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  3.39 The Body of Tippo Sultaun Recognised by his Family  

©The Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
(National War Museum of Scotland)
The Body of Tippo Sultaun recognised by his Family, in 1799; c1800

Coloured etching
42.8 x 48 cm


aird ordered that Tipu's lifeless body should be conveyed in his palanquin to the court of the palace. Beatson notes: 'The Sultaun had been shot, a little above the right ear, by a musquet ball, which lodged near the mouth, in his left cheek: he had also received three wounds, apparently with the bayonet, in his right side.' The author also acknowledges his debt to 'my friend Major Allan' for a more detailed account of events, which Beatson publishes in full as an Appendix.

Tipu's sons, whom General Harris had invited to return to their respective apartments on May 5th, viewed their father's body that morning. They requested that it should be interred the same evening, and Tipu was accorded a full military funeral.

General Baird also attended to the wives and children of Tipu's principal officers, whom Tipu kept at his capital in order to guarantee the loyalty of their husbands. Beatson records that not only the principal families, but the inhabitants of Seringapatam in general were accorded protection. However, Arthur Wellesley, Kirmani and Allan all record that, on the night of 4th May, there was plundering, buildings set on fire and all kinds of atrocities. It was not until May 6th that order was finally restored, and not without the hanging and flogging of offenders. This discipline was meted out by the newly appointed Commandant of Seringapatam, Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who had been appointed in preference to more senior officers, in particular, Major-General David Baird. It was during this final Mysore campaign that Wellesley began to exercise and develop the formidable military prowess and intellect which would earn him the title of 'The Iron Duke'.

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