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The years 1796-1821 bore witness to a period of profound historical changes in Sri Lanka. This website does not seek to explain or document all of these events. Rather it aims - through the provision of transcripts of previously unpublished contemporary accounts as well as recent research findings - to provide fresh historical insights into the transfer of foreign control in the Maritime Provinces from Holland to Britain in 1796, the collapse of the Kandyan kingdom in 1815, and the suppression of the 1818 Rebellion.

The focus of this attention is twofold. It is directed towards documenting:

  • the writings of Lachlan Macquarie (1761-1824) at Colombo and Galle in the months February-April 1796

  • the historical background and contemporary accounts of the men of the 73rd Regiment of Foot (and their families) in Ceylon in the years 1814-1821.

This task is an ongoing project. It is based, in the first instance, upon research undertaken in Sri Lanka in July/August 2002, and made available in a public exhibition entitled Under A Tropical Sun held at Macquarie University Library in May/June 2003. Now it continues to expand through scholarly co-operation and exchange of information in Australia, Britain, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Any contributions or corrections are warmly welcomed.

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73rd Regiment

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