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The church in Madras : being the history of the ecclesiastical and missionary action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Volume 2) online

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to Bangalore, where his son, who afterwards entered the

^ Memoirs of George Elers, pp. 81-89.
VOL. u. :k


Company's service, was born.i Pointz Stewart was appointed
to the station in 1833, and fell a victim to the heat in the
month of May 1834.

The last resident Chaplain of Arcot (1861-63) was the Rev.
J. W. Wynch, a lineal descendant of Mr. Alexander Wynch,
who was appointed Governor of Fort St. George in 1773.

' J. J. Cotton's Monumental Inscriptions.



The Calcutta Bishopric. Its original extent. Functions of the Bishop and
the Archdeacons. Ecclesiastical Courts. Bishops and Archdeacons to
be corporations sole. Power reserved to the Crown to recall appointments.
Power reserved to the Governors in Council to determine residence in their
territories. Local Governments to assist the Bishop and Archdeacons.
The first Bishop. The first Archdeacon of Madras. The Senior Presidency
Chaplain. Archidiaconal functions. Rules of procedure. Registrars.
The building of St. George's. The Bishop's Primary Visitation. Conse-
cration of St. George's and of St. John's, Trichinopoly. The Second Visita-
tion. Confirmations and Consecrations. Archdeacon Mousley's tour of
inspection ; his death and character. Vaughan, second Archdeacon.
Licensing of C.M.S. missionaries, 1824. Bishop Heber's Visitation ; his
death. Chaplains' retiring allowances. Vaughan's inspection tour. Retire-
ment of Vaughan. Robinson, third Archdeacon ; his conception of the
office. Bishop Turner's Visitation. Confirmations, consecrations, ordina-
tions, 1830. Bishop Wilson's Visitation, 1834. Confirmations, &c. The
Vepery Conference on caste disputes. List of Consecrations up to 1836.

The East India Company Act of 1813 provided for the issue,
' in case it should please His Majesty,' of Royal Letters Patent
under the great seal, constituting one Bishopric for the whole
of the British territories in the East Indies and in other parts
within the limits of the Charter of the East India Company ;
and three Archdeaconries for the British territories within the
jurisdiction of the three Governments of Fort William, Fort
St. George, and Bombay. The Charter limits of the Company
extended far beyond the boundaries of India; so that the
Bishops of Calcutta at the beginning of their spiritual rule had
jurisdiction not only in India itself, but also in Ceylon, the
Straits Settlements, the trading stations in China, St. Helena,
Cape of Good Hope, and the settlements in Australasia.

K 2


The Letters Patent, which were issued in the following year,
empowered the Bishop of the new See to perform all functions
peculiar to the office of a Bishop ; to exercise spiritual and
ecclesiastical jurisdiction throughout the See according to the
ecclesiastical laws of England ; to grant licences to officiate ;
to visit, try, correct and punish all ecclesiastical persons who
offended against the ecclesiastical laws ; and to administer oaths
in such cases for the better administration of justice. The
jurisdiction given was actually limited to the superintendence
and c^ood government of the ministers of the Church establish-
ment of the East India Company. In order to carry it out
the Bishop was to have a Consistory Court with the usual

As to the duties and functions of the Archdeacons, not much
more was said than that they should assist the Bishop of Calcutta
in then- archdeaconries ' in the exercise of such episcopal
jurisdiction and functions, as we have been pleased to limit
to the said Bishop, according to the duty of an Archdeacon,
])y the ecclesiastical laws of our realm of England.' They were
to be commissaries of the Bishop within their archdeaconries.
During vacancies in the See they were to exercise episcopal
jurisdiction as far as the ecclesiastical law allowed. For the
rest it was considered to be understood that an Archdeacon in
India would have the same kind of function, power, and duty
as an Archdeacon in England. Generally speaking the duty
of an Archdeacon is the care and inspection of the diocese, or a
portion of the diocese, in subordination to the Bishop. Under
the authority of the Bishop he is to visit the parishes of the
archdeaconry, and to correct and amend such matters as ought
to be corrected and amended, unless they be matters of such
importance as ought only to be adjudged by the Bishop himself.
Every power which the Archdeacon has is derived from the
Bishop. He is the occulus efisco'pi within his prescribed
jurisdiction, the overseer of the Christian shepherds and the
Christian flock ; he is also the vicarius e'pisco'pi, with power to
act in the name of the Bishop when receiving authority to do
so. The object of his oversight is the inspection of the fabric,
furniture, sacred vessels, ornaments, books, and other property
of the Church. For the better exercise of these powers the


Archdeacon has a Court. The chief officer of it is the Registrar,
appointed by the Bishop, whose duty is to register ecclesiastical
documents, records, episcopal and archidiaconal acts, and to
assist in the administration of justice. It was assumed in
the Statute and in the Letters Patent that these duties and
functions were known, and that when Archdeacons were
appointed they would perform all functions and duties that
properly belonged to them.

It seems to be quite certain, from the care with which the
procedure of the Archdeacon's Court and the Bishop's Court was
regulated, that there was an idea at home that the Chaplains
required discipline and correction. There was to be an appeal
from the lower to the higher Court. It was laid down that in
all grave cases the Bishop or his commissary was to proceed in
due form of law to final sentence. This sentence was to be at
once communicated to the local Government, which was to
refer the matter to its Supreme Court. This Court might stop
further proceedings by writ of prohibition or mandamus. If
it upheld the proceedings there was to be an appeal to the King ;
for which purpose Commissioners, consisting of the Judges of
the Supreme Court at Calcutta and the members of the Calcutta
Council, or any three of them, were delegated to hear it. It
is to the credit of the Chaplains that no Courts were required
in their generation nor for a long time after they had passed

The Bishop was given the right of collating to the office of
Archdeacon any priest who was a Chaplain in the service of the
Company. The Bishop and Archdeacons by virtue of their
offices were to be corporations sole with perpetual succession
for the purposes of holding property according to custom.
The Crown reserved to itself the power to revoke or recall any
appointment made. The Company retained the power through
their Governors in Council to determine the residence of any
persons within their territories. The Court of Directors, the
local Governments, and all officials in India were ordered to
assist the Bishops and Archdeacons in the execution of their

The Letters Patent were dated May 2, 1814. Under them
Dr. Thomas Fanshaw Middleton was appointed Bishop of the


See of Calcutta, and the Rev. John Mousley was appointed
Archdeacon of Madras. Dr. Middleton was a member of the
S.P.C.K., and had taken an active part in their missionary
deHberations. It was well known that he was in sympathy
with the desire to promote Christian knowledge and to propa-
gate the Gospel. It was the custom of the S.P.C.K. to
dismiss their missionaries to their work with a prayer, a
charge, and a blessing. Dr. Middleton had been selected
on more than one occasion to deliver the charge. He left
England with a great deal of goodwill from all religious
parties and classes, and he found a similar goodwill on his
arrival at Calcutta.

The first Archdeacons were nominated by the Crown.
Subsequent nominations were granted by the Letters Patent
to the Bishop.

Since the beginning of the century it had been the custom
of the local Government to appoint one of their senior Chaplains
to the Presidency Church in Fort St. George, and to make
him the channel through whom all communications between
themselves and the other Chaplains had to pass. In 1814 the
Rev. Edward Vaughan occupied this position. The Rev. John
Mousley, who was appointed a Chaplain by the Directors in 1810,
was transferred from Wallajabad, in 1812, to assist Vaughan
in his multifarious duties at the Presidency. There were then
eleven Chaplains on the Madras establishment, and seven of
these were senior to him. The probable reason why he was
selected by the advisers of the King was that he had had a
distinguished career at Oxford, and had been elected to a
Fellowship at Balliol College. The old promotion rule of the
Company, ' seniority tempered by selection,' was hardly
observed in Mousley's case ; but it has to be remembered that
University distinction was universally recognised at the period
to be the golden key which opened the gates of high office in
the Church.

It fell to the lot of Vaughan, therefore, to institute and in-
duct Mousley, his junior colleague, into the Archdeaconry. Both
ceremonies took place under a commission from the Bishop at
St. Mary's, Fort St. George, the former on March 27, 1815, and
the latter on the following day. The record of the Institution


and the Induction was drawn up by the newly appointed
Registrar, Robert Orme, and was witnessed by ' four respectable
inhabitants ' : namely, George Arbuthnot, the founder of the
firm of Arbuthnot & Co.;i Wilham Harington, Thomas Macleane,
both in the Company's Civil Service ; and Robert Anderson,
M.D., the eminent physician and botanist, whose monument
is in the porch of St. George's Cathedral. Archdeacon Mousley
read himself in at St. Mary's on the following Sunday, This
event was attested in the Archdeacon's Act Book by three
civilians whose names are well known in the southern Presi-
dency вАФ Richard Clarke, G. R. Sullivan, and A. F. Hudleston.
The families of Harington, Clarke, Sullivan, and Hudleston
have each supplied four generations of administrators to the
Indian service. Richard Clarke was the first Honorary Secre-
tary of the S.P.C.K. in Madras, and did yeoman service in
preserving the property of the Society when it was in great
danger. On his return to England the Society wisely invited
him to join their East India Committee ; he possessed a
knowledge of their concerns in the East which was of great
value to them in their deliberations.

Neither the Statute nor the Letters Patent made the Arch-
deacon head of the ecclesiastical department. There is no
ev+idence from the Archdeacon's Act Books or the Government
Gazettes that the Government expected of the Archdeacon
anything beyond the canonical duties of the office at first.
These were judicial and disciplinary, not secretarial. The
Archdeacon administered oaths, issued licences to the clergy
for the Bishop, and citations for visitations. He was con-
stituted Bishop's Commissary without further appointment
within his Archdeaconry. There was nothing at first to prevent
Vaughan from continuing his administrative duties as Senior
Presidency Chaplain; and as the Government had no objection
he continued to be the channel of communication between
themselves and the Chaplains, and to receive all copies of
register books and other returns which had to be made by
the Chaplains of the different garrisons inland. The former of
these duties was transferred to the Archdeacon in 1816 by the
order of the Governor in Council. The latter duty remained

^ See Lawson's Memories of Madras, p. 273.


with the Senior Presidency Chaplain till 1831, when the duties
and the records were transferred by order of Government to
the Registrar. Thus by degrees the Archdeacon became the
head of the Ecclesiastical Department, and the functions of
the Senior Presidency Chaplain ceased.

The Bishop of Calcutta plamly saw that he and his officials
must have administration as far as possible in their hands.
He therefore moved the Governor- General of Fort William in
Council to issue three rules regarding their control over and
relationship to the Chaplains.^ The first rule provided that
nominations to stations should originate with the Bishop,
who was to communicate them to the local Governments. The
second rule provided that Chaplains on appointment and
arrival should report themselves to the Bishop, or the Arch-
deacon in his absence. The third rule provided that all of&cial
correspondence relatmg to the duties and concerns of the
clergy should in future be carried on with the Bishop, or in his
absence with the Archdeacons of the respective Presidencies.
Had the rule said ' communications ' instead of official ' corre-
spondence,' it would have mcluded the official reports from out-
stations, wdiich had up to that time been sent to Government
through the Senior Presidency Chaplain. The term actually
used enabled Edward Vaughan to retam the substance of his
old official position, whilst Archdeacon Mousley performed the
new duties of his new office. This curious result would not have
been arrived at if the senior of the two men had been appointed
to the office and dignity of Archdeacon.

In addition to the Resolutions mentioned above the Gov-
ernor-General in Council passed and published two others.
One was that the Secretary in the Military Department should
make a compilation of the existing rules and orders for the
guidance of Chaplains for the information of the Lord Bishop,
to enable him to prepare such new rules and orders as he might
deem expedient for the better management of the Ecclesiastical
Department confided to his charge by His Majesty's Letters
Patent. The other was that copies of all the resolutions should
be sent to the Military Department for transmission to the

* Resolutions of the Governor-Oeneralin Council, Nov. 1, 1815 ; Proclamation
of the Governor of Fort St. George in Council, Jan. 18, 181G.


military authorities at the various military stations for their

Bishop Middleton on his arrival at Calcutta found it im-
possible to work without a Eegistrar in each Archdeaconry.
The Letters Patent enabled him to make appointments, but
gave no indication as to the source from which their salaries
were to be derived. He therefore wrote to the Governor-
General in Council and explained that in England registrars
were remunerated by the fees on the instruments and
documents they prepared and registered ; but that in India
these would be comparatively few, and the returns from
them inadequate. The Government recognised the import-
ance of the work registrars had to do, and fixed a scale of
remuneration which, added to the probable amount to be
derived from fees, they thought would be sufiicient for the

During the time these changes were taking place the Church
on the Choultry Plain was being built. At the time Archdeacon
Mousley was instituted it was nearly finished and ready for
use. After the Institution the Presidency Chaplains, Edward
Vaughan and Marmaduke Thompson, and some of the principal
inhabitants petitioned the Bishop for a licence to use it. The
Bishop sent the licence to the Archdeacon authorising the
Presidency Chaplains to perform divine service in it for two
years. On April 30, 1815, they conducted the first services in
the new building.

At the end of the same year the Archdeacon received a
mandate from the Bishop notifying the primary visitation
of the Archdeaconry of Madras, requiring the Archdeacon
to cite all priests and deacons in Holy Orders to appear, and
inhibiting the Archdeacon from all ecclesiastical jurisdiction
during the period of the visitation. The mandate was pub-
lished in the Government Gazette, together with a notice
that Confirmations would be held at the Choultry Plain
Church and other centres. The Bishop also sent printed
copies of a Confirmation address, which were to be
forwarded to all the Chaplains and read by them to their

There were no missionaries in Holy Orders at the time ;


consequently the only persons cited were the Chaplains. Of
these there were fourteen :

Edward Vaughan. Morgan Davis.

Marmaduke Thompson. Thomas Wetherherd.

Charles Ball, D.D. James Hutchison, LL.D.

William Thomas. Joseph Brackenbury.

. W. A. Keating. Henry C. Bankes.

John Dunsterville. William Roy.

Richard Smyth. James Traill.

Half the number were excused attendance owing to their
distance from the Presidency town ; but the following eight
answered their names and took their part in. the visitatorial
proceedings : Vaughan, Thompson, Ball, Thomas, Keating,
Smyth, Davis, and Traill. The Bishop recognised the seniority
of Vaughan, as well as the great respect in which he was locally
held, by appointing him to preach the Visitation sermon.

On January 8 St. George's Church was consecrated. On
the 9th the first Confirmation in the Presidency Church was
held. Two hundred and seventy-eight Europeans and Eurasians
were confirmed. All their names were registered in the Arch-
deacon's Act Book. Many past and present Madrasis will
recognise with interest such names on the list as Anderson,
Balfour, Casamajor, Bazely, Bahnain, Franck, Forsyth,
Goldingham, Godfrey, Hunter, Harington, Hickey, Kennet,
Prendergast, and Eicketts.

On January 11 the Visitation took place. On January 22
the ground ' surrounding St. George's Church ' was consecrated.
The records so far discovered do not show the precise limits of
the portion so set apart. When the Church was consecrated
the Bishop refused to consecrate the ground, as it was not
enclosed. Between the 8th and 22nd there would not have
been time to enclose the whole compound adequately. It
seems most probable that a sufficient portion in the south-east
corner for immediate use as a burial-ground was hastily en-
closed, and then set aside by the Bishop's decree and blessing
from all profane and common uses.

The Bishop then proceeded to license the eight Chaplains
who were present. They subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles,


the three articles of Canon 36, the declaration of assent
to the Book of Common Prayer ; they took the oaths of
allegiance, supremacy, and of canonical obedience ; and they
were licensed as follows :

St. George's, Choultry Plain.



Keating . St. Mary's, Fort St. George.

Davis . The Church in Black Town.

These were the only three consecrated Churches at the time.

Ball . St. Thomas' Mount Chapel.

Thomas . The Chapels in the Cantonment and Fort

at Bangalore.
Smyth . The Chapels at Arcot, Vellore, and

Traill . The Chapel at Poonamallee.

Before leaving Madras Bishop Middleton drew up parochial
boundaries to define the jurisdiction of the Chaplains at the
Presidency. To the Fort Chaplain was allotted Chintadre-
pettah, Egmore, Pursewalkum, Vepery, Perambore, St. Thome,
and Triplicane. To the Black Town Chaplain was allotted the
whole of the military boundary of the Black Town, and the
houses outside that boundary on the north. To the St. George's
Chaplains was allotted the rest of Madras. The four Chaplains
were ordered to take a week's duty at the St. Mary's cemetery
in turn. The licences for erecting tombs were to be granted
by the Chaplain to whom the funeral duties belonged. Three-
fourths of the fees were to be divided between the four Chap-
lains ; the other fourth was to be credited to the St. Mary's
Charity School in the Fort. The St. Mary's Chaplain was to
visit the military part of the General Hospital ; the Black
Town Chaplain the rest.

Before the Bishop proceeded on his tour southward, the
Registrar, Robert Orme, petitioned that his Lordship would
excuse him and would appoint a deputy to accompany him..
The petition was granted, and William Henry Abbott, gentle-
man, was appointed to perform the duties of the Registrar
in Orme's place during the tour. Before assuming office


Abbott was required to subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles,
the lirst and third articles of Canon 36, the fii'st clause of
the second article of the same canon, and to take the oaths of
allegiance and sui3remacy and of his office.

The Bishop then went south and afterwards to the west
coast ; and the Archdeacon's Act Book shows that during his
tour he consecrated the Church of St. John at Trichinopoly,
and licensed H. C. Bankes to officiate in it ; that he licensed
the chapel of St. Mary at Arcot for divine service till such tune
as it should be consecrated ; that he licensed John Dunsterville
to officiate at Cannanorc, and James Hutchison to officiate
at Quilon in the buildings then used at these places for divine

There is no record of any consecrations except that of St.
John's, Trichinopoly. Probably the other buildings were not
fmished, or were not properly furnished, and the burial-grounds
were not properly enclosed.

During the next three years the Archdeacon was the
Commissary of the Bishop and licensed the clergy as they

In March 1819 the Bishop held his second triennial visitation
of the Archdeaconry. As before he issued his mandate,
inhibited the Archdeacon from the exercise of his jurisdiction,
and instructed him to cite the clergy to appear before him at
St. George's. Twenty clergy were cited, but all were excused
attendance except the five in the Presidency town and the
Chaplains of St. Thomas' Mount and Poonamallee.

On his arrival the Bishop mtroduced a change in the system
of licensing the clergy. Three years before he followed the
custom of the English Church and licensed the clergy to
officiate in a fixed place. The exigencies of the service made
changes of station necessary, and sometimes more than one
change in the course of a year. A fresh licence for every change
was a grievous and unnecessary expense to the Chaplains. The
Bishop therefore introduced the system of granting a general
licence to officiate in the Archdeaconry, and of endorsing the
licence when a change was made from one station to another.
A confirmation was held at St. George's on March 23,
181'J, and 247 persons were confirmed, among whom one note^


such well-known names as Branson, De Meuron, Dunhill,
Calcler, Guest, Hitchins, Leonard, Lumsden, Mourat, Nailor,
Nuthall, Pouchard, Ringrow, Saalfelt, Sewell, Starkenburg,
Sherman, Vigors, and Zscherpel.

On April 8 the Bishop consecrated the St. Mary's burial-
ground on the petition of the Fort Chaplains and some of the
principal inhabitants. The portion consecrated included the
enlargement northwards which was carried out in 1801,

On April 13 the Bishop consecrated the Church of St. Mary
Magdalen, Poonamallee, and the burial-ground of that station.
The petition to consecrate was signed by Wilham Malkin the
Chaplain, Captain John Hamilton Edwards the Commandant
and other officers. By order of the Government Captain
Edwards presented the necessary deeds of donation which the
Bishop laid upon the altar. At the conclusion of the services
the acts of consecration were duly registered.

Li the year 1811 Edward Vaughan obtained through the
Directors a commission from the Archbishop of Canterbury to
consecrate the cantonment Church at Masulipatam. In 1813
he obtained a similar commission to consecrate the Churches
at Cannanore, Bangalore, Bellary, Trichinopoly, and the Fort
Church at Masulipatam, together with their burial-grounds
and the burial-ground of St. Mary's, Fort St. George.^ In
1816 Bishop Middleton consecrated the Church and burial-
ground at Trichinopoly ; and it was hoped that in 1819 he would
consecrate the rest. Being unable to do this, he licensed the
use of the buildings at Bangalore, Secunderabad, and MasuH-
patam Fort, and the Chaplains who were to officiate in them.
Chaplains were licensed to officiate at Cannanore and Bellary,
but by a curious oversight the buildings at those two stations
were either not licensed, or the Registrar neglected to register
the fact in the Act Book.

Archdeacon Mousley made an inspection tour of the Chap-
laincies in 1816 or 1817 with the sanction of the Government.
Unfortunately no record of it exists except the fact that it
took place, and that it was reported to the Directors in the year

' Letter, Feb. 6, 1810, 296, Public ; Despatch, Feb. 22, 1811, 28, Public;

Online LibraryFrank PennyThe church in Madras : being the history of the ecclesiastical and missionary action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 39)