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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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The Church had scarcely stood for ten years when the
treacherous nature of black cotton soil as a foundation began
to show itself.''' Tlie engineer found it necessary to build
heavy buttresses on both sides of the building in 1841. These

1 Consiiltafions, Jan. 15, 1828, 1, 2, Eccl. ; Official Return of Churches, 1852.

- Archdeacon's Application, April 17, 1830; referred to Civil Auditor,
June 10, 1831 ; Letter, July 31, 1832, 1, Eccl. ; Despatch, Oct. 9, 1833, 2,

s Letter, June 21, 1833, 1, 2, Eccl.

•» Despatch, May 21, 1834, 7, 8, Eccl.

s Letter, May 27, 1834, 3, 4, Eccl. ; Despatch, March 18, 1835, 17, Eccl.

6 Consultations, March 8, 1842, 1, 2, Eccl. ; Feb. 6, 1844, 5, Eccl.


have effectually prevented its collapse up to the present time.
The Directors were angry. ^ They said : * We agree with Mr.
Lusliington that these perpetual repairs of Churches, bridges,
and buildings do not appear very creditable to the Engineers'
Department.' But neither they nor Mr. Lushington had any
experience of trying to eiect l)uildings in a l)lack cotton soil

In 1848 Archdeacon Shortland applied to the Government
for a bell for the Church at Kamptee. The reply was that a
belfry would be built if the congregation paid for the bell.
The question was kept alive during the next three years. In
1851 the Directors sanctioned bells ' for Church of England
places of worship where Divine Service is habitually conducted
by a Chaplain in the service of the Company.' And the conten-
tion came to an end by the erection of both bell and belfry at
Kamptee and elsewhere.^ The soldiers got their punkahs in

The Directors had been accustomed for man}^ years to
pro\dde the garrison Churches with sets of altar vessels. These
were of silver, handsome and heavy, made in the city of London,
and engi-aved with the arms of the East India Company. It
must needs be added that the vessels were somewhat cumbrous,
and that the makers did not quite understand what is required
in such vessels. But because of their handsome character
the Chaplains have as a rule retained them in use, in spite of
their inconvenience. In 1858 permission was sought by the
Chaplain of Kamptee to have the old vessels melted down at
the Mint in order that a new and more convenient set might
be provided.' Many will agree that both the request and the
subsequent sanction to do this were ill-advised, even though
the Directors approved of the step.

The Chaplain appointed to Kamptee was regarded as the
Chaplain of the Nagpore and Nerbudda Province. His duty
was to visit the various civil and military stations round about ;

» Letter, April 19, 1842, 2, 3, 4, Eccl. ; Despatch, March 19, 1844, 12, Eecl.

- Letter, May 9, 1848, 2-4, Eccl. ; Despatch, July 16, 1851, 17, Eccl. ;
Letters, Nov. 11, 1851, 8, Eccl., and Feb. 9, 1854, 21-25, Eccl. ; Despatches,
March 2, 1858, 17, Eccl., and Aug. 29, 1855, 36, Eccl.

3 Letter, July 6. 1855, 9, Eccl. ; Despatch, July 23, 1856, Eccl.

^ Letter, Feb. IG, 1858, 6-8, Eccl. ; Despatch. Sept. 29, 1858, No. 1, Eccl.


— ,















namely Saugor, Mhow, Jubbulpore, Hoshangabad, and Seeta-
buldee (as the station of Nagpore was called). The first two
were over 100 miles distant. Travelhng by bullock coach is
graphically described ^ by the Rev. S. T. Pettigrew, as it was
between 1856 and 1863. The first Chaplain appointed was
the Rev. E. P. Lewis, who was at Kamptee from 1825-27. He
was succeeded by the Rev. Christopher Jeaffreson, who saw
the building and furnishing of the Church in 1881-32, and
remained at the station till 1838. The succeeding Chaplains
who were resident in the station long enough to exercise more
than a little influence in the place were :

The Rev. John McEvoy . . . 1843-51

The Rev. Alfred Kinloch . . . 1852-57

The Rev. S. T. Pettigrew . . . 1857-63

The Rev. Alexander Taylor . . 1863-72

Taylor was the last Chaplain of the Madras establishment
appointed to the Province. The completion of the Bengal-
Nagpore railway made it more easy to reach the station from
Calcutta than from Madras ; consequently the Province
was transferred to the Bengal Government. Pettigrew was
long remembered as the padre who laid out the cemetery
as a garden and planted flowers and trees in it.^ He was an
artistic designer, and he left various monumental patterns for
future native sculptors in order to improve the appearance of
the burial-ground. Kinloch was attached to the Saugor Field
Force in 1857. After the Mutiny he was ordered home to give
evidence in the Banda-Kirwee Prize Money case, and he spent
the last seven years of his service in England doing this.-^

' Episodes in the Life of an Indian Chaplain, pp. 132-39.

- Episodes, pp. 126-29.

•^ The Madras army was successful in making good its claim to the prize
monej', and the other Presidencies of Bengal and Bombay took their defeat
badly. For nearly forty j'ears afterwards no contumelious expression was too
contumelious for Bengal and Bombay officers to use towards Madras, all its
officers, soldiers, and sepoys, all its population, its customs, habits, and ways.
The Press of the north joined in ; it had to live. It would have been better
for the general cause of good comradeship in the whole Indian army if the case
could have been settled amicablv.


St. Peter's, Saugor, was built in 1836 ; it measured
74 X 32 X 20 feet, accommodated 164 persons, and cost
Rs.11,900. Of tliis sum the Government paid Rs. 10,250, the
local subscribers Rs.l250, and the Bengal Church Building Fund
Rs.400. Saugor was one of the frontier stations, surrounded by
native States, some being Mahratta, some Rajpoot, and some
Mahomedan, It became a more important station after the
IMutiny than it was before. The Church was enlarged by the
building of two large transepts, and was afterwards handsomely
adorned by the congregation between 1872 and 1877, when
the Rev. Baldwin Hammond was Chaplain.

Christ Churcli, Jiibbulpore, was built in 1843 by the officers
and residents in the station. It measured then 60 X 30 x 21
feet, and was built to accommodate 100 persons. The cost was
Rs.3850 ; of this Rs.500 came from the Bengal Church Building
Fund, established by Bishop Wilson, and the rest was sub-
scribed locally. In 1845 a large vestry was added measuring
80 X 22 X 17 feet. When the station was made an im-
portant military centre, the Church was made over to the
Bengal Government and enlarged at its expense.

All Saints', Nag-pore. — This Church was built in 1851. It
was projected and sanctioned by the Government of Madras
in 1848 1 at a cost not exceeding Rs.2000. At that time the
station was known as Seetabuldee. The Directors were con-
sulted before building was commenced.^ The body measured
36 X 25 X 20 feet, the sacrarium 7 X 12 feet ; Lieut. R. H.
Sankey "' of the Madras Engineers was the architect ; and the
cost, which was very little in excess of the estimate, was borne
by the Government of Madras,

In the year 1848 the same Government declined to surround
the Seetabuldee burial-ground with a wall ; they thought a
hedge sufficient protection.' This was almost the last refusal
to secure a Christian burial-ground for Europeans against
profanation and desecration of various kinds on the part of

' Consultations, Sept. 26, 1848, No. 15, Eccl. ; July 17, 1849, Nos. 2, 3,


2 Letters, Jan. 17, 1848, 9, Eccl. ; Feb. 22, 1848, 10-13, Eccl. ; Despatch,
July 19, 1848, 2, Eccl.

3 Later Sir R. H. Sankey, K.C.B.

•* Letter, Aug. 8, 1848, 22, Eccl. ; Despatch, July 16, 1851, 42, Eccl.


cattle, goats, and human beings. A wall was built here and
at Kamptee in 1856,^ and during the next ten years at many
other stations in the Presidency. Until the cemeteries were
thus protected, neither the Chaplains nor others who like to
see the burial-place of their friends and countrymen well kept,
would do anything to improve their appearance. But since
they have been protected many a cemetery has become one of
the brightest spots in the cantonment.

After the Mutiny, Nagpore became a more important
administrative centre than it had been before. The civil
rulers belonged to the Bengal establishment ; the troops to
Madras until 1868 ; and a Madras Chaplain ministered to the
community until that date. The first Chaplain appointed to
the separate charge of Nagpore was the Eev. H. P. James, who
remained in the station from 1856 to 1863. He was succeeded
by the Eev. W. S. Trotman (1865-67) and by the Eev. T. A. C.
Pratt (1867-68) ; then the Chaplaincy was transferred to Bengal.
The Church was enlarged in 1879 and a tower built partly at
the expense of the congregation. Since Nagpore was made the
Cathedral town of the new Central Provinces Diocese, the Church
has been again enlarged. But this does not belong to Madras

1 Letter, Aug. 9, 1856, 7, Eccl. ; Despatch, Aug. 5, 1857, 8, Eccl.



Commissions to consecrate Churches and burial-grounds. Obtained by the
Company from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Fees paid by the
Company. Bishop JNIiddleton and the missionaries. The architecture of
the Company's military Engineers. The old Military Fund. Disabilities
of native Christians. Caste troubles. Petition of native Christians to the
Governor-General. His reference to the Directors. The Directors' ruling.
Overwork of the Bishop of Calcutta. Efforts to relieve him. The Select
Committee of the House of Commons. The minute of Mr. Charles Grant,
then a Cabinet Minister, 1832. His second minute, 1834. The Royal
Letters Patent, June 1835. The Sigillum of the See. Arrival of Bishop
Corrie at Madras, October 1835.

It has already been related how St. Mary's, Fort St. George,
was consecrated by commission in 1680, and how the Black
Town Chapel (St. Mark's) was similarly consecrated in 1804.^
Both these consecrations were carried out with the consent and
the co-operation of the Government. In the year 1807 the
Directors were asked to sanction the building of Churches in
some of the larger mihtary stations.- In anticipation o^
sanction work was commenced, and the first of these to be
completed was that at Masulipatam. When it was approaching
completion at the end of 1809 the Senior Chaplain, the Eev. E.
Vaughan, obtained the permission of the Government for its
consecration. He addressed the Archbishop of Canterbury on
the subject, and sent his letter through the usual official
channel. In forwarding the letter to the Directors the Governor
in Council said : •' ' We herewith forward a letter addressed by
the acting senior Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury,

' The Church in Madras, i. 82, 439, 650.
* Letter, Dec. 24, 1807. 46-52, Mil.
•* Letter, Feb. 6, 1810, 296, Pubhc.


requesting His Grace to uuthorise the consecration of the new
Church which is at present constructing at MasuUpatam.'

The Directors sent on the appHcation to the Archbishop,
obtained the various instruments that were necessary for the
consecration, and rephed as follows : ^

' We have received the letter referred to in 296th para,
of your Pubhc Despatch dated Feb. 6, 1810, addressed by
the acting senior Chaplain at your Presidency to the Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, requesting His Grace to authorise the
consecration of the new Church then constructing at Masuli-
patam. The same was forwarded to the Archbishop, and we
have received from the Rev. Christopher Hodgson at Lambeth
Palace the commission, sentences, and order of consecration
of the Church at Masulipatam and of the Burial Ground,
which we forward to you in the packet by the ship Castle
Eden, and direct that you desire the Rev. Mr. Vaughan to
certify to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the usual manner
the time the ceremony is performed.'

The certiiicate mentioned was necessary to enable the deed
of consecration to be registered in the Archbishop's Act Book.
Vaughan received the instruments and the power to act in
October 1811, but he did not use them, as he explains in the
following letter to the Government : -

' Having had the honour to receive a commission from the
Most Rev. the Archbishop of Canterbury to consecrate a Church
at Masulipatam, I take the hberty to state for the information
of the Hon. the Governor in Council, that unforeseen circum-
stances having occurred at the time of collecting the materials
for building the place of worship, occasioned considerable delay
in carrying on the work. I have reason to believe it is not
positively in a state of greater forwardness than the other
chapels, which soon after application had been made to His
Grace were directed ^ by Government to be built at all the
principal stations of the army on the Madras Estabhshment.

1 Despatch, Feb. 22, 1811, 28, Publie.

- Act Book of the Archdeacon of Madras under date 1819, Avhen Bishop
Middleton ordered the old letters to be registered. This letter is dated Oct. 10

^ This order was apparently given at the beginning of 1811. The Directors
sanctioned the building of Churches at all military stations for European troops
in their Pubhc Despatch dated Jan. 11, 1809, para. 153.

z 2


' I therefore take this opportunity to submit to the Hon.
Sir George BarloAv, Governor in Council, whether it might
not be proper to apply in due time for the Most Eev. the
Archbishop's authority for consocratmg the several Churches
at the respective stations here enumerated, Cannanore, Banga-
lore, Bellary, Trichinopoly and their Burial Grounds, and at
Masulipatam where a chapel is now building to serve as a
chapel of case to the new Church at that settlement, either by
separate connnissions for these purposes, or by a special one to
include them all, as might meet the approbation of the Most
Eev. the Archbishop.

' A considerable space of ground was a few years ago allotted
to our public burial place' at the Presidency, which has not
received the advantage of consecration ; the necessity of soon
employing this space for the general purposes of interment (the
former part being crow"ded with, tombs and monuments)
has induced me to propose the introducing this also to the
notice of His Grace.'

The Government approved of the suggestion and wrote as
follows in their next letter to the Directors : -

' We beg leave to recommend to the attention of your
Honourable Court a letter from the acting Senior Chaplain,
which will be found in our proceedings noted in the margin,
requesting that authority may be obtained from His Grace
the Most Eev. the x\rchbishop of Canterbury for consecrating
the Churches and burying-grounds at Cannanore, Bangalore,
Bellary, and Trichinopoly, as well as the chapel of ease which
Major-General Pater is building at Masulipatam, and the new
burying-ground at the Presidency.'

The Directors communicated with the Archbishop, obtained
all the necessary papers, instruments, and directions, and
wrote as follows : ^

' Agreeably to the recommendation contained in the 38th
paragraph of your public letter dated January 10 last, we
applied to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury requesting

' The St. Mary's burial-ground, enlarged in 1801.
2 Letter, Jan. 10, 1812, 38, Public.
=* Despatch, Jan. 29, 1813, 7, 8, Public.


that he would be pleased to furnish us with the necessary
papers for the consecration of the Churches and Burial
Grounds at the several places therein mentioned, and the
same having been transmitted to us by His Grace's secretary,
we now forward them to you, a number in the packet, by the
ship Rose.

' The Archbishop having signified to us his wish to be
informed of the consecrations when the same shall have been
completed, we direct that you cause the necessary directions
to be given to your senior Chaplain, the Eev. Mr. Vaughan,
in order that he may certify to the Archbishop in the usual
manner the time when the consecrations take place,'

This despatch was received in Madras in July 1813. No
immediate action was taken about the consecrations, for it was
known to all, clergy and laity alike, that a plan was at that very
time being discussed for supplying India with a Bishop of its
own. The news of the creation of the Calcutta Bishopric
arrived in April 1814,^ though it was not officially communicated
till the first Bishop had been nominated. The good news caused
Vaughan to hold his hand and to postpone the religious cere-
monies till the arrival of the new Bishop. 3

The following extracts from the Act Book of the Arch-
bishop 3 record the granting of the Commissions :

' Nov. 1, 1810. His Grace granted a commission to
Edward Vaughan, Clerk, Senior Chaplain of the Presidency of
Fort St. George in the East Indies, to consecrate the Church
and Churchyard at Masuhpatam.'

' Nov. 11, 1812. Application having been made to His
Grace by the Court of Directors of the East India Co. in
pursuance of a representation made to them by their Governor
in Council at Fort St. George that the Rev. Edward Vaughan,
Senior Chaplain at that Presidency, had requested authority
might be obtained from His Grace for the consecration of the
following Churches and Burial grounds (list as above).

' His Grace was pleased to grant separate commissions to
the said Edward Vaughan for the purpose of consecrating the

' Despatch, Nov. 12, 1813, 2, Public.
- Despatch. Feb. 22. 1814, 2, Public.
•' At Lambeth Palace Library,


said Churches and Burial grounds, which were written on
parchment and stamped with a live shilHng stamp each, and
sent to Mr. Ramsey at the East India House with a form of
consecration for eacli written in a hook.'

When the Directors sent out these documents they made no
mention of the payment of the fees and stamp duties. Quite
naturally they paid all the ecclesiastical and legal dues them-

As a matter of fact none of these six Churches nor six hurial-
grounds were consecrated at this time. But the process hy
which consecration was sought and the permission to consecrate
was obtained is here transferred from the records in order to
show how consecrations were brought about. Without the
knowledge which these records afford, strange ideas are apt to
prevail and stranger statements to be made,^

The arrival of Bishop Middleton at Calcutta was un-
accompanied by any outward show of welcome. But there
was a hearty welcome in the hearts of the best of the Company's
servants all the same. This was the case in all the three
Presidencies. He had a specially warm welcome from the
Chaplains, of whom there were lifteen on the Madras establish-
ment at the time of his arrival.'- As to the missionaries, those

' In the year 1809 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland asserted
the right of Presbyterian ministers in India to use the buildings consecrated
to the service of the Church of England in that countrj' on the grounds that
they were built for the use of all Protestant soldiers, — that the Bishops had by
fraud consecrated thera, and thus filched them from the general undenomina-
tional use for which they were built. The Assembly was misled by one of its
members who did not know the facts of the case. In a letter to the Times
in August of that year he likened Presbyterian soldiers to men who had been
robbed of their possessions ; he rang a series of changes on the expressions
' built at the public cost for Protestant troops,' ' Anglican misappropriation,'
' injustice,' ' national insult,' ' insolent Mrong,' ' artful conduct,' and so on.
But there weie some in the General Assembly and some retired Indian Pres-
byterian Chaplains who made a protest against the violence and inaccuracy
of the language used. They, and especially the latter, knew something of the
facts of the case. It is reasonable to suppose that if the facts had been generally
known, the question would have been treated by the Assembly in an entirely
different way.

- Le Bas (Life of Bisliop Middleton) said twelve. Abbott [Analysis, <fcc.)
said five or six. The correct number is fifteen. All of these were cited to
appear at his firat Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Madras in Dec. 1815.


employed by the S.P.C.K,, both in the southern Presidency
and in Ctilcutta, were Lutherans ; those of the London
Mission in the south were Independents or Congregationahsts.
The only other missionaries were Roman Catholics and
Baptists ; of the latter there were three, all in Bengal.
The Lutheran missionaries welcomed the Bishop with
moderate enthusiasm. He inspected their work and supplied
them with funds to prosecute it, and he gradually won their
confidence and esteem.

Whatever he had to do in Calcutta the Bishop was under no
necessity to preach the virtue of toleration towards missionaries
to the Government of Fort St. George. He found that two
Independent missionaries were residing with permission at
Vizagapatam, one at Bellary, and one at Madras ; that well-
educated Lutherans were stationed at other places and were
receiving from the Government help of various kinds ; and
that the Government had authorised the erection of a Dissenting
chapel in the Black Town of Madras.-*^ The toleration and
assistance enjoyed by the missionaries in the south was due to
the good conduct and subordination to authority of the Germans
employed by the S.P.C.K, during the previous eighty-five

At the time of his arrival the local Governments were
erecting plain buildings for use as Churches in various up-country
stations. The Bishop was struck with the plainness, perhaps
one may say the ugliness, of the new buildings, and it was not
long before he addressed letters to the authorities on the
subject. At the beginning of 1816 he wrote to the Governor
in Council at Fort St. George recommending that certain
improvements should be made in the appearance of several
Churches he had visited, and in all Churches built in the future.
The Government forwarded his letter to the Directors,^ who
replied ^ as follows :

' We consider the suggestion of the Bishop for giving to
Churches in India a more distinct and appropriate character

1 Letter, March 15, 1811, 80, 290, 292, 293, Public ; Despatch, April 2, 1813
80, 107, 108, 109, Public.

- Letter, Sept. 26, 1816, 107, Public.
3 Despatch, Oct. 22, 1817, 29, Eccl.


by attaching to such as require it a cupola for a bell, and
encompassing the Church with a fence, to be entitled to mature

Tliey added that if a move ecclesiastical design could be
carried out at a reasonable expense, they considered it
desirable, but they would not sanction it till they knew what
the expense was. The result was the adoption of a less
plain design, so that the Churches after the year 1818 were
not so deplorabh' ugly as those built in up-country stations
before that date.

Reference has been made in a former chapter to the fund
usually known as the Clive Fund, but officially known to the
East India Company and in India as the Military Fund. Lord
Clive established the fund by means of a munificent gift after
the conquest of Bengal. His intention was to benefit the
widows and children of soldiers who died in the service of the
Company. The local Governments were to administer the
fund, and were to grant pensions to widows and children accord-
ing to the rank of their deceased husbands and fathers. Later
on the scheme w^as made contributary on the part of officers,
by means of an agreement between the Company and Lord
Clive. And still later it was made obligatory on the part of
every military officer in the Company's Service to join it.
Compulsory contribution altered the character of the fund
and made it an insurance fund. And as the amount of the
contributions were calculated on business principles, its
eleemosynary character was entirely taken away.

Up to the year 1824 the Company's Chaplains and medical
officers were not included in the scheme, and there was some
dissatisfaction in consequence. The question was referred
home, and the Directors decreed ^ that both should be included.
Senior Chaplains were allowed to enter the fund as Majors
and Junior Chaplains as Captains. By paying a donation
on entry, and a monthly sum thereafter, a pension was assured
to the widows, and the children up to a certain age, of 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 31 of 39)