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the reception of the pepper and sandal-wood purchased in the dominions of the Mysore rajah, afterwards usurped by Hyder Ally, who allowed the company the same privilege.
Barcelore, the Baracé of the Greeks, and now frequently called Cundapore, is twenty-five miles to the southward of Onore, being a sea-port in a direct line with Bednure, which Hyder Ally, on conquering the Canaree dominions, named after himself, Hydernuggur. Sir James Sibbald was at Barcelore on the company's business, in the month of April 1763, when Hyder Ally came there, immediately after the conquest of Bednure, at the head of sixty thousand cavalry and infantry; and three hundred state elephants; he had also a body of French troops, and a great many French officers in his army..
I described Onore in the voyage to Anjengo ; it was now in possession of the English, who took the fortress from the sultaun of Mysore at the commencement of the unfortunate expedition under general Mathews. Onore fort was at this time defended by captain (now major) Torriano, an officer in the Bombay artillery, frequently mentioned for his gallant behaviour when acting as brigade major to the British troops employed in Guzerat, for the assistance of Ragonauth Row. This enterprising officer acquired additional honours in his defence of Onore against the force and treachery of Tippoo Sultaun, during a siege of three months, and a blockade of much longer continuance. Captain Torriano was my intimate friend, as also of several other passengers on board the General Elliot. We knew his arduous situation, we knew him resolutely determined to maintain his post until a peace, although in want of ammunition, stores, and pro
vision for the garrison, and destitute of almost every comfort and necessary of life; what then must have been our feelings when we were obliged to pass within view of the blockaded fortress, with out affording relief to himself and his brave comrades !
Among the deceased Mr. Cruso's papers, at present in my possession, is a very interesting account of the siege of Onore, by Tippoo Sultaun's army, and the sufferings of the garrison, which he was fully competent to describe, from his situation as chief surgeon of the hospital in that fortress, at this memorable period. He was afterwards intrusted with a packet of materials, for the purpose of drawing up a history of the campaign under the command of General Mathews, when ordered to make a diversion in favour of the British operations in the Carnatic, by an attack on the nabob's settlements on the Malabar coast. These documents were loo imperfect for such a history; but from the writer's personal knowledge of the perseverance and sufferings of the Onore garrison, he was enabled, from those documents and the papers furnished by major Torriano, to frame a faithful and connected detail of that memorable siege. It contains an excellent account of Asiatic operations, as well as some peculiar traits of oriental military character, differing from any in the preceding pages. I have selected the most interesting passages from those munuscripts, as a valuable acquisition, which I could not otherwise have obtained. The courage and conduct displayed by the commanding officer and his gallant comrades, throughout this eventful period, are their best panegyric; and in Mr. Cruso's full detail, he modestly hopes he may not have obscured, what it was out of his power to brighten.
The English balteries under the command of captain Torriano, opened against the fort of Onore on the first day of January 1783. It was taken by storm on the sixth: several of the besieged fell in the fury of the assault; the rest, in number about two thousand, received quarter, and were soon after set at liberty, except the killidar, (or commander of the fort), the buxey (paymaster), and a few principal officers. The confusion from the storm having subsided, the following day was dedicated to the burial of the dead, and collecting the wounded of the enemy, upwards of a hundred of whom, together with all the sick and wounded of the Company's troops, were placed under the care of the army surgeons, in the house which had formerly been the English factory; this being a large and commodious building, was now appropriated for the general hospital. Several prisoners remained there more than three months, where they experienced every kind attention, and when discharged the commanding officer gave each of them money to enable them to reach home.
Captain Torriano being disabled by a wound received in the batteries from proceeding with the army to invade the enemy's country, was appointed to the command of the fort of Onore and its dependencies. On the 12th of January General Mathews constituted this fortress the grand magazine of the British forces, and in his instructions to captain Torriano, mentioned it as a trust of the highest importance to the welfare of the army, and requiring his utmost vigilance.
The night before the departure of Shaik Muckdum, (the nabob's late killidar of the fort), captain Torriano privately delivered to him the jewels belonging to his family; which at the
commencement of the storm by the English had been secreted under some ruins. Captain Torriano was informed of this circumstance at midnight, by a confidential servant of Shaik Muckdum, who intended them as a present to the captain, in return for his kind attentions while a prisoner in the fort; he was consequently overwhelmed with gratitude when the jewels were thus restored to him. Similar was the conduct of the commandant on receiving information of some valuable articles concealed in the woods near Govind-yhurry. He sent trusty persons in boats to search the spot alluded to; who returned with several bales of cloth, jars of sandal-oil, and ottar of roses. They were immediately placed under a guard, and a publication issued throughout the country, that they would be gratuitously restored to such persons as could prove a title to them. The following week they were claimed by a merchant, who jointly with his father had been the company's brokers at Onore factory. He proved the articles to liave been secreted by his father and himself when the English forces landed on the coast, from an apprehension (afterwards realized) of their being ordered by Ayauz Saheb to Bednore, where his father was cruelly put to death, and the son escaped with the greatest difficulty. These facts, as also the humanity shewo to the prisoners taken from Tippoo Sultaun, are thus particularized, in contradiction to some unfounded assertions, of a contrary tendency, which appeared in the historical records of the Annual Register at that period.
About this time the former inhabitants of the town of Onore, who had fled from their habitations on the arrival of the British troops, won by the humanity shewn to the wounded of their
enemy, and the liberty granted to the other prisoners, began to return home with their families and effects.
On the 23d Fortified Island, a 'post belonging to Tippoo Sultaun, situated a little to the northern entrance of Onore river, capitulated to captain Torriano. The month of February was ushered in by the important intelligence that general Mathews had forced the formidable pass of Hussen-ghurry, and that the English colours were then flying on the ramparts of Bednure. But, alas! this glorious news was of short duration; for, on the second of March, a cavalry officer, with a small party of horse, arrived at Onore, bringing the afflicting intelligence that on the preceding afternoon the Sultaun's troops had carried Hyder-nuggur ghaut, or pass, by storm; and that before day. break the next morning they forced the small party posted at Ciddapore river. To this was added the disgraceful report, that in consequence of the arrival of the fugitives from Hyder-nuggur, a council of war had been called at Cundapore, (or Barcelore) the members of which had unanimously declared their post to be untenable; and when the cornet's party left the place, measures were actually taking to abandon it, though not a man of the enemy had appeared. The circumstance of Cundapore being deserted by the English troops was confirmed a few hours afterwards by an officer, with the melancholy addition that many guns were spiked, a quantity of stores burnt, and ammunition destroyed; the whole garrison proceeding in a straggling manner towards Onore,
Alarmed for the glory of the British arms, and animated by a zeal for the good of the service, to which a fatal blow would be given by the loss of its grand magazine, which had been removed