After Tipu Sultan was defeated and killed in a battle with the British in 1799, his family and descendants were gradually removed from Mysore and sent to live in Vellore Fort. After five peaceful years, at 2 am on 10 July 1806, about 500 Indian soldiers stormed the European quarters inside Vellore Fort, and shot down the white officers and soldiers. Their ‘revolt’ ended when British forces, led by Colonel Robert Gillespie, arrived to take back control. This intervention resulted in hundreds of the fleeing Indian soldiers being killed, wounded or captured for trial. This 1806 event has variously been described as the Vellore Massacre, Vellore Mutiny, Vellore Insurgency, Vellore Uprising, or the Vellore Revolt, depending on the ideological perspective of the historian.
Foreshadowing the Great Rebellion examines the causes that led up to the revolt, the events that transpired, and the aftermath and consequences, not only for the captured Indian soldiers, but also for the East India Company’s governance in India. The Vellore Mutiny has interesting parallels with the First War of Independence too, establishing that all the characteristics of the Great Rebellion of 1857 were foreshadowed in the 1806 Vellore Uprising.
A result of the author’s painstaking efforts to collect new data from the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, and the British Library, London, this book will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars interested in the history of the Vellore Rebellion from a native perspective.
K. A. Manikumar is retired Professor of History, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
Tables and Figures
Foreword by G. Viswanathan