Trincomalee and Colombo
The British first took control of the island from the Dutch in 1795. It was a byproduct of the Revolutionary Wars. Once the French had occupied Holland and created their Batavian satellite Republic, the British felt free to move on Dutch colonies across the world. Ceylon was no exception.

The 72nd Foot from India, landed just outside of Trincomalee on August 1st. They advanced on the port and laid siege to the fortress there. The port was under British control by August 26th. The British advanced towards Colombo meeting little resistance from the Dutch but a more determined effort from their Swiss and Malay mercenaries. In the end, the Swiss were paid off by the British. The Swiss under de Meuron duly switched allegiance and fought for the British for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars.

Although, Colombo capitulated on February 15th, 1796, the interior of the island was still very much under the control of the Kandyan kings.

First Kandyan War
Town and Lake of Kandy
British Commander 1795
Colonel James Stuart
British Forces
72nd Foot
Bibliography
Calladine, G
The Diary of Colour-Sergeant George Calladine
de Silva, Colvin
Ceylon under the British Occupation
Hernon, Ian
Britain's Forgotten Wars
Johnston, Arthur, Major
A Narrative of an Expedition to Candy in the Year 1804
Mendis, G
Ceylon under the British
Mills, L
Ceylon under British Rule
Pieris P.E
Sinhale and the Patriots
Powell, G
The Kandyan Wars: The British Army in Ceylon 1803 - 1818
Vimalananda, T.
The Great Rebellion of 1818


Indian Campaigns








by Stephen Luscombe