Folio of pencil, ink and watercolour sketches by Thomas Marriott, third son of Randolph Marriott Esq (1736-1807) of Leases in Yorkshire, formerly a merchant in the British East India Company (H.E.I.C.S.). Thomas Marriott arrived in Madras in 1791 as
an Ensign in Madras Army, 1st Native Infantry. In 1792-1793 he was promoted to Lieutenant and served under Col. Hamilton Maxwell "in quelling the rebellion of the Southern Polygars". In 1793 he took part in the Siege of Pondicherry, serving in the engineer corps. Following the death of Tipu Sultan, ruler of the kingdom of Mysore, during the siege of Seringapatum Marriott was placed in charge of the Mysore Princes. He was promoted to Captain in 1800, Major in 1804 and Lieutenant-Colonel in 1805. He sailed for England on furlough in 1807, returning to India in 1811. He was appointed Colonel in 1814, stationed at Bangalore. He sailed for England on furlough in 1820 and was promoted to the rank of Major-general in July 1821 but did not return to India.[ref: entry for Major-General Thomas Marriott in 'The East India Military Calendar; containing the services of general and field officers of the Indian Army', 1826]
This folio comprises 8 large sheets sewn onto linen stubs and housed in a 58x45cm folder with marbled paper boards. Sheet 1 has 4 images tipped in on the sheet, all but one captioned below image and captioned and signed TMtt on the verso of each drawing. One sketch is missing, its absence revealed by the title on the sheet below its original location: From the Beach of Pondicherry. One small ship in the Roads with the Moon Rays falling, beyond it a surfe &c.
The 7 other sheets - images numbered 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 - are each formed by large single images sewn directly onto a linen stub. A contents list tipped into the inside front board of the folio provides details of the missing sketches: 5. Bursting of a Shell in the inside of the Enfilading Battery at Pondicherry in the night -- 7. S.W. View Fort St. George, from the Island, the front ground occupied by the Kanaats of the Hostage Princes & their Encampment, March 1794 -- 11. Kistnaghurry North West View -- 12. Kistnaghurry South West View -- 13. Kistnaghurry North East View.
Drawing no.7 is held in the India Office collection of the British Library, purchased in 1990 and catalogued as 'The tents of the hostage sons of Tipu Sultan on the Island, Madras, with Fort St George beyond'.
All but one of the sketches are signed TMtt. Sheet 1 is also inscribed on the verso 'Randolph Marriott Esq / Thirsk' in a large bold hand and the verso of Sheet 2 carries an annotation in the same hand: 'Spoilt by ye paper inking'. Randolph Marriott's signature on the verso of sheet 1 led Sotheby's to attribute all of the sketches in this folio to him, rather than his son Thomas, when the folio was sold at auction in London in November 2002. [MM, September 2019]