The Babylonian Captivity At Seringapatnam

©Lúcio Mascarenhas.
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I have sat down and transcribed many relevant passages from two books that have much to say on the subject of the "Pinto Conspiracy". However, while at it, I have been also drawn into citing and interpreting, passages that also tell of the Babylonian Captivity of the Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatnam, which is a topic deeply involved in the former one, and greater in significance than the former.

The first thing I notice is the absolute lack of any blame being levied on the Portuguese or the Inquisition for the migrations of the Goan ancestors of the Mangaloreans to Tuluva, as due to some pretended persecution of these converts to Christianity, by any ancient Mangalorean source document, by Tipu Sultan, or by the accounts recorded by the English, such as Ravenshaw, which last would be obviously that supplied by the Mangaloreans themselves!

What these various accounts confirm are these events:
  1. The Arrival of the Portuguese in Goa, and their seizure of Goa;
  2. Their ultimatum to the Hindus, some decades later, to convert or to leave within a specific period of days;
  3. Emigrations of Goan Christians to the Kingdom of Bednore at the solicitation of its kings in order to open lands for cultivation, given the reputation of the Goans of that time for being exemplar agriculturists.
What these various accounts DO NOT MENTION:
  1. That Goan Christians emigrated to the Kingdom of Bednore due to some pretended persecution either by the Portuguese on cultural grounds (prohibition against keeping pagan names and social rites);
  2. Or due to some pretended persecution by the Holy Inquisition.
Again, these various accounts verify the historical fact that the Government of Goa expelled the remaining minority of Goan Hindus, after giving them an ultimatum; but there is no verification of the vile lies that any Goan was forced to convert, whether by bread or beef being cast in their well water, or by having beef forcibly rubbed into their faces, so that, pretendedly, they had no other option but to become Christian!

If in fact these claims, or rather pretensions, had any historical basis, it would have been pounced upon and reiterated at that time, both by Tipu, and by the English, who, being Protestants, harbored a prejudice against the Catholics. The absence of any such claims or pretensions is deafening.

And it only goes to prove my contention that these claims or pretensions are latter, fabricated inventions....

The flagrant lies about bread or beef being cast into wells, or of beef being rubbed on the mouth, were invented by the recalcitrant Hindu fugitives; the flagrant lies about emigration due to persecution at the hands of the Holy Inquisition, a body wholly in keeping with the principles of the Bible, were invented and instigated by the Protestants and Freemasons!


Lúcio
Sources:
  1. Severine Silva, "History of Christianity in Canara", 2 Volumes. Printed by Pandurang Krishna Shanbhag at the Star of Kanara Press, Kumta, and Published by Severine Silva, Hillside, Karwar. Imprimatur, Michael J. Rodrigues, D.D., Bishop of Belgaum, February 13, 1957.
  2. Fr. Cosme José Costa, M.A., B.Ed., Professor of Church History at the All India Mission Seminary of the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, Pilar, Goa: A Missiological Conflict Between Padroado & Propaganda In The East, Pilar Publications, Pilar, Goa.

Notes:
  1. Seringapatnam: This city was established by a surviving prince of the Imperial House of Vijayanagar, when, after it's armies were defeated at the Battle of Talikote, and it was sacked, the prince Sri Ranga fled to the hills in the west, and there, in the eastern slopes of the Sahyadri Mountains ("Western Ghauts"), established his new capital, calling it after himself, as the "City of Sri Ranga" or "Sri-Ranga-Patinam". This name was corrupted by other language groups as Seringapatnam, and the Mangalorean Concannim colloquially call it "Patana".


  2. Nagar: This city is the famous Bednore of earlier histories, and the capital of a dynasty that gained paramountcy over the neighboring kings in the coastal tract properly called Tuluva-Haiva, which are ancient names, and erroneously called "Canara" or "Kanara" by the Europeans. It was captured by Haider Ali who renamed it Haider-nagar, or "City of Haider", but is colloquially called by the locals as "Nagar".


  3. Soonda & Canacona: The Concan or Konkan extends beyond Goa till the river Gangaveli (Gongolim), beyond which is the land of Haiva; beyond Haiva is Tuluva, and beyond it is the Malabar, or "Kerala", the Kingdom of the Khera or Chera dynasty. That part of the Concan beyond Goa and upto Haiva was raised as the Kingdom of Soonda, Sunda or Sonda, which is the name of a minor city made capital by a line of minor princes who took advantage of the collapse of the Vijayanagar Empire to establish their own independent petty kingdoms. The name "Canacona" is another name for this same kingdom of Soonda, and is a corruption of the native name "Concan"; it is probable that the Soonda rajas were either ethnic Kannadigas or, like the Imperial House of Vijayanagar, ethnic Tulus. This kingdom at one time included the city of Kadwad, which was sacked and destroyed during wars, and re-established a short distance away as the present city of Karwar, just south of Goa's frontiers, and also a famous and strategic fortress called Piro. The kingdom was occupied by Haider and then by Tipu, but a part, with the help of Goa was maintained independent, and when the last king grew old, and since he had no heirs, he bequeathed his lands to Portugal on the express promise that freedom of religion would continue to be permitted there. These became the Goan provinces or Conselhos of Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona.

Beginnings & End

The "Babylonian Captivity" of the Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatnam, began on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 1784, and ended when the English extinguished Tippu — the Cockroach of Mysore — on May 4, 1799 — a period of 15 years!

Suppression & Restoration Of Jesuits

Costa, p. 21: Jesuits suppressed by Pombal 1759; by Pope 1773.

Severino da Silva, p. 169: Pope Clement VII restored the Society of Jesus on August 5, 1814 by his Bull Solicitudo Omnium Ecclesiae.

The Jesuits became the one order that more than any other Catholic order, took the lies and coy pretensions of the Protestants and utterly demolished them as the humbug that it all was, so that the Jesuits came to be hated and feared by heretics and "free thinkers" all over Europe, as the creators and sustainers of the Catholic Counter-Reformation that saved Poland, France, Italy, Hungary, Southern Germany and other lands from apostacy to Protestantism. Cutting across state loyalties, the Protestant and "Free Thinker" renegades joined together across Europe in a loud chorus of "indignant" voices denouncing the Jesuits as being an obstacle to social and scientific progress, and these renegades cultivated the cupidity and stupidity of the Bourbon branches ruling in France, Spain, and a few other petty states, to pressurize the Pope to ban the order. As a direct result, the only significant ideological force of Catholicism was destroyed, thus emboldening these vermin to come out into the daylight, and they rewarded their foolish masters, the Bourbons, with the French Revolution, which murdered so many of these stupid Bourbons.

The French Revolution was a significant moving cause that created conditions favorable for the Babylonian Captivity of the Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatinam; for one thing, it alarmed Catholics worldwide against France and its allies, such as Haider Ali and his son Tipu; for another, it emboldened such vermin as Tipu, the Osama bin Laden of his day, to persecute Christians indiscriminately, relying on the turmoil and pre-occupation of the European powers with the Revolutionary Wars, and relying also on the anti-Catholic vehemency of their allies, the apostate, Revolutionary French.

Shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Papacy acted rapidly to restore the Jesuit order.

Native Catholic "Brahminism"

Costa, p. 26: «Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi, 1655-1667) by his Papal Brief Sacrosancti Apostolatus Officii addressed to the Vicar Capitular of Goa on January 18, 1658, insisted on the ordination at least of natives of nobler classes (qui ex nobili sunt genere); for some time this provision was misinterpreted to exclude non-Brahmins from the priesthood in Goa and also in India»

It is evident that soon after the evangelization of Goa, the converts became lukewarm and reverted to their former social habits, especially the Brahmins, of social parasitism, derogating physical labor as demeaning and seeking to monopolize the priesthood and spiritual leadership. This in turn caused a reaction among the Europeans who began to distrust these priests of Brahmin origin as unreliable and soon it became odious for them to entertain any of these in their ranks.

For example, at the time of the consecration of Tomé de Castro as Vicar Apostolic, the Theatines in Goa protested his admission to their order in Rome and bound themselves by a vow not to accept him into their community for the same above reason.

Malefactors and vile men have pretended that the Europeans were discriminating against all natives, when in fact the Europeans specifically and pointedly restricted their exclusion to these parasitical Brahmins, and yet, even from among these Brahmins, when they found good men, they did not hesitate to entrust major offices, including bishoprics, to them!

The Pinto Conspiracy: "O Conjuracaõ dos Pintos"

Costa, p. 46: Pope Urban VIII appointed Mathias de Castro Vicar Apostolic of Bijapur in 1637, who made his residence at Bicholim, then part of the Sultanate of Bijapur, on the border of Goa. Castro wrote insulting letters to the Archbishop of Goa and the Viceroy demanding their cooperation; both refused, and Archbishop Dom Francisco dos Martyres refused to accept him as legitimate. Castro returned to Rome in 1943 but before that, ordained seven Goan priests without dismissorial letters from the Archbishop of Goa. In spite of this violation of Canon Law, he was protected by Msgr. Ingoli, Secretary of the Holy Congregation of Propaganda Fide, and sent back with an extension of his jurisdiction to include the kingdoms of Golkonda, the Mughal Empire (or "Grand Mogul"), Pegu (Burma) and also Ethiopia. It is alleged that Mathias had previously gone to the Court of the Mughal Emperor and instigated him to expel the Jesuits, dependent on Goa, from Agra and Hooghly — See the Mughal's Rape of Hooghly and Bandel, 1632; however this is improbable. It is more probable that the Emperor was instigated by the Dutch then fighting Spain & Portugal. It is further alleged that Mathias de Castro, during his second residence as Vicar Apostolic, conspired with the Sultan of Bijapur to foment a rebellion in Goa but this conspiracy was exposed and foiled, and he thereafter retired to Rome once again, in 1669, where he died in 1679.

Costa, p. 47: In 1671, Pope Clement IX appointed another Goan, Dom Custodio do Pinho as the Vicar Apostolic as the successor to Mathias de Castro, later making him also, Apostolic Visitor of the Malabar. Pinho was on good terms with Goa and was asked to ordain priests for Goa when the Archdiocese was vacant for 23 years during 1652-1675, when Portugal seceded from Spain, and the Pope could not appoint a successor to Archbishop Dos Martyres due to conflicting Spanish and Portuguese claims. Pinho was a native of Verna, consecrated a bishop in 1669 and resided at Bicholim. He died in Benaulim in 1697, while that place was part of the Kingdom of Soonda — now a part of Goa.

Costa, p. 47: Also in 1671, Pope Clement IX appointed Tomé de Castro [aka "Monsignor Fulsivelence"], nephew of Mathias de Castro, as Vicar Apostolic of the Kingdoms of Cochin, Tanjore, Ginji, Madura, Mysore, and for Cranganore, Mangalore, etc. Like his uncle, Tomé was arrogant and insolent, and so was rejected by the Goan authorities. He died on July 16, 1685. He was the man with whom Padre José Vas had to deal with during his deputation to the Missoa do Sul of Mangalore.

Costa, p. 53-54: "Although the Marques de Pombal had stated in 1759 at the time of the suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal, that Goan Christians were not to be discriminated against in the matter of holding high posts, when the Marques retired, the policy was reversed. There were at this time two vacant posts of suffragan bishops; and with an eye on them, Fr. José Antonio Gonsalves from Divar, a brilliant professor of Philosophy at the Seminary of Choraõ and Fr. Caetano Francisco Couto, another brilliant Goan priest from Panjim sailed to Lisbon in 1781. Fr. Couto had been the episcopal governor of the diocese of Cochin from 1777. He had worked with great zeal and had baptized 5000 non-Christians besides reducing many separated brethren to the unity of the faith. In 1782 Fr. Gonsalves presented himself to a stiff examination in Rome and secured his doctorate without going through the normal course.

"However all their efforts to secure a better deal for Indians failed. The Padroado could not reconcile themselves to the idea of their colonial subjects becoming bishops; the Propaganda was biased against the Goan priests due to the adverse reports sent by the afore mentioned Vicar Apostolic
[apparently a native of France who had been Vicar Apostolic in the Carnatic, a man hostile to Portugal and to "Goanese" priests who refused to rebel against the Archbishop of Goa and to submit to the Vicar Apostolics instead — Lúcio]. Instigated by these two priests, the Goans in Lisbon decided to oust the Portuguese from Goa, getting the help of some dissatisfied Goan elements in the army and Tippu Sultan, ruler of Mysore, and other neighboring rulers [This was after this Muslim fanatic had already acted against the Catholics in his control, the infamous "Babylonian Captivity at Seringapatnam, and was breathlessly eager to do an encore on Goa! — Lúcio] With this plot in mind, Fr. Gonsalves and Fr. Couto returned to Goa and influnced the Goan leaders of the army. But two traitors disclosed this plot to the Portuguese. Reprisals followed. Fr. Gonsalves and eight others escaped to Ajra, in Maratha territory, and a price was set on Fr. Gonsalves' head. Fr. Gonsalves sought refuge with Tippu Sultan [who obviously was delighted to harbor this renegade; even as he imprisoned the Vicar General of Mangalore, Fr. José Miguel Luis de Mendes, the Goan priest who remained to succour the Mangaloreans, in the Fortress of Jamalabad! (See Silva later on below) — Lúcio] After Tippu's overthrow, he made his way to Calcutta and made his living by teaching in an English school.

"The conspirators who were in Goa were arrested. The other priests involved were exiled to Portugal and interned there. From the army men, 15 were sentenced to death, 5 to be flogged and 5 to be exiled. The death sentence was executed in a barbarous manner. Their hands were cut and their bleeding bodies were tied to the tails of horses, paraded through the city and at the place of execution, the heads of the corpses were cut off, corpses cut in parts and exposed in Candolim and different places of Goa to instill terror.

"The head of the rebels in the army was one officer of high rank from Candolim, Lt. Manuel Caetano Pinto. Hence it came to be known as the Conspiracy of the Pintos ["O Conjuracaõ dos Pintos"].

"The Father of Scientific Hypnotism, Abbe Faria, also from Candolim, was another Goan priest afire with nationalism, who could not rise in his native country and so went to France. During the French Revolution in 1789, he commanded one of the sections which on Vindimare 10, marched on the Convention and on Vindimare 13, was machine-gunned by Napoleon Bonaparte. When order was restored in Paris, Abbe Faria took to the teaching profession as Professor at the Lyceum at Marseilles, Nimes, etc.

"Meanwhile, Tippu Sultan appointed him ambassador to Napoleon Bonaparte, inviting the latter to come to India and help him to drive out the British. While Napoleon came to Egypt, Tippu died fighting the British at Seringapatnam in 1799.

"In August 1813, Abbe Faria started his lectures on hypnotism at the Rue d'Clinchy. His practical demonstration attracted a lot of attention. But he was grossly misunderstood. Hypnotism was a science, so he resisted the Church's ban on its practice. He refused to accept the influence of the devil on the human body. Only in 1856 the Holy See recognized that there was nothing wrong in the scientific appreciation of Hypnotism."


Napoleon Bonaparte took advantage of the civil war among the Revolutionaries to seize power for himself and make himself "Emperor of France". He imprisoned and savagely persecuted the Pope and his entire College of Cardinals, and proceeded to attempt to break away the French Church from Rome, before his plans were foiled by his defeat at Waterloo. Before that, he had attempted to invade India, and invaded Egypt in an effort to reach India, but was defeated and forced to withdraw. Frustrated, he attempted to invade India through an invasion of Russia and Central Asia, the failure of which was the beginning of his end.

Another element in this jigsaw is provided by the French author Jules Verne. Children are provided his books as innocent entertainment, but innocent is far from what he is. The "hero" of his "12,000 leagues under the Sea" is a "Captain Nemo", who is described as the nephew of Tipu Sultan out to seek revenge on the English! Implicitly, therefore, Tipu was "good" and was "wronged" by the English. That the Catholics of Mangalore might desire revenge against Tipu escaped Jules Verne! Jules Verne thereby demonstrates himself to be a hypocrite, a Freemason and one who sympathised with the anti-Christian "French Revolution", and who very evidently bore a hatred for Christians!

Silva, p. 135 fl.: "There is another episode which happened in 1786 and should be mentioned here. Though it occurred in Goa, it had vast repercussions on the future conduct of Tippu, and possibly alleviated the cruelties to a great extent. There was for some time a great desire on the part of the secular clergy in Goa to aspire for higher positions which was supposed to be reserved only for the Portuguese. In this connection, Pombal appeared to be in favor of this move by the secular clergy of Goa. Accordingly, Pombal was responsible for the appointment of a Goan priest for the vacant Bishopric of Cochin. Till Pombal's death, the move was approved by the Archbishop of Goa. But after his death, the man was removed from the office.

"This act irritated all the Goan secular clergy. Two priests, Pe. Caetan Francis Couto of Panjim
(he had been in Canara, and escaped Tipu to Goa in 1784) and Pe. José Antony Gonsalves of Divadin attempted to raise a revolt against the Portuguese administration in Goa. They traveled as far as Lisbon with their application for higher posts for the secular clergy. But they failed. On their return, they set up the Indian army against the State. They were joined in this movement by notable personalities of Goa, specially Abbe Faria. The French promised them help. It is said that correspondence was commenced with Tippu Sultan to be ready in Karwar to march into Goa when the signal of revolt was announced. The rising was expected to take place on August 10, 1786. But the whole plot was betrayed by one priest, Pe. Pedro Caetan José Lobo. The information was given to the police by the Archbishop. When investigation commenced, 47 people were arrested and 9 escaped. All these were put under court martial and a memorable trial commenced. When direct evidence failed, concocted witnesses were put up in the witness box and a conviction was obtained. 15 were sentenced to be hanged. The sentence was carried out with great cruelty. Though no documentary evidence is available of the help requested from Tippu, the judgment of the court martial has revealed the whole story."

As against the cute pretensions of the malicious renegades, it remains fact that many Goans were made Bishops, or even as priests, entrusted with senior and responsible positions, before the Pinto Conspiracy. There is, for example, the case of Monsignor Antonio José de Noronha, who was such a close friend and confidante of Hyder Ali, that he even participated with him in the siege and capture of the fort of Chik-Ballapur (Silva, p. 95). According to Costa (p. 93), Msgr. Noronha was from Goa Velha, a Franciscan sent to the Coromandel Mission in 1741, where he "had an agitated career which took him to Paris; there he was appointed Padroado Bishop of Halicarnassus in Partibus infidelium but died in Goa, in 1776, on his return, before his consecration."

Costa, p. 86: "Padre André Gomes of Mormugaõ, the Vicar Forane of Canara, was elected Padroado Vicar Apostolic of Canara, but the Bull of his nomination reached Goa when he had already expired as Parish Priest of Agaçaim, in the Ilhas de Goa in 1657.

"Dom Rafael Figueiredo Salgado, born at Cochim, Malabar, of Indo-Portuguese parents, was Vicar General of Cochin from 1671 to 1677; in 1677 he was made Propaganda Bishop and consecrated by the Vicar Apostolic Tomé de Castro, at Calicut. Due to trouble with the local Christians, he retired to Goa in 1677 / 1678, returning as the Padroado Vicar General, before resuming title as the Vicar Apostolic in 1687. He died in 1695 at Palipuram.

"Dom Manoel de Santo Antonio, a native of Benaulim in Goa was made Padroado Bishop of Malacca by Pope Clement XI in 1701. A famous Dominican theologian, he was praised by King Dom Pedro II of Portugal for raising Christianity in Solor and Timor, then part of the Diocese of Malacca.

"Dom Manoel de Jesu Maria José, O.S.A., of Dauguinim, Professor of Philosophy and Theology in Goa, was made Padroado Bishop of Saõ Tomé de Meliapore in 1788 where he died in 1800 in service."


Costa, p. 94: "Fr. Paulo de Sa of Choraõ near Divar was Episcopal Governor of the Padroado Diocese of Saõ Tomé de Meliapore during episcopal vacancy in 1709.

"Fr. Francisco Joaõ Pinto of Porvorim in Bardez was Episcopal Governor of the Padroado Diocese of Moçambique in 1801-02."


Since Costa does not record Fr. José Miguel Luis Mendes of Uccaçaim, nor anywhere pretends that his list of Goan clerics is exhaustive, I can easily apprehend that there were many more Goan bishops or who were appointed to senior positions!

We must ask why Frs. Gonçalves and Couto were so obsessed with high positions. Such an obsession, despite all their natural abilities and talents, and even more, because of their pride in their superior abilities, is a sign of spiritual decay, pride, and all negative powers; evidence of their unfitness for the positions they aspired for. That they aspired for these positions from merely worldly reasons and not for spiritual reasons is further proven by their treason and by their happily conspiring with the French and Tippu Sultan, which conspiracy, if it had succeeded, would have utterly destroyed Christian Goa!

These are the words of an Italian Carmelite missionary, Fr. Francis Xavier of St. Anne, O.C.D., (Rafael Pavone?) of the Sunkery Mission:
...Goa has no men fit for the purpose (of evangelization and of ministration). The Canarin priests if formerly ill adapted for such a holy ministry, have now made themselves totally unworthy. Who could believe it? Not a few of them joined together with many laymen of their nation, plotted to kill all the Portuguese, either by the sword or by putting poison in their bread. Thus they hoped to become absolute masters of that dominion.

The leaders were three: a certain Vittorino, who is still in Portugal, and two others who returned in April 1786 — by name Cajetan Cotto and J.A. Gonzalvez. The last managed to run away and found shelter among the Gentiles. All the others are now strictly guarded in prison.

It is true that the conspiracy was discovered in time, but let us hope that Goa may not perish through the tyrant of Mysore with whom it is held for certain that the conspirators had secret dealings.
(Silva, Vol. II, p. 36)
It would also be worthwhile to read a letter from the Goan Archives: Document # 6 in the annexed page.

Causes of the Captivity

Haider Ali was the commander of the armies of the Hindu King or Wodeyar of Mysore. Taking advantage of the minority of the king, he sidelined him and made himself the de facto master of Mysore. However, it was against his ethics to break faith completely with his master, the king, "of whose salt he had eaten", and so never usurped the title of sovereign for himself. On December 7, 1782, Nawab Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur died at Seringapatnam of a carbuncle. Four days later, Tippu hurried to Seringapatnam and assumed the reins of Government. Unlike his father, he had no compunction in usurping the throne and assuming for himself the position of sovereign. The true sovereign and his family fled to the English at Madras and remained there in exile until they were restored when Tippu was finally overthrown.

Silva, p. 106: "Eloy Joze Correa Peixoto, a Portuguese, who was an officer in Hyder's army and who knew Tippu intimately, says: 'The Nawab's son is as cruel as can be said, wretched and of worse actions than can be found in any person. No chief is desirous of accompanying him, for he is imprudent, for which reason his fortune will last no longer than his father lives or his disgrace which he has hath changed into victories of which he runs great risks, for there is not one person of his servants or in the other kingdoms that loves him naturally; and if some make a show outwardly, they make a virtue out of a necessity' (Memoirs Of My Service Under Hyder Ali, From 1758 to 1770, by Eloy José Correa Peixoto).

"Wilks, an Englishman, said: 'He could neither be characterized as liberal or parsimonious; as tyrannical or benevolent; as a man of talents or destitute of parts. By turns he assumed the character of each. In one subject alone he appeared to be consistent, having perpetually on his tongue the projects of Jehad — Holy War' (Wilks, Mysore, II, p. 381).

"Fr. Francis Xavier: '...though Tippu Sultan was addicted to the Mahommadan superstition he was showing great religious indifference, and never showed any zeal for the Mahommadan sect; but he was singularly hostile to the Christian name'" (History of the Sunkery Mission, Ch. XVII).

Silva, p. 118: "According to Fr. Francis Xavier of St. Anne, 'About the beginning of 1784, Tippu began to give sufficiently clear signs of his hatred towards us Christians. Then it was rumored that this great hatred was infused in him by some pretended prophets of his sect, who, going to him, told him that his kingdom would not be firm unless he led all the Christians to give their name to the Mahomedan religion and unless he completely eliminated the Christian name from his kingdom'" (History Of The Sunkery Mission, Ch. XVII).

Silva, p. 111 fl.: "Tippu's war policy completely drained the treasury. (While his father had increased the tax burden of Canara from 2,20,229 Star-Pagodas, to 4,63,153 Star-Pagodas), Tippu increased it to 7,49,778 Star-Pagodas.

"On December 14, 1782,
(January 12, 1783, according to Wilks) the English landed in Canara under General Mathews with positive orders from the Bombay Government, that 'if the intelligence were confirmed (of Hyder's death) to relinquish all operations whatever upon the sea coast and make an immediate push to take possession of Bednore.' "General Mathews landed at Cundapur. He was fully aware that the army and the provisions and other material that he had at his disposal was quite inadequate for the task he was ordered to undertake. 'Continuing to protest against the insufficiency of his means and to disclaim all responsibility for consequences, he proceeded in the same spirit of precipitate obedience' (Wilks, Mysore, II, p. 54). He had only 400 Europeans and 1200 native sepoys. As luck had it, the march ended with the capture of Bednore itself. He was now in possession of the whole country westward of the range of mountains from Sadashivgad to Mangalore, beyond the passes he possessed Bednore, Anantpur and the fortress of Cowley-doorg. A detachment sought to obtain possession of the the former kingdom of Soonda. The only resistance he suffered from the enemy was at Hosangadi, 4 miles west of the Mysore border.

"It was a puzzle how the general could accomplish such a task with such meager resources. But the general himself answers it: 'To what', says General Mathews, 'can it be owing but to the divine will, that my army without provisions or musket ammunition should have our wants supplied as we advanced for without the enemy's rice and powder and ball we must have stopped until the army could be furnished.' Panic in the enemy ranks is the second cause ascribed by the general.

"But there is a third cause, and that is the help rendered by the Christians. Christians acted as guides and facilitated the advance. [According to Scurry, General Mathews acknowledged that the Christians advanced to him a sum of Rs. 3,30,000 and asked that it be repaid.] Besides, the Christians also supplied General Mathews' army with 1000 bags of rice
(Letter of Fr. Joachim Miranda, a native of Talaulim in Goa, see below). In March 1783, Tippu left the Carnatic; in April, his immense army was in sight of Bednore. With no reinforcements, the English army had no chance against Tippu, and on April 28, 1783, General Mathews capitulated at Bednore.

"Immediately, after, Tippu marched to Mangalore, which was defended by the 42nd Highlander Regiment under Major Campbell and on March 11, 1784, after a long blockade, a treaty of peace was signed at Mangalore between the English and Tippu, by which the English evacuated Mangalore in favor of Tippu."


According to Fr. Joachim Miranda, who had been a friend and confidante of Hyder Ali, Tippu had revealed, in 1768, to his father his plan to forcibly convert all Christians to Islam; his father had forbidden it (See document #1 in annexed page).

The amount of money that the Christians forwarded the English liberators was phenomenal even by the standards of that day. It was a sum sufficient to build more new churches than the 27 parish churches extant.... Years later, when one of the late captives, Silva of Gongolim, set about to reconstruct the parish church at Gangolim, he did it with about Rs. 9,800!

What many who report on these accounts fail to adduce to, is the fact that there had been a total revolution in France, against the Church, with a great suffering imposed on the Church, and all the nations of Europe had, as a result, ganged up, ignoring all their differences, against Revolutionary France. The Catholics of Canara or Tuluva-Haiva had more than good reasons to seek liberation from Tippu; not only was he known to be capricious, unlike his late father, but he was also known to be a Muslim fanatic to boot! Both his father and he relied strongly on their alliance with France. These interacting factors made the Catholics justly fearful and apprehensive of their fate at the hands of this madman, and they took desperate measures to be freed from them. Unfortunately, for various reasons, they failed. That is the true cause of the Captivity!

Mitigation & End

Tippu's false sense of his invincibility was destroyed by his successive defeats at the hands of the English. The 3rd War left him prostrate; he had to surrender half the lands he had conquered, including the Bara-Mahals, and surrender his sons as hostages to his peaceful intents in the custody of the English. Desperate to break the alliance of powers surrounding him on all sides, and to stem the hemorrhage of fleeing Christian captives deserting his armies, he sought to make peace with Portugal, the Marathas, and other powers.

Silva, p. 137: "(Tippu)... opened negotiations with the Portuguese Government and with the Archbishop of Goa with a promise that he would no more molest the Christians; not only this, he positively asserted that he would build all destroyed churches at his own cost.

"Quoting the Mangalore Magazine Vol. I, p. 344-345, Mr. Saldanha gives the following as alleged to be sent by Tippu to the Archbishop of Goa:
"Several thousand Christians in the dominion of Tippu Sultan had oft in past years represented to him the discomfort attending the due exercise of their religion. He had hitherto paid no manner of regard to their supplications. Nevertheless, the present state of affairs in his extensive empire had inclined his heart to mercy and not to harshness. Wherefore he had dispatched these his trusty messengers who might convey the words of his mouth in all variety, begging the Governor and the Archbishop not to refuse every needful exertion towards succoring their brethren Christians according to the obligations of their religion. And he would as soon as might be convenient rebuild at his own expense the Churches that the fate decreed agents of destruction had leveled to the ground."
"This was a signal change of policy. The Christians found the supervision over them relaxed and Tippu was more conciliatory in his attitude. The Christians now escaped from the camps and gradually began to enter neighboring kingdoms.

"At this time many Christians performed daring feats in rescuing the captives from Seringapatnam and taking them to places of safety. One Domingo Pinto (brother of Salvador Pinto, who rose to high rank in the services of Tippu) excelled himself particularly in this, rescued many persons and took them secretly to Mangalore or Tellichery. 'He proposed to those who were anxious to regain their liberty at right time to rescue at great risk provided they paid him a certain sum of money. He fixed the price of rescuing the captives at 8 hoons and 4 hoons to each male and each female respectively'
(Gonçalves Family MSS).

"At this time, some Mangalorean students studying for the priesthood in Goa returned to Mangalore. Among these was Pe. Luis Sequeira of Mangalore, who was ordained in 1789, and returned home shortly thereafter" (Carta Dimissoria, October 26, 1789).

In 1792, the Raja of Coorg, Dodda Vira-Rajendra had managed to escape from captivity at Seringapatnam, and with the aid of the English armies was able to recover Coorg for himself in the treaty of 1792 between the English and their allies and Tippu. "A good and compassionate man, anxious to repopulate his kingdom which had been depopulated by Tippu, he welcomed the fugitive Konkani Christians. As an inducement to remain permanently in his territory, he granted them several privileges.

"There was war between the Portuguese and Tippu in 1790, and peace was concluded in 1791. The Portuguese also re-opened negotiations, as they required the old ports for the conveyance of rice from Canara.

"After full consideration of the changed circumstances, the Archbishop of Goa, by a provision on February 20, 1795, appointed Fr. Minguel José Louis Mendes interim vicar of all the four Varas of Mangalore, Barcelore, Onore and Mulquem. With him some other priests also came to Canara.

"Fr. Mendes was the son of Theodosio Mendes, a resident of Ribandar, Goa, and of Ana Luiza of Mai-de-Deus. He was born in Saõ Pedro de Panaulim and was a gaoncar of the Communidade of Uccaçaim. He was ordained by the Archbishop Dom Manoel de Santa Catarina in the "Palace Chapel"
(Capelha de Paco) on June 6, 1760 (Fr. Francisco Xavier Gomes-Cataõ MSS) (Severino da Silva confuses this Chapel with the Cathedral of St. Catherine in Old Goa, but it was the Chapel in the Palace of the Archbishop in New Goa — there is no "Palace Chapel" in Old Goa today, and it is doubtful that there was one in 1760 — Lúcio).

"About this priest, the History of the Diocese of Mangalore says:- 'The few Christians that escaped the general persecution and remained in and about Mangalore after a time began to assemble in the chapel built by a certain Pedro Rego in Derebail 3 miles from Mangalore and Fr. José Miguel Mendes came from Telicherry to minister to their spiritual wants. Along with him came Frs. Messias and Cosme Camillo da Costa' (History of the Diocese of Mangalore, p. 36). But even before this there were some Goan priests in Canara. In May-June 1792, Pe. Gaspar Belchior Braz da Cruz (native of Calapur, Goa) was vicar of Ankola. He ministered to the needs of the Catholics of Sunkery and celebrated 5 nuptials at Sunkery during that time (Sunkery Church Archives). In 1796, a Joaõ Antonio Lopes, son of André Manuel Lopes and Joana Gonçalves of Onore (Honavar), was ordained by the Archbishop Dom Manoel da Santa Catarina on September 24, 1796, and sent to minister in Onore. In 1797, a Pe. Caetano Xavier Gomes was sent to Ankola by Goa; he visited Sunkery twice, said Mass in the house of a Christian and baptized some children.

"According to the History of the Sunkery Mission,
[written by Propagandists hostile to Goa], '...Yet there was not wanting one who certainly without authority was administering the sacraments to the few Christians who were in Sunkery. A certain indigenous Goan priest by name of Gaspar Melchior Dias of the Cross, who at that time was the vicar of the Mission of Siumjar (Shiveshwar) under the Archbishop of Goa and was residing in the neighboring province of Canacona twice traversed through this our Mission of Karwar and having assumed the title of deputed parish priest, baptized some children of this Church of Sunkery, heard confessions and blessed some marriages.'

"There is another circumstance which affected the social life of the Christians at this time. The priests of the schismatic Jacobite Church had by this time poured into Mysore, the Bara Mahals and other places. Abbe Dubois was at this time in charge of the Mission of the Bara Mahals. In 1797, he started a correspondence with Mr. Reade, the Collector of the Bara Mahals, to oust these schismatics, but to no avail. These schismatics perverted many of the neglected Catholics.

"The Goan priests who came to Canara had kept their old prejudices. They could not accept the rule of Tippu with sympathy. The persecution of the priests was ever before their eyes, and it could not possibly be forgotten so soon. As soon as they entered the country, they openly advocated rebellion against the tyrant, and made themselves offensive to him by their letters and even by their speeches. As a result, in 1797, the brief relaxation ceased and persecution commenced again. Fr. José Miguel Mendes was betrayed by a traitor Antonio and was kept in captivity for two years at Jamalabad till that fortress was captured by the English in 1799.

"It was surprising how Fr. Mendes survived for two years in the dungeons of Jamalabad, but there is a tradition among the Mangaloreans that explains this. It appears that the wife of the Moslem commander of the fortress was seriously ill, and possibly on the point of death. Fr. Mendes' holiness was known to the commander and he requested him to pray for his wife. The prayers of this holy priest had the desired effect and the wife recovered. In due acknowledgement of this favor, the commander treated this priest well for the rest of the period of his confinement and when the 4th Mysore War was over in 1799, this priest was liberated. Anyway, the survival of this priest in the dungeons of Jamalabad would have been an impossibility if it was not for some favor or the other."


On May 4, 1799, the English exterminated the Cockroach of Mysore, thus ending the Babylonian Captivity of the Mangalorean Konkani Catholics. Mysore was restored to its rightful kings, the Wodeyars, while the former kingdom of Bednore was annexed by the English, and, while the larger part of the kingdom of the Raja of Soonda was annexed by the English, he ceded the remainder of his territories, including Canacona, to Goa.

Silva, p. 161: Fr. Francis Xavier of St. Anne was sent to Sunkery by the Vicar Apostolic of Bombay to reorganize the extinct Sunkery Mission. ...In spite of all this opposition, with 'all things which were necessary for celebrating Mass, I most secretly found with one at Anjediva and who lent them to me and with all that, I left Anjediva on April 13, 1801, and on the same day Sunkery...' (History Of The Sunkery Mission, Ch. XXII).

Silva, Vol I, p. 165, fl.: "When the Christians returned to their home country, the spiritual jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Goa commenced again. Vicars were appointed to the different parishes and also to the four Varas (divisions) and they began to carry out their ministry. After his release from Jamalabad, Padre José Miguel Luis de Mendes was appointed to the Vara of Mangalore on December 7, 1799, and was also made vicar of Nossa Senhora de Rosario at Mangalore, and given the faculty of administering the Sacrament of Confirmation.

"About Fr. Mendes, Buchanan says: 'The Vicar General was long confined in Jamalabad. He speaks Latin neither correctly nor fluently and seems very desirous of obtaining what he calls a domineering power over the sect that his authority may be equal to that of the native gurus, so as to keep his flock in good order not only by the spiritual means of excommunication but also by the temporary expedients of fine and corporal punishment'
(Journey II, 219)

"Fr. Mendes showed much personal interest in the resettlement of the Christians. The English officers were continually approached by them on the various problems that confronted them. Not satisfied with this, Fr. Mendes alone approached Dr. Buchanan for a speedy settlement of their grievances. This petition was sent by the doctor to the Governor General at Calcutta who duly forwarded it to the the Governor of Madras and from there it came to the Collector of Canara, Mr. Ravenshaw, who became much enraged with Fr. Mendes.

"Fr. Mendes left for Goa in 1808 after arduous work in Canara from 1795 to 1808. He presided over the inaugural meeting held in the church premises on July 26, 1803 for the construction of the church and himself contributed Rs. 400. In 1807 he was appointed visitor of the Mission of Canara and in that capacity visited all the churches and church buildings in Canara.

"In 1808 he was appointed on the Chapter of the Cathedral of Goa. In 1808, he was Quartenario and in 1812, Conig. In 1838, he was appointed Mestre Escola. In 1939, he was Chancellor of the Archdiocese. In 1840, he was Arcediego. In 1841, he was appointed the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Goa which post he held till his death in 1846.

"This is the most romantic Goan priest that worked in Canara. His identity is unknown to any writer on the Captivity of the Mangaloreans yet. Various writers have mentioned his name without the proper identification. A true survey of his work is yet to be undertaken. His indefatigable work in Canara including his captivity at Jamalabad for two years is really praiseworthy. No stone was left unturned by him to render all possible assistance to the returning captives. By approaching Dr. Buchanan alone, he incurred the displeasure of the Collector Ravenshaw (Diocesan History, p. 57) Yet Ravenshaw pulled him through. Altogether his work in Canara rightly merited him the high posts in Goa."


There is no mention whatsoever, of this man, for whom the Mangalorean Severino da Silva has such fulsome praise, in Costa's long list of Goan clerics appended to his work!

See Various Related Documents from Severino da Silva

©Lúcio Mascarenhas
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