Tipu Sultan’s Moustache

Not many know of this but the fear and notoriety surrounding Tipu in England was so great that even his moustache was not spared after his martyrdom.

Major Price, a prize agent during the sack of Seringapatam has noted in his memoirs an incident when Tipu’s mortal remains were lying in state in the outer courtyard of the palace having been brought there from the water gate where it was found.

Major Price noticed a fellow officer whom he does not name, borrowing the former’s penknife and snipping away a part of Tipu’s moustache. The miscreant’s excuse was that he had promised the souvenier to ‘his friend Dr. Cruso, of our establishment’.

Even a hair from Tipu’s moustache was of so great a value to the British!

P.S. A prize agent is someone nominated after a town has fallen in war and is about to be sacked, who will be responsible for collecting all loot, making a list of it and distributing it to members of the conquering forces in order of superiority.


About Olikara

An engineer, history buff, collector of South Indian antiques.
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