After the Fourth Mysore War, when the British were dismantling Tipu Sultan's establishment, the East India Company unexpectedly took charge of 601 women who resided permanently inside Srirangapatnam Palace. Along with Tipu's sons, they were moved 200 miles east, to Vellore Fort, in the Company-controlled territory of Madras Presidency. Documentation about these court women held in colonial archives describes moments when they behaved in unexpectedly difficult ways. Because historians have tradition…
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