16 Jan 2018

George Gray’s embassy to Hyder Ali - 1780

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On 14th January 1780, I was appointed by the select committee to proceed to Srirangapatna, on an embassy to Nawab Hyder Ali Khan to demand the release of some English subjects who had been stopped at Calicut by Sirdar Khan, Hyder's foujdar there, but I was particularly instructed by Sir Thomas Rumbold to endeavour to bring Hyder into a better understanding with the English than he had for some time shown and if possible to gain his confidence". (The Journal of Mr. George Gray)

12 Jan 2018

Schwartz's Mission to Hyder Ali - 1779

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Father Christian Frederick Schwartz, a Danish missionary, had a marvelous gift for acquiring languages. After his arrival in India, he learned English, Persian, Hindi and Tamil. His principal residence in India was at Tanjore. Schwartz was entrusted for the mission to Hyder Ali by Thomas Rumbold, the governor of Madras. The governor addressed him as follows, "It appears that Hyder Ali Khan entertains warlike designs. Now as we wish to know his views with certainty on this momentous subject, it has appeared to us that you would be the most suitable person to employ for that purpose. You can speak Hindustani, and require in your discourses no interpreter; we are satisfied that you act impartially, and will not allow yourself to be bribed by any one; and you have it in your power to travel through the country without external pomp and show, and to remain unnoticed the whole journey, until you speak with Hyder himself".

9 Jan 2018

Correspondence on Tipu's Capture of the Travancore Lines 1788-1790

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1. Tipu wanted the Raja of Travancore (Dharma Raja) to make friendship with him. For that purpose, he sent the Raja of Cochin to meet Dharma Raja and discuss this matter with him. The Raja clearly states that he has full confidence in the friendship with the British.

Dharma Raja to Sir Archibald Campbell¹: "Should Tipu take offence with me, who am the Company's firm friend and dependent, for writing such an answer, and raise hostilities against me on that account, I must look up to the Company for protection and assistance as my only resource. From all circumstances of the conduct of Tipu, and what has passed between him and the Raja of Cochin, I am led to suspect, he will raise some troubles. I take the Almighty to witness that, as long as I breathe, I shall never depart from my friendship to the Company, and I hope your Excellency will take care of me." — 8th June 1788.

2 Jan 2018

Kings of Travancore: Dharma Raja

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The Hindu Kingdom of Travancore, also known by the names of Venad and Thiruvithamkoor, was one of the four principal kingdoms in the Malabar (others were the Rajas of Cochin, Kolathunadu (Kannur) and the Zamorins of Calicut). Padmanabhapuram Palace (1729-1795) was the capital of the Kingdom. The kingdom followed Marumakkathayam¹ or matrilineal system of succession. Marthanda Varma (1729-1758) was the most famous king of Travancore. On his death bed, he advised his heir apparent Rama Varma to keep up the friendship with the British². Karthika Thirunal³ Rama Varma (1758-1798) succeeded his uncle Marthanda Varma, to the throne of Travancore at the age of 34. From his boyhood, Rama Varma had received under his uncle's direction a thorough training both as a soldier and administrator. King Rama Varma is known for his Principles of Justice, and hence known as Dharma Raja (the King of Justice). During his reign the Mysore rules, Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan invaded Kerala.

9 Dec 2017

History of the Imad Shahi Kings of Berar

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