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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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Letter. Jan. 10, 1812, 38, Public ; Despatch, Jan. 29, 1813, 7, Public ; and
Archdeacon's Act Book under date 1819.


1817. The Government paid his travelling expenses,^ but the
Directors refused to sanction the payment. They quoted
section 50 of the Act of 1813 as then authority for the refusal.
This section prescribed that the salaries of the Bishop and
Archdeacons ' shall be in lieu of all fees of office, perquisites,
emoluments and advantages whatsoever ; and no fees of office,
perquisites etc. shall be accepted, received or taken in any
manner or on any account or pretence whatsoever, other than
the salaries aforesaid.' The Government of Fort St. George
did not agree that this section of the Act precluded the payment
of travelling expenses, but as the money had been paid more
than a year before the receipt of the Directors' despatch, the
matter was allowed to drop.

Archdeacon Mousley died in August 1819. Bishop Middle-
ton paid a generous tribute to his memory in a letter to the
S.P.C.K. in London.2 He said :

' He was a man of no common endowments ; considerable
as a scholar and a divine, very eminent as an Orientalist,
conscientiously and affectionately attached to the Church of
England, of sound and solid judgement, of sedate yet earnest
piety, and ])lessed with a serenity of mind and a meekness of
deportment such as I have rarely known. The honour paid
to his memory on the day of his funeral evinced how highly his
worth was appreciated by people of every rank in Madras.
By myself his loss must be long felt ; he was my zealous but
discreet coadjutor in an important part of my charge.'

The Bishop nominated Edward Vaughan to take his place,
and issued a commission to the other Presidency Chaplain to
witness the necessary subscriptions, receive the declarations,
and administer the oaths previous to his institution and induc-
tion. He was inducted on May 6, 1820, and read himself in
on the following day. The witnesses who signed the record in
the Archdeacon's Act Book were Eichard Yeldham, John
Gwatkin, Henry Purchas, and George Cadell. The new Arch-
deacon took the oaths of allegiance, abjuration, and supremacy

' Despatch, August 26, 1818, 5, 6, Eccl.

- Consultations of the East India Committee, July 24, 1820, in which is
recorded his letter dated Sept. 21, 1819.


in the Supreme Court of Judicature at Madras on August 28 ;
but it does not appear why this course was adopted.

The death of Archdeacon Mousley created vacancies.
Contrary to the terms of the Proclamation of the Governor in
Council dated January 18, 1816, these were filled up by the
Government, who sent the appointments to the Archdeacon
to be registered, and ordered copies to be sent to the Bishop for
his information. This procedure was continued from 1820 till
the arrival of Bishop Heber on his primary visitation in 1826.
As the Bishop endorsed the licences of those who were thus
transferred from one station to another, the procedure had the
Bishop's approval. It is not, however, easy to understand
why the nominations were not made by the Archdeacon, who
was the Bishop's Commissary for this among other purposes.

The year 1824 is memorable for the fact that by that time
the C.M.S. had consented to allow their agents in India,
who were in Holy Orders, to be licensed by the Bishop of
Calcutta according to the custom of the English Church.
Some of their ordained missionaries had been in India
several years working without any licence as if they were
not members of the Church. In 1824 the following appeared
before the Archdeacon as Commissary of the Bishop, subscribed
the usual declarations, took the appointed oaths, and were
duly licensed to officiate in the Diocese among the heathen :
James Eidsdale, William Sawyer, Benjamin Bailey, Henry
Baker, and Joseph Fawcett Beddy. In January 1825 Samuel
Eidsdale followed their example.

Bishop Heber of Calcutta arrived at Madras in February
1826 to hold his first and last visitation of the Archdeaconry.
His Lordship adopted a slightly different procedure from that
of Bishop Middleton. The two Presidency Chaplains, the
Chaplains of Fort St. George, Black Town, St. Thomas' Mount,
and Poonamallee were cited to appear. The rest were cited
and excused, but were required to send their Letters of Orders.
Beside these the Bishop on arrival cited the missionaries of the
S.P.C.K. and the C.M.S. who were working in Madras : namely
Dr. Bottler, Mr. Haubroe, Mr. James Eidsdale, Mr. Sawyer,
and the new arrival Mr. John William Doran, who was licensed
in March 1826.


Bishop Heber was accompanied by the Rev. Thomas
Robmson, his Chaplam. Tlie six Chaplains mentioned and the
live missionaries were present at the Visitation, in addition to
Robmson and the Archdeacon. The Bishop preached at St.
George's Chm-ch more than once, at St. Mary's in the Fort, the
Black Town Church, and at the new Church at Vepery. He held
one Confirmation service for the four parishes at St. George's,
when 475 persons were confirmed. On the following day he
confii-med 104 persons at Poonamallee. Confirmations were
also held at Tanjore and Trichinopoly before the death of
this devoted servant of God in April 1826.

The Court of Directors had under consideration this year
the increase of the retiring allowances of the Chaplains. They
came to the conclusion that in order to get the kind of man they
wished to have they must make the conditions of service
attractive. They could offer no romance such as belongs
to the work of a missionary ; no independence of effort ; no
promise of organising and superintending other men's labours ;
nothing but the routine of pastoral work ; nothing different
from the ordinary work which the clergy carry on at home in a
climate mostly congenial, with the regular enjoyment of the
companionship of their wives and children, who need not be
separated from them either for climatic or education or any
other reason. If the men they wanted were to be attracted
from the pleasant home parishes, the Company was bound to
offer some compensation for leaving such pleasant prospects
behind. They had already increased the pay when serving ;
they now increased the retiring allowance from the pay of a
Major to that of a Lieutenant-Colonel.

After the death of Bishop Heber in 1826 Archdeacon
Vaughan proposed to complete the visitation which the Bishop
had intended to make to Bangalore and the intermediate
stations in North Arcot. A large sum of money which had been
allotted for the Bishop's expenses remained unexpended.
From this sum the Government paid the Archdeacon's expenses;
and reported the fact to the Directors. i

The Durectors rephed ^ by referring the Governor in Council
to their former despatch of 1818, and expressing their dis-

' Letter, July 25, 182G, IG, Eccl. - Despatch, Sept. 5, 1827, 12, Eccl.



pleasure that their ruling had been set aside. The Council were
convinced of the advantage of inspection and the justice of
charging the Government with the cost of it ; but they were
obliged to acquiesce in the orders of the Directors, though they
did so under protest. They put their case in this way : i

' The Rt. Hon. the Governor in Council regrets that the
proceedings of Government on the occasion in question should
not have been approved of by the Hon. Court. Chaplains in the
service of the Company are allowed remuneration when they
are required to travel from one station to another in discharge
of the different duties required of them ; and the Archdeacon's
tour of visitation, being equally one of a public nature, the
Government were not aware that the restrictions [as to fees,
perquisites, &c.] contained in 53 Geo. Ill, cap. 155, should be
constructed to preclude the grant of travelling expenses to
him also, when employed on official duty. The orders of the
Hon. Court, however, on this subject will in future be strictly
adhered to, unless they shall see lit on this application to direct
that they be not enforced.'

In the year 1827 the Court of Directors called for 2 complete
returns of all baptisms, marriages, and burials ^performed by
civil and military officers at out-garrisons where no Chaplam
resided, from the earliest times in which there were records,
and for quarterly returns in future. The extract was sent by
the Chief Secretary to Archdeacon Vaughan, requesting him
to forward what was required to the Senior Chaplain at the
Presidency. A procedure which had been adopted to save
the dignity of Vaughan under other chcumstances no longer
had that effect when he became Archdeacon.

Archdeacon Vaughan resigned all his offices and went
home in. January 1828. The Directors gave him a special
retiring allowance in recognition of his long and good service,^
and the Fort St. George Government appointed Dr. Eoy,
the Senior Presidency Chaplain, to act as Archdeacon till the
Bishop's wishes were known. The vacancy was filled up on

1 C'cmsultations, Jan. 29, 1828.

- Despatch, July 25, 1827, 17, Public.

'^ Despatch, Sept. 23, 1828, Eccl., para. 3.


May 7, 1828, when the Eev. Thomas Eobinson became the third
Archdeacon of Madras by mduction, after making the usual
declarations and takmg the usual oaths. The service at St.
George's was similar to those m former years. The witnesses
who signed the record m the Act Book were four civilians :
Henry Sulivan Graeme, John Gwatkin, George Hadow, and
George Cadell. Archdeacon Eobmson followed the example
of Vaughan, and took the oaths of allegiance, abjuration, and
supremacy at the Supreme Court of Judicature. He was
nominated to the office by Bishop James.

The fii'st two Archdeacons, Mousley and Vaughan, had
different conceptions of their office from all their successors.
They regarded themselves less as Government officials
than as Church officials and the commissaries of the Bishop.
They modelled their conduct of affans upon that of similar
dignitaries in England. They regarded their official corre-
spondence with the Government as their own private matter,
and took no trouble to preserve it. They looked upon it as a
guide to them personally w^hich could be of no value to their
successors. Archdeacon Eobinson had quite another concep-
tion of his office. He regarded himself as the ecclesiastical
official of the Government, appointed to rule over the eccle-
siastical persons and affairs of the Archdeaconry, with power to
give orders, to rebuke, to mamtain discipline, to deliver charges,
and to hold visitations. His ideal prevailed for some time
after the arrival of the first Bishop of Madras, and was the
cause of occasional conflict betw^een his successors and the

When Archdeacon Vaughan retned in 1828 Bishop James
had just arrived in the country. The new Bishop was unable
to extol the excellent qualities of his head and heart, but the
Court of Dkectors showed their appreciation. Vaughan retired
into private life. On the death of his first wife he married
the widow of Colonel James Colebrooke, C.B., of the Company's
Madras Service, and died at Kingsbridge, co. Devon, in 1849,
aged 83.

Bishop James had not the opportunity during his short
episcopal life of visiting the southern Archdeaconry. He was
consecrated in 1827 and died in 1828. His successor. Bishop


Turner, arrived at Calcutta in 1829. In July 1830 he intimated
his intention of visiting Madras. Archdeacon Robinson sent
round a notice of the intention to all the clergy, printed a
confirmation address, and directed the Chaplains to read it in
Church before the morning service on every Sunday till the
Bishop's confirmation took place. The record m the Arch-
deacon's Act Book reads as if this notice were the only prepara-
tion the candidates were supposed to have. But this may not
have been the case. The Bishop arrived on October 16, 1830.
Large numbers of young people were confirmed at various
centres : St. George's, 95 ; Fort, 111 ; Vepery, 258 ; Black Town,
56 ; St. Thomas' Mount, 41 ; Poonamallee, 72. There were also
confirmations at Tripassore, Vellore, Arcot, Bangalore, and
Yelwall near Mysore, but the numbers of confirmees at these
stations is not recorded.

Bishop Turner consecrated several Churches and burial-
grounds during his visitation tour, of which hereafter. He also
held at St. George's, Choultry Plain, the first Ordination service
of the Church of England in southern India. On November 7,
1830, he ordained three deacons, James Payne Horsford, Edward
Dent, and John Devasagaiyam of the C.M.S., and one priest,
John Heavyside, of the S.P.G. The Rev. John Devasagaiyam
was the first Tamil clergyman to receive Holy Orders. Arch-
deacon Robinson preached the Ordination sermon.

On November 11, 1830, the Bishop held his primary visita-
tion at St. George's Church, when the following clergy answered
to their names :

W. Roy, St. George's. Dr. Rottler, S.P.G.

H. Harper, St. George's. J. Heavyside, S.P.G.

F. Spring, Poonamallee. E. Dent, C.M.S.

R. A. Denton, Fort. J. Devasagaiyam, C.M.S.

F. J. Darrah, Black Town. C. Blackman, C.M.S.

W. Sawyer, Bishop's Chaplain. J. Marsh, C.M.S.

Bishop Turner died at Calcutta in the following August
greatly regretted. His successor Bishop Daniel Wilson was
consecrated in 1832. He made his primary visitation of the
Archdeaconry of Madras in 1834. He arrived with his domestic
Chaplain, the Rev. Josiah Bateman, on December 10, 1834,

L 2


and commenced his episcopal duties at once. Like his pre-
decessors he inhibited the Archdeacon from exercising the
powers of his office dmung his stay in the Archdeaconry ; but
it is not easy to see why this action was necessary. Confirma-
tions took place at St. George's, 136 ; St, Mary's, 183 ; Vepery,
200; St, Thomas' Mount, 67; Cuddalore, 24; Pondicherry,
9 ; Wallajahbad, 86 ; Vizagapatam, 57. Total, 764,

The Bishop's visitation took place at St. George's on
December 23, and the following answered their names :

H. Harper, St, George's. Dr. Eottler, S.P.G.

F. Spring, St. George's. C, Blackman, C.M.S.
E, A, Denton, Fort, E. Dent, CM.S,

W, T. Blenkinsop, St, C. Calthrop, S.P.G,

Thomas' Mount, John Tucker, C.M.S.

G. J, Cubitt, Vepery. G. Pettitt, C.M,S,
G. W. Mahon, Poonamallee.

After fulfilling his engagements in and near Madras, Bishop
Wilson went to Tanjore and held an Ordination service at St.
Peter's Church. The following were ordained on January 31,

Deacon. — John Ludovick Irion, S.P.G.

Priests. — Thomas Carter Simpson, S.P,G.
Edward Jarrett Jones, S,P,G,
Daniel Valentine Coombes, S.P.G.
Adam Compton Thompson, S.P.G.

On his way back to Madras he consecrated the burial-
ground at Cuddalore which had been recently enclosed by the
Government, and held confirmation services at Pondicherry
and Wallajahbad.

On his arrival at Madras there was an Ordination service
at St. George's, when the Eev. Charles Calthrop and the Eev.
John Ludovick Irion were ordamed Priests. Calthrop was a
graduate of St. John's College, Cambridge, who came out to
take the place of the Eev. John Heavyside at the Vepery
Seminary, Heavyside had been overcome by the climate and


had been obliged to retire. The Senior Presidency Chaplain,
Henry Harper, was selected to preach the sermon on this
occasion. The Ordination took place on February 18, 1835.

Two other important functions Bishop Wilson fulfilled
before bringing his visitation to an end ; one was the consecra-
tion of the Pursewalkum (Vepery) burial-ground. Like all
other consecrations this was done on the petition of the Chaplain
and the principal inhabitants, and with the consent of the
Government. The other was a special visitation of the old
Vepery mission— origmally S.P.C.K., but at this period partly
S.P.G. and partly C.M.S.— at the Vepery Church. There were
present Dr. J. P. Eottler, J. L. Irion, and C. Calthrop of the
S.P.G., and G. Pettitt and E. Dent of the C.M.S. Beside these
there was the European catechist, Augustus Frederick Caem-
merer (S.P.G.), who was soon after ordained ; all the native
catechists, teachers, and schoolmasters of the two missions, and
many native Christians. It was a conference on the subject
of the unhappy caste disputes which were then paralysing the
work of the missionaries in Madras and other places m the
south. An account of it is given in the ' Life of Bishop

When this was over the Bishop retraced his steps northward,
and held a Confirmation service at Vizagapatam on February
26, 1835. This was the last of the visitations of the Bishops of
Calcutta, for before the year was out the first Bishop of Madras
arrived at the Presidency.


The following are the consecrations which took place in the Presidency of
Madras before the establishment of the Madras Bishopric :

1. Churches.

St. Mary's, Fort St. George, by Commission from the Archbishop of Canter-
bury, 1680.

St. Mark's, Black Town, by Commission from the Archbishop of Canterbury,

St. George's Cathedral, by Bishop Middleton, 1816.

St. John's, Trichinopoly, by Bishop Middleton, 1816.

St. Mary Magdalen, Poonamallee, by Bishop Middleton, 1819.

St. Thomas, St. Thomas' Mount, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

St. Mark's, Bangalore, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

St. Stephen's, Ootacamund, by Bishop Turner, 1830.


2. BuriaJ-grounds.

St. George's. Madras, b}' Bishop Middleton. 1S16.

St. Mary s. Fort St. George, by Bishop Middleton, 1S19.

St. Mary Magdalen, Poonaraallce, by Bishop Middleton, 1819.

St. Thomas' Mount, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

St. Mark's, Bangalore, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

Fort. Bangalore, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

Seringapatam, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

Churchyard, Mysore, by Bishop Turner, 1830.

Cuddalore, bj' Bishop Wilson, 1835.

Pursewalkum (Vepery), by Bishop Wilson, 1835.



OF CALCUTTA — Continued

Archdeacon Robinson. His first visitation. His issue of licences and faculties .
His report to Government. Marriage licences. Registrars' fees. Arrival
of bells from England. 1828. Government action on the Archdeacon's report.
Archdeacon's second tour of inspection. His third tour. His report. The
action of Government upon it. His travelling expenses. Proposed
revision of registrars' fees. Sick leave for Chaplains. Lay Trustees for
each station Church. Rules for their guidance. Archdeacon's directions
to the Chaplains regarding Committee meetings and books. Letters testi-
monial. Size of monuments limited. Code of leave rules. Chaplains to
visit out-stations. Rules relating to Chaplains and their duties, 1832.
Subsequently adopted in Bengal and Bombay. Henry Harper acting
Archdeacon. The employment of missionaries to visit stations without
Chaplains. Archdeacon Robinson's second visitation. Withdrawal of
mihtary guards from Churches. Appointment of extra peons in their
place. The Archdeaconry made a Bishop's See, 1835.

The Venerable Thomas Eobinson, the third Archdeacon of
Madras, went to India as a Company's Chaplain on the Bombay
establishment. When Bishop Heber was on his tour of visita-
tion in the Bombay Presidency he met Eobinson, and being
attracted by the combined elegance of his manner, mind, and
scholarship, he invited hhn to become his domestic Chaplain.
Henceforth Eobinson accompanied the Bishop on his tours.
He was with him at Trichinopoly ; he recovered the Bishop's
body from the fatal bath ; conducted the funeral service at
St. John's Church in the cantonment, and preached the funeral
sermon. His intimacy with the Bishop enabled him to know
the Bishop's mind on various intricate ecclesiastical questions
in the Archdeaconry, and the Government of Madras invited
him to make a report on the ecclesiastical affaks of the places


he had visited with the Bishop, such as the Bishop himself
would have made if he had lived.

On the completion of this duty he returned to Calcutta to
await the arrival of the Bishop's successor. During this in-
terval he officiated at the old Church, and spent his spare time
in translating a portion of the Bible into Persian ; and when
Dr. Mill, the Principal of Bishop's College, fell ill, he officiated
as Principal till his recovery. He had an unfortunate dispute
with Dr. ]\Iill, the memory of which will live long, for it is
recorded m a published diary of singular interest. i According
to the writer, Robmson behaved in the way one would expect
from a chosen associate and friend of Heber. Bishop John
Thomas James arrived at Calcutta in January 1828. Dr. Mill
lost no time in placing the whole dispute before his lordship, and
asking for judgment. Very soon afterwards the Archdeaconry
of Madras became vacant, and the Bishop solved the knotty
question at issue by promoting Robinson, and thus separating
the disputants.

The new Archdeacon had a better knowledge of the eccle-
siastical duties of his office than either of his predecessors. He
had also studied the wording of the Royal Letters Patent
creating his office, and grasped the fact that he was the Com-
missary of the Bishop ex officio, without further appointment ;
and he knew enough of ecclesiastical law to understand that a
commissary is something more than a mere business agent. He
at once put his ideas into practice, and gave notice of his primary
visitation. This was held on July 14, 1828, when the following
answered their names, all other Chaplains and missionaries of
the Church Societies being excused on account of distance :

W. Roy, Senior Presidency Chaplain.

W. Moorsom, B.A., Junior Presidency Chaplain.

T. Lewis, M.A., St. Mary's, Fort St. George.

T. Wetherherd, M.A., Poonamallce.

J. Hallewell, M.A., Black Town.

W. T. Blonkinsop, B.A., St. Thomas' Mount.

J. P. Bottler, Ph.D., S.P.G. missionary at Vepery.

J. C. Kohlhoff, S.P.G. missionary at Pulicat.

1 The Journal of Mrs. Fenton, pp. 1G5, 184, cd. 1901.


P. M. D. Wissing, S.P.G. missionary at Vepery.
James Ridsdale, C.M.S. missionary at Black Town.
W. Sawyer, C.M.S. missionary at Perambore.
J. W. Doran, C.M.S. missionary at Perambore.

Of these Rottler and Kohlhoff were the old missionaries of
the S.P.C.K., who had been transferred to the S.P.G. Wissing
was much younger than either of them. He had been appointed
by the S.P.G. after the transfer of the S.P.C.K. mission field
to them had taken place. Eottler and Wissing were in Danish
episcopal orders ; Kohlhoff was in simple Lutheran orders.
Archdeacon Robinson knew the kind of work they were doing
and the excellency of it. As a matter of Church order and
discipline he was of opinion that the agents of the Church
Societies should be recognised as fellow labourers, receive the
licence of the Bishop, and be summoned to the Visitation.
With this opinion Dr. Rottler agreed. Accordingly he took
the required oaths, subscribed the usual declarations and
articles, and was licensed on July 9, a week before the Visita-
tion. Kohlhoff hesitated about the licence. He had officiated
for over forty years without one, and did not see the necessity
of it. Wissing, who possessed the licence of his own Danish
Bishop, had made up his mind to refuse it.

Up to this time episcopal licences and faculties had been
granted by the Bishop of Calcutta himself. In June 1828
Bishop James delegated his authority to the Archdeacons as
his special commissaries to grant these, and to administer the
oaths to registrars on their appointment. In his capacity as
special commissary the Archdeacon on July 13, 1828, licensed
the new Chapel at St. Thomas' Mount for divine service upon
the petition of the Rev. W. T. Blenkinsop and the principal
residents. He also licensed the new building at Vepery on the
petition of the Rev. J. P. Rottler and others, and the new build-
ings at Perambore and South Black Town on the petitions of
William Sawyer, James Ridsdale, and the principal inhabi-
tants of those districts respectively. On July 22 he granted a
faculty for the erection of a monument in St. George's Church.
The general effect of this delegation of power was convenient
to all concerned. But there was an unforeseen effect. The


fees of the registrars at Madras and Bombay were increased,
and those of the Calcutta registrar were correspondingly
reduced. The latter complained, but after a long official

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 14 of 39)