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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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of Church order among all the clergy of the Archdeaconry.
None of the cases he had to deal with required a Consistorial
Court. They were all capable of solution by means of wise
counsel and good judgment. And these were the means which
the Archdeacon employed.

During his term of office there was only one case of ritual
irregularity. In January 1829 the S.P.G. committee decided
to inquire if the missionaries at Cuddalore, Tanjore, and Trichin-
opoly followed the service book and ritual of the Church of
England. Rosen at Cuddalore replied in the affirmative ;
Kohlhoff and Haubroe at Tanjore made the same reply ; but
Schreyvogel at Trichinopoly was only able to reply in this way
of the morning service. The afternoon service consisted of a
prayer, a hymn, and a sermon. The S.P.G. committee com-
municated these replies to the Archdeacon, who accordingly
wrote to Schreyvogel requesting that the Tamil version of the
Liturgy should be invariably used. It was a small matter, and
it seems now hardly worth while to have corrected it ; but the
period was one of transition from individual missionary inde-
pendence to Church order and subjection to episcopal authority.
What had to be done was done in the kindliest way, and the
excellent German missionaries employed by the S.P.C.K.
understood that they were no longer in ecclesiastical matters a
law unto themselves.



St. Thomas', St. Thomas' Mount. — History. Early missionaries and

Chaplains. The building of the Church. The mission chapel. St.

John's Library. Plan and consecration of Church. The altar piece.

The monuments.
Pallaveram Cantonment Chapel.— The building. Plan and cost of adaptation.

The furniture and donors.
Holy Trinity, Aurangabad. — Historj'. The first Church. Sale of the building,

1875. The new Church. Furniture. First resident Chaplain. Transfer

to C.M.S.
Tripassore Cantonment Chapel. — History. Origin of the chapel. Archdeacon

Robinson's visit. The C.M.S. Mission and its chapel given up. Buildings

transferred to the London Missionary Society.
St. Thomas', Quilon. — History. First Chaplain. Church sanctioned, 1809.

Built, 1827. Size and cost. Consecration. Burial-ground. Modern

adornments. Early Chaplains.
John Pereiras Chapel, Madras. — The garden site. The chapel built. Assistance

given by the Government.

St. Thomas', St. Thomas' Mount.— Yrom the ecclesiastical
point of view St. Thomas' Mount is one of the most interesting
places in India. There is a very ancient tradition that St.
Thomas the Apostle landed on the west coast of India, made his
way to the east coast, and suffered martyrdom at the Mount
now known by his name. There is nothing improbable in the
story, though it may refer to a later Thomas who came from
Syria in the eighth century. It is quite certain that there
have been Christians on both coasts from a very early period,
and that they have kept up communication with the Christians
of the eastern Churches of Syria and Assyria from that early
period to the present day. It is also certain that in 1547
the Portuguese fomid at the Mount a grave with a cross in
relief on it, and a dove with extended wings. It had a
Pahlevi inscription, which Dr. Burnell ascribes to the eighth


century. 1 Tlie whole evidence in favour of the tradition has
been marshalled with great sldll by scholars in recent years,2
and need not bo repeated. There is a good deal to be said in
its favour, and a good deal against it ; nothing certain can be
proved on either side. The historical investigations of the
scholars mentioned are worthy of attention. But even if the
tradition could be proved to refer to no earlier period than
the eighth century, the Mount would still be from the Christian
point of view one of the most interesting places in India.

The Portuguese who found the remains built a chapel over
the spot, and used the monumental slab as a reredos of the altar.
The chapel has been in the charge of the Goanese Mission ever
since, and year by year a festival is held on St. Thomas' Day
at the Momit, which large numbers of Portuguese Christians
from all parts of India attend. The name given to the Mount
by the natives is Parangamalai, that is, the hill of the Feringhi.
This name cannot be more ancient than the establishment of the
Frankish empire in Europe ; and the probability is that it is
not older than the end of the seventeenth century, when the
Mahomedan power was extended to the south of India. For
it was the Mahomedans of Western Asia who applied the term
Feringhi to Europeans generally, not the Dravidians of the
Coromandel coast.

The eighteenth century gave the Mount ^ an importance of
another kind. It was on the high road to the French settle-
ment of Pondicherry, the Danish settlement of Tranquebar,
the Dutch settlement of Negapatam, and to the principal
towns belonging to om- allies, the Nawab of the Carnatic and the
Eajah of Tanjore. Its position gave it a military importance
to the Government of Fort St. George. In 1759 a fierce contest
took place at the foot of the Mount between the British troops
under Colonel Caillaud, who was marching from the south to
the relief of Fort St. George, and the French troops under
Count Lally, who had just raised the siege. The battle lasted
twelve hours and resulted in the retreat of the French

' Indian Antiqiuiry, 1874, p. 313.

- By the Rev. Dr. C. E. Kennet in the Indian Church Quarterly Review, 1888.
and by the Rev. Dr. Medlycott in his Christians of St. Thomas.
3 The Mount is nine miles S.W. of Fort St. George.


force. 1 Fifteen years later, 1774, it was made the headquarters
of the Madras Artillery, and it remained so till 1858, when the
Company's European troops became the soldiers of the Queen.^

In 1776 Lord Pigot, the Governor of Fort St. George, was
caballed against by some of the military officers in the Presi-
dency, taken prisoner, and confined in the house of Major
Matthew Home, the Artillery Commandant at the Mount.
There is a rare print of the Mount bound up with a poem by
Eyles Irwin, dated 1774, in which this house, a large two-
storey bungalow, is shown.

In 1781 Sir Eyre Coote assembled the army here previous
to taking the field against Hyder Ali and the French.

It is a remarkable fact that though the Mount was only
nine miles from Fort St. George, there is no record of a visit
of a Chaplain to the station before 1795. The Vepery mission-
aries of the S.P.C.K. began religious work in the cantonment
at an early period in its history among the soldiers and their
native and Eurasian wives. They included the account of
their work at the Mount in their annual reports to the Society .^
The soldiers and their families who desired religious ministra-
tions were not therefore left without them. These voluntary
and unofficial efforts were appreciated by more than a few, as at
other military stations where the Society's missionaries worked.
In 1794 the Rev. R. Owen was appointed to officiate at Poona-
mallee, from which place he paid periodical visits to the Mount
during 1795, during one of which he celebrated a marriage.
From that date till 1803 the marriage returns show the station
was sometimes visited by the Chaplain of Poonamallee, some-
times by the Chaplain of Fort St. George, and sometimes by
the Vepery missionary.

In 1804 the Rev. J. E. Atwood was permanently stationed
at the Mount with orders to visit Poonamallee.'^ In 1810 the
two stations were separated and a Chaplain allotted to each.^

• See the Imperial Gazetteer, ' St. Thomas' Mount.'

- For terms of transfer and distinguished service of the old Madras Artillery-
see Wilson's History of the Madras Army, iv. 411.

^ Mr. Paezold reported in a letter of March 9, 1811, a visit to the Mount,
when there were twenty-nine communicants.

4 Despatch, April 9, 1806, 37, Public.

5 Despatch, Nov. 3, 1815, 125, Mil.


As soon as Atwood took up his abode in the station there was
a general desire to have a building for divine service. The
Officer Commanding represented to the Government the
necessity of providing a chapel. i The Government called
upon the Military Board to provide a plan and estimate,
and meanwhile authorised the Commanding Officer to rent
a house at thirty-five pagodas a month, which would serve
the double purpose of a place of worship and accommodation
for the Chaplain .2 Tlie Military Board submitted a plan of
a Church which would have cost 7472 pagodas, which is
under £3000. Tlie Government at that early period in
its experience of Church building thought the price exor-
bitant, and postponed the question for a season.^ The
Rev. J. E. Atwood, who was so anxious to have the chapel,
died in 1810 without seeing it. His successor, the Rev.
C. Ball, applied in 1811 to have the hired house adapted to
the purpose for which it was used. This was done by the
Government in this way ; the dividing walls of the rooms
below were taken down, and the three rooms thrown into one
at the cost of 754 pagodas.* This building sufficed till 1825,
though the accommodation was much smaller than what was

In 1817 Major-General Bell proposed to sell to the Govern-
ment a site for the construction of a chapel for Rs.5622. The
hired house required substantial repair, and the Government
thought this a good opportunity to erect a more appropriate
building. They therefore sanctioned '" a buildmg to seat 460
persons and to cost Rs.30,168, and agreed to purchase General
Bell's property at his price. They did not, however, take any
action till they had received the Directors' reply. This was
given in 1824, when the building was sanctioned at a total cost
of Rs.35,000.^' Before acting upon the sanction the Government
altered their plans. They found that there was a block of

• Letter, March 8, 1805, 172, Mil. ; Despatch, July 30, 1806, 537, Mil.
- It was ' a little way up the hill' {Madrasiana, p. 65).
^ Letter, April 22, 1805, 418, Mil. ; Despatch, Sept. 7, 1808, 119, MU.
" Letter, March 15, 1811, 941, Mil. ; Despatch, April 29, 1814, 145, Mil.
'= Comnltalions, Nov. 10, 1820, 25-26, Eccl.

<= Despatch, July 28, 1824, 34, 35, 37, Eccl. ; Conaullatims, March 18, 1825,
1, 2. Eccl.


land available to the south of the parade ground which was their
own property, and that it was not necessary to purchase a
site from General Bell. They also found out that a Church to
seat 460 would not be large enough for the garrison. They
called for fresh plans and estimates, and informed the Directors
that they had sanctioned the erection of a building to seat 600
at a cost of Es.39,455, which was Rs.4455 more than the
Directors had authorised.! In arranging for the additional
accommodation the Government had an idea that one Church
would suffice for the Mount and Pallaveram, a cantonment four
miles away, and the Directors took this into consideration in
authorising the increased expenditure. Soon after the date
of the letter home the work of building was begun, and it was
continued through most of the year 1826.

In the year 1823 the Government sanctioned a palankeen
allowance of Es.70 a month to the Chaplain in consideration of
his having to extend his services to the ' Presidency Canton-
ment ' of Pallaveram.'' The sanction of a Church with suffi-
cient accommodation for both stations looks as if they contem-
plated saving the palankeen allowance. This was not done at
once. The order came in 1832 ^ for the discontinuance of the
evening service at Pallaveram and the transfer of it to the
Mount. Then, of course, the allowance was stopped, and there
was a sanctioned grant of Es.593 to supply wall lamps for the
Mount Church .4 On the completion of the building the
compound was surrounded with a wall and railing.^

The original agitation for the building of the Church began
when the Rev. J. E. Atwood was Chaplain in 1805. It was
continued in 1817 when the Rev. C. Ball was the Chaplain.
The sanction of Government to a building was obtained in 1820
during the Chaplaincy of the Rev. William Roy. The erection
took place in 1825-26 when the Rev. John Hallewell was at the
Mount. He had the original arrangement of the furniture.

The Rev. W. T. Blenkinsop was Chaplain of the Mount

1 Letter, Sept. 9, 1825, 17, Ecc!. ; Despatch, Nov. 29, 182G, 13, 14, Eccl.

- Despatch, Feb. 23, 1825, 12, Eccl.

3 Letter, June 1, 1832, 3, Eccl. ; Despatch, Feb. 20, 1833, 27, Eccl.

" Letter, Jan. 4, 1833, 10, Eccl. ; Despatch. May 21, 1834, 12, 13, Eccl.

'" Consultations, April 24, 1829, 1, 2, Eccl.


from 1827 to 1843. During his time a small chapel was put up
in the soldiers' parcherry for the benefit of the native Christian
soldiers of the Company's Artillery, the Eurasians of the
native regiments, and other Christian natives in the station.
The original building in 1832 was small, but it sufficed. In 1848
it was enlarged by the Rev. W. P. Powell. It then measured
59 X 35 X 29 feet, seated 200 persons, and cost over Rs.4500.
The money to erect the building was raised in the station ;
the building was put in charge of the S.P.G.^

Either Mr. Powell or the Rev. J. Richards was responsible
for the adapted building known as the St. John's Library in
1849. Possibly both had a hand in raising the money to
establish it. It is a club and recreation resort, containing a
billiard-room, games room, library, and reading-room ; it was
intended to benefit the men of the domiciled European and
Eurasian community of the station. The Chaplain is the
president and manager, and it is used for various kinds of
social and religious purposes.

The plan of the station Church was the usual one
supplied by the Military Board at the period. It measures
133 X 66 X 33 feet. In the Official Return of Churches in
1852 it is said to have cost Rs. 42,714 ; but this includes the
building itself, the wall, the punkahs ^ supplied in 1845 ' instead
of more expensive improvements designed to obviate the heat
of the building,' and the repairs up to that date. It was
solemnly consecrated and named in honour of St. Thomas on
October 31, 1830, by Bishop Turner of Calcutta.

The Church is handsomely furnished ; this has been done
chiefly by the civil and military officers of the station in times
past. Over the altar is a large and striking picture of the
appearance of our Lord to St. Thomas and the other apostles
after the Resurrection. It is the work of Major J. B. Richard-
son, formerly in command of one of the batteries. It was
restored and renovated by a professional artist during the
Governorship of Sir Arthur Havelock.

There are thirteen tablets in the Church to officers of the old
Madras Artillery, including Lieut. -Colonel John Noble, who

» Official Return of Churches, 1852.

2 Letter, June 10, 1845, 2, 3, Eccl. ; Despatch, March 10, 1847, 18, Eccl.



formed and commanded the first troop of Horse Artillery, and
died in 1827. The names of Porteous, Byam, Foulis, Cullen,
Oakes, and Blundell will be familiar to many Madrasis. Major-
General William Sydenham has a monument in the churchyard.
On the race-course is a monument over the remains of Major
Donald Mackay, dated 1783, who desired to be buried in front
of the lines of the Army.

Pallaveram. — In the year 1847, when the Kev. W. P. Powell
was Chaplain, the question of providing the pensioners, veterans,
and troops at Pallaveram with facilities for divine worship again
came to the front. It was recognised to be absurd to assume
that they would or even could walk four miles to the Mount
and back again for the purpose. The Government, taking this
into consideration, and also the fact that there were many
children in the place growing up without proper education,
adapted the main guard to religious and educational use by
furnishing the large room above as a Church, and the smaller
rooms below as a school. ^ The actual outlay was Es.l065, of
which the residents gave Es.283. The Government then en-
closed the cemetery, and placed the Mount Chaplain in charge
of the station with an allowance for the extra work and the
journeying to and fro. The large upper room is well furnished ;
it measures 53 X 42 feet, and seats about 200 persons. Paha-
veram has seen a succession of right-minded workers, who have
cared greatly for all things connected with the Church. The
name of Mrs. Parker, the Army schoolmistress, will long be
remembered with gratitude ; she gave her services as organist
and Sunday-school teacher from 1869 to 1889, and was the
main mover and organiser of every kind of Christian work in the
place during that time.

The building is known as St. Stephen's, but it is not a
consecrated building, and has never had any name officially
given to it. In the list of consecrated Churches in the diocese
is that of Vallaveram, which is a place in the Chingleput District
generally known now as Villapuram. Some one misread the
name Pallaveram, and quoted the official list as evidence that

> Letters, Dec. 21, 1847, 8, 11, ami Jan. 12, 1849, 12, Eccl. ; Despatches,
Aug. 22, 1849, 21, and July 30, 1851, G, Eccl. ; Consultations, Nov. 9, 1849,
5, 6, and Sept. 11, 1849, 1, 2, EccJ.


the Pcallaveram Main Guard building was consecrated and
named in honour of St. Stephen.

In the year 1883, when the Kev. W. Leeming was Chaplain,
extensive alterations and improvements were made at the
expense of the congregation. Colonel Henry Smallcy, R.E.,
was one of the moving spirits. Lieutenant F .Wilson gave a new
lectern ; Mr. J. A. Dring gave a prayer desk ; Mrs. Tarrant
worked the altar frontal ; the congregation raised enough
money to purchase a new American organ, and to renew the
lamps. And all this was done with the greatest goodwill and
pleasure. The infection was caught no doubt from Mrs.
Parker, who loved the little sanctuary for the spiritual help it
gave her, and could never do too much to adorn and beautify it.
Since 1847 the Mount and Pallaveram have been linked
together as one Chaplaincy. Guindy Park, the country resi-
dence of the Governor, is within the limits of the parish. The
occasional presence of the Governors at St. Thomas' Church,
when in residence at Guindy, has been an advantage to the
building and its furniture. The Mount is near enough to the
Presidency to enable the Chaplain to draw an extra allowance
for house rent to meet the extra cost of living. This and the
allowance for Pallaveram and the enjoyment of sea-breeze have
made the Chaplaincy the most desirable of all in the diocese
after the Cathedral and St. Mary's, Fort St. George.

Hohj Trinity Church, Aurangahad. — Aurangabad is in the
north-west corner of the Nizam's dominions, an historic corner
which includes the site of the battle of Assaye. In the year
1600 A.D. the Moghuls entered the District. Thirty-live years
later Aurangzebe became Viceroy of the Deccan and took up
his abode in it. In 1637 the District was annexed to the
Moghul empire and incorporated in the Deccan Province.
The Viceroy changed the name of the old Mahratta capital to
Aurangabad. Here he plotted against his father and brothers,
and from this centre he carried on his long conflicts with
Sivaji the Mahratta, and with the kingdoms of Bijapore and

On his death in 1707 his general Asaf Jah declared his
independence of the Moghul empire, made Hyderabad his
capital, and assumed the title of Nizam. The next hundred


years were years of continual conflict and destruction. In
1803 Colonel Welsh described Aurangabad as a heap of splendid
ruins. 1 There were a few palaces and houses undestroyed,
among them the beautiful white marble mosque and mausoleum
which Aurangzebo built to the memory of his favourite wife
after the model of the Taj Mahal. The modern city is to the
east of the old city, and the cantonment on the west side of it.
At the time Colonel Welsh visited it the place was principally
famous for its gardens and fruits.

After the Mahratta war of 1803-5 the cantonment was
garrisoned by three regiments of the Hyderabad Contingent,
two of infantry and one of cavalry. This arrangement con-
tinued for some time. There was also a regiment at Jaulnah
and at Mominabad in the neighbourhood.

The ecclesiastical records commence in the year 1828, when
the officers of the station built themselves a small Church at
their own expense. The plan of it included a nave 37 X 20
feet, two aisles each 37 X 10 feet, a chancel 16x8 feet, and
two vestries at the west end each 13 x 8 feet. The nave was
divided from the aisles by two arches. The roof was flat ;
there was no belfry, so that there was no external sign of its
ecclesiastical character. The building served its purpose for
nearly fifty years. Only once was it repaired by the Madras

Some time between 1872 and 1877 a local desire was mani-
fested to have a building which looked more like a Church
The consent of all the necessary persons was obtained, and the
building was sold to the military authorities for Es.5000 and
converted into a staff office. In appearance it was like an
ordinary bungalow. It was neither consecrated nor licensed,
so that there was no difficulty in making the alteration.

To the money thus obtained was added Es.5000 from the
Nizam's Government, and the present building was erected.
The plan and the size were almost the same as those of the old
building. The only difference was in the external appearance.
Some of the old furniture was transferred to the new building,
some was renewed by the Government ; but the pulpit, lectern,

1 Reminiscences, i. 167.
- G.O., Oct. 20, 1865, No. 279, Eccl.


the altar and its hangings were provided by the officers of the
station, who also enclosed the compound with a railing, planted
trees, made the roadway, filled the windows with coloured glass
and floored the sanctuary of the Church. The harmonium was
the gift of Colonel Adye in 1893. The new Church was conse-
crated by Bishop Gell on November 22, 1879, and named in
honour of the Hoi}' Trinity.

Up to 1864 there was no resident Chaplain. Aurangabad
had been visited periodically by the Chaplain of Jaulnah.
On the reduction of the Jaulnah garrison Aurangabad became
the more important of the two stations, and the Chaplain was
ordered to reside there. This arrangement continued until
1897, when the Chaplain was withdrawn, and the C.M.S.
commenced a mission in the place. The Church was placed at
the disposal of the missionary in return for his services to the
Europeans of the station.

Aurangabad was a difficult place to get at before the time
of railways, and even now it is a difficult journey. But the
climate is good, the scenery charming ; the historic remains of
the Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, and Mahomedans are interesting ;
the gardens, fruit, and vegetables are attractive ; so that they
who have been stationed there speak of the place with affection.
But with the reduced garrisons there is not enough work for a
resident Chaplain, more especially as there is neither a European
school nor Eurasian poor.

Tripassore. — This is a small station in the Chingleput Dis-
trict Avithin easy reach of Poonamallee. In the first quarter
of the nineteenth century the Government of Fort St. George
established a small cantonment in the town of Cuddalore for
the benefit of the newly arrived cadets in the Company's
service. Here they were collected together under a com-
mandant and supplied with Munshis for the purpose of learning
the languages of the country. Cuddalore was esteemed to be
after a time too far off from Madras, and preparation was made
to receive the cadets at Tripassoro. Small bungalows were
built in lines and a Mess House erected, but no record has been
found that the cadets were ever sent there. The better plan
was evolved at headquarters of sending the young men straight
to different regiments for purposes of discipline, with instructions


to the commanding officers to allow them time for language

The newly built bungalows at Tripassore were allotted to
pensioned soldiers of the King's and the Company's service,
who, by reason of having married Eurasians or natives, desired
to remain in the country. They were enrolled in a veteran
battalion and were under a commandant. Shortly before the

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 26 of 39)