Copy of John Pringle's Survey of Roads in the Carnatic

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 198
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      356 x 258 mm. 1 volume (123 folios);

Scope and Content

Copy made by B. Jones [unidentified] in 1793 of A book containing upwards of 4000 miles of roads in the Carnatick... by John Pringle, Captain of Guides to the army on the coast of Coromandel, Madras 1785. Survey of the main routes in the Carnatic region, giving topographical data such as distances and latitudes, and descriptive remarks relating to the suitability of locations for military encampment (for example, comments on the availability of good water and details of previous military engagements). Folios 162-175 describe the Route of the grand army in the Carnatick under the commands of Lieut. Gen. Sir Eyre Coote, Mr Gen. Sir Hector Munro and Mr Gen. James Stuart, August 1780 to June 1783. This section details the distances of marches, names of encampments, and some few leading occurrences, including battles with Haidar.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Pringle was captain of guides to the Army on Coromandel coast of India in the 1780s. The British Army in the colonies made use of guide units - irregular, light horsemen, recruited locally and employed solely to collect information, either by observing, or by conversation with the local inhabitants. The guides were under the control of a Captain of Guides. This individual is probably the same John Pringle who in 1793 was appointed First Agent to the East India Company in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, and was Acting Resident at Mocha from 1801 to 1803 and had died by 1808.

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from J. Grant in October 1921.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 198).

Custodial History

A Melville bookplate suggests that this item may have been produced for Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville (1742-1811), who in 1781 chaired the secret committee to inquire into the recent war in the Carnatic against Haidar Ali, Sultan of Mysore.

Related Material

The JRUL also holds the Melville India Papers, English MSS 523, 670-699 and 926-927 (ref.: GB 133 MEL).