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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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Colonel D. Sim, should be deputed to Bangalore to report on
the real needs of the garrison. '^

Opinions were divided at Bangalore ; the Rev. George
Trevor still wanted another Church as well as the enlarge-
ment of St. Mark's. The Government were equally of two
minds as to what ought to be done. Colonel Sim reported the
necessity of new barracks and a new Charch, and the advisa-
bility of leaving St. Mark's as it was. The Government was
satisfied with his report and recommended its adoption. The
Directors accordingly sanctioned the building of a second

The congregation took a practical interest in the question
of enlargement. In 1837 the Eev. J. Wright collected from
the civil and military officers of the station about 800 rupees
to assist to carry out the project. This he paid to the Treasurer
of the Diocesan Church Building Fund. It passed from Trea-
surer to Treasurer until in 1849 it was repaid with its interest

' St. Mark's Letters, Correspondence Book, 1840.

2 Letters, Nov. 13 and Dec. 18, 1840, 2, Eccl.

=* Despatch, July 2, 1841, 30, Eccl.

* Letter, July 8, 1842, 31, Mil. '^ Despatch, Jan. 25. 1843, Mil.

« Despatch, r)ec. 4, 1844, 11, 12, Mil.


to the Church Committee of St. Mark's. It then amounted to
Rs.ll69. Tlie Church Committee resolved to divide the sum
between the Committee of the new Church (Holy Trinity) and
the Committee of the old ; so that it might be spent in Bangalore
as nearly as possible in accordance with the original intention.
In 1850 half the money was spent in the enlargement of
the Pensioners' chapel at Mootoocherry, a small building in
existence before the erection of St. John's. ^

By the year 1848 the necessity of the enlargement of St.
Mark's again came to the fore, and plans and estimates were
prepared ; but the Government would not consider the question
till the new Church was finished and in use."

The question rested till 1859, when the Rev, J. Gorton was
Chaplain. Then he and the Lay Trustees proposed to remove
the pillars, raise the walls 5 feet, buttress them, lengthen the
nave 35 feet, build two transepts 35 X 24 feet, cover with
a trussed roof, add a chancel 47 X 24 feet, point the arches of
the openings north and south to make the building look more
ecclesiastical, and to add a bell tower 90 feet high. This
alteration would have given accommodation for 700 persons.
This plan was sanctioned, commenced and suddenly stopped in

As there appeared to be no likelihood of the Church being
enlarged, the next Chaplain, the Eev. S. T. Pettigrew, applied
for extensive repairs. The Government granted a sum of
Rs.l413 and Mr. Pettigrew raised locally another Rs.lOOO.
The old organ was displaced by a reed harmonium, and the
furniture was greatly improved.

In the year 1895 another vigorous effort was made to
enlarge and especially to heighten the Church. Chiefly owing
to the representations of two successive and eminent residents,
Sir William Lee Warner and Sir William Mackworth Young,
the Government of India sanctioned the enlargement and found
the money for it. This plan included a central tower, a chancel,
transepts, and the raising of the roof throughout. It was carried
out at the beginning of the present century ; but a fatal defect
in the material of the tower caused the catastrophe of a fall,
and as the tower fell it crashed through one of the transepts

• St. Mark's Records, Dec. 1850. - Consultations, May 18, 1849.


and carried ruin with it. After oflEicial inquiry and some
delay the Church was built again without the tower, and it is
now not only a commodious building but one of the most
striking erections in the station.

A wall was built round the Churchyard in 1855 and a well
sunk. This enabled successive Chaplains to lay out a garden
in the compound. But in course of time the well dried up,
and great difficulty was experienced in keeping the garden
bright with flowers.

At a very early period in the history of the Church the
Government issued orders for the appropriation of seats for the
civil and military officers and their families. Bangalore has
such a pleasant climate that it soon became a favourite place
of abode for many who had retired from the Service. They
wanted seats as well as others. The Church Committee per-
formed the duty of allotment for nearly fifty years, but never
without contention and argument. In 1860 they asked the
Government to rescind all orders allotting seats to officers except
the highest, and to make all seats free ' for the sake of peace
and quietness,' and the application was gi'anted. It seems
hardly credible, but there is no doubt that for the first thirty
years the soldiers' seats had no backs. In 1847 complaint
was made to the Archdeacon that there were still no backs
to the seats in the side aisles. He addressed the Government,
and in 1853 they were supplied. If it was the case at other
garrison Churches besides Bangalore, it is not to be wondered
at that so many commanding officers complamed of the length
of the sermons.i At the same time it would have been better
to have complained of the backless benches to the Commander-

One after another the Chaplains of St. Mark's busied them-
selves over the education of the European and Eurasian children
of the station. A large number of pensioned soldiers had
settled at Mootoocherry " by 1837. The Kev. Vincent Short-
land and the Eev. George Trevor between them raised money
in the station and built schools for their children. They were
known as the Cantonment schools. In this venture they were

1 See Madras Consvltaiions, Nov. 1, 1853.
- Now in the St. John's district.


liberally helped by the Mysore Government. The GMs'
school was closed when St. John's Church was built in 1852,
but the Boys' school was continued till 1867, when the St.
John's schools on the one side and the Bishop Cotton schools
on the other made their existence no longer necessary. An
attempt was made to keep the Cantonment Boys' school alive
without a grant as a St. Mark's school ; but it was manifestly
not required, and was closed at the end of 1871.

Li 1853 the Eev. Robert Posnett raised money and built
a reading-room for the Eurasian bandsmen and drummers of the
native corps. It was midway between the lines of the two
infantry regiments at Mootoocherry. Services were held in
the building on Sundays, at which there was an attendance
of over 100 persons. The presence of so many children induced
him to raise more money and to build a schoolroom near by
for them. They were too poor to pay the necessary fees at the
Cantonment schools. In these ventures he was generously
assisted by the Madras i and Mysore Governments as well as by
the officers of the station, Posnett called it a Poor School.
Pettigrew used a name for it in 1864 which was used without
offence at the time in England for similar schools, and un-
intentionally killed it. He called it a Ragged School. How-
ever, within a short time he and Dr. ]\Iurphy of Holy Trinity
were instrumental in building and opening the Cantonment
Orphanage, and he crowned the efforts of all former Chaplains
by establishing the Bishop Cotton schools in 1867.

Major A. K. Clark Kennedy, a Lay Trustee of St. Mark's,
built a reading-room in Richmond Town for the use of the
pensioners in 1862. By deed he made it the trust property
of the Chaplain of St. ]\Iark's and the Brigade Major. In
1894 the old pensioners had died off, and under the new con-
ditions of military service there were none to take their places.
The reading-room was deserted, and was used by the Bangalore
Rifle Volunteers as an armoury. However, the trustees heard
of its history, and after some hesitation as to what use it could
be put to most in accordance with the terms of the trust, they
placed it at the disposal of the Incumbent and Churchwardens

' Letter, Sept. 8, 1854, 26-29, Public; Despatch, Sept. 26, 1855, 13,


of All Saints' for parochial use. They could not divest them-
selves of their trust. They did their best to fulfil it.^

From 1811 to 1827 the work of the Chaplain of St. Mark's
was almost entirely military. The gradual immigration of a
civilian population increased the work beyond the powers of
one priest, and a second Chaplain was appointed in 1827 to
assist him. This arrangement of joint Chaplains continued
till Holy Trinity was ready for use in 1851. Even with two
the work of the Chaplaincy was very great. In 1840 there were
two parade services on Sundays and two voluntary services.
There were two regimental schools, two burial-grounds, five
hospitals, and five out-stations which had to be visited once
a quarter.^ One of the Chaplains was thus absent from Banga-
lore on twenty Sundays in each year, and the other was left to
do the whole Sunday work of the station single-handed. In
1843 the Rev. G. Trevor declined on the ground of physical
inability to conduct two parade services on Sunday mornings.
Bishop Spencer refused to order him to conduct them, for he
was only legally bound to conduct one. This incident led to a
measure of relief in the appointment of an extra clergyman to
do the work of the Fort and of St. John's Hill.

Even with the relief given by the building of Trinity, St.
John's, and All Saints', the work of the St. Mark's Chaplain
continued to grow, because of the increase of the civil commun-
ity and the necessary establishment of schools. At the end
of the century relief was just as much required as it had been
between 1840 and 1850.

Unlike other Churches in the Diocese old St. Mark's was
singularly free of adornments dedicated by worshippers as
memorials or otherwise. The building was so plain it did not
seem to invite handsome gifts. There was no stone font before
1844. Up to that time the font was a cheap one of brick and
plaster. An east window of stained glass was put in in 1854,
but it only cost Rs.lOO. The Rev. J. B. Trend adorned the
sanctuary between 1882 and 1887 with altar ornaments and

' The room might with great propriety be called the Clark Kennedy Room,
after its founder ; he did many a kind act for the domiciled Europeans and
Eurasians of Bangalore during his service.

- French Rocks, Mysore ; Hunsur ; Hosur ; Ryacottah ; and Tumkur.


a set of frontals worked by his accomplished wife, and a
Eurasian member of the congregation generously gave the
hanging lamps which cost him Rs.500. Ten years later a
handsome carved teak-wood reredos was erected. It was
Gothic in design, and was the one redeeming feature of the whole
building. At the same time money was raised for a new
pipe organ, and a very good instrument was obtained for about
Rs. 4000.1 But, generally speaking the whole furniture of the
Church was of a poor quality. When the Church was enlarged
it was refurnished ; the handsome Gothic reredos was con-
sidered too out of place architecturally to be re-erected, but
the frontals, one of which was beautifully worked by Miss
Dawson in 1895, were retained.

Holy Trinity, Bellary. — The Districts of Bellary and Cudda-
pah formed part of the dominions of Tippoo Sahib, the ruler of
Mysore. When his rule came to an end in 1799 they became
the property of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Money was owing
by this ruler to the East India Company for the loan of British
troops, and the debt was paid by the cession of the two districts
to the Company in 1800. They were known for a long while
as the Ceded Districts, and are still occasionally called by that
name. As soon as the cession took place a brigade of British
and native troops was sent to Bellary Fort, so that troops have
been quartered in and around the Fort for more than one
hundred years. In the district there are several walled towns
and fortified hills. They remain silent witnesses of the troubled
times before the days of Britioh rule.

The Fort is by nature and art composed of two portions,
known as the Upper and the Lower Fort. The British troops
were stationed in the latter. Here were built their barracks,
arsenal, stores, magazines, and Church. The cemetery was
outside the walls and not far from them in a north-easterly

Bellary was one of the places indicated by General Hay Mac-
Dowall in 1807 where a chapel ought to be built. It was
sanctioned by the Directors ; "^ but the same kind of delay took

' The subscription was commenced in 1891 by the Rev. A. A. Williams, the
Chaplain (now Bishop of Tinnevelly).
- Despatch, Jan. 11, 1809, 153, Public.


place with regard to it as took place at Cannanore, Trichinopoly,
and Bangalore. It was not commenced mitil 1811, i and then was
planned to seat only 400 persons. It was included in the list
of new Churches to be consecrated by the Rev. E. Vaughan,
when he obtained the authority of the Archbishop of Canter-
bury to perform that ceremony. When the authority arrived
the Church was not ready, and the ceremony was postponed
till the arrival of the newly consecrated Bishop of Calcutta.
The Church and the barracks in the Lower Fort were built
at the same time in the year 1811-12. Doubtless they were
designed by the same military engineer.

The first Chaplain sent to minister at Bellary was the Rev.
William Thomas. He arrived from England in 1806 and was
sent to the Ceded Districts at once. He remained nearly three
years, but there was no Church in his time. He was succeeded
in 1811 by the Rev. Thomas Wetherherd, who remained at
Bellary till 1819. During his time the Church was built.

In 1816 Archdeacon Mousley visited the station officially,
and submitted an ecclesiastical report to the Government of
Fort St. George. The Government, in commenting on the
report to the Directors, mentioned that they had paid the
expenses of the visitation. The Directors in reply refused
to sanction the expenses on the ground that Bellary was outside
the Archdeacon's jurisdiction, ' being in the Nizam's dominions.'
Events had moved too fast for the Directors ; they hardly knew
the extent of their own possessions.

There was an orphanage connected with the Church which
was founded in those early days, intended like similar schools
in other military stations for the children of British soldiers^
and especially for those who being illegitimate were not eligible
for the military asylums in Madras. The orphanage at
Bellary was near the Church in the Fort and was always in-
timately connected with it. The Chaplain was the only ex
officio member of its committee of management. He was
responsible for the religious education. The children were
marched to the Church services, and the boys sang in the choir.
The orphanage had a long and honourable history. It was
the principal charity of the station, and had been generously

» Letter, March 15, 1811, 650-52, Mil.


kept up by a succession of civil and military officers and other
kindly residents. ^

A building to bold 400 persons was quite inadequate to
meet the requirements of the station. The inconvenience
of overcrowding and of duplicating the parade service was
borne for twenty years. Then the Chaplain and the General
Officer Commanding represented to the Government the need
of enlargement. The Government assented and the Directors
approved, trusting that the enlargement would ' be done with
economy.' ~ But before they had received the reply of the
Directors the Government, in deference to the opinion of the
Military Board, declined to carry out the intention.^ The
inconvenience continued for three more years, at the end of
which time the Government was again appealed to. This time
the enlargement was sanctioned and carried out.+ It was done
by demolishing the east wall, building two transepts 33 feet
from east to west, and 76 feet from the north to the south wall,
adding a chancel 20 feet long by 17 feet broad, and a small
vestry on each side of it measuring 14 by 10 feet. This was
done at the cost of Rs.4937, and the accommodation of the
building was increased to 676. It was no more than was
required at the time, for the garrison had increased by the
addition of a corps of Ordnance artificers, and a considerable
civil population of European and Eurasian civilians had
sprung up since the beginning of the century.

During the first few years of the existence of the sanctioned
Churches they were protected at night by a military guard.
At some stations the night guard duty was heavier than at
others. Bellary and Bangalore were two of these, and there
were complaints. Accordingly the military guard was with-
drawn from the Churches at those two stations in 1825,^ and
lascars were appointed in their place. In the year 1834

' It is now closed.

- Letter, June 21, 1833, 3-7, Eccl. ; Despatch, May 21, 1834, 9, Eccl.

^ Despatch, July 8, 1835, No. 4, Eccl., in reply to the 1834 letter from

" Consultations, April 11, 1837, Nos. 1 and 2, Eccl.; Letter, June 23, 1837,
3, Eccl. ; Despatch, July 10, 1839, Eccl.

• Letter, Sept. 9, 182.5, 40, Eccl. ; Despatch, Nov. 29, 1826, 24, Eccl.




military guards were withdrawn from all garrison Churches,
and lascars substituted. i

In 1841 the station was visited by Bishop Spencer of Madras,
when the Rev. Dr. W. P. Powell was Chaplain, and the Church
was consecrated on November 14 with the consent and co-
operation of the Government. In the 1852 Official Return
the cost of the Church is said to have been Rs.23,435 ; this
sum evidently included the cost of enlargement and of the
periodical repairs up to that date.

Soon after the enlargement took place new barracks were
built for the British troops about a mile to the north-west of
the Upper Fort, and the men were moved from their confined
quarters in the Lower Fort to them. There was only one
disadvantage in the move. The old Church in the Fort had
to be left behind, and the men were separated from it by more
than a mile. When the Rev. Dr. Powell went to Bellary as
Chaplain in 1844, he raised money in the station to build a
small chapel near the new Royal Artillery lines. He built it
near the boundary wall of the Parsonage compound on rising
rocky ground between two higher rocks. A steep path led
up to it, and it had a steeple which could be seen against the
background of the rocks from all parts of the cantonment.
The general appearance of the building is described as very
picturesque by a lady who lived at the Parsonage from 1858
to 1863.^ The chapel was not consecrated, but he gave it the
name of Christ Church, and probably hoped that it would be
consecrated in course of time. According to the Official Return
of 1852 it was in the form of a Latin cross ; was 60 feet long
and 52 feet across the shorter arms ; accommodated about 200
persons ; cost Rs.3000, which sum was entirely raised in the
station ; and was intended for the joint use of Europeans,
Eurasians, and native Christians at times to be arranged by the
Chaplain and the missionary. Near the chapel was a small
bungalow intended for the priest in charge of the native congre-
gation. Being so close to the Artillery barracks a parade service
was held in the chapel for the men of the R.A. from the date of
the opening until about 1864. Then the inevitable happened.

1 Letter, May 27, 1834, 1, 2, Eccl.
- The daughter of the Rev. B. O'M. Deane, Chaplain.
VOL. n. u


It was a cheap building without proper foundations and without
proper thickness of walls. Warnmg cracks appeared, the build-
ing was pronoimced unsafe, and soon after it was dismantled. ^

During these years the men of the British Infantry regiments
paraded for divme service at the Fort Church ; but when Christ
Church came to an end, the necessity of havmg a building near
the new barracks was represented to the authorities, and a
plain building, large enough to accommodate about 650 men,
was soon afterwards built close to the Lifantry barracks. It
is kno^vn as the Garrison Church.- It is quite a plain building,
but from time to time soldiers of artistic taste have adorned
the walls with texts of scripture, so that it looks less plain
inside than it does outside.

From a very early period there has been a local Church
Mission maintamed by the civil and military officers of the
station and managed by the Chaplam. Most probably it was
established by the Eev. William Thomas, who afterwards
commenced the Church Mission at Bangalore. The native
Christians were and are allowed to hold their services in the
Fort Church. It is probable that Dr. Powell intended Christ
Church to be the centre of the Church Mission, more especially
as he built a bungalow near by. In the absence of documents
it is not certain what he intended ; but it seems fairly certain
that to him is due the practical scheme of endowing the Mission
by building a parsonage. The money was raised and the
house built, and an arrangement was made by which it became
the recognised quarters of the Chaplain, he paying rent to the
local Mission. Li course of time the Mission grew, like that
at Bangalore, under the fostering miluence of successive
Chaplains, till it required more time than they could give to its
superintendence.'^ It is now, like those at Bangalore and
Secunderabad, under the care and superintendence of the
S.P.G. The transfer from the local committee to the Society
took place with the approval of the Bishop m 1885.

' In the 1866 map of the Survey Department the steeple alone is shown.
The old llegister Books of Christ Chui-ch are among the records of the Fort

^ It is sometimes called Christ Church.

^ The Committee books of the Bellary Missionary Association are among
the Fort Church records. There were difficulties of administration besides growth.


When the Fort Church was first built it was furnished
in much the same way as other military Churches. The Direc-
tors supphed a handsome velvet altar frontal, a set of silver
vessels, a font, pulpit, and a reading-desk ; they were also liberal
in the supply of books ; but there was no bell, no punkah,
and the commissariat benches for the soldiers had no backs.
Occasionally the Government sanctioned an expenditure which
the Directors would not have approved ; the Directors looked
upon punkahs as a luxury ; the Government with its more exact
local knowledge looked upon them as a necessity, and in more
than one really hot station they allowed the necessary expendi-
ture for them without reporting so small a matter home.

From time to time the Chaplain and Lay Trustees raised
funds in the station to improve the furniture and the general
appearance of the Church. The Eev. Henry Pope was instru-
mental in getting the Church reseated in 1876. The Eev.
A. A. Williams raised money for a new reed organ in 1886, and
in the followmg year placed a Victoria Jubilee memorial
window in the sanctuary and tiled the chancel floor, at a total
cost of about Es.3500, given for those purposes in the
station. Beside these things some private gifts adorn the
Church, and remind worshippers of some of their predecessors
who loved the House of God and tried to beautify it. Colonel
Laughton presented the lectern as a thankoffering ; Colonel
Henry Smalley, E.E., presented the Litany stool ; Mrs. Matthew
Abraham the lamps and candelabra in 1880 ; Major and Mrs.
Temple Cole the sanctuary carpets in 1890 ; and Mrs. D.
Abraham the altar cross in 1892.

Of the Chaplains stationed at Bellary these are they who
probably exerted most influence on the place :


Thomas Wetherherd . . .1810-19

Edward Eichard Otter
William P. Powell
James Morant .
B. O'M. Deane.
Walter Wace .
A. A. Williams.




Wetherherd saw the building and furnishing of the Fort Church.

G 2


Otter saw its enlargement and refurnishing. Powell built
Christ Church and put the local Mission on a secure financial
footing. Wace and Williams saw the adornment of the Churches
by raising funds for the purpose and encouraging gifts. And
there are other names, such as Harper and Shortland, which
are not likely to be forgotten in connection with any of the
chaplamcies which they served.

The old Fort cemetery contains the remains of some men
with historic names. Here hes Hector Shaw, who died in 1808 ;
he was the first revenue officer of the Company in the district.

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 8 of 39)