Copyright
A Retired chaplain.

Episodes in the life of an Indian chaplain online

. (page 1 of 15)
Online LibraryA Retired chaplainEpisodes in the life of an Indian chaplain → online text (page 1 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


&s






GIFT OF




EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF AN
INDIAN CHAPLAIN.



A RETIRED CHAPLAIN.




KAMFTEE CEMETERT ENTXANCE.



EonUon :
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEAELE, & RIVINGTON,

CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
1882.

[All rights reserved^]



LONDON :

PRINTED BY GILBERT AND KIV1NGTON, I.1MITKI),
ST. JOHN'S SQUARE




IBettkatrtt

TO THE MEMORY OF

MOTHER .AND CHILDREN,

WHO REST IN JESUS IN THE
FAR-OFF LAND.



53002



INTBODUCTION.



SOME few words of apology seem to be neces-
sary for submitting to the Public the personal
work of an Indian Chaplain, and who for that
very reason desires to be unnamed.

In the first sixteen years of the author's
residence abroad, he was encouraged, sus-
tained, and helped by one , who has now
entered into her rest.

The duties of Indian Chaplains are of a
peculiar kind; sent out to minister to the
spiritual wants of the European troops, much
other work presents itself for acceptance.

Missionary work, in a modified form, is
always at hand, and exertions on behalf of
the Eurasian community more than ever
urgent, since the educational efforts of the
Government have been solely with a view to



vi Introduction.

benefit the native population. If his ex-
ample, in its small degree, in a missionary
and educational point of view, should stir up
his brother chaplains to extend their duties
as far as practicable in these directions,
the author will be amply recompensed for
his labours in recalling many a sad and
sorrowful, as well as amusing and instructive
incident in a busy life.

The design figured on the cover of the
book represents an elephant, surmounted
by two fanciful monsters; the highest and
largest of which resembles a horse with the
trunk of an elephant. It is called by the
Hindoo poets an aullee, and is a favourite
subject for representation in carving through-
out Travancore.

"With regard to the illustrations, the
author's thanks are especially due to the
wife of General Gordon, for her spirited
sketch of the Marble Eocks at Jubbulpore,
taken midst many difficulties on the spot.

To Mrs. Gilbert-Cooper, for her truthful
sketch of a " Shola " on the Neilgherry Hills,
his thanks are also due.



Introduction. vii

Through the kindness of Colonel Marshall,
the author has been able to place before the
reader three sketches of " Todas," already
published in his interesting and valuable
book called " A Phrenologist amongst the
Todas."

His thanks are also due to two of his dear
children for many drawings which now
appear. And lastly, he is indebted to the
courtesy of his publishers for several illus-
trations which they have kindly placed at
his disposal.

Commenced in loneliness, in a strange land,
far away from his children, these pages were
sketched for their edification and put aside,
and only in the hope of furthering their edu-
cation and welfare resumed, and now placed
before the public in the hope that they may
be found acceptable.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I

School incident Home life University Diaco-
nate First curacy Curious relic of a bygone
age Priesthood and change of curacy Pets .
Peculiar habit of a dog " A larger scene of
action is displayed " Surplicing a country
choir Missionary college and discipline
Long vacation Affecting incident Windsor
Chatham and its hostelry Low life and
rescue Mary the penitent Appointment to
East Indian chaplaincy Marriage departure
for the East .......

CHAPTER II.

Voyage Madras Landing and its incidents
Fort St. George St. Mary's and its monu-
ments Style of houses Reception State of
religious parties Reporting arrival Visit to
the Bishop's palace Cathedral Ordered to
Rangoon En route Calcutta, " the City of
Palaces " Garden Reach Bishop's College
Easte'rn hospitality Johnny the Chinaman as
shoemaker Arrival of European troops
Amusing scene China bazar The shilling



x Contents.

PAGE

razor, or Birmingham in the East Voyage to
Rangoon Arrival Shops Houses Bazars
Gnapee, country " caviar " Shwe-Dagon
pagoda Description Buddhism Running
coachman ....... 24

CHAPTER III.

Duties of chaplains Modes of visiting out-stations
Visit to Pegu Creek adventures Fire-fly
Mosquitoes, their use Visiting Burmese
villages Elegant pagoda Pegu Tiger-trap
Narrow escape Pooay, or Burmese play
English drama in 1587 Native orchestra . 48

CHAPTER IV.

Rangoon Mode of building houses Rides Bam-
busa gigantea and Bambusa tulda Bamboo
Its uses The dha Lacquered boxes and mode
of lacquering Home for breakfast Novel
watch- dog Bantams Ponies Tucktoo A
dinner under unpleasant circumstances Native
burglar Attack by Dacoits " Sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof " Rainy season
Burmese character Instances of cruelty Ex-
cruciating tortures 67

CHAPTER V.

Rangoon cantonment A "festa" Dress Phon-
gyees and their acolytes Character Funeral
rites Football Buffalo fight Boat-racing
Monsoon and its effects Bishop Wilson and
the brigadier The Bishop's address to soldiers,
and departure 82



Contents. xi

CHAPTER VI.

PAGE

Return to India Ordered to the Central Provinces
Akyab Calcutta Up the Ganges to Mirza-
pore A grim spectacle on the river Palkee
travelling Dak bungalows Adventure Jub-
bulpore A fellow-chaplain Thugs' Institution
Their industries Thuggee and its suppres-
sion Shell-lac Marble Rocks Fakir A
future " minor canon " . . . . .98

CHAPTER VII.

Arrival at Kamptee Climate Cantonment Ceme-
tery Extraordinary growth of trees Method
of transplanting Sepulchral monuments
Small -pox Cholera camp Different treat-
ments of this disease Jungle travelling
Making a carriage Native cookery Striking a
light Cheapness of travelling Wild bullocks
Peculiar method of guiding The " chamber
in the wall " Travelling with tents and herds
A fatal case of cholera in camp The tama-
rind-tree and its effects 123

CHAPTER VIII.

Privilege leave A hill visit Burning the grass
A jungle on fire Sitting up for a tiger
Fever, and how to ward it off A narrow escape
Mutiny rumours Outbreak at Nagpore
Intentions of mutineers Loss of children
Change of air A resurrection scene Toilsome
journey Bombay Caves of Elephanta and
Kaiii Calicut Beypore A happy mistake
Looking out for squalls Bangalore Its first
railway A huge " Swami " . . . . 143



xii Contents.

CHAPTER IX.

PAGE

Bangalore Its aspect The Pettah Fruits and
flowers The Legend of the moon-creeper
Establishment of Bishop Cotton's School and
College Female branch Its success The
Eurasian drummers Ragged schools History
of St. Paul's Mission Church Church Restora-
tion Branch Mission Expedient for making
ground glass New use of blue granite
Curious method of quarrying . . . . 165



CHAPTER X.

Purchasing children Establishing orphanage Eu-
ropean pensioners Pensioners' church, and
how it was built Consecration Incumbent
Journey to Ootacamund Tonjons Muncheels
Grhaut scenery Coonoor Climate of the
hills Sholas Vegetation Hill ornithology
Todas and their habitations Ancient tithes
Church pioneering 188

CHAPTER XL

Return to Bangalore Sorrow upon sorrow
Thackeray Voyage to England Home work
Bumbledom Fittings and reflections Ad-
venture by train A nest of Blacklegs Church
progress Return to India Appointment to
Travancore Description of country Canoe
travelling Travancore under British protec-
tion Quilon and past greatness Caste marks
Cylinder ear-rings Guadama South Afri-
cans Peruvians Dyaks Malabar houses



Contents. xiii

PAGE

The Xair brigade The Xairs Their peculiar
marriage institution Slaves and their humili-
ations Superstitions Oil bathing The " evil
eye" 216

CHAPTER XII.

Leaf-writing "Witchcraft Dona Juana of Navarre
Syrian Christians White Jews Refugees
from Palestine, A.D. 68 Church and cemetery
put in order Steadfast little mission
Christians of St. Thomas An account of
them 247



CHAPTER XIII.

The backwaters of Travancore Quilon Scenery
The boatmen Travancore money Method of
counting The museum Appointment to cu-
ratorship The gardens and menagerie The
lion-house Curator's bungalow Rabbit-war-
ren Deer park Burmese way of catching deer
Tigers and their offspring A tiger cat and his
capture A python fight The aviary The
lakes A half -shade garden Xutmegs Plan-
tain and description The ostrich Owlery . 265

CHAPTER XIV.

Monkey-house Affection of monkeys towards the
young A bear-pit constructed Monsoon
flooding Encounter with bear Transplanting
old trees A denuded tree Elephants: their
sagacity Its supereminence questioned



xiv Contents.

PAGE

Swimming power Ivory carving Buffalo-horn
ornaments Unbreakable glass Garden facade
Garden structures White ants The queen
and her structure Their habits A cure for
consumption . . . . . .283

CHAPTER XV.

Black ants Red ants and their peculiar nest The
resurrection plant Importation of tiger cubs
Wild dog Insectivora Remarkable nests
of the humming-bird Tailor and weaver birds
Edible nest of the swallow A durbar The
late Maharajah of Travancore The durbar
physician in Highland costume Native ex-
pedients for clothing Umbrella, a badge of
freedom Anecdote . . , . .313

CHAPTER XVI.

An architectural reverse The pluviometer Beetle-
catching Insect ingenuity Peculiar sands at
Cape Comorin Farewell to native friends A
noble Dewan Adieu to India The voyage
Perils of the deep A happy meeting Work
at home A poor wandering woman Burial
in woollen Evangelization Finis . .340



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



Kamptee Cemetery Entrance . . . (Title)
Curious Alms Box . . . . . .12

Missionary College . . . . . .14

Village Scene . . . . . . . 37

Kamptee Bungalow ...... 43

Bangoon Pagoda 44

Elegant Pagoda . . . . . . .59

A Tiger Trap 60

Phongyee House used as a Church ... 69

The Marble Rocks , 119

Bullock Cart 134

Jungle on Fire 145

Sliola 202

Toda Salutation 208

Sacred Temple, Toda 211

Mourning ........ 213

Dyak Ear-ring 236

Travancore Ear Cylinder . . . . . 236
Chuckram Board and Coins . . . . .271

Garden Lodge 276

My Nimrod 280

Denuded Tree 297

Garden Facade 303



xvi List of Illustrations.

Queen Ant ........ oOl>

Travancore Millepede . . . . . .318

Stick Insect ... . oti>

Travancore Scorpion ......

Odontolabis lUirmeisteri .....

Travancore Spider ......

Section of Weaver-Bird's Xest . . . .824

Weaver-lord's Xest 325

Sun-Bird's Xest :>LM5

Tailor-P.ird's Xest .... . ;*2l5

Tailor-Bird's Xest of Three Leaves . . . ;V_'7
A Travancore Lady's Petticoat
Entrance Hate . .341



EPISODES

IN THE

LIFE OF AN INDIAN CHAPLAIN.
CHAPTER I.

School incident Home life University Diaconate
First curacy Curious relic of a bygone age
Priesthood and change of curacy Pets Peculiar
habit of a dog " A larger scene of action is dis-
played " Surplicing a country choir Missionary
college and discipline Long vacation Affecting
incident Windsor Chatham and its hostelry Low
life and rescue Mary the penitent Appointment
to East Indian chaplaincy Marriage departure
for the East.

" Do thy part with thy industry, and let God point
the event.

" I have seen matters fall out so unexpectedly, that
they have tutored me in all affairs, neither to despair,
nor presume : Not to despair ; for God can help me :
Not to presume ; for God can cross me."

FELLTHAM'S RESOLVES.
B



2 Episodes in the

BOKN half a century ago, my first recollections
of life bring me to my mother's knees, the con-
fidante of all my childish joys and sorrows.

The youngest son of a professional man
of eminence, I had little, with several sisters,
to expect, beyond a decent education and my
father's blessing. All this I in due course
received; how and in what manner will be
briefly shown.

I was entered at a public school, and one
irresistibly comic scene still presents itself
to my memory, with which I shall favour
the reader. A young scholar, a mere child
into whom learning had been prematurely
crammed, was at fault in his lesson. He
was a little bit of a fellow, with a most
sensitively nervous temperament.

Imagine then the master, a perfect Goliath
in stature, standing over the delinquent boy,
and demanding why the lesson had not been
properly prepared. The poor child at last,
in agony, cried out, " Beat me ! Oh, kick
me ! Nurse (the good woman) hid my book
away." I knew not, boy as I was, whether
to laugh or to cry.



Life of an Indian Chaplain. 3

My home life was a very happy one, blessed
beyond measure in my parents and brothers
and sisters ; living in the very heart of Lon-
don, in a bright and cheerful spot, although
yclept " the valley of the shadow of death "
from the number of doctors there resident,
with the beautiful parks of Hyde and St.
James', near at hand, my early years passed
rapidly away. It was no small pleasure to
get a scamper over Primrose Hill or Hamp-
stead Heath, with the flappers and insect
collecting-box, bringing home stores to amuse
leisure hours.

All my leisure time was given to my
different collections of natural history and
antiquities, little anticipating how useful all
such knowledge would prove to me in after-
years. It is unnecessary to dwell upon my
college days, where with the toga I assumed
the " light blue tie." It was a joyous time,
not a care, or a sigh, or a tear. Yes ; one
care, the desire to attain the wishes of my
early years, and try and do " The Divine
Master's " work.

My father gave me my choice of a pro-
is 2



4 Episodes in the

fession, and so I entered into Holy Orders.
The influences of a university life were all, on
a mind bent upon such a profession, for good.
Perhaps the wine parties in those days were
a little too frequent, but the pleasure of inter-
course with kindred spirits, all in the hey-day
of life and joyous anticipation, was thoroughly
enjoyable.

The constitutional, or ride, boating or
cricket, after lectures, and the necessary study
for the periodic examinations made the three
years glide away, and found me studying for
the Diaconate.

That ordeal was passed soon after leaving
college ; one more trial, and then no more
forced burning of the " midnight oil," but a
steady diligence in the studies wherein my
soul delighted.

Those were days when men entered into
holy orders as a profession, and it was no
difficult matter to obtain a pass. There was
only one, or at the most two, theological
colleges in existence, and they were considered
by many as valuable aids to candidates for
the ministry.



Life of an Indian Chaplain. 5

At that time they were considered by some
to have a narrowing effect upon the mind,
and were for the most part only resorted to
by men who had not thought much of their
future profession.

Though I did not enter one, it has always
been to me a matter of regret; for I am
persuaded that it would have the effect of
deepening the spiritual life, and if perchance
any unreality was engendered, the reality
would come soon enough.

It does come, when one finds one's self
fighting against the powers of darkness, igno-
rance, and the neglect of souls, in a past
generation.

I have preached my first sermon, read
the prayers, without forgetting the psalms,
bidden adieu to my father's house with all its
love and care and prayers, and find myself
ensconced in a rude and not very picturesque
farm-house.

I have been ordained deacon with as little
formality and with as little to touch the heart
as was possible, in a small out-of-the-way
chapel in Eegent Street.



6 Episodes in the

The bishop was a grand old man, beaming
with kindness, but rather past his work. He
had been, when a young man, from his hand-
some person styled the " beauty of holi-



ness."



I was in sole charge of a small parish of
about 120 people, assisted once a quarter by
a neighbouring priest, and " passing rich " on
50/. a year. The rector, who held the
living for a minor, paid a quarterly visit
to the parish, when I and the School Dame
received our rich emoluments.

The church was a small, unpretending
edifice, with shingled spire, and with nothing
of antiquarian interest about it, with the
exception of one object ; it had a stand for
an hour-glass on the left-hand side of
the pulpit and the north side of the
church.

This curious relic of a past age reminds
me of an amusing anecdote of a country
squire who lived in the times when they
were " three-bottle men," and any one who
could not stow away as much under his
girdle was little accounted of.



Life of an Indian Chaplain. 7

His companion was the minister who pro-
bably had suffered more than once from the
ill-judged hospitality of his friend's pressing
invitation to take

u A flagon more,
To drench dry cares, and make the welkin roar."

After one of these orgies, he, it is related,
avenged himself on the following Sunday,
when at the conclusion of an hour's dis-
course, and looking at the squire, he turned
the hour-glass and grimly said, " Let us,
my brethren, take ' one glass more,' ' pro-
bably to the infinite dismay of his late
host.

" Here, waiter, more wine ! let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table."

Apart from the "hour-glass," the church
may be best described in the words of the
Rev. W. Heygate,

" Cushions and cloth and books, takin' the old church

right roun',

Surplice, shovel and broom, they would na' fetch'd
half-a-crown,



8 Episodes in the

Commandments to boot. They was the only good

lookin' things,
Wi' yellow cherubs between 'em, and nout but heads

and wings ;
Parson Miles was a preacher, and could gallop through

a prayer,
Right straight-a-head on anything, an' stop him who

dare."

Tlie quiet twelvemonth I rusticated here
was a good opportunity for studying for
priest's orders. Of course I over- shepherded
the people ; and if I did no particular good, I
do not think much harm came to them from
my inexperience.

Having entered the priesthood, I pre-
pared to quit my first charge for "fresh
fields and pastures new," and the con-
ventional 100Z. sterling per annum.

My new rector was a fine specimen of the
Squarson type. A real old English gentle-
man, but now totally invalided with that aris-
tocratic enemy, the gout. "With what gusto
he would narrate a burst with the " Bark-
shire hounds." He was a sound Churchman
of the old school, he never visited his people,
as he held the doctrine that every English-



Life of an Indian Chaplain. g

man's house is his castle. Of course he
went on emergency, and many an infant was
ushered into the Church's fold in his
brougham.

The days were only then just expiring
when "pluralities" were in vogue. Many a
tale have I heard of the third service at a
third church, and in one well-authenticated
occasion of the parson leaping his horse over
the churchyard wall, and tying him up in the
belfry.

Those days have happily passed away,
and left us a body of men who, if more self-
assertive, amongst its younger members is
certainly better trained, more earnest, self-
denying, and active.

The parish I now had charge of was partly
rural and partly urban. The church was
situated in the rural part on the summit of
a hill surrounded with magnificent old yew-
trees.

Its fine, massive, ivy-covered, square
tower overlooked sloping fields of corn,
and commanded a view of the old rectory,
which nestled midst shrubs and evergreens.



io Episodes in the

The farmer in whose house I lodged kept
his hunter, and always had a useful cob at
the disposal of the parson.

I had some pet dogs, my companions at
my lonely dinner-table. They were very
small bull- terriers, of excellent tempers and
such tails. " Why, sir," said a dog-fancier
to me one day, " them dogs 9 tails are as smooth
and tapering as a tobacco-pipe"

The head of this family had a peculiar habit
inherited from his grandfather, for he was a
dog of pedigree. He allowed a favourite
" pussy " just to put her nose to any choice
morsel I had thrown her, when he would
jump with a sudden spring upon her back,
and coolly having thus frightened her away,
gobble up the morceau himself; and so is
the distich true,

" Who ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors."

My life for some three years was an active
and pleasant one. In the urban part of my
parish I had to encounter the dissenting
grocer, and polemics ensued. I do not



Life of an Indian Chaplain. 1 1

remember many conquests on my part,
though I was sufficiently earnest to have my
church well filled. I believe my life won
more converts than my divinity.

Hitherto I had been working alone, and it
is not good for man to be alone, so I ac-
cepted a curacy in another county, where I
had the companionship of my rector and a
fellow-curate, whose friendship I still have
the pleasure of retaining.

Frequent services, weekly celebrations, a
fine organ, and a good choir could not be
resisted.

The church was a very fine one, consisting
of nave and two side aisles, an Anglo-Norman
tower, and two side chapels. When re-
stored by the preceding rector, the Rev. Dr.
Barret, a scholar and divine, mural paint-
ings were discovered of a most interesting
character.

There was also a curious alms-box of oak.
It stood about three feet in height, let into a
beam of oak, bound with iron bands, the in-
tervening spaces being studded with small
pebbles, to prevent the action of a chisel.



12



Episodes in the



There were the usual three clasps for padlock,
for rector and churchwardens.




CURIOUS ALMS-BOX.



My new rector was an excellent musician,
rather eccentric at times, and the inheritor
of a rich family living. He was of a very prac-
tical turn of mind. Visiting him one day,
after that great event, the surplicing of a
country choir, he said, " I have just received



Life of an Indian Chaplain. 13

a deputation who object to the men and boys
being surpliced."

" How did you manage them ? " I asked.

" I think I have settled the matter," he
replied. " I said, ' Gentlemen, I have a great
objection to seeing the boys in dirty jackets ;
but if you will engage twice a year to clothe
them decently, I will take off the sur-
plices.' "

He heard no more of the objection, and
was fortunate in not having had his curate
present, who probably would have argued the
matter on other grounds, and raised a case
for the ecclesiastical courts to decide.

The parish was a very large one, and its
out-lying hamlets made the work very
trying.

After about three years' work, having a
fellowship offered to me at a missionary
college, I accepted it, and again removed
my tent.

I was very much induced to take this step
from having heard some striking discourses by
the late Bishop Selwyn, when at Cambridge,
which had opened my mind to life abroad.



14 Episodes in the

I now look back through a long vista of
years, and am thankful for the discipline
which the college imparted to teacher and
scholar alike. I learnt to be self-denying and
punctual, to husband my time watchfully,
and it brought me into contact with the truest-
hearted Churchmen and the best of men.




MISSIONARY COLLEGE.



The college was, though situated in a city,
in a quiet and secluded spot, a spot very
dear to English Churchmen, with the Angel
Tower of the cathedral looking down on its
well-kept grassy quadrangle.



Life of an Indian CJiaplain. 15

" It had been built on the ruins of an old
abbey, and was rescued from the most de-
grading and profane uses by the liberality of
Mr. Beresford-Hope, who purchased them
and presented them to the Church of England,
for purposes akin to those for which they
were founded."

The work was full of deep interest. The
day began and ended with chapel. There
were lectures from nine to one o'clock, then
printing-press, gardens, carpentry, and hos-
pital work all to be attended to.

Every Saint's Day there was a general
holiday, in which both teacher and taught
found relaxation. In the Long Vacation it
was customary for one of the fellows to
reside, to look after foreign students. It
was my turn to be thus employed. The city
in its more crowded parts had been for some
time unhealthy, and conservancy was not so
much attended to as it happily is now.

A city incumbent, who had formerly been
one of the fellows of the college, was ordered
abroad, and I consented to take his duty.
JNo sooner had he gone than cholera broke



1 6 Episodes in the

out in his district, and I had to bury several
of his parishioners.

At one of these funerals I noticed a young
woman in a paroxysm of grief, and sent for
her to the vestry.

I then learnt that she had lost a favourite


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryA Retired chaplainEpisodes in the life of an Indian chaplain → online text (page 1 of 15)