n his report to General Harris, the Commander-in-Chief, on the
taking of Seringapatam, Baird wrote : 'I now proceeded to search
the palace accompanied by Lt Col Close and Major
Allan taking care however to avoid the zenana
In the palace
we found a man who on being severely threatened said that the Sultaun
was killed in attempting to escape through the northern
we accordingly proceeded thither and under a slaughtered
heap of several hundreds had the pleasure to discover the body
of the Sultaun. He had been shot through the head and body and
was quite dead.' Another account of the event is provided by Major
Allan himself, and transcribed in full as an Appendix to the narrative
of his fellow Scotsman, Major Beatson.
'When Tippoo was bought from under the gateway
his eyes were open and the body was so warm, that for a few moments
Col. Wellesley and myself were doubtful whether he was not alive;
on feeling his pulse and heart all doubt was removed.
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; he had an amulet on his arm,
but no ornament whatever.' Allan also adds a brief description of
Tipu's physiognomy and concludes: 'he had an appearance of dignity
or perhaps of sternness in his countenance, which denoted him above
the common order of people.'
Other paintings of this event include Wilkie's posthumous
portrait of Baird at the scene, and a copy by C A Neve (1828)
at Thisted, Denmark of Ker Porter's version, known only
from Reynolds engraving, published in August 1800. Ker Porter's
painting may have inspired Devis to produce his version.