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Fort Vellore
from Charles Gold's Oriental Drawings

Mysore was devastated by succesive military campaigns during the last three decades of the eighteenth-century. The fourth and final campaign ended with the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799. Half of the Royal treasury and half of the territory was taken by the victors (who included Colonel Arthur Wellesley, the future 1st Duke of Wellington).

Tipu's wives and children, and several hundred women from the royal household were transported to Madras, on the East coast of India, where they were imprisoned at Fort Vellore, a European style castle surrounded by an aligator-filled moat. Gold’s image of their prison shows villagers throwing stones at an open-mouthed aligator guard.

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