you will always find a 
sincere disposition in every transaction, both public and 
private, to consider your Lordship*s authority as a part of 
my own, and to repel every attempt to disunite the two 

** By these means, I flatter myself that I may be 
enabled to contribute effectual assistance to your Lordship 
in promoting those important interests, in the prosperity of 
which you must feel a natural and hereditary concern. It 
would give me great satisfaction to have the honour of a 


personal interview with you in the early period of your 
government; such an event would greatly contribute to 
forward the public service. Perhaps your Lordship may 
feel a disposition to visit Plassey during the approaching cold 
season in Bengal ; if you should find yourself at leisure to 
make such an expedition, I can assure your Lordship that 
you will be received here by the whole settlement, and by 
myself, with the marks of distinction and respect to which 
you are on every account entitled, and that you will find in 
the mind of all those entrusted with the administration of 
these opulent and flourishing provinces, a grateful remem* 
brance of the exertions to which the Company is indebted 
for this valuable possession. 

** This letter has been copied from my original draft by 
my brother*, who is my private secretary. I would not 
entrust a paper of so confidential and secret a nature to any 
other hand. 

'^ I have the honour to be, with great respect and 


« My Lord, 

" Your Lordship's most obedient 

and faithful servant, 


No. II. 
(See page 150.) 

Pabuculars rjespbctino Mb. Cockburk. 

I have noticed in this Memoir (page 238), that Mr. 

Thomas Cockbum stood nearly alone at Madras in the year 

1798, in his cordial approval of Lord Momington's bold 

and masterly policy from the moment it was unfolded to 

* Mr. Henry Welleeley, afterwards Ambassador in Spain, and 
now Lord Cowley. 


him, and that he rendered every aid in his power to 
General Harris by his comprehensiye knowledge and 
animated example. 

I was at that period not only private secretary to 
Creneral Harris, but also Secretary to the Board of Revenue, 
of which Mr. Cockbum was the most distinguished member, 
and thence I became the willing channel of conv^ng to 
Greneral Harris some of those valuable suggestions which 
confirmed his opinion that Mr. Cockbum was the best 
informed man in India upon the means of equipping oar 
army for the approaching campaign*. In the discharge <^ 
his duties as Commissary-General in the preceding war 
with Tippoo, and in the re-equipment of Lord ComwaHia'^s 
army during the monsoon, Mr. Cockbum had shown that 
no dangers or difficulties could impede the progress of his 
able and successful labours for the public good ; and it was 
under this conviction that Lord Cornwallis thus acknow- 
ledged the value of his services : — 

" To Thomas Cockburn, Esq., from Colonel Ross, Sscre- 
TARY to Earl Cornwallis, Governor-General and Com- 

" I have much satisfaction in assuring you that every 
part of Lord Cornwalli8'*s expectations regarding our re- 
equipment, and that had dependence on your exertions, are 
likely to be fulfilled to his entire satisfaction. No man can 
possibly entertain a higher sense of your zeal and exertions 
than his Lordship does, and while he sets a just estimate 
on your services to the public, I am persuaded he is not 
without feeling a considerable share of personal obligation 
to you for them. 

Alexander Ross.*" 

* See His letter to the Earl of Momiogton^page isa 


" WAiteAaa, ISA March, 1798. 
" Dear Sir, 

" I have mentioned to Lord Clive my sense of your 
merit and abilities, and the slender rewards with which 
they have been hitherto attended, and I pointed you out as 
a person who deserved his confidence. His Lordship can 
only be induced by the most laudable motives to under- 
take the government, but he has not been accustomed to 
business and to manage great afiairs. He will, therefore, 
require encouragement to undertake new modes of govern- 
ing the long neglected country over which we have an 
undisputed power, to enter into voluminous details, and to 
encounter the difficulties which will be magnified by the 
ill-desjgning, the prejudiced, and the indolent. 

*' I am, with great esteem and very sincere good wishes. 

Yours, &c., &c., 
" Thamoi Cockbum, E$qJ* Cornwallis.^ 

The abilities of such a person as Mr. Cockbum were 
not likely to escape the observation of Colonel Wellesley. 
Whilst the preparations for the attack upon Tippoo were 
were going on at Madras they were in constant communi- 
cation ; and one day, whilst sitting at the Revenue Board, 
Mr. Cockburn received a note from Colonel Wellesley, 
stating that Sir Alured Clarke'^s baggage was ordered on 
board to proceed to Madras. On the same day General Harris 
received the following letter from Lord Mornington : — 

« Fart William, Decern^ 5, 1798. 
" My dear General, 

" I return you many thanks for your kind congratula- 
tions on the late event at Hyderabad, from which I hope to 
be able to derive considerable advantage to the public ser- . 
Tice. My sentiments with regard to your conduct in the 

2 L 


late crisis are expressed in the enclosed extracts, of wbidi 
the originals are gone home by the ' Eurydice,** and over- 
land. Your last public letters to me in council, on the 
subject of your state of preparation, gave me great pleasure; 
persevere, and advance all you can towards the frontier as 
rapidly as possible* Depend on my -word, you have no 
chance of peace or security without such measures as shall 
convince our enemies that we do not fear them. The times 
do not admit of languid counsels ; we must be as bold and 
active as our enemy, unless we intend to submit to him, — 
a disgrace which you would not brook, if I know you, 

*^ I am highly satisfied with Lord Clive's honour, ala- 
crity, and zeal ; and I hope we shall be able to bring the 
ship up, notwithstanding all appearances. I have not yet 
been able to give full consideration to your Minute respect- 
ing the permanent plan for the defence of the Carnatic. 
You seem to wish so much for the assistance of Sir Alured 
(an excelljBnt man), that I have determined to spare him 
from hence, although with great reluctance. Zemaun Shah 
menaces the north-western frontier. We have no positive 
accounts of his having yet crossed the Attock, but all re- 
ports concur in stating the probability of his entering the 
Punjaub this season. We have a good army under Sir 
James Craig at Oude. 

Believe me, my dear Sir, 
Yours most faithfully, with great regard and esteem, 


To General Harris the information that Sir Alured 
Clarke would command the expedition, was a great relief; 
but he still earnestly hoped, as he had urgently recom- 
mended, that the Noble Earl would himself come to Madras. 
Colonel Wellesley and Mr. Cockburn were of opinion also 
that nothing but the presence and influence of the Governor- 


General could restore the public credit, and overcome the 
difficulties to be encountered in the war which they thought 
inevitable, and the Colonel stated this in an able letter 
which he wrote to the Earl at Mr. Cockbum^s desk. The 
letter was sent off express, and the immediate result was, 
that Sir Alured darkey's baggage was ordered on shore, and 
his Lordship'^s put on board for Madras, where he quickly 
arrived, having left Sir Alured at Calcutta in charge of the 
government, and to watch the ulterior proceedings of 
Zemaun Shah. 

I have transcribed this letter, and related this import* 
ant fact because it is one amongst the many instances of 
that promptitude and vigour which distinguished the con- 
duct of the Noble Earl, and of those who acted in cordial 
execution of his enlightened policy on that great occasion. 

From the day of the Earl's arrival at Madras, the word 
difficulty was little heard ; all heads and hearts soon worked 
for the great object in view, the due equipment and supply 
of the army, and none more efficiently than Mr. Cockburn. 

Upon his return to England, he was appointed one of 
the Commissioners for the final settlement of the claims of 
the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, upon the Revenues of 
the Camatic, and a more honourable or useful choice could 
not have been made. The extraordinary result of the 
labours of that Commission was thus reported to Parlia- 

Number of claiixis prefeired before the Commisfiionersi 

and reported to Paxliament / * * ' 

Aggregate amount claimed £30^404,910 I 3) 

Of this amount the Commissioners allowed and) 

e8trf.liBhed. I 2,686,148 12 Bj 

Amount disallowed and rejected by the Commission ^£27,718,770 1 6{ 

It is not to be supposed that the parties against whom 
the decisions of the Commissioners passed would in all 

2 L 2 


cases oheerfully acquiesce therein, considering the enonnons 
sam of the rejected cLiims, but it is a singular circmnstaiice, 
that no attempt was made, in any instance, to call their 
adjudications into question. Their last report to Parlia- 
ment thus concluded : — '' In closing an inquiry necessarily 
often protracted by circumstances not within our control, 
which we have sometimes stated in our progressive reports 
to this Honourable House, and. which must always attend 
intricate and extensive investigations into subjects remote, 
in time and place, and in the greater proportion involving 
the interests of the Natives of India, we have reascm to 
believe that the patient investigation, the last results of 
which we now communicate, has not deprived any one 
claimant of his least right under those terms of inquiry, 
to which, by signing the deed of covenants, he had himself 
agreed ; whilst, as to some of the cases rejected, it haa 
defeated the most iniquitous combinations of fraud, which 
were ever submitted to a legal tribunal.'" This report is 
signed by the honourable names of Benjamin Hobhouse, 
Thomas Cockbum, and Robert Harry Inglis. 

No. III. 

(See pages 182 and 240.) 

Lgttbr op ComNEL Welleslet, respectino the French 
Prisoners at Madras. 

« Fort Si. Geor^, October 3, 1798. 
" My dear Sir, 

'^I consider that sending away the prisoners is an 

object of the greatest consequence ; that an opportunity so 

good will not offer again for some time, and therefore that 

there is nothing which so well deserves your attention and 

exertion. Lord Clive lias spoken to me upon the subject, 


and seems very anxious to send them away; but the 
difficulties of clearing and preparing the Otterly have been 
misrepresented and magnified. It was reported to him 

that • said she could not be ready till the 26th ; 

and — — told me that she could be ready by the 20th ; 
and you know that when the labouring oar is to fall upon 
him, he is not over sanguine. I wish you would have 
some inquiries made into this business— at all events, press 
Lord C. (as I have) to endeavour to have the Osterly got 

^^If the fleet should be detained two or three days 
beyond the usual time, it is better than that the prisoners 
should stay. The advantage of sending them away is seen 
by those whose aim one would almost believe to be, to 
throw impediments in the way of everything that is to be 
done for the public service at the present moment, and 
accordingly endeavours are made to prevent the possibility 
of their going. 

Believe me, my dear Sir, 

Ever yours, most faithfully, 

Arthur Wbllbslby/' 
^* Lieutenant-General Harris, 

No. IV. 

(See page 242.) 
Letters from Josiah Webbe, Esq. 

" Fart St. George, Augwt 6, I80I. 
*^ Dear Lushington, 

" When I received your first letter, I was so much 

engaged in public business, that I had not leisure to answer 

it. I have now the pleasure of informing you that I 


immediately oommunioated to Lord Glive the amiBgemeiili 
you had made for bringing the provinoe of Tinnevelly under 
your authority. Your reasons for anticipating^ the puUie 
order are entirely satisfactory to his Lordship; and be 
desires me to express to you his entire i^probation of your 
zealous attention to the tranquillity of the countryy and to 
the immediate interests of the Company. 

''By this time you will probably have received the 
official orders transmitted by express on the Slat ult., for 
the purpose of rescuing the country from the chai^ of the 
late Nabob's officers ; and Lord Clive considers the dispo- 
sition evinced by the people of Tinnevelly to prq^osticate 
the early restoration of that fertile province to inrealth and 
prosperity under your superintendence. 

Yours truly, 

J^ WTkbbbT 

''Fort St. George, October 31, 1802. 
'' Dear Lushington, 

" I have received both your letters of the 20th 

instant, of which I have conmiunicated that intended by 

you to be shown to Lord Clive. * His Lordship, like every 

other person acquainted with your services in Tinnevelly, 

ynVL regret your departure, at a time when knowledge and 

zeal are so necessary as at present, to the great interests of 

this Oovemment. For n^yself, I assure you with sincerity 

that I feel for the necessity which compels you to go 

hence; for, independently of the considerations which 

attach to the health of yourself and of Mrs. Lushington, the 

manuOT in which you have discharged your duties at 

Tinnevelly is (as far as my judgment goes) such as to 

render your departure a great loss to the public service. 

'' If your health should continue to require your retnm 

io England, Lord Clive will, of course, be ready to accept 


your resignation T^lienever it may be most convenient to 
yourself. With regard to your commission, you know that 
the most favourable interpretation has been always given 
to such claims by his Lordship. The principle on which 
the restriction is founded is, in my judgment, extremely 
false, and has, wherever my voice has had weight, been 
uniformly superseded ; but some difficulty, I apprehend, 
will occur, founded on the statute, which it may not be 
easy to remove. Lord Clive, however, feels the best dis- 
position to meet your wishes ; and if it should not be com- 
petent for him to decide in your favour, will, I have no 
doubt, give you a strong recommendation to the Court of 
Directors. Yours, sincerely, 

J. Wbbbe.^' 

^' Dear Lushington, 

" I have read your report with great attention, and 
think that the ability and care with which it is drawn 
leave very little for the Commission to add to the points 
you have recommended. As soon as you send it in, I 
shall be prepared to report my opinion; and I request that 
you will do it soon, as I wish to be relieved from the duties 
of the Special Commission. 

^'I am not quite satisfied about Shevagunga; but it 
may be better to settle it than postpone it. 

Yours truly, 

J. Webbe." 

Epitaph on Mr. Webbe. 

To THE Mehoht of JOSIAH WEBBER E8a.| 

For some years Chief Secretary to the Government of Madias, and 

afterwards Resident at the Court of Scindia, 

Where he died 9th day of November, 1^, aged 37. 


His mind* by Nature firm, lofty, and eneacgeUe^ 

Was formed by Glassio Study, 
To a tone of Independence uid IP&triotism, 
Not imworthy 
The best days of Greece and Borneo 

Disdfluning the little arts of private ioflaence. 
Or of vulgar popularity. 
And erect in conscious Integrity, 
He rested his claims to Public Honours 
On Public Merit. 
An extensive knowledge of the Eastern langnS^es forwarded 
his rise to stations of high trust. 
Where his ambition was fired to exalt 
The honour and interests of his CountiT^ 
And during an eventful period 
Of its Indian History, 
His Services were crowned with important i 

In the midst of a career. 

Thus honourable and distinguished, 

He was cut ofi^ by sickness 

In the prime of Life ; 

Beloved with fervour by his Friends, 

Begretted by his Bulers, 

And admired by alL 


Emulate his Worth, 

And midst the pursuits of this world. 


To meet a call as sudden, to the next. 

No. V. 

(See page 244.) 

Colonel Wellesijey'^s Letter respecting the 25th Light 
Dragoons, under Colonel Cotton*. 

''Arcoty December 27, 1798. 
^' I have been out this morning to see the 25th Light 
Dragoons, and I think I never saw a finer regiment of 
• Now Viscount Comhennere. 


Dragoons in my life. It is a pity that they are not all 
mounted. Cotton only wants forty horses to be able to 
bring into the field 400 men ; and as the two Regiments of 
Native Cavalry which are here have more horses than they 
have men to ride them, I should think that it would be 
better to give their supernumerary horses, which are trained, 
than any of the young horses which may come from 
Hyderabad or the Malabar Coast."' 

No, VI. 

(See page 264.) 

Declaration of the Allies, and other Papers relating 

TO the War against Tippoo Sultaun. 

The following letters and papers are referred to in this 
Memoir, as if contained in the Appendix. But the Post- 
script has materially increased the size of the volume, aud- 
it is therefore thought more convenient to refer to books 
already published, in which these documents are to bo 

Lord Mornington to General Harris, 22nd February, 
1799 — Wellesley^s Despcttckes^ p. 442. 

The Declaration of the Allies against Tippoo Sultaun, 
22nd February, 1799— JWrf., p. 448. 

Lord Momington^s Letter to Tippoo Sultaun, 22nd 
February, 1799— Ibid., p. 453. 

The two last documents are also printed in Wel- 
lington's Despatches^ vol. i., pp. 9 — 20 ; and in Beatson^'s 
Narrative, Nos. XV. and XVI. of the Appendix. 


No. VII. 

(See page 283.) 
Sketch of the Action at Mallavelly, March 27, 1799. 


Red, denotes the Ist poaidon of the English Anny. 

Blue* the 2nd ditta 

Puiple, the 3rd ditto. 

Yellow, Tippoo*8, the 1st ditto. 

Green, the 2nd ditto. 

Orange, shows the Encampment of the Army after the action. 

A. A lai^ body of the Enemy's Horse kept in check by the ^tb 

B^giment of Light Dragoons. 

B. A party of the Horse and Bodcet Boys driven off by the Piogae^ 

C. A small party of the Enemy*s Horse chai^ging the Ist^ €fr European 

Brigade, and repnlsed. 

B. The 2nd Regiment of Cavalry advancing to chai^g^ bat halted oo 
the European Brigade beginning to %s^ 

JB. A large body of the Enemy which retreated on thepar^ C being 

F. A party of the Enemy's In&ntiy engaged with the left of the 
European Brigade, and obliged to^retreat. 

G0 Another party that attacked the 33rd R^gimenti the head ofVolon^ 
Welleeley's division. 

ff. Betreat of the party G charged by the 33rd B^gxment. 

/. CSiarge of three Regiments of Cavaliy^ under (General Floyd, on 
the Fugitives Jff. 

jr. Two brass 18-pounders on a high spot» cannonadmg the Enony 
while the line formed. 

L. Ditto advanced to some commanding rocks, from which they 
opened on the Enemy as the Line advanced. 







No. VIII. 
' (See* page 286.) 

The Marches op the Army' under the Command op His 



Jf. F. 

Feb. 11. From Vellore to Laulgerry . 


14. North- of Policanda 

. 7 

16. Qoriatum . . . . 


17. East of Amboor - . 

. 10 

19. South of Amboor 


22. Vaniambadj . 

. 10 

24. Tripatore ... 


• 26. Cocknageny . 

. 9 2 

26. Muttoor . . . . 

5 5 

27. Baroor .... 

. 10 8 

28. Carramungalum . 


Mar. 2. Paulcode . . . 

. 10 

3. Maranhellj 

8 4 

4. Ryacottah 

. 9 

6. Neeldroog . 


7. Kellammigalum 

. 7 

10. Collakondapilly . 


12. Arragudda 

. 11 3 

14. Catagerapettj 

10 5 

16. Cagliporam . 

. 9 7 

17. Somanapilly 


19. Arravelly 

. 5 

20. Jagganelly 


21. Kankanelly . 

. 8 

22. Achel 

6 4 

23. Sultanpett . 

. 9 6 

24. Banks of the Madoor BJver 

3 7 



Mar. 26. Basuwanpooram 

27. Mallavelly 

28. Angurapooram 

29. Sosilly 

30. Yedatory 

April 1. Rungasamoodrum 

2. Heeravanelly 

3. Anthanelly 

4. Nova Shaher 

5. Seringapatam 


















No. IX. 
^(8ee page 287.) 
Memorandum ox ^he Establishment of Draft Bullocils 
AND the Breeding Estabushm^t in Mysore. By 
Colonel M. Cubbon. 

The Establishinent gf Draft Bullocks belonging to Tip- 
poo Sultaun wa3 delivered up to General Lord Harris after 
the capture of Seringapatam, and, in consideration cS their 
immense superigrity over all other cattle in the south of 
India for military purposes, it was determined, on his 
recommendation, to maintain them on their original footing 
for the service of the British Government. Lord Harris 
had witnessed, with deep anxiety, the wretched inefficiency 
of the equipments of his own army ; and to his protection 
of the establishment, which had then fallen into bis hands, 
may be attributed, on the authority of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, much of the success which afterwards attended the 
British arms in India. 

It was this establishment which enabled Hyder Aly 
to march one hundred miles in two days and a-half, to the 


relief of ChiUumbrum, and after every defeat to draw off 
his guns in face of his enemies; which enabled Tippoo 
Sultaun to cross the Peninsula in one month for the 
recovery of Bednore, and to march sixty-three miles in two 
days before General Medows; which, in later times, 
enabled Major-General Pritzler to march 346 miles in 
twenty-five days in pursuit of the Peshwah ; and which 
enabled Major-Oeneral Campbell, after the failure of his 
Bengal equipments, to advance upon Ava, and bring the 
war to a favourable termination. It was also this esta- 
blishment which enabled the Duke of Wellington to 
execute those movements of unexampled rapidity which 
are the admiration of every military man, and in consider- 
ation of whose services he recommended it to protection in 
the following letter, addressed at the close of the war to the 
Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General Stuart : — 

" Fort St. George, Augmt 2, 1804. 
*^It must be recollected that, in former wars, the 
utmost exertion which it was possible for the army to make, 
was to draw its train of artillery to Seringapatam. It was 
not possible, and never was expected, that the guns and car- 
riages which were drawn there should be brought away again, 
and accordingly, notwithstanding the undoubted talents and 
the great reputation of the officers who have at different 
times led British armies to that place, it has invariably 
happened that by far the greatest part of the train and 
carriages have been left behind when the army marched 
away. They who have seen the mode in which those 
armies made their marches, and were acquainted with the 
system under which cattle were, and must necessarily be, 
procured for the service, will not hesitate to allow that the 
slowness of all our operations, and the necessity to which I 
have alluded, of leaving our guns after they had been drawn 


about 300 miles, were to be attributed entirely to the 
faults of the system under which the cattle \^ere procured 
for the service. 

^' But although I am addressing myself to an officer 
whose experience reaches beyond the times to which I bare 
alluded, it is only necessary that I should advert, in proof 
of my assertion, to the circumstances of the late war. 
From a yariety of causes it was necessary, at the com- 
mencement of the war, to hire cattle to draw the train 
from Madras to the frontiers of Mysore; and you will 
recollect the difficulties under which you laboured, and that, 
in fact, you could not have brought your carriages to the 
frontier without the assistance of the public cattle which 
you called to join you, and that if the circumstances ottbe 
times had required that the whole army should advance to 
Poonah, you would probably have thought it proper to take 
with you only those carriages for which you might have 
had a sufficient number of the public draft cattle. All the 
carriages attached to the divisions under my command 
were drawn by public cattle ; and I will advert to a few 
facts, to point out the difference between this part of the 
equipment of the troops in late and former wars. 

" We marched to Poonah from Seringapatam, the dis- 
tance being nearly 600 miles, in the worst season of the 
year, through a country which had been destroyed by 
Holkar's army, with heavy guns, at the rate upon an average 
of thirteen and a-half miles a day, and if the twelve days 
which we halted on the Toombudra for orders be excluded, 
we arrived at Poonah in two months from the time we 
marched. On this march we lost no draft cattle. I 
remained in the neighbourhood of Poonah, in a country 
which deserves the name of a desert, for six weeks, and 
then marched again with the train in the same state as to 
numbers as when it left Seringapatam, and the irocfpB and 


cattle were in the field during the monsoon. It is needless 
to advert to the distance marched during the war, or to 
recapitulate its events, all of which must show the efficient 
state of the equipments ; but it has frequently been neces- 
sary for the troops to march for many days together a dis- 
tance amounting to fifteen miles a day ; the heavy artillery 
always accompanied them, and I always found that the 
cattle could go as far as the troops. Upon one occasion I 
found it necessary to march a detachment sixty miles in 
thirty hours, and the ordnance and provision carriages 
drawn by the Company'^s bullocks accompanied this de^ 

'' Instead of being obliged, as the Commanders-in-Chief 
of armies in former wars have been, to leave guns and 
carriages behind, such was the state of efficiency of this 
department thoughout this severe service, that I was able, 
but with little assistance, to draw away the guns which 
die troops took. After all this service, in which so many 
countries have been marched over, the number of cattle 
which have died is, I believe, not greater than it would 
have been at the grazing ground, and the department is 
at this moment in a state of great efficiency. 

^' It would not be difficult to prove that, in point of 
actual expense, this establishment is cheaper to the public 
than the hire of cattle in the old mode, but tlie consider* 
ation respecting a public establishment of this description 
is not referable entirely to cheapness. It must be obvious 
to every man that, in a war such as the late war, there 
could be no success unless the officer commanding the 
the troops was able to move at all times with the utmost 
celerity of which the troops were capable, and to continue 
its movements as long as was necessary. Rapid move* 
ments with guns and carriages cannot be made without good 
cattle, well driven, and well taken care of; and without 


adverting to what passed subsequently, it is more thm 
probable that if I had the service only of such catde as 
served Lord Comwallis and General Harris In former waw, 
I should never have reached Poonah, or should have been 
obliged to find my way back without the wheel carriJ^ 
in the best manner I could. 

"I therefore take the liberty of recommending this 
establishment of cattle to your protection. It is founded 
upon the most efficient and most economical principles, and 
will never fail the army as long as it is superintended and 
conducted as it has been hitherto.''^ 

It was the want of such an establishment which, in 
former times, crippled all Sir Eyre Coote'^s operations, and 
kept him frequently inactive, and incapable of profiting by 
his victories, and which made him declare, after the battle 
of Cuddalore, '' If Hyder Aly, buoyed up with former suc- 
cess, had not come to seek us, I could not have moved the 
army to follow him, and this is a situation so trying to the 
responsible military commander, that an officer of charac^r 
shudders at the idea of being placed in such a predi- 

The want of such an establishment was also severely 
felt by Lord Cornwallis, when he was obliged to employ 
bis troops in dragging his guns to Seringapatam, and, 
finally, to abandon them, and all his heavy equipments ; it 
was also felt by General Lord Harris, though in an inferior 
degree ; and to a state of great, though perhaps not equal, 
inefficiency, we might still be reduced without the aid ot 
this establishment. 

The establishment at present is fixed at thirty-seven 
karkanahs of 100 bullocks each, exclusive of nine karkanahs 
of cattle of a diflferent description attached to the Hyderabad 
and Nagpoor Subsidiary Forces, and also exclusive of eight 


karkanabs of 160 bullocks each attached to the Foot 
Artillery for the movement of light guns. The whole, if 
complete, would amount to 5,880 head of draft bullocks, 
but at this moment 898 are wanting to complete. 

These cattle are placed, by the regulations of the Go- 
vernment, at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief, and 
their distribution rests with him. The advantage of pos- 
sessing such an establishment, in time of war, is beyond 
all calculation ; the only objection to it, in time of peace, 
is its expense : but if it be possible, as heretofore, to 
employ these cattle, in time of peace, on services of a public 
nature, for which cattle must otherwise be hired, so as in a 
great measure to cover the expense of maintaining them, 
it may not, perhaps, be deemed advisable to reduce their 
number, or to impair in any way the efficiency of so 
powerful an instrument in the hands of Government. 
From 1811 to 1822 inclusive, the expense of maintaining 
this establishment, after deducting the value of its actual 
services at the ordinary rate of bullock-hire, averaged only 
18,622 rupees annually ; and had it not been for three 
years of war, during which a large portion of the cattle 
were employed in expensive situations, this balance against 
the establishment, small as it is, would have been still 
more reduced. 

The cattle of this establishment are as different from 
all other Indian cattle as the Arab is from the country 
horse, and as superior to them, not merely in their blood 
and configuration, but their strength and energy, their 
quick step, power of endurance, and of keeping their con- 
dition under great privation. Heavier and larger cattle 
may be found, perhaps, better calculated for the slow move- 
ment of heavy ordnance, but none that can be compared 
to them in spirit and activity, that like them would fnake 
forced marches with troops, withstand all changes of wea- 

2 M 


ther, or be so fresh at the end of a campaign. This breed 
is peculiar to Mysore, and takes its name from the village 
of Hagglewaddy. Its origin is beyond tradition, but it has 
ever been in the hands of the ruling power, on accoant of 
its superior qualities. 

The Breeding Establishment which supplies the^e 
cattle is divided into thirty-four herds, whicli are dispersed 
in various parts of Mysore* favourable to their subsist- 
ence. They are almost as wild as deer, and cannot be 
approached with safety without the protection of the 
herdsmen f; they roam at large over their pastures!, com- 
paratively unattended to, and subsist entirely on the grass 
of the waste lands, and a portion of the stubble, to which, 
from time immemorial, they have been entitled. They are 
frequently inspected and counted in their pastures, and 
assembled annually for general inspection, and in order 
to be branded by a process which it would be tedious to 
describe ; the utmost attention is paid to the improyement 
of the breed, by reserving only the finest forms for buUs, 
and castrating all the other males at an early age, and the 
young bullocks are separated froni the herds, when six 
years of age, taken in hand, and trained for work. 

When the Draft Establishment was taken for the 
Company, it was suggested by Colonel Close that the 

* One hundred and forty-three separate pastures of various extent 
belong to the establishment, for which a small quit-rent is annnalljr 
paid to the Mysore GoYemment. 

t Establishment of Attendants allowed to 500 head of Cattle. 

1 Sherwegar Rupees 2 14 8 

2 Moondals „ 2 8 

10 Graziers ........ „ 174 

1 Nizumwallah „ 17 4 

3 Kawulghars „ 17 4 

Tliese attendants are allowed certain privileges by the Mysore 

Government, and they are all exempted from some small taxes to which 
the rest of the population is liable. 


Breeding Establishment should remain in the hands of the 
Mysore Rajah, and agreed to, — ^though the Government was 
not insensible to the disadvantage of transferring to a 
native Government the management of any part of the 
public equipments, — on condition, however, that means 
should be taken to increase the number of cattle, and that 
the produce should be fully applied to the benefit of the 
public service. It was probably imagined that the Dewan 
would pay as much attention to the establishment as the 
former Government had done, but on no good grounds ; for 
Tippoo Sultaun depended upon it for the efficiency of his 
army, and the new Government could be actuated by no 
such motive. The consequence was, as might have been 
expected, the establishment was abandoned to the ser- 
vants who had charge of it, and by them neglected aud 
abused ; the Government was disappointed in its expected 
supplies from that source, and the cattle were allowed to 
degenerate to such a degree, that after a period of thirteen 
years, it became necessary for Government to resume it, in 
order to preserve the breed from extinction. 

10,914 head of breeding cattle were delivered over to 
the Mysore Government, in January, 1800, and in the end 
of 1813, the same number precisely was received back from 
the Mysore Government. During that long period there 
had been no increase of stock, and the calves supplied by 
the Breeding Establishment, in number 5,364, inferior and 
increasing in degeneracy as they notoriously were, cost the 
Government, when fit for the yoke, the enormous price of 
sixty-nine rupees a-head. 

During the eleven years which have elapsed since the 
Breeding Establishment was placed under the management 
of the Commissariat, the stock has increased from 10,914 
to 22,314 head of cattle, while 8,262 bullocks of an im- 
proved and improving description have been supplied for 

2 M 2 


the public service, at the average rate of thirty rupees each, 
which covers the whole expense of the establishment. 
The breed has been rescued from the destruction to which 
it was rapidly approaching, and from a better system of 
breeding it may be shortly expected even to surpass its 
former excellence. This is the great consideration, but 
even in point of saving, the advantage has been great, as 
the value of the increase of stock, and the difference be- 
tween the present and the past price of the bullocks sup- 
plied to the public service since the transfer, may be 
estimated near four lacs of rupees. 

M. C. 

No. X. 

(See page 312.) 

SERYicBis OF Sir James L. LusmNOTON, O.C.B. 

«]^fany of our young men complaining. James Lushington Tery 
ill in sick tope, when I imagined him gone with his corps to meet 
General Stuart ITad his tent pitched in the rear of mine.'* — 
General IlAEni8*s Journal, 

This sick young officer, now Sir James L. Lushington, 
G.C.B., has since repaid the Commander-in-Chief for his 
kindness and protection, by doing his country good service. 

"To THE Honourable M. Elphinstonb, Resident at 


" Sir, Political Department. 

" I am directed to acknowledge .the receipt of your 
dispatch of the 31st ultimo, enclosing a letter to your 
address from Major Lushington, reporting his proceedings 
with the corps of Light Cavalry under his command, in the 
pursuit and dispersion of a strong body of Pindarics. 

"2. The promptitude with which Major Lushington 
proceeded in quest of the Pindarics, and his perseverance, 


under the discouraging circumstances attending his outset, 
in prosecuting the pursuit during a march of sixty miles, 
and in following up his blow with such signal success for 
ten miles further, have attracted the particular notice of the 
Governor-General in Council, and are considered by his 
Lordship to reflect the highest credit on the activity, zeal 
and judgment of this officer, and on the spirit, energy and 
perseverance of the corps which he commands. The severe 
example which it has been Major Lushington's good fortune 
to make of this body of Pindarics, will, doubtless, be pro- 
ductive of tlie most salutary effect, both in checking the 
audacious spirit with which the Pindarics have overrun the 
territories of our allies, and even extended their ravages to 
our own dominions, and in satisfying the minds of those 
who have a claim on our protection, that sooner or later the 
whole of these organized bands of public robbers will meet, 
at the hands of the British Government, the punishment 
which is due to their atrocious barbarities and crimes. 

" y. The Governor-General in Council deeply laments 
the loss sustained in Captain Darke, to whose gallantry 
and private worth Major Lushington has borne such 
honourable testimony. It will, however, • be a source of 
consolation to his relatives and friends to reflect, that he 
fell in the discharge of his duty, setting a noble example of 
spirit and bravery to his companions in arms. 

" 4. You will be pleased to make known to Major 
Lushington the sentiments entertained by the Governor- 
General in Council, of the conduct of that officer, and the 
corps under his command, on the occasion to which this 

letter refers. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) Geo. Swintox, 

Deputy-Seeretary to GovetJitnent,^ 

''Fort William, 2Ut January^ 1817." 


Extract from General Orders by the Commaxder- 


« Head QuarterM^ Choultry Plain, 
Ut F^ebruatyy 1817- 

" On the occasion of publishing to the Army the 
Government General Order of the 27th ultimo, his Excel- 
lency the Commander-in-Chief cannot refuse to himself 
the gratification of expressing his sentiments of applause 
and cordial approbation of the conduct of Major Lushington 
of the 4th Cavalry. 

" The well-estabUshed fame and former services of the 
4fth Cavalry, were sufficient pledges of the confidence with 
which that distinguished regiment might be employed on 
any enterprize, but the indefatigable perseverance with 
which it persisted in its persuit of an enemy, whose rapidity 
of movement had hitherto eluded every other attempt to 
intercept or come up with him, stands unrivalled, and 
places the character and judgment of Major Lushington in 
the most flattering point of view, not only for the zeal and 
ability with which he profited by his intelligence and con- 
ducted his regiment, but for the spirit and decision with 
which he led his gallant soldiers into the midst of an enemy, 
by whose vast superiority of numbers he might have fairly 
expected to have had a formidable adversary to contend 

" The Commander-in-Chief ofifers to Major Lushington 
of the 4th Cavalry his warmest acknowledgements, as weJJ 
as to the officers and men of the regiment he commands, 
for their exemplary gallantry, zeal, and exertions. 

" The congratulations of his Excellency would be as 
complete as they are sincere, did not the loss of so valnable 
and brave an officer as Captain Darke, mix with them the 
duty of here paying a just but melancholy tribute of respoct 


to his memory and servioes. He was killed in front of his 

standard, animating his men by an example they can never 


(Signed) T. H. S. Conway, 


^^ Commander-in-Chi^s Office^ 
<< Head Quarters^ Calcutta, 8th March, 1819. 
" Sir, 

" I am instructed by the Most Noble the Commander- 
in-Chief, to forward the accompanying pacquet, containing 
the Companions'" Cross of the Order of the Bath, awarded 
you by his Royal Highness the Prince Regent. In the 
performance of this pleasing duty, the Commander-in-Chief 
gladly embraces the opportunity offered him to convey his 
warm congratulations that your services should have been 
distinguished by so honourable and well merited a mark of 
his Royal Highness'^s approbation and favour. 
I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 
(Signed) C. J. Doyle, Lieut.-Colonel, 

" Military Secretarif." 
" To Major J, L, Lushington, C,B., 
4lh Madras Native Cavalry, Madras^^ 

No. XI. 

(See page 456.) 

Letter prom. the Earl op Powis. 

" Berkeley Square, \st July, 1827. 
" My dear Lushington,' 

*^ Your short, but most kind and affectionate letter 

from Brighton, inexpressibly affected me, and brought on 

a train of melancholy thoughts, when I feared I should not 

Boe you again, which your presence sitKjQ di^ ^^^ dissipate, 



nor have I sought to subdue. I grieve the loss I am about 

to sustain hj my separation from you whose friendship and 

cordial attachment I have so long and uniformly poseesaed, 

and the interruption of that kindly and social intercourse 

between us, which has ever been so delightful to me, but 

which, at my years, I may not hope to see renewed. But 

let me not selfishly repine, but take the more satisfactory 

course of hailing the dispensation which places you in a 

station you are eminently suited to fill. Right-minded as 

you are, and deriving knowledge and experience from 

former residence and successful exertions in the country 

over which you are going to preside, I am sanguine in the 

success of your administration, and of the justness and 

wisdom of the measures you will adopt for the welfare and 

permanent good of a country which I love as I do my own. 

I am sanguine in the expectation and belief of your return 

in due time, and although I may not be one to greet your 

arrival, be assured, my latest wishes will be for your health 

and prosperity. 

'^ I remain ever, my dear Lushington, with indelible 

remembrance of your kindness, 

Most truly and faithfully yours, 

« The Bi^ht Honourable S. E. Luihin^ton." 

No. XII. 
(See page 467.) 

Conclusion op General Harrises Appeal to the Court 
OP Directors. 

<< I5th December, 1804. 
'* Par. 43. In the narrative which I have thus given 
of the principal transactions connected with the prize- 
money of Seringapatam I have not sought to avoid detail. 


but I have purposely studied to suppress those feelings 
which are inseparable from our nature when we meet with 
distrust and injury, where we have a claim to confidence 
and gratitude. That this claim is not suggested by an 
undue appreciation of my own conduct to the India Com- 
pany, you, gentlemen, in professing ' a deep and grateful 
sense of my services,'' have admitted, and I trust that without 
any appearance of arrogance, I may advance it, at a moment 
when I am defending my reputation and property, my own 
rights and those of the Army which I commanded. On 
such an oceasion, I may be allowed to quote the last letter 
transmitted to me by the Government in India, at the 
close of those transactions which are now arraigned and 

" Copy of a letter* from the Secretary to the Govemor- 
Ctoneral, to Lieutenant-General George Harris, Commander- 
in-Chief of the Allied Army before Seringapatam, dated 
7th August, 1799. 

^^44. With these claims to the notice of the East 
India Company, I may be permitted to prefer a request to 
the Court of Directors. 

^^ 45. If after perusing this address, it shall appear to 
you that the Despatch to the Government at Fort St. George 
has been framed upon an erroneous conception of the 
transactions to which it relates; if it shall appear established 
that the allotment of the prize-money was made under the 
sanction of a legal authority ; if it shall appear to be proved 
that the local usages which had governed every distribution 
of prize to a land force, acting alone, or in alliance with 
a Native State, from the earliest memory of British 
victories in India, were adopted by the Governor-Generars 
orders, as the guide for distribution at Seringapatam ; if, as 
I apprehend, all these, the essential points of this discussion, 

* Sec page 387 of this Memoir. 


shall appear clearly estoblished, then I trust to the candear 
of the Court of Directors to correct the error into which 
they have been betrayed, and to render justice to the Army, 
to the officers who served under me, and to myself. 

^^ 46. In the name of the Army I may be allowed to 
hope that they will not be deprived of a portion of the 
prize-money intended for them by the King-, to pay an 
interest upon the neglected claims of Colonel Bro^^ne and 
Read's Detachment, but that you will examine how far 
that delay is imputable to thei neglect of your own decision 
upon them. 

'' 47. In behalf of the officers who shared with me the 
duties of the campaign, and whose courage and achieve- 
ments in the field are not more distinguished . than their 
exact subordination and honourable principles in peace, I 
must express an anxious wish that their fame be no longer 
sullied by an accusation of rapacity. 

" 48. With respect to myself, I seek the correction of 
those errors which have accumulated censure where appro- 
bation was due, and which the Board of Control have 
adopted, presuming upon the correctness of your official 
statements. I ask also for the just reservation of my 
rightful sliare in the second distribution of prize-money, and 
protest against any division contrary to his Majesty^s grant. 

^^ 49. In closing this address, I have to request that a 
copy of it may be transmitted (by the first ship that may 
sail for India) to the Government of Fort St. George and 
the Governor- General of India, for to be continued in the 
esteem and approbation of that illustrious nobleman, the 
Marquis Wellesley, whose splendid services to the British 
Empire in India, will ever be recorded in the remembrance 
of his grateful country, can never cease to be the object of 
my deepest solicitude. 

" I beg leave also to request that a copy of this address 



may be submitted to the Board of Control, with a view 

to obliterate those unfavourable sentiments which your 

proceedings cannot but have excited in regard to the 

appropriation and division of the Seringapatam Prize ; and 

which have apparently estranged the gracious favour of a 

just Sovereign from all the officers who shared with me, on 

the plains of Seringapatam, in the glory and triumph of 

his Majesty's arms. 

Gborqb Harris.'^ 

No. XIII. 

(Soe page 464.) 

Epitaph on Captain Chables Harris. 

Bached to the Memory of 


Third Son of The Lord Harris, 

And Captain in H.M. 86th Regiment of Light Infantry. 

After serving in two triumphant Campaigns in Spain, 

Under the Dnke of Wellington, 

He^fell in the midst of the Enemy, when the Americans 

Attacked the British Lines near New Orleans, 

On the 23rd of December, 1814, 

At the early Age of Twenty-one Years. 

As some fur flower when early spring appears, 

Its blossom to the parent sunbeam rears. 

And gathering Ufe and strength difiiises far, 

Its balmy sweetness o'er the desert air ; 

Should the rude storm arise with fiirious gnst. 

And prostrate all its beauties in the dust, 

Despite of chilling blasts and beating rains. 

The memory of its fragrance still remains. 

So gallant Harris, to his lineage true, 

From the same fount his life and virtues drew. 

His great example was a father's name. 

His proudest wish to emulate hi^ fa^ixie- 

Fired with the hope he crossed tV\ Atla^^^® wave. 

But found amidst the foe a solA; . rf^^* 


His grave though distant, on New Orleans' plains. 
The memory of his virtues here remains. 
That grave of glory I there Britannia kneels, 
And weeping pours the tender griefs she feels, 
Yet feels exulting : for her soldier*s bier 
Is still the shield of every blessing here; 
Points where his soul by grace divine is given 
To meet his Saviour in the realms of Heaven. 
Check, then, that sigh, and dry that pious tear. 
Ye sorrowing parents of a child so dear. 
In Britain*s cause he led the heroic band. 
And grasped the laurel with his dying hand. 

No. XIV. 

(See page 466.) 
Letter from Lord Bloomfield. 

" Carlton Hmm^ October 29M, 1819. 
" My Lord, 

" It IS peculiarly gratifying to the Prince Regent to be 
enabled, by the introduction of a temporary clause into the 
Statutes of the Military Order of the Bath, to mark, in an 
especial manner, your Lordship'*s long, most distinguished, 
and faithful services, by creating your Lordship a Knight 
Grand Cross of that Order. A formal notification of the 
time when your Lordship is to be invested, will be made to 
you, until which notification this will be received as a con- 
fidential intimation of his Royal Highness'^s gracious inten- 
tion towards your Lordship in testimony of his high con- 
sideration and regard. 

'' It is most grateful to my feelings to be the channel of 
this communication ; and with great respect, 
I have the honour to be, 
My Lord, 
Your Lordship's obliged and obedient humble servant, 

B. Bloomfield.*^^ 
*' Gmeral Tlte Lord HatTU:' 


No. XV. 

(See page 467.) 

Lord Harrises Directkons for his Funeral. 

" Good Friday, 10 p.m. AprUy 1825. 

"This being recorded as the day when our Saviour 
ceased to be God and man, let me humble myself, and beg 
that the Holy Spirit may be allowed to direct and guide 
my heart in all things, but most particularly to a true 
feeling of the blessing thus offered to us. May I be enabled 
to see the nothingness of the wisest of mankind without 
the assistance of thy Holy Spirit, O Almighty God ! And 
may I be enabled to rejoice in my call, whenever it shall 
please Thee to take me from this world, the pomps and 
vanities of which, through thy mercy, are fast losing their 
hold of the flesh, and I humbly trust that I shall be found 
rejoicing when about to be delivered of their burden. It is 
still my request that my funeral may be condjicted as 
described in two papers, wrote 18th March, 1823, my 
birthday, and 5th August, 1824, and now inclosed, but 
which papers I shall probably correct and write fair, and 
only write these hasty lines, that sudden death may not 
prevent its being known that my request is still the same. 

" Directions for aiy Interment. 

«ilf«r<;A18, 1823. 
" As I have, thanks to Almighty Providence, been 
enabled to go (I hope thankfully, and generally cheerfully) 
through a long and active scene in this world, and if my 
relations and connexions are s^itisfied my endeavours have 
been to humble myself before my Creator, and generally to 
endeavour to do as I would be done by, and that they have 
no cause to suppose but that my motives have been merci- 


folly received where only motives can be known, then why 
put on sackcloth and ashes, or rather iivhy put on the 
appearance of grief for me ! 

" Let decency and proper regard to worldly customs be 
preserved ; let all the rest be cheerful, but without ostei- 
tation or waste of any kind. 

" To promote ease and enjoyment for a few hours, and 
encourage the whole of my farming and gardening labourers 
to go cheerfully about their labours afterwards, it is my 
request and desire that they may carry my body to its 
fellow earth, in a plain oak coffin made of the osiks to he cut 
down in April, 1823 ; that they shall each have a scarf of 
three and a-half yards of linen made up at Murton's, so that 
it may make a good shirt afterwards; that they shall 
have double the allowance of mutton and ale they have 
generally received on Christmas-day, with a soverei^ to 
each family that has children, and half a sovereign to those 
that have none, and a holyday the day chosen for my huri&l, 
having it understood that necessary labour must be done, 
but paid their regular pay, or, in my opinion, it can be no 
holyday at all. 

'* The number of such days with the Roman Catholics, 
is one amongst my objections to their mode of faith^ or 
rather to sharing power with them. The consequence of 
such holydays is generally poverty and idleness where the 
Roman Catholic religion prevails : — witness poor Ireland, 
for one example!*^ 

" Friday Evening, July 30, 1824. 
" Tired, and rather oppressed with the several objects 
which have come all together at this period to be attended 
to, let me relax, and turn to that moment when all worldly 
concerns shall be as npthing ! Whenever it may please the 
Almighty that this event (awful to all mankind) shall 
happen to me, a sinner, it is my wish that all pomp and 


show may be avoided at my interment* Thst my body 
may be carried to its long borne by the farm servants and 
the labourers in the garden and on the farm, under the 
guidance of the bailiff and gardener, with my carpenter to 
assist them. The latter has received my directions for my 
coffin to be made of oak felled on the estate, and the 
planks of which have been some time seasoning for the 

" List of the labourers whom I request to become my 

body-guard, vrhen it can no longer guard itself; and may 

they continue faithful servants to the master I leave over 

them, and may he deserve their honest endeavours by his 

- kindness to, and protection of them.'' 

''August 5, 1824. 
" I leave to John Stickens, bailiff, William Davis, 
gardener, and William Mutton, carpenter, fifty pounds each 
instead of mourning, as a small token of my approbation of 
their services. Mourning I am aware they are provided 
with, and may appear in at my funeral ; but it is my 
request that the ceremony may take place in the forenoon, 
and no hlack work of any kind, or hired carriage to be 
provided. It is my sincere wish that in this simple style 
my bodily remains may be conveyed to their mother earth 
without parade, or any idle pageantry of woe, seldom heart- 
felt, and which certainly can be of no avail when all worldly 
things are known as vanity. So good night, I go to my 
rest at twelve, and resign myself vnth comfort to the will 

of my Creator. God bless ye all," 


'* Wrote in haste, but long reflected on. So in good 
will and charity with all mankind, I humbly hope my sins 
may be forgiven, and that I may be enabled to amend for 
the rest of my life. 


*' To be wrote fair if time allowed. 

^^Thifl paper scratched and corrected 11th February, 



No. XVI. 
(See page 4419.) 

EprrAPii OS J. S. Lushinotdn, Esq. 

Sacred to the Memory of 


Of the Bengal Civil Service, 

Who died September 12th, 1832, 

At the early age of 28 years* 

Second Son of 

The Right Honourable S. B. Lvshington, MJ*., 

Late Governor of Madras ; 

And of Anne Elizabeth, eldest daughter of 

Geoige Lord Harris. 

Distinguished on his first arrival in India 

By superior talenta and acquirements, 

And passing with rapid success 

Through his studies in the College of Fort William, 

He gave early promise 

Of that intellectual and moral worth - 

Which is recorded with admiring friendship 

By the pious and accomplished Heber ; 

And which his short but brilliant career 

In this Presidency developed and matured. 

As tlie Private Secretary of the Governor 

He acquired by his imixirtial courtesy 

The esteem of every branch of the Public Service ; 

While his manly virtues and endearing qualities 

Secured the approbation, and realised the hopes 

Of his aff»ctionate and bereaved Father. 

This Monument is erected 

By the Society which he adomed. 

As a just tribute to his departed excellence. 


No. XVII. 
(See page 469.) 

Epitaph on Lord Harris. 

Sacred to tbe Memokt of 


Baron of Seringapatam and Mysore in the East Indies, 

And of Belmont in the County of Kent, 

A General in His Majesty's Army, 

And Knight Grand Cross of the Bath. 

The active years of his life were passed 

In the service of his Conntry in nngenial Climates, 

But it pleased Providence to restore him in health 

To his native land, 

Crowning his military career 

With the siege and capture of Seringapatam, 

And with the Thanks of the Nation recorded in the Votes of Parliament. 

He lived for nearly thirty years at Belmont, 

Respected and loved by his neighboms and friends ; 

And died deeply lamented by his fieunily. 
On the 19th of May, 1829, in his eighty-fourth year. 

Leaving to his Country, 
The memory of his suoceasfnl services in the fidd ; 
To his Posterity, 
' The bright example of his Christian virtues. 

(See page 470.) 

Letters from Lord Harris, and Extract from his 

The two following letters are selected, because thejr 
are characteristic of the generous nature of Lord Harris 
towards others, in cases of importance, although he always 
exercised the greatest frugality and self-denial in his own 

2 N 


person ; and because these instances of his generosity in 
private life are in perfect harmony with all his pablic con- 
dact, and especially with his resolution to spend his own 
money in fitting out the Hyderabad detachment, if the 
Company^B treasury could not supply it*. 

Libutgnant-Gbxeral Harris to J. Tatbm, Esq., 
East India House. 

" Madras^ October 19, 17^9. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I have to acknowledge your obliging favours of the 
4th and 7th August, 1798, and to observe that I did not 
receive them until my arrival here, 31st August last. 

"The seven months back from that date were busy 
ones ; and I trust my Honourable Masters will, in all last 
month, have received my letters of the 4th and 7th May 
with the account of what we had then effected. 

" My report could not enter into detail, and it was one 
of the many instances of good fortune which have attended 
me, that it should escape through the scattered partief of 
the Sultaun^B troops, and get safe to Admiral Rainier. 

" I may flatter myself ye have not often had so much 
said in so few words, and what is still more wonderful, it 
scarcely requires more to finish. 

" The moment we could move, my advanced parties 
scarce ever lost sight of the fellow Dhoondia, who W 
abilities to collect a large force round him ; and he was 
driven into the Mahratta dominions, with the small remsiua 
of his party and plunder, in a time you could scarcely sup- 
pose it possible to march the distance. 

* See page 227 of this Memoir. 


^^ When he took shelter, he was so hard pressed, that 
he was obliged to halt ; and Colonel Stevenson, with a flag 
of truce, rode to the Fort he was under the walls of, and 
called the chief people to witness his respect of the Mahratta 
flag, which alone protected Dhoondia from destruction, and 
whom he expefcted they would seize, and deliver over to 

" To halt in the moment when your enemy is within 
your grasp, after following him for weeks, and that day a 
forced march of thirty miles in the monsoon, was, perhaps, 
as strong a proof of the discipline of our army as could be 
given, and does Colonel Stevenson great honour for so 
exactly keeping to the spirit of his orders. But Providence 
has been wonderful to me throughout. - The whole has 
been carried on with a degree of harmony, that has certainly 
much contributed to our unexampled success, for so I may, 
I think, without being accused of vanity, term it, when we 
consider the circumstances of the fall of the Fort, the 
tyrant's death, the surrender of his sons, who would have 
been very troublesome had they held out, and the com- 
plete destruction of Dhoondia'^s party : added to this, I have 
no fear but ye will receive me as cordially for my economy 
as for our activity. 

" Your congratulations on my daughter's marriage were 
very pleasing. Never were parents happier on such an 
event. He will soon be known on your records as one of 
your ablest and most honourable servants : he is just now 
returning from a most arduous and interesting transaction, 
the settlement of the Southern Poligars, throughout which 
he has conducted himself with such ability as must insure 
him, under Lord Mornington, the highest station in his 

" I am proud as I am fond of him ; and you will not 
admire him less for hearing that he refuses to return to 

2 N 2 


England with me, preferring the creation of his own Cor- 
tune to being made easj without labour. His ambition is 
a noble one ; and to convinoe you that it even withstands 
affection, in remaining here, he pressed me most earnestly 
to let him go as my private secretary, on the late occasion, 
when half our world, at least, thought our etzpeditaim a 
desperate undertaking, and when, in so doing, he risked 
his certun prospects, and this because he knew I should 
want an affectionate friend to aUeviate my anxieties. Bat 
this I would not allow ; and Providence has repaid my 
forbearance, and our meeting, after our separate laboon^ 
will be one of those deli^tful circumstances that can happen 
to few. 

^^ Forgive me thus troubling you with domestic state- 
ments, but your kind friendship betrays me, una^wares, into 
the detail. 

^^ By the next partridge season I hope to see you. 

(Signed) G. Harms/' 

From Obnebal Harris. 

'' London^ AprU 7, 1807- 
^* I have just had a long interview with our old friend, 
-, and he strongly insists upon the propriety 

of your being a candidate for the parliament now to be 
chosen. If you have an inclination to the undertaking! 
and like to try Canterbury, I will bear all expenses, and 
contribute handsomely for some other place, if Canterbory 
fails. Tell my dear daughter not to be alarmed : two Gi 
three days will be sufficient to try the ground.'" 
*'S. R. LuskinffUm, Esq.y 

Lymted Lodge, Kent** 



Mr8. Lushington and their Children, dated 1824. 

^^ To 1x17 estimable and mach-Ioved daughter, Anne 
Elizabeth Lushington, and her worthy husband, my highly- 
esteemed friend, I leave two hundred pounds each for a 
ring, or any memento they may choose of our mutual regard. 
To each of their children who may be living at the time 
of my decease I leave mourning rings, in the hope they may 
at odd times bring their grandfather to memory, and make 
them recollect that, under Providence, he attributes his rise 
from nothing to his affluent fortune, to his economy and 
willing privation from self-indulgence through a long life.**^ 

No. XIX. 

Strength of the Alubd Army, and Return of Casualties 
during the Siege and in the Assault of Seringapatam. 

Strength of the Army eammanded by Lieutbnant-Genbral 
Harris, on the Return of Major-General Floyd, and the 
Junction of the Bombay Army, 

Europeans 8,026 

Natives 23,948 

Also Nizam's Cavalry . . . 6,000 

Ditto Infantry 3,621 

Total . . . 41,695 


KiLLSD, Wounded, and Missnco during the Sie^e of 





. 181 




. 119 



300 1,042 122 = 1,464 

KilledfWounded, and missing in the Assault = 386 

Corps Engaged, and Return of Casualties in the Assault 
OF Sbringapatam. 

Number of Troops Engaged in the AssauU. 

Europeans 2,594 

Natives 1,882 

Total . . . 4,476 

The Artillery, under Major Bell. 

The Madras Pioneers, under Captain Dowse. 

The Madras Engineers, under Captain Caldwell. 

Officers killed and wounded in the Left Column 
Ditto Ditto Right Column 

Also Captain Cormick, of the Pioneers . . . 
Also Captain Caldwell, of the Engineers . . . 
Also Captain Prescott, of the Artillery - . . 

Total . . 


















»MP« S"^ 


00^^ .^ 





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Among the various objects which engage the attention and occupy the leisure 
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perfect works of nature. The works of man bear upon them the stamp and 
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&c. 6cc. &c. 


Thib work w«B mnnoQnced in 1834, under the direetion of the CoramHtoe of 
Litentare and Education appointed by the Society for Promoting Chiistiaa 
ledge, bat the publication was postponed in consequence of some altenatiiMS m 
arrangements of the Society. Considerable progress has now been made in 
paration of the work, and although it must necessarily appear without any 
on the part of the Committee by whom it was first announced, it will be 
the aame materials, and conducted up«n precisely the same principles and plam 
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John W. Parker, therefore, respectfully annomices that, on the let of Mii^ 
appear, Part L, (to be completed in about Twelve Monthly Parts,) of 



BBMo A oovrtuuxstm oranr of tux 






Ths object of this Work is to present to the general reader a compr^ensive digest €f 
the information which has appeared in former Dictionaries of the Bible, and, at the 
same time, to open new sources of illnstiation, which will sorre to throw i 
light upon subjects connected with the study of the Sacred Volume. 

Notwithstanding the labours of former writers, especially of Calmet and his ^ 
Editors, much remains to be done in this department of liteiature, and much requires 
to be undone. Many of the theories which were tSl lately received among BiMical 
critics, have given way to the more accurate information which has been obtained in 
the progress of research; and many interesting and important discoveries have 
recently been nude in those countries which were the scenes of the various trans- 
actions recorded in Scripture. This is the case more especially with regard to Egypt, 
where an entirely new path has been laid open to the Biblical Student, by the progress 
which has been made in the language and literature of that very remarkable people. 

Much of this additional information is due to the labours of foreign writers, whose 
works are inacce s si b le to general readers. Of these labours free use will be madeu 
But in thus rendering them available to English Students, great care will be taken to 
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cially those of the German School, have fallen. 

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purpose, it will be a constant object throughout to avoid equally those fanciful theories 
which serve only to encumber the important subjects to whiidi they refer, and that 
tendency to scepticism which has produced such lamentable effects in other countries. 
And it is humbly hoped, that, by thus pursuing the plain path of sober invesligation, 
some service may be rendered to the cause of Sacred Literature, and some additional 
assistance afforded to those, who, by the study of Qod^s Holy Word, are endeavouring 
to acquire that knowledge, which, under His blessing, may lead them to life eternal 

London ; JOHK' W. PABKER> Publisher, West Strand.