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  2.9 Allan: Storming of Seringpattam  


©The Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
The Assault on Seringapatam; c1799

Watercolour
34.5 x 51.5 cm

Sir Alexander Allan 1764-1820

llan's view towards the breach shows the formidable triple defences of bastions ditches and cavaliers constructed by the French for Haider Ali; the Cauvery's rocks and watery channels described by Beveridge, and British and sepoy regiments streaming out of the trenches. Allan fought at Seringapatam and accurately depicted the uniforms: there were no kilts.

Contrary to the convention of many 19th-century artists, no regiments wore kilts in the Mysore wars. The 1st Battalion of the 73rd Highlanders, embodied at Elgin, were wearing their kilts when they arived at Madras in 1780. Indeed, the kilts attracted much comment among the curious crowd assembled to welcome them . However, the kilt was very soon discarded, 'as it was not them considered a suitable dress for tropical or semi-tropical climates.' The dress was resumed on return to North Briton, as the contemporary Scots often addressed their native land.


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