The Anglo–Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought in over the last three decades of the 18th century between the Kingdom of Mysore on the one hand, and the British East India Company (represented chiefly by the Madras Presidency), and Maratha Confederacy and the Nizam of Hyderabad on the other. Hyder Ali and his successor Tipu Sultan fought a war on four fronts with the British attacking from the west, south and east, while the Marathas and the Nizam’s forces attacked from the north. The fourth war resulted in the overthrow of the house of Hyder Ali and Tipu (who was killed in the final war, in 1799), and the dismantlement of Mysore to the benefit of the East India Company, which won and took control of much of India .

First Anglo-Mysore War:

The First Anglo-Mysore War (1767–69) saw Hyder Ali gain some measure of success against the British, almost capturing Madras.

The British convinced the Nizam of Hyderabad to attack Hyder, but the Nizam changed sides, supporting the Sultan. That was temporary however, and the Nizam signed a new treaty with the British in Feb 1768.

Hyder did contend with a British Bombay army attacking on the west and a Madras army attacking from the northeast. However, Hyder’s attack towards Madras resulted in the Madras government suing for peace, and the resultant Treaty of Madras.

Hyder Ali

Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784):

Prior to this war, Hyder Ali had again made a treaty with the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad, but both of them were convinced to not to take arms again British and Hyder Ali ended fighting the war on his own. But the army of Hyder was one of the largest armies in India.

In 1780, his army carefully swept down the Eastern Ghats and burnt the villages. The British could not make out due to failure of intelligence and Hyder laid the siege of Arcot. He sent his son Karim to Porto Novo.

When the British Forces left Madras under the command of Hector Munro to throw out the siege, Hyder lift the siege but moved to confront them. But then, Hyder came to know that new forces are coming from Guntur under Colonel William Baillie, so he sent a detachment under his son Tipu to intercept them. Hyder himself also led his forces to intercept Col. Braithwaite.

At Pollilur, Colonel William Baillie was surrounded and was compelled to surrender. The defeat in Battle of Pollilur was the worst defeat of English in India in which the British were massacred.

The siege of Arcot was renewed. The news of the British defeat shook Warren Hastings but he sent a new force under General Eyre Coote from Bengal to take charge of British forces opposing Hyder. Eyre Coote arrived Madras take command from Munro. He marched into the Carnatic and occupied Cuddalore.

At Porto Novo, the armies met and the victory was in British side. Then again new reinforcements were sent from Bengal, which Hyder tried in vain to stop.

There was a fight again in Pollilur, but Hyder got defeated but the battle remained indecisive. This prolonged war was hotly contested, for the aged Sir Eyre Coote had lost his energy, and the Mysore army was not only well disciplined and equipped, but skillfully handled by Hyder and his son Tipu. All of a sudden, Hyder died in 1782, the battle remained indecisive and peace was finally concluded with Tipu on 28 June 1784, on the basis of a mutual restitution of all conquests. This is called the “Treaty of Mangalore“.

Third Anglo-Mysore war (1789-92):

Tipu Sultan was hostile towards the British since the beginning. Mangalore Treaty of 1784, which was signed on the end of the Second Anglo Maratha war had an article regarding transfer of the Prisoners. Tipu did not honor this and kept the British prisoners with him. This was one of the reasons of the hostility. In the same treaty, the British had promised to not to enter into agreements with the Marathas and Nizam, but Cornwallis informally convinced them to not support if there was a war.

The immediate reason of the war which commenced in 1789 was that the local Dharamaraja of Travancore made some fortifications into the territories which were claimed by Tipu. In Cochin he purchased two forts from the Dutch, but Cochin was paying tribute to Tipu. Travancore was an ally of the British. So when Tipu attacked Travancore, the British attacked Tipu.

The Diplomacy of Cornwallis kept Tipu aloof from the Marathas , Coorg and Nizams. Lord Cornwallis led the British army in person, with pomp and a magnificence of supply which recalled the campaigns of Aurangzeb. The result was Tipu’s defeat.

The peace was restored by the Treaty of Shrirangpatnam which was signed in 1792. The terms of the Treaty were dictated by the British.

As per this treaty:

Half of the territories of Tipu were snatched away from Tipu and divided into Marathas, British and Nizam.

Tipu had to pay Rs. 3.30 Crore as war indemnity.

The Raja of Coorg got independences from Tipu.

Two sons of Tipu were delivered as Hostages.

This war eventually crippled the great Sultan, who once thought of making India free of the British. He fulfilled the conditions of the treaty but ever afterwards he burnt in the fire of revenge upon his British victors.

Tipu Sultan

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99):

The French plan of sending troops to India was crushed by Nelson of British in Battle of Nile. Three British armies marched into Mysore and siege Shrirangpatnam. One of the commanders of Tipu, Mir Sadiq was bought by the British, he deceived Tipu and the result was that Tipu, amid the English advantageous position, was shot and killed.

Tipu had used the iron cased rockets in the Third and Fourth Mysore wars.
It led the British to develop their own versions of the Rockets. The Woodyar dynasty was restored on the throne of the Mysore and Mysore came indirectly under the British. Thus, with the end of Fourth Mysore war, Mysore became a princely state with suzerainty of the East India Company.