Following Tipu Sultan's defeat in the Third Anglo-Mysore War, he was forced to sign a treaty of peace, ceding a large portion of his dominions and a substantial financial settlement to the British. To ensure that the treaty was fulfilled, Governor-General Lord Cornwallis demanded two of Tipu's sons as hostages. Consequently, the young princes Abdul Khaliq, Tipu's second son aged ten, and Muiz-ud-din, his third son aged eight, were surrendered to Lord Cornwallis.
Robert Home, the renowned artist, accompanied Cornwallis' army in Mysore and made numerous sketches of this momentous event.
'The Reception of the Mysorean Hostage Princes by Marquis Cornwallis', 26 February 1792', Oil on canvas by Robert Home - National Army Museum, London
This event has also been depicted by Mather Brown, Arthur William Devis, F. Bartolozzi, Henry Singleton, Joseph Grozer and many other artists from hearsay, while they were in England. Home's sketches, however, are unique in that they were created on the spot, providing a vivid and accurate representation of the event.
The title of the painting varies from 'Delivery of the Definitive treaty by the Hostage Princes into the hands of Lord Cornwallis'; 'The Marquess Cornwallis receiving the Hostage Princes'; 'The Hostage Princes delivering the definitive treaty to Lord Cornwallis'; 'The Departure of the Sons of Tippoo'; 'The sons of Tippoo Sultan leaving their father'; 'The departure of the son's of Tippoo from the Zenana'; and the list goes on.
In Mather Brown's version, the officers shown to the left of the Governor-General are Sir John Kennaway, Major Dirom, Col. Malcolm, Major Madan, A.D.C., and Col. Ross. On Lord Cornwallis' right is the head Vakil, Ghulam Ali Khan, seated, while his colleague bends over the boys.
'Lord Cornwallis receiving the Hostage Princes [sons of Tipu Sultan]'; Oil on Canvas by Mather Brown - Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
'The Two Sons of Tipu Sahib, Sultan of Mysore, Being Handed over as Hostages to General Cornwallis'
Oil on Canvas by Robert Smirke - Yale Center for British Art
'The Departure of the Sons of Tippoo from the Zenana'; Stipple engraving on paper by Francesco Bartolozzi - Yale Center for British Art
'The Delivery of the Definitive Treaty by the Hostage Princes to Lord Cornwallis'; by Mather Brown - Bowes Museum
'The Delivery of the Definitive Treaty by the Hostage Princes into the Hands of Lord Cornwallis', Hand-colored stipple engraving by Daniel Orme, 1793 After Mather Brown - Doyle Auction House
'Les Fils de Tipoo se Donnnt en Ôtage a Lord Cornwallis' 1804; Copper-engraved plate by F. dal Pedro after M. Brown - Brown University Library
'The Right Hon Charles Marquis Cornwallis is receiving the two sons of Tippoo Sultaun', Mezzotint with hand colouring, 1793 by J Grozer after Henry Singleton - Bonhams
'Tippoo Saib's two Sons deliverd up to Lord Cornwallis', mezzotint, coloured, published with Laurie & Whittle London 1792
'Les Fils du Sultan se Rendent'; Copper-engraved plate by F. dal Pedro after H. Singleton - Brown University Library
'The Surrender of Two Sons of Tippoo Sultaun' 1802; Hand-colored engraved plate by Cardon, after Singleton - Brown University Library
'Tippoo Sultaun delivering to Gullum Alli Beg his Vakeel his two sons', Mezzotint with hand colouring, 1793 - Joseph Grozer after Henry Singleton - Bonhams
'Lord Cornwallis receiving the Sons of Tippoo Saib as Hostages' - After William Marshall Craig, illustration from 'A New History of the Twenty Years War with France', 1815 - Engraving and etching - British Museum
'Marquis Cornwallis receiving the royal hostages at Seringapatam', Etching and stipple - James Gillray After James Northcote - British Museum
'Tippoo Saib's Two Sons taking leave of Their Mother', previous to their being delivered to Lord Cornwallis, as Hostages at the Termination of the War in the East Indies in 1792, Colored lithograph Published 24th Dec 1792 by Robort Saver & Co Fleet St London - Bid & Hammer
'Marquess of Cornwallis receiving Hostage of Tipoo Sultan', Artist Unknown, Oil on tin - Rashtrapati Bhavan
'Lord Cornwallis receiving the son of Tipu Sultan', Oil on Canvas By Johann Zoffany - Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata - Only one of the princes is depicted here.