1773
Mysore Advances; The Dutch in a Circle of Agony

The English emerged itself as the greatest power in Europe where the sun never sets. They reaped victories in the wars that took place here and there. Their strength and affluence lay in the colonies that lying spread all over the world. Of the colonies America was the most important one. The Americans were the descendants of the Pilgrims Fathers, who once, unable to accept and tolerate the autocracy and religious fanaticism of James I of England embarked on ships and crossing over the Atlantic reached the new Continent and resided there.

Boston Tea Party
In the new continent, the Dutch, the French, Spain and so on established colonies. But English colonies outnumbered other colonies. The Dutch established a new city there christened as New Amsterdam. And it is the present New York. The English colonies were loyal to their motherland and treated its king as their king and obeyed the legislations passed by the parliament. They also paid the taxes as decided by the Government of the mother country. But they could not tolerate the enhancement of the taxes time and again by the mother country in order to meet the expenditure incurred for the wars it waged. The Seven Years War was waged by Britain and France in Europe. With this war France had lost Canada and Briton got it. But the decision of Britain to raise a huge amount to improve the economic conditions of it by imposing taxes on the colonies created big protests and problems. The dispute between the British Government and the colonies became worsened day after day which finally ended in a bitter struggle. There were bitter opposition and protest against the Tea Act of 1773 passed by Britain which enabled the English East India Company to carry tea through the American ports and sale it without any tax being paid. The people became furious coming to know that with this Act the tea trade in America would be crumbled. In December 1773 Americans disguised as Red Indians sneaked in to a ship of English East India Company that anchored on the port of Boston and threw into sea the cartons containing tea. It is called in history as Boston Tea Party. The war that began between America and Britain started from here.

It was in 1773, the year in which America raised a banner of revolt against Britain, that Hyder Ali again attacked Malabar. In that year the Mysore army under the commandership of Sardar Khan and Sreenivasa Rao after capturing Kudaku reached Malabar through Wayand. Unlike in the previous occasions no kings of Kerala or chieftains opposed the Mysore army. Once again Malabar came under the control of Mysore and the two commanders were appointed as Governors. Paying his attention still to Cochin and Travancore Hyder ordered the Dutch in Cochin leave for Travancore. The reply of the Dutch that they would need permission of Batavia for doing so did not satisfy Hyder and so the northern part of Cochin was attacked by the troops of Mysore in 1776. Cochin agreed to give away rupees four lakh and four elephants along with an annual tribute of Rs 120000/-. But Travancore erected a defence preventing the entry of Mysore army in to it. During this time Sardar Khan demanded the ceding of Chettuva which was later annexed by the Dutch from the Zamorin. The Mysore commander once again requested to the Dutch that they be allowed to pass through Dutch possessions to reach Travancore, assuring them that friendly ties with Dutch would be continued. Any opposition to this request would be treated as opposition to Hyder Ali. It landed the Dutch in a circle of agony.
Dutch in Kerala - Old Kerala Map 1729


In the meanwhile the Mysore army laid a siege against Chettuva and with this the Dutch decided to vacate the place. With food grains and guns along with some soldiers from the fort embarked on a ship and escaped. Later Mysore army captured Chettuva, Aiyroor and other places including islands of Cochin and territories coming under the king of Crangannore except that of the Dutch. But the big fort still stood as a blockade against the free movement of Mysore troops towards Travancore. This fort was built by the leadership of the clever Diwan Keshava Pillai (later Raja Keshava Das). In order to repulse the invasion of Mysore, firm measures were taken under the leadership of the Maharaja Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma. The king had his expectation on the English at Anjengo. He was in contact with the English off and on. But the king got a news, much to his relief that Hyder Ali gave up his plan to invade Travancore. But still he did not attenuate defense measures.