Invasion of Ceylon (1795)

The Invasion of Ceylon was a military campaign fought as a series of amphibious operations between the summer of 1795 and spring of 1796 between the garrison of the Batavian colonies on the Indian Ocean island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and a British invasion force sent from British India. The Dutch Republic had been a British ally during the French Revolutionary Wars, but was overrun by the French Republic in the winter of 1794 and reformed into the client state of the Batavian Republic. The British government, working with the exiled Stadtholder William of Orange, ordered the seizure of Batavian assets including colonies of the former Dutch Empire. Among the first territories to be attacked were those on the coast of the island of Ceylon, with operations initially focused on the trading port at Trincomalee.

To achieve the seizure of the colony, the British government instructed Lord Hobart, Governor of Madras to use the forces at his disposal to invade and capture the Batavian held parts of the island. Prosecution of the campaign was given to Colonel James Stuart, supported by naval forces under Rear-Admiral Peter Rainier. Stuart called on Batavian governor Johan Van Angelbeek to surrender the colony peacefully and many trading posts were taken without resistance, but Stuart's forces were opposed at Trincomalee in August 1795 and briefly at Colombo in February 1796. Following short sieges British forces were able to secure control of the Dutch colony, and Ceylon would remain a part of the British Empire for the next 153 years.

Background

In 1793, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic went to war with the French Republic, joining the ongoing French Revolutionary Wars. Despite resistance from the Dutch Army and a British expeditionary force, the Dutch Republic was overrun by the French in the winter of 1794–1795, the French reforming the country into the Batavian Republic, a client state of the French regime.[1] Although war between Britain and the Batavian Republic had not been declared, the British government sent instructions on 19 January for Batavian shipping to be seized and, in conjunction with Stadtholder William of Orange, living in exile in London, for Batavian colonies to be neutralised in order to deny their use to the French. On 9 February these orders culminated in the outbreak of war between Britain and the Batavian Republic.[2]

News of the conflict took some months to reach the East Indies, where British and French naval forces had fought an inconclusive campaign for control of the Indian Ocean trade routes since 1793. British forces, supporting those of the East India Company, were principally operating from Madras and Calcutta in India, the French from their island bases of Île de France (now Mauritius) and Réunion.[3] Following an inconclusive engagement off Île Ronde on 22 October 1794, the French squadron on Île de France had remained under blockade at Port Louis and thus most of the British naval forces in the East Indies were available for the campaign against the Batavian territories.[4] Dutch colonisation of Ceylon did not span the whole island, which was mostly ruled by the interior Kingdom of Kandy. European settlement was instead concentrated at coastal strips surrounding the significant ports of Colombo on the west coast and Trincomalee on the east, supplemented by smaller trading factories and settlements elsewhere.[5] Trincomalee was particularly important as raiding forces based in the port could easily strike against British trade routes in the Bay of Bengal, but the port had limited food supplies, poorly-developed facilities and a small garrison.[5]

Planning

Upon receiving the news of the hostilities between Britain and the Batavian Republic, Lord Hobart, Governor of Madras, conferred with Rainier and ordered the invasion of Ceylon.[4] Command of land forces was given to Colonel James Stuart, whose forces consisted of the 71st, 72nd and 73rd Regiments of Foot, 1st and 23rd battalions Madras Native Infantry and detachments from the Royal Artillery and Madras Artillery and auxiliary forces, totaling 2,700 men.[6] This force was supported by a Royal Navy force led by Rainier in the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Suffolk and the 50-gun fourth rate ship HMS Centurion, which sailed from Madras on 21 July. Suffolk escorted a large convoy of East India Company merchant ships transporting troops and supplies, augmented off Negapatnam by additional reinforcements protected by the frigates HMS Diomede and HMS Heroine.[7]

It was hoped by Stuart and Rainer that the Batavian governor Johan Van Angelbeek might be persuaded to allow a peaceful occupation of Ceylon by British forces, especially in light of the Kew Letters from William of Orange, which advocated cooperation with British forces.[8] A Major Agnew was sent ashore at Colombo to negotiate and his attempts to persuade Van Angelbeek to allow 300 British troops to land at Fort Oostenberg, which overlooked Trincomalee, were successful.[9] On arrival off the port on the eastern coast of Ceylon on 1 August however the commander of the defences refused to acknowledge the instruction, citing problems with the wording of the instructions.[10] For two days attempts were made to convince the Batavian commander, the British position partially undermined by the destruction of Diomede in Trincomalee harbour after striking an uncharted rock. Although all of the crew and passengers were saved, large quantities of military stores sank with the frigate.[11]

Siege of Trincomalee

On 3 August, with negotiations fruitless, Rainier and Stuart ordered the invasion to go ahead. The troops landed 4 nautical miles (7.4 km) north of Trincomaleee unopposed and advanced slowly though the sandy terrain. Due to heavy surf and high winds the disembarkation was not completed until 13 August, and the first emplacements approaching Trincomalee were not begun until 18 August.[11] Throughout this period the Batavian garrison made no effort to oppose or impede the advance British forces. After five days the British forces had emplaced eight 18-pounder long guns and a number of smaller cannon, some borrowed from Suffolk in firing positions, opening a heavy fusilade which by the following day had created a sizeable breach in the walls of Trincomalee. Preparations were made for an assault and messages sent to the fort's commander demanding his surrender.[12]

After some negotiation followed by a brief resumption of the bombardment, the Batavian commander surrendered. The garrison of 679 troops were taken prisoner and more than 100 cannon seized by the British. British losses in the brief campaign amounted to 16 killed and 60 wounded.[11] Following the fall of Trincomalee, nearby Fort Oostenberg was summoned to surrender on 27 August.[10] Four days later the commander turned his position over to the British under the same terms offered to the garrison of Trincomalee. With resistance broken, Batavian trading posts along the Ceylon coastline surrendered in quick succession, Batticaloa to the 22nd Regiment of Foot on 18 September, Jaffna to Stuart directly on 27 September after a landing in force, Mullaitivu to a detachment of troops from 52nd Regiment of Foot in HMS Hobart on 1 October, and the island of Mannar on 5 October.[13]

Fall of Colombo

In September 1795, Rainier took most of his squadron eastwards to operate against Batavia, leaving Captain Alan Gardner in command of the blockade of Colombo, the last remaining Batavian territory on the island. In January 1796, command of the East Indies was assumed by Sir George Keith Elphinstone, who ordered ships of the line HMS Stately and HMS Arrogant to assist Gardner.[14]

In February 1796 a final expedition was prepared against Ceylon, with instructions to seize Colombo and the surrounding area. Stuart again took command, supported by Gardner in Heroine and the sloops HMS Rattlesnake, HMS Echo and HMS Swift, as well as five EIC ships.[15] Stuart's force disembarked at Negombo, a Dutch fort abandoned the previous year, on 5 February and marched overland to Colombo, arriving without opposition on 14 February. The garrison was issued with a demand requiring their surrender or to expect an immediate assault, and storming parties were prepared, but on 15 February Van Angelbeek agreed to capitulate and Stuart took possession of the city peacefully.[16]

The value of the captured goods from Colombo alone amounted to more than £300,000.[16] More importantly for the British, Ceylon was not one of the colonies returned to the Batavian Republic following the Treaty of Amiens which brought the war to a brief close in 1802.[17] Britain retained Ceylon as part of the British Empire until independence was granted in 1948.

Notes

  1. ^ Chandler, p. 44.
  2. ^ Woodman, p. 53.
  3. ^ Parkinson, p. 74.
  4. ^ a b Parkinson, p. 77.
  5. ^ a b Parkinson, p. 35.
  6. ^ "Under a Tropical Sun". Macquarie University. 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ James, p. 302.
  8. ^ Parkinson, p. 78.
  9. ^ "No. 13852". The London Gazette. 8 January 1796. p. 33.
  10. ^ a b Parkinson, p. 80.
  11. ^ a b c James, p. 303.
  12. ^ Clowes, p. 282.
  13. ^ James, p. 304.
  14. ^ Parkinson, p. 84.
  15. ^ Clowes, p. 294.
  16. ^ a b James, p. 371.
  17. ^ Chandler, p. 10.

References

  • Chandler, David (1999) [1993]. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. Wordsworth Military Library. ISBN 1-84022-203-4.
  • Clowes, William Laird (1997) [1900]. The Royal Navy, A History from the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume IV. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-013-2.
  • James, William (2002) [1827]. The Naval History of Great Britain, Volume 1, 1793–1796. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-905-0.
  • Parkinson, C. Northcote (1954). War in the Eastern Seas, 1793 - 1815. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
  • Woodman, Richard (2001). The Sea Warriors. Constable Publishers. ISBN 1-84119-183-3.
Capture of Ceylon Medal

The Capture of Ceylon Medal is a campaign medal that was awarded by the Governor-General of India to soldiers in Bengal artillery units of the armies of the East India Company (EIC) who took part in the capture of Ceylon in 1795–96.

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles (I)

This page lists Sri Lanka-related articles with titles beginning with an alphabet letter I.

I Can Love Too

I Proud to Be an Indian

I Witnessed Genocide: Inside Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

I. A. C. Pillai

I. A. Cader

I. C. Chacko

I. F. B. Wickramanayake

I. F. Wilson

I. Ganesan

I. J. Wickrema

I. Janagiraman

I. K. K. Menon

I. Kudigame

I. M. R. A. Iriyagolla

I. N. Murthy

I. Panduranga Rao

I. Periyasamy

I. Shanmughadas

I. V. Chalapati Rao

I.P.Senthil Kumar

ICBT Campus

IFS AB

INFITT

IPSC Sri Lanka

ISKCON Temple Patna

ISO 3166-2:LK

ITN channel

Ian Bell

Ian Coggins

Ian D'Sa

Ian Daniel

Ian Karan

Ian Pieris

Ian de Zoysa

Ibbagala Raja Maha Vihara

Ibbagamuwa Divisional Secretariat

Ibbani Karagithu

Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs

Ibbara Naduve Muddina Aata

Ibbawala

Ibn Taimiya School and College

Ibrahim Saeed

Ice Cream (2015 film)

Icelandic Airlines Flight 001

Ichari Dam

Ichthyophis glutinosus

Ichthyophis pseudangularis

Ida Carmelitta

Idalgashinna

Idamagama

Idamelanda

Idampitiya

Idandukita

Idantota

Idavela

Ide Mahasudina

Idhu Varai

Idikundu

Idiots (film)

Idiriya

Idiyappam

Idlebrain.com

Idli

Idli podi

Idolle Ramayana

Idu Saadhya

Idukki Gold (film)

Iftekhar Sajjad

Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury

Igillenna Ai Dagalanne

Ignatius Anandappa

Ihagama

Ihagama Unnanse

Ihala Aturaliya

Ihala Beligalla

Ihala Ganegama

Ihala Keembiya

Ihala Kumbukwewa

Ihala Omatta

Ihala Vitiyala

Ihaladiggala

Ihalagama Niyangama

Ihalakande Bavulana

Ijjodu

Ilaiyangudi (state assembly constituency)

Ilaiyaraaja

Ilanaga of Anuradhapura

Ilavalai

Ilaya Nila

Ilayathambi Tharsini

Ilex walkeri

Ilish

Illagolla

Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi

Illawatura

Illeramma Kathalu

Illicium verum

Illukpelessa (7°1'N 80°54'E)

Illukpelessa (7°7'N 80°49'E)

Illuktenna (7°10'N 80°55'E)

Illuktenna (7°22'N 80°55'E)

Illukwatta

Ilpemada

Ilukhena

Ilukpelessa (7°1'N 80°54'E)

Ilukpelessa (7°27'N 80°54'E)

Ilukpelessa (7°7'N 80°49'E)

Iluktenna

Ilukwatta

Imaduwa

Imaduwa Divisional Secretariat

Imagine Cup Sri Lanka

Imal Liyanage

Imalka Mendis

Iman Willem Falck

Imarti

Imbul Kiribath

Imbulandanda

Imbuldeniya

Imbuletenna

Imbulgolla

Imbulmalgama

Imbulpe Divisional Secretariat

Imbulpitiya

Imesh Udayanga

Imitiaz Qureshi

Immadi Pulikeshi (film)

Immanuel (film)

Immanuvel Devendrar

Immigration officer

Impatiens flaccida

Impatiens repens

Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake

Imperial Blue (whisky)

Imran Bisthamin

Imran Butt (cricketer)

Imran Farhat

Imran Khan (cricketer, born 1992)

Imran Maharoof

Imran Nazir

Imran Tahir

Imraz Raffi

Imrul Karim

Imrul Kayes

Imthiaz Bakeer Markar

Imtiaz Ali (director)

Imtiaz Hossain

In Ghost House Inn

In Harihar Nagar

In the Name of Buddha

Ina (film)

Inakkily

Inani Beach

Inapraavugal

Inchara Rao

Independence Day (2000 film)

Independence Day (Sri Lanka)

Independence Memorial Hall

Independence Memorial Museum

Independent Television Network

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles

Indhu Rubasingham

Indi Nadarajah

India House (Colombo)

Indian (1996 film)

Indian Accent (restaurant)

Indian Chinese cuisine

Indian Coast Guard

Indian Coffee House

Indian Cowboy

Indian Institute of Spices Research

Indian Institute of Technology Patna

Indian Moors

Indian Naval Air Arm

Indian Ocean raid

Indian Oil Cup 2005

Indian Peace Keeping Force

Indian Signing System

Indian Singaporean cuisine

Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka

Indian blackbird

Indian boar

Indian bread

Indian brown mongoose

Indian burrowing frog

Indian chameleon

Indian cobra

Indian cookbooks

Indian cricket team in Ceylon in 1944–45

Indian cricket team in Ceylon in 1956–57

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1973–74

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1985

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1993

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1997

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2001

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2006

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2008

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2008–09

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2010

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2012

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2015

Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2017

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine in the United Kingdom

Indian dairy products

Indian fast food

Indian filter coffee

Indian flying fox

Indian gerbil

Indian giant flying squirrel

Indian grey mongoose

Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War

Indian muntjac

Indian numbering system

Indian omelette

Indian pangolin

Indian pickles

Indian pipistrelle

Indian relish

Indian roundleaf bat

Indian star tortoise

Indian swiftlet

Indian tea culture

Indian vegetarian cuisine

Indian whisky

Indian wine

Indian-made foreign liquor

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indians in Sri Lanka

Indianthus

India–Sri Lanka HVDC Interconnection

India–Sri Lanka maritime boundary agreements

India–Sri Lanka relations

Indika Anuruddha

Indika Bandaranayake

Indika Basnayake

Indika Batuwitarachchi

Indika Gallage

Indika Gunawardena

Indika Kankanange

Indika Ruwanpura

Indika de Saram

Indina Bharatha

Indina Ramayana

Indira Bai

Indira Canteens

Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences

Indira Point

Indira Samarasekera

Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil

Indo-Sri Lanka Accord

Indolestes divisus

Indolestes gracilis

Indonesia–Sri Lanka relations

Indore – Rajendra Nagar Via. Faizabad Express

Indore–Patna Express

Indori river

Indothele lanka

Indrachapa Liyanage

Indradasa Hettiarachchi

Indradeep Sinha

Indradhanush (film)

Indraja (actress)

Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Indrajith Sukumaran

Indran Amirthanayagam

Indrani Iriyagolle

Indrani Karunarathne

Indrans

Indraprastham (film)

Indrapuri Barrage

Indrapuri, Patna

Indrasena Reddy

Indriyam

Indu Bhushan Sinha

Indu Nagaraj

Indulekha (1967 film)

Indulekha (1999 film)

Indulekha (novel)

Indulekha.com

Indunil Herath

Industry in ancient Tamil country

Inext

Infantry Training Centre (Sri Lanka Army)

Informatics Institute of Technology

Information Technology Lokam

Information Technology in Sri Lanka

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka

Ingane Oru Nilapakshi

Inganeyum Oral

Inginimitiya Dam

Ingiriya

Ingiriya Divisional Secretariat

Inglis Island (Ritchie's Archipelago)

Inguruwatta

Ini Avan

Inigala

Injakkadan Mathai & Sons

Injipuli

Innaiah Narisetti

Innale

Innallenkil Naale

Innanu Aa Kalyanam

Inni Vendham

Innocent (actor)

Inoka Galagedara

Inoka Ranaweera

Inoka Rohini de Silva

Inoka Sathyangani

Inoshi Priyadharshani

Inspector Balram

Inspector Dawood Ibrahim

Inspector Garud

Inspector General of Police (Sri Lanka)

Inspector-general of police

Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka

Institute of Chemistry Ceylon

Institute of Engineering Technology, Sri Lanka

Institute of Fundamental Studies

Institute of Higher National Diploma in Engineering

Institute of Indigenous Medicine

Institute of Management of Sri Lanka

Institute of Policy Studies (Sri Lanka)

Institute of Technological Studies

Institute of Technology, University of Moratuwa

Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka

Institution of Incorporated Engineers, Sri Lanka

Inter University Students' Federation

Inter-Provincial Cricket

Inter-Provincial First Class Tournament

Inter-Provincial Limited Over Tournament

Inter-Provincial Twenty20

Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network

Interim Self Governing Authority

Internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka

International Agreement for the Establishment of the University for Peace

International Agreement for the suppression of the White Slave Traffic

International Air Services Transit Agreement

International Buddhist Museum

International Centre for Underutilised Crops

International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties

International Convention against Doping in Sport

International Convention concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace

International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency

International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children

International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage

International Convention on Load Lines

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage

International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid

International Convention to Facilitate the Importation of Commercial Samples and Advertising Material

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

International Islamic University, Chittagong

International Luteray

International Opium Convention

International Plant Protection Convention

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

International Sugar Agreement

International Telugu Institute

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

International Water Management Institute

International XI cricket team in Pakistan, India and Ceylon in 1967–68

International awards by Sanath Jayasuriya

International cricket record by Sri Lanka on home grounds

Interport matches

Interview Group

Interview Island

Inthi Ninna Preethiya

Inuvil

Inuvil railway station

Invasion of Ceylon (1795)

Ipalogama Divisional Secretariat

Ipiladana

Ipomoea aquatica

Ipsea

Ipsea speciosa

Iqbal Athas

Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury

Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan

Iqbal Z. Ahmed

Ira Handa Yata

Ira Laga Wadi

Ira Madiyama

Ira Sewaya

Iragai Pole

Irahanda

Iraj Weeraratne

Irakal

Irakkamam

Irakkandi Bridge

Iran Indika

Iranaipalai

Iranama

Iranamadu

Iranamadu Airport

Iranamadu Tank

Iranganie Serasinghe

Irani café

Iran–Sri Lanka relations

Irasma

Iratperiyakulam railway station

Irattakuttikalude Achan

Iravatham Mahadevan

Irayimman Thampi

Irfan Husain

Irfan Sukkur

Iriyagolla

Irosh Samarasooriya

Irrahanda

Irrawaddy dolphin

Irreligion in Sri Lanka

Irrigation works in ancient Sri Lanka

Irshad Umar

Irula language

Irupatham Noottandu

Irura pulchra

Iruresa

Iruttinte Athmavu

Iruvattam Manavaatti

Irwin Jayasuriya

Isaac Newton S/O Philipose

Isaac Thomas Kottukapally

Isaak Augustijn Rumpf

Isabella (1988 film)

Isai Nunukkam

Isaipriya

Isari Velan

Ischnothyreus bipartitus

Ischnothyreus lymphaseus

Ischnurges gratiosalis

Ishaan Dev

Ishak Sahabdeen

Ishan Abeysekara

Ishan Jayaratne

Ishan Kishan

Ishan Mutaliph

Ishan Nilaksha

Ishani Senanayake

Ishanka De Alwis

Ishara Amerasinghe

Ishara Prashan

Ishtakamya

Ishtam (2001 Malayalam film)

Ishwar Pathshala

Isipathana College

Isipathanaramaya Temple

Islam in Sri Lanka

Islampur – Patna Express

Island Cricket

Island Hermitage

Island North Divisional Secretariat

Island South Divisional Secretariat

Ismail Merchant

Isometrus garyi

Isonandra lanceolata

Isonandra montana

Ispahani Public School & College

Ispahani Public School & College, Comilla

Israel–Sri Lanka relations

Isura Devapriya

Isuru Perera

Isuru Udana

Isurumuniya

Isurumuniya Museum

It's a Wonderful Afterlife

Italian sloop Eritrea

Itha Oru Snehagatha

Ithalukalkappuram

Ithente Neethi

Ithihasa

Ithihasam

Ithinumappuram

Ithramathram (2012 film)

Ithu Nammude Katha

Ithu Njangalude Katha

Ittamalliyagoda

Ittar

Ivan Corea

Ivan Corea (Autism Campaign and Journalist)

Ivan Maryadaraman

Ivan Megharoopan

Ivan Peries

Ivar (2003 film)

Ivar Vivahitharayal

Ivor Jennings

Ivurawala

Ivy Josiah

Iwanka Sanjula

Ixora calycina

Ixora jucunda

Iyengar Tamil

Iyothee Thass

Izzat Hussain

Iṉiyavai Nāṟpatu

Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu

Colonial conflicts involving the English/British Empire
17th
century
18th
century
19th
century
20th
century
European presence in Sri Lanka

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.