This article examines the interaction between British colonial officials and indigenous military labour markets during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. When faced with a severe foreign threat the Company did not totally opt for fiscal-military methods of mobilization as is argued in the conventional historiography, but instead resorted to a policy of supporting warrior groups and local dealers who could service the Company’s military requirements. The British patronised a variety of military service groups rather than forcibly subordinated them to their control. War resulted in the diffusion of resources to non-state actors who organised the means of violence.
Randolf G.S. Cooper, The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India: The Struggle for Control of the South Asian Military Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Kaushik Roy, War, Culture and Society in Early Modern South Asia, 1740-1849 (London: Routledge, 2011).
Francis Robinson, The Life of Hyder Ally with and Account of his Usurpation of the Kingdom of Mysore and other Contiguous Provinces. To which is annexed, A Genuine Narrative of the sufferings of the British Prisoners of War Taken by his Son, Tippoo Saib (London: S. Hooper, 1786): 11-12.
Alexander Beatson, A View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tippoo Sultaun; Comprising a Narrative of the Operations of the Army under the Command of Lieut.-General George Harris, and of the Siege of Seringapatam (London: W. Bulmer, 1800): 176-177, 200-201; Brown to Romney, 16/04/1799, European Manuscripts (henceforth, mss Eur) F198/1/13, ff. 7-8; Sydenham to Mornington, 14/01/1799, ior, mmc P/254/32, ff. 316-8; Close to Read, 15/01/1799, ibid., ff. 361-366; Floyd to Mornington, 06/05/1799, Additional Manuscripts (henceforth, Add. mss) 13666, ff. 15-16; Read to Mornington, 27/03/1799, ibid., ff. 41-3; Harris to Mornington, 08/03/1799, ior, hm 255 pt. 1, f. 231.
Nicholas Dirks, The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Burton Stein, Thomas Munro: The Origins of the Colonial State and His Vision of Empire (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989); id., “State Formation and Economy Reconsidered.” Modern Asian Studies 19/3 (1985): 387-413.