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The Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany online

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'Bxitii^ 3fnu<a ann itn Depenoencietf :


Oiiginal CommimicatioDs.

Memoirs of Eminent Persons.

History, Antiquities, Poetry.

Natural History, Geography.

Reriew of New Publications.

Debates at the East-India House.

Proceedings of the Colleges of Haileybury
and Fort VViliiam, and the Military
Seminary at Addiscombe.

India Civil and Military Intelligence, Ap-
pointments, Promotions, Births, Mar-
riages, Deaths, &c. &c

Literary and Philosophical Intelligjsnce.

^ Missionary and Home Intelligence, Bii>ihs^
\ Marriages, Deaths, &c.

> Commercial Intelligence.

> Shipping Intelligence, Ship Letter^Mails,
\ &c.

J Lists of Passengers to and from India.

X State of the London and India Markets.

^ Notices of Sales at the East-India Housa.

I Times appointed for the East-India Com-

s pany's Ships for the Season.

\ Prices Current of East-India Prod\ice.

\ India Exchanges and Company's Seen-

\ rities.

J Daily Prices of Stocks, &c. &©^ Ac,









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Cox Hcyiif. Great r>H*eii §tiwf,


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In consequence of the great demand for former volumes of tb«
Asiatic Jouhnal, the Proprietors have reprinted such numbers
as were out of print ; the Public may, therefore, be now supplied
with complete ^ets of thp Work, from its commencement in January
1816 to the pk'esent time, in eight volumes, price £7. half bound;
or any nuipber separate, ^t 2s. 6f?. eacli.


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JULY 1819.






tate Senior Chaplain qf the Hon» Company^B Ettablishment at Fort ff^lHam*

What pen can answer all the
yet unsatijsBed claims of deceased
worth or surTiying admiration ? In
the civil and military branches of
the Company's service, the num-
bers of difltiftgniriMd Individuals^
whose names are remembered with
honor by the present generation,
far exceed those of whom bio-
graphic notices can be handed to
posterity. The tenor of a life of
public service produced results
which are not forgotten ; but the
particular steps were not traced
for public instruction by a witness-
ing Iriend. On many previous oc-
casions we have explored the best
accessible sources, in order to dt-
tain a correct summary of the life
and actions of the statesman and
the soldier, the scholar and the
traveller • and in several instances,
original manuscript communica-
tions have enabled us to present
some substantial additions to the
information previously extaiit in
relation to the subject of the me-
moir ; in others, the series of au-
thentic materials wrought into a
brief narrative, has been a new
structure from the foundation.. But

Asiatic' Journ.-^l^oAS.

of the life which we are now about
in part to trace, all the incidents
are drawn from a full and valuables
piece of clerical biography, en-
titled, ** Memorial Sketches cf the
Rev, Damd Brovm^ toith a sdedion
of his Sermons preached at Cal*
cuita" It appears from the pre-
face that the first piece is a tribute
to the excellence of the departed
minister by his widow. Besides the
articles announced in the title page^
the ample but not diffuse volume
which bears the title of Memorial
Sketches^ contains five sets of e«*
tracts from Mr. Brown's papers,
including those from his joumdl
and correspondence. The signature
to the preface discloses the editor
of the whole to be the Rev. Charles
Simeon, of King's-college, Cam-

The Rev, David Brown, six
years the provost of Fort William
College, was born, toward the close
of 1762, near Hull, in the east riding
of Yorkshire, where his venerable
parents are now living in retire-
ment, and where his brothers carry
on extensive farms.

He had, from early youth, a se-

VoL. viir. &



2 Memoir of tlie Rev.

rious turn of mind, and was dis-
tinguished among bis connections
for his amiable disposition and
thirst for knowledge-

^t about eleven years of age»
whilst on a journey under the eye
of his friends, he fell into the
company of a minister, who wad
struck by his intelligent enquiries
and remarks. The stranger de-
sired to know for what line of life
his friends were educating him ;
his parents answered, that as he
evinced no great disposition to be
employed in his father's farm, they
should probably apprentice him to
some country tradesman, perhaps
a druggist. The clergyman replied,
** I think he is destined to a higher
and more important profession ;
and if you will entrust him with
me for a year or two, I will -give
him the preparatory attention ne-
ces^ry to his passing through a
grammar school, wbich . may fit
him for college, and lead to his
entering the church." His parents
accepted this liberal proposal ; and
young David resided under the
private tuition of his new friend at
Scarborough, till he removed to
HuTl to attend the public grammar
school then gbverned by the Rev.
Joseph Milner.

The master and scholar con-
tracted a mutual esteem. Afler
the usual term of preparatory stu-
dies, David Brown proceeded to
Cambridge, andi was entered at
Magdalen College. He became
ardently attached to academical
pursuits, and fbund in the society-
Co which he was introduced many
congenial minds. Under much in-
terruption from severe illness, he
successively renewed bis applica-
tion to the usual course of classicul
and thlealogical studieb^ cultivating^
those qualifications for entering the
church which the handmaid sci-
ences can confer; but from this
measured graduation he was un-
expectedly called away by the
offer of an unsolicited appointment
to a scholastic bffice in India, tbd
superintcndancy of an institution

'. David Brown. [July,

at Calcutta for educating the or-
phan children of indigent o$cers
deceased, belonging to that set-
tlement; - • '

The manner in whieb tbe over-
ture commenced, the friendly in-
fluence which induced him to ac-
cept it, and the munificent assist-
ance which enabled him to go to
India under the Company^s pa-
trotiage, will be best unlblded by-
taking the particolars from bis. own

During his residence at col)^e>
he corresponded wit)x a friend, in
London, on serious subjects, and
related some successful efforts he
had made to do good among the
poor and destitute. That friend
communicated his letters to Major
Mitchell of the Hon. Company Is.
servk^ : tl}e maj6r wished to be
acqua,inted with Mr. Brown, from
a desire to serve him, and intro-
duced, himself hy letter^ before
Mr. Brown had even heard of
his name. The original letter re-
maijos m the possession of the fa-^
miiy., The following are extracts
from it :

«* Tq Mr. D, Brawn.
" Sir :— If there be any obligation coir-
ferred wt yoi» by theappUcation ooDtained
in this letter, you owe it entirely to ow
commpn friend $ for it is in consequence
Qf the veiy high opinion I have conceiveil
of your character and capacity, fr^m the
favorable mention of both in- the cour«o
of many conversations with your estima^
ble correspondent, that J^haye been in-
duced to write you this letter.
. << The officers belonging to the amy int
Bengal have femted themselves into a so-
ciety, for the benevolent purpose of snp^
porting,. educating, and introdndog inta
life th^ orphans of both sexes belonging-
{o indi^ut de9eased officers of that set*
tlemeut : t)iey have twenty-five mal^ and
twenty>oue female ckildreu under their.
care in Beogal. Their intentions are to
send these children to be educated iu
England when they arrive at a certain
age } but as they propose to have a super-
lutendunt of the institution In India,
iLey have authorized a captain of the
6en£^ army, lately arrived in England;



18190 Memoir of the Rev. David Brown. 3

and on tbe point of re-emiiarkiag for, Mr. Brown WHS introduced to the

India, to look out for a married young
gentleman (a dei^gyman In preference)
to proceed to India in one of tbe ships
of this season. As the gentleman em-
Uarks for India in ten days, you must
make an immediati^ choice. I liave pre-
▼aileil on him to wait for your answer
vnfilTliarsday morning ; and if you liave
tlu^ttgbts'of accepting the offer, it will be
necessary • for you to come to town
witbont tbe loss "of a moment. You will
jfrobably have until the beghming of
April to get yourself ready, before which
r. should hope it would be in your power
to take orders ; because, tliough that is
sot an indispensable condHiou, it v^vAd'
yet be eligible on every account I am
aware that yon are at present a batchdor,
aod it most rest wholly with yourself if
yon conid acquire the other requisite for
the sicuatbn betweea this time and your,
embarkation. I give this to yonr friend
lo forward, and am, with esteem. Sir,
•* Vour's, &c.
** A^ Mitchell."
« London, Feb. 1786."

The private papers of Mr.
Brown copnect all the parts of the

" When this letter reached me
at college, I was just recovering
from a long indisposition. There
were many objections immediately
occurred, to me; I foresaw them
all at a rapid glance, and settled
in mj mind that I might decline
the offer with a good conscience :
above all, I was top young for
priest's orders, a^d without ordi-
nation I was resolved to accept of

Ho service or situation whatever.
I acquainted some of my serious
friends with the import of the
major's letter, and my sentiments
i|pon it* They differed from me
in juflgment ; tliey thought it was
the voice of Providence, and that
so unexpected and singular an ap-
plication ought not to be dis-

The Rev. Mr. Romaine also
wrote a letter to his parents, avow-
ing that if the same offer had been .
made to him at the same age, he
would gladly have accept it.

major on the 15th February, find to .
Captain Fitzpatrick, the agent for
the institution, two days after-
wards. The captain, expecting to
sail, wished to have the articles of
agreement filled up ; but how was
the major surprised to find he had .
misunderstood the offer, that there
were no fewer than five hundred
children of the orphan establish-
ment, and that the salary was con-
siderably less than he had first
stated-; however, this unexpected
obstacle was easily removed, for,
sjnce a larger field of usefulness
was thus opened to his vi^w, Mr.
Brown signed the articles of agree-
ment, upon proviso that he could
obtain orders^ without which he
was determified not to go.

" I waited," says he, * on Dr.
Lowth, the bishop of London,
asking to be ordained togo abroad :
he answered flatly, that he , would
never ordain another man to go
abroad ; for that he had ordained,
several for the colonies, who after-
wards remained lounging about the
town, a disgrace to the cloth.

<< On coming out, I said to my
new friend the major, « Well, this,
business is at an end ; to-morrow
I returi^ to Cambridge.' He said,.
' let us call on the Bishop of Lan^
daff (Dr. Watson) ; he is a liberal
man', and will give us hi^ advice.*
We did so ; and on his hearing the
circumstances of our bad success .
with my lord of London, he le-

gretted our disappointment, wished
well to the plan, and observed:
that if his grace of Canterbury saw
. no impropriety in his ordaining
n^e, a^er having been refused by
Dr. Lowth, he would do it most
cheerfully ; and he advised me to
see the archbishop, which 1 lost
no time in doing, and he nK)st cor-
dially approved my undertaking.
. *' I set off for Cambridge on the
following day, for the necessary
papers which the bishop directed
me to procure : and with these I
again waited on hin^ the 25th; but
B 2


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4^' Methoir of the tiev. David Brown* [July,

be appearing now to feel some he- ed them to experience some tem-
sitation on the suhject> I caught porary delay and embarrassment,
at it, and said, ^ my lord, I am sa- The journal sajs, (p. 166,) *' I am

tisfied; I shall return to college;
for my views have been to the mi-
nistry, and without ordination I
shflii not go to India, whatever
offers are made me/ After a pause, •
however, he said he would ordam
me, and that he would too have^
given me priest's orders the day
following, if I had been of ase to
receive them. He appointed the
next day for my examination, and
ordained me the day after."

On the second of March Mr.
Brown was elected a correspond-
ing member of the society for
promoting christian knowledge.
From these reverend gentlemen
he had presents of books, and-
every mark of attention ; and the
society addressed a recommenda-
tory letter, of which he was the
subject, to the court of directors.
Sometime afterwards, when the
court had received satisfactory tes-
timonials of his character and qua-
lifications, they gave him three
hundred guineas for the expenses
of the voyage, which were paid in
advance. The magnitude of this
aid exceeded his hopes ; the grate-
ful impression was never effaced.
While some unexpected dif-
ficulties, and the necessity of
waiting for a passage, detained him
in England, he kept a journal of
daily occurrences, from which we
have taken some passages relating
to his intimate concerns. As we
have seen, it was wished that the
s'uperintendant of the Bengal Or-
phan establishment should go out a
inarried man : to this, Mr. Brown
saw no objection, and accordingly
pff<^red his hand to a lady to whom
he had been some time warmly at-
tached, and who was every way
worthy of him ; she was a Miss
Robinson, of very respectable con-
nections in Hull. I'hey were mar-
ried on the 4th of March 1785, in
the expectation of proceeding at
once ta India ; but it appears that
jpittrmountable obstacles occasion-

now to reside in Chelsea, and have
Very little money and food to pro-!
vide for my wife and self.".

During his stay in England, he'
performed the office of curate at
Chelsea church. His means ot.
living comfortably and respect-
ably while he had to remain in this.,
country, and of adequate prepa-^
ration for the voyage to India, and.
the due discharge of his calling
there, were consulted and extend-* •
ed by the spontaneous and un-
ostentatious assistance of many sin-*-
cere and closely attached friends ;
time would fail us to enumerate
them all, and it would displease
many still living to have their*
names mentioned. Some of them,
imitating the friends of Job after his*
recovery, made him gifts, and others
volunteered small loans : their con«
tributions did not aim to confer'
opulence, but to make the good
of the day competent to a fulf
blessing ; and Mr. Brown, as he-
ultimately had the ability to make
returns with interest, treated alt^
these friendly advances equally as
loans, where he could shew thia*
honorable remembrance of such'
kindness without offence.

The passage to Calcutta was*
completed in seven months. On
Sunday the 18th of June 1786,
he entered upon his charge as
chaplain of the military orphan
establishiftent. The interests of
so many children demanded his
$eal, and he watched over them
with affection.

Within a few days after arriving,
he was nominated chaplain to a
brigade in Fort William. During
^he voyag^, he had begun the-
study of ^B^ngallee, and amidst
these active labours he continued
the pursuit of this acquirement.

In 1787, he. superadded to his
engagements the services of the
mission church.. The orphan in*'
stitution . was then altogether on
the bank of the river opposite



Memoir of the Rev, David Br&wn. S

Thus he officiated at In 1794, he received a new ac-

three distant points in succession
every sunday.

He undertook the charge of the
mission church without any remu-
neration whatever, at a time when,
without his voluntary ministry
there, its doors must have been
closed and the congregation dis-
persed. After he had filled that
vacant pulpit about seven months,
the managers of the orphan insUtu-
iion did not 'deem his assmnption
of the charge and service of the.
mission church compatible with
his primary engagement as super-
ihtekidant of their school ; and
while they declared themselves to'
be impressed with a just sense of
the laudable motives which led
him to officiate in that congrega-
tion, they insisted on his either re-
linquishing the charge of it, or ter-
minating his engagement with
them. With the unanimous advice
of his religious friends, he per-
severed in that course which
amounted to a reluctant choice of
the latter alternative, and was dis-
missed by the management in Au-
gust 1783. -

While he. resided at the orphan
bouse, he had established a charity
school at his own charge, and un-
der his own superintendance, for
such native children as were aban-'
doned by their parents at a time of
famine; but on his quitting that
establishment, he had no mean»
for continuing that school, being
unable to fill up the vacancies oc-
casioned by removal or death.

On separating from the orphan
institution, he received private pu-

{»il8 into his own house. He de-
ighted in the work of educating
youthji and his domestic academy
was much in request. He also,
executed with great attention the
duty 'of inspecting visitor to a
school then supported by the old
charity fund, but now combined
with the free school of Calcutta.
He moreover attended the hospi-
tal and jail, od fixed days, to im-
partfcUgious instruction.

cession of professional duty, in the
appointment of chaplain to the
presidency ; and now on each re^*'
turning Sunday he preached once
at the presidency church, without
relaxing in his previous engage-
ments to officiate once before th«i
garrison and twice to the mission
congregation : he' delivered be-
sides a weekly le<^ture, and at-»
tended to the catechetical instruc**
tion of children.

Mr. BrowQ had now been undei^
the eyes of three isuccessive go-
vernors-general,Lord Teignmouthy
Marquis Cornwallis, and Marquis
Wellesley ; and he found eminent
favour from them all. In 1800,^
the last founded the college of
Fort William, of which he ap-
pointed Mr. Brown the provostl
The celebrated Dr. Claudius Bu*
chanan w^ nominated at the same
time yice-proyost ; they had becsi
eoadjutors as chaplains, and sup-
ported the duties attached to thei^
new dignities with zeal and ^or-*

The provost saw in this institu-
tion a sphere of large utility pperi
to him, into which he entered with
alacrity. The first formation and
arrangement of a collegiate esta-
blishment brought with it new du-
ties to exercise both the mind and
the body, the nerve of applica«^
tion and the eye of superintend*
ance. Under his care a striking
improvement was effected in the
deportment of the students ; the
rules of the college induced them
to be regular in attendance on the
public services of the church, the
system of conduct in morals was
gradually improved^ the unprin-
cipled tide of debt was stemmed,
and the culture of t!)lents became
the prevailing taste.

The Civil Fund rose out of thef
college^ and was instituted in hoJ
riour of marriage. Its regulations
redound greatly to the credit of
the writers on the Bec^al esta-
blishment for urbanity, judgment,
and correct feelliigs.



lyiemoer oj uit iitt,.. DaviUlSroxvn*

It was impossible for him, with
this additional responsibility, to
continue the daily labour of per-
forming the surphce-duties of the
presidency. These accordingly
be resigned to the junior chaplain,
with the entire emolument accru-
ing from them.

He had still enough of ministe-
jial and. other labours to prove
his invincible zeal, industry, and
pei^everance. He had. been at in-
tervals tried by much domestic
and private affliction^ aiid by many
anxieties and mortifications. By
the effect of all these and an en-
feebling climate, his naturally
(Strong constitution was at length
sensibly impaired ; and paving now
re;sided about twenty years in In-
dia, he had become subject to se-
Tere attacks of fever. These often
reduced him very low ; but bis
vigour and alacrity of spirit was
alternately restored.
. Among the incidents which had
depressed him, was the loss of ma-
ny valued friends by death. His
first beloved wife, who suffered
much at the returns of the hot sea-
son, could not be induced to go to
England without him. She at
length sunk under tl^e recurrence
of debility, in July 1794. After
two years widowhood, he thought
it his duty again to marry, and
fixed his choice on the daughter
of Capt. Cowley, of the Bengal
infantry, a lady well known to
his first' wifei who knew and
admired her, and had often said
to her husband, in her exube-
rance of concern for him : " How
happy would Miss Cowley make
you ! I wish you none other, should
It please God to take me from you.'*
Mr. Brown's second marriage took

Online LibraryEast India CompanyThe Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany → online text (page 1 of 123)