Madras Army

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The Madras Army was one of the East India Company Armies. Its origins lie in the raising of the first troops at Fort St George which was constructed in 1640 to defend Madras.


Madras Regiments

A list of Madras Army regiments, alphabetically by type, can be found in the main article Madras Army Regiments.


British Library

The links for the following catalogue references are National Archives Discovery links. For British Library equivalent links, search directly in the British Library’s "Search our Catalogue Archives and Manuscripts".

Other records available in the British Library India Office holdings include:

Please note that the Registers of Madras Army European Soldiers IOR/L/MIL/11/101-108 1786-1860 commenced in 1831 and only contain men still serving in the Army at that date. They are the recommended records to look at initially for men serving from 1831. If a man left the Army prior to 1831 for any reason, including death, he will not appear in these records. The Muster records are an alternative source of information.
FamilySearch (LDS (Mormons)) have filmed many of these records, most of which are now available as digitised microfilm. Search the FamilySearch catalogue by entering keywords such as Madras Army. In particular, “Registers of Madras Army European soldiers, 1786-1860” (catalogue entry) and “Madras army muster, quarterly, annual and casualty rolls, 1762-1907” (catalogue entry) are available.
Note: Microfilm ordering services ceased September 2017, however selected microfilms have been digitised and are currently available for viewing on a FamilySearch computer at a FamilySearch Centre or FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Locate these records through the FamilySearch catalogue. It is expected that in time all microfilms will be similarly available in this format. See FamilySearch Centres for viewing details.
  • Military Department Library: Madras Army IOR/L/MIL/17/3 1787-1904 includes
    • Madras Army List IOR/L/MIL/17/3/1-329 1810-1895
    • Madras Army General and Regimental Histories, Biographical Compilations IOR/L/MIL/17/3/511-520 1852-1943.
  • Soldiers’ and Officers’ Wills IOR/L/AG/34/30 1825-1881 (varies according to Presidency and whether a soldier or an officer). These records are available on findmypast

Fibis Database

Other sources

The National Army Museum holds a card index detailing officer's services. This index is unpublished and not available elsewhere. See the NAM article for details.

Recommended reading

  • When the Tiger Fought the Thistle – The Tragedy of Colonel William Baillie of the Madras Army by Alan Tritton 2013. Review by Peter Bailey in FIBIS Journal Number 31 (Spring 2014), page 55. For access, see FIBIS Journals
Events in the 2nd Mysore War

External links

Historical books online

1st April 1822 Google Books
Tamil Digital Library (using the Search) has six volumes catalogued as A List of the Officers of the Army, five of which appear to be this publication. Download appears possible. 1 June 1807, 1 March 1812, possibly 1 October 1813, 1 September 1817, 1 August 1819.
Indian Army Uniforms by W Y Carman 1969. Full title: Indian Army Uniforms under the British from the 18th century to 1947 : Artillery, Engineers and Infantry. version, mirror from Digital Library of India. Note: Original colour plates are in black and white and most illustrations are of poor quality.
All 5 volumes, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek.
A plan of Madura, catalogued as Rajshahi Revolt against British Rule (1763-4). George III's collection of military maps, Royal Collection Trust.
Memoir of General John Briggs, of the Madras Army; with comments on some of his words and work by Major Evans Bell 1885 General Briggs joined the Madras Army July 1801, and left India in 1835.
An account of the origin, progress, and consequences of the late discontents of the army on the Madras establishment 1810 Google Books.
Accurate and Authentic Narrative of the Origin and Progress of the Dissentions at the Presidency of Madras: Founded on Original Papers and Correspondence [by George Buchan] 1810. Google Books.
A Letter from an Officer at Madras to a Friend formerly in that Service now in England, exhibiting the Rise, Progress and Actual State of the Late Unfortunate Insurrection in the Indian Army 1810 Google Books. Events in 1808-1809. 2nd edition corrected, 1810., digital page 68 of a book file about the Indian Mutiny of 1857 titled The English Captives in Oudh.
Observations on the disturbances in the Madras Army in 1809 by Sir John Malcolm 1812 Google Books. Part I. Observations on the causes and progress of the disturbances in the Madras army, Part. II. A narrative of the conduct of Lieut.-Colonel Malcolm during the disturbances in the Madras army
Plans and Views illustrating the Journals of the Sieges of the Madras Army, etc by Edward Lake, 1825. British Library Digital. Notes: Imperfect; wanting the titlepage and list of plates.
2nd edition, with corrections and large additions, 1829
The Madras Soldier 1746-1946 by Lt.-Col. E G Phythian-Adams Revised and enlarged edition 1947