Transfer of Tipu Sultan's Sons to Vellore (18 June, 1799)

After the capture of Srirangapatna on May 4, 1799, the British exiled the families of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan to Vellore. Vellore Fort was chosen as the prison for Tipu's family due to its reputation as one of the strongest fortresses in India. 

Meanwhile, on 30 June, a mere five-year-old child, a descendant of the Wodeyar Rajas, was crowned as the new ruler of Mysore under the title of Mummudi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.

The task of informing the Mysore Princes, the sons of Tipu Sultan, about their transfer to Vellore, was entrusted to Colonel Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, by Governor General Richard Marquess Wellesley (also known as Lord Mornington and Lord Wellesley, the elder brother of Arthur Wellesley).

The Unfortunate Fateh Hyder:


Fateh Hyder, the eldest son of Tipu Sultan, bore a striking resemblance to his father. His mother, Raushmi Begum, was a dancer from Adoni.

When Fateh Hyder surrendered himself to General Harris on 13 May, he was a young man of 26.

Feeling betrayed by the British after surrendering based on promises of restoration to his father's dominions, similar to what had been done in Tanjore and Oudh, Fateh Hyder was informed by Colonel Arthur Wellesley, that he and his three brothers, Abdul Khaliq, Muhi-ud-din and Muiz-ud-din, would be relocated to Vellore.

Colonel Wellesley had meticulously planned the relocation of the four princes to Vellore. He met with Fateh Hyder on 16 May to deliver a letter from the Governor General and to inform him of the General's wishes for the princes to move to Vellore in the Carnatic.

Colonel Wellesley clarified that the Governor General had determined that it would not be advantageous for the British nation and its allies to install Fateh Hyder or any of his family members on the throne of Mysore. However, the Governor General did authorize the provision of an allowance of up to 7 lacs of rupees to Tipu's family.

Understanding that it would be difficult for Fateh Hyder to witness the transfer of power to others, Colonel Wellesley requested his immediate relocation to Vellore for the sake of his own well-being and the smooth establishment of the new government in Mysore. The next day was set for their departure.


Fateh Hyder was surprised by the news and expressed his shock. He mentioned that he had received a cowle, a written agreement, and decided to surrender based on it. He noted that the British usually restored the governments of the countries they had conquered in India, citing the examples of Tanjore (Thanjavur) and Oudh (Awadh).

He expressed that if it was deemed inappropriate for him to govern this country, there was no cause for him to be expelled from it. He vowed never to leave the tombs of his father and grandfather or abandon his father's family. He questioned what would become of them if he were forced to leave.

Wellesley informed Fateh Hyder that the cowle sent to him did not grant him the authority to govern the country or limit the Governor General's power to relocate subjects. He pointed out that in Tanjore and Oudh, families reinstated to power were not aligned with Britain's enemies, to expel the British from India.

Wellesley assured Fateh Hyder that there were no plans to separate him from his family for longer than necessary to arrange their travel to the Carnatic. He reminded Fateh Hyder that he had arrived twelve days after the assault, during which period Tipu's family had been under his protection. Therefore, Fateh Hyder had no need to worry about their safety during his absence.

Wellesley also warned Fateh Hyder that he would always be viewed with suspicion, and even the slightest mistake on his part could result in his detention.

When Fateh Hyder inquired about his family allowance, Wellesley promptly informed him that he would receive an annual sum of 50,000 rupees. Fateh Hyder wanted to discuss this further with his friends, but Wellesley gently reminded him that it was his responsibility to carry out the General's orders.

The same information was relayed to the other princes. Abdul Khaliq and Muiz-ud-din appeared unconcerned, except for their allowance. Muhi-ud-din stated that he needed to seek advice from his friends. Wellesley stressed the importance of adhering to these orders. Muhi-ud-din ultimately agreed to comply with the orders.

Fateh Hyder and Muhi-ud-din visited Wellesley in the evening, hoping to secure permission to relocate half of their father and grandfather's families. However, Wellesley calmly informed them that the available transportation arrangements were only for their own families. Hence, it was agreed to delay the relocation of their father and grandfather's families to a later date.

The next morning, the two princes returned with a detailed list of doolies, camels, elephants, and bandies needed to move the families of Hyder Ali and Tipu. After being informed that the means of carriage were only available for their own families, they seemed content and prepared to depart.

Journey of the Princes to Vellore:

On June 18, 1799, Fateh Hyder, Abdul Khaliq, Muiz-ud-din, and Muhi-ud-din, the four eldest sons of Tipu Sultan, along with their families, departed Srirangapatna for Vellore. They were accompanied by Captain Marriott and escorted by a detachment led by Lieutenant Colonel Coke.

As the procession passed through the streets of Srirangapatna, it drew in large crowds who came to bid farewell to the sons of their late sovereign.