UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Jul 01

01 July 1781

Battle of Porto Novo


What happened?

Memorial for the Battle of Porto Novo

The Battle of Porto Novo was fought between Hyder Ali of Mysore and the British East India Company on 1 July, 1781. The English were victorious and this battle put a check on the expansion of Hyder Ali.

Background

  • The Second Anglo-Mysore War started in 1780 when Hyder Ali of Mysore declared a war against the British. This was in response to an English attack on Mahe, which was a French possession and in Hyder Ali’s dominion.
  • In July that year, Hyder Ali invaded the Carnatic. In this battle, the British suffered a heavy defeat. After this, Ali renewed the siege of Arcot. This prompted the British to gear up their defences in South India and also send reinforcements under Sir Eyre Coote, a British army officer to Madras.
  • Although earlier Coote was repulsed by Ali, he defeated Ali in successive battles starting with the Battle of Porto Novo, also called the Battle of Chelambram. Porto Novo is currently called Parangipettai and is located in Cuddalore District in Tamil Nadu.
  • In Porto Novo, Coote commanded a force of a little more than 8000 men, while Ali had 40,000 men under his command.
  • Despite this, Ali was defeated and the British regard Coote responsible for the checking of Hyder Ali’s expansionist plans.
  • After this battle, Ali again suffered defeats by Coote at Pollilur and Sholinghur.
  • The Second Anglo-Mysore War ended with the Treaty of Mangalore which was signed on 11th March 1784 between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company. As per this treaty, both Mysore and the Company agreed to restore the territories captured to each other and return the prisoners as well.
  • Hyder Ali had died in 1782 and was succeeded by his son Tipu.
  • There were two more wars between the English and the army of Mysore and finally, the English were able to gain victory after the Siege of Seringapatam in 1799 in which Tipu Sultan was killed.
Also on this day

1882: Birth of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second CM of West Bengal. His birth anniversary
is observed in India as ‘National Doctors’ Day’. Incidentally, he died on the same date
in 1962.

1927: Birth of former Prime Minister of India, Chandrasekhar.

1962: Death of freedom fighter Purushottam Das Tandon.

 

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.