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1790-1792 - 3rd Mysore War

At the time of passing the Indian Act Parliament had declared that 'to pursue schemes of conquest and acquisition of territory was contrary to the wish, the honour, and the policy of the British nation'. Instructions given in that spirit was honestly accepted by Lord Cornwallis, but before his rule ended he had to bow to necessity and lead in person a victorious army to extensive conquests. In 1790 an attack by Tipu, the ruler of Mysore, on Travancore, an ally of the British Government, compelled the Governor-General to declare war. An alliance with the Nizam and the Peshwa, Bajl Rao, was arranged on the condition that all conquests should be divided equally among the three allied powers.

The earlier operations of the war were unsatisfactory owing to the failure of the Madras authorities to provide supplies, and Lord Cornwallis found himself constrained to use his special powers and take command himself. In the third season's operations the British force, assisted by a contingent from Bombay, captured the outworks of Seringapatam, Tiptu's capital. Lord Comwallis granted peace to Tippoo when he was in his power, on the condition of his giving up half his territories, and half his treasures. On the principle of the resolution, Lord Comwallis, if he reserved the treasure to pay the expences of the war, was not justified in securing any part of the territories for the company.

The sultan was forced to accept the hard terms dictated by the victor, which exacted the cession of half his dominions, the payment of three hundred lakhs (thirty millions) of rupees, and the delivery of two of his sons as hostages. The districts acquired by the Company, the nucleus of the existing Presidency of Madras, yielded a revenue of forty lakhs of rupees, about four millions sterling. The Home Government confirmed the proceedings of the Governor-General, and the King raised Lord Cornwallis to the rank of marquess.




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