«ABSTRACT Title of Dissertation: TYRANT! TIPU SULTAN AND THE RECONCEPTION OF BRITISH IMPERIAL IDENTITY, 1780-1800 Michael Soracoe, Doctor of ...»
The symbolic victory of the East India Company's historical memory of Tipu Sultan and the Mysore Wars was perhaps best captured in a painting by the Scottish artist David Wilkie in 1839. Titled Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo, it used the capture of Tipu's fortress of Seringapatam and the discovery of the slain Sultan's corpse at the end of the Fourth Mysore War as its subject matter [Figure 1].33 Hailed as one of the finest paintings to arise from the conflicts against Tipu, Wilkie's painting demonstrated the confidence and assurance with which the British looked back upon the fashioning of their Indian empire decades after the fact. Wilkie placed General Baird at the center of his painting as a larger than life figure, resplendent in full dress uniform with arm upraised to the sky. With one hand Baird gestures to the British soldiers surrounding him, while with the other hand he points with his officer's sword to the body his fallen opponent. Tipu lies almost naked upon the ground in a prostrate position, surrounded by fawning Indian attendants, looking very much like a trophy prize that Baird has successfully brought back from the hunt. While Tipu and his companions are mostly enshrouded in darkness, Baird's figure is brilliantly illuminated by the torchlight Morning Chronicle (London, England) 12 February 1841, Issue 22220 David Wilkie. Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo (1839). National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.
(once again borne by another British soldier), as he stands with feet slightly separated, the consummate Christian warrior.34 Wilkie's painting was an unabashed celebration of imperial triumph, with the deceased Tipu Sultan literally lying at the feet of the saint-like General Baird. Wilkie embodied the new values of the nineteenth century towards empire in advertising the victory of commerce, civilization, and Christianity over the backwardness and darkness of Tipu Sultan's India. Wilkie's portrayal of the slain Tipu represented the antithesis of the Sultan's tiger pipe organ described in the introduction to this study. Whereas the mechanical Tippoo's Tiger stood for the savage and untamed power of India, a wild beast mauling a helpless European soldier, the dreadful anxieties of empire manifested in the form of the Tiger of Mysore, Wilkie's painting represented the complete opposite: an India that had been tamed, and laid prostrate before the rising power of the British empire.
Through its domination of Tipu Sultan, the East India Company had found a way to make empire safe and acceptable to the British public in the metropole. The scandals of empire had been reformed, threatening and unscrupulous nabobs had been replaced by virtuous soldier-heroes, and the Company had become embraced as part of the wider British nation. In combating the imagined despotism of "Tippoo the Tyrant", the East India Company found its redemption.
Hermione De Almeida and George Gilpin. Indian Renaissance: British Romantic Art and the Prospect of India (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005): 164-65
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Unknown author. Tippoo Sahib; or, British Valour in India. First staged 6 June (1791) at Covent Garden Unknown author. Tippoo Sultan; or, East India Campaigning [pantomime]. First staged 25 July (1791) through 11 October (1791) at Sadler’s Wells. Resumed 30 April 1792 for a second season.
Unknown author. Tippoo Sahib: or, The Siege of Bangalore [pantomime]. First staged 9 April (1792) through 26 May (1792) at Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre Unknown author. Tippoo Saib’s Two Sons being Delivered up to Lord Cornwallis as Hostages of the Treaty of Peace now Concluded in India [picture scene]. First staged 15 August (1792) at Sadler’s Wells.
Unknown author. Tippoo Saib’s Two Sons also called An East-India Military Divertissement. First staged 20 August (1792) through 12 October (1792) at Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre Unknown author. Royal Hostages; Or the Definitive Indian Treaty. First staged 22 November (1792) in Dublin’s Royal Amphitheatre (Peter Street) Unknown author. The Death of Tippoo, and the Capture of his Two Sons by the British Army and their Allies. First staged 16 September (1799) at Sadler’s Wells Unknown author. Tippoo Saib; or, The Plains of Hindostan [pantomime]. Restaged 24 September (1799) at Sadler’s Wells Unknown author. The Storming of Seringapatam, or The Death of Tippoo Saib. Staged 30 September (1799) through 10 October (1799) at Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre Unknown author. The Siege and Storming of Seringapatam; or, The Death of Tippoo Saib. First staged 5 May (1800) through early June (1800) at Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre Unknown author. Tippoo Saib; or, the Surrender of Seringapatam. First staged 29 August 1825 at the Royal Coburg Theatre Unknown author. The Storming of Seringapatam; or, The Death of Tippoo Saib. Staged 20 April (1829) at Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre Songs/Poems Arne, Thomas Augustine (music) and Epigram, Ephraim (lyrics) Tippoo’s Defeat, Duet and Chorus sung at the Anniversary Meeting of the Gentlemen of the East India House, Aug: 13, 1792 (London: J. Dale, 1792) Knight, Ellis Cornelia. Lines Addres’d to Victory in Consequence of the Success of Lord Cornwallis and his Army against Tippoo Saib (Parma: Printed by Bodoni, 1793) Lyrics are written in both English and Italian. (Italian version by Eritisco Pilenejo.) Pearce, Paulin Huggett. Tippo Sahib, the Sultan of Mysore. A Poem (Ramsgate, 1876) Unknown composer. From Sweet Tipperary to Pick Up Some Honor. Good Bye Mr.
Tippoo. A Favorite Song Sung by Mr. Johannot at the Royal Amphitheatre Peter Street Dublin (Dublin: Hime, 1800) Unknown composer. Hyder Alley (London: Evans, 1800) Works of Art Allan, Alexander. A View of the Fort, Seringapatam and The Assault on Seringapatam (1799). Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh.
Allan, Alexander. Sewandroog (1794). British Library Office of Indian and Oriental Collections (OIOC) Asselin, Charles-Eloi. The Ambassadors and their Entourage Walking in the Park at St.
Cloud (1788). Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Sèvres.
Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre. Storming of Seringapatam! Or the Death of Tippoo-Saib (29 April 1829) Victoria and Albert Museum [playbill] Banks, T. The Two Sons of Tippoo Saib Introduced as Hostages to Lord Cornwallis (1800). Bas relief exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800, current status unknown.
Basire, John. The Storming of Seringapatam (1800). Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh.
Brown, Mather. The Delivery of the Definitive Treaty by the Hostage Princes to Lord Cornwallis (1793) Brown, Mather. The Departure of the Sons of Tipu from the Zenana (1793). Engraving, Walter Collection.
Brown, Mather. Marquis Cornwallis Receiving the Sons of Tippoo Sultaun as Hostages (1793). Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Dublin.
Colebrooke, Robert H. North View of Sewandroog Shewing the Attack in December 1791 (1794). British Library (OIOC) Cotman, John Sell. The Tomb of Hyder Ali Khan, Rajah of Mysore (1825). Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.
Devis, Arthur William. Major-General Baird and Col. Arthur Wellesley Discovering the Body of Tippoo Sultaun at Seringapatam (1799-1802). Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh.
Devis, Arthur William. Warren Hastings (1784-85). Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
Home, Robert. Charles Cornwallis, 2nd Earl (1792). Former Banqueting Hall, Madras.
Home, Robert. The Death of Col. Moorhouse at the Storming of the Pettah Gate of Bangalore (1792? Exhibited 1797) National Army Museum, London.
Home, Robert. Lord Cornwallis Receiving Tipu Sahib’s Sons as Hostages at Seringapatam (1793-94). National Army Museum, London.
Home, Robert. Richard Colley Wellesley, 2nd Lord Mornington (1801). Stratfield Saye House.
Laurie and Whittle. Peace in India or the Conquest of Seringapatam (1799). Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh.
Mackenzie, Col. Colin. Grand Mosque at Seringapatam after the Capture of the Place (1799). British Library (OIOC) Porter, Robert Ker. The Storming of Seringapatam (17 April 1800). Private collection.
Porter, Robert Ker. The Storming of Seringapatam (1800), Descriptive Sketch. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Reynolds, Joshua. Captain John Foote (1765). York City Art Gallery.
Reynolds, Samuel William after Robert Ker Porter. Finding the Body of Tippoo Sultan (1800). British Library.
Rogers, J. after Henry Singleton. The Surrender of Two Sons of Tipu Sultan and The Last Effort and Fall of Tipu Sultan (1802). Private collection.
Schiavonetti, L. after Henry Singleton. The Finding of the Body of Tippo Sultaun Recognised by His Family (c. 1802). Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh.
Smart, John. The Hostage Princes – Abdul Khaliq and Muza-ud-din (1792). British Library (OIOC) Singleton, Henry. The Last Effort and Fall of Tippoo Sultaun (1800) British Library (OIOC) Singleton, Henry. Lord Cornwallis Receiving the Sons of Tipu Sultan as Hostages (1793).
Sotheby’s, 23 November 1977.
Singleton, Henry. The Sons of Tipu Sultan Leaving their Father (1793). British Library (OIOC) Singleton, Henry. The Surrender of the Two Sons of Tippoo Sultan to Marquis Cornwallis, Seringapatam, September 1792 (1793). Yale Center for British Art, New Haven CT.
Stothard, Thomas. The Storming of Seringapatam (1804). Private Collection of the Duke of Wellington.
Sydenham, Thomas. View of the Hoally Gateway, where Tipu Sultan was Killed (1799).
British Library (OIOC) Thompson, G. (engraver) The Storming and Taken [sic] of Seringapatam by Lord Mornington May 4th 1799 (1800). National Army Museum, London.
Turner, Joseph Mallord William. The Siege of Seringapatam (1800). Tate Gallery, London.
Vendramini, John after Robert Ker Porter. The Storming of Seringapatam (1802-03).
Wattier, Emile. Louis XVI Receives the Ambassadors of Tipu Sultan (19th c.) British Library (OIOC) Wilkie, David. Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo (1839). National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Zoffany, Johan. Tiger Hunting in the East Indies (c. 1795). Engraving of The Death of the Royal Tiger. British Library (OIOC).
Unknown Indian Artist. The Battle of Pollilur, 1780 (c. 1820). Collection Otto Money.
Unkown Indian Artist. Portrait of Tipu Sultan (c. 1790-1800). Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Unknown Indian Artist. Tipu Sultan, Ruler of Mysore (1792). British Library.
India Office Select Materials, Prints and Drawings Collection (PDP) P474, P475, P443, WD138, P1054, F855, P429 Cartoon/Caricature Prints Anonymous, “Cheyt Syng’s Ghost” (1788). Colored engraving, Walter Collection.
Anonymous. “The Nabob Rumbled, or A Lord Advocates Amusement” (1783).
Engraving, Walter Collection.
Dent, William. “Flying News, or Seringapatam taken by Strategem!” (21 May 1792).
British Museum, London.
H.W. (full name unknown) “Good News from Madras. Lord Cornwallis defeated, Tippoo Sultan triumphant, and the British Oppressors extirpated from India” (1791). British Museum, London.
Naik, G. R. and Rao, Subba. Tipu Sultan, The Tiger of Mysore [comic]. Amar Chitra Katha Series (1981).
Rowlandson, Thomas. “The Death of Tippoo, or Besieging the Haram [sic] (8 October 1799). Colored engraving, Walter Collection.
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