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Nuggets of Malabar history

Staff Reporter

Research findings on a war between Tipu Sultan and the British


Findings supported by original sources

The Thrikkulam battle has been reconstructed


KOZHIKODE: Oliver Noone, a physician from Kozhikode and an amateur historian, will make a presentation of his research findings on a war fought between the British and Tipu Sultan at a monthly meeting of the Calicut Heritage Forum to be held at the Chavara Cultural Centre on Tuesday. The findings are supported by rare original sources from several libraries and archives in England.

Dr. Noone, who practises medicine in Britain, developed a passion for the subject after he received a book from his colleague's father, Derrick Dunning. The book, ‘The Hearseys: Five Generations of an Anglo-Indian Family,' gave a detailed history of a family, among them was Dunning's maternal great grandfather, Sir John Hearsey, who had arrested the 1857 hero, Mangal Pandey, in Barrackpore. Sir John's father, Andrew Hearsey, had also served the East India Company and led the force against Tipu Sultan and fought a decisive battle at Kozhikode.

Dr. Noone also chanced upon a communication from the then Governor-General of India Lord Cornwallis to Colonel Hartley who led the battle at Calicut that he had obtained ‘great and important advantages' as a result of the victory.

The research was a result of Dr.Noone's curiosity about how such an insignificant battle could confer such great advantages.

His research at the British Library, London, led to identification of the obscure battlefield — which was described variously by contemporary chroniclers as Tervannengurry (which Logan interpreted as Tirurangadi), Tricalure or Tirukkallur (as Thrikkulam, near Tirurangadi). Piecing together evidence from East India Company documents, Mysore records and Tirurangadi folklore, Dr. Noone reconstructed the Trikkulam Battle and its importance in British colonisation of India.

Among the South Indian rulers who offered resistance even after most of North India was captured by the British, Tipu Sultan was the most feared, because he had a clear geo-political sense. That was why the victory against him in Thrikkulam was so important, a release said.

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